Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Monday was insane, crazy, over-the-top busy.  So today I present...Multitude Tuesday!
(Teeming Tuesday?)
Counting my blessings, one by one:
56. My chair-It's old, it's no longer beautiful, but I love it.
57. Green daffodil shoots--Spring is a long way off, but I like seeing green.
58. Two superb new recipes that we've created/adapted--Greek mac and cheese and a sausage-potato-kale soup
59. Yogurt and granola
60. Blueberries
61. Nutella
(Yes, my 10:30 lunch was a while ago, and it is not yet suppertime!)
62. Ice day with power still on!
63. Sleeping 'til 8.
64. Some potential progress a long time coming
65. Anything by Selwyn Hughes; reading Christ-Empowered Living
66. Finding good books for $1
67. Stacks of old Victoria magazines
68. Tenth Avenue North and their insightful, penetrating lyrics
69. Apologies
70. Reconnecting with a friend
What's on your list today?
Be blessed,

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Ice on the way, so Thursday afternoon feels like Friday.
After yesterday, even possible power outages feel like a risk worth taking for a day without lots of people, particularly teen-aged people.  
Just sayin'.

On a (much) more serious note, I do, after all, have something profound to share about rotten days.  
It's profound because the Lord said it to me--a simple truth that changes everything.

This morning, in the quiet just-Him-and-me time, He spoke this to my heart:
"Yesterday left you feeling beaten.  
You have bruises.
 I have scars."

Christ has scars--nail scars--for that.  His wounds healed me, paid the blood-price for my sin.
You got issues?
Girlfriend, I've got issues.
He has scars for that.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Brain Break

Worst. Day.Ever. In. A. Long.Time
Insomnia, big fat mom fail, lesson plan fail, had-to-eat-school-lunch-today fail.

This afternoon, DD#2 and I picked up a stack of Victoria magazines at the library and soaked up some flowers and food and English cottages for  half an hour when a diligent teacher (who hadn't had the worst day ever) would have graded papers.
If I can't be a hobbit on days like this, Plan B is to go live in the pages of Victoria, where winter consists of fluffy throws, leather-bound books, scenic snowy walks, and hot buttered scones.  Lately, winter here means  piles of ungraded papers,car-rider duty in (southern) Siberia, and looming ice storms that threaten power outages.  (No coffee pot!  The luxurious winter photo shoot always includes coffee!)

This is the point in the post where I should say something profound about not living my life pining away for magazine pictures, or quote a Bible verse, and play a song.  
I should, but I won't.  Today I'm just tired,
 and I need to get alone with my Savior
 and show Him my bruises
 and say I'm sorry. 
 I don't think He minds that my girl and I found a bit of quiet in savoring beauty.
He created it, after all.  

Be blessed with something other than the worst day ever,

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Hello and a List: When the Sun Shines (or Not)

Multitasking again today!
Hello, sunshine!  You are such a blessing after a week of dark and rain and flood worries.  You make up for no snow day.

Hello, cold, cold temperatures!  It's about time you showed up when you're supposed to instead of waiting until April.
Hello, third cup of coffee.  You're decaf, so maybe you're not so bad,  really?  It seems you are a comfort in these busy days; I can pretend I am lingering over the morning's quiet.
Hello, sleeping in day!  Monday off after a weekend of having to be up at dark thirty = super blessing.
Hello, parenting challenges.  Lord, teach me how to pray in this season when I am fresh out of wisdom.

My gratitude list continues:
46.  Friends who have grown kids and reassure me that I'm not crazy for thinking this is hard
47.  New Bible study group--small but sweet
48.  New CD love--The Struggle by Tenth Avenue North
49. Sunshine!
50. Flowers in a milk jug

51. Psalms
52. Chai
53. Early, early Florida strawberries on sale at the grocery
54. a nerd-girl who loves being a nerd
55.being invited to be known by the Lord, El-Elohim--the Creator--not just used by Him
Be blessed,
Linking here

Friday, January 18, 2013

Getting to Know You

Hello, imaginary friends!
We're home for a few extra hours today thanks to black ice warnings, so I'm popping in to say good morning.  
One of the trends I've noticed around the 'House lately is a lot of page views (yay!) but very few comments (so sad).  So today, I'm re-introducing myself to you, and I'd love for you to introduce yourself here!
My name is Ginger.
I have a sweet husband, two teens, and a messy life.
In the midst of our mess, Jesus lives. I love Him for that.
I'd love to visit England (Hi, Helen!), Scotland, and Australia, and would happily listen to anyone from those places read  the phone book.
I teach 7th grade English.  I enjoy my job, stressful though it can be.
My heart goes pitter-patter when I teach ladies' Bible study.  That's my passion.
In winter I love...coffee, fireplaces, quilts, and sunrises on frosty mornings.
In spring I love...daffodils, tiny new leaves, sunshine, Easter,and warm breezes.
In summer I love...early morning, vegetable gardens, hydrangeas,and raspberries.
In fall I love...cool days, deep blue skies, crunchy leaves, and pumpkin.

