March 31, 2008

Menu Plan Monday ~ Week 5

Message from DJ, Here is a bigger picture!

Good Morning! This week La-tea-dah's Blog-a-Thon theme is "Decora-tea". Since today is also the day I do my Menu Plan Monday, I thought I would share a picture of my kitchen window ~ complete with Heritage Lace's Teatime Lace,
my teacups hanging on the sides of my cupboards,
the little lace teatime suncatcher found in a charming shop on
Mackinac Island and a minature teapot!
In case you can't tell, my kitchen is all about pink, tea, roses and bunnies
(there's a china bunny on the window sill that matches my teapot and teacups).
~Just a few of my Favorite Things!
Smile ~ sigh!

All that aside ~ we're down to the business of planning this week's meals.

Monday: Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas (per Lorna's request)

Tuesday: Chicken Flavored Rice, Chicken, and Green Beans (per DJ's request)

Wednesday: Save-A-Step Lasagna, Rolls, Tossed Salad

Thursday: Sausage-Potato Slow Cooker Dinner, Rolls, Applesauce

Friday: Seasoned Pork Roast, Baked Potatoes, Tossed Salad

Saturday: Baked Ziti, Sliced and Fried Polish Sausage, Peas

A lovely Spring week to you all!

March 25, 2008

Tea Time Tuesday - Resumed in in collaboration with Gracious Hospital-Teas Blog-a-Thon

La-tea-dah is hosting a tea themed blog-a-thon through the month of May. Well, you knew I'd want to be a part, didn't you? I figure it's a great way to resume my Tuesday's Teatime and she already has the themes planned out! I missed last week when we were supposed to show a picture of a favorite cup and saucer and tell their story so I'll do that first.

This teacup and saucer were given to me by my sweet mother (along with a matching snack plate) for my 34th birthday. I love the design ~ it's so "Mommy"! Elegant, beautiful, sweet ~ a real classic! My sister, Veronica, found it for her at an antique shoppe in Reading. "If teacups could talk" I wonder what kind of stories this one would tell. Was it one of a lovely complete set of china gracing the dining hall of a manse in Indian Hill or was it a cherished one of a kind treasure of a stay at home mom who just enjoyed a cuppa once in a while ~ maybe while her husband was off fighting in one of the World Wars? Hmmm!

This week we're to share a favorite book or tidbit "Litera-tea". One book? Hmmm~ how about my three faves? "If Teacups Could Talk" is full of yummy recipes, ideas and inspirational stories. It's my favorite for good comfortable reading. "The Charms of Tea" is a beautiful book with more yummy recipes and lots of pretty decorating ideas with tea themes. It's my favorite for decorating ideas. And "Country Tea Parties" is so neat. It gives tea theme ideas for each month along with the recipes for the menu ideas. It's my favorite when planning any kind of special event.

Please visit La-tea-dah at for a list of all the other entrants in this fun blog-a-thon and join me next week for the theme she has planned for it.

March 24, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - Week 4

Yes, it's spring! Lots of cleaning to do, schoolwork to be finishing up, wardrobes to re-work, etc. This week we need some simple meals - yummy, but simple, so this is what the Truesdale's will be enjoying for supper this week.

Monday: Leftover Turkey, Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Fresh Noodles, Corn, Fresh Rolls

Tuesday: Save-a-Step Lasagna, Rolls

Wednesday: Cheesy Chicken Quesadillas

Thursday:Barbecue Chicken, Macaroni & Cheese, Green Beans

Friday: Fish & Chips

Saturday: Ham, Au Gratin Potatoes

Have a lovely week enjoying your first full week of Spring!

March 23, 2008

He is Risen ~ Just Like He Said!

