Monday, March 31, 2008

Menu Plan Monday for March 31


Monday again! It's still very snowy and wintry up here -- we had snow today! -- so I'm still incorporating a lot of soups and other hearty meals into my menu plans. As usual, my plan for this week includes some repeat meals that didn't get used last week. I'm late getting my menu plan posted, but decided it was better to post it late than never.

MONDAY: Magic Mountain Soup, Whole-grain Biscuits

TUESDAY: Apricot Beef Stir-fry, Rice, Spinach Salad

WEDNESDAY: Magic Mountain Soup (leftover from Monday), Bread/Biscuits

THURSDAY: Country Pork Chop Supper, Coleslaw, Multigrain Biscuits

FRIDAY: Spinach Tortellini Soup, Focaccia Bread

SATURDAY: Baked Fish Chowder, Multigrain Bread

SUNDAY: (potluck at church) Italian Sausage with Vegetables, Broccoli Salad, Dessert (yet to be determined)

If you would like to see menus which others have shared, head over to I'm an Organizing Junkie and check out the links. Usually well over 100 people share links to their weekly menus. You'll find some great ideas and often recipes too.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Show & Tell Friday for March 28


For Show & Tell today, I'm going to share a couple of things that are on the walls in our upstairs bathroom. I have a few other small items hanging on these walls, but these are my favorites.

First, this cross-stitch of one of my favorite verses -- "This is the day which the LORD hath made" (Psalm 118:24) was made by my good friend Marilyn. I love this because it's the first thing I see every morning while getting ready for my day. It's such an excellent reminder that even when the day doesn't look particularly joyful, I can rejoice and be glad in it because it is the day the Lord has made!

And then there is this neat wall hanging which reminds me that a true friend is always praying for me. I bought this with my friend Terry in mind, but then found out that the colors were totally wrong for the RV which is her full-time home. We agreed that I would hang it here (where the colors are perfect) and think of her when I look at it. And I do! It's a good reminder to pray for her.

That is all I have to share today, but I hope you have enjoyed seeing these things. They are special to me!

To see what others have shared for Show & Tell Friday, head on over to There is No Place Like Home

and check out the links. Happy Show & Tell Friday, everyone!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Menu Plan Monday for March 24


Another Monday! They certainly do come around quickly! It's still very cold and wintry up here, so I'm still incorporating a lot of soups and other hearty meals into my menu plans. As usual, my plan for this week includes some repeat meals that didn't get used last week.

MONDAY: Ham & Bean Chowder, Anadama Bread

TUESDAY: Apricot Beef Stir-fry, Rice, Spinach Salad

WEDNESDAY: Crab Salad Croissants. Veggie Bean Soup

THURSDAY: Chicken Pineapple Stir-fry, Bow-Tie Pasta

FRIDAY: Salisbury Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans

SATURDAY: Baked Fish Chowder, Multigrain Biscuits

SUNDAY: Spicy Lemon Chicken, Brown Rice, Asparagus Stir-fry Vegetables

If you would like to see menus which others have shared, head over to I'm an Organizing Junkie and check out the links. Usually well over 100 people share links to their weekly menus. You'll find some great ideas and often recipes too.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Vintage Easter cards

Kelli is not doing Show & Tell today because of the Easter holiday, but I have been wanting to share images of my vintage Easter cards, so here they are. I have just a few from the 1950s-1960s.

This first one was sent to me and my siblings by a friend of our family when I was a child. I'm not a cat lover, but these little kittens in their Easter bonnets are sort of cute.

I love how the violets on this card have a three-dimensional effect.
Isn't this Easter bonnet pretty?
These last few are not actually Easter cards (to my knowledge) but they have a springtime look, so I wanted to share them. These are quite old, from the 1890s or so. I was fortunate to inherit a whole shoebox of these neat cards. Many of the others have Scripture verses on them, and I want to share some of these at a later date.

Here is a scene of crocuses. I think perhaps this shaped card was meant to be used as a fan.

This one, with its basket of flowers, is definitely fan-shaped.
And this little Victorian miss is wearing such a pretty spring outfit!
Hope you have enjoyed this look at some vintage Easter cards!

Sew Crafty Friday for March 21



For Sew Crafty Friday today, I thought I would share something I made several years ago. This unusual cross-stitch was made for my daughter in remembrance of her dear friend Emily. Emily died not long after their high school graduation. I saw this design in a stitchery catalog and longed to make it for my daughter, but the kit was beyond my means. The saying reads, "They thought we were sisters... but we were closer." I loved the colors and the scene itself. To me, the buildings in the distance look like a university, perhaps. The two girls met and became friends while at boarding school, so it just seemed to fit. One day I joined a craft book club, the type where you can choose several books for $1 or so each. One of the books I chose featured on its cover the very design I had wanted to stitch for my daughter! Needless to say, I was elated to find the design so inexpensively. I stitched it on Aida cloth rather than linen (otherwise I'd probably still be working on it) to save even more money.


