Friday, July 30, 2010

Busy Week

It is hard to believe that it is Friday already.  Since last Friday, hubby has worked 72 hours, so it has been a busy week.  It was nice to spend the day with a friend on Tuesday to help to pass the long day while hubby worked.  I also started a big sewing project on Wednesday.  It is going well, but it definitely makes a mess.  I try to have the mess cleaned up before hubby reappears!  I am headed out this afternoon to get just a little more fabric - the pattern needed a little "tweaking," but I did not realize it until I had the pieces cut out.  I am not sure how long the crazy silage cutting hours will last, but am definitely looking forward to being back to a school schedule when I can see hubby more! 

The summer, so far, has provided a time to continue to learn and grow - Christ's school does not have to end for summer vacation.  There continues to be cleansing and stretching and expanding of our faith, if we allow Him to work. 

I hope to get a lot more done on my sewing project this weekend -- maybe there will be pictures soon :)  Also looking forward to our Day of rest and time with fellow believers on Sunday. 

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

God is good all the time ... All the time, God is good

I am thankful for two things today!  The first is a silly thing, I suppose, but I want to appreciate the simple things.  Around the 4th of July, watermelons were on sale.  Hubby and I both LOVE a good watermelon and it is such a part of Summer.  Hubby and I bought one and enjoyed it immensely. We planned to get another one before the sale ended, but the week got away from us. Since then prices have been back to normal and we have left the watermelons in the store.  I understand why they are priced as they are after trying to protect them from cut worm and squash bugs and I figured we had enjoyed our watermelon for the season.  On Sunday, we had one of our dear friends over for lunch ... he brought us a watermelon as a hostess gift.  Then on Monday, hubby came home with another watermelon.  It seems that the farmer that they were cutting silage for gave each of the workers a homegrown watermelon ... WooHoo!  God provides are needs and some of our wants.

We have also been praising God for consistent work on the farm.  In early June, we wondered if Chris would need to find more work due to a lack of tasks on the farm.  He has had a full week every week except one and this week He has already had 52 hours in only 4 days of work.  The dry weather has been hard on my garden but it has been a blessing for work.  Often corn is not cut here until the end of August and early September and hubby misses out on the extra hours because he is back in school.  This year they are cutting early.  Praise the Lord for His faithful provision.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I Corinthians 13:4a
Charity suffereth long,...

So have you thought much about true love this week in your home?  Have you tried to have a selfless love?  In the definition of charity, one of the traits of this amazing love is longsuffering.  Hubby analyzed this word last week in Sunday School.  It is the act of enduring offenses repeatedly for an unmeasured time.  I have talked to wives who have lost this aspect of love.  Instead of enduring offenses, they want to recount offenses.  It is my job to endure.  What do you need to endure?  Is it the dirty clothes that don't make it to the laundry hamper or laundry room?  Is it dirty boots through the nice clean kitchen?  Is it a pile of paperwork that never seems to disappear?  Maybe it is a habit that you find annoying?  The point is that true love will continue to move the dirty laundry, rescrub the kitchen floor, work around the pile of papers and look past the annoying habit.  By the way, don't you like when your hubby is longsuffering towards you.  I am glad that hubby doesn't throw me overboard for ironing "summer creases" into his clothes - you some are here and "summer" there.  I am glad he is patient when the clothes are quite folded to military specs.  I am glad that he is patient when dinner is burned, dried out, or just plain BAD! 

In addition to working on the trait of longsuffering.  I plan to sew today.  I cut out a formal dress (a skirt and two tops) on Monday and hope to get the skirt sewn today.  I also have started a blanket for a baby gift and need to start a wedding cross-stitch very shortly. 

Have good day!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Psalm 73:26

My flesh and my heart faileth:
but God is the strength of my heart,
and my portion for ever.


Rest in Him today.

