Friday, October 21, 2011

Lessons from a Blackberry Vine

I have a problem with blackberries. Not the yummy ones I put in cobbler, the wild blackberry vine that is trying its best to take over my yard.

It has been a bitter war and there have been casualties, namely my pretty hydrangea. While I've spent countless hours battling my dreaded invader I've had plenty of time to ruminate on something.

Sin is a whole lot like that blackberry vine. Here are some of the similarities I've come up with.



  • Trying to get rid of it is painful.

  • It doesn't want to go.

  • You can easily break off little pieces, but when that's all you do the root remains.

  • The thorns get bigger and it's harder to get to as you get closer to the root problem.

  • Sometimes the branches that others see look like they've died but down at the bottom and in the roots it's still growing.

  • It invades whatever is around it until it choked it out and eventually kills it.

  • It can only be stopped by the gardener's intervention.

  • It costs the gardener effort, time, and it is a painful process for the gardener.

  • Once it's gone, however, it's better for the other plants.

  • The children no longer have to look out for its thorns.

  • And after the tangled mess is cleared away, you find hidden treasures that were lost.

  • And there's room for beautiful new things to blossom.

Hope your garden is weed free!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Question

This is the question I encountered this morning in my Bible study's guidebook.

What do you think about the idea of living for God and having your life be an offering to Him?

My response?

It is my goal for each day but often fails to be my reality.

We live each day by the grace of God.

We should also live each day for the glory of God.

What say you?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Why Yes, I Am Still Alive

I know, it's been a looooooooong time since I posted. At least it feels that way to me. Oh the guilt that I have toted around for that but there's been stuff going on and my mind just wasn't in it.

Where was my mind? I don't know, I lost it.

No, really I was sick. First a month long bought of respiratory infection and then, just when I'm feeling well, I get some shockeroo news.

My iron levels were plummeting. There was blood in my stool. They were referring me to a specialist.

Not great news for someone with a strong family history of colon cancer.

Anyway, after the drinking of the medicine (I never want anything cherry flavored again) and the ordeal of the prep (which didn't seem as bad as the cherry drink), I had my colonoscopy.

They didn't find anything we expected. I got an A-OK from the doctor. Actually, I stayed awake and watched the whole thing. I wanted to see for myself. It wasn't the dreaded experience I thought it'd be.

I know the great outcome was due to all of those who were praying. I went in prepared for the worst and got surprised with good news. My other bloodwork came back good as well.

For now, I'm coming off of some of my iron and waiting to see if it stays up in the normal range.

And in other news, I cut off my hair. Well actually it was Sandy my hairdresser. But I like it. It just takes some getting used to. No pix today. It's raining and my hair's curly crazy. I'll save that post for another day.

Speaking of the rainy weather, it's making me crave chili. The rain and Jen's beautiful fall post. Be sure to check out her blog. She takes the best pictures.

That's all for me for now. Enough news for one day.

I'll meet you back here tomorrow.

Friday, September 16, 2011

What's in There?

Here are some verses that I came across yesterday morning during my quiet time. I love it when I find a verse that really speaks to me and then flip somewhere else and find another that goes along with it. It's like God is saying, "You like that one? Come check out this one I've got." And then we're off on a study together. Ever have times like that? Well, this is the result of mine.

II Chronicles 3:16-17 "I have chosen and consecrated this temple sa that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there."

Thank You Lord that, just like in the temple of old, Your Holy Spirit dwells in believers today.

II Corinthians 6:16 "...For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: 'I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God and they will be my people.'"

How amazing and sobering to know that in us too will always be Your eyes and Your heart. You are always seeing what I do with the life You've given me, and You can also see my intents and my thoughts. Maybe if I thought more on the fact then I'd be more careful and purposeful in my actions. If I really stopped and thought about that I'm going to do this or say this or even think this with God watching, would I still be willing to go ahead with it?

Not only that, but in us is the very heart of God. From it all my motivations and ultimately my actions should flow. That's how His church grows and He reaches out to the world, when someone like you or me, with a heart full of His love, tells someone else or teaches or meets a need. It takes His eyes to see and His heart to love but He uses my hands to accomplish and my feet to go.

