Monday, November 22, 2010


I cannot believe that Thanksgiving is in three days!  I've been so busy that I haven't even had time to think about it.  So, when I got home from work today I sat at the computer looking for inspiration. 

I live in a small ranch style house built in the 70's.  It lacks entertaining space so I had to get creative this year. In the past I've had a maximum of 14 people in my small home, and it was TIGHT!  This year I will have 18.  I decided that I will host Thanksgiving in the garage.  Sounds classy, huh?  I have plans for decorating.  I will post them in the near future.  

Today I want to share the place cards I'm going to do.  I found this one on Martha Stewart's website.  

I have Sweet Gum trees in my front yard. Two of them, to be exact. I really dislike those trees because of the spiny balls that end up in my yard. They are painful to step on and really annoying when you try to rake them up. So when I saw this idea for place cards I thought, "Finally! Something I can do to make these things useful!" Mine will look a little different, but it's the same concept. 

Here are some other place card settings I found:

Here are some printable place settings for you:

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving with your family, sharing in fellowship, great food, and family traditions. Even in the midst of our sometimes stressful lives, there is always something to be thankful for.  So make sure you intentionally think upon all that you have in life to be thankful for.  

Thoughts to ponder: What are some of your Thanksgiving traditions?  What, in your life, is the thing you are most thankful for?    


"Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the LORD is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations." 

Psalm 100:4-6

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Baked Oatmeal

I was looking through this cookbook that I got from the library and found a recipe for Baked Oatmeal.  I wasn't sure what to expect.  I figured the worst that would happen would be that it turned out to taste just like oatmeal - warm and mushy.  So, I decided to give it a shot.  

With the help of my 7-year old, we made this recipe this morning before school.  It was really quick and simple.  I dished it out and we all agreed that it needed something more.  Because we did this before school, we didn't have a lot of time to experiment.  We threw a little butter on it and sprinkled cinnamon and sugar over the top.  That was a sufficient quick fix but, it still needs something more.  I don't want to give up on the recipe because it has potential to be a good one to add to our breakfast list.  

This is what I'd like to do: I'd like to give you the recipe and you either read through it or bake it yourself.  Then get back to me with what you think would be a good topping or adjustments to the recipe to make it better.  I'm usually pretty good at altering recipes to make it more to my liking, but my mind is drawing a blank.  

Here is the recipe. Let me know what you think.  (Eventually, when I get a camera that takes decent pictures, I'll add pictures to the recipes I share.)

Baked Oatmeal

1 Tbsp. canola oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup brown sugar 
2 eggs (or 4 egg whites)
3 cups uncooked rolled oats
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup skim milk

1. In a good-sized bowl, stir together oil, applesauce, sugar and eggs.
2. Add dry ingredients and milk to mixture.  Mix well.  
3. Spray 9x13 baking pan generously 
4. Bake uncovered at 350 for 30 minutes.  

What do you think?  Are you up for the challenge?  

Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, November 5, 2010


Did you ever have one of those days that seemed to be perfect?  There isn't anything particularly great about the day.  There's no holiday. Nothing especially exciting that you're doing.  It just starts out well and seems to be exactly what you needed?  Today is one of those days for me.  

This morning, my girls and I had a few extra minutes so we decided to play around with Photo Booth on my Mac.  Here are the results: 

Take One

Take Two

Take Three

Final Result
Sometimes I feel like such the mom, giving instruction, staying on top of things.  Every once in a while it's nice to be silly with my girls, let them see me as someone other than the warden.  

No matter what stage of life you're in, there's always a need to let loose and be silly sometimes.  What silly thing do you do to let loose?  IF you're willing to admit it.  

Happy Friday!


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Your Spirit

Photo Credit
When I was younger I heard a saying in my church.  The saying was, "garbage in, garbage out."  I thought I understood the meaning of that phrase in my 10-year old mind, but as I got older and was allowed to make more of my own choices, I really grasped the meaning of that saying.  It means that whatever you put in your body, your mind, your spirit, will eventually come out.  The Bible says, "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he."  Proverbs 23:7 (NKJV)  That means that our outward actions are prompted by our inner thoughts.  

So, how do we combat those nasty inner thoughts?  What does that look like in our daily lives?  It could be several different things.  We could monitor what we watch on tv, the music we listen to, the people we hang out with, the way we spend our time, and so on.  A great way to start though is scripture.  I talked about prayer a couple of days ago. Scripture is so important.  God has given us His word for specific reasons.  2 Timothy 3:16-17 reads, "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work."  

Other than just reading the Word, we can also memorize scripture. This doesn't have to be a big challenge for you to add to your to-do list. Here are some creative tips from Lisa Whelchel's book, "Taking Care of the Me in Mommy": 

Keep the Word in Sight
Use index cards to post scripture in places you will see it frequently: 

  • Bedside table or wall
  • Medicine cabinet or dressing mirror
  • Car visor
  • Refrigerator
  • Purse/wallet
  • Kitchen sink
  • TV screen
  • Exercise equipment
  • Bookmarks
  • Next to wall clock

Scripture Primping
Stick these verses on your mirror and read them aloud as you put your makeup on in the morning:

  • Foundation - 1 Corinthians 3:11 "For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ."
  • Eyebrows - Mark 9:47 "And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.  It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell."
  • Eye Makeup - Proverbs 16:2 "All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit."
  • Mascara - Proverbs 17:10 "A rebuke impresses a man of discernment more than a hundred lashes a fool." 
  • Blush - Luke 6:29 "To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also." 
  • Lipstick - Proverbs 12:19 "Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment."

You can also come up with more scripture to memorize while: 

  • Putting on your socks and shoes
  • Brushing your hair
  • Brushing your teeth
  • Putting on your earring

The list goes on.  You could probably find scripture for just about anything!   

To dig into the meaning of scripture or for other Bible helps, check out Biblegateway or Crosswalk.  These sites are helpful for digging deeper.

What tools do you use to help you memorize scripture?    

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, November 1, 2010

Creative Prayer

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Growing up I always thought that I had to pray right before bed.  I don't know why I thought this but, I remember feeling guilty all the time because I'd fall asleep without praying.  As I matured in my relationship with the Lord, I realized I didn't have to pray right before bed.  I can pray anytime!  And trust me, I do.  I pray all day long.  

Prayer doesn't have to be some ritualistic task that has to take place in a certain posture or location.  You don't have to know all the right words or terminology.  It's simply talking to God like you would talk to a friend.  He wants to hear our fears, our joys, our frustrations - anytime, anyplace.  For me, praying is like breathing.  It's an ongoing conversation between me and God.  I do have times where I sit and have more concentrated prayer, but often times it's all day long.  It's equally important to listen during prayer as it is to make your requests known to God.  He has things to say to us as well.  We miss out on a huge part of a healthy prayer life if we leave out the listening part.      

Let's face it, life is BUSY.  Sometimes it's hard to find time to sit and pray (and listen).  Not only do we want to have quiet time for ourselves, but we also want to lift our family up in prayer.  Like I said above, prayer doesn't have to be ritualistic.  You can find creative ways to pray throughout the day.  My husband likes to pray during his drive to work. I have a friend who likes to pray in the shower.  I have other friends who like to go on prayer walks.  It's up to you to figure out how to incorporate prayer into your day. 

A few years ago, I read a book by Lisa Whelchel titled, "Taking Care of the Me in Mommy."  At the end of chapter two she has a "Rest Stop" that is a list of ways to pray during your everyday tasks.  I want to share this with you in the hope that it will spark some creativity in you.  You can use her ideas or come up with some of your own.  Enjoy!

Laundry Prayers
  • While sorting - ask the Lord to sort out your life, showing you areas that need to be reprioritized, changed, or thrown away. 
  • During spot removing - pray to be cleansed from distinct stains and sins in your life. 
  • While adding bleach - ask God to remove residues from things you encounter because you live in a fallen world. 
  • When pouring in the softener - ask the Lord to soften your heart and give you a teachable spirit. 
  • When loading washer - pray for people who need to be washed "white as snow" (Isaiah 1:18)
Folding Laundry Prayers
Pray for the person whose clothes you are folding.  Here are a few examples to get you started:

  • Husband's undershirts - pray for integrity.
  • Your nightgowns - pray for unity in marriage.
  • Son's pants - pray for physical protection in all his roughhousing and tumbles.
  • Daughter's shirts - pray for modesty.
  • Socks - pray for God to be Lord of their lives from the top of their head to the soles of their feet.
  • Underwear and Briefs - pray for purity, protection, and future reproductive health. 

Prayers for Specific Areas of the House
As you clean, pray over specific rooms and related activities in those rooms:

  • Family Room - pray for harmony between children, purity in TV watching.
  • Kitchen - pray for God to provide daily bread, healthy eating habits. 
  • Dining Room - pray for great communication among family members. 
  • Kids' Bedrooms - pray for peaceful sleep, time to relax, good study habits. 
  • Master Bedroom - pray for sweet sleep, for a healthy sexual relationship with your husband, for time to spend relaxing with each other. 

Housecleaning Prayers
Pray about issues that correspond with your activity: 

  • Vacuuming - ask the Lord to shine light on hidden areas to remove things you haven't even realized had become embedded in your life. 
  • Deep-cleaning bathroom - ask the Lord to remove a problem area in your life or a family member's life.
  • Furniture polishing - ask the Lord to polish and refine areas in your life. 
  • Picking up toddler toys - pray for patience to teach your children.
  • Preparing meals - pray for your hands to be God's hands in your children's lives; pray for provision. 

A Week Without Prayer Makes One Weak:
When you feel overwhelmed with prayer requests or concerns, perhaps you will find it helpful to categorize your prayer lists and divide them by the days of the week.  For example: 

  • Monday you could pray for the sick. 
  • Tuesday could be the day you pray for the widows and the needy.
  • Wednesday is a good day to pray for your church and church leadership. 
  • Thursdays you could focus on America and social issues. 
  • Friday could be devoted to those in need of salvation - both known and unknown. 
  • Saturdays would be for extended family and close friends. 
  • Sunday would be designated for all the other prayer requests you've received that week. 

I hope this has been encouraging to you.  What creative ways do you incorporate prayer into your day?  

Thanks for stopping by,


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