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Friday, January 30, 2009

Who is supposed to serve?


I received this email yesterday from Nancy Leigh DeMoss. How I appreciate her ministry!!

Who is supposed to serve?

In the past couple of decades, there’s been a movement challenging men to love and serve their wives. Every woman I know is very encouraged when we see God turning men’s hearts toward the Lord and their families.

We need to remember that God didn’t make men to be helpers to their wives. God made the wife to be a helper to her husband. In today’s evangelical world, it’s “politically correct” to challenge men to go home and serve their wives. It’s not so popular to talk to women about their responsibility to serve their husbands.

If we as women focus on what we think we deserve—what men “ought” to do for us—we’re likely to get hurt and resentful when our expectations aren’t fulfilled.

If your husband’s learning to serve you, that’s great. But remember, you’re never more like Jesus than when you’re serving other people.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

How to get Fireproof the movie for FREE!!!

Hey y'all!!
I just got this email from Vision Forum and wanted to share it with you!!


Would you like to receive Fireproof the movie for Free?

There's just a couple of days left in the New Year's Clearance Sale, and everything in the store is still 25-50% off.

But the deal just got BETTER because between now and January 31, every order of $100 or more will include a free copy of the hit movie, Fireproof!
This incredible new movie by the producers of Facing the Giants, staring Kurt Cameron, was the number one grossing independent film of 2008!

Fireproof is now available on DVD and ONLY Vision Forum is offering it for FREE. That's a deal worth sharing with your family, friends and readers.





(Our family is an affiliate with Vision Forum and any order placed with them through my blog will help us earn a small sum!! Any money we make goes straight into our "Next Adoption" account!!)

Monday, January 26, 2009

How is your cursive handwriting?

I read an interesting article yesterday about cursive handwriting. It stated that cursive is a dying art. Apparently, children are still being taught cursive in public school, but it isn't expected of them to write in cursive after fourth grade. Many children, by the time they are in high school, prefer to write in print because it is faster and many students actually said they had FORGOTTEN how to write in cursive!!!

So how is YOUR cursive handwriting? How often do you write in cursive? Challenge yourself this week to write in cursive each time you need to write something! It may not be prettiest when you first start, but practice will definitely improve your handwriting!!!

Anyone up for the challenge?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Coconut Cream Pie...


A reader of this blog emailed me yesterday with photos of her yummy looking Coconut Cream Pie!! She did celebrate National Pie Day in her home, but she wanted to share with us in the blogging world, too. Since she doesn't have a blog (yet!!), she sent the photos, too. YUM!!! And I especially love how she made little individual pies for everyone!!!

Coconut Cream Pie

1 (9 inch) pie shell, baked
1 (5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups flaked coconut
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

-In a large bowl, combine the pudding mix and milk until the pudding mixture thickens. Fold 1 cup of coconut and half of the nondairy whipped topping into the pudding. Pour the combination into the prepared pie crust.

-Spread the remainder of the nondairy whipped topping on top of the pie. Sprinkle with the remainder of the coconut. Refrigerate, and serve chilled.



A note from Ellen...

As you can see I opted out of the toasted coconut topping....I ran out of time! I also added a smidge of coconut flavoring since I love coconut!!

Happy National Pie Day!
Ellen

Friday, January 23, 2009

National Pie Day is TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy National Pie Day!!!


Today, to celebrate National Pie Day, I have made Sour Cream Apple Pie Deluxe. Would you care for a piece?


Of course, Elizabeth was my helper during the whole process. When I asked what kind of pie she would like to make, the only thing she could say was "Apple pie, Momma!!!!" So, apple pie it is, except with a little twist.


(Yes, those are her pajamas. We made the pie before breakfast.)

Here's the recipe I used...

Sour Cream Apple Pie Deluxe

For the filling:
1 unbaked 9 inch pie crust
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
2 cups diced apples (I used 4 cups. Hey, I love apples!)

For the topping:
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup chilled butter, diced

DIRECTIONS
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Press the pie crust into and up the sides of a 9 inch pie plate.

- In a medium bowl, stir together 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons of flour, and salt. Mix in the sour cream, egg and vanilla until smooth. Add apples, and stir to coat. Scrape the mixture into the pie shell.

- Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and continue baking for 30 minutes more.

- While the pie is baking, prepare the topping in a medium bowl. Stir together 1/3 cup of flour, 1/3 cup sugar, and cinnamon. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.