I Corinthians 3:16-17 "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple."

A sacred temple. When was the last time I looked in the mirror and thought of that? This side of never. How do I care for this sacred temple? Am I neglecting it or abusing it with my habits and eating choices and thus bringing destruction on myself? I'm feeling a little conviction on that one.

I Corinthians 6:19-20 "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own, you were bought with a price. Therefore honor God with your body."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Life Rules

Meredith was in her room playing with her white board. I asked it what she'd written and she said it was rule for how people should be.

It says:

This is good for you!!!!

1. Be nice

2. Shar (share)

3. Help the persin ho neds help!!!!! (help the person who needs help)

I think even though she's only six she really did a good job. Out of the mouth of babes...

I'm going to visit Sue at Rednesday at http://suelovescherries.blogspot.com and hope you will too.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cut It Out

I was working in one of my flowerbeds yesterday pruning away some of the dead parts of the flowers that had left it looking like a spindly brown mess.

It reminded me of conversations I've had with my neighbor. I'm more of a perennial planter. She's an annual gal. She prefers the fullness I get from flowers but says she can't stand not to rip plants out when they finish blooming.

As I was snipping away I was very thankful that God doesn't share Mrs. Brenda's plant policy. We flower and flourish in our faith and then we go through some dry patches or wilt in the heat of trial. These fluctations leave us with some spindly patches of unproductive "dead wood" in our lives.

He patiently and tenderly cuts away at those things, sometimes even the parts that once were lovely, to leave us healthier, stronger, and ready to take on the winters that are to come.

When we shy away from the shears everyone notices. Our neglected spot are apparent to the passerby. And, the places that need tending are brittle. A little lopping and we look better, we feel better and we are extraordinarily more productive.

So I'm thankful for the pruning process. It has many times been hard, sometimes cost me things or relationships that I held very dear, but it is necessary.

And it sure beats ending up in the compost pile.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Chicken-N-Dumpling Super Star

I made chicken and dumplings for supper last night. With a household full of snifflers, I thought a little comfort food was in order. I thought they'd like it, I just didn't realize how much.

They all smelled it cooking and came running to find out what it was. When I told them, they carried on like I told them they'd won the showcase on the Price is Right.

There was literally singing and dancing involved.

All for the love of chicken and dumplings.

I got the recipe from one of my Lady and Sons cookbooks, but you can also get the recipe by clicking http://www.pauladeen.com/recipes/view2/chicken_dumplings

I didn't use the bay leaves. They aren't a favorite of everyone in the house and the taste didn't suffer at all without them. I also used boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead and it was fine (quicker and healthier too).

It was my first stab at homemade dumplings and, even though I rolled them out to what I thought was thin enough, they were thick and kind of chewy. Totally yummy, but next time I'll keep rolling until my arms fall off and they feel paper thin (the noodles, not my arms). I'll also cut my noodles smaller.

If you're feeling the need for a little comfort, or maybe hear the people in your house singing your praise, whip up a batch of chicken and dumplings today.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Menus, MORE and Breakfast in Store

Sorry it's been so long. I've been sick AGAIN. The kids got their annual back to school cold and they shared it with me. With me, however, there's no such thing as a simple cold. God has blessed me in many ways but a great immune system was not on the list. Oh well, we've all got our stuff.

Finally after a week and a half I started to feel more like myself last night. I did make a breakfast casserole to bake this morning. I thought it'd be a good start for the kids for back to school. You make it up the night before and then bake it the next day. Keep in mind it does take a long time to bake. It worked out perfectly for me since I'm such an early riser, but for y'all who sleep past the crack of dawn, you might want to wait until the weekend to serve it.








Breakfast Casserole


1 lb. sausage
1 tsp. mustard powder
1/2 tsp. season salt
4 eggs, beaten
2 c. milk
6 slices bread, toasted & cubed
2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded

Crumble and cook sausage until brown; drain. In a bowl, mix mustard, season salt, eggs and milk. Add sausage, bread and cheese. Stir to coat. Pour into greased 13x9 pan. Refrigerate overnight. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover and bake 45-60 minutes (I did mine 1 hour). Uncover and reduce heat to 325 degrees. Bake 30 minutes more.



