Sheila's Motto

"Endeavor to enhance the lives of others through education and encouragement."

Friday, February 17, 2017

Poetry & Prose - "The Work of Your Hands I See"



In all of Your creation, it is the work of Your hands I see.
            Your fingerprints are everywhere, proclaiming Your majesty.
You hold the universe together by the power of Your spoken Word,
            And all of creation cries out in praise proclaiming Your matchless worth. 

When the morning sun rises and is ever shining bright,
            I am reminded that You alone are the light of my life.
When I gaze into the midnight sky and see the countless stars,
             Knowing You named them one by one overwhelms my heart. 

In the early spring when Your gardens burst forth with vibrant flowers,
            I see Your awesome wonders and I sense Your mighty power.
Rainbows remind me of Your everlasting covenant, Your promises forever true, 
             And what You have said in your Word, You are faithful to do.
  
Just like the summer rains that fall upon the desert sands, 
             Your love rains down on me and I am safe in the palm of Your hand.
 And just like the waters of the sea that needs the oceans’ shore, 
             Oh how I need your presence in my life,  I need You more.  

 Even in the midst of a raging storm and all hope seems to be gone,
            You fill my life with laughter and joy, my heart overflows with song.
In all of Your marvelous creation I see an intricate design and plan,
             I feel the power of Your love, and I see the works of Your mighty hands.

Contributed by Lesta of Heartsong Treasures
All  rights reserved.  Used by permission.

Happy Reading in Poetry's Presence.
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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Winter Vacation ~~ The Perfect One Day Writing Getaway!


Phyllis Nettleton, Sheila Eismann, Carol Green, and JoEllen Claypool

Who are the four smiling authors in the featured photo? Why, they are none other than the co-founders of ICAN, i.e., Idaho Creative Authors Network who are getting reading to host their Second Annual Spring Writers Symposium on March 4th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Parma High School Commons Room, 137 Panther Lane, Parma, Idaho 83660. Actually, one of the reasons for their large smiles was the near 100 degree temperature on the date the photo was taken in July of 2016 compared to the teeth-chattering 29 degrees as I type this blog post . . .

Our group is pleased to offer opportunities for already published authors as well as those who are just entertaining the thought of writing.  Our event includes writing contests, writing instruction, writing activities, a networking luncheon, and hands on activities including designing a book cover. Plan to bring your laptops!

Workshop No. 1 will feature published author and Texas Writing Academy participant, Carol Green Kjar, who will be presenting techniques on how to add power to your writing and strengthening the overall process.

Workshop No. 2 will cover preparation of your manuscript and titles presented by conference speaker and inspirational author, Phyllis Nettleton.

Workshop No. 3  will be an interactive workshop with Sheila Eismann, author and publisher of soon to be 10 books, dealing with the many aspects of manuscript development.

Workshop No. 4 deals with a most important aspect of any kind of writing ~~ edit, edit, and still more edits presented by children's & inspirational author, JoEllen Claypool, who pastors Sand Hollow Baptist Church along with her husband, Dallas Claypool.

Workshop No. 5 is the grand finale which will include instruction on designing a book cover.  If you bring your laptop for the day, this workshop promises to be ultra instructional & functional taught by premiere Social Media Coach, Carol Green, a/k/a Running Granny Green, author of The Hard Run along with her children's books with the Gary Learns theme.

February 4th is the deadline to register for the Spring Writers Symposium and to enter the writing contests. Here is the Eventbrite link with all of the details and to register:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ican-spring-writers-symposium-and-writing-contest-2017-tickets-29596900125?aff=erelexpmlt

Your paid registration includes the workshops, writing contest submission, and luncheon catered by Laura McCullough, a Treasure Valley favorite.  She is back by popular demand of our former attendees!

Attending events is far more enjoyable if you plan to go with a friend or fellow writer.  So dial them up, plan to register, pack your laptop or memo pad, and join us for a fabulous day!

