Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Fill-ins!

1. My favorite food seasoning is Curry.
2. Naptime quiet is music to my ears.
3. Lucky is really Providence.
4. My relationship with God is something I take very seriously.
5. Many people will be unhappy after Tuesday no matter how it goes.
6. Winter drapes was the last thing I bought at the store (Goodwill, wah hoo).
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to sugaring up little beggars at my door,
tomorrow my plans include Christmas photos and the company picnic
and Sunday, I want to REST!

To learn more about Friday Fill-ins go Here.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Good Sport Guests!

We had some friends of ours over for dinner and I bravely (crazily) chose to make something I'd never made before. Both were really good sports about being our guinea pigs for the night. It was a hit...and she asked me to put the recipe on my here ya'll go!
Pepper Ring Burgers (idea taken from Rachael Ray's show...with my seasonings)
1 lb. chicken burg.
1 lb. turkey burg.
1-2 T. Cajun Seasoning (depending on your hotness preference)
2 t. Mrs. Dash Original
3 large peppers (green, orange, yellow, or red)

Smush together burger and spices. Cut peppers into thick rings. Stuff burger into it is the outside border of the burger. Fry on medium heat with a tiny bit of oil...until browned on both side and cooked through. The peppers browned up a bit too!

Serve on nice toasted Kaiser buns. The spicy burgers were offset by the sweet pepper...yummo as Rach would say!

Dream Clouds (from Simply Delicious Magazine)
Served in stemware
Layer of Cool Whip
Layer Mandarin orange slices
Two scoops orange sherbet

It was harder to get this "prettily" into the glasses than you might think. It was light and refreshing!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Fill-ins!

1. Right now, I'm feeling happily exhausted.
2. Curled up in my chair with a book is where I want to be.
3. How does one get it all done?
4. God's Word daily keeps me on track.
5. Please don't whine anymore, dear Emma.
6. My baby's smiles fills me with joy.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to have dinner at our house with friends, tomorrow my plans include oil changes and haircuts...and Euchre Night and Sunday (night), I want to go out on the town with my man.

To learn more about Friday Fill-ins go Here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Remember the words?

I was listening to our "christian" radio station and was irked by the DJ...don't worry it's a common occurrence. They are doing a fund drive which makes them even more maddening than usual. An older couple sent in a donation with a line from this hymn...the DJ didn't know it...surprise, surprise! I'll save my issues with the station for another blog but here is the hymn...awesome...and the link has it playing!

In My Heart There Rings A Melody

I have a song that Jesus gave me,
It was sent from heaven above;
There never was a sweeter melody,
'Tis a melody of love.

I love the Christ who died on Calv'ry,
For He washed my sins away;
He put within my heart a melody,
And I know it's there to stay.

'Twill be my endless theme in glory,
With the angels I will sing;
'Twill be a song with glorious harmony,
When the courts of heaven ring.

In my heart there rings a melody,
There rings a melody with heaven's harmony;
In my heart there rings a melody;
There rings a melody of love!

Words and Music: Elton M. Roth, 1891-1951

Book Reviews 8 & 9

The Prophet by Frank E. Peretti

I didn't finish it. I couldn't! I don't know what my problem is but I can't handle this book right now. It is too much like what's on the news (elections) and is totally contrary to my belief on prophets and end times. I'll pick it up later...but much later...and try it again. Maybe, it'll be on the list next fall...seeing as the election season won't be so major!

The Busy Mom's Guide to Spiritual Survival by Kelli B. Trujillo

This is a good, practical book. I found that I already did many of these things but it was neat to see someone cared enough to give tips in a book. At first, I thought the title was a bit extreme, "spiritual survival" but after some thought, think it is right on. We need to be serious...very serious...about making God first in our day! I like the concept that even if I get nothing else done but spending time with day is still very well spent!

To check out my Fall Reading List just click here.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday Marqee...

Well, it's happened again. You know me and those dumb church marquees. People probably think that I only see the negative ones...or the ones I disagree with but the truth is that I don't feel inspired to write about the ones I agree with...they encourage me and I move on with my day. The others are so irritating that it sort of grinds on me until I decide to write about it and free it to the cyber world.

Today's marquee:

"Lend to God and Earth. They give the best interest."

