Saturday, March 31, 2018

The Resurrection People...

In centuries past, and even today in some cultures and church traditions, Christians greet one another with these words,  "Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed!"  We are the resurrection people, people who know, love and serve a living Savior and Lord and who anticipate eternal life and the resurrection of our own mortal bodies when He returns.

We, the resurrection people, live in a land called Hope. While our flesh and blood walks this earth, the worst we can imagine here is still not the end.  We have hope eternal, we serve Hope Eternal, and we live in the land of hope eternal.
 (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, April 1st, at Woman to Woman Ministries where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

still following,

Also happily linking up with the lovely
The Mom Gene
Crystal Twaddell

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Friday Faves...Hot Cross Buns

You still have time before Easter to gather your children or grandchildren,
don your aprons, and give baking Hot Cross Buns a try.
Even if they don't look perfect, I don't think you'll be disappointed in the taste.

Heat 3/4 cup milk in microwave until very warm to the touch, but not boiling.
Add 2 pkgs. dry yeast, (4 1/2 teaspoons yeast)
Add 1/3 cup sugar
Whisk all of the above and let sit until yeast is "proofed", which means it looks foamy and bubbly.
To this mixture add:
 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
3 lightly beaten eggs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Mix together then add:
3 1/2-4 cups all purpose flour
Combine and knead with the dough hook on your mixer, or by hand, approximately three minutes.
Add 2/3 cup dried currants or raisins and knead to combine.
If dough is too soft add a little more flour when you add the dried currants.
Shape dough into ball.
Place into a large greased or non stick sprayed bowl and turn dough over once.
Cover with plastic wrap sprayed with non stick spray and let rise until double in size, 
about 1 1/2 hours.
(This is a good time to let the kiddos watch a movie, play outside, or play a game.)
Punch down the dough and let rest 10 minutes.
Shape into 18-20 round, smooth balls.
( Or, not so smooth if the kiddos are making them.  I may have tried to reshape a few.  Shhh! Don't tell!)
Place on greased baking sheet about an inch or so apart.
With a serrated knife, cut a shallow cross in the top of each bun.
Cover again and let rise until double in size, about 30-45 minutes.
Lightly brush the tops with a lightly beaten egg white.
Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 12-15 minutes.
Remove from baking sheet and let cool on a cooling rack.
When cool, using a pastry tube, or a plastic freezer bag with one corner cut off, 
pipe a cross on top of each bun with a glaze made of 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and a wee splash of milk.

Have a Blessed Good Friday
a safe and blessed Easter weekend!



Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Flowering Quince...

On a recent gray, dreary, rainy spring day I put on my walking clothes and braved the elements to forage some flowering quince branches that I had noticed while driving by a vacant lot on the way to the grocery store.
Flowering quince is my favorite spring bloom so I was happy to find some branches to enjoy in my home.
 They definitely brought some spring cheer into a wet and gloomy day!

still following,

Flower Friday

Monday, March 26, 2018

Bring home some beauty...

Today's weather is gray and rainy and dreary.  I really didn't want to get bundled up and face the weather in order to go on my walk.  But then I remembered seeing some flowering quince in a vacant lot on the way to the grocery store the other day.  I slipped some kitchen shears and a plastic bag in my coat pocket and walked through the rain and slogged through the mud motivated to go walking by the thought of bringing some of those beautiful branches home with me.
Keeping a gratitude journal is definitely not the exclusive practice of someone whose life is nothing but perennial ease and happiness.  It is most beneficial, in my opinion, in the life of those of us who sometimes struggle with weariness, heaviness and bouts of melancholy over the effects of sin in our world and in the lives of those we care about and have invested love and time in. Taking notice of and writing down God's blessings is similar to wading through the rain and mud of a dreary day in order to bring home some beauty.  My eye spotted that flowering quince driving to the grocery store.  My mind recorded that moment in my memory.  Today, I made an effort to retrieve a physical piece of that memory and bring it home with me.  Gratitude journaling is making the effort to pay attention to the beauty and the blessings sprinkled here and there throughout our ordinary and sometimes difficult days.  We then make the effort to retrieve that beauty and record it by writing it down.  We "bring home" the beauty and linger with it awhile there in the pages of our journal. It's our way of resistance, our way of fighting against the gray and the heaviness and the weariness, our way of choosing happiness.

