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

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

One of a kind.

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Today I saw the Surgeon and we've scheduled my upcoming surgery for the 12th of March.  It's a Tuesday.

The surgery involves my right lower leg and my crazy vein issues.  I'll be having a Vein Ablation.
It needs to be done.  This isn't some cosmetic dream... my veins truly aren't working properly there... and over time it would only get worse.  Plus it's painful as it is.  Although I was assured today that if I chose to NOT do anything about it - I certainly wouldn't die from it.  Which was good to know. 
However, I'm still opting to have this taken care of.  It sounds like a relatively easy procedure and one that I'll recoup from pretty quickly.  As in, by the next day... I could be running on a Treadmill if I wanted.

Enough about that. 
 I don't own a treadmill...
I don't run.
~~~
Caleb turned a corner for the worse today.  I thought he was getting better as of yesterday, because his temp remained low grade.  But since Saturday he has been ill...with High Fevers!  So he was down yesterday and then today - he spiked again.  Very lethargic and not interested in eating...

I ended up taking him to the doctor this afternoon.  He most likely has a double ear infection.  The one ear for sure has a "furious infection" and the other she couldn't even see the ear drum it was so built up with wax..
But.  I've had him on a prn Albuterol Nebulizer treatment - every four hours - which probably has been his one saving grace.  Thank God! we have a system here at home that I've had to use multiple times before.
That - and Vicks on the feet!
I rub that stuff all over and in between the toes and over the tops of his feet... throw on some socks and what a difference that makes.  Wow!

I think we'll keep him home from school the rest of this week as well.. Might as well.  He's been out all week this far.

The girls are fine.  They got over their stuff...pretty quickly.  At least Aubrey has.  Jayne may give me a run for my money, yet.. 
But I pray not.

She's got that runny nose that has come out of nowhere.  Wait. Maybe from Caleb??

~~~
Oh.  One more thing.  You should be proud of me.  I know I am..

If you know our house.  You know this corner of our home (where I blog!) - really doesn't EVER look this good.  Clean.

I took the time yesterday to get serious about dusting.  And some series "housecleaning" took place..
And all of this -these three bags, plus - used to be on this shelf... but not no more.  

***
This next photo is to cause you to bring to mind my hubby, tomorrow evening, as he takes this next exam. 

I sincerely pray for a passing grade.  Whatever the outcome, pass or fail... we give Him praise!
~~

And I want to leave you with this sweet little play-dough girl that Aubrey made today.  She told me that it started with first making a heart.  Then from there "you tear the heart in half"... with which she then formed this little gal.

I love  her "ideas and creativity" with the whole heart thingy...


***
Friend... 
You are special.  One of a kind.  You know that?  Do you believe that?
We are made, marvelously, and kept, securely, in the palm of HIS hand.

Me too.  I am uniquely special.  Amazed..at how much I am part of the Father's heart.

One of a kind.

I needed this reminder just as much.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

You're Already There

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 ***

Just thinking this way today...


Praying for many on my heart today and for myself.

Monday, February 25, 2013

A Daybook in February ~ 2013

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FOR TODAY 


Outside my window... 
Beautiful sunshine!  The temperatures hanging out at around 32* - I was tempted to hang some laundry on the line, by the looks of the sunshine, until I read the temp reading.  Nah!  I don't think I'd like to bring in frozen clothes from the line... the ones that never dried out there...they're liable to walk in ahead of me. ;)

Although - It is more probable that the day actually will warm up enough, afterall, to negate change of what I just wrote.  Oh well.

I am thinking...what a wonderful time I had last evening. You're all curious. Our Church does this event every now and again... something called, "Guess who's coming to Dinner?"I blogged about it yesterday.  I ended up going by myself - nervous as all get out- and Scott stayed home with the kids...who were still not feeling well.  My evening: It was absolutely lovely.  It turned out to be just a total of four ladies - meeting at the one lady's home.  BEAUTIFUL!!!  Beautiful Old Farmhouse.. with lots and lots of lovely things that sorta made me quite thankful...

bringing me to the next prompt.

I am thankful... that my children were not there with me last night.  That would've been stressful.  Although I will say - I'm sad, at the same time, that my husband and children were not with me.  I really think Scott would have enjoyed himself... a lot.  He's quite social.  And he totally would have made himself right at home - never mind the fact that he would have been the only guy.
I'm also thankful Scott "let me go" alone... as I would probably would still not really know this lady - who was such a sweet hostess (her first time of doing this).  I was really grateful that now to see at her at church we'll actually have a decent conversation instead of the usual smile or nod while passing through the hallway, etc. as I'm chasing down my children and she keeping to her own settled circle of friends at church.  You know how it is?  You just "never" get to fully know everyone that you see every Sunday.  Is that true for you, too??

