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

Monday, August 31, 2015

An Ode the Ending of Summer. To the Start of a New Season. Oh! and the Winner of the Mugs and Muffins Giveaway!!!!

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“The woman who makes a sweet, beautiful home, filling it with love and prayer and purity, is doing something better than anything else her hands could find to do beneath the skies.”
― J.R. Miller, Home-Making

It was a good evening to take a stroll with my two girlies.  Big Brother and Daddy were off on a cub scout camping trip - so, when that happens we always like to do something special.
We didn't go far.  Just a short jaunt around some of the pasture.
It was beautiful.  And, it was a beautiful opportunity to "seek and find" all the things that particularly captured our attention.

The sun was setting - peeking its glances through the leaves.  It caught our eye - we smiled back and enjoyed it's gentle gaze.  Hand-in-hand we strolled.  Chatting about our finds.
We found a cocoon, the moon filling the sky.  The farm from a far, the neighbors flowers and a first fallen leaf.  (It probably wasn't the first - but we won't tell...).  A hive for bees... better said, a wasps nest!!  (Oohh, we wonder if our landlord knows about this.  We'll be sure to tell him the next time we see him...)
We took note of the textured milk-house glass windows, clumps of recently mown off grass, and the tall, TA-AAALLLL silos!!

As summer casts its shadow on the garden wall - along go the flowers.  Perhaps?
A new season is upon us. A new school year!! We fill the backpacks and prep the lunch boxes.  It's the end of the day.  Time for a good night's rest!  And.. sleep we sort of did. :(

School, for the oldest, will be here by morning's light!!  Time for extra hugs and kisses.  Prayers.  Whiling away the nervous jitters and giddy excitement.  Time for extra encouragement and much needed, specific instructions...gentle reminders!!  And... this went for Mama, too!
And... here we are!! Early this morning!! Waiting for the big, yellow 54!
Jayne's first day of PreK is coming up - in about two weeks! :) She's so super-duper excited.
Oh - and before we forget!!
Congratulations - goes out to  Juliawho is the winner of the Mugs & Muffins Giveaway!! {pocket pouch}

Email me your mailing address - Julia - and I will get this giveaway out to you as soon as I am able.

Have a wonderful week - ya'll!!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Five Minute Friday :: Alone

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We did not expect a fun day filled with back-to-school shopping and out to lunch with Grandma Susie to be altered and rearranged by a falling off and out of the monkey bars, in our backyard playground...leading us to head to the ER with what we thought and hoped was only a dislocation.  
Nope!!  Let's try a fractured elbow.

This could have been a lot worse.  There were some definite tears from our little girl - but not a lot of drama. Perhaps, a bit unusual? And then, there was a quick-thinking little sister to come and get us - for help!! This had to be for real. I could tell...this was serious, but I've seen worse. (With a younger sister of mine - similar story!)

 However... we are so thankful for several reasons.

One... we're grateful that the elbow bones stayed pretty much aligned and that they probably will forego having to do surgery. PTL!! Which is a pretty typical result with fractured elbows.
We'll go back in a week for follow-up x-rays to determine how it's healing.

Secondly... we're glad it was the left elbow/arm.  So, that it will not affect the back-to-school that happens Monday AM!  At least she can still write and draw... which she's already been doing.

Thirdly... there will be insurance changes coming later this upcoming week.  I could mention, "timing is everything".  Or, God's sense of humor.  Instead.  How about... God is gracious!!

For Aubrey.  She's realizing its quite amazing with what you can do, with what you have to work with; when you have to!  Oh my girl is so creative!!  And... this only happened last evening.  Freshly casted this morning!! Still there will be a lot of sitting on the sidelines....for awhile. 
 Hopefully, not alone...or, at least made to feel that way!!

What a brave girl!!

So, as its been decided - someone needs to ride the Princess bike.  We wouldn't want it to be left alone, either!!

I was glad I could be with my Aubrey...during this time.  I've been here, myself, with similar.  So, I could certainly relate.  She knew she wasn't in this all on her own...in more ways than one!

We just ask that your prayers join ours for Aubrey's complete healing!

**Joining in with the Five Minute Friday - linkup!!  See the button-link for the details on how you can participate, as well.  

