Monthly Archives: February 2009

Why We Made 70 Pies for Annual Tea 2009


5_doile-tea-magnets-2009The Women’s Ministry team had a FUN time making 70 pies. However, these were big enough to fit into a bottle cap and studded with a magnet.

Giving out gorgeous magnets is expected at our annual tea.  Go herefor a look at some of the past years’ favors.

So, I am always on the hunt for ideas.

 “This is what we NEED to make for the tea,” I thought. I saw and bought a fabric pie magnet and showed it to Heidi. Heidi did some research, experimentation and then came up with these beauties.

Each year we say, “Oh, this is the best one yet. How are we going to top it?”  Well, this year really IS the best one yet. What do you think?

If you weren’t able to attend the Tea, you still have a chance to get one. March 15th we’ll be having a bake sale at church. We’ll also be selling our (all church) cookbooks. With every cookbook ($14.99) you’ll receive a free magnet. The proceeds will go towards the women’s retreat June 5-7.

If you went to the Tea, which magnet did you pick and why?

7_doile_1_of_each1Edited to add: Photos by Elizabeth Symington. She is found here & here.



Progress is Progress Even When the Steps Are Ridiculously Easy


Setbacks, roadblocks and detours are unavoidable; they are human. Make sure you have support people. They can positively influence you and your current lack of courage, enthusiasm or belief.

1136265_metro_lisbonThen get up and focus on your next step. Rewrite your goal plan to include some more ridiculously easy baby steps. A baby step, I drink two glasses of water a day, may not seem like much, but it is progress toward the big picture, I drink 8 glasses of water a day. It is progress. Be gentle, patient, take those baby steps on a regular basis, and you will attain your goal.

My action plan for today. I am on a decluttering mission. My ridiculously easy baby step is to get rid of 7 items in the bathroom. I’m choosing the bathroom because it is the neatest room in the house.

This works for me. For other Works-For-Me- Wednesday posts go here. There are currently 249 ideas.

What step will you rewrite so that it is ridiculously easy?  What will you accomplish today?

Read these other posts in the series about Goals.

12 Motivating Ideas for Goal Achievement


1115105_lots_of_steps_in_stockholmNow let’s attack the how to keep on keeping on.

Advertise your goals to those around you. Advertise your goals to yourself. Advertising works . . . maybe because of its repetitive nature. So repeat your goals to yourself by using a variety of mediums.

Here are a dozen strategies for motivating yourself into goal achievement.

  1. Self-talk: make it positive and in the present. “Everyday I am becoming a more caring friend.”
  2. Make up a collage of your goal. Use pictures from magazines, books, greeting cards, clip art, found objects and your own artwork. Take it to your local copy shop and have one made into a calendar, a huge poster, a coffee mug, etc. Have two posters printed. Put one where you spend most of your waking day and put the other one on your ceiling.
  3. Set aside a few minutes each day to review your goal. Keep a success notebook. In here, write your goals, and collection of motivating quotes, tips, books to read, and of course, your successes.
  4. Write a 30 second commercial on why you must attain your goal. Make your commercial exciting, convincing and fun. Now find a video camera and have someone record you and your commercial. Put it on Youtube, Facebook, My Space, and/or your blog. Watch this daily. Make a new commercial each month!
  5. Read or listen to books that motivate you. Haunt your library for titles to check out. Spend 15 minutes a day in such books. Take notes in your success notebook. Try one of these: 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself by Steve Chandler, Fish! For Life by Stepehn C. Lundin, Yes, You Can 1,200 Inspiring Ideas for Work, Home and Happiness by Sam Deep, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Reaching Your Goals by Jeff Davidson, and Goals: Setting andAchieving Them On Schedule by Zig Ziglar.
  6. Pick the same day each week to review your progress. Honestly grade your efforts on a scale from 0-10. Decide whether you’d get a gold, silver, bronze, participant or didn’t even try. Play the “Star Spangled Banner” and while singing the song wear a ribbon with gold, silver, bronze or participant. If you have several “didn’t even try” weeks, go back over your who, why and when. Make sure the steps to fulfillment are ridiculously easy to accomplish, that you are doing this for you and that it is a noble goal.
  7. Form an accountability group. Tell others of your intentions. Enlist their aid, support and accountability and do the same for them. Encourage and believe in each other on a weekly basis. Give honest, but gentle feedback. At the end of each month, average your scores from the above exercise. Have everyone participate in the Star Spangled Banner award ceremony.
  8. Put your goal on your computer screen.
  9. Send yourself a daily goal memo from home to your office. Once at work, send a goal memo to your home computer.
  10. Introduce yourself as someone who has already attained that goal. “Hello, my name is Susan Wright and I’m a writer.” Put similar words on your answering machine recording. “You’ve reached the home of Susan Wright, I’m out training for a marathon. Leave a message after the beep.”
  11. On the last Sunday of each month, write yourself a letter stating what you accomplished that month. (Elizabeth from Weird and Surprisingly Good does something similar  every Sunday on her blog.) Be grateful to yourself and offer specific words of praise. End the letter by stating what you want to accomplish the next month, include the why, who and when. Remember to use specific, visually stimulating words. It’s even better to use paper that is special to you in someway. End it with a positive affirmation of your ability to accomplish what you’ve set out to do. Mail it. When you receive it, take the time to savor each sentence, each image, just as if a dear friend had sent you this lovely tribute. File this in your success notebook.
  12. Celebrate and reward each step forward.Yes, even those baby steps. Tell others of your accomplishment . . . Do something fun . . . Wear an “I Did It!” badge . . . Make yourself a certificate of achievement and hang it on the fridge . . . Rent a movie . . . Buy yourself flowers . . . Bask in the joy of attaining that step . . . Do something that makes you feel special . . . Now go onto the next step that you wrote when you created your timeline.

