The Simple Woman’s Daybook ~ January 26, 2016

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Here is my Daybook entry for today ~

Outside my window. . . gray skies and cooler temperatures replacing yesterday’s springlike weather, the chickens are scratching around the yard, bare branches on the trees.
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I am thinking. . . that so many things that we think are important in life really aren’t, in the scope of eternity, and that there is much peace in focusing on what truly is important.
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I am thankful. . . for Sarah cooking our dinner last night – Spaghetti & Stuffed Meatballs – it was delicious, and so nice to have the night off!
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In my kitchen. . . trying my hand tonight at Sesame Chicken, with rice and egg rolls.  Hope it turns out – I get nervous trying new recipes!
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I am wearing. . . navy polo shirt, jeans, and navy cardigan sweater.
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I am creating. . . getting ready to start a new sports themed quilt, using Sweetwater’s Varsity fabrics – pictures coming soon.
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I am reading. . . “Fervent” by Priscilla Shirer, following up on the inspiring lessons on prayer in the movie “War Room”, lots of school books with the kids – one that we’re especially enjoying is “The Happy Hollisters” by Jerry West – so much fun!
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I am hoping. . . David will feel better tomorrow.  He woke up with a sore throat, stuffy nose, and low grade fever this morning – getting some rest today will hopefully help.
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I am wondering. . . if the items I’ve listed on Ebay will sell this week.  After 12+ years of buying on Ebay, I have just recently jumped into the selling side of things.  As I go through the house, cleaning out and decluttering (an ongoing battle), I’ve been setting some things aside to list and sell – another learning process, but not too difficult so far.
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In the school room. . . fractions, insects, colonial America, astronomy, Amy Carmichael, running a fictional bookstore (accounting), early civilizations, Bible, nature sketches of wasp nests around the yard.
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Around the house. . . laundry going, kids on Nintendo and computers, one child (who will remain anonymous) is speaking in “Miranda” voice, which always cracks me up – it’s an amazing impression.
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In my garden. . . quiet and dormant for the most part, except for some hardy herbs in the herb garden.
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A favorite quote for today. . . 
“No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally-and often far more-worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.” – C. S. Lewis
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One of my favorite things. . . planning calendars. . .I may need an intervention,  I can’t resist them, and really, how many planners does one person really need? (less than I have).
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A picture thought for today. . .

 Unlike last week, the cozy kitties yesterday were enjoying springlike weather in the window.  They’re back in their cozy spots now, on this chillier day.

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Thanks to Peggy at The Simple Woman’s Daybook for hosting the Daybook! Visit Peggy to find more participants in The Simple Woman’s Daybook, and to see how you can join in too!

Have a wonderful day!

Blessings,

Nancy

Dusting Off the Blog

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Hello!  I have been gone for quite awhile now, haven’t I?  I’d like to say that I’ve been off touring the world or rescuing kitties from the infamous cat jugglers, but, I’ve just been here, busy with my little nest, watching children grow, living day to day.  A bit of water has gone under the bridge – the Lord has had me in His classroom, with precious lessons to teach, some through beautiful moments and others through difficult ones – all of infinite value.

In dusting off my blog, I am also dusting off my computer, which has been sitting idly by while my attentions went away to my IPad, and then to my IPhone, when the IPad grew too old and slow.  It sure is nice to be looking at a bigger screen again!  Unfortunately, I am having to relearn my computer and my blog dashboard (which is always seeming to be in a state of flux!), and I am sorry to say that there have been challenges, folks, some that have already brought me to the brink of tears as I wrestle with techy things I know not about. (Don’t worry too much about me, though – at my age, something brings me to the brink of tears almost daily!)

I will be calling in the tech squad (aka my older kids) for help, and together, we will hopefully get past said challenges and my computer and I will become fast friends again.  I apologize for any weird looking glitches that might occur while I tinker around and reacquaint myself with this lovely technology!

Looking forward to catching up with you!

Blessings,

Nancy

 

 

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

So . . . Tommy requested this for his birthday dinner this year, just like last year, and thinking it might be quicker and easier to just look up the recipe on my blog rather than fishing through the recipe box I used that handy dandy “Search” box up there at the top under the header to locate the recipe quick as pie. Only one problem . . . it wasn’t there. I did find reference to it in Tommy’s birthday post from last year, saying that he had asked for it for his birthday dinner, and I even mentioned that I would be posting the recipe soon, but no recipe anywhere to be found. I had to wade through the recipe box after all, but it is one of the few recipes written on a green note card, so it didn’t take me very long to pull it out.

So . . . for those of you who have been waiting on the edge of your seat since last March for the much-anticipated recipe, the day has finally arrived. I don’t know where I got this recipe originally, but I’ve been using it for years to the delight of my children.

Ingredients
2 sticks butter
1/2 cup flour
4 cups milk
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
24 oz. pkg elbow macaroni noodles
2 cups Ritz crackers

One of the first things you want to do is grab one of your kiddos to be the “cracker smasher” – they love this job and are always happy to volunteer! Put the Ritz crackers in a large ziploc baggie and have them go at it with your rolling pin – so much fun! –

Meanwhile, put some water on to boil in a large pot, adding the macaroni noodles when ready and cooking until tender –

Melt one stick of butter in another large pan over medium-high heat –

Blend in flour. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and begins to boil. Cook and stir one minute –

Stir in cheese until melted –

Combine the cooked, drained macaroni and the cheese sauce in a buttered 13 x 9 pan –

Melt the remaining stick of butter in medium bowl, and then stir in the cracker crumbs that your helper crushed up for you. Sprinkle buttered crumbs over casserole –

Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until hot –

Tommy requested his macaroni and cheese to be served with green beans and Strawberries and Cream Dessert Squares. It was quite yummy (and made for a beautiful picture too! 🙂 ) –

So, now you finally have it. You can go back to whatever you were doing last year when you put your life on hold waiting for the no-show macaroni and cheese recipe!