Monday, August 24, 2015

Mugs & Muffins :: Jesus and Blog's - Guest Post :: More than one Zucchini Muffin Recipe, and a {bagsbybevy} Giveaway!!! {giveaway - now closed!!}

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Thank you for coming by today - to this next, long-awaited -highly anticipated Mugs & Muffins.

I trust you've been looking forward to it, as much as I.

I'm excited about today's message.

Here's why.  Because,I think it will let you know just how valuable and encouraging the online (blogging) community is. Not only that kind.  Any sense of community - is important.  And - if you're a blogger - no matter if you're consistent in writing or not - you already know what I'm talking about.  You know you're bound to ALWAYS have at least one reader or two.  And, you'll have the ones that will be faithful, long-time readers. Perhaps, they remain as only readers.  Perhaps they will comment regularly or only from time-to-time.  Perhaps, not.  But - you care about them... as you should.
As a writer or a keeper of a blog - you know how much your readership matters.  I always say - even if its for just one person who reads!!  One person - who is daily encouraged. One who is blessed, finds hope and renewal... (because of Jesus, through me!)... than, hallelujah.  I want to be faithful.
Is it easy?  Especially - when the blog response feels quiet and there is not a lot of interaction?  Some days.  Well... sometimes - you just need to hang in there and keep on keepin' on.  Because you never know just how valuable words and encouragement and friendship really is.

Well...today's Guest Post Writer wishes to remain anonymous - and that is okay.  We want to honor that.

But before we share that let's pass around the platter of muffins.  We have a couple of choices, today.
Each one is a winner in my book!

I have made these and shared these Rhubarb Muffins here before.  But, today I want to share the recipe again - this time because I added some Zucchini.  WOW!!  What a lovely addition, if I may say so myself.
These remain very moist and are delicious with every bite.
Introducing to you:: Zucchini Rhubarb Muffins.
{All recipes will be included at the end of this post. Keep reading.}

Second on the platter of muffins today, you'll find another zucchini muffin. A version of a  Zucchini Oatmeal Muffin, to be precise.  However, can you believe I forgot to get a photo of the original recipe - they were that good! And gone!!
 But these, in the photo,  you'll see, are chocolate!!  That is because I took the original Zucchini Oatmeal muffin and gave it a Bevy tweak.  :)

I call them: Bevy's Chocolate Zucchini Muffins. Almost a brownie texture, having that flavor, but still... chocked full of everything moist and delish!  My husband thinks these are the bomb-diggity!!
I'm thrilled.
Again.  Please, check out all three of these muffin recipes at the very end of this post.

Go ahead....Pass the platter and grab your mug...we're set to get started.

 Let me remind you, today's guest author wishes to remain anonymous.  But her message is powerful.  In fact.  When I asked her to first share her testimony she politely declined.  But.. came back, later, and asked if she couldn't share anyway.  The Lord was really prompting her to share her story - for which I am grateful.
(she does allude to this, in her post.)
:: Guest Post::
I'm excited.  So, let's begin.  Listen to my friend's heart - as she shares her testimony with us today!

