Sunday, August 31, 2008

Haven Swap!

I was happy to be able to participate in Carrie and Monica's latest swap. It was really fun to find gifts that worked into the "haven" theme.

My swap partner was Gail. I had never read her blog or even heard of her before we were assigned as partners. What a sweet lady she is! It was interesting to email back and forth with Gail and learn more about her family. Since I am from Oregon, it was great to talk to another fellow West Coaster!

Gail and her family recently moved to Boise, so my main goal in packing her box was to pick out things that would help them to feel at home in their new home!

Gail loves color and we both love Mary Engelbreit, so I was able to create a colorful box for her.

Here's what I came up:
-a jar of M&M's
-a homemade apron in bright colors
-a bag of our favorite Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Mix
-a Mary Engelbreit magnetic memo pad
-a Mary Engelbreit magnet
-Walnut Whip hand soap
-a CD of "Havenly Music"-a mix of some of our favorite praise tunes
-a handful of miniature pumpkins and acorns for fall decorating

I made little tags for each gift with sayings and verses about home and family on each one.

I was so excited to get my box from Gail as well. She gathered some wonderful gifts for me. Thank you, Gail!

Here's the contents of my box:
-a new issue of Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion-I've loved reading this again!
-a set of Mary Engelbreit note cards which will be perfect for framing!
-a bar of sandalwood soap
-a spice-scented potpourri tart
-a little Home Sweet Home sign
-a relaxing classical CD(not pictured-already in the CD player!)
-a beaded keychain
-a small round Mary Engelbreit box-I love these for storing little things.
-a bottle of Coconut Lime foot scrub
-a picture frame

Thanks Carrie and Monica for hosting another swap. I always enjoy the sense of community that I get from getting to know and swapping with another sweet lady from the blog-o-sphere!

To view more contents of swap boxes, visit Carrie's blog!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Homemade Watercolors

Amy from the Mom Advice blog posts links to fun crafts and do-it-yourself projects each week in Amy's Notebook. Recently she had asked us to join in with Notebook Experiments by picking a project to do and then linking back with pictures and specifics.

This week, we made homemade watercolor paints (Dim Sum, Bagels and Crawfish) which were featured in last week's Notebook(8/21/08).

I love making my own art supplies like play dough and finger paints so these quickly caught my eye! The next drawing point was that they could be made in minutes and used right away. No cooking and cooling periods. When you take care of two 2 year olds, immediate gratification is of utmost importance!

I had all the supplies on hand-another plus.(Please see the original post for a complete instructions.) I set out the ingredients and we got right to scooping and counting! The baking soda and vinegar combination was very cool-the fizzing really fascinated the boys!

The boys helped with the stirring by using these small Pampered Chef spoons-the perfect size for little ones! Just like the instructions, I divided the paints into recycled applesauce cups, since that's what I had on hand. I stirred the food coloring into each one and viola! We had paint!

We had so much fun with these. It was a short enough project that could easily be completed with antsy little ones. The leftover paints are hardened up now to use again soon. And their very wet paintings dried up really nice into beautiful pastel colors. This recipe is going into my toddler activities book to be used over and over again!

(I had a picture of all 6 colors of paint in their cute little applesauce cups, but it refuses to load for me! Oh well... enjoy the pictures of the littles having a grand time painting!)

Click here to read about more fun experiments or join in the fun!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday:Tips For Organizing A Small Home

My house is cozy and cute...and small. Evidently in the 1950's, built-in storage wasn't a huge necessity either.:-)

Today I'm sharing a few organizing tips that work for me.

1)Limit the stuff. We've all heard it before-declutter, declutter, declutter! But it works. The less you have to store,the less room you need to store it in. What a great concept! For a while, I thought that if my organizing skills were better, I'd have more space for things. Now I'm realizing that I have to limit the cookbooks because I only have so much space on the shelves. My husband and I share a dresser for our clothes. The two closets in our house are teeny tiny and so is our bedroom. Using one dresser forces us to keep only the clothes we will wear. Decluttering is an ongoing process. Just when I think my house is decluttered and all unnecessary items have been purged, it seems that I find enough to load another Goodwill box! A small space with extra stuff looks a lot more cluttered than a larger room so it is helpful to keep belongings pared down.

