Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Christmas Tea

Well friends, I will probably not be posting for a few days. I am very busily finishing up preparation for a Christmas Tea at our church. We were hoping to get 40 ladies there this year, and as of this after noon we have about 75! This is so wonderful but it means we are scrambling to make sure we have enough goodies! I also am trying to make tea cosies for each of our table hostesses, and now we are going to need like 10 tables!

Please pray for me and with me that this time will be a blessing to our women and the friends they are bringing with them. We want to help them start the season out right, with a focus on Christ!

I'll let you know how it goes!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Christmas Decor

I wanted to show you what I have been up to this weekend. I am sorry for the slightly blurry quality of the pictures, my 5 year old has decided that she is a photographer and I am not sure what she has done with the camera.

This is our tree - I just love our tree every year - I learned years ago that in order to have a wonderful tree, regardless of what kind of ornaments you have, you must use approximately 100 lights per foot. So if you have a 7ft tree you need to use about 700 lights! No, I am not kidding. We place the first several hundred lights inside the branches close to the trunk. This gives your tree a glow from within! It is amazing, especially at night!

This is the top of our piano, I use greenery garlands, lights and a beautiful red plaid ribbon.

This is our bookcase by our front door. Green garlands, lights, red plaid ribbon.
This is our nativity. I placed in on top of our kitchen cabinets several years ago, as it is kind of big and there was no "safe" place for it. We really like it up there every year. I have pine garlands, with pine cones and white berries on it and of course, lots of lights.

This is over our sliding glass doors. The wall phrase says "God Bless This Home". Again garland, lights and red plaid ribbon.

This is my sweet chandelier, with ivy and red berries!

I try to add holiday touches to each room of the house and as I get more done, I will show them to you.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanks Becky!

Becky thinks I'm rockin! Hee hee. My kids would be completely rolling on the floor, laughing about that! However, I appreciate that she really means that she likes my blog!
I am going to nominate:
The princess at and her mom, haus frau whose blog lula's hardt is always so refreshing and encouraging. You can find the link on my side bar. I appreciate the princess (called so by her mom) for being a young woman with a heart after God.
Have a great day ladies, you're Rockin'!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Time to Decorate!

I will be busy today putting up our Christmas decorations! I love this time of year. My dear husband will be headed to cut down our tree, with various children in tow. We already tagged it a few weeks ago.
I have garlands to hang on my picket fencing and arch this year also. I will post pictures when I am done!

(I also am on phone duty as we are selling our dog's puppies. They are seven weeks old now and ready to go. We had them vet checked, wormed and they have had their 1st shots. They will make wonderful Christmas presents!)

A Fun Post

My nephew Evan has a blog and has a fun post about the unofficial driving rules in L.A. County, in California! You can find that post at , the post is called "I was looking around". (I know there is a way to link this but I don't know how yet!)

Having grown up in Southern California, I pride myself on being able to drive anywhere. Here in PA we have a huge problem with out of state drivers, who if someone is doing something dumb you know they are from 1 of 2 states. They come to PA to shop because their taxes are high, and they love to take ridiculous shots of the Amish! Anyway I digress.

My main issue these days with drivers is:

1. When you are backing out of a parking space, there having been no moving vehicles behind you, and all of the sudden you have to slam the brakes because some person driving a car thinks they can drive behind you before you get all the way out of your space! Do these people not know that they do not have the right of way??????

Ahhhhh, I feel better now. See what your started Evan!

New Blogger

Last year, my nephew Ryan got married. His wife is one of the sweetest people I know. She is kind and caring, she married my nephew after all!!!!

Anyway, she has started her own blog. Her blogs' name is "Renewed in Him", and you can find the link on my sidebar. Her mom is the Tina on my pink breast cancer ribbon, and with the family going through so much and learning so much, she felt like she wanted to begin a blog to share what she has learned.

So, if you get a chance, visit her blog and say Hi!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday Thought

" You say, "If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied." You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled."

- Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Story

On November 11, 1620 the anchor was dropped. William Bradford later wrote of this moment: "I cannot but...stand half amazed at this poor people's present condition;...Being thus past the vast ocean, and a sea of troubles...they had now no friends to welcome them nor inns to entertain or refresh their weather beaten bodies;...What could now sustain them but the Spirit of God and His grace?"
Several expeditions were made to explore the area and find the best location for a settlement. Winter made this very difficult and many people were still sick. They finally found a location that had fertile soil, 4 spring fed creeks, and a large section of ground already cleared and ready for planting.
They landed at this location on December 11, 1620. They decided to build a meetinghouse first and then 19 family dwellings, the unmarried men were assigned to live with families. These were to be simple on room frame houses, about 18 by 14 feet with a fireplace and a sleeping loft. There was no glass for the windows and the roofs were thatch, like they had in England.
In Mid-January, a setback happened when the thatched roof of the newly completed meetinghouse caught fire. They were able to put the fire out before the whole building caught fire.
The pilgrims were living in temporary quarters in the meetinghouse and on the Mayflower, and still dealing with illness. The winter weather grew worse, a flu like illness spread through the colony, which they called the "general sickness." During the worst of the epidemic, on any given day, only 6 or 7 our the the 102 colonist might be strong enough to help tend the sick. Then they began to die, sometimes 2 or 3 a day. They men buried them at night, so that the Indians would not be aware of how their numbers were diminishing.
In March, they began to hope again, and prepared for planting their crops. On March 16, Samoset walked into the settlement and spoke to them "Welcome!" in English. The pilgrims were stunned and a bit wary of his intentions. They offered him food and drink. He informed them that he knew about English food and customs through his contact with English fishermen, at his home in which in now Maine. He told them about the Indian tribe that had lived in that area, and were known to have murdered every white man who ever landed in their territory. However 4 years before the Pilgrims arrived, the tribe suffered a mysterious plague, and everyone had died. He went on to tell them about the other tribes in the surrounding area.
Near the end of March, the surviving Pilgrims reviewed their winter losses. Several entire families had perished in the epidemic;15 of 19 women were dead; in only 4 couples had both spouses survived. The children had fared best, 9 out of 10 girls survived and only 8 boys of 23 boys died. Nearly half of those who arrived on the Mayflower were buried on a wind swept hill beside the sea.
They planted their crops, and Samoset brought a friend to meet them. His name was Tisquantum, or "Squanto". Squanto also spoke English, as he had been kidnapped by a sea captain. He was away from his tribe when the mysterious plague killed them all. He spoke such excellent English, that he served as the main translator for the pilgrims when meeting with Massasoit. They exchanged gifts, smoked the peace pipe and reached an agreement of peace that lasted for 50 years!
Squanto stayed in Plymouth with the pilgrims, becoming like one of them until the day he died. He helped them learn how to plant crops in this New World, how to catch eels and fish at the river and to use them as fertilizer for planting their corn. He taught them to plant pumpkins, and tap maple trees, he introduced them to the trapping of beaver for their pelts.
They grew strong and healthy working 6 days a week and taking the 7th for a day of worship and rest. On this day they traded their work clothes for brightly colored clothing of blue, red, green, violet, and yellow. The first remarriage occurred in May between 2 of the widowed - Edward Winslow and Susanna White.
By October 1621 the corn was ready for harvest. The fields yielded a large crop that kept them from starving in the coming winter. The new governor, William Bradford, declared that Plymouth colony would hold a thanksgiving festival and invited the settlement's Indian friends as guests. Massasoit arrived with 90 braves, and the pilgrims worried that they would not have enough food, and might have to use their corn reserved for winter. However the Indians were used to celebrating the harvest and they brought 5 deer and more fish and seafood.
The menu was impressive: venison, goose, lobster, eel, oysters, clam chowder, parsnips, turnips, cucumbers, onions, carrots, cabbage, beets, radishes, and dried fruit that included gooseberries, strawberries, cherries, and plums. Some were cooked in dough to make a kind of pie. The Indians supplied a special treat, they placed corn on hot coals and the kernels blew into white puffs - popcorn! The Indians dribbled maple syrup over the white snack and made popcorn balls!
Before eating, their spiritual leader offered a prayer to God who had so clearly and miraculously led them to this place. The feasting continued for 3 days, during which they participated in games and exhibitions of shooting skill with bows and arrows, and guns.
When the feast was over, they both Indians and colonists alike agreed that they wanted to have a similar feast the next year.

