Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The January Journey...

The past month has been good. My DH and I got several things done that needed to be done, including redoing my laundry room and finishing the office. I don't have pictures yet because I am still trying to get everything in its place in the laundry room and the office (that part takes time.)

I tried something new this month, cake decorating. As those of you who have seen my cakes' progress, you still know that there is definitely room for improvement. But, it has been a fun experience that I have gotten to share with my Mom, even if it is across the miles.

My DH and I did meet some new friends this month, they are E&D. I look forward to having afternoon tea with E and getting to know both of them (and their little girl) better.

This month has also been a re-adjustment month for me, too. I got spoiled over the holidays getting to see my Mom, Dad, Sister, and wonderful Grandma. Coming back to Texas was hard because I don't get to see them and miss them very much. So, I have been adjusting (again) to not seeing them. I also have been adjusting (again) to my DH having to go to work and the work he brings home. I got used to having his undivided attention over the 3 weeks he had off in December. So, I have been getting back into the routine of him working and not being home all day.

This month has also been a trying month. I was awaiting some very serious (and important) test results for about three weeks. I have an appointment with my doctor tomorrow to see what all is going on. Prayer, for me, about the matter is greatly appreciated.

I would like to use a verse in order to summarize the many thoughts I had during the month of January.

Psalms 62:8

"Trust in Him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before Him;

God is a refuge for us.


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Chicken-and-Sausage Creole

Earlier today, when I had a moment to sit down, I browsed my February issue of Southern Living. While flipping through the pages, I came across a Quick-and-Easy recipe for Chicken-and-Sausage Creole. I had taken the chicken out of the freezer in order to cook a Chicken-and-Blackbean Stew; however, I cooked this recipe instead. I altered the recipe a little bit, using andouille sausage instead of smoked sausage. I also doubled the amount of sausage. It was great!

Chicken-and-Sausage Creole
from Southern Living

1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
2 (14-oz.) cans low-sodium fat-free chicken broth, divided
1/2 pound smoked sausage, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 cup chopped celery
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 (14 1/2-oz.) can diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 bay leaves

1. Prepare rice according to package directions, substituting 2 cups broth for water.

2. Meanwhile, sauté sausage and next 4 ingredients in a lightly greased Dutch oven over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in remaining broth, chicken, and next 5 ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaves, and serve over hot cooked rice.

Yield: Makes 6 Servings

Doren Clark, McDonough, Georgia
Southern Living,FEBRUARY 2007

Click here to go directly to the recipe on Southern Living's website.

The Clown Cake...

The cake for this week was a clown cake. I was happy for many reasons. The main reason was that the base icing wasn't blue. This one turned out pretty well. I could use some more work on my clowns height and the writing, but other than that I am pleased with the way it turned out.

I hope it brings a smile to your face.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Keepsake Envelope Folders

I was browsing Martha Stewart's Website looking through her Valentine's section when I happened upon this neat idea. They are Keepsake Envelopes which can hold little treasures for your Valentine.

irst, fold the flaps back on all but one of the envelopes you want to join. With the unfolded flap on the bottom, stack the envelopes, open side up. Moisten folded flaps; affix each to the envelope behind it. Punch a hole through the bottom center of all the envelopes; insert keepsakes (old letters, treasured notes, or trinkets), and fold last flap over. Thread a ribbon through the hole, and tie.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Homemaking Meme

I saw this meme at (4:53 a.m.) and I thought it was fun and interesting. So here it goes...

Aprons - Y/N? If yes, what does your favorite look like? I adore aprons. I really like all of the vintage style (1950's) with bright colors and retro prints.

Baking - Favorite thing to bake: I love to bake scones, cookies, and cakes.

Clothesline - Y/N? No, the people who live behind me have one though.

Donuts - Have you ever made them? No. I have helped my mom make beignets though, does that count?

Every day - One homemaking thing you do every day: Unload the dishwasher and turn the dishwasher on before I go to bed.

- Do you have a separate deep freeze? No... But, my freezer still has some back up meals in it.

