Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Strength in Weakness

Crystal at Biblical Womanhood had a post last week that's very worth reading. She very eloquently and beautifully wrote about something God has really been teaching me in recent weeks: to not only talk about relying on Him, but to do it. Two very different things. There are times when I feel so tiny, so inadequate, stretched so thin -- and all I can do is remind myself over and over, "Christ is my strength". What a consolation at those moments to know that no matter what kind of roller-coaster our emotions may take us on, Christ is the rock. And daily, hourly, each moment, we must learn to lean on Him. At times this means discomfort, maybe even storms. We just have to make sure that the more fiercely the winds blow, the more heavily we lean on His strength. And trust that in the end, there will be a rainbow.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Turkey Soup Recipe

Well, no one expressly asked for it, but I thought I'd post it anyway...and maybe a few of you who've never had turkey soup will enjoy trying something new!

From: The Halbur Kitchen

Directions for homemade broth:
Cook 1 large turkey in your roaster or pan with water in the bottom covering half the turkey. After the turkey is cooked, pour off the broth. To make extra broth, save all the turkey bones, skin, etc. Place turkey waste in a large pot, cover with water and slow cook for 6 to 8 hours. (We usually cook ours overnight and wake up to turn it off). Pour off broth and discard waste. If you desire low-fat broth, let all broth chill in your refrigerator until set. The fat will float to the top and harden. It can then be easily discarded.

Add the following measurements of ingredients to about 8 cups of broth. If you have more than 8 cups, you can just add more of each ingredient. Some people may like to add more or less of each ingredient anyway, depending whether they want more broth in their soup or more stock. Therefore, the following is a guideline.

- 2 cups brown rice or noodles (If rice, add as soon as you start cooking soup. If using noodles, add 10 minutes before soup is done.)
- 1 large chopped onion
- 6 or more cloves of fresh garlic
- 2 cups cut-up turkey meat
- 3 cups largely cut carrots
- 2 cups chopped celery
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- "Mrs. Dash" seasoning OR "Pleasoning"
- Other favorite soup seasonings if desired
Note: No MSG or boullion is needed for a good turkey flavor if you make your own broth.

1 to 2 cups of the following ingredients can be added to your soup. We have tried them all, and have found that any or all of them are very tasty.

- Green peas (add at the end otherwise they’ll get mushy)
- Grated zucchini
- Chopped broccoli
- Chopped cauliflower
- Chopped green beans
- Any of your other favorite vegetables

Cooking Directions:
Add all ingredients and simmer soup until carrots are soft. If you used rice, is should be soft as well as broccoli, cauliflower, etc. We usually serve the soup with cheese and crackers. Note: We often freeze our leftover soup in labeled plastic containers...a great "instant" meal and a much healthier alternative to TV dinners. :)
Makes 8 to 12 servings.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

A Day for Gratitude

"The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God...

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens."

- from Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation
October 3, 1863

No matter what the trials in our live, each of us truly has much to be thankful for. Today is a day to take a few moments to stop. To slow down. Amidst all the wonderful warmth and bustle of celebration and reunion, don't forget to reflect a bit quietly too. To gaze with your heart full at those simplest things in life that really are the greatest gifts. To marvel at the never-abandoning providence of our God. And to wonder at the love of such a Creator.

I wish you all a truly grace-filled Thanksgiving. May our hearts learn to be grateful all the year through!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Poll for Fun: Sopa de Pavo!

In addition to my sister's cake last night, I was kept busy for several hours cooking up a gigantic batch of turkey soup. That's right, turkey soup (sopa de pavo, as we had fun referring to it with our Spanish friends).

You can laugh, but for me, turkey soup has been a part of my growing up. So has turkey-eating all year round, for that matter! So it wasn't until recently that I realized most folks...haven't. Don't ask me why. Neither the visiting friend, the piano student who came for a lesson, nor the person I spoke with on the phone last night had ever heard of, much less tasted, turkey soup.

So, it being Thanksgiving week and all, I thought we should have a little fun here. How many of you lovely blog readers have heard of turkey soup before...or tried it? Leave a comment! Or maybe we're not isolated, and it's a long-standing family dinner for you, too. Let us know. :-)

And just maybe, if you ask, I'll post our special recipe so you can have a scrumptious way to use up all your leftovers on Thursday!

Theology and Cake

Last night, as my sister mixed a big double-batch of our favorite Chocolate Zucchini Cake, a friend who happened to be visiting looked at the bowl's flour-and-cocoa-and-oil-mountain and jestingly quipped, "That doesn't look like much!".

But we all know, of course, that somehow -- almost magically! -- all those various ingredients poured together, mixed up, and baked, will come out all right. Even wonderful.

