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

Friday, February 27, 2009

Little Red Hen Bread

This was one of the most delicious Hostess gifts I ever received. It was from our sweet neighbor lady, Wanda, (and her husband) the other evening when we had them down for dinner. I was so glad that she gave the recipe, that way I can share it with you all, as well.
~Little Red Hen Bread~

Stir together:
5 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup wheat germ
4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt

Blend into above:
4 cups buttermilk
4 Tbs. oil
1/2 cup honey

Pour batter into 2 5x8-ish pans. Bake at 325* for 1 hour. Yields: two loaves

That's it! It was so moist - surprisingly as homemade Whole Wheat Bread tends to be on the "drier side" for me. It was a wonderful snack, in the afternoon, with a little spread of peanut butter and jam, and a tall glass of refreshing whole milk. It felt so healthy.

Enjoy! I'll be making this recipe for myself in the days to come.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


"The beauty of the house is order, the
blessing of the house is contentment,
The glory of the house is hospitality."

This morning, I was very aware of my house... my home. Let me explain.

I was having a friend over this morning (with her two young daughters) for coffee, to have a chance for our kids to get together and for us to just "catch up"- all before we make our move. I"ll admit, I was feeling quite frantic, in effort to "clean up, a bit more".

She just left my house not too long ago. And we had a wonderful, wonderful visit. I applaud her for packing up her little ones Just "to get out of the house"... in effort to visit with other ladies, etc. We had a great conversation and it actually touched on the topic of hospitality.

Her home and mine are in the complete opposite side of the spectrum as it pertains to "style". And the refreshing thing is that her appreciation for my Shabby Chic/vintage/antique/rustic appeal is totally genuine, and I can say that about me towards her more modern country/contemporary flair. She loves to brag on my ability to decorate and yet I can be a bit envious that her home always seems SO CLEAN, so in place, so formal (She doesn't agree with me on this assessment -I suppose beauty is all in the eye of the beholder).

Obviously today, I felt nervous, even more, because my home is total upheaval with boxes getting packed and stacked.

And, I had to stop myself and think about; What is true humility in the midst of hospitality look like? Well, this is it. My dear, sweet friend is coming over - this is the way it is, right now - and besides I need to take to heart this adage...

"My house may not be ready, but my heart is.
Come on in!"

But, I have a confession to make. My heart was not ready (this morning). It was a disaster - I was trying to do, and trying to make, and trying to be - more then I could handle for the hour and a half before she (and her girls) arrived.

I cannot believe how I let the "moment" of getting prepared affect my responses. My poor little ones. So, rather then making a good impression for my friend, I, most likely, left a bad impression on my kids.

I told her about my morning... and well, she said she could totally relate! We laughed. We all have our days. She didn't judge me one bit. And I decided that I actually didn't mind the dirty dishes waiting on the counter to get washed...

I ended up giving my friend a copy of a book, titled, "A life that says Welcome" that has become one of my greatest sources of encouragement in regards to hospitality. Actually there are many books that have, over the years, been very influential in my pursuit of hospitality and well, this one is my current favorite. This book by Karen Ehman is definitely one worth checking out, and I hope to write more on this subject in the near future. Stay tuned...

I just want to say I was so impressed with Caleb's "hospitality" in sharing his toys with the girls. We had talked about them coming, earlier, and he wasn't so sure that he could do that... yet, he did it and he did it very well. I give God praise for the gentle reminder... hospitality starts young. Hopefully it will grow up with us as we grow.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Can you "CAPtion" this Moment?

I asked Scott this morning this; "Off the top of your head,
can you think of a phrase
for the 'wearing of many hats'?", and he said, "Isn't that one right there?".
We had to laugh about that, this morning.

~this would be our son~
always wearing some sort of hat

: : If you could give a caption for this moment -what would it be??

Friday, February 20, 2009

Stepping in his Shadow

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways
my ways", declares the Lord.

"As the heavens are higher then the earth, so are my ways higher then your ways
and my thoughts then your thoughts.
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills
will burst into song before you.
And all the
trees of the field will clap their hands...
This will be for the Lord's renown,
for an everlasting sign.
~Isaiah 55: 8-13~

"Lord, this day, may our steps reflect that we are walking in the light of
your presence - the shadow- of the Most High,
the one who goes before us, who leads us, who directs our paths.
Keep us. Protect us from the evil one.
Make our feet to walk on straight and level paths.
May we know your peace, this day, as we surrender our thoughts and our ways to you.
May we go about in joy -walking with a peace-filled confidence.
For you are GOOD. For this is your renown"

: : Whose shadow are you dwelling in this morning? Would your footprints give way that you were there?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Rice cereal and Aubrey!

