Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 In Review

New-Years-Carnival I've been interested in doing one of those introspective, retrospective posts where I look back at 2009 and answer some deep and ponderous questions about accomplishments and relationship building, but I just couldn't do it.  Sometimes I just can't spill my guts to the worldwide web.

But I'll tell you what I can do.  I can give you a recap of my posts, at least the first sentence of the first day of each month's posts of 2009.  As I was reading them over, I had forgotten about all the things I had written.  Some of them were actually funny and well written (at least to my standards).  Huh.  I think I've forgotten how to write since somewhere back in April.

Anyway... here we go.

JANUARY 1... So... anything look different around here on the old blog?

I'm sure you can guess why I'd say that.  I changed my blog design that day for the, what... tenth time?

FEBRUARY 2...Well, I finally did it. 

You want to know what I finally did, don't you?  I became a dot com that day  http://discoveringliz.com.  Very exciting!

MARCH 3...This week has been a tough week, as far as spiritual challenges go.

This was my second entry as part of Jo-Lynne's What I Learned This Week carnival.  In this entry I had discovered my perfectionism was causing me undue grief at work, and I needed to be more prayerful about my job.  Hmmm... guess I still need to keep working on this one.

APRIL 1...At our church's missions conference last week we were encouraged to adopt one of our supported missionary families.

Uh oh.  Upon reading this entry, I realized I've really done lousy at praying for my adopted missionary this year.  Really lousy.

MAY 1...Let's take randomness to it's full potential today and do a quiz, shall we?

This is a post that was part of the Caffeinated Randomness hosted by Andrea.

JUNE 4...Being the first time I've read anything by the Blackabys, I didn't know what to expect.

This is my book review on Experiencing the Spirit by Henry & Mel Blackaby.  It is such a good book, and I need to read it a second time.

JULY 3... There are several things I miss about camp. 

Ah yes, I knew it was coming.  Yay Camp!!!  I went to teen camp, and I am so proud of myself... you know, proud in a humble sort of way.  ;)

AUGUST 12... A friend of mine posted this on Facebook, and I think it's hilarious.

The only day I posted in August, and it was a political funny.  A video of a dog who expressed his dislike for Obama.

SEPTEMBER 16... Hi, guys. I know I'm been MIA for months.

You can see this was the point in the year when blogging began to wane.  I express my overwhelmedness about changing my diet to be more whole foods as well as getting ready for our Word of Life club at church.  I also see a typo in the first line.  Terrific.

OCTOBER 6... The calendar has once again rolled over to October 6th, and it's my birthday.

Of course, this one needs no explanation.  It was my birthday, and I had a great hair day, I might add.

NOVEMBER 1... As this, the first day of November, I am participating in the NaBloPoMo.

Awww... it's NaBloPoMo, and I actually posted something every day in November, mostly with the focus of thankfulness.  That wasn't the topic every day, but it was for most days.

DECEMBER 1... What an excellent idea it was to participate in the National Blog Posting Month.

Okay, this post had nothing to do with that sentence.  It was about spending time in the kitchen and how that is SOOO not like me.

 

And here we are at the end.  I guess that's a wrap.  I just hope I have something to say in 2010.  You too?

HAPPY NEW YEAR! 

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas? I Got It Done.

Someone, who shall remain nameless (*cough* Judy *cough*), informed me that she had been looking at the same blog post since December 23rd, and she wondered if I ever got past  "halfway there" to Christmas.  And I wonder how many of you were sitting on pins and needles, waiting to know too.

So I'm happy to report that I did get myself all the way to Christmas, and on time.  The cookies got baked and turned out wonderfully.  They were delicious!  Do you need a picture?  These are the Chocolate Crinkles.

Chocolate Crinkles -  12-23-09

Yes, they tasted as good as they look.

I also got all the presents purchased and wrapped.  The Hoisin wings I cooked in the crockpot got done too, and they were just okay.  I didn't love them enough to make that recipe again, though.

Being on the other side of Christmas feels good.  I've been relaxing a lot and plan to take Thursday and Friday off work this week, too.  I've been reading, which is how I really want to spend my time.  I'm gearing up for a new reading goal in 2010.  Still trying to decide what that will be, but I know I'm going to push myself harder than I did this year.

If you don't hear from me again before midnight tomorrow, have a HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas? I'm Halfway There.

I told you yesterday that I would keep you updated on my Christmas preparations.  Well, things are moving along pretty well.

Shopping is 3/4 done.  I went to one superstore yesterday and got most everything I needed.  One more venture out will take care of the rest.

The cookie baking plan is also on target.  I did run into a bit of a roadblock when I tried to make sugar cookies using my unrefined organic whole cane sugar.  Do NOT try this at home.  It is NOT a good substitution.  It will make your sugar cookie dough look brown, and it will definitely NOT smell like sugar cookie dough.  Unfortunately, I had to do the one thing I hate in baking fiascos... throw it away!  Such a waste.

At that point I was about ready to throw in the towel.  Baking is not my forte.  After I settled down and went to read my book for awhile, I calmly decided to run out to the grocery store around the corner and buy more eggs and real sugar.  (I didn't know we were out of sugar because only my husband uses it.) 

You know, I say I hate baking, but I think the key to enjoying it is to have a good, easy recipe.  I didn't just love the recipe I was using out of my cookbook.  I don't think I should have to use my pastry cutter to cut butter into my flour mix for sugar cookies.  I want my stand mixer to do all the work for me.  So I did a search on my favorite recipe website, AllRecipes.com, and I found one for the best rolled sugar cookies.  It turned out to be VERY easy.  Cream the butter and sugar together?  Now that's what I'm talkin about.

After dinner I was able to mix both sugar cookie dough and my chocolate crinkle cookie dough.  Both are chilling in the fridge, ready to be baked this afternoon.  And the really good part is... I actually still feel like mixing up something else. 

See?  It's like I said.  If I have a good recipe that's easy to work with, it makes it more enjoyable for me.

Happy baking to you... and shopping... and wrapping...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas? I'm Workin On It.

So the plan for today is to start and finish my Christmas shopping.  Oh, I sure hope so.  As far as wrapping goes, gift bags are sounding wonderful for every gift right now.

I also might try to get a couple batches of cookie dough mixed up today and put in the fridge.  Then I'll leave the baking for tomorrow.  Sugar cookies are a must!  I also plan to make Chocolate Crinkles, which I haven't had in a long, long time.  Depending on how I feel after that, I might whip up one other variety.  No-Bake Cookies or Peanut Butter Kisses?

In between all of that, I hope to finish a book I'm in the middle of reading.  It's *Uncharted by Angela Hunt.  This one is very hard to put down because the storyline is about five old friends from college who are reunited after 20 years, who through a chain of events, end up stranded on a deserted island.  Bizarre things start to happen, like items from their past are washing up on shore.  And one of them has a haunting secret that must not be found out by the others.

Well, I'm off to do stuff.  I've got filing to do at the office, which is almost done.  Then I'll probably get all my information together to be ready to make the Sunday bulletin tomorrow.  Then I'm off Thursday for the holiday.  Woo-Hoooo!

I'll keep you updated with my Christmas checklist.  See ya later.

*This is an affiliate link.  If you make a purchase through this link, I will receive a small percentage of the sale.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Precious Moments

I don't have children, so the closest ones I can claim are my nieces and nephews.  Sometimes they can say crazy things, and I wonder, What on earth is that kid thinkin'?   Or Whose genes did they get?

