Monday, December 7, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY... December 7th, 2009

Outside my window... cold, gray skies and the promise of snow - or ice tomorrow

I am thinking... that I really kind of enjoy working the early shift

I am thankful for... a nice warm house

I am wearing... black penny loafers, hose, black straight skirt, black turtleneck with my sage green work polo over top

I am remembering... how beautiful the birds are against the snow

I am going... to the British store - possibly - this weekend

I am currently reading... my new Appalachian cookbook

I am hoping... for a snowy winter

On my mind... a dear sister who lives alone - must go see her and take her some holiday cheer

Noticing that... people are so fearful - of so many things

From the kitchen... beef enchiladas, chocolate chip cookies, homemade rolls

Around the house... Just a bit of picking up here and there

One of my favorite things . . . making homemade gifts for loved ones

got daybook?

Please don't give up on me yet . . . I have been busy making Christmas gifts and such. Hoping that you all are staying warm and healthy!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY... November 23, 2009

Outside my window... inky blackness - Ha, I am up early this time

I am thinking... how blessed I am to have a savior who died for me

I am thankful for... a job to go to - even if it has been crazy this last week

I am wearing... blue knit nightie with stars on it

I am remembering... the noodles my grandma used to make - how I wish I could taste them again!

I am going... to be off Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, AND the weekend!

I am reading... nothing much right now except for the Bible . . . have some Sherlock Holmes pastiches ready for me, tho!

I am hoping... to get some cards made here soon - at least I will have time off to do it

On my mind... people with nowhere to go for Thanksgiving - no family

Noticing that... the older I get, the more precious my time with Jesus becomes

From the kitchen... leftovers tonight - we have spagetti, ribs and baked beans and some roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy. I need the fridge emptied out for Wednesday when I make my pies

Around the house... not too bad, I will clean the bathroom tonite, vacuuming

One of my favorite things~ my little ceramic heater

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week... Work today (regular shift), work tomorrow (early shift), Wednesday bake pies - pecan, cherry and chocolate, Thursday Thanksgiving at Mom's, Friday - some house cleaning and possibly a bit of shopping

got daybook?

I will do some catching up and get some pictures going this week - promise!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY... November 9th, 2009

Outside my window... Gray skies . . . nothing but gray skies

I am thinking... of how grateful I am to have an industrious Honey that got around and got all the leaves up out of the yard this weekend. Even if he did get his truck stuck when he went to dump them!

I am thankful for... good friends and good fellowship

I am wearing... a white nightgown

I am remembering... Thanksgivings past - good times with family

I am going... to be busy, busy at work this week

I am reading... Stillmeadow and Sugarbridge - found at the thrift store for a quarter!

I am hoping... to get some organizing done this week

On my mind... the soldier's families at Ft. Hood - praying for peace

Noticing that... it gets dark SOOO early now - cozy evenings here I come!

Pondering these words... If you want to measure a man's integrity - give him power. I think George Washington said that.

From the kitchen... pancakes, eggs and sausage - by request of my menfolk

Around the house... not a lot - I think one more load of laundry and a bit of organizing

One of my favorite things . . .fixing my Honey's breakfast - knowing that I am giving him a good start to the day

Got Daybook?

Will be doing some posting on here of recipes - as soon as I get my organizing done. I have a whole slew of them ready to make and post.

I would like to thank you all for your kind comments - know that I do check up on your blogs, I just may not comment every time, but I do read! Keep up the good work!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fun with Frugality - Entertainment

Ok - here to talk about entertainment. Before I get started, please allow me to explain something - while we have a television set, we do not have cable or satellite service. We are not set up for "TV" at all. While there are a lot of good things to watch out there, I think the bad outweighs the good. And the commercials - for anything and everything, most of them just trash. We do, however, have internet. I know - advertisements on there - but I can control them a little better. Now on to the post!

1) Use your local library! Ours has an online feature where you can look and see if they have a particular book, renew your current checked out books and probably several other things I don't even use. It is all free. Our library has magazines you can check out, Wilton cake pans you can rent, puzzles . . . many, many features. We go once or twice a week. They also have an internet room for people who do not have internet at home, you can go and get on a computer for 2 hours per day - free. We utilized that a lot before we got internet at home.

2) Read a book. While DS and I LOVE to read, Honey does not. So sometimes, I read aloud. As far as books that your library may not have, ours has a program where you can request a book - I think it costs $0.50 and you get it for 2 weeks. Or, if you just have to buy - check out e-bay or amazon and see if you can't find it used. I have bought many books this way - used - and 99% of them have been just like new. Check your local thrift stores for books.

3) Use your friends. We borrow DVDs back and forth with our friends. And some books.

4) Try Netflix. This is a great low-cost option for movies. Or check with your local movie rental place - we get 1/2 price on all movies for about $10 a month - and end up spending maybe $20 total.

5) If exercise is your thing, check out your local YMCA or civic center. Our civic center is free, doesn't cost a thing. They have a walking track, basketball courts and a great exercise room with all manner of weights and machines. There is also an aquatic center that is low-cost.

6) Take a drive. Out in the country. Just get away for a bit. Doesn't have to be a long drive - you can drive to the local nature preserve or what have you and just park and look.

7) Have a bonfire-hot dog roast. This is good for people who have school-age children - children usually love a bonfire. Roast hotdogs and marhsmallows. Sing songs. Tell stories. Sit and watch the fire crackle. Please use safety precautions when doing this!

These are just a few low-cost things that can be done for entertainment. What are some of your ideas readers?

Hope everyone has a lovely day today!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY...November 02

Outside my window... pale morning light - cloudless sky - supposed to be nice today

I am thinking... of how I cannot believe how messy my desk has gotten - quite shocking

I am thankful for... having the day off tomorrow

I am wearing... flannel nightgown, slippers

I am remembering... times spent with my cousins, playing at Grandma's

I am going... to the thrift store tomorrow - they moved and have tons of new stuff out

I am reading... not much, haven't had time lately

I am hoping... to make it thru this week - then things should settle a bit

On my mind... a dear friend who is hurting - prayers going out

From the learning rooms... ordered some card-making material!

