Sunday, January 29, 2012

Living On A Dime - Valentine's Day On A Dime


Valentine's Day On A Dime
by Tawra Kellam
http://www.LivingOnADime.com


Using a little imagination, you can make your Valentine's day a little more fun and a lot less expensive. If you want to add a little personalized romance or if you don't have the time or money to buy all the pre-made things in the store, here are some ideas to help you make the day special.

For The Kids:
  • My mom always made a great but inexpensive Valentine's Day treat for us. She would take construction paper and cut a big heart out of it. (About 8x10 inches). She would staple the edges together and write our names and an I love you on the outside. Then she would fill the heart with candy, purchased on clearance after Christmas. It was very inexpensive but we loved it!
  • Have a Valentine's Day treasure hunt. Leave little notes around with the last one leading back to the kitchen table with a heart full of candy.
  • Leave sticks of red gum in their Valentine's Day cards.
For The Lunches
  • Make heart shaped Valentine's cookies. Cut the kids (or hubby's) sandwiches with a heart shaped cookie cutter. Add a few Valentine's chocolates and put a note in red with a big heart on their napkin.
  • Serve anything red for the day. Serve red Jello, red pudding, red apples, toast with strawberry jelly, tomato soup, red applesauce, red Kool-aid, strawberry milk, or red frosted cookies. Use powered food coloring from the cake store to get the deepest shade of red. Serving all red things at a meal will really have wow factor even if it is something as inexpensive as red jello and tomato soup.
  • Make red heart shaped cupcakes. Make cupcakes as usual but place a marble down the side of the muffin tin between the muffin tin and each cupcake cup. This will make heart shaped cupcakes.
  • Make hearts out of chocolate chips in each of your pancakes.
Things To Do With Or For Your Honey
  • Mail your pre-addressed and stamped Valentines to Loveland, Colorado and they will postmark them and mail them for you. Send them to: Postmaster, Valentine Re-mailing, 446 E. 29th St., Loveland, CO 80538
  • Make a treasure hunt for your spouse. Start by mailing or e-mailing him the first clue. Then leave clues all over the house, yard, car or his office telling him where to find the next clue. End the hunt by making a picnic in the back yard or going to a park for a picnic. Use your imagination and have fun. The simple things are the ones people remember.
  • Go to a bookstore together and enjoy the silence and browse. Get a cup of coffee and make a date of it.
  • Celebrate Valentine's Day AFTER Valentine's day. Everything is half off.
  • Mail a love letter to your hubby's work.
  • Send your spouse a sexy email message.
  • Leave "Why I love you" message all over the house. Buy a package of the cheap Valentines. Leave a message on each one and hide them all over the house for your honey. They will get to enjoy the gift for months!
  • Use lipstick to make hearts and love notes on the rear view mirror, car windows, bathroom mirror or windows of the house. Leave a kiss on his napkin for lunch or dinner.
  • Make a bunch of hearts out of construction paper. Put a love note on each one. Paste them all over the front door or car before your hubby or kids come home from work.
  • If you don't have money to go out, have a picnic on the floor. Use some candles and lay a soft blanket on the floor. Put on some soft music and have a romantic Valentine's dinner on the floor. Use some white Christmas lights for additional romantic lighting!
Jill Cooper and Tawra Kellam are frugal living experts and the authors of the Dining On A Dime Cookbook. Dining On A Dime will help you save money on groceries and get out of debt, by cooking quick and simple homemade meals. For free tips & recipes visit http://www.LivingOnADime.com

Today's The Day!


"The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come..." (Song of Solomon 2:1)

It's an annual event at our house...waiting for the first tiny, little, purple crocus to pop its head up out of the ground in anticipation of the soon to arrive spring...and today's the day...January 29, 2012! I went out first thing this morning (which I do quite often come warmer, sunny days...be it January, February, or March when they come) and discovered these little beauties standing up tall and proud all along the south side of our property. As always, I picked one to put in water on my desk and left the others to dot the south lawn in an array of purple glory. The grandchildren delight in this annual event, as well, and, after church today, were they ever surprised to find that it had already happened! It's not quite spring, yet, but the promise of it has burst forth from the ground, and I, for one, am happy to know that it's on its way! Thank You, Lord, for your lovingkindness and unfailing promises! I love You, Lord!





