Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A New Walk...

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord,
entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling 
with which you have been called,
with all humility and gentleness,
with patience, 
showing forbearance to one another in love...

Ephesians 4:1-2

Paul asks us to walk a new way, a way worthy of our calling from God - with humility, gentleness and patience.  And, with love, we are to show forbearance to one another.  What in the world does that mean?!  Well, according to the original Greek, it means that we must be willing to wait for others to work through issues and love them through it without judging them or writing them off.  It means trusting God with one another to His working in our lives.  It means extending others the same grace we want from them when we are going through life's inevitable trials.  (This does not mean condoning a sinful lifestyle, though.) 

The movie, Courageous, is a great example of this kind of new walk.  I would encourage you to watch it.  

Fly Lady

Tuesday is Plan and Play Day.  I'm the type of person that needs organization.  I cannot fly by the seat of my pants and have any semblance of order in my home. There are too many "plates" to keep them all spinning without something to come crashing down.  So, I spent all morning writing out my daily schedule and a list of the lists I need to have in printed form.  It's a good thing tomorrow is Anti-Procrastination Day so I can finish what I started today!

Have you enjoyed having a made bed?!  Did you get dressed right down to shoes this morning?  I hope so and I hope you are reaping the rewards!

Monday, January 30, 2012

A New Attitude...

So sorry there wasn't a post on Friday - we were having internet issues.

These verses pretty much speak for themselves about the fact that God expects us to have a new attitude towards others.

      You were taught, 
with regard to your former way of life,
to put off your old self,
which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;
to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
and to put on the new self, 
created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Therefore each of you must put off falsehood
and speak truthfully to your neighbor,
for we are all members of one body. 
In your anger do not sin.
Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,
and do not give the devil a foothold.
Those who have been stealing
must steal no longer, but must work
doing something useful with their own hands,
that they may have something to share with those in need.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths,
but only what is helpful for building others up
according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God,
with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger,
brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
Be kind and compassionate to one another,
forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Ephesians 4:22-32

Middle East Update

Joel Rosenberg had a very interesting post on an article that was written in the New York Post about the situation between Israel and Iran.  You can read his post or you can click on the link and read the extensive article.  

Also, I spent some time yesterday on The Land of Israel.com.  They have creative and informative videos on the history of Israel and what is going on in that small country today.

Fly Lady

Monday is the Home Blessing Hour.  Set your timer and see how much you get done!
This week's habit - (keep making your bed!) Get up and get dressed down to shoes first thing every morning.  I love hanging out in my jammies as much as the next person, but it is amazing to me how well this works.  I actually have a different attitude and get SO much more done when I do this.  Amazing!

Household Organization

I have this cabinet above my kitchen sink that is up where little ones can't reach, so it is the perfect place to keep medicines and supplements.  The dishpan and baskets didn't work very well and family had to dig through them to find what they needed.  Items constantly fell behind the containers, too, and I would have to get a chair or my spaghetti spoon to retrieve them.

So, when I was running my errands last Thursday and had to get some things at Walmart, I purchased four smaller containers to organize this cabinet.  Much better!

The labels are: Pain and Fever, Stomach and Colds, Supplements, and Every Day Vitamins.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A ReNewed Mind...

Do not conform to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - 
his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12:2

Renew, in the original Greek, in this verse means a renovation which makes a person different than in the past.  Praise God, I am different than I was in the past, but I know there is so much more renewing or renovation of my mind that needs to take place.  The only way that happens is by spending time in God's Word.  I renovate something in my mind every time I open the Book and study or meditate or pray about what I have read.

Sometimes it seems like an uphill battle when I spend time on the internet or watching TV and my Bible becomes dusty from laying unused.  I definitely need the time in the Word to see how the world's pattern has influenced my thinking.  Attending Bible study with other believers can be very eye opening.  My favorites are Precept studies and Beth Moore.

If you have been a reader of Nanna's Kitchen very long, you know I like renovation.  So let's go with that idea for a minute.  When is renovation needed?  Well, obviously, when things are no longer working, changes must be made.  Maybe an appliance no longer works or cabinet doors or drawer fronts are falling off.  Renovation is sought when a room no longer looks pleasing or becomes outdated and faded.

