Thursday, January 31, 2008

We Get to Keep Him

Rich has been suffering with a serious sinus infection for over a month. He finally went to see the doctor last week and had x-rays taken as well as blood work. His mucus membrane is swollen and his sinus cavity is packed! He went back today for a follow-up to see what exactly is going on in that sinus cavity of his, and the doctor said he has the worst sinus infection he has seen in a long time. Poor guy. His face hurts from the swelling and congestion.

Since his sinuses are so bad, the doctor decided to have him tested for allergies today because they happen to have an allergist right there at his office. Now we already know he has allergies because he's miserable every summer when he works out in the yard. We just didn't know the specifics.

He found out that he is allergic to everything outdoors... grass, crab grass, weeds, pollen, leaves. He also found out that he is not allergic to...



or Dixie

And the four of us are happy about that because it would've been really hard to say goodbye to...


Luv you, honey! ;)

So Much To Do, So Little Time

I've been feeling in my interests and hobbies over the last month. While I'm working at the office, all I can think about is all the stuff I want to do at home. Here is the want-to-do list I've been composing in my mind for weeks:

  1. Read - I brought home a Francine Rivers novel and a cat mystery from the library yesterday, and I would love to get them both read in the 3-week alotment that the library provides. Or at least within 6 weeks because they'll let me renew once. I also have plenty of non-fiction biblical books that I need to read, too. That list is too long to mention.

  2. Crochet - I'm at the beginning of that one crochet project that shall remain unmentioned, and I also want to make some baby booties and bibs for an upcoming shower. I'm not even sure I can pull that off. It's 3 weeks away. Ugh! Not to mention the afghan I want to make for myself and the one my sister wants and the slippers I'd like to attempt...the list goes on and on here.

  3. No-Sew Fleece Throws - I made two of these as Christmas gifts and now I want to make 1 or 2 or 10 more! I got an email from my fabric store today, and fleece is on sale this week. Hmmm...

  4. Learn Web Design - Yep, I love all things internet, and I have a fascination with HTML code. I also picked up two web design books at the library and would love to read them from cover to cover. It's my dream to build a website from scratch.

  5. Blog - I am addicted to blogging, but I'm not very good at it. I know I probably need to expand my mind and explore my feelings more so I have something interesting to blog about. As it is right now, I often sit down to a blank page and go, well, blank. I'd like to develop my skills in this hobby, so I'm going to keep working on it.

  6. Sewing - I used to sew in the first few years of my marriage, but then I stopped. I don't recall why, but I'm sure it was because I started cross-stitching or scrapbooking or surfing the internet, you know, something real important like that. Now I'm starting to feel a tug to get back to it, and I think my first project would be outfits for my nieces. I'm still thinking on this one.

  7. Baking - This is somewhat of a misnomer because I would let my bread maker do all the work. Ever since I got the bread maker for Christmas, I've been thinking about the recipes I want to try that came with it: wheat rolls, pizza crust, pretzels, quick breads, etc...

So what is on your want-to-do list that you just can't manage to get to? Leave a comment or a link to your blog with a list. I'd love to know what everyone else is up to.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I Need a Little Pick-Me-Up

Do you ever get frustrated with yourself because you just don't know why you think or act the way you do or have fears that just don't make sense? I do. I've been feeling that a lot lately, and I'm starting to realize it's exhausting to be me. No wonder I'm tired all the time.

The frustration comes because I just don't "get" myself. When I reach that point, though, the Lord seems to always bring me back to Psalm 139 and reminds me of His care. Verses 1-6 really speak to my comfort...

O LORD, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.

As I look at these truths, the Lord says to me... Liz, I have searched your heart, and I know every intimate detail of your life. I know when you sit and when you get up. I know and understand every single thought that runs through that head of yours. I have already seen and known every place you will go, and I am familiar with and know specifically your quirks, fears, desires, strengths, weaknesses, and everything that makes you uniquely you. I know every single word you will ever speak, both detrimental and edifying. But know that My hand is resting upon you as your Shield and Protector, and you are kept securely.

