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

Friday, September 28, 2012

I've been waiting for {this moment}

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{this moment}

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. ~ Amanda Soule


***

Have a wonderful weekend! 
In fact, this is one I have been waiting for...
How about you and yours?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

this word :: community

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I've been reading, here of late - this word - this sense of community.   I've been struck and challenged to truly express what that "word" means for me, personally.  Community {defined by Bevy} is a place where I feel at home - no matter who I'm with and where I am.

Now.  I didn't conjure that after moments of long thought.  NO.  It was truly, just now, off the cuff.
Community, at large, is often thought of a place, a gathering of many in one locale, sharing the same ideas, interests and values.  It's a common place. It's collective.

Essentially it's like putting the core of these two words -  Come + Union - together.

Basically, in order to have a sense of community, you have to show up.  Do you find that hard to do? 

I can.


 
Do you feel it - this community happening in your life?  Are you in it?  What does that (community) look like for you?  More often then not, if you're anything like me, you're tempted to stand on the shore line and look on? 
 
Because.

In community...the questions are real. 

They get deep.



I don't always like water.  Sometimes the waters are murky and I don't have a clear idea of who I am or what I want or am willing to contribute.  That alone holds me back.

(I have a situation in mind that I'm writing about here.  Though not quite ready to share.)

But the challenge I find is when I have friends calling - "dive in!, the water's fine".  Others who are pulling me back from the edge - saying you're better off where you are.  Applauding that my feet are still on dry ground.

Both places are real and could be a true place of community for me.

*** 

Yesterday, was a special day, for me.  I had the privilege of sitting across my dining room table,with another friend, over coffee and Bavarian Apple Tart, to lay it all out and share.  Gleaning from this old school friend of mine - getting an unbiased opinion about my "upset" and just catching a glimpse of how deep the water really might be.

That action alone.  Having this friend in my home - was, in a word, community.

I loved it!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Do you think they might be having some fun here?

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There sure wasn't too much convincin'
 going on to make this happen. On either end.  Let's just leave it at that.

***

Monday, September 24, 2012

A Daybook in September

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FOR TODAY

Outside my window...

The meadow grasses are all glistening in the sunlight.  I'm enjoying these "sudden" changes of fall coming on.  The grasses are fading to a dusty brown and there are patches of now red weeds amongst those greens and browns.  I hear geese honking...
And the corn field across the way is donning it's robe of gold.

I am thinking...

I sure am ready for this "new" season.  I love fall.  My favorite time of year...
There are increased family gatherings. (If you know my family, at all- there are already quite a few sprinkled throughout the year, but it's during the next upcoming months that they are on the rise.)

I am thankful...

for antibiotics and for dentists who'll see me at the last minute before closing their Saturday office hours.
(I had quite the bout of "trouble" this weekend - and I'm not looking forward to the scheduled Tuesday evening appointment, to do a root canal. Let me take that back.  Yes! I am.)

In the kitchen...

there are remnants of having company here for lunch - yesterday.  Although! I will say, it was really nice to have my friend pitch in, in helping to wash up dishes after our meal.  A fun way to visit for sure.

For dinner tonight? (homemade) Cheese Steak Stromboli and a side salad.

I am wearing...

a blue jean skirt and a simple brown t-shirt type blouse.  And my favorite woolen slippers - purchase on etsy last winter.

I am creating...

a (mental) list of things to do, buy and make before the end of the year.  Crazy - I know.

I am going...

to the milk store today.  It seems like since Baby Jayne is now drinking regular milk We're there much sooner then expected.  NOT COMPLAINING!

I am wondering...

about all my friends traveling this week - up to the New England States and beyond.  I have one headed to Vermont., one to Massachusetts. and a sister to Prince Edward Island.  I wonder what beauty they are seeing. It's got to be beautiful. I'm slightly jealous.  I've never been "north" that way...

I am reading...

well.  I will be soon.  I'll be rereading the book by Francine Rivers called Redeeming Love. (the best book evah!)  It's one our CG ladies decided to go through over the next couple of months. 

I am hoping...

for a passing grade for my husband this coming Saturday.  He's scheduled to take an exam- for his collage course.  This particular course has surely given him a run for his money.  Very, very tough.

I am looking forward to...

visiting with an old school friend - tomorrow morning.  It's been so long since we've connected...too long, as a matter of fact.

I am learning...

Someone recently reminded me of this - the importance of -  "Make new friends but to keep the old.  One is silver and the other gold".  I am learning, I want to do this better.

Around the house...

I'm soon ready to hang out a load or two of laundry. 

I am pondering...

still.  Yesterday's sermon.  Taken from John 13.  The blessings of Servant-hood.  In what way might I "wash someone feet", today?  Do I even dare pray for an opportunity?  In other words.  Pay it Forward...
"...he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed." ~ Proverbs 11:25

And then I read this devotional from HERE.

