Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Monday, January 31, 2011

Strawberry Pretzel Pie

This is probably our family's FAVORITE dessert. I've made it since we were newlyweds & our girls have grown up with it. You may have seen it at family get-togethers, carry-in's or picnics & maybe even heard it called by a different name...but everyone knows it as DELICIOUS!

You will need to make this in 3 layers:

1st Layer:
~2 c. small braided pretzels, crunched up

~1 1/2 sticks of butter or non-hydrogenated margarine (ex: Earth Balance), soft but not melted

~2 TB. Sugar

~~In a 13"x9" pan, mix these ingredients & press firmly into bottom of pan. Bake @ 350* for 10 minutes, let
COOL COMPLETELY in freezer for 1 hour (at least).

2nd Layer:

~8 oz. cream cheese

~8 oz. Cool Whip

~1 c. Sugar

~~In a bowl, mix these ingredients until creamy & spread over 1st layer. MAKE SURE it gets into corners. Freeze for 10 minutes.

3rd Layer:

~2 small boxes of strawberry Jell-o
~2 C.
HOT water
~20 oz. Strawberries, sliced

~~Mix Jell-o &
hot water. Pour S-L-O-W-L-Y onto 2nd layer. IMMEDIATELY place strawberries in rows on top. Chill until Jell-o is ready.

This is one of the best desserts for that sweet-n-salty mix that so many of us love. I like to make this for Valentine's Day & arrange the strawberries in the shape of a heart. Enjoy!

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

Friday, January 28, 2011

Homemade Herbal Bath

Admittedly, I am a 'shower person', but sometimes a lovely, warm bath just can't be beat. Whether it's a cool bath w/selected herbs for fever relief, or an-almost-hot bath w/soothing herbs to soften skin & sooth tired, aching muscles, winter itch, relieve congestion from allergies or a cold...or...just because...

Because the skin is our largest organ, taking an herb bath is a great way to immerse yourself in the healing benefits of herbs. What a great herbal tea does on the inside, a great herbal bath can do from the outside, in. Herbal baths are particularly good for babies...so soothing. If you take an herb bath together, w/baby lying on it's back upon your raised thighs, you can bond in the soft, warm water while you coo & make eye contact w/your precious new babe.

Use time-tested favorite herbs for baths, depending upon the experience or out-come you are looking for: peppermint, lavender, chamomile, calendula, comfrey, rose, echinacea, eucalyptus & even a little course sea salt & oatmeal. Experiment w/your own favorites, but do a little research, first, & make sure that they can be used on your skin & what they are commonly used for.

If you don't raise & dry your own herbs, no problem, most local health food stores will have a bulk herb section. USE IT! (You can even make your own teas w/fresh herbs...hmmm...maybe that's a future blog topic!)

crunch up a couple of hand-fulls of your favorite herbs or herb mix & place it either in a clean cheese-cloth, or a tea ball or do-it-yourself tea bag (you can also get tea balls & empty tea bags at health food stores). Tie the cheese cloth to the tub faucet & let the water run through OR place 1-3 tea balls or tea bags full (as much as you desire) in the tub & let it steep while the water is running. Just before you get in, empty the herbs into your tub or, if you like, float a few fresh chamomile blossoms, rose petals &/or lavender in the tub.

will exit your herb bath relaxed, refreshed & your skin will be naturally soft.


Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Old Fashioned Cast Iron Cornbread

One of my most prized possessions is my Bigmom's cast iron skillet. It would probably be easier to count the meals that I haven't had with something made in that skillet than not.

And anyone with a lick of 'country' in 'em KNOWS that the very best cornbread comes from cast iron!

Here's our tried & true recipe:

1 1/2 c. cornmeal
2 1/2 c. milk
2 cups all-purpose flour (bread flour makes it a little more fluffy)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup white sugar (or sometimes I use Sugar in the Raw/unrefined sugar)
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I use Safflower oil)

  1. Preheat oven to 400*. In a small bowl, combine cornmeal & milk; let stand for 5-10 minutes. Grease your cast iron skillet.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt & sugar. Mix in the cornmeal mixture, eggs & oil until mostly smooth. Pour batter into skillet.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes.
  4. Let cool for just about 5 minutes & cut in wedges, serve w/your homemade butter!

