Happily Ever After

The Princess and Prince united in Holy Matrimony

The Princess and Prince united in Holy Matrimony-June 7, 2014

The wedding was glorious!  True love took center stage in the old country church.  Their purity combined with their passion- exploded our hearts with joy and peace.  It’s a breathtaking wonder for a couple madly in love to wait for their wedding day, to partake of all the pleasures God has for them.

I sat directly in front of Jennifer and Alex and wondered if angels filled the place and all of heaven as they watched them pronounce their sacred vows.  I could sense God’s pleasure coursing through every word and gesture.  When two combine as one in they way that He intended, it is an awesome wonder.

The possibilities of a Happily Ever After marriage are endless now. . .

True love becomes drunk with passion when Christ and unselfish love unite as one.

Thank You Lord for allowing Dale and I (your humble servants) the honor of raising your princess. You are worthy of all praise and honor!  You are the King of Kings.  You are the most High GOD.  The Great I AM!

 

The cake was lowered from the ceiling for the unveiling!

The cake was lowered from the ceiling for the unveiling while music played and all eyes watched! It was a  real life fairy- tale wedding and reception!

The humble servants of the Most High God are still cleaning up from all the festivities!I’ll be sharing all the wedding and reception photo’s in a couple weeks! Thank you for praying for us!

Raising Strong Willed Children

If you are joining me from Proverbs 31’s devotion, Losing The Battle is Not an Option welcome!

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as fronts between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:5-9

Watch video of our five daughters talking about discipline

High Calling of Motherhood

We need each others prayers. What can I pray for you today for your child? Your comment will enter your name in the drawing to win $50 of your choice of resources from Proverbs 31 Bookstore.

Use your gift certificate to get this necklace or books!

Use your gift certificate to get this necklace or books!

TheMomIWanttoBe_large

Easter Traditions

The Empty Tomb and Three Crosses

The Empty Tomb and Three Crosses-

Directions for how to make The Empty Tomb and Cross centerpiece.

If you are visiting me today from Proverbs 31 Ministries devotion, welcome!

Jesus our Lord is risen! Because He died and rose on the third day;“He that believes in Him shall have everlasting life.” When we believe, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit who is the guarantee of our inheritance. This is cause for uncontainable excitement!

We are filled with all the fullness of God! Oh my goodness, this is glorious!

Let’s worship Him without reserve.  Lets cleanse our homes of anything that doesn’t glorify Him. Lets give ourselves wholly to Him who bought us with His own blood. Lets love Him the way He loves us!

May your Easter be filled with all the fullness of God!Coconut Cream cake

Family Meal with yummy Coconut Cream cake
Coconut Cream Cake

Coconut Cream Cake

Here’s the link for this delicious Coconut Cake Recipe. Recipe is Gluten Free but you can make it with regular flour too.

Blown out eggs, decorated-these were made 15 years ago

Decorate blown eggs- these were made over 15 years ago by our children. Some have Jesus and cross painted on, another the three crosses. . .

Directions for making decorated blown out eggs here and storage of the treasures.

I laid an old basket with a flat back on the table. The Cross was made with two twigs tied together. I love how the basket handle resembles the crown of thorns.

Easter Devotions

 For more on Easter devotions by candlelight click here.

I divided the large batch into smaller jars- they'll be on the table for Easter

Pickled eggs are a family tradition passed down from my mom

 Link  to recipe for pickled eggs here.

 

Passover(Seder) Supper

Passover(Seder) Supper

One of the greatest traditions you can start with your family is a Passover(Seder) meal. Instructions, recipes, and verses on how to do prepare for a Passover(Seder)Meal.  

John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”   Easter beckon’s us to share Christ’s  free gift of salvation to the lost. It beckon’s us to be overcome with His love for others.  Who do you know that doesn’t know Christ as their personal savior? Ask the Lord how He would like to use you to bring them to Him. Should you call them, invite them for Easter lunch? Send an Easter card? Stop by with a basket and invite them to church? In the comment section, leave the name of the one you’re praying for. Your comment enters you to win a $40 gift certificate to be used at the Proverbs 31 bookstore and we’ll pray for your lost family member, friend, neighbor or co-worker.

Use your gift certificate to get this necklace or books!

Use your gift certificate to get this necklace or books!

The Royal Bridal Shower

The Royal Shower

The Royal Shower

Wedding preparations and festivities have commenced. Jennifer’s royal shower was this past weekend.

My friend Beverly Toves took all the photos!

Invitation to Jennifer's royal bridal shower

Invitation to Jennifer’s royal bridal shower

The bride-to be with her sisters and mom

The bride-to be with her sisters and mom

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Gluten free cake with organic butter cream frosting

Gluten free cake with organic butter cream frosting, organic chocolate cups with raspberry mouse, dates, macaroons, homemade marshmallows dipped in chocolate and coconut, homemade wedding mints (made by grandma) chocolate mouse, phyllo filled delicacies (made by Ellie)

 

Gluten free cupcakes- made by sisters- Rachael and Ellie

Gluten free cupcakes made by sisters- Rachael and Ellie

 

Coffee, raspberry punch lemon water and chocolate covered strawberries dipped by Rachael

Coffee, raspberry punch lemon water and chocolate covered strawberries dipped by Rachael

Heather brought the chocolate mouse

Heather brought the chocolate mouse

Fruit salad recipe here!

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Hannah brought the macaroons and made yummy organic goat cheese dip and vegetables

Pink pickled eggs, watermelon and cantaloupe balls

Pink pickled eggs, watermelon and cantaloupe balls

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Heather holding week and a half old Heidi. Grandma (my mom) seeing her for first time.

Heather holding week and a half old Heidi. Grandma (my mom) seeing her for first time.

 

Grandma (Dale's mom) congratulating Jennifer

Grandma (Dale’s mom) congratulating Jennifer

Jennifer cutting her cake

Jennifer cutting her cake

Recipe for cake here!

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The blessing

The blessing

Introducing friends and family

Introducing friends and family

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Friends from college and childhood

Friends from college and childhood

 

Rachael and Bethany (Bethany used to live at the Glasgow house for weeks at a time when she was little)

Rachael and Bethany (Bethany used to live at the Glasgow house for weeks at a time when she was little)

lauraLaura congratulating Jennifer and Alex. Laura and Jennifer have been friends since they were two years old.

Present opening

Present opening

 

Jennifer told her and Alex's Once upon a Time love story. Then everyone was quizzed on how well they listened to the story.

Jennifer told her and Alex’s Once upon a Time love story. Then everyone was quizzed on how well they listened to the story.

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Alex had been in Alaska filming for 10 days. He made a guest appearance for the shower! They had never been apart for that many days since they started dating

Alex had been in Alaska filming for 10 days. He made a guest appearance for the shower! They had never been apart for that many days since they started dating

Jennifer_Glasgow_Bridal_shower_4_4014_2megs_IMG_7490

 Throughout each day this past week while we busily prepared for the wedding and shower we would stop, thank the Lord for providing such a godly and amazing man and then ball our eyes out. It’s worth waiting for the man that GOD provides. Philippians 4:19 “And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

Marathon To-Do List w/ Children

listLast week our daughter and her husband had their fourth baby, Heidi Victoria! We’re still celebrating!  The first one, Grace is with the Lord, just in case you’re wondering where she is in the photo’s. Each baby born is a huge gift from the Lord, for which we are ever so grateful.