It's all the same idea...

A favorite quote for today...

Cooking is like love... It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.  ~ Harriet Van Horne

One of my favorite things...

pulling out the flannel shirt to throw over my shoulders as I hang out the laundry and digging out the "comfort food" type recipes from both my heart and my head.  (oops! that's two favorites...right there.)

A few plans for the rest of the week:

Piano Lessons start this afternoon (Monday), for Caleb.
As mentioned.  A root canal for me, on Tuesday evening.  A visit with a dear friend on Tuesday Morning.
On Thursday evening... my husband and I are helping to facilitate a Financial Peace Class -by Dave Ramsey.
On Saturday - my husband's (JavaScript) exam.

A peek into my day...

Based on  inspiration from HERE I thought, Why not?
Why not make a Canning Ring Pumpkin for myself - until I need to use them for applesauce or whatever?


***

Enjoy your week!!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday's Finds :: Share (mutual) Encouragement

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It's where...On Fridays, I like to try and feature "a find" of no particular value or sentiment, no reason or rhyme and yet, exactly for all of those reasons I just mentioned.
Thanks for stopping by.

***
A bit of an unusual find today.  One that happened to me a long, long time ago.  Every time I flip my Bible open to Romans 1 - this heart-shaped note falls out.  A great reminder of a good friend and our friendship. 
I shared about this before, here.

Actually, you might say this note found it's way to me.  Slipped under my front door, by a dear friend of mine - also named Bev.  Again, a long, long time ago.  She has since gone HOME to be the Lord.  I miss her greatly.

My friend Bev and I would get together to sit and catch up, pray, talk about our hopes and dreams, pray some more.  You see. At the time, Bev was soon to be married and I was still a young single gal - hoping that that dream of getting married would be true for me one day.  This sort of subject - marriage - wasn't all that we talked about, though.

We talked about our growing in Christ and what did that look like for each of us?  Our relationships with others, dreams of me going to school (for nursing), and home making... etc.

Our friendship could be described  like these verses say in Romans 1:11-12

I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong --- that is that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith.

***

Who are you going to see this weekend that you might mutually encourage?

Think about it.

I'm excited.  I plan to go to a Ladies Breakfast in the morning.  
And, I think {this} just might possibly happen, do you?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sew Up (and the Winner is...)

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~ Homespun Baby! Shoes ~

(gift) order for Deb S.
Congrats on your new little country pumpkin, my friend!!

Business for a Bevy of Old & New  (formally Bags by Bevy) has been on the semi-slow side.
Aside from making a pair of baby shoes every now and then, primarily made as gifts, I haven't been too busy.  Oh, I mean there has been a sale here and there, but...

I'd like to change that. 
I'm gearing up.
I'm ready. 
I want to Sew Up!

I've been thinking just how in the world I can pick business back up? 
 It's not that I need to do this, it's that I've been mostly doing it for fun.  And, that is quite okay. 

Time is of the essence.
It would be nice to have more of that - undivided time- and who doesn't? want more of that.

***
So, while I figure out just how I might be able to "tackle" more sewing of bags and pocket pouches in and during my already too busy of days...

I'll go ahead and settle up with the winner of the Mugs & Muffins giveaway.  Drawn at random...

::jnj1000::


Congratulations, Janelle!  I'll be sending these two items out to you as soon as possible.  All the way to Missouri - here they come.
Just email me your mailing address (if you don't mind) to make sure I've got it correctly.  Thanks!

Thanks for joining in, with all your wonderful thought and comments.  Greatly appreciated.



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

:: Do Not Worry ::

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Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of it's own.  ~ Matthew 6:34

Isn't that about the truth?

Well.  It is the truth.  It is found in God's Holy Word.

 (These photos aren't meant to scare you.  We've just found this big guy fascinating and fun to watch!)


But, as I sat down - weary - at the breakfast table, this morning, the tears began to fall.

Someone fell and landed on their bum hard.
The Cheerios were thrown off the tray - again!
My tooth has been aching for the past several days- aching unbelievable this morning 
(along with a varicose vein in my leg - tender to the touch.  Just this morning.  Very strange.)
The run-around of getting everyone dressed - properly
The baby bumped her lip - bleeding all over again - the same spot for three days in a row
Wants to be held - all of the time
He can't find his shoes to save his life - they need tied
Someone spilled milk 
aghh!  that milk is all we have left until we get more...
Here - quick - let's change your shirt.

and on and on and on


All was going in disarray before the day even barely got started.  This was not going to be good.

I did my best to calm down... as by now my kids were asking me "what was wrong".  I grabbed each of their little hands and squeezed.  I began to pray...

