Sunday, November 30, 2008
My living room is a cramped mess while we try to make room for our Christmas tree (which at the moment is propped up on the front porch):
This is the pile of hats, gloves, blankets and other items necessary for watching a college football playoff game when it's rainy and 45 degrees outside, which was conveniently dumped on the love seat:
And this is a combination of seven-year-old birthday presents and daddy's Bible study materials:
I am exhausted just LOOKING at this mess!
Anyone wanna clean my house? Anyone? Anyone? :-)
Friday, November 28, 2008
1. My stomach has recovered from yesterday's feast.
2. Dessert is what I ate the most of on Thursday.
3. The yard is completely buried in leaves.
4. Home is where I'd rather be at any given time.
5. The smell of apple cider reminds me of Fall.
6. Time off is what I need right now!
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to maybe buying our Christmas tree, and wrapping Aaron's birthday presents, tomorrow my plans include making blueberry pancakes for the Birthday Boy, and working :-( and Sunday, I want to rest, but I will also still be working! :-(
Personally, I hate to shop. Even for myself. I really am a Reluctant Shopper! My money is just too hard to come by, and I hate to spend it.
What about you? What kind of shopper are you?
You Are a Reluctant Shopper
You really don't enjoy shopping. For you, it's just another chore.
You approach shopping systematically. You research what you're going to buy and come prepared with a list.
Of all the types, you are the most likely to not buy things you don't need.
You try to de-emphasize stuff in your life. You find shopping and buying things to be a rather empty experience.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Well, it's that time again: the days in between my husband's birthday and my middle child's birthday! (Oh, I kid. Sort of.)
Of course I mean Thanksgiving! Instead of the usual sappy Thanksgiving post (although those are great), I decided to be a little different this year. Here goes:
I am thankful that:
- I still wear the same size clothing as last year. (A smaller size would be fabulous, but I digress.)
- the election is finally over.
- I have a long time to build up retirement funds :-Z
foundmade the time to read "The Shack". (So should you - it's awesome!)
- my kids like my chocolate chip cookies and
beg mercilesslyask nicely for me to make them.
- I have a job, even if I do have to work an occasional holiday.
- I have Internet access. Without it, I'd have to find another way to
waste time play gamesemail people.
- I have actually started Christmas shopping, and it isn't even December yet!
- Mrs. Smith's pies are available in my local grocer's freezer.
- my husband didn't get lost somewhere in the National Forest delivering Thanksgiving meal goodies to a needy family (and he didn't even have his directions!)
- occasionally I get to sleep past 4:45 am.
- my house usually looks like bomb went off, because that means I have a house full of happy, healthy children (and one messy husband!)
- I have a husband, even if he is messy. :-)
- I have subscribers, followers and a few lurkers who actually read my bloggy randomness and keep coming back! (I just love bloggers.)
- I am the daughter of a great big God who loves me and blesses me so abundantly that I can make a silly thankfulness list and not even come close to scratching the surface of all my blessings.
I could go on and on, but I won't. Tomorrow is one of those days I get to sleep past 4:45 am and I don't want to negate it by staying up til 3 am blogging.
I'm sure you understand.
Happy Thanksgiving, you sweet blog readers and COMMENTERS (hint hint)!
When I stumble upon another recipe that makes my family say, "YUM!" I just have to share. Mommies of little children know how hard it can be to find a healthy meal that the kids actually like!
Enter this recipe: Rosemary Chicken with Vegetables.
Rosemary Chicken with Vegetables
Start to Finish: 30 minutes
- 4 medium boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (I accidentally grabbed chicken strips instead of chicken breasts, but it still worked fine. )
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning (pay attention: I overdid it just a tad!)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 ounces spinach or plain linguine
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 medium zucchini and or yellow summer squash, cut into 1/4 inch slices
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
- 2 tablespoons dry white wine or chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
1. Sprinkle chicken with lemon-pepper seasoning. In a large skillet, cook chicken in hot oil over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, turning once. Transfer chicken to a platter; cover and keep warm. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain and keep warm.
2. Add garlic to skillet; cook for 15 seconds. Add zucchini, apple juice, and rosemary. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 2 minutes.
3. In a small bowl, stir together wine or broth and cornstarch; add to skillet. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly; cook for 2 minutes more. Stir in tomatoes. Serve vegetables and pasta with chicken. If desired, garnish with rosemary twigs.
Makes 4 servings.
This recipe works for me!
(See more Works for Me Wednesday's at Rocks In My Dryer!)
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Happy Birthday, honey :-)
He wanted it low-key today, and that's what he got. I didn't tell anyone - even at church!! But don't ask me to tell you his age! I have to draw the line somewhere...
