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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Until Next Year

Today the decorations were tucked away ...
greenery taken down,
wreath boxed,
5 manger scenes put away,
the tree moved back to the bedroom and left with just lights and red hearts.

And prep for a little New Years gathering after prayer meeting:
Chicken Nuggets
Ants on a Log
Cuties
Banana Chia Bites

Looking forward to a new year.

Monday, December 29, 2014

A Little Help in the Kitchen

There are some days when gluten free - mostly dairy free - low carb cooking
just eats up a lot of time.
Last week, I enjoyed having one of my nieces help me in the kitchen on Monday.
She was browning sausage for our soup and it was nice to have the extra hands.
While hubby was home last week,
we also did a lot of cooking together.

We tag team on breakfast so that everything is ready at once - 
the eggs aren't burnt, the avocado hasn't browned, the bacon is still hot - 
and the Teeccino is served with the breakfast.

On Christmas Day - 
We put together a pizza and my favorite cranberry Waldorf salad together.

But I also had some "cheats."
Ah - a rotisserie chicken from Walmart.
Perfect for Chicken Salad with mayo and cashews.
Perfect atop a bed of lettuce for a phenomenal chef salad.
Perfect as a snack when the next meal is just a little too far away.
It is one of hubby's favorite - is cheaper than eating out - feeds us more than one meal.
It is also a great help when we can't find a "safe" place to eat.

This week's menu:

Sunday:  Italian Sausage and Green Beans
Monday:  Sweet and Sour Chicken
Tuesday:  Shepherd's Pie
Wednesday:  Salmon Chowder
Thursday:  Tacos
Friday:  Chili
Saturday:  Tuna/Avocado Lettuce Wrap
Chicken Casserole

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!


Hubby and I wish you all a very merry Christmas!
To God be the glory - great things He has done!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Worthy Ruler

This ornament easily brings a tune to my mind.
Oh, the Hallelujah chorus!
Just to think of the future reign of Christ on earth.
We heard parts of the Messiah twice this year.
Once at the local college
and once down in Greenville.


The news can get discouraging.
Corruption and incompetent decisions abound.

But I am thankful for the supreme potentate - 
the King of Kings - 
the one whose birth we celebrate during the season.

He rules today, but one day every knee will bow to him.
One day, he will depose all others.
One day, we will be in a perfect kingdom.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Silent Night

The house is calm tonight after a busy overnight with one brother and his family.
We enjoyed our visit and reconnecting with the "not-so" little ones.
I tease my hubby that I would be awfully lonely if he had not married me.
All of the children that I babysit 
and even my nieces and nephews just bounce in the trailer 
with anticipation of his 5:30 pm homecoming!

In the calm,
I am thankful that I grew up not knowing a lot of hustle around the season.
I am thankful for a church that does not "thrive" on busy-ness.
I am thankful for a husband who enjoys my time and presence more than a big meal on a holiday.
I am thankful for a family that more than accepts the "in-laws."
I am thankful for friends and family who express their love all year long
and do not need to be stressed over the perfect gift at Christmas.
I am thankful for the Prince of Peace who helps guide are steps.


Monday, December 22, 2014

Give It A Try!

I would not consider myself a gutsy cook -
or even an adventurous cook ...
but sometimes the mood hits.

I had my recipes for the week planned 
and then ...
yeah, the bothersome food allergies ...
turkey pot pie was out.

What could I replace it with?

How about one of hubby's favorites ... Zuppa Toscana,
You know it from the O.G.
But it is high in dairy ... won't work.
And we are trying to tone it down on the potatoes.

Oh I love the internet.
Enter ... the new Zuppa Toscana.
My 5 guests and I tried turnips for the first time
and hubby declared it better than the original 
(of course anything that does not end in a stomach ache and heartburn is an improvement).
And I found out after 12 years of marriage that turnips are one of my husband's favorites.

And turnips - 
high in vitamin C
high in fiber
low carbs (no sugar spikes).


