Friday, October 30, 2015

Warm heart

1 Thessalonians 5: 11
" Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. "

Well, I certainly have been living this verse this week. Not as encourager, but as encourage-"y". I'm not going to lie to you and tell you that everything in my world is perfect now since my earlier post. Let me make that perfectly clear. No perfect people here! But I have been blessed by an outpouring of prayer and encouragement from my friends and family.  Truly, truly, blessed.

Here's what I've learned (re-learned) this week:
1. If you don't share things with others, no matter how trivial they may seem in the scheme of things, you won't get any help or encouragement.
2. Christian friends and fellowship matter.
3. God is with me.
4. God loves me, no matter what. Unconditionally. Even when it seems that others don't.
5. Share love with others. Even if they seem unwilling to be loved.
6. We can only control our own behavior, we can not control others.
7. Worrying about an outcome you have no control over is a complete and utter waste of time! It's in God's hands, and...
8. "God is good all the time, and all the time, God is good" !

Last night, for dinner, I tried a new dish that will definitely warm you up inside. I want my home to be inviting, warm,  and full of joy and peace. For me, good food is definitely a big part of home and hospitality. I saw an episode of  "Southern at Heart" on the Food Network last weekend. The host, Damaris Phillips, made Roasted Chicken White Chili, and I had to try it. I have to say, I will be making it again. Delicious.

Roasted Chicken White Chili
Roasted Chicken White Chili
(Photo from on above link)
I did make 3 substitutions/changes. Instead of roasting chicken, I bought a fully cooked whole roasted chicken at my local grocery store (saved me some time!). Also, I intended to buy green tomatoes at my local farm stand, but I didn't. I used a can of diced tomatoes (you should probably drain them, I didn't). Also, I only added about 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper. This was a family meal, and I didn't want to make it too spicy for my children.  

 I am humbled by the encouragement and responses that I received from my post earlier this week. My heart is definitely warmer!
 I pray your weekend is full of blessings: fun, laughter, joy and peace!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Love me through this

Romans 4: 20-21
" Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened by his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. "

I wish I were more like Abraham, my faith not wavering. I am not. I am a sinful person. I am fueled by my own wants and desires. I have set my own timeline for when things should be done.  I want God's timing to be my timing. I don't want to be selfish, but I am. I don't think my desires are so majorly complicated, that God can't just flick his finger and fix everything in my life. I don't need a physical healing, I am blessed that I am healthy. My children are really pretty good. No really horrible drug addiction stories to share or alcohol issues or even health issues. I should feel good about that too. What I want is a home that is friendly and inviting. Evenings full of joy and a family that is not constantly at odds with one another. The other stuff, I can wait on. I don't need a big beautiful home (although if you know where I can acquire one, I'm all over it). I don't need my cupboards to be overflowing (my son and I would just eat it all anyway). I don't need a fancy car, or fancy clothes or shoes ( yes, even I went there). I just want peace. The more I strive to achieve it the more it seems to elude me. Forgive me, Lord, I'm struggling in my faith today. I don't consider you to be a genie in a bottle, ready and able to grant my wishes. I know that there is a lesson in this time, that there is a purpose for this time. I just don't want to wait any more. Forgive me, Lord. Love me through these hard days and nights. Show me your steadfast love and mercy. Amen.

(picture found on Google Images on this link)

I pray your day is full of hope and peace.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Trick or treat?

Genesis 27: 12
" 'What if my father touches me? I would appear to be tricking him and would bring down a curse on myself rather than a blessing.' "

I think this is the first Biblical evidence of a costume. Jacob is speaking to his mother, Rebecca, about tricking his father into giving him "the blessing". In order to get this blessing, Jacob has to appear to be his twin brother Esau, who happens to be a big hairy man. In order to fool his father, Isaac (who is old and blind), Jacob has to wear Esau's smelly clothes and goat skin on his hands and neck. Esau must have been some hairy guy! Well, it works!! Isaac is tricked into thinking that Jacob is Esau, and Jacob receives his father's blessing (which basically gives Jacob his father's inheritance and position). Let me tell you, Esau was not happy! Lord, I thank you that we don't have to pretend to be someone else to receive your blessings. There is no tricking you, Lord. You love me just as I am. Amen.

