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Women Living Well Blog: December 2010

Women Living Well Blog

Thursday, December 30, 2010

My Top 10 Favorite Blogs of 2010

These are going to be in no particular order! I love them all!

So here's my top 10 favorite Blogs of 2010

1. A Holy Experience - If you have not visited Ann yet - she is a must read. Her blog is peaceful yet heart gripping - she will cause you to worship every time you visit!

2. A Stay At Home Missionary - Joy challenges me! She is just like me - a wife, homeschooling mom, and a joyful homemaker who blogs...but in an instant you will find that her circumstances are nothing like mine. She lives in Indonesia with her missionary pilot husband and 5 children and the joy she exudes in her circumstances humble me! I want to be like her when I grow up!

3. A Moment With Mom - okay I want to be like Jeanette when I grow up too! lol!!! She has 10 children - and on Facebook she is the most cheerful voice of all my friends. This lady wakes with the roosters to her 16 acre farm and 10 children and joy just overflows. Her sunshiny spirit and uplifting emails have taught me so much about being a joyful homemaker.

4. Like a Warm Cup of Coffee - Sarah Mae was my first on-line friend that I talked to on the phone and then met in real life!!! She has turned into a real life friend who I care deeply about. Her transparency and vulnerability about her daily spiritual journey has challenged me. She is also the founder of The Relevant Conference and this girl (along with Muthering Heights and Mrs. Money Saver ) put on an amazing conference! God has given this girl many sharp skills - she simply wows me!

5. I Take Joy - Sally Clarkson was an author I discovered long before blogging. When I found her blog I was thrilled to be able to interact with her. The first time an email arrived in my inbox from her, I literally squealed out loud (just like I did when I met her in person - sorry Sally - you have that effect - I noticed other women did the same thing lol!)! She has taken the time to listen to some of my blogging struggles and has advised me. She has both challenged and encouraged me and I know that her blog will do the same for you. I am headed to her conference in Texas in February. I'll be sure to tell you all about it after!

6. Time Warp Wife - Darlene is my new friend this year. Darlene and I have so many things in common it's almost eerie!!! First, her original blog she wrote many years ago was titled Living Well...ya good title right? lol!!! Then when she returned to blogging this past year, she titled her blog Time Warp Wife...ya, the same name Rachael Ray gave our segment! So we have a few things in common! You will hear more from Darlene next week when I share with you all about her book that just hit the book stands titled Reshaping It All (co-written with Candace Cameron Bure - formerly known as DJ Tanner and sister to Kirk Cameron). In real life, this girl is hilarious - I laugh out loud at my computer when I read her emails! I love seeing her name in my inbox!

7. Grace is For Sinners - Serena was a new friend this year too that I had the privilege of meeting at the Relevant Blogging Conference. Her story of her journey to discovering true grace has opened my eyes. After reading her book and blog I will never be the same! It has changed me. And in real life - this girl is so deep and I am so blond...that she has to repeat herself so I can understand her! lol! She's gifted.

8. Ein bisschen Haushalt - This blog title is hard to pronounce isn't it!? Katja is from Germany and she has been translating some of my posts into German. I have to use google translator when I read her blog. I just consider it an honor to have my blog being translated by this new friend! If you speak German - she's a must visit!

9. Comfy In The Kitchen - I think you all know that I love Janelle -not only is she a dear friend AND one of my Good Morning Girls but she has also taught me a lot in the kitchen!

10. We Are That Family - I met Kristen at the Relevant Conference and I could have listened to her talk for days. She's fascinating! My favorite thing about Kristen is her website for Mercy House. She takes all her income from her blog and donates it to her charity Mercy House. That is remarkable and that is worth putting her in the top ten!

Honorable Mention - Money Saving Mom. Crystal is a woman who is not only savvy with her finances but she is faith filled. I admire her integrity.

Those are my favorites - would you share with me? What were some of your favorite blogs to visit in 2010?

Walk with the King!


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Our New Years Eve Traditions (A Recipe and a Meaningful Moment)

(pictured above - cabbage roll, sauerkraut, creamed corn, mashed potatoes, homemade crescent roll)

In my 35 years of life, I have never celebrated New Year's Eve without sauerkraut and cabbage rolls! Since I was born, my extended Hungarian family has gathered on New Years Eve and eaten what we call "Pigs In the Blanket". About 8 years ago, I inherited the holiday as mine. So it's been my task to make cabbage rolls for the entire extended family.

