Thursday, May 31, 2012

Cool Morning

It is almost time to shut all of the windows and pull the blinds for the day, but I am thankful that this morning afforded the chance to have the windows open for a bit.  I love the fresh air in the house and the ability to hear the birds singing in the morning.  It is supposed to be a hot day, but we are supposed to have a break from the heat on Friday and Saturday (along with some storms). 

I just finished paying bills for the month and once again I am thankful for God's daily provision in our life.  He continues to meet our needs and many, many "wants" as well.

I am thankful that what I thought might be an expensive part to fix our laptop turned out to be less than $10!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Gift of Time

It is always nice when you receive a little extra time in your day or week.  It is not that you get any more time than anyone else, just time that you thought was going to be spent in other ways.  The temptation with that is to squander the time rather than using it profitably.  Haven't you experienced it too?  When the baby takes an extra long nap ... when the company leaves earlier than expected or arrives later than planned ... when the shopping trip goes more smoothly than ever ... when hubby offers to pick up dinner on the way home ...

I really did not expect to be blogging this morning or getting anything done at home.  I had arranged the week so that I could run a friend to Charlotte for a doctor's appointment this morning and into the afternoon.  But ... the chiropractor was sick and the appointment cancelled.  With a freshly cleaned house (I did that yesterday)  - what to do with an empty day?  Don't worry, I will find something.  There is laundry and hubby would be surprised if I loaded his MP3 player so that he could use it at work.  He had told me that he would work on it Saturday, but he sure would enjoy some godly music at work tomorrow.  Maybe I will even do a little Hebrew study - I have gotten out of practice.  The day lies before me and I must make the most of it.

My goal today ... to save the day.  Sounds like a super hero, right?  Hubby related to me yesterday that he had "saved the day" at work yesterday by quickly diagnosing a problem.  When he asked me about my day, I said, "well, I didn't save the day, but ..."  Always the encourager, he said, "You saved my day, the house is clean and my dinner is ready to set on the table."  So, I am going to seek to "save the day" again by being a help to hubby.  TTFN 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Itching to Cook

We celebrated Memorial Day yesterday in a fairly traditional manner.  Although hubby worked a normal day, we had a traditional dinner - grilled hot dogs, baked beans.  I even bought gluten-free hot dog buns.  I wanted to see if the bread in the store was as bad as my attempts at gluten-free baking.  The buns were VERY good (Rudi's brand).  Because they were good, I am now inspired to keep trying my hand at gluten-free baking.  To add to the excitement, what should arrive in the mail today but another gluten-free cookbook!  Hooray!  Thank a bunch to my PAL in NY!  My folks also got me a cookbook for my birthday so I am armed and dangerous.

I have been encouraged by so many people who have rallied behind us in our gluten free efforts.  It certainly is not an easy endeavor,  but we have had nothing but encouraging comments and support as we seek to help our bodies function as they should.  I have been amazed by the number of people who have truly sought to understand this limited diet and to help us to do it more economically.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Business Trip

No, I was not away on business, but hubby was.  It was a fun week.  Hubby was sent to Atlanta for some training.  His boss allowed me to go along.  It was really nice to get away, to travel in an air-conditioned vehicle (yes, our little NY car is without that little perk), to have a change of scenery (I love a city ... people watching is so much fun), to see new things, and to have access to Gluten-free menus at local restaurants (we tried Jason's Deli and P.F. Changs).  Now back to our schedules - Door-to-door and Services at church on Sunday. 

Have a great weekend! 
Don't forget express thanks to God
for those who aid the ultimate price for our freedoms.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Change of Pace

I am a creature of habit and I love schedules - really, I do.
But today I am thankful for a relaxing change of pace. 
I woke this morning and did not have to cook breakfast. 
Then, I had access to a fitness center - I just love a workout on an elliptical. 
Today - window shopping at a leisurely pace.
Tell you more about it tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

No Question

I just finished reading the book of Job in my personal devotions.
Job is always such a rebuke to my soul. 
First I am challenged by his testimony before God.
Oh to have God say of me,
"Hast thou considered my servant Sandra,
that there is nne like her in the earth,
a perfect and an upright woman,
one that feareth God, and escheweth evil."
How often do I want to question God and question my authorities (especially hubby)
while seeking to justify my actions
 when I just need to be quiet,
to realize that there are things that I just don't understand.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Better Than ...

Psalm 63:3 
Because thy lovingkindness is better than life,
my lips shall praise thee.

His lovingkindness is all that I need.
The Hebrew word is actually hard to define in one single English word.
This lovingkindness includes mercy, kindness, steadfast love ... .

So often I look at what I believe is missing ...
not on ALL that I have.


