Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Oven Baked Fries - Bevy Style!

On Sunday, we had the opportunity, with spur of the moment planning, to have dear friends and family over for lunch.  I knew my sister and her family were coming but wasn't 100% sure about the friends of ours coming, until Sunday morning, at church. Actually, it went more like this.  They had sent an email, late Saturday night, that said they were not planning to come but then later (Sunday AM) asked if it would be alright if they had changed their minds, that they wanted to come over anyway.  The only thing was, was that they would need to bring their friend Joy along, if that was okay?   "Sure!!  Why not?"

That was totally fine. I knew between my sister and I - we had come up with a menu, enough for all:
*Cheeseburgers (on the grill) * Oven Fries* Green Beans * Salad* Apple Crisp/Ice Cream*

~Oven Baked Fries~

I thought I would just share this recipe with you all.  But really there are no specific MUST USE ingredients, other then acutal potatoes and butter.  Its really up to you to decide what seasonings you would like to use.  And it also depends on how many wedges you want to make. As you can see in the picture, I use:
Parmasean Cheese * Seasoned Bread Crumbs * Garlic, Garlic * Lemon Pepper * Salt/Pepper * Paprika *
6-8 medium Potatoes (peeled and cut into wedges) and not quite a full stick of butter.

I usually will put the oven temp at 375* or 400* (depends on how crisp I want them and how quickly they need to be done.)  In this instance, I put about 2-3 Tab. of cold butter in my large bar pan and stuck it in the oven while the oven was heating up.  Doing that melted the butter, too.   At this point is when I would then peel my potatoes (except my hubby peeled them for me the night before and we put them in water, to keep from browing).  It's usually perfect timing -by the time I'm done peeling, the pan is HOT and the butter is nicely melted.  The pototoes get spread out evenly, and everything gets sprinkled on in whatever order I grab the ingredient in.  It's all to taste.  I will save the paprika for last, followed by about several pats of butter sprinkled randomly around.  Pop into the oven, and in about 45 minutes you've got a great side dish.
: : Give the potatoes a quick toss with a metal spatula at the last 10 minutes of baking, to ensure even crispness, also, making sure that they are finishing baking.  Taste test?!?! ;)

By now your kitchen is smelling divine, and your guests will be wondering what you did - at least mine were.  Well, my sister knew essentially what they were made with because this is one of those "family favorite" dishes that our Mother would make - all the time, because we begged her too.  Imagine nine kids "fighting" over the last oven-baked fry. We loved them then, and now, so does my family (and friends).

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Corners of my Home ~ The upstairs bathroom!

For "Corners of my Home":  I just realized I have never shown you the upstairs bathroom that Caleb likes to keep "cleaning" for me.  It's actually another one of my favorite rooms in the house because I LOVE Shabby Chic decor and it's really the only room in the house where it works half decently.  I can just see my man rolling his eyes - right now.  Oh well...

This is the room where I would take the time to sit, think and pray.  Perhaps not verbatim, but in like spirit of author Emily Barnes, who said;
"Lord, may the love of Christ permeate my heart and life and spread its gentle fragrance into the lives and hearts of those I meet each day.  May the gentle but strong spirit of femininity in my life add beauty and meaning to genterations to come."

I guess this picture essentially shows you the whole room, while this next picture shows over the toilet.

It might be hard to distinguish what the framed piece is there on the left.  But it is a marriage certificate for my Dad's parents, Paul L. and Aquilla B. married in June of '44.  I actually was born on their 30th wedding anniversary.   Here is a picture of it a bit closer...

The lettering is faded, yet I love it!!  I just only hope I don't harm it more by having it hanging in the bathroom with all the "moisture" in the air from taking showers, ect.   They don't make marriage certificates like this anymore, I don't believe.
Oh, the things I ponder while sitting... ;) 

