Monday, December 20, 2010

My first baby...

Cade asked me today what was something I had done for the first time. I'm not sure why. But I said, 9 years ago today, I had my first baby. Wow, time flies!!! Benjamin Cooper Gadman was born Dec. 20, 2001 at 10:39 PM. He weighed 6, 13 and was 19 1/2 inches long. Sometimes it seems like a lifetime ago, and times like today, it seems like just yesterday. I can remember the day in detail. Hopefully that is something I will never forget! He has been the best child since birth. Jason and I thought we were the best parents ever until the next one showed up. He is so polite, confident, smart, athletic, obedient (most of the time), a great big brother. We found out this weekend that he made it into gifted finally. I don't want to make a big deal about it because its not, but I am so proud of him. Not only is he a really great baseball, football, and basketball player, but he is a great team player. Cheers on his teammates, helps to get them where they need to be, listens to his coaches, and has a great attitude while practicing. I can't wait to see what plans God has for him, not only what he will accomplish, but what kind of man he will become. So proud to be his mom!

 
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Saturday, November 27, 2010

My son met his hero...

Well, actually, he met his hero's dad. Cade LOVES Billy the Exterminator. I got him started on it only because its filmed in Shreveport, so I like seeing stuff from home. But Cade will watch it for hours on end. He made himself a Vexcon truck, and made empty bottles into his pyrethren bug spray. So this week we decided to drive out to Benton to see their shop. And when we pulled in, someone was trying to pull out. But when we stopped and got out, he stopped and got out, and it was Big Bill, Billy's Dad! He introduced himself to Cade and took a picture with him and even went inside and got Cade an autographed picture of Billy. As emotional as Cade is when he thinks he has been hurt (picture screaming and gnashing of teeth) when he is excited, he just gets this big grin on his face. And this was the biggest grin I have ever seen on his face. SO CUTE and worth the drive! Thank you Big Bill!



Of course, the very next day, Cade is drawing something and labels it "Bad***" (fill in the blank). And where did he get that word? Billy! J and I go back and forth about letting him watch his most favorite show. When we tell him what words are bad, he's good about not saying them, but we don't catch them all because we can only take so much of Billy. Predicament!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My fabulous day!

Disclaimer: I am in no way tooting my horn by this blog post. To God be the glory for my day, I just want to testify about the joy of serving!

I had a marvolous, fabulous, awesome, worshipful day today and wanted to share! First know that my hubby has been out of town helping a friend, and since I not only let him go, but encouraged him to leave me with 3 boys by myself, I was serving that friend too! This morning, I brought some pantry items to donate to a fellow teacher who broke her shoulder. Then I moved all of the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes gathered by our weekday preschoolers down to the chapel and was able to talk to them about the blessing they are to children around the world. One little boy put his box on the pile and said, "I feel so happy!". It was so sweet! I love singing with them and when I'm talking, I love when I can tell they are really listening! That's a bonus with preschoolers. Then I moved all the boxes back down to the preschool hallway and went home for a few minutes.

While home, I called my sweet Pawpaw and told him hi. It made his day! I also wrote a letter and found a CD to give to another teacher who is struggling with marriage issues and took them back to school to give her. I packed all the shoe boxes up and Mr. Fausto helped load them in my van. I was excited because yesterday we had 18 and today we loaded up 62! My parents came thru! I took them to Sagemont and dropped them off. So on the way home, I have Chris Tomlin's new CD in, which on a side note is amazing, and I was just praising God for His opportunities to serve other people in His name. It was only lunch time and He had provided so many ways to help people, and the feeling of working like that for Him is such a rush! Our family verse this week is Proverbs 11:25, "A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed." I gave that to the boys before we went to buy stuff for our shoe boxes, and it seemed to help their selfish attitudes while shopping. But its so true! I was so refreshed today from refreshing other people. Again, I'm not saying that I am great, and believe me, most days, I am too selfish to take advantage of the opportunities that He puts in front of me to help others. Sometimes its out of fear or laziness or pride, but for today, I was willing and unselfish. At least until I was ready to eat lunch.

To reward myself (see a problem there?) I went to Sonic and spent more than I had in cash, so I had to put it on the debit card, and their machine messed up and I figured out when I got home they had charged me 6 times for a chicken strip lunch. Their chicken strips are good, but not $30 worth! So by the time I had called them and the bank, my lunch was cold. I was journaling later, and got convicted about rewarding myself for serving. And I had heard that little voice telling me to go home and eat peanut butter and jelly, but I ignored it. So, it was a marvelous, wonderful God gifted day, but I am a sinner, saved by grace, who still makes it about me sometimes.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pumpkin Recipe #2

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf, or Loaves or Muffins

1 2/3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 T. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
dash of salt
2 eggs
1 cup plain pumpkin
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients together in large bowl. Set aside. In small bowl, blend eggs, then add pumpkin and butter. Whisk together. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and fold together. Pour into greased baking pans and fill 2/3 full.
Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes for bundt cake, 40-45 minutes for loaves, and 20-25 minutes for muffins. You can cool completely and then freeze if you want.

I made 12 large muffins and about 12 mini muffins. I didn't get to 24 large muffins like it said it would make. The mini muffins took 13-15 minutes. Great snacks for my little one! I got this recipe from my friend Mandy. They are yummy!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pumpkin Bread recipe #1


Made it today and it is really good!!! Light and fluffy and crunchy crust. So good. I got it from Robin O'Hara. Thanks Robin!

3 1/2 cups flour
3 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp. salt
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup oil
2/3 cup water
1 can pumpkin (2 cups)

Combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, oil, water and pumpkin and mix well. Stir egg mixture into flour mixture. Pour batter into 3 greased 8x4 loaf pans or 2 greased 9x5 loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool before slicing.

Week Three of family devotional...

"My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them." Proverbs 1:10
We had to explain entice... "What if one of your friends at school tried to get you to come make fun of someone else?" They seemed to get that.
Interestingly, we had a bonus family time tonight. Cooper saw a clip of Brett Favre's wife on Sportscenter saying she was surviving because of her faith and she quoted Isaiah 41 passage (one of my favorite verses right now). He said, "why is she talking about the Bible on a sports show? The Bible has nothing to do with sports." Well, that was the wrong thing to say around Jason, so he made him read I Cor. 9 passage about running to win the race and wearing the crown on your head when you win. And we talked about how you learn how to behave in your sporting events because of what the Bible says. It kind of hurt my heart to hear Cooper's bad attitude about Brett's wife on the show. I want him to want to hear God's truth everywhere. I know its because he's not a Christian yet. I've been convicted this week that we really need to pray hard and consistently about him being ready to accept Christ. I know he knows all the answers, just isn't at the place where he realizes his sin is serious. I wouldn't be surprised if Cade becomes a Christian before Cooper because he's more relational and sensitive about his sin. We'll see!

