Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I Like the Word FREE

One of my friends just showed me this opportunity to get $25 added to an account at  They sell photo cards, journals, party decorations and art work.  This is my personal referral link and for every order shipped, they will give me an additional $25 as well.  And hey, you can turn around and try it with your friends as well.  I hope to get some cute personalized journals for my Sunday School class for Christmas.
They currently have free shipping on holiday cards with the code BACKER12.  The site also offered me 10% off on my order of 3 or more items.  You can only use one coupon code per order though.

And you can sign up here for an additional $25 off of a $50 order with a coupon code.

This is the perfect time to share this deal with the Christmas season coming up.

**It appears that in order to use the coupon code with the $25 promotional you must purchase $75 worth of merchandise.** 

Shipping is $7.95.

Behind Every Great Man ...

Proverbs 31:23
Her husband is known in the gates,
when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

The book of Proverbs is full of praise for a virtuous wife,
and full of warnings about life with the clamorous, nagging, undisciplined woman.
Here, Solomon continues his praise for this Proverbs 31 woman.
Perhaps the praise is not direct,
but Solomon sees her husband's success as a reflection of her virtue.
Her husband has a place of prominence, in part because of his wife.
After the preceding descriptions of this woman,
I am sure that this husband does not worry about things at home while at the city gates-
he knows things are being well-cared for and he has confidence in his wife.

I agree with Solomon.
I think a wife can have a great influence on her husband's success or lack thereof.
A wife can prevent her husband from advancing.
A wife can hold back helpful advice and ideas.
A wife can berate, correct and belittle until there is no desire to succeed.
A wife can dishonor and embarrass.
A wife can put her own "needs" and wants ahead of those of her family.
In ministry, a wife can disqualify a man from his calling.

On the flip side, a wife can be the greatest cheerleader.
A wife can give loving counsel that no one else can due to her special relationship.
A wife can honor her husband and breed that respect in others.
A wife can create a home that encourages peace and creativity.
 A wife can work beside to help to carry her husband's load.
A wife can be the most faithful prayer warrior for her husband.
A wife can support her husband's goals at home, work, and in ministry.

I long to help my husband succeed.
I must recognize that I play a part in his success.
So I must get busy supporting, cheering, praying, and honoring...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A New Record?

I opened the paper this morning
and read that there was a chance of snow this morning.

I have heard of snow in NY in October,
but NC?

I know it won't last if it comes,
but it sure would be nice to see!
Supposedly the mountains around us will have snow this week,
maybe I need to take a little road trip!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Staying In!

The laundry is out this morning and will be dry in record time this morning.  The wind is very strong as we feel the minor effects of Hurricane Sandy.  The temperatures have dropped substantially and we are looking at day time highs in the 50's and nighttime lows near freezing this week.  It will be a good week to get things done in the house and that's ok because I did the yard and garden work late last week.  Because it looks like the garden my not be around much longer, we picked a "mess" of beans on Saturday and worked together to get them in the freezer. 

I baked my first, truly enjoyable gluten-free bread on Saturday.  It was soft.  It rose well.  It had great flavor (almost rye with onion).  I wish that I could say that I made it from scratch, but I used a Bob's Red Mill Whole grain Bread mix.  It was awesome for toasted cheese, with bean and potato soup, and as "Egg in a whole."  The loaf is all gone, but I have 3 more bags of that mix, along with 4 for white bread.  I found the mixes at my discount grocery for only $.99 per bag!  It inspires me to keep looking for a "from scratch" recipe that will be better - If Bob can do it?  Why not I? 

Already more than 1/2 gone by the time I got the camera.

My cooking has been rather experimental, but I did come up with a "winner" on Saturday morning.  I took my buckwheat pancake recipe and tweaked it for fall.  Instead of milk, I used my remaining pumpkin spice creamer and soy milk and then added diced apples.  Hubby thought that they were the best pancakes that he has ever had and that thrilled this little wife's heart.

For my readers along the eastern seaboard -
I pray for your safety and warmth today. 
Stay in if you can.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Simple Pleasures

On this Thankful Thursday,
I am thankful for my warm cup of coffee ...
... with pumpkin spice creamer!

What a simple pleasure on a cool morning!

I am thankful for the promise of a warm day
and the clothes drying on the line.

I am thankful for 9 piano lessons today -
the opportunity to share what I have been taught.

