The Nativity of Our Lord Presented in Verse and Song

 The Nativity of Our Lord
The Nativity of Our Lord
I began collecting Fontanini nativity figures soon after I got married and have added one or more figures to my collection each year.

As I arrange the scenes, I recall the Biblical narrative, and I am reminded how much we in the world today are not so different from the people who lived at the time of the birth of Christ.

Some people wait in eager anticipation for His (re)appearance. Some worship and adore Him as the promised Messiah, Savior and King. Some believe the truth of His message and others do not. Some seek Him, while others reject or despise Him.  I created this video presentation of the Nativity with narration and music to encourage all who view it to consider their own relationship to Christ, the Prince of Peace.

(Click on the image above to view the video.)

God Bless You


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How to Brine and Roast a Turkey and Make Perfect Gravy


It's November--turkey month!  Turkey has become the traditional main course for Thanksgiving dinner in America. We all have our favorite must-have side dishes, but there's a good chance you'll be serving turkey to your family and guests.  Whether you're making it for a few people or a large gathering, you want your turkey to turn out perfect, both in appearance and in taste. If you'd like your turkey to turn out juicy and flavorful, you may want to consider brining it. I've been eating turkey for Thanksgiving all my life.  I always thought it's ok, a little dry and not real flavorful.  I never knew how really delectable turkey could be until I started brining.  I began brining my turkeys a few years ago, and now it's the only way I'll roast one.

Kitchen Garden 2018

This is my sixth Kitchen Garden since we built the Potting Shed and put in my first garden in 2013. I like to try new things and make changes to the garden each year. The big change this year is the center bed.  Inspired by Chris McLaughlin and her new book release, Growing Heirloom Flowers, I decided to plant only flowers in the center bed.

PRAY - 30 Days of Prayer


 I invite you to download this free E-Book to your computer or reading device and join me in
30 Days of Prayer for the month of June or on any time you want to begin your own prayer journey.

You may also download and print this free companion Children's Coloring Prayer Book
to include your children on your prayer journey and teach them how to pray.


Please feel free to share these links with your friends,
and God's blessings on your own prayer journey!

THE PURPOSE OF ALL PRAYER IS TO GLORIFY GOD
AND DEEPEN OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM


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Growing Heirloom Flowers: Bring the Vintage Beauty of Heritage Blooms to Your Modern Garden

Growing Heirloom Flowers: Bring the Vintage Beauty of Heritage Blooms to Your Modern Garden
 by Chris McLaughlin

Hard cover: 160 pages
Publisher: Cool Springs Press (May 8 ,2018)
ISBN-10: 0760359393
ISBN-13:978-0760359396

How is it possible to present so much valuable information in one book with so much ease and flare?  Chris McLaughlin. That’s how. “Growing Heirloom Flowers” is not too long and not too short. It is an easy read yet is packed with so many lessons. I expected to learn about a variety of heirloom flowers (including some history about them and how to grow them), and indeed I did. McLaughlin also included some precious and memorable stories associated with their past. She provides expert knowledge, yet her voice is light and fun. The bonus that came as a delightful surprise to me were the easy “how-to” lessons:  such as how to make rose water, how to make flower crowns, how to make floral arrangments, how to dry flowers, and so on. 

Square Foot and Vertical Gardening

How Does My Garden Grow? - Part 2
Garden Layout: Square Foot, Vertical and Companion Gardening



As I started thinking about having a garden, I knew up front that I wanted a Kitchen Garden . . . a neat and tidy, picturesque and small-ish garden near my kitchen, where I can run out and grab some herbs or veggies in a hurry while I'm cooking.

As I began to do my research, I discovered the benefits of square foot gardening and vertical gardening, and I knew this was the way to go.

Swedish and Easter Egg Braid Bread


My Grandmother passed down a tradition in our family of making Swedish Braid Bread, a delicious sweet bread flavored with mildly spicy cardamom and braided into a glistening golden loaf of goodness.  It's a tradition I like to continue to this day, and I've recently learned how to combine this Swedish tradition with the Italian tradition of tucking eggs into the bread for a really special treat.

Two things to note:  1) You can follow this tutorial to braid any kind of bread recipe, and 2) there are various ways you can shape and size the loaves of braided bread.

Wait on the Lord

God has laid these three words on my heart of late:  Diminish – Wait – Glorify (That is . . . Diminish Myself, Wait on the Lord, Glorify the Holy Trinity.)  I have been learning something lately about what it means to “wait on the Lord.”  It is not a passive state as one might think, but rather a very active one.  It’s not so much like waiting for a bus as it is like waiting on tables.  In the Bible verses where it appears it can mean “to look for, hope, expect” or “to bind together.”  Here are some things I’ve experienced recently about waiting on the Lord:

The Chrismon™ Tree


What is a Chrismon?


The word “Chrismon” is a combination of the words “Christ” and “Monogram” (meaning symbol). Traditionally, Chrismon ornaments are not sold; they are homemade. They are always white and gold. . . white symbolizing that Jesus is pure and perfect, and gold symbolizing His majesty and glory.  They can be made from paper, styrofoam, wood, embroidery, needlepoint, beading, or any other material and process. Making Chrismons is an excellent project for a church group to share in fellowship while learning about Christian symbols and the life of Christ.


History of the Chrismon


Chrismons are first of all Christian symbols. From the beginning of Christianity, persecuted followers used symbols to communicate secretly with each other. Christian symbols have been used in churches ever since.

Trash to Treasure: Pumpkin Wall Art


I love to decorate for the seasons of the year.  I think the fall decorations are my favorites.  I love pumpkins, and when Thanksgiving is over and it's time to bring out the Christmas decorations, I like to take my pumpkins outside and decorate the back border of our property with them, setting up colorful vignettes that I can see from the windows in my house.  Throughout the remainder of winter, I don't have to wait for spring blooms to make their appearance in order to see bursts of color among the dead leaves or blankets of snow.

I took photos of my pumpkin displays, and all of a sudden the idea hit me to recycle these pumpkins yet again by having a photo of one of my own pumpkin displays enlarged for framing.  How exciting!  I love it when an idea like that strikes me! The real fun was searching for the perfect "trash to treasures" frame.

In the end, these recycled pumpkins served as decorations for our home for a third time. First, the fresh-picked pumpkins decorated the inside of our home in the fall. Then they decorated the outdoors behind our house throughout the winter months.  Finally, they re-entered our home as an image captured and a memory that lingers.  If you're interested in the step-by-step how-to's, read on.

The Sweetest Applesauce!


We eagerly look forward to canning applesauce as soon as we turn the page of the calendar to the month of September.  Our main motivation for canning is so that we can have those wonderful tastes of summer and autumn deep into the winter.  We also want to save money by growing fruits and vegetables or by looking for the best value.

We have an old apple tree in our back yard that does not produce well, and the apples aren't so great for applesauce. So we do our legwork each year looking for the best tasting apples at the best price. It's fun, especially when we find it!  We strive to make the sweetest applesauce .... without adding sugar!