Mayflower Compact

Painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris - Library of Congress

On November 10, 1620, while the Mayflower sailed around the the tip of the Cape, looking for a coastal inlet where they could drop anchor, the leaders of the group met in the main cabin. When they were finished, they had what has become one of the more important documents in American history. The main points of the agreement was explained to the passengers, and all adult males were asked to sign the compact before the ship dropped anchor.

In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, etc. Having undertaken, for the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith and Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the First Colony in the Northern Parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one of another, Covenant and Combine ourselves together into a Civil Body Politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute and frame such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the Colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape Cod, the 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France and Ireland the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini 1620.
When they were finished, they elected John Carver as governor of the colony for a one year term.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Great Quote

"Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men, but be careful that you do not take the day and leave out the gratitude."

E.P. Powell

The Journey

Because of the delays in the journey, the passengers and crew of the Mayflower had already used much of the food and drink on board for the journey. Supplies planned for use once they landed had to be used. The food was not very good, brine soaked beef, pork and fish, hard biscuits, which often had bugs in them, and the rats on board the ship ate the food as well.

The passengers quarters were cramped and they had to stay below deck most of the time, because of the storms. People were seasick, there were no sanitary toilets. The hatches were sealed, because of the storms, so there was no fresh air.

The crew had bad attitudes toward the passengers, especially the religious ones and called them "psalm singing puke-stockings"! They picked on them while they had their morning prayers and psalm singing. One of the meanest sailors became ill about 2 weeks into the journey and died the same day. The sailors, who were a superstitious lot, worried that he had died because of his behavior toward the passengers. Not willing to risk it, they stopped their ridicule.

Halfway across the Atlantic, the Mayflower rain into a terrible storm. The winds were 50 miles per hour, and the waves 50 feet or higher! The pounding of these waves made cracks in the ship and let in frozen sea water. The ship tossed from side to side. The storm raged for days, the pilgrims prayed and sang psalms, even the sailors took to praying. Without a warning one of the huge crossbeams supporting the main deck cracked. Everyone was worried. The pilgrims took their concerns to God in prayer. William Brewster, one of the leaders, remembered the large iron jack screw the Pilgrims brought with them to help them be able to lift beams when they started to build their homes. This screw was used to crank up the beam to its original position.

Many other things happened on the journey. The Billington boys nearly blew up the ship when they light a piece of rope on fire near the gunpowder on board. A servant John Howland, disobeyed orders to stay below decks and when the ship listed to one side he fell overboard into the frigid Atlantic waters. He reached up out of the water and was able to grab a rope trailing over the side of the ship. The Hopkins family had a baby on board, whom they named Oceanus! Many people were very sick.

Finally the weather improved and people could go up on deck and get fresh air and exercise.

On November 9, a sailor cried "Land Ho!" After 65 days at sea from Plymouth, 97 days since they first left Southhampton, the pilgrims caught a glimpse of the New World. They prayed and celebrated by reading Psalm 100:

"Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.
Know that the Lord Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving,
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him; bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting,
And His faithfulness to all generations.

An interesting website to check out is:

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Mayflower and the Speedwell

For ten years the Separatists lived in Leydon, Holland. They had moved there from Scrooby, England because of persecution. They were called Separatists because they had separated from the Church of England.

They decided to go to the New World, where they would be free to worship God in the manner they chose. They sailed from Holland to England on a ship named the Speedwell, on July 22, 1620. The docked in Southhampton, England next to a ship named the Mayflower. This ships' passengers were 60-70 others who were recruited in England to give the colony a larger population. Some were others who desired religious freedom, but most were more interested in finding success and fortune in the new land. Also on board were hired helpers, such as Captain Miles Standish.

Both the Speedwell and the Mayflower set sail on August 5, 1620. This was late in the summer to leave port as even with good weather they would not arrive until October. This is late in the year to be setting up a settlement from scratch. The winds were unfavorable and the ships could not make it out of the English Channel. The rough waters caused the passengers to become seasick. The Speedwell began to leak. Both ships were forced to head back to port, this time Dartmouth. After the repairs to the Speedwell, both ships again sailed west. After sailing about 300 miles the Speedwell began to leak again. The ships returned to port again, this time to Plymouth.