I am thankful for a loving husband,
and a warm home,
and a thriving garden,
and food on the table,
and a car that is better than a Duracell,
and new lessons to learn,
and struggles that stretch me,
and endless ministry opportunities,
and good health.


What if the only things you had today
were the things you thanked God for yesterday!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Befitting Her Station

Proverbs 31:22
She maketh herself coverings of tapestry;
her clothing is silk and purple.

Now we look at the character of the virtuous woman by her attire.
This woman is a woman of business as well as the wife of an influential men.
She is a well-organized homemaker.
Thus, she dresses in a way befitting her position. 
She is appropriate in her dress. 
She is dressed WELL!

It was a real treat to move into our neighborhood 4 years ago.
Why so?
Each of our neighbors dressed for their position.
Many claimed the name of Christ, and they portrayed it in their modest dress.
It is unfortunate that in the last year, many women have chosen to forget their position and title
and in turn dishonor the God they claim as well as their husband.
Many times we have had to shut the blinds or move to another side of the trailer
because a woman has chosen to display her body inappropriately.

I want to emulate the virtuous woman in my dress.
It is hard when the world displays one vision of beauty and popular dress.
Sometimes it is hard to be "different" or "peculiar."

I claim to be Christ's child.
I want to be an asset to my husband and our ministries.
I do not want to cause a stumbling block to another man.
I want to be an example to young women making decisions on their own for the first time.
And so, I try to make or find clothes that cover, that do not cling,
that point others to Christ in their uniqueness from the world.

There was a day when the "royals" always had attire that set them apart.
They knew their station in life and they dressed the part - whether casual or formal.
I want to dress like a queen - my husband's queen.
I want to dress like a princess - the child of the KING!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Something Good?

I like to find something special about where I live that helps me to be content.
Upstate NY has beautiful falls, mountain hikes, and cool weather.
Pensacola, FL has beautiful snow-white beaches.
Seattle, WA has beautiful mountains, rocky coastlines, and very temperate weather.
But, North Carolina?  What does it have?
hot summers?  red clay? 
I certainly have had a hard time finding it.
But ... I finally realized it today.
It has a tremendously long growing season.
We are enjoying fresh green beans this week and thinking about the snap peas coming.
We are also enjoying the nice long fall.

This little couple is going to enjoy the long fall too.
The pumpkins are from our little garden patch!

The girl is a bit more feminine this year.
I gave her a skirt!
I will be spending the day in Charlotte while hubby attends tractor school.
Plenty of window shopping awaits!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Seasonal Treats

Have you noticed all the seasonal treats out in the stores? 
For me it is all things pumpkin spice - marshmallows, creamer, cream cheese ... 
I just love the fall flavor. 
While putting Bibles together at church on Friday night,
one of the other ladies suggested a twist on French Toast using pumpkin spice cream cheese. 
I do not make french toast much because hubby doesn't care for it, but this got him excited too. 
So I made bread on Saturday night so that we could have the special french toast
on Sunday morning with our coffee (lightened with pumpkin spice creamer, of course). 
It is so simple, I can't believe I did not think of it before. 
Just spread pumpkin spice cream cheese (or any flavor) between two slices of bread. 
Dip in egg mixture (use your favorite) and fry as usual like a grilled cheese sandwich.


Thursday, October 18, 2012


Perhaps it is human nature, or perhaps it is just a struggle that I have.
 It is easy to get complacent in areas where I feel I am above the norm.
It is an unhealthy comparison.
It is a prideful laziness.
It is upholding man's standard above God's standard.
Recently, I had let my exercise slide.
My weight was consistent.
I was eating healthy foods.
Why exercise? right?
Muscles need strength training and daily use to maintain strength and usefulness.

I am thankful this week for a woman that reminded me (by her actions)
to get back to this discipline.
I am thankful when a church family is healthy and doing what it should do.
I am thankful for those who are righteously consistent.
I am thankful for my sore muscles this morning which remind me
that I am doing the right thing after too many weeks off.
I am thankful for mobility.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

More Confident

Well, I did it. 
I made another gluten-free pie yesterday. 
Apple - in honor of the season.
So what?
Well, not only did I make it for my very supportive and encouraging husband,
but I also served it to non-gluten free guests. --- and they ate it!

My goal is to be more confident in my gluten-free cooking that I will not feel leery to make
gluten-free meals for sick folks, new parents, church get-togethers, etc.

