Thursday, June 9, 2011


Good Morning, Sweet Ladies!

How good it is to be with you this morning. Once again, the long, hot days of summer are upon us...only a few more days and it will be official! I pray that the summer ahead brings with it good times and wonderful memories for you and your family. 

As the days grow longer and warmer, and as Father's Day is just around the corner, I would like to focus our attention this month on dear, ol' Dad and summertime fun! My plan is to return to the original format that I used when I first started HEARTH AND HOME back in 2002, and I hope to return to regular monthly, or even bi-monthly, issues in the coming months.

Are you ready? Grab a cup of tea (or a glass of iced tea, if you prefer) and come join me...won't you?


"The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him" (Proverbs 20:7).


* Let your kids do a "fill in the blanks" craft.  You type the beginning of a sentence, and let your kids finish the sentence. Some of the answers will be hilarious, some will be touching.

- My Dad is really good at _______________.

- My Dad is handsome because _____________.

- My Dad loves to play with me because_________.

- My Dad helps me with ____________.

- My favorite memory of Dad is____________.

* Make a movie just for dad with your own home video camera.  Create a story for dad.  Or just let everyone stand in front of the camera and say all the things they love about dad.

* Get a big box and decorate it as a television.  Have the kids do a silly news report on the "Dad of the Year" awards.

* Learn how to say "I love you" or "I love Dad" using sign language.

* Create a music CD just for your Daddy.  Pay for and download songs like:
     - Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle
     - He's My Son by Mark Schultz
     - Remember Me by Mark Schultz

* Write a dozen little "i love you" notes and hide them around the house where dad will find them.

* Write Dad a hand-written letter telling him all the ways that you have been blessed because God picked him to be your dad.


I may never be as cleaver as my neighbor down the street,
I may never be as wealthy as some other men I meet;
I may never have the glory that some other men have had,
But I've got to be successful as a little fellow's dad.
There are certain dreams I cherish that I'd like to see come true,
There are things I would accomplish 'ere my working time is through;
But the task my heart is set on is to guide a little lad,
And to make myself successful as the little fellow's dad.
It's the one job that I dream of; it's the task I think of most;
If I fail that growing youngster I'd have nothing else to boast;
For though wealth and fame I'd gather, all my future would be sad,
If I failed to be successful as that little fellow's dad.
I may never have earth's glory; I may never gather gold.
Men may count me as a failure when my business life is told;
But if he gives his life to Jesus then I'll be so glad-
For I'll know I've been successful as a little fellow's dad.
"Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. Ty wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. Behold, that thus shall the amn be blessed that feareth the LORD" (Psalm 128:1-4).

To make a quick and easy centerpiece use a set of children's wooden alphabet blocks to greet the guest of honor. Simply stack the blocks to spell out the appropriate message such as "Happy Father's Day." Use the picture side of extra blocks to act as spaces between the words and to add color. You'll want to place the centerpiece so it faces the gust of honor or use it to decorate a buffet or dessert table. If you have enough blocks, use them to create place markers at each person's place setting. Spell out each guest's name by stacking the blocks vertically.
"Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his 
reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of 
the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be 
ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate" (Psalm 127:3-5).
* Duster - To reach ceiling corners and other high places, roll lengthwise into a loose tube, secure with tape and cut one end into fringe with scissors.
* Glass Cleaner - Crumple up and use to dry windows after washing.
* Deodorizer - Stuff newspaper into shoes or boots to remove unpleasant odors.
* Gift Wrap - Use the Sunday funnies or the stock section as cheap wrapping paper.
* Mulch - Shred papers and place around your plants. Soak with water to hold in place. 

* To clean a plastic shower curtain liner, throw it in the wash along with some towels. The towels act as "scrub brushes", whisking away accumulated grime. Your liner will look like new!

*To keep pesky ants at bay, sprinkle basil leaves in the pantry and cupboards.

*To freeze individual servings of uncooked meat or chicken, place the food on waxed paper-lined baking sheets, making sure pieces are not touching one another. Freeze the items, uncovered, until firm. Wrap
frozen pieces in freezer paper or heavy-duty foil or transfer to freezer bags, removing as much air as possible. Label each package and include the date. Properly packaged, most meats can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

*To keep fresh herbs fresh longer wrap in slightly dampened paper towels and sealed in a plastic bag. They should keep fresh for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

*Keep lumps from forming in granulated sugar by putting a few unsalted crackers in the canister; they'll absorb any moisture.

*Keep your celery from going limp by wrapping it in aluminum foil before putting in the refrigerator. It will keep for weeks.

*To keep your outdoor garbage can smelling good, sprinkle a layer of fresh kitty litter in the bottom to absorb unpleasant odors.

*Before reaching for tweezers or a needle, put a piece of Scotch tape over the splinter and then pull the tape off. Most splinters come right out.


* To save money when traveling take your own snacks and bottled water. These items are very expensive when purchased at convenience stores and gas stations along the way.

* Order checks and deposit tickets from reputable, less-expensive third-party printers such as

* Pay half your mortgage every two weeks. At the end of the year, you'll have made two extra payments.

* Inspect ductwork and pipes going in and out of your home. Seal any holes with insulation or weather stripping to lower cooling costs.

* To help lower energy costs in your home line the windows on the south and west-facing sides of your home with aluminum foil.

* Close the blinds at night to keep the heat out and the cool in.
* Put the brakes on oil overload by brushing your face with pure lemon juice (contains astringent and antiseptic properties) using a clean makeup brush. Let it set for 5 minutes, then rinse. It is better to do this before bed since the citric acid may cause temporary redness.

