So, how was your day? I will admit that it wasn't as peaceful around here as I was hoping for. Let's see - we overslept, crammed my morning routine into half the time because of that, struggled with littles leaving things laying around - ALL around and the attitude of my heart that came with that, etc...
But, in retrospect - I know that we created some good memories today! Starting with a cozy breakfast outside. I made muffins and hot tea (we were out of hot chocolate), lit a couple of candles and brought out a pumpkin. The girls ran back in for jackets - we haven't felt 60 degrees in months and our body temperatures have acclimated to the 100's - so 60 feels chilly!
School and chores were begun, and I felt the coolest air I've felt in a while and it beckoned me to make soup for an outdoor picnic at the park. Soup was made, maple leaf shaped breads were toasted, dessert ingredients assembled. We drove to the park!
What a gorgeous day! I'm so thankful we took some time to be outside - it was stunningly beautiful and blessedly comfortable! The sky was crystal clear, the trees created such a great contrast, the park called to little legs to climb and imagine!
Sweet Cream of Tomato Soup (If you know me, you know I have an extreme dislike for tomatoes! But, I do like some smooth tomato things and this soup is one that I like now and then for it's cozy yumminess!) From my friend, Susan!
I'm going to give you the recipe for what I did which is an adjustment from the original. I only made one fourth of the recipe and did not have enough fresh tomatoes, so used canned.
2 Tbsp. water
1/2 c. diced onion
Cook onion in water until translucent.
Add 2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes and some celery (or celery salt if you don't have any, ahem) and salt (I omitted salt since I used celery salt above).
Simmer for about 30-40 min. Strain soup and discard solids (great compost!) - melt 2 Tbsp. butter and stir in 1 Tbsp. flour. Whisk in about 1/2 c. soup - then mix all back into soup and simmer until soup thickens like gravy.
Heat 1 c. milk and stir into soup. Heat through. Makes 3 c. soup.
For croutons - I cut slices of bread with a tiny maple leaf cookie cutter. Then, buttered on both sides and toasted in a hot skillet. Spoon soup into canning jars and top with croutons! Note: this soup is so smooth that a straw makes a great way for children to drink this with less mess!
Apple Nachos - from the most recent Taste of Home (with some modifications)
2 apples thinly sliced
Drizzle of caramel ice cream topping
3 Tbsp. mini choc. chips
3 Tbsp. chopped dry roasted peanuts
1 Tbsp. sprinkles
Serve and enjoy!
It was fun to follow my littles around and take some pictures - I haven't been very good about taking pictures of them lately!
During Quiet Time, I worked on this post and relaxed and read. After that, time to get back to work!
Chores, Laundry, Dinner Prep, tidying!
Southwest Chicken Salad
** I learned how to make this at a Pampered Chef party and it is so yummy and easy! It's great for taking dinner to others too - and the chicken/beans part can be frozen if you have extra!
Slice some onions and place them on the bottom of a baking dish (I use a stoneware covered baking dish from Pampered Chef and bake in the microwave), then lay boneless skinless chicken on top of that. Sprinkle with some taco mix (I use this), cover and bake. I bake mine in the microwave for about 12 minutes, but you can do this in the oven too!
Cut up the chicken and onions and add a can of black beans. Serve with lettuce, cheese, tomato and tortilla chips. Pour about half a bottle of ranch dressing into an empty salad dressing bottle and add 1-2 tsp. taco seasoning for a yummy salad dressing! Yum!
Now, for Psalm 107 - a few thoughts that I came away with:
* I was amazed at how many times the Lord responded to the cries for help when His people continued to be rebellious to His ways. How often are the struggles in my home a result of my attitude or sin? (Don't answer that!)
* I especially loved verses 29-31. Some words that jumped out at me were: stilled, whisper, hushed, calm, guided, haven, give thanks and wonderful deeds. I prayed through these verses that there would be a spirit of stillness, calmness, His hand guiding me and haven in my home. And, that I would then give Him thanks and praise Him for His wonderful deeds. I think that I made some choices in how to spend my time today which did not create a haven and prohibited some of these attributes from being more visible. Praising God for another chance again tomorrow.
* I loved verse 35 where He turns the desert into pools of water. Water always makes me think of refreshment, life, peace and rest. Where water is, there is life. Water is soothing and calming and often can be peaceful.
* Lastly, I loved verse 43, "Whoever is wise, let him heed these things and consider the great love of the Lord."
Genesis 49:13 also mentions the word haven - I want to look at this in my Quiet Time tomorrow and read the context to see what else I can learn about this idea. I should probably read Psalm 107 again too!!!
And, moving on to a new day - honestly, I think I will still be catching up from today! I had to let so many things go to do the fun things and to be gone for dance and a meeting. We have plans to have a picnic/play with friends today. Other than that, I would like to continue with daily things: laundry, scrub sink (Tuesday chore), tidying. For dinner, we are having hamburgers, chips and fruit.
To create a haven, I want to look for ways to add beauty and bring a calm and peaceful spirit to my home.
What are your plans for tomorrow?