Wednesday, December 29, 2010

To:Snow From: A Southerner

Dear Snowfall,

How lovely you were!


Thank you so much for arriving on Christmas Day!


The first white Christmas here in 127 years!  Four whole inches!

You made this year a once-in-a-lifetime experience for this southern girl.


Everything looks soft and quiet sheltered beneath you.


But now,

we’ve played 11,000 games of rummy,

eaten all the eggs,

and used almost all the half and half.


I really needed to get to the after-Christmas sale to buy wrapping paper at 75%off,


and (shhhhh), we’re running a little low on toilet paper.


You’ve been so beautiful.


Now go away.


A Southerner


Sunday, December 26, 2010






would make

a manger


my heart

Your dwelling place

Your Holy of Holies

I worship You.

You are my joy.





Hope your Christmas was merry and bright!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Diary of a Mom: Four Things Before Christmas

1. Ill child seems to feel somewhat better today.  Shhhh… don’t tell her this post is about food.

2.  Remember my whole thing about simplifying?  I love to bake and would happily make 7,000 batches of Christmas goodies.  Instead, I picked one to be my signature Christmas cookie, and if nothing else gets done, so be it.


Mint Chocolate Snaps

1 (6oz) pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

1/2 cup + 1 1/2 T shortening

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1tsp vanilla

1 tsp peppermint extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup crushed peppermint candy

More sugar

Cream shortening and sugar; beat until light and fluffy.  Beat in melted chocolate.  Add eggs, corn syrup, and extracts; beat well.  Combine dry ingredients and mix in .  Add peppermint.  (Dough will be stiff.  You may stir dry ingredients with a wooden spoon if you don’t have a stand mixer. ) 

Roll into one-inch balls and roll in extra sugar.  Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake at 350* for 12-15 minutes.  Cool on wire racks.

3. Photo above taken with my Christmas present to myself, a Nikon D5000.  When I explained to the salesclerk that this camera would not be upgraded for a LONG time, she assured I wouldn’t outgrow this one for a while.  Since I can barely turn it on now, I’d say that’s true! Smile

4. Looking forward to Siesta Memory Challenge next year at Beth Moore’s blog.  I ordered the cool spiral.  Make it one of your resolutions next year, too!

Merry Christmas!

(Planning to post once more before Saturday)


Linking up here and here.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Diary of a Mom:5 Days before Christmas

Anyone else ever watched “Mame”?


(image from elco.k12)

You know, the movie with Lucille Ball with that song, “We need a little Christmas”? 

Well, we’re needing a bit of Christmas around here today.

I have one sick girl.

First day of Christmas break.  Away at a small-group sleep-over, and the evil stomach bug strikes.


She wants to feel like eating pecan pies again.

Pray it’s short-lived and not shared!

May there be much Christmas around your house today!



Thursday, December 16, 2010

All that Glitters…

Hello, my name is Ginger

and I’m a recovering perfectionist.

Christmas decorating—or decorating of any kind—could be temptation beyond bearing for people like me.

But I’m learning simple is best for me.

Here’s the incomplete tour:

mantel with candles lit:


a favorite vase and ornaments:


Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer Antelope:


our tree:


my favorite tags—plain or metal-rimmed stamped with a monogram—cheap and easy:


These are simple pleasures of the season.

Be blessed,


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

We’re on our second snow day here at the House.  While we probably won’t have a white Christmas, we are enjoying this brief glimpse at a Currier and Ives holiday.

DSC03730 DSC03726

(Photos by DD#2; mom did not care to venture out in 18* degree weather.)

When I pulled myself away from a Rosemunde Pilcher novel I’ve read about 3 times before, I went to the kitchen to stir up this granola.

It’s crunchy and nutty and not too sweet.

Add other stuff you like—dried fruit, for example—or take stuff away; flexibility is this mixture’s middle name.

Except it doesn’t have a last name. Whatever,



4 c. old-fashioned oats

1 c. coconut

3 c.  mixture walnuts, almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, dried fruit, and/or sunflower seeds

1/2 tsp each cinnamon and salt

1/2 cup oil

1/3 cup honey

1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix together dry ingredients in a large baking pan.  <Mix the wet ingredients, and pour over dry.  Stir to mix.  Bake at 325*  for 30 minutes, stirring every ten minutes or so.  Cool, stirring frequently.

