Saturday, November 17, 2012

Five Minute Friday - Stay

Five Minute Friday where, as our hostess and inspiration, Lisa-Jo Baker, puts it, we write "For only five short, bold, beautiful minutes. Unscripted and unedited. We just write without worrying if it’s just right or not."  But, as you can see, it's not Friday. It's Saturday and I'm running behind. I've hardly been home for days and, in fact, am not home even now. I'm typing this from my daughter's computer, but am doing what I can...when I can. Here goes... 

Today's topic is stay.


Sometimes there are people that you wish could stay in your life forever, but for one reason or another and, usually, to reasons or cicumstances beyond your control (and theirs) they can't. Sometimes, no matter how badly you want them to stay...they can't. But there is One ...One who will never leave you, nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)...and His name is Jesus. Don't put your faith in man. Put your faith in Christ and Him alone. You will never be disappointed!


Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - November 13, 2012

One Thousand Gifts
Today's Gifts...
     Three gifts behind a door...

          149. opportunity
          150. intimacy with my husband
          151. a friend's smile and a "Come on in!"

Care to join me for November's Joy Dare? Click: HERE

Monday, November 12, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - November 12, 2012

One Thousand Gifts
Today's Gifts...

      Three gifts at noon...

          145. lunch shared with family
          146. mid-day sun...only for a moment...shadowless...straight overhead
          147. a sound that synchronizes the hearts of the people of our tiny community...briefly...for only a few seconds...regular as clockwork every 24 hours...the noon whistle 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

HEARTH AND HOME - November 11, 2012

Greetings, Dear Sisters!

Welcome to the November 2012 edition of HEARTH AND HOME! I pray that this newsletter finds you and your family healthy, happy, and ready to celebrate another marvelous holiday season! What are you thankful for this year? How are you going to celebrate all that the Lord has done for you and yours in the past year? Whatever you do...I'd like to take a moment to wish you and yours a very lovely and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

As you's been a long time since I've even tried to put together an issue of HEARTH AND HOME and I miss it! This year has fairly flown by and it seems that I've not got to do nearly the things that I ought to have done, let alone the things that I would like to have done. BUT...I am determined to carry on regardless and do what I can when I can and not stress about what I can't do. Is anyone else with me? (smile)

Now...grab a cup of something hot (I prefer tea with Pumpkin Spice Coffee-Mate...yum!) and let's get started on another issue of HEARTH AND HOME! Here we go...


* Soften butter quickly without melting by grating the stick. Spray the grater with nonstick spray for quick cleanup.

* When baking cookies, substitute coarsely crushed salt-free pretzels for any chopped nuts called for in the recipe. You get the texture of nuts with almost none of the fat.

* When kneading bread or making cookies on your kitchen table, place masking tape over the seams of the table. This will prevent ingredients from getting lost between the table’s leaves and make cleanup a breeze.

* Most pie recipes instruct you to cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil when it begins to brown. Before you begin baking form a foil ring around the cold pie edge, then when the edges begin to brown simply set the already formed ring in place.

* To make bookends, fill empty mason jars with shells, stones, or colored sand.


I've shared these before, but cold weather is upon us again. Get ready for it by following these cold-weather tips from the folks at the $1 Energy Fund...


Seal all cracks, holes and crevices where cold air blows in and hot air leaks out. Remember to keep your blinds and drapes closed at night to block drafty window areas. You could save up to ten percent on your annual bills.

MONITOR YOUR THERMOSTAT. Keep the temperature at sixty-eight degrees or lower. Each degree higher uses three percent more energy. Lower your thermostat setting at night, and turn your heat down before you leave the house. It costs less to reheat your home than to keep it warm while you're out.

KEEP HEAT CREATIVELY. Open your drapes during sunny days to let natural heat in your house. Dust or vacuum your vents often to maintain airflow. Shut off the heat to unused rooms and keep their doors closed. Wear warm clothes and sweaters, and use blankets while resting.

Here are some more money saving ideas that can keep $$$ in your pocket...

*Attic insulation should be at least six inches deep; it will save 10 percent of your overall heating bill.

