children · Family life · home · Parenting

Family Friday – The Happiest Place On Earth


wp-image-2032396920 a

I just heard a comment from a high school senior on her senior trip to Disney World say, “This has to be the happiest place on earth!” Having been there I can understand her sentiment. With beautiful flowers everywhere, light-hearted music, Mickey and Minnie, fun food, fun rides and fun times. of course it’s a happy place!

 There is another place that should be one of the happiest places on this earth – home. Home should be the most loving, secure and fun place for a child. What will you do today to make it that way for your children? Are you homeschooling? Are you sending your children off for the day?  Dealing with adult children living at home?  What can you do to make this the BEST place to live in or return to? Don’t get so caught up in the day-to-day routines that you forget to make more than a house – make it a home…a place to nurture, love, accept and have FUN!!
For your little ones – Change things around today or even on April Fools Day. Let them eat their dessert first! Have lunch under the table instead of on it. Go to the library and get new books – perhaps books about spring, baby lambs or even a child’s cookbook. Read together in a new place – build a comfy spot on the floor with pillows and cushions or make a tent using all the kitchen chairs as props.
Play uplifting music – Patch the Pirate, The Donut Man, Veggie Tales, etc. Let the atmosphere of your home be encouraging for them. It’s easy to play what we like instead of what they would enjoy.
How about some fun food? Cut their sandwich into shapes using cookie cutters. Peanut butter and jelly can take on a whole new taste when it’s cut differently!

For your older kids = 
be there for them. Sit and listen to them.  Do something fun together.  Cook.  Bake.  Shop.  Scroll through Pinterest for ideas and then rearrange her room. Stay up late with them.  Watch their movie or ball game.  Talk. Nod. Love. Pray.
Make your home the “happiest place on the earth” by taking time to be with your children, using creativity and thoughtful action to make each day one they won’t forget!
What are you doing to make your home the HAPPIEST place on earth?
Denise Signature 150 px
Home decor · laundry · refreshment at home

Spiffing Up the Laundry Room

laundry room

Probably most of us spend lots of time in the laundry room, so it only makes sense to make it a pretty place that we can enjoy!  Here are a few things that I’ve done to love hanging out (pun intended!) in there.

My laundry room is bright with a window that has a lovely view of the mountains and the countryside, so I didn’t want a curtain that would cover it.  Instead, I hung a valance at the top so I could always see out.


I also like to have a small lamp glowing on top of the dryer; it just adds a warmth to the room.  To keep it from sliding around while the dryer is operating, I put a fabric placemat on top.  A jar of clothespins , a fragrance warmer and a pretty calendar make the vignette complete.


Fun artwork is a great detail and doesn’t have to be expensive.  I found several things recently for under $5 that I love!  Target had this “Fresh and clean” sign in the dollar spot.  It was $3!  My laundry room doubles as Liza’s space where her food and litter box are.  The command hook holds a small basket with baggies that I use for Liza’s canned food.


To keep the litter box hidden, I use a hinged window shutter.  I have a wooden step that holds all the “stuff” – laundry soap, litter scoop, paper towels, etc. Baskets keep it all neat.


I found I was using the doorknob to hang clothes that needed to be line dried.  When I was at Dollar General this week I found a cute Button hook to use instead.  It was only $2.50!!



I love plants with blooms that last.  This little guy was a gift to me by a sweet guest.  I’m not sure what it is, though it reminds me of a Mimosa. (Does anyone know what it is?) It needs very little attention, but keeps those yellow blooms ALL the time!  It really perks up this corner.  The stool it’s sitting on is where I store Liza’s cat food.


I added a throw rug on the floor and some baskets on the shelf over the appliances for extra storage.  I love this space.  Maybe that’s why I don’t mind doing a load of laundry every single day!


The only other thing I’d add if I could would be a small chandelier, but because we have the pot lighting in the ceiling, it might be a little too difficult to make that happen.  Even if it doesn’t, I’m totally loving my laundry room.  It just makes me smile!

Do you love your laundry room/space?  What could you add to give it a more inviting appeal?

Denise Signature 150 px


Christian growth · Goals · Saturation

Spiritual Snacking Choices

peanut butter bars 2ab.jpg

No snack before supper or you’ll ruin your appetite.

Most mothers have had to say this to their child at one time or another.  A child may feel as though Mom is withholding good food from them, but oh, no!  She has stored away all kinds of good things for her family!  Plans for good meals are in the near future! She won’t let her family go hungry; she just wants her family to be hungry for the best foods that will help them grow.

Physical food can ruin your appetite for the right things, but have you ever considered that spiritual snacking actually creates an appetite for healthy spiritual eating?

