Winter Sugar Cookies


This is what I call a sugar cookie… although great for building arm strength, hand mixing sometimes gives you a surprise like this.

2 cups flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 cup sugar
1 stick of unsalted butter
1 large egg
1 T vanilla

In a large bowl cream softened butter and sugar together.  Beat in an egg and vanilla.  Move mixture to side of bowl and on other side add flour, powder, and salt.  Mix the dry together before mixing with wet ingredients.  Slowly mix all ingredients together, adding a bit of flour mixture to wet with each swipe***.  Put dough on wax paper and roll into log.  Cover in plastic wrap, foil, or place in a gallon bag and put in fridge or freezer until use.  When ready to use, cut into disks or let it soften more and roll out to use cookie cutters.  Bake at 325 degrees for 5 minutes.  Dough will not spread or rise in oven, and you do not want them to get too brown.

***This is what I call the hand mix method in one bowl.. because I do not like to use two bowls for dry & wet. It has always worked well for me in any cookie making recipe.  Obviously you don’t have to do it this way!

You can also add things like dried cranberries, chocolate chunks, nuts, white chocolate chips, etc before rolling and placing in the fridge.


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clay pot


I rarely share the thoughts that fuel my life, but after talking to my mom on the phone yesterday, I shared with her this bit of fuel and she encouraged me in it, so I thought I would share.

I read a few months ago an encouraging thought from brothers & sisters in Christ living in North Korea. Their beliefs are in secret, because once caught they will most certainly be sent to a work camp for life and/or then executed. The encouragement was this: many say their freedom is preparation for the camp. While “free”, they can attempt to learn as much as possible of the Bible, they can fellowship, they can read. When they are taken for life in work camps or to be executed, that is the goal. They know it will happen, and they are preparing themselves to glorify God in these camps. It made me think of living in the US, which I did not choose, but it was set for me. This is a life of preparation for us right now. Preparation for what is to come… a time to have children and teach them wisely, a time to memorize scripture all I can, to fellowship with other believers and give continuously of our abundance.. because there will be times I will need this preparation to do what is right, and it may be for me the beginning of the end.

I do not know what is for me tomorrow, or next week, next month, or after my children are old and on their own. But I want to be prepared, deep in my soul I feel the urgency of preparedness for what I do not know but He does.

“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”


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Heartburn Cure



I’m sure this isn’t new but considering this is my third pregnancy and I had yet to hear of this great cure (with many, many nights of heartburn I tell you) I thought I would share.

When you start to feel that uncomfortable moment of heartburn, take a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.  I mix it with a bit of water and try to shoot it down.  It is pretty tangy, yes, but it works fast!

(Apparently the working behind it is that the acid of the vinegar causes your stomach to stop making any more,  and therefore your acid reflux/heartburn stops!)

All I know is that I have been using it when I need to and it has worked every time.  Ah, sweet relief.

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Authority, Respect, & Love For Other Women

When we think on respecting the  authority  of married men, do we think of their wives and how our actions play into our relationship with them?

Here is my question- When we openly attack a married man (many times when he is speaking to our husbands, or other men on a “debatable” topic) are we really harming him with our words, or the  relationship  we have with his wife?

From most of what I personally see, men in general let comments from other women roll off their backs.  It comes and goes and they move on.  But for some women, especially women who have chosen to put themselves under the  authority  of their husband, a rude remark or a rough comment directed to our husbands feels directed to us as well- for we chose to be under  authority  of that man! And if this woman is saying something openly negative or uncomfortably brazen to our husband, what is she saying about us, who submits to him?

This can fit under the overlying idea of a woman’s goal for a “quiet spirit”, one that is not emotionally charged to speak before thinking and to act with grace under fire.  But I am thinking more about choosing an act of respect for other women, by not  attacking  or  belittling their husband publicly.   It can be an act of love towards other women.

Has anyone had experience or conversations about this before?  I am wondering if it is an example that most will say concerns only the most sensitive types of people, and not a general way to show  kindness.



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As Quickly As You Lose Your Cool…

As quickly as you can lose your cool, you can gain it back.