My response is... How can that be, Lord? Your sovereignty, knowledge, and care are beyond my comprehension. I'm so thankful that even when no one else understands me and I don't even understand myself, You know it all and still love me.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Starbucks - The Common Bond

Alright you Starbucks fanatics, I really had no idea that you would even find my humble, little blog tucked in among those hundreds of bloggy giveaways. But at last check there are 296 of you out there, and I am reeling, wide-eyed and dumbfounded, from all the attention. I realize you really only love me for my Starbucks, but it's attention just the same. I'm okay with that.

I have enjoyed reading your comments. It appears that I am not alone in my love for the mocha, and I feel the bond we all share no matter what your beverage passion...whether it be tazo tea, coffee, frappuccino, latte, steamer, or my beloved peppermint mocha.

Starbucks... it is the common bond.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Video of the Week - For Cat Lovers

With the intense excitement of the Bloggy Giveaway Carnival that started this morning, I almost forgot what day it is. Monday is Video of the Week.

The video I've chosen for this week is going to appeal to cat lovers. Have you seen Nora the cat on YouTube? She is the most talented feline I have ever seen and reminds me very much of our Teddy in looks and personality. She plays piano and even performs duets.

Take a look at this...

If you haven't yet heard about my Starbucks giveaway, click right here.

My First Giveaway!

If you are a regular reader of my blog you know I LOVE ME SOME STARBUCKS! Oh yeah! So just for fun I thought I would give away a $10 gift card to Starbucks. Yes. Give it away. No charge. Absolutely FREE! Just to share the mocha love.

All you have to do in order to be entered in the drawing is leave a comment under this post. Any comment will do. I'd love to hear about your Starbucks beverage addiction...uh...passion, that is.

I will draw a random winner on Saturday, February 2. It's important to note that you need to have a U.S. mailing address in order to win. It's not necessary to be a blogger. Just be sure to leave me a valid email address.

Hey, as long as you're here, I'd love for you to read some of my recent posts. You can check out this one, which happens to be one of my favorites because it's all about the PEPPERMINT MOCHA.

So leave me a comment, and then head over to Bloggy Giveaways now and find tons of other giveaways going on at blogs around the web this week. It's pretty cool!

**I'm shutting comments off on Saturday at 8:00 AM. I will announce the winner here after that and send them an email.**

Saturday, January 26, 2008

You Just Can't Take Me Anywhere

Last night I went out to dinner with my sister and a couple friends for her birthday. We went to a Japanese steak house, where they cook the food right at your table. I've never been to one of these before, so it was an experience that I was somewhat hesitant about. I'm not sure that taking someone who has a fear of fire to one of these restaurants is the best idea, but friends assured me that it was long as I didn't douse my arms with oil.

I ordered the Samurai Dinner, which was chicken and shrimp. Oh boy, do I love shrimp. I had no idea how much food they would serve us. It was incredible. First he prepared a shrimp appetizer that he cooked up with some sort of egg yolk, pasty looking stuff. I was told that I should ask for extra of the egg yolk pasty stuff, but I wasn't loving it as much as the others. Then he threw some chicken breast on the cook surface and started cooking that up while he made some more shrimp for the entrees. At the same time he cooked some vegetables and then brought out the fried rice. He just kept piling this meat and rice and vegetables on my plate, and I was like... BRING.IT.ON. Oh yeah!