Noticing that... the light is so different with this time change

Pondering these words... Psalms 102:25-28

From the kitchen... spagetti and garlic bread

Around the house... not much, sweep and mop kitchen

One of my favorite things . . .walking thru fallen leaves - crunching them

got daybook?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fun with Frugality - Eating Out

I am here to give you my take on the economy. Now, granted, I am no expert. But I have been pretty frugal all my life (out of necessity) and now, while not so much of a necessity, it has become habit and I enjoy it. Today I want to speak about eating out.

I know, the first thought is - What? She is telling me to be frugal and then telling me to eat out? Not at all, dear readers. What I would like to tell you is how you can fit a little eating out now and then into a frugal food budget.

First of all, I would like to explain that I live in a small town (10,000) in the Midwest. We do not have a lot of options here. Also, while I know that a lot of fast food is not healthy, once in a while it will not kill you. I am very time crunched a lot of days and I think that my crew appreciates a change now and then.

1) Try ethnic restaurants. Often, small ethnic restaurants have cheaper menus than other franchises. Plus, you get the added bonus of trying something that you might really discover you like. Here in the Midwest, we do not have a lot of ethnic restaurants, so this is not much of an option for us.

2) Order off the lunch menu. A lot of times the dinner menu is just too much food for me. Another thing I would like to explain here is that I dislike eating in a restaurant. I prefer to get my food to go and eat it at home. So, for example, sometimes if we order Chinese for lunch, I will order an extra. Then, I take it home and heat it up for supper.

3) Order takeout or carry out or delivery. Usually - not always, but usually - you get more food with a takeout option than you do if you eat in the restaurant. Example - our local Chinese restaurant lunch specials (around $6) will easily feed me for 2 meals. One of our local Mexican restaurants has a fajita special - you get beef, chicken, shrimp and chorizo with onions and peppers, refried beans, rice, guacamole, fresh salsa, chips, tortillas, lettuce and sour cream (around $12)- will feed 4 people easily. There is usually a delivery charge, so if possible, go pick your food up.

4) Drinks are always costly. Ice water with lemon works nicely for me, if I am eating in. If eating at home or work, grab a can of soda or glass of water - much cheaper.

5) Clip your coupons. We regularly get coupons in the mail for Arby's, Hardee's, Pizza Hut, Dominos, Sonic. Some places will let you use the coupons more than once.

6) Buy a local discount card. I work with a lady who has a son in Boy Scouts. They sell a card every year for $10. The card is good for all year. It has all kinds of discounts on it, some of them a one time use, but most of the restaurants listed are multi-use - you can use them all year, as many times as you like. Granted, some of them are only 10% off, but that at least pays for your tax! Check with your schools to see if they sell any such thing.

7) Order off of the children's menu. This is great for me, especially at a fast food restaurant - just enough food, not too much and I get a toy - I have a Sunday School Class and this goes into the grab bag for treats. The kids love it!

8) Check out local fundraisers. We are always seeing adds for local chicken dinners, hog roasts, etc. Some of the food is quite good and the price per plate less than what you would pay for fast food.

9) Sometimes buffet to go is the way to eat. For example - at our local chinese buffet you can get buffet to go for around $7 a pound. To eat in at the buffet costs $14 per person. Now, I don't know about you, but if I eat at a buffet, I tend to over-eat and be miserable. So get the buffet to go, usually a pound or less is plenty for me - 2 pounds if hubby is eating as well. There - 2 people ate for the price of 1.

Well, there you have them, my biggest tips for Fun with Frugality - Eating Out. Do any of you have any tips to add? We all need to stick together in these hard economic times.

Wishing you joy and happiness on this Thursday - Raquel

Monday, October 12, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY October 12, 2009...

Outside my window...Hmm. . . it is still too dark to see anything, I will be glad when the time changes (although I just wish they would leave it one way or the other)

I am thinking... of what a lovely weekend I spent and I am sorry to see it go

I am thankful for... a loving Honey - we had our first anniversary yesterday and such a sweet day!

From the learning rooms...toilet paper roll pumpkins - pics to come later

From the kitchen...Potato and leek soup, old-fashioned molasses cookies

I am wearing... fuzzy pink PJ pants with stars on them, hot pink tee

I am creating...Teapot bookmarks - will post a pic when I am done

I am run by Wal-Mart tonite to pick up some green pipe cleaners and some boucle yarn

I am new Tea Time Magazine

I am get my relish done tomorrow - also a mini batch of peach jam and some apple chutney

I am hearing...just the quiet hum of the 'puter

Around the house...*embarrassed* quite a lot actually - I spent a nice lazy weekend. I need to vacuum, clean the bathroom and wash another couple loads of laundry

One of my favorite things... is glitter. I love to decorate things with glitter. One can never have enough, can they? All different colors . . .

A few plans for the rest of the week: Working of course - make pumpkins and bookmarks, decorations and snacks for tea party on Saturday, Bible Study Wednesday (as well as my birthday!)finish putting away winter clothes and pack summer ones, making relish and chutney, jam

Here is picture for thought I am sharing... Will be posting these later

Daybook . . . it's what to do today!

I am also thinking about doing some frugal posts - giving you my ideas and views

Monday, October 5, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY October 5, 2009...

Outside my window... a bright, mysterious moon sails in a sea of scuddy clouds, riding on the coming waves of a thunderstorm

I am thinking...of how richly the Lord has seen fit to bless me

I am thankful understanding Honey that took me to our favorite pizza joint for supper tonite!

From the learning rooms...teaching a student at work - keeps me sharp!

From the kitchen... probably Cetak's weiners tomorrow nite, need to make some oatmeal cookies

I am celery green nightie, all lacy and feminine

I am creating...a splendiferous tea party

I am be slipping off to bed right soon!

I am reading... an Egyptian short story mystery book

I am hoping...that my arm will not hurt too much- got my flu shot today at work

I am hearing...Honey gently snoring, the fan on the 'puter, my keys clicking away

Around the house... sweep and mop kitchen, get winter clothes out and put away, clean tub

One of my favorite roses - I picked up half a dozen red ones today at Aldi for . . . . . $1.99!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Wednesday night we have a small fellowship at church, so Tuesday I will be doing some cooking, then Friday night we are going to a dear aunt and uncles to do some cast iron cooking over the campfire, Saturday - not sure then Sunday is our Anniversary

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

My front door!

