Sunday, December 28, 2008

Haircuts





Well, I needed a trim, badly. The problem, of course, was that my usual guy, Jay, was off Friday, and Friday was the ONLY day I had for like the next 3 weeks, that I didn't have to work, and wouldn't have my kids with me, so I went for it, and used someone new. I just wanted a trim, really, nothing drastic. Last June, I cut bangs. I had had long straight hair, all the same length, for practically 10 years, and I wanted a change, so I had Jay cut some long layers, and longish, side-swept bangs. I really liked it. The only real problem, though, was that I wore it in a ponytail almost everyday.
Then, In August, I decided to cut off some length. I got it cut just above my shoulders, and kept my bangs, because I liked them. (basically, the layers were just cut out, and now I had shorter, shoulder length, straight hair). I liked this pretty well, and had really decided to keep it this way. I had had it trimmed since, with the same results. Since my last trim, though, my bangs have gotten pretty long, and theI decided this time, to leave them longer. I told the new girl, I wanted a trim and shape up. I told her I wanted to pull the length up just above my shoulders, and a very slight angle toward the front, with the back slightly shorter.

What I got? A Chin length bob, longer in the front, and stacked in the back. I have to say, that the look is growing on me, but I'm still not sure about it. . .it is REALLY short! When I picked up the boys from school that day, Skywalker noticed first, then Stonewall. Skywalker said I looked pretty, but when I asked Stonewall if he liked it, he said "well, kind of I don't" and then asked if I could make it longer again. Then, when Rev saw it, all he could say at first was, "it really short, isn't it?" I don't blame him, I was pretty shocked, too. I will say, though, that it is growing on me. . .I am beginning to like it, at least the front part that I can see. . .I think the length is good now. . .(still not too sure about the back, though) maybe this new girl really did know what she was doing? (And yes, I had to take the pics myself!)

Menu Plan Monday

Here's my humble attempt to get back into the swing of things. . .I missed last week's MPM, and let me tell you, my grocery bill, my menu, and my sanity all paid for it (not to mention, my waistline. . .) I have decided to take one final week off of my "healthy eating plan", and I will start next Monday (Not on January 1, because it's just easier to start on a Monday, plus, I really want some good New Years Food, and who really wants to start a diet on the weekend, anyway!

This last week, I had no plan except for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and we ended up eating out more times than I can admit. . .so, this week, I'm back with a vengeance! Here it is, and as always, stop by Orgjunkie.com for more great menu plans!
Monday ~ Crockpot Roast Beef Vegetable Soup , French bread
Tuesday ~ Crockpot Swiss Chicken, Green Salad
Wednesday ~ Beef Stroganoff, steamed snow peas, green salad
Thursday ~ My favorite Pork Tenderloin, boiled cabbage, black eyed peas (pretty traditional New Years Meal)
Friday ~ Taco Soup
Saturday ~ Crockpot Hoppin' John with brown rice, Smoked Turkey Sausage, green salad
Sunday ~ Still Unsure, maybe leftovers or out to eat, we'll see how the week goes.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas

Luke 2 (New American Standard Bible)

Jesus' Birth in Bethlehem 1Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth.
2This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.
3And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city.
4Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David,
5in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.
6While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.
7And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
8In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.
9And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.
10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;
11for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
12"This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
13And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14"Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased."
15When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, "Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us."
16So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger.
17When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child.
18And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds.
19But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.
20The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.
Jesus Presented at the Temple 21And when eight days had passed, before His circumcision, His name was then called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.
22And when the days for their purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord
23(as it is written in the Law of the Lord, "EVERY firstborn MALE THAT OPENS THE WOMB SHALL BE CALLED HOLY TO THE LORD"),
24and to offer a sacrifice according to what was said in the Law of the Lord, "A PAIR OF TURTLEDOVES OR TWO YOUNG PIGEONS."
25And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man wasrighteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
26And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
27And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law,
28then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said, 29"Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace, According to Your word; 30For my eyes have seen Your salvation, 31Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32A LIGHT OF REVELATION TO THE GENTILES, And the glory of Your people Israel."
33And His father and mother were amazed at the things which were being said about Him.



Thank you, God, for the greatest gift You could have ever given to us, Your people here on the earth. . .the gift of Your Son, Jesus Christ, AMEN.

Tuesday night, we went caroling with the church. I was supposed to be working, so I hadn't planned on going, but I was given an unexpected afternoon off, so I talked Rev into going us, as a family. We carolled at 10 hourses, to some of our seniors and shut-ins, and delivered fruit baskets to them. Skywalker got really fussy (he had missed his nap) so Rev took him home after the third house, and Stonewall and I finished up with the rest, then we went over to a Church member's house for Taco soup. It was a great time of fellowship with my fellow choir members, and a great ministry opportunity. So many of out seniors and shut-ins have had bad years, I really hope that we were used by the Lord to bring some Christmas Joy to their lives!

Yesterday, we had a wonderful family day! We made a gingerbread house, which didn't last 20 minutes before the boys were eating it.

Isn't it cute? I have to admit that I bought one of the kits, with the pre-baked gingerbread that only has to be put together. . . and I am totally glad that I did! I would have been pretty upset if I had really put alot of time and energy into the house and then it was destroyed. . .





Here is a very proud Skywalker and Stonewall with their finished house. . .








And here is Skywalker, caught red-handed tearing apart the gingerbread house. . .Cute, isn't he?





Of course, this morning, started with two very happy, excited boys giggling in our room and begging to go open their presents. . . I have to give them credit, though, they lasted until 7:15 this morning, which is better then I used to do when I was a kid. Here are a couple of pictures of our tree before we let the kids in the room.


















Here is a picture of the boys each enjoying their Santa gifts. . . Stonewall got Spike, the Ultra Dinosaur, and Skywalker got a Smart Cycle.





















I felt really bad, coming up to this day, because all Skywalker wanted were the EXACT same things that Stonewall asked for. . .namely, Spike the Ultra Dinosaur. We couldn't get two of them, and weren't really sure that Skywalker would like it, anyway, so "Santa" went out on a limb and bought Skywalker something that wasn't on his list. . .Thankfully, Skywalker seems to LOVE his present. . .Spike the Dinosaur, though, is another story. . .Skywalker was terrified of him (at least at first). . .I think this last picture speaks for itself:




Sunday, December 14, 2008

Menu Plan Monday


Merry Christmas, everybody! We have been so busy, buying last minute christmas gifts, hosting a Christmas Party, working with the Children's Choir on their program, not to mention working and taking care of my family, that I haven't been on here at all this past week. So sorry for the neglect. . .I will try to do better!
We had our Sunday School Christmas Party at our house Saturday night, and had a great time. There were about 20 people there, and after eating appetizers and desserts galore, we played scattergories in one room, and Rock Band in the other. I have a new addiction: Rock Band. . .I have to say, I am an amazing drummer, and singer. . .though I still can't really figure out the guitar. Oh, and then we played a mean game of Dirty Santa before breaking up the party so we could all pick up the kids from the babysitters at church. It was a great time, and makes me wonder why we don't entertain more often. . . And, I have a great recipe to share with you for Wassail, I make it every year, and absolutely LOVE it!
My parents and my talented little brother (he's 25, not so little. . .) are coming to visit us this next weekend for a couple of days, and I'm so excited! Stonewall is thrilled because he has a small solo in the Christmas Program, and Mimi and Poppy will get to be here for it!
Anyway, on to our week in food: (and, of course, go on over to Orgjunkie.com for more great menu plan ideas!

Monday ~ Crockpot Garlic Swiss Steak, steamed green beans (Yes, this was supposed to be eaten Sunday last week, but I just couldn't get it together and in the crockpot before church.)
Tuesday ~ Crockpot Honey Balsalmic Chicken breasts, green salad, brown rice
Wednesday ~ Zuppa Toscana , green salad
Thursday ~ Leftovers
Friday ~ Turkey Sausage Pasta Bake, green salad
Saturday ~ Out to eat
Sunday ~ Crockpot Roast, Mashed potatoes with gravy, steamed green beans

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Okay. I'm BACK! I can't believe that I haven't blogged in three weeks. I've just been so busy. . . Two weeks ago, I didn't post a MPM because we were leaving town for an entire week, and I didn't want to post a MPM that was blank, or gloated about going out of town and not cooking for an entire week, so I didn't post at all. Then, last week, we only got back in town Monday at lunch time, and I was too tired to plan out my meals this week. Guess what happened: with no menu plan, I only cooked three meals. I can't believe that I was so lazy this week with cooking. . .I mean, I love cooking, and eating home-cooked meals much more than eating out, but It was so much easier to pick something up. So, with new resolve, and evidence that it really works, I now present my Menu Plan for the week of December 8-14.

I am also restarting my diet with new resolve. I had started following the Low GI diet last July, and quickly lost 12 pounds, and was able to maintain that loss for several months, but fell off the wagon a month or so ago. I have since gained back 4 pounds, and I am restarting the diet TODAY! I would like to lose 8 pounds from my weight right now, BEFORE I go to a Sorority Reunion the end of January! So, I MUST get serious!

For breakfasts, I will either have : Yogurt Smoothies (Made with FF/Sugar Free fruit flavored yogurt, frozen berries, skim milk, and flax seeds), Breakfast burritos (Made with Whole Wheat Tortillas, Egg beaters, reduced fat cheese, canadian bacon), or All-Bran Cereal with berries and skim milk.

For lunches, I will either have : leftovers from supper, Large salad with balsalmic vinigarette and grilled chicken, Open faced turkey sandwich (Made with Whole Grain, low carb bread, FF mayo, spinach, tomato, and reduced fat cheese), Black bean soup, or Tuna Wraps (Made with Whole Wheat Tortillas, tuna, FF mayo, spinach, tomato, balsalmic vinigarette dressing).

For Snacks: Fresh fruit, yogurt (FF/Sugar free), Balance bars (I love the Peanut Butter ones), Triscuits thin crisps, celery stalks with laughing cow light swiss.

For Suppers:

Monday ~ Crockpot Stuffed Bell Peppers, green salad

Tuesday ~ Grainy Mustard and Chive Crusted Pork Tenderloin, Sweet Potato Latkes, green salad

Wednesday ~ Lentil Haystacks

Thursday ~ Crockpot Mapel-Dijon Chicken, steamed green beans, green salad

Friday ~ Leftovers

Saturday ~ Sunday School Christmas Party at our house! (Oh, the cleaning I must do this week to get ready!) We're buying a Honey Baked Ham, and the others are bringing the other dishes. I will be making a few appetizers as well, because we really like them! I'll make: Red Pepper Jelly Dip, Stuffed Brie, and Bacon-wrapped Artichokes.

Sunday ~ Crockpot Garlic Swiss Steak, brown rice, steamed green beans

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Man, I can't believe that another week's gone by. . .and I only blogged once. (I am totally embarassed about that, too - trust me, I am!) I have been so incredibly busy this week. I worked Monday, Thursday, and Friday, and we were incredibly busy ~ people seem to get sick when the weather turns cold! I did have the chance to become close with 2 patients and their families this week, which is always nice. . .usually, when we're this busy, there isn't time to visit and spend quality TLC time with patients. Anyway, One more week until we leave town for the Thanksgiving holiday.
I have to confess something, and if you have any advice for me, PLEASE leave a comment! Stonewall is a PICKY EATER. and I mean PICKY! As in, he ONLY likes hotdogs, cheese pizza, PB&Js, fish sticks, McDonalds's chicken nuggets, cheese, and most fruit. We offer all types of food, and we can't get him to willingly try anything. It usually turns into a battle of wills. . .he usually wins. Rev. has decided that now is the time, and he has even threatened to throw away all the hotdogs. I just don't want our mealtimes to be yelling and crying matches. . .but, I hate feeling like a short-order cook. I want to sit down for a family meal where we all eat the same meal. . . but I HATE forcing Stonewall to eat stuff. . .I think it only makes him want to eat it less. Anyway, now that I have that off my chest, on to our week's menu.

Monday ~ Crockpot Chicken Soft Tacos (I use whole wheat tortillas, this meat, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, shredded cheese), Mexican Rice (brown rice with salsa and black beans mixed in)

Tuesday ~ Black Bean Soup (I've decided to make it in the crockpot this time, as suggested by one of my wonderful commenters)

Wednesday ~ Lentil Haystacks (We missed them last week)

Thursday ~ Beef Stew, Corn Casserole, green salad

Friday ~ Leftovers

Saturday ~ Stuffed low carb burgers, sweet potato fries

Sunday ~ Out to eat after church, we're leaving home tomorrow, and I don't want to have any leftovers.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

SOAP ~ Philippians 1:12-14

S: Philippians 1:12-14
12Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. 13As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.

O:First, we have to look back. Paul here, is saying in light of what happened. . .so, what happened? We must remember first, that Paul is writing this letter while a prisoner in Rome. (When he wrote the letter to the Church in Rome (Romans), he spoke of how much he wanted to go the Rome to minister and preach there, but the Lord hadn't opened a door for that ministry, instead sending Paul elsewhere. (Romans 1:9-13).
What dire circumstances he faced (though, he faced worse, being beaten at times, stoned once, imprisoned several times, run out of many different towns, and ultimately crucified upside down on a cross. . .all for Christ! Surely a lesser man would have been defeated after facing even a few of these things, but not Paul. These trials and persecutions almost seemed to make him stronger in his resolve to serve God and preach Christ to all.
We see in verses 12-14 how Paul used his imprisonment to be a witness to the very guards who were imprisoning him. . .and that because of his consistent Christ-like attitude and continualy sharing of the Good News of Christ, many of these Roman Guards came to have a relationship with Christ as well. How awesome is that!
It seems as if Paul's imprisonment is serving to advance the gospel on 2 fronts. Outside of the church, as in the guardsmen who are hearing Paul preach about Christ and coming to know God because of it, and in the Church itself. Paul states that his "brothers" are more courageous and fearless because of Paul's imprisonment. These Christians saw God protect Paul, even in prison. They saw Paul's ministry blessed, even in these horrible circumstances, and they were imboldened in their own ministries.

