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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas - 2013

SONY DSCChristmas 2013

This year we have had the privilege and blessing of celebrating Christmas in our new house. 

                     When we moved into our house, the Lord gave me this word… Peaceful Dwelling

My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.

                                                                                      Isaiah 32:18

The word peaceful comes from the Hebrew word shalam

it means:  completeness, soundness, welfare, peace

  1. completeness (in number)

  2. safety, soundness (in body)

  3. welfare, health, prosperity

  4. peace, quiet, tranquility, contentment

  5. peace, friendship

    1. of human relationships

    2. with God especially in covenant relationship

God made a covenant relationship with us…

          one of PEACE…  one of completeness…  one of safety…  one that would restore us to Him

one that would make us whole, one the would compensate for our lacking's… 

one that would  make an end to our unrest…       our searching…

For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.      Isaiah 9:6-7

He will be called Prince of Peace…   of the greatness of His peace there will be no end…

peace came to us as a child,  a son…   one who would establish and uphold justice and righteousness…

one who would uphold us…   a person full of grace and peace…   so that our peace would be full…

Peace…    Peaceful Dwelling… 

                   My people will live in peaceful dwelling places…

The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.

                        because that peace….   that peaceful dwelling place is JESUS…

May your Christmas be one of PEACE,

Merry Christmas from the Chellsen Clan

David, Kathey, Nick, Brittaney, Alex, Aaron, Jonathan, Audriona, Angelina & Shekinah

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Monday, December 16, 2013

Weekly Menu Plan–5 Menu Plans


Monday – Hawaiian Meatballs & Rice

Tuesday – Meatball Sliders (use extra meatballs from Monday)

Wednesday – Breakfast for Dinner

Thursday – Crockpot Cashew Chicken

Friday – Calzones

Saturday – Rock Star Sons Birthday – his choice

Sunday – Black Bean Soup & Sandwiches

  5 on Friday Menu Plans

 5 PHILADELPHIA Savory Lemon & Herb Cooking Crème Recipes

5 Meals in a Cup

5 Monkey Bread Recipes

5 Kids Meals in a Crock Pot

5 Spaghetti Recipes

5 Chicken Crock Pot Meals

linking up to MPM-Fall check it out for other meal planning ideas.


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Friday, December 13, 2013



Delight yourself in the LORD,

and he will give you the desires of your heart. 

                                                                    Psalm 37:4


Over the years, on this journey of life…

             this journey of discovery…

                          this journey of trusting…

                 I have struggled with something…

I have believed…

         I have known deep down in my being…

                  I have seen and experience…

                                 That my God,  will and has met my needs…

          He has proven Himself to be the every faithful God that he has promised he would be… 

                                                    in providing my needs.

         Philippians 4:19 says, “My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus”

and in  Mathew 6:25-34 He reminds us that we have no need to worry about what we will eat or drink or what we will wear, for He provides for the birds of the air and the lilies of the field, so he will certainly provide for us, His children.


I have struggled with the truth that He will give me the desires of my heart…

             Those deep felt desires…

                   the desires of the deepest places in our heart…

the word desire means:

1. A wish or longing.

2. A request or petition.

3. The object of longing

4. passion

The past few weeks I have been on this journey with my Lord…

                a journey of seeing His passion to fill those desires…

not only those little wishes

      but those deep longings…

             a journey of igniting passions that I thought I had lost…

                             passions I didn’t even realize where there.

That His love…

      His fire…

              His answers…  to those deep desires -

is more of Him…   and more of Him is more than enough…   to fill…     those deep desires

He loves us so much that he not only is enough to fill our needs but he is more than enough... to fill our desires.

Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.  Psalm 37:4  NASB

Desires – The first word in this verse is a word that expresses the sheer enjoyment of the person of God.  When we delight in who God is an amazing transformation occurs.  Our lives progress toward fulfillment.  Those secret spaces are no longer empty.  We experience the desires of our reborn hearts as joy.  As the psalmist suggests, God gives us His desires so that they may become our desires.


Lyrics by Ryan Adams

Two hearts fading, like a flower.
And all this waiting, for the power.
For some answer, to this fire.
Sinking slowly. The water’s higher.
With no secrets. No obsession.
This time I'm speeding with no direction.
Without a reason. What is this fire?
Burning slowly. My one and only.
You know me. You don't mind waiting.
You just can't show me, but God I'm praying,
That you'll find me, and that you'll see me,
That you run and never tire.

