Thursday, December 30, 2010

The End of the Year

Oh, my friends, I pray your Christmas was blessed and that you felt the presence of Christ. Our holiday was very good. I especially enjoyed the Christmas Eve service we attended. The music was beautiful and the message was inspiring.

Later today we are headed up to the mountains with my in-laws to enjoy the snow and ring in the new year. We have no snow here in the valley but the mountains received about two feet of snow! That will make for great sledding!

The end of the year has me looking back at 2010 to not only see what all we did this year, but also how was God faithful again to us. I am reminded over and over that He is. Praise you, Father. I've said it before and I'll say it till the day I die: I am nothing without Him. He has pulled me out of more pits than a body has a right to be pulled out of, but then, that's grace, isn't it? So undeserved. He gets all the glory for any good in my life. I believe that I recognize the path that leads to the pit a little quicker at the end of 2010 than I did at the beginning of the year. So I can change lanes sooner. This is the healing power of the Holy Spirit in me.

As I look to 2011, I decided to set some goals for myself. I'm starting small, though, with 60 day goals. When March 1 arrives, I'll do it again. It feels so much more manageable this way. I won't be as tempted to procrastinate with a closer deadline. Do you make new year's resolutions? How are you at keeping them if you do?

One of the changes for next year is this blog. I started this in January as a way to keep accountable with scripture memorization. I've done well with keeping accountable, though the verses aren't as cemented as I'd hoped they'd be by now. I have meditated on all of them quite a bit; I'm just not sure I could give you word for word each verse. But that's okay. Transformation is a life long process, not an overnight accomplishment. I kept the enemy at bay while thinking about those verses and that is a victory! I hope I've challenged you or inspired you to be in the Word this year. That was another of my goals for this blog.

I want to mention here that I had one friend who committed to the scripture memorization and commented on each SMV day. Sherri, I am so proud of you! Way to go! (I took a picture with her, but with my computer gone for most of the month, it didn't get downloaded. Sorry, Sherri.) Also, my faithful Siesta friends I met in Houston, Karlys & Leslie - I looked forward to your emails twice a month. I can't wait to keep going next year and I want to see you in Houston again in 2012!

I will tell you this "blogging thing" is much much harder than I thought it would be. It took discipline, creativity, frustrations at the techno world, getting over disappointment at the lack of comments, and a lot of faith. I've said things I wish I wouldn't have said; I wish I would have said different things this year. But I did learn a lot about myself, my family, my friends, and my faith. It's time, though, to end this chapter. Even though there haven't been comments left here, you've emailed me or talked to me and your support has been so greatly appreciated this year. Your encouragement often came at a time when I was ready to throw in the towel. It was just what I needed to keep going. So, thank you, from the bottom of my heart. You remain dear to me.

My prayer for you for 2011 is what Paul prayed for the Ephesians in chapter 1: I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints and his incomparably great power for us who believe. Amen.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Well, I still don't have my computer. Apparently the hard drive was bad. Needless to say, it won't be $75 to fix. *sigh* But that's not going to ruin my holiday spirit!

All the presents are purchased and wrapped and under the tree. Our weekend festivities began last night with the watching of the BSU football bowl game. It was a rough start, but in the end, the Broncos shone and came out victorious. Way to go Broncos!

Tonight we celebrate with my niece and sister & family. Brittney is going to Phoenix tomorrow to be with her family for a couple of weeks. She's going to thaw out under the brilliant sunshine and blue sky of Arizona. To say she's not a winter person is an understatement. We are going to miss her and are glad to know she'll be back in January.

Christmas eve will be spent at my in-laws for the traditional soup dinner. We are going to their church for a short service and then open presents. When I was growing up, our family would visit a different denomination every Christmas eve. Our church didn't have a service so it was a great way to experience other church's perspectives. We've been to Lakeview Bible before and really like the pastor, so I'm looking forward to tomorrow's service. It'll be a great way to focus on Christ.

Christmas morning we'll open gifts with the kids and then go to my sister's for the afternoon/evening. My parents and brother & family will be together in Phoenix. We were all together this summer. I'm really really glad my sister lives here.

I ran across this poem this week and thought I'd share it with you.

1 Corinthians 13 Christmas Style

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way.
Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return, but rejoices in giving to those who can't.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust. But giving the gift of love will endure.


I pray your Christmas is the merriest ever. May you be aware of how much He loves you.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

SMV #24!

Hey friends! It's been crazy around here since I last posted. My computer got a virus, a bad virus. I took it to a place (shall remain nameless) that fixes sick computers and they wanted to charge me $170 to fix it. Seriously? At Christmas time? No, thanks, I'll try to figure something else out. My brother in law came over and tried to help, but, alas, it's December! I have other things to do this month!

Then, I went to out of town last week with my daughter's school. Steve didn't have time to fix the computer, but did talk to a guy who recommended a guy to fix it, reportedly for less than $100. Well, since it's been over a week since the stinking thing went down, we caved and took it to the guy. $75 flat fee! Blessed news, indeed. It's still in the repair shop (I'm on my niece's laptop) but soon, very soon, I'll be back in business again.

I've realized how dependent on the computer I've become. I've also realized how much I can get done in a day without the computer calling me for interruptions. Amazing. I've gone through some withdrawal symptoms, but I think it's getting out of my system. As with most things in life, I'm going to have to be purposeful about my computer time in the future. Success rarely comes through accident.

On a related note, have you seen the Living Proof Blog on Beth Moore's website? She will be starting scripture memory again in 2011. I will be doing it again, as well. I would love it if you'd join us. The best way to fight the enemy's lies is with the truth of the Word in your hearts & minds. We must be equipped to fight, friends!

The verses that have spoken to me recently are from Romans, chapters 7 & 8. In dealing with regret and guilt, I have found a lot of comfort from Paul's words in verses 7 - 25. I don't do what I want to do. I am a prisoner of the law of sin. What a wretched being I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?

Thanks be to God - through Jesus Christ our Lord!

I wanted to do a nice Christmas verse from Luke. End the year with fuzzy warm feelings. But my reality is a little more complicated than that. I am in constant and desperate need of a Savior. I am a wreck without Him. Jesus came to be that Savior. That is what Christmas is to me this year. So here are the last verses for the year 2010:

Romans 8:1-2 (NIV) Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus, the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.

What does the Christ of Christmas mean to you this year? Let's be purposeful in our celebrating. Remember to leave your verse in the comments.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Vacation & SMV #23

I've had much to tell you since we've been home from our travels. But I had to conquer Mt. Laundry, restock food supplies, cyber shop on Monday (I missed black Friday, much to my chagrin) and re-enter reality. It's been rough.

Our vacation last week was great. We went to visit Steve's sister and family in Charleston, South Carolina. The weather was warm, there were still leaves on the trees and we got to see the Atlantic Ocean. Here's a brief recap:

We took a tour boat to Caper's Island where we walked on Boneyard Beach. All the dead trees on the beach looked like huge dinosaur bones, thus the name. There were lots of shells, which the kids loved. We were allowed to bring a couple home.