*Lower the heating and cooling systems when your home is vacant for more than eight hours.

*Use crock-pots and pressure cookers instead of the oven.

*Fix leaky toilets and faucets...especially hot water faucets. One leaky faucet wastes over 1,300 gallons a year!!!

*Take a shower instead of a bath. This can save as much as 50 percent of the total hot water used in your home.

*Save medical costs by practicing preventative medicine. Eat right, drink plenty of fresh water, exercise, get plenty of rest, reduce stress, get plenty of fresh air and sunshine, pray, and fast as God leads.

* To get thousands of money saving ideas, a jump on holiday jar mixes, budgeting ideas, and more, check out Budget 101! Just click here: BUDGET 101


"With the skyrocketing prices of food and gasoline what, if anything, are you doing differently to make ends meet in your household? What money saving measures do you and your family practice on a regular basis in order to combat high utility bills?"

(If you don't mind me sharing your response in an upcoming issue of HEARTH AND HOME please send it to me at In an effort to keep me from overlooking it in my e-mail please put SKYROCKETING PRICES on the subject line. Thank you!)


Easy Fall Wreath
Thanksgiving Subway Art
Free Thanksgiving Fall Kit



*Plan your menu.
*Invite your guests.
*Keep track of who is bringing what on your menu.
*Make shopping list of perishables and nonperishable. Don't forget to include film, batteries, and
*If you're ordering a fresh turkey, do it now.
*Make a Thanksgiving to-do list, listing all the little things that must get done prior to Thanksgiving. Be sure to schedule time for each chore and indicate who you want to take care of that chore.
*Order your floral centerpieces now or create your own.


*Check all serving dishes, flatware, and glassware.
*Shop for any paper goods you need for the event.
*Make sure you have enough tables and chairs for your guests.
*Take an inventory of your tablecloths and napkins. Teach yourself a new way to fold napkins.
*If any of your items need to be cleaned, this is the time to do it.
*Clean your refrigerator to make room for your Thanksgiving items.
*Shop for nonperishable groceries on your shopping list.
*Plan and make decorations.


*Plan seating arrangements.
*Review your recipes.
*Prepare cooking schedule.
*Check thawing time for frozen turkey.


*Start defrosting the frozen turkey in your refrigerator.
*Save money on ice -- start making your own ice cubes now. When they're frozen, dump them in a freezer bag.


*Chill beverages.
*Shop for perishable items.
*Set out bread for homemade stuffing.
*Make cranberry sauce.
*Fill butter dishes and salt and pepper shakers.
*Be sure your home is clean.


*Peel potatoes; place them in a pot of cold water. Keep in refrigerator.
*Clean vegetables and refrigerate.
*Make all dishes that can be prepared ahead. Don't forget the pies!
*Double check your bathrooms. Be sure you have extra toilet paper and hand towels ready.
*Put up decorations.
*Prepare stuffing.
*Do spot cleaning of the rooms that will be used.
*Buy flowers for the table.
*Let your family set the table in the evening.
*Make the side dishes that can be baked ahead of time.


*Remove turkey from the refrigerator for one to two hours. Add stuffing.
*Preheat oven.
*Put turkey in oven and baste every half hour.
*Prepare coffee and brew 20 minutes before serving.
*Let the turkey rest, covered with a foil tent, for about 20 minutes before slicing.
*Quickly reheat some side dishes in the microwave if all the burners on the stove are occupied.
*Make gravy and last-minute vegetables.
*Set out refrigerated dishes.
*Heat bread or rolls as needed.
*Remove stuffing from turkey.
*Carve turkey.



1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 1/2 cups milk
3 eggs, well beaten
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Stir together pumpkin, eggs, milk, and butter. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and nutmeg. Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture. Stir until thoroughly combined. Cook according to the directions for your waffle maker. Serve immediately with berry or maple syrup, fresh berries, or ginger whipped cream.