Grateful that my God does give me the desires of my heart~

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Monday, December 9, 2013

Weekly Menu Plan–10 Meal Plans


Monday – Meat Loaf & Potatoes

Tuesday - Southwest Egg Rolls

Wednesday – Chicken & Potato Casserole

Thursday – Chicken Pot Pie Turnovers (will save chicken from Wed. night to made with these)

Friday – Papa Murphey’s Pizza or Pizza Bread

Saturday – Hamburger Bar

Sunday – Chicken Wild Rice Soup &  Sandwiches

Here are some post I did a while back 10 on Tuesday

         10 Meals with Fire Roast Diced Tomatoes Recipes

         10 Meals with Philadelphia Cooking Cream Recipes 

         10 Meals with Santa Fe Blend Cooking Cream Recipes

         10 Easy Special Meals

10 Easy Meals in a Muffin Tin

linking up to MPM-Fall check it out for other meal planning ideas.


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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Christmas Picture Books & Paper Trees

Cover art
Mr. Willowby's Christmas tree
Came by special delivery.
Full and fresh and glistening green--
The biggest tree he'd ever seen.

That was the trouble. The tree was so tall, it couldn't stand up straight in his parlor. Mr. Willowby asked his butler to chop off the top of the tree. What happens to the treetop? Where will it be for Christmas? Snuggle up with this story and follow along through a forest full of friendly creatures who get to share in a bit of Easy DIY Tabletop Christmas Tree DecorationsChristmas joy. After reading Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree, make some of your own trees to share with others.

☆  Ten paper Christmas tree crafts for kids of all ages -even adult kids. :) 
  DIY Patterned Paper Trees.  Paper christmas trees craft christmas merry christmas christmas tree christmas pictures christmas crafts christmas ideas happy holidays merry xmas
Day-1---tree   Christmas tree from strips of wrapping paper - pinned to a styrofoam cone.
German paper enthusiast making Christmas decorations and wrapping solutions since 2007. Click through to see his "endless" ideas ;-)  Simple Christmas Craft Idea
Click on the pictures to go directly to the links that show you how to make each tree.

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Friday, December 6, 2013

Faith produces perseverance

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

I have this love/hate relationship with the book of James…

              So, stretching… so revealing…

                          Yet… so full of truth and life…

Faith produces perseverance…

               Let perseverance… PATIENCE

Finish its work…

                   So that I can be mature and complete, not lacking anything…

If I lack wisdom… I need to ask… because He will give generously and without finding fault…

            Without pointing fingers or reminding me I blew it somewhere…       without condemnation.

WOW…  truth…     life giving wisdom


when you ask… do not doubt…

           do not be double mined and unstable in what you do, say one thing but act as if you do not believe…

So, I am on this journey of discovery….

             a journey of not focusing on the lacking… of not living out of the lacking..


without something necessary: without or with not enough of something that is needed

missing: not present or available

Not living as if something is missing or not present…

                        not living as if I do not have enough…. As if He is not enough…

                                                 that He is not available…


I asked for your perfect timing… just like the house and you gave it to me… and it was perfect… not without trial or stress… but perfect in timing and you were producing perseverance…

Going for another round… with finances and waiting for Jubilee $.  And the answer came… with delays in the jubilee funds…  but you are answering…

You answer…         In your perfect timing…    I do not see the perfectness of this timing yet…. I will not until it comes…

You are giving me my hearts desire…  to have a stress free (peace filled), Giving Christmas… to enjoy it.

That can be done … just by changing my attitude…  by changing my focus…

Give as planned…   give with what we have.

do not be stressed… do not worry… do not look at the lacking…

                    focus on the giving… focus on the gift...

Enjoy… the season… the decorating… the working together… family… friends…. The Gift


                      personal view of something: an opinion or general feeling about something

What is my view or opinion of my situation…. Is it one of stress…. Is it one of lacking…


                Is it one of seeing the blessings… Is it one of fullness…

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything

Consider it pure joy…


not mixed: not mixed with any other substance

free from contamination: clean and free from impurities


Joy… not mixed with fear…

            Joy… free from worry…

Joy… Complete

          Complete… not lacking anything…

Because of Him…

My Shekinah Glory….

          The one who brings….    the one who invites the presence of the Lord….