Menus for the Week--


Monday--Chicken & Dumplings, Black Eyed Peas, Pear Salad
Tuesday--Ham & Pasta Bake, Carrots, Biscuits
Wednesday--Hamburgers & Hot Dogs
Thursday--Spaghetti, Salad, Garlic Bread
Friday--Roast, potatoes, carrots, biscuits, fig preserves
Saturday--out to eat
Sunday--homemade pizza


Friday, August 19, 2011

Shaking Things Up

Just a couple of verses to shake things up this morning...

Psalm 62:1-2 "My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken."

Hebrews 12:25-29 "See to it that you do not refuse Him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused Him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, 'Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.' The words 'once more' indicate the removing of what can be shaken--that is, created things--so that what cannot be shaken may remain.

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our 'God is a consuming fire.'"


How wonderful to know that no matter how many shake ups come in this world, we will never be shaken.

Monday, August 15, 2011

New Week, New Food, New Sites to See

Hi everyone, here are the menu ideas for this week:

Monday--Enchilada Bake, Refried Beans, Corn
Tuesday--Chicken in Cream Sauce, Green Bean Casserole, Rolls, Fruit Salad
Wednesday--Pork Chops Mojo, Baked Potatoes, Sour Cucumbers
Thursday--Cubed Steak and Gravy, Rice, Sliced Tomatoes, Rolls
Friday--out-to-eat
Saturday--homemade pizza
Sunday--leftovers

I also wanted to share with you about a new site that one of our friends has. Sweet Cheryl has created a new blog and here's the link. http://whengodwhispers-mochamama.blogspot.com/ Be sure to visit her this week.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Peter Piper Picked a Peck...

I'm not sure if I'll have pickled peppers like the nursery rhyme says, but I've got to do something with all these peppers. My garden was fairly poor this year because of too much heat and too little attention. The one thing that managed to thrive despite my neglect was the peppers.

(Although, I did do well with potatoes and will definitely plant more next time.)

I did find a whole book on cooking with peppers at that library sale I love. Hopefully I'll find something to do with them all since the ones in the pictures are just a few of the ones I have (and that's a big basket). I've got more coming in, lots in the freezer too.

Now that the kids are in school I'll have to get busy making pepper jelly, pepper relish, pepper sauce, pepper.......

Monday, August 8, 2011

Chicken Salad and Other Yummies for the Week

It's Monday again. If it keeps coming around any quicker, it'll be Monday every other day. I'm thankful for the weekend and a little bit of respite before the craziness of a new week. I've listed my menu for the week followed by my recipe for Pecan Chicken Salad.

Hope you enjoy them.

Monday--Pecan Chicken Salad, mandarin oranges in Jello, roll
Tuesday--ham, mashed potatoes with gravy, salad, biscuits
Wednesday--out to eat
Thursday--meatballs with alfredo sauce, pasta, italian-style green beans, breadsticks
Friday--homemade pizza
Saturday--fish fry
Sunday--leftovers


Pecan Chicken Salad

3 c. diced, cooked chicken
1 c. diced celery
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. minced onion
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. mayonnaise
1 c. grapes, halved
1/2 c. cubed apples
1 c. chopped pecans
lettuce to serve it on

Combine first five ingredients; stir well. Cover and chill at least one hour. Add remaining ingrediets, toss well. Serve on bed of lettuce. Serves 6. You may also substitute cooked turkey for the chicken.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Cornerstone

Back when I was in high school and lived in another town we went to a little church and I sang in the youth choir. You know it had to be a little church to let me sing in the choir. They wouldn't even let me sing in third grade chorus. Let's just say I'm musically challenged. Anyway, one song we sang always stuck in my head--"Cornerstone."

This morning when I was having my quiet time I was reading a book to go along with my Bible reading. It's one I picked up at an estate sale. It's called the "New Bible Dictionary" although I don't think it's too new since it was published in 1962. It has been really interesting reading some of the historical information that goes along with biblical passages.

Anyway, as I was reading (I'm up to architecture in the dictionary) it mentioned the cornerstone and that's what I wanted to talk about today.

