Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Say what???

Sometimes I think my husband just dares me to blog about certain things... such as a couple of weeks ago when we passed this sign while driving down the freeway...

First of all... am I the only one who had never heard of "green manure"? I mean, no, I didn't grow up on a farm, but I do consider myself a country girl, so you would think I would have at least heard of such a thing! Well, I hadn't.

Anyway, we were tootling along I-90 through the boring farm country of eastern Washington heading towards Seattle, when we passed a sign that said something like, "Crop signs in the fence row. Next 14 miles."

"Okay!" I said, just to break the monotony. "Let's see how many different crops we can see for the next 14 miles. We'll keep track to see who spots the most different ones."

So we started watching... "Wheat... Potatoes... Field Corn... Sweet Corn..." I read them off from my side of the road.

All of a sudden my husband and oldest daughter started laughing. "That sign said 'Green Manure'!!" they insisted.

"No way!" I was sure they had mis-read it. After all, who ever heard of "green manure"? And even if there was such a thing (I was imagining something really nasty that is best left unmentioned... after all, I do know what cow manure is!), why in the wide world would it be listed on a crop sign?

"That's what it said!" They were equally insistent. Then they saw it again! "Right there! It really says 'green manure'!" Of course I missed it and still didn't believe them.

The 14 miles passed by and we saw no more signs to prove or disprove their reading abilities. But... a few days later we returned home by the same route. This time my husband deliberately slowed down and carefully watched. "Look!! See? That sign says 'GREEN MANURE'!!"

Would you believe? Sure enough! It did say that. I saw it with my own eyes. And I'm a good reader!

My husband was satisfied that he was right. "I can't wait to see what you blog about this!" he said. (He actually expected me to show my ignorance for the whole world to see and snicker at!)

But I admit... I was completely baffled. What is green manure?? Well, I may be ignorant, but I know where to go for the answers! I Googled it as soon as I got home... and there it is, right there on Wikipedia in black and white... or should I say "green" and white?
"In agriculture, a green manure is a type of cover crop grown primarily to add nutrients and organic matter to the soil. Typically, a green manure crop is grown for a specific period, and then plowed under and incorporated into the soil."
I just love Google and Wikipedia, don't you? You can find out about practically anything with a few strokes of the keyboard!

But... green manure??? Who knew?? At least it's not something nasty!

Are you snickering at me?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Lunch: roast beef sandwiches, pasta salad
Tea: deviled eggs, pretzels, cookies
Supper: spaghetti, green salad, garlic bread

Lunch: mac'n'cheese, broccoli
Tea: tuna sandwiches, carrots
Supper: Chicken Supreme, rice, green beans

Lunch: tacos
Tea: cream cheese sandwiches, canned peaches
Supper: shredded pork sandwiches, cole slaw, cottage cheese

Lunch: chicken strips, chips, carrots
Tea: crackers and cheese, brownies
Supper: leftovers

Lunch: Hamburger Helper, corn
Tea: granola bars, bananas
Supper: pizza

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The White, Green, Black, and Herb of Tea

I've been blogging about tea lately as part of the Gracious Hospital-i-tea blog-a-thon. A few weeks ago Laura asked me what my favorite tea is. And that's what I'm going to blog about today.

I don't have just one favorite... it's actually hard for me to choose a favorite of anything. It depends on my mood, among other things. And isn't variety the spice of life? But I can share with you some of my favorite varieties of tea!

First thing in the morning, I like... coffee. Whoops! That's not tea, is it? Oh, well. It's my blog so I can talk about it if I want to! Now, what I really like is a caramel latte... but (out of consideration for my waistline and my pocketbook) usually I just add some powdered French Vanilla or English Toffee cappuccino mix to my regular coffee... or drink it black. Again, according to my mood.

