Thursday, November 29, 2012

Home Improvements

On this Thankful Thursday, I am thankful as a homemaker.

The first blessing was Monday.
We arrived home from NY to find that a small leak in the kitchen pipes was now a large leak.
This leak had been an issue before we moved in (as evidenced by water stains and a rotted floor)
but we had not seen any further damage until this past month.
When we called the landlord, he was on his way out of town.
He agreed to pay for the parts AND hubby's labor.
Not only am I assured that it is done well,
but it was finished by Monday night rather than days later!

The other blessing was a "gift" from a friend.
Our friend Sam used to live in the trailer below us.
While he lived there, he put beautiful red rocks around the trailer and the trees.
The trailer has been removed, but the beautiful rocks remain.
So, 5 gallon bucket by 5 gallon bucket I am regraveling my driveway!

And ... in the process ... I get real life exercise.
Between the raking and the rock hauling I have found some muscles that I had forgotten.

And speaking of exercise and reasons to be thankful,
my dear hubby just ordered me a "running skirt" on Cyber Monday -
I am eager to receive it!
Check them out at
They were having a 20% off and free shipping sale on Monday.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Diligent Oversight

Proverbs 31:27
She looketh well to the ways of her household,
and eateth not the bread of idleness.

We now come to the last trait of this Proverbs 31 woman before we see her rewards.
This virtuous woman is diligent in all areas.
She carefully oversees each member and each activity in her home.
I imagine that she carefully trained each servant and each child in one activity at a time.
Each member knew how to perform their work, their chores, their tasks.
I imagine that she followed this mantra:
"You must inspect what you expect."
You and I know that if I merely give a command, it may or may not be heeded;
but if I follow the command with visual inspection, I can assure it will be completed.
I also imagine that in time it almost appeared that the home ran itself :)

She also oversees her time.
She is not absorbed into useless activities.
She uses each moment wisely.
She did not lose her day to long phone calls, to web searches,  etc.
She was a fan of the BEST, not just the GOOD.

Diligence ...
... hopefully it is the trait that will finish raking the yard,
list some more eBay products,
make a Sunday School worksheet,
and bake a pumpkin pie today.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Simple Prayer

Psalm 86:17
Shew me a token for good;
that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed:
because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me.

Such a simple prayer.

God regularly shows me a "token for good"
without even waiting for my request.

Just imagine what I would see if I would but ask!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Home Again, Home Again

For the first time in MANY years, we were away for Thanksgiving.  I believe that our last Thanksgiving away from home was spent eating Turkey sandwiches on the North Shore in Hawaii when hubby was in port for a week in about 2004.  We took a whirlwind trip to NY.  It was supposed to be linked to some schooling in PA this week, but that training was postponed.

We had smooth sailing on our Northbound trek.  13 hours door to door.  We spent time with family on Thursday and Friday especially trying to become more than a picture to many of our nieces and nephews - though one nephew told me that I did not look like my blog picture (I look older now!)  My mom prepared a gluten-free feast for our first gluten-free Thanksgiving ... from stuffing, to gravy, to pie, to pumpkin bread, and even gingerbread cookies and breakfast casserole.  The only thing we had to pass on was the rolls.

Of course, we are always hoping for a glimpse of snow when we head north.  After a balmy Thanksgiving day ... We got it!  It started snowing on Friday night and we ended up traveling in icy snow through NY, PA, and WV.  It was so much "fun" that we were stopped on I-79 for almost an hour and a half while spun-out cars were cleared from icy bridges.  Needless to say, we were glad to get home in one piece and enjoyed services in our church on Sunday. 

I have cleaned the house this morning and have the clothesline full.  The yard needs some serious raking and this may be the afternoon for that before some rain moves in.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Give Thanks

Psalm 106:1 
Praise ye the LORD.
O give thanks unto the LORD;
for he is good:
for his mercy endureth for ever.

His goodness
His mercy
His grace
His longsuffering
His care
His knowledge
His understanding
His holiness
His love
His provision
His strength
His healing
His wisdom

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Godly Mouth

Proverbs 31:26
She openeth her mouth with wisdom;
and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

More on this godly woman's character ...
the virtuous woman knows how to use (or not use) her words.

This woman knows the right thing to say.
She knows Wisdom (Christ).
She is thoughtful, careful, and helpful in her speech.
I am often at a loss to help a friend ...
...I fear it is because I do not always have the wisdom of God.
This only comes through dedicated, careful time with Him.

This woman is not a gossip, a back biter, a slanderer.
She uses her tongue to build rather than to tear down.

You will probably be tested in the next few busy days?
Maybe you are being tested right now?
Perhaps in your home, with the children, the relatives, your spouse?
Perhaps at church?
Perhaps even online?
Will your speech put you in a class with the virtuous woman?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Where Did It Go?

