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Women Living Well Blog: October 2010

Women Living Well Blog

Sunday, October 31, 2010

I Want To Be a Better Cook

God created taste buds, the sense of smell and the eye that is drawn to beautiful things. He created the crunchy green pepper, the hairy peach, juicy watermelon, sour lemons and sweet potatoes!

Edith Shaeffer says in The Hidden Art of Homemaking, "Cooking should not be thought of as a drudgery, but as an art. Just as it is good to get one's fingers into the soil and plant seeds, so it is good to get one's fingers and fists into bread dough to knead and punch it. There is something very positive in being involved in the creativity which is so basic to life itself. Home-made bread, home-made cakes and pies, home-made vegetable soup from home-grown vegetables or from vegetable market purchases, home-made jams and jellies, home-made relishes and pickles - these are almost lost arts in many homes."

Let me be honest - the above list does not represent the cooking in my home and I want to be a better cook. That is why after 59 weeks of Tasty Tuesdays, I handed the baton to Janelle from Comfy in the Kitchen. I have a lot to learn in this area and as I share her recipes I am trying them. My family loved her Bow Tie Pasta with Italian Sausage and Vegetables and her Baked Caramel Apples. If you look back at some of my Tasty Tuesday's you will often hear me say - this is my sister's recipe, my mom's recipe or a friend's recipe. Very rarely had I discovered or created my own recipe. I tend to be a quick, easy, low fat cook...(meaning grilled or baked meat with a baked or steamed veggie and a boring carb of rice, noodles, or rolls!)

This week's challenge is an area I am working on!

Week #5 Challenge: Focus on the kitchen, the heart of the home. Cook things with pleasant aromas. Pick a meal the family can cook together - include everyone in a task and take pictures so everyone can remember moments in the kitchen together - test tasting, being creative, laughing and loving. Remove discontentment with your home or family and give thanks to God.

First - let's focus on the spiritual side. Give thanks! In Luke 11:3, Jesus says to pray like this "Give us each day our daily bread." Do we pray and ask God for our daily bread? In America - we are so blessed we rarely have to ask. We should be abundantly thankful for the food we have! Give thanks! Give thanks for your food and give thanks for your family you share it with.

One of my favorite kitchen memories was a time when my mom had everyone in the family including our boyfriends make our own pizzas! Each couple made their own unique pizza and we laughed a lot that night! The kitchen is a place of connection!

So as I challenge you my reader and friend - I am challenging myself. And I know that for many of you - you have far surpassed me in your cooking skills - so this is not even a challenge. But for those like me, who need to spend a little more time in the kitchen experimenting and creating - this is a challenge.

The first thing on my list to make this week is Janelle's homemade Hot Cocoa in a crock pot! I have always used Swiss Miss packets (*blush* I am embarrassing myself a little here in hopes that some of you relate...). I know my family will love this!

Work hard this week to make meals appealing. Pull out those cloth napkins and china - just for your own family (this part of homemaking I love - I love making beautiful tablescapes for my boring food lol!). You don't need to have guests to pull those things out!

Edith Shaeffer says "Food cannot take care of the spiritual, psychological and emotional problems, but the feeling of being loved and cared for, the actual comfort of the beauty and flavour of food, the increase of blood sugar and physical well-being, help one to go on during the next hours better equipped to meet the problems."

Oh ladies, let's bless our families this week with special surprises from our kitchen!
If you are participating in this challenge leave a comment below with how it's going - if you are a blogger copy this button into your blog post, write about how it's going and link up below!

Thanks for the accountability and Walk with the King!

I am linking up here :


Friday, October 29, 2010

Embrace This Season of Life

Yesterday, tears welled up in my eyes as my little boy grew up unexpectedly. Daddy said - "Go buy the boy some work boots, I'm taking him to work with me." So one day later my son was lacing up his brand new work boots and heading off in a semi-truck to help Daddy haul a crane 100's of miles.

