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

Monday, November 30, 2009

Tis the season...

How was your weekend, everyone?  Ours was busy... not too many of them, that aren't, anymore.  As I mentioned on Friday, we went to another family gathering on Saturday.  It was wonderful (small group, this time) to be together, eat more turkey and just "visit". 

I did not know I was going to make a fourth sale (just this week alone) right in front of my eyes.  At the gathering, I had my "bags" along to show...because over time, my extended family is slowly finding out about my Bags by Bevy etsy business, and I thought it would be great to have them there for a little "hands on" demonstration.  "Seaside Savvy" went bye-bye - now lovingly owned by one of my Dad's cousins.  I am so excited... because she LOVES it!! and that is all that matters, right?
**Look for a couple more bags being added to my shop - hopfully sometime this week!

So, I'm thinking about my man today (tis hunting season, you know). Around here, it is called "Buck Monday"... not necessarily "cyber Monday".  And not, as in you spending your " few measly bucks"... but as in it's the 1st day of buck hunting - with rifle.  So, he is literally up in a tree stand, as I type.  I hope he safely gets at least one (antlered) deer.  He is hoping for three... but that's because he has two doe tags as well.  He has quite the story from last year's hunting trip and I am sure he'll share that with you all one day perhaps during one of Scott's Second Sayings postings - that is if you would like him too.  Kinda funny!!

I am just praying for his safety.  Here is last year's deer.  I was so proud of him. He wanted so badly for me to "go along" this year... and well... I obviously didn't make it.  Although there is some true heart revelation going on here, in me.  I will have to mull over this one a bit more.  Thinking... I am "learning a very hard lesson" here.  More on this later (another time).

This next picture is of Caleb (last year) - wanting to be "just like dad".  I thought it was pretty cute of him...

And, so last night, with Scott not being at home (overnight), I was a busy little elf (Yes!,tis the season).
 I think, around here...

It's beginning to look alot like Christmas!

Stay tuned for more pictures, of around the house - of holiday decor and ideas. It was very interesting to "start anew" with decorating.  I haven't decorated this house for Christmas yet. So, it felt like it took me a little longer to "decide" where to put it all... and keep it semi- kid friendly.  I kept telling myself... prepare to see this snowman "flung" elsewhere, or whatever, knowing little hands and eyes will be curious and just can't  help themselves to touch.

My "homemade" gift making list is long this year.  Our family only draws names for Christmas on Thanksgiving Day! So, there is not a lot of time - to get stuff together - but it always works out in the end.  Pressure.  I always work better under pressure.... nuff said.

I must get back to homemaking...I've got Pumpkin Butterscotch Cookies (and breakfast) waiting in the wings to prepare... Tis the Season, you know.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Gather together...

Our Thanksgiving Day (yesterday) was a wonderful time of being together, playing together, working together, and well.... it felt like ~Coming Home!!  There was lots of food, of course.  We all agreed that if you left hungry - it was your own fault.   I should clarify, we were all up at my sister and brother-in-law's place.

Here are a few more thoughts I've had over the past several days - this wonderful season and time of  Thanksgiving.  Basically, this is a follow-up to my last post on Come... and ask.

We really have so much to be thankful for.  In my last post I asked which was easier (or harder)  for you to do?  To give thanks for blessing or to ask for his blessing?  Scott and I talked about it some more and we both agreed, for us, it can be difficult at times to (humbly) ask him for future blessing.

Here is one example.  Scott interveiwed, on Wednesday, for a new postition in the company that he currently works for.  We talked yesterday on the way to our family gathering about what it would be like if he got the job or if he didn't.  For one, we are grateful for (his) current employment and so to ask the Lord for a change in employment (to a differently desired position) is in one sense asking for future blessing.  It's hard. 

If he doesn't get the job.  He's truly okay about that.  If the Lord chooses to bless us with the desire of his heart.  That would be great, too!    Awesome, in fact.
We won't know until Monday or Tuesday, the results of the job interview. He up against some pretty tough (but just as worthy or competent) competetion.