I had to laugh at the girls in my Sunday School class after services on Sunday.  I asked them about their schooling and one of the girls complained about rough drafts and editing.  The age old question arose:  "What is the purpose?"  "When will I ever write and rewrite numerous times outside of school?"  I am sure that I asked the same questions while in school.  Today, I value all of the training that I received in English and in Composition.  With tract publication on my mind, I promptly explained that when we work on gospel literature, we do not publish the first thing that we put on paper.  It is worked and reworked to make it concise and direct.  There is value to learning to be clear and to writing properly.

Yesterday, the shipment of Spanish tracts arrived.  I always love to see the UPS driver pull up with another big box of literature.  Yesterday, the Afrikaans tract was made available for purchase.  I believe that the Russian version is well on its way and we are praying for a German, a Chinese, and a French translation soon.  I think that our friend has 10 languages planned in all!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Seasonal Meals

One of the many reasons that I love spring and summer is for the fresh food on the table.  Right from the garden  and onto my table.  Right now we are enjoying the garden peas and fresh greens.  YUMMY!  One of my go-to recipes is an old family recipe.  It is budget friendly and delicious.  Unfortunately it does not come with any measurements.  Sorry!

Pea and Potato Soup

Shelled Peas
Half and Half (or milk)

Put diced potatoes in soup pot with just enough water to cook.
Cook potatoes for about 7 minutes and then add peas.
Cook for about 8 minutes more.
Add half and half or milk to cooking water along with a pat of butter.
Season generously with salt and pepper.

This is great served with homemade bread spread with butter.
I am still looking for a cool, dry day to experiment with another gluten free bread recipe.
Until then, I will just enjoy my soup without a side of bread.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Cookies, Candles, Coffee, and Chats

Enjoyed a beautiful evening last night with hubby. 
I made a batch of peanut butter cookies with a new recipe from my SIL. 
We lit a "meadow blossoms" candle. 
We enjoyed a small pot of coffee with half-n-half
(which we only had on hand from making a batch of pea and potato soup). 
And then we just enjoyed a pleasant chat on the porch before bedtime. 

Here is the easy flourless cookie recipe.

1 egg
1 c Peanut butter
3/4 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup of some add-in (I used mini chocolate chips in half of the dough)

blend first 4 ingredients, then mix in the "add-in"

Drop in balls on cookie sheet.
Bake at 350* for 8-10 minutes.
Makes 2 dozen small cookies.

If you did not eat or like chocolate,
what would you add to a peanut butter cookie?

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Today's reasons to be thankful were easy to come by.

I am thankful for another year of life.

I am thankful for family that would drive 13 hours one way to spend some time with me.

I am thankful for the man who asked me to marry him 10 years ago on 5/14/02.

I am thankful for all those who daily and weekly encourage me.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

: )


Dad picked out the card this year.

It appears that my daughter's license has been renewed for another year :)

Upon renewal they took me out for dinner -
we enjoyed seafood at the Red Lobster ...
and then returned home for raspberry jello poke cake.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Happy Birthday!

I guess I have not quite reached the age where birthdays are taboo. 

37 Years Old Today!

And in case you wonder what I looked like 37 years ago ...

Monday, May 14, 2012

Birthday Guests

Having guests again this week. 
They are coming in to celebrate my 37th birthday, tomorrow. 
I will be absent this week from the blogosphere, but I will be back ~~ I promise!

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Lost Art of ...

I am sure that you could fill in the blank with many words.  Perhaps domesticity, maybe femininity, or even discipline.  Maybe you have been thinking how the art of home cooking is lost, or the art of homesteading.  While all of these would be true, hubby and I were mulling over the lost art of thinking this morning.  Perhaps this appears most in the home schooling realm when parents give up the "fight" with trying or struggling students, but it also appears in adults who cease learning when they graduate from high school or college.  It appears that when things get difficult, human nature seeks to explain why the effort is not worth it. 

                                   "I don't see the value in higher math"
"I don't need to study a language"                             
"I just can't learn an instrument"
                                       "I've never been good at memorization" 
"My parents didn't need to learn that and they get along fine" 

I have given the reasons more times than I care to admit. 

While discussing it, we came up with many reasons to pursue activities that are difficult, that may seem impractical, or that may be out of our comfort zone.  We pursue activities that cause us to think to exercise our minds.  The great Creator God formed our brains to function at a much higher level than we force them to go.  Our God is a God of order and those higher mathematical principles, the principles of language, and the laws of music emphasize this character of God.  He commands us to memorize His Word (and He didn't limit it to Sunday School children).  He commands us to be light and salt in our world (which might be dimmed or unsavory by uneducated Christians who are content to remain so).