To get back to the subject at hand... namely, tea... I enjoy spicy-sweet teas throughout the day and at tea-time. Here are a few I like:
  • Constant Comment (from Bigelow). It's been 15 or more years ago that a friend served me a cup of Constant Comment. It was so good that, of course, I commented on it! She said that it was well named because every time she served it she got comments on it!
  • Good Earth Original. I first had this at a home-demonstration party (Usborne Books, maybe?) a few years ago. Caution: if you've never tasted it, be sure to take a sip before you add sweetener because it is a very sweet tea! Right, Farrah?
  • Vanilla Chai. Chai tea is relatively new to me, so I am still experimenting with the amount of sweetener and milk I like in mine. I bought a sampler box with several flavors of chai from Stash recently. Usually I am finding that just a dollop of honey is all I care to add. But when I'm in the mood for something really sweet and creamy, the Oregon Chai latte is particularly decadent!
  • Celestial Seasonings holiday teas. My sister-in-law introduced me to these one Christmas. My favorites are Gingerbread Spice, Candy Cane Lane, and Sugar Plum Spice.
Late in the evening, just before bedtime I like a piping hot cup of mint or chamomile tea with honey:
  • Celestial Seasonings Peppermint.
  • Bigelow Mint Medley.
  • Good Earth Good Night.
  • Celestial Seasonings Sleepy Time.

What are your favorite teas? Have you tried any of the ones I've mentioned? I'd love to know!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Vintage Thingy Thursday

For this week's Vintage Thingy Thursday I thought I'd show you the clothesline I blatantly copied from Confessions of an Apron Queen. (Wanna see hers? Click here.)

Not everything on my clothesline is vintage... the first item is a pair of bloomers that went with a cute little outfit my daughter wore when she was little (mid-1990s)... next is the red ribbon I won for table-setting at the fair a couple of years ago (2006)... (See there! Blue just wouldn't have gone in my kitchen nearly as well!)... then a little smocky apron "Mother Shumaker" (my great-grandmother) made for me when I was a little girl (1970s)... the little yellow piece in the neck of the apron is a vintage square doily... then a white linen hanky with my initial on it (not vintage)... a red doily made by my mother-in-law (not vintage)... the black-and-white gingham child's apron was also made by Mother Shumaker (I think)... and the little wool scarf comes from a different great-grandmother... (I asked my mother what such a tiny scarf was used for and she thinks that Granny probably wrapped it around her baby's neck to keep it warm!)... the red P is my high school letter for academics (yes, our school actually gave letters for academics!) from 1981... and then a red-work "flour sack" tea towel that I just finished!

You can click on the picture to enlarge it to see the details, if you like.

And guess what? I found David's pajamas a couple of days ago!! Since I think my clothesline needs a little more color, I think I'm going to take down the bloomers and hang the teddy bear pajamas there. I'll show you the pajamas next week.

Thursday Thirteen - Edition #24 - "L"

Continuing with my alphabet theme, here are 13 things in my life that start with the letter L:
  1. Laura. My favorite girl's name. ;-)
  2. Laundry. A household chore that I actually enjoy.
  3. Learning. I'm a lifelong learner! There are so many interesting things in this world!
  4. Letters. I've always enjoyed writing and receiving letters.
  5. Library. The free public library... one of the best institutions ever invented! (Are institutions invented? LOL!)
  6. Light. Sunlight, candlelight, firelight... oh, and Sonlight... and of course, the Light of the World.
  7. Literature. Never enough books!
  8. Little House on the Prairie. My favorite book series when I was a girl.
  9. Logic problems. My favorite kind of pencil and paper puzzles.
  10. Louisiana. Where I was born.
  11. Love. "And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."
  12. Lum and Abner. My favorite old time radio show. (Yes, I listen to old time radio!)
  13. Lyle. The love of my life.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Another new blogger...

Please welcome my aunt Aliene to the blogosphere! She is my dad's older sister and she has some fascinating stories and keepsakes to share. Her blog is called Meditations and Memories. Pop by to say "hi" and let her know I sent you!

Speaking of aunts (and uncles) , I have quite a few, as my mother is one of 10 children and Dad is one of 6. Mother's parents had 5 girls and 5 boys, and Dad's parents had 3 girls and 3 boys. Isn't that nice and symmetrical?