                        His indwelling presences…

she came and nestled beside me …. on the couch pressed up against me…

looking at boxes of Christmas decorations…. New (but old) decorations sent from Nana…

            She whispered… we are so blessed…

My heart leaped with Joy…     as I said, "yes, we are, we are so blessed."

                 Pure Joy…        Complete….      Not lacking anything.

So our journey begins…     a season of giving…     giving our Christmas away…

      Join us on the journey…   of Discovering…   The Gift through giving.

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Stones of Remembrance

    Stones of Remembrance


In our front yard is this awesome, wonderful tree…

    that the Lord has been using to speak words of hope…

               words of promises fulfilled...
                         words of love…

   that simple say “I am listening…  I remember”

He hears and remembers every prayer…   every word spoken...    every word sent up to Him.


around this tree…  this tree of life…      are 12 bricks…     
12 bricks that have become memorial stones of remembrance…

Joshua 4: 4 When all the nation had finished passing over the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, 2 “Take twelve men from the people, from each tribe a man, 3 and command them, saying, ‘Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests' feet stood firmly, and bring them over with you and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight.’” 4 Then Joshua called the twelve men from the people of Israel, whom he had appointed, a man from each tribe. 5 And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, 6 that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ 7 then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.”
8 And the people of Israel did just as Joshua commanded and took up twelve stones out of the midst of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, just as the Lord told Joshua. And they carried them over with them to the place where they lodged and laid them down there. 9 And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests bearing the ark of the covenant had stood; and they are there to this day.

Joshua 4:20-22
And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their fathers, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground."

12 stones that are a visual reminder of God’s love…
                of His provision…
                      of Him opening the way for us to cross…
                                  onto solid ground…
                                             into  His promises for us.

Stones of remembrance~

As a visual reminder…DSCN5188
we each took one brick…  
              one stone
and wrote our name on it.
     He calls us all by name. 

We took our stone of remembrance…  
DSCN5183and gave Him praise…   thanks…  

DSCN5184for all He has done for us this year.

we flipped that heavy brick over weighted down with blessings - and wrote one  “hard thanks”…   

one area in our life that we struggle with giving thanks for…


           because giving thanks in all things is what He asks us to do…

                    and when we can give thanks in the hard things… 

we open His flood gates of heaven…
                                turning the hard things into praises… seeing the blessing…

                                                 a sacrifice of praise.

DSCN5304He becomes the cornerstone…    the center of all things…   
DSCN5305   in our life…  

     easy Thanks...
no brainer Thanks...   
   and those messy,

     hard Thanks…  


He becomes the beginning and the end...  
              Our starting and finishing place…
                                              Our Chief Cornerstone

reminding us that…

God is building a home.
He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using us, fitting us brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together.

We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.  Ephesians 2: 20-22

Joshua 4:6-7

We can also "set up stones of remembrance” symbolizing times in our lives when God gave healing, perseverance, protection or encouragement—times when we were especially aware of God’s faithfulness.
  • Make a quilt with squares symbolizing "faith events."
  • Create a display of items on a shelf as reminders.
  • Draw, paint, or craft a collage.
  • Decorate actual stones in your garden.
  • Write your faith stories, tie them with a ribbon, and put them in a special box or bottle. (Then read them on special occasions.)
building stones…    of remembrance~ Pin It

Monday, December 2, 2013

Menu Plan–December

Here is our Monthly Menu Plan for December


Broken down to this week it looks like this:


Monday – Beans & Rice (low budget week)

Tuesday – Enchiladas (with leftover beans)

Wednesday – Quiche

Thursday – Black Bean Burgers (I use my homemade Black Beans &  homemade Hamburger buns)

Friday – Biscuit Pizzas

Saturday – Hot Dog Bar

Sunday – is my Unique son’s Birthday – so he gets to pick)


linking to:


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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Christmas Planners

   Free Printable Christmas Planner        Picture 

Botanical PaperWorks 12 Weeks of Christmas: 5 Free Printable Christmas Planner PagesWith Christmas just around the corner, I wanted to find a     planner to help keep my thoughts and plans written down and easily accessible. I found these different free printable planners.  I have not decided which one I am going to use yet.  I may use some of the printables from different downloads.  There are things I like about each on of these. I will be printing and comb binding the printable I want to use this week.  Once I have it done I will take a picture and post it. You can click the pictures and it will take you to each printable.

