Thursday, February 28, 2013

Two Sides of Thankfulness

I came home from our trip with a renewed spirit.  I was so thankful for the time away, the lovely cabin, the fun memories, great food, good health and safe trip.  As the week went on the thankfulness continued.   I was so excited and thankful to have two small writing opportunities be accepted for the Focus on the Family magazine "Thriving Family".  I was overjoyed!

Then last night happened...

We discovered a busted pipe under the house.  This led to no hot water because it was connected to the hot water heater.  We have slowly found out today just how bad the damage is!!!!

We do have hot water now after many hours of being without and a few hours of no water at all.  But the damage will take a while to recover from.  Apparently the leak had been small and going on for a long time.  We are talking ripping out insulation, possible mold, drying wood, calling air quality people, filing insurance claims...and the list of awesome things goes on and on and on!

There have been times I have wanted to cry today and times I wanted to scream.  And yes there have been times I have wanted to ask "Why???"  But here's the thing...I am the same girl that was overjoyed by the blessings a few short hours ago, and I can still be the girl overjoyed because those blessings are still there.  Yes this will be a struggle.  Yes this is going to cause some headaches and our checkbook is going to majorly suffer.  But I know there is a reason.  I know it could be worse.  And I am prepared in case those worse things do occur.

I am choosing today to still be thankful for being God's child and thankful for my family.  I will ask to learn through this experience.  I will seek to remain joyful with every piece of news we find out about our situation.  I will be thankful we still have a house, and I will be thankful because I know that if we suddenly didn't we have a wonderful family to turn to for help.

Today's Verse
"In everything give thanks..." I Thess 5:18a

It is easy to be thankful when the positives are right in front of my face, but today I am choosing to give thanks even though there are negatives swirling all around!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What's Cookin'

So when rummaging through my pantry last week, I ran across a can of pumpkin.  Where did that come from?  It must have been left over from the holidays.  What to do... what to do?  Yes, I could make pumpkin pancakes or muffins, but I want something completely off the wall.  So I went in search for something different... something I had never done before.  I think I found it!  Here are the 2 recipes I tried.  I hope your family enjoys!

The first is found on  So different but tasty!  Visit the website for something you would never think about when you think about pumpkin...

Next... for a sweet and very easy treat.  I found this recipe in Parenting magazine.  It does not say to store in fridge, but that is what I did and I think they were tasty cold.

Pumpkin Snowballs

1 cup oatmeal
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (I used cinnamon)
3 or 4 Tbsp pumpkin puree
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup raisins

Combine well and roll into 1 inch balls, and then roll in powdered sugar.  Anything rolled in powdered sugar is awesome!

Today's Verse
"Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."  Philippians 1:6

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

You don't look your age...

Some people take, "You don't look your age!" as a compliment.  But, is it really???  I have heard that comment a lot since I turned 30 (a few years back) and every time I don't know rather to laugh or cry!  It is like saying your age is old, but really you don't look "that old".

This weekend I got a double dose of feeling old!  Yay! 

We had a wonderful and long relaxing weekend away in the mountains.  The cabin was picture perfect like out of a magazine, and the weather was good.  The girls got to ski.  My oldest one is quite the ski bunny and my little one  did very well for a 2 yr old.  We were able to go ice skating as well.  Lots of excitement.  While at the skating rink, a young college girl told her boyfriend to, "Let this lady through.". Ouch!  Lady!  She might as well have put the word OLD in front of it by the way she said it.  Then the very next day, a college boy said "Excuse me ma'am" as he passed by in a restaurant.

Talk about feeling old.  

I feel like it was just a blink of an eye ago when I was a college student.  I remember when I graduated and began working full time at the university everyone thought I was still a student.  But those days are long gone.  So how am I going to handle this aging process?

A young college couple got engaged at the ice rink while we were there.  It was so sweet!  I think she was truly surprised!  I of course recalled the day my hubby asked me.  Two young college sweethearts that had no clue what married life was like.  But we knew God had put us together, and with Him we would figure it out!

What wisdom could I have shared with that newly engaged couple?  What things would I go back and tell myself?  