I strongly dislike removing wallpaper, but knew it must be done in our guest bath when it was becoming worn in places and coming off the wall in other places.  It was no longer a pleasant thing to look at.  The need for renovation overcame my distaste for the job.  I kept the finished project in mind to keep me scraping and peeling.  I knew it would be worth all the work.

This verse says renovation is needed when we have conformed to the world's pattern, when our mindset is no longer pleasing to God.  The transformation process of renewing our minds is not easy.  It takes intentional study of God's Word and a willingness to be obedient to God, regardless of the standards put forth by our world.  

Just like home renovation, we must keep our minds on the goal - knowing God's will...His good, pleasing and perfect will.  It is worth the work!

Note:  I have not forgotten about Philippians 4:8 and my inspiration board project!  Pictures are coming!  What do you know?!  That verse is all about transforming your thinking!  I just love when God puts things together!

Fly Lady

Thursday is Errand Day.  Did you know that if you run all your errands on one day, you could save money on gas?  I know that when I have a little errand to run, I think that I may as well go to several more places while I'm out...you know...just to go window shopping.  Oh dear!  Can we say temptation to want things I wouldn't have seen had I not been out and about?!  It is counterproductive!  So...running all my errands on one day is brilliant.  By the time I'm done running errands, I'm ready to go home.  Besides, it is probably time to get dinner going...

This week's habit - Make your bed!

I would encourage you to go to FlyLady.com and read the many testimonials you will find there. They are very encouraging!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A New Strength...

It is very interesting that these verses were on my calendar for today's blog post.  I have been struggling with chronic fatigue (caused by Epstein Barr) since Thanksgiving and today is one of those seemingly wasted days.  Blah! 

I've had some good days where I was able to enjoy my family and friends and days when I felt well enough to get some projects, housework or yard work done!  I thank God for those days...

I'm learning to thank Him for the swollen gland feelin' yucky days, too.  I seem to get a lot of praying done on those days...

He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary, 
they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:29-31

Middle East Update

Joel Rosenberg's blog post for today is his very interesting reaction to the President's State of the Union address last night instead of Middle East news.  I watched most of the address and was a little concerned with what I heard.  President Obama talked about Congress needing to put aside their ideology and work together for the good of the American people and then promoted his ideology throughout the rest of the speech with all his new ideas, agencies and appointments.  I kept asking my honey who was going to pay for all of it.  Hmmm...

Fly Lady

Wednesday is Anti-Procrastination Day.  Even when I'm feeling bad, I can usually manage to knock one item off my project list and it helps to feel like my day hasn't been a total waste.  If I can do it, you can do it! 

Have you made your bed today?!  Just do it!  Set your timer for two minutes and try to make your bed before the timer goes off.  I'm pretty sure it won't take you that long unless you have a ton of decorative pillows that have to be arranged just so...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A ReNewed Spirit...

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Psalm 51:10

It never ceases to amaze me what God uses to renew a steadfast spirit in me!  This last weekend, He used a young lady in our home who had a serious anxiety attack to remind me how He had freed me.  I was able to walk her through the truth about anxiety attacks and what to do when she felt one coming on.  Like me at her age, she had no clue that she could do anything about these attacks.  I praise God for the truth I have learned and was able to pass on to her, freeing her from her torment through His truth that sets us free! 

FYI - anxiety attacks make you feel like you can't breathe and that you are dying.  The truth is that you can control your anxiety attacks.  You tell yourself to just keep breathing and that you are just having an anxiety attack and are not dying.  It will go away as you keep telling yourself the truth.  Ask God to show you why you are anxious and ask Him to remove it.  Focus on the words from your favorite praise and worship songs and thank God for His truth that sets us free. 

Then, last night, while I was waiting to go to sleep, I was praying for another dear young woman. I had a sense that something had just not been right with her.  As I was praying for her, God gave me a vision of a waterless river rolling over and around her and her car as she was driving home from Bible study.  I knew it was His protection over her.  Today, I sent her a text asking if anything unusual had happened last night.  She replied that she had been suffering from a spirit of depression, but God lifted it from her it last night and her spirit was definitely calmer. It gave me goosebumps!

