Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Memorization and Meditation

I have been challenged to get back to faithful Bible memory.
Friends and family asking me how the memory is going,
Asking how many books I have committed to memory now.
Total strangers challenging me by starting their own plans.
I had definitely fallen away from faithful, consistent memory and review.
I think that sometimes I try to bite off more than I can chew.
You know, too much ... too fast.
I also have to be more disciplined to rise earlier to give it the time that it needs.
So my goal is to learn the book of Galatians in a year's time.
Three verses a week should do it.
I am reviewing the book of James as well.
I love that book - so practical.
There are 17 "little" books in the New Testament.
I guess that will keep me busy for the next 17 years :)
That is a great way to work to keep the mind and spirit STRONG!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Black Beans and Corn with Salsa Dressing

I mentioned that were having company on Saturday night.  I was making Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas - a recipe that I received from a friend in Washington.  I love the enchiladas, but they do look a little boring on a plate, so I needed a bright side dish.  This cold salad fit the bill and balanced out the spice of the the green chilies in the enchiladas.  Hubby said that it was a "keeper" and that is good enough for me.  I like it because it can be made ahead to help the entertaining go smoother.

Black Beans and Corn with Salsa Dressing

1 - 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 c cooked whole kernel corn
1 red sweet pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (3/4 c)
1 celery stalk with leaves, sliced (2/3 cup)
1 T snipped cilantro or parsley
1 recipe Salsa Dressing (below)
(combine 1/4 c plain yogurt, 1/4 c mayonnaise, and 1/4 c salsa)
1/2 of a medium avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced (optional)

Combine beans, corn, sweet pepper, celery, and cilantro. 
Add dressing. 
Toss to coat. 
Cover; chill 2-24 hours. 
Garnish with avocado slices. 
(6 side dish servings)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Promising Day

After a lot of gray and rain this week,
today promises to be a beautiful day.

High in the 50's with sunshine!

Working on tract distribution with the ladies this morning.
Hanging laundry out.
Perhaps finishing leaf removal from underneath the trees.
Preparing for some company tonight ... think Mexican food!

Looking forward to services tomorrow.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Is this Winter?

Been amazingly warm this winter.

I have the windows open today while I clean,
and the temperature inside is staying at about 68!

Seems hopeless to wish for snow,
but we have been known to see the white stuff in February and March.
Maybe, maybe, maybe ...
Most families can afford
to do without
the wonderful household necessities
no family can afford
to be without.

* You might have to read this twice :) *
It all comes back to perspective and contentment.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Today I am thankful for the things that fill a day.

the cleaning project,

the sewing project,

the meals to prepare,

the music lessons to teach,

the people to visit,

even the time of exercise :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I just hate when things are broken.
I have been wrestling with a computer with issues this week.
Absolutely no fun!
Then there is the broken glass while I am trying to get dinner together ...
or the broken clothespin ...
or the broken pipes ...
fill in the blank with your trial.

All of these broken things are of no use unless they are fixed.
A broken object needs just to be thrown out.

And yet, that is what my Savior wants.
A broken spirit.
A humble heart.
I know that I posted this verse last week, as well.
But it is still having an impact on me.
It is not about me ... or you ...
God must have reign in ALL things.

Psalm 51:17
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit:
a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Good Behavior

1 Samuel 18:14
And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways;
and the LORD was with him.

Have this verse running through my mind.
Working to learn a song based on this text.
Hopefully will teach it to the kiddos at church.
It is quite the inspiration for my actions today.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Another Dip

Hubby is a dip fanatic (perhaps that is why he loves me!)  He would be happy with pretzels and dip, bread and dip, crackers and dip for every meal!  I did not grow up as a dip lover, but have found some favorites.  I thought the only dips were sour cream and onion or blue cheese - neither of which are a personal favorite.  Here is one I discovered a few years ago and used at a Christmas party this year (due to the red and green specks - which could be changed with the holiday/season).  This is another of Kraft foods "winners."

Parmesan Confetti Dip

1 c sour cream
1/2 c grated parmesan cheese
1/2 c mayo
1/2 c each finely chopped green and red peppers
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Mix all ingredients.  Cover.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serve with pretzels, wheat thins, veggies ...

Friday, January 20, 2012

When one door closes, another opens;
but we often look so long and so regretfully
upon the closed door
that we do not see the one which has opened for us.

– Alexander Graham Bell

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Students and Warmth

This week I am thankful for 3 new piano students who are beginning lessons today.

I am also thankful for a new building to teach the lessons in.