I was so excited for my little boy to experience the road with Daddy! They slept in the semi bed last night just for kicks. I sent along some homeschool books, a journal, a Leapster and his stuffed doggy that he has slept with since the day he was born.

As he headed out the door, I grabbed my camera to capture the moment...and suddenly the flood gates opened and I was in tears.

Ready or not this little guy is growing up!

And as he pulled out of the driveway grinning ear to ear, I forced a smile to hide the tears.

How bitter sweet it is to see our little ones growing up right before our eyes.

Sometimes we can grow weary as moms. The noise and chaos that children can bring can make us frazzled. The toys spread through out the house and the dirty clothes pile seems unending BUT there is an end. One day the children will grow up and they will leave. This season of life does not last forever.

If you are a weary mom, add 10 years to your life. Then how old are your children? My son will be 17 1/2! In a flash our children will be grown. Will we have given our children the best of us or the leftovers?

The Relevant Conference reminded me to give my children the best of me. And so I have a renewed commitment to slowing down, enjoying the cuddles, shutting out the noise of this world and enjoying what God created in Genesis 1 - family!

Genesis 1:27,28 says, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth and subdue it."

The framework of family is God's idea. It's not old fashioned to embrace God's design for families - it's fabulous! But it's also hard work.

Elizabeth Elliot says "There are days when it's hard to see where the giving of ourselves ends and the receiving starts" but this season will pass. Embrace this season. Embrace your husband and children with tender hugs over and over and over. As Monday's challenge said, "be intentional about physically reaching out and touching your family this week."

I've had precious alone time with my daughter but I must say, the girls are really missing the boys. We can't wait to throw our arms around their necks and smother them with kisses!

Walk with the King!


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Guess Who Won the Faith Box Giveaway - Everyone!

Last Tuesday I told you all about the Faith Box Giveaway happening over at my other site

And then 153 women entered to win. Angela, my partner at Good Morning Girls, is a giver. And it was breaking her heart to only give away one! So she went to her husband and asked if he thought it'd be okay for her to give away 2. (she is covering this out of her own pocket - this is not a sponsored giveaway - that's why she went to her husband).

Here's what she wrote in Tuesday's blog post where she announced the winners:

Her husband answered: “No I don’t think you should give two………I think we should give one to EVERY mom who entered to win that giveaway!!!”
Yes, you just read that correctly! God has blessed my sweet husband with a VERY GIVING heart and as a family, we feel that every child should have a My Faith Box! This is just one way, as a family, we are putting what we believe into action and blessing each of you with your own personal faith box!!!

Now that's putting your money where your mouth is! And I'd be remiss if I didn't say, I am thankful to have a friend who not only encourages me (as I wrote about here on Sunday) but who deeply challenges me to live out my faith by her own walk with God.

If you didn't win but would like to learn more about the Faith Box click here. All of the proceeds go to LakePointe's family ministries. This would be a great Christmas gift for a sister, friend or new mom!

Walk with the King!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Easy Ham and Cheese Quiche

"This is such an easy dish to whip up for a brunch, pot-luck, or morning bible study! I can’t count how many times I have made this. I also can’t count how many times I have been asked for the recipe…so here it is! It is simple, turns out perfect every time, easy to transport and is DEEEEElish!!!" ~Janelle from Comfy In The Kitchen

Sauté diced onions and ham in a pan sprayed with Pam

Add eggs and heavy cream, season with salt and pepper.

Beat Well

Lay cheese down on top of pie shell

Add ham and onions

Pour egg mixture on top

Bake in oven set at 375 for 35-45 mins.

The top of the Quiche will be lightly browned and the center should not move. If it does, place back in oven and cook in 5 min intervals.

The best Quiche ever and Ohhh, so easy!

