Saturday October 13, 2007

Thank you all, so very much, for your sweet messages and prayers.  I am feeling great today!  In fact, I was feeling very well by late in the day yesterday.  After spending so long at the computer yesterday doing  so much necessary work – ordering, researching, filing of forms, etc., my body was ready for some exercise!  First, though, I proceeded just as I said I would in my last post.  Aaron chose a huge box of Legos and settled into the boys’ room to build and listen to music.  My poor Will, who was having a very hard day, came into the parlor with me and sobbed, mostly quietly, while I spent some time in the Word and sipped my cup of tea.  He had a box of toys available to play with, but he was not of a mind to play with them.  That’s okay….I allowed him to sit by me and get it out of his system.  As I finished up, he asked, quite sweetly, for a different set of toys to play with.  Aaron graciously retrieved them for me, and Will settled in and played contentedly in the living room in front of the fire for the next hour and a half.

I put on my apron, set my sites on accomplishing all that I could in the hour or so that it would take for dinner to cook, and got busy!  Here is most of what I did:

  • Seasoned the ground beef patties, topped them with mushrooms, mixed up the mushroom gravy and poured it over the meat, and popped the whole thing into the oven to cook
  • Started the basmati rice
  • Loaded a sink full of dishes into the dishwasher
  • Washed the stove top griddle, and let it air dry on the drying rack
  • Started a load of bath towels in the washer
  • Folded and put away the kitchen and cleaning towels from the dryer
  • Loved on my dog

  • Admired Will’s GI Joe tank in action in the living room
  • Took the table cloth off the table, shook the crumbs off outside and put it in a basket in the laundry room to be washed. Put a fresh cloth on the table for supper for the boys and I tonight.
  • Gazed out at the falling rain for a bit too long, something that I love to do.
  • Stacked the books that my boys have finished this week next to my lap top for page counting and recording later
  • Put away a few pieces of clothing from the laundry room that were already folded and/or hung on hangers
  • Picked up the colored pencil box from the school room floor and put it back on the art supply shelf
  • Picked up all of the containers of play dough and play dough tools from around the train/play table, put them into their tub, and back on the art supply shelf
  • Picked up the Cootie bug game from the school room floor, carefully sweeping my hand under the table and couch for stray legs, antenna and tongues.
  • Admired the setting sun to the west behind a bank of thick, gray clouds
  • Thanked the Lord for the rain and let Him know I was thankful for the reprieve in the watering and irrigation schedule His showers would give me
  • Noted that the houseplants would need my help tomorrow
  • Picked up and put away a Cootie bug leg
  • Listened (without his knowing) to Aaron singing along with the Newsboys as he worked with his Legos in his room
  • Turned up the volume to Romantic Adagios so I could hear it while I worked throughout the house
  • Enjoyed the scent of the basmati rice cooking each time I passed through the kitchen
  • Pulled two big packages of chicken thighs from the freezer to thaw for cooking tomorrow
  • Recycled the laundry by putting the clean towels into the dryer and gathering up the heavy darks (jeans and stuff) from all the hampers and loading them into the washer
  • Picked up a Cootie bug antenna
  • Admired Will’s rebuilt tank with assorted gunnery on top.
  • Admired Aaron’s Lego stuff as he handed me all the dirty jeans from the boys’ hamper
  • Re-filled the small vinegar bottle for the laundry room from the pantry’s gallon jug. (I use the vinegar as a natural softening agent in my laundry – Major Hat Tip to Kendra for this!)
  • Used my kitchen prep towel to wipe up the mess I made when I poured the vinegar too quickly and it overflowed.
  • Grabbed a clean kitchen prep towel from the drawer
  • Made a quick, green salad to go with our supper
  • Put the core from the head of Romaine and a few of the damaged leaves into the compost bucket and told Aaron that the bucket was full and needed to be taken out to the compost pile this evening
  • Took all of the spent tea light containers from their holders in the kitchen window and the mantle and replaced them with new ones to light later thisevening.

  • Turned the candles in the kitchen window so that the “mercy” side faces the kitchen and the “grace” side  faces the living room

  • Tried to decide who looked more content in front of the fire, Will or Dixie

  • Re-filled the water in the kettle on top of the wood  stove
  • Remembered to take the medication I should have taken at 2:00
  • Collected the eggs, including the egg under the broody hen that I had to poke with a stick to get to
  • Poured three glasses of milk for dinner, prompting a lengthy discussion on Mom’s having a big glass of milk for dinner
  • Set the table, using our cloth napkins and setting out  utensils; but serving our dinner up onto our plates from the stove.