And this flooring is so old.  Looks like it might be even more "ruined" with all the water damage it's received as of a couple of days ago.  The tiles are buckling up and chipping.   You can't really notice on the picture though.  I just love the pink and blue.   I wonder, but I think at one point the bathroom walls must have been REALLY PINK - back in their day.  I can tell by some of the paint coming through in spots on all the walls and behind the old radiator.  Thank God, the walls are painted white now.  It makes it look ever so pale pink - which is really nice for my shabby chic decor.  I'm acutally laughing at myself, as I write.  There is real Shabby Chic and then there is Bevy's Shabby Chic.  Oh well, I work with what I've got.
                  * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I have always loved these painted signs for bathrooms.  I knew I could come up with something on my own.  And so one day, while I was still single, I ventured down to the basement of the old farmhouse that I had lived in at the time.  I happened upon the "perfect" sized board.  I pulled out my pencil, ruler, acrylics and paintbrushes and went to town.  Freehand.  Come to find out later that the board actually belonged to a set of shelves for a bookcase that actually belonged to the apartment.  Oops!  It is very bowed, perhaps that is why it was down there in the first place, so it really wasn't the perfect board afterall - but it works great for this BATH sign.

~Gotta love these wide windowsills~

These are a few of my favorite things that are also a part of our regular display - and all the while useful.  Many a night (more so while I was still single) I would light the candles, fill the tub and soak up to my neck in bubbles, sip hot tea or cocoa and read a good book.  At the time I would call them
 my "ro-tic" nights - meaning romantic without the "man".  Now days - it is always romantic!!  Yes, it is!! even if it means I have to clean the bathroom (For Real! - Because I declare it's time to do so and NOT according to Caleb.) while I'm still in there; with the door shut, and after I have just showered. 

But, this is the only room in the house for quietness and alone time.  And then it doesn't happen much,
now does it?  Come on, you all know how it is...

: : "Thanks Honey, for indulging my Shabby Chic taste and letting me keep it this way.  Can we do a few candles tonight?"

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Making or Breaking?

"Gee, let's see - I haven't cleaned mom's bathroom for her lately. Let's try this all again!" 

At least this time Aubrey was innocent and asleep in my arms (for about 10 minutes) when the discovery was made; only to wake up immediately... and yes, this time it all happened right at the time dinner was to be started.  Great timing, son.  Oh, the day was long and all day long there were "moments".... we'll just let that be that.

I hope you took the time to go back and read the previous post I just highlighted.  It's essentially what "re-happened" yesterday.  Again, I almost wished I had taken pictures - then again, I am so glad I didn't.  In years to come it will make for two (for now) funny stories, but in the moment - "it is never funny".

What I was glad about (grateful to God, more like it) was the way my heart and attitude didn't get the better of me (this time), and I was able to "go with the flow", sigh and deal graciously.  It was a mess.  However, I could have made it MUCH worse.  I have this phrase I say to myself often, and for various areas in my life, and it goes like this.

"My response will make or break a situation."

I forget.  And way too often (here of late), my expectations of parenting have been severely knocked off the pedestal. I too often make the situation worse through my response(s).  I tend to react, rather then respond. Interestingly enough, the sermon that was preached on Sunday was on this very topic.  Boasting in our weaknesses. The Pastor did a great job in his exposition of Scripture and tying it in with parenting.  He read out of  2 Corinthians 11:30-12:1-10  where Paul makes his defense against the false apostles and uses a paradox to get his point across. 

(I'm struggling to think of how to keep this short and in a nutshell).  But essentially he was saying when we have had elevated ideals of (marriage or) parenting, and it's easy to boast in those ideals or accomplishments - particulary of things with or about our kids- then when things "crumble" or dissappoint us, we can easily "boast in the weaknesses" of our kids.  But what about our own weaknesses? 

Are we open, honest,  and real in our communication to others "boasting about our weaknesses" in order to bring glory to God?  Because as the verse says "If I must boast, I will boast of things that show my weakness." and then to cling to the promise that God has given, of "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 

As the Apostle Paul continues he says, "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ's sake I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then am I strong."

I really apprecitated this sermon and probably REALLY butchered it - trying to get my thoughts across.  But, there is nothing like getting put to the test - almost immediately.  Yet, I will continue to ask myself...
In upcoming situations; What will be my response?  Will my response make it or break it?   I know, some days are much better then others, that's for sure.  Pray for me, for us - as parents.  Thanks.

Monday, October 26, 2009

:: 36 ::

Happy 36th Birthday, Scott!!

I was trying to page through our pictures to find a picture of JUST my handsome birthday boy, and you know what?  They ALL are pictures which include him with either one or both of the little ones, myself, a dead animal (like steer, deer or fish) and/or they're too far away to see him up close and personal. 