I Peter 2:4-6 "As you come to Him, the living Stone--rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to Him--you also are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says, 'See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in Him will never be put to shame."

Ephesians 2:19-22 "Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the chief cornerstone. In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit."

Here's what the New Bible Dictionary had to say, "The 'cornerstone' in I Peter 2 was the block at the corner of the foundation whose true shape and accurate laying determined the symmetry and lay-out of the whole structure."

Isn't that interesting? His true shape (like His true character) and His accurate laying (His laying down of His life in accordance with all the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah) determined the symmetry (the way it fits together) and lay-out (function and flow) of the whole structure (His church).

Not only that, but we are also part of the spiritual house, a dwelling where God lives by His Spirit. How awesome is that! That same One who laid the foundation for the church has laid the foundation for our spiritual life to be built up. He wants to build us up so that our whole structure resembles the one He has layed down.

We rise to become a temple. A temple in which the God of all dwells and we serve as priests, offering spiritual sacrifices.

How often do we remember what we were truly meant to be?
How many times today will we be willing to make spiritual sacrifices?

May we remember as we go through our day and make our choices and interact with the world around us just who it is that is holding us up and is the foundation for all we do. And who it is that is in us. We never have to be put to shame.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Cookies for Back to School

We're gearing up for school this week. Yes, we start back early down here. I guess it's too hot to do anything else. So if they've got to be back at work, we might as well make it sweet. Here's a great recipe that Jack likes to help me make. They make large cookies, great for sending one in a lunchbox or for something special when they get home.

Jack's Jumbo Triple Chippers

4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 c. butter, softened
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 1/4 c. packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 c. milk chocolate chips
1 c. white chocolate chips
1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c. pecans or walnuts, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and baking soda. Beat butter and sugars in a mixer until creamy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Gradually add in flour mixture. Stir in chips and nuts. Drop dough onto greased cookie sheets by level 1/4 measuring scoop (told you they were bigger). Bake for 12-14 minutes. Cool on sheets 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks and cool completely. Makes 2 dozen large cookies.

The recipe would probably give you at least 4 dozen regular size cookies if you want to use a regular cookie scoop.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Over the River and Through the Woods


Over the river...



...and through the woods...



...We weren't going to grandma's house. We were going home.
We took the scenic route for a while down the Blue Ridge Parkway.
It was pretty, but more for retirees than a car full of are-we-there-yetters.
Be sure you get on with a full tank of gas and an empty bladder.
The song that goes "Long and Winding Road" pretty much sums it up.


That's the last vacation picture.
I promise.


Monday, August 1, 2011

Back in the Routine

This summer has really gone quickly. It's hard to believe the kids start back to school later this week! With the sickness and surgeries it hasn't been a big adventure this summer, but we have enjoyed our time together and I'm hoping for much healthier kids this year.

Back to school means back to my normal routine. I'm trying to gear up to our hectic morning pace. I'm also back to planning a little better for our menus. Here's what we've got this week.

Monday--Stuffed Shells, tossed salad, french bread
Tuesday--Grilled pork chops, buttered potatoes, peas, biscuits
Wednesday--BLT and chips, fresh fruit
Thursday--Crockpot chicken and vegetables, rolls, applesauce
Friday--Out to eat
Saturday--Homemade pizza
Sunday--Leftovers





Friday, July 29, 2011

Lessons in the Desert

For today's Food for Thought Friday let's take a look at Exodus 15:22-27.

Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days into the wilderness and found no water. When they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter; therefore it was named Marah. So the people grumbled at Moses, saying, "What shall we drink?"

Then he cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree; and he threw it into the waters, and the waters became sweet.

There He made for them a statute and regulation, and there He tested them. And He said, "If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the Lord, am your healer.

They came to Elim where there were twelve springs of water and seventy date palms, and they camped beside the waters.

Sometimes God leads us into what looks like hopeless circumstances that come with bitter consequences (like a budget deal in Congress). What choice do we make? Do we, like the Israelites, grumble in despair or do we choose to trust? We must keep our focus on the fact that He has led us this far. Let's dissect these verses and see what we can learn from the Israelites' journey to help us along on ours.

