Thursday, May 28, 2015

New Book

This "Thankful Thursday," I am thankful for the completion of hubby's third book.
The Daniel Commentary was completed yesterday.

I am thankful for the ministry that this has become.
I am thankful for the skills that I have learned in the process.

I am thankful that the Philippians commentary is a little way from the book stage. :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Don't Be Part of a Scam

Avoid the "bait and switch" in your relationships.

Dating and engagement are exciting times.
Of course, we want to present our best selves.
We take care of ourselves;
we give of ourselves;
we share time and resources;
we guard our words;
we long for time together.

Why should it change?

Does your spouse feel like they have been deceived by a "bait and switch?"

Think of it today.
Don't let routine and time steal the excitement and "first love" of your dating days.
Be a newlywed forever!

It will take work - but it will be worth it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


My go-to recipe this week has been a simplified granola recipe.
It has served for breakfast, snacks, and dessert this past week.
I made another batch last night.
It passed the hubby test.
I think that he likes it because it doesn't create hard clumps that rip your mouth up.
We both like it better than hot oatmeal.

Oatmeal Cookie Granola

3 cups oatmeal 
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup raw honey
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla 
1 cup raisins (or other dried fruit)
1/3 cup chopped walnuts (or other chopped nut)

In a medium mixing bowl, add and thoroughly stir all of the dry ingredients into the dry oatmeal.
In a separate bowl, mix the coconut oil, honey, and vanilla together. 
Once this is well blended, add to the oatmeal mix. 
Spread thinly on a baking sheet (you wont need to grease anything). 
Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until slightly browned, turning once or twice
(ideally every 4 minutes so that it cooks as evenly as possible).

This week's menu:
Sunday:  Pork chops
Monday:  Grilled Chicken
Tuesday:  Fried Rice
Wednesday:  Grilled Chicken
Thursday:  Fried Rice
Friday:  Tilapia
Saturday:  Stuffed Peppers

Monday, May 25, 2015

Stop and Remember and Appreciate

A huge thanks to those families that are grieving today - 
those who have sacrificed greatly for me.

Freedom isn't free.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Brief Reprieve

I am thankful for a break from mowing this week.
Of course, the break from mowing means that 
the garden needs to be watered daily
and the seasonal allergies continued.

While we could use some rain,
I am thankful for the break from the mowing.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

There's a Reason its called ...

There are so many "disciplines" in life.

music practice,
Bible study,
church attendance

One definition I read equated discipline with SELF-CONTROL.
Self-control ... a fruit of the spirit.
Does it typify your life?

I am embarrassed that there are many "disciplines" that I continue to battle.
But isn't "mastery" worth it?
We will never master the flesh here on earth, but we should be improving each day.

I love meeting a fitness goal.
The weight scale is much more friendly when I control my flesh's desire for sweets.
I enjoy being able to make beautiful music with an instrument.
I love to see the answers to specific prayers that I have prayed.
It is a blessing to have God speak through His Word 
and to have His encouragement in the battle over the flesh.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Perhaps I am the only one ...
but my flesh really gets the best of me when it comes to food.
I LOVE FOOD ... especially junk food.

I clean it up ...
then it gets out of control ...
then I clean it up again ...
then it gets out of control ...

Sometimes it is good food ...
but just too much, too often.

So - I am working on it again.
More veggies,
more lean protein,
less sugar,
less dairy.

I am thankful to have a supportive hubby.
We are enjoying the journey together.
He encourages me with his love of healthy food.
We are contemplating where the balance lies.

We drank a green drink on Saturday.
I don't know about the taste,
but it made the house smell good - fresh cut grass anyone?

I really view it as a spiritual battle that I have within myself.
Instead of giving my body what it needs ..
I give it what it wants.
Lust and covetousness are sins.

If you think of it,
pray that God would give me victory over poor eating,
that I would not submit to the "lust of the flesh."

Do you have a healthy treat that satisfies your sweet tooth?
I think I am going to try a smoothie tonight with coffee (teeccino) and frozen banana.
Sounds like it will work.

Monday, May 18, 2015

In Season

I love Spring fruits and vegetables.
I enjoyed a fresh strawberry pie on Sunday
and the peas are coming in the garden.

The peas don't often make it to the table because I eat them while working outside,
but I will plan a few stir-fries for hubby using the pea pods.

The leaf lettuce is also ready for salads
and I look forward to that.