 Yesterday I talked about making wise decisions regarding entertainment.  We get kind of “hungry” for something good to munch on while we’re working or doing a mindless tasks like getting ready for the day, riding in the car or washing dishes.  Just as we don’t stop eating just because we want to eat healthy, we don’t have to stop using media because we want good choices to nourish our minds. Why?  Because there ARE good things out there that can feed us well!!

Look what Scripture says –

The Lord will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish:
Proverbs 10:3

Our loving God knows that we need spiritual food to grow and He will not let us go without what we need.  His Word is the answer for every hunger in our soul!  He is so good to allow so many avenues today in which we can hear His Word given to us!!

The word SATURATION is my word for 2018.  I’ve asked the Lord to help me saturate my heart with Truth from His Word each day. I don’t always win at this but I want to share with you some of the ways that I “snack” on God’s Word most days.

  • Audio Bible – Each morning while I’m making the bed, I listen to the Proverb chapter the correlates to the day of the month. In order to keep my ear and heart engaged, I try to finish the verse before the audio speaks it.  I don’t have it all memorized, for sure, but I know it well enough that I can finish some of the verses. The Word is getting into me while I straighten up.
  • Pod Casts –  I have an app on my phone that fills my podcast library with episodes from Revive Our Hearts and Love Worth finding (there are many other preachers on that site as well). The word is getting into me while I’m working at home or traveling in the car.
  • CD’s of messages – I often listen again to messages from conferences I’ve attended, via the recorded message on a CD.  The truth comes back to my heart and I’m reminded of what the Lord taught me or I catch something I missed the first time! The Word is getting into me while I mop, fold laundry, iron, work on projects or cook.
  • Pandora radio – I have several stations on Pandora of music that is a blessing to listen to while I cook or while I have my quiet time in the morning. 
  • Bible memory – I try to work on new verses or review ones I’ve memorized as I’m getting ready in the morning.  I keep my memory verse cards nearby – on the counter or I take them with me in the car so I can keep working on Scripture.  Having God’s Word in my heart makes Scripture the most mobile of all apps! It’s always with me!

While the real meat and meals come from my time in God’s Word each morning, these are some of my spiritual snack foods.  They’re so wonderful that it truly does make my heart crave for more.

If you haven’t tried these delights, I hope you will, and if you have another suggestion of good spiritual “snacking food,” I would love for you to share that with us!

I hope I’ve made you hungry!

Denise Signature 150 px



Christian Life · Entertainment · Social media

A Healthy Balance of Entertainment

Image result for my fitness pal

For the last 50 days or so, I have been putting my meals into My Fitness Pal – an online calorie counter. I type in the foods I’m eating at each meal, and it tells me how many calories and nutrients are in each food.  If I go over the “allotted” carbs, sugars or sodium, for example, it will tell me what number I was supposed to stay under.  It keeps me from eating that extra snack I might be hungry for or the dessert that is tempting me. It’s really a good thing because it keeps me eating what is good, and it keeps it in healthy portions.  

In another part of my appetites, I enjoy a good fictional book. I love a funny Andy Griffith Episode.  I have several You Tube Channels that I watch.  I have Instagram and Facebook accounts.  At times these “outlets” can overwhelm me…

if I let them.

If I don’t keep a check on them.

My heart’s inclination would be to “munch away” on Insta-stories,” or be lured by the fancies of my entertainment.  It’s up to me to reign it in so that I may fill my heart with more that is edifying and will push me closer to the Lord.

The Spirit of God guides my entertainment like My Fitness Pal guides my food.  You see, if I allow the worldly to outweigh that which would edify, my emotions will be flighty. My temperament is unpredictable.  My decisions are based on feelings instead of Truth.  Oh, how I need God’s Spirit to lead me to His Word so that I will be spiritually healthy! When I tip the scale and absorb more of the world’s philosophy than God’s thoughts, I’m asking for trouble.  I pray for the Lord to

Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation;
on thee do I wait all the day.
Psalm 25:5

When I listen to the guidance of My Fitness Pal, I smile when I look at the scales.  On a much higher plane, when I listen to God’s Spirit tugging at my heart to binge less on the world, I smile when I see the results of godly thinking and actions replacing my fleshly ones.  I don’t always win this battle, but it’s one I want to keep fighting!

Do you find yourself devouring more of the world’s thinking than you do spiritual nourishment?  Ask the Lord to help you have a healthy balance; it’s a prayer He will answer!

Denise Signature 150 px



baking · Bars · Gluten-Free · Uncategorized

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars – Gluten-Free, But Perfect For Anyone!

