Saturday, June 30, 2012

Recipe: Crockpot Lemon and Garlic Chicken

Here's one I haven't made in a long time. Am putting this on now for supper tonight. Will serve with butter and garlic pasta and a vegetable or two on the side.


CROCKPOT LEMON AND GARLIC CHICKEN
(This is one that we especially like!!!)
2 pounds chicken breasts or tenders
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. butter
1/4 c. water
3 T. lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1 tsp. chicken granules
Brown chicken in skillet, then add all ingredients to crockpot. Cook on HIGH 21/2 to 3 hours or LOW 5 to 6 hours. Spinkle with parsley right before serving.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Seven Years Ago Today

I couldn't help but think of my mother yesterday. It was seven years ago to the day that she passed away during the wee hours of the 25th/26th of June 2005 (technically she passed away on the 26th, but the sudden illness had come upon her during the late hours of the 25th).

Yesterday was an extremely hot day...much like that day had been...and I remember talking to my mother in the afternoon and she commented several times that the heat was killing her...which that wasn't unusual...extreme heat had always bothered her.

Mom and I had a good phone conversation that afternoon. A friend of mine had surprised me with a teacher's guide and student copy of one of her own recent home education curriculum finds (Considering God's Creation) and she had hung them in a plastic bag on my backdoor. John and I had discovered them after returning home from an outing and, after I looked through it, I was so excited about it that I called my mother. We talked on the phone about that curriculum (and other things) for over two hours that afternoon. We had a real visit, which, even though we just lived across town from one another, we rarely did. It was usually little more just chit-chat in passing or short clips of conversation on the phone throughout the week, rather than anything substantial. Like I said, we had a real visit that day! The only complaint at all that day was that she kept commenting about that heat and, for her, that wasn't unusual at all.

Well, that night I had just gone to bed. It was around 10:30 at night...and, understand, I had a cousin, who's wife was due to have a baby anytime, a daughter who was pregnant and due to her a baby anytime, and two daughters-in-law that were both pregnant...one of them overdue. Our family was expecting four babies all at once...three of them due at any moment! I had no more laid down and the phone rang! I was so excited! As I was hopping out of bed I shouted, "Uh-oh! Someone's in labor!!!" Oh, my! How true that was! But it was none of the girls that were about to give birth. :(

Instead, to my surprise, it was my dad's voice that greeted me on the other end of the phone...and it didn't sound good. He said, "Your mom's got a problem and you need to get over here." I told him to call 9-1-1 and I'd be there as quickly as I could...which, in reality was just a few minutes, but it seemed like it took forever.

When I arrived, yes, it was obvious that mother was having a problem. I won't go into all the horrid details, but my mother was obviously having a hard time getting a breath. She had suffered a major heart attack and I knew that it wasn't good. I knew in my heart then that she probably wasn't going to make it. I kept telling her, "Hold on, Mother! Just hold on!" And she whispered, "I'm trying."

The first responder got there with oxygen, but it didn't help. The ambulance finally got there (they had been working two accidents elsewhere), loaded my mother up, and went whizzing away into the night, sirens blaring, with us following behind. We got about seven minutes outside of town and I saw the ambulance's taillights flash as it slowed down, drove slower for a few moments, then sped up again. I knew there was a struggle going on inside.

Next, we spotted helicopter lights. My dad said, "I wonder what that helicopter's doing?" The whole time my throat was dry. So dry! I knew it was over, and I could barely speak. I said, "Dad, that's Life Flight. They're coming for Mom, but, Dad? This isn't good. You know that don't you? Dad, I think it's too late." In my heart I knew that my mother was already gone. I could feel it.

And it was mixed. For her...I felt happy! After decades of faithful service to her Lord and Saviour I had no doubt where my mother was headed. She was preparing to...or, perhaps, at that point...had already met Jesus face-to-face! What a joyous occasion!

But for my dad and I? And my children? What about these three, new, little granddaughters that were about to be born? What about all of us? What would we do without my mother? I didn't know. And I was scared. Very, very, terribly scared. More scared than I had ever been in my whole life!

