Monday, April 18, 2011

What's Cooking Tonight?

     I love spring, however I live in the Northwest, so I am not certain I have ever experienced spring.   Our weather is more inclined to be freezing for six months, really cold for three months, cold for two more months and then hot for two months.  It's an ugly cycle, but alas we must go on.

    If we can't have spring like weather we might as well cook spring like food.  Yumm!

Chicken Kabobs

12 boneless skinless chicken tenders (cut into cubes)
2 zucchini sliced
2 pints of mushrooms
1 red onion cut into chunks
1 pint of cherry tomatoes
1 yellow bell pepper cut into chunks
1 bottle of Italian dressing

Marinate chicken & vegetables overnight in Italian dressing.  
The next day soak wooden skewers for at least 30 minutes
in water.  Skewer vegetables and chicken.  BBQ over med-high 
until chicken is cooked through.  Meanwhile cook rice.  After 
rice is cooked toss with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and
garlic salt.  Serve the kabobs over a bed of rice.

     I like to serve Chicken Kabobs with  a salad and fresh Garlic Rosemary bread from Costco. 

 Here's an easy way to make a delicious salad:

Start with mixed spring greens, they are least expensive at Costco.
Core and dice an apple, jazz apples are great.
Toss in a handful of blackberries, a few sliced strawberries,
and some roasted pecans.  Toss in a bit of feta or gorgonzola and you
have a beautiful delicious salad. Serve with a raspberry vinaigrette
or a pear gorgonzola dressing.

     To wrap up this scrumptious meal, I like to go with a light but delicious dessert, usually strawberry shortcake.  My strawberry shortcake recipe is simple:


Whip up a Betty Crocker angle food cake.  Slice strawberries, I
like to slice my strawberries lengthwise into four slices- it makes the
presentation prettier.  Toss strawberries with a sprinkling of sugar.
Top with homemade whip cream.  The secret ingredient is definitely
the whip cream. 

Whip cream

Beat one pint of whip cream & one teaspoon of vanilla until
the mixture comes to a fluffy texture
(similar to cool whip, but oh, so much better).
Gently fold in two tablespoons of powdered sugar and serve.
Yum!  The leftovers are great on your morning coffee.

Blessings to you and yours!

60.  Cooking with my sweet oldest daughter.
61.  Sweet conversation with my girls.
62.  Homeschooling successes & my sweet son.
63.  Family laughs watching the Cosby show.
64.  Date night with my hubby- he made reservations for the 1st time ever!
65.  Holding hands in the movie theater.
66.  Christian's enthusiasm over playing Jesus in a skit at church.
67.  Ann Voskamp's free download for Easter.
68.  Dinner with precious friends, and simple laughter.
69.  Ten minutes of sunshine on a snowy, raining, sleeting, windy day.
70.  God drawing me to His Word all day and finally taking a moment to sit down and soak it all in.
71.  Little feet growing to quickly.
72.  Belly laughs.
73.  Tired soccer girls, who leave the field just because they can.
74.  Snuggles on movie night.
75.  Tulips pushing up out of the dark brown earth.
76.  11,000 Easter Eggs and counting

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Fun Facts

1.  Christian rocked his first I-SAT.  Fantastic, what you don't realize is I'm actually doing the happy dance right now.  School has been a struggle for our son, reading in particular.  This year we decided to home school and as a result were referred to a dyslexia specialist.  Christian was diagnosed with dyslexia.  We signed him up for eye therapy, and utilized a fantastic curriculum, Language!, to bring him up to speed.  He has worked incredibly hard and I am so SUPER proud of him.  It's a Hallelujah  moment!

2.  I breakout into song during American Idol.  I sing horribly, my voice cracks and squeaks horribly, but if I turn up the volume loud enough I sound awesome.

3.  Grace had a frustrating night.  First, after dinner she wanted only chocolate ice cream but we had Neapolitan.  Then later I annihilated her at Chinese checkers.  Hummm...I wonder if it is wrong to enjoy beating your children at games.  The final straw was when the ears on her bunny craft wouldn't stand up straight.  The angst of being in the first grade.

4.   I believe I was punked at work today, yes I do.  That's all I have to say about that.

5.  I told my husband all I wanted for him to do for our anniversary is sing me "Hero" by Enrique Iglesias.  Hummmm.....oh, and flowers in a vase.  See, simple.

6.  I think I will blog about proper etiquette on Thursday's, I'm not sure yet, but I'm leaning in that direction.  Now, this is not a snooty deal, it's just fun.  I learned how to properly make a bed before the 2nd grade, but I did not learn to properly set a table until I was at least 25.   Etiquette simple and fun.

