This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every moring: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3: 21-26

Friday, April 20, 2007

Friday Favorites

Amberly over at Moments Amid Messes is starting a Friday Favorites. Sounds like a nice start to the weekend. Since I wasn't prepared, but thought it was a great idea, I am posting Scripture, which I almost always do on Fridays and a favorite song that is taken from that Scripture.

Great idea, Amberly. Next week I will have something different for my "favorite" offering.

Peaceful, joyful, wonderful weekend wishes!

Psalm 91

1He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

2I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

3Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

4He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

5Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

6Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

7A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

8Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

9Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;

10There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

11For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

12They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

13Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

14Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

15He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
1

6With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

On Eagles' Wings
(Michael Joncas)

You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord,
Who abide in His shadow for life,
Say to the Lord: "My refuge,My rock in whom I trust!"

Chos: And he will raise you up on eagle's wings,
Bear you on the breath of dawn,
Make you to shine like the sun,
And hold you in the palm of His hand.

The snare of the fowler will never capture you,
And famine will bring you no fear:
Under His wings your refuge,
His faithfulness your shield.

You need not fear the terror of the night,
Nor the arrow that flies by day;
Though thousands fall about you,
Near you it shall not come.

For to His angels He's given a command
To guard you in all of your ways;
Upon their hands they will bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.

Adaptation of Psalm 91Michael Joncas,
(c)1979, New Dawn Music

Favorite Ingredients Friday--Spinich Lasagna

This week Overwhelmed With Joy is hosting the Vegetarian Edition of Favorite Ingredients Friday
Spinach Lasagna
by the Editors of Easy Home Cooking Magazine
Ingredients:
5 uncooked lasagna noodles
Nonstick cooking spray
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
1 can (8 ounces) no-salt-added tomato sauce, divided
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil or 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano or 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1-1/2 cups low-fat (1%) cottage cheese or reduced-fat ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
2 egg whites
3 tablespoons fine dry bread crumbs
1/2 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained*
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


Preparation:
1.Prepare noodles according to package directions, omitting salt; drain. Rinse under cold water; drain.

2.Coat large skillet with cooking spray. Add mushrooms, onion, bell pepper and garlic; cook and stir over medium heat until vegetables are tender. Stir in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, oregano and red pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3.Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine cottage cheese, Romano cheese, egg whites and bread crumbs in medium bowl. Stir spinach into cottage cheese mixture. Cut noodles in half crosswise. To prevent sticking, spread 2 tablespoons tomato sauce in bottom of ungreased 8-inch square baking dish. Layer 4 noodles over sauce, overlapping slightly. Top with half of spinach-cottage cheese mixture. Layer 4 more noodles over top, slightly overlapping noodles. Top with half of tomato mixture. Repeat layers, ending with tomato sauce mixture.

4.Cover and bake 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake, uncovered, 2 to 3 minutes more or until cheese melts. Sprinkle with parsley. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut into 4 pieces before serving.

For more wonderful recipes every Friday and for vegetarian recipes today go visit Favorite Ingredients Friday hosted by Overwhelmed With Joy

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Wading Through the Mud


I think my sons brought back every last piece of dirt off of Old McRonald's I mean Grandparampa’s farm.

I have just finally caught up on laundry from our visit home, in part because I had to soak everything, especially the socks. Good heaven the socks. I maybe should have taken pictures, but then again…it’s probably better not. I think the socks alone gained ten pounds each. No wonder the gas mileage was worse coming home.

They had a good time out on Grandpa’s “berm,” with the cousins. Pounding on each other the pile ‘o’ dirt with sticks and the screams lilting sounds of children’s laughter still echo in my ear.

Well it was worth it. I got to see family. I got cheesecake. I got to go see the cows.

Do You Deserve Your High School Diploma?

Edited to add--While I may have scored pretty well on the goofy test, I obviously need a proof-reader. How many people noticed the GLARING typo in the title that my DCG found today?? And didn't tell me, thank you all so very much. (Major blushing.) Obviously "we learns 'em at home." SNORT.

I found this quiz in this post of Denise's over at Let's Play Math.

You paid attention during 100% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz



I don't know if it really proves anything more than I test well, a fact I've known for a long time. But it was one of those fun little meaningless ego boosts, at a time when I am feeling less than brainy.

Dear Lady Who Blessed Me at Wal-Mart,

Thank you kind lady at Wal-mart.