And in seeking the forgiveness of the Lord, first and asking for His Grace to walk through this day in a way that honored and glorified HIM... the rest of the morning actually fell into place and we managed to get EVERYTHING done (including getting teeth brushed) and (backpack) together to get Caleb on the bus.

Oops, we forgot his snack   
Actually, I thought of that mere minutes before the bus rolled up just in time for me to run back into the house and grab something (Peanut Free!!) and back outside before it came.

"Thanks, mom!"

This school thing can be stressful!  (there I said it!)

***
If I let every little thing of yesterday use up all of today and if I would let myself imagine whatever could possibly happen tomorrow before it ever comes I could really, really, really be caught up in a MESS.

I like the comfort of God's Word.

:: DO NOT WORRY ::

It sounds like a command.  But really, it's not.
It's an invitation to rest in His loving arms.  It's to HIS strong and loving arms that I can run; feel the embrace of his kindness and gentle touch, restoring my soul and know that all is well.

Tomorrow is a different day.  One entirely of it's own.

***
(Does anyone know what KIND of spider this is?  Maybe I should worry?  Just a little?)

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** DON'T FORGET!  Tonight at 10:00pm, EST. is the end of the great giveaway for my Mugs & Muffins post back on Monday.
 Don't miss it. Go HERE to enter.  I would love to have you enter in the discussion.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

All I want is to be in the Light!

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This morning, I awoke to be the beautiful sound of the falling rain.  Such a cozy sound and one where I wanted to curl up even closer to my hubby and "sleep in" a little longer.

But my thoughts wouldn't let me.

I kept revisiting an interesting conversation, in my head, that our little ones were having with us as as we were driving home, one night - in the dark. 
 I only hope and pray that I can paint the picture with my words the way it went down.

"Dad, why is it so dark outside?", the question was asked.

As we drove, the high beams and low beams of other cars coming toward us broke into the darkness.  So, did the various lights, shining out of windows, from homes along the way.

That light only lasted as long as we saw it and then it passed out of sight.

I got to thinking to myself, because by now the conversation had shifted on to something else... about how - if one were lost in the darkness - if you can find a light and by walking or stumbling toward it, that there might be hope for you.  Right?

Maybe.

But - do you trust that light, in that moment?  I actually went here with my thoughts...but, what if it's the long black train?  I mean, you found a light and you're walking towards it!!  It must be good.

Wrong!

Many people are disillusioned to the fact that if they hang around long enough near the light(s) of community, see the street lights off in the distance, hang out next door to traffic, etc., that they are okay; that they are "good enough".  They can see!  They are no longer in the darkness. Right?
Again.  Maybe, but wrong!

However, as our vehicle bumped and rolled along the curvy back roads, heading home, that night.  It was like it was a clear picture of what it meant to be IN the light.  Here we were safely tucked inside the moving vehicle. Every which way we turned, the light from our car was shining brightly ahead of  us, and around us, allowing us a full lighted path to "follow".

You see! It is not just seeing a light up ahead or shining off "over there", that makes it enough for us to be truly in the light.

We need to literally be in THE LIGHT to be part of it.

***
To explain this to my four and five year old was lost on them.  They didn't get it.
In reality they are (still) lost...spiritually.

Every day - as I and my husband - are in the Light of God's Word and we live out the reflection of God's goodness to us; we bear witness to that light. 

It reminds me of a song, by DC Talk.  And this is my prayer...




***
 Someones comment, yesterday, got me. Actually a lot of you basically said the same thing...and I summarize.  How true it is... the one (me!) who is the most vulnerable to the schemes of darkness is the one not IN-dwelling in the true light of life.

Lord, be my light and be my salvation.  Because all I want is to be in the light!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Mugs & Muffins :: {guest post!, by Kelli S.} and giveaway!

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Cheery Good Morning, to you! 
Welcome back to our time of Mugs & Muffins.  We had such a great time, last month, didn't we?  Talking about our laundry...pinning our stories, our methods, our tips... to the line of conversation. I laughed a lot while hosting that one.  And learned a lot as well.  It was great!

I'm so glad you came back to visit here again.  Today, however, we will embrace a VERY different sort of topic.  So stay close.  Please!  I don't want you to miss this one and the seriousness of it all.

If you're new here.  Welcome!  It's always good to have "new" faces sitting here around "the table".  I know nervous jitters can find their way into your heart and mind and I just want to put that at ease.  Hopefully they'll go away and not come back.  I want you to just sit back relax and enjoy that cup of coffee you're holding in your hand.  Grab a (mini) Pecan Pie Muffin while you're at it.  The recipe will follow at the end of the post. 