I guess that says a thing or two (or three). 

  • He's a REAL family man!
  • He takes pride in providing for our family!
  • He's humble, and doesn't desire the limelight. (Not that he isn't ever the center of attention, because he does like a good time...)
I'm just grateful to God for "the gift" he has given ME, in this man.  It's Scott's birthday today, but it's me who gets to enjoy "the gift" on a daily basis.  One that I wouldn't trade for the world.  I am so blessed.

 NO, I am the lucky one!!  (And, if you been reading this blog for some time you know that we, Scott & I, like to go back and forth with this statement). But today I get to say it - first!

Happy Birthday, Babe!!  I love you, and I hope you have a great and "memorable" birthday!  See you when you get home...one of your favorite meals is coming right up! (And no, it's not cheeseburgers.  Sorry- we just had those yesterday!)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday's Finds: Surprise!!

Yesterday, I was over at my mom's - all day - doing applesauce.  I wished so badly that I had my camera with me to capture the beauty of all those apples.  My mother has the most wonderful OLD (antique) white bowls with the red rimmed edges.  It was picture perfect. She has several of these bowls, which I know she recieved after my grandparents passed away.   I told her to pass them on when she is finished with them.... she just smiled.

Then she surprised me with this old (extra) canner...

You see, I don't have one yet.  I really want  need a canner of my own.  And unknowingly, she had two.  When she realized it the other day, she thought of me.  I will have to get the rest of the "equipment" that goes along with canners and canning, but I was thrilled! Then, yesterday,  I sorta got "thrown into the fire" as we were in a race against time to get all the apples cooked, processed through the strainer and into the canner. 

My mom needed to leave for work around 5pm. and we weren't near finished with everything.  So, I stayed to finish up.  Great experience. Long day... my hands are stained and calloused or cut.  Proof of hard work.  I honestly thought I would be more tired - but it wasn't too bad.

I believe we got over 60 quarts of "apple goodness" and we kept some out of the process for eating and baking.  The kids were along with me but well taken care of by their uncles - who happened to be home yesterday - which was so nice!

After, getting home and still marveling over the fact that I now have a canner.  I said to Scott, "Watch out! for next year".  But rather then keeping the canner on a shelf or in a closet somewhere until next canning season, I decided to "display" it in my kitchen and rid the one corner, I had ,of extra dry goods.

SURPRISE!!!  I just think I found a new creative way to keep things tucked away - it's useful - it's at my fingertips, and it looks nice.  Of course, it sits off to the side looking like it does in the first picture, but you had no idea that something was inside, now did you??  ;)

"Thanks Mom"!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Do you do halloween?

The other day I asked our landlord if he would mind if I bought a few corn stalks from him, so that I could decorate a bit, for fall.

"Sure!, no need to pay me, I'll giv'em to ya.  How many you want? and I'll bring 'em right up." 
Mr. A is a very dutchy (Pennsylvannia Dutch) man and he makes me chuckle everytime we talk.  In fact, Caleb likes to just call him, "A" (his full last name) and so, of course, we do too.  Then he decided that Caption Crunch (the man on the cereal box) was in fact- "Mr. A".

Mr. A could be a whole 'nother post.  We'll keep that in mind.

Anyway, the other day (and this was after I had set the cornstalks out and had obtained a few FREE pumpkins!  Thanks to my brother, who works part-time for another farmer.) I was on my way out, with the kids.  Mr. A was out side and in his usual PA dutch calls out, "howdy, buddy!" - talking, of course, to Caleb.  And then he says to me; "looks like halloween around here." we talked some more and then parted ways. 

We love living here, by the way!!

So, after pulling away, I got to thinking about what he said...wondering to myself... "uhmm, maybe he doesn't care for the decorations,  or, I don't know.... I don't think, he and or his family celebrate halloween."

I know he is Mennonite, so I highly doubt it.  I also grew up conservative Mennonite and I will not celebrate halloween - as it's expected in today's culture.  My hubby and I can go round and round on this debate - which for the record, I am not looking to get into people's opinion or belief system whether we should participate in halloween or not.

What I am trying to get at is this.  Ironically, as I was driving along thinking about all of this.  I had the radio on to our local Christian station.  And the "morning show" dude was talking about this very subject.  Halloween.  But, he brought a very interesting perspective to the converstation (because he was talking to someone else in the studio) and asking for comments, online or over the air. 