After many tests the Speedwell was determined to be unseaworthy. The Mayflower was not large enough to hold all the passengers from both ships, so 20 volunteers has to stay behind. Volunteers were not difficult to come by as they had spent nearly a month on board ship and in being seasick.

On September 6, 1620 the Mayflower again left England with 102 passengers including 33 children.


This week I plan to do a series of posts about Thanksgiving. This is President George W. Bush's Thanksgiving Proclamation for 2007.

Americans are a grateful people, ever mindful of the many ways we have been blessed. On Thanksgiving Day, we lift our hearts in gratitude for the freedoms we enjoy, the people we love, and the gifts of our prosperous land.
Our country was founded by men and women who realized their dependence on God and were humbled by His providence and grace. The early explorers and settlers who arrived in this land gave thanks for God's protection and for the extraordinary natural abundance they found. Since the first National Day of Thanksgiving was proclaimed by President George Washington, Americans have come together to offer thanks for our many blessings. We recall the great privilege it is to live in a land where freedom is the right of every person and where all can pursue their dreams. We express our deep appreciation for the sacrifices of the honorable men and women in uniform who defend liberty. As they work to advance the cause of freedom, our Nation keeps these brave individuals and their families in our thoughts, and we pray for their safe return.
While Thanksgiving is a time to gather in a spirit of gratitude with family, friends, and neighbors, it is also an opportunity to serve others and to share our blessings with those in need. By answering the universal call to love a neighbor as we want to be loved ourselves, we make our Nation a more hopeful and caring place.
This Thanksgiving, may we reflect upon the past year with gratefulness and look toward the future with hope. Let us give thanks for all we have been given and ask God to continue to bless our families and our Nation.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 22, 2007, as a National Day of Thanksgiving. I encourage all Americans to gather together in their homes and places of worship with family, friends, and loved ones to reinforce the ties that bind us and give thanks for the freedoms and many blessings we enjoy.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-second.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Hospitality Lane's Giveaway

Becky over at Hospitality Lane (see the link on my sidebar) is having a giveaway. Go check out her posts about shopping in Lititz PA and then enter her contest. Her candles are great, and that is one of the items being given away!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Off to Shop!

Today the girls, my mom, Kyle and I are off to go to a few favorite shops and do a bit of Christmas shopping. Tim and my dad are off at our church's men's retreat, so Mom is spending the weekend with us.
Tonight we will be watching "Amazing Grace" on dvd.

Have a wonderful day.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Autumn Beauty

These are pictures of the trees in my front yard. When we moved here 6 years ago, there were no trees at all. They have really grown the last few years. They are called Red Sunset Maple. I love them. It is windy, as you can probably tell from the pictures, and cold today. I love the blue sky and clouds.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Please Pray

My husband grew up in New Tribes Mission as an M.K. - that's short for missionary kid. There is a family from this mission, both the parents were M.K.'s too. Their little precious girl, Ellie, has a malignant cancer called Neuroblastoma. I would ask you to pray for this sweet family as they believe that Ellie may be entering into the last stage of her life. Take time to read the blog that mom Sarah has kept. It will awe you at how amazing God's grace has been to them. They have been on my heart so much today. Ellie is 9 and was diagnosed a day before her 8th birthday. Be prepared to weep, so make sure you have tissue available. Ellie also has a little brother named Ethan. is the web address.

Thankfulness Contest

Thanks to haus frau at lula's hardt, I am aware of this contest and challenge to focus on being thankful!

Here are my 5 things:

1. Jesus Christ - incredible grace!

2. My family - there are alot of us and by God's Grace we all care about each other!

3. My husband - who loves and appreciates who God has made me, well, most of the time! ;)

4. My children - who stretch me and sharpen me, just as God intended. ( Did I mention, my son has his permit?) hee hee

5. The friends God has given me. When we moved to PA years ago, we knew 1 person. Now we are locals, you know the kind, when you go to the fair in the fall, you need three days to see everything because you keep running into people you know and you just have to stop and chat! I remember the days when we would go and not know anyone. God is so good to have given us an amazing group of friends and aquaintances.

