Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Devotion To Renew Your Soul. . .

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
~Proverbs 3 : 5-6

People say they want to make their own decisions, set their own course. But being a decision maker can be tough. After all, the world is constantly changing. You may have a lead on the past and the present, but the future is anyone's guess.

Unless. . . you happen to know the One who knows the future. No ~ He isn't the great fortuneteller in the sky,but He will give you the wisdom you need to make good choices. He will show you timeless principles in the Bible and lead you to wise people who can help you put things into proper perspective. And when you've made the right decision, He'll fill your heart with His peace.

In making our decisions, we must use the brains

that God has given us. But we must also use

our hearts which He also gave us.
~ Fulton Oursler
Today's devotion was taken from the book, 'God's Daily Answer . . . 365 devotions ~ one for each day of the year.'

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Moving Slow & Leftovers. . .

Well, they say confession is good for the soul. Yesterday I was moving slow, I guess you could say I was just flat out LAZY! I slept in very late, past 9:00!! I think I was just totally worn out. I didn't get any Christmas bling out! All I managed to accomplish was to gather up all the fall decor and put it in the attic. Today I hope to at least get the Christmas wreath on the front door! Who knows, I may have a great surge of energy & get the downstairs trees decorated. I'm not making any promises though! LOL

Let's talk leftovers! We had leftovers on Thursday night & Friday for lunch, which means we're tired of eating the same thing 3 times in a row. The remaining turkey is going to go in the freezer for future cooking creations like soup & enchiladas. Last night we brought home pizza from Mazzio's, it sure tasted delicious!

If you were out & about on Friday shopping I hope you had a pleasant experience. I saw on the news that an employee at a Wal-Mart in New York was trampled to death when crazed shoppers broke down the door as he was trying to open it! How very sad.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Only 27 Days. . .

Whew, only 27 days until Christmas! We have never been 'Black Friday' shoppers. We'd rather spend a quiet day at home resting up from our indulgent turkey day eating spree. Today I'll put away the fall decorations & do a little Christmas decorating. Hubby & I put up our outside lights on Wednesday evening so we can check that off our list. I would like to have all Christmas decorating completed by Monday, we'll see what happens.

Time to get organized. I need to write down the Christmas gift list that's floating around in my head. I must finish sewing little E's quilt, along with some other Christmas sewing projects I have planned. I want to monogram a Christmas stocking for Ethan. Even though he won't have his 1st Christmas until next year I still want to hang a stocking for him.

Enjoy your day!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Blessings. . .

Enjoy your day of Thanksgiving. . .
Treasure your time together. . .
Count your many blessings. . .
Love to you all. . .

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Baked Potato Dinner. . .

Last night we hosted a baked potato dinner. . .
The guests. . .
Our son, Bobby. . .

Our daughter~in~law, Kari. . .

Our niece, Kristi. . .

Hubby Bob on the left, brother~in~law, Branson, & niece, Shelley. . .
Shelley is visiting from New Orleans. They're going to celebrate Thanksgiving with Branson's brother & his family, so we wanted to get together before Shelley leaves town.

The table is set & ready. . .

I baked the potatoes in the crock pot, so easy. . .
Wash potatoes, pierce with a knife, wrap in foil, bake on low for 8 to 10 hours.
The potato topping choices. . .
Mexican cheese
cheese rotel
sour cream
onion dip

Dessert. . .
butter~ crunch pumpkin cake

Oh my goodness, I feel like a stuffed pig, or maybe I should say a stuffed turkey!

I know you all are probably very busy making preparations for Turkey Day. Take it easy, don't work too hard, make sure you pace yourself. Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New Tradition Reveal. . .

Thank you for coming by to see the reveal of a new Thanksgiving tradition in our home. Before you scroll down to view the pictures let me explain the problem I was having this time last year when I was trying to wrap my brain around the idea of decorating for Christmas. You see, I was stressed, worn out, lacked energy & the desire to fluff my nest. I had to almost force myself to do a little decorating so there would be evidence of the Christmas season. I had always gone all out decorating for the holidays. I felt my creativity had dwindled to an almost nonexistent state. Since I retired 5 months ago I feel like I'm getting back to my old self. I thank the Lord everyday for renewed strength & spirit. This year I'm excited about decorating and making our house a home for the holidays.