He only can uphold you.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Homemade Gatorade

Ingredients for Gatorade
Well, testing has been underway for about 3 weeks, and I think that I can endorse this recipe.  About 3 weeks ago, hubby came home and said that he would need to buy some Gatorade because he would be working with concrete in the direct sun for a full day.  AAHH! says the wife.  A days worth of Gatorade would cost about 1 hour of work at the farm, if not more.  So, I got busy googling and came across a recipe for homemade Gatorade.  I personally think the concoction (even the real stuff) tastes nasty, but it has been tested by two farm hands working 10+ hours in high 90's heat and passed with flying colors.  The packets can be purchased for anywhere from 7 - 20 cents and the NoSalt is an initial investment, but will go A LONG way.  I figure 3 bottles of Gatorade for less than 20 cents is a good deal!

Homemade Gatorade

1 pkg unsweetened koolaid
1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp salt substitute (No Salt)
2 qts water

The salt and salt substitute are added to give it the electrolytes that a sports drink typically has.  Hubby has tried lemon-lime, grape, orange, kiwi watermelon, and fruit punch.  So far, the orange is the favorite.

Friday, July 23, 2010

It's HOT!

a cool mountain stream sounds good right now

Well, it seems that the whole nation is in a heat wave.  I know that it is hot here.  I think the hard part about it is that there has not been a break in weeks.  As I walked hubby to the car at about 4:15 it was not even cool out ... maybe 75*.  I especially feel for hubby who is out in the heat for 8-10 hours each day.  Just about 1 month left and he is back to school.

my "miracle grow" cucumber

I have been doing my own work (or failing in my work).  As I watered the garden the other day, I found this cucumber hiding in the pole beans.  No, I don't use Miracle Grow, but this Armenian cucumber measures nearly 18 inches and I have a feeling that it won't be any good because it is so big - but if it is ... it will make quite the cucumber salad!  The tomatoes are coming faithfully and there are now blossoms on the beans!

I had some winners and losers this week in the area of cooking.  Bacon and Herb Grilled Grits Cakes were YUCK!  I know, most of you will say "icky" just by reading the name, but I was trying to find some edible way to use up the grits that I have  in the cupboard.  Grilled okra was AWESOME  and hubby approved of yellow squash simmered in fresh tomatoes.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I am thankful today for the great variety around us in nature.  While the grass is brown from lack of rain, and it is a struggle to keep the garden producing right now, I am enjoying some beautiful butterflies that have found our flowers this year.  There are blue ones, and yellow ones, and orange ones ... huge ones, and little ones, and medium-sized ones.  I enjoy watching them flit from the back of the trailer with its potted flowers and small strip of annuals to the front perennial garden and the marigolds which outline the vegetable garden.  Our God is a great God with endless creativity and a love for beauty. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Working on a marriage is a life-time pursuit.  A marriage can always be better.  I finished my weekly summaries of Created to Be His Helpmeet and wondered what to study next.  It is the season of weddings (my anniversary is less than a month away) and we often hear I Corinthians 13.  It is a practical chapter that must be lived each day.  Do we leave the "Love Chapter" at the altar, or do we live by it? 

I Corinthians 13:1-3
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels,
and have not charity,
I am become as sounding brass,
or a tinkling cymbal.
And though I have the gift of prophecy,
and understand all mysteries,
and all knowledge;
and though I have all faith,
so that I could remove mountains, 
and have not charity, I am nothing.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor,
and though I give my body to be burned,
and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Charity ... while it can be rendered as "love", it is much, much more than that.  Charity gives to the unlovely, the undeserving, the one who cannot repay.  Charity goes beyond what is expected.  Is that happening in my home?  Am I giving MORE than I think is necessary?  Do I work for praise or reward and not because I desire to serve my family? 

