Saturday, May 29, 2010

Take Your Wife To Work Day!

I am a fairly curious body, and I especially like to know and understand everything that my hubby does on a daily basis.  I like to be able to carry on intelligent conversations about "his world" because I know people, places, activites that he is involved in.  While he was in the Navy, I tried to gather information like this by visiting, taking tours, taking available family cruises, but his work required security clearance so I never saw him actually in the plant.  Hubby came home on Thursday and said that he would be working all day on fences by himself, so I asked if could go along.  It was a busy day.  I got to chase cows away from newly strung fence, so hubby could finish the job; I got to drive truck; we shopped for fencing supplies; I "cleaned" clutter; I enjoyed a day outside with my darling.  It was a nice change and gives me more understanding of hubby's day-to-day activity.  I didn't go this morning - Saturdays he scrapes stalls!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Gracious and Merciful God

Nehemiah 9:31
Nevertheless for thy great mercies' sake
thou didst not utterly consume them,
nor forsake them;
for thou art a gracious and merciful God.

The children of Israel during Nehemiah's time just finished recounting the many gracious acts of God in their history and the failings of their people through the ages in forgetting the goodness of God and turning to idols.  We are so prone to turn from God.  There are so many things that can become a substitute for God or that can crowd God out in my life.  Despite my failings, He is still gracious.  How thankful I am for a relationship with a caring God who never fails.  I need to fall into His grace and mercy daily and to seek strength from the ONLY one who can sustain me.

It is a beautiful morning, and the heat is supposed to be back today.  Hubby is off to work and Thursday is my primary piano lesson day, so I will be "working" as well.  I picked peas this morning and it won't be too much longer before the pea plants are ripped out and the beans will go in the ground.  I need to be more diligent - the cut worms have already found my winter squash - ooh, they are so gross and so destructive.  Cucumbers are blossoming as are the tomatoes and I see some little zuccini on the way!  The damp, humid days have been good for the garden ... and the lawn.  I will need to mow again tonight or tomorrow morning.  Oh ... and all my cans of beets sealed ... Hooray!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Purple Hands

Today, I am having my first attempt at canning.  I have purple hands, because I am processing beets.  I am just a LITTLE excited about this and hope this is the start of a good stash of winter veggies.  We received a canner last Christmas and then some funds for my birthday to get started with some Mason jars.  Hopefully the jars will fill with beets, beans, tomatoes, pumpkin, pickles, apple sauce, pears, and peaches.  The Lord gave a beautiful day for starting - there is a cool breeze blowing through the kitchen making the steam more bearable.

I usually share a Psalm or song on Tuesdays, but I have a verse from Ecclesiastes 4.  It has been a tough month emotionally for me.  I don't really know why I am more sensitive to things this month, but this verse helped me through yesterday.  Ecclesiastes 4:6 "Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit."  If my hands are full or empty because that is what God has given and I have peace, that is far better than to have something that God does not want me to have and the trouble that might come with it.  I constantly need the reminder that God's ways are perfect.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Eating Simply

No fabulous recipe this week.  We did have a fabulous meal yesterday, though.  The garden is beginning to produce and I am falling in love with snap peas.  It is dangerous that my garden lines the front walkway, for every time I leave the trailer, I grab a handful of snap peas.  Delicious!  On Sunday, we had a simple meal of Teriyaki marinaded grilled chicken, brown rice, and gingered snap peas.

Gingered snap peas

1/2 lb. Fresh peas trimmed
1 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp butter, melted
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp salt

Microwave peas in water for 3-4 minutes.  Drain.  Combine butter, ginger, and salt.  Drizzle over the peas; toss to coat.

I just love eating FRESH veggies from the garden.  I am amazed at the glory of God's creation and His bountiful provision for us.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

It is enough

I am currently reading a book by Craig Hartman called Through Jewish Eyes.  It is actually hubby's summer reading, but I got sucked in as well.  It is an easy read and very fascinating.  The book is designed to give insight into Jewish tradition as well as to tie each tradition to Christ and Christianity.  I just finished reading a chapter on the Passover and the seder.  I was struck by the way that the Jewish people remember the events of the Passover and the flight from Egypt.  As the leader recounts the events, the others in attendance reply "It is enough."  By this they mean, if God had only led them out of Egypt and stopped there, it would be enough.  If God had only drown the Egyptians and removed His hand, it would be enough. If God had only led them with the cloud and the fire, it would be enough.  Do you get the point?  God has done so much for us!

