Friday, July 31, 2009

Are You Content?

Better yet...have you LEARNED to be content?

In Philippians 4:11, Paul tells us, "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."

We live in a very tiny house and on a very meager income, but for the first six years that we lived in Liberal (we've lived here for over 13 years now), our family of 8 lived in an old ramshackle, 4-room, 640 sq. ft. house out in the country that was, literally, falling in. In fact, it was slated to be bulldozed when we moved into it, and it WAS bulldozed after we left to make room for a brand new rental home! We took the house as "temporary" housing until we could find "something better."

There was a huge hole in the kitchen ceiling, the kitchen floor had dropped four inches below the cabinets (you could see underneath the house when you were standing in the kitchen), all the walls were termite-ridden (you could, literally, poke your finger through them) and, every spring, the termites swarmed...INSIDE the house, the walls were cracked where they joined together and you could see daylight through them, there were holes in the floor under the kitchen sink and bathtub (every kind of animal imaginable visited us...opossums, raccoons, skunks, snakes...you name it...it was like having our own "Wild Kingdom" zoo...INSIDE THE HOUSE), and there was no heat (we put in a wood stove and filled every crack with whatever we could...old rags, newspaper, etc...we plasticed EVERYTHING...and, still, we about froze to death out there). Today I often wonder...how in the world did we ever make it??? It was awful! And I was so depressed! But there was nothing! NOTHING else became available to us! (And many of you here probably remember when we lived back in that house, and the miraculous story of how God moved us out of there! PRAISE HIS HOLY NAME! I STILL thank Him almost daily for our dear, little house here! Praise His holy name! Thank you, Father God! Thank you! We made the final payment on it within four years of moving in!!!!!!!!!!) The point is...the Lord kept us there, in that ramshackle, old house for six, loooooonnnnngggg years...until we truly...in our hearts...LEARNED to be content.

And, let me tell you, it took awhile! We had come from the Kansas City suburbs. My husband worked for the City of Blue Springs. We lived in a nine-room (5 bedroom) house...had central air, central heat, a dishwasher, garbage disposal...everything! We left it all to come here and start this ministry.

Let me ask you...are you content with the things that the Lord has given to you today? Or are you among the modern set...always wanting what you can't have...always wanting more, more, more...trying to keep up with everyone around you...no matter what it costs? You don't have to answer these questions out loud, but be honest. The Lord already knows your heart.

Crepe Myrtle In Our Backyard


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Granddaughter Audrey On Her Brand New Bike

I can't believe how big the grandchildren are getting. They're all growing up way too fast.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

FRIED APPLES - CIVIL WAR SUPPER - PART 4



Tart apples cooked with butter and sugar make a wonderful side dish or dessert.

5 tart cooking apples such as Granny Smith, MacIntosh, or Golden Delicious

4 Tbsp. or more butter

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Wash, core, and slice the apples into 12-16 narrow wedges. Do not peel. Melt the butter in a skillet or cast-iron pan and add the apples. Cover the skillet and cook the apples 5 minutes over medium-low heat. Stirring continuously, add the brown sugar and the nutmeg. Stir well. Continue cooking the apples, covered, for 10-12 minute or until the apples are tender, checking every few minutes. Add additional butter or water if needed to prevent the apples from sticking.

http://www.urbanhomemaker.com/

JOHNNYCAKE - CIVIL WAR SUPPER - PART 3


Johnnycakes were popular particularly in the Northeast, but eaten acrosse the United States since the 1600's. The recipe is very simple and fun to make.

1 cup water
1 1/2 cups ground yellow cornmeal
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup buttermilk (we used regular milk)
2 Tbsp. butter
syrup, molasses or preserves for topping


Bring one cup water to boil in a medium saucepan. Combine the cornmeal, salt, boiled water, and milk in a medium bowl. Stir well. Melt the butter in a skillet or a cast-iron griddle over medium heat. Pour one tablespoon of batter into the skillet, pancake-style to cook. Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side until edges are lacy and lightly browned, using a spatula to turn. Serve hot with molasses, maple syrup, and butter.


www. urbanhomemaker.com

NAVY BEAN SOUP - CIVIL WAR SUPPER - PART 2

Soak the beans overnight or for at least 8-12 hours before beginning the recipe. Cook in cast-iron for better flavor and an authentic re-enactment.

1 cup (8 oz.) dried navy beans
5 cups water
1/2 pound salt pork or slab bacon (we used turkey bacon)
2 large carrots or 1 cup chopped
1 large onion or 3/4 cup chopped
1 large potato, unpeeled, but cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper





1. Wash the beans in a colander and pick out and discard any discolored ones or piece of dirt.

2. Place the beans in a large stock pot or Dutch oven. Cover with water at least two inches above the beans and allow to soak overnight. Drain the beans. Add 5 cups water, salt pork, carrots, and onions to the beans. Stir the mixture.

3. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat and let simmer for at least 45 minutes or until the beans are tender. Add the chopped potatoes, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook about 15 more minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender.





http://www.urbanhomemaker.com/

CIVIL WAR SUPPER (PART 1)


My 13-year-old son, Tony, and I are in the midst of a year long Civil War unit study. This afternoon we read an article out of the Winter 2005 issue of THE OLD SCHOOLHOUSE magazine called "Food on the Fields of the Civil War" by Marilyn Moll; for supper we are preparing three of the eight recipes included. The posting of each recipe will follow shortly.



Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

E-Book - Beautiful Tea Time Ensemble


Make tea time special with this beautiful ensemble which includes detailed directions for a linen table topper, embroidered tea cozy and matching napkins. Available through The Oldschool House's Schoolhouse Store. For those of you who are homeschooling young ladies, this would make a great addition to this year's home ec course. For more information, click here:

Friday, July 17, 2009

I Am The Vine, Ye Are The Branches...


"I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5)


That is the verse that ran through my head while checking these grapes that are growing on our grape vines.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Jasmine Rice


We were given several pounds of jasmine rice today, and I've never had any experience cooking with it (we normally only use brown rice). Does anyone have any advice or good recipes to share that uses it? If so, please, mail them to me at: proverbs31heart@yahoo.com . To make them easy to spot, please put JASMINE RICE on the subject line. Thanks so much!

Tea Basket


Our community is having a benefit dinner and auction for our grandson Saturday, and here's a picture of the tea basket that our church put together for auction. Wish I had taken a better picture of the beautiful teapot that my friend and I found for it yesterday. It's right in the middle on top there, but you really can't tell much about it. It is very beautiful!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Question About Princess Castle Cake




Someone wrote in wanting to know where my daughter got the idea for the beautiful princess castle cake that she made for her daughter's birthday. Well, she made it using a Wilton cake kit. We were on the way home from one of her son's medical appointments last month, and had stopped at a Walmart outside of our usual shopping area. She found the cake kit located in the party isle next to the cards. There's no way for me to know what places carry it, but I did find the kit on-line. If you're interested in making your own beautiful princess castle cake, here's the link that can help you:




HEARTH AND HOME - JULY 12, 2009


Good Evening, Dear Friends,

I pray that this issue of HEARTH AND HOME finds you and yours healthy, happy, and enjoying all that summer has to offer. Here in southwest Missouri the weather has been extremely hot and humid, with temperatures climbing into the upper 90’s most days, with heat indices often reaching into the triple digits. I believe it’s one of the hottest summers that we’ve seen in quite sometime.

It’s been a while since I’ve been with you, and there’s much to share, so why don’t we just go straight to it?

1) As some of you know, the past month and a half or so has been quite traumatic for our family. On the 29th of May our 17-month-old grandson, Silas, was injured in a mowing accident. It resulted in the loss of his left leg just above the knee. The hours, days, and weeks that have followed have had their ups and downs for all of us, but, overall, God’s presence has been in full evidence…His lovingkindness ever present…His blessings many. Thank you to all of you who have come alongside our family and helped in this time of crisis. There are no words to express all the love and gratitude that we feel in our hearts for you. All I can say is…and I mean this with all my heart… may God’s richest and most abundant blessings be yours…today and always. Thank you!

For those of you who are interested in following Silas’s continuing progress, please, feel free to do so, by clicking here:

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/silaspennington

(You may have to set up a little account in order to get in, but it’s not complicated.)

Again, thank you to all who have been here (in person, via the internet, on the other end of the phone, and in every other way), and, please, continue to keep our family…especially Silas, his parents, and sister, Audrey…in your prayers. While the coming weeks, months, and years, promise much uncertainty and many unknowns, we know that with your loving thoughts, kind prayers, and sweet encouragement, coupled with the love, wisdom, counsel, and direction of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the promises found in God’s Word, all will be well. Thank you!

2) (Rebecca stops short…her mind blank) LOL! Wow! I get to #2, and I have to hesitate. All of this with Silas has overshadowed anything and everything else that has happened in our lives since the end of May, and, to be honest, I don’t know what to say. I thought I had a lot to share, but, come to think of it…I haven’t done too much at home lately. I haven’t tried any new recipes. In fact, I’ve barely cooked at all! Since things have settled down a bit, I think I had one really good week in there somewhere, then I got sick with bronchitis or something. I’m just now getting over that…so…you know what I’m going to do? I think I’m just going to put together a hodge-podge of a few things we’ve done around here over the past few months, and hope that that will suffice now, because, to be honest, it’s the best that I can do right now. Forgive me, friends!