It is such an honor to be a grand parent. I’ll never forget those days after Grace died, when other grandparents held their  grandchildren and I ached for ours. When I hold ours now, oh my goodness- I cherish them. Every toe I kiss, every nose I wipe, every word they say is priceless. When you lose a life, it makes you more grateful for life. I want to cherish our grandchildren. I want to live life with them, teach them through our actions how to live and love like Jesus.

Before Heidi was born I made a list of things I could do with the grand children while Heather, their mom was in labor. Use the list as an idea bank for yourself, for your children or grandchildren.

Heather’s labor was only five hours, Heidi was born while the kids were still asleep. We decided to do the list anyway so Heather could rest from her night of labor. After hugging and admiring Heidi we ate breakfast and then began our marathon list. The object of the marathon was to complete it in one day. We only accomplished 3/4  by dinnertime! The snag in time that I didn’t account for was  the toy from Target- they didn’t want to move on to the next thing, they wanted to play with the toy.

  1. Dye Easter eggs
  2. Make craft
  3. Finger paint
  4. Read books
  5. Play game
  6. Nature walk
  7. Make Christmas ornament
  8. Pitch tent in family room- to play in
  9. Pray
  10. Tell story
  11. Go to store and buy a toy
  12. Watch movie and eat organic popcorn
  13. Make cookies
  14. Snug as a bug in the rug at bedtime
  15. Make scrape book
  16. Talk for an hour
  17. Take cookies to neighbor
  18. Hugs and say, “I love you!”
  19. Give organic candy
  20. Make yummy meal

game

Dying Easter eggs

Dying Easter eggs

 

Grandman and I took them shopping so they could each buy one toy

Grandman and I took them shopping so they could each buy one toy

easteregg

Made a craft

Made a craft

Made cookies- Lochlan choose a cross cookie cutter for Jesus-he told me all about Jesus and the cross

Made cookies- Lochlan choose a cross cookie cutter for Jesus-he told me all about Jesus and the cross

Felicity chose chicks and the cross cookie cutters

Felicity chose chicks and the cross cookie cutters

Took cookies they made to neighbor

Took cookies they made to neighbor

Nature walk

Nature walk

Made play dough- felicity enjoyed throwing it more than anything

Made play dough- felicity enjoyed throwing it more than anything

Read books

Read books

organic candy

Organic candy

Heidi was 7 hours old-we were at the breakfast table with the whole family

Heidi was 7 hours old in this photo-we were at the breakfast table with the whole family-before the marathon to-do-list

What a memorable day!

The Proposal to The Princess

The Prince Proposing to the Princess

The prince proposing to the princess

Once upon a time, in a land far away, there lived two humble servants in the kingdom reigned by the King, the One called the Great I Am. The King entrusted this couple with five of His most priceless gifts- His princesses. The humble servants bowed before the King in thanksgiving, that He would trust them with such a royal honor.

From the time of their conceptions, the weight of raising this Kings’ Daughters became all-encompassing. The couple prayed night and day for them.  They prayed that the daughter’s hearts would be enthralled by the King- and for their future princes. For they knew, that their time of raising them would be pivotal in their future in the kingdom.

The daughters grew up to be beautiful princesses.  The King impressed upon the servants’ hearts the necessity of each daughter to only choose the prince whom He had groomed- specifically for them. The intensity was great, for there were many in pursuit of the royal ones.

One by one, the daughters started to present potential princes to the servants for approval.

As each suitor was presented, the King  would immediately speak to the inner chambers of the couples’ hearts. The answers were quite clear.  It was either “Yes” or “No”- but never “maybe.”

Three out of the five daughters received their prince and married him.  These three received the prince that the King  had groomed especially for them.  It was quite a fairytale, except for the fact that one of the daughters was missing her prince.  He was nowhere to be found. The servants questioned the King and begged him for knowledge of where this prince might be found.

The King spoke to the inner chambers of their hearts, “the prince is still being groomed.”

Then the day that the servants had prayed for all the days of her life- came to be. The prince arrived!

The princess presented him before the servants of the King, to ask if he indeed was the one that the King had selected.

The King (the One called the Great I Am) spoke in the inner chambers of their hearts and said, “Yes, this is he.”  The servants smiled at Jennifer and gave her His approval.

On March 2, 2014 in a land far, far away (NYC), the prince, Alex Craig proposed to Princess Jennifer Glasgow. She cried, “Yes, I will marry thee.”

The consummation of this fairy tale will take place in June of 2014 at the home of the humble servants of the Most High King, Dale and Sharon Glasgow.  The King gave this precious princess to them, and now they will give her hand in marriage to the one He ordained for her.

The humble servants, her parents- haven’t stopped crying for joy.  For you see, every day (since the time that they knew she was conceived) have prayed for this little princess- that one day she would find her prince in shining armor.  What an honor to be entrusted with a child of the King.

We bow before Him today, thanking Him for this honor and weeping with grateful hearts.

The youngest of the five princesses, remains, and the servants pray for her night and day. . .

Winner of last weeks drawing for books and Target gift card is Christine who posted  2014/03/01 at 10:06 AM.

 

The princess at age four

The princess at age four

The Princess and me at the engagement party! This was taken after we composed ourselves from tears of JOY!

The princess and me(servant of the King) at the engagement party!

Alex(prince), Jennifer(princess) and Dale (humble servant of the King)

Alex(prince), Jennifer(princess) and Dale (humble servant of the King)

Our five princess's plus one

Our five princess’s plus one-at Rachael’s wedding last year

Twelfth Night Dinner

 

 

The Story of that Twelfth Night Dinner lives on. . .

The Story of that Twelfth Night Dinner lives on in our Home

If you’re visiting from Proverbs 31 Ministries Encouragement for Today devotions, welcome!

It was the most memorable dinner I’ve ever attended… It was a Twelfth Night Dinner.  The smell of roasted rib roast enveloped us as we walked through the front door. We were ushered through the bustling kitchen.  It was filled with homemade dishes.  Yorkshire pudding and mushroom pie were being taken out of the oven as we made our way to the family room adjacent to the dining-room.  Candles flickered all over the table.  Jars of homemade pickled watermelon rind and other delicacies adorned the table.

Their only daughter, Heidi (11 years old), was sitting on the sofa. We sat next to her.  A wig covered her sparse, thin hair. Cancer had taken a toll on her brainstem and she wasn’t who she used to be physically or mentally.  Slowly, she explained to us why her family celebrated Twelfth Night.

She looked off into the distance and recalled the beautiful story of the Magi following the star to find Jesus. The wise men were Gentiles (non-Jews) and were willing to go any distance to worship and adore Him with their finest gifts.  At the close of her story, her words got slower.  She took a long pause- we waited. Our daughters didn’t move a muscle nor did my husband or I.  It was as if she were listening to a voice we couldn’t hear. Our hearts melted when slowly she said “Come let us adore Him and give Him our best- just like the wise men.”

