Friday, December 31, 2010

God's Resolutions towards us

Resolve-verb  To come to a definite or earnest decision about .

Today I planned to sit and write out my resolutions. Today God had another path for me to go. My intentions were right but I think my heart wasn't in the best possible place. I am not in a hard spot today but as I tell the boys in everything they do their aim should be for the best. So today God needed to set my heart right before I could ponder my plans. As I was on the tread mill I listened to a sermon on It was about New Years Resolutions. I took 2 pages of notes as God spoke to my heart. Yes on the treadmill, today was just a walk day.
I believe God likes us to plan. Proverbs tells us so many times that man plans but God directs his paths. God plans. God resolves. As I walked I was stunned to think that I want to resolve to follow Him more closely, to be more like His Son, to be more patient. But I don't think even my greatest thoughts towards Him would even compare to what we resolves towards His children.
The boys gave me a new ESV Bible for Christmas so that is what I will be using.
Romans 8:31-39
God’s Everlasting Love
31What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36As it is written,"For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered."37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1. God's resolve is for us to be like Jesus. He says I am for you! He is our advocate! Romans 1 says He wants us to not be lacking anything so that we can reflect His glory. It is not talking about our houses, our cars, our jobs, it is talking about Jesus character. Before we can fully understand He is for us we have to understand He should be against us. It's not like we are a famous all star athlete who trains and does his best and we are cheered on for that accomplishment. We haven't accomplished anything for God. We are actually lazy, unmotivated, over indulgent, selfish bench warmers. God isn't cheering us on in that way. He desires us so much to be like His Son He will not give up transforming us until we are like Jesus. That is His promise. He gave us His righteousness, a.k.a. Jesus, if we accept Him.

If you resolve to be like Jesus He is for you!

2. God's revolve is for us to be forgiven. Your sin cannot make you unfit to inherit the future! If you are a child of God we get to inherit the future! The future! Out best laid plans are nothing in the future without accepting Jesus.  When you don't keep those resolutions you make or you sin, God has already forgiven you.  He resolved long ago to forgive your future sins before you even commit them.  Don't stay there with them.  Let go of the guilt.

God bases our inheritance on what Jesus deserves not what we deserve!

3. God's resolve is to love us. Whatever this world throws at us God will use it for us. Nothing can come between us and His love. The world will be a part of our lives but we will never be separated from God.

God has heart felt devotion to US!

As you ponder your future remember the Gospel. We are tied to it , it is our life and everything we touch should reflect that. Resolve to have soul focused resolutions.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Year Desires

Just a post reminder that I am working on for the new year.

Happy Past Year

If I am being honest here these past few days have been HORRIBLE! Tom is working 12 hour days, which he signed up for and we discussed would be good right now so we can pay off the van. But him being gone so much is starting to drive me crazy. We have been on a 2 week so far break and staying up every night past bed times and sleeping in. You know that is getting old when your 14 year old brings his Christmas candy to you and asks you to put it up and asks to get back on proper bedtimes. When they feel it and ask for the old ways you know it's past time. Being here in Indiana away from all of our family, really always have been but for some reason this year seems hard. Maybe it's because we really aren't close to any of our families and I feel saddened by that truth. We have been away from the house these past 3 days from early in the morning until time to come home and cook a decent dinner because lunch out these past 3 days have not been healthy. ***Personal woman content warning*** I am officially going through menopause! Yes at 39! Have been really for the past two years and am on the 65th day count down to 365 days of no cycle. So needless to say I am waiting on hormone level testing to come back to go see a wonderful nutritionist to help me with supplements. If I could warn anyone before they do things to their bodies I would say never go on birth control pills and certainly not for 5 years! And never have a tubal ligation. Those things are detrimental to a woman's health. Please don't email me hate mail, these are things that in my own personal opinion I would do over if I had the chance, if I had the wisdom then that I do now.

So I have been reading book after book on the change of life. How dreadful that sounds. Am I now considered at the top of the hill??? It seems that when you are going through something you forget that others have or will. You can kinda make it all about you can't you? So to try and not make this day about only me as these last few days have been I had the boys do a writing project. I have been reading blog posts about New Years resolutions. Some have been very good! I especially like Doug from Vision Forum. I read his last year and we all started journaling. Some months I was better at writing, some months I simply forgot. But it sure was nice to look back and "see" what we did, what we learned. I had the boys write down each month and then remember something about that month. They wrote out a sentence about something that stood out to them. Tomorrow's assignment is to write a paragraph about each month. Go into more detail about the canoe trip with dad. Tell more about the Awana grand prix you placed in. Remember all the mowing customers God placed in your life. I plan to do the same and make a slideshow of pictures to go along with it. Hopefully I can figure out how to post a slideshow?