2) Be reasonable. Know what you can realistically do in this season of life. If you have kids, there will be toys. The laundry will overflow some days. Some weeks, it may seem as though the kitchen was never cleaned! Life happens and it will be ok. Having a perfectly organized and clean house isn't the most important thing. It is important,however, that we continue to work at doing little tasks each day to help us stay on top of things in creating a sanctuary for our families.

3) Be intentional. Discipline yourself to do certain tasks each day. This takes time to learn and make it a habit but it is so rewarding as you see your home staying a bit neater and better organized. I try to sort and shred junk mail as soon as it gets here. It doesn't always happen but it sure keeps the paper clutter down to tackle it right away! My daily "home maintenance" routine includes running through the house and putting things away, emptying and refilling the dishwasher, a quick vacuum and sweep and just making sure the house is generally neat. Being intentional about keeping the little things done really helps to keep the house in good order.

4)Use multi-tasking pieces of furniture. We have an old dresser in the living room that serves as an end table as well as a linen closet. A row of three "put together" bookshelves looks great for the books as well as toy storage. We were given a very nice TV armoire that has built-in storage. It takes the same amount of floor space as our previous little TV stand-the armoire is just taller and contains a lot more storage! For awhile we used a yard sale wicker trunk for a coffee table which looked great and also held extra quilts. We don't have one but I really like the ottomans that have storage inside. There are so many creative options to create more storage and use less space!

5)Choose useful decorative items. This may be a personal preference but I love having useful items that also look great as decorations. It eliminates the need for lots of knick knacks and is less cluttery-looking. I have a few small serving plates that are pretty set on those little stand as decoration. Nice pottery bowls can be set out in the open. My collection of vases(which I enjoy using) are grouped together on top of the bookshelves. I store lots of things in cute baskets. The baskets look really nice and hide many things that I would otherwise have no room for. I keep my Bible study materials in a lidded wicker basket on the coffee table. Paper products are in an old picnic basket and extra throw blankets are rolled up in another large basket. I especially like square or rectangular baskets for the way they fit together on shelves. I have also covered boxes with fabric to make my own baskets when I didn't have any on hand.

6)Think outside the box. I already gave some ideas for using dressers as end tables and such. With a small space, you will often need to put things in unconventional places. I don't have a pantry but I do have a larger-than-average laundry room with room for a few shelves for food items. We have a free standing cupboard there too, that works for storing my baking pans, crock pot and other miscellaneous kitchen items. There is just not enough room in the kitchen! Extra canned foods can be stored under the beds. Our couch is across a corner in the living room and I store a few awkward items back there. My gift wrap box is stored under the bed. My gift box is in the closet. Hooks on the closet and bedroom doors provide a place for my purse and tote bags(some of which are storing other items!) A tablecloth over a small table gives space for telephone books in the dining room and Kleenex, light bulbs and extra cleaning supplies in the bedroom.

7) Be thankful for what you have! Be content with where God has you right now and resolve to use your creativity to make it the best that you know how. I am always changing things around and wondering why I hadn't thought of these possibilities earlier. I often tell my husband that as soon as I get everything how I like it, we will move! Then I'll have to start over.:-)

Please share your creative organizing and storage ideas with the rest of us!

For more creative and fun Works For Me Wednesday posts, please visit Rocks In My Dryer!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays-Fresh Peach Pie

Today for Kitchen Tip Tuesdays, I'm sharing my recipe for Peach Pie.

Peaches are still in season here, so I try to buy a bag of South Carolina peaches every time I get groceries. I've frozen some and we've eaten a lot fresh and in smoothies. I try to make a peach pie at least once during peach season. This makes my husband very happy!

I didn't have enough pie dough left to make a full double crust pie, so I used a heart cookie cutter to cut shapes to put on top. My 2 year old helper got a kick out of cutting the hearts for me.