Friday, November 21, 2008
A Dusting of Snow + Ice beneath = Car Left in a Strangers Driveway
I made two attempts to get to work today. Really I did! My first attempt was solo, and the steep, uphill part of my driveway did me in. I had to back downhill and around two curves just to get back to my parking spot. And I almost didn't make it back!
Fast forward an hour. My husband had shoveled a path up the driveway, and thought that he could get me to the main road.
He got us turned completely sideways, so that our neighbors were blocked in as well. Two bags of ice-melt later (thanks, Mark!), and we finally got out of the driveway.
To find the main roads worse than the driveway. No sand/salt trucks or scrapers here! (I love living in the sticks!)
We ventured down the street to where we could see downhill to the four way intersection we go through to get to the main highways. We had a good vantage point from the top of the hill, and watched car after car slide sideways to the intersection, sit in motionless silence for a moment, and then continue on, only to get stuck in a curve at the foot of the hill. (Edited to add: turns out it became a 13-car pileup!)
We decided just to go back home. Because we didn't want to end up like this guy:
That was easier said than done. We couldn't get back up the slight incline we had just come down. We almost left our van in two different driveways, but didn't want to block someone else in. (like THEY could get out!) Didn't want to leave it on the side of the road for someone to slide into, either.
Fortunately, we were able to navigate it behind an RV, getting us out of the road, and not blocking anyone in.
But then we had to walk home. :-( In the snow and ice, in tennis shoes (I don't have any boots). With no gloves or hat, because they have mysteriously vanished. (Yes. I am totally prepared for winter - why do you ask??)
So, if you'll excuse me, now I'm going to find a nice hot cup of something to drink and thaw out. Because my ears and my feet are cold.
But, on the bright side, I get a free day of knitting, web surfing, and maybe a nap!!!!
Happy Snow Day!!!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain (hiking)
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea (from the beach)
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child (I sponsor one through Compassion International)
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted (does a charicature count?)
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square (maybe in a few weeks!)
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible (I'm on Acts: up-to-date on my Bible-in-a-year plan!)
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life (it's part of my job, in a way)
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
If you do this on your blog be sure to let me know in the comments so I can visit!!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Today is the first installment of Celebrating the Holidays at the Cafe! The topic: Holiday Traditions & Ideas.
I almost hate writing this, but my family actually has very few traditions :-( Every year I have big dreams to remedy that, BUT....we end up with the same decorations and same way of doing things every year. So, here are some of the things that are consistent each holiday season...
1. We do have an amazing nativity scene made by Willow Tree that gets prominently displayed on our fireplace. It is so simplistic, yet so beautiful. You can see it here.
2. Somewhere along the way, we acquired a set of four coffee mugs with Santa's eight reindeer on them: two per cup. We love them. Let me repeat that: we love them! I can't tell you exactly what it is about them, but my husband and I both hate when January rolls around and we have to pack them away for another year. Those are absolutely a holiday favorite!
3. Cookies and milk for Santa. I know that Santa has taken the focus off of the reason for the season, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. But, I also believe that some of the most magical memories of my childhood are from waking up at 4 am Christmas morning, and sneaking through the house to see if Santa really came. I don't see anything wrong with letting my children have that same experience, as long as I also teach them about Jesus.
So, every year we set out a special plate that my sister gave us, that is just for Santa's cookies and milk. And he eats them every year :-)
4. I'd like to say that riding around our town looking at Christmas lights is a tradition. I really would. I enjoy that a LOT. But the last few holidays, for one reason or another, we just haven't done it. Maybe I should just pick a day RIGHT NOW and set it aside as the 2008 Christmas Light Driving Tour. (Sounds all official, doesn't it?)
5. Getting together with my family. My in-laws (with the exception of my mother-in-law) live several hours away, and we just don't see them every Christmas. But my family all lives in the same area, so we meet at mom and dad's house for a few hours to exchange gifts. We used to draw names when our families started growing, but now we just buy gifts for our parents and any little ones in the family.
Mom usually cooks a huge meal for everyone, but since she's almost 80 we're thinking of scaling it back a little. Maybe just snacks?? That one's still up in the air...
6. Using the children's ornaments on the tree. (See what our tree usually looks like here.)
I have this vision every Christmas of the perfectly decorated Christmas tree, just like Martha would have in her home. And every Christmas I end up with a tree that I think needs more lights. And coordinating ornaments. It's a tree covered in construction paper wreaths that my kids made in kindergarten. And collectible ornaments that have been broken because the kids thought they were toys to be played with and got a bit too rough. And really cheesy fake-velvet bows. (WHY did I buy those again?? Had I been drinking too much eggnog?)
