Saturday, February 28, 2009

Take A Moment!

I just want to take a moment and ask you, as I have before, to stop and tell your family, your friends, your spouse, your children how much you love them. Today Jill, who I wrote about a few days ago, passed away after suffering a brain aneurysm on Wednesday morning. I am deeply saddened for her family and just can't imagine what their family is going through. I am also sad for my sister-in-law Julie who lost a friend and was the last one to speak to her before she went unconscious. Jill was a fun, vibrant, healthy woman with a career, a husband, and a son. Life is so precious, don't take a single day for granted.

I received this quote in my inbox today. It reminds me again not to complain about my circumstances. Today is my sister's birthday and last year she turned 50 and was having a very difficult time with it. I kept telling her that is was better than not having a birthday. I think this quote says it all! May you enjoy your life and live each moment to its fullest!

Don't regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Stop Complaining!

Every Wednesday I attend Bible Study Fellowship of BSF. This year we have been studying Moses. Today we were studying Numbers, chapters 11-12 where the Israelites are complaining about their situation. During our lecture time, we were challenged to think about how much we complain. For example...when I go to the grocery store to get something and they happen to be out of it, do I go to the manager to complain? When I am in a restaurant where there is a plethora of choices and I finally decide what I want to order and the server says they are out, Do I moan and groan and complain? Ouch! That was hard to take. God says complaining is a sin. Do I even go a day without complaining? I am having a hard time imagining a day without complaints and I am embarrassed to admit that!

Then as my day went on, this message kept repeating itself to me. My sister-in-law Julie has a friend, Jill who suffered a brain aneurysm today. Thankfully Julie was there at the exact time needed and Jill received the medical care needed in time to save her life. She is someone who has a full life and a lot yet to live. So, please pray for Jill and her continued recovery. Then I heard of someone close to me who may lose his job tomorrow due to some serious negative/backstabbing behavior against him. He is a good, Christian man who lives by his principles and is an amazing role model for our community. I worry about how this will affect his family as well as our church, and our community.

So, as I look at my life, I have much to be grateful for and have NO REASON for complaint. God has no time for complaining and I am going to do my best to stop complaining and hopefully get my kids to stop complaining. I have hung a sign on my bathroom mirror that says STOP COMPLAINING! Won't you join me and ban all complaints in your household too?!
An attitude of gratitude creates blessings.
-Sir John Templeton

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mondays Matter: Week 8

from the book Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways To Make A Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza


The second largest expense for a family is food. 1 in 4 people in a soup kitchen line is a child.


1. Locate organizations near you that support the hungry. Find out what those orgainzations need and help provide it.

2.Donate your time and volunteer at a food pantry/distribution center, a local soup kitchen, or a homeless shelter.

3. Go through your pantry and gather up canned and dried foods to donate.

4. Create or support a local canned food drive.

5. Purchase and hand out fast-food gift cards to homeless people. Buy extra to have on hand for spontaneous giving.

No matter where you live, there will be someone who is going hungry. This doesn't just happen in the big cities. I live in a rural small town community of 700, and am well aware of children whose only decent meal of the day is the one they get at school. Fortunately we have a food pantry for our county and we have a collection box at our church. Our community often has food drives, either at school events or through different organizations like the Lions or the Boy Scouts. I donate food at every opportunity and am asking you to find an organiztion in your community that you can donate to as well. I used to run a homeless shelter for women and children and what was most needed were canned fruit, dry packaged meals, canned soup, baby food/formula, peanut butter, and cereals. Please consider adding some extra items to your shopping list and dropping them off today!

Most of us don't have to decide between buying food, paying rent, or purchasing medicine. But, sadly, millions do. You can be part of the solution. Once you start contributing, you will gain a new appreciation for the food you have on your table.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Project Complete and a Recipe

This winter I chose a few projects that I wanted to complete, one being organizing our photos. I was almost a year behind, so needed to order the prints I wanted and get them all put in their albums for the kids. On Monday, I finished that project! Then today, I tackled AND finished another project. I LOVE cookbooks and recipes and so I tend to cut out a lot of recipes. I have a binder that I keep all those recipes organized. Well, I had piles of recipes waiting to be put into the binder. So, today I went through that pile, tossed a few and got them all placed into the binder. I came across quite a few that I want to try soon. I even came across one that I thought I had lost. So, tonight I made one for supper and one for dessert. Both are very easy and took no time at all. It feels so good to cross 2 big items off my project list. Only 2 left and 1 of them I can't do until it is warmer out! The other I plan to complete this week. So, I am feeling pretty darn good! Does that mean I have more time for reading and knitting????? By the way, I've got 30 inches of a scarf completed! I may be wearing it before winter is over! Enjoy the recipes!