We'll start with verse 22. God was leading His people in victory. If you look back in the previous chapter of Exodus you will see it is a song of praise about their miraculous deliverance from the Egyptians and from their life of slavery.

What is God's first act after parting the Red Sea and defeating the Egyptian army? He leads them straight from triumph to testing. We find in verse 23 that they first experience after amazing victory was literally bitter disappointment.

Why would God do that? Why wouldn't He use their enthusiastic adrenaline to conquer those waiting territories? The answer is that God is not so concerned about getting ahead as He is about getting to the heart. They had already conquered their enemies on the outside, it was time to confront the enemy within.

God leads us into our own desert of Shur so we can be sure to understand that He alone is the one who saves and sustains us. The Israelites have just witnessed God's miraculous provision--they've had a cloud by day and fire by night to guide them, the sea just washed away their enemies--so what is their response to their first obstacle? They grumbled. In their favor, at least they grumbled and waited.

Too often we come to a place of testing and we find the water is bitter. We are supposed to wait for God to provide. Instead we simply grit our teeth and pour ourselves a big glass and then wonder why we are left feeling bitter. So many of the situations we feel bitter about are ones God never intended for us to end up in!

Did you wait for His deliverance or did you work through it in your own power? Sometimes He'll lead us to the edge of a precipice in order to show us His ability to make a new way and lead us to greater heights. All too often we reach that place and jump head first off the cliff and then complain when we're lying broken and bleeding in the dark valley. Grumbling isn't good, but neither is going our own way.

What was the response to grumbling? Verse 25 tells us that Moses cried out to God and God pointed out the provision He had already made for their problem. Notice what He used to clear up the water--a tree. A tree takes years to grow. There is no telling how many years beforehand God had put that very tree in its place in anticipation of that day with the Israelites. He wasn't leading them on some wild goose chase in the desert just to see how much they could take. He had specific places, specific purposes and specific provisions. And what does it say in verse 25? The waters became sweet. He didn't just provide the necessities, He gave a treat.

We learn at the end of verse 25 and into verse 26 that God had led them there, not to be unkind or uninvolved, but to give them an object lesson about who He is. He was explaining in tangible terms what He wanted from them (listening to Him, heeding His commands, trusting Him to provide), what He would do for them in return (put none of the diseases on them, make a way for them) and revealing a part of His character to them (healer).

He provided a sweet rescue from a bitter experience. Then He led them on to a sweet reward. Verse 27 reveals that He led them to a new place filled with water and fruit and a place for them to rest.

Want to know something ironic? Elim is only seven miles from Marah. Elim was God's destination all along. The people stopped short of God's intention by seven miles, but in His mercy and foresight God provided for their physical and spiritual needs.

How often do we stop short at the first thing we come to when He is really asking us to hold on for a few more miles? We sit and grumble over the bitterness when we could go on and experience the sweet.

God will lead us by some bitter waters. But they are never our destinations! We are merely meant to pass by and learn from them on our way to our reward.

Some of us have come to those waters, drank from them and made our homes there. We've been left bitter from it in the desert of our souls, parched and short of where God intended us to be. We cannot undo our choices but we can change our responses.

It is never too late to let God turn the bitter to sweet.

It is never too late to pack up and move on down the road.

After all, it's only seven miles.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cherries


I picked up these cherries at the store the other day. We've been eating them plain but last night I got a hankering to try something different. I'm dieting and was wanting a little something sweet so I melted a little butter in a saucepan (about 1 teaspoon) and added 1 cup of pitted cherries, about 2 teaspoons of Splenda brown sugar and a pinch of salt. I cooked it just long enough to warm the cherries and make a glaze.

It turned out pretty well, just enough sweet to calm the craving. But the thing that I thought would be best--eat it on oatmeal. Tomorrow I'm going to make it again and add it to a bowl of oatmeal. Cherry Oatmeal Deluxe. Yum.

It'd also be good with plain yogurt and topped with granola.

Thought I'd share the idea with you all. I'm linking up with Rednesday since Sue does love cherries. =)

http://suelovescherries.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

DC Visit...We Didn't Catch a Glimpse of Compromise

A few pictures from our day in Washington.