This Week's Menu:

Sunday:  Roast, Turnips, and Carrots
Monday:  Leftovers
Tuesday:  Penne with Garlic and Broccoli
Wednesday:  Spaghetti Squash with Beans, Tomatoes, and Garlic
Thursday:  Grilled Mushroom and Sauteed Vegetable Sandwich
Friday:  Grilled Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Pea Pods
Saturday:  Beans, Sweet Potato, and Poached Eggs

Friday, May 15, 2015

Before and After

No - I am not posting weight loss pictures ...
or broadcasting the changes in my looks over 40 years.

I finally took my camera to church to take some after shots.

Here is before:

Here is after:

Psalm 89:7

"Pickling" stripped from pews and pulpit furniture - stained dark.
Brown carpet.

New Valances - two toned walls
Special project in entry hallway.
Sticky words on glass.

Bulletin board in entryway.

We got the vinyl letters from

They custom made the verses.
At the front of the church - 23" x 72" panel - cut apart for application - $74 less 20%
Special Project - 23" x 36" $34 less 20%
$7 shipping

Middle of Palindrome Week


Same forward and backward ...

This is my 1300 post.

It also happens to be my 40th birthday.

It began with greetings and a present from hubby.
Then phone calls and emails.

We have enjoyed a Live G-Free Cheesecake from ALDI all week.

Tonight,  hot dogs on the grill, deli potato salad, and canned baked beans.
Not everyone appreciates my choice ... but they are my favorites 
... and I don't have them very often.
After dinner, a little celebration with the church folks while we assemble Bibles ...
Strawberry Coconut "Ice Cream" anyone?

And tomorrow?
Nowhere we have to be.
No time schedules.
Love it!

Thursday, May 14, 2015


On this Thankful Thursday,
I am thankful for the beauty all around us.
There can by beauty in people.
There is beauty in nature.
There can be beauty in the home.

I am enjoying the roses off my front porch.
Just Beautiful!

The Wish List

As a college student, 
I was encouraged to make a wish list for my future husband.
The point was not to be ridiculous,
the point was that I set high standards,
that I not settle,
that I recognize what I was looking for.

As I left college,
I set the list behind me ...
maybe it was not such a great idea.
Maybe the list was too lofty.

Can you imagine what my list looked like?

I wanted a man who loved God.
I wanted a man in the ministry.
I wanted a military man (there is nothing like a man in uniform).
I wanted a leader.
I wanted a man with a sense of humor.
I wanted a man who could fix things like my dad.
I wanted a man who was taller than me.
I wanted a man with short hair ... and no facial hair.
I wanted a man with blue eyes.

So my list seemed lofty and ridiculous ...
there were some superficial things I'll admit.
There were some things that did not seem to go together -
a military man and a man in the minisry?
but God met all but one of the list ...
my hubby has brown eyes :)

I think of this often when I think of God's graciousness to give us the desires of our hearts.
He did not bring him in my time ... but He definitely brought the right one in His time.

May I encourage young ladies to wait ...
the world has its timetable and plan ...
but just wait ...
God's timetable and plan is far better.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

For the tough days ...

There are days that are just tough...
there are things that don't seem to make sense ...
there are imperfect people ...
there are accidents ...
there are tragedies ...

I was reminded of this song this morning.
It is based on a Psalm.
The reminder is perfect.
I don't have to know why ...
I just have to remember that I serve a perfect Heavenly Father.

His Way Is Perfect

by Becky Kistler

When my way seems dark and drear and the future I don’t know, 
My heart feels so empty as the tears unending flow.
When my heart breaks with sorrow and a tempest fills my soul,
This one thing I know for sure: my God is in control.

His way is perfect, His way is perfect.
Though I don’t understand His wise and loving plan,
His way is perfect. His way is perfect.
Take my life and make a vessel purified.
God makes no mistakes, His way is best. 

When the toils of life are come and my heart is worn with care,
I faint ‘neath the burden of a cross I cannot bear.
When the joy has departed from my sorrow stricken soul,
This one thing I know for sure: my God is in control.

Psalm 18:30
As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: 
he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Throw It On the Grill

Summer temps have hit NC.
I watched the trailer temp hit 85 before the AC turned on for hubby's homecoming.
With temps like that, we like to get the heat outside.
I had never done a pork roast on the grill before - 
it was so good ... and so easy.

