Monday, March 31, 2014

My Personal Experience With The Proverbs 31 Woman

I was first introduced to the Proverbs 31 Woman by our pastor's wife back in 1992, and I, have to say, I was immediately fascinated by her. Her life was centered around a reverent fear of God. She was kind, compassionate, faithful, and loving. She was everything that I wanted to be, but wasn't. 

I began studying this fascinating, new-to-me, Proverbs 31 Woman. Early on I was so taken with her that I wrote, and had a friend publish, a tract about her because I wanted everyone I knew to meet her. Looking back at that tract I chuckle. I realize now how little I actually knew and understood back then. What Biblical knowledge I did possess was page-deep and surface-level at best. Over the years, as I studied and read the Bible more and more (and every book I could find on the subject of the Proverbs 31 Woman), my understanding of God's Word deepened, as did my understanding of that beautiful P31 Woman, and my life's goal became (and still is) to, not overnight, but over a lifetime, become a living example of her.

I was in my early-30's when I first met the P31 Woman. In my mid-30's I was blessed with a computer and was introduced to the World Wide Web. There I found all sorts of wonderful resources and connected with other women from around the globe that had the same fascination and desire that I did...to become a living example of that lovely Proverbs 31 Woman. 

In 1998, I was asked to take over an on-line group of over 1000 women whose desire appeared to be the same as mine, but, in time, that proved not to be the case with many of them. Many of the members of that group were wolves in sheep's clothing...some weren't even women! Some were men seeking "virtuous" women for companionship, marriage, or...whatever. Many of the women that were there proved not to be Christians at all. Some were actually witches sent there on purpose to stir up trouble, and do their best to destroy the group. Over time, through much prayer and anguish, God revealed what was what, changes were made, and, eventually, a small group of women whose hearts' desires were real and true, settled into a long season of Christian love and fellowship. Many of those relationships grew into real and lasting friendships, and a few of us even got to meet up with each other a few times and spend many wonderful visits together. 

By my late-30's...early-40's...I had designed a series of challenges based on the Proverbs 31 Woman for the ladies in my group. The daily challenges were called The Challenges of the Proverbs 31 Woman, and we went through Proverbs 31:10-31 a verse (sometimes a half-verse) at a time, several days a week online. I would present the lesson within the group, present the challenge that went with it, then the ladies, and myself, would respond accordingly to the questions, or challenge, of the day and communicate on a regular basis concerning our hearts' desires to become more and more like that beautiful P31 lady. The study seemed to go over well and, over the course of several years, was repeated more than once. It was during that same time, that I totally committed myself to the Lord and promised myself that by my 50th birthday I would BE that living example that I so longed to be. 

Well...soon after that things began to unravel in my personal life. Changes began to take place within our family that would forever change things from the way we had always known them...children married, my mother passed away, grandchildren were born, and I became fearful and unable to cope. Due to that inability to cope...try as I might...things got out of conrol and things that were once of great importance to me began to fall by the wayside. Life became a constant struggle. Everything seemed totally out of control and my main focus, every minute of every day, was just to make it through, And, as many of you know, my 50th birthday has come and gone long ago and, at times, I feel that I'm no closer to being a living example of that beautiful Proverbs 31 Woman than I was when I first started out. 

BUT...it's a new day and a new season, and that old longing to keep moving forward in this area of Biblical womanhood is stirring...stirring like it hasn't stirred in nearly a decade! Over and over again, the Lord keeps bringing my attention back to that favored, marked, highlighted, noted, and worn place in my Bible. His Spirit whispers to me that it's not too late. In fact...it's never too late! As long as there's breath, there's hope, and there's life. And if there's life, it's meant to be lived! On purpose. For Him!

So...today I share my experience with the Proverbs 31 Woman with you. As I do so, I wonder...how many women today truly aspire to be like her? Do you? 

I'd like to encourage you, and challenge you, today, to pick up your Bible and read (or reread) Proverbs 31:10-31. Whether it's your first time...or your hundreth...or your thousandth...or even your ten-thousandth time...let the ministry of fresh vision for Biblical womanhood sink down into your spirit, capture your heart, and challenge you to greater heights than you've ever known for the glory of God.

In Him and With All My Love,
~Rebecca 

P.S. - If you don't mind sharing, I would love to hear about your experiences with the Proverbs 31 Woman. Just leave a comment below or feel free to e-mail me at proverbs31heart@yahoo.com. Thank you! And God bless! <3

Friday, March 28, 2014

Five Minute Friday - Mighty


It's been months since I've participated in Five Minute Friday and I've missed it! I think it's time I get back on target and get to writing...don't you? 

