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

Five Minute Friday - Present

It's been a long and busy week and, all of a sudden, here it is...Thursday night and time for another Five Minute Friday prompt...and I'm still working on last week's prompt! I thought it was too late to add it to the official Five Minute Friday board, but it's goes!!!

Last week's prompt...PRESENT.


Present. "The past follows hard on the heels of the present" and "the present is a gift...that's why they call it "the present".

Cliches? Yes, but, nevertheless, true. The past does follow hard on the heels of the present and the present is, indeed, a that we should value and use wisely.

For some reason, though, I'm a very slow learner. Not in every area, of course, but in the most important areas it doing life and doing it well, making wise life choices, and moving ahead. I keep thinking that at some point I'm going to wake up and figure things out...and maybe I am...but really? At 54 I really should be further down the road than I am.

I've always prided myself on being easily pleased and content with however things fall. I mean contentment with godliness is a good thing...right? But I'm starting to realize that, far too often, I am content with things...not because I'm walking in God's plan for me, but because, out of fear of what might happen if I do, I have made foolish choices and settled for much less than God's best for me. I tend to settle for 'less than' because 'less than' is how I see myself. I'm afraid that I have tricked myself (or maybe allowed others to trick me) into believing that having a low estimation of self and settling for whatever is tossed to me is equal to Biblical humility. It is not! 

It's time to take charge of my present by dealing with my  past and, purposefully, moving past it and into all that God has created me to be and to do what He has created me to do. I need to see me as God sees me. Through prayer, perseverance, and a commitment to the His Word and His ways...I know I can overcome every obstacle!

It begins right here...right now!


Have a blessed evening!

All My Love,
Five Minute Friday - 4

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."

Monday, January 25, 2016

Celebrating Burn's Night and Scottish Recipes - Reprint from 2012

Reprint from 2012...

Our Beautiful Crockpot Haggis

As home educators our family has always enjoyed celebrations of all kinds...especially ones that celebrate our Italian and/or Scots-Irish heritage. Well, today we celebrated a new holiday for the first time. One that, in truth, we didn't even know existed until late last night!

Last night I was on Facebook and something was posted on one of the Scottish groups that I'm on about Burn's Night (an annual celebration in Scotland commemorating the life of bard, Robert Burns, who was born on January 25, 1759). After doing a little research, I decided that, while it might not be completely traditional, we were going to celebrate Burn's Night anyway!

In researching I discovered that the traditional Burn's Night supper consists of haggis, tatties, and neeps. was I going to pull that off? I mean...haggisCooked in a sheep's stomach? Uh-uh! Not happening here! I looked around and, after a while, found a recipe for haggis made in a crockpot. I tweaked it a bit and made it my own. Here is a link to the original story and recipe which I enjoyed reading very much!

(I will share the recipe I made in just a moment.)

I also made the traditional tatties (mashed potatoes) and neeps (mashed turnips), and added my own favorite version of Scottish Oatcakes (recipes included). It all made for a delicious meal! One that I will definitely make again and again! (Probably every January 25th!)

To make it even lovelier and more special we were joined for supper by our daughter-in-law and three of our grandchildren. It was fun to share a new experience with them!

We ended our celebration by listening to two of Robert Burns works...Auld Lang Syne and Address To A Haggis (which I absolutely delight in!).

Here are those recipes as promised...


1 pound lean ground turkey
1 chopped red onion
1 cup whole oats
a pinch each of nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 egg
1/2 cup chicken broth

In a large mixing bowl, mix all of the ingredients, minus the broth, the same way you'd make a meatloaf. Plop it into your crockpot that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Press meat down to form in the shape of the crockpot. Pour broth over top. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours, or on high for about 4. This is cooked fully when it has browned on the edges and is beginning to brown on top. Don't overcook and risk drying out. Using a large spatula, carefully remove from crockpot and place on cutting board (I loosened ours by running a table knife around the edges first and it came out beautifully). (Save broth to serve over top.) Let rest for 30 minutes before slicing.


