Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wrench Rolls

AAHH!  A finished product!  I finished the last 4 rolls yesterday, while hubby used the first two at work.  He said that they worked great for him in the shop and that cheered this wife's heart.  He also managed to come up with more sewing projects on his wish list as he worked.  I was pleased with the effort, though I do wish I had put a little bit of stabilizer in the mat before sewing it up :)  I am wondering if there is some sewing course for mechanic's wives!

The peas, onions, and carrots went in yesterday.  There is nothing like the look of a freshly planted garden. 

We continue to work on our friend's tract and should have it published by the weekend.  The process is really so exciting when we think of the lives that may be changed by that small piece of paper.

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Righteous Consistency - this is hubby's goal for both of us this week (and our whole life). 

Are you up and down like a roller coaster? 
Do you dramatize EVERYTHING?  You know ... a drama queen! 
Are your decisions to serve God made in the moment and not in advance? 
Does "life" seem to get in the way of following God? 
Do you find problems, but not desire to be a part of the solutions?

All of these scenarios do not breed consistency and steadiness.  I desire to be doing right each and every day.  I desire that people expect it from me.  Will I fail?  Of course.  But, remember, if you aim at nothing ... you are bound to hit it!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Stop Looking at Everybody Else!

Luke 12:15
And he said unto them,
Take heed, and beware of covetousness:
for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance
of the things which he possesseth.

It sure is easy to get drawn away into lust and discontent and today's society.  We are surrounded by "toys" and gadgets all designed to make life easier - to keep me connected - to help me to stay in touch with EVERYONE!  Oh, do I battle it ... wouldn't it be great to blog on a cell phone while waiting for an appointment or waiting to give a piano lesson?  Wouldn't it be great to update our church website from home instead of using wi-fi in another location?  Wouldn't that Keurig make spur of the moment entertaining a breeze?  Wouldn't that large country club home that I delivered a tract to on Saturday be just the thing to make me "happy?"  Would it be so bad to have this or that.  The rich man in the parable following this warning was looking to "take his ease."  He didn't realize that life was short and that his life would end before he fulfilled his BIG plans.  Just another verse God gave to remind me to be content - he has a plan for me and it is different than the plan he has for you.

My plans for today including finishing some Wrench Rolls and planting some peas.  I am about 2 weeks "late" on the peas, but am looking forward to getting back to the dirt!  The wrench rolls are not a strange, new delicacy, but rather a request from hubby.  I will show pictures tomorrow, but basically it is a mat with a pocket for each wrench in a set.  When not in use, the mat can be rolled up and stored neatly.  I finished 2 yesterday which promptly disappeared to the shop this morning, but I have 4 more to go.  Why so many?  2 rolls for each location - car, truck, and work - 1 standard roll, 1 metric roll.  I am practicing my upcycling skills - the pocket came from an old pair of hubby's work pants, and the roll itself from a well-loved jean jumper!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Cornmeal Quiche

I am sure that with the rising gas costs, many of you are finding new ways to cut back.  Typically, we first look at our use of gas and unnecessary trips and then we hit the food budget.  Hubby asked the other day that we have 2-3 meatless meals each week - for him that is a BIG deal!  And so I try to find meatless meals that don't leave him frustrated.  He loves a soup and sandwhich night.  A large tossed salad with hard boiled eggs is satisfying (especially with homemade croutons).  A big pot of baked beans and fresh biscuits is not snubbed.  I discovered early in our marriage that seemingly anything with a crust is a hit ... so I decided to try this quiche.  It is quick to put together, uses common ingredients, and fits the "meatless" criteria.  It was also quite the find after I had found and purchased 3 dozen organic eggs marked down to 99 cents a dozen and been given one dozen farm fresh eggs later that day.

Cornmeal Quiche

Combine in bowl:
1/2 c cornmeal
3/4 c sifted flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Cut in:
1/3 c shortening, soft

Sprinkle over while tossing with a fork:
3 Tbls cold water

Stir lightly until mixture will form a ball.
Roll out on lightly floured board.
Fit loosely into 9" pie plate;
fold edge under and flute.
Preheat oven to 425*

Lay on bottom of unbaked crust:
6 slices or 1 1/4 c shredded cheese.

Spread over cheese:
2 c whole kernel corn, well drained

Combine in a bowl:
5 eggs
3/4 c light cream or evaporated milk (I used skim milk with a little butter)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne
Beat until well blended.
Pour over corn.
Place on bottom rack of oven.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Reduce temp to 350* and continue baking 25-30 min.
Let stand 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Bits and Pieces

     I finished my 3rd week in working on my endurance - down 30 seconds!
     I am finishing the memorization of Galatians 1 - yeah, still ahead of schedule.
     I finished the bulletin board for March.
     My friend's tract was sent to the publisher last night.