Clanging pots and dishes jolted us back into the twentieth century. Pat, our hostess invited us to gather ‘round the table. Her toddler started to cry. She said, “Please excuse Galen, his ear drum burst last night. He didn’t get much sleep, he’s a little grumpy.”  We joined hands and prayed.

I sat mesmerized that night, by this family.  While suffering, they served.  One child suffering the effects of brain stem cancer, another with a dreadful ear infection, a mom with no sleep, a third child that begged her attention and yet, she served us with joy. How ironic that her and her husband would host a night of worship in honor of the ultimate suffering servant, Jesus.

We ate our food with gladness and simplicity of heart, and praised God together.  Our children were young but even they could sense the sacredness of the night. No one said a word on our way home. Years have passed since then, but every 12th night after Christmas, I remember the Kastock family and that special dinner. Heidi went home to be with the Lord. But she lives on in my heart as the greatest story teller of Twelfth Night, that there ever was.

It was literally the most memorable dinner I’ve ever attended. The food was incredible.  The fellowship sweet but the living example of a suffering servant is so indelibly etched in my heart and soul that it changed me forever.

Lord, help me to never wait until my circumstances are perfect to serve. Help me to serve when nothing is perfect, when life is hard and when it’s good.  May I celebrate You all the days of my life with the same tenacity and with my finest gifts just like the wise men, and the Kastock’s.

I don’t know about you but I’ve already got the family in mind I want to invite over. How about you? We can’t wait till things get easier.  It never does! To make it easier, you could have them over for just coffee and dessert.

The best  Coconut Cream Cake (Gluten Free) recipe ever to serve with the coffee!

A make ahead dinner, try- Chicken and Dumpling  Casserole (Gluten Free) I keep one of these in freezer at all times for unexpected company. You can bake it before you freeze it or freeze unbaked, both work.

Pat Kasktock’s Twelfth Night Yorkshire Pudding

2 Corinthians 12:9a, “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness…”

Who are you going to invite? Leave their name in the comment section to enter the drawing to win this amazing book, Everyday Confetti written by my dear friends, Karen Ehman and Glynnis Whitwer and a $30 Target gift card to get the baking pan you need! The book is being released January 21, 2014. I’ll pick the winner next Wednesday!! Everyday confetti

 

8 Christmas Cookie/Candy Gift Recipes

 

Cookie lead photo

A memorable Christmas tradition in our family is to bring goodies to the homes of hurting people on Christmas Eve. Notice I didn’t say our favorite Christmas tradition but a memorable one. The kids didn’t actually like this tradition when they were little. Just this week I got a call from one of our grown daughters, Hannah and she said even though it wasn’t one of her favorite traditions as a child, it is as an adult. She wants to carry the tradition on in her family. Throughout the year we would make a mental note of those who had lost loved ones, endured cancer, lost their jobs or husbands. Then on Christmas Eve we would deliver goodies to their homes and pray for them.

I’ll never forget one year in particular. We went into the home of a family who had lost their only teenage son. We didn’t call before we came. it was a surprise visit. The dad was drunk and he wasn’t a drinker.  The mom was crying.  The kids were sitting by the Christmas tree with no gifts. Sadness consumed the house. We gathered them into a circle, held hands and prayed. They didn’t want us to leave, we brought not just food- but the joy of the Lord. Isn’t that what Christmas is all about? Bringing good tidings of great joy to the poor and brokenhearted; Jesus came to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and open prison to those who are bound…To comfort all who mourn, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.  We are His ambassadors carrying His anointing to the lost and hurting ones, He loves. Let’s be His hands and feet and bring joy where there is none.

Here are a few of my favorite recipes  to make for your goodie deliveries.

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Prepare your goodie containers. Save oatmeal, cocoa and coffee canisters throughout year. Wrap cans with paper you’ve saved  and have fun decorating with supplies on hand. The point is to spend the least amount of money and make it look better than anything you could buy.

Soft Baked Oreo Cookies

Soft Baked Oreo Cookies-GF

1 box of chocolate cake mix (we used a gluten free mix, any cake mix works)

1/3 cup water (depending on how many ounces the mix -you may need as much as ¾ cup)

3 tablespoons shortening or butter, softened

Mix all ingredients. It will be a little dry. If you can’t form it into a ball, you need more water. Add extra slowly. Dust the counter with a little cocoa powder, roll out dough and use cookie cutter to form circles.  If your dough is too sticky, form into silver dollar size patties by hand and flatten.

Bake on greased baking sheet for 6 minutes on 325 degrees.

Filling

3 ½ cups powdered sugar (organic)

1 tsp vanilla

½ cup shortening or butter

3 tablespoons hot water

Mix well. After cookies have cooled squish a heaping wallop of frosting between two cookies! YUM

 

Candied Oranges

Candied Orange

6 thick sliced organic oranges (non-organic orange peel shouldn’t be eaten, chemicals are heavy)

4 ½ cups sugar

1 ½ cups water

Wash oranges. Quarter and peel the skin and pith off. Slice peel into thin strips. Put orange peel into a pot of cold water, bring to boil over high heat. Pour water off and repeat 1-2 more times. This helps take  bitterness away. Remove orange peels from water.

Empty pot and now add your sugar and 1 ½ cups of water. Simmer for 10 minutes, bringing the temperature up slowly to 234. Add the peels and simmer for 40 minutes. DON’T stir, it can make sugar crystals in your syrup. Drain the peels and roll in a little sugar if you desire. Let sit for several hours.

I actually used fermented oranges on one batch- OH MY GOODNESS—it was better than anything I’ve ever eaten. The oranges were soft inside and the outside was hardened candy. It was like eating heaven.

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Maple Walnut Fudge

2 cups organic brown sugar (all sugar not organic is genetically modified)

5 ounces whole milk (I used raw goat milk for my lactose sensitive family)

1 cup unsalted butter

2 cups organic powdered sugar

1 tsp pure vanilla extract (don’t use artificial, it cheats you of perfection)

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Butter a 9×9 inch square pan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat sugar, milk, butter and maple syrup. Boil for 10 minutes, stirring constantly.

Take off heat and stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. Pour into mixing bowl and beat on medium until thick—about 3 minutes. Fold in nuts and pour into greased pan.

Let cool overnight. Slice into 1-inch squares.

 

Pecan Toffee

Pecan Toffee- GF Not hard but a soft crunch- YUM

½ cup chopped toasted pecans

1 cup butter (don’t use margarine)

1 cup organic sugar

1 tablespoon corn syrup or maple syrup (if you can’t find organic corn syrup use maple syrup)

¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips

½ cup crushed toasted pecans

Line a 9 X 13ish baking pan with foil and grease. Sprinkle ½ cup chopped nuts into bottom of pan evenly. In pot add butter, sugar and corn syrup or maple syrup. Cook over medium high heat to boiling.

Clip a candy thermometer onto side of pot. Cook and stir over medium heat. Stop stirring after sugar melts.  Cook until candy thermometer reaches 290 degree. Watch carefully, it can burn after 280. If it starts to turn too dark after 280 turn off heat. Pour mixture evenly over chopped nuts in greased pan.

Let stand for a few minutes. Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over top. Let melt on top for a couple of minutes.  Spread chocolate over whole mixture. Sprinkle crushed nuts on top. Cool, when firm lift out of pan and break into pieces. Store in tightly covered container.

