Sunday, November 19, 2017

Iron Sharpens Iron

Our sweet Ms. Aimee came to visit our Bible Bowl class today! Back in 2000 at the Owasso congregation, Jon coordinated Leadership Training for Christ. At that time an 8th grade Aimee and a 7th grade Frankie were part of the Bible Bowl group.  Jon taught the boys including Aimee's brother Brooks.  I taught Frankie's group.

Ms. Aimee came by to encourage our class in their studies and pursuit of learning God’s Word! It’s so rewarding to see ‘our kids’ serving in the Lord’s work and encouraging another generation! It was so sweet to see my 'big kids' with my younger kids!  Ms. Aimee brought her sweet babies in with her, too!  Hard to believe she had a kindergartner! 

I love that these kids can see that what they are learning now will benefit them as adults when they serve in the Lord's body where ever life takes them! 

We had no idea in 2000 when Aimee and Frankie were studying 2 Kings for LTC in Oklahoma that by 2002 they would be at McDermott preparing for LTC and studying Genesis together!

As iron sharpens iron,
    so one person sharpens another.
Proverbs 27:17

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Canning Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Pinterest sucked me in again with an endless feed of canning recipes that I had never tried.  Since it is that time of year for Thanksgiving dinner, I was enticed by recipes I found for homemade cranberry sauce.  It is one of my Mom's favorite holiday dishes.  But I have to confess she always refrigerated a can and sliced it up to serve.

Canning cranberry sauce would give me that same convenience but with a delicious homemade flavor!  I wanted a recipe that I could use my Instant Pot to quickly cook my sauce.  Next, I wanted a recipe that I could use the Ball Jam and Jelly Maker to hands free complete the jelling process.  The results were delicious.  

Cranberry Sauce
32oz fresh cranberries (2 lb. bag)
½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice 
1/4 cup water
1/2 C granny smith apple, peeled and diced 
Small pat of butter
3½ cups sugar

Spice Pouch
1 large piece of orange rind (pith removed)
6 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick 
Cheese cloth and string to tie pouch

Remove the cranberry stems. Rinse cranberries under cold running water. Discard the soft, discolored and wrinkly ones.  Prepare a spice pouch with orange peel (remove the pith), cloves and cinnamon stick.  Tie with string.  The spice pouch will let the spices flavor your cranberries but allow you to easily remove them. 

Combine cranberries,  orange juice, water, diced apple, butter and spice pouch into the Instant Pot.   Close lid and pressure cook on Manual at High Pressure for 1 minute followed by 7 minutes of Natural Release. Manual release after 7 minutes and remove lid. 

When the cranberries have cooled slightly, remove the spice pouch and use a hand blender to puree cranberries and apples. When they are the desired consistency stir in sugar.  You can puree the cranberries smooth or leave them a little chunky with fruit. 

Pour the cranberries and sugar into the Ball Jam and Jelly maker with the Stirrer. 

Press  jelly button – the cook time will automatically default to 25 minutes. Press enter. After 4 minutes the appliance will sound 4 short beeps indicating that it is time to add the sugar.  Since the sugar was added at the beginning of the recipe, ignore these beeps.  

The Ball Jam and Jelly Maker will continue to automatically stir your cranberry sauce while it cooks. Stay within earshot of the Jam & Jelly Maker, the appliance will beep again at the end of the process signaling cooking is complete. Press cancel and unplug the appliance.

Remove Stirrer using a pot holder. 

At this point you could serve; or refrigerate your cranberry sauce; or can. 
To can spoon the hot cranberry sauce into Ball Wide-Mouth Pint Jars and using the water bath method, process jars in boiling water for 15 minutes.

The cranberry sauce will be thick, dark burgundy red, and glossy. Because these have been water bathed that are shelf staple for a year.  A few days before serving remember to refrigerate your jar.   To serve you can use a table knife and slide around the edge and it will slide out.  At this point you could slice the cranberry sauce OR use a spoon to serve your sauce fluffy in bowl! 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

Congrats, Mason and Wright!

What a wonderful day to celebrate the wedding of Wright and Mason!  Mason grew up at McDermott with Caleb and Richard.  Mason and Wright attended college at Tech in Lubbock and they all attended the Sunset Church of Christ together.  It's hard to believe the kids are growing up and getting married!  But it was sweet and beautiful to see them begin their new lives together. 

Mason's youngest sister, Delaney is Abigail's age and they have grown up together.  The girls had a great time surrounded in the romance and grandeur of the event.  

