Monday, November 30, 2009

well...

...the answer is "yes. I remember how to thread the bobbin." I remember how to sew, even. However, the muse has left the building. So...um...no sewing going on around these parts. Nope. Not a stitch. I may just give up on the fabric stuff...move forward on the fence board snowmen...and call it a boutique. I'm just too distracted. Too overwhelmed. Too...too.

slow and steady wins the race.

  • Fabric is being pre-washed.
  • Dishes are done.
  • Beds are made.
  • Shower is taken.
  • Do I remember how to thread the bobbin?
  • Yikes.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday night.

That was a long week of vacation. Not long in a bad way...just...long. Lots going on around here...but I am so tired. This calls for bullet-points.
  • The boys are back to school tomorrow.
  • Chris and I are going to be completely moved out of the old shop by Tuesday.
  • Then the work begins organizing the NEW shop. Oy.
  • The craft boutique is this Friday and Saturday. I'm not even close to being ready.
  • For some reason, Christmas music isn't pushing me over the edge this year.
  • Family decided to just focus on the kids for Christmas. This is a HUGE relief.
  • Winter garden is not doing so hot. Only the peas sprouted...and aren't really growing. I think I missed my winter planting window.
  • We had frozen corn dogs for dinner. Yep.
  • Chickens are averaging two eggs a day even in the cold weather.

That's all I got. More tomorrow...when I'm coherent!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

photo challenge: environmentals

I don't know if animals are included...but since Reggie is part of our family...I included him!
As with many dogs...here he is, doing what he does best...napping!

Next is my husband. This is not the environment where he spends most of his time.

But it IS the environment where he is most himself...Yosemite.

My oldest son...Seth.

This photo encompasses many things that are important to him in life...bass, baseball, long-boarding. This photo is "him".

And Ian...his hands.
Always busy, always tinkering, always building and engineering.

Last but not least...me. My chair. And a pile of books and magazines borrowed from the library. The pile includes a little bit of everything I love...sewing, crafting, gardening, decorating, cooking, simplifying, sustaining, preserving. It's all there in that little pile.
What you can't see just to the right is my bible study pile...my bible, a devotional, my prayer journal...it's all there...right by my chair. One of my favorite spots in our home.

This was another fun photo project...thanks to Carolyn at rosenotes for hosting this challenge! Click here to see who else played along!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Today is my favorite day of the year. I love Thanksgiving. I love the food. The family. There are no expectations. No financial pressures. Just family and love and goodness.
I pray that each of you has a blessed Thanksgiving...xo

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wednesday in the Word.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Be joyful always; pray continually;
give thanks in all circumstances,
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
Today is a new day. A chance for a fresh start. The sun is shining and the air is crisp. My heater works and my kids are safe and sound in their beds (after a lock-in at church last night...they got NO SLEEP!) snoring away. I have amazing family that loves me...and shows it. (Thank you, Aunt Lisa and Matt...your help yesterday was a blessing!)
My devotion this morning talked about giving thanks to God throughout the day. That if we are busy thanking God all day...in all circumstances...then our thoughts are focused on gratitude and not the trials. It makes sense...now let's see if I can apply it.
Lord, I pray you help me keep my mind focused on You and not the troubles. Thank you for caring for me...for providing for me...for loving me...for having my best interest at heart always.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

so many things...