We saw 5 dolphins on our way to Caper's Island. So beautiful!

We toured a plantation. This is the Avenue of Oaks at Boone Hall Plantation. Mr. Boone planted live oaks along 3/4 mile of his driveway. It is stunning!

This is sunset on the beach on Thanksgiving day. We were at Isle of Palms, just 10 minutes from my in-laws home. It was a gorgeous day.

We visited the aquarium in Charleston. Here's a sea turtle. We also saw an albino alligator, sharks, pelicans, starfish, jelly fish and so many amazing creatures.

Here are my three favorite people at Waterfront Park in downtown Charleston. We had such a great week together.

It is good to be home again. Although the temperatures are about 45 degrees colder here. In fact, today is a snow day from school! Only about the third one in my kid's school life! Here's what we woke up to this morning:

That building in the background is my son's elementary school. It started snowing yesterday afternoon and it's still coming down. Big, beautiful flakes. I'd say we've got about 8 inches in our backyard. It drifted a lot last evening and night, so it's a little hard to tell exactly how much is there. The kids are planning fort building, snowman making and possibly sledding. I love free days like this. I think I'll make some Christmas cookies and finish decorating the house for the holiday.

I've been playing Christmas music this week. The one CD I keep playing over and over is Chris Tomlin's Glory in the Highest. This is a must-buy if you don't have it. One of my favorites is "My soul magnifies the Lord", though it's hard to pick favorites on this CD. This song inspired my memory verse from Luke 2:46-47&49:

And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; for the Mighty One has done great things for me -- holy is his name."

Indeed, He has done great things for me. And for you.

Thank you for stopping by today. I so appreciate your support!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude Day 20

Today I am thankful for vacations and airplanes to take us on vacation. We will be gone several days and I may or may not post on here while we are away. My heart is full of thanksgiving at this season.

I pray your holiday is full of joy and peace. May your hearts be full and content. Remember to thank the Giver of all good things.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude Day 19

TGIF!

I am thankful that I am staying home to watch the BSU Bronco football game. It is cold, wet and there's a chance of snow. Our season seats are in the nose-bleed section and I can't even tell you how it feels when the wind starts blowing up in the stratosphere. But by staying home, we are missing out on the game day spirit. Steve is at the game, though. The bank he works for is sponsoring the tailgating party today. I'm sad to miss that part. But it's nice to be warm & dry.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude Days 17 & 18

I forgot to post yesterday. I composed it in my head. Just didn't get translated to the keyboard. My brain is tired, that's my excuse.

Yesterday I was so thankful for my bible teachers. The way they explain the scriptures is amazing. I love to learn the original language, how the two testaments correspond to each other and how it relates to my life today. A good teacher is a gift.

Today I am thankful that the weekend is very very near. We are going away for the holiday next week and I can't wait. We all need a break from our routines. We all need to sleep, relax and spend time together. But until then, we are running around like crazy animals trying to get everything done. You know how it is before a trip.

One week from today is Thanksgiving! So looking forward to turkey and all the fixin's. Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude Day 16

Today I am thankful for the Christian radio station here in the valley. I've been listening since I moved here years ago and they have come a long way since then. It used to be college kids, I think, as DJ's. But the music has always been encouraging, worshipful & full of praise. I'm so glad my kids prefer it, too. In fact, they've received "Adventures in Odyssey" CD's as gifts because we first heard it on the radio. I appreciate that it's family friendly.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude Day 15 & Scripture Memory Verse

Happy Monday morning! The verse I picked for today continues with my theme of thanksgiving. It's from Psalm 136, verse 1:

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.

I really want to meditate on how He is good and how his love endures.

Today I am thankful for the sunrise. The colors this morning were beautiful, pinks, corals, oranges, yellows against the blue of the sky. Fantastic!

I am also thankful for my husband. He has been working so very hard this month. Going in early, staying late, working weekends. He is amazing in so many ways. I'm glad he gets a vacation soon.

Thank you for stopping by today. I appreciate it. Have a really great day!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude Day 13

Today I was thankful to stay home and work. I made 7 quarts of tomato sauce from my garden tomatoes, I made pumpkin bread, did some laundry, worked in the flower beds and even caught a short nap. I am thankful to have preserved fruits and vegies in my pantry and freezer. So yummy.

I am really thankful tomorrow is a day of rest.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude Day 12

Friends, I can't make this stuff up.

We had Chinese food for supper tonight. This was my fortune:


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude Day 11

Thank you, veterans, for your service and sacrifice. I pray for peace and protection so that all our service men and women can come home safely. Thank you for what you've done for the rest of us.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude Day 10

We are one third of the way through the month. Oh my goodness.

I am thankful for my electricity, especially my washing machine, dryer and (gas) fireplace. I push a button and *presto* water, heat, flame! Sweet. These make my life so much easier & more comfortable. I'm just so glad I don't have to cut, haul and stack firewood for our very survival. I used to dream of being a pioneer woman but now, no way. Thank you, Lord, for modern conveniences. Amen.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude Day 9

If you are stopping by for the first time today, welcome. I'm doing a 30 day project called Attitude of Gratitude. I'm encouraging thankfulness for the whole month instead of just one day. You can tell me what you're grateful for by leaving a comment, emailing me or you can cultivate this attitude in your homes. Talk about what you're thankful for around the dinner table, write in a journal every day, etc. I am posting what I am thankful for here on the blog and we share around the table each evening. I've been blessed this last week and I pray you have too.

Today I am thankful for the sunshine, toffee mocha lattes and a quiet afternoon. Not too deep or spiritual. I'm just appreciating the little things.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude Day 8

Today I'm thankful for things that at first glance appear to be opposites. I'm thankful for weekends to relax, watch football, & be with family. I'm also thankful for Monday mornings when we go back to our respective places (work, school). I'm thankful for the end of daylight savings so we get an extra hour of sleep one night a year and an extra hour of daylight in the morning for a few weeks. But I'll be thankful come spring when we turn the clocks ahead again. I'm thankful for the rain yesterday but I'm loving the sunshine this morning. I guess you could say I wouldn't be as appreciative of any of these opposites without the other. Does that even make sense to you? I hope so. Anyways, have a good Monday!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude Day 7

I am thankful for my church today. My pastors seek hard after God and his truth daily. They are messengers of His word. They challenge me, encourage me, teach me, and continually point me to our Savior. I am so grateful they are obedient vessels of the Spirit. And I am grateful they are real with us, we know they are humans also in need of a Savior.

I want to encourage you to express your appreciation for your church leaders this week. Let them know what they mean to you. I once heard someone ask, "have you ever heard of an over-encouraged pastor?" No, often we hear of burn-out, discouragement, etc. Be that voice of gratitude to a leader in your church.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude Day 6

My heart is full of thanksgiving today. I said it yesterday, but I am so thankful for my parents and my family. We're having a really good time together and I feel I am soaking it in. I'll try to remember to post pictures later.




