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Friday, April 30, 2010

Organizing Facing Clothes on Shelves / What's Coming in May

From my windowsill:

This is the last windowsill thought.   How fitting that it is a scripture verse that really applies to every day of the week.  There is another message on the flip side of each but I'll save those for another time.  To my surprise, there are 31 days of these cards.  I never really counted them before doing this blog series.   I hope you enjoyed reading and thinking about them.

For the month of May, beginning tomorrow, I'll be sharing Mothers Day photos and thoughts, and prayers for our children and families. I'll also be reading through a book by Elisabeth Elliot titled Let Me Be A Woman and posting comments on that each day as well as my usual recipes and tips.    If you'd like to read the book with me, I'll be covering two sections (about 4 pages each day).
When organizing your closet as I'm sure all of us do frequently, one "little" thing that really makes a visual difference in how everything looks is the facing of garments.  For example, if you have shelving in your closet as we do for some of your clothes, if they look like this, it looks a bit messy and unkempt.

However, if you fold and face them the same way, it looks like this.  MUCH tidier and pleasing to look at when you open the closet door.   This holds true for towels and linens, too, which really look nice with the various colors.

It makes it easier to see what's on your shelves without rummaging through all the clothes.  I can glance at the edges and know exactly which blouse I'm looking at.  Such a small thing, but it makes your shelves look much neater.  I see I wear a lot of reds and pinks this spring but then I'm a Winter  so that's what looks best.  I'll have to write a blog on colors sometime soon.   :)   

Also, my friend Virginia explained to me how to do the Labels which will help since I can't find anything on this blog that was written prior to the name change in April.  I've correctly labeled blogs for this month and will gradually be going back and relabeling the others as I have time.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Need a Graphic Design Artist ?

If you need a graphic artist, my college student son (now a senior Graphic Design student  at UCF)  does excellent work.  Based in the Orlando area. Take a look at more of his projects at this link.

Morning Devotions in My House / Your Special Retreat at Home

From my windowsill:

Proverbs 16:9
The mind of man plans his way,
But the LORD directs his steps. 

Do you have a place in your home where you can go to be quiet, read and pray?  This is my special spot in  our living room--the corner of this sofa by the green lamp.   I staked it out for myself when we first moved into this house about 12 years ago since my piano also sits in this room.  My husband now uses it, too, but gets up much earlier than I do and comes in here to read and pray, sometimes even in the middle of the night.   When our children were younger, we would have family devotions in this room.   :)  

Notice what's in this spot.  A comfortable place to sit, plenty of light, a beverage, a snack, the Bible and a basket filled with other books to read, paper, pens and highlighters.  

I like reading through a one-year Bible which has a section from the Old Testament, one from the New Testament, a Psalm and a Proverb for each day of the year. There's no fumbling around with a reading schedule or looking up passages.  You just go right to the date you're on and start reading.  If I skip a day which happens sometimes, I just go to the current day  and start there.   I've read through the entire Bible every year for  many years now and each time there is always something new to discover in the Word of God.

This Bible is used only for reading and does not have written notes inside.  It is not my study Bible.  I use a New American Standard version that is covered in notes and asterisks throughout.  I often use Accordance Bible software which makes cross-referencing and word studies much quicker and more thorough during  my study times. Generally I prefer to cross-reference the Bible with itself rather than using commentaries or other books although we have quite a few of those.

I like to have plenty of light in the daytime when I read and I enjoy pausing and looking out this large window to our back porch when the sun is shining.  

Here's the rest of this special room in our home from another angle.

I also have Plan B if someone else wants to sit in "my spot"--a rocking chair with another lamp nearby.  Sometimes I just want to face the other way.  :)

Everyone needs their own special retreat within their home.  When my children were little and would  see me in here, they knew not to disturb me until I told them I am finished.   Even young children can be taught to not interrupt Mom or Dad while they are alone with the Lord.   Even now as my sons are much older, they recognize and see the value in what I am doing and generally do not come in until I am finished other than to greet me in the morning.  I do not  have a television or radio in this room, nor do I bring a telephone in here with me.  It's simply a pretty, quiet place to come away for awhile and be refreshed.  I hope you have a similar spot in your home to get away and be alone with the Lord.   It will do your soul good to do so often and helps prepare you for whatever lies ahead in your day.

Mark 6:31 
And He said to them, 
Come away by yourselves to a secluded place 
and rest a while.”

In my morning devotions today I was praising and thanking God that our college son is moving home (maybe this weekend) for the summer!  I'm one happy mom!  :) :)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

31 Cent Scoop Night at Baskin Robbins April 28, 2010

From Facebook and The Happy Housewife:

31 Cent Scoop Night
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Join us for 31 Cent Scoop Night at Baskin-Robbins® and help us honor America's firefighters. The Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation is donating $100,000 to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation™ (NFFF).

Participating stores will reduce prices of ice cream  scoops to 31 cents*. At some locations, you may also have an opportunity to make a donation to your local fire charities.

Using Leftover Rotisserie Chicken / Homemade Stromboli

From my windowsill:

This is an easy meal to prepare with leftover meat and cheese.  Banana peppers are the secret ingredient.  

Since I've been making my own bread for a few months, I put all the bread ingredients--fresh ground flour, honey, salt, olive oil, milk, yeast and water-- in the bread machine and set it to #9, which is the DOUGH cycle.  After an hour and a half, fresh dough is ready to make whatever I need.  You can also use the frozen loaves that you buy in the grocery store such as Bridgford which is how I used to make this before I had a bread machine.  In our family of four we needed two of the frozen  loaves to make enough for a meal.   One bread machine loaf is ample.

