The post you've all been waiting for...

And the winner of the $10 Starbucks Gift Card is.....

Comment #2

Lauren, from Only From Scratch.


Thanks to all of you who entered and thanks to everyone for reading my blog. I love your feedback and we'll have another giveaway soon! :-)

Monday Musings: Voices...

Songs can be so powerful.  When lyrics are paired with music, it speaks to the soul.  But, sometimes, when those lyrics are separated from the music and we read and focus on them, it speaks even deeper.  I have often found it so moving to reflect on song lyrics, so that is what I'm posting today.  

Yesterday morning, while I was out running...yes...me...running...I know, shocking...I heard this song on pandora.  Of course, I've heard it many times before, but yesterday it struck me differently so I'm sharing it with you today.  Even if you've heard it before, take time to really read the words (and if you have any thoughts, feel free to share them with us).

Oh what I would do to have the kind of faith it takes
To climb out of this boat I'm in onto the crashing waves
To step out of my comfort zone
To the realm of the unknown where Jesus is
And He's holding out His hand

But the waves are calling out my name and they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed 
The waves they keep on telling me 
Time and time again, "Boy, you'll never win."
"You'll never win."

But the voice of Truth tells me a different story
And the voice of Truth says, "Do not be afraid."
And the voice of Truth says, "This is for My glory."
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of Truth.

Oh what I would do to have the kind of faith it takes
To stand before a giant.
With just a sling and a stone
Surrounded by the sound of a thousand warriors, shaking in their armor
Wishing they'd have had the strength to stand.

But the giant's calling out my name and he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed.
The giant keeps on telling me time and time again,
"Boy, you'll never win.  You'll never win."

But the voice of Truth tells me a different story
And the voice of Truth says, "Do not be afraid."
And the voice of Truth says, "This is for My glory."
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of Truth.

But the stone was just the right size
To put the giant on the ground
And the waves they don't seem so high
From on top of them looking down
I will soar with the wings of eagles
When I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus singing over me

But the voice of Truth tells me a different story
And the voice of Truth says, "Do not be afraid."
And the voice of Truth says, "This is for My glory."
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of Truth.

**Giveaway Winner to be announced later today**


WLW Blog Bash 2011: The Person Behind the Blog

I wanted to participate in Courtney's Blog Bash 2011 over at Women Living Well. I love reading Courtney's blog and it's always fun to find other bloggers that you like as well. The Blog Bash is a place where bloggers can link up their blogs and peruse other blogs. Courtney recommended doing a biography sort of post, so that is what this is. I'm not including any pictures of myself, because you can see on my side bar what I look like. This is more to tell you what I'm like...

A completely random list...because...I like to be random (#1). :-)

(a few) Things I Like:
- a little coffee with my cream (flavored cream that is...pumpkin spice, peppermint mocha...)
- washing dishes (but NOT drying dishes or putting them away)
- sorting, starting, folding laundry (but NOT putting it away)
- romantic comedies. my movie genre of choice.
- peanut butter, chocolate, cheesecake. individually...or together.
- playing the piano (you can tell my mood by what I play...usually)
- stirring a pot of something simmering on the stove...I'm an obsessive stirrer.
- the beach
- Christmas
- Autumn
- salt and vinegar potato chips after swimming
- dark beer and coffee. mixed. with a rich piece of carrot cake and cream cheese frosting.
- blue ink
- surprising my family by being random and silly

Things I don't like:
- fruit in my salad
- sci-fi
- dumping ice trays
- emotional manipulation
- leaving out verses of hymns
- static on radio or "snow" on TV...drives me crazy.
- people who are whiny

These were random lists that I thought of while working around the house one day. Here's a bit more of a glimpse into my personality...

I rarely wash my face before bed...I'm trying to get in a better habit of this. I love a good sharpie. I've never seen a Star Wars movie. I don't care for cilantro, kiwi, or slimy seafood (oysters, scallops...). I love a good glass of Reisling or Merlot, but my all time favorite wine is Tail-Gate Red. When I sneeze, it is 6 or 8 times in a row...and usually in the morning.

Okay -- as for WHO I am...

I have been married for 7.5 years to the man that God made perfectly for me. He is my best friend, and I realize more each day how blessed I am to have him in my life. I am mommy to the sweetest little 2 year old girl in the world. My life is changed because of her. She is a true delight! I have 2 babies waiting for me in Heaven. I love being a SAHM and still feel like I'm playing house. Homemaking, Mothering, and Wife-ing are my favorite things to do. I love to cook, clean, do laundry, garden, and all other aspects of running a home. I find joy and laughter in the little things and am trying to live as much as possible IN the moment...each and every one.

