Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Oatmeal Breakfast Cake {Freezer Fare}


This is one of my favorite breakfasts! It's easy to prepare, and sometimes we have it for our Saturday evening meal, as well, as we like to eat breakfast food for that meal each week. And, as my hubby often makes that meal, he made this recipe before I even did. 

Recently, I got the idea to multiply this recipe (by four), bake it, and then divide each pan of this recipe into individual size servings, wrap each serving in plastic wrap - and put in the freezer. I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner. It works great to pull one out of the freezer in the morning, heat it up in the microwave, pour some milk on top, and enjoy! I will have to keep a supply in our freezer, as it is such a great, quick, nutritious breakfast to have ready in just a few minutes.



Print Recipe

Oatmeal Breakfast Cake

Course: Breakfast

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup pineapple, crushed
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Directions

  1. Mix wet ingredients.
  2. Then add dry ingredients. Mix.
  3. Add raisins, mix again.
  4. Pour into greased 8 inch square pan.
  5. Bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

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(Credit for tag in photo: Digital Scrapper - Premier 97-harmony)

Linking up with:
The Inspiration Exchange

Monday, October 28, 2013

Friends of God


"So now we can rejoice in our
wonderful new relationship with God
because our Lord Jesus Christ 
has made us friends of God."
(Romans 5:11)

Friends - the very word implies warmth and closeness. Not strangers, but friends. We are called friends of God! Is it any wonder that when we are out in the magnificent beauty that He has created, that we are drawn even closer to God? That a peace and calm envelops our very souls? His majestic creation is a visible picture of His power and His love for us. 

I cannot get enough of this Love. Through the varying seasons, months, and days - whether we are out in His awesome creation, or at work or at home, we can live and breathe in the best of friendships.

"For we know how dearly God loves us,
because He has given us the Holy Spirit
to fill our hearts with His Love."
(Romans 5:5)


Thank You Lord, for the unbelievable privilege of being friends with God - for this closest of relationships that we can walk with and live in through this coming week. Thank You for the gifts of this past week ... for Your Word, active and living as I am reading, and writing, my way through Romans - for the warmth from our wood stove, used for the first time this season - for our meeting with a new volunteer, with a burden for students in the Bellevue area - for more Cru office work done - a new kitchen knife set - our roof shingles replaced after a bad hailstorm in the spring, in time for the winter - more digital scrapbook learning - two grandkids here overnight - good connections with a son home from San Francisco - a fun family lunch together at Red Robin - official news that a daughter in TX passed her medical testing, and she can be a kidney donor for her sweet 15 year-old daughter, our granddaughter - baking of pumpkin bread for now and in the freezer - cleaning of kitchen windows, a needed fall cleaning - Sunday lunch with friends, needing listening ears and encouragement - the purchase of A Million Little Ways and following along with this book club selection on the InCourage blog.

(Photo above: taken at beautiful Grand Lake, Colorado)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Digital Scrapbooking - Colorado Vacation (Part 2)

Sharing three more digital scrapbooking pages from our Colorado vacation days last month! The photos of the gorgeous scenery are all that are needed to make these pages beautiful. Actually, my focus in scrapbooking is to set off the photos, instead of using lots of digital embellishments. 







Using digital page templates is my main method of digital scrapbooking. It's fast and easy, which is important for me as life is full. And using the "project life", or "pocket life" style of templates (with multiple photos filling the page) makes it easy to focus on the photos. It's so easy to download these page templates, clip my photos to the template, and add digital paper to the template. Definitely a fun, relaxing way to preserve memories, share them on my blog, as well as print them out in 8x8 format for our family albums.

And now, through the great video tutorials that are part of Digital Scrapper's Premier membership that I am a part of, I recently have learned how to make my own re-usable templates! The templates above are some of those that I have created in PhotoShop Elements - what fun to know how to make them myself now! The number of different varieties I can make is endless, and will save me the cost of purchasing templates. 

Thanking God for the amazing vacation week we had in the beautiful Colorado mountains, and thanking Him for the gift of digital scrapbooking to preserve the memories.

Credits: Top page: Page Template: My Template 4x3-2; Paper and embellishments: Scrap Girls - JRE_Reflections of the Heart; Font - Lao Sangam 14.  Middle page: Page Template: My Template3x3-2rs1; Papers: Digital Scrapper - 96-travel-Paper; Fonts: Title - DJB Jenna 36, Text - Lao Sangram 14. Bottom page: Page Template: My Template4x3-2rs1; Paper: Digital Scrapper - 94-motherverb.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Making a Home


(Continuing on with posts about Planning with Priorities in my mothering series Forever Close: The Heart of a Mother ... specifically applying these planning thoughts to mothers, but they easily can be adapted to any and all places of career or life.)