Suddenly this week is filled with so many things. Suddenly, situations are dire. And rushed. We are moving our business...our shop...across the parking lot from our current shop...and we need to be done by the first of December. We are currently in a 4500 sq. ft. shop. We are moving into a 1400 sq. ft. shop. Downsizing. The economy. Need I say more?
In the meantime...things are unsettling. Business somehow has to carry on...you know, needing an income and all. So our employee is continuing to work at the old shop as Chris and the boys (and me, today and tomorrow) are running back and forth across the parking lot...or driving back and forth on the forklift...shifting our lives. And our livelihood. Kind of scary. And hectic. And if I wasn't already saturated in the anxiety department...this would surely fill me right up.
Overwhelming. To say the least. And thinking of it all makes me sick to my stomach.
And all of this in the midst of a time that I'm supposed to be being thankful. All of this during the Thanksgiving week.
I'm torn. I'm focused on my SELF and my situation. I'm seeing things through a hazy filter of fear...and frustration. My glass is definitely half-empty.
Then I am reminded of God's word...bits of scripture that pop into my head at just the right time. Be anxious for nothing...in all things give thanks to God...present your requests to Him and He will give you the desires of your heart.
I don't know all of the addresses of these scriptures in the bible. I couldn't tell you where to turn to find them. I'd have to look in my concordance, just like you. The incredible part is that at this point...in this moment, as I am fearful and frustrated and tired, I don't have to know where they are. GOD knows where they are...and as I rattle them off in my heart, He knows what I am talking about. He knows my heart-cry. He knows that I am pulling up little bits and pieces of scripture that I've read along the way...little nuggets of truth and hope. Some of them I've read only once. Some of them...every three months. The amazing part is that I can rattle them off because they are stored in my heart. God's Word, there for me when I need encouragement. When I need hope. When I need HIM. Tucked away...safe and sound...for me. For such a time as this.
The words continue to come...don't worry about tomorrow...today has enough troubles of its own. I will never leave you nor forsake you. You are crushed...perplexed...persecuted...but NOT abandoned.
He shows up at just the right time. We may think He's late. Because we're impatient. But he's not. He's never late. God is always right on time. His time. And His ways are perfect.
So many things...crushing me on every side. Closing in on me. Making it hard to breathe. Then I hear...He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. I know that address...Psalm 18. One of my favorite scriptures. In my bible I have it highlighted and dated and noted and scribbled and sticky noted and dog-eared. And next to this scripture, verse 19, where it says He brought me out into a spacious place, I wrote, "So I could breathe."
What would I do without God? I don't even want to imagine. He IS the way and the truth and the life. He IS the Alpha and Omega. He IS everything...the Creator of all things. And yet...in all of that, He's still that still, small voice inside my heart. Who am I that you are mindful of me? There are no words...
Life is crazy. Yes. It is. But God is good. All the time. And when I get over myself I realize that I have so much to be thankful for. SO much. My kids...my husband...family...my cozy home...central heat...coffee...health....kindred spirits...a car that runs...reading glasses...food in the cupboard...clean water...hot water...friends...sisters in Christ...the list goes on...and on.
In the midst of the storm...I am thankful. God is for me...and His love endures forever. And I am grateful...

Monday, November 23, 2009

untitled.

Monday morning.
Start anew.
It's a beautiful morning. I don't have to work until 1. I think I'll grab my camera and take pictures for a while.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Color Quilt...a little late.

A photography challenge...hosted by Camilla over at bloom...and due yesterday. But...better late than never? I hope? I realized I need to broaden my horizons in the color department!
Thanks, Camilla...can't wait to see what Carolyn has in store...

Friday, November 20, 2009

thank you.

I just want to say thank you to my sweet friends. You are all so nice...and supportive...and encouraging...
You make me laugh...cry...and laugh some more. I learn something from each of you every day...who knew this blog world could become something so dear? I didn't.
So...thank you. You make my days brighter...and the rough patches a little smoother. xo
And Dave, I know you're Linda...or...um...wait...Linda, I know you're Dave...right? Wait. Oh dear...
Just kidding...I know it's you. And I'm so blessed that you stop by...kindred, indeed. xoxo

Life's rough.

Going through a rough patch. Not a lot to say. At least not anything interesting...or nice. The stresses of life are getting to me...heavy. I've been trying to keep my head up. Trying to stay positive. And strong. Trying. Trying. Trying.
Last night...it all hit me. And it wasn't pretty. Then God gave me this...
2 Corinthians 4:6-9
6For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wednesday in the Word

Psalm 22:22
I will declare your name to my brothers;
in the congregation I will praise you.

