Thursday, March 17, 2016

Gummies for Everyone!

2 cups juice
1 cup purée fruit
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup gelatin powder (I use Great Lakes with red label)

Mine: (THM-FP)
1 cup lemon juice
1 cup water
3 tsp vitamin c powder
5 tsp sweet blend
6 tsp gelatin 

Mix everything together except gelatin into small sauce pan and warm.  Slowly add gelatin to warmed fruit juice mixture. Bring to very warm/hot, but not boiling. 
Pour into molds or baking dish. Chill. 


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Just right!

Many of the women in our church have joined together and have become secret sisters. All the names were put in a bowl and then we each drew a name. All secret of course. We are mainly there to pray specifically for that person and their needs daily, but occasionally we give small gifts. 

This past Sunday, I received a gift. I thought it was so pretty and would go well in my home... but I wasn't sure where to put it. So it sat on my counter for a few days and then Cameo came to me and said, "Mom, where are you going to hang this?"
As soon as she said that,  I knew!
I have been working on my Trim Healthy Mama work station and didn't have anywhere to put my measuring spoons and cups. 
Now I do! An organized space where things are handy for me to grab and use makes me more likely to stay on task and make the things that I need!

So Secret Sister... you may not have known it when you bought me this sweet gift, and I didn't know it right when I received it, but I realize it is the perfect gift for me right now. 
It's JUST RIGHT!!!!!!!
Thank you so much!

Have a great day!

Monday, March 14, 2016

If at first you don't succeed...

You've heard the old adage, 
If at first you don't succeed... try, try again. 
As you know, for a while, I was following Trim Healthy Mama and was losing fabulously. Then a little bit of lax here, a little bit of lax there and boom. I'm back at my starting weight and my starting point all over again. You would think I would learn by my lifetime struggles of ups and downs on my weight, but I suppose this is a part of learning. Sadly, it has taken me 40 years of learning. 
But... we aren't going to focus on what I've not done, and focus on what is happening!
Friday night, I had one of those 'revelation' moments. I finally owned up to myself for what has happened, what I've let creep back up on me. My weight is up and my health is down. 
I've known it for a while, but sometimes you just push things out of your mind and out of your mind til you just have to shake yourself and say, "Wake up! Do you SEE what's happening here? Stop killing yourself with food! Start caring for yourself again!" 
I was at a function with a few of my children and honestly I wanted to hide or leave before it even started. I was ashamed of my size and how I looked. Sigh.
I felt a tinge of panic and then the revelation hit. 
I looked at myself in a very real way for the first time in a long time. 

Now, true and normal to Chas fashion,  I could have done a couple of things. 
I could have just decided to 'wait til Monday'... 
I could have bought a dozen doughnuts and eaten several of them myself, or more.
I could have decided to become a recluse again and holed up in my house and refused to leave except for church. 

None of those things happened. 
What DID happen was, I prayed and God gave me the strength to start.
To start again.
I gathered all my THM gear, I pulled out my blender and made a spot for it on the counter. I made up the singing canary (still my fave) and pulled out my books. 

I've done it before. 
With the Lord's help, I can do it again.

I've got a family who needs Mom. I've got a life that needs living. 
I've got a goal, and I'm ready to go forward... again. 

Friend, if you are in my shoes and are struggling with weight loss... don't let those negative thoughts dictate your decisions.

We can often be our WORST enemy. 
You have failed so many times.
You don't want to make a fool of yourself!
You can't do it.

Stop those thoughts and replace them with...
Every day is brand new, I can do this.
The LORD is my strength! 
Every step forward is NOT a step backwards!
I am NOT a failure! I am an overcomer!
My Lord makes me strong!

Don't let others or yourself decide that it's not worth trying again! 
 We can try again and try again as many times as it takes. 
Start today. Start now. 

Maybe you have another type of need. Something you need to start doing... maybe something you need to stop. It's never too late. It's never too far.
Stop, start, give it to The Lord!
He is there to help! He is there to give us strength for the journey! 
Be encouraged and fight hard! 
Your life is worth it!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Mock Maple Syrup

Sourdough pancakes are an absolute favorite for breakfast around here... and sometimes supper too! But when your yearly supply of maple syrup is depleted and you don't have it in the budget to buy again... you do what you can. 

It's easy, it's tasty and it's a TON better than using a pancake syrup from the store. 
All it takes is:
2 cups sugar of your choice 
1 cup water
boil together til sugar is dissolved and mixture is slightly thickened
Remove from heat and add
a couple of drops of maple flavoring

(If you choose to thicken more, just use a bit of arrowroot or cornstarch once you get to boiling)

I love real maple syrup and if my budget wasn't so stretched right now, I would hope to buy some. 

But you do what you can, right? 

Enjoy! And happy weekending! 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Tomorrow is fresh, with no mistakes in it... yet.

“Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” 

I love that quote. I love the sentiment and the truth there. 

The Bible says,
"Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning." - Psalm 30:5b

And I'm glad of that too. I'm thankful for the truth of God's word.

You know, yesterday kicked my rear. It was hard. 
Fuss, fear, failure, fret... so many parts of it was difficult. It's one of the days that I am glad have passed. I look back on it and think about ways I could have handled things differently. How I could have stopped and prayed instead of letting the flesh take over and getting frustrated. I shed many a tear yesterday and last night. 

Compared to many, the issues of my day may sound VERY trivial and insignificant... but to me, they hurt, they were concerning, and they were a time of testing. A test that I bombed. 

But I want you to know something. 
Just because I bombed yesterday, it doesn't mean I will bomb today. 
I mean, I might... but I'm eagerly, prayerfully, aware-fully going to head into today ready for battle. 

The enemy wants to steal, kill, and destroy. 
And the thing that he wants to destroy most is your testimony and your family.

Do NOT, even for one brief second believe that he is not out for your family... 
Families are being destroyed right and left everywhere. 
So Moma... be on your guard.

Get in The Word daily. Don't forget, don't get lax, don't get so busy that you don't have time for a daily dose. This is your battle gear. This is your armor!
Clothe yourself with the armor of the Lord to fight for your family today!

The Whole Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
Ephesians 6:10-18

Don't let yesterday's failures determine todays success. Today is the Lord's. Give it to Him. Give your all to The Lord and your family. You CAN succeed with your children. You CAN teach them. You CAN accomplish what God has set before you. You CAN love your husband and honor him. You CAN care for your family. YOU CAN!
The Lord is fighting for you, you just have to allow Him to lead. Give it to Him. 

I don't know what you are going through, and this post was a reminder for myself. But if you are struggling today, I pray it is an encouragement to you as well. You are able! You are an overcomer!


 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
Philippians 1:6

Jesus doesn't start something He doesn't intend to finish! He gave you the strength to start... He will supply what you need to finish strong! 

A brand new day is laid before you. A blessing in and of itself... 
Get into The Word, pray and go forth.

Be encouraged, Chas.
Be encouraged, friends... 

Friday, March 4, 2016


Redeemed—how I love to proclaim it!
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed through His infinite mercy,
His child, and forever, I am.

Redeemed, redeemed,
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed, redeemed,
  His child, and forever, I am.

Redeemed and so happy in Jesus,
No language my rapture can tell;
I know that the light of His presence
With me doth continually dwell.

I think of my blessed Redeemer,
I think of Him all the day long;
I sing, for I cannot be silent;
His love is the theme of my song.

I know I shall see in His beauty
The King in whose way I delight;
Who lovingly guardeth my footsteps,
And giveth me songs in the night.

This song has been on my heart as we get closer to the celebration of Easter and Resurrection Sunday! My heart swells with gratitude and my soul rises up with Hallelujah! 
Thank you, Jesus! I'm so thankful that I can sing... for I cannot be silent. Your love is the theme of my song.

Have a wonderful weekend friends! 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Baby Stitches

In the past few months, I have been honored by being asked to make a 'layette' for a couple of different baby girls that are due in the late spring. Baby stitching is probably one of the most enjoyable makings that I do because it works up so rapidly and it is so stinkin sweet. 
These old fashioned layettes are not as popular as they were many years ago, but hopefully they are making a comeback and maybe I am helping that cause.
I tried to make each one light and airy because of almost summer babies, a heavy dress would not be ideal. This little dress is so light that it should work perfectly for those hot summer days ahead.

-A little off the point flashback-
When Carlie Jean was a baby, she had a bonnet almost exactly like the one below. Her daddy always got me tickled because he said it reminded him of a dilophosaurus... you know one of those dinosaurs that has the fan frills around his head. Haha, you just have to know my husband. It cracked me up and still does when I think about it. 

The baby bloomers have sweet tiny ruffles around each leg.

I am smitten with the mary janes in crochet style and in so many different colors. They turn out so sweet. 
I've been making a lot of headbands too. Headbands are great for warm weather babes because they don't cover the whole head, and if they don't have enough hair for a bow, this will help that Moma that wants a bow in baby girls hair. Which I LOVE!!!
Such a sweet set. I just adore making for babies. 
I can't wait to finish up my next project and show you. It is outrageously cute!
Have a lovely day, friends!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


I know I often speak of home, but it is truly something I am passionate about. Home should be the place you long to get back to. It's always fun to go out on an adventure, whether it is your big shopping trip of the month, or a little get-a-way for the weekend, no matter if I am gone for an hour or for a week, HOME is where I love. 

