Monday, April 17, 2017

Celebrating 25 Years Of Being Smoke Free 1992-2017

I just realized that April 12 has come and gone and I missed it! The 25th anniversary of God's deliverance...the 25th anniversary of being smoke free!

It was April 11, 1992 and I was smoking four packs of cigarettes a day (I had been smoking since I was 15, and I was 31 at that point)!!! I had tried to quit smoking many times, but couldn't. Even though we weren't doing a very good job of it, John and I had committed our lives to the Lord, and were serious about getting our lives, and our household, in line with His Word. (Needless to say, we are still working on it!)

On the evening of April 11, 1992 I was sitting in a chair in the corner of our bedroom reading my Bible. I heard a voice just as clear as day say, "Throw your cigarettes and lighters away and wait 24 hours."

I immediately picked up all my cigarettes...I had an open pack, an open carton, and an unopened carton...and all my lighters and went carrying them through the house. John was in the livingroom and, when he saw me, he said, "What are you doing?"

Anyone who know my husband knows that he HATES cigarettes (he always has), and he hated me smoking them, but he was skeptical. He knew how many times I had tried to quit smoking before...and how often I had failed. He knew how awful my lungs were. Not only did I smoke like a chimney, but I had chemically burned the lining out of my lungs a few years earlier when I mixed sulfuric acid and Clorox in an attempt to unclog the toilet. I ended up in the hospital. After that I could hardly breathe most of the time...I couldn't even blow a balloon up for my children to play with!

Anyway, I threw the cigarettes away, and I waited. That 24-hour period was one of the longest...most awful times of my life, and I never thought I'd make it through it...yet, somehow, I knew, if I did, that the Lord had something very special waiting for me on the other side. I knew that He was going to do something very special for me!

Well, sure enough, the next night...on the evening of the 12th...I was sitting there reading my Bible. All of a sudden I had the most horrendous pain in my stomach. I looked up at the clock, and it was 11:00 p.m. I jumped up and had to get to the bathroom. I was there until 4:00 a.m. My stomach hurt so bad! It wrenched in pain, and I kept passing this black, tarry-like substance. When it was over, I KNEW that the Lord Jesus had, literally, cleaned me out, and, to this day, I've not been able to stand the thought of smoking another cigarette. I can't even stand the smell of one! It's been 25 years (and 5 days) and I still stand in awe of what the Lord did for me!

Do you have an addiction? If you do and you'd like for me to join you in prayer for deliverance from your situation, please, feel free to e-mail me privately at (please put PRAYER on the subject line so I don't delete it by mistake) and I will be happy to join you in prayer over whatever it is that might be holding you in bondage today. Be assured...the Lord is able! I've experienced it first hand! Blessed be the name of the Lord! And God bless YOU!

Until Next Time...


Friday, April 14, 2017

Resurrection Cookies

Photo Credit
This is a great recipe that can be used to teach your children the story of Resurrection Sunday...that Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior is not dead but has risen. We serve a Risen Savior......
You will need:
1 cup whole pecans
1 teaspoon vinegar
3 egg whites
a pinch salt
1 cup sugar
a zipper baggy
1 wooden spoon
scotch tape

These are to be made the evening before Easter.  Preheat oven to 300F.
*** (this is very important --- don't wait until you are half done
with the recipe). Place pecans in zipper baggy and let children beat them with the
wooden spoon to break into small pieces.  Explain that after Jesus was arrested.
He was beaten by the Roman soldiers.  Read: John 19:1-3
Let each child smell the vinegar.  Put 1 teaspoon vinegar into mixing
bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross He was given vinegar
to drink. Read: John 19:28-30
Add egg whites to vinegar.  Eggs represent life.  Explain that Jesus
gave His life to give us life. Read: John 10:10&11
Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand.  Let them taste it and
brush the rest into the bowl.  Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by
Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read: Luke 23:27
So far the ingredients are not very appetizing.  Add 1 cup sugar.
Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us.
He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read: Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16
Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff
peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of
those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read: Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3
Fold in broken nuts.  Drop by teaspoon onto waxed paper covered
cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body
was laid. Read: Matthew 27:57-60
Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven
Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus tomb was sealed. Read: Matthew 27:65-66
Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven
overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read: John
On Resurrection Sunday (Easter) morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie.  Notice the cracked surface and take a bite.  The cookies are hollow!  On the first Easter Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read: Matthew 28:1-9

