Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Fun in Bloggityville

This being my first holiday season as a blogger, I have been delighted to see so many fun holiday events sponsored by fellow bloggers. I am anticipating taking part in what I can. Here are just a few of the fun things coming up:

Christmas Tour of Homes

Boomama is hosting a Christmas Tour of Homes - how fun is that? I think this is the event that I am the most looking forward to. I love Christmas decorations and I am practically giddy with excitement to see all the lovely homes and rooms I am going to see on this tour! Because you ladies are nothing at all if you aren't creative! I love, love, love to decorate for Christmas so this event will definitly be on my to do list.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
And then Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer is hosting this great big huge give away contest. Who doesn't like free stuff? I am still working on what I want to give away. Working in my mind that is - not working on something particular. I want it to be really nice and worthy of such an event. Stay tuned!

And GiBee at Kisses of Sunshine ishosting a fun homemade gift exchange as well. Is there anything nicer than a homemade gift? I don't think so!

I'm sure there are many more fun contests out there just waiting to be discovered. I will post about them as I find them! I am in the midst of my Christmas gift sewing - it's so much fun for me. I feel more organized this year than usual. I have made my list of people I'm giving to and I have most of their gifts decided on. Now it's just a matter of getting them done!

Edited to add:
And here is one more great holiday blog with fun ideas. I linked on to this from The Butler's Wife post today:
It's a fun blog called Sew, Mama, Sew and this event has a craft to do every day for the month of November - it starts tomorrow so hurry on over and check it out!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Little Bran Fiber Theology

So after reading and hearing so much about the benefits of adding fiber to your diet, I decided to go on a hunt for bran fiber. The idea is to add a teaspoon or two to your meals as you prepare them. No one knows its there and you instantly become healthier and thinner. Or maybe not so instantly. Whatever.

Anyway, I never realized it was so hard to find just plain bran fiber. I went to several grocery stores to no avail. My last stop was Albertson's. I don't usually shop there so I don't know my way around the store. In the interest of saving time, I tapped on the shoulder of a young shelf stocker and asked him if he knew where I could find the bran fiber.

Young shelf stocker: "Oh sure, I can take you right to it."

Me: "Oh thank you - I'm running short of time and I really hoped to get this today."

Young shelf stocker: Kind of mumbling "You must be another Oprah watcher."

Me: "Excuse me?"

Young shelf stocker: "Oh, I was just thinking that you must be one of those Oprah watchers."

Me: "What makes you think that?"

Young shelf stocker: "Oh everytime Oprah recommends something, the shelves empty like magic. I'm just thinking she must have recommended bran fiber."

And he led me straight to a shelf containing jars of Metamucil!

I didn't want to burst his bubble by telling him that Metamucil was not the bran fiber I was planning to add to my food or that I am not a big Oprah watcher. That I don't even care all that much for Oprah. (Yikes, I hear the sound of internets crashing everywhere around the world with that admission! She's okay - it's just that I don't think she is the end all, if you know what I mean.) But it made me laugh that this young man thought I was an Oprah groupie.

And as I was using the self-pay register to pay for my purchase of Metamucil (I so didn't want to disappoint the young shelf stocker, and you never know when Metamucil might come in handy) it made me think about how much power and influence one person can have. And it made me consider the power and influence I have with people in my little world. My world isn't nearly as big as Oprah's :) but I am an influence, none the less. As we all are. And I began wondering if I use that power and influence in a way that is consistently honoring to God. I know I fall short many times. But I also know I can keep on trying. Because that is what it is all about. And God's mercy fills in the gaps.

And oh yes, I almost forgot. You can find bran fiber in the health food sections of most grocery stores.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Potpourri Friday on Monday

Oh my - have I really gone a whole week without blogging? That's not a very good sign. But I can explain it in three words - 'tis the season. It seems that no matter how organized or well-intentioned I am, around mid-October it all falls apart and I come to the place that I decide I am doing really good just hanging on for the ride!

Just last week I taught a Bible Study, hosted a jewelry party, and chaired a women's event at church. Oh, and did I mention I had a stomach bug for two days? My stomach is still churning and rolling for that matter. But I have too much to do to think about it for long. And I am working constantly in my spare time on Christmas projects that I am dying to share but have to remain a secret because too many of my daughters and relatives read my blog!