What is Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday is a special time set aside each week where, as our hostess and inspiration, Lisa-Jo Baker, puts it, "We write for five minutes flat. All on the same prompt...no extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation. Unscripted. Unedited. Real." 

Lisa-Jo posts these prompts one minute after midnight every Friday. 

So, having explained all that, today's prompt is mighty. So...here...we...

Go!

The first thought that ran through my mind when I read the word mighty this morning was a passage of scripture...2 Corinthians 10:3-5...

"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh; (For the weapons of our 
warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds...) Casting
down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God,
and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ."

Harsh words...a mean spirit...false accusations...lies...hurt...anger...misunderstanding...

Often times we find ourselves under attack...perhaps through a friend, a family member, or someone else that has the ability to hurt and harm us...and it came out of no where. We didn't do anything to deserve it and we wonder just what in the world is wrong with people. We fail to recognize that these attacks are spiritual in nature and, ultimately, they are waged against us by the enemy of our souls. 

We try to meet these challenges head-on using the worldly weapons of human wisdom, philosophy, and psychology, never realizing that there is no way that these weapons can deliver us from the hands of the enemy and bring about God's purpose and plan for our lives. 

The weapons of our warfare are not carnal. Spiritual battles must be fought with spiritual weapons. Weapons that, according to God's Word, are mighty through Him, to the pulling down of strong holds.

What battles are you facing today? Align your thoughts, actions, and life with the Word of God. Cast down imaginations, put on the whole armour of God (Ephesians 6:10-13), and start fighting your battles in the heavenlies!

Stop!

Until Next Time...

~Rebecca

Thursday, March 20, 2014

My Dollar-Stretching, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-The-Food-Up Project For March (FINAL) - Day 20 - 3/20/14

Greetings, Dear Friends!

HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SPRING! It's about time...eh? Now if the weather would just get nice and stay that way we'd have it made! :)

Actually, today wasn't bad at all. The sun was shining and temps were in the upper 60's; tomorrow promises to be even warmer. But after that it's supposed to cool down again, so I guess winter and spring will continue to battle it out until winter finally gives up and retreats once and for all (or at least until late fall!). ;)

Day 20 of My Dollar-Stretching, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-The-Food-Up Project For March is over and, to be honest, I think I've about accomplished what I set out to do. While there are a few stragglers here and there, I have managed to use up most of the little odd and end things that have been sitting around needing used and it has been so freeing.

The only food in the fridge now is fresh items that were purchased last week to refill it after spending two full weeks working on cleaning out the refrigerator and refrigerator-freezer one meal at a time. I think the only items left in the refrigerator-freezer now is a half bag of Minnesota wild rice, the pecans my granddaughter helped me pick out of the shells, and enough farina (cream of wheat) for a meal or two. Even the deep freeze has been cleared of older foods and only newer, fresher, recently purchased items remain.

I did go through the pantry and kitchen cupboards today and cleared them of, and tossed, all outdated canned goods (which there were more of than I realized!).  The only items that remained were things that there were so many multiples of that we'd never get them eaten, so I divided them up and passed a few items on to others. Now even the cabinets are down to manageable and mostly fresh items.

Here is what we ate today...

* For breakfast we had scrambled egg whites, sauteed mushrooms, onion, green pepper, and homemade turkey Italian sausage served up in a Joseph's brand pita again. (Yesterday's was so good that we had to repeat it!)

* For lunch it was tuna and Miracle Whip (light) wrapped up in a Joseph's brand flat bread (Love that Joseph's bread! It's so good!) and applesauce.

* For supper we had meatloaf (made with lean ground turkey), mashed potatoes, and steamed broccoli and cauliflower.

* For dessert I had a few leftover wonton wrappers in the freezer and a jar of cherry pie filling, so I put the wonton wrappers in the holes of a muffin tin and filled them with the cherry pie filling to create little cherry tarts. Upon serving I topped them each with a swirl of fat-free Redi Whip. 

So...that's it for today. And since the main food clean-up is over and done with (I never dreamed it would only take three weeks!!!), I'm guessing that this will be the last of my daily posts concerning it. BUT...I do have other things going on, so you will be hearing from me again very soon. Please pray for me as I move into the next phase of what I'm doing (does anyone have a clue as to what it might be? I've left a few!) and I will share more when I can.  

God bless all here!

All My Love,
~Rebecca


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

My Dollar-Stretching, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-The-Food-Up Project For March - Days 18 and 19 - 3/18/14-3/19/14

Good Evening, Sweet Friends!