So I'm thinking Halloween costumes today. Our entire family has been invited to a party and now I have to think of costume ideas for my husband and me. UUUGH! My teenage son needs one too (I'm hopeful he's thinking about that for himself). So I've been perusing the internet for ideas. When you don't have a budget or a lot of time it has to be super easy. Here's are a link that I found with some clever and easy costume ideas.

Click here to go to 
I've also toyed with the idea of  wearing my tried but true blue, police costume. Here's a pic from a Halloween past.

My husband could wear an orange shirt with a number on it and voila!, done.
 At least I have an entire week to pull this together. I'm sure whatever we decide we'll have fun. 

I pray you have a weekend full of treats!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

These boots

Isaiah 9: 5
" Every warrior's boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire. "

Read down to the next verse in Isaiah to verse 6 where Isaiah is giving the prophecy of the birth of Christ,
 " For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;..." . It gives me goosebumps! Or, maybe it's just cold in my house this morning. Well, either way, I do love the beautiful tapestry the Bible weaves for us, giving us glimpses of the glory yet to come. Prepare your heart for the "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. " (also vs. 6). Prepare yourselves for the coming of the Lord.

I feel a need to prepare for winter this week. It has been pretty chilly the last couple of weeks (on and off), and we're going to have another chilly weekend. I'm more of a warm weather girl, but I do like the change of season. Let's face it, fall is beautiful. I also get to revisit my fall/winter wardrobe. Last year my snow boots bit the dust, and since here in Maryland, it's usually feast or famine with snow, I opted for some classic "duck boots" to replace them. I purchased them from Land's End. I love their classic, preppy style. Here's a pic.

When I ordered them they were 40% off, but they are only $99 regular price.
These are the perfect boots for Maryland weather.
(Click here for link) 
Here's how you should properly wear them.

Here's how I'm sure I'll wear them 90% of the time, with jeans or leggings and socks.
(pic from A Southern Drawl)
I think they also look classic with tights and socks even with a skirt.
(pic found on Pinterest)
What are you doing to prepare yourself for the upcoming season? Are you putting extra throws and pillows out around the house? Have you found the perfect pair of boots or sweater to add to your wardrobe? Please take a moment and comment below and share your how you prepare! 

I pray you have a fabulous day!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

I'm thankful

Psalm 105: 1
" Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. "

I certainly have a lot to be thankful for. One thing that I am thankful for is that I am able to cook and bake for my family. I come from a long line of good cooks. Good basic food on one side of the family, a little more experimental and adventurous on the other. It's a good combination. I have some tried and true "go to" recipes and, I'm not afraid to try something I haven't before (sometimes my family is, but that's a story for another day). So after blogging about Christmas yesterday, I'm going to backtrack a bit and blog about Thanksgiving today.

Growing up we usually spent Thanksgiving with my father's side of the family. He is one of six children, so add in all the spouses and children, and it was quite a crowd. So much fun. So much food. Traditional Thanksgiving fare at these celebrations for sure. When I was in my twenties my mother began to cook our Thanksgiving meal a bit more regularly, and as my brother and I were married and had children of our own, she continues that tradition (most years) to this day. It's still a traditional feast, to be sure, but we do try a few new recipes as well.  Lately, we have been roasting our vegetables. So easy, so delicious and so good for you.

Here's a super easy recipe for roasted brussel sprouts that I used last Thanksgiving. Give it a try, you'll be thankful that you did!

Easy Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Click here for recipe from Kosher on a Budget.
You can substitute any vegetable for the brussel sprouts. Last Sunday, I made roasted asparagus and it was delicious! 