Friday, January 27, 2012

Five Minute Friday - TENDER

It's FRIDAY! That means it's time for another 'Five Minute Friday' where as, our hostess, and inspiration, The Gypsy Mama, puts it, we write "For only five short, bold, beautiful minutes. Unscripted and unedited. We just write without worrying if it’s just right or not."

Want to join us? Then be sure and visit The Gypsy Mama today! 

Now...for today's assignment...
 
Go!
I don't have a lot of time today, but, when I saw today's assigned word, I didn't want to not take time to do today's Five Minute Friday assignment. 
 
When I saw the word 'tender' I immediately thought of Psalm 40, in which David declares in verses 8-10, "I delight to do they will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD thou knowest. I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindess and thy truth from the great congregation." 
 
Then, in verse 11, David petitions the Lord, "Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O Lord: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me."
 
May it be the same with us today. May those who are reading this now never cease to delight in doing God's will in their lives, holding His Word and His righteousness in their heart, refrain not their lips from declaring His faithfulness, salvation, and truth, and may the Lord, in turn, withhold not His tender mercies from us. May His lovingkindness and truth continually preserve us. 
 
In Jesus' name...Amen!

Stop!




Thursday, January 26, 2012

Celebrating Burn's Night/Scottish Recipes

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. Now...how was I going to pull that off? I mean...haggis? Cooked 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!

http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/08/crockpot-haggis-recipe.html

(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...

CROCKPOT HAGGIS


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.

TATTIES AND NEEPS

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.

SCOTTISH OATCAKES

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!

~Rebecca

Friday, January 20, 2012

And The Winners Are!


It's Friday! And it's time to announce the winners of Darlene Schact's new The Good Wife's Guide e-book (there are three)!

For those of you who are wondering how I selected the winners, I did it the old-fashioned way. I put all the entrants' names (individually, of course) on the backs of old business cards, folded them over, put them in a big bowl, and while my husband held the bowl over my head, I reached in, and pulled out the winners.

And they are...

1) Melissa Nassraway - hkittycrzy@aol.com

2) Sandy Holtgrewe - (Sandy, I need an e-mail address to send to Darlene so she can get that out to you.)

3) Carla Beatty Evans - carlaevans_2000@yahoo.com

Congratulations, Ladies! And enjoy! You are going to LOVE this new e-book! Guaranteed!

God bless and have a beautiful day!

All My Love,
~Rebecca

P.S. - Darlene, thanks, again, for allowing me the opportunity to share this lovely e-book with my readers. It is much appreciated, my friend! God bless! <3

Five Minute Friday - VIVID


It's FRIDAY! That means it's time for another 'Five Minute Friday' where as, our hostess, and inspiration, The Gypsy Mama, puts it, we write "For only five short, bold, beautiful minutes. Unscripted and unedited. We just write without worrying if it’s just right or not."

Want to join us? Then be sure and visit The Gypsy Mama today! 

Now...for today's assignment...

Go!

Today's word is VIVID, and, again, it's a timely word chosen from Gypsy Mama's repertoire of beautiful and lovely life words!

Last night my husband, John, and I were talking and he said something romantic to me...something to the effect of, "My eyes were created to look at you...my hands to touch you." At that moment vivid memories flashed through my mind's eye. John and I's dads were best friends and they spent a lot of time together. Four to five times a week our families were together so our dads could play guitars and, since John and I were both only children, that meant that we spent a lot of time entertaining each other as we, literally, grew up together (he was 8 years older than me though...I remind him all the time...he will always be older than me! LOL). Anyway, when I was little (ages 5 on up into my early teens) John and I would spend a lot of time together at his piano. He would play and I would listen and watch him play...for hours! I loved it! And the most vivid memory that I have of us growing up is just what he said...his eyes and his hands...his eyes when he would turn to the side to look at me and smile as he played, and his hands as they moved beautifully up and down the keyboard of that piano. Beautiful, vivid memories! Thank you, God!

Stop!

That boy...and those eyes...

...that piano and those hands (that's me to the left).

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Giveaway!

I'm excited to announce that tomorrow (Monday, January 16th, 2012) Darlene Schacht of Time Warp Wife will be releasing her new e-book...



