Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What's for Breakfast?!

I have found that we like Baked Oatmeal for our breakfast. 

This morning I added mixed frozen berries . . . yum!! They were the BEST!! I forgot to take a picture!! It looked so delicious and more colorful than what is pictured!! I have made baked oatmeal for years but this recipe is by far the best!! I make this for my children.  I doubled the recipe since I wanted leftovers.

I put my recipes together using:

Monday, February 27, 2012

On the Move!!

If you enjoy chocolate....You need to be
On the Move!!

Isn't Monday's about getting the home back in order after a wonderful weekend with the family and friends?? On Mondays, I do lots of laundry (less than what used to be 'lots') and lots of cleaning (as dust and dirt appear from nowhere) so that my family can have a nice place to love each other. Housework doesn't count as exercise...did you know that?! Going up and down the stairs as much as I do (and probably you do) just doesn't count!!

Nan, over at Momstheword inspired me to also write about exercising. Sorry, I'm not too original... but I HAVE honestly been thinking of doing this for a week. I loved her post and her witty way of motivating us to exercise. After all, many of us sit too long at the computer or sit to homeschool our children. I know, I did for years. For some reason as the days and years go forward, everything tends to slip downwards. Gravity, right?!

Until three years ago, the numbers on my scale were heading upwards. You know there is something wrong when you hit two pounds under your highest pregnancy weight!! I got sick and lost some weight, and then I had hives for a month and lost more weight. I was on a roll!! I had started to exercise but when you have chronic hives, you can't exercise because when you get hot (which is the result of a good workout) you end up with MORE of those clusters (yes huge clusters) of hives!! 

Since then, I have been exercising at least 5 or 6 times a week. I found that it works out the kinks and actually helps to realign my back and neck (shhhhh...don't tell my chiropractor)!! I thought that I was doomed to weight gain because I'm not getting any younger!! I thought a woman's metabolism changes...BUT...the good news is that I am certain that exercising balances out our metabolism so that calories are burned instead of being stored in excess. 

In case you are wondering...I eat a LOT of salad, yogurt or smoothies, chocolate, and whatever I am cooking for the family...and sometimes hot chocolate (because I hate coffee and I get cold.) There are lots of diets out there...I'm going to advertise mine!! ;-)

If you have been sitting at the computer too long...now is the time to get up and MOVE...being 'On the Move' .... running downstairs to switch laundry, jumping on a mini-trampoline, or exercising for just 15 minutes a day will help to deter diabetes (caused by all that chocolate) and also bring blood pressure down. If you are too young to worry about such things yet, add this healthy habit before it becomes harder to start. After all...I would like to live a full life for the Lord, glorifying Him in all that I do and say...I sure have felt a WHOLE lot better since I started moving again. How about you??

There are many other benefits but that is another post on another day!!


Making your Home sing Monday

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Small Boat in a Wide Ocean!!

"Keep me, O God, for my boat is so small and the ocean is so wide!!"

 "Marriage is intended to bring joy. The married life is meant to be the happiest, fullest, purest, richest life. It is God's own ideal of completeness. It was when He saw that it was not good for man to be alone that woman was made and brought to him to supply what was lacking. The divine intention, therefore, is that marriage shall yield happiness and that it shall add to the fullness of the life of both husband and wife; that neither shall lose, but that both shall gain. If in any use it fails to be a blessing and to yield joy, and a richer, fuller life, the fault cannot be with the institution itself, but with those who, under its shadow, fail to fulfill its conditions." ~J.R. Miller~

Many of our young girls have prepared to be the godly wife that we envisioned them to become; but many of us mothers have had a longer road to reach the desired destination. I entered married life when I was 23, not knowing all that I should have known. I am sure that my husband would say the same about himself. How faithful God is to teach us how to live our married life together, though it is so much harder on our spouse to be learning such things once married.

God is good and He is faithful. I have learned to cook more than just rice in a rice cooker!! No kidding!! I was surprised to learn (the first time I made chicken) that it took more than TEN minutes to boil. Now, I know more about cooking chicken than boiling it; and I know that you have to boil potatoes first, not mash them first!! You don't believe I ever did that?!

Cooking is only one thing about marriage...it is important to cook, do laundry, and clean but most important is to lose your life for the life of the other. I am still learning this. When I am good and tired and there are still things to do...my thoughts can wish for relief or help...or worse yet - wonder why someone else isn't doing 'this!' That is a good lesson on how to totally ruin that sweet servant attitude!!

