Monday, February 28, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

I haven't posted a menu in a month!

Monday - Monterey Frittata - This was really good! A bit salty, so I'll decrease the salt next time. But I really liked it! Now to see how well it reheats...

Tuesday - Soba noodles & gyoza

Wednesday - Vegan Meat Lover's Pizza Casserole - We're only doing the sausage (first time trying it), leaving out the pepperoni. I just really wanted a baked pasta dish.

Thursday - Pasta in Lemon Cream Sauce - Not sure how I ended up with two pasta recipes in a row, but they are very different!

Friday - Curry

Sabbath lunch - Coconut stir fry
Sabbath dinner - Pizza - mushrooms, olive, bell pepper

Sunday - Tacos

Three new recipes this week! I think that might be a record. At least one of them was already a hit!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Productive and preparations

Today was a very good day. I've been bit by the spring cleaning fever. I know it's only February, but I live in sunny Arizona and it's already 70 degrees. It feels like spring.

Following on the success of Thursday last week, I decided to again try to make Preparation Day a bit easier. Fridays are so busy and I want to be ready for the Sabbath, rather than rushing into it.

So, today was a mix of completing chores that would make tomorrow easier and doing some serious cleaning that hadn't been done in awhile. Let's not try to figure out how long it's been since I've mopped my kitchen floor... I also started working on the filing, trying to eliminate the giant pile of papers that migrates between my desk and the kitchen counter. It has been reduced to a height of only 4 inches, as opposed to the original 12!

After finishing all the housework (not that housework is ever finished) I decided to work on my quilt. I spread it out on the floor and spray basted it. Wow. That was hard. I thought it would be easier but I think it was too big of a quilt to be ideal for spray basting. I had a really hard time getting the wrinkles out of both the batting and backing. Several times, my hubby and I had to peel part of it apart and redo it. But, my quilt is finally basted! Now to tie it.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow. My living room is tidied, my fridge is cleaned out, and all the dishes are washed and put away. Tomorrow should be easy. Right? Right.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What's On My Nightstand?

What's On Your Nightstand

February was an odd month of reading for me. I read a bit more than last month but still not as much as "normal." I'm still working on being more selective with what I read so that I only read quality books, even involving those I am reading purely for entertainment.

Books completed in February (links are to my reviews):
Love and Respect for a Lifetime, Emerson Eggerichs
The Call of Zulina, Kay Marshall Strom
Prayers for Sale, Sandra Dallas
Beaded Hope, Cathy Liggett - a must-read!

Currently reading - A lot of this is carryover from last month as I am still plugging away.

Memoir/Autobiography/Biography - Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time

Health/Cookbooks - Skinny Italian: Eat It and Enjoy It - Live La Bella Vita and Look Great, Too!

Christian life - The Walk: Clear Direction and Spiritual Power for Your Life (Review copy)

Theology - Genesis (Bible) - reading in six different translations, focusing on God in each story rather than Adam, Noah, etc. Today I finished chapter 8.

For fun - The Romanov Bride

To-read in March

Finish everything I'm currently reading! I hesitate to add more books to my pile as it'll be difficult to finish everything I've already started. But... if I can get to them, I want to read:

Christian life - The Ultimate Makeover: Becoming Spiritually Beautiful in Christ

Memoir/Autobiography/Biography - Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance

Friday, February 18, 2011

Preparation Day

Ah, today was so much more relaxed compared to normal. The only chore left is to clean out the litter boxes shortly before sundown. I am definitely going to take note of what I moved to Thursday and do it again next week!

I even had time today to iron the backing I sewed together yesterday. I laid the quilt layers on the floor and watched a tutorial on how to use the basting spray. But then I decided that it would probably be better to wait for my husband's help to use the spray. We don't have hardwood floors so I can't tape the quilt down and will need help keeping everything flat.

Hopefully we'll be able to baste it Sunday morning so that I can start tying it all together! When I knew that I couldn't finish this quilt by Christmas, I started procrastinating. Now it's February and I'm still not done! My goal is to get this quilt tied, the border attached, and the quilt mailed by the last day of February. There's no reason why I can't get it done!

And just for fun, here's a photo of my kitty trying to bury himself in the clean towels. Silly Bruno!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Preparation for Preparation Day

Fridays are a big day for me, my busiest. I like having the house super clean for Sabbath, which means clean sheets, fresh towels, a spotless kitchen, etc. Also, sometimes we do part of our grocery shopping on Saturday night which means I need a complete menu and shopping list by Friday at sundown. Normally I'm rushing around an hour before sundown, trying frantically to finish everything. For me, a clean house is necessary for true Sabbath rest.

This week I'm trying something new. As I went about my housework today, I tried to think of additional things I could do that would save me time tomorrow. Things like vacuuming and sweeping have to be done on Friday afternoon, but other things can be completed in advance. So, today I...

cleaned out the fridge
wrote most of next week's menu
completed 3/4 of the laundry
emptied the dishwasher

Tomorrow, I still have to...

wash sheets and towels
clean out the litter boxes
finish menu and shopping list
scrub down the bathroom
wash dishes used on Friday

Hopefully I notice a difference! If not, next week I'll try cleaning the bathroom on Thursday and do a quick wipe down on Friday. I also need to work on completing our menu and shopping list earlier in the week so it's not a last minute chore.