Other fun bits of trivia:
  • We use the titles "aunt" and "uncle" in front of the first name in my family. I think it might be a southern thing. (Or maybe it's just us. I dunno.) The only exception to the "rule" when I was a little girl was for my youngest aunt, Rachel, who is only a year older than I am. As an adult, I no longer use the title for my next older aunt and uncle who are within 10 years of my age. But all the rest, I still do.
  • On Mother's side of the family "aunt" is pronounced "ant"... on Dad's side we say "aint"! (Nobody I know says "ont"!)
  • Dad's side of the family enjoys nicknames, so his sisters Aliene, Annette, and Dianne are Aunt Lene, Aunt Nette, and Aunt DeeDee.
  • Two of Dad's sisters married two of Mother's brothers, so I have two sets of double cousins.
  • Of all my aunts, only my youngest (Rachel) and my oldest (Aunt Lene) have blogs. I think that situation ought to be remedied post-haste, don't you?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Sweet-and-Savory-of-Yummy

The theme for this week's tea party blog-a-thon at Gracious Hospital-i-tea is "The-Sweet-and-Savory-of-Yummy" and we're all supposed to share our favorite tea time recipes.

So, from my kitchen... first a favorite cookie recipe.

I have been making these for years from The Fanny Farmer Cookbook which says, "The meltingly light taste of these rich, buttery confections makes them disappear almost as quickly as you can make them."

Viennese Cresents

1/2 pound butter (use real butter for best flavor)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour
1 cup ground nuts
1 teaspoon vanilla (again, real vanilla is best)
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cream butter, then add granulated sugar, flour, nuts, and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Shape with your fingers in delicate crescents, about 2 x 1/2 inches. Roll in powdered sugar and bake on ungreased cookie sheets for about 30 minutes, until just faintly browned. Cool, then roll in more powdered sugar before serving.

Next... a recipe for a delicious instant tea beverage that my mother liked to keep on hand when I was growing up. She said Mrs. Rehfeldt gave her this recipe.

Friendship Tea

1 cup instant tea
3 cups sugar
2 packages instant lemonade mix (Kool-aid)
1 14-ounce jar Tang (1 3/4 cups)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cloves

Mix all well. Use 1 to 3 teaspoons of mix to a cup of boiling water.

And finally... a favorite tea sandwich spread...

Cucumber Chive Spread

1 small cucumber (seeded and shredded)
8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
2 tablespoons chives
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Happy Tea-Time!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Tulip Farms

We just got back from western Washington where I hosted the Sonlight booth at the Christian Heritage Homeschool Conference. The event was Thursday evening, all day Friday, and until 4:15 Saturday. I had told my husband that I wanted to visit the bulb farms in Mount Vernon (north of Seattle) if daylight allowed that evening. It was snowing off and on... and just an hour before sunset... when we got to the farms, but I just loved seeing all the "lilies of the field" in their springtime "array"...

The first field we passed was daffodils...

We could see red, pink, and fuschia tulips in the distance...

We got a little closer to this field...

Red tulips with yellow ones in the distance...

These next pictures were taken from the front lawn of a nursery (which was closed that late in the evening). If it hadn't been so cold and wet (and getting dark) I could have wandered around enjoying the flowers for an hour!

This inspires me to plant a bunch of bulbs next fall, doesn't it you?

I love the early spring bulb flowers. I think because they are so vivid after months of winter drab... and because they don't last long they are such a treat.

