Wednesday, February 24, 2021

An encouraging prayer prompt


For my birthday back in January, one of my gifts from my sweet local daughter and her family was a box of  24 "Prayer Cards" like the one above.  

The box itself is very decorative, so I've just had it sitting on a windowsill until this week.  I had peeked into the box back at the time I received it, and knew I would use the cards in some way, but hadn't really decided just how.

Until this week.  I decided to pull out one card per week and to pray each day with a focus on the particular Scripture on that card.  That is, I would carry on my prayer time as usual, but keeping that verse in mind as I did so.

Here is the card that was on top:


So I propped this card up on the window near the chair where I most often sit to pray.  And as I pray, this verse is in my mind.  God can do anything ... anything!  Those requests that seem impossible -- He can answer them.  That situation that looks intolerable -- He can change it.  That uncertain health prognosis -- He can turn it around.  Such a great thought to have in mind as I pray!

Throughout the day, I have found myself glancing at this verse and being uplifted by its truth and certainty.  Such a blessing in these uncharted waters we are all navigating these days.  I'll try and share each week's verse as I come to it, and hope that this will be an encouragement to each of you as it is to me.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Quote for the day

 Do you have bits and pieces of ideas, quotes, and thoughts scribbled on scraps of paper like I do?  I'm pretty sure I can't be the only one, right?

Sorting through some of those paper scraps this morning, I found a few notes I had scribbled down concerning my word for 2020, diligence.  This quote from Sally Clarkson needs to be shared before I toss that particular scrap:

"Daily life is where diligence is trained and learned.  As our children watch our faithfulness and experience our love, they develop a heart to be diligent.  Giving them work to complete develops moral strength.  Helping children persevere in difficult relationships teaches them to be faithful in adult relationships." ~ Sally Clarkson

Lots to chew on here.  We need to be diligent in our relationship with God and our relationships with others as well as in those all-important tasks of daily life.  Even though diligence was my word for last year, it's something I'm still working on daily.  Glad I didn't throw that scrap of paper away before I read it!

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Making space ... week 10


Yes, it's another Making Space post.  A few more things have left the house in the past week or so and I'm working on yet another box for the thrift store.

February 5 — cleaning out a drawer where I keep candles

To the trash —

A bag of 8 smallish candles — the type used in Swedish angel chimes.  These had once been red, but have faded to pink.
A partially burned set of wavy dark red tapers.  Pretty, but unlikely to be used again.
A handmade white Christmas tree candle made by me, many decades ago.  Once white, it’s now stained and discolored.  I’ll never burn it, so out it goes.
A used up candle in a tin
A used up jar candle

To the thrift store — 

A pretty resin candleholder with a flower garden theme  -- I love this, but hate dusting it so it's been stored.  Someone else might as well be enjoying it.
A set of hanging candles with a gingerbread man theme
A floating candle in the shape of a mitten
2 small figural Christmas candles — one a drummer boy and one a toy soldier
3 jar candle toppers — so pretty, but a pain to dust, and I rarely buy large jar candles anyway.

๐ŸŒฟ   ๐ŸŒฟ   ๐ŸŒฟ   ๐ŸŒฟ   ๐ŸŒฟ   ๐ŸŒฟ   ๐ŸŒฟ   ๐ŸŒฟ   ๐ŸŒฟ   ๐ŸŒฟ    ๐ŸŒฟ   ๐ŸŒฟ  

And from a few other areas here and there

Also to the thrift store —

 * A blue plaid thermos -- I hated to let this go.  It's the wide-mouth type and is probably from the 1970s, so not that old.  But my daughter didn't want it and my hubby didn't think he'd use it, so out it went.  I hope someone witll be overjoyed to find it.
* A large blue glass vase

Also to the trash:
A Folger’s coffee canister saved for storage
Two plastic-covered metal shelf dividers I’d used in craft storage

And that's it for now!

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Two fabulous pancake recipes that must be shared


I find myself giving out these recipes all the time, so it really is high time I linked to them on my blog for everyone to enjoy.  I found these at Sue Moran's site The View from Great Island.

Interestingly, I had not visited Sue's site prior to seeing some of her recipes on Instagram.  Once I did, I went to The View from Great Island and immediately signed up to get her emails.  I've tried a number of Sue's recipes and all have been fantastic; she just seems to have a knack for developing excellent recipes.  But the pumpkin pancake recipe is simply amazing.

These two recipes are such an easy way to make pancakes for the family!  We have made the pumpkin ones at least a half dozen times and they are so easy and delicious.

I had passed these recipes on to my friend Jennifer and she has made the plain ones several times and is thrilled with how easy and good they are.

Hope your families enjoy them, too!

I'm writing the pumpkin one out, since we have changed the topping amounts a bit.  But if you prefer a link, here it is: Pumpkin Crunch Sheet Pan Pancakes.


For the topping

    2 tablespoons sugar
    1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
    1/2 cup (or less) chopped pecans

For the pancakes

    6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
    2 cups milk, or buttermilk
    1 large egg
    3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
    5 tsp baking powder
    3/4 tsp salt
    1/4 cup sugar
    2 1/2 cups all purpose flour


    Preheat oven to 400ยบ and butter or spray a large sheet pan.
    Make the topping first by mixing together the 2 Tblsp. sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chopped pecans. Set aside.
    Whisk together the melted butter, milk, egg, and pumpkin puree until smooth.
    Sift together the baking powder, salt, sugar, and flour.
    Mix until well combined, but don't overmix.
    Pour the batter into the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle the cinnamon/pecan topping evenly over it.
    Bake for 20-22 minutes until slightly risen and fully cooked in the center.
    Remove from the oven and allow to cool just slightly before slicing and serving.
    Serve with butter and maple syrup, or other topping of your choice.

