Tuesday, December 21, 2010

When I get where I'm going......there will be only happy tears!

Christmas time brings back a flood of memories... and makes me look forward to the future. Right now I am holding close wonderful memories of my paternal grandparents and maternal grandfather. My grandma went to heaven this past summer and joined my grandfather who has been gone 8 years. This will be the first Christmas without her here with us. Hard. My maternal grandfather has been gone 14 years already. I have fantastic memories of my life with them. I also look forward to seeing them again someday and walking with them! When I get to heaven there will only be happy tears!! This is one of my FAVORITE songs and is by one of my favorite artists. I enjoy it year round, but especially right now. For some reason Christmas makes me long for my real home... heaven!!




Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
Heather
What is for supper?? Eliminate this daily stress from your life! http://www.simplefamilysupper.com

Monday, December 20, 2010

Celebration Bread Braid and EASY, wonderful fudge


My husband and oldest son went ICE fishing over the weekend.... NOT me! I like to stay WARM and I can think of no better way to stay nice and warm than baking in the kitchen. The wood stove has worked over time this December.... Indiana has had a very unusually cold month. Never has my husband been able to ice fish before Christmas
(the pond he fishes had 8 inches of clear ice already). They brought home a nice mess of fish for us to enjoy.

I busied myself in the kitchen this weekend baking up some goodies to give for Christmas gifts. I made several batches of Celebration Bread Braid and pounds of candy! Gotta LOVE this time of the year!!!! Celebration Bread Braid is one of my favorite gifts to give. Home made bread is such a treat and this one is very beautiful to look at, too. My favorite fudge recipe is both fantastically wonderful to eat and is also easy on the budget. ENJOY! You will find both recipes below.

Celebration Bread Braid

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 4-1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon cold water

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the butter, sugar, salt, eggs and 3 cups flour. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into four pieces. Shape each piece into an 18-in. rope. Place ropes parallel to each other on a greased baking sheet. Beginning from the right side, braid dough by placing the first rope over the second rope, under the third and over the fourth. Repeat three or four times, beginning each time from the right side. Pinch ends to seal and tuck under.
Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Beat egg yolk and water; brush over braid. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool. Yield: 1 loaf.



Pair up the Celebration Bread Braid with some Better Butter and you have a wonderful gift to share!

Better Butter
Set butter out and bring to room temperature. In blender whip together equal parts of butter and oil (I use canola). Whip till very creamy. Store in containers in the fridge... will stay soft and yummy!

Variations: Honey Butter.... simply add in some honey in replace of some oil.
Cinnamon Butter.... add in some brown sugar and cinnamon
Garlic and Herb.... add in some garlic powder and herbs


Amazing Fudge


Combine the following in a large bowl:
3 cups chocolate chips (semi-sweet is the best!)
½ lb. (2 sticks) butter, cut into chunks

In Sauce pan measure:
4 ½ cups sugar
¼ tsp. cream of tartar
1- 12 oz. can evaporated milk

Mix together and stir constantly over med-high burner. Keep stirring until it comes to a full bubbling boil- NOT a rolling boil. Time for 6 minutes. Remove from heat and pour over chips and butter in bowl. Add 1 tsp. vanilla, stir until chocolate is melted. Add nuts if desired. [Try dried cherries too- yumm-o!]
Pour into GREASED 9x13 pan and cool.
Cut into squares and serve. Keep refrigerated or at least in a cool place.
Warning: Very rich- you must have a glass of milk or a cup of coffee. Eating more than 3 pieces at a time is known to give you sugar overload.


Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
Heather
What is for supper?? Eliminate this daily stress from your life! http://www.simplefamilysupper.com

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Custom Ceramic Tile

My husband, Chris, is a Custom Ceramic Tile contractor. He has been in business on his own for 8 1/2 years. He does incredible work and is a man of integrity. He just started a face book page for his company. Hop on over to the Corbin Ceramic Tile, LLC facebook page to see pictures of some of his work (and LIKE his page, too). Look at how all those gout joints line up on this back splash! He goes the extra mile and we are blessed to have some of his handy work in our own home, too.

Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
Heather
What is for supper?? Eliminate this daily stress from your life!
www.simplefamilysupper.com

Friday, December 3, 2010

Old Paths....