I dump the dough onto a greased cookie sheet and spread it out to cover the entire sheet.  You can also halve the dough for a thinner crust and make two stromboli with the same batch of bread dough.

Then I layer the ingredients in a row in the center of the dough.  We had a rotisserie chicken from Sam's Club  on Sunday and there were leftovers.  This is one of the best choices for meat since it is already seasoned.  I broke it up into little pieces, removing all of the bones.  Next I placed two cut up string cheese mozzarella sticks plus some sliced provolone cheese.  I thought I had more sliced provolone than I actually did so I  had to improvise with the cheese.  Use whatever cheese you like.  Next top all of this with a layer of sliced banana peppers.

Pull the sides of the bread dough up and over the ingredients you have placed in the center and pinch the tops so that they seal closed.  

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes.  When it's done, it looks like this.

Let it cool for about 10 minutes, then slice with a very sharp knife (I use a bread knife).  Slice slowly and carefully so that each piece is complete with meat, cheese and peppers and nothing is oozing out of the sides.  When sliced, it looks like this.  It makes about 12 large slices.   Everyone was hungry, so a few pieces have already been removed in the photo.  :)

Homemade stromboli is very good and reheats well for lunches the next day.  I served it with Fritos and red apple slices for dinner; with soup and grapes for lunch.   This is a favorite meal in our home, suitable for lunch or dinner.  

Other options for stromboli ingredients:  
  • steak strips, cheese, onions
  • ham, cheddar cheese
  • apples, cinnamon, butter
  • meatballs, spaghetti sauce
Thank you to our science teacher, Sherry, who introduced this recipe to me a few years ago AND to Gabriele who taught me how to make bread.  :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

From my windowsill:

Offline most of today.  My hubby is working from home today so I don't have much use of our larger computer where I store all my photos.

Tomorrow's post:  Using Leftover Rotisserie Chicken / Making Homemade Stromboli

Have a great day.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Family Calendar Planner Organizer for Busy Moms / At A Glance

From my windowsill:
Not sure who wrote this Chinese proverb, but truth is truth no matter who says it.  This Old Testament passage uses a similar metaphor of gold being refined.  You may recognize the words from Handel's Messiah.

Malachi 3:1 “Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the LORD of hosts.   But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the LORD offerings in righteousness. 
One of my strengths is organization.  Anyone who knows me could probably tell you that.   I am constantly working in our family to help them learn organization since I know it helps so much in work and school.  A calendar is one small part of this.  Learning to schedule events and manage your time well is a life-long asset.  It also gives a good impression to others that you are a responsible person.   I'm not opposed to spontaneity but scheduling is certainly my preference.  

I used to have pretty calendars hanging in my kitchen.  You know the kind I mean--half of the calendar is a pretty scene or photograph and half has the blocks for the the days of the month.  Several years ago, even with only four people in our family, I switched to a plain, no frills, BIG block calendar from At-A-Glance to keep up with our family activities.  This calendar is large, measuring about 15" x 22" with blocks that are 2" x 3".   I keep everything posted here also on  the calendar on our office computer as well (which is synched to my iPod Touch). It is on the opposite side of the house.    The only place I could find this calendar, #PM328, is at Office Max for about $10.00 but I see that Amazon also sells them for the same price.  I buy one each December and start getting ready for the new year.

The blocks on this calendar are lined which is great for me sinceI have a hard time writing in a straight line.  It's perfect for me and fits in the exact spot where I have always hung a vertical wall calendar.    The top part of the calendar is for one month; the lower part has the entire year so you can look ahead without flipping the page.  I also can tape appointment cards, invitations, date sensitive coupons, etc.  to the lower part.

Attached to the calendar are five (5)  Sharpie pens-- red, black, green and blue plus one wide black one, to distinguish events for each family member.

You'll also notice that I have lots of colored Post-It flags and little sticker stars all over the calendar. These are for regularly recurring activities and are shifted from one week to the next as needed. This saves a lot of unnecessary writing.  I love adding color to simple tasks when I can such as filing and organizing and colored post-its, pens and stickers make it fun.  My husband often gets freebies from vendors who visit his company and I get so excited to receive new supplies.  I know, simple minds, simple things...  Oh, in case you're wondering what the stars are for--they keep me motivated to exercise every day.  I put one at the top of the block if I walk or go to the YMCA; one at the bottom means my husband does the same.   As you can see, I walked this morning.  Check.  :)  

A good-sized calendar placed in a central location is so helpful to stay on top of the events in our family.  Everyone who lives in our home knows to "write it on the calendar" if they have something coming up so we know where they need to be.  It aids me with my meal planning and carpooling  and helps avoid needless confusion which can happen when activities conflict with each other.  These days everyone has computers and handheld data devices to keep their own activities, but living in a family we like to know what each other is doing.   If you don't already have one, try this.  If you do have one, opt for the one with the big blocks.  :)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday Rest / First Landing Movie Review Jamestown 1607

I hope you are worshipping at church today.  If you are at home and can't attend a church today, here is our pastor's sermon from last week for you to listen to.

We went out to dinner last night with some good friends and afterwards returned to their home to relax and watch a movie together.  The one we selected was First Landing, which is the story of Rev. Robert Hunt, the  expedition chaplain of the Virginia Company's awe-inspiring voyage to the New World in 1607.   This of course, was a groundbreaking trip that would result in America's first permanent English settlement in Jamestown, Virginia.   This movie was co-produced by the  Christian Broadcasting Network and Regent University.  You won't find much of the detail in most history books in our schools today.  Highly recommended for families.

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