"Your Money God's Way" By Annie Streater



I was a little nervous when I picked up this book that it would contrast the financial program by Dave Ramsey that my husband are trying to follow. But when I saw Dave’s review of her book on the cover, it gave me his blessing to dive in. And I was so glad I did. This book should be required for everyone who goes through Dave’s program because Streater helps you to look at your motivations for why you have been making poor financial decisions. She shows 7 myths that people hold about money and confronts them with God’s truth. This book was so practical and down to earth, not just about financial issues, but about heart issues on so many levels. Streater is bold in her confrontations about poor decisions, but because she prefaces that with her own story of mistakes, it comes across as a friend giving you a kick in the pants instead of an expert belittling you. I am inspired to carry on with our financial changes and now have God’s truth to back up my decisions.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Something I'm proud of...

As I said in my last post, one book I'm reading is Revolutionary Parenting. Jason and I are going through it with two different groups at church. The main thing we're realizing is that we have to have a plan, one that's written down, goals for each of our kids and how we want to get there. Well, we're aren't there yet, but it has inspired us to try again to have a family devotional time. So each week we are picking a character trait that we need to work on, and talking about it on Monday night, writing a verse about it up on our wipeboard and referring to it during the week. We've done it two weeks now. Starting slow, but I'm proud none the less.
Week one, we talked about self-control and talked about Proverbs 25:28, "A man who does not control his temper is like a city whose wall is broken down." It was great during the week when the boys were in a situation where they were losing self-control to remind them and they immediately changed their ways.
This week we are talking about having a good attitude and our verse is Philippians 2:14-15, "Do everything without grumbling and arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation among whom you shine like stars in the world." We talked about how stars shine so bright because the sky is so dark at night, and we want to shine like that. We sang Twinkle Twinkle to get Campbell in on the conversation. He talks the whole time like he has an opinion on the matter, but we have no idea what he's saying. I'm proud of us. I figure if I share this on my blog, then maybe I'll be held accountable and it will last longer than the two weeks it usually does. We'll see!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Randomness...

I'm on the search for the best pumpkin bread recipe in the land! I made my first batch last week in honor of October out of the Better Homes and Garden New Cook Book, and it wasn't very good. Very dense, heavy, and not much pumpkin flavor. So I put a call out on facebook and have two new recipes and another promised on the way. So I will slowly make them all and report to you which is my favorite recipe. Of course, that's you trusting that I made them correctly. Usually I can bake fine, its the cooking that gets me. That's also assuming I can find more pumpkin. I was looking all spring and summer for pumpkin and couldn't find any. I asked a store clerk once and she said it was just a seasonal thing, which wasn't true. I googled canned pumpkin and it turns out last years crop was so bad because of flooding that there wasn't any canned pumpkin to be found. Even Libby pumpkin had no pumpkin in their warehouse. So I found some at Walmart last month and bought two cans. The next time I went, there wasn't any. Hopefully shelves will be stocked soon and I can continue my bread making journey.

Football! Cooper's freshman Falcon team is 6-0! But this week we play Beaumont, the other 6-0 team. We've already made the playoffs, so Jason says it doesn't matter if we win or not. That's crazy! Of course it matters! I will say watching pee-wee football has totally made me appreciate the NFL. Those guys are so big and fast and accurate! That doesn't mean I'm going to watch it, I just appreciate it more.

What I'm reading right now:
Your Money, God's Way, by Amie Streater. I'll be reviewing this when I finish it, but let me just tell you, we've already gone through Dave Ramsey, and this book should be required follow up. It is so good!
The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns. I can only read a little of this at a time. It is a lot to digest. It is truly life changing.
Becoming More than Good Bible Study Girl, by Lisa Terkeurst. This was my 75 cent purchase at Mardels a few weeks ago. The best 75 cents I've ever spent. Really good!
Revolutionary Parenting by George Barna. Jason and I are going through this book with two different groups at church right now. I highly recommend it. Its amazing though when you are learning about how to be better parents, your kids test what you are learning.
The Bible! I am still plugging along in Psalms, almost done. Spent a lot of time on 119, but this week Dr. Sloan told us in church he spent 22 days reading it recently. I didn't spend that long. I treasure the 5 minutes I get here or there, and really relish if I have 20-30 to spend. I just leave it and my journal out open on the dining room table so I can run in there when I have a minute. It is changing so many parts of my life. I honestly think I'm sleeping better too. That might be crazy, but I think that's Biblical!

Please be praying for my grandfather. After 22 years of being together, his wife moved to OK this week to be put in a nursing home closer to her son. I am going home next week to help mom move him to another part of the Glen with a smaller apartment. Its a huge relief for everyone, because they weren't good for each other, but its still sad.

Hate to end on a sad note. Let me see... Oh, Campbell is potty training himself. It may wear off soon, but its saving me some diapers at the moment. He's an amazing kid. Cooper was retested for peanuts and dogs this week. Peanuts went down, but that doesn't mean anything, and dogs went up. So maybe we won't get another dog anytime soon. I think that's it for now. If you made it through this randomness, you are either really bored or do care for the minor details in our lives. Thanks!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Anne Bradstreet, by D.B. Kellogg


"Anne Bradstreet" by D.B. Kellogg, is a biography in the Christian Encounters series by Thomas Nelson. Kellogg describes the life of this amazing woman, as she deals with moving to the wilderness of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, starting and caring for her family while her husband was away governing the new land, and all the while writing poetry that described the love she had for her God.

I was fascinated by the descriptions of the Puritan lifestyle in the 1600s, and in awe of Bradstreet's courage as she cared for her 8 children, often while dealing with her own health problems. I was amazed at the depth of her poetry, and did not realized the impact it had on Christians not only in her day, but for generations after. However, not being a history buff, I was bored by the number of names and dates and the lack of narratives between them. This is a small book, and for readers who love to read history, I would recommend this series of biographys of lesser known Christian figures, but I do not think I will read any more.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Less deep, more updating...

This is just a post to update everyone on our lives, not a deep meaningful one!

School started, boys are having fun. Cade was bored last week, said he knew everything and should have skipped first grade. Campbell started MDO yesterday, won't hold on to the ropes to walk with, seems scared of them. Very strange!

The first week of Aug we were in Glorieta, NM with the inlaws for Music week. Had a good time, really enjoyed the weather. Second week was Preschool Playdays that I directed. Had a great week! Mom came in to keep Campbell for me, and was very helpful. I finally got my internet and phones working correctly since high speed had been installed in Jan. Third week was getting ready for school, going to the zoo, doctor's appointments, meet the teacher and me prepping for weekday teacher inservice. And then school started and 3 days of inservice. I taught 5 sessions I think. I love teaching teachers! I hope the Lord allows me to do more of that in my life. We had a lot of fun, or I did at least. I think the teachers did too!

