Friday, May 30, 2008
So what is this place and where is it you ask? Ravine Gardens State Park in Palatka.
Our family visited here in November of last year and loved it! I've spoken with people who have been married there and with the beautiful backdrop I can see why. The gardens have 2 suspension bridges, a nice paved drive around the top of the ravine and neat paths that weave their way up hills and down into the bottom. I suggest parking and exploring the gardens by foot and then on your way out drive the loop around the ravine. A park for younger children is positioned about 1/2 way around the ravine and an exercise station is toward the beginning. It's not a very large park, check out the map here. Added bonus: much of the park, ravine and gardens are in the shade.
In a day and age when family time is hard to come by and if your home is like mine it can be hard to break away from TV, Playstation, phone calls and chores. Setting out purposefully, maybe even with cell phones turned off, can really do wonders for a family. So grab some tunes, if Adventures in Odyssey are not an option, and enjoy the ride, the views and the company!
More than just flat ground.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
I have a confession to make.
I don't really like to cook. Bake, yes; cook, no so much.
So when a tasty, easy meal comes my way I make it 'til no one wants it anymore.
Here's a great meal that I make often for family and friends.
I love to double it and make 2 meals for the time-price of one!
Swiss Cheese Chicken
4, boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4, slices of swiss cheese
1 can, cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup wine or grape juice or water
1/2 cup- 1cup Stove Top Stuffing
2 Tbsp butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Place chicken in bottom of a baking dish
Cover chicken with Swiss Cheese
Mix wine and cream of chicken, pour over chicken breasts
Sprinkle the stuffing on top and drizzle with melted butter
Bake 35-45 minutes or until chicken is done
Serve with a veggie and extra stuffing is need be
Works for me!
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
So to start your week off I'm linking to a wonderful friend of mine Barb over at A Chelsea Morning.
I think you'll enjoy this Sunday Meandering entitled Simple Trust.
Have a blessed week.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Beth Moore Simulcast
August 1 - 2, 2008 Holly Hill, FL
Church of the United Brethren in Christ Holly Hill
Church of the United Brethren in Christ Holly Hill386.677.6940
I attended a simulcast at this church in Feb. 2007. I went up with 2 other ladies and we ate lunch right at the church. It was a nice day. This particular event is a Friday night and Saturday, click the link above for more info.
If you would like to go to this event it is your responsibility to get your own ticket and transportation. Here are some suggestions for finding a friend, or two, to go with you.
- Ask the women in your small group
- Go with the lady you have always wanted to get together with but never have
- Invite a friend from work
- Invite a friend you haven't seen in awhile
- Ask your mom
- Leave a comment here and connect with someone through this blog
Please know that this post is just information for you, I am NOT organizing a group to go to this event!
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Another tip from the Thursday night small group I attend.
Salt in your washing machine will stop colors from running. (i.e. your whites won't turn pink!)
I also found this link on some other tips for using salt in your laundry. I've also listed them below!
~Remove perspiration stains on white shirts. Dissolve 4 tablespoons of salt in a quart of very hot water. Sponge the solution onto the stain until it disappears.
~Wash new towels in salt water. Add a cup of salt to the wash the first few times the new towels go through the laundry to set the color and stay brighter longer.
~Use salt as a laundry pre-treatment when away from home to tackle grease stains from foods such as salad dressing. Saturate the area with table salt and work into the fabric to absorb as much of the stain as possible. Launder as usual.
~Remove gunk from the iron's metal soleplate. Sprinkle salt crystals on a thick section of newspaper laid out on the ironing board. Heat the iron turn off the steam option. Run the iron over the salt until the gunk is ironed off the plate.
~Treat a fresh blood stain by covering it with salt. Use a clean cloth and dab the salt with cold water until a clump forms. Work it into the stain and continue until the stain disappears.
~Remove mildew stains from clothing with a paste of lemon juice and salt. Spread the paste over the mildew and set the garment in the sun to dry.