Ok, this is the first time I have had a vision like this, but God has spoken to me on several occasions - I have only heard Him audibly one time...the rest of the times I just "hear" Him in my spirit.  Sounds a little weird, I know, but I grew up in a solid Bible church and am a Precept student.  I have noticed that it never happens outside of prayer or Bible study.  Talk about renewing a steadfast spirit in me, though!!  Wow!

Middle East Update

Things are going downhill in the Middle East!  Head on over to Joel Rosenberg's weblog after you finish reading this post and check it out.

Fly Lady

Tuesday is Plan and Play Day.  Plan out your week - make sure you plan to spend time with God even if it is only 10 minutes reading the Bible.  You can keep a prayer list with you and pray throughout the day.

Did you make your bed this morning?  If not, run make your bed!  Do it now!!  You will be glad when this is a habit.


A short word on decorating - God is a God of order.  Have you noticed lately that He has beautifully decorated our world?  Just sayin'...

We have little ones at our house frequently and a couple of them love to play with the decorations on the coffee table, which is not always a safe thing for the kiddos.  So, I found a decorative tray at T.J. Maxx for under $20. The decorations went on to the tray and now I can whisk the tray and the decorations away out of their reach when they come over.  Problem solved!

Monday, January 23, 2012

A New Song...

Today's post is going to be short and sweet.  We were a host home over the weekend for DNow and had six high school girls and a single leader as guests.  It was great fun to have a house full of girls again and hopefully God used us in their lives!  I have a lot of "Home Blessing" to do to get our home ready for our next guests...we never know when they will show up, but we love it and like to be ready!

Do you like to learn new songs of praise to God?  The "new" thing for today:

Sing to the Lord a new song,
for he has done marvelous things.

Psalm 98:1

Fly Lady

Monday is Home Blessing Hour.  We are also going to take one item on the Morning Routine each week and work on establishing that item as a routine. 

This week - Make your bed.  Seriously, it takes two minutes and has an amazing way of making your bedroom look clean.  And it has the added bonus of making you feel pampered when you turn down the covers to crawl into smoothed sheets! Sweet dreams!

Middle East News

The Muslim Brotherhood has won many elections in Egypt.  What's the big deal?  Go on over to Joel Rosenberg's weblog and check it out.

Friday, January 20, 2012

A New Thing...

Do not call to mind the former things,
or ponder things of the past.
Behold, I will do something new,
now it will spring forth;
will you not be aware of it?
I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,
rivers in the desert.

Isaiah 43:18-19

As a family, we love getting out the photo albums and reminiscing over the trips we took together.  We laugh at the inside jokes we have from each trip and have a great time talking about what we gained from the experiences.  

Have you ever seen photo albums that are a pictorial record of the mistakes one has made?  Probably not, because they should have all been burned!  No one should go over those memories again and again.  It is good, however, to realize what one has learned over the years from those mistakes.

Even better, why not look to God for the new thing He is going to do in your life?!  Be watching so you don't miss it!

Fly Lady

Friday is declutter your purse and car day.  Set your timer for 15 minutes and get it done!  How are you doing with the Morning Routine and the Before Bedtime Routine?  Too much?  Pick one and work on it until you do it without even thinking. 

Household Tip - Removing Price Tag Stickers

I must confess - price tag stickers annoy me.  I'm not sure why...they just do.  When I was a new bride, one of my sisters-in-law thought it was hilarious that I would remove all the stickers off of everything I purchased, even groceries!  I'm not that picky any more - life is just too short!  But, stickers must come off any new decorating items.  

Thanks to Pinterest, I have discovered that olive oil is great for removing stickers.  You just peel off as much of the paper as possible, then rub olive oil into what is left of the sticker.  Wait 15 minutes, then scrape it off.  If there is any residue left, simply scrub it off with a scrubber sponge.

I needed new soap dispensers for our master bathroom sinks and found some at Ross for $3 each!  I love a great deal!  But, the huge price tag stickers didn't come off cleanly.  I used the olive oil trick and you can't even tell there had been stickers on the bottoms of the jars.

