Field Stone Cottage Blog

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Petitionary Prayer for Myself

Today I am praying for myself. I am asking God to take away my fearfulness and tendency to worry. I remember clearly when I first learned that worry is a sin. It was quite a number of years ago but to say I was surprised is an understatement. Worrying felt like a part of me and, in a sense, it is...part of my very human nature, the completely-sinful-left-to-its-own-devices part, the completely-dead-in-its-sins part. Certainly not the regenerate-in-Christ-through-the-Holy Spirit part. But in Christ I have security and peace. I am praying for His help to remember that.

John 14:27 "Peace I leave you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

Every Tuesday and Friday in April, Rebecca is posting our petitionary prayers. To share your request and pray for others, click here. This is our last opportunity to do so.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sunday's Hymn: Shout for the Blessed Jesus Reigns

Shout, for the blessed Jesus reigns;
Through distant lands his triumphs spread;
And sinners, freed from endless pains,
Own him their Saviour and their Head.

He calls his chosen form afar,
They all at Zion's gates arrive;
Those who were dead in sin before
By sovereign grace are made alive.

Gentiles and Jews his laws obey;
Nations remote their off'rings bring,
And unconstrained their homage pay
To their exalted God and King.

O may his holy church increase,
His Word and Spirit still prevail,
While angels celebrate his praise,
And saints his growing glories hail.

Loud hallelujahs to the Lamb,
From all below, and all above!
In lofty songs exalt his Name,
In songs as lasting as his love.

Listen to it here.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Cake Says it All!

Today we celebrated an important first in our little church. Our first baby shower! Yes, we are going to be celebrating the even bigger event of our first new baby in a few short weeks. And we're excited! But no one is more excited than the Grandma-to-be, my dear friend, Kim! Well, all right...maybe the parents-to-be are a little bit more excited than Kim. But not much!

Anyway, I was privileged to co-host the event with my other dear friend, Carol. We held the shower at our home and I do believe a good time was had by all.

Additional Photo: By request, here's a photo of one of the favors from the shower. Carol, who does beautiful crocheted work, made the booties and I got some Baby Tears and divided them to replant in the small pots. They are pretty cute, aren't they?

Project Green: Take Three

For more Project Green photos, visit Anna Carson Photography.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Project Green: Take Two

For more Project Green photos, visit Anna Carson Photography.

Petitionary Prayer for Emily

It is nearing the end of April which means there are only two more opportunities to have Rebecca share our petitionary prayers on her Friday and Tuesday postings for this month. Today I am praying that God would provide a summer job for my daughter,Emily. It would be easy for me to slip into deciding what sort of job she should get and praying accordingly. You know what I mean. Sort of telling God what to do. Not that I can direct Him anyway and thank you very much for that! That would be overwhelmingly frightening! But right from the start, I am praying that He would work in her life this summer in ways that would be according to His will and would glorify Himself.

That's Spring For You!

Yesterday was the most glorious of spring days! Well, at least in the morning and early afternoon when it was in the seventies and lovely. Around mid-afternoon, it started to cloud up and we got some showers but I was so thankful to get my roses fed just before that happened so they could take advantage of the natural watering to absorb the food. And that was thanks to some help from my sweet daughter, Emily, who is home for a few days.

But back to the weather. Today is supposed to continue with the warm stuff although we are likely to have T-storms. The really interesting part is that Sunday's high is forecast at 46 degrees with rain/snow likely! This has been such a funny spring!

Forecast at a Glance

Thunderstorms Likely Chance for Measurable Precipitation 70%
Hi 78°F

Thunderstorms Likely Chance for Measurable Precipitation 70%
Lo 39°F


Hi 57°F

Chance Showers Chance for Measurable Precipitation 50%
Lo 34°F

Rain/Snow Likely Chance for Measurable Precipitation 60%
Hi 46°F

Chance Showers Chance for Measurable Precipitation 40%
Lo 33°F

Chance Showers Chance for Measurable Precipitation 30%
Hi 48°F

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Quotes From the Cottage

"Faith working by love" is the grand characteristic of the new creature. Love to God, manifesting itself in "love to the brethren," is the leading feature in the truly Christian character."
--John Brown

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Project Looking Through

I've been seeing some very captivating photos over at Hiraeth for Project Looking Through, sponsored by Mark at Regular Life. And this morning there is a set of lovely photos for the project at The Happy Wonderer. Now, the project is officially over but Mark gave us permission to continue on our own. I came across this photo of Charlie from last year that I just had to post. He was inside the screen porch and we were outside. Isn't he photogenic!?