~I liked the old paths, when
Moms were at home.
Dads were at work.
Brothers went into the army.
~And sisters got married BEFORE having children!
Crime did not pay;
Hard work did;
And people knew the difference.
~Moms could cook;
Dads would work;
Children would behave.
Husbands were loving;
Wives were supportive;
And children were polite.
~Women wore the jewelry;
And Men wore the pants.
Women looked like ladies;
Men looked like gentlemen;
And children looked decent.
~People loved the truth,
And hated a lie;
They came to church to get IN,
Not to get OUT!
~Hymns sounded Godly;
Sermons sounded helpful;
Rejoicing sounded normal;
And crying sounded sincere.
~Cursing was wicked;
Drugs were for illness;
And divorce was unthinkable.
~The flag was honored;
America was beautiful;
And God was welcome!
~We read the Bible in public;
Prayed in school;
And preached from house to house
To be called an American was worth dying for;
To be called a Christian was worth living for;
To be called a traitor was a shame!
~Preachers preached because they had a message;
And Christians rejoiced because they had the VICTORY!
Preachers preached from the Bible;
Singers sang from the heart;
And sinners turned to the Lord to be SAVED!
~A new birth meant a new life;
Salvation meant a changed life;
Following Christ led to eternal life.
~Being a preacher meant you proclaimed the word of God;
Being a deacon meant you would serve the Lord;
Being a Christian meant you would live for Jesus;
And being a sinner meant someone was praying for you!
~Laws were based on the Bible;
Homes read the Bible;
And churches taught the Bible.
~God was worshiped;
Christ was exalted;
And the Holy Spirit was respected.
~Church was where you found Christians
on the Lord's day, rather than in the garden,
on the creek bank, on the golf course,
Or being entertained somewhere else.
~I still like the old paths the best!
~~Author Unknown~~

I came across this poem on "It's harvest Time". Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
Heather
What is for supper?? Eliminate this daily stress from your life!
www.simplefamilysupper.com

Thursday, December 2, 2010

What can I do now that will help me later?? (and 2 easy chicken recipes)

Are you naturally organized?? Just plain born organized?? NOT me!! I have to WORK to be organized. I have learned so many, many great things from FlyLady (any other fly babies out there?). One of the best things I gleaned from her knowledge is to ask my self this question: "What can I do now that will help me later?". I might only have a couple of minutes, but there is usually something that I can do that will benefit me later.

Training my mind to think ahead rather than always struggling to catch up has been a hugely helpful shift. Now, don't get me wrong, I still have days that I feel the constant stress of feeling about 3 steps behind. However, compared to what I used to experience, the simple act of thinking ahead and putting some action in work has been a major help in my choosing simplicity! I am trying to teach my kids to look ahead and be organized. (getting everything ready the night before really cuts down on the morning rush out the door for school.)

Thinking ahead and putting some plans into action have really helped our evenings. The evenings in our home ( I consider evening to be from the time the kids get home at 3:30) are busy. There is snack time, homework and chores to be completed, supper to be had, and right now during basketball season our oldest has either practice or games 4 nights a week. BUSY! We are blessed to be in a carpool so I don't have to drive every night. However, evenings are still a hectic time. I know I am not alone in the business of evenings. I also really believe that my kids need down time to PLAY so I try to keep things as simple as possible.

The number one way I plan ahead for the evenings is with supper. I have a menu plan (that alone is a HUGE help) and I usually start supper in the morning (by either using the crock pot or having everything ready to cook). This morning I had our supper in the crock pot by 9 am.... now all I will have to do is warm up some veggies, and cook rice. EASY! Choosing Simplicity. Tonight our son has a basketball game and our daughter is caroling with her school choir. My husband is going to the game and I am going with our daughter. We will all have to be out the door with full tummies.

We are having So Simple Salsa Chicken for supper. It is YUMMY and it is an "Efficient Cooking" recipe that will give me extra cooked chicken meat to use later. (another HUGE way to "think and work ahead". One of our favorite recipes to use the "Fast Track" chicken meat that we will have is in Buffalo Chicken Soup. Below you will find both recipes. These recipes come from the "MONEY WISE" Simple Family Supper menu. Enjoy!!

So Simple Salsa Chicken

**Efficient Cooking: Freeze remaining chicken and sauce and label

Crock Pot or Stove Top

Ingredients:

3-6 lbs boneless, skinless chicken *amount depends on number of servings you will need for this meal and for the “Fast Track” meal. (if frozen increase cooking time)

1 (16 ounce) jar your choice chunky salsa

1 can diced tomatoes with or without chilies

2 cups shredded cheese

Opt: reduced fat sour cream


Rice (prepare according to package directions)


Crock Pot Directions:

1) Place chicken in crock pot.

2) Pour salsa and diced tomatoes over chicken

3) Cover and cook on Low 5-8 hours

4) Serve on rice and top individual servings with shredded cheese and sour cream


Stove Top directions:

Same as above except simmer in skillet for 30 minutes till chicken is no longer pink in middle of thickest chicken breast.