Fresh Peach Pie

For one pie, you will need:
4 cups sliced fresh peaches
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 unbaked pie crust(enough for double crust)

Mix cornstarch and sugar together. Add to sliced peaches. Stir in lemon juice. Pour peach mixture into unbaked pie crust. Top with another piece of dough. If desired,brush the top crust with milk and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake at 375 degrees for 60-70 minutes.

Thanks to Tammy for hosting Kitchen Tip Tuesdays!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Happy Monday! What's on the menu for the week?

We had lots of leftovers in the fridge last week. So many that I heated up leftovers for Wednesday night's dinner instead of making the stir fry that was on the menu. The stir fry is reappearing this week!

The meat pie/pot pie that I made with leftovers was a hit! I chopped the leftover corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, carrots and added some frozen peas and chopped onions. I made a gravy using the meat juices and mixed that in. All of this was poured into a pie shell and topped with more pie crust. Yummy. Carby. But yummy!

My basil plants have been producing wildly. I need to make a bunch of pesto to freeze. Until then, I've been sneaking it into a lot of our foods. It is so fragrant! There is nothing quite like having fresh herbs to use as you wish.

Onto this week:
You will notice that my waffle obsession is back. There are still several boxes in the freezer! I know frozen waffles aren't as healthy but they were free!

To do: thaw ground beef
B-cold cereal, milk
L-Potluck with our house church. I made pinto beans and rice with salsa, sour cream and cheese, Andy's birthday cake.
D-popcorn, leftover birthday cake

To do: prepare meatloaf, slice carrots
D-meatloaf, rice, ginger carrots

To do: prepare quiche
B-cheese toast,fruit
D-crustless quiche, salad, banana-carrot muffins

To do: chop veggies, defrost chicken pot pie
D-chicken & veggie stir fry with rice

To do: write shopping list and next week's menu
B-eggs, toast
D-chicken pot pie(freezer meal), steamed broccoli

To do: prepare salmon patties, do grocery shopping
B- waffles,fruit
D-salmon patties, homemade bread, green beans

To do: plan and prepare food for Sunday, get milk and eggs from dairy
L- leftovers
D- wraps with cream cheese and olive spread, a variety of chopped and shredded veggies

For more menu planning fun, please visit Organizing Junkie!

Cherries and Cream Roll

Andy requested this Cherries and Cream Cake Roll for his birthday this year. It is delicious and really much easier to make than it looks!

This is a Taste of Home recipe from the early 90's, I believe. I couldn't locate the recipe on their site, so I will print it for you here. If you are learning to cook or just looking for more recipes to try, I highly recommend Taste of Home. I've never made something from their magazine that we didn't like. Their recipes are always very good!

Cherries and Cream Roll

Sponge Cake:
1 cup cake flour( I use 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons regular all-purpose flour.)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon frozen orange juice concentrate
2 tablespoons water

Grease a 15x10x1 inch jelly roll pan and line with waxed paper. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt;set aside. Beat eggs at high speed until thick; add sugar and beat until smooth and lemon-colored. Blend in orange concentrate and water at low speed; add dry ingredients slowly. Do not over beat.

Pour batter in pan and bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes. (Maybe just a little longer until set, but don't over bake.) Invert cake onto clean towel that has been liberally sprinkled with powdered sugar. Roll up carefully in towel and let cool.

2 cups heavy cream, whipped
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 can(21 ounces) cherry pie filling or other fruit filling

Whip cream; add sugar and flavoring. Spread cooled cake with half of whipped cream and 3/4 of cherry filling. Roll up carefully. Frost with remaining whipped cream and filling. Chill.

Makes 10 -12 servings.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sewing Crayon Pouches

I've been sewing these crayon pouches for gifts. Kids (and moms) love them!

These are so much fun to make. I've adapted the directions to fit colored pencils instead of crayons, too. Next, I want to make marker-sized ones.