3) Before all this with Silas…on the 8th of May…we had tornadic storms in the area, and one of the trees in our front yard blew over and landed on our roof. Fortunately, it didn’t do a whole lot of damage. There is a little bit of damage along the front edge of our roof, the front porch is damaged, and all our guttering was knocked down. We don’t have insurance, but FEMA has stepped in and will pay for repairs. For this we are very thankful!

4) On the 14th of May we made a trip to our state capitol (Jefferson City, MO) and participated in making home education history. To read what all that was about click here:

http://www.fhe-mo.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=16&Itemid=30

(The title of the article is: Details and Results of May 14, 2009 Rally and Legislative Alert on Senate Bill 291)

5) Our garden hasn’t done too well this year. It was too wet to plant early on, then we were gone a lot and the weeds took over. A friend was kind enough to come over and replow our ground for us, and, even though it’s not what we envisioned when placing our garden seed order early in the year, little by little we are getting a few things out of our garden, and several people have been kind enough to bless us with a few vegetables along the way. We’ve picked up a few nice things at the local farmer’s market, too.

6) Our 13-year-old son and I have started a yearlong study on the Civil War. We have read several good books (and have a whole big stack of them yet to read), participated in a Civil War related event (Border Disorder hosted by Prairie State Park, Mindenmines, MO - http://www.mostateparks.com/prairie.htm - every other year), and visited several Civil War museums and battle sites. We have a lot still to do! Field trips over the past couple of months or so include The Civil War Museum at Lone Jack, MO - http://www.historiclonejack.org/museum.html , The Bushwhacker Museum and Jail at Nevada, MO - http://www.bushwhacker.org/ , and Fort Scott National Historic Site at Fort Scott, KS - http://www.nps.gov/fosc/ . We very much look forward to continuing our study in the near future.

7) The 2009-2010 home education school year officially began on July 1st. We opened the day with a celebration of Canada Day. My offering to the event was a plate of maple-leaf-shaped, maple-iced sugar cookies. Here’s my favorite recipe…

BECKY'S SUGAR COOKIES

1 c. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
2 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. baking powder
5 c. flour

Cream butter and sugar together. Add milk, baking powder, salt, eggs, and vanilla. Blend well. Add flour a little at a time until all the flour is mixed in. If dough is sticky, extra flour may be added. Being extra generous with the dusting flour, roll dough out about 1/4-inch thick and cut with cutters. Bake at 375 degrees until cookies are slightly browned on the bottom and are a little spongy on top.

Ice with the following…

Maple Icing

1 c. butter
4 c. powdered sugar
2 T. milk
1 tsp. maple flavoring

Cream butter with an electric mixer. Add maple flavoring Gradually add sugar one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add coloring if desired and beat until mixed evenly. Yield: 3 cups.

8) For those of you who use a clothesline AND believe in the power of prayer…here’s an idea for you! Write the names of friends and family on wooden clothespins. It will be a reminder to pray over those individuals every time you hang your laundry out-of-doors to dry.

9) How about a cool summertime dessert? My friend, Kathy, gave this recipe to me a few years back...

KEY LIME PIE

1 small can frozen limeade (or, if you want lemon, you can use lemonade)
1 8-oz. carton Cool Whip
1 can Eagle Brand condensed milk

Beat ingredients together and whip until fluffy. Pour into a prepared graham cracker crust and freeze until ready to serve. You may refreeze leftovers.

10) Recently a friend of mine was having a problem with an invasion of fruit flies in her home. In hopes of finding some information that might be of use to her, I came across this great article from WikiHow. Perhaps someone else would find the info useful, too…
http://www.wikihow.com/Get-Rid-of-Fruit-Flies

11) A friend of mine recently shared this interesting women’s ministry idea with me. I thought I’d pass it along. Perhaps some of you ladies would be interested in doing something like this…

http://www.projectpatricia.org/


Well, dear friends, I’m sorry that this edition of HEARTH AND HOME isn’t much, but at least it’s something. Hopefully, I will be with you again real soon. Until then, take care and know that you are fondly thought of…even when I’m not in touch with you as often as I’d like to be.