It is hard to stop at 5 maybe I will have to post a daily or weekly Thankful Thing.


This is Tim's big sister Esther, and her family. She and her husband, Richard, and son Andrew (the tall kid in the back row, who is even taller now!) arrived last night. It is so good to see them! This picture was taken two years ago. Melissa, who writes the blog Elijah's Adventures, is now chasing after that cute boy she was carrying in this picture. Crystal is a midwife near Tampa.
They are on their way up to New York, to the family farm, to spend Thanksgiving with Richard's mom, and for the guys to hunt. They used to live on the family farm when they would come home from West Africa, but the years there thinned out their blood, and upstate New York winters were just too much for them. So they moved to Florida and live near Tim's mom and stepdad, who are in their 80's.
Since we don't see each other much, we were all up too late, but it was good. And we have until lunchtime today, to talk, laugh and goof off.
I promise we will make the most of it!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Perfect Turkey

Today, for our mentoring group, we provided a Thanksgiving Dinner. None of these young women host Thanksgiving at their home. They all go to Mom's or Mom in law's. It works for some of them as they have young children and to try to cook and hostess such a big dinner is daunting when you have very small children. For the others I think they just have never thought about doing it.
So, we provided them with recipes, tips, and some ideas. We also talked about traditions and how you go about starting your own traditions.
Below is the way I cook my turkeys everytime. I tried this method about 7 years ago, and now this is the only way I like to cook a turkey. It gives you a less hectic day, and the flavor is out of this world. The drippings from today's turkey made the most delicious gravy!

I thought you might enjoy trying it!

Perfect Every Time Turkey

This is a way of cooking a turkey that I learned from Emilie Barnes’ book “15 Minute Family Traditions and Memories.”

This is a slow roasting method, but once in the oven, you can forget the turkey until it comes out.

Chose the desired size of turkey, wash it well, and remove the neck and giblets. Dry the turkey with paper towels, salt the cavity, and stuff with dressing of your choice. Rub the outside with olive oil. (I always use butter)

Put the turkey breast down (this bastes itself, making the white meat very moist) on a poultry rack in a roasting pan uncovered. Put into a 350 degree preheated oven for one hour to destroy bacteria on the surface. Then adjust the heat to 200 degrees for any size turkey. This is important. The turkey can go in the oven the day before eating it. (example: I have a 20 pound turkey. At 5:00 P.M. Thanksgiving Eve I put the prepared turkey in the oven at 350 degrees for one hour. I turn the temperature down to 200 degrees and leave the turkey uncovered until it’s done the next day about 10:00 or 11:00 A.M.)

Although the cooking times seems startling at first, the meat is amazingly delicious, juicy, and tender. A turkey cooked the regular time at the regular temperatures no longer tastes good. And a turkey cooked at this low temperature slices beautifully and shrinks very little. The turkey cannot burn, so it needs no watching, and vitamins and proteins cannot be harmed at such low heat.

A good rule for timing your turkey is to allow about three times longer than moderate-temperature roasting. For example, a 20 pound turkey normally takes 15 minutes per pound to cook and would take 5 hours. The slow-cook method takes three times five hours so this equals 15 hours of cooking by the slow method. A smaller turkey cooks for 20 minutes per pound, so an 11 pound turkey takes three hours and 40 minutes. Multiplied by three, that equals 11 hours.

Since the lower temperature requires longer cooking, its use must depend on when you wish to serve your turkey. However, once it’s done, it will not overcook. You can leave the turkey in an additional three to six hours and it will be perfect. Thus, your roasting can be adjusted entirely to your convenience. Allow yourself plenty of time, and let your meat thermometer be your guide to when the turkey is done. Your only problem could be if you didn’t put the turkey in the oven soon enough.

The meat browns perfectly, and you’ll get wonderful drippings for gravy. Try it – everyone will praise you and your turkey.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Veteran's Day

Happy Veteran's Day! Thank you to all who have served our country!