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Five Minute Friday - ABANDON

Five Minute Friday a free write, which means, as our hostess, Kate Motaung, says, " editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write."

This week's prompt is: ABANDON. 


Living life with abandon. During our children's' growing up years it's what we did. However any particular day fell...that's the way we went!

We viewed each day as an adventure and couldn't wait to see what opportunities and encounters that the Lord had in store for us and we were never disappointed. There were many of them. Our family was so free-wheeling! So spur of the moment! So full of life!

Oh, sure! We had a schedule that we tried our best to adhere to (that is what we referred to as Plan A), but we were always open to God's Plan B...and we had fun!

As the years passed and the children grew, things happened that changed all that. Life became far too serious. Our adventurous spirit was squelched and our free-wheeling, spur-of-the-moment ways came to a screeching halt. Life became hard and it became even harder to understand why. The enemy had had his way.

The ties that bound us together were stretched beyond capacity and broken. No more living life with abandon. Now just abandonment...lost in the endless pursuit of money and things...things that mean more to some than family loyalty.

It's sad, yes, but we're tired of being sad...tired of trying to figure it all out. Life's too short!

No matter what choices others choose to make, my husband and I are renewed and refreshed. We are committed to rekindling our spirit of adventure and to living out the lives that God created us to live...with abandon!


Until next time.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Celebrating Purim

King Ahasuerus and Queen Esther
This evening we were invited to celebrate Purim with our daughter, Amber, son-in-law, Patrick, and our grandchildren, Audrey, Silas, Isaiah, Esther, and Mercy. Our youngest son, Anthony, and his girlfriend, Nicole, and our daughter's uncle and his girlfriend joined us, as well.

Amber made a delicious feast...soup, vegetables, challah bread, and hamantashen (Haman's Hats)...and Patrick read the beautiful story of Queen Esther from the Bible. After studying the holiday, and in keeping with Jewish tradition, every time Haman's name was read aloud, the children (AND the adults) would stamp their feet, shake their graggers, and boo the villainous character. It was a lot of fun!
The Evil Haman
To learn more about Purim and the story of Queen Esther, I suggest reading the book of Esther from the Holy Bible. The book tells the story of a young Jewish girl named Hadassah who is taken from her guardian, Mordecai, and forced to compete for the affection of the king. Hadassah wins the contest, is crowned queen of Persia, renamed Esther, and in the end, saves her people from certain death. Purim is still celebrated today to commemorate the defeat of Haman's plot to massacre the Jews as recorded in the book of Esther.
The Faithful Mordecai

  "For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14)

Monday, March 6, 2017

Letter From A Reader

I received the following e-mail in response to a Five Minute Friday post that I had posted months ago. I feel that the author makes some valid points and I want to pass on her thoughts to others who might be struggling with some of the same issues. I also encourage all of us to heed her admonishment to be careful of the way we treat others...especially the strangers that we meet along life's way.   

My Own Five Minute Friday - 
by an anonymous Hearth and Home reader

This is just a rambling from an overflowing spirit that needs perspective. It could be that I have been short on patience lately or that I am continually baffled by our society. But it seems every time I venture outside my door I find myself longing to be back home with my family so that I can shut out the madness and feel “safe”. Am I beginning to sound like a crazy?

I think that we underestimate the affect that we have on people, even strangers, by our words, attitudes and conduct. We live in a selfish, me-based society that seems to be getting worse. And the things that seem deplorable or that once were deplorable are becoming the norm and accepted, while the old fashioned values and salt of the earth people seem to be treated hostile.

