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30 Days of Thankfulness – Day 1

Today, I am linking up with Rachel and Jessica over at Young Homemakers for their “30 Days of Thankfulness” challenge.

For each day in the month of November, I will be posting something that I am thankful for. I hope that YOU will join in as well. =)

TODAY I AM THANKFUL FOR:
My salvation. I can’t put into words how grateful I am that God chose, in His sovereignty, to send His only son to save us from our sins. I feel so blessed to be one of His own.

1st John 3:16“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.”

I am thankful that God can take this broken sinner, wash my sins away until I am white as snow, and lead me down a path of reformation, restoration, and sanctification.

*Thank you, LORD. Please help me to continue to follow you through everything that I do.*

Don’t forget to drop back by Young Homemakers to read more postings for the “30 Days of Thankfulness” challenge. =)

Blessings to you!
~*~Courtney~*~

Friendship Casserole

This evening, we had Friendship Casserole for dinner. This is one of our favorite casseroles, mainly because it freezes and reheats well. It is also one of our favorite casseroles because it tastes quite yummy!

Friendship Casserole
INGREDIENTS:
2 lbs ground chuck
2 TBSP sugar
2 large jars spaghetti sauce
1 16oz pkg of egg noodles or penne pasta
1/2 c butter
1/2 tsp onion salt
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 c parmesan cheese
1 12oz pkg mozzarella cheese (pre-grated or grate yourself from a block)


Brown hamburger meat, drain fat. Add spaghetti sauce and sugar to meat. Simmer for 20 minutes. Cook noodles as directed on noodle package, drain, then toss with butter, salts, and parmesan cheese. Spray 2 9×13 pans with cooking spray. Pour 1/4 of the sauce into the first 9×13 pan, pour half of the noodles over that. Pour 1/4 of the remaining sauce over the top of the noodles. Repeat with second 9×13 pan. Cover both pans with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Yields 2 9×13 pans, or 24 servings.

This casserole is easy to freeze and reheat! Simply place the assembled and unbaked casserole in the freezer, and PRESTO! You have a casserole ready to go for a busy day or night.

Enjoy!

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Blessings, friends. =)
~*~Courtney~*~

Autumn

AutumnThe seasons have rolled by once more.

It is finally time to pull out the hot cider, extra blankets and floor heaters, for Autumn has come at long last.

I love Autumn. I love everything about it. ❀

Darby

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Updating

It is always amazing to me to see how much the outside world changes as the seasons come and go. It seems like just yesterday when I was looking out my window at the first snowfall of the year.

With the changing of the seasons, the different activities that my family participates in change as well. I’m going to post updates below on several of the things we’ve been working on.

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As the warmer weather quickly approaches, we are spending more time out-of-doors while we work in our garden and neaten our yard. I am especially enjoying the beautiful flowers that are poking their heads out of the ground.

I’ve been trying to capture their beauty lately through photographing them:

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I’ve also been trying to stretch my cooking wings lately.

The first thing that I’ve been attempting to perfect is loaf bread. The Vermont Maple Honey Oat Bread recipe out of the King Arthur Flour cookbook has been my absolute favorite homemade loaf bread recipe of all time. It is a delicious bread that is wonderful for sandwiches or is fantastic as an addition to any meal.

Mmmmmm…… =) You can’t beat fresh bread!

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Two weeks ago, I was blessed to be able to get my driver’s license. Those of you who know me know what a big deal that was for me, being the last person on earth who wanted to learn how to drive. I’m happy to report that I am actually beginning to enjoy it, *gasp*! πŸ™‚

Now that we can drive (my brother, Josh, also got his license on Monday), Josh and I went and got a pizza today. We enjoyed doing something different and I can see how being able to drive is going to be a really nice thing.

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I’m pleased to announce that we have 3 new additions to our family.

Meet Gracie:

Zoe:

and last, but certainly not least, Jack, our first dog ever:

Gracie and Zoe are two of the sweetest cats you’ll ever meet. We adopted Gracie from our local animal shelter. She is right over a year old, and is playing the role of a sweet and *very* patient Mama cat to Zoe, a kitten that we were able to get from some people who lived just down the road from our old house. Zoe is full of spunk and energy, but you can tell both cats really enjoy playing together and they seem to get along really well.