In the kitchen...
there are a lot of "leftover" desserts (from last night) that are going in to work with my husband, today.  The co-workers won't mind one bit I'm sure.  Leftover desserts such as :  VERY RICH & DECADENT Iced Chocolate Brownies as well as some sort of made up coffee bars... there is no name for them.  I made them up.
All good... but they will go to waist here - unfortunately, to mine.  Not good.

I am wearing...
My usual long jean skirt and a simple black tee.  I'm trying to wear that smile! today, as well.

I am creating...a new bag for myself.  I've decided I'm very tired of carrying around a diaper bag.  Plus my own personal bag.  So.  I'm going to combine the two, into a NEW and favorite bag for me!

I am going... just a little bit "crazy" here, today.  Caleb is still really sick and obviously home from school.  The girls are better and busy(ier).  So - to keep up with everybody (his demands) and to keep the girls away from C. (who is so irritable, yet begs me to pray for him so that he'll feel better - which we are and I do!)... I feel like I need a pair of funky roller blades to keep up with the crazy rhythm of this day.  What time is it?  It's not even 9AM...(as I type).

I am wondering...
Honestly.  What to make for dinner...tonight?  And, will I feel like it?

I am reading...

This list - all piled up on my nightstand.  And it's funny... it's not a whole lot different than last month's reading list.  I'm not a slow reader... really I'm not, it's just that there are not a lot of moments taken intentionally to read, like I would like.
One of the things that has gripped me while reading, and it's been an over-arching theme throughout this book,  is reaping what I'm sowing.

Sharing with you from The Mission of Motherhood, and I quote:
"If I sow affection, commitment, and encouragement into the lives of my children, chances are that I will reap deep, close relationships with them that will last for a lifetime.  If I don't make our relationships a priority, I risk reaping the consequences of a broken, scarred or distant relationship." ~ Sally Clarkson.

I am hoping...
that despite how I'm feeling from one day to the next or how I'm doing in my Mothering or in any other relationships that overall, I will have made a difference.  I like how one friend said it recently.  "When I 'grow up' I would like know I have had the confidence enough to be a difference-maker".  I hope (and pray) I can do that, too.

I am looking forward to...
To hearing/reading what all you all have to say after reading this post. ;)  Just being real, here.  Can I?

I am learning..
to just keep doing the best I can.  For some it will never be enough. For others, more than enough.

Around the house...
Is a lot of dust.  I think I should (really) clean one of these day... sigh!  But, not today!  Today, I'm planning on mostly remaining a Nurse.

I am pondering...
I talked about this beautiful thing on Friday... see HERE!

A favorite quote for today...
"Mom, you're a good cooker." - said with a wink and a smile by my four year old...a little lovely lady, named Aubrey.

One of my favorite things...
Watching snowflakes swirling...twirling...right out in front of our noses.  Caleb and I catching a few on our tongues... on cold chilly mornings as we wait for the bus.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
This is going to be a busy week.  There will be an abundant amount of laundry... I'm sure (Actually, I'm working on the laundry today). Also, Wednesday is the day I'm to meet with the Surgeon to officially set up a time for this Vein Ablation to be done on my lower leg.  We also meet with Caleb's school teacher for Parent/Teacher Conference, that same day.  On Thursday - my husband is taking an exam... so my little ones and I need to be out of the house for the evening... we'll be heading to my mom's (Grandma's!)  I also plan to help out a friend with her blogging issues (she likes to call me! - she's funny).  Lord willing, if Scott passes this exam - we'd like to have friends over for dinner maybe Friday or Saturday night... we'll see.

A peek into my day...


Just by looking at her face, What do you think?  Can you tell if this is a real scenario, or not?  Discuss.

***
Linking up today with Peggy, from the Simple Woman's Daybook.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Who's it gonna be?

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This morning I am home, from Church, with all three little ones.  They all are "under the weather".

It's a shame...because this evening is an event with our Church folks - called Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.

You could sign up to be Hosts or Guests.  We offered to be either...
 This time..we're to go as guests.  All we have is an address - and no idea who's house we're going to (without cheating!) - as there are a lot of "faces" at church we don't know... yet!  
** Which, by the way.  This is a good way to get to know people..