Got daybook?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY...September 29th

Outside my window...inky darkness with just a few twinkling lights here and there

I am thinking...of how grateful I will be to get our current inspection at work over with

I am thankful for...the knowledge that my Savior loved me so much that he bled and died for me

I am wearing...big gray tee, blue paisley PJ pants

I am remembering...Autumns as a child, how beautiful the earth is at this time of year

I am a fancy dress dinner on Saturday - WAAAAAYYYYY out of my element

I am reading...still in Psalms and reading The Twisted Root by Anne Perry

I am hoping... to get some cookies baked this evening

On my mind...a dear auntie with cancer

Noticing that...the air is getting quite chilly lately

Pondering these words...Matthew 7:1 - "Judge not lest ye be judged ...."

From the kitchen...Pork chops, mashed potatoes, cauliflower cheese, fresh tomato, biscuits, oatmeal scotchies

Around the house...little touches of autumn peeking out

One of my favorite things ... Being able to have my windows open

From my picture journal...

I will be back on later to give you a recipe and some pics.

Got daybook?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY(September 21, 2009)...

Outside my window... Puffy clouds in a bright blue sky! I love the bright blue sky that autumn brings!

I am thinking... of all I want to do today versus all I must do today

I am thankful for...Jesus and all he has done for me

I am remembering ... wow - has it been almost a year since I got married? Less than a month to go to our anniversary. I remember how unsure I was - silly me!

From the learning rooms... putting together a Harvest Moon tea party - decorations, food, invitations, games . . .

From the kitchen... freezing pesto and marinara sauce, baking banana bread and wheat rolls, Roasting chicken and potatoes Anna, plus cauliflower with cheese

I am wearing...cream colored PJ's with roses on them - so girly! A gift from my dear mother.

On my mind ... A dear sister who had been coming to church and now won't even accept our calls. Praying that whatever is wrong will come out and be dealt with.

I am creating...teapots. Not clay ones, they are done on cardstock, but what fun!

I am going... to take my dear kittie to the vet this afternoon - oh he hates that. He needs his blood sugar checked and if it is okay, does not have to go back for another year.

I am reading... Still in Psalms - just soaking it in. The Twisted Root by Anne Perry.

Noticing that is starting to get dark so early in the evenings! Yep, fall is here all right!

I am hoping...that our family reunion coming up this weekend will go smoothly

I am hearing...just the fan on my computer and the soft ticking of the clock.

Around the house... Vacuuming, clean the tub, sweep and mop the kitchen, a couple of loads of laundry. Then I am cleaning out and organizing my pantry - it has gotten a bit of a mess.

Pondering these words... Psalms 46:2 "Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains be shaken into the midst of the seas." Amplified version
"Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea" KJV -- Wow - what a promise - what do we have to be scared of?

One of my favorite things... is my new parallel Bible. KJV on one side of the page and amplified on the other - much easier to understand that way

A few plans for the rest of the week: working (of course), then getting ready as we have a family reunion on Saturday

Here is picture for thought I am pictures today as blogger will not allow me to upload any images at all. Bummer - I was going to show you one of my teapots and my candied rose petals. Hmmmm . . . maybe I can do this later.

Not done yet, still have to add some glitz and such!

Peggy is our gracious host - go on and take a look at everyone else!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY(September 15, 2009)...

Outside my window... A cloudy sky - possible rain today

I am thinking...that I really need to be more organized and stop leaving this so late!

I am thankful for... A job that supplies my needs

From the kitchen... Chili with corn chips and cheese

I am star-spangled nightie

I am creating... a Harvest Moon teaparty, to be held in October - having such fun with everything involved!

I am going... shopping at the Mennonite stores and to Burger's Smokehouse on Thursday!!

I am reading... Psalms - KJV, Breach of Promise by Anne Perry

I am hoping... that we can get a certain bill paid off by the end of the year

I am hearing... the fan running, the computer humming

Around the house... Hmmmm . . . not a lot, I do need to dust and wash the windows in the kitchen and the doors

One of my favorite things... is getting up early in the morning - I feel it gives me a good headstart on the day

A few plans for the rest of the week: Work today, Bible Study tomorrow, Shopping Thursday, Work again Friday and the weekend and then off on Monday

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

One of our tomato plants. They have done so well, around on the west side of the house. We got them planted so late, I wondered if we would get anything, but we are quite pleased. In fact, I need to freeze some more. We have eaten so many fresh - they are so good!

We had Jewels' Dijon Chicken last night and it was soooo good. So simple - just brown sugar, grainy Dijon mustard, a bit of lemon juice and boneless, skinless chicken breast. Bakes so quickly and what flavor!

Got daybook?

Peggy hosts every week and it is such fun!!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Apron Giveaway

Hurry, 'cause the deadline is close. Scoot on over to Pansy's Cottage and enter to win this gorgeous apron!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day Daybook

FOR TODAY (September 07, 2009)...

Outside my window... Heavy fog, hazing everything with droplets of water, giving the world a sort of fantasy-like feeling - beautiful

I am thinking... of how thankful I am to have the day off today

I am thankful for... good friends, good fellowship at church yesterday

From the learning rooms... working on an Autumn Leaves devotional

From the kitchen... mostly leftovers from yesterday - BBQ, 10-layer salad, etc.

I am wearing... khaki skirt, gray tee, purple slippers, white sweater

I am creating... an Autumn Leaves tea party for next month

I am going... to spend most of my day with my parents - Honey is installing a new microwave for them

I am reading... Breach of promise by Anne Perry; Psalms in the Bible

I am hoping...that the fall weather we have been having will last for a good long while yet

I am hearing... Honey making the bed

Around the house... sweep and mop in the kitchen, quickie clean the tub and I am good to go!!

One of my favorite things... is hot chocolate - in the morning, at night, in the afternoon . . .

A few plans for the rest of the week: work, of course; hoping my roses will bloom so I can make some more candied rose petals; work on menu for tea party

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Idn't he cute? And look how fat he is! He comes up on our front porch railing and eats - the kitty can watch him out the window. We have a feeder set up on the back porch rail also.

Now for a goooooood recipe!

10-layer salad

Yes, this is just an embellishment on 7-layer salad, but I can't count very well!