- After the 30 minute bake time has passed, cover the top of the pie with the crumb topping, and continue to bake for 15 minutes, or until topping is lightly browned and apples are tender. Allow the pie to cool, then refrigerate until chilled before serving.



I hope some of y'all will join in the celebration today and make a pie for your family!! Pies can be savory (think quiche!!), so you don't have to make only a sweet dessert type pie for your family. And please do NOT think that you have to make homemade pie crust!! OH DEAR NO!! You can easily buy a premade pie shell from the grocery store (frozen food section) and still bless your family with a pie!!

And if you have made a pie and posted about it on your blog today, PLEASE sign up here so that we can all come and enjoy a piece of your pie with you!!

I hope everyone has a wonderful National Pie Day!!!





Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pie...

Note to all of y'all participating in the celebration of National Pie Day... :) Be sure and come back here on Friday and I'll have Mr. Linky up to help us celebrate!!!


Ahhh..... the thought of National Pie Day this Friday sure does make my mouth water!! Just think of all the homes across America that will be baking pies to celebrate!!!

Actually, I wonder how many people actually KNOW about this great day??

Anyway, I would LOVE to hear about your favorite pie crust recipes!! I must admit, I have this secret fear of making pie dough. And then add to that the fact that Mr. U has never met a homemade pie crust that he likes.... gracious... I've got some steep mountains to climb!!!

For this Friday, I've decided to try my hand at Pioneer Woman's Perfect Pie Crust recipe. It looks easy enough, but will Mr. U like it????

So if y'all have time, would you mind sharing your pie crust recipes? And if you have any secrets to making a great crust OR directions on how to actually make those pretty edges, PLEASE SHARE!!!!


(Photo from Batter Splattered- check it out!! Some mouth watering recieps!!!)

Friday, January 16, 2009

I can knit!



Okay, so I haven't gotten very far AND it is not very good at all, but hey, it's a start, right? Since this is so thin and I would LOVE for it to actually become something, I suppose it'll be a scarf. Of course, by the time I finish (this takes much longer than crochet!!!) it'll be 2010!!! HA!!!

I'd LOVE to see any projects y'all are working on! Please share what you are currently creating in your home!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Prac­tic­ing Hos­pi­tal­ity: The Joy of Serv­ing Others



A giveaway!

Y'all be sure and head over to Passionate Homemaking BEFORE Friday and register to win the book Prac­tic­ing Hos­pi­tal­ity: The Joy of Serv­ing Others.

I was blessed to be able to listen to Mrs. Ennis on Revive Our Hearts last year and I am sure this will be a FANTASTIC book!! Ooh! I hope I win! :)

National Pie Day - January 23, 2009...




Oh y'all! My sister just sent an email to me informing me that next Friday, January 23, is National Pie Day!!!!!! Here are some ideas about celebrating this special day!

Eat pie. Whether you make it yourself, buy it at a supermarket or bakery or order it at a restaurant, eat some pie on National Pie Day. Pie is great with lunch or dinner or as a late-night snack.

Make pie. Bake your favorite homemade pie on National Pie Day.

Share pie. If you make or buy a pie, share it. By its very nature, pie is meant to be eaten with others. Have a pie potluck get-together.

more...

Let's all bake a pie and blog about it next Friday! What fun! Anyone else with me?

Now... how to narrow it down to only ONE pie to bake for that day... hmmmm....

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My beloved water...




That, folks, is a picture of my beloved water in our kitchen sink. Why is it so special to me? We have been on well water and we have, by far, the, BEST tasting water in the world! No joke!!

Just now, however, the workmen came and hooked us up to "city" water. SO SAD! I didn't even know they were going to do it today. I didn't even get one last glass of the gloriously clean and cold well water!!

If any of y'all have ever had to switch from well water to city water, you are aware of the difference in taste. I do not look forward to the adjustment.

And for any of y'all that have never had well water, no we do NOT go out to a well and pull it up by the bucketful! HA!

In the cleaning mood???




It seems like a lot of us are in the cleaning mood lately!! I just read over at Heather's blog, A Place of Quiet Rest, some wonderful recipes for homemade cleaning products!! So if you are in need of cleaning supplies, head on over there, make the cleaner of your choice and get to cleaning your home!!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook... January 12th, 2009...


FOR TODAY- Monday, January 12, 2009...

Outside my window... the sun is slowly starting to come up. In the back of the house, I can see the slight sunrise. In the front of the house, I can still see the full moon, round and shiny.