Friday, April 18, 2008

House Plants

Are house-plants too boring for Show & Tell? My Christmas Cactus is blooming, so maybe that will keep the "show" from being too boring. I think he's mixed up on his seasons, though. He made a half-hearted attempt to bloom about Thanksgiving time (which is the "proper" time for a Christmas Cactus, I think), but a week or two before Easter he started popping out buds again and hasn't let up blooming since! Anyway, each of these plants has a "story" so I thought they might make an interesting Show & Tell.
The first plant on the left is my over-35-year-old Philodendron. Grandmother sent me a dollar for my 6th birthday in 1971. I can't remember why I decided I wanted to buy a plant with it, but I did. For a few years Mother "helped" me take care of it... and then Grandmother had it for awhile. I remember we got it back when I was in about the 5th grade... and I remember being so impressed that I had such an "old" plant! Ha. It grew long and flourished on top of Mother's piano or on a bookcase over the next few years, and I took it to college with me... and then to my first home when I got married in 1985... and here it is, welcoming you into my new home! I thought I had lost it a few years back... it had gotten so spindly and was down to mostly vines and just a few leaves. I took it apart and repotted it and nursed it carefully, and you can see that it came back for me. If you're looking for an easy-care house-plant I don't think you could get one much easier than a Philodendron! It wants a new pot now, so I hope to get to that soon.

The next plant is what we call an "airplane plant". See the little airplane "flying" down below? (The philodendron vine kinda overlaps it.) This plant was a "start" from a plant my family received for my great-grandfather's funeral in 1979. No, I haven't had mine that long. I think Mother gave me this start... oh, 6 or 8 years ago. It seems like it's had a hard time getting established for me. I am hopeful that it will enjoy the light in our new entry-way and will finally flourish for me.

The third plant belonged to our next-door neighbor 4 or 5 years ago. She was our pastor's mother. She had a green thumb and loved plants of all kinds. When she passed away (at age 93) her daughter-in-law (our pastor's wife) gave me her Christmas cactus. She told me she had given "Grandma" a start off of hers, but Grandma's always bloomed more often. She attributed it to Grandma's green thumb... but it has continued to bloom more often for me, too, and I don't think I necessarily have a green thumb. I enjoy the plants I have (I only have 2 or 3 others besides these), but I wouldn't say house-plants are a hobby of mine or anything. So we don't know why this one blooms more often than it's "mother"! Kinda strange.

Show and TellVisit Kelli's House for more Show & Tell posts.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Vintage Thingy Thursday

My mother sent me these tiny vintage salt and pepper shakers for my "accented in red" kitchen. I hung them on this mail rack on the cabinet by the sink. I just love them! ... but I am trying to figure out why they are in the cute little red-checkered holster? Each shaker is about as big as your thumb. They are blue transparent plastic with aluminum lids. They fit into the fabric sleeves which are connected by a little strip of fabric. My theory is that they hung over something in a picnic basket, but I really have no idea. Does anybody know?

Thursday Thirteen - Edition #23 - "K"

Continuing with my alphabet theme, here are 13 things in my life that start with the letter K:
  1. Karla. My first name... and I've always been happy that my parents chose to start it with a K and not a C. I can't really explain why. I just think K is such an elegant letter!
  2. Katie, Kayla, Keegan, Kendra, Kimalee, Kimberly, Kinsley, Kobe, Konner, Krista, Kylan. Nieces and nephews. (How's that for a list of names? Nine of them are siblings in one family, two in another.)
  3. Keepers at home. "...teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." Titus 2:4-5
  4. Keepsakes. Items from my past with very little monetary value, but with precious memories attached.
  5. Key. I have an antique skeleton key on my key ring. I've been carrying it around with me for, oh, 18 years or so. No, it doesn't go to anything. I just like it.
  6. Keyboard. I use my computer so much that my fingers literally wear the letters right off the keys. That's bad, isn't it?
  7. Kids. You thought I was going to talk about my children, didn't you? I am actually going to tell you about my baby goats. No, I'm not. I have no baby goats. I have "children"... or at least that's what my brother tells me when he hears me refer to them as "kids."
  8. Kindred spirits. Anyone who knows and loves Anne of Green Gables.
  9. Kinfolk. That's what we call our relatives in the south... and obviously, I have a lot of them!
  10. Kiss. I have a few things in my kitchen that say "Kiss the Cook." Ever since I fell in love with a guy named "Cook" all those many years ago, I have enjoyed the "pun"!
  11. Kitchen. I have enjoyed watching the western sky as I work in my new kitchen. This is the first time I've had an over-the-sink window with any kind of a view, so it is a real treat for me.
  12. Knitting. Something I enjoy doing for relaxation. I can knit fairly complicated patterns, but usually I choose simpler patterns just so I have something mindless for my hands to do when I am just sitting. (It is hard for me to sit still without something for my hands to do.)
  13. Kylen. Farrah's little boy. (Betcha thought I wasn't going to mention him, huh, Farrah?) It's interesting because I have a nephew named Kylan... and both families made the name up. Pronounced the same but spelled a little different.