I’ll be back soon -I really mean it this time!

Blessings,
Nancy

Snow Day

We have had record snowfalls here the last 24 hours! It started falling around 6 am on Thursday and didn’t stop until about the same time this morning. Our measurement this morning when we got up was about 7 inches. Some areas of Dallas got 12 1/2 inches – a new record for the history books!

Needless to say we’ve spent the last two days playing in the snow, coming in to warm up, drinking hot chocolate, drying off mittens and clothes, and bundling up again to go back out. . . oh, and taking pictures – trying to capture the absolute beauty of the scenery, but never really being able to. Here are some of the shots that I got of the yard and the kids playing (especially for Wootsie!) ~

A beautiful shot of the pond with the snow falling ~

The picnic table on the back patio – our official measuring point – Sarah was our official measurer of the snow, running in and out all day to give us updates on how deep the snow was getting. This is what it looked like Thursday morning ~

Building snowmen ~

On one of their trips inside, Anna made and served hot chocolate to everyone (with a little supervision from Mom). She is working on her Snacks & Beverages badge for Keepers club, and this fulfilled part of the badge ~


I took the opportunity while in the kitchen to mix up some sugar cookie dough for our Valentine sugar cookies. It is chilling in the refrigerator until I get around to rolling and cutting it out ~

The children went out to play two more times before it got too dark and cold to be outside. By the time we went to bed it was still coming down strong. The picnic table looked like this ~

This morning the view outside the window was just magical! The trees were coated in snow, and the yard was a beautiful smooth white blanket ~

Here is what the picnic table looked like this morning ~

The kids were back outside as soon as they finished breakfast ~

The temperature has now creeped just above freezing, and the snow is melting off of the trees, although it is still all over the ground. We are glad because we can now drive to the store for some much needed groceries, but sad, too, because it is always such a magical treat when it snows here in Texas, and we have really learned to appreciate it while it’s here . . . and take lots of pictures to remember it by.

Stay warm and have a wonderful day!

Blessings,
Nancy

If you have a moment today . . .

would you mind sending up a prayer for my brother-in-law, Chris? He is undergoing open heart surgery to repair a faulty valve at 8:30 this morning. He is in a wonderful hospital with great doctors, and more importantly, is in the hands of the Lord, who will be guiding and orchestrating everything that goes on.

Thank you! I’ll update when I know more.

***UPDATE – Chris is out of surgery and did very well the doctors say. They had to replace the valve, but he did great and his blood pressure is good. Thank you for your prayers, and if you think of him, keep him lifted up to the Father, as he has a long road of recovery ahead of him. ***

Blessings,
Nancy

Checking in . . .

Sorry to be so lax in my posting this week ~ it has been a bit busy. This last week has seen us in the emergency room with Anna (5 stitches), celebrating Jeff’s birthday, an evening visiting with a friend from church, Ladies Bible Study, Ice Skating lessons, cookie baking (see picture above), and monthly stock-up shopping.

I’ll be back as soon as I can catch my breath!

Blessings,
Nancy

The Simple Woman’s Daybook ~ November 9

Good Morning! Here is my Daybook entry for today ~

Outside my window. . .a wonderful blanket of leaves covers the front yard.
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I am thinking. . .about starting my Christmas shopping list – just ideas for now.
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From the learning room. . .Pilgrims and Thanksgiving reading, art of N.C. Wyeth, along with our basic studies.
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I am thankful for. . .a hot shower on a cool morning.
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From the kitchen. . .Chicken Stuffing Casserole for dinner tonight with a green salad, and gingerbread.
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I am wearing. . .pink t-shirt and lt. blue jeans.
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I am creating. . .school plans for the rest of the semester.
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I am going. . .to be helping Sarah finish up her “Cookie Baking” badge this week – she still needs to bake 2 different types of cookies, which should make for a sweet-smelling house this week!
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I am reading. . .Thanksgiving books with the children.
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I am hoping. . .to get a booklist up in my sidebar soon ~ books we’re reading at the current time.
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I am hearing. . .outdoor noises through the open window – crows cawing, little birds twittering, traffic noise on the highway nearby; and inside noises – Michael talking and humming, “Spongebob” dvd playing, and various children conversing.
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Around the house. . .A few less pumpkins on display ~ we cut open a few and roasted the seeds this weekend ~ I then roasted the pumpkins to freeze and use for pies, breads, etc. ~ We still have enough pumpkins outside and in that are continuing to provide decoration for the Thanksgiving season, but whose time will come soon enough!
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One of my favorite things. . .Land O’ Lakes French Vanilla Hot Chocolate ~ I slipped a few into my grocery cart not long ago and will soon be enjoying my first delicious cup of the season . . . yummmm!
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A few plans for the rest of the week. . .helping the kids finish up their Keepers badges for the year, first skating lesson for Tommy and Sarah, shopping, basketball and cheerleader sign-ups and evaluations for Michael and Anna, and celebrating Jeff’s birthday next weekend.
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Here is a picture thought I am sharing. . .

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A lovely place to rest on a beautiful Autumn afternoon at the natural science museum we visited last Friday.

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To read more Daybook entries, please visit Peggy at The Simple Woman’s Daybook,
and have a wonderful day!

Blessings,
Nancy