Guests are to provide a Side Salad and Dessert.

It's all ready, for the most part.  I just have to put the salad together.

I might end up going by myself, to represent our family, if that is what we decide to do.

***
I love the suspense that goes along with this form of hospitality.  

Who's it gonna be?



Friday, February 22, 2013

Beautiful

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The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, 

They must be felt with the heart.  ~ Helen Keller


*** 
This is just a little something I've been pondering all week..

Can you imagine?
At the young age of 18 months (my youngest daughter's age); to lose both your sight and your hearing, due to an illness.

The first face she ever saw, again - FULLY - was Jesus' beautiful face.

***

Enjoy your weekend, my friends.
May it be beautiful... and felt with the heart.

Love to all.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Gooey Coffee Butter Bars

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Let's take these Gooey Butter Bars and kick them up a notch.  Shall we?

The other day, I was really feeling the need to fix something a bit on the creative side - shall we say?
And I got to thinking about these Gooey Butter Bars,  and how I've made them -once- in Neapolitan fashion.  They turned out eh, not too bad, I suppose.   ;) ~ grin...
This was where I used a Strawberry Cake Mix for the crust, instead of a yellow.  I made the recipe as is, but drizzled melted chocolate over them... oh, and I sprinkled white chocolate chips into the gooey butter part.  

YUMMO.

But, this time, I wanted something even different than that.  More dark... and decadent.


How about a Coffee Version?


To the filling, I added One Tablespoon of Instant Coffee granules.
The recipe also called for melted butter instead of softened.
Which helped to dissolve the coffee.

If you need the recipe again.  Here it is.

:: Gooey Coffee Butter Bars ::

1 box of a Yellow Cake Mix
1 egg
1 stick of melted butter.

Mix well and press into a 9 x 13 greased baking pan.

1 - 8oz softened cream cheese
2 eggs
1 stick of melted butter
2 cups of confectioners sugar

to which I added 1 Tablespoon of Instant Coffee Granules.
Bake at 350* for 40-50 minutes.  Don't overbake.  The filling should be a little gooey. ;)
After pulling from the oven.  Sprinkle with cinnamon - to taste - and finish off with some more confectioner's sugar.  Serve either room temp. or chilled.

 ** the Cinnamon is a wonderful addition... don't go without it!!
***

One thing that I did not mention is that to the crust I added something I had in my cabinet.  I'm so sad to tell you that Pampered Chef (where I got the product) no longer has this available.
It is their Mocha Hazelnut Sprinkle Mix. (see it pictured HERE!)
I just threw about a 1/4 cup of it into the crust part.

I got to thinking...
I bet some crushed Oreo cookie crumbs and coffee granules (mixed) would be about the same idea.
Unless there is another company out there who makes something like this.  I would love to know about it.

It's a shame they (P.C.) no longer carry this fabulous product.

Let me know if you try this coffee version of Gooey Butter Bars!  I would be honored.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Live in such a way that if anyone should speak badly of you, no one would believe it. ~ Unknown

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  ***

Oh, I love this.  What a challenge... amen?  In all areas of my life and yours.  In our mothering.  Our parenting.  Our Marriages.  Our relationships.

And may this get passed on to future generations to come. 

Lord, I pray.


"Be very careful, then, how you live - not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity..."
~ Ephesians 5 :15-16



Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Quiet Water

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You've felt it.  Especially if you don't care to do this home keeping task.  This can feel large.
I'm talking about washing dishes by hand.  I like to wash dishes.  It's therapeutic for me in some ways.  While washing, I like to think of it as this... or I have thought of it as this.

Washing dishes by hand can seem a mountainous task. 
 Can it not?

A mountain of dirty dishes so high on one side, of the sink..
 and the climbing higher of the clean on the other.

But its that valley in the middle..
Where the quiet water resides..
ahh..
It's here.
At least for me..

That LIVING water.
Here is where the refreshing; the healing; the cleansing; begins, takes place and changes..

It's in the valley, He Restoreth my Soul.

(Read Psalm 23)

Letting Him do the work. 
The hand motion... 
The orchestra is in full swing..
There is a resounding echo..

From one side, to the other.

I like what I hear.

:: It is finished ::
You are..
::Washed Clean ::

****
Thank you all, for your thoughts, comments, emails, e-cards, phone calls yesterday ... most importantly, your prayers!  I certainly didn't want to leave my post hanging... as if I'm hanging by a thread.   If  I am... it's only by a prayer chain, that's for sure.

