2017's Word of the Year

2017 word of the year- Enjoy- I will strive to relax and enjoy life more in 2017. My goal is not to get stressed about little details but to enjoy the things that God has given me, big and small.

Wednesday, December 16

Tis the season



My house is decorated, presents are now under the tree, my baking is beginning. I am looking forward to having all of my kids and grandkids under my roof for Christmas.
I am reminded that life still goes on even with the holiday festivities. My nephew is having surgery today to remove part of his thumb after a roping accident. I have two friends who will be celebrating their first Christmas without their husbands and my heart aches for them. Many friends are going through trials and tribulations right now. And the world is becoming more frightening each day. My tendency is to worry and stress about all of these things but then I remember what it says in Isaiah 9:6 "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." PRINCE OF PEACE! In this tumultuous world that is what I want to remember this year. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. He can bring peace to my heart even when I feel fear and worry. 

Tuesday, December 15

A new bread recipe

A few weeks ago we stopped at HyVee on the way home from visiting the kids. Have I ever told you how much I love this store? They have so many things it makes your head spin and I think it's probably a good thing I can only go a few times a year because I spent $60 and didn't buy anything on my grocery list.
Anyway, I sampled a bread that was full of fruit and nuts. It was so good that I decided to re-create it here at home. I took the basic recipe from my Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day book, you can find the recipe here, divided it in half and added about a cup of raisins, 1/2 cup of craisins, 1/2 cup of golden raisins, 1/2 chopped walnuts and 1/4 cup of orange peel. Because it had so many fruits in it I used a covered baker to prevent them from burning.

These are some of my favorite websites when I look for new bread recipes.
Bread in 5
King Arthur Flour- which also has one of the coolest shopping sites for bakers





This is a slice of the bread that I bought


 This is the loaf that I made. I used my Pampered Chef stoneware roaster with the big covered cloche on top.

Looking Good!


Here is a slice of my bread. As you can see, it's not as full of fruit and nuts as the storebought bread but I thought it was plenty and I actually think the bread tasted better. What an easy bread to make!

Tuesday, December 8

Update on my reading list

I have been working on my reading challenge. I'm sure my daughter is much farther along on her than I am with mine. I have no illusions of finishing this but since I am no longer working I do have more time in the evenings.

• A book with more than 500 pages-Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
• A classic romance-Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
• A book that became a movie-Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
• A book published this year-The Nightingale- by Kristin Hannah
• A book with a number in the title- Agenda 21, Into the Shadows- Glen Beck
• A book written by someone under 30- The Bell Jar- Sylvia Plath
• A book with nonhuman characters-The Woodcutter- by Kate Danley
• A funny book-Mr Blandings Builds His Dreamhouse- by Eric Hodgins
• A book by a female author-The Shape of Mercy- Susan Meissner
• A mystery or thriller-Truth Stained Lies- Terri Blackstock
• A book with a one-word title-Taken- by Dee Henderson
• A book of short stories-Anderson's Fairy Tales- Hans Christian Anderson
• A book set in a different country-The Nightingale- by Kristin Hannah
• A nonfiction book-Evil Obsession- the Anne Cook Story- Helen Yost
• A popular author’s first book-The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie- Alan Bradley
• A book from an author you love that you haven’t read yet-Truth Stained Lies- Terri Blackstock
• A book a friend recommended-The Prayer Box- Lisa Wingate
• A Pulitzer Prize-winning book-Gone With the Wind- Margaret Mitchell
• A book based on a true story--Evil Obsession- the Anne Cook Story- Helen Yost
• A book at the bottom of your to-read list- The Bell Jar-Sylvia Plath
• A book your mom loves
• A book that scares you
• A book more than 100 years old
• A book based entirely on its cover
• A book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t
• A memoir-I Want It Now- Julie Dawn Cole
• A book you can finish in a day-Sisters of the Seashell- Lisa Wingate
• A book with antonyms in the title
• A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit-The Husband's Secret-Liane Moriarty
• A book that came out the year you were born-The Bell Jar- Sylvia Plath
• A book with bad reviews
• A trilogy-The Hunger Games- Suzanne Collins
• A book from your childhood
• A book with a love triangle- The Hunger Games- Suzanne Collins
• A book set in the future-Agenda 21
• A book set in high school-The Outsiders- S E Hinton
• A book with a color in the title-Island of the Blue Dolphins-Scott O'Dell
• A book that made you cry-The Nightingale- by Kristin Hannah
• A book with magic-The Woodcutter- by Kate Danley
• A graphic novel-Ninjago- Rise of the Serpentine- yes I read this to my boys. :)
• A book by an author you’ve never read before-the Husband's Secret- Liane Morarty
• A book you own but have never read-Jacob's Way- by Gilbert Morris
• A book that takes place in your home town-
• A book that was originally written in a different language-
• A book set during Christmas- Christmas Bliss- Mary Kay Andrews
• A book written by an author with your same initials-
• A play-
• A banned book-
• A book based on or turned into a TV show- The Man in the High Castle- Philip Dick
• A book you started but never finished-

