Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mid-week meanderings


Photo by Prairie Flower Farm

There is certainly not a lot going on in our little world this week, but somehow I am still tired. I am taking to heart this quote which I recently read on Abby's blog, Little Birdie Blessings: "If we really have too much to do, there are some items on the agenda which God did not put there."  -- Elisabeth Elliot

You can read the entire quote here:  Everyday is a Gift and the brief post will be well worth the read.  Abby's blog is one of the most inspiring out there.  It will leave you with some food for thought every time.

Let's see, what I have I been up to that I can share with you?  Last Friday I had three of my grandchildren here for several hours while their mom was at an appointment.  I thought it would be fun to try some new fudge recipes with an eye to Christmas giving for next year.  The fudge came out  fine, but didn't really meet my criteria for kitchen gifts.  You can read about our fudge making adventures here.  I didn't think to take pictures, sadly.
This is not the fudge we made, but I think this is a splendid idea for a gift.
For Sunday's potluck, I tried a new recipe from my new Gooseberry Patch Weeknight Dinners cookbook.
 
 It was Chicken Tortilla Soup.  You can find the recipe and a review here : Chicken Tortilla Soup at my friend Linda's blog, Prairie Flower Farm.  A visit to Linda's farm is always a blessing!

Yesterday, I cooked a chicken in the crockpot and used the meat (which falls off the bone when cooked in a slow cooker) to make a pot of chicken soup and a large container of chicken salad sandwich filling for Mr. T's lunches.  I made these Brazilian Cheese Buns to go along with the soup. 
Picture from King Arthur Flour
They didn't turn out just right this time (looked more like pancakes) and I'm not 100% sure what I did wrong, but they still tasted good.  They are made with tapioca flour and are one of my favorite quick gluten free breads.

Last night we enjoyed a winter concert which two of our granddaughters were taking part in at the elementary school.  The students did a fantastic job and we were thankful for the opportunity to go.  Several last-minute issues on the way out the door made us later than we intended to be (although we were not late), so we ended up standing for the entire time.  It was only an hour or so, so that was not too bad.

I've been enjoying making some new pages for my "What Do I Know About My God?" notebook, using the concept outlined in Mardi Collier's book of the same name.  If you need some encouragement in your spiritual life, I highly recommend this book.  It will get you into God's Word in a new and very encouraging way.

Last week I made a couple of winter-themed mug rugs for a little gift and hope to post pictures of them soon.  In other craft news, I've been working on a cross stitch for my granddaughter Emily's birthday and am continuing to plug away on the pieced place mats.
Two of the more recently finished place mats
Today is warm but the roads (the back roads, like the ones we live on anyway) seem to be rather messy.  I need to go out this afternoon so am praying for safe travels. 

Well, there are my mid-week meanderings.  Hope your week is going well wherever you are!


Monday, January 28, 2013

Goals for week beginning 1/27/2013

Pinkham Notch Camp, Appalachian Mountain Club, 1950
 How did it get to be Monday again so quickly?  Here are my goals for this week:

*  Spend time in 1 Samuel Bible study
* Start Sunday School lesson 11
*  Make 2 pages for "What Do I Know About My God"?  notebook
*  Review Psalm 103:1-5  (memorized some years ago)
*  Read 2 chapters in How to Build Your Home on Holy Ground
*  Limit sugar
*  Exercise 5 or 6 times
*  Keep up with crafting goals for birthdays and finishing UFOs
*  Keep up a good water intake
*  Get to bed by 9:30 or 10 pm each night
*  Post daily in both of my blogs if possible
*  Do some research toward our trip to Nevada
*  Type up some reports for the church annual report
*  Make a simple winter table runner
*  Make a Christmas shadow box with vintage items
*  Keep up with Kelly's Missions for  Zone 5, the living room, plus doing some decluttering and dusting in Zone 4, the bedroom
*  Write some TripAdvisor reviews
*  Spend 2 hours updating my A-Store
*  Make a daily time schedule for the things I need to do.