Here are the directions I used to make my pouches.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Guest Post: The Purpose Of The Church

Today, I'm excited to have my husband Andy sharing a guest post! Having him contribute to my blog at times is something that we've talked about doing for awhile now. His writing style and subject content is a little different and deeper than what I normally post here. But change can be a good thing! Please read along and leave your thoughts in the comments!

The Purpose Of The Church
Does your church have a mission or vision statement? Does your church have a clearly defined purpose? With so many different churches, denominations and theologies surrounding us today, it is quite easy to find our true purpose and reason for living this life muddied. I’d like to make an attempt to clean up some of the mess. And in the true spirit of Mary Ann’s House, it is quite practical and simple.

Right off the bat let’s look at the great commission.

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

A couple of points to ponder…

If all authority was given to Jesus and He is sending us out as his witnesses to make disciples, then we go with that authority, all authority! But what does it mean to “make disciples”? Well, make means “to produce; cause to exist or happen; bring about, to cause to be or become; render.” So we are to produce disciples. But what is a disciple? A disciple is a person who is a pupil or an adherent of the doctrines of another; follower. Now, we can only produce what we are and what we know. So if we have not taken the time to actually be a disciple, to be a follower of Christ, how can we in turn make one?

Let’s take the time now to dig a little deeper into what it means to actually BE a disciple.

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts 2:42

First we must focus on the word “devoted,” zealous or ardent in attachment, loyalty, or affection. It requires absolute commitment. Devotion is not a hobby or something you do for 15 minutes in the morning. Devotion is a representation of who you are. Think of it in these terms, where you deposit your time and effort is what you are truly devoted to.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21

There are Four things a disciple of Christ is to be devoted to.

1. The apostles’ teaching. But what is the apostle’s teaching? Look back at the great commission. “and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” There are seven main commands of Christ to be followed here. And as an act of devotion on your part, here are the scripture references. Take the time to get to know what they are yourself, then you can pass the hope of Christ on to others.

Command #1 Luke 9:23, Acts 17:24-34
Command #2 Matthew 22:37
Command #3 John 13:34-35
Command #4 Matthew 22:39
Command #5 & 6 Matthew 28:19 (I’ve already quoted this one for you.)
Command #7 Matthew 28:20 (I’m making this way too easy, I’ve quoted this one too.)

2. The Fellowship. Now be careful here. This is not just attending church. The Greek word used here is koinônia, literally partnership. To be devoted to the fellowship is to be an active participant, not just to warm a chair or a pew. How are you partnering with your fellowship?

3. The Breaking of Bread. Put simply, there is something special that occurs when believers sit down to a meal together. There is a bonding that takes place. In addition to that, when you participate in a meal by bringing food, or setting the table or washing the dishes, you have shown devotion to those eating with you. You are literally putting into practice the afore mentioned partnership. One person is not doing all the work or shouldering all the responsibility. Mary Ann and I are fortunate as this is a regular part of our Sunday Fellowship.

4. Prayer. I’m not sure this one needs much expounding, however, here we go. This is a time commitment on your part. And the beauty of it is any time works, driving to work, making breakfast, when the kids are napping, anytime!! Now something we all to often forget is that prayer is a two way street. It involves talking and listening, especially listening. Remember God gave you two ears and one mouth and that was on purpose.

There that wasn’t so hard, was it? Now we know what it means to be a disciple. So, now we can make disciples. This simple thing is the purpose for God’s church and quite literally is the church being the church.

Thanks for allowing me to invade the blogosphere, we’ll have to do it again sometime.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Kitchen Tip Tuesday-3 Quick Tips

Today I'm joining in with Kitchen Tip Tuesdays to share three quick tips with you.

1) I love planning my menus a week or two at a time. After trying many different printables, menu calendars,and scraps of paper, I've discovered the easiest way to have a menu plan on my fridge. I simply print out my menu when I post it for Menu Plan Monday. I love it!

2) Leftover hot dog buns make great last-minute garlic bread. I always have at least one hot dog bun left after the hot dogs are eaten. I throw these in the freezer and then pull them out for quick garlic bread. Simply spread with butter and sprinkle with garlic powder and broil until browned. Great with pasta!