Note:  Don't use on fabrics - the oil could stain.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A New Spirit...

Yesterday's verses talked about a new heart - that in us which embodies our emotions, the center of our being.  Today's verse will look very familiar and is from Ezekiel 11:19-20.  Any time something is repeated, God wants us to pay attention!

And I shall give them one heart,
and shall put a new spirit within them.
And I shall take the heart of stone out of their flesh
and give them a heart of flesh,
that they may walk in My statutes
and keep My ordinances,
and do them.
Then they will be My people,
and I shall be their God.

Do you have a new heart and the Spirit of God within you?

Decorating Tip

I groan when I realize I have to hang something with two hangers.  It used to be that I had to do a lot of measuring and hope that the ceiling and floor were level.  Inevitably, I had to move one of the nails because the object was crooked after I hung it.  

Then, I saw this easy tip on Pinterest.  Simply apply some toothpaste with a Q-tip or your fingertip to the middle of each hanger.  

 Put the bottom of the item to be hung against the wall and level it.  Then, carefully tip the item up and press on the hangers.  Carefully take it away from the wall.  Simply put nails where the toothpaste dots are on the wall.  Wipe the toothpaste off the wall and the hangers before hanging the item on the nails.  Easy peasy!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A New Heart...

One of my favorite Precept Bible studies is Covenant.  I learned a lot about the hope that God weaves in throughout the Old Testament in the midst of disobedience and laws.  That hope culminates in Jesus and we can live in hope daily because of his sacrifice and the help we get from the Holy Spirit, who lives in those of us who have accepted God's free gift of salvation in Jesus.

One of the evidences of that hope is the new heart God promises in Ezekiel 36:26 and 27:

Moreover, I will give you a new heart
and put a new spirit within you;
and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh 
and give you a heart of flesh.
And I will put My Spirit within you 
and cause you to walk in My statutes,
and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.

Fly Lady

Wednesday is Anti-Procrastination Day!  Knock a few projects off your list of things you just haven't gotten to yet.  If you tend to get side-tracked, set your timer to keep yourself moving.

Remember to do your Morning Routine and Before Bed Routine - makes our hectic lives easier!

This Week's Recipe - Slow & Smothered Beef Steaks
Clean Eating

This has become a new healthy favorite of ours.  Each time I make this, my honey tells me that it is a keeper and comments several times about how good it is while he's eating. That makes me happy!

Note:  You will notice in the pictures that I only used cauliflower instead of a potato-cauliflower mix.
Serves 4.  Hands on time: 17 minutes
Total time:  1 hour, 22 minutes
Calories per serving: 285

2 Tbsp whole grain flour
olive oil cooking spray
1 lb lean top round beef, trimmed of fat, tenderized and cut into 4 pieces
1 cup thinly sliced onion
2 cups low-sodium beef broth (I've used chicken broth, too)
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 dried bay leaves
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp sea salt

12 oz Yukon gold potatoes, diced
8 oz fresh or frozen cauliflower florets (thawed, if frozen)
3 Tbsp skim milk
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground back pepper
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Coat a medium-size skillet with cooking spray.  Add steaks and cook for 2 minutes on one side, until browned.  Set steaks aside on a plate.  

 Coat skillet again with cooking spray, add onion and cook for 4 minutes or until edges begin to brown.  

 Sprinkle flour evenly over top of onions, stir until well coated.  

 Gradually add broth, stirring constantly.  Stir in Worcestershire, bay leaves, pepper and salt.  

 Return beef and any accumulated juices on plate to skillet, cooked side up.  Spoon broth mixture over beef and bring to a boil.  Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 1 hour, 15 minutes or until beef is very tender.

Meanwhile, prepare potatoes.  Fill a pot with 1 inch of water and fit with a steamer basket.  Place potatoes and cauliflower in steamer basket and bring water to a boil on high heat.  Cover and cook until potatoes are tender, about 7 to 8 minutes.  Transfer potato-cauliflower mixture to a large bowl and mash roughly with a potato masher or whisk.  Stir in remaining ingredients.

To serve, divide potato-cauliflower mixture evenly among 4 plates.  Add 1 steak to each and spoon onion gravy evenly over top.  Sprinkle with parsley, if desired.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A New Commandment...