Today's verses
"The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness....teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children...keepers at home...that the word of God be not blasphemed." Titus 2:3-5 

So how am I going to handle this thing called aging...I am going to use the days God has given me to tell about the things He has taught me.  I may not have 40 years of marriage under my belt, but I am going on 10.  And in those 10 years I have learned more than I could have ever expected.  I am going to love my husband and my girls.  I am going to teach my children of God's love and speak well of their earthly father as well.  I am going to strive to share Christ's love with others.  I am going to appreciate everyday He gives me.  

I hope to age gracefully...not just in the "you don't look your age" gracefully, but the cherishing and sharing God's love gracefully!  Besides, it is my job to teach the young women and I pray God can use me through this and any other writing opportunities He blesses me with!  And I will try to remember this even when someone is calling me ma'am or lady :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What's Cookin' Wednesday!!!

These are going to be a new favorite for my family.  I take no credit; I got this recipe from a Southern Living magazine.  I can definitely see how you could make this for your own taste.  These are pizza puffs made with pepperoni and sausage, but I think if you wanted to forgo the meat it would be easy to use peppers, olives or mushrooms instead.  I also think they might would be tasty with black beans and corn and served with salsa...I will have to try that and share if it works!

They were a hit on my daughter's birthday and I will definitely be making them again!  Hope you and your family enjoys!!!

Spray 24 mini muffin pans and preheat the oven to 375.

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
1 cup mozzarella
4 oz. cooked and crumbled sausage
1/2 cup miniature turkey pepperoni

Whisk together and let stand for 10 minutes before spooning into muffin pan.  Bake for 15-18 minutes.   Serve with warm pizza sauce.

Note- I used 1/2 cup mozzarella and 1/2 cup cheddar.  I also added 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning, and I used turkey sausage also.  I did not have miniature pepperonis so I quartered the regular turkey pepperonis.  I do think it would be better with the miniature ones!  But it was totally tasty and my hubby and I even had the leftovers for breakfast and they were tasty!

Today's Verse
"As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you:  continue ye in my love."  John 15:9

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Never Again...

Who is ready to take a nice long cruise?  There are about 4000 people who would scream "No, don't do it!"  if they heard that question right now.  I have been on three cruises, and I have loved all of them. But, I have to say if I had gone through what the recent cruisers on the Triumph went through, I would probably never step foot on a cruise ship again!  I cannot imagine the things and conditions they had to endure.

I heard one reporter that spoke about getting the pregnant women off first.  I flashed back to my last cruise when I was 22 weeks pregnant with my oldest daughter.  Yikes!  I can honestly say I would have been a basket-case if something like that would have occurred and I was pregnant.

When hearing the stories and the interviews, one thing was apparent... those passengers would never  want to be on a cruise ship again!

Immediately a thought came into my mind.  There are people out there, and I don't just mean a few 4000, but thousands upon thousands, who feel the same way about going to church.  For one reason or another, they never want to step foot in a church...never!  It breaks my heart when I hear these stories or meet someone personally who has endured hardship from a place of worship or other Christians.  Their reasons are valid reasons.  Their hurt or disdain is strong.  They want nothing to do with religion.

I waited tables through high school and college.  And any waitress (especially in the south) will tell you that the worst crowd, without a doubt, is the Sunday church crowd.  I would leave my  church and arrive just in time to change my clothes and done my apron at the local steak house.  I would be smiling and still humming hymns, only to be in tears two hours later.  It never failed.  It could have been the rude lady in her Sunday best whose scowl was terrifying, the man in the suit and tie that threw a chair at my friend simply because she asked him to move his chair so he wouldn't block the fire exit, the large table that only left me a tract instead of an actual tip, and the lists of stories that made me cry on Sundays goes on and on and on.  Only after I finished crying would I be bombarded by the waitresses that were not believers asking me, "How can they do this?  Why do they act like this? What makes them think they are better than me?"  My heart literally broke into pieces every Sunday.  And I would stand speechless, not knowing myself how they could leave church and then treat us that way!  I am not saying it was every family...but I can tell you in all honesty, it was the majority!

Those experiences make any waitress never want to step foot in a church.  And there are so many  stories out there where the bottom line is simple...stay away from anybody and anything church related.  There may have been hurt feelings, misunderstandings, or wrong perceptions that occurred long ago, but the wounds are still open causing the "never again" syndrome.    Just like that that cruise has left a bad taste in the mouth of its passengers, a run-in with a rude Christian can leave a bad taste in the mouth of an unbeliever.