I have had several experiences lately, all similar, and rudeness seems to be the new norm. We have a large family, not large compared to a lot of the people I know, but large for today's standard where the average for an American family is 1.9 children. (Don’t ask me about the .9 I have no idea.) 

I try to not be a super sensitive mom that won’t take criticism about their children. And if a child is misbehaving I agree that they should be corrected. But my older children are very responsible in stores and my younger ones are still in training and stay with me. If they misbehave their father or I take them outside to the van and they don’t get to be in the store.

Despite however hard I try I still manage to have someone from the store approach me and make comments such as “children need to remain seated while in the cart” (while I am taking care of the problem) or “you need to have your children within an arms reach of you!” or someone yelling across the room at me “don’t let your children in the clothes rack!” 

I don’t mind someone correcting my child, but in most of these cases we were just quietly shopping in the store and they made me feel bad for even walking in with my children. The topper was one thrift store that supports animals, which I am fond of...had cats roaming around the hair on items....and the cats were acting like animals, if you know what I mean. I look up on the wall and there is a sign...Animals Welcome...please keep children on leashes.
Animals are more welcome with all their animal tendencies than a child is. It makes me wonder about the hearts of these people. But for all this the verses come to mind how our words matter. Proverbs 12:18 - There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword...Proverbs 15:1 - A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up angerProverbs 18:21 - Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue:
We can make someone’s day or we can be that final nail in the coffin that sinks their countenance and ruins the day. All this negativity has made my soul to look up and ask that the Lord would make me to be a blessing to those around me. I don’t want to be affected by the negative attitudes of those out there. I am going to memorize and meditate upon Proverbs 16:24 “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.”
So, next time you’re out, try to think of something encouraging to say to that stranger. They just might be needing to hear a word of encouragement and that would make all the difference.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Five Minute Friday - CONTROL

Five Minute Fridaya free write, which means, as our hostess, Kate Motaung, says, " editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write."

This week's prompt is: CONTROL. 


Sometimes it seems that life is totally out of control. Things don't go the way that we would have liked for them to go or, at least the way that we thought they would, and our world is shaken.

Some days distractions come at us fast and furious from every direction leaving us mentally weary and just flat tired at the end of the day, our to-do lists undone and us too tired to care.

Maybe it's time to slow down, take a step back and look at our priorities...take a look at what we're allowing to control our lives.

In my own life, I see that, for far too long, I've been stuck between where I used to be...five, ten, even twenty years ago...and where I am right now. Hard as I've tried to hang on to the past, the truth is, where I was then, isn't where I am today and what I was doing then, isn't what I am doing now.

I am one that is very slow to accept change, but, am realizing that if there is going to be any forward movement on my part, I must accept the changes that have taken place, embrace this season of life that I'm in, and move out of the stagnancy that I have been stuck in for far too long.


Until next time...

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Burn's Night 2017 - Recipes For Crockpot Haggis, Tatties and Neeps, and Scottish Oatcakes

Robert Burns - Scottish Bard
Celebrating Burn's Night has become an annual event in our home. It started back in 2012 when I was browsing Facebook and something came up on one of the Scottish groups that I was in 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 probably wouldn't be traditional by UK standards, we were going to celebrate Burn's Night anyway...American style!

I discovered that the Burn's Night supper traditionally consists of haggis, tatties, and neeps. I searched around online and came up with a recipe for haggis made in a crockpot. I tweaked the recipe a bit, made it my own, and have made it this way annually ever since.

In addition to the crockpot haggis I also make the traditional tatties (mashed potatoes) and neeps (mashed turnips), and have added my own favorite version of Scottish oatcakes to round out the meal. It makes for a delicious that we look forward to year after year.

Up to now we have always celebrated Burn's Night on January 25th (Robert Burns' actual birthday and traditional date of celebration in the UK), but, this year, I had to be out of town for training with work on the 25th, so we decided to celebrate a day early and do it on the evening of the 24th.