The other evening I mistakenly thought I might make a quick trip to Wal-Mart. Five items on my list. Well, the words quick and Wal-Mart never should be used in the same sentence.

Fifteen items and about 45 minutes later I was standing deciding which line was less than five deep. So I decided to be brave and attempt the self-check out lane that Wal-Mart has so graciously installed. Have I mentioned I am technically challenged? Apparently I have gotten more technically challenged with age and children. I find the self-checkout lane to be incredibly intimidating. Why this is, I have no clue because I was a grocery clerk from the ages of sixteen to twenty-one. I at one time was able to check groceries. Don’t know if it is the fact that motherhood has sucked every ounce of confidence out of me or what.

But there I was and I needed to get out of there. I really only did have fifteen items and none of them were from the Pharmacy area nor from the alcohol aisle. So I was proudly unloading my cart when I came to…the bag of un-ground coffee. Could I ring up coffee at the self-check lane? Had Wal-Mart planned for such an occurrence??? Was I really that unadvanced that I was worried about it?

The Wal-Mart associate “overseeing” my lane was pointedly ignoring me. The kind lady behind me did not get huffy. What she did was gently ask if she might help and got me and my coffee weighed and purchased. Well the coffee got weighed. And I paid. She was smiling and she was gracious.

Really, I suppose it is a boring story. But I was blessed in this day of “hurry up and get out of my way” that a stranger would take a moment to help without making me feel like a total dweeb. It doesn’t take much. It really is the little things.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Works for Me Wednesday

I had a nice little post all ready for Shannon’s WFMW. Typed up, just needed uploaded and linky-d. But I can’t post it right now. It just doesn’t feel right. I truly don’t mean to sound preachy, but this is where my heart is today.

In light of these last few weeks I offer something that everyone already knows, I am sure. But I’ve got to say it.

Prayer. That’s what works.

Offering prayers for the victims & their families at Virginia Tech and this nation that mourns with them.

Prayers for Heather, Kelli & Amy. Prayer for Jenna's grandmother-in-law. Prayer for dear sweet Izzy.

So many other prayers. If you care to leave a prayer request, I would be honored to pray. Or you can e-mail me if you want— ourjoyfuldays “at” gmail “dot” com.

Our God is bigger than all the trials, and illnesses and fear. Our God is bigger than death.

Prayers for you.

Wordless Wednesday

Frozen


Visit the Wordless Wednesday Site for more Wordless Wednesdays wonderful participants.

Dairy Farm Field Trip

This past Friday Roo and Boo and I took a long weekend visit with family. My sister arranged for a very cool field trip to a state of the art dairy farm.

The last dairy farm I visited was when I was near Roo’s age. So state of the art was not around then. I think that electricity had been invented, but in my advanced age, I may be wrong about that. I digress…

The operation is up and running but still in the process of being finished. We were told that there were approximately 1200 cows on the site with the goal to have 6000 by the end of summer. I. Cannot. Imagine. 6000. Cows. And they all are accounted for. They are tagged with an ear tag that has a chip with information about the cow. When she steps on the milking carousel her information is read and milk production is recorded.

The cows were amazing. They come into a large holding pen and then in a very orderly fashion proceed to step up into the carousel and are cleaned in several steps and have the milking apparatus attached to their udders. The milkers drop off when milking is complete.

Occasionally a cow will kick one off and a worker will quickly hook the cow back up. A cow completes on round on the milking merry-go-round and in an unbelievably calm fashion backs off and goes off to her barn via a chute. The cows are milked every eight hours and the farm runs 24 hours a day, with three shifts.


We saw where the milk traveled after it left the cow, how it was rapidly cooled and immediately sent to a waiting tanker truck. The technology and thought that went into planning this impressive facility is mind boggling. There are some really smart people working on this.

The whole operation was udderly fascinating, employees were welcoming and informative. I am always enchanted by cows. Their moooo-ning big eyes and mild manners are always favorites of mine at fairs. I am not totally naïve regarding large livestock and realize that they can cause major damage to person and property when provoked or otherwise in stressful situations. I am completely aware that the care for them is a full time job. Which makes the facility we visited all the more interesting.

A wonderful fieldtrip that we city dwellers don’t often get to have.

Friends

Just want to give a wave to Pastor Al and his wonderful wife, Ella. Pastor Al’s blog is on my sidebar.