Preschool started this week. I'm the Spiritual Curriculum Coordinator and sub. My schedule changed today, but as of now, I'll be working Mondays and Thursdays and Campbell will be going Monday/Tuesday/Thursday. Melissa and I sat down today and came up with ideas for me to implement this year with teachers and parents. I'm really excited to get the year started!

Jason and I started a new weekend Bible study class Sunday morning and we had 12 people!!! Very exciting! Its really strange to start a class from scratch, knowing your goal is to build community with this group of mostly strangers. But we'll get there. Jason and I haven't been in a class together in 7 years I think. He wasn't really there Sunday, but he'll be there more as the year gets going.

I'm trying to get back in the groove of things with routines around the house, but I'm not there yet. We won't talk about how long its been since I cleaned our shower.

Cooper had his first football game last Saturday. It was a lot of fun, but very hot. He's having a good time and learning a lot. Cade starts fall baseball Friday. Only one game and practice a week and they don't keep score. Very laid back compared to spring. He's moving up to machine pitch, so he's a little nervous, but excited to start. I think he's been a little jealous of football. Football practices have caused us to have dinner together at home at 5 each night, and its kind of been nice to have that structured time and schedule. I almost don't mind cooking. Almost!

I think that's about it for now. That's plenty! Our lives are full, but blessed. I am very thankful for all that God is doing.

I've given up on my Bible reading plan...

Kind of, sort of, not really. Believe it or not, being at a Baptist conference at Glorieta in August got me off my Bible reading plan. Being in 1 or 2 worship services and a Bible study everyday and spending the rest of the time running around with the inlaws, I got way off schedule. So when I got back, and realized how far behind I was, I had to ask myself what was more important, keeping up with the plan, or really spending time in the Word and with God. More than one worship song at Glorieta talked about not being in a hurry, waiting on God, resting in him, sitting at his feet. So I realized I knew what books I was supposed to be reading in, which will keep me focused on something, but I don't have to get in the trap of checking things off the reading list. I can easily fall into that trap!
So I am now on Psalms 101 and Romans 13. I don't know where I should be and am going to force myself not to look at the schedule. So I won't finish reading the Bible in a year, but that's not important. I have had some sweet time in His Word, I find myself longing for a few minutes to spend with Him, and I am reading with fresh eyes and ears, seeing things I have never seen before. I have realized the past weeks that my prayer life is deeper, I'm going to Him more frequently and with everything. I've caught myself changing my attitude about things that would have annoyed me weeks ago, both with my husband and kids, and my church family as well. I have turned off the tv at times of the day when I used to would have had it on just for noise or to fill my boredom. Now I want to use that time for more productive things. I have also turned off shows that I used to watch consistently and now realize are not things God would have me watch. (For instance, I just turned off the tv, there is nothing on, I used to would have kept flipping until I found something mindless, primetime is tv time!) God is giving me more and more opportunities to serve Him through many different outlets. And worship is more meaningful! I am so thankful! Its amazing what spending time in His Word will do for you. You would think in my 27 years as a Christian, with all that I have experienced and been taught, this would have not come as such a surprise to me. Don't get me wrong, there have been times when I have been really in love with His word, but not since I had kids.
A part of me wonders if He has brought me to this place to prepare me for something bad coming up. I have often used that as an excuse to not sit at His feet. But the strange thing is, now that I'm here, I don't care anymore. Bring it on! I'm ready. Oh my goodness that's scary! Breathe Christy, breathe! I still mean it, but its hard to say. I know He is in control regardless. His ways are higher than mine, thank goodness.

Monday, August 23, 2010

First Day of School!

 


First day of 1st and 3rd grades! Cade's goals are to make new friends and be good! Cooper thinks those should always be goals, not new ones, and he doesn't really have any new ones. He just wanted one more week of summer. I am so proud of them! Praying for Mrs. Fernandez and Mrs. Fouts, that they will be blessed this year too and that my children will be found in favor and grow in knowledge, stature and faith! God is good!
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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bible Reading Plan

I've had a few people ask me where I got my reading plan. So here it is!
http://www.esv.org/biblereadingplans
They email you everyday with what to read. You can read it on the email or listen to it. Different plans to choose from!

Chapter 8 - Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World


Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver. Subtitle "Finding Intimacy with God in the Busyness of Life"
This is a non required book review for me. I just love this book and want to share it with everyone! Am loving it even more the second time I'm reading it! I faciliated this study with a group of mostly 20 somethings, single, childless ladies in the spring, and now with a group of moms of preschoolers, and its amazing the difference in conversations, yet the similarities of us all wanting to change our hearts. I thought to give an accurate review of this book, I would just quote parts of chapter 8. It will speak for itself.

Weaver reminds us of John 11, the story of Lazarus' death and resurrection, from Martha's point of view.
Some of the lessons we can learn from this story: (Are you ready? Buckle up)
1. "God's will does not always proceed in a straight line."
"One reason for this is that God is weaving together a greater glory than just my own... It is God's purposes, not mine, that must prevail. He is concerned not only with the individual need, but with the corporate need as well. God wraps up my good with your good and the good of both of us with the good of others. The plot lines of our individual stories weave together to form his master plan. Nothing is wasted. Nothing is left out." pg 120
2. "God's love sometimes tarries for our good and his glory."
"While we may never fully understand why God's love sometimes lingers, we can rest assured that God's love is always at work. He may not move according to our schedule, but he is right on time for what is best. And he has our ultimate good forever in mind." pg 124
3. "God's ways are not our ways, but his character is still dependable."
"If you are struggling to hang on in the midst of your difficult circumstances, let me remind you to go back to what you know about God. Open the Bible and find scriptures to cling to- scriptures that reveal the heart and faithfulness of God. Remind yourself that God is your strength. That he is your source of comfort. That he won't let you fall. That he loves you passionately and only wants the best for you." pgs 124,125
4. "God's plan is released when we believe and obey."
"...it means that God's story, in a sense, is interactive. We are an integral part of the writing process. Our choices play a part in the unfolding of the plot." pg 130"Obey God in the thing He shows you, and instantly the next thing is opened up...God will never reveal more truth about himself until you have obeyed what you know already." pg 147 (Oswald Chambers)
5."The 'end' is never the end; it is only the beginning." (THIS IS THE BIG ONE FOR ME)
"When Jesus came late to Bethany, his lateness was an act of love. A gift of perspective. A foreshadowing meant as a mercy, not only for Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, but for his disciples and for you and me. Jesus knew we would struggle with the concept of resurrection. He knew we would have doubts when his tomb turned up empty... So the Author of our faith, our great storytelling God, prefaced his Son's death with an act that would foreshadow the resurrection. When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, he put to death Satan's lie that the end is the end." pg 132 (That gives me chills every time!)

There is so much more in this chapter, and chapter 3 is my other favorite chapter. I don't like it because its about not worrying. But its an amazing chapter. I wish this book was required reading for all women. It is chocked full of God's truth that can be life changing if you let it be.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Another cooking adventure...