It has left me really thinking about this.  Here it is- the gist of what he said.

"Our neighbors may or may not be neighborly or (very) friendly.  We wonder at times how to "break the ice" and connect with them.  Halloween is a time where people excpect people to come to their doors.  THEY ACTUALLY LEAVE THE LIGHT ON, for you to "feel welcome".  They "plan" to treat you... if you show up."

Further more...
"What if we (as Christians) did the opposite, in a sense, and used these "open doors" as a way to meet our neighbors?  Use this as a tool to Introduce yourself;  be friendly/neighborly; treat them with fresh, home-baked cookies (or whatever); invite them to church;  find out if there is a way to do something practical for them.   Kids are a great way to help "break the ice".  Get your church group involved.  Think hospitality... on the go!"

: : I am really curious if this stirs anyone else up?  Have you ever heard of doing this before?  Is it "out there"?  I am nervous and excited thinking about this challenge.  Will we do it, as a family?  I don't know... but think of the memories, or new traditions that could be result out of doing something like this!

Can't you just hear it now?  You're kids telling other kids... "yeah, we do halloween...but this is how we do it - different!"

Monday, October 19, 2009

Second Sale!!

I made my Second Sale for Bags by Bevy, over the weekend... with this bag!!

 ~ Mid October Skye~

: : Hop on over to my Etsy shop, if you get a chance, and note the two other new ones listed there.
Let me know what you think...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday's Finds: In Quiet Storms...

This has been my first chance to get my thoughts together today for Friday's Finds.   So, it feels good to sit and actually have a moment to reflect.  Yesterday, I decided to throw the kids in the van (well, I didn't acutally throw them, but you know what I mean.) and QUICK run out to Lancaster Co., to pick up my sewing machine that I took out, on Saturday, to get serviced.  It desperately needed to be done...and I have tons of sewing that awaits me upstairs. 

Anyway.  The kids did great - slept for most of the trip home.  And, as I was driving, I was just thoroughly enjoying the beauty of the season.  The trees were turning their golden hue and reds were coming through...pumpkin patches everywhere and yet it was raining.  I LOVE rainy days, too.  So the combination was just soothing.  And so was listening to the radio, until...

News & Weather Forecast stating:  "Watch out for the Nor'Easter, coming to our area, over the next several days... starting this evening and continuing, until Sunday".

Well, it was already raining, pretty hard all day.  And after being home for awhile, evening was settling in - dinner was finished, the littles in bed.  It was budget night, Scott and I were talking low and you could just hear the wind HOWLing and roaring through and around our house.  I love it!!  Cozy night, a roof over our heads... Did you really hear me say that, love?  Yes!  It's true.  I LOVE STORMS - rainy days, hard thunderstorms, snow storms, wind howling, etc.  (These mentioned though, are honestly the extent of my experience. I never, in my life, experienced excessive flooding, or had to live through various storm devestation, etc. But I feel for those that have.)  I just honestly can't imagine it.

Then, after baking another Bavairan Apple Tart for Scott to take into work today.  Yes!  Another one.  I was washing up all the dishes - listening to the storm, and thinking.

Why is it then that I have such a hard time "loving" and embracing the "storms" that come our (my) way in the daily grind...of our lives?  I balk, and struggle to endure to "change" that it requires.  Is it that too many times I think life should be just smooth sailing?  No rifts.  No depth to the unknown - let's just live life on the surface. 

I reflected a bit longer and then recalled a passage in Psalm 107: 23-30.  It reads.

"They saw the works of the Lord, his wonderful deeds in the deep.  For he spoke and stirred up the tempest that lifted high the waves.  They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths, in their peril their courage melted away.  They reeled and staggered like drunken men; they were at their wits' end.

Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress.  He stilled the storm to a whisper, and the waves of the sea were hushed.  They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven."
I also have in the side margin of my Bible a quick sketch (that I drew) of a large hand, cupped like as though it were a boat on a wild, stormy sea.  There is a little "person" sitting in there, as well.  And the caption that I came up with, which is written above the sketch - just to help me remember- is this;

"IF to sink or swim? Don't flail, just float. The palm of HIS hand, makes a great boat". 

