"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future! "
Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Unredeemed

(PLEASE PAUSE MY PLAYLIST BEFORE VIEWING VIDEO
THANK YOU!)



“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Since you are precious and honored in my sight and because
I love you!”
Isaiah 43:1-4



Friday, March 26, 2010

Chewy Cocoa Brownies

My family absolutely LOVES brownies. Before I left my job to become a stay-at-home-mom again, I used to use store bought mixes, but out of necessity, I started making them from scratch. They are not only economical but they are easy to make and taste DELICIOUS!

Skippy and Kiddo love this recipe. They like them a little bit undercooked so they are soft and chewy. I have made them with white and milk chocolate chips, peanut butter, walnuts, and even thin mints to make mint brownies. The possibilities are ENDLESS!!

For this recipe you will need:

1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sicks) butter or margarine, melted
2 tablespoons water
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup baking cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)

PREHEAT oven to 350*F. Grease a 13x9-inch baking pan. (I use a smaller pan to make the brownies thicker)

COMBINE sugar, butter and water in large bowl. Stir in eggs and vanilla extract. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in medium bowl; stir into sugar mixture. Stir in nuts. Spread into prepared baking pan

BAKE for 18 - 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out slightly sticky. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars. Makes approximately 2 dozen brownies

ENJOY!!!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

2010 Seed Planting Guide

Kiddo and I are cleaning up the yard and finishing the raised beds. I need to get some seeds in the ground as I am behind from being sick with that NASTY stomach bug that has been so *kindly* shared with me by my niece and nephew, who were unfortunate to have gotten it from school. Now I am all for sharing, mind you, but I certainly could have done WITHOUT this little gift! The only good thing that has come of it is that I have lost a few pounds. YAY! :> )

So, in the spirit of *sharing* I would like to share a site with you that I just LOVE, The Old Farmer's Almanac. There is so much valuable information available here at the click of a button! Don't you just love technology? I do have to admit though, that there are some days, I wish I DIDN'T have a computer. But then I remember if I didn't, I never would have met all of YOU, my precious friends! :> )

Okay, to find the 2010 Best Planting Dates for Seeds in your area, click HERE. Watch the slide show and wait for the START YOUR SEEDS pic to show up. Click on the seedling and it will take you a chart where you can enter your zip code or your city by name. It will then give you a chart telling you when your APPROXIMATE last frost date is, as well as the ideal time to start your seeds!


I'm Addicted. . . . . .

. . . . . .to Molly! My name is Laura, I'm an *OWL*coholic, and I'm not alone. Renee and I, and a bunch of others on facebook, have been following Molly the barn owl and her mate, McGee, watching closely as their 5 precious eggs hatch. So far, there have been two, Max and Patterson, that have emerged from their shells. They are absolutely PRECIOUS!

It is amazing to watch God's beautiful creatures, as this wonderful mama protects, feeds, and loves her babies. Then, each night, daddy provides for his family by bringing home the groceries! lol

Here is BEAUTIFUL Molly, the barn owl!


You can become a fan of Molly's on facebook HERE or you can view here blog HERE!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Saying Goodbye

" For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

Saying goodbye is never an easy thing to do. Sometimes we have no choice in the matter and sometimes we do. But either way, it's never easy!

Yesterday, I had to say goodbye to one of my best friends. It had been a long time coming, but that doesn't make the hurt any easier to handle. I love my friend deeply, but couldn't take the hurt and the verbal abuse any longer.

I pray the best for my friend and that she will allow God into her life to help her get through and deal with all of the abuse and anger that she is dealing with. I pray that God will heal her mind, body, and soul.

God bless you, my friend. I will love you always!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Farm Happenings and My Downy Quilt

I am sorry that I have not been by to visit most of you lately, but I have been praying for you! Life has seemed to happen in a big way recently. So much going on....so much to do! But please know that I am here and all is well! God is WONDERFUL and is doing some amazing things in our lives!

PRAISE HIS NAME - FATHER I GIVE YOU ALL THE GLORY!

Okay, now for the quilt. As you know, I am participating in the Downy Quilts for Kids Challenge. I have had so much fun puthing this adorable quilt together.

Remember the kit?