Petitionary Prayer for Andy

Today I am praying for my husband, Andy, and some of the other men at our church. Andy is experiencing some job-related stress and I am aware that a couple of other brothers in Christ at our church are as well. I feel fortunate not to have to face those job-related, out-in-the-world pressures myself but I have others. No one is immune to the effects of stress in this life. And that is not all bad. God uses those tough times to test our faith and grow us in so many aspects of our walk with Him.

So I am praying that God would use the stress these believing men are under to strengthen them in their reliance on Him and that He give them His peace in the midst of the pressures they face every day. Also I ask that He give them the practical skills they need to balance their responsibilities at work, at home and in our church. And finally, I ask that He give us wives compassion for our husbands and help us to make home a place of refuge for our men.

Rebecca is posting our petitionary prayers every Tuesday and Friday of this month. To learn all the details and participate, click here. Thank you, Rebecca. Its a privilege to pray for each other.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sunday's Hymn: Praise to the Lord

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise him for he is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, now to his temple draw near,
Join me in glad adoration.

Praise to the Lord, who o'er all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under his wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen how thy desires e'er have been
Granted in what he ordaineth?

Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee!
Decked thee with health, and with loving hand guided and stayed thee.
How oft in grief hath not he brought thee relief,
Spreading his wings to o'ershade thee!

Praise to the Lord! O let all that is in me adore him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before him.
Let the Amen sound from his people again;
Gladly for aye we adore him.

Listen to it here.

Friday, April 18, 2008


It was a rough night at our house. We were awakened by Andy's blackberry/cell phone letting us know that there was a malfunction in the alarm system which was madly beeping downstairs. He jumped up and ran down to fix it but I didn't quite catch what was going on so, considering that we use his blackberry in place of an alarm clock, by the time he came back up, I was dressed and about to take Charlie outside. "Where are you going?" he said. "To take Charlie out and make your lunch," I responded. "Its 2:30 AM," he informed me. "Oh," I said, and set Charlie back on the bed. (Yes, he sleeps with us.) We all settled down again.

At 4:30ish, some unidentifiable sound awoke us. "Grrr," we both mumbled with only a half hour left until the blackberry went off and really meant it. No, we didn't sleep through it like some households but we didn't know (or care) what it was either.

Later in the morning, I was having tea here at the cottage with a dear friend whom I hadn't seen in some time. We were chatting away when her husband called on her cell phone to inform her of the aftershock that had just occurred. Did either of us feel it? Not a chance!

As I puttered around the kitchen later, this is the passage that came to my mind.

1 Kings 19:11-13 (New International Version)

11 The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by."
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
Then a voice said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"

I am so thankful that the Lord is not in the earthquake! I pray that He can get my attention with a gentle whisper.

Update: April's theme is Petitionary Prayer over at Rebecca Writes and I am asking that you would pray with me that very request for myself. Please ask Him to keep me sensitive to His gentle whisper in my days.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

15 Words or Less Poem

In and out,
Round and round,
Light and dark,
Pushing hard
Where am I?

This is it!

Today's the big day! Its the sandwich themed Recipe Round Up and the fun is just beginning!
  1. I've been really excited about this Round Up and started posting with my recipe for Barbeque Spoonburgers on Sunday. Yesterday, I put up a new recipe, Salsa Chicken Wraps, one that's destined to become a favorite around here. And this morning, I added Baked Sandwiches, another new one, best described as a sandwich casserole.
  2. Posted yesterday by Rebecca at Rebecca Writes are these mouth-watering Grilled Reubens. I'm not sure that there is anything better than a really good Reuben and this one looks outstanding!
  3. Kim from Hiraeth has posted the links to several old favorites and one new sandwich that's bound to become a favorite too...Chicken Spinach Pecan Wraps.
  4. Ellen at The Happy Wonderer sends us a truly yummy looking Italian Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Sauteed Zucchini. Keep this one in mind for when all those zucchinis start appearing in your garden!
  5. At Writing and Living, we have that ever delicious, hot or cold, Hawaiian Bread Sandwich.
  6. Rosemary at Seasonings of the Heart, sends us the recipe for Club Wraps. Thanks, Rosemary, for the tip on holding all that good stuff together! And for the link to another winner, Cheeseburger Braid.
I'll be updating throughout the day so just send me the links to your recipes in the comments to this post or my original post with the guidelines. And don't forget the exciting drawing sponsored by our very own Rebecca. Everyone who participates is eligible!