Hubby and I even enjoyed a piece for breakfast - yummy!

And today, time to clean up in the gardens again.
We should be picking pole beans by this time next week
and the peas have blossoms!

Fully Prepared

Proverbs 31:21
She is not afraid of the snow for her household:
for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

Have you ever heard of the french toast phenomenon?
It was new to me until we moved to this area of NC.
When "harsh" weather is predicted,
the bread, milk, and eggs just fly off the shelves.
It tickles me for a number of reasons -
one "harsh" is not usually that harsh around these parts,
and, if it is harsh, we won't have power and the milk and eggs will go bad,
and, why not stock up on pb & j?

I doubt that the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31
would have participated in the french toast phenomenon.
She was prepared.
This woman looks ahead.
I am sure that it did not apply to just clothing, but also to food, shelter, time.
She looked ahead.
She was not flustered or taken back.
She knew that her preparations were sufficient.

Do I look ahead to prepare?
Am I ready to feed guests at any moment?
Am I ready to take a meal to the sick?
Does my family have clothing appropriate for each season and occasion?
Am I taking care of my possessions so that they will not fail me at the most inopportune time?
Do I try to stay "up" on the cleaning so that an unexpected guest does not ruffle me?

~*~ Fully Prepared ~*~

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I Need to Turn

Psalm 80:19
Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts,
cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.

Both sermons on Sunday were on hypocrisy.
Saying one thing and doing another ...
or judging a person while I have the same problem.

Then the Psalm that we will be studying tomorrow night ...
the psalmist reminds that it is not God that has turned, but I who have moved.
Hypocrisy is rooted in pride, in denying my own faults.
How good to be reminded!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Not Giving Up

While last week did not afford as much baking time as planned, my grains arrive and I did grind sorghum, millet, brown rice, white rice, and buckwheat to make flour blends made for breads and cookies.  I had another successful loaf of bread and am getting used to the difference in texture and enjoying the time savings because it only rises once!  I also converted a fall favorite recipe with success.  I changed the flour, added a tsp of xantham gum for every cup of flour, and even made it dairy free by using dairy free margarine (just testing it for my little friend).  While they weren't exactly the same as the original, they gave us that sweet taste of the fall spices. 

It is a rainy morning, but that is OK, because it is my cleaning day - so, off I go!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Will it Work?

I mentioned in an earlier post that hubby wanted to make it until November 1 before turning on the furnace.  So, we have been using a little space heater to take the chill off the main living area this week.  In the process, we have realized that that little heater works REALLY well.  Our furnace is much less than energy efficient, so we are now looking to find some larger space heaters to try for the winter in hopes of bringing our utility bills down by not using the furnace unless we are entertaining.  I need to make some draft guards so that we can close off some of our unused spaces, but that will be quick and easy using my stash of leftover material and the abundance of plastic bags that Walmart gives me :)  Our goal is to save enough to invest in some faster Internet soon.  Seems feasible to me!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

If That is Abuse, then I am Happy to be Abused!

I was recently reminded about our days in connection with the military.  I was reminded of the signage that would hang throughout the base about spousal abuse.  There was a long list of questions that would signal abuse (as the world sees it).  While I am saddened that there is a real problem with physical abuse in the world around us, the signs would make me laugh, because ... I guess I am an abused wife.  Why would one laugh about that?  Read on.
The questions included:
Does your spouse expect you to account for how you spend money?
Does your spouse want to know where you are and who you are with?
Does your spouse give input on your friends?

Last night at church we were reminded of the jealousy that God has for His people, the Israelites.  In Psalm 79:5, the Psalmist asks "How long, LORD? wilt thou be angry for ever? shall thy jealousy burn like fire?"  As I thought of this godly jealousy, I thought of the picture that God has given us in marriage.  Our earthly marriages are supposed to be a picture of God's relationship with the church ... and guess what?  He is jealous for His church as well.  He wants our wholehearted devotion, love, attention, time ...