Monday, April 14, 2008

More of Him Monday

I've been thinking a lot about priorities lately. Compared to many of today's families our daily lives are really quite simple. We are not involved in very many on-going regularly-scheduled outside-the-home activities. Yet each morning there are things to be done, tasks to be accomplished. We have a never-ending to-do list, places to go, people to see. It can be overwhelming at times.

I'm sure your life is the same way. I don't know that there's any escaping such a lifestyle in 21st century America. It seems I can never do all the things I need to do, much less all the things I'd like to do. And so, I establish priorities. What is most important for this day? This moment?

The conclusion I have come to is that the only thing that really matters is eternity. Does the way I spend my time now have a bearing on eternity? Does it draw me closer to God? Does it influence someone else to be drawn closer to God?

No, we don't live in a convent or a monastery or some sort of church-like bubble on some heavenly plain. We live in the real world. We have regular ol' work-hard-for-a-living responsibilities. We have children to raise and toilets to clean. The question is, how are we influencing those around us as we go about our daily lives?

My 6th grade teacher challenged me to memorize Longfellow's A Psalm of Life. I thought of one of the stanzas as I was mulling this over, so I looked up the whole poem. I can't still quote the whole thing, but maybe I should re-learn it:

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,--act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o'erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;--

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.
More of Him Monday is hosted by Heather at Not a DIY Life.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Many years ago my mother received this beautiful antique chocolate set as a wedding gift from her brother and his wife. Don't know what a chocolate set is? Well, neither did my mother. She thought it was a tea set for years. The pot is taller and narrow, and the cups are smaller than a tea set. Not sure why that makes it a chocolate set, but apparently there is a difference! Now there I go, getting off the subject again. We're supposed to be talking about dressing for tea this week for Gracious Hospital-i-Tea's blog-a-thon, and I told you last week that my mother would be helping with this week's post. (She took a current picture of her chocolate set and scanned the picture below for me... so it's really more her post than mine! I guess you could say she' s my "guest blogger" today!)

This picture comes from Mother's photo album. It was taken about 1977. (Has it really been 30 years ago?) Finally we girls were old enough to have a "real" tea party with Mother's beautiful "tea" set. We baked a pound cake in a tube pan and put it on one of Mother's pretty hostess trays. (Remember her three-tiered one that I showed for Valentine's Day?) It looks like we also had a platter of something else to nibble on, but I'm sure I don't remember what. Maybe one of the twins will. Dori? Naomi? Any idea?
Mother encouraged us to get dressed up for our tea party. To our minds, getting dressed up involved long dresses. I had out-grown my favorite long red dress so Dori wore that with an organza apron from somebody's wedding. I don't remember Naomi's long skirt (maybe she does)... but mine was actually a bathrobe! And Naomi thought Mother's gardening hat would be the very thing. Don't we just look so prissy?

The thing I love most about my memory of that tea party is that my mother didn't hesitate to let her little girls use her very best china... The twins were 10, and I was almost-12... and we knew we were more important to our mother than anything she owned.

