Thrifted blouse $1
Kid's hanger - on hand
$.50 Plastic canvas for a sturdier bottom - one sheet is enough for 10 clothespin bags!
Time: 15 minutes of sewing
Computer woes ... maybe it is in league with our transmission ailing van! Problems like to travel in pairs, don't they? I don't know ... but I do know that we are plagued with annoying pop ups that keep going even after you 'x' them - an annoying man trying to tell me how to make money on Google! He just won't hush! Pop up blocker is on!
Worse then that - I often cannot 'browse' in Blogger to download pictures on my blog. It only works some of the time now, and not all the time like it used to! What have I done, and just how does one go about fixing these things ??? Remember, I am inept with computers - and can't call in an expert!
The good news ... Poppa and Grammy are on their way to our house for an unexpected visit! We are so glad to have them come - but they are just going to have to pretend with us that the dust bunnies are decorative! After all - it's that outside time of year!
Have a lovely Memorial Day weekend! Did it 'sneak' up on you like it did on us? It seems too early to be opening the public pool, finishing up with school and starting summer fun! I did nab my first ripe strawberry from the garden this morning - sweet and delicious! Summer is here - ready or not!
My sweet friend Lisa lost her mom to cancer last night. We've been praying for her and for their family for a long time, but the last few weeks have been filled with those pressing kind of prayers that almost come without thought, unbidden and prompted simply by the Holy Spirit. In the midst of our trials and challenges this week, I have spent much time thinking about what it would be like to be in Lisa's shoes - thinking about loosing my own sweet Mum, and knowing how hard it was for my dear Historian to loose his. Those thoughts have brought me to my knees, knowing that Lisa would need the uplifting of our prayer support.
The blessing is that all three mothers know the Lord. I write 'know', and not 'knew', because while in life they were certainly trusting in Him, in death they see Him face to face. Lisa's mom was a 'new' Believer - and yet her fledgling faith and trust carried her through her battle with cancer. Now she is forever with the Lord. The Historian's mother was a strong believer for many many years - having walked away from the Lord in her early twenties, she found her way back to a life of faith through some of the most trying circumstances of her life. Her testimony remained strong until the end. My own dear Mum is very much alive and facing many challenges and struggles - but her faith is real, and carries her through the dark valleys. I have no doubt that she will finish well for however many more years or days the Lord has in mind for her, and until then, God will continue to be he rock and her salvation.
What a difference death is when it is merely the end of a life walked in faith. There is the tearing, of course - the sorrow and longing is natural. We were not made for death, but for life - a life of living each day with the sole purpose of glorifying God. Through the sin of one man, Adam, death entered for all men, spiritual and physical. Through the death of One Man, Jesus, eternal life is possible for those who put their trust in Him. That hope alone makes such a marked difference.
Many of you know that my sweet husband, the Historian, was a pastor for almost 20 years, first in Youth Ministry, and then as a 'Senior' Pastor of three different church families. One of the areas of strength God gifted him with was a special measure of compassion and grace for the grieving. Because of this, he was a part of many funerals over the years, bringing comfort to families with his quiet, gentle spirit. In doing so, he ministered as well to the funeral directors he came in contact with - and gained some insight into the 'business' end of comforting the grieving.
On more than one occasion he was told by the funeral director how different it is to plan a funeral with a 'church' family who's loved one lived a life of faith, than for the 'non-church' families. Over the years each expressed the differences differently but it all boiled down to the same idea - the church families had hope and peace, and despite their grief, had an assurance of eternity. The non-church families were often overwrought with hopeless despair, bitterness and anguish - they had no solid basis for ever thinking they truly might see their loved one again. These men saw clearly, but many never made a personal commitment to Christ - putting it off for 'someday', even though they knew only too well that any day can be your last. The Historian gave them a clear and simple reason for the Hope Believers have because of Christ, and presented the Gospel at each and every funeral - whether or not it was requested. He did it with such love and tenderness, giving the 'Good News' when it was most needed.