I will be the first to admit I am not a good cook. But I don't know why! I follow recipes! So my latest attempt for dinner tonight was chicken nuggets, seems simple enough. I got a new cookbook, Deceptively Delicious, by Jessica Seinfeld (Jerry's wife).


She teaches how to make purees out of vegetables and hide them in recipes your kids will eat. And since my youngest will not let a veggie enter his lips, I thought it was a brilliant idea. So I made sweet potato puree the other day, and first made little muffins. He loved them right out of the oven, but not later in the day, but all in all a success. So tonight I made chicken nuggets, which were coated in sweet potatoes, panko bread crumbs and other things. I followed the recipe but here is proof that somewhere along the way my non-cooking gene entered the picture.

This is what they were supposed to look like.


But this is how they turned out.


No one liked them. Not even me. I only made them tonight because Jason was eating out at a meeting. I don't try new recipes on him very often. He was nice enough not to laugh and turned on the fans while I opened the back door to let the smoke out from the burning bread crumbs. Luckily I also made good old Kraft macaroni, which normally Campbell won't eat either. But PROGRESS, he ate the mac, so I added a cube of sweet potatoes to it which made it creamy, and gave him some more. I was getting that sweet potato in him if it killed me, which the smoke inhalation almost did.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Same Kind of Different As Me



Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore

Denver, a 20th century slave, and Ron, a millionaire art dealer, have had completely different journeys in life. But when Ron’s wife has a vision of a man who will change the city of Ft. Worth and realizes its Denver, she helps her husband start a lifelong friendship that not only changes Ron and Denver’s lives, but hundreds upon hundreds of lives who are transformed by seeing God move in mysterious, miraculous ways.

I could not put this book down. Reading this true story about Denver’s life, basically a slave in the 20th century in my home state of LA, was both shocking and heartbreaking. But watching how God’s hand was on him was inspirational and comforting. Ron’s life lead him down a path of getting everything the world had to offer; yet he knew something was missing in his life. The lessons I learned from each man were enough on their own, but the lessons learned from their friendship and the journey of getting there were ones that I wish everyone in my community could absorb.

I not only recommend this book, but wish it was required reading for those in all walks of life, especially the people that I have met entering the ministry. It inspired me to drive down to “the other side of the tracks” and I would love to take people with me!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"How to Study the Bible"

I listened to a Matt Chandler seminar the other day about how to study the Bible. He said it was really how to read the Bible, not necessarily study it. I saw the title and thought, "I went to Seminary, I think I know how to study the Bible". Now, doing it is another thing. His seminar talked about getting a Bible reading plan, which I've never used because I thought I was too good for that. But he said a Bible reading plan gives you a plan so you aren't randomly turning to a strange story in the Bible, and it gets you to read parts of the Bible you wouldn't normally read. So you read for a certain amount of time, underlining verses that stick out to you. Then you write those verses in your journal and comment on them, how they speak to you, then you pray. So simple! Yet, when you do it everyday, the Word becomes a part of you!
So, today I did it for the first time. I found a Bible reading plan online where they email you each day with your readings for the day. You can even listen to it if you want. I read Psalms 31-33, and then tonight I'll read a passage out of Acts. And I just had to share a verse that stuck out to me.

For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord"- and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Psalm 32:4,5

The heat of the summer part got me. Living in Texas, I get that! There are days you just want to stay inside because even walking out to the mailbox wears you out! In Houston, we live in a constant state of wetness. There are men next door hanging siding, and I just can't imagine how tired they are at the end of the day from being outside all day. The heat just makes you feel so tired. That's what its like to walk around with unconfessed sin! There are some sins that you just don't realize you are dealing with, but sometimes, you know you are doing or have done something against God, but your pride keeps you from taking that to Him to ask for forgiveness, or you just are not ready to give it up yet. You enjoy living in that sin. But I have been there, and you do feel tired, like there is an extra weight on your shoulders, it takes twice the energy to do anything, just like in the summer heat!
But when you finally give it up, admit to God the sin and ask for forgiveness, that freedom of taking that off your shoulders feels like diving in a cold swimming pool. Or, since I don't like swimming, walking into a cold, air conditioned building and someone handing you a cold glass of ice water. So refreshing, relaxing. A moment of just taking a deep breath and living the moment.
Thank you Father for always being willing to forgive. There is nothing too far out of your loving hand that you won't forgive. Help me to first admit my sin of pride so I can then see the rest of the sins that are keeping me from sitting at your feet and living in your freedom!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Book Review of The Heart Mender


The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews

I'm really excited because I have joined a website where I receive free books in exchange for reading them and writing a review. My first book is The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews. The story seems to be a true story of what Mr. Andrews has learned while researching WWII memorabilia he finds behind his home on the Gulf Coast of Florida. It leads him to write the story of a young widow, Helen Mason, who is struggling to forgive the world for taking her husband away. In the midst of her struggle she comes upon a German U-boat officer, Lt. Josef Landermann, on the brink of death, and she must learn to forgive as she nurses him back to health.

The plot line was fascinating to me, especially after the introduction where Andrews says that for the most part the story is true. I enjoy American history, even more when it is stories that I did not hear in school. I could picture myself walking along the beach on the Florida/Alabama coast during WWII, and having a cup of coffee at the diner where Helen works. I could feel the bitterness and anger she carried around with her. And I could relate to how hard it was for her to let that go. But the story did get a little slow for me. The parts of the story where I would have liked to read more details about the characters were skimmed over, and other parts had too many war details. It was not a book that I had a hard time putting down at night. But I did want to finish to find out how it ended. And the ending did not disappoint me.

I do recommend this book if you enjoy American History, WWII history, stories of love, forgiveness and adventure. The best part about this website I have joined is that they not only sent me a copy for me to read, but an extra copy for me to pass on! So the first two people who comment on my blog will receive a copy of this book! I would love to hear what other people think about it, like a virtual book club!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Bravery or stupidity?

Two weeks ago I went with our Collide young adults on a retreat. My mom kept the boys, so I had a wonderful time hanging out with adults and not cutting up meat, or sharing my food, or tucking in 3 kids at night. On Saturday, Jason came back for one of Cade's baseball games, and I decided since there will be many baseball games in my future to stay at the retreat and try something new. Thirteen of us went to do the "high ropes." Now I have seen ropes courses before, but never had the opportunity to try it, usually because I wasn't going to pay extra to do it. But I thought I would give it a try.
We walk out there and I look up, WAY UP, and just stare for a bit. Someone asked me what the look was on my face, and I said, "I'm not really sure if I'm afraid of heights or not." So we all get harnessed up and get directions. There are three ways to choose from to get to this platform up in this tree which you then take a zip line off of. One way is a short section where you walk sideways on a "rope", really a steel chord, while holding on to a horizontal rope above you. Another way is a bridge, only the sections of the bridge are separated and move, so you might have to jump from one section to another, or move them together with your feet or walk on the ropes to get to them. The last way was two sections long, one was a huge log at a 45 degree angle that you walk across, and then walk across a rope while grabbing on to vertical ropes hanging down. So people start climbing the poles to do one of the first two ways, but no one is going to the third way, and the camp staffer at that one says he doesn't understand why no one is coming there because its not that bad. Somewhere in my brain, that translates to, "this way is really much easier than it looks, its no problem." So my brave, confident self heads over to the third way, and with much enthusiasm, I say "I'll do it!" as if I have not a care in the world.
I get hooked up to the ropes, and head up the pole to get to the log. As I'm climbing up, I think to myself, "is this the smartest thing I've ever done? Well, no, self, but you can do it! You can do anything you set your mind to!"