Zuppa Toscana

1 med. onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground Italian Sausage
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
8 c chicken stock
4 medium turnips (1 lb) - peeled and chopped
1 c almond milk (unsweetened)
4 c kale - stems removed (I halved this)
sea salt and ground pepper to taste

Brown sausage with garlic and onion.
Drain if necessary.
Add stock and turnips.  Bring to boil then simmer 10 min.
Add milk and kale - simmer 5 minutes.
Season as desired and serve.

This week's menu:

Sunday: Herbed Hamburgers on the Grill
Monday:  Zuppa Toscana
Tuesday:  Leftover Zuppa Toscana
Wednesday:  Tilapia
Thursday:  Pizza / More leftover soup
Friday:  Pigs in a Blanket / Ham Steak
Saturday:  Chicken Salad / Sausage Risotto

Thursday, December 11, 2014

He Provides

Jehovah Jireh - The Lord will Provide


I am not looking at my tree today - but I will be again tonight.
I have been on a business trip with hubby.
Back to Raleigh.
I worked on Christmas cards primarily.
I meant to be working on hubby's next book, but I brought the wrong thumb drive:(

But as I think of the Savior we celebrate this season,
I am thankful for Jehovah - Jireh.
God provides.
He has never let us down.
We have never lacked for the necessities of life.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Winter Welcome

The yard and gardens are cleaned.
Garden beds are covered with mulched leaves.
Annuals have been pulled.
Perenniels have been trimmed back.

There is a relief in having a few months off,
but there is an emptiness in the entry to our home.

Pinterest to the rescue.

Enter Mason Jar Lanterns.

My shepherd's hook stood very empty.
There were solar light options,
but mason jars were free
and votives cheap.



We used mason jars (actually most are almond butter jars),
a good length of thick jewelry wire,
some decorative sand and epson salt,
votive candles.

Very cute change.
We light them and enjoy the warm glow as we share a warm drink on the porch on our date nights.

And if we know that you are coming over on a winter evening,
we will light them as a winter welcome for you.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Prince of Peace

I showed you my quaint paint stick ornaments on Tuesday.
As I look at my tree, I remember Jesus.
I am thankful for my Savior.


This morning I was thinking on His title of "Prince of Peace."
I am thankful that in the rush of life,
in the hustle and bustle,
in the struggles and conflicts,
in the busy days,
I can rely on one who is Peace - and not only that - He is the ruler of Peace.

I am thankful that through Him I can have that peace.

I am thankful for the rest that He gives.

I am thankful for the burdens that He carries.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Three Months

Today was the day.
The last mow of the season.

The garden is completely covered with mulched leaves.
Extra leaves are piled beneath the trees.
The mower has been run dry.

I bid mowing farewell until March.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A Better Fit

For the best 2-3 years hubby and I have skipped putting up a tree.
We love real trees,
but they are costly and they take up a lot of space in a small trailer.

Last year, we found the perfect artificial tree. 
It was slim,
it had lots of space in between the branches for ornaments.
We went to the store after Christmas hoping for 50-70% off.
As we walked in the store,
the floor model was walking out :(

When the 40% off coupon came in September,
hubby insisted that I order "our" tree.

Our little tree is usually in our pine themed bedroom - 
Decorated with hearts and love notes.
I love the twinkly lights all year round.


I moved it into the Living Room yesterday.
Still decorated with red hearts (a gift from my great grandma more than 35 years ago) - 
decorated with glittered pine cones - 
decorated with the names of Jesus.




The ornaments are made from 5 gallon paint sticks (we got 28 ornaments from 7 sticks).
Check out the tutorial here.


Monday, December 1, 2014

Holiday Salad

Hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend.
We enjoyed a nice day with our church family
and a restful weekend since hubby had Friday off.

Our Thanksgiving dinner was wonderful.
I love sharing the cooking with the other ladies in the church.
We enjoyed feeding 6 college students along with our own families.

Below you will find my recipe experiment of Thanksgiving Day.
It was my tribute to healthy living (though most of our meal was very sensible).
This is a beautiful and tasty salad.  
I am going to buy some cranberries to make this again in December.


