Sunday, December 28, 2008


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 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


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 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