Note: The absence of a post yesterday had nothing to do with the holiday.  It was just one of those days...yep.

Jesus came as and lived among the Jews while he was on earth. Following the commandments given to Moses was an integral part of their lives - at least for the religious in the crowd.  Before his crucifixion, Jesus told his disciples of a new commandment that was to be followed by all his disciples then and throughout history, including today.
A new command I give you:
Love one another.
As I have loved you,
so you must love one another.

John 13:34

This is one of the main differences between Christianity and Islam.  Islam teaches to kill those who won't convert.  Christ taught to love and pray for your enemies.  Just a little side note...

How about loving your spouse/family?  It is so easy to expect certain behaviors from our family members.  The challenge for 2012 is to love them the way Jesus loves us.  It can be difficult, but can be done with his help.  Just ask...

And...um...it's not a suggestion.  He expects us to love one another - to put aside our selfish sin nature. That's why it's called a commandment.  Just sayin'...

Middle East Update

The United States and Israel had planned a joint military exercise in light of the ongoing threats from Iran.  Unfortunately, the Obama administration cancelled our participation in the exercise and it makes us appear weak and frightened by the threats.  

Fly Lady

I hope you enjoyed blessing your home yesterday.  If not, don't beat yourself up over it!  I wasn't able to complete my home blessing yesterday, although I did do some of it.  I plan on moving the bulk of this week's home blessing hour to Friday because we are going to be a host home for a DNow weekend and will have teens in our home Friday and Saturday.  That is the thing I love about Fly Lady, you don't get beat up for not being perfect and you can switch things up to suit your needs!  

Tuesday is plan and play day - plan out your week (menu, grocery shopping, mending clothing, anything else that needs planned) then enjoy some "play" time.

This week we will also introduce Fly Lady's Morning Routine and Before Bed Routine.  Write these down on 3x5 cards (or print them on your computer and make them pretty) and tape them to your bathroom mirror.  Doing these ten things every day makes your household run so much more smoothly with very little time spent.

Morning Routine

1.  Get up 15 minutes before the family
2.  Make your bed
3.  Swish and swipe your bathroom - surface cleaning vanity and toilet
4.  Get dressed to lace up shoes, NO EXCUSES (it's amazing how much this really does help!)
5.  Eat breakfast

Before Bed Routine

1.  Shine your sink (simply take everything out of your sink and clean it until it shines)
2.  Check calendar (so you don't have any surprises tomorrow)
3.  Lay out clothes for tomorrow (I don't have a place to lay out clothes, so I just choose my outfit)
4.  Put things in your launch pad (Fly Lady has a basket near the door she uses to go to her car in which she places the things that she needs to take somewhere)
5.  Go to bed earlier than last night (so you can do #1 on your Morning Routine!)

When making your cards with the Morning Routine and Before Bed Routine, you do not need to include the comments in parentheses.  They are simply there as explanation if you have not been on her website.

I would also recommend that you read a verse or a chapter in the Bible or an entry in a devotional book every day as part of your daily routine, then talk to God about what you read.  I was taught that one must do this every morning.  That is pretty difficult for some people, especially moms with young kids.  I spent a lot of years feeling guilty because I didn't have that quiet time with God before my kids got up.  Yes, that is an amazing way to start your day.  But, if you can't, spent a few minutes with Him at lunch, or nap time, or before you go to bed.   And you can talk to Him about anything any time during the day or night.

Household Cleaning Tip

My mom loves to clean and her house has always been sanitary clean!  I used to stress out about my house being perfect when my mom came for a visit, but soon realized that she would clean while she was there whether we (my girls and I) deep-cleaned or not.  So, we basically did a Home Blessing Hour before she came...much less stressful!    

Now that the girls are grown and gone, it is much easier to keep the house picked up.  And now that I am no longer working outside our home, my house is cleaner than it has been in the past and I quite enjoy Monday's Home Blessing Hour.  But, it is still very freeing to only have to do certain tasks on certain days, especially when my chronic fatigue is acting up.