Cranberry Waldorf Salad

Ingredients:
1 can full-fat coconut milk

12 ounces fresh cranberries
16 dried apricots
1 pound seedless grapes, cut in half
2 medium apples, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup pecan halves
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Directions:
**This requires a bit of forethought: place a can of coconut milk in the refrigerator, ideally overnight, but 3-4 hours will do. Also, this salad works best if you do the prep, let it sit overnight, then assemble shortly before eating. Trust me; it will be worth it!
Prep
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Put your mixing bowl and beater in the freezer.
2. Wash the cranberries and set a few aside for garnish. Place the rest in the bowl of a food processor with the dried apricots and grind them until the mixture has the consistency of relish. (It’s OK! Go ahead… sneak a little bite. It’s tangy and delicious!)
3. In a large bowl, toss the cranberry-apricot relish with the cut apples and grapes. Cover tightly and place in the refrigerator so they can get to know each other. Forget about them until the next day.
4. Meanwhile, spread the pecans on a baking sheet in a single layer and toast for 5-7 minutes until golden. Keep an eye on them; they can burn quickly. When they’re cool, chop the pecans and set aside – be sure to save a few unchopped for garnish. Resist the urge to eat them immediately. If you’re feeling lazy, you can use untoasted pecans; it will be fine.
Assembly
1. When you’re ready to assemble the salad, take your can of coconut milk out of the fridge — don’t shake it — and put it in the freezer for 10 minutes, then…
2. It’s time to make the whipped cream! Remove the mixing bowl and beater from the freezer. Carefully open the can of coconut milk without shaking it, and scoop the thick, coconut cream into the chilled mixing bowl (toss the liquid that’s left over). Add the vanilla extract and beat the mixture on the highest speed of your mixer until it looks like whipped cream. This takes about 5-7 minutes.
3. When the cream is done, place the chopped pecans and fruit relish in a large bowl. Gently fold in the whipped cream and garnish with whole cranberries and nuts.

This weeks menu:
Sunday: Last of the Leftovers
Monday: Pork chops
Tuesday: Italian Sausage
Wednesday: Tilapia
Thursday:  Fajitas
Friday: Chicken Breasts
Saturday:  Taco Salad

Thursday, November 27, 2014

We are Blessed


I am thankful for the workout I had early this morning.
I am thankful for my husband who keeps me on track in this area.
I am thankful for his faithfulness, discipline, and love.

I am thankful for the food that I will enjoy today.
I am thankful for the friends who are much like family that I will share the day with.

I am thankful for my family  - truly a blessing.
I am thankful for their prayers and encouragement even from afar.
I am thankful for the absence of major tension and antagonism.

I am thankful for the infirmities and weaknesses that remind me 
that I am not in control - I need God!


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Cooking Day

Plenty to do today.
We share Thanksgiving with much of our church family.
Much of our membership is far from immediate family and we enjoy the day together.

The squash is done,
NY sweet corn is out of the freezer (thanks mom and dad),
the apple pie is in the oven.

Still to do ...
pumpkin pie,
prep turkey,
prep dressing,
rolls,

Tonight - a special Praise, Song, and Psalm Service!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Pumpkin Search

The Christmas decorations are already up in our area ...
which means ...
the pumpkins are being disposed of.

I don't know how many Shelby, NC natives read this,
but ...
if you have a decorative pumpkin and you don't use if for pie or bread or smoothies ...
drop me a note - I'll take it off your hands.

I have found a few that I will be collecting after Thanksgiving.

The next plan is to freeze baked sweet potatoes to add to hubby's workout smoothie.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Keepin' It Simple

Trying to keep the cooking easy this week.
Have to keep the fridge cleaned out for the big cook days Wednesday and Friday.

I did entertain on Sunday.
I guess it was hardly entertaining - 
we had the college students over - 
we count them as family more than guests.

In fact, while I accompanied some of the students preparing for a church special,
some of the others did the dishes.
Easy, huh?

I resurrect this recipe - it is always a hit, so easy, prep ahead ...
I like to throw the cranberry jello in for the holidays or leave it straight raspberry in the summer.


Raspberry Jello Salad

2 - 3 oz pkg jello (I like to use 1 raspberry and 1 cranberry)
1 1/2 c boiling water
1 c applesauce
1 pkg frozen raspberries

Dissolve jello in boiling water.
Add applesauce and frozen raspberries.
Stir
Cool/Pour into mold or bowl.