It is a beautiful day in Shelby, NC - very breezy with clouds and sun!

I enjoyed one of those "blasts from the past" yesterday.  The little brother of my piano students shared a piece of Bazooka Joe bubble gum with me - you know, the one with the little comic on it :)

Had some interesting "coincidences" this week.  Not so coincidental ... they were God's merciful, and gracious "tokens for good" in my life!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Daily Bread

Praising the Lord for my daily bread!

I have never wanted for physical provision.

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

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

I am also thankful for those who reached my blog entry yesterday via facebook.
That blog was a long time coming and a little uncomfortable to post.
To see how many people read it yesterday, I can only hope that it was a blessing to someone.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Undesired and Unappreciated Gift

You have watched it, haven’t you - a child tearing through a stack of presents at a birthday or at Christmas?  One present opened, laid aside, another opened, laid aside, until they are all opened.  Then the child returns to the “most entertaining” or “most desired” for the remainder of the day or worse yet, begins complaining about what was not received or whining for the gift that another child received.  No thought for the efforts of Grandma in knitting the sweater.  No thought for the sacrifice of mom and dad to get the sneakers that were desperately needed.  Unacknowledged and undesired gifts.  The selfish soul does not see needs, only wants and desires and entertainment.

I am working very hard not to be that child.  Does that seem strange to you?  I have received a gift that I did not ask for or desire.  To me, at the present, it can’t compare to the gifts that others receive.  Yet, it is the gift that was chosen for me.  It was given to me by a wise and loving Heavenly Father who sees all.

 James 1:17
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.

Matthew 7:11
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts
unto your children, how much more shall your Father
which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

 It is SO easy to ask why.  Psalm 127:3 “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.”  If children are a reward, why can’t I have that reward?  Am I missing something?  What am I doing wrong?  Why so many teen mothers with unwanted pregnancies?  Why some families with seemingly more children than they can handle?  Why do drug addicts get the gift that I want?  Why can some women seem to have a child every two years like clock work?

 And so here is my struggle as I watch the growing bellies pass me by, as the halls of my home echo with silence.

The answer for me does not lie in medical intervention.  For now, it does not lie in adoption or fostering.  The answer is to appreciate the gift that God is giving me today.  I have failed to recognize the sweet fellowship of leaning on the everlasting arms when the days are too quiet and the emotional pain is stonger than any physical pain could be.  I have failed to acknowledge the freedom I have to be involved in a multitude of ministries all at the same time.  I have failed to accept the spiritual growth in my life from hours of Bible study beyond a “quick read” in the morning.  I have failed to value what it is to fast and pray when many Christians fail to ever see the need.  I have failed to acknowledge God’s special dealings with me.

 Are you struggling with a situation in your life?  A sickness, a disability, a financial crisis, singleness, barrenness, loss, …?  Do you need to, like me, look for the “gift” that God is trying to give you?

I am far from where I want to be in my acceptance, but I am learning and growing.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Psalm 139:1-5
O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me.
Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising,
thou understandest my thought afar off.
Thou compassest my path and my lying down,
and art acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word in my tongue,
but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.
Thou hast beset me behind and before,
and laid thine hand upon me.
I have had a rough couple of weeks emotionally, but the Lord is faithful to bring encouragement and comfort.  I read this Psalm this morning.  I LOVE this Psalm.  Though I may feel alone, though I may feel that no one understands … my God created me, he knows me … inside and out

Monday, February 20, 2012


I would much rather bake than cook.  Perhaps it is because I have such a sweet tooth ... or because home-baked goodies go so well with a hot cup of coffee or tea.  I made a batch of Spice Bars this morning so that I would have a treat to put in hubby's lunch box and then two loaves of Pumpkin Spice Bread (one for now and one for the freezer).  My experiment this week will be a batch of soft pretzels on Saturday night for my date with hubby.  I LOVE a nice hot pretzel covered with buttery cinnamon and sugar ... and hubby is hoping for a pepperoni pretzel to dip in pizza sauce.  So long Aunt Annies ... on to Aunt Sandra's pretzels!

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

7 skirts were finished and shipped last week.  Hooray!

We spent much of Saturday in Asheville, NC
blitzing the area with tracts and other gospel materials-
we are praying for some response from the Jewish community there.
A friend is making plans for mass distribution in Charleston, SC next.

On week three of my jogging challenge - getting harder, but the pain is lessening.
I shaved one minute off my time last week!

My projects this week include a bulletin board for church in March
and a new gospel tract for a friend.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Donut Day!

Will you forgive my sentimentality one more time this month?

Today is donut day!