So...what makes your heart go pitter-patter?  
Nice to meet you!
Be blessed today,

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

If I Tweeted

For the record, I have a Twitter account.
I don't know my user name and have forgotten my password.
The only reason I had it was to participate in a on-line Bible study discussion group.
Big, fat fail.
However, because I'm tired and surrounded by overwrought people and highly tempted to become overwrought along with them , maybe short bursts of communication would be the best idea today.
So I present...
Wednesday in Tweets 
If I tweeted.
Which I don't.
Because I'm wordy, not pithy.

5:00 am It's dark and rainy.  No time for exercise or Bible study. Boo. #sendtheark
5:45 am Teenager awakes on stress-scale at a 10. #DidImentionit'sonly5:45???
6:40 am Traveling to school in a flood.  Mom AND teen at 10.  #teensforsalecheap
8:01 am Explained thesis statements for the billionth time this year. #Needmorecoffee.
10:30 am Eating lunch.  Not brunch.  Lunch.
1:15 pm Fellow teacher shows me 10th plagiarized paper turned in this week. #becomeawalmartgreeter
4:30 pm Strange conversation with tax office.  Having strange conversations with tax people #unnerving.
5:02 pm Snow in forecast for  Friday!  Break out the hot cocoa! #Mustbuymarshmallows.
5:03 pm Forgot to post my memory verse yesterday-Jeremiah 17:8 #ClearlyIneedthis!!
5:51 pm Being pithy is hard work!  Should probably go back to long sentences soon.#likenow

Be blessed,

Monday, January 14, 2013

Hello Monday: Multitasking Post

Hello, Monday!
Hello, rain!  Lots and lots of rain.
Hello, return of cold weather.  Glad you're here.  It's your turn.
Hello, classroom.  Last week went by fast and fairly smoothly.  Could this week please do the same?
Hello, pastor search team.  Important stuff on the agenda.  Praying for wisdom.  
Hello, gratitude list!
36. My new favorite song (today)
38. Time in Starbucks to write some cards
39. Opportunity to serve on retreat team
40. New Bible study Sunday nights--a participant this time with several women I don't know well--good times
41. Talk and tears with a friend
42. Ministry opportunities
43. Big Red home safely from a brief trip
44. New watch--didn't realize how annoying it was to not have one!
45. Endings=beginnings

Be blessed today!
Linking up here and here

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Thursday in January

Today in verbs:

Avoiding--grumpy teens

Convinced--that peppermint marshmallows should be around all year-or at least all winter
Listening--to wind whip around my house with ferocity--though not, thankfully, much cold.
Fighting--some discouragement over little things that add up and feel like big things
Anticipating--retreat team planning meetings, which are always sweet times of worship and preparation
Reading--The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes--after getting completely hooked on the BBC series Sherlock over Christmas.
Needing--a secretary to help me grade 100 Bloom balls (uber-cool geodesic domes used as book response forms; the prompts for each section follow Bloom's Taxonomy.)(That was completely TMI unless you're a teacher, was it not?)
Longing for: some time with Big Red with no wrestling-related interruptions; this won't happen until March.
Studying--the book of Matthew--realizing again how radical Jesus was then--and now.
Be blessed,


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

When Life Hands You Lemons

...make lemon sugar cookies!
This weekend we had guests for supper.  The entree was my sister's luscious lasagna (there's another recipe I should share!), delectable but decidedly rich.  Enter the light, simple finish to the meal--lemon sugar cookies.  They're fast, easy to make, and perfect with a cup of coffee or tea.

 Lemon Sugar Cookies
(adapted from Taste of Home

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Additional sugar and lemon peel
  • In a large bowl, cream butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, milk and extracts. Combine the flour, salt and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture.
  • Shape into 1-in. balls or drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Flatten with a glass dipped in sugar.
  • Bake at 400° for 9-11 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Immediately remove to wire racks to cool. 
What's cooking at your house?

Be Blessed,


Linking at Beauty and Bedlam

Monday, January 7, 2013

Hello Monday: Back to Work We Go

Hello, 5:00 am!  Other than that unfortunate day I was awake at 3:30, I haven't seen you for a few weeks.  You look...dark.
Hello, classroom! Refreshing a few anchor charts today, getting back in the groove.
Hello, lemon sugar cookies!  You are yummy and easy.  Definitely a recipe to share here.
Hello, roller-coaster weather!  We thought we were done with you.  Don't bring your friend migraine with you when you come back this week, m'kay?
Hello, retreat team!  I haven't worked one in a while, and I'm excited about you.
Hello, sink full of dishes.  Every time I turn around, there you are.
Hello, changes!  You're inevitable, I know, but I want to anticipate you with grace.
Hello, blogland!  Happy Monday to you!
Be blessed,
Linking with Lisa.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Scripture and a Snapshot: By the Light of Your Face

This post double-teams Scripture and a Snapshot (late) and Multitude Monday (early).  

