Thursday, March 15, 2018

Welcome Home

On this Thankful Thursday,
I am thankful for a little company around the house.
We welcomed a new betta tonight.
It has been many a year since we had a fish.
The last one could not travel home with me on the plane from VA
due to changes in TSA rules while I spent some time with hubby in Virginia Beach.

We are trying some real plants this time.
This is our biggest tank yet.
We still have to make a lid and decide if we want lighting,
But we are thrilled to watch the little guy swimming up a storm.

Do you have a name suggestion?
Leave it in the comments.
I'll let you know what we pick.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

A Chink Filler?

In reading my old-fashioned (but oh so challenging)
book on a happy home,
I was challenged to the life of a chink filler.

When you step into a log cabin,
you notice the beautiful logs and beams,
hopefully you don't notice the chinking.
But if the chinking is missing,
you sure will notice.
The home will be cold and drafty.

Often in the home or in ministry or in the work place,
someone has to provide the chinking.
It is those jobs that no one notices, unless they are not done.

I often have a hard time when someone asks me what I do all day,
I feel inadequate because the list seems feeble,
there are a lot of things that I don't even remember by the end of a day ...
but this chapter encouraged me.
Not always is life full of "big" things ...
sometimes life is sweeping a floor,
putting away clutter,
doing just the little things.
But those little things are the things that make a house or a ministry run well.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Longer Days

While the dark mornings are a drag,
I sure enjoy the longer evenings.
All around it was a pleasant day
Including two visits to friends
An evening walk with hubby
And just encouragement at every turn.

And because I have a little Type A in me ...
The excitement of some fitbit goals blown away.

Monday, March 12, 2018


While the recipe is not an experiment ...
it is a tried a true recipe.
I am experimenting with entertaining on Sundays.
I often rue that I didn't spend the extra money for a time bake oven,
but, no use crying over woulda, coulda scenarios.

On Sunday,
I tried this tried and true.
I prepared it on Saturday.
I popped it in the fridge.
Then on Sunday as I went out the door,
I put it cold in the oven covered in aluminum foil at 200*.
When I arrived home 4 hours later,
I just uncovered it bumped it up to 350 for about 10 minutes
to get it piping hot and to brown the topping.
It worked!

Ham and Potato Casserole

2 c cubed potatoes
1 sliced carrot
2 chopped celery ribs
3 c water
2 c cubed fully cooked ham
2 tsp finely chopped onion (I use onion powder often in white sauce)
7 TBSP butter (divided)
3 TBSP flour
1 1/2 c milk
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 c (4 oz) shredded cheddar
1/2 c soft bread crumbs

Bring veggies to boil in water.  
Reduce heat, cover, cook about 15 minutes. 

Saute ham and onion in 3 TBSP butter.

Add ham to vegetable mixture.
Transfer to greased 1 1/2 qt baking dish.

In saucepan, melt remaining 4 TBSP butter.
Stir in flour until smooth.
Gradually add milk, salt, and pepper.
Bring to boil, cook and stir until thickened.
Reduce heat, add cheese and stir until melted.

Pour sauce over ham mixture.
Sprinkle with bread crumbs.
Bake uncovered, at 375* for 25 - 30 min or until heated through.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Happy Mail

In between the spring cleaning,
I also worked on Happy Mail last week.

I experimented at Valentine's Day by sending a "happy mail" to hubby's work.
It was a success.
It also had all the women at work a "buzzin'"
Poor hubby.
He wasn't said about the contents though.

 ~ a little note for inside the happy mail ~
 We haven't met many of the recipients yet,
but we are praying for them and look forward to meeting them at the end of the semester.

~ a gatorade, soda, or tea bottle filled with candy, juice mix, beef stick, granola bar ~
You can see the slit (look at the "K") where I cut it nearly in half to fill it.

7 "happy mails" headed to NC, FL, AK, and WI.

The slit is taped closed and then covered with the shipping label.

I had to borrow an empty mailbox along with my own.
I would have loved to see the postman's face when she picked up the mail.

And another treat for the locals during midterms.
A little encourage mint ...
I taped the label to the roll of mints,
rolled it up,
and sealed it closed.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Old-fashioned Cookie?

Well, the house is almost done.
I finished the guest bath and "piano" room today.
Walls washed, curtains washed, even stuffed animals took a bath.
Tomorrow, I hope to finish the spring cleaning with the laundry room and master closet.
The laundry room is my catch-all and hideaway and of course is linty from the washer and dryer.
There is such a good feeling when you just KNOW things are clean.

In between the cleaning,
I found time to bake for the local college kids.
It is mid-terms week.
This time it was an old-fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookie.
Of course, since we are a gluten free home,
it wasn't quite traditional.
I have been told by gluten eaters that they would never guess it was gluten free.

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 c butter, room temp
1 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
2 whole eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 c almond flour
2.5 c gluten free oatmeal put through blender
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
4/5 oz grated semi-sweet chocolate (or chips through the blender - I added mine with the oats)
12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugar together.
Add eggs and vanilla.
Add flour through grated chocolate.
Add chocolate chips.

Let dough chill at least one hour.
Bake 9 minutes at 375*.

Friday, March 2, 2018

February Update

It is time for another update on the 2008 goals.
February was a little rough ... we struggled with sickness or fighting sickness for 1 - 2 weeks.
During those weeks, I definitely got a little lazy.
Definitely have some ground to make up this month especially in Bible memory.

Personal Goals

Blog at least 3 times a week  (you all can attest to this one)
Develop (and use) a Prayer Journal to be more focused in prayer by February. 
(used my new 3x5 card system and feel more organized in my effort to suppot others in prayer)
Read through the Bible in the year. (On track)
Memorize 24 Psalms (1-24) - 2 per month.  (Barely Psalm 3)
Review/Rememorize - James, I - II Thessalonians, I-II Peter, II Timothy, Galatians, Jude (1 per month).
(nothing this month)
Memorize I,II,III John (remaining months after reviewing others).
Exercise 4 days per week.
Meet step goals daily.  (missed about 2 days of hitting 13,000 steps)
Learn Hebrew Using Rosetta Stone program - 4 lessons a week - 2 years.
(I've failed this one in previous years)
(Added 15 in February (short by one) for a total of 56 lessons)
Read 12 books (1 per month) emphasizing American History and Missionary biographies.
(Read 1 whole and 2 halves - finished book on George Washington, read one on Florence Nightengale, 1/2 of one on the home)

Family Goals

Help encourage, format, and edit hubby's commentary on the book of Isaiah.
(suffered a little, but we are getting our rhythm back)
Walk at least 4 miles together each week.  (eeked out at least 1 per week)
Be done with regular housekeeping by the time hubby comes home each day. (Improvement seen)

Ministry Goals

Write 1 card to a college student each week.  (14 valentines to local students, 2 valentines to nonlocal college student, 1 card to recruit in boot camp)
Write one note of thanks or appreciation each week (in the home, at church, in the community).
(5 for the month)
Entertain in our home at least once a month for a meal.  (got in 1)
Find a place of ministry.
(still focusing on encouragement for others)

Home Goals

Continue developing a useful meal/recipe book - Reorganize it monthly.  (Yes, it is organized as we speak!)

Thursday, March 1, 2018

The Great Outdoors

On this thankful Thursday,
I am once more thankful to be mowing again.
I am thankful to be able to take care of a piece of property 
that, though rented, is my responsibility.
Though I wasn't mowing much grass on Saturday,
the clover was getting out of control
and I was happy to take care of that.

Hubby had tuned up the little mower
and it ran like a top.

I was so happy to be outside and working on my yard again.

The baby daffodils are up and blooming.
There is sign of the lilies in the front bed.
The winter pansies are showing new life.
The Bradford Pear trees are in full bloom.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

It's That Time Again

Well, I am still here.
I have had the opportunity to work in the print shop this week.
We were collating and stapling Tagolog coloring books for the Philippines.
That kept me busy on Monday and Wednesday mornings.

And for the rest of the week ...

Some cookies for the local college students
to help them study for their midterms.

And some Spring cleaning.
Last year, we did so much painting and renovating that I think the cleaning was minimal.
But this week,
I am washing walls and baseboards.
Washing curtains, pillows, bedding.
Cleaning dust bunnies from their hiding places behind furniture.
Just the two guest rooms and guest bathroom left.
Hope to finish that this Friday.

And this weekend ...
the cleaning goes outside.
Hubby is going to help trim some trees overhanging the roof
and we have to scrub some mold/mildew off of the roof as well.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Cui Bono - What Good Will it Do?

I am currently reading an 1896 classic
"The Secret of  Happy Home."

Last night, 
I was reading about this Latin phrase (cui bono) in relation to the tongue - and the home.
Cui Bono literally means "Who does it benefit?"

The point of the chapter was to think about your words before speaking them.
What is the purpose of the words?
Do they edify or build up?
Do they only serve to tear down?
What is the value of the words?
Am I speaking only to make myself look better?

The example was given of a husband relating an event.
He described the event, but mispoke or ill-remembered the timing (one week? or three weeks?)
If the timing has no real significance in the account,
why correct him?

The example can be used in any situation.
Do I give grace?
Is there thoughtfulness to my speech?