Thank you, so much.

I'm feeling better-ish. But at the same time, I am not!   
~~~~

Monday, February 18, 2013

Finding Rest

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Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart:  and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.  ~ Matthew 11: 28-30 (KJV)

This morning found me reading and being reminded that I can find REST only in my Saviour.

I'm going to get pretty honest and heavy here, this morning.   I hope you don't mind...?

I have not had a good weekend.  But OH! was it ever grace-filled and overflowing...with good things, all at the same time.  Irregardless of how I felt... which was awful and not good... God was faithful to use friends and family and situations and a sweet little Valentine Card - all the way from TN ;) and songs.  Neat songs.  To encourage me and lift me up.

I was not feeling well.  I still am not - as of today.  I'm pretty sure I've narrowed it down to feelings of anxiety.  But before that - I was going down the bunny trails of stomach cancers and pancreatic issues... (don't laugh)
I've dealt with this before... so I'm aware that the physical symptoms of anxiety are not fun.

The constant pit-in-the-stomach, feelings of nausea.
Headaches - that won't be calmed or leave.
It hurts to smile.
I just want to close my eyes and make it all go away.
I'm snappy.  Punchy.  Tired.
I eat because I'm hungry but then I feel sick afterwards...

The worry.
The questions.
The concerns.

Things that are not even mine to bear. While reading on the online news that someone - a mom - had committed suicide, yesterday, leaving two little ones behind (one of them being a baby at that); that just sent my feelings into a tailspin of emotion. It was gut-wrenching.  Feeling that while reading - caught me off guard.  I think that bothered me more than the story line...

I feared my own what-ifs.  My hormones play my emotions like an Orchestra out of tune.  My period cycle was "weird", this time but still on cycle.  My tubes have been tied...so I'm not pregnant - but what if?  What if I'm the 1 in 300 - when that doesn't work?  (Although, that possibility should have happened a long time ago.)  My hubby was teasing me that I could be - because I was snoring one night.  I NEVER snore unless I'm prego.  I was spilling and dropping stuff the other day... again, the comments came that this could just be a possibility...oh, funny.  But it worries me... those what-ifs... and so they mound up.  Overwhelmingly so.

I hear and see so many people hurting and yet, so am I...
There are a lot of changes going on in my world.  My friends worlds.  Things like: my cousins six year old little boy recently diagnosed with stage 4 Acute Leukemia, another friends 12 yr. old little gal diagnosed with glaucoma, people moving and changing or loss of jobs, Will my hubby pass his next exam for school?, my own son in his schooling, my upcoming (still unscheduled) surgery...
Again -these are all things out of my control and yet, it is change.  Change isn't easy for me.

My husband has been working so hard to care and provide and his own list filters onto mine.  When conversation is slim - due to busyness - and we're too tired to think straight at the end of the day, it affects. (In other words...the skies are not always blue.)

Marriage is nothing but heart-work.

So, over the past couple of days, this weekend, etc. there has been a mountain of dark and heavy on one side and an even higher pile of light and easy on the other.  But. It's here in the valley, that He restores my soul.  Psalm 23.  (More on this another time.)
***

I think this is where the fence row of grace  also comes into play.

Sometimes, when it seems you can see no further than the wall in front of you...
Know this.  His Grace can still reach through and touch you. 

My Lord has me in the palm of His hand.  I have been assigned my portion and my cup. My lot is secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places.(Psalm 16:5-6)

 He knows what's going on.

The lines of this hymn continue to bless me... and I hope they will you, too.

"I heard the voice of Jesus say,
'Come unto Me and rest;
Lay down, thou weary one, lay down,
Thy head upon My breast.' 
I came to Jesus as I was,
Weary and worn and sad;
I found in Him a resting place,
And He has made me glad."
  -Horatius Bonar

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers, today... 

I told you it would honest and heavy

Friday, February 15, 2013

fence row grace

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Sometimes, when it seems you can see no further than the wall in front of you...
Know this.  His Grace can still reach through and touch you. 

You hem me in - behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, ...
Where can I go from your Spirit?  ~ Psalm 139
***

Blessings to you, this weekend!
May it surround you...this grace.  His Grace.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Just Because, Part Two!

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You didn't know you would get a second post from me today, did you?

How are you, this here Valentine's Day?

Did you enjoy the snow this morning?  I just thought it was so pretty.
Of course, I was out there taking photos hoping to "make it last longer"....right?  Right.
Hence the photo from my other post... which I was having fun with.  Did you read the story I shared with you, this morning?  You must...all you need to do is to scroll down and read it.  Very sweet.
Just Because. 

Sitting in church this past Sunday morning.. I glanced down at my left hand bearing this band of gold and precious stone and thought of this post I had written a couple of years ago.  I wanted to share it with you all, today, as a "re-post"; a token of appreciation to my hubby for all of his hard work, love and shown commitment to our Marriage Union.


:: And With This Ring ::

(a re post)
I don't share this picture, with you, to brag...but here goes. Yes! this is my engagement ring. Not in its original form though, you see I've always wanted a piece of heirloom jewelry. I have always liked pearls. Not that I wear, wear them, but on special occasion I would certainly choose pearls over other stones. My original diamond ring was a ring that my Mother-in-law had bought for herself years ago. She sold the ring to Scott when he proposed to me... so really, in a sense, it has started the path to being an heirloom. I liked it. It was now mine. But, I often thought how I would really like to add two pearls on either side of the diamond - just because - it would REALLY be me. I didn't mention it very often because I knew it would cost a pretty penny... and it seemed even, somewhat frivolous. I never dreamed it would happen.

So, while down in VA, this past time... we needed to go into the store where the ring was first purchased and have my original setting looked at because one of the prongs seemed bent. While there my husband, who is Mr. Financial-Right-On (bless his heart), who can also be Mr. Spontaneity-full-of-Surprises, says to Regina, behind the counter, "... and with this ring... we would like to add two pearls, one on each side of the diamond... what can you do for us?".  
For ME?!??!!? 
~~~
They weren't sure, but would check into it. A day and a half later...they called, and said it was ready for pick up.
Let me tell you... I cried when I saw this ring being handed to me across the counter. I even made Regina tear up. I didn't try to make her cry. It just really blessed me to know that with this ring I will always have a memory, and a moment of "gasp"(times two, the first being at proposal), plus lots of tears. Now, I can say that the two pearls represent my two children. Not because pearls are their birthstones (though pearl is mine) but because they really are two precious souls. If only folks would stop asking; "What are you going to do if you have more children?". My answer. I guess that possibility remains to be seen.
I just want to add a little dialogue that took place as I tried on the ring in the store. As I slipped it onto my finger, I said, "aah, this is like getting married all over again", the customer standing next to me says "humph, and that's supposed to be a good thing?" and I said "YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yes it is a good thing. And I would say, I would marry this man all over again. Not because I am caught up in the emotion of this gift he has given me, this moment of spontaneity that has taken place, but because of who he his, and of who I've become as his wife... because of us. We are ONE!  
With this ring, I thee wed...