So, if you have been married more than a month or two, you might need to re-evaluate 'your' part. I have been married almost 33 years and it gets better each year. The last few years I have looked for ways to serve my husband. I could always improve some aspect (just in case you think I have 'arrived'...ask my children...they know, I have not :-) and because of that, I keep working at my attitude first, and then the little things that I do that speak volumes. 

It is that glass of water when he comes home from work. That especially thoughtful lunch packed just by you, or washing his clothes (and picking them up WILLINGLY) that will eventually (if not sooner) silently speak to him that you love him. Telling him you love him or writing a note, email, or zapping off a text will cause him to look forward to coming home.

What can YOU do to liven up your marriage, make it NOBLE and kingly, filling your marriage with happiness and completing what God intended your marriage to be. Even in the imperfections of who you are as a woman, the imperfections of what your marriage is today, fight the good fight as it is sure worth it. God is Good!!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I Am His, and He Is Mine

Sometimes we need to be lifted up and songs do it for me!! A song can touch me in the deepest places of my heart. Hymns are filled with scripture and biblical principles which soothes as the Holy Spirit brings comfort and renewal to the soul and mind. It is rare that I cannot sleep at night but when that happens reading or listening to the bible or hymns can bring me into the holy presence of the Lord.

Here is a hymn written by George W. Robinson who lived from 1938-1877. He died at the age of 39, a year after writing the beautiful song. 

Many churches do not sing hymns any longer and you might not know this song. If you don't know this hymn, you may listen to it as the music and words minister to your spirit.

Loved with everlasting love,
Led by grace that love to know:
Spirit, breathing from above,
Thou hast taught me it is so!
O this full and perfect peace, 
O this transport all divine --
In a love which cannot cease,
I am His, and He is mine:
In a love which cannot cease,
I am His, and He is mine.

Heav'n above is softer blue,
Earth around is sweeter green!
Something lives in ev'ry he
Christless eyes have never seen:
Birds with gladder songs o'er-flow,
Flow'rs with deeper beauties shine,
Since I know, as now I know,
I am His, and He is mine;
Since I know, as now I know,
I am His, and He is mine.

Things that once were wild alarms,
Cannot now disturb my rest;
Closed in everlasting arms,
Pillowed on the loving breast.
O to lie forever here,
Doubt and care and self resign,
While He whispers in my ear,
I am His, and is mine.
While He whispers in my ear,
I am His, and He is mine.

His forever, only His--
Who the Lord and me shall part?
Ah, with what a rest of bliss,
Christ can fill the loving heart!
Heav'n and earth may fade and flee,
Firstborn light in gloom decline;
But while God and I shall be,
I am His, and He is mine;
But while God and I shall be,
I am His, and He is mine.

Visit this blog to read the story, words, and music for many hymns each week:

Today, I am linking up to:

Encourage One Another

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Monday Menu Mania Saves $$$

It's Monday.... and since I didn't plan what we will eat last Friday...it is 'Menu Plan Monday!!'

Calzone Rustica

I would like to say that I always have a menu planned and ready for the coming week complete with a grocery list that I used for my shopping. If the truth be known (which in this case, I'd rather you thought the best of me) I have cooked whatever came to mind (especially to my mind at 5pm) and have been known to almost always enter the grocery store having forgotten my list (if I had one)!! I have fallen into culinary ruts or forgotten that the season changed and sandwiches needed to morph into soups and casseroles. It is from this lack of planning thereof that I have grown to understand and love the order and peace that a menu brings to our home. 

That doesn't mean that everyone in our home loves my 'mania' over menus (if you want to call it that) but it sure beats the mania which ensues when a menu doesn't exist!! Chaos to put it plainly!! I have tried various methods of planning a menu such as placing it on the fridge using a pre-printed form, or doing it up on my computer using a calendar. By far the best is using 'Plan to Eat' to import recipes from the internet or type up my own recipes. I found it just before Christmas when reading Our Simple Country Life and have been learning to use the features of this wonderful menu planner and recipe book. 'Plan to Eat' is a snap. I hope you click on the thumbprint bellow and look into this system.

I thought that I would print my menu this week (what else was I going to blog about?!) as sharing recipes is as old as the hills that I live in. What better way to fellowship and encourage one another than to share ideas about cooking. This week, I checked what meat I already had on hand and made my menu accordingly. Other weeks I make my menu just because. There are days when I swap around what I am going to cook, or one of my daughters decides to cook up a storm of her own choosing. Ideally, she should give me her choice before I go shopping...but then it wouldn't be so deliciously spontaneous!! 