And here's how last week went:
*  Spend time in 1 Samuel Bible study -- DONE!
* Finish Sunday School lesson 10 -- DONE!
*  Make 2 pages for "What Do I Know About My God"?  notebook -- not done
*  Review Psalm 103:1-5  (memorized some years ago) -- not done
*  Read 2 chapters in How to Build Your Home on Holy Ground -- read only 1 chapter
*  Limit sugar -- not done
*  Exercise 5 or 6 times -- not done
*  Keep up with crafting goals for birthdays and finishing UFOs -- DONE!
*  Keep up a good water intake -- DONE!
*  Get to bed by 9:30 or 10 pm each night -- DONE!
*  Post daily in both of my blogs if possible -- not done, though I did post a few times
*  Keep up with Kelly's Missions for  Zone 4, the bedroom, plus a few from Zone 2, the kitchen and washing bathroom floors -- got the others done but not the Zone 4 tasks
*  Write some TripAdvisor reviews -- not done
*  Make a daily time schedule for the things I need to do -- DONE!

As you can see, there is much room for improvement this week!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

My creative friends and family, part 2

Here are just a few more handmade gifts, these from my birthday earlier this month.
Mug rugs from my friend Ruth

The reverse side of the mug rugs.  I love the prints she chose, especially the bird one.

My daughter Carrie gave me a birds' nest necklace, packaged in this sheer bag.
Another view of the necklace
And a close-up of the birds' nest.  Isn't it pretty?

My Nevada grandkids sent a big envelope stuffed with handmade cards and coloring pages.

Sorry these last two are so blurry, but I guess that's to be expected when I took the pictures with the cards in place on the fridge!  There are actually three of these and they are so pretty and wintry.
 Hope you've enjoyed these handcrafts!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My creative friends and family, part 1

 
For quite awhile I have been meaning to share photos of some of the creative crafting done by friends and family at Christmas time.  I kept forgetting to take pictures, then kept forgetting to load the pictures onto the computer.  I finally got that done yesterday, so here is a little Christmas show and tell.  Tomorrow I may share more creativity.
This beautiful Christmas tree card was made by my friend J.  The picture does not do it justice.  The tree is sparkly and glittery and the star is gem-like.

Inside the card was this snowflake J. had crocheted.  I put it on the tree in our bedroom.

Here is a closeup of redwork done by my friend Ruth ...
... and this picture shows the breadcloth that the redwork is done on.  Such a small intricate design!  I am in awe of Ruth's embroidery skills!

My daughter Joanna made these flour sack dishtowels with her kids for their grandmothers.  The manger is made from a child's footprint and the Christmas lights at the bottom are thumbprints!  They also made amazing t-shirts for the grandpas, using handprints, footprints, fingerprints and thumbprints to make themed designs.

And lastly, a beautiful, warm neck gaiter knitted by my friend J.  Isn't it a pretty color?  And the stitches she used give it such a rich look.
Hope you have enjoyed this look at some of the handcrafts I received for Christmas.  How about you?  Did you or your family give or receive any handmade gifts?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Quick Bean Soup

A vintage cookbooklet from my collection
 We eat a lot of soup at our house, especially in the winter.  It's easy to make and holds well, a must for us because Mr. T's work schedule is so unpredictable.  I am never sure exactly when he will get home.  The soup will either stay hot in a slow cooker or on the stovetop, or can be easily reheated if necessary.  With it I usually just serve something very simple, like bread, cornbread, or biscuits. 

Last week I tried this Quick Bean Soup recipe which I had copied down in my handwritten cookbook but had not previously tried.  It was from a Country Woman magazine about 15 years ago.  We really liked this soup a lot.  I used only half the amount of smoked sausage called for and it was still delicious.  It really was easy and quick to prepare other than chopping and slicing the vegetables, which took a little time.  The recipe makes a lot, but if you have a large family it looks as if it could very easily be doubled. 