Riley took this of the Washington Monument.


Checking at the fossils at the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum.



Now those are some big Jaws. How would you like to go fishing and catch that?




Up close and personal. Meredith takes a look at some nature photography on display.


Monday, July 25, 2011

A Ride in the Country

These are some of the pictures I took as we travelled the back roads

of Pennsylvania in Amish country.




My dream house!




A heron wading in a stream.



This is a farm across from an Amish store I like to go to on our trips.



And here's one in Maryland. The Brick Meeting House in Calvert, Maryland.











Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Woulda, Shoulda

This is the blog post I had planned to use last week while I was gone. Alas, I couldn't get it to work while I was away. Me and my blogging skills. So here it is anyway.







This was my thought at the beginning of vacation.



Can you tell I was a little tired of being stuck inside with sick kids all summer?



I got these great pics from this book, 'Retro Housewife', that I found at our library's backdoor book sale. Only 50 cents. It's chock full of great vintage pictures from old advertisements.

I'm linking with our friends for Rednesday at http://suelovescherries.blogspot.com/




Blueberry Picking

While on riding around one day on vacation we spied a sign for u-pick blueberries.



Blueberries are Meredith's favorite food.




It was a gorgeous farm with rolling land full of blueberries, a lane that led to a beautiful old farmhouse with a pond full of geese and then on to a peach orchard. It was a dream spot.


This is looking up the hill at one of the old barns.



She's in blueberry heaven.

One of her favorite books is even 'Blueberries for Sal'.




Even her brothers, who aren't the greatest fans of blueberries, decided they liked them.




Be sure to check out the recipe pages on the blog to find my Blueberry Breakfast Bake recipe!










Monday, July 18, 2011

Unpacking

Home again from our vacation. I didn't take a whole lot of pictures but I do have a few to share with y'all. I'll start those tomorrow. Today I'm still busy unpacking, the camera will have to wait. I figured I would slow down long enough to share what I'm cooking.

Monday--Lemon & Garlic Chicken, creamed corn, green beans, rolls, Grammie's pickels
Tuesday--Stuffed Peppers, Mom Moms Fruit Salad, rolls
Wednesday--Bacon, eggs, waffles
Thursday--Grilled steaks, baked potatoes, sliced tomatoes
Friday--Chicken Salad, chips, fresh fruit
Saturday--homemade pizzza
Sunday--leftovers

See ya tomorrow!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Tea Party for Two

Meredith's "bestest friend in the world" Kate came for a visit this week. Meredith had just finished a book from the library called 'Tea Party for Two' and thought it would be fun to have one of her own. There was a picnic basket, pink cloth, peanut butter and honey sandwiches because they're Kate's favorite, grapes, crackers and cupcakes. There was no tea at the tea party, just like in the book. They chose apple juice.


Here are the ladies under a shady tree enjoying their cupcakes--pink sprinkles of course.



Oh darling, they're so divine!




Happy Pink Saturday. May it be as sweet as a cupcake. May you find a shady spot and enjoy the company of a good friend. Visit some of your blogging friends at http://howsweetthesound.typepad.com/





Food for Thought--Attitude is Everything

I seem to be camped in Genesis for part of my quiet time each day. I decided to go back to the beginning and study it piece by piece. It's been a little slow going which is good sometimes. I thought I'd share a few ideas from one of my days ruminations.

Genesis 4:1-7

Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, "With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man." Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.

Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry and his face was downcast.

Then the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."

The willingness of our offering determines our relationship. Whether it's our tithe, our time, our family or the fruit of our hands--our attitude toward it in relation to God determines the relationship we can have with Him.

(Now I'm not talking salvation, no offering earns that. It is freely given. Ephesians 2:8-9 plainly tells us, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast.") I'm not talking about an offering in order to have a relationship, I'm talking about the attitude of our offering determining the outcome of our relationship.

If I'm busy looking out for me, me, me I can't look up and see Him. If I look to Him first, He will look with favor on me. Cain brought some of what he had when he got around to it. Abel brought the best portion of the firstborn.