Menu Plan #2
(February 20-25th, 2012)

Breakfast:  Cereal (Cheerios to be exact)
Lunch: Frozen Pizza Leftovers

Breakfast: Baked Oatmeal
Lunch: Bagel Tuna Melt
Supper:  Crunchy Garlic Drumsticks

Breakfast: Extra-Moist Scrambled Eggs with Chives
Lunch: Tuna Burgers
Supper:  Indonesian Fried Rice

Breakfast: Ultimate Melt-in-Your-Mouth Pancakes
Lunch: Leftovers (probably frozen pizza)
Supper:  Creamy Egg and Noodle Bake

Breakfast: Belgium Waffles
Lunch: Whatever Ya Can Find!!
Supper:  Two-Bean Burger Casserole

Breakfast: Chocolate-Stuffed Pancakes
Lunch: Probably Store-Boughten Rolls
Supper: Gold Medal Classic Pizza

This is an online meal planning and recipe book program that I use to plan my meals. I have found it to be time saving and easy to use. It helps to take the stress out of meal planning and keeps my recipe right at my fingertips (literally.)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Hands Up, Stick them Up!! I Surrender!!

Do you have a vision for your child? 

Have you forgotten your vision in the midst of raising your children? 

Are your children leaving the nest? 

Have they already left home? 

Do you  have a prodical child? 

If you are still a young mother, don't ever think there is no possibility that your child could ever walk away from all that you have taught him/her. Always pray for your children. Our children's hearts are deceitfully wicked, just like their parents hearts.

Do not loose sight of your vision and don't let your vision perish. Keep your eyes on Jesus and fully surrender each day to the Lord. Keep praying for your children's future, keeping your eyes on the big picture...the purpose for you being in your child's life is so that you can be used by God to prepare your child to serve God. For those who have a child who is 'in the far country'...don't loose that vision you once had for that child as God is alive and is able to hear our prayers and work in the child's life. 

Today while we ate our fellowship lunch at church, a couple in their eighties shared how their oldest son had been drinking alcohol for years. For years they prayed for this son. About six years ago this son turned his life around and is now walking with the Lord. When this son turned his life around he was in his 50s!! Now, I thought, how painful it would be for a mother (in particular) to wait that many years!! Yet, this couple was so pleased with the faithfulness of God. Never give up. Keep surrendered.

One of the hardest things for many mothers is when her children leave the nest. 

I just started reading the preface (I always read everything preceding the start of a book) of Andrew Murray's, Humility and Absolute Surrender, again. I have read this wonderful book at least four other times. It is one of those books that is good to read over and over. 

Andrew Murray was born in South Africa in 1828, and at age 10, along with his brother, was sent to Scotland for his education. All I could think of was his mother!! She wasn't mentioned but I know there must have been a sacrifice on her part. She must have prayed fervently for these two sons. She must have totally surrendered them to God for the outcome of their lives. Her prayers were answered beyond measure as Andrew Murray grew up to return to South Africa to preach and pray for revival for years. His books have blessed many people down through the years.

Many parents back in the 1800s and even through the mid-1900s had to send their children back to their homeland for their education. I can't imagine. The challenge for me is to really pray for my children's future and that the Lord would really use them. We are blessed today to be able to have our children live at home much longer than in the past. Are we thankful? Do we really realize how important it is to become a mother who prays earnestly and fervantly for our children? 

Here is something that Andrew Murray wrote in later years as an older man which I think would bless each of us: 

"I have learned 
to place myself
 before God 
every day, 
as a vessel to be 
with his Holy Spirit.
If there is one lesson 
I am learning day by day, 
it is this: 
that it is 
who worketh 
all in all." 

How important it is for mothers to place themselves before God each day, as a vessel to be filled by the Holy Spirit. I have found that in my own strength, I fail: but that with God's strength; even though circumstances are the same, He strengthens me day by day and moment by moment. 

Moment by moment, I'm kept in His love;
Moment by moment, I've life from above;
Looking to Jesus, the glory doth shine;
Moment by moment, Oh Lord, I am Thine.

As mothers we are called to a life of holiness and virtue, not by our own strength but by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.


This post is linked up to:

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Politics and Donuts

The other night, we went to a political rally for Sam Rohrer.  The young people played in the Revival Brass and  A Capella Choir. The political candidate was a homeschooling dad and proud of it. He had an outstanding, unashamed, and uncompromising testimony for the Lord Jesus Christ. What a wonderful night!! It was certainly worth attending!!

Well, the motel was conveniently across the street from Krispie Kreme...and wouldn't you know it, my kids were starving!! They actually tried to convince me to buy donuts for them. You'd have thought they hadn't eaten in days, just kidding!! 

I have NEVER EVER had a Krispie Kreme donut!! Impossible you say!! Well, quite possible. So, you know, the van just happened to swing across the street for some of their Kreme filled donuts....YUM!! Double YUM!!

