Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sewing in the Daytime ~ Sewing in the Nighttime, ~ Sewing, Sewing, Sewing * All the Time*!!

....or that's what it feels like, anyway! ; )

 Not that I'm complaining.....I am so thankful that the Lord is blessing me with Sweet Diva orders and 'Tis the Season for those orders to be rolling in!

Posting a few pics of recent projects that have kept me busy for Crafty Tuesday.....

A dance bag modification for one of my very favorite friends (actually, for her daughter who happens to be one of my very favorite little girls).....



I also was asked to make a South Carolina Gamecocks purse.....

 a matching wallet....

.....and my personal favorite ~ this beauty that I love so much I'm pretty sure I'll be making one for myself after Christmas {because I don't think I'll have time to be selfish before then ; ) .....}

And now.....Math, Spelling and Language Arts need to be done, cleaning the kitchen needs to be crossed off the list, another load of laundry is waiting ~ and I hear my sewing machine calling ~ reminding me of the Fl. Gator purse that needs to be finished and shipped out today.  *Yawn*......I see another cup of coffee in my very near future!

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And whatsoever ye do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. ~ Colossians 3:17

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Multitude Monday: 1,000 Gifts 31- 45

holy experience
The gratitude list continues....

31.  The gift of ♫ music ♫......

32.  .....and how the Lord never fails to use it to call me closer to Him

33.  A child who seems to have a song in his heart, too....

34.  A church with the most amazing children's ministry anywhere!

3 Wise Men preparing to shoot a commercial for our Children's Christmas musical.  You can watch
it on Dec. 12 @ 6pm via live streaming at http://www.fbcjax.tv/live

35.   Digital technology that allows you to take quick trips down memory lane of years gone by way too fast.....

36.  My blog post being included at Carnival of Homeschooling last week....I feel very special : )

37.  A morning workout at the Y, which translates to 1 1/2 hours of no one needing me to do anything for them, no arguments to settle, no attitudes to deal with........earbuds in, world out  ; )

38.  Rewards that come from planning ahead

39.  Dinner in the crockpot

40.  An Etsy sale  : )

41.  Humor found  in everyday things

42.  Living in a place where I can look outside and see something green & growing all year long 

43.  Clothes handed down to me months ago for my boys by a sweet friend that come in mighty handy when they need new ones right before Christmas!!!

44.  Laughter from unexpected sources

45.   A short school week that ends in a holiday weekend  : )

Friday, November 12, 2010

Cuban Black Beans and Rice (Stove-top or Crock-pot)

Originally from Taste of Home magazine. I have a friend that requested this recipe months ago.....and I'm just now getting around to sharing it......oops!

I actually prepare these in my slow cooker. Just combine the ingredients (except for the red wine vinegar and 2 teaspoons olive oil) and let them cook all day on low. Add the vinegar and oil before serving. I double or triple the recipe and freeze them in 2 cup portions to use in recipes that call for a can of black beans. I haven't purchased canned black beans since finding this recipe.  I also serve them sometimes with salsa, cheese and sour cream if I don't have the red pepper or jalepenos, as I always have salsa on hand. **PLEASE NOTE** Cooking time is based on original recipe instructions below and not on my slow cooker method."

Ingredients :

1 lb dried black beans, rinsed
7 cups water
1 cup diced fully cooked lean ham (opt )
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 teaspoons pepper
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (opt ~ but highly recommended)
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups uncooked long grain rice (I use brown...or sometimes yellow)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons olive oil
3/4 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese (opt)
3/4 cup chopped sweet red peppers (opt)
2 tablespoons chopped jalapeno peppers (opt)


Place beans in a Dutch oven or soup kettle; add water to cover by 2 inches.

Bring to a boil; for 2 minutes.

Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 1 hour.