As we say at my church, "God is good, all the time." And I will praise Him...all the time. I will praise Him in the good times..and in the bad. I will praise Him in times of feasting...and in times of famine. I will praise Him...even when I can't find my voice. I will praise Him, because He is good...and good to me. He has my best interest at heart. His ways are perfect...and when I follow them, follow His will for me, my ways are perfected. Not perfect. This will never be anything I could understand as long as I am here on this earth. But walking with God means that as I go, I am being "perfected". Made in His image. Becoming more and more Christ-like as I walk beside Him...listen to His still small voice...answer to His call. And when I have the opportunity, I WILL declare your name...and I WILL praise You. For you are GOOD, and Your love endures FOREVER.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What IS a persimmon, anyway?

I've been talking about persimmons lately...and several of you have commented and asked, "What IS a persimmon? What does it taste like?" So...I decided to do a "persimmon tutorial". (Am I the only one that thinks this is funny? I'm so weird.)

So, this is a persimmon. A fuyu persimmon to be exact. Isn't it beautiful? The color is amazing.

They grow on trees, like an apple. Ripen in the fall. And have the texture, in my opinion, of a firm cantaloupe. But maybe with a little extra slipperiness and then a bit of a crunch in the middle. Hard to explain. They're different...that's for sure.

The first thing you do is choose a ripe persimmon. It will be firm to the touch with a bit of give in the flesh. First step is to core the persimmon.


Then set the core aside for the chickens or the compost pile.

Then cut each half into four pieces.


Next, run your paring knife along the skin to remove it from the flesh. Set the skins aside for the chickens or the compost, too.
This is good stuff, you don't want it to go to waste!

Once all of your slices are peeled cut the persimmon into bite size chunks and place them in a bowl.
Drizzle them with honey.
Then finish off with a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
And then? Eat, of course!

I have to admit, I had never eaten a persimmon until a few years ago. I was helping my Noni at the time a couple of days a week. I'd go over in the morning, usually right around the time Papa was making her breakfast. She had a persimmon tree in her backyard and would eat them fresh, with a squeeze of lime, with her breakfast right around this time of year. She couldn't believe I'd never had one! She insisted that I slice one up, add a little lime (the honey is my own addition) and give it a try. So I did. And I couldn't believe how tasty it was! I was sold instantly.

Mom just brought over a bag full of persimmons from Noni's tree yesterday. Noni would be glad that they're going to be enjoyed. I wish she were here to share one with me. Isn't it funny the things that make us think of loved ones?

Persimmons are different...but that's one of the things I like about them. Not to mention, they are full of healthy goodness. Persimmons contain twice as much fiber as apples and help to keep your heart healthy. Persimmons also contain antioxidants and are good source of sodium, potassium, magnesium, manganese and iron. (There's that iron thing again. Which has been much better since I've been eating oatmeal every morning. Who knew?)

Anyway, if you have a chance to try a persimmon, I would recommend it. They can be made into bread and added to salads, too, so I read. But I like them fresh...and lime-y. And the bonus? They're good and good for you.

Leftovers...in cognito.

Along with my rosemary potatoes the other night, I grilled some chicken breasts using my stove top grill pan. They came out so good...tender, juicy and flavorful. I'm giving credit to the grill pan...and making chicken using it from now on!
Looking ahead, I decided to make a few extras pieces of chicken to use in the next night's dinner. I wrapped them in foil and popped them in the fridge.
Well, yesterday turned out to be a long, busy day. Not anything major or earth-shattering...just busy. Life, kids, business, errands, pets, laundry, the usual. Then, of course, dinner needed to be prepared. The one saving grace was knowing that a big part of it was done for me...grilled chicken. I looked in the fridge to see what else I had to work with...and this is what I came up with...

...and this is how I did it. SO easy.

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Pasta in Bechamel Sauce with Cubed Roasted Chicken

1/2 stick of butter

4 T flour (more or less, see how your roux looks, adjust accordingly)

1 c. half and half (more or less depending on the consistency of your sauce)

dash nutmeg

dash Italian seasoning

salt and pepper to taste

1 box bow tie pasta, cooked and drained (the pic shows elbows...the bow tie box was alrady recycled! But you can use your favorite pasta)

2 grilled chicken breasts, cubed

fresh parsley, chopped (optional) (I used it because it came in my CSA box, otherwise it never would have happened!)