I am sure that you have noticed it over the years. 
Out goes the Halloween trash and in comes the Christmas trimmings. 
The one display of Thanksgiving/Fall decorations and treats are already 50% off on November 1. 
Yes, it has been going on for awhile. 
Thanksgiving ... the forgotten holiday. 
And yet, it used to be relegated to the commercial scene
and I could understand (though not approve) of that. 
Hubby and I were out a week ago and we noticed icicle lights,
Christmas trees, and wreaths adorning the houses around us ...
... 2 weeks before Thanksgiving?!?!

It is absurd and sad to me to miss a holiday focused on being thankful. 
My flesh easily chooses the path of covetousness
and I like and need the reminder to focus on what I have been given.

Society in general has forgotten to be thankful. 
The writer of Romans described the most evil of societies in Romans chapter 1
and it all began with unthankful hearts.

Romans 1:21
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God,
neither were thankful;
 but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 

I trust that you are not overlooking this precious time of year.

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Breathe Deeply

I always love the feeling of a Monday.  For one, it is my cleaning day - the day to clear away those piles that have accumulated on the piano and one dining room chair.  I love the smell of the cleaners and a fall candle burning.  It is a fresh week to strive to meet my goals.  Hubby helped me clean up the yard and gardens on Saturday, so even that looks fresh (though the leaves are falling rapidly and I am sure that I will have to rake after the Thanksgiving holiday).

I accomplished much more than expected today.  I expected an afternoon full of piano lessons that were to be moved because Thursday is Thanksgiving - but they all cancelled.  So the house was cleaned more thoroughly, extra computer work will be accomplished, and I have worked on cutting out letters and visuals for the church bulletin boards for December and January.

It will be a busy week with Thanksgiving? 
Don't know how many days I will be able to visit with y'all, but never fear -
I will be back when things die down!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Supposed To

It is a weekly part of my Sunday School class to have the girls give thanks for SOMETHING!
Typically the answers revolve around a warm shower, a delicious meal,
the sleepover party, friends, pets, transportation, family,
sunshine, rain, air conditioning.
It revolves around things that we like ... things that make us comfortable.

Last night, pastor asked us what we "should" be thankful for.
Of course my first thought was North Carolina.
Then I thought that there were so many things that I forget to be thankful for:
the person who know how to press my buttons,
the spilled flour or dry beans all over the newly cleaned kitchen,
the child who obviously hasn't looked at his music lesson since last week,
empty arms,
a broken car,
unusually large insects,
the overdone (aka burnt) meal,
a few rainy days in a row ...

The Bible says "In everything give thanks."
Easy talking, hard living!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Peaceful Confidence

Proverbs 31:25
Strength and honour are her clothing;
and she shall rejoice in time to come.

A trait of spirit and character.
I admire all of this woman's virtues,
it is hard to pick one that I admire most.

The virtuous woman does not fear the future.
The virtuous woman rests.
The virtuous woman will have joy in days ahead.
Do you know many women who are truly peaceful?

Why does this woman have this peaceful confidence?
She "wears" or "is robed in" her godly character.
She has strength of mind and character.
She is honorable in her thoughts, actions and words.
She is secure.
She is not blown about and troubled with every wind of change.
She is not unsettled by changes in her schedule.
Her trust is in the right source.
It is God who gives her this amazing strength.
She does not fear what others may say of her -
she lives righteously before her God and others.
She does not need to defend her actions.

Can you and I walk in that peace and confidence?
With God's help, we can!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Enough Said

Psalm 84:9-12
 Behold, O God our shield,
and look upon the face of thine anointed.
For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. 
I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God,
than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
For the LORD God is a sun and shield:
the LORD will give grace and glory:
no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Winding Down

We had our first good frost on Friday morning.  That finished off the beans, the tomatoes, and the cucumber plants.  That leaves some root vegetables (carrots and beets), kale and peas.  I got all the withered plants cleaned up, mulched, and buried on Friday afternoon before a BEAUTIFUL weekend.  It is hard to believe that in only 3 more months I will be planting again.  I am hoping that our rain today knocks down some more leaves so that we can get the yard cleaned up one last time before Thanksgiving, but I am not holding my breath!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Pleasant Surprise

On this Thankful Thursday, I am thankful for little surprises.
I have been involved with some online survey companies for a number of years. 
It is not overly lucrative - perhaps earning $10 every 3 months, but $10 is $10. 
Recently I was asked to use 2 different shampoos for 10 days each and then to give my opinion. 
What a surprise when my box arrived with 4 full-sized bottles! 
I am thankful for the little pleasures that God sends our way. 
I use Pantene as my regular shampoo, but the TreSemme - what luxury! 
I guess that I made more than $10 this month :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Is it a problem for me?

Proverbs 31:24
She maketh fine linen, and selleth it;
and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.