Side Suggestions: Rice (brown is the best health choice), steamed vegetables, salad


Buffalo Chicken Soup

Fast Track: Use frozen cooked salsa chicken from wk 3

Crock Pot or Stove Top

Ingredients:

4 cups low-fat milk

2 (10 ¾ oz) cans reduced sodium cream of chicken soup

1 can reduced sodium chicken broth

3 cups fast track shredded cooked chicken

1 cup reduced fat ranch dressing

1-8 Tbsp. hot sauce, according to your desire for heat!

Optional: 1 cup small pasta of your choice


Crock Pot directions:

1) Combine milk and soup and broth in slow cooker until smooth.

2) Stir in fast track meat

3) Cover and cook on low for 3 ½ - 5 hours.

4) 30 minutes before serving stir in optional pasta, ranch dressing and hot sauce. **start with a small amount of hot sauce and then add more till it is the heat you want.**


Stove Top:

Same as above except mix and cook in large soup pot. Bring to boil on med/low heat and simmer for 15 minutes before adding pasta, ranch dressing hot sauce.


Side suggestions: dinner rolls, salad




Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
Heather
What is for supper?? Eliminate this daily stress from your life! http://www.simplefamilysupper.com

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Deer Butchering and Guys!

My husband LOVES to hunt, loves to talk about hunting, loves to watch hunting shows. I will admit that at times it is almost more than this gal can handle, but he provides us with great meat to eat. Last night we spent the evening helping one of his good buddies butcher up the nice doe he got Monday. Chris' friend was drawn to hunt at our local state park. It was a nice doe and all together he ended up with 30 pounds of (boneless) meat. 25 lbs was ground and turned into bulk sausage and the other 5 lbs was loin roast. Yummy! Some of our best investments have been our quality butchering tools. Our grinder has been one of the best things we ever bought.

After I helped them I jumped in the suburban and headed off to pick up our 13 year old son and 3 of his friends from basketball practice. I was on car pool duty last night. I am blessed that there are 4 boys the same age all living within our neighborhood (a few country miles) and can share the driving with all the moms. Anyway, when I jumped in the truck I turned on the radio and was scanning through the channels when I came across Brad Paisley's song "I'm still a guy"! I just had to laugh and I really like this song..... As much as all the "GUY" stuff sometimes gets old (in our house there are 4 guys to us 2 gals) I am so very much thankful and appreciative that my husband is a GUY! In our society all this 'guy stuff' isn't appreciated like it once was. Enjoy this fun song.



Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
Heather
What is for supper?? Eliminate this daily stress from your life! http://www.simplefamilysupper.com

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thrift stores are a part of our life...

I donate to them, I shop them..... They are FUN (you never know what you will find)! They save us a ton of cash.

This past weekend we realized that Ethan (our 7 year old) doesn't have any insulated underwear (long jons) that fit him. Chris has been taking Ethan deer hunting quit a bit and this weekend it got pretty cold. I let Ethan borrow some of mine (they did the trick, but weren't too comfortable for him scrunching up about 12 inches of extra length). To get him his own pair I hit the thrift store first. I was able to find him TWO pairs, a pair of fleece pants for Nate and a wonderful heavy gray fleece sweatshirt for Wes (ok.. he is hard to keep in clothes! since school started in August he has grown another inch bringing my 13 1/2 year old up to 6'2"!!!). I was able to snag all four of those things for $7.99 (including tax) for a break down of $2 per item. Yeah for second hand! After that while I was at walmart I checked the price on new insulated underwear. Cost?? $9 for a shirt and pants set. I love it!! We didn't need the shirt but to get him two pants I would have had to spend $18!

The only thing that beats a thrift store is a good yard sale... but since that is a summer time thing I will just have to enjoy my local thrift shops!

Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
Heather

Monday, November 29, 2010

One last stroll down summertime memory lane

I am a summer loving gal that is trying really hard to choose contentment with the cold winter months. So far this year we have been blessed with a warm fall and start to winter. Today the high is in the 50's... not bad at all!! However, before I completely give in to the winter months I just have to look back at summer one more time and remind myself that every season has good things. Winter has lots of time for BAKING! :)

I enjoy lots of time in the garden, and we spend a ton of time sitting on the front porch on summer evenings. This porch was added just this spring. The old needed replaced and we totally love this east facing porch. It is a nice shaded place to spend time together. We hope to one day put a roof over it and make it a covered porch. One thing at a time... no debt!

Out back was our sweet corn patch. It was 12 rows wide and 100 feet long. We were able to raise enough corn for 5 families to 'put up' for winter. My sister, Melissa, and I shared a special day together doing our 'putting up'.
We tried doing it a new way this year and loved it. We cut it off the ear raw and then cooked it after we cut it off. So much easier and so much less mess. We decided that this is the way for us.