(An old family favorite. Makes 10 servings)
Powdered sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened (I use 1/3 less fat cream cheese)
1 cup powdered sugar
6 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
Powdered sugar
FOR CAKE: PREHEAT oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with wax paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel (NOT THE FUZZY KIND) with powdered sugar.
COMBINE flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan.
BAKE for 13-15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool completely.
FOR FILLING: Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla extract in a small mixer bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake; remove towel. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Re-roll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired


1/4 cup butter
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large egg whites, divided
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
2 Tbsp raw sugar

Cook butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it foams, turns clear, and then turns a deep brown, about 6 minutes. Pour browned butter into a glass measuring cup and chill in the freezer until soft but not firm, about 20 minutes.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Beat browned butter and sugar in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add maple syrup, vanilla, and 1 egg white; beat on low speed until well blended. Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture until blended. Divide dough in half; shape each portion into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until very firm, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper. Place walnuts and raw sugar in a food processor; pulse until mixture is coarsely ground. Whisk remaining egg white in a small bowl.

Roll first portion of dough (keep remaining dough chilled until ready to use) out to 1/8″ thick on a floured board and use a 2 1/2″ decorative cutter to punch out 24 cookies. Place 1 inch apart on baking sheets; brush tops with egg white and sprinkle evenly with half of walnut mixture. Bake for 12 minutes or until pale brown. Cool for 2 minutes on baking sheets, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough and topping. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 days.

Yield – 48 cookies (serving size: 2 cookies)


To make the best sweet potato pie, I use Libby's Famous Pumpkin Pie recipe, substituting 2 cups of baked, skinned, and mashed sweet potatoes for the canned pumpkin. I also make fresh pumpkin and butternut squash pies the same way. In fact, of the three, butternut squash pie is my favorite. Anyway, here's that recipe:
                                                                                                                                                                        LIBBY'S FAMOUS PUMPKIN PIE
    3/4 cup sugar
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. ground cinnamon
    1/2 tsp. ground ginger
    1/4 tsp. ground cloves
    2 large eggs
    1 can (15 oz.) LIbby's 100% pure pumpkin
    1 can evaporated milk
    1 unbaked 9-inch deep-dish pie shell
Mix sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Pour into pie shell. Bake in preheated 425 degree oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees; bake 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool. Serve.
(NOTE: In order to avoid the extra calories, yet enjoy all the goodness of all those Vitamin A-packed, "good-for-your-eyes" fruits and vegetables, I make my pies crustless. After making the filling, I just pour it straight into a pie plate that's been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and bake at 350 degrees until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. It is absolutely delicious either way!)

(I've had a request to re-run my sour dough recipes, so, here they are...)

1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water (potato water is good)
2 cups warm water
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
Using a quart size fruit jar or crock, dissolve yeast with 1/4 cup water. Allow to stand several minutes then stir in water, flour, and sugar. Cover with a cloth. Leave overnight at room temperature. Stir down several times as mixture rises to top. The longer the mixture stands at room temperature, the stronger the sour taste. Replace cover and refrigerate until ready to use. To maintain an ample supply of starter, each time you use it, replenish it with equal amounts of warm water and flour. Makes about 2 cups.

Mix the night before using:
2 cups flour
2 cups milk
1 cup starter
Let stand overnight at room temperature.
Whey ready to bake, add:
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Stir batter until well mixed. Grease griddle if necessary. Pour or spoon pancake batter onto hot griddle. When bubbly and puffed, turn and brown other side. Serve with your favorite syrup. Makes 16 pancakes.

For future use, add to starter:
1 cup water to original jar
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
Keep refrigerated.
Mix the night before using:
1 cup sourdough starter, at room temperature
 1/2 cup warm water
1 cup flour
Let stand overnight at room temperature.
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
 1 Tablespoon sugar
Bacon drippings or butter or olive oil
About 1 hour before serving, turn dough out on 1 cup of the flour on a bread board. Combine remaining 1/2 cup flour with baking powder, soda, salt, and sugar. Knead flour lightly into batter. Make a well in the dough and mix dry ingredients into the batter, kneading lightly to get correct consistency for rolling dough without sticking. Roll to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut biscuits with a cutter or into 2" x 3" rectangles. Brush tops with warm bacon drippings or warm butter or olive oil. Place biscuits 1/2 inch apart on baking sheet, or close together in a 9-inch square pan, and set in a warm place to rise about 1/2 hour. Bake at 400 degrees about 20 minutes. Makes 14 biscuits.
(The reason my husband likes this recipe particularly is that it contains no hydrogenated anything in it. It's just plain, ol' good ingredients.)
Well, Ladies, that's it for this time. I hope to see you again real soon! Take care and God bless! And Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