Perhaps you, like me, have been struggling with pursuing some form of thinking (for me it is the Biblical languages and Bible memorization) or perhaps you are a parent who is slowly choosing the "easy" path in homeschooling and thus short-changing your children.  Why not focus on God - his creation, his order, his commands - and pursue a path of THINKING!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

In His Steps

Following Christ and becoming more like Him seems to be prominent in my thoughts and studies recently.  I have stressed it to the girls in my Sunday School class.  I heard on Sunday and then read on Tuesday about Michelangelo's sculpture of David.  When asked how he carved such a work, he remarked "I simply cut off anything that does not look like David."  How basic, and yet how true.  Christ is doing the same thing in the lives of His own to make us into His image.  Our pastor read the following work back in December or January and I have put a copy in my Bible to remind me of His unique work in my life.  He deals with each child differently. 

Others May, You May Not
G. D. Watson
If God has called you to be really like Christ in all your spirit, He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility and put on you such demands of obedience, that He will not allow you to follow other Christians, and in many ways He will seem to let other good people do things which He will not let you do.
Others can brag on themselves, and their work, on their success, on their writings, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing, and if you begin it, He will lead you into some deep mortification that will make you despise yourself and all your good works.

The Lord will let others be honored and put forward, and keep you hid away in obscurity because He wants to produce some choice fragrant fruit for His glory, which can be produced only in the shade.

Others will be allowed to succeed in making money, but it is likely God will keep you poor because he wants you to have something far better than gold and that is a helpless dependence on Him; that He may have the privilege of supplying your needs day by day - out of an unseen treasury.

God will let others be great, but He will keep you small. He will let others do a great work for Him and get credit for it, but He will make you work and toil on without knowing how much you are doing; and then to make your work still more precious, He will let others get the credit for the work you have done, and this will make your reward ten times greater when He comes.

The Holy Spirit will put strict watch over you, with a jealous love, and will rebuke you for little words and feelings, or for wasting your time, which other Christians never seem distressed over.

So make up your mind that God is an infinite Sovereign, and has a right to do what He pleases with His own, and He will not explain to you a thousand things which may puzzle you in His dealing with you. He will wrap you up in a jealous love, and let other people say and do many things that you cannot do or say.

Settle it forever, that you are to deal directly with the Holy Spirit, and that He is to have the privilege of tying your tongue, or chaining your hand, or closing your eyes, in ways that others are not dealt with.

Now, when you are so possessed with the Living God that you are, in your secret heart, pleased and delighted over this particular personal, private, jealous guardianship and management of the Holy Spirit over your life, you will have found the vestibule of heaven.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Embrace of Grace

Since I spent the past day and a half primarily lying flat on my back, I had a LOT of time to read.  I don't usually have a lot of books around, but hubby had received a book at graduation, so I picked it up.  It was a quick read and I enjoyed it.  The Embrace of Grace by Caleb Thompson was penned from a prison cell in TX.  Caleb was arrested and prisoned for agreeing to the discipline of a child.  The book stresses that without trials and difficulties, we would never fully know the grace of God. 

"Without the choice mercy of affliction, without the grace of a thorn that Father gives, we would miss many of the blessings of scripture.  We could not have a personal acquaintance with many of the promises if we never faced the circumstances for which the promise was given.  Pleasure fails to interpret the scriptures to our souls, and we cannot understand their comfort until affliction expounds upon it.  We fail to prize God's Word and hardly know it until trials press upon us.  How would we know 'the Lord i my refuge' if a storm never threatened our vessels?  How would we recognize the Lord as our 'Strong Tower' without being assaulted by the enemy?  How would we know him as our 'Refiner' if we hadn't been through the fires?  How would we know him as the 'Potter' if we had never been pressed out of measure?  How would we know him as our 'Comforter' if we never felt sorrow?  How would we know him as the 'Great Physician' if we didn't experience pain?  How would we know him as our 'Guide' if we understood all things without perplexity?  How would we know him to be our 'Strength' if we were never weak?  How would we know him as 'the Lifter up of mine head' if we were never cast down?  How would we know him as 'Our Father' if we never felt his chastening rod?"  pp. 76-77

The book was a great encouragement to me.  I am also happy to report that I am about at 75% mobility today!  Yeah!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Pain in the Neck

I was torn on the title of this post.  My second choice was "In sickness and in health."

Today I am creeping around the house because I have injured my neck.  After having a sore neck since last Wednesday (I assumed from sleeping on it wrong), I pulled something (sprained or strained it) yesterday around 2:00 and haven't been able to get around very well since.  It will be a very LONG day. 

Why my second choice title?  Because I have a husband who cares for me immensely.  He came home to a half cleaned house, a bed piled with laundry, and a wife who couldn't move ... in the process he was battling the flu himself.  He did not complain, but sweetly took care of the things that were pressing.  I am thankful that he stands by his vows. 

