Saturday, January 31, 2009

New Recipe Blog

I've decided to put all my recipes in a new blog called Serving Recipes at Home. I'll still keep the ones I have posted on this blog here but new ones will now be there! Right now I'm going through my collection of recipes and adding them daily. I hope you'll take a look over there and tell me what you think!


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Two Potato Soups

Bacon, Cheese and Potato Chowder

3 cups milk
1 can condensed cream of potato soup
2 cups frozen Southern-style hash browns
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion

Mix milk and soup in large saucepan. Stir in hash browns. Bring to a boil on high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Ladle into 6 soup bowls. Top evenly with the cheese, bacon and onions. Make 6 servings.

Here's a recipe for a potato soup that requires a little more work and is very thick. It's my favorite but I use the above when I need it to be quick :-).


Saturday, January 24, 2009

This Week at Home

This week has really flown by; the whole month actually. It looks to be another whirlwind year!

There was a major disappointment at our house last Sunday as the Eagles, once again, failed to win the NFC Championship. Sigh. Super Bowl for us. Boo hoo. But I will not give up on them and will cheer just as loudly when they start back in September. Go Eagles!

My week was quiet and full of cooking, baking and work around the house. I'm sure I've mentioned it many times before but I love being home. I love the routine of the days; caring for my family; trying new recipes; organzing and cleaning; having time for Bible study. I'm thankful to the Lord every day that I'm able to stay home and serve my family.

Friday night we went to Bonefish Grill where Jared works. Jessica and Matt had given us gift cards for Christmas so we used those. The food was wonderful. I had the Chilean Sea Bass and it was so good. Jared brought out all four sauces so I could try them and I liked the Pan Asian best. Yummy! Michael had the filet (he doesn't like fish) and Julianne had the Bang-Bang Shrimp. We shared a slice of key lime pie for dessert. Of course, our server was the best! I love the chef coats that the servers wear--they look so sharp.

One neat thing about the night was when Jared's boss and a few of the servers came over individually to tell us what a great guy Jared is and how he is good to work with, etc. That made my mama heart feel good--and proud. xoxox I'm thankful to the Lord for my son!
This weekend is jam-packed which is unusual for us. Last night was Bonefish, today Michael cooked for and went to our church's Men of Valor meeting this morning. He had to be there at 6 am to cook! Then I went to a ladies' brunch from 10-12. And tonight we got together with another fellowship group for dinner! (notice how all this involves food?? haha)

The reason for all these meetings is because of two very special couples who are visiting with us. Our former pastor/teacher and his wife are now serving in Mexico City and are involved in a church there. We are helping this church to build a new building. It has been humbling to see how the Lord is working through our church to help this sister church in Mexico. The pastor/teacher there and his wife are also here this weekend so it has been a privilege to get to know them.

This morning at our brunch Josefina gave her testimony and it just reminded me again of God's grace to us as sinners. That He would love us and forgive us and want us to be part of His family is just unbelievable! We serve a wonderful, loving God!! She had all of us ladies in tears as she shared the work that God did in her life to redeem her and what He is doing in her life now.

Tomorrow after church we invited a new young couple over for lunch. We're looking forward to getting to know them. I'm going to have hot roast beef sandwiches with gravy, a salad and dessert. They are bringing dessert and everything else is already made so there won't be much for me to do. The house is clean so I'm all set. ;-)

The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The Lord is good to all; He has compassion on all He has made. My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord. Let every creature praise His holy name for ever and ever. (Ps. 145:8-9, 21)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

No Snow

When I went to bed last night, The Weather Channel forecasted 2-3" of snow for our area. I didn't watch the local channels but I assume they forecasted the same thing. When I woke up this morning and looked out the window, I saw...........nothing! As happens frequently here in Central Virginia, the snow went to our south (sometimes it's to the north or east or west).

It's hard to be a snow lover in Central Virginia!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

It's Cold

I know compared to most of the country we are not that cold but it is to me!! Tonight it is going down to 10 degrees, tomorrow will only be in the 20's and tomorrow night it's supposed to be 5 degrees. Just 5 little degrees! Right now there is a space heater at my feet and it's keeping me nice and cozy. I'm thankful that I will be staying home until Sunday morning when the temperature will be in the 40's. Heat wave! Break out the sandals!

The house is chilly because we're trying to keep the thermostat low since our bill last month was outrageous. So it's set for 66. I wore my sweats all day and had a scarf around my neck. It wasn't too bad at all. I spent most of the day in the kitchen baking blueberry muffins, bread and making corn soup (probably more like corn chowder since it's so thick). That kept the kitchen nice and toasty.

Speaking of toasty, I have been going on a toast binge lately. If I want a snack, I have toast. There is something really comforting to me about hot, buttered toast and a glass of orange juice. I love it!

Jessica is coming over tomorrow night for another girl's night of watching movies. We don't have anything picked out yet. Last time it was a scary movie but this time I think we're going to go for sad and/or romantic. I'll be making breakfast for dinner~one of my favorite meals to have: pancakes, eggs and bacon. Yum! Perfect for 5 degree weather!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Third Day

I just ordered my first Third Day concert tickets of 2009. They will be in Fairfax, VA on April 2nd. They'll also be back in Williamsburg during June for the Glory at the Gardens series. Those two are the closest to me so I'm looking forward to hearing them twice (maybe more?) this year!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

This Weekend

What a great weekend! Saturday night we had our fellowship group over for the first time since November. We were together for a Christmas party but that was at another house. Our group meets every other Saturday at our house from 5:00 to 8:00 (ish). Right now we are six couples but we haven't managed to be all together yet!