On the other hand, there are those precious moments, like one that occurred tonight, when they say the sweetest thing, and you know that they love you.  Tonight my sweet Katy was talking to me before the Christmas program at church.  She took my hands and held them, and I bent over to listen to what she wanted to tell me.  She looked up at me and said, Aunt Liz...you are sooo beautiful.

Oh my goodness, could you just eat her up?  Let me tell ya, Aunt Liz is gonna run out tomorrow and buy her a Barbie Dream House for Christmas ...or whatever it is that little girls want these days.  Because the flattery?  It is working!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Taking Ideas

I really would enjoy getting my blog rolling again, but I've been tapped dry for things to say.  I feel like I need a theme to stick with for a month, and I sort of have an idea in my head about what to write on in January.

If any of my readers have a theme idea for me, go ahead and leave me a comment.  Just so as it's something you think I could write about daily during the month of January, along the lines of a Nablopomo as I did with "thankfulness" in the month of November.  I would love suggestions.

Thanks!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas? I'm Not Ready Yet!

I haven't started my Christmas shopping yet.  Can you imagine?  I only have a few people to buy for, so it's not an extremely big deal. 

I also haven't baked anything yet, but I like to do it closer to the time that we'll be eating the goodies.  I'm thinking I might just make two types of cookies.  My family always spends Christmas Eve together, and we have a buffet of finger foods.  With my sister and mom pitching in on the food prep, I only have to bring a few things to share.  I found a wings recipe to make in the crock pot, so I thought I might give it a try as something new this year.

BookSpeaking of recipes... Do you know how I can tell I'm a different woman this year?  I have a cookbook on my Christmas wish list.  Now that's something that's never happened before.  This is the cookbook I found the wings recipe in.  You should check out  *Make It Fast, Cook It Slow.  There's everything from breakfast to dessert in there.  It looks terrific!

*This is an affiliate link.  If you make a purchase through this link, I will earn a small percentage of the sale.

Friday, December 11, 2009

That Holiday Feeling

It's December 11th.  I've been listening to Christmas music since two weeks prior to Thanksgiving.  I'm involved in the children's Christmas program at church.  I've watched portions of The Santa Clause and Home Alone movies on TV.  We've had snow.  The Christmas tree is up.

So...why don't I feel Christmas-y?

And then I ask myself, Is that very Christian-like?  Wanting to feel a feeling?  I know Christmas is all about Jesus' birth.  He is the Gift.  He was born to be my Savior.

It just seems like something is missing.  I've lost the excitement I had at Christmastime when I was a kid.  The anticipation of surprises, of the school Christmas concerts, of wishing for snow days, and the fun we had in visiting with cousins when we traveled to see our extended family for the holiday.  I guess I don't see anything wrong with feeling nostalgic about those things.  I miss that time in my life so much.

Does anyone know how to get that back?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Uuuummmm...

Uh oh.  Looks like I'm back to where I was before November, having nothing to say.  What happened to the idea of writing becoming a habit?

I'm just so complex...and frustrating.

{Sigh}

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Seeing The Word In Flesh

If you receive updates from Revive Our Hearts on Facebook, then you saw this quote today.  I think it is a beautiful expression of how precious God's Word should be to us and what kind of relationship we can and should have with our Lord Jesus.

“So go on reading it until you can read no longer, and then you will not need the Bible any more, because when your eyes close for the last time in death, and never again read the Word of God in Scripture you will open them to the Word of God in the flesh, that same Jesus of the Bible whom you have known for so long, standing before you to take you for ever to His eternal home.” –Geoffrey Thomas

Will you know Him when you see Him?

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Too Sleepy For Words

I know I'm very late with my post today, but it's been an extremely long day.  Even though I don't have a single thing to say, I thought about my little blog and couldn't bear to neglect it.  You know, they say once you do something for 21 consecutive days it becomes a habit.  I guess that Nablopomo/30 days of posts thing really did the trick, huh?  Now I can't stop posting.

Sleepy Dixie

Well... I'm sitting here next to my Sheltie whose eyelids are drooping, and my eyelids are getting pretty heavy too.  You should see us.  We make quite a cute pair.  I think it's time to log off and get to bed.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Random Dozen

random dozen

I don't know how Linda comes up with her questions, but she asked a couple of tough ones this week.  Here are my responses, for what it's worth...

 

1. Which Wizard of Oz character are you most like?

I never gave it much thought, but I guess I would be Dorothy.  As far as I'm concerned, there is no place like home.  I like the idea of traveling, but I am a homebody.

2. When you're deciding what you're going to wear each morning, which item do you select first?  Why?

It all depends on the day.  Sometimes I know I want to wear a particular top, so I'll choose the pants that make me look the skinniest with that top.  Is that how everyone else gets dressed for the day?

3. What kind of animal do you think the world could live without?

Snakes

4. How many Christmas trees are in your home?

I think we own 2 artificial Christmas trees, but neither is put up yet.  We have no decorations up at all. 

5. Would you prefer to be emotionless if it mean you didn't have to feel a heartbreak?

I think feeling emotion is a gift, and I wouldn't give it up, even if it meant I didn't have to experience heartbreak.  Feeling that pain means you have loved, and isn't that worth something?

6. Do you ever experience holiday let-down or depression?

I have felt the holiday blues before.  It usually comes because I have expectations of how things ought to be, and I'm let down when they aren't met.  I also sometimes get that low feeling after the holiday has passed because the event I was all hyped up for has passed, and I'm not sure what to look forward to after that.

7. Do you like Michael Jackson's music?

I have to qualify my answer for this one.  I have never owned any of his music, but it's all very familiar because it was so prevalent in places I'd go, i.e. the mall.  Sort of like it's part of the background soundtrack of my life.  Some of his songs I have found to be "catchy", but I never liked the man.

8. Why is it that we never judge people who have their teeth fixed for cosmetic reasons, but every other cosmetic procedure has a stigma?

I never really thought about that, Linda.  Hmmm...I guess I'm stumped.  I'll be interested to see what other people think.

9. Enjoy horseback riding?

I have only ridden a horse on two occasions.  The first time I was just a little girl, and it was a pony guided by my dad at a zoo or something.  The second time I must have been about 12, and that time I actually got to hold the reins and follow the guide.  That was also at a zoo, and I'm pretty sure the horses knew exactly where they were supposed to go.  I am sure I enjoyed it, but I hardly remember it.

10. Shoes--practical or stylish?

I try to incorporate style into my practicality.

11. What was the name of your first pet? Feel free to post a pic.

We got a puppy when I turned 10.  Her name was Penny.  She was a black lab/beagle mix and the runt of the litter.  She was a free puppy, so we named her Penny since she didn't cost us a cent.  {That was until she went to her vet check-up and probably had to be dewormed and vaccinated.  I'm sure Mom & Dad paid plenty for that dog.}

12. What percentage of your Christmas shopping is done?

None. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

My answers weren't too snappy today, were they?  Oh well, maybe you'll have to go over to Linda's blog and see what other people had to say with their Random Dozen today.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

In The Kitchen

What an excellent idea it was to participate in the National Blog Posting Month.  I feel a sense of accomplishment for doing it, and I have a renewed enjoyment in blogging.  I hope to continue writing regularly.

Little Chefs Now... do you know what I did yesterday?  I spent time in my kitchen.  On purpose.  Just because I wanted to.  That just doesn't happen to me, people, so this is a good thing.  I had borrowed a book from the library called Make it Fast, Cook it Slow, which is a very cool book of crockpot recipes.  There seems to be quite a few in it that I would like to try.  Anyway, I thought I might try making one of the recipes today, but unfortunately I ran out of vanilla extract over the weekend, which I need for any of the recipes I intended to make.  Seeing as I still had the notion  in my head to bake something {again, amazing!}, I decided to try another quick bread using my bread machine.