  1. Drain and rinse beans, discarding liquid.
  2. Return to the pan.
  3. Add 7 cups water, ham, garlic, pepper, cumin,.
  4. salt, bay leaf and liquid smoke if desired. Bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1-1/2 hours or until beans are tender.
  6. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring broth and rice to a boil.
  7. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is tender.
  8. Just before serving, discard bay leaf from bean mixture; add vinegar and oil.
  9. Serve over rice.
  10. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon cheese, 1 tablespoon red pepper and 1 teaspoon jalapenos.
  11. Yield: 12 servings.
  12. **NOTE**.
  13. I always have water left in the beans; serve with a slotted spoon or drain beans and place over rice on a serving plate.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veteran's Day

Happy Veteran's Day ~ ~ it is with a truly grateful heart of thanks that I wish this to all those who have gone before and given their lives for my freedom, who have left their families, risked ~ and given ~ their lives, and made countless sacrifices for me to live in this country with the freedoms that we often take for granted.  ♥Thank You♥

I also found this devotion/word of encouragement  at The Heart of the Cross and wanted to share because I couldn't say it better myself: 

"Although many of the contemporary Christian songs motivate and encourage me to love God more, I also need the traditional songs that remind me there is a spiritual battle going on and that, as a Christian, I have a responsibility to fight for whom and what I believe.
A great example of such a song is "Onward Christian Soldiers", and the first few lines make three important points summarizing the victorious Christian life. The song starts out with the words "Onward Christian Soldiers: This reminds us that we are not just individuals but part of a team, the Army of the Lord. The Christian life was never intended to be lived alone but for each soldier to function within the body with other believers. And just as a military soldier has certain responsibilities and expectations set on him by his commanding officer, so does a Christian soldier.
One of the most important responsibilities is to make a total commitment to the Lord. In Romans 12: 1 Paul specifically urges us to present ourselves as a living sacrifice to the Lord, wholly and pleasing to him. This reminds me of the military oath of enlistment I took when I pledged to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic and to bear true faith and allegiance to the same." Just like a gung- ho Marine who is totally committed to his Corps and his country, even to the point of being willing to die ("Death before Dishonor"), we are expected to replace our worldly idols and addictions with habits and disciplines that will please our commander, Jesus Christ. We are to be wholly committed to Him; this is our spiritual act of service.
The next words are "Marching as to War": If there is a need for God's army, and we are Christian soldiers,then these lines indicate that there is a war to fight. We know from Scripture (l Peter 2: 11) and certainly from our daily experience that this is true. Scripture further tells us that Satan and his underlings are continually seeking ways to destroy us personally ( 1 Peter 5:8). But as "Soldiers of the Cross" we have been given our marching orders to be men of courage (lCor 16: 13), to fight the good fight of faith (1 Tim 6: 12) and even be ready to shed blood and die for the cause of Christ (Luke14:27). To do this we always need to be in battle uniform (Eph 6: 10-18) and constantly training. (lTim 4:7) in order to be ready to engage the enemy.
Finally, " With the Cross of Jesus Going on Before", reminds us that Jesus Christ is our Commanding Officer and He will never leave us or forsake us (Deut 31:6). Our role is simply to obey, to take up the cross daily, to follow Him (Matt 10: 38) and to keep the faith. Jesus is our role model and we need to be continually living life His way, even though His way is often not our way!! Although the leader (Satan) of the enemy forces is powerful, smart and a world traveler, he is no match for our leader who is Omnipotent (all-powerful), Omniscient (all knowing)  of everything going on in the world at the same time!!
 Onward Christian Soldiers and keep your eyes right on Jesus!"

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

1 Peter 5:7-10 ~ Mustard Seed Planting

"Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in your faith...

. . . . And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you." (1 Peter 5: 7-10)

....because I am beyond weary and feel the adversary is continually camped out on my doorstep.  I find myself often questioning why....why....why???  The valley sometimes seems never-ending and I wonder and ponder.....will I ever be out of it?

But I will not be defeated......I may give the impression of a weak & meek target, but don't be fooled.  Never underestimate the quiet ones......there could be the soul of a fighter underneath the illusion of appearances.