Garbage Disposal - Y/N? Yes... Thank the Lord.

Handbook - What is your favorite homemaking resource? Southern Living Magazine

Ironing - Love it or Hate it? Neither one, I am okay with it. I can think of a lot of things better and worse.

Junk Drawer - Y/N? No. Even though my washroom feels like a junk room sometimes.

Kitchen - Color and decorating scheme? White cabinets and dark beige almost brown walls. I have deep red curtains.

Love - What is your favorite part of homemaking? When everything is finally clean and I can relax for a few minutes.

Mop - Y/N? Does Swiffer count?

Nylons - Wash by hand or in the washing machine? Washing machine in a delicates washer bag.

Oven - Do you use the window or open the door to check? Open the door most of the time.

Pizza - What do you put on yours? Pepperoni and cheese. Can't get any better.

Quiet - What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment? Sit down and soak it in. I also like to knit.

Recipe card box - Y/N? What does it look like? Yes and No. I have this little cookbook that my mom got for me that you write in all your favorite recipes. it also has a place for recipe cards.

Style of house - What is the style of your house? Ummmm... it's home.

Tablecloths and napkins - Y/N? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It is either a tablecloth or place mats, but always one or the other.

Under the kitchen sink - Organized or toxic wasteland? Organized.

Vacuum - How many times per week? I try to every 2 days.

Wash - How many loads of laundry do you do per week? 5-8, depends on the week.

X's - Do you keep a list of things to do that you cross off? Yes, it helps me feel like I have accomplished something.

Yard - Y/N? Who does what? My DH, he does a very good job.

Zzz's - What is your last homemaking task before going to bed? Turn on the dishwasher.

How about you? You're IT!

Friday, January 26, 2007

The Cake Tales Continued...

Over the last week, I have been working on a large variety of projects, one of which is my cake decorating skills. I have finally completed Cake #3. At last, I will be able to do a cake which does not have light blue icing. I must admit, both of my previous attempts at decorating began with the aspiration to be this cake. However, somewhere along the way, I changed my mind and did something different.

I now present Cake #3.

My DH and I have decided to cut back on our cake intake. We were beginning to border on a cake a week, between the two of us. Since we have not increased our exercising, we figured the only thing that would increase, if we did not decrease our cake consumption, would be our waists. Enough said there.

Being faced with the above dilemma, we decided to give the cake to some of our friends. Our friend said their little girl, A., would love the rainbow that adorns the top.

As a note, my writing is still in the works. I do realize that this area of my decorating could use some extra attention.

A Bad Blogger

I must admit that over the last week, I have been a bad blogger. I have been extremely busy and have honestly not had the time to blog. I do apologize to all of you who have come by my blog only to see the same thing you read several days ago. I will try to be more regular with my postings and comments.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Orange Pecan Scones

Today has been a good day. There was finally some sunshine and my dogs got to spend most of the day outside. i thought I would share a delicious recipe as this new week is beginning. These Orange Pecan Scones are my Mom's recipe. When my DH finds out what I am making for breakfast, he smiles and says, "Oh, I like those."

1/3 cup butter
2 cups self-rising flour
3/4 cups buttermilk
3Tsp. sugar
1tsp. ground orange rind
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Cut butter into flour with pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Add buttermilk, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. Add remaining ingredients. Divide dough in half; roll each portion into a 7" circle and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cut each circle into 8 wedges and lightly sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 425 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes.

Optional: After taking out of the oven, brush scones with melted butter.

Yields: 16 scones

Friday, January 19, 2007

It Has Been Cold...

This past week has been very cold where I live. While I was previously a Florida girl, I moved in August to Texas. Here in Texas, the summers are very hot and (as I recently found out) the winters are very cold. I am sure I looked rather odd to all of my neighbors as I walked around in the icy (not snowy) weather taking pictures of icicles. Hey, a girl who was practically raised in Florida, is amazed by icicles. I thought I would share a few pictures from this past week.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Cake Tales...