It is not hard to find examples of poor marriages, unhappy marriages, or shallow marriages - even in church.  Sometimes the partners know all the words (vs. 1) about love, marriage, respect, submission, but there is no daily practice.  These families speak of all that they do for each other, but it is hard to find the tangible evidence.  Sometimes the partners are smart, seemingly wise, and have great position in the church (v. 2), but without giving of themselves it is nothing.  Have you seen (or been) the family that feuds all the way to church and then gets out and greets others with their "Sunday Smile"?  It is hypocrisy.  Some families will give of themselves and their substance (v. 3), while ignoring the ones in their own home.  They are the first to volunteer for every outreach, for work projects, for fellowship dinners, while not putting effort to build their home.  Have you seen "Great Christians" whose homes were a mess?  This is not God's design. If a Christian ignores his home to "do the work of God," I don't believe that he is truly doing the work of God.

I want my husband to know that I love him regardless of the situation, not because of my words, not because I know what the Bible says about marriage, and not because I care for others, but because I have and show a selfless love for him wherever we are.  Perhaps it is hardest to practice in the home, because it is easiest to get hurt by those we love the best, but that is no excuse to stop practicing.  Perhaps it is hard to keep giving when it is easy to be taken for granted in the home.  Perhaps it is easy to take on the tone of the world in belittling our spouse or extended family because it is labled as "good fun" and because our family members are so forgiving.  It is the rest of I Corinthians 13 that gives character and definition to that true love.

Will you work on a practical love today as seen in your everyday activities?  I can iron with love or with a complaining spirit.  I can tidy up with love or with disdain that I did this yesterday.  I can cook with love or keep dwelling on the fact that I don't get to eat out as much as the Jones'.  It is the heart attitude that will spill into every aspect of my work.  Why fake it?  Let's build heavenly marriages that are a joy and not a burden.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Psalm 42:11
Why art thou cast down, O my soul?
and why art thou disquieted within me?
hope thou in God:
for I shall yet praise him,
who is the health of my countenance,
and my God.

Squash Bread

Along with the okra, we received a bag bursting with yellow squash. While I like yellow squash, I don't particularly enjoy it for every meal for a week straight! I came across this recipe. It is very quick and easy. It turns out VERY moist. I made one on Saturday morning and another one this morning!  I put a very light streusel on the top to make it a little bit more of a treat.

Squash Bread

3 eggs
2 c sugar
1 c oil
2 tsp vanilla
3 c flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
2 c finely grated squash

Beat eggs.  Add and beat sugar, oil, and vanilla.  Gradually add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Fold in squash.  Pour into greased 9 x 13 and bake at 325* for 45-50 minutes.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Southern Cooking

I had my first real experience with this southern veggie this week.  Yes, I am a yankee and this vegetable is not familiar.  You may not recognize it without breading or sitting on a buffet in a southern college lunch line or a Ryan's Buffet.  It is okra.  I had to research what to do with this treat when we were given 2-3 servings from one of hubby's coworkers.  Of course, I knew that it is often breaded and fried, but that was not going to happen in my kitchen or added to a gumbo which did not sound great on a hot day.  I read that it tasted like asparagus which I like to saute with a little oil and lots of garlic, so I made it that way.  It was really good and truly similar to asparagus which I currently have no room for in the garden.  Maybe I will have to research what kind of plant it grows on and make room for it next year.

Well, it is Saturday and I am late getting started.  It is "Clean-y Day!"

Friday, July 16, 2010

Odds and Ends

Just finished mowing the weeds and the thick patches of lawn that I assume marks the septic. I am not OCD (Obsessive Cumpulsive) in too many areas, but I do like a nicely trimmed lawn.  It was cooler this morning, though still very humid.  I also weeded in the gardens beds and generally enjoyed the peace of the morning.  I am finishing breakfast and my daily newspaper puzzles (Sudoku, Crossword, and Jumble).  I am wondering if hubby will make it through a full day - the sun and heat sure can take it out of a guy.  I am also thinking about Monday and how to celebrate the day with my dearest - it will be his 31st birthday!  He has asked for a picnic lunch and some apple dumplings - I think that I can oblige.  Would love to go hiking if the heat would break for the day!  If not, we will just enjoy the day together.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thankful for a Great Creator

Psalm 139:14
I will praise thee;
for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:
marvellous are thy works;
and that my soul knoweth right well.