This blog is about my adventures in all of these roles that I seek to fill each day (by His grace and for His glory!). I love to read blogs and always find it interesting, helpful, insightful what others in my same life situation are doing, so I hope to be of some help to others as well. But, if not, it's a fun way for out of town friends and family to sort of keep up with what's going on in our lives.

I guess that about sums it up -- there's much more I could add, but look around the blog a little and you might find out a little more... I love to read, and from my reading list, you'll get a pretty good idea of my interests. Check out my pinterest boards and you'll see what my tastes are.

Thanks for reading or stopping by. Hope you will come back! :)

PS -- don't forget to enter my giveaway HERE to win a $10 Starbucks gift card!


My 100th post -- and a GIVEAWAY!!!

This is my 100th post since I started blogging faithfully (again). In celebration of that, I am giving away a $10 gift card to......

Yep, that's right. 10 delicious dollars! FREE...for you... Here's how to win:

1) Leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite drink at Starbucks.

Now...because I want to give you even more chances to win, I'm allowing you to have up to 4 entries per person. The first one is mandatory in order to qualify with any of the following. In other words, to be entered, you must complete entry 1 and the rest are all optional ways of getting your name in the pot multiple times. SO -- here's your extra entries...

2) Like "The Eagles Nest" on facebook and leave a separate comment telling me you did. OR, if you already have, leave a comment telling me that.

3) Become a Google follower and leave a separate comment telling me you did. OR, if you already have, leave a comment telling me that.

4) Blog about this giveaway and leave a separate comment telling me so with the link to your blogpost.

I will use a random number generator to choose a winner. The giveaway will be open for entries until 11:59 PM EST, Saturday, October 29th, 2011. I will announce the winner on Sunday the 30th or Monday the 31st.

Have fun! :-)


Special Carrots (and Tear-free Onions...)

It seems like kind of a funny title, but they really are special carrots and we only had them on special occasions growing up, so the name stuck.  I love these (because I'm a huge dill fan) and they are SO easy to make that I just had to share.

Begin by peeling carrots (I was cooking for 20 people, so I did 4 pounds.)

(the sun was so pretty streaming through my kitchen window.)

Discard ends and thinly slice carrots.  (I have a slicer attachment for my mixer and had these done in less than 5 minutes!)

Finely chop onion and celery.

Mix carrots, celery, onion, white wine, sugar, margarine, and dill weed in saucepan.

Special Carrots (printable version)

1 pd. carrots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup celery, chopped fine
1/4 cup onion, chopped fine
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. margarine
1/8 tsp. dried dill weed

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan.  Cover and cook over medium heat 15-20 minutes or until tender.  Yield: 6 servings. (recipe maybe doubled, or more)

Bonus -- how I chop onions without crying!

I begin by slicing off each end almost but not completely.  I pull off the skin, and then rinse under cold running water, rubbing my thumb in a circular motion around both of the cut ends.

I then, slice the onion in half, and cut slices all in the same direction:

Then turn the onion and cut slices perpendicular to those just cut:

This is the fastest way to chop onions and I rarely have tears while cutting as this is a quick and effective method.  

STAY TUNED FOR TOMORROW'S POST -- my 100th post, and a GIVEAWAY!!! :-)


Tuesday Tips: Saving Money on Spices

I am constantly shocked at the price of spices when I look the shelves in the grocery store.  $4 for that TINY little bottle?!?  You must be joking!  

My friend and neighbor grows a lot of her own spices and dries and grinds them.  I love the freshness of this, but in my present stage of life, I've decided it's just not for me. (other than the basic herbs I grow in my garden and planters.)

Most bulk stores sell spices in large quantities for a reasonable price...but there are very few spices that I would use up fast enough to justify purchasing such a large quantity. (splitting with a friend might be a good option there.)

So -- what to do?  Aldi has a decent selection of spices and they are all about $0.99 for a large jar.  If they don't have what I'm looking for, I will usually check the dollar store or Dollar General and they have basic spices for $1.00 and sometimes $0.50.  

But, one of my more recent finds is that in some grocery stores (I've found one Bi-Lo so far), there is a separate spice section with the ethnic foods and these spices are WAY less than the spices on the baking aisle.  And, they have a better selection than any of the other places I have found discounted spices.  