Every Easter Sunday morning, I like to watch the sunrise. It's the only time during the whole year that I actually take the time to watch this lovely time of day happen. Mary went early to the tomb and found it empty and the angel reminded her of the Master's loving promise. I love to reflect on all He had done since His last supper with His friends and subsequent death on the cross. It's marvelous to think of the overwheming love of my wonderful Savior and all He did after giving up His life ~ the grappling for the key of sin and death and hell that He could procure for me eternal life with Him. What love!
This morning it seemed like the sun was taking forever to come peeping over the horizon. Maybe it's because I had a million and one things (more or less) to do before arriving at the church early to set up the bells for our Junior Church's Bell Choir performance, but anyway... I decided to "just run over" and pour hot water from my whistling tea kettle into the waiting bowl for our Sunday Dinner jello. I did and came back and watched from the front door - still no sun. So much to do! "Well, I'll just run and get the ice water and pour it in and bring it back over and stir it while I watch". !!! Just that quick, the sun peeked over the horizon! I missed it! The thought came to my mind ~ "Be careful, don't get so busy doing the mundane tasks of life, getting caught up in the pressure of what has to get done and miss being ready for His Second Coming!" It would be so easy to do ~ everything's so necessary and some could be considered to be for His Glory; but, if I don't take time to spend with Him communing with Him, my focus can go amiss. I've got to keep my lamp trimmed, filled and burning bright.
A Blessed Easter to you!

March 20, 2008

Easter Parade!

This week Miss Sandy at Quill Cottage is inviting bloggers to join her for an Easter Parade down Blog Avenue. What fun!
I thought I would join the parade and share a recipe and a decor idea.
This is challah - a Jewish bread. I made some to give away and we had some for supper last night after remembering the last supper Jesus shared with His friends before going to the Garden of Gethesemane and then on to Calvary. It is a yummy sweet bread and very simple to make.


  • 9 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 pkgs. dry yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 2 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 4 eggs
  • beaten egg

In large bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, salt, water and oil. Mix well. Add eggs and 1 1/2 cups flour. Mix well. Add remaining flour one cup at a time. Mix well between each cup of flour. Knead well. Let rise, covered with a towel, for 2 -2 1/2 hours. Divide dough and braid into three large or three small challahs. Brush with beaten eggs and let rise until double in size. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

This is a three tier basket that I padded with moss
then added ceramic eggs, chocolate eggs, bunnies and spring flowers to.
It graces the center of our dining room table during the Spring/ Easter season.

Please visit Miss Sandy for a list of all the participants in the Parade:

Thursday Thirteen ~ "C"

Spring has arrived!
The sun is shining this beautiful morning and the birds are singing!
My lilac buds are getting fatter by the minute
I expect to have daffodils by this time next week for sure!
Like King Solomon said, "The time for singing has come!"
(Song of Solomon 2:11-12)
Now for thirteen things in my life that start with the letter "C":
1.Children - I LOVE children and I have three. I also thoroughly enjoy working in our church's Junior Church every Sunday. Can't get enough of being with children!
2.Camping - love to camp - in our 29 foot Prowler ;) - Not much for really roughing it. We've been to 38 states so far and also do at least two church camps every summer.
3.Charming Cottages - love looking at them in one... especially ones loaded with Cabbage Roses - you know, the big fat old fashioned kind! Cottages are so cozy and inviting, don't you think?
4.Clocks - what cottage would be complete without lots of neat clocks? Love those chimes! I have a darling Grandmother Clock my husband got me for our 15th Anniversary, a white cuckoo clock (kids that come to Aunt Nesi's ALWAYS love that one ... waiting for the bird to come out, you know?) and lots more. I'll have to do a post of all my clocks sometime.
5. Cream Cheese - anything with cream cheese... cheesecake, cinnamon rolls, truffles... Oh, you want something out of this world delicious? A caramel cheesecake! Had some at Stephanie's shower last Saturday ~ to die for delicious!
6.Candlewicking - I've been collecting this antique glassware since I was in college. "Uncle" Steve Geise got me started and I've been adding to this cherished collection since!
7. Coffee, Coca-Cola, and Cappuccino are my favorite caffeine-loaded pick-me-ups. Sometimes they're about all that keep me going!
8.Chicken - my favorite meat. Someday, I'm going to have a flock of Rhode Island Reds, too! Might have to wait til I get to heaven but... ;) By the way, Bro. Kennedy's Chicken is the favorite casserole at our house. Mmmmm! Reminds me, I love GOOD casseroles, too! Especially ones with cheese in or on them and a bonus if they're made in a crock pot.
(Bro. Kennedy is actually Deanna Kennedy. One of my babies couldn't figure out which was which and Deanna was finally determined to be the "Bro." between the two!)
9.Croquet - nothing like a good game of croquet on the lawn ... summer breezes, iced tea...
10.Classical music- love listening to Bach, Beethoven, Mozart... good old 90.9 or a morning at Music Hall... sheer delight! Cello's one of my faves ~ maybe that's why my daughter plays one -or vice versa?
11.China - you thought I'd forgotten all about my dishes, didn't you? Pretty dishes, crystal chandelier on low, candles, yummy casserole, classical music, cheesecake and then croquet ~ now THAT is livin'!
12.A little red caboose in Californina. That's where I'll spend winters when I'm old. Always wanted a little red caboose and after visiting Cali, I'm smitten.
13.Church - what my life pretty much revolves around. Getting together with the "family" worshipping our awesome Creator, Savior, Friend and Most Kind and Gracious Loving Heavenly Father!
Enjoy your First Day of Spring!