7.  We have about 9,000 eggs that still need to be stuffed for our Community Easter Egg Hunt.  That's a 1,000 eggs a day for the next nine days.  Any takers????

Blessings to you and yours!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Storm

   Anger burns hot and furious, indignant and proud.  A tidal wave speeding to destroy a quiet beach.  Anger can come as a surprise, something you don't expect in the moment, but its there hot and ready to destroy. 

    God's word says, "that a gentle answer turns away wrath."  How does this play out in parenting?   Each person in a relationship has a choice to respond in conflict,  you can not control how another responds but you can control your words, your anger. Your response can be gentle, yet firm.  

      To many times  I have responded in anger, harsh words strategically placed that create destruction and hurt.  To many times I reacted instead of responded, and experienced the regret that accompanies rash harsh words.  God in His graciousness and stretched me and grown me.  I still make mistakes and cave into sinful reactions with my words, yet I feel His presence and His warning,  to pray, observe, respond in love, to hold to discipline even when I want to cave in, to extend mercy and grace, and to follow Him in all I do. 

    Tonight was a "challenging" night in our home.  Angry children, with feeling burst out in hot breaths full of rage.  Hot tears, harsh words, and early bedtimes.  My patience teetered on the wires edge.  Deep breaths,  discipline and consequences, so difficult to respond and not react, yet God is good and He reigns on high.  He walked me through the evening guiding my words and actions, gently rebuking me when I started to stray off His path.  He is ever patient with me, I will always mess up and need to come to Him for forgiveness and He is faithful to forgive.  Tonight I am thankful to be His and thankful to get to be a mommy to this crazy bunch He has blessed me with.

Blessings to you and yours!


Monday, April 11, 2011

Remember the Ugly Boat?

  Dear Friends;

    Do you remember the ugly boat Sandy bought in December?  Remember the one he didn't mention until AFTER he bought it.

Not to shabby on the outside, but check out the horrid interior.

     Sandy has been diligently scouring and tinkering with his boat to make it a little more family friendly, as I'm pretty sure that he expects the "family" to actually use the boat this summer.  With all the work he's put in the boat is much improved, but the interior is still terrible.  Sandy has searched Craig's List, Ebay and the local paper for new "used" seats for the boat with no luck. 

   I have observed his behavior with this boat the last few weeks and determined he does, in fact, plan on regularly toting our family around the lake in this contraption.  The problem is, he hates the interior as much as I do.  I threw out the idea of getting some upholstery bids, to see what new upholstery would run.  

    I think he thought I was trying to trick him or something as he was a little skeptical,  but today the upholstery lady came.  She had this amazing stack of upholstery options for our boat.  I was instantly in decorating heaven,  well maybe not that far, but at least decorating vacation.  I thumbed through that puppy and selected new upholstery for our boat in shades of dreamy oyster, and slate gray.  Be still my decorating heart, I already have throw pillows picked out. 

   The nice upholstery lady came back with  a $1,500.00 bid to do the whole boat.  I didn't think this was a bad  deal and our 15th Anniversary is this month so I encouraged Sandy to have the boat reupholstered.  My theory is 15 years $100.00 a year= a $1500.00 gift.  Right? 

      Do you know what that crazy guy did?  He said no! And maybe a little something about it not being responsible.   What?  I never EVER encourage him to spend money on boats and the first time I do he says no.  I think he's messing with me. In fact, I'm pretty darn sure he is, as he "mentioned" the cuddy smelled like urine because they kept their porta potty in it.  Sure...tell the finicky wife, she might have to ride in a boat with urine and deny the upholstery.  I don't think so.........

     I have a sneaking suspicion that he wants me to think the upholstery is really a gift  for me.  Maybe it is, I'm all confused now.

Blessings to you and yours!

Sunday, April 10, 2011



Not a very nice word.


Do you know the definition of snooty?

Let me help you out.

The dictionary definition of snooty is:

supercilious: having or showing a haughty condescending manner,
 especially to those considered socially inferior.

Why, you ask am I telling you this?  Well, over the past month or so I  have been praying God will reveal some of my blind spots.  You know, those areas everyone else is aware of but you.  God in His infinite wisdom, and I believe a bit of humor, has revealed one of mine- snootiness.  In a period of no less than a week, in three different instances I was told I was snooty or prissy.  I know, cruel, right. 

  The first instance occurred at a basketball game for my oldest daughter.  At the game a friend from church came to sit by me and asked me to point out my oldest daughter.  I did, she laughed and said she had already guessed by looking for the prissiest one.  Hummm....  What do you think she's trying to say?