Nothing tasted better!!

What a delicious dinner....we'll talk another day about diabetes....but not today!! Ha!!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Praying for the Children

Is there something you are praying about? I like reading about prayer, but do I pray enough? Do you? Sometimes (like almost every day) I have a concern for one (or all seven) of my children and need to pray for them. 

Do you ever feel inadequate for the job as a mom?? Of course not!! Really?? Maybe you really don't. When I was younger, I was foolish enough not to be overly concerned and I was swept along from day to day, tired and exhausted by the end of the day. If there is one thing I would like to tell anyone younger who happens along to my blog...is never to neglect praying for your children. Ever!!

When children are young there are the usual concerns for their safety and well-being. I want to impress on every mother of young or older children to pray over your children's choices and future. I know the future can seem a looooooooooong way off when they are little. Don't underestimate the need for prayer over what lies ahead that we cannot foretell. 

My Grandma Ella Watson, told me when I was ten years old, that she prayed for my cousin's family. Their father was an alcoholic and the boys needed her prayers. It was years and years later that my mother visited her home church and found her nephew (one of those cousins) and his wife and daughter, now saved and attending church faithfully. I realized also, that if my grandma prayed for my cousins, she also prayed for me (a no-brainer, I suppose.)

"And he spake a parable unto them to this end, 
that men ought always to pray
and not to faint; saying, 
There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: 
And there was a widow in that city: and she came unto him, saying, 
Avenge me of mine adversary.
 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, 
Though I fear not God, nor regard man; 
Yet because this widow troubleth me,
 I will avenge her, lest by her continued coming she weary me. 
And the Lord said, 
Hear what the unjust judge saith. 
And shall not God avenge his own elect, 
which cry day and night unto him, 
though he bear long with them?
 I tell you that he will avenge them 
Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, 
shall he find faith on the earth?"
~Luke 18:1-8~

Sometimes it seems better to give up. . .but don't listen to those thoughts and press on, fight on. 

Ah...it is time to switch the laundry just one more time!! 


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Open My Eyes and Be My Guide

Open My Eyes, That I May See

Open my eyes
That I may see, Glimpses of truth, Thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key, That shall unclasp, and set me free.
Silently now I wait for Thee, 
Ready, my God, Thy will to see;
Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit divine!

Open my ears
That I may hear, Voices of truth, Thou sendest clear;
And while the wave-notes fall on my ear, Everything false will disappear.
Silently now I wait for Thee, 
Ready, my God, Thy will to see;
Open my ears, illumine me, Spirit divine!

Open my mouth, 
And let me bear, Gladly the warm truth everywhere;
Open my heart, and let me prepare, Love with Thy children thus to share.
Silently now I wait for Thee, Ready, my God, Thy will to see;
Open my heart, illumine me, Spirit divine! Amen!!

Psalm 48 is a wonderful Psalm filled with praise to God, protection from enemies, and ending with God being our guide to the day we die. As I read through it, I thought about how I should praise Him and not just read about it.

Great is the LORD,
And greatly to be praised
In the city of our God,
In the mountain of his holiness.
Beautiful for situation,
The joy of the whole earth,
Is mount Zion,
On the sides of the north,
The city of the great King.
~Psalm 48:1,2~

Then I thought about how I am surrounded by His protection. It gives a description of the activities of the enemies. My enemies are unseen. Those situations in a day that can mess up the day. For instance, I have this flimsy clothing rack I bought at Walmart that I hang clothes that need ironing (hang them up and hardly iron them!!) and this morning, the contraption twisted and fell strewing hangers and clothes across the floor. It was a blogger-moment and worth a picture. Well, I didn't take the picture but the thought of taking a picture made it a funny moment instead of disastrous. When unexpected catastrophes arise, or situations with little children (or more importantly older ones) arise, how to you respond? I wish I could always say, I respond with grace...but I haven't always done that. 

As I thought about how easy it would have been to sin with my thoughts (since no one was there) or my tongue, should someone have knocked it over (instead of me!)! I thought about how God has so much lovingkindness for us!! I also thought about how God puts things like bulwarks around us for protection.

We have thought of thy lovingkindness,
O God, in the midst of thy temple.
According to thy name, 
~ unto the ends of the earth:Thy right hand is full of righteousness.
~Psalm 48:9,10~

Mark ye well her bulwarks,
Consider her palaces;
That ye may tell it to the generation following.
~Psalm 48:13~

Have you ever thought about what a bulwark is? Isn't it easy to just keep reading without looking up the meaning of a word that we don't use daily?! A bulwark can be a wall of earth or other material built for defense. Another name for it would be a rampart. It can also be any protection against external danger, injury, or....even against an annoyance. (Annoyances?? That would make a good blog post title for another day!!)