3)The best time for me to pack my husband's lunch is right after dinner. He's able to reheat food at work so dinner leftovers are what he eats most days. When I fix his lunch right after dinner, I'm saving time by doing it when all the food is still out. I like having everything ready the night before- small containers of leftovers in the fridge and any non-refrigerated items, a cup,napkin and silverware already in his lunchbox. In the case that I don't have enough leftovers for his lunch the next day, this gives me enough time to come up with a back-up plan instead of scrambling early in the morning! Sometimes, I go ahead and fix myself a plate, too, to have ready for lunch the next day!

To read more Kitchen Tips, please visit Tammy's Recipes.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Last week's menu plan went well. We ended up making a short trip on Saturday to celebrate my nephew's 3rd birthday. I moved Saturday night's tortilla chip pie(which I had already made and in the fridge) to Sunday night.

Thursday night's spaghetti sauce and noodle dish turned out to be just that. I mixed about a half jar of spaghetti sauce that I needed to use with some cooked whole wheat rotini noodles. This was mixed with some chopped pepperoni and topped with mozzarella cheese and baked for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

We have plenty of leftovers this week to use for lunches and incorporating into the dinner plans as well. Our Sunday lunch this week with our home fellowship included a delicious pot of corned beef, cabbage, carrots and potatoes. Even after sending leftovers home with different folks, we still have a huge bowl of it left. I think I'll be chopping up some of it and mixing up some pie crust to make a meat pie of sorts. I love being creative with leftovers!


B- leftover corn muffins, peaches
L-potluck with our home fellowship-I provided some sliced melons.
D-tortilla chip pie with chips, cheese, chopped tomatoes and sour cream

To Do: make pastry for meat pie and fresh peach pie later in the week, make pancake syrup, thaw chicken breasts for tomorrow
B-toast, cheese,fresh figs
D-leftover corned beef, cabbage, carrots and potatoes made into a meat pie, salad

To do:cook extra chicken for Wednesday during today's dinner prep
B-waffles, bananas
D-lemon herb chicken, rice, salad

To do:chop veggies for stir-fry, defrost spaghetti pie for tomorrow
B-cold cereal,milk,bananas
D-chicken and veggie stir-fry over rice

To do:bake peach pie if peaches are ripe enough
B-fruit smoothie, toast
D-spaghetti pie(in freezer), garlic bread, salad or steamed veggies

Have you detected a pie theme yet?:-)

To do: bake muffins, bake cookies,make tuna pasta salad
B-cream of wheat, bananas
D-tuna pasta salad, muffins or bread, fruit

To do: bake birthday cake, prepare food for Sunday's potluck(not sure what just yet!)
B-waffles, canteloupe
D-eat out for Andy's birthday

For more menu planning fun, visit Organizing Junkie!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Frugal Fridays: Saving For A Special Purchase

This year, I've been saving to buy a grain mill. This is a kitchen tool that I believe will be well worth its cost in terms of nutrition and should serve us well for years to come.

When it comes to small kitchen appliances though, grain mills are not cheap. I have had my eye on them for a while now and knew I simply couldn't afford to just buy one.

At the beginning of this year, I decided to start saving for it. I figured it would take at least a year or even more before I could have enough saved. But surely I would save more by starting a little grain mill fund than by just thinking about how much I wanted it!

I purposed to save a portion of my "play money" each month. (We budget for my husband and I to each have a small amount of fun money every month. We can spend this money however we please.) I also saved my birthday money and a small amount of our tax refund that was mine to do with as I wanted.

Surprisingly, my meager contributions each month started adding up and now 8 months later, I am only about 2 months away from purchasing my grain mill!

Proverbs 13:11 says "Dishonest money dwindles away but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow."

This not only applies to small purchases like a grain mill but also to larger goals such as building a savings account or saving for a house.

So if you think that you cannot save any money, take a good look at your budget and see if there is any way you might be able to save even a little bit of pocket change each month. Small amounts of money eventually add up too and before you know it, you too will have reached your goal!