Hope you enjoy this hearty soup if you try it!  What is your family's favorite winter soup?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Goals for week beginning 1/20/2012

Cannon Mountain, NH January 1950
 Monday is here again!  So here's a list of my goals for this week:

*  Spend time in 1 Samuel Bible study
* Finish Sunday School lesson 10
*  Make 2 pages for "What Do I Know About My God"?  notebook
*  Review Psalm 103:1-5  (memorized some years ago)
*  Read 2 chapters in How to Build Your Home on Holy Ground
*  Limit sugar
*  Exercise 5 or 6 times
*  Keep up with crafting goals for birthdays and finishing UFOs
*  Keep up a good water intake
*  Get to bed by 9:30 or 10 pm each night
*  Post daily in both of my blogs if possible
*  Keep up with Kelly's Missions for  Zone 4, the bedroom, plus a few from Zone 2, the kitchen and washing bathroom floors
*  Write some TripAdvisor reviews
*  Make a daily time schedule for the things I need to do.


And here's how last week went:


*  Spend time in 1 Samuel Bible study -- DONE!
* Start Sunday School lesson 10 -- DONE!
*  Make 2 pages for "What Do I Know About My God"?  notebook -- not done
*  Review Psalm 103:1-5  (memorized some years ago) -- not finished
*  Read 2 chapters in How to Build Your Home on Holy Ground -- DONE!
*  Limit sugar -- not done
*  Exercise 5 or 6 times -- only managed once, plus went for a walk twice
*  Keep up with crafting goals for birthdays and finishing UFOs -- doing pretty well with this
*  Clean off crafting desk -- DONE!
*  Keep up a good water intake -- DONE!
*  Get to bed by 9:30 or 10 pm each night -- DONE!
*  Post daily in both of my blogs if possible -- didn't quite make this goal
*  Keep up with Kelly's Missions for  Zone 3, the bathrooms, plus a few from Zone 2, the kitchen -- did pretty well with Zone 3 but still have to do the floors
*  Switch from  Christmas decor over to winter -- DONE!
*  Write some TripAdvisor reviews -- not done
*  Write a number of thank-you notes -- DONE!
*  Make a daily time schedule for the things I need to do - DONE!


I'm pleased with what I accomplished, but am sure hoping to accomplish more in the coming week!

Friday, January 18, 2013

A fun surprise in the mail!


This was actually in yesterday's mail: a package from Gooseberry Patch!  I have had a recipe published in one of their new cookbooks, so I get a free copy of the book it's in!  This has happened to me a few times and it's always so much fun when the book arrives.  This new book looks simply fantastic and has many recipes I want to try.  There are meatless Mondays, Tex-Mex Tuesdays, Italian food Wednesdays, comfort food Thursdays and fun Fridays.  It all looks fun to me!

But that's not all!

No, there was a second book in the package!

This one is filled with slow cooker recipes divided up according to the seasons of the year.  Everything from appetizers to desserts!  Can't wait to try these out on the church potluck crowd!

I look forward to spending some quality time browsing through these wonderful new books.  Thank you, Gooseberry Patch!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

What I've been up to ...

Winter collage by Little Birdie Blessings
 Isn't the winter collage above absolutely stunning?  It was created by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings.  If you have never visited her site, do check it out.  She does beautiful work and often has some precious devotional thoughts to share as well.  Today's post is about the treasures of the snow.

I really don't know what all I've been doing this week.  Trying to keep up with my weekly goals, I guess, and partly succeeding.  The week has been odd and somewhat disjointed because Mr. T has been home part of the time due to weather.  And the weather has changed several other things around this week, making it even odder.  So let's see ... what have I accomplished?

I keep trying to declutter my crafting desk and today I think I may have succeeded.  (The picture below is from a previous year, but that's how it looks, pretty much, only with some different cards.)
I put seasonal cards under the glass on my crafting desk.  They delight and inspire me.
 I had several hand-crafted gifts that people have made for me and they were piled on the desk until I could take photos. (I did that today, but now realize I forgot one gift which I had already put away.)   I do want to post about my creative family and friends, one of these days.  The desk was also littered with a hole punch, pens, scissors, threads, and old Christmas cards to create tags from.

I finished lesson 9 for Sunday School and have made a good start on lesson 10.  That always takes some time.