Here is another example.  My new business ~ Bags by Bevy! is fun, something I am totally enjoying doing but it's rather insignificant to providing any means for our needs as a family (although in the future, it doesn't mean that it couldn't). I just struggle, at times, to ask God for his blessing in sales, because that feels "selfish" of me.  But I/we did. and by his grace, he allowed blessing to come.  And I am truly (humbly) grateful.  I made three more bag sales this past week (privately - not through Etsy).  It just amazes me that even in the tiny details, and desires of our hearts - he blesses.  Sometimes in more ways than we can (or will) even expect or imagine.


We go again tomorrow to another family gathering.  Here ~ it's a time of reflecting, where our hearts often will turn to remember the loss we've all experienced.  So many of these family members have loved ones gone on before us.  My Dad, (being one of them), both of my grandparents, my cousin's husband (tragically killed in a motorcycle accident) - a young father of five children.  But it turns our hearts toward Coming HOME!  Our future blessing awaits, us there, too. 

We're grateful for our memories. We have many.  Our life stories are woven together; our joys and our sorrows. We'll celebrate life tomorrow.  Because so many of these family members have birthday's on or around Thanksgiving (kinda fun).  So we celebrate, giving thanks for life, health and for memories still to be made.

 Once again, "We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing".

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Come... and ask.

Come, Ye Thankful People, Come

"Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home;
All is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied.   Come to God’s own temple, come, raise the song of harvest home".

Just thinking ahead of our time together as a family, this coming Thanksgiving Day! 
And as a different Thanksgiving hymn says; "We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing...".

I know were grateful for his blessing of days past, but do we think about coming to ask his blessing for our future days?  I hope so.   I desire to have a constant "attitude of gratitude" ~ everyday.
But a humble posture in coming before the Lord to ask for his future blessing, is also my desire.

: :  Which do you find easier (or harder) to do?  To thank him for blessings, or to ask him for blessings?
Just something to think about.

Happy Thanksgiving ~ and blessings to all.

Read this blog post from Monica at the Homespun Heart for more great ideas on Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The LORD is my helper...

Please.  You'll have to read, or at least glance at, this link to appreciate why or how today's post came about. 

I read this the other morning on Yahoo news and I was left shaking my head...blown away.  Unbelievable! ~ that this kind of stuff happens in America, our cities, our hometowns and virtually- our own backyards.
Okay,  first off I do want to say that this post is not a further rant on this particular subject,
but rather just to share what happened next

I have been doing this with the little ones for sometime now, and it's become a very special time of reading the B.I.B.L.E together at breakfast and then singing Sunday School (oft' times, it's songs with motions) songs - as they come to me - in hopes to instill in them (their little hearts & minds) God's Word at a (rather) young age... and more importantly to have a moment, for myself, to read God"s Word.  I confess, sometimes this is all I get to do for myself, in having my own quiet, personal devotions... but I work with what I've got.  And, like I said - it's become a rather special time for us.

However, right before breakfast, I happened to receive a phone call from a girl friend of mine - whose house we were planning to go to, later in the morning.   There was a reason for her call, but we got chit-chatting about this particular article (the one I just mentioned above) and other current national headlines and (sad) news - "stuff" that only SAHM's think that by talking about,  we can solve for the world and for our country. Yeah right.  Anyway.

All through breakfast  I was thinking about what my friend and I were talking about and how if I were to add a comment to the above referanced (linked) article  - you know, like, Really. What would I say?   For me, this really it home because it came out of the area (my old backyard) of where I did alot of my growing up years.  Frankly, it shocked me - that our little town(s) were starting to feel the crude come creeping in through the back gate...unannounced.

I focused back to the little ones, and we finished up our breakfast - only to resume our time with the Bible reading.  I don't always read what verse my eyes randomly fall too (as I randomly open my Bible) - but this morning I did.   Caleb has been learning to memorize little verses like "the Lord is my Shepherd" or "the Lord is my helper" (found in Hebrews 13:5-6). 

And as the pages fell open to Psalm 118 and I started reading verse 6... I got chills.  I probably knew this but didn't realize that the verse essentially reads the same as the verse in Hebrews, and it reads;
"The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.  What can man do to me?  The LORD is with me; He is my helper. I will look in triumph on my enemies.  (Psalm 118:8)  "It is better to take refuge in the LORD then to trust in man." 