1 lb lean ground beef
1 32 oz container beef broth
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can whole kernal corn
Taco seasoning (2 TBS to the whole package depending on your tastes)
Tortilla chips, optional

In a large saucepan, brown the ground beef. Drain off fat. Stir in broth, beans, tomatoes, corn, and taco seasoning. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat and let simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with tortilla chips, if desired. Makes 6 servings.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
4 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup M&M's miniture baking bits

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, sugars and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine oats and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips and M&M's. Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes or until edges are browned. Remove to wire racks. This makes a lot of cookies. I didn't count, but at least 6-7 dozen depending on the size of your cookies ( and, of course, how much dough you eat!)

Friday, February 20, 2009

The New Has Come!

Even though we are expected to get some snow here tonight and tomorrow, I am still focusing on the fact that Spring is just 1 month away.
2 Corinthians 5:17 states Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come!
Soon we will be shedding our sweaters, and jeans for short sleeve tops and capris. Soon I will be opening windows and letting out the old stuffy air. Soon I will be watching the old grass turn from brown to green. Soon I will be watching the branches turn from bare to full of buds. Soon my feeders and yard will be full of birds returning from their winter retreat. Until then, I am enjoying the newness in my own home. From last week, I am still enjoying the beautiful pink gerbera daisy, and now have also been treated to some beautiful violets in my bathroom! Enjoy!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

When I Am Weary

Yesterday was a really long day, as are most Wednesdays. Pat was also having a late appointment, so wasn't home in the evening. I was just exhausted and all I wanted to do was crawl into bed. Today, is an entire day at home with my daughter and no plans in the evening. So, it is a no shower and lay around day. I may do some housework, but mostly I just want to play with and snuggle with Reagan and enjoy being at home. These days don't happen very often, so I need to take advantage of them when I can. In Matthew 11:28, God says Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. I am listening to Him today and taking that much needed rest, so I can wake up tomorrow refreshed and ready to take on another day.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Review: Multiple Blessings by Jon and Kate Gosselin and Beth Carson

Eight children in three years? Impossible! Kate and Jon Gosselin have learned that through God, all things are possible - though sometimes slightly improbable. Just three years after giving birth to twin daughters, Kate and Jon learned she was pregnant again - with sextuplets. Kate candidly chronicles the emotional and exhausting challenges she and Jon faced from the time the babies were conceived through the first two years of their lives.
I have been anxious to read this book for awhile. I love the show Jon and Kate Plus 8 even though I don't get a chance to watch it very often. Kate is definately forthcoming and honest in her story of having twins and sextuplets in three years time. My eyes were opened to the physical struggles as well as the financial and emotional struggles Kate and Jon shared. Kate has a strong faith in the Lord and that is shown on nearly every page of this book. Without that, I am sure she would have crumbled. I appreciated how all the chapters began with a specific Bible verse that Kate related to. The book was also sprinkled with photos which gave a glimpse into their story as well.
This was an amazing book and should be read by every Christian Mom. It made me realize I don't have it so bad with 3 kids. Geesh! Jon and Kate had a real test of their faith in God, their faith in their marriage and their strength. I look at them in a whole new light after reading this book. I am jealous of how strongly Kate put her faith and trust in God and just relied on Him to bring them through. I could learn a lot from her! I know I will be referring back to this book again and again during my parenting years! I give this book 5 out of 5 stars!
You can also find out more about the Gosselins at

Monday, February 16, 2009

Mondays Matter: Week 7

From the book Every Monday Matters: 52 Way to Make a Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza
-There are approximately 2.1 million active and reserve men and women in the US military.
-The most requested item by military men and women is a letter.
1. Select a soldier you know or one who is related to someone you know.
2. If you don't know a soldier, ask a friend, fellow student, co-worker, or pastor to help you make a connection. Make sure they provide proper mailing instructions.
3. Grab some paper, an envelope, and a pen.
4. Write a letter from your heart that expresses your gratitude, shows your support, and provides enouragement. Share something about yourself and ask questions. Avoid topics of death, politics, and killing.
5. Include your email or mailing address in case the recipient wants to write back.
6. Send the letter.
Our military protects our nation's freedom, and, regardless of your political affiliation and whether or not you believe in war, these brave men and women need to know that we appreciate their sacrifices and service. With a simple card or letter, you can brighten the day of a soldier who is overseas ensuring your freedom. Your letter might be the only thing that makes a soldier smile that day.
I personally do not know anyone serving in the war. I have several family members that are in the military, but not based overseas. I plan to ask a friend whose brother is currently serving in Iraq if he would appreciate a letter. I also know someone whose husband is serving there as well, and will check with her. I do not know either one of these men, but just being able to share a prayer, a Bible verse, or a smile could help them get through their day.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Sign of Spring?

At the end of every summer I bring all my potted plants into our bedroom and set them in our west window, hoping to keep them alive for the next summer. One of my favorites to have on the porch in the summer is a gerbera daisy. Yesterday, I came into our bedroom and was shocked to find this pink flower standing up to greet me. What a spot of color it brings to the white snow behind it outside. It helped me realize that spring is just a short 6 weeks away and soon the sight of daffodils and tulips will be shooting up in front of our house. Until then, I will enjoy this pretty bloom that greeted me on this snowy winter day!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Today I express my love for my husband and my children. Without you in my life, my heart would be empty. Thank you for loving me, even when I screw up. Thank you Pat for being a supportive, loving, and hot husband! :) Thank you, also, for being a loving, caring and involved father to our children. I could not go through this crazy life of parenthood without you! You are my rock! Patrick, Bennett, and Reagan, you constantly remind me what unconditional love is all about. I am so proud of each of you!
Today, take a few minutes and tell those who mean the most to you how much you love them!

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Knitting Update

One week ago I had my first knitting lesson. My neighbor Jan has been so patient with me, even going back to her a couple times after messing up. So, after 1 week, I have 9 inches of a scarf. I am just doing the knitting and no purling as I was having trouble keeping them separate. I am really enjoying it and seem to be getting into a rhythm when I am knitting. The problem is now deciding do I knit or read in my spare time??????

Thursday, February 12, 2009

What Is A Friend?

I have been so lucky to have such a wonderful group of friends in my life. Each of them offer something that I need and I am so thankful for each one of them. I couldn't make it through each day without them in my life! I found this poem and wanted it to share it with my friends for Valentine's Day so they know how much they are appreciated! Luv ya!

What is a Friend? By C Raymond Beran
What is a friend? I will tell you.
It is a person with whom you dare to be yourself.
Your soul can be naked with her.
She seems to ask of you to put on nothing, only to be what you are.
She does not want you to be better or worse.
When you are with her, you feel as a prisoner feels who has been declared innocent.
You do not have to be on your guard.
You can say what you think, so long as it is genuinely you.
She understands those contradictions in your nature that lead others to misjudge you.
With her you breathe freely.
You can avow your little vanities and envies and hates and vicious sparks, your meannesses and absurdities and, in opening them up to her, they are lost, dissolved on the white ocean of her loyalty.
She understands.
You do not have to be careful.
You can abuse her, neglect her, tolerate her.
Best of all, you can keep still with her.
It makes no matter.
She likes you - she is like fire that purges to the bone.
She understands.
She understands.
You can weep with her, sing with her, laugh with her, pray with her.
Through it all - and underneath - she sees, knows, and loves you.
A friend? What is a friend? Just one, I repeat, with whom you dare to be yourself.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Review: The Shack by William P Young

Mackenzie Allen Phillips's youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later, in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment, he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack's world forever. In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant, THE SHACK wrestles with the timeless question: Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain? The answers Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform you as much as they did him. You'll want everyone you know to read this book!

This book has been very controversial, so right off I want to say that I LOVED IT! This has been added to my list of all time favorite reads! It is an amazing book. I do want everyone I know to read this book. Since I read the library's copy, I want to go out and purchase my own copy. Then I want to reread it and highlight all the passages that meant so much to me.

For me, as a mom, this book was a tough read because of what happens to the daughter. But, it was about so much more than the child's abduction. The themes that continued to resonate in my head were Faith, Trust, and Forgiveness. Who doesn't struggle with any of these? The storyline may have been unconventional and at times maybe hard to follow, but it definately made me stop and think about my own relationship with God. What kind of a relationship is it? How do I trust in God's plan for me? How and why do I have to forgive? Many of these and more were answered throughout this book and it continues to make me think. I don't want to give any bit of the story away, so I am just going to end by saying, You Must Read This Book and then talk about it with someone who has read it. Be open to new ideas and thoughts as you are reading this book. Find a quiet place to read, especially the first few and last few chapters, as they are very powerful. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


As a stay at home mom, I am frequently asked to help out with various activites in our community, at church, to help a friend/family member, etc. A couple weeks ago I was asked to give my time to an organization that I truly enjoy. It was so difficult for me because I really wanted to do it, but just didn't know how I could fit one more thing into my schedule. I prayed about it and found in my Bible Study that I was doing that week, that even though God commands you to give of your time, your talents, and your service, He also wants you to do them well. I realized then, if I added one more thing to my list, I wouldn't be able to do any of them well. So, I said "NO" (which was really hard for me) and said to try me again in the fall when my schedule will free up a bit. Then a few days later I received something in my email inbox that I wanted to share with you. I got this from the gal that runs I just love her products and I feature her blog in my list below.