My precious friend, Daisy is participating in the challenge as well, so she came over and we spent the day sewing. Well, not just sewing as we can ALWAYS find something to do. We did, however, complete the quilt tops in just a couple of hours. Hers took about 2 hours and mine took about 4 since I was doing laundry and and some other things at the same time, and my little mistake (keep reading)! As you can see, our quilts were almost exactly the same. The only difference between them was the color of the solid squares; hers were green and mine were yellow



I borrowed my sister's machine because mine needs to be cleaned. I didn't realize her presser foot was LARGER than mine, so when I thought I was sewing a 1/4 inch seam, I was actually sewing a 1/2 inch seam. I didn't realize it until AFTER, when I tried to line the squares up! I am such a knucklehead! lol After a little "resizing" of my solid squres, we were good to go again. The only difference in our quilts when we were finished, was that mine was just a wee bit smaller! :> )

Here is my finished quilt top, along with the fabric for the backing. Since this picture was taken, I have completed the back, and I am now just finishing up the quilting part to give it more stability and then I am finished. I showed the information to our Women's Ministry Leader and I am so excited that she has taken an interest in this challenge as well. We are going to see how many ladies are interested, order the kits, and make a day of it.

I CAN'T WAIT!!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Date Night

Sorry I have not had a chance to post about our date on Friday. There has just been so much going on here over the weekend. WHEW! lol

Well, as you know, this past Friday My Skippy Man and I had a date. I had almost forgotten what they were since it has been so long since we had one. He bought us tickets to go see Phillips, Craig, & Dean as a belated birthday present. I had never seen them before but absolutely LOVE their music. Ther worship music can leave me speechless!


We started off our evening by going to dinner at FIREHOUSE SUBS in Spotsylvania. It was POURING when we got there so I left the camera in the car so it wouldn't get wet and messed up before the concert. We both had the New York Steamer Sub® - which had Corned Beef Brisket and Pastrami, made famous by the Delicatessens of New York served hot with Provolone, Mayo, Mustard and Italian Dressing. OMGoodness, they were AMAZING, not to mention messy! YEAH!




Phillips, Craig, & Dean, come to find out, are all preachers. How awesome is that? What a love for the Lord they ALL have and it certainly shows in their music. Not only are they on fire for God but they are FUNNY to boot!

Here they were singing about...........a cockroach?
It was HILARIOUS!

Praising God with song!

Such harmony.....BEAUTIFUL!

This was their very first song ever played on the radio. The title.......
"Turn Up The Radio"

This song was about missing those special loved ones that have
gone on to Heaven before us

Hands raised in PRAISE TO OUR GOD!

I MADE Skippy take these last two pictures specifically, when they sang Revelation Song since it has such special meaning to a precious friend of mine!
:> )


On the way home, we stopped at SHEETZ for onion rings, mozzarella cheese sticks, and coffee. The perfect way to end a PERFECT EVENING!
Thank you so very much, my beloved, for such a WONDERFUL evening......


I LOVE YOU!




Friday, March 12, 2010

An Evening of PRAISE & WORSHIP

"We will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving!"
Psalm 69:29-31


Skippy and I are going out on a date tonight, and I am soooooo EXCITED! My Skippy Man surprised me with tickets to go see Phillips, Craig, & Dean. WOO HOO! I just LOVE their Praise & Worship music. YES! I can't wait. Did I tell you I was soooo EXCITED? lol Yup, I did!!

I LOVE MY SKIPPY MAN!

We are leaving between 3:30 and 4:00. We'll take a leisurely drive out there, grab something for dinner, and then go to the concert. I am making some cookies for our snack bag for the ride home. I have my camera batteries on the charging getting ready. Oh, I hope they are allowing photographs to be taken. I have one of myself and David Crowder. He is one awesome man "ON FIRE FOR GOD!" And what a S M I L E !!! :> )

Since we are going to see Phillips, Craig, & Dean, I thought I would leave you with a couple of videos . I hope you will enjoy them as much as I do!



You are God in heaven
And here am I on earth
So I'll let my words be few
Jesus, I am so in love with You

And I'll stand in awe of You, Jesus
Yes, I'll stand in awe of You
And I'll let my words be few
Jesus, I am so in love with You

The simplest of all love songs
I want to bring to You
So I'll let my words be few
Jesus, I am so in love with You


This is one of my favorite P&W songs


Father I see that You are drawing a line in the sand
And I want to be standing on Your side, holding Your hand
So let Your kingdom come, let it live in me
This is my prayer, this is my plea

Father I see that You are drawing a line in the sand
And I want to be standing on Your side, holding Your hand
So let Your kingdom come, let it live in me
This is my prayer, this is my plea

Let the worshippers arise
Let the sons and the daughters sing
I'm surrendering my all
I surrender to the King

Let the worshippers arise
Let the sons and the daughters sing
I'm surrendering my all
I surrender to the King

Father I hear it growing louder
The song of Your redeemed
As the saints of every nation
Are awakening to sing
From our hearts there comes an anthem
Oh, hear the heavens ring
This is our song, a song to our King!