Monday, November 16

And the winner is...

Apparently the early bird does not get the worm, at least not this time. I put all the names in a cup and let my son pick it out, just to prevent any favoritism since I know all of you. ;)

The winner of my drawing is Janna. Congratulation Janna, I will bring you your package on Wednesday if that's okay.

Sunday, November 15

Yum


I had never made pretzels before but thought it looked like something fun to try. They were so easy and very tasty!

Thank you King Arthur Flour for your good recipes. Recipe found here.

Saturday, November 14

How Would You Rate Your Prayer Life?

This was the question posed at our bible study the other night. I missed it because someone had to stay home with the boys and since I've been working so much I opted to stay home. But the question was how would you rate your prayer life? Apparently these kinds of questions stir up guilt and other emotions. My husband said that it was quite the discussion.
I think it's important for us as Christians to quit comparing ourselves with others but rather ask God what he wants us to do. We can't compare ourselves to the men who wrote about closing themselves up for hours every morning to pray. Was that what God called them to do? Apparently so. But God gave me children who wake up at the first sound in the morning begging to be fed. Then I need to teach them. And I need to find time to do my housework and plan and cook meals. What am I to do?
As I was thinking about the conversation that my husband described to me I remembered writing this a few years ago.
"These are just a few of the things that I am praying for daily. As the mother of two young and active boys it's hard to find a time of dedicated quiet so I have learned to take the verse about praying without ceasing literally. I pray as I'm driving my van, as I'm folding clothes, as I'm in the shower or lying in bed before I fall asleep. I pray as I'm working in my yard or cleaning my house. I utter words of prayer whenever I think of it.
I may not be able to pray for our hours as Hudson Taylor did, but I think that God will honor my prayers that I send up as I can. If anyone can understand how busy and hard my days are it's God and I believe that He understands I'm doing what I can. And I thank God everyday that I am able to converse with Him at any time."
Well, those are my thoughts on the subject. Oh wait, one last thought. There is a verse that says it is better to obey God rather than men. So if someone is making you feel guilty because you aren't living a holy enough life stop and evaluate...are you doing things the way that you feel God is leading you or your pastor, bible study leader, best friend, etc?

Friday, November 13

Recipe: Scalloped Potatoes

The other night I was in the mood for scalloped potatoes. I looked at the recipe in my old trusty Better Homes and Garden cookbook and although it looked okay, I thought maybe I could improve on it. Here is what I did:

Peel and slice thinly 6-8 medium potatoes.

Melt 1/4 cup butter and add 1 finely diced onion. Cook until onions are soft. Add 1/3 cup of flour and let brown slightly. (you want to get the flour taste cooked out) Add 2 cups of milk, 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper, cook until it's slightly thickened. Add 1/2 of the potatoes to a 3 quart casserole and cover with 1/2 the milk mixture. Add the rest of the potatoes and the rest of the milk mixture. Cover and cook in the oven for 1 1/4 hours at 350 degrees, take the lid off and cook an additional 15 minutes.

It's really a very simple dish but oh so tasty. Give it a try!

Thursday, November 12

Homemade Chai Latte and a Contest


I love a good chai latte but it's not so convenient for me to get downtown to buy one. Last month we started selling Twinings Chai at work so I bought a box. This morning I mixed up a pretty yummy chai tea latte at home. 

Here is how I did it:
Take two tea bags and steep in boiling water for 6 minutes. Add 1/4 cup warmed milk and 2 pumps of Starbucks vanilla syrup. The only thing that would have been better is if I had a way to make the milk foamy. 

So good and and a nice change from my morning coffee and I bought a whole box of tea for the price of one latte downtown so that's a win for the pocketbook too!

This is the 350th post I've written. I have no grandiose ideas of becoming a famous blogger but I enjoy sharing. To celebrate this momentous event I am giving away a little package of goodies. To enter all you have to do is comment on this post and on the 15th I will draw a name. Good luck!