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.  Ephesians 5:25

Friday, November 17, 2017

Fun Friday

I was excited to return to help out at the preschool today for Fun Friday.  Fun Friday is a special event day for the three and four year old.  We had a western theme!  

We had a great time building a camp fire in our class room.  Lots of western themed crafts. There were western twists on our songs, you know Lord's Army (Cowboy Style)!  For our Bible story we took a look at Moses. So much fun with the kids!

Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, came with his sons and his wife to Moses in the wilderness where he was camped, at the mount of God. Exodus 18:5

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Long Ball Hit-A-Thon

The HSAA Softball team participated in the Long Ball Hit-A-Thon with the HSAA baseball team. HSAA has baseball teams for grades 7th through 12th and now offer as varsity softball team.  

This is the team raises funds to offset the cost of renting fields and tournament fees.  I don't know yet her final distant that she hit but I know she hit past the 150' mark!  

The event was a family friendly event with barbecue sandwiches, homemade goodies and raffle items.    

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Take Your Mom to Work Day

We've been calling today, Take Your Mom to Work Day.  Abigail has been working at the church preschool filling in for teachers when they are off.  Today several teachers were out with sick family members so Abigail and I tag teamed it!

I got to hang out with the four year olds and Abigail was in with the three year olds.  This was the kids Thanksgiving Celebration.  So there were lots of great crafts and a wonderful feast of Chick-fil-A nuggets and all the trimmings! 

One of the kids favorites was the reading of  'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving  by Dav Pilkey.  It's a funny telling of the day before Thanksgiving, when eight boys and girls take a field trip to a turkey farm. They have fun playing with eight exuberant turkeys but are shocked to learn that Farmer Mack Nuggett plans to kill all the turkeys for Thanksgiving dinners. So the children decide to smuggle all the turkeys home, and all their Thanksgiving dinners become vegetarian this year. The turkeys' lives are saved!

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;

give thanks to him and praise his name.
Psalm 100:4

Monday, November 13, 2017

Spring Semester Decisions!

It's hard for me to fathom some days that the baby girl is a college student.  I'm not completely sure that I've come to grips with Caleb being a college student!  Today Abigail registered for her Spring class load.  She'll be carrying seven hours again next semester.  Because that she is only sixteen and still playing high school ball she can't take more that ten hours per semester or it would mess with her NCAA eligibility status. 

We went up to the college, I had to sign off as her high school official giving her permission to take classes again this semester.  Next she met with and Academic Adviser to determine her class schedule.  Once she was registered we headed over to the Kolache Factory for brunch.  The kolache helped ease the stress from all those adult decisions! 

Let us discern for ourselves what is right;
    let us learn together what is good.

Job 34:4

Sunday, November 12, 2017

A Little More Softball

Because we haven't had enough softball this weekend, guess what Abigail is doing this afternoon?  That's my catcher girl behind the plate again! Team Smith had a decisive win today and the girl had a good game behind the plate.  Any day she gets to play ball is a fun day, but winning makes it even better! 

I think she's done with softball until batting practice on Tuesday and the HSAA Hit-A-Thon on Thursday and practice on . . . . Who am I kidding, softball doesn't end!  It's a good thing she loves it! 

But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 4:29

Study Buddies

Bible Bowl is rocking along!  I think we're at thirty-three youth and six or eight adults studying the book of 1 Samuel.  How amazing is that?!  God is good and we're so delighted to see that many young people wanting to study the scriptures in depth.  They are willing to put in the work to dig into scripture!  They've been rocking 3-4 pages of homework per week, reading and memorizing scripture.  

I'm blessed again this year with a great group of moms willing to step in to help out week after week.  My biggest blessing has been Ms. Stacy G. who is there for me week after week and helps get the other moms plugged into whatever games we have going on in class! 

For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord,
 and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel.  Ezra 7:10

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Skills Camp

Hypothetically speaking, if you were a high school ball player and you had played four 90-minute games over two days, what would you want to do next?  Participate in a two hour skills clinic, you say?  I didn't think so.  But that is exactly what Abigail and many of the girls from the tournament did tonight. 

There was a skills clinic for the players where they broke up by positions and got tips and practice drills to improve their game. 

That means Abigail caught, squatting for three games and now squatted for another two hours! Her quads were so fatigued by the time the clinic was completed!  

It's a good thing she doesn't have to play ball again tomorrow, oh wait she does have to play tomorrow! Oh well! 

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.  Hebrews 12:11