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Becoming A Woman Of Excellence


"Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me!"

Psalm 51:10


Becoming A Woman
Of Excellence

A woman of excellence
Is what I long to be
Filled with your Godly wisdom
So it is part of me

A woman of integrity

No matter what I face
Standing up for righteousness

And for Your saving grace

A woman of destiny

Living out your plan

Knowing where You’d have me walk

Being guided by Your hand

A woman of promise

Standing on Your word

Holding on to all the truths

While carrying out Your work

A woman of compassion

For the ones in the dark

Those that do not know Your love

And have darkness in their hearts

A woman that will never

Compromise the faith

With what the world may offer

But will keep the narrow way

A woman who loves Jesus

And will only follow Him

Gladly to give up the world

So His light can shine within

Lord this is my earnest prayer

As a daughter by Your grace

Grow in me these qualities

As I walk with You in faith

By M.S.Lowndes

Monday, March 8, 2010

Its Here, It's Here.........

My FEEL GOOD CHALLENGE quilt kit is here and I am soooo excited!! It came by UPS on Saturday morning and it is just so sweet. It is the cutest material. I just LOVE the colors, so bright and vibrant! The name of this material is Nuts & Rolbolts. I know some precious child is going to be so happy when they get this! I can just see the smile now! :> )


Everything came together in a zip-lock bag, already cut into the correct size pieces you need. All I have to do now is supply the batting and thread, which I already have, and sew it together. It couldn't be any easier!

I know some of you have said you are going to participate as well. Have you received your quilt kit yet? I would love to see which one you are doing.

If you would like to learn more about participate along with us in this FEEL GOOD CHALLENGE and where you can go to get your FREE kit, please click HERE!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Cinnamon Bun Scones

I was visiting Kelli at There's No Place Like Home, when I came across this recipe for scones. I was stopped in my tracks at how delicious they looked. So after reading the ingredients to make sure I had everything, I set out to make them. I have to tell you they were so easy to make and their taste is AMAZING! And they look so pretty on my grandmother's dessert plates. :> )

Thanks, Kelli......this one's a keeper! :> )

For this recipe, you will need:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup quick or old fashioned oats
10 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salk
8 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into pieces
3/4 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup pecans (optional)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

GLAZE:
3/4 cup powdered sugar
3 teaspoons orange juice or milk

DIRECTIONS:
1. Heat oven to 425F. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, 8 tablespoons of sugar (set aside remaining 2 tablespoons for later), baking powder and salt; mix well. Cut in butter with pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In small bowl, combine milk, egg and vanilla; blend well. Add to dry ingredients all at once; stir with fork or rubber spatula until dry ingredients are moistened. In small bowl, combine remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar with the pecans and cinnamon; mix well. Sprinkle evenly over dough in bowl; gently stir batter to swirl in cinnamon mixture. (Do not blend completely.) Drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls, 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.

3. Bake 11 to 13 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove to wire rack; cool 5 minutes. in small bowl, combine powdered sugar and enough juice or milk for the desired consistency; mix until smooth. Drizzle over top of warm scones. Serve warm.

Thank you, Father, for all of Your provisions. I am so grateful for the food that we have, when so many go hungry!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Poor, Poor Pitiful Me


"O give thanks unto the LORD; for He is good: because His mercy endureth for ever" (Psalm 118:1)

Standing in the kitchen doing laundry, I wondered, "How much of your life do you sacrifice before there's nothing more to give?" I am missing a beautiful sunny day outside and feeling frustrated that there always seems to be so little time for the things I enjoy. The thoughts of taking a walk outside with the sun shining on my face, of starting to clean up the yard and the garden now that the snow is almost gone, or just sitting on the front porch with a hot cup of French Vanilla Chai tea have been pushed to the back of my mind.

Homeschooling and be the keeper of my home, seem to be consuming my entire life, and each day I have felt a little more drained. If I'm not teaching Kiddo, I'm cleaning up his messes, or doing the laundry, dishes, animals, etc, as you all do as well. Not only that, I have been struggling with my feelings of being inadequate not only as a teacher, but as a mother and wife as well. Not doing things right, or good enough, or just not DOING enough for My Skippy Man or Kiddo.