Well, I have completed attempt number two of cake decorating. It has been very cold here and I decided to make a cake that reflected the way it feels outside. I am pretty happy with the way it turned out. To me, the cake looks like a 1950's cake because of the colors.

By the way, I have another light blue cake because my class was canceled due to the weather after I had already baked and iced my cake. My DH is going to bring the cake to his work tomorrow so we don't eat 2 cakes a week.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Opening our Door

My husband and I had an older, widower from our church over for lunch. This gentleman was drafted during college to fight in World War II. My husband and I are both very interested in history especially WWII, so it was really neat to get to hear about his life and where God has led him.

Having this gentleman into our home made me realize how much I enjoy opening our home to those around us who are alone. It was nice to be able to share in food and fellowship. My DH and I are going to make an effort to have more people into our home to share the love of Christ with others.

While my DH and I were house-hunting this past summer, I happened upon a book that had this "prayer" from the Old Rectory at Crowhurst in it. It is the prayer for my house (and home).

Oh God, make the door of this house wide enough to receive
all who need human love and fellowship,
narrow enough to shut out all envy, pride, and strife.

Make its threshold smooth enough to not be a stumbling block,
but rugged and strong enough to turn back the tempter's power.

God, make the door of this house the gateway to

Thine eternal kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Friday, January 12, 2007

If At First You Don't Succeed...

My newest undertaking for the month of January is cake decorating. Over the last few months, my Mom and I decided that we would like to take cake decorating classes. Although we are separated by 700+ miles, we are still taking them together (I tell her about my class and vice-versa). We both started our classes this past week and next week I am decorating my first cake in class. So, I decided that I would get in a little practice before then.

This evening, I decorated my first cake. Needless to say, it could use a lot of help; however, I did have fun doing it (even though I did get a little frustrated) and I learned some things I need to correct before next week. It turned out looking a lot different then I had envisioned it. I was able to write a message on it for my DH though.

I have heard two alternate ending to the phrase: "If at first you don't succeed..." One alternative is "...give up and try something else." The other alternative is "try, try again." While, earlier this evening, I was not ready to throw all of my cake decorating supplies out the door; I was getting rather frustrated due to the way my cake decorating was turning out. However, I am determined to continue practicing and decorating, maybe one day I will have a cake that will live up to its potential, until then I will just keep on trying.

(P.S. - Mom, Dad, Hannah, and Gram: This cake is for you too!)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

In the Course of a Day

So far today, I have been able to check things off of my to-do list; however, I am nowhere near finishing it. The house looks like an "organized" mess (if such a thing can exist), due to moving everything out of the office to paint it. When my DH gets home from work, we are going to move all the big pieces of furniture back to its designated place in the office.

I just finished hanging up these little "cuties." After having something hanging in the space over my sink for Christmas, the wall was looking really bare.

So, I decided to do a little bit of early Valentine's Day decorating. I actually picked up the heart containers in the 66%-off Christmas area at Hobby Lobby last week.

Now I have to get back to the rest of my work. It was fun to get to do something fun (like decorate) in the midst of getting the house back in order.

A Day He Made

Good Morning! Well today will be a busy day. I just finished repainting my DH's office last night and today I am rearranging the furniture in the office.

When I woke up this morning, I heard the birds singing and I was reminded of a song by Adie Camp. I thought that I would share it with you.

Lazy day
Just room enough for me to think and pray about each new day
Draw me from my drowning apathetic state

Stormy day
Just watch the rain melt all my doubt away
Fire away the heated arrows to my lukewarm state

Don't wait
Don't wish away
Today is going to be the day He made
Don't waste
One day is all that we've got to give and take

Bend and break my mind and heart to feel the urgent need
To take all I see and pour my life into eternity
And take it all today and give everything
And take it all today
Lazy day
You're in everything that comes my way

I hope your day is fantastic!

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Just The Beginning

Hi! I have finally decided to enter into the world of blogging. I hope to eventually have my page being a reflection of me and not just this plain thing. I hope to be a blessing to those who read this thing.