Romaine lettuce or a nice mix
Chopped, seeded cucumber
Chopped onion
Chopped red pepper
Frozen peas, thawed
Hard boiled eggs, chopped
Shredded Swiss Cheese
Crispy bacon crumbles
Chopped, seeded tomato

This is especially pretty in a clear glass bowl, so you can see the layers, but it works equally well in a 9 x 13 cake pan.

1. Chop your lettuce - not too fine. I used all romaine because that is what they had on sale, but you can use a nice mix. I don't use iceberg very much - it is low in nutrition. Put lettuce in bowl.
2. Then chopped cucumber. If you are not using seedless, then peel them and seed them. otherwise, just chop.
3. Then onion - this can be sweet, white, green, red, whatever you like.
4. Chopped red pepper - full of vitamin C and oh, so pretty! You can use yellow or orange for color if you like.
5. Hard boiled eggs next - for these put the eggs in cold water and bring to a boil over medium heat - boil for 5 minutes, turn the burner off and leave the pan on it for another 5 minutes. Then pour the water off and shake the pan to break the shells. Cover with cold water and let sit a bit, pour that off and cover with cold water again and let it sit. Then peel - oh, so easy and chop. Use older eggs, they peel better.
6. Frozen peas - just pop these in a colander and run some water over them and swish them around with your hands.
7. Dressing - I used about 3/4 to 1 cup of mayo, about 1 tablespoon brown sugar stirred in good and probably 1/3 to 1/2 cup ranch dressing. Stir it all up good and then refrigerate for an hour or so before putting on the salad.
8. Shredded Swiss cheese.
9. Chopped, seeded tomato. Just take out all the seeds and gunk that comes with it. this prevents the salad from getting soggy.
10. Crispy bacon crumbles.

I have left most amounts off, use more or less of each to your liking. I made a pretty big bowl, hence the dressing amounts. Just before serving, toss well. As I was making it for our church dinner, I assembled layers 1-6 the night before. Then, in the morning, I added the dressing and cheese. Just before serving, I added the tomato and bacon. This makes a really easy dish, and most everyone loves it.

Hope everyone has a good day off today.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY (August 17, 2009)...

Outside my window... I can just barely make out a few scuddy clouds off in the distance. Down in the yard, I see the twinkle of the crackled glass driveway lights.

I am thinking...of how blessed I have been today!

I am thankful for...God's Word that sustains our very being.

From the learning rooms... Always trying something new - this week a clone of Harry and David's red pepper and onion relish!

From the kitchen... oven baked pork chops, long-grain and wild rice, cucumbers and onions in vinegar, fresh corn on the cob, fresh home-grown tomatoes - life is good!

I am skirt, gray t-shirt, slippers

I am creating...a menu for the rest of the week

I am be slipping off to bed in a few short minutes

I am reading...Cain, His Brother by Anne Perry, Psalms and Falling in Love with Jesus by Dee Brestin and Kathy Troccoli

I am hoping...that I can get everything caught up tomorrow at work - almost made it today!

I am hearing...various noises - DS music and Honey's video he is watching

Around the house... clean the bathroom, a little vacuuming, sweep and mop the kitchen

One of my favorite things... is creating a daybook!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Canning a few things tomorrow, then we have company coming this weekend, so general cleaning and such

Had a lovely weekend, just wasn't long enough! We had a nice, rainy Saturday and a nice, slow Sunday. Weather has been somewhat humid but cooler here. I love the coolness, but it is not good for my tomatoes. The roses are loving the rain, however. There is a definite hint of fall in the air - YAY!!! I am planning on having a rose tea and then later an autumn leaf teaparty for the ladies in my church. Will be posting about those later.

Now . . . a nice recipe for all of my wonderful readers (thank you all for the comments - much appreciated!)

Skillet Scramble

1 smallish summer squash, chopped
1/2 cup frozen hashbrowns with onions and peppers
3 slices of thick cut bacon, chopped
1 TBSP olive oil
3 eggs
1 slice cheese

In a medium skillet, saute bacon until some of the fat renders. Then toss in the hashbrowns and squash. Cook until bacon is pretty good and done and squash and potatoes are starting to brown. Drizzle in olive oil. Break eggs into a bowl and stir all together with a bit of water. Pour eggs into the skillet and quickly scramble. Remove skillet from heat and top with cheese. Let it sit a bit to melt the cheese. Serve with toast and juice.

This makes a quick breakfast - and a sneaky way to get some veggies in! We love it! You can use a bit of sausage instead of the bacon - or ham.

Hope everyone is enjoying summer as it winds down!

Verse for Today: II Timothy, Chapter 1, Verse 7

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Fear I know can be a crippling thing for many people. I can remember as a teenager waking up in the middle of the night with my heart pounding. My lamp was at bedside, but I was too afraid to reach over far enough to touch it. I would desperately close my eyes and try to regain sleep, while nightmare thoughts raced through my brain. A spirit of oppression, of raw, naked fear was there. Thanks to God, that spirit of fear no longer troubles me. I keep this verse handy in my mind and if that spirit ever tries to trouble me, I quote it. Because God did not give us that spirit of fear. He has given us power, love AND a sound mind! Whoo! So face that fear and tell it how big your God is!

Have a great week, I will try to be back on sooner next time!

Monday, August 10, 2009

FOR TODAY (August 10, 2009)...

Outside my window... Gray skies and clouds, rain gently wending its way down

I am thinking... of how majestic this day is!

I am thankful for... a day to myself to do whatever I want

From the learning rooms... always learning something!

From the kitchen... Hmmmm. . . ribeye steaks, fresh corn on the cob, fresh tomatoes from our own vines, sauteed summer squash - doesn't get much better. I will also be making some cookies and canning some Spicy Plum Sauce.

I am wearing... my leopard print PJs - how lazy am I?

I am creating... a haven of peace and contentment in the midst of a chaotic world

I am going... to take a shower and run to the grocery store in a few minutes

I am reading... Psalms - makes my heart sing; A Sudden and Fearful Death by Anne Perry

I am hoping... that this day will last a good long while

I am hearing... the occasional rumble of thunder - I love the sound of thunder, don't you?