It's a little like us. We don't look like much sometimes, but the Master Maker keeps smiling and adding, mixing and fixing, stirring and sweetening. And we have to trust at the end, we'll come out all right.

Even wonderful.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Be Strong!

by Malthie Davenport Babcock

Be Strong! We are not here to play, to dream, to drift;
We have hard work to do and loads to lift:
Shun not the struggle-face it; 'tis God's gift.

Be Strong! Say not, "The day's are evil. Who's to blame?"
And fold the hands and acquiesce-oh, shame!
Stand up, speak out, and bravely in God's name.

Be Strong! It matters not how deep intrenched the wrong,
How hard the battle goes, the day how long;
Faint not-fight on! Tomorrow comes the song.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Better Late Than Never...

At last, the long-ago-promised "All Saints" post!

Saints-in-the-making... portraying heavenly models at our homeschool "All Saints" Party:

Claire as Servant of God Queen Isabel the Catholic of Castille, Sarah as Saint Catherine of Alexandria, Veronica as Saint Galla, David as Saint Padre Pio.

"Stay with me, Lord, for it is necessary to have You present so that I do not forget You. You know how easily I abandon You. Stay with me, Lord, because I am weak and I need Your strength, that I may not fall so often. Stay with me, Lord, for You are my life and without You I am without fervor. Stay with me, Lord, for You are my light and without You I am in darkness. Stay with me, Lord, to show me Your will. Stay with me, Lord, so that I hear Your voice and follow You."

- from Padre Pio's Prayer after Communion

Prayer to Saint Galla:

Saint Galla, we bring to your feet all widows, those poor and suffering, those ill and dying. Comfort them with the same love and compassion you gave to such souls while on earth. From heaven, teach us how to be humble servants.


Feast: October 5

Catherine of Alexandria:

Patroness of Aalsum, Nederlands; apologists; all craftsmen who work with a wheel (potters, spinners, etc.); archivists; attornies; barristers; diocese of Dumaguete, Philippines; dying people; educators; girls; Heidesheim am Rhein, Germany; jurists; knife grinders; knife sharpeners; Kuldiga, Latvia; lawyers; librarians; libraries; Mähring, Germany; maidens; mechanics; millers; nurses; old maids; philosophers; potters; preachers; scholars; schoolchildren; scribes; secretaries; spinners; spinsters; stenographers; students; tanners; teachers; theologians; turners; University of Paris; unmarried girls; wheelwrights; Zejtun, Malta

"Lord, in whose hands lies the sway of kingdoms, I humbly beseech Thee to hear the prayer of thy servant, and show forth the truth, and manifest Thy will with Thy marvellous works: so that if my cause is not just, I may not be allowed to sin through ignorance, and if its just, Thou give me wisdom and courage to sustain it with the aid of Thine arm, that through Thy grace we may have peace in these kingdoms."

- Favorite prayer of Queen Isabel the Catholic

It shows up a little faint in the picture, but I am holding a map of the US...most of us have heard Queen Isabel's name, but only briefly in connection with Columbus. Very few of us know how deeply spiritual this woman was!

“Although there would be nothing but stones, I would continue there while there may be souls to save.”

- Queen Isabel's response when told that America had not the riches of the East

A few from the "army" of Saints!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Because This Made Me Smile

You think English is easy???
Can you read these right the first time?
1) The bandage was wound around the wound.
2) The farm was used to produce produce.
3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
4) We must polish the Polish furniture.
5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.
6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10) I did not object to the object.
11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
13) They were too close to the door to close it.
14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.
15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting, I shed a tear.
19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Let's face it: English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat.

We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square, and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Why doesn't "Buick" rhyme with "quick"? Why can you make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?
Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the uniqueness of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out, and in which an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

AND...There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is "UP."

It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the
secretary to write UP a report?

We call UP our friends. And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver; warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car. At other times the little word has real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses. To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is special.

And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.

We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP! To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4 of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions. If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of our time, but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more. When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP.

When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP. When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP.

We could go on, but I'll wrap it UP, for now my time is UP!
Have a joyous day!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Let us pray

that God will bless those politicians and Americans who are striving to honor Him and that those who are not will soon have a conversion.

Hope you voted today...voted in God's honor.

Friday, November 03, 2006

I know...'re all dying to see the great post Claire recently hinted about, but you might need to wait a few more days. In a few minutes we're heading out of town for the weekend... so sit tight, and we'll be back before you know it!

Best wishes and many blessings from,
One of Claire's great sisters :)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Happy All Saints Day!

I had a lovely post all planned, but since I'm supposed to be sleeping it will have to wait until tomorrow.

All you Holy Men and Women,
Saints and Soliders of God,
Pray for Us!