Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Sunday Hymn ~ The Haven of Rest

My soul in sad exile was out on life’s sea,
So burdened with sin and distressed,
Till I heard a sweet voice, saying, “Make Me your choice”;

And I entered the “Haven of Rest”!

I’ve anchored my soul in the “Haven of Rest,”

I’ll sail the wide seas no more;

The tempest may sweep over wild, stormy, deep,

In Jesus I’m safe evermore.

I yielded myself to His tender embrace,
In faith taking hold of the Word,

My fetters fell off, and I anchored my soul;

The “Haven of Rest” is my Lord.

I’ve anchored my soul in the “Haven of Rest,”

I’ll sail the wide seas no more;

The tempest may sweep over wild, stormy, deep,

In Jesus I’m safe evermore.

The song of my soul, since the Lord made me whole,

Has been the old story so blest,

Of Jesus, who’ll save whosoever will have

A home in the “Haven of Rest.”

I’ve anchored my soul in the “Haven of Rest,”

I’ll sail the wide seas no more;

The tempest may sweep over wild, stormy, deep,

In Jesus I’m safe evermore.

Oh, come to the Savior, He patiently waits
To save by His power divine;
Come, anchor your soul in the “Haven of Rest,”

And say, “My Beloved is mine.”

I’ve anchored my soul in the “Haven of Rest,”

I’ll sail the wide seas no more;

The tempest may sweep over wild, stormy, deep,

In Jesus I’m safe evermore.

Written by Henry L. Gilmour; published 1890

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will given you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30.)

"For we who have believed enter that rest . . . " (Hebrews 4:3.)

"More than the sounds of many waters, than the mighty breakers of the sea, the LORD on high is mighty." (Psalm 93:4.)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Baby Shower

Towards the end of May, the dear ladies in our home church hosted a lovely baby shower for Ryan and Ashley. What a special and fun time it was! Surrounded by loving friends and family there were smiles, hugs, much laughter, and the simple pleasure of being in one another's company and rejoicing together for this new little life that the Lord has given.

The afternoon of the shower, Mama, Leah and I went over a little early to see how
everything was decorated and to help finish up a few last minute details. This is what greeted us . . .

One of the tables . . . isn't it lovely? Since it wasn't for certain whether baby was a boy or a girl, the colors were both blue, pink and neutrals

We all loved this . . . photos from Ryan and Ashley's wedding accompanied by beautiful, and timely, Scripture verses.

"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not turn from it." (Proverbs 22:6)

"For You created my inmost being, You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in Your book
before one of them came to be." (Psalm 139:13-16)

(many others were shared as well)

Lots of presents for the new parents and baby!

One of the ladies and one of the ladies' daughters putting together some of the treats

Leah capturing some of the happenings on Mom's camera

Finishing up with last minute things and . . . waiting

Before long, the other guests arrived as well as Ryan and Ashley and the other men in our home church (the men stayed for the first game of the shower, and then headed to Home Depot together to help Ryan get some construction supplies he needed.)

The very happy soon-to-be parents

After photos of them both, a fun game was played - Ryan against Ashley . . . who can dress the baby doll the fastest . . . blindfolded! Leah and I tied the blindfolds on and the fun began (and believe me, it was hilarious not only watching, but listening to those two!) . . .

The diaper goes on first!

Watching the race . . . who will win . . . Ryan or Ashley?

They stayed very close at the beginning, but then Ashley pulled away when it came time to put the sleeper on and finished with flying colors!

Me taking photos and capturing memories

One of the games we ladies played . . . finding something that has to do with baby that begins with each letter of the alphabet . . . which is more difficult to do than what at first appears. Especially when you have only a minute in which to do it!

Dear Phyllis with part of another game . . . in which we all tested our memory skills! After a quick look in the little wash tub, we were to write down as many things that we could remember seeing.

A game for the girls . . . with your eyes closed, how many safety pins can you find in the bowl of rice?

After a few more games, then came the opening of the gifts. The littlest girls loved this part . . . bringing the gifts over to Ashley, watching with excitement as she opened them, and yes, helping just a bit on some of the unwrapping. :) It was so cute watching them! Meanwhile, Leah was the 'secretary' writing down what came from who . . .

Looking at an afghan that Leah crocheted for baby

One of the little girls really helped on this gift and was showing Ashley some of the treasures in the box! And these were adorable little towels and washcloths that Mama made.

