Saturday, January 14, 2017

Blast From The Past - The First Issue of HEARTH AND HOME - Published January 18, 2002

I was looking through some of the posts on my original HEARTH AND HOME, which was started back in 2002 on Yahoo Groups, and ran across the very first issue of HEARTH AND HOME that I did. It was published on Yahoo Groups - Rebecca's Hearth and Home - January 18, 2002. Thought some of you might enjoy reading it! <3

Greetings Dear Sisters!
Welcome to the first issue of Hearth and Home...dedicated to making your home a house of many blessings!
"She looketh well to the ways of her household and eateth not the bread of idleness." (Proverbs 31:27)
Household Hints:
Shine everything from mirrors to countertops to faucets to porcelain with a quick spray of 409 All-Purpose Cleaner and a soft rag.
Use the plastic bags that your groceries and Wal-mart items are packed up in as trash can liners for small wastepaper baskets. I nestle three at a time inside of each other, then when it comes time to remove the bathroom trash...I just lift up the handles of the innermost bag...tie them shut...and toss away! I only have to line the wastepaper baskets twice a week this way, too! It also saves on the cost of trash bags!
Dollars & Sense:
After Tithe....Pay Yourself First
After tithe make savings a top-priority "expense." Pay yourself first through direct desposit, payroll deduction, or setting up a separate savings account that you put money in each pay day. Make sure you pay yourself a regular amount at regular intervals.
Finding Cash
Here are some suggestions for finding a little extra money in your pocket:
1. Pack lunches at home for work, school, and special outings. Bringing food from home can
    add up to big savings over the course of a
2. Cut financial fees.  Close out credit cards you
    seldom or never use and switch debts to lower
    interest rate credit cards.
3. Look for unnecessary expenses. Eliminate
    subscriptions to magazines unread and health
    clubs unattended. The library may have the
    magazines that you read and you can look at
    them there.
4. Reduce variable expenses. You can probably
    cut the cost of food, clothing, and entertain-
    ment by 10% without much effort and little 
    effect to your lifestyle. For example, buy
    clothes on sale or even at such places as the
    local Salvation Army or Goodwill Thrift Store.
    Buy  nonperishable items, such as toilet paper
    in large quantities. It usually costs less and it
    will keep.
5. Consider refinancing  your mortgage. With
    interest rates down now might be a good time
    to do this. Just make sure you plan  on stay-
    ing in your present home long enough to
    recover refinancing costs.
Many Utility Companies Offer Different Rates. If you haven't asked, you may not be receiving the least expensive rate. Call and talk with one of your utility company representatives about getting the lowest possible rate. Most of these folks are friendly and glad to help. They only need to be asked. This strategy alone can save you $20 to $80 per month.
Spending time in the Word with your family is important. Deuteronomy 11:19 instructs us to teach the words of God to our children "...speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."
What are some ways that you incorporate the teaching of God's Word throughout the day in your home?
(If you don't mind me sharing your response in a future issue of this e-zine, please send your reply to this question to me at:        
Please put Hearth and Home Question on the subject line. Thank you!)
Chicken and Broccoli Ring
2 cans crescent rolls
1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 to 1 cup broccoli, chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups shredded Monterey cheese
1 can of chicken or 1 to 2 cups cooked chicken,

Leaving a 3-inch circle in the center, form a sun with crescent rolls on a pizza stone. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Place on rolls around the center. Tuck points of rolls over meat mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, or until rolls are brown.
Double  Orange Scones
2 cups flour
3 T. sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. grated orange peel
1/3 c. margerine
1/2 c. manderine oranges, drained
1/4 c. milk
1 egg

Mix all ingredients together. Flatten dough into a disk in the middle of a cookie sheet. Sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of sugar over the top and, using a floured knife, cut disk into eighths. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with Orange Butter (recipe below). Make 8 scones.


