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Friday, April 27, 2012

The Change!

Ok, my little friend, I mean fiend, Meno (short for menopause - I have made it a 4 letter word), and I are not quite jiving yet!  Due to a mini stroke I had way back in my past, I cannot take any kind of hormone, natural or otherwise.  So, I am walking through this season with the Lord close by.  At least, I am trying so hard to.  Many days I have to turn back from the wrong way and go back to Him, but He is there waiting!  My mantra is "I will keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Me!"  The Lord is good and faithful!  Aside from the mood swings and hot flashes, there is the whole changing of season cycle.  I'm entering the fall, no, I'm going to call it Autumn, season.  What does that mean??  Where did summer go??  I am entering the Autumn season with 4 children, 2 are grown up and 2 are small.  I have a wonderful husband 8 years my junior.  I am staying at home and homeschooling my younger children.  I am designing and spinning yarns for a living.  Life is wonderful!  So, chipper up little buckaroo!  It looks good!

I am doing my first big craft show tomorrow!  I am trying to get everything ready.  I haven't felt great this week, and I needed to paint my spinning wheel - it was unfinished.  So, in a weak moment, I let my Ben and Grace, 7 and 5, do the job!
Ben's side
Grace's side

It is Primitive Art, just like spinning wool!

I've got to go and prepare for company this evening!  We are having Baked Spaghetti!  It is wonderful!

1# ground beef
1c. chopped onion
1 c. chopped green pepper
1 28oz. can diced tomatoes
1 4 oz. can mushroom pieces, drained
2 t. dried oregano
salt to taste
12 oz. spaghetti, cooked and drained
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 10 3/4 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese

In a large skillet, cook beef, onion and green pepper until beef is browned;  drain.  Add tomatoes, mushrooms, oregano and salt.  Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.  Place half of the spaghetti in a greased crockpot.  Top with half of the meat sauce.  Sprinkle with 1 cup of cheddar cheese.  Repeat layers.  Mix soup and water until smooth;  pour over casserole.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Cook on high for a couple of hours, then turn to low until ready to serve.

Until next time!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Change Without Leaving Your Bed

Change is inevitable, as we all know, however, I have found it is how you embrace change that really matters. This is about a different kind of change - an inner change of thoughts and attitudes.   I can be lying in bed and a little thought can whisper something negative, i.e. "I'm never going to have energy in the mornings because I'm so old", ...then..."What if I'm so old my husband doesn't want me anymore"....then..."What if he finds someone else?"....then....more ugly thoughts based on nothing!  Then I am mad at myself, mad at my husband and this has colored my whole day!  Yikes!  All before setting one foot out of bed!  Nothing has happened except that I opened my eyes!  Has this happened to you?  The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 10:5 that we must take EVERY thought captive - "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."  Now, instead of getting all upset, I work my way back though those ugly thoughts and see the truth.  My husband has never showed any sign of wanting anyone else and has actually always been pretty loving, and once I set one foot out of the bed, energy comes.  I pray and ask God to help me to take captive EVERY thought and bring it under His Word.  How quickly I can get on the roller coaster of life without anything in my world really changing except my thoughts!   So, I've ridden this roller coaster of emotions all from one little thought about not having energy as soon as my eyes pop open!  Now, I replace that one little negative thought with one positive one and, volia!  Now my day is colored with a positive outlook.  All from taking thoughts captive and not allowing the enemy to whisper his little lies to me.   Now on to more creative avenues...

I have started the Charlotte Mason method in my homeschool and it is working out beautifully.  I thought Ben, my 7 year old, and I were going to have to part ways, particularly in math.  I started this approach a week ago and it has made a HUGE difference!  I am having to unschool me!  We are spending lots of time outdoors and alternating subjects like math and language arts with Art Appreciation and Music and Dance.  Wonderful fun and he is enjoying school again!

We are getting settled in our new home and are enjoying being so close to church and Gene's work.  I planted flowers and have made a little outdoor room on our porch.  Home!  More coming, but it's a good start.  Vegetable gardening with our neighbors this year and it is going to be great!  There is also a small orchard here so looking forward to apples, peaches and, I think, pears.  Lots of canning in my future!   Cabbage is already planted and growing.  My neighbor is going to help me can sauerkraut.  I love sauerkraut! 

Our garden spot and apple trees
Our Front Porch
Living Room

Ben and Grace having school
Cafe Table for Lattes and Tea

As part of our homeschool now, we are having lifeskills classes.  Ben just made muffins:
1 3/4 c. Flour
1/3 c. Sugar
2 t. baking powder
1t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1/4 t. ground allspice
1/8 t. ground ginger
1 egg lightly beaten
1/4 c. milk
3/4 c. Almond Joy Coffee Creamer by Int'l Delights
1/4/ c. vegetable oil

Combine the first 8 ingredients.  Combine egg, milk and oil:  stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.  Fill greased muffin cups with batter.  Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes. This was based off of another recipe but we tweaked it and made it our own.  The original recipe called for 3/4 cups of milk and 1/2 t. cinnamon, 1/4 t. nutmeg, and 1/8 t. ground allspice.  We LOVE the Almond Joy creamer and it really gives the muffins a wonderful flavor!  The original also had you filling the muffin cups partially, adding apple butter filling, and covering with more batter.  However, I didn't have apple butter, so we are going a la carte!  You can also add the topping of 1/2 c. chopped pecans and 3 T. suger, but we left that off also.  No nuts!

My ETSY shop is doing great!  Not sure if I'm opening a physical shop here yet or not.  There is a really cute shop here, but right now it's full of stuff!  I'm now on Pinterest so you can follow me there also.

Until we meet again, may God bless you richly in all you do!