As you can see, I'm running behind again. Yesterday was NOT a good day! It's a long story, but, in a nutshell, my dad had another doctor's appointment (he's been sick for a couple of months with pneumonia and other complications) and, even though we knew he wasn't 100%, we thought he'd get a fairly good report. He didn't. He still has pneumonia and we're not quite back to square one (which was bad enough to be hospitalized for a week), but close enough. The doctor is going to try everything she can to keep him out this time, so, if you think about it, would you mind whispering a little prayer over daddy tonight for health and healing? I'd surely appreciate it!

Okay...on with Day's 18 and 19 of my My Dollar-Stretching, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-The-Food-Up Project For March!

Day 18 - Tuesday, March 18, 2014...

* For breakfast it was egg and cheese omelets. I'm almost out of 2% slices and will not be buying anymore. I am making the changeover to Laughing Cow cheese wedges. Have already tried the White Cheddar and Swiss and love them both. 

* On the way home from the doctor's office, Dad and I had to meet the Lincare man in Lamar to grab a six-pack of emergency oxygen tanks. The Lincare man was having lunch at Subway, so that's where we met him and that's what we ate, too. Dad couldn't go in, so I just went inside and ordered, then we ate in van. We split a foot-long roasted chicken with shredded cheese and a LOT of fresh veggies. It was Dad's first experience with Subway and he loved it! (So do I!) :)

* John fixed supper last night. We had chicken tenders (one each) that he had pounded thin and grilled with Italian seasonings. It was very good. We had a spinach salad and steamed broccoli and cauliflower on the side.

* Snacks included a fruit and yogurt parfait and Mini Chocolate Cakes. 


Day 19 - Wednesday, March 19, 2014-

* For breakfast it was scrambled egg whites, sauteed mushrooms, onion, green pepper, and homemade turkey Italian sausage served up in a Joseph's brand pita. DE-LI-CIOUS!!! 

* For lunch we had...um...we had...uh-oh! I don't think we had any lunch!!! John doesn't think so, either. Hmmmm.....okay....

* So...for supper we had broiled salmon, sauteed mushrooms, sauteed zucchini 'noodles', and a spinach and avocado salad.

* Snacks today were leftover Mini Chocolate Cakes and Light Baked Custard. 

And that's it! 

Okay...I've got several things going on at once here, so I'm gonna run! You all take care and, hopefully, I'll be with you again tomorrow! Love to all!

~Rebecca

Monday, March 17, 2014

My Dollar-Stretching, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-The-Food-Up Project For March - Day 17 - 3/17/14

Greetings, Dear Friends!

As Day 17 of My Dollar-Stretching, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-The-Food-Up Project For March winds down and comes to a close, I come to offer another glimpse into my month-long food clean-up.

* For breakfast this morning it was omelets and tea.

* As soon as breakfast was over...which was later than I wanted it to be...my daughter and granddaughter and I got together to put up sauerkraut. (You can read about that here if you'd like.)

* For lunch we used part of yesterday's leftover chili and made chili cheese dogs on toasted buns and fried cabbage. I used the last of the bananas to make a banana cake for dessert. I took what chili that was left and the last three hot dogs and froze them for another time. I figure if another somewhat chilly day comes along before spring breaks forth in all it's glory we will finish it off then.

* For supper it was part of last week's corned beef and cabbage. That's all. What else does one need on St. Patrick's Day? There is one more meal's worth in the freezer to be served at another time.

* Snacks today included banana cake and thin bagels with WW cream cheese.

That's it for today, my friends! Will see you again tomorrow!

All My Love,
~Rebecca

Putting Up Sauerkraut

Cabbage has been on sale this week as a St. Patty's Day special and, last Friday, my daughter, Amber, and I picked up several heads each. This morning we, along with granddaughter, Audrey, got together and turned our 14 cabbages into 22 quarts of sauerkraut (for a detailed post on how I make my sauerkraut click here).

Before starting the process I read Amber and Audrey a portion of a letter that my great-aunt, Jessie, sent to her sister (my grandmother, Maudie), telling her how she made her sauerkraut (to read Aunt Jessie's letter click here).
Aunt Jessie's Letter To Grandma Maude
Here are few pictures of our sauerkraut-making experience today...

14 heads of cabbage waiting to be cut, shredded, and packed into jars.

I cut, Audrey shredded, and Amber packed the cabbage into jars.

A few jars partway through the initial process.

A single jar of cabbage. Isn't it pretty?

22 jars of cabbage stored under the house to ferment. 
It will be six weeks before we can get together to bring the jars out from under the house and finish the sauerkraut-making process, but it will be worth it! As Aunt Jessie says...