Update: Here's the next round of recipes!
  1. Nikkipolani has a very intriguing sandwich recipe over at her place! She was definitely thinking "outside of the box." Breadbox, that is!
  2. Like BLT's? You will love Karen's Texas Style BLT Wrapper! Check it out at A Simply Amusing Blog.
  3. Ann at Whatever Things... offers several filling ideas for any sort of bread or wrap that strikes your fancy. She even suggests Stottie Cake as the base for your sandwich! And she thoughtfully includes the links for descriptions of that and Branston Pickles for those of us on this side of the pond.
Update Number Two:
  1. Mummymac has posted an assortment of recommended sandwich fillings over at Home But Not Alone. There are some not-to-be-missed ideas there! Cream cheese and ginger!? Where have I been?
It has been a busy day here at the cottage so I am closing things down for the night. But I'll check first thing in the morning for any late entries so send yours on in the comments and I'll update one last time.

What about the drawing you say? I'll be announcing the lucky winner of the Taste of Home Cookbook provided by the very generous Rebecca later on tomorrow. Stay tuned...

Final Update: Well, that just about wraps it up for this month's Round Up. Thanks, everyone, for participating! I sure have lots of new sandwich ideas and they're just in time for picnic season!

Now there is one final detail to attend to...the winner of the fabulous drawing to celebrate the Round Up's one year anniversary! And the winner is...are you ready? Enough suspense?...the one and only Mummymac of Home But Not Alone!!! Congratulations, Elaine!!! So please go to Rebecca Writes and scroll down the sidebar to contact Rebecca so she can send you the Taste of Home Cookbook. Happy cooking!

Baked Sandwiches

Our little church meets for prayer every other Wednesday with a meal and time of fellowship following. This is what I made to share last night (thinking of the Round Up, of course!) and it was well received. Lots of positive comments!

16 slices bread
8 slices ham
8 slices turkey
8 slices cheddar cheese
3 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
6 eggs beaten
1/4 cup dehydrated minced onion
2 cups cornflake crumbs
1/2 cup melted butter or margarine

Spray lasagna sized casserole dish with cooking spray. Make a layer in the bottom of the dish with 8 slices of bread. Top each slice with one slice ham, turkey and cheese. Cover with remaining 8 slices of bread.

Mix milk, dry mustard and eggs. Pour over sandwiches and chill eight hours or more.

Sprinkle with dehydrated onion. Mix melted butter and cornflakes and spread on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 75 minutes.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Salsa Chicken Wraps

Here's one to whet your appetites (pun intended) in preparation for tomorrow's Recipe Round Up. It was a new recipe for me. I tried it out on Andy this past weekend and he gave it a definite thumbs up! I thought it was a winner myself

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons salsa
4 ten inch flour tortillas
1 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
8 oz. cooked chicken breast, cut into 1/4 inch strips
shredded iceberg lettuce
3 tablespoons sliced black olives
4 green onions, sliced
salt and pepper to taste

Mix softened cream cheese and salsa. Spread mixture on flour tortillas. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of shredded cheese on each flour tortillas. Layer 2 oz. of chicken on top of cheese. Top chicken with shredded lettuce, black olives and sliced green onions. Salt and pepper to taste. Fold ends over and wrap tightly. Secure with toothpicks.