One more thing that I have been thinking about today is how much God desires to be our Guide. He desires to give mothers wisdom. Oh how I need wisdom!! When my children were little, I needed wisdom and now that they are grown, I need it more than I ever did!! When they are young, decisions are easy enough...or for those of you with little ones...much easier than when they are much older. What works when they are little doesn't work when they are grown-young-adults. 

For this God is our God 
ever and ever:
He will be our 
even unto death.
~Psalm 48:14~

What are the bulwarks that God has placed in your life? My husband is a bulwark in my life. I want his decisions to be thoughtful so that I am kept in his protection. When I was a young girl going to college, I wanted to go to a college where I could pursue a nursing degree. My Dad wanted me to go to another college for various reasons. Looking back, I could see how I was protected as the college which I went to (the one he wanted me to go to) was so small that it helped me to grow in ways I never could have in a larger college. I thankfully never got a nursing degree (nor an MRS degree from that college ;-). 

This last verse sums up everything in the chapter. God is able to be our Guide because He is our protector. If we try to get around and out of His lovingkindness and protection, He can't be our Guide. Is He your Guide? Are you going to Him for refuge and protection? Are you fervently praying for your husband, that he will be your protection and guide...notice how our husbands reflect God's attributes of refuge and protection. Do we accept our husband's protection and guidance? If not, why not? If not, it is a long row backwards once you realize that you are headed in the opposite direction than your husband!! It is hard for a boat to be rowed backwards and forwards at the same time. It is also impossible, for a train to have an engine at both ends tugging in opposite directions!! It is better to crash into a wall or derail together. 

Easier said than done!! I know!! But...today is a new day and today can be the start of a new way (hey, maybe I should try poetry after all!!) Young girls have an advantage over those of us who are further in years (a nice way of saying 'getting older') in that you have so much reading out there that some of us did not have available earlier on in our lives. It is much, much easier to make changes when you are young than to undo old habits. Trust me!! It is easier said than done!!

And Jesus said unto them,
Because of your
For verily I say unto you,
If ye have 
as a grain of mustard seed,
Ye shall say unto this mountain,
hence to yonder place:
And it shall remove;
And nothing shall be impossible 
unto you!!

~Matthew 17:20~


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Thankful Ponderings

"And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them. And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these so that the one came not near the other all night. And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided."                                   ~Exodus 14:19-21~

I read this early this morning and thought how God still protects us as with a cloud. Our enemies aren't always visible like the Egyptians were to the Israelites but God never changes. His angel still stands between us and harms way. God still causes miracles to happen by figuratively causing the sea to part, providing dry land for us to cross over the river to safety. 

I love seeing some detail in the bible like I had not ever read it before. I had never noticed that 'the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all night, and made the sea dry land' !! Can you imagine? The wind was blowing and blowing all night!! Maybe it was a storm?? 

Just thinking on how our 'enemies' can seem to be those around us (when they are not) set me to pondering. If we are to pray without ceasing, then when such things occur, we can pray and pray, then watch God turn the situation around for the good. Tonight, my pastor talked about thanking God in the midst of a 'bad' situation. What follows are some thoughts he shared.

Are you thankful? I try to be thankful but it is truly something I need to work on especially when things are not going well. It is in those times that I get engulfed in the problem instead of turning my thoughts to thankfulness. 

When you (or I) pray for your husband and children, are you thankful? 

When your hair is bristled the wrong way, are you thankful?

When you get an unexpected bill, are you thankful?

It helps if we pray for others with thanksgiving as that will quickly change our perspective from our selfish problems to love and tenderness as the Lord fills us with His love. According to my pastor, this is a great passage to use in praying for others. It is always a good reminder to pray constructively as this is much more powerful than just praying about the problems we have. God can change my heart through prayer for others especially when my heart starts to feel thankful. Thankfulness is like an energy drink filling you up with all sorts of strength and positive thoughts instead of negative ones that tear you down as well as the one you love.

"Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints. Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers. That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him. The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power." (Ephesians 1:15-19)

I am thankful for you ladies who read my simple blog. It is nice to be strengthened and encouraged through the thoughts shared. I have been encouraged to press on when sometimes my flesh would say, give up!! I often hear in my thoughts the verse (but this is my paraphrase) 'be not weary in well doing" as I go about my day. Serve your families and I will serve my to the best of my ability. Remind me to rest when I am weary and exhausted...and lets all sit at the feet of Jesus and be renewed by His unwavering gentleness and love and learn better how to more fully allow Him to dwell in us.



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