I have found myself recently feeling resentful and angry that I can't always get through to my son because of his Aspergers. I am not angry or resentful at HIM, but at the autism itself. I am angry that his "fixation" of video games, will keep us from getting our work completed or it can take two or three times longer than it should. It sometimes keeps us from having a real conversation about real things and I have had a hard time as of late, excepting that, even though that is how it has always been.

I said to Kiddo last night when he was getting into bed, "I am sad sometimes, Kiddo, because those video games are the center of your life. I want to be the center of your life. I want my son back!" He looked at me and said, "Mom, you have your son. I've always been right here!" WOW.....if THAT did not feel like a slap in the face. I was wanting MYSELF to be the center of his life. How selfish am I? Here I am, trying to make my son be/feel/act like someone he is not! SHAME ON ME! He is a child of the King, the same as me. I have a "MASTERPIECE" that God created and I am PROUD to call him my son!

Self-pity is a destructive force in a person's life because it fails to acknowledge God's goodness with a grateful heart.

I need to stop my personal pity party and think again about what the Lord has done for me. Yes, my days may be busy, but God has blessed me with an incredible opportunity to change the world through my son's life and the lives of those around me. Let praise and thankfulness replace my "Poor Me's" and watch as God blesses my faithfulness in serving Him as a parent to His precious blessings!

"I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth" (Psalm 34:1)

Father, forgive my selfishness when I fail to appreciate all You have given to our family. Lift my heart today and help me to focus on those things in life that are truly important. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

OMGosh.........Are You Serious?

I was random blogging tonight, when I came across a post that made me remember something Kiddo had said to me a couple of years ago. We had just gone to pick up Bean from work at her scheduled release time, but they were not yet finished, so Kiddo and I decided to wait for her in the car.

While we were waiting, I decided to call my friend, Sonnie. She was 45 at the time and I WAS 43. (EEEEKKK!!!) We talked about her upcoming move into her new home, how she was doing in her new job, and the usual.......what's going on with you sort of thing. We then started talking about how so many things had changed since when we were young and growing up and where we were "now" at this stage in our lives. I looked over at my precious son playing his Game Boy and said to her with a smile on my face, "I wonder what Kiddo will be like when he is our age, Sonnie?" Well, without looking up or missing a beat, but with a HUGE smile on his precious face he said.............

"I. . . . .WILL BE OLD!"


I WON....AGAIN!

I won another game, but this time it was at "Zoe's World!" For this game, Zoe was "I SPY" and showing a portion of a picture and you had to guess what the picture was.

I guessed a cats tail.

For guessing correctly, I won not one, but 2 AMAZING virtual gifts. Zoe made me 2 farm graphics. I just LOVE them!

Aren't they precious?
Thank you very much, Zoe. I am going to use one for my blog header for the rest of the week!

If you get a chance, please stop by "Zoe's World" and pay her a visit. She would LOVE to meet you!

I WON!

I was over visiting precious Naomi at
"Sweet Life" a few days ago and I entered the guessing game she had going on. Britt from "Britt's Backyard" and I won a virtual gift. I won this butterfly snow globe.

Thank you, Naomi, it is just
BEAUTIFUL!

If you get a chance, please stop by "Sweet Life" and say hi. I know she would
LOVE to see you!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Homemade Rice Pudding

For school last week, we took a day to review some life skills and then to add in some new ones. One of the things I want Kiddo to learn to do, is to not be afraid to use the stove. Right now, I don't let him use the stove or try and help with the wood stove for fear that the kitchen stove will be left on, or if he tries to put wood into the wood stove, that embers will "pop" and come out on to the carpet and, well......you know the rest.

So, little by little, I am trying to teach him how to be more responsible, and "LET GO" at the same time. I have to admit, it's NOT an easy task!

When reviewing the proper use of the stove, I thought perhaps that if we made something that he REALLY liked, he might pay more attention to what was being said, because then, he would be able to EAT the end result. If he didn't, and we burnt it, he got nothing. My, oh, my.....did he pay the BEST attention to what I was telling him when I said we would make rice pudding! Such a man. Their ears perk right up when you mention.........FOOOOOOD! lol

For this DELICIOUS recipe, you will need:

4 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup uncooked long-grain rice
(not converted)
1 large egg
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
cinnamon



Warm the milk in a medium-sized saucepan
over med-low heat

Stir in rice

Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, stirring frequently,
until the rice is very tender, about 35 minutes

In a med-sized bowl, whisk together the egg,
sugar, vanilla, and salt

Gradually stir in some of the rice mixture
until well blended

Pour mixture into serving bowl or custard cups and
sprinkle with cinnamon if desired

YUMMM!!!



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