Friday, November 30, 2012

By the Numbers: End of November edition

 school days until Christmas break!
approximate number of essays awaiting my attention between now and then
approximate number of essays I brought home to read this weekend
approximate number of essays I'll probably read this weekend
The no-kidding, not-exaggerated average number of kids in our grade absent every day this week because of stomach flu
Number of cans of Lysol sprayed in my room 
Time I went to bed last night
Time I feel asleep
Teens plus dog=reasons why I wasn't asleep
Blogposts I've written in my head this week
Blogposts that were actually written
Christmas decorations I've put up
Times I've listened to this CD
 Product Details
 since Thanksgiving
What have you been counting this week?
Be blessed,

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Light Has Come

I find myself with an unexpected blogging opportunity this afternoon; a meeting that threatened to absorb the whole evening has been postponed, so here I sit, tap-tapping away this grey and chilly Tuesday afternoon.

Using the Advent devotional from Good Morning Girls this morningI read John 1:9-12:
The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.
10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—

 My notes start out like this:
How, Lord, how did those You created miss you?  How did they not even recognize You when You're standing there right in front of them, being You in the flesh?  They could touch You, listen to You teach, watch Your hands at work. 

Then it dawned on me that maybe recognition wasn't the point.  What is recognition, anyhow?  A simple acknowledgement?  Familiarity?  Is it, after all, the same as truly knowing somebody?
His own didn't recognize Him, yet all who believed and received Him got relationship.
He sacrificed temporal acknowledgement and chose adoption instead.
Recognition was replaced by reconciliation.
 I wonder how many times I've settled for "recognizing" Jesus-- 
Oh, hi, Lord. Bless this activity, and how about handling that other situation?--instead of reverencing Him, worshiping Him as a beloved daughter.
Remember my "intentional" summer break?  Here we are, nearly six months later, and truth be told, I've been on automatic pilot  for a few months now.  I've got the routine, but the  relationship has been perfunctory at best.  This Advent season, I want something more than the same old-same old.  I don't want my relationship with Christ to just be about recognition.
I want to know my Redeemer.
I want to know the One Who gave me the right to call Him Abba, Daddy.
Be blessed today,



Sunday, November 25, 2012

Scripture and a Snapshot: As Your Days

I'm not really a shoe girl.
Don't get me wrong; I like cute shoes and seek them out, but, truthfully, comfort wins the day.
Left to my own devices, I will end up in my walking shoes.
These shoes have walked many a mile (though, perhaps, not as many as they should have).
They're sporting a few paint spatters and a lot of dirt.
For now, they get the job done.
Recently, I came upon Deuteronomy 33:25 in the New King James, a translation I don't usually read.  The word "sandels" jumped out at me because my Bible translates it "bolts".  A little detective work revealed that both words are correct; the Hebrew root, "bolt" or "gate" is also used for "shoe".  
The idea, I think, is something latching over the foot, protecting it, keeping out potential dangers.
'Cause if your feet hurt, girlfriend, everything hurts.
Deuteronomy 33:25 is the blessing to Asher, and it says, "your sandals will be iron and bronze; as your days, so shall your strength be."
As your days, so shall your strength be.
I need to know that.  
I need to know that His strength won't run out before my days do.
He knows the days that are coming and what we'll need for them.
Unlike my Reeboks, He won't wear out.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Tutorial: Procrastination and Pumpkin

When a teacher has approximately 2,456 papers she's avoided all of Thanksgiving break, and now it's Saturday, and she should really get something done before school starts back on Monday, here's what she might do:
6:30 am Bible study + coffee + sunrise.  First things first.
7:00 am Dig papers out of tote bag that's been shoved in a corner all week.
7:01am Sigh.
7:02 Decide to make pumpkin cinnamon rolls.  Realize we're missing ingredients for the recipe we normally use.  Search internet for alternative. Choose these.
7:15 am Start mixing these.
7:45 am Look at papers. 
7:46 am Sigh
7:47 am Throw in a load of laundry.
7:52 am Break two-cups-of-coffee rule.
8:00 am Grade first stack of papers.
8:59 am Fist pump!  Only 2,446 left to go!
9:00 am  Weight Watchers Conviction: omit half the butter from the recipe.  Spread slightly less guilt-inducing amount and spiced sugar on top of dough.
9:15 am Make a healthy omelet to assuage conscience.
9:45 am Bake pumpkin cinnamon rolls.

