Monthly Archives: January 2012

Lessons from Sunday’s Song Services

As I prepare for tomorrow’s services, I think back over last week’s lessons. Before we even got to the preaching this past Sunday, I felt like my spirit had already been ministered to, and the quotes and songs have stuck with me through this week.

The front page of the Order of Worship had this quote from Robert Mounce: “No matter how devastating the sin of the first [man, Adam], the redemptive work of the second [man, Christ] reverses the consequences of that sin and restores people to the favor of God. Only by grasping the seriousness of the first is one able to appreciate the remarkable magnanimity of the second.”

Here’s a reflection from the songs that we sang as a congregation:

Stuart Townend: “How deep the Father’s love for us, how vast beyond all measure, That He would give His Only Son to make a wretch His treasure.”

Melody Green: “There is a Redeemer, Jesus, God’s own Son.”

Chris Anderson: “…to His cross, as grace prevailed, God pinned my wretched sin,” and “Oh love divine, O matchless grace – that God should die for men! With joyful grief I lift my praise, abhorring all my sin, adoring only Him.”

Walter and Ethelwyn Taylor: “Calvary covers it all – my past, with its sin and stain. My guilt and despair, Jesus took on Him there, and Calvary covers it all.”

Anna B. Warner: “Jesus loves me! This I know, for the Bible tells me so; Little ones to Him belong, they are weak, but He is strong.”

Drew Jones: “Holy God, in love, became perfect man to bear my blame. On the cross He took my sin. By His death I live again.”

Keith Getty & Stuart Townend: “In Christ alone, my hope is found, …on the cross as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied; For every sin on Him was laid–here in the death of Christ I live. …Then bursting forth in glorious day, up from the grave He rose again! And as He stands in victory, sin’s curse has lost its grip on me. …From life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny.”

Stephanie Horne: “Child of weakness, watch and pray, find in Me thine all in all.”

Recipe: “Not So Sloppy Joe” Pizza

  1. Cook 1 pound ground beef just until not pink (do not brown) and drain grease.
  2. Add 1/2 to 1 c. of ketchup to cooked beef and cook until mixed through.
  3. Top on pre-baked whole wheat pizza crust.
  4. Add chopped onions and peppers (and/or cheese) and bake at 425F for another 10 minutes or until cheese/crust is golden brown on edges.

Design Project: Dining Room Converted To Reading Room

We are almost done with our Reading Room Project – first DIY project of 2012. So, if you’re wondering what I’ve been up to (because the blog’s been a little sparse on new content), here’s your answer. It has been well worth it for us!

Let me start by explaining our thinking behind doing this re-decorate project. First, we found we rarely used the dining room. We work opposite schedules and only really get to eat dinner each night and the occasional breakfast together, and when we do eat together, we often found ourselves eating in the living room and chatting while we ate. Second, we’re combining the contents of our two extra bedrooms upstairs into one space for TV/exercise and the occasional guest, while the other room will likely be occupied by a short term renter. So, we needed a place for Bryan’s office and we were ready to pull some of our books out of storage. Finally, we’ve been hosting a Bible study/community group for young adults in our home for the last six months or so and wanted a more comfortable space for conversations to break off as necessary.

Most of our furniture was either given to us or bought as necessities before we were married (i.e., things that fit our budget and were functional but not necessarily our style), and though grateful for these, we were ready for a change. We talked about the idea a couple of weeks ago and I posted our dining room set for sale on Facebook  the next morning, just to see what would happen. It sold by lunchtime! I was shocked, and excited for an opportunity to finally buy some furniture that fit our style. I texted Bryan, “Guess we have to remodel now. Just sold the set on FB! They’ll pick up on Sat/Sun. :)”

Here’s the Before picture:

I found this really cool website that lets you design your room layout, specifying dimensions of furniture, placement of outlets, and even add links to the items you want to purchase from various vendors! It’s called Urban Barn, and I highly recommend it. Here’s a snapshot of the design I had in mind:

And here’s the final result:

View of Reading Room from the Kitchen

View of Reading Room from the Foyer - the couch and upholstered chairs function as extra seating around the table, as needed (note: I used my teapot collection as bookends)

Sideboard with Feather Arrangements and Teacup Racks; Table Centerpiece is a Jar of Foodie Ornaments that I couldn't bear to put away after Christmas

The Office Space in the Reading Room

We’re thinking of hanging a clock or floating shelf next to the desk, to the left of the mirror, and we’re waiting on one final piece of art to be matted and hung above the computer.

11x14 original acrylic painting from Etsy - will have off-white matte and black frame to match the other artwork in the room

We’ve already used the room every day since we finished it! And I’m thankful to finally have a space that’s my own little personal retreat from life. I love curling up on the love seat with my Bible and a cup of coffee or tea, sitting and chatting with a friend at the small, round table, or cuddling with Bryan while we watch a movie on the computer. It’s a truly multi-functional room, and we love it!