I'm so glad God made so many colors. All the trees could've been the same, all the landscape one color. We wouldn't have known different if that's the way it always was. But He chose to give us these vibrant colors! Awesome. Each season has it's own colors and this fall in Idaho has been beautiful.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude Day 5

We've been waiting for this day all week! My parents are coming to town for a long weekend and I am so glad. I'm thankful for my dad and my mom, for the way they raised us, for the foundation they built for our family. I'm so very thankful that my family of origin all get along and like to be together. We are not perfect, by any means. But we've all been saved by the grace of our Lord and we all love Him. I do not take that for granted. That is a GIFT.

Anyways, we've got fun things planned: shopping, football, baking cookies w/Grandma, along with other activities. It's going to go too fast, but we're going to enjoy it while we can.

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude Day 4

I am so thankful for our family dinner hour. Now that sports have subsided for us, we are back to a more regular schedule regarding supper. We literally spend an hour at the table, sharing our days with each other, what we're thankful for that day and there has been much laughter. It is my favorite part of the day. My prayer is that my children remember these times as happy memories, too, when they are gone from our house. They are a treasure to this mother.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude Day 3

I'm thankful that I got to vote yesterday. I'm not the most educated voter and I probably don't take it as seriously as I should. But I'm glad to know my voice is heard. I'm also equally as thankful that the political phone calls and commercials will end now. They were mighty intense and quite frequent in the last two weeks.

I'm thankful that I have the freedom to go to Bible study today at my church. I don't have to be afraid that I'll be arrested for studying the Bible. Many people don't have that freedom. Many people love the Lord as the only member of their family. My whole family loves the Lord and I have a strong Christian heritage and for that, I am eternally grateful.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude Day 2

Today I am grateful for my friends: Tiffany, Lorain, Christina, Dawne & my sister, Monica. Together we celebrate birthdays & blessings, study God's word, encourage each other as moms & wives & women. My life is so rich because of you. I love you.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Scripture Memory Verse #21 & a 30 day project

Ah, sweet November. How glad I am that you are here. The scary decorations come down and the harvest/thanksgiving ones go up - that is if you can find that one shelf in the store that's not red and green yet.

I heard on the radio recently a woman commenting on marriage. She said if your mate is 80% what you hoped for/dreamed of/are happy with, why are you focusing on the 20% that isn't? Wow. Kinda hit me between the eyeballs. I can get so focused on the negative I lose perspective on how great my marriage, let alone my life, really is. I don't think I am alone. That's where my 30 day project comes in. For the month of November, I am going to try to post something everyday that I am thankful for. I first heard of this idea here. Thanksgiving can be a way of life, not just one day we celebrate each year. I want to adopt an attitude of gratitude and I'm challenging you to join me. What do you say? I'd love it if you'd leave me a comment and if you haven't figured out how to do that, email me and I'll try to help you. You could also start a journal of gratitude, or a thanksgiving tree that you add leaves of thanksgiving to, or share around the dinner table every night, or maybe you have another idea. I'd love to hear it.

In light of that, here's my verse from Psalm 118:28 NIV: You are my God, and I will give you thanks; you are my God, and I will exalt you. The bible says that every good and perfect gift is from above. Let's give Him the thanks he is due. Amen? Amen.

Here's what I'm thankful for today. Two things, actually. First, I was barely in my car this weekend. After two months of driving hither and yon with my kids, this is huge in my book. And when I was in the car, I was not driving. I was a passenger. It was sweet. I did go places, but half of them I walked to.

Second, I got to take my son trick-or-treating last night. It was fun to walk with him and his best friend (who were both clone troopers and looked like twins and were both very annoyed with anyone who called them a storm trooper). I confess I was mad at my hubby because he didn't want to take our boy out, but in the end, I was blessed because I did. I am thankful for any time my son wants to spend with me and when we can really communicate, it's a win-win.

So, my friends, will you join me this month in an attitude of gratitude? Thanks so much for stopping by. You are so appreciated.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkin Bars - yum!

In the spirit of the Pioneer Woman, I'm giving you a delicious recipe today. A dessert perfect for this time of year. I originally got this recipe from Good Housekeeping several years ago. It's a family favorite.



Here's the line-up of ingredients: (by the way, I doubled the ingredients to bake in a pan measuring 10.5" x 14.75". If you want a 9 x 13, just 1 1/2 the recipe)
Sugar, eggs, flour, pumpkin, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, oil, salt. Easy peasy.

First, cream the sugar and eggs for two minutes. Yes, two whole minutes. Then add the pumpkin and oil. Mix well.

Isn't this a beautiful color? mmmmm....

Next, with the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients. Beat for one minute.

Pour into prepared pan and bake. Cool.

Here's the cast of characters for the frosting: Powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter (not pictured) & vanilla.
Mix for two minutes or until fluffy. Sometimes I add a little milk to thin the frosting, maybe 1 or 2 tablespoons.

Here's the finished cake. Seriously good stuff, friends.
Make it soon! Let me know if you do. Here's the recipe:

Pumpkin Bars

1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 c. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9" square pan.

Prepare cake: in bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat sugar and eggs 2 minutes. Beat in pumpkin and oil. At low speed, add flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder & salt; beat one minute.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack.

Frosting: 3/4 c. powdered sugar, 1/4 c. cream cheese, 2 Tablespoons butter, soft, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract. Beat on low for 2 minutes or until fluffy. Spread on cooled cake.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Unashamed

by Starfield

I have not much to offer You
Not near what You deserve
But still I come because Your cross
Has placed in me my worth

O Christ, my King of sympathy
Whose wounds secure my peace
Your grace extends to call me friend
Your mercy sets me free

And I know I’m weak, I know I’m unworthy
To call upon Your name
But because of grace, because of Your mercy
I stand here unashamed

I can’t explain this kind of love
I’m humbled and amazed
That You’d come down from heaven’s heights
And greet me face to face

And I know I’m weak, I know I’m unworthy
To call upon Your name
But because of grace, because of Your mercy
I stand here unashamed


Here I am at Your feet in my brokenness complete


from the album Beauty in the Broken, track 7, listen at iTunes.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Scripture Memory Verse #20

Isn't it cool how God continues to reveal himself through his word? I wish I knew a more profound word than "cool" because He needs a more profound word than that. But I don't, sadly. I'll work on finding one. In the meantime, this is what I've learned this week:

God put a priority on relationship with man, with us. From the very beginning, in the garden of Eden He asked questions of Adam and Eve that he clearly knew the answers to. Chapter 3 of Genesis, verse 9: The Lord God called to Adam, 'Where are you?' Do you think He couldn't see them? We are studying Abraham in Bible Study. In Genesis 18:17-33, God and Abraham are having a discussion about Sodom and Gomorrah. Why would God, creator of the universe, need to have a discussion with anyone? I'd suggest that He wanted to dialogue with man. He wanted to have a relationship with man. He put in us a need for Himself and is waiting patiently for us to discover that He is the ONLY one who can fill that need. I am overwhelmed with the thought that God wants to be in relationship with me. "What is man that you are mindful of me?" I am overwhelmed and so very, very grateful. He is so good.

