Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bb is for baskets

Baskets make me happy. My favorite basket I purchased in Poland and then drug it around all summer and home on a long flight.

Dave brought me a beautiful basket from South Africa.

I also love my baskets from Target, Joanne's Fabric, Ikea and Pier One Imports. My current books are in a square basket by my bed. A beautiful round basket with a handle houses my makeup. I carry a basket to Bible study every Tuesday with everything I need to facilitate my small group. It is true, baskets make me happy.

What household item makes you happy?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Aa is for apple pancakes

As newlyweds on a strict budget, Dave and I still wanted to extend hospitality to our family, friends and to the students in our ministry. A great solution for us was to invite people over for breakfast and apple pancakes were (still are!) as delicious and inexpensive as they came. They remain a Childers favorite.


1 pound apples, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk

Saute the apples in butter until lightly browned. Place apples in pie plate. Combine cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle on the apples. Mix the rest of the ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, eggs and milk) and pour over the apples. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Serve with butter, powdered sugar and cinnamon.

This recipe can be doubled and cooked in a 9x13 inch pan.

* The apples in the photo will be pancakes tomorrow morning!

Do you have a favorite breakfast recipe?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Aa is for adorable

Chicago houses two of the most adorable girls - EVER! I am sitting in the beautiful apartment of our daughters, Christy and Jenny, the perfect place to begin my ABC blog series. Aa is for adorable!
 Just a few of the reasons I find these girls adorable is their:
  • love of books
  • amazing skills at decorating
  • beautiful and useful routines
  • enjoyment of a good cup of coffee or tea
  • art of processing life - the good, the bad, the ugly
  • commitment to their friends
  • great healthy (as organic as their budget allows) cooking skills
  • authentic and growing relationship with God
  • and BEST OF ALL . . . they think I'm adorable, too!
Who are the adorable people in your life?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Glenda's ABC's (an introduction)

"A-a-a-a- what begins with Aa? Aunt Annie's alligator a-a-a!" As a first grade teacher and as a mom, I have always loved a well illustrated alphabet book.

So in honor of our 26th anniversary (awhile back), I gave a talk entitled "How to Live a Charmed Life (even in a tent): What I have Learned in 26 years of Homemaking." I gave one idea beginning with each letter of the alphabet. Thus was born my own ABC book.

Even though I now have been homemaking for 33 years, there are still only 26 letters in the alphabet. So once again, I want to write an updated version of my charmed life ABC's ~ in blog form! Stay tuned for my ideas, thoughts and observations in alphabetical order.

Do you remember a favorite ABC book?

*Click on the picture if you would like to purchase this ABC book.

Friday, February 19, 2010

When Life and Beliefs Collide (book review)

Last year, my daughter, Christy, introduced me to Carolyn Custis James. So I was very excited when our women's Bible Study leadership team decided to read When Life and Beliefs Collide: How Knowing God Makes a Difference.

Carolyn's thoughts on this topic began when one of her seminary professors stated, " you know, there has never been any great women theologians." I love the way she defines theology as "really a matter of knowing God." With this defintion Carolyn began to realise "it truly does matter whether I am a good one."

"This book is a long overdue call for Christian women to reclaim their theological heritage. We have lived too long with a false dichotomy where we must choose between Mary and Martha. Jesus flatly rejected these categories. He calls us to be a composite of the two: women who take time to know him better and whose theology informs and emboldens their ministries to others." (page 24)

We have enjoyed lively discussion and debate as each of us strive to be better theologians.

*Click on the book picture if you would like to purchase When Life and Beliefs Collide.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Inviting Giada to Dinner

The Food Network is one of my indulgences when I have an afternoon off. My two favorite hosts are Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa and Giada De Laurentiis of Everyday Italian.

I have cooked often from Ina Garten's beautiful cookbooks. So Ina is already a part of my kitchen.

But who knew I could ever have Giada cook dinner for me? Target has recently asked Giada to bring her warm personality and creative approach to a line of kitchen tools and food products.

Last week, I brought home her vegetable marinara pasta sauce. You will love the natural ingredients and the beautiful glass jar. I cooked ground beef, sweet onion, red bell pepper, carrots and zuchinni and added Giada's sauce. Served over whole grain pasta, it was a delicious and quick meal.

I am off to Target to buy more . . .

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Bo's Cafe (book review)

It is always fun when Dave and I read the same book. We recently had a lively discussion (over coffee) of our favorite passages from the novel, Bo's Cafe.

Steven is a high powered executive who is about to lose it all because of an anger problem. When he meets Andy, a journey begins to find freedom through community and honest relationships.

I loved the idea of allowing a few people to get close enough to us that they become "protectors." Here is Andy speaking to Steven, "The truth is - in case you haven't noticed - you have a bit of a tendency to blow up. And if you want to someday get past that tendency, there is really only one solution. You'll have to keep admitting it and let God and some humans who love you begin to protect you."

Dave's favorite line was,"What if there was a safe enough place where you could tell the worst about yourself and not be loved or respected less, but more?" 