My cousin, Dave, who just happens to share a birthday with the beloved bard of Scotland, joined us for our celebration this year and enjoyed his first Burn's Night by partaking of a fine Scottish meal (at least the American equivalent thereof) and listening, with us, to two of our favorite works by Robbie Burns...Auld Lang Syne and Address To A Haggis (which I absolutely adore!).

Should you and your family decide to celebrate with us at any point, here are my traditional Burn's Night recipes to enjoy. <3

Crockpot Haggis

Tatties and Neeps
Scottish Oat Cakes


2 pounds lean ground turkey
1 large or two small chopped red onions
2 cup whole oats
a couple of pinches each of nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. salt
2 egg
1 cup chicken broth (I add more as cooking time progresses)

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


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

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

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


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

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

Happy Burns Night!


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Five Minute Friday - REFINE

Five Minute Fridaya free write, which means, as our hostess, Kate Motaung, says, " editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write."

This week's prompt is: REFINE. And, yes, I'm a few days late, but that's how it goes sometimes...well...for me, most of the time...anyway...


I'll be honest, this week's prompt has really had me stumped and I've hardly known where to go with it. 

I looked up scripture verses, but nothing struck me, so I turned to the dictionary. 

Refine - to remove impurities or unwanted elements from, to purify, to improve something by making small changes, improve, perfect, hone, fine-tune, to free from impurities or unwanted material, to improve or perfect by pruning or polishing...

Ah! Pruning! Now there is a word that strikes a chord!!!

The word refine conjures up images in my mind of a perfecting process that takes one through steps that, with each one, things get better and better...which is true...that's what it does...or, at least, that's what it's supposed to do. I think that some refining the one they use to refine sugar, for example...takes out the most important parts, leaving behind something that is not only less than what it should be, but is right down dangerous...but that's a whole 'nother matter skip that...

But, there's a process that sounds painful And it is...especially when you're the one being pruned!

Pruning involves cutting back the parts that are overgrown and out of control or cutting away the parts that are dead. But why? To increase fruitfulness. To increase growth. 

And in the end...refine.


"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).

Until next time...

Monday, January 23, 2017

Rebecca's Hearth and Home Newsletter - January 2017

Greetings, Dear Friends!

It's a new year and a new day! And it's time to get back to what the Lord called me to do many years ago. It's time to get back to my writing and to get on with this blog!

The original Hearth and Home did not start out as a blog. It started out as a monthly (sometimes twice a month) newsletter published through Rebecca's Hearth and Home on Yahoo Groups in January of 2002. It continued in one form another on a consistent (and sometimes not-so-consistent) basis for several years with the last issue being published in July of 2013. 

I have decided that it is time to just pick up where I left off and revive Rebecca's Hearth and Home newsletter. At this time I cannot promise that it will be very large in content or published on a monthly basis, but I do promise to get an issue, however small it might be, out as consistently as I am possibly able to in the months ahead. 

Will you join me for the first of what I hope to be many new issues of Rebecca's Hearth and Home? Here we go...


- We have spent the past two decades plus digging out of debt...sometimes it seems with a teaspoon. In the past two and half years debt pay-off has drastically picked up steam since taking a part-time job at our local state park. Before starting I sought advice from someone who had recently achieved debt freedom for themselves (our youngest daughter) and incorporated Dave Ramsey's '7 Baby Steps To Financial Freedom', including putting back an emergency fund, developing a "cash only" mentality, and incorporating the envelope system. All of our credit cards, which were far too many, except one, are paid off in full, cut up, destroyed, and accounts closed. Praise the Lord! For the first time in 20 years we see light at the end of the tunnel and, with continued persistence, plan to be debt-free by January 1, 2018 or shortly thereafter. Yeah!!!

- I have been saving points earned on my KICKBACK card at Conoco for the past year or more. The last time I was in Lamar I finally used them and it resulted in a free fill-up at the gas pump.