Cook your pasta according to the directions for the least amount of time so it stays a bit al dente. It will cook more in the sauce and you don't want it mushy. Drain your pasta and set aside in the strainer. Using the same pot that cooked the pasta in melt your butter on medium heat. Once it is all melted, add in your flour, whisking to make sure there are no lumps. Add in your half and half, continuing to whisk and making sure to get all of your roux up from the bottom of the pan. Season with nutmeg, salt pepper, lower heat and let thicken. Stir often. Once your sauce is to your desired thickness (I like mine a bit more on the saucy, creamy side) add in your cubed chicken and warm through. Then add in your pasta. Stir well to make sure all pieces are coated nicely with the sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley if desired and serve! I made some sauteed broccoli with garlic and red pepper flakes and served warm french bread on the side. It got rave reviews from everyone...Ian even said it was "fine" and he's not a past kinda guy! This is a great way to use leftovers...without anyone even knowing that they're eating leftovers!

Hope you like it! We did...so much so Chris and I are eating it for lunch today!

Monday, November 16, 2009

rosemary potatoes...

These are the potatoes and onions I received in my CSA box last week.
As you can see, they're not perfect. And you know, I like that about them. Perfect produce usually means some sort of genetic alterations are involved. So imperfect? Yes. Did it matter? Nope.
I finally had a chance to cook 'em all up last night. I left the skins on the potatoes, halved them and tossed them into a baking dish. Then I cut the onions into small chunks and added them to the potatoes. I drizzled it all with olive oil and added a few pats of butter.
Then I seasoned them with garlic powder, kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, a smidgen of thyme and last but not least, rosemary. Ahhh...rosemary. It blends with potatoes like no other seasoning. It's one of my favorites.
I tossed the potatoes in the oven set at 375' and left them alone for about 45 minutes. They were delicious. I served them with grilled chicken and a tossed salad. And it was GOOD. I even made some extra chicken to use in tonight's dinner...creamy pasta with grilled chicken and broccoli. I'm hungry already! I may have to cook a little early!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Have you heard of a "zine"?

It's like a magazine. But not. It's smaller. And handmade. And...well...here's a link to someone who explains it better than me...
In my desperation for an art project a few months back, I signed up for a zine exchange.
And " F I G " was born.
What a blast this was to make. It's 20 pages...quarter-page in size...and fun to hold in my hand. Each cover is a mini collage made of bits of paper and fabric scraps...uniquely made for each one. No two are alike. I made them on paint samples...they were the perfect size. Can you say, "reuse"? I made 12...I'm sending 10 to the host of the exchange...and one to my friend Jeannine. I hope they're well-received.

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The family is gone again today...day two of the baseball tourney. They left at 6:30am...and I've been sipping coffee and reading blogs since. Well, after I got a load of laundry going, that is.
My plans for the day are...do laundry, make art, take pictures, cook a good dinner. I don't know what yet. But whatever it is...it's going to be good. And it's going to include kale, new potatoes and onions...all from the CSA. It's been such a busy week we haven't eaten much but some apples and the mandarins.
The timer just buzzed...oatmeal must be ready. It's a special blend my Aunt Lisa shared with me...and it is SO good. She read on my blog that I was craving iron and she showed up at my work with a Mason jar full of her special oatmeal. Thanks Aunt Lisa! Time for breakfast!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saturday...

Quiet.

The boys are at a baseball tournament.

I'm reading blogs and sipping coffee.

Must shower soon.

Headed to my cousin's baby shower later this afternoon.
Need to vacuum, sweep and wrap a gift.
What's penciled in your datebook for today?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Winter garden?