Opening another gift from a friend

The gift opening was so fun and especially seeing all of the adorable, useful, and thoughtful gifts that were given. After gifts it was time for refreshments and visiting which was so nice . . .

Lori serving up the punch

Ashley and Leah (and baby, too :)

The littlest girls cleaning up and throwing away all of the wrapping paper

One aspect of the shower that was really nice and that was so special was the passing on of wisdom from those who are parents (and grandparents) to the new parents. Many cards were written on and then they were compiled into a book.

Mama writing on one of the cards

At the very end of the shower, after the men came back, Ashley read each of the cards aloud . . .

Much wisdom and good advice was shared with the new parents . . . with the focus being upon encouragement regarding teaching and training this little one for the Lord.

Looking back, it makes this shower all the more special now after meeting precious Adelyn. She came into the world loved, treasured and prayed for by her parents, her family, and so many others. God has been so good, and my heart fills with joy whenever I think of His great blessing of giving little Adelyn!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Stretching a Chicken

This is another post that I have had in drafts for awhile, and I'm just now getting around to finishing it up and posting it!

When planning meals and doing the grocery shopping, we try to be frugal in various ways. And one way that I have found kind of fun, is seeing how many meals I can get out of a chicken. Every once in awhile, a grocery store here will have a really good sale on whole chickens so we will stock up on them and put them in the freezer. Then when we have chicken dishes on the menu, I'll pull out two, thaw them and bake them in the oven together which saves on time and energy as it doesn't take much longer at all to do two instead of one.

Once they're finished baking, they come out of the oven and are 'picked' . . . the last time that I did this, Mom and I picked the meat off of the bones together and turned it into an enjoyable time of visiting. And many hands make short work!

After the meat was all picked off and shredded, it was divided up into bags, and then some was set aside for dinner that night which was this (and the recipe is at the end of this post) . . .

The other three bags of meat were put in the freezer to be used later in casseroles and for chicken salad sandwiches . . . so two chickens turned into four meals! (Plus quite a few meals of leftovers, too.)

They were stretched even further than that, though, as the baked carcasses went out to the chickens, and the broth was strained and put into the freezer to be used in later meals . . .

Do you all have any other ideas of how to make meat stretch further? If so, I would love to hear!

And here is the recipe for the above casserole . . . hope you enjoy!

Chicken Wild Rice Casserole
-1 cup wild rice (different types of rice can work as well - we've used a wild rice mix and next time, I plan to try regular brown rice.) -1/2 cup margarine or butter
-1/4 cup flour

-2 Tbsp. diced onion

-One 8-oz. can sliced mushrooms

-2 to 3 cups cooked diced chicken

-2 cups half and half or milk

-2 Tbsp. parsley

-2 cups chicken broth

-1/2 cup sliced almonds
(we generally use less)

Cook rice in 2 to 3 cups of water for 40-45 minutes or until tender. Melt butter in saucepan and add flour, stirring constantly. Add milk, slowly, whisking to achieve a smooth sauce. Add broth, onion, parsley, rice, chicken and mushrooms. Stir well. Pour into casserole and top with almonds. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Sunday Hymn ~ Be Thou My Vision

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art;
Thou my best thought, by day or by night
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, and I Thy true son
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise
Thou mine inheritance, now and always;
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart
High King of heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven's joys, O bright heav'ns Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Words: ancient Irish hymn; translated by Mary E Byrne, versified by Eleanor H. Hull

"Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth." (Psalm 73:25.)

"Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above and not on the the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory" (Colossians 3:1-4.)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

5:38 PM . . .

. . . .two homemade pizzas are rising on the counter . . .

and it is just about time for them to go into the oven now. Anyone hungry? :)

If you would like the recipe it can be found here. Enjoy!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Photos of Sweet Adelyn

Has it really already been over a week since Adelyn entered the world? How this past week has flown by! And it included in it many much enjoyed visits out to Ryan and Ashley's place to see Adelyn (and of course, Ryan and Ashley, too!) And this very happy aunt utilized her camera to quite an extent, as did my Mom with her camera, so I hope you enjoy some of the photos that were taken during our visits . . .

~ Adelyn Blythe ~
Five days old
Words fail me . . . she is just too precious!!

The other day when Mom was holding her, Adelyn's facial expressions were changing so much, and how I enjoyed capturing them on my camera! There are a few more photos in this post that were taken during that time as well . . . I picked out my favorites, but they were all so cute!

