Time is Ticking

•November 30, 2009 • 3 Comments

The days are speeding by faster and faster. Moving day is this Saturday. My mind is having a hard time grasping the fact that it is less than 5 days away now. I ran my “final” errands today, and every day this week is filled with some sort of activity with friends who would like to spend some time with me before I leave for a time. Any spare moments will be spent on packing and tying up loose ends around the house.

I am grateful for the sweet encouragement and support I’ve received from my family and friends as I face this new opportunity. I’d appreciate your prayers for the Brabos and myself as we adjust to a new routine, and as we figure out how best to work and live with each other; that it will be a smooth, joyous transition for all of us.


Moving: A New Season

•November 23, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Wow. I hardly know where to begin. So much in life is changing right now, and I only have a few minutes at present to tell you a bit about it.

For those that don’t already know, and for those that have been asking, I’m making a move to Missouri for a time.

Back in May (?), a friend on the west coast randomly mentioned a family there that could use a live-in big sister, and wondered if I’d be interested. While I felt it was a bit far away, the idea of living in a family setting again really intrigued me. My brother, Bryan, is frequently on the road hauling cattle all across the country. My sister, Tina, lives in IA. My younger brother, Shannon, moved to CO in Feb. (and later married Alice in Aug.). My dad made a job change (in Mar.) that takes him away during the week. I’ve really felt the void of having family about me all the time to minister to (though I enjoy the nights when Bryan can join me for supper). Over this past year, while I’ve really enjoyed my travels (taking me all over the country) and being available to minister to friends on a short-term basis, my body is craving staying in one place for longer periods of time.

After hearing about the live-in big sister situation, I began to pray for several things. 1) The Lord would open up the door for an opportunity to live with a family for a time, to continue to pour my life into others and pass on the gifts which the Lord has given me through my precious mother. 2) It would be within a 6 hour radius (or so) of home. 3) I knew I didn’t want to move somewhere just for the sake of moving. I desired that there would be a strong, supportive Christian church nearby as well (and there is one there. I’m already friends with the Brabo’s pastor’s family).

It was only a few weeks later that I first heard through friends (we share quite a few mutual friends) about the Brabo family looking for a young lady to help out around their farm. Due to busyness on my end, it wasn’t until recently that I began to explore the possibility of helping them. They were still interested, and my interest was growing as well. My dad had casually met Mr. Brabo in the past. I’d seen the family in passing numerous times, but I never actually met them myself. A couple of weeks ago, my dad and I went to have dinner at their home so I could met them, and hear more about what they were looking for. I enjoyed their company from the start, and I could see we had the potential to work very well together. I began to get excited at the prospect of living with/helping them for a time.

The Brabos own and operate an organic farm. My responsibilities will be focused mostly on household matters. I’ll be tutoring their almost 15-year-old daughter in homemaking things; helping with cooking, cleaning, organizing, etc.; helping them get settled (they moved to their farm only recently), to name a few. I’ll also be learning a lot myself: business ventures I could do as a wife and mother (someday), learning more about health and nutrition (which has always intrigued me, but I haven’t had much time to devote to it of late), among other things. Mrs. Brabo is deaf, so I’ll have an opportunity to learn sign language. I’ll also reap the blessings that come from living in a family setting. Plus, my dad works only 30 minutes away from where I’ll be. I’ll actually get to see him more this way! 😀 It is a amazing to see God’s hand at work, and how He answers prayers.

My estimated moving date is December 5th. I’m not sure how long I’ll be there, but I’m greatly anticipating having the opportunity to help for however long I’m needed/wanted.

Have a very blessed Thanksgiving in celebrating and remembering the blessings the Lord has bestowed upon us all.

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

•October 3, 2009 • 1 Comment

We had a cool, wet summer here in the midwest, and, to my delight, my zucchini is still producing. Normally, the summer heat kills the plant by the time August rolls around. I’m loving being able to take advantage of the longer growing season this year.

This summer I discovered a new recipe that quickly went to my favorites list. Don’t let the fact that it contains zucchini scare you away. What a number of people don’t realize is that zucchini takes on the flavor of whatever is put with it. Often, when it is added to a baked good, you wouldn’t even know it was there unless someone told you. That’s the case with these cupcakes. I’ve successfully fed them to my dad and Bry without them figuring it out. I had to tell them after the fact. 😀

Zucchini adds wonderful moisture to these delectable cupcakes. They taste like a very moist brownie (who doesn’t like brownies?!), and the peanut butter frosting makes them all the more irresistible. I’m not normally a huge chocolate person, but I had a very hard time eating just one at a sitting with a cold glass of milk. If you try the recipe, I’d love to hear what you and your family think of them.


Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

2 c. zucchini, peeled and shredded
3 eggs, beaten
2 c. sugar
3/4 c. oil
2 t. vanilla extract
2 c. all-purpose flour
2/3 c. baking cocoa
1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
3/4 c. milk chocolate chips

Stir together zucchini, eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla in a large bowl. Add flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir in chocolate chips. Spoon batter into 24 paper-lined muffin cups. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely. Frost with Peanut Butter Frosting. Makes 2 dozen.

Peanut Butter Frosting:

1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
1/3 c. butter, softened
1 T. milk
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1-1/2 c. powdered sugar

With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat peanut butter, butter, milk and vanilla until smooth. Gradually beat in powdered sugar. If necessary, stir in a little more milk until desired consistency.

Source: http://www.facebook.com/gooseberrypatch

A Poem From My Childhood

•October 1, 2009 • Leave a Comment

There’s too much busyness for a real post right now (not to mention it is nearly midnight). However, this is a fun little poem my dad used to tell us when we were children. It came to mind randomly tonight. It always makes me smile.

Twas midnight on the ocean,
Not a street car was in sight;
The sun was shining brightly,
For it rained all day that night.
Twas a summer day in winter,
And the snow was raining fast,
As a barefoot boy with shoes on
Stood sitting in the grass.

Wedding Reception

•September 25, 2009 • Leave a Comment

The autumn season is upon us once again. I do love this time of year. It means I get to go for walks to the sound of leaves crunching under my feet, to enjoy sights aflame with magnificent color, to ride with my older brother in the combine, and to welcome back my favorite comfort foods…the ones that require a hot oven (which you’d rather not use for very long during the summer unless absolutely necessary) or hours simmering upon the stove. It makes the house feel nice and cozy, and the smells wafting through the rooms are very enticing.

This has been an eventful month thus far. I made a spontaneous trip to SD for 10 days. Friends of mine from Alabama were traveling through and invited me to travel with them. Who could turn down such a sweet offer to be taken in as family for nearly two weeks? So I did my laundry and packed in less than 24 hours, and made my trek three hours away to the meeting point of hitching a ride farther west.

On the 19th of this month, my family (many thanks to you, Uncle Glen and Aunt Kathy!) hosted a local wedding reception/open house for friends and family who weren’t able to make it New York state for the wedding last month. We were blessed with gorgeous weather, and had a sweet time of fellowship and celebration with family and friends (some of which I haven’t seen in a number of years!).

Frugal Advice for Young Brides

•September 4, 2009 • Leave a Comment

There’s nothing I love more than the challenge of figuring out how to stretch the dollar to make it last longer. I stumbled upon this great article for young brides, but I think it has some great wisdom for all wives (and/or daughters). They’re simple, practical, and to the point.


And here’s another great blog post:


Wait on the Lord

•August 31, 2009 • Leave a Comment

A friend posted a link to yesterday morning’s reading from “Morning and Evening” by Charles Surgeon. It really ministered to me this morning…thus I pass it along to you.

Morning, August 30, 2009
“Wait on the Lord”Psalm 27:14

It may seem an easy thing to wait, but it is one of the postures which a Christian soldier learns not without years of teaching. Marching and quick-marching are much easier to God’s warriors than standing still. There are hours of perplexity when the most willing spirit, anxiously desirous to serve the Lord, knows not what part to take. Then what shall it do? Vex itself by despair? Fly back in cowardice, turn to the right hand in fear, or rush forward in presumption? No, but simply wait. Wait in prayer, however. Call upon God, and spread the case before him; tell him your difficulty, and plead his promise of aid. In dilemmas between one duty and another, it is sweet to be humble as a child, and wait with simplicity of soul upon the Lord. It is sure to be well with us when we feel and know our own folly, and are heartily willing to be guided by the will of God. But wait in faith. Express your unstaggering confidence in him; for unfaithful, untrusting waiting, is but an insult to the Lord. Believe that if he keep you tarrying even till midnight, yet he will come at the right time; the vision shall come and shall not tarry. Wait in quiet patience, not rebelling because you are under the affliction, but blessing your God for it. Never murmur against the second cause, as the children of Israel did against Moses; never wish you could go back to the world again, but accept the case as it is, and put it as it stands, simply and with your whole heart, without any self-will, into the hand of your covenant God, saying, “Now, Lord, not my will, but thine be done. I know not what to do; I am brought to extremities, but I will wait until thou shalt cleave the floods, or drive back my foes. I will wait, if thou keep me many a day, for my heart is fixed upon thee alone, O God, and my spirit waiteth for thee in the full conviction that thou wilt yet be my joy and my salvation, my refuge and my strong tower.”

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