God bless all here!
All My Love,
~Rebecca

P.S. – Don’t forget to check out my new HEARTH AND HOME blog on Blogspot at:

http://rebeccashearthandhome.blogspot.com/

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Orange Cannas



In an effort to increase variety in our individual flower gardens, my friend, Carla, and I agreed early this spring to share any flower seeds, bulbs, plants, etc. that might come our way. Well, someone was kind enough to split their cannas with Carla, and Carla was kind enough to split her shared gift with me. This is what resulted this morning. Isn't it beautiful?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Princess Audrey's 4th Birthday Party


This evening we attended granddaughter, Audrey's, 4th birthday party. Our daughter did a beautiful job, and everything was so nice. There were a lot of family members and friends in attendence, including friends visiting from England. It was so good to see everyone!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Drying Basil


As soon as Tony's turkey pepperoni pizza comes out of the oven, I'm going to start drying basil. To do so, I just pinch off the top of each plant, wash, remove leaves from stem, place on a cookie sheet in a single layer, and dry until crumbly to the touch in a low (warm to 175 degrees) oven.

Chocolate Banana Smoothie


For a yummy, low-cal breakfast, or a cool summertime snack treat, try running 1 cup 8th Continent Chocolate Soy Milk, 1 banana, and 4 ice cubes through the blender. Blend until ice is crushed and mixture is smooth. Pour into a tall glass and enjoy!

Sunflower By Birdbath


And he took a picture of this lovely little sunflower that is growing near the birdbath in the backyard. Sunflowers are so pretty!

Cannas Growing Along The Walkway


My husband shot these cannas that are growing and blooming along the walkway in front of our house this morning. Aren't they beautiful?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Princess Abby's 4th Birthday Party


Today was granddaughter, Abby's, 4th birthday, and what a wonderful party she had! Her mom did a great job with the cake and decoration, and everyone that attended had a great time! It was fun having all the kiddos together in one place. What a joy and a blessing each and every one of them are!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Another Cool And Easy Treat On A Hot Day


Jell-O Cake! And, oh! So easy to make! Bake a white cake according to package directions. While cake is still warm from the oven, and using the round end of a wooden spoon, poke holes, spacing them about an inch apart, all over the top of the cake. After cake is completely cool, mix one cup of hot water with whatever flavor of Jell-O brand gelatin you prefer (we like blueberry or strawberry). When gelatin is completely dissolved, add one cup cold water, and stir thoroughly. Ladle gelatin mixture over top of cake, making sure a little goes down into every hole. Top cake with one envelope of Dream Whip whipped topping mix, made according to package directions. Refrigerate cake until ready to serve.

Happy Independence Day!

Good Afternoon, Dear Friends!

I pray that your 4th of July is off to a good start, and that all is well with you and yours. Things here are well. Other than an occassion burst of firecrackers going off around the neighborhood it's been a fairly quiet morning. We've been invited to friends to celebrate the holiday this evening, so I've prepared a Jell-O cake to take along, and have baked beans baking in the oven now. They smell SO good! Well, have a happy and safe Independence Day, dear friends! I'll be with you again soon.

All My Love,
~Rebecca

A Holiday Tradition At Our Home


Red, white, and blue Jello-O! Cool...delicious...and so easy to make! Simply make up a box or two each of blueberry and cherry or strawberry flavored Jell-O, and let set for a few hours or overnight until set. Then, layer in clear cups, with a layer of Cool Whip in between. Viola!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Hooray For The Red, White, And Blue


Celebrate America's greatness by trying some of the following ideas this 4th of July:
*Have a backyard barbecue and invite over your neighbors or extended family.

*Have a blast at your picnic by putting out table crackers, whichlook like giant firecrackers, but are actually tubes filled withtreats. Save cardboard from paper towel rolls, and cover the tubeswith red tissue paper. Before sealing both ends, fill with such things as printed out patriotic sayings, small red, white, and blue toys, foil-wrapped candies, or other treats (use your imagination). Seal ends, adding a piece of gold starred and glittered wire garland on top for fuse.

*Layer pre-made blueberry Jell-O, Cool Whip Topping, and strawberry or cherry Jell-O in clear Solo cups. Top with a dollop of Cool Whip. Keep chilled until ready to serve.

*Put a patriotic spin on party games. For example, pin the name of an American icon on the back of each guest's shirt. Choose important people, places, symbols…even quotes found throughout our country'searly history. For example…Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, JohnAdams, Francis Scott Key, Paul Revere, Patrick Henry, Philadelphia,Boston, the Old North Church, Constitution Hall, the American eagle,the Liberty Bell, the Statue of Liberty, "One if by land and two if by sea!", "Give me liberty or give me death!", "Early to bed, earlyto rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.", etc. Each guest goes around and asks questions of the others, obtaining clues until they guess correctly who, or what, they are. Get creative with your selections and have fun!