A family needs a home, each individual needs a home. A place to be, a place to grow, and a place to be loved. 

As mothers, we have the great privilege of being called homemakers. How can we be so privileged to hold as one of our main roles, that of making a home? A nest, a place where our children begin their story, and where their lives are shaped for eternity.

It is in nurturing our children, and building our homes that we spend a bulk of our hours and days. Could there be any higher calling?

A high calling, and also a daily responsibility. For there are many things about the keeping of a home that are repetitive, and can even become like a chore. This is where we can follow the example of our Creator. There is no boredom or drudgery as we view His creation - it is filled with beauty, creativity, and brilliant color. And as moms, we too, can depend on Him for His help as we make a home, and put our God-given creativity to its best use. 


"Somebody has to be the nest maker, 
the artist, the interior decorator, 
the imaginative person with a dignity 
born of understanding its importance, 
as well as a desire to produce a home - 
as differentiated from merely a house." 
(Edith Schaeffer, What is a Family?) pg. 44


We also have the capacity to create atmosphere, and to influence the emotional temperature of our homes. We need to first-of-all consciously and intentionally tend to keeping our First Love burning brightly, for this will affect our families, and all the facets of making a home. This is the first important ingredient of a healthy, life-giving home.

"It is the woman in each home 
who creates the atmosphere. 
She is like the hub of the wheel 
around which the home revolves." 
(Linda Dillow, Creative Counterpart) pg 60

There are multiple books and blogs filled with ideas for making a home - and here are some of the ideas that have inspired me throughout my 42 years of homemaking ...

tend to my own heart first of all, keeping myself in tune with my Creator - this is critical to every area of life, including homemaking

listen to His Words, following His direction - in contrast to focusing on keeping up with the Jones's as we care for our homes 

put our best efforts to all aspects of making a home

use a planner to keep track of all the areas that need to be cared for to keep our home running smoothly 

use creative ideas to encourage children to learn to help with daily responsibilities and chores in the home - working together is best, and helps encourage good work habits

try to make things fun - whether it be with the daily or weekly cleaning chores, preparing meals, or the learning of new skills

treat ourselves as moms to books, magazines, blogs that inspire us with homemaking skills

spend time organizing things so that it is easy for children to help, and so that there is a sense of order in the home

have candles burning often - spreading warmth and peace

create a sense of peace, love, and rest in our homes

surround and cover each person in our home with prayer, depending on God alone to instill in them a sense of being loved deeply

"She looks well to the ways of her household,
and does not eat the bread of idleness."
(Proverbs 31:27 NASB)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Making Fall Memories

A beautiful fall day + three daughters + one son-in-law + six grandkids = a fun fall memory for my hubby and me to treasure. And digital scrapbooking gives me an avenue to relive the memories and provides a way to treasure the memories in years to come. It also gives a way to share it with family and friends online, as well as printing it out in 8x8 size for my albums at home.






Credits: First digital scrapbook page: Page Template: My Template4x3-1 rotated; Paper: Digital Scrapper - Premier 88-autumn days. Second page: Page Template: My Template4x3-2; Paper: Digital Scrapper Premier - 88-autumn days.


Thanking God for the memories of our fun day together, for the gift of family, for beautiful fall days, for His Love and Presence last week, and for these words at the beginning of a new week ...


"Always be full of joy in the Lord.
I say it again - rejoice!
Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do.
Remember, the Lord is coming soon.

Don't worry about anything;
instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need,
and thank Him for all He has done.
Then you will experience God's peace,
which exceeds anything we can understand.
His peace will guard your hearts and minds
as you live in Christ Jesus."

(Philippians 4:4-7)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Gift of Family


(Continuing on with posts about Planning with Priorities in my mothering series Forever Close: The Heart of a Mother ... specifically applying these planning thoughts to mothers, but they easily can be adapted to any and all places of career or life.)

Family ~ a word that is filled with varying emotions for different people. It can evoke emotions of overwhelming happiness and warmth, it can bring tears of joy, and also it can bring emotions of anger and bitterness, and deep pain, and also in some cases, emotions of heartache and longing. 

Our great, loving, creative God is the author of family as He fashioned it to be - a picture of Himself, of His Love. A little glimpse of heaven here on this earth.

But since The Fall, sin has entered this world. And the family is affected, as well as every other aspect of the world that we live in. 

And in order for the family to be family as God intended it to be, we desperately need our Creator God to breathe His life into us, and to let His Love permeate us and make us whole. Our families will never be perfect (for perfection is only possible in heaven), but with His Spirit alive in us as families, it is possible for family to be a picture of what His Love looks like.

This does not "just happen"; it is by His Grace alone. And as moms (and dads) with so many things calling for our time and our attention, we must make preserving this gift of family a priority.