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Word-Filled Wednesday ~#17~ 1/26/11

PASSAGE: ~Various verses from Job 38-40 ~ [God speaking] "Who is this that darkens My Counsel with words without knowledge?"..."Where were you...? Have you ever...? Can you...? Do you know...? Who provides...? Do you give...? Do you make...? "Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me..."

~Acts 17:26-27 ~ "From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; & He determined the times set for them & the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek Him & perhaps reach out for Him & find Him, though He is not far from each one of us." [All emphasis mine ~KW<><]

LESSON LEARNED: Today, on Facebook, Tracy Klicka (wife of the late Chris Klicka; author & HSLDA lead lawyer) had written this: "It is a gift of God to be insignificant. By this, to know that God doesn't need us to run the world. He is fully capable of caring for not only all of my family's needs, but also those of all people on earth & the whole creation itself, from atoms working properly, to babies growing in the womb, to the planets, moon & stars. Our place is to, w/grateful humility, marvel at His greatness, wisdom & sovereign care!"


The older I get & the more I watch our society & culture become more & more secular ~ with an unhealthy dose of New Age & Socialism thrown in ~ the more I see mankind becoming more & more self-consumed & more & more ignorant of God & His workings in our lives.

HOW can anyone look at anything in creation ~ from the smallest ion to the vastness of space ~ & not see God's hand in it? How can someone see a tiny heart beat during an ultrasound & not wonder at God's creative hand? How everything HAS to work 'just right' every time for the circulatory system to make & distribute blood to the body, for the heart to pump, for the eyes to see, for our magnificent brains to direct it all.

Here, in Ohio, we are fortunate enough to enjoy every season to it's fullest. The hubris of the "experts" (many who are self-proclaimed) is astounding & must at times cause God great sorrow. Have you ever noticed how many times those "experts" are wrong? What arrogance to imagine that mere man can cause something as far-fetched as global warming? Yes, man can gunk-up his immediate environment here & there, but God rules all.

"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - His eternal power & divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
"For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile & their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools..." ~Romans 1:20-22

Do they not see that we even set our calendars & holidays by reoccurring seasons & moon phases? How do they think that all stays on track? When the oil platform caught on fire, last summer, one of the best 'mistakes' the president made was to stall for time & hope for the worst. What happened? The oil began to dissipate all by itself! The way God's creation always does.

"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." ~ Genesis 50:20

Time & time again, the atmosphere clears up after a fire or a volcano or even a nuclear bomb. And no matter how unscrupulous government leaders or environmentalist wackos try to use these situations to gain more power over the people, God is always one step ahead of them & cleans up the "mess" in a natural way & makes them look foolish. The way God's creation always does. If God created us with a body that heals itself when it is injured, why wouldn't He create a world that does the same?

Such foolishness, such educated ignorance, such willful turning from God. But, of course, God is SO good & allows us to witness these things so that we can be a witness to those around us. Everyone in your life is in your life for a purpose, don't waste it. When the opportunity comes up, use these evidences of God's amazing power, of His amazing order in creation as proof of His love & concern for us: His Beloved. That He does all of this because He loves us, cares for us as He does the sparrow & pursues us as a Lover because He IS The Lover of our soul!

"Since you are precious & honored in My sight, & because I love you." ~Isaiah 43:4

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

{Be sure to leave a link to YOUR Word-Filled Wednesday!}

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook ~#107~ 1/25/11

For Today...

Outside my window...
snow & cold! The sun tried to come out & play a while ago but was defeated by the gray clouds.

I am thinking...
that the Lord's timing clearly is not my own & I must need a hint as to what sort of lesson I'm supposed to be learning. lol But I KNOW that things will always work out for my, & my family's (Romans 8:28), good & that I will be able to help others who will travel down the same road (II Cor. 1:3-4).