I've been experimenting in my recipes with switching out some of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat instead.  It appears to make the breads darker, and seems to give them a tougher texture.  They still taste good to me, though.  I ended up making Apple Pecan Bread because I had a whole bag of Golden Delicious apples that went unused when I didn't make that homemade pie for Thanksgiving.  What an aroma filled my house while that was baking!  Wonderful. 

I must say, I have felt so much better in the last two weeks.  I don't know where this renewed energy has come from.  Prior to that time, I had been seriously feeling drained all the time.  I hated the way I felt.  All I wanted to do was go to bed when I got home from work, and I only work four hours every morning.  I was afraid to exercise because I knew whatever energy I had left afterward would be zapped for the night.  Well, I don't know what changed, but all of a sudden I can get through my days without dragging.  I'm so thankful that seems to be behind me now.

Maybe I will spend more time whipping things up in the kitchen, since I'm feeling rejuvenated.  Maybe?

*Photo courtesy of Microsoft Office Clip Art

Monday, November 30, 2009

NaBloPoMo? Check it Off!

nablo.sat.1109.120x200 I know you think this is just another Monday, but this is not just any ordinary Monday.  Do you know why?  Because it's November 30th, which means it is the final day of NaBloPoMo.  I have written a post every day this month, which means I broke a Discovering Liz record.  I bet y'all never thought I could do it.  Can I get a wOOt wOOt?!?  {Thank you, Ronnica.  I heard you there in the back.}

I think we should all celebrate this incredible accomplishment with a Peppermint Mocha.  Who's in?

{Laughing}

Have a great Monday, guys.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday Thankfulness

I just realized that it's the end of the day, and I need to write something if I want to keep my NaBloPoMo commitment. I mean, how could I make it through the entire month, only to miss it on the second to last day of the month? No way! I'm going to finish this thing.

I would like to do a thankfulness bullet list for tonight, seeing as I can probably list several items...

  • I'm thankful that my Sunday school class was well behaved today. Truly a blessing!
  • I'm thankful for the grace of God that enables me to do hard things.
  • I'm thankful that God shows how present and active He is in our lives when the pastor uses several verses in his sermon that I had already been thinking about through the day, and he uses texts that were covered in my Sunday school lesson with my kids.
  • I'm thankful that we don't have to remain the same; we can become different in Christ.

I hope everyone had a good and restful weekend. I sure did. It's back to work and routine tomorrow, though. Starbucks sure sounds in order for Monday. See you tomorrow...the last day of NaBloPoMo. Woot!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Tale of Yogurt

You must hear about my latest venture.  A few weeks ago I had ordered a dehydrated yogurt starter culture to make my own yogurt.  It was enough for two batches, in case the first try didn't work.  It was a bit expensive, just to do a kitchen experiment.  If it worked it would be worth the money because the plain organic yogurt I buy is expensive.

Unfortunately, neither the first nor the second culture worked.  I pretty much gave up on that idea.  Obviously, there was some factor in my kitchen that was hindering yogurt making, and I wasn't ready to figure it out.  I'd just as soon continue buying my yogurt at the store, if it's going to be that much bother.  I've never been Susie Homemaker. You know what I'm sayin'?

Then recently I came across a recipe on a blog for making yogurt in your crockpot.  It sounded pretty straightforward, so I figured it was worth one more shot.  Well, guess what?  I made yogurt!  And a lot of yogurt, at that.  It's 2 quarts, and I'm going to have yogurt for the next year.  {Laughing}

blog pics 003

After the big crockpot unveiling this morning, I put it in the fridge and thought about it the rest of the morning.  I wondered if it would taste right.  It sure smelled right, but I just wasn't sure about all this.  I mean, we're talking about milk that was left out all night and the bacteria growing.  You might not know this, but I'm sort of a germaphobe and worry about cooking food until it's done because I'm afraid of getting food poisoning. 

At lunch I put a little in a bowl and prepared it as usual with a little natural sweetener and some vanilla.  The yogurt definitely tastes right.  It has a very creamy texture and is quite a bit more runny than store-bought.  I ate a little, but I kept thinking about whether or not it was okay to consume.  I decided that's all I'd try and then wait until later to see if I die or something.  So far, I'm still alive.

If you're interested in making your own yogurt, you can find the instructions at Nourishing Days.  It really is very easy and involves nothing more than heating milk in the crockpot, stirring in a little of your own yogurt, and then leaving it to sit overnight wrapped in a towel.  I say you should go for it.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Thanksgiving Recap

We had a terrific Thanksgiving with my family yesterday.  It included my parents, my grandmother, my sister and brother-in-law, their four kids, my husband, and me.

First, a note to self:  Do not make more than one can of yams.  My sister's family does not eat them, and you will have yam leftovers for a week.

Remember the pie dilemma?  Well, my sister had read my blog the night before, and she razzed me all day about my pie that was not homemade.  I think that at some point in the future I will have to make one again and prove to her that I am capable of making one without Marie Callender's help.  Honestly though, if you're gonna get help from any other pie baker, you might as well use Ms. Callender.  She makes a delicious apple pie.  I'm just sayin'.

After dinner the kids went off to play, and me and my sister went into the living room for our usual post-holiday-meal banter.  She went and found my mom's laptop and pulled up Tim Hawkins' web site.  If you haven't ever seen a Tim Hawkins video, you are missing out.  He is the most hysterical Christian comedian!  Kathy and I laughed so hard, and we would repeat the funny lines at the same time, only to laugh harder.

Awhile later it was time to cut the pies.  The kids all dove into the crustless pumpkin pie that my mom made.  She makes it crustless just for the kids because they always scrape the pumpkin off and leave the crust.  My Marie's apple pie was delicious, especially with the vanilla whipped cream I had whipped up FROM SCRATCH, and so was Mom's lemon meringue.  {I had just a small slice to taste.}  I had forgotten that I really like lemon meringue until I tasted it.

By the time we got home, just before 6:00, I felt like a zombie.  No energy to speak of and pretty much loafed the rest of the night.

Today has been recovery mode for me.  It meant getting on the treadmill this afternoon and watching my calorie intake all day.  Back to reality, I guess.  I know my waistline will thank me later.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Losing Battle

I was tidying up a bit in my kitchen and food storage area, and I came across another contraband item that my husband smuggled in from the store.  Sometimes I wonder if he hates me.  {totally kidding}  This is what I get for being married to a man employed by a grocer.

blog pics 001

Do you see what I'm up against?  CANDY CANE CHOCOLATE SANDWICH COOKIES!!!

Maybe I could have just one...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pie Trouble

You've probably been checking my blog all day, waiting for a new post. Yeah, me too. I've been wondering what I'm going to write about tonight.

I guess I'll tell you about the pie I'm making to take to my family dinner tomorrow. I volunteered to make apple pie. I have done it several times in the last few years, so I figured I could do it again. The only problem is I'm trying to eat "real" food these days...you know, the things that are closest to nature...not man-made manufactured food. Well, that sort of throws a monkey wrench into the whole pie making process.

I've never been one to make a crust from scratch. {I've never been one to make anything from scratch.} I always use the very nice pre-made crusts from the little doughboy, and then I lovingly spread two cans of apple pie filling into the pie pan, sprinkle with my special Pampered Chef korintje cinnamon, dab on a streusel topping, and pop it in the oven. My pies turn out lovely.