After I cleaned my plate and came to my senses, I realized that I'm supposed to be watching my calories and maybe I shouldn't have eaten EVERYTHING ON MY PLATE. I think I was just mesmerized by the flames and and the amazing food and lost all sense of reality. It never even occurred to me that I could get a "to go" box to carry home the leftovers. That must be the 2 lbs. I gained this morning when I weighed in at First Place. *sigh*

The unfortunate incident of the evening was when I finished my meal. Not unfortunate that I finished my meal but what occurred after finishing my meal. I got sick. Within 10 minutes I was sick. Ugh! I've had a week-long trial battling some stomach upset since Monday. Friday afternoon I felt like I was on the upswing of this thing and my gastrointestinal tract was coming back into balance. Apparently, that is not the case. *sigh*

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sugar Free and Loving It

Since I started my latest First Place session on a quest to lose a good 15 pounds, I've been in search of the perfect snacks to replace all the "bad" stuff. I love cookies, and I've been recently browsing the dreaded cookie aisle on trips to the grocery store in hopes of finding something that will fit into my "live-it" plan (as opposed to a "die-t" - get it?). I found a few products, whose nutritional numbers aren't too bad.

Then yesterday I ran into Walgreens to pick up some milk and lunchmeat and happened to turn around and browse their snack selection, you know, just to see what kind of healthy low-fat snacks they had to offer a girl who is watching her waistline. Lo and behold they had Sugar Free Oreos! I have not seen these in my grocery store, so I don't know if they're new or if my store just doesn't carry them. I bought a box, of course. I mean, what else was I going to pair up with the milk I just bought?
I love them! You cannot tell that they are sugar free. Granted they are smaller than their sugar-filled counterpart and you only get two in a serving, but if you just need a little chocolate Oreo fix, this will do it. They're 100 calories with 5 g of fat. They even have 3 g of fiber. And don't you know that fiber is my friend.

But lest you get the idea in your head that you could consume say... half the box at one sitting... heed this warning. Excess consumption may have a laxative effect. Probably all that fiber. LOL! Consider yourself duly warned, and proceed to the nearest cookie aisle.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Who Needs a Dishwasher?

I did something this week that has revolutionized my life. Okay, revolutionized might be too big a word for the transformation, but it's going to make my life in the kitchen so much better.

I've really struggled not having a dishwasher in this house. My dear husband has been such a help, taking dishwashing duties upon himself most of the time. Sometimes, I admit, it becomes a contest to see who can hold out the longest on not washing dishes until we can't see the countertops any longer (I'm kidding), but he really does do most of the dishwashing.

I read on the FlyLady website that if you do not have a dishwasher but want to keep your sink shiny and free of dishes, you put a dishpan under the sink to fill up with dirty dishes until you're ready to wash them. How ingenious! Why didn't I think of that?

So I ran out and bought a dishpan. (I bought the biggest one they had.) Problem was I didn't have any space under my sink because we store cleaning products down there. Well, I took off for a couple days out of town, and while I was gone my husband did some rearranging. Bless his heart, he actually made room for the dishpan, so we were on our way.

Tonight after dinner I could see that the dishpan was about as full as I would really want it to get, and it was time to wash. I pulled it out of there and got my dishwater started. Would you believe I had those dishes done in 10 minutes flat?!? It even surprised Rich.

I can do this!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Video of the Week

Is it really Monday again? The last week flew by for me. That means it's time for another video of the week.

This week's video comes from Tim Hawkins, the comedian who did the "Cletus Take the Reel" video last week. I ended up finding a bunch of stuff from him, and I laughed until tears streamed down my face and had an ache in my gut. He is HIL-A-RI-OUS!


Saturday, January 19, 2008

"Know & Tell Friday"... uh make that Saturday

I'm a day behind on the Friday "Know & Tell" meme. Since I had already posted my other meme yesterday, I figured I'd hold off on this one until today. So here we go...

1. Which is worse? Being gossipped about or being lied to?

Having experienced both, I feel being lied to is worse. Communication comes to a halt when you're not dealing with truth.

2. I see that a lot of ladies out there in blogville are "Starbucks" gals... What is your favorite "Starbucks" drink?

Oh, my! Can any one of my readers guess? Let me give you a hint: It starts with PEPPERMINT and ends with MOCHA!!! If you need me to elaborate on this answer, please see this post.