I'm happy to know that I can use table salt, at the restaurant, when something gets spilled or dribble on me.
Works for me!
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Purchasing a stock certificate will not only help send a student to Waveland, MI or Detroit, MI, but will also allow you and your family dinner at a "Stock Holders Only Dinner" after their return. You will also receive a postcard from that student while in the field.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008
I like it,
I like the peace, the assurance, the knowledge that no matter what I see here with my human eyes it'll be alright. God's got us covered.
I don't like not knowing.
I don't like not getting my way
I don't like where I'm at, it's uncomfortable, it's foreign and it stinks; but, I accept it.
I accept it happily and with joy somedays and other days, well let's just say other days I feed my self more than I feed my spirit.
...to focus on the positive, on the truth and on the promises of God.
I chose the "whatevers" in Philippians 4:8,
I chose to do the right thing.
Today, I chose God.
*adapted from I Chose... May 2007, by Michelle
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Summer survival with kids home from school.
Summer is almost upon us and with that comes no school and no school means children home with us ALL DAY LONG! Each summer my kid count goes up by at least 3 kids, many times 4-5 extras, so over the years I've found a few things that work for me making the noisey day much more bearable.
My two best kept secrets would be 1.) mandatory outdoor time and 2.) mandatory quiet time. When I throw the word mandatory in their I find there's less arguing or excuses. After breakfast I usually "kick the kids out", they have to spend 2 hours outside. This allows me to clean up, do my devotions if I haven't had a chance yet and prepare for lunch and the rest of the day.
Then usually around 1:00pm all the boys go down for quiet time. Quiet time consists of each child in their own space. I usually put 2 in the bedroom on beds, 2 in the living room on sofas, 1 in my sewing room, 1 in the lego room and I keep an area open for me- to sit and relax or even catch a little nap. Usually the first week or so is tough. They want to talk or move about. I insist on them staying still and quiet. I roam the house like a hall monitor reminding them the timer will start over if they can't stick to the rules. The first 30 minutes they MUST be reading and the last 30 they can read or draw or play quietly with action figures or whatever they want. I try to not allow music during this time.
Two years ago we participated in a contest to keep track of # of minutes spent reading, # of minutes being active (outside time) and # of minutes participating in a service project. I'm hoping to plug into something of this nature again this year.
So with summer around the corner and our days filled with kids all around- these 2 tips work for me!
Head over to the main Works for Me Wednesday site for more ideas.
Monday, May 12, 2008
"It is the simple things of life that make living worthwhile, the sweet fundamental things such as love and duty, work and rest, and living close to nature." Laura Ingalls Wilder
Now allow me to quote James 1:17 "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."
I am always a little bit reserved on Mother's Day for various reasons, one of which is that for many years I was unable to have a child. I remember those Mother's Days in church when our Pastor's son would intentionally seek me out to hand me a carnation and tell me "You're like a Mommy to me Mrs. Engel & I love you". Sometimes I loved that and sometimes, well, not so much.
Yesterday, as I went through church I greeted many women and I wished them a Happy Mother's Day. Many I knew were Mothers and some I did not know. Sure enough, one woman said to me, "Oh, I'm not a mother, I not even married for that matter!" So I gave her a hug and said "Happy Mother's Day"!
Let me enlighten you to a few definitions of "mother" you may not have been aware of:
1. a woman exercising control, influence, or authority like that of a mother
2. the qualities characteristic of a mother, as maternal affection
3. something or someone that gives rise to or exercises protecting care over something else
4. (my personal favorite)(in disc recording) a mold from which stampers are made (I can feel another blog coming out of this definition)
As women, just because of the way God created us, in someway, we inevitably become mothers. Whether you birth a child, adopt a child, teach a child, love a child, pray for a child, (and I'm adding child, but it doesn't even have to be a child by definition), or lead a small group, pray for your neighbor, or....you get the idea - you are a Mother. So, if someone wishes you a Happy Mother's Day, receive it in love and think of the people that the Lord has placed in your path of life. Every good and perfect gift is from the Father above. Happy Mother's Day EVERYONE!