Did you know that, verse eight  IS THE CENTER VERSE of the Bible?  It is.  Read it again.  "It is better to take refuge in the LORD, then to trust in man.  Friends, if you want to be in the Center of God's Will for your life, then read - memorize- this verse and know in your heart of hearts, that refuge found in HIM is far better then what man has to offer. 

I closed the Bible with a tear in my eye as I thought about what a refuge we have in Him (what comfort, what peace)... No matter the outcome of our nation's path; the decisions made that are out of our control; the political chaos that is evidently causing quite a stir; down the to the pettiness of whether hanging laundry in our backyards is tolerable or not.  Ugh!  "don't get me started"... I wish I could fix it- which I can't, because I don't even know the half or realize a smidgen of what is going on "out there"... and that's okay.

There is one thing that I know.  Our World, nation, our country, our cities, towns, communities, our neighborhoods, even our backyards... more simply our own homes - We all need the Peace of Jesus - to reign, Surpreme!  And ONE DAY~ He will.  Forever!  He is our helper.  What can man do to me?

: : Yes!  If you drive by my house today, and it's not raining, you will see the clothes lines are full and fluttering.  I thank God for fresh, country air, and the blessing to save a few $$ on electric... and I don't think the cows out back (or our next-door neighbors, for that matter) are minding the free entertainment of  brightly colored clothing flapping in the breeze.  Maybe I should ask them though, before they come to me??  What do you think?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday's Finds: Where'd it go?

To speak in Caleb's terms, I so often have an "ah, a mess!" (I can't write it like he says it.) and with that being said...I have been thinking how I need to clean it up.  I am talking about my sewing room and all of my spools of thread - that desperately NEED a place of their own, and not randomly all over my sewing table.  I am ~not happy.

So, one day I was out with Aubrey for a quick Dr. appointment and decided to run into our local thrift store and take a look around.  I was in the craft and fabric section and well, this unique looking carrying case jumped out at me - about knocked me over.  I liked the brass label on top and read: Barnett and Jaffe *baja* mfrs Philadelphia.  Cool!  I liked the price too - $8.00.  "What a great Friday's Finds feature"... is what I was thinking.

When, I looked inside I was surprised to find these three little drawers.  They looked *new* and I was suprised that they were plastic.  Uhmmm.  But, immediately a light bulb moment happened.  I was going to use this case for ALL the spools of thread lying around on my sewing area and - be happy!!  Now sewing projects can continue, this corner of my home has a new feature, and well, I am just ~ happy...

...until, that is, until all three drawers are full and no more will fit in there. However, I now can say with my 2 yr old son, "Where'd it go?" 

I looked the case up online by the tag's information and all I can gather is that is certainly vintage - although I never really discovered from what year.  And that its original usage was intended to be used as a photo/slide carrying case.  Anyway.  I love the look of it!   It's small size is perfect for my sewing spools and my, "ah, a mess!" needs are now taken care of.  Now, to figure out how to organize the rest of the sewing room and immediate sewing area.  Bags by Bevy - must go on!

: :  I have got to do something with all those buttons....  Any vintage ideas, anyone??  I have been using small jars or little plastic bags, but I need to find something that I can reach my hand in and swirl {them} aournd to find the "perfect three". 

You know,  I'm going to Lancaster tomorrow - shopping for more sewing supplies- (business is going great, by the way) and I thought I would let you all know with the holidays approaching like a freight train...THERE IS a lot of lurking going on in and around my Etsy shop.  I smell $ales, yeah!  I just want you all to ~ be happy!

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

good ole Mennonite Meal

Tuesday was a busy day for me (and I am so grateful that the little ones were on their best behavior) as I busied myself in the kitchen preparing a full hot meal to be enjoyed later that evening - by about 30 people, or so.  It was past due my turn to make a meal for our caregroup (small group with church) Tuesday night, get-togethers.  I had fun... and was glad to serve.

