Thursday, December 26, 2013

| comfort and joy. |

I saw this little guy on Pinterest; I'm not sure why, but I just liked it.:)

Life gets hectic this time of year.:) Anyone able to relate? I'll be out of town (out of state, actually) for the next couple of weekends, so I thought it might be nice to sit for a minute and just relax for a few minutes. Is there anyone out there who just likes to sit still and think for a few minutes all by themselves?
Well, I do.:)
Christmas is supposed to be a season of comfort and joy, and it most certainly is. Getting together with your friends and laughing and having fun is definitely a good definition of “comfort and joy” and we enjoyed that very much yesterday.
But I just got to thinking how much more “comfort and joy” there will be for believers when Jesus comes back. It’s so easy to get tempted and discouraged right now, watching other Christians you loved and looked up to falling into apostasy, or when things you put a lot of hope and prayer into just don’t work out the way you hoped they would. Yes, things can work out that way, even at Christmas.
But Jesus is coming back someday and will bring complete and perfect joy and peace to His children. What a wonderful thing that is to look forward to!  Just knowing that in spite of how sinful we can be, in spite of how many times we fall, He is always there to pick us back up and comfort us with His love and forgiveness, is such a great measure of “comfort” and “joy.”
 But it is so sad thinking about the millions of people who don’t have that “comfort and joy” in their lives. For them Christmas isn’t much more than whatever they make it into. It doesn’t hold the precious reminder of Christ that it holds for us.

Our family goes caroling for our neighbor families every Christmas, and this year Dad put together a Gospel letter for each of them, explaining the simple Gospel and the sacrifice that Christ put together for them. I have to admit; at first I was a little nervous about that at first, to my shame!  I wondered if they might be colder to us afterwards, especially since I work for one of them, and I wondered if our relationship might be strained after that. But their souls are so much more important than any of that. How can we just enjoy Christmas without spreading the true “comfort and joy” of it with those who don’t know?

I am so grateful for the indescribable “comfort and joy” that Jesus brings into my life! He is there to give it all year long, not merely at Christmas. For those who haven’t been saved by His blood, He wants to save you, too. He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.


Friday, November 29, 2013

| friday morning. |

No, I'm not out shopping.:) Maybe that sounds funny, especially since teenage girls are supposed to have this obsession for shopping, but I can't say I have a fondness for pressing through packs of people just to buy something.:)

So it's a nice relaxed morning for me.:) It's not quite as warm and green outside as these pics might suggest; we've had several inches of snow the past few days and I think it almost got all the way down to zero last night. The kids got out their skis this morning and tried out the hills behind the barn.
We had a great Thanksgiving yesterday with some friends. Lots of yummy eats and great fellowship, games and fun.:) And it actually warmed up to almost thirty degrees! Up here in the north country that's almost a miracle.:)

Some recent pics from the last few weekends...


I persuaded my little brother to let me take some portraits.:)

My puppy loves to pose for me. Seriously.:)

One weekend in October Mama, Joy Joy, and I took a "girls' day out" and went to a Victorian-style bed and breakfast for lunch. They served it in this really cute tea room where everything was Victorian style, very feminine, pretty, and perfect for a ladies' day. It was really delicious too.:)

Zach's 2013 trophy!

We've been having some gorgeous sunsets lately. There's something really special about the light on a fall afternoon.

The sunlight was perfect for photo shoots a few weekends ago.:)

"And let the beauty of the LORD be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands..."

                                                        ~Psalm 90:17

Thursday, January 17, 2013

| below zero. |

This post doesn't really have anything to do with the fact that it is ten or eleven degrees below zero, but is more a quick update since my last one was just recipes and in the words of my brother who happens to be standing over me examining my every word, "extremely boring." Funny since just ten minutes ago he was watching a cooking video with my sister? I had pics I had wanted to do for a while, but up until this point I have been too busy to waste more time on the Web. :) 
I guess the reason that I have had a little more free time this week is because two days after I wrote the last post I woke up with acute appendicitis, which, in a few quick words, ended up with an ER visit later in the day, my first surgery, and my first night in a hospital. It wasn't the funnest experience in the world, but it was interesting, and my mama's praying, a nice surgeon, and a lot of Ibuprofen got me back to normal pretty fast. And of course the Lord's mercy was the real healing factor, for which I am very grateful.:)
 Anyway, here are some pics of the kids enjoying the snow. Winter lighting seems really good for photo shoots (though I am still an amateur in the area of photography) I mixed some other ones in too. Everyone has been really enjoying the snow.:) 


Here we were racing. The outcome~ two of the grand athletes crashed into a snowbank. The other two crashed into each other.

Zach is always the "cruiser" when it comes to skating. 

 Our big brother ready to send the little kids cruising down the hill between the barn and the house. Pardon the pink gloves that aren't actually his.

You know it's really cold when the shadows are blue like this.

This one is blurry since I took it from the window and a long distance, but I thought my dog looked so cute here with her rustic toy. (She follows family traditions~ my little brothers' favorite toys are also sticks. A.k.a. toy guns)

I think that's all for tonight! Good night, everybody, and stay warm.:)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

| winter blessings ~ part 1 |

"Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow?"

 With winter in full swing up here in the north country, it is the coziest thing in the world to come in from fun outside and enjoy some warm supper. :) Can anyone relate to this? A couple of nights ago we were enjoying balmy temperatures of ten or fifteen degrees below zero~ needless to say, we burnt a lot of wood in the trusty stove that night.

 Anyway, I wanted to post the corn bread recipe ever since August when I first developed it, but have never gotten around to it... and the soup recipe is one our family enjoyed, just the other night.:) It's actually an Amish recipe, and the Amish, as anyone who has visited Amish country knows, (I went when I was seven and again about a year ago) are really good cooks.:)

                                  Creamy Potato Soup

         1 tbsp butter
         1 onion, diced
         4 large potatoes, cubed and peeled
         3 tbsp parsley, chopped
         3 stalks celery and leaves, chopped
         2 large carrots, chopped or grated 
         2 tsp salt
         1/4 teaspoon paprika
         1 1/2 cups boiling water
         white sauce
Saute onion in butter until tender. Add remaining ingredients, except white sauce, and cook until vegetables are tender.
 Add white sauce and stir until blended.
 4 tbsp butter 
 2 tbsp flour
 1 tsp salt
 1/4 teaspoon pepper
 4 cups milk

Melt butter over medium heat, stir in flour and seasonings and cook for five minutes. When smooth, add flour  and stir constantly until thickened.

Okay, here's the cornbread recipe.:) I seem to read that soup and cornbread are often paired together? I had a lot of fun developing this recipe. I never did write it down, though, so hopefully I'll be able to remember it...

                 Chunky Southwestern-Style Cornbread

                 10 strips bacon
                 2 tbsp butter
                 3 eggs
                 1/2 cup sugar
                 1 4 oz can green chiles
                 1/3 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
                 2/3 cup sour cream
                 3/4 cup flour
                 1 cup cornmeal
                 1/2 teaspoon salt
                 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8 x 12 baking pan.
 Fry bacon in a skillet over medium heat; drain and reserve drippings.Crumble bacon and set aside. Cream sugar, drippings, butter, and eggs together, in order given, until smooth. Add sour cream and chiles. Sift together dry ingredients, and add with bacon and cheese. Pour batter into pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden and toothpick inserted comes out clean.

God Bless.:)