Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Weekend Of Blessings

The Lord has been so good to us over the years, and this weekend has been no exception. We have needed so many things for so long...especially in the line of furniture. Yesterday we

My Mother's Best-Ever Oatmeal Drop Cookies


2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 c. oats
1 cup softened butter or margarine
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1/2 c. milk
1 c. raisins
3/4 c. chopped nuts

Mix all ingredients until well blended. Drop by teaspoonfuls on cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Evening Journal Entry - Friday, September 25, 2009

By Rebecca, simply yours

~What Time It Is...

...11:50 p.m.

~What I'm Doing...

...am unwinding with a cup of tea after a long day.

~I Am Praising The LORD for...

...loving me enough to convict me when I'm wrong.

~Things That Made Me Smile Today...

...a tired puppy, a sleeping boy, and autumn things.

~What I Did Today...

...did a general house straightening, did two loads of laundry, built squirrel den boxes with my husband and son, needed to mow across town, but went to Pittsburg (Kansas) with my dh instead...after we got home I cleaned house, did dishes from earlier, did two loads of laundry, and visited with a cousin on the phone for almost TWO hours (my goodness!)...since then I've been working on a little craft project I've been thinking about doing.

~My Evening Prayers...

...are focused on my family, friends, community, and nation.

~What We Had For Supper...

...Long John Silver's

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Evening Journal Entry - Thursday, September 24, 2009

By Rebecca, simply yours

~What Time It Is...

...11:05 p.m.

~What I'm Doing...

...am winding down after a full day...am getting ready for bed.

~I Am Praising The LORD...

...because, no matter how bad things may appear to be, He is still on the throne, and He is in control!

~Things That Made Me Smile Today...

...my grandchildren and the nutty smell of walnuts.

~What I Did Today...

...put in a full day of school, did a general house straightening, washed two loads of laundry and hung them out to dry, picked up walnuts, wrote a couple of short letters, had delightful visits with four of our grandchildren, as well as their parents, visited with one uncle who called this afternoon, and was paid a surprise visit by another uncle and cousin this evening. So nice to see everyone!

~My Evening Prayers...

...the Islamic day of prayer on Capitol Hill is tomorrow. We need to be praying folks!

~What We Had For Supper...

...lima beans, ham, and cornbread

Gianna and Abby Drawing Pictures At Grandma's Table

Gianna, Abby, And Grandma Enjoying A Cheese Stick Together

Audrey Dumping Her Walnuts Into A Bigger Basket

Picking Up Walnuts This Afternoon With Audrey

Another One Of Amanda's Pretty Autumn Tables


This one is in her livingroom. So pretty!

My Youngest Daughter's Fall Table



Isn't this beautiful? Thanks for sharing, Amanda!

Autumn


Cool days...crisp nights...leaves falling...squirrels chattering...walnuts kerplunking against the roof of the house on their way to the ground...acorns pinging against the shed's tin roof...pumpkins on my doorstep...beans and ham in the crockpot...cornbread in the oven...the smell of clothes fresh off the line.

Do you love autumn as much as I do?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Evening Journal Entry - Wednesday, September 23, 2009

By Rebecca, simply yours

~What Time It Is...

...11:36 p.m.

~What I'm Doing...

...am enjoying a cold glass of water after taking a mile long walk with my dh, son, and dog. Such a nice time of evening to walk, and the weather is beautiful!

~I Am Praising The LORD For...

...sending people into our path who are encouraging and uplifting.

~Things That Made Me Smile Today...

...my grandchildren's antics, pretty leaves, and finding items that have been lost for a long time.

~What I Did Today...

...put in a full day of school, did a general house straightening and a couple loads of laundry, attended afternoon Bible study, had tea with a friend, worked out in the shed for 45 minutes (it so needs cleaned and organized! if I can put in at least 15 minutes per day until it's done...THAT would be AWESOME!), collected leaves with my 11-year-old granddaughter, spent some time with her and our daughter-in-law while we worked together on a special school assignment (so much fun!), completed the cover design and finished up our American Indian lapbook project, and went for a walk.

~My Evening Prayers...

...the Islamic day of prayer on Capitol Hill is scheduled for Friday. Please join me in prayer for our nation as it ever increasingly turns its back on the principles and foundations on which it was found.

~What We Had For Supper...