Because.
Just Because...
I love this man. xoxo

"Just Because"

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Here is a sweet, sweet story I thought I would share with you, today!  
You can... read along here, from Proverbs 31 Ministries...

Written by, Lisa Terkeurst.

I hope you enjoy...
  
***
Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

100th day!

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Front of T-shirt:
...on the back:
Caleb has reached a milestone, at school.  He was take a white T-shirt and decorate it for his 100th day... we chose to do it in check marks.
Little sister Aubrey was our photographer on these next two photos...

Using a black marker on a white T-shirt was challenging to say the least... I felt and look like I was a hover-mom...See my hands?   But it was hard to do this and not smudge it up...worse than it already was.


 ***
Caleb got to wear this shirt to school, today,  for his 100th day celebration...

Enjoy your day today - my handsome dude!

Have Fun!! check. check.



Tuesday, February 12, 2013

God (still) Loves You!

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This morning, through writing out a comment on someone's blog, I thought of a follow-up story that I wanted to share... regarding handing out and spreading around some "kind and loving".

I believe it was last year... when the kids and I ventured out to hand out some hand written Valentines...


The place we intended to go was to a local Old Folk's Home... but the day was packed - planned full - for the residents there and so we left - disappointed.

But God.

God had a different plan in mind.  A different appointment - if you will.

We ended up going to my husband's work place and handing out our Valentines to Scott's co-workers.
My kids were 3 and 4 years of age at the time...and so of course!  this was as random as you can get.
They would reach into their bags and pull one out and hand it over.

The messages were all different.  But personable and God - related.

I keep thinking of this one single gal who unknowingly to me, at the time, had and would blatantly say that she does NOT believe in God.  At all.