A: If the Christians in Rome were encouraged through Paul's sufferings and imprisonment, shouldn't I be, too? I don't face imprisonment for sharing the gospel. Public ridicule? Maybe, but not likely. . .being "left out" of activities and conversations. . .possibly, but are they really activites or conversations that I want or need to be a part of, No. Paul found joy in the worst of circumstances, because he was serving the Lord, and sharing in the suffering of Christ. How can I find joy in my circumstances? I have great opportunities everyday at the hospital to minister to people in need. Some are not believers and need the hope, comfort, and healing that ONLY God and give. . .I am joyful that God can use me to share with them His LOVE and POWER. Some are believers, but are physically hurting. . .I am joyful that God can use me to pray with them, and that God can use me to perform his healing and comfort to these families. I can share my life with my church family, with my co-workers, and with other moms around me, so that they may be encourage by God's faithfulness in my life.

P: Heavenly Father, You alone are Worthy. You are faithful to me, even in my most dire circumstances, when I am overwhelmed with life. You give me strength to endure. I ask that you will bring people into my life, at church and at work, that need to know You. I love to share your Love and Salvation with others, give me the courage to do this, like Paul had. In the name of Your precious Son, Jesus, Amen.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Menu Plan Monday


Another week gone by. . .another week closer to Thanksgiving! We are going to Arkansas for Thanksgiving to spend time with Rev's family. Rev's father "Big Daddy" works in Saudi Arabia, but will be in the states for Thanksgiving, so we are going to spend some time with him. Rev's Mom "Bubbles" will be playing hostess not only to us, but also to both of Rev's brothers, Uncle Patrick and Uncle Beck. (Stonewall and Skywalker are the only grandchildren on this side of the family, so they will be spoiled rotten!) Aside from the rather long, boring drive there, we should have alot of fun and some really, truely COLD weather for a change!
Our whole family has been SICK this week. I've had a sinus infection for going on 2 weeks now, and am still not really better, but my bronchitis is improving at least. Skywalker had croup last Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, and when we went in to see his pediatrician Monday, he also had a sinus infection and an ear infection. The problem is, the Medicine she gave us is so disgusting, I can't get him to take it half the time. . .he jsut spits it back out (I even tried hiding it in juice and milk, and the boy KNOWS it's there). So, he is slowly recovering. Then, Stonewall started running fever Thursday night, and again last night, and has a bad cough, so I am guessing he has a sinus infection too! UHHGGG! (Rev. has been complaining of a sore throat, too, not to leave him out.) I am hoping that we are all on the mend, but it's been a rough week.
Foodwise, we did well, except that we skipped the Quesadillas in favor of leftover spaghetti and meatballs, so you will see quesadillas again this week. The crockpot Asian Short Ribs with Cabbage and Carrots was AMAZING!!!!!!!!! I used "country-style" beef ribs because I couldn't find any "short ribs" at Walmart, and I substituted Splenda-brown surgar blend in place of the plain brown sugar. The entire meal was delicious, the cabbage and carrots had great flavor, and this cooked all day without burning, which is a plus! It did have kindof a funny smell while cooking (I guess the cabbage), but it tasted great, and we will definately be having this again soon!
On to this week. The days denoted with * are the days that I will be at work, so I have scheduled either crockpot meals, or something that Rev. can throw together himself. And, Wednesday is both Soccer Practice and Church night (I teach the preschool class, and then have choir practice after), so it is quick and easy this week! I have included links to the recipes if you are interested. Have a great week!
*Monday ~ Crockpot Turkey and Black Bean Chili, spinach salad
Tuesday ~ Sweet & Spicy glazed Salmon, whole wheat cous cous, steamed asparagus
Wednesday ~ Quesadillas made with whole wheat tortillas, and leftover chicken and black beans from last week
*Thursday ~ Lentil Haystacks
*Friday ~ Crockpot Pepper Steak, brown rice, steamed snow peas
Saturday ~ Either leftovers or going out to eat. . .we'll see what Rev wants.
Sunday ~ Crockpot Pork Chops, brown rice, spinach salad

Friday, November 7, 2008

Yankee or Dixie?

I found this fun little quiz, and thought I'd share it with you. Supposedly, it analyzes you accent/dialect to tell you if you are yankee or dixie. . .As if I don't already know I'm totally Dixie! Anyway, here's my results:

96% (Dixie). Is General Lee your father

Well, no, General Lee is not my father, and I'm sure that my Yankee Mom would be unhappy to see this. . .but, I am a southern girl through and through! And even though she may not admit it, being from New Jersey and all, my sweet Mom is a Southern Girl now, too!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Stonewall's Birthday!!!!!!!!

Today is Stonewall's 5th birthday. I can hardly believe that my first child, the tiny baby boy is growing up into such a sweet young man. He was born at 6:54pm on Wednesday, November 5, 2003. I was scheduled for an induction on Thursday, November 6, but due to my increasing blood pressure, my OB/GYN decided to induce a day earlier. I was definately ready, I had already been on bedrest for 7 weeks, and was TIRED of it! When we arrived at the hospital, I was already dialated to 4cm, so my doctor broke my water right away, and I was able to have an epidural before any labor pains started! my entire labor lasted about 9 hours, but I was totally comfortable until he was crowning. My sweet baby boy, Stonewall was born weighing 7 pounds, 13 ounces, and 21 inches long. He did have a bit of a cone head at first, and a bright red stork bite on his forhead. Here are some pics of him throughout his life:

I don't have any of his infant pictures on this computer, I will try to scan some in and show them later, as Stonewall was one of the 2 most beautiful baby boys ever born (Skywalker is the other!).

Stonewall at about 10 months old. . .He has the brightest smile!
Stonewall a few days before Christmas, after his 2nd birthday, riding his new tricycle.

Stonewall at his 3rd birthday party, Cowboys!


Stonewall the morning of his 4th birthday party, with yogurt all over his face! (You should see Skywalker!)


Look at my Strong Batman! This picture was taken a few weeks before his 5th birthday.

A curse and a prayer. . .

Curse you, Daylight Savings, Curse you! My sweet, adorable, good little children have a schedule, that usually runs like clockwork. Up at 7:30am, breakfast, play or school, lunch at 11:30, play, nap (for Skywalker), snack, playtime, Supper at 5:00, Bath at 7:30, bed at 8pm. But for the last 4 days, have they abided by this perfect little schedule? NO. Why, you may ask? It is BRIGHT as day in our house at 6:00am now, and my sweet precious boys' bodies have yet to adjust to the new time schedule. So, they are up at 6:15-6:30 EVERYDAY so far. . .yet, for some strange reason, they can still make it to 8:00 at night. . .so, as I said before, Curse you, Daylight Savings!!!!!!!!!!!!!


And, now, on a much more serious note, our Country has a new President-elect, Sen. Barack Obama. If you have read my blog before, you know that I was not supporting Sen. Obama during the campaign. . .but I digress. Sen. Obama has his work cut out for him, to say the least. I truly believe, that we need to commit ourselves to pray daily, to pray without ceasing for our country and for Sen. Obama, and his leadership. That the Lord will ultimately guide his decisions, and the future of our country. I don't believe that we can necessarily change Sen. Obama's views or policy ideas, but at least we can pray for protection from some of them.