*Give small children large pieces of bubble wrap to stomp on. When they stomp…it sounds like firecrackers going off. The kids love it and…just think…no mess, no smell, and no danger!

*Plant red, white, and blue flowers in your flowerbeds and windowboxes. Things like petunias, impatiens, salvia, alyssum, and ageratum work well. If you have enough space, and the ambition, plant them to resemble a flag!

*Fly your flag!

*Make Minuteman Ice Cream Sandwiches by spooning ½ cup vanilla ice cream between 2 chocolate wafer cookies. Roll edges in red, white,and blue sprinkles. Freeze until serving.

*Attend parades and local firework displays in your area.

*Make an American Berry No Bake Cheesecake. (Prep time 15 minutes plus refrigerating.)

2 packages (8 oz. Each) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
1/3-cup sugar
2 Tbsp. Lemon juice
1 tub (8 oz.) Cool Whip Whipped Topping thawed, divided
1 graham cracker piecrust
strawberry halves and blueberries

Beat cream cheese, sugar, and lemon juice in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Gently stir in 2 cups of the whipped topping. Spoon into crust. Refrigerate 3 hours or until set. Spread Cool Whip on top. Arrange berries in rows to resemble flag.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Star-Spangled Menu For The 4th of July


SOUTHERN FRIED CHICKEN

2 cups buttermilk, preferably salt free
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
10 pieces chicken with skin
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 to 1-1/4 teaspoons black pepper
vegetable oil for frying

In a shallow, non-aluminum dish, combine the first four ingredients. Add chicken and toss once to coat. Cover and chill 8 hours or overnight, turning once or twice. Place pieces on rack to drain slightly but do not pat dry. Combine flour, salt, and pepper. Toss chicken in flour mixture. Refrigerate 1 hour. Heat enough oil to reach a depth of 1/2-inch to 350° to 360° degrees. Add chicken pieces to the hot oil. Adjust temperature so oil remains between 300° and 320°. Cook, turning once with tongs, 10 to 12 minutes per side or until juices run clear when pierced in the thickest part. Transfer pieces as they are done to paper towels to drain. Serve hot or warm.

BAKED BEANS

2 cups pinto beans
8 slices bacon
1/2 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons chili powder
3/4 cup tomato catsup
2 tablespoons mustard
1 teaspoon salt
dash hot pepper sauce

Soak beans overnight. Preheat oven to 325°F. Fry bacon until crisp, crumble bacon. Drain drippings into the baking dish. Add the remaining ingredients and combine. Drain beans, add to mixture, stir to combine. Crumble the crisp bacon over top. Add water just to cover beans. Cover and bake 2 hours. Add more hot water if needed. Uncover beans during last 20 to 30 minutes.


POTATO SALAD

6 white potatoes
6-7 hard cooked eggs, chopped
mayonnaise to taste
a squirt of regular mustard
salt & pepper to taste
1 can drained pitted olives, left whole-optional

Place potatoes in a pan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are fork tender. When cool enough to handle, peel and dice. Mix with eggs, mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper. Stir in olives, if desired. Great warm or cold

OLD-FASHIONED LEMONADE

(makes about 6 cups)

1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 6 lemons)
3/4 cup granulated sugar or to taste
4 cups cold water
1 lemon, sliced
ice cubes

Combine lemon juice and sugar; stir to dissolve sugar. Add water, lemon slices, and ice cubes; stir until well blended. Serve in tall glasses over ice.


CHERRY COBBLER


1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup granulated or superfine sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 cup sweetened cherries with juice

Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 9" square baking pan. Re-sift flour, baking powder, and salt together. Cream sugar and butter until fluffy. Add dry ingredients, alternating with milk, beating each time until smooth. Pour into the baking dish. Top with cherries. Bake 45 minutes.

Margarita Pizza


Margarita pizza (named after the queen of Spain for whom it was first made) is so easy to make! Make your crust (1 c. warm water, 1 pkg yeast, 1 t. sugar, 1 t. salt, 2 T. olive oil, 2 1/2 c. flour); spread in oiled pizza pan. Top with four sliced Roma tomatoes, a handful of chopped, fresh basil leaves, and provolone cheese slices. Bake in a 450 degree oven until cheese is brown and bubbly.

Greetings! And Welcome To Rebecca's Hearth And Home Blogspot!

Welcome, Dear Friends!

I'm so glad that you've decided to join me! I'm so looking forward to sharing with you in the days ahead. I'm sure there's lots to come! Have a great day, and I'll be with you again soon!

All My Love,
~Rebecca