So, if I carry that thought out further, I can say that relationships should be a priority for me. Not my to-do list, not my activities, not my goals, but people. This often gets lost in our world. And, frankly, relationships are hard work. It is only through the Holy Spirit that I can make this my priority too. Daily surrendering to Him and asking to be filled with his love and great affection for people in my life. This has been my prayer this week and it brings tears to my eyes when I think of how different I "feel" today compared to Monday towards my family. It is only Him. He is the only reason I am not living in a pit of sin and He gets all the glory. I wish I could tell you how many times a day He has worked in me this week alone. I've lost count. He is so amazing.

So my memory verse for this time is to remind me not only to prioritize people, but to love them or it means nothing. From 1Corinthians 13:3 (NLT): If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it, but if I didn't love others, I would be of no value whatsoever. (I love to read familiar verses in a new version, gives a whole new twist, don't ya think?) I could be doing great things, but if I'm not loving people, what is the point? The gospels are full of this concept. 1John is full of this command. In fact, I think it's safe to say, cover to cover, Genesis to Revelation, love is the theme of the Bible. After all, God is love.

I pray love abounds in your life this weekend. I appreciate you and your support. Remember to leave your verse in the comments. Thanks!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Opinionated

I was going through my kids closets one day this week to make sure they had clothes that fit for fall/winter. I pull a button-down navy w/green & gold plaid long sleeve shirt out of my sons closet. This was the conversation & remember, he's 10:

Me: Here's a great shirt for church and Christmas.

Him: There is NO WAY in the world I will ever wear that shirt.

Me: What? This is a cool shirt.

Him: I will never wear that shirt. NEVER, Mom.

Me (without thinking this all the way through): What about a whole day of video games?

Him (without hesitation): No! I hate plaid. I will never wear that shirt!

Me: stricken speechless

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

If you were a dwarf frog...

...where would you hide???

If you remember, we got our son three fish and two frogs for his birthday in April. Read about it here. One more of the fish died this summer so we were left with one fish and two frogs. Until last week. Steve cleaned the tank, I added more water and the next morning the fish was floating belly up. My boy was bummed.

Three days later he comes downstairs and says one of the frogs died. It's upside down on the bottom of the tank. What is happening with these animals in this tank?!? So I asked him to get the net and scoop up the frog and I'd dispose of it. We were running a bit behind schedule to get out the door that morning. He scooped up the frog, put it in a cup and left it in the bathroom. I disposed of it. (blech. Can I just say here that I do not like this part of being an adult?)

Three hours later I was telling Brittney, my niece, and she went in my boy's room to see the tank. She asks me, "how big are the frogs?" Oh, about 1 1/2 inches, I respond. "I don't see the other frog," she says to me.

Wait, what????

I go look in the tank. The ten year old left the top of the tank open and the net sticking out of the water. There was NO frog in the tank. NO. FROG. IN. THE. TANK.

Are you kidding me? Where in the world is the frog? We start looking all over the floor for this creature. Of course, being my son's room, there are legos, clothes, and books all around. We searched that room for 45 minutes looking for a small, slimy, greenish-brown, four-legged, no sound making frog. Nothing. We had to leave for awhile but when we got back, we searched again. Nada. How far could this thing have hopped? And without water? What am I going to tell my son?? How will he take this news? He loves these animals and has been so faithful to care for them. Ugh. How do I tell him this?

When he gets home from school, I broke the news as gently as I could. He was surprised, a little bummed, but not like I thought he'd be. I sent him to look for the frog. But he really wants to watch TV first. (why was I worried??) He looked for 10 minutes but didn't find it. Watched TV and then I went and looked with him. Of course he reminds me, "you know, Mom, that frogs have sticky pads on their feet so they can climb things."

*shudder* Actually, no, I didn't remember that.

Final outcome: I still have NO idea where that frog is and it's been SIX days. Heaven help us.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Scripture Memory Verse #19

I never meant to go so long without writing. I've written about 15 posts in my head but they never actually made it to the keyboard.

Here's the randomness of our lives the last two weeks:

1. Volleyball is over as of Monday. They were 5-5. My girl misses it already. She's thinking of playing basketball which starts in one week. Last night we went to watch the high school voleyball team play and that was fun. Sad to say, the home team could not jump for some reason. They could block okay, but hitting was such a feeble attempt in regards to jumping. The visitors had one girl who was 6 feet tall. She could jump and it was fun to watch her. My girl only has two inches until she matches that height. Do I wish it on her? I always wanted to be one inch taller than I am. 5'10" is such a nice round number, don't ya think? I know, I'm weird.

2. Football is still going on for my son. They are 1-1-1. Last week's game was exciting as they won. They had an interception and a safety (tackling in the end zone). I've learned quite a bit with my son playing. For instance, did you know that blocking and tackling are two different functions? Blocking is what the offensive line does and tackling is for defense. It is illegal to use your hands in blocking, you can use your arms, but not your hands. I learned this because my boy plays offense and I told him to tackle hard at practice. Duh, mom. I've learned what blitz and quarterback sneak and reverse play means. My son rolls his eyes at me but I figure that's standard for a tween, right?

3. BSU Football has begun and we have season tickets. For all of our Oregon family, sorry for your loss. :) Weekends are crazy with football at our house.

4. Bible study started this week and I'm so excited! I am taking Beth Moore's The Patriarchs and it promises to be a great study, as usual. Are you involved with Bible study? What are you studying?

5. I've been baking this week because fall is here on the calendar. Not outside our doors yet. But I tried a new dinner roll recipe this week and received thumbs up all around the dinner table. I tried Pioneer Woman's flat apple pie and it was yummy. I tweaked it a bit, though. I left out the lemon juice (what's that doing in apple pie?) and added cinnamon (why wasn't it there to begin with?). I wanted to share with you a secret I learned when making pie crust. My recipe is this:
For a two-crust pie: 2 cups flour, 1 tsp salt, 2/3 cup butter flavor Crisco shortening & 1/4 cup cold water. Stir together the flour and salt and then cut in the Crisco with a pastry blender or fork. Keep blending until all the white of the flour is gone (this is one secret for flaky crust). Sprinkle water over the mixture and mix. Sometimes I have to add a tiny bit more water as it's too dry. Form a ball of dough with your hands. Here's the secret: place half of the dough on clear plastic wrap, flatten with your hands and put another piece of clear plastic wrap on top. Roll the dough out in between the plastic wrap. You will need to take the wrap off occasionally and reposition it as the dough can stick to it. Don't add any flour! Take off the top plastic wrap and pick up the pie dough by sliding your hand under the bottom plastic wrap. You can then flip the dough into your pie pan and if you need to reposition it you can flip it back over and do so. Here's what rolling out looks like:





This makes clean up a breeze! Plus, no dried out crust from too much flour. Practically perfect every time.