What really interested me the most in this passage was the back and forth between God and Cain. The unrighteous deny God His right (afterall, God provided Cain with the life, the talent and the resources, why shouldn't he say thank you with an offering?) and then get angry when He doesn't give them the same blessings the believer receives. Isn't that just the way? People want to ignore God or deny that He even exists but the second they think He did them wrong they want to get angry with Him.

Even then, God is concerned with our attitude. He faithfully instructs those who are doing wrong and warns them of the consequences of their actions. It wasn't a matter of Abel was good and God loved hime and Cain was bad and God didn't love him. God loved them both. God wanted the best from both, but more importantly FOR both. He sees where Cain is headed and He tries to redirect him.

One more interesting thing to point out before we go. Do you see how God starts off his conversation with Cain? It's with a question and not an accusation. That's what He did with Adam in Eden after he'd sinned and it was the method of choice throughout Jesus' ministry.

Maybe I ought to be utilizing it a little (or a lot) more in my conversations as a parent, a spouse and a friend.

How is your attitude for the offering? Or your reaction to God's attitude to you?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Kid-Friendly Recipe

I made a recipe this week that came from an advertisement for Campbell's Soup. With a couple of modifications it was a big hit with everyone, especially the kids. I thought y'all might like it too.

Creamy Mexican Skillet

1 lb. ground beef
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) Campbell's Tomato Soup
1/2 c. salsa
1/2 c. water
6 flour tortillas (6"), cut into 1" pieces
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c. sour cream
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin powder

I didn't have any tomato soup so I used a 15 oz. can of tomato sauce and omitted the water. Brown ground beef; drain. Stir in soup (or sauce), salsa, water, tortilla pieces, sour cream, chili powder, and cumin powder. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low and cook 5 minutes. Stir and top with cheese. Let cheese melt. Serves 4-6.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Red, White, Blue and Overalls Too


Here's my Hoosier all decked out for the Fourth of July.


A close-up of my pie rack that my neighbor painted for me.


My old flag painted on wood that I found at a garage sale.


Our dessert for the 4th...Star-Spangled Fruit Tart.


And what could be more American than a little boy in overalls? That's my favorite picture of my youngest son when he was two.

I'm connecting with the others over at Rednesday, even if I am running a little late. That same little fella (now not so little) got a good report from the doctor today. Maybe we'll finally get to celebrate a little summer.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Fishing with Grandaddy

I'm a little late sharing these pictures. I'd taken them with Ry's camera and then we couldn't find it (slid under a seat). Then I was busy with my patient. So here they are--a week late.



They lost their Grandaddy this past year and were really missing him this Father's Day. They all wanted one thing on Father's Day weekend--to go fishing. That was their way of spending a little time with him.























Friday, June 24, 2011

This is the Day

This morning when I woke up there was a song rattling around in my head. No, sunbeams weren't shining down and birds fluttering around me. It was 4:30 a.m., it was definitely more of a rattling. Rattling nonetheless, there was a song in my head, even though my eyes weren't completely open.

Know what it was? A perky little number based on Psalm 118:24. "This is the day, this the day, this is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it...." My sleepy brain didn't finish the rest of the song because, all of the sudden, I had a thought.

This IS the day that the Lord has made. God made it. I made it through another night simply because God chose to make another day.

This day has a purpose. It is part of His plan. He does nothing haphazardly or without thought. This day is intentionally.

And it intentionally includes you and me. That means we have a purpose too. What is mine for today? Not exactly sure. Maybe it's no more than to share this with you and to be nurse to my recovering little fellow.

Once my eyes were open enough, I got my Bible and read the verse from the song and the verses surrounding it. They are verses of victory.

In fact, the footnotes in my study Bible say that when it reads "this is the day", that 'the day' refers to victory. The day of victory.

This is a day of victory.
This is the day that the Lord has made.
He made it for a purpose.
He included us for a reason.
And it is a day of victory.

Now that is something to sing about.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Another Verse, Just Like the First

I thought I'd better report in. Patient #2 is home from the hospital. His surgery went well this morning. I was afraid his surgery would be worse than his sister's, but he has really surprised me with how well he's done.