What traditions do you have for Thanksgiving? Please comment below and share. I'd love to hear from you. I pray you have a wonderful Wednesday, full of things to be thankful for!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Christmas theme

Exodus 23: 20
" See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. "

I am so cold right now. I'm waiting for my tea to brew and I have a fleece jacket on. My thoughts naturally are thinking of the long winter yet to come. With winter comes the holidays and of course, I'm thinking of Christmas. Specifically, I'm thinking about themes for Christmas this year. It's my moms fault, she asked for ideas for the big family Christmas party. So, here we go, Mom, ideas.

We usually do Ravens theme, so tailgating theme...not feeling it this year (sorry, Ravens). But, I like the whole hometown vibe, so I came up with this...

" A Very Maryland Christmas!" 

#Maryland Flag Christmas Tree in honor of #Autism | #marylandpride #specialneeds @xmastreemarket #christmasinthecommunity:
(picture found on Pinterest)

So what do you think so far?

Maryland crab soup, crab dip, steamed shrimp

Main Course:
 Turkey & ham for sandwiches, German potato salad, coleslaw,  kale salad, "Old Bay" chips

 Smith Island Cake, eclairs and assorted Christmas cookies 


I love the red tablecloth with the black and white plaid. We need some gold, though.
I think if we add some yellow flowers (sun flowers or mums) and gold ornaments, it would be perfection.
And, I also love that it is rustic and that the fabric and centerpiece keep it a bit more casual.
(picture found on Pinterest)
Well, Mom, that's what I've got for now. I hope you like it and get some inspiration for our Christmas party.
Let me know what you all think, too. Does your family do a theme for Christmas? I'd love to see your comments and/or pictures below.

Keep warm today. I pray your day is full of comfort and joy, this beginning of the our fall holidays, and all the way through to the new year!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Cream of the crop

Job 29: 6
" when my path was drenched with cream and the rock poured out for me streams of olive oil. "

Here Job is contrasting the prosperous life he had to the miserable life he is currently living. God had withdrawn from him. Thankfully we don't have this situation in the light of the New Testament. Although satan and God don't usually go to such lengths to prove one's loyalty, I am assured that through Jesus, I am forever His child. He does not turn His back on me. Although we are not guaranteed a perfect and carefree life on earth, we are certain of our place in heaven.

Thankfully, no matter our current situation in life, our paths may not be drenched in cream, but we could always go to the local grocery store and buy a pint or even better, cream cheese. And let me tell you, heaven here on earth for me is chocolate, but for a few of my kids it's cheesecake or cream cheese icing. Lovin' me some cream! So today (while I'm still thinking about my daughter's birthday), I'm going to bake some spice cake cupcakes and make a fresh batch of cream cheese icing. Here's a basic, easy recipe.

Cream Cheese Icing


1- 8 oz pkg of cream cheese (softened)
1 stick of butter (softened)
1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
1 box (16 oz) of confectioners sugar (about 3 1/2 cups)


Beat together butter and cream cheese in a mixing bowl. Gradually add the sugar (on low speed) until blended. Add vanilla extract and beat until smooth and creamy.

My 12 year old actually asked for a cheesecake for her birthday and some cream cheese icing in a bowl on the side. My 23 yr old usually asks for a spice cake with cream cheese icing for her birthday cake (this year my mom made a delicious chocolate marble bundt cake). Unfortunately,  my oven was out of order on Saturday. I am baking these cupcakes today in honor of her special day. I'm sure there won't be any left to share with her by the time she visits again. Sorry, Char!

Here' my mom's delicious cake from Saturday
We'll be eating the cupcakes this afternoon. Yay!!