If I would have known this about her - I think the "fear of man" would have reared it's ugly head and I would have been tempted to be sure that she would have received a "nice and play-it-safe" card that would have said something like this...

"S.M.I.L.E.  
It looks nice on you."

But as we come by her desk.  My three year old (at the time) hands this gal a Valentine.
As Lisa took the Valentine from Aubrey, she said something about this being her first and only Valentine she had ever received.  Maybe I misunderstood her or she was just being nice... but she had it tacked up in her Cubicle at work for a long time after.  Somehow I like to believe that it was hand-picked for her.

The writing on the card said this...

God Loves You!


Lisa no longer works at Scott's place of employment... but I still think of Lisa.

and I pray for her.

I pray that this on this upcoming Valentine's Day - Lisa would remember that little ole Valentine encounter that said...

God Loves You!

And no matter what you may be thinking today, Lisa, God still does love you and He always will...


***

The winner of yesterday's Mugs & Muffins GIVEAWAY was
Camille.

Congratulations, Camille.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Mugs & Muffins :: Re-learning to Love - {Guest Post & Giveaway! - NOW CLOSED} by Jenn B. from A Country Girl's Ramblings

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Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him
 make her sorry to see him leave.   ~ Martin Luther


Welcome Ladies and dear hearts...

It is good to be starting out this week with another round of Mugs & Muffins.  Wow!  It feels like it's been a long time that we've held one here.  I tell you it's going to be a special one today and especially because it is Valentines' Week.   So, sit down and enjoy yourself.  I hope you'll StayThat you'll savor this moment meant for you.  Grab your cup of coffee, if you haven't done so already and let's go ahead and pass around these muffins, too while we're at it.  The recipe will be at the end of this post.

These are called Lemon - Butter Muffins.  They're a good way to get you to pucker up.  :)  Perhaps?
My 4 year old daughter, Aubrey, and I decided to throw in some poppy-seeds, just for some variation.  We also glazed some, with a lemon glaze - which make these really, really yummy.

The ones in the photo are not glazed.

:: Guest Speaker ::

When I  asked my friend Jenn if she would have anything to share for today - I gave her a prompt/idea or two, maybe something for Valentine's Day, family related or on Marriage... and this is what she sent me.

It's good!

 Dear Bevy,

This post has a bit of a different take on Valentine’s day.  Often we get caught up in everyday living, busy with house, children, and life and we lose the connection with our husbands.  OR, our husbands aren’t loving us as we think they should and so we shut down.  Hoping this one from the archives helps someone out there in blogland.

~ Jenn

I can tell you ... I know it sent me to tears the minute I started to read this because I remembered this post from when she originally shared it on her own blog some time ago.  I so needed this good reminder and I'm sure it will bless you as well. 

 Let's hear from Jenn...

Re-learning to Love
I remember when I was dating my husband, Joel how I couldn’t wait to be able to do his laundry, to cook his meals, to keep his house.   I waited impatiently to care for him exclusively.  I wanted to meet his every need.  I just knew in my heart I would never tire of taking care of him.
Oh how I wish that were the end of the story, but I do not live a fairytale life.
Somewhere along the line the novelty wore off.  The thrill of keeping my own house became more of a chore. I was waiting for words of appreciation that never came and so I impatiently served. In the process I lost sight of the importance of the job God had called me to. 
I soon talked myself into the believing it was just easier to disconnect rather than put so much effort into my marriage. Married life was not what I had envisioned. I felt alone most of the time and I slowly almost imperceptibly began to dislike doing anything extra for my husband. I had buried the joy of serving.
As a young girl, I foolishly thought this would never happen to me.  I thought I would forever and ever love taking care of my husband.  I thought I would always find it exciting and fulfilling.  And because I was na├»ve and thought love should be all bubbles and rainbows, I quit trying to find the joy in serving my husband.
Giving in to selfishness was the worst thing I could have done.  My love began to fade.  I saw all the annoyances in his behavior.  I desired less and less to do that little extra for him.  It became a sense of duty.  Gone was the joy, the happiness, the thrill I had once felt for caring for my soul mate. 
Complacency and selfishness can be such killers.  Killers of love.  Killers of decency.  Killers of giving.  Killers of commitment.  Killers of grace.
Eventually, God brought me to my senses. He shook me awake. He showed and is still showing me my tendency to be quite selfish.
Praise God, He is a God of Love! He is guiding me.  Helping me to find the joy in serving my husband.   He is showing me ways to go farther, to do more, to meet the needs Joel has.  He is giving me a deeper, stronger, amazing love for my man.
The thrill, the electricity, the love, the desire to meet Joel's every need is back.  As I look to God to guide me, He gently takes my heart in his hands and infuses into it the love that seeped out.  He is showing me that He has created me to serve.  I have learned I cannot put myself first and be truly happy.  To experience joy I must give of myself.  To know my forever and ever love I must give my heart to serving even when it is difficult.