So I had some options today:

#1. Make an apple pie entirely from scratch, which would include making a pie crust of which I felt doomed to fail, peeling-coring-slicing my apples, and then adding my spices.

#2. Go with my usual method of buying a pre-made crust and pre-made apple pie filling, which is full of high fructose corn syrup, which is bad bad stuff.

#3. Buy a frozen pie, bake it, and pretend I made it myself, in which I will throw all caution to the wind as to the preservatives and whatever else is in it that might contribute to my early demise.

I weighed all 3 options, and I finally decided I would buy a pre-made crust but make my own filling. It seemed like a fair compromise if I went half-homemade.

The only problem is that I have no zeal for baking. None. Nada. Zilch. Zippo. I'm sure trying to like it, but the feeling is just not coming. So this pie predicament has been weighing on me all day. I decided to put it off until tomorrow morning. Maybe I'll have more energy then, I thought. Maybe....

Yep, that's what I was gonna do... until about 4:00. That's when I decided to go with option #3 {translation=EASY!}. I went to the store on the way home from church tonight, and I bought a frozen apple pie. What can I say? I caved.

My thinking is, Thanksgiving shouldn't have to be hard or dreaded. It should be enjoyed. So I'm getting help from Marie Callender and plan to relax and enjoy.

I hope you relax and enjoy too!

*Photo courtesy of Microsoft clip art

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Random Dozen - Thanksgiving Edition


1. Are you sticking to traditional Thanksgiving foods this year, or are you being culinarily adventurous?

We pretty much eat the same things every year.... turkey, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, yams, corn casserole, etc... Hey, if something is delicious, why mess with the classics?

2. Tell me something concrete that you're thankful for. (Something you can literally touch, see, etc., not a concept like "hope.")

Family & friends

3. You knew the flip side was coming: Share about something intangible that you're thankful for.

I'm thankful that God keeps me. Every morning when I wake up I still have my faith. It's not something I have to go to bed hoping I still have the next day.

4. Share one vivid Thanksgiving memory. It doesn't have to be deep or meaningful, just something that remains etched in your memory.

I think I've shared this photo before, but it is what I think of every year at Thanksgiving time. When I was in kindergarten everyone in our class was supposed to bring in a vegetable for stew, and then we got to eat the stew together. I remember the school hallways were filled with the aroma. We made Pilgrim and Indian hats and tops out of construction paper. Here I am modeling the Pilgrim. Isn't my prairie apron with applique adorable?

5. What is one thing that you know beyond a shadow of a doubt is going to happen this Thanksgiving because it always does, year after year?

I'm going to eat pie. That's the one and only thing that I'm absolutely sure of.

6. Do your pets get any left-overs?

We can't feed Dixie "people food" because she usually gets an upset tummy.

7. Does your family pray before the big meal? If so, do you join hands while seated, stand, repeat a formal prayer or offer a spontaneous prayer? Who does the praying?

We always say a prayer before the meal. We sit at the table, hold hands, and Dad leads it.

8. Will you be watching football in the afternoon? If not, what will you be doing?

My parents have never been into sports, so no we won't be watching football. A tradition of the past has been to watch a Christmas movie. One of our favorites is the musical Scrooge with Albert Finney. In our family's opinion, it is the BEST telling of Dickens' story A Christmas Carol.



9. There are two distinct camps of people on this issue: How do you feel about oysters in the dressing/stuffing?

I have never tried it, nor would I want to. I'm not sure I know anyone who has had oysters in their dressing, either.

10. Do you consider yourself informed about the first Thanksgiving?

I believe I have a pretty good grasp on the story of the first Thanksgiving.

11. Which variety of pie will you be enjoying?

Apple & maybe Pumpkin at my mom's. I'm hoping maybe I can snag a slice of Pecan at our church fellowship on Wednesday.

12. Do you feel for the turkey?? (This is a humorous throw back question related to the 12th question in another Random Dozen!)

Nope, not at all.

So glad you stopped by today. Please take a moment to visit Linda's 2nd Cup of Coffee blog. She's a fun lady.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Nov. 23, Thankful for Normal

I don't know why, but my energy level has come back. Just after I had the blood work done to check for a thyroid issue (no problems found), suddenly I'm feeling alright and not dragging anymore. Who knows? Maybe it's the cod liver oil that I started taking. Well, no matter. I'm just thankful that I feel normal again. (Whatever normal is.)

Blog Design Change

Yep, I did it again. I changed my blog background. When I found this little penguin, I just couldn't resist. I wanted to wait until after Thanksgiving, but his cute little penguin-ness kept calling out to me.... C'mon, Lizzy. You know you want me on your blog. So I went and grabbed his little penguin code and made the change.

If you are looking for a cute, free background, this is where I got mine.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Nov. 22, Thankful for God's Faithfulness

I'm thankful that God is faithful to me, even when I am unfaithful to Him. My heart and my thoughts were a mess this morning at church, and I responded sinfully at every turn. It's hard to believe that I prayed for my junior class with an emphasis on their need to honor God with their actions and words. I'm sure God must have been shaking His head at my own stubbornness and disobedience.

But He's faithful to chasten His kids, and He's faithful to forgive. I'm thankful for that because I sure do need His grace.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Nov. 21, Thankful for the Weather

I must say, I'm thankful that our November weather in northern Indiana has been so mild. When the last week of September hit (I remember it so well), it turned cold, windy, cloudy, and drizzly. And that was pretty much October in a nutshell.

Once November settled in, the weather took a turn for the better. We've enjoyed many sunny days, and the temperatures haven't been too awful bad, either. As I write today, we are enjoying bright sun, blue skies, no clouds, and warmth enough to just wear a sweatshirt outside. That's not typical.

I hope you're enjoying November where you are. It's hard to believe snow will fly soon.

Friday, November 20, 2009

How to Lose Weight Fast!

This week I discovered the fastest way to lose weight is to get a haircut. I had this much hair. It was driving me nuts, and I was ready for a change.

So on Wednesday I took the plunge and cut it all off.


Now I have this much hair...

Seriously, I lost 1 pound! And what a difference that feels like. I wasn't entirely sure I loved it the first day and was even nervous the next day when I was styling it. Two days into the new cut, and I think I like it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Nov. 19, Thankful for Answered Prayer

I'm thankful for answered prayer today. It was a biggie! I'm also thankful that the Lord sheltered me. I am a worrier, and my thoughts and imaginations run away with me sometimes. The Lord just helped me so much by keeping my thoughts reined in and reminding me that all my days are written in His book and were ordained for me before I ever existed. Why should I worry if He is working for my good?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Give Me a Shout Out

Hello, blog readers. I'm wondering if you might do me a little favor today. I am curious about you and would like to know how you have come to read my blog. I do have a stat tool that gives me an idea of whether you clicked a link, landed here via search engine, or just typed in the URL. I just don't think the tool is extremely thorough.

So if you're a regular reader, a semi-regular reader, or just happened to wander here for the first time today, would you please give me a shout out? All I want to know is whether you read my blog from a feed reader, if you click over from Facebook, or if you have the link bookmarked in your browser. Post it in the comments below.

Thanks! =)

Time for Random Dozen


You know what this picture means, right? Looks like Linda has some tough questions today.

1. If you could master one sport, what would it be?

Golf! It doesn't require speed, running, or playing on a team that's depending on you to make a play.

2. When you make a major purchase, do you go with your gut instinct, or do you do research to make an informed decision?

My husband and I do research. More my husband, but since he likes doing it, I just let him.

3. There is an old kids' game that says you can find out what your movie star name would be by using your middle name as your first name and the name of the street you grew up on as your last. What is your movie star name?