I decided to set up two trees downstairs & decorate them for Thanksgiving. Of course after Thanksgiving I will decorate these trees for Christmas.

( click on pictures to view details )

This is the large tree in our piano room. I call it the 'heritage tree'. I have decorated it with fall ribbon & vintage pictures of our family. Some of the pictures are in frames that were sitting around the house, others I just pulled out of photo boxes & nestled in the branches. Next year I will have more time to choose pictures & plan for this tree. Also, next year I'll have sweet pictures of our new grandson, Ethan, to add to the tree!

This is a picture of my parents on their wedding day, October 7, 1948. The little photo is my Grandpa Ralph.

The top picture is my Dad & Uncle Jack, which I featured on a post in October. The oval frame is our engagement picture in 1975. On the bottom right is one of Bobby's senior pictures in 1999.

This is a tall skinny tree beside our fireplace in the family room. I call this our 'thankful tree'. I've decorated it with a few words & sayings to stir up thoughts about people & things to be thankful for in our lives. It also features fall ribbon & oven dried orange slices scented with cinnamon & cloves.

Here's a close up of one of the thoughtful sayings on the tree.
We're having a baked potato feast here tonight. I'll share details tomorrow.
Have a blessed day friends & family. Take time to reflect today about how good God is to you!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Down By The Lazy River. . .

After church yesterday we decided to treat ourselves to lunch down on the Arkansas River at the River Walk Crossing. It's one of our favorite places to go to relax & enjoy a good meal.

It was a nice day even though it was cloudy, cool, & breezy. . .

The River Walk reminds me of a smaller version of Branson Landing. . .

We enjoyed a delicious meal at one of our favorite Italian restaurants, Gina & Giuseppe's. . .

Today I'll be working to finish my 'new Thanksgiving tradition'. Come back tomorrow for the big reveal!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Happy Birthday Wishes. . .

I want to wish a very happy 1st birthday to my great niece, 'little E'! We're so sad we can't be there for the celebration party today in Houston. This year has just flown by so quickly, she has grown & learned so much. Happy birthday sweetie, we love you!!!

Sneak Peak. . .

This is just a little sample of what I've been working on for our new Thanksgiving tradition . . . more to come real soon . . . aren't you curious?!?!. . . any guesses?!?!

Behold, Children are a heritage from the Lord.

~ Psalm 127 : 3

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Autumn's Colorful Display. . .

Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile.

~William Cullen Bryant

Here is our beautiful Flaming Maple tree. This shot is taken from my front door.

Here's another view, notice the top of the tree is missing. It was severely damaged during the ice storm in December '07. We were afraid we had lost our gorgeous tree. It was okay with a little trimming after the ice melted away, but in May while we were hiding in the cellar during a tornado warning the top broke off & landed in our driveway.

Long after other trees have lost their leaves, ours is just starting to show off.

Luckily we still have a tree full of leaves after the strong winds on Thursday. Hopefully we'll still have leaves on Thanksgiving Day!

Stop by tomorrow, I may have a sneak peak of my new Thanksgiving tradition!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Baby It's Cold Outside. . .

Cold weather has arrived in Oklahoma. It was sunny yesterday, but very windy & cold. These frigid temperatures prompted my to put away my warm weather clothes & get out the warm & cozy attire. Of course this meant I had to do a total cleaning & reorganizing of our closet. If you've been reading my blog you know I enjoy purging, sorting, & organizing. So, I turned the TV to the Christmas music channel & got down to business. The holiday music was motivating! I probably worked for more than 4 hours. (Don't worry, I did take a break to eat lunch & rest a little!)
Whew!!! Oh, my aching back & shoulders!!! Climbing up & down the step ladder & lifting large storage tubs onto the high shelves did a number on me. You should have been there, I was talking to myself out loud saying things like, "Come on muscles, you can do it!" & "Lift it up Miss Fatty!" I'm sure Tylenol will fix me up. Oh yes, I now have a huge black trash bag to take to Goodwill. It is so nice to walk into that closet & know exactly where everything is. Let's just see how long it stays that way! LOL ;0)

Stay warm friends. . .

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thankful For Memories. . .

