Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Moving Forward

I just posted a new playlist. It has a few worship songs on it, but the first song is one that I think should be our anthem for the beginning of every new year (if not every new day). Over the last few years God has used the song Moving Forward to minister to my heart and propel me forward so many times. Even when I don't feel like I'm making the forward progress that I need to make, just claiming the words to this song can help me begin to take even just baby steps if necessary. While God is the be all end all, the fact is that He gives us free will. We are given the opportunity each and every day to make decisions that help to determine our outcome. Are you wallowing in self-pity or accepting the trials that He has laid befor you, vowing to learn from them, be strengthened by them and rejoicing through them. Would people characterize you as joyful or as whining and complaining. Those attributes are not ones that are at all becoming of a child of the King. If you are His then the joy of the Lord should be upon you. The sister of a couple of Pastors wives at our church recently passed away. This woman loved the Lord and lived for him and the joy of the Lord was so upon her that even people who did not know her personally are speaking of how her presence alone lit up a room. What kind of legacy are we leaving? We are not promised tomorrow, so what are we going to do with today. I encourage you to evaluate this last year and ask yourself what people would say about your countenance this past year and vow to spend this year becoming what you want your legacy to be. I'm declaring that "I am not going back"!

Here are the lyrics, I encourage you to listen!
Free Chapel - Moving Forward lyrics

Chorus:
I'm not going back
I'm moving ahead
I'm here to declare to you
My past is over
In You old things are made new
Surrender my life to Christ
I'm moving moving forward

What a moment
You have brought me to
Such a freedom I have found in You
What a Healer
You make all things new
Yeah Yeah Yeah

You have risen
With all power in Your Hands
You have given me
A second Chance
Hallelujah Hallelujah
Yeah Yeah YeahYeah Yeah Yeah

You maka all things new
You make all things newI will follow You forward

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009

December 25, 2009
Dear Friends and Family,
Our Christmas cards did not make it out this year, although, we still may send them. Better late than never, we hear. We have had a year full of blessings and trials, but what year doesn’t include both?
The last half of this year was especially marked with much sickness in our home. We rarely deal with much illness here, so it was very surprising to find ourselves dealing with so many medical issues. The girls dealt with severe reflux for several months and had an endoscopy in September. We discovered damage to their esophagus and each began taking a medication that has helped tremendously and is expected to do much healing. We love their doctor and he expects them to only have to take this medication for 6 months to a year.
In August Kristie became ill with a sinus infection that quickly turned into a long drawn out battle with bronchitis. After three doctor visits and two different doctors, she was finally able to recover. Not long after she got well Kelsi, Keeli and Mason all came down with the flu. We were very blessed that it was only a mild case and thankfully we were completely flu free within a week.
Kelsi has struggled with some sinus and hearing issues and praise be to Jesus we have finally found a doctor that wants to get to the bottom of what is going on and try to correct here issues. On Tuesday we took her in for blood work to test how well her immune system is functioning, on Wednesday she had surgery on both ears, received tubes and some restoration work to her left ear. If all heals well and her left ear improves beyond her right one, he will go back into the right ear to replicate the work he did in the left one. Sometime in January she will also begin allergy testing. Kelsi was also diagnosed with hypoglycemia this year. She also deals with asthma, so this year has been tough on her especially. She has a great attitude and considering their premature births we are so thankful to have such minor issues to deal with and we are all believing for a much healthier 2010.
We were very blessed to be able to take an amazing vacation to Disney World with some great friends and all of our children in November. We had the most amazing weather and the crowds were very slim. Homeschooling has many, many perks and being able to travel while others are in school is certainly one of them. Kelsi, Keeli and Mason loved having Josh be with them while they experienced all that Disney had to offer. Josh had to return a couple of days before we did and he was surely missed.
A year or so ago God began to stir a desire in our hearts to serve Him in a greater way. We knew this calling was within our own church and that it would be in some way connected to children, but we were very unsure what exactly he desired for us to do. Several months ago He opened the door and made it quite clear to us that we were to take over the responsibility of directing the early childhood department at our church, it’s called “Little Praisers”. We prayed along with our Pastor and ultimately were given the responsibility of being Directors over that ministry. It has been challenging, but even more so rewarding. We are so thankful that our Heavenly Father would dare to entrust us with the opportunity to speak into the lives of these little children and pray that we would impact them for eternity.
Mason is our little bundle of energy. It’s all we can do to keep up with him. In good old Mason fashion, he was thrown from a horse this year and walked away with no more than a nose bleed. He’s super sweet and super energetic and constantly keeps us all laughing. Kelsi is a servant through and through, she is always looking for ways to help others and we wonder so often what we did to deserve such a sweet girl. Keeli is her father’s child, we are constantly laughing at how much she reminds us of Patrick. One of her many talents is imitating others, that in particular keeps Patrick in stitches.
The most important update of the year to us is that Josh has joined the Army. He enlisted a few months ago and will leave for Basic Training in Fort Benning, Georgia on January 5th. He spent much time in prayer and felt as if this were the path the Lord would have him to take. He took a test and scored high enough to qualify for the 18X program, which is an accelerated program into Special Forces. We are so proud of him, but certainly as parents are concerned for his safety and well being. We are clinging to Jeremiah 29:11 that says 'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ We believe in our hearts that this is God’s plan for Josh’s life and are trusting our Heavenly Father for His guidance and protection of him.
All in all we have been blessed day in and day out by a most gracious Father. He gives us each and every day far more than we deserve. We are so very thankful that God loved us enough to send His precious Son Jesus to die on the cross to save us from our own wretchedness. We cannot imagine walking through this life without Him. We pray that you feel that same love from the Father and are enjoying celebrating the birth of Jesus and some precious time with your families this holiday season.

Much Love and Merry Christmas,
The Wetzel Family

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas Music

I just changed my music player to Christmas music. I encourage you to turn up the volume and listen, you might just find one you've never heard or a new favorite.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Christmas for the Kids

Finally decided on what to do for the kids for Christmas. I will be making each of them flannel pajama pants and a matching embroidered shirt. Then they will each get a stocking, game and a special gift that they have asked for. Doesn't seem like much, but they understood that the Disney trip was a very large part of Christmas this year. Thankfully, I have very grateful, practical children. They have expressed to us that they actually enjoy small Christmases because they enjoy having plenty of time to play with their new gifts. The girls will have books in their stockings and Mason will have an Adventures in Odyssey cd. Everyone has asked for a book light, so they will have those as well. Both girls want a few sewing tools and Mason wants a bandana and a pocket knife. (He has a swiss army already, he is only allowed to carry them on occasions that he is going to be spending time with his Daddy.) Kelsi wants a bag of starburst and Keeli wants a large Hershey bar and Mason wants a nerd rope or Reese Cups. They will all have pencils in there and I'm sure a few more goodies, like ponytail holders for the girls and cars for Mason. That will probably be it for the stockings. I found some family Wii games for $10 each, so we will have two of those and I also saw a bundle of 2 board games for $10 so we will have those as well (those will be group gifts). Lastly, each of them will get their individual gifts, Keeli wants an art set, Mason wants a GI Joe Snake Eyes Sword and Mask and Kelsi wants a set of Nifty Knitter Hoops.

I'm still completely unsure what I am doing for my husband. I have a pretty good idea what to do for Josh (my step-son), but he occasionally reads my blogs, so I'll refrain from posting about his.

I'll post pics of the homemade gifts as I get them done. I hope to start in the next few days.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Homemade Christmas

We just got back from a trip to Disney World. This trip kind of came about last minute and we did not have much time to save up for it. So, we've decided to make up for it, we are having a small Christmas at home, everyone understood that the trip was a big part of their Christmas. We also have decided to make homemade gifts for everyone in order to save money, but still be able to give nice gifts. I'm actually more excited than usual. I think it's going to be so much fun. Here's the plan so far : My dad, FIL and Grandfather are all getting Alabama themed lap throws. I bought crimson and dark gray fleece and will be embroidering the Alabama A on each of them. I'm leaning towards tying the knots on them as opposed to sewing them. My 2 youngest nieces will be getting pillowcase dresses with black velour leggings and white turtlenecks. Our older nieces and nephews in Mobile will be getting personalized insulated cups (I found the cups at Dollar Tree) I will add fabric with their names or monograms to them and put hot cocoa mix, marshmallows and peppermint chips inside. My mom, MIL and Grandmother will be getting Aprons, trivets and pot holders that match, we may also give them crocheted washcloths. All I have left are my step-son, husband and children. Not sure what I'm going to do. I am thinking of making some PJ's for at least some of them and possibly another throw or two. So far I have saved a ton of money. The throws will cost about $10 each, the gifts for my little nieces will be about $9 each, the Mom's and Grandmother gift will cost about $6 and the cups will cost less than $3, so needless to say we are saving a lot of money.

Are any of you making homemade gifts? If so, what's your plan?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Good Enough ????