"...this is the finest Kraut I ever did eat...make it this way
and you wont regret it..." ~Jessie McCann Martin

Aunt Jessie must have known what she was talking about because I won't touch sauerkraut from a can. Homemade sauerkraut made from this recipe is the only sauerkraut that I will put in my mouth. And, it's a fact...I've never regretted making it this way. :)

Until next time...
~Rebecca

Sunday, March 16, 2014

My Dollar-Stretching, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-The-Food-Up Project For March - Day 16 - 3/16/14

Good Evening, Dear Friends!

Yesterday was so beautiful...warm, sunny, very springlike; today was the exact opposite...cold, snowy, very wintry. For now the battle rages on, but, eventually, spring will win and everything will spring forth anew. I can't wait! <3

As Day 16 of  My Dollar-Stretching, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-The-Food-Up Project For March comes to a close I am here to share another report.

* For breakfast this morning John and I both had farina (cream of wheat) hot cereal.

* With the cold and snow today I thought it would be a perfect day for chili, so I made a big ol' pot of it for lunch. It was a great to use up a few cans of chili beans and I THINK I used the last jar of home-canned tomatoes...unless there's one hiding under the cabinet that I didn't see. :)

* For supper I had a small bit of steak that was left in the freezer, baked fresh mushrooms, and Baked Eggplant Rounds (another recipe to share in a future post); John had a dish of "the usual" (pasta).

* For a snack this afternoon I had half a can of tuna and little light mayo wrapped up a piece of Joseph's brand flat bread and it was delicious! Joseph's has just earned themselves a regular customer! Yum! This evening it was graham crackers and peanut butter. :)

Well, that's it for today! You all have a great evening and, Lord willing, I'll be with you all again tomorrow evening as the clean-up continues. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

My Dollar-Stretching, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-The-Food-Up Project For March - Day 15 - 3/15/14

Good Evening, Dear Friends!

Today has been absolutely gorgeous and very spring-like! We had a few sprinkles late this afternoon, but most of the day was sunny and warm. In fact, I washed our bedding this morning and hung it out to dry. The grass is greening up nicely, I've watched several robins hopping around in the front yard, the whole south side of our lawn is purple with lovely, little crocuses, my daffodils are blooming, the tulips are up about five inches tall, and the buds on the flowering quince are just about to burst. I am SO glad that spring is upon us! This has been one of the worst and hardest winter that our family has ever experienced...especially with all the illness. Not everyone is completely well yet, but, those that aren't are making progress and will be soon. Praise God!

Okay...on with today's report!

It's Day 15 of My Dollar-Stretching, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-The-Food-Up Project For March and progress continues!

* For breakfast it was omelets again. We have an abundance of eggs and use them whole or just the whites saving the yolks for noodles. However we have them, omelets are a favorite way to start the day.

* For lunch it was leftover Pizza Casserole and Greek yogurt.

* Supper consisted of broiled salmon, steamed broccoli and cauliflower, and a big spinach salad topped with avocado and red wine vinegar.

* Snacks today were graham crackers and peanut butter and "Mini Chocolate Cakes For Purists" (another new recipe to share in a later post).

And that's it for today so I'll say good night for now and be with you again tomorrow! Good night and God bless!

All My Love,
~Rebecca

My Dollar-Stretching, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-The-Food-Up Project For March - Day 14 - 3/14/14

Good Evening, Dear Friends!

Day 14 of My Dollar-Stretching, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-The-Food-Up Project For March has been a little bit different, but I'm still moving forward!

* This morning started off with an egg and cheese omelet.

* My oldest daughter, Amber, and I (along with her three children) went on a quest today to purchase cabbages to turn into sauerkraut and do a little product investigation and label-reading of several new-to-us-foods that we are currently reading about, as well as do a little grocery shopping. We're mid-way through the month and it was time for me to refill the fridge with fresh foods again (yogurt, milk, cheese, vegetables, etc.) and I picked up a few item for the refrigerator freezer, as well (frozen broccoli and cauliflower, turkey burger, and bread items). While we were out we had lunch at Subway and a fruit and yogurt parfait at McDonald's.

* For supper I tried a new recipe called Pizza Casserole. It was very delicious and I WILL be sharing that recipe, but not tonight. Soon, though! Very soon! :)

That's all for now. Lord willing I will be with you again tomorrow evening. God bless all here!

All My Love,
~Rebecca

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Chocolate Mousse In Chocolate Bowls With Pink Sea Shells

Chocolate Mousse In Chocolate Bowls And Topped With Pink Seashells
Sunday evening daughter-in-love, Crissy, came over to use my Kitchen-Aid and microwave to make these adorable, molded, chocolate bowls, filled with the most luscious chocolate mousse, and topped with these cute, little, pink seashells...all of which she made.