3. Name an embarrassing moment (Make it good).
Well, seeing as I have PLENTY of embarrassing moments to choose from, this shouldn't be too difficult. One of them goes all the way back to a piano recital when I was 16. It was my last recital. I was the oldest student that my teacher had. Of course, we had to memorize the piece we played. Not a problem! I could've played mine backwards and forwards with one hand tied behind my back. When it was my turn I walked to the piano, sat down with my hands in my lap and thought about the first notes of my song. Then... nothing. I couldn't remember a thing. My teacher came to the piano to see what the problem was, and I told her I couldn't remember how my piece began. She tried to play a few keys to jog my memory, and they weren't right. I don't remember exactly what I played that day. I just remembered that I played something. It was one of the most humiliating days of my life. It sure wasn't the "blaze of glory" that I would've preferred. But I survived.

4. I figure that most of us ladies out there are bargain shoppers and that we find ways to save money, but what is one thing that you don't mind spending your bucks on?
See question #2 above. I can easily spend $3.60 for a little cup of mocha happiness.

Bonus Questions

5. Is it hard for you to ask someone to forgive you when you have wronged them?

That is definitely hard for me.

6. Give one of your best parenting tips...something that you have learned through experience.

I am not a parent, but I have parents and have observed other parents. I would say that parents need to be honest with their kids about their failures and admit to their kids when they've been wrong.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Aloha Friday

It's Aloha Friday over at An Island Life today. This is the first time I've ever participated, but it's always fun to find a new blog and see what everyone in blogland is up to.

This one is very simple. All I have to do is ask any random question, and if you'd be so kind, would you please answer by leaving a comment here... at the end of this post? My question is:

What is your favorite hobby?
My answer is painting pottery. Months ago my sister introduced me to a ceramics studio over in the next town, and I was hooked. There is something therapeutic about coming up with a design and then painting it on that plain, unfinished piece of pottery. I would never consider myself to be artistic, but there's something about creating on pottery that gets those "juices" flowing. When you return to pick it up a week later, after it's been fired in the kiln, you see this amazing piece of art that you created. It's so fun!

I highly recommend this hobby. If you'd like to find a studio in your area, they have them all over the country. Check out this link to find one.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

My Newest Crafty Project

I've been working on a new crochet project. I'm pretty excited about this one, but I can't tell you what it is or who it's for because I don't know if they read my blog.

It took me forever to choose the pattern because I'm a bit of a novice and have to read the pattern directions carefully in order to know if I'll be able to actually follow it. Being a self-taught crocheter, some directions still don't make sense to me, even on the patterns that say "Easy". I had purchased a pattern book off eBay several months ago, so I've been waiting to try something from that book for quite some time.

I chose this pattern with wavy shells, and I love it. Five rows are now complete, so I think I'm on my way now. It's so exciting when the design starts really taking off. I've found it very easy to follow, and I'm just working through it a couple rows at a time so as not to stress myself out over something that should be relaxing and enjoyable.

The color of yarn I picked out is delicious, too. That's about the only word I can use to describe it. A variegation of pastel blues, pinks and yellows. I could almost eat it. (Does anyone else know what I'm talking about here, or am I the only crazy girl who thinks such things?)

Don't you love making personal gifts? I've mentioned it before, but I just can't express the enjoyment that comes while I'm creating something to give to a special person. I think about them while I work. I imagine it could even be a ministry, not only in giving of myself but even being prayerful for the person as I work. I guess that's something I hadn't considered before. I am going to try to keep that in mind the next time I set out to work on my project.

Since I hadn't posted since Monday, I thought I'd let you know I'm still alive and at least share this little sunshine from my day.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Video of the Week

I've noticed that there are several bloggers who have their special blog thing on certain days of the week. Some do Wordless Wednesday. Some have a photo scavenger hunt. Some do a show & tell. Others do recipes. I decided that if I'm gonna get serious, I need to have my own blog thing, too.