Anne Belmar

4. Would you rather give up your favorite music or your favorite food?

I believe I would rather give up my favorite food than favorite music. I have already given up some of my favorite foods like donuts and Oreos (and my flavored creamers are on their way to extinction too), but I can't do without my music. I love my Kari Jobe and Sara Groves because they speak to my heart.

5. There are two types of banana preferences. One is pristine yellow, almost to the point of being green; the other is spotty and more ripe. Which is your preference?

I prefer my bananas spotty and more ripe. As long as there is no green showing, a banana is perfect. They're sweeter that way.

6. Your favorite tree is?

A great big Maple. They were the kind that most of our neighbors had when I was growing up. There was one across the street from my house, and it had terrific shade. My friends and I would sometimes have a picnic lunch underneath it on a summer day. Good memories.

7. On a scale of 1-10, how tech savvy are you?

I think I'm a 7 on the techy scale.

8. Has H1N1 touched your family?

My niece and nephew both got a flu a few weeks ago, but the hospital wouldn't test them. They may or may not have had H1N1.

9. Are you an analytical person, or do you just accept things the way they are without questioning or scrutinizing?

Oh mercy, what a question for me! I question everything, analyzing every in and out of a thing. Rarely do I ever accept things the way they are. I've got to know the why.

10. Is your personality more like that of a dog, cat, or Koala?

I had to look up Koalas on Wikipedia just to find out what they are like. I didn't exactly know what Koalas do. Now that I know they sleep most of the time, have a slow metabolism and basically live on Eucalypt leaves, I can see I have nothing in common with them.

I guess I'm most like a cat. I'm fairly independent and sometimes aloof. I like to greet people on my own terms and don't like being pushed into anything I don't want to do. I like things to be my own idea.

11. Do you keep in touch with friends you made years ago?

Facebook has pretty much changed that for me. I never was one to keep in touch with friends from the past. It has been an interesting experience, and I do enjoy learning about where they are now and what's happening in their lives.

12. You are checking out at a grocery store. In the express lane, there are more people than the regular lanes, but of course, their load is less than those in the regular lanes. Which lane do you choose (assuming you qualify for the express lane) and why?

It would be a gut decision. One day I might choose express, and another day I might choose a regular line. It's something I weigh out at the moment and then go with my gut as to which line would move faster.

Well, that's all for me today. Be sure to visit Linda's blog for more Random Dozen.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Test Results

I got the results of my blood work Monday. My thyroid is normal. That's good news because I want to be med-free as long as I possibly can be. The only down-side is that I don't know why I feel tired all the time. I can't help but think maybe it's a mental thing.

Would you believe I felt pretty energized yesterday, even after having gotten up at 4:30 AM to drive my husband to work because his car is broken down? For all practical purposes, I should've been tired. Go figure!

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Fresh Look at a Psalm

The memory verse that I need to memorize for this week's First Place study is Psalm 139:13-14. It's a pretty familiar verse to me, as I've read it innumerable times.

When Judy teaches she will sometimes read a verse in the Amplified version to convey the deeper meaning of a scripture, but we often kid about how LONG a scripture is in the AMP. Teasingly, I mentioned that I would memorize all the verses in the AMP from now on, just to be an overachiever.

Seriously, though, I decided it would surely help me grasp the fuller meaning of a scripture, especially if I'm memorizing familiar verses that I might not give much thought to due to their familiarity. So that's what I did.

This week's psalm is amazing. It's long, but its words convey to me so much more than what I read in a King James or New King James Version. I love it!
For you did form my inward parts; You did knit me together in my mother's womb. I will confess and praise You for You are fearful and wonderful and for the awful wonder of my birth! Wonderful are your works, and that my inner self knows right well.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Twitching

I think my eye stopped twitching today. I can't remember a twitch at all. I probably hadn't mentioned it here, but last Saturday my eyelid started twitching frequently and hadn't stopped. Until today. I have had that happen before, but I never went looking for a reason. I just accepted that it's one of those goofy things our bodies do from time to time.

What I discovered through an internet search is that eyelid twitches are really a muscle spasm that signifies one of a few things...

1. Stress
2. Fatigue
3. Too much caffeine

Well, I could nix #3 off the list because I cut pop out about 3 months ago, and a cup of coffee every couple of days is on its way out too.

Stress? Well, the real question is, when don't I have stress? The degrees of stress vary from week to week. When the twitching started, I was not feeling stressed.

So that leaves fatigue. Now that could very well be the culprit. I have been feeling sluggish for months. Can't say for sure when I really started feeling it, though. I just know that I wake up feeling tired. I go to work and feel tired. I come home feeling tired. I walk on the treadmill and feel energized. I get off the treadmill and feel exhausted. I perk up after dinner, but then I'm tired again.

I mentioned it to my nurse practitioner the other day, and she ordered blood work to check my thyroid. I'll learn the results of the test this week.

I'm just tired of being tired. You know?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Nov. 14, Thankful for...

...my husband taking care of dinner tonight.

Translation = pizza delivery.

I know it's not whole food, but I was tired and starving. And he loves pizza. As far as I'm concerned, that's a win-win situation.

My half was veggie lovers. I only ate two slices, and I had an orange on the side. See? Totally healthy.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Deer

It was dark, but I could see him at the side of the road. He was confused, turning this way and that, trying to decide where to run. So he ran into the road, directly in front of me. It was a good thing I had seen him and knew his indecision. I came to a stop and watched him bound across the road.

But then, just as quick as a blink, a truck coming from the other direction slammed into him. I heard the impact of body meeting metal. It was loud. He was stunned, turned, and then fell to the ground. I couldn't believe what I had just witnessed. My hand flew to my gaping mouth in horror. And the truck drove off as if nothing had happened.

I started to accelerate slowly, but I felt unsure how to process what I had seen. I watched the deer still lying there, legs jerking and writhing in pain. What's a person to do with that knowledge? I've never seen an animal killed or injured before. If it had been killed instantly upon impact, I could've handled it. No suffering. But the animal was still alive in excruciating pain. I wanted to do something.

I drove a half mile up the hill to pick my husband up after work. Needless to say, I wasn't good company for the drive home. I looked for the injured deer as we drove back down the hill. He must have died soon after I had driven away because he was clearly deceased by the time I passed the second time. Somehow that was a relief to me, even though the image of the accident was fresh in my mind.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Nov. 12, Thankful For Sleep

It has been a really long day, so all I can say for today is that I'm thankful sleep is coming soon.

I had a doctor's appointment this morning. I needed to have some blood drawn, and it took four tries before they got any out of me...twice in one arm, once in the other, and finally after warming up my hand under hot water, they were able to find a vein in my hand. It wasn't a big deal. I've never been queasy when it comes to having blood drawn.

Later in the afternoon I got a call from Rich. He couldn't get the car started, so I needed to go pick him up...after I had just been in the vicinity of his employer only one hour before.

Rather than taking a nap, which was at the top of my list, I decided I could get myself psyched up to get on the treadmill for at least a half hour. Forty minutes later I was off the treadmill and moving on to a shower and the next phase of the day.

Dinner. We have nothing but a roast in the freezer right now, so I needed to run yet another errand and drove around the corner to pick up Subway sandwiches. {I might add I'm thankful for Subway being around the corner, especially on nights like this.}

Oh yeah, then I remembered I hadn't had a chance to start the laundry yet. I forgot and then remembered about three times. The option for having clean underwear tomorrow was riding on my remembering. Don't worry...the load is in the dryer as I type.

