Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Shelving Solutions

Months ago, I shared about my new craft room desk area. That was one side of my craft area. The other sides (there are 3 since it is open to a large room) have not been so easy to control or beautify. Are you ever less motivated to organize when the opportunity to be creative or decorate seems minimal? Part of my problem is not having the time to go through all of it and moreover, keeping things picked up, as you can see!


I decided the fastest solution to the most unruly shelf on this side was to cover it, and then come back and attack the contents later. I’ve thought about ordering some cute fabric from America to cover it, but I decided I’d give this bird fabric from IKEA a try. I think it added a fun punch of life that the more organizational side of the area needed!


Our upstairs room still had another unsightly, catch-all, forgotten, not-really-been-touched-since-we-moved-in bookshelf:

DSCF7276 DSCF7392

Taking everything off of this bookshelf was a good place to start. Things that didn’t belong here had to find a new home. Then I realized many of the big books and magazine holders could not even fit between the shelves (this was a homemade bookcase left in our old house).  I took magazines out of their holders (or took them elsewhere). Stacking big books on their side actually helped visually. It is so nice to know where I can find something or where something goes. Why do I wait to do these projects? …moving on.

I’m sharing this at the We’re Organized Wednesday link party.

PS: These organizational projects were completed before the last few weeks of retreat center busyness and decorating, for those of you who know about that. I do want to share what happened there and what I’ve learned! Soon hopefully!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pumpkin Factory

Friday we took the girls back to check out a place that had caught our eye in passing earlier that week. It looked like a pumpkin factory, but really it was pumpkin storage. And actually I think it is winter squash storage.


Bins and bins of the biggest squash and pumpkins we’d ever seen in one place!  We were used to a trailer full on the side of the road in Germany but never this quantity.


We didn’t know if the workers would let us take pictures (it seems businesses are funny about pictures here)—thankfully one said yes to my question in broken Portuguese. Then another fellow motioned that we should go back to the warehouses in the back.


Amazing what we saw! Rows and rows of neatly stacked squash and pumpkins! It could pass for the fall aisle at Hobby Lobby, but these were real!


I found online that you can store some winter squash for 4-6 months! We’ll have to check out what this place looks like in a few months.


We weren’t in Portugal for fall last year so I’m not sure what it looks like here (and I’ve been holding onto summer as long as I can). Yet I’m thankful for glimpses of the beauty of the season to come!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Table Talk and Tomatoes

Quote of the day: We were talking about what foods were good for your heart at lunch today (ie: oatmeal, garlic). Our oldest daughter said,

“Jesus is what people need for their heart, not oatmeal!”

Confession of the day: We have not found hard taco shells in Portugal. Thankfully we can get tortillas, but it’s much cheaper to bring some back from America! I found a recipe for making taco shells (essentially just frying and folding them in the oil). It feels like a confession since I’m a Registered Dietitian…funny we were just speaking of heart health! I do have to say that these tacos (including ground beef/pork, homemade salsa, field greens, cilantro, and tomatoes from our garden) in the fried shells were YUM-O!  Maybe we’ll put them on the menu only…once a month :).

Quickly I wanted to share how I used up 8 kilos (nearly 18 pounds) of tomatoes from our garden in a matter of minutes. Sorry these are NOT pretty pictures!


This is my 2nd Vidalia Chop Wizard. It might not say much about it since my first one broke after months of chopping onions (and not shedding tears doing it). However, I loved it so much I got a 2nd one! 



I could not make all the salsa to can that I wanted since I couldn’t find more limes at the store. Therefore I chopped up my tomatoes and froze them for future salsa making just like the frozen chopped tomatoes I usually buy at the store.


Yeah for fast and free!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Changed By a Book

You may not be able to help but notice the flashing book “widget” I added to the sidebars. Those are the books I’m reading or recommend that you can find on Amazon. I was bummed you wouldn’t see this book since it isn’t sold there, but when I finished it I knew I had to tell you about it still.

I actually won Igniting Faith in 40 Days from the writers at our international conference we attended this summer in America. God knew I needed it! It has a daily reading and declaration of truth along with 3 lists of declarations in the back. So many of the readings opened my eyes to lies I’ve believed or unknowingly spoken over my life versus walking in the truth of God’s Word. It’s no magic formula, just believing the Word. Some examples:

“Let the weak say I am strong.” Joel 3:10

“Jesus answered, ‘…if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.’ ” Mark 11:23

I’m not asking for physical mountains to move. Instead I have seen the mountain of FEAR be done away with in my life (by faith)! We were on our first flight back to Portugal, and I normally struggle to not have fear in flying.  Several minutes into our ascent, I clearly felt the Lord say (in my mind) “Be as if you never had fear.” And the feelings of anxiety vanished! Really!!!  Instead I had a joy like I haven’t experienced in a long time on a plane! I believe this is fruit of my declarations (and thus hearing the Word) becoming belief and faith!

I could tell you more stories about how I feel reading this book and following it’s direction in getting in the Word and declaring God’s truth has changed my life. I will hold off and let you go check out the book!  You can buy Igniting Faith in 40 Days and others by Steve and Wendy at the Ignited Hope store. I’m starting the next book by the Backlund’s. Can’t wait to tell you about it!


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