Then we have Jack. Jack is a 3-month-old black lab whom we are still having to get adjusted to. Not ever having had a dog before, we weren’t prepared for how full of energy Jack would be. As long as we can train him well now, he will make an excellent guard dog for our chickens, as well as our home. If any of you have tips on training a dog and wouldn’t mind sharing them, we would be much appreciative, as we are pretty much starting from the ground up. πŸ™‚

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I think that pretty much wraps up this post. I hope your day has been wonderful thus far! =)

~*~Courtney~*~

It’s been a long time…

Well, dear friends, it has been a while since I have updated my little corner of the web. I will try my best to update you on what has been going on in our home recently. *takes a deep breath to begin* πŸ™‚

It is amazing to see how many things need to be done as spring approaches. πŸ™‚ Today, I went and added some dirt to the herb garden that Joshua and I built last year. The soil that was there previously had washed away due to the heavy rainfall and lots of snow that we received this year. As I was mixing the soil in, I was happy to see that my parsley, lambs’ ear, lemon balm and catnip have all survived the winter and are looking lush and healthy. I am hoping to expand my herb garden quite a bit this year, but we’ll see how it goes. I know that I would like to add several kinds of mint and thyme, as well as oregano, basil, lavender, etc.

It was a perfect day for the task. The breeze was blowing so nicely that the weather was simply delightful. I hope to spend some time outside tomorrow as well, if the weather permits. I would like to start working on beautifying other areas of our yard so that there are several “scenic” areas to enjoy while outside. While outdoors, I would also like to take some photos of the daffodils that are peeking their heads out of the soil. Lord willing, I will post some photos of those soon.

I have been trying to spend more time on my music studies lately. Currently, I’m studying piano, mandolin, and violin. I had put the violin aside for a bit, because I was “stuck” on a particular piece in my violin book. Thankfully, I’m not stuck there any more. Josh and I are actually working on a piano/violin duet right now. I’ve still got a LOT of work to do on it, but I like where it is headed so far.

With this being the beginning of the year, I’m trying to organize all the different projects that I would like to work on this year. This ranges from sewing projects to self-education goals. I know for sure that I would love to have everyone’s Christmas gifts made by September, the baby’s coming home blanket done by the end of March, a regency dress made by the end of the summer, a book list read before the end of the year, and etc. etc. Making such lists help keep me organized and working toward goals that I need to accomplish in a certain amount of time. For now, I am making those lists in a notebook, divided out by tabs so that I can easily flip to the specific section I need at that time. It is working pretty well thus far, but I will probably make a few changes as time goes by.

I’m in the middle of reading Tortured for Christ right now. It was written by the founder of Voice of the Martyrs organization. I’ve have enjoyed it thus far, but it has definitely been eye-opening about the persecution Christians endure throughout the world. I’m also re-reading Joyfully at Home, by Jasmine Baucham. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it the first time, and I’m enjoying it just as much (if not more, LOL! πŸ™‚ ) my second time through. I HIGHLY recommend reading this book. After I finish reading these two books, I’m going to start Emma by Jane Austen (this would be my 4th or 5th time to read this book. I read it about once a year because I enjoy it so much. πŸ™‚ ), and Animal Farm, by George Orwell. Can you tell that I love to read? πŸ˜‰

I’ve been trying to stretch my photography skills lately. If you know me personally or have been reading here a while, you know that I love photography in general. I’m lucky to have a sweet photographer friend who gives me critiques and ideas of different things to try. In fact, the recent photos that she took of my family have inspired me to work on my people photographs. I have been experimenting with different techniques/ideas using my own siblings as the subjects. They are so gracious to allow me to pose them different ways and take several photos while I practice. Here are some of my recent favorites:

I think I have summed up what I have been busy with lately. What have you been up to? πŸ™‚

May you have a blessed day, dear friend! πŸ™‚
~*~Courtney~*~

In which WINTER has come upon us…

I can hardly believe that December is upon us again. It seems as if time has been flying by.

We are quite settled into our new home. We have enjoyed using all of the extra space. Now, we are trimming our tree and hanging wreaths upon the windows to decorate for Christmas. I will try to post some photographs of the house being decorated a little bit later.

Here in Alabama, the cold has come in with a vengeance… and I LOVE it. = ) I am a cold weather person to the core. It is so beautiful to look out and see the frost that has fallen on the ground in the mornings. It seems to sparkle with every beam of sunlight that falls on it.

The cooler weather often reminds me of my favorite Robert Frost poem,
Stopping by Woods on a Snow Evening‘ :

“Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”

*sigh*. I love the winter. =)

I love the spectacular soups and chili that warms you from head to toe…
I love making holiday cookies with my family….
I love working on handmade Christmas gifts….
I love having to pile on 40 blankets to stay warm…
I love hot cocoa, steaming in its’ mug…..
I love singing (and listening, if it’s Mannheim Steamroller) to Christmas music…
I love visiting with all the guests that come to visit in our home, especially during the holiday season…

and etc., etc., etc. πŸ˜‰

Go and enjoy the delights of winter and the holiday season with your family and friends. You will make lovely memories to hold close for many years to come.

Blessings!
~*~Courtney~*~


Welcome!

Welcome to my blog. I am 19 and the oldest of eleven children. I am learning how to run and care for a home, learning to be more like Jesus, and how to be a godly wife and mother. We love each other, and each day is a new adventure as we seek to glorify the Lord through all we do.

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