25 January, 2011

How to Install a Dishwasher

Step 1: Remove box, and turn into playhouse for toddler.

Step 2: Find a really handsome, strong man to install the actual dishwasher in your kitchen.

Step 3: Let the toddler put all her magnets back on the new dishwasher. She will be giddy about this, since she's been banned from the kitchen while everything was pulled apart.

Step 5: Insure proper dishwasher installation by loading and running it.


24 January, 2011

Sweet Little Miss

Playing and reading are her favorite things to do.
Naps are definitely optional in her mind.
Baths are awesome.
Food is also a priority.
Wooden spoons make great drum sticks, and every surface sounds different.

21 January, 2011


"We are not fundamentally free; external circumstances are not in our hands, they are in God’s hands, the one thing in which we are free is in our personal relationship to God. We are not responsible for the circumstances we are in, but we are responsible for the way we allow those circumstances to affect us; we can either allow them to get on top of us, or we can allow them to transform us into what God wants us to be." -Chambers

This blessed my heart today...
to remember Who holds today, tomorrow, and forever...
to thank Him for being able to see this in the life of those who have gone through the most difficult of circumstances...
and to let Him soothe a heart aching for friends that are praying for the life of their unborn child.

18 January, 2011


Woo hoo!!!
I actually did PROJECTS!

With the onset of winter, painting anything has been put on hold, so I have some frames and a shelf and some other stuff I want to paint. I've sat and stared at them and sighed in longing, my fingers itching to hold a can of spray paint...
I had to improvise.
There are several things I've wanted to do, but held off until after Christmas shopping, cooking, family get togethers, etc., so I didn't blow our bank account to smithereens.
(Okay, it's not THAT dramatic, but I'm giddy about getting some projects done, so please bear with me.)

The first thing I tackled was the guestroom/baby room curtains.
I put these up when we moved into the house-pretty, but not darkening.
(These are made from your basic Walmart muslin.)I went to JoAnn's on my birthday.
JoAnn's has gorgeous fabric.
I bought some.
I used the original muslin as liners for the new curtains to prevent fading, since there are no blinds on the window.

The next item checked off my list was a corkboard for the kitchen, to clear up my refrigerator front as well as the tiny cork space under my whiteboard calendar. Target gift card=kitchen perfection! So much better.

And finally, a valance for the kitchen window. More JoAnn's goodness at work here:

Now, I did not make these, but I did hang them on my wall! I got some fantastic birthday presents from my sisters-in-love; enjoy!
I will, someday, get a family picture hung over this wall plaque. It's sort of lonely right now.

Also, this all-famous Kratzer family prayer. It took me a while to learn it, and now I have a reference when we teach our children. :)
This is the one where we join hands around the dinner table, and everyone says it in unison. Love it.
"We thank Thee, Lord, for happy hearts
for rain and sunny weather.
We thank Thee, Lord, for this our food,
and that we are here together."
In closing, strictly for your entertainment, Fish Lips.
Yes, she is awesome.

14 January, 2011

All by Herself!

Glazed Cinnamon Scones

Delicious recipe-I hope you get the chance to enjoy!

Scone Ingredients:
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter, slightly softened
1 egg, separated
3 T. honey
1/3 c. buttermilk (I used 1/3 c. milk with 1/2 tsp. lemon juice)

Crumb topping:
2 T. sugar (I used organic cane sugar, you could easily use sucanat.)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Glaze ingredients:
1 c. powdered sugar
2.5 T. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly.

Separate the egg white and yolk. Set the egg white aside.

In a separate bowl, mix egg yolk, honey and buttermilk (or milk/lemon juice mixture). Add to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

Form dough into a ball on a floured surface. Roll or pat out to half an inch in thickness and eight inches in diameter. Cut into eight equally-sized pieces.

Transfer to a greased baking sheet. Whisk the egg white until froth forms and brush over the tops of scones. Mix sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over egg-white-topped scones.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.

Mix together powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until glaze forms. Drizzle over scones after they bake.

**Baker's Notes: I used a wooden spoon to mix my dough, but the very last bit was best done by hand to get a good consistency and to mix in all the dry ingredients. I also found it very easy to form the dough by hand rather than rolling it out. I also only needed to bake them for 9 minutes in my 400 degree oven, so take care not to overbake and pay attention-the only way to tell is whether the bottoms are browned or not. Baking them too long results in a dry scone.

The scones are excellent reheated, and I think would be amazing with a cream cheese glaze as well. With my sister and I making them for the first time, we had them done in 30 minutes including baking, so they are definitely doable for a fresh breakfast treat! (Oh, and this morning hubby said they taste like cinnamon toast crunch...hmmm...)


10 January, 2011

Two Years

My very darling husband brought these home:
(note to self: next year, just forget again that hubby will get flowers, because it's really fun to be genuinely surprised by a bouquet.)

and this evening we had a long dinner at Perkins...
then went and saw this:
(cute movie, by the way.)

My awesome sister stayed with the kiddo, and then attempted to get a decent picture of us two goofballs for historical posterity.

I can't say how wonderful these last two years have been. We have been through a lot...and in every tiny detail I see the loving, mighty hand of God. He has blessed us, and I am thankful beyond words for every moment I am Mrs. Scott Kratzer.

06 January, 2011


She wanted her hat and mittens.
(Well, to be specific, she wanted her "dubby". Yes, that word is the same both singular and plural.)So daddy got the dubby and put them on.
She wore them for a very long time, and used her personal mirror to admire her dressed up reflection.

The hat and mittens came off after a while, and we went downstairs to play just before breakfast. Ava saw her dubby, and wanted it on. Daddy obliged, just like good daddies do.