The womens event we had at church was so much fun. Our council likes to host an event for our ladies that is totally free and for every age. So we have what we call Girl's Night Out. It goes from about 7 pm until midnight or so and the sole purpose of it is to just have fun. Because girls just want to have fun you know! We also invite ALL girls no matter what their age is. Because we want them to feel welcome and enjoy womens church events. They are the future women of our church. And it is our job to mentor them.

So as always we had lots of good food

and this year we played several group games and we had 3 certified massage therapists who brought their chairs and gave massages all evening. The massage therapy is taking place against the wall in the back of the picture.

Some of our teen girls had a fashion show for us. I forgot to take pictures of them coming down the "runway" but I did get a group photo of them.

And I think my favorite part was what we did for the little girls. We turned our ladies room into a beauty shop and turned all the little girls into princesses for the evening! We fixed their hair in up-do's and gave them all tiaras to wear.They were so cute. Some of them even wore their tiaras to church on Sunday morning. Our final event was showing Love Comes Softly on the big screen in the sanctuary. It was such a great evening - but I was so tired when we were done.

So I'm back to work today. I think there is something wrong when a person has to go to work to get rested up from the weekend!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Lasagna- It's Not Just What's for Dinner Anymore

I have a large flower garden in my backyard that had become overgrown with weeds, grass, and plants I didn't really care for. I've been gearing up to do a complete overhaul on it. And so Saturday became the appointed day.

Several years ago I read a fascinating gardening book called, Lasagna Gardening by Patricia Lanza. It revolutionized gardening for me. I always wanted beautiful gardens but I really didn't know how to go about having them. It all seemed so intimidating. This book is a very easy read and it just makes so much sense and it is a very easy approach to having great soil which in turn grows great plants. The basic premise is that you choose any area you want for a garden bed. You don't have to dig it up or turn the soil over or even pull the weeds or existing plants. You simply lay newspaper over the top of it. And wet it down. Then you use a "lasagna" technique by layering several organic layers until you have a deep pile. Then you simply leave it over the winter to "bake". No kidding - it really does work. I tried it on a very small garden area a couple of years ago to be sure it was going to work. And it did! The little garden patch I tried it on truly has the best soil on our property. And it has incredible earth worms in it which is a very good sign that it is good soil. So I decided it was time to employ the technique on my larger garden in the backyard. Here is what I started with:See, I wasn't kidding - it has completely overgrown with spreading grass and weeds and I could no longer control it. So I spread out newspaper all over the top of it like this:Be sure and use only the black and white sections - not the glossy colored ads. Then Chuck (that's my husbands name, I'm not sure I've ever told you that) gave me some old moldy hay that is not good for the horses. So we spread a layer of that.And then we did a layer of leaves of which we have an abundance of at this time of the year. If you get really going with this lasagna gardening you might want to take all your neighbors leaves too!Next I did a layer of compost. I am especially proud of my compost pile. I don't use any fancy barrels or boxes, I just found a piece of ground that is out of the way. And every time we mow the yard or rake the leaves we dump it here. I also save all my vegetable peelings, coffee filters and grounds, paper towels, egg shells, etc, and add them to the pile every few days. Don't include meat products or you will have rodents. And we don't like rodents. At least I don't. Tip: Sometimes I get coffee grounds from a restaurant in our town that saves them in 5-gallon buckets - it is a great acidic additive to soil. Here is a picture of my compost pile.The left side is my new compost and the right side is where I was digging the older compost this weekend. We layered it on the garden like this:If you don't have room for a compost pile or you don't have enough you can also buy peat moss - it's basically the same thing. I did that for my smaller garden because I hadn't started composting yet. Reading the Lasagna Gardening book is what got me started composting. And as an added bonus, when you have three of these:you have a lot of this. In our neck of the woods it is called several different things, horse hockey, horse apples, black gold - you get the ideaSo I was doing A LOT of this:which is why my muscles are really sore today! And these guysdon't have any sore muscles. They just watched us all day.
We also mowed the lawn and used all our grass clippings like this:and I got excited when I realized we could empty out our fire pit and use the ashes - that would be great added acidity to the soil.I was so appreciative that Chuck helped me. He did all the heavy work.And I opened all the gates - hey, somebody had to!So here is my garden bed "baking" for the winter. I kept layering until I ended up with about 12 layers of organic materials on it.I can keep adding to it as we mow the lawn and rake our leaves. You can plant in the spring or you can plant now. I am going to go ahead and plant my tulips and daffodils in it this week so they will come up in the spring. I am going to put strawberries in the spring along with a few flowering bushes. I'm going to try to keep it as low maintenance as I can.

