Monday, October 31, 2011

Pumpkin Butter

I have had the weekend off from cooking.  We had leftover turkey, pork, and miscellaneous baked goods to eat up.  It was a nice break after cooking for nine (and to think that some people do that every day!)  The chocolate muffins with mint chip were a HUGE success. 

Our pastor's wife recently shared with us her pumpkin butter recipe.  She serves it on sour dough bread, but we have enjoyed it on a lot of baked goods!  I have not tried making it ... yet ... but I have some frozen pumpkin as well as 3 pumpkins outside that may make good candidates for such an undertaking.

Pumpkin Butter - Crockpot

8 C - Pumpkin Puree
2 C - White Sugar
2 C - Brown Sugar
2 TBS Lemon Juice
1 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Ground ginger
1/4 tsp Ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. All spice
her secret ingredient - a dash of liquid cinnamon (found in the candy or cake decorating aisle)

Cook in Crockpot on low for 4 hours.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Turn it On!

Well, the season of super low electric bills is over.  I think that this may be a record for us.  We made it until October 29, 2011 before the heat had to be turned on.  We missed our goal by just 3 days!  We have had some cold mornings before now, but today the sun did not help as much during the day.

Hubby took me walking a local trail today so we could enjoy the changing fall leaves and just enjoy a hike together.  It was a beautiful day.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Alone Again

Well, all of our extra guests have left.  It is amazing the difference that 7 extra people will make in a home that is used to just two.  We had a delightful time catching up with a brother, sister-in-law, 2 nieces, a nephew, and my parents.  The Lord gave beautiful sunny days and gave safety on the roads over many miles travelled.  We had a picnic one day and enjoyed the beautiful fall foliage. 

But now we are alone again.  The extra beds, mattresses, and pads are rolled up, the dirty towels are washed and dried, and it is QUIET!  Time to think of hitting the books again ... fall break is almost over.

Monday, October 24, 2011

October Thanksgiving

I will be signing off for about a week.  Some family is coming in and we will be celebrating Thanksgiving this week.  It will be a busy week and a full house.  The house has been cleaned and some baking done ahead for quick and easy breakfasts.  Just have to do the last minute straightening and moving our personal belongings out of the way.  Here is one of the make-aheads that I did.  I am not sure if my guests will get any or not ... because hubby is REALLY enjoying them.

Ultra Chocolate Muffins

1 1/2 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c apple juice (I had to substitute water here)
1/4 c water
1/4 c butter, melted
1 T vinegar (any type)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c chocolate chips (I used a combination of mint and dark chocolate)

In mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients.  Stir.  In separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients.  Mix well. 
Add wet to the dry and add chips.  Mix until blended, but be careful not to over mix. 
Pour into greased or paper-lined muffin tins.  Bake at 375* for 18 minutes.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"Faith never knows where it is being led,
but it loves and knows the One who is leading."

~ Oswald Chambers ~

Noah did not understand rain, but built an ark anyway; Abraham and Sarah could not understand how they could have a son in old age, but they believed God's promise;  Moses' parents did not understand how their little one could survive the Pharoah's edict, but they hid him anyway ... .  Times of trial and testing, if viewed properly, will lead us closer to our Heavenly Father than ever before.  It is such a battle to take my mind and hands off of the problems and to leave ALL in His hands.  Faith would not be faith if I could see it or if it followed human logic! :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Budget Shopping

I am certainly no pro at saving money, but I have read a number of books and subscribed to a number of deal seeking web sites in the effort to be a better home economist.  Our local site (put out by a Christian associated with the college here) is .  The more comprehensive nationwide site is .  Many times in the past three years, hubby and I have remarked that if I had known during our 4 years in Washington what I know now, it is possible that he would not have had to work at all while going to school.  There are so many games to play and ways to save money. I used to be embarrased to use coupons!  Imagine that!

This year, I have tried to do much of my Christmas shopping throughout the year using coupons, clearance racks, and free credits from online sites.  I have a growing extended family and this experiment is allowing me to acknowledge each one without breaking the bank ... and hopefully allows me to still have some funds to send them a box at Valentine's Day (that's something fun that is unique to this aunt).  One King's Lane is one such site offering gifts for the home... they are currently giving a $15 free credit when you sign up.  While this is not the best deal I have found (because the credit cannot apply to shipping - you still have to pay $4.95 shipping), it is profitable when you do alot of shopping online any way because you live in "the sticks!"  Plum District is giving $5 to 5 of my friends at this link .  I recently had a $10 credit with Plum District and when I didn't use it as promptly as they thought that I should, they ADDED $5 to it!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Faith and God's Omniscience

Will you allow me to be thankful again this week? :)

I am thankful that God knows all things.  We started a new Sunday School curriculum about 2 years ago.  The teachers chose what part of Scripture they wanted to begin with and from there we would follow a systematic approach to cover the Bible in 6 years.  So, we began the curriculum in Year 5 of the curriculum.  Coincidence?  No!  God's Plan.  He knew that I would need to be teaching Genesis this fall with an emphasis on the faith of these early Bible charaters.  He also ordained that in many of the chapel messages that I heard during the first weeks of the semester would be on faith and standing fast.  Abraham ... the three Hebrew children ...