Around the house... just a little, scrub the tub and a teensy bit of laundry, maybe mop the kitchen floor I do need to clean out the trunk of the car, it has gotten rather jumbled

One of my favorite things... is the sky this morning - we have gray, glowering thunderclouds floating over - but over yonder a ways there is a patch of blue sky

A few plans for the rest of the week: Hmmm . . . . working, of course. If I can get enough tomatoes, canning some pepper and onion relish, then Book Sale at work Wednesday and Thursday, then the weekend cleaning out the garage

I hope that someone still reads this, but if not, I will keep on anyway. I have been absent for a good long while, devoting my time instead to my family and to experiencing the joys of summer - melon gobbling, corn feasting, air conditioner loving. We have had a beautiful summer here in Missouri, which is quite rare. Then too, I just have not felt a huge urgency to blog. I am ready now to have this month over, as I will quite likely be working from home again then, at least most of the time, I may still have to work at the office one or two days a week. And now that I have that to look forward to, I feel like blogging again. So, sorry if I have been gone long, I have missed hearing from everyone.

Much love - Raquel

Monday, May 18, 2009


FOR TODAY (May 18, 2009)...

Outside my window... pale sunlight tinging a cloudless sky

I am thinking... about the awesomeness of God - to think that the Lord of all creation would deem me worthy to serve him - WOW!

I am thankful for... beautiful times spent with family - shopping with my Mama, sweet baby kisses from my great-neice - these are the things that make the world go-round!

From the learning rooms... making some rose petal jelly today

From the kitchen... Pork chops, cheezy potato pancakes, sauteed spinach, chocolate chip croissant bread pudding

I am wearing... green pajamas with cupcakes on them (not real cupcakes, printed ones!)

I am creating... a surprise package for a sweet friend!

I am enjoy my whole day today!

I am reading... the end of the book of Job, Thomas Costain's the Last Plantaganets

I am hoping... that my storage room is completed this week!

I am hearing...the hum of the computer and the twittering of the Baltimore Orioles - they want MORE jelly!

Around the house... not a lot - change the sheets, mop kitchen floor, vacuum. Otherwise, we are pretty good.

One of my favorite things... is making a menu - so much easier to shop.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Today I am going to Moms and make Rose Petal Jelly. Working of course, hopefully finishing storage room and getting tomatoes out.

Here is picture thought I am sharing..

My sweet little Woogie cat wanting out!

Got daybook?

Sorry it has been so long since I posted. I have been busy living the seasons!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY (April 20, 2009)...

Outside my window... A clear sky! Thank you Lord, it has rained ALL weekend!

I am thinking... of what to give to my supervisor - she just became Gramma this week!

I am thankful for... the fact that we had business at our garage sale this weekend - Rained all day and there were 97 other garage sales in town the same day.

From the learning rooms...studying up on roses and begin cutting out a new apron.

From the kitchen... Dark chocolate cherry muffins, chicken enchilada bake.

I am wearing...yellow shorts, gray t-shirt (my night clothes)

I am creating...surprise bags for the ladies I am traveling with later this week!

I am going... to go to a Ladie's Retreat on Thursday - Can't Wait for Floodgates!

I am reading... The Face of a Stranger by Anne Perry.

I am hoping...that the weather will be nice this coming weekend.

I am hearing...the dishwasher, my little ceramic heater taking the chill off, Honey running water in the bathroom.

Around the house...Vacuuming, ironing, just a little general straightening.

One of my favorite things... is raspberry jam!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Tonight straighten up house. Tomorrow take boxes of left-over garage sale items to the Samaritan Center. Thursday - off to the Ladie's Retreat!

Here is picture thought I am sharing..

Aren't they beautiful - precious sisters in the Lord praying for one another!

Got daybook? If not - go get it!

Hope that you all had a good week last week - mine was pretty consumed with the garage sale and we had inspection at work. Also, our cat was diagnosed with diabetes and was quite sick all last weekend. He is much better now, but we are having to give him insulin injections twice a day. Anywhoo - we are back on track now, weather is gorgeous today. We have planted 2 rose bushes - a Charlotte Armstrong and a Touch of Class. We also planted a Japanese cherry tree - a gift to me from Honey for our 6-month anniversary!

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

This is the dessert that I made for Easter - very rich!

1 1/2 cups Oreo cookie crumbs (or chocolate wafer crumbs)
3 tablespoons melted butter

3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 can sweetened condensed milk (such as Eaglebrand)
3 eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon flour

Mix oreo crumbs and butter in a bowl. Press firmly into a 9-inch springform pan on the bottom.

Heat oven to 300F.

In a bowl mix cream cheese, milk, eggs and vanilla. In a small bowl, toss 1/2 cup chocolate chips with flour. Stir into cheese mixture. Pour into springform pan. Top with remaining chocolate chips.

Bake for 1 hour (i had to make mine a bit longer, maybe 10 minutes or so)

Cool and chill overnight before serving.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY (April 6, 2009)...

Outside my window... BRRRRR! Chilly winds, gray skies and the threat of snow! Winter is throwing us a last hurrah!

I am thinking...of how Great and Wonderful of a Savior I serve.

I am thankful for...a supportive husband.

From the learning rooms...putting together a new apron.

From the kitchen...Chicken Tortilla Soup, Honey White Bread, Parmesan-Garlic crackers, Cheddar Crust Apple Pie, Dark Chocolate Cherry Muffins - can you tell I am in a baking mood? Later this week Smokey Corn Chowder.

I am wearing... a yellow nightgown and my old fuzzy, warm plaid houserobe.

I am creating...a surprise "just because" package for a friend.

I am venture out to the stores after a bit, must have some fresh cilantro.

I am reading...the book of Job. The Hidden Art of Homemaking. Bedford Square.

I am hoping...that I can get everything done for my garage sale on the 18th.

I am little ceramic heater givin' me some love!

Around the house...laundry, clean the bathroom.

One of my favorite things... is to get up early, before Honey, and just meditate on the Lord as I do my early morning tasks. Just to feel that closeness and peace!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Today I am off, so baking extravaganza. Tomorrow thru Friday - work. Then Saturday we are having our Easter dinner as everyone is otherwise occupied Sunday, so I will be making chocolate chip cheesecake, coconut creme pie, deviled eggs and probably broccoli-rice casserole. Squeeze in a library run and I will also be working on tagging things in the garage.

Here is picture thought I am sharing... Some more pretty flowers from last year

Got Daybook?

Ok, here is a recipe for all of you bakers out there.

Honey White Bread

This is a soft, delicious loaf that keeps well.

