Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Creature of Habit

I guess I am a creature of habit or routine.
My mother knows my schedule.
The people at church know when I clean my house.

Some people might find it boring,
but I think that it helps me to get more done.
I know what has to be done
and I know what time I have to get it done.

I guess it is part of liking order and schedule.

Do you thrive on a schedule?
or do you like constant change?
maybe a blend?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Kitchen Reveal

Finally ...
The pictures of the updated church kitchen.

What a difference some paint,
some trash removal,
and some splashes of color make.

The old curtains were black and white.  
A little bit blah - and definitely needed updating.
Green - life!
We added the curtains at the egress with magnetic rods
 so that guests could shut them while up later into the night.

A reminder for all.
I love to have verses in every room.

We had no art work before.
So with some fabric - some ribbon - and some herb pictures ...
instant art work.

Our welcome basket in the kitchen as well as the "in case you forgot it basket."
Thank you for all of your great ideas!


Usually at our church dinners, the utensils were put out in plastic shoe boxes.
I decided to update as well as take less space.
So - little painted flower pots.

Our next guests will be here at the end of next week.

And this week, I need to plan some decorations and snacks for a graduation/wedding shower.
Fun, fun, fun.

Monday, April 25, 2016

What Would It Take?

I have mentioned many times that I have a "secret" weapon - 
an extreme help in being disciplined and balanced - 
it is my hubby.

Throughout my life, I have watched people struggle to do what is best for them.
Some have fought doctor's orders.
Some have fought well meaning family members.
Would you give up salt for your health?
red meat?
canned foods?
Would you restrict calories to be a proper weight?

You will see many allergy friendly recipes on this blog.
Some of our friends and even some family members
think that we are following a trend
or being unreasonable,
but the real reason is ... 
we want to give our body the proper fuel.

In my search to reverse infertility,
we have given up many foods.
While not getting the "prize" I might have sought,
both hubby and I have learned to listen to our bodies.

The gluten free life has made me less emotional.
Less dairy has improved our digestion immensely.
Cutting highly processed foods and red meat has ended hubby's fruit allergy.
Limiting sugar has improved my skin and general well-being.

While there are times when the restricted diet is a nuisance,
the feeling of good health is tremendous
and the consequences of giving our body things that it doesn't thrive on are not worth it.

I also must add that there is nothing wrong with gluten, dairy, red meat ...
if your body tolerates it.
Just be sensitive.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Transforming of a Mind

It is time for another Tuesday Transformation.
I should have taken pictures of the kitchen transformation at church,
but I keep forgetting the camera when I head over there.
Maybe next Tuesday, I can share those with you.
We will have our first fellowship meal this weekend
and I hope the church family will enjoy the transformation.

But today,
I will talk about a change of mind.
I have been battling loneliness recently.
I enjoy peace and quiet,
but sometimes 10 hours a day is a bit rough.
Recently, I have missed some days for piano lessons,
and many of the folks at church have seemed busy or preoccupied.

When I explained the need to hubby,
of course, he understood - 
even with his work companions,
he gets lonely too.

He hurt for me and was even ready to send me off to work
so that I could interact with others.

Here is where the transformation comes.
I knew that I should not be tied down to a job.
We had settled our convictions in this area years ago.
There are many ministries that in the home and church
that require my flexible schedule.
So ... I thought of a solution, I swallowed my pride, I left my comfort zone.
I told hubby that I would invite myself over to the homes of ladies in the church.
One each week.
I had my first visit today.
Three hours flew by ...
I think that not only did she meet my need,
but I met a need in my hostess' life that I did not know existed - 
she craved companionship too.

I don't know if each visit will meet 2 needs,
but for today,
I am encouraged to keep stretching outside of my comfort zone.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Another Sweet Treat

I just have such a sweet tooth,
so I try to meet its needs healthily.
We enjoyed "cuties" all winter.
Melon has been really good recently.
Strawberries are just about "in season" here and the imports are good right now.

I found this fudge recipe the other day.
We both enjoy it and again ... it is easy.
3 simple ingredients ... and voila!