Am I this thankful?  If God had only given me breath, it is enough reason to thank Him.  If God had only given my the privelege of growing up in a Christian home, it is enough.  If God had only (does this sound odd to you too?) saved me, it is enough.  If God had only given me a well-used trailer, it is enough.  If God had only given me the man of my dreams and the man that I needed, it is enough.  If God only provides my breakfast in the morning, it is enough.

I am only deserving of death and punishment.  GOD IS SO GOOD!

These comments remind me of a comment that used to go around when I was in college.  When asked "How are you?"  It was common to hear the response "Better than I deserve!"  Perspective.  Our God daily loads us with benefits ... I just need to see them!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Psalm 13

How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD?  for ever?
how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?

How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily?
how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and hear me, O LORD my God:
lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;

Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him;
and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved.

But I have trusted in thy mercy;
my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.

I will sing unto the LORD,
because he hath dealt bountifully with me.

Are you in difficult place?  Do you feel alone?  These were obviously the concerns of the psalmist. 
His answer? ... trust in the Lord, rejoice in salvation, sing to the Lord, give thanks for His goodness.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The South still doesn't like the north and a surprise success

Well, I had a simply lovely birthday.  Hubby was home by noon and he had decided to take me to my favorite restaurant.  It is about 1 1/2 -2 hours from Shelby, but it is my little piece of the north ... Friendly's!  Needless to say, I was excited.  I had not been since our trip north in June and had gone last May for my birthday as well.  We did a little shopping on the way and enjoyed our trip to arrive at an empty building with space for lease.  How did it not survive?  The south just can't apppreciate a good scoop of icecream or a unique sundae!  So my day was a little anticlimatic.  Hubby did find a Dragon Buffet to treat me to which was also a memory from our days in Albany, NY.  He is such a sweet heart.

Last week, I mentioned that I had BBQ lentils in the crockpot.  I wasn't sure if it would be a success or not, but it sure was easy.  Hubby likes BBQ, but not in excess.  It turns out that he just LOVED this dish - HOORAY for the chef and the menu planning and the budget.  Here it is.

Barbecued Lentils

2 c bbq sauce
3 1/2 c water
1 lb dry lentils
1 pkg hot dogs, sliced

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker.  Cover.  Cook on low 6-8 hours.

How's that for easy!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Even when we don't ask!

Well, today is my 35th birthday.  It is hard to believe ... I don't feel that old most of the time.  We went out to celebrate last night because hubby was going to have a 12+ hour day today cutting silage.  I had asked hubby if I could have Sonic Ched-R-Peppers for my birthday outing.  This turned into a progressive dinner and a lot of fun.  Hubby picked me up at church at 8 pm last night and we headed to Sonic for our appetizer.  Then we hit Wendy's for a side salad.  Then BK for a Whopper Jr.  Then Chic-Fil-A for fries.  Lastly, DQ for a blizzard treat.  It was really a lot of fun!  And today, I was going to workout like crazy (that was quite the splurge last night) and clean house and run errands (hubby carpooled today so I have a car!)  But it rained last night and hubby only has to work until noon.  I will still have a good workout this morning and finish the housework, but I will enjoy running errands with hubby!  I am glad to be able to have some company for my birthday afternoon.  I didn't ask for it in prayer, because God has provided work in May to meet our needs, but it sure is a nice blessing - and the work is still waiting when the ground dries out!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


I am thankful today for hubby's job while we are here in NC.  This has been a busy month with lots of hours of silage cutting which is helpful as we hope to have a little get-a-way when things slow down again.  We will celebrate the half-way point of hubby's schooling, and our birthdays and anniversary in one nice time away.  The job has been a real blessing.  The hours meet our needs, the hours are relatively flexible, and the boss respects our desire to be in church.  God is good all the time and we thank Him for the way that He meets our needs (and often our wants as well).