  The second instance occurred  one evening at a restaurant with friends.  A roll from the bread basket dropped out and I did not want to eat because it fell on the restaurant table.  One of my formerly dearest friends remarked, "you're a little snooty."  At the time I was horribly offended, I still may be.  Everyone at the table laughed and agreed with her.  Hummm..
     The final instance occurred at home with Sandy and my kids.  I told them the snooty and prissy stories, and they all laughed and agreed.  Rude....Though it maybe possible I am the common denominator.
      Weird, I have never thought of myself as snooty or prissy.  I try to be kind and loving to  pretty much everyone. I'm known as the nice one, though I think it may be possible to be snooty and nice at the same time.  Hummm.  Yuck. 

      I don't want to be snooty, yet I am not sure how not to be. I do like things a certain way;  like properly made beds, a spring salad with cranberries, feta and pecans topped with white balsamic,  forks on the left-side and butter knives and spoons on the right, and ice water in a goblet topped with a slice of lemon.  Now, I don't think any of these things are bad per say, though I do think my attitude regarding the presence of these things maybe. 

    I have a new goal.  It's to be a little less snooty and a little more humble.  Did you know humble is the antonym of snooty in the Thesaurus.  Ouch. 

     I think God's doing a little heart surgery on me.  This doesn't mean I am going to stop wearing eyeliner and using hairspray or that I won't like proper etiquette, but it does mean I am going to start studying what God's Word says about humility.  Not only am I going to study God's Word I am going to apply it to my life.

  (Note to the "snooty caller"-  This probably does not mean I will start eatting food off restaurant tables, though I may become a little less vocal about it.)

(Note to other friends-  Call me out if you observe me acting snooty, don't be rude, just let me know I've been a little less than humble. I'd appreciate it.)

Blessings to you and yours!

48.  A random sunny day in the midst of many rainy days.

49.  Kids who still love to chat with their mom.

50.  The sound of a dish washer running and the smell of coffee brewing.

51.  Friends that are equally as demented as me.

52.  New challenges.

53.  The earthy smell of rain.

54.  Rocking my littlest to sleep not one, but two nights in  a row.

55.  Six and a half trash cans heaping full of candy.

56.  A patch of blue among gray clouds.

57.  Flip flops.

58.  Preparation for Easter.

59.  A Savior who loves and chooses me!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Moving Stinks

     Does anyone actually like to help people move?  If you do, you're weird.  I like people and even moving, but not, so much, moving people.  It's stinking exhausting.  Do remember, I don't particularly care to sweat, wear ugly shoes, lift heavy things or to break nails. 

I'm more of a stop and smell the flowers sort of girl.

    Yet today, I had a blast moving a good friend and her enormous collection of crap, oh I mean stuff.  The group we moved with was amazing!  I'm quit certain we have the best community pastor in the church- he rallies quite the team.  (I should of brought my camera).

Another bonus was watching that hot stud of mine lift heavy furniture.
He can jump super straight too.  He's multi-talented.

On a funny note, I have to share a hilarious (at least to me) story from moving: 
Note:  This story might possibly be slightly embellished, maybe, maybe not.  In addition,
this story does have the potential to offend, so read at your own risk.

A great team of people loaded the U-Haul and various other
vehicles full of home goods.  Once the vehicles were piping full, we
decided to leave a team of people at the current home, and
another team of peoplewould unload the gear at the new house. 
Before I headed to the new house, I gave some instructions to Jane.
I asked her to pack a cedar closet in the basement while we were gone.
I  then went on my merry little way to unload items at the new house.
Things went swimmingly until, on the way back, I realized I
forgot to let Jane know there was an urn containing
"Bob"(my friends first husband) in the closet.  Ha! 
Poor girl handled it fantastic. She found the urn,
opened it and realized it was quit possibly human ashes.  
She was quite the trooper, she packed Bob up and loaded him in the U-Haul.
 I, on the other hand, panicked a bit, raced back to the main
house, and informed her Bob was in the closet.  
She remained very composed and said, "I suspected that I found
human ashes."  I cracked up.  I know, I radiate with maturity and compassion.
  I bet that is the strangest thing she ever found while helping someone move.

(*Names have been changed to protect the innocent, and I asked permission to share this story.)

Now lets evaluate my leadership during this event.

1.  Divided into teams to conquer a task.  Win.

2.  It wasn't my idea to divide in teams. Win.  (I work with smart people)

3.  The team left at the main house was quite small,
a team of one, to be exact.  Oops!

4. Forgot to let the "team" know there was human remains in the closet.  (Fail)

5.  Cracked up at the poor woman, who was left alone in the giant house
and found an unexpected surprise that I forgot to tell her about.  (Win, humors good)

Blessings to you and yours!