Enjoying the Journey,

Melissa

Weekly Basket and Meal Plan

This Week’s Basket (from Milk and Honey Organics) Included: Honeycrisp Apples, D’Anjou Pears, Ruby Grapefruit, Tangelos, Red Onions, Silver Dollar Mushrooms, Local Collards, Baby Spinach, Russet Potatoes, Carrots, Broccoli, and Hurricane Creek Tomatoes (and for Fruit Baskets Only: Starfruit).

This Week’s Meal Plan:

Recipes from This Week’s Meal Plan:

Bon Appetit!

Weekly Basket and Meal Plan

This Week’s Basket from Milk and Honey Organics included: Kale and Sweet Onions (with Tops) from Parisi Farms, Limes, Yukon Gold Potatoes, Plum Tomatoes, Blueberries, Romaine Lettuce, Bananas, Hamlin Oranges, Cauliflower, Hass Avocados, and Arkansas Black Apples.

This Week’s Meal Plan (via PepperPlate.com):

 Recipes from this week’s meal plan:

Bon Appetit!

~Melissa

Sweet Potato Waffle and Organic Fruit Salad with Agave Nectar

The waffle was left over from breakfast with Bryan and his folks at Tommy’s Country Ham House and I topped it with fruit from our Milk and Honey Organics produce basket. Kiwi, Satsuma, Honeycrisp Apple, Pear, and Blueberries drizzled with agave nectar! So yummy!

New Cherry Bookshelf…and I Built It Myself! (with help from my father-in-law, of course)

Finally finished building my new cherry bookshelf and got it put together in the living room! Love it! Thanks, Dad McKinnon!

Bryan and I have been wanting some of these leaning bookshelves for years. Bryan’s dad has a wood shop at his house, and we finally built one as part of my Christmas gift this year. I love it!!

We used Pottery Barn’s Studio Wall Shelf as a pattern - the tab with “Dimensions & Care” gives every last bit of information you could possibly want to know! Bryan’s dad had been given some cherry wood, and we put a dark stain and high gloss finish on it to make it really shine! Love, love, love this shelf and can’t wait to build another (which is kind of good, since my father-in-law liked it so much he decided to build one for himself – so now I get to help him finish that).

Weekly Meal Plan and Recipe Ideas

This Week’s Basket from Milk and Honey Organics Included: Green Beans, N.C. Covington Yams, Rainbow Chard, Brussels Sprouts, Fuji Apples, Hurricane Creek Tomatoes, Yellow Onions, Grapefruit, Green Leaf Lettuce, Garlic, Sunburst Tangerines, and Blueberries. What a colorful basket!

Some of you may be thinking, “Brussels Sprouts?! Really!? Who eats Brussels Sprouts?!” This poor vegetable has earned a bad rap, especially among kids. My personal opinion is that if you’re thinking that, you’ve never had Brussels Sprouts prepared properly. I don’t know about you, but as soon as I took the picture of this week’s basket’s, I put everything else away, and immediately cleaned the Brussels Sprouts and cut them in half, pan frying them with salt, pepper and garlic in a combination of butter and olive oil. Yum!

Now for this week’s meal plan, using Pepperplate.com:

Recipes from this week’s meal plan:

Other Recipe Options:

Recipe: Beautiful Borscht with Kraut

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium white beets
  • 1 small bunch red beets (3-5 small beets)
  • 3 carrots
  •  2 small white potatoes (or 1 small white potato and 1 small white sweet potato)
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 1 large shallot
  • 1/2 medium white sweet onion
  • salt 
  • pepper
  • water
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 c. sauerkraut
  • sour cream, optional
  • dill, optional
  • lemon wedges, optional

Instructions:

Chop all vegetables and place in medium stockpot. Just cover with water. Bring to boil. Reduce and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Blend in batches, adding more water if necessary to obtain desired viscosity of soup. Add salt, pepper, vinegar, lemon juice and sauerkraut and stir to combine. Cover and chill at least 2 hours or overnight. (Optional: serve each bowl with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of dill, and a lemon wedge.) 

by Melissa McKinnon

Weekly Recipes and Meal Plan

This Week’s Basket from Milk and Honey Organics Included: Red Potatoes, Yellow Onions, Jonagold Apples, Bosc Pears, Pomegranates, Roma Tomatoes, Shallots, Parisi Farms’ Broccoli Crowns, Mustard Greens and Butternut Squash. My butternut squash so was so adorable – yes, I honestly think produce can be cute. ;) Some baskets had kiwi and lettuce, but I have plenty of lettuce because I had coupons to use from Organic Girl by the end of 2011.

This Week’s Meal Plan: I’m eating a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet, with only 5% of my calories from animal protein, but I did add optional meat, egg, and cheese options for my husband.
Recipes in the Meal Plan: