Friday, August 26, 2011

Time Capsule

Joining Lisa-Jo for Five Minute Friday again, and this week is her birthday!! Head over to www.thegypsymama.com to wish Lisa a happy birthday, or read what other folks are writing. This week the prompt is "Older."




I remember, years ago, my younger self made a "time capsule" box for my older self. A time capsule filled with different things that were special to me. My Grand Champion horse pedigrees; a bead bracelet in bright neon colors, the first one hand-made on my beading loom; and a letter written to myself 10 years later. A decade doesn't seem like all that much to me now, but a decade is a lifetime to a little girl who is 10. 

I'm pretty good with following rules, so like a good girl I waited to open that time capsule until the proper time (so maybe I peeked once...). When I did open it I was surrounded by memories of my childhood. I remember how, as a 10 year old, I very naturally assumed that when I was 20 I'd be just about perfect. It makes me smile now, but at the time I figured that the eradication of temptation, bad habits, and a multitude of other annoyances would SURELY be accomplished after TEN YEARS. From my 20-something perspective I've still got a ways to go. 

As much work as God has left, I know that God is the one doing it--he who has begun a good work in me will bring it to completion. He is walking with me, and every day that I spend with him brings me closer to him. I may not ever obtain in this life the perfection my 10 year old self so blithely assumed, but I know that I am daily being molded into Christ. I also know that one day the work will be complete, when I am with Christ. And that's about as good as it gets. 


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Zaycon--Last Call



At the risk of being repetitive, this is quick reminder that the deadline to order your box of Zaycon Ground beef is tomorrow. This beef sells out quickly. Last time Zaycon hosted a ground beef event I intended to order, but waited till the last day and missed out. While none of the locations are sold out now, if you are planning to buy I recommend making your purchase this evening.

If you missed my previous post about Zaycon Ground Beef events, check out this post and it will have all the details: Zaycon Beef Event @ Love Lifted Me.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Dreaming castles

My man and I have done a lot of dreaming this week. A LOT of dreaming--all of it starting with just a grain of reality and then built into a absolutely beautiful castle in the sky. I know all the dreaming probably won't end up being reality, and that's really okay with me. It isn't reasonable to expect all castles to come out just the way we've planned them in our head. I've just enjoyed the freedom we have to build those lovely castles together.




191. Lots of little girls that need to be occupied, just at a time when I'm free. Maybe time for a Keepers program? A dream castle long standing.

192. Walking through a fabric store again, dreaming of possibilities (the last time was before I was married!)
193. Fabric for not one new dress, but TWO

194. sewing again, after a year off
195. Anniversary planning

196. An offer of help in packing--gladly accepted!
197. A tasty meal with family
198. watching the droopy leaves of a houseplant perk up after getting water
199. The first few boxes-packed
200. My hamster, Kitty Strunksworthy the First

201. ALL the laundry DONE (well, except folding, but still! It was a great work!)
202. Happy memories packed in boxes (and the anticipation of UNpacking them in just a month
203. Resolution

204.  A new morning
205.  dreaming with my man
206. Castles in the sky

Friday, August 19, 2011

New: Five Minute Friday







Joining The Gypsy Mama again for Five Minute Friday. As a recap of the rules:


    1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
    2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
    3. Get a little crazy with encouragement for the five minuter who linked up before you.

START

New—for me it's what life is right now. New.

There is the new home in less than a month. A new place to live—I've lived in one town for over 20 years of my life. And now I'm moving to a new town. It's close to the old one, true. If I get lost, at least I can (in theory) find my way to the old roads to find the new place again. But it's different. It's new.

There is the new stage of life, marriage. In less than a month we'll celebrate our first anniversary. We'll eat that cake that's been waiting in our freezr since the wedding 11 months ago (will it still be good? How will it taste? What flavor of cake did we have, anyway? And have we really been married such a short time that it's possible that a cake kept in the freezer could still be edible?). Marriage doesn't seem new anymore—after the first 6 weeks we felt like we'd been married all our lives. But for as long as it feels, it hasn't yet been a full turn around the sun.

New can be a scary thing—you never quite know if "new" is going to be new-good or new-not-so-good. New means change, and change is just like that. It's an adventure, but all the best adventures have moments when everything seems to go awry. Thank goodness that with God, noting new is a surprise! If he holds our future, a God of love, of compassion, of tender-loving-kindness, we don't need to be afraid of changes. And, in a way, I suppose that makes all new, "good new."