I am also thankful for the second vehicle to get to the lessons.

We have been using an area church and have tried not to use lights or heat.

This has become a "trial" on these cold, winter evenings.

Today we start in a new building ... with LIGHTS AND HEAT!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Contentment makes poor men rich;
discontent makes rich men poor.

- Benjamin Franklin
It is possible.
And it depends on my attitude not my circumstances.
"...and be content with such things as ye have."
"for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I Know Where I Stand

Isn't it frustrating when you don't know where you stand?
Perhaps you are trying to figure out what pleases an employer.
Perhaps your children have said, "I didn't understand what you wanted!"
Perhaps you are unsure of the state of a present friendship.

God leaves no doubt as to what He wants from His children.
He wants my humble heart.
What a difference humility makes in my home,
in my friendships,
in my church,
in my attitude ...

Psalm 51:15-17
O Lord, open thou my lips;
and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
For thou desirest not sacrifice;
else would I give it:
thou delightest not in burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit:
a broken and a contrite heart, O God,
thou wilt not despise.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Easy Bake Cheddar Biscuits

My hubby could live on biscuits (I think).  In that area, I guess he belongs in the south.  One perk of eating at Red Lobster is their Cheddar Bay Biscuits and these certainly come close.  It is the butter that makes these SOOO good.  They are best served with a lite meal.  This recipe was originally printed in a Kraft Magazine.  I think I will be making these later in the week to serve with Lentils and Rice.

Easy Bake Cheddar Biscuits

1 c flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c cold butter, cubed
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 c milk
(for the true Red Lobster taste - I add some garlic powder too)

Mix flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, sugar, and salt (and garlic powder) in medium bowl.
Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Stir in Cheese.
Add milk; stir until mixture forms a soft dough.

Place on lightly floured surface; knead 8-10 times or until smooth.
Pat out dough into 6 inch square.  Cut into 9 squares.
Place on greased baking sheet.

Bake at 450* for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Do You Know Me?

* I am the only daughter in my family.
* I have 3 Brothers, 7 Sisters-in-law, and 4 Brothers-in-law
* I have more than 2 dozen nieces and nephews.
* I was born in New Hampshire.
* I lived 21 years in NY.
* I love NY snows.
* I lived 7 years in FL.
* I love the snow-white beaches of Pensacola.
* I lived 4 years in WA.
* I love the rocky west coast.
* I have lived 3 years in NC.
* I am still trying to figure out what to love about NC!
* You can hear my NY accent when I say "Caw-fee."
* I love "cawfee" - with flavored creamers.
* I am a nervous person.
* I used to be blond.
* I started to go gray in high school.
* I collected Precious Moments figurines as a girl ...
my favorite .. the Nativity set from my parents and my hubby.
* My first job was as a book shelver at a public library.
* I never worked fast food.
* I hate talking on the phone.
* I worked 2 years in college as a phone operator LOL.
* I had to be forced to get my driver's license.
* I never owned an automatic and have trouble driving them.
* My first car was an '89 Ford Escort passed down from my parents.
* My second car was a deep purple '98 Dodge Neon.  (It was a Barbie car)
* I briefly shared a Ford F-150 ... that was fun!
* My current cars are a 2003 Ford Focus and a Ford Ranger.
* I was an Education Major.
* I love school - both teaching and learning new things.
* I love teaching "littles" - ages 3-5.
* My first class of 4 year olds should have graduated in 2010.
* I love Winnie the Pooh (and Tigger, too)
* I love Fisher Price Little People ... too cute
* I love music.
* I play 4 instruments at differing levels.
* I always wished that I could sing bass.
* ... or that I played a low instrument.
*I prefer real Christmas trees.
*I have studied 3 languages (4 if "y'all" count Southern)
* I love cold mornings and warm beds.
* If it is cold, I think that there should be snow.
* Favorite Restaurant: Olive Garden
* My real favorite restaurant is the Melting Pot - but it is only for VERY special occasions.
* Favorite Holiday: Valentine's Day!
* I love breakfast (any time of the day)
* I love my KitchenAid Mixer.
* I am a chocoholic who abstains from chocolate.
* I now have to limit caramels and marshmallows.
* Favorite Dessert: Cheesecake
* I don't like cake ...
I typically have an ice cream cake for my birthday
* I am not afraid to eat dessert first - or as a meal.
* Favorite Food: Spaghetti (also turkey or scalloped potatoes with ham)
* I gained 20 lbs in my 1st year of marriage.
* I lost 35 lbs in the next 2 years of marriage.
* I have a love/hate relationship with exercise.
* I love Yankee Candle.
* I love Bath and Body Works.
* Basically, I love pleasant scents.
* I love gardening.
* Favorite flower: lilacs
* ... enjoy roses too!
* My mood lifts considerably after mowing the lawn.
* I married the only guy I ever dated :)
* I married my best friend.
* My first kiss was on my wedding day.
* We honeymooned in Bar Harbor, Maine (or Bah Hahbah - as the locals say).
* I want to be a newlywed forever.
* I once made a "wish" list of my perfect mate which included
a military man and a man in the ministry ... I got both
* I introduced my hubby to classical music.
* I am 4 years older then my hubby.
* I was a student wife for 3 years.
* I was a Navy wife for 6 years.
* I spent nearly 1/2 of my first 6 years of marriage away from my hubby.
* My hubby missed only 1 Christmas at home, but numerous birthdays.
* An aircraft carrier whistle is the happiest and saddest sound ever.
It is blown as they pull away and as they pull in!
* My hubby spoils me.
* I love children and hoped to have 12 (all boys).
* God had other plans for my life which include a struggle with infertility.
* I never lived overseas.
* I am solar-powered. (I get a lot more done on sunny days)
* I love Seattle weather from May through September.  Can you say mild and SUNNY?
* I believe that rainy days were meant for napping.
* I love any weather that calls for sweaters or sweatshirts.
* I think toe socks are fun.
* I am usually cold.
* Favorite Season: Autumn (close second - spring)
* I love the smell of line-dried laundry.
* I recycle greeting cards.
* I compost.
* I prefer mountain vacations to beach vacations.
* I love to walk and hike.
* I love a warm campfire (with marshmallows, of course)
* Favorite hotel: Hampton Inn (great beds and awesome breakfast)
* I love Kim Anderson photos (or quality knockoffs)
* Favorite Store:  Lowes
* I love sparkles ... cards, nail polish, clothes...
* I am not artistic. 
* Favorite Zoo Animal: Otter
* I am usually a home body.
* I complete the newspaper puzzles almost every day.
Sudoku, crossword, and jumble
* Favorite Color(s):  deep, rich jewel tones
* I am a people-watcher.
* I still use dial-up.
* I enjoy sharing in the "Blog-o-sphere"