My husband made the frame, as the design was an unusual size. I told him how I wanted the frame to look and he produced it for me. Then I painted it with metallic gold paint to get the look I wanted. This photo shows the completed stitchery hanging in our daughter's first home in SC.

If you have managed to accomplish or even start any crafting this week, then head on over to Waiting for Him and share your projects. Shereen and others will be eager to see what you have to share.

Happy Crafting!

Favorite Ingredients Friday for March 21



With Easter this weekend, my thoughts turn to brunchy foods, and I thought of these wonderful pastries. This recipe is too good not to share, so here it is. This is sort of a long recipe, but you can divide the work over 2 days, since the dough needs to chill 8 hours or overnight. It's much easier than the usual Danish pastry recipe. My family has always loved these pastries, which I sort of invented by combining 2 different recipes. They do freeze well, and I would often keep a bag of them in the freezer to reheat individually on busy school mornings.

CHEESE DANISH

2 envelopes active dry yeast
1/3 cup sugar, divided use
1/2 cup warm water
4 cups flour
2 tsp. salt
1 cup cold butter or margarine, cut in small pieces
1 cup milk
2 slightly beaten eggs
1 beaten egg (for glaze)

In small bowl, stir 1 tsp. of sugar into the warm water. Sprinkle yeast over; stir and let stand 5 minutes or until foamy. Meanwhile, in large bowl, combine the flour, remaining sugar, and salt. Add the butter; cut into flour mixture with pastry blender until mixture resembles cornmeal. Add milk, eggs, and yeast mixture. Stir with wooden spoon to make a soft dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 8 hours, or overnight.

1 1/2 hours before serving:
Grease 2 baking sheets (or line them with parchment paper or teflon liners). Remove dough from fridge. Punch down; remove 1/4 of the dough and place on a lightly floured surface, turning dough to flour all sides. Return the bowl, covered, to the fridge. Cut removed dough into 6 pieces. With floured hands (you may need to keep flouring them), roll each piece into at least a 12" rope. Coil each rope loosely on the baking sheet, tucking end under. Leave at least 2" between pastries to allow room for rising. Brush with beaten egg. Repeat with remaining dough, using 1/4 of dough each time and returning bowl to fridge each time until all the dough is used.

Let the pastries rise, uncovered, at room temperature 25-30 minutes or until puffy.

Heat oven to 350ΒΊ. Using floured finger or wooden spoon handle, make deep indentation in center of each pastry. Fill indentations with cheese filling. Brush dough again with beaten egg. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to cooling racks.

Cheese Filling:
2 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tblsp. grated lemon rind
1 egg

Blend cheese, sugar, and rind. Gradually add egg, beating until smooth.

If you like, you may make some plain confectioners' sugar icing to drizzle over the finished pastries, but they are wonderful without it.

To see what others have shared for Favorite Ingredients Friday, head on over to Overwhelmed with Joy and check out the links.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Rejoicing in God


As I continue to work my way through the study Finding God's Path Through Your Trials, I'm finding that God is bringing all sorts of encouragement to my heart from His Word about dealing with trials. Today I turned to March 20 in the wonderful classic daily devotional Streams in the Desert. The reading fit so perfectly with what I am learning that I wanted to share some of it with you.

The verse for today is 2 Corinthians 6:10a -- "As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing."

And here is part of the reading for today:

"Amid manifold trials, souls which love God will find reasons for bounding, leaping joy. Though deep call to deep, yet the Lord's song will be heard in silver cadence through the night. And it is possible in the darkest hour that ever swept a human life to bless the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Have you learned this lesson yet? Not simply to endure God's will, nor only to choose it; but to rejoice in it with joy unspeakable and full of glory."

What a blessing to me today! I pray that it will also be an encouragement to each one of you.

"Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.
"Yet the LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life." (Psalm 42:7-8)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Trusting God


I've been continuing to look over notes I took in fall 2006 at a women's seminar with Elizabeth George. These notes I'm sharing today are from session 2, which was all about trusting in the Lord. Here's what I wrote:

We can say to God, "Lord, Your Word says, "In every thing give thanks" (1 Thessalonians 5:18) and "all things work together for good" (Romans 8:28). Your Word is truer than anything we're thinking or feeling."

We can never view life through the lens of experience or feeling. We must see the big picture (God and His sovereignty and majesty) behind every difficulty.

We can trust Him for:
1) our #1 problem each day
2) the "good" things in life
3) the "bad" things in life
4) the large things in life, the life-altering things
5) the small things
6) the people in our lives -- they are "sandpaper" to help conform us to Christ
7) all things "If our circumstances find us in God, we shall find God in all our circumstances." --D. L. Moody
8) good -- God intermingles all the events of our lives to produce something good.