Two weeks ago I met a WWII Naval Hero! He was speaking to our co-ops' 4th-6th grade class about the war. Afterward as I spoke to him and thanked him, he shared his medals, and showed me his Navy Cross. He was a young 19 year old then, had his original flight log and believe it or not he wore his original dress uniform! It still fit perfectly!

Alot of my great uncles were in the war and they are of the generation who didn't really talk about what they did. The just did it and came home and built our nation. This generation is dying. The first of my great uncles died two weeks ago.

My dad was in the Vietnam generation, thankfully being a navy man, he did not have the emotional scars that many carry. When we went to the Air and Space museum last year in D.C. we saw a fighter that had been on the aircraft carrier that he served on! We all saluted! Go to to see a photo of the Bon Homme Richard!

My brothers and I were raised to honor our service men and women, and we do.

I am so thankful for all of you.

Lost Memoirs Contest

Run, don't walk, over to to enter Lady Jane's contest. I almost missed the whole thing by being away from the computer over the weekend!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

How Many of Me Are There?
LogoThere are
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

We are Dancing Today!

Lizzy and Darcy dancing at the Netherfield Ball.

As you know, I am teaching a Jane Austen class - we are reading Pride and Prejudice and we are discussing the book as well as learning about the culture of the regency period.
I ordered a dvd that teaches the English country dances to children, from the English Folk Dance and Song Society located in London. Their web address is This program came with a cd of just the music and a booklet as well.
I watched part of it the other day and in just a few quick minutes they have children dancing! It looks so fun. The first dance they teach in "phrases" of 16 counts. They teach the different moves to 8 beat movements and then put them all together. It is going to be so fun.
Today, I am going to introduce it to my girls - my darling enthusiastic students. They may be reluctant to do this at first especially in front of others, but I think it will be ok.

Nutritious Meals 2

I promised you I would let you know about the recipes I made and what it tasted like.

The meatloaf was soooo good! The salsa in it give great flavor and using the brown rice instead of breadcrumbs or rolled oats was fine. For those with food allergies, this is a great option! I had not used ground turkey in years, but it was just fine, and really you didn't even know it was beef because of the yummy flavors that were added.

Also one of the ladies made a butternut squash/granny smith apples layered veggie dish. You simply peel both, slice and layer with brown sugar and cinnamon! That was delicious as well!

The biscuits were just fine, my kids expected them to be sweet like a muffin, because they had blueberries in them. They are not sweet but they are fine.

I was pleased to find that we are doing many things right nutritionally. My biggest thing is to stop my Coca Cola addiction, and to exercise!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Downsizing our Animals

This year our cat Chloe gave birth to two litters of kittens. They were so cute and adorable. But we couldn't give them away, and then Chloe died and left us the care of her little kitties...We ended up with four older kittens and 4 little ones. Then one died. The cats all continued to grow. We now had 7 cats and our dog became pregnant! She gave birth to 11 puppies! I started to lose my mind....

This last week my husband placed an ad for the cats and kittens in the local paper. Boom! The phone was ringing off the hook! We are down to 3 cats and there is someone coming today for sure. So by tomorrow we may only have one cat left. I believe we may keep one, because we live in the country and will get mice in the house now that the weather is cold. Our cats are all good micers!

It is such a relief to know that they have gone to good homes! I like these animals but enough was enough!

We will place an ad for our puppies probably next week. They are adorable and will be ready to go in two more weeks. These guys and gals are almost full blooded black lab so we are hoping to sell them. We may let our Rachel keep one. I will be relieved that in just a few weeks we will be back to 1 cat, 1 or 2 dogs, and 3 horses, instead of 7 cats, 12 dogs and 3 horses!!!!

I may get my mind back as well!!!!

Nutritious Meals

For sometime now I have been endevoring to eat better, not only to lose weight but to be healthier. I have always cooked from scratch, I rarely use prepackaged foods, however I do not feel like a creative cook, so I like to find delicious and nutritious recipes. Partly I find that I have to reteach my palate to enjoy certain foods. I didn't grow up eating a big variety of vegetables, and I have a texture issue with vegies such as beans, so it is WORK to try new things.

This week at my Apples of Gold mentoring group, we are having a lady from our church come and speak about nutritious meals. She gave us recipes, and as I am the "cook" I will be making the following recipes for our lunch tomorrow.