...homemade, turkey-pepperoni pizza

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Evening Journal Entry - Tuesday, September 22, 2009

By Rebecca, simply yours

~What Time It Is...

...6:31 p.m.

~What I'm Doing...

...having tea and taking a short after-supper, but before-doing-the-dishes break.

~I Am Praising The LORD For...

...His loving care and wondrous provision in every area.

~Things That Made Me Smile Today...

...the cool weather and the fact that it's the first day of autumn! YEAH!

~What I Did Today...

...put in a full day of school, had lunch out with my dh and son, went grocery shopping, mailed a package overseas, and made an egg delivery. I still need to do a quick pick-up around the house and a load of laundry.

~My Evening Prayers...

...are focused on dear friends and family members who are experiencing difficulties on so many different levels and in so many areas. May the Lord's peace be upon each.

~What We Had For Supper...

...leftovers

Keeping It Simple Daily Journal Entries Moving To This Location

I just wanted to let you know that I am trying to get all my different publications moved to one central location, and this one, by far, is my favorite, so...beginning today...my KEEPING IT SIMPLE daily journal entries will only be posted here. I will leave the Yahoo site open so that current members can get to past entries and recipes. Thank you for your continued support.

All My Love,
~Rebecca

American Indian Meal


Tony and I worked together to make this for supper last night...

grilled "prairie" chicken served with pumpkin-corn sauce, succotash, fry bread, and wojapi (kind of like a blueberry pudding or jam-like stuff)

If anyone wants me to post the recipes just let me know!

~Rebecca

Happy First Day Of Autumn

Here's a card for you...

http://www.dayspring.com/ecards/card.asp?ID=0215c8af-pom

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Green Pepper Casserole

1 pound 93/7 ground turkey
1/4 medium chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup brown rice
1 can tomato sauce
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3 medium green peppers

In a medium pan, cook rice by adding 1/2 cup brown rice to one cup water. Cover and bring to boil over high heat. When boil is reached, turn burner down to low and let simmer until liquid is absorbed. In the meantime, cook and stir ground turkey and onion, breaking up the turkey as you go along, until it is no longer pink (I spray my pan with pan spray and add a little water because the turkey is so lean). When the rice is done (or nearly done), add salt, garlic powder, tomato sauce, and meat mixture. Pour all into a 9-in. or 10-in. square baking dish that has been sprayed with pan spray. Clean and cut peppers in half, then press them down into the rice and meat mixture, or cut in strips and lay over top. Bake in a 350 degree oven until casserole is brown around the edges and bubbly in the middle (about 30 to 40 minutes). Add shredded mozzarella cheese over top and bake until cheese is melted.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

This morning I did something that I haven't done in ages. I took my Bible, my prayer journal and a pen, a nice cup of hot tea, and a lawn chair, and I went to the backyard to pray. I sat my chair near the crepe myrtle bush that grows there...in the place where my friend, Pat, from Pennsylvania and I pray when she is in, and oh! What a tremendous blessing!

The first thing I did was just listen as I drank my morning cup of tea. I could hear birds singing, squirrels chattering, crickets chirping, and the last of the summer's cicadas droning. I could hear other sounds, too...an occassional passing car, a dog barking, our chickens clucking inside their pen...even a cow mowing and the horse in the pasture adjoining our property as he neighed quietly to himself. (Isn't living in a small town, farming community grand? We've got it all, and it's all wonderful!)

Anyway, I heard all these things and was just truly able to enjoy them and praise God for them. And then there were the sights...two cats (Stripes and Chip) scampering about...playing under my feet and wrestling with one another...one, solitary mushroom...a big, white puffball...that had sprang up overnight with all the moisture we've had, the colors of the turning leaves...some already falling...and the evidence of a soon-ending summer coming on quick to our garden...tired and yellow plants, heavy with unharvested produce...cucumbers that are too big and too bitter to be enjoyed...tomatoes...green and red...and peppers...lots and lots of good, green peppers! (I've been making a lot of stuffed pepper casserole lately!) And, then, the most beautiful thing of all...the opening of God's Word, and sweet time spent in communion with my Lord and precious Savior, Jesus Christ!