And how do we do this as mothers, when so many things call for our attention each day? Here are a few ideas that come to me as I look back on 40 years of mothering (by His grace and mercy alone) ...

keeping our priorities in the forefront as we go through our days - for me, visibly having them written out in front of me as I plan and pray, helping to keep my focus

continually being in prayer for our family - realizing that it is only by His power and grace that the gift of family can be preserved - it is not accomplished by our effort; it is a gift from Him alone


seeking to preserve the family meal together, gathering together as often as possible


making a big deal of special days together - birthdays, and holidays


prioritizing so that family vacations are taken together - they do not need to cost a fortune (we had a pop-up camper throughout the years we had children at home, making it possible to vacation on a small budget)


focusing on really listening to each family member (this is of huge priority, and one that I am continually asking God to teach me more about)


seeking to have one-on-one time with each of our children

scheduling regular family nights and activity together


using creative ways to teach and share of God's love, grace, and mercy


loving unconditionally, and giving grace - as we have received grace


building lasting traditions into our family life and holidays


realizing that we never will be perfect parents - and that all is by His grace and mercy alone



"A family - blended, balanced, growing, changing, never static, moving with a breath of wind - babies, children, young people, mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles - held in a balanced framework by the invisible threads of love, memories, trust, loyalty, compassion, kindness, in honor preferring each other, depending on each other, looking to each other for help, giving each other help, picking each other up, suffering long with each other's faults, understanding each other more and more, hoping all things, enduring all things, never failing!" (Edith Schaeffer, What is a Family?)

Lord, we are desperately in need of Your Grace, Mercy, and Love as we mother our children, and as we seek to build and preserve the Gift of Family that you have entrusted to our care. Please take our best efforts, our weaknesses and mistakes, and fashion our families into something beautiful, for Your praise alone. 


Links to all the posts in this Planning with Priorities series:
Planning with Priorities
First Priority
Loving Our Husbands 
The Gift of Family
Making a Home
Time for Me
Beyond Our Homes

Linking up with:
Fellowship Fridays
Faith Filled Fridays
Titus 2sdays

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Southwest Frito Pie


I find many (most?) of the recipes that we use, from Taste of Home magazines, and have subscribed to their magazines for years. This is another one that I clipped from a recent magazine. We tried it earlier this month - it was so very good! It will be kept with my favorite recipes to use in future weeks/months.



Print Recipe

Southwest Frito Pie

Course: Main Course
Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons flour, all-purpose
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can pinto beans (15 oz) rinsed and drained (optional)
  • 4 1/2 cups corn chips
  • 2 cups lettuce shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese shredded (6 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup tomatoes chopped
  • 6 tablespoons onion finely chopped
  • sour cream optional
  • cilantro option

Directions

  1. In a Dutch oven, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.
  2. Stir in the chili powder, flour, salt and garlic powder until blended; gradually stir in water.
  3. Add beans, if desired. Bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 12-15 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
  5. To serve, divide chips among six serving bowls.
  6. Top with beef mixture, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes and onion; garnish with sour cream and cilantro, if desired.

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Note: When I tried this recipe out recently, I cut it in half, and mistakenly forgot to cut the amount of pinto beans in half. It turned out just great the way I made it - maybe we will even prefer it this way?

Linking up with:
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Monday, October 14, 2013

True Joy {First Love}


"Remember that Joy is not dependent on your circumstances ..
True Joy is a by-product of living in My Presence."
(Jesus Calling)


At the end of one week, and the beginning of another - I am being reminded. What is the source of true, lasting Joy? Is it family? Or times of vacation, or a few moments or hours pursuing a passion or a favorite hobby? Or enjoying intimate conversation around the table?

All these can surely bring happiness and joy, but sometimes we get our vision mixed up and think that True Joy depends on these favorable circumstances. And then we easily find ourselves beginning to cling to these things in order to have Joy. 

And by God's grace, we are reminded. Where True Joy comes from.

"In Your Presence is fullness of Joy."
(from Psalm 16:11 NASB)

The kind of Joy that flows from the deepest place within us - from Him. The kind of Joy that does not depend on circumstances, but that depends on a Person. The kind of Joy that bubbles up, and cannot be contained. The Joy that will never leave us, for He is always with us.

"I have told you these things,
so that you will be filled with My Joy.
Yes, your joy will overflow."
(John 15:11)

Thanking Him for His many gifts this past week - family, the warmth of candles burning in my kitchen on these beautiful fall days, His life-giving Words as I read and write my way through Romans, a big grocery shopping trip stocking my pantry shelves, our Devo Outing at Lake Cunningham, preparing some breakfast freezer meals, connecting with volunteers and students at the Cru Central meeting, watching two four year-old grandsons at a soccer game, a grandson turning 11 on the 11th, a sweet visit from a son, fun learning how to create digital scrapbook templates in Photoshop Elements, and experiencing some disappointments during the week that God used to remind me of where True Joy comes from - Joy that does not depend on our circumstances, Joy that fills us up, and overflows. 


