Why I Want to Declutter This Year

It’s January 23 already? How quickly this month has flown by! Serenity leaves this Friday on a special 2 week trip. She’s flying to India¬† where she will meet up with some family friends who will be with her until it’s time to return back to the States. She’s excited and at the same time a little bit nervous about going.   Seth’s wedding is only 34 days away which means I have to get a mother-of-the-groom outfit which causes me no end of grief! And I have to get something for my hubby and daughter to wear. Oh dear! These are the kinds of things that stress me!   I have so many things I want to get started on around here. Organizational projects…

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How to Host Your Own Bruschetta Bar Party

Well this new year started off with a bang and I’m needing a breather already! Unfortunately, I’ve been down the last few days with a fever/cold. It was a powerful bug going around but I guess I need to focus on building up my immune system because not everyone caught it. Lots of fun times were shared with this lovely group of young people this last week and we enjoyed hosting them.   So I wanted to tell you all about the Bruschetta Bar that we put together for our Christmas Eve meal. It was a lot of fun to do and I think a lot of the impressiveness of the meal was due to how it was set up – entirely due to my…

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Sharing the Gospel Boldly

Sorry to be missing once again from my blog but it has been yet another very busy week. We are currently in the high country on our annual ski trip that we take. Today is a relaxing day for me as I decided not to go skiing. It’s been two years since I’ve went (last year I had vertigo and couldn’t make it) and my leg muscles were letting me know it. It’s such a fun sport though. Here is the large group that went this year (missing some). We kind of dominated the mountain. ūüôā   One of the things that makes us stand out so much is all us girls wearing skirts. Invariably we have people ask “What’s with the skirts?” Yesterday, I…

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Our Merry Christmas Weekend Wrap-up

I still am talking about Christmas 2016. Bear with me as I’m a little late getting to this. We started a new tradition this year of having a crokinole tournament. We¬† actually did it 2 years ago at Christmas but this year I made it an official tradition. It’s a great game for everyone – a game that’s more well-known in Canada than here in the US. It’s a good game for the older ones as well as the young people and one where you can be indoors when it’s quite chilly outside. I wanted to have a little trophy to give the winners (you play as a team), so I cut a piece of wood, stained it and then modge podged a piece of…

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Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever

Happy New Year! It’s quite shocking to think how quickly 2016 went by, but here we are – January 3, 2017. What will we do with this year? How will we make it count? Are we making the most important thing the most important thing? Is this the year we can finally lay aside all our grudges and differences and just choose to be happy? Instead of focusing on what others are doing wrong, could we change our viewpoint and look for the good in each other? Life is too short to dwell in the mollygrubs. It’s easy for us ladies to let our emotions rule us and especially as we get older I think we feel it more. I know my nerves can’t handle…

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A Merry Christmas with Family

Hello friends, how was your Christmas? We had a great time with family. It was quite busy with there being 33 of us here. For the weekend, Serenity put together a hot drink station using my Hoosier cabinet. I love this piece of furniture! Chalkboard signs are so fun. My oldest son, Seth arrived home from Canada on Friday night. The kids excitedly ran outside to greet him that night when he drove in. He drove 30 hours with only 6 hours sleep to make it here by Friday night. Christmas Eve it started snowing and I was outside grilling… for about an hour! Family started to arrive…after awhile. Some got stuck on our road. Too much moisture made our road muddy and in some…

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Decorating Cookies for Christmas

Only 3 more days till Christmas! More family is arriving today (my mom and dad came Sunday) and so lots of little details are getting finished. Mom and my girls helped decorate cookies yesterday. I was glad for their help because decorating cookies can be rather long and tedious.   Please excuse that stray arm on the left. It really does below to somebody. haha   This year it’s Christmas with my side of the family, which I usually host, so I’m doing the planning. I’ve asked each family to bring 1 dozen cookies for Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve supper is going to be a Bruschetta bar. I’m really excited about it and hope it’s as fun as it sounds! Pinterest has some amazing inspiration…

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Making Progress on the Cabin (VRBO)

Just a quick update on the VRBO. My parents arrived last night so we’ll be busy doing all the last minute preparations that have to be done. The cabin will be livable but not complete finished when everyone is here. But it’s lookin’ good! The bathroom wall is now up. The bathroom wall behind the tub looks so pretty but unfortunately that will be covered once the tub sides go in. A loft that can be used for storage. Windows and doors are some of the big things that need to be done this week. And that’s the update for now.

