Thursday, January 31, 2013

Friday's Favs.....a sweet and simple Valentine banner

I've said it before and I'll say it again.
I believe I may be stuck at about a third grade level in my crafting skills.
If I can do it, an 8 year old can probably do it as well.

All this simple Valentine banner took was some pages from an old hymnal I bought at the Salvation Army, (or any old music pages you don't mind cutting up).
Then you'll need some red printer paper or construction paper, 
some red and white baker's twine, 
and some felt heart stickers found at the craft store this time of year.

First, I cut out medium sized hearts from the hymnal pages.
Using stamps, I stamped "I love you"on the first one,
"a bushel" on the second, 
"and" on the third 
and "a peck" on the last one.
I cut hearts out of red printer paper about 1/4 inch bigger than than the hymnal page hearts
and glued the hymnal hearts on them with a glue stick.
Using a sharp steak knife I made small slits for the bakers twine to go through.

I strung the hearts on the bakers twine with a smaller hymnal heart with a felt heart sticker on it in between each of the larger hearts.
The baker's twine is simply held in place on the smaller hearts by being stuck between the hymnal page heart and the felt sticker.

Sweet, simple and it maybe took a half hour to make.
It's a cute and cheery addition over my kitchen window,
and the grandkids love it since this is one of the songs I often sing to them.

Well, it's almost Friday, friends.
Have a HAPPY, HAPPY Friday
a BLESSED weekend!

I'm Lovin' It at TidyMomvintage inspiration button              1aaadoveladygfairy006

Shabby Art Boutique                
Adorned From Above

Also linking to Jennifer Rizzo's Fabulously Creative Friday

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Arise, shine...

I listen to it for two or three months, over and over and over.
Handel's Messiah plays via my iPhone as I close the door to my home office and have my morning devotions.  
It plays through my earphones while I go on my daily walk/run.
 I put my phone on the iPhone dock in the living room, 
filling the house with Handel's music as done by the London Philharmonic,
 as I do the dishes and mop the floors.
It's in my mind, my thoughts, my heart, the words of Scripture put to music.
The story of the Messiah, the prophecies of His coming, His birth, His death, His resurrection,
 His return, all there in this heaven born music penned so long ago.
It's my constant companion through the holiday season, 
and even after it lingers in my mind and thoughts.
The words of Isaiah 60 won't leave me.

Arise, shine;
For your light has come!
And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.
For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,
And deep darkness the people;
But the Lord will arise over you,
And His glory will be seen upon you.
The Gentiles shall come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising.

The words become personal.
Him in me and I in Him.
His light filling me so full that His glory is seen upon me.
Me like a God-magnet that others are drawn to.
Not to me, Elizabeth, but to Him, to the Jesus in me.
It becomes a prayer.
In the darkness, arise over me.
Let Your glory be seen in me.
Let others come to the Light through me.
It becomes the cry of my heart.
It is the cry of my heart.
Shine, Jesus, shine.

Still following,

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A beauty prescription...

I hear the rain outside as I type.
Inside, I am recuperating from the weekend's bout of the flu.
Meanwhile, the Hubs is down for the count with the same thing.
A little cheering up is what's in order, and so I changed the dining room center piece.
 The soft lavender colored mums are this week's gift of flowers from the Hubs.
I love corraling my centerpiece in this old wooden berry tote.
When the grandkids do their homework on the dining room table,
 it's easy to move it all out of their way.
(My daughter and her family are staying with us while transitioning to move back to the area.)
Where Women Cook, it's a magazine, it's a cookbook, it's fabulous!
One of my Johnson Bros. transferware cup and saucers sits waiting for me to make a cup of tea.

One of my favorite teas! 
 The little tin is empty now so I guess I'll have to make a trip to 
Camas Antiques to buy some more from Amanda's space.
Oh my,  how I'll hate that....NOT!
I think little touches of beauty are so important when we are facing gloomy days or circumstances...
a hot cup of tea brought to your sick loved one in their favorite cup,
a soft cloth napkin tucked under the silverware on a tray brought to them in bed,
a green plant cheerily growing on the kitchen windowsill, 
the glow of a softly scented candle on a wintery gray day, 
a brightly colored old quilt to cuddle under...
I believe that those touches of beauty are as essential to our health and well-being as vitamins and chicken soup.
Obviously, our life is not found in things.
However, the God who created us, created the beauty around us for us to enjoy.
In fact, I believe He created in the spirit of man a need for beauty.
I remember, in the poorest villages in Ghana, seeing their touches of beauty here and there.
It seemed to me a testimony of sorts, as if they were saying, 
our spirit will not be broken by our circumstances.
How sad if, in some false sense of austerity and holiness, we don't enjoy God's good gifts.
So, if you're feeling ill or a bit blue today, my prescription is, treat yourself to a little bit of beauty.

Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty,
 nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, 
who gives us richly all things to enjoy.
1 Timothy 6:17

Still following,


Adorned From Above

Monday, January 28, 2013

Simple, satisfying and healthy Chicken and Rice Soup

This is not so much a recipe as a simple "how to" with lots of room for you to tweak as you wish.
I'm sharing this, knowing that many of my friends have had my soup and think
 I'm some kind of a cooking genius.
Au contraire! 
What I am is what I am in most areas of my life, I just dive in and try, and sometimes it works out beautifully.
The times it doesn't may have to be the topic for another post someday.
Anyway, I'm writing this from bed, snuggled under my favorite wool quilt, recuperating from a weekend attack of the flu.
You need this recipe for days like this.

Dice up a medium onion, three or four carrots and three or four stalks of celery.

Cut up 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts into bite sized pieces.
 (Though you could use thighs or other parts too.)
Dump all of the above in a 6 quart soup pot.
If it's red and cheery and says Le Creuset on it, so much the better. 
Add one quart of chicken stock- homemade, boxed or canned is fine.
This kind is my favorite.

Add a quart of water and 3-4 chicken bouillon cubes.
Add 2 cloves minced garlic.
Add seasoning salt to taste.
Add McCormick's Grill seasoning for chicken to taste.
Add pepper to taste.
(Obviously, do not taste until the chicken is cooked thoroughly!)
Simmer until chicken and veggies are cooked, about 45 minutes.
Add 1 cup already cooked brown rice or 2/3-1 cup quick brown rice,
 (studies show this is just a nutritious as regular brown rice).

Add some dried parsley, or fresh parsley minced.
Simmer until rice is done.
Serve with some of this bread, as seen in my photos.

Ingredients list:
1 medium onion diced
3-4 carrots diced
3-4 stalks of celery diced
3 chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces
1 quart chicken stock
1 quart water
3-4 chicken bouillon cubes
1 cup cooked brown rice or 2/3-1 cup quick cooking brown rice
2 cloves minced garlic
seasoning salt
McCormick's Grill seasoning for chicken
parsley, dried or fresh

Happy cooking!

Still following,

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Praising Him anyway...

I've spent the better part of the past two days snuggled under the Hub's grandma's wool quilt,
sneezing, blowing my nose, wiping my watery eyes and coughing.
I had to miss church.
I was determined to go no matter how I felt, 
but I realized that spreading whatever bug I have to others wouldn't be right.
I just hate to miss!
Regardless, I have much to be thankful for, even when I'm in bed with the flu...

In 2012 I followed the prompts in Ann Voskamp's Joy Dare in counting my thanks.
In 2013 I'm going back to the way I did it in the beginning,
just noticing and recording the many extraordinary blessings in my ordinary life.
And so I continue to count my thanks
piling up gratitude day by day
in my little black journal.
(and capturing some of them via my camera or iPhone)

-morning coffee with a homemade granola bar
-a new fine point pen
-a beautiful new day
-leaning on His everlasting arms
-knowing He is trustworthy

-Matt Redman's 10,000 Reasons playing on repeat
-a morning with just the Hub and I home for a bit
-sunlight steaming in the dining room window
-His Name is great and His Heart is kind
-the whole armor of God
-lunch and antiquing with a friend

-heat at the flip of a switch
-homemade stew
-an abundance of food available at the grocery store and in our pantry
-watching our two youngest granddaughters for a couple of hours-telling stories and reading books with them

-when the enemy creeps into my thoughts with fear and anxiety in the middle of the night, talking to God and turning to Him in trust
-glad to see a couple of people at prayer who haven't been able to be at church for quite some time

-white hyacinth in bloom
-great date day with the Hubs
-God's provision
-finding a salad plate to complete my 8 place setting of transfer ware
-a rainy morning turning into a sunny afternoon
-Airborne, hot lemonade and all of the assorted things that help me to feel better

-only grandson up early, excited to work on his puzzle
-oldest granddaughter bringing me things I need while I'm sick in bed

-good reports on how worship went at church this morning
-finally napping after barely sleeping last night
-medicine to help with the congestion so I can finally breathe though my nose
-messages from people at church saying they missed me and are praying for me
-flowers from a friend at church to cheer me up

Gratefully yours,

Friday, January 25, 2013

Philippians 4:13...

I knew when I read this verse during my devotions that I wanted to use it for my 
weekly scripture and snapshot post.
Immediately, when I saw the word infuse, I thought of the image of a cup of tea.
The water becomes infused with tea and becomes tea with the help of a little time and a little heat.
I meditated on God infusing me with His strength.
I understood that spending time with Him is essential to being infused with inner strength.
When I thought of the heat, I instantly thought about how they say trials make us stronger. 
Yes, I do believe God uses the heat of trials in our life for good and that trials can make us either better or bitter.
The choice of which we become is up to us.
But,  I felt God speak to my heart that this is not the type of heat that He was speaking to me about.
He spoke to my heart that in order to be infused with His strength we must take time exposing our cold hearts to the warmth of His Word and the fire of His all consuming love.
In my quiet time each day, I'm reading shorter portions of scripture, but meditating upon them more.
I'm worshipping along with some of my favorite worship music and soaking in God's presence and love.
I want to be ready for anything and equal to anything through Him.
I want to be infused with His strength.

Still following,

Scripture and Snapshot