I am thankful to be created by an Almighty God who does all things well.  Have you ever researched some medical symptom online or a disease that an acquaintance has?  Have you ever studied the results of a blood test?  If you have then you realize the complexity of the human body.  The greatest chemist ever designed vitamins, minerals, hormones, cells, blood to all work together in perfect harmony - if they are balanced.  The smallest imbalance can create a medical problem.  This same great chemist, is a great architect - those knees that hold me up each day are carrying A LOT of weight.  Each pound of body weight is 4 pounds of pressure on my knee.  My average sized body puts almost 600 pounds of pressure on my knees and even more when I am walking or jogging!  That is some great design.  He is also a computer engineer - my mind holds facts, figures, data that amaze me (and it is not even working to capacity) and the information that our senses provide and that is processed is AMAZING! 
I am thankful for the design and efficiency of my body -
I serve a great creator.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Spiritual Thermometers

I Timothy 3:11
Even so must their wives be ...
faithful in all things.

There are many thermometers given in the Word of God to show us where we need to improve.  For example "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples if ye have love one toward another."  Love is a trait of a Christian.  The verse at the head of the blog is a description of the character required of a deacon's wife.  It follows the list of qualifications for a pastor and for the deacons.  We have met many a pastor and church member who believe that these are merely suggestions and that no man or woman can attain to these goals.  I personally believe that they are qualities that all believers should hold and that those in authority should be modeling these qualities as the standard.  I have been challenged by a group of ladies who are endeavoring to lose weight.  Why challenged?  Well, I have always seen weight loss as a strict diet, as a new exercise program, as a punishment for my poor eating choices.  I am challenged because it is more than that ... it should be a repentant action as I acknowledge my poor eating or overeating as sin.  The pastor is required to be temperate in Titus 1.  Temperance is the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, especially his sensual appetites.  Ha! it is just the pastor, right?  No, it is also a fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5).  Therefore, if I am not mastering my lust and desire for food ... it is sin and not an evidence of a spirit-filled life.  The deacon's wife is to be "faithful in all things."  She is to be trustworthy and objective.  Am I a faithful, trustworthy steward of the body that God gave me? (I Cor. 6:19-20 applies to all believers)  So I am working on being a faithful steward of the gift of life today, this week, this month ... and I hope that you will too.

I will also be working on typical household chores today.  3 loads of laundry are quickly drying outside, I need to make some more liquid laundry detergent, the sweet tea and homemade gatorade pitchers need refilling, I am working on crocheting a baby blanket, there are always Sunday School worksheets to prepare and music to practice for church.  I best get going.  ... TTFN (Ta Ta For Now)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Cornmeal Pancakes

Had a great day at church yesterday.  I was feeling very drained and was tempted to stay home, but went anyway.  The Lord truly blessed.  One of my favorite evangelists spoke in the evening service.  You see, I like cookies, and he puts the cookies on the bottom shelf.  The message was on truly living a contented Christian life -accepting God's plan with a thankful and contented heart.  This thought has been a great struggle for me as we struggle with infertility and its effect on where we thought God had called us.  Faith is a very hard path to follow, resting in God and not in self (even though we know that His ways are best) is difficult.  But I am recharged to "bloom where I am planted."  His way IS best!

I have mentioned before that we often have one night of the week that we have breakfast for dinner.  I found a recipe for cornmeal pancakes on the Yogurt container last week.  They cooked up moist, fluffy, substantial, and topped with peaches and strawberries - THEY were FABULOUS!

Cornmeal Pancakes
1 c flour
1/2 c cornmeal
3 TBSP sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 c raisins, plumped (I omitted because of the fresh fruit)
1 1/2 c vanilla yogurt
2 large eggs
1/4 c oil

1.  Mix dry ingredients in bowl ten stir in raisins.  Stir moist ingredients in another bowl and then stir into flour mixture until blended.
2.  Cook by 1/4 cupfuls (makes about a 3 1/2 inch cake)

Waiting for the skies to clear so that I can take a little walk.  So thankful for the rain this morning to water the garden and the browning lawn.