“….serve one another in love.”  Ephesians 5:13
 
  Seeking Him,
 Jenn

:: GIVEAWAY ::

For our Giveaway today, Jenn is giving away a four-pack of these Red-Hot Valentine Cards.  She, obviously, is the photographer and when I pull the winner - I will email Jenn your information and she will get these mailed out to you as soon as she is able.  

Here is a better view of the front of the card.

Your comment today will give you one chance to win...
((This GIVEAWAY is NOW CLOSED!))


Please be sure to go online to Jenn's etsy shop and also to her photography page (see above links)... to see what else she has.  This gal is amazing.  AND award-winning...
Jenn is a very talented woman, as you can see.  She is a mama to four awesome kids... an encourager and a beautiful soul, all around.

I love her heart.

To enter for the giveaway... leave a comment here today! I'll even count Facebook Comments - this time!  The winner will be randomly selected, via a number generator and notified by email.  If you comment anonymously, please be sure to include your name and email address.  Thanks!

This giveaway will close tonight at 10pm. EST.  Winner announced by email.  This way the set of four Valentine cards can be mailed out to you ASAP!!

 ***
If reading Jenn's words weren't enough for you - here is another good read, that I found the other evening.  An Old Fashioned Wife. - by fellow blogger, Clarita Yoder.

This also might spark some great discussion in and among the comments.  I hope to hear from you.  I know I was convicted... and challenged by both of these great posts.  Keeping the above quote in mind...
  
"Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him
 make her sorry to see him leave."
I would love to hear your thoughts on ways you choose to keep Romance alive in your marriage.

What have you done? What are you planning?  How can  something that might seem lost be rekindled?

:: MUFFIN RECIPE :: 

 Lemon - Butter (poppy seed) Muffins
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 large eggs
2 T. lemon rind, freshly grated
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups all-purpose flour, unsifted
1/2 cup, plus 2 T. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 T. (or so) of Poppy Seeds (optional)

Preheat oven to 400*.  Grease muffin tins well.  Stir lemon juice, eggs, (poppy seeds, opt.) and lemon rind into melted butter.  In another bowl, mix together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt; make a well into the center.  Stir in egg mixture and blend until well moistened.  Pour into muffin tins, filling each cup about two-thirds full.  Sprinkle tops of muffins with remaining 2 T. of sugar.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned.  Yield: 18-24 muffins.

Enjoy!

psst: Here is a great packaging idea that I found on Pinterest if you would like to take one of those muffins home with you, for your man.
Stud muffin
{Via}

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Shop Changes :: M & M Announcement

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 :: Little Grannie Greene ::
(small, purse-like, tote)
$35.00 - available HERE.

***
:: For the Love of Laundry :: 
(laundry bag)
A recent $ale!! - sent off to somewhere in NY!
Thank you, Barbara.



******
I'm crossing my fingers, but I am planning on hosting another Mugs & Muffins this coming Monday.
Just in time for Valentine's Day!
If you're not sure what I'm talking about, you can go HERE to read it's introduction.

I've got something and someone very special scheduled to share with us.  I hope you'll be back.

I've had a lot of fun doing this over this past year and would like to continue on with it through out this year of 2013.  I know its February... and sort of missed a spot in January, but we'll just pretend that the post - Fireside Chat covered that one.

Well, that's it for today.  I'm working on a Blessing Meal to take to someone - a family from our church - who just recently adopted an older, little girl from China.  Just because...

So today, I've got a lot going on and with that, I'm wondering - Where is all the snow? 
I'll be thinking of all those folks up in New England...

Happy Weekend!  See you Monday.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Grilled Cheese Breakfast Casserole

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Only a mom would think of this.  ONLY a mom would serve this.  To her own family... of course.


But in our house... I will make grilled cheese...and over time I've thrown out more leftovers and, or I will have tried to save them and gross! but who wants to eat a soggy leftover grilled cheese sandwich?
I thought to myself, something has got to be done about this...