What can we as Christians do to prevent this?  What can we do to change minds?

I will never be able to change everybody's mind...but I can simply tell my story when the opportunity presents itself.  Explain what God's love means to us and that His forgiveness is for everybody.  No Christian is perfect, and we will hurt each other, but we try our best.  I keep a smile when I am out and  even when someone is rude.  I am nice to my waitress, my cashier, and the stranger I pass in the grocery store isle. (Even when I don't always feel like being nice!)  I can share how I have been hurt by other Christians also... and there have been times I have hurt others myself.  But through the hurt I keep serving God because He has given me everything!

I feel horrible for the people on that cruise, but thankfully they are home.  But my heart breaks more for those who never want to be associated with church.  Let's do our best to not be a part of causing the "never again" syndrome in those we come in contact with! 

Today's Verse
Matthew 5:16 "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What's Cookin'!

Happy Birthday Mom!  Happy Birthday Macie!  Happy Valentines Day Everyone!

Our week is crazy.  Valentines Day is super fun in our house.  With a Valentines Baby, it is not only a special holiday but a very special day for our little girl.  We start counting down right after Christmas.  We are partying all week and all weekend, and it will spill over to next week with a fun ski trip planned.  Party!  Party!  Party!

I had to do a chocolate recipe today!  With tomorrow being all about love and chocolate, it was a must.  If you have never heard of peanut butter delight, you are not from around here.  It is a staple at every church gathering, and it is my mom's specialty for family gatherings and birthday presents.  I have to confess that I tried this with Nutella, you know my obsession with the stuff, but it just couldn't hang with the real deal...cocoa and peanut butter!  You have to know that this is a funny candy.  There are days it is perfect, days it is too dry and days it is too creamy.  Just adjust as necessary with a little more oatmeal or a little more milk.

1 stick margarine
1 cup sugar
dash of salt
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/3 cup milk

Bring to a boil and cook for 3-4 minutes while stirring.

Remove from heat and stir in...

1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup of peanut butter
2 cups of oatmeal

Drop by the rounded spoonful on waxed paper.  After set, store in an airtight container.  Nothing like these for your sweetheart!  Hope you and your family enjoys!

Today's Verse
"I will love thee, O LORD, my strength."  Psalms 18:1

Check out the post from last Valentines Day for the ultimate Valentine!

My little Valentine Birthday girl is requesting the yummy waffles for her birthday in the morning!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Cleaning Day

Thursday is cleaning day in our household.  If our schedule allows, my little one and I drop big sis off at school and head home for some cleaning time.  My cleaning day has changed through my years, but I  always strive to clean once a week.  I don't love to clean (especially dust!!!), but it is a necessity to keep a tidy home and organized environment.  

It is amazing to see that even though it has only been 7 days (usually), there is still a need to clean.  There is dust on the furniture, sticky spots and dried play-dough on the kitchen floor, scraps of paper in the carpet from crafts, and toothpaste splats on the bathroom mirror.  It never fails, the house can get pretty messy in a week's time.

Same goes with my life, but the difference is I can't just "clean" once a must be done daily.  If I don't spend that daily time with God confessing my messes, reading His Word, and praying, then my life becomes a mess.  When I skip a couple of days, life changes, and quite frankly it can get pretty dirty.  My attitude changes, my temper is shorter, and everything seems to go wrong.  I can't just pick my Bible up once a week and expect the other days to run smoothly.  Unlike cleaning day that occurs once a week, I need a quiet time everyday.  

Today's verse
Matthew 6:6 "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."

To avoid many of the messes in our lives, we must have that time of prayer daily.  And hey, it doesn't matter if that closet you enter is messy!  Our heavenly Father cares much more about spending time with you than if your house is spic and span!

The girls and I sung this song this morning.  It is really fun to sing, but the truth of it is so important!

Read your Bible
Pray everyday
Pray everyday
Pray everyday
Read your Bible
Pray everyday
And you'll grow, grow, grow

Neglect your Bible
Forget to pray
And you'll shrink, shrink, shrink

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

What's Cookin' Wednesday

Breakfast Time!!!!