I thought I would just quickly take the time to tell you what Mugs and Muffins is about, in case you're curious and let you know how it has come to take place here at Treasured Up and Pondered.
I'm not sure if you've ever read the book - A Life that Says Welcome, or not.  It's written by a lovely lady named Karen Ehman.  She writes for Proverbs 31 Ministries as well as has her own blog.
She honestly is one of my most favorite Christian authors.  Anyway.  Back in the late nineties, this Karen and a friend of hers sent out an invitation, around Christmas time, for a special evening: a "Mom's Night Out" - planned for maybe twice a year.  Each attendee was to bring their own mug (for coffee or tea) and muffins were the only other thing there for refreshment.  As it turned out - there were over nineteen ladies in attendance the first time.  It quickly grew to a monthly event with now over ninety moms on their mailing list, representing ten different churches and of many ladies who don't even attend church.

Karen encourages woman to start their own chapters... and so this is mine.

Each Month - usually on the Second Monday - I will feature a theme of sorts.  I will always try to include a guest post "speaker" keeping to topic at hand, extending a related giveaway and since we can't eat the muffins online... I at least will share the recipe with you all.

So far it's been a ton of fun.  I've met many new "faces" through their thoughts and interaction by way of comments.  I want it to be, for you, an environment of calm, laughter and a feeling "free to participate" by sharing your thoughts and comments.

Pass the word along.  We'd love to have more of you participate.  Stay. Savor and/or enjoy the time together, as we gather.

***
Well.  Today is special.  Special for me in that I can really relate to the topic that will be shared today. I've been here (a few times) and maybe you have too.   If it's lengthy to read - I do apologize.  I just wanted it to be as real as real could be.  I just hope you'll stay close and really hear from my In Real Life (IRL) friend Kelli.  Kelli kindly agreed to share her "testimony" today... about a path she has been called to walk.  Certainly, not an easy task. I think you'll understand why I say - stay close.

Stand by.

And please share your thoughts and encouragement at the end of the post with your comments following the read.  Each comment will nominate you for a chance to win a two-fold giveaway today.

This is VERY, VERY exciting.

Here is my friend to share with you now.

Hi, I’m Kelli and I have a little blog called Learning As We Go.  I’ve been married for 15 years to my husband Andy.  God has blessed us with 2 boys.  Collin is turning 12 this month and Britt is 7. I’m a real-life friend of Bevy’s and feel very honored to be asked to guest post on her blog today.

My life has been a pretty normal one.  Might even be classified as boring, although I’ve had my share of ups and downs.  One of the biggest struggles in my life happened one morning in church. I was completely normal one minute and the next began a year-long debilitating battle that I now know as anxiety/depression.  Up until my diagnosis I thought anxiety was something made up.  Something the doctor told you you had when they didn’t know what else was wrong with you.  Anxiety was for people who were crazy.  And that wasn’t me.  And anxiety was definitely not for Christians.

But, as it turns out I knew nothing about anxiety.  Even now, almost 3 years later I still feel as though I don’t know anything about anxiety.  What I have learned is this.  Anxiety is very real and many, many people battle with it.  I soon found out that I was not alone.  People whom I never expected had dealt with anxiety or depression at some point in their life, or were always dealing with it.  I also soon found with whom I could trust my “disease” with.  There are some who just don’t understand and sadly they likely never will.  That also means that dealing with anxiety and depression can be a very lonely road.

For me it seems likely that my anxiety will never go away.  There are days I feel as though I am strapping on my “back pack of anxiety.”  On those particular days, quite frankly, I get so tired of it.  I don’t want to be dealing with it.  I want to feel normal again, and like I don’t have to worry through life anymore.

At times I find myself questioning why God has allowed this to be a part of my life.  I may never know the answer to that question and it’s not mine to know, but what I do find is God has given me peace through this battle.  I’ve learned so much about His love for me because of my anxiety.  He never once left me and I always felt His presence with me.  Still do.

He has opened my eyes to see others and their lives with a new perspective.  I’ve learned that you just don’t know what each person is dealing with in their lives.  Therefore, we must show compassion to them.  And this was huge, but we must not be silent.  We shouldn’t be afraid to talk about our struggles, or to offer a kind word or prayer when a friend is struggling.  I am so very glad God brought people into my life to help me through this battle.  I received cards and countless kind words from people in my life who truly cared and were praying for me.

During the debilitating days of my battle I really wanted to know that God was with me and hadn’t abandoned me.  So, where else to find God but in His word.  I started a journal of verses that God used to speak to my heart.  There were so many verses.  So many.  This post would be too long if I wrote out each, so I’ll share pieces of my favorites.  I hope you will take time to read the whole verse.  His words are amazing.

Psalm 56:8-9  You keep track of all my sorrows...collected my tears...When I call to you for help this I know:  God is on my side!