For additional information regarding ICAN, please check out our website: http://www.idahocreativeauthorsnetwork.com/

Happy Writing & stay warm, happy & healthy this winter!

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Sweet & Savory ~~ Refried Bean Dip



With all of those football playoff games and the Super Bowl right around the corner, here's a great suggestion for your fans!

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 - 16 oz. can refried beans
  • 1 cup medium Picante sauce
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 - 4 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened to room temp.
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • Tortilla chips, scoop variety; crackers; or artisan bread of your choice.

DIRECTIONS:
  • Combine first 8 ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Transfer to a medium sized slow cooker (crock pot).
  • Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or until mixture is heated completely through, stirring occasionally. 
  • Once the mixture is hot and melted together, turn to warm or low setting on your crock pot.
  • Serve with chips, crackers, or bread.

Enjoy & may your favorite team win!

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Sweet & Savory ~~ Shepherd's Pie



With our continued snowfall, slush, and cold temperatures, a hot comfort meal is such a welcome relief!

Here's my variation of Shepherd's Pie:

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 1b. ground beef
  • 4 medium Idaho Russet potatoes or instant potatoes
  • 1 - 16 oz. can kernel corn
  • 1 cup beef bouillon 
  • Hot Hungarian Paprika

INSTRUCTIONS:
  • Brown ground beef & add seasonings of your choice.  I used Seasoned Pepper.  Drain meat prior to placing it inside casserole or baking pan.
  • While beef is browning, cook potatoes until tender. Mash them adding butter & milk.
  • Place ground beef in bottom of casserole pan.
  • Pour beef bouillon over ground beef.
  • Spread corn over meat.
  • Add mashed potatoes and sprinkle with Hot Hungarian Paprika.
  • Cook for 45 minutes at 350 degrees, during which time the beef bouillon may bubble toward top of casserole or baking pan, so you have ready made gravy when the pie is removed from your oven.
  • The Hot Hungarian Paprika adds a nice zest to the whole mixture.

Happy Dining as you stay warm & happy!

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Monday, December 19, 2016

Sweet & Savory ~~ Red Velvet Candy Cane Cupcakes




If you're asked to bring the dessert to your Christmas family gathering, office party, or neighborhood caroling group, these super moist, ultra chocolaty cupcakes are sure to please!

STEP 1 INGREDIENTS & INSTRUCTIONS:
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • Combine and mix until light and fully
  • Add 4 large eggs to mixture, one at a time


Add the following and mix on low setting of your mixer:
  • 2 Tbsp. & 2 tsp. red food coloring
  • 1/2 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp. & 1 tsp. distilled white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk


STEP 2 INGREDIENTS & INSTRUCTIONS:

While the above listed ingredients are being thoroughly blended on the low setting of your mixer, place the following dry ingredients inside a large bowl and gently whisk together before adding to the liquid mixture:
  • 8 Tbsp. Dark Cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. salt, optional
  • 2 2/3 cup cake flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. baking powder


STEP 3 INSTRUCTIONS:
  • When mixture is thoroughly blended, fill paper baking cups 2/3 full.
  • Bake in 350 oven for approximately 18 minutes if using a dark non-stick pan.  
  • You may have to bake for 2-3 minutes longer if using an aluminum pan.
  • Test the centers of the cupcakes with a toothpick to make certain they are cooked completely through.

STEP 4 INSTRUCTIONS:
  • Cool to room temperature on cooling racks and frost with your choice of frosting.
  • I prefer the cream cheese variety with these cupcakes as I deem it really enhances the flavor.

FROSTING RECIPE:
  • Mix the following ingredients in mixer bowl on medium speed until thoroughly blended:
  • 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • Dash of salt, optional
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 - 3 to 4 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • You may need to use a little hot water or additional lemon juice to achieve the desired spreading consistency of the frosting.
  • Decorate with sprinkles, candy canes, or something else of your choice.
  • Recipe yields approximately 2 1/2 dozen cupcakes.