For 3 pkg of jello - add addition 1 c boiling water and 1 c apple sauce.


This weeks menu:
Sunday:  Grilled Chicken using McCormicks Sundried Tomato Basil marinade
Monday: Lemon-Garlic Tilapia
Tuesday: Broiled Porkchop
Wednesday: Chicken Sausage-Mushroom Cauliflower Risotto
Thursday: Guess?
Friday: Leftovers or Orange-Chipotle Chicken
Saturday: Sloppy Joes

Thursday, November 20, 2014

All Things

I typically try to open my Sunday School class by asking the students what they are thankful for:
Typical answers include ...
Mom,
Dad,
Friends,
Breakfast,
Warm Clothes.

Then I ask what they should be thankful for that is hard:
Siblings,
Veggies,
Bedtimes.


How about being thankful for what I don't have?
A little harder still.
A large bank account.
A new car,
Children.

Or perhaps not so hard?
Cancer,
Blindness,
Hunger,
Homelessness,
Hopelessness.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Just a Little Warmup

Fall has left us - at least for a little while.
The chill is here this week.
Oh - what can we do to warm up.
Here are 3 of my favorite hot drinks.



Chai Tea Latte - made with naturally decaffeinated Rooibos tea
Teeccino - caffeine free coffee substitute
and when I bravely take on 35 mg of caffeine
Maxwell House Pumpkin Spice or Vanilla Caramel Latte

This Week's Menu:

Sunday: Chili Dinner at Church
Monday: Leftovers
Tuesday: Nacho Pie
Wednesday: Lemon-Garlic Chicken
Thursday: Salmon Cakes
Friday: Chicken Sausage Risotto
Saturday: Orange - Chipotle Chicken

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Doctor

I have been slow in establishing a doctor here in NC.
I really did not expect to be here as long as we have been.
 I don't really like visiting the doctor.
It is hard to find a good doctor.

I was going to go to the doctor in the spring,
but hubby's surgery came up and the appointments were put off.

On Tuesday,
I headed to my doctor's appointment.
A new doctor in town - as of September.

I am thankful for God's provision and timing.
The doctor was great.
She agreed that I did not need a flu shot :)
She said that the worse thing that could happen is that I get the flu and suffer for 2-3 days!
She ignored a cholesterol test knowing that while I was still
hoping to conceive I wouldn't take cholesterol lowering drugs anyway.
She omitted a test after stereotyping hubby and I as monogamous.
She did the one test that I needed at the "establishing care" appointment 
so that I did not have to come back.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

False View

Ephesians 5:22 
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, 
as unto the Lord.

We live near a small Bible college
and in turn we live around young love.
We see the "twitterpated" young women
and the "deer in the headlights" young men.

As I speak to some of the young women,
I realize that there is a lot of confusion about marriage,
about roles,
about expectations.

So often the conversations address how the young man will meet the young woman's needs.
Confusion.
I was created to submit, to serve, to meet his needs.
In turn, his love will meet my needs, but I must recognize my responsibilities.

I want to bless my husband.
He needs the help and encouragement.
Recently, I have made small love notes (3x5) cards and placed them on a tree in our bedroom.
He loves to look for them,
I love to make them,
It is a reminder of the things I love about him.

How will you bless your husband today?
How will you bless your boyfriend?
Practice with your dad or brothers if you are still young.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Appreciate


In the midst of the bustle of life,
pause to appreciate ...

your freedom,
those who have given a part of their life for that freedom,
those who have paid the ultimate price,
those who are on foreign soil even today.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Marinade in No Time

I am a huge fan of marinades - 
steak, chicken, pork.
Flavorful, juicy meat.
The problem is when I drag my feet getting dinner ready - 
no time to marinade.

Sunday, I tried a new recipe.
Tasted like a marinade, but was just a basting sauce.
Really good!


Balsamic Oregano Grilled Pork Chops

2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 -6 oz bone in pork chops
1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper

Mix basting sauce (oil through garlic).
Brush over pork chops.
Grill pork chops.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.