I've always been so thankful for my family. The memories I have of our family gathering around the Thanksgiving table are very precious to me. All those years growing up I took it for granted that my whole family was together. When you're young you never think that those good times are ever going to end. My parents & grandparents have been gone now for many years, it seems the older I get the more I miss them.

Okay, now that I've cried all over my keyboard I'll move on. Time to create some new traditions & memories! I have a plan floating around in my head for special Thanksgiving week decorations & bling. As soon as everything is finished I'll post pictures.

Enjoy your Thursday, see you tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

We Have A Decision. . .

The other day I posted about the domestic dilemma of how to prepare the Thanksgiving bird this year. Hubby & I decided to cook our turkey in Granny B's harvest gold roaster oven instead of deep frying. It will be much warmer to cook the bird inside the house, not risking it being a cold windy day outside.

I did a little shopping at Dollar Tree yesterday. I was on the hunt for spray starch, found it, couldn't believe it was a brand name! Now that I'm ironing hubby's work shirts instead of sending them to the cleaners I went through the first can of starch really quickly. I saw lots of other things that I wanted to buy, but resisted, reminding myself I need to save money for Christmas gifts.

Hobby Lobby was my next stop. I really went to look for fabric, but I did look around at the 66% off fall decor & Christmas bling, didn't see anything I couldn't live without. Couldn't believe I walked out of there empty handed!!

I also went to Sam's & spent more than I wanted to, but I did only buy things we needed, once again I resisted buying unnecessary things. (I'm patting myself on the back again!! LOL)

Today I'll do more 'Thanksgiving Dinner' shopping at Aldi, Pyramid, & Reasor's. I have some coupons from the Sunday paper & Aldi has some great deals.

Since I spent a lot of time shopping yesterday not much progress was made on the quilt project. After making only 3 squares I started playing around with the layout trying to decide what looked the best, still not sure.

So glad you stopped by today, hope you visit again soon!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy. . .

Yesterday was a busy day. I made a few more squares for the quilt , I'll show pictures tomorrow.

I washed 5 loads of laundry. . .

This little sign has been in my utility room for years. . .

So thankful I don't have to do this. . .

I ironed half a dozen shirts for hubby. . .

Also dusted everything downstairs. . .

Didn't have to cook dinner, we ate leftover chili from the freezer. . .

I know it might sound boring or silly to blog about these household chores, but I'm so grateful I don't have to rush around on Saturday & Sunday to get everything accomplished like I had to when I was teaching. Honestly, most of the time I would just let things slide & then panic when I'd try to get things done before company showed up.

Today I must go to the grocery store. . .

Have a terrific Tuesday!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Project Progress. . .

I got busy Saturday & Sunday working on my quilt project. Sometimes it's hard for me to get started with a project, but once I get started I usually keep working until the job is complete.

Here is all the fabric before it is washed & dried. . .

All ironed & ready to begin cutting & sewing. . .

Sunday afternoon I cut & sewed the first 6 quilt blocks which took about 1 1/2 hours. . .

Here's a closeup of 3 squares. . .

I was pretty rusty & out of practice with the sewing, but soon discovered it's kind of like riding a bike, once you get started it's OK! I'll work a little bit each day this week & see if I can get it all finished.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Inspiration. . .

Times may be tough & uncertain right now in our country, but isn't it such a reassurance to know we can turn to the Lord for peace & comfort? Have a peaceful Sunday friends.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Dilly Bread. . .

12 more days. . .
Are you ready?

Today I want to share a recipe that has become a holiday tradition in our family. I can't remember the first time my mom made this bread for Thanksgiving dinner, probably 1975, not really sure. It was an instant hit with everyone. She also made it for Christmas dinner that year. She made it for our holiday meals for years. I have continued the tradition. If you don't want to take the time to knead the dough you can make it in your bread machine. Very simple.

Dilly Bread

1 package yeast

1/4 cup warm water

1 cup cottage cheese (heated to lukewarm, I do this in the microwave)

2 T. sugar

1 T. instant minced onion

3 T. butter

2 tsp. dill seed

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. soda

1 egg

2 1/4 cup sifted flour

Soften yeast in water. Combine in mixing bowl cottage cheese, sugar, onion, butter, dill seed, salt, soda, beaten egg and softened yeast. Add flour to form a stiff dough, beating well after each addition. Cover and let rise in warm place until light and doubles in size, 50 to 60 minutes. Knead down dough and turn into well greased 2 1/2 qt. casserole. Let rise in warm place until light, 40 minutes or so. Bake in 350 degree oven for 25 to 25 minutes until brown (crust will be dark brown). Brush with butter.