A funny story about my sister and my youngest son, Nate. Nate is in kindergarten this year and is learning so much so fast! He is a budding reader and LOVES to write. Wednesday, before Thanksgiving, Nate wanted me to sit down with him and make thanksgiving cards for my sister and her family. He asked me to write down all of their names so that he could copy them down on his card. He copied everyone's name except my sisters. "Mom, you need to write down Ant Allissa's name for me." " I did sweety, it is right here... see, it says 'Aunt Melissa'". "But Mommy, that is not it... that starts with a 'M' ''". Yes, I replied as I sounded out her name... M-e-l-i-s-s-a for him. Nate looked at me, his eyes HUGE. "Her name is MMMelissa???" His whole life he had never heard the M.... he really thought her name was Allissa! SO cute! So he kept practicing saying this new name to try to get it right! LOL! On Thanksgiving he worked really hard to remember, but my sister told him that she loves "Ant Allissa" and that she wants him to call her that forever.... their special name! My kids have all had cute ways of saying her name and Melissa is a peach for making Nate feel so great.

Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
Heather
What is for supper?? Eliminate this daily stress from your life!
www.simplefamilysupper.com

Sunday, November 28, 2010

My blogging style plus an Easy, no knead, Oatmeal Bread recipe

I realize that I have slipped into the "magazine/Expert" style of blogging that is oh so very popular. Blogs look so professional and are written with magazine style articles. Please don't get me wrong, I enjoy a few magazines and I like to read experts in areas of interest. However, I think that my original blogging style is my favorite... a simple sharing of my life and our ways of Choosing Simplicity in a crazy and hectic world.

I am going to go back to that style and just share our way of life, our faith, our story. It will be more of a journal for us to look back at and will be a place of connection with like minded folks. I have passions and knowledge in some areas, but there are many out there that are much more experts than I. I don't want to have pretenses of being more than I am.

I want to welcome you to this little on-line corner. A small place of simplicity in a crazy, rushing world. I want to invite you to share your story with me, too. I want this place to be where we are real with each other. A place that I am just me, the God loving, family loving country gal that I am. A place without any pretense.

So with that being said, nothing is more "me" than cooking and baking! I absolutely LOVE it! I have a family that does love to eat, too. Below is one of my favorite easy (no yeast, no kneading) breads. In the cold months we eat a lot of stews and soups (cooked in the crock pot or on top the wood stove). Bread is a favorite with our soups. This one is quick, easy and nutritious. These pictures are of the counter in my kitchen. My grandmother (tour Tuesday post about her here) gave me these jars and they are filled with pantry staples that I use almost everyday. Simple food.

Quick (no yeast) Oatmeal Bread
Ingredients:
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups rolled oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup molasses, honey or brown sugar
2 T oil
1 2/3 cup buttermilk or sour milk (to make sour milk put 1 TBL lemon juice or vinegar in measuring cup and then add milk to measure 1 2/3 cup)

Directions:
Mix together the dry ingredients. Add remaining ingredients. Mix well. Pour batter into a well greased 9x5" loaf pan. Let stand for 20 minutes and then bake for 60 minutes at 325 degrees. Remove from pan while still hot. ENJOY!


Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
Heather
What is for supper?? Eliminate this daily stress from your life! http://www.simplefamilysupper.com

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

One little, Two little, Three little Indians.....

My sister is married to a man of Cherokee lineage. So much so that her father in law is named Tonto! How cool is that?? I have no claim to Native American Heritage. I do, however, come from some hardy stock.... the pilgrims! One very cool thing about my bloodline is that on my mom's side our family goes all the way back to the Mayflower!! I am an actual decedent of one of the original pilgrims! :)

I didn't have pilgrim outfits so my boys and I had a GREAT time dressing up as Indians for the Thanksgiving Feast at school yesterday. I LOVE Thanksgiving. Such a great day to set aside time to THANK God for all of our blessings.

Whatever you are doing this week take some time to THANK God for the blessings in your life.
Happy Thanksgiving!!

Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
Heather

What is for supper?? Eliminate this daily stress from your life!
www.simplefamilysupper.com

Monday, November 22, 2010

Choosing Simplicity.... Fresh Baked Goodies recipe list

I am a summer loving gal. Since it is not summer (and can't be outside enjoying the sunshine) I BAKE! I can not tell you how much I LOVE summer. However, I CHOOSE to enjoy each season by focusing on what I like best about it. In the fall and winter I LOVE to bake. Choosing to enjoy the warmth of the kitchen and the wonderful joy I find in creating goodies helps the cold months to pass enjoyably.

I thought that I would put together a list of some favorite recipes from former posts. Enjoy some baking time!