Today, I'm making this: http://thepioneerwoman.com/tasty-kitchen/recipes/breads/amish-cinnamon-rolls-with-caramel-frosting/. Because, hello? Cinnamon rolls - what is better in life than that? I'll take pictures.

6. Memory verse: I'm still working on the one from last time from 1Chronicles 29:11-13. They were longer verses and I'm working on the second half. But, please leave your verse in the comments. Can you believe we are 3/4 of the way through our goal? You, my friends, are doing awesome! Keep going!

7. Many other things have been going on around here, but I'll save that for another day. I've made this as random as is humanly possible, I think. Sports, baking, bible. Thank you so much for following. I appreciate you.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Scripture Memory Verse #18

I think I will let the words speak for themselves today. Go ahead and leave your verse in the comments. Thanks for stopping by. I love ya.


1 Chronicles 29:11-13 NIV

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power
and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,

for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom;
you are exalted as head over all.
Wealth and honor come from you;
you are the ruler of all things.
In your hands are strength and power
to exalt and give strength to all.

Now, our God, we give you thanks,
and praise your glorious name.

Monday, September 13, 2010

So Over The Angst

I had a reality check this morning while reading my daily blog list. I clicked on some links and read about a group visiting Guatemala with Compassion. Here's what I read:

The one question you've got to look in the mirror and really ask

Joy

Lame sponsors of the world unite

While I believe Jesus is about relationships and I need to treat my beautician like I want to be treated, there is no need for the angst I allowed to invade my being (see previous post). So, now that the world is tilted back into proper perspective and I've asked for forgiveness for my selfishness, I'm going to write a letter to Stefanie. (My Compassion girl in Honduras) If you have ever thought about sponsoring a child through Compassion but found lots of reasons not to, please reconsider. They are an amazing organization and the need is great for sponsors. You will be blessed and more importantly, you will be a blessing.

Here's the handy dandy link: Compassion

See you tomorrow for the next memory verse!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Angst

I am a very loyal person. I use the same brand of anything, over and over. I listen to one radio station. I go to one grocery store, for the most part. I've been going to the same dentist for over 10 years, same doctor for 15 years, same beautician for 11 years.

I am loyal. Loyal am I.

I was not loyal last week and I am in such angst over it, I don't know what to do. I tried a different beautician. (do they even use that term any more? What does one call the person who cuts their hair?) I've been wanting to for a very long time, but after seeing the same person every month for 11 years, how do you stop that? What kind of excuse is there? "Sorry, suddenly I'm not happy, going somewhere else, not going to give you another chance." She knows my hair. Listen, that is important stuff, right there. Not everyone knows my hair, most people don't. A friend once asked how I straighten my waves. hahahahahahahaha. Even today that is funny. My hair is as straight as a board. I've no idea why she thought it was wavy.

I feel such anxiety. What if I see her around town? (never, in 11 years, have I ever seen her around town, but it could happen tomorrow) We're friends and I don't want to be rude or unfeeling or her to feel I was a betrayer. I've been betrayed enough to know that pain. She's going to know I went somewhere else just by looking at me. How do I explain that? Why is this such a big deal to me? Clients come and clients go, it's part of the business.

The stickler is I really like my latest hair cut. So do I go back to the new gal or go back to my original gal and have her trim now that the shape is better?

When I was driving to my appointment last week, it felt like what I remember a first date feeling like. Telling my story, getting her story, would I like her, would she like me, would it be a good cut? All that nervousness on top of the angst over being "unfaithful".

Listen girls, you know how important a good hair cut is but I'm feeling like a drama queen. If you have any advice, please PLEASE tell me! Please help end my angst.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Linky Lou

I know it's Wednesday, though it feels like Tuesday because Monday was a holiday and it always throws off my whole week but my point is, I'm writing about the weekend. ha. If you followed that, please explain it to me.

We labored over Labor weekend. Well, I did. I dusted blinds and washed windows on the first floor of my house. I usually try to put off dusting the blinds as long as I can. But a certain 10 year old boy who resides in this house put little smiley faces with his finger in the dust on so many of the blind slats that my husband noticed so I knew it was time. I love love love LOVE looking out my windows now. Even on this rainy day. Now I need to do the blinds upstairs. While there are only 2 less windows than downstairs, it feels like a lot less because the bedrooms only have one window each. Not four like the dining room or three like the living room. It's a mental thing that makes sense probably only in my head. Welcome to my world.

I also made chicken spaghetti from Pioneer Woman. It is one of my very favorite comfort foods. How can you go wrong with pasta, cheese, & chicken? I purchased a rotesseire chicken and deboned it instead of boiling chicken pieces. Much simpler. I don't have cayenne pepper in my pantry so I didn't add that either. It is a big recipe so you can freeze half for a later date or give it a neighbor or a friend who's had a long week. It is so very delicious. Make it soon!

I tried a new recipe from Melissa d'Arabian of the Food Network. Grilled potato salad. Steve wasn't too sure when he saw it on TV. But he was agreeable to trying it for our BSU football watching party Monday evening. My mom makes the best potato salad in the world and so I've been spoiled that way. I am a potato salad snob of sorts. Some are too mustard-y or the potatoes are too big. (Although, my friend, Cody, makes a dill potato salad that I do love, too.) Mom shreds hers, not like shredded cheese, more like thinly sliced on a mandolin. If we were the type of people who had such a kitchen tool. We have a slicer from an Amish store in Iowa, so I call it the Iowa slicer. I'm all kinds of classy. All this to say, I tried a potato salad this summer at my favorite lunch restaurant, La Belle Vie, which had a vinaigrette dressing instead of the traditional mayo. It was so yummy! I was pleasantly surprised. By the way, if you haven't been to La Belle Vie, please go. Go tomorrow! Take a girlfriend and go. Take your hubby and go for dinner this weekend. It's a French bistro and suffice it to say, I highly recommend it. I'll even watch your kids so you can go.

Where was I?

Oh, yes, potato salad. Good grief. The grilled salad from Melissa is so yummy. I started it two hours before I needed it because I wanted it to come to room temperature instead of being warm right off the grill. That gives the flavors a little time to get to know one another and they get along so well. I loved what the mayo/mustard did to the potatoes on the grill, gave them a little char. But then you put on a vinaigrette with bacon & bacon grease (don't judge until you try it!). Simply delish.

So my weekend was mostly cleaning, cooking and football watching on TV. It was nice to be home. This is another crazy week. Are you getting tired of hearing that from me? Maybe I'll just tell you when we have a calm week around here. We have two volleyball games, one karate test, & one football game yet this week. I dropped my daughter off at school this morning at 7:30 and realized I won't see her until 13 hours later. She has a game and then youth group and is carpooling with a friend because we're going to the karate test with our son. If you are reading this and you have small children and you wonder how you're going to survive day in and day out with them, please pay attention. Soak them in, soak them up, hug your sweet babies tight. In the blink of an eye, she'll be taller than you and out of your sight for 13 hours a day. Faster than you can sing the clean up song, he'll be putting of football pads and running sprints away from home. Soak them up while you can. Countless women told me this when my kids were swaddled babes in arms. I smiled and nodded at them. Some days were so long when they were little and clammering for attention. When I never got a break. But it is true. It goes so fast.