All My Love,

Thanksgiving Subway Art

I just downloaded, printed, framed, and hanged this cute little piece of Thanksgiving art. Thought I'd share with you all...

FREE PRINTABLE - Thanksgiving Subway Art

One Thousand Gifts - November 11, 2012

One Thousand Gifts
Yesterday's Gifts...

     Three gifts found in Bible reading...

          139. the sweet story of God made flesh (the story of Jesus' birth)
          140. discovering the promises of God's sixty-six book love letter to me
          141. the scarlet thread of redemption

Today's Gifts...

     Three gifts of remembrance...

          142. those that fought and gave their lives for the freedoms I enjoy
          143. my Scots-Irish heritage
          144. the ancestors who came before that help make me who I am today

Friday, November 9, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - November 9, 2012

One Thousand Gifts
Today's Gifts...

     Three gifts harvest...

          136. grapes from my own vine
          137. fields of golden-grained wheat
          138. souls for the kingdom of God

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Thanks Giving Tree

I spent this afternoon and evening working on putting together my own lovely Thanks Giving Tree compliments of Ann Voskamp of A Holy Experience. So special! Thanks, Ann!

 To make your own Thanks Giving Tree click HERE.

One Thousand Gifts - November 8, 2012

One Thousand Gifts
Today's Gifts...

     ...a gift sweet...

          133. a cup of cocoa with the one I love during our time of devotions to God...

          ...a gift salty...

                134. popcorn

                     ...a gift sipped...

                         135. a glass of sweet tea shared with one of those rare and beautiful, Biblically 'older women'

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - November 7, 2012

I got off track with my One Thousand Gifts posts, but I'm jumping back on track...

One Thousand Gifts
Today's Gifts...

      Three gifts from my window...

          130. sunshine and shadow as leaves withering leaves dance in the autumn breeze
          131. the joy and comfort of neighbors near
          132. a wagon wheel that, even after our first frosts of the season, still offers up fresh herbs (sage) for
the picking

A Wife's Prayer

"Father, I  pray  that our marriage will become more and more intimate and harmonious,  like the relationship between You and  Your Son. Enable me to do my part in stimulating this unity by respecting, admiring and submitting to the one You have given me to be my leader. Thank You that Your design for marriage is for our good, that we may find maximum gladness and fulfillment, and for Your glory as together we reveal You to others.
Thank You for uniquely designing me to be a helper suitable to my husband. May he be, next to You, the number one person in my life--at the top of my daily priority list. Make me sensitive to his needs and delighted to meet them. Cause me to chatter less and listen more, to understand his intentions and cooperate with his ideas and plans, to have a teachable, flexible spirit that does not insist on my viewpoints  or my way of doing things. Above all, love him through me with Your unconditional love for him that will overshadow his faults and failures and support him in the hour of his temptation. Cause me to focus my thoughts on the things about him that I admire, and give me the words to express this admiration to him. I want to be wholeheartedly on his team, his greatest supporter and fan.
Make me aware of the slightest deviation from this Your way for me. And  when I offend him by word or attitude, give me the grace to see his forgiveness immediately, though it be a dozen--or even a hundred--times a day.
Cause me always to remember that Christ is my life--that He is a tremendous power within me, making me sufficient to be the helper my  husband needs. Together may we show our children, in 'living color,' an example of Your love.
In Jesus name...Amen!"
(Taken from Scriptural Relationships in the Home Workbook by George Sanchez-A Navigator Seminar on the Family-pages 36-37 and originally posted on Proverbs 31 Woman 2 12/8/02)