I would encourage you to look back over this past year BEFORE you look to the future. Write it out, go back over you calendar, go through pictures, look over your check register you might remember that awesome dinner date you had with your husband! Remember and thank God for it ALL. That is a sure way to get out of a slump!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Leek & Potato Soup

Leek and Potato Soup

■1 bunch leeks, carefully washed
■2 bay leaves
■1 tsp dried thyme
■3 strips bacon or 1/2 c butter if you don't use bacon
■5 -6 cups chicken stock
■1 to 1 1/4 pounds russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
■1 1/2 teaspoons salt
■1/2 cup heavy cream OR 1 cup half & half, but reduce the chicken stock to 5 cups
■fresh ground pepper to taste

In a heavy pot, cook the 3 strips of bacon over medium low heat. While the bacon is rendering its fat, wash the leeks carefully. Cut the white portion from the green leaves and discard all but 2 of the leaves. Cut the leeks in half and rinse well under running water to wash away any grit.

Slice the leeks thinly. Add to pot with bacon or butter and soften. Add stock, seasonings and potatoes until soft. Use and immersion blender to make soup smooth and add cream.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Southwestern Breakfast Potatoes

Southwestern Breakfast Potatoes
8 large potatoes, scrubbed clean
coconut oil
1 large yellow onion sliced into rings
1 cup mixed mushrooms, sliced
1 -2 teaspoon spicy seasoning salt or 1 -2 teaspoon salt and pepper, to taste
2 avocados, diced
Tabasco sauce or hot sauce, to taste

Heat the oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and brown. When almost done add onion, mushrooms, and seasoning or salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until the potatoes are crisp and brown.

Top the potatoes with the avocado and hot sauce and serve immediately.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Wilted Spinach Salad a.k.a.your daily calcium requirement

Wilted Spinach Salad with
Feta, Red Onion, Dried Cranberry, and Toasted Pecans

red onion, sliced
2 bunches of spinach
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
salt & pepper
1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 lb bacon

To toast pecans scatter them on a baking sheet and place in a 350 degree oven, stir after 4 minutes and bake for an additional 3 – 5 minutes watching closely. There is a fine line between toasted and burnt.

Cook bacon, drain and crumble.

Toss everything in a big bowl except oil. Take grease from bacon or you can use the olive oil. Heat up slightly and toss salad with the oil. The heat from the oil will wilt the spinach. This is good, it's called wilted spinach salad ;)


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Peace on Earth

As I sit to write Christmas Day I am not sure of what to write. The only thing that I can sigh is Peace. Fullness. Peace. Blessedness. Happiness. Peace.

Unbelief that the God Most High chose me. Chose my family.

I think a lot, sometimes that is good sometimes it can get me in trouble. I try to figure out why would God chose this life for me. I feel so privileged. I feel like I have more than I deserve. I feel rich beyond words. I have a wonderful husband who provides me space to be who I am. He lets me go out on a limb when all he can do is shake his head. I have 3 amazing boys, men really. I don't deserve this. That is where I can get in trouble. I scare myself out of allowing God to give me His best.

Today, today I have peace to gratefully accept EVERYTHING He gives.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Brown Rice Penne with Wild Mushroom Sauce

We are taking a 3 week break from regular school days. We are still gaining wisdom, just not traditionally. Every morning we are doing our chores, eating together, praying, having our personal time with God. What we are doing different is reading more together. We always read together but during these next 3 weeks I hope to read a considerable amount more. My list so far is:

Little Men
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Tales of the Brothers Grimm

Going to the library today to pick out more. What would you suggest?

What's for dinner? Well it is one of those stick to your bones kinda meals. One that we can have on occasion because of the milk and cheese. But one that I crave because I happen to be a cheese lover.

Brown Rice Penne with Wild Mushroom Sauce
You can serve this sauce over any type of pasta or tortellini. Makes 2 cups of sauce. So naturally I will be doubling this one!