My novel is calling.  This blog post took sooo much effort, you know.

Be blessed,


linking up here and here


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Scripture and a Snapshot: Light


I love that this verse says that

I can shine

because the Light of World,

my Emmanuel,

has brought His glory into me. 

Not just at Christmas.


Be blessed today

(our first snow day!)


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Scripture and a Snapshot: Relentless

Over the last few months, God has been teaching me about belief in the face of unyielding circumstances.

Faith boils down to this: do I just believe in God--

or do I believe God?

You see, I’ve got some stuff in my life that is not.

More than once, I have cried out in prayer, “Lord, this situation won’t end.  It is relentless!”

His answer:

So am I.

My God will not relent

until He has made dead things living,

until He has called all things that are not

as though they are.

Until He has all of me.

Four years ago today, my father passed into heaven, an old man who spent –literally—all but a few weeks of his life running from Christ.

God did not relent until He had it all.DSC03687

This Christmas, as you wait on God to do something only He can do, submit to the Father that won’t relent.

Be blessed today,


Linking to Scripture and a Snapshot.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Once Upon a Mantel

One mantel.

Three stubborn, hard-headed strong-willed females.

15  30 45 minutes in the aisle of the dollar store.

One broken candlestick

One last trip back to dollar store to replace said candlestick

Lots of opinions later, here’s what we did:


DD#1 chose the word for the chalkboard:


She also insisted the seashell stay somewhere on the mantel.  Anyone have a beach house you’d  like to give her for Christmas? 



The famous dollar store apothecary jars set the stage.


Sparkly, shimmering (cheap) ornaments provide the pizazz.

Our stockings are mismatched, but they have history, so we keep them.  Big Red gets the one on the right with the fish. My mother made the one in the middle for me when I was in high school.


Greyley the cat gets the one with paws.  I do not buy presents for her.  Her stocking provides  symmetry for the arrangement.  Five stockings (two pointing one way, three pointing the other) put my OCD child over the edge. Smile


Stockings for DD#2, DD#1, and my mom, who usually spends Christmas with us, finish out the other side.

(All photos taken in a hurry in my dark house. Sorry.)

A Christmas mantel.  It makes me smile.

Be blessed today.


Sunday, November 28, 2010


To be nourished by

Christ Himself,

to eat

The Bread of the Presence--

this is my



(My daughter’s hands, Thanksgiving 2010)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Blessing

A history lesson this week of Thanksgiving:

At this time of year, we speak often (or we should) of counting our blessings.

Hopefully, we recognize that we are blessed by the Lord.

But what does that mean, exactly, to be blessed?

The word “bless” in Hebrew means to kneel or to adore”.

It is closely connected to the word for “knee”.   So when we sing “Blessed be the Name of the Lord,” we are using the literal meaning of the word. 

We bless Your Name, oh God, we kneel before You because You are worthy. We adore You.

Why, then. does scripture say God blesses us?

After all, God doesn’t kneel before us in adoration.  (Shudder! How awful the thought of God shrinking to submission to me.)

Ann Spangler’s excellent book, Praying the Names of God offers some insight into this.  She explains that Yahweh, the Covenant Maker and Keeper, came down to initiate a relationship between Himself and man.

In other words, He knelt down as a loving Father and went face to face with His child, looked me in the eyes--

and blessed me with His presence.

This Thanksgiving, as we sit at a table laden with the feast, let’s remember that God and man at table are sat down—because Yahweh, our Covenant Maker and Keeper, came to bless us.

Happy Thanksgiving.




Saturday, November 20, 2010


I have not disappeared into cyberspace.


I simply may, for one of the few times in my life, have used up all my words for awhile last weekend.

I’m letting them accumulate. Winking smile

Today I have slept ridiculously late, read half a novel, and consumed three cups of coffee.

Useless, I tell you, completely useless.