So I just minutes ago...that I'm gonna post a Video of the Week on Mondays. There is such a vast array of funny, touching, and crazy videos on the web that I'm going to find my favorites and post them here on Mondays.

How does that sound?

Okay... so this first one I came across on another blog the other day. I have been playing it randomly for a laugh and passing it on to friends because it just CRACKS. ME. UP! I guess you might say it even inspired me for this whole idea in the first place.

All you Carrie Underwood fans will just have to forgive me. This is a spoof done on her Jesus, Take the Wheel. I hope whether you're a Carrie Underwood fan or not, you can enjoy a good chuckle with me.

So here is my first, official...

Cletus Take the Reel

Sunday, January 13, 2008

God is in the Details

We had a guest evangelist speak at church this morning. In light of the fact that it was a very last-minute request for him to come fill the pulpit, his message could not have been more appropriate. This is yet another evidence that God moves and works and prepares every detail of our lives. He is sovereign.

Both of our pastors have been preaching the last two Sundays on the importance of the local church body and how vital it is to be members of a local church. Can you guess what our guest speaker's message was about? It was about our responsibility in the church. To my knowledge, he was not given a topic to preach on. As I said, this pulpit fill was a last-minute thing. He talked about using the spiritual gifts God has given us to do the work of the church. It meshed beautifully with the sermons we've already heard.

Why am I so amazed at the detail of God's design? He does this kind of stuff all the time.

Friday, January 11, 2008

About the Soup...

I want to inform you of the soup results from yesterday's post. It turned out okay, enough that Rich ate it and even had leftovers tonight. It just didn't taste or look the way I thought it would. I imagined it would be thicker, but it was very broth-y. Oh well. It was worth a try.

To answer a question concerning sorting the beans... I don't know why there can be stones among the beans. I've never heard of this before. I have no idea how beans are harvested or gathered or whatever it is that they do with beans. If someone is knowledgeable about legumes, please enlighten us. It's such a curious thing.

I've Been Tagged!

Well, so far this is my most exciting post EVER. That's because I've been tagged by OhAmanda, my new bloggy friend. I've actually.been.TAGGED! No one has ever tagged me, so I feel very honored.

I need a moment....


Okay. I'm good.

1. Each player starts with 5 gifts that they would want for the New Year.
2. People who are “CARDED” (let's call it tagged) need to write their own Blog about their 5 things & post these rules.
3. At the end of your Blog, you need to choose 5 people to get “CARDED” and list their names.
4. Don’t forget to leave them a COMMENT telling them they’re “CARDED”, and to read your Blog.

So here goes...

My Materialistic Wishlist:
  1. Portable Dishwasher - We moved into our house sight-unseen, and the only complaint I have about it is that there's no dishwasher. I'm ready to go the paper plate route after a year and a half.... or it was more like after the first week. :)
  2. Laptop Computer - That would truly be in the "want" category and not in the "need" category.
  3. Disney Vacation - We haven't been there since October 2000. That's the longest I've ever gone without visiting the mouse.
  4. Car - My Neon still runs, but it has seen better days. I seriously need to upgrade to an SUV of some sort to haul around my golf clubs and other athletic paraphanelia.
  5. A New Personal Blog Design - I'm so jealous of some of you bloggy girls out there.

My Spiritual Wishlist:

  1. To grow in the knowlege of God
  2. Learn to rest in the knowledge that with Christ there is always hope
  3. I want to be a better discipler
  4. Learn to do better at preferring others before myself
  5. To hold my tongue when I know that's what the Holy Spirit is telling me to do

I don't know if 5 things in the spiritual wishlist is enough. Couldn't I go on and on? It's quite obvious to me that the second wishlist is so much more important than all on the first list. I don't need any of the material stuff, but I desperately need all the spiritual stuff.