So.  I started a freezer collection - I had an idea!.  Trying to be the frugal mother I should be and am... I started to save the leftovers and throwing them into the freezer.
After awhile the bag was full.  This particular morning, I pulled the bag and let the sandwiches thaw a bit.  Tore them into pieces and tossed them into a buttered casserole dish along with ...

*2-3 eggs, whisked *
* 1 1/2 cups milk *
* salt and pepper *
 * 1/4 - 1/2 cup fried bacon or ham pieces (opt.) *
 * garlic salt *
* parsley flakes *
* more shredded cheddar cheese - 1/2 cup or so. (opt.) *
Go ahead, feel free to add anything else you can think of to jazz it up, even more.

(You're going to have guesstimate what you'll need for how much grilled cheese bread is in there, as I just gave you approximate amounts. 
If you know me at all... you'll know that I'm a dump cook!)

This size bowl is a 1 1/2 quart size casserole.


It was a winner!

***

Have a deliciously delightful day.  And, hey! start it with a Grilled Cheese, why not?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Good Job!

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The other evening I was thumbing through one of my favorite books when I had to stop... and let it soak in.

I confess that what I was reading, at the time, was not easy to absorb.

I, as a mother, don't always see it this way. 
At least not every day.

I also don't like it that I struggle with this...

I want to change.

Accept.

Grow.

This here is a summery of what I read.

"When your kids snuggle up to you on the couch because they want to sit as close to you as possible... than you know you've found your calling and that life is good".

****
Do you get this?  Or is it just me that is still in the process of growing up?  I mean, I honestly have never thought about it like this...before. 
Usually while my kids are snuggling up to me there is also arguing going on and fighting as to who was where first and until that gets settled down and figured out... the love of the story time has almost dissipated.   It's become a fight for me to find joy in that moment and turn it around...


Just being real here.

Since reading this book, though, I've been catching myself and working to not allow that "issue" to arise with them or me and pull them in a little closer long before there is a chance for any drama to unfold. 

It's getting better.

***

How is your week been going so far?  I would love to hear from you.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

All in a day's work! ~ Scott's Silhouette

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Last week, Caleb's Kindergarten class was talking and reading books about shadows.  Of course, Ground Hog Day might have had some influence in that.  Perhaps?  Who knows.

But for Sharing Day (Show & Tell), which was last Friday, he was told to bring something in of his own Free Choice.
Most times the kids are given a suggestion of something to bring is - such as, "something made of wood", etc.

Since shadows was last weeks theme, we thought it would be fun and interesting for him to take in a silhouette of his dad.  This was from when his daddy was about 3 or 4 years old.

We're so glad to have this framed piece of my husband Scott, which will, one day, be a treasured family heirloom, for sure.

My husband just told me this evening that the gentleman artist who did this, did it freehand.  Wow!
***

This is something that I would love to have done for our children, or take the time to do it myself (I doubt I'd do it freehand, that's for sure).  I found what looks like to be an easy tutorial, on line.
I am excited to give it a try.

I was wondering.  Has anyone ever done this before?  Any tips?  Suggestions?
  How did it turn out for you?
 ***
And there is this...

One recent morning, at breakfast, I had the camera out to take a photo of something and my charming husband was giving me a hard time about it...oh, I know what it was now.  I was taking a photo of our breakfast casserole, just before we sat down to eat it - *new* recipe coming soon- and he thinks that sort of stuff is silly, especially when he's hungry and I can't blame him, but... anyway, I turned the camera on him as he was giving me a VERY, VERY goofy face.

It seems now like he is vindicated as it turned out to be another silhouette!!!!!!!

Oh, I'm so tempted to lighten the photo of this and reveal the true colors.
His. True. Colors. Just kidding...
(smile!)

All in a day's work!


Monday, February 4, 2013

Take notice. I have...will you?

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Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,

Arrives the snow.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

***

Happy Monday Morning, to YOU!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Friday's Finds :: The Onion

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It's time again for another feature of Friday's Finds!

Welcome!
If you're fairly new to reading here at Treasured Up and Pondered - you might like to be filled in on an "occasional read" that I like to present, something of what I call...Friday's Finds.
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 coming by or just for sticking around.  It's good to have you here, today.
***
Today's find isn't much, but it just so happens to be a funny...in my opinion.

I went to go grab an onion...

huh?!?!
 ***

Have yourself an a-peeling, super-bowl sort of weekend. 
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