1-1/4 cups warm milk - I test mine on my wrist, it needs to be at or just below body temperature
1-1/2 tablespoons honey
1-1/2 tablespoons butter flavor Crisco
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups bread flour
1-1/2 teaspoons dry yeast

Place ingredients in breadmaker in the order specified by your machine. Push start button. Wait about 3 hours and voila - fresh bread! I usually just use my dough cycle and then take it out, put in a greased bread pan, let rise a bit longer and pop it in a 350 degree oven and bake it. I'll post a picture later!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook - a day late!

FOR TODAY (March 31, 2009)...

Outside my window... a cold, blustery spring wind whisks playfully around the corners of the house, setting the daffy-down-dillys a' nodding and daring the Bradford pear trees to hang onto their beautiful blossoms.

I am thinking... that I am SOOOOOOOOO glad that my co-worker will be back tomorrow. I enjoy getting up early, but I don't believe working at 6 AM is for me!

I am thankful for... Peace and contentment in my heart.

From the learning rooms...attempting to learn to knit. This may take a while.

From the kitchen... Sausage stew and biscuits. Peanut butter cookies.

I am wearing... black skirt, pink housieslippers, blue striped turtleneck.

I am creating... a shopping list for later in April when I go to Columbia.

I am be off on Friday!!

I am reading... The Hidden Art of Homemaking.

I am hoping... that I will get over feeling so old - my baby turned 20 yesterday!

I am hearing... the fan on my little ceramic heater taking the chill off the house.

Around the house... laundry, vacuuming, clean the shower.

One of my favorite our local thrift store. Never know what you are going to find!

A few plans for the rest of the week: working Wednesday and Thursday, off Friday - taking a good friend who has been going thru quite a trial out to lunch and to the local Amish store to poke around.

Here is picture thought I am sharing... Flowers from last year's garden

apologize for being gone so long, just busy with this, that and the other and have been spending quality time with my honey.

I am leaving you with a quickie recipe

Sausage Stew

1 lb smoked sausage or Polska Kielbasa, thickly sliced
1 onion, cut in wedges
1-2 carrots, peeled and sliced
3 medium potatoes (I like Yukon Gold) peeled and diced
Frozen green beans, a cup or so
Cream of Mushroom soup, I used the 40% more cans of Campbells or could use 2 smaller cans
1 can mushrooms, drained
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Spray a deep skillet (what I call a chicken fryer) with cooking spray or put in a small amount of olive oil. Over medium heat, stir fry vegs for a few minutes. Throw in sausage. Pour in water - how much you use is your preference, this can be as thin or thick as you like. For the bigger can of soup, I used not quite 2 cups of water - remember your vegs will absorb some of it. Cover skillet - if you don't have a lid (I don't) - just take a piece of foil and snug it down on top. Turn your heat down and let it simmer for 20-30 minutes or so. Uncover, stir in soup, mushrooms and pepper. Heat thru. Serve with crusty bread and butter and a nice green salad. This is nice and hearty for a cold spring evening.

You can mix and match vegs in this - frozen mixed vegs work well. Use more or less sausage to your preference.

Sorry, no pics, this was snarfed up in a minit!

I will try to do better, should be easier now that the weather has quit being quite so schizophrenic and my work schedule is back to normal!

Much love - Raquel

Monday, March 16, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY (March 16, 2009)...

Outside my window... Inky dark, I am late doing this. However, the light of day would show slowly greening grass, tulips popping up at my mailbox, robins hopping all over the lawn - Spring is here!

I am thinking... that I have had a very full day - It was a typical Monday at work and we had Honey's Aunt and Uncle over for dinner!

I am thankful for...good Christian fellowship!

From the learning rooms...working on some journaling pages and getting some quotes, poetry.

From the kitchen...Ham steak, Delmonico potatoes, steamed broccoli, rolls and butter, cinnamon applesauce, iced tea and Death by Chocolate cake.

I am wearing...khaki skirt, hot pink tee, housieslippers.

I am creating...some new journaling ideas, possibly a flower bed later on.

I am going... to be glad when this working at 6 AM is over!

I am reading... the book of Ezra.

I am hoping... that the rest of my week will go as smoothly as today.

I am hearing... not much, the peeper froggies are singing tho!

Around the more load of dishes tonight, then laundry tomorrow - otherwise spanking clean.

One of my favorite chocolate cake!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Journaling, cleaning out the basement storage area and . . . . groan - the garage.

Go on over to Peggy's and take a look at what is happening with everyone else today.

Apron Giveaway

Hello out there in blogland! Just an FYI - Monika over at Domestically Inclined is hosting an apron giveaway. She is a good Godly woman - go on over and take a peek! Hurry - before its too late!!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY (March 02, 2009)...

Outside my window... the sun is setting in a blaze of glory, scattering its dying rays over the remnant of the snow we had this weekend.

I am thinking... that I really need to run to Aldi's and get some milk after supper.

I am thankful for... my husband. So understanding, so hard-working, so much fun!

From the learning rooms...learning to trust in God - he has it all under control!

From the kitchen... meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls.

I am sweatshirt, denim skirt, slippers.

I am creating... a new journal.

I am going... to try to go to the mennonite stores again next weekend!

I am reading...not a lot - been working on the new journal.

I am hoping... that they catch whoever was responsible for the arson at my son's old school this past week.

I am hearing...the quiet hum of the computer, honey and DS talking downstairs and bing-banging of the hammer, the sheetrock screw gun.

Around the house...not a lot, I do need to get my closet done and clean out the storeroom in the basement. We did a good clean Saturday as we were snowed in.

One of my favorite pie. I love pie, especially the crust!

A few plans for the rest of the week: clean out closet, work on journal, work on procedures manual, bask in the peace of God!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

DS in full fighting gear!

Won't you go to Peggy's and make your own daybook?

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Winter Wonderland

Hello there from snowy Missouri!

We finally got some snow, to the tune of around 6 inches or so! It is still flurrying a bit.

This is the snow piled up on our back deck railing.

While I usually LOVE snow, I was not particularly wild about this one - I had plans. We were going to go to the Mennonite stores and get some cheese and then down to Burger's Smokehouse and look around, then had a Sister's Teaparty later in the evening.

So, instead, we went out for breakfast - oh how nice. Then we slushed and sloshed around and went to the bank, Walgreen's, the grocery store and Sears - all in the snow! It was so pretty, big fluffy wet flakes.