A few favorite recipes:
Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
Heather
What is for supper?? Eliminate this daily stress from your life! http://www.simplefamilysupper.com

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Choosing Simplicity.... trust God for TODAY

"Give us this day our daily bread" as the Lord's prayer goes. I find that Choosing a Simple Life really does bring me back to living out the way of the word. Christ instructs us to trust him for TODAY'S needs. When I get all worried about things in the future my stress level rises. BIG. Time.

Sometimes we face situations that are HARD and we just don't understand how we can get through. However, don't have to worry about that... Trust God for TODAY!! Whatever the situation God's grace is sufficient for TODAY. I remember one particularly hard situation we were going through. I would get so weary and down because I just couldn't see the end in sight. My sister had some wise words.... Trust God for TODAY's bread! Strength for the DAY. She was so right.... Immagine that, God's word is true!

For some the holidays can be extra stressful. I often find myself wondering.. "How am I going to get all this done?? How are we going to afford this?? How am I going to handle being around that person?? Are my kids going to like their gifts??" You know what God is teaching me?? FOCUS on TODAY. Live in TODAY!! Don't let myself get all wrapped up in the stresses of tomorrow. God will be with me on those days. He is also showing me where I add stress into my life by trying to be like others and comparing myself to what everyone else is doing. There are so many unspoken expectations at the holidays that we think we have to meet. I am asking myself to take stock in what is really important. Focus on what really matters today and what God wants me to do with my day. I don't have to do everything, I don't have to live up to unrealistic expectations.

TODAY is what I have. TODAY is my life. I just know that CHOOSING simplicity involves saying a lot of "no". No to extra stuff, no to extra worry! ENJOYING the day rather than stressing about tomorrow makes a huge difference in my life. I can guarantee that my kids will enjoy the holidays a lot more with a relaxed mom than with a stressed out one.


Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
Heather

What is for supper?? Eliminate this daily stress from your life!
www.simplefamilysupper.com

Making Thanksgiving Memories

Fun Thanksgiving ideas for children! Monica, at homespun heart totally rocks. Hop on over and enjoy her creative, fun and frugal ideas for celebrating thanksgiving and making it extra special for children. Build memories!!



Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
Heather

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Choosing Simplicity... Choosing Contentment.

Ahh.... I hear it..."that is so sweet". What a nice idea. Actually, NO! Choosing Contentment is not sweet. Rather it is a BATTLE! Contentment goes against every cell in our flesh. We WANT more, we want different, we want perfection, we WANT, want, want!!

Choosing Contentment means taking up deliberate battle against our raging, wanting, desires. It is NOT easy. Am I trying to discourage you from Choosing contentment?? Definitely not. I am being honest.

Have you ever thought that you were the only one that Really, really, really struggles with discontentment? You are so not alone. We ALL have issues of WANT. We might not all want the same thing (and that enters us into comparison), but that isn't the point at all. Discontentment is longing for what we don't have rather than choosing thankfulness and joy with what we do have. It is a heart issue. aarrrgg... why do we have to have heart issues! Heart issues are a battle ground!! Take up the sword with me and join me in slaying this discontentment dragon.

I think that sometimes we fear that having contentment means we are 'settling' for less than we can be. That somehow we will give up hope at "making progress". Questions like "If I become content with my body will I just always be over weight?" or "If I become content with our income will we always be paying peter to pay paul?" We fear that life will somehow become LESS worth living if we give up WANTING. This is such a trick of the enemy. God's ways never seem to make sense to our earthly minds. Truthfully, though, contentment sets us free! Contentment gives us the power to LIVE RICH. Wealthy is a matter of money, RICH is a matter of the heart.

Will you take up battle with me?? Will you wage a war for contentment?? If you want some more inspiration hop on over to the Stay at Home Missionary and join up with her challenge. I am in! Are you??

Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
Heather

Monday, November 1, 2010

Exercise your FREEDOM!! VOTE!

We are so blessed to have the opportunity to ELECT our government officials. PLEASE get out there and VOTE!!

This year, for the first time ever, our family has been directly involved in a campaign for our local Sheriff. Go Gary Adams!! It has been such a blessing to be a part of this process. Our daughter really enjoyed the day she spent with us going door to door.... I'm excited our kids have had this experience as children.

PLEASE get out and VOTE today!!!
Thank God for this freedom and privilege!!



Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
Heather

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Deer Down! MEAT in the freezer

Last night my handsome husband shot this BIG, 224 pound, 8 point buck with his bow. God is so good. Yummy meat for the winter and a good hunt.

The first two does (hubby got one and oldest son got one) I canned up. We LOVE canned deer meat and I am working on a "how to" post on canning deer meat. However, with this one we decided to do sausage and jerky.

So I now have 50 pounds of ground sausage in my freezer and 5 pounds of jerky meat marinating in the fridge. I will post the sausage and jerky recipes tomorrow... right now I am tired and the kids all need tucked into bed.