Last year my sisters came to help me make them and I went to snap a photo of them hard at work - and accidentally it was set to take a video. So I am posting this video without their permission (please forgive me lol! - I love you guys!) As you can see, they really didn't want to be video taped and my voice is way too loud (warning turn your volume down!)- it's not the best video - but you get the gist. This video was taken in my old home, in my old kitchen.

I am so blessed to have wonderful sisters - We do have fun together!!!

Pigs In The Blanket recipe:
1 pound hamburg
1/2 onion cut fine
1 cup rice
salt and pepper
dash of sugar
1 tablespoon of water
1 head of cabbage
1 Jar of sauerkraut 32oz.

Mix all of the above ingredients except the cabbage and sauerkraut in a bowl.

Put a pan of water on to boil. Cut and core the cabbage. Place the cabbage in the boiling water, core face down, and let the leaves come off one at a time.

Take a large pot and put a layer of sauerkraut along the bottom. Then roll a small amount of filling in a leaf. Make a layer of cabbage rolls and then layer it with sauerkraut and then a second layer of cabbage rolls. And top it with sauerkraut.

Fill the pan with water - sprinkle the top with pepper and let it come to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer until the rice is done and the meat is cooked through (around 3 hours). Enjoy!
When I make my pigs I triple this recipe and get around 26 cabbage rolls.

Another tradition is to make a Time Capsule. I take a Quaker Oats canister and turn it into a capsule!

From the youngest to the oldest, every single person in attendance at our party puts something into the Time Capsule to remind them of the past year. Some of the things that have gone into the Time Capsule over the years are ultra-sound baby photos, business cards to new jobs, vacation photos, school papers, Binky's, match box cars, sports memorabilia, and much more! And I must admit, I have NEVER made it through the passing of the capsule without crying!!! It always touches me deeply to see how much God does in just one year in all of our lives!

Here's my mom putting into the capsule her wedding invitation - as they celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary that year.
My sister put a page of her calendar into the capsule so one day she can remember a "day in the life of...". All her boy's sports schedules and activities are there to remember.My father put a picture of a car he sold that year that paid for a huge extended family vacation to Colorado. What a great dad I have to sacrifice his car so we all could make memories that will last forever!

Then we watch the ball drop and kiss into the New Year. We each kiss every single person there - so that takes a while to make the rounds! Then we pour sparkling grape juice - someone makes a toast and we drink to it! Oh it is truly a blessed night to go into the new year with my favorite people on earth!
So that's what we do here in our home! What are your New Years Eve traditions?

Walk with the King!

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 and Works For Me Wednesday! For more blogger recipes go to these links.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

My Theme Word For 2011

Snap! Christmas was over in a snap this year! I truly can't believe how fast the hours on December 25th went! All the days of planning, purchasing, decorating, baking and wrapping can fill us with expectations that this world can never fulfill. Don't get me wrong - we had a wonderful Christmas! But if your Christmas was less than dreamy, it serves as a reminder that all this world offers is empty. We must not always be chasing the next rainbow, the next high, the next good thing, rather than chasing our Savior. Nothing this world offers can satisfy our souls like knowing and walking with the King!

So as the Christmas lights fade, I stare at the aftermath and can't believe it's already over. In less than a week the tree will be down, the cookies will be crumbs and we will enter 2011.

Did you catch that? Brace yourselves, we are about to enter 2011! And so I'd like to assist you in evaluating your past year and choosing a theme word for 2011.

The final challenge of the December Peace Challenge is this: Find a minute this week to get alone...outside is best. There is something about the big open sky, the trees, and the sounds of nature that help us to see and hear God clearly. Take your Bible with you - visit Matthew 27 and 28, evaluate 2010 and commit 2011 to living your life completely for God.

Here's some evaluation questions to assist you in your time alone.

1. Evaluate Your Walk with God in 2010 - Were you daily in God's word and in prayer? How can you improve your walk with God in 2011?