For many, many years I was so insecure, hiding behind a somewhat outgoing personality that made people think I had so much confidence and had it all together. My growing up years were difficult at home and that equated into more and more insecurity. I looked for it in so many different places, but even then the Lord that I only barely knew was protecting me. I had walked down an aisle. Was baptized twice as a matter of fact. I knew who He was and I loved Him. I wanted to please Him, to adhere to the lists of what you do and what you don't do, to be a "good" Chrsitian, but I didn't REALLY understand who He was. I didn't understand relationship with Him. I didn't understand how He feels about me. I tried to earn His love. I needed it so. I would try so hard, then mess it all up. I jumped back on the wagon many times, but no matter what I did, it wasn't good enough, it wasn't permanent enough, I wasn't perfect enough, in my eyes I was nothing but a failure and disappointment to Him. The thing is though, that those feelings are accurate. I am not good enough, I am not perfect enough, I do make mistakes, but He loves me. He loves me when I'm grouchy, when I mess up with my kids, when I snap at my husband, when I get started with my day and miss getting in the Word.....You get the picture. He knew before I was ever born, before He walked the road and died on the cross that I was going to make all the mistakes I have made........and He died for me anyway. That one realization was so profound for me. Nothing I have ever done took Him by surprise. The problem is not the thoughts, not the feelings of inadequacy, the problem is the focus. My flesh (I'm sure with the help of the enemy) focused all of those thoughts on me, on what I should do to be adequate, good enough, etc., but the point is to focus those thoughts on Him. I am inadequate, but He loves me, I am not good enough, but He died for me, I am not perfect, but He thinks of me. Even I, wretch that I am, am loved, thought of, danced over by a faithful loving Father.......and so are you!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My Wake Up Call

I read THIS blog this morning and it was exactly what I needed to read. It is a great reminder for us wives and mothers. Too many days I go about my day being selfish and thinking about what I deserve and what my family should do to help me. Don't get me wrong I am always doing things for my family, but is it enough and where is my heart when I am doing it. Am I doing it because I HAVE to or because I want to, because I desire to serve them? We must get to the point that we die to ourselves daily and truly become a Living Sacrifice to Him and our families and then to the lost and dying world. We must remember that our ministries begin at home and if we aren't fulfilling that ministry and doing it in a way that is worthy of the calling he placed on us when He called us to be wives and mothers then we have no business beginning ministries in other areas. This is definitely a call to action, a reminder to turn back to where I once was before I let busyness get in the way. I pray it speaks to others of you as much as it has spoken to me this morning. Thank you my Jesus for your ever so gentle wake up calls. What a faithful and loving Father you are!Read

Monday, October 12, 2009

Catching Up

I've been a little AWOL on the blog front lately. In all honesty I am working on being on the computer less. My Facebooking got more than a little out of hand. Now that it's fall, I start thinking about Christmas and I also like to crochet when it's cool out. So, instead of spending time on the computer I am working on catching up on some projects. I had several things started from last year so I decided that I would not start any new crochet projects until I finished my unfinished ones. Right now I have a cute little yellow baby afghan that I'm keeping in the van so I can work on it while we ride and when I have sitting time while we are out, like my free hour at co-op and while I wait on the girls at dance. I should be finished with it soon. I also have some granny squares that someone gave me, so as I sit and watch TV I'm working on stitching them all together. They are large, so it isn't taking very long and I am halfway through. I should finish that one today. I'm also helping Kelsi with a scarf and teaching Keeli to crochet. I made on crocheted dishcloth and am either going to teach the girls to do them or do a few more myself. I like the look of them and have heard that they work well. When I finish all of this I have a boy baby afghan that I started last year and plan to finish.

I also have some embroidery and work to catch up on and we are working on getting and keeping the house really clean so we won't have to do a mad dash cleaning before we leave for Orlando.

We have some fun things planned for this fall. We are going camping, helping with a major Harvest outreach at our church, going on vacation with friends to Orlando and planning Thanksgiving in Montgomery with Patrick's extended family. Usually we stay here or go to Mobile and have dinner with mostly just his immediate family. We're looking forward to seeing those that we don't often see.

I'll try to keep you updated with what we are accomplishing and maybe even post some pictures as I complete some items.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Beauty of a Two Bathroom Household

When we first got married we lived in an apartment that only had one bathroom. No biggie though because we did not yet have any children that lived with us. Just after our first anniversary we bought our first home. It was a small home, but was brand new and had a big yard. We lived there for 8 years and really outgrew it, so we moved. We really didn't want to spend much more money, but wanted to increase our home size and move closer to family. So we traded a nice new small house with a big yard to a much larger old house (a definite fixer upper) with a small yard. We upgraded in size and downgraded in features, no central heat and air and only one bathroom. The one bathroom thing has not really been that bad. You figure out the logistics of it fairly quickly. There are only occasional issues. But here's the thing, in our old house we had two bathrooms, one of which was off of our bedroom. So, when I had a long day and needed to escape, I would go in my room and lock the door, then go in the bathroom and lock the door, turn on some music, light a candle and take a long hot bath. In this house we have only one bathroom which is off of the kitchen, you know the room that is the hub of the house. No matter what I do I can hear every noise that is going on in the entire house while I'm in there. I have almost exclusively only taken showers since we have lived here. I think I may go crazy if we do not figure out a way for me to have a peaceful getaway within our home. I'm here with these people and these pets and all of my responsibilities (housework, schoolwork , work-work, church work) day in and day out. What's a girl gotta do to get a bath?!?!?!?

Calgon take me away......................................................

Monday, September 28, 2009

Marriage Communication (From Focus on the Family)

I came across a very good article from Focus on the Family about communication in marriage. It has some really good points. Will cause you to think for sure.

Read it HERE.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Some Cleaning Recipes

I am very interested these days in things we can make instead of buy. Don't know why exactly, but maybe partially because I am more concerened about chemicals and cost. Or it's just a season where I want to be a little more Suzy Homemaker. THIS blog post had several recipes that I might just have to try.

Good Marriage Post

I just read this blog and thought it was a good reminder for all of us wives. Hope you enjoy as well.

Falling in Love vs. Living in Love

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Parenting Helps - To Train Up a Child

Here is another great parenting resource. It is a very thorough approach to parenting. The gist of it is, as in probably almost anything that I would advocate, that the goal in parenting is raising godly adults, not good children. So, everything that you do should be to that end. These people (Michael and Debi Pearl) have practiced what they preach and their children are the fruit of that labor and the proof is surely in the pudding. I recommend their books "To Train up a Child" and all of the volumes of "No Greater Joy". You can read the Introduction and first chapter of "To Train Up a Child" HERE and sign up for their free magazine HERE .

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Parenting Helps - Raising Godly Tomatoes

People are often asking me how I deal with different "parenting" situations. The truth is I've done a lot of reading and re-reading. I'll do really well for a while, then things around here will get crazy and I'll realize I haven't been bing consistent and I'll have to jump back on the wagon. As my girls are approaching their teenage years and the fact that Mason is a boy I'm always coming across situations I'm not sure how to deal with. I thought I would share some resources that have been helpful to me over the years and that I sometimes still turn to. Of course the ultimate resource is the Word, but sometimes it's nice to learn how to handle specifics.

Here's the first:

www.raisinggodlytomatoes.com


She has a book, but I believe most of the info is on her site. It's a very common sense approach and like any good parenting approach, it will require work on your part. I think the only benefit of the book is having all the info in a convenient format. I have considered purchasing the book.

Hope someone finds this helpful. (Oh and for you Moms with little ones, it's never to early to start, as a matter of fact the earlier you start, the better of you and your family will be.)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

How Judgemental Can We Be?

I grew up in a very judgemental home and have really had to work at becoming different and not judging people. I will not begin to say that I succeed at that everyday, but I am at least to a point that when I am being judgemental I feel the Lord's conviction and am able to repent and learn from that mistake. That being said, I have realized recently how guilty many of us are of judging other peoples convictions and walk with the Lord. Especially in the area of family planning or lack thereof. Why do we think that it is okay to judge people about the size of their family if it is something they feel like they are called to. Would we judge someones calling to be a Pastor, Missionary, Worship leader, etc. What if someone is called to adopt, do you judge that? The Word does not speak of modern day forms of birth control, so did we all just deccide that since it is available we must all use it? I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with using birth control. We to some degree planned the size of our family (although now that we are living for the Lord I have some regrets about that). God designed things a certain way and if he enables people to get pregnant and give birth many, many times, maybe that was His plan for their lives. I was unable (because of a miscarriage and difficult pregnancies with pre-term labor and delivery) to have a large family (although the four children that we have is large by many peoples definition) so maybe that wasn't His plan for me. I'm not trying to be on a soap box or say that everyone is wrong. I just hope that people will begin to think about what they are thinking or saying and how God would feel about those feelings or words. I happen to be friends with or aquainted with many large families and several people that desire to allow the Lord to determine the size of their families and I'm telling you I respect them greatly. For the most part these families bear good fruit. You can see Jesus in them and their children. They typically lack selfishness and have the heart of a servant. They tend to be very polite and respectful and have the kind of children that you want your children around because they are such good examples. I guess I'm just saying, look at your attitude about such things, commit it to prayer and ask the Lord if you've had a right heart in that area. I know I haven't always, but I'm sure glad that He has and is changing my heart in that and many more areas and that He has brought some of these families into my life, they truly sharpen me and I am blessed immensly by them.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Do They See Jesus In Me?