Chocolate Bowls In The Mold
Chocolate Bowl After Coming Out Of The Mold
Pink Sea Shells In And Out Of Mold

The mousse she made following the instructions on this video:





This was a very creative dessert and I think Crissy did a great job with it! I love the idea of the little, chocolate bowls and have thought of all kinds of things you could use them for. And the shells were just as cute as they could be! I figured the idea might inspire others, so I thought I'd share.

All My Love,
~Rebecca 

St. Patty's Day Celebration 2014

On Wednesday, March 12, 2014, our clan gathered together for it's annual St. Patty's Day extravaganza. Traditionally, we do it the Wednesday before St. Patrick's Day so that our daughter and fun-in-law from North Kansas City can join us (Amanda is off work on Wednesdays and Thursdays, so they come down Tuesday night after she gets off and stay until Thursday afternoon each year).

Anyway, the party started when company started arriving around 11:00 in the morning and it continued until about 11:00 that night. There were a total of thirty-three people here (not all at once, but in and out throughout the day) and let me tell you! There was a lot of food (4 corned beef briskets, 8 heads of cabbage, 2 10-pound bags of potatoes, 3 tubs of light sour cream, 1 1/2 pounds of butter, and 2 double (the equivalent of 4)  Emerald Isle Cakes), a lot of laughter, and a whole lot of fun!

Here are few pics taken throughout the day...

Nana, Audrey, Silas, and Isaih

Great Grandpa Brown, Audrey, Silas, and Isaiah 

Granddaughter Lizzie

Grandson T.J.

Gifts From My Fun-In-Law, Phillip

Daughter-In-Love, Crissy, Playing A Game Of Hide-And-Find-The-Gold With The Grandlittles

Daughter, Amanda, and Fun-In-Law, Phillip

Granddaughter, Sarah

A Wee Leprechaun In The Pot O' Gold

Our Youngest Son's Friend, Gavin

Grandlittles, Gianna, Abby, Lizzie, T.J., and Silas Enjoying A Game 

My Dollar-Stretching, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-The-Food-Up Project For March - Days 11, 12, and 13 - 3/11/14 Through 3/13/14

Good Evening, Dear Friends!

I've been MIA for a couple of days around here...or so it seems! (Not really.) :)

Our family uses St. Patrick's Day as an excuse to get the whole clan together every year and have fun! We plan it for the Wednesday before St. Patty's Day, when our youngest daughter and her husband from North K.C. can join us, and look forward to it each year with great anticipation. This year was no exception and we had a blast!!! I will share more about that in another post, but, for now, I want to catch you up on My Dollar-Stretching, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-The-Food-Up Project For March. In this post I will be posting about DAYS 11 through 13. Here we go...

My Dollar-Stretching, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-The-Food-Up Project For March -
DAY 11 - Tuesday, March 11, 2014...

* For breakfast on Tuesday, we finished off the last of the fat-free turkey by making turkey, egg, and cheese sandwiches.

* For lunch it was the last of Monday's chicken and noodles.

* During the afternoon I made a quadruple batch of Emerald Isle Cake in preparation for Wednesday's St. Patrick's Day extravaganza.

* For supper it was turkey burgers and oven fries.

* Before going to bed late Tuesday night I put corned beef on to cook overnight in the crockpot, also in preparation for Wednesday's festivities.


My Dollar-Stretching, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-The-Food-Up Project For March -
DAY 12 - Wednesday, March 12, 2014...

* After staying up late visiting with our daughter and son-in-law the night before, by the time I got up Wednesday morning, it was time to set to work on the rest of the holiday fare. There was no time for breakfast, nor even tea (gasp!)...I know! Right? (For anyone who knows me...huh-uh...this NEVER happens!) :)

* NOTE: All of the foods prepared and consumed for St. Patty's Day, short of the ingredients for the Emerald Isle Cake, were purchased specifically for the holiday, so on this date there was very little food 'clean-up' going on, but, oh my! What an enjoyable day we had!

* Now, since some of the clan can make it for lunch and others can't, we, traditionally, serve two identical, St. Patrick's Day meals...one at noon; the other at 5:00. Those that can make the early shift come for lunch; the ones that can't come for lunch come for supper. Some are lucky enough to get in on both meals and get to double dip on the corned beef and cabbage! Twenty-five of the thirty-three people that showed up ate with us.

* This year's St. Patrick's Day feast consisted of a total of 4 corned beef briskets, 8 heads of cabbage, 2 10-pound bags of potatoes (oven baked), 3 tubs of light sour cream, 1 1/2 pounds of butter, and 2 double (the equivalent of 4)  Emerald Isle Cakes.