These days she enjoys tea parties with her granddaughters, and she encourages me to have tea parties with them even though she doesn't live close enough to join us very often. My girls and I have been having "every day" teas lately, but I should take the time to have a "dress up" tea with them soon, shouldn't I? Let them get all decked out in whatever seems "dressy" in their minds, and use my best china.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Roasted Cauliflower

This is a recipe I read about in a magazine a few weeks ago. (I wish I could remember what magazine it was. Does it sound familiar to you?) The article explained how roasting the cauliflower at a high temperature would bring out the natural sugars and caramelize them... and that even people who don't ordinarily like cauliflower would eat it this way. I do like cauliflower, and the recipe sounded delicious. I was telling Mother about it, and she thought it sounded good, too. I promised to send her the recipe if I found it again. I think I must have tossed the magazine it was in, but I finally remembered to Google "roasted cauliflower" and found it online here. I don't know if it's the same person or not, but the recipe sounds the same from what I remember: olive oil, salt, pepper, high temperature. So I tried it! And it was delicious! I could have eaten the whole bowlful (one head) myself. But I didn't. Here's what it looked like:
I followed the recipe at The Inadvertent Gardener, so you can just click through to read the instructions. And, yes, I found it "eminently tasty"!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Decorating in Progress

Our house is beginning to come together, one small area at a time! For today's show-and-tell I thought I would share the top of the piano (and portions of the living room). The piano sits along the half wall that borders the entry way. The stairs down to the front door are behind the wall. I've been trying to figure out what I want to put on the piano. I didn't want to put anything very fragile for fear of it getting accidently knocked off, but I couldn't decide just what I did want. First, let me show you how it's coming together... and then tell you how it came about... and then maybe you can offer suggestions!
The picture on the wall is beside the stairs. It's a Norman Rockwell print that I've always loved. (Rachel gave it to me years ago.) I put that picture up a couple weeks ago, before I started thinking about the piano. You would think it would have occurred to me that whatever went on that wall needed to go with whatever went on top of the piano... but, no, I didn't think of that.

Well, I was in Michael's a couple days ago and they had their spring flower "bushes" on clearance. I loved the tulips, and knew the color would be perfect for the living room. I was also needing some blue flowers to tie in with a little bit of blue in the drapes, so I thought the hyacinths would go, too, and the tiny white narcissus were too pretty to pass up, too. At the time I thought I might make an arrangement in the brass vase I showed you last week. So I brought the flowers home and started messing around with them. They were just too much for the brass vase, but as I worked with the flowers I suddenly noticed how they reflected the flowers in the Norman Rockwell print. At that moment I knew they had to go on the piano... and I started wondering how I could reflect that picture on the piano. I immediately thought of Mother's gloves... and the tray basket is just perfect for keeping hymnals close at hand to the piano! (I have several more old hymnals... just haven't come across them yet in my unpacking. Not sure why they weren't all together.)
Now I'm trying to decide if I need something on each end of the piano, or if I want to move the basket to one end to make room for a piano lamp in the middle, and put something else on the other end. What do you think?

Here's a picture of the window end of the room showing the corner of the piano and the drapes I'm working with:
Now I've showed you and I've told you my decorating dilemma! Any suggestions?
Show and Tell

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Meet David!

Several weeks ago I introduced you to "Sits"... a keepsake from my husband's childhood. This week, as part of the Vintage Thingies Thursdays meme going on at Confessions of an Apron Queen, I thought I would introduce to another of my husband's childhood friends. This is David!

Lyle's grandma made David for him. No one seems to remember exactly when, but by my best estimate, David's gotta be pushing 40. And, somehow I suspect that makes him "vintage". Hmm... Okay. We won't go there.

Anyway, David's original outfit was a pair of blue flannel pajamas in a little-boy print. The story goes that after Grandma left, Lyle realized that David didn't have any clothes! So his mom made David some pajamas. David wore those pajamas for a decade or two, and was still wearing them when I made his acquaintance as a young bride. Then several years after we were married Lyle got a package from his mother for his birthday. It was this sporty green wool vest that she had knit just for David! I thought that was so cute. My mother-in-law has a great sense of humor!

So David traded in his pajamas for the vest... and now I'm wondering exactly where his pajamas got off to. I imagine they are mixed in with girls' doll clothes somewhere in the depths of the garage. I'll have to see if I can find them.