Al used to be my pastor. Well that is not entirely true. Pastor Al will be my pastor no matter where I live or what church I go to. He and Ella have stood by us in some really wonderful times and some pretty stinky times. And they still claim us. Which is saying a lot. Because I am not the easiest to deal with. And my DCG nearly sent Pastor Al into conniptions with his (unintentional) lounge-lizard version of “I Surrender All” when DCG used to be the praise leader. Al’s put up with a lot. He’s helped us move, and let me say if he still claimed us after that, that was speaking volumes. ‘Coz I had just a "leeeeeeeeeeetttle beeet" of stuff.

Al and Ella have held both my boys before they were more than 24 hours old. Al has done the dedications for both boys and that means so much. I know my boys love Al and Ella and my boys have good taste. Pastor Al taught my children this rhyme:

I eat my peas with honey
I’ve done so all my life
It makes the peas taste funny
But it keeps them on my knife

They have visited and prayed with me in the hospital (for more than baby arrivals) they have been with my family for many ups and downs.

While you can’t comment on Al’s blog, he is worth reading. He is very concise and well read. Thoughtful and eloquent. And if you ever stop at his church you will be welcome. (Edited to add: Pastor Al moved to a new site and I've updated the links. While comments are closed you can send him a note if something he writes blesses you, and I am sure his writing will be a blessing.)

Blessings Pastor Al, blessings Ella. You’ve touched so many lives.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

When I Should Have Been Packing...

I was playing...



...Oh well. We survived with what I brought and had a lovely time. But these springy ideas were fluttering in my head...I couldn't help it.

Menu Plan Monday

Being the hermit that I am, it is always a bit discombobulating to be gone for a long weekend. My swing is very fragile and when I get out of it, it is hard to get back into it. The organization boost from Menu Plan Monday is just one step I am taking at trying to live a bit more peaceful and planned life.

Monday—turkey ham, potatoes and green beans
Tuesday—breakfast for dinner
Wednesday—I am being taken out by two friends so I will leave sloppy joes and hot dog fixings for DCG and the boys. Baby carrots and other veggies will round out the plates.
Thursday—pizza
Friday—spaghetti with a choice of alfredo or red sauce, salad and garlic bread.

I am hoping to come up with an exciting dessert for Friday so I will be visiting everyone to get ideas. If I find one that really makes my day I will post it for Favorite Ingredient Fridays hosted by Overwhelmed With Joy. Thanks to her and Laura, my boys have been eating a lot better lately.
Many thanks to Laura over at I’m an Organizing Junkie for hosting Menu Plan Monday. Visit her lovely blog for many great menu ideas and incredibly wonderful organizing tips.
Have a healthy and tasty week.

Grains of Gratitude

I want to include a grain from last week, since I didn’t post last Sunday. We were grateful to be able to be at a dear friend’s confirmation last Saturday evening. We were warmly welcomed and the service was awesome. It is always an exciting thing to see someone make a profession of faith, a promise that they want to grow in their relationship with the LORD. Many blessings to my dear friend, Jessica.

It is always a time for gratitude when one gets to spend time with family. This weekend the boys and I were able to travel and visit my parents and my sister and her children.

I am grateful my sister arranged a cool field trip for the boys and their cousins to a dairy. I don’t know who had more fun the kids or us. It was an awesome experience.

For the first fourteen years of our married life (we are going on fifteen this year) we made do with one vehicle. I am grateful this year that we were able to purchase a second car. That extra vehicle is what allows us to make the trips to visit out of state family when DCG needs to be at work while we are away.

With the cold snap and remnants of winter hanging on I am thankful for central heating and indoor plumbing—I am not kidding. In one of those flashback memories that come from out of the blue, I was reminded that when I was Boo’s age my paternal grandparents had an oil heater in the kitchen and an outhouse. While I loved visiting my grandparents, I hated have to use the potty when there in the winter. Summer was bad enough—but snow and ice. Brrrr…let's just be glad we live where we do and are blessed.

The Lord is kind and merciful!

What are you grateful for?

Grains of Gratitude originated with Christine at Brady's Bunch

I am on the road until tonight (with slow internet and an aging computer)and truly dont' know when I will get caught up, but I would like to post a request for prayer for two dear sweet sisters in Christ. Please PRAY for Heather and Kelli. If you are interested in participating in a love offering for Heather please visit BooMama.