Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Why Faith Matters

In every situation take the shield of faith and with it you will be able to extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one.

Ephesians 6:16

In hand-to-hand combat, the shield is king. For without it, one’s weak spots are exposed to the enemy, severely reducing her capacity to fight well. If I had a choice between a gun or shield, I choose the shield. For what use is the gun if my enemy can take me out in a second because of lack of protection? With a shield I can hide behind it, waiting until my enemy tires or runs out of ammunition or I can use it to advance, secured against harm, towards my enemy. Best of all, the shield's protection gives me confidence, which frees me to think and act more clearly in the heat of battle.

What happens if my shield is knocked out of my hands during battle? I hope that I swiftly pick it back up in order not to miss a step in fighting the good fight. But what to do if I am badly wounded and unable to get to my shield? That’s a toughie because when feeling bad, I am inclined to curl up and ask to be left alone. However, I know that my best hope of getting out of the battle alive is to put my big girl panties on and cry out for help. I am also gonna need swallow my pride and ask a fellow soldier if she would share the protection of her shield with me until I can get mine back.

Sometimes we get hit and totally blindsided to the point that it rattles our faith. I am talking about the kind of rattling that leaves us unable to even hear the Name without flinching. The kind that darkens and covers our soul in such apathy and exhaustion that we can not even lift our heads to pray to the One we love. The kind where we secretly want nothing to do with the Church.

If you read the last paragraph with tears or a lump in your throat, know this was written for you. Your reading of this is not coincidence, for you are passionately loved and were never meant to be let go. Use whatever energy you have left to do two things:

  1. Lay face down with your arms open wide and out loud pray " Maker of heaven and earth! Restore my faith! I believe! but help my unbelief!"
  2. Enlist a faithful prayer warrior who will share her shield of faith to stand with you and over you. And who will storm heaven with prayers until you receive your shield back. Together pick a verse for you to meditate on night and day. This verse will be your hope, your rallying cry and your praise for the coming restoration.

Try it. I know it works. I stake my life on it.

Monday, February 7, 2011

New doors

Finally! Our new doors have been installed. In the before photo, you can barely see the 70's plastic yellow "window" on the left side of the doors that was killing us. The transom was larger than we liked.

After. We ordered taller doors, shortening the transom. Next steps are to remove lights and paint the house a different color.

Our mailbox snapped at the base and fell over. I have always wanted a stone mailbox, so we bit the dust...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

For Monks

Monks- I came across this on the Willows home and garden blog. I love them! Are these smocked curtains? For a better look, click here and scroll down to the picture. Can you make me a pair for upstairs living room? I was thinking of just buying sheer white curtains from Sears and then having you to smock. What do you think? Too much work???

Monday, January 10, 2011

Kitchen stoves

Ah- it has been a while since I've blogged. We've been busy campers over here but getting back on the updating-the-house program makes me realize I need to also get back on the blogging program.

Tomorrow, providing it does not snow anymore, the guy is to come install our front doors! As soon as they go up, I will post before and after pictures. I have officially decided against ripping the walls in the kitchen and have been drawing up different designs for our current kitchen dimensions. Since the stove is king of the kitchen, I am currently perusing several ranges as my starting point...
Now, I have long been obsessed with the Wolf. I've had good cooking experiences on it and friends who have one rave about it. So, it is at the top of my list. Since I have gotten used to only having one oven, I will probably go with the smaller 4 burner range but could not find a photo of it.

Although I am not into french designs and have never cared about the french ranges, I really like this one from La Cornue. I love the way the oven doors swing open to the side instead of downward. I also love that all the oven racks are designed to fit in a dishwasher. I also love that both ovens are different sizes...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


mama's brother was killed in a terrible accident on july 15th. we buried him yesterday.
thoughts on my mind:
  • silence speaks volumes
  • there are no words to comfort a 15 yr old who feels responsible for his grandfather's death
  • funerals are for the living, not the dead
  • God alone suffices
  • a close-knit family is king
  • the call to duty is helpful for getting through nightmarish days
  • thankful for the love of good people
  • love hearing the memorial bell ring three times before he was carried into the family cementary
  • love hearing the strains of taps
  • grateful for the many memories at the farm.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Chocolate Croissants and Caramel Cups

While holiday two weeks ago, sister and I very quickly got into a morning breakfast ritual of coffee and chocolate croissants followed by the splitting of a mother-loaded omelet. We would slather our croissants with butter and Nutella. Very good.

Because I have really missed those croissants, Hubby took me to Panera Bread this past weekend for a breakfast of chocolate croissants. It was awful! I could not even finish it. Who in the &*^% screws up chocolate?!?!?!?! If it were not for Panera's egg souffles, I would totally quit that place because, in my book, if you can not get chocolate right, you should not be allowed to serve food to the public.

This morning I attempted to make my own chocolate croissants and they actually tasted better than the ones on the ship! Big giddy up!! However, they do not look as pretty. So I am going to need to make more batches to get the pretty department down pat. Once they look good, I will post photos and the recipe.

I did make some caramel cups for a meeting a had last night. I am not usually a fan of fillo cups, however, I found that the combination richness of the caramel and dark chocolates more than made up for the bland cups. See what you think:

Caramel Cups
2 cans of condensed sweetened milk (do not use fat-free version)
2 boxes of Athens Mini Fillo shells (in frozen section)
Package of Dove's Silky Smooth Dark Chocolate Promises

Peel labels off the condensed sweetened milk cans. Place both cans in a saucepan and cover with water. Boil cans continuously for three hours. Add water as needed throughout cooking time to ensure cans are always covered in water. At the end of cooking time, pull cans out of water and set aside to cool until warm enough to handle. Take Fillo shells out of freezer and let them thaw for about 10-15 minutes. Open cans and scoop caramel into fillo cups. Cut 4-8 Dove squares into four pieces and place each piece on top of caramel.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Pesto Amended

I've moved my tiny basil garden to another spot in the yard, where there is a tad bit more shade than the previous location. Apparently, they are quite happy there as evidenced by the abundance of huge fragrant leaves. Big leaves call for making a batch of pesto. Instead of pulling out my recipe, I just decided to make the batch based on my mood. And I must say that this pesto batch was fabulouso.

Right now I am going through a phase in where I am over Parmesan cheese and more into Pecorino Romano cheese. Romano cheeses, in general, are sharper. Pecorino is made from sheep's milk and has more of a salty & tangy taste. I usually buy a big block of it at Costco's and use it in pasta, salads and pesto. I am eager to try the Caprino Romano, which is made out of goat's milk, but have not found it in the local stores yet. If anyone knows where I can get this without having to order it online, please email me.

Anyhoo- back to the pesto. This time I substituted Parmesan for Pecorino and pine nuts for pecans. We have the motherload of pecans in the freezer from my in-laws, so why buy pine nuts when I can use pecans? Turns out that I like the taste of the pecans much better than the pine nuts. The pecans gave it an earthier taste while the Pecorino brought a saltier flavor (I did not add salt). I also added more garlic cloves (3) and used less olive oil.