This Week's Menu:

Sunday - Balsamic-Oregano Grilled Pork Chops
Monday - Dinner at Friends
Tuesday - Beef and Pork Roll-ups
Wednesday - Turkey-Bacon Meatballs
Thursday - Corned Beef
Friday - Lemon Garlic Chicken Breasts
Saturday - Italian Meatballs with Romesco Sauce

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Safety

Today I am thankful for safety.
Safety on the roof.
Safety moving sheets of metal.
Safety cutting metal.
Safety climbing up and down ladders.
Safety hammering.


I am thankful for where I was not. (I am not sure how to say that correctly)
On the first night of roof work, we heard a noise while up on the roof.
We thought that something had slid off the other side while we worked.
When we walked inside for the night,
we discovered the source of the noise.
One of the light covers in the "nook" had dropped.
There was glass everywhere.
I am thankful that we were not near it when it fell.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Little, but Wise (Part IV of IV)

Proverbs 30:28 
The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces.

The ant is diligent and prepares for the future.
The coney knows where to seek stability and protection.
The locust values unity and teamwork.

Finally, we get one more picture ... the spider.
The spider practices persistence and patience.


I am amazed at how quickly a spider builds a web.
I am amazed at the places they choose to build.
I am amazed that they build and rebuild and rebuild.

The spider takes hold with her hands.
The spider has persistence.
It knows what is necessary for survival.
It must catch its food.
It takes hold - builds a web - catches its meals.
It rebuilds when it is knocked down.

A homemaker has a difficult job.
Some days it seems like the work will never get done.
Some days it seems like the work is done over and over each day.
Some days the tasks seem daunting.
Some days it seems like there are innumerable obstacles.

Don't look at the "palace" around you or the size of the task,
set your hands to the work and get it done.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Icing on the Cake

The last step in the 2014 summer update was the roof.
September slipped away with extra responsibilities at church.
October was catchup from September.
So here we are finishing our 2014 project bucket list.
Trailer As Purchased July 2013

Very worn shingled roof

We started the project on Thursday night.
Got tar paper and furring strips up on the back.
Friday - metal up on back ... tar paper and furring strips on front
Saturday - Big rain, wind, biting cold - forced day off
Sunday - Day of Rest - plenty of sun to dry out roof
Monday - Beautiful day - metal on front, ridge cap on top

We went back and forth ...
shingles,
metal,
shingles,
metal.
 
Trailer Novermber 2014
Burnished Slate Metal Roof
 The price was comparable.
What swayed us to metal?
No need to remove the shingles already there.
The roof will probably outlast the trailer.

We still have the small shed in the back to reroof - that should be a small Saturday afternoon job.


I don't think I shared this outside decoration with you.
I ordered a plastic lawn sign from Vistaprint.
I Nailed it to a small pallet and trimmed it with leftover rope from the deck project.
It welcomes folks to our little abode.

What a way to top off the summer of exterior improvements!

2015 Project Bucket List
New flooring in guest bathroom - 
- currently has dated linoleum, put down laminate that matches the rest of the trailer.
back deck - strip paint, stain and paint similar to front
Back screen door - paint

Monday, November 3, 2014

Simple Lunch Plans

The project is nearly done.
I needed some easy, prep ahead lunch ideas.
This one definitely fit the bill.
And...hubby requested that it appear in his lunch box ... SOON!

Easy Chicken Salad

1 plain deli rotisserie chicken
1/4 c mayo
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar (I used rice vinegar)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 c thinly sliced fresh basil
1/4 c chopped cashews (or almonds)

Chop chickin into bite-size pieces.
Combine chicken, mayo, vinegar, salt, and pepper.
Stir in basil and cashews.


This Week's Menu:
Sunday: Grilled Asian Pork Ribs
Monday: Out - Date Night/Finish Big Housing Project
Tuesday: Bacon-Apple Turkey Meatloaf
Wednesday: Baked Chicken
Thursday:  Slow Cooker Pot Roast
Friday:  Turkey-Bacon Meatballs with Tomato Sauce
Saturday:  Salami and Almond-Crusted Salmon

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Partner Projects

Today I am thankful to be starting a project with my hubby.
It is another house project.
I am thankful for the funds needed to complete the project.
I am thankful for the health and strength to do it on our own.
I am thankful for the know-how to take care of our new home.