I decided on a Hamburger Potato Carrot stew - which I currently had enough ingredients on hand to feed an army.  That doesn't happen everyday.  But we had just butchered a cow not too long ago and so we had tons of burger and the potatoes were a deal out of Lancaster, Co.  (50 lbs./$10.00) and the carrots ...well,  no problem there.  I had enough of those, too.

Don't ask me precise ingredients (I couldn't find a recipe either - that was exactly to what I was had in mind) - I just sorta threw stuff in there.  Those of you who know me - know that I do call myself a "DUMP COOK", with pride.   Although, I will share with you a  (shhh!) little secret that I discovered in the making of the burger part.

I never did this before - because I never thought of it before.  But essentially I have done it many times before.  HUH!??!?!?  Yeah.

 I decided to take the 5lbs. of hamburger (or whatever amount it acutally was, can't remember) and spread it out into the large roaster pan.  Bake it at 450* for about 10-15 minutes (Because this is what I do, essentially, when I  make "Wendy" style cheeseburgers - any questions, you  can should ask me!). 

Cook it up this way, until no longer pink.  Then, with my *NEW* favorite tool  toy (Mix N Chop) from Pampered Chef, as seen in the picture, ( I love, love, LOVE this utensil!) I chopped it all up, so fine- like.  I did not drain it either.  I wanted to use all that "goodness" in there for flavor, etc.  The green stuff you see, with the burger, is still fresh parsley from the garden - which is close enough to the house, I guess, that it hadn't gotten bit by frost, too badly.  Wow, do you like my dutchyness going on there...?

I was so proud of myself for thinking of this batch cooking burger idea or method. I didn't have to dirty up a frying pan,  and the oven was going to be turned on anyway.  It just worked for me.  I think for doing a large recipe like this - It is the wisest thing to do and it's so easy.  No extra clean up - if that matters to you. Anyway. 

The rest of the meal included homemade Dinner RollsLittle Red Hen Bread, Cottage Cheese Salad, Coleslaw, Pickled beets,  and applesauce.  All recipes are included in these links.

: : Everybody was happy and satisfied or in other terms, more like all  "fat and scratchy".  Just the way I want my guests to feel.  ;)  yeah...

I said, "If you ever wondered what a good ole Mennonite Meal was like? - well, here you go".  Somebody mentioned that they felt like they should "go out and plow a field" - after eating a meal like that.  I'm not so sure if that was meant to be a compliment or what? ... ha ha.

I am glad it's done, for now - until another time.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

...not all that happened...

So, yesterday's post was not all that happened over the weekend. There were several things that took place that are worth mentioning. One. I was thrilled to have made another sale, this time on a custom order for a pair of HOMESPUN BABY! (blue/green plaid baby boy) Shoes.

These are pretty much going to be second design, that I will offer.  These will work great for that chunky footed little one, because of the way you can loop and uploop the elastic over the button.  I would say, these are definitly a Bevy Original.  The other style is not an orginial pattern with me.

What fun, what fun!!  What mattered most to me was that Grandma and Mamma, both, were very happy.

I also was able to sneak out of the house early on Saturday morning (before the seminar) to go to my dear friend, Amiee's house for breakfast.  She served up the best breakfast of Sausage Gravy over her own homemade biscuits, scrambled eggs with spinach, and freshly canned peaches that she said a sweet friend had given her for her birthday, back in September.  Uhmmm.  I wonder, could it just be one of these jars?

Amiee is just one my long time, "bestest" friends.  She and I have known each other forever, like sister's (people have accused us of that already)... she's one that you can pick up with wherever you've left off at.  We have alot of the same interests,  and well... enough about Amiee.  I might have to do a special blog post just on her, one day.  If she'll let me.  ;)  I don't know why she wouldn't, she lets me borrow her- STUFF!!!  (heehee)  I have to say stuff, because there is way too much to mention, that she lets me borrow... you all have friends like that too, I'm sure.
Then on Sunday afternoon, I took the opportunity (or Simple Pleasure, for that matter) to go for a walk, outside.  The little ones were down for a nap, well Caleb was and Aubrey wasn't -  but playing quietly - while Scott was back at the books (for the next round).  We have neighbors down the road from us, that every time I pass their place, I have a strong desire to try and count the lil pumpkins...