It's odd to feel that I have gained the perspective of age, but as a child, I never understood the sweetness of heaven, or the blessing the 'home-going' of the faithful can be, in the way I do now. I read these verses in I Thessalonians 4 and puzzled at their meaning - how could the idea of being suddenly whisked away from this comfortable, pleasant earth possibly be encouraging? What about the being asleep would cause grief? I know now that throughout Scripture, 'death' and 'sleep' are often used interchangeably - and that neither is a problem for God. I understand better now how much comfort there can be in thinking heavenwards, and in looking ahead to the coming of the Lord.
Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.Therefore encourage each other with these words.
faithless faithful start praying ... and apparently, baking and cooking.
Today, I started to cheer my heart up by baking an Angel Food Cake while I prayed. It smelled so good baking. I felt better right away. I've never had one turn out so perfectly lovely and high as the sky - I was thrilled!
Then, I made Souvlaki for supper, or at least got it marinating for supper, and I set out the rice and checked on the salad fixings. I discovered the beets at the back of the crisper and decided to cook them up too.
I made two kinds of bread - simple white and cinnamon raisin swirl. Kneading was soooo therapeutic - I almost cried for joy. I made a fresh jar of fudge chocolate sauce for over ice cream or angel food cake - we were quite out, you see. I also made a fresh batch of my zesty Italian dressing for our salad. Why have I been buying salad dressing and why did I think it was easier?
Then, I just felt like I needed to bake one more thing - a raspberry almond cake for tea time.
A joy for all the senses!
That did it! I didn't have to eat a bite to be reminded of God's goodness and have my faith in His provision restored - I just needed to spend some time alone with Him in my kitchen, putting my hands to work, pouring my heart out to Him.
In between, we did math, spelling, reading and science. Messy, sticky, goofy, giggly science.
I even washed the floor - twice.
Cause me to hear thy loving kindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.
O LORD, be gracious unto us; we have waited for thee: be thou their arm every morning, our salvation also in the time of trouble.
Tonight we were blessed to bring a meal to a family that is in the middle of a crisis - we've been praying for them for a long time, but were blessed to be able to meet a practical need in a small way! Unfortunately - I forgot to take a picture - again! Oh well! We made a green salad, a pan of fresh yeast rolls, chicken pot pie and Texas 'sheep' cake for dessert! I thought I'd share the recipe which I adapted to reduce the fat and increase the veggie content!
A Little Less Chicken Pot Pie
Made from scratch, but a bit less fat - and still delicious! The original recipe calls for ¾ cup of butter and cream instead of milk - perhaps if we were working outside all day, plowing fields by hand, we could do with that kind of hearty eating, but I’ve adjusted it for our requirements.
8 potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
3 carrots, peeled and cut
1/3 cup butter
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium onion, minced
1 cup frozen peas (optional)
¼ cup all purpose or whole wheat flour
2 cups reduced fat chicken stock
½ tsp. each, sea salt, fresh black pepper, basil, and dried parsley
1 cup whole milk, warmed
4 cups cooked chicken - cut in cubes or shredded
9 inch pie crust recipe - bottom and top
In a large pot, melt butter and sauté potato cubes and carrots just until tender. Add ½ cup chicken stock, celery and onion ( peas too if you are using them!). Sauté for 5 minutes or until the onion is transparent. Sprinkle flour over veggies and stir to coat. Pour in remaining stock and stir until thickened. Add warm whole milk slowly, stirring until well incorporated. Add seasonings and chicken and stir until thick and creamy. Taste sauce and adjust seasoning as needed. Pour into two deep 9”x 9” glass pans, or a 3 quart casserole dish. Roll out pastry and lay over filling. Shape edges of crust and cut stream vents. Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes or until golden and bubbling. Use a drip pan !!!! Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving - don’t worry - it will stay hot!
When I used to bring meals to those in need more often, I would scour the shelves at Goodwill or search at yard sales for lidded casserole dishes. I would send them filled with food with a note that I didn't need the dish back ( something less to think about) - it could be filled and passed on to another family in need somewhere down the road. One friend told me that my little note helped assure her during the dark days that life would continue, the Lord would bring healing and that once the sorrow was past, she would be a blessing to others once agsin.