We started tonight.
Hoping to finish on Friday and Saturday ---
but,
the forecast is calling for rain/snow/wind on Saturday.

If you are reading this on Friday,
would you pray that the weather holds until the project is completed?

Don't worry ...
I'll show you a picture on Tuesday in a return to Tuesday Transformations!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Little, But Wise (Part III of IV)

Proverbs 30:27 
The locusts have no king, 
yet go they forth all of them by bands;

The ant is diligent and prepared.
The coney seeks a strong rock, foundation, protection.
The locust understands the value of unity and teamwork.


Do I value the efforts of others?
Do I work well with others?
Am I working toward a common goal with others?
Of course there must be a commonality -
and that commonality should be Christ.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Personal Goals

Nearly 3 years ago I began the Couch to 5K program.
I completed the program, but weather, schedules, or disinterest caused me to stop running.
I restarted the program early this summer.
I went slow.
I repeated some weeks numerous times.
I allowed myself grace.
I invited hubby on my runs to push me.

Yesterday, I saw a personal best.
I did my 3 miles in 32 min. 55 sec.
4 minutes of that was a warm up walk and I walked another 1 1/2 min. in the middle.


My goal is 30 minutes.
Eventually I will do my 5 min. warm up and then start the 3 miles.
Doable?
Maybe ... but if not, the challenge is beneficial and keeps me motivated.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Exciting Weekend

It has been a big weekend in Shelby.
Did you notice the ebook available on my sidebar?
We published the ebook on Saturday night.
I requested our proof of the print book this morning 
and hopefully by early December it too will be ready for distribution.


Why write books?

Hubby was encouraged to write as he went through Bible college.
In class after class, he was assigned reading from liberal commentaries and books
that belittled the text or caused doubts and confusion.
When he approached some of the teachers, he was told that there just were no conservative works.

Hubby writes because it organizes his thoughts before preaching a passage.

Hubby was encouraged to write because there are small churches looking for Sunday School material for godly men who just need a little help and direction.
In like fashion, there may be missionaries who need books for their institutes for training pastors and layworkers.


Some facts about the publications:

We are self publishing through lulu.com.
The ebook will be available on many sites (including Amazon) within 8 weeks.
The ebook is in "epub" format but a converter can be used to make it compatible with kindle.
We encourage purchase through lulu because they take the smallest "cut."
The print book will only be available on lulu.com or through us directly.
For the most part, we will let lulu take care of things because they do print on demand,
but if in the early release time many folks show an interest, we will do a volume order at a discount and be able to pass it on to the readers.
For the book of Malachi, we intend to give complementary copies to many friends, family, some pastors, and some missionaries - this will give them an idea of hubby's style to know if future works would be beneficial to them.
A study in Romans is already in the proofing stage and should be available in early 2015.
A study in Daniel will be available in later 2015.

Slip it in Anywhere

It looks like we will have a little Indian Summer for a couple of days.
It sure has been pleasant to have some cool days.
Of course, I have been relishing the open windows,
no a/c, and no heat!

I am enjoying the NY Macintosh apples that show up in our stores.
I eat them all day, but hubby can only have them cooked.
I like apple crisp and apple pie alot, but ...

I recently tried two recipes that added apple.
The first was Italian Sausage sauteed with peppers, onions, and APPLES!
What a pleasant surprise and I am glad that I tried it.
The second was baked sweet potatoes and apples -  YUMMY!
It reminded me of Thanksgiving and may show up on our Thanksgiving table this year.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples

3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 apples sliced
3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dried rosemary

Preheat Oven to 425*
Combine all ingredients on baking sheet rubbed with oil.
 Bake 25-30 minutes, turning once, until browned and sweet potatoes are tender.