March 17, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - Week 3

Happy St. Patricks Day!
May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
May the rain fall soft upon your fields and
May God hold you in the palm of His Hand.

This is a busy week when we get to celebrate four holidays! Today, of course, is St. Patricks Day. I hope you enjoy this fun holiday with your family.
Thursday is the First Day of Spring!!! Hurray! Hurray!
Friday is Good Friday when we contemplate the death of the One who loves us so much, He gave His life for us.
Then Sunday, my favorite holiday of all - Easter! The resurrection of the Lover of my Soul! What a wonderful Savior!
This weeks' menu is as follows:
Monday: Mashed Potatoes
Gravy with Pork Roast
Lime Jello

Tuesday: Chicken
Chicken Flavored Rice
French Cut Green Beans

Wednesday: Hashbrown Casserole
Sliced and Fried Polish Sausage

Thursday: Pierogies, Sour cream, Bacon & Chives

Friday: Seasoned Pork Roast
Green Beans

Saturday: Barbecued Chicken
Cheesy Rice

A blessed Passion Week to you!

March 14, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mommy!

Today is my mom's birthday! She is in Pennsylvania taking care of her 92 year old mother who just got home from a five month stay in the nursing home after falling and breaking her hip. Thank you, Mommy for being the best Mommy ever! I appreciate your godly example and all the wonderful things you've taught me about my loving Heavenly Father. I hope you have a wonderful birthday and we'll celebrate when you get home!

(The above picture is of two of my sisters, our families and Daddy, Lorna, and Benji when we celebrated her birthday five years ago by having tea at Lady Hamilton's Tea Room in Shelbyville, IN).

March 13, 2008

Thursday Thirteen ~ "B"

Thirteen things in my life that start with the letter "B":

1. Boys - I have two. DJ's the one that started my blog and helps me maintain it and ..
2. Benji - my baby. The joy of my life! He's the happiest person I've ever met and has been through more than any other person I know! Go figure!
3. Baking - One of my favorite hobbies - my favorite thing to bake? Bread!
4. Baskets - love 'em! So useful and also so pretty for decorating.
5. Books - can't have too many books. Oh the places one can go and the things one can do - all in the pages of a book!
6.Bloemfontein - used to be one of the most beautiful cities in South Africa. Means "Fountain of Flowers" - need I say more? It's where we used to go once a month for supplies and also where my orthodontist was.
7. Birds - I love listening to and watching birds. Can't wait til it's warm enough outside to have my windows open so I can hear them Praising their Maker!
8.Bunnies - my kitchen's decorated in bunnies, pink and tea stuff. Goes together so well, don't you think?
9. Bows - they're everywhere in my house. Such a nice finishing touch - you know it's done when it's tied with a bow!
10.Bleeding Hearts - one of the most incredibly detailed flowers. I have three bushes of them - pink ones, of course. Can't wait til they bloom again!
11.Beets - pickled. I've been eating them like crazy since I could sit in a high chair. They're high in iron and so good for you! (I buy the canned baby ones and pickle them myself, mmmmmm).
12. Bible - my favorite book. Couldn't live without it.
13. Blessings - I've got sooooo many! These Thursday Thirteen posts are a great way to renumerate them alphabetically. I hope this post reminds you of a few you enjoy today.