END

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Smoked Salmon Breakfast Bagel

One of my hubby's (many) favorite foods is Smoked Salmon. I'd never heard of smoked salmon before we were married, and so one day when we were shopping together he saw a pound of it for a good price and tossed it in the cart along with a bag of bagels.  I was leery of the idea--smoked or not that salmon looked raw to me. But I'd promised him I'd try anything once, and he called me on it.  My hubby fixed breakfast the next morning, and despite my dubious reaction to the whole idea I found it to be quite tasty.

Smoked Salmon Breakfast Bagel


Ingredients:
(All measurements "to taste")
Bagels
Cream Cheese
Onion, thinly sliced
Tomato, thinly sliced
Capers
Smoked Salmon


Divide bagels into round halves. Spread each half with cream cheese. Sprinkle a few capers across the top. Place a few thinly sliced onion rings on top of each bagel half, and one slice of tomato. Spread one thin piece of smoked salmon over top. Enjoy!!

 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Beauty






Want to take five minutes with me and share what you found? Want to just write without worrying if it’s just right or not. Here’s how we do it:



1. Write for 5 minutes flat with no editing, tweaking or self critiquing.
2. Link back to Gypsy Mama and invite others to join in
3. Go and tell the person who linked up before you what their words meant to you. Every writer longs to feel heard.
The prompt today is:

Beauty…


Beauty in the waking up after a "driest-7-months-on-record"  drought to the pitter-patter of rain on the roof.

Beauty is realizing that you have a friend who is "closer than a brother."

Beauty is the surprised joy of forgiveness, unexpected or looked for.

Beauty is housework, accomplished.

Beauty is an hour spent in the early morning with my Lord.



Beauty is family loving each other, despite each other.


Beauty is the little acts of God, his love letter to us.

Beauty is acceptance--without the expectation to "measure up."

Beauty is the kiss my husband gives when he walks in the door after a long work day.

Beauty is a letter, both sent and received.



Beauty is a sacrifice made for love.

Beauty is a gift purchased--the "perfect" gift--and the anticipation of giving.

Beauty is Love--pure and simple


Friday, August 12, 2011

Zaycon Beef event




Zaycon is having another Summer Savings event!! My husband and I have participated in the last two Savings events sponsored by Zaycon, purchasing chicken breast in bulk. The Chicken breast was stellar quality--hormone free, delicious, inexpensive, and wonderful quality. I purchased 40 lbs at both savings events, and wished I'd purchased more!!

Now Zaycon is back, this time with beef instead of chicken. While I have never tried their beef before, if the quality of their chicken breast is any indication of what to expect with their beef, this is a deal you don't want to pass up!! Zaycon typically does their deals once or twice a year depending on demand, so this will not be available again till next spring or fall.

The deadline to order is Wednesday, August 24th, and they typically sell out before the deadline. If you are planning to purchase, don't put it off!!

I have copied the information below:

Zaycon Summer Savings Event
Fresh 93/7 super lean ground beef
Zaycon is now taking orders for fresh 93/7 fine ground beef at the following locations:
Plano, Mesquite, Prosper, Lewisville, Arlington, and Fort Worth.
Our fresh, flavorful, 93/7 super lean fine ground beef is only $2.79 / lb for a 40 lb case.

We wanted to share with you what some of our customers had to say about this product when we offered it in April.

“Without a doubt the best ground beef I have ever eaten!! When will that be coming to Ellensburg, WA again? Wow....So good!”


“I picked this up on Tuesday in Mesa, AZ. We have used it a couple of times now and wanted to give you some feedback. This meat is excellent! I will definitely buy again.”


“Now this is a super deal!!! Since I switched to 90% or more on beef, I have never got it this cheap!!! –-TX”


“I received the ground beef from Arlington Texas 2 weeks ago. My husband is kicking himself that he only let me get 1 order. It is the BEST beef we have ever had and now will be the only beef we ever buy.”

Log in to www.zayconfoods.com to decide when and where you want to pick up. Don't wait because we expect to sell out very quickly. Deliveries will begin August 26th.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Single gals? Beware your reputation!

Just this past week my husband and I were having dinner with another couple when the question was asked of us, "Are there any good young ladies in your church who are prepared to be married?" They knew several godly young men looking for wives. Each of the men were steady, dependable, dedicated men; a few of them had even, for a full year, spent one day a week in fasting and prayer for their future wife. 

 I wonder how many single women are aware that among their friends, acquaintances and church family that question is asked? Are the single women in the church purposefully living in such a way that a question like that can be answered in the affirmative? Are they living in such a way that their friends could answer—

Yes! We know a woman like that. She is committed to the Lord and has been serving him faithfuly for several years now. She controls her tongue, refusing to gossip or demean others with her words. The "law of kindness" is on her lips. She possesses the "ornament of a meek and quiet spirit," having chosen to trust the Lord through many difficult circumstances.

She is a faithful daughter and sister, making positive relationships with family members a priority. She cultivates a healthy body and good appearance, knowing that her body is the "temple of the Lord." She is an affectionate person, showing love in particular to those whom others often overlook. 
She is a hard worker, having chosen to be industrius during her single years rather than frittering precious time away on silly pursuits as many girls do. She can take care of a home effeciently as she has learned a wide variety of skills. She has kept herself in purity; instead of going from boyfriend to boyfriend (or even crush to crush) she has saved her heart for the man she will marry. She not only will make a wise and kind mother one day, but also an affectionate and appreciative wife.

Perhaps when you read the above description it reminded you of the "Proverbs 31 woman." I didn't write it with the Proverbs 31 woman in mind, though she does bear a strong resemblance to the woman I was thinking of as I wrote. It would be good, however, for single ladies to remember that Proverbs 31 was not written to married women—it was written to a single man from his mother. Proverbs 31 is essentially a single Christian man's wishlist for his future wife. While married women can certainly benefit from emulating the qualities found in that chapter, taken in context they are far more applicable to single women!!

A girl's reputation can spread much farther than she realizes. Does she speak negatively of others? Does she fritter her time away on worthless pursuits? Does she give her affections too freely? These things have a way of getting around. But positive things get around as well—does she live for the Lord? Is she kind to others? Is her word her bond? Does she refuse to gossip? Her reputation will precede her.

To my single sisters, what is your reputation? What are you known for? If the above paragraphs were written about YOU how would they have read? 


Live your life in such a way that someday when a fellow church member or acquaintance is asked the question, "Do you know any good women who are living for the Lord and ready to be married?" it can be answered with a resounding, "Yes! We do!!"

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

MamaDoll's Salmon Croquettes


This is a newer recipe to me, garnered from a recipe I got from my grandmother, MamaDoll. The recipe was found in the cookbook her mother gave her when she first got married--her only recipe book for years, and the only one she still refers to. I don't remember the name of the cookbook, the cover was laminated over because it had fallen off.

I'd never tasted Salmon croquettes before, but these are so incredibly tasty they are one of my favorite lunch treats. I will mix everything early in the week, and make a few croquettes each day for lunch. It is so tasty it only lasts a couple days!!

Salmon Croquettes

Salmon, 16 oz can (2 cups)
Onion, 1 tbs grated
Lemon juice, 1 tbs
Thick white sauce, 1 cup
Soft bread crumbs or mashed potatoes, 1 cup
salt, 1/2 tsp
pepper, 1/4 tsp
2 eggs, slightly beaten
Flour


Combine all ingredients except 1 egg and flour; chill. Shape into croquettes;

Beat second egg, dip croquettes in egg than flour and fry in deep hot fat (375-385 F) until browned. Drain on absorbent paper. Makes 6 servings.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

My awesome husband, and the weather

I didn't have the 5 minutes to participate in Five Minute Friday this week, but my hubby did for the first time. Not only was what he wrote awesome, but it was about his wife. And that makes it even cooler. So hop on over to read what he wrote (it isn't long) and leave a comment to encourage him to  participate again!!

Whole @ The Gentleman Adventurer

Also, for any non-Texan readers I have, it's been crazy hot here. As in crazy hot. July was the hottest month on record, going back to 1895. The heat isn't showing any signs of letting up, either. Here's a snapshot my hubby took this week of the temperature gauge on the car.


Yeah. Did I say crazy? So we're stocked up on emergency rations of ice cream and staying indoors as much as possible.

Have a good weekend y'all, and stay cool!!! :-)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

August Checkpoint




   It has been some months since I’ve posted an update on my reading for the year, so it’s time for some catch-up!!

  Since my last monthly checkup post I’ve read and reported on:
The One Thing You Can’t Do in Heaven
Calm My Anxious Heart

I’ve also read:
A Love that Multiplies--Michelle Duggar
Discipline: The Glad Surrender-- Elisabeth Elliot

This month I’ve felt a need to dial back on distractions and focus very closely on God. As a result, my books for the month have been selected along that line. I didn’t even look at my master list until just now!! Oh, well. I suppose the point is more to be reading good books than staying to a specific list!