As I get to the log, I have to swing myself around the pole to stand on top of the log, and at that point, I realize something about myself. I am indeed afraid of heights! I am not a good judge of distance, so I have no idea how high it is, but let me tell you that when you are standing up there, its REALLY HIGH! I'm supposed to just walk across the log, no problem. But my feet start shaking, I grab on to the rope that is attached to me, but the camp staffer says that's really not going to help, and the easiest way is to walk fast. I bet he's never done it! At this point I am freaking out!



I start walking a very small step at a time, not really a step, more of a scoot. I cannot pick up my feet. I am petrified. I get about halfway across and think, if I don't get off of this log, I am going to pass out or throw up.



So let's try the going fast thing to get it over with. MISTAKE! After a few steps, I fall off! As I'm falling I grab on to the log! And hang on for dear life. Now I know that I'm safe, the staffer guy has me on his rope, and I'm not going to die. At this point though, I think, if I let him drop me off, I'm not getting back up again, but I am not a quitter! So now what. I try to pull myself back up, but I have no arm strength. So I'm just hanging there, upside down on the log. (Whoever had my camera for some reason did not get a picture of this, which I believe, would have been the best picture of the whole thing) About that time, sweet Amy Jennings, yells from the ground, "YOU GAVE BIRTH TO THREE CHILDREN! YOU CAN DO THIS!" And I think, "YES I DID! AND YES I CAN!" And somehow, I swing my legs back up on top of the log. I don't know how I did it. The inner strength of a mom I suppose!



Now I'm really thinking, now what? The staffer says, "just stand up." Again, have you actually done this? So I sit for awhile, and he finally says he's going to pull up on the rope, so I hang on, and stand up. And walk, scoot myself to the middle pole, and grab on for all that I am. I made it!!!
Then I have to do the second section. I did think for a minute that I could ask to be let down, and be done, but I am not a quitter. People were cheering for me, and even though I know they would have understood, I would have been disappointed in myself and embarrassed. I was determined. So I move around to the other side of the pole, only to realize that the first rope you have to grab to start going across the rope, is just out of reach. You cannot hold on to the pole with your right hand and grab the rope with your left. You have to let go of the pole!!!!



My feet start shaking again, and I reach as far left as I can, while holding on the pole as long as possible. I asked Amy to count to 3 so I would let go at 3, but that didn't work. At some point, apparently something took over my body, and I just lunged for it. I don't remember making the decision to do it. I almost fell off at that point, but I hung on, and from then on I focused on a tree across the way, and went from rope to rope.



Everyone says my eyes were closed for part of it, and maybe they were, I honestly don't remember. I just wanted it over as fast as possible! And when I made it to the other pole, I just felt the biggest relief ever! And I held on to that pole with everything I had. Everyone was cheering for me and clapping. It was a great moment.



And then, the zip line. Everyone who had gone on the zip line up to that point, which was a few since I had taken so long, said it was the best part, so much fun. But as I sat down on the platform, I realized I really did not want to do this part. You are basically free falling, and I hate that! That's why I don't ride roller coasters. I told the staffer on the platform she was going to have to push me off, and she said she would scoot me off.



So she counted down, and I think scooted me off. And I thought I was going to die! I hated that part. I think I was tearing up as I flew down the zip line. Luckily it was a short one.



As I came back on it, another staffer held up a rope I was supposed to grab to stop myself, and I must have looked really bad, because he asked if I was going to be able to grab the rope. Somehow I did, and he helped me down. I was shaking and trying not to cry, pale, and dizzy. But I had done it! Accomplished something that I can now say I have done and won't do again, more than likely.
Everyone was saying how proud of me they were, how brave I was. The other staffers had told them that was the hardest option (thanks!). A few people did it after me and said how hard it was and they were amazed how well I did. On and on. I just wanted a nap and a shower!
I have been pondering that experience for a while now. I am frustrated at myself for making the log so hard. I wish I had closed my eyes and pictured myself as an Olympic gymnast on a balance beam and just done it. I realized I never prayed, other than "Oh God, Oh God, Oh Jesus, Oh Jesus!" Technically that was a prayer, I certainly meant it, not taking his name in vain. But why didn't I pray for peace, balance, courage, confidence? Does that say something about my true spirituality that I didn't pray?
When Jason got back, everyone was telling him how proud of me he should be that I finished it. His answer was, "why wouldn't she finish?" I am trying to take that as a compliment, that he knew I was capable. I'm kind of glad he wasn't there. I think I would have been focused on what he thought of me instead of what I thought about myself(that's an ongoing struggle in my life). I needed that for myself, to make me find strength inside myself. I am very proud of the experience. I might do a ropes course again if I had an easier one and didn't have to do the zip line. Or I could just stick to taking pictures.

Funny illustration in church today

I am so behind in my blogging. I have a couple of really good ones, but this one is from today, just funny.
Our interim pastor, Dr. Robert Sloan, started a new series today on the family, and today was marriage, out of Gen. 2. Jason had to give the welcome and intro. So he told the congregation how we like to stay up late and watch Jeopardy together. Last week the final Jeopardy question topic was Biblical rhymes. The answer was "This is what a man must do with his parents and his wife." (Or something close to that. I didn't realize how hard it would be to actually write a Jeopardy question) So Jason and I in unison, said, "What is leave and cleave". But none of the contestants, who had accumulated tons of money on many other topics, knew the answer. So Jason's point was, these brilliant, successful smart people by the world's standards knew nothing of God's blue print for marriage. Great point.
Dr. Sloan gets up later to give his sermon, and asks if Jason is still in there, which of course he isn't. And Dr. Sloan says, "I was going to tell him that if he and his wife are up late watching Jeopardy, then maybe I need to explain the definition of cleave to him!" Everybody died laughing. Somebody yelled something and he said, "yes, maybe he's the one in jeopardy!" I felt myself turning bright red, and wanted to crawl under the pew! I tried to just smile like it was funny, and it was, but oh I was embarrassed!!! The joys of being a minister's wife!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Cade!


