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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Time Off

While hubby has 3 weeks off from classes, he only gets a brief break from work on the farm.  We will be resting and relaxing this week after a busy weekend and semester.  I'll be back in the new year.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I wish you all a very merry Christmas!  I hope that your focus will be on the Christ who is the reason for Christmas.  I hope that if you have not trusted Him as your Savior that you will turn from your sin and believe in His death, burial, and resurrection that allows you a home in heaven one day.  I hope that if you are away from the Lord that you will confess your sins and return to live a righteous life before Him.

Hubby and I will be spending the day at a conference for some men from South Sudan.  Hubby and 3 other men will be presenting the gospel all day.  Our prayer is for their salvation and that they would return to South Sudan to evangelize their own people.  Will you pray with us?  They will also be in services at church tomorrow.  Both pastor and hubby will again present evangelistic messages.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Simplifed Christmas

I am so thankful this week that hubby has helped me to simplify our celebration of Christmas.  While the decorations, the music, the cards, the family and friend get-to-gethers are wonderful, what is important is the celebration of the the birth of a Saviour - Christ the Lord.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Trying to Maintain Calm

Do you get frayed during this season?  It happens easily to me.  I lost a lot of the stress when the children's program was completed on Sunday night, but there were still cookies to bake for the work place, a conference to help with this weekend, shopping to finish, and the housework to keep up on.  It doesn't matter the season, it seems that the mundane easily draws my attention from the things that matter most.

The Lord often has to remind me to focus on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, virtuous, and praiseworthy.  (Philippians 4:8)

Is your focus in the proper place?  This is the celebration of Christ's birth.  He was born to die that I might be saved from the wages of my sin.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Planted and Producing

Psalm 9:13-14
Those that be planted in the house of the LORD
shall flourish in the courts of our God.
They shall still bring forth fruit in old age;
they shall be fat and flourishing.

My sister-in-law stitched the first verse of this pair for our wedding.  I read it again this week.  The second verse jumped out.  It has been a tough season with pregnancy announcements, births, and updates on growing families in Christmas cards and letters.  God promises that if I dwell in Him, I will bring forth fruit in old age.  While it may not be His plan to provide the physical fruit that my heart desires, it may be spiritual fruit for His kingdom which is far more valuable.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Baking

It used to be so easy to get rid of the holiday baking.  With a whole boatload (correction "ship"load) of sailors, I could cook and bake everyday and I could send it immediately to the crew.  I have been baking this week, but for the workers at the farm.  There are not 100's of workers there, so there are extras around the house ... many are going in the freezer.  I began making this recipe for hubby while out to see - molasses cookies keep well and ship well.  I love these because of he cayenne which gives a little kick to the already spicy cookie.

Molasses Crinkles

2 1/4 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c veg. shortening
1/4 c unsalted butter, softened
1 c dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 c molasses (not black strap or barbados)
granulated sugar for tops of cookies

Mix flour, soda, and spices in bowl.
Beat shortening, butter, brown sugar until pale and fluffy.  Add egg and molasses, beating until combined.  Mix in flour mixture until combined.
Preheat oven to 375*
Roll 1 heaping tsp of cough into a 1 inch ball with wet hands, then dip 1 end of ball in sugar.  Place sugared side up 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake 10-12 minutes.  Cool 1 minute on sheets.  Cool completely on racks.

Friday, December 17, 2010

YOJ?


For my brothers ...

the tradition continues ...

I never thought my own husband would "torment" me with my "JOY" blocks.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Celebrating!

4 Down and 2 To Go!

Today hubby had his last final for the semester.  Hopefully at this time next year, the school years will be behind us!  Celebrating tonight with some Cranberry Ginger Ale, a tin of popcorn, and Miracle on 34th Street.  Maybe we will go out a look at Christmas lights as well!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Giving Of Ourselves

Romans 16:6
Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us.

I just began a new "wifey book."  I try to get at least one each time I order hubby's books for the coming semester.  I chose Building Her House by Nancy Wilson.  I would love to sit down and devour it, but I must keep up with other responsibilities.  I did read a chapter entitled "Loving Labor."  During this season of giving, it was a great reminder.  Sometimes we, especially as women, are busy serving and doing for others but we miss the heart of the action.  We might serve out of necessity; We might serve grudgingly.  Our service in the home, church, and community should be an act of love that points to our great God and Savior  I know that I needed this attitude adjustment.  I need to wholeheartedly bestow my service.

Are you tired and weary today?  Think of your service as a gift.  Will it be given in a trash bag?  Will it be a half-hearted gift?  or will it be a beautiful gift tied off with a beautiful bow?  Will the response of the recipient be all the thanks that is needed?  

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Southwestern Corn Chowder

Hubby was so sweet today.  He requested a nice warm soup for supper.  Easy enough.  As I started digging through the cookbooks looking for a recipe that I had all the ingredients for, he said, "What are you doing?  I thought that you would just open a can!"  He wanted to save me time and effort.  I found a super easy soup instead and saved the cans for a rushed lunch.  This recipe grabbed my attention because it had basic ingredients that I typically have in house; it also was a chowder without a milk base (good for lactose intolerant hubbies).