I went out to the garden yesterday to water and see if anything was happening. It took a while...but I finally found a bit of action!
This little guy is a baby swiss chard. I think. I hope.
This...is a pea sprout. Can you see it? That little yellowish thing in the middle of the photo?
I probably planted 30 seeds...and I think about 5 or 6 have sprouted. So far. I'm remaining hopeful.
This next photo is our deck. Remember when I was talking about how rigged up our backyard is because of the chickens insistence on breaking into the garden?
The figured out they could hop down from in between the deck rails and into the garden. Sneaky birds. First all it took was that slat of wood. Then it became the wire trellis. Then...when they realized that they could hop on top of the hose reel box up went the tomato cage on the left. Notice how nicely it's propped up with the hoe handle? This is custom at its finest.
All this to protect about 12 little seedlings that probably aren't even going to mature! We'll see. The fingers are crossed.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Update: The Girls.

I bet you thought I'd turned The Girls into "dinner", didn't you? I was tempted. They are pretty decent size these days!
Last time I spoke of these lovely ladies I was a bit perturbed. And disenchanted.
In researching chickens I had read that they were destructive...but I had NO IDEA. When people say, "Chickens have a tendency to damage a garden." they mean, "CHICKENS WILL DESTROY YOUR GARDEN IN LESS THAN AN HOUR. AND GOOD!"
I will also say, at first, I thought chickens weren't the sharpest tool in the shed. The smartest animal on the farm. The prettiest crayon in the box. But...in observing these little trouble makers, I've changed my mind. I am convinced that their little brains are very advanced. Small? Yes. But very, very advanced.
Our garden is so rigged with pieces of wood, scraps of chicken wire, patio chairs, bricks, troughs, flower pots, lattice...am I forgetting anything? Holy cow! If there is a way into that garden...The Girls are going to FIND it. Chris caught one on the deck, standing on the hose reel box, with her head cocked sideways assessing if her fluffy butt could fit through the deck railing at that angle! Crafty, she is. Very crafty.
Because of this....they no longer get free reign. I'm sorry. It's just the way it's got to be. I feel kind of bad because when I go outside to their coop they pace and scratch at the fencing like they're crazed and NEED to get out. And then I feel bad. (Not only are they very smart, they're also manipulative!) But I have to remind myself that they're not confined in a cage too small to stand or stretch. They're not crammed in a tiny cage with 74 other chickens. They get fresh air and sunshine. They get scraps fresh from our table...and lots of them! They've got it pretty darn good as far as a chicken is concerned.
And I guess they're not all that mad at me. So far this month they've given us 22 eggs...which averages to two eggs a day. Not bad. Considering during the summer months they were averaging three eggs a day. It hasn't been too cold here, yet...so production may continue to decrease...but so far, so good!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wednesday in the Word.

