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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Thursday's Thoughts

I hope that you all had an enjoyable Christmas.  We'll be cleaning up from a relaxing day yesterday.  We'll have a light day of babysitting - just one as far as I know.  I had a whole week off of babysitting with the flu coming to us last week.

Did you hear the song "How Many Kings?"  Have you thought about that?  How many kings stepped down from their throne?  How many lords have abandoned their homes?  Just for you and me and not only that, but enemies of the kingdom.

Maybe we should remember that today, as we clean up from our holiday and celebration.  As we get back to our normal routines, let us never stop being in awe of the fact that God stepped down from His heaven to rescue and redeem.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Cooking Tuesday - Gingerbread

I found the information below at a website.  So today we are going to try it.  I think it will be fun to have a cookie mix in the house.

Another mix recipe for your collection!  I found this recipe years ago in an old cookbook and it has been a favorite ever since!

Gingerbread Mix
8 C. flour
2 C. sugar
1/4 C. baking powder
1 Tbsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cloves
1 Tbsp. ginger
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
2 C. shortening (I use all natural palm oil)

In a large bowl mix together dry ingredients (I like a whisk for this job).  Using a pastry blender, cut in the shortening until mixture resembles cornmeal. Store in an airtight container.

~This mix makes a great gift packaged in a cellophane bag.

~To use this for gingerbread house: use the Easy Ginger Cookie recipe below adding 1 C. flour (you will have to use a mixer or your hands to get it mixed). Roll 1/8"-1/4" thick and cut as desired.  Bake about 7 minutes, until edges are browned.  Cool on wire racks overnight.  This makes a very durable gingerbread house!

Easy Ginger Cookies

3 C. gingerbread mix
1/3 C. molasses
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all ingredients in a bowl, dough will be fairly stiff!  Roll dough into 1 inch balls, roll in sugar (or cinnamon/sugar mixture) and place on cookie sheets.  Flatten cookies with the bottom of a glass.  Bake for 12-15 minutes, until edges are browned.

I like to pre-portion this mix in ziploc bags, that way I can have cookies ready for the oven in a matter of minutes--perfect for last minute company, to tuck in a gift bag or just to enjoy with your afternoon tea.

~To make rolled gingerbread cookies: add 1/4 C. flour to the Easy Gingerbread Cookie recipe. Roll out on lightly floured surface and cut with desired cutters.  Bake 10-12 minutes until edges are browned.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Titus 2 Tea - Hot Spiced Cider Mix

This is a recipe I made this year, I'm planning on handing it out to the Sunday School teachers.  But we've enjoyed it and it soothes a throat that is scratchy with the colds that are running through our house.

Hot Spiced Cider Mix

I got this recipe off of It was SO quick and easy to make and the ingredients are very affordable and should be available at your local grocery store.


§  1 cup of white sugar

§  1 cup of Tang®

§  ½ cup of Nestea® UnSweetened Iced Tea Mix

§  ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon

§  ½ teaspoon of ground cloves

*Makes 20 servings

To Make:

1.    Combine sugar, Tang®, Nestea® UnSweetened Iced Tea Mix, cinnamon and cloves in a large bowl with lid.

2.    Cover the bowl and shake vigorously to combine ingredients.

3.    Store in a sealed container.

To Serve:

1.    Mix 2 to 3 tablespoons of the mixture with a cup of hot water.

This is

Thursday's Thoughts - Who are you, O man?

Isaiah 40 has been a passage that our pastor has studying with us during our Sunday evenings.  It's been really good for me to hear.  Last week I mentioned our friend's early graduation into glory and my lack of understanding in that. 

Isaiah 40
1 "Comfort, yes, comfort My people!" says your God.
2 "Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she has received from the Lord's hand double for all her sins."

3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness: "Prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth;
5 The glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken."
6 The voice said, "Cry out!" and he said, "What shall I cry?" "All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.
7 The grass withers, the flower fades, because the breath of the Lord blows upon it; surely, the people are grass
8 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever."
9 O Zion, you who bring good tidings, lift up your voice with strength, lift it up, be not afraid; say to the cities of Judah, "Behold your God!"
10 Behold, the Lord God shall come with a strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him. 
11 He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom and gently lead those who are with young.