Friday, November 6

Book Review- Evil Obsession

The Bible says that the love of money is the root of all evil. Anne Cook would have been a perfect example of how greed can make you evil. She did despicable things all to gain a few more dollars with the goal of someday buying a coveted piece of land including making a prostitute of her daughter when she was 13 and abusing family and poor people to the point of death.
This book made me sick to think that one person could be so evil but even more I was saddened to see how many people in her life looked the other way when they suspected or knew what was going on. I was astonished that her husband was so weak. I kept wondering how different life might have turned out for them and their family if he would have been more of a leader in his family. I wept for the people in her family who were abused and not one person stepped up to help them.

For me this book was impossible to put down. I felt haunted by it, thinking that this woman was no different than the Nazis. But I was also extremely convicted. When I see evil or the potential of evil, do I step up? Or do I look the other way and hope someone else does the right thing?

My Favorite Things Giveaway

This is not my giveaway but I love this gals' blog so I am giving her and her friends a big thumbs up and suggest you pop over and sign up.
I have been friends with Leigh Anne for a long time. Oh wait, we're not friends. In fact I don't even know her. But I love her blog and I feel like we could be friends, if I was a little more classy. (smile)
Seriously though, she writes a wonderful blog at www.yourhomebasedmom.com.

I also discovered a new blogger through this giveaway and if you like to find great ideas for sewing, crafting, gift giving or cooking go check out http://crazylittleprojects.com/

Tuesday, July 21

Happy Birthday Alex

This is my baby, who is now 10. He has grown 4 inches this last year!

Friday, July 17

A Book Review of Legends of King Arthur and His Court


I was sent this book by Shelly Noonan as she was looking for people to review it. It is a revised book that was originally written in 1901. It also came with a study guide written by her son. I was excited to read this to my boys as they have never really heard much about King Arthur. I expected it to be a quick summer read as it is only 10 chapters. And it is a quick read. But when I got to looking at the study guide I realized that it was more than just some questions I could ask after we read the story. The study guide is in itself a thorough vocabulary and character study about the book. So after looking at it I decided that we will be using this in the fall as part of our homeschool curriculum. It is much more than a literature study. I anticipate many good discussions about loyalty, chivalry, honor and much more.There are also sections to stimulate writing and art activities as well as research. This is going to fit in nicely with our school year.

Thursday, July 16

A sad kind of day

One of our former classmates passed away on Sunday morning and today was his funeral. I was unable to go but I've been thinking about his family all day. This is the second child his parents have lost. I can not imagine their pain.

Later today I heard about the death of 4 marines working in an office in Chattanooga. As a wife of a former airman I am appalled at this attack. I hear they apprehended the shooter. I hope that Tennessee has the death penalty. My prayers go out to people that survived the attack and the families of the marines who were killed. This should not be happening on American soil!

Monday, June 29

We're getting a new daughter!!!



Yesterday my son got engaged and I am so happy for him. His bride-to-be is smart, pretty and mature. But best of all she is very good for him.  I am very excited to welcome this lovely young woman into our family!

Tuesday, June 16

Happy Birthday Ian!

I'm going to be in big trouble over this because I forgot to post it on my son's birthday. But since he became a middle child a few years ago he should get used to being forgotten. Right? :P

Seriously, I am so very proud of this young man, I just can't tell you how much. He is independent and self sufficient, but more than that he is one of the most compassionate men I know. He is also sometimes brutally honest and I appreciate that(most of the time). He isn't perfect and he still has some growing up to do, don't we all? But I love him very much and can't wait to see what he accomplishes with his life.

Happy Birthday to my baby boy- middle child- practical joker- best son a mom could ask for!

Elisabeth Elliot

When I was a young wife there was a short radio broadcast on the radio featuring Elisabeth Elliot. I was impressed by her wisdom and sat at her feet (so to speak) and drank in her words. Later I read her books, the one about her childhood years really stuck with me. It's called The Shaping of the Christian Family and can be found here at Amazon.com.

I'm linking to an article that shared some of her best quotes. They are great little nuggets of wisdom and I hope that you enjoy them as I did. 

Here is one of them,
“But the question to precede all others, which finally determines the course of our lives is, 'What do I really want?' Was it to love what God commands, in the words of the collect, and to desire what He promises? Did I want what I wanted, or did I want what He wanted, no matter what it might cost?” 