YEAH! We've come along way... Baby!

~I'm loving this, now~

... from not so long ago...

~not so sure about this~

It's amazing. The concept of an acquired taste. Pretty soon it will on to the "Big girl" stuff... peas, carrots and squash.

I would love some practical advice for making my own and storing (freezer) baby food... I tried with Caleb but I didn't follow through to well.
Any suggestions for how it worked "well" for you??

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wooden Spools

: : My love of the old. The simple things "treasured up".

I wonder of the stories these wooden spools could tell, if only they could? How many yards, how many detailed stitches have they sown?

I can remember my Mother letting us play with the spools - like as you would play with wooden blocks, or we could string them onto string to make for a necklace or as a doll toy, etc.

What are some of your memories entailing the wooden spool era?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What a Joy!!

I decided to make this recipe one morning... found in the cookbook, The Joy of Sharing-Bald Eagle Boys Camp.

This cookbook is such a joy to have in my kitchen...it's one of the latest that I added to my collection. And it's especially dear to me because my sister, Gladys, gave it to me as a birthday gift last year.

The last time she was here to visit, she personally went through the book and checked off the "must make" recipes... as she is the head cook for the Boys Camp where this book has been compileld (mostly through family, friends, former staff and sponsors of the camp). If anybody would know what's good- she should know!!

~Lemon Blueberry Bread~

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 cup sugar

3 T. lemon juice

2 eggs

1 1/2 cup flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup milk

1 cup blueberries, frozen and thawed

Beat butter, sugar, lemon juice, milk and eggs - by hand. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Stir into egg mixture. Fold in blueberries. Pour into greased loaf pan (8x4"). Bake at 350* for 60-70 minutes.

It really is delicious, and as I expected, it's rather easy to whip up for quick breakfast delight.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Special Valentine's Day!

One of my sweet friends asked me what I was hoping to do -Special- for Valentine's Day! We didn't do a whole lot... I do have pictures to show a few things that we did, but am having difficulty posting them today for some reason. I think it's me!! anyway.

We invited our elderly neighbors down for dinner on Friday night. Of course, I had to make a "heart-shaped" meatloaf along with all the fix en's. They really enjoyed the home-cooked meal, so they said. And Caleb took to Mr. Frank like he had known him all his life. It was really nice to have them here. It's almost a shame that we didn't do that sooner, since we're moving and all.

That afternoon I had Caleb help me make a Valentine Treat for the evening. Again, I do have pictures but...
He is too young to do the whole scissors and paper thing so we took "Tom Sturgis -little ones" pretzels (that Caleb always calls Hearts) and melted a Hershey kiss on top of each one (in this case, we used Peppermint -pink and white striped kisses. I would have liked to use Strawberry ones but these were left over from Christmas.)
You put them in a 350* oven for no longer then two minutes, take them out and carefully add a M&M candy piece on top. The M&M's are fun because you can use colors to match the occasion. In this case I used red and brown ones. He had fun!! He thought he was "all that and a bag of chips" sitting up on the counter-top... helping Mom!

Saturday morning's I always try to make a special breakfast of sorts and so of course, we had to have "heart-shaped" pancakes, with sliced strawberries, and sausage.

I will confess... I was very aware of my selfish heart through out the morning on Saturday. Ashamed to admit that I was one "stumpy- grumpy" Mama. I honestly don't know what triggered that... and after going out on my own, to run errands... I thank God for his heart of love for me. I had time to reflect on HIM!, to pray and to just quiet myself in His love. I (think) I came home -renewed. I was so appreciative of Scott for "letting me go" - being willing to sit with the little ones (while tending to his own lists for the day) and it actually turned out to be one SPECIAL Valentine's DAY after all.

What did you do special for "heart day"?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Why I love him so...

My handsome man, Scott!!

: : This is not in effort to embarrass him, but rather to make a public statement as to why I love him so...Why, in so many ways, I AM the lucky one. Blessed - is more like it.