Alright, I guess it's time for me to tag 5 people. Hmmm... do I know 5 other bloggers? Let's see. How about...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I'm Totally Domestic

I guess I'm just going to take this blogging thing one day at a time, so on with the post...

I am totally enthralled with my domesticity today. I pulled out my Pillsbury Slow Cooker Recipes: 140 New Ways to Have Dinner Ready and Waiting! cookbook the other day and chose a couple recipes for our meals this week. At this moment I have Vegetable, Bean and Ham Soup slow cooking in my little crock pot. Yes, I do.

I actually did prep work for the recipe last night. LAST NIGHT, PEOPLE! This from the girl who just a few short months ago would buy those completely cooked meals in a bag in the frozen food section, which only required 15 minutes of heat up in a skillet. Need I say more about what this means?

First I had to sort the dried beans. Huh? Sort the beans? Was I sorting them by size? Color? I had to call my mom about that. And is it any wonder that I've never worked with a dried bean in my life? Come to find out, she's never met a dried bean either, but she seemed to know enough to explain about the bean sorting. I came to learn that there are sometimes stones (yes, stones) in the dried beans. Can someone explain this to me?

So back to the prep work. I sorted. I soaked. I sliced my carrots and celery. I set out all my ingredients on the counter to be ready for the crock pot this morning before I left for work. It was so... so... freeing. I'm makin' soup, people!

Of course, what else is going to nicely complement a warm, filling, ham and bean soup? Bread! Oh yeah! So when I got home from work I decided it was time to make another loaf of bread in my new breadmaker. I wanted to try my new wheat flour, so I chose the Honey Wheat bread recipe. So I'm just 1 hour and 15 minutes away from a lovely slice of homemade goodness. I can't wait to see how it turns out.

Yes, let it be known that Liz is totally domestic!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

So Sad

I'm sad to say I may be ending my blog. It's not that I don't love blogging because I do. The problem is that it's become one more thing in my life that may be one thing I should do without, as I have become very distracted.

If you happen to subscribe to my feed, please don't delete me just yet. I've been known to change my mind within hours. I'm weighing everything right now.

I'll let you know...

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Snow Is Not the Only Thing Falling

We've been in all the snow here in Indiana. I think there's about 12 inches here in our neck of the woods. It's very beautiful, but traffic was horrendous tonight just because of the roads. Seems like it really got packed down, and it's created some very slippery conditions.

I am a very cautious person when it comes to walking on snow and ice. I will walk as slowly as possible to avoid an embarrassing spill. So last night when I went to church I decided to wear my boots. They're high-heeled, mind you, but I figured they'd keep my feet warm better than a loafer. I had no troubles whatsoever getting around the parking lot.

But I never expected I would slip and fall the moment I stepped into my house!!! Seems the soles of my boots were still wet, and as I stepped onto the linoleum at the back door.... BAM! down I went! It sure felt like minutes passed before Rich came to check on me. How could he not feel the house shake as my big butt hit the floor? I laughed at the absurdity of the situation, but it hurt badly. Butt throbbing. Hands stinging. Ouchy!

I still feel sore today, but it's nothing like I imagined it might be. I thought I might crawl out of bed this morning and hobble through my day with a limp. Thankfully, though, no hobbling has been necessary.

Stinkin' boots!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Things I Love Right Now

Musings of a Housewife is asking bloggers about the things they love right now. So here's my list in random order:

  1. Watching my dog Dixie romp through the snow in the morning (It's up to her neck!)

  2. Being able to stick to my First Place live-it plan and shed some pounds

  3. Starting a new year of reading through the Bible

  4. Being able to do in the spiritual what is impossible in the natural

  5. Blogging

  6. Being with my best friend

  7. Reading fiction

  8. Fresh baked bread made in my new bread maker

I'm sure there are other things I'll think of once I hit "publish," but this is what is first on my mind at this moment.