Suggestion: Ponder your schedule and then write down a set time for a quiet time each day. Mine is 6:30am every morning. Consider starting or joining a Good Morning Girls group in the new year. I email my girls every morning Monday through Friday. Enrollment for the new 3 month session begins January 1st!

2. Your Marriage - What is one word you'd use to describe your marriage in 2010? Easy, frustrating, growing, romantic, hard, strong, amazing. What is one thing you know your husband wishes you'd change in your life?

Suggestion: Write down the steps you can take to change that area in your life. ie. being more organized, cooking healthier, being more flexible, being more respectful, kissing him like you mean it more often...

3. Your Children - What was a high point and a low point for each of your children in 2010? What is one thing that each of your children need from you in 2011?

Suggestion: Write down the steps you can take toward giving your children what they need. ie. manners training, reading to them more, one on one time, my undivided attention, memorizing God's word together...

4. Health - What healthy habits did I maintain in 2010? What unhealthy habits did I create in 2010 that I need to change going into 2011?

Suggestion: Write down some goals for 2011 in this area. Write out a plan for how you will reach them. Janelle and I will be talking about this area in the new year, so stay tuned here and if you want some inspiration to get you started - here's what my fitness notebook looks like.

5. Ministry - What ways did I use my talents for God in 2010? Pray about what God would have you do in 2011.

Suggestion: Surrender your life to God. Be willing to be used for his purposes - remember that each season of life brings different priorities and opportunities. Pray over this.

Choosing a Theme Word:
Pause and look over your evaluation. Now choose a theme word for the new year. Last year my theme word was connecting. I wanted to remain connected to God, while remaining intimately connected to my husband, connected with my children and connect on-line with all of you. It certainly was a year of connecting in 2010!

For 2011, my theme word is...drum roll please...
I want to simplify many areas of my life, so I have more space to pray, laugh, tickle, write, listen, create, rest, hug, read, connect, and love more deeply than I've ever loved. In my fall and December pursuit for peace in my home and in my heart, I have found that there are some things in my life that need to be simplified in order to create space for peace - so essentially - I'm pursuing peace through simplifying.
You will see some of this theme popping up in the new year on this blog, as it is on my heart and mind. So what is your theme word for 2011?

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!

Walk with the King!

I am linking up to: Motivation Monday, Hip Homeschool Hop, Finer Things Friday, Raising Homemakers, Making My H0me Sing Monday , Holiday Haven and Works For Me Wednesday. Please check out these blogs for more great homemaking ideas.

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

My Christmas Photos

I pondered whether to post this picture from Christmas Eve or not...but this is me kissing Keith like I mean it - cause ladies you know that's first on most men's Christmas lists!!! So if you haven't yet - do it! (My son took this photo - I think it's GREAT for your children to see you loving your husband. One of the best gifts you can give your children is to love their father.) This is Christmas morning at 7:30am. The children woke sooner but we held them off till the sun was slightly up!!!!

I love seeing that dimple shine!

But it's this face that I really love to see when they open their presents! lol!

Then we went to my sister's house where after the reading of the Christmas story, her children blessed us with some worship music.

Lexi really enjoyed playing with her cousins!

The boys got matching vests from my parents! On the left is my sister Jen's husband, on the right is my sister Kristen's husband and in the center is my hottie!

Here's all the women in my family. From left to right it's my oldest sister Kristen, my mom, my mom's mom, me and my middle sister Jen (I'm the youngest of my sisters).

And here's all the cousins. My oldest sister has 3 boys, my middle sister has a son and daughter and Lexi is in the center with Alex to the left of her.

From my family to yours - Merry Christmas!!!

Keep Walking with the King!


Happy Birthday Jesus!

Philippians 2:9-11

"Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Have you bowed your knee? If you haven't or refuse day you will...but then it will be too late.

Are you 100% sure you are going to heaven?

The Bible says in I John 5:12 "He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life."

If you repent and turn away from your sin and place all your faith in Jesus' blood shed on the cross and believe that he rose from the dead - proving that indeed he is God - you will be saved.

Bow your knee to God now - do not resist...because if you do resist... one day in eternity you will bow - but it will be too late.

Dear sisters in Christ, who are already friends with Jesus (if you wonder if you are a friend of Jesus let me define it for you - Jesus says in John 15:14 "You are my friends if you do what I command"), Let me spur you on to live your faith out radically, so all will see that you walk with the King! Don't be afraid to say the name "Jesus" to those who do not know him. There is great power in his name and he is so this video below...remember what baby Jesus has done for you on the cross. And together - let's push each other to obey his word.