Okay, one more link for ya. A week from Saturday, Beth Moore is doing a simulcast and if you're in the Nampa area try to go see her at Bethel Church of the Nazarene. She is such a gifted speaker and teacher of the Word. It's only $15! You will be blessed for going.

Thanks so much for stopping by. I appreciate you continually checking in on me even when I go quiet for awhile. Just living life here. Have a great week!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Scripture Memory Verse #17

Hang on tight, folks, September is here. Next thing you know, it'll be 2011. We are almost 3/4 of the way through the year. How do these things happen? How can the year go so fast when some of the days are so long???

My verses this time are from Zephaniah 3:17 NIV:
The Lord your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.

I need to really take those in during this season of my life. I have been under some spiritual warfare lately and the enemy does not want me to believe God period. That is when I need to take up my shield of faith and be strong.

Honestly, somedays are easier than others. I spend too many days in defeat and it's making me angry. The Word of God is full of not only His love for me and you, but also, reminders of His power within us to live victoriously. I need to claim that. But on the days I live in the flesh and not in the spirit, I need to know He loves me and wants me to come back to Him. That's why I picked these verses today. I want to know in the marrow of my bones that He takes great delight in me.

Thank you Father. Thank you.

Leave your verse in the comments. Know He is with you today.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Finished Yard Project

The yard project is finished, praise the Lord! We started last fall with creating a garden spot. That became two raised garden boxes which led to taking out more of the grass which led to more landscaping which led to...

well, you get the idea.

Here are the before and after pictures. Let me say up front that I didn't always remember to take the "before picture" until some of the transformation had already occurred. I also didn't take the same angles in the before and after. But for the most part, you can tell how much work we did. (I'm using "we" sorta loosely here. We all did have a part in the transformation, but for the most part, Steve was the visionary, laborer and finisher.)


This is the north side of the yard about halfway through the transformation:


Here's how it looks today:


If you look straight out my back patio door, this is what you used to see:


This is what I see now:

Before the garden boxes:

This is the whole south side, including the garden on the right side of the picture (just left of house):
This is looking towards the elementary school and the gate where my kids walked to school:


Now this is what that area looks like:


My camera does 180 degree pictures so this is the whole of the backyard in two shots (click on the pictures to get the big version):



It took a lot of blood (Steve's finger is mostly healed), sweat and tears to complete this project. We (again, loosely applied) did all of the work except the curbing. It is so beautiful to sit at the picnic table and see what this place turned into. I love that God gave us so many kinds of trees, shrubs, flowers, colors, and textures. He could have made them all the same. But in His beauty and creativity, he graced us with such amazing different details. Praise Him with me! Thanks for your encouragement throughout this whole work. Anytime you want a live tour, come on over. I'll have a glass of iced tea for you.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Scripture Memory Verse #16

Well I was hoping for a quiet, calm, relaxing last week before school started again. Didn't happen. School starts Wednesday and this week will be busy, too. Fall sports start as well: volleyball for my girl and football for my son. This will be a fun busy and I look forward to their games.

My niece, Brittney, is living with us for awhile. She will be 21 next month and will be doing an internship here in our valley. Brit has brought a lot of fun, smiles and joy to our home these last two weeks. She is also a great and eager worker. It is hard to be miles away from your family and friends but she is being a good sport and is willing to get involved. I pray one day she will look back on her time with us as a great memory and a place where God revealed more of Himself to her.

As I think about how much change we are involved in, it can get overwhelming to me. I don't like to be stagnant, but constant change is stressful. Through it all, though, I know this:

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." Heb 13:8 NIV

He is the same and always will be. His love for us doesn't change, his message doesn't change, his desire for relationship with us remains his priority and always will. It could be easy to take that for granted and go on day to day doing my own thing. There is great peace, strength, stability and assurance in that verse. That is what I want to focus on these next two weeks. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Praise His Name.

What are you thinking about this week? Thanks for being faithful on your memorization. You will be so blessed, I hope you've felt so already this year. Remember, leave your verse in the comments.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Family, Part 2

I've been away for a couple of days because our internet service was not connecting with the wireless router and the boys were away at Man Camp so the girls chose to play for the weekend. This evening I spent 39 minutes with a woman at the help desk who had me "kindly open my web browser" and then "kindly type this address in the bar" and "kindly reconnect my modem with my router" followed by "kindly restart your computer". Then, TA-DA! Once again connected with the whole world wide web. bliss.

Here are some more pictures from our family week:

We went to the mountains and did some of this...


a lot of this...


some of this...


and quite a bit of this...



Now, we are all back to our own homes with great memories of another summer week together. Rested, rejuvenated. Our home is resisting the idea of this being our last full week of summer vacation. School starts the 18th. *sigh* It went way too fast.

Kindly press pause.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Family Time

Hi there! It's me!

Hello?

Is this thing on? (tap, tap)

Remember me? The Idaho mom? The one who's been working on her backyard project for half of forever (we have finished!!!! pictures soon!!!)? The one who went to Mexico in June? The one who is writing this late at night because she has trouble sleeping? Remember? Oh, good.

Hi! Thanks for tuning in. :)

So last week was spent with my family: brother and sis-in-law & nieces from Mexico as well as my parents from Phoenix. Here's some pictures of the first half of our week.

My mom with her granddaughters:

My mom finding her inner child:

We did waaaaay to much of this:

My sister and I were given all the apples we could pick from two different (& awesome) friends so we spent one day making applesauce. I had to use just about every bowl in my kitchen. We ended up with 58 quarts to share between us. Let me just say there is nothing in the world like homemade applesauce. Nothing.

Me, my sister, my mom and my sis-in-law with the fruits of our labor:

There will be more pictures to come from the second half of our week. I promise not to stay away so long next time.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Scripture Memory Verse #15

Lately I've been hearing about bad things that have happened to good people. I have been overwhelmed with the evil in this world. In my efforts to transform my mind, these circumstances can be too much for my thoughts. I keep going back to this verse from Philippians 4:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. (vs 8)


I've been wanting to commit this verse to memory for quite some time and this is the time. When evil, discouragement, criticism, or any bad thing threatens to overwhelm me, I am to refocus my mind on what is true, lovely, pure, admirable, etc. It has helped me immensely this past week when those horrible stories want to replay in my mind. Focus on what is good, what is truth. He is good. He is truth. Praise His name.

Share your verse in the comments. Come back in a day or two for pictures from our family week!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Quick Note

Hi there.

It's been a big week here. And a big one is coming up. It was my birthday this week and I celebrated for two days with friends and family. Last year was a "big" birthday. You know, one that ends in zero. Never mind what came before the zero. Everyone wanted to make a big deal out of it and I DID NOT. But now that the big fat zero year is out of the way, this birthday this week was quiet and lovely. I was blessed and my heart (& tummy) was happy and full.

