Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Proof that vibrant life is still happening in and around our home!! :)

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Just to prove that life is still in "happening" form and fashion here on our little homestead...
Oh, it's been such a good summer and it's all about to end!
We've had playdates (with our new little cousin) and lots of family time.  Sewing opportunities, and flower picking.  Crickets to capture and bunnies to chase. :)  Baking and preserving...
What else..

Proud Auntie Bev!

While life still happens from week to week strung out upon the laundry lines... oh the stories it could tell.  Did we have company over?  Or, did we go swimming...?  Each day rolled into the next...full of much!
Mush disappointment. Tears and heartache...
It's part of life, too!!
We've had places to go and people to see!!  Things to anticipate..

And, someone special is about to turn FIVE!! Tomorrow is her big day!!

We're looking forward to celebrating her life, around our table, in our own special how-we-do,
 sort of way!

I cannot believe my baby... will be heading off to Kindergarten in just a few short days!

Oh, changes.  Like seasons.  We need to them!! To stay refreshed and vibrant...

A heart at peace gives life to the body. 
~ Proverbs 14:30

Stay, stay at home my heart and rest;
Home-keeping hearts are happiest,
For those that wander they know not where
Are full of trouble and full of care;
To stay at home is best.
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Spaghetti Meatballs Recipe {a repost}

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My hubby is NOT a fan of Spaghetti and Meatballs.  However, he makes a good "butcher" (we do all our own meat)... and cheeseburgers or meatballs subs (in this case) are a wonderful way to "get his attention".  (hint, hint) 

 And so... since he loves filling the freezer with good, "know-where-it-came-from", beef, pork, deer, etc.  Then, I love putting the best use I can, to it, by making up these spaghetti meatballs.  By preparing the recipe, baking and throwing them back into the freezer - for whenever a meatball themed meal calls our name - then I feel like I've done something "out-of-this-world".  Here is the super-easy, super-delicious recipe.

~Spaghetti Meatballs~

1lb. lean ground beef (in this case, I doubled the recipe)
1 cup fine dry, seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
1 T. parsley flakes ( I love to use fresh - when available)
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. basil (opt.)

Mix together - well.  May use your hands for that good, gushy feeling.  Disgusting ~ I know.  But it works the best. ;)

Shape- into equal  (1") portions.  I love using this scoop to get them all about the same size.  These are pretty large.  You could make them smaller, if you wanted.

Pre-baked.  Obviously.  The recipe says to brown in small amount of oil and then drain.  Simmer for 20 minutes in your favorite sauce.  But...

I usually like to place them all out onto my bar pans from Pampered Chef.  I'm sure you could use any type of baking pan, as you can see I do (in the baked meatball photo).  I bake them at 450* for approximately 20 minutes.  Let cool.  Then I put them out onto cookie sheets-lined with wax paper.  Put into the freezer so that the meatballs freeze individually.  After fully frozen... put into large freezer Ziploc bags.  Use whatever amount you desire, add (frozen) to your favorite sauce and heat thoroughly, on medium to low heat. 

These really are our favorite meatballs! 

And, by the way.  Swedish Meatballs!! It's what's for dinner!! :)


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

When negativity is a sign of fear!!

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On more than one occasion, I've had negativity come pouring down on me.  And, in that moment, I have a choice whether to stand firm and be resilient - in the face of fear - Or, I can allow that negativity to soak into every fiber of my being and it allow it overwhelm me; causing me to crumble at the core. 

You see, I used to think that any negativity that I felt or perceived was really ALL my fault. I would own it.  However, I've come to understand something.  Usually - any negativity I may face really has to do with the source of where it's coming from and more times than not that negativity is a sign of fear.  

I don't know that I have ever thought of it like this before... but, it's true!!

Let me share a couple of examples.  And, I want you to think about this.  Is this true for you?

When someone doesn't understand a change they see in you and they're not sure about it - there often is this sense of negativity expressed because of that unknown.  They're reacting out of what they don't know.

If you're talking health and wellness (like I do from time to time) with someone and you're encouraging a healthy change for themselves and/or their unhealthy lifestyle...they might be negative towards you - because their "identity" is being challenged.  Again, it's an unknown.  They'll express fear, etc.

What about if you're doing something new and different and it comes across as a confidence that you now have but... "This isn't like you; you've changed; you're making new friends; you seem so sure of yourself, etc." and because of this - this is now a "conflict".  Negativity happens, because of fear.

And - simply understanding that makes it easier to overcome!!  When people are fearful for changes they see in me or with someone else - it’s because they don't understand, or they can't see it the same way - they'll "react" in and with negativity - true as that.

Look. I'm guilty of the same thing.  I have done this a time or two or a thousand with my spouse. I have done this with family; with friends.   My spouse has done this with me.  My children will/may react negatively - if they feel their needs (physically or emotionally) are not being met in one way or another.  

This is a real thing.