Friday, May 9, 2008
Lord, help me. I prayed. Help me.
Saturday greeted me with thoughts of not wanting to go out of the house, fear crept in and doing anything seemed impossible for me. Has this happened to you? You give something to the Lord, set it at His throne and no more than a night's sleep goes by and you awake with it right back in your own hand.
Ugh! It happens to me.
By the time Saturday lunch came I had turned to crying. Everything I saw, did or heard brought me to tears. I sat down with my Bible again and began to read Psalm 139. A familiar passage of comfort, reminding me that nowhere we go, no situation we're in can remove us from God's presence. That each situation we're in has a plan and a purpose much greater than we know.
Over and over I read these words, at first they were just words, not making much sense even though they had many times before, but slowly I began to get it. The words sunk into my heart flooding my mind and insides with peace, with understanding, with the comfort of God's love.
Dear one, if life has thrown you a series of unfortunate events lately cling to these verses, cling to God and His Word.
There is no where you can go that God is not with you and on those days where it seems everything has gone wrong, remember that He, the Creator of the universe journaled about that day long before it came to be. It may not make sense, it may even be crazy to think God could allow it to happen, He uses all things for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28). Take comfort.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Today's edition is a Doesn't Work for Me Wednesday. Since I was at a training all day Wednesday my mind is fried and I just don't have anything. So actually I guess sitting in a conference all day and then having to share something on a blog, doesn't work for me!
Monday, May 5, 2008
This past week in my private devotions, I found it very interesting that I would need this particular reminder for an event that would occur two days after reading this:
Quote from Sarah Young's book Jesus Calling: "When you are with other people, you often lose sight of My Presence. Your fear of displeasing people puts you into bondage in them, and they become your primary focus. When you realize this has happened, whisper My Name; this tiny act of trust brings Me to the forefront of your consciousness, where I belong. As you bask in the blessing of My nearness, My life can flow through you to others. This is abundant life."
Proverbs 29:25 says "Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe."
I walked right into that snare this week, but Praise God I sought His counsel, trusted and obeyed Him, and He saw us through to victory! It is true. I totally derived my own plan, but as I worshiped the Lord and asked for His wisdom, it was clearly different than my own. I chose to obey and the Lord did not remove His hand. I was basking in the blessing of His nearness and His life did indeed flow to others! Thank you Lord for being our ever present help in time of need!
Saturday, May 3, 2008
Title: Why Bother to Pray?
Author: Elisabeth Elliot
If God is sovereign, and things will be as they are going to be anyway, why bother to pray? There are several reasons. The first is really all we need to know: God has told us to pray. It is a commandment, and if we love Him we obey his commands.
Second, Jesus prayed. People sometimes say that the only reason for prayer is that we need to be changed. Certainly we do, but that is not the only reason to pray. Jesus was not being made more holy by prayer. He was communing with his Father. He was asking for things. He thanked God. In his Gethsemane prayer He was beseeching the Father to prevent what was about to take place. He was also laying down his own will.
Third, prayer is a law of the universe. As God ordained that certain physical laws should govern the operation of this universe, so He has ordained the spiritual law. Books simply will not stay put on the table without the operation of gravity-- although God could cause them, by divine fiat, to stay. Certain things simply will not happen without the operation of prayer, although God could cause them, by divine fiat, to happen.
The Bible is full of examples of people doing what they could do and asking God to do what they couldn't do. In other words, the pattern given to us is both to work and pray. Nehemiah and the people of Israel worked hard to build the wall of Jerusalem but were strenuously opposed by Sanballat and Tobiah, who banded together with Arabs, Ammonites, and Ashdodites to attack.