20 Of My Favorite Things
1. Color- sage green
2. Dessert- gelato - hazelnut or chocolate
3. Smell- fresh linens washed with lavender and dried on the line on a breezy day
4. Flower- David Austin's English Roses - especially Harlow Carr
5. Animal- I like children better than animals!
6. Month- October
7. Beverage- tea - hot or iced, with sugar please!
8. Pair of shoes- my Mephisto 'Helen' sandals or my Naot's - comfort all the way
9. Snack- Toblerone
10. Song- Open the Eyes of My Heart
11. Book- The Bible has the most influence on my life day by day!
12. Fruit- Honeycrisp Apple
13. Hairstyle- long and natural
14. Piece of clothing- my long swingy denim skirt
15. Store to clothes shop- Does Goodwill count?
17. Hobby- sewing and baking
18. Thing to collect- E.O. Brody Milk Glass compotes
19. Movie- I'm not a movie person, but I loved Narnia
20. Restaurant- Ruby Tuesday
Hop on over to Peggy's Blog 'The Simple Woman' to find out who else is thinking of their 20 Favorite Things this week!
Our inspiration - A great FoodWishes Chicago-Style Stuffed Pizza video by Chef John! Yum - and ours looked just like his! I love it when that happens. The kids must think great things of my skills in the kitchen - they were sure it would turn out just fine! I forgot to take a picture so I grabbed the one from FoodWishes.com - but ours looked very much the same! I used my standard no fail Friday Night pizza dough recipe and followed his directions - adding toppings that I knew would make everyone happy and - success! I used a cup of my own pasta sauce canned last summer when the tomatoes were overwhelming me and the herbs couldn't be picked fast enough - enjoying the fruits of my labor is always fun! Now, we have something new to add to the Friday night line up and that's a really good thing!
Hop on over to FoodWishes.com if your looking for something new to try - we're going to make farmers cheese with some of our whole milk next! If you're like me and just a very simple cook, don't be intimidated by these famous 'foodies' who know so much about making food taste good - Chef John has great ideas for regular folks like me too!
On another, less pleasant subject - we got our van back today! The gas line was chewed on by RODENTS!!!! So just why are we feeding our outdoor kitty Mr. Peppermint, such healthy, delicious food when he isn't keeping the rodents at bay??? We even let him sleep in the sun room in the dead of winter and on rainy days, and he only has to have a bath once a year - we are good to him, I tell you - very good!!
We suspect the evil doer was a huge mouse that we found on the driveway earlier in the week. The children are quite used to Mr. Minty's 'offerings' and have a regular mouse/mole/bunny/chippy/bird/ squirrel cemetery, complete with markers and 'decent burial' services, in the back of the compost pile - so they just buried the poor fellow, but they had questions - there were no 'marks of death' on this mouse. Mr. Minty likes to 'play' with his gifts, and he usually brings them right up to the door for us - this guy could have been the culprit and died from his own gnawing ways. We'll never know, I guess. Mintyopolis certainly isn't telling.
We have had three people who heard the story of our gas line leak tell us that we are 'really lucky' and that it should have burned - we've had some great opportunities to share the power of God, the blessing of prayer and Divine provision for our dear Historian because of this fiasco. It's not something we'll be likely to forget for a long while - and that's not just because the whole van reeks of fuel. We're praying that strong odor dissipates quickly because even the short ride home made us all head-achy. That's after three engine 'shampoos' - this could take a while.
Did you see my tulip picture - it's 'evidence' against the gray squirrels - my most combative rodent population! They love to 'transplant' my bulbs after I have put them in in the fall - especially if we don't get a hard freeze right away. We didn't plant a single yellow tulip in our yard - but our neighbor has bunches of them! I have purple, pink, and white tulips and wonderful salmon daffodils - and this year, one bright yellow tulip smack dab in the middle of the purples! Mr. Neighbor has yellow - lots and lots of yellow, and one very pretty salmon daffodil right in the middle of his garden. And way back in the compost pile, my prized alums are shooting high above the rubbish and leaves!!!! What is that all about? Gardening is like the rest of life - best when sprinkled with a lot of humor!