Well ...

my first date with hubby was to Bella Napolis ...

an Italian pastry shop in Latham, NY.

Donuts and Coffee ... what a way to start things off!

With a special shout out to Jeff and Sarah and 3 of the children who joined us that night!

We still laugh about sharing the date with an 8 day old little guy!

So tonight after putting Bibles together at church ...
we will hit the marked down donuts at the local grocery ...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Perfect Timing

I know it in my head ... but sometimes I don't apply it.
I know it in my head ... but I don't like the wait.
I know it in our head ... but I don't always live like it.

I am so thankful that God's timing is perfect.  For almost a year, I have been giving piano lessons in a small community about 25 miles north of my home.  They were arranged by a woman who saw a lack of music training in the churches in her remote town.  So lessons were arranged in a borrowed church, and the woman volunteered to drive when I had no transportation.  And then ... the woman had some health troubles.  No church, no transportation!  But my God knows all and is in control of all.  At that same moment, He was opening another church (with permission to use heat and lights) and He was preparing a second vehicle for us and He was multiplying my students.  Why do I fret about tomorrow?  His timing is perfect!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


I am one of those people who accomplishes most when I have goals, lists, a vision to accomplish. 

I love to make a daily list of things to do.

I love to have a goal to strive for.

Some goals are silly and frivolous, others better my health, still others help others.

One of my housekeeping goals is to have a sweet smelling house.
It is a relatively simple goal, but cannot be accomplished with dirty dishes in the sink
or a trash can that needs to be emptied.

I desire to be a godly wife, a keeper at home.
This is not simply to be a housekeeper.
My goal is to keep the influence of the world out of my home,
to create a sanctuary where my husband can study and grow,
to create a place where people feel at home and comfortable,
to meet the needs of my hubby and our guests,
to be feeding myself in the Word daily.

Currently I am working on reviewing my memorization of the book of James
and trying to memorize the book of Galatians in a year's time.
So far, I am ahead of my goal of 2 verses each week :)

I am also currently working to get back to regular jogging.
I am only on week 2 of a regular regiment, but hopefully over the big pain!
I am following a plan mapped out here to get to jogging 3 miles straight in 9 weeks.
I am not sure that I won't have to do some weeks twice, but it is at least a goal.
I am not so interested in my time (though I do like to see it improved)
as in my perseverance to stick with it!

One of my lifetime goals is to live up to my name.
The name Sandra means "helper of mankind."
I want to be known as one who helps, not one who hinders or tears down.

It is said, "If you shoot at nothing, you are destined to hit it."
Not me - I would rather shoot for the moon!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day ~ ~ ~ 2*14*2012

Matthew 22:37
Jesus said unto him,
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,
and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

Matthew 22:39
And the second is like unto it,
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Fun

I just love Valentine's Day!  I mailed out some goody boxes to 16 little nieces and nephews on Monday.  Nothing huge - but just a little celebration for their day. 

My friend Christina just posted a super cute breakfast idea  (Bacon Hearts and Heart Shapped Cinnamon Rolls) that I will just have to do tomorrow for hubby.  I think that bacon and cinnamon rolls might just earn me "wife of the year" in his eyes!  Apples don't work for him, but perhaps I can pick some well shaped strawberries for the fruit.

I don't have any special plans for lunch, but I will tuck a valentine in the lunch box. 

I have some bacon wrapped steak in the freezer for tomorrow night.  While hubby was still at Kmart, he found them marked WAY down.  Those steaks grilled with twice baked potatoes and a veggie sound great as a quiet, candlelight dinner at home.  Perhaps another strawberry pie or a heart shaped jello poke cake for dessert.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Eser Shanim - 10 Years

Do you remember the day?

The day you met the love of your life?

I met my dearest 10 years ago today!

Yes, he is still the man of my dreams.

Ani ohevet et baal shali!

Thursday, February 9, 2012


This morning, I enjoyed seeing the sun streaming into the kitchen.

I am thankful for the lengthening days.

It sure is easier to get up in the morning.

And it is pleasant to have a little more light as hubby arrives home at night.

Just part of the changing seasons.

Did I mention that it is the season for the sheep and goat babies?

Hubby took me by the sheep farm on our Sunday walk.  Nothing cuter than that!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Speak Another Language

No, I am not going to challenge you to join me in learning Greek and Hebrew.  Aren't you relieved!

We are under a week until Valentine's Day!  I just love that holiday.  I love the decorations, the sentiments, the focus on expressing love.  I know that there are those who despise "being told" when to express emotion, but I think of it as more of a reminder to get back on track if I have lost some ground.  I treat New Years the same way ... I can make resolutions year round, but I have the added push and reminder with the change of the calendar.

