Monday, March 31, 2014

Last Half of March Memories

It was quiet here on my blog last week - and these photos give a few reasons why! Life is certainly full, never a dull moment. And somehow I find the time to capture memories ... here are two digital scrapbook pages with memories from the last half of March. The month has flown by ...

So thankful for family, for serving together with my hubby through Cru, for glimpses of spring weather, for God's love and mercy - new with each day and each month. 

(Digital supply credits - Top Page Template: LW-Life-Templates-Set-12; Paper & Embellishments: Sweet Shoppe-very girly birthday. Bottom Page Template: Digital Scrapper Premier April 2013-Hop Along by Penny Springmann; Papers: ericamade-springtime, Shappy Princess-Spring Breeze, Sweet Shoppe-a very girly birthday; Embellishments: Sweet Shoppe-a very girly birthday.)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Without a Single Fault

Help me to cease from striving, to rest. 
For I am already holy, 
and I am also becoming holy. 
By Your Grace and Mercy, 
being molded by You, into what I already am. 
Privileged to live and breathe in Your Presence, 
holy and blameless, without fault. 
Today, and forever.
"One of the greatest sources of joy and endurance for the Christian is knowing that in the imperfection of our progress we have already been perfected ..." (John Piper)
Thinking on these words as I am reading through
Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die - 
thankful, and in awe that He sees me as holy and blameless. 

Linking up with:

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Eva's Birthday

What can be cuter and sweeter than a little granddaughter turning two?! It was so fun to capture Eva's birthday on these two digital scrapbook pages. Her mother planned a "pink party" for this little girl whose favorite color is pink

So very thankful for the blessing of family, and of sweet grandkids. 

For any who are interested in digital scrapbooking - click here for an "Outside the Square" video tutorial you can purchase to learn how to create the type of frames you see in my top page. There are so many things to learn with Photoshop Elements (which is what I use for my digital scrapbooking), and I am so thankful to be a Premier member of Digital Scrapper. Each month I receive four video tutorials for use with Photoshop Elements, along with a digital scrapbook kit. (You can purchase the video tutorials separately, as well, but it is a great bargain to be a Premier member.)

(Credits - Page Template: Scrap Girls - JSM_dD - pageGrids02; Papers: Digital Scrapper SRoberts-cardstock, Scrap Girls KSC_Beautiful Spring; Embellishment and WordArt: Sweet Shoppe-a very girly birthday.)

Friday, March 21, 2014

March Memories

Still on track with digital scrapbooking the year so far! A relaxing hobby for me ... and also a record of family happenings. A mixture of events earlier this month - a surprise birthday party that our oldest daughter planned for her husband, a Cru High special event, and a photo sent to me of a brother's move from Akron, Ohio, to Portland, Oregon. Thankful for each of these events ...

(Credits - Page Template: Becky Higgins - template A; Paper: Digital Scrapper March 2014 Premier - heartbeat at my feet; Journal Card: Becky Higgins - cherry edition.)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Chicken Nuggets and Mac & Cheese

Don't all children love chicken nuggets and also mac & cheese? I knew that this menu would be a good choice when planning for a day with two grandkids here a few weeks ago. And I also wondered if five year-old Cruz would have fun helping me prepare the chicken nuggets. I was right ... he did!

The Chicken Nuggets recipe we used was one that I had made many, many times when our six (grown) kids were at home. It has actually been a long time since I have made this particular recipe, and it was so good to make it again. Not a lot of work ... and very good! And extra fun with a grandson helping!

Print Recipe

Chicken Nuggets

Source: Family Favorites
Course: Main Course
Serves: 5


  • 3-4 whole chicken breasts boneless, skinless
  • 1/2 cup unseasoned dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Basil leaf dried
  • 5 tablespoons butter melted


  1. Cut chicken in nuggets, about 1 1/2 inches square.
  2. Combine bread crumbs, cheese, salt, and basil.
  3. Dip chicken nuggets into melted butter; then in crumb mixture.
  4. Place in a single layer on foil-lined baking sheet. (jelly roll pan works well)
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden.

We also had a Macaroni & Cheese recipe that I have used often over the years. I mixed it up the day before our grandkids were here, and also doubled the recipe so I could put some in the freezer for a future day - likely when some of our six grandkids who live nearby, will be here in the coming weeks!

Both of our grandkids (five year-old Cruz, and little sister, Eva) loved the meal. A good choice for little kids!

Print Recipe

Mom's Macaroni and Cheese

Course: Side Dishes
Serves: 6


  • Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 cups elbow macaroni uncooked
  • 5 tablespoons butter divided
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
  • 2 ounces process cheese (Velveeta) cubed
  • 2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs


  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat. Add the cheeses, stirring until cheese is melted. Drain macaroni.
  2. Transfer macaroni to a greased 1-1/2-qt. baking dish. Pour cheese sauce over macaroni; mix well. Melt the remaining butter; add the bread crumbs. Sprinkle over top. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 30 minutes or until heated through and topping is golden brown. Yield: 6 servings.
Do you have a favorite chicken nuggets or mac & cheese recipe?

Linking up with:

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Never Forget

This is the Good News - the Gospel. 

"In this is love,
not that we loved God
but that He loved us
and sent His Son
to be the propitiation for our sins."
(I John 4:10)

Remembering, never forgetting ...
And continuing to need His rescue.
Every day.
The Gospel - for our every day,
and our forever.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Pausing for Thanks

It's always good to give thanks. To pause, and to say thank you ...