* Banish breakouts by combining one part tea tree oil (available at health-food stores) with 10 parts bottled spring water. Dip a cotton ball into mixture and sweep over face after cleansing before bed. (Tea tree oil kills bacteria and acts as an antiseptic.)

* To correct hidden dryness combine 1 egg (firms skin) with 1 tsp. honey (locks in moisture) and 2 tbs. Olive oil (to soften); smooth onto clean dry skin. Let set 10 minutes; remove with a warm washcloth.

* To deep clean skin and to help prevent and facilitate the removal of blackheads add 3 drops of an astringent essential oil such as lemon or peppermint to 4 cups boiling water. Pour into a bowl and tent a towel over your head, holding your face about 8 inches away from the bowl. Allow steam to penetrate 5 minutes.

* Soothe summer-sensitive skin by trying this at-home facial: Rub 2 cups plain, full-fat yogurt (cools and sooths) into skin. Let set 5 minutes; rinse with cool water. Fill an empty spray bottle with cooled chamomile tea (calms the skin and reduces redness) and mist face; let dry. Follow with an unscented, sensitive-skin moisturizer.
* SUMMER IS POPSICLE SEASON! Try some of these interesting, inexpensive, and oftentimes healthful ideas for creating homemade popsicles…

- left over Jell-O
- plain yogurt with a little jam mixed in for flavor
- apple, grape, orange, or any other juice
- fruit and chocolate syrup
- cranberry sauce
- applesauce
- Kool-aide
- pudding
For a real treat...and I've not tried these yet, but I plan to as soon as I get the ingredients...check out my friend, Darlene's (from Time-Warp Wife), Strawberry Banana Ice Pops! Get there by clicking HERE!


(Note: The longer you store the bubble solution the better it works. You might want to prepare it weeks or even months in advance for a special event.)

9 parts water
1 part Joy dishwashing liquid
½ part glycerin


Save coffee cans. Cut off tops and bottoms. Hammer the edges smooth. Dip cans in a pan of bubble solution and wave through the air. Have a contest for the biggest bubble, smallest bubble, and the bubble that floats the highest.


- Observe an anthill for 15 minutes. Draw what you observed.
- Grow a garden in a jar.
- Start a rock or a seashell collection.
- Visit a nature center with your family.
- Go on a bird hike. See how many different kinds of birds you can observe. Can you make their calls?
- Take a survey of the wildlife in your neighborhood or around your house. Look closely and note what plants are growing on walls, guttering, window ledges, and on the bark of trees. Look amongst foliage for animal life, and put out traps and sticky jam jars half full of water to sample the insect life. Enter your findings in a notebook.
-Grow a sweet potato vine by taking a sweet potato, inserting 4 toothpicks into each side of it about half way round its middle, then put the bottom part of the potato in a jar of water and keep it filled. Soon your sweet potato will put on fine hair-like roots, and then it will be begin growing a lovely vine plant for your mother's
kitchen window.
-Collect fireflies in a jar, observe them for a short time, and then release them.
-Cut a flower in half and observe its parts. Can you name them?
-Visit a beekeeper and find out how honey is made.
-Start a nature journal. Record all of the lovely things that you observe in God's creation.
-On warm summer evenings look for bats flying around your neighborhood.
-Observe insects hovering around a light at night. Record three different kinds of insects observed by drawing them in your nature journal or notebook.
-If you live near the beach explore a tide pool and see how many plants and animals you can find living in it. Can you identify them?


(This has become one of our family favorites!)

¼ cup canned crushed or diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1pound ground turkey
8 slices Italian bread, toasted in oven
4 slices mozzarella cheese
½ cup meatless spaghetti sauce, warmed

In a bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Crumble turkey over mixture and mix well. Shape into four ¾-inch-thick oval-shaped patties. Coat grill rack with nonstick cooking spray before starting the grill. Grill patties, uncovered, over medium heat (I use my indoor grill.) for 6 to 8 minutes on each side or until meat is no
longer pink. Place each patty on a slice of bread; top with cheese slice and spaghetti sauce and another slice of bread. Makes 4 servings.


Grill boneless, skinless chicken breast on an inside or an outside grill...about 1/2 chicken breast per person. I like to sprinkle mine heavily with black pepper on one side. After chicken is done, cool and cut into thin strips. Chill in the refrigerator.

Prepare a green salad the way that your family likes it. We use a mix of greens...usually romaine...fresh spinach...sometimes red or green leaf lettuce...whatever we've got growing in the garden...bacon bits,
garlic flavored croutons, Parmesan cheese, feta cheese, etc.

At mealtime serve generous helpings of salad topped with chilled chicken strips and ranch dressing. Delicious!


Assortment of fruit (grapes, cantaloupe, blueberries, red raspberries, watermelon, bananas, kiwis, strawberries, etc) cut into 1-inch pieces 
Wooden skewers

Thread fruit alternately on wooden skewers and chill until ready to serve. If you use bananas, be sure and dip slices into lemon juice before threading.
8 cups tart cherries
2 1/2 cups sugar
5 tablespoons cornstarch
Wash and pit cherries. Drain. Combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in cherries; let stand until juices begin to flow, about 30 minutes. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to thicken. Pour into can or freezer jars or plastic freezer boxes. Seal; label; and freeze. Yield: about 4 pints.

What are your favorite home-canning tips and recipes? If you don't mind me sharing your tip or recipe in an upcoming issue of HEARTH AND HOME just send it to me at:  Please put "CANNING TIPS AND RECIPES" on the subject line. Thank you! 
Well, friends, that's it for this time! I wish you all a wonderful summer season full of faith, fun, and family! Happy Father's Day to all you dads! And God bless all here!
Until Next Time...

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