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Banana Bread Muffins- GF

1 ¾ cups self-rising flour (I use GF Pamela’s Baking Mix or dairy free Cherry

1 cup mashed bananas

½ cup milk ( you can substitute with yogurt)

1 tsp vanilla

½ cup butter

1 cup organic sugar

2 eggs

1 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)

If you use non-self-rising flour you’ll need 2 tsp baking powder, ¾ tsp baking soda and ¾ tsp salt

Mix all ingredients. Pour into muffin pan or loaf pan. Bake 350 degrees  for 25 minutes.

Muffin topping

½ cup sugar

½ finely chopping nuts

4 tablespoons melted butter

Mix sugar and nuts together in a bowl. Melted butter in another small bowl.

Dip cooled muffin top into melted butter, then dip into sugar and nut mixture.

Enjoy!

 Flourless Decadent Brownie- GF

24 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted (dairy free if you’re lactose intolerant)

1 ½ sticks butter

5 beaten eggs

½ cup organic sugar

1 ½ tsp vanilla

¼ tsp salt

1 cup pecans

Melt chocolate chips and butter in bowl and stir. Add all other ingredients and pour into 9X9 pan. Bake on 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until done.

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

 

susan bday, christmas cookies and dinner 138

No Bake Oatmeal Cookies

½ cup butter

2 cups organic sugar

½ cup milk (lactose sensitive people most often can tolerate goat milk)

1/8 tsp salt

3 cups quick cooking oats

½ cup crunch peanut butter

1 tsp vanilla

Mix butter, sugar, milk and salt in pot. Stir and bring to rolling boil. Boil for one minute. Stir in oatmeal, peanut butter and vanilla.

Drop by tablespoons onto wax paper or aluminum foil. Work quickly it will start to harden!

Homemade Marshmallows dipped in chocolate are GREAT to giveaway.

Blondie’s -Gluten free and DELICIOUS!

Caramel Pecan Pie Cake muffins

FlourlessPeanut Butter Chocolate Chip- Gluten Free and Dairy Free

How to Cook a Perfect Turkey

 

Turkey was locally raised organic 30 pounder

Turkey was locally raised organic 30 pounder-Whiffletree Farm

Cooking a perfect turkey is simple if you follow all the steps below. Every step from thawing, brining, long slow roast to letting it rest is critical for perfection! The turkey will fall off the bones when you take it out of the oven! We had to prop the legs up for the photo because it fell apart.

1. What size turkey should you buy: How many people are you feeding? The general rule is one pound per person. This gives enough for leftovers.

2. How to thaw a turkey– Keep in the original packaging.  The guidelines for refrigerator thawing are as follows;

Turkey Weight Thawing Time
Up to 12 lbs 1-3 days
12 to 16 lbs 3-4 days
16 to 20 lbs 4-5 days
20 to 24 lbs 5-6 days

DON’T thaw on the counter, in water or in the microwave- you don’t want food poisoning.

3. If you want the turkey succulent follow my directions on how to   Brine a Turkey. Brining a turkey makes a huge taste difference and tenderizes it. Take the turkey out of the original packaging for the last day and a half of thawing time and put into the brine. The brine actually helps to thaw it.

4. Rinse brine off turkey, pat dry and put into your roasting pan.  Add three peeled carrots and 2 medium quartered onions to the bottom of the pan for added flavor. Cover well with aluminum foil. Tuck the foil around rim tightly, this locks in moisture. Do all of this the night before  your turkey meal. When I go to bed I set my oven for 325 degrees so that it will be ready when I get up in middle of the night (3:AM).

5. Turkey baking time: Take upper racks out of oven. Preheat oven to  325 degrees F.

Approximate Roasting Times for Stuffed Turkey
Turkey Weight
Hours
6 to 8 pounds 3 to 3-1/2 hours
8 to 12 pounds 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 hours
12 to 16 pounds 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 hours
16 to 20 pounds 5-1/2 to 6 hours
20 to 24 pounds 6 to 6-1/2 hours
Approximate Roasting Times for Unstuffed Turkey
Turkey Weight
Hours
6 to 8 pounds 2-1/2 to 3 hours
8 to 12 pounds 3 to 4 hours
12 to 16 pounds 4 to 5 hours
16 to 20 pounds 5 to 5-1/2 hours
20 to 24 pounds 5-1/2 to 6 hours

6. At 7:AM I turned the temperature down to 300 degrees.  Take foil off turkey when you get up and baste with butter. Put foil back on and every hour after take off and baste with  more with butter. Make sure you have a meat thermometer, insert it into the thigh not touching bone.  When the internal temperature of the turkey is 165 degrees take foil off and turn the temperature up to brown the skin. This only took 15 min’s- I turned it up to 450 for speed. Don’t go do something else, keep your eye on the bird.  You’ve spent too much time on it to dry it out!  After it is beautifully brown turn the oven temperature down to 250 degrees and let it rest in the oven to reabsorb any moisture it lost by puncturing it with the thermometer. 30 min’s to 1 hour before serving turn heat completely off. Continue basting turkey for moisture.

7. The turkey will fall apart. You won’t get beautiful photo’s because it’s falling apart.

8. To make gravy -pour turkey drippings into a skillet and turn up heat. Whisk flour of your choice  in and add water as needed. If you brined the turkey you WONT need salt. It is perfectly salted already. Enjoy!!

The pan wasn't big enough but we still used it! Aluminum foil kept it secure and sealed tight.

The pan wasn’t big enough but we still used it! Aluminum foil kept it secure and sealed tight

 

Why We Celebrate Thanksgiving

thanksgiving

Our Thanksgiving table last year

Innumerable blessings have been bestowed upon the United States of America. Concerning these blessings President Lincoln wrote: “No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God.” President Lincoln went on to set apart the last Thursday of November as “a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.”

While President Lincoln established America’s official Thanksgiving holiday in 1863, it was the Pilgrims who first celebrated a day of Thanksgiving in this land in 1621 and who set an example that many followed in the succeeding years.

As the Pilgrims gathered their harvest in the autumn of 1621 and looked back over the preceding year, they had so much for which to be thankful that they decided to set aside a day of Thanksgiving unto God, Whom they acknowledged as the Giver of all blessings and the only reason for their survival. It was indeed a miracle that they did survive their first year in the wilderness of New England and had a good harvest. Desire for a home where they could freely worship God, and the desire to “propagate… the Gospel of the kingdom of Christ” and be stepping stones for others to do the same, motivated a band of Christians later called Pilgrims) to set out on a hazardous voyage to plant a colony in the new world of America.

After sixty-six perilous days at sea, where the storms were so great that they were blown unknowingly hundreds of miles north of their intended destination, they reached Cape Cod. The captain attempted to sail south to Virginia, but the weather forced them to settle in New England. They later learned that the site they chose for a settlement – Plymouth – had been the home of the Patuxet Indians. Had they arrived a few years earlier, there would have been no place for them to settle, but a plague had mysteriously wiped out the Patuxet tribe in 1617, and no other tribe would settle in the area for fear of the same thing occurring to them.