1/2 c. margerine
2 T. orange marmalade

Mix together until well blended. Serve on warm scones. 
Grease Cutter Cleanup
Use this homemade solution to cut grease buildup on stoves, backsplashes, or glossy enamel surfaces:
    1/4 cup baking soda
    1/2 cup white vinegar
    1 cup ammonia
    1 gallon hot water
Wear rubber gloves and use in a well-ventilated area.
Homemade Lye Soap
1-Measure out 13 1/2 cups or 6 1/2 pounds of lard.
2-Heat until dissolved in a granite or glass pan.
3-In a glass jar (I use the one gallon size. The kind that pickles come in.) measure out 2 1/2 pints of cold water, then pour in 12 oz. of pure lye (I use RED DEVIL). Stir until dissolved. DO NOT BREATHE FUMES!!!!
4-Let cool until you can comfortabley put your hands on the glass jar (about 85 degrees).
5-Get a flat box and line with plastic.
6-Pour lye mixture slowly into the lard while stirring constantly.
7-Stir until thick enough to pour into mold. (After I'm done...I pick the box up about a half inch off the cabinet and drop...pick it up...and drop. This brings air bubbles to the top and breaks them.)
8. Let set in a cool place until hard enough to cut into 2x2 squares. (The longer lye soap seasons...the better it is!)
Well...that's it for this time, Ladies! I'll be looking forward to getting together with you all soon! God bless you!
Until next time...

Friday, January 13, 2017

Five Minute Friday - MIDDLE

Five Minute Fridaya free write, which means, as our hostess, Kate Motaung, says, " editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write."

This week's prompt is MIDDLE.


Betwixt...between...right smack dab in the middle...that's where I feel like I've been held captive for over a decade now. Caught between what used to be...battling with what now is...attacks on every front from an unseen enemy that wants nothing less than to kill, steal, and destroy all that is near and dear to my heart at every turn.

Every time I think progress is being made, in swoops the enemy to take another blow in a show of defiance!

No more! 

No more halt betwixt two...light on the one side; darkness on the in the middle.

No more!

Moving I am...into the glorious light of God's Word and no other...pressing forward...pressing on...even if it means leaving behind loved ones who are trapped...victims in a web of their own making...victims in a web of deceit spun by them that profess light by day, but, secretly dabble in the unfruitful works of darkness by night.

No more!

"For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad" (Luke 8:17). 



Stepping Boldly Across The Line,

Friday, January 6, 2017

Five Minute Friday - CONNECT

Five Minute Fridaya free write, which means, as our hostess, Kate Motaung, says, " editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write."

This week's prompt is: CONNECT


It's been a long time since I've written anything substantial, or even faithfully, on this blog. 2016 was not the best for our family (son-in-law's brain tumor, my dad's continuing health decline and ultimate death, a move to a new home),  but it's a new year and it's time to refocus and move on. In 2017 it is my desire to become faithful in my writing again, to reconnect with old friends here at Five Minute Friday, branch out, and to make new friends along the way.

So how do I reconnect when I've been away so long? How do I plug into an audience that probably left me long ago? How and where do I begin? Do I simply start over and hope for the best?

I don't know that it's feasible, but that's my just write what's in my heart and focus on being faithful. If I can just be consistent in writing anything on a regular basis...that in and of itself will be a big step for me at this point. The connecting and reconnecting with come in time.

"He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much" (Luke 16:10). 


All My Love,

Friday, September 2, 2016

Five Minute Friday - PATH

Five Minute Friday - a free write, which means, as our hostess, Kate Motaung, says, " editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write."

Wow! A Five Minute Friday post and it's still FRIDAY!!! I can't believe it! Here goes...

This week's prompt is PATH.

Photo Credit


When I first saw this week's prompt my brain immediately went blank. Absolutely nothing came to mind. 

Within minutes I saw a post on Facebook commemorating J.R.R. Tolkien (he passed away on this date...September 2, 1973). Included in the post was a quote from The Lord of the Rings. In it Pippin was talking to Gandalf. 

Pippin says, "I didn't think it would end this way."

Gandalf returns with, "End? No, the journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take."

There was more to the quote than that, but the word 'path' had caught my attention. After that I went to work and forgot all about it. 

This evening I sat down to do a little Bible reading and in the midst of my 'wisdom search' (the daily reading of a chapter of Proverbs that corresponds with the day of the month on the calendar), there it is again! The word 'path' (and its plural form) appearing multiple times in Proverbs 2. 