This is looking across the neighbor's back yard to the corps land across the street.

We ordered our dishwasher! It will be in on the 10th. We also looked at a microwave/vent hood that is very nice - I think maybe once we get the dishwasher paid for . . . . . And of course I looked at new refrigerators and a new stove with a double oven - doesn't hurt to dream - right? We had a lot of fun, tho.

This is our table on our deck - you can't even see the ear of corn that we usually keep in the middle hole for the squirrels!

So, since we are nice and snowy today, I am going to bake something good - probably get started on those chocolate-peppermint scones - and then work on my journaling a bit. Stay warm, everyone!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY (February 23, 2009)...

Outside my window... Bright sunshine but still pretty chilly.

I am thinking... of how grateful I am that God looked down on me, a sinner, and chose to give me mercy.

I am thankful for...bills paid off! In the past month, I have paid off 2 bills of mine - now I only have one left and I can make double payments on it!

From the learning rooms...still working on quilt top placement and some scrapbooking this week!

From the kitchen...Calico Bean soup, cornbread with honeybutter and sweetheart cupcakes.

I am wearing... red capri PJ bottoms with crocheted lace trim and an old white T-shirt, my plaid flannel robe.

I am creating... an idea for a heart quilt. Some chocolate-mint scones.

I am going... to go bless my ex-sister-in-law with some groceries as she is going thru a hard time.

I am reading...I got some new old books the other day - have not had a chance to start on them yet.

I am hoping... to be working from home within a couple of weeks!

I am hearing... the hum of the computer fan - it is nice and quiet - DS is gone and honey is at work - I have the day off as I worked the weekend.

Around the house... Not much, Do the breakfast dishes.

One of my favorite things... is purses! I love a new purse!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Today - clean out freezer (finally, I have been planning it for weeks). I do need to clean out my closet and rearrange a few things in there. Clean out storage area in the basement. Weekend plans - going to the Mennonite store again, then to Burger's Smokehouse and a Sister's Tea.

You know you wanna . . . go ahead . . . go over to Peggy's and check out everyone else!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Rest for the Weary

Hello on this beau-ti-ful sunny day! At least it is here. Our weather has been up and down here lately, but warmer than normal. Brings thoughts of a beautiful spring. I have the day off today, but I have to work the weekend.

I would love to be a homemaker and be at home every day, cooking, cleaning, sewing, crafting. But at this point in my life, that is not what God would have my life to be. Having been a single mother for many, many years, I HAD to work. Along with working came bills - student loans, car loans, etc. So now, I have a few bills to pay off before I could ever think of reducing my work hours.

Believe you me, I cherish the days when I do not have to be in the workplace or tied to my computer! Those are the days I live for. Some people live to work - I work to live.

Rest. God gives us such sweet rest in Him. His is the rest which causeth the weary to rest. "But ye, brethern, be not weary in well-doing". His is the rest that is so complete that it feels like you can just step off of a high cliff and rest assured that he will catch you before you even start to fall. Rest so complete that you are refreshed every day, going forward into each new day with purpose and zeal to conquer whatever tasks may come to you that day. Rest so complete that, while your worries have not disappeared, they no longer cause you ulcers - because you are resting in Him! Rest so precious that not all of the jewels and gold in this world would cause you to leave it. Rest uplifting - knowing that He is your soon-coming King. Rest so wonderful that it becomes hard to leave off communing with Him to go back to mundane life here on Earth.

I pray that everyone who reads this post will know that rest.

Speaking of rest, here is a recipe that will let you rest - while the Crockpot does the rest! (Tee Hee - sorry, could not resist that pun!)

Cranberry Pork Roast

2-3 pound boneless pork roast (I buy a whole pork loin and have it cut into about 4 roasts)
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
A big spoonful of honey
1 can whole-berry cranberry sauce
1 large onion, diced
Salt and Pepper to taste

Bung all of the above in a crockpot big enough to hold it all and cook on high for about 6 hours, or low for 10 or what have you. I usually turn it on high for about an hour or so, then on low for the rest of the day. Can add a splash of worcestershire sauce. Serve with peas and home-made mashed potatoes.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY (February 16, 2009)...

Outside my window... No windows here, alas! When I peeked outside earlier, however, it was bright sunshine - but cold!

I am thinking... that I am going to buy some lotion from my son's friend who makes it - he gave me a trial of orange-spice lotion - MMMMmmmmmm!

I am thankful for... A thoughtful husband. He took me out for breakfast on Valentine's day and then out for frozen custard later!

From the learning rooms...working on laying out a quilt top later this week.

From the kitchen... lasagna, garlic bread. Apple-spice cupcakes with either caramel or cream cheese frosting. Making some blueberry granola later.

I am wearing...long black straight skirt, pink turtle neck, black overblouse with bright flowers on it. My old black penny loafers. Pantyhose - ugh!

I am creating...a procedures manual for work.

I am going... to be off Friday and next Monday! But, I have to work the weekend.

I am reading... not much, anyone have any good suggestions?

I am hoping...that my day off will go as planned.

I am hearing...not a lot, everyone is at lunch.

Around the house... not a lot, we did a good clean Saturday. Need to start spring cleaning, getting in those crooks and crannies.

One of my favorite things... is bath salts - my son suprised me with some rose-scented ones for Valentine's!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Today - make granola. Tomorrow - clean out freezer. Wed - Bible Study. Thu - clean out pantry. Friday - cook birthday dinner for Dad, go to new Amish store, make dessert for Saturday. Sat - work, then dinner with friends.

Hop on over to Peggy's and see what everyone else is up to!

Monday, February 9, 2009


FOR TODAY (February 09, 2009)...

Outside my window... A gray, drippy, rainy day - but that is a blessing, because it has been soooo dry here!

I am thinking... of a menu for the week!

I am thankful for... good preaching and teaching at church this weekend, good inspiration from bloggy friends - thanks Caryn!

From the learning rooms... It is my belief that we should never quit learning. This week, I am going to try to perfect pain au chocolat!

From the kitchen...sliced ham, cheesy potatoes, broccoli and applesauce.

I am patterned turtleneck with hearts, straight black skirt, penny loafers.

I am creating... a Valentine's Menu a'deux!