My Dollar-Stretching, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-The-Food-Up Project For March -
DAY 13 - Thursday, March 13, 2014...

* With company here (and after not serving them any breakfast at all the morning before), I decided to make Amanda and Phillip a special breakfast this morning. I made homemade, turkey, breakfast, sausages, eggs, and toast, and had flat bagels and cream cheese for those who wanted them.

* Since Amanda and Phillip were planning on leaving this afternoon (and since we were all exhausted from Wednesday's activity and another late night), we decided to take it easy and let someone else do the cooking. We went to Amanda's favorite restaurant when she's visiting back home...El Charro's in Lamar. (Again...this did nothing for food 'clean-up', but, John and I split an order of fajitas. and, boy, were they good! Mmmmmmm!)

* For supper John's making himself a dish of "the regular" (pasta and sauce) and I'm having a can of tuna and a leftover baked potato.

* If any snacking takes place this evening it will be cold cereal or graham crackers and peanut butter. :)

Well, I think that catches us up for now, so I'm going to go ahead and post this, so I can work on my St. Patty's Day post. Talk to you soon!

All My Love,
~Rebecca

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Recipe - Emerald Isle Cake



Every year around this time our family gets together to celebrate St. Patty's Day. We always do it when our youngest daughter and her husband from Kansas City can join us, which is usually the Wednesday before St. Patrick's Day...thus, this year...tomorrow! (I can't wait!)

Tonight, after Amanda and Phillip arrive, I will put the corned beefs on to cook overnight in crockpots; tomorrow I will bake the potatoes and cook the cabbages. I just got done making a quadruple batch of this recipe (one of our favorites, but I only make it once a year). There will be enough food to feed the whole clan, plus friends, at noon and again at 5:00.


EMERALD ISLE CAKE

(This recipe tastes sort of like those dunkin' doughnut sticks. It's very good!)

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk

Mix all ingredients together well, then pour into an 8 x 8 square baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Make glaze (below) and pour over hot cake fresh from the oven. Allow to cool, cut into 4" x 2" pieces and serve with tea or coffee. Delicious!

     Glaze

     1 cup powdered sugar
     2 teaspoons milk

     Stir together until smooth. Pour over hot cake fresh from oven.

Monday, March 10, 2014

My Dollar-Stretching, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-The-Food-Up Project For March - Day 10 - 3/10/14

Good Evening, Dear Friends!

Well, Day 10 of My Dollar-Stretching, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-The-Food-Up Project For March is over and the progress continues.

* It was another one of those hit-the-floor-with-your-feet-running kind of mornings. By the time we thought of breakfast, it was time for lunch. For John it was left over vegetable soup; for me it was the last of yesterday's pizza.

* For supper I turned a package of chicken leg quarters and an abundance of leftover egg yolks into chicken and noodles. We were expecting company this afternoon, so I made a double batch, but, as it turned out, our company was unable to come after all. There were enough chicken and noodles that I was able to share half of them with another family. Our youngest son joined us for supper and I gave some to my dad, too. There are still enough chicken and noodles leftover for John and I for lunch tomorrow.

* Snacks today included the last of the crustless pumpkin pie and graham crackers with peanut butter.

That's all for today. I know these post sound extremely boring, but I am determined to finish what I have begun. As of today I am a third of the way there!

Have a blessed evening, dear friends, and I will be with you again tomorrow.

All My Love,
~Rebecca

Book Review: The Thunder, A Novel On John Knox, by Douglas Bond (P&R 2012)



Book Review: THE THUNDER, a novel on John Knox, by Douglas Bond (P&R, 2012)
A two-for-one review by bloggers John and Rebecca Knox 

REBECCA KNOX’S REVIEW
In The Thunder, a novel on John Knox, Douglas Bond has done it again! Bond has long been at the top of the list of favorite authors in the Knox home. Shortly after discovering our own Scottish roots and ancestry (Knox really is our surname), and being absolutely fascinated by them, we discovered and read Mr. Bond's Crown & Covenant Trilogy, (the first, Duncan’s War is at present being made into a movie) followed by his Faith & Freedom Trilogy.

When The Thunder was released, we absolutely devoured it. What I love about Mr. Bond's writing is the way he weaves meticulously researched, historical fact and fiction together in such a way as to create a rich story line that brings to life people, places, and times that we might, otherwise, have known very little about. Perhaps as a result of the many church history tours he leads, Mr. Bond's writing transports us to other times and places, inviting us to delve in and learn more for ourselves, further enriching our family learning experiences. 