Why do I share all of this today?   I share in hopes that it will encourage someone else.  I hope and pray that I can continue to see this as "growing pains"...for me; for both sides of the story.

Like the quote in the photo says.  Everything will be okay in the end.  If it is not okay, it's not the end.

We ALL have areas of growth that need to take place and that will continue to happen.  I might not be able to control the given situation but what I can do is control my reaction and my response (two very different things) to that.

God Bless You - today and every day!!

Until next time...

Monday, July 25, 2016

When the wears and cares of our heart are many...

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What wears you down?  What wears you out?  Is there anything?
What cares of the soul loom large?  Are there some?
Give it to Jesus.

Sounds so simple.
But is it?

When I read the verse in Scripture that says...
Casting all your care (anxiety) on Him; for he careth for you (1Peter 5:7, KJV)

I have to choose to trust him in this.  I can do this.  I can leave it ALL at his feet...and in his hand!
You can, too!!

It's not easy.  And, we need daily and constant encouragement to do so.

I want to share a testimony/story regarding my next door neighbor.  While this is really her story to tell - I want to share it from my perspective - as something to never forget.

My neighbor friend is a strong woman of faith and prayer.. and yet, like many of us (as I have alluded to) she needs constant encouragement to press in and trust!!

She and I (my family and hers) are all in the same boat of "what will happen with the property where we live"... things are continuing to change here but there is not a lot of communication regarding it from the folks (aka: bank) in "trust" of the property.. so it's been a waiting game.

Which that alone allows worry to flood in... or it can!!
Where will we move to?  When should we move?  Location really matters.  What can we possibly afford?  This is ONLY what I can afford - but we need this amount of space and would prefer this or that, etc.

So, I don't know how many times, since our landlord's passing - that my neighbor friend would come over to have a listening ear turned her way.  Talking out her fears, worries and cares...
Shed a few tears and, we'd pray.

One early Sunday afternoon - a knock at our front door interrupted our noon meal prayer!!

It was Mr. Shae--** .... man we had never met before.
He was asking if we knew of anyone who needed an apartment!  He knew our landlord, Mr. A, because Mr. A's older brother had lived in this apartment before heading to the local Nursing home! He also knew Mr. A - always kept good tenants...and so he thought he'd come by!

His greatest concern was that he would find someone - a good tenant - preferably by word-of-mouth where he wouldn't have to advertise or put a sign in the yard.  He was hopeful for someone who was a believer!

Long story short!
My neighbor friend pretty much had her prayers and concerns answered and handed to her straight up on a beautiful silver platter!  She is moving, to this new apartment/home, this coming weekend.  :)

I get the chillbumps every time I think of and share my friend's story!  I'm so happy for my friend... and will miss her here, and our times of sharing and caring for one another.

When the wears and cares of our heart are many...
Jesus knows; he listens.  He responds!!

It's a reminder of what a wonderful and faithful God we serve!! He has provided!! He has provided for my friend.  He'll do the same for our family... when the time is right.  He cares!!
He will care for our every need!!
Every.  Single.  One.

How about you?  Are you walking through a dry field of dreams.  Where things don't look to promising?  This may only be a season.  A season to let go and to trust for his provision.

Look for the beauty there, in that place... and be encouraged.  Jesus holds it ALL in his hand!

Have a Blessed Week!!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Bevy's Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

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So, it's zucchini season among us and I LOVE IT!!
I knew last year I made this muffin recipe and was frantically looking for it in every cookbook I own... but then resorted to finding it on my blog.  Sure enough.  Now wonder I couldn't find it in a cookbook  - it was because I had taken another/different zucchini oatmeal muffin recipe and tweaked it to make a chocolate version.
Hence the name - Bevy's Chocolate Zucchini Muffins .....

Albeit to say, this recipe deserves its very own post - not buried down deep in another!!  This is why I'm sharing it with you today.  I hope you'll get to enjoy!!

:: Bevy's Chocolate Zucchini Muffins ::

2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (I had w.w. pastry flour and bread flour mixed, in my canister - so that is what I used.)
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts  (I used walnuts.  But using any or all nuts are purely optional)
1/2 cup quick oats
1 T. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup cocoa
4 eggs
1 medium zucchini, finely shredded (approx. 2 cups)
3/4 cup vegetable oil (however, this time I swapped out 1/2 cup of coconut oil and the rest of regular canola oil)
1/2 - 1 cup (plus, per preference) chocolate chips  (**a nice addition is using some peanut butter chips with the chocolate chips)

Grease 12 (more like 18) muffin cups.  Preheat oven to 375*.  Mix first 8 ingredients.  In another bowl, beat eggs slightly with a fork.  Stir in zucchini and oil. Add the chocolate chips.  Stir second mixture into first until flour is moistened. (Batter will be thick and lumpy).  Divide evenly between your muffin cups.  Bake 15-20 minutes.  Yield: 12-18 muffins.

Can you guess what I'm hoping to make sometime today?
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