My middle baby Cade turned 6 last week. I realized I didn't have a blog in 2004 when he was born, so I thought someone might be interested in his story. He's a funny one! Since conception! When Cooper was 18 months old, J and I started talking about when we would try for number 2, and in July of 03 we booked a ski trip for Feb of 04 with our friends Kim and Leon. So we decided when we got back from the ski trip, we would start trying. HA! In September, we discovered you shouldn't make plans like that. So I was 6 months pregnant on our ski trip, and sat in the condo during the day learning how to knit! Kim and I could write some great blogs about that trip.

Before the trip, we had our sonogram, found out it was a boy, but then were concerned at how quiet the technician was, not encouraging. We found out that Cade had some not-normal things, by themselves, not an issue, but together, were concerning. So we got to have a really cool ultra sonogram. I don't remember what the actual term was. Cade had a two vessel umbilical cord instead of three, and had some spots on his brain. But everything else looked fine. We could actually see him pee in the picture. The doctor said he had never seen that before. Very funny. We had to wait a month and go back for another sonogram. At that one, the spots were gone, so no problems! I had to have a sonogram every month after that to make sure he was growing since he wasn't getting as much nutrients as normal.

So, we go skiing, and when we got back from the trip, I got my annual sinus infection that I get every Feb, only this time, it went into an upper respiratory infection and then into pregnancy induced asthma. I was so sick! I slept in our den for almost a month, first sleeping on our big chair and ottoman. I would sit Indian style on the chair with a big stack of pillows in front of me to lean on. That only worked a little bit, then I slept sitting completely vertical on the couch, waking up every 2 hours to take breathing treatments. I was on basically bed rest for a few weeks. I was so miserable!

I was almost well at about 35 weeks, but still really miserable pregnancy wise, a feeling I had not experienced with Cooper. At 37 weeks, I just knew he was coming. Told my teachers that day good bye, packed my bags, and waited. I had my baby shower the day before and people said they could tell I was done. Monday afternoon I went in to be checked because I just knew I was in labor, and I was 4 cm, but not in labor. But 2 am Tuesday morning, back labor started. By the time we go to the hospital at 5:30, I thought I was going to die. I have never felt pain like that. Epidurals are wonderful things! And at 7:46 AM, my Cade entered the world, 3 weeks early but weighing a healthy 6 lbs 11 oz! Cade left me with a stomach full of stretch marks that are still there 6 years later. I am sure someday I will feel proud of them, but I'm not there yet.

Cade is my emotional, relational, passionate child. My other two started sleeping through the night at 10 weeks, Cade 10 months! My other two took half an hour to nurse, Cade 5 minutes, from day 1 until 11 months, he had better things to do! Cooper has to this day, never thrown a fit. Cade, 10 months old was banging his fists on the ground when he didn't get what he wanted! But, he is so compassionate and sympathetic. He has always been a good judge of people, would not like certain people he met, even as a baby, and we would find out later, that person was really not a nice person. He is crushed when he does something wrong if it hurts someone else. Now, if he's just disobedient, its ok. He is loud and whiny at home, but at school, apparently is an angel. He is an amazing baseball player, naturally gifted, but also has learned from watching brother. He learned how to read really fast, and now is in the top reading group in kindergarten, reading chapter books. But still loves to watch Blues Clues with Campbell. His first haircut was fine, but after that, he screamed like we were killing him. The professionals said not to bring him anymore, and for years, J and I had to hold him down in the locked bathroom to cut his hair. He is fine now. Cooper could take or leave Campbell when he entered the family, but Cade has always watched out for his little brother. So, there are days when Cade wears me out emotionally, but he makes up for it when he gives me a hug, thanks me for the dinner he didn't want to eat, and makes me sweet cards. I wouldn't trade my surprising, passionate, relational child for anything. Happy Birthday Cade!





Sunday, April 18, 2010

Two random blog entries...

I have had a few blogs in my head floating around, but of course, now that I'm here I can't remember what they were, or they've lost their relevance. Here are two separate blogs, probably shorter than they would have been if I had done them when I first thought about them. Good news for you!

Easter- I told J that I feel bad for my kids at Easter. Easter was always a big deal when I was a kid. I always got new clothes, especially new white sandals. We had a huge lunch at my grandparents and hunted eggs. The Easter Bunny always had lots for us. But being a minister's family, we can't go to family out of town. And boys don't care about new clothes, plus we have hand me downs. The Easter Bunny does come, but they know he doesn't bring much, just candy and little dollar things he found at Walmart. We did hunt eggs one time at a friend's house, but they never asked to do it again. Taco Bell for lunch just like every other Sunday. I did cook a nice dinner, which was different for a Sunday night. But overall, not a big deal. And I guess that's ok. They know what Easter is really about. We did sit down with the big boys and go through the resurrection eggs. They know that its not about clothes, and eggs and big dinners. And I guess that's what's really important. They know its about celebrating, not just the death of our Savior, but more importantly the resurrection of Jesus. Without the resurrection, his death would mean nothing.
It made me sad also to see all the "Easter Bunnies" at church that morning. Somewhere inside of them, they know they are supposed to be at church on Easter, but they don't live with that relationship the rest of the year. That really hurt my heart, to try to live without the peace He gives me living in this stressful world... I can't imagine.

Small Changes- For the weeks leading up to Spring Break, I was very discontent with my life. Nothing major, just little things, feeling out of control. And I began to think of an email I sent to a friend a few years ago when she was discontent with some things. I told her, if you don't like something in your life, either change it or stop complaining about it. I'm not sure how she took it, but it was the Lord speaking to me, and He reminded me of that. So the Monday after Spring Break was like Jan. 1st to me, the start of a new year. And I have made some changes.
I didn't like how tired I was all the time, taking a nap almost everyday, and not liking the extra 10 lbs I still need to lose. So I started walking, and I have lost a little, but more importantly, have more energy. I didn't like how my face looked, and amazingly, if you just wash your face at night, that helps! (I know, I should have learned that in jr high.) I have begun to write my to do list on my wipe board in the kitchen the night before, and that has helped immensely. One, I have a plan when I wake up in the morning, I don't feel like I'm wandering around all day, or losing my list I've made. And two, I can see, and the rest of the family can see, what I've done all day when they come home and can't see the difference in the house. I have cleaned out two of those random laundry baskets full of junk that have collected in my bedroom. I still have a ways to go in organizing that kind of stuff, but its a start. All in all, little things, but I feel more in control, and less frustrated. I encourage you to take stock of the things in your life that are bothering you, and either fix them, or accept them the way they are and stop complaining. Its very freeing!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Zoo visit