I am thankful for...
an active memory which enables me to mentally 'take out' my Scroll of Remembrance (Malachi 3:16-18) & remember how powerfully the Lord has worked, is working & will work in my life! Thank You, Lord!

From the kitchen...bread in the oven...hoping that it gets a decent rise in spite of our cold, humid weather. Went to the farm stores this morning & got my brown eggs, farm milk & peppered bacon. The car 'ice-skated' the whole way through the un-salted country roads. What a great adventure!

I am wearing...
jeans, pink thermal shirt w/thumb holes (LOVE that!) under my black work t-shirt, warm socks.

I am remembering...playing in the snow w/our dogs. All through my life our dogs have loved playing w/us in the snow. Is it the snow that's so much fun for them or simply enjoying who they were playing with?

I am going...
to go to work later today. Already spent most of the day running errands...in & out as various things have come up.

I am reading...
Bible; my book I ordered hasn't come in yet.

I am hoping...& remembering to wait EXPECTANTLY on answered prayer! (Heb. 11:1)

I am creating...
a peaceful, Christ-centered home. A haven of rest & love for my family & friends.

I am hearing...
the radio, the washer & dryer...listening for the buzzer on the oven to tell me that the bread has risen & it's time to bake it.

I am noticing...that as much as I truly enjoy the smaller Bible I received last year, that I wish it had the more thorough Concordance that my old Bible had.

Around the house...
honestly, I'm not the best of house-keepers who ever lived. June Cleaver, I'm not. But my house is decent & 'homey.' The best compliment that anyone visiting my home can pay me is that my home is 'homey' & they feel comfortable & at home when they visit.

One of my favorite things...
standing outside during a night-time snow fall. It's SO quiet.

Plans for the week...
family time, work, making a point to check in on my mom more, Sunday worship w/the saints!

Pondering these words...
"When people see Christians, they SHOULD see something/someone different than what the world offers!...We are not functioning for the Kingdom until we are sharing the love Jesus in practical ways." ~ from Sunday's Sermon.

Scripture thought...Malachi 3:14-18 ~
"'You have said, "It is futile to serve God. What did we gain by carrying out His requirements & going about like mourners before the LORD Almighty? But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly the evil-doers prosper, & even those who challenge God escape."'

"Then those who feared the LORD talked w/each other, & the LORD listened & heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in His presence concerning those who feared the LORD & honored His Name.

"'They will be mine,' says the LORD Almighty, 'in the day when I make up My treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves
him. And you will again see the distinction between the righteous & the wicked, between those who serve God & those who do not.'" [All emphasis mine ~ KW<><]

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Our back yard during a night-time snow storm last year.

Enjoy 100's of other Daybooks at Peggy's Simple Woman's Daybook.

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

Monday, January 24, 2011

It is Well with My Soul

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul!


It is well, with my soul,

It is well, it is well, with my soul!

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul!

My sin...oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!...
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life,
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul!

But Lord, 'tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul!


It is well, with my soul,

It is well, it is well, with my soul!

{Horatio Spafford~1873}

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

Friday, January 21, 2011

Lesson Planner: Lesson Planning with the Lesson Planner

{Originally printed in the Fall 2008 issue of The Old Schoolhouse magazine}

For the past eleven years I have been the homeschool coordinator of my county. One of the things I recommend to new homeschoolers – and ANY homeschool family – is a good teacher’s planner/record keeping system. Whether it’s on hard copy in a notebook or a CDRom for your computer, it is one of the most important tools a homeschool mom can own.

In states where one has to keep records of every little thing, a planner fits the bill; in states that permit you to have a choice as to how to assess your children and the assessor needs to see all that your students have done throughout the whole school year – every book read, every field trip taken, every DVD watched, every CDRom and learning resource used – a lesson planner fits the bill. When your family uses tons of different books and takes several field trips through the school year, you can’t exactly re-check 100+ books and plop them in your assessor’s lap and then take her on a whirlwind drive to every field trip destination you’ve gone to!

But…you CAN show them your complete and thorough records from your well-used lesson planner.

Homeschool Tracker

If you prefer an inter-active planner for use on your computer, Homeschool Tracker can be a real life-saver! It is SO easy to set up – just up-load it onto your computer and go. It is SO easy to follow – just click on a tab and add, subtract or read whatever you need to know.

There are 9 tabs/sections to work with: Main Menu, Overview, Assignments, Attendance, Reading Log, Field Trips, Daily journal, Maintenance and Reports.

Main Menu: This is the “Title Page.” This is where your school’s name and public information is shown; plus your school motto (Ours is: “I can do ALL things through CHRIST Who strengthens me!”) and a quick look at your children’s accumulative school days are shown as “sick,” “present,” “hours” and “Average.” Not every state, including mine, must account for hours or attendance, but it is always nice to have. One never knows when things might change in regard to your state law, and it is always nice to have your records on-hand SHOULD a problem arise.


Overview: This is a handy page. For each student you can look over the accumulation of their work.

The Points show actual grade/possible grade.

Assignments: I have to tell you, maybe it’s just me, but this was the hardest part for me to figure out – and it’s JUST a calendar!!  Once I figured out that I had to set up the calendar to show the dates for our school

year, it was easy. I had begun to think that I had to go get one of my teenagers to show ME how to figure this out! But, the Lord is good and I began to put it all together. Actually this was one of the most fun sections to do after I got the hang of it. On this calendar you can show whether your child was “present,” “sick;” that this was a “holiday” or that the day was designated as “holiday/present.”

Reading Log: Here you can list: Student/Resource/Type/Started/Finished. If you are like our household and use LOTS of books and other resources, this can be one of the most gratifying pages. It is incredible to look back and see all that was read and used throughout your school year. Assessors LOVE those lists!


Field Trips: This section includes: Trip Date/Time Spent/Subject/Description (locati

on). The only thing I think I would change about this would be a place to record things that were accomplished or objectives learned at each location.

Daily Journal: This is in the teacher’s section, but I give my students access to it. On those days when one student’s activities take your time away from the others – OR – if some of your other students are in their Jr. high or Sr. high school years and are more independent workers – you may leave notes to them, or yourself, concerning lessons that need more a

ttention or work they can simply do on their own. Or use it as a reminder that you will need to find a map of China for this Friday. This is a very useful “free” page and we can make it what we want!

Maintenance: Just as the title suggests, this is the place where you can add/enter/delete any type of information. Sections covered are: Activities/Resources/Resource Types/School Info/School Years/Students/Subjects/Terms.

Reports: Here is the handy-dandy page that allows you to print off any of the reports for the previously mentioned sections that you may need to have a hard copy of. If you really wanted, you could make your own hard copy l

esson planner from the printed pages.

Over all, this is a very easy record-keeping system. It would be a great system to use to teach your students, at any age, how to record their own work. This could even be included as an on-going homeschool assignment if you are working with them on computer skills or record keeping; it’s easy enough that they could manage their own records FOR YOU!

Tried and True – The Homeschooler’s Journal

But then there are those of us who do not have access to a computer or who simply prefer to have something tangible in their hands. For that family, you may be interested in The Homeschooler’s Journal and The Homeschooler’s High School Journal, both by Ferg N’ Us.

The Homeschooler’s Journal is the blessedly simple planner that you would want to use for grade school ages up to Jr. High level. This planner is s

pecifically made with the homeschool family in mind and is set up for 200 days of school with a subject log based on 7-day weeks. This way, you can include weekend activities on your planner. This planner has all you need within its spiral-bound pages. There are calendars for the previous year, this year and coming year; great for long-term planning. There are so many places to help you keep your planning and moments of brain-storming recorded; this planner has pages for field trips, a check-off list of requirements, resource pages and semester objectives, tracking for all those books, CDRoms and videos/DVDs that you have used throughout the year.

The Homeschooler’s High School Journal was my best friend for many years. Again, a blessedly simple planner, but this one is geared toward the special record-keeping that we need to do for our high schoolers.

As before, they have given us calendars in the span of several years; then a Linear Schedule of Home Schooling Events. This is great if your children are involved in sports, music, clubs, service projects or other extra-curricular activities; the whole school year is spread out on two pages for your perusal.