I heard this song today. I may have heard it before, but if so I'd forgotten. I love the words and these are questions I ask of Him often. I so want others to see Him in me. I want to exude His presence. Hope you enjoy the music and the lyrics and I pray that they will inspire you as they have me.

(You will need to pause the music player at the bottom of the screen to hear this song.)



Is the face that I see in the mirror
the one I want others to see
Do I show in the way that I walk in my life
The love that You've given to me
My heart's desire is to be like You In all that I do, all I am
Do they see Jesus In Me
Do they recognize Your face
Do I communicate Your love, and Your grace
Do I reflect who You are In the way I choose to be
Do they see Jesus In Me
It's amazing that you'd ever use me
But use me the way You will
Help me to hold out a heart of compassionate grace
A heart that You're spirit fills
May I show forgiveness and mercy
The same way You've shown it to me
Now I want to show all the world who You are
The reason I live and breathe
So You'll be the One that they see When they see me

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New links

I was up in the wee hours of the morning today. From about 2:45 a.m. until 7:00 a.m. to be exact. No idea what was going on other than the fact that I have been suffering greatly with my bi-annual sinus infection. So last night as I was up alone I did some blog reading and found some new blogs. Check out my sidebar and visit some of the ones that are new to you. Most of the new ones are thought provoking, you will find posts about frugality, mothering, homemaking, Godly living, etc. Hope you find something that you like.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Weigh In #3

Last week I was in a pretty foul mood. It really only lasted that one evening, but I was grumpy nonetheless. Tonight, however, I am much, much happier. This week I lost 3 lbs. My total loss at this point is 8.2 lbs. in 3 weeks. That is just above what I would hope for in a typical month. You always lose a little more in the very beginning, so 8.2 lbs. in three weeks is a good thing. It is going really well. I am not hungry very often and when I am I am completely satisfied with things that are healthy. As a matter of fact I am totally in love with Dark Sweet Cherries right now and will be so sad to see them go out of season. I'm gonna have to find some sort of fruit that I enjoy as much as those. I eat them at least once if not twice every day.

I hope to blog a little more this next week. Until then ya'll have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Weigh In # 2

Discouraged, Frustrated and Angry.

That just about sums up the way I'm feeling today. I have done extremely well with my eating this past week, I mean EXTREMELY well, but this week not only did I not lose any weight. I gained weight. Which of course is where being discouraged and frustrated comes in.

The anger may not be warranted, but that's just how I feel. It seems that many thinner people view those of us that are overweight as gluttons. Like they think we sit around and watch TV and eat junk food all day. I honestly quit binge eating years ago. I also stopped buying junk food that I really like a long time ago. I may not have been as careful as I should have been, but I have definitely not been sitting around bingeing on junk. It's just so stinking irritating. We are all guilty of being judgemental of each other and we all just need to stop. Ok. I should probably just quit right now. I'm normally very upbeat and positive, but I am just very upset right now. I am however, not going to quit. Your prayers would be very appreciated right now.

Friday, July 31, 2009

More Supper

Don't know why I feel the need to post what we are having for supper, but I do, so here goes. Tonight we are going to have grilled chicken (I buy the Tyson frozen boneless skinless breast and thighs from Sams), baby lima beans and baby spring mix salad with tomatoes and bell peppers and homemade Italian dressing. We eat a lot of grilled meats and lots of salads. We also have a meat and veggies much more often than things like soups or casseroles. These kinds of meals are very easy, very inexpensive and very healthy. Can't go wrong.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Weigh In #1

The results are in. For weigh in #1 I lost 5.6 lbs. Woo Hoo! I was expecting about half that. Super excited!!!!

Yummy Supper

We are having a super yummy supper tonight. So, I thought I would tell you about it since it smells so good.

We're going to have: Grilled pork loin that I got on sale at Sam's for something like $1.50 lb. I think I spent about $11.00 and got enough for 5 meals for the 5 of us.

Greek style green beans
Whole kernel corn
and Salad for whoever wants it.

YUM!!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

WW update

Well, I'm at the end of my first week. I won't actually weigh in again until Thursday evening, but I went to my first meeting last Tuesday. According to the scales at home I have lost some weight. It's hard to tell really though. The scales at the meeting weighed me more than the ones at home. I did weigh at home one afternoon and then a few days later in the morning which isn't very accurate because you should weigh at the same time everyday anyway. I think I may have lost 2 or 3 lbs. this week. I'll know for sure on Thursday. I have no short term goals, so I'm okay with only losing a couple of pounds a week. I just want to see a steady loss. I have doen well with my eating, but haven't done well with my food journaling which is very important. I'm going to have to work more on that in the next couple of weeks. God has as always been faithful to me and this week hasn't been that hard. I've had a few hunger moments and a few cravings, but nothing to hard to deal with. Please keep praying for me. This is going to be a farely long process.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My Splurge

This is probably a very silly thing to blog about, but I'm a little excited about it. I have wanted one of those rolling crate things for awhile. It would be supper helpful to have to carry all of my stuff for my co-op classes in and now that we are responsible for the early childhood department at church, it would be helpful there as well. Well, yesterday I checked out a new website that friend told me about and saw a picture of these more stylish rolling totes that a local boutique was now carrying. It just so happened that I had a handy dandy little gift certificate for that store. I went in today and they were way more than what I would ever spend on one, but with my gift certificate I spent less than $17.00. I got the one on the far right and I am rather excited about it.

I know this isn't the greatest picture, but it is the only one I could find. I could not find these for sale anywhere else on the internet.

Weight Watching Day 2

Yesterday went really well, even with the hubby's birthday. He had a good day by the way, and we will celebrate with family tomorrow night. I had another slim fast shake for breakfast, then lunch at Wendy's where I had chilli, crackers and salad. I had cherries for snack and then a piece of my husband's birthday cookie. I wasn't hungry for supper, so I just had some honey wheat pretzels and some more cherries. I woke up in the middle of the night because of some strange dreams and was feeling a little hungry so I had some regular pretzels. It was kind of a crazy day, so not a lot of normal eating, but I was still within my points range and got in all of my fruits and veggies and really only felt hungry in the middle of the night. I did make it to the grocery store yesterday, so I have a few more options now. I'm about to head out to spend some time with a friend then home to get some work done. Gotta finish getting the house clean for company tomorrow.

I pray everyone has a fabulous day!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hubby's B'day

Today is my husbands birthday and I just wanted to take a minute to tell you all how amazing he is and how blessed I am that he was chosen for me.

We met and fell in love almost immediately. It wasn't love at first sight, but Patrick who was recently divorced and said he would never marry again, says that he knew immediately that I was someone he could marry. Within a month we were pretty sure we were in love and wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. Minor problem, he was 29 years old, divorced and had an 8 year old and I was almost 18. Our parents were none too happy to say the least. We had a really hard time when we were dating becaause of the negative pressure from everyone else. Honestly, it didn't make sense to me either. I even tried dating other people that were closer to my age, but it was not to be. Even when I was seeing someone else (which he encouraged me to do) we could not go a day without speaking to each other. We got married just a few months after I graduated from high school. Things were definitely hard for a lot of years (largely because of my insecurities and anxiety and the fact that we were not living for the Lord), but through all of that he was so patient. It is a joy to wake up every morning next to him and I can't wait to see him at the door every afternoon. He is such a hands on Dad and my children absolutely adore him. They have the relationship with him that I could have only dreamt of having with my dad. He doesn't mind a bit helping with the housework or homeschooling. He's just all around a fabulous guy. Our beginning may not have been as conventional as others, but there is not doubt in my mind this is exactly who I was supposed to be with for the rest of my life. Happy Birthday, my sweet man. I love you more and more each day!!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Day 1

I didn't remember to mention that the program I am using for weight loss is Weight Watchers. I did it once before about 7 years ago and loved it, just couldn't afford to continue the meetings an buy the food back then. It's definitely cheaper to eat junk. It also comes highly recommended by my doctor. I wasn't able to make a meeting last night, so I didn't get started yesterday. I headed to a meeting this morning and most of the information is the same, so it is pretty familiar to me. I'm pretty hungry today. Mostly because of poor planning. I meant to kind of get rid of a lot of our junk food (or not so healthy food) and replace it with healthier stuff, but I haven't made the time to do that yet. Because of that there just aren't that many options for me here. Guess, I will have to hit the grocery store soon. I had a slim fast shake for breakfast. I keep these in the fridge for mornings when I don't really have time for breakfast. Then I had a six in sub minus the cheese and mayo at Subway and I've had an apple and pretzels for snack. We'll see what we end up with for supper.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Weighty Matters

This has been a long time coming, but is a difficult topic of discussion for me. It is something I have been very private about, but have realized it is only fear that is keeping me from talking about it and succeeding at it. I'm talking about my struggle with my weight. I'm going to tell you all my story.