I have always loved Psalm 44:3; I love the juxtaposition of might and glory, strength and beauty, power and love.  We have a strong God, our Fortress, mighty to save.  Yet, I can't forget that He saved because of Who He is, the One Who loved me and gave Himself for me.  We were studying in Isaiah this morning how the Lord did what He did for Israel for the sake of His own Name, His glorious Name.  He loved because His very nature is love.  We know what love is because He first loved us.

This morning we sang Matt Redmon's song, "10,000 Reasons", and I thought to myself, "I am writing down only a 1,000 of them," a tithe of gifts, a drop in the bucket of measureless grace.
11. girls laughing
12. praying with friends
13. Big Red speaking scripture 
(Gifts old, new, blue)
14. Mama's vases
15. Mantel sign made with my new Silhouette
16. Old blue flannel pajamas

17. frost
18. winter sunshine
19. Jesus Calling
20. Helen's blog
21. Praying for a friend as she interceded for others
22. Couch time with DD#2 watching Sherlock
23. Praying even when the answer seems far away--because God isn't.
24. new journal
25. blue skies
26. 1st cup of coffee (Have I said that already?)
27. warm bed, warm house
28. plenty to eat; freezer full of food
29. Christian book store
30. Vertical Church study
31. Making lemon scones
32. clean desktop
33. pictures of people I love
34. seeing Les Mis with Big Red and girls
35. windows

Friday, January 4, 2013

Sunshine in a Jar

There's been a lot around Blogland this week about favorite projects of 2012.  One project success around here came in the waning days of 2012 when my mother and I made the World's Easiest Marmalade.

Have I mentioned I adore marmalade?
However, I do not adore corn syrup, the primary ingredient in affordable marmalade, and I do not adore paying $7.00 a jar for marmalade that doesn't have it.
So when Big Red's wrestling team held their annual citrus sale, I knew what I wanted to do with some of our purchase.
Have I mentioned I have a canning phobia?
I do can, a little at least, but I find the whole process and fear of botulism a tad nerve-racking.
Enter freezer jam!
Virtually no freezer jam recipes for orange marmalade exist!
So, Mama and I put our heads together, combined a few recipes we found online, and created an easy-peasy, delicious marmalade.  The critical ingredient is instant pectin for freezer jams, and the basic directions are on the Ball Instant Pectin container.   We tweaked a recipe from another no-cook pectin  brand to make orange marmalade.
Whew!  Long lead to this:

Sunshine in a Jar Marmalade
For every two 8oz jars of marmalade, you will need:

1 2/3 cups chopped citrus, membranes removed (We used all oranges in one batch, a mix of oranges, tangelos, and lemon in another.)
2/3 cup sugar or sugar substitute or 1/3 cup sugar/stevia blend
2 Tbsp Ball instant pectin

Don't exceed 6 jars in a batch; it might not set up properly.

Place citrus in a small saucepan and allow to come to a gentle boil.  Cook, stirring occasionally on medium-low heat for about 25 minutes.  Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, stir together sugar and pectin.  Add cooled fruit and stir three minutes.  Ladle into clean freezer jars and let stand 30 minutes.  Enjoy then or freeze!
Leave about 1/2 inch headspace at the top of the jars to allow for expansion.  Glass jars will work if they have straight sides.
We still have tangelos (a cross between a tangerine and an orange) in the basement, so I see a few more batches in our future.
Be blessed,

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Confessions and Over-Complications

Starting the year with a confession:
I over-complicate things.
If you know me, you aren't.
Like, for example, the Joy Dare.
It's a simple concept, and an infinitely significant one, but instead of just doing it, I over-complicated it.
Perfect font, perfect pictures, everything just so (are you seeing the theme here?)
Joy-collecting fail.
So, for 21013, I'm trying again, with just a list.  
A good-enough list. 
A truly grateful list.
That was the point, after all.
(And yes, I confess that I'm annoyed with myself for not remembering this on "Multitude Monday".  I'm letting that go.)
1. My husband.
2. DD#1 
3. DD#2 
4. Quiet Bible study in the morning.
5. Waking with a stunning sunrise after a good night's sleep!
6. Having a worship song stuck in my head, even on days when things haven't gone well
7. The sound of the heater running
8. Coffee pot gurgling
9. Orange yogurt muffins
10.Watching stars come out with Big Red on a cold night.

Be blessed,

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year and the First Silhouette Project!

Happy New Year to you!
I rang in 2013 earlier than expected. 
No party, just insomnia. 
This post may be a bit foggy, like the weather. 
 Sad, isn't it?  
Especially since it's brighter now than it was this morning.
Wait, it is still morning.
Time crawls when you're waiting for 5:00 am to arrive because that seems like an acceptable time to have coffee.
(Which it is, if one is not on Christmas break.)
It's a dreary start for the weather, but my Silhouette has brought a bit of sunshine to the house.
This was a totally free project (unless you count the Silhouette) constructed from an old picture and some leftover door paint.
It makes me happy when skies are gray.
My dishtowel table runner makes the happy list as well.

 I always plan a ton of housecleaning at New Year's, and while I still want to get it all done, I'm reminding myself that resting is okay, too.
Praying you have a sunny, restful day as well as we welcome 2013.
Be blessed,