 Southwestern Corn Chowder

1 lb chicken breast cut into cubes
1 med onion, diced
1 T oil
2 tsp cumin
2 cans chicken broth
1 pkg frozen corn (10 oz)
3/4 c picante sauce (I used salsa)
1/2 c chopped sweet red pepper
1/2 c chopped green pepper
2 T minced fresh cilantro (or 2 tsp dried)
2 T cornstarch
2 T water
shredded Monterey Jack cheese, opt.

In 3 qt. saucepan, cook chicken and onion i oil until chicken juices run clear.  Stir in cumin.  Add broth, corn, and picante sauce.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes.  Stir in pepper and cilantro.

Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into soup.  Bring to a boil cook and stir for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened.  Spoon into bowls; top with cheese if desired.

1 c = 164 cal (without cheese)

I also thought that this would be good with 1/2 of the chicken and a can of black beans ... maybe next time.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Trying to Warm Up

It's a cold one for NC.  There is actually a little snow on the back porch right now.  By little, I mean, a few large flakes in the cracks closest to the house.  It was nice to see it in the air last night as we drove home from church.

I did get the laundry out in this frigid weather without losing my fingers.  Now on to so warm tasks.  I have some TVP chili in the crockpot and a loaf of bread that is trying to rise.  Maybe there will be a batch of cookies as well for a Final Exam Study Session tonight.  Yes, we are to finals week  ...  then only 2 more semesters, Lord willing.

Now onto Christmas cards ... I am always a little slow on these ... it is a little hard to get motivated to assemble Christmas cards in the summer :)

Have a great day!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Are they crazy?

Some people don't have to drive 2 hours to find some snow.  Here is the view outside my parent's home in NY about 2 hours ago.  It used to be their back porch.  They live in "snow country" receiving lake effect snow off of Lake Erie each winter.  They have between 3 and 4 feet outside.  Can you see the top of the grandkids' swing set?  Maybe hubby and I are not as crazy as those who live in areas like this!  Despite this, we hope to catch some of this NY snow soon with the family!

This picture makes me thankful for God's provision of a home and heat during the chilly winter days.  This morning I have a cup of Vanilla Bean Latte to warm the inside and 2 pine scented candles burning to give a cozy feel to the place.  One more trip to the clothesline to hang out clothes and then I can do some indoor tasks ... ironing and some editing and some Sunday School Christmas program work.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

BRRRRRR!

I just came in from hanging wash on the line.  It was 18* this morning here in Shelby.  That is cold for these parts and I guess that it is supposed to stick with us for awhile.  We are thankful for the sunshine that has accompanied the cold to help to keep the little trailer warm during the day - it was not constructed for cold temps.

Here is a peek at one of my projects from last week.  I think that it may be one of the smallest clothing items that I have constructed.  The fabric was a soft corduroy.  I made "matching" dresses for my 2 year old and almost 12 year old nieces.  Then I sewed a jean skirt for the older of the two.  I must say that it was odd to try on my niece's clothes to make sure that they will fit her.

Of course I am thinking about Christmas and am especially thinking about Mary this week after a message on Sunday.  I am pondering the fact that it seems as if she never tried to justify herself in the eyes of her betrothed.  In the Biblical record, it is not presented that Mary told Joseph of the visit from the angel, but an angel appeared to Joseph as well and explained his part in God's plan.  I don't know if she truly accepted the stigma and the criticisms silently, but it makes me contemplate my attitude in the home, church, and community.  Do I seek to justify myself, to have the last word, to always be "right?"  Again, it is part of that struggle that I have with pride.  "Not I, but Christ."

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

a Savior's humility

There are many in Christian circles who do not enjoy the carols of the season.  They believe that the focus is too much on the baby and not enough on the Cross of Calvary.  I personally love the songs of this time of year and their focus on a Saviour who would leave all to come to earth, to become a man (while still fully God), in order to redeem a fallen race (that includes me!)  I have found that while there are some "weak" carols, many do portray Christ's purpose in coming and tell the complete story of his birth, life, and death.

Today I woke up humming "Once in Royal David's City" which is part of the Christmas program that the church children will present in another week and a half.  His humility while still being God is emphasized.

He came down to earth from heaven,
Who is God and Lord of all,
And His shelter was a stable;
and his cradle was a stall.
With the poor, and meek, and lowly,
Lived on earth our Savior holy.

The biggest problem we have in our home is pride.  We want things done our way.  We can't understand why others would do things differently.  Our pride is hurt by other's words or actions.  Christ came as the supreme example of humility. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Are we CRAZY?

Just got back from a date with my sweetheart.
***
We heard that there was snow in Boone, NC.
****
Just had to go find it!
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Just about 2 hours up and a couple more home :)
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The little red Focus looks like a Yankee car for the moment
 - all covered with salt or sand!
I LOVE IT!