My sink is full of dirty dishes, the floor is gross, Thanksgiving grocery lists sit unmade, as do the beds.

For just a little bit longer, I feel His permission to rest.

Then I’ll be wonderfully busy and productive preparing for my favorite of all holidays, Thanksgiving.

And full of words once more.

Be very, very blessed today.  You are loved by the King.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Poured Out

Yesterday I spoke at our church’s Ladies Fall Gathering.

Such precious women, such a sweet time with the Spirit.

I am spent.

I hope to be back this week with a Scripture and a Snapshot, some Thanksgiving recipes, and whatever else comes up.

For now, I cannot string three intelligent thoughts together.

Be blessed,


Sunday, November 7, 2010

With Unveiled Faces


This verse leapt out at me today on several levels.

My family is becoming more and more burdened for young girls trapped in human trafficking situations.  We are seeking God’s plan for using us to lead them to His throne.

Yet, today I also think of those I know and love who are bound not by human hands, but by doubt and fear and discouragement.  I long to hold up a mirror that would show them the light of His face reflected on them.   I pray that they would know His glory manifested through them.

Oh, to be radiant with His light!



Thursday, November 4, 2010

Excuse the Mess

Thank you all for your advice!  Since I was already working in Live Writer, I decided to play with my blog dimensions in Blogger. 

I made a mess, kind of.

Good news:  I think my pictures are bigger!


Bad news:  Now my header picture is “off,” and I can’t figure out how to fix it.

Told you I wasn’t techie.

More Bad News:  I just don’t have time to play around with it too much.

We’re in a monsoon, a tsunami, a typhoon of activity around here.

I’ve got so much going on that God has me in two Bible studies—teaching Esther and going through Believing God on my own. 

Whew.  Can you tell I need fortifications for this season? Smile

Be blessed, bloggy friends.  May He give you all the fortifications you need as well!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Dumb Blogger Question #567

How do I set up my blog so that I can post large photos?


(This is soooo small!)

If I put in medium-sized pictures, one side is cut off, so I have to shrink it.


(See how the words are cut off in medium.)

So sad. Sad smile


(Getting this giant-sized photo to fit would really be nice!)

Thanks for your help.

Be blessed!


Monday, November 1, 2010

Scripture and a Snapshot


Many days I remind myself in Whom I have trusted.  I am not trusting in myself, my expert parenting, my feeble teaching skills.  I trust in the God Who spoke creation into being, formed man with His hands, and breathed His life-giving Spirit into him. 

Surely He is my God; I trust Him and know He will save me.

Be Blessed today.


Linking up to Scripture and a Snapshot



Thursday, October 28, 2010

Just Because

Time for some Friday favs. . .

1. Anticipating sweater weather this weekend!

2. . . . but I won’t be wearing one at the football game because it’s away—and Big Red does those by himself! Smile

3. Quilts, books, coffee, these

4. A compliment that motivated me to do my pilates workout today.

5. . . .which I’m going to need since I couldn’t  didn’t pass up a sweet potato fried pie from the apple house this afternoon.

6. Preparing to speak at Ladies’ Weekend, something that truly makes my heart sing, even though it’s hard

7. Listening to my girls laugh together.

Happy Friday!


Linking to Tidy Mom

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Prologue to a post: I love it when God plants a thought in my head and then confirms it in my heart.   This post was in my head yesterday, and a trip to Elizabeth’s blog tonight confirmed it.  Obviously, it is for one of you.

This summer, we studied Jesus the One and Only.  I love this study; it’s always been one of my favorite Beth Moore studies since I first did it years ago.

My favorite lesson is in Luke 7:11-17, when Jesus raises the widow’s son from the dead.  I love it because, as we learned in the study, Jesus raised the boy because He could, not because the woman asked.  He just wanted to.

He could fix it, so He did.

I never knew why God pierced my heart with that story back then. 

Now I do.

I love it that my Savior’s heart is to fix it, whatever it is.  I love that, because I know He would remove the pain if there were no kingdom purpose for it.

Somehow there is greater glory for Him—and greater good for me or those I love-- on the other side of the trial.