Can't do it because we zoom by too fast....so I thought I would just walk down there, one day.

 I just think this pumpkin-on-a-fencepost thing is just the sweetest idea.  What do you think?

Here, let me show you a few more close-up photo's...

~looks like one fell off, due to wind or something~

Isn't this just adorable?  Okay, enough of the gushing... I know, I know.

Here, this last picture really shows off their Winter Berry Bushes; all the red you see beyond the fence row.
They sell bunches and bunches of these branches around Christmas time.  I love it - I've actually gotten some from them in the past, but had no idea, back then, that now I would live right next door!!!  I hope I can at least get myself one of these "branch bundles" for some outside decoration this holiday season. 
(Hint, hint, honey!)

It almost makes you want to paint this picture, just to keep it forever.  Doesn't it?

All this to say, I missed a Fun Family event with my Mom and sister's all getting together - over the weekend.  I have 5 sister's and one of them lives over 3 hours away.  She is the one who is the head cook up (northern PA), at a boy's camp.  They all decided that this would be a great weekend to get together... but because of the parenting seminar... I needed to pass this time.  I am sure there will be another time, down the road.  I am anxiously awaiting to hear about their time together.   I know I hope they missed me. ;) because, I was really, really sad that I couldn't be apart of their time up there.

Yet, I certainly had a wonderful weekend, too.  That is for sure!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Weekend happenings...parenting seminar.

Over the weekend, Scott and I had the privilege to attend a Parenting Seminar, given through our church, led by one of our pastors.  It was neat how they had broken it up into these age categories (0-5yrs, 6-10yrs, etc.), and you were welcome to attend one or all of the sessions.  We opted to stay for all sessions offered (hey, if there was free babysitting offered, why not?).  No, in all honesty.  We felt that if there was such an opportunity offered, then let's get all the information that we can, when we can, because the Lord knows we need it.  Daily.

I'll admit, there were moments, I felt in my heart, a load of condemnation - thinking, I fail so often in my method(s) or in  my role as a Mother, in how I go about training my children.  And, then God's grace also shone through - time and time again -with encouragement as to how many times I am/we are on the right path in these areas.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 reminds us " Hear, O Israel: The Lord, our God, the Lord is one.  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise...you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."

I appreciated the reminder that, as a church, we're doing this in community.  We are not out there in this parenting realm... alone. 

There is so much more I could share with you that I was so encouraged by.  One of the rescources used and referenced to, over and over was the book Shepherding a Child's Heart, by Tedd Tripp.  If you have never read, heard of, or even seen this book... please! please, check it out.  It honestly is the best (most grace filled) book on parenting, out there.

If I were to come up with a verse that captured all that I took away from this seminar.  It would be Psalm 103:1-5:   "Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.  Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits-who forgives all your sins, and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's."

: :  For me, as a mom and in parenting, there are all of these to consider.  Praise, benefits, renewed strength, "the pits", love, compassion, forgiveness, "diseases", desires, satisfaction, and at most redemption. I just need to remember to praise him with all that I am...no matter what, knowing that I need God's Word, as I parent, every single moment of every single day. This would be one of those key verses I hope to mediate on throughout this week... and beyond.

"Forgetting the benefits of God, strangles the voice of Praise."  Dave Harvey

If you want to read one blogger's perspective (quite comical) on what the easiest years in parenting are to be, read this.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday's Finds: Something different, please...

You know that ole waffle maker you've got tucked into the back of the cupboard?   It's somewhere, back there!!  Well, go ahead, pull it back out again.  It's NOT just for waffles...you know.

  I needed to come up with something different for lunch, one day. 
After all, the same old is the same old.  And so, I thought of this. 

What if I...

What if I buttered two slices of bread; spread the other side with some spagetti sauce (just one of the slices of buttered bread); added 4 thin slices of pepperoni; a sprinkle of mozzeralla cheese and put this into the waffle maker?

Do you know what?  It worked. 
Another Friday's Finds... and the kids loved it!!

