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Friday, May 25, 2012

So much more...

I completely understand getting excited about a three day weekend. Getting to spend time with family and friends around a picnic table, or campfire, or riding down the road on the bikes. Not having to set the alarm clock for three days. Not having demands on our time for three days.

There is so much more...

There needs to be time spent remembering the reason we have this three day weekend. All the men and women who died defending our great country. Some willingly went to battle while others went only because they had to. Regardless of how they came to wear the uniform, they are still dead. Their lives were taken in order for us to be able to enjoy the freedoms we have.

Please check your area and find a program honoring our service men and women on Monday. In my little town, we have a parade followed by a service at the cemetery. It is the same every year, and I wouldn't think of missing it! The parade starts at the Methodist Church, stops at the Veteran's Memorial on Main Street, and ends at the cemetery. The parade is led by the VFW followed by the Ladies Auxiliary. After that are the various Girl Scout Troops ending with Cub Scouts and then Boy Scouts. Years ago, when my little town had its own school, the Marching Band would also take part. We stop at the Veteran's Memorial and the Ladies Auxiliary does a reading. We then proceed to the Cemetery for the ceremony put on by the VFW. The whole parade is about three blocks long, but it is a solomn walk.

I was raised going to the Memorial Day Parade and so were my children. It's not big, it's not fancy, there are no floats or candy throwing. It is however just a very small way we are able to pay respect.

So this weekend, enjoy your picnics and camping and motorcycle riding, but remember to take some time to show your respect and pay honor to all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Legacy of Home

From time to time I think we all find ourselves needing a bit of inspiration to keep going in certain areas of our lives. We may actively seek a source of inspiration or if we are lucky, one will fall right into our laps. I have had the wonderful luck of just such a source of inspiration coming into my life.

As you know, I am a wanna-be domestic goddess. I want to be Suzie Homemaker, Betty Crocker and Martha Stewart all rolled into one person. Sadly, I am a closet hoarder, mediocre cook and have to force myself to be organized.


I just happened to follow a link from somewhere to a blog that has richly become my daily source of inspiration. Mrs. White, the woman who blogs, takes being a stay at home mom/wife very seriously. Her satisfaction comes from taking care of her home and family. Her writing is just lovely and I often feel as if she is talking just to me. I used to turn my computer on and go directly to Facebook, now the first thing I click on is her blog. I'm inspired to be a better wife and homemaker.

If you are looking for a source of inspiration, click on over to Legacy of Home and let Mrs. White work her magic on you too!

Monday, May 21, 2012

First campout of the season

If you are a regular reader, you know I occasionally take a little break from Bear Necessities to give my brain some rest. I'm happy to report my brain is well rested and once again ready to go.

I would like to share with you the wonderful weekend I had. My longtime friend Vienna (I call her V) and her family made the two hour drive to our neck of the woods to spend time together camping. Before we even started setting up camp, their children were already in the pond. Now mind you, even though it was in the upper 80's, it is still only May and the pond is spring-fed, making the water quite chilly. I must say it was very enjoyable listening to the kids scream as they kept walking further out into the water.

As we each began to set up our tents, Papa Bear and I had a bit of difficulty with our big tent in the wind. The set up of said tent was ended as the wind kept taking it and I said *gasp* a curse word! The big tent was rolled up (as there was no chance of folding it correctly in the wind), stuck back in the trailer and the smaller tent was pulled out. Even setting the smaller tent up was a bit of a chore, but with the help of V and David, we got the fly on and all was right again in the world.

The weekend was spent basically with the kids playing in the water and fishing, the guys fishing and V and I sitting under a tree with our crochet in our hands and good conversation flowing. Of course, no proper camping weekend is complete without a campfire and s'mores.

I must tell you of one not so wonderful part of the weekend. About dusk, there are these tiny little bugs that come out this time of the year for a couple of hours. We were just finishing up supper when they made their appearance. I was literally having to squint my eyes and hold my breath cleaning up the kitchen area. I'm sure you've all seen a swarm of gnats, this is basically how the whole camp was. They got inside our cooler, tents, clothes...everywhere! We decided enough was enough and went into town for some ice cream. Wouldn't you know it, they followed us! I'm just so thankful they aren't a biting bug or there would probably be nothing left of us. I had finally had enough and sat in the truck. When we got back to camp, I stayed sitting in the truck until V assured me it was safe to come out. After that, everything was back to normal.

I wish my schedule afforded me more camping time as I love to sit and relax with Papa Bear while he fishes and I read or crochet or even just sit and do nothing. Waking in the morning and sitting outside enjoying a cup of coffee while watching the sun come up on the pond is an awesome way to start the day.

A big thank you to David, V, Jacob, Bekah and AnnMarie for sharing a wonderful weekend together.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Big Ten ~5 & 6~

Welcome to week three of a short series on The Ten Commandments. Last week we discussed not taking the Lord's name is vain and remembering the Sabbath. This week we will continue on with numbers five and six.

#5 Honor your father and your mother
In the 23rd chapter of Proverbs, it says to listen to your father because without him, you would not exist. When your mother is old, show her your appreciation. It also says to let your father and mother be proud of you; give your mother that happiness.

Colossians 3:20 "Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord".

As a mom, I would love to quote every kids obey your parents scripture in the Bible. But, since I'm a cool mom, I won't do that to you. There is one scripture though that's pretty important. The one about treating others the way you want to be treated. This also applies to your folks.