I was especially encouraged by the thought that we should never view life through the lens of experience or feeling, but that we must remember that God's Word is truer than anything we might be thinking or feeling. It reminds me again of something I've mentioned before -- how that after September 11, 2001, when we found ourselves in a bit of difficulty as we traveled, I saw a sign -- one of the many that businesses put up during those dark days -- which read, "Keep your focus on God -- He can be trusted." I can't think of any better advice for any difficulty we face.

Is your focus on God? He can indeed be trusted!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Trusting God's Heart...


Today I received a postcard in the mail from a friend. It was message-side up in the stack of mail, so I read the encouraging words my friend had shared and thanked God for her. Later, as I was sorting through the rest of the mail, I picked up the card again and glanced at the other side -- the "picture" side. It was a photo of a sunflower, but there were words, too -- words that fit so perfectly with what I'm learning from the study Finding God's Path Through Your Trials, that I just had to share them.

"God is too good to be unkind, He is too wise to be mistaken, and when you can't trace His hand, that's when you must learn to trust His heart."

I am trusting God's heart today. How about you?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Menu Plan Monday for March 17


Another Monday! And Easter coming up this weekend! As usual, my plan for this week includes some repeat meals that didn't get used last week.

MONDAY: Pizza, Pasta Veggie Salad

TUESDAY: Forgotten Jambalaya (leftover from Sunday), Rice, Zucchini/Summer Squash blend

WEDNESDAY: Mindless Meatball Minestrone, Wheat Italian Bread

THURSDAY: Alfredo Veggie Lasagna, Wheat Italian Bread

FRIDAY: Meatball Minestrone (leftover from Wednesday), Focaccia Bread

SATURDAY: Tortilla Enchilada Soup, Cornbread

SUNDAY: Spiral-sliced Ham, Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes, Brown Sugar Carrots, Buttered Sugar Snaps/Green peas, Molded Coleslaw Eggs, Dessert (to be determined)

Sunday will also be our Sunrise Breakfast at church. I'm planning to bring a hash brown casserole and a pan of cheese danish-type squares.

If you would like to see menus which others have shared, head over to I'm an Organizing Junkie and check out the links. Usually well over 100 people share links to their weekly menus. You'll find some great ideas and often recipes too.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Bookends


Back in fall of 2006, I was blessed to attend a Woman After God's Own Heart seminar with Elizabeth George. This was the second time I have been blessed to hear Elizabeth in person. Recently, I've been going through a folder of devotional thoughts and Bible study notes I've saved over the years. Among those items, I found the leaflet on which I'd taken the notes for this seminar. On the back, I wrote down something Elizabeth said which encouraged me then, but encouraged me even more when I read it this time. It was in reference to Romans 11:33:

"O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!"

And this is what I wrote down: "The wisdom and the knowledge of God can serve as the bookends, the pillars, between which we can file all the unexplainable things in our lives."

What a blessing to think about! Picture a set of bookends. One bookend is labeled "The wisdom of God." The other bookend is labeled "The knowledge of God." And in between the two bookends, we may file everything in our lives that we don't understand. Because God does understand them! They are things that He, our all-wise, all-knowing God has allowed for our good and for His glory.

I hope that this simple thought will encourage others today as it encouraged me. Is there something unexplainable in your life today? File it between the bookends of God's wisdom and knowledge!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Still on God's Path...


I want to share just a few more insights I've gained from Finding God's Path Through Your Trials, by Elizabeth George. These are from my study of chapter 8, "Standing with the Giants of Faith" which contains much of an emphasis on Hebrews 11, often thought of as God's "hall of faith". At the end of the chapter, my assignment was to reflect on my own faith and ask myself a few questions.

First, how do I tend to view God's promises? I wrote: I view them as promises that God will keep. I can look to His promises in the absolute certainty that they will be true in my life. I can rest in His promises because He is fully able to perform what He has promised (Romans 4:21).

Second, how do I tend to view God? I wrote: He is all-knowing and all-powerful as well as being "the only wise God" (1 Timothy 1:17). He is sovereign. He knows the end from the beginning and is working all things after the counsel of His own will. There is nothing too hard for Him. He is "too loving to be unkind and too wise to make a mistake."

Third, how do I tend to respond to waiting? I wrote: I tend to have a more difficult time with waiting. I can and will do it -- it's not that I want to take matters into my own hands -- but I may feel nervous and shaky until things are resolved.

So as I thought about this, I was reminded of a couple of wonderful verses that will help me in this last area. Maybe they will encourage someone else, too.

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7)

"In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me." (Psalm 56:11)

"The LORD is my light and my salvation: whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" (Psalm 27:1)

Show & Tell Friday for March 14


Well, better late than never. I'm going to attempt to put up a short post for Show & Tell Friday. I still have a few items to share from different walls in my home. These are from the master bedroom.