The ever-inspiring, virtuous woman ...
here she is using her skills to bring extra income to her home.
Here is the verse that many folks have thought should cause me some trouble.
Why trouble?
Well, I am a SAHW (stay at home wife) by conviction.
I believe that God would have a wife or mother to have her place in the home.
More than a few people have asked me what I do with the virtuous woman -
- an able business woman.
I concede - she is working and she is great business sense.
But I believe that she is working in her home (remember the candle, the spindle, the distaff) ...
you see, she delivers her products to the merchant.
If she sells it to the merchant - then he is in the public market selling it.

The virtuous woman uses any extra time she has,
along with her well-honed skills,
to bring in some extra income for the family.

How is this seen today?
tutoring in the home,
making goods for craft fairs,
etsy shops,
avon, tupperware, ... (you know the list)
innumerable creative ways.

Yes, I have one of these businesses.
I teach piano lessons.
the catch?
my students (and their parents) know that if hubby needs me,
he comes first.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

What's Wrong With This Picture?

I just received yet another phone call regarding the election.
This one was from the candidate himself.
He said a vote for him would help America to remain the "hope of the earth."

Neither America nor this candidate is the hope of the earth,
but I know someone who is -
and He is greater than any Presidential candidate!

How Could You Forget?

I don't think that you could forget -
not with all the phone calls,
the mailings,
the news coverage.

But just in case -
Don't forget to go vote today.

Only a moment

For what is your life?
It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time,
and then vanisheth away.
James 4:14

I receive the paper each morning.
While I look at the whole paper, in our tiny paper the news is primarily obituaries and comics.
In the obituaries, I look for names I know, but I also look at ages.
There are usually one or two days a week where there is the death of a child or of someone my age.
There is that reminder that I am not guaranteed tomorrow.
Our neighborhood is in a state of shock to find that a young father of 6 is battling cancer.
If you have visited me and your children have played on the playground,
you have probably met him.

The reminder seems to serve 3 purposes.
One, it makes me thankful for today.
Two, it releases the pride from thinking that I am indispensable.
Three, it makes me more urgent to tell others about saving grace.

Will you pray for Mike and his family today?
He will be seen at Cancer Centers of America this weekend.

If you are uncertain of your life beyond death,
will you make certain today?
Leave me a message or visit here for the plan of salvation.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Can You Actually Taste Fall?

Well, I did not get pumpkin snickerdoodles made this weekend,
but maybe later this week.
The apple turnovers looked phenomenal and my students were pleased with their treat.
We enjoyed dinner with friends at our favorite restaurant on Saturday night - Fun!
And then we celebrated the birthday of a brand new 8 year old after church on Sunday night.

I am not sure if you can actually taste fall,
but if you can ... then this is it.
apples, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg,
crunchy topping, creamy filling ...
and easy to make gluten or dairy free.

Dutch Apple-Pumpkin Crisp

1 1/2 c chopped peeled apples (2 small)
3/4 c all-purpose flour (or gluten free blend)
3/4 c packed brown sugar
1/4 c butter or margarine, softened
1 c canned pumpkin
1/3 c granulated sugar
1/4 c milk
2 T all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice {I snuck in a little extra :) }
1 egg
whipped cream / ice cream if desired.

Heat oven to 350*
Spread apples over bottom of 9" glass pie plate.
Microwave uncovered on High for 4-6 minutes or until apples are crisp-tender.
Toss 3/4 c flour, brown sugar, butter, and 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice until crumbly.  Set aside.
In another bowl.  Beat remaining ingredients (except whipped cream) until smooth.
Pour over apples.
Sprinkle with flour mixture.
Bake 30-35 min. until golden brown and set.
Cool 20 minutes.
Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

Recipe was found on

Friday, November 2, 2012

Birthday Treats and Fall Baking

It is a big birthday weekend for the church - with a church of about 40, 2 birthdays is a big weekend.  I am making some gluten-free, dairy free cupcakes for tonight's party which will hopefully leave a couple for the party tomorrow as well.  I would not make them for just Chris and me, but my little friend will be there and it is a little harder to understand when you are six!  Also making some apple turnovers (the glutened variety) for my Sunday School class - the recipe looks a little time-consuming, but yummy! ... and am itching to try a recipe for pumpkin - apple crisp for hubby and I.  I just found a recipe for pumpkin Snickerdoodles which should take car of the remainder of the jar of pumpkin ... AAHH!  Fall Treats!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

More Space

One empty lot right below,
and another empty lot past the storage shed.
On this Thankful Thursday, I am thankful for an ever-expanding back yard - you know, wide open spaces.  Sounds funny, doesn't it?  I live in a trailer park, but not quite as you would normally picture it.  Yes, about half of the trailers (maybe more) are in disrepair, but we are not packed on top of each other, for which I am very thankful.  In the 4 years that we have been here, the owners have removed or sold the two trailers in the lots below us ... which means more back yard for us (and yet I don't have to mow it all).  The little one bedroom trailer directly below us was remove yesterday (a fun process to watch).  The picture was taken from my back porch.  Hopefully the front and back porch that are sitting below will soon be removed as well :)