On this Thankful Thursday, I am thankful for the jealousy of my husband.  I am thankful for his input in my life and his desire to be with me.  I am thankful that he cherishes God's picture of marriage and wants to portray that image to the world around us.  I am thankful that I can be jealous for him as well and that that is the way it is supposed to be.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Not All About Me

Proverbs 31:20
She stretcheth out her hand to the poor;
yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

Not only does this virtuous woman have concern for herself and her family,
but she is also looking out for the needs of others.
This activity takes foresight.
The virtuous woman must be disciplined with her time so that she has time to help the needy.
She must be careful with her money so that she has ample resources to help others.
She must train her children to share her time and abilities (so as not to hinder her).
She must develop skills that are useful to others (cooking, sewing, thrift shopping).
She must care for her health so that she can minister to others.
She must look outside of her home to see the needs.
She must develop a heart of compassion that responds to those needs.
She must have a true heart of love that expects nothing in return.
She must not be a hoarder or a miser.

... plenty to think on ...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

My Greatest Fear

Yes, I have some typical fears (and maybe some atypical) ones.
I have a fear of heights, snakes, large bugs, and frogs.
I am easily startled.
But perhaps my greatest fear is that I might try to "move" God's hand.
I know, that is "dumb," right?
God is so much more powerful than I.
But I have done it many times.
Getting my way by orchestrating my circumstances such that it looks like "God's will."
Turning a trial into a sign from God that it is time to go somewhere else.
Setting out a ridiculous fleece and asking for a sign.
Perhaps it doesn't make sense to you,
but I have such intense longings sometimes,
(for children, to move away from NC,
 to have hubby in a position where he can do what he loves all the time ...)
that it is easy to want to make things happen on my own.
And then I am reminded ...
Psalm 37:7
Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: ...
Lamentations 3:26
It is good that a man should both hope
and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Recipe for Success

The county fair is over for another year and hubby and I are looking forward to a quiet week at home getting caught up on things.  I long to cook regular dinners to enjoy together at the table and he looks forward to some study time in the evenings.  The weather is supposed to be cool this week (60's) and that is enjoyable as well.

When things get real busy and we are on the go every night, it is easy to get discouraged or to wonder what God is doing with us.  It is easy to long for a different ministry, a different home, or a different location.  I have watched it over and over and over again in my life.  Perhaps that is the primary reason why I long for this quieter week.  I know that with more time in God's Word, more discussion time with hubby, and more rest ... contentment will be easier to foster.

I did not try any new food recipes last week with all the running, but my grains and flours are due in the mail tomorrow :) and with the cooler temps I hope to try some new things this week.  Perhaps this recipe will be more helpful anyway.

Recipe for a Successful Woman

one woman dead to self - Romans 12:1-2
unfailing trust in the Lord - Proverbs 3:5-6
(cooks note: leave out your own understanding and plans) - Proverbs 3:5-6 and Isaiah 55:8
lots of patience (don't skimp) - James 1:4
a proper fear of the Lord - Psalm 111:10
(cooks note: don't use the new concept - it won't work, stick with the old) - Jeremiah 6:16
daily Bible reading and meditation - Joshua 1:8
fervent prayer from a righteous heart - James 5:16
one proper view of your God-given role - Proverbs 12:4 and Proverbs 31
one heart full of mercy - Proverbs 3:4
a giving heart - Luke 6:38
a merry heart - Proverbs 17:22
a well adorned heart - I Peter 3:4
one mouth full of truth - Proverbs 3:4
humility - James 4:10
contentment - I Timothy 6:6
fruitful blend - II Peter 1:5-8
(blend includes faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, kindness, godliness, charity)
ample rest (varies per person) - Psalm 127:2, Ecclesiastes 5:12

Blend together and bake under trials (Job 23:10)

Have a GREAT week, y'all!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Do I Live in the Bible Belt?

It is fair week here in Cleveland County, NC.  While I do not attend the fair for the entertainment (the lights and foolish spending of money remind me of Vanity Fair in the Pilgrim's Progress), I do enjoy working at the fair handing out gospel tracts.  This is the third year that I have participated and not only does it get easier every year, but God shows me the great need more each year.  There is a church on every corner in our county and yet, I am amazed and saddened at the number of people who want to avoid mention of the gospel, those who want to be "surprised" when they die, those who unashamedly admit that they won't be in heaven if they continue on the course they are on, those who don't know any thing about the Bible, and those who see the Bible as merely a "great book." 

I am saddened by the faces of lost souls around me, but encouraged by a church with nearly 100% participation in an 11 day visitation effort.  I was especially encouraged by a young lady in my class who stood with me last Saturday and wanted to return again this week to help.  It is encouraging to be a part of a church where everyone must work together, where everyone knows each other by name, and where everyone can help to carry the burdens around them.  I am looking forward to our Bible ministry tonight and services on Sunday.  Hope you will be in your place on Sunday too!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

One Man's Trash ...