For this month I have a list of books I’m reading, but I will read as the Lord directs (in other words, this isn’t a race and I don't expect to read ALL of them). I will have more time to read, though, as I am cutting down on other distractions. So we’ll see what happens. My “August Library" consists of:

A Celebration of Discipline--Richard J Foster (already several chapters into this one)
Out of the Mouth of the Lion--Emma Leslie (About to finish, started last month)
Morning by Morning--Spurgon (This has a full year of short devotional readings)
The Power of a Praying Wife--Stormy O’Martin

(I'll start one of these two after--and IF!--I finish Celebration of Discipline)
Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ--John Piper
Developing Your Secret Closet of Prayer--Richard Burr


The bulk of my reading, of course, will be out of my Bible. I started this month on day 110 of my Bible Reading plan. This month I want to more intensely focus on my goal of getting a wide view of scripture by reading large portions, so I will probably do more than one day’s worth of reading each day. The last few days I’ve been reading the first set of chapters in my morning quiet time, and then listening to a second set throughout the day. That is working very well. We’ll see how the rest of the month goes.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Baked Salmon

This is the first recipe I ever tried with salmon fillets, and it is the single recipe that I keep coming back to. It is very easy to make, and turns out splendid every single time. For the first 6 months of marriage I served this every weekend with fried onions and homemade potato chips.

I don't typically measure most of the ingredients as the recipe doesn't really need measurements. I'll give a few, though, for clarity's sake. All measurements are "to taste."

Ingredients

2 salmon fillets
1 lemon, halved (for juice)
2-3 tbs flour
1 tbs butter
Paprika
salt

Preheat oven to 350.

Place salmon fillets in greased pan, pink side up.

Squeeze juice of lemon onto fillets. I prefer LOTS of lemon flavor, so I prick the fillet a few times with a fork to allow it to hold more juice. My husband prefers less, so I don't prick his.

Melt butter and brush a thin coating over the fillets. Sift an even coating of flour over fillets. Sprinkle with paprika. Salt and pepper to taste.

 Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes until salmon is almost cooked through. Broil about 1 minute until the flour is browned. Garnish with lemon slices or wedges. Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Fight for Joy

The past three Tuesdays I have been looking at the issue of miscarriage and what we can do to help our loved ones through such a difficult time. I want to close that series by introducing you to another series written by my husband. This past Sunday he was invited to preach the morning service at our church. What started as a sermon ended as a testimony as he shared from  his heart what the Lord has been teaching him about fighting for joy in the midst of grief.  That sermon became this series of posts:
The Fight for Joy
Over the past three months I have been in a soul-struggle for joy and gratefulness. This has stemmed from dealing with deep loneliness as well as the death of my unborn son in June. Miscarriages are not uncommon (about 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage), but saying that and knowing that doesn’t make it any easier.
And the loneliness – well, the loneliness is something I have struggled with silently for the better part of my teenage and adult years. It comes and goes, but lately it seems like it’s been coming more than it’s going. And that is hard, when you are already fighting and losing the battle for joy in your soul – our souls are the battlegrounds in which the Christian life is fought.
This series of posts (and the sermon they came out of) is the heart’s cry of a man fighting against himself and against the world for joy. I haven’t beaten it yet. I haven’t won the fight. But I am fighting. And I want you to join me.
Post continued here
Audio version of the sermon can be found here

Monday, August 1, 2011

His mercies are new every morning



It's a new month, a new week, all rolled into one. I am so glad that God created the days, the seasons, for us to mark time by. Each time a season changes, a new month arrives, the calendar flips over to a new week, or the sun rises over a yet-untouched day we are given the opportunity for a fresh start. As I'm marking down my gifts this week, I am thinking most of the freshness of a new day, and what a gift it is simply to wake up in the morning and have to opportunity to give the day back to Him.
 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning;great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,“therefore I will hope in him.” (Lam3:22-24)


168. Excellent Sunday school lesson from my man
169. The Body of Christ, the healed wounded, praying for a wound to be healed
170. Peach cake
171. An evening at home—needed!
172. An engagement ring—searched for and found!! (and a soon-to-be proposal!)
173. Looking for a new home
174. Man grins
175. Family time with siblings
176. "Till we meet again" plans


177. Early bedtime
178. Fresh, new morning
179. Rain clouds!
180. Date night at the Olive Garden--a special treat
181. My favorite salad dressing
182. Waiting ended
183. Church additions, more souls

184. Kay, all stretched out thin in a TP roll
185. Books on the table, dreaming
186. A fresh start all beautiful
187. Time with my Lord
188. Dishes done, kitchen clean
189. Reading aloud as we travel together
190. Interesting patterns in homemade potato chips