Book Description:

In The Good Wife's Guide author Darlene Schacht encourages women to joyfully serve their families. In doing so she offers reasons for achieving a well-managed home backed by scripture and gleaned from experience. As well she provides readers with detailed cleaning and organizing schedules for practical application.

The Good Wife's Guide encourages women to make faith and family their first priorities from a place of sacrificial love. It reminds women that they were created with a specific purpose in mind, which is that of being a help meet. In supporting our husbands and living in unity we reflect God's blueprint for marriage.

About the Author:

Darlene Schacht is an ordinary mom, living an extraordinary life, because of who she is through Jesus Christ. As help-meet to her husband Michael, she guides and nurtures their four children, leading them toward a deeper walk of faith.

Her work has been published in anthologies by Thomas Nelson, Tyndale Publishing and Adams Media. As well she has co-authored a book with actress Candace Cameron Bure, the award-winning and New York Times Best-Seller, Reshaping it All: Motivation for Spiritual and Physical Fitness.

Forward by Candace Cameron Bure.


Here's an excerpt from the book:

"Stop right where
you are and consider this thought: where you are
today does not dictate where you will be tomorrow. You
have the ability to get your surroundings under
control, to manage your home well, and find time to
relax. My goal is to teach you how." -Darlene Schacht

Darlene has given me the privilege of giving away 3 copies of the book. 

Here's how to enter:

1. Comment on this post with your email and name.
2. Visit Rebecca's Hearth and Home on Facebook, find the giveaway post and comment there also, make sure the name is the same as you commented with here. 


You will get one entry for each of those that you do. I will pick the winners on Friday, January 20th. The winners will be announced here and on Facebook. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

National De-Lurking Day






Today is National De-Lurking Day in the blogging world!

Which means, if you've been hanging out with me here at Rebecca's Heart and Home and don't comment often, today is your day! I'd like to invite each and every one of you to delurk and share one thing that you like about Hearth and Home.

My favorite thing about you is that you've taken the time to stop in for a visit and/or have chosen to come share in my life on a regular basis through the pages of this blog. And I absolutely love it when you leave encouraging comments or share sage advice!

Okay...now it's your turn! De-lurk and leave a comment! And, for those of you who are reading by e-mail, click here to come on over and join us!






Friday, January 13, 2012

Five Minute Friday - AWAKE



It's FRIDAY! That means it's time for another 'Five Minute Friday' where as, our hostess, and inspiration, The Gypsy Mama, puts it, we write "For only five short, bold, beautiful minutes. Unscripted and unedited. We just write without worrying if it’s just right or not."

Want to join us? Then be sure and visit The Gypsy Mama today! 

Now...for today's assignment...
 
GO!
Awake! What an appropriate word for today as I a m now finally and fully AWAKE! It's been a long week and there's been a lot going on...doctor appointments with loved ones, painful procedures, stressful situations, and not much down time. I thought that after the holidays were over things would slow down and that January would be calm and quiet. Not so! 

Long story short, today was the first day in a long time that I had nothing scheduled on the calendar and things just happened to work out where I was able to sleep in...that is...until the phone woke me up at 9:00. But 9:00! Wow! Almost unheard of now days! The beauty part is...I awoke feeling good, rested, restored, and fully awake! I am thankful! Feeling rested and fully awake...and not having to hit the floor with my feet running this morning is definitely a blessing! Thank you, Lord! I love You! <3

"And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: 
for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed" (Romans 13:11).

STOP!
 
 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Afternoon Journal - Monday, January 9, 2012/RECIPE: EGGPLANT PARMIGIANA






~ What Time It Is...

... 3:48 p.m.

~ What I'm Doing...

... taking a late afternoon tea break after a long day in the kitchen.

~ I Am Praising The LORD For...

... the Truth of His Word and for His faithfulness to, through that Word, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, to lead us unto all Truth.

~ Something Beautiful...

... warm weather and sunshine! Most days lately have been in the 50's and 60's. Every day that we have like this puts us one day closer to spring! (And I can't wait!)

~ Something That Made Me Smile Today...

... my family.

~ What I've Done So Far Today...

... made the bed, exercised, cleaned out the fridge, made a food inventory and menu plan based on items that need used up right away, made supper, and a loaf of French bread.

~ What I Have Left To Do...

... a load of laundry, supper dishes, write a couple of letters to friends.