I pray you week is drenched with cream and overflowing with streams of olive oil!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Miss Charlotte

Psalm 103: 16
" the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. "

This verse reminds me that time here on earth is so precious and fleeting. One minute you are holding your precious newborn in your arms and the next, they are off to college and working, and someday, having precious children of their own.  I was trying to find a verse that reminded me of Gone with the Wind. The night before my Charlotte was born I was watching that movie and timing my contractions. It was twenty-three years ago this past Wednesday that my second beautiful daughter was born. I have such wonderful memories of her growing up a precocious, adventurous, sweet, smart, precious girl. I have video of her, not nearly a year old, sitting on the floor and just pivoting around in a circle. I have a photo of her covered from head to toe in a bag of flour, just moments before we were to take her big sister to ballet class. I remember her first ballet recital when she was a busy little bee, buzzing around the fair. I remember her first preschool Christmas performance when she rocked "Felice Navidad". Everyone came up to me afterwards to tell me she was the star! I remember her standing at the bus stop on her first day of kindergarten in her school uniform and her red "Chuck" hightops. I sobbed all the way back to my house. There are so many more memories, I'd have to right a book, not a blog post to share them all.

My baby girl is now a kindergarten teacher. A grown woman. I am so thankful for her and proud of her. Even though I don't see my girl as much as I would want to, I think of her everyday. I see parts of her in her younger brothers and sisters (most of them good...).  It has been such a blessing to be her mother. Thank you, Lord, for my beautiful girl!

Happy Birthday, Charlotte!
Here's a pic from Charlotte's graduation from the University of MD, this last spring. What a wonderful day!
Go Terps!!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Costume dilemma

Zephaniah 1: 8
" On the day of the Lord's sacrifice I will punish the officials and the king's sons and all those clad in foreign clothes. "

I am really unfamiliar with Zephaniah (shame on me). I just need to sit down and read it. Really, I just need to sit down and read the Bible. (emphasis on period) In the King James translation, the words "foreign clothes" are translated  "strange apparel". I can't think of any other day of the year that we don't don strange apparel than on Halloween. I know a lot of Christians don't celebrate this pagan holiday, and I get it. I'm of the thinking that you can be in the world, but not of the world. In other words, share candy and fun with the precious little trick-or-treaters, but let's not participate or emphasize the ungodly or evil part. I even have friends that send a message of hope with the candy. You could do something like this...
Halloween Treat Bag Topper Label Tag Christian by FoundItCards:
What a "sweet" (pun intended) idea!
(photo found on Pinterest)
My dilemma, though, is not so much the's the costume, specifically for my 2 yr old. Never ask a 2 yr old what she wants to be for Halloween, present them with a costume and tell them excitedly that this is what they will be for Halloween, yay!!  Well, silly me...I forgot. So here I am with a perfectly good ballerina costume that belonged to my 25 and 23 yr old daughters, and now she wants to be a...(drumroll please)...
A SLICE OF PIZZA! Thanks a lot, Dora the explorer and Benny the Bull! So now, 2 weeks before Halloween, I've got to come up with something creative. Back to Pinterest I go.

pizza slice felt costume:
There is hope after all! This actually looks doable.
(pizza costume, Pinterest)
and another...
pizza costume dollarama  again, awesome :)  reverse for dress:
I like the mushrooms and olives on this one (or maybe I'm just hungry)
(pizza costume, Pinterest)
Off to the fabric store I go. It looks like with some felt and some glue (maybe just a simple straight stitch on my sewing machine here and there), voila, pizza costume! Pray for me.

I pray that you have a Thursday that's full of fun!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Hair today

1 Corinthians 11: 15
" but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering "

I may be in trouble here with this verse.. I just cut about 10 inches off of my hair last week. We have to look at the customs of the people in the time of Paul, to understand this part of his letter to the church in Corinth.  I think I'll be ok on this one though, for me long hair was more of a distraction. As much as I loved it (I may even grow it back one day), it just took too much of my precious time. Time is much better spent on spiritual things, my family, friends and my home: not hair. Lord, thank you for the 24 hours you give us every day. I pray that you would help me use my time to honor you and to do your will.  Help me not to be distracted from the blessings you have given me, or the work you have for me to do, for in this world we are "hair" today, gone tomorrow (lol), and I don't want to miss a single thing. Amen!