One of the most helpful parts of the whole planner, to me, is the page of Yearly Requirements. This page is laid out for all four high school years (Freshman through Senior) across the top, with the subjects listed down the left-hand side (English, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts & Humanities, Computer Science/Business, and two elective areas). On this one page I can keep track of (depending on my child’s high school year) what my child has completed and, if I pre-plan, what they need to complete by graduation! There are also spaces to keep track of total credits earned. Speaking of credits…when my oldest (a homeschool graduate of 2006!) began her high school years, one of the questions I had was “how do I determine how many credits to assign to each subject?” Once again, this planner gave me the answer: they suggest 1= 1 Year, ½ = ½ year. Gee, who knew it was THAT easy?! I extended that for our own school to include a subject done for on

e quarter (a short unit study or project) or one day a week (gym/p.e. or band/music or dance) to receive ¼ credit.

There are other great sections – besides the 200 days’ worth of course work pages. One is the “Lending and Borrowing Resource List.” How many times has someone borrowed a book from you and just when you need it, it’s nowhere to be found and you can’t think of who you gave it to. Problem solved here.

A handy page to have before you run off to your state’s homeschool convention, or make that on-line order at TOS’s Homeschool Store, is the “Reso

urce List” page. There’s even a column to keep track of your costs. Then there’s the “Objectives and Resources” page for those long-range research projects.

For those of you who live in a state that requires you to keep track of attendance, Ferg N’ Us has covered that for you, too. Also, included on each regular journal page is a section where you can keep track of hours spent on each subject, denoted by quarter-hour marks.

Two of our most used sections were the “Field Trip Log” and the “Educational Supplements” tracker. The Field Trip Log, as you might assume, has space to record where you went, the host’s name, contact/ph

one info, date, and objectives of the trip. By the end of the year you will have a diary of memories and fun! Anyone who still thinks that homeschoolers are stuck at home needs to have a look at my planner! Another most-used section of our planner is the Educational Supplements pages. I am a firm believer in recording everything that can remotely be deemed as having educational value, including books we read, books on tape, videos/DVDs, learning games, activities with educational value which take place while on vacation and some television. The Educational Supplements pages are where we record those things. There is a section for the date, Title/Web Site Address, Author/Composer/Date Due/Classification. The Classification section is great because you can record whether your supplement was a book, audio, video, music, from the internet and if it was non-fiction, fiction, biography or reference. On this I wish they would have added T.V. (which we added ourselves) as our students are required to watch such things as the Pr

esident’s State of the Union Address and certain programs dealing with history or historical figures.

The Crème de la Crème! The Schoolhouse Planner!

The Old Schoolhouse magazine’s publishers have just released one of the most helpful resources I’ve ever used! Parents, if I had had this planner 16 years ago, when I first began homeschooling, I would never have had to use anything else.

Right off the bat, the most unique thing about The Schoolhouse Planner is that it is an e-book. It’s 247 pages of unique and much-needed help! This planner also contains some of the most aesthetically pleasing, page designs I’ve seen. Easy on the eyes to read and encouraging to use.

It’s so exciting to see the things that are included in this planner that are nowhere to be found in any others. Articles by experienced homeschoolers! Calendars! Recipes! Weblinks! Oh my!

Not only does this planner begin with a calendar, but each month has a theme AND recipes to try during those months! To give a little splash to each month of the planner, each month has a theme along with an article by a note-worthy homeschooler AND many weblinks and learning aids to go along with it! August’s them is “Celebrate” along with a great article by Martha Greene on “Lessons Learned Around the Table,” then on to several weblinks for related resources, along with recipes for Cheeseburger Pie and Tropical Chicken Dinner; December’s theme is Science with a presentation of the Periodic Table and an article on “Solving Your Science Struggles,” next are all those weblinks for related resources and then yummy recipes for Mild and Savory Black Bean Chili and Easy Chicken Casserole. Wow! Won’t those dishes be great on a cold winter’s night? April’s theme is “The 7 Wonders of the Ancient World AND of the Modern World.” This month’s article has great advice for “Chore Training Tips,” more weblinks and recipes for Homemade Cornbread and Linnie’s Six-in-One Casserole! All of the recipes in the Schoolhouse Planner are easy enough anyone in the family to make, even for a younger child to do with just a little help from mom or an older sibling and will be enjoyed by your whole family. As many of you who read The Lesson Planner on a regular basis know, I am a big proponent of learning life skills; these recipes will be just the thing to add to your home ec or life skills assignments!