These are some new breakfast treats that have become favorites in the new year.  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!  Hope you and your family enjoys!

Purple Princess (Or Princely) Smoothies

For each serving....

1/3 cup skim milk
1/3 cup plain, non-fat yogurt
1/3 cup frozen strawberry slices
1/3 cup frozen blueberry slices
1 - 2 tsp honey  (My husband likes it without the honey, but us girls like it sweet!)

If you would like to add fiber or protein, feel free to add oatmeal or wheat germ.  I use my immersion blender, which is an awesome thing if you have one.  But these can also be whipped up in a regular blender.  Just a warning, check your teeth and face after drinking...we've had some funny moments with purple mustaches, noses and teeth!  Get ready to laugh with this breakfast!

I have told you all before, that I love peanut butter and honey.  This is my new favorite breakfast of the new year.  It is very filling and I am not hungry before lunch!

1/2 light mult-grain english muffin
1 Tbsp peanut butter
1/2 sliced banana 
1 tsp honey

Toast the english muffin half and spread with PB.  Top with banana slices and drizzle with honey.  It taste sooooo good!

And lastly, my little one and I just conquered something I have always wanted to try....making homemade granola bars.  These were scrumptious.  It is a Taste of Home recipe, so I take no credit.  The girls love it, even my youngest who doesn't like store-bought granola bars.  Great for breakfast, lunch box or snack!

Peanut Butter Granola Mini Bars Recipe

  • Prep: 20 min. Bake: 15 min. + cooling
  • Yield: 36 Servings


  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3-1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1/3 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips


  • In a large bowl, beat the peanut butter, honey, egg, oil and vanilla until blended. Combine the oats, brown sugar and salt; add to the peanut butter mixture and mix well. Stir in chips. (Batter will be sticky.)
  • Transfer to a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes or until set and edges are lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Yield: 3 dozen.

Today's Verse
"I will greatly rejoice in the Lord"  Isaiah 61:10a

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Complicated yet simple

My little Kindergartner is officially a reader.  It is a joy to watch her grow in this new area of study every week.  I am amazed at her progress and it makes me smile so big as she does her reading homework each evening.  This morning while getting ready for school, she noticed a copy of her Daddy's Consumer Reports magazine.  She said, "Mom I know this word is 'Top' and this word is 'Plus', but I cannot figure out what this word is!"  I was impressed as she tried so hard to figure it out on her own.  The word was 'phone'.  Simple word for adults, but to an early reader it didn't make any sense.  It did not follow the rules she has learned thus far.  The class has begun "special sounds" like  'th' and 'sh', but 'ph' has not been discussed yet.  When I explained it was a special sound, she immediately asked the  question we all want to ask, "Why did they not just use an 'F'?"  Although I will never be able to answer that one, I do know reading is complicated, especially for the beginner.

We learn the rules... how to tell if a vowel makes its long sound or short sound; the special sounds; 'i' before 'e' except after 'c', and so forth and so on.  But reading is not just a simple process.  You don't learn it in a day, a week or even a month.  It takes practice, teaching and instruction to grasp all there is to know in our English language.  I am proud of my daughter's progress, but she does have a ways to go.

In our children's program at church, we are teaching the kids that no matter how complicated they might think salvation is, it is a simple process.  Asking Jesus to come into our hearts and lives is as easy as ABC or 123.  It is so simple, even a child can be instrumental in leading others to Christ.  Yes the Bible can seem hard to understand, and there are rules to follow.   It cannot all be understood in a day, a week or even a month.  But salvation is simple.  It can be done in a day; in fact, it can be done in a matter of minutes!

Today's Verse
Romans 10:13 "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

I might not feel qualified to lead someone to Christ, just like I don't feel qualified to completely teach my child to read.  Yet any Christian is equipped to tell others about Jesus, just like any reader can assist a new reader in learning.  Start with your own story.  Tell how you came to ask Jesus to be your Savior, and tell of the things He has done in your life.  You don't have to know the Bible backwards and forwards.  You don't have to be able to answer every biblical question, but being a child of God does qualify you to tell others about His love!  God can seem complicated, but in all actuality He is love...and that is simple!