In those quite moments...while I was driving...and while I knew my mother was struggling...hanging between life and death...I prayed...silently...feverishly. I prayed for my mother...that if she was struggling...or scared...or hurting...that whatever she was going through...if she wasn't going to make it...to, please, Lord...make it quick for her...and to be there for her...to help her in her greatest hour of need...to help her over the threshold from this life into the one eternal...and to let her know that somehow we would be okay without her. Comfort her, Lord!

I prayed for my dad. What would he do without her? I mean...this was a man who can't make a sandwich by himself! Or pour himself a cup of coffee! Or...or...do anything without Mom doing it for him! (Or so I thought at the time!)

My dad has astounded me with how much he can do! And, I have to say, if Dad had gone first...before Mom...I would never have known what a rich, wonderful man my dad really is. And, by Mom going first, it has pushed my dad off a fence and forced him to make his own decision and stand for Christ. And, let me tell you...my Dad is amazing! I'm so proud of him! He's not perfect, but he is a man of principle and character that I would not have known had God, in His infinite wisdom, not allowed things to happen the way they did. And, for that, I am truly thankful!

Anyway...long story short...the whole family gathered at the hospital. We all arrived even before the helicopter. My gut told me that it was over and it was. When the helicopter arrived they unloaded my the shell of what had, at one time, held my mother's spirit. She was with Jesus and she hadn't struggled long. Another thing for which I am truly thankful.

The days following were little more than a blur. I remember bits and pieces, but not a whole lot. I was out working in the shed the other day and came across a box of stuff...the book and notices from the funeral home, sympathy cards and letters that had been sent to me at that time, etc...and, for the first time, I read them. I read them and I cried! What beautiful testimonies I read from different ones as to how my mother had touched their lives...how she had witnessed to them for Christ or had ministered to them in their hour of need...and I realized how truly blessed I was to have her as my mom! This was the woman who had raised me! This was the example that she had set forth in life and the legacy that she left to me in death. And, oh! How blessed I realize I truly am to have been raised by such a woman!

Mom, you may be gone, but you are not, nor will you ever be, forgotten. The lessons you taught me? The examples that you set forth in faith and frugality? I may be a slow learner, but I'm getting there...one teeny, tiny, little step at a time. I only hope that when my time comes, I, too, will be found to be such a faithful witness to the One that bore the Cross for me, as you have been. God bless you, Mom! I love and miss you so much!@);-

Your Loving Daughter,
~Rebecca

6/26/12


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Weekend Picks - 6/15/12

It's fun to find new and interesting sites on-line. Here are a few of my latest finds. I hope you enjoy them!

1) How about this cute Campfire Cake from Family Fun? It would make a great cake for an outdoor summer birthday party!
2) Okay...this is one that I have GOT to try! How about preserving grapes by turning them into a recipe for Spiced Grape Butter from Frugally Sustainable? AWESOME!!!


3) Here's a great page from Apartment Therapy with information and instructions on how to clean and season old, rusty, cast-iron pans. Invaluable if your a fan of cast-iron...which I am! :)

4) Here's a yummy looking recipe for Pineapple Jam from Coleen's Recipes. This is another one that I can't wait to try!

5) How about trying your hand at homemade Pita Bread? (I love pita bread stuffed with chicken ranch salad - grilled strips of chicken that have been chilled, topped with fresh green lettuce salad, tomatoes, a bit of fat-free, shredded cheese, and ranch dressing.) This recipe is comes to us from Under The High Chair.

6) And, finally, I haven't owned a dishwasher since leaving Blue Springs, but, if I did, you better believe I'd be checking out these 16 homemade dishwasher detergent recipes from Tipnut!


Well, that's it for this time! I hope you're having a great weekend and I wish you a beautiful and blessed week ahead!

All My Love,
~Rebecca <3





















Saturday, June 23, 2012

Recipe: Zucchini Brownies

Zucchini Brownies

The zucchini is on and we have an abundance. In looking for new ways to use it, I came across this recipe in The Practical Produce Cookbook that my husband picked up for me at the Amish store last year. It is an awesome cookbook! And the brownies are delicious! My daughter-in-law was here getting my grandson's hair cut, so she got in on them and really liked them. She asked me to share the recipe here. Please note the changes that I made to the recipe at the bottom. :)

ZUCCHINI BROWNIES

3 eggs
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. oil
1 c. grated zucchini
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
1/4 c. cocoa
1 tsp. soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Beat eggs, sugar and oil. Add zucchini and vanilla. Combine and add remaining ingredients. Bake in a buttered 13 x 9 pan at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

(NOTE: I used demerara cane sugar, olive oil, Prairie Gold Whole Wheat Flour, and dark cocoa. I also sprayed my pan with olive oil spray instead of using butter and, while the recipe does not specify one way or the other, I did not peel the zucchini.)

A Saturday Afternoon Getaway

Things have been pretty hectic here this week, so my husband and I decided to take a little jaunt out to Prairie State Park as a mini getaway. It is only about five miles from our house and our family has spent a lot of time out there over the past 17 years. Three of our children have worked (or are working) there full-time and I think just about everyone in our family has volunteered there at one event or another. Anyway, John and I went out to see how the gayfeather (a.k.a. blazing star) was coming along and took a few pics. I thought that I'd share them with you and I hope you enjoy this little taste of Missouri's Tallgrass Prairie on a hot summer day!

Ladies Tresses Orchid - A friend in MDC told us that this is a pretty rare find!  

Gayfeather - Not quite bloomed out yet, but still very pretty!

Sunflower - I'm not sure what variety, but it is definitely a sunflower!
Rattlesnake Master - An odd looking fellow!  Don't you agree?

Black-Eyed Susans - A very common prairie flower.
Vervain - Growing in front of the Visitor Center. Isn't it gorgeous?

Not a wildflower, but saw this shaggy beast (bison) grazing a ways from the herd. 

The Bison Herd - An enjoyable site at PSP...IF you're fortunate enough to encounter them...which, today, we were! 

Gray-Headed Cone Flowers - Growing along the roadside on the way home.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Five Minute Friday - 6/15/12 - Path


It's FRIDAY! That means it's time for another Five Minute Friday where, we, as our hostess and inspiration, The Gypsy Mama, puts it, 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!

Photo Credit - Missouri State Parks - Prairie State Park
 Today's assigned word led my mind in a totally different direction than it normally would. The first thing I thought of when I read the word path is Tzi-sho.

You see, we live on the tall-grass prairie of southwest Missouri, which was once home to the Native American Osage Indian tribe. The Osage tribe was divided into two major groups...the Sky People and the Earth People. Nearby, at Prairie State Park, is a hiking trail called Tzi-sho or "Path of the Sky People" in honor of the Osage people that used to live here.

Now, while I'm no expert on the Osage tribe and their history, I have no doubt that each and every one of them were on a journey through this life...each trying to find their own path...as are we. The question is...which path are we on?

While many believe that there are many paths through life...all of which, in the end, lead to God...the truth is, there are only two paths through this this life that we might take...one wide, easy to find, and easy to follow...the other narrow, hard to find, and find to follow.

The one...the path that is wide and easy to find is the one that, in the end, leads to eternal destruction; the other...the path that is narrow and hard, is the one that, in the end, leads unto eternal life...and, according to Scripture, few there be that find it. 

"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."
(Matthew 7:13-14)

Yes, in the end, there is but One path in life that truly leads to God and that is Jesus!

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; 
no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
(John 14:6) 

Stop!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Winners Selected

The winners of my new e-book Creating Romantic Moments (in order of entry and selected by True Random Generator) are:

# 1 - Anonymous

# 2 - Christine Fischer

# 6 - Christy

Ladies, please, contact me with your e-mail address and I'll get your copy of Creating Romantic Moments right out to you! I hope you enjoy it!