~ What's For Supper...

... Eggplant Parmigiana (recipe below)



EGGPLANT PARMIGIANA

(NOTE: This recipe was taken from the original Kansas City Knights of Columbus wives' cookbook and it makes a HUGE casserole. For just the three of us, I quartered the recipe, but am sharing it as given.)

4 cups basic tomato sauce
4 medium eggplants
1 (10 oz.) pkg. sliced Mozzarella cheese
8 oz. grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
2 medium size onions, thinly slices
2-3 cups bread crumbs
3-4 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 c. fresh or dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil for frying

Peel and slice eggplant; make round slices about 1/4 inch thick; soak eggplant 1/2 hour in salted water. Drain well; press out excess water with paper toweling; salt and pepper slices to taste. Dip slices in slightly beaten eggs and then into bread crumbs. Fry eggplant in oil until crisp. Drain on paper toweling. Using a large casserole, begin with a layer of sauce, then eggplant, then Mozzarella cheese, onion rings, sweet basil, and grated cheese; top with sauce. Continue layers until all ingredients are used, ending with sauce and grated cheese on top. Cover; bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Serves 10 to 14.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Five Minute Friday - ROAR

 
 
It's FRIDAY! That means it's time for another 'Five Minute Friday' where as, our hostess, and inspiration, The Gypsy Mama, puts it, we write "For only five short, bold, beautiful minutes. Unscripted and unedited. We just write without worrying if it’s just right or not."

Want to join us? Then be sure and visit The Gypsy Mama today! 

Now...for today's assignment...
 
Go!
 
When I saw the word "roar" I immediately thought of two verses from God's Holy Word...the Bible...

1) "And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring" (Luke 21:25).

...and...

2) "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8).

Well, we are definitely in a time of great distress among the nations with perplexity. I mean...who seems to have the answers to the problems that plague our own nation, as well as those around the world? Nobody, it seems. (Nobody except God, of course! But who wants to listen to Him? He's too archaic...too old-fashioned...too out-of-date! We're contemporary! Modern! Too intelligent to fall for all that Bible stuff like our ancestors did! Our leaders roar out "CHANGE!" And change is what they'll get!) 
 
And, then, there's the weather! Conditions...some of which...that have never before been recorded...and they're happening around the globe simultaneously...which is what Jesus warned us would be happening as one of the signs of His soon return!

I truly believe that we are in the last days. And what an exciting time it is to be alive! And, of course, as the Church Age winds down, and as Satan's time grows short, he, in an agitated state, is in, indeed, roaming the earth...roaring...seeking whom he may devour. A threat? Yes! But through our faith in the blood of Jesus, spiritual warfare through the power of the Holy Spirit, and our prayers to the Father, we are fully equipped to defeat Satan's schemes against us and to stand firm in the faith...no matter what the days ahead may bring!

Stay the course, my fellow Christian brothers and sisters! The end is not yet! There is still work to do! And as the winds roar, as the seas roar, as the devil roars...stand strong! Stay in the Word and rely fully and completely on our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit which will lead you unto all truth!


Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

I'm running a bit late on wishing you a Happy New Year. The week after Christmas was spent cleaning, reorganizing, and recuperating after the holidays...then the birthdays began! Saturday evening was spent at our next-to-the-oldest son and daughter-in-law's celebrating New Year's Eve, as well as our son's January 1st birthday. Most of the family was there as we played games, enjoyed supper and ate birthday cake together. New Year's Day morning was spent at church, then we we went to our next-to-the-youngest son and daughter-in-law's to celebrate our youngest granddaughter's belated first birthday party. Again...a good time was enjoyed by all that were there. Tomorrow is another one of our grandchildrens' birthday and the day after that is one of our daughter-in-law's birthday. Next week is our youngest daughter's birthday. My goodness! What a lot of birthdays crammed into a such a small calendar space!

Speaking of grandchildren, I'm babysitting two of them right now and need to cut this post short. I really just wanted to drop in and wish each of you a Happy New Year before it got away from me. I pray that 2012 is your best year yet. A year filled with health, happiness, and a closer walk with the Lord than anything you've experienced thus far. Praise be unto the Lord for His blessings are many...His mercy endureth forever! God bless all here!

All My Love,
~Rebecca