I was a fat baby then a very thin child. However, once I hit puberty my body really began to change. I was by no means an overweight teenager, although, I really believed that I was. All through high school I thought I was fat, because I had a figure and very athletic looking "thick" legs and I guess I thought I should be rail thin. The summer in between my sophmore and junior year I actually really worked my rump off trying to lose weight and only lost 5 lbs., not because weight loss was an issue, but because I just didn't really have that much weight to lose. I'm only 5'5" and when I have had my body comps done have discovered that minus all of my body fat, I would still weigh almost 130 lbs. Which, I might add is the low end of my weight range on the BMI scale. 21 - 32% is a healthy body fat percentage for women. At the bottom end of that I would weigh about 160. So, all the time that I thought I was fat in school I actually had less than 20% body fat. I say all of that to say that no matter how hard I try, I will never be a supermodel. I will always have a curvy figure and I have come to accept that. So, when did my struggle with weight begin. You'd think it was while I was pregnant, but that's not exactly how it worked for me. I actually didn't gain very much weight with my pregnancies and lost the majority of it after I had my babies. My weight gain happens in the year after I give birth. After I married and before I had my girls I had gained about 5 lbs. When I left the hospital I was already at my pre-pregnancy weight. By my 6 week check-up I had gained 9 lbs. By the time the girls were a year old I had gained a total of 27 lbs. I stayed at that weight until I got pregnant with my son three years after the girls were born. I carried Mason 10 weeks longer than the girls and spent ten weeks on bed rest so I gained more weight than I did with them. However, it was almost the same story. I had 10 lbs. to lose after I had him, but ended up in the same pattern of gaining 30 more pounds in the first year after his birth. He is now 7 and in the last 6 years as a result of three surgeries I have gained an additional 9 lbs. So, as you can see I really don't have a weight gaining problem as long as I'm not having babies, but I do have a hard time losing. In total I have gained about 65 lbs. since giving birth to my daughters. I have only really tried once or twice to lose any weight. Once after Mason was born and once about 2 or 3 years ago. I just didn't want to be a yo-yo dieter. If I started trying to lose the weight I wanted it to be a permanent change. Hence the reason for the long blog post. I've decided not to operate out of fear anymore, so I am actually going to be public about this and make an announcement to all that read my blog. I am going to begin a weight loss program this week. It will truly have to be a long term change. My metabolism is very slow and there are a lot of overweight people in my family (as a matter of fact, my Dad had lap band surgery about a year and a half ago). My goals I think are fairly realistic. I do not expect to have my pre-pregnancy body back. I was almost 19 when I got married and almost 21 when we found out I was expecting, so it is not at all realistic to think that I would ever look exactly like that again. My goals are in baby steps of course I will have the small 5, 10, 20 lb. goals, but my first big one is not a weight it's a size. I want to shop in the Misses section again and I want to buy a bra that fits, without having to worry about special ordering. Maybe that's too much information, but I'm just laying it all out on the table.

My goals here are to keep the Lord as the focus of my weight loss. I want to commit this time to prayer and lean on Him to be all that I need while I'm going through this process. I want to feel better about myself and I want to be able to be as active as I once was. You may or may not know that I have had surgery on both of my knees because of a genetic defect that was aggravated by my times of bed rest with my pregnancies and by losing weight I will be getting pressure off of my knees and allow them to heal even more. I'll try to keep my blog updated probably weekly about how things are going. Please keep me in your prayers.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pecan Pie Sauce

Our women's ministry at church had pancakes Tuesday night and we were asked to bring our favorite pancake topping. I usually only eat syrup on my pancakes, so I tried to think of something that sounded yummy. I decided I wanted to make a butter pecan type sauce and began to look for a recipe. This is what I came up with and it was super yummy. It tastes a lot like pecan pralines.

1 c. butter
1 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 c. chopped pecans
1/2 tsp. vanilla flavoring
1/8 tsp. cinnamon

Melt the butter and sugar together and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add remaining three ingredients.

That's it. It's that simple. Of course you want to make sure your sugar is disolved, so you may need to continue to stir for a bit after you remove it from the heat. It was really good on pancakes. I think it would be really good on french toast, ice cream and maybe even as a sticky bun topping. You can also leave out the pecans if you wish.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Doing a Little Blog Hopping




I decided I would join in on a little blog hopping this week. Especially because this week was favorite photos and I love this photo that I took of my munchkins feet. Crazy thing is I really dislike feet, but I think this is precious just the same. Hope you enjoy it as well and hop on over to some other blogs and see what their favorite pictures are.

MckLinky Blog Hop

Friday, June 26, 2009

From "Just Give Me Jesus" by Anne Graham Lotz

I heard this poem many years ago as a very new mother. I don't even think I had Mason yet. It spoke to me powerfully back then and I have wondered where to find it for years since. I'm not sure these are the exact words as I copied and pasted them from another blog/forum. I hope it speaks to you as deeply as it does to me.


JESUS MAKES GOD VISIBLE

He is enduringly strong.
He is entirely sincere.
He is eternally steadfast.
He is immortally gracious.
He is imperially powerful.
He is impartially merciful.
He is the greatest phenomenon that has ever crossed the horizons of the globe.
He is God's Son.
He is the sinner's Savior.
He is the captive's Ransom.
He is the Breath of Life.
He is the centerpiece of civilization.
He stands in the solitude of Himself.
He is august and He is unique.
He is unparalleled and He is unprecedented.
He is undisputed and He is undefiled.
He is unsurpassed and He is unshakable.
He is the lofty idea in philosophy.
He is the highest personality in psychology.
He is the supreme subject in literature.
He is the unavoidable problem in higher criticism.
He is the fundamental doctrine of theology.
He is the Cornerstone, the Capstone, and the stumblingStone of all religion.
He is the miracle of the ages.
Just give me Jesus! He makes God visible!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Easy Greek Style Green Beans and Tomatoes

****ADDED NOTE: I made these for a side dish with supper and all three of my kids LOVED them. Keeli even asked if we could have them for lunch one day. They were a HUGE hit!****


My brother-in-law calls these Greek Green Beans, but if you look up a recipe they would actually have more ingredients. They are great as a side dish, but I love to eat them for lunch and they are super healthy. I had actually forgotten about them. I ate them a lot when I did weight watchers several years ago. They sound a little odd, but you should try them. They're yummy.

1 can green beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1 or 2 cloves of garlic (I used minced garlic in a jar that I keep in the fridge, probably a teaspoon)
Salt and pepper to taste

That's it. Put it all in a pot on the stove or in the microwave and heat. I let mine cook for ten minutes or so. That way the garlic has time to permeate the tomatoes and green beans.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Passport2Purity

As many of you probably know I have "preteen" daughters. They are 11 1/2 and of course puberty has begun. I've had a couple of conversations with them about what to expect and let me just say I am so glad it was me that they got their information from. I have great memories from those times. Our first conversation was very basic and kind of funny and the second was in more detail and really a sweet time for us, as I was able to make the connection that as their bodies are being prepared to be mothers, God also wants to prepare their hearts. It was such a sweet time and we all cried. What a treasured memory.

That being said I have yet to tell them all about the "birds and the bees" and have really been struggling with the decision of when and how. It's been on my mind a lot lately, especially since I realized that they will move into our churches youth group next year. The youth group is from 7th through 12th grades and I feel like maybe they need to know and understand as much as possible before they are hanging out with much older children. Especially because youth groups often are a fun place to hang out, so you have a lot of children come only to youth group and not church on Sunday.

Wednesday I received a phone call from a friend that has a daughter a couple of years older than my girls. She told me about the Passport2Purity curriculum and her weekend away with her daughter. I think it sounds great and I'm pretty sure that at the end of this school year I will be having a weekend getaway with my girls.

I know many of you have girls and may have been wondering how to go about this conversation as well, so I wanted to pass the info along. I do want to caution you that this is the real deal, with the graphic info and all. If you don't want to tell your daughter all of that you can have her listen to that portion of the cd or dvd (not sure which it is), but it is a man describing what occurs. My friend said that she listened to it herself and then explained it to her daughter in her own words and that is probably what I will do as well.

You can learn more about it HERE .