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp onion, minced
3 cups chopped mixed mushrooms, choose several types not just one
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp marsala
1/4 tsp dried thyme
salt & pepper
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour or arrowroot(gluten free)
3 tbsp heavy cream
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
package Penne

Cook Penne according to package directions. Drain and place in a large bowl.

In a 2 quart saucepan heat oil and cook onion until soft. Add mushrooms, cook about 4 minutes. Add broth, marsala, water, herbs. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes. Transfer to a clean bowl.

In the same saucepan melt butter. Add flour until absorbed. Stir in mushroom mixture until it boils. Stir in cream and cheese. Add parsley. Top pasta with sauce.

Heat up a nice loaf of crusty bread and warm some butter.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ground Beef Breakfast Sausage

Breakfast just isn't the same without some sausage. Know what I mean? I have been making breakfast sausage from ground beef for awhile now. Here is the recipe I use. It contains fish sauce and you might think that peculiar, but really it is a nice touch of salty goodness. Not fishy tasting at all and has some great vitamins to boot!

GB Sausage Patty
In a bowl whisk:
1 egg
salt & pepper
juice of 1 lime or lemon
1 tsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp each cumin, ginger, garlic, coriander
1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
2 lb. ground beef
Mix with hands and form into patties. Fry until done in coconut oil.

Lost and Found

Have you ever miss placed something? Something important?

Like everyone else we have designated Christmas boxes we bring out every year. They hold our ornaments. The ones we carefully pick out each year to buy. The ones we have gotten when we visit Frankenmuth in Michigan, ones friends give, the ones we get to mark milestones. Then there are the boxes with strands and strands of lights. Lights that go on the tree, lights to go outside. Lights that have a few burned out bulbs that I swear I will fix so we won't have to buy another strand. Lights that I will never swear to replace but won't throw away because they were a speciality strand and cost to much. Boxes that hold the nativity set and the stockings. What!? Where are the stockings?? I am sure they were put in this box. That is the designated box!

Well, the mystery goes unsolved. We can't find the stockings. The ones we have had for 12 years now. We got them when we moved back to Michigan. Actually two of them Tom's mom bought the two oldest for our first Christmas home. Chandler wasn't born yet. So they are special. This is the house they were to rightfully hang in. The house that we finally bought with a fireplace. I was wrapping presents for the boys yesterday. I have lots of gift bags and thought well for this year we will just use gift bags for our stockings. I mean how can I go out last minute and pick out each persons special stocking. I am sure they will have all been picked though. So I gave it up to gift bags. I went on wrapping with out mentioning my plan. I knew the boys were down stairs but I wasn't paying attention to them. I was trying to get as much wrapping done while they were occupied.

"Mom, come down here," they yell. Trying to be patient or maybe it was the leading of the Spirit to yield, because I was in the middle of doing something!

My children, the ones that suffered through sewing lessons so that they could at least mind buttons or sew some pajama bottoms took my scrap material and sewed each member of our family a stocking. Each personal. All together.

God, bless them for the love they give.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Show 'N Tell

I want to know some of your favorite movies. Share some Christmas ones too but I am really interested in non-holiday ones. Over the Christmas break I want to watch some good ones! Can't wait to hear from you!

Plain, old, unromantic Anne Shirley

Diana Barry: [Anne is going to apologize to Aunt Jo] Anne, don't. She'll eat you alive!
Anne Shirley: Don't worry. I've had lots of practice making apologies

Anne Shirley: [after saying her prayers] Did I do alright?
Marilla Cuthbert: Yes, if you were addressing a business letter to the catalogue store.

Anne Shirley: Plain, old, unromantic Anne Shirley

Marilla Cuthbert: I'm afraid for her, Matthew. She'll be gone so long. She'll get terrible lonesome.
Matthew Cuthbert: You mean, we'll get terrible lonesome.
Marilla Cuthbert: I can't help wishing that she'd stayed a little girl.
Matthew Cuthbert: Mrs. Spencer made a lucky mistake, I guess.
Marilla Cuthbert: It wasn't luck; it was Providence. He knew we needed her.
Matthew Cuthbert: Even with her queer little ways.
Marilla Cuthbert: I loved her for them.

Anne Shirley: Ruby Gillis says when she grows up, she wants to have a line of beaus on a string and make them crazy for her. I'd rather have one, in his rightful mind.
[Diana Barry then quickly, un-expectedly and immediately opened the Cuthbert's door, to ask for help with her little sister Minnie May Barry's near life-loss, with croup or phlegme, that was thickly in her throat]

Anne Shirley: I know I chatter on far too much... but if you only knew how many things I want to say and don't. Give me some credit.