Don't get me wrong: some of those handmade ornaments are just precious. But some of them are just junk.
I want a pretty tree. Not a junky one. (Girls, can I please get a witness?) Maybe I should just have two trees???
7. Peppermint Pig. On New Year's Day, I always serve the traditional meal of pork, greens and black-eyed peas. (Yum!) And a few years ago, we were introduced to a new "dessert:" a peppermint pig. (Read about them here.)
Everyone takes a whack at the pig with the little hammer, and then everyone shares the broken pieces, hoping for a year of good fortune. The first two years we did this were some of the best years Jeff and I ever had. I know, the superstition stuff is hogwash (no pun intended), but it makes for a good story, especially if you give a pig as a gift to someone else!
So, considering that it's still November and my mind refuses to embrace that fact that Christmas is just a flip of the calendar page away, those are the Christmas "traditions" that come to mind right now. I'll probably think of more later. But for now, I hope you've enjoyed a little glimpse into Christmas at my house!!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
My four-year-old is LOVING learning his letters. His class in preschool works on a new one each week, and this week is the letter "K."
On the way home, I asked him to tell me some things that start with "K." he told me key, king, kangaroo - the usuals.
I added Kit-Kat and Kool-aid (can you tell that I have a sweet tooth?)
Then my baby shouts, "Ketchup!"
"That's right, sweetie! Ketchup starts with 'K'!"
Then I hear, "Mommy, what does honey mustard start with?"
He's so darned cute!! :-)
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Recently I signed up to be a Book Review Blogger for Thomas Nelson Publishers. Within only a few days of signing up, I received my first book: Billy: The Untold Story of a Young Billy Graham and the Test of Faith that Almost Changed Everything.
"Billy" is the story of a young Billy Graham, as told by his friend and colleague, Charles Templeton. I was interested in this book because Billy's family lives in my area, and I drive past his training center, The Cove, every day. I wanted to know more about what made this man become such an amazing evangelist.
The content of the story was interesting. I didn't know that Mr. Graham was a Fuller Brush salesman, or that baseball was his first love. I didn't know that he was a college president. I didn't know that he had a serious struggle with his faith.
Learning about the events that shaped Billy Graham's life, and seeing the obvious part God played in his success, just adds another layer that deepens my respect for Billy and his family.
However, that way that the authors chose to portray some of the events in Billy's life just seemed a bit flat to me. I don't normally read biographies, so perhaps I'm just used to the action in good fiction! But the struggles seemed resolved too quickly and easily. Almost glossed over. Those, to me, are the good parts that make a biography real. I would have liked them be a bit more detailed. The dialogue at times was a bit bland as well.
Keep in mind, though, that this book isn't written from Billy's perspective: this tale comes from the mind of a dying man with Alzheimer's. His perception of the events is bound to be less intriguing than Billy's own.
So, the story itself is great, and I would recommend the book. Just look past the writing in some parts and focus on what's being described instead of how it's being described!
Friday, November 14, 2008
2. When I fold laundry I can't help sniffing it occasionally.
3. My favorite thing to cook is any dessert.
4. Sleep is something I can't get enough of.
5. Sleeping past 4:45 am: that's the thing I love most about Saturdays!
6. People who don't like coffee always makes me think to myself, what the heck?
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to maybe a football game, tomorrow my plans include cleaning, knitting and reading, and Sunday, I want to rest!!!!
Have a great weekend everyone!!!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
2. I never met a doughnut I didn't like. Especially Glazed Krispy Kreme.
3. I met
4. Doughnuts are GREAT fast food when you have no time to stop for lunch. :-D
5. Four Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts did not stop me from goin' all Charlie's Angels and climbing over the counter when I accidentally got locked in the check-in area of a clinic at the hospital. (Actually, I was probably on a sugar high at the time.) I'm sure the facility police are kickin' back with a cup o' joe and a Glazed Doughnut and having a great laugh with THAT piece of surveillance video :-)
6. Some of our vets were treated really, REALLY badly when they came home from various wars. Shameful. Just shameful. Hearing them tell their theories of why that happened is quite interesting.
7. I am honored to have the privilege of taking care of some of our nation's heroes every day!
8. I made it 34 years before ever setting foot inside a Chuck E. Cheese's. Today was the first.
9. My dog ate my
10. There are lots of opportunities to help someone. And I mean LOTS!
Was that Random enough?
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Have you heard about the four men who were bragging about how smart their dogs were?
One man was an engineer, the second man was an accountant, the third man was a chemist, and the fourth was a government worker.
To show off, the engineer called to his dog. "T-square, do your stuff." T-square trotted over to a desk, took out some paper and a pen, and promptly drew a circle, a square, and a triangle.