My hair texture has changed so much over the last 10 years, I went from straight hair to wavy (almost curly) hair. Where was this hair when I wanted to look like Madonna back in 1984? I still like to straighten my hair, and I'm sure I'll get around to it again sometime, but for now, I'm just trying to adjust to my new "do". I'd post a picture, but my silly cell phone broke a few weeks ago and I don't have any yet. You'll have to take my word for it. Here's the pic I took to the stylist.

Image result for good morning america hairdo
Amy Robach (GMA) has a cute hairstyle. I thought I'd try. I saw her give an interview about her new book "Better".

Image result for short wavy hair from 1980's madonna
My hair reminds me a little of this style without the green thingy, and not blonde
(and certainly not the sexy Madonna thing going on!).
It probably looks more like this without the bangs.
I just loved Gilda Radner!
(all 3 photos above found on Google Images)

Oh well, I'm sure I'll get used to it. I can't wait to show you a real photo. If you recently changed your hairstyle, let me know, I'd love to hear from you. Please leave a comment or even a pic and share. Thank you so much for reading my blog. 

I pray you have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


Proverbs 21: 1
" In the Lord's hand the king's heart is a stream of water that he channels towards all who please him. "

This weekend I was able to walk on the boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach. I was surprised by all of the people that were there, even though the temps are too cool for sunbathing. While we were checking out some of the shops, we ran across a coffee/dessert shop that sells an Austrian confection, Kaiserschmarrn. I couldn't remember what it was called the rest of the night and called it "farfegnugen" (you gotta love me).  We were lured in by the shop's owner who promised us a free sample, and $10 later, came out with a hot cup of tea (vanilla chai latte) and some kaiserschmarrn to share. It was delicious. Quite simply, kaiserschmarrn is a torn pancake mixed with rum soaked raisins, butter, and topped with lots of confectioners sugar; sort of like a funnel cake, but not deep fried.  Apparently this dish got it's name specifically because it was first served to the kaiser, Franz Joseph, and his wife. Today it's a popular Austrian dessert served in taverns and ski lodges in the Austrian Alps. I think it would make a delicious holiday breakfast.

Here's a recipe for kaiserschmarrn that I found on (click on the link to try it out).

This recipe has it served with a side of plum sauce, I did not have any of that on Saturday, but why not give it a try.
(photo from )
The shop in Rehoboth is called Kaisy's Delights. If you're in the area give it a try. Not only was the kaiserschmarrn delicious, the employees where delightful and friendly.

I pray today that you put your heart in the hand of the Lord and he guides you like as stream of water. 

Monday, October 12, 2015


Deuteronomy 30: 19
" This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.  Now choose life, that you and your children may live "

In this chapter, Moses is reminding the Israelites about the promises God has made to them. If they choose to live in repentance, and truly and fully love God with their whole hearts, then they can yet still live a life full of abundance and blessings.  I'm writing this today, to remind myself.  I have had quite a weekend. I witnessed my BIL jump out of an airplane, a literal leap of faith. Just a year and a half ago he was told by his doctors to get his affairs in order, as he was diagnosed with ALS.  Although, he has daily struggles, he chooses to live his life to the fullest. Tim chooses to honor God and grow and serve His kingdom with everything he has, as long as he is able.  I love this quote from Tim, " if all you can move is your fingers, then move your fingers...just never stop moving. ".

Everyday we are given choices (probably not as big as Tim's). We choose how we treat others, how we can show them love, or not. We choose where our feet go and how we spend our "free" time. We choose the music we listen to, what we watch on television, what we read. We choose the people we talk to or spend time with. Choose,choose, choose. When things get hard, or seem impossible, we can choose to give up. We can even choose whether or not to follow God.  God knows we have these choices, that's how He made us (remember the garden?). But He also gives us tools to make the right choices. We still don't always make them, but coming before Him with a repentant, contrite heart, we will be made right again. "Choose you this day whom ye shall serve...but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. " Joshua 24: 15 (KJV).