And here is the link to the regular sheet pan pancakes, to which you may add berries, etc.

Sheet Pan Pancakes

 We are  having friends in for breakfast on Monday and plan to bake a pan of pumpkin pancakes and a pan of regular ones.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, February 02, 2021

February goals


Lovely graphic by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings

There were so many more posts I had hoped to write in January, but I just didn't get to them.  So now, it's a new month and time to set some goals for February:

* Memorize at least 4 Bible verses and review some older ones
* Continue reading and journaling through the Daily Walk Bible for my quiet time
* Post in my blogs as often as possible
* Begin a study of Daniel with friends
* Meet up with old friends at Polly's Pancake Parlor
* Continue to help our widowed friend Terry with the challenges of life in general
* Continue study for Sunday School -- A Woman After God's Own Heart
* Get to bed by 9 pm each night  
* Maybe begin intermittent fasting
* Plan a getaway with my hubby
* Plan a special time with our older teen granddaughters
* Continue with fasting from sugar
* Pay much more attention to drinking enough water each day
* Read several books
* Walk and/or exercise at least 4 times each week
* Keep up with Flylady's homemaking zones of the week (with some help from Clean Mama)
* Do something creative each day
* Continue planning for family birthday gifts and crafting any handmade ones
* Craft some homemade Christmas gifts and decorations
* Spend a little time on some UFO craft projects
* Continue stocking my Etsy shop and continue selling vintage items
* Work on Etsy and trust bookkeeping as necessary
* Write at least 4 encouraging notes to friends and family
* Do some planning for retirement
* Help and encourage my local daughter as I'm able
* Clean church
* Plan meals with a greater emphasis on healthy eating
* Plan possible trip to Nevada 

HEALTHY HABITS FOR FEBRUARY:  Drink more water/get more sleep/limit sugar/walking
MY WORD FOR 2021: Steadfast

Regular readers know that I don't always achieve every goal on the list, but I am a firm believer in having goals.  I always want to be aiming at something!

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Making space ... week 9


Okay, I'm calling this week 9, although I have a couple weeks worth of decluttering here. 

 January 18 — From some of my seasonal decorating stash:

To the trash: a decorative egg-shaped soap with lily of the valley motif
To the thrift store: 8 more plastic Easter eggs

From more of my stash of craft materials:

To the thrift store: a jumbo ziplock bag filled with fabric trims of all types and colors (photo below); a bag of assorted Thanksgiving crafts for kids;  spool upon spool of unused 1/8” ribbon.  (Someone gave me this big bag of trims, but really I know I am so unlikely to use it, I just had to pass it on.)

To the trash: a bunch of short odds and ends of ribbons and trims.

January 25-29 — From a tote of Christmas decor in the attic

To the trash:
A decorative hanging ball covered with gilded pinecones, suspended by jute twine — pinecones are falling off it and it’s just not pretty anymore

To the thrift store:
A stuffed bear holding a velvety gift box
A bagful of silk holly, some of it “snow covered”, and a few pine cones
A Christmas table runner that’s not my style
A snowman lamp that’s not really my style anymore
A wall hanging, same
Several pewter-look ornaments
2 square hand-decorated Christmas candles
2 partial sets of iron-on letters for personalizing Christmas stockings
A decorative wooden box with Christmas theme
A lighted folk-art type wooden reindeer
A few bits and pieces of handmade ornaments and some ribbon
Several ornaments I just won't use again

To our camp:
A lighted evergreen garland
Two silk holly garlands
A woven rug in a quilt pattern design of red and green
A Christmas wall hanging I think would look good there
A gallon ziplock bag of assorted ornaments that could work for a camp Christmas tree

I'll likely be writing on my Christmas blog about the above list.  In this large tote from the attic, one of the things I found that I didn't even remember having was a lighted evergreen garland.  I thought of taking it to the camp because it would look nice there year round.  From there, as I found the other items listed, my hubby kind of ran with it and now we are contemplating having Christmas there next year!  Amazing the things that happen when you declutter!

Friday, January 29, 2021

An encouraging read for moms and grandmothers in times like these


Just popping in today to share a helpful link with my readers and friends.  Like many people, I've been feeling a little unsettled in the past year.  The coronavirus, and now political uncertainty and a certain amount of national turmoil have all taken their toll.  We lost a dear friend to suicide in December also, so our personal lives were impacted by that loss as well.  
One thing that has really wrenched my heart during this past year has been the impact of all this stress and uncertainty on children.  Children who were already being homeschooled have a bit of an advantage, of course.  But this is not easy for them, either.  They have the same concerns and fears as any other children; it's just that having school at home is normal for them already.  Their routines have been affected, though, make no mistake about it, with regular activities and events cancelled or taking a much different form.  For example, during the time when the guidelines of our state involved churches being closed for a time, my five-year-old granddaughter demanded to know "Why are we no longer going to church?"
At the beginning of the most stringent guidelines, my hubby and I made a conscious decision that we were going to continue to regularly see our local grandchildren, and yes, we were going to continue hugging them.  Life is far too short not to see or hug people you care about.  We have not once regretted that decision, and we believe it was a real benefit and help to the kids (as well as ourselves) through that time.  We have also very much admired the way our daughters and other young moms we know well have kept life as consistent and happy as possible for their kids during these crazy times.
My hubby and I started subscribing to this newspaper in the fall.  In a recent issue, I read this extremely helpful article: In An Uncertain World, What's a Mom to Do? .  I was so encouraged and want to share this with all the moms and grandmothers I know.  It contains ten very doable tips for making daily life simpler and more comforting and consistent for our kids and grandkids.  Some are things we may be already doing, but it's a great reminder to keep on keeping on.

I hope this is a blessing to someone today.  It surely was an encouragement to me.