My kids had off school yesterday for a teacher work day (they will have only been in school 8 days out of three weeks after Easter, don't ask me who came up with that schedule), so we headed to the zoo. We hadn't been since last August, so I was so excited to see if Campbell really got into it this time. And he did! It was so much fun! He would get so excited when he saw each animal, especially when it took him a minute to find them. He loved the elephants and the fish the best. He didn't want to pet the goats in the petting zoo, takes after me. And I changed his diaper when the big boys were in the reptile house, so he missed out on the snakes. Darn! Cooper didn't want to go to the zoo, "its boring!". So I made up kind of a zoo bingo game. I made a chart with different things I wanted him to find, like the biggest animal, or animal with stripes, etc. Cade got more into it than Coop did, but even he lost interest quickly. So of course, money is always a good bribe, and I told him I would take a dollar off the money he owed me if he finished the chart, and that worked. Our only problem was a red animal. I had in the mind the red panda bear that we had seen before, but it wasn't being shown this time. So I had to allow him one substitution. I could sit and watch the giraffes and elephants for hours. They facinate me. They have one elephant who is expecting any day now. Elephants are pregant for 22 months, but they can go 30 days either way. And she was 22 months on March 10th. They were helping her exercise when we came by, making her walk around. She was so big! Someone is staying there 24/7 until she delivers, so the zoo keepers are ready too! Thank goodness I was only pregant for 9 months! We had a great time over all. We were all wiped out, almost overslept for baseball. Here are some pictures of our trip.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Adventures in Food

I was downloading pictures off my camera and realized most of them are of Campbell eating, which is funny, because he doesn't eat much! I guess that's why its entertaining to me when he does!

Some new favorite things...

Fun blog today... some of my new favorite things.
1. "What Would Brian Boitano Do?" on Food Network, Sundays at noon, so yes, you should have to record it! He is so funny, and most of the things he makes, I might actually make someday.
2. Nature's Own 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Rounds. They look like pita pockets, but have a different taste and texture. You would think it would be like eating the end pieces of a loaf of bread, which I don't like, but its not. Really good! (Thanks Laura)
3. New Passion CD "Awakening", just came out this week, really good!
4. New Danny Gokey CD. I love it! Its just enough country to be considered country, but I'm not a country fan, and I really enjoy it. I actually got it at Lifeway, but I wouldn't call it a Christian album. There are enough references to Jesus to spread the gospel in some way though. Highly recommend it.
5. Addison Road, that's not really a new favorite thing, but after the week they have had, I am so inspired and impressed by them, I am reigniting my passion for them and spreading the word. To read their story, visit addisonroad.com. They have been through the fire, literally, and are coming out the other side revived. So proud of them.
6. The Paralympics. I watched the opening ceremonies yesterday and was in tears. These people AMAZE me with their passion, talent and determination to succeed while missing legs, arms, being paralyzed, etc. They will be showing a little on the Universal Sports channel from 5-7 this week. I can't wait to watch. I recorded the ceremonies for my kids to watch, so hopefully they will learn about people with disabilities who can move mountains.
7. Baseball season! We had scrimmages this week, and games start after spring break. I love watching my boys play baseball! So fun! Now, watching Campbell makes it a little hard to actually watch the games, but we'll make it work!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Gabby

I've been needed to blog this all week, but haven't felt ready. If you came to the blog to get the banana bread recipe, skip this one. If you don't like sad things, skip this one. Or if you think people who get sad over their pets dying are silly, skip this one. The first paragraph is how my sweet Gabby died, the second paragraph is good memories of her, and the third paragraph is how I'm feeling. So read with discretion.

My sweet Gabby... she died on Monday at 12 years old. She woke me up at 6:30 that morning shaking like she does when she's scared of thunderstorms, but it wasn't raining. So I tried to get her to go back to bed, but then I saw where she had gotten sick on her bed. So I got her a towel to lay on. A few minutes later she went downstairs, so I went down to check on her and she was sick again. She was fine for the next few hours, and so I thought maybe she had just eaten something outside and it was over. Campbell was sick that day too and I took him to the doctor mid morning. When we got back, she had been sick again while we were gone. I tried at that point to give her some medicine my mother suggested, first in apple sauce, then lunch meat, which she wouldn't eat. I knew at that point something was wrong because she loves lunch meat. After lunch, I put Campbell down for a nap. She got sick one more time on our den carpet, so I pulled her outside so she would get sick outside. That's my biggest regret. I cleaned it up and went to the door to check on her, and saw her laying in the shade of a small potted tree we have on the patio, and I thought, good, she looks peaceful and she'll get some rest. A little bit later I took her water bowl out to her and she didn't even flinch, but I thought it was because we're pretty sure she had lost her hearing in the last few months. Every few minutes I would look out the window at her and see if she was still breathing. And at some point in that time, I knew what I was looking for. The boys came home from school and I went outside to check on her and I knew she was gone. I had to go hide from them until Jason came home so they wouldn't see me crying.

When Jason and I got married, he told me he wanted a great dane, and researched them all spring. The weekend we were moving from TX to OK, we stopped in Canton, and bought our sweet Solomon from a great dane breeder. Jason said I should buy myself a little dog, and I said no, God will bring me a free dog when its time. And that fall, our friends, the Allison's, in Hollis took in a stray who was pregnant, and I picked out Gabby when she was two weeks old. Her full name was Gabriel Allison. She was so cute and tiny. We brought her home when she was big enough right after Christmas, and she and Solomon became the best of friends. While she was still small enough, they could play tug of war with a rope and he would swing her around so fast she would fly in the air. They would chase each other around and around the house in big circles. At first they slept in different rooms, but soon they would curl up together at night, this big 100 pound dog and little 12 pound dog. When we had to put Solomon down 4 years ago, she was so sad for awhile, I don't think she was really ever the same again. She became even more attached to me at that point. She followed me all over the house. I could turn it into a game and hide from her, but she always found me. Everyone who came over always said what a sweet dog she was. So calm and quiet. Just right for me.

I didn't think I would be this sad. I have always thought people who saw their pets as children were a little crazy. I think I put a sweater on her that first winter in Hollis, but other than that, there was no dressing up or fancy collars. Jason and I had talked about if she got sick at some point, what were we willing to spend to get her well, not much. I have had dogs my whole life, and had two that died that made me sad, but not this sad. She was my first dog, that I picked out and named and took care of as my dog. I feel such guilt about not taking her to the vet, but then I think she was only sick half a day, so there probably wasn't much they could have done. And she died in peace laying outside on a beautiful day in her sleep. My main guilt is not going out to pet her and love on her a little bit after I put her outside. But then I remind myself she is a dog, and she lived a very loved life. I've cried this week when I've come home and she wasn't waiting at the door. I've cried when I was making the boys sandwiches and she wasn't there to eat the lunch meat that gets cut off with the crusts. I've cried when I get up first thing in the morning and don't have to let her out. I've cried when she wasn't there to eat the food that Campbell dropped off his high chair. I haven't cried today, so I guess its getting easier. I picked up her pillow and dog food today, so progress is being made. My boys seem fine. Cade cried a little on Monday, but they are all ready to get a new dog. I am not ready. But I am thankful for her. I didn't realize how much company she brought me until she wasn't there this week. Sorry this is so sad. Maybe no one has even made it this far, which is fine. This is really for me. It feels good to get it out. God brought her to me when He was ready and He will heal my heart and bring me another one when its time. All of His creations are precious. But especially my Gabby.