Since 2009 I've been counting my blessings thanks to the prompting of Ann Voskamp. I continue to count my thankspiling up gratitude day by day
in my journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)

(Sorry for the font size discrepancies.  Blogger is having issues.)

-beautiful spring like weather on this last day of winter
-tea and a good visit with a friend from church
-a safe day trip for my husband

-the first day of Spring!
-the Lord very clearly leading me to Lamentations 3 when I woke up with my soul all disquieted
-the first strawberry shortcake of the year for our small group

-Lamentations 3:21-26
-a fresh haircut and color
-youngest grandson very clearly saying "All done!"

-puttering around the house and changing things here and there
-phone calls with my girls
-oldest grandson's first time shaving (Waaaaah!!!!!)
-God taking care of what I let go of

-my hubs buying The Greatest Showman for us girls
-a really sweet morning prayer time
-a low key and relaxing day off

-finishing the book of Exodus with She Reads Truth
-a brightly polished copper teakettle
-our middle grandson coming over for the afternoon

-getting to know and support a missionary family
-God's provision
-a break in the weather enough for my husband to make a fire in the outdoor fire pit

still following,

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Deep Calls to Deep...

"There is no pit so deep, that God's love is not deeper still" is a familiar quote by Corrie Ten Boom. Corrie and her family were put into a German concentration camp during World War II for hiding Jews.  Corrie is the only one that survived. What a horrible pit she experienced, but God's grace, love and strength carried her through it.  She traveled the world telling her testimony and is the author of many books.

Like Corrie, some of the pits we experience in this life are because of wrong done to us by others.  Some of the pits we face are because of our own wrong choices.  Regardless of who dug the pit we find ourselves in or how deep the pit is, God's love and grace is deeper still.

Today, however, I want to share about a third kind of pit we face in life. This is the pit we all have within ourselves. It's the deep place within us that longs to be fully loved, known, understood and accepted. (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, March 25th, at Woman to Woman Ministries where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

still following,

Also happily linking up with the lovely
The Mom Gene

Crystal Twaddell

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Friday Faves...My Favorite Wall Space Storage Solutions

In our previous home I had my pots and pans hanging on the back wall of my pantry and I loved it.  In our current home we have a pantry, but it isn't a walk in type with wall space.  Because of that, when we moved in I stored my pots and pans in the cupboard on the right side of the stove.  I really disliked having to kneel down and dig around in the cupboard to fetch my cookware every time I cooked. 

I came up with the idea of using an old ladder attached to the wall and used it as my pot rack for quite some time. Then I began to crave a more simple, clean cut solution.  I looked up wall mounted pot racks on Amazon and found these iron ones, which were the exact size I needed.  Each one was under thirteen dollars which included all of the mounting hardware and more hooks than I could ever need.  I'm very happy with the results and love having my pots and pans hanging out in the open where it's so easy to grab just what I need without digging around in a dark corner cabinet. 

In this photo, taken from our little kitchen nook seating area, you can see where the pots and pans are hanging and how the space relates in regards to the kitchen to the left and the dining room which is to the right of the photo.  My copper pots and two of my frequently used cutting boards hang on the shiplap wall for easy access...
...unlike my breadboard collection in the photo below which are mainly for display.
One of my most favorite wall storage solutions is the simple knife magnet.  I don't like using a knife block, which takes up countertop space, and keeping knives in a drawer isn't the safest solution. It also makes the knives vulnerable to nicks and scratches as they get bumped and knocked around in the drawer.  Wall mounted knife magnets are an inexpensive and easy knife storage solution.

I love to read about and see people's home organization and storage ideas. I hope you enjoyed some of my favorite kitchen storage tips.

Have a happy Friday
a safe and blessed weekend!