Sleeping soundly . . . I could just sit and look at her for forever

Ryan, Ashley and Adelyn the day after they came home from the hospital. I love watching them be parents! And listening to them . . . about how much they love just sitting and watching Adelyn, giving her baths, snuggling with her . . . how beautiful it is to see how their lives have changed, how their family has grown!
(And just a little note, I do not have many photos in this post of them with Adelyn, as they are always so kind to let us hold her when we come.:)

Leah and sleeping Adelyn

Her beautiful little fingers wrapped around mine

I wonder what she was thinking about . . . it looks like she is smiling!

Mom holding 8 day old Adelyn . . . her eyes were open almost the whole time we were there today, and she was so alert and watchful. She was content to lay in Mom's arms for the longest time and just look into her face. And it made me smile listening to my Mom talk to her . . . she's going to make an amazing Grandma. But then, I already knew that as she was/is an amazing Mom!

Me loving holding Adelyn again

Leah and Adelyn . . . Adelyn was looking right into Leah's face for the longest time here as well . . . and then her eyes started to droop, Leah kept rocking, and before long, Adelyn was in a sweet sleep.

Dad's turn! And just as Mom is an amazing Grandma, Dad is just as wonderful as a Grandpa. I love watching him with Adelyn!

Daddy and daughter . . . it's amazing, and so special, to think of my brother as a daddy!

The happy parents and Adelyn . . . we were saying our goodbyes here until next time!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Joyously Announcing . . .

It is with great joy and thanksgiving that I am able to now share with you all the wonderfully, exciting news that Ryan and Ashley's little family has grown! After a healthy pregnancy over these past nine months, little Adelyn Blythe entered the world July 13th with a head of dark hair, beautiful blue eyes, and the sweetest little personality . . .

Adelyn Blythe
Weight: 9lbs 2 oz

It was a very long and hard labor, but thankfully, Adelyn came into the world safely, and both Mommy and baby did very well through the whole experience. How thankful we are for the Lord's hand of protection over both Ashley and little Adelyn!

Their first family photo taken the day of Adelyn's birth

The morning of Adelyn's birth, Daddy, Mama, Leah and I drove to the hospital and eagerly made our way to their room . . . I can remember each moment of that memorable day (and the days prior as we waited and prayed!) . . . walking in and seeing Ryan and Ashley with little Adelyn nestled comfortably in Ashley's arms. The smiles on their faces, the great joy in their eyes.

'Grandma' was the first one of us to hold her and after just a bit of fussing, her first grandbaby settled down contentedly in her arms . . .

Mama holding her first grandchild

Adelyn was passed around with each one of us enjoying holding her for great lengths of time. She is such a contented little baby who loves to be held!

Leah meeting her little niece for the first time

I cannot even begin to describe to you the emotions of this day . . . thanksgiving was definitely the predominate one . . . joy, wonder, awe, and much more. Words cannot adequately express it!
Opening her eyes while Leah was holding her . . . so precious!

Daddy holding his granddaughter for the first time

Me meeting my niece

As I held this precious little bundle in my arms for the first time, this special gift from the Lord, what wonder and what love swept over me as I looked into her sweet little face. As I saw her tiny fingernails, her beautiful blue eyes, her adorable little mouth, her attempt to suck her fingers . . . what a precious, precious gift . . . to think that Ryan and Ashley are this little ones' parents . . .

The happy little family

The new Mommy and her baby daughter

The proud and happy Daddy

That Dad and Mom are her grandparents . . .

So happy!

That Leah and I are her aunts . . .

Leah holding one day old Adelyn . . . isn't the bow in her hair cute! One of the nurses put it there.

And me treasuring this moment of rocking little Adelyn

And many miles away there are grandparents, uncles and an aunt who love her dearly as well.

What a wonderful, precious time this is!

Ryan holding Adelyn

Aren't baby things so cute?!

We all couldn't stop looking at and enjoying this adorable addition to the family, and it was so wonderful to see Ryan and Ashley with their firstborn child, a precious baby girl. God has been so good . . . He has blessed abundantly and how thankful we all are for this new little life, Adelyn Blythe.

"For you formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well" (Psalm 139:13-14.)

"Behold, children are a gift from the LORD," (Psalm 127:3.)

*And just a little note for those of you who may be wondering . . . Ryan and Ashley had desired that this wonderful news wait to be shared until Baby came into the world. So I held all of the excitement in over these months and am so excited to be able to share this with you now!

*And one more little note . . . this is one reason why I have been a little absent from the blog world lately! :)