 10:05 am Spread rolls with gooey glaze made with juice of one orange, 4 oz.cream cheese, 3/4 cup powdered sugar, a little vanilla, and the leftover 1/2 stick of butter.
10:11 am Lick the fork. Consider another.
10:12 am Willpower wins out.  Deliver some of remaining temptation rolls to neighbors.
10:30 am Read more papers.  Debate whether  trash can is kinder than F's.
11:06 am: Write blog post wishing readers a belated Happy Thanksgiving and passing on great antiprocrastination tips
Be blessed, 

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Post to Help My Memory

Happy Thanksgiving Week to you!
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday, and November one of my favorite months.  It is a day of fullness--full of blessing, full of gratitude, full of anticipation, full of food.
We have had assorted Thanksgiving traditions over the years, but one that remains constant is the appearance of Butternut-Oatmeal Rolls on the menu.  
They coincide with DD#2's first Thanksgiving, which makes them extra-special.
That also means that the magazine they came out of is 13 years old.
This morning I had a brief moment of panic when I couldn't find it for a few minutes.
I might have been disowned by certain members of the family.
This post, then, is to bless your family with the yummiest rolls ever, and to save my hide next year if something happens to that magazine over the next twelve months.
Butternut Oatmeal rolls on last year's table; they get a photo op every year.
So without further ado, I present

Butternut-Oatmeal Rolls

      2(1/4 oz) envelopes active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups warm water (100* to 110*)
5 1/2 to 5 3/4 cups bread flour, divided
1 1/4 cups mashed, cooked butternut squash (1 medium)
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup oats, divided
1 tablespoon water

Combine yeast and 1 1/4 cups warm water; let stand 5 minutes.  Combine yeast mixture, 3 cups flour, and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes or until smooth. Set two tablespoons of oats aside; gradually stir in remaining oats and 2 cups flour to make a moderately stiff dough. 
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). (Great stress reliever!)        Add enough of the remaining flour, a little at a time, to prevent sticking.  Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning once to coat top.  Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 35 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
Punch dough down.  Divide dough in half,and shape each portion into an 18x7 inch rectangle.  Spread each half with 2 tablespoons butter.  Cut into 1x7 inch strips; roll up strips and place in lightly greased muffin cups.  Cover and let rise in a warm place, 25 minutes or until doubled.  Bake at 350* for 15 to 18 minutes.  Remove to wire racks to cool.  Yield: 3 dozen

Don't be intimidated by the long directions or by the process of making yeast bread.  Yeast breads are quite forgiving; the trickiest part is the dissolving the yeast, and candy thermometer to check the  temperature of your water takes the stress of that away.  If you're not sure the rolls have cooked long enough, pop one out of the muffin tin and tap the bottom of it; if it sounds hollow, the rolls are done.

These make awesome turkey sandwiches!
Be blessed today,
linking up over at Brambleberry Cottage

Friday, November 16, 2012


It's been a while since I've done a "Currently"  post (okay, since I've done any post) but I have good reasons, I promise.
Recovering: from the triple-whammy of revival services at our church, the last week of school before Thanksgiving break, and Round Two of the sinus-stomach-headache bug-thingy that's been circulating our campus.  Oh, and insomnia. Make that a quadruple-whammy.
Listening:to Barlow Girls Carol of the Bells for our Christmas music at church; I admit I'm getting into the Christmas spirit early this year
Neglecting:housework and exercise
Fighting:the army of ladybugs that keeps landing in my lap
Savoring: Friday afternoon and a skinny Peppermint Mocha
Looking forward to:Hobby Lobby run tomorrow morning with a friend, and an afternoon shopping excursion with the DD's.
Reading:The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley, a very British mystery with an 11 year old protagonist
Realizing: my "I'll do that over Thanksgiving break" list is impossibly lengthy
Planning:Christmas mantels, gift lists, blog surprises
Be blessed this weekend,

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thankful Thursday

It's almost here.
Thanksgiving is around the corner, and it's my favorite holiday.  I love the family, the food, the weather, the anticipation of Advent.
This year, I toyed with the idea of writing a thankful post every day in November, but I've learned that blogging goals + the current realities of my life= epic failure.
So I'm going to do the best I can and be thankful for grace.
Seven things I'm thankful for on the 7th of November:
1. Big Red--He prays; he studies the Word;he applies the Word; he makes me laugh; he fixes things; he's my best friend.
2. My children and all the joys and challenges and prayers they represent
3. Our home--There's a lot of blood, sweat, and tears in this place, and I am grateful for it.
4. My job--Right now, it's God's provision for us.  As long as it lasts, I thank Him for it.
5. Bible Study
6. The precious women who taught me to study and have studied with me over  the years
7. Sunrises--They're like personal paintings from the Father; I feel like He's showing off for me.
What are you thankful for this Thursday?
Be blessed,