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

"Obedient to their Own Husbands"

I am finally back to Created to Be His Helpmeet.  It is such a challenge every time that I read it.  This chapter was again on submission and the power of a submissive, loving woman.  The Bible clearly states that a woman is to obey HER own husband.  How often will we drop everything for the request of another man while ignoring the wishes of our husband?  How often will we make commitments without consulting the head of our home?  How often will we justify our actions because our husband is not saved or is not "acting godly?"  The Bible equates my obedience to my husband as obedience to God.  God also promises that my meek and quiet spirit (if I am using it) is the force that can cause change in my husband not a nagging or complaining or self-righteous spirit.  I have seen many a wife run to the pastor, or a deacon looking for sympathy or "a way out" or an excuse for their own behavior, when their answer is right in the Word - just lovingly submit!  I have seen many a wife agree to help in any area of the "ministry" while ignoring their own home which is truly their ministry.  It is easy to want to vilify our husband and justify ourselves, but that will cause the Word of God to be blasphemed.  I was particularly struck by the fact that I can fuel the flames of anger in my husband.  How often do I bring up a subject that I know will start a "lively" discussion instead of keeping the conversation of our home on things that are true and lovely?  Again I come back to the illustration of the thermometer or the thermostat.  Rather than just report the condition of things in my home, I want to help to control it by a meek and quiet spirit that is sweetly submitting to God's plan as given in His Word.  Will you rise to the challenge as well?  Why not take God as His Word and leave the results to Him?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Beautiful Mornings

I have enjoyed the last 2 mornings with hubby.  The mornings have been cool and overcast and we have enjoyed a "power walk" before he headed to work.  We have upped the "power" a little by carrying weights and I am a little sore today.  It is very gray today, but it makes the grass and the flowers and the growing vegetables look so much brighter.  I am enjoying the break in the heat.

I have a "tune for Tuesday."  The song "Constantly Abiding" was sung as a special on Sunday and it has been going through my mind ever since. 

There's a peace in my heart that the world never gave,
a peace it can not take away;
tho the trials of life may surround like a cloud,
I've a peace that has come there to stay!

All the world seemed to sing of a Savior and King
When peace sweetly came to my heart;
Troubles all fled away and my night turned to day -
Blessed Jesus, how glorious Thou art.

This treasure I have in a temple of clay
While here on His footstool I roam;
But He's coming to take me, some glorious day,
Over there to my heavenly home!

Constantly abiding - Jesus is minel
Constantly abiding - Rapture divine!
He never leaves me lonely -
Whispers O so kind,
"I will never leave thee!"
Jesus is mine.

The peace of God is beyond comprehension.  It is mine because I have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  How often do I take this for granted or repress the work of the Spirit in my life rather than using His presence to continue to purify my life?  I am so thankful for the presence of the Lord.  May my life show His presence by my actions and reactions.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Not a pleasant smell, but a great meal!

Really, I would like to get back on schedule.  Hubby should be at work at least 5 days each week, so the blogging should become more regular again.  It was a very successful semester.  It is not official but I think that hubby maintained his outstanding GPA.  Friday night was a lot of fun.  Hubby was back in his military uniform and looking quite handsome.  There is part of the military that will always be a part of him.  He likes order and discipline.  I realized that it is not merely the uniform that "twitterpates" me, but it is the image of a man who is confident, who takes care of his body and health, and who dresses well, and who has made a commitment and kept to it. 

I decided to make stuffed cabbage rolls on Sunday for my hubby.  I am not a big cabbage fan, so I make these about once a year for hubby and with the goal of becoming less "picky" in my eating.  Cabbage is in season and cheap at the grocery store, so... we had them.  They were really GOOD!  We may have them again before next May!  I think I liked them better this time because I used hot sausage for the pork!

The funny part of this meal was Sunday morning.  Hubby was going around the house spraying odor neutralizer because he thought that the sewer was acting up.  When we got home from church and smelled lunch cooking in the crock pot, he said, "Oh, that's what I was smelling this morning!"  We had a good laugh that our lunch required air freshener!

Old-Fashioned Cabbage Rolls

1 medium head cabbage (3 lbs)
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce, divided
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 c uncooked long grain rice
1 T dried parsley flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dill weed
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 tsp sugar

In dutch oven, cook cabbage in boiling water until leaves fall off head.  Set aside 12 large leaves for rolls.  Cut out the thick vein form the bottom of each reserved leaf, making a V-shaped cut.  Set aside remaining cabbage.