I’m getting excited. Christmas is almost here and family will be arriving next week. My son, Seth will be home and he’ll be staying until his wedding in February. So many things to look forward to.   Lots of planning still to do. Thirty-five people staying here. We’d better get that cabin completed! I’m brainstorming ideas for activities we can do with the family. We started a tradition two years ago of playing the game crokinole but I want to add a prize to it. At first I thought I’d get a trophy that would be given to the winner every time we have Christmas together (which is every other year) but now I’m mulling over making a little sign. I’ll keep you updated on…

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A Super Easy, Delicious Dessert for the Holidays

Today I have the most simple candy/dessert recipe you could hope for and it tastes so delicious. Perfect for the holidays, peppermint bark consists of only 3 ingredients. No need to ever buy it at the store again when you see how simple it is. Here’s the recipe. Peppermint Bark 12 oz. of high-quality white chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips 5 regular sized candy canes, crushed up 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract 1. Break the peppermint candy into small pieces. (rolling pins work great for this) Melt the chocolate over low heat, stirring often. Once the chocolate has melted, add the peppermint extract and stir. 2. line a cookie sheet with wax paper or parchment paper and pour the melted chocolate onto it. Spread…

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A Castle Keeper Winter Party

What a wonderful evening the Castle Keeper girls hosted this past Friday. The girls planned everything and did a perfectly lovely job.   We even did it in the pergola. We had a giant tarp that went over the top, shade cover on all sides and then covered with plastic. But then we needed heat inside and so we added the two wood burning stoves that we use when we go hunting. It worked! It was about 40¬įF outside but inside it was not bad at all. Some of the tables had a little more cold to deal with than others but overall I think everyone thought it was just fine. Whew! We weren’t sure how it was going to work out but I’m excited…

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How to Lose Your Insecurities

Complexes and insecurities. They seem to rule so many of us and¬†young people¬†feel it the most. Name-brand clothing, new clothing, the latest hairstyles, glasses, anything that’s deemed “cool” are all things we feel we need if we don’t want to feel inadequate. But if we could only realize that these things are only a very small part of what makes up a person. Those things have no lasting value and fade so quickly from people’s memories, beside the¬†pressure of always keeping it up, putting us in a never-ending cycle of trying to become acceptable to others, popular or admired. Each and every one of us has a unique position that only we can fill. I Corinthians 12 talks about the different parts of the body…

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My Young Entrepreneur’s

I mentioned on my Thanksgiving post of a little cabin we¬†are building. Here is the story. Several months ago Audrey was inspired to have her own vacation rental by owner. She had been to see her cousins and one of them had taken a rental¬†that they rented monthly¬†and turned it into a vacation rental. Audrey mentioned it to her daddy and he thought it was a good idea, so the brain started spinning with possibilities and the idea was born. We live away from town and neighbors. As a matter-of-fact our nearest neighbor is 3 miles away. A cabin could be built next door, capitalizing on the gorgeous view and the seclusion – a place where people could come and decompress, getting away from city…

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He Found the One Whom His Soul Loveth