At the risk of appearing to over praise, The Thunder truly is one of the best books that I have ever read, and through its pages I was spiritually humbled and challenged. Bond tells the incredible story of God's grace in the life of John Knox and the struggle for Reformation in Scotland. The Thunder is, as Richard Phillips, pastor and author of The Masculine Mandate, wrote "...historically informative and spiritually inspiring, as well as highly enjoyable and fast-paced..." 

Told from the perspective of a young student, one who is resolved to protect Knox at all costs to himself, Bond's thrilling biographical novel provides a look at the harrowing life story of a timid man who is, literally, transformed into a giant of the faith. One who goes down in history and is known to this day as “The Thundering Scot.” The novel reveals Knox as a man filled with the love of Christ and made courageous by his faith in God's Word. Families everywhere should read this book--all the better if they read it aloud. The Thunder is a deeply spiritual novel that is sure to stir the heart and faith of anyone who longs to see God's Word triumph in our world today. How fitting to read it on the 500th commemorative year of Knox’s birth in 1514.


JOHN KNOX’S REVIEW

In The Thunder, Douglas Bond has, again, created a singular masterpiece of storytelling, which thoroughly captivates the reader from chapter to spellbinding chapter. The meticulous, historical research results in a vivid and explosive depiction of the life and times of John Knox, sixteenth-century Scotland, and continental Europe amidst the wildfire of the Reformation period. Only a well-traveled modern American author with Scottish roots and a true love and understanding of the theology of Presbyterianism in Scotland, could have succeeded in portraying the dangerous and desperate society in which John Knox found himself in the mid-16th century. 
Furthermore, Bond's The Thunder, accurately brings to its readers a vitally important time and place sometimes obscured or ignored by present day church historians, many of whom are honestly unaware of. By weaving historical fact with altogether-believable fictional scenarios, Bond’s novel reaches a potentially wider audience, while never sacrificing the truth of the history. Many educators should find The Thunder to be a valuable resource for introducing this period of European history in a classroom setting or in the homeschool. 
In addition, The Thunder presents much needed and informative facts regarding the origins of the Geneva Bible of which Knox was instrumental in producing. Obviously, Bond knows that both teachers and students of early U.S. History can never fully comprehend the events leading up to the American Revolution without a firm grip on the Scotch Reformation of which John Knox was the key player.
EVEN PASTORS AND THEOLOGIANS BENEFIT FROM FICTION 
As viable historical fiction, The Thunder, is a perfect example of an important literary genre often overlooked, or virtually disregarded by serious scholars of theology--to their own detriment. Recent studies conducted by Professor Gregory Bern, and a team of neuroscientists at Emory University, have concluded that reading great fiction has both short and long-term social and educational benefits for everyone, a fact appreciated by readers of classic literature for centuries, and more recently rediscovered in The Great Books approach to curriculum in Christian education and widely within the Christian homeschool community. 
Among other roles, church leaders are educators to their flocks, and should therefore equip themselves for effectiveness by every legitimate means to carry out that God-ordained responsibility. For that reason alone, pastors, elders, and theologians (avid readers of non-fiction) who've previously been reluctant to embrace historical fiction and imaginative literature should seriously reconsider the reasons for avoiding this literary genre. Having confronted that personal prejudice, an excellent place to start is Douglas Bond's The Thunder, a novel on John Knox (P&R, 2012). 

Learn more at www.bondbooks.net

Sunday, March 9, 2014

My Dollar-Stretching, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-The-Food-Up Project For March - Day 9 - 3/9/14

Greetings, Dear Friends!

It's been a wonderfully busy day that has been full of family and friends, and the week ahead promises more of the same! But more about that later in the week! :)

Day 9 of My Dollar-Stretching, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-The-Food-Up Project For March has been a tad bit different that all the other days.

* For breakfast it was a slice of crustless pumpkin pie and tea. That's it.

* After church this morning we headed to Pittsburg (Kansas) to meet our daughter and son-in-law and grands for lunch and to shop for our annual St. Patrick's Day celebration.

* Later in the afternoon our youngest son and his wife came over, and our daughter-in-law made, and shared, a special dessert with us. I plan on posting about that later in the week. :)

* And for supper I made a homemade pizza.

And that's it! There wasn't a whole lot of cabinet-clearing or food clean-up going on here today, but it will resume tomorrow. Until then, have a blessed evening and I'll see you again on the morrow!

All My Love,
~Rebecca 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

My Dollar-Stretching, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-The-Food-Up Project For March - Day 8 - 3/8/14

Good Evening, Dear Friends!

So...here we are on Day 8 of My Dollar-Stretching, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-The-Food-Up Project For March and so far, so good! Today's clean-up went like this...