(persimmons)
Psalm 56
1 Be merciful to me, O God, for men hotly pursue me;
all day long they press their attack.
2 My slanderers pursue me all day long;
many are attacking me in their pride.
3 When I am afraid,
I will trust in you.
4 In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I will not be afraid.
What can mortal man do to me?
5 All day long they twist my words;
they are always plotting to harm me.
6 They conspire, they lurk,
they watch my steps,
eager to take my life.
7 On no account let them escape;
in your anger, O God, bring down the nations.
8 Record my lament;
list my tears on your scroll—
are they not in your record?
9 Then my enemies will turn back
when I call for help.
By this I will know that God is for me.
10 In God, whose word I praise,
in the LORD, whose word I praise-
11 in God I trust; I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
12 I am under vows to you, O God;
I will present my thank offerings to you.
13 For you have delivered me from death
and my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before God
in the light of life.
Each Wednesday, before I get online, before I come here to share a little something with those of you who are gracious enough to stop by, I have my own quiet time. I get my coffee...my bible...my prayer journal...and I sit in the quiet...talking and listening to God. Sometimes I sit for an hour. Sometimes I sit for 5 minutes. For me, the longer the better. I need all of the GOD I can get. But the time isn't necessarily the important part. The important part is that I begin my day with God.
This morning was a 5-minute morning. I woke up late. But God has no time limits...thank goodness.
I am continuing to focus on trusting God. And I am realizing that this is going to be an ongoing thing...a daily thing..and even a moment by moment thing. Circumstances arise. And I react. I admit sadly, turning to God is not always my first reaction. My first reaction, on many occasions, is "freak out" or "get angry" or "shrivel". I'm learning to turn to God sooner and sooner as time goes by. But...some situations just seem to take over. And I lose it.
But then I read something like Psalm 56. And I get to the bottom...and I read verse 13...
For you have delivered me from death
and my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before God
in the light of life.
"Delivered". Past tense. As in it's already been DONE. God has already delivered me from death...from tangles and snares. He's kept my feet steady as I walk along on my journey. He has already gone before me and cleared the path He's set for me. My job is to follow that path...and not to veer off on my own path. This is not to say that the path will be perfectly flat or obstacle free. It's to say that while I'm walking along that path that God has prepared for me, my feet will not stumble as I go along. It means that as I travel that path, my feet will be steady as I walk...as I climb...as I maneuver over obstacles and rocky areas. He has gone before me and made the way possible...and is there to take my hand when I need help along the way. God is so GOOD.
And just when I think I've got what I came for, God throws a little extra at me. A cherry on top. That very last line that says...that I may walk before God in the light of life. It takes my breath away. To know that I am walking with God and that He is lighting my way! Each step that I take...He keeps me from stumbling and He shines light on my path. Even though things may be dark all around me...where He is, there is light. And if He is with me, always, which His word says that He is, then there is always a light to guide me. My part in the deal is to stay near Him...
God, help me to focus on the light and not the darkness. Help me to stay on the path You so lovingly carved out for me. Amen.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My first CSA box...

When I walked out the door to take Ian to school this morning I was surprised to see my CSA order had been delivered. Nice! It was just what I needed to give me a hopeful boost for the day...a box full of beauty in the midst of the chaos.
I immediately ran for my camera. Isn't that what everyone does when the CSA arrives?
As you can see, the box was full of fresh, local, organic goodness. Inside was kale (now's my chance to have a crack at this!)...red onions...mandarins...apples (that look beautiful)...new potatoes...a head of romaine...a bouquet of parsley...and a beautiful butternut squash. So exciting.
Originally I thought I was going to receive some leeks, also. And I even made plans to USE said leeks on Friday. I was going to take them to my aunt's house so she could show me how to make potato leek soup. But...now...I'm thinking I'm buying some leeks. Darn.
I am so pleased with everything I received. I love butternut squash and use Ina Garten's recipe for Pumpkin Squash soup...it is so yummy. And easy. Mmmm...I can't wait to make it! The new potatoes will be roasted with red onion and fresh parsley...maybe a bit of rosemary. The apple and mandarins will be eaten raw...perfect. Romaine...Caesar salad, of course. And the kale...well, I'm not quite sure. I think this new addition to my diet will require a visit to recipezaar.com. I'm having a feeling I may be the only one liking the greens...but we'll see.
I'll let you know what I come up! And if you have any recipes you'd like to share please do! I am always open to a new recipe!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Slow and steady.

This is going to be a LONG week.
I'm sitting here thinking about this coming week, and all that I have to do, and I am finding myself getting overwhelmed and anxious.
Business responsibilities, work responsibilities, kids off of school mid-week..and on the day I have to work a 6 hour shift. Not to mention the other two days I have to work. The kids have practices and lessons and youth groups. Chris is out of town today and tomorrow on a cabinet install. I've made creative commitments that I need to finish up...and some I need to start. There are family commitments...friend commitments. Not to mention...pets to feed, laundry to do, bills to pay, dog hair to vacuum up constantly...it seems I can't keep up. No matter how much I do and how much I run around, it never seems to end. And I just want to go crawl into my bed and pull the covers over my head.
BUT. Then I remember something. I remember a scripture that pops into my head every time I get this way: Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Each day has enough trouble of its own. That's right. I only need to think about today. This day. Because really, tomorrow is no guarantee. So worrying about tomorrow will get me nowhere. Except in my bed with the covers pulled over my head!!
Yes. I've got a LOT to do this week. That's a fact. But it's also a fact that I can only do one thing at a time. I can only take one step at a time. One breath at a time. And as I keep telling my husband..."slow and steady wins the race". Maybe I need to remind my SELF about that one. And I also need to remind my SELF that I've had weeks like this before. Really, every week is like this in one way or another! And I get through. I make it to the end. I check things off of my lists...things get done...and I am still in one piece.
So...pick one thing. Do it. Check it off the list. Move on to item number 2. Do it. Check it. Move on. And so on and so on and so on...until the end of the week arrives and I look back and realize...it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be!