I am thinking... what a busy day I have today! I am taking Elizabeth to meet one of her friends (and her mommy) so they can play and then have lunch together.

I am thankful for... electric blankets!! Last night was chillier than it has been lately and I was SO happy to get into my warm bed!!

From the kitchen... Tonight we are having a ladies fellowship at church. The theme is "Comfort food" and I am taking meatloaf and pop tarts! HAHA! Yep, pop tarts! (I'll have to blog about pop tarts another day!)

I am wearing... a tan skirt, brown knit shirt and brown ballet type shoes.

I am creating... a huge mess of jumbled up yarn that is SUPPOSED to be knitting!! This doesn't come as naturally to me as it apparently does to some of y'all!! OH MY!!!

I am going... to run errands this morning and to meet Elizabeth's friend and her mother.

I am reading... Tea With Jane Austen LOVE IT!!!

I am hoping... that Elizabeth gets over her icky sinus stuff soon!

I am hearing... nothing. Everyone else is still asleep on this chilly morning. The only thing I hear is the gentle hum of the heater and the clicking of the keys on the computer.

Around the house... Today will be laundry after we get back home from lunch and errands.

One of my favorite things... affiliate programs!! Vision Forum just mailed out our first check for being in their affiliate program!! We are currently saving up for our next adoption and this will go into our adoption savings account!!!!(See the top of my right side bar for Vision Forum.)

A few plans for the rest of the week: just regular things this week- cleaning, laundry, groceries, cooking. BUT... my sweet friend and her new husband are supposed to be coming over Friday night! I am SO excited!!!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...


(Yes, I know this is an out of season photo, but this is the best photo I have of Elizabeth and her friend, Mason-Kate, that we're having lunch with today.)

You can enjoy more Simple Woman's Daybook at Peggy's blog. Have a blessed day, y'all!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Roasted tomatoes with basil...



These roasted tomatoes were tasty beyond belief!! I promise you, I could have eaten the entire pan of them all by myself!!!


Roasted Tomatoes

12 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, cores and seeds removed
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
10 large fresh basil leaves, julienned

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Arrange the tomatoes on a sheet pan, cut sides up, in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle the garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until the tomatoes start to carmelize adn the flavors are concentrated. Sprinkle basil on top and serve warm or at room temperature.

Thank you Ina Garten for a fabulous recipe!!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Let's get vacuuming!!!

You know, normally I like to share pretty pictures on my blog. Lovely photos that remind us of lovely things. But not today. Today I share these...





Why do I share these horrid photos? Because y'all, these are dust mites. And when you find dust in your home, THESE LITTLE CREATURES ARE THERE, TOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yesterday, Mr. U and Joshua moved our INCREDIBLY HEAVY bed so that I could vacuum underneath. I can not tell you the last time that I vacuumed under there because, well, uh, um, I, uh, do I have to admit that here? I, uh, sighhhhhhhhhhhh, I have never vacuumed under there.

Oh dear.

I said it.

Anyone still here?

Yes, I am ashamed to admit it, but it's true. I am NOT the best homekeeper, but I am learning y'all. :)

Let me make it clear, however, that I DO vacuum in the bedroom- twice a week, in fact. I just don't move the very heavy furniture. I move furniture in other areas of the house that is easy for me to move, but our bedroom has been overlooked by me.

Anyway, there was quite a bit of dust under there and the thought of those dust mites MADE MY SKIN CRAWL!!!!!!!!!!!! So, I want to issue a challenge to everyone, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE move each piece of furniture in your home and vacuum underneath all of them within the next month. What do you think? Can you do that? Most of y'all probably move all of your funiture monthly, but there are probably a few who, like me, have very heavy furniture in spots and those particular spots have been long forgotten by the vacuum cleaner.

Anyone with me on this?

Let's get those nasty dust mites OUT OF OUR HOMES!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Salad with Apple and Red Onion...


Okay, I'll admit it. I sometimes feed my family frozen pizza. Sigh. Surely I'm not the only one?

Well, at least I did give them a yummy salad to go along with it, right? Doesn't that count for something? HA!!!


Salad with Apple and Red Onion

1 head of lettuce of choice (we prefer romaine)
2 small apples of your choice, quartered, cored, and sliced
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon honey
Coarse salt and black pepper

Place lettuce, apple, and onion in a salad bowl. Place oil, vinegar, mustard and honey in a small plastic container and fit lid on container. Shake dressing to combine, 1 minute. Pour dressing over salad, toss, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Back into a normal routine...