The combination of the sweet & tangy in these luscious cupcakes and the frosting is scrumptious!  

Happy Baking & Desserting!

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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Answers in Faith ~~ Implementing Your Love Language



Amidst the season of gift giving, is receiving gifts your love language?  Do you happen to know your love language?  It took me awhile to discover mine, and believe it or not, it was through adverse circumstances that I fully recognized it!

Here's a great website link for more information on this vital subject: 

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/communication-and-conflict/learn-to-speak-your-spouses-love-language/understanding-the-five-love-languages

The following quote from the Focus on the Family article best describes my love language, i.e., Words of affirmation:

"One way to express love emotionally is to use words that build up.  Solomon, author of ancient Hebrew Wisdom Literature, wrote, 'The tongue has the power of life and death' (Proverbs 18:21, NIV).  Many couples have never learned the tremendous power of verbally affirming one another.

"Verbal compliments, or words of appreciation, are powerful communicators of love.  They are best expressed in simple, straightforward statements of affirmation, such as:

'You look sharp in that suit.'
'Do you every look incredible in that dress!  Wow!'
'I really like how you're always on time to pick me up at work.'
'You can always make me laugh.' "

As I previously mentioned, when someone hurled a cutting word my way, it bothered me greatly and diminished my creativity.  Conversely, as an example, when I would bake something special for my family, my husband would say, "Wow, that looks like it belongs in Sunset magazine!"  The compliments made me flourish and have remained as jewels in my heart.  

Now you might comment, "Well, no one likes to be ridiculed or verbally attacked." Agreed, but when God has created us with our specific love language, assaults thereon deplete our reservoirs of creativity and the ability to function in our given language.

The five love languages are not solely for couples.  Since they are resident within each one of us, they are to be exercised and lavished upon our children, grandchildren, co-workers, neighbors, or whomever.  

If you're unsure of your language, there are online quizzes that you can take to discover yours!

I decided to exercise my love language toward my youngest grand kiddos this year when specifically selecting the above words of affirmation for them.  I typed their first and middle names and using the first letter of each name, I blessed them with words that will still be inside their spirits as well as their picture frames for many years to come.

For those of you who have read my book titled Stirrings of The Spirit, you are very familiar with why these grandchildren are such special treasures since God miraculously spared their mother's life twenty-five years ago.

I hope you don't mind the extra-large picture in this post as I wanted to convey the full context of my message.

Plan to bless someone by discovering and implementing your love language. You're sure to make this world a better place if you do!

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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Sweet & Savory - Cheddar Broccoli Soup



Just thinking about the scrumptious combination of cheddar cheese and creamed broccoli makes my mouth water!  This soup is a lunch or brunch favorite.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • a few drops of hot sauce (I used Cajun Sunshine)
  • 3/4 tsp. salt, optional
  • 1 medium onion, pureed
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups broccoli, chopped
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic pepper
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 Tbsp. flour
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 cups shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • Croutons, bread, or crackers

INSTRUCTIONS:
  • Place chicken broth, onion, broccoli, garlic pepper, thyme, bay leaves, and hot sauce inside a large sauce pan or stock pot.
  • Bring to a boil and reduce heat.
  • Cover and simmer for 12 minutes or until broccoli is softened.
  • Remove the bay leaves.
  • Pour mixture into food processor and pulse until smooth.
  • Pour into large bowl.
  • Melt butter in sauce pan in which you cooked the broccoli.  
  • Add flour and salt until a paste forms.
  • Add milk and cook, stirring continuously, until mixture thickens.
  • Add cheddar cheese and stir until dissolved and mixture is smooth.
  • Pour in broccoli mixture and heat until well blended.
  • Use additional chicken broth or hot water to thin, if necessary.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS:
  • Serve with bread, crackers, or croutons.
  • Sprinkle additional shredded cheddar cheese before serving bowls or cups of soup.
  • Serve with freshly fried, crumbled, drained, bacon chunks.

Enjoy!

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