Whew! This turned out to be a long post. But I just love lasagna gardening and I wanted to share all about it. Patricia Lanza's book has lots of other good information in it as well. You don't have to use all the materials I did - you use what you have and what you can get a hold of. And I definitly prefer to use what I don't have to pay for! Just keep layering - that's the secret.

And I don't think it is strange at all that I have added lasagna to the dinner menu this week as well!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Potpourri Friday

We are accustomed to finding a catch in every promise, but Jesus' stories of extravagant grace include no catch, no loophole disqualifying us from God's love. Each has at its core an ending too good to be true - or so good it must be true. Philip Yancey

Ever since I mentioned in this post that it never rains here, all it has done is blow and rain. I'm not kidding you! And I feel so bad for the people in Georgia who need rain - if I could I would send some your way. Except our farmers might not let me send much because they have a thing about collecting the rain for the crops they intend to grow next year.

My husband took a week of vacation this week to work on things around the house. He blew the sprinkler lines out, he is fixing some of our gates, and he has spent a great amount of time working on the hot tub, trying to reconnect it all again since we built a larger patio. That particular project hasn't gone as smoothly as he thought. In fact he is very frustrated and we still don't have any hot water to soak in while we observe all this wind and rain. I appreciate all the hard work he is doing. I really do. But do you have any idea how miserable it is to know your husband is on vacation and, well, you are not? He gets much more vacation time than I do each year and if he doesn't use it he loses it. So I don't blame him. I would take it too. Definitely. But oh how I would love to be home with him, helping him work on all those projects and even adding a few of my own. But he has been really sweet about it. This week he has made the bed every morning and has supper ready every evening. That just about makes it all okay.

Last weekend I had my very first football party at my house. I didn't intend to have a party but my two daughters and sons-in-law showed up to watch the game since they now think their mom has gone plum crazy because she likes to watch football. And I had a couple of new recipes that I have wanted to try and it seemed like the perfect time. So I made sweet and sour meatballs and spicy shrimp. And lots of ice water because the spicy shrimp was REALLY spicy. And good. (When I think of it I will have to post the sweet and sour meatball recipe - it was so good. You can find the spicy shrimp recipe here. This Pioneer Woman can really cook!) And we all hunkered down and watched Boise State play Nevada in an extremely close and exciting game. Boise State finally one it in 4, yes I said FOUR overtimes. Whew! It was great fun.

This week I had the great A Day (or two) in the Life of a Groomer experience. I usually do my own dog grooming because it is so outrageously expensive. But about once a year I take them in for a professional job because it helps get all the lines and angles right again and gives me a "template" of sorts to follow for several months until it all becomes indeterminable and I have to start over. The problem is I can never find a groomer that does a job good enough for me. But I have heard lots of raves about this particular groomer in a town near mine so we made appointments, I dropped them off on my way to work, gave them way too much money and later in the day my husband picked them up. I called home to see how they looked.

Me: "So how do the dogs look?"

Hubby: "Weeeelllll..... I'm not really sure."

Me: "Excuse me?"

Hubby: "Weeeellll.....I can't really see a difference in one and the other, weeelllll...."

Me: "Well what?"

Hubby: "It doesn't look too good."

Great. I go home and he is right. One of the dogs they never even touched and the other was butchered. I called them right up and expressed my unhappiness. To their credit they were very kind about it. The lady told me to bring them in first thing in the morning, she would personally greet me, and we would go over each dog to see what I wanted. And sure enough, she met me at the door. Now the thing was, this lady, as kind as she was, only had one tooth in the front and it was waving at me. It was very distracting. To say the least. I gave her a picture of a dog with the hair cut I wanted and she said, "Oh, you want a yorkie cut!". Ummm. well, yes. That would be the idea SINCE THEY ARE YORKIES!. Maybe I should have said, "No, I want a St. Bernard cut". For Pete's sakes! Anyway, she took careful notes, apologized profusely, and took my dogs away. All the while I was being careful to dodge the tooth in case it came flying my direction. At lunchtime I went to pick them up. I was nervous. I was worried. I was sweating. The one-toothed lady was no where in sight. Pretty soon they brought me my dogs and they were absolutely adorable! Just exactly what I had in mind. Again, they apologized and were very nice about the whole thing. Apparently they were training someone new and they kept saying something about miscommunication. Oh well, I will try it again next year. I have often thought I should just take some dog grooming lessons and go into business myself. I could work at home and set my own hours. But judging by the looks of the toothless lady - it must not be a very lucrative business.