1¼ lb. potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
1¼ lb. turnips, peeled, roughly chopped
A generous pinch of grated nutmeg
4 tbsp milk
4 tbsp butter
Sea salt and pepper

Tatties - Place the potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with cold water, add a pinch of salt, cover the pan with a lid. Bring the potatoes to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until tender (approx 20 mins). Drain the potatoes and keep to one side. Add half of the butter and half the milk to the pan the potatoes were cooked in. Melt the butter and warm the milk, add the cooked potatoes and mash. Add the nutmeg and stir well to create a smooth, creamy mash.  

Neeps - Place the turnips in a large saucepan, cover with cold water, add a pinch of salt, cover the pan with a lid. Bring the turnips to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until tender (approx 20 mins). Drain the turnips and keep to one side. Add half of the butter and half the milk to the pan the turnips were cooked in. Melt the butter and warm the milk, add the cooked turnips and mash.


2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c. old-fashioned oats
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 c. light butter
1/2 c. water, or more if needed
In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal. With a fork, stir in the water. Dough should just cling together. Divide into 3 portions.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out each portion as thin as possible. Cut into triangles. Place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 10-15 minutes. Oatcakes should not be brown but be still quite blonde when done.

Happy Burns Night!


Monday, January 18, 2016

Five Minute Friday: Time

This week's prompt is TIME...


Time...there never seems to be enough of it and it often eludes me. The consistancy in my postings prove it.

I's Monday. Usually, when I miss Five Minute Friday ON Friday, I just skip it in hopes of catching it next week...but, I have found over the past year and a half or so, if I skip it because I didn't catch it on Friday, I usually skip it altogether in fear of being behind. Besides...I LIKE posting and I MISS being a part of the blogging community...even if my part in the community is quite small. So...yes, it's Monday and I'm three days late in posting, but I've come to the conclusion that posting late is better than not posting at all.

Maybe I just need to take a closer look at how I spend my time and determine to make better use of the time I do have.


Have a wonderful week ahead!

All My Love,

Five Minute Friday - 4

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."

Friday, January 8, 2016

Five Minute Friday - First

This week's prompt for Five Minute Friday is 'first' and this first week of 2016 has been quite eventful to say the least!

A week ago today (Friday, January 1st) started off with our annual 'First Day Hike' at Prairie State Park. 53 people came out to go on the 2-mile, naturalist-led hike in hopes of viewing the bison a little more up-close and personal than they normally would be fortunate enough to do. I don't think they were disappointed.
Bison At Prairie State Park - Mindenmines, Missouri
I worked the 2nd of January (Saturday) and did my dad's, and a friend's, grocery shopping after church on Sunday the 3rd. When I got home from shopping I discovered that my dad wasn't doing so well. He hadn't been well for weeks, but was obviously worse than he had been. By Monday morning (the 4th of January) he decided that it was time to do something different, so we headed to the ER in Joplin. He was diagnosed with pneumonia and promtly admitted to the hospital.
This picture of my dad with three of the great-grandgirls was taken almost a decade ago, but it's still one of my favorites!
On the following morning (Tuesday, January 5th), our daughter in Kansas City called to tell us that our son-in-law, her husband, Phillip, had suffered a couple of really bad seizures back to back and she was headed home to take him to the ER in North KC.
Our son-in-law, Phillip.
 A few hours later, while we were on the way to see my dad in Joplin, Amanda called to tell us that Phillip had a brain tumor. Wow!
Our daughter, Amanda.
After breaking the news to my dad in Joplin, John and I headed to North Kansas City on the morning of the 6th (Wednesday) to be with our daughter and son-in-law for a few hours. While we were there, it was decided that Phillip would have surgery to remove the tumor the next day.

We came home Wednesday night. Went to Joplin early yesterday morning to see my dad, then turned right around and headed back to North KC, arriving mid-afternoon shortly after Phillip had been taken into surgery.

The surgery took about 4 hours and and everything went beautifully! The Lord's presence was over all and Phillip did great! He's got a long road of recovery ahead, but praise God! We are believing for a full and complete recovery and in record time!

We spend the night at the hospital with Amanda last night, then got the call this morning that Dad was being released from the hospital in Jopin this breakfast in North KC, it was back to Joplin to get my dad out of the hospital and get him home where he is so happy to be.

I don't know what tomorrow holds, but I do know Who holds it and that, whatever happens, He is already there. I do hope, though, that the rest of 2016 is a little calmer than this first week of the new year has turned out to be for our family.

Happy 2016!

All My Love,

Five Minute Friday - 4

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."