Although Aubrey's face has a bit of a "what is this again?", look.  For some reason I totally missed Caleb with the picture taking... he literally gobbled his up in no time, though.
: : Any other ideas for usage with a waffle maker?  I read somewhere that you can take any muffin batter or sweet bread batter (like for pumpkin bread) and use that in the waffle maker instead of waffle batter - I have not tried that yet.  Have you?  I would love to hear how it turned out...

  WOW!  Pumpkin Bread Waffles does sound really, really good.  Maybe a Sunday night, "waffles and ice cream night" get-together is on the horizon.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Do you really see what you think you see?

Go ahead, and take another -CLOSER- look.  Aubrey is NOT impressed...look at her in the living room.

Hurry, and grab a broom!  Give it a try before this is over.  I think there is only a small window of time left for it to work.  I thought my blogging friends were just joking until I tried it for myself.  Now, if only that broom would go off and start sweeping - by itself - I would be one happy mama!

Do you think this is eery?

Eggs-actly. So do I.  Maybe this is one reason why I've been feeling so "off - kilter"...this week.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

the hope that we will...

I am not sure where I found this quote, I thought it might be from Chuck Colson's book, "To laugh again", but I'm not 100% postive.  Anyway, I have it written in the margin of my Bible.  It reads like this.

"Sometimes we laugh, sometimes we cry -
 but there is always the hope that we will laugh again."

I share that because this is the journey that I am currently finding myself on... I am just slowly plodding onward, taking my time.  I am not depressed, just pensive... and that's okay.  I think.
I love these verses in Psalm 126 - they just seemed to really encourge my heart this morning. 

"Our mouths are filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.  Then it was said among the nations, 'The Lord has done great things for them.' 

The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like streams in the Negev.

(The Negev was a desert like area in the far south side of Palastine.  At times there are seasons of rain that would leave standing pools of water and rivers of flowing water - a metaphor of God's blessings.)

Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.  He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy carrying sheaves with him."

Think about this, with me.  Carrying seed... Carrying sheaves.  Anyone familiar with harvest time knows that there is a season - A course of time- that is involved here.  And it means a TIME of waiting, reflecting, and even pensitivity...(is that even a word?)  What rich blessing- awaits!!

With  - the hope, that we will...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Help me...

You know, sometimes this blank page scares me.  It just can seem so intimidating at times.  Does anyone else ever feel this way? 

Much of my inner thoughts often go on, to question... "Am I really able to use this blog as a tool to speak into the lives of others? and I can think that, " I really don't have much to say, so how can I be of any use, or of any encouragement to people? Or more specifically, "How can I, at best, leave an impact for the Lord on here?" 

I realize that writing is not one of my first giftings - although I've tried my hand at it over the years in various ways; journaling, poetry, song writing, etc.  Yet, in my own interpretation, it never seems good enough.  I do just want to be faithful.  Faithful, because this is some place that I feel am called to to be a part of.  This is a place where I know I've found myself so encouraged by others (by and from their written word) on a daily basis and, I know I have done a small part in encouraging and in giving "back" to others - just by comments I've received from time to time.  So, thank you!  That really does mean so much, to me.

I just want to ask a few questions though...
How could I do better?  What kinds of topics do you like to read about?  Where can I get more inspiration?

Help me....
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I was reading in the Psalms this morning.  Trying to "dig deeper", to search out why it is that I've been feeling so "blah" here of late.  I was telling Scott I feel so "hollow" or empty (not just in blogging, but in everything).  I can't really put a finger on it... and, of course, in reading the Psalms... there is so much indentification going on for me - there.  I can ALWAYS relate with the words of the Psalmist.  And this morning was no different. 

I got "stuck" reading Psalm 139.  That whole chapter just really gave me a reality check.  A shift to my gaze... to say the least.

As I meditated there for a time, my eyes fell onto a verse in Psalm 138:8 which reads; (and I like the KJV, here) "The Lord will perfect all that concerneth me... (continuing on, with the NIV) it says... your love, O Lord, endures forever, do not abandon the works of your hands."

So, whatever it is that I am feeling - down deep.  He will perfect ALL THAT concerns me... He is certainly doing something.  I just am amazed that even when I don't know (or can't put a finger on it) all that is of concern to me.... He is already working to perfect that and to complete it... whatever that is... for my good.

