Showing posts from May, 2017

Summer Centerpiece With Found Objects

The spring centerpiece from our dining room table went into storage this week. The only problem then was a naked table - I'm ashamed! So in keeping with my no-spend, use-what-you-have mentality for this year, I was determined to use only what we had in the house to make a beautiful summer piece.

Here's what I gathered: - baskets from the garage - floral foam from the craft closet - burlap leftover from other projects - a selection of flowers I have from ... well ... lots of occasions

I stacked the first two baskets with foam in the middle, securing them with toothpicks.

Then I cut down foam to fit in the open spaces, securing them with more toothpicks.

My favorite part is always breaking down the flowers and tucking them into place. To finish, I simply wrapped each basket with burlap and knotted them in the front. The end result is a 2-foot-tall centerpiece that I didn't have to spend an incredible amount of money on. And I love the results!

Words For Wednesday


When To Take A Break

You might have noticed my less-than-consistent posting over the past couple of weeks. My brain was crispy to the point of not being excited about the things I was doing. I was cooking for the sake of having something to write about. My craft projects were done just enough to get pictures of them. And I was writing about Scripture that was on my heart ages ago but I felt like I was just putting words on the screen without devotion to them.

It was at that point that I knew I had to take a break. I was no longer blogging to give God the glory for how He has been working in my life, but trying to keep up with a self-imposed goal. It was trying to do this under my own power that sucked out my energy and left me empty.

How do you know when it's time to stop a project, passion or idea?

1. You're not doing it with all your heart.
2. You're doing it because you told yourself you would.
3. You're trying to keep up appearances.
4. You've lost sight of why you started doing i…

Trying Your Faith And Working Your Patience

Troubles and afflictions come to all of us, in varying degrees, at different times in our lives. Some seem small and can be handled in a short amount of time. Others are life-altering, traumatic and designed to stretch us to our limits.

Sufferings are not a strange occurrence. We are well aware that trials come when we least expect them, but we also know that no one is immune and no one will ever have smooth sailing through their time on earth. It isn't something that should destroy our faith, just something that we know will come our way.

The devil, however, will use these trying times to draw us away from God and toward sin. If he can lie to us and make us think that we are unloved, unwanted and unappreciated, he can talk us into thoughts and actions we wouldn't normally entertain. It's been his battle plan from the beginning (reread Genesis 3 and you'll see exactly what I mean), and it's the one he'll continue to use because he has no new tricks up his slee…

A Week Of Scar Prevention

I have a scar under my chin almost two inches long. During my junior year of high school, I wasn't feeling well and asked if I could go to the nurse's office. Unfortunately, I didn't make it that far. I passed out as I was trying to get the classroom door open, cracking my chin open on the glass door. It was easily one of the most embarrassing moments of my teenage years, and I have the deep scar to prove my story.
When I saw my prayer bench after a recent string of storms, I felt that it could tell some stories about scars, too. Once-smooth planks now have dents and dings all over. Even the overhanging trees couldn't keep my bench from getting pummeled by anything and everything flying through the wind.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rul…

Outside With Molly

This is the look I get when Molly's ready to go outside. If you have a dog, or have ever had a dog, known a dog or seen a dog, you're probably familiar with this face. It's not subtle and it's easily recognizable. So outside we go.

Molly spends much of our time outside like this. If you can't see what she's doing, it's because she has her face planted in the dirt. Somewhere right under there is a mole. She can see the ground moving and hear him digging. She'll tilt her head in that cute way, listen very closely and then pound her nose into the dirt. She hasn't caught one yet, thank goodness, but there's still time.

If anything changes outside, like a few weeks ago when one of ours trees fell down, she has to investigate. If nothing has changed, she still has to investigate. If curiosity killed the cat, who knows what it would do to a Great Dane?

