Friday, November 30, 2012

Our Living Room

Here are some pics I took of our living room last week. 
Everything in the room we inherited from our friends who were previously living here which is awesome because we have no need to rush to paint and buy furniture quickly.  I love the no pressure tactic we are taking and the room looks nice already, doesn't it? 
We get lovely natural sunlight coming in our front windows and this is my fave part of the living room! 
We need to fill some nail holes, replaster and repaint and I'm still on the fence about going with a pale yellow or an earth tone.  The walls are already an earth tone- difficult to tell here in this pic- but it looks very pretty. 

This is my inspiration picture for my living room.  
My heart's desire is to have earth tones and a pop of color here in the
living room starting with the couch. 
I originally wanted red for the sofa and accents but we've been window shopping and it is difficult to find a sofa that is true red. 
We've found a few brick red and burgundy but I want a cherry red that looks 
bright, modern and bold!
I might have to settle for plum (if I can find that color) so we'll see. 
I think Ikea has both colors but it's quite a ride over that way. 
I hope to match the window treatments to my future color of choice.
More to come as we progress~

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Tuna Patties

I've had this recipe for years  but I've tweeked it to my liking.   It's a quick fix and tasty too-

2 cans (tuna in water) drained very well
2 eggs
10 saltined crushed- or you can use bread crumbs. 
(I've even used Rice Krispies with great results)
onion chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Mix together all ingredients and make about 5 patties.
In hot oiled skillet fry till golden brown.
   Great on bread with bean sprouts and lettuce or for breakfast with a bit of ketchup and eggs.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Genesis 4:5
But unto Cain and to his offering he (God) had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

This chapter is full of disrespect. Disrespect for God. The requirement of sacrifice was for Cain to bring an offering that was well pleasing to the Lord and he knew exactly what was required of him. But did he listen? No. He dissed God and offered something the Lord was not pleased with. When God requires of me, do I become angry and make excuses like Cain did?

Do I diss God? Do I offer up useless things to Him knowing full well that the only thing He wants is ME? Do I ask for forgiveness knowing that I will sin against Him in the future? Do I sin 'on credit' knowing I am covered by His grace? Do I make excuses for my behavior? These are things that I am asking myself today.

Romans 6:1
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

God help me to have my priorities straight. If you ask for me to give up a certain thing I don't want to offer up some measly counter sacrifice for it's replacement. Your grace is so limitless but I do not want to take advantage of it. Help me to be tender to your Holy Spirit prodding me to change and grow in You.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What's Cookin'? 11/2012

Here are a few of the things we've been having for sustenance over here at these parts~  ;) 

Barbecue Beef Ribs, Sweet Potatoes and Veggies
Homemade Chicken Soup
Chicken and Broccoli Pie
Coffee Crumb Cake
What about you?  What recipes have you tried lately? 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Coffee Crumb Cake

Ingredients you'll need:
Walnuts (optional)
One yellow (or white) cake mix (not shown)
In a large bowl scoop out about 1/2 cup shortening. 
Add some unprepared oatmeal- as little or as much as you like depending on your preference.
Add approximately the same amount of sugar.  No need to be a perfectionist.
Add about the same amount of flour.  No perfection in measuring.  Just put some in there.  ;) 
Add some walnuts or any other type of nut. I love them in coffeecake. 
Add a few shakes of cinnamon.  Coffee cake needs cinnamon!
Mix all together.
I tasted mine and decided to add a bit of brown sugar. 
The topping should be crumbly with the consistency of a pie crust dough recipe~ or even a little dryer. 
If the consistency is wet, and sticks together too much, add some flour and sugar.
You can always taste it and see if it needs more of anything.  I do!
Set aside Topping for now. 
Mix a prepared cake mix per instructions on package and pour in prepared cake pan. 
 Crumble topping on cake liberally. 
Bake according to package directions. 
Make sure the center is done and it might need a bit longer to cook. 
Just make sure it's nice and golden brown.
I usually make a large amount of crumb topping to stash half in the freezer at a later date. 
This stuff freezes incredibly well and makes preperation SO easy for the next time you want to whip up something quick! 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

And it was Good!

 Genesis chapter 1 details the creation of the heaven and the earth.