From Gandalf's statement above, "...death is just another path..." we can conclude that there is more than one path that a person can question is...does one have a choice of which path to travel? And, if so, does the path that one chooses in life have any bearing on which path they will ultimately travel when the moment arrives that they are catapulted into eternity?

I won't share the entirety of Proverbs Chapter 2 with you, but I do want to focus on the verses that specifically use the word 'path' or its plural. 

Verse 8 tells us that God will keep the paths of judgment and preserve the way of those who receive His words, hide His commandments, incline their ear to wisdom, and apply their heart to understanding.

Verse 9 tells us that if we do those things that, then, we will understand righteousness and judgment and walk in every good path.

In verses 10 through 13 we see that when wisdom enters into our heart and the godly knowledge is pleasant to our soul, that discretion will preserve us and understanding will keep us...that we will be delivered from the way of evil men and from people that speak froward (difficult to deal with) things...from those who leave the paths of righteousness and choose to walk in darkness.

Verse 15 tells us that their ways are crooked and their paths are froward (difficult). 

Is there more than one path in life? You bet there is! And I'm not talking about about some New Age idea of 'many paths that lead to God!' I'm talking about there are two paths in life...the path that leads to an eternity with God (salvation in Christ Jesus...He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life) and the path that leads to eternal separation from God (the way of the world and Satan). 

The path that a person chooses in life most assuredly sets the course for the path that continues after death. Have you thought about which path you are on today? If you died tonight, which path would you find yourself on the other side of eternity?

If you're reading this and find that you're not on the path that you'd like to be on...if you're not traveling the path that leads to eternal life in Christ Jesus, but would like to be, it's not too late!

If you'd like to make a decision to follow Christ, but don't know how, or would simply like someone to pray with you, feel free to contact me. I am here. 


All My Love,

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Five Minute Friday - LOYAL

Five Minute Friday - a free write, which means, as our hostess, Kate Motaung, says, " editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write." week I didn't post my FMF post until Monday. Now here it is this week and it's Tuesday! Late almost Wednesday...late night Tuesday! But...I'm determined to get back to it late Tuesday night...almost Wednesday...Five Minute Friday post...

This week's prompt is LOYAL.


Being loyal...there doesn't seem to be too much of that around these days. 

When my husband's grandfather brought the family to this country from Sicily, and, then later, extended family and a few close friends, they had to be loyal to one another because each other was all they had. 

Look at the American Revolution. It was Benjamin Franklin, in the Continental Congress just before signing the Declaration of Independence, that said, "We must, indeed, hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately." Their very lives depended on them sticking together and being loyal to one another and to their cause if any of them were to survive...and look what that loyalty resulted in. 

I believe that, as Americans, many of us have forgotten who we are and where we came from...or else we never knew to begin with because no one ever took the time to tell one passed the history down...and, now, as a result, many simply don't care. They don't know what loyalty is because they've never known it...never saw it in action...and it's sad. Families suffer greatly because of disloyalty and some don't know that it even exists.

When I think of loyalty in scripture I immediately think of two stories...the fierce loyalty that Ruth had to her mother-in-law, Naomi...

"And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God" (Ruth 1:16).

and the kindness that King David bestowed upon Mephibosheth because of the deep friendship that he had had shared with Mephibosheth's father...

"But the kind spared Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, because of the LORD'S oath that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul" (2 Samuel 21:7)

It seems that having to stick together during tough times is what creates loyalty. 

How loyal are you to the relationships that God has blessed your life with? It's something to think about. 


All My Love,

Monday, August 22, 2016

Five Minute Friday - TEAM

Five Minute Friday - a free write, which means, as our hostess, Kate Motaung, says, " editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write."

This week's prompt is TEAM.


I don't feel like much a team player anymore. It's been months since I've posted anything on my blog...not even a Five Minute Friday post.

With life's twists and turns, writing has become increasingly difficult. Work, home, days all blend together to the point that sometimes I can't tell where one ends and another begins.

My dad passed away in May. His health had been declining for years, but the past two years have been especially difficult. For the past decade he had been treated for COPD; five days before he passed away the lung specialist at the hospital correctly diagnosed him with silicosis...a lung disease caused from breathing silica sand at the stove foundry he worked at in his younger days. 