For more frugal ideas, please visit Biblical Womanhood.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Thankful For What God Doesn't Give Me

I focus a lot on answered prayer, thanking God for the tangible ways He shows His love for me. This is usually by Him giving me what I have asked for or providing a specific need.

Countless times I have asked for specific things and He has graciously answered and saw fit to provide me with these things. When He answers my prayers in this way, I am overjoyed and reminded of His great love for me.

But what about all the prayers that He doesn't seem to answer? What about the things that I've prayed for that never come to pass? Even after years and years, it seems He's not even listening. Do my prayers even make it past the ceiling?

We all have circumstances in our lives that we wish were different. I am no exception. My life is not perfect. I have often wrestled with God over things that I felt were rightfully mine but either I knew He had said"No" or I felt as though He just wasn't answering my prayers.

We were blessed to be able to attend a David Meece concert this week. (I know, talk about a blast from the past!) His song, "Things You Never Gave Me" hit me right in the heart. It was just what I needed to hear.

Things You Never Gave Me from the There I Go Again album

Had a lot of dreams that never came true
Things I could have done,
But never got the chance to do
When I couldn't see the path of the storm
Your wisdom wouldn't let me go that way
And it broke my heart,but now my heart can say

Thank You for the times You said,"No".
Thank You for the doors that You closed
All the ways You never let me go
And the things You never gave me
So many times I didn't understand
And wouldn't let You take my hand
But now I want to fall at your feet
And thank You for the things
You never gave to me.

When I wanted less than what You had in mind
When I wanted more than I could handle at the time
When I needed You but turned You away
You wouldn't let me slip out of Your hand

I just didn't know, but now I understand
Looking back across the years
I can see beyond the tears
And thank You...thank You

God always answers my prayers. He just doesn't always do it my way. Sometimes He says "No". Many times He does not choose to swoop in and change my situation. Instead, He allows these things as opportunities for me to grow and depend on Him more.

Thank You, God. Thank You for being in control of my life and for choosing what is the absolute best for me. Help me to remember to thank You even when Your way is different than mine and to realize that sometimes the very best answers to prayer are when in Your wisdom, You say, "No.". Amen!

Thanks to Laura of Heavenly Homemakers for hosting Gratituesday!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

It's Monday! I hope everyone is ready to dive into another week.

Looking back to last week's menu, the two new recipes that I tried were really good. We loved the risotto. This is the Chicken & Tomato Risotto in the newest issue(August-September) of the Taste of Home magazine. Since I like to mess with recipes, even the first time I make them, I used browned and crumbled sausage that I had on hand instead of chicken that I was out of. I also used canned mushrooms instead of fresh but otherwise followed the recipe exactly.Yum! This was awesome! While it is easy and quick to prepare, this risotto is one of those dishes that needs your full attention, instead of being left to simmer alone. I had forgotten that we had somewhere to be early when I planned this for Tuesday night so it was a bit hectic making this while I still had a fussy toddler nearby. I will definitely be making this again, though. It was so good and can be changed based on what you have in your pantry.

The second recipe- Black-eyed peas with tortillas. I was apprehensive to try this since I really don't care for the blandness of black-eyed peas. I added some salsa, cumin and chili powder to liven it up a bit since I didn't add a jalapeno pepper as the recipe suggested. I had a bit of corn and white rice in the fridge to use up so I dumped that in as well. This made a nice hearty meal served with tortillas, sour cream, cheese and more salsa. It was pretty good, we liked it and this gives me one more option when it comes to bean burritos. If I don't have one kind of legume, I can always substitute another!

Now on to this week:
Beef roast was on a good sale this week, so I'm doing an easy menu week and stretching a roast for several days. I'm looking forward to it. Yum!

I also got a bunch of waffles(8 boxes to be exact) at Harris Teeter last week which will end up being free after a mail-in certificate. So that explains the waffle kick that I am on! I prefer homemade waffles and usually freeze the extras when I make them. But free is free!