I KNOW that, because I KNOW His heart is to FIX it. 

“When the Lord saw her, His heart went out to her, and He said, ‘Don’t cry.’”

Right now, I have a few things that I wish would just go away, that I wish were fixed. 

I am weary of tears.

I am weary of asking God just to fix the problem.

He isn’t, and I already know why. 

Pain teaches.

Some lessons require field trips.

Yet, His heart is going out to me, to those I love.

Maybe one day, He’ll explain it.  Maybe one day, it will all be clear. 

Today, I trust my Savior’s heart.

Be blessed,


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Dining In

It’s Friday—which for years has meant Pizza Night at our house.  Since we now have a band member at our house, Friday night now means concession stand food.


We have two more games, and then Pizza Night can return to its rightful place.  DD#1 has earned the title of World’s Best Pizza Dough Creator.  It’s her official Friday afternoon job.

With the perfect balance of crispiness and chewiness, this crust turns ordinary mozzarella  into artesian  gourmet yumminess.    Really.

DSC03498 (Doesn’t that look fabulous?)

At any rate, it will render frozen pizza obsolete at your house.

Pizza Crust

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 pkg. yeast

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup warm water

1 T. olive oil


Mix a pinch of sugar into warm water.  Sprinkle yeast on top and wait 10 minutes unto yeast is foamy.   Pour into a large bowl and add flour, salt, and oil.  Combine.  Knead 6-8 minutes.  cover and let rise 20-30 minutes. 

Lightly grease 2  pizza pans and sprinkle with cornmeal.  Divide dough in half; place on pan and roll out.  (Dough should be really thin.  If you are a thick crust lover, use only one pizza pan.)

Prebake crusts at 425* for 10 minutes. 

Here’s one of my favorite topping combinations:

Brush prebaked crust with olive oil and sprinkle with oregano, basil, and garlic.  Top with baby spinach, sliced tomatoes, feta cheese, and mozzarella cheese,  Bake at 400* until hot and bubbly, about 10 minutes.

Enjoy this weekend with your family!



Wednesday, October 20, 2010

From File 13: Discarded Blog Posts

With my severe case of blogger’s block, I’ve had some difficulty deciding what to write.  A few ideas just haven’t come to fruition. . . .

1. Standardized Testing: the Surefire Way to Hold Students Accountable

2. Amazing No-Calorie Chocolate Desserts!

3. Teaching Your 7th Grader to  LOVE Editing and Punctuation

4. Family, Home, Career:  You CAN Have It All

5. Making Your Teenager into a Morning Person

6.  Managing Your Hormones the Middle School Way

Posts I’m Still Considering:

1.  Convincing Your Husband You’ve Cooked in 3 Easy Steps

2. Clean Clothes are So Yesterday

3. Trends in Home Decor: Grimy Floors

4. Fourteen Ways to Make Your 14 Year-old Miserable

5. Blessed by Blogging Buddies

Wait! I really could write that last one! ;-0

Be Blessed,




Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Post that Wasn’t

This is a post that has swirled in my head for many weeks. 


It gathers like vapor into a fragile cloud; then time and dirty laundry and supper come and blow it away, and my brain goes blank again.

Sometimes life gets complicated--blessing and sorrow side by side in an uneasy truce; blessing and sorrow intermingled; blessing  and sorrow growing from the same branch.  Suddenly Charles Dickens’s endless “ best of times, worst of times” sentence begins to echo my own experience.


This school year we are living in best and worst of times.  The blessings are the challenges; the challenges the blessings.  Even as I know that I know that I know God appointed us for this time, I grieve pain I see in one I love.

I want to fix it. 

I can’t.

I want to rush the Holy Spirit, hurry Him along, step in and take His place.

When my friend wraps me in hugs and says, “Today, it is okay.  It will NOT just be okay one day; it really is okay today,” I hear the gentle whisper of my patient Lord.

I camp out in Hebrews 2:11.

Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.”

I cannot answer every question perfectly, sooth every hurt, make the hard stuff go away.  Yet, in my weakness, He will not leave me—or those I love. 

Christ is not ashamed to call us His sisters.

Be Blessed today,