Here is one of the articles and videos written/taken on Saturday at the Ten Mile Miracle from  WMDT 47 ABC. Please choose to take a moment to read it/view it.

Here's another one from Sussex County Post...

Photo from Sussex County Post
A quick hug before boarding the airplane.

Post jump, Tim and his family. The event was covered by a lot of local media.
What a wonderful opportunity to share this story of faith.
Here's my beautiful family enjoying some pizza after the event at the airport.
What a great day!
Both photo's above are from Ten Mile Miracle

I pray today you are motivated to make choices with wisdom and reflection.
 Choosing first the One who chose us.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A day off...

Exodus 31: 15
" For six days work is to be done, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, holy to the Lord.  Whoever does any work on the sabbath day should be put to death. "

Boy, am I glad we live in light of the New Testament, or we'd probably all have a big problem with this verse!  I can interpret for my own selfish purposes, though.  Michelle's translation Exodus 31: 15b, " Whoever does any work on the sabbath will work themselves to death! ".  So now who's in trouble? Probably still most of us, but if you're a parent, most definitely, you're toast! Children are a full time,24/7, lifetime job. So, yesterday when I found myself free of most everyone (still had baby) for a few hours, I was thrilled.  Not because I don't love my beautiful children, but Lord, I need a break. I need adult interaction. Working myself to death here, Lord!! That's why it's so important to take some time and "rest" in the Lord. I get up super early in the morning to make sure I have time to rest (sounds counterproductive doesn't it?).  It's true, resting in His word and seeking His will rejuvenates me. We are no good to God if we are run down and out of gas. So, take a day, a couple of hours, a few minutes off (even from your precious little gifts), otherwise you're gonna work yourself to death! Amen.

Here's my clan (minus the 3 biggies). Love them so much.
Help me!!!! I need a break, they're working me to death!

Scripture Print Bible Verse Art Sign Faith by WeLovePrintableArt, $5.00 Scripture Print Bible Verse Art Sign Faith Sign Christian Inspirational Quote About Life Framed Quotes Wall Printable Artwork Typography:
(Image from Pinterest)

I pray your soul, your body, and your mind find rest and peace today and everyday!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Winner, winner!

Romans 8: 37
" No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. "

 When we fall on our knees and seek his will, realizing we are not in control, we are victorious! Victory is not in winning a game, it's in belief, faith and hope. Amen.

Having said all of that...the Ravens finally won last night! And last Friday, my son's football team won their first game, too. Winner, winner, chicken dinner! (see Fancy Chicken to make your own chicken dinner, btw)  Let's admit it, winning is fun. So while my fave teams seem to be on these winning streaks (of one). I'm going to enjoy it. Being a Christian is not about being the Queen of "no", rules, hardships, and austerity. Being a Christian frees me to give and receive joy, hope and love; and to do it abundantly!

What are your plans for this weekend? We live in an area that will be affected by hurricane Joaquin, so while it looks like the hurricane is going to remain out to sea at this time, we will definitely have some soggy weather. The weather also just turned a bit chilly here; time for a little bit of fall prep around here. I need to locate and wash my childrens cool weather clothes and outerwear and make a list of things we need to replace or update (I know they'll love that, they are shoppers like me).  And, I want to make a big pot of soup! Nothing makes me as happy as a good meal (except shopping and maybe sleep).

My favorite gal on the Food Network, is Ree Drummond, "The Pioneer Woman". She is amazing! I love so many of her recipes. Here is the soup recipe that I am going to try this weekend- Italian Chicken Soup.
Click on the link for the recipe and read her blog, it's so fun and of course full of so many wonderful recipes.

This photo is from The Pioneer Woman blog.
Doesn't this soup look delicious?

Let me know what you plan to do this first weekend of October. Are you picking pumpkins? Trying out a new recipe? Please comment below and let me know. I'd love to hear from you. Whatever you choose to do, I pray you do it in joy and happiness! Have a great weekend!!