Enjoy~ Pin It

Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Giving Tree


For the past handful of years we have tried to find ways to give our Christmas away. To give instead of receive, to cultivate the habit of giving instead of receiving. This year we wanted to tie in our Devotion tree to our Giving, as a symbol or reminder of Christ – the true gift, to the gift given in His name. Our Devotion tree will be transformed into our Giving Tree for the season as we celebrate Him… His birth… God’s gift to us…

During the weeks leading up to Christmas – the celebration of His birth we will be reading from The Giving Tree Devotional, placing the ornament of His name on our Giving Tree… a reminder of who He is and reflect on Him as the gift… the giver, the one whose name means… anointed one… the one who was given to all mankind… the who was poured out for us. After taking time to prepare our hearts by receiving Him, we will become the gift by completing and giving the suggested gift in the Devotion, in His name…

He doesn’t give us gifts for our gain because a gift can never stop being a gimageift—

                     it is always meant to be given.” (from One Thousand Gifts)

The devotional has been  adopted from Worthy of the Prize. 

I have created a download PDF File with The Giving Tree Devotion imageimage

and The Giving Tree Devotional Journal and Ornaments




We print our ornaments on the back of Christmas Colored Scrapbook paper. I will be posting pictures later this week of our devotion tree, basket and the ornaments made.  You can check out other Devotions we have done using our Devotion Tree here:

Thanksgiving Devotion Tree

Pictures of our Devotion Tree and Basket

Here is an insert from Day 1:

The Giver: I am Emmanuel …

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Emmanuel.” Isaiah 7:14

Emmanuel happens to be one of my favorite names of Jesus, particularly at Christmastime. It means, "God with us." And that is exactly what Christmas is all about, the very essence of the season itself. The Son of God did not have to step down from his throne in Heaven, but He did it to save us (Philippians 2:5-8).

"She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."

(Matthew 1:21)

The Gift: Make Nativity Ornaments for Elderly – Visit Convalescent Home

This ornament just needs wood clothes pins, twine, glue, craft wire and a saw. Check your local craft store for wood stars and you'll have everything you need to make these "nativity" ornaments! Glue the "Mary" and "Joseph" clothespins next to each other, tie some twine around the "baby Jesus" clothespin and glue him to "Mary's" "arms", add the star with a bit of craft wire, make a hanging loop from twine, glue together.

Share the gift of Emmanuel with the lonely … give them a reminder that God is with them.

We will also be taking pictures and recording our journey in an 8 x 8 scrapbook.

The Giving Tree

Giving CHRISTmas Away

Hear Jesus whispering it…

“When you give to the least of these — you give to Me.”


Giving to the one who is CHRISTmas

A Season of Giving Christ away…

­­­­­Cultivating the habit of giving-

Developing a life of giving…

Looking forward to growing and giving~

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Celebrating Thanksgiving

image  Thanksgiving Bucket List

This is our Thanksgiving Bucket List.   I shared about wanting a fun way to celebrate the seasons and the holidays with Bucket Lists.  We made a new bucket list for Thanksgiving, after completing our Autumn Bucket List.  We have half of the items on t2013-10-02 22.26.26he list completed.  We will be doing the Thanksgiving Tree Devotion this week and next (before we move into our Advent season.  We have completed the Thanksgiving Menu, The Subway Art the Thanksgiving Banner, and the Operation Christmas Child Shoe Boxes.  We are making the rolls for dinner on Thanksgiving Day and the reading our favorite Christmas Book, A Turkey for Thanksgiving.  My giving son loves this book (loved hearing it when he was a child) and reads it to the three silly sisters each year now.

As I am reflecting on some past thoughts of Thanksgiving. I am reminded of how important it is to not only give thanks but to live thanks.

Thanksgiving Reflections


Give Thanks

fractal thanksgiving quotes pictures       hd thanksgiving quotes pictures

I love these two quotes.   They go beyond the words of Thanks…

Giving Thanks each and every day, not just on Thanksgiving, invites …

                                 cultivates an attitude of thanks living, but I do not want it to stop there…

        I want that attitude of Thanksgiving - of Thanks-living to  not only be a noun, (a state of being)
                         but to be a verb,  expressed in action and service… 

                                        an expression a love and grace to those around me.

Living out those words of thanks in action~
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