It was such a good feeling to move around and get so much done so quickly.  By the time my husband came in the back door, the kitchen was cleaned up, the boys had finished all of their evening chores and were showered, the blinds were all closed and the candles lit.  I had just taken my apron off when he came in!

I mentioned Kendra just a bit ago.  I had an e-mail from her last night saying that she’d found an entirely new use for the Lavender Linen Spray.  In desperation last night, she used it to spray on the ants in her bathroom.  Not only did the ants hate it, it killed them and left her bathroom smelling wonderful in the process!  With the cold, wet weather driving ants into our homes, it’s nice to have a safe, natural way of getting rid of them that also scents our homes!  Way to go, Kendra!

Today has been so wonderful.  The chicken for the fellowship meal at church is cooked and in the crockpot ready to go tomorrow.  I still need to fill my second crock pot with green beans and seasonsings to take.  The bed linens are all washed and back on the beds.  I washed up Dani’s bed as well since she was gone on her laundry day.  I made a loaf of our everyday whole wheat bread, ready for sandwiches on Monday, and then I made a second loaf, whole wheat cinnamon raisin, to put into the freezer for next week.  Here’s a tip about your bread machine breads ~ I find that the outside crust of the bread from the machine can sometimes get quite hard.  I have found, though, that by wrapping the bread, or putting it into a storage container, when it is still just barely warm, keeps the crust nice and soft.  Don’t put it away too warm, or the bread will be soggy.  You want to do it when it is just still barely warm.

I made a Streusel Coffee Cake for our Sunday morning breakfast a bit ago.  Since I am now using our homemade baking mix, that is mostly whole wheat, I decided to substitute evaporated cane juice for the white sugar, and Sucanat for the brown sugar.  It certainly smells good now that it’s out of the oven!

My houseplants have all been watered and fed and are back in their places around my home.  The violets are all just finishing up blooming, though I did notice a few more buds popping up.  They flower so faithfully all the year round for me.  I do miss them when they are between blooming cycles, but I also like that they all seem to bloom at the same time, too.  I was thrilled to notice last week the very beginnings of buds showing on the Christmas Cactus, too.  This week, there were even more!!  It won’t be long before they are covered in beautiful flowers.   And no, the praying mantis was not on my houseplants, but Will got this great shot of one out on the driveway this afternoon.  He’s looking right at the camera, and I think he might be smiling!

The highlight of my day – the very best thing – was driving the hour or so to pick up my Dani-girl and bring her  home!  I’ll tell you what, the hour plus drive back home passed by very quickly with her to keep me company.  My husband had requested that I buy her a mocha on the way home, and of course, it was my pleasure to do just that and join her with having one myself!

The afternoon has passed much too quickly, but it’s been so wonderful to have her home again.  We are, of course, still praying intensely for our friend Lisa and her wee, small unborn baby girl.

In just a bit, I will be sure that everyone has clothes ironed for tomorrow, and I will hang the boys’ things up in their doorway so they can grab them quickly in the morning.  The church basket will, as always, be placed by our back door and packed with our Bibles, notebooks, and anything else that needs to go with us to church in the morning.  I will tell this you often, preparing on Saturday for your day on Sunday makes all the difference in the world on how your Sunday morning goes.  Do what you can this evening and then have a blessed Lord’s Day tomorrow.

God bless you as you look well to the ways of your households!
Proverbs 31:27



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13 comments to Saturday October 13, 2007

  • I’m so glad that you AND your hubby are both feeling better.  Praise the Lord for His healing. 

    I just feel so empathetic to Will when you describe his joining you during your quiet time.  Sometimes I just have to have that good cry in order to process things and lay them at the Lord’s feet, leave my attitude behind me and move forward into contentment.  Sigh… 

    I’m glad that he is feeling better.  (My Isaac tends to get “stuck” in his emotions sometimes.  If he’s giggling, he will giggle until he can hardly breathe and is almost whining in the giggling because he can’t stop.  And if he is upset, he may stop crying, then remember he was upset and start all over again.  So frustrating to him.)  I’m praying Will will be “stuck” in the peaceful place he found!:)

    May your Lord’s Day be filled with sweet worship and fellowship,


  • <<>>

    How much do you use when you do a load?