Now, just so you know…we have only touched the surface of what’s in this exciting planner! This planner is jam-packed with Homeschool Forms and complete instructions as to how to use them. Here’s a peek at just SOME of the planner pages included: Yearly Goals, 12-Year Planner Pages, Course of Study, Educational Objectives, End-of-Year Evaluation Form, End of Year Report Card, Yearly Grades, Test Score Recording Sheet, High School Hours Tracking Log, Weekly Planning Pages, Week-at-a-Glance, Progress Report Sheets, Bible Memory Record, Audio/Video Log, Books Read Log, Sheets to record Crafts and Field Trips, Nature Journal sheets, Unit Study Form, Unschooling Record Form, Co-op Information Page, Support Group Information Page, Outside Lessons Page for so many of us who have kiddos taking piano, dance, martial arts, etc. This is a good way to remind ourselves that those things count for school, too!

And that’s not all that in this planner, believe me, there’s MORE!

There are chore charts (for all ages), there are pages for all your house-hold information including: Our Budget, Personal Financial Inventory (mortgage, credit cards, phone, internet, life and disability insurance tracker, car and home info, checking and savings account info, Christmas Club, etc.); Gift Wish List (so those loving grandparents will know the correct sizes of each child!), Gift Budget, Prayer Journal, Bible Reading Schedule, important Dates to Remember, Garden Planning Checklist (don’t forget to count gardening for school credit!), Loaned/Barrowed List, Our Pet’s Health Log, an Address Book…and so much more! Here’s an idea – while teaching your students about finances, budgeting, house-hold maintenance and such, you can just run off these pages for them to use.

Here’s something else that makes this really special. Since this is an e-book you merely print off only the pages you need, when you need them. Isn’t that great? No worrying about losing the master copy of the page you need, because you will simply go to your computer and print off the page you want. No carrying around a bulky planner with pages not only waiting to be used but waiting to be ripped or spilled on, because you simply go to your computer and print exactly how many you will need.

There will never be any record you can’t find for your assessor or for your own personal reminder. This planner has it all! My only regret is that we had not had this one around sooner.

As a mom who is going into our 16th year of homeschooling, and as an assessor, a good lesson planner can be a lifesaver; a secure, concise place to manage your records and preserve school memories. Whether your needs are simple or your want to use one product for all of your children, one of these products will fit your every need and the lifestyle of your family.

Where to find:

~ Homeschool Tracker: www.homeschooltracker.com

~ The Homeschooler’s Journal and The Homeschooler’s High School Journal: www.fergnusservices.com

Ferg N’ Us Services

P.O. Box 350

Richville, NY 13681

(315) 287-9131

or www.christianbook.com

Customer Service: 1-800-CHRISTIAN® (1-800-247-4784)

~ The Schoolhouse Planner is available through The Schoolhouse Store: http://www.theoldschoolhousestore.com/index.php Always FREE shipping.

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Word-Filled Wednesday ~#16~ 1/19/11

PASSAGE: Hebrews 11:1 ~ "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for & certain of what we do not see."

Joshua 1:5(b), 6(a), 7
~ "As I [God] was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong &
courageous...Be strong & very courageous..."

Esther 4:14(b) ~ "And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"

LESSON LEARNED: Faith & courage. Have you ever noticed how they go together; how they must go together? Have you given thought as to why the Lord put us into this period of time? Perhaps it's because He has something planned for you & I...for such a time as this.

