Quality time is high on our priority list and is one ingredient that fills all of our "love tanks" - have you ever heard of the book "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman? If not, I highly recommend it (he wrote one specifically for Children and one for Marriage...I have both). Don't let life get too busy to put your family at the top of your priorities...we've been blessed with the gift of our families - we need to cherish and serve each other. Make time for them.
That is why I started Simplicity By Sara...it is my passion to serve and help other families see the value in each other...loving, caring, serving, supporting and taking precious time for each other. I know life is busy especially when both Husband and Wife work full time, the Children are involved in all kinds of activities and meal preparation - who has time to keep up with the household responsiblities? Either stuff just doesn't get done or we neglect those who are most important. I've been there. I've simplified. I look forward to doing the same for you.
I love that we are able to enjoy each other...I love that there is a lot less aggravation and a lot more laughter. This past weekend the girls and I made bread...twice...that is what memories are made of.
Measuring, mixing, kneading, waiting and baking bread is hard work but so worth it (and healthier)!
The recipe the girls chose was Honey Wheat. For the recipe and directions click the finished product (pictured above) and enjoy!
Yesterday I had my day all figured out. It was dreary, cold and damp so I planned to spend the day designing my business brochure and possibly business cards for myself and Andy if time allowed all bundled up in a cozy blanket by the wood fire with our dogs. I sat down with a nice hot cup of tea and I got a call from Andy...He lost his wedding ring...Again. This is second ring he lost this year. I've come a long way when it comes to things not going according to So, I unwrapped myself and jumped in the car to help search the job site. We combed the job site and nearby roads/ditches with our eyes about fifty times but honestly, it was like looking for a needle in a haystack. There was so much loose dirt and rocks (that were conveniently the same color as his ring) it seemed hopeless. I had to “give-up” so I could get our girls from school and Andy had to get back to work. It was by mutual agreement his next ring would be a tattoo.
Believe what happened next! Just like the miracle God performed in our marriage…He performed another miracle by leading Emily straight to that ring after school! Ashlyn was doing her homework while I prepared supper to the faint tune of Emily contently singing outside. That lovely tune was abruptly interrupted by a loud screech and Emily running into the house with Andy’s ring excitedly yelling, “Daddy’s ring…Daddy’s ring…I found Daddy’s ring!” I couldn’t believe it but she found it in the rocks in front of our porch. It makes no sense as to how IT got THERE?!?!! Another miracle.
What does a wedding ring symbolize? The circle of a ring represents undying love and unity. For most, wearing a wedding ring makes a public proclamation that you are spoken for. The importance of a wedding ring is different for everyone…for us it is a symbol of a “new beginning” and the miracle of love and friendship we didn’t know could even exist in our relationship. I’m glad we found it.
1 John 3:21-23
Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.
Fall is my favorite season. Picking apples is a tradition we look forward to all summer. Apple picking came early this year...if you haven't picked apples yet you better hurry as the orchards have a limited supply this year. Some don't even have "pick your own" due to the ironic weather we've had. Enjoy this Apple Spice Cake recipe (thanks to Betty Crocker).
Apple Spice Cake
1-1/2 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Vegetable Oil
3 Large Eggs
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
3 Cups of Chopped Tart Apples (Macintosh & Cortlands are my favorite)
1 Cup Coarsely Chopped Nuts (Optional)
Heat oven to 350. Grease bottom of 9x13 cake pan and lightly coat with flour.
Beat sugar, oil and eggs until blended and add remaining ingredients (except apples & nuts) mixing on low speed for about 1 minute. Stir in apples and nuts.
Bake about 40-45 minutes...cool...and frost with Vanilla Glaze frosting (to follow)
Vanilla Glaze Frosting
1/3 Cup Butter
2 Cups Powdered Sugar
1-1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
2 to 4 Tablespoons Hot Water
Melt butter over low heat. Remove from heat and stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. Stir in hot water 1 tablespoon at a time until smooth (the consistancy of a thick syrup). Drizzle over cake.
Much of who we are today is a direct reflection of what occurred within our family life (growing up). Look for ways to Simplify...to make time for your family. I would love the opportunity to help.
Our family has been on quite the Journey…We’ve been through a lot. Isn’t that what “Life” is all about though? Living, Learning and Growing Together…and then loving more because of what we’ve experienced? I know that I have endured what I have so I can share what I’ve learned with others. If I can encourage another because of the difficulties I’ve faced…I’m proud and feel a great sense of accomplishment. I’m not here on Earth to judge another – we all have stuff. Our purpose is to love one another, support, encourage...to be the Light in a Dark world.
Our Tree Swing…for me holds more than just endless hours of enjoyment. It is so much more than that. Every time my girls swing on our tree swing, I’m gently reminded of where we’ve been and how far we’ve come. A short time ago our girls enjoyed the freedom of country living…we had woods to explore, chickens and abundant nature at our finger tips. Then our family went through a time of darkness. We sold our home. I purchased a home in the city…it was here our marriage was lifted high and we experienced a New Beginning. Our marriage and our family became whole and filled with true love for the first time. Even though this new home was
the beginning of a wonderful adventure…we discovered that city people we are not. We were not meant to be confined within a fence so close to neighbors that we could smell what was for dinner. It was like something
inside of each one of us was being held captive…and slowly we were becoming less motivated, tired and bored. We decided to sell and by God’s Grace sold our home in a tough market and found our dream home back in the country. I am having a hard time finding the words to really express how we feel here. It is surreal. Our home is perfect for us in every way and we are so Blessed.
Our girls always dreamed of having a tire swing…and it fills my heart to watch them swing and hear the endless hours of giggles remembering each day where we’ve been and how far we’ve come.
Romans 8: 28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Mmmmm…who doesn’t love the cheesy goodness of stuffed shells? It’s what’s for dinner…and it is SO delicious and easy to make.
1 lb Ground Hamburger
1 lb Box of Medium Shell Pasta
1 Jar of Spaghetti Sauce
1 Sm Container of Ricotta Cheese
2 Cups of Shredded Mozzarella (1cup for the stuff and 1 cup for the top)
1 Tbsp Roasted Garlic
1 Tbsp Dried Onions
Salt and Pepper to Taste
I always cook my shells first (about 10 minutes). While the shells are cooking I mix up
the Ricotta mixture: Ricotta, Shredded Mozzarella, Egg, Roasted Garlic, and Dried Onions. Mix thoroughly.
After I drain my shells I use that pan to brown my Ground Hamburger…add some Roasted Garlic and Salt/Pepper to your liking. While the hamburger is browning, start stuffing your shells and put them in a roasting pan (like pictured), or any
casserole dish…I’ve also used my glass cake pan. Layer the Ground Hamburger, then Sauce and top with the remaining Mozzarella.
Bake Covered at 350 Degrees for about 30 Minutes. Enjoy!
I love spending time with my family.
I feel really Blessed Ashlyn and I enjoy some of the same things. We are still getting settled in our new home and it just takes time for everything to find their place. The kitchen has always been where I spend most of my time so it is very important for it to be organized. All of my baking stuff just wasn't making sense. Ashlyn and I got the idea from a friend of ours to put all of our baking ingredients into glass jars and label them. Her set up was a little different but we didn't have any trouble making it our own. We had fun spending time together...and I find myself every now and then opening the baking cabinet just to sneak another look. It truly is the simple things that matter most.
Simplifying Real Estate. Simplifying Life.
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