17 October 2011

Favorite Fall Things

Right now, my favorite Fall things are this....

and this....

Now, I know this isn't a fall picture, but it's the swing and the man on the swing that I'm talking about! (I prefer the kids to be in the yard, playing, rather than climbing all over us while we try to swing and talk.)

I love a Fall sweater and a swing! Now all I need is some good hot apple cider....

What are your favorite Fall things? Leave a comment if you'd like to share with the rest of us. :)

10 October 2011

Do What?

If you have been a Christian for a good while, you can probably think of times when the Holy Spirit really impressed upon your heart to say something or do something specific. Years ago, I think not long after we had our first child, we were going through a pretty difficult time financially. I cannot even remember the specifics - it might have been a large repair bill for our car at the time - but I know we hadn't told anyone about our financial worry. I do remember thinking, "How in the world will we pay this?" And I remember the day that a letter and a check arrived in the mail from my Grandma. (I wish I knew where that letter was!) She had written us a check for a generous amount of money (I don't even remember the sum) and had written something like the following: The Lord placed you on my heart and I knew I needed to do this. I've learned that whenever He tells me to do something, I need to do it right away.

That money met our need; but, more importantly, the valuable lesson I learned from her that day still sticks with me. When the Holy Spirit tells you to do something, do it! If the Lord lays something specific on your heart, follow through!

I can think of times when I have obeyed the Spirit's leading to do something specific for a friend or even a stranger. Immediately, I felt peace and joy that come from obedience. Shamefully, I can also think of times when I second-guessed whether that was really the Holy Spirit prompting me, wondered how I would do that, or made an excuse. Immediately, I felt convicted and knew I had robbed myself of a blessing after the opportunity had passed.

Walking in the Spirit (or being in the "measure of the fullness of Christ" as Beth Moore puts it) is a daily choice. Very simply put, reading His Word, praying, and saying "no" to sin and "yes" to His ways allow us to be filled with His Spirit. And being filled with His Spirit puts us in a position where we can be fully used by Him! Don't you want that?

For your viewing enjoyment (and for a blessing!) I downloaded a rather humorous story that Beth Moore tells about this very thing. :)

08 October 2011

A Thrifty Tradition

Remember that scene in Gone with the Wind when Scarlett digs some kind of vegetable out of the dirt, eats it, throws it up, and then proclaims, "I'll never go hungry again!" Well, I'm pretty sure it was a dirt-covered sweet potato she devoured right then and there. I know, I know. Some of you Gone with the Wind experts know exactly what it was and you're correcting me right now. But what root vegetable could be more southern and carry more tradition than a sweet potato?

And that is exactly why my family (especially my parents), since moving to North Carolina, have developed a tradition of loading up the non-school age grandkids, trekking out to some nice farmer's sweet potato field, and harvesting the leftover sweet potatoes every fall.

Not really. Although it HAS become a tradition, it has nothing to do with some southern nostalgia of the sweet potato. In actuality, we're just really cheap. My husband prefers to call it "frugal." Call it what you will, I like free food. And, yes, I did blog about this last winter, but my mom and I put a new twist on it this year. I talked her into helping me can the sweet potatoes this year.

So, they went from this...
To this...
To this...
...To this. It doesn't get more farm to table than that!

(There really are sweet potatoes under those marshmallows. All I had on hand were campfire marshmallows!)

What surprised my mom and me was how easy canning sweet potatoes is! I baked half my potatoes and boiled the other half (skins on). The skins slipped right off the boiled potatoes. Then all we had to do was quarter them, pack the jars, put a little fresh squeezed orange juice in each jar, pour boiling syrup (2 parts water to 1 part sugar) over them, and then process them. And they're good! Making Daniel's Favorite Sweet Potatoes took no time at all when all I had to do was pour them out of the jar, spice them up, whip them, and then throw some (huge) marshmallows on top! So if you're interested in canning (just about anything), but especially some free sweet potatoes, here's the website to check out.

P.S. I'm not sure why, but my boys will eat vegetables twice as well if they've helped pick them or they even just know that Grandma and I canned them. Whatever the case, it works for me!

*This post is linked to Frugal Fridays