Our Heavenly Father, Lord of my life, Savior of my soul. You truly are the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. You have sovereignty over the whole earth, and everything in it, all of creation is Yours! We are a nation of sinful people, we, as a nation, have turned our backs on you, and turned to sinfulness, we are guilty of pride, we are guilty of self-importance, we are guilty of sexual immorality, we are guilty of tolerance, of lowering our godly standards and morals to earthly ones. . .we are guilty of idolatry, we are guilty of greed, gluttony, and carelessness of others. God, I confess these sins to you, I ask forgiveness for myself personally, and I ask forgiveness for the nation. I pray for a Revival in the land, of Christians being reinvigorated in our service of you, that we may be a light in this nation for YOU, and that you would choose to use us to lead others to you. . .So that they may receive your precious gift of salvation. God, we believe that it is by Your GRACE, through faith in Jesus Christ and his sacrifice on the Cross that we can have fellowship with you, that we can follow you as our leader. I claim the truth that YOU are my leader, not some man on earth. Lord, God, I thank you for my country, for all that it stands for. . .Justice, Liberty, Freedom for ALL. I am thankful that I live in a country where we are free to Worship you, free to share You with others, so that they may know their Creator. I am thankful for the opportunity to vote, that so many of us took advantage of yesterday. Though, God, you know my heart, and know that I am sad at the outcome, I know that You can use Sen. Obama just as You could have used Sen. McCain, if he will submit to your Will for both his life and for our country, so I pray that you will soften his heart to Your Will for our country and for the world. . .bring strong, Godly advisers into his life that will lead him towards Your Will, not away from it. Preserve our capitalistic, free market system, and protect us from socialism. God, I pray for our soldiers, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan right now: protect these men and women who will soon be under the command of Sen. Obama. Let his decisions protect these soldiers, enabling them to do their job in winning this war on terrorism, that our world may be a safer place, free from Radical Islamic Terrorism. I truly believe that the war we are fighting is a holy war, and that YOU will overcome these Islamofacists in Your timing, if we are patient. I also pray that you will place a hedge of protection around Senator Obama himself, and his family in the weeks leading up to his Inauguration and the years following, that nothing bad happens to him or his family.
In the name of Jesus Christ I Pray,
Amen.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

VOTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Yes, we have finally arrived at Election Day: November 4, 2008! This election cycle has lasted SO long! And, it is almost over. I have to say, that I am scared for the results, and excited. If my candidate wins, it will be a big upset, at least according to the Main Stream Media that has been bombarding the news with polls that the other candidate is leading by double didgets in some circumstances.

This post is simply a friendly reminder, no matter your political affiliation, to GO VOTE TODAY!

I am voting for McCain/Palin, and here are a few reasons why (not by any means a comprehensive list!)

1) Pro-Life

2) Stronger on War/Military issues. . .definately NOT a "cut-and-run" approach which, in the long run, will leave us in a much bigger mess than before

3) Sen. McCain does not have a long history of voting "present"; he takes a stand on issues

4)Taxes: Sen. McCain will give EVERYONE a tax cut, NOT just select groups of people. When EVERYONE gets a tax break, EVERYONE wins because that is how jobs are created, benefits are increased, and raises are given. You can BET that I, personally, will not be getting a raise at all over the next several years if Obama's tax plan is implemented, because my company will have much less money around to dole out.

5) HealthCare: As a RN, I DO NOT want the government to be in control of health care in any way, shape, or form. . .I mean, Medicare and Medicaid are already horrible programs, what makes people think that they can do better with more people to take care of? Also, my hospital will end up with LESS money in the long run for the same amount of patients/procedures, which again cuts into my raises, and probably will start affecting ancillary staff (Nurse Aides, Unit Secretaries, EKG techs, even respiratory, physical therapy, etc) which will eventually increase my workload for the same amount of money. . .BAD BAD BAD!!!!!! Not to mention, that once the government gets control of healthcare, it will be the government making YOUR health care decisions, NOT YOUR DOCTORS! The government will decide if that surgery is really necessary, or if you really need those antibiotics that the doctor ordered. And yes, I realize that Obama's plan will not IMMEDIATELY give us government run universal health care at first, but that is is end game here, make no mistake about it!
6) Sen. McCain has a long record of reaching across the aisle to get things done. . .Sen. Obama simply does NOT. 97% of the time, he has toed the party line.
7) I just LOVE Gov. Sarah Palin. I agree that after her blowout at the convention, she did have a rough patch including the interviews with Katie Couric and Charlie Gibson, but since then, she has totally blossomed. I like the fact that she is NOT mainstream Washington. I like the fact that she has EXECUTIVE experience. I like the fact that she is a MOM just like me (Though, I'm a soccer mom, not a hockey mom). I like the fact that her children are with her on the campaign trail (I mean, whatever happened to Sen. Obama's children after the convention? You see the Senator and Michelle Obama everywhere, but the kids are MIA). I like the fact that she got "punked" by that Canadian DJ and took it so well. I like her history in Alaska, and what she's done there, and I am excited to see her in the VP role.
8) I like Cindy McCain. Did you know that despite her being "filthy stinkin' rich" (which is all some people see) she got her Masters in Special Education and was a teacher? Did you know that she founded the American Voluntary Medical Team (AVMT) in 1988, leading several medical missions to developing and war-torn nations during the Team’s seven-year existence?
Did you know she serves on the board for Operation Smile? Did you know that she handpicked a child while in Bangledesh, and brough the child back, telling Sen. McCain that they were going to adopt her? (I just totally love that!)
So, for all these reasons, and many others, I cast my ballot for Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin today!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Menu Plan Monday


Another week gone by, and it's once again time for Menu Plan Monday. If you're not familiar with MPM, it is hosted by Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie, you should check it out!
Lask week was good. I do have to admit, Saturday, instead of just making grilled chicken, I tried a new recipe because I had the ingrediants on hand: Parmesean Crusted Chicken, and it was phenomenal! Rev was skeptical at first, but he did like it. Stonewall kinda liked it, but Skywalker wouldn't even try it. . .Oh well, you can't please everyone!
I was a little disappointed with the Crockpot chicken and rice recipe. . .it was a little lacking in flavor, I guess I'm so used to making it with canned cream of mushroom soup? And, it got a little overdone. (I set the crockpot on high for 4 hours, and then it automatically turns to warm. But, Rev didn't know that, and had to leave the house, so he tried to be very helpful and turned the crockpot to low (which reset the timer for an additional 8 hour!) Oops!) The good news, is, when he realized his mistake, we picked up a pizza from Papa Johns with a Whole Wheat crust, just for me!
Anyway, this week is going to be busy, since we have Revival Services at church Sunday through Wednesday.
Monday ~ Crockpot Spicy Black Beans with Turkey Smoked Sausage, Brown Rice, and salad
Tuesday ~ Cornmeal crusted Tilapia with Zucchini and Tomatoes, and green salad
Wednesday ~ Quesadillas made with whole wheat tortillas, leftover spicy black beans and leftover chicken (from last week), southwestern rice (brown rice mixed with black beans and salsa
Friday ~ Leftovers or Pizza night
Saturday ~ Blackbean burgers (using the leftover spicy black beans) on whole wheat buns with spinach, tomato, and co-jack cheese, green salad, baked sweet potato fries
Sunday ~ We're trying to have those Taco Bowls again. . .for some reason, I never make then when I plan them. . .We always end up going out to eat.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Buccaneer Bash



Stonewall and Skywalker had a combined birthday party last weekend, and decided to have a pirate party. We had a light supper for the kids, including Golden (Chicken) Nuggets, Pirate Faces (Smily Potatoes with a ketchup eyepatch), and treasure chest fruit salad. After they ate, w

e had a treasure hunt, complete with a treasure map that the kids had to follow. The treasure was a treasure chest shaped pinata. They, we strung up the pinata, and the kids had at it. . .that thing was impossible to break! We finally had to tear it open, come to find out, it was made from a THICK cardboard box!

