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!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Little, but Wise (Part I of IV)

Proverbs 30:25 
The ants are a people not strong, 
yet they prepare their meat in the summer;

I am nearing the end of the trek through Proverbs.
In fact, since I had already blogged about the Proverbs 31 woman,
 I thought that my last Wednesday post would be the last of this series.
Until I thought on this section.
Little, but wise.

How many people feel little, small, insignificant?
Do you ever wonder what you can do?
Do you tend to belittle your role in the home?

Be like the ants -
busy, diligent, active, ... they look ahead, they prepare

Can you be like the ant in your home?
Are you diligent and prepared?

Make an effort to bless your home by planning ahead.
Does everyone have clothes to wear tomorrow?
Do you have a plan for each meal tomorrow?
Will you be diligent to clean something in the house today?
How will you bless your husband (or brother or dad - single girls)?
Is there something you can do today to free up time later?

As I right this,
my mind flew to Christmas cards.
I like to hand-make cards and write personal greetings in each.
It is not too early to start those.
I need to start planning my Sunday School lesson and corresponding worksheet early in the week.
I need to plan to be an intentional blessing to someone in the church each week.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

What's Happening While I Wait?

Thinking about Elijah for the weekly Sunday School lessons...
Another character with wilderness experiences.
Why the wait in the wilderness?
Why the call to a widow outside of Israel?
While Eljah was waiting,
God was preparing a heart - a Gentile heart.

What a reminder when my heart wants to get impatient.

God is still working.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Permission Granted

It has been over a week since I last posted.
I was living life.
I was resting.
I gave myself permission to cut some things ...
not permanently, but for a break.
So, I took a break from blogging.
I took a break from exercise.

I tried new recipes.
I finished editing hubby's first book.
I edited again when I found some setup issues.
I started researching cover designs.
(BTW:  If any of my readers happen to be a graphic designer
or a photoshop pro and want to design a book cover ... let me know)  :)

Sometimes you just need to grant permission to relax.

But, now I am back.
I woke with hubby this morning,
T-tapped, made breakfast, packed a lunch,
got a gift ready for one of our college kiddos celebrating a birthday,
got wash in the machine,
did an "indoor" run,
and am now ready for some Monday cleaning.

Today also includes making some grain free granola
and trying a new cookie recipe - something with ginger and molasses.
I made the granola last week and it was a hit.

Grain-Free Granola

1 c raw almonds
1 c raw cashews
1/4 c raw pepitas/pumpkin seeds
1/4 c raw sunflower seeds
1/2 c unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 c coconut oil
1/2 c honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp seal salt
1 c dried fruit

Preheat oven to 275*.
Blend first 5 ingredients in blender or food processor to break into smaller chunks.
(I used pecans instead of cashews and doubled the sunflower seeds because I did not have pumpkin seeds.)
Mix melted oil, honey and vanilla.  Coat dry ingredients in large bowl.
Spread on baking sheet.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned stirring once or twice.
Remove from eat and add fruit and sprinkle with sea salt, pressing the mixture together to form a flat surface,
Cool for about 20 minutes.  Break into chunks and enjoy.

This weeks meal plan:

Sunday: Cubed Steak with mushrooms
Monday: Cajun style Turkey Lettuce Wraps
Tuesday:  Bacon Meatloaf
Wednesday: Cajun Stuffed Peppers
Thursday: Lemon-Italian Herb Chicken
Friday: Baked Coconut-curry Chicken Breasts
Saturday: Ground Turkey Chili

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Ignore, Thank, or Curse

Proverbs 30:8-9
 Remove far from me vanity and lies: 
give me neither poverty nor riches; 
feed me with food convenient for me:
 Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or 
lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.

How do you view your life?

Are you in "cruise mode"
just ignoring God and expecting the best?

Are you angry and bitter - 
mad that God hasn't given you more?

Or do you accept that God is a good God?
Psalm 145:9 
"The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works."

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Couldn't Pick Just One

Ps 145:13-21 
Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, 
and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.
The LORD upholdeth all that fall, 
and raiseth up all those that be bowed down.
The eyes of all wait upon thee; 
and thou givest them their meat in due season.
Thou openest thine hand, 
and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.
The LORD is righteous in all his ways, 
and holy in all his works.
The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, 
to all that call upon him in truth.
He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: 
he also will hear their cry, and will save them.
The LORD preserveth all them that love him: 
but all the wicked will he destroy.
My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD: 
and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.

I just couldn't pick one verse.
I have been reading this psalm almost daily for nearly 4 weeks.
Nearly every verse speaks to me right now.
We have a great God!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Still Grillin'

We hit another winner  - 
sometimes the emeals are a big hit,
and other times they are just average.
Tonight was a success.

Asian-Grilled Pork Chops

1 lb of porkchops (the recipe works for a little over 2 lbs)
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp sriracha hot chile sauce (I used chili oil)
juice of 1 lime
1/4 c chopped cilantro (I buy mine in a tube in the produce section when it is not in the garden)
4 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp each - salt, pepper

marinade chops for at least 1 hour
Easy as that!

This week:
Sunday:  Grilled Chicken
Monday:  Asian-Grilled Porkchops
Tuesday: Beef and Sausage Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
Wednesday: Jerk Tilapia with Cilantro-Ginger Oil
Thursday: Chef Salad
Friday:  Cajun Slow Cooker Roast
Saturday: Pork Chops with Speet Potatoes, Oinion and Pears

Thursday, September 25, 2014

This Day

Every day is a gift.
Choose to be thankful.

I am so thankful for the cooler temps that came in with the first day of autumn.
Enjoying the open windows, 
the cool morning walks and jogs,
the cuddly sleeping weather,
even the drippy rain!