The Lord brings us through so much in our lives, He allows us to go through different, very personal trials & triumphs. And each & every one of those experiences makes us a person that He can use in very personal ways. The whole scale of our pre-Christ days of sin, our successes & everything in-between have all given us experiences that we can use to empathize with someone who is heading down a road we have traveled upon...good or bad, rocky or smooth.
Be strong & courageous! You are a person with experience that someone may listen to. You may be in their life for such a time as this.

know that we serve a God Who owns the cattle on 1,000 hills (Ps. 50:10) & Who spoke the entire world & all of creation into existence (Gen. 1) & yet, in His mercy & grace, He chooses to use us. We have all experienced miracles & answers to prayer; use those memories & the sweet, true promises of Scripture to exercise your muscles of faith, to be bold & courageous for the Lord. This is not a license for rudeness, but opportunities to act upon what we know. What lives can we affect for the Lord? As my pastor said in last Sunday's sermon: "Our service is not about 'what's in it for me?' but 'How can I reach the world w/the gospel?'"

Opportunities abound. Opportunities to be
courageous enough to act upon our faith...for such a time as this.

{Be sure to leave a link to YOUR Word-Filled Wednesday!}

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook ~#106~ 1/18/11

For Today...

Outside my window...
dreary grey skies, rain, melting snow...which will turn to ice tonight w/more snow on top tomorrow. Lovely to drive in...not!

I am thinking...
of how courage mixes w/faith.

I am thankful for...the blessing that our family is still so tight, that we have clung together in the stresses of the past almost 2 yrs of financial loss, instead of letting it drive us apart.

From the kitchen...
whipping up a batch of laundry detergent, & then Amish French toast for lunch.

I am wearing...
jeans, my favorite Old Navy thermal shirt.

I am remembering...that God is still on His throne & I am His epistle here on earth.

I am going...
to go to work later this afternoon.

I am reading...
Bible; other blogs...I have a new book on order. :-)

I am hoping...for answered pray beyond measure for Joanne, a young, seemingly healthy 37 yr old homeschool mom who suddenly had a massive stroke on the 11th. Please keep Joanne, her loving husband, 2 young daughters, parents & extended family & friends in your prayers; & healing & wisdom for the Dr's & nurses. You can keep up w/her progress as her husband up-dates her blog by clicking on her name, above.

I am creating...
a peaceful, Christ-centered home.

I am hearing...
the radio, the dryer, typing fingers, the occasional raindrops hitting the windows & falling on the roof.

I am noticing...that the Lord seems to be telling me to act upon the desires of my heart, but I'm at a loss as to where to start. I'm praying for wisdom & clarification b/c I'm obviously too blind & deaf to see & hear where He's pointing to! :-/

Around the house...
picking up the last of the Christmas decorations (yep...you read that correctly!), over-all house picking up stuff.

One of my favorite things...
the light at the end of the tunnel. :-)

Plans for the week...family time, work, a writing project, submitting the devotional I write for our church's weekly newsletter, planning a project...

Pondering these words...
"The Christian life isn't about 'what's in it for me', but about 'how can I reach the world w/the Gospel?'" ~ from Sunday's sermon.

Scripture thought...
Phillippians 1:27 ~ "Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ."

Here is a picture that I am sharing with you...

Enjoy 100's of other Daybooks at Peggy's Simple Woman's Daybook.

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tea Tree & Thyme Healing Tonic

This is a great recipe for a product that can come in handy anytime of the year, but ESPECIALLY NOW, during cold and flu season! Easy, economical and very effective. This is from the book Organic Body Care Recipes by Stephanie Tourles.
The book says: "This recipe makes a very strong infusion of thyme. Combined w/tea tree, the resultant formula has antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties and makes a good preventive skin tonic to use when living or working around people who have a cold or flu. Pour it into a small, plastic [or glass ~KW<><] spritzer bottle and keep it w/you at all times so that you can spray it periodically on your hands and face, the telephone, and directly into the air to help purify the surrounding environment." [emphasis mine ~KW<><]
You will need an empty spritzer bottle. You can use an old, clean one that you already have or you can purchase cute, cheap ones at Hobby Lobby, Michael's or most other craft or health food stores. If you buy it new, wash it before filling.
You will also need:
~1 c. distilled water