Anne Shirley: Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it.

Anne Shirley: Can't you even imagine you're in the depths of despair?
Marilla Cuthbert: No I cannot. To despair is to turn your back on God.

[Gilbert Blythe, rowing a boat, found Anne clinging to the post under a bridge]
Gilbert Blythe: Anne Shirley. What in heck are you doing here?
Anne Shirley: [trying to sound dignified] Fishing, for lake trout.

[commenting on Anne's dramatic apology]
Rachel Lynde: Her tongue appears to be hinged in the middle, but she may turn out all right.

Anne Shirley: My life is a perfect graveyard of buried hopes. That's a sentence I read once and I say it over to comfort myself in these times that try the soul.

In these days of facebook I encouraged the girls lastnight to reclaim some of the lost art of language. This is an email I got today ;)

...the Christmas party at your house was a "fine kettle of fish" lol (i think that means good, right? lol there, i used somthin from Anne of green gables;) )

If you have never watched Anne of Green Gables I encourage you to check them out at your local library. There are 3 sets and each one is about 3 hours long. But I assure you that even after watching all of them you will want it to go on forever.

Merry Christmas! May God's goodness shine on you today!

Monday, December 20, 2010


1. To make solid, compact, or hard.
2. To make strong or united.

When you take two things and, no, no. I am not talking about cooking.

When I remembered I blogged last year and went back to look at the old blog I spent the day reading my old posts. Like a journal of a past year. I was so happy to have a record of it. So I am looking at blogging a bit different this time. I am not going to sell things or advertise or do giveaways. This is really more for me then it is for you. Sound selfish, well sorry about that. Look at it as you getting to share in my blessing. Because it is a blessing. To see God give you His wisdom and then solidify it for you.

I posted today about celebrating Christmas and remembering to give of yourself. God gave me that wisdom and then solidified it in real time. I just had to stop and ponder it. He gives us so much but we are to busy or carefree to ponder things. Which reminds me of a post I wrote last year on what it must have looked like for Mary to ponder these things in her heart as Jesus was born and grew. That's called a Red Heron...when you go off the subject.

I was in my room after my shower and I heard the boys say, "she's in her room." I said, "you can come in." I was just staring out the window looking at the birds. Bryce held a gift in his hands. He said, "look I have the first gift for under the Christmas tree." All smiles and devious looks. Because to them it is all about them knowing something you don't. Like what is it? Where did you get it? When did you get it? How did you get it without me knowing? And the other 2 boys were there smiling as if it had come from them but in reality they didn't even know what it was. Giving. The joy of giving. Savor it. Savor how much it blesses the person doing the giving. Don't miss it! Please. Please don't miss it.

During one of the small groups at youth group one of the girls said how boring it must be for God. He already knows the outcome but He waits so long. Why is He waiting so long? He must be bored. My reply was that it's like Christmas. You know when you get a gift for mom and you are so excited to give it to her. But Christmas Day is still a few weeks off. Your excitement doesn't go away does it? Yet you already know what it is right? It is the joy of giving. The anticipation of waiting to give the best gift ever. God isn't bored I see Him as my child this morning. Waiting with all anticipation for the right time to share it ALL with us.

Monday Dec 20, 2010

Girl time today! Small group girls are coming over to spend some time with me for Christmas. Remember that post about blessing others? Blessings come in many forms, money, prayers, friendships, thankfulness, knowledge, time. But when you keep all of those to yourself you aren't experiencing them. Until you give those things you aren't really completely blessed because sometimes the blessing is being with those being blessed. So today I plan to give my time, effort, money, knowledge, prayers, friendship, but what I expect in return will be of more worth. It's like that at Christmas time but we should be living that way all year. I am amazed at how many times "remember" is in the Bible. We are told to remember so many things, even Paul has to remind us of who we are in Christ as if we would forget. But we do. That is another reason to celebrate Christmas. To remember. Remember Jesus and His birth, to remember how to give. Remember to be a blessing to your family and friends today, the effort is worth it to God if no one else!

Mexican Rice
Brown 3 cups of brown rice, 3 tbsp butter and 2 cloves garlic minced about 1 minute.
Add 1 diced onion and 1 diced green bell pepper and cook for another minute.
Add salt & pepper a small can of fire roasted tomatoes and enough water to make 6 cups.
Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer and cook for about 45 minutes covered.