Happy Birthday Jesus! Thanks for being the best friend a girl could ever dream of - I can't believe I have the honor of walking with you - the King of Kings - every single day of my life! I can't wait to see you face to face! I love you!

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Friday, December 24, 2010

A Modern Version of the Christmas Story

Both of these videos have been popping up everywhere lately because they are so well done. They tell a modern version of the Christmas Story. Enjoy!

Walk with the King!


Thursday, December 23, 2010

They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love

(This is a repost from the archives)
I came across this Christmas poem about I Corinthians 13 - the Love Passage. For me, the week of Christmas can be the busiest week of my entire year. And though I am trying to make it special and meaningful for the family, I often feel like a failure when my patience is short or things don't go as I envisioned. This poem reminds me of what really matters and what really lasts...Love.

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen,baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime: but do not show love to my family, I'm just another cook.

If I work at a soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity; but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angelsand crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.

Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the spouse.

Love is kind, though harried and tired.

Love does not envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

Love does not yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way.

Love does not give only to those who are able to give in return; but rejoices in giving to those who cannot.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.

Love never fails.

Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust; but giving the gift of love will endure.
---Sharon Jaynes, Celebrating a Christ Centered Christmas

Take some time to meditate on I Corinthians 13 today. If we all would simply apply this passage of scripture - our homes would be a happier place and we would shine like bright stars in a dark world. "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:35

Walk with the King!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Breakfast Ideas and an Easy Sausage Gravy Over Biscuits

Janelle from Comfy in the Kitchen is guest posting today and this is her dining room table ready for Christmas morning!

Janelle says "On Christmas morning, I am the first one awake ( a big kid at heart). I start out by making cinnamon rolls, biscuits and sausage gravy, brewing coffee, and setting water and orange juice out on the table. Once my cinnamon rolls are baking in the oven, I can hear my son upstairs waking up the girls exclaiming that he has peeked down at the Christmas tree and there are presents to open!

I hurry to place the sausage gravy in the crock pot on warm and place the biscuits in a ceramic bread basket in the microwave (so I can press the 1 to warm them up when we are ready!) My parents and in-laws should be here any second and my part of breakfast is all ready to I can relax and soak up this wonderful time of my motherhood ...(.I mean my children's childhood ha, ha).

We exchange presents, pray and praise, and enjoy breakfast with one brings her egg casserole and my mother-in-law brings the breakfast is the most special morning of the year for so many reasons, the biggest reason being THE ultimate gift...Jesus Christ."

Biscuits, sausage, milk, flour, salt and pepper

Brown sausage on med-high heat, when it is cooked through add flour and turn heat down to low
The flour makes a paste on top of the sausage

Add milk and turn up heat to med-high again

Add salt and pepper and stir constantly until it thickens

Biscuits are ready!

Here you have it! MMMmmmm

Sausage Gravy over Biscuits
1 lb Bob Evan's Sausage (bulk roll)
1 (8 count) container of Grand's Buttermilk Biscuits
1/3 cup flour
3 cups milk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

*Bake biscuits according to package instructions- while they are in the oven do the following:

1. Cook sausage in a skillet on med-high heat and crumble into small pieces with a spatula.
2. When sausage is cooked through, turn down heat to low- add flour and stir to make a paste on sausage
3. Add milk, salt and pepper and stir.
4. Turn heat back to med-high while stirring constantly while it thickens
(about 5 mins)

P.S. Because I use "skim milk"..this recipe has no effect on my waistline (LOL)

I pray that the Lord will fill your cup and you are able to share His love with those around you during this very special time of year...Merry Christmas! ~Janelle

Other Women Living Well Breakfast Recipes Ideas (click on the title links to see the recipe):

Janelle's Easy Egg and Ham Quiche

Courtney's Egg Casserole

Chef Mickey's Breakfast Pizza

Courtney's Homemade Waffles

Walk with the King!

You can follow Janelle on her own blog Comfy In The Kitchen! 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 and Works For Me Wednesday! For more blogger recipes go to these links.handmade projects

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