At this rate, he'll be all well by tomorrow. Probably not. It took his sister a full two weeks to recover. I'm just waiting for the anesthesia to wear off and the real work to begin. My cousin Sharon gave Meredith a stuffed animal that had a squeaker in it when she had her surgery. That toy turned out to be a life saver. Every time she needed something she just squeaked the toy dog. Ry is now using it for his turn. They have the comfort of a toy and a built-in calling device. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone else who has to play nurse to little ones (and not so little ones) that can't talk.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Friday, June 17, 2011

Food for Thought--The Real Voice

Right now at my house there are rumbles of thunder and one of our famous afternoon thunderstorms is brewing. It reminded me of something I read earlier in the week.


Psalm 29--Ascribe to the Lord, O mighty ones,

ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name;

worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters;

the God of glory thunders,

the Lord thunders over the mighty waters.

The voice of the Lord is powerful;

the voice of the Lord is majestic.

The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;

the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.

He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,

Sirion like a young wild ox.

The voice of the Lord shakes the desert;

the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh.

The voice of the Lord twists the oaks

and strips the forests bare.

And in His temple all cry, "Glory!"

The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;

the Lord is enthroned as King forever.

The Lord gives strength to His people;

the Lord blesses His people with peace.


How often we say we want to hear God speak to us when all we really want is a little confirmation of what we're thinking on our own. The voice of the Lord is so much more than a feel-good moment during a Sunday morning worship service or a certain passage you happen to flip to that 'speaks to you'.


The voice of the Lord is powerful. It thunders. It strikes like lightning to your very heart. It electrifies. It rattles us out of our comfort zone. You cannot remain unchanged by it. It is unmistakable.


Even when it whispers. (I Kings 19:11-19)


On television they're looking for The Voice. Let's remember that we already know where the voice is coming from, and keep an ear open for its distant rumblings.


P.S. Stay tuned next week. I've got something swirling around in my little head. Get ready to join the club!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My New Neighbor

Meet my new neighbor Izzybelle.



She belongs to Brenda who lives next door. (Brenda is the one who loves to paint, I've shared some photos of things she's painted for me.)





Izzybelle is a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel.


She's so cute I just had to show her to you.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Updates and Uglies

First off, my comment problems are fixed. Hooray! In fact, the comment part is working better than ever. So now I need lots of comments.



Also, did you visit Pink Saturday this weekend? If you did, you saw that our friend LV from http://livinatmemescorner.blogspot.com/ was featured. How great to see her honored in that way. She always offers such sweet encouragement to the rest of us. Did you know that the LV stands for LaVoice? I bet her mama was hoping for a singer. Can you sing Miss LV?



My mom was also fond of unusual names. Her plan was to name me Cherokee Rose. Thankfully (I think) fate intervened and I ended up plain old Kelly. I just can't imagine someone saying, "Cherokee, where'd you put my socks?"



If you want to check out the post on LV you can do so at http://howsweetthesound.typepad.com/




Now for the ugly. One of my vegetable boxes, the one filled with garlic and asparagus, keeps having a spider web in the corner. I keep attempting to knock it down, but to no avail. It's the toughest thing you've ever seen. The spider went one step further and began pulling down the asparagus ferns to use as cover. I knew I had a formidable foe.


I just didn't know how formidable she actually was. Or big. This past week while I was watering she ran out when I got her web wet. She was a


Big


Black


Widow





Nasty, nasty, nasty. Spiders are not my favorite. I called my expert (a.k.a. oldest son Jack) and he spied three egg sacks. Sure enough, all these little black widows came out. We have since established an arachnid eradication program. At least in my vegetable boxes.



On that creepy note, let's think about food.



Monday--Seven Layer Dip, tortilla chips

Tuesday--Roast, potatoes, carrots, rolls

Wednesday--Turkey Salad, croissants, sliced cucumbers

Thursday--Creamy Chicken & Pesto Pasta, tossed salad, rolls

Friday--out to eat

Saturday--homemade pizza

Sunday--leftovers

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Vintage Hankies

My mom gave me some of the vintage hankies that she's collected over the years. I thought I'd share a few with you today, especially pink ones. Most of these are hand tatted or embroidered.





















Thanks for visiting. Have a happy Pink Saturday! Visit Beverly and everyone at