Next week my family comes from Phoenix & Mexico. Actually, my brother & fam arrive late today and they are driving. I saw on Facebook that they just got a flat tire. Total bummer. Pray for safety, please. Dad & Mom fly in Monday. It'll be a good week of family time.

I just jumped on to tell you what I've been doing, what I will be doing and why the posts are fewer these two weeks. Thanks for understanding. Can I ask for prayer while I'm here? I haven't been sleeping very well these last two - three weeks and it is affecting my every day functioning. I've tried different meds and they aren't cutting it this time. I am so desperate for a week of good, uninterrupted sleep. So I covet your prayers over this situation. And thank you so very much.

I hope you're having a good middle of summer!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Scripture Memory Verse #14

Okay, friends, based on the response from the last post it seems I am closer to crazy than I realized. lol. I will carry on anyway. :)

The enemy has been throwing my insecurities up in front of my face a little more recently. He can be very subtle and truthfully, I make it pretty easy for him to do so. When I get so focused on my to-do list or my kids (not that there's anything wrong with either of those unless they are out of order on my priority list), I put off getting into the Word or spending time with the Lord. A couple days go by and I feel discouraged quicker or I play the comparison game or I am grouchy to my family. Thankfully, I am recognizing this pattern quicker than I used to. So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore has been instrumental in this. I highly recommend this book if you haven't read it.

One day this week when I was searching for my next verse, these popped out to me:

Psalm 91:1-2 NIV
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."


My footnotes explain it this way: "this should be a picture of our trust - trading all our fears for faith in him, no matter how intense our fears. To do this we must "dwell" and "rest" with him. By entrusting ourselves to his protection and pledging our daily devotion to him, we will be kept safe." The part that stood out to me was pledging our daily devotion to him. It is only when I daily go to the throne to meet with Him that I can be secure. Yesterday's visit won't give me what I need today. It's like taking vitamins. You don't take 7 pills on Sunday morning and say you're good for the week. It's most beneficial to take one pill every day for optimal health. It's most beneficial to take time every day with the Lord for optimal spiritual health.

To dwell means to inhabit or be present in. I dwell in my house every day. I am present here every day. I miss my home when I'm gone for any length of time. I want to dwell in the shelter of the Most High. I want to rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Have you thought about how His shadow doesn't shift? It is constant. I seek the shade in my yard these hot summer days. I have to keep moving the chair to accommodate the shifting shade. We do not have to move our chairs when we are resting in His shadow. Isn't that glorious?

When I am trusting in Him and claiming my strength and dignity (Prov 31:25), my insecurities don't rise up and loom in front of my eyes. It's hard to see clearly when our vision is blocked. I know that's an obvious statement. But have you checked your vision lately? Are you looking through the filter of God's Word or the filter of the enemy's lies?

Stay in the Word, friends. It is the only place where we find what we really need to live this thing out. I'm so honored to walk it with you. Thanks for stopping by. Leave your verse in the comments.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

How to Post a Comment

Hello, my friends. I hope you are having a great weekend. It is very hot here and after the spring we had, I'm enjoying it. Though it's hard to work in the yard when it's 97 degrees. **pant, pant**

Several of you have told me you don't know how to leave a comment here. So, that's what I'm going to attempt to teach you today. 'Cause I'd really like to know that you stopped by and to know I'm not having one-sided conversations. It gives me hope that I'm not crazy. :)

1. At the bottom of each post, you'll see "# comments". (A number beside the word comment.) Roll your mouse over that phrase and click.

2. You can type your comment in the text box.

3. Choose an identity. If you have an account with “Google/Blogger,” then click on that option. (“Blogger” is the free blogging service I use. Blogger.com is part of the “Google” network.) If you have an account with another blog service like Live Journal, WordPress, TypePad, or AIM, click on that choice. If you want to type your name and a web site that is not in one of those categories, choose “Open ID.”

*To set up a profile go to "create an account now" and follow the directions. Or go to www.blogger.com and follow directions on their home page. They ask for your email, a new password and that you agree with their terms. You can add a picture or just use the shadow silhouette.

4. Click “Publish your comment.” Or you can click “Preview” if you’d like to see what your comment will look like when it’s published. If you don’t like it, then you can click “Edit.” If you’re ready, click “Publish.” It will then say “Your comment has been saved and will be visible after blog owner approval” at the top of the page.

5. Wait for your comment to be moderated by me. I do this just for safety from spammers and to know someone came by.

So, if I was the bossy type, I'd say "do it now! Leave me a comment!" But, since I'm an oldest child who is also a wife and mother, I'll just say, leave me a comment. Did you leave me a comment? Were you planning to leave a comment today? Hey, did you leave a comment on the blog? I told you, step-by-step, how to leave a comment, did you? How many times do I have to tell you? LEAVE A COMMENT!

Thank you very much. Let me know (perhaps via email) if you have trouble.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Good Deal

Recently, while I was in Mexico helping a homeless, poverty-stricken family get a chance in life, my husband was holding down the economic fort in Idaho by purchasing "good deals". Costco. Need I say more? The bulk warehouse where we're sucked into thinking bigger is better and more is essential by lower cost-per-unit prices. I have a good size house. I do not have a Costco size house. Now, I have some supplies that will probably last until this time two years from now.

I've threatened to take his card away. He cannot go to Costco without me. It's just not prudent. His defense is, "it was such a good deal. Why pay the same price for something from the grocery store that is less than half the size?"

I'll tell you why. I cannot possibly use it up before it goes bad. I do buy some things in bulk at Costco. Toilet paper, dishwasher soap, batteries. Not perishable items, though. Granted, not all he purchased was perishable. But it is not a good deal if after opening, it sits in the fridge (taking up way too much space, by the way) for a month. It is not a good deal if we end up throwing any of it away. But he still thinks it is. Overall he spent less, he says. I don't get this logic. And he's a banker! He's all about value, I'm all about not wasting.

Let me show you:


Recently we got a new grill. They recommended some seasonings. What did I have in the cupboard? That little "Weber" jar in front. Apparently, the saying is "spice is the variety of life."


On the left, the olive can I normally buy from a normal grocery store. Is he wanting a tapas party??


This is delicious barbeque sauce. I had those two little bottles in the pantry (& one in the fridge). Good deal from Costco: two in a package.


I have nothing to compare this to. I don't buy blue cheese, ever. Now we have 504 ounces of the stuff. After tasting it, he decided it was too strong. I'm leaving it in the fridge to mock him. That's how I am.


If you get a gift from me in the next five years, it just may be wrapped in tin foil. In front is the normal size (75 ft) roll. We have seven HUNDRED and fifty feet now. Yes, it's wider and will fit the new grill easily. Where does one store a roll this big???


All I've said to you here, I've said to him. It's another way men and women are different. It has, however, influenced how I tell him I spend money. I compare all the options, citing one of the more expensive ones as my example when I find that good deal of my own. Example: shopping for a new mirror for the bedroom yesterday. I started at the furniture store. $250! I stopped at a couple other places and ended up with a full length one from Ross for $15. He wouldn't have made a big deal about spending $15 for the mirror. But when I said I could've spent $250, he's very happy with my final purchase. I never would've spent $250 for a mirror and he knows that. Remember, he's all about the good deal. It's all in the presentation. I could've spent $250 but actually spent $15. That's a very good deal.