Friday, May 29, 2009

Pray for the Petries

Please pray for our friends the Petries. Mr. Petrie is having a pretty big health crisis. He was bitten by a spider and developed a staph infection. He had to have 2 surgeries and will have to have dressing changes twice daily at home. This is also affecting an impending military transfer for their family. Please read their blog for more information.

Troop Petrie

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Great Resource for Printables

I just found this fabulous website. I printed out some planner pages, but there are tons of other cool printables for budgetting, menus, chores, student planners and all kinds of other useful stuff and they are all free. Just thought some of you might be interested.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Consistency

"...Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless man living on earth at the time. He consistently followed God's will and enjoyed a close relationship with Him." Genesis 6:9 (NLT)

I read this yesterday for the first time in this translation and it really convicted me. I really thought about how much I try to follow God's will in all the big things, but I don't do such a great job with the little ones. I don't keep my thoughts as in check as I should, I snap at my family too much, get too iritated with rude drivers, etc. You know day to day life all the little things that we struggle with. Patrick and I were talking about it on the way to church yesterday and he was saying that he really thought if we would work on all the little things, the big ones would fall into place and I really believe that is right. Consistency in anything is not one of my strong points, but I am going to really work on that. Noah and his family were chosen to be saved from God's wrath because he was righteous, consistent in obedience and walked with the Lord. I know that as the Lord looks upon me now, He does not find all of those things in me, but I know I'm going to really work on it.

I pray you all have a very blessed day!

Mother's Day Weekend

It doesn't usually happen this way, but this year I basically had a full weekend of Mother's Day. It was probably the best Mother's Day that I have ever had.

Friday night Patrick came home from work and they took me out to eat. We went to Santa Fe. Before we got there Mason reminded his Daddy to open my door for me. While we were there Mason gave me a tile trivet he had painted at co-op. It has his handprint on it. He was so excited to give it to me. He also tried to make sure I had everything I needed and wanted during the meal and kept leaning over to snuggle with me. I am blessed with such a sweet boy!

Saturday the girls had their first dance recital. We had to go for dress rehearsal early that morning. While we were gone Patrick and Mason went to Huntsville and bought my Mother's Day present and when I got home they were on the carport putting it together. They gave me a "conversation set" for my front porch. It has a loveseat, 2 chairs and coffee table and I love it. It's very comfy. I spent a good while out there yesterday morning, drinking my coffee and reading the Word. I imgine I will be doing that very often and I'm sure we'll sit out there a good bit in the evenings as well. Then Saturday evening we headed out to the girls recital. They looked so beautiful and did such a great job. It was very emotional, even Mason said he almost cried. I was so proud of them. My parents, brothers, sister-in-law and niece also came and we all went out to eat afterwards. We got almost halfway home and I realized that I had left something at the restaraunt, so Patrick turned around to go get it. It was still there thankfully. It was so sweet of him to go all the way back even though it was so late and we were all so tired.

Sunday, I spent some time outside on my new furniture and then we headed to church. I'm not in the service a lot because we are working in our Preschool ministry a good bit. Yesterday, we didn't have any other commitments, so we got to be in the service. It was amazing. Our Pastor's wife spoke to use on Nurturing with your words, actions and relationship and it was such a needed word. I can't say enough about it. It was soooooo good. Then we went to my Mom's for lunch. My brother's cooked so that we Mom's didn't have to. Afterwards we came home and I had a short nap and talked to a friend on the phone for a bit. Then Patrick and Kelsi went to the grocery store and when they got back the girls and Mason made supper and a cake for us. They set up a table in the living room so Patrick and I could eat alone. They also brought us their baby books, so we could reminisce. It was so sweet and Patrick and I had some good conversation.

All in all it was just an amazing weekend. I definitely feel loved by my family and honored to call them my family. I am a truly blessed woman!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Complaining

I am not what I would call a "complainer". I've been through some pretty rough stuff in my life and have just rarely complained or whined about it. I am for the most part a very positive person. When I was growing up there was a VERY negative person in our home and honestly having lived with that for the time that I did made me very intolerant of it. I have found myself really not wanting to be around people that constantly complain about their situation. Especially when their situation is just every day life with all of it's normal ups and downs. That is something that I've really been working on lately. I don't want to judge people based on that. I need to realize that maybe it's just a maturity thing. I think we all mature spiritually in different ways at different time. Those that complain, may be more mature than me in other areas. I do have a point here. Even though I am not by nature a "complainer", there is a situation that we have been dealing with for quite some time that really has me frustrated and for a good while now, I have done a lot of complaining about it. It really is kind of a big deal, but honestly, how is complaining helping anything? Well, I got up early this morning and began flipping through my notes from church and a while back our Pastor had a lot to say about complaining. It was very relevant to my situation. In reality God has already begun working on me in this area, but I think this morning just verified all that I was feeling. I thought I would share my notes from that sermon with all of you. Keep in mind these are notes and my Pastor has a lot to say that I want to write down, so they may seem kind of choppy.


Complain-express dissatisfaction or annoyance about a state of affairs or an event.

-Dwelling on the negative simply multiplies it's effect.

-When you respond to life that's positive, when you react to life, that's negative.
Numbers 11:1-4

-Being negative causes us to be unpleasant and unwelcome to others, even the Lord. (and causes you to be ineffective)

-Phillipians 2:14? Do all things without complaining and disputing

-vs. 15 (being free from complaining makes you blameless, from disputing makes you harmless)

- If you can gripe and complain, then you can pray and intercede.

-There should not be blessings and curses from the same mouth (paraphrased from the book of James).

-Instead of always looking at how to change the situation, look at how the situation can change you.

Those are my notes as written.
I just want to add a couple of things.
-If you are constantly complaining about things, you are not showing the world the joy filled life of a Christian. The word tells us to rejoice in ALL things.
-Instead of trying to change other people or the situation you are in, ask the Lord what He has for you to learn from the situation and what He wants you to do about the situation.

Hope that helps someone else.
Be Blessed!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Another Mason Funny

.....Mason relaying a story about himself and a little boy on his baseball team, "Dad, Tate got his finger stuck in the mask on my helmet and I pulled really hard and got him unstuck, and his finger DID NOT COME OFF!!!" That kid is soooo funny!!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Bite Kissing

My day has been so busy and mostly serious since I've worked the entire day. So, I wanted to share a funny story to lighten my mood. A long time ago Mason saw someone on television kissing in a way that he decided to call it "bite kissing". You know back it was the kind of kissing that back in the day we called "french kissing". I haven't thought of him saying that in a very long time. Yesterday I leaned over and gave him a hug and he acted kind of silly about me giving him a kiss. So, I told him that since I'm his Mom he has to always give me hugs and kisses. He said, "Well I am a boy you know and boys kiss girls". I said, "I know and that means you can always kiss your Mom". Then he said, "Well, even when I grow up and God shows me the right one we're not gonna bite kiss." I told him he could just smooch, but I wanted to know why he didn't want to "bite kiss". He said, "Because it's dumb. Why would we wanna bite each other?". Too, funny! Who would have thought that at almost 7 years old he really thinks that people bite each other when they kiss. That boy is something else!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

More Fabric

I have added more fabric options to the slideshow. There are now some for children. I should be adding more product pictures in the next day or two. I've had a few orders already. I'm excited! I do have my prices worked out. Send me a comment and leave your email address if you want me to email you a price list.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Raising Funds

I'm trying my hand at doing something new in order to raise funds for my kids to go to church camp this year. Last year it was $350 total for the girls to go and this year they will have a day camp for Mason. I also went last year so that was another $50. I'm hoping to go this year as well and Patrick is praying about whether or not he will go. So, that means, camp is a really big expense. We have some major projects on our house that we need to get done this year, so I decided to make an effort to raise the funds myself.

Since I got a really nice new embroidery machine, thanks to my hubby and my new job, I thought I could raise a little dough using it. There are pics in the slideshow at the top of my blog. I'm still a little unsure about my pricing (although I think I've got it set, just need to run it by a couple of people) I will be making checkbook covers, business card holders (also good for holding debit cards and licenses, etc.), bookmarks and keychains. I would love some input, let me know what you think. I don't have pics of the bookmarks or debit holders, they will be similar to the checkbook holders. I will add more pics as I have them, so check back often.

I will be adding more fabrics later (there will be some boy fabrics for bookmarks), but please let me know if you are interested in item, but would want another fabric and I will do my best to accomodate you.

Be blessed!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Yummy New Lunch Ideas

My friend Cindy gave me an idea for some new things to try for lunches and it has worked wonderfully. We love it and if I'm busy the kids can make them for themselves.

It's nothing more than using flour tortillas to make pizza, mexican pizza or quessadilla's. The kids have been making pizza with pizza sauce, shredded cheese and pepperoni. They are also going to try refried beans, salsa and cheese. Today I had a pepperoni quessadilla. I put shredded cheese, pepperoni, parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning between the two tortillas and baked until the cheese was melted and it was GOOD. They are really simple to put together and cook very quickly. I think I want to try mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, italian seasoning and spinach. The possibilites are endless and if you are like me and have been a stay at home mom for 11 years, you are sick of sandwiches and soups. It's nice to have a quick and easy change of pace.