Tonight my three-year old gave me a run for my money.  She is going through a new stage (don’t those become so obvious?) and she is testing, testing, testing.  And it seems as most of the time correction is forgotten ten seconds later.  But enough about her, this is really about me…

I was nursing Baby A before bed.  I had actually already put Little W in bed and she was supposed to be drifting off to sleep.  I heard the door open once and she walked into the living room where I was sitting on the couch.  I told her she needed to go back to sleep and she disappeared around the corner.  Things got quiet so I assumed that she was asleep.  Well, no. After putting Baby A in her bed I saw that not only was little W not in her bed, but she was in our room because the door was closed and the light was on.  Just as I was going to leave to retrieve Little W she comes running into the bedroom and jumps into her bed.  I talk to her about listening and tell her to stay put. As I hug  her goodnight I get a good whiff of something disgusting. Cat Litter.  I smell one of her hands. Yep.  I grab Little W and carry her to the bathroom, holding her over the sink to wash her hands, all the while trying to keep my cool while explaining again why we do not play in the litter box in our bathroom.  I get her in bed, all cleaned up, and then head to our room (door still closed) to see what had been done.  The sight pulled me straight down into the deep  abyss  known as mother fury.  All the litter. Everywhere. On a pile of dirty clothes. On the carpet. On the bathroom floor. In the closet. On the computer chair. Everywhere. Everywhere.  There was steam coming from my head, I know it.  I ran to get the vacuum and started doing whatever I could to get the mess under control.  Around the time I was on my hands and knees  vacuuming  piles of smelly litter from the corners of my bathroom cubby-hole I started getting those dreaded thoughts straight from darkness. You know, the ones that tell you to text your husband at work to tell him that you are losing your mind.  The ones that say, “I need a break.” -“I need a yoga class.”- “I need to be able to take a yoga class.”- “My husband should be able to watch the kids while I get away and get some time alone to freshen up.”- “My husband sleeps in.”- “I need to sleep in!” And then, already on my hands and knees, I stop myself from the lies. AH! “Lord, help me! I am weak and I can not go another second alone. You know what I need. Do it!” And just as quickly as I lose my cool, I gain it back.  I sit back, fully trusting in the replenishment of my soul, and finish cleaning the mess my child made.  I ask for guidance on correction, and the answer comes quickly.

I finish the job and wash my hands.  I can still see bits of littler stuck under the wood cracks in the cubby hole. Who knows how I will get those out, but I make it to my girl’s room and sit on her bed.  I tell her that we are going to do something different.  That what she did was wrong, and that she knew it.  But I cleaned it up for her, and that I am sorry for being mad at her.  But tomorrow is a new day and we are going to try some new tactics on listening, and obeying, and being patient.  She hugs me hard and I tell her goodnight.

Back into the study I go to check my email for the night.  A few minutes later I hear her little feet come to the door, the cat in her arms.  “The cat was in my bed!” She says with a little laugh.  She is our jokester, everything is funny to her.  She looks around and pieces together what she wants to say.  “Oh MOMMY! The kitty poo on the floor, you cleaned it? Good job, mommy!” She throws her hands down to show emphasis, “Good job!”

I walk her back to bed, kiss her goodnight and shut the door tight to make sure the kitty doesn’t find its way in there again. Okay. Tomorrow.

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“The World Is Too Much With Us”



We Christians must simplify our lives or lose untold treasure on earth and in eternity.  Modern civilization is so complex as to make the devotional life all but impossible.  It wears us out by multiplying distractions and beats us down by destroying our solitude, where otherwise we might drink and renew our  strength  before going out to face the world again. -A.W. Tozer



The title of this post is the chapter I am currently on in “Becoming A Woman of Simplicity” by Cynthia Heald.  It is quite encouraging.  


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House Planting

Even though my windows are open here in warm and sunny Northern Indiana, I have started stocking up on house plants.  Although I have known of the  benefits  to house plants for quite some time, caring for them has always left me a bit clueless.  I have many dead plants in my past! But this year along with a new interest in succulents, I opened up my air filtering plant list and decided to get a jump-start on detoxifying the air in our place.  Right now most stores are selling many potted plants along with their garden and outdoor  varieties, so I am taking full advantage of stocking up for the winter months when we have the heat on and the windows closed.

NASA’s list of air filtering plants

I am building slowly.  We have some ivy, aloe vera, snake plant, and ferns.  The snake plant stays in the girl’s room and has done well with less light than in the living room.  Hopefully soon I can add another ivy or a peace lily to their space.  I am thinking tall wall shelving with various small plants in cute little pots. We’ll see!


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