There are so many reasons, and as I was thinking about this, I wondered, Where do I even start?

I love him for his:

  • Specific care for our family. Like this. He's very aware of family time. IF a weekend is already packed full of activity, for example, and we get invited out somewhere, yet again, like to "Grandma's" house, etc. He'll often (with discretion) turn down the invite -just to maintain our own family time. Or that he'll make sure we're all in bed at a decent hour. And the fact that (a sit down) meal-time is family time, with no distractions such as the radio, TV or phone...it can all wait. I love that about him!

  • Thoroughness! He is very careful to "make sure" something is done correctly the first time, in order to avoid repeating himself. In that, he can make mistakes and yet, he is humble enough to receive that. I love that about him!

  • Humility. (As mentioned above) He's not perfect. I love this about him!

  • Conviction(s). We are debt-free, to this day, because of his conviction in this. Another post to come on this - stay tuned. I love this about him!

  • PDA (public display of affection). Scott is not afraid to give me sweet kiss in public or to hold my hand even while we we're riding in our own car - we're often found holding hands. He almost "gets offended" when I happen to open up my own car door... He insists (4 years later) that I am one brave woman if I do that on my own - and that, that is his privilege to do so. I LOVE that about him!

  • Sense of Humor. He really does have sense of humor about him. I love his laugh -especially over the phone (long story here), the fact that he "gets" my dry sense of humor and loves it, and the fact that he makes me laugh... I love that about him!

  • Knowledge of... Cars, Computers, Cash (financial stuff), Children (he's really coming around in this area) & Chores (meaning the laundry. He simply does a better job of it then I do). And the fact that he has little or no knowledge of Cooking (although he can work a mean grill).... I love this about him!!

  • Prayers. Their simple, intentional and full of sincerity. I love this about him!

  • Imagination. In playing with Caleb and Aubrey, it's all the "silly" songs he makes up...the wrestling, rolling around on the floor, shrieks and shrill fun and games that they all get into. I love that about him!

  • Intentionality to... stick to budget, tithe regularly, keeping up on car maintenance, yard work, snow removal, to pray with the little ones before bed time, to say "I love you" before hanging up on the phone or separating ways -because you never no if it could be your last time to do so, to plan for our future through job advancements/studying to further his credentials, etc., keeping our financial things in place and in order -and on and on. I love that about him!

  • Coming along side of...me in my ups and downs, my tears, my joy's, my dreams, my goals. And just really hanging in there with me. He is my best friend here on this earth. The fact that he chose me... and is so committed to me and to our growing family.... I really am so blessed. We actually do our grocery shopping together -just because. I love this about him!!

This is why I love him so...

Happy Valentine's Day, Babe!!

~yours forever,


** I choose to do this post as my Valentine Card to him because I know he reads my blog (almost) every day - it's just another thing, I love about him!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


The phrase, "Bloom where you are planted", hardly seems fitting for what I've been thinking about here of late. I've been thinking of Spring (planting, growing, etc.)- obviously because it is right around the corner. I've been busily packing up the house for moving - so it's more like thoughts of; "uprooting".

The location where we're at right now does not lend itself to good planting beds for flowers & vegetables because of all the pine and shade trees and so with that comes the drooling, the longing, for a place that has nice, hearty flower beds with which to overwhelm the air and please the eye with the presence of beauty in greenery. Do you like my flowery speech??

Honestly, for the past 2-3 years I really feel like I've lost track of Spring time. What it feels like, smells like and all the preparation it takes to make a beautiful garden again. We would drive out and around the neighborhood and I would notice all these beautiful gardens late spring, early summer and think to myself, "Wait a minute. Where have I been What season am I in"? and it's like "OH YEAH! I can't grow anything around our house... I'm really not losing it". So, I am really excited about moving on to a new location. Looking forward to what our "uprooting" will bring us.

God does that a lot in our lives, doesn't he? He doesn't want us to get too comfortable in our comfort- zones, although that can be the easy way out. At the same time, we need to "Be Still and know" that if he plants somewhere we need to be faithful to grow in that place, that season. This is something that Scott and I have been thinking about this week.

We continue to seek God and pray for his leading and direction in moving to NC. It seems like the season to "uproot" has come, we have been faithful (we feel!) to weed out any questions and doubts, and we want to trust that the seeds of faith will continue to grow in our lives. That in all of this change, will come forth lives that demonstrate the beauty that comes from all the "uprooting", the cultivating, the pruning, the watering and so forth. That Lord-willing, we will be able to "Bloom where we are planted".