Oh yeah, we're having a party this weekend. Come over for spicy, barbeque, blue-cheese stuffed olives. We'll be eating on tin foil.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Scripture Memory Verse #13

Well, friends, we've passed the half-way mark on the year. I decided that my favorite months are May, June & July. If I could make these months last 6 months of the year, I would. I just love them. The sunshine, warmth, flowers, grass, trees, berries, vegies - it's all good. What's your favorite month(s)?

Two weeks ago we started a summer Bible study, Beth Moore's The Inheritance. It's very good, as I expected. My verse comes from that study:

Psalm 16:6 ESV: The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed I have a beautiful inheritance.

As we've just begun this study, I don't have the full concept of this verse yet. But I want it in my memory when she does explain what the first part of the verse means. I am beginning to understand the inheritance part and it is exciting. God has made me an heir and a co-heir with Christ (Gal 3:26-4:7). In Bible times, the oldest son received a double portion of his father's estate and any other children divided what was left over. God says I am a co-heir with his first born son which means I, even as a woman (vs 28), get a double portion of my Father's estate. How awesome is that?

Please keep learning your verses friends! We are at that half-way point where we can forget why we're started doing this hard thing and the goal seems a long ways off. Persist. A verse from last year comes to mind right now: 1Cor 8:11 Now, finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it is matched by your completion of it, according to your means. Satan wants to distract you, don't let him win.

Have a great holiday weekend! Leave your verses in the comments.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Enough Excitement for One Weekend

What do these things have in common:
1. gophers & yellow labs
2. dump trucks & doctor's office
3. goats in church
4. numb toes & 100 degrees

Give up? Our weekend. Disclaimer: if you are squeamish, beware of the first two stories.

Number one (gophers & yellow labs) occurred Friday afternoon. All the piles of dirt in our backyard were too hard to resist for one furry creature. The pocket gopher. I found his hole and then I found him. Then our dog, Murphy, found him. She pounced and killed and carried the creature around the yard all the while my son, daughter and I are yelling at the dog, running around in shock and awe at what we'd witnessed. I found the plastic kiddie pool and covered the thing to show Steve when he got home. He, of course, thought it hilarious and was happy to praise the dog for her work. He decided to deal with the thing Saturday morning. But Saturday morning when he lifted the pool (held in place with a brick), the gopher was gone. Yes, it had been dead, very dead. Either Murphy somehow got the thing or...I don't even want to know, really.

Sidenote: curbing completed in backyard project. It is awesome.
Now we are putting down weed paper. The next (and last!!!) step is wood chips.



Number two (dump trucks & dr's office) occurred Saturday afternoon. We needed one more dump truck of dirt for the yard which Steve got from his dad on the farm. As he was dumping it, a chain got stuck in the tailgate and he pulled it out. But he wasn't quick enough to get his hand out of the way and the tailgate came crashing down on his finger, crushing it hard enough to blow the skin open near the nail. I took him to the Quick Care doctor, they took x-rays and Praise the Lord, no broken bones. No stitches even. Because of all the swelling they figured it'd tear any stitching. He is doing much better now, just inconvenienced with a finger wrapped up.


Number three (goats & church)- we are studying Hebrews right now at church. Pastor Jim wanted us really "get" what the role of the high priest was in Israelite times. Once a year they celebrated the Day of Atonement, the covering of sins. Part of this was transferring the sins of the people to a goat which was then led out into the wilderness. So, we had a real live goat at church. We tend to forget or get comfortable with grace and what Jesus did for us. But, we are FORGIVEN by what our high priest did once for all (not yearly like the Hebrews). There is so much more to this story and if you have the time, listen to the message at this link here.

Lastly, it got over 100 degrees here Monday *pant*! So we went to a lake where the water had to be about 65 degrees. My feet went numb as I waded. The kids did go under the water, but it was too breath-taking for me. It did cool a body off though. I didn't really think about how hot the air was.

All in all, that was enough excitement for one weekend. Looking forward to a quiet & calm week.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Second Day of Summer!!!

Because it's the second day of summer and because I choose to believe it will eventually get hot & stay hot here and because I love dessert...

here's a delicious summer dessert recipe for you to try.

Summer Pie
1 box (0.3oz) sugar-free orange flavor gelatin
1/4 cup boiling water
16 oz orange creme flavor light yogurt
8 oz frozen light whipped topping, thawed
1 prepared 9" reduced fat graham cracker pie crust

1. In large heat-resistant bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water. With wire whisk, stir in yogurt; with wooden spoon, fold in whipped topping.
2. Transfer mixture to prepared crust; refrigerate at least 2 hours.

How simple is that? And it is so light and delicious. I've also made this recipe with lime jello & yogurt and raspberry jello & yogurt. It's a perfect ending to a hot summer day. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Vacation with a Purpose

I've mentioned before that my brother and his family moved to Mexico in December. They are there with One Mission, to build relationships with the poverty-stricken locals. The first step in this process is to build them a house. Groups of 20 or more from the U.S. or Canada pay for the supplies and provide some of the labor. One Mission requires the locals wanting a house to work a minimum of 45 hours building houses for others. A group of 26 from my sister's church (plus me) went this past weekend.

Here's how to build a house in the barrios of Rocky Point, Mexico:

1. Mix cement by hand.


2. Saw lumber for the frame.


3. Smooth cement for floor. The structure you see in the background is the beginning of a kitchen/living area that the family began on their own.


4. The next day, put up frame.


5. Put on roof and plywood for walls.


By the way, no prior building skills are required. Even those with manicured nails can do this.


6. Put on paper. That's my brother on the roof in white and my sister in the pink.


7. Apply stucco (which was also mixed by hand in wheel barrows).

8. Ta-Da! A new house!


9. Celebrate with homeowners! (the family we built for is in front - young Samantha in orange, mom Samantha behind her in brown, dad Sergio beside her on the right).


It was a great weekend. It was good to see my brother, sister-in-law and nieces. To see what God is moving them to do there. The people I met in Rocky Point are awesome, warm, friendly, hard working & genuine. They have next to nothing, most don't have running water or electricity. We had extra money and were able to purchase a bed for the couple and one for young Samantha. (Can you imagine sleeping on the ground? They do.) We also bought them a propane stove. Some of them know the Lord, most of them don't. He has not forgotten them, though. That's why One Mission is there. If you would like to change someone's life, get a group to go to Mexico and build a house. Here's the website: www.onemission.us. How's that for a shameless plug? :)

Thank you for your prayers and support while I was in Mexico. I felt it. It's good to be home and yet my mind keeps returning to those beautiful faces I met in a place that was far from beautiful. Please pray for the people in the barrios and for the whole team at One Mission, I know they appreciate it.