Thanks for the idea Cindy!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Another Yummy Experiment

****Edited to add: We decided after eating these leftovers that it really reminds us of stuffed bell peppers. It was really good!

I tried something new again tonight and it's another hit.

Patrick said it reminds him of Spanish Rice. As usual I just added stuff until it tasted good, so I really can't give you the measurements. I'll just have to give you the ingredients.

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 onion diced
1 bell pepper diced
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 cups rice
4 cups water
chili powder
cumin
dry mustard
paprika
red pepper
garlic powder
black pepper
salt
Worcestershire sauce

I combined the rice with the water and cooked in the microwave on high for 5 minutes, then on medium for 15 minutes. Let stand in the microwave for 5 minutes. Brown ground beef in skillet with onion and bell pepper. When browned add 2 tomatoes. Then add seasonings to taste. I used a good bit of chili powder and garlic powder. I'm going to guess at the amounts of seasoning. 1 Tbsp. chili powder, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp. Worcestershire, pinch of ground red pepper, 1/4 each of cumin, paprika and dry mustard. Salt and pepper to taste. Of course you can add spices as needed for taste. When rice was done, I combined the tomato beef mixture with the rice and served. It was another hit.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Studying the Word

Patrick and I have really been seeking the Lord about His will for our lives and we feel that He is going to be asking us to do some things that are outside of our comfort zones and beyond our areas of knowledge. So, to prepare for whatever it is He's sending us into, we feel the need more than ever to really know His Word in an in depth way. While we've been trying to figure out the best way to attain that knowledge and cement it in, I've been doing a bit of searching on the internet. I've come across some helpful sites and wanted to share them with all of you. Maybe you'll find some or all of them helpful as well.

Click HERE for online audio of bible teaching through the bible book by book. These are about 45 minutes in length (or at least what I have listened to so far, was) and he was pretty interesting to listen to. I enjoyed it. It will be nice to have some teaching to go along with reading the word.

Click HERE for free a free New Testament Bible study. This site also has good information on Christian Parenting and many other very good topics.

We've also been considering some different Bible reading plans. Patrick can really just read without a plan and glean lots of good info. He's a major history and geography buff, which we all know is what the Word is made up of. So, he gobbles it all up anyway. I however struggle with what to read next and staying focused (seems I've had more trouble with that since becoming a mom). We've come across many different options and plans, but have decided to start with a couple. Our first plan will be a 61 day chronological reading plan that you can find HERE. Here is the websites description of this plan:

Chronological Bible Reading Plan (61 Days)
Would you like to read through the key stories of the Bible in chronological order, tracing the development of God's plan from Adam and Eve to the church of the New Testament? This reading plan introduces you to the major people and events of the Bible in chronological order, beginning with Creation, moving through the birth and history of the Israel nation, and ending with Revelation's prophetic words. It's all broken down into 61 easily-readable segments.
When we are finished with the above reading plan we will start another plan that combines reading the Old and New testament at the same time. If I understand this plan correctly, we will read through the entire Bible in a year. This site has several different plans and even has the option of clicking to read the scripture online. HERE is the combined plan that we will be using.
I'm excited about what God is doing in our lives. Even if there proves not to be something new and profound on our horizon, what is happening in our lives right now is pretty amazing and can't do anything but grow us even more. That's what I want is maturity and a closer and closer walk with Him. I want to look more like Him daily and to be more like Him I need to know all I can about Him. I'm excited to be studying the Word and praying with my husband, that in itself is such a HUGE answer to prayer. God is so faithful and if we will just trust Him and pour out our hearts to Him and be patient to allow things to happen in His time instead of our own, He will give us the desires of our heart. My family is living proof of that.
Be Blessed!

Mason has......

the FLU!

I never ever would have guessed that was the diagnosis we would get from the doctor. His only symptoms were a headache and fever. I'm so thankful I took him in so quickly. We did have the flu shot (all of us except Patrick, who rarely gets sick, but please pray that he won't get this), so she doesn't really expect any of the rest of us to catch it and she thinks he will only have a mild case. I tend to agree, considering he started regainning his energy last night and woke up this morning with no fever and says he feels pretty good. She did put him on Tamiflu.

I appreciate all of your prayers for him yesterday.

Hope you all have a great day!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Say a prayer for Mason please

As most of you know Mason had several ticks on him after he was thrown off the horse a few weeks ago. We were told to watch for certain symptoms that would be an indication of Lyme disease. We have not seen the bullseye rash that they speak of. However, yesterday he began having headaches. I gave him tylenol around 9am and then again at 4 pm. While we were in church at about 7 pm he felt feverish and he was pretty laid back most of yesterday. Which is totally not his personality. That boy is busy all the time. When we got home from church around 9 pm I gave him Ibuprofen and Benadryl. Around 3 am he woke me with another headache. By the time he woke me his head was hurting pretty badly, so I had him take a hot shower and gave him Tylenol and a decongestant (just in case this is a sinus issue). He has also been coughing a little. This very well could be nothing more than allergies, but because we were told to watch for flu like symptoms I be calling the Dr. and probably taking him in today. Mason does have a history of headaches. He had severe headaches often before we had his tonsils and adenoids removed. It would not be at all unusual for him to have a headache with sinus issues. So, it's probably nothing out of the norm, but because of the tick bites I have to have him checked. Just wanted to ask you all to offer up a prayer for him. Please pray for the doctor to have wisdom, Mason to feel better and this to be a simple issue and pray that he and I will have enough energy for the day.

I'll let you know what I find out.
Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Santa Fe Rice and Beans

I told you I was tired of the same old stuff, couple that with the fact that I haven't been to the grocery store lately and I'm turning out some interesting meals. I made this for lunch today. It was pretty quick and the kids really liked it.

1 can kidney beans
1 can rotel (mild or original it's your preferance)
1 can corn (I used frozen so that will work as well)
ground cumin
chili powder
salt
pepper
1 1/2 c. rice
3 c. water
shredded cheddar cheese

Put rice and water in a microwave safe dish with a lid. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Then microwave on medium for 10 minutes and let stand in the microwave for another 5 minutes.

In a pot place beans, rotel, corn and sprinkle in cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil then turn on low until rice is ready. When rice is done add mixture to rice and add more seasoning to taste. Serve in bowls and sprinkle with cheddar cheese. This one is pretty healthy and yummy.

Last Nights Supper

I haven't come up with a snappy name for this meal. It was one of those things, where I just kind of put together some things I had on hand.

1 lb. smoked sausage
1 onion
1 bell pepper
4 roma tomatoes
9 eggs
salt and pepper to taste

I diced the smoked sausage, onion, bell pepper and tomato and put them in a greased skillet to cook (Medium heat worked well). When they were finished cooking I added the eggs and scrambled them, then added salt and peper to taste. I served with biscuits. Next time I will add diced potatoes to the meat and veggie mixture and serve over scrambled eggs or use as a filling in omeletes. It was really good though.

Salmon Croquettes

I've been really tired of eating the same stuff lately. So, I've been trying to make some different things. As a child I loved to go to my Grandmother's and have salmon patties for supper. I tried a recipe a while back and didn't love it. So, the other night I just made it up and it turned out so well it will be what I do from now on.

2 cans salmon
3 eggs
one onion (diced)
garlic powder
milk
salt
pepper
cornmeal mix
canola oil

I put the salmon, eggs and onion in a bowl. Then I sprinkled with garlic powder, salt and pepper (I just eyeballed this but 1/2 tsp of each would probably work). Then I added a splash of milk (probably 1/4 to 1/3 cup) and stirred it all up. Finally I poured cornmeal mix in ( I guess I used around a cup) I mixed this in. I wanted it to look a little dry, but still feel a little wet. I heated canola oil in a skillet on medium and fried them. You just brown on one side then turn and brown on the other. I made mine about the size of a hamburger patty. Raw they just barely held together, which is how you want them if you still want them to be moist after cooking. They were a huge hit and I will definitely make them again. However, next time I will probably make a half batch. This recipe was enough for two meals for my family of five.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Electrical Issues & Thankfulness in Spite of Them

I have had a fabulous day today. I intended to get much accomplished. I got a couple of things done this morning then was thinking that I really needed some quality time with my kiddos. So, we played a game of Phase 10 dice. It's really fun and a very good game for the kids. They have to keep track of what they need to roll, do a little strategizing, and work on multiplication and addition. We had a good time then we ate some lunch. After lunch I got work caught up and did some extra stuff that I've been needing to do for work. When I got finished working I headed outside to help Patrick in the yard. He was almost finished so I came in to work on supper. Not long after I came in he asked me to flip a breaker for him. He had lost power to an outlet on the carport. When I went to flip it I realized it had not been flipped. I turned it off and when I turned it back on it made a sizzling sort of sound, so I turned it right back off. He came into look at it and decided it was a bad breaker. He quickly solved the problem and we are back up and running. I was thinking about how easy it would be to be frustrated about a problem like that, but instead how we should be giving thanks. I am thankful that we have electricity, that I wasn't home alone with the children or that we weren't all away from home and I am especially thankful that God has given my husband the knowledge to take care of problems like that. I have had a pretty ordinary day today, but in the midst of the ordinary there is much to be thankful for.