Chicken Fajitas
This recipe is from a friend and I just made a few adjustments, thanks Tricia!
Slice 1 large onion and a red, yellow and green pepper. Saute them in olive oil for a few minutes with salt & pepper. You want them to stay firm. Remove them from the pan.

Cut up skinless, boneless chicken breasts into fajitas strips. Cook them in the pan with some added olive oil until done. When done I added chili powder, smoked paprika, 1 tbsp sugar, garlic cloves, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper and cumin. Just add what you want. You know if you like these spices or not and how much you want in there. I trust you...go ahead.

Add back the vegetables and heat through.
Toppings at our house include salsa, avocado, sour cream for me and cheese for guests.

Toast with a big cup of cocoa with someone today!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Grandma Bacon sugar cookies

My good friend Diana in Michigan's mom and dad were everyone's grandma and grandpa in church. They were good people. Grandpa Bacon loved to work in his grand workshop. He had Parkinson's disease and shook all the time. But...the things he would build with wood! With all the tiny detail! I have several things he made us, a wooden bowl and our prized clock. All made with his hands. Now Grandma Bacon, she could cook. I remember every Thanksgiving meal at church she would make the best homemade rolls. I still make them! And of course until you have had one of her famous sugar cookies you haven't tried a good one. You know those kind you buy in a package that are expensive? They are even better. They are in Heaven. So it seems fitting to name the cookies after her and remember her every time I make them.

We are decorating these tomorrow and they do better if they chill overnight.

Grandma Bacon's Sugar Cookies
In a bowl cream 2 cups sugar, 1 cup butter and 2 eggs.
Add 1 cup milk, 2 tsp baking soda, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt and 5 cups flour.
Mix well, cover and chill overnight.
Roll on a floured counter to 1/4 inch thick cut out with cookie cutters and bake at 375 for 8-12 minutes. Take them out before they start to brown.

Frost with a regular confectioners sugar, butter, vanilla and milk frosting. Color if desired.

Hot Chocolate & Fluff

So those who are reading for the healthy recipes or maybe even the soul food you may want to hop on another blog right

Went to the grocery store today with the boys. I told you the girls are coming over tomorrow for a girls night. Well I also take hot chocolate each week for them. We sit and talk over a cup of hot chocolate. remember the boys can't have dairy so they miss out. They have an allergy which means for them personally that if they have a bit of it they will be fine. If Chandler has a lot of it several days in a row followed by no vitamins and juicing his asthma may kick in. So on occasion I am a sucker. A sucker to give in and let them have the stuff. So today they talked me into getting the value pack of instant hot cocoa mix, as in 36 packets! Yes I know I can make hot cocoa with almond milk, sugar and cocoa. But I think kids like to "make" their own cup. And here is a new secret pleasure~fluff. I mean if you like marshmallows in your cocoa why not fluff? And if you already knew that secret why did you not tell me? Aren't friends suppose to share?

So in celebrating Christmas have a nice big hot cup of cocoa with a spoon full of fluff! Oh and drop in one of those Andes Mints too.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday Dec. 19, 2010

Today I am making sugar cookie dough to set up overnight. My small group girls are invited to my house for a night of decorating cookies, making dinner & watching a movie. I am still torn about which movie:
Anne of Green Gables (which NONE of these girls have seen???)
Come What May(movie made by homeschoolers,GREAT movie!) or
The Ultimate Gift(one of my favorites)

Anyways the dough has to set up so I will be in my kitchen today. Which is good. Lots of changes have occurred this past year. We bought a house & moved, started homeschooling a high schooler(have always homeschooled him but this year he is in 9th grade), started helping in the youth group, joined a new co-op... It has taken a toll on me actually. I found myself just getting through each day. Not that anyone would notice, it wasn't noticeable. But I could feel it. Even as I looked out my window and thanked God for what He had given I felt distant. I let my passion fall. I had to desperately call out for God to motivate me. To give back my heart's desires. He is. He is so faithful. I love the desires He places within me and fulfills.

The last time we went to Shipshewanna we bought a lot of hamburger meat and stew meat. You do know stew meat is just roast cut up right? So when I tell you to slow cook a pack of stew meat as you would a roast but for a shorter time you get me right? It will be even more tender too!