It's very rare to see this end of Molly when we're out for a walk. Normally she's blazin…

Five Things NOT To Waste Your Money On This Weekend

The weekend is almost here, and I'm sure you already have your plans all laid out. Maybe you're getting out of town with the family, doing some much-needed work around the house or just catching up in errands chores. Sounds like we're all int he same boat.

But as you're out and about, think about these ways that you can NOT spend money, setting aside trivial little things so you have some extra cash. A penny saved is a penny you'll have saved up for when you need it most.

So, here are five things NOT to waste your money on this weekend.

* Fancy coffee - you know you have a bunch at home. Grab one of those 27 travel mugs you have in your kitchen cabinet and make some up before you go out.

* Trips to the thrift shop - I'm talking to myself on this one. I don't need new books, clothes or baking pans, which are what I usually go in there for. One weekend of not knowing if someone donated a book or skirt I just have to have isn't going to kill me.

* Expensi…

Cheeseburger Pizza Stuffed Pepper Rings

Show off your favorite meatloaf recipe by serving it inside a pepper ring. This edible bowl makes adorable presentation while keeping your meat mixture contained for baking.

I've included a great meatloaf mix here, but you can always trade it out for yours. I'd love to hear what amazing combination you come up with.

1 large green pepper
1 large red pepper
1 pound ground beef
Italian seasoning to taste
1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 egg
1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
2 Tbsp minced garlic

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Slice the top and bottom off each pepper and dice them. Cut the pepper itself into three rings.

3. Mix all of the ingredients, including the diced peppers, in a large bowl.

4. Divide the mixture between the six pepper rings. They'll probably be over-filled, but they'll reduce a little while cooking.

5. Bake pepper rings on a baking sheet for 40-45 minutes, until the meat is cooked through all the way. At the 40-minute mark, …

Words For Wednesday


Motivation For Those Unfinished Projects

While continuing with my "use up your old craft supplies before you buy new ones" deal I made with myself, I've been organizing my craft room again. This time it was with the specific purpose of finishing projects I had started but never finished. On one particular shelf, I found a plastic bag full of half-created cards, apparently stored away for a day when I would have inspiration. This week I forced myself to be creative on command and made it through the entire stack. Here are a few examples of what I did to finish them.

This was the only large journaling block I had left from a set, so I taped it to the front of a card and left it. Obviously I didn't know how to fill in the blanks with something cute.

On second inspection, I decided to use some card stock sticker words to make a list of have-to-do actions for the day. Each word is accented with a red gem. The phrase is printed from the computer.

Apparently I was using up scraps on this particular day because al…

For He Is Your Life

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD share unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them. Deuteronomy 30:19-20

Choose well.

How many choices would you guess you have to make in a day? A dozen? A hundred? More?

Some of them are inconsequential, like grape or strawberry jelly on your toast. Others will be for your own safety, as you avoid an accident or decide to go or not go somewhere dangerous. Many, though, can change your life forever, when you forgive someone or take your problems to God in prayer.

The choices Moses gave the people of Israel in Deuteronomy 30 were his closing advice to them before his death. N…

A Week Of Comforting And Lifting Up

It's baby chicks time at our local feed and seed stores. You can hear them the moment you walk in the door, and you can smell them even sooner.

When you get back to their crates, they're piled up on top of each other trying to get to the food and water. While I was watching this cage, a tiny and feathery fight broke out when one baby got its head stepped on in the excitement. It's hard to be ferocious when you're so cute, I suppose, but he was sure trying.

At the same time, in another corner, 20 or 30 chicks were nuzzled together for a group nap. They were breathing as one, eyelids twitching and feathers gently rustling. The warmth was radiating from them as they nestled in closer.

Which camp would you fit into: close-quarters boxing matches or peace and calm whether alone or in a crowd?

Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

The chicks seem to know something that we should take to heart - togetherness is …

Summer Entryway Decor

When Danny was ready to throw out his old pair of work boots, I quietly set them aside. It's not because they're all that special, but because I knew I wanted to use them. (Not wear them, believe you me!) Those boots were to be the main attraction in the summer decor of our entryway.