After the pinata, we went back inside and had cake. I made a chocolate "pirate ship" cake, and a white "treasure island" cake. They were both covered in chocolate marshmallow fondant, and decorated. I was very happy with how they turned out, except for the fact that my pirates were Giants compared to the rest of the cake. (I made them first so they could harden).

And, of course, we opened presents before everyone left with their pirate loot bags filled with telescopes, eyepatches, a small treasure map, gold coins, and the candy from the pinata. (We had several other ideas for games, but I just didn't have time to get it all together, and honestly, the kids probably wouldn't have had the attention span necessary.)

Trick or Treat

Well, lets just get right out and say it. I am a horrible mom! I totally FORGOT the camera on Halloween. I have no "action" shots from last nights, so I just have to give you a play by play. I will share a picture with y'all, it's of the boys in their costumes, but we took it a couple of months ago, when we bought the costumes.

Skywalker is the Incredible Hulk, and Stonewall is Batman.
Last night, we had a "Trunk or Treat" event at church. It was a blast. However, I missed our full-fledges Fall Festival that we had done in the years past. . .I would actually LOVE to combine the events for next year. The cookout, games, prizes, facepainting, and more games from the Fall Festival, with the Trunk or Treat aspect mixed in. . .that would be a great evening, I think. This year, though, it was a trunk or treat. If you are unfamiliar with the concept, essentially, you are trick or treating, but instead of going door to door, you go around an open area, where everyone is, with candy in their decorated trunks. We put a toddler sized homemade scarecrow in our trunk, with some fall colored leaves and a green blanket, then had candy inside a big stray basket. Others had carved pumpkins, and all sorts of other non-scary fall decorations. The cars were parked in a large u-shape in the parking lot. The kids really enjoyed it, and we had a great turnout. The youth group was disappointed when they found out there wouldn't be the usual games, so they put on a few by themselves, including a facepainting booth, a kissing booth (with hershey's kisses), and a ring toss. Then, the youth group had a cookout and bonfire after the kids left. All in all, a great evening. I do have to admit, that there were several batmans last night. Several times when Stonewall ran off with a friend or to get more candy (It was a small, enclosed area filled with people I knew, so I didn't keep him too close to me the whole time) I started looking for him, and approached the WRONG batman! I felt so silly. . .but I always found him like a second later.

I do have to share something else with you. Skywalker's teacher at preschool was teaching them about how to go trick or treating, and they learned this "chant" for lack of a better word, with motions. If you ask Skywalker what you do on halloween, here is what he'll tell you: "Get yowa yitto bag weady. . .I walk down the stweet. . .I knock on the dowa. . .and I shout Twick owa Tweat!" (The poor child can't say his Rs or his Ls very well.)

100 books

The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. (Now, usually, I am not a big fan of the NEA, I find them to be way too liberal for me, but I really like this initiative.) Here is their top 100 books, of this list, they estimate the average adult has read only six. Here’s what you are supposed to do:
*Look at the list and bold those we have read. (No, the movie doesn't count!)
*Italicize those we intend to read.
*Underline the books we LOVE . ( I am not very good at this blogging thing, yet, and I don't know how to underline. . . So I will put a * before these)
Share this list in your blog, too, if you like. (I found this from C*R*A*Z*Y??? I was crazy once! Check out her blog!

*Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
*Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte (Probably my all time favorite, I've read it at least 6 times)
Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
The Bible
- (I try to read everyday!)
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman (I will not read it, nor can I recommend it, as it is atheist)
Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
*Complete Works of Shakespeare (A good portion, anyway!)
*Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
Middlemarch - George Eliot
*Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
Bleak House - Charles Dickens
War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
(I really didn't like this one)
Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
*Emma - Jane Austen
*Persuasion - Jane Austen

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden (I did enjoy the film, but haven't read this one)
Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
Animal Farm - George Orwell
The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
*Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
Lord of the Flies - William Golding
Atonement - Ian McEwan
Life of Pi - Yann Martel

Dune - Frank Herbert
Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
The Secret History - Donna Tartt
The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
On The Road - Jack Kerouac
Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
Moby Dick - Herman Melville
Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
Dracula - Bram Stoker

*The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
Ulysses - James Joyce
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath

Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
Germinal - Emile Zola
Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
Possession - AS Byatt
A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
The Color Purple - Alice Walker
The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
Charlotte's Web - EB White
The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
Watership Down - Richard Adams
A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
Hamlet - William Shakespeare
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
*Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Looks like I have alot of reading to do!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The U.S.S.A.?

Is this what we are facing over the next several years? Changing from the United States of America to the United Socialist States of America? Really, is this what people actually want for our future?

Election day is next Tuesday, November 4. I had to put in my 2 cents beforehand. I am staring in unbelief at the citizens of our country who are voting for Sen. Obama. I mean, do they actually want their taxes to increase so that Sen. Obama (and Pelosi, and Reid, and all the others) can "spread the wealth" around however they see fit? Are they so blind to believe that because they make less than $250,000 per year, that they will be unaffected, or even benefit? Why don't they see that small businesses will no longer have the necessary money available to create new jobs? That more people will be laid off and there will be fewer raises once the tax rates go up.

But wait, maybe they don't care, because with Sen. Obama in the White House, at least they will have Universal Health Care. But, eventually, will our system turn into one similar to UK's or Canada's, where the government decides who is "sick" enough to be seen. . .where you have to wait months on end to have necessary surgery? And a non-necessary surgery, such as a hernia repair or ear tubes for your child? No, you won't be able to have that, it just plain costs too much. . . Of course, Sen. Obama doesn't want you to think like this!

And, even if the possibilities of what Sen. Obama's Health Care for all does bother them a little, they just choose to remember that he has also promised us free college for everyone, too! Sounds great, doesn't it! But, does that mean, that since the government is now paying for my college education, that they now have a say in what I study, on what I major in? What If I want to become a lawyer, but they decide that there are too many lawyer, and decide instead that I should become a journalist. Or If I want to be a plumber, but they decide I need to be a medical researcher, instead. It'll never happen that way, they say. But, what's stopping them? Oh, and don't even THINK about studying religion or theology! There is NO WAY that government tax dollars will ever go to support an education for that. . .Separation of Church and State, they'll cry.

Oh, I could go on all day! But, thanks to the good old Fairness Doctrine, I'm pretty sure that after Sen. Obama becomes President, I won't be allowed to, unless I allocate equal space on my blog to a left-leaning opinion on the subject. . .

Forgive me for my brief vent. . .Now, I will return to my regularly scheduled blogging.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

I can't believe another week's gone by. . . It was a great week for food! I was extremely disappointed, though, with Monday's Crockpot Thai Chicken. I forgot to ask Rev to turn the crockpot off at lunchtime (our crockpot cooks most things fast), so by the time he got home with the boys for supper, it was burnt beyond repair, and he had to throw it out. We were really excited to try it, though, because we LOVED a similar dish from a restaurant down in New Orleans when we lived there. Don't be surprised to see it on our menu again in the coming weeks!
We had a very busy week, with the fair, (or, as Skywalker puts it, the "County Fayah") the boys' big birthday bash, and a visit from Rev's Mom "Bubbles".
Here's this week. The days with * are my work days this week. I leave at 6:15am, and don't make it back home until 8 or 8:15pm, I plan a crockpot meal with sides that Rev can fix himself. Otherwise, the boys end up with McDonalds, and I end up eating cereal.