Winter had already set in as they started to build houses to protect themselves from the unrelenting cold. Scurvy and other diseases began to infect the settlers due to the long voyage, lack of provisions, and unaccommodating conditions People began to die so rapidly that in two or three months’ time only half of the original 102 persons remained. While this was quite a tragedy, they still fared much better than the early settlers at Jamestown, who saw nine out of ten persons die in the first years of colonization.

During this dark winter in America, the Christian character of the Pilgrims shone brightly. At the time of greatest distress, there were only six or seven persons strong enough to move about. With the sick they “spared no pains night nor day, but with abundance of toil and hazard of their health, fetched them wood, made them fires, dressed them meat, made their beds, washed their loathsome clothes clothed and unclothed them; in a word, did all the homely and necessary offices for them which dainty and queasy stomachs cannot endure to hear named; and all this willingly and cheerfully, without any grudging in the least,

showing herein their true love unto their friends and brethren. A rare example and worthy to be remembered.” 

Though half of their number survived, the prospects of the coming year looked very bleak – they were surrounded by Indians, some hostile, they were short of food and supplies, and they knew little of how to survive in the American wilderness. But to their astonishment, and gratitude to God, an English-speaking Indian named Squanto came among them, took them under his care, and taught them how to survive in the new land.

He showed them how to plant corn, assuring its growth by setting it with fish; he taught them how to catch fish and the times when they could find the creeks stocked with fish (for the Pilgrims had only caught one cod in the preceding four months); he taught them to stalk deer, plant pumpkins, find berries, and catch beaver, whose pelts proved to be their economic deliverance.

Squanto was also helpful in securing a peace treaty between the Pilgrims and surrounding Indian tribes, which lasted over fifty years. In the words of William Bradford, “Squanto… was a special instrument sent of God for their good beyond their expectation.”

 His life story is amazing in itself.

In 1605, Squanto, a member of the Patuxet Indian tribe, was captured by an English explorer and taken to England. He remained there nine years, during which time he learned to speak English. In 1614, Captain John Smith took him back to New England, but shortly after this he was again taken captive and sold into slavery at a port in Spain. Providentially, some local friars bought and rescued him.

From Spain, he eventually went to England where he remained until 1619, when he obtained passage back to his home in New England. As Squanto went ashore at what was to become Plymouth, he found his entire tribe had been killed by a plague. He was the only survivor of the Patuxet tribe. Joining himself to a nearby tribe, he remained there until the spring of 1621 when he joined himself with the Pilgrims, determining to see them survive at the place where his tribe had not. 

Thanks to God, his instrument Squanto, and the character and determination of the Pilgrims, half of them had survived an unimaginably difficult first year. Moreover, they harvested a sufficient food supply for their second winter at Plymouth. Even though there was no surplus food, things looked much better than the preceding winter.

Governor Bradford appointed a day of Thanksgiving and invited the nearby Wampanoag Indians (Squanto’s adopted tribe) to celebrate and give thanks unto God with them. Chief Massasoit and ninety of his men came and feasted with the Pilgrims. They ate deer, turkey, fish, lobster, eels, vegetables, corn bread, herbs, berries, pies, and the Indians even taught the Pilgrims how to make popcorn. The Pilgrims and Indians also competed in running, wrestling, and shooting games. Massasoit enjoyed himself so much that he and his men stayed for three days.

 It is easy to see where the American tradition of feasting at Thanksgiving began.

While many people today follow the Pilgrim’s example of feasting at Thanksgiving, they too often ignore the entire reason that the Pilgrims set aside a special day – that was to give thanks to Almighty God and acknowledge their utter dependence upon Him for their existence. While many today take ease in having plenty, never seeing a need to cry out to God, the Pilgrims relied upon God in their lack and thanked Him in their abundance. Their trust was in God and not in their abundant provisions. This was seen even more fully in the two years following their first Thanksgiving.

Shortly after their Thanksgiving celebration, thirty-five new persons unexpectedly arrived who planned to remain and live at Plymouth. These being family and friends brought much rejoicing, but when they found out they had no provisions it also brought a soberness. Yet their reliance was upon God, so they gladly shared their food, clothing, and homes. With the new additions, their food, even at half allowance for each person, would last six months at most.

Their provisions had almost completely run out when they spied a boat in May of 1622. They hoped the English Company who had sponsored their colonizing Plymouth had sent provisions; however, this boat not only did not bring any food (nor the hope of any), but seven more hungry people to stay in Plymouth. In their extreme hunger, as in times of plenty, they put their complete trust in God to provide.

No one starved to death yet, it would be over a year before famine was completely removed from their midst. During that time there were many days where they “had need to pray that God would give them their daily bread above all people in the world.”

That spring and summer of 1622 God miraculously fed them, even as the ravens fed Elijah in the wilderness. He provided because the Pilgrims had determined to walk in the way of their Lord Jesus. This was most evident in early summer when sixty “lusty” men (as Bradford called them) came to them for help. Even though these men showed no gratitude, the Pilgrims still gladly took care of them, for many were sick. They gave them housing and shared their meager provisions. This they did for almost the entire summer until the men left.

Like the year before, the harvest of 1622 proved insufficient to meet the Pilgrims’ needs. Outside help appeared doubtful, so the Pilgrims considered how they could produce a larger harvest. Through God’s wisdom they chose to replace the collective farming they had practiced the two preceding years (being imposed upon them by their sponsoring company) with individual farming, assigning to every family a parcel of land.

Bradford wrote: “This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than other wise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use… and gave far better content. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn, which before would allege weakness and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and.”

As they were freed from economic communism and entered into individual

enterprise, abundance began to come upon these people.

The Pilgrims learned the hard way that communism doesn’t work, even among a covenant community. Bradford wrote that “the experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years, and that amongst godly and sober men, may well evince the vanity of that conceit of Platos

& other ancients, applauded by some of later times; – that the taking away of property, and bringing in community into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God.”9

The Pilgrims’ hard work, resulting from them being able to directly benefit from the fruit of their labors, caused them to plant about six times more crops than the previous year. While labor certainly increases our prosperity, there are other factors. God wanted the Pilgrims to never forget that it is the Lord that gives men the power to get substance or wealth (Deut. 8:18).

The Pilgrims had great hopes for a large crop, yet as Bradford wrote, “the Lord seemed to blast, & take away the same, and to threaten further

 

& more sore famine unto them, by a great drought which continued from the 3. week in May, till about the middle of July, without any rain and with great heat (for the most part) insomuch as the corn began to wither away.”

In response to this, “they set a part a solemn day of humiliation to seek the Lord by humble

 

& fervent prayer, in this great distress. And he was pleased to give them a gracious & speedy answer, both to their own & the Indians admiration, that lived amongst them. For all the morning, and greatest part of the day, it was dear weather & very hot, and not a cloud or any sign of rain to be seen, yet toward evening it began to overcast, and shortly after to rain, with such sweet and gentle showers, as gave them cause of rejoicing, & blessing God. It came, without either wind, or thunder, or any violence, and by degrees in that abundance, as that the earth was thoroughly wet and soaked therewith. Which did so apparently revive & quicken the decayed corn & other fruits, as was wonderful to see, and made the Indians astonished to behold.”11

An Indian named Hobamak who witnessed this event said to a Pilgrim: “Now I see that the Englishman’s God is a good God, for he hath heard you, and sent you rain, and that without storms and tempests and thunder, which usually we have with our rain, which breaks down our corn, but yours stands whole and good still; surely your God is a good God.”