One of my biggest dislikes when the girls were young was folding clothes.  I didn't have a problem sorting and washing clothes and taught the girls how to do laundry as soon as they could reach the buttons on the machines.  

Funny story - I had sent the girls in to sort clothes one day and soon heard screaming and laughter.  I went in to see what they were doing and caught them shooting their dad's underwear at each other!  My honey wasn't amused and requested that I be the only one to wash his BVDs from then on.  Even thinking about it still makes me laugh...

 The mistake I made with our laundry was two-fold.  I didn't clean out the lint vent basket after every load (it could have caught on fire and burned the house down!) and I put all the dry laundry in a basket and dumped it on the couch or a bed.  Several distractions later, the pile of laundry would be moved to another location and sometimes would take days to get folded.  

The solution was surprisingly simple, I now take items out of the drier one at a time and fold them or hang them up, except for socks and undies.  I do make a small pile of these items and put the pile on the kitchen counter where I will see it and remember to fold and put them away.  I also put away the folded and hanging items immediately.  This does two things:  eliminates the piles and eliminates wrinkles.  It all takes about 2 minutes!

Ok, I know I'm 54 years old, but Mom still teaches me things...like how to really clean the drier lint vent.  I always clean the basket after every load (I put the lint into old cardboard egg cartons to make fire starters for the chiminea or camp fires) and occasionally would reach down into the vent to clean out more lint.  Mom called me in for a lesson in using my Swiffer duster to clean the vent.  It was pretty simple.  Push the duster down into the vent and swish it around to get all sides of the vent.  This works if your vent is on the top of your drier or down in front like mine.

 There is always some lint that the basket doesn't catch and it can add up quickly!

Two weeks' worth of lint not caught by the lint basket -

Friday, January 13, 2012

A New Self...

There is a list of new positive behaviors in Colossians 3:9-17 that all of us should practice.  Take a look:

Do not lie to each other,
since you have taken off your old self
with its practices
and have put on the new self,
which is being renewed in knowledge
in the image if its Creator.
Here there is no Gentile or Jew,
circumcised or uncircumcised,
barbarian, Scythian, slave or free,
but Christ is all, and is in all.
Therefore, as God's chosen people, 
holy and dearly loved,
clothe yourselves with compassion, 
kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Bear with each other and forgive one another 
if any of you has a grievance against someone.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
And over all these virtues put on love,
which binds them all together
in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,
 since as members of one body you were called to peace.
And be thankful.
Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly 
as you teach and admonish one another 
with all wisdom 
through psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit,
singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
And whatever you do, 
whether in word or deed,
do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father
through him.

Fly Lady

Today's focus is decluttering your purse and your car.  

Purse - dump it out on the table and put the things that belong in your purse back inside.  Gather all the trash from your purse and throw it away.  Put away the rest of the items.
Funny purse story - I was sitting next to a friend in church one Sunday morning.  She reached inside to get a pen to take notes, and began quietly giggling.  When I looked over to see what was so funny, she held up a piece of pizza!  She later found out that her young son had put the pizza in her purse so he would have a snack in case he got hungry.  Hahahahaha!!

Car - Well, you can't dump your car out on the table!  But you do need to take everything out of your car.  Put the things that belong there back in your car.  Throw all the trash away.  Put away the rest of the items.

Tip - Sometimes I have items in my purse or my car that need to go to someone else.  Put a basket near the door that you use to leave your house to put these items.  Take the basket with you and deliver the items.  When you get home, take the basket back in your home and place it back by the door.

Great Deal

The other day, I was in Goodwill looking for decorating items for a friend.  I found a few things that I can repurpose.  But, I found a dish that I am now using as my spoon rest in the kitchen.  I've been looking for a new one for a year and was thrilled to find this one for one dollar!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A New Response...

It's so easy to jump right to anxiety or worry when you hear concerning news.  In honor of the new year and our "new" theme this month, let's go with a new response.  Philippians 4:6-7 have been our family's theme verses for several years and we quote them frequently to each other as life has a way of continuing to present circumstances that tempt us to be anxious; just like you and your family.

Do not be anxious about anything,
but in every situation,
by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, 
which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds
in Christ Jesus.