Salsa Meatloaf

1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1lb lean ground turkey
1 cup chunky salsa
1 egg, beaten
3/4 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup cooked brown rice

Cook onion and pepper for 5 minutes or until tender. In bowl, combine turkey, salsa, egg, salt and pepper, garlic. Stir in onion and red pepper mixture and rice. Place in a large baking dish. Form into 1 or 2 loaves. Bake @350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until meat is no longer pink.

Whole Grain Berry Biscuits
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
2 T. sugar
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup water
3 T. oil
1/3 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a baking stone.
In medium bowl combine flour, wheat flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In small bowl combine milk, water and oil. Stir milk mixture into flour mixture until just combined. Gently stir in blueberries.
Spoon mixture into 6 mounds on baking stone. Bake 18 minutes.

The other mentors will be making Baked Butternut Squash (by layering sliced butternut squash, granny smith apples,brown sugar and cinnamon) and Oatmeal Cookies.

I am excited to try these recipes and I will let you know how they turn out!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Evaluating My Life

This was sent to me by a dear friend. It was timely for me and something I continue to ponder!

Evaluating My Life
Jean Fleming
“Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths.” Psalm 25:4

Three or four times a year, I spend a day with the Lord to evaluate my life, to examine my schedule, and to set some new directions for the months ahead... I pray, “At this point in my life, Lord, what is it You want me to do? What must I do to keep my relationship to You vital? What do You want me to say yes and no to?”

Looking at life this way helps me ensure that I don’t become too busy or fragmented to maintain my relationship to the Lord, to have vital time with my family, or to have a part in influencing the world for Christ.

As I evaluate my life before the Lord every three or four months, I remind myself that life is seasonal. There is a time and a season for everything (see Ecclesiastes 3:1). I can’t do everything at once, nor should I. The question is, At this point in my life – what should I be doing?

Jesus did not heal everyone. He did not meet the needs of all the poor, or cast out all demons. I cannot meet every need I’m aware of. I cannot exploit every opportunity.

The goal of much that is written about life management is to enable us to do more in less time. But is this necessarily a desirable goal? Perhaps we need to get less done, but the right things.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Happy Birthday Grammy!

This is a picture of my mother in law (from 2 years ago!). She is pictured here with all her grandchildren but one, and has since become a great grandma!
Wednesday, October 31st was her 86th birthday.
She is an amazing woman. She was a missionary in Senegal, West Africa for over 20 years. Two of her six children are buried there, one dying as an infant and one at age 10, who was killed by a crocodile. She tells everyone that she has learned to Praise the Lord regardless of her circumstances. She is busy with her church, serves at the local food bank, plays the piano and a nursing home every week, and often times takes care of "old people".
We wish we could see her more, as we would love to have the children hear all her stories. She was quite the mischievious child! We think our Sarah must take after her, as she is very sanguine and loves to talk to everyone!
Happy Birthday dear Jean. We love you!

Change of Seasons

I know that it has been officially Autumn for a while now. However here in PA, it finally feels like Autumn. Our trees are starting to change, the weather is cold at night, and sunny and warm during the day.

This being November now, it is time for my mom and I to go on our annual "kick off the Christmas shopping season". In the past this has included lunch out and poking through some favorite Christmas stores. For the past two years Lindsay has joined us, as we made a rule several years back that you have to be 13 years old to join us ladies on our shopping trip. This year Emily is thrilled to be joining us. I find that every year it gets harder to find a day that works for us all. Tomorrow would be perfect, except the girls work their last day at the corn maze. The following week my dear darling has to work, and while my dad could keep the younger kids, he doesn't do diapers so that might make it difficult for Kyle! The following week is Thanksgiving weekend and EVERYONE will be out shopping! UGH!
I think Mom and I may go do a bit tomorrow and then try to pick an week night this week to take the older girls out. I always love to keep traditions and also to make everyone happy, but it is hard sometimes.

I love this time of year. Thanksgiving and Christmas are favorites of mine. I am working on some handmade things this year, which I am excited about. When I get something finished I will show you.


  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. We spent Saturday, doing things around the house, and then we swam. Kyle and Sarah left after that...