Thursday, July 30, 2015

An Abundance

On this Thankful Thursday,
I am thankful for an abundance of food.
Why do I say "abundance?"

Do you realize that I have struggled with keeping my weight in check for most of my adult life?
That can only mean one thing...
I have an abundance of food.

I am thankful for all that God provides.
He is good to give us things to eat that provide sustenance and provide pleasure.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

They That Wait ...

Isaiah 40:31
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
they shall run, and not be weary;
 and they shall walk, and not faint.

I am reading in the book of Isaiah right now.
I was impressed today with a thought about waiting.
"wait" - to rest in expectation and patience

So often I want to take the easy way.
I am looking for the shortcut.
Think how we gravitate to the prayer of Jabez, 
Hannah's prayer,
the prayer of Hezekiah.
Can I just copy the words and receive deliverance or a blessing?
I want to skip over the successful life of Daniel who prayed morning and evening each day.
I want to ignore Anna's long service in the temple.
God wants righteous consistency from me.
He wants the rest, the patience.

It may not be easy,
but the reward is sure.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Oh Murphy!

Last week, I posted pictures of my ceiling repair ...
only to realize a few days later that there was another spot to fix.
I scraped and patched this morning ...

and will paint on Thursday.
Isn't that just like Murphy (Murphy's Law)?

I did make my "ottomans" for the front and back porch.
Spray painted 5 gallon buckets.
Cushion set in the top.

Also provides storage.
Could also be extra seating if necessary - especially for kiddos.
Excuse the bare chair - 
We don't have covers for the seats yet and we are actually expecting rain today :)

Monday, July 27, 2015

Cinco De Mayo?

I Love Avocado.
It is pretty.
It is creamy.
It goes good with so many foods.
It is healthy.
It is a pretty color.
While we often eat it plain with eggs and toast for breakfast
or smash it with garlic salt and lime juice for a quick guacomole ...
It does far more.
Check out this yummy salad.
It can be served in a lettuce wrap or goes good with the flat bread mentioned here.

Avocado Tuna

2 cans tuna
1 very ripe avocado
4 TBSP mayo
1/2 c green olives
4 TBSP diced green chiles

Mash avocado.
Mix with mayo.
Add in tuna, chopped olives and diced green chiles.
This Week's Menu

Sunday:  Chef Salad
Monday:  Leftover Faux Joe
Tuesday: Chicken Fajita
Wednesday: Fried Rice
Thursday: Fish
Friday: Quinoa Pizza Bites
Saturday: Flat Bread Pizza

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Those Who Sacrifice

It is not Veteran's Day,
Memorial Day,
or the 4th of July,
but I have been reminded this week to be thankful for those who are sacrificing
for me and for my freedom.

I think of service men and women in places far hotter than NC.
I think of those eating less than home cooked meals night after night.
I think of the parents "going it alone" for 6 months or more at a time.
I think of those who are changed because of their time in the service - 
those with mental struggles,
those with physical impairments ...

I am thankful for those serving today - near and far away.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Give It Value

Do you value your relationships?
Especially the one with your spouse?

Any relationship needs to be valued,
to be cared for,
to be appreciated.

Are you struggling with a spouse?
with a parent?
with a sibling?
with a friend?

Why not try treating the relationship with respect.
Give it the care it needs.
Make changes on your part and leave the results up to God.
Stop blaming the other person.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Ceiling Fix and Cozy Porch

So last week,
I worked on the peeling ceilings in the trailer.
There were 5 different spots.
I had tried to glue some of them up,
but they looked BAD!

I scraped back until the "plaster" was stuck to the ceiling.
I "blobbed" on the new texture.
I put on 2 coats of white paint.

I can tell where the patches are,
but they are much better than chipping ceilings :)

This week,
I am attempting to make ottomans out of 5 gallon paint buckets
to go with the porch furniture.
Paint the buckets, put cushions on top.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Happy Birthday!

Hubby celebrated a birthday yesterday.
We had a little "Surf and Turf" to celebrate.
A Seattle company came through with some gluten-free breaded shrimp - 
OH!  it was delicious.
Add a grilled hamburger ...
and some cole slaw ...

We were trying not to have too big of a cheat day,
so I made a low sugar, bean cake ... this one peanut butter flavored.
I thought it was a little strong on the banana,
but that same banana kept things sweet :)
Check it out here.

Banana Peanut Butter Fudge

1 cup cannelini beans   (Any beans will work)2 bananas3/4 cup peanut butter2 TBSP maple syrup1 tsp vanilla1/4 tsp each baking powder, baking soda and salt

Rinse and drain the beans.

Combine the drained beans, bananas, syrup and vanilla in a bowl and mix with a blender until smooth.  Then add the peanut butter and just pulse till mixed.  

Remove the blade and mix thoroughly the baking powder, baking soda and salt to the mixture.

Transfer into a greased 9 x 9 square pan.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for around 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Chill before cutting.  

My mom will know why the end of my week of meals looks so peculiar.
She taught me this habit.
Don't worry - I will cook my breakfasts, lunches, and snacks.

This Week's Menu:

Sunday:  Surf and Turf

Monday: Penne and Broccoli
Tuesday:  Chicken and Sweet Potatoes
Wednesday: Frozen Dinner
Thursday:  Frozen Dinner
Friday:  Frozen Dinner
Saturday:  Pork Chops and Squash

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

But Why?