Whether you have to eat Gluten-free, or you just love a good peanut butter-chocolate chip bar, this recipe is going to make your stomach smile!  There’s no butter in these bars, but the peanut butter makes up for all the creaminess the butter would give!  These take literally minutes to pull together, then only require 22 minutes in the oven, which means you are 30 minutes away from a delicious treat!  These cut beautifully, and were just a perfect sweet any time of the day! This recipe came from – a blog that is filled with lots of healthy and delicious recipes! I found her via Pinterest – where else?!

peanut butter bars 2a

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars


    • 1 cup creamy  or crunch peanut butter
    • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 large egg, at room temperature
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • 1/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats – I used Quick oats and they worked fine!
  1. Place rack in the center of your oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch baking dish with parchment paper and lightly coat with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the peanut butter, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt on medium speed until well combined.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla, then mix on medium low, just until incorporated. By hand, stir in the chocolate chips and oats.
  4. Press the dough into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 22 minutes, until golden and the top is set. Let cool completely in the pan. Remove, slice and serve.

peanut butter bars 2

We don’t eat Gluten-free, but these will stay in my recipe box because they’re just plain ol’ good!

With love from my country kitchen,

Denise Signature 150 px

Marriage · Wife's Role

Family Friday – What Every Husband Desperately needs

What a blessing it is to stand alongside, before and behind my husband as he serves God.  Last weekend I had the blessing of encouraging him as he ministered to many different people.

At a couple’s retreat he challenged couples in biblical marriage principles.  I sat in front of him, prayed for him and smiled at him when he looked my way.


After the retreat when we had the fun of enjoying an Amish bakery, I laughed with him as he enjoyed his ice cream-filled donut!  I also enjoyed two bites!


When he preached all day on the Sunday of that busy weekend, I devoured his message, nodded encouragement, and told him what a blessing it was to watch him encourage that flock of people.


When we got to stop at an old home place where we lived many years ago, we reminisced over memories made there – some good, some bitter sweet. We held hands and wept, and also thanked God for His blessings.


When he got to encourage a group of young believers, I rejoiced in my heart for his love for people.  He has a shepherd’s heart that longs for Christians to stay close to the Good Shepherd,drink from His cool waters and feed on the grass of God’s pasture.


Ministry can be hard some days…some months even, but how grateful I am for the times when we can serve together and I can do my first calling – support this man that God has given as my life’s mate.  I’m so proud to call him my husband. He has told me

As long as you’re behind me, I can withstand anything.

What has God called your husband to do?   Stand behind him and encourage him in whatever that calling is.  You and I will never do it perfectly, but the important thing is that we keep on encouraging.  It’s what our husbands desperately need from us!

Denise Signature 150 px

Cleaning · refreshment at home

Simple Techniques to Keep Your Oven Clean

oven 3

Cleaning the oven is probably at the bottom of most of our most-loved chores!  But I have a greater disgust for a dirty oven than I do the chore itself, so I have tried to learn simple techniques to get my oven clean and keep it that way.  My food is going in there, so I want it to be clean and as sparkling as possible.

Here are the tools I use:

Oven 1

That’s right – I don’t use chemicals or sprays.  I simply use a Brillo pad, a razor and rubber gloves.  I might add paper towels to that list, just to be technical.

Here’s the process:

  • I remove the racks to make it easier to clean the inside of the oven.
  • I wet the Brillo pad a little to get it soapy.  I use it to scrub the inside of the door, the sides, the floor and top of the oven wall.s
  • I use a damp paper towel to wipe out the soap.  I can then to assess and see if there’s any dirty residue that needs more scrubbing.
    • If there’s anything baked on the floor of the oven or the door, I use the razor blade to scrap it, then I use the Brillo pad and paper towel to wipe and check.
  • Once the inside is clean, I put the racks back into the oven to clean them.  I don’t have a sink big enough for them to fit into, so this is much easier!
    • I pull one rack at a time out as far as it will go and still stay secure in the oven.  Then I use the Brillo pad to scrub each rung of the rack.  I wipe it with a paper towel.
    • Repeat with other rack(s).
  • Give the whole oven another wipe down with a damp paper towel.
  • Use window cleaner on the front glass, the top of the oven door and the drawer beneath.
  • Hang a clean towel over the door.
  • Stand back and admire!

The real key to a clean oven is taking care of a mess as quickly as possible.  Don’t let several days of splatters and spills accumulate, or you’ll never want to attack it. However, if you’ve neglected it, just do it.  Turn on a good podcast and listen while you scrub away.

Then vow to keep it shining!

oven 3

There are other methods you can try, too, if the oven is a huge mess.

What is your most dreaded household chore?

Denise Signature 150 px