There is something to be said about storms, though the severity of them at times can be "scary" and unnerving, remember, the waves are not for our destruction, but rather for our instruction.  Peace, be still... to our stormy worlds.

When Scott and I would find ourselves faced with a "storm like" (difficult) season and we just wern't sure what the outcome would be...I was so grateful to have him lead us in remembering the song by Casting Crowns -  "I will praise you in this storm".  This song couldn't be more real to us at times.  Our desire was to Praise God in and through the many storms that we have felt howling around us, one too many times.
: : It's amazing what prayer and praise (showing our LOVE to God!) can do to bring our hearts back.  Though it still may be stormy on the outside - may it be a quiet storm within- as we feel his peace overwhelm.

Have a great weekend, everyone!!

: : Photo, (Fall Fury) taken up at my sister's place, last fall.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Simple Pleasures...

Simple Pleasures.  Spirit Lifters.  What ever you want to call it...

This is one of my "newest" bright spots within the nooks and crannies of my kitchen.  I just took some of the Blue Salvia from the summer flowerbeds and will let them dry, here in this little ole blue canning jar - just as they are- for a little cheer the rest of the year!!  Side by side to my antique flour sifter, sporting it's little red handle, what could be sweeter?   That's it, and I feel happier...

: : What do you do or have you done, for a little cheer - the rest of the year?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bavarian Apple Tart!

This is one of my most favorite apple recipes to make in the fall. I made this dessert for Scott to take into work, Monday (yesterday). 
And here, I got a phone call from one of his co-worker's, yesterday afternoon, asking me for the recipe.  I was a little bit surprised, by that.  Then Scott mentioned that several others were asking for it yesterday, as well.   I knew that I planned to post this on here, today.  So, here it is, for everyone to enjoy. 

~(Bevy's) Bavarian Apple Tart~
** Wait, do you want my version or the cookbook version?!?!?  Seriously, I know.  I am so bad when it comes to changing things up in hopes and efforts to make it better...I'll just giveyou my version and be done with it.  Maybe that's why I can add my name to the recipe title, eh?

1 cup all-purpose flour (I use half whole wheat flour)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cold butter
* Mix together with pastry cutter, or two knives,  until crumbly.  Press firmly onto bottom and up (1/2") sides of 8x12 baking dish.

12 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/4 tsp. each of vanilla and almond flavorings
* Beat together, and spread carefully over pastry.  Leave some of the crust showing.  This can be tricky.  I use a small icing spreader.

4 cups, peeled and thinly sliced apples  (SOMETIME:  You have got to try this recipe using Fresh chunked Peaches!- Absolutely divine.)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
* Combine and spread over cheese mixture.

1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
* Spread over apples.

Bake at 425* for 10 minutes.  Then reduce heat to 375* and continue baking for 25 minutes.  Cool for 5 minutes then cut around the edge of pan with knife to loosen.  Cut in squares.  Great, served warm or cold!

:: Enjoy!  Especially with vanilla ice cream, coffee and your soul mate. 
Great "for a FALLing-in-Love" Combination!! ;)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Weekend ramblings...for good reason.

What a great weekend!  Despite all of us getting hit with slight colds and earaches... it was great - and jam packed, as usual.  This was the weekend to do our monthly grocery shop, out to Lancaster (my Mom and brothers drove along, again) - except that this month was more like a 6 week stretch... so, it was interesting to see how close we came to running out of everything.  Poor kids, even their diapers posed a problem.  Thank God! for some Swimmies left over from during the summer that "worked" for a few hours so that right after church, on Sunday, we could immediately head to Costco.

Saturday, I MADE MY FIRST SALE ON ETSY!!!!  that was the "funnest" part of the whole weekend...well, besides sitting with my hubby in low lighting on Sunday evening for a mini date.  We put the kiddo's down early - because, for some reason naps and Sunday's aren't going too well.  They were exhausted and let us know it.  But, after they were down and asleep... we sat at the dining room table, with low lighting (Scott's idea) and sipped coffee, and had Bavarian Apple Tart  (I will share this recipe with you soon  tomorrow!) and Vanilla ice cream. 

I had saved two pieces of dessert for us to share while I packed up the rest for him to take to work today.  The company was having some type of "picnic" and he signed up to take a Veggie Pizza (which I made last evening), so I thought why not, I would just quick make this apple dessert to send along.  Just cuz.  The oven was already hot (from making pizza crust) anyway...might as well be efficient about it, right?