Home is what you make of it. Do you seek to make it a place of beauty. A place of warmth. A place of quiet rest. A place of abounding laughter and fun. It can be all these things and more. 
It doesn't take a lot of STUFF to make it this place. It takes effort. It takes the Lord. 
Is there strife there? I know occasionally there is everywhere, but lead by example and work towards ending that strife, even before it starts if possible.
Is there uncomfortableness? Work towards comfort. Chairs, pillows, blankets, books, the things you love that surround you. Words on walls and pictures that remind you of your joy, your peace, your family. You are not trying for a museum... this is your home! Make it a place you can live in. Home can be beautiful and comfortable. 
Does everyone scatter when you are home? Everyone seeks out their own corner for quiet? That's fine too, and we all need a space of our own, but for a while, make sure you come together and enjoy one another.
Are you not home enough? Start making time for home. I know when you have a lot of activities, it can be very difficult to get everyone home for any amount of time, but search out a time and try to make that time very special, with a good meal, maybe a family game, a book on cd, even a family movie... but make sure to make time to linger around the table and just talk. No cell phones, please... except to take a picture and capture the moment... My family knows this is how I am. ;)
Are flowers in bloom? Pick a few... it is amazing what a few flowers can do to create a beautiful space. I've told you before when we plant our summer garden, I almost always try to plant a wildflower garden as well. That way I have fresh flowers to gather from as often as I want! This year I hope to plant a LARGE patch. I'm eager for that! 
I posted a quote with the picture below on my instagram. 
Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.
-William Morris
I try to adhere to that. I want to use what I have and have what I use or love. The jars of grain are scooped from each week. The measuring cups are able to be pulled off the wall and used, (those came from my mother in law and I just love them) The flowers drying across the beam in the kitchen are from special occasions. The joy sign is something I got on clearance at Christmas and it is a great reminder to me, to always choose joy instead of anger, frustration or hurt. To try to keep on seeing the good and finding the happy in all situations. It will probably remain out all year around, just probably moved from here to there occasionally. 
Your home may have a totally different look than mine, it may be neat and tidy and less stuff around... that is perfectly fine, everyone has different tastes and what makes them feel homey and comfortable. I would just like to encourage you to make home a priority and time with your family there a thing to look forward to... It's rewards are worth it.

Every family is different and I don't expect to know what best suits your family, but I do know this... our time with our children is very short, and there are SO many options out there that can take that time away, so please make time for family. Make time for home. Make time for enjoying life in the space you have... This is what memories are built around and heaven knows we want those to be sweet ones.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Dutch Apple Pie

Saturday the sun was shining, the birds were singing and the frogs were croaking and my heart was soaring. The signs of spring brought such joy to my heart that I was in such a wonderful mood I wanted to bless everyone around me. After finishing up all the other things we had to tend to that morning, I decided Saturday afternoon that I would make a pie to go with our chicken n dumplins!

To me, there really is no other pie but apple. I know my family enjoys many different pies. Apple pie was what I had on my mind and so that is the direction I went. 
I have an OLD cookbook from the Apple Barn in Pigeon Forge. Soooooo many different recipes with apples. It's a great little book. 

(I don't know if it is in print any longer, but here it is on Amazon for a penny plus shipping!
Here's the recipe for the crust:
(of course you need a double crust, and certainly you can buy a package if you like)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup shortening
4-6 tbsp cold water
Combine flour and salt; cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle in cold water evenly over surface; stir with a fork until all dry ingredients are moistened. Shape dough in a ball; chill. Divide in half and roll each portion to 1/8 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. 
Will make pastry for one double crust 9 inch pie.
Preheat oven to 425*

Here's the recipe for the pie part:
6 cups apples (I used Granny Smith)
3/4 cup sweetener (honey, brown sugar, etc)
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
dash of salt
2 tbsp butter or margarine
1/2 cup whipping cream (I TOTALLY forgot this part, and it still turned out fab!)

Line 9 inch pie plate with half of pastry, set aside. Combine apples and hone, tossing gently. Combine flour, spices, and salt, stirring well. spoon over pastry shell and dot with butter. Cover with top crust, and slit in several places to allow steam to escape; seal and flute edges. (I could use some help there)
bake at 425* for 40 minutes. Pour whipping cream in slits of pie and bake an additional 5 minutes. (Remember, I forgot that part... but I did drizzle caramel sauce over the whole top... result? D-VINE!!! TRULY SCRUMPTIOUS!)

Everyone raved about this pie. Even my husband who "isn't an apple person" said, "Chas... this pie is delicious! I guess I just thought I wasn't a fan of apple pie!" 
Winner, winner, chicken dinner... friends! Haha... with a slice of apple pie for dessert! ;)

I have decided that when I can, Saturday's will be a special day when we make dessert. It was a wonderful treat. Pie is good for the heart... I'm sure of it. Making, baking and enjoying. 
Have a great day!