By 6:00 it felt like 8:00. It's early bedtime for Liz tonight. I'm zonked.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Random Dozen... Again

Do you know what day it is? If you guessed Wednesday, you're right? Since it is Wednesday, then you should know it's time for another edition of Linda's Random Dozen at 2nd Cup of Coffee. Woo Hoo!!!

1. What was the last song you listened to?

Barry Manilow singing "The Christmas Song"... Yes, I am listening to Christmas music already, but only when I'm at the office. It brings out the warm fuzzies and makes me feel nostalgic.

2. Have you ever had “buyer’s remorse” over anything?

I typically get buyer's remorse when I buy a new pair of shoes, try to wear them the next day, only to find out they pinch somewhere. Drives me nuts! It's too hard to choose a good fitting shoe in those few moments of walking up and down the aisle at the store.

3. What is something in your life that you are thankful for now that you didn’t think you would be at the time of the event? (Something that seemed ill-timed, inconvenient or hurtful which turned out to be a good thing)

I went through a painful break-up when I was in college and not one that I had chosen for myself, but I believe it was for the best. I'm sure I would've been a different person if I had remained with him. God works in mysterious ways.

4. Do you watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade every year? If so, do you have a favorite float or balloon?

I usually have the parade turned on, but I'm always doing other things while watching it. Sometimes I'm folding laundry, surfing the internet or cooking. I really can't just sit and watch it, though. And I don't have a favorite float.

5. Share a quote, scripture, poem or lyric which has been an inspiration to you lately.

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths." I've been needing to meditate on this one a lot the last few weeks.

6. This is meant to be a fun question, and this is a G-rated blog, but please share a “guilty pleasure,” something that you enjoy that’s probably not the most edifying, time-worthy or healthy thing you could be indulging in. Did I mention this blog is rated G?

Oh, is this an easy one! A Starbucks PEPPERMINT MOCHA TWIST. (Sorry, Starbucks.) It is sooooo not good for me with all that sugar, but it is ooooooooh so delicious. I have to drink them sparingly.

7. What Thanksgiving food are you looking forward to?

I think I most anticipate pie on Thanksgiving. It's one of the few times during the year that I eat pie. It doesn't matter what kind either, just so long as it's pie.

8. What is your favorite book to read to children, or what was your favorite childhood book?

I read "Charolotte's Web" a couple times because I enjoyed it so much. I remember being home from school in the 5th grade with a pain in my back and deciding to read the entire book that day.

9. Do you collect anything? (Feel free to post a photo.)

I used to collect Boyd's Bears and Cherished Teddies because I worked at two different gift shops early in my marriage. At this moment they are all boxed up and sitting in my loft, never seen since our move 3 years ago.

10. Gift bags or wrapping paper?

I prefer to use gift bags, but it always depends on the size of the gift and what I happen to have on hand in my gift wrap stash. Gift bags are just so convenient.

11. Share an after-school memory from when you were younger. What was your routine like on an average day?

I can't remember a specific routine, but I know I spent a lot of time playing outdoors with my friends. I was either on the swings in my backyard, playing basketball with the boy across the street, or riding my bike through the neighborhood.

12. True story: Once, in a job interview, I was asked this question and told there would be no clarifying; I simply had to answer the question: “When you’re fishing, do you feel for the fish?” So what about you? Do you feel for the fish??

When I read this question I took it to mean one thing, but I wasn't entirely certain what Linda was going for. I went and read answers from a bunch of other bloggers, and it seems some of them are uncertain as well.

I first took it to mean that when I'm trying to catch a fish, do I feel for the tug on the end of the line? If that's what you're asking, Linda, then the answer is "yes". I do feel for the tug on the end of the line.

But if you're asking me if I feel for the fish, as in, do I feel sorry for the fish? Then the answer is mostly "no". That's not to say I don't wonder what goes through the fish's mind when he's caught his mouth on that hook, but there's nothing like that feeling you get when you've caught a walleye and your friend hasn't. {winking at Judy}

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Nov. 10, Thankful for Bible Study

I am quite blessed in that I have plenty of opportunities to participate in Bible studies through the week. I know it helps me stay focused on spiritual things.

This morning in my quiet time I was in Joshua 23:1-9. Joshua is getting ready to die, and he exhorts Israel one final time to obey God's commands...
Therefore be very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, lest you turn aside from it to the right hand or to the left, and lest you go among these nations, these who remain among you. You shall not make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause anyone to swear by them; you shall not serve them nor bow down to them, but you shall hold fast to the Lord your God, as you have done to this day. (vs. 6-8)
I'm a Christian living in the world amidst darkness, and I have an enemy. Reading, meditating on, and observing to keep the commands of the Lord keeps me from falling to attack and idol worship, and that's why I want to be in Bible study as much as possible. I fall so quickly.

Monday, November 09, 2009

I'm Officially Old

It was bound to happen one day, and somehow I had a feeling it was coming soon. Today is the day I am officially old. "Why?" you ask.

It's been a long day, and a weird one at that. Neither Rich nor I are feeling up to par. As we sat on the couch enjoying an episode of Property Virgins on HGTV, I told him a funny story about something that happened in Sunday school yesterday. It made him think of our friend who works in our Word of Life Club, and suddenly he asked, "Did we have a meeting tonight?!?"

My mouth dropped open and I looked at him with wide eyes. "I think we did!" He handed me the phone, and I called our head coach to check into this. Yep, there was a meeting alright, and we missed it.

I cannot believe that I actually FORGOT ALL ABOUT A MEETING! I don't forget appointments or meetings or events. I mean, there have been times I've forgotten early in the day and then remembered later that I had somewhere I needed to be, but I've never completely and utterly forgotten I needed to be somewhere.

So what I'm wondering now is, will this just be the norm from now on? I feel as if I've crossed into unknown territory here. What is the next thing I'll forget? I'm already thinking about a doctor's appointment I have for Thursday morning. Am I going to forget that too?

This all has been a bit disconcerting. I think I need to lie down.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Nov. 8, Thankful for a Good Day

Oh my! I almost forgot to do my thankful post today. Sundays are always busy for me, so this is really my first opportunity to sit down and do it.

I'm thankful that I had a good day at church. I am pretty pleased with how well my Sunday school lesson went this morning, for the opportunity to spend time with friends, and even having served in the toddler room this evening with one little guy. I don't think he's ever interacted with me before, and he was pretty content to be there with me. We put puzzles together, and he read books to me. He was quite entertaining.

It was a good day!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Nov. 7, Thankful for My Dog

Yes, I really am thankful for my dog. She delights me so. I have always been a dog person and even had a dog when I was a kid. My childhood dog wasn't quite the dream dog, though, because she didn't learn tricks, made messes in the house, and pretty much ran out the front door any moment she had the chance. Not fun!

I'll admit that I had to beg my husband to finally agree to bringing a dog into our home, but the waiting was worth it. I wanted a dog that would fetch a ball and follow me places and snuggle on my lap while watching TV. Dixie has got the fetching down, and she DEFINITELY follows me everywhere (to the point I sometimes have had to ask her to go away). The snuggling is not quite there because she's a busy little Sheltie with things to do and cats to keep in line. But she gives great doggy kisses, and has a sweet Sheltie expression that melts my heart. I adore her!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Nov. 6, Thankful I'm Never Alone

I've just gotta make this my thankfulness thing today.
Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. - Psalm 73:25-26
No matter who abandons me or doesn't meet my expectations, God is always there. He will remain, even when all others are gone. He will be my portion...as long as I choose Him to be.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Nov. 5, Thankful for Scripture

I'll be honest. I'm struggling to be thankful today. I wasn't even sure how to write a post when all that's staring me in the face right now are my worries, confusion, fear, and failures. But the Lord did give me something. It's a scripture that speaks to a spiritual need I have.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths. - Proverbs 3:5-6
I'm thankful today for the comfort of God's Word.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

It's Another Random Dozen

I enjoy Linda's Random Dozen, but I don't always have time to sit down and give much thought to her questions. Let's see if I can do it today...