These bagged spices were $0.79 each and the Thyme filled up my empty jar at home which is average size.  The jar of sage was around $1.59-$1.89, my memory fails me.  But, I had looked at each of these spices at the same store on the baking aisle and they were in the $4 range each.  So...next time I need spices, I'll be visiting the ethnic foods aisle instead of the baking aisle.

Do you have any tips to add for saving money on spices??

PS -- this is my 98th post...I'm having a giveaway for my 100th post!!  stay tuned. :-)


Monday Musings: A Big, Wise God

I have two musings for today. The first comes from a book I've been reading entitled, "Grieving the Child I Never Knew" In the left column of this page is my reading pile...from that you can gather that I have a hard time saying "no"...even to books. :-)

The last 2 months have been some of the toughest of my life, if not THE toughest. This paragraph from the book pretty much sums it up.

"God worked through this child to teach me many life lessons. On different days I laughed, cried, learned the necessity of silence and solitude, released control, allowed others to encourage me, and saw my faith soar. I tasted humility and surrender, and I learned what it means to enjoy every moment. I learned how precious praying friends are, and I learned how faithful and loving God is to care about me personally. I didn't know what the future held, but I was certain of WHO held the future."

It is HARD to trust God. It is HARD to realize that He does in fact know what is best for us, even when it seems that it couldn't possibly be a good thing! One day last week, my daughter was VERY tired and needed a nap. I knew she needed a nap, but in her mind, she WANTED to keep playing and doing what she thought was best. But, she was being continually frustrated and just all around grumpy. When I mentioned the idea of a nap, it was NOT PRETTY. Complete meltdown. Over a little nap. Yowza. But, I gently picked her up and carried her back to her room, kissed her sweet little forehead, told her I loved her, and laid her down in her bed where she promptly fell asleep in about 2 minutes. literally. As I was working around the house, I was re-playing the whole incident in my head and I realized that when it comes to MY life...I'm the little girl who doesn't want to do what God tells me to, or what He thinks is best... And, yeah, I get pretty bent out of shape over what are really small things, but seem like big things. But, He gently carries me and reminds me of His love for me. It was a pretty clear picture for me. That doesn't really make it any easier, but I keep coming back to it when things seem like they aren't going the way that I think they should. God has a plan, and His plan is perfect.


Five on Friday: talk about random...

1 -- This is my cell phone:
We have a pretty close relationship.  But after reading THIS article, and doing some serious evaluating, I've decided I don't want to be a parent who is "missing entire chunks of my child's life because of overworked thumbs."  So, we've decided to "see other people" -- interpreted: I will be seeing a lot more of my family and a lot less of my phone.

2 -- Sally makes the list again this week with her post, Choosing Joy, Choosing to Overcome.  Just to tempt you: "...godly character comes into play when we determine to make a choice to be an over-comer-one who will turn towards every obstacle of life with a heart of faith.  We have the choice and opportunity to accept our own "portion" with faith and fortitude that says, 'By God's grace, I will live this life, this moment today, with courage, strength, grace, and joy.  God is my strength.  God is with me.  God will guide me, and God will lead me through.' "  

3 -- My mother passed along this little delight...
Yes.  Please. 

4 -- Sherri over at the life of a wife always has colorful posts which I love.  This one on Bold Front Doors was beautiful.  I'm quite taken with the purple door, myself. 

5 -- And, finally, this video came to me through facebook in the grief and support poured out following my friend's eternal home-going.  It was too good to keep to myself. 


Thankful Thursday: Thanksgiving in Trials...

Thank you all for your prayers for my friend.  She is resting in the arms of Jesus now.

Today, it is hard to be thankful and yet, once I started writing, the thanks just kept coming.  I stopped when I got to the bottom of my page, but I could have kept going.

- the legacy of a beautiful mother
- her 15 year old daughter, wise & faithful beyond her years
- many, many people to love, support, and pray for the family left behind
- a mother meeting her 7 babies waiting for her in Heaven
- a wise friend who knows the pain, loves you, and tells you so.
- the peace that eternal life has been secured
- grace to handle the trials of everyday
- a little girl to snuggle when the world seems bleak
- memories that seem like dreams of an enchanted beach vacation
- pictures that prove its reality
- a little girl remembering bits of said trip throughout the days
- a warm home, with precious souls within, feeling cozy together in the candlelight
- the thoughtfulness of a friend in sending some new "fall" music
- the comfort to my soul of hymns played on piano
- the same friend sending a beautiful journal for me to record all these precious gifts

May we never, ever grow weary of giving thanks.