So when I can start planting things again my flower (and vegetable) beds will probably have herbs such as Parsley, Basil, Chives, and Thyme. Teas and flowers such as; Garden & Mint tea, Pansies, Mums, Vinca-vine, Verebena, Larkspur, Iris, Lavender, Hydrangea, Hollyhocks, Geraniums, 4 o'clocks, Cosmos, Sweet Pea, Dusty Miller, Rhubarb, Tomatoes, Beans, Beets, Corn, Peppers and Zucchini.... and so much more, I'm sure.

Any other suggestions- especially for NC? What is your favorite thing to grow?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


In yesterday's post I mentioned something about being creative in cooking...
Well here is a question for you.

If you could use one word to describe yourself in the kitchen, what word would that be?

It doesn't take me long to come up with my answer because I think I was born to be a "dump-cook". That is my answer, by the way.
I had to think about how and why this is true, and my thoughts go back to my Grammy who would always refer to herself as someone in the kitchen who just used "a little of this and a smidgen of that"... and so the term "dump-cook" was born.

I am not trying to brag when I share this but I do love and appreciate that trait being passed down to me. There is nothing more satisfying then to serve up a dish, let alone a meal, all based on the gift of creativity. In a greater sense it is also being very frugal and that alone is a definite need (at least in our home) these days. Take for instance the recipe, Chicken Gumbo, calls for specific ingredients like bread, cheese and mayo. Yes! I had those items on hand but I also had a bread bowl that was used a couple of days ago to hold a spinach dip. There was a little bit of dip left (which was made with mayo, sour cream, spinach and seasonings) - which was enough to use as a replacement for this particular recipe and so wha-laa! Instead of slices of bread as the recipe called for, I just went ahead and cut up the remaining bread bowl (that I made the other day) into cubes, and used the remaining dip for the mayo.... and I must say. The dish was delicious.

I really appreciate this about my hubby (who also doesn't mind being the guinea pig around here) when he'll make mention to the little ones or whomever is over for dinner; "Eat it up. You'll never see this recipe again". Or the opposite, "Well, never mind if you don't like it we'll never see it again". and "Babe, this is really good! I wish you would remember what you did - but I guess I'll never see this again, I'd better enjoy it while I can".

But there is something to be said about creativity in the kitchen. When budgets are tight and the phrase of "wasting not, wanting not" is floating around in my head... what is a woman to do but get a little creative. There is nothing wrong with just sitting down, with several cookbooks in hand and just taking the time to read through them. Their chalk full of hints, suggestions and ideas and eventually things come together so much that you might not even need to follow a cookbook. You learn what "stuff" just goes together. Baking is a whole different story; Baking is a science where cooking is an art! So there, you know what one of my favorite past-times are. Reading cookbooks -and not really following them!

Now that I made some of you a little nervous... sorry! You're still welcome to come to dinner anytime. And that brings up another blog-post idea, but we'll save that for another time.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Granola Bars

Here is another great breakfast treat for a family "on the go".

I have this great recipe for Granola Bars that I made over the weekend that are absolutley wonderful, that I thought I would share with you.

~Granola Bars~

9 1/2 cups of Rice Krispies
5 cups Oatmeal (I use quick oats but you can use rolled oats)
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 cup craisens (or raisens if you prefer)
1 cup coconut (optional)

Mix together in a LARGE bowl.

Melt together in large pot...over medium heat.
1 1/2 lbs (20 oz.) marshmallows
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup canola oil

Pour over cereal mixture and mix well. It will get rather hard to do - so work as quickly as possible and then as mixure is getting cooler to the touch and you can still stir it... add one cup of chocolate chips. Press into a well greased 9x13 pan. Grease your hands and press into pan or use back of spoon. Cut* and Enjoy!

* I cut in half length wise and then across the pan into real thin bars. Like what a granola bar should look like.

I'm sure you could add in anything else like nuts, sunflower seeds, or different kinds of chocolate chips, etc. All in the name of getting creative.

Breakfast delights

There is nothing better then a firm, yellow banana split in half, length-wise, layed neatly across two pieces of toasted english muffin generously spread with a good, chunky peanut butter, drizzled sweetly with honey. YUMMY!! Pair that up with a good-ole cup of hot, steamy, black coffee. And a quick breakfast couldn't be better.

What are a few of your "own" breakfast delights? Just for you.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


You were wondering what happened, right? Well there was a little "screech to a halt" in the blogging for several days, due to some connection issues and well I think we're back. Thanks to good ole dial-up, but hey!, it's something. Something we can work with. Thanks for hanging in there with me. Although I will say this- the posts may be "here and there" because of all the packing going on around here. We'll see...
Again, thanks for checking in, visiting and for any and all your comments. I appreciate it.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Why this blog title?

Why "treasured up and pondered"? Some of you may wonder how I came up with this title for a blog. There are several underlying reasons I suppose. The first being that every time I read the words from Luke 2:19,

"... but Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart".

that it reminds me a lot of myself. I tend to think (perhaps too much?) and ponder things over and over. Although my hubby would challenge that statement with; "Well, if you say you think alot then how come you can't remember anything I tell you?"... (I love you, Babe!)

Secondly, I attempt to place a lot of value on "heart" issues, and well that can be both good and bad. Here is why I say that.

I can remember, as a young girl, my Dad reading to my sister's and I before going to bed. There was this one particular short story that I remember begging for him to read - again and AGAIN!! The piece I am referring to is titled, "The Winsome Girl", from this book, "Ideals and Moral Lessons". But the book he read from was copyrighted in 1919... a very old book... and I still have that copy today. A very precious treasure, indeed.

The Winsome Girl"The winsome girl has a
warm, loving heart.
She feels "smiley" inside, and the smiles just shine
out. She does not
think about herself. She does not stand about moping,
waiting to be coaxed into a game. She does not take offense when none was
intended. She does not imagine that other girls are slighting her. She does not
always want to be first. The winsome girl does not hang her head and refuse to
reply when strangers or older people speak to her, but answers as sweetly and
politely as possible.

She may be bashful, and her heart may go thumpey-thump in the
presence of strangers, but she is never rude or surly on that account.
She is brave enough to do hard things, and talking to strangers is a very
hard thing for a naturally bashful girl. The winsome girl never sulks. She
is not the sort that never has opinions, but she does not become angry with
those who differ from her. If she cannot agree with her companions, she does not
compel them to agree with her. The winsome girl is - just winsome, that is all.
Keep your eyes open, and you will find her some time. Keep sweet, and other
folks may find her when they look at you! And that would be best of all.

I love that. That was my prayer as a young girl, though never fully grasping what it was to be winsome. As I read over it again today I can see where -"yes, some of this is me and No, some of this is not even close". Not even in the least bit. I realize it will be a life-long journey - one I'm certainly pondering over. I just know that I don't want to be so hard on myself that I can't see God's grace in the midst of His re-creation.
Now, isn't that something to think about?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Too cute

The latest picture of our littlest...
hanging out at Grandma's house the other day.

Waayyyyy Too Cute!! (In my honest humble opinion)

Aubrey, Why do you have to grow up so quickly??

You should see her playing in the exer-saucer, eating her cereal in the high chair, rolling around on the floor,
laughing and communicating with big brother in their own special way - making Mamma feeling left out.

And, oh is she ever her Daddy's little girl!


Monday, February 2, 2009

Check. Check.

"Old things are passed away, behold all things have become new..."
Scott and I will often talk about the weekend as he is trying to get out the door, early Monday mornings. Usually it goes something like this; "Thank you for such a wonderful weekend, No! Thank YOU!". But this morning we were doing the check list with smiles on our faces.
  • Yeah! That I have no laundry looming for me this week. It's all done. Check. Check.
  • The Resumes are completely updated with Scott's newest certification. Check. Check.
  • Oh by the way!! Scott passed his Microsoft Exam Saturday morning. A gruling, 4-hour long test. Check. Check. Wow! what a Blessing!! one more to go now...
  • The Pampered Chef party is behind us. I hosted a great show on Saturday morning. Check. Check.
  • Taxes are started. Check.
  • The week ahead is "sorta" planned out. Check.
  • Packing continues... Check. Check.
  • Phone calls and emails caught up on. Check. Check.
  • Super Bowl is over. Go Steelers!!

Yeah!, it was a wonderful weekend. We continue to be amazed at God's goodness. And very aware that all things are in His hands.

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