Friday, January 13, 2012


Does it ever seem as if normalcy is a state of abnormalcy?

I expected to be back to homemaking routines for the past two weeks.

Instead, I was searching for tool sales and shopping for used cars.

The tool box is stocked.

The little truck will be picked up tonight.


My normal routine will have the typical cooking, cleaning, and laundry ...

... but I am still working on Hebrew and Greek as well ...

... and only 1 more month until the peas can be planted ...

...You know how that thrills me : )

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Closed Doors

Don't you just hate a closed door?
You are trying to get somewhere, do something ...
... and something lies in your way.

This week, I am thankful for those closed doors.

For weeks, we have been searching for a "new to us" vehicle.
Doors were shut in every direction and we began to grow weary ...
... and to doubt if God really wanted us to have a second vehicle.
In the waiting time, we re-evaluated our needs and what we truly wanted in a car.
(most people might scoff - but we wanted a 2wd,  5 speed,
 with manual windows and manual locks)
The problem was that we were knocking on the wrong doors.
We were searching for things that we did not need.

And then, the right door opened.
The vehicle on our appropriate wish list.
2006 Ford Ranger Regular Cab

How many times does God have to show Himself ...
before I rest in Him for all things at all times?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


 Luke 17:32
Remember Lot's wife.

Such a small character in the Genesis 19 account.
She is not even given a name in Genesis.
Yet such a lesson to all of us, especially as women.

Why are we to remember Lot's wife?

I see two possible applications.

Don't love the world and the trappings of the world more than God.
Lot's wife ignored the warnings of the heavenly messenger to "not look behind."
The things in Sodom mattered more to her than her relationship with God.

Pass on a godly heritage to your children ... NOW!
This is not a passive activity. 
It takes work, perseverance, and rarely follows the path of least resistance.
While Mrs. Lot's daughters and her sons-in-laws laughed at Lot,
I see that a mother failed at her job as well.
The father leads in the home,
but the mother has the majority of the time to teach and train the children.
Perhaps she looked back longingly at her own children burning in Sodom.
She had missed her chance to teach ... and lost her own life as well.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Friends

I started this blog to share pictures with my hubby while he was deployed.