*Monday ~ Crockpot chicken and rice, green salad, steamed green beans
*Tuesday ~ Crockpot black eyed peas, brown rice, green salad
Wednesday ~ Sausage oven omelet, (with somechanges, asparagus instead of brocolli, eggbeaters, and turkey sausage) fruit salad
*Thursday ~ Crockpot Turkey black bean chili, green salad
Friday ~ Spaghetti with homemade meatballs, homemade marinara, whole wheat spaghetti, and green salad
Saturday ~ Grilled chicken, roasted vegetable medley, whole wheat cous cous
Sunday ~ Meatball subs (made with whole wheat sub rolls, and leftover meatballs from Friday), salad


Hope you have a delicious week!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz

I found a new quiz while purusing blogs today, and it looked like fun, since Rev is a fan of the new show Mad Men, so I took it. You can find the quiz here.

And, my results:



Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz ...
You Are a Doris!
You are a Doris -- "I must help others."
Dorises are warm, concerned, nurturing, and sensitive to other people's needs.

How to Get Along with Me
* Tell me that you appreciate me. Be specific.
* Share fun times with me.
* Take an interest in my problems, though I will probably try to focus on yours.
* Let me know that I am important and special to you.
* Be gentle if you decide to criticize me.

In Intimate Relationships
* Reassure me that I am interesting to you.
* Reassure me often that you love me.
* Tell me I'm attractive and that you're glad to be seen with me.

What I Like About Being a Doris
* being able to relate easily to people and to make friends
* knowing what people need and being able to make their lives better
* being generous, caring, and warm
* being sensitive to and perceptive about others' feelings
* being enthusiastic and fun-loving, and having a good sense of humor

What's Hard About Being a Doris
* not being able to say no
* having low self-esteem
* feeling drained from overdoing for others
* not doing things I really like to do for myself for fear of being selfish
* criticizing myself for not feeling as loving as I think I should
* being upset that others don't tune in to me as much as I tume in to them
* working so hard to be tactful and considerate that I suppress my real feelings

Dorises as Children Often
* are very sensitive to disapproval and criticism
* try hard to please their parents by being helpful and understanding
* are outwardly compliant
* are popular or try to be popular with other children
* act coy, precocious, or dramatic in order to get attention
* are clowns and jokers (the more extroverted Dorises), or quiet and shy (the more introverted Dorises)

Dorises as Parents
* are good listeners, love their children unconditionally, and are warm and encouraging (or suffer guilt if they aren't)
* are often playful with their children
* wonder: "Am I doing it right?" "Am I giving enough?" "Have I caused irreparable damage?"
* can become fiercely protective


Yep, that about sums me up!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Menu Plan Monday



It's that time again, Menu Plan Monday. . .I just love participating in this! If you've never done Menu Plan Monday, check out I'm an Organizing Junkie's blog for lots of other menu plan ideas! Last week, our menu plan went really well. We changed around a couple of days, to make it work better for us, and since we went out to eat after Church Sunday, we postponed the lentil haystacks from Monday and had them Sunday, which means, we'll postpone our taco bowls until this Sunday. We really enjoyed our food last week, though, and had no "bad" meals. The Crockpot Pepper Steak turned out especially good! Here's this week's menu plan, with links to all recipes!

Monday ~ Crockpot Thai Chicken with whole wheat noodles, and steamed snow peas

Tuesday ~ Crockpot White Chicken Chili, green salad

Wednesday ~ Asian Shrimp Lettuce Wraps, brown rice

Thursday ~ Leftovers

Friday ~ We'll be going to the Jackson County Fair, and eat there. They have tons of booths set up selling all sorts of delicious things, like seafood gumbo, chicken & sausage gumbo, fried catfish plates, phili cheese steaks, and all sorts of other stuff! It's going to be great!

Saturday ~ Ahrr, it's Stonewall and Skywalker's buccaneer bash (ie: birthday party) We'll be having Golden (chicken) nuggets, Pirate Ship Planks (fish sticks), Pirate Faces (Smilies Potatos with a ketchup eye patch), Treasure Chest Fruit Salad, and Pirate Punch, with Birthday cake for dessert!

Sunday ~ Taco bowls that we didn't get to last week

Hope you have delicious week!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

SOAP ~ Philippians 1:7-11

S: Philippians 1:7-11
7It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God's grace with me. 8God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
9And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, 11filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

O: v.7: Paul has great Love (Godly, agape love) for his fellow believers in the church at Philippi. He is concerned for their spiritual wellbeing, even though his live seems to be in shambles at that time. . ."in chains". . .one of the many times he was in imprisoned for his faith. v.8: Paul has lived so that only God needs to testify for his Love. The rest of this passage lays out 4 aspects of Spiritual Maturity: Love, Integrity, Fruitfulness, and Glorifying God.
v.9: Love. . .originates with God, it is commanded of us. In Matthew 22:37-40, Jesus spells out the greatest 2 commandments: Love the Lord above all else, Love your neighbor. Love is smart / not blind. Love of God will grow and increase with increased knowledge of God and God's word.
v.10: Integrity. . ."Pure and blameless" Integrity is having unity between your convictions and your behavior. . .in other words, NOT being a hypocrite.
v.11: Fruitfulness. . ."the fruit of Righteousness" comes THROUGH Jesus Christ! We can not be fruitful without Christ (John 15:4-5).
v.11: Gloryifying God. . .in everything, Paul brings Glory to God!

A: These verses give pretty detailed directions for how to grow spiritually. Love is dynamic, it is not stagnant, it is either growing or decreasing. . .How does Love for God and others grow? Through study of God's word, deepening of your relationship with Him. I have heard many spiritually immature Christians say, "can I do such and such without sinning"? The right question should be, "Will doing this cause others to sin?" That is a mark of spiritual maturity, and a sign of true integrity. . .not only concern for your spiritual health, but for the spiritual health of others! (And the reason that I don't drink alcohol).
What about bearing fruit: there are several kinds of "fruit" talked about in scripture. The most commonly referred to is "Spiritual fruit", in other words, a Godly attitude (Galations 5:22-23). Good works is another kind of fruit. . .as is leading others to Christ (Col. 1:5-6). Glorifying God should be the end result of EVERYTHING we do! I Corithians 10:31 "Whether, then, you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." God's Gloryis His excellence, absolute perfection, His Renown/fame/reputation - live in a way that gives God a good reputation, that spreads God's good reputation.
P: Heavenly Father, help me to become a Spiritually Mature believer. Help me to show true concern for the spiritual wellbeing of those around me. Teach me to Love with your agape love, teach me to love you more every day. . .Mold me into a person of integrity. . .let me be concerned not only for myself, and my own spiritual wellbeing, but for others as well. . .And in everything, let me bring Glory to you! I desire to spread your good reputation to everyone. . .and not do anything that will mar your renown! In the name of Jesus Christ, AMEN!

