"....Your children shall be like olive plants all around your table." Psalm 128:3

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Flexi Giveaway

Happy (early) New Year, friends!

Here are the details about the Flexi giveaway that I have been mentioning...

First of all, it was really hard to choose a Flexi for the giveaway because all of them are so elegant and beautiful.

I finally chose the Lovely Circle Borealis, size small.

Here's a photo..
 Beautiful, isn't it?
You can see by the photo that depending on the light, the crystals appear to change color. I must confess that when this Flexi arrived in the mail,  I took one look at it, and almost decided to keep for myself.  ;)

Another photo..

So here's what to do to enter the giveaway..

1. Leave a comment on this post.

Yeah, that's it!  Easy enough, right?

Comments will be open until Sunday.

Then, on Sunday evening, all commenters' names will be put into a hat.

A neutral person (my hubby) will draw the name of the winner, and I will announce the winner right here on Monday, January 5th.

Stay tuned!  :)

Monday, December 29, 2014

Looking Back on 2014

Well, friends..it's that time of year...the time when one year is coming to an end and a new year is just around the corner.

For me, it's also a time of reflection. I look back on 2014 with great sadness. I consider this year The Year of Loss.  

It's the year that I lost my Dad.  It's been the hardest thing I have ever gone through, not only because of how much I grieve for him, but mostly because of how hard his passing has been on my Mom.  I feel as if I lost part of her, too, when Dad passed away...that part of her went with him. And after 60+ years of marriage, I guess part of her left when he did.

It's the year that I lost friends, dear friends...or so I thought. Not in the physical sense. I mean lost them as in... they simply weren't there when I needed them most and haven't bothered to keep in touch since then. 
However, the Lord was so good in the midst of it all. The bright spot of the year was that our firstborn daughter and her family moved only 20 minutes away from us, while they had previously lived a 8-hour drive away. We get to see them so much more now!  :)

Adding up all the difficult things (and believe me, there are so many more things I could list) that happened this year, I can say without a doubt that it was the hardest year of my life. And I couldn't be happier  - or more relieved - to say good-bye (or good riddance!) to 2014.

I know the Lord has a reason for it all, but on this side of eternity, it's hard to understand. I am hoping that it will all be made plain when I get Home.

Philippians 3:13 tells us that we should be "forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead."

That's one Scripture verse I will gladly obey. ;)

May the Lord bless you beyond measure in the coming year.

P.S. To kick off the new year, I am announcing a Flexi giveaway on New Year's Eve. Stay tuned!  :)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Something to Ponder...

Something to ponder as we prepare for the Lord's Day tomorrow....

Hmmm....but shouldn't every day be the Lord's Day? 

Happy Saturday, friends!  :)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Finished Product

Hi friends,

Remember the curly scarf I mentioned way back when?  (The pattern can be found here.)
Well, I finished it. Actually, I finished it soon after I posted about it. But between school lessons, stomach viruses, and life in general, I sort of forgot to post a photo of the finished product.

So here it is, modeled by Natty...
I was pleased with how it turned out, and I think it looks quite nice on Natty, too.  :)

Next on my crochet project list? An Infinity Scarf.  :)
What's next on your list?

Happy stitching!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Homeschool by Candlelight

Hi friends,

Yesterday we woke up to a chilly, dreary, rainy day. In other words, not a very good day for being motivated to school lessons.

So I decided to spice things up a bit and do school lessons by candlelight. At the mention of this, the children instantly became intrigued..and eager to get started.  :)

We lit candles everywhere. On the baker's rack..

On the piano..

Kindles were read by candlelight..

Copywork was done by candlelight..

Online readings were done by candlelight..

 And yes, even Algebra 1/2 was done by candlelight..   ;)
And I simply couldn't resist lighting my very favorite scented candle, Buttered Maple Syrup. Mmmmmm....

The soft glow of the candles and the wonderful scent of my candle were all it took to get things moving. It's amazing how switching things up a bit can ignite that motivational fire (pun intended!) in my children!

And basking in the glow of the candlelight reminded all of us of the Light of the World and one of our memory verses from last month:  
"Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, 'I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.' " ~John 8:12

Have a blessed day, everyone!

sharing with www.joydare.com

Monday, December 1, 2014

Easy Peasy Artisan Bread Recipe

Good Monday morning, friends,

I come from a long, illustrious line of bread makers. I remember feasting on my Grandma's homemade rolls at every one of her Sunday dinners (and she always had homemade butter to top off those delicious rolls!). And my mom made homemade bread, too; I remember coming home from school and finding fresh-out-of-the-oven-rolls cooling on the kitchen counter. Delicious!

Now, my family loves bread as much as I do, so I am always on the look-out for new bread recipes. And when I friend of mine mentioned how easy Artisan Bread is to make, I decided to give it a try. It was a huge hit: they literally devoured the entire loaf - no left-overs! And it was sooo easy - no kneading! Yippee!  :)

It has become a favorite at our house,and here are some of the things my children have to say about this recipe...

Ian, "Just the right amount of everything."
Aaron, "Moist on the inside, crusty on the outside, and tasty."
Asher, "It's really good with butter."
Natalie, "Delicious!"
Naomi, "It's crusty and delicious."

So for those who are interested, here is the recipe..

3 cups all-purpose flour
2-3 t. salt
1/2 t. active, dry yeast
1 1/2 c. lukewarm water

In a large bowl, stir together flour, salt, and yeast. Add water until a cohesive dough forms. (Do not over work the dough.)

Next, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and leave it at room temperature for 8-24 hours. The dough will bubble and rise.

Then preheat the oven to 450. Place an ungreased enamel covered (it must be enamel covered to prevent sticking) Dutch oven or crock in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. (Do not put the dough in yet.) While the Dutch oven (or crock) is preheating, shape the dough into a ball with floured hands. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest til Dutch oven is ready.

After 30 minutes, carefully remove Dutch oven from oven, and place the dough in it.

Cover the dutch oven tightly with foil. Carefully place it back into the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove foil. The loaf will be light.

Bake for 10-15 minutes more to brown the loaf and make it crusty. Yummy!

 Place the loaf on a cooling rack and cool slightly before slicing.

Serve warm with butter, if desired.

"...It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.' "   ~ Matthew 4:4

 Sharing with Caroline  and  JES