Thursday, December 13, 2007

Making Your Home A Haven Challenge

There was no challenge posted yesterday at Crystal's blog due to some technical difficulties she is having. So, I decided to make up my own.

I already had a dentist appointment and plans for my friend Melissa to come over and spend the day with us. So, today my home became a haven for friendship!

1. Refresh your spirit.

The verse from my quiet time this morning was:

II Corinthians 2:15, "For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing."
Oh, how I want to be a sweet aroma to those who are around me.

2. Do your morning routine.

I was a little more rushed in the morning, since I had an early dentist appointment - but was able to complete my morning routine before I left.

3. Take time to plan.

My chore for Wednesday is to sweep and mop the dining room and kitchen floors. Today, I swept - but did not mop the floors due to time.

4. What's on the menu for dinner?

Brisket, baked beans and oven fries - a favorite meal of David's! He's had to work lots of evenings lately, so since he was home, I wanted it to be a special and enjoyable meal for him.

This is easy to prepare since the brisket cooks on a low temp for a few hours.

5. Project of the day.

My goals for today included getting out and running some errands with the girls and Melissa. We each had a couple of places we wanted to go and it was so much easier not to have to get the girls out of the car at each place if one of us just needed to run in for a second. David and I have agreed lately that I need to limit getting out with the girls based on my history of pre-term labor and trying to avoid bed rest! Things I accomplished were:

* Fill car up with gas.
* Donate a couple of boxes of items to the thrift store ~ also helps in cleaning out my closet!
* Complete a return at a store that was on our way to another stop.

Then, we came home and prepared lunch. We had a lovely salad and this yummy broccoli dip with french bread!

We exchanged Christmas gifts after the ladies were down for their naps and I just have to share what she gave me because I LOVED her thoughtful and sweet gifts. She definitely has a gift of knowing what others will enjoy and blessing them through the gift of her generous spirit.

A cute apple-shaped cutting board:

Look at these great keys! I loved the story too - she said that the lady in the shop told her that she had the keys that belonged to her grandparents and their cabins and that they had replicas made and sold them in their shop. I had fun dreaming about how charming it would be to come home and put a key like this in the lock!

Some always-useful notecards! And, a special set that says, "I'm Thankful For..." ~ love that!

Look at this FABULOUS jar! I simply love it! She filled it with things that she knew I would love like M&M's, a neat ornament and fun Kleenex!

After she left, I made a mug of hot cocoa and sat down to watch this and read...

... this which just came in the mail.

My sister had just posted a recipe for hot chocolate and I was so excited! I've tried lots of hot chocolate recipes to find one that I liked enough to make it regularly at home and never have quite found just *the* right one. Until now! I embellished the recipe a little and this is so delicious - I will share exactly what I did:

1/3 c. powdered milk
1 1/2 T. cocoa
3 T. sugar
1/8 tsp. peppermint extract
2 T. milk
1 c. hot water
handful marshmallows

Mix together powdered milk, cocoa, sugar and extract. Heat water in microwave and pour into mug. Stir well. Add milk and marshmallows. Yummy!

Today, I did accomplish a few things I needed to - but also enjoyed my home for the haven it is and those who shared it with me today!


carrie said...


Fun to read about your day. I know you'll enjoy your gifts from Melissa!

Katy said...

Sounds like a good day! :) Glad you got to spend some time with your friend Melissa! The gifts she gave you are too cute! What will you do with the keys? hang them somewhere pretty? :)

Anonymous said...

I should have stayed for the hot chocolate...yummy!!!

Thank you for a great day, and I am so thrilled you are enjoying your Christmas gifts. It is so much fun to shop for you!!!

Love, Melissa

Huskerbabe said...

What cute keys! I love em!

MyHeartIsAlwaysHome said...

What a great gifts! I have an apple themed kitchen, so I will be on the look out for the apple cutting board. Cute! I love gifts with a story, like the keys.

I am going to try your oven fries. I think about how delish they look every time I see them.

Kelly said...

Hey Monica!

Wow, you have such a lovely blog here! I linked over from Biblical Womanhood (Haven Challenge and am so glad that I did. :o)

Mmmm to brisket and oven fries...oven fries are one of my favorite things to make. Sounds like you had a fantastic day!

Have a bright and beautiful Christmas!

Anonymous said...


Please let "myheartisalwayshome" know that the cutting board can be purchased at Target.


jen said...

What did you sit down to watch? That link led to the broccoli recipe. I'm intrigued now!

thehomespunheart said...

Oops! I fixed the link - I watched an episode of Christy!

Anonymous said...

Oh, that cocoa recipe looks SOOOO good! I will try it tomorrow!

Thanks for sharing!

Homestead Mama

Angela - Life w/ One Busy Boy said...

I love this "series" of posts. It has encouraged me to get on the ball myself.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Monica: How do you accomplish so much in one day?
I think I do a lot, but I don't have a husband and 2 little ones to take care of! You are one organized lady!!
Everything sounds WONDERFUL! I wish I could be there to enjoy your haven of a home with you!

So glad you and Melissa had fun together.

I love you, Grandma

Anonymous said...

What a treasure to have a friend like Melissa that you can share a day with and have fun together! The gifts she gave you are so cute! :) I almost got you some similar keys recently and am glad now that I didn't -- the ones Melissa gave you are cuter and have a great story!
Love you, Mom

Sherry said...

It was fun to read about your day. Your thoughts are encouraging your sweet spirit shows in your posts/thoughts. I enjoyed spending some time with you. I'll try the cocoa recipe.