We even got to squeeze in a few loads of laundry.  Then the dryer need to get fixed (which we think it is now, thanks to my man).  Talk about projects...
Yes, well, this sale on Etsy, totally surprised blessed me. I cried. Tears of joy of course. And it was actually someone I know (one of my faithful commenters) from my Church, so that makes it even more FUN!!  Thank You, so much Kristy!  Scott was the first to see the notice, I wasn't even home (I had to quick run out for something) and so he saw this and with all serious and "almost upset like" (he had to be that way to keep himself contained, because he was just as excited) - he says, "Bev, you need to read this email.  You need to sit down now and, well, just see what you think about this..."  I can't remember everything he said, but it scared me.  "Like, what did I do or say now"?  We laughed.

One of the "sad things" that happened, over the weekend, was that I left my sewing machine in Lancaster, Co.  I needed desperately to get it cleaned and serviced...so, it was planned.  It's just that I am without it for a few days.  I do have my Grammy's machine (hers needs the same thing done) - but I have a mysterious feeling (can't put my finger on it) as to why I feel funny using it.  The only good thing about leaving it behind, is that it gives good reason to go back out there. ;)

: : How was your weekend?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Apples all around...

Apple Pie * crunchy crisps & cobbler * cider * apple butter *  apple fritters *  applesauce...

: : It's that time of year! Go get yourself some, we did.
 It's apple time!!

 Have a great fall weekend.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

~A quick overnight...

This is my version of a very quick overnight bag... just thrown together.  But wait!  Let me explain it...

Last week, Thursday, October 1st, was the best day for me... just fun...action packed...exciting!!
I was preparing to go the following evening for a ladies overnight with our care group from church.
Except, that I remembered from last year that I didn't have an overnight bag.  I told myself, last year, that I needed to get myself one - or, little did I know, that I would be this ambitious, this time, this year, and make myself one.  Which is what I ended up doing!! 
Now I had, had the fabric - waiting - I was "thinking" about what lining fabric I had wanted to use (using what I had around the house, no time to do any shopping) and really, what style did I want it to be anyway?

The thing was, was that I had forgotten about doing this project until Thursday afternoon.  Can you believe it?
I think it was because I had launched my Etsy Shop to start on the 1st, and so that was on my mind.

Anyway, It was nearing two o'clock in the afternoon.  I remembered this project.  So, with little ones in tow -stealing my scissors, throwing toys around in the room, etc. - thus, began my version to a quick overnight bag.
I know my general rule of thumb for my bags is to not have a closure to them, but this felt different.  I felt it needed something.  So, I found some dark sage green, grograin (LOVE, this!) ribbon, leftover from our wedding and implemented it into the bag to be used as a closure type thing - but totally optional in usage.

I like how it turned out.  The colors compliment each other very well, and the fabric liner that I used is honestly some vintage fabrics that I had gotten - who knows where, but so long ago.  Love the buttons!!
 The bag itself is deep and roomy, and has several large pockets inside for all those "toiletries".  I must say I was rather surprised myself to have finished it up at around 11:30 pm that evening.   Of course, dinner was in there, cleaning up the kitchen, getting the little ones down for the night...
Oh, AND we had surprise company that evening, too!  Get this, an old friend of mine from school, with his two little girls, stopped in "randomly" to see if there were any apartments available for rent in this house.  He had no idea that we lived here.  So of course, we had to sit around the table for coffee - all of us.  It was great to see him again.  His daughters are so adorable and I wish his wife was along... oh well, maybe another time.  All that to say, Thursday was just a really good day.

So, that's my version of a quick overnight bag.  I had a blast using it on Friday night and Saturday with the ladies get together and sleepover. That time together in and of itself was far better then any of my accomplishments.  I needed a quick overnight with the girls (we watched Anne of Green Gables too)... How fun is that?

 I am really considering adding this "overnight style" to the Bags by Bevy line... What do you all think?

: : Oh, and I need to still come up with a name for it.  Maybe it isn't finished after all...

Wait.  Perhaps I'll call it, "My Yellow Rose of Summer".

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

~Pear this one up...