Bo's Cafe is refreshingly written from a guys perspective with mostly male characters and, I take it, a really cool car. One reviewer put it this way, "Bo's Cafe is not a free ride. It is a ride to freedom."

Friday, February 12, 2010

triple berry pie

Triple berry pie is a Childers classic and is um, easy as pie to make. I always use Martha Stewart's pie crust recipe which I make in a food processor. The berries are frozen and we buy them at Costco. Just add flour and sugar. Make this delicious pie for your Valentine.

Why I HEART Thursdays (part 4) ~ What do Thursday Girls do?

As I mentioned in my previous posts, I meet with women in different studies, different sized groups and different ways. I am becoming especially fond of the structure Thursday Girls has right now and thought you might enjoy it too.
  • Thursday Girls are a group of 4 women - one late 50's (me), two just turned 40 and one early 20's.
  • Thursday Girls meet two times a month for 2 1/2 hours each time.
  • Thursday Girls do their homework and come on time.
  • Thursday Girls also set aside other times for fun. This year we took a ferry ride to  Bainbridge Island for the day (see photo above), spent an afternoon at Gillman Village and did a 24 hour retreat.
Here is what our actual time together looks like (usually!)
  • We begin with coffee and treats while we  briefly share highlights and lowlights of our lives since we were last together.
  • We then get into our study. We are currently reading Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. The chapters are so full of truth - we are going slowly with just  half a chapter each time we meet. Before we come, we have read and marked what stood out to us. We read aloud the section we studied that week, each person reading one page. As we read, we stop anytime the Holy Spirit is stirring something up. Sometimes, it is a short comment. Other times, a long discussion. If it takes us somewhere deep, we will often pray right then, too.
  • We have the last 30 minutes for prayer.
This format is so easy and so reproducible. It would work with most any book that you wanted to study together.

So, have you been praying? Have you had your antenna up - seeing the woman around you? I know it takes courage. I am praying for you that as you are brave and ask women to be in community with you, that God will bless you. Soon you will HEART Thursdays, too! Let me know if I can help in any way.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Be Mine.

I have been married to Dave for 33 Valentines Days!  We look a little different than this June 1977 photo which was taken the week we got engaged. We have lived a lot of life together. Dave and I have travelled the world together. We have raised two beautiful amazing daughters together.Together we have hosted hundreds of people in our home for coffee, meals and overnights. We have shared delicious cups of coffee together in quaint coffee shops around the world. We have read books together, led missions trips together, we have spoken together. Dave and I have cooked delicious meals together, enjoyed Cannon Beach together, taken adventuresome trips to Chicago together . . . 33 years of togetherness.

This our 33rd Valentines Day is especially sweet. God is doing some cool things in our hearts ~ new layers of health and growth as we discover more truth about ourselves and more truth about God. Becoming more authentic is hard work, but fun!

I love you, Dave. Thank you for 33 Valentines Days together. Thank you for sharing this journey with me.

Why I HEART Thursdays (part 3) ~ How to find community

I realise that my personality and gifting (the way God created me) has allowed me my whole life to be the instigator of community when I needed it. If you are like me . . . start praying and ask God who you could invite into a regular group to do life together. I would start with 3 or 4 women and make a commitment to meet for six months. At the end of six months, if you are having a great time, go for another six months.

I have many friends who would NOT enjoy that instigating role. But you can still be a Thursday Girl. You, too will want to begin with prayer as you pay attention to the women God has in your life right now. Ask God to show you who you could ask to host the group. (For me, I am looking for the Anne of Green Gables "kindred spirit" type women.) Then together, pray about who you should invite to join you. God wants you to be in community - so ask for His help.

I would love to hear from you. What are you looking for? How can I join you in praying? What is God stirring up? I long for you to HEART Thursdays, too!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Why I HEART Thursdays (part two) and Tuesdays and Fridays and . . .

I have a deep desire to be in community . . . I always have. It is part of being in the Body of Christ. Currently I have Thursday Girls, but I also pray with Carol every other Tuesday afternoon (I HEART Tuesday afternoons) and I study Esther with 12 beautiful women every other Tuesday morning. (I HEART Tuesday mornings.) I simply would not be where I am today if I didn't have consistent time with my friend, Anne, as we spend hours processing life together (on my porch, in her new kitchen, at Starbucks, driving to her eye appointments.) We figure out ways to be together as often as our schedules allow. (I HEART Anne.)

When we lived in Auburn, I attended a regular Bible Study, but I also invited 6 women to my home . . . we were the Tuesday Girls.

When we lived in Minneapolis, I sat under my favorite Bible teacher, Holly, every Tuesday morning. And each summer my family room was crowded with my friends . . . doing a Beth Moore study together.

For me, I cannot consistently grow in my faith ALONE ~ I need community!

Each of us Thursday Girls have had others say to us, "I want to be a Thursday Girl, too." For the kind of authenticity and intimacy this group has we need to stay at 4-6 people. My Esther small group is 12-14 people and that works great. But we do not have as much time to go deep. I like both kinds of groups. And I love one on one time, too. 

