Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Valentine's Love

I didn't post on Valentine's day because it was a busy day. But we had such a fun evening! My husband and I went to a dinner hosted by some dear friends for our homeschool group and our kids went to a friend's home for a game night (also one of the couple's that went to the dinner).  So everyone was taken care of and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the evening. 

At the dinner, some of the older daughters were the servers, so all of the adults could sit and visit and each course was brought out one at a time. During dinner, we took turns answering some  questions about favorite foods, best childhood memory, etc. and it was fun getting to know each other better. 

After dinner, we separated into groups of husbands and wives and filled out a questionnaire with various questions about our spouse or ourselves and then joined together in one room to randomly discuss some of the answers to see if we got them right. 

Then we took turns sharing where we honeymooned and that made for some hilarious laughter to hear some of the funny stories.

It was a special evening that we'll remember for years to come. But the best part of any outing is always coming home together and the wonderful feeling that we have each other - lovers and friends for life.  Always there for one another, keeping each other warm at night and  sharing life together. 

Hope you all had a lovely and memorable Valentines Day.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Crab Casserole for Dinner Tonight

I am venturing into new territory tonight for dinner...crab!  Or rather, imitation crab. I found out after I bought some (Trident brand at Walmart) that imitation crab meat is sort of not the best thing to eat. But I already had it and so we're going to try it. Have any of you ever eaten imitation crab before? I hope it's not too bad tasting. It is in a cheesy noodle casserole so hopefully that will disguise any off tones. 

My recipe is based on a few that I perused online and then adjusted according to what I had in the fridge tonight. Casseroles are a great, forgiving and humble family weeknight dinner. I love them, personally. So warm and comforting and good!

Crab Casserole

16 oz imitation crab (or real if your pocket book is so inclined)
2 cups cooked pasta noodles
1/2 cup cream cheese 
1/2 cup feta cheese
2 cups shredded cheddar 
2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
1 TBSP dried parsley
1 TBSP dried minced onion
1/4 tsp dried dill weed

Mix all but noodles and crab till smooth. Add the crab and noodles and mix to combine. Pour into a greased casserole dish (13x9) and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or till thick and bubbly. 

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day and my husband and I are going to a special dinner with some of our married friends for a special couples night. 

My husband, sweetest man in the world, brought me a dozen red roses tonight! I'm so blessed beyond measure to have him.

The casserole turned out very good and tasty. The only thing I would do differently is to reduce the bread crumbs to about 1 cup. And the imitation crab was okay. Not terrible, but not great. In the future, will stick to the real stuff. ;-)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

God and Creation are FACT

Did you see the Ken Ham vs. Bill Nye Debate the other day? It has been permanently archived at debatelive.org for anyone who might have missed it or wants to see it again. 

I think Ken Ham conducted himself with grace and humility as each of us as ambassadors for our Saviour should.  He spoke with kindness, respect and patience. The only thing he is incorrect in, is his young earth theory. To disbelieve the existence of a gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:3 is contrary to clear Scripture. 

This fact does not empower evolutionists, it merely states the truth. The Bible says the earth was without form, void and darkness was on the face of the deep.  I like this article on the subject. 

Back to the Debate...Bill Nye's conduct was unapologetically cheeky and even petty at times. He wasted the precious minutes of his beginning monologue with a story about his bow tie. But it was his attitude and word choices that shadowed any respect he could have rendered from his audience. I lost count of how many times he used the word "unsettling".  

The truth IS unsettling to those who choose to rebel against God.  And they will be without excuse before God. 

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. Romans 1:20

What a powerful scripture. God declares his existence and GODHEAD - that's the trinity - are clearly seen and understood

They see it, they UNDERSTAND it. Don't ever argue with an "unbeliever" because they are not unbelieving so much as they see and understand. And they are without excuse! They won't be able to stand before God. They will be cast from him into hell. 

This should alarm us all as Christians to be always ready to give an answer for the hope that lies within us. These people are without hope. That is why they are so concerned with the earth and being green. This earth IS their home and they are trying in vain to preserve it. Don't preach at them about their lifestyle. Just preach Jesus. He came to pay for their sins and purchase their pardon. When they fall in love with the Saviour, they will get saved.

One of Apple's biggest selling features is how intuitive their products are. You can operate them without even reading a manual. In the same way, finding God is intuitive because of his creation.  It is all around us and inescapable. He is a breath away. 