The combination of dill & cottage cheese really make this delicious. Hope you try it for your Thanksgiving meal.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Show & Tell. . .

Welcome friends to Friday 'show & tell'!
Come on in & meet some of my Thanksgiving visitors. . .

Let me introduce you to the nicest Amish family you'll ever meet. They've been visiting our home every November for the past 20 years!

Now say hell0 to Mr. & Mrs. Pilgrim. They always show up bringing a bounty of harvest. See the butter churn & loaf of bread?

Once again here are the prairie people I introduced you to the other day. They moved to another location in the house to wait for Thanksgiving Day to arrive.

Here we have the friendly Quaker family. The Mrs. always brings a basket of fresh flowers.

Now meet Mr. & Mrs. Dollar Tree. Notice they also brought food for the feast & are looking toward heaven to give thanks for the bountiful harvest!

This is a sweet Amish lady that's been coming to the dinner for at least 20 years.

Last but not least we always enjoy visiting with our Native American guests.

I hope you enjoyed today's 'show & tell' as much as I have. Can't wait to see what next Friday will have for us to enjoy!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Shopping For Fabric. . .

Well, I finally did it! I went to Jo~Ann's yesterday to shop for fabric for a project I'm starting for my great niece, E. I saw a wonderful idea over at Chasing Cherrios for an 'I Spy Quilt'. I thought this would be a wonderful teaching tool for little E.

As I've mentioned in earlier posts, my mom sewed a lot for us. Shopping for fabric was a routine event I was raised doing. I loved it. But, for some odd reason I was anxious yesterday about shopping for fabric. I don't think I've bought any fabric in 15 or more years. I suppose I was just out of practice.

I got to the store around 12:15. The first thing I did was look at all the seasonal items & the $Dollar Deals$ in the racks at the front of the store. Next, I sat myself down at the pattern book table looking at patterns for crafts, babies, & toddlers. Neat stuff! My goodness, I couldn't believe how expensive patterns are! I didn't buy any patterns, but I will later. I found the cutest pattern for a baby layette that I want to make for little Ethan. Then I began looking at fabric for the quilt. So much to choose from. I was beginning to be overwhelmed. I met a sweet lady who had come to town from Kansas for a day of shopping with her quilting group. She showed me pictures of the two quilts she will start working on in January. Wow, very detailed, very beautiful. I thought, OK, surely I can make a simple quilt. I said goodbye to the nice lady & turned my attention to getting focused. I started making some selections of 'fat quarters' & fabric on bolts. I kept thinking to myself how much my mom would have loved this experience. I tend to over think shopping decisions, so I just went with my instincts. When I checked out I couldn't believe I had been there for 2 hours!

Now I must get busy making a pattern plan & see what happens. I'll just dive in & see what develops. When the project is complete I'll post pictures.

Two weeks from today is Thanksgiving. Today I'm thankful for a loving, talented, Christian Mom who taught me so many useful things about life, but most importantly about faith in God & how to live a life based on the values Christ taught us.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Homemade Pizza. . .

Last night Bobby & Kari came over for homemade pizza. We had a good time visiting while we chowed down.

Bobby has always been a pizza fanatic, pepperoni being his #1 choice. I remember when he was a little guy, about 3 or 4, Bob brought home pizza for dinner. When we opened the box we discovered it was the wrong order, not pepperoni, Bobby burst into tears. We laugh about that even to this day!

When Bobby was in high school I started making homemade pizza to feed all his friends when they came over to hang out. There was no way I could afford to order pizza for that hungry group. I discovered a good recipe for pizza crust, here it is. . .

Pizza Crust

1 package regular or quick active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

Dissolve yeast in warm water in mixing bowl.
Stir in flour, oil and salt.
Mix on medium speed with dough hook until a ball is formed.
Cover and let rest 20 minutes.