You have most likely heard of the 5 Love Languages.  While I do not support Dr. Chapman and his ministry, I do think that his explanation of the 5 languages can help people in their relationships.  It did not take long to realize that my hubby and I had different love languages and yet it is fun to see that after nearly 10 years they are becoming more and more alike or we are just becoming more fluent in each other's language.  If you haven't heard of the love languages, they are:

Words of Affirmation
Quality Time
Receiving Gifts
Acts of Service
Physical Touch
While hubby does not care about receiving gifts, he show love by giving gifts.  He is one of the most giving people I know.  He definitely has a soft spot here.  He loves to receive quality time.  He doesn't want to simply talk while I clean or do dishes - he wants undivided time and attention.  Me ... I think that I speak "Acts of Service" most fluently.  I love to "do" for others.  I think that I am a bit greedy on the receiving end ... I crave words of affirmation, quality time, and physical touch.

So why think about these things.  There are many who can't do the extravagant for Valentine's Day.  Maybe the budget won't allow a fancy meal out, or 2 dozen roses in a vase, or even the most glittery card ... but, you can learn a new language.  Why not think of 5 gifts that would touch each aspect of love?  Write a love note and tell why you love your sweetheart.  Clear your calendar for an evening.  Give a homemade gift.  Do something for you loved one - clean the car, wash the dishes, straighten the unruly catch-all.  Express your love in touch ... a hug, a kiss, a hand on the shoulder.

Are you up for the challenge?
It is really not that hard. 

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

BTW:  This is Post #500!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Not an Easy Task

Psalm 119:4
Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.

Perhaps you do it too.
When you assign a tough task to a young person,
you remind them to stick with.
You remind them to be deligent.
God uses the same method.
It won't always be easy to keep His Word,
but we are to be diligent!

**** **** **** ****
Project update: I finished 4 skirts yesterday.  Just waiting on some more measurements!

Monday, February 6, 2012


Our local Aldis store had Strawberries on sale last week.  Hubby really enjoyed them, so on the last day of the sale I asked him to stop by and pick up some more.  He came home with 8 pints.  We have enjoyed them on salads, on cereal, as a pie, alone, ...

Today, I think that I will make another pie and try this recipe for a strawberry quick bread.  That should finish them up.  If not, perhaps we will have strawberry syrup on our pancakes tonight!

Strawberry Ribbon Bread

3 c flour
2 c sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
20 ounces sliced strawberries (can use frozen)

6oz cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/3 c sugar
1 T flour
1/2 tsp orange extract

Combine first 5 ingredients in one bowl. 
Beat next 3 ingredients in separate bowl. 
Stir wet into dry ingredients just until moistened.

For filling, beat cream cheese in small bowl. 
Add remaining ingredients, beat well.

Spoon a fourth of the batter into each of two greased loaf pans. 
Spread half of the filling over each. 
Top with the remaining batter.

Bake at 350* for 70-80 min. or until toothpick comes out clean.
Cool for 10 min before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
Store in the refrigerator.

Besides baking, I have 4 denim skirts cut out and ready to sew. 
Do you think that I will get them all done today?

Friday, February 3, 2012

A Posie and A Project

Despite what Punxsutawny Phil or Chimney Rock, NC's Grady say,
it sure looks like Spring is right around the corner here.

The tulips are coming and this Hyacinth is definitely showing out!
I love gardening, but the beginning of February still seems a little ridiculous.
I spent some time on Wednesday cleaning up the perennial beds.

In addition to this cheer, a project arrived in the mail yesterday.
A bolt of denim fabric, elastic, and thread.
Before too long, this little pile will be Wednesday night skirts
for the young ladies at my brother's church.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

 Proverbs 13:12 
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick:
but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

Thankful Thursday.
Today I am thankful for an avenue to pursue,
... a ministry opportunity,
... a new path.

It may not be the path we end up on,
but hope always cheers the heart.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Reminder to Keep Working On It

Many people seek to read through the Bible each year, and it is one of my yearly goals as well. 
I am currently reading in the book of Numbers. 
What a reminder of what God thinks of discontent
(remember my word for the year). 
Miriam complained that Moses had a greater position than she did and received leprosy for a time. 
The children of Israel complained about their lack of meat and God gave them so much quail that it became loathsome to them and became the beginning of a plague. 
The sons of Korah complained about their position and the earth swallowed them up. 
Oh the number of times that we read that the children of Israel angered God! 
God is not pleased with a discontent heart. 
What are you displeased with today? 
The food on your table? 
The car that you have to drive? 
The clothes in your closet? 
Your spouse? 
Your children? 
 Your friends? 
 These are all gifts and should be received and valued as such.

It is easy to look at others and compare.
It is better to look at God and be grateful.