I am so thankful for our wise creator.  I usually take my body for granted.  I have come to realize that those small little neck muscles are used CONTINUALLY throughout the day.  I am also thankful that He can heal the body that He made and look forward to more agile movement soon, I pray.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Party Desserts

Well, the house is empty today and sits waiting for a thorough cleaning.  All of the linens from last week are on the line and I am hoping that the sun comes out to dry them.  It was a good weekend, but I am looking forward to a return to normalcy (at least until next week when we have guests again).

I promised some dessert recipes from the graduation party.  Both have been staples in my recipe box for years!

Jello Poke Cake

1 - 9x13 box cake baked according to directions
1  box jello mixed to liquid stage (don't gel in fridge)

Prepare cake as directed.
When cool, poke holes in top with fork.
Pour jello over cake.
Chill in fridge several hours or overnight.
Top with cool whip and serve.

I used gluten-free yellow cake and orange jello.  I really enjoyed it.  The gluten-free cake seemed more dense then the typical cake mix which seemed a better mix with the jello!  This can also be done and made as a layer cake.  Be creative with flavor and color combinations!

Oh Henry Bars

These are my favorite no-bake cookies.
Made with gluten-free rice crispies (or chex mix)
this is still a usable recipe in our home.

1 c white Caro (corn syrup)
1 c sugar
(cook until almost boiling)
remove from heat
1 and 1/2 c peanut butter
6 cups rice crispies (or corn flakes)

Flatten on a cookie sheet or in 9x13 pan.
Melt 12 oz of chocolate chips with 3 Tbsp butter.
Spread chocolate on top of cookies and cut into squares.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Cinco de Mayo

In recognition of the completion of hubby's coursework, we had a little party today.  It was threatening rain, but the Lord kept it away and the evening was pleasant for visiting.  We had just under 30 guests and enjoyed them all.  Unfortunately, I have an uncanny knack for picking party dates that don't work for people, so the men (3) were substantially outnumbered by women and children.  I was so thankful that a visiting missionary and his family were able to make it so hubby had someone to visit with (besides the ladies).

With plenty of ladies and teenage girls to help, the preparation was easy and clean-up was done before I even noticed.  What did I decide on for dessert?  Orange Jello Poke Cake and O'Henry Bars!  Don't recognize the names ... Check back Monday for recipes!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Graduation Day!

Well, the day 3 years in the making is finally here.  Actually we did not expect to be here today, but the Lord had other plans and in the end we were both glad that he did.

Hubby graduated tonight with highest honors.  It was a thrill for me to see him graduate.  I was glad to have some friends here to celebrate with us.  I am also glad that those who could not be here in person could share our joy by watching live streaming if they wanted to. 

We were both surprised when they announced hubby's name for an award.  Why surprised?  I thought it was well-deserved, but our time at the school was short and our interaction with the faculty and students was primarily limited to the classroom setting.  The award was a leather bound Greek New Testament (oh is that the best gift ever for my hubby) and was given "in recognition of outstanding Christian character and scholastic achievement."  I am pleased that hubby maintained a good testimony to the end and that he finished strong.  Some days it would have been easy to throw aside the rules, to just take the demerits, but God's grace kept us in the right path.  Praise the Lord.

Of course, we could not end the day without a treat ...
... and so, off to DQ we went! 
I just love reasons to celebrate.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

"What is That to Thee? Follow Thou Me."

This was the subject of hubby's preaching today: the need to look forward, the need to follow Christ.  We do not receive our direction, our call, or our affirmation from men, but from our Lord and Saviour.  It is easy to get caught up in pleasing others, in following the plans and programs of others ... and while that may be God's plan, we must always evaluate if our steps are in line with God's Word.

Some of you were able to see it on live stream from the school, but if you missed it, you can still download it here.  Hubby was given a beautiful wide margin Bible at the end of the service as a thank you gift. 

Quite a special day around here!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Today will be a busy day.  Our friends from Washington/Pennsylvania are on their way to share in the festivities this weekend.  Just some last minute tidying to do and then prepare my Sunday School lesson.  I am looking forward to the special Preaching Chapel tomorrow, Graduation on Friday, and a party on Saturday ... then a rest on Monday!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Song of Solomon 2:12-13
The flowers appear on the earth;
the time of the singing of birds is come,
and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;
The fig tree putteth forth her green figs,
and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell.

There is nothing like the fragrance of spring and summer.
While our weather feels of summer with highs in the upper 80's yesterday,
oh, the smell as I walked and ran this morning.
I think that I was primarily smelling the honeysuckle.
Made the running less arduous to enjoy the nature around me.

Now - back outside to tend to the yardwork.
Company coming in tomorrow morning.
Must ... Get ... Busy!