Ham and Cheese Quiche

1 pre-made pie shell (I recommend Marie Callender’s in your grocer’s freezer)
6 eggs
1 ½ cups heavy cream
1 cup diced ham (I purchase this in a bag in the meat section)
¼ cup diced onion
1 cup freshly shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375

“Pam” a small pan and sauté onions with ham for appx 5 mins. Pour sauted ham and onions and shredded cheese into premade pie shell. Beat eggs with heavy cream until well blended, add salt and pepper. Pour over top. Bake 35-45 mins until set. (When you take the quiche out of the oven, the middle of the pie should not jiggle)

Walk with the King!

You can follow Janelle on her own blog she just launched last week titled Comfy In The Kitchen! Congratulations Janelle - I am so excited for you! Follow Janelle on Facebook and Twitter.

I am participating in What's Cooking Wednesday, Tempt Your Tummy Tuesday, Dining With Debbie , Balancing Beauty and Bedlam and Tuesdays at the Table recipe exchanges. I am also linked up to Raising Homemakers Weds. link up! For more blogger recipes go to these links.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Give Your Children a Happy Childhood Filled With Tender Moments

J.R. Miller says "The richest heritage that parents can give is a happy childhood, with tender memories of father and mother. This will brighten the coming days when the children have gone out from the sheltering home, and will be a safeguard in times of temptation and a conscious help amid the stern realities of life."
This picture of our family pillow fight may not appear tender - but in our house this is great fun! It's a chance to be silly, laugh, run, and play.

This week's Challenge is:
Keep your candle going, the music playing, and add some tender moments with your family. Have a pillow party in the family room and get out every blanket and pillow in the house and be cozy with the kids or your hubby! Even if you live alone you can do this. Enjoy a cozy evening of hot cider and caramel corn. Give a 5 minute back rub to every single person in your house...and for a double challenge- try to give one every day to each family member! During your tender moment with the family, ask them how they feel about this challenge. Are they enjoying it? Is it helpful? Is there anything they would change. Give your family listening ears.
A wise mother knows how to have fun and how to be tender. She knows the healing touch of her hands. Jesus used his hands to touch and heal many. There is power in the gentle expressions of love through warm embraces, cuddles and back rubs. God made backs with nerve endings that simply enjoy a rub! And you have it in your power to delight your husband and children by simply rubbing their back!

So take the challenge and be intentional about physically reaching out and touching your family this week. No matter how old your children are, they are craving tender affection. Take the time to slow down and fulfill this need.

Mark 10:16 says "And (Jesus) took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them."

Bless your family by learning to live together in peace and tender love.

If you are participating in this challenge leave a comment below with how it's going - if you are a blogger copy this button into your blog post, write about how it's going and link up below!

I have enjoyed reading so many of your stories! I so appreciate you joining me on this journey!!! Persevere!

Walk with the King!

I am linking up here :


What I Learned At The Relevant Conference 2010

It is hard for me to tap on the keyboard this morning. I am sitting in a hotel room and the Relevant Blogging Conference has just come to an end. I am very short on sleep as the company of other bloggers is too good to sleep through! And I'm trying to process all that God is doing in my heart.

I am not sure I am ready to let those emotions flow out through my finger tips quite yet but I do sit here a changed woman...

I have never come to my keyboard with such awe of God. As Ann Voskamp from "A Holy Experience" says, my keyboard is sacred. It is an altar where I come and lay down my life and offer up my blog posts as a sacrifice to God. Women Living Well is my gift to God.

Above is Ann the writer of A Holy Experience and I together.

Then there was Sally Clarkson. She very patiently listened to me as I shared my "blogging" struggles over chicken and pasta. She wisely questioned me in areas that needed challenged. She very lovingly shared her story with me and through her stories I found answers to questions I've carried with me for a very very long time.

She said "Our insecurities make us vulnerable."

"My husband and children are going to be the book that people read."

"Every season gets more full."

"Social media is a fickle boyfriend - he'll love you today and hate you tomorrow."

"Just because it's challenging doesn't mean it's the wrong thing."

"If it's God's will for me to write less, then it's God's will for my readers to read less."

