Monthly Archives: October 2016

Gratitude

I’m organizing material this evening to begin a new Bible study next week with Lacey.  It’s the perfect time of year to reflect on gratitude and thanksgiving as we enter the holiday season.  I’ll share more information about this study later. 

I am thankful for my friends, family and fellow bloggers that are visiting this site and offering feedback.  My stats are showing a lot of traffic/details and I’m excited!  It’s so much fun to share recipes with other people that enjoy cooking.  It doesn’t have to be boring or a daily chore.  Why not be creative, have fun, experiment and really love the food you make?  Why not try our best to serve our family delicious and healthy meals?  

I’m thankful for those that are sending me tips and offering advice!  We all need help and encouragement if we want to learn and do our best, right?  Let’s keep building each other up, sharing our passion and enjoying life!  

Sweet Potato Fries

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We love sweet potato fries so I was anxious to try this recipe.  I actually made it two times this past week, with the best results on the second try after adjusting the recipe a little.  I only had golden sweet potatoes on my first attempt so they looked a little strange when done….the pale yellow turned dark brown/black.  They tasted good but they sure didn’t look that great!

I picked up a couple of the “regular” orange ones and the results looked much better that time.  They tasted the same but looked much different.  Presentation is everything right?  Not really but it’s still important.  The flavor is really good for these fries….a little spicy and a little sweet.  I reduced the brown sugar a little and added more chipotle chili powder.  You can adjust the recipe to add more sweetness or spice!

Make sure you plan ahead on this recipe, the potatoes need to soak for about an hour before baking.

Recipe courtesy of http://www.eat-yourself-skinny.com

Recipe

Stonewall Jackson

Lacey and I studied the civil war for several weeks this past spring and enjoyed a couple fun field trips that really brought this historical time to life for us. Honestly, I’ve never been a fan of history, I used to sleep in my high school class but still managed to pass it somehow. But, the civil war has been very interesting and I’m actually spending some of my free time learning more about it.

Stonewall Jackson has caught my attention, possibly since there is so much local history about this great man. Before we move into the twentieth century in history class, I wanted to review the civil war, finish our study on this topic and visit Jackson’s Mill.

I recently finished this great book, Beloved Bride- The Letters of Stonewall Jackson to His Wife.

I have read other accounts of Stonewall Jackson but this book clearly shows his strong faith in his heavenly father and his love and deep devotion to his wife, daughter, soldiers and his country. His testimony is an inspiration and great example to us all. I wrote the following notes and facts from this book and I highly recommend it if you have the chance to pick up a copy. Also, his wife wrote a biography titled, “The Life and Letters of Stonewall Jackson”, that I hope to check out soon. One other biography that has high reviews is by James Robertson, “Stonewall Jackson- the Man, the Soldier, the Legend.” All three of these books can be purchased on Amazon.

Despite his rough childhood, Thomas Jonathan Jackson grew up to be a godly man, husband, father and leader. At age 3 his older sister and father died. Just 4 short years later, his mother passed away and he then went to live with his uncle. In later years, he faithfully served as a deacon in his church and taught a Sunday school class. His life goal was to serve God and his country. As a young man, he married in 1853 but tragedy would strike just one year later. His wife gave birth to a still born son and she then passed away within hours. Althought heart broken, his faith was not shaken. He often quoted scripture such as Romans 8:28, And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

He was well known as a man of prayer and no matter was too small to bring before God. I think we need this reminder even today. He was content, despite his circumstances in the war. Stonewall soon became a great leader and example to many. He was known to quote the apostle Paul, “I glory in tribulations”, and he looked to the apostle for strength, encouragement and as an example to follow. He believed that Christians should never complain and advised others to keep their eyes fixed on God. He recognized and appreciated God’s beautiful creation, amidst the bloody civil war. He was deeply concerned about the spiritual welfare of his men. He often preached to them about his heavenly father and held services to offer thanks for the victories and prayers for continued success until independence had been established. He was called brave and beloved by his soldiers, they were devoted and had great affection for him. He was very grateful to God for the promotion to General and remained a humble servant to Him. He never failed to give God the glory for his battle victories and constant protection.

He was admired and loved by people around the world. He continually received gifts
throughout the war, that may have never been available otherwise. He stated that, “God is the source of every blessing.” His greatest blessing though was a young woman that became his beloved bride in 1857. They would be married for six years until his death in 1863. Anna Morrison Jackson lived until 1915. Their godly testimony continues to inspire and teach Christian families even until today. As shown in his letters in this book, he was a very loving husband and gentleman that prayed for his wife. He would often share sermons with his wife (by letters) while they were separated. It was noted that he would remind his wife to tithe at least one tenth of their income while he was away. He would not mail a letter though if he thought it would travel on Sunday, the Sabbath. This was a day to be set apart and honored. He wrote letters to many other people during the war besides his wife, including his pastor. He encouraged ministers to become army chaplains in the field. His pastor said that “his faith not only made him brave, but gave form, order, direction and power to his whole life.”

The Jackson’s had an infant daughter that died of jaundice. In November 1862, they were blessed with a healthy baby girl. Again, he expressed that, “God is the source of every blessing.” He would finally meet his beloved daughter when she was five months old, shortly before he died. At age 39, Stonewall Jackson was accidentally killed by his own troops. They opened fire in the dark, suspecting that the Yankees were attacking. As he lay dying, his wife read the book of Psalms to him and sang hymns of comfort and peace. At this time, he again expressed his desire for others to sanctify the Lord’s day.

The greatest quote from Stonewall Jackson in this book, in my opinion, that is quite relevant still today is; “Oh, that our country was such a Christian, God fearing people as it should be.”

feels like fall

Our driveway and porches are decorated with beautiful mums and pumpkins of all sizes from our garden.

The leaves are slowly changing colors.

Lacey’s horse is getting her winter coat.

We turned on the furnace a couple times due to the chilly nights.

The flannel sheets are now on our bed and I have a big crock pot of beef stew cooking.

It’s fall, for sure!

I used to watch Sandra Lee on the Food Network and subscribed to her magazine which I loved to get in the mail.  Back in 2009 I saved a beef stew recipe that we loved and I have been using it ever since.  It’s easy to throw together in the mornings, let it cook all day in the crock pot and its so delicious for dinner!  The rolls are almost done rising and I’m making some garlic butter now.  I love to use the crock pot, especially on fall and winter days.  It warms up my small kitchen and the house smells wonderful all day long.  I guess I’m sorta old fashioned….. but I like Adam to come home in the evenings after a long day at work and our home smells so good, with dinner waiting.  I love family dinners (uninterrupted time, just the 3 of us, sharing our day, no electronics, just us) and I could sit around the table all night talking and laughing if we didn’t have other things that we need to do.

Enjoy!

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