First, why is Earth even in this equation? Are we now to believe in God and Mother Earth/Father Time? Why is Earth personified? This going green thing is totally getting to me. I believe we are to be good stewards of earth but come on! First, we must remember that God created the earth. He created the earth to bring glory to himself. Not the other way around. Romans 1:25 says, “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised.” Worshipping the creation rather than the Creator is idolatry. May I be as bold as to say that this new “green” movement is a form of idolatry. As Christians we must remember that the earth is ours to rule over. God gave us the earth and all that is in it as our domain. However, we must use it and enjoy it in a God-honoring way. We should be careful not to abuse it or destroy it. We must also be careful not to worship the creation. God is the creator, the one who deserves all our praise! The creation reflects God’s glory and because of that we need to respect the creation and care for it and remember that it’s resources are not infinite. Yes, Christians have a great responsibility to the environment, but it is one that is balanced and viewed through the pages of the Word of God. This earth is perishing, but that does not mean that we turn our backs on what God has entrusted to us. We must be excellent stewards of what God has given us! So, “go green”(to the degree that it is reasonable), but remember that it is all for the glory of God!

Second, the word LEND? I believe that it all belongs to God. Looking at it from that perspective it is He that is lending to us...if there is any lending going on. It seems a bit presumptuous to tell a Sovereign God that I'll lend him some of my stuff. I'd be careful with that attitude. You might just find yourself with nothing. On the other hand, John Piper had a great article on Lending to God based on Proverbs 19:17, "He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord,and he will repay him for his deed. " From that angle we could all improve. This is a great article...check it out.

Third, what is meant by interest? God is interested in us...John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." However, I'm assuming this is supposed to be cute from an economic stand point. So, financial interest...well, I'm not a big fan of the health and wealth concept. The Bible does not say that being a christian is going to make us healthy wealthy and wise...quite the contrary. "No servant is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also" (John 15:20).

Lastly, I will give some points for the idea of our being blessed when we follow him. I do believe that he blesses our obedience. Psalm 1:1-3, "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers." That concept of good interest I can deal with.

Overall, a weird marquee at best.
Happy Marqee Monday!

Saturday, October 18, 2008


This craggy old tree in my back yard inspires me somehow. I find myself creating stories in my head...of climbing into it's branches and reading, of the little fox family who lives in it's trunk, of children imagining mansions in it's branches...

Here's a picture of one of our trees...yellow. When am I going to get a red tree??? I like the red ones best!
I got this chipped aqua pitcher at a junk store and put my fall flowers in it. Doesn't it look cute? I just love seeing this out the window...sitting on the screen inviting to Fall!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday Fill-ins!

1. Follow the will of God for my life.
2. Sunscreen and bug spray are something I always take with me on vacation.
3. To achieve your goals, you must press on toward the prize.
4. I have an awesome, loving, helpful, thoughtful husband... is something I'd like you to know about me.
5. I have a great, gluten-free making, breadmachine.
6. Bubbles floats.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to Ladies Game Night, tomorrow my plans include rest and mild housecleaning and Sunday, I want to take a nap after church!


Check out Friday Fill-in's Here.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Marriage Monday...

10 Tips for Frugal Living

"The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it."
Proverbs 10:22

This is a timely subject considering the current economy issues. I hope that people who weren't living frugally before will now read these posts and gain tips to help them turn their spending around. Praise God, I married a very frugal man. Trust me...I don't feel that way everyday...but I do see it as God's blessing. God, in His infinite wisdom, knew that I needed a husband who'd track my spending and keep me accountable. The awesome thing is...that He also helped me embrace frugality and truly enjoy saving. He's placed friends in my path to give me tips and encouragement.

So, here are my 10 Tips...

1. Keep track and keep organized. Know where your money is going. We were extreme when we started this...saved receipts...but now we know and don't have to be so intense. I was encouraged to see where the money I was saving was going, etc. It's no fun to be frugal if you don't feel it's helping.

2. It may surprise some of my friends to learn that I shop at thrift stores but...IT IS SO AWESOME. I wear name brands (Claiborne, Hilfiger, Abercrombie, Gap, etc.) and never go outside the thrift store. Some of them still have their tags on them ya'll! I buy shoes and bags the same way. It is so stinkin' cool to me to carry Italian leather bags I'd never get away with buying full price (Darren'd kill me) but get for $2.99 at Goodwill. Same with shoes. I've become so accustomed to shopping this way that it really bothers me to have to pay full price for something.

3. Price matching. I am a huge price matcher at Walmart. You can take an ad from anywhere and if they don't beat the ad price they'll give you the competitor's price for the item. I make out like a bandit when Kroger does 10 for 10. I love this for a number of reasons. I don't have to shop all over the city at multiple stores with two toddlers. Even when I can't beat Walmart's price with an ad...I know I got the lowest price. FYI--this doesn't apply to BOGO deals. Don't ask me why. I'm a big generic fan...especially when I can read that the ingredients are I.D..denticle!