 
Monday is always a huge laundry day for me, so that took up a good part of that day. 
Wish I could say my laundry room really looked like this!
 Then Mr. T came home early so the rest of my plans got rearranged.  I do love having him around, but it's so different when one is not used to it.

Cooking and baking are often ongoing here.  Monday we had leftovers; Tuesday (I think) I made focaccia bread and an easy bean soup for supper.  Last night, leftovers again.  I made a double batch of granola today and froze half of it.  Supper tonight (which I need to start soon) is going to be California Egg Casserole, hash brown casserole, and a fruit salad.

Mr. T was home all day Tuesday so we went to our favorite diner for lunch.  Well, I had breakfast -- scrambled eggs, corned beef hash (homemade) with hollandaise sauce and home fries.  He had a burger with blue cheese, bacon, and fries.  Not too healthy, but we did go for a walk while we were downtown!

Yesterday it snowed all day.  Knowing it was coming, I did the usual Wednesday tasks at my dad's on Tuesday night instead.  That meant I didn't have to go out at all yesterday (other than to the mailbox).  What a treat!  I would have liked to spend the entire day crafting, but opted to do housework and other tasks in the morning and spent most of the afternoon crafting.  I'm working on some pretty pieced placemats that are using up a bunch of my Christmas fabric stash.   I want to make a set of ten.  They will be all different but will have some prints in common.  These sort of match a table runner I made a couple of years ago.  I have finished five of the placemats as of last night.
 
 I also finished making a bunch of gift tags from the 2011 Christmas cards.
Gift tags from 2010 cards
 I never have to buy tags!

Further discombobulating my mind is the fact that we didn't have church last night due to the snowstorm.  At this point I barely know what day it is!  So that is a peek into my out-of-the-ordinary week.  Hopefully I can post some pictures tomorrow.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Goals for week beginning 1/13/2012

(Photo by Little Birdie Blessings)
Another Monday! How do they come around so quickly?  Regardless of how they do it, they just do it in God's timing and we have to accept it.

So here are my goals for this week:
*  Spend time in 1 Samuel Bible study
* Start Sunday School lesson 10
*  Make 2 pages for "What Do I Know About My God"?  notebook
*  Review Psalm 103:1-5  (memorized some years ago)
*  Read 2 chapters in How to Build Your Home on Holy Ground
*  Limit sugar
*  Exercise 5 or 6 times
*  Keep up with crafting goals for birthdays and finishing UFOs
*  Clean off crafting desk
*  Keep up a good water intake
*  Get to bed by 9:30 or 10 pm each night
*  Post daily in both of my blogs if possible
*  Keep up with Kelly's Missions for  Zone 3, the bathrooms, plus a few from Zone 2, the kitchen
*  Switch from  Christmas decor over to winter
*  Write some TripAdvisor reviews
*  Write a number of thank-you notes
*  Make a daily time schedule for the things I need to do.


And here is how last week went:
*  Spend time in 1 Samuel Bible study - DONE!
* Finish Sunday School lesson 9 if possible - DONE!
 *  Make 2 pages for "What Do I Know About My God"?  notebook - DONE!
*  Review Psalm 103 (memorized some years ago) -- only managed to review verses 1-2
*  Read 2 chapters in How to Build Your Home on Holy Ground -- only managed to read one chapter
*  Limit sugar -- not done
*  Exercise 5 or 6 times -- only managed 4 times
*  Keep up with crafting goals for birthdays and finishing UFOs -- did fairly well with this
*  Clean off crafting desk -- not done
*  Keep up a good water intake -- did okay with this
*  Get to bed by 9:30 or 10 pm each night -- came close with this, but need to do better
*  Post daily in both of my blogs if possible -- not quite every day, but did post quite a bit
*  Keep up with Kelly's Missions for  Zone 2, the kitchen, plus a few from Zone 4, the master bedroom -- did quite well with this
*  Switch from  Christmas decor over to winter -- not done
*  Write some TripAdvisor reviews -- not done
*  Make a daily time schedule for the things I need to do -- DONE!