Psalm 103:13-14  The Lord is like a father to his children...For he knows how weak we are.

Lamentations 3:22-23  It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassion's fail not.  They are new every morning:  Great is thy faithfulness.

I Peter 5:7  Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.

II Cor. 12:9  My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.

Heb. 6:18-19  We have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us...we have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.

Phil. 4:6-7  Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything...then you will experience God’s peace...

John 14:27  I am leaving you with a gift - peace of mind and heart.  And the peace I give you...the world cannot give.  So don’t be troubled or afraid.

Isaiah 43:2  When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.  When you go through deep rivers...you will not drown.  When you walk through the fire...you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.

II Tim. 1:7  For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and love and self-discipline.

I could go on.  I have more written out.  What I’ve learned in seeing these verses and so many of them is that God knows we worry.  He knows we live in fear.  We are human.  He just wants us to give it to Him and lean heavily on Him for each day no matter what.

Unfortunately I had to learn that the hard way.  Truth be told, it is a daily struggle for me.  I like to have things in order, be in control of things, but the reality is we have absolutely no control of our lives.  What I do know and find so much relief and comfort in is knowing He has the control.  Who better than the One who loves us the most.

So, here I am nearly 3 years later.  Still taking pills to help my anxiety.  Still learning about God and His love.  Still learning about anxiety.  And still realizing I have so much to learn.  Still taking it day by day and sometimes minute by minute.  Still hoping and trusting that someday I can find relief from this debilitating disease.  But knowing with all my heart that God is with me each step of the way.


Kelli.  BIG HUGS! to you and thank you (sincerely!) for sharing this raw testimony with all of us.  Hard.  But in it's entirety you've given the Lord glory due to Him.  I think more then we know, there are other moms at home, moms in the work place, single women, married... old or young...who, we all can relate at times to the ups and downs.  Some "seasons" more prolonged then others.  I know I certainly can relate to this.

Recalling the time I heard a knock on the door of my home. It was probably around two years ago or so, by now.  It was a knock, I did not want to answer.  But I could see who it was on the other side.  It happened to be this same gal - my dear friend Kelli.  I had been in the midst of a really dark season and what I now know to be a state of depression.  But at the time, I had no idea what was happening to me.  I needed to try and get out of the house more.  I was encouraged to go and had just decided to start attending MOPS (Mother's of Preschoolers), which was probably one of the most encouraging things I could have ever done. There I met Kelli and many other beautiful faces (of friends) I either already knew or at least recognized. Actually, I already knew Kelli - way before MOPS, because we had worked together at our local Christian Bookstore for years.  But on this day, in particular ....

As I welcomed in her in ... she knew something had to be wrong.  We talked, I cried... and well, that was the first time I ever knew she was going through something very similar.  Because she could completely relate and she understood.  Thanks be to God - mine lasted only a short time.  At least at that point.  I still have my days ... but it isn't anything prolonged... and (too) life changing.  But, it has made me walk with more of an open eye to the many others who might be going through a similar time in their life.

This is why I'm really excited about the giveaway for today.  Kelli talked about receiving cards from folks, thinking of her, who were loving enough to care and express their thoughts and who were willing enough to let her know.
She also talked a bit about using a journal to write out her thoughts and write down verses of God's Word that would continue to hold her and carry her onward.  Blessing her soul.

Today's Giveaway is Two-Fold.

I have two other real life friends who have agreed to share of their time and talent to accompany this post today.  My IRL friend Lindsay, (newly online) from paisleyjanedesigns.blogspot.com and paisleyjanedesigns.etsy.com has agreed to donate four beautiful hand made cards. They come as a set. Beautifully embossed and designed.  They are blank on the inside.  Perfect for sending someone you know a note to say - "you're thinking of them", etc.


My other IRL friend, Becky, from Seasoned with Salt - Etsy Shop, has graciously agreed to donate a (removable) fabric covered composition notebook/ journal.  Again, a beautiful gift as this is a handmade item as well.

**On a side note.  Becky, willingly is up for making and taking special/custom orders.  She does more then make journal covers.... check it all out via her blog and esty.  Her contact information is made available there.


The giveaway will extend until Wednesday evening, closing out around 10:00 pm, EST.  The winner will be posted on Thursday of this week.  Each comment will grant you an entry.

***
And, now for that delightful recipe.

Pecan Pie Mini Muffins



1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 - 1 cup chopped pecans. 
2/3 cup butter, melted (no substitutes)
2 eggs, beaten

In a bowl, combine brown sugar, flour and pecans, set aside.  Combine melted butter and beaten eggs.  Stir into flour mixture just until moistened.  Fill greased or paper-lined miniature muffin cups 3/4 full.
Bake at 340* for 15-20 minutes or until muffins test done.  Remove immediately to cool on wire racks.  Yield: 2-3 dozen.  (The yield depends on how many pecans you use, I suppose.)

