Friday, November 28, 2008

Williamsburg Inn Turkey Soup

Here's the soup I'm making with the carcass this week. I already made up my stock and it's in the fridge. Looks like we'll have this on Sunday. It's SOOOO yummy and everyone in the family loves it. I hope you enjoy it too!

Williamsburg Inn Turkey Soup
1 turkey carcass
4 quarts water
3 large onions, chopped fine
3 stalks celery, chopped fine
2 large carrots, chopped fine
½ cup uncooked long grain rice
1 cup butter or margarine
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 pint half and half
3 cups diced cooked turkey
½ tsp. poultry seasoning if desired
1 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
In large kettle, cook turkey carcass with water to make 3 quarts stock. (I cook it with carrots, onions, celery and garlic with peppercorns and thyme). Strain stock, set aside. In saucepan, combine onions, celery, carrots, rice and 1 qt. of the stock. Cook for 20 minutes; set aside. In a large soup kettle, melt butter. Blend in flour and heat until bubbly. Add half and half and remaining 2 qts. Stock to butter/flour mixture gradually; cook and stir until bubbly. Stir in the reserved vegetable mixture, turkey and seasonings to taste. Heat slowly to serving temperature. Yield: 4-4 ½ quarts. (this soup freezes well)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Have a wonderful, blessed Thanksgiving!!

I just want to wish everyone a very blessed Thanksgiving. Let's not ever forget the greatest gift we have ever been given - even more than a country where we can worship God freely - the gift of eternal life and a chance to be a child of the Most High. What an amazing privilege.

Last night, we had our Thanksgiving Eve service and I honestly think it was the best we've ever had. Worship was incredible and the testimonies - well, let's just say that God was so glorified by those testimonies. From the man who was electricuted 2 weeks ago and was able to get up in front of the congregation and praise the Lord that he's here to the mom with her 2 young children who is now away from her abusive husband and safe (he's in prison for 20 years). We heard 2 of the Chinese students who we've been ministering to tell of how they came to this same service a year ago as athiests and this year they are covered by the blood of Jesus and living for Him.

A most amazing part of the service was at the end after we did our offering (which is always collected to split amongst our missionaries). The young mom with the 2 kids spoke of how she's so grateful to God that even though they struggle financially, He's blessed them with a home and a church family. Well, Pastor said that he's never done this before but he felt God's nudge to do this - that the mom and girls would stand in the front of the church and whoever wants to bless them with a financial gift, they can. EVERYONE went forward, hugged this family, prayed with them and gave them money. Understand that there were about 800 people there last night!! This poor woman has been afraid for her and her children's lives for years and now that her husband is in jail (for more than just the domestic violence), and now she's being blessed in such a concrete way. I gotta say, there was not one dry eye in the place. God moved. There's no question.

God is amazing. He's sovereign and the Most High God yet He touches His children with love, grace and mercy. He's interested in each of us and our lives- even the little parts of it. What an amazing privilege.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Why must I buy toys for my kids??

My 8 year old just came into the kitchen while I was cleaning. He had a laundry basket tied to his back. I told him "Put that away and help me to clean up!" to which he replied "But mom! I'm a turtle!!"

So why do I spend money on toys when string and a laundry basket seem to be the in thing today??

LOL - I love their imagination. :D

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Teen Friendships

So I have two teen daughters. My oldest is a freshman in college (still living at home) and the other is 16 and a junior in high school. My 16 year old has a friend that she met in preschool and they've been friends ever since. She goes to our church and her parents have worked for the church. Well, this girl is not always the kind of girl that I want my daughter to emulate but I've seen my daughter being strong and able to see the good and bad alike in others. So we've allowed the friendship to continue - although not too close that they're spending all their time together but they still have a connection.

Unfortunately, this weekend something happened and it's obvious that this other girl does not respect anyone but herself. They went away with the youth group and they roomed together with 2 other girls and my poor daughter, who worked just before and was going to be working right after the trip, couldn't get any sleep because the other girls were acting like 12 year olds. In the little time that my daughter DID sleep, they drew on her face and took pictures - putting them up online. My daughter saw the pictures and IMed her friend asking her to take them down and the "friend" refused saying that my daughter needed to lighten up. She then went on to say nasty things to my daughter about her and her father and I (she's never had good things to say about us). She finally at the end said she'd take the picture off of the internet - but she still hasn't done it a few days later. Other things have gone on (I've typed up a lot and deleted it because I don't really want to pass around gossip) and the bottom line is that my daughter's heart is broken because her "friend" has chosen her own pride and popularity over my daughter. 12 years of a friendship is down the tubes. Dad and I aren't sad over losing this friend necessarily but my heart hurts for her. After she came home from the trip and explained some of what went on to me, I encouraged her to find some better friends - friends who had an obvious relationship with the Lord who would encourage her and pray for her - sharpening her as Christian friends do. She never had that with this friend.