I plan to bake a large pan of rice for dinner on Tuesday then use it for the salad on Wednesday as well as a side dish on Friday. Easy peasy!

B-waffles, fruit
L-eat out with our home fellowship group at Bob Evans
D-grilled cheese sandwiches

B-eggs, toast
L-peanut butter & honey sandwiches
D-roast with potatoes and carrots(in crock pot); salad

B-waffles, fruit
D-beef and mushroom gravy over brown rice;salad

B-cottage cheese; toast
D-beef pilaf salad; fresh veggies;muffins

D-some sort of spaghetti sauce with noodle dish(I have an open jar of sauce to use up!);salad

B-fruit smoothie;toast
L-leftovers or peanut butter and honey sandwiches
D-baked salmon;brown rice; steamed veggies

B-cream of wheat;fruit
D-tortilla chip pie/taco salad-(We love this recipe!)

That's all folks! For more menu planning fun, please visit Menu Plan Mondays!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Fresh Tomatoes

Fresh cherry tomatoes from my little flowerbed garden.

"She looks over a field and buys it, then, with money she's put aside, plants a garden." Proverbs 31:16 The Message

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A Trip To The Billy Graham Library

While my parents were visiting last week, we took them to the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, NC. Since Charlotte is only a short drive from our home, this was a great little day trip.

We all thoroughly enjoyed the outing. There was such a peace throughout the grounds there. Hymns played both outside and in.

It was interesting to learn more about the Grahams lives and to follow his ministry through the years. We came away with a new understanding and awe, not so much of Billy Graham the man, but what God can do with one person who is completely committed to Him.

Since Billy Graham was raised on a dairy farm in Charlotte, the site reflects that with Billy's parents farmhouse and the library which is built to look like a barn. The cafe inside is aptly named "The Dairy Bar" and is a great place to eat lunch after the tour.

We highly recommend visiting the library if you are in the Charlotte area. We can't wait to go back again!

Billy Graham's childhood home.

Beautiful gardens on the grounds.

The library. Notice the cross at the entrance. At the end of the tour, we exited through a cross also. Very powerful!

Ruth Bell Graham's grave in the prayer garden. What a wise and Godly woman she was! Her husband counted her as his most trusted adviser. The symbol on her grave is the Chinese symbol for righteousness. I really loved what she had chosen to have written on her gravestone-"End of construction-thank you for your patience."

Monday, August 04, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

I'm in the mood to try a couple of new recipes this week. Otherwise, the menu is pretty simple. I love keeping it that way!

I'm also hoping to get some baking done this week. It will be great to have more homemade bread, muffins and cookies in the freezer!

Sunday-tuna melts,pepper slices, orange slices

Monday-Baked Potato Salad, cheese slices, fresh veggies(cherry tomatoes, cucumber and carrot slices), blueberry muffins

I'm using leftover baked potatoes from Sunday's lunch for the potato salad. Cherry tomatoes are from our little garden!

Tuesday-Sausage-tomato risotto, green salad

The risotto recipe is a new one from Taste of Home's latest magazine. I'm substituting sausage for the chicken that it originally called for since that's what I have on hand. I was given a couple of boxes of arborio rice so this should be a good way to use some of it.

Wednesday-Creamed eggs over toast, green salad

Thursday- Black-eyed pea burritos on homemade tortillas with cheese, salsa and sour cream, green salad

I've trying my hand at cooking black-eyed peas. I've never been fond of them, especially plain, but Andy likes them. This burrito recipe looked interesting; I hope we like it!

Friday- broiled salmon,mashed potatoes with fresh chives, steamed broccoli-cauliflower mix

Saturday- leftovers

cream of wheat, fresh berries
fruit smoothies, blueberry muffins
banana-oat pancakes
cottage cheese, toast, fruit
eggs. toast, fruit
fruit smoothies, toast

cottage cheese
peanut butter and honey sandwiches
cheese quesdaillas

For more menu-planning inspiration, please visit Menu Plan Mondays!

Snowballs From My Garden

"He has made everything beautiful in its time." Ecclesiastes 3:11