4. Use coupons ONLY FOR THE ITEMS ON YOUR LIST. I know there are some awesome couponers out there. I'm not talking about Dealies with CVS and Walgreens, etc. cuz that's a whole other method in and of itself. If you have the time and energy...go for's worked wonders for tons of my friends. I'm talking about getting sucked into the coupons selling you stuff you didn't need to begin with. So, if you find a coupon for something on your list...use it but don't just use coupons to try stuff out...'cuz usually you're losing money.

5. Plan menus. This keeps you from eating out and helps you keep your shelves and freezer organized. My method is to create the weeks menu on top of my grocery list. Keep your calendar you plan appropriate meals for the day's activities. Then I walk around the kitchen assessing what I need to complete that menu. I then sit down and look at ads to find price matches and coupon matches to the created list. According to my calculations this has saved me about $40 some weeks.

6. Make your own fun. We don't buy the kids toys. We save all wrappings, bottles, etc. and create our own fun. I make my own playdoh, soap paints, etc. Our kids aren't deprived...they do have toys from grandmas and grandpas, etc. We feel this is not only frugal but also will hopefully ward off "little consumerism." We don't want them thinking they are owed toys...and we want them to develop good imaginations.

7. Darren and I make our birthday and Christmas gifts for each other. We usually write letters or poetry. We talked about it...and knew we wanted to pay debt off, etc...and missed those early courting notes anyway! It works out great. For example, just to brag on my man....for my birthday Friday he created a scavenger hunt for me...each verse of a poem took me around the house...until I found my gift. My gift was a bunch of "coupons" for special lovey things. He did sort of cheat this birthday though...and brought home a bag of Dove favorite. I guess, we'll go easy on him! We've decided to celebrate Advent with the kids at Christmas. We really want to emphasize Christ's each child will get only one gift. We will talk about the ONE BIG GIFT of Jesus', have Jesus' birthday party, etc.

8. One date night a month. Wait, this is money is that frugal? Well, it's an investment. I heard a funny quip once, "Pay for dates now, or pay for counseling later."

9. I've made all Caleb's baby food (exception of Rice Cereal) mostly due to his allergies. I was calculating though...and that's saved us a lot of money. There are all sorts of great baby food making tips out there. I love my book, "Super Baby Food."

10. Bless others. I love doing meals for new babies, getting hot cocoa for the Salvation Army bell ringers, etc. I truly believe that if we give as we are able...God blesses this. "Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you." Duet. 16:17 Don't hold onto the money so hard it screams. It doesn't belong to you. Be wise...but remember it needs to be used for Jesus' as we tell our quarter hoarding three year old. All those quarters you "found" on Daddy's dresser are going to Jesus' on Sunday!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Belated...Know & Tell Friday...

1. Do you play any musical instruments? If so, which one(s)? If not, is there one you always wanted to know how to play?
I play the piano. Played percussion in high school and college. Played trumpet for a bit...and can still do a weak and pitiful scale. I played the guitar for a bit and would really like to pick that up again and become proficient. I have also played dulcimers, vibraharps, and other Appalachian instruments. I was a music major for a few years...I've tried everything. Never could get a reed instrument to make anything but an awful honking noise though.

2. Do you sing well? Do you sing along in the car? Do you use head motions?
Well, I went to college on a full vocal scholarship. I love to sing...but my MomE life doesn't leave much room for singing these days, outside of occasional special music, car singing, and kiddie sing a longs. Head motions? I'm currently working on some sign language for a piece... does that count?

3. Who was your teen music crush?
I don't think I had one. New Kids on the Block and the Newsboys were popular but my family really never supported that kind of "crush" stuff. I wasn't in to it either.

4. What is your favorite type of music?
I enjoy everything. I'm truly eclectic in musical taste. I listen to a lot of classical, opera, swing, jazz, oldies, and veggie tales music. The only kind I struggle with is what I refer to as "trashcan" music...where it sounds like banging trashcans and I can't understand a word of what they're saying...well, except for the bad words. Sort of sets my teeth on edge. I'm also currently struggling with certain christian music genres where you can't tell if they're singing about God or a woman. Errr, use the BIBLE for lyrics when all else fails, dude!