In in a very real way - my life is like a blank page... The Author (God)... is writing out my life story.  He is SO FAITHFUL...to remind me, he will...

Help me.

Friday, November 6, 2009

What's New??

Have you visited my Etsy shop, recently?  There are a couple of new bags there (I just listed them last night) that just might strike your fancy - if not for you, maybe there is a gift you are considering for someone. 
Keep me in mind!
* * Remember, they are "one-of-a-kind"...so snatch away!!

Also, don't be afraid to go into my favorites listed there on my Etsy side bar... alot of these shops listed I have listed there are friends I know personally or is someone I've "met" through blogland.  They would appreciate a view or two, I'm sure.

  And, there is something *NEW*  I'm currently taking special, custom orders for in my shop...
You might want to check those out, as well!!

: : Have a great weekend, everyone!! 

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Crockpot Pork and Cabbage Dinner

Sometimes Sunday noon meals are the hardest for me to "put together".  Unless, I am really on ball the day before or it's leftovers (which is the easiest to do - but, oh how it goes against my grain especially for Sunday Dinner) - I really find it hard to acutally get something together.

I just remember my mom putting together such great Sunday dinners that before you even could get close to the front door, you'd smell it!  It made everyone want to pitch in and help finish setting the table (because sometimes that was started before we left for church, too), or whatever... and we would all sit down to a feast.  Sometimes, that actually included last minute company joining us. 

I've said this before... But, I want to do this Sunday Dinner meal planning and preparing - just a bit better.  I'm working on it!  That's why I dug out my crockpot for this past Sunday.  AND, oh how we smelled it walking into the house.   It always smelled SO good...

I think this recipe is a new FALL favorite Sunday Dinner dish, for us!!  Definitely a keeper.  What are some of your family favorites for Sunday Dinner?  Do you always use your crockpot for meals like this or do you like to use your timed oven feature? 

~Pork and Cabbage Dinner~

2 lbs. pork chops, steaks or shoulder
3/4 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or 2 Tbsp. dried parsley
4 cups shredded cabbage
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. caraway seeds
1/8 tsp. allspice
1/2 cup beef broth

2 cooking apples, cored and sliced 1/4" thick

Place pork into slow-cooker.  Layer onions, parsley, and cabbage over pork.  Combine salt, pepper, caraway seeds, and allspice.   Sprinkle over cabbage.  Pour broth over all.  Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours.
Add apple slices 30 minutes before serving.  Makes: 8 servings.

: : As a side dish, I served up brown-buttered potatoes and bread (I wish, homemade) was spread with butter and apple butter.  So FALL-ish, SO good!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Prayer and Praise

The leaves are falling, today...  It's beautiful!  They reminded me though of a piece I had written several years ago, which I entitled "Leafme alone, I'm changing". But after searching hard, finally finding it and reading over it again... I don't know, I'm really in debate about sharing it with you.  It needs some serious grammatical editing... which I struggle (greatly) with, anyway.  We'll see.  It could really be a blessing to someone - so, I will have to pray about it, some more.

Right now, I just want to share a few prayer and praise thoughts...

This morning, unknowingly to us, was the "graduation day" for Caleb with his Speech Therapy Sessions.  His therapist, Dana, felt that he was well enough on his way to take a break for at least 3 months and then asked for us to "check" in with her- just to see how things are going...."but, he's great!  He'll be fine.", she said.  We PRAISE God for this, blessing today!  I am so grateful...

Last week, Dana, asked me what we were doing differently and that whatever it was we were doing, "to keep it up". (Basically because she kept seeing such remarkable improvement from week to week, but particulary in last week) - I answered; "Pray!!" 

My sister, Lorene, had come over today to sit with Aubrey while Caleb and I were gone and in the course of the morning - being outside- collected these leaves.  She had them tucked into a jar, thinking I would (maybe) use them as a centerpiece or bouquet.  What a great idea!  I love it- alot.  Thanks, Reenie!
Well, instead, I decided to place them inside this old green and yellow kettle - right at my kitchen sink and window.  The reason being so that I would be reminded to think of prayer and praise
Another quick prayer request would be for my friend, M., who is about to undergo surgery - tomorrow!  Not sure what time.  She has just come through (last year) a bout with breast cancer and now is facing issue with her uterus.  Friends, this is not fun news... nor easy to understand.  But her praise for her Creator, simply exudes from her body.  She is SURE of her faith in God, she knows she is IN CHRIST ALONE... her faith is marked my a quiet trust in the midst of storm.  This is praise-worthy, and so encouraging to me.