I am so thankful that the Lord sends those reminders just about the time that I want to QUIT!
Keep praying!  We are still seeking God's direction after graduation.

P.S.  Much of the fall cleaning is done ... just the master bedroom and the catch-all room left!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Strength to do the Work!

I am reading in Jeremiah this week.  I was reminded while reading chapter 1 that God gives us the power, the strength, the words, the abilities to do what He has asked us to do.  Jeremiah had an excuse - he said that he could not speak, but God had an answer for him.

...Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.

I too often want to give God excuses: too busy ... too tired ... not my thing ... I am not a people person ... why don't you use "so-and-so."  I am continually amazed that God uses us in His service.  I am also amazed at the way He equips us to do things that we feel inept at doing.  I am slow at learning that it is not about me ... it is only about Him.  The more He pulls me from my comfort zone, the more I learn to rely on Him.

I am thankful for the resource of His strength that is available to me. 
I am thankful that He uses me in spite of myself.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Ha Isha Ha Tovah - The Good Wife

I am feeling more like myself this week.  Why?  Well, I am back in my home and back to being a wife.  The work at the fair was the best choice for my time last week and it was encouraging to see some of the results in church on Sunday; but, it is good to be back home.  Today, I edited some hubby school work and resumed the fall cleaning.  There is nothing like the feeling after a DEEP cleaning: clean curtains, clean throw pillows, clean walls, cobwebs cleared.  I still have a ways to go, but there is joy in the work - I love being a wife!

The title of the blog - just an example of what I am learning in Hebrew class.  We are over 160 vocabulary words now and hubby and I are able to speak short sentences to one another. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Beautiful Week

We had a brief "Cold-snap" last week.  It was a little hard to wake up and get going in a trailer that was about 55*.  I just can't bring myself to use heat this early in the fall.  I usually try to make it until my dad's birthday (10/15), but a friend a church is trying to make it to 11/1 ... so maybe I can make it that long.

I am thankful that this week has warmed up a bit.  The nights are still cool and perfect for sleeping, but the days allow us to throw open the windows and enjoy the day!  I am thankful for these months when the utility bills are a lot lower as well.

I am also thankful for strength.  It has been an exhausting week, but God is faithful.  I need to get out this morning and get my lawn mowed ... there are many folks who who would love to mow their own lawn and are unable to, but I have still have the strength.

I believe that today will be my last day standing in the booth at the fair.  Hubby will go on Saturday night.  The Spirit is working ... people need Jesus.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


We've been busy talking with people at the fair and handing out gospel literature this week.  One evening, after we finished, we walked around the fair itself.  I was struck by many things.  The fair - such vanity!  Everything is designed to feed the desires of the flesh.  Food!  Food!  Food!  Games!  Rides!  Lights!  Toys!  There were lights and sounds (or noise) everywhere!  It was easy to feel like a character at "Vanity Fair" in Pilgrim's Progress.  There were so many attractions and displays competing for my attention.  The distractions were also prevalent while standing in our fair booth.  It was frustrating to start presenting the gospel only to be interrupted by the vacuum salesmen, the clicking of the prize wheel at the Miracle Ear stand, or the smell of cooking from the KitchenCraft display. 

The fair is not the only place for distractions.

Proverbs 4:25
Let thine eyes look right on,
and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.

God knows our tendency to wander, to get distracted, and He gently reminds us not to lose focus.  What is leading you away from your quiet times with God?  from serving in some way in your church?  from sharing the gospel?  Don't be distracted by poor choices or even "good" choices.  Make the best choice today!  

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


All things work out for good, we know -
Such is God's great design;
He orders all our steps below
For purposes divine, For purposes divine.

This is the faith that keeps still,
No matter what the test,
And lets me glory in His will -
For well I know 'tis best.

So now the future holds no fear,
God guards the work begun;
And mortals are immortal here
Until their work is done.

Some day the path He chose for me
Will all be understood;
In heaven's clearer light I'll see
All things work'd out for good.

-John W. Peterson-

We sang this song on Sunday morning at church.  The words have been a real blessing to me.