I make another dough crust for the 2nd pizza. I tried to double the recipe once, it just didn't work.

Move oven rack to lowest position.Heat oven to 425 degrees.Spray pizza pan with Pam.

Flour area where dough will be rolled out.
Turn dough over a few times in flour before rolling with a floured rolling pin.
Put dough on large pizza pan, trim excess dough, then fold over to form an edge. Prick dough thoroughly with a fork. Add sauce, cheese , & toppings. Bake about 10 to 15 minutes or until crust just begins to brown.

I use spaghetti sauce with a little oregano added, instead of pizza sauce. Top with mozzarella cheese, followed by other toppings of your choice. I recently discovered 'Hormel Turkey Pepperoni', it's not as greasy as regular pepperoni, we like it better.

Thanks for visiting today, see you tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Rainy Days & Mondays. . .

Do you remember the song, 'Rainy Days & Mondays', by the Carpenters? You young chicks probably don't, but we old hens do! Here are the lyrics. . .

Talkin' to myself and feelin' old
Sometimes I'd like to quit
Nothing ever seems to fit
Hangin' around
Nothing to do but frown
Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down.
What I've got they used to call the blues
Nothin' is really wrong
Feelin' like I don't belong
Walkin' around
Some kind of lonely clown
Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down.
I loved the Carpenters, still do. I have several albums that I played over & over again during my college years. I had all the songs memorized. I can't tell you how many times I sang the song, 'We've Only Just Begun' at weddings, many. Oh, the memories of the '70s! I need to pull out those old records & play them!

Monday was a wet, windy, cold day. I really wanted to do a little browsing for some fabric, but decided to stay in. I brewed a pot of delicious chocolate flavored coffee to help me feel warm & cozy. The caffeine really kicked in & for some strange reason I decided to clean & organize the 4 large utensil drawers. It looks neat & tidy now, ready for holiday cooking & baking. I love the feeling of accomplishment after I complete a sort, purge, & organize project.

I put out these cute turkey place mats I bought at Big Lots in September for $1.50 each. What a deal!

I usually turn on my stained glass turkey light when the sun goes down, it was on all day yesterday because it was so dark outside.

Well, if it was rainy where you were on Monday, hope you didn't let it get you down! Remember, every day is a gift from the Lord!

Monday, November 10, 2008

To Fry Or Not To Fry. . .

We're trying to decide how to prepare the Thanksgiving turkey this year. To fry or not to fry, that is the question!?! It's kind of a southern thing to do. Many years ago my brother~in~law, Howard, made deep fried turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. The turkey is injected with Cajun sauces. We had never had it before, it was absolutely delicious! I thought it would be greasy, not true. The juices are sealed in making the meat very moist & savory.

We deep fried our turkey for a few years, but we haven't prepared it that way the last 4 years. We have been cooking the bird in my Grandma Ruby's big harvest gold electric oven, very retro. That way you have more room in the oven for the stuffing & etc. Decisions, decisions, decisions!

The process is kind of messy, making sure you don't put too much peanut oil in the pot, it will overflow if you're not careful and cause a fire, scary stuff. If we decide to deep fry we'll probably have to set up operations in front of our house in the driveway far away from the house, not taking the chance of burning the house down. LOL

How do you prepare your Thanksgiving turkey? Is it Smoked, oven roasted, deep fried, ordered from a restaurant, or do you eat out like some people do?

Our turkey never looks like this, we slice it up before serving. I'm anxious to hear how you traditionally fix your turkey. Gobble, gobble!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Five Things. . .

I'm passing this 'Autumn Friends Award' along to Stacey, Melody, & April. Stacey always is a good friend to leave comments on my post & her blog is full of great inspiration. Melody is a new blogging friend that I've met recently. My niece, April, has a cute blog about things for baby. Check them out, you'll be so glad you did!

Thanks Melissa for reminding me to post 5 things I've always wanted to do.
These are not listed in any particular order, here goes!

Be a professional singer like Sandi Patty, LOVE her voice!

Visit Ireland & explore the beautiful countryside.

Landscape the backyard & include an outdoor fireplace.

Tour New England in the Fall in a luxury motor home.

Take an interior decorator class & design spaces for rich clients!
Isn't it fun to dream?!?