I am certainly hoping for a more productive week this week.  In fact, I've already gotten some of this week's goals well started, so we'll see how the rest of the week goes!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A word for 2013 (and beyond!)

Graphic by Little Birdie Blessings
I've been giving quite a bit of thought to choosing a word to live by for 2013.  This is something I've thought about in the past, but I don't think I have ever actually chosen a word.  I read other people's words and am often immediately smitten.  Their choice of word would be mine, also.  That made it really hard for me to choose just one word when there are so many good words out there.  After a lot of thought and reflection, though, I've chosen the word purpose.

First of all, I picked this word because I want to live my life on purpose, and I want to be daily living out God's purposes for my life.

2 Timothy 1:9 teaches us that God has "saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began."  Amazing!

A few years ago, I spent a number of hours in thought and prayer as to just what God's purposes for me might be.  I'm sure I shared it here on the blog at the time, but will share it again.  Of course as believers we all realize that God's purpose for our lives is that we bring honor and glory to Him.  But we can break that down into a more personalized statement that defines what this looks like in our daily individual lives.  And that's what I did on May 27, 2010, when I wrote the following:

GOD'S PURPOSES FOR MY LIFE
Overarching purpose:  To bring honor and glory to God with my life (using the spiritual gifts and the talents He has equipped me with) as I seek to:
1) Be a godly wife [includes being a good homemaker], mother, grandmother, and daughter.
2) Use my teaching gifts (and other spiritual gifts -- giving , helps, hospitality, serving) for God's glory -- to encourage fellow believers and help them grow, and to reach out to those who don't yet know Him.
3)  Use my writing talents (and other talents -- crafts, cooking, home decorating, etc.) for God's glory -- again, to encourage the family of God and to be a testimony and an outreach to those who don't yet know Him.

So these were some of the things going through my mind as I thought about the word purpose.  And I was also thinking of how God wants us to purpose in our hearts to do what pleases Him, as Daniel did in Daniel 1:8.

But there was another word that kept niggling at the edge of my thinking.  It was a very challenging word indeed -- the word Christlikeness.  In our ladies' Sunday school class we are studying the fruit of the Spirit, using Elizabeth George's wonderful, older study called God's Garden of Grace.  After every few  words (love, joy, peace, and the rest) that we look at in depth, each of which takes several lessons , the author has put in a short chapter showing how these particular qualities were lived out by Jesus.  Invariably, I find these chapters rebuking and challenging as I see just how un-Christlike I really am.  So I found this word a bit intimidating.

I'd read a brief article by author Debbie Macomber on how to choose your word for the year.  One thing she said was, "Don't shy away from words that you perceive as asking for trouble.  If God is calling you to explore a weighty word like 'loss', for instance, don't let fear stop you.  Blessings will come from trusting Him and letting Him take you on a journey of discovery."

I still felt, though, that purpose would be my word.  And as I settled on it, God brought these verses straight to my mind:

      "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.
    "For whom He did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son..." (Romans 8:28-29a)


Did you catch it?  We are called according to God's purpose -- and that purpose is to be conformed to the image of His Son.  In other words, His purpose for us is Christlikeness.  So in choosing the word purpose, I am also choosing Christlikeness.  This is a goal for life, not just 2013!
   

Thursday, January 10, 2013

January Goals

 Over at Life on a Back Road, I read with interest Carrie's  post on January Goals.  She has done what I should have done in setting my own goals; what most people other than me have already thought of -- breaking down the yearly goals into doable monthly increments.  (I jumped straight from my yearly goals into setting my weekly goals.)  So, a little late, I am going to post some January goals myself.

JANUARY GOALS
* Read through the gospel of Matthew and into the book of Mark, journaling as I go.
*  Read 6 chapters in How to Build Your Home on Holy Ground
* Memorize at least 4 Bible verses and review some older ones.
* Finish next chapter of 1 Samuel Bible study book
* Exercise at least 20 times.
* Get to bed by 10 pm each night.
* Limit sugar.
* Drink enough water each day.
* Keep up with Kelly's missions in homemaking zones of the week.
* Check out airline tickets for trip to NV in spring.
* Spend several hours updating my A-store.
* Read 4 chapters in 1/2 Price Living.
* Blog at least 20-25 times
* Make at least a dozen items for sale at craft fairs.
* Write at least 4 encouraging notes to friends and family.
* Finish some UFO craft projects for the home.
* Finish making gift tags from last year's Christmas cards.
* Finish several handcrafted birthday gifts for March and April birthdays.