I enjoy pears.  Not that I have to have them "put up" with the rest of canning, per say...
But a good pear dessert paired up with some Ice Cream, now that's good eating.

It was Sunday evening. And for Sunday suppers we usually don't do much -it's usually on the lighter side of things...like popcorn, ice cream, etc.
My brother had stopped by for the late afternoon and into the evening, so we asked him to stay.  I had pears that "NEEDED" to be used, but I had no white sugar left in the house.  I wanted to make something that would go as a dessert type thing... and so thus began the concoction.

He said he enjoyed.  Here is what I came up with.

 Basically, it's a type of Pear Crumble (I guess).  I saw the gist of this recipe in several of my cookbooks where you take a dry cake mix (white or yellow) and you sprinkle that over a can of cherry pie filling. After which you drizzle a 1/2 cup of melted butter over the crumbs, and bake at 350* for 40 minutes or so.

So, since I had all of these pears to use up and I confess, if my sister is reading this; "Rachel, I feel bad. I lost about half the box due to my own negligence - and no granulated sugar".  I was trying to think of a way to incorporate what I did have.  I am amazed that when you HAVE to get creative... it happens.

I took about 8 cups of chunked fresh pears.  Put them into a 9"x13" pan.  Drizzled a bit of lemon juice, sprinkled (to taste) some ground ginger (ginger always goes well with pear) and spread a small handfull of brown sugar (that I had!), to which I finalized it with the above yellow cake mix and butter.  Oh yea, I added a few chopped walnuts for some extra crunch.  And I think, if there is a next time, I would add more nuts or try pecans.

: : "Pear" this one up, served warm, with Blueberries and Cream (or Vanilla) Ice Cream!!  Yumm, YUMMM!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

This little light of mine...

This little "bit of fall" display is on the window sill - right at my kitchen sink.  I enjoy doing up little vignette's like this, all around the house.  But, why not?  For this one,  I am the one who is standing here, washing dishes, the most out of anyone, at any given time.  My favorite part of this display, at the moment, is the small lit candle.  It's small and intimiate yet it's presence is BIG as it smells of spiced apple and is - get this- just a little reminder to keep my light shining - at all times.

I need this reminder.  I can sing the little Sunday School song over and over with my little ones...
"this little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine", but if I am not purposeful in letting my life shine with the light of Christ, then a light is just a light and there is no aroma or presence filling the room either.  I want to be intentional.  No matter how small.

: : Friends, how is your "little light" shining today?  Is it BIG with presence, purpose and intention?

Monday, October 5, 2009

What a evokes a memory?

evoke (v.t.); to call up or produce (memories or feelings, etc.)

This picture does this for me...
Of canteloupe rinds?  Yes, canteloupe rinds.

As we've closed the doors officially on summer and have entered a new season - Fall, my favorite!  I couldn't help but share this picture, primarily because of the memory it brings to mind. (I thought I would quick slip it in here yet - because melon still speaks of summer to me),
It's a memory of my Grammy and Grandpop.  THEY ALWAYS had rinds of canteloupe or watermelon upside down in the garbage bowl, waiting on their counter  - ready to get thrown out.  ALWAYS!!  They must have ate melon all the time. And if I ask my siblings about it - they all remember the same thing.  Weird memory, isn't it?

The reason I know this (and so vividly remember this) is because our family had the privledge of living next door to them (Literally! - We would walk through the one bedroom door and into their living room.) and so, we would often "run over" to Grammy and Grandpop's - just to see what they were up to, what they were eating, if they wanted to play games that evening, sit on their couches or chairs to read their books and magazines or whatever.  Basically, it's was because we were just plain nosy.... Or was it? 

What was it about Grammy and Grandpop that drew us over to their house, so much?  This was a question that I asked my (8) siblings and I got alot of the same response back.  Which I thought was sorta interesting.  Here are some of the answers; "We were bored - it gave us something different to do.", "It was cozier over there - they had a woodstove, softer carpet, etc.", and my mom even answered - "They let you 'get away' with things, for the most part." ;)  -yet, "They loved us differently, as only grandparents can do".

Like I said, I think it was mostly because we were simply nosy.  And I agree with all the responses, yet in my pondering this question over in my mind, I realize now how much we took them for granted. 