March 11, 2008

March Meeting of Women of Worth

This month our leader, Linda Davison, couldn't be with us as she was on her way home from Alabama with her husband who had closed out a revival there. Did we ever miss her! Here, Sis. Campbell, Melissa and I are trying to figure out another detail. Bro. Davison, no more revivals over the second Monday of the month - we need your wife!

This month's food theme was "One Dish Wonders". I made my Taco Crescent Pie. I will post the recipe later this week.

Catching up with friends.

Enjoying the food.

Fellowshipping with sisters.

Encouraging one another.

Sisters of like precious faith.

From far and near, we gather for sharing and encouraging.

Mother and daughter and Best Friends.

A cooking demo provided desset - Cinnamon Fried Bananas over Ice Cream. MMMMM!

Taste test. It's a Winner!

Our speaker, Sis. Martha Bryan. She spoke to us of being "Keepers at Home" and encouraged us to be models of Titus 2. She had many helpful tips for us and most of all sets a godly example for us all. Her family lovingly refers to her as Moma and all who know her know she's a godly version of Martha Stewart.

March 10, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - Week 2

Greetings from my pink kitchen this wonderful wintry Monday morning! Last Saturday I took the time to make my table look Irish. I used a white lace table topper that reminds me of Irish Linen Lace, St. Patrick's Day napkins in the holder and green candles in the candlesticks. Shamrocks are expensive and tempermental so I used a bouquet of white alstromeria that Lorna found for me at Krogers. My great grandparents were straight from Ireland and the blood runs thick so I always like to do something special for St. Patricks Day.
Now for another weeks worth of menus! This week we'll enjoy tried and true favorites. You may notice we never have beef - only pork, chicken and fish. This is a diet restriction we've adopted as a family since they've found that beef (and dairy products) have a very negative impact on Parkinson's Disease patients. It's funny how our taste buds have adapted - the children actually like chicken taco meat more than beef! We do eat dairy - cheese and sour cream - though I do try to keep it to a minimum. We also use soy butter - it's SO good! Soy Garden is the brand of choice.

Monday: Homemade Noodles with Pork Roast Tips

Tuesday: Blueberry Pancakes
Fruit Smoothies

Wednesday: Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

Thursday: Pork Roast
Bow Tie Pasta & White Sauce
Green Beans

Friday: Baked Chicken
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

Saturday: Lasagna
Tossed Salad
May you have a wonderful week -- Spring is just around the corner!

March 8, 2008

A March's Winter Wonderland

This is the three stooges - they were getting cabin fever so decided to walk down to UDF for a cappuciono. DJ, Lorna and our neighbor, Jamie getting ready for an outing!
My teacup birdfeeder - all full of snow.

Our mailbox. Rain, Hail, Sleet or Snow - didn't apply today. Level 3 Emergency only :(.
This is my street this morning - a winter wonderland surprise. Monday, Lorna and Benji had a picnic for lunch time. It was such beautiful spring weather. We wondered if they knew what they were talking about when they said we'd be getting a winter storm toward the end of the week. They were right!

March 6, 2008

Thursday Thirteen "A"