Almond Butter Fudge

1/2 c almond butter
2 1/2 TBSP coconut butter (can use virgin coconut oil as well)
2 1/2 TBSP maple syrup

Combine the almond butter and coconut oil or coconut butter,
and gently warm until the nut butter is easily stir-able and the coconut oil is liquid.
Stir in the sweetener if desired, then spoon into a plastic container or candy molds.
I used silicone ice cube trays - very easy to "pop" out and a good size for serving.
Freeze a few hours until solid, and store leftovers in the freezer.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

A Piece of Earth

There is not a week that goes by that I am not thankful for "a piece of earth."
I am thankful that our home sits on a nice size piece of land.
I am thankful that we are allowed to garden on the land.
I am thankful for my in-laws who helped by seeds this year.
I am thankful for the flower money that I received yesterday
which will brighten the property once the threat of frost has passed.

I am thankful for a Mighty God,
the Creator,
for the miracle of life.

I was in the garden today.
The peas are up (no blossoms yet), along with lettuce, kale, and spinach.

Put tomato, cucumber, zucchini, winter squash,
muskmelon, watermelon, and sweet pepper seeds
in the ground today along with some more greens.

The May Night Salvia is blooming in the front flower beds
as well as purple irises in the front and side beds.

The herb garden is full of chives, cilantro, oregano, and mint.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A Little Chamber

"And she said unto her husband,
Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God,
which passeth by us continually.
Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall;
and let us set for him there a bed, and a table,
and a stool, and a candlestick:
and it shall be, when he cometh to us,
that he shall turn in thither."

Both rooms had a nautical theme in the pictures, lamps, and switch plate.
We carried that theme into the bedding and curtains.
The walls are a "latte" color (leftover from free paint given for auditorium remodel)
The carpet is grey.
As promised ...

The Small Room

Vinyl Wall Art
View from Doorway
View From Window

The Large Room

Study Area with Wall Art (Be still and know that I am God)
Left Side of Room
Right Side of Room

Kind of sad to see the end of the project.

I will share pictures of the kitchen soon.

There is still one more room to work on,
but it is just a big fellowship hall - 
just basic paint needed and maybe some window treatments.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Prophet's Chamber

I will be taking pictures at the Prophet's Chamber tomorrow.
I put the rooms together last Friday
and am doing a final cleaning for our first guests on Thursday night.

In the Twinkling of an Eye

If I were a public speaker,
I would have many, many illustrations.
It seems that the mundane of life often shows or reminds me of a Biblical truth.

Yesterday, reminded me of how quick the Lord's return will be ...
in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.

I was working on a plastic bag holder for the church kitchen.
It was a simple pattern out of a dish towel.
Simply stitch elastic on both short ends and then sew the long sides together.

Well, in the twinkling of an eye,
I managed to pierce my pointer finger through from nail to underside with the needle.
Yes, just that fast.
A temporary loss of concentration, 
the machine jammed,
the machine beeped,
the lights flashed, ...

After the shock wore off and I removed my finger from the needle,
I thought of how quickly that moment will be.
In each moment, am I living as if Christ is returning.
Will I be found ready?
Will I be embarrassed?

In the Twinkling of an Eye ... 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Pineapple Freeze

This weekend, hubby and I enjoyed a new treat.
I was actually surprised that hubby liked it, but "coconut" seems to be growing on him.
It was one of those "easy-peezy" recipes and has already been requested again.

The original recipe was to be made as a pie (in a nut or graham crust),
but I just threw it in a parchment lined 8x8 pan.
It might work really good in a silicone muffin tin or mold.
I also thought that it would make great popsicles in the summer months.

Pineapple Freeze

  • 1 can (20oz) crushed pineapple in 100% juice
  • 1 can (13.6oz) coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  •  3 tbsp virgin coconut oil

  • Blend all ingredients in blender until very smooth.
    Pour into a prepared pie crust in an 8 inch or 8.5 inch pan
    OR into the bottom of an 8.5-inch springform pan or 8x8 pyrex.
    Freeze 4 hours or until firm but not yet hard,
    or freeze longer and thaw at least 2 hours before slicing and serving.

    Looking forward to trying it again with some frozen mandarin oranges - 
    kind of an orange julius thing (may need a little honey in that one).

    Friday, April 8, 2016

    Friday Forum: Snack Basket

    Back to the Prophet's Chamber ...

    If you were staying at a hotel or any overnight accommodations,
    what would you like to see in a snack basket?

    Hubby has suggested bottled water.
    I have picked up some "KIND" bars (allergy friendly).