This week's menu:
Sunday: Italian Pork Sandwiches (College Students Over)
Monday: Oven Fried Chicken with Marinara over Spaghetti Squash "noodles"
Tuesday: Italian Chicken Sausage Risotto
Wednesday:  Smoky Sloppy Joe Roll-ups
Thursday: Pecan Crusted Tilapia 
Friday:  Bacon-Apple Turkey Meatloaf
 Saturday: Spanish Rice (?) - more college students over

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Nearing the Finish Line

Though I am jogging again,
it is not my thankful post for the week.

This week, I am thankful to be nearing the end of a BIG project.
Hubby has written a book
and the editing of a print version and an ebook is now complete.
We are waiting on the completed cover
and then we will wait for the physical proof copy.

The springboard from a free Template Maker on Amazon -
not fully customizable.

Found a designer on fiverr.com
His first interpretation.

Asked to soften the font -
misunderstanding and he softens the edges.

Back to fixing the font.

Font fixed -
just 2 minor changes coming.

I am thankful for a reason to learn and practice new skills.
I am thankful for the sites available to help in such endeavors.
I am thankful that the editing of the next one will be that much easier.
I am thankful.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Little, but Wise (Part II of IV)

Proverbs 30:26 
The conies are but a feeble folk, 
yet make they their houses in the rocks;


The small ant was wise in its preparations.
The coney recognizes its weakness
and seeks protection.

Makes me think of the childhood song
"The Wise Man built his house upon the rock."

Where are you building your life and home?
Are you trusting in the world and its riches?
Are you trusting in yourself?
Are you trusting in a husband or boyfriend?

Run to the ROCK!
Seek your protection in the right place.

Psalm 18:31 
For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Simple Encouragement

Not too long ago,
we were able to meet family members of one of our college students.
It is nice to meet family and to understand the students better.
It is nice to speak with knowledge when referring to family members.

As I met a married sister,
I said, "and you used to be a [insert maiden name]?"
Both the sister and her husband beamed.
She was not embarrassed by her birth family,
but she was pleased to be married and identified with her husband.

Oh how that encouraged my heart.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Loving Autumn

Just feeling invigorated by the fall weather ...
... and the smaller electric bill.

I enjoy my weekly house cleaning with the windows open.
I love the apple candles burning.
I love the leaves littering the yard.
I enjoy baking without worrying about heating the house.

Despite the cooler temps,
we are still enjoying salads as well.
We have been trying to avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup,
so I have been making salad dressing.
Hubby quickly got tired of Vinaigrettes,
so I searched further ...
found a winner here.

Avocado Caesar Salad Dressing

1 ripe avocado
5 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
3/4 c water
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast (add the "cheesy" taste)

Combine all ingredients in blender.  Blend until smooth.


This Week's Menu Plan:
Sunday: Church Dinner - Mongolian Beef
Monday: Leftovers
Tuesday: Baked Coconut-Curry Chicken Breasts
Wednesday:Skillet Pork Chops with Greek Mushroom Sauce
Thursday: Chili
Friday: Italian Chicken Sausage with Apples and Onion
Saturday: Caribbean Jerk Burgers

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Blessing Mobile

This should have been the post for last week,
but ...
I am still thankful this week.

I am thankful for our miracle car.

When we set out to move to WA in 2004,
hubby decided that we should be a one-car family.
We put both the Barbie car (a purple Neon) and the F-150 up for sale.
Which would sell first?  Who would give up their vehicle?
They both sold the same day!

We started searching for a car.
My dad always told me not to go car shopping when you were desperate.
We had sold both cars AND were moving to WA within 2 weeks.
I was nervous.

Our miracle sat on the Ford lot.
It was already one year old, but was still brand new.
It was a 5-speed ... my favorite.
It had no A/C.
It had an AM/FM Cassette player (easily remedied if was wanted).
and ... no one wanted it!

I believe that the dealer requested $12,000 for it.
Hubby offered $8.
They took it!

At the time, hubby trusted that it would take us to WA and get us through Bible College.
But here we are ...
we watched the odometer flip 2 Sundays ago.


This car has been a blessing.
Low maintenance.
Good gas mileage.
Now I have my eyes on 300,000.

I am also thankful that my hubby humors me and my blog.
We took an extra spin around the block so that I could have a picture right on 200,000!