This Thursday I thought I would try something else new - Thursday Thirteen. This week I'll follow Karla's suit and begin with listing thirteen things in my life that start with the letter "A".
1. Africa - I spent five years of my life as an MK in Africa! They were some of the best years of my life and I wouldn't trade them for the world. MK's are some of the luckiest kids alive.
2. Amazing Grace - I couldn't live without it and wouldn't have made it thus far for sure if I weren't a recipient of the Accessible Advocate's Amazing Grace!
3. American - I'm proud to be a citizen of the best country in the world. It's foundation on God's Word is what makes it so wonderful.
4. Allegheny Ancestors - I hail from the Allegheny Mountains along the Allegheny River. My great Grandfather, Alonzo David Wade, was a godly example to us all.
5. Antiques - my favorite collection is my antique dishes. Candlewick glassware is my very favorite.
6. Aunt - Aunt Nesi is one of my names. Ashleigh Ward was the first one to call me that. There are now 13 others who have "technically" joined her and many other dear children call me that too!
7. Attorney - my ambition before I fell in love with Dan and decided to marry him instead! I do plan to go back in the very near future and finish my degree so that I can support our family while working from home.
8. Adjust & Adapt - Something I really had to learn to do 8 years ago when our baby was born with a severly deformed spine and then even more adjusting came when my husband was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease at the age of 41.
9. Amish Furniture Store - we owned and operated a successful Amish furniture store called The Hay Loft for 9 years before we had to sell due to my husband's deteriorating health.
10. Amsterdam - been there twice! Charming airport and nice hotel. Just spent the night on our way to and from Africa.
11. A Beka - the curriculum we use to homeschool our three children.
12. Accessories - I love Interior Design and a favorite new book is The Art of Accessorising by Christy ------ the grand daughter of Home Interior's founder, Mary Crowley. Accessories make the decor!
13. Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass - the last book I read to my boys at bedtime - all 272 pages! Some of Through the Looking Glass is very difficult to understand since it's SO backward. Benji understood it the most!
So! Now you may know something about me that you didn't know before!
I better get busy thinking up 13 things that start with the letter "B" ..... Hmmmmmmmm!

March 3, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Greetings from my Pink Kitchen! It won't be long and the branches outside my window will be loaded with lilacs! I can hardly wait - my favorite time of year and one of my two favorite flowers scenting the air with their wonderful fragrance!

I thought I would try something new for the month of March - Menu Plan Monday! My friend, Karla, used to do this and it was always inspirational and interesting. I remembered recipes I hadn't tried in a while and some of the different entrees listed provoked special memories of people or events. So for the first week of March here's what the Truesdale Family will be enjoying for supper this week:

Monday: Rotisserie Chicken
Chicken Flavored Rice
French Style Green Beans
Chocolate Pudding

Tuesday: Baked Ziti with Sliced and Fried Polish Sausage

Wednesday: Chicken Noodle Casserole
Fresh Baked Sconces
with Mock Devonshire Cream and Homemade Strawberry Freezer Jam

Thursday: Pierogies with fresh bacon bits and sour cream

Friday:Fish Sticks
Cheesy Fries

Saturday: Pan Fried Pork Chops
Baked Potatoes with Sour Cream or Butter
Green Beans

March 1, 2008

Cherubs, Love Letters and Sweet Surprises

February - Can you believe the second month of 2008 is over? Wow, time flies if you're having fun or not doesn't it?

I promised last post that I would share a picture of the sweet party hat I won (on my birthday, no less;) ) from Miss Rhea of Sweet n Shabby Roses. This darling little cherub has reminded me of the angels God sends our way every day. Sometimes we recognize them and sometimes we don't. Kristal Becker has often been referred to as an angel by friends of ours who find out we know her. They've experienced her touch as she's cared for them in the hospital where she works the cancer floor. This past month, I was blessed by this dear and precious angel when going through some deep, troubled waters with my husband as he battles a very cruel disease. I'm thankful for angels - especially Kristal! May God bless her in special ways as she blesses so many hurting people here in this world.

Love Letters- don't you love them? They make you feel so special and loved and cared for! My very favorite love letter is God's Word. He tells me how much He loves and cares for me, tells me how to deal with problems and sometimes, like this past month, He tells me, "Don't be afraid. Don't (even) be discouraged. I'll fight this battle for you. You just watch!" Read it for yourself if you like. It's the story of Jehoshaphat found in II Chronicles chapter 20. (It's especially meaningful if you have the NIV version to read). You'll find an awesome story of love and care there!

Sweet surprises. Have you ever been bogged down with life and it's responsibilites and then, out of the clear blue, something really sweet or nice happens? Well, that's what happened when I found I won the party hat from Miss Rhea! What a ray of sunshine! I think God had something to do with her husband picking my name from amongst the others. He knew I needed it and He loves and cares for ME! What a God!

May you feel His love in a VERY SPECIAL way TODAY!