She has titled her message : Jesus and Blog's

Hello. I would like to share something that has helped me grow with my walk with Jesus.  My walk with Jesus is the most important thing I am trying to do.  You see I was raised in church until I was 13, and I was in church more than I was at home.  Why? Because my parents were Gospel singers.  
We traveled all around the area I grew up in so I know who GOD is.  But at the age of 13 close to 14 I lost my mother, she was ill and did not win the fight.  So my dad was left to raise 3 children by himself and honestly he didn’t have a clue.  He was the man of the house, the provider, not the caretaker.  Mom did that.  So out of loneliness and overwhelmed he married 7 months after my mom passed and well that didn’t work.  Every two years or close thereof he was trying to find someone to replace my mother.  He tried to keep us all in church, not sure why but somewhere in the midst of life he was judged by the church group because he had gotten divorced.  They didn’t know the story, but we no longer went to church, worshipped God.  Oh he still talked daily in our lives about Jesus but he lost the zeal, he was afraid.  
Finally, I was a young adult and trying to figure out how to live on my own, and then the world got involved, or should I say I got involved with the world.  But I never was wild, or did anything crazy.  I just stopped following God.  After a few years, I decided I wanted to go back to church, my childhood church, and a church that my mom loved.  So I did one Sunday morning and I wanted to run out as faster than I walked in.  I was ridiculed, some of the elders pointed out that the one of the lost sheep had returned and they all laughed. I was so embarrassed.  So I never returned.  After that I just stayed busy focused on work and finally moved out of state.  Years passed and I became a wife and mother.  I taught my children about Jesus, even went to a camp meeting a time or two, but never got back into church.  Then I had my daughter, she loved Jesus, she inspired me to read bible stories, she started telling me she wanted to go to Sunday school.  She was curious.  Sad to say, I just really ignored her request and kept working and working.  Made excuses why we couldn’t go. Looking back now, I see how God was placing people in my life to get my attention.  Still didn’t listen. Stubborn or afraid I guess.  
But then my daughter started middle school. She was being bullied.  So we as a family decided maybe the Homeschool way would be best. I was so unsure because I myself didn’t even complete my senior year of high school. But I ordered the books and I knew the KJV is the way I knew with the bible, so I thought I can do this.  We did it for a year, and then she wanted to go back to public school.  
At that time, I had become familiar to blogs. If I remember right, I was in awe of how many Christian moms were journaling their lives through a blog.  The first one that really caught my eye was Stella’s Apron Strings.  So I introduced myself, and I became a reader.  As time passed, this sweet girl that became a friend from Stella’s told me about another blogger, so I connected with her.  And I have to say, I so relate to this sweet girl.  We are seasoned mamas and it’s really funny because one of her son and my son share the same name.  I see myself in her writing so much. As I followed along with these two ladies, my desire for Jesus grew and grew.  So in August of 2009 I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ as an adult.  I felt like I could not read enough, I fell in love with Jesus, blogging ,and reading.  
Then out of the blue one of these ladies closed their blog, then the other and I was lost, because see I had always been able to make friends, but now in my workplace, and surroundings I didn’t know how to be friends with everyone.  I was a Christian now, it really bothered me to hear the vulgar language, the nasty stories, and that was in the workplace, and world.  My best friend even told me that she really didn't want to be a friend anymore, that I was different. So these two ladies became my friends. 
Sure I still had loads of friends that lived far away but talking had become few and far between. So in that season of my life I prayed for God to place the right women in my path to help me grow as a Christian so I could be a light to those that saw me different.  I never have been one to judge anyone, I firmly believe that until you walk a mile in someone’s shoes, you should just show kindness, compassion and love. It doesn't mean that you agree with their choice but someday you may just be the one to win them to Jesus.  
I can’t remember the time but one beautiful day, I opened my email and saw an invitation to view that sweet ladies blog that had been closed.  I knew this was God’s doing. After a while both ladies reopened their blogs and I was part of the circle that could read along.  I was only a reader.  
As time passed I saw another lady that was always commenting on their blog and her light for God was so bright.  So I started reading her blog as well, then she posted that she made homemade soap. My son had sensitive skin so I decided to order some. Oh my if you ever need some good homemade soap, her soap is wonderful.  Her blog just lifted my heart every time I read it and the sharing of her love for God just added to the two ladies that I had already connected with.  I was always someone who was so afraid of the internet, chatting with strangers, so I prayed and prayed for these to be the women that God wanted me to learn from.  
Then one more, this girl's love for God is so strong, and she shares so much goodness in the hymns and verses she shares.  So now there is a sweet circle of ladies that I check into their blogs daily, some have a new post some do not but that is ok.  I am so thankful for each of these ladies and how they have helped me in my walk with Jesus.  And I believe GOD connected us all.  The funny thing is that I haven’t met one of these ladies and it is so out of my character to step out there.  
So this is why and how I became a reader, a simple reader of a blog. I never dreamed in my 52 years of life that out of all my dearest friends that ladies I have never met would be closer to me than the ones that are right at my front door.  I actually was asked to write a post but I declined quickly, I now know that I needed to do this, because this request stayed on my mind, so I hope that if you are needing friendship, or to strengthen your walk with God… God will give you what you need even through a simple blog of words.  
And last but not least I am so thankful for my parents and their love for Jesus Christ.  It really rings true that if you raise your children the way they should go, then they will return.  At least I know I did.  I hope this shows that no matter if you are a blogger or just a reader words can make a difference.  

Wow!! aren't you encouraged?  I was actually in tears the first time I read this through.  It's always a prayer of mine that I would matter to someone - even if only one person.  To be that small, glowing light in a dark, dark world.  A living testimony and woman of influence... even if I only have a small corner to come from.  May God be glorified.