We were creamed. . .4-1

Stonewall's 2nd soccer game was this morning. The kids had so much fun. He's in the U-5 division, and it is the whole team's first year to play. They haven't quite figured it all out yet. . .to say the least! For some reason, it is very hard for a 4 year old to pay attention to the ball, run after it, and kick it to their goal. . .but, makes for some great comedy!
I have definately turned into a soccer mom, though. Sitting on the sidelines, yelling, cheering, and encouraging my boy to run after the ball, kick it, etc! We ended up losing 4-1, but everyone had a really fun time! Here's Stonewall sitting down during Half-time. . .(With another players baby brother in the background) Here's Stonewall kicking the ball into play. . .They don't do throw-ins in this age group. They are stress NEVER to touch the ball with your hands right now.

This is Stonewall right after he had a corner kick, running back onto the field. . .Isn't he just adorable in his uniform?
The team really doesn't have a name, but since they are yellow and black, Rev, the other parents, and I have been trying to come up with a name for them. Rev like "the Swarm", but I like the "Stingers" better, it just sounds tougher to me.



Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tasty Tip Tuesday


GardenGirl over at the Pressure Crock is hosting Tasty Tip Tuesday, so I'm going to participate! The problem is, I can't think of any kitchen tips that I have. . .

Well, maybe a couple. . .Here's 2:

1) If you are out of eggs and/or oil and are baking, you can substitute some mashed banana or some canned pureed pumpkin. . .and, as an added bonus, they are much healthier alternatives than eggs and oil! (Applesauce is also a great oil substitute, but you probably already knew that!)

2) Whenever I boil a chicken for a casserole or chicken salad, I save the stock that is made and not used in that recipe. I freeze it in ice cube trays, and once frozen, put them in a gallon sized ziplock freezer bag. Whenever a recipe calls for broth or stock, I throw some in. . .They are also great to use when making rice or pasta, or any recipe for a little extra flavor!

Be sure to check out the Pressure Crock for other great tips!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

What made me break my Low GI diet today. . .

Tonight, after church, we are having a fellowship, to which we are supposed to bring "finger foods". I couldn't decide what to make, so Rev talked me into making my famous Oreo Truffles. These are delectible, fudgy, chocolaty treats, that are so good you can't even imagine how good they taste. (And the best part? only 3, count them, 3 ingredients!) So, I made them. . .Usually, I will cover half of them with white chocolate, and the other half with milk chocolate. But, Walmart was out of white chocolate on the baking aisle yesterday, so I just made milk chocolate covered ones. (Dark Chocolate would have been even better!)


Anyway, after making these delectible (my word for the day :) ) treats, I just had to sample them. I mean, you can't take something to a fellowship if you haven't sampled them first, can you? What if they tasted bad? or made you sick? I mean, it was for the health and safety of my dear church family that I tasted one. Well, four. . .I know, I'm ashamed. I had 4! YIKES. I'm supposed to have self control, but I seem to have none. Oh, and I also made some yummy Peanut Butter/Ritz Crackers cookies dipped in Chocolate, since there was leftover chocolate. (And I sampled one of those, too. . .Because for somereason, I made 13, and you just can't take 13 of something to a fellowship. . .I had to eat one so there would be 12, a nice, even number. . .)


So, now, I've go to go get on my treadmill, and burn those callories. I promise to be good this week on my diet to make up for it! (except for our Deacon's fellowship on Friday Night. . .) What can I say, we're Baptist. Eating is what we do. . . :)

Menu Plan Monday


We had a great week! Though, the Applesauce Chicken was a flop for Rev. I enjoyed it. . .he just didn't like it at all, though. The Pecan crusted tilapia was AMAZING! I did substitute walnuts for the pecans, as the walnuts were on sale. Rev and I really enjoyed the spicy black beans again. I had plenty of leftovers, and the Chicken/Black Bean Quesadillas were really good! I plan on using the remaining black beans to make black bean burgers this week! I love when a meal stretches like that. Unfortunately, Rev went to Pizza Hut Friday night, instead of trying Papa John's new whole wheat crust, so I had another quesadilla, instead (which I think I liked better than pizza, anyway).
Once again, be sure to check out Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday for more great menu ideas! And, if you have any great crockpot recipes, leave me a comment, I need some more! Oh, one more thing. I have a bag of dried navy (pea) beans in my pantry, and have NO idea what to do with them. . .If you have any healthy recipes using navy (pea) beans, please share them!

As you may know, I've been following the low GI diet, and really love it! I do not feel liek I'm missing out on anything. The food is delicious. Basically, I'm eating alot of fresh fruits and veggies, lean meats, and whole grains. I have cut from my diet white rice, pasta (except for occasional whole wheat pasta) sugar, and potatoes (except for occasionally new potatoes or sweet potatoes). For my lunches this week, I've made a big pot of low GI Black Bean Soup, A friend from a forum I frequent shared the recipe, and I just made a slight change to it. (You can find the original recipe at her blog ChrisianFrog.) It is so totally delicious! I was afraid of the spices, but they were perfect.

Monday ~ Crockpot Stuffed Bell Peppers, green salad
Tuesday ~ Lentil Haystacks
Wednesday ~ Black Bean Burgers on whole wheat buns, green salad
Thursday ~ Crockpot Pepper Steak, brown rice, green salad
Friday ~ We have a deacon's party to attend, I'm bringing Company Baked Beans, and some burger toppings (lettuce, onion, etc)
Saturday ~ Balsalmic Grilled Bruschetta Chicken, steamed asparagus
Sunday ~ Taco Bowls

We actually have alot of this food on hand already, so hopefully, the grocery bill will be down this week!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

SOAP ~ Philipians 1:1-6

So, my journey with SOAPing begins. I really think that this type of Bible Study will be beneficial for me. I am hoping that it will keep me consistent in my Bible study, as well as prevent my study time from getting too routine. Here it goes! I decided to start in Philippians, for no real reason, it just seemed like a good book to start in, but not too long that it's daunting.


S: Philippians 1:1-6 ~~ Thanksgiving

1Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons:
2Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,
4always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all,
5in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now.
6For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

O: This is the inroduction to Philippians. v1. Paul intoduces himself as the author of this letter to the Church in Philipi. This letter was written at the time that Timothy was with him. The audience of the letter: the Church at Philippi. Paul actually writes "to ALL the Saints in Philippi" then he goes on the include as well the "overseers and deacons". This letter is NOT written to the head of the church. . .they are included almost as an afterthought. This letter is for the CHURCH body, the family. v2. There is NO peace without grace. God is our Father and our LORD. This attests to Lordship salvations. As in, there is no separation between Christ as our Savior and Christ as our Lord. You can't have one without the other. v.3-6 Paul Joyfully remembers these Christians in his prayers, despite the dire situation that he often finds himself in. God started the good work in them, it was nothing they had done. . .Salvation is a free gift of God's Grace, provided through faith in His Son's Saving Sacrifice, and it's sufficiency. . .We did NOTHING to deserve it (nor could we ever do anything to deserve it)

A: Am I daily making Christ my Lord, am I allowing him to be the leader of my life, and not just making Him an afterthought. How do I do this: spend time continually in prayer. . .Read the Bible, meditate on it, spend time in the Scripture, journal about it. . .Then, I REALIZE that there is NOTHING I CAN DO on my own. . .It's about God, not me.
Am I thankful for other believers, and the good works they do? Do I remember them in my prayers to God. . .not always. . .I must continue to thank God for the saints who surround me daily, and for the work they are doing to further the kingdom. I must be encouraging to them, and supportive. I must remember that God started this good work. . .there is Nothing I could have ever done to deserve this gift.