Friday, November 6, 2009

And the winner is....

...BEEGIRL!!

Congratulations!! You won the Grace for the Moment Daily Bible by Max Lucado!

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Thank you to all who commented. I enjoyed reading your stories of either growing up in church...or not. Personally, I did not. My mom did take my little brother and I for a time to a Lutheran church when I was little. I still have a couple of the crafts we made in Sunday School tucked away in my little red bible with my name engraved on the front. I think I have a little "Jesus loves me" pin around here somewhere, too.

The great thing is...whether we grew up in church or came to know Him later in life...bottom line is we KNOW Him. And better yet...HE knows us! And had a plan for us all along...God is so good.

Enjoy your new bible Beegirl! I think you're gonna love it! (It'll ship Monday.)

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ps...sorry for the delay in posting this. We had no internet at the office today...so everything I planned to do there didn't get done! And the winner was chosen using a very technical program: eight people entered to win, I ran outside where my husband was talking to our neighbor about guitars and said, "Hey! Pick a number between 1 and 8!" They both blurted out, "Seven!". Done!

Commenter #7 it is...Beegirl!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fun day ahead...

I'm going to go visit these sweet people again today! Yay! My cousin Megan's hubby returned to work last Monday so I thought I'd go visit and see if I can't help out some with the little ones. Fun day...I've been looking forward to it!
Look at what a sweet big sister Miss Averie is! And it almost looks like Evan is smiling! It's been two weeks since I've seen them...so I imagine Evan will look so different already. It's amazing how much little babies change in such short amounts of time.
So...it's time to get moving. I need to shower, wake Ian up and then pack his lunch, change laundry over to the dryer, eat my Heart Healthy serving of oatmeal, feed the chickens, water the seeds, drop Ian off at school then hit the road!
And.....

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Don't forget to go HERE to sign up for THE GIVEAWAY!!
The drawing is tomorrow morning! So don't delay!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wednesday in the Word: Isaiah 61

Isaiah 61
The Year of the LORD's Favor
1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.
4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.
5 Aliens will shepherd your flocks;
foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
6 And you will be called priests of the LORD,
you will be named ministers of our God.
You will feed on the wealth of nations,
and in their riches you will boast.
7 Instead of their shame
my people will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
they will rejoice in their inheritance;
and so they will inherit a double portion in their land,
and everlasting joy will be theirs.
8 "For I, the LORD, love justice;
I hate robbery and iniquity.
In my faithfulness I will reward them
and make an everlasting covenant with them.
9 Their descendants will be known among the nations
and their offspring among the peoples.
All who see them will acknowledge
that they are a people the LORD has blessed."
10 I delight greatly in the LORD;
my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up
and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise
spring up before all nations.
I usually only share a snippet of a chapter in the bible...a verse...a bit of Truth that has inspired me. But today I wanted to share the entire chapter 61 of the book of Isaiah. Isaiah 61 gives me hope. The book of Isaiah is one of my favorites. There are so many scriptures within Isaiah that are my "favorite". I have dates written beside scriptures...highlights throughout...sticky notes here and there. Yes. I write in my bible. A lot. Some people don't think that's OK. I think I couldn't do it any other way. There is nothing like reading through my bible and coming across a bit of scripture with a notation next to it: 12/02/05, given this scripture when praying for __________" - you fill in the blank. Jobs, finances, family members, depression, anxiety...the list goes on.
The BEST part of writing in my bible is looking back...seeing a notation...reading what I was praying for...and then realizing that God answered that prayer. And had I not written it down...either in my bible or in my journal...I might have forgotten that I prayed that prayer...and I definitely wouldn't have realized that God answered me. And if He answered me, then He MUST have heard me. He hears me. And He hears YOU.
I pray that God bless you today. That He watch over you and guide your steps. That He speak to you in ways you never knew possible. Amen.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It's Giveaway time!!