I usually make a main dish and others will bring side dishes and drinks. This week I had all the fixings for hoagies and they were really good. One of the ladies had a dessert fellowship at her house the night before so she brought all kinds of desserts. Yum!

We had a good discussion concerning true biblical fellowship. We usually have a time for music but it didn't happen this week. One of the things I really like about our group is that it's very relaxed and is truly just a time for fellowship and getting to know each other better. We have a time of prayer also. I always look forward to it.

Sunday afternoon we had two friends over for lunch after church. We had such a great time talking and eating and watching the Eagles win (yeah!!). Then two other friends stopped by with their adorable baby boy. It's funny how silly we adults can be when it comes to a baby. We were all talking baby-talk to him and being goofy so we could get him to smile. :-)

I am so thankful for our church body and for the love and fellowship we share. I'm so thankful that the Lord brought us to Grace Bible and that we can worship Him with an amazing group of believers!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Prayer for the New Year

New Year
O Lord,
Length of days does not profit me except the days are passed in thy presence, in thy service, to thy glory.
Give me a grace that precedes, follows, guides, sustains, sanctifies, aids every hour, that I may not be one moment apart from thee,
by may rely on the Holy Spirit to supply every thought,
speak in every word,
direct every step,
prosper every work,
build up every mote of faith,
and give me a desire
to show forth thy praise,
testify thy love,
advance thy kingdom.
I launch my bark on the unknown waters of this year,
with thee, O Father, as my harbour,
thee, O Son, at the helm,
thee, O Holy Spirit, filling my sails.
Guide me to heaven with my loins girt,
my lamp burning,
my ear open to thy calls,
my heart full of thy love,
my soul free.
Give me thy grace to sanctify me,
thy comforts to cheer,
thy wisdom to teach,
thy right hand to guide,
thy counsel to instruct,
thy law to judge,
thy presence to stabilize.
May thy fear by my awe,
thy triumphs my joy.

Valley of Vision is a wonderful book of Puritan Prayers and Devotions. I highly recommend it! It will greatly enhance your quiet time with the Lord. It is good to take these prayers and not just read them, but pray them to the Lord.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Christmas 2008

Our skinny little tree, out of focus but looks kind of neat:Snowman I made a few years ago:
Marble cake, before and after:
Frosted Pumpkin Puffs, found here:

Peanut Butter Stars:
Julianne, our top chef, with a new kind of cook book for her DS:
The girls waiting to eat Christmas breakfast:

Opening stockings on Christmas morning. I usually hang them on their door at night but this year I forgot!

One of my favorite ornaments:
Michael and his student, Chuck Norris!!

Jessica in her traitorous Redskins shirt. Don't worry, I still love you! (Go Eagles!)

One can never have too many Post-It Notes:

Jared on Christmas morning:

My cool Jack Bauer figurine from Julianne. It's now next to the TV awaiting this Sunday's return of "24". Finally!

Jared opening his GPS on Christmas Eve. He had to work late that night so he opened his gift when he got home.

Me, on Christmas Eve
Our country tree:
Diving into Christmas Breakfast, an annual ritual:

Thursday, January 08, 2009

What I Learned Last Night

I'm still here! Between Thanksgiving, Christmas and other things, I've neglected posting here. Our holidays were quiet and homey with a little activity thrown it. Julianne was the props manager for our church's Christmas play which lasted two night. She had been going to most of the practices since November. It seems so long ago now. But every Wednesday night we were at the church for rehearsal.

As most of you know, Trish and I meet on Wednesday night for a time of Bible study, fellowship and prayer. All three of her children were in the play, so we took over the nursery to have our Bible study. We sat in the rocking chairs and had a great time of fellowship! We took a few weeks off because of Christmas and New Year's but last night we were back at it! We had hoped to find a new place to meet that looked like it would be the perfect place. It is a little Christian cafe with good food and a quiet atmosphere but when we got there last night we realized it closed at 7:00! So we ended up back at our local grocery store (!!) which has a nice Starbucks in it with comfy chairs and is out of the way of most of the hustle and bustle of shoppers.

We are on chapter seven of Fear Factor and should finish up by the end of February. Last night's chapter was a doozie!! It was all about the first step to overcoming fear: genuine, biblical repentance. We learned this tidbit: cover your sin and suffer; repent and find compassion. (Proverbs 28:13). We learned that repentance is a lifestyle and something believers should be doing daily. We learned what true repentance looks like: true repentance produces confession and is followed by change. To confess means to acknowledge, to agree, to openly admit. "When you confess your sin you are making a conscious decision to stop hiding your sin and start pointing it out to God. You are humbly bringing your sins out in the open." We learned that confession of our sin must come from godly sorrow. "With godly sorrow, you are sorry because you love God with everything you've got. You are sorry because you desire Christ, and you realize that your sin is against Him."

I could go on and on about the things we learned but one thing that stood out was this sentence: No matter how many steps you have taken away from God, it's only one step back. Trish called that sentence "beautiful". And it is! God is always ready and willing to forgive when we confess our sins with true repentance and godly sorrow. What I cover, God will uncover, what I uncover, God will cover.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year

A good verse for the new year: But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus~Philippians 3:13b-14