P: Heavenly Father, You are Savior, and you are LORD. Your Grace is sufficient. . .and only by your Grace can I find Peace. . .I submit my life you your will. . .I commit to reading your word, I commit to studying your word, and applying it to my life. God, thank you for the great gift you have given me in your Son, Jesus Christ. . .Thank you, Lord, for my Church family. Thank you for their commitment to growing in their relationship with you. Thank you for their willingness to step out of their comfort zone. . .to spread the gospel throughout our community. Help me to encourage them. Teach me how to support them, so that they can grow too. . .In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Skywalker Turns 3!

Today, three years ago, the second light of my life was born. Here's his story: I was 37 weeks pregnant, and suffering from Preeclampsia and pre-term labor. I had been on bedrest for a month, and was due to be induced on Monday, October 10 (Columbus Day) because of it. My parents, Mimi and Poppy arrived the Saturday evening before, so they could keep Stonewall, and see Skywalker when he was born, and stay for a week to help out. Saturday evening, we all went to bed as usual. About 1:20am I woke up, and was concerned that my water had broken. I walked around for a little while, waiting for a big gush, and sure enough, it came. I woke up Rev, and told hin that it was time, then went in to tell Mimi and Poppy that we were going to the hospital. God is so good. They weren't planning on coming until Monday, so thankfully they came early and we didn't have to wake up Stonewall at 1:40 am and take him somewhere. Anyway, Rev drove like a madman to the hospital, which was 45 miles away. We arrived finally, at 2:45. The first thing I remember saying was "I want an epidural!" Of course, I couldn't get one right away, but I finally got it at 4:35. The labor was very intense, and the epidural was almost immediate relief, and I was able to doze off. Then, at about 5am, I woke up, and knew that it was time to push. I called the nurse, and she said she would go call the doctor. I told her that she better not leave the bed, or I would have this baby without her. She coached me through, telling me not to push, and when the doctor finally arrived, It took 2 pushes to deliver my sweet precious baby. Skywalker came into this world on Sunday, October 9, 2005 at 5:19am, weighing 6 pounds, 13 ounces, and 21 inches long. He had strawberry-blond hair, and blue eyes. Here's some pics of my little angel:
His very first picture. . .He was not happy with the world when he first came out.
Stonewall and Skywalker (and my mom Mimi). When Stonewall first saw him, he said, "That's my baby!"

Skywalker's first birthday. We had a cowboy party (in combo with Stonewall's 3rd).

Skywalker's 2nd birthday. . .A Space theme, hense the rocket ship cake.

And, We'll post a birthday picture after his party. . .it's in a couple of weeks, since it is a combination party with Stonewall. . .so stay tuned in!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A fun game. . .


1. How old are you?








2. What is your middle name?



3. What is your dream vacation?


(Sandals, Ocho Rios is where we honeymooned, and we would love to go back!)



4. Where were you born?




5. What is your favorite color?



6. What is your favorite drink?



7. What is your favorite cartoon?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Menu Plan Monday



Another week gone by, a very busy week at that. Stonewall had his first school field-trip. His class went to Ci Ci's Pizza for lunch, then went to see the Beverly Hills Chiuaua Movie. He was really excited for this field-trip, and looking forward to it all week. On the way home, they had a blowout (on a bridge), and as their teacher pulled over to the side, trying to get off the bridge, Stonewall started yelling,"We're going to die. . .We're going to fall off the bridge" and ended up getting all the kids worked up. . .(His teacher didn't think it was as funny as I did when she told me.)

While Stonewall was having fun on his field-trip, Skywalker and I enjoyed a Mommy-Son day together. He requested going to the park and swinging, so we started there. He played on the swings, slides, and fort thingy, until we got too hot. Then, he decided he wanted Chick-fil-a for lunch, so we drove out to Mobile for lunch. We also went to target and looked at all the toys (but didn't buy any, and he didn't even whine about it!)

Then, Saturday, was Stonewall's first Soccer Game! They had so much fun. We lost the game, 2-1, but they were so funny out there on the field. We had one little boy who didn't want ot play at all, he cried everytime it was his turn to play. The first quarter of the game, our team just stood around, watching the other team dribble the ball, and they got their first goal right away. The other team seemed to "get it", while our boys and girls just weren't quite sure what to do. Stonewall did almost score a goal, though. He dribbled it all the way to the goal and kicked it, but the ball went about 6 inches outside the goal. He was still excited! Unfortunately, I get the bad mommy of the year award, though, since I forgot my camera. I know, I know, I can't believe I forgot it either. . .we got a couple of good pics on our phones, but I don't know how to transfer those. Oh well.

Since it's Menu Plan Monday, let me give you last week's verdict: Do NOT try the Crockpot Unstuffed Cabbage! It was gross and wrong! YUCK, YUCK, YUCK! However, the rest of the week was totally delicious. Rev was really sick this week, so Thursday, one of the sweet ladies from Church brough over some "Jewish Pennicillin" (ie: Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup) I hadn't ever heard this before, but that's what she called it. It was delicious, and I didn't have to cook! So, We pushed the menu back a night, and skipped Saturday's Pork tenderloin, which is why you'll see it again this week.

And, in case this is your first time reading my blog, I am following the low GI diet, based off the book "Living the GI diet" by Rick Gallop. These past 2 weeks, I have only been halfheartedly following the plan (in other words, I've been snacking on non-low GI foods) so though I haven;'t gained any weight back, I haven't lost any either. I've got 4 pounds to my goal, and am giving it a concerted effort this week to stick to the plan. The problem has been Rev t7a-empting me with freshly baked cookies at night, and such. But, I know I can lose 4 more pounds, and I'm just going to do it!

You probably have noticed quite a few crockpot recipes. I tend to plan these for my work days. You see, as an RN, I work 12 hour shifts, 7a-7:30p. . .by the time I drive home, It is WAY too late to cook supper. We had gotten into a bad habit of eating fast food on the nights I worked, and that was part of my weight problem. To avoid that, I now try to plan crockpot meals for my work days. I can set it before I leave in the morning, and it's ready for Rev at supper time. (so, if you have any healthy crockpot recipes, send them my way!

Monday ~ Crockpot Applesauce Chicken, Green Salad, Snow Peas

Tuesday ~ Crockpot Spicy Black Beans , Smoked Sausage, Brown Rice, Salad

Wednesday ~ Quesadillas from left over chicken (last week) and black beans with Whole Wheat Tortillas, and Salad

Thursday ~ Skywalker's 3rd Birthday!!!!! Pecan Crusted Tilapia, zucchini and tomatoes

Friday ~ Pizza night - I really want to try Papa Johns new Whole Wheat Crust!

Saturday ~ Grainy Mustard & Chive crusted pork tenderloin, left over ww cous cous, steamed green beans

Sunday ~ Crockpot Southwestern Chicken, whole wheat tortillas, salad

Bon Appetite!