Your Turn . . . So how do you keep yourself on track, progressing to the finish line of your goals? Which one thing from above will you do this week?

Go here  for Part 1: Answering These 6 Questions Will Turn Wishes Into Attainable Goals. Come back for the next installment: Progress is Progress Even When the Steps Are Ridiculously Easy.

Related Posts . . .

Answering These 6 Questions Will Turn Wishes into Attainable Goals



Everyone has dreams, wishes, and wants. The tricky part is putting those dreams, wishes and wants into goal format. The even trickier part is following up enough on them to see fulfillment.

To start off with . . .

  1. Limit the number of goals to work on at one time. One or two goals work best.
  2. Write down your goal using specific words describing the who, what, when, where, why, and how. 

The Who – If a goal is not done for you, it will probably not be achieved. Getting good grades just for your parents’ sake or losing weight to satisfy your partner will not be as effective as if you did these two activities for your own benefit and satisfaction.

The What – Choose words that create a vivid mental image and touch as many of the senses as possible. Be specific. Don’t say, “I want to have a better relationship with my child.

Instead write,“I want to eat dinner at Applebees with my adult son once a week, talk to him on the phone for 15 minutes every Sunday night at 7,  and we’ll do something fun together once a quarter.

The WhenCreate a timeline. Write in the steps necessary to achieve the goal. Make each step ridiculously easy to accomplish. So what if you only practice Spanish or the flute 10 minutes a day? It’s 10 minutes more than you used to do and you have the option of doing more. Ten minutes each day for a week is 70 minutes and for a month it adds up to 300 minutes or five hours.

Also when writing up your steps, make it easy to carry out each part by having the materials handy. 

  • Keep your art supplies out and ready for your daily/weekly painting goals. 
  • Keep a supply of stamps, stationary, and cards with your address book in an accessible location to take advantage of odd moments of time to keep in touch with family and friends.

The WhereWhere will you achieve your goal; again be specific.

  • “I will go to the gym after work Monday, Wednesday and Friday.” 
  • “I will go to the River every Tuesday at 10 am to practice nature photography.” 
  • “I will sit in my brown chair in the study to have my morning Quiet Time after the kids leave for school.”

The WhyWhat will be the result of your achievement? Goals that have positive effects on self and others are noble ones and are easier to sustain than ones done solely for your pleasure.

Next time, I’ll share a dozen ways to keep your motivation high.

Your Turn . . . What dreams, wishes and wants can you turn into goals?

Related Posts . . .

Women’s Tea is Happening Today, February 21, 2009


tea_magnets-from-last-years1CNC Ladies,

Today is our World Focus Weekend Tea. It’s a fun, uplifting and educational time.

Ladies always go home with a collectible magnet. The magnets in this post are ones from previous years. This year’s magnet is sooooo cute. But you have to attend in order to get one.  🙂

So drop what you are doing and come on down to the church. We’ll have a place for you.

It’s from 2-4 pm.

I’m Eating Spiced Beans in Coconut Milk (Maharagwe) at Church “Airport”


mali_foodThis weekend I am participating in World Focus Weekend at my church which is turned into an “airport.” Four flights will “visit” three countries: Africa, China and Jordan. The “food court” is serving dishes native to those countries.

One of the  African dishes is Maharagwe and is from Mali. Since it is gluten-, dairy- and egg-free my daughter is thrilled that she likes this dish. It is sure to become a staple in our home. Below is the recipe.


  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 cans black-eyed peas, drained. Get them without “specialty seasonings” if possible. I think any bean would taste good in this dish.
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper. Use less if not partial to spicy food.
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder. Use less if not partial to spicy food.
  • 4 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
  •  oil
  • 2 cups cooked rice


  1. Heat the oil in a large, deep pot.
  2. Add and cook the onion and garlic until it is golden and soft.
  3. Partially mash the cooked peas with a fork and then add to the cooking onion.
  4. Add the tomatoes and mix well.
  5. Put in the spices: turmeric, red pepper and chili powder.
  6. Add half the cilantro (2 tablespoons).
  7. Pour in the coconut milk, stirring to blend all the ingredients.
  8. Cover the pot and simmer for 10 minutes.
  9. Serve Maharagwe over rice.
  10. Garnish with remaining cilantro.

Serves 4.

If you make this, let me know what you think.

10 Things I Like About My Best Friend


416459_friends_on_skates_when_you_need_a_hand_I meant to write the following list for Valentines Day. But the week around this love holiday holds sad feelings for me and I’m usually sad/depressed. Even though I don’t want to be. This year was no different.

Anyway, this post is dedicated to my best friend with love and thanks for helping me grow and get through my rough patches.

  1. She faithfully engages in prayer.
  2. She believes the best about me.
  3. She brings the silly and slightly naughty out in me. (We have fun together.)
  4. She likes herself.
  5. She is devoted to her family.
  6. She has an ongoing, growing, love/grace relationship with Jesus.
  7. She has a sense of humor.
  8. She is honest and vulnerable about her growth areas. (This makes her approachable.)
  9. She tells me when I am wrong or need growth in an area. (She gives godly counsel.)
  10. She loves me according to my love language.

 Your Turn  . . .  What are some things you like about your best friend?

Writing prompt is from here, Creativity Portal.

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