When I was growing up, I was blessed with good parents. They were strict, and believe me, during my teenage years we fought like cats and dogs, but I knew they would always be there for me. Even now, I don't think I could make myself be disrespectful to them. Partially because that is how I was raised, and partially because I don't doubt to this day if I sassed them, I would get backhanded (my mom had a wicked backhand when I was a kid...back when parents were still able to backhand their own kids).

I grew up in a little town of 1000 people, I still live here, and it's where I raised my boys. I didn't grow up in an abusive or alcoholic home. I didn't grow up in a one parent home, or have divorced parents who constantly showed disrespect to each other in front of me. I can't begin to understand how growing up that way is. But I do know God tells us to honor our parents. It's not a suggestion from Him.

I want to share a little story with you. A Sunday School teacher was teaching her class about the Ten Commandments. After talking to them about honoring their mother and father, she asked if there was a Commandment teaching us how to treat our brothers and sisters. Without missing a beat, one little boy answered, "Thou shall not kill". [giggle] This brings us to our 6th Commandment:

#6 Do Not Kill
God gave us life and we should treat our lives, and the lives of others, with care and respect.

What about killing other than life, what about killing a person on the inside? When we cut someone down, or keep nagging at them or showing disrespect, we're slowly killing that persons self esteem. No matter what a person lets be seen on the outside, we all know someones words can cut like a knife on the inside. We never know what is going on inside another person and one unkind word from you might be all it takes to push them over the edge.

Gossip falls under this Commandment.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Clean freezers and cooking

I have had a renewed interest in cooking and doing a menu. Friday, Papa Bear and I defrosted, cleaned and organized all three big freezes. I found strawberries in the bottom of the chest freezer I had vacuum packed before we got married (which will be 10 years in July) YIKES! Now that there is a place for everything and everything in its place, I can actually see what I have and am excited to be using it! Unfortunately, I ended up throwing out a 5 gallon bucket full of freezer burnt meat. It's my own fault though, and it did me good to see how wasteful and costly my disorganization can be.

I'm so very happy with the work we accomplished, I have gone out to the garage just to open the freezer doors and admire it all. I'm not being proud or boastful, just feeling accomplished at starting a project and actually seeing it through!

I am now inspired to start cooking again. WooHoo! I am very blessed to be married to a man who enjoys my making supper, but is also completely fine with getting himself something to eat. With the schedules we both keep, we aren't always able to be home at a decent meal time together, which just compounds the problem of cooking. This week seems to be looking pretty good, so I'm going to enjoy some meal planning and preparation.

Wild hog ribs

Turkey and dressing

Venison ham and beans

Crispy oven fried chicken

Grilled salmon

Friday, May 4, 2012

Circa 21 Salad Recipe

Last Sunday afternoon I was enjoying the company of ten other ladies as we left town heading west to the Quad Cities. Our destination was Circa 21 Dinner Theater. There are a group of us ladies who make this trip two or three times a year. It seems our numbers grow with each adventure (word must be getting out about the crazy ladies!).

On this particular trip, the dinner salad was so awesome I vowed to find the dressing to be able to make it at home. This incredible dressing was a cinnamon apple dressing, one I had never had before. In my searching for this recipe, I was fortunate enough to come across the exact salad!

This will not only make a wonderful addition to a meal, I'm also thinking it will be great as the meal all by itself on the hot days of summer.

Give this a try and I hope you find it as enjoyable as I did.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Big Ten ~3 & 4~

Welcome, my dear friends. Grab a cup of your favorite beverage and we will continue on with a small study on the Ten Commandments.

Last week we discussed numbers 1 and 2. Today we'll cover numbers 3 and 4.

#3 Watch your words
If you know the 10 Commandments, you know this is actually 'Do not take the Lord's name in vain'. Watch you words, what you say about the Lord, is more to the point though. God wants us to use His name in a loving way, not in vain or anger. Now, the obvious swear word would be G** D****. {shudder} Even thinking that word makes me feel dirty. Unfortunately, there are many who seem to be unable to talk without inserting it into the conversations.

Maybe you don't use that word (good for you!). But...have you ever exclaimed "Oh My God!"? What about in a time of frustration saying "Jesus Christ!"? Yep, just as bad.

There are only two reasons that you should be using His name, when you are talking to Him, or when talking about Him. Everything else falls under the whole 'name in vain' thing. Think about it, how would you feel if your good name was used at a cuss word? I don't think I would take to kindly to Papa Bear hitting his thumb with a hammer and instead of saying "shucky-darn", he yelled out "Mama Bear"!

#4 Remember the Sabbath
We are to rest. We have six days to do our work, but the seventh is dedicated to rest and family and God. By keeping the 4th Commandment, we are showing God we are willing to honor Him. God made the Sabbath as a time for us to rest from the previous six days of work...whether we think we need it or not.

He knew we would need to rest physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. The Sabbath is a time to break away from the daily routine. There is much debate on which day is actually the Sabbath, and then what about people who HAVE to work on that day...firemen, hospital workers, farmers still need to milk the cows and feed the pigs and gather the eggs.

In my opinion, and this is just my opinion, I feel as long as we take one day a week and set it aside to relax and unwind, that is fine. I like to work in my yard and in my garden. to me, this isn't working. I have no problem doing this on Sunday as I find it to be very relaxing. I really think the Sabbath is meant to take a break from the daily grind, to spend time in Christian fellowship, and to spend time with God.