Friday, July 9, 2010

End of the week

Wow!  As I brought up the "blogger" today - I realized that I am on my 201st blog post!  Wow!  It hardly seems like 2 years have passed since I began and was talking about futue plans in NC and about deployment life and about packing and moving across country.

It is another warm one today in the entire US.  It is not encouraging when it is 75* at 4:30 in the morning.  I am thankful for the central air here which at least keeps it under 85 in the oven that we call our trailer.  Hubby was off to work at about 5 and so as soon as the sun was up, I was watering plants, hanging 2 loads of wash, and out for my walk.  Not too hot yet, but very humid and the temps are climbing!  Now I am finishing up my breakfast: toast with PB and blackberry jam, a cup of milk, and a cup of mixed fruit still a little frosty from the freezer.  There are just 2 pieces of Mango left ... they are my favorite.

No big plans for the weeend ... Seedline tonight where we put together Bibles to send to mission works around the world, cleaning day tomorrow and a free evening (so far), Church on Sunday.  Hoping the weather will be cooler (high 80's) tomorrow as they are predicting.

It is good to be back to blogging.  I enjoying sharing with you. 

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Funny Christians

See what kind of a Christian you are.  Visit Combat Katie here and take the test.


Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Two are better than one;
because they have a good reward for their labour.
For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow:
but woe to him that is alone when he falleth;
for he hath not another to help him up.

I am thankful today for my life's accountability partner.  I hope by now that you know that I have the utmost respect for marriage and for God's design in marriage.  I do not believe in belittling your spouse, I do not believe in "in-law" jokes ... I love being married to the one God gave to me and I appreciate him more and more each day.  God gave me a man who encourages me to be a better person.  I know of many a husband who does not give their wife an example of faithful Bible study.  I am encouraged each morning as hubby gets up an hour or so before me to spend time with the Lord.  There are many men who are afraid to encourage their wives in healthy pursuits (i.e. excercise and healthy eating), my husband wants me to have a long, fulfilling life and shares my workouts and cuts his sweets to support me.  Weekly my dear one asks me how my Bible memorization is coming and if I want to recite some for him.  Dearest also encourages me in difficult pursuits, spurring me on when I just want to quite (can anyone say - violin?)  Not all of my readers are married, but I do hope that you have someone who leads you to a higher standard for yourself.  If you do have a life's mate, I hope you are developing open communication that allows constructive help and encouragement in Biblical living.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

"Teachers of Good Things"

Titus 2:3
The aged women likewise,
that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness,
... teachers of good things;

I have been thinking again this week about the traits that God's woman should have.  Yesterday was a long day at home, I missed my hubby and began wishing that I was teaching again, I wished that God had not commanded a woman to be a "keeper at home."  How am I to teach good things if I have few opportunities for it?  I had already been dwelling on this verse for other reasons and continue to come back to the fact that my life can teach louder than my words in a "teaching" setting.  Am I disciplined in my time, activities, Bible study, Bible memory, eating, physical exercise?  Am I disciplined with joy?  Am I careful in my daily duties to present an orderly home?  Am I peaceful in my sphere or do I let the cares of the day sway me?  Think of the women that taught you the most.  Was it simply their words or did they teach by example?

Today I have a little more laundry.  I pulled the remaining beets, but I think that they will just go with dinner rather than being processed.  Hubby gave me a list of minor tasks and then I think that I will work on Sunday School curriculum today.  Have a good day wherever God has placed you!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Enjoying the Morning

Psalm 5:3
My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD;
in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