This morning, after attending an awesome prayer meeting in Mindenmines, MO, and after fellowshipping with other like-minded believers, my heart was drawn to Psalm 51. The last few months have been hard months for our family, and, in the midst of it all, I've slipped...slipped badly...slipped so far from where I once was spiritually...and it shows. I've become tired and apathetic toward the things of God, and bitter and ugly towards people. This morning, as I read through Psalm 51, my conscious was pricked, and I truly felt the words of the psalmist as his words became my own...

"Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin, For I acknowledge my transgressions and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned..." (verses 2-4).

The words welled up within my spirit...

(Verses 10-12) - "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with thy free spirit."

What a beautiful passage! What a sweet release! I love the Lord! And I hope you love Him, too. If you don't...or if you don't know Him personally this morning as Lord and Savior...it's not too late. Just open up your heart and let Jesus come in. He'll not only change your heart, but He'll change your life. And, if you'd like someone to pray with you, e-mail me privately at: [email protected] or call me: 417-843-6469. I'm here and I'd be happy to do that with you.

Well, my time is up, so I will close for now. Have a wonderful day, and may God's richest blessings be yours...today and always!

All My Love,
~Rebecca

"...Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved..." (Acts 16:30-31)

"...as...they came to a certain water...the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God" (Acts 8:36-37)

Monday, September 7, 2009

HEARTH AND HOME - Monday, September 7, 2009

Greetings, Dear Friends!

I pray that this issue of HEARTH AND HOME finds you and yours healthy, happy, and enjoying this beautiful, holiday weekend! Can you believe that summer is over and that autumn is upon us already?

Unfortunately, our family really didn't have much of a summer. The first half of it was consumed with hospital and doctor visits following our grandson'saccident; the second half was lost to illness. Our youngest son, youngestgrandson, oldest daughter, and myself all came down with some sort of awful bug that turned straight into pneumonia. We're all over the pneumonia part, but are still battling the aftermath of it on different levels, and this has been going on for weeks now. Praise God that we're all on our way up! I, myself, am feeling very close to normal again, and am so thankful.

Okay...there are a lot of things to share, so, let's get started...

1) First and foremost...a big praise item! A week ago today found grandson,Silas, and his family in Oklahoma City. They were there to get his first prosthetic made, and it is done! Silas came home Thursday night with a new leg. To keep up with his progress, please, feel free to log in to:

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/silaspennington

(You may have to set up a little account in order to get in, but it's not complicated.)

2) In the last news letter, I shared a little bit about the fact that our youngest son and I are doing a year-long Civil War study. Here are a few of the recipes that we have tried as part of our study...

NAVY BEAN SOUP

Soak the beans overnight or for at least 8-12 hours before beginning the recipe. Cook in cast-iron for better flavor and an authentic re-enactment.

1 cup (8 oz.) dried navy beans
5 cups water
1/2 pound salt pork or slab bacon (we used turkey bacon)
2 large carrots or 1 cup chopped
1 large onion or 3/4 cup chopped
1 large potato, unpeeled, but cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

1. Wash the beans in a colander and pick out and discard any discolored ones or pieces of dirt.

2. Place the beans in a large stock pot or Dutch oven. Cover with water at least two inches above the beans and allow to soak overnight. Drain the beans. Add 5 cups water, salt pork, carrots, and onions to the beans. Stir the mixture.

3. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat and let simmer for at least 45 minutes or until the beans are tender. Add the chopped potatoes, salt, andpepper. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook about 15 more minutes or until thepotatoes are fork-tender.

JOHNNYCAKE

Johnnycakes were popular particularly in the Northeast, but eaten across theUnited States since the 1600's. This recipe is very simple and fun to make.

1 cup water
1 1/2 cups ground yellow cornmeal
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup buttermilk (we used regular milk)
2 Tbsp. butter
syrup, molasses or preserves for topping

Bring one cup water to boil in a medium saucepan. Combine the cornmeal, salt, boiled water, and milk in a medium bowl. Stir well. Melt the butter in a skillet or a cast-iron griddle over medium heat. Pour one tablespoon of batter into the skillet, pancake-style to cook. Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side until edgesare lacy and lightly browned, using a spatula to turn. Serve hot with molasses, maple syrup, and butter.

FRIED APPLES

Tart apples cooked with butter and sugar make a wonderful side dish or dessert.