 I have already started on these, of course.  For example, I've written several encouraging notes and I have exercised 9 times already.  Now, we will see how I do with the remainder of the month!

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Goals for week beginning 1/6/2013

 It's been a few weeks since I posted weekly goals, although I did post some overall goals for the new year.  So, without further ado,
 my goals for this week:
*  Spend time in 1 Samuel Bible study
* Finish Sunday School lesson 9 if possible
 *  Make 2 pages for "What Do I Know About My God"?  notebook
*  Review Psalm 103 (memorized some years ago)
*  Read 2 chapters in How to Build Your Home on Holy Ground
*  Limit sugar
*  Exercise 5 or 6 times
*  Keep up with crafting goals for birthdays and finishing UFOs
*  Clean off crafting desk
*  Keep up a good water intake
*  Get to bed by 9:30 or 10 pm each night
*  Post daily in both of my blogs if possible
*  Keep up with Kelly's Missions for  Zone 2, the kitchen, plus a few from Zone 4, the master bedroom
*  Switch from  Christmas decor over to winter
*  Write some TripAdvisor reviews
*  Make a daily time schedule for the things I need to do.


I've already gotten a good start on several of these goals, but we'll see how the rest of the week goes!

Monday, January 07, 2013

Silhouette ornaments

 I posted about these pretty ornaments, that my daughter made from scrapbooking paper, over on my Christmas blog, but I know that many of my readers don't visit my Christmas kitchen often.  So, for those who missed it, here are the Silhouette Ornaments.  The link is to Country Woman magazine, where Joanna found the project.

These ornaments are great because they are done using a digital photo rather than the traditional way of drawing and cutting a silhouette of a child.  Makes it much easier to get a silhouette of a baby or toddler!  Joanna and a friend got together to make these ornaments, so I imagine it was twice the fun.  She is planning to make some of the silhouettes for herself and put all four in a long frame together, I believe.  That's also a nice idea and takes the concept well beyond Christmas!

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Quote for the day!

Auntie JoJo reading to not only some of her own children, but to nieces and nephews too.  This was during our lake weekend up north in September.
I found this inspiring quote on a wonderful Mary Engelbreit page-a-day calendar which my friend Ruth gave me last year.  I am pasting it in my journal but wanted to put it here as well.

"Children will not remember you for the material things you provided but for the feeling that you cherished them."  -- Richard L. Evans

That is certainly the way I want my grandchildren to remember me!  At times I am not a really "grandmotherly" grandma -- I dislike changing diapers and don't really enjoy caring for infants -- but I do cherish each and every one of my precious grandchildren and want them to know that.

Friday, January 04, 2013

A poem for the new year

Graphic by Little Birdie Blessings
I don't know who wrote the following; it was included in the reading for January 2 in Streams in the Desert, but without any author being named.  I would gladly give the author credit if I knew who he or she was.  Here is the poem:

"Still upward be thine onward course:
For this I pray today;
Still upward as the years go by, 
And seasons pass away.

"Still upward in this coming year, 
Thy path is all untried;
Still upward may'st thou journey on,
Close by thy Savior's side.

"Still upward e'en though sorrow come
And trials crush thine heart;
Still upward may they draw thy soul,
With Christ to walk apart.

"Still upward till the day shall break,
And shadows all have flown;
Still upward till in Heaven you wake,
And stand before the throne."

I want to move upward in the coming year.  How about you?

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Cranberry Chutney

(Photo by Taste of Home)
I enjoy chutney and have always thought I would like to try making some.  (Yankee Candle's Cranberry Chutney scent is a favorite of mine, too.) So this week I had a small amount of leftover roast chicken and was looking for ideas for some side dishes to stretch the sliced chicken into a meal.