5. Who are your three favorite musical artists?
Andrea Bocelli, Michael Buble, and Kathleen Battle

6. Does your church play traditional or praise songs, or a combination?

7. What is your favorite hymn?
Great is Thy Faithfulness

8. What is your favorite praise song?
The Potter's Hand

9. What is the strangest musician's name whose music you like?
Michael Buble's is sort of odd, I guess. I like Switchfoot...and that's sort of odd too.

10. Here's the bonus question that you get to answer with a question. What one question would you like for Heather and Reese to ask in a future KATF? Just DON'T answer it yet. It can be something random, something you'd just love to know about everyone else...just whatever floats your boat. Go for it!
Do you garden...grow things...inside...outside? OR Do you kill living green things?

To check out Know & Tell Friday...or join in the here.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Book Review 7

Fair Weather by Richard Peck

Okay, it is official. Richard Peck is the best juvenile literature writer I have ever read. Everything...everything...I've read by him just totally rocks! This book is no exception. If you've never read one of his books...sit're in for a treat. My all time favorites are his award winners..."A Long Way From Chicago" and "A Year Down Yonder." I just get lost in these books...I MUST finish them in one day.

To check out my Fall Reading List just click here.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Know & Tell Friday...

1. Do you have fake plants in your house? Do you like them?

I am not a big fan of fake plants...although, I do have one. We got her when we got the china cabinet and needed something for the top of it. None of my real plants could hack that kind of sunlight deprivation so we got a nice silk ivy thing in a cast iron potter. Writing this, I am reminded that I really should climb up there and dust the poor thing.

I love real plants. I'm currently sprawling rhododendrons all over my house. My kids have never bothered them, PTL and I can't seem to kill them...even when I try. I just cut off a hunk from the ends and plunk it in water and "hydroponically" grow roots in my kitchen window. Makes me feel healthy...which is saying something since I have bronchitis right now! HA! The mother plant was a gift from one of my third graders my first year teaching. Sniff, I'm getting all sentimental!

2. What is the oldest piece of furniture you have that is not an antique? Describe it.

I'm not sure if our piano or china cabinet is older but they are old and not necessarily antiques. My mother tells me that it isn't nice to consider furniture from her birth time antique! HA! The china cabinet was an important furniture purchase for us. We knew we'd be having kids but realized our china was in perilous danger stored on a rickety metal baker's rack. We'd have friends over with their kiddos and the thing would shake and sway....yikes!

3. Do you have any antiques?

I am slowly inheriting certain things. I've received beautiful dishes from one grandmother and great grandmother and beautiful chairs from the other grandmother. I have started "junking" with my mom and sometimes we come out with antiques too. I like antique kitchen stuffs. Recently, I purchased an antique flour mom has my grandmother's and I bought one identical to it. I also get good deals on antiques at garage sales. I got an antique school desk for $5 and an antique book holder stand for $10. Sometimes, people just want them to go to a good home. One couple practically forced an antique chair on me. It's still in the garage waiting to be redone. I went to my first estate sale this year. That was sort of see someones' life all laid out on the lawn...but antiquing is definitely something I think I'll do more of in the future.

4. What type of dishes do you use? China, stoneware, Corelle, Tupperware, paper plates?

Our everyday dishes are a mish mash of what we had in college...and yes, we've been married for five years and we're still using them. We do have nice cobalt blue and cream formal china (a wedding gift) but rarely use it. We have young children...enough said. I break out the cups and saucers when I have girlfriends over for playdates...just cuz I like to look at them. I LOVE cobalt blue!

5. What is your favorite thing in your house?

I've been sitting here trying to think of one thing...and I'm stumped. I'm not a real thing person...I have places in my house that I like...but a certain thing...hmmm. I guess, my bookshelves. We are booklovers and have packed full bookshelves...kid book bins and baskets...reading nooks all around. It is very comforting and calming to me.

6. Do you like to use lamps or overhead lighting?

We only have overhead lighting in the kitchen. Our house is one of those ones built 40 years ago when they didn't build houses with overhead lighting. Sometimes it's when you have to find a lamp switch in the dark while holding an infant...but most of the time I like the softer light. They're great for bookworms.

7. Are you a pristine white wall person or do you love color?

I was always a beige wall type..which I guess means white wall but have attempted to break out of my shell. I painted our entry way bright yellow...color titled "Number Two Pencil"...and I love it! To see my two year old daughter's here. My husband, who helped me greatly with the painting, admits that he was skeptical but now really likes the warmth it brings to the house. I've since painted a bathroom dark brown and plan to do something crazy upstairs soon...I'll keep ya posted.

To check out Know & Tell Friday...or join in the here.