   For over a year now I have been reading through my Bible.  I have not been faithful to read the Word everyday.   I have even skipped weeks of reading God’s Word, yet He is so faithful to me.  He calls me and draws me, when I become complacent.  He loves me with an everlasting love.

   A few weeks ago I decided to get back on track, and start spending time in the Word again.  I read Hosea chapters 9 & 10, and this verse popped off the page:

“Sow with a view to righteousness,
Reap in accordance with kindness;
Break up your fallow ground,
For it is time to seek the Lord
Until He comes to rain righteousness.”
           Hosea 10:12 NASB

   I felt God’s Word penetrate straight into my heart.  I was compelled to read the passage again and again.

“Sow with a view to righteousness,”

“Reap in accordance with kindness;”

“Break up your fallow (unproductive) ground,”
“For it is time to seek the Lord”

“Until He comes to rain righteousness.”

   Today as I opened God’s Word again, my eyes were drawn to the highlighted passage, including verse 13.

“You have plowed wickedness, you have reaped injustice,
You have eaten the fruit of lies.
Because you have trusted in your way.
In your numerous warriors.”

   These verses resonate within me.  God has called me to so much more.  He wants me to, “sow with a view to righteousness,” He does not want me to sow arbitrarily or wickedly. He wants me to sow with a view of eternity and His righteousness.  Everyday and every moment I need to ask:  What am I sowing and to what end am I sowing too?  Do I have a view of righteousness, or are my glasses covered in muck?

     Do I “reap in accordance to kindness”, or do I plow over others in search on my own desires and needs?  Do I care more about myself than I do God or my fellow man?  In verse 12 the word kindness comes from the Hebrew word hesed, meaning loyalty.  This word actually refers to “right conduct towards one’s fellowman or loyalty to the Lord, or both. (source) 

   Am I willing to breakup my fallow, unproductive ground and seek the Lord, or do I want to stay status quo and “eat the fruit of lies”?  Am I willing to be active and seek the Lord, or do I want to be spoon fed forever?  Am I willing to work for righteousness and sacrifice comfort for eternity?  It is time to seek the Lord!

   Verse 12 tells us; “Until He comes to reign righteousness on you.”  My job is to sow with a view towards righteousness, and reap with loyalty towards Him.  I need to get in the game and break up the unproductive parts of my life and seek Him whole-heartedly, for it is TIME to seek the Lord.  Then He will reign righteousness on me. 

   It time to think like a farmer.  What happens after the soil is tilled, fertilized, and the seed is sowed?  Nothing without water. It’s not until the rain and the water come that the seed sprouts and the plant grows and produces an abundant crop for harvest.  I want to seek the Lord, I want to be productive, and I want to produce good fruit that only comes from the Father.

“It is time to see the Lord.”

Blessings to you and yours!

Friday, April 8, 2011

All That and a Bag of Chips

I'm spoiled, yes, I never thought it would happen, but it did.

Sandy has fantastically spoiled/enabled me into blissful happiness.

You see, he takes care of all the "Man" duties.  You know what I'm talking about:

1.  Changes the oil.
2.  Fills my car with gas.
3.  Mows the lawn (most of the time),
4.  Weed whacks.
5.  Fixes stopped up toilets- (seriously, I don't even have to plunge).

He pretty much rocks.

Typically, I loved this spoiled life style and apparently, according to one of my besties,
can be a bit, how shall we say it, snooty.

 (I'm still offended Shelly).

Honestly, I just try to avoid activities that may induce injury, broken nails, require ugly shoes,  and
basically are unpleasant.

 (Stop thinking I'm shallow, it's practical, people, practical.)

Anyhoo, I've been assigned new projects at work lately.

 Projects  that require the use of a U-Haul, muscles, and ugly shoes.

Hummm....I see the possibility of a broken nail in my future.

Today, I "manned up" and conquered a feat so amazing that I'm still basking in the glory.

I opened a U-Haul all by myself.

 Don't judge me.
This was a "small step for man kind" sort of moment.

I realized I can open a U-Haul and even pull out the gate.
 (Okay, so the Worship Arts guy gave me a hand with the gate.)

At this point you may be wondering, "why am I reading this drivel".

 But that's all good with me cuz' I got me some muscles. 

In addition, I also found out something new about myself. 

 I actually like trying new things. 

Hummm...Weed whacking- here I come.

Blessings to you and yours!