Today I am thankful for the grain that is en route to my little trailer after placing an order yesterday.  I am thankful that the Ebay sales have gone very well and I easily paid for 25 pounds of sorghum and millet along with some specialty flours that I cannot grind in my new mill (coconut and tapioca). 

I am thankful for my daily bread. 
God supplies it in many different ways. 
It may be a sale at the local grocery store.
It may be an anonymous gift on the front porch.
 It may be a steady job or a bonus.
 It may be in a tote that has been in storage for years. :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What's In Your Hands?

Proverbs 31:19
She layeth her hands to the spindle,
and her hands hold the distaff.

The virtuous woman continues to inspire me.
She is all woman (she dresses in silk and purple),
and yet she is not afraid of work.

Here she is busy making thread to sell or to make goods for her family.
She is not afraid of how her hands might look after her project.
She is not avoiding her work.
She has set her mind to be helpful to her family.

While I am glad that I have had the opportunity to learn to sew,
there are many times when sewing new garments and household good
is not the economical choice.
The ability to sew is a help to be able to tailor or to mend
and sometimes is a necessity when one needs modest attire.
It can also be a way of earning extra income from home since many
people today desire homemade goods and services.

But what is the principle for today?

Are you willing to work and work hard for your family?
Is there something you shy away from?
Have you sought to learn skills that will benefit your family?
Is it sewing?  cooking?  first aid?  gardening? 
home publishing? general home repair?

Set your hands to your work with joy today!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Time to Play

We'll be "kid-sitting" again tonight and I am watching the skies and the forecast.  Unfortunately it is looking like rain ... real rain! 
So, we probably won't be able to play outside ...
and my meager toy bin won't keep things going until bedtime ...
How about play dough? 
Easy enough to make ... right? 
Oops, must remember the gluten-free aspect.
(Yes, it can be absorbed through the hands.)
  My friend "Google" had plenty of ideas to make my idea safe for my little friends ...
... and away I go to have some fun before they all arrive tonight.

Guided by Integrity

Psalm 78:72
So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands.

God does all things well.
It is His nature.

So ... why don't I trust Him more completely?

Monday, October 1, 2012

A New Favorite

While searching for gluten-free recipes last week, I visited the Frugal Farmwife and found a recipe for homemade gluten-free OREOS.  Oreos have always been a favorite in this household and I just had to try them for hubby.  Saturday afforded the time and I made them while hubby was working at the fair.  He discovered them while I was working the fair for the next shift.  While he said that they were not quite an Oreo (though he could almost imagine them as such), he did say that they were his NEW FAVORITE!  I said I needed feedback for the blog ... the answer, "they are not like any other cookie, but they are my new favorite."  He also recommended that I try them with some mint filling (especially for Christmas).  I think he also liked that he could have double-, triple-, or even quadruple-stuffed cookies.  I have to admit that the filling was really good.  They would also be more "oreo-ish" if I had had the special dark cocoa called for in the recipe ... maybe next time!

Gluten-Free Copy Cat Oreos

1 1/4 cups gluten free flour mix
1 tsp guar or xanthan gum
1/2 cup unsweetened baking cocoa (dark)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 large egg
Milk for thinning out if necessary

1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375ยบ F and grease a couple of cookie sheets (I used parchment paper).
In a medium bowl, combine flour mix, gum, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Combine the sugar and butter until fluffy. Add egg to butter mixture.
Slowly add dry ingredients to butter mixture, blending well with a spoon. If the dough is too thick, add a little milk. You want the dough to be thick enough to roll into balls, but it needs to be fairly sticky.
Roll your dough into small balls and place on cookie sheets (I used a cookie scoop and divided each ball). You might need to wet your hands to keep the dough from sticking to you.
Dip the bottom of a glass or cookie stamp in flour, and press the balls of dough flat. Keep dipping your glass in flour to keep the dough from sticking.
Bake for 9 to 12 minutes. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes in the pans, and then move to cooling racks.
Make the filling by combining shortening, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla.
When the cookies are cooled, swipe some filling on the bottom of a cookie with a butter knife, and place another cookie on top to make a sandwich.

The only change that I made was to use half unsalted butter and half coconut oil for the filling.
Sweet look of success!