What do you have to thank the Father for today?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Still Here.....

just been REALLY busy!

I have been so busy with work this week and I also was not feeling well at the beginning of the week. I just haven't had time to blog. I do want to get out all of my notes and blog about my retreat. It was AMAZING as usual.

Here's my week in a nutshell, so you can all pray for my sanity ;)

Monday - Worked for a little bit then went to Huntsville with my cousin and her kids to look for supplies for a project for school that her daughter needed my help with. I hit Kids Market while I was there and then came home to do more work.

Tuesday - I'm pretty sure I stayed home most of the day because I was feeling so bad. I did take the dog to the vet to get her stitches out, went to the grocery store and got some more work done.

Wednesday - I worked most of the morning, then my cousin and her kids came over so we could work on the school project (It was a victorian era skirt). Then of course we went to church and afterward I had to run to the store.

Thursday - I had a horrible headache and I worked and that was about it.

Friday - I worked for about 3 1/2 hours. Left and took my kids to stay with my brother (so the girls could help him with the baby while he worked in the yard. They are such good helpers) and my sister in law headed out for a day of fun. We went to Kids Market, Jason's Deli (YUM!), Shoe Carnival (I finally got some new athletic shoes, on sale of course), Babies R Us, Lifeway, Family Christian Book Store, the NEACA craft show and Hobby Lobby. Then I took her back home and picked up my kids, came home and did some more work. Crazy but fun day. I really enjoyed spending time with my sister in law all day and as rare as an all day shopping outting is for me that was fun too.

Today I'm hoping to get a lot of work done. I have 2 things I have to do to be caught up this week. Then I hope to tackle my list of pending things, so that maybe I can get completely caught up in the next few day. With all of our recent traveling and illnesses, I have gotten so behind with my work and house work. It feels like this place is falling apart and I'm not spending near as much quality time with my family as I would like to. So, please pray that I can accomplish much in the next few days (I don't work on Sunday's if I can help it, so today and probably Monday and Tuesday), so that I can get back into a regular schedule with the house and my work and things won't feel so chaotic.

Hope you all are having much less frazzled lives than mine is at the moment.

Many blessings!!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Lots To Do and then Some Fun

Well, it's pretty early and I did not sleep well at all. Thanks in part to the steroid I think and the fact that I have a lot to do today. My mind tends to race at night if I have a lot going on. So, I didn't really get a good nights sleep (which is a bit of a bummer because I probably won't get a good one this weekend either), but I don't feel overly tired this morning. So far I feel much better. My nose is barely stuffy this morning, my head feels much clearer and my throat doesn't hurt near as bad. Yay! Hopefully I will feel better and better each day, so I can really enjoy the retreat I am going on. I have lots of neat friends in my homeschool group that will be there and 4 of my good friends from church are going as well. So, I get to go hear an awesome word from the Lord, spend some quality time in prayer, get to spend some time worshipping, some time laughing at funny skits, doing a craft or two, playing some games, eating good food and fellowshipping with some of my favorite people who also happen to really sharpen me. This retreat has been amazing in the past and I'm expecting great things yet again. I'm excited! Can you tell?

On the home front my sweet hubby took off today to take care of the kiddos, so I could head out a little early with my friends and have a nice lunch before we head to Joe Wheeler (the retreat location). He will have to take our daughter to the pulminologist this morning, do a little bit of shopping, go to the post office and take the dog to the vet today. He is also doing something I think is pretty amazing. You see, my church is having a women's conference this weekend that I have to miss because I will be on the retreat (that was a bit of a tough decision). There will be childcare provided and since myself and my friend are lead coordinators in the nursery (she does the scheduling and I handle curriculum and eventually I will handle teacher training) and our husbands work in the nursery a lot, they are going to be coordinating and working in the nursery at the women's conference that we won't even be at. I already knew I was married to an amazing man and this was just further confirmation of that. I have friends whose husbands will barely keep their own children and mine is keeping ours all weekend, playing mom, housekeeper, cook and taxi and taking care of the children at my church. I am a very blessed woman!

I have some prayer requests please:

-Pray for the retreat and all that is involved in it, that above all else, the Lord would be there and we would hear from him and bring something tangible to come home and apply to our lives that will make us better wives, mothers, teachers, friends and especially children of the King.

-Pray for my church's women's conference. That God would move in an amazing way and truly touch our city. Pray for the leadership, the children and the men caring for the children.

- Pray for my husband as he has a lot of responsibilities and very little down time this weekend. Pray that he is still able to feel rested when he returns to work on Monday.

- Please continue to pray for my healing.

Thanks to you all and many, many blessings!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Home from the Doc

Well, the Dr. agreed with me. I have another nasty sinus infection. Thankfully she gave me a steroid shot and a z-pack, which is a pretty strong fast acting antibiotic. I also have to take an antihistamine and decongestant (which I was already doing). So, the good news is I should be feeling better fairly quickly. I feel kind of bad, but I'm not going to take my girls to dance today. I left here at 7:45 this morning and didn't get back home until about 11:30. I talked to my hubby and he just thought I should come home and take it easy. I love that man! That's what I'm doing is taking it easy and eating chocolate, surely I'll feel better soon.

Off to the Dr. I Go

Honestly, between the two-three times per week that we've been at the vet lately and our recent ER visit, I am really tired of doctors for the moment. However, I am sick. I have my seasonal sinus infection. I seem to get this two or three times every year. Not fun. Most of the time I just tough it out and if I can't shake it in a couple of weeks I will go in. This time I'm on day 2 1/2 and miserable and I have my ladies retreat this weekend. I'm sharing a room with two of my friends and just really don't want to be sick all weekend. So, I'm heading to the Dr. bright and early this morning.

Please pray for me. Pray that the Dr. will give me the meds I need (namely a shot and antibiotic), that I would heal quickly and also for my stomach issues. I have a very touchy stomach anyway, but the decongestants and such really make it much worse.

Thanks and I hope you all have a great day!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sewing Old and New

I made this blanket for my niece's baby dedication. The floral fabric is one that belonged to my Mammaw. I thought it made a nice sentimental gift.





The previous two burp cloths I made for my niece not long after she was born. I actually made her a diaper bag, a car seat cover (one for warmth) and I think about 9 burp cloths, but I forgot to take pics of them before I gave them to her. She's here today, so I was able to take pics of these because she had them with her.













These burp cloths I made yesterday and I embroidered the bottom one today. I'm not too happy with the embroidery. The color of the thread is off, although it is not as orange as it looks in the picture. I'm also not thrilled with the placement. I'm still learning to use my machine though, so for a newbie I guess it's not too bad.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Fun Skirt

I recently made the girls poodle skirts for their 50s themed birthday party. They really liked the skirts and wanted some more made like them. Here is the first of a few that I plan on making for them and yes it was cheaper to make than to buy. Most of the fabrics that I bought were on sale for less than $3.00 a yard. This one was I think $4.00 or $5.00 a yard. So even with the elastic and thread I have less than $6.00 in this skirt. The shirt we bought at hobby lobby for $1.50. They were wanting these to wear with flip flops this summer. It's pretty full, but that is what they asked for.









The Culprit

These are pictures taken at our friends birthday party, just before Mason was thrown from this horse. Minus the accident the kids did have fun and praise God Mason only had a bloody nose and some ticks on him.




Sunday, March 8, 2009

I Praise You, Oh Lord, For Protection

Today (or yesterday and this morning) has been one seriously long day. We got up early and took the dog to the vet for another bandage change. We at lunch at Sonic, went to Hobby Lobby with my SIL and then headed to a birthday party for a friends little girl. The kids all had a great time. Our friends have horses and they brought one of them out for all of the children to ride. Everyone had ridden except for Mason. So Mason got on the saddle and another little boy got on behind him. Something irritated the horse and it bucked and ran and threw the boys off of the horse and knocked down my friend's husband and another little boy that were leading the horse. The horse also fell. I was witness to the whole thing. I took off running down the hill and was literally yelling prayers (I must have looked crazy, but I do not care). When I got to Mason his nose was bleeding, but he was telling me over and over again that he was fine. The other little boy that was on the horse was complaining of his back hurting. Mason was not himself afterwards and I was concerned enough to take him to the ER. We just got home and he is fine. The blood work, urine test and cat scans all were clear. PRAISE GOD!!!!