So, an education on Ava vocabulary:
Dubby=all things clothing, and even feet.
Nummy=all things food and drink.
Ball=all things round (including your head).
Puppy=all things animal.
There, you can now communicate in fluent Ava-speak!

05 January, 2011

Shallow and Profound

As a note of explanation, I have found "My Utmost for His Highest" by Oswald Chambers to be one of the most profound books ever written. I've been doing more reading of it lately, often out of date order, and have been deeply blessed in doing so. I encourage you to check out this website that posts from Chambers' book. It also carries other links to his resources as well. While he is now with the Lord, his influence lingers.

Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God —1 Corinthians 10:31

Beware of allowing yourself to think that the shallow aspects of life are not ordained by God; they are ordained by Him equally as much as the profound. We sometimes refuse to be shallow, not out of our deep devotion to God but because we wish to impress other people with the fact that we are not shallow. This is a sure sign of spiritual pride. We must be careful, for this is how contempt for others is produced in our lives. And it causes us to be a walking rebuke to other people because they are more shallow than we are. Beware of posing as a profound person— God became a baby.

To be shallow is not a sign of being sinful, nor is shallowness an indication that there is no depth to your life at all— the ocean has a shore. Even the shallow things of life, such as eating and drinking, walking and talking, are ordained by God. These are all things our Lord did. He did them as the Son of God, and He said, “A disciple is not above his teacher . . .” (Matthew 10:24).

We are safeguarded by the shallow things of life. We have to live the surface, commonsense life in a commonsense way. Then when God gives us the deeper things, they are obviously separated from the shallow concerns. Never show the depth of your life to anyone but God. We are so nauseatingly serious, so desperately interested in our own character and reputation, we refuse to behave like Christians in the shallow concerns of life.

Make a determination to take no one seriously except God. You may find that the first person you must be the most critical with, as being the greatest fraud you have ever known, is yourself.

-Oswald Chambers

04 January, 2011


Peter said to Him, ’Lord, why can I not follow You now?’ —John 13:37

There are times when you can’t understand why you cannot do what you want to do. When God brings a time of waiting, and appears to be unresponsive, don’t fill it with busyness, just wait. The time of waiting may come to teach you the meaning of sanctification— to be set apart from sin and made holy— or it may come after the process of sanctification has begun to teach you what service means. Never run before God gives you His direction. If you have the slightest doubt, then He is not guiding. Whenever there is doubt— wait.

At first you may see clearly what God’s will is— the severance of a friendship, the breaking off of a business relationship, or something else you feel is distinctly God’s will for you to do. But never act on the impulse of that feeling. If you do, you will cause difficult situations to arise which will take years to untangle. Wait for God’s timing and He will do it without any heartache or disappointment. When it is a question of the providential will of God, wait for God to move.

Peter did not wait for God. He predicted in his own mind where the test would come, and it came where he did not expect it. “I will lay down my life for Your sake.” Peter’s statement was honest but ignorant. “Jesus answered him, ’ . . . the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three times’ ” (John 13:38). This was said with a deeper knowledge of Peter than Peter had of himself. He could not follow Jesus because he did not know himself or his own capabilities well enough. Natural devotion may be enough to attract us to Jesus, to make us feel His irresistible charm, but it will never make us disciples. Natural devotion will deny Jesus, always falling short of what it means to truly follow Him.

-Oswald Chambers

A Pink Bouncy Ball

Changing it Up

She's had a high chair, with a tray.
Well...the time had come, and she was ready to eat at the table.

But she still knows where the tray used to be!

01 January, 2011

My Utmost for His Highest: January 1, 2011

". . . my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death" —Philippians 1:20

My Utmost for His Highest. “. . . my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed . . . .” We will all feel very much ashamed if we do not yield to Jesus the areas of our lives He has asked us to yield to Him. It’s as if Paul were saying, “My determined purpose is to be my utmost for His highest— my best for His glory.” To reach that level of determination is a matter of the will, not of debate or of reasoning. It is absolute and irrevocable surrender of the will at that point. An undue amount of thought and consideration for ourselves is what keeps us from making that decision, although we cover it up with the pretense that it is others we are considering. When we think seriously about what it will cost others if we obey the call of Jesus, we tell God He doesn’t know what our obedience will mean. Keep to the point— He does know. Shut out every other thought and keep yourself before God in this one thing only— my utmost for His highest. I am determined to be absolutely and entirely for Him and Him alone.

My Unstoppable Determination for His Holiness. “Whether it means life or death-it makes no difference!” (see Philippians 1:21). Paul was determined that nothing would stop him from doing exactly what God wanted. But before we choose to follow God’s will, a crisis must develop in our lives. This happens because we tend to be unresponsive to God’s gentler nudges. He brings us to the place where He asks us to be our utmost for Him and we begin to debate. He then providentially produces a crisis where we have to decide— for or against. That moment becomes a great crossroads in our lives. If a crisis has come to you on any front, surrender your will to Jesus absolutely and irrevocably.

-Oswald Chambers


"The ultimate good of the gospel is seeing and savoring the beauty and value of God. God’s wrath and our sin obstruct that vision and that pleasure. You can’t see and savor God as supremely satisfying while you are full of rebellion against Him and He is full of wrath against you. The removal of this wrath and this rebellion is what the gospel is for. The ultimate aim of the gospel is the display of God’s glory and the removal of every obstacle to our seeing it and savoring it as our highest treasure. “Behold Your God!” is the most gracious command and the best gift of the gospel. If we do not see Him and savor Him as our greatest fortune, we have not obeyed or believed the gospel."
— John Piper