This weekend I am working in the yard, redesigning some flower beds and cleaning some other up for the winter. It will be hard work and it is supposed to rain again. But I am looking forward to it anyway. Maybe the hot tub will be ready by the end of the day!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Spring Reading Challenge - 2 Book Reviews

I joined this reading challenge and now I am wondering - what in the world was I thinking? This is the busiest time of the year! I LOVE to read and I ALWAYS have a book going - but at this time of year it is going to be a true challenge to read all the books I listed. I have finished two of them however, and it is time once again to bestow upon them the infamous (or un-famous, depends on how you look at it!) Eggy awards. So here goes:

The Last Jihad by Joel Rosenberg
This book was loaned to me by a friend who really wanted me to read it. She knows I love to read. I took it cautiously because it must be said, I don't really enjoy political thrillers. This book is about an attack on the United States by extremist Muslims. What is particularly eerie about it is that it was written about 9/11 before 9/11 happened. In fact, the whole introduction to the book tells all about that. And it was an interesting read. What I didn't enjoy was the
many, many characters in the storyline. It was very hard to remember who everybody was and what part they played in the story. The story centered around a particular man who's personality I found it hard to relate to. In the end, I give this book 2 eggy's.

Freefall by Kristen Heitzmann
This book is about an actress who has an accident and has amnesia. She can't remember anything from her past. And of course there is a knight in shining armor to rescue the damsel in distress. The setting takes place in Hawaii. I always enjoy Kirsten Heitzmann's writing. It is easy to read and although the storyline is predictable I always enjoy her strong character personalities. Her writing works for me. And the fact that the setting was in Hawaii made it even more fun. I give this book 3 eggy's.

That does it for now. I have actually added a book not on my list that I am enjoying very much. You'll be hearing about that one next time.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Potpourri Friday

I have learned if you follow your tears, you will find your heart. If you find your heart, you will find what is dear to God. And if you find what is dear to God, you will find the answer to how you should live your life. Ken Gire

This week I picked up a book called A Chance to Die by Elizabeth Elliott. I have been looking for a book that is different from what I normally read. Something that will stretch me and grow me and, well, speak to me. I've been looking for a book that would teach me about sacrifice and service and being uncomfortable. I think I found that book. I am reading it slowly and letting the message sink in as needed. One nugget I read this week was how when Amy was a little girl her mother taught her that God will answer every prayer. She got so excited and that evening she prayed hard that God would change her brown eyes to blue. The next morning she got up and ran to the mirror, excited to see her new blue eyes and was devastated to see that her prayer had not been answered after all as her brown eyes stared back at her. Her mothers response to her was "Don't you think no is an answer?" made me wonder how many times I thought God had not answered my prayer at all when all along His answer had simply been - no.

This week we took Jess out to do senior pictures. We went to a park and the colors were just fabulous. What splendor in the breathtaking red and golden colors. There were still blooming blazing purple flowers as well. And it's just so hard to believe our baby is taking senior pictures. Empty nest - here we come.

The weekend ahead appears to be a quiet one. One never knows. I hope to just putz around the house. Cleaning a bit, sewing a bit, reading a bit. Maybe I will fix a special breakfast Saturday morning. And then again, maybe Cheerios will do. We'll see how it goes. My sweet dog Josey definitely needs a bath. She is in the fifth week of pregnancy now and that is equivelent to the fifth month in a human. Her belly is rounding and hard. You can feel little tiny movements inside. Only a few more weeks to go and we will have puppies in our home again. I do want to get outside and put my flowerbeds to bed for the winter. That one will take more than a day so it would be good to at least get started. Boise State plays again this weekend so I will nestle down in my recliner with my hand sewing and attempt once again to understand the finer points of football. It's something I'm not sure I am ever going to grasp. But it's fun to follow a winning team. "smile".