We ended up with 55 pounds of boneless meat. We process ourselves and are careful not to be wasteful, but we do trim off as much fat as possible (the fat is full of game flavor in addition to extra calories). Chris gave the hide to our taxidermy friend and in trade he is going to mount the antlers on a Oak board. God is good!!

Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
Heather

Friday, October 22, 2010

God made us to NEED Friendships!


Warning: I am very passionate about the following topic! I originally shared this post back in October of 2008, but it totally stands true today. I 100% believe that God gave us a NEED for friendships.

Modern life can be very lonely. It doesn't matter if you are a stay at home mom, work at home mom, full time "paycheck" mom or any combination of that. We live in a RUSHED, busy, fast paced world that squeezes out all of our time, resources and energy. It doesn't leave a lot left for friendships.

I am a people person and really enjoy being around others. I find conversation invigorating and inspiring. God has put in me a strong need for relationships. I HAVE to connect with others.

This week I have had the privilege of spending time with TWO different friends. I met for lunch on Monday with my friend, Jackie. Jackie and I have only been friends since spring. She is older than me, but it goes to show that when God is involved in your friendships age doesn't matter at all! I believe that God has bought us together for a reason... to encourage, inspire and push each other in our personal walks with our Heavenly Father.

Today my friend, Brook, came over for a nice visit. We try to get together every other week on Wednesday mornings. We have known each other for almost 9 years... she was pregnant with her first, she now holds her precious baby girl, number 5! She is such a blessing and encouragement to me. We are both mothers of many young ones and understand each other's challenges and stresses. She was also pregnant at the same time while I was expecting my last two babies. Pregnancy and babies created a bond between us. She is also married to a "Chris". I think that one reason Brook and I get along so well is because we are opposite in so many ways. We always joke that personality wise I am like her husband, Chris, and she is like my husband, Chris! Some of the best qualities of each of our spouses we find in our friendship! Opposites really do attract in friendships as well as in love.

Making time for friendship is important. Life is BUSY and CRAZY, but doing the IMPORTANT things first puts things in the right priority. I value the group of wonderful ladies I meet with for Bible study on Friday mornings more than I could ever express. They are not only wonderful friends, but the accountability to be in the Bible completing the study is just what I need. My family also participates in a small group Bible Study/fellowship every other Friday evening. We ALL look forward to 'Jordan' Fridays very much. Getting together as families is also very important.

I went through a very lonely time a few years ago... I finally felt the Lord tell me to stop feeling sorry for myself and to reach out to others and BE a FRIEND! God's principle of sewing and reaping is true in every aspect of our lives. As I put energy and effort into being a friend and reaching out to others God has blessed me with friendship in return. Friendship is a lot like gardening..... I think that I will make that another post! LOL!!

I encourage you, reach out to women around you. Become a friend to someone. They don't have to be just like you, the same age, or have the same lifestyle or hobbies. Some of my good friends live the town life, others live out in the country. I have friends from many different churches, but we all love Jesus. We all have a need for relationship, we all have the need to be valued. Modern life can be lonely.... we can go days without real conversation. Give someone a call, write a note or invite someone over! Lunch dates, play dates, Bible studies and phone conversations are all possible if we just put out the effort.

My best friend, my sister Melissa, lives 50 miles south and is a full time "paycheck" mom. Between distance and time factors we don't see each other as much as we would like, but we make it a point to talk on the phone and email on a regular basis. Do what works.... be a friend and enjoy friendship!

Ok... off my soap box!!


Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
Heather


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Choosing Simplicity.... Hospitality and generosity on a budget


Is it possible to be both frugal and practice generosity and hospitality?? To stay on budget and still prepare a meal for a friend? YES!!! I believe 100% that as Christians we are called to practice hospitality and sharing. Tomorrow I share about a very passionate subject of mine: that God created us to NEED friendships. God has called us to love one another. A meal is a wonderful way to show and express love and care. I also know that God is our provider and if he is calling for us to be generous (which he is) then He WILL supply all of our needs!!! You can not out give God.... He will always make a way!!! .