I kindly thank my friend for sharing her heart today!!
:: Recipes::

So - as mentioned.  We have several different zucchini muffin recipes to share with you today.  I've also included the ways I have tweaked them, as well. :)


2 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 egg, beaten
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk
2/3 cup oil
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups diced fresh rhubarb

1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 tsp. cinnamon

Combine all dry ingredients and mix.  Add all the rest.  Put topping on.  Bake at 375* for 16-18 minutes.
Yield: 2 dozen muffins.

For the Zucchini Rhubarb Muffins - this is all I do differently.  I simply add.  1 - 1 1/2 cup of shredded zucchini (drain, if desired) to the batter.  And, maybe bake it a tad longer.  So, so yummy!!!!
Zucchini Oatmeal Muffins
2 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup chopped nuts (opt.)
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 T. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 eggs
1 medium zucchini, finely grated (approx. 2 cups)
3/4 cup vegetable oil

Grease 12 muffin pan cups.  Preheat oven to 400* Mix first 7 ingredients.  In another bowl beat eggs slightly with a fork.  Stir in zucchini and oil.  Stir second mixture into first until flour is moistened.  (Batter will be lumpy).  Spoon batter muffin cups.  Bake 15-20 minutes.  Yield: 12 muffins.

 For Bevy's Chocolate Zucchini Muffins version... here you go!!

2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (I had w.w. pastry flour and bread flour mixed, in my canister - so that is what I used.)
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts  (I used walnuts.  But using any or all nuts are purely optional)
1/2 cup quick oats
1 T. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup cocoa
4 eggs
1 medium zucchini, finely shredded (approx. 2 cups)
3/4 cup vegetable oil (however, this time I swapped out 1/2 cup of coconut oil and the rest of regular canola oil)
1/2 cup chocolate chips  (a nice addition is using some peanut butter chips with the chocolate chips)

Grease 12 (more like 18) muffin cups.  Preheat oven to 375*.  Mix first 8 ingredients.  In another bowl, beat eggs slightly with a fork.  Stir in zucchini and oil. Add the chocolate chips.  Stir second mixture into first until flour is moistened. (Batter will be thick and lumpy).  Divide evenly between your muffin cups.  Bake 15-20 minutes.  Yield: 12-18 muffins.

Well.  Folks.  That is all for this round.  I truly hope you enjoyed your time - here today!  Your presence online - as you read and as you share; your interaction is what helps to keep things coming from this little corner of the world.  You truly mean a lot to me.  And I'm grateful for the opportunity to share with you.

My way of saying thank you for your readership is to let you know I have a little giveaway to share with you, today!!  My wish for you - is that you will be blessed... by the sharing of community and friendship.  That it will continue here.  I love this little community... and I invite you to share this place with others - whom you think might also enjoy.

Thank you, again, for reading here, today!!

Coming straight out of my Etsy Shop... I present this.  A Pocket Pouch.  An original creation from my hand - to yours!!  This is perfect for all those little things - that fall to the bottom of your handbag. You know the stuff.  It's a way to keep tabs on your personal items (in your locker, or your car), to house cosmetics, or other items.  Use it as a gift bag for another friend.  A wallet..etc.

A very handy, by-your-side sort of pocket.  I hope you enjoy!!!
Little Wish
{pocket pouch}
As a way of gaining entries - simply share a comment (or, as many as you would like) on what reading blogs, in general, has meant for you?  How have they (or, if only one) impacted your life?

How has today's message touched your heart, in a special or unique way?

Remember each comment will count as an entry.  Facebook comments will also be included.  :)

This Giveaway is open to the US and Canada and will expire by the end of the week (8/28)... Friday, at 10pm, EST.  And the winner will be selected via random generator...and notified sometime thereafter, via email.

 Best of everything!!

UPDATE:  This GIVEAWAY is now CLOSED!!!  Thank you for your participation.

Have a lovely day and a lovely week!  I'm off to enjoy my youngest's (4th) birthday, today!!  Looking forward to celebrating the whole day with her - spending the morning with friends!!  We started last evening, with other dear friends (fremily!)... so here is one photo, to show for, so far!!  :) It was late in the evening, when had this cake and, ...we had one tired little girl - who slept so good and woke up soooo happy! It's her birthday!!

Plus.  She got her wish of a pink and purple cake!!  It's the little things that matter most.
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