Whither shall I go from thy spirit?
or whiter shall I flee from thy presence?
If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there.
if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou are there.

If I take the wings of the morning, 
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Even there shall thy hand lead me,
and they right hand shall hold me.
~ Psalm 139:7

Everywhere we look, creation testifies of our Creator. Life only comes from life. This isn't an opinion, it is a plain, observable fact. 
Science is the study of what can be observed and repeated, else it is only speculation. 

Did you know that you carry around with you the biggest piece of "evidence" for your heavenly father every single day?  What is it you ask?

It is YOU!

Would anyone deny that you had a mother? That you were born from her womb? And that in order to get there you had to have a father? Your dad had a dad. That's your grandfather. And his dad had a dad. That's your great granddaddy.  And down through the generations it goes. There are NO other observable, scientific, sensible conclusions to how you got here.

Hold on here, because this gets dizzyingly simple. But it seems to have slipped everyone's attention.  If you HAD to come from your parents, then by any and all standards of proper science and logic, the human race MUST start with a Dad. That is our Father in Heaven.

The rebellious people who deny God are, in my opinion, angry at God and, in true tantrum style, they are just pretending that he doesn't exist. Which is literally like denying the existence of their earthly mother and father.  

Who would believe anyone today if they proclaimed they did not have any parents?  It's ludicrous. It's unscientific and laughable.  But this is what atheists and agnostics and buddhists and all the other God-haters say every day. It's taught in schools. It's declared frankly in Hollywood and movies and among the heathen. 

How do we know for certain that the truth of God is true?

There is a book!

Unlike any other book on earth, it contains prophecies which have been fulfilled down to the last detail. It tells us plainly that the first man was created in God's image and formed from the dust of the ground and that life - that element that athiestic man cannot account for - was literally breathed into that first man's nostrils by the Creator. No other creature on earth has what God gave to man - a soul, a spirit and a free will.

Christian sister, if you are a believer then you need to be prepared to give an answer for the hope that lies within you.  An answer necessitates a question. We should be living in such a manner that we will be questioned. Why are you so happy? How did you get through that hard time and come out the other side still in tact? So be ready for your opportunity. 

There is a book with all the answers. Read it, study it, sing it, live it, pray it and preach it, till he comes. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

99 Question Tag

Here are my answers to the 99 questions tag from Candy over at joyfulchristianhomemaking.blogspot.com.   I wonder what the 100th question was? 

1:Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed?
Our closet is a regular door and it's off the master bath so it is usually open.  If it were a sliding door in our bedroom, it would be closed.

2:Do you take the shampoos and conditioner bottles from hotel?

3:Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out?
Tucked at the foot but out on sides.

4:Have you ever stolen a street sign before?
Absolutely not. 

5:Do you like to use post-it notes?
All the time.

6:Do you cut out coupons but then never use them?
I rarely find a coupon for something I actually want or use. But I have actually cut some that I thought I'd use and then never did.

7:Would you rather be attacked by a big bear or a swarm of a bees?
Neither one, thanks. I often plan my life around avoiding places where ferocious animals and horrible insects can possibly get me! ha.

8:Do you have freckles?

9:Do you always smile for pictures?
Yes. But I never do a crazy face like so many people are doing for pictures that are all the rage now.  

10:What is your biggest pet peeve?
Probably the way so many people talk now. The imbecilic words and phrases that are made up 

11:Do you ever count your steps when you walk?
No. Why would someone even do this? 

12:Have you ever peed in the woods?
As a kid when we went camping or a road trip in the middle of nowhere.

13:What about pooped in the woods?
Probably when I was a kid camping, but can't remember any time thereafter.

14:Do you ever dance even if theres no music playing?
Hmm...don't think so.

15:Do you chew your pens and pencils?
Yuckaroony! No way.

16:How many people have you slept with this week?
Only husband. For ever and always till death do us part.

17:What size is your bed?
King size (dual air chamber bed. So awesome.)

18:What is your Song of the week?
The hymn, "And Can it Be" by Vocal Spectrum (they are great A cappella singers)

19:Is it okay for guys to wear pink?
Even though it looks nice on some, I'm not a fan. 

20:Do you still watch cartoons?
Sometimes. (Mr. Magoo, Tom & Jerry)

21:What's your least favorite movie?
Oklahoma with Shirley Jones. 