    In one of your previous posts you mentioned that you added essential oil to your borax and Baking Soda(?) cleaning mix….Do you think if you were making your own Laundry detergent of the Borax, Washing Soda and soap flakes you could add essential oils to that as well?

    Lastly, the Linen…do you think it was specifically the Lavender or the alcohol that killed the ants…..I was thinking to make some with Lemon scent, I love the smell of them and cannot get enough…lol…

  • I hear that flies don’t like Lavender either. I may try some around the door frames this summer.

  • I have searched through your recipes, and can’t find one for what you do with the chicken thighs in the crock pot that you take to your church dinner every week.  Did I miss it somewhere?  I’d love to make those.  Could you post that recipe, or tell me where it is if you already have?  I’m trying to think of easy light meals for us, instead of huge meals.  We don’t need all that.  I’m looking over your meal plans to get some ideas!

    Grace to you ~ Kathy

  • Melissa – I’m assuming you mean the vinegar.  I just fill the fabric softener dispenser on my washer to the line with it.  No vinegar scent remains in the clothes, and it works fairly well.  I’ve had the best results on natural fibers and not as good of results with synthetics.  

    Yes, I do add about 15 – 20 drops of essential oil to my scouring powder.  I will probably be rescenting my kitchen powder with lemon oil soon, but I’m keeping the lavender scented for my bathrooms, at least for awhile.  I’ve never used homemade washing powders so I wouldn’t want to venture an opinion there. 

    As to the linen spray and the ants, I’m pretty sure it was the alcohol that did them in:wink::lol:…..however the lavender essential oil might leave behind a scent that they find offensive and prevent them coming back. (see Corin’s comment above about flies). 

  • Kathy – Those chicken thighs are SO easy and folks at church thank me every week for bringing them.  Here’s what I do with about 24 – 30 thighs (depending on how many come in the value packs I buy).  You’d need to adjust cooking times for fewer.  I cook these up on Saturday morning.  Leave the skin on the thighs and place skin side up in baking pan(s).  Sprinkle LIBERALLY with garlic salt and not so liberally with fresh cracked pepper.  Bake at 350 for 90 minutes, re-arranging pans or pieces half way through for even browning.  After they are cooked, I remove them immediately from the baking pan and place them into my crockpot.  They are then refrigerated until Sunday morning.  I plug the crock pot in at church just before 10:00 a.m., set it on high, and the thighs are good and hot by the time our fellowship meal is served, usually around 1:00 p.m..  Hope that helps!

  • Cheryl, I just want to tell you what a blessing you have been to me!! I appreciate your detailed explanation of how you keep things organized!! You recent post on preparing for Sundays helped (and inspired) me so much!!
    Blessings to you…. Diana

  • Your hour before dinner was incredible. I think it is great to show (in writing) what can actually get done in a short amount of time.

    Allowing Will to just be near you and get his emotion out was a great option. I have learned to do the same thing. I sounds like a “pain” and you could have looked at it as having “your time” interrupted, but in the long run everyone ends up happy. If you chose a different route, your hour before dinner could have turned out very differently!! Thanks for the reminder.

    I think the essential oil has something to do with the ants, because I know Peppermint essential oil gets rid of mice. Hmmm, I may need to make up some lavendar spray and use it for a bug repellant!

    Blessings, Bren

  • I’m curious about your hamburgers and gravy – sounds like something my honey would love!  Do you brown them at all before you bake them?  And the baking time is about an hour?

    Glad you’re feeling better!

  • :sunny: So glad that you are feeling better!
    Boy did you get alot accomplished in that hour!

    Wishing you a blessed Sonday!

  • You answered my chicken thigh question perfectly!  Thank you so much…enjoy the Taco Soup!

  • Susan (bygrace3) – You know, the hamburger gravy dish is so simple, I’ve been reluctant to post the recipe…..but I’ve decided to go ahead and do it later this week.  You can look for it Thursday evening, along with the story that comes to my mind everytime I prepare it! 

    Kathy – Thanks for your generosity and sweet spirit.  We are looking forward to having the soup Sunday after church (Aaron’s 14th birthday!). 

  • What you did while dinner was cooking was alot! Loved hearing about it.I’m glad you’re feeling better and that your hubby got some rest!