- I took advantage of deep, after-Christmas mark-downs at Walmart this year, which resulted in several large, multi-roll packages of wrapping paper for $2.44 each, several large containers of plastic Christmas ornaments (to be used in upcoming craft projects) for $1.24 each, and 30 felt stockings (also to be used in upcoming craft projects) for 24 cents each. All of these will put me ahead of the game in preparing for Christmas 2017.


(Our youngest daughter recently shared this recipe with me and it was a big hit! Will definitely make it again and again! Thanks, Amanda!)

2 tsp. olive oil
1 cup rice
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
2 c. cooked chicken, chopped
2 c. frozen peppers
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed 1 3/4 plus 2 T. chicken broth
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Heat oil in skillet. Add rice and seasonings; stir for one minute. Add all other ingredients, except cheese, and cook until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Add cheese just before serving.


(Had leftover turkey and bone broth in the freezer after Christmas, so turned it into this delicious and filling soup.)

2 pounds lentils
4 cups turkey stock or bone broth
8 cups water
1 large onion
3 teaspoons salt
black pepper
cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
3 squirts Bragg liquid aminos
2 cups cooked turkey, chopped

Soak lentils all day in a large pot. A couple of hours before serving, drain lentils and put back in pot. Add all ingredients above except turkey. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce to low and cook until lentils are soft. Add more water if the soup gets too thick for your liking. Toward end of cooking time add chopped turkey and adjust seasonings to taste.

(Absolutely delicious!!!)

1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. butter
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar (I used crystalized cane sugar)
2 eggs
4 small bananas, mashed (approximately 1 1/3 cups) (I used 3 medium bananas)
1/2 c. chocolate chip


1/4 c. half & half (I used cashew milk)
2 T. brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
6 T. chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 5 loaf pan. (I didn't have a loaf pan handy, so I used an 8 x 8 square glass pan.)

2. Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder in a large bowl. Set aside.

3. Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Stir in eggs and bananas. Add banana mixture and chocolate chips to flour mixture. Stir just until combined.

4. Bake 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.


1. Heat half & half and brown sugar over medium heat until brown sugar has dissolved and tiny bubbles start to form on the edges. Stir in vanilla and butter until melted and turn off heat. Add chocolate chips and do not stir, let sit 2-3 minutes.

2. Whisk chocolate chips until smooth. Cool completely and drizzle over bread.

(I shared the recipe above with my changes made in parenthesis. For original recipe go to SPEND WITH PENNIES by clicking here.)

Well...that's it for this time! It's not much, but it's a start! I wish you all a blessed and beautiful New Year!

Until Next Time...

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Blast From The Past - The First Issue of HEARTH AND HOME - Published January 18, 2002

I was looking through some of the posts on my original HEARTH AND HOME, which was started back in 2002 on Yahoo Groups, and ran across the very first issue of HEARTH AND HOME that I did. It was published on Yahoo Groups - Rebecca's Hearth and Home - January 18, 2002. Thought some of you might enjoy reading it! <3