When God created he said that it was good. There was no bad- none at all. And (vs 31) after creating the world God looked upon his creation and said it was VERY good. How amazing that God didn't think it was so so. It wasn't tolerable. It was not only good- it was VERY good!
God's creation tells of Him. God doesn't prove His existence to unbelievers. If we look around we can see God even in the small things. He made every star. Every droplet of water. Every vein on a leaf was handcrafted by Him. Creation shouts his glory so that all may see.
 Lord, help me to see you in the small things. Help me to see that you are in every detail of the creation and in every aspect of my life. You are a God who is concerned in the very details of creation and in the minutiae of my life. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

My "New" Red Basket

Since I decided on a red 'Sweetheart' Kitchen I knew I wanted a container for onions and fruits to sit on the counter.  I found one at Target but it was more of a salmon color and not a deep cherry red. 
I found a wire white basket at the thrift store and the lightbulb went off. 
I had already had some spray paint and I knew it would be a perfect substitution
at less than 1/5th of the cost. 
Not bad I say!  I'm still hoping to find a ceramic one but this one will do until whenever I happen upon it.  And if I don't find one that's quite okay by me.  
I've still got a lovely splash of red on my kitchen counter!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Man Reaching Up

Genesis Chapter 11:4-6
And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven;
and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower,
which the children of men builded.
And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language;
and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them,
which they have imagined to do.

Disobedience doesn't evade any man!
God wanted His people to scatter and populate the earth- but what did they do?
They got the notion that they had to build a tower to reach God and did exactly the opposite of what the Lord commanded them to do!
As if they could touch God through their own means!
Religion is man reaching up to God, but Christianity is God reaching down to man.
Praise the Lord for that!

Do I try and serve the Lord my own way?
Do I have man made ideas and notions that I use to try and build a tower and reach God like the Israelites did ?
Do I have preconceived ideas of the gospel and God's plan for my life?
Are my motives pure?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I am so grateful to the Lord for this Thanksgiving and have so many things to be thankful for!  Thanksgiving isn't just one day out of the year but it is a walking and breathing life of Thankfulness to the Lord day in and day out. 
I almost lost my hubby 8 months ago (has it really been that long?)  when he had three brain aneurysms and a brain hemmorhage at the age of 49.  He had two brain surgeries and is a living miracle with no brain damage or memory loss.  He is the same person that he was before the ordeal and I am so grateful to the Lord for his wonderful miracle in our lives.  I often wonder why God chose to spare him and I'm sure I'll find out why in the afterlife, but for now I want to live a life of gratitude to the Lord. 
God has used the experience to allow me to see things in a way I never thought possible. Priorities are different. Life is sweeter. Love is richer.  I appreciate things that I totally took for granted in times past. 
I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving friends! 
May our lives be filled with gratitude to the One who has given us so much to be thankful for!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My sink is Sparkling!

Isn't my porcelain sink just beautiful??? 
I've not had a porcelain sink in SO long that I forgot how lovely they are! 
It literally gleams!
 This week I'm working on the bedroom.  
 I've arranged and cleaned the kitchen and living room and have done very little in the bedroom.  
It seems that since no guests go in the rear of the home that it is the last room to always get done.   
We were given a nice, new comforter set and *silly me* keeps telling myself that I should use it 'later' and keep it for something special.  Being overseas for so many years had that effect on me~ 
that I should save things for special times because I might never have that chance to have it again. 
Well, I've decided that NOW is later and that
I am special.  ;)
Why shouldn't I enjoy it in the here and now and I'm kicking that thinking out!  
There really is NO good reason so on the bed it went! 

Progress pictures to come as we decorate and get things tidy. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Mexican Wedding Cookies

I recently made something that I haven't made in nearly 2 decades!
Much too long isn't it? 
 Mexican Wedding Cookies bring back wonderful memories of festive parties when I was a kid growing up in Los Angeles. 

Easy ingredients and a cinch to put together!!
 Mexican Wedding Cookies
325* oven
1 cup butter~ room temperature
1/2 cup regular sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 cup (or more for dusting)

Cream together butter and sugar until mixed together well. 
Add extract and mix well. 
In seperate bowl combing nuts and flour and mix in to butter/sugar mixture. 
The dough will be very dry and not stick together like ordinary cookie dough. 
Roll into walnut sized balls and place on cookie sheet. 
Bake for 15-20 minutes until nice and golden brown on the bottom.  
I found about 17-18 minutes was just about right. 