The harvest of 1623 brought plenty to each person, with the more industrious having excess to sell to others. From the time they started a biblical economic system, no famine or general want ever again existed among them.

That autumn of 1623, the Pilgrims again set apart a day of Thanksgiving unto God. They had much to give thanks for and knew Who to acknowledge.

Each year when we celebrate Thanksgiving, let us remember the heritage of that day and why the Pilgrims, as well as President Lincoln set aside a day of Thanksgiving. In the

words of Lincoln, proclaiming the second National Thanksgiving Day: this is “a day of thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God, the beneficent Creator and Ruler of the Universe.”

by Stephen McDowell

How to brine a turkey.

Dressing your children like pilgrims.

Marshmallow Fruit Salad- GF

Marshmallow Fruit Salad-No photo can capture the taste!!

Marshmallow Fruit Salad-No photo can capture the taste!!

Some recipes are so special that you use them only at  holidays and special occasions–this Marshmallow Fruit Salad  is one of those recipes! It’s a labor of love that’ll be passed down for generations. Serves 40 people-6 0z each or 20 people with leftovers for the next day.

Use organic ingredients when possible for longevity of your life.

2 cups of cooked Arborio rice

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour (I use GF)

½ tsp. salt

3 egg yolks- beaten

1 20 ounce can crushed pineapple

2 15 ounce cans mandarin oranges

1 ¾ cup of juice from pineapple and mandarin orange’s

7 cups homemade marshmallows -Homemade makes a huge difference, but you can use store bought. I actually wouldn’t make this without homemade marshmallows. It’s what makes it special.

2 ½ cups Truwhip (homemade whipped cream is the ultimate ingredient but lactose intolerant people can’t eat it. Most tolerate Truwhip which is 70% organic w/ trace amount of sodium caseinate. Cool Whip is genetically modified- don’t use it)

  1. Cook rice according to package directions. Only use Arborio rice for this recipe.
  2. Combine sugar, flour, salt, egg yolks, juice from fruit- stir well and cook on medium until thick. Stir into cooked rice. Refrigerate overnight- to absorb all the goodness into rice.
  3.  Next day, stir into rice mixture; Truwhip, marshmallows, pineapple and mandarin oranges. Mix well.
  4. I make this for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.
    While rice is cooking make fruit dressing in skillet--fruit juice, egg yolks, sugar and flour- cook till slightly thick

    While rice is cooking make fruit dressing in skillet–fruit juice, egg yolks, sugar and flour- cook till slightly thick

    Thickened

    Thickened

    Add to cooked rice, stir- refrigerate over night so rice absorbs all the yumminess

    Add to cooked rice, stir- refrigerate over night so rice absorbs all the yumminess

    Stir into rice mixture- marshmallows, Truwhip and fruit

    Stir into rice mixture- marshmallows, Truwhip and fruit

    Marshmallow Fruit Salad- refrigerate until ready to serve

    Marshmallow Fruit Salad- refrigerate until ready to serve

     

10 Nostalgic Fall Decorating Ideas-DIY

Let dry until no moisture is left and flowers are dried completely- few days

In the olden days people decorated their homes with homemade treasures, often with resources grown on their own farms. I’m excited to share with you 10 nostalgic fall ideas we made this year from resources grown(mostly) our property.  I hope you make a few for your home! If you have any  old-fashioned ideas for fall decorating–I would love to hear them!

An industrious woman always plans for the future. Pin this post so you can plan for the things you’ll make next fall.  In the spring you’ll want to plant  flowers that you’ll dry at the end of summer for your fall arrangement. You’ll want to plant gourds and pumpkins if you have space. Back in the day even those who had little money purchased a few basic items in town at a store, like cloves and a lemon. I spent less than $10 on everything I made in this post.  I’m not sure how much money a grapevine wreath is in the store. You may find one at a yard sale or thrift store for a fraction of the cost of a new one.  A good resource to find free treasures to decorate wreaths would be in the forest. Go on a nature hike and return with bags of possibilities.

#1 Dried Zinnia Wreath

My summer Zinnia's dried--now I can enjoy them all year!

My summer Zinnia’s dried and made into a wreath! I enjoy them all year! I’m giving away zinnia seeds to 3 people! Just tell me you want seeds in comment section! I’ll pick 3 winners next week–save them for next spring!

Picked fresh Zinnia's multiple colors-you can see them growing from the window.

I picked fresh Zinnia’s of multiple colors-you can see them growing from the window.

Pour silica crystals into a large bowl- set flowers on top

Pour silica crystals into a large bowl- set flowers on top.

Cover flowers with silica crystals. I've had my crystals for 18 years. They still work.

Cover flowers with  crystals. I’ve had my crystals for 18 years. They still work.

After the flowers come out of microwave- shake off crystals and hang with clothes pins on a drying rack

Put covered flowers  in microwave for a couple of minutes-shake off crystals and hang with clothes pins on a drying rack.

Let dry until no moisture is left and flowers are dried completely- few days

Let dry completely for a couple of days- these are ready!

Use a glue gun to glue the dried flowers into place

Use a glue gun to glue the dried flowers onto grapevine wreath

 

#2 Pinecone Tree- We have pine trees on our property, so pine cones are plentiful. If you don’t have any–ask someone who does to give you some. Most people who have pine cones have hundreds or thousands to share.

Dale made this beautiful pine cone tree for me! We're putting lights on it tonight!

Dale made this beautiful pine cone tree for me! We’re putting lights on it tonight!

Some pine cones are open, some closed. I put the closed ones in the oven to open them. *pumpkin grown on Glasgow Farm

Some pine cones are open, some closed. I put the closed ones in the oven to open them. *pumpkin grown on Glasgow Farm

Pinecones_in_bowls

 

Closed pinecones- put in 200 degree oven until they fully open- couple of hours or more

Closed pinecones- put in 200 degree oven until they fully open- couple of hours or more

Half opened

Half opened

Pinecones_in_oven_open

Fully open- you can turn heat up for faster opening or reduce to slow–they are dry and break more easily when to heated too high

 

Two large tomato cages from the garden served as the base of the pine cone tree

Two large tomato cages from the garden served as the base of the pine cone tree

Dale screwed screws into the bottom of each pine cone and then took a long piece of wire-wrapped each pine cone tightly around each screw and wrapped around base of tomato cage

Dale screwed screws into the bottom of each pine cone and then took a long piece of wire-wrapped each pine cone tightly around each screw and wrapped around base of tomato cage

Pinecone_Christmas_tree_DG_101413_Hartwood_VA_SG_inside_1186x890

Pinecone_Christmas_tree_SG_102113_Hartwood_VA

 

 

#3 Cornucopia I bought our basket- but baskets are easy to make if you’d like to be 100% authentic!