"When women are alone they become a target. With each other, we will maintain our ideals."

"You can't give away what you don't possess in your heart. We must maintain a full heart."

Above is a picture of me with Sally Clarkson and my partner Angela over at Tears come quickly to my eyes when I look at the sweet face of my dear friend Angela of 20 years. I do not deserve such an amazing gift of her friendship. This girl stood in my shadow all weekend long serving me. She was there holding my books, taking my picture with women, lifting me up in prayer, and listening to me chatter on, always with a smile. Her words of assurance calmed me when my nerves were running high before speaking. She was Jesus in the flesh to me and I am humbled that God would bless me with such a gift - she truly lives up to her name - she is an Angel.

And finally, we come to Sarah Mae (pictured above) on-line friend! She was my first blogging friend that I spoke to on the phone. She has popped out of the computer and come to real life and with her amazing vision and compassion for bloggers she (along with Dana and Jessica - who I adore by the way!) created the Relevant Blogging Conference.

This conference was not about increasing traffic to our blogs, or becoming number 1 in our niche - it was about being faithful to come to the keyboard with an offering to God. Ultimately, my calling is not to be a blogger, but to be a servant to God.

And so as I continue to ponder and treasure what God has taught me this week, I say to you my dear reader, I love you so much. Thank you for opening your hearts and your stories to me. It is not always easy to Walk with the King! As one blogger shared, sometimes our walk feels more like a hike! And so as we hike along this journey of life, I pray for you that you would not feel isolated in your love for God, your husband, your children and your home. But that you would find a warm place here where we can sit down together over the sacred keyboard and be filled up. And when our hearts are full we can overflow in obedience to God in our lives.

Walk with the King!


Friday, October 22, 2010


Hi there from The Relevant Conference! I am so enjoying meeting bloggers face to face!!!

So while I continue to mingle, I am being featured over at Raising Homemakers with a youtube titled How To Teach Our Daughters the Value of Homemaking.

Check it out and I will post some photos a little later from the conference!

Walk with the King!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cute Piggy Cookies

Janelle is getting Comfy In the Kitchen again! She says "I found this wonderful recipe in a Taste of Home magazine. I decided to make them for my son’s school picnic and the children loved them! Hearing their giggles was worth every step! Now, I am asked to make these little cuties every year."

(I give my children a cookie, a spoon of frosting, and the toppings on the side and let them have fun making their own.)

Make your dough (as directed) and scoop into Tablespoons onto an un-greased cookie sheet

Bake @ 375 for 10-12 mins or until edges are lightly browned

Cool on racks

Start doing your "prep work" by cutting strawberry wafers into quarters then cutting them horizontally (these will be be the piggy ears)

Slice marshmallow in half

Use the "sticky" side of the marshmallow to place butterscotch chips- I did not poke holes as directed, I simply pushed them in- (This is the piggy snout)

Make your frosting as directed using powdered sugar, butter, milk, vanilla and red food coloring

Mix Well

Frost cooled cookies

Add the snout

then the mini-choc chips (eyes) and the strawberry wafers (ears)


1 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
6 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 to 4 drops red food coloring
Pink sugar wafer cookies
36 large marshmallows, halved
Butterscotch chips and miniature semisweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
For frosting, in a large bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, butter, milk, vanilla and food coloring. Frost cookies.

Cut sugar wafers into triangles; place two on each cookie for ears. With a toothpick, poke two holes in each marshmallow half for nostrils; press butterscotch chips into holes. Place noses on cookies; add chocolate chip eyes. Yield: 6 dozen

Walk with the King!

Follow Janelle on Facebook and Twitter.

I am participating in What's Cooking Wednesday, Tempt Your Tummy Tuesday, Dining With Debbie , Balancing Beauty and Bedlam and Tuesdays at the Table recipe exchanges. I am also linked up to Raising Homemakers Weds. link up! For more blogger recipes go to these links.