For those of you who didn't win, but would still like a copy, you can order one for $1.99 by clicking HERE.

Thanks so much for entering!

All My Love,
~Rebecca 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Weekend Picks - 6/8/12

It's been another fun and interesting week of finding places of interest on the internet.

1) How about we start with Mason Jar Salads from I Love Pinterest? I love this idea and plan on trying it out the first chance I get!


2) I love keeping a nature journal and here's a cute idea for designing a cover for one from Handbook of Nature Study...


3) Here's some good advice from Frugally Sustainable on how to treat sunburn naturally...


4) How about Frozen Ice Pops for the hens? The gals from Fresh Eggs Daily shows us how mint helps the flock beat the heat!

(Note: I actually made some of these this week and my hens loved 'em! Thanks for the great idea, FED!)


5) Try your hand at making homemade tortillas with this post from Reviving Homemaking. She does a really neat thing by giving us a cost comparison chart between store-bought and homemade and there is a significance. Check it out!



Well...that's it for this week! Have a blessed weekend!

All My Love,
~Rebecca

Five Minute Friday - Expectation - 6/8/12


It's FRIDAY! That means it's time for another Five Minute Friday where, we, as our hostess and inspiration, The Gypsy Mama, puts it, 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!

Expectation! The very word fairly rings with excitement! And it is with high expectation that, all too often, we dream about the future. 

As young women we dream with expectation of finding the perfect man, having the perfect wedding, living in the perfect house, and raising the perfect family, Oftentimes we set our ideals too high and our expectations crumble into depression as the realities of an imperfect life settle in. 

Perhaps it is the wrong thing in which we place our hopes...our dreams...our expectations. All too often I have overlooked the obvious and placed my own expectations into the hands of others...trusting and relying on them to fulfill my happiness and determine my destiny...instead of into the hands of God...the One Who knitted me together in my mother's womb...the One Who holds my eternal future. 

It is in Him that my expectation must lie...not people...not money...not circumstances...but in Him and Him alone!

"My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him" (Psalm 62:5).

Stop!


Be sure and enter my giveaway for a chance to win a copy of my first e-book Creating Romantic Moments. Contest ends Monday, June 11, 2012. Click HERE to enter.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Creating Romantic Moments E-Book And Giveaway


Well, I've done it! I took a booklet that I self-published back in 1988 and turned it into an e-book (to purchase click here). Creating Romantic Moments is not a big book, but it's packed with dozens of ideas to create romantic moments in your marriage and an atmosphere of romance in your home.

To celebrate I am doing a giveaway for my friends here. All you have to do is leave a comment below and you'll be entered in the drawing. I will select three winners on Monday, June 11, 2012. To get extra entries you may choose to do any or all of the following (please leave a separate comment for each entry):

- become a public follower of Rebecca's Hearth and Home
- share about my giveaway on your own site
- share about my giveaway on Twitter
- share about my giveaway on Facebook

I'm so excited to be able to share this with you! And I can't wait to see who wins the giveaway! Be sure and enter today!

All My Love,
~Rebecca 




This, That, And The Other

Today has been one of those days that are kind of relaxing, enabling me to get caught up on some of the things that I've been wanting to do, but never have time for.

The morning started off with a trip to Denny's for a belated birthday breakfast with our daughter-in-law and granddaughter. (It was my daughter-in-law's birthday that I missed...not the other way around.) After that it was a quick trip to Wal-mart where I picked up a new door mat and some petunias.


The reason for a new door mat? Both of our door mats are old and yucky, but one of them...the back door mat... was so old and yucky that all the fibers that were originally there to catch the dirt were gone and all that was left was the black, rubber backing. I finally threw it away yesterday and, today, moved the front door mat to the back door and put the new, pretty mat at the front door. I also arranged the petunias that I bought into two baskets...one for the front and one for the back. Neither basket looks like much now, but, with time and a little TLC, and as the flowers grow and fill in I'm sure they'll get prettier.