22:Where would you bury hidden treasure if you had some?
In my bank account.

23:What do you drink with dinner?
Almost always it is water or milk.  Once in a while iced tea. 

24:What do you dip a chicken nugget in?
Chick Fil A sauce.

25:What is your favorite food?
I love Chinese, Italian and German food. 

26:What movies could you watch over and over and still love?
Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House is my all time favorite. A newer fave is The Lake House.

27:Last person you kissed/kissed you?
My husband. 

28:Were you ever a boy/girl scout?
No way.

29:Would you ever strip or pose nude in a magazine?

30:When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper?
I wrote and mailed 2 thank you cards a couple weeks ago. 

31:Can you change the oil on a car?
I could if I had to but I'd probably have to watch a youtube tutorial first. :-) My awesome husband does that for me and I'm so thankful for that!

32:Ever gotten a speeding ticket?
Not in the last 20 years. I got two in my first few of years as a driver and it rattled me so much I've made sure to be an excellent driver ever since. 

33:Ever ran out of gas?
Yup, once. But at least I was right next to a gas station. I found out they sell gas cans for 3 times as much as they do in a regular store for poor wretches who run out of gas and have no choice but to buy their expensive cans. 

34:Favorite kind of sandwich?

35:Best thing to eat for breakfast?
Coffee, eggs, bacon, toast, butter, jam. Perfect. 

36:What is your usual bedtime?
In bed between 8-9pm (sometimes sooner) and asleep around 10pm.

37:Are you lazy?
It might sound pretentious, but actually, no. If I didn't have back trouble I think I'd be a blur.

38:When you were a kid, what did you dress up as for Halloween?
I only remember dressing up one time when I was 6. I was a princess. My mom made me a little white satin dress with boa feather edges and a little glittered crown.

39:What is your Chinese astrological sign?
I have no idea. 

40:How many languages can you speak?
English and some French. (Took two years in H.S. and have been learning some more with Rosetta Stone with my kids.)

41:Do you have any magazine subscriptions?
I have Better Homes and Gardens only because it was 5.99 for a whole year. They aren't worth even that. Pretty boring. I was a long time subscriber to Reminisce Magazine, my absolute favorite. But I stopped last year because they changed and I didn't think it was worth it anymore. But I've kept every issue from the years past and still enjoy reading the old ones. 

42:Which are better legos or lincoln logs?
Legos. But lincoln logs will always hold a nostalgic place in my heart. 

43:Are you stubborn?

44:Who is better...Leno or Letterman?
Neither. They're both pretty sad.

45:Ever watch soap operas?
No way. 

46:Are you afraid of heights?
Yes, and I get more so, the older I get.

47:Do you sing in the car?
All the time.

48:Do you sing in the shower?

49:Do you dance in the car?

50:Ever used a gun?
Do water pistols count? Ha. No, not a real gun, but I hope to learn soon.

51:Last time you got a portrait taken by a photographer?
Too LONG ago...2002 I think.

52:Do you think musicals are cheesy?
Some are and some aren't. 

53:Is Christmas stressful?
It can be at times.

54:Ever eat a pierogi?

55:Favorite type of fruit pie?
Apple and Blueberry. Separately.

56:Occupations you wanted to be when you were a kid?
I wanted to be a photographer and live in New York City. 

57:Do you believe in ghosts?
I believe in the Holy Ghost. Other than that, there are only holy angels and evil devils.

58:Ever have a Deja-vu feeling?
Yes and they are the strangest thing!

59:Take a vitamin daily?
Sometimes - herb capsules, essential oils, vitamin D, 

60:Wear slippers?
I have slippers, but rarely wear them because they make me feel like I'm clopping around the house like a horse. I wear socks when I'm cold and go barefoot whenever I can. 

61:Wear a bath robe?
Sometimes, but not often.

62:What do you wear to bed?
Pajamas. Nighties tangle up too much.

63:First concert?
Barry Manilow.

64:Wal-Mart, Target or Kmart?

65:Nike or Adidas?
I love Nike but my new favorite is Columbia. Best athletic shoe I've ever worn!

66:Cheetos Or Fritos?
I grew up eating Cheetos and Fritos and can't stand either one now.

67:Peanuts or Sunflower seeds?

68:Ever hear of the group Tres Bien?

69:Ever take dance lessons?