I am far from a morning person.  I would rather stay up late and get up around 8 or 9 in the morning, but the Lord is teaching me to enjoy mornings.  The climate around here aids in pushing me out of bed: any outdoor exercise must be done before the heat of the day, the garden needs water before the heat, and if there are to be any baked goods in the house ... that too should be done before the little trailer itself is an oven.  As hubby leaves for work at 6:15,  I try to get the day started.  I have 2 loads of wash out, have baked hubby a peach-plum pie, have walked for 30 minutes and have thoroughly enjoyed the quiet of this morning.  I love my morning walks ... it is then that I work on verse memory and prayer ... 30 minutes of uninterrupted prayer and meditation on God's Word.  Perhaps this is why the Psalmist enjoyed the mornings as well.  Do you have a peaceful time for reading, praying, studying, and meditating?  It is hard for most wives and especially for mothers ... there are so many demands on your time ... perhaps a half hour before the first soul stirs in the house would charge you for the day.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Biltmore Vacation

We took our summer vacation this year to one of the only "touristy" places in our area.  We visited the Biltmore estate.  It is a huge home and gardens built with the money of the well known Vanderbilts.  I spent much of my childhood in Hyde Park, NY which is home to another Vanderbilt family, but this far exceeded that property.  We had a wonderful time being away and spending time wandering the trails of the property and thinking about the vanity of earthly riches - we just can't take it with us!

Hubby also enjoyed having the time to fiddle with the camera.  Though the gardens were a little sparce because of the heat of the summer, there were some remaining blossoms fighting it out in the high 90 temperatures.  Some of them were looking a little better than I was! I am still not completely acclimated.
Then hubby humored me.  We had been seeing a lot of engagement pictures posted on the internet.  We never had any taken (maybe because our engagement was so short).  We may be 8 years late (May 14, 2002), ... but here are some fun pictures that we took while on the grounds at the Biltmore. 

Well, I guess this last one couldn't be an engagement picture, but it was still fun!
The last day of vacation, we drove up the Blue Ridge Parkway (about to the top of NC) and then stopped at Mount Airy (aka Mayberry) - the childhood home of Andy Griffeth.  They have refurbished some of the scenery from the show, barber shop, sheriffs office, Garage for a tourism boost. 
Now we are back in the saddle.  Hubby is beginning work to get ahead before the semester starts and I am trying to keep the garden producing in the heat and dryness and hope to be canning again soon.

Celebrating our Freedom!

The fourth of July is a great holiday.  It is good to remember and to appreciate the blessings of God on our country and the freedoms that we still enjoy today.  I enjoy the patriotic hymns and the family get-togethers.  It has a new face since I married 8 years ago.  After living the military life for 6 years, I realize more (though not completely) the price of the freedoms that I enjoy.  The Star-Spangled Banner's second verse brings tears to my eyes as I think of those who stand "between their loved homes and the war's desolation."  There are many families who were separated this weekend, because they believe in freedom and are willing to sacrifice for my family. 

The holiday also becomes more sober as I think of the fact that there is little left that God should bless.  We have left Him out of so much of our lives.  We have relegated Him to one day or lumped Him with false gods in an effort to "just get along."  America is no longer a Christian nation and unless she turns back in revival, there is little to look forward to in her future.

I love America and am glad to be a citizen of the greatest country in the world, while still weeping at the fact that we have left behind many of the principles that she was founded on.

Back at the computer

Well, I said goodbye to Facebook this morning and invited all of my friends to keep updated with me on my blog ... SO I AM BACK!  It has been tough adjusting to the summer schedule and the computer has been SO SLOW recently, but I will try to be more disciplined and more patient.

It is Monday ... so I try to share a recipe.  Hubby challenged me to try to get through all the "stockpiles" of canned goods and the food in the freezer to save on the summer budget and to start fresh later this summer, so cooking has been more of an adventure so far this summer.  I did discover an AWESOME chicken marinade for the grill.

Peanut Butter Chicken

1/2 c peanut butter
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/4 c white wine vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
1/4 c soy sauce
1/4 c lemon juice
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp chili powder or crused red pepper flakes
2 tsp ground ginger
2 garlic cloves
2 lbs chicken breasts

Combine all but chicken in blender and blend until sppon adding a few drops of water if mixture is too thick.  Place in glass dish or resealable plastic bag with chicken.  Turn to coat.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Drain chicken and discard marinade.  Grill!  Delicious!