Raising teens is so rewarding and I have not had any of the terrible things happen that people kept warning me about but there's always going to be things out of our control. All we can do is pray that they would be wise in their dealings with others and surround themselves with wisdom rather than fools.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Gotta love my hubby!!!! Yeah he's a pastor but....

He can fix a furnace!!! Woo-hoo!!! We have a large OLD gas furnace. I noticed the last time it got cold that our bedroom was FREEZING and since it ended up warming up, we didn't do anything about it. Well, now it's back to the 40s with snow predicted tonight so it was time to check it out. While he's a pastor, he was an electrical/computer engineer in his former life so he started with his meter trying to figure out what was up. He's never dealt with a furnace before but he figured it was either the thermostat or the circulator pump since the furnace itself was working fine and 2 of the 3 zones worked. So last night he checked it out and figured it was the relay box that powers the pump. This morning he went out to get a new box ($75) and took an hour and a half to install it and make sure it all worked. IT DID!! WE HAVE HEAT!! Woo-hoo!! That would have been hundreds of dollars if we needed to call in the plumber and instead it just cost us $75. Thank you Lord that he was able to do this. :)

So we're set for now. We're praying the furnace makes it through another winter. We were told 8 years ago that it would break any day now. LOL

But BOY did it get cold fast! Saturday was in the mid 60s and today it's in the mid 40s. It should get even colder this week too. Brrrr!! Winter's coming on fast!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A new "Challenge" Recipe

Well, I tried another new recipe that I cut out. It was wonderful because it's a soup in the crockpot AND it had plenty of meat and filling stuff so DH would consider it dinner. Whew!! It was rated a 9.9 by the family because I made the meatballs too big. Next time I'll be sure to make them tiny so that you can eat them easily on the spoon. :)

Italian Wedding Soup
from Family Circle 11/1/08

1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3 Tbsp. plain bread crumbs
1 Tbsp. + 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp + 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp + 1/4 tsp black pepper
8 cups low sodium chicken broth
3 large carrots, chopped
1 small head escarole (8oz.) washed, trimmed and cut into 1/2" strips
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/4 cups acini di pepe pasta

1) In a large bowl, stir together egg, beef, onion, bread crumbs, 1 Tbsp. Parmesan, 1 Tbsp. barsley and 1/4 tsp. each of the salt and pepper. Form into 1" meatballs (about 45) and place on baking sheet. Refrigerate while preparing soup.

2) Combine broth, carrots, escarole and oregano in slow cooker. Gently add meatballs. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours. Stir in pasta for the last 20 minutes of cooking time. Stir in remaining 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Sprinkle each serving with remaining parsley and Parmesan cheese and serve.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

UPDATE on the messy room

Well, nothing like peer pressure and the need for teens to hang together to be a motivator to clean a room. My 16 year old is a hard worker when she wants to be. Well, she wants to go out with her friends today and she knows that she's grounded until the room is clean. She still has a little more to go but here's where she stands as of first thing this morning (the right side is still my oldest's part of the room and knowing her, I highly doubt she can get it done in time).

Monday, November 10, 2008

Messiest teen girls' bedroom award

Do we win?? Do we win??
Oh - and that's mostly the better side - the other side on the right of the camera is worse. Don't know how my oldest even FINDS her bed. LOL

Needless to say mom's done. 8PM Saturday night I'm going in with trash bags. I'll clean it MY way. They have been warned - and grounded until then.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Christmas Cards

So I finally started looking for Christmas cards. I found a couple of nice ones at church but I need 4 boxes and they didn't have enough so I figured I'd look online. MAN!! The majority of cards are so WHIMPY!!! "May the wonder of the season light your way this Christmas" is NOT what I want to convey! The One who created the universe came here as a baby for one purpose - to redeem mankind - and we're remembering that amazing day. Can't we get something better than "Happy Holidays"????? I hate Christmas card shopping. I'm so picky. I found one that is OK but I'm not sure if I'll still get it or not....


The internet can be a very crazy world

I've really learned this over the last number of days. I'm just so glad I don't deal with this kind of stuff in real life because, MAN, it's crazy.