* For breakfast it was omelets with fat-free turkey and 2% cheese.

* For lunch I made Beenie Weenies out of a can of pork and beans and those two leftover hot dogs from earlier in the week, potato pancakes (made with leftover mashed potatoes and corn), and leftover beets.

* For supper it was the last of the roasted vegetables and lentils served with French bread.

* Snacks today included a half of a peanut butter sandwich, crustless pumpkin pie, and Progresso Chicken Pot Pie soup.

That's it for today. Will see you again tomorrow!

All My Love,
~Rebecca

Don't Forget To Change Those Clocks Tonight!


Friday, March 7, 2014

My Dollar-Stretching, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-The-Food-Up Project For March - Day 7 - March 7, 2013

Good Evening, Dear Friends,

My Dollar-Stretching, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-The-Food-Up Project For March continues and Day 7 is over. I am excited to report that, after a full week, we are finally starting to expand our food choices beyond the refrigerator and refrigerator-freezer and gain some variety to our meals. :)

Here is today's report...

DAY 7 - Friday, March 7, 2014 -

* Unfortunately, today started out busier than usual, and, by the time we were ready to settle down to breakfast it was already nearing lunchtime, so, for lunch, I had a turkey cheeseburger and oven fries (a potato cut, drizzled with olive oil, and baked in a 450 degree oven), and John made himself some pasta topped with leftover roasted vegetables and leftover spaghetti sauce...oops! Make that leftover enchilada sauce! Yuck!!! (LOL! Who could tell the difference? They both look the same in those cute, little, clear, plastic containers with the blue lids!) He ate it, but John said that he really didn't recommend it. ;)

* In the afternoon our son and daughter-in-love dropped by with a pizza. I shouldn't have, but I had a slice or two of it. (Can you blame me? It didn't do a thing toward cleaning up leftovers, but it sure was tasty!) ;)

* For supper I made chicken breasts seasoned with salt, pepper, dried red pepper flakes, parsley, basil, and garlic, mashed potatoes, corn, home-canned beets, and frozen dinner rolls. (Way too much starch, I know, but I have a plan. There's a bigger plan going on overall. This food clean-up is just the first phase.)

* Snacks today included banana, cheese, and yogurt.

That's it for today, friends! You all get a good night's sleep and I'll see you tomorrow! G'night! <3

All My Love,
~Rebecca

Thursday, March 6, 2014

My Dollar-Stretching, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-The-Food-Up Project For March - Day 6 - 3/6/14

Good Evening, Dear Friends!

Day 6 of My Dollar-Stretching, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-The-Food-Up Project For March is over and as it continues I'm beginning to think that some progress, at least, is being made. 

Here's today's report...

DAY 6 - Thursday, March 6, 2014 -

* The morning started with omelets made with eggs, fat-free turkey, and 2% cheese slices. (John had an all egg white omelet as usual. I think I've got enough yolks right now to make a batch of homemade noodles!) :)

* For lunch it was last of the barbecued turkey, leftover mashed potatoes, and a lovely spinach salad served with red wine vinegar. For dessert we had butterscotch pudding with served with Redi Whip on top. (It was so yummy!)

* In the afternoon one of our daughters-in-law and four of the grands were here and grandson, Jed, brought Grandma's attention to the fact there were still, indeed, more of last year's pecans. They were in a big bowl...cracked, but not yet picked out of their shells...so, while we visited, granddaughter, Lizzie, helped me and we got them picked out, jarred, and put in the freezer. We got almost a full pint AND there is still a bag of whole, uncracked pecans left for me to work on. I am so THANKFUL! Between those, and the fresh, vacuum-sealed pecans that a friend gave us recently, I've got enough nuts to run us til fall.  

* For supper I made Roasted Vegetables With Lentils, sausage, and French bread. I didn't follow the recipe for the roasted vegetables exactly. I just used what vegetables I had on hand...yellow onion, sweet potatoes, carrots, and cabbage. It turned out really nice and so good. This has actually become one our favorite cold weather foods.

* Snacks today included string cheese and rice...but not together. ;)

Well, that's it for today! We've got company coming next week, so tomorrow I'm hoping to be able to put next week's menus together and solidify our holiday plans. (Holiday as in our annual St. Patrick's Day get-together with family and friends. Technically, St. Patty's Day is a week from Monday on the 17th, but we always get together when our daughter from Kansas City has her days off and can make it down. This year our get-together will be on Wednesday the 12th.) 

So...anyway...well...I guess I say good night for now and I'll see you all tomorrow! Good night! Take care and God bless!

All My Love,
~Rebecca