I am going... back to Versailles on the 28th - my cheese was all gone and I have a rain check!

I am reading... Not much, I really need to do a good Amazon shop!

I am hoping... that our tax refund comes back this week!

I am hearing...computers humming, clicking of keyboard keys - I am at work!

Around the house... not a lot, I do need to straighten up my pantry and clean out the freezer. Otherwise, I have a project for work that I am working on!

One of my favorite things... is garage sales! I got several nice tops and a brand new pair of sandals this weekend at a garage sale!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Today - Wal-Mart for bi-weekly supplies, tomorrow - baking, Wednesday Bible study, Thursday shopping, Friday - no plans yet!

No picture today, that will have to wait until I am back home.

Pop on over to Peggy's and take a look at everyone else!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY (February 02, 2009)...

Outside my window... it is dark, sad to say - I am frightfully late getting around to this!

I am thinking...of how blessed I am in life. God is so gracious and he blesses us each day - abundantly!

I am thankful for... Patient friends! Whom I hope are reading this and realizing I AM still alive and kicking!

From the kitchen... chocolate cream cakes for Honey's lunch, Chef Salad

I am wearing... *blushes* my pink house robe

I am creating...a Valentine for my Sweetie

I am going... to go shopping at the Mennonite Stores this weekend!!!

I am reading...The Bible, Sherlock Holmes Pastiches - I need some new reading material!

I am hoping... that we will get our tax refund by this weekend - at least state!

I am hearing... the blower on the humidifier running.

Around the house... vacuuming to be done, not a lot else.

One of my favorite things... is granola! I am going to try a new recipe tonight!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Working early tomorrow and possibly Wednesday. Not a lot else, possibly a library run tomorrow after work. Then on Saturday, shopping and we are having the pastor and his wife over for a buffalo roast dinner.

No picture, as I have sent my old 'puter back in and I am using Honey's for this!

I do want to share a good quick recipe with you tho!

Spicy Crackers

1 package oyster crackers
2 sleeves Ritz crackers
1-1/4 cups oil
1 package Fiesta Ranch Hidden Valley Dip Mix
1 Tablespoon (or more!) of crushed red peppers

Place dip mix, peppers and oil in a large ziplock bag. Pour in crackers and squish around gently until all good and seasoned. Pour onto 1 or 2 large rimmed cookie sheets and bake at 225 or so for about 20 minutes.

These are great with creamy soups or with salads.

Friday, January 9, 2009

I am still here

Sorry for another long absence, this will get better before long, I promise. We are trying to finish up building another bedroom downstairs and I have all the normal housework and laundry to keep up with, as well as working out of the house. I should be coming home in a couple of weeks, so things will be better then.

I will try to get some pictures up here of our progress on the room.

I have been reading all of my regular blogs, so I have not forgotten anyone.

I do, however, want to share my recipe for coconut macaroons. These are not just an average, everyday cookie. They go really well on a holiday tray, though and they are great for a tea party.

Triple Coconut Macaroons
Makes approximatley 4 dozen 1-inch cookies

1 cup cream of coconut (coco lopez or the like) NOT COCONUT MILK - use the stuff that you would use to make a pina colada
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
4 large egg whites
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

Whisk the above ingredients together in a small bowl.

In a large bowl mix:
3 cups unsweetened, shredded, desiccated (dried) coconut (I buy this at a Mennonite store, it is the little tiny flakes)
3 cups sweetened flaked or shredded coconut

Mix together with fingers. Pour ingredients of small bowl over and mix well with a rubber spatula. Pop in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Prepare 2 baking pans by lining with parchment and then spraying parchment with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Drop heaping tablespoons on to prepared sheets. Form them into loose haystacks with fingertips. (apparently this is the traditional shape for macaroons)

Bake for approximately 15 minutes, rotating pan front to back halfway through cooking time. Cool on sheets until set, approximately 2 minutes, Remove to wire rack with wide metal spatula and cool.

Can dip bottoms in chocolate - oh yeah baby!

I have some more recipes just waiting for you . . . . cranberry pork roast, spicy crackers, pork schnitzel, stollen bites . . . . so don't give up on me, I will rev it up once I get working from home!

Much love to you all!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!!!!!

Sorry I have been gone AWOL, but this new job has me out of the home more than I would like. However, if I am to pay the bills, it must needs be done. Hopefully, I will be home soon and have more time.

We are all well here, no sickness thank the Good Lord! Honey has been busy, busy, putting up sheet rock and insulation, putting in a new garage door and working some overtime as well. I have been busy working and keeping up with the housework, too.

Amidst all of this busy-ness, we still find time for God. You know, many people say they don't have time to go to church or worship God, but he gives us 24 hours a day - every day. Can't we take just an hour or two out of that to devote to him? And don't get me started on tithing! The money that you "save" by not tithing will be paid somewhere else - many times to a doctor or an "unexpected" bill. So let's show our Lord some love this year!

I am looking forward to the new year with great anticipation. I am not going to diet as such - just eat more sensibly and exercise more. I may not set the world on fire, but I will enjoy my life. I will pray more, get into the Word more, be more in tune with God!

I mentioned earlier in my blog that I had a Christmas tea party for the ladies in my church. As usual, fuzzy headed me forgot to take pictures whilst everyone was here! But I do have the soup recipe from the party - ummy yummy! I am also going to share the recipe for friendship tea - everyone's favorite!

Mexican Chicken Soup

4 chicken breast halves, cooked and cubed
1 can chicken broth
1 can Rotel
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 lb. Velveeta cheese, cubed
1 Tablespoon chili powder.

Combine all ingredients in crock pot and slowly simmer until hot.

Friendship Tea

1 (18 oz) jar Tang
1/2 to 3/4 cup sweetened lemonade mix
3/4 cup instant tea
2 (3 oz) packages apricot or peach Jello
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash of cloves
3 cups sugar

Mix and store in airtight container. To serve add 2 heaping teaspoons tea mix to 1 cup hot water.

As you can tell, I did mix-n-match snowmen for decor and it worked great! I used the tablecloth that I had left over from a work party, then the napkins were from my great friend, Marie. The plates and cups I found on sale at Dollar Tree. The great thing about living in the country is you don't have to be too fancy! I served the cranberry cake with hot butter sauce for dessert and we had finger sandwiches.

I wish everyone reading this a most blessed new year!