Are you making your list of things you know to be true?  Topping my list - I know God always loves me and my loved ones. 

Fly Lady

Today is errand day.  Errands can include grocery shopping, clothing shopping, taking clothes to the dry cleaners or doctor/dentist appointments.  (Ok - that is a great idea to have all dr/dentist appointments on Thursdays!  They won't be an interference in my schedule that way.  Brilliant!)

This Week's Recipe - Homemade Applesauce

What do you do when you have several apples getting soft and wrinkled?  You make homemade applesauce, of course!  It is so easy and tasty!

6 apples - cored, sliced and cut into chunks
1/2 cup purified water
1 tsp cinnamon
dash of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla

Put the apples, water, cinnamon and salt into a saucepan.  Cook over medium low heat until apples are mushy.  Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.  Serve warm or chilled.

Dessert Idea:  Serve applesauce over vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A New Focus...

Middle East Alert:  The first thing I saw on the news this morning was a story about Iran's top nuclear scientist's assassination.  If you have not read Joel Rosenberg's latest novel, The Tehran Initiative, I would highly recommend it.  At the very least, get on his weblog and read about the significance of what is going on in the Middle East, especially with Iran.  

With so much going on in the Middle East, all the protests, terrorist threats and escalating natural disasters, it would be very easy to become overwhelmed and depressed.  Several years ago, I read an article about work stress and the author recommended taking a "vacation in your mind".  Basically, it entailed closing your eyes and imagining a peaceful beautiful place for 10 minutes.

Our minds are powerful and help determine our attitudes and actions.  That's why there are many passages in the Bible that talk about the importance of what we think about; what we let ourselves dream about and meditate on.  God knows life can get stressful.  He has provided a "vacation in your mind" to help us cope with what life throws us.  I love Philippians 4:8:

Finally, brethren, whatever is true,
whatever is honorable,
whatever is right,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is of good repute,
if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise,
let your mind dwell on these things.

I just got a brilliant idea!  I'm a visual learner and the thought came to mind that I need to put visual reminders of each of the points from this verse on my inspiration board.  I will start with "true" and dwell on what I know to be true for one week, putting reminders on my bathroom mirror and the microwave. Bible passages, quotes and pictures, anything God brings to mind, will go up on my inspiration board. Then I will focus on "whatever is honorable" the next week and so on until I get through "anything worthy of praise".  I will post a picture each week of my inspiration board.  Why don't you join me?!  What do you know to be true?  Ask God to bring those things to your mind.  It should be a great journey!

Fly Lady

Wednesdays are Anti-Procrastination Day!  Walk around your house and make a list of the projects that haven't been done.  Pick your least favorite project and get it done today!  Remember to set your timer if you need the motivation to get it done.  At least, set your timer to take a 10 minute "put your feet up" break every hour.  Don't give in to the temptation to turn on the TV or pick up a book!  If your project doesn't take long, go to the next least favorite project on your list.  Save the rest of the list for next Wednesday.


I wanted a piece of artwork in my kitchen to help me remember to have a positive attitude.  So, my honey built a canvas and my oldest daughter created this large (33 1/2"x 33 1/2") beautiful painting as a combination birthday/Christmas present.  I truly am blessed by my creative children!

Here are some close up shots of the painting.  The techniques she uses are what make her paintings so unique.

She will soon have a website and will have paintings for sale.  I will post her website address as soon as it is up and running.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A New and Living Way...

Note:  I changed the comment settings so it will be easier for my dear readers to comment on these posts.  Conversation is vital in Nanna's Kitchen!

Did you know that Jesus provided us a new way to come before God?  Did you know that we don't have to feel guilty before God?  Look at these verses from Hebrews 10:19-23. They are a wonderful reminder of how, because of Jesus, we don't have to go through a human priest to approach the throne of God in prayer.

Therefore, brothers and sisters,
since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,
by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain,
that is, his body, 
and since we have a great priest over the house of God,
let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith,
having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience 
and having our bodies washed with pure water.
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess,
for he who promised is faithful.