1. It's early morning, about 2:00AM, and you're driving home. You come to a red light and sit there. There is no one in sight for miles around. Do you wait it out or run the light?

I'm really into obeying rules, so I would wait for the light to turn green before going...even at 2:00 AM.

2. If you had the chance to re-do the last 24 hours, would you change anything?

Yeah, there are a lot of things I would do differently right now. I'm struggling with the way I use my afternoons at home. I have plenty to keep me busy but can't quite figure out what to do first, and I have a lack of energy. Hoping to get it figured out soon.

3. When you reply to someone's comment on your blog, do you reply in your comments or go to her blog and comment? (Or email her)

I try to send a reply by email, but often people don't have their email turned on for their account. So I will just reply in the comments area.

4. Your favorite Disney movie is:

Oooh, that's such a hard one, picking a favorite Disney anything! You know I'm a fan. I think I'm gonna have to say "Finding Nemo". Dory cracks me up!

5. Do you recycle?

No. I would, except I think I have to go downtown to an office to pick up a bin, and it's not that important to me.

6. Games of strategy or games of chance?

I don't really play games, but I guess strategy would be my pick.

7. Do you have any recurring dreams?

Not in more recent years. A couple years ago, though, I would have dreams from time to time where I had to use the (ahem) facilities in very odd places. VERY odd places. If anyone has any idea what that might mean, feel free to share.

8. What did you learn from your first real job?

I practically grew up at the mall. That's because my father's family owned a small chain of full-service shoe stores, and as kids we spent much time helping at the store. When I became a teen I helped off and on during big sales and such, so I guess that would qualify as my first real job. I learned two things. #1-Women lie about their shoe size, and we were taught to bring out 3 different sizes for ladies to try on in case the size they claimed was not the right fit. #2 - All the really cool high heels would be entirely out of style by the time I was grown up enough to wear them.

9. Do you buy or borrow most books?

I like to both buy and borrow. I guess I do a fair amount of both. Typically, I'm such a slow reader that when I check out books from the library for the 3-week period, I then have to renew them for another 3 weeks. Sometimes I still don't finish them. So buying books at least takes the 6 week pressure off of trying to finish before time is up. A semi-solution to that problem has been PaperbackSwap.com. I trade my books for others I want on the website, and I can take as long as I want to read a book. Then I repost the book to swap for another.

10. What fashion trend of the past did you say you'd never wear again but did?

I was just a kid when they were in fashion, so it wasn't that much of a tragedy, but...bell bottoms! Okay, so they don't call them bell bottoms today. They're bootcut, flared or whatever, and I love them.

11. When do you start Christmas shopping?

Christmas shopping doesn't typically begin for me until two weeks before Christmas. Last year I waited too long to get a particular gift I could only find at the mall and did a big no-no, venturing out to the mall on the Saturday prior to Christmas. Traffic was backed up a mile from the mall, and I think it took me 30 minutes just to drive that far. I think I almost cried.

12. Have you ever been so happy that you literally jumped up and down for a few seconds? If so, what was the occasion?

When I finally got to the mall to buy that Christmas gift. Ha! (See #11.) Just kidding. Actually, I was pretty happy a couple weeks ago when I finally reached a weight goal I had been working at. I don't think I jumped, but my jaw dropped and I did a cha-ching with my arm. Is that close enough?

Okay, peeps. Go read Linda's blog now and see how everyone else answered the questions today.

Nov. 4, Thankful for the Fat

Alright, I know you may laugh at my thankfulness for fat, but I am entirely serious. A few months ago I learned that saturated fat curbs your hunger and keeps you from having insulin spikes. So I started eating bacon and eggs with butter for breakfast. Wow! It makes such a difference to eat a fat full breakfast and be sustained until lunchtime. No more sneaking into Dad's stash in his office to eat a couple fun sized candy bars mid-morning because I'm starving. (By the way, his stash is for the grandkids, not himself.)

So... Thank You, Lord, for the fat. You definitely knew what you were doing when you created it.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Nov. 3, Thankful for Encouragement

I've been discouraged for a couple months about one of my ministries at church. I'm thankful for the couple who stopped by last night to encourage me in that ministry. They brainstormed with me about changes we might make together to help with the issue. What a blessing they are to me to bear my burden, as if it's their struggle too.


Monday, November 02, 2009

Nov. 2, Thankful For My Father

I am thankful for my Heavenly Father who I can talk to anytime, anywhere. I am so weak and confused and helpless that I need His strength and wisdom continually. He's always there, ready to listen and answer when I call.


Sunday, November 01, 2009

Nov. 1, Thankful For Grace

As this, the first day of November, I am participating in the NaBloPoMo. That is, National Blog Posting Month. The goal is to post a blog every day in the month of November.

I have chosen the theme of "thankfulness", since November is the month of Thanksgiving. Every day I will write about something I am thankful for. I believe this to be a very good exercise and commitment for me, since I don't express thankfulness to the Lord enough.

Today I am thankful for God's great grace that keeps me going day after day. The grace He pours into me when I humble myself under His mighty hand gives me the ability to change and to do, say, or walk through something that seems impossible in the flesh. Where would I be without it?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Another October Baby!


I'm an auntie again! Although he was 6 days past due, Judy's grandbaby was born this morning after a very short labor. Beckett is a big boy at 8 lbs., 15 oz. I'm looking forward to seeing pictures very soon.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Caffeinated Randomness


Yes, this is a totally random thought for the day, so I'm linking up with Andrea and her blog Under Grace and Over Coffee.

Saw this little Birthday Wisdom question on another blog, and since my birthday was Tuesday I thought I'd just see what it had to say. Just for fun, you know. {wink}




Your Birthday's Wisdom is Thought



You believe a mind is a terrible thing to waste, and you try to exercise your brain as much as possible.

You are intrigued by almost everything, and you are curious about the world around you.

You want to travel to foreign lands, read lots of books, and master many subjects.

You love to go on all sorts of adventures, especially the kind that don't require you to leave your room.


Hmmm... I don't think those quiz people know me exceptionally well. Yes, I certainly DO love reading and learning new things, but as for being adventurous... I really would rather do all my traveling through books and stay home. I'm such a homebody.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!


The calendar has once again rolled over to October 6th, and it's my birthday. Everyone has made me feel very loved.

I received lots of happy wishes from friends on Facebook. My parents sent flowers. A very special friend called. My sister spent the day with me, having lunch and painting at the pottery studio, and then to finish off the whole day, my husband treated me to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Carrabba's Italian Grill. (Oh, I do love their Caesar salad with shrimp!)

I'm stuffed, and I didn't even have dessert! I guess that's probably a good thing. I don't NEED dessert, but I don't get a special dessert every day so it's somewhat disappointing. I'll have to get dessert some other day to make up for it.

It has been a very good day...even without dessert.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Get To Know Me - Random Dozen #2


It's already Wednesday again and time for a visit with Linda and friends over at 2nd Cup of Coffee. Check out these Random Dozen...