70:Is there a profession you picture your future spouse doing?

71:Can you curl your tongue?
Of course.

72:Ever won a spelling bee?
No, but I probably could've. I'm a good speller.

73:Have you ever cried because you were so happy?
It's one of my favorite things to do.

74:Own any record albums?
Not anymore. 

75:Own a record player?
Nope. Don't need a player when I don't have any records. 

76:Regularly burn incense?

77:Ever been in love?
Absolutely. My husband is the love of my life.

78:Who would you like to see in concert?
I'd love to see Andrea Bocelli.

79:What was the last concert you saw?
The Nutcracker Ballet.

80:Hot tea or cold tea?
I like both. Hot would be my fave.

81:Tea or coffee?
I like both but coffee rules.

82:Sugar or snickerdoodles?

83:Can you swim well?
I swim okay.

84:Can you hold your breath without holding your nose?
Oh sure. Growing up we had an in ground pool in the back yard and I got lots of practice at that. 

85:Are you patient?
I try to be. 

86:DJ or band, at a wedding?
Big band music, Glen Miller style.

87:Ever won a contest?
I don't think so but my kids all have.

88:Ever have plastic surgery?
No way. But I wouldn't mind a tummy tuck!

89:Which are better black or green olives?
Green are so delicious. But I like black, too. And Kalamata. Yum...this quiz is making me hungry!

90:Can you knit or crochet?
I taught myself both but I only remember how to knit. 

91:Best room for a fireplace?
Family room and master bedroom.

92:Do you want to get married?
I am already married to my sweetheart.

93:If married, how long have you been married? 
We've been married for 19 years this year and it is amazing how love grows deeper as the years go by.

94:Who was your HS crush?
A guy name Eric (looked just like Barry Manilow you know). Then Ken. 

95:Do you cry and throw a fit until you get your own way?
Of course not. What adult does that besides Lucy Ricardo?

96:Do you have kids?

97:Do you want kids?
Of course.

98:Whats your favorite color?

99:Do you miss anyone right now?

Tag...you're it!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Making Home

Your home, no matter how big or small, should be the best it can be. The neatest it can be. The prettiest it can be. Within your budget and means, your home should reflect that there is a woman there who loves and cares for her family. I believe that women have been so very blessed to have this task. 

Over the years, our homes have varied from little to much.  The "much" has come and gone with a few of our big cross country moves.  And so, it seems my life is always changing.  Since I've been married, we have lived in three different states and five different homes - two owned and three rented.  With each one, I have tried to make our home a cozy and comfortable retreat for my family.  

Along the way I've had great opportunities for experience in  decorating different house layouts and rooms.  Curtains have become an important part of my decor. I like the way they can add color and instantly "warm up" a room. I have a big box of curtains and window treatments that only worked in one home and not the other.  But I hold on to them because if they don't work in our current home, they might work in the next house.

I really enjoyed decorating our home for the holidays this year.  We bought a white tree for our front living room so that we could have a soft glow of twinkle lights while we were in there playing games, reading or entertaining.  

We all have some area of talent that we can use to make our homes a comforting haven. It doesn't matter if you're the brightest crayon in the box or not.  We can all do something creative to make our home a personal little oasis to grow and nurture our families in.

Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.  Proverbs 14:1

What Does a Home and Bread Have in Common?

You can have flour, water and yeast and still not have bread. Bread must be made.  I think it's similar with a house.  You can have walls, furniture and stuff, and still not have a home.  Homes are made.  Probably why it's called homemaking and not housemaking.

A home is in a category all its own. It's a refuge. A little kingdom all our own where we make the laws, set the rules, create the mood and manage the routines.  

Here's a thought to keep you busy: when our children grow up, what will they say about their home? What will they remember of their childhood in it? Was it happy?  Were mama and daddy in love?  Something to think about every day to help us renew our minds to that of Christ Jesus. 

"What's a House Without a Woman in it?" 
 - The Quiet Man

I believe a woman is that je ne sais quoi that makes a house into a home.  So many women were fed the feminist lie and went on to  spawn a generation of veritable orphans.  Many of the disillusioned victims of that poison are now longing to return home and have found themselves in the lonely position of "reinventing the wheel". 
 It's like they are starting from scratch.  

When our grandmothers embarked on marriage and homemaking they took with them a wealth of information. But many women today have entered into adulthood completely void of some of the most basic domestic skills. 