And I am thankful for the special gifts of last week ... for news that my brother's move to Portland, Oregon (from Akron, Ohio) went well ... for two cousins who drove his moving van across country for him ... that my brother can now live near another brother & his wife ... for help he will receive as he copes with Parkinsons and also the loss of his wife last summer ... And I am thankful for a son-in-law back to work after his surgery ... and that though the lump removed from his kidney was cancerous, the doctors believe that they got it all, and no chemo or radiation is needed ... I am thankful for journals, and for extra bits of time to read, learn, and listen during these weeks leading up to Easter Sunday ... I'm thankful for a Date Night with my hubby ... for a Surprise 40th Bday Party for a son-in-law & taking a grandson & granddaughter home with us for an overnighter ... for listening to the chatter of grandsons on their way to preschool ... for a day with another grandson and granddaughter here, giving their mom a break (see photos below) ... I'm thankful for a church home for a daughter & son-in-law & family, for warm hugs as we visited on Sunday ... for connections there with many friends ... And I am thankful for times to rest - and to remember, with thanks.

Sharing one of several digital scrapbook pages of recent days 

... capturing the memories of His gifts to us.

(Credits - Page Template: Jessica Sprague-Creativity by Design; Papers: Digital Scrapper 2013 02 Premier-two hearts by Anita Designs, 2014 03 Premier-heartbeat at my feet by Zoe Pearn; Embellishment: Digital Scrapper 2014 03 Premier-heartbeat at my feet.)

What were some of God's gifts to you last week?

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Greatest Love

Words to read slowly - with listening hearts.

Words that take our breath away - for we are sinners.

Words that meet us in our deepest need.

Linking up with:

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Quiet Journey of the Heart

Sometimes to gain ground, to take steps forward, we need to step back. To pull aside, to push the pause button. Especially in this fast-paced world that we live in.

For when you love someone deeply, you need to take time. Undivided, focused time. To purposely listen intently, to hear their words above the noise.

It works that way as a couple - even a married couple as my hubby and I ... married for 42 1/2 years now. If there is no pausing, no time of focused sharing of hearts together, no listening, no times of retreat ... then there is likely no progress, no deepening of relationship.

And in this busy life, deepening our relationship with God - our most important of relationships - calls out for times of focused connection where we purposely listen deeply. Purposely setting aside time, for more time to listen ... 

It starts with a yearning for more, 
a quiet cry from the heart, a longing. 

"You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek You;
I thirst for You,
my whole being longs for You,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water ...
Because Your love is better than life ... "
(Psalm 63:1-5)

Though it is true that I have not always set aside the weeks leading up to Easter as a time to pull aside for deeper connection, I have often longed to do so. Just as many of us participate in special Advent readings leading up to our Christmas celebration of the Birth of Christ, it seems even more important that we take time to focus more deeply on the Death and Resurrection of Jesus as we journey through the weeks before Easter Sunday. 

For Lent is ...
"first and foremost about the gospel 
making its way deeper into our lives ... 
Lent is about Jesus." 
(Journey to the Cross)

So, again, as I have started doing in recent years - I am praying that these weeks leading up to Easter Sunday will be like a retreat, a pulling aside, a time to focus more intently and more deeply ... on Jesus. I am thirsty to learn more, to fall more deeply in love with Him. For I am in need ... of Him, of a Savior. Every single day.

"Lent is a time of returning to God. It is a time to confess how we keep looking for joy, peace, and satisfaction in the many people and things surrounding us without really finding what we desire. Only God can give us what we want. So we must be reconciled with God ... The season of Lent, helps us in a special way to cry out for God's mercy." (Henri Nouwen)

A few of the tangible ways that I hope to focus more intently on Jesus (amidst busy days and weeks of home, family, and Cru ministry together with my husband) are to set aside time here and there throughout the day (a few moments here, a few moments there) to spend time in close connection with Him. In addition to my early morning times ... giving Him more of my time. 

Not a ritual or an obligation, but a cry of the heart ... for Jesus.

How is God calling your heart during this season?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

In the Kitchen

It's been a little while since I've shared a recipe or a food-related post. I'll start out again with a little peek into my kitchen ...

There are a few new items in my kitchen since the start of the New Year ... a new cookbook - The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook, and also a new Cuisinart bread machine! 

A blogger whom I follow - Jessica, at Good Cheap Eats - convinced me that I should dig out my very old bread machine and start using it again. And the reason ... she recommended using The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook, a book filled with great recipes and tips for making the best bread with a bread machine. 

I purchased a copy with some Christmas money (thanks, Cristy!), and dug my bread machine out of storage. It was great to have the aroma of fresh bread filling our home ... for a week or two, and then part of the very old machine broke apart. By then I was convinced, and we decided to use a Bed Bath & Beyond coupon and replace it ... finding a beautiful one that even matches my kitchen. 

It's been fun for me to be using a bread machine again! I will still continue to use my Bosch machine at times to mix up large batches of bread ... but using a bread machine again works so good to bake a loaf at a time for the two of us. I love it that there is hardly any mess at all to clean up with a bread machine. 

I'll surely be trying many of the 300 recipes included in this book. For breads and also for things like pizza dough, etc. I already love the pizza dough recipe in this cookbook - it makes the dough for two crusts at a time ... one to use right away, and one for the freezer.

Although the bread can be baked right in the machine, I prefer to use the bread machine to mix and knead the dough, and then transfer the dough to a bread pan to bake in the oven. I just prefer the shape of the loaf when baked in a pan.

About every four days or so ... the aroma of bread baking fills our home. So very thankful! 

What have you been busy with in the kitchen?

Linking up with:
The Inspiration Exchange
Thrive at Home Thursday
I'm Lovin' It
The Party Bunch
Saturday Show & Tell