It's a big day in Crystal Lake, IL! The temperature got up to 73 degrees F! In celebration, I cleaned our screen porch and got it ready for the season. I really know how to celebrate, don't I? We never had a screen porch until we moved to the cottage a little over three years ago. I think it has become the thing we love the most about this house! Crystal Lake is decidedly suburban but sitting out there in the evening, we have the feeling of camping somewhere. We leave the phone and the computers in the house, close the door and take our tea out there and it is like being on vacation. Our own private retreat. Makes a person wonder why we ever go anywhere else.

Tomorrow's the Day!

Yes, tomorrow is the appointed day for our April Recipe Round Up! Sandwiches is the theme but I'm sure you all know that and are hard at work scouring your recipe files to contribute your best. If you've forgotten the protocol (or my email address) for contributing or any of the other particulars, you can refresh your memory here. Don't forget to check the update for the drawing sponsored by Rebecca to commemorate our one year anniversary! And non-bloggers, I'm happy to post your recipes if you'd like to participate.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Petitionary Prayer for Our Church

This month the theme at Rebecca Writes is petitionary prayer. Rebecca is posting one of her own petitions and linking to those sent to her every Tuesday and Friday in April. Today I am praying for my church. I've told you a bit about our church in a previous post. Well, on March 15th, we officially became a mission work of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church under the guidance and supervision of a fully established church in a close by community. Some of the men of our church attended a session meeting at Hope Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Grayslake, IL for the first time this past Saturday and we are all encouraged by the loving relationship the people of that church are extending to us through Christ. So the petition that I am bringing to God today (and every day lately) is that God would give wisdom to us and the people of Hope OPC and continue to bless our relationship using it to grow us all and glorify Himself.

Update: For those of you who may be unaware, Kim of Hiraeth and I are close friends, very close friends, both relationally and geographically. We live about five minutes apart from each other. And yes, her church is my church. So you see it was bound to happen eventually that our posts would sort of...overlap. And today (by God's plan, not our design) is the day! We are both praying for our church and asking you to join us.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Watching and Waiting

Well, I think its finally here. Warmer weather, sunshine, a few flowers, the grass a more distinct green. In a word...spring! Today's high in our neck of the woods was 51 sunny degrees! I've noticed a definite surge of joy over every little sign of spring in quite a few of us this year. Especially this year, with its never-ending cold and snow. And what have I been studying in the midst of all this watching and waiting? Matthew 24! You can guess where this is going, can't you? I am asking myself if I am watching and waiting for Jesus' return with the same sense of intent expectation and the answer is a definite...not always. "Keep watch" and "be ready," Jesus says in verses 42 and 44. I needed that reminder to think spiritually as I continue to watch for every new bud and shoot with my rake and pruning shears at hand.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Barbeque Spoonburgers

Okay, here's an advance peak at a sandwich recipe for the Round Up on Thursday, April 17th. I've served this many times for groups small and large and it has always been well received. A crock pot recipe, it works exceptionally well for entertaining when you don't want to be juggling to get everything on the table hot and all at the same time.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1/2 c. chopped onions
half of a green pepper, choppped
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 c. ketchup
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 c. water
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard

Brown beef in oil. Drain. Combine all ingredients in crock pot. Cover. Cook on low 6-8 hours. Serve on buns.

It doesn't get much easier than that! But I can't wait to see what all of you come up with! Here's a refresher on the protocol for the Round Up. And don't forget to check out the very special draw sponsored by our own Rebecca in recognition of our one year anniversary. Rebecca has provided the prize!

Sunday's Hymn: Ah, Holy Jesus

Ah, holy Jesus, how hast thou offended,
That man to judge thee hath in hate pretended?
By foes derided, by thine own rejected,
O most afflicted.

Who was the guilty? who brought this upon thee?
Alas, my treason, Jesus, hath undone thee.
'Twas I, Lord Jesus, I it was denied thee:
I crucified thee.

Lo, the good Shepherd for the sheep is offered:
The slave hath sinned, and the Son hath suffered:
For man's atonement, while he nothing heedeth,
God intercedeth.

For me, kind Jesus, was thine incarnation,
Thy mortal sorrow, and thy life's oblation:
Thy death of anguish and thy bitter passion,
For my salvation.

Therefore, kind Jesus, since I cannot pay thee,
I do adore thee, and will ever pray thee
Think on thy pity and thy love unswerving,
Not my deserving.