In a small bowl, combine the beef, pork, 1/2 c tomato sauce, onion, rice, parsley, salt, dill and cayenne.  Mix well.  Place 1/4 c meat mixture on each cabbage leaf; overlap cut ends of leaf.  fold in sides, beginning from the cut end.  Roll up completely to enclose filling. (Sometimes I roll with 2 leaves so that I have less extra cabbage on the bottom of the dish)

Slice the remaining cabbage; place in dutch oven or crock pot.  Arrange the cabbage rolls seam side down over sliced cabbage.  Combine the tomatoes, sugar and remaining tomato sauce; pour over the rolls.

Cover and bake at 350* for 1 1/2 hours or heat in crockpot on low for 6-8 hours.

Tonight I try another experimental recipe ... BBQ lentils in the crockpot.  Hopefully it is edible!

Happy Mother's Day!

Though we wished our mother's a Happy Mother's Day yesterday by phone, I wish to give them honor more publicly as well.  A mother has a huge responsibility in the home.  She is the primary agent of instruction for the children.  "Her children arise up, and call her blessed. ... let he own works praise her in the gates."  Proverbs 31:28,31  I am thankful for a mother and mother-in-law that did their best with God's help to raise their children by godly principles.  Our society is beginning to produce more and more mothers without a natural affection for their children.  My mothers are very loving and I value their care and their prayers today and throughout the years.  I am thankful for my mom who encouraged me to do my best and to not settle for second best.  I am thankful to have watched years of homemaking skills including cooking, sewing, finances, and gardening that I am able to use today.  I am thankful for Mom Bickish who taught hubby to be so caring and so consciencious of details.  Thanks, moms!  I am also thankful for my sisters-in-laws who are also wonderful mothers.  I rarely seem them stressed or rattled and yet, they are in charge of their children and are seeking to rear respectful, intelligent children with a love and respect for God.  They are not swayed by society around them but are true "keepers at home."

I am also thankful today for a God who knows all and who is kind and compassionate.  Mother's Day is not an easy day for those who are childless, and yet my God gave me a husband who could be tired of the tears after nearly 8 years and yet continues to understand and comfort on the difficult days.  The Lord has given us pastors and pastors wives in 4 of our past 5 churches who have endured long years of infertility or miscarriage themselves and who have a compassionate word on a difficult day.  Thank you pastor for your kind words yesterday!  This same God left words of comfort in His infallible Word "He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful motherof children.  Praise the Lord."  Psalm 113:9

Monday, May 3, 2010

Am I back for awhile?

I do apologize for the lapse in communication.  I had just finished tidying the house and finishing laundry from our guests when I caught a cold.  I was able to keep up on some household tasks, but the blog kind of slipped.  I am feeling better and am wondering if I am also fighting some minor allergies - supposedly NC is a pretty good place for finding allergies, though I am surprised that with the mild weather in WA that I would not have shown symptoms there. 

When I was feeling up to things last week, I was usually in the garden.  Things are coming along well.  The peas are finally blossoming and I am looking forward to the fresh vegetables again.  I have had a few radishes because they grow so fast and they are looking nicer than last year - hopefully I am watering more consistently.  The stores in our area are finally getting some nice looking annuals in so I was also doing some planting to "green" up my back porch where hubby and I like to share a morning coffee or an evening treat.  I also needed some annuals to fill-in a new Perennial garden that will be a little sparse this year.  I am usually stuck on Petunias alone, but I branched out this year with some different flowers and I think I like the result.  I will post pictures when the rain storm passes. 

I should be able to back on a schedule again soon as hubby goes back to work full-time.  School is winding down ... 2 finals today, 1 final on Wednesday, and a group project presentation on Friday.  My sailor will be back on Friday.  It seems that we have been removed from Military life long enough and hubby is willing to put on his uniform to participate in the honor guard at school on Friday night.  I was busy sewing on a service stripe and ironing the unused uniform last week and hubby polished up the shoes this weekend.  Can't say I want the life back ... but there is something about a man in a uniform :)