1. Tell me the absolute best way to watch a movie.
Sitting on the couch, snuggled under a fleece blanket and eating ice cream
2. Do you ever think about your own funeral? If so, do you have specific ideas about how you would like it to be?
I have thought about what my funeral would be like, although I've never really thought of the details. I always imagine who might be there and wonder what kind of legacy I would leave behind. It's my prayer that people would remember me as a woman who loved the Lord and spent her life serving Him.
3. Are you more of a giver or a taker?
That's sort of a toughie for me. I think I'm more of a giver, but you'd probably have to ask other people who observe me to know for sure. Obviously, my goal is to be a giver based on my previous answer to #2.

4. Vacations: planned activities and schedules, or play it by ear?
Oh, vacations definitely need to be planned. I'm not one who gets into the details, but you've got to have a basic plan, especially if you're going to Disney World. And of course, I don't know how to vacation anywhere else BUT Disney World.

5. What is one often overlooked item in your home that needs to be cleaned regularly?
Yikes! Do I really have to say? It's probably my bathtub. I can't say it's overlooked, seeing as I look at it every day. So please, if you ever visit me and happen to use my bathroom and if the shower curtain is closed, don't you dare peek behind there. It's closed for a reason. {laughing}

6. Name a cause that means a lot to you.
The most worthy cause is that of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Sharing the good news of receiving forgiveness of sin and giving people the tools for biblical life change is the most important cause to me.

7. Do you eat a regular old peanut butter jelly sandwich, or do you customize it? And by the way, jelly or no jelly?
It's gotta be PB & J and nothing else. Definitely with jelly.

8. If we were having a conversation in person, how would I know if you were nervous?
If I was holding something in my hands, I would fiddle around with it. If I didn't have anything in my hands, then I might play with a button at the bottom of my shirt or a tie on my jacket. I'd probably ramble about dumb stuff, too.

9. Do you have an elaborate bedtime routine, or just the basics of tooth brushing and jammies?
Just normal. Nothing elaborate.

10. Have you ever regretted something you wrote on your blog?
I always try to be so careful with what I put out on my blog for all of the worldwide web to read. One time I wrote a post that sounded quite bitter toward someone and actually published it. I meant for it to be funny, but at the same time I knew it was coming out of bitterness. Then I quickly sent the link to a friend and asked them if they thought it was too much, and they gave me a thumbs-down on it because it reflected poorly on my attitude. I was able to pull the post down before it was picked up by any blog readers. I know I would've regretted that one if it had been read.

There are times that I would like to voice my opinion on the current hot topics of the day, but I always steer clear of them so as not to cause a controversy. I guess I don't want to argue on my blog. I'd prefer to keep it a happy place.

11. Has anyone ever told you that you look like a famous person or celebrity? Did you agree?
Seems I remember someone telling me in high school that I looked like Farrah Fawcett. I don't know why anyone would think that. I had awful hair and have always been a far cry from "glamorous".

12. If you were going to dedicate a song to a loved one or friend, what would the song be and to whom would it be dedicated?
I would dedicate "You'll Be In My Heart" to my niece Meghan. When Disney's Tarzan came out on video, she was about 3 years old and my little sweetie. She was the first baby who ever really stole my heart. I would sing that song to her, and she always liked it.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Finally!

Finally... the number on the scale is going down! After more than a month of frustration in tinkering with food group servings and calorie numbers, I think I've finally found my window. I also started walking 4 days a week and drinking more water.

Yes, I think it's working. I can see the goal now!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Get to Know Me: Random Dozen


I'm joining in with the Random Dozen today at Linda's 2nd Cup of Coffee.

1. Please share one middle school memory. It can be good, bad, ugly, funny. Pictures or words, I don't care, just share.
Oh, those were some awful years for me. I think I have more bad memories to share than good. The first thing I think of when I remember the 7th grade is my hairstyle. And you'd have to use the word "style" loosely. It was a total afro. I had been visiting my aunt out of town, and she took me to a salon. I got a new cut and style, and of course, I didn't know anything about hair back then. I had no idea how to style it or that I needed products to tame it. That was the WORST hair year of my entire life.

2. What's your favorite Beatles song?
I'm not a fan. Don't have a favorite.

3. If I asked you to describe your most comfortable outfit, what would it be?
When I really want to relax, I like to put on my gray knit shorts and a t-shirt.

4. Would you rather host a party or be a guest?
I would much rather be a guest. Hosting is too stressful for me. I'm not a very seasoned cook, so all that food prep and trying to get everything ready at once is just overwhelming. If I choose to host, I'm better off ordering a pizza.

5. Do you think we will move completely from traditional books to digital ones, and if we do, are you OK with that?
I don't think we would ever move completely away from traditional books. Anyway, I am in love with the smell and feel of a book in my hands. I love choosing books by their covers. There is also just something about having the book in my own hands that makes it personal. I have tried reading books on the internet, and I just don't enjoy it. Someone might be able to sell me on Kindle because you hold it in your hand, and I'll admit it's kind of cool. I would still miss the feel of a book.

6. Do you learn best by reading, listening or experiencing?
I think I sort of need a combo of reading, listening and experiencing. But I guess if I really had to nail it down, I think experiencing is probably my best form of learning. There's something about having to actually go through the motions and being hands-on that drives something home for me. That's when things "click" for me.

7. If you are (or when you were) single, what is the kiss of death for you concerning the opposite sex? (That is, what is one trait or behavior or habit or anything at all that immediately turns you off from considering that person a potential match for you?)
I have been married for 14 years, so this isn't really an issue. I do recall a date I had, and the guy smelled. I spent the evening wondering if he was just so nervous that his deodorant failed, or if he just hadn't used it. It was uncomfortable for me. So I would say that body odor is the kiss of death.

8. Snacks. Salty or sweet?
I can go both ways on this one, but I would say 95% of the time I'm looking to find a sweet snack.

9. Look around you in a four foot radius. What object is around you that you didn't realize was there or forgot was there? How long has it been there?
Hmmm...I'm looking around and don't see anything that I didn't know was already there.

10. What is your favorite Tom Cruise movie?
"Far and Away" (I just realized I haven't seen that movie in forever!)

11. You buy a bottle of shampoo and discover that you don't like what it does to your hair at all. What do you do with that full bottle?
9 times out of 10 I would THROW IT AWAY. Yes, I'm that wasteful. (gasp!)

12. Your favorite Fall comfort food? (Last week it was beverage.)
Chili (real original, huh?)
So, those are my Random Dozen today. Click over and visit Linda's blog today at 2nd Cup of Coffee to see how other people answered their Random Dozen.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Pray Believing

Ever since I was first asked to teach the Junior Sunday School class, I've been praying over it. I prayed about the decision, and then once the decision was made I began praying for the kids. I've been praying for the ability to teach them and for the Lord to use me to impact their lives.

Ready and girded with prayer as I could be, I walked into class the first day and was met with challenges from the first minute. At first I thought...
What am I doing here, Lord? This isn't the way I thought it would be.

My next thought was...

Please help me, Lord. I know I'm supposed to be here, and you're the only One with the solution to this problem. I don't know what to do, so please show me.

So I've been praying for 3 weeks for God's wisdom on how to get through to my Juniors, to be able to connect with them as I teach, and for His leading concerning the most beneficial way to teach so as to keep their attention.

Yesterday was the third time I walked into that classroom, and as I began my lesson it became very evident to me that the Holy Spirit was there. My kids were attentive immediately. It was amazing! Oh, we still had some issues, but overall I am positive that they were listening and the changes I had made in my presentation had made a difference.

I have recently seen some big answers to prayer in the last month, and I want to encourage you to hope in God and pray earnestly to see Him work change in not only others, but in you too. I've watched God do some amazing stuff. Pray believing!

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13 NKJV)