This painting was given to us as a wedding gift. We were acquainted with a lovely elderly couple in the church we were attending at the time. The husband had a hobby of making picture frames from old barn boards, and he showed us a number of paintings he had framed and had us choose one. We chose this one depicting the shore of a pond because it reminded us of the view from the cottage where we had spent our honeymoon.


This lace wall hanging was purchased by dear friends of ours when they visited Lancaster County, PA. They knew this Bible verse -- "This is the day which the LORD hath made: we will rejoice and be glad in it" (Psalm 118:24) -- is one of my favorites. The colors go perfectly in our bedroom.

This adorable Holly Pond Hill card was sent to me by one of our daughters. I love the way it depicts the mother and daughter rabbits having tea together and sharing such a good time. It reminds me of time that my daughter and I spent together at a very special tearoom when I visited her in South Carolina.


And last, here is one of my few attempts at quilting. I made this sunflower mini quilt from directions in an old issue of Country Woman magazine. The sunflower's center is made from an assortment of buttons in different tones of brown.


To see what others have shared for Show & Tell this week, go visit visit There is No Place Like Home

and check out the links. It’s so much fun to see what others have to share!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Still on God's Path...


Here is another prayer I wrote as I've been studying Finding God's Path Through Your Trials, by Elizabeth George. I wrote this prayer in light of things I learned through the study of chapter 5, titled "Looking for Blessings".

"Lord,

"I praise You that You have a purpose in my trials -- such a good purpose that I can count the trials as joy. Lord, it is hard. I want to take shortcuts through the trials or avoid the hardest parts of them, but I know that then Your good purposes will not be fully accomplished.

"So I pray, Lord, that You will help me to develop greater staying power so that I may have the blessing of knowing that You are with me in every trial and that You will strengthen me for every aspect of each one. I praise You that You will bring me through my trials a stronger, more stable believer if only I will trust You through them. Please help me not to give up, but to fully rely on You through each trial and to trust You and You alone for the outcome.

"I love You, Lord. In Jesus' Name, Amen."

I have no idea where this finds my readers today. I do know that the Bible tells us we will go through a variety of trials and testings in this life, and that God has a good purpose in them -- such a good purpose that we can count our trials as joy even when they don't look or feel joyful. And so I imagine that someone reading this today may be facing a trial or a testing. I hope that this simple prayer may encourage someone else as it has me.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

God's Path...


A couple of weeks ago I started working my way through a wonderful Bible study by Elizabeth George, Finding God's Path Through Your Trials. I had read through the book when I first obtained it, some months ago. But actually doing the study is so much better than simply reading the book.

As Christians, we know that trials are a fact of life. We all have them, and we all have a variety of them. God's Word says that we will have trials in this life. But the Bible also tells us that we can count these trials as joy! I encourage you to get this book and do the study. It has been a huge blessing to me already, and I'm only about halfway through it.

God has been impressing on me that I should share some of the things He is teaching me, with others. One thing that I've done, as part of the study, is write out some prayers to God concerning His purpose for trials and His presence with me in them. I thought I would begin today by sharing one of the prayers of my heart.

"Dear Heavenly Father,

"I am so thankful for Your lovingkindness, mercy, and grace. I am thankful for Your sovereignty, for Your omniscience and omnipotence. I thank and praise You that You have a good plan for my life and that You will work all things together for good. Help me, Lord, to accept my trials as part of Your good plan, and to be joyful even when life is not joyful, for Your sake. Help me grow to the point of utmost usefulness to You and others. Thank You, Lord, for the good work You have begun in my life and the work You continue to do... even through trials. I love You, Lord.

"In Jesus' Name, Amen."

My prayer today is that God might use this simple prayer of my heart to encourage someone else. Lord willing, I'll post something small and simple every day that I am learning through this study.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Menu Plan Monday for March 3


Monday again! It's another chilly winter day, and we got lots more snow over the weekend, so again this week I have lots of comfort foods on my menus. As usual, my plan for this week includes some repeat meals that didn't get used last week.

MONDAY: Macaroni & Cheese, Mixed Vegetables, Coleslaw

TUESDAY: Meatless Moussaka, Romaine Salad, Wheat Italian Bread

WEDNESDAY: Seafood Chowder, Focaccia Bread

THURSDAY: Meat Loaf, Scalloped Potatoes, Herbed Beans & Carrots

FRIDAY: Corn Chowder, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

SATURDAY: Rosemary Chicken with White Beans, Cornbread

SUNDAY: Forgotten Jambalaya, Cornbread

If you would like to see menus which others have shared, head over to I'm an Organizing Junkie and check out the links. Usually well over 100 people share links to their weekly menus. You'll find some great ideas and often recipes too.