12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, measured heaven with a span and calculated the dust of the earth in a measure? Weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?
13 Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, or as His counselor has taught Him?
14 With whom did He take counsel and who instructed Him, and taught Him in the path of justice? Who taught Him knowledge, and showed Him the way of understanding?

15 Behold, the nations are as a drop in a bucket, and are counted as the small dust on the scales; look, He lifts up the isles as a very little thing. 
16 and Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor its beasts sufficient for a burnt offering. 
17 All nations before Him are as nothing, and they are counted by Him less than nothing and worthless.

18 To whom then will you liken God?  Or what likeness will you compare to Him?
19 The workman molds an image, the goldsmith overspreads it with gold and the silversmith casts silver chains.
20 Whoever is too impoverished for such a contribution chooses a tree that will not rot; he seeks for himself a skillful workman to prepare a carved image that will not totter.
21 Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
22 It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.
23 He brings the princes to nothing; he makes the judges of the earth useless.

24 Scarcely shall they be planted, scarcely shall they be sown, scarcely shall their stock take root in the earth, when He will also blow on them, and they will wither, and the whirlwind will take them away like stubble.

25 To whom then will you liken Me, or to whom shall I be equal?" says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these things, who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power; not one is missing.
27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel: "My way is hidden from the Lord and my just claim is passed over by my God"?
28 Have you not known?  Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary.  His understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the weak and to those who have no might He increases strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall,
31 But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

And as I read these verses, I realized, who am I to worry about why things happen.  God is in control and knows what He's doing.  He's good and kind and just and what He does is great.

Keep pressing on

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wednesday's Household - sickness

In our house, my littlest guy has a fever and I have been coughing so much that I'm hardly sleeping much at night.  Feeling pretty miserable, and in our house Mommy on the couch usually ends up with disaster. 

But I've been keeping up, so today, I'm not doing extras.  I pulled a freezer meal out of the freezer - Chicken Noodle Soup.  In a few minutes, I'll pull my bread mixes out of the freezer and make two batches of bread, which will only take about 10 minutes.  I started a load of the laundry I could find, but there isn't much more than that.  And I washed up the dishes. 

If this were the stomach flu, I think everything would be left, but I am capable of little bits at a time.  I still have to drive the kids to school and pick them up later and grab some milk today.  But it's nice to know that I can relax on the couch with my baby. 

I think we'll turn on "Planes" in a little bit, and sip some Hot Spiced Cider. 

Keep pressing on today, you never know when you'll be on the couch. :)


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Cooking Tuesday - Easy Lasagne

Easy Lasagne

1 8 oz pkg of lasagna

1 lb gr beef (or 3 cups meat)

4 cups red sauce

¾ c water

1 t salt

½ t sugar

1 lb cottage cheese

3 c mozerella

½ c parmesan cheese

Brown beef and drain.  Add sauce, water sugar and salt, bring to boil (maybe it would be easiest to do all together).  Spray foil pan with oil spray.  Layer 1/3 of the sauce, ½ uncooked noodles, 1 cup cottage cheese and 1 cup mozerella.  Repeat layers ending with sauce and remaining mozerella and parmesan cheese. Cover with foil. 
Label with this label:
Thaw.  Bake at 350 degrees with foil on for 50 minutes.  Remove foil for last 10 minutes.
Let me re-iterate that thawing usually means placing the meal on a counter (preferably if it's a bag, in a bowl).  When you get home from work, or if you work at home - when it's time to start cooking, it will still be very cold if not icy in the center, turn on the oven and start cooking. :)
Keep pressing on,

Project Monday - Laundry room shelves

It's Christmas, so things are somewhat crazy around here.  Here's my post for yesterday.