Thursday Thirteen - Edition #22 - "J"

Continuing with my alphabet theme, here are 13 things in my life that start with the letter J:
  1. Jacob, Jamison, Jenea, Jessica, Jennifer. Nieces and nephews.
  2. Jam. My favorites are strawberry and peach.
  3. January. Our oldest daughter came into our lives in January.
  4. Jarrell. A family line on my dad's side. (See where I connect here.)
  5. Jesus. "...the only reason I live, but, oh, what a reason!"
  6. Jewels. I only have two, but they are immeasurably precious to their dad and me.
  7. Jigsaw puzzles. Fun to do at family gatherings because you have a chance to visit and laugh while you work around the table.
  8. Jokes. I have a wacky sense of humor.
  9. Journal. I have always enjoyed keeping a journal to chronicle my life and interests. It has taken many forms over the years.
  10. Joy. "I have the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart!"
  11. Juice. I once lived on nothing but juice for 3 weeks. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.
  12. Junk. I'm on a mission to de-clutter as I unpack. Think I'll accomplish it?
  13. Jury Duty. I have only been called once, and ended up not having to serve because it was so close to the time my oldest daughter was born.

Monday, April 7, 2008

More of Him Monday

My husband and I have been standing in awe lately watching God work in our lives. If you've been following my blog for awhile you may remember the rough patch we went through last summer as our beloved church literally shattered around us. It was such a devastating time, and we wondered why God would allow it to happen. We have been praying that God would show us where he would have us to serve next, and just haven't felt His clear leading to another local church, so we have been just been worshiping as a family throughout the fall and winter. We did start a mid-week Bible study with some friends (from our former church family) in our home last fall, but we felt limited in inviting very many others to join us, due to the set-up of the apartment we lived in. Now this spring God so very clearly worked out a way for us to have a much-more-comfortable new home... and we are so excited about the possibilities of using our home for His glory! We have invited other families to join us on Wednesday nights... so we'll see what happens.

The other opportunity for ministry that has opened up for me just recently is through this very avenue of blogging. I have had a blog (maintained off-and-on) since 2002, but just within the past year started keeping up with it regularly. For the past 4 months or so, I've been posting almost daily... and visiting other blogs that are such an inspiration to me. Personally, I don't find myself posting inspirational posts very often, but I've been praying that the Lord would show me anything that He would like me to share. I like this "More of Him Monday" meme, and it is kind of a goal-incentive for me to think throughout the week of what I could share on Monday.

However, my two very favorite pastors have consented to allow me to start and maintain blogs for them. They are my dad, Rev. Darrell Ezell, and my own (now former) pastor, Rev. W.L. Boone. Both of them have messages to share, but neither know very much about the internet and blogging, so as an area of ministry I offered to do it for them if they would e-mail me their articles. They view it as a favor to them, but I view it as a blessing to me! I look forward to reading their messages each week as I post them.

Dad's blog has been up for several months now, and some of you have visited him at Ozark Country Parson.

Pastor Boone's blog is brand-new this week. It is called "In the Cool of the Day." Stop by and welcome him to the internet!

I still don't understand everything that has happened. I don't know what the future holds. But this I do know: I want to be in the center of God's will... and so I am at peace.

Menu Plan Monday

Lunch: grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup, celery with peanut butter
Tea: crackers and cheese, strawberries (The first of the season! ...mmmmm...)
Supper: rice supreme casserole (We didn't end up having it last week.)

Lunch: chicken quesadillas, applesauce
Tea: tuna salad sandwiches, orange slices, cookies
Supper: sausage gumbo, rice

Lunch: Hamburger Helper, green beans
Tea: banana nut muffins, cream cheese
Supper: turkey sandwiches, cottage cheese, pineapple slices

Lunch: sloppy joes, tater tots, carrots
Tea: apple slices, cheese, pretzels
Supper: "planned-overs"

Lunch: baked potatoes with broccoli and cheese
Tea: granola bites, fruit cocktail
Supper: spaghetti, green salad, garlic bread