First off, a friend was very badly hurt by someone who she thought was a friend but turned out to be a stalking maniac. This poor lady has had to close her blog, remove her name from everywhere on the internet, and even remove a wonderful video of her children praising God. Now she's dealing with some in-real-life problems stemming from this stalker. Unbelievable.

Then I'm on another board - the "crunchy" board we call it around here. Well, apparently I'm being skewered and roasted for my stand on the Word of God against gay marriage and abortion. I feel like a lone dog being attacked by a pack of wolves. I'll never convince them there of the truth but maybe, just maybe, someone who is having their heart warmed by God will see His truth and begin seeking Him. But of course, I'm being judgmental and Jesus would be highly offended. Oh - these are all unbelievers who are telling me how Jesus would feel about me saying sin is sin (and those who know me know that I'm not doing it in a disrespectful or harsh way). I have to laugh because they don't even KNOW Jesus.

Then there's the complete opposite kind of place. In connection with the friend's issue, her stalker joined this place that posted about my friend and posted lies about her. I tried to join the forum so that I could contact someone and ask them to remove the comments. Well, I forgot I joined because I got a hold of them in another way and when I went back, the comments were removed and I just started looking around to see if there were any other comments. I noticed a harsh tone on this forum and made 3 posts myself - two speaking on repentance and one on a harsh comment against someone. Next time I went there, I was banned! LOL I didn't say anything contentious but I guess it was that I asked questions that they didn't like. I'm sure according to them I'm a heretic for whatever reason (I believe the Bible??) What's sad is that this forum is a place where people go from this one man's "church" and for those who listen to his messages online. This man leads not a church but a cult. If you don't believe exactly as they do, you are a heretic and going to hell. They say that they believe in "easy believism" which means that if you believe in Jesus, you are saved. You don't need to repent of your sins or do anything else. That's all well and good - and we know it is by grace that we're saved and not of ourselves - it's not a work - but they apparently don't understand the concept of repentance. Since Scripture tells us over and over again to repent (and Jesus mentions it 16 times in the Gospels), I think that it is an important ingredient in salvation. Is repentance what saves us? No. However when we are saved, it is because God has given us His grace and has drawn us to Him. Because of that, we are able to believe on Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins and follow Him. When we follow Jesus, we TURN from the way we were going and that is repentance. Turning towards Christ is to turn FROM our sins. But I was banned for saying that apparently. It's OK because, as I said, this is a cult. He believes that God is the King James Bible based on John 1:1. So he worships a book instead of the One who wrote it. He says that they went soul winning and had over 170 saved yet not one of those people ever get followed up on, not one ends up at their church. Instead he just knows that they're saved because they said a prayer. Too bad these will be the ones standing at the judgment seat saying "Jesus! But that pastor said if we said that prayer, we can get into heaven! I did that!! I didn't know I had to follow you too!!" Sad. Just sad.

So as I said, the internet can be a very crazy world. VERY crazy. There are some absolutely lovely, wonderful people I've met and I'm grateful for the internet that I can meat brothers and sisters in Christ from around the world. But in doing so, you certainly meet a number of weirdos. LOL

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Ligon Dunkcan on Praying for President Elect Obama

This is very well worth reading - and I will be printing it out and putting it in my Bible. If any time our president needs prayer, it's now.

Ligon Duncan - Some Initial Thoughts on Praying for President-Elect Obama

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

God is sovereign

"...The God of Scripture is no make-believe monarch, no mere imaginary sovereign, but King of kings, and Lord of lords. 'I know that Thou canst do everything, and that no thought of Thine can be hindered.' (Job 42:2, margin), or, as another translator renders it, 'no purpose of Thine can be frustrated.' All that He has designed He does. All that He has decreed He performs. 'But our God is in the heavens: He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased' (Psa. 115:3); and why has He? Because 'there is no wisdom, nor understanding, nor counsel against the Lord' (Prov. 21:30)."

"The Attributes of God", by Arthur W. Pink


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

John Piper with some good words as we vote today

Well worth watching. Here in America all the talk is about the election. But what does the church need to understand at a time like this? John Piper answers this important question from a biblical perspective: "We don't live for politics," he insists, "we don't base our confidence about the future on whoever gets elected." Click below to watch the entire video.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Inequality of Possessions

There's a great post at Tim Challies' blog today on the idea of inequality of possessions. With the thought of Barak Obama possibly winning the election and promising to equalize wealth for the US citizens, there's some really wise words in his post.

Inequality of Possessions - Tim Challies