So, to the adversary I say........hit me with your best shot.  I serve the God of all grace, and even if I don't emerge from the valley in this temporary life, I will in Eternity.......and I will NEVER lose my ♥Faith♥, I will NEVER lose my ♥Hope♥, and I will NEVER lose my ♥Joy♥!

And in that spirit, I'm off to bake some Pumpkin Pie, Broccoli Casserole  & make some Caramel Popcorn for a cake walk ~~ our annual Homeschool Thanksgiving Feast is scheduled for tomorrow with some of the most amazing ♥friends♥ in the world!  It's gonna be a VERY good day!  : )

For more encouraging Mustard Seeds or to link up, visit Rebecca at Mom's Mustard Seeds.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Garlic Cheese Biscuits

Posting two recipes this week since I didn't post any last week....plus, I always serve these biscuits with Lemon Pepper Shrimp Linguine ~ it just wouldn't be right to post one and not the other!  : ) 

My family ♥loves♥loves♥loves♥.....did I mention ♥LOVES♥ these tender, buttery, cheesy & garlicy gems of delight!  To be honest. we love any biscuits......buttermilk with honey, buttermilk with jam, cinnamon raisin.... if it's a biscuit, we love 'em!  It's a good thing, too, because I'm fairly certain it would be against the law to be ♥Southern♥ and not love biscuits. ; )

My kids think it's a special occasion when I make these.....if you're familiar with Red Lobster and their *amazing* Cheddar Bay Biscuits, these taste nearly ~ if not completley ~ identical to thiers.


2 cups all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons garlic powder, divided

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules

1/2 cup butter flavor shortening

3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1 cup buttermilk
(Don't have buttermilk?  Put 1 Tbsp. white vinegar into a measuring cup and fill it up the rest of the way with milk to measure 1 cup...works like a charm for baking!)

3 tablespoons butter, melted
In a small bowl, combine the flour, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, baking powder, baking soda
and 1/2 teaspoon bouillon; cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Add cheese. Stir in buttermilk just until moistened. Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls
1 inches apart onto a greased baking sheet.

Bake at 450 for 10 minutes.

Combine butter with remaining garlic powder; brush over biscuits.

 Bake 4 minutes longer or until golden brown.

Serve warm and try not to eat them all yourself! 
I know sharing is hard sometimes, but it IS the right thing to do! ; )

Yield: about 1 dozen.

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Lemon Pepper Shrimp Linguine Recipe

Shrimp linguine flavored with fresh lemon, pepper and garlic. Quick, easy and delicious....and a very elegant dinner! Suitable for company with very little effort! 
**I usually use a 1 lb. box of pasta and double the amounts of other ingredients, sometimes adding some frozen spinach and frozen red/green pepper and onions to make a one-dish meal.  : )

Please forgive the fact that those are spaghetti noodles pictured....I was apparently out of linguine noodles when I took this pic ; )

Ingredients :

1 (9 ounce) packages fresh or dried linguine (I use whole wheat - Barilla, Healthy Harvest, or Publix brand)
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup white wine (or additional chicken broth)
1 lemons, juice of
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 lb fresh or frozen shrimp
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil shredded parmesan cheese


Thaw frozen shrimp in fridge or run under cold water.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add linguine, and cook according to package; drain.

While linguine is cooking, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, and saute garlic about 1 minute. Mix in chicken broth, wine (or additional chicken broth), lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat, and simmer until liquid is reduced by about 1/2.

Mix shrimp, butter, parsley, and basil (also add frozen spinach/peppers/onions if desired - whatever amount you prefer) into the saucepan. Cook until shrimp is pink. Stir in the cooked linguine, and continue cooking 2 minutes, until well coated. Sprinkle with parmesan and serve.

Serves 4.

Try serving with Garlic Cheese Biscuits!!  Your taste buds will thank you!  ; )

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