It started simply - three crates I already had, two sets of flower arrangements and a pair of old boots. Sorry ... no partridge in this pear tree.

The vases are the perfect height to tuck into the boots. Yes, I measured the boots beforehand, so it wasn't luck, just really great planning.

Here's how to make an arrangement without using florist foam: spread the branches wide on your largest leaves or flowers.

Do the same thing with the next size and tuck them to one side.

Repeat with the third stem, this time inserting it on the opposite side so it is balanced. Floof the leaves a little so they're intertwined.

You can use this same technique with the flowers, setting them down in the mi…

Five Things To Do When You're Feeling Unproductive

Do you ever feel BLAH about the whole day? You have a mile-long list of things that need to get done, but you're short on time, energy and patience? Would you rather be curled up somewhere with a book than think about work, cleaning, outdoors chores or anything else that requires brain power?

It's not difficult to fall into this situation because our minds are the most difficult force to reckon with. Once you get your brain revved up, there will be no stopping you!

But how do you get to that point? Here are five easy things to do when you're feeling completely unproductive.

Read ONE verse of Scripture: Proverbs 27:23. It's good advice for whatever you're attempting today.

Take TWO minutes to write down everything it is you're trying to accomplish.

Choose the THREE priorities from that list that you could easily do in a day.

In just FOUR minutes, clear off your workspace. If that means throwing things in a box for the moment, do it. Then pull out only the thing…

Mini Banana Bread Loaves All Wrapped Up

Today you're getting a two-for-one deal: a recipe to make mini banana bread loaves and instructions for wrapping them up. It doesn't get any better than that!
Ingredients: 1 3/4 cups flour 1 tsp baking powder 1/8 tsp baking soda 1/4 tsp salt 1/2 cup butter, softened 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 cup brown sugar 3 ripe bananas, mashed 2 eggs 1/2 cup milk 1 tsp vanilla 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray 10 mini loaf pans with nonstick spray.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
3. Using a stand mixer, cream butter and sugars until smooth. Add bananas and combine completely. Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.
4. Slowly add dry mixture to the stand mixer.
5. Divide the batter among the mini loaf pans.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 28-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool 10-15 minutes before removing from the pans.
While you're waiting for the bread to cool, cut a piece of cardboard the …

Words For Wednesday


Board Game Journals

I'm always on the lookout for Scrabble games when I visit thrifts shops. I have several different projects to use the letter tiles and stands, like this one. But once I've used the game pieces, I still have the board. A journal using the board as front and back covers makes a unique gift for someone special - and for yourself, since each board makes two journals.

To begin, cut the board into four equal pieces using whatever saw or cutter works best for you. I went out to the shop and used Danny's scroll saw, and it took about 2 minutes per cut. Trim down the edges and sand them smooth.

Then cut card stock just smaller than the size of the covers. You have several choices from here: you can used colored card stock and layer it with decorator paper, or you could cover each white page with card stock or decorator paper to make each page sturdier or you could cover the white page with lined notebook paper to make it straight into a journal.

Once you've decided what you wa…

A Daily Reading And Writing Update At The Four Month Mark

Can you believe that a third of the year has gone by already? Four months into the year and we've read through the first 13 books of the Bible and have started on the 14th. I'll let you count up the chapters, verses and pages, if you're so inclined.

I pray that you've been able to set aside time every day to spend time in God's word. I must admit that it's been a little challenging for me since the start of the new year, but that time has been precious as He reveals truths to me every single day.

And how about your daily writing? On January 1 I challenged you to come here every day for a new journaling question based on the two or three chapters of reading through our Bible in a year schedule. I have received so many blessings as I read these chapters, just looking for passages that will make you think harder and dig deeper to examine how the Lord has been moving you and motivating you in your daily study.

If you've been doing great in your daily reading a…