Leaves falling... means a season of change is in the air. 
To gather them up, as a collection, like this, is just a reminder for me to embrace the changes that inevitably come, the challenges that come with those changes and that when we pray... we can rest assured that Prayer Changes Things. 

: : Let's be praying and praising today...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Our AMAZING results! {from our own Halloween Challenge}

So, what happened with the Halloween Challenge - you might be wondering?  My own post, from last week, was haunting me and deeply proposed that I that we take on our own challange.  This was  REALLY scary.  Wait, I don't mean all the puns happening here -but it seriously was the truth.  I called it "nervous, excited".

Scott had been quite busy studying (up to this point) as he was about to take a major exam on Saturday morning (something to do with computers).  I didn't really want to ask him too much - to "think" about other stuff, but this so-called challenge really had me in a state of perplexity, and with me just really wanting to "obey" this sense of duty, I was feeling in regards to our position on Halloween, I just took it up with the Lord.  Praying that if we were to really do this - then to who? and that Scott would be on board with it, when I did eventually ask him.

Sure enough!  As we were discussing the schedule & supposed plans of our day, for Saturday, we decided that we would GO for it!  We would get out there and introduce ourselves to the neighbors who live on the other side of the barn - part of Mr. A's property and other rentors.  We have lived here since May and have never met them.  That my friends, is totally terrible on our part.  Anyway. 
I don't want to say they were an "easy target" - but to play it safe and to not get to far out of the comfort zone, going to these neighbors somehow felt like the test zone - if you know what I mean. I would say it was still "heart-thumping" experience- to be completely honest.

So, early morning, Scott left for his exam and I busied myself in the kitchen making breakfast, Peanut Butter Brownies and tending to the little ones.  We also had decided that if he passed this exam (which he did, Praise God!!!) then we would also see if my mom would watch the kids for us, while we went out on a dinner date.  You can imagine it was an anxious morning.... just being left to wonder what, and how the day would unfold.

 Evening came.  We decided that since we were going out to dinner, and taking the kids to my mom's, that we would go over to our neighbors on our way out.  I had packed up a few of these brownies, as festively as I could and off we went.  It had been raining pretty heavy, all day. A damper I am sure to any halloweener - but the weather had cleared just enough for us to walk over.  We knocked on the door and waited.  You know, I must say, by now I was really feeling a peace about this... and Scott and the kids were great!

The door opens and she says "hello" with a jaw to the ground and I muster a "hey, I know you" grin and we just laugh - like, What???  I totally had forgotten her name, yet she remembered mine.  We hugged and stood there, mumbling things like... "We don't do halloween, but we just wanted to take the opportuntiy to introduce ourselves..." and it was all just getting funnier... and yet amazing.  Here, I used to work with this woman, a single mom, at our local hospital (I left there about 3 years ago).  I didn't know Betty very well, but she certainly had became a familiar, friendly face over the years - there at work.  But who knew that we were neighbors all these months - all because we hadn't met her sooner.  It was so encouraging... to find out that she is a Christian, too and that she and her son attend a local church in our area. 

Isn't God gracious?  Here, I'm getting nervous over nothing...

I just think we really blessed her - (not just with treats) but knowing that we're right around the corner and especially due to the fact that her son is home doing school while she is at work.  It was really comforting, for me as well, to know I have her as a close by neighbor, too!  We talked about that and decided it was good thing knowing we were there for that proverbial borrowing of the cup of sugar sort of thing & more!  I'm sure. 

: : I just wonder what it would have been like if it was an honest to goodness stranger, whose door we had knocked on?  Would we have come away with a smile on our faces, just the same?  Who knows, but there is always another year... right?  And, I just realized I posted on the 2nd of November, which is usually reserved for Scott's Second Sayings.  Oops!
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