I hope everyone else has a great Preparation Day!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I'm an auntie again!

Landon Joshua
Born February 12, 2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Love and Respect For a Lifetime - Valentine's Blog Tour

I was delighted when I received an email inviting me to participate in the Love and Respect for a Lifetime Valentine's Day blog tour. This gift book is a condensed version of Eggerich's Love and Respect book, one I read several months ago. I was excited to see what the gift book offers.

The basic message of Love and Respect is that "when two become one, they have the potential of displaying God's attributes and character" (pg 22). After all, Genesis 1:27 states that "God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created them." How can we reflect the image of God? Eggerich suggests that "living out Ephesians 5:33 is the key to blending together as one to reflect the very image of God" (3).

Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband
Ephesians 5:33, NASB.

The rest of the book outlines various ways that a husband can love his wife even as himself and how a wife can demonstrate respect her husband.

Your husband knows you appreciate his desire to protect and provide when . . .

you praise his commitment to provide for you.

you empathize when he reveals his male mind-set about position, status, or rank at work.

you never put down his job or how much he makes (83).

This last suggestion is a big struggle for me. I don't complain about how little or how much my husband earns, but I do stress about money. Essentially, overly stressing about paying bills, saving money, etc. sends the same message to my husband - that I don't appreciate how much money he makes and how he provides for our family.

You show appreciation for your husband's insight when . .

you thank him for his advice without acting insulted.

you let him "fix things" and applaud his solutions.

you thank him for his perception and godly counsel (92).

It's easy to criticize when something goes wrong, but invaluable to offer a simple "thank you" when my husband does something right!

Your husband knows you value his friendship when . . .

you tell him you like him and you show it (he knows you love him, but he often wonders if you really like him).

you do recreational activities together.

you encourage him to open up and talk to you as you do things shoulder to shoulder (97).

I love this advice to tell him that you like him and then act like it! I love my husband very much. But sometimes, when I get stressed out, I treat him like I don't even like him. This should not happen! My husband was my closest friend before he was husband and I need to be careful to protect that relationship.

And finally, one of my favorite pieces of advice:

If you listen before you answer . . .
if you think before you speak . . .
if your heart instructs your mouth . . .
then what you say will make your wife feel loved or your husband feel respected (113).

This advice really reflects another piece of excellent advice in James 1:19.

This you know, my beloved brethren
But everyone must be quick to hear,
slow to speak
and slow to anger.

I really enjoyed reading this little gift book. It reminded me of a lot of the advice offered in the full book, which I think is well worth a read. This book would make a great wedding or anniversary gift. If the couple would be willing to read the full version, that would be even better!

Disclosure - Thomas Nelson gave me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Prayer Request

If you get a moment, please pray for my brother and his wife. Their baby is on the way! My brother is a member of the US Army and is currently in Iraq, trying to get to England on time. The most urgent prayer request is a safe delivery for their little boy, but the secondary hope is that he'll make it before the baby is born. I hope so!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Japanese folk artist videos

Last Sunday, we visited the Phoenix Art Museum and watched a Japanese folk artist perform. I took several videos to share. The artist was kind enough to give me permission to post them on-line. If you only watch one of them, watch the last one. That performance was awesome!

The artist's introduction and playing on the たいこ (taiko - drum).

すきやき (上を向いて歩こう) guitar performance (the song title: "Sukiyaki" or "I look up when I walk").

Final performance, playing on the large たいこ (taiko - drum).

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Weekly Memory Verse

I really feel like I have retreated from the world for awhile. I find myself surprised when I realize I haven't signed on to Facebook in a week or blogged for a few days. My husband's work has been super busy, plus we've had some dental drama. When I'm not taking care of my husband or the house, I've been studying Japanese. Hopefully this week will find me being more social!

Last week's verse is partially memorized. I'm going to continue working on it this week and also start another passage. This passage was in a chapter my husband read for sundown worship last night and I love it.

Sing, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O Israel!
Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
The LORD has taken away your judgments,
He has cast out your enemy.
The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst;
You shall see disaster no more.
In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:

“Do not fear;
Zion, let not your hands be weak.
The LORD your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing"

Zephaniah 3:14-17, NKJV

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wednesday? Really?

How can it possibly be Wednesday night? The last time I turned around, it was Sunday evening.

It's been a busy week, but a slightly unusual one. Sunday afternoon was spent at the Phoenix Art Museum for their international art appreciation event. It was a lot of fun. I need to edit/resize the photos so that I can post more about it. We saw a Japanese drummer, an African band, a group demonstration on how to play a Bali instrument, a quartet, and a demonstration on いけばな (Japanese flower arranging). And all of that doesn't even include all the art we saw!

We spent so much time on our feet Sunday that my heel feels like it might be bruised. It hurts when I spend too much time standing so I haven't been able to exercise at all this week. It really throws my schedule off, because I've gotten into the habit of it. Hopefully as soon as my foot feels better, I'll be able to get back into the daily exercise.

Tomorrow afternoon I'm making a big pot of tortilla soup. Hubby and I are going back to the dentist for the third time in a month and I was hoping soup would be a good meal for after our appointments. Hubby has to get fillings done and I need them to check on the filling I had replaced last week. I can't floss between that tooth and the one in front of it. When I called, the receptionist said something about needing to reshape it. Hopefully it doesn't include any needles or drilling!