Greetings Dear Sisters!
Welcome to the first issue of Hearth and Home...dedicated to making your home a house of many blessings!
"She looketh well to the ways of her household and eateth not the bread of idleness." (Proverbs 31:27)
Household Hints:
Shine everything from mirrors to countertops to faucets to porcelain with a quick spray of 409 All-Purpose Cleaner and a soft rag.
Use the plastic bags that your groceries and Wal-mart items are packed up in as trash can liners for small wastepaper baskets. I nestle three at a time inside of each other, then when it comes time to remove the bathroom trash...I just lift up the handles of the innermost bag...tie them shut...and toss away! I only have to line the wastepaper baskets twice a week this way, too! It also saves on the cost of trash bags!
Dollars & Sense:
After Tithe....Pay Yourself First
After tithe make savings a top-priority "expense." Pay yourself first through direct desposit, payroll deduction, or setting up a separate savings account that you put money in each pay day. Make sure you pay yourself a regular amount at regular intervals.
Finding Cash
Here are some suggestions for finding a little extra money in your pocket:
1. Pack lunches at home for work, school, and special outings. Bringing food from home can
    add up to big savings over the course of a
2. Cut financial fees.  Close out credit cards you
    seldom or never use and switch debts to lower
    interest rate credit cards.
3. Look for unnecessary expenses. Eliminate
    subscriptions to magazines unread and health
    clubs unattended. The library may have the
    magazines that you read and you can look at
    them there.
4. Reduce variable expenses. You can probably
    cut the cost of food, clothing, and entertain-
    ment by 10% without much effort and little 
    effect to your lifestyle. For example, buy
    clothes on sale or even at such places as the
    local Salvation Army or Goodwill Thrift Store.
    Buy  nonperishable items, such as toilet paper
    in large quantities. It usually costs less and it
    will keep.
5. Consider refinancing  your mortgage. With
    interest rates down now might be a good time
    to do this. Just make sure you plan  on stay-
    ing in your present home long enough to
    recover refinancing costs.
Many Utility Companies Offer Different Rates. If you haven't asked, you may not be receiving the least expensive rate. Call and talk with one of your utility company representatives about getting the lowest possible rate. Most of these folks are friendly and glad to help. They only need to be asked. This strategy alone can save you $20 to $80 per month.
Spending time in the Word with your family is important. Deuteronomy 11:19 instructs us to teach the words of God to our children "...speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."
What are some ways that you incorporate the teaching of God's Word throughout the day in your home?
(If you don't mind me sharing your response in a future issue of this e-zine, please send your reply to this question to me at:        
Please put Hearth and Home Question on the subject line. Thank you!)
Chicken and Broccoli Ring
2 cans crescent rolls
1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 to 1 cup broccoli, chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups shredded Monterey cheese
1 can of chicken or 1 to 2 cups cooked chicken,

Leaving a 3-inch circle in the center, form a sun with crescent rolls on a pizza stone. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Place on rolls around the center. Tuck points of rolls over meat mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, or until rolls are brown.
Double  Orange Scones
2 cups flour
3 T. sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. grated orange peel
1/3 c. margerine
1/2 c. manderine oranges, drained
1/4 c. milk
1 egg

Mix all ingredients together. Flatten dough into a disk in the middle of a cookie sheet. Sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of sugar over the top and, using a floured knife, cut disk into eighths. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with Orange Butter (recipe below). Make 8 scones.


1/2 c. margerine
2 T. orange marmalade

Mix together until well blended. Serve on warm scones. 
Grease Cutter Cleanup
Use this homemade solution to cut grease buildup on stoves, backsplashes, or glossy enamel surfaces:
    1/4 cup baking soda
    1/2 cup white vinegar
    1 cup ammonia
    1 gallon hot water
Wear rubber gloves and use in a well-ventilated area.
Homemade Lye Soap
1-Measure out 13 1/2 cups or 6 1/2 pounds of lard.
2-Heat until dissolved in a granite or glass pan.
3-In a glass jar (I use the one gallon size. The kind that pickles come in.) measure out 2 1/2 pints of cold water, then pour in 12 oz. of pure lye (I use RED DEVIL). Stir until dissolved. DO NOT BREATHE FUMES!!!!
4-Let cool until you can comfortabley put your hands on the glass jar (about 85 degrees).
5-Get a flat box and line with plastic.
6-Pour lye mixture slowly into the lard while stirring constantly.
7-Stir until thick enough to pour into mold. (After I'm done...I pick the box up about a half inch off the cabinet and drop...pick it up...and drop. This brings air bubbles to the top and breaks them.)
8. Let set in a cool place until hard enough to cut into 2x2 squares. (The longer lye soap seasons...the better it is!)
Well...that's it for this time, Ladies! I'll be looking forward to getting together with you all soon! God bless you!
Until next time...