Praying for this True Joy for you today, and through this coming week ... 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Digital Scrapbooking - Colorado Vacation (Part 1)

One of my favorite things to do when I have the time, is to preserve memories through digital scrapbooking. I had a bit of time this past week for that, and thought I'd share the first three pages that I completed from our trip to Colorado last month. We are so thankful for the time that we had together in the beautiful state of Colorado! 










Credits for digital scrapbook supplies: 
First page: Page Template by Jessica Sprague. Second page: Page Template: Jessica Sprague - LW Life Templates Set 12; Paper: Scrap Girls - KSC_BeautifulWtr. Third page: Page Template: Jessica Sprague LW-Life Templates Set 12; Paper: Scrap Girls - A Beautiful Narrative; Font for text: Lao Sangam size 15.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Living Streams {First Love}


"Whoever believes in Me,
as the Scripture has said,
streams of living water
will flow from within him."
(John 7:38)

This is too wonderful to even comprehend - 
streams of living waterflowing from within. 
Wherever we are, whatever situation we may be faced with - 
an unending supply of all that we long for. 
A gift that never ends ...

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Hero Pasta Salad


This recipe caught my attention recently, especially as I don't have very many pasta salad recipes that I regularly use. I like the addition of the strips of ham and salami, and also of lettuce - to a pasta salad. We tried it out, and decided it is one that we will be using again - we loved it! 


Print Recipe

Hero Pasta Salad

Course: Salad
Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, small minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups spiral pasta uncooked
  • 1 red onion, small halved and thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces provolone cheese cubed
  • 2 ounces deli ham thinly sliced, cut into strips (2/3 cup)
  • 2 ounces hard salami thinly sliced, cut into strips (2/3 cup)
  • 5 cups lettuce shredded
  • 1 tomato, large coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup cherry tomatoes halved

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk the first five ingredients until blended.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta; rinse with cold water.
  3. In a large bowl, combine onion, cheese, meats and pasta.
  4. Just before serving, add lettuce and tomatoes.
  5. Drizzle with dressing; toss to coat.
  6. Note: This Taste of Home recipe also called for 3/4 cup sliced pepperoncini (which I left out).

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Monday, October 7, 2013

Undeserved Privilege


"Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith,
we have peace with God
because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.
Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into 
this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand,
and we confidently and joyfully look forward
to sharing God's glory.
(Romans 5:1-2)

Filled with thanks for the undeserved privilege of peace with God - all because of what Jesus did for us. And thanking Him for His Presence and His Peace this past week - all a gift from Him ...

returning home from our trip to life with my sweet hubby in our "empty nest"
connections with each of our six (grown) children since we have been home again
sweet wishes for my birthday from family & friends (the day we drove home)

our weekly Devo Outing at Chalco Hills (one of our favorite spots)
the photo above, capturing the beauty and the memory
this beautiful fall season, one of my favorites

time to work on menu plans
thank you notes written
help from Apple Store with macbook problem

volunteers and students interacting at our Cru Central meeting
fun time with friends at a 40th birthday celebration
a very sweet small wedding celebration with relatives

And anticipating the joy of His Presence and His Peace in this new week ...


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Eagles Wings {First Love}


"Let me hear of Your unfailing love each morning,
for I am trusting You."
(Psalm 143:8a)


Thank You, loving Lord, that You are always waiting for us - early in the morning, throughout the day, late in the night. Waiting to meet with us, to assure us of Your deep, unending love - to give us strength in our need.

"But those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint."
(Isaiah 40:31)

(Photo: early morning view from our Eagle's Nest cottage with a view of Grand Lake, CO.)


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Breakfast Burritos (Freezer Fare)


Always looking for good, and easy ideas for breakfast - and this one is definitely a keeper. I came across this idea on a blog a number of months ago, and knew I had to try it out. A homemade breakfast burrito that you can freeze, and heat up in the microwave in a few minutes. Perfect!

You could use any combination of breakfast ingredients, but the recipe I followed used: sausage, bacon, ham, red potatoes, cheese, and eggs. All wrapped in a soft taco tortilla.



Click here to read the detailed directions, and to follow along with photos. And click here to read about an easy method to bake the bacon, eliminating a lot of the mess of frying bacon.

(I recently discovered that I had not posted this yet - it was sitting, all prepared, in my drafts. So today must be the time for it! And now I am wanting to make this recipe again - it was so handy to have these in my freezer, ready to grab and heat up for a quick breakfast.)