****

So, what did you think of today's topic?

Be honest.

Are there seasons in your life when you walk this road and nobody knows or seems to care?

I know that this wasn't an easy or much desired topic to share, but the Lord was really impressing it upon me that there are more out there then we'll ever know...who walk this path... alone.
Every.  Single.  Day.

If you can identify here today, or have any thoughts or words of encouragement, or you just want to say a (write out) prayer here in the comment section, that would be wonderful.

Please join in, "around the table"... as sisters and friends... loving and serving one another.

  I love you all, my dear friends and readers. Thank you again for stopping by.

Friday, September 14, 2012

{this moment} :: "playing mommy"

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{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
~ Soulemama 

 ***
 I hope you find yourself heading towards a wonderful weekend, and that you'll be back on Monday for another round of 

Mugs & Muffins.  


This is one to look forward to.  Hope to see you then!

Again, have a blessed weekend...with those you love.




Thursday, September 13, 2012

so worth trying...

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Wow!  Lucky for you... two recipes from me back to back on two consecutive days.
Salsa and now Pizza.

I'll have to tell you about this "made from memory" pizza idea with a little help and inspiration from HERE.
When we were South on our trip, back end of May, to VA and TN - our dear friend Mitzi, in TN, made this incredible pizza.  I didn't get to see exactly how she put it together, but she kinda told me what she did.  So going off of this lingering tasteful-memory... I decided to use up some leftover BBQ chicken that I had, had from over the weekend.

BBQ Chicken and Pineapple Pizza


It might sound a little - "eh, not so sure!", but trust me.  This is really, really delicious.

First I made my pizza crust.  From scratch.

This is a dough recipe that I use for both my Stromboli and pizza.
1 T. yeast
1 cup warm water
1 T. granulated sugar
1/4 cup oil
1/2 tsp. salt
2 3/4 cup flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water.  Add sugar, salt and oil.  Mix in flour until you have a soft workable dough.  Let it sit a few minutes.  Press out onto large pizza stone.

***
Here is where my creativity took over, I guess.  Like I said, going off of my recollection...I took the chicken meat off of about 6 drumsticks, that had been grilled and smothered in BBQ sauce.  The meat was a bit chunky so I decided to run it through a food processor for a bit - to get the meat more "tender" to chew.
Going on line I found this other similar recipe for this particular pizza and this gal suggested using some ranch dressing.  Ranch dressing is something I don't remember my friend using.  Verification, Mitzi?

So, on the crust.  I squeezed out a continuing circle of more BBQ (Sweet Baby Ray's) sauce.  Followed by Ranch Dressing.  That was my "sauce" on the crust.  I then sprinkled a light hand of Mozzarella Cheese.
To the already barbequed chicken I added a squirt or two of Ranch dressing. (at this point I'm even wondering if I'm going to like this...?) and a drizzle of water to help bind the chicken and give it some moisture.
 Don't ask.  It's how I fly in the kitchen.

I spread that over the sauce.  Added some shredded cheddar cheese - sprinkled lightly and a bit more Mozzarella.  And of course I added about a 1/2-1 cup of Pineapple Tidbits (drained).
Thinking it needed some more purty color -  I added some sliced red onion rings to enhance the already potentially bursting flavor.
Remember, I was going off of a memory?

And threw it in the oven at 350* for about 15-20 minutes.

HOLY BUCKETS!

This was really, really delish.

***

I hope you'll decide to try this one day.  It's so worth it. You will be amazed.  I promise.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

about that salsa

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I wish I had a photo, proof of the 15-20 hot peppers that we were recently gifted to us.

YEAH!

Hot peppers. But how hot?  That I didn't know.  I just kinda figured...

Well.  We'll just leave that as an open ended  - duh moment.
Even I, Bevy, have those moments from time to time when it comes to being in the kitchen.
I have never worked with hot peppers in my life.   I did know you should wear kitchen gloves when seeding them.  I had happened to read that somewhere, over the course of time.

And as well, I was recently gifted with a large bag of plum tomatoes.  That needed serious attention.

I thought I could maybe make some salsa.

But, before I started.

Yes!  I need to make sure you know that fact.

Before I started, I got to talking to some dear friends of ours, one weekend, who happen to know A LOT about HOT PEPPERS!  Thankfully, they took the bunch of them off our hands.

All but one.

I wish I could write out EXACTLY the words said and how they were expressed when I mentioned that I was thinking about putting all 15-20 hot peppers into a single batch of salsa.