Banana Bread Recipe

A couple of people requested this recipe after I commented that it says you should let it rest overnight before eating it, and that is just crazy talk. Its the best right out of the oven with a glass of milk!

It's out of the Better Homes and Garden New Cook Book, pg 114
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I use half whole wheat flour, it makes me feel healthier when I eat half the loaf by myself)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup smashed bananas (3 medium)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cooking oil
1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel (optional, I've never used it)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (my kids don't like it as well with nuts, so I usually leave them out)

1. Grease the bottom and sides if ab 8x4x2 inch loaf pan. In a med. mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Make a well in the center of dry mixture and set aside.
2. In another bowl combine the egg, bananas, sugar, oil, and lemon peel. Add mixture all at once to dry mixture, stir until just moistened. Fold in nuts.
3. Spoon batter into greased pan. Bake at 350 oven 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Just my own tip, I put our bananas in the freezer when they start to go bad, and then I always have some ready for bread. I just defrost them in the peel for a minute in the microwave, take the peel off, and put them back in for 30 seconds or so to get them to room temperature.

Enjoy!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sweet N Spicy Chicken

I am not a great cook and really don't enjoy cooking. But I try. J wishes I wouldn't try any new recipes, just stick with what I know works. But I have to try a couple of new ones each month to not get bored. So here is a new one I tried tonight that all three boys gobbled down, even the little one who doesn't eat much of anything. J said it was ok, which is a compliment for him. The only dish I've ever made that he raved about, was one I had already decided I wasn't going to make again because it was too hard. Of course! So here is sweet n spicy chicken, the grand prize winner recipe in the sept/oct 1998 Quick Cooking magazine, by Sheri White in Higley, AZ. I'm all for giving credit where credit is due!

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 tablespoons taco seasoning
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 jar (11 oz) chunky salsa
1/2 cup peach preserves
Hot cooked rice (I used brown rice)

Place the chicken in a large resealable plastic bag; add taco seasoning and toss to coat. In a skillet, brown chicken in oil. Combine salsa and preserves; stir into skillet. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 2-3 minutes or until meat juices run clear. Serve over rice. 4 servings

SO GOOD and easy! Hope you enjoy!

Monday, February 08, 2010

I'm old...

Another quick one, I turned 35 last week. I know, not old to many of you. But for some reason I feel old at this one. I think for one reason, I do a lot of online surveys, and when they ask your age, its broken down into brackets, and I have had to move up to the next bracket. 30-34, 35-40. Rub it in why don't ya! And Cooper came up to me the other day, and he is almost to my shoulders. When did that happen! I do not feel old enough to have 3 kids, and an 8 year old! WHAT! I asked my mom about that years ago, and she said most people will tell you they don't feel as old as they are. In your brain you are always a certain age. I think I'm still 26, that just sounds right. Of course, when I asked Cade how old I was, he said 61. Jason laughed hysterically! Until I asked Cade how old Jason was, and since he knew he was 2 years older than me, he must be 63. A child can always put it in perspective for you. I am very thankful for another year. I hope I continue to grow and learn and change for the better, no matter how old I get.

Clean House

So we are having a kick off party for Cooper's little league baseball team this coming Saturday at our house. (Side note, in the 14 years I've known my husband, I have never seen him as excited as he was after he drafted this team. He is convinced they are going to win the championship. No pressure.) As soon as we decided 40 people are coming over, most of which I don't know, I went into panic mode trying to make a plan of how I am going to clean this house by Saturday in a manner worthy of having that many strangers over. Hospitality is not my spiritual gift. I'm not social, and I don't like the stress of having people over. But I don't want to be that way. So I made a mental plan of when to clean what, and then woke up with a migraine today, which took today off the schedule, so I'm already behind. But I've been thinking about why I get so stressed about having a clean house. Why do we care so much about that as women? I am wanting Jason to fix major things this week in the house, wanting to make a new wreath for the door, and major cleaning. Why can't I just do basic cleaning and picking up and leave it at that? I tell Jason its because I want my home to be welcoming and homey, but wouldn't a little dust make it more homey? Why do I care what people think about my house? Especially when there are people in Haiti who don't have a house to worry about! So pray for me this week that I don't stress about it, that I take a few minutes to pray for my attitude, and pray that God will give me wisdom about what to work on. I want people to see Him in my home, especially some of these people who I'm sure are not believers. If I worry too much about my house, will that come across to them that I'm materialistic or snobby? Oh, the constant battle of balance!

Monday, January 18, 2010

My first try at posting a video


We were watching last season's finale of American Idol and Campbell loved the Black Eyed Peas. So funny! Not the best video I have, but I just wanted to try to post one just because I can now!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The gospel according to Cade

Cade wrote this epistle today during church, most of it with no help from me. I thought I would pass it on to bring a smile to your face. Oh, the faith of my middle, relational child. I will even spell it his way and translate it if needed. Remember he's in kindergarten.

1. Jesus is helping me in the church all the tim. 2. God will give you what you need. 3. Jesus and God will not get you in truble by the devil. 4. God and Jesus will make you be good. 5. When Jesus and God tells you to be nise you be nise. (That's my favorite) 6. Give some coins to your church. (That's Jason's favorite) 7. In church you haft to lisin. 8. in church you sing to the music. 9. You are spost to yos igdmis. (you are supposed to use instruments, I'm not sure how it got spelled that way). 10. You shd thak God what he gave you. 11. You love God and Jesus.

Oh my sweet child. Brings a tear to my eye. I have a feeling God has great plans for him someday. Maybe even today as you read it.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

First official post with high speed!

I just wanted to announce that I now have high speed internet at home, so I have no excuses to not post more often or post pictures. Of course, at the moment the computer is in the playroom on my kids table and my bottom barely fits into this kids chair, but its temporary. I am enjoying being able to download sermons and open videos and quickly get where I need to be. Hopefully I don't spend more time on here but less.

As I was making the arrangements and watching the cable guy install it, I was feeling guilty about getting it when there are people in Haiti with no homes, no water or food, no parents, no children and many I'm sure with no hope. I mentioned it to the cable guy who had already told me he was a believer, and he said it wasn't my fault about Haiti as if that could take the guilt away. Of course it wasn't my fault, but what are we doing to sacrifice to help someone else. I was crying last night while watching a story of an Australian news crew rescuing an 18 month old out of rubble where she had been for 68 hours. She was fine, but apparently has lost all of her family but an uncle. I just couldn't imagine that for my Campbell. God must have a plan for her to save her in those conditions. God's plans are far higher than I can imagine. And He is in control.

Please pray for Ben and Katie. They were in our youth group in Richardson. I can remember leading Ben in a small group either at camp or D-Now. They moved to Haiti Dec. 29th to teach at a Christian school and participate in other ministries, and now they are ministering in ways they never imagined. www.benandkatieinhaiti.com