Big news from our house, my friends. My oldest son, Seth is getting married! The engagement may have happened last Monday but we’re still feeling the thrill of it this week. She’s a lovely Christian lady and Seth is one blessed boy. Wouldn’t you agree that our greatest joy as parents is seeing our children walking in the Lord? Seth has always had a heart for God¬†as well as Jessica so it’s a beautiful thing when you see¬†two young people devoted to God coming together. Above Seth’s bed, he has this quote, “If you expect to be a real man someday and raise a family to the Kingdom of God, then start it off in the beginning¬†and act right and do right.” –William¬†Branham   Seth…

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God’s Hand Upon the Americans at the Battle of Trenton

What a marvelous vacation we had had but it was now coming to a close. On our last day in New Jersey we went to the Old Barracks Museum which was built in 1758 during the French and Indian War and then was also used during the Revolutionary War. Disease killed more soldiers than the war and smallpox was a very deadly one. At the Barracks they would give mass innoculations for smallpox. During the Revolutionary War, the Barracks first housed the British soldiers but then on December 26, 1776, when General George Washington’s troops marched into Trenton, they moved out and in January 1777, the American soldiers moved in. Once again, the tour guides were very passionate and educated about their topic. After leaving…

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Princeton University Campus

Only 2 days left on our vacation (New York was first. Little Italy & Chinatown, historical sights,¬† the 9/11 museum, Brooklyn Bridge, Liberty & Ellis Island, then it was Connecticut for a day), so two days left and the weather turned quite cool and rainy. After leaving Thomas Edison’s laboratory we had driven further south to the city of Princeton and stayed at a great hotel my husband had secured for us through Priceline. I wanted to visit Princeton University because of its long history. Did you know that it was a Bible college first? Started in 1746 by Jonathan Dickinson, John Witherspoon, William Tennent and Aaron Burr Sr., it was located in Elizabeth, New Jersey but in 1756 was moved to Princeton. It was…

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Thanksgiving 2016

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving however you chose to spend it. Things were a little different for us this year. Every other year we go to Pennsylvania to be with my sisters family and parents and this is the year we would do that but because we had just went to New York in October, we decided not to go east again so soon. We were invited to a few places but then decided we would just stay home and have a quiet Thanksgiving. But I knew I still needed to do something special since it was Thanksgiving which I think is a very special holiday. So Wednesday (last minute, I know) I headed to the store and purchased the things I…

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Visiting Thomas Edison’s Laboratories & Office

What a fascinating tour we took of Thomas Edison’s laboratory and office in West Orange, New Jersey after we left Connecticut. It is a national park, so if you have a parks pass 4 people can get in without paying the admission fee of $10 and children under 16 are free. This is one place that I think is a must see. You can tour at your own pace and/or listen in to their guides as they talk. The guides were very good, so enthused about their topic which showed in their talk. Standing just outside of Thomas Edison’s library and offices/laboratories.   The library was 3 stories and was filled with all kinds of books. Edison didn’t want to have to go anywhere when…

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Connecticut’s Mystic Seaport

This trip, like all the others I’ve shared, always takes longer than the actual going! We decided to go to Connecticut for a day to meet with some friends. They suggested we go to Mystic Seaport, a maritime museum where they not only have a working shipyard but they also have recreated a village built like it would have been in the 19th century. Most of the “businesses and homes” have people working a particular craft you would have found back then, telling stories or even singing. (tugboat that was on the waters for many years) It was a cold, windy day but in the summer it would be most enjoyable strolling around visiting the different buildings. The Charles W. Morgan was launched in 1841…

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Visiting Liberty & Ellis Island

I’m preparing to cater a wedding this coming weekend so I’ve been figuring up amounts and now the cooking is beginning. It’s a simple menu of soup & salad, so that’s nice. But that’s why I haven’t been around much this week. ūüôā Our last day in New York City we went to see Lady Liberty which has been a dream of mine for years. It was a cool, windy day and the lines were long. Buy your tickets ahead of time (and save more time by printing them out instead of will call) because if you don’t, you will be waiting in lines (one for buying tickets and another for the ferry) for hours. I had purchased tickets ahead of time and I had…

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