Everyone agreed that was pretty smart.
The accountant said his dog could do better. He called to his dog and said, "Spreadsheet, do your stuff." Spreadsheet went out into the kitchen and returned with a dozen cookies. He divided them into four equal piles of three cookies each.
Everyone agreed that was good.
The chemist said his dog could do better still. he called to his dog and said, "Measure, do your stuff." Measure got up, walked over to the fridge, took out a quart of milk, got a ten-ounce glass from the cupboard, and poured exactly eight ounces without spilling a drop.
Everyone agreed that was pretty impressive.
Then the three men turned to the government worker and said, "What can your dog do?"
The government worker called to his dog and said, "Coffee Break, do your stuff." Coffee Break jumped to his feet, ate the cookies, drank the milk, claimed he had injured his back while doing so, filed a grievance report for unsafe working conditions, put in for worker' compensation, and went home for the rest of the day on sick leave.
They all agreed that was brilliant! **********************************************************
Do you think the fourth dog was brilliant? Okay, maybe it was. However, it's unfortunate that we often adopt the same perspective...
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness...
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. -Philippians 2:3
This version came from Clean Joke of the Day
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I just wanted to let you in on a fun little thing happenin' around the ol' blogosphere: a new bunch of bloggers and a few regular Compassion International stars are at it again! Several of them are on an adventure (that I hope one day I can take!), journeying to the Dominican Republic. Each blogger is reporting their own experiences on their blogs, but if you follow this link you'll find a great page with links to them all.
Read these posts, guys. Let their words and images sink in. Get a glimpse onto the world of a Compassion child and the centers that reaches all those little lives. Better yet, sponsor one of them yourself! Just click the child sponsorship buttons from my sidebar.
Now get reading!!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
What a day!
Today is the day we were to find out of my daddy had cancer. This is the second time the doctors thought he had it. The first time, they were wrong.
I remember agonizing over the thought while we waited. It was horrible. I am a DADDY'S GIRL. Big time! The thought of my beloved daddy having multiple myeloma, an incurable bone marrow/leukemia-like disease, just broke me. I prayed, "God, I'm not strong enough to do this. YOU have to help me do this."
And then he didn't even have it!
Fast forward a year, and here we are again. The doctors are looking at the same terminal diagnosis. I have grieved. I have cried. I have tried hard not to worry, to believe that God is in control. But it's been like, "I believe - help my unbelief!"
I've been bracing myself all day, trying not to tear up at the thought a million times. I heard the song, "How Can I Help You Say Goodbye?" and I got mad. I don't want to help anyone say goodbye!
Every time the phone rang this afternoon, my heart would drop to the floor. I was always expecting it to be my sister with the bad news. But it never was.
As the afternoon wore on, I remembered going through this last year. And it was like God said, "We've been here before. I saved your daddy then. Don't you remember? Do you believe I can do it again?" Bible verses began flooding my brain, comforting me with thoughts like "I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move."
My thoughts went from, "God, please help me/us" to "God, I know you can heal him." My mood began to lift, and hope started to return.
When I got home, I still had no word and thought "No news is good news." Then I called my sister.
"Well? How did it go? I'm afraid to ask." I said.
"Take a deep breath......
He's OK. He has a monoclonal gammopathy, but it is the kind which doesn't affect him much and requires no treatment. It isn't cancer, and it isn't terminal.
I read other blogs and articles and hear interviews from all these people who have experienced miracles. Who have seen solid, concrete proof of answered prayer. I never really considered myself to be one of those people, but now, how can I not? Something made that doctor send my dad for TWENTY x-rays. Yes, I said 20! Something made that doctor begin to describe that disease in detail to my dad. Why would he do that if he didn't think he had it?
MY DAD DOESN'T HAVE IT.
I fasted for my daddy. I prayed for my daddy. And today, I stretched my faith a little for my daddy. And today my Heavenly Daddy saved my earthly one. Again.
And He left one cancer doctor scratching his head! :-)
Who says prayer doesn't work?! I thank you PROFUSELY for the prayers you offered on my dad's behalf! I'm sending you all a big virtual hug and kiss :-)
After yesterday's election, many of you probably think God isn't listening. Maybe you think He doesn't even exist. But I'm here to tell you RIGHT NOW that He does. But don't trust me. Trust Him!
Now if you'll excuse me: I'm so happy I FEEL LIKE DANCIN'!
Anyway, I did want to make a quick post: a prayer request. My daddy has an appointment today where we are NOT expecting good news. At all. So to say please pray for him and our whole family is an understatement.
Thanks everybody. There will be a real post soon. I promise!