Hubby and I recently made comment that we were encouraged by a certain couple.
The couple showed interest,
they looked for things to praise,
they admonished to better behavior.
We want to be like that.

One effort we are trying to make is to improve relationships.
I think one aspect of that is answering "Why?"

It is easy to say, "I love you!"
"I appreciate you."

But Why?

We have been practicing at home
and will try to carry it over with others.
Typically, I try to do this in Christmas cards, birthday cards, ...
but there are many missed opportunities.

I love you because ...

... you encourage me. support me.
... you work hard.
... you make time for me.
... you pray for me.

I appreciate you because ...

Seeking not just the superficial, but to encourage character,
to make known what encourages us,
to build healthier relationships.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Bathroom Remodel

Here is the bathroom as we met it two summers ago.
The linoleum was not glued down.
The linoleum was a tribute to the 80's -
country blue and rose on a cream (or dirt) background!

Same linoleum floor - but now with striped walls.

The stripes did not enhance the tile floor - so in comes the new paint.
Coastal Villa
Looks a bit more sophisticated.

Groutable peel and stick tiles - Just LOVE it!
Especially love that the vent no longer moves around
and there is no linoleum peeling up around it.

Today I am patching some spots in the ceiling that are flaking off.
I hope that when I scrape it back, the whole ceiling doesn't come down :)

Next large renovation ... back porch.

Monday, July 13, 2015


Have spent the past week cooking and freezing pumpkins.
I just halve, seed, cook until soft, peel, cube, and freeze.
These are what thickens hubby's chocolate protein smoothies,
so I am thankful for the full freezer.
I am excited for the number that the garden produced this year 
before the cut worm and squash bugs took over.
There are a couple more pumpkins left and then it is on to piles of Spaghetti Squash.
There is another squash in the garden, but I am not sure yet what it is.
I have read that you can freeze it too.
Do you have any experience with Frozen Spaghetti Squash?  
Feel free to share.

This week's menu:

Sunday:  Grilled Chicken and Tossed Salad
Monday: Spaghetti Squash, flat bread, and bean soup
Tuesday:  Fish
Wednesday:  Stir Fried Veggies on Rice
Thursday:  Grilled Chicken
Friday:  Squash and Beans
Saturday:  Penne, stir-fried veggies, and salad

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Barnabas - Son of Consolation

It is Thankful Thursday.
This week I am thankful for the encouragers that God sends our way.

Often those that encourage me are those who do not merely talk - 
they don't theorize,
they don't lecture,
they live life in such a way that I am encouraged.
Their desire to do right encourages me to do right.

I am thankful for that kind of encouragement
and I desire to be that kind of encouragement.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Two Become One

It is the summer wedding season.
Around a Christian college, relationships are often on the mind.

One common phrase in the wedding is "two become one."

I have thought about this much this week.
My parents celebrate their 46th anniversary this weekend,
and they have had to unite together in a very difficult situation recently.
I am thankful for that unity.

In our home, we have sought to present that unity.
We are one.
We seek to make decisions together.
We uphold one another.
We encourage each other.
Have we done it perfectly? Of course not.
... but it is a worthy goal.

How does it show itself?
Two Examples:
Hubby makes decisions to protect my health and well-being.
He plays the "bad guy" if necessary to preserve my sanity.
I seek to protect his expected dinner hour -
it is rare when we are not sitting down at 5:30 for dinner
and seek to keep a few evenings free each week for his writing and studying.
We talk to each other before making plans (most of the time).
We are one.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Return of Transformation Tuesday

Well, I expected to be sharing some pictures with you today,
but it will have to wait for next Tuesday.

Over the holiday weekend,
hubby installed a new floor in our guest bathroom.
It is a groutable sticky tile ... and it looks great.

Grey stone Luxury Vinyl Tile from Lowes

But ...
When it was complete,
I decided that I did not like my painted stripes with the beautiful tile ...
so today I sand the stripes ...
and tomorrow I paint ...
the color ...
Coastal Villa.

Stay tuned for pictures next Tuesday.

Does it seem like we do a lot of home improvement projects in July.
Lowes and Home Depot offer military discounts for veterans over the Fourth - 
good inspiration to get some stuff done.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Cucumber Noodles

I am still having a good time experimenting in the kitchen.
We tried a different sloppy joe this past week which was requested again.
We shared in a picnic this weekend and wanted to stick with the low preservatives-type meals,
so I took another new experiment and a tried and true.
Hubby requested Egg Salad made with avocado (instead of the mayo)
with flat bread.
The flat bread was a hit and one of my little friends was convinced that I must be from Vietnam :)
My experiment was Cold Sesame Noodles - 
Very Asian and very good.

Cold Sesame Cucumber Noodles

1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
2 cucumbers
1 tablespoon tahini
1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar 
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger

Peel the cucumbers, then turn them into noodles with a julienne peeler or veggetti.
Place in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, mix the tahini, peanut butter, oil, soy sauce, vinegar, water, red pepper flakes, garlic, and ginger with a fork until smooth.
Pour the dressing over the cucumber noodles and toss gently with a rubber scraper until evenly coated. Mound on a plate and sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds. 

This Weeks Menu:
Sunday: Burritos
Monday: Turkey
Tuesday: Chicken and Brocolli Pasta
Wednesday: Flatbread Pizza
Thursday: Squash and Rice
Friday: Beans and Grilled Veggies
Saturday:  Fish Tacos