B.U.S.Y. stands for Before U Say Yes...Busy Mom's make good choices, so Before U Say Yes, ask yourself:
Am I saying yes bcause I would feel guilty if I said no?
Is my gut reaction, "How can I get out of this?
Am I saying yes because I'm the mom who always says yes?
Am I saying yes only because my friends said yes?
Will saying yes bring stress to my family life?
When it's done, will I just be glad that it's over?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, reconsider saying yes to this request on your time. Remember: It's OK to say "NO". Saying "NO" is saying "YES" to U.

Wow, that was such an eye opener for me. Some of the activities I am involved in add stress to my life and make me say, I am glad that is over. So, why do I do it???? I am someone who follows through once I have committed to something, so I will be sticking everything out and completing all projects, but will not be recommitting to them once my time is done. When I was deciding whether to add this committment to my schedule, I made of list of all my committments and I had 15 of them! YIKES! No wonder some weeks, I just want to scream. I am a bit overbooked and I am aware that my family suffers, at times, because of that. So, I put the B.U.S.Y. sheet on my fridge right next to my calendar, so next time I get a phone call requesting my time, I can ask myself these questions and give an answer I can live with.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Mondays Matter: Week 6

Taken from the book, Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways to Make A Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza
How many trees fit in your mailbox?
Junk mail deliveries surpass the number of US Postal Service 1st Class Mail when 44% of all junk mail is discarded without being opened and people will still spend 8 months of their lives opening junk mail.
Paper will take up 48% of our landfills by 2010.
1. Write "Please do not rent or sell my name" next to your name whenever you enter a contest, make a purchase or donation, join a club, order a product by mail, subscribe to a magazine, or return a warranty card.
2. Call the customer service number of the company or organizaation that is sending you unwanted mail and ask to be removed from their list.
3. Remove your name from several national mailing lists through the Direct Marketing Associations Mail Preference Service. You can register online or by mail.
4. Contact major consumer credit bureaus to have your name removed from mailing lists used for credit offers.
I have removed my name from lists and I think it has greatly reduced our junk mail load, but definately not eliminated it. Everything that is paper goes into our recycling bin anyway, so at least I know it isn't clogging our landfill. There is an estimated 500 pieces of junk mail per person per year. So, since my father was a postmaster and my mom a rural mail carrier and a good friend is now a mail carrier, do it to save your mail carrier's back so he/she won't have to deliver mail to you that you don't read anyway!

Friday, February 6, 2009

A Quote and A Lesson!

I have been reading The Shack by William P Young. I will definately be posting about this book next week. I only have 2 chapters left and my book club will be discussing it on Monday night. I am loving it and can't wait to finish it! So, stay tuned for that. This quote was at the beginning of Chapter 15 and I just loved it and wanted to share it with you.

You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you. Frederick Buechner, Telling the Truth

Also, I am very excited because today I am having my first knitting lesson. I have been wanting to learn to knit every since I read Debbie Macomber's The Shop on Blossom Street. Yesterday I purchased my #10 needles, my fancy brown yarn, and today I will travel to my neighbor, Jan's who is going to patiently teach me how to knit a scarf. I am bursting with excitement! I will keep you posted on my progress!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My Friend Tammy

There is nothing better than a best friend. Today I am so grateful for my best gal pal, Tammy. She made me laugh and cry (good cry) today and I love her for it! I don't know where I would be without her. So, thanks, Tammy, for being you and for loving me!

"Friends are the most important ingredient in this recipe of life"

Monday, February 2, 2009

Mondays Matter: Week 5

from the book Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways to Make A Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza
Here are some staggering statistics...
-79% likelihood exists that an overweight child will become an overweight adult.
-snack consumption by children has increased 300% from 20 years ago.
-75% of adults don't eat the recommended daily 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables
1. If you suffer from or have a family history of obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease or strokes, consult your doctor for dietary counseling.
2. Every individual is unique in his/her own dietary needs, but here are some ideas...
-eat fewer foods with refined grains and sugars, reduce your intake of fatty foods, eat smaller portions
-eat more dark green veggies, legumes, fruits, whole grains, low-fat milk, and lean meats
-eat slowly so you will feel full before you haveover eaten
-don't use food as a reward for yourself or kids
-develop a routine and eat at similar times each day
-drink plenty of water
-limit snacking
3. Eat to live; don't live to eat.
If you don't want to do it for yourself, do it for those who love you! Just day at a time.
So, I know most of you know this information, but it is good to keep hearing it. So, next time you want to eat that cupcake, or have a can stop and ask yourself, do I really need this right now? I think I do pretty good at eating the fruit and veggies, but I need to drink more water. This week I am really going to try to always have a glass of water around and chose water instead of my usual diet mountain dew. I think I will feel less sluggish at times during the day and of course it is better for me! When I need a snack, I often turn to whole grain crackers or almonds...heathier and more filling than chocolate! These little changes can make a difference!