I moved this basket of impatients that my daughter and son-in-law got me for Mother's Day to the front porch as well.

Here are some little herb-garden markers that I got last week on sale at the Hallmark store in Lamar. I had forgotten that I even bought them until today.


Speaking of herbs...I've got mint drying in the oven now and have a batch of mint and strawberry top Frozen Ice Pops  going in the freezer for the hens. Yes, you read that right...for the hens. I got the idea from Fresh Eggs Daily. We'll find out how they like them shortly! :)

And my son helped me out today by repainting this wind chime that was given to us by a neighbor as a going away present when we moved from Blue Springs to Liberal 16 years ago. Originally it was white, but, over time, it had rusted. All we had on hand was black spray paint, so that's what my son painted it. Either way, I still think it's cute!

Well, that's my day thus far. How's your Tuesday going? Have a blessed rest of the week!

All My Love,
~Rebecca


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Weekend Picks - 6/2/12

It's been another interesting week of beautiful finds on the internet. I think you'll like what I've come up with for you this week!

1) How about this beautiful fairy cake from Homestead Survival? Isn't this absolutely delightful? I love it!

Photo Credit

2) You can clean your home and create a healthy environment by using essential oils instead of harsh chemicals. Learn more by reading this article from Harmony Home Cleaning...

Photo Credit
3) Looking to buy local hens, chicks, or eggs? Check out Local Hens a place that helps you do just that!

My Own Flock From A Couple Of Years Ago

4) Speaking of eggs...

    Have a surplus? Fresh Eggs Daily offers a variety of ideas on freezing and using them!

Photo Credit

5) Make the world's easiest boiled eggs using a great method from Mom on a Mission.

Photo Credit

6) How about a complete guide to freezing berries from Pick Your Own?

Photo Credit

I hope you enjoy this week's finds. Have a blessed weekend!

All My Love,
~Rebecca

Friday, June 1, 2012

Five Minute Friday - 6/1/12 - See


 It's FRIDAY! That means it's time for another Five Minute Friday where, we, as our hostess and inspiration, The Gypsy Mama, puts it, 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!

 The word for today is 'see' and my first thought was...the thing I want to see most is...Jesus! 

First to mind comes the words to the old hymn O I Want To See Him...
  
As I journey through the land, singing as I go,
Pointing souls to Calvary—to the crimson flow,
Many arrows pierce my soul from without, within;
But my Lord leads me on, thro’ Him I must win.


Refrain

O I want to see Him, look upon His face,
There to sing forever of His saving grace;
On the streets of glory let me lift my voice,
Cares all past, home at last, ever to rejoice.


When in service for my Lord dark may be the night,
But I’ll cling more close to Him, He will give me light;
Satan’s snares may vex my soul, turn my tho’ts aside;
But my Lord goes ahead, leads whate’er betide.


Refrain

When in valleys low I look tow’rd the mountain height,
And behold my Savior there, leading in the fight,
With a tender hand outstretched tow’rd the valley low,
Guiding me, I can see, as I onward go.


Refrain

When before me billows rise form the mighty deep,
Then my Lord directs my bark; He doth safely keep,
And He leads me gently on thro’ this world below;
He’s a real Friend to me, O I love Him so.


Refrain
Then, of course, I immediately think of the words to the chorus of What A Day That Will Be...

What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon his face,
The One who saved me by his grace;
When he takes me by the hand,
And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be.
The Bible tells us that the day is coming when "...every eye shall see him..." (Revelation 1:7), that "...every knee..." shall bow to Him (Philippians 2:10), and that "...every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord..." (Philippians 2:11). 
That includes you. Do you know Him? When that day comes will He know you
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (Matthew 7:21-23). 
If you don't know Jesus today and would like to, or if you do know Him and you just need someone to pray with you, or for you, in a specific area, please, feel free to e-mail me privately at proverbs31heart@yahoo.com. I would be more than happy to help you in whatever way I can. Please put PRAYER on the subject line so I don't miss it. 

And have a blessed day!

All My Love,
~Rebecca