    We do have a fridge and freezer on site.
    We are fairly "hands-off" while are guests are present,
    so all food must be there before they arrive.

    Our flooring workers are leaving today,
    so I hope to be putting things back together this afternoon.
    Thanks for all of your suggestions.

    Thursday, April 7, 2016

    New Flooring

    Last night, I got to have my first peek at the new flooring
    in our church kitchen and prophet's chamber.
    I am thankful for God's provision.
    God provided a professional flooring installer who volunteered his time and tools.
    God provided the funds for the materials.
    God provided materials that worked together beautifully.
    I am thankful for the cozy, clean, warm space that is being created.

    The new carpet is beautiful
    (the old carpet was still there from the days when our church had a Christian School).
    The kitchen floor is a beautiful floating tile.
    All of the work has been finished with baseboard.

    God is good.

    Wednesday, April 6, 2016

    Only One Job

    I Fail ... God is gracious.

    It is the story of my life.
    Can anyone else relate?

    My head knows that my most important job is in my home.
    Creating a clean, healthy home ...
    making healthy, balanced meals ...
    doing everything I can to be able to be spend time with hubby when he is home.

    During the past three weeks,
    I tried to do two jobs.
    I tried to work at church for about 30 hours,
    teach lessons for about 5 hours,
    and keep up with my full-time work in the home and yard.

    It didn't work.
    This "must-have-low-stress" girl had a health crash.
    Yes, God gently reminded me.
    "You can try to do it all, but I did not create you to do it all."
    The extreme fatigue and depression returned.

    So this week,
    I have returned to my one job
    and renewed and refreshed.
    I am still healing, but am on my way ...
    with the reminder to be content with the path God has for me.

    Tuesday, April 5, 2016

    Friday Forum: The Tuesday Edition

    At the end of this week,
    I get to wrap up the church project.

    The prophet's chamber rooms have been repainted
    along with the hall and kitchen.

    New carpet and tile will be finished by Thursday.

    I will spend some time Friday reassembling the rooms with some new bedding,
    new curtains, and a few new decorations.

    I have tried to add some things that make the stay more pleasant
    including a luggage rack in each room (so you don't have to search through your bag on the floor).

    So here is the question:

    What makes a guest room comfortable and welcoming to you?
    What have you experienced that made a trip special?

    For me, scents are a big thing.
    We once stayed in a B&B that had Lavender/Chamomile Plug-ins.
    It was such a pleasant smell and has become a go-to scent in my own home.

    Dream big ...
    It may not be used immediately, but it may keep the wheels of my mind turning.

    Monday, April 4, 2016

    Lemon Chicken and Asparagus

    After 3 weeks of trying to balance 7-8 hour days at church
    and my home responsibilities,
    it is good to be back to my full-time job in the home.

    It is nice to be able to relax at night rather than doing laundry and cleaning.
    In honor of being back home, I tried a new meal found here with great success.
    It was a tribute to Spring and the beautiful weather that we have been having.

    5 Ingredient Lemon Chicken and Asparagus

    • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
    • ¼ cup flour
    • ½ teaspoon salt, pepper to taste
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
    • 1-2 cups chopped asparagus
    • 2 lemons, sliced
    • 2 tablespoons honey + 2 tablespoons butter

     Place the flour and salt and pepper in a shallow dish and gently toss each chicken breast in the dish to coat. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat; add the chicken and saute for 3-5 minutes on each side, until golden brown, sprinkling each side with the lemon pepper directly in the pan. When the chicken is golden brown and cooked through, transfer to a plate.
    Asparagus and Lemons: 
    Add the chopped asparagus to the pan. Saute for a few minutes until bright green and tender crisp. Remove from the pan and set aside. Lay the lemon slices flat on the bottom of the pan and cook for a few minutes on each side without stirring so that they caramelize and pick up the browned bits left in the pan from the chicken and butter. Remove the lemons from the pan and set aside.
    Layer all the ingredients back into the skillet -asparagus, chicken, and lemon slices on top.
    For the honey butter sauce, melt additional butter and honey in the hot pan after caramelizing the lemons and poured it over the chicken. This mixture definitely picked up some of the residual lemon flavor from the pan, so if that isn't your thing, be sure to melt the butter and honey in a separate pan.