5 tart cooking apples such as Granny Smith, MacIntosh, or Golden Delicious
4 Tbsp. or more butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Wash, core, and slice the apples into 12-16 narrow wedges. Do not peel. Melt the butter in a skillet or cast-iron pan and add the apples. Cover the skillet and cook the apples 5 minutes over medium-low heat. Stirring continuously, add the brown sugar and the nutmeg. Stir well. Continue cooking the apples, covered, for10-12 minute or until the apples are tender, checking every few minutes. Add additional butter or water if needed to prevent the apples from sticking.

CONFEDERATE CORNBREAD

1 Tbsp. butter
2 cups white cornmeal (not self-rising)
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs
2 cups milk
1/4 cup oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan with the butter. Combine the cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a small bowl, beat the eggs with a fork and combine with the milk and oil. Stirring only until all the dry ingredients are wet, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and then pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake 20-25 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.

3) I served Tony's CONFEDERATE CORNBREAD will this quick, easy, hearty, and delicious meal, and our family loved it...and it's perfect for fall and winter menu planning...

LENTIL AND TOMATO SOUP

Fry one onion, finely chopped, in a little olive oil. Add 1 tin tomatoes, 1 1/2 pts. water, 3/4 cup lentils, 1/2 tsp. dried thyme, salt, and pepper. Bring to boil and simmer for 30 minutes.

4) As of this month, we won't be buying anymore store-bought pasta. The gal at the local Amish bulk store gave me a really good deal on a stainless steel, imported-from-Italy, pasta maker (something that my husband has wanted us to get for years). The set includes all that I need to make just about any kind of pasta we could want...spaghetti, angel-hair, fettucini, lasagna noodles, lasagette, gnocci, regular sized ravioli, mini-ravioli, and much, much more. The only two ingredients required to make our own pasta is a good quality wheat flour and eggs. Isn't that amazing? I can't wait to get the machine out of the box and set to work!

5) With everything that's been going on this summer I haven't got to can a whole lot this year, but I did manage to put up a few jars of grape jelly, and, then,the other day, someone blessed us with tomatoes. I turned them all into tomato sauce (first time I had ever done that), and it turned out really good. Out of four flats of tomatoes I put up enough sauce to make 15 meals for us. What a blessing!

6) I took a triple batch of this recipe to our family reunion yesterday. It tastes just like apple pie, and is a great way to use up an abundance of zucchini!

ZUCCHINI PIE

4 cups zucchini (peeled)
1 1/2 tsp. cream of tarter
dash of salt
2 T. flour
dash of nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 T. lemon juice
1 tsp. butter
one nine-inch unbaked pie shell

Cut zucchini lengthwise; scoop out seeds with a spoon. Slice to resemble apple slices. Cook zucchini 10 minutes in small amount of water; drain. Mix cream of tarter, salt, flour, nutmeg, sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice with zucchini.Pour into pie shell and dot with butter.

Topping:

1 stick oleo (I used light butter)
1/2 c. sugar (I used brown sugar)
1 c. flour

Mix until crumbly, then cover pie with crumbly mixture. Bake at 375 degrees for45 minutes.

(NOTE: I didn't have any cream of tarter, so I omitted it in my pie, and since, at my husband's request, I make most of our pies crustless now days anyway, so I omitted the pie shell altogether. On the rare occassion that I do make a crust I've got a good oil crust recipe that I use (we only use olive or canola oil; haven't bought shortening in over 4 years now. Either way, this pie is verygood!)

7) Another recipe that I took the family reunion was this recipe shared with me by my daughter-in-law. It's VERY good, and was a huge hit at the family reunion!

ANGIE'S CAULIFLOWER SALAD

Fry 1 pound bacon until crisp...in large bowl layer one head chopped, iceberg lettuce, 1/2 chopped, red onion, 1 head of chopped cauliflower flowerettes, the cool, crumbled bacon, sprinkle generously with Parmesean cheese (1/2 container), then spread 1/2 or more large container real mayo (like icing) on top. Refrigerator. Don't mix until ready to serve. Delicious!

8) My cousin brought this dish to the family reunion. What a great way to use up an abundance of carrots, and it is very tasty!

VERA'S CARROT SALAD'

Slice carrots thin. Add onion and green pepper. Top with French dressing. Very good!

Well, folks, that's all I have time for today. You all have a great holiday weekend, and, Lord willing, I will be with you again very soon. God bless one and all!

All My Love,
~Rebecca