Please pray that he would not be sore. We also found at least 7 tiny ticks on him, so please pray that there would be no complications from that.

I know this may sound weird and not worded well, but with the time change it is 3:30 in the morning and I haven't been to bed yet.

Friday, March 6, 2009

It's a Busy, but Wonderful Life!

As usual I am going 90 to nothing around here. I had a friend point out yesterday how busy I am and that is definitely true. This week has really been crazy.

Monday - I had a friend over (I think I did some work, too.)
Tuesday - Worked, ran errands in town, went to Scottsboro
Wednesday - I worked, kept my niece, went to church, came home and worked from 9:30 to 12:30
Thursday - got up and worked, then went to co-op and dance, then ran some errands and worked for another half hour
Friday (today) - Working, going back to the vet and hopefully will be adding cleaning and sewing to my list for today and the weekend
(And of course there was schooling going on in the midst of all that chaos).

It's true I am really busy. If I get stressed it's usually not because of what I have to do, but how much I have to do. I am working on organizing my schedule a little better, so it won't be so overwhelming. Sometimes people ask me how I do it without pulling my hair out and the truth is that most of what I am doing is enjoyable to me or is for the benefit of my children or my family in general. I guess I figured out that if we were going to do all the stuff we want to do we are going to be busy and we just have to make the best of it. It sounds a little simplistic, but honestly my take on it is that it is what it is and I can either be stressed by it or enjoy my life and keep going. I'm choosing Joy!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Pray for You You's Open Heart Surgery

Please click on the button on the right side of my blog to visit YouYou's prayer site. She is the recently adopted daughter of a guy I went to high school with and a girl I went to church with when I was in high school. They adopted her from China knowing that she has some heart issues. She will be having open heart surgery today (I believe around 9 or 9:30) and they expect it will take around 5 hours. Please read her blog for all the details and pray for this sweet child and her family.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

I've been keeping something from you......

I bought my new embroidery machine and I've had it for 3 weeks and I'm just now telling you about it. Honestly I was struggling so much with it that I wasn't sure I was going to keep it. However, I've done lots of reading and learned from my mistakes and had a friend come show me the ropes and now I LOVE IT. I've done 3 successful designs today. It's fun. I'm so excited to actually be up and running and not having so much trouble. It wasn't the machine it was me. It's different than my old one and I was trying to treat them the same and it was not working. Anyway, I did make a diaper bag and burp cloth for a friend. The burp cloth is cotton on one side and pink fleece on the other. Here are the pics:




Friday, February 27, 2009

Renewal Music

I was talking with a new friend tonight. Our daughters are in dance together and she and I and one other mother have really been enjoying getting to know each other. It's been lots of fun and I've learned lots from them already. Anyway we were talking about our vow renewal (you can read about our renewal here )and the music we used. I thought I would share it here. Sadly I was not able to find Rita Springer's version of these songs on playlist, so I had to use someone else's. I don't like them near as much as her versions. She's amazing. The songs are playing on my player and here are the lyrics.

You Are Still Holy

Holy, You are still holy
Even when the darkness surrounds my life
Sovereign, You are still sovereign
Even when confusion has blinded my eyes
Lord, I don't deserve Your kind affection
When my unbelief has kept me from Your touch
I want my life to be a pure reflection
Of Your love
And so I come into Your chamber
And I dance at Your feet, Lord
You are my SaviourAnd I'm at Your mercy
All that has been in my lifeUp 'til now
It belongs to You
You are still holy
Holy, You are still holy
Even though I don't understand Your ways
Sovereign, You will be sovereign
Even when my circumstances don't change
Lord, I don't deserve your tender patience
When my unbelief has kept me from Your truth
I want my life to be a sweet devotionTo You
And so I come into Your chamber
And I dance at Your feet, Lord
You are my Saviour
And I'm at Your mercy
All that has been in my lifeUp 'til now
It belongs to You
I belong to You
And You are still holy
When I Think About the Lord
When I Think about the Lord,
How He saved me,
how He raised me,
how He filled me,
with the Holy Ghost.
How He healed me,
to the uttermost.
When I Think about the Lord,
how He picked me up and turned me around,
how He placed my feet on solid ground
It makes me wanna shout,
Halleilujiah,
Thank you JESUS,
LORD, your worthy,
of all the glory,
and all the honor,
and all the praise...
I just love these songs. I feel like they totally capture where we've come from and all the Lord has done for us. If you want to hear the Rita Springer version you can try youtube or select her as a station on http://www.pandora.com/ (internet radio). If you haven't tried pandora yet, I highly recommend it. You put in all your favorite artists and it will play them and artists that it believes are similar. It's really neat.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dog Gone It!

Well, as you may or may not know. This is a pet friendly household. We have 2 dogs and a cat (and just returned home to a dead fish). One of our dogs has decided that she does not like cars to drive down our road if she is in the house. When she is outside she really doesn't care. Living in an old home, we have windows that go to the floor and are single pane. I'm forever trying to get that dog to stop jumping on my windows. Maybe she just taught herself a lesson. One day not long ago Kelsi tossed a book up onto her bed (she's our bookworm) and it bounced off and hit the window, causing a small break in the glass, kind of like you would expect if it had been shot by a bb. I guess that weekend the glass. Yesterday Maddie jumped on the window and it shattered. I heard the glass breaking and ran to check it out. I was soooo mad that I sent her straight to the laundry room and I went to inspect the damage. It wasn't until later that I realized she had cut herself. On a dog there is a small pad in what I would call the ankle area and she cut herself just above that. It was a pretty bad cut, but I could tell it wasn't the kind that could be stitched, so we just closed it the way it should be and bandaged it up very well. This morning when I got up she had chewed on her bandage and bled through it. So, I took her to the vet and lo and behold she had to have minor surgery. They had to sedate her, remove the pad, then pull the skin together and stitch it up. We will have to take her back to the vet every couple of days for a bandage change for the next week and a half to two weeks and she will be on an antibiotic. It was so strange leaving the vet with my dogs collar and leash in my hand, but not my dog. I actually teared up a little. I called this evening to check on her and everything went well and we can pick her up tomorrow afternoon.

What in the world would I ever do without all of this excitement?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Our Crazy Trip

Well our trip was interesting to say the least.


We headed out very early Saturday morning. Went to the airport to pick up our full-size rental and were blessed with a free upgrade, so we traveled in one of these:


It was a cute little Jeep Patriot.

We got into Mobile and checked into our hotel room. We stayed in a Quality Inn and were fairly pleased. There were some things that could have been improved, but for the price it was really what we needed. We had a room with a king sized bed and a double sized sofa bed, which worked out really well. Mason slept with us and the girls slept on the sofa bed. We left he hotel and spent an hour at Patrick's parent's house. Then we headed downtown to a parade. Traffic was horrible and I was so stressed by the time we actually found a parking place, which we paid $10 for. We drove through a very full parking garage and I thought we might not find a place unless it was maybe on the top floor. So, I just asked the Lord to find favor with us and give us a place and on that same row on the ground level floor someone pulled out and we were able to get a parking place very near the exterior exit which sat right next to the parade route. The parade was a lot of fun and the kids had a blast.

When it was over we left and headed to a restaurant for supper. My brother and sister-in-law were parked on the top floor and we made it to the restaurant long before them. We already had our table at the restaurant and they were still stuck on the top floor of the parking garage. They called and my sister-in-law jokingly asked me to pray that they would get out of the garage. They had been trying to get off the top floor for 30 minutes. So, I prayed and within 5 minutes they were out of the garage. Just more proof that God cares about the small stuff. We had a very good dinner at a nice Mexican restaurant. After dinner we headed to the hotel to go to bed. At 2:30 in the morning I woke up and heard Kelsi in the bathroom vomiting. I headed in there to take care of her and began to feel sick myself and before long Keeli was feeling horrible too. We were all up the entire night. I made a 4:30 a.m. run to Wal-Mart to pick up some stomach bug necessities. Around 7 I was able to sleep for an hour or so. Mason did not feel great that day either. So, as much as we hated it we had to make the decision not to visit with any family that day. The girls just felt too bad and at this point I was certain we would be contagious. I called our ped. here in Huntsville and they called in some medicine, so I headed back to Wal-Mart to pick it up and picked up a few inexpensive toys and a card game as well. So, we spent the entire day in our hotel room. Then we headed home on Monday. We were able to stop at Patrick's parent's house for another hour before we left Mobile.

The great thing about this trip though was how we all looked at what had happened. We all realized how much we had been running lately and feeling tired and overwhelmed. We just all felt really grateful to God for how He knows best. Even though we did not feel well, it was so nice to have a day to spend with just each other and to be able to get some much needed rest. God is so faithful. I was very proud of all of my family and how they all realized what the Lord had done for us and how good it had been for all of us.

We're still not feeling totally up to par, but are definitely on the mend.

Hope you all have a great week. Many blessings!