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever."
Psalm 107:1


Tuesday Tips (on Wednesday): Saving money on dinner!

Before I begin today's post, I have to share with you that a dear friend of mine (who assisted in the birth of my daughter -- the woman held my leg for 2 hours while I pushed!) is currently in ICU and may not make it through the day.  She suffered some sort of severe heart condition yesterday (attack or failure) and is bleeding internally from her liver.  Surgery this morning was unsuccessful to stop the bleeding.  She is on medication to try to stop it, and her blood pressure seemed to be stabilizing earlier.  Another surgery today would compromise her vitals, so if she makes it through the day, they will try again tomorrow.  Please pray for her, her husband, and for her family.  She is 35 and has 5 daughters (ages 3-15).

Today's tip is about saving money on your grocery budget by serving breakfast for dinner.  We usually have some sort of breakfast food once a week or once every other week for dinner.  Another great way to save is to serve a non-meat meal...if I do this, I usually try to serve some sort of beans or something with protein.  Last night we had Chip Beef Gravy over Buttermilk Biscuits, Scrambled Eggs, and Fruit.

Buttermilk Biscuits (printable recipe HERE)

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup buttermilk

Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl:

Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly.

Add buttermilk (or in this case, milk with a splash of lemon juice):

Stir just until dry ingredients are moistened:

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead lightly 4 or 5 times.  Roll dough to 1/2-inch thickness; cut with a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter.

Place on a lightly greased baking sheet.  

Bake at 425* for 13 to 14 minutes or until biscuits are lightly browned.

This recipe comes from the following book that I received as a wedding gift.  It is a go-to book for many recipes!

this is what my kitchen sink looks like after I make biscuits:

Chip Beef Gravy (printable version HERE)

4 tbsp. margarine
4 tbsp. flour
2 pkgs. smoked beef slices, chopped into pieces
3-4 cups milk
1 tsp. salt
pepper to taste

Just a note -- the smoked beef is CHEAP (like less than $1 per pack):

Melt the margarine in frying pan.  Add the chopped beef and fry for about 1 minute:
(LOOK at all that butter!  Paula Dean would be proud!)

Sprinkle the flour over this mix:

Stir until evenly distributed:

Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly.

Season with salt and pepper.  Let mixture thicken over medium heat.  Serve over toast or biscuits.

This recipe comes courtesy of my mom, who received it from a friend from church.  It can be found in the following cookbook, of which I am privileged to own the ONLY copy. :-)

Today I'm linking up over at Courtney's blog...check it out!

WHY I haven't had my coffee yet...


Monday Musings: Remembering the beach in pictures (pt 2 of 2)

All creatures of our God and King,
Lift up your voice and with us sing, 
Alleluia, Alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam,
Thou silver moon with softer gleam,
Oh praise Him, O praise Him!
Alleluia, Alleluia!  Alleluia!

Thou rushing wind that are so strong,
Ye clouds that sail in Heaven along,
O praise Him, Alleluia!
Thou rushing morn in praise rejoice,
Ye lights of evening find a voice,
Oh praise Him, O praise Him!
Alleluia, Alleluia!  Alleluia!

Thou flowing water pure and clear,
Make music for thy Lord to hear,
Alleluia, Alleluia!
Thou fire so masterful and bright,
That givest man both warmth and light
Oh praise Him, O praise Him!
Alleluia, Alleluia!  Alleluia!

All ye men of tender heart
Forgiving others take your part
O sing ye!  Alleluia!
Ye who long pain and sorrow bear
Praise God and on Him cast your care
Oh praise Him, O praise Him!
Alleluia, Alleluia!  Alleluia!

Let all things their Creator bless
And worship Him in humbleness
O praise Him!  Alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son
And praise the Spirit, Three in One
Oh praise Him, O praise Him!
Alleluia, Alleluia!  Alleluia!

(The hymn listed above is a very popular one and perhaps you just skimmed over it.  I encourage you to take a moment and reflect on the words.  I couldn't stop singing it (in my head) all week while we were at the beach.  On our second day there, (at the initiation of my husband) we listened to Tim Keller's sermon entitled, The Song of Creation.  It is absolutely worth the 30ish minutes spent listening to it, particularly the second half.  You can listen to it for free, HERE.)
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