Enjoy your weekend - I'm going to enjoy mine!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Privilege of Wanting

I came from a home that was actually pretty well off. I didn't realize it. I thought we were living the way everyone lived. But looking back I can now see that we had everything we needed and a lot of the things we wanted. My dad made a good living for our family and the first time I fully realized it was when I married my preacher husband. I have decided that my dad didn't really do me a favor. It was hard to learn how to budget and save and not have things just because I wanted them. And it was hard when I had children to not be able to buy them everything that was cute and fun and adorable. But I learned my lessons. And my children grew up knowing how hard it is to make ends meet all the time.

I remember one time as a young mom listening to a radio broadcast of Focus on the Family. Dr. Dobson was talking about how today's kids have everything including cell phones, tv's in their rooms, the latest version of video games, and on and on and on. And then he said something that really stuck with me. He said that today's kids have every privilege EXCEPT for the privilege of wanting. He took his listeners back to the days of when a kid wanted something so very badly they were willing to work and save and earn to get it. And when they got it - they truly appreciated it.

It was about the time of listening to this broadcast and trying to grasp how wanting could be a privilege when my daughter Jessica, who was about 6 years old at the time, spotted a very expensive doll she decided she wanted. A fabric shop that I loved to browse through happened to be next door to a doll store in a strip mall. We walked in there one day and Jessica, who loved all her little babies, felt she was instantly in heaven. And she found a beautiful real-life looking doll that she absolutely fell in love with. All I saw was the price tag: $100. I immediately thought of the good advice from Dr. Dobson and I struck a deal with her. I told her if she could come up with $50 I would match it. Now I have to tell you that I never for a minute believed she could come up with $50. And that was why I wasn't worried over the fact that I didn't think I could come up with $50 either. But I underestimated my little entrepreneur! This particular doll store had a lay-away program. And the clerk kindly informed us that she could put this doll on lay-away for $5 and they would hold it for her as long as we needed. And they told her she could come and visit her baby whenever she wanted. (Very smart marketing ploy!) So we put $5 down and I truly thought she would forget all about it. Well, my little daughter went to work. Everyone she came across at church and at home were asked if they had any jobs for her to do. She raked leaves for grandma, she did dishes, she put laundry away. She worked and worked and worked. And it was all by her own doing. And it didn't take me long to realize I was going to have to find $50. We would go back to town and put her earnings down on the doll and she would have some good visitation time with her little foster baby!

I felt so proud of Jess for working so hard for something she wanted. And I felt so good watching her do it. It took her about 3 months and she had kept her end of the bargain. We were so impressed that we found an extra $50 from our tight budget and I kept my end of the bargain. And it was such a happy day when we brought that little baby doll home! I can truly say that never have I felt so good about my child receiving a "thing". No Christmas or birthday present I ever gave felt as rewarding as that doll did. And I'm still not sure who learned more with this experience: her or me. Today she is still a worker and a saver. I have watched her say no to things she really wanted because she knew it wouldn't be a wise investment. Is it all because of the doll saving program? Probably not completely. But I like to think it had something to do with it. And I know that because we didn't/couldn't indulge our children with everything they wanted, if their futures don't hold a lot of financial security, they will have one less adjustment to make.

Monday, October 8, 2007

And The Stockings Were Hung. . .

I finished one of my sewing projects this weekend. (Sidenote- I made these totally from scraps I had - I spent $2.49 on the set!) I made a set of stockings for Michelle and Brad who are sharing their first married Christmas together this year. I also made a set of these two years ago for Andrea and Jayson for their first married Christmas. I guess I've started a new tradition :) I love tradition. But making these stockings wasn't my first plan. I had made a stocking for each daughter when they were little that I intended on giving to them when they had their own home.

You see many years ago, during my husband's first pastorate, we were in a difficult church in a very difficut area of the country to grow a church. It felt much like a mission field. Our home was a tiny apartment attached to the back of the church. It was a tough three years. And it was a lonely three years. I lived far away from my family and there wasn't anyone around my age to be close friends with. During that time I discovered the joy of. . . . Cross Stitching! And I threw myself into it with a vengeance. I cross stitched so much it really almost became an addiction. And some of the things I made were beautiful Christmas stockings for each member of our family. They are crossstiched on 28 count linen. For you non-cross stitchers that means there are 28 squares to an inch to be crossed over with fine thread. It was very tedious and very precise. It literally took me years to finish. And one year for my birthday, my mom made mine for me!