So, what are you craving right now . . . what women are you doing life with? . . . Are you growing and morphing to be more like Jesus because you have embraced community?

Stay tuned for why I HEART Thursdays (part 3) ~ How to find community.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Why I HEART Thursdays (part one)

If we are facebook friends, you have probably noticed that my status often refers to my new love of what use to be just an ordinary week day . . . Thursday.

Thursdays have become one of the highlights of my week. For about a year, I have been meeting with three beautiful women every other Thursday. We call ourselves the THURSDAY GIRLS.

We Thursday Girls are doing life together. We come to my sweet tiny house on the lake to a fire or candles, to yummy food (we take turns bringing) and always - always - coffee. We each also bring our true, authentic, real selves. And God is in our midst, sweetly directing, listening and enlightening as we share our joys and sorrows, our struggles and our victories. Ok, the Thursday girls have issues. Sometimes they are spiritual issues, often they are emotional issues and we also share physical issues. As we do this, we are (slowly) becoming more and more like Christ.

Have I mentioned how much I HEART Thursdays?

God designed each of us to be in community. Have you ever noticed how often the words "one another" are in the Bible. "Love one another, show mercy and compassion to one another, live in harmony with one another, accept one another, be kind to one another, submit to one another, teach and admonish one another, encourage one another, offer hospitality to one another. . . " This is exactly what the Thursday Girls do. 

God designed YOU to be in community too - with real authentic struggling fellow Christians. Are you longing for that ? . . . then stay tuned for "Why I HEART Thursdays." (part two)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

What's in YOUR hand ~ besides my favorite cookie?

Meet my friend, Connie, also known as "the cookie lady." In her 30's she was in a season of feeling sorry for herself. One morning she had been reading in Exodus 4 the story of Moses and his rod. Just as God was asking Moses, "what's in your hand?" Connie sensed God also speaking to her. So she answered in a pouty poor me voice, "all I know how to do is bake cookies and throw really great parties." God spoke to Connie's heart that day and said,"Well, then bake cookies and give really good parties for Me."

I asked Connie yesterday how she has used her love of baking cookies over the years. Here are a few of her ideas:

  • When she worked for Clinkerdaggers (a restaurant known for amazing food), she still brought cookies for the staff once a week. They loved it.
  • When her church choir was putting in extra practices for Christmas music, she brought cookies to each session. (who wouldn't want to be in that choir?)
  • She has made cookies for neighbors, for children, for widows, for junior high girls. Connie makes cookies for everyone.
  • My favorite idea is this: as the first warm sunny spring day approaches, Connie makes a big batch of her famous sugar cookies. In honor of spring, she makes four spring colors of frosting. While she is baking, she asks the Holy Spirit to give her ideas of who is especially needing a packet of cookies today. She carefully wraps her cookies in cellophane bags  tied with beautiful ribbon. Then Connie gets in her Miata (top down, of course, again in honor of spring) and heads off happily to deliver her cookies. She told me it is her favorite day of the year!

Connie's Sugar Cookies (my favorite cookie!)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Add to creamed mixture:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
Refrigerate dough 1 hour. Roll 1/8 inch thick. Cut with heart shaped cookie cutter. Bake at 325 degrees for 7 - 8 minutes. Do not brown the cookies.

Cool cookies and frost with:
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 - 2 tablespoons milk

As you enjoy making these amazing cookies this Valentines season, ask God to show you "what is in your hand?" I am sure glad Connie did!

Let me know what you discover.

(Photo source: and getty

On Valentines Day, 2011, I am linking this to Jen's.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Red and White

As a pastor's wife, my mom, Hallie, had lots and lots of people in her home. She did not love cooking, but she loved people. She was always looking for simple ways to have people in and one of her tricks was to use the same menu over and over again.

 She also had a creative flair and loved colors (in gardening, quilting etc.) So she loved an idea she read in her quest for creative hospitality. (I think the book was actually called Creative Hospitality.) It was a "Red and White Dinner" and was a fun idea for a potluck in the month of February. Each guest brought a red food item and a white food item.

Well, in honor of my adorable mom (who is in heaven now) and this delightful new month of February - here are the recipes for my RED chili and my WHITE chili. Enjoy!

Red Chili (from my,Holly)
2 pounds hamburger, cooked and drained
3 medium onions, diced
1 green pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-28 ounce can tomatoes with liquid
1 can tomato paste
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano
2-15 ounce cans kidney beans, with liquid

Cook in crock pot on high for half a day or all day on low.

White Chicken Chili
1 pound great northern beans - boil then simmer 2 hours, let sit 1 hour and drain water.

Add: 6 cups chicken stock
 1 onion and 2 cloves garlic, sauteed
 2 - 4 ounces green chilies (I use canned.)
 1 tablespoon oregano
 1 tablespoon cumin
 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
 3 - 4 chicken breast, cooked and cut up
Bring to a boil and then simmer 1 hour.

Serve with Monterrey jack cheese, chips, sour cream

Happy cooking and Happy February!
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