It's time for another GIVEAWAY! How fun is this...I love giveaways! 'Tis better to give than to receive...'
Because it's Tuesday. And because I planted kale, chard, parsnips and peas yesterday. And because I caught the naughty chickens before they went into the garden and scratched up all my newly planted seeds. Because the sun is out and the sky is blue. And because I'm nice...ahem...I want to give away this bible...Grace for the Moment Daily Bible by Max Lucado.
It is a softcover bible put together in such a way that you can read a bit of God's Word each day...and if you do read it each day, at the end of the year, you'll have read the whole bible! And I've read the whole bible...in 2007...and I have to say...it was a great experience. And I also have to say...it's amazing. And the Old Testament IS relevant. Amazingly so. I'm just sayin'. But wait...there's more! This bible also has a devotion at the beginning of each daily reading.
To win this very cool devotional bible just leave a comment here on this post and tell me this:
Did you grow up in church your whole life? Or is walking with God something new for you?
I can't wait to hear your comments! Have a great day! And Good Luck!
**The winner will be chosen by random drawing on Friday!**

Monday, November 2, 2009

A clean slate.

At first I was sad that summer was over. Me. Sad. That summer was over. Me. Who hates the heat. And sweat. I was sad because it meant the end of gardening season.
But...there is such a thing as fall and winter gardening, come to find out. Who knew? I decided to give it a try.
I cleaned up the garden yesterday.

No more beans. No more tomatoes. The only thing left are a few measly pepper plants that are still trying to produce. I have to say, there is something equally as beautiful in fresh soil...a clean slate. The possibilities are endless. It's a far cry from two months ago!
As soon as I'm done here, I'm heading outside to plant these...

Kale, chard, lettuce, peas, chives, parsley and parsnips. Wait. What was that? Parsnips? I don't even know what a parsnip is...or what it even tastes like. But...I read somewhere that it can grow in the winter. So...I'm giving it a try. If we like them, great. If we don't...I hope the chickens DO! I'm not sure how the peas will do...I may be really late for them. But I'm trying them anyway. The packet of seeds was like 97 cents. So...it will be an inexpensive experiment.
This...is a cold frame.


Chris built it for me when we first moved into our house...12 years ago. I had grand ideas of what this little house would be...and a big part of that was going to be a nicely landscaped backyard, to include a beautiful vegetable garden.
Well, life happened. And continued to happen. And before we knew it...12 years had passed and still no backyard landscape. I did try a garden here and there...feeble attempts every other year or so. But nothing that really ever took off. And I never used the cold frame either..notice it still has no lid.
Well, that's gonna change. Chris has some Plexiglas at the shop that might fit the top of the cold frame. It should be easy enough to frame the "glass" in and hinge it to the top of the cold frame. And voila! One more tool to use in the garden!
And I have the perfect spot for it...right where the compost heap is now.
Right in front of the ladder...that was home to the birdhouse gourd vine just a few months ago...is the compost pile. See the stringy bean plants and a pile of dryer lint? I'm going to move that further back and then put the cold frame right there. It's the perfect spot...or at least the spot that makes the most sense in my small garden. It gets sunlight and a bit of shade...so I'm thinking it will be ideal. We'll see...I've never used a cold frame before...so it will be something new to learn for the coming season.
I thought I was too late for a winter garden...and I may be for some of these things. But if nothing else, it's breaking the ice for me. If I do it now...and try just a little something here and there...it gives me more experience and more confidence for next year. Which I'm already planning by the way. Gardening. It's contagious!