Carpenter mentioned that these shelves could use some cleaning.  Hmm - ya think?  It took about 10 to 15 minutes to clean it up.  And now it looks great!

I love this.  I can finish one day and still have two or three loads the next day.  I'm so thankful that we're still finding the end on a daily basis.  Or at least the end in my laundry room, obviously on any given day someone is holding back something. :)

Have a great day, and remember, those jobs you dread...may not take as long as you think to clean up.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Thursday's thoughts - bear one another's burdens

"Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."

As we were packing up to leave our home, and our lives were turned upside-down because we lost our job.  We were supposed to pack up in two weeks and be out of our home.  Shocked and blinded with confusion, we were overwhelmed as we started randomly throwing things into suitcases and then re-evaluating our decisions over and over again.  I was seven months pregnant with our sixth child. 

We wandered around tears and anger intermixed.  We had had no idea that this is what that meeting would be about. 

We moved out to town.  There was  a couple there who were filling the position of supply buyer.  They went out of their way to make our stay in that country pleasant, even in the midst of terribly hard circumstances.  They planned a party for our three-year old daughter - I am sure that it was the last thing on my mind. 

Less than two months, later after we came home with our second daughter and our sixth child - she helped plan a shower for the little one we'd just had.

A year later, when my husband and two oldest boys returned, the husband and his son went along to help take care of things in the village we'd been working in.

This is a picture of bearing one another's burdens.

But lately, I've been wondering if it can mean something else as well.

You see, just this week the husband (36 years old) died suddenly after his children were tucked into bed.  And now, here I am on the other side of the world, while my friend goes through something even worse than what I went through all those years ago.  Her home is uprooted (they are coming back to the U.S.), her job as a missionary is going to either be over or very different, but even more, she has lost the person she planned on spending the rest of her life with.  I can't imagine having to go through what I did 7 years ago without Carpenter.

So now, I'm thinking that bearing one another's burdens, may not always be physical things you do, but maybe it's standing in the gap and praying constantly, and I mean constantly.  The memorial service for James was just last night - our time. 

Nicky and her family just had to get 5-year visas which is a huge expense for a family of 5.  Then they also need to get tickets to come home and don't have the advantage of getting them ahead. 
If you feel that you would like to help them financially, here is a link to give to them.

Thanks for keeping them in your prayers,

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wednesday's household -

There is an Elisabeth Elliot quote that I keep in my binders to remember the words and the thoughts behind it. 

I first read this quote on Time-Warp Wife's blog.  Here's the link to print from her: Elisabeth Elliot's quote.

It says:

This job has been give to me to do.  Therefore, it is a gift.  Therefore, it is a privilege.  Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God.  Therefore, it is to be done gladly, if it is to be done for Him.  Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God's way.  In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness.  - Elisabeth Elliot

How often do I listen to the voices that surround me saying that to work at home is not work at all, but just the lazy way?  How often do I think it would be better and we would have more money if I would work outside the home?  We would be able to eat food that we love and not just the food that we have.  But what's the trade off?  That's what I forget about.  Thankfully, my little sis reminds me often. 

Not that working outside the home is bad, but I have SEVEN kids!  I need to be here right now for them.  And I can't imagine keeping up when I come home from a long day at work. 

I'm glad for this reminder.  Actually, this quote applies to those who work and those who don't.  Those who are privileged to be able to stay home with their kids and those who don't have the option.  Any one of you could apply this quote to your own life.

Keep pressing on,

Cooking Tuesday - BBQ Meatballs

¾ c oatmeal
1 can evaporated milk
1 onion
1 egg
1 tsp salt
¾ tsp chili pwd
½ tsp mince garlic
¼ tsp pepper
2 lbs gr beef
2 cups BBQ Sauce
1 gallon bag or foil pan

Mix together and make into meatballs.  Place on a tray and freeze for 2 hours.  Place into bag or pan, and pour 2 cups BBQ sauce in with the meatballs.

Label with this label:
Thaw.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Project Monday!!!

Only because I'm accountable to you, I finished my project from last week.  It's soooo much better and yet will still need work on a regular basis.