Coconut Oil Latkes
Shred 2lb. of peeled potatoes, squeeze moisture out, put in a bowl and add:
1/2 diced onion
8 eggs
6 tbsp brown rice flour (regular if you can have gluten)
salt & pepper
Take a handful and form a patty, fry in coconut oil on both sides.

Coconut Black-eyed Peas
If you have not soaked your beans overnight it is not a crime. I don't suggest to always do this but you can. Bring 1 cup black-eyed peas to a boil in water. Turn off heat, cover and let sit for a few hours. Drain and refill with fresh water and cook until tender. Now don't do that again!

Cut up 2 cups of potato and add to almost done beans so that they both cook together until done. You want the potatoes to still have form, we aren't making mashed potatoes here. Now drain the cooked peas & potatoes. Heat in a pan 2 tbsp coconut oil, add 3 cloves garlic minced, & 1tsp chili powder. Saute for a minute. Add 1 tbsp cumin,1 tbsp ground coriander, 2 tsp turmeric, 1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro. Cook another minute or two. Add 1 cup unsweetened coconut. Add peas and potatoes. Add the juice of 1 lemon or 2 limes, salt & pepper. Heat thoroughly.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Soul food...

God is leading me in a new area of life right now. Blessings. Being a blessing. Imparting blessings. This part is from a letter I wrote to some dear friends. I will tell you more about that later after the party! Wanted to share with you though what has been on my heart.

We are in Ancient History right now in school so we are reading about Israel. I find myself daily feeling like I “know” how Moses felt! I can relate to the Israelites(a.k.a. my children) complaining about manna, water and their lack of trust in Moses(a.k.a. me) leading and teaching. But as we read further into Deuteronomy I felt convicted. Deuteronomy 31-34 tells us about the time when Moses was being told he would die and that the people would rebel:

31:16 The Lord said to Moses, “You are about to die and join your ancestors. After you are gone, these people will begin to worship foreign gods, the gods of the land where they are going. They will abandon me and break my covenant that I have made with them.

Now in my mind I start to despair. How can these people who have been led by God’s cloud continue to abandon the God Most High? How are my children going to be able to stand strong? I am certainly not Moses. (Humor me here, I know God will lead them, not me but I do despair none the less) So if the story would continue in my mind I would think Moses would go down to these heathen to warn them, preach to them. I would be irate! What does Moses do? He goes down and teaches them a song. A song that they can memorize, a song to remind them. And then get this…he blesses them. Each tribe! One by one. He asks for specific blessings for them. Moses did not despair and think they will never get it. He had Hope. He knew who God was and that He promised a Savior. Instead of coming down on them Moses went down to them and blessed them.

Bless your children today. Pray a special blessing for their school work today. Bless your husband. Out loud, to his face.
Bless your friends today.

May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you. Jude 1:2 ESV

Greetings & blessings to you!

Today has been a great day. It is 16 degrees out here in Valparaiso but the sun has been shining all day and the last count I had at cardinals out my window today was 12! Takes my breath away. I have been relaxing with either a cup of coffee or hot tea in hand all day. Out of curiosity I typed in my old blog and there it was. I mean I never deleted it but after a year I thought it would just disappear into cyber world. I sat reading old posts for an hour. Remembering, smiling, crying. I think I may even go back and use my old menus. I mean it is all ready and done for me. Except that since last posting our diets have changed. The boys had allergy screenings and in varying degrees are allergic to dairy and gluten. Fun. Makes for new reading choices that's for sure. I plan to share more about that later.

What's for dinner you ask? Tonight it is a baked hamburger patty (no bun) with a middle eastern rice salad.

Middle Eastern Rice Salad
1. Cook 3 cups dry brown rice according to directions.
In other words add 3 cups rice to 6 cups water with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, turn down, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes.
2. In a large saucepan heat 2 tbsp olive or coconut oil, 1/3 cup Bragg's or soy sauce, 4 garlic cloves minced and 2 tbsp peeled and grated ginger.
3. Add 3 cups green beans (frozen if not fresh-NO CANS) and 3 sweet potatoes peeled and cubed. Saute until brown.
4. Add 1 large onion sliced, and 1 green pepper chopped and saute until tender.
5. Blanch 3 cups broccoli in boiling water about 4 minutes. Drain.
6. Add to vegetable mixture, broccoli, 1 tbsp curry powder and 1 tsp salt.
7. Stir in the rice and serve.

Let me know if you try the rice salad and how you liked it!
Love, Angela