My grandparents were conservative Mennonites and dairyfarmers, back in their day.  With the love of the outdoors (a lot of fishing and travelling), gardening and in more recent years having a hobby fruit orchard, etc....I could really have a knowledge of things (such as "seed time and harvest")... if I would have taken the time and interest when I had the opportunity to "dig deep" and glean from them.  Why didn't I ask more questions of them? Why didn't I jog their memories more?  What was it about canteloupe that they loved so much?

My grandfather was not a man of many words -but did he ever have a memory and a knowledge of the Word of God!  My grandmother was the one who was full of life and "tease".  She sure was a live wire...and full of "sass" (if I can say that about my Grammy)... I miss them - both.

 I have a lot of memories - good ones- and I did learn things from them.  They have both since passed on now,  but I regret not getting to know them (as persons and their way of life) better.  Does that make sense?  Because it was just the "norm" - we just took them for granted.

As the season comes upon us that involves FAMILY, family gatherings, sharing life and memories.  Do IT!!  Share those things - evoke memories of one another.  Don't let it slip from your hands -leaving trails of regret behind.

Even if it starts with Canteloupe Rinds...

Friday, October 2, 2009


Well, HELLO YA'LL!!!!

Guess what, it is that time of month again to listen to the "Bevy's other half" ramblings......Honestly it is a pleasure to have a 2nd of the month fall on a Friday, for Friday's Finds and Scott's Second Sayings.

Let me tell you about what I found.....

It was June 2004 and I was in the middle of trucking (yes, I used to drive a 18-wheeler).

I had been "talking" to a lady thru a match service called e-Harmoney. The only thing is, is that I did not know I was talking to my wife-to-be. Yes, Bevy and I meet thru e-Harmoney.

The long story short, is that you have an option to place "matches" on-hold. Well, Bevy had placed me on hold, and my account was getting ready to expire. The day before my account expired, she contacted me and ask essentially if I was still interested in communicating. I responded that yes I was, and informed her that my account was getting ready to close, and I was not going to renew it. I gave her my private email (at the time) and said if she wanted to communicate, she would need to email me thru this address.  Well it turned out that it would be another day before I would get a chance to get back online, and by then, there-in my Inbox, was an email from Bevy.

We were married 11 months later and as they say the rest is history

......or is it really.

Over the last 5 years she has taught me alot; personally, spiritually, and relationally. Bev has been an unimagineable blessing to me in my life. By no means does she get all the "kuddos" from me that she deserves. When we starting courting, I explained to her that to know me and love me would probably have VERY tough times. I can say today though, she has loved and cared for me thru things I would never of imagined would have happened to me, but not always easy. She has always been my biggest supporter, and for that I love Her. She is solid in her faith and is appreciative of her heritage. That's what I love about her.

She is my wife, the one I rest next to in the evening and the one that keeps me straight and in-line (even if I have gone and got-in trouble with my brother-in-law <-That's another post in itself). It is honestly, by Gods goodness, grace, and love for me that she has been bestowed to me as my wife. My reasons can go on as to why I love her.

Do we have our "moments"?  Sure. Do we fail each other at times?  Sure. Do we misunderstand each other at times?  Sure. Bevy's patience and love has always been bigger that any situation we have ever been in. She says I have the patience of a saint. Well, if that is the case, then she has the love of an angel.

Bev, I thank God for letting me find you. Thank you for the daily care and tending to our home, family, and "us". I know days go by, and seem like they are thankless. Please know now and forever, your due diligence is noticed and appreciated. By no means do I give you the applause you deserve, and I know I fail a lot of times in encouragment for you. By Gods grace, may I become more of the husband, father, friend, leader to you and to our family, that He calls me to be. You are my Proverbs 31.



Thursday, October 1, 2009

I am now on Etsy!!

Introducing Bags by Bevy, now on Etsy!
Visit here.
Ooooh, I am so excited.  Please, I would love and so appreciate any thoughts, ideas or comments you may have.  Let me know what you think!!!

Thanks for checking it out. 

ALSO!  I want to just take a minute to thank my husband (publicly) for GENEROUSLY sharing his valuable time (time intended towards studying) and spending that on me - helping to get my Etsy shop up and running.  I do not do very well with all this techie stuff.
 I COULD NOT have done it without you, babe!  Thank you so, so much.
Do you really know how much I love you, Scott?!?!?!
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