Zesty Pork Tenderloin

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup olive oil
2 Tbsp grated lime rind
2 cloves garlic, minced
1½ lb pork tenderloin
½ tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper

Combine cilantro, oil, lime rind, garlic and pork in a large zip-top plastic bag. 
Seal and refrigerate overnight. 
Preheat grill to medium high heat. 
Remove pork from bag; discard marinade. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper.
Grill pork, covered with grill lid, 20 to 25 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 145°F. 
Let stand 3 minutes before slicing.
Note: Bake pork at 400°F for 20 to 25 minutes instead of grilling, if desired.

This Week's Menu:
Sunday: Out 
Monday:  Denver Omelet
Tuesday:  Hamburger Pie
Wednesday:  Fish with Creamy Lemon Sauce
Thursday: Lime Chipotle Grilled Chicken
Friday:  Hot Dogs and Potato Salad
Saturday:  Vegetable Soup

Thursday, May 7, 2015

A $4 Gift

I showed you the valances that I worked on for the church sanctuary on Tuesday.
I also promised a story about the fabric.

On this Thankful Thursday,
I am thankful for the $4 gift of fabric.

The pastor's wife heard of a thrift shop that had a fabric corner.
When I stopped by,
I found a fabric that I thought just might work.

It was high quality.
It was a neutral color.
There was enough of it for 6 windows.

I asked the owner how much they would charge for the remainder of the roll - 
I guessed that it was about 12 yards.
The bill ... $4.
Even if my fabric choice was vetoed, I wasn't out much.

When I got it home, it had 10 1/2 yards.

I searched for the brand online.
It was a local manufacture.
They listed the fabric at $55 per yard!
I don't suppose that too many people would pay that,
but they might pay $30 per yard.
God gave it to us for $.40 per yard.

Praise the Lord!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Love Is ...

I remember the old Peanuts cartoon ...
Happiness is a warm puppy.

So what is a simple definition of love.

My mother and I would say ...
Love is closed windows on a beautiful spring day.
(Our hubbies both suffer with spring allergies)

Love is a haircut during a busy week.
(My hubby gave me a haircut this week even though he had a lot on his plate.)

Love is an understanding caress without a word.

Love is a quick call over a lunch break just because.

How about you?

Do you have a practical definition of love?

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Check It Off!

For weeks,
my daily calendar has had "Valances" as one of my activities.
I was held up by a search for fabric.

On Friday, I found the fabric.
So today ...
6 valances for the renovated sanctuary.

I still need to press again and close the side seam,
but it is good to have that done.

I have 2 more smaller curtains/valances to make - 
one for the church office
and one for the nursery.

Check back on Thankful Thursday for the exciting story about the fabric.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Chocolate and Mint - A Recipe for Success

We are in celebratory mode here.
The colleges in our area graduate this Friday and Saturday.
So Sunday night, we had a Crunch and Munch for the graduates.
I brought some buffalo quinoa bites, ants on a log, pizza bread sticks and grasshopper bars.
I did not try the bars, but hubby has been enjoying them.
I did try the mint layer - it was more coconut flavor than I expected,
but still good.

Coconut and Avocado Grasshopper Bars

1 Haas avocado
1/4 c. honey
6 T. coconut oil, melted
1 1/2 c. shredded unsweetened coconut
3/8 t. mint extract (I multiplied this by about 5)
dash of salt
1/4 c. coconut oil
2 T. honey (I doubled this too)
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1/4 t. vanilla extract
dash of salt
Line a 9×9 inch baking dish with foil.
Place all ingredients in high powered blender or a food processor. I did the avocado, honey, and oil in the blender 
and then added the finely shredded coconut in a bowl and mixed with a spoon.Smooth mixture into prepared dish and stick in the freezer.
In small saucepan, melt coconut oil and honey over low heat.
Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients.
Pour over chilled bottom layer and return to the freezer for about 15 minutes,
or until the chocolate layer is hardened.
Remove from foil and cut into bars. Store covered in the freezer.

This Week's Menu

Sunday:  Veggie Frittata
Monday:  Burgers with Guacamole
Tuesday:  Pecan Crusted Chicken
Wednesday:  Zesty Pork Tenderloin
Thursday:  Chicken Nuggets
Friday:  BBQ stuffed potatoes
Saturday:  Chicken w/Balsamic Strawberry Sauce