I've had this cornucopia for 20+ years- every year I fill it will fall produce

I’ve had this cornucopia for 20+ years- every year I fill it with fall produce

#4 Pine cone garland

Pine cone garland- string pine cones on twine and hang from nails at your kitchen window

Pine cone garland- string pine cones on twine and hang from nails at your kitchen window

#5 Stained Glass Dried Leaf & Flower Art

Supplies needed: Iron, flowers or fall leaves and wax paper

Supplies needed: Iron, flowers or fall leaves and wax paper

 

Stained glass dried leaf & blossom art- Pick fall colored leaves and flowers, place between two pieces of wax paper and press with hot iron until sealed all the way around and inbetween

Stained glass dried leaf & blossom art- Pick fall colored leaves and flowers, place between two pieces of wax paper and press with hot iron until sealed all the way around and in-between Can you guess what these are?

 

10 Nostalgic Fall Decorating Ideas-DIY 049

Pansy in the center

Fall Leaf Stained Glass

#6 Pomander- Clove Studded Lemon

Prick lemon or orange with nail and then insert cloves into the holes. Cover the entire lemon or orange if you want it to last years. Then sprinkle oris root over top of it and let sit in paper bag for a couple of weeks. The orris root preserves it. The cloved lemon to the left is 18 years old.

Prick lemon or orange with nail and then insert cloves into the holes. Cover the entire lemon or orange if you want it to last years. Then sprinkle orris root, cinnamon and ground cloves  over top of it and let sit in paper bag for a couple of weeks. Every few days I shook the bag around making sure the powder covered it well.  The orris root preserves it. The cloved lemon to the left is 18 years old.

The blue bowl holding the cloves was made by my sweet nephew Thomas Killian, he makes  handmade pottery and has an online store.

Pomanders are wonderful smelling.  You can decorate them in patterns, wrap a ribbon around them and place in a bowl or cover completely and preserve them for years to come.

Supplies needed: small or medium size unblemished fruit. (Oranges, Apples or Lemons)

cloves

Spice mixture: 1 tablespoon each: cinnamon,  ground cloves and orris root

Knitting needle, toothpick or nail

#7 Corn Husk Garland

All the corn stalks tied together and ready to hang over front door

All the corn stalks tied together and ready to hang over front door

I bought 15 regular corn cobs @5 for $2.  Pull the husks up over the corn--like in the photo

I bought 15 regular corn cobs @5 for $2. Pull the husks up over the corn–like in the photo

10 Nostalgic Fall Decorating Ideas_DIY_004_1186_890

Tied twine around each corn husk

I tried to hurry the process by putting in the oven on 200 for 10 hours. It wasn't perfect, it overcooked the husks. You're supposed to let them dry in well circulated space for several weeks

I tried to hurry the process by putting in the oven on 200 for 10 hours. It wasn’t perfect, it overcooked the husks. You’re supposed to let them dry in well circulated space for several weeks

After out of the oven I tied all the corn cobs together

After out of the oven I tied all the corn cobs together with twine

 

 

All the corn stalks tied together and ready to hang over front door

All the corn stalks tied together and ready to hang over front door

 

#8 Natural Wreath

Fall wreath- Fall weeds and produce on a grapevine wreath–whatever you

find interesting in your part of the world that dry’s well- stick in the wreath

and hot glue into place. This only last one season. Next year it will be an

entirely different look depending on what I find interesting in our field.

 wreath1186X890

Weeds growing in our field- picked for wreath

Weeds growing in our field- picked for wreath

Wreath_corn

#9 Pomegranate pumpkin face

Pomegranite is hard fleshed and easy to use like a pumpkin- Crave with small knife, let dry and enjoy

Pomegranite is hard fleshed and easy to use like a pumpkin- Crave with small knife, let dry and enjoy-

#10 Retro Art

 

I'm going to send a copy of this retro Thanksgiving Day card to all my subscribers next week! Mine is framed and sitting in my kitchen window. You can find vintage frames at all thrift stores!

I’m going to send a copy of my retro Thanksgiving Day card to all my subscribers next week! Mine is framed and sitting in my kitchen window. You can find vintage frames at all thrift stores!

I’m giving away some of my zinnia seeds! Tell me your favorite color flower below to enter your name for the drawing. I’m picking three winners for the seeds. I’ll announce winners next week.

If you are a subscriber to my blog I’ll send you the retro Thanksgiving Day art next week!

Winner of $40 Target gift card and devotion book  from last week is Mary T. you posted on2013/10/14 at 12:09 PM! email me your address!

He Rolled Out the Red Carpet for Our Guests

Our dining room table set for dinner guests

Our dining room table set for dinner guests

If you’re visiting from Proverbs 31’s Encouragement for Today devotion, welcome!

I prayed weeks for this dinner. The couple we invited was sweet but tormented on many levels —they needed Jesus. I wanted to roll out the red carpet and treat them like royalty; God knows they needed a big dose of His love.

Time got away from me—cleaning the house, making the dessert and all.  I still had to run to the store to get the filet mignons. I know, they’re expensive, but I wasn’t going to spare any cost for them—it would be a feast!

I sat the grocery bags inside the front door and then ran back out to light the fire in the grill. They would be there in less than half an hour! I ran back to the front door, grabbed the bags of gold, I mean—filet mignons—and laid them on the kitchen counter. I reached in for the first steak and pulled out an empty package. Puzzled, I pulled out the second package, it was empty, the third and fourth . . .all empty, not even a trace of steak, just perfectly clean empty packages!  “What in the world?  Where are my expensive delicious steaks?“ I cried.

About that time my large greyhound dog, Cuzi walked around the corner, with his head cowered. He wouldn’t look at me. I called for him but he lowered his head even more and ran behind the couch. I followed him, and not a trace of a steak did I find, just one guilty dog with a very full tummy. He had done this kind of thing before; eaten entire large pizzas, cakes and whole plates of fried chicken without a crumb left behind. Yep, he was the thief, alright. Guilty was written all over his face.

I heard knocking at my front door. They were early, I had no main course to serve and I couldn’t find the red carpet to roll out (you know my mood—it was eaten by the dog).

While we were welcoming them, I remembered that I had a homemade Chicken& Dumpling Casserole in the freezer. It was my only choice so with a groan I turned the oven on and popped it in.

I then excused myself to the restroom, closed the door and said, “Jesus, help me, help me get over my own expectations of what tonight would look like. I’ve asked You for weeks to lavish this couple with Your presence. You don’t need steaks to make it grand. Bring Your presence powerfully into our midst. Jesus, you are all we need to make this night a royal feast. Come Lord Jesus and fill this place with Your glory.” And I walked back out to my guests.

Oh my, oh my-The dinner (though, not the food) was spectacular as His glory more than filled our house while we shared Jesus that night. None of us wanted the night to end it was SO good.

Jesus rolled out the red carpet, brought us to His banqueting table and His love enveloped us. It could not have been any more royal a night.

I surrendered my plans for His, and His were better, ah Jesus!

 What hinders you from inviting guests for dinner? Tell me in the comment section to enter your name in the drawing to win a $30 Target gift card (something to help your entertaining) and Proverbs 31 Ministries brand new Encouragement for Today devotion book.  Winner drawn next Wednesday!drying flowers, hannah's house, chicken casserole, gnoii 113

For my Chicken & Dumpling Casserole recipe click here.  

I Peter 4: 9-11, “Be hospitable to one another…if anyone ministers (entertains), let him do it with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever, amen.