~1 TB thyme leaves

~1-1/2 ts white willow bark 
~10 drops of tea tree essential oil

In a small saucepan, boil the water, remove from heat, add the thyme leaves and let it steep for about 20 minutes. Strain and pour into the spray bottle, add the tea tree oil, shake well.
Due to tea tree essential oil's potent properties, this tonic will keep unrefrigerated for approximately 1 month. Always keep a fresh batch on-hand.
You can also apply this to your face as a regular toner w/a cotton ball. Do not use on the eye area. As a face tonic it is recommended for: "all skin types, especially those w/weeping acne, abrasions, burns, infections, inflamed eczema, or psoriasis. Use daily as needed." This is my personal favorite face toner/astringent . . . however . . . I ADD 1 ts. of white willow bark to make it extra preventative for acne. Simply apply with a cotton ball after your wash your face with my oily skin face wash

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

Friday, January 14, 2011

Greyfriars Bobby ~ The Love & Devotion of Pets

Many may think that we are silly, but we dearly love our pets. Although I grew up with both beloved cats AND dogs, & I've had everything from a crow to a duck to parakeets to mice & rabbits, we are unabashedly 'dog people.' Part of that is because DH & DD#2 are deathly allergic to cats, so we can never own another.

Our dear, faithful dog, Hickory (Hickory Dickery Dog) is the pet that our girls grew up with. Just a month after his 10th birthday he passed away in January of '08. He was a large Sheltie (Shetland Shepdog, love those Highland breeds!) & was our ever-present, loving companion. Ever the 'shepherd' he would herd the girls & their friends, when they were little, as they played...they never realized it, but if you stood back & watched, he was ringing them in even as he played w/them. Another endearing habit he had was that he would sit about 3 steps up on our staircase, that comes out into the house between the living room & the kitchen &, there, he could see nearly everyone in the house: whoever was in the living room, whoever was in the kitchen & whoever was in the school/computer room. His loving, watchful eye was on us all &, to him, all was right w/the world. When someone was sick & laying bundled up on the couch, he was always right there to monitor their every move.

We were heartbroken when we had to make the decision to ease his suffering from liver cancer. But we didn't abandon our sweet friend; the girls said their good-byes & left the room while DH & I sat on the vet's office floor beside Hickory. When the Dr administered the shot, Hickory lifted his head & looked at me, rested his chin on my knee & passed gently away while DH & I ran our fingers through his long beautiful fur.

Shortly after, we added our cute, spunky little Maggie (Magpie Maggie Mae) to our household. My, but you don't realize how well-trained & smart your older dog was until you start training another puppy! lol! She is so cute & so sweet & we love her greatly...but...sometimes there is simply 'that' pet that never quite leaves your heart & you still think about upon occasion. Hickory is 'that' pet for our family.

I was reminded of Hickory today, when I received a reminder from a Scottish site on my Facebook (part of my heritage is Scottish). Today is the 139th anniversary of the death of Greyfriars Bobby. If you have never read any of the many children's books about him or seen any of the movies, here's his story:

"January 14th 1872 - Greyfriars Bobby died after staying by his master's grave for 14 years. Bobby was a Skye Terrier dog belonging to Jock Gray, a farmer from the Pentland Hills, who regularly dined at an inn in Grassmarket, not far from Greyfriar's Churchyard.

Jock Gray, died in 1858, the dog refused to leave his master's grave. He turned up regularly for 14 years at the inn at Grassmarket which had been frequented by his master and was fed there by locals who were taken by the dog's devotion. A life size statue to Bobby (undoubtedly the most photographed dog in Edinburgh) was erected on top of a drinking fountain outside Greyfriar's Churchyard shortly after the dog's death."

The stone the town's people erected at the dog's grave says: "Greyfriars Bobby - died 14th January 1872 - aged 16 years - Let his loyalty and devotion be a lesson to us all - Unveild by His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester CCVO - on the 13th May 1981"

can SO see Hickory being like this little tower of faithfulness for any of us in our family. Perhaps you, too, have had (or have) your own faithful, loving little friend. I would enjoy hearing your stories.

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

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