Basically, I was told that ONLY ONE hot pepper would be plenty for a total quart of salsa.
Granted my recipe actually only made a single batch of two quarts (4 pints), because that is all the tomatoes that I had had... but all the while I laughed, astonished at myself, at the potential story as it replayed over and over in my mind.

What if ... ?

 ***
This particular "conversation" took place on one weekend.  
We were going to see these same friends of ours the following weekend.
So, on Saturday, when I told my five year old son that company was coming later that evening.  He said.  "You mean, this is the next weekend already? And these are our friends who saved our lives?  From the peppers?"

Yes! son.
They saved our lives.  And many others lives as well.

***

So, these same friends came over on Saturday evening.
WE daringly pulled out a jar of this salsa.

Put it in a bowl.
And the four of us (adults) each with a chip in hand, took a dip of this homemade salsa to all taste test this together.

And, you know what?  It was really, really good.
Gone!!!!

Here is the recipe I used.

~ Salsa~

7 cups chopped, peeled and seeded plum tomatoes
2 cups chopped sweet onion
a total of 1 1/2 cup chopped hot peppers and green peppers.
(this included: one Habenaro pepper, one calhoun? pepper, one sweet banana pepper and some green bell pepper from my freezer)
1/4 cup red wine vineagar
1/2 cup tomato sauce, + 1/4 cup of water
1 1/2 T. salt
1 1/2 T. chili powder
1 1/2 T. garlic powder
1 tsp. cumin
3 heaping T. of cornstarch (or clear jel)
2 T. dried minced garlic
1 T. brown sugar
handful of flat leaf Italian Parsley leaves (from my garden)

Mix all ingredients and bring to a boil.  Put in jars and cook in hot water bath for 10 minutes to seal.

Yield: 4 pints

***

Another delicious way to serve salsa is to place a desired amount of softened cream cheese onto a platter.  Enough to spread nicely.  I usually will use a 8 oz. for one large dinner plate size.  If you must, you can soften slightly using a microwave.

Spread a couple of large spoonfuls of salsa onto to top of Cream Cheese.
Sprinkle generously with grated Cheddar Cheese over that.
Fresh parsley for garnish is optional.

Dig in, with tortilla chips, and enjoy!

Oh!  and another thing I learned working with hot peppers.  Either don't drop seeds on the floor.
Or else, wear something on your feet.

OUCH!!!!!!!

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Real Princess Showed Up

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Dearest Aubrey,

Today is a very special day for you.  One where you are about to enter a whole new world of delight.  An age that you've been pushing to fit into for a long time now, because it seems as though you've been three for a really, really long time.
  You've shown yourself to be creative, talented, funny and more-then-age appropriate on more then one occasion.  It's true.  You have had your young (true-to-life, your age of three) moments as well... more times then can be counted.
But it's sure been a lot of fun to watch you grow up - to what you are today.

A wanna-be princess ... because, I think you wore these shoes all day, today.




You are...

A mama's big helper
A big sister
A little sister
Daddy's girl
a tomboy, too
Yet, all you want to wear are dresses and skirts. ;)
"a good cooker like momma is"
an artist
an imaginative friend
a really good "detective" (I mean, you can sniff out chocolate like when it was so five minutes ago.  You get me every time.)
You watch.  You observe.  You listen.  You're mannered...and well, you're still working on that one.  But you do really well.

You're vivacious.
You're sweet and genteel
You're compassionate and passionate.

You're stubborn.
And strong.  I mean really strong.   As you can drag your brother around at a dead weight like you were a Rescue Hero or somethin'.

Yes!  you're play in action can be really something to listen and watch out for, as a mother.  Some days I have no idea if what I'm hearing is "for real" or not.  More often then not - me hearing "MOM!!"" at the top of your lungs is a false alarm because you're just playing dolls. 

I get you.

You're my daughter.

I really love that you name your dresses to tell them apart - so that I know which one you're talking about.

I love you and yes!  You can have another snack... but you'll for sure eat us out of the house and home. Why not?

If only you'd stop falling asleep at the table and eat you're supper when it's time - maybe you wouldn't need a snack. ;)  (Well, actually you are kinda growing out of that phase - finally!)
***
So, I know you wanted a Princess Birthday - Aubrey.
Mommy tried.
I couldn't get "my idea" to come together - well enough.
Running out of time and energy...needless to say.

So thank you for being okay with cupcakes and lots and lots of  (PINK!) sprinkles.

You're kinda sweet like that.
I thank you!!

Here's to you!  Strubbly head and all...
My fair lady, my little princess.

Wearing your "flower, flower, flower" dress.
Again.

Yes! you are.


Happy 4th Birthday!
My little love.

***

Love, Mommy

(of course, Daddy, Big Brother and Little Sis too!)

Friday, September 7, 2012

at rest

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"Never let yesterday use up today."  