How to be both Hospitable, Generous and Frugal:
  1. Make big batches of food. If I am taking a meal to someone I will just make double of what I am making for our family. If you are having quests over just make double to serve.
  2. Stock up on loss leaders so that you have a supply in your pantry to prepare from.
  3. Give a treat. If you don't want to make a complete meal a loaf of home made bread is a BIG treat for most people. Also, dropping of a desert always shows love. You can also invite friends over for desert and cards... this is one of our winter time favorites.
  4. Never turn down help. If you invite friends over and they ask what they can bring have them bring a side or a desert. I NEVER mind taking something when we are invited and it really helps cut down on cost.
  5. Keep the meals simple. I can not say this enough. BEING with others is the important thing... not impressing them with what you serve. Hospitality is OTHERS focused... entertaining is ME focused. Use the same frugal recipes you use with your own family.
  6. Give a gift from your garden. I don't know of anyone that will turn down fresh produce... unless they have a garden in full swing!
  7. Give a gift from you pantry.... Do you can? Do you freeze? A homemade loaf of bread and homemade jam is a real treat!
  8. Remember it is the HEART and ATTITUDE that God looks at!!!! A gift in love is what God desires.... He calls us to be cheerful givers. Don't give out of DUTY!
In our crazy, busy and frazzled modern world an evening of hospitality or sharing is a BIG way to show the love of Christ to others. It means a lot. Think about the last time someone had you over for dinner or dropped off a treat for you. How did it make you feel?? I know it made you feel loved and cared for. Extending our love by having others in our home is a powerful way to bless them! Be encouraged... you can practice hospitality and generosity without breaking the bank.

I believe in keeping things simple!!! Give my sample menu a try... they are easy to double, have some friends over and practice hospitality! www.simplefamilysupper.com

Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
Heather

The WALTONS are being aired again!

Finding TV shows you can watch as a family are hard to find. One of my favorites is the Waltons. We have the DVD set, but I am excited to let you all know I just found out they are back on tv!! I have the dvr set.

Here are the details:

Beginning Monday, October 18th on INSP, viewers also can journey back with "The Waltons" at 1pm EST and 8pm EST when the series begins its exclusive Monday-Friday run on the network.


INSP is available in more than 60 million homes across the US on more than 2,800 cable systems and on DIRECTV channel 364 and DISH Network channel 259. Viewers can check their local program guides for channel line-up information or visit /the-waltons.


Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
Heather

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Getting the house ready for winter and PUMPKIN PIE bars

Fall is here. Whether I want it to be or not. Denial only lasts so long. I am a SUMMER gal and try very hard to enjoy fall and winter. Actually fall isn't so bad in and of itself... it is beautiful. However, it is just knowing that winter is around the corner that gets to me. Really, I am TRYING to enjoy winters and last winter was my best one yet... attitude does go a long way (and also taking vitamin D helps a ton). OK, enough of my whining! :)

Winter preparation was what my handsome husband and I did yesterday afternoon. Took out the window air conditioners, cleaned out the wood stove and chimney, made sure all the hoses were put up, lit the wall furnace unit, changed the furnace filters and ran the big beast (ancient) furnace for a 20 minute warm up. We don't run the big furnace but a handful of times all year... the thing goes through gas like crazy. But it is comforting to know it does run.... back up is nice.

Baking is such a wonderful way to warm up the kitchen and fill the house with delicious aromas! No candle in the world will compete with the warm fragrance of freshly baked bread or yummy treat. In the fall and winter I love to bake with pumpkin. It is yummy and nutrient packed. One of our favorite pumpkin treats is Pumpkin Pie Bars. If you like pumpkin pie you are sure to love this finger licking good-hold in your hand- bar!


Pumpkin Pie Bars
Ingredients
2 eggs

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup oil

2/3 cup canned pumpkin

3/4 cup flour

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp cloves

(I'm sure you could just use 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice)


Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350
Grease a 12x8 pan OR a pie pan (I used the pie pan because I don't have a 12x8 pan)
In a mixing bowl, beat eggs.
Stir in sugar, oil and pumpkin mix well.
Stir in flour and spices.
Bake for 20-25 minutes (until set in the middle)

Cool (or eat warm like we did).
They will hold their shape very well and are easy to eat! We ate them with cool whip on top! YUMMY!!



Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
Heather

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How to get your kids to listen to you

Do you feel like no matter how loud you are your kids never hear you?? I really want my kids to listen to me!! Why don't they?? ahh... this might be why! YIKES! I have been that crazy woman in the picture a time or two.... I needed the following post!


"Matthew Henry says "What is spoken wisely should be spoken calmly, and then it will be heard in quiet and calmly considered. But passion will lessen the force even of reason, instead of adding any force to it."

Are you baffled at the fact that your children are not listening to you? Research has shown that when a parent raises their voice at a child - a defense mechanism kicks in that helps the child emotionally protect themselves by tuning out what you are actually saying." .......... To read the rest of this post hop on over to Courtney's blog, Women Living Well. EXCELLENT post (and excellent blog)

Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
Heather

Simple Family Supper

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fall Favorites: Pumpkin Cobbler

The amazing way this cobbler makes the house smell while baking is enough reason to make this one. The fragrance it creates beats any candle any day.... and BONUS you get to EAT it when it is done baking!! LOL This EASY recipe is sure to be a big hit with anyone that loves pumpkin. I made it again last night to take to our small group Bible study and there wasn't even a bite left to bring home.... gonna make another one this morning. ENJOY.