(If you click on the pictures, you can see more of the detail)

So when Andrea got married, I prepared to give her the stocking with her name on it. First she asked me if I would also make one for her husband. I told her no, I didn't think I had it in me anymore to work on something so tedious. And I also realized that if I agree to do it, there would be no end in sight. I would have to cross stitch stockings for every future son-in-law and every potential grandchild! So she and her sisters conferred and told me that I should keep them and not break up the set. I was so glad! They look lovely as a set. Every year I hang these stockings out and they remind me of how God provided a joy in my life during a difficult time.

I couldn't let my married daughters begin their homes with no stockings at all! We take Christmas stockings seriously in our family - I think the girls would rather go without gifts than go without their stockings. So I found the pattern above to do the quilted stockings. They are much easier and I love the way they look as well. And the kids love them. So their homes will be decorated for the holidays with something mom made. That makes all of us happy. And I look forward to adding more stockings to their mantles as needed *wink * wink*! Jess told me something funny this weekend. She was studying the stockings and she said, "Maybe I'll name my kids after all our family members and then I can have the full set of stockings someday!" That girl - she makes me laugh!

Oh, and Here is a fun blog to visit and a chance to win a great contest. It is a drawing for a complete little quilt kit from Anne Sutton, who designed it! Such talent.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Potpourri Friday

So spending a few days in the mountains last week was SO what we needed. Sleeping in, eating out, visiting with good friends. We enjoyed all of it. A lot. I took come needlework along and I finished one project. I took a couple of books along and didn't even open them. We would have loved to have stayed longer and we actually could have because when we went to check out of the hotel, they had no record that we were even there! Never mind that houskeeping came every morning. Never mind that we checked IN. Never mind that we helped ourselves to their fresh baked cookies on the reception desk every evening. They just couldn't find record of it. Imagine - we could still be there enjoying room service and a beautiful room! And cookies.

The cooler weather has sparked my interest in cooking again. Especially casseroles and soups. This week we have had great evening meals like Tator Tot casserole and Chicken and Rice instead of grilled meats done on the patio. It's nice to have left-overs for lunch the next day. I find that it is easier to have family dinners together when we prepare meals that have been planned instead of impromptu meals thrown on the grill every evening.

You know how we always say things like, "I wish I had been born in the good old days"? This week someone pointed out to me that I would have been dead by now - considering that I had gall stones about 10 years ago. There was no cure for gall stones in the good old days. So I would have been dead by now. Apparently people lived until the ripe old age of about 50 back then. One of my favorite scriptures is in Acts 17:26. It says, "From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live." I'm thankful that the time He set for me was during a time when they had a way to fix gall stones!

My sewing projects are coming along well. Not as fast as I would prefer - because I'm not retired yet like some other lucky people I know who get to stay home and make beautiful things! This weekend I hope to finish the Christmas stockings I am making for Michelle and Brad. I will post a picture of them on Monday with a story of our family Christmas stockings. I just love tradition. I also ordered a new pattern and some fabric this week for another Christmas project that has to stay secret for now. But I can't wait until it gets here because I love starting new projects! I also hope to finish another LARGE project I started last winter in the next couple of weeks. It is a gift for someone who reads my blog - so I can't post about it until I give it to her. I am so pleased with it. I think she will be too.

We watched a good movie this week - The Last Sin Eater. It is based on a book written by Francine Rivers. Books are always better than movies and that is the case with this one as well. But Michael Landon, Jr. did a pretty good job with this one. I recommend it. It's a really good story. Now that the days are getting shorter and we aren't working outside as much we are watching more tv in the evenings when we are free. That is good for my crafting because I never watch tv without doing needlework. Jess and I love watching Dancing with the Stars and The Biggest Loser. With my husband I watch Survivor Man and an occasional western movie.

Oh, and one last thing. I was honored with a terrific blogging award from Angie at The Knightly News.