Remember this?

Now it looks like this. I just took a shelf or two at a time.  And then spent about 15 minutes this morning finishing it up, because I had to post pictures today.  Accountability is awesome!!! :)

I can see where things are again, and the kids will too, so they won't stay there long.  :)  But someday things will stay where I put them and I'll be wishing for little fingers and hands to pull things off their shelves.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Thursday's Thoughts - Remember

Let's remember what the season is for!  Joy to the world, the Lord has come!!!  God came down to the earth, became a man, so that he could die for us!  Amazing grace!!!

Wednesday's Household - consistency

This is for yesterday.  I probably say it too many times, but that's because it's not sinking into my brain very well.  Consistency is the one of the keys to a happy home. 

It means that instead of doing what I want, I will do what needs to be done first. 

I will not listen to the lies that tell me I will never be done.  Those lies only serve to bring defeat and discouragement.

I will do what I can today and when my family is home, I will enjoy them and teach them patiently to care for their own things, and tomorrow, yes, I will do the same things again.  But  each day, it will be easier, it will be neater. 

There will be set backs.  You should have seen my laundry pile after Thanksgiving weekend and I was doing laundry throughout the weekend!  But I will not let them conquer me.

I will press on.   Yes, dishes are never done, there are always a few sitting on the counter in my home, but I will not gripe about someone getting a cup to get a glass of water.  Of all things!!!!!  (And yes, I have done that.) 

My to-do list is a help for me as I serve my family.  I will not be it's slave!  I refuse to be mastered by it to the point where I complain if someone messes up what I have accomplished.  Where is the peace and tranquility in that? 

I want my home to be a haven a place where my family can come and relax from a hard day's work and be refreshed. 

Keep pressing on

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Cooking Tuesday - Ham Balls Supreme

This is a recipe we'll be trying on Saturday at our Cooking Day.  But one of our "members" has used this recipe a lot and it's a favorite at their house.   So we know it's yummy!

Ham Balls Supreme

2 ½ pounds ground ham

2 pounds ground lean pork

1 pound ground beef

3 eggs

3 cups crushed graham crackers

2 cups milk

2 cans tomato soup

¾ cup vinegar

2 ¼ cup brown sugar

2 teaspoon dry mustard

Combine meats, eggs, crackers and milk. Mix well. Make into balls using about ½ cup mixture. (about 25 balls) For sauce, mix soup, vinegar, sugar and mustard. Cover the ham balls with sauce. Bake 350 oven about 1 hour. Can be frozen before baking.

Keep pressing on,

Monday, December 2, 2013

Project Monday - decluttering drawers part 2

I wanted to show you how I "stepped it up" in the drawers department.  I can never find anything in the kids' top drawer.  Socks, underwear, pajamas and their favorite things are a jumbled mess in there. 

So I used some plastic and some cardboard shoeboxes to remedy the problem.  The girls share the top drawer so they only have room for socks and underwear and a shoebox for each.  I went up there today after the holiday weekend and took this picture.  It's still neat!!!! Amazing.

Pajamas have to go in with their play pants because there isn't room for them up in this drawer.

Favorite things are for desks - they each have one and since we don't homeschool this year, they are for special things that they want to keep. 

Problem solved!!!  Now on to the next problem!

Games and puzzles and books!  De-cluttering.  I was overwhelmed with how to organize it, but I think the answer lies in getting rid of a few games and puzzles that we don't use.  We have an abundance of puzzles and usually my mother-in-law brings a couple every time she comes, so we should be getting rid of them a bit as they come.

An idea is to make a specific shelf be designated to games or puzzles and once it's full we'll need to remove some before we get more.  In case you are wondering, my mother-in-law gets her puzzles and games from the thrift store for 50 cents or a dollar and so we have her permission to pass them on, when we're done with them.

My project seems huge, but since we'll be eating our "elephant" one bite at a time, it won't be a huge deal.  I will break it down to daily projects for the week.  :)

Keep pressing on.