What I ended up with was mashed potatoes, green beans with pearl onions, stuffing, and this Cranberry Chutney.

I needed to use ingredients I had on hand, as I was starting this rather late in the day.  I had no dried cherries, but plenty of dried cranberries, so I used them instead.  And I didn't want to bother grating lemon peel, so substituted a half teaspoon of pure lemon extract instead.  I did toast the walnuts the quick way, on a plate in the microwave.

The chutney was very good.  It wouldn't be for everyone; you need to appreciate somewhat unusual flavor combinations to enjoy this, but those around our table for supper the other night did.  The combination of flavors was very nice, with the toasted walnuts adding a very festive note.  I will be making this again.

Have you ever made chutney?  Might you have a favorite chutney recipe to share?

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Goals for 2013

Image courtesy of Gooseberry Patch
Here are my general goals for the coming year.   Again this year, I used the goal-setting questions from SimpleMom.net to get my thinking going.  They suggest five categories and so I have chosen to use those as well.

Personal growth:  Work on character qualities of unselfishness, compassion, perseverance, and self-control.  Read and journal through Proverbs and the Gospels on an ongoing basis through the year.  Read at least 3 books -- A Woman's Call to Prayer, Finding Your Purpose as a Mom/Building Your Home on Holy Ground, and Following God with All Your Heart.  Memorize more Scripture and finish at least 1 Bible study.

Physical health:  Exercise at least 5 times per week.  Get enough water and sleep.  Cook and eat with health in mind.  Work on a different healthy habit each month so that in general, I'm taking better care of myself.

Marriage/family life: Plan periodic getaways.  Take advantage of every moment together.  Take time for dates.  Plan fun family activities.  Minister to my family with the gift of a peaceful, orderly home (translation: declutter the entire house and get back to my homemaking routines!)  Plan trip to visit faraway family.

Money matters:  Spend less on groceries.  Put time into my A-store and work on plans for an Etsy shop.  Plan and prepare items to sell at craft fairs this fall.  Read 1/2 Price Living by Ellie Kay.

Relationships outside the home:  Be more of an encourager to my daughters, friends, and the ladies in my Sunday School class.  Stay in better touch with faraway friends and family.  Make myself available to help and encourage those who are nearby.

So there you have it -- my list of goals for 2013.  Have you arrived at a list of goals yet?

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Wishing you a blessed 2013!


A new year has rolled around again already!  May this be a blessed year for each of us, one in which we find ourselves drawing ever closer to our Lord and trusting Him more fully.

I don't make New Year's resolutions, but I do set goals, and am in the process of setting some for the coming year.  I'll plan to post them once I get them formulated.

What goals are you setting for 2013?

Before we get any further into 2013 ...

... I am going to post, as I've been intending to for weeks, about the couples' retreat at The Wilds of New England back in late October.  It was such a blessing!
 Because TWNE does not have the necessary accommodations to house couples, those attending had the choice of getting a hotel room for overnight, or simply staying at home and driving to and from the sessions on Friday night and Saturday.  Mr. T opted for the hotel room for us, and we were glad we did.  We had a great night's rest and a delicious complimentary breakfast the next morning.  Supper on Friday, plus lunch and supper on Saturday, were served at TWNE and were also very good.

The speaker for the retreat was Dr. Les Ollila, chancellor of Northland International University in Wisconsin.  He was such an encouragement as he shared God's Word with us!
This wall art expresses the mission statement of The Wilds.
It was such a blessing to enjoy Bible teaching, fellowship, excellent music, and plenty of fun and good food in such a beautiful setting.  Mr. T and I shared a pumpkin nor'eastah (like a McFlurry® or Blizzard®, only pumpkin) at the Sweet Shoppe
The Sweet Shoppe
and some delicious Italian cream sodas
A coconut cream soda
 and coffee (at different times of the day, of course) at the Cool Beans coffee shop.
The fireplace in Cool Beans
It was raining on the Friday night (just like 2011) but cleared off for the hayride and hike on Saturday afternoon.  All in all, just a wonderful weekend together!