Now that the Christmas holidays and New Year are over, it's time to get back into a normal routine around here. I'm sure many of y'all feel the same way, too. All the decorations are being put to rest for another year and the home is getting back into its "non-Christmas" look.

While I LOVE having those sweet little white lights on the tree, I also love having a neat and tidy home MINUS the pine needles (yes, a major negative in having a real Christmas tree).

So, today will be back to my regular cleaning routine for Monday- washing Mr. U's and my clothes and cleaning our bathroom. I also found today that our back porch is in dire need of a thorough sweeping! We've had a good bit of rain the past few days and it shows!!! :)

I love special holidays, but I also love the joy that comes from the simplicity of the "same old same old" of everyday living.

Blessings to each of you as you serve your family this year!!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!!! Let's get our hearts right FIRST thing!!!

Happy New Year!!

Before you begin all your new commitments or resolutions, how is your heart? How is your First Love? How is your relationship with the Lord?

Please read the following from Revive Our Hearts and ask the Lord to show you anything in your life that is not pleasing to Him. I can think of nothing better than to start a new year with a fresh relationship with the Lord of all Creation!!!

40 Evidences That You May Have Left Your First Love

1. You can go hours or days without having more than a passing thought of Him.
2. You don’t have a strong desire to spend time with Him.
3. You don’t have a strong hunger for the Word; Bible reading is a “chore” – something to mark off your “to do” list.
4. Spending time in prayer is a burden/duty rather than a delight.
5. Your worship is formal, dry, lifeless, merely going through the motions.
6. Private prayer and worship are almost non-existent . . . cold and dry.
7. You are more concerned about physical health, well-being, and comfort than about the wellbeing and condition of your soul.
8. You crave physical food, while having little appetite for spiritual food.
9. You crave human companionship more than a relationship with Christ.
10. You spend more time and effort on your physical appearance than on cultivating inner spiritual beauty to please Christ.
11. Your heart toward Christ is cold and indifferent; not tender as it once was, not easily moved by the Word, talk of spiritual things, etc.
12. Christianity is more of a checklist than a relationship with Christ.
13. You measure spirituality (yours/others’) by performance rather than the condition of the heart.
14. Christianity is defined more what by what you “do” than who you “are” (“doing” vs. “being”).
15. Your obedience and service are motivated and fueled by expectations of others or a desire to impress others, more than by passion for Christ.
16. You are more concerned about what others think and pleasing them, than about what God knows and pleasing Christ.
17. Your service for Christ and others is motivated by a sense of duty or obligation.
18. You find yourself becoming resentful over the hardships and demands of serving Christ and others.
19. You can talk with others about kids, marriage, weather, and the news, but struggle to talk about the Lord and spiritual matters.
20. You have a hard time coming up with something fresh to share in a testimony service at church or when someone asks, “What’s God been doing in your life?”
21. You are formal, rigid, and up-tight about spiritual things, rather than joyful and winsome.
22. You are critical or harsh toward those who are doctrinally off-base or living in sin.
23. You enjoy secular songs, movies, and books more than songs or reading material that point you to Christ.
24. You prefer the company of people who don’t love Christ, to the company and fellowship of those who do.
25. You are more interested in recreation, entertainment, and having “fun” than in cultivating intimacy with Christ through worship, prayer, the Word, and Christian fellowship.
26. You display attitudes or are involved in activities that you know are contrary to Scripture, but you continue in them anyway.
27. You justify “small” areas of disobedience or compromise.
28. You have been drawn back into sin habits that you put off when you were a young believer.
29. “Little” things that used to disturb your conscience, no longer do.
30. You are slow to respond to conviction over sin – or you ignore it altogether.
31. You enjoy certain sins and want to hang onto them. You are unwilling to give them up for Christ.
32. You are not grieved by sin – it’s no big deal to you.
33. You are consistently allured by certain sins.
34. You are self-righteous--more concerned about sin in others’ lives than in your own.
35. You are more concerned about having the right position than the right disposition.
36. You tend to hold tightly to money and things, rather than being quick to give to meet the needs of others.
37. You rarely give sacrificially to the Lord’s work.
38. You rarely have a desire or burden to give, when you hear of legitimate financial needs within the Body, your church, or a ministry.
39. Accumulating and maintaining material “things” consumes more time and effort on your part than seeking after and cultivating spiritual riches.
40. You have broken relationships with other believers that you are unwilling or have not attempted to reconcile.

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