I originally posted this pumpkin cobbler recipe last year... this is a fall tradition that will be a part of our life for years to come. :) It is a EASY recipe, it just takes time to bake. It is good warm, it is good cold, it is FANTASTIC with vanilla ice cream.

Super Moist Pumpkin Cobbler
Ingredients:
6 eggs, beaten
3 cups cooked pumpkin (or use canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling)
2 1/4 cups sugar (I used 2 cups of brown sugar and it was PLENTY sweet.. could reduce)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. cloves (I did not use this much and I also added a few dashes of nutmeg)
1 spice cake mix (I used a yellow cake mix and just sprinkled on some cinnamon and cloves)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional

Directions:
Mix eggs, pumpkin, sugar, salt and spices. Pour into a greased 9x13 cake pan. Sprinkle cake mix over the top. Pour melted butter all over the cake mix. Sprinkle nuts on top. DO NOT MIX. Cover with foil and bake at 325 for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 40 minutes.

Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!Heather

Simple Family Supper

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Weekend Wanderings.... Link Love

I have been very blessed and encouraged by these following posts. ENJOY!

The Secret to Abundant Life!!! I LOVE this post.... really helps to keep our focus!

Walking along side my children..... the importance of my mothering my children! Encouraging!!

Keys to Simple Living! Oh, the truth in this post!

Musings on a Simple Life has a great post to help gain perspective.

Our personal temper tantrums tear our homes down! Such good conviction. Encouragement for me to really THINK about the impact of my words and actions!!

I'm gonna miss this all someday! The fact is that someday I will miss all these CRAZY moments of raising the children. Point: I must CHOOSE to live in and enjoy the moment!!!! LOVED this post!!

14 marks of a wise woman
. Continuing to GROW in these areas is what I want to do.

Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
Heather

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I want to be "Weird" like the Camerons!

According to the DJ on our local country music station (yes, I do enjoy my country music) yesterday was Kirk Cameron's birthday. The DJ made a point to say how "WEIRD" Kirk has gotten in the past few years.... know what?? To be a Christian and be called "weird" is a HIGH compliment that he should be proud of! The Bible says we are to be a "Peculiar People" compared the the world's standards. I hope I am "weird", too!!

Know one thing that is WEIRD about the Camerons?? Kirk and Chelsea have been married (first marriage for both of them) for 19 years!! By Hollywood standards that is eternity. Today I happened to be listening to past Focus on the Family broadcasts (listening while I clean is a great way to keep my going) and came across a recent two part series on Marriage that the Cameron's were on. If you have some laundry to fold or some dishes to wash turn this Focus on the Family Making your marriage a priority series on! ENJOY!!

Want to know more about the Cameron's?? At home with the Camerons is an interesting read from the Focus on the Family magazine.


Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
Heather

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Perfection!!!

This has to be what the weather in heaven must be like!!!!!!
Could it get any more perfect?? Not in my book!!


Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Clear
74° F | 49° F
Clear
74° F | 47° F
Clear
79° F | 49° F
Clear
79° F | 49° F
Clear
81° F | 50° F
Clear Clear Clear Clear Clear



Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
Heather

Friday, October 1, 2010

For Turbo

This is for our friend, Turbo, and for any one else that enjoys BIG bucks!!
Turbo shot this incredible footage! Very Cool!!


video

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Wes' first DEER!!

Our 13 year old son, Wesley, got his first deer this morning during this year's Indiana youth hunt weekend! His Uncle Dana was with him through the whole thing and even got it on video! YEAH!! What a fun and special day for all involved. My husband is so excited. I am getting ready to pressure can up the meat.... Yummy meals in the future. Thanks Dana for helping Wes with his monumental first deer! (Photo: Dana on left, Wesley on Right)



Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
Heather

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Urgent : prayer warriors needed!!!

Calling all prayer warriors to stand in faith with me!! My sister's husband, Reuben, was in a very bad farming accident a week ago Saturday. He has now had FOUR surgeries! Yesterday they did a very major surgery to graph tissue and skin (taken from other parts of his body) on to his left leg. Please pray and agree in faith with me that this was completely successful and his foot is saved!! Thank you, Jesus, for your healing power!!!!! With GOD ALL things are POSSIBLE!!!!

Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
Heather

Friday, September 10, 2010


Check it out!!

My **New** Simple Family Supper website is up and running!!!
Yee Haw!

Bringing back the old fashioned family supper for the busy modern family!!

I would love to hear what you think.... suggestions and comments always welcome. I want this to be the best it can be!

Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
Heather