Monday, October 29, 2012

Old Houses and Housewives

Just sitting a bit and taking a break... I've been getting out the cold weather clothes and hanging them up.  I put them down for their summer nap nice and clean; so, all I have to do is shake them and hang them up.  They'll wait patiently for the iron. ~smile~

I pulled up Pinterest and found this beautiful photo of The Old Cotter House photographed by my friend Sue at Country Pleasures.  You really must click through and see what she's written.

Old houses conjure up images of housewives of old cooking, cleaning, planting flowers, hanging out clothes, knitting and sewing.  Some of the same things we do today, but perhaps with a bit more satisfaction than we feel with the same duties.  I think we're so wrapped up in what's out there that sometimes we don't feel content right here where we are.  May God help us all to be more content to, as Teddy Roosevelt said, "Do what you can with what you've got where you are."

Who'd better get back to work
May I suggest?

Shared with:
Sunday Night
 Amaze Me Monday - Mix it Up Monday - Mom's the Word -  Motivation Mondays 
Wow Us Wednesday - Wonderful Wednesdays - - Fluster's Creative Muster Making a Home 
What Joy is Mine Monday Musings
Raising Homemakers
The Charm of Home
Farm Girl Friday
Old Fashioned Friday

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Pleasant Day of Puttering, Baking, Shopping, and Planning

The Hens by Robert Duncan

It's been a pleasant day puttering in the kitchen, thrift shopping, and grocery shopping.
This morning, I did some cleaning in the kitchen, then I made a batch of homemade wheat/white bread.  Four loaves and a whole bunch of rolls.  I served the rolls with homemade macaroni and cheese for lunch.  I'm still trying to perfect macaroni and cheese.  It tasted a bit gritty.  I am not sure what's causing that.  I guess maybe I need to read some recipes. 

This afternoon, we went thrift shopping.  I found a couple of pairs of jeans for my son, Michael.  Then, it was off to Aldi for groceries and then to Braums for milk and sour cream.  It was hard to do, but I kept to my budget of $100.00.  I'll have to use some things that I already have in my pantry to make the food stretch for the week. 

Here are some of the things I plan to make this week:

Saturday ~ clam chowder, homemade bread
Sunday ~ roast, potatoes, carrots, onions, gravy
Monday ~ ham and beans and cornbread
Tuesday ~ fried chicken thighs, potatoes and gravy, corn
Wednesday ~ We eat at church on Wednesday nights.
Thursday ~ homemade pepperoni pizza
Friday ~ date night with hubby, kids- ramen noodles

Desserts I plan to make this week:
raisin bread pudding
pumpkin dump cake

May I suggest? 

Shared with:
Raising Homemakers
Backyard Farming Connection

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pumpkins...To Carve or Not to Carve That is the Question.

Our family enjoys carving pumpkins. My husband explains why here.
Have a great week!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Another Option... Mark Lowry for President

Mark Lowry, he's always good for a laugh.

Seriously, it is our duty to vote responsibly. 
Lowry's platform is appealing in some ways though.


Thankful for our Duty to Vote

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Christmas Tradition in the Making: The Sparkle Box

We have a tradition in our family.  Each year I search for a new Christmas book for our family.  I anticipate the children's enjoyment each year as Poppa opens the new book and reads it aloud to us.  Even though my children are growing older, they still enjoy a good picture book.  In anticipation of Christmas, we seek as many ways as possible to keep our focus on Christ.  Reading good Christmas stories as well as The Christmas Story helps to keep our thoughts and minds on Christ Jesus.
I took a little time this afternoon and secluded myself in the bedroom.  It's that time of year.  Momma's making Christmas, so the kids know better than come in. ~smile~  I settled in and read this new book, The Sparkle Box, written by Jill Hardie and illustrated by Christine Kornacki.  What a delightful book.
Mother and child are snuggled together reading a Christmas book when the child sees a silver sparkly box on the mantle.  Mother tells him that it's a special gift, but they have to fill it up first.  The child gazes in wonder at the box.  The days pass and the family shows the love of Christ to those in need.  Finally, Christmas comes.  Time to open the Sparkle Box.  I'm not going to tell you just what's in the box, but it points our attention to exactly where it should be- Jesus Christ.
This book is going to be a wonderful surprise for my family this Christmas, and it just may be a new Christmas tradition in the making.  I highly recommend that you build your own library of Christmas favorites.  The Sparkle Box would be a good addition to that library. 
Take a look for yourself!
Author Bio
Author Jill Hardie and her family began placing a gift for Jesus under their Christmas tree as a way of bringing more meaning to the holiday. The first time they opened His gift, the commercialism of the season melted away and they felt a profound joy and peace. Jill hopes that The Sparkle Box will spark a new Christmas tradition, bringing light into thousands of lives.
Illustrator Bio
At a very early age, Christine Kornacki developed a love for painting and bringing stories to life. After receiving a BFA in illustration from the University of Hartford, her dreams of illustrating children's books began to take shape. She spends her days painting in her studio, which adjoins a charming cafe in New Haven, Connecticut.
Blessings from Harvest Lane Cottage,
Planning early to build a Christ Centered Christmas

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
May I suggest?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Review: Practicing the Presence of Jesus

It began with a single statement. 

"The guy talking to Ben Crenshaw?  Oh, that's Jesus." 

Wouldn't that get your attention?  Well, it got Mr. Armstrong's attention.  Actually, he was speaking of the actor who played Jesus in The Passion of Christ movie a few years ago.  It made Mr. Armstrong think, though.  It was one of the things that lead him to do an experiment.  He set a chair across the room from him and began to imagine Jesus sitting in it.  He imagined Jesus wearing present day clothes and speaking in present day language.  Just like an ordinary guy- only not.  He imagined talking with him like a friend.  In the process of this experiment that became a habit, he drew closer to Jesus.  The whole point of the book is that thinking of Jesus as actually present, as a friend, can make your relationship with Him so much more real to you... so much more applicable.

I found this book to be very interesting.  I'd never really thought of imagining Jesus with me in that way.  At times, I've felt very aware of the presence of  Jesus.  Other times, I don't really think about Him.  Reading this book made me think about it.  He is with me always, because I'm a born again believer.  I'm just not always paying attention to His presence.   Mr. Armstrong wrote a nice, easy-to-read book that directs my attention to where it should be- on my best friend Jesus.  This was a short book.  Small in stature, but worthy of the time I spent reading it.  

Here's what the publisher has to say:

"Experience the Gift of His Friendship.  Do you want to experience Jesus as real? When we look at Jesus' life on earth, we see Him calling people to simply know Him. He made no demand on them to believe theological propositions. 'Follow me' was the invitation which they accepted. They got to know and communicate with the real person. There is a big difference between believing something is true and experiencing it as real. This is the story of how Wally Armstrong learned to communicate with the real person of Jesus in his everyday life. Armstrong experiences Jesus up close and personal and introduces readers to the same experience. In a conversational manner, he explores what it is like to have a relationship with Jesus as if He is sitting right there next to us. He keeps an empty chair ready and imagines Jesus sitting beside him as they talk."
Link to buy the book: 
Links to other reviews at the landing page:
Christian Living 

ISBN 978-1-60936-702-2

I received this book from LitFuse in exchange for an honest review.

Linked with:

Monday, October 8, 2012

Christmas in Connecticut and Carthage!

Thursday evening I was home alone.  That almost never happens with four kids and a husband.  I turned on the old classic "Christmas in Connecticut".  I've watched it so many times, I can just listen and it plays in my mind. ~smile~  I made a batch of sugar cookies, wrote a review, and just enjoyed myself. 
I've been listening to Christmas music since July!  I love the peacefulness and how it points my attention to my Jesus.  For me, Christmas is not about Jesus as a baby, though I know we spend nearly a month reading The Advent Book each evening.

It's a beautifully illustrated book of scriptures that tell the story of Jesus' birth.  I bought it many years ago when my family had to live in a hotel for 6 weeks during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.  We created a new tradition.  Each night, from December 1st until the 25th, we read the book as a family.  On the first we read the book up through the first door, the thirteenth we read up through the thirteenth door and so on.  The story is reinforced in the children's minds and in ours as we spend a few minutes reading each night.  It's our most valued Christmas possession.

All this to say, though I thoroughly enjoy Autumn, it is well past time to be thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas menus, and planning gifts.  Have you been thinking about it yet?  Perhaps that should be on our to-do lists this week.  The more we think and plan and do ahead, the more we can enjoy the holiday season ourselves.

Blessings to you from Harvest Lane Cottage!

May I suggest?

Wrapping Up Christmas Peaches and Salt 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

An Autumn Mix: Warming Up with Soups and Stews... A List of Favorites

It's 3:45 a.m. as I write this.  I spent the entire day yesterday at Farm Girl Fest in Carthage, Missouri.  It was chilly; we didn't get out of the forties.  We ate chinese on the way home then relaxed in the living room on our comfortable new-to-us sofa and loveseat.  After just sitting for awhile talking with darkness falling upon us, the family put on a movie, Me Again, that I'd seen recently.  It was a good movie; but I soon was nodding off.

I crawled into bed early.  I didn't even check the time.  Now here I am. 
But too tired to really do anything.
Can you relate?

I found this picture in my computer file.  I have no idea where it came from or why I have it.  But it spoke of comfort to me.  If you click on it, it should get big enough to read the recipe.  I've not tried it; but, it does sound good.  I definitely need to stock my pantry with things that will help me take the chill off during these cozy autumn nights.  I thought this might be a nice time to give you a few links to some of my cool weather soup and stew favorites.  Most of these I've made up myself.  I love to just put in a bit of this and a bit of that, working with whatever I have in the kitchen.  That's what makes soup thrifty and frugal.  ~smile~

Crock Pot Mistake
Ham and Beans
Potato Soup
Real Cream of Broccoli Soup
Rosemary Chicken Soup
Skillet Beef Stew
Spicy Bean Soup
Spicy Can Opener Soup

Tonight I'll be making the Spicy Bean Soup.  It's a great budget stretcher because there's no meat.  I'll let it simmer in my Crock Pot all day.  It should help warm us up after another day at Farm Girl Fest.  If you're local to Carthage, won't you join us at Farm Girl Fest?  It's at Red Oak just East of Carthage.  There's even a little white church that will be packed to the brim this morning with worshipers if you'd like to join in.  I'll most likely be relaxing across from the church near the pumpkin patch with my friend Joyce.  She's selling some wonderful things that she's repurposed this year.  I'm not selling anything.  Just enjoying this time.  Hubby is thrilled to be driving the tractor pulling the hay wagon.  He does miss his old Ford tractor. Ah well....

Harvest blessings to you all!  Enjoy the wonderful festivals that October brings.


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