When cool, roll in powdered sugar.  Make sure you don't roll them while still hot or the cookies will sweat and the powdered sugar coating will get soggy.  Ask me how I know!

Launch Out!

Luke 5 4-6

4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into deep water, and let down[b] the nets for a catch."

5 Simon answered, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets."

6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.

Jesus told the disciple to launch out their nets into the water in preparation of receiving a great catch of fish.
The disciples did what they did many other times and on many other days-
put their nets into the water.
 Many times God wants actions from us.
Not just the ordinary everyday actions, but extra effort that requires sacrifice.
That extra push!
 Maybe it is physical, emotional or even mental..
So many times we can only see the limited picture of a small catch of fish when God wants to fill our nets to overflowing!

Peter did something that is so human- he made an excuse!
When we lack the faith to believe it is so easy to make an excuse.

“I am tired, Lord”

“I don’t have the ability to do what you are asking.”

“I don’t have the resources to go where you want me to go.”

But God is telling us to launch out into deep waters.
It is easy to stay in the shallow safe waters but there is an adventure of faith and blessing waiting
for us when we cast our nets into deeper waters!

Do I look only on my limited surroundings or do I expand my vision to what God can see and do?
Do I truly believe that God can do abundantly above and beyond
what I can ask or believe?  
Do I allow God to exceed my expectations or do I put Him in a box?

Lord, I don’t want to limit myself and think in the box. I want to see your vision, your expectations and your plan for my life. Lord increase my faith to believe and act.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

SOAP Journaling

Have you ever heard of SOAP journaling? 
It's a wonderful (and easy!) way to do daily devotions and help keep you focused on the Lord. 
Although I don't follow the prescribed dates
(I really should and might do that at the beginning of the  year)
I still use it as a regular part of my devotions. 

Here's a rundown on SOAP journaling and I encourage to you to grab
a notebook and pen and try it yourself 

S for Scripture Open your Bible to the reading found under today's date of your Bible bookmark. Take time reading and allow God to speak to you. When you are done look for a verse that particularly spoke to you that day, and write it in your journal.

O for Observation
What do you think God is saying to you in this scripture? Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you and reveal Jesus to you. Paraphrase and write this scripture down in your own words, in your journal.

A for Application
Personalize what you have read, by asking yourself how it applies to your life right now. Perhaps it is instruction, encouragement, revelation of a new promise, or corrections for a particular area of your life. Write how this scripture can apply to you today.

P for Prayer
This can be as simple as asking God to help you use this scripture, or it may be a greater insight on what He may be revealing to you. Remember, prayer is a two way conversation, so be sure to listen to what God has to say! Now, write it out.

If this seems a little overwhelming, take it slow and keep it simple. No matter how you decide to do your devotions, the important thing is to show up for your daily appointment, because God is always waiting for you!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

My Red Sweetheart Kitchen

About three weeks ago I had a burst of inspiration!   I was on Pinterest and saw this link and thought how utterly cute and perfect!  My new (to me) kitchen would fit this theme perfectly and at that very instant I knew I wanted a red Sweetheart Kitchen!  When I went to Walmart the other day I saw some red check shelf liner and knew that it would make me smile every time I opened the cabinets.  I'm silly like that! 

(Forgive my picture- my white balance was preset and I forgot to change it!)
See??? Doesn't that just make you smile? 
And my silverware carrier doesn't slip around in the drawer! 
I inherited some lovely check red and crocheted dish towels from my 
sweet friend Martha who made these herself.  
She also made me another gift...
See the lovely braided rug at my kitchen sink? 
She made that for me when I had told her my plans for my sweetheart kitchen.   
Isn't it adorable?

Lots more work to go but this is my beginning~!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cottage Sweet Cottage

And so life begins...again! 

We've relocated and have landed in the Chicago Heights part of this earthly world.  We've left dear companions and friends in Asia where we spent over 8 years of our life to venture out to this new territory where God has placed and us and will allow us to labor for the next season of our life.

As we start anew there are many challenges that will come our way.  We've had quite a few challenges thrown at us in the last year and we are sure that there will be many more.  But God has been faithful.  So faithful that it leaves me with my jaw gaping on the ground.  God is good.  So good.  Words can never begin to express how good He has been to us.  I can't even begin to wrap my mind around the mercy and love He has shown us!

New Challenges await us here in Chicagoland in so many parts of our lives.  Onward we go!