This is what Angie says about the award:
Mathetes is the Greek word for disciple, and the role of the disciple (per the Great Commission) is to make more disciples. The call to make disciples was not given to just the pastors....but to all---of ----us. There are many people in my life that I feel fit the category of living the life before others in such a way as to lead others to Christ through witness, various ministries, prayer and counseling. I now share this award with some of those that have influenced my life, my walk and my heart----along with countless others! Each individual has their own way of sharing Christ. Unique to themselves. Same servants heart....just different styles. That's what wins souls. We are not called to be cookie cutter Christians....but are called to live in the world He placed us in....with our personality...but His message!
Thank you Angie - you humble me. You and I share heartstrings together. But then, don't all mama's? Thank you sweet friend.
I am a rule breaker. My rebellious nature I guess. You are supposed to pass this on to 5 other people. But a while ago, I quit doing that because I just can't pick 5 people. It reminds me of the days of PE class when you had to get chosen for teams. It was always a lose-lose thing for me. If I didn't get picked first, I felt bad. If I did get picked first (which hardly ever happened) I felt bad for the others. It always left me feeling bad. So I don't pick. I'm sorry if that breaks the rules. It's just the way I am. Maybe if I undergo years of therapy someday, I will think differently about it!

Thursday, October 4, 2007


Today I am so thankful for our soldiers and their families who serve our country. I found this blog today and my heart is so sad and thankful at the same time for this young girl, Melissa, who gave "all". It wasn't the plan she had in her heart, but she is willing to accept God's divine plan for her life. She inspires me greatly - what grace and what style she has. She is actually from the area I live in and I remember when this happened- it was in the news all over here. I remember being so thankful that he had a very strong faith. I didn't realize he had a fiancee - she is an amazing woman. I will add her to my prayer list.

After reading her blog I will hug my husband and children just a little harder today and whisper prayers of gratitude for their lives. Thank you God.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Homemade Soup

Even though I am still mourning the loss of summer (my favorite time of the year), I am enjoying the cooler weather of fall. And there is nothing like cooler weather to make me start thinking of soups and stews. Especially homemade ones. So I am thinking about making some Homemade Chicken and Noodle soup soon - it is one of my families favorites. Here is how I make it:

Fill a pot that will hold the amount of soup you want with water and boil a chicken until it is done. Remove the chicken and let cool. While it is cooling prepare the noodles:

In a stainless steel bowl mix:
2 cups flour
3 egg yolks
1 egg
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup water

I kneed the dough and then roll it out flat. After it is rolled out I then use my secret ingredient: nutmeg.
Sprinkle the nutmeg lightly over the surface of the dough and roll over it a time or two with the roller to press it in. Then I cut the noodles into 1/2 inch strips and throw them in the cooking broth. I also add about 2 tbsps. of chicken bouillion to the broth. Then I debone the chicken and add the meat to the broth and let it all simmer for about 30 minutes. It is absolutely delicious and the left overs are even better!
You can roll out your pasta much thinner, but I like the "dumpling" texture I get when I make them a little thicker. They are a kind of a cross between a noodle and a dumpling. It sounds labor intensive, but it's not - it goes together very quickly. And it smells wonderful in your house while it's cooking. Put a few biscuits in the oven and you have a perfect fall menu.

Monday, October 1, 2007

A Prayer

My daughter Tara, while she was in college, talked to me sometimes about a missionary woman that she admired. A lot. I think she inspired her. Her name was Amy Carmichael. Some time ago I found a prayer that Amy wrote that really spoke to my heart. I made copies of it and I keep them in my home and my office. I pray it often. The amazing thing to me is that Amy never prayed this prayer for her own children - she never had any. But it is obvious that she had a mother's heart. She prayed this prayer for the children she loved in India. The children she gave of herself to. The girls she rescued from prostitution. Amy was just a plain, ordinary every-day kind of woman who allowed Jesus to love and care for others through her human self. She went through times of loneliness, despair, victory, rejoicing, doubt and depression. Ultimately she did what God called her to do. She lived her life well. She is a great role model for women today.

Father, hear us, we are praying.
Hear the words our hearts are saying.
We are praying for our children.

Keep them from the powers of evil.
From the secret, hidden peril.
Father, hear us for our children.

From the whirlpool that would suck them
From the treacherous quicksand, pluck them.
Father, hear us for our children.

From the worldling's hollow gladness,
From the sting of faithless sadness,
Father, Father keep our children.

Through life's troubled waters steer them.
Through life's bitter battle cheer them.
Father, Father, be Thou near them.

I just wanted to share that prayer today. It means a lot to me.