~ Unknown


***

What could this quote say about you?  Are you one to run around with anxious thoughts and notions piled up inside your heart and mind and that then becomes your cup that runs over into the next day and the next?

Friend.  I hope you'll find that Joy of the Lord is your strength.  Today.  Tomorrow. And the day after that.

I trust this weekend finds you ~ at rest!
The funny thing is, is that I wish this for you, my friend... but I'm wondering about my own.  I think it could very well be another couple of good - but busy - days.

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul. ~ Psalm 94:19
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  ~ Psalm 91:1
~~
Just a bit of bloggy what-not.
I may or may not be hosting the Mugs & Muffins segment this upcoming Monday. (I usually host it the second Monday of each month). I'm praying that it all comes together.  But since I was away most of this week, I haven't had a lot of time to pull it all together.
That's okay.  Besides - my daughter's 4th birthday is this coming Monday and I should probably dedicate my day to her anyway. :)

So stay tuned.  We'll see what happens. Irregardless, I hope to have you come back and visit again on Monday.

God Bless!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

All good trails have an end.

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That is what this day has done.  It has come to an end.  It has left us quite tired - but happy.  I kid you not when I say our day started out at 3:30 am this morning.  Packing up and heading out of Williamsburg, VA with three sleeping kids in tow by 4:15 am.

We arrived safely in PA at about 10:45am... in time for Scott to finish out a half day at work.  I brought the kiddo's on home, cleaned out/unloaded the van and fixed a small lunch before it was time for me to head out the door for a Chiropractor appointment... at 3pm.
Thankfully my mother lives close by and was finished up at her part time job in time to come over and sit with the kids (who all three happened to take a nap today at the same time!!!!) while I went to that appointment.

It was a quick home, eat dinner and head over to friends of ours who are heading up and hosting a 9-week Financial Peace University class (FPU) - by Dave Ramsey.  This is our third time of walking through this class...and, this time we are co-hosting it.   That started at 7pm.  (Psst! I wish this for you.  If you ever get a chance to take this class... YOU SHOULD!  It will radically change your life.)  Oh, I could say much about this class.  But not tonight.

Should I lament how exhausted I feel?

No.

Today was a beautiful day. The past couple of days were beautiful.  Reflecting back on the life of Scott's grandfather (the reason we went to VA was due to his grandfather's passing away and attending the funeral service) and just seeing what an impact he had made on his family.  His heroism.  His work ethic.  His sense of humor.  His time and investment made into the lives of his family.  I see some of the fruit in his grandson's life (my husband).  Good and some not-so-good...if I'm honest.  But that is what you must say regarding the different branches on and of the "family tree".

I'm just so grateful we were blessed to be able to attend the service, in Williamsburg, and spending the couple of days that we did.  It was really nice to see my husband's side of the family...some, again (as it's been awhile) and some, never met (as in the seven years that Scott and I are married) - I had yet to "officially" meet them.  It was very nice.  Unfortunately it came by the way of a passing of dear loved one.

But... all trails must come to an end.  Hopefully - the memories will continue to live on in our hearts.  And the family tree will continue to grow and be known.

***
Okay...  So I am really, really tired. I must close along with and by saying, thank you!  

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.  Definitely felt.  Thank you!


Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Trails...

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Happy, happy (rainy) Labor Day Monday to you.  Well, and now that it is almost over... and time to hit the hay (Yay!), I can honestly say it was a happy, happy day.

I love falling rain.  Number one.

Two.  My kids were gone for the day.  Sure, I missed them.  But my brother (Uncle J.) came over first thing for breakfast this morning because he had plans to take them "home" to hang out at Grandma's for the day... giving Scott and I a teeny-weeny *break*.  And for that I ... I THANK HIM!!!!

Scott is still studying hard for his BA. He really needed a full day with no interruptions to
get somewhere on his studies and I think it worked.  And besides I was busy taking care of some tomatoes - turning them into Salsa.  There is a funny story with this one - but you're going to have to wait to hear about it.

I got four nice pints out of the deal.  Very pretty and proud of it!  I just hope it's not too, too hot.  We'll see.

Plus.  We have had some turn of events in our family over the weekend.  Grandpa (Scott's grandfather) passed away over the weekend.  So, we'll be heading out to VA, midday tomorrow... after Caleb is out of school.

(Amanda, I sure wish you lived closer to the Eastern Seaboard!  As that is where we're headed.)  So, of course I spent the day packing up.  Again... another blessing that the children we're having fun at Grandma's.

Pray for us, as we travel.  Just wanting you to know...I'll be "away and off of the computer" for a couple of days.  Looking forward to catching up with ya'll later on this week.

Although I could say more here (running out of time) I just want to say blessings on your day.

Gotta go!  Road Trip here we come...
~Bevy
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