Or,
“When ours are interrupted, his are not. His plans are proceeding exactly as scheduled, moving us always (including those minutes or hours or years which seem most useless or wasted or unendurable).” 

Thank you Elisabeth for being my mentor even though we never meant. And thank you for staying the course and finishing the race well, setting a good example for those of us left behind. 

Monday, June 15

My favorite coffee

I recently bought a different brand of coffee on the clearance rack at work. It wasn't much of a bargain as I ended up throwing it away. My daughter said it tasted sour. I didn't realize coffee could taste sour, but she was right.
So I bought my favorite Seattle's Best #4. This is a nice rich coffee that leaves me feeling satisfied.
:)

Sunday, June 7

Savings

This is what I like to see.

Wednesday, June 3

Bittersweet Day

This morning I got the call I had been expecting for weeks. My grandmother passed away. I am grieving because I am going to miss her, but I am rejoicing for her because she has been released from this world with all of it's pain and sorrow.


Lovely in Lavender


After I got the call this morning a poem sprung to mind. It's written by John Gillespie Magee and is about flight, but if you just look at the first and last lines of this poem it is very fitting to what my grandmother experienced this morning.

"Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,... 
put out my hand and touched the face of God."

Wednesday, May 27

Happy Birthday Kaitlyn!

 I'm a bit late today but it's my youngest daughter's birthday. This is a picture of us from last May at my cousin's wedding. It's hard to believe this young woman is now married almost 7 years and the mother of three! Time certainly does fly!



Tuesday, May 26

Happy Birthday to my hubby!


Finally! He's as old as me now!

Tuesday, May 19

Yes, those are snowflakes...

Temperature is 37 degrees. Tomatoes and peppers are covered, hoping they survive. And yes, it is May 19th.

Sunday, May 17

Sunday supper

Love it when I find a nice steak with a 50% off sticker.

Saturday, May 16

Pictures I found on my computer.

I think someone was having too much fun when he discovered the camera on my computer! ;)











Friday, May 15

Prairie Skies

I took this as we drove down the interstate. One thing I love about living in western Nebraska is that the skies are beautiful.


























Thursday, May 14

The Airplane Restaurant or Colorado Springs Day 2


When I was looking online for things to do in Colorado Springs, this place popped up. It's the Airplane Restaurant and it's a fun place for kids.

The tables were covered with navigation maps! We went at lunchtime to save money and eat a fun lunch before we headed back home. Some of the items on the menu were The Piper Cluband Reuben von Crashed. After we ordered our food the boys were invited to go and play in the cockpit. It was hard getting them back to eat their lunch.









Wednesday, May 13

Traveling the prairies

My husband has a job where he frequently travels. Once in awhile he goes to Colorado Springs. I had been wanting to go with him for about a year but it never seemed to work out. Either other people from work were going with him, or we had homeschool co-op or I had to work. Finally, a couple of weeks ago he had to go again and my calendar was free. We decided to go with him. The traveling part isn't so fun. The road between here and there is a bit dull...


SEE? Dull!!!



While we were waiting for hubby to finish some work we hung out at Starbucks and enjoyed the view.



Later on we went to the Pioneer Museum. It's worth the visit just to see the architectural details!
 Alex was thrilled to pose for an old-time picture.


 Preston not so much...


At the museum there was a display about the tuberculosis hospital and the patients that came to Colorado Springs for the cure. I found this poster interesting. It said,
"Man is naturally an outdoor animal.
Keep the Children Outdoors.
By day, let them work, play and study outdoors.
By night let them sleep on a sheltered, screened porch.
Bring outdoors indoors by keeping windows open top and bottom, day and night.
He who lets in the air and sunshine shuts out the doctor.
:)


Tuesday, May 12

It Always Comes Back In Fashion

 I remember as a young woman, people would say that fashion always comes back around. Imagine my surprise the other day when I was in a department store in Colorado Springs to see this blouse. I made this blouse my right after my senior year of high school while my husband was in boot camp. It was a light blue cotton fabric with little geometric shapes and flowers on it. I wore it for several years because I liked it and it was very cool in the hot weather. It was unique in that the front was pleated, unlike so many similar blouses I've seen that were gathered.

I laughed when I saw the blouse because I was pretty sure I had kept the pattern and sure enough I had. I wonder how hard it would be to enlarge the pattern so I could make it again. I really did love that blouse because I made it and had turned out so nicely. Good memories!