Listen to it here.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Yesterday was our first day back from a lovely little respite to Arkansas for a long overdue visit with some of Andy's family. It was a sweet time of reconnection and rediscovery for us. And the fact that they are at least a couple of weeks farther into spring than we are didn't hurt any either! We were more than ready to soak up some sunny 70 degree weather and daffodils and forsythia and redbud. But look what I found in our yard when we got home! Crocuses and the fresh new shoots of our orange roadside daylilies! And note the absence of snow!

Recipe Round Up Time!

Well, ladies, I am here to announce our next Recipe Round Up, hosted by yours truly. Rebecca was gracious enough to allow me that privilege for the month of April and I am excited to do it! This month's recipe category will be sandwiches. We all fix 'em, we all eat 'em, so let's broaden our repertoire and share our secret recipes. Now, my definition of sandwich is not limited to something enclosed in two slices of bread. Those sandwiches are very welcome, of course, but so are the ones served on a bun, a roll, a wrap...any filling enclosed by some sort of dough.

The date of this Round Up will be next Thursday, April 17th so let's start checking out our recipe files. Feel free to contribute a recipe from a previous post on your blog, a never been posted recipe or a link to one you've seen on another blog. And don't think that not having your own blog means you can't contribute. You can simply send me your recipe and I will post it for you. So to be included in the first round of recipes posted on April 17th just send me your contribution by 8 AM CDT in the comments to this post or email it to me at my gmail account. My name there is thimbleannie and its a dot com address. I'll continue to update the collection throughout the day completing it by 8 PM that evening.

Oh, and please help me get the word out by mentioning this month's Round Up on your blog! I'm looking forward to lots of new sandwich ideas!

Update: Here's a very exciting, late-breaking news flash for all of you recipe hounds! April is the one year anniversary of our Recipe Round Up and to mark the occasion, Rebecca is providing the prize for a very special drawing. Not only will everyone who contributes a recipe be eligible for the drawing but anyone who links to this announcement of the Round Up will be entered as well. And the prize? (Drum roll, please.) A brand new copy of The Taste of Home Cookbook! Rebecca gives it a rave review and so do I!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Sunday's Hymn: Lead On, O King Eternal

Lead on, O King eternal,
The day of march has come;
Henceforth in fields of conquest
Thy tents shall be our home:
Through days of preparation
Thy grace has made us strong,
And now, O King eternal,
We lift our battle song.

Lead on, O King eternal,
Till sin's fierce war shall cease,
And Holiness shall whisper
The sweet amen of peace;
For not with swords loud clashing,
Nor roll of stirring drums,
But deeds of love and mercy,
The heav'nly kingdom comes.

Lead on, O King eternal,
We follow, not with fears;
For gladness breaks like morning
Where'er thy face appears;
Thy cross is lifted o'er us;
We journey in its light:
The crown awaits the conquest;
Lead on, O God of might.

Listen to it here.

Other Sunday hymns here.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

15 Words or Less Poem

Frosty white flakes
On a robin red breast
Contradictions in season.

More 15 words or less poems here.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Ice Departs

Crystal Lake: April 2, 2008. Fifty degrees and sunny! No April Fool's joke this time.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Easter continues!

I know its almost two weeks ago now but my thoughts are still focused on Easter. My grasp of what our Saviour did for me has somehow been expanded this year. Now, don't misunderstand. It is not like I didn't understand before what the impact of His crucifixion and resurrection is on my life. But there is a new level of gratitude on my part, a new desire to meditate on that impact. I found searching for my contribution to Rebecca's Poetry of the Cross each day during Holy Week particularly satisfying. I read the poetry at other blogs with special interest. And I must confess, that as Easter Sunday drew to a close I could only think to myself "That's it? Its over?" So I was grateful to find the link to RevEd at Hiraeth. I was delighted to sing Christ the Lord is Risen Today this past Lord's Day at our worship service. And I was pleased by Rosemary's comment on my post of that hymn that her pastor also mentioned the weekly celebration of the resurrection of Christ. Its not over! I don't have to give up contemplating Easter! In fact, I need to remain focused on the finished work of Christ each and every day of my life if I am going to love the Lord my God with all my heart and all my soul and with all my mind (Matthew 22:37-38).