Dad came home on Hospice Saturday, May 7th in the evening; he passed away about 2:30 the next afternoon...Sunday, May 8th...Mother's Day. His parting was peaceful and it was a good day. His family was there and he was no longer longer struggling to breath. I've had my ups and downs since. I'm thankful that he's no longer suffering, but oh how I miss him! 

Since my dad's been gone, things have gotten harder. Sometimes I feel that I've gotten harder. Like I said, not much of a team player anymore...on any front. 

Right now we're working on my dad's house. It was his desire that, after he was gone, that we move in there and that's what we're working toward. I'm hoping that once we're settled, that I will settle...settle myself down...settle into a new routine...settle down to writing...become a team player again...on all fronts. 


All My Love,

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Five Minute Friday - Focus

It's time for another Five Minute Friday - a free write, which means, as our hostess, Kate Motaung, says, " editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write."


Sometimes it's hard to maintain my focus. There are so many things I want to many things that I need to do...but there never seems to be enough time...and, if there's time, there's no energy. Just like these Five Minute Fridays...I am weeks behind! In fact, this one that was assigned back on Friday, February 4th! Am I the only one who lives like this?

When my focus is where it should be...on God's Word, my husband and famiy, my home, my ministry...things naturally seem to go better and fall into place, but if I don't deliberately and purposefully focus on those things first, before long all kinds of little things sneak in...situations arise and lower priorities pull at me from every direction...and, before long, I become completely and utterly side-tracked once again.

Focusing on what matters takes time, determindation, prioritization, and single-mindedness. I am determined to make a plan and do better in the days ahead.


Have a blessed and beautiful day!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Valentine’s Hearts

Cookie Dough Truffles

I made these irrisistably delightful and scrumpciously delicious treats for the grandlittles for Valentine's Day this year. I'm pretty sure they will turn out to be a big hit! <3

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Valentine’s Hearts

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter-softened
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ⅛ cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 7 oz. sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chip morsels
  • 10 oz semi sweet baking chocolate for dipping
  • 1.5 oz white chocolate for garnish
  • A few drops of pink or red food colors
  1. Beat softened butter and brown sugar until fully combined, then add vanilla and peanut butter and beat until fluffy.
  2. Add flour and sweetened condensed milk and beat until combined.
  3. Fold in the mini chocolate chip morsels.
  4. Press the mixture into an 8 x 8 inch baking dish lined with parchment paper and set in the fridge to chill.
  5. Pull off the parchment paper to lift the dough from the baking dish. Using heart shaped cookie cutter cut off the truffles and place them on a tray lined with parchment paper. Set in the freezer while melting chocolate.
  6. Using a fork dip the truffles into melted chocolate ( one at the time), slightly tap the fork against the side of the bowl to trim the excess chocolate and place the truffle back on the parchment paper. Set them back in the fridge until chocolate is firm.
  7. Melt white chocolate, stir in a few drops of red food color, transfer into a small bag, cut the corner off and pipe melted chocolate on top of the truffles.

Original recipe found at OMG Chocolate Desserts.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Five Minute Friday - Quiet

It's time for another Five Minute Friday - a free write, which means, as our hostess, Kate Motaung, says, " editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write."

This week's prompt is QUIET.


January certainly did not start off as planned (you can read more about how the month started off here if you wish) and, as a result, the entire month has been a whirlwind of activity as we have divided our time between caring for my dad (daily care, meals, doctor appointments, etc.) and spending as much time as possible with our daughter and son-in-law in Kansas City (most visits have been made to the hospital, but our last visit, which was just this week, was the first since Phillip's release). In addition to that I have tried to keep up with my part-time job at Prairie State Park and home life as well. Needless to say, there have been many stressful days and not a lot of down time.

Thursday evening turned out to be unusally quiet so I spent the evening deliberately quieting my heart, praying, and thinking through the many notes I've made over the past few weeks concerning the areas that I need to focus on in the coming days, weeks, and months. I am thankful for the quiet as I plan and prepare my Plan A, yet, I stand ready, willing, and able to yield myself wholly to whatever Plan B the Lord sees fit to bring, or allow into, my life.


Have a blessed weekend!

All My Love,

Five Minute Friday - 4