Some of these ladies have bravely sought to learn on their own, earning my sincere respect. They are like modern day pioneers embarking on a frontier of which they know little to nothing about.  But like migrating birds, they have been driven back to something real. Something worthwhile and lasting. Homemaking. 

I am on a journey to make my home.  

Make it lovely. 

Make it functional.

Make it productive. 

Make it loving.  

and always keep the make in my homemaking.  

I am the one that makes it homey.  It's sometimes exhausting. It's sometimes monotonous. It's frequently thankless. But it's always worth it.  

Finding something that I enjoy doing just for me and keeping myself refreshed now and then is a necessity.  I rarely "find" the time for taking care of myself.  So I make the time.  

Burned out, used up moms are grumpy moms. They make nobody happy. Don't wait around for someone else to fill the oil in your lamp.  A hot bath, a cup of hot coffee or tea, a walk, doing a crossword puzzle - any of these things refreshes me. I read the Word of God and meditate on it throughout the day. (Meditating is the exact opposite of worrying.)

What about function in the home? A functional home is a comfortable home. Like a well oiled machine. If we find that we're too busy to keep our homes functioning (and somewhat lovely) then we're simply booking ourselves too tight.  

This can be remedied by simply taking a good look at your priorities and rearranging them in order to care for what needs to come first. Because something is getting in the way. 

Writing down whatever is most pressing usually shows you where your problem lies and what you need to change first. (Don't forget your husband in that list!)

And remember that different seasons of life will have different priorities.  Our job is to manage our homes best for the season we're in. It will look different in every home depending on many factors. Your husband's profession, the ages and number of children you have, what kind of family situation you're in, the status of health, finances, what kind of climate or city you live in.  

All the factors that can influence how YOU make YOUR home.  It doesn't hurt to browse how other wives manage their homemaking.  Just make sure you are looking for ideas and inspiration and never succumb to coveting what others have that you don't or can't.

As children become increasingly independent, priorities naturally shift. For instance, babies take constant care.  But when that baby is 16 years old they are nearly self sufficient.  (Nearly. ha. :) As the ages and skill levels of our children continue to change, we mothers must constantly adjust our sails to those winds.  That's a lot of exercise, so we must be flexible! 

It takes work to make a home. I read somewhere that it takes an estimated $100,000 to replace the work of a woman at home. And I believe it!  :) She's a teacher, chef, counselor, party planner, chauffeur, interior designer, wardrobe consultant, friend, library lady, stain removing specialist, nurse, drama coach, field trip guide, WIFE and MOTHER.  If that's you, take a bow. :)

My family is a unit and - truly.  I couldn't do all that gets done around here by myself.  Of course if it was just me, there wouldn't BE that much work.  The more kids you have, the more work they should be doing to help pull their own weight.  

I know some women that do much more than I can and some who do a little less.  It takes time to find the right balance for you. 

My husband and sons helps with all the manly work like taking out the trash, lawn work, repairs, etc. My sons also help with keeping their bedroom and bathroom clean and sometimes help with housework like floors, dishes and laundry.  

I take care of the general order, organizing, decorating, meals, shopping, laundry and cleaning. I delegate tasks when I feel overloaded and my family is a tremendous help to me when I am exhausted or feeling under the weather. We're a team!   

Along with making my home comfortable for my own family, I try to make it comfy for guests and friends.  Although the white sofas seem to put some of them off as though it were fancy. It's not! Just comfy. :)

Earth is our temporary home for sure. But while I'm here I want to use what God has so graciously given me to serve others.  You don't have to be financially affluent to make your home functional  and welcoming. You only need a little ingenuity and a willingness to serve. 

For inspiration, the local library has lots of books on homemaking, canning, organizing and cooking and even decorating. There are many ways we can make our homes all they can be.  Let's make the most of the ones we have today. :-)

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Superbowl Today!

We're going to a Superbowl potluck party at our good friend's house. I am still thinking of what side dish I'm going to bring. Probably a veggie tray and a plate of Jalepeno poppers. (Peppers stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped in bacon. Yummo.)

Hope you all have a great day! 

I am so excited to watch my two home teams square off!  

Go Broncos!! 

How to Get Rid of Anxiety

Have you noticed how much we're hearing about anxiety lately?  Soooo many people are expressing their battle with anxiety. I do not want...