Fly Lady
Today is Plan and Play Day.  This is when you sit down with a calendar, pen and paper (or a smart phone) and plan out your week.  The following items are what Fly Lady suggests you plan:

menu/grocery list
     date night
     daily activities/schedule for kiddos
     family fun night
prescriptions refilled
anything else that needs planned for this week

When you are done - play!  Do something that you want to do!

My honey asked what I wanted for my birthday.  I told him I had seen a really cute little cabinet that I would like for our entry.  So, we went to check it out.  He said it wasn't well built and he didn't want to spend money on something that was a piece of junk that would end up in a garage sale.  BUT, he said he could build the exact cabinet for me.  Ok, then!  He took a couple of days off and four days later I had my new cabinet.  It turned out to be too big for the entry so I moved the dry sink and mirror back to the entry and put the new cabinet in the living room.  It fits perfectly and we use it to store our games.  Pretty and practical!

The cabinet in the store:

The cabinet my honey made:

Monday, January 9, 2012

New Every Morning...

I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:19-23

I saw quite a few comments on Facebook about people hoping for a better year in 2012 than what they experienced in 2011.  I understand!  I've had a few years where I hoped for the same thing in the new year.  It's very common to look back over the previous year and take inventory of your life.  It is also very natural to let difficult experiences become your focus and find yourself becoming melancholy, just as the author of the above verses did.

But, he didn't stay there!  He turned his mind to the Lord and the fact that we are not consumed by difficult circumstances in life because God loves us, is greatly faithful and has non-failing compassion that is new every morning.  My New Year's resolution is to open my Bible every morning, looking forward to discovering the new compassion (sensitive love) God has for me that day - even in the midst of life's difficulties!

Fly Lady
Speaking of new things, there will be a new segment on Nanna's Kitchen this year.  Several months ago, my oldest daughter called me to tell me about a website she had found that was extremely helpful in taking care of a home.  She was very excited about her shiny kitchen sink!  Hmmm...  So, I checked it out.  As I read more of the information, it sounded vaguely familiar.  Sure enough, Fly Lady got her initial information from Sidetracked Home Executives, a book written by two sisters I had read and used when my girls were small.  

However, Fly Lady has transformed the information into modern usage.  FlyLady.com is a wonderful website, full of useful information, that takes the guesswork out of taking care of your home.  The thing I like best about it - you can sign up for free daily emails that tell you what you need to do that day for 15 minutes (every day but Monday).  Um, yeah!  Anyone can clean or organize for 15 minutes!  And you don't have to clean your whole house to get started.  You just start on the item for that day.  After several months, your whole house will be clean and organized. And you can keep it that way just 15 minutes a day!  An extra bonus - you will Finally be Loving Yourself, too!  (That's where Fly Lady comes from - you know, that whole love your neighbor as yourself thing...)

Take an hour or so browsing her website and sign up for the emails because there is so much more information found in them.  It is easy to spend a lot of time reading all the great testimonials people send in telling how Fly Lady has changed their lives. What I will be doing is simply listing what the focus is for each day.  So, if you are crunched for time, you can get the daily focus here. 

Each month has a habit to work on and every Monday, there is a Home Blessing Hour.  Fly Lady also promotes a Before Bed Routine (that's where the shiny sink happens) and a Morning Routine. I don't want to overwhelm you, so those will all come later.  This week, let's just take care of the daily focus.

Today's focus - Home Blessing Hour
Set your timer for 10 minutes per item.  When the timer goes off, you are done with that item.  You will have extra time on some of them.  Some of them will require you to work quickly!  After one hour, you are done!  If you need to, split it up into two 30 minute segments or three 20 minute segments - whatever works best for you!  You are not working towards perfection.  Your goal is for your home to be clean enough to be healthy!

Home Blessing
1.  Toss old magazines and newspapers
2.  Change sheets ( I change sheets every two weeks unless we've been ill)
3.  Empty all trash cans (Take a large trash bag with you in which to empty all the smaller trash cans)
4.  Vacuum all rooms (Just the middles - don't move furniture)
5.  Mop kitchen and bath floors
6.  Shine mirrors and glass doors
7.  Dust furniture

If you need inspiration to get started, you can always watch the TV show, Hoarders, or help someone move.  Just sayin'...