A Fairytale Love Story- Hardships

Who doesn’t love an epic love story?  In Genesis 24, Rebecca and Isaac’s story reads much like a fairy-tale.  It was a match made in heaven- literally.  It was love at first sight.  And God wanted us to know every detail about this couples love story…

Rebecca was beautiful, pure, energetic and had a servants heart.  Isaac was peace loving, easy going, and quiet. What could go wrong with such a perfect combination?

No doubt about it they were attracted to each other and loved each other.  In fact, the word “love” was used to define romantic love for the first ever time in the Bible- about them!  But romance or none, the storms of life blew hard on their home.  Rebecca was barren for the first 20 years of their marriage. That’ll put a strain on even the strongest couple!  Isaac was passive- to a fault, wanting peace at all cost, he lied about Rebecca’s identity as his wife!  Yep, he’s Abraham’s son.  You can be certain Isaac heard about this for a long time.

Rebecca wasn’t passive by any stretch of the imagination, she was the opposite. She quickly made family decisions without consulting her husband. Oh boy, the story gets a lot more complicated when their twins were born.  Rebecca and Isaac’s communication wasn’t what it should have been…

Even though it was a match made in heaven, the story shows us that life is full of human weakness.  They were normal, imperfect people.  Humans make mistakes every day and they were no different from us.  God wanted us to see that even behind the doors of a match made in heaven, there are many faults.   Yet, in our imperfection and desperately weak flesh, He loves us- and chooses to use us for His glory!  Generations later, He used this imperfect couple to usher in the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ!

Who doesn’t love an epic love story?  And whether you’re married or not, your epic love story is being written.  Your story is being inscribed.  Every detail matters to God- Every choice we make, how pure we live, how we rise above the hardships, how we forgive and how we depend on Him every step of the story.

In Malachi 3:16 it says God has a book of remembrance of those who feared Him. That verse and others challenge me every day to rise above myself. God loves to brag about His children-what will He say about how I lived my life? I want my story to be an epic love story—choices I make determine the “epic.”

If you’re visiting me today from Proverbs 31 ministries devotion, Hidden Hardships behind Closed Doors– welcome! I’m glad you stopped by. If you’d like to subscribe to my blog, I would love to have you in the family!

2 Corinthians 12:9-11, “But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. “Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”  

How Will We Be Remembered?

Leave a one word comment below telling a hardship you need prayer for to enter to win a vintage apron. Our family will pray for you! Winners will be drawn next Tuesday!

apron 1

One winner will win this white and purple vintage apron

The second winner drawn will win this vintage apron. Embordered at top of apron it says, " Main Ingredient is Love"

The second winner drawn will win this vintage apron. Embroidered at top it says, ” Main Ingredient is Love”

 

Vintage Decorating-Starched Doilies

Ironing starched dolies

Ironing starched doilies

If you are visiting from Karen Ehman’s Vintage Blog Hop, welcome!

People come to our house every week inquiring about our barn weddings. I think what  attracts so many is the vintage memorabilia. It lures the imagination to the past. People long to relive memories of days gone by. In the olden days, life was more simple and people depended on friends and family for the very essence of life itself.

Hence, vintage parties are a huge hit.  The cool thing is, you can create the old-fashioned look and food on a tight budget. When I throw a party I do most of my decorating shopping at the local thrift store. My budget is typically $1 and I rarely go above $3 for any given item.

Our daughter, Rachael who got married in May  came up with the idea to decorate our barn with starched doilies for her wedding. It turned out great! We borrowed doilies from friends, used ones we already had and bought some for less than a dollar a piece at thrift stores. We couldn’t have spent thousands of dollars and been any happier with the outcome.

I spent hours cooking up batches of starch and then starching the doilies.

Every  good party has to have homemade goodies. Back in the day you wouldn’t have had anything but- homemade. We spent days making truffles for Rachael’s wedding.  It took a long time, but the memories we made while making them will never ever be forgotten. They cost a fraction of what store-bought truffles  cost and people love them so much more.

Did you ever see the movie, Pollyanna? If you haven’t you must watch it. One scene in the movie they’re making cakes for a fair, the cakes are GI-NORMOUS! Who doesn’t want huge yummy homemade cakes at their party?

I write all this to say- people love old fashioned parties with authentic fellowship and yummy food.

The fall is a great time to have a vintage party. The goal is to spend the least amount of money, but make it special.  Ask  people to make and bring homemade goodies. Now all you have to do is, DO IT!

Simple + Family +Friends=Spiritual blessings!

“ The neighborhood bar is possibly the best counterfeit that there is to the fellowship Christ wants us to give his church. It’s an imitation, dispensing liquor instead of grace, escape rather than reality – but it is a permissive, accepting and inclusive fellowship. It is unshockable. It is democratic. You can tell people secrets, and they usually don’t tell others or even want to. The bar flourishes not because most people are alcoholics, but because God has put into the human heart the desire to know and be known, to love and be loved, and so many seek a counterfeit at the price of a few beers.” Charles Swindoll

1/2 cup starch 1 1/4 cups water 1/2 cup cold water Dissolve starch in cold water. Boil the 1 1/4 cups water, stirring constantly. Remove from flame, then slowly stir the starch mixture into boiling water, stirring constantly. Place back on flame until it thickens. As soon as the starch is cool enough to handle, dip doily and squeeze through it thoroughly. Wring out the extra starch. The doily should be wet with starch, but there should be no starch in the spaces or openwork. Pin center of doily in true shape and allow to dry thoroughly. After it is dry, press with a steam iron. If a regular iron is used, dampen the doily slightly before pressing. Pin folds of ruffle in position and leave until thoroughly dry.

Recipe for starched doilies: 1/2 cup starch 1 1/4 cups water 1/2 cup cold water. Dissolve starch in cold water and stir. Boil the 1 1/4 cups water and then pour dissolved starch into water.  Cook on medium low until thick. Take off heat. As soon as the starch is cool enough to handle, dip doily and squeeze through it thoroughly. Wring out the extra starch. The doily should be wet with starch, and be no dry places.  Press with  an  iron. Lay flat to dry.

Photo's from Sharon's iPhone Sept-July 1 1587

 Photo's from Sharon's iPhone Sept-July 1 1588

 Photo's from Sharon's iPhone Sept-July 1 1590

 View More: http://pinwheelcollective.pass.us/jonathan-rachael

 

We made 300 of these truffles inside of jewel shaped ice cube molds. I only had one mold that made 6 at a time. That's way it took so long. They are made with crushed hazelnuts, crushed hazelnut wafers and Nutella-YUM

Homemade truffles-made with crushed hazelnuts, crushed hazelnut filled wafers and Nutella- taste just like Ferrero Rocher Fine Hazelnut truffles- We made them inside jewel shaped ice-cube molds.  We only had one mold. One mold only made 6 truffles at a time. That’s what took so much time! We made 300 of these. The photo isn’t showing it well, but they have gold glitter on them.

Each of our daughters made and myself made deserts- This one is a 5 layer gluten free cake with buttercream frosting

A five layer cake is a hit at any party- 5 layer gluten free cake with buttercream frosting

Decorating set

I’m giving away a cake decorating kit and a $25 ebay gift certificate at Karen Ehman’s blog hop. Hop on over there to enter for a chance to win!

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