Soon it developed into a way to keep friends and family aware of our "doings."

It has become more.
The blogger allows me to see that readers "stop in" from
Russia, Germany, Latvia, England, India, Canada ...
No, it doesn't tell me your name.
(though you could let me know that you stopped by with a comment)

I am not sure why they stop.

Perhaps they are looking for a recipe,
perhaps a verse,
perhaps a song,
perhaps just surfing blogspot,
perhaps a friend from college serving overseas.

For whatever reason, I am glad that you are here.
I am glad to share in your day.

Monday, January 9, 2012

General Update

We enjoyed our visit with our PA/WA friends.
We convinced them to stay with us on Friday night so we could visit more.
Missed seeing the middle 3 kiddos.
Maybe next time!


Hubby has finished 4 days at his new job.
He is enjoying it.
His heart is still in preaching,
but he is enjoying this in between opportunities to preach.


Feels strange not to be planning a homework schedule today.
Classes begin today ... but no Bickish representatives at ABC.

Currently considering becoming a 2 car family again.
Mixed emotions on that one.
Will love the flexibility in my shopping schedule.
Fear that we will do things apart from each other more often.


Clothes are hanging inside today.
It is a drippy, gray day.
Don't mind the extra humidity in the dry house though.
... and the smell of laundry when the forced air is on!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Not In My Place

Do you know where your place is?

I have lots of places!

It is Saturday morning and I should be on door-to-door with hubby,
but I am home resting, trying to avoid a full onslaught of a
nasty bug that has been going around the county.

I HATE being out of my place.

That dislike is coupled with my parent's teaching,
that if I am too sick to do what I am supposed to do,
then I am too sick to do what I want to do.
Since I can't go out on door-to-door,
I won't get to go shopping this afternoon either.
Do you follow that principle as well?
That teaching kept us in school,
because when we were too sick to go to school,
we were too sick to watch t.v. all day :)
(Thanks for the teaching, mom and dad!)

I have other places to be though.
Church on Sunday and Wednesday.
In my home throughout the week trying to be the wife that God intended me to be.
Teaching piano lessons on Wednesday and Thursday nights.
It is easy to get distracted from serving in my place.

Hope to be well enough to be in my place tomorrow morning!
Will you be in yours?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Feeling At Home

Do you have those friends that you can just drop in on any time?

Those people who just take you in as family?

One of those families is visiting our area today.

My Washington family (now located in PA) ...
....the ones who celebrated my birthday,
... and Christmas,
...and any other holiday that hubby was deployed for,
... the tears, the laughs.

building hubby's carrier ... a few years ago

It will be good to visit for awhile.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Mind of A Nose

Psalm 104:24
O LORD, how manifold are thy works!
in wisdom hast thou made them all:
the earth is full of thy riches.

I was reminded this week to be thankful for the great design of our human bodies.
It never ceases to amaze me that the smell of ham and/or coffee
takes me to my grandma's house in Western NY.
The smell of PineSol takes me to a girls camp in the Adirondack Mountains.
As a Navy wife, a trip to the Quick Lube for an oil change could set me in tears
for the smell of the mechanics shop would remind me of my hubby far away.
I was reminded of that this week as hubby came home from the shop -
the scent of fuels, oils, and fluids was in the air (and the laundry) again -
a reminder of 10 years ago when I first met this handsome, young, grease monkey :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Thoughts on Contentment

“If we have not quiet in our minds,
outward comfort will do no more for us
than a golden slipper on a gouty foot.”
*John Bunyan*

Contentment is a choice of the will and the mind.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Back on Track

Hubby is starting his new job today. 
A little bit of nervous excitement this morning.
There is also the excitement of being back to a routine and a new schedule.
Our "stay-cation" was lovely,
but after 2-3 weeks of very little discipline,
it is good to get back on course!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Word of the Year: Contentment

adj. \kən-ˈten-təd\

:feeling or showing satisfaction with one's
possessions, status, or situation

*** *** *** *** *** ***
Learning to wait peacefully for God to open and shut doors.
 Philippians 4:11
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned,
in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

I Timothy 6:8
And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

 Hebrews 13:5
Let your conversation be without covetousness;
and be content with such things as ye have:
for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee

I Timothy 6:6
But godliness with contentment is great gain.

*** *** *** ***

Been working on this for awhile, but more so since hubby's graduation.
Not struggling with "possessions,"  but rather an acceptance of God's will
in my "status" and "situation."

BTW: the idea for a word of the year came from my aunt at 4:53am