Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Good Food!

My wonderful sister got me a subscription to Good Housekeeping last Christmas. I LOVE IT! I enjoy opening my mailbox to get each new issue, it's like she sends me a gift every month! I have never had a magazine gift subscription before, and I sure do like this one!

I was particularly excited about this month's isses, because the front cover hails "ALL NEW! SLOW COOKER SUPPERS 8 recipes=16 different meals" Now, if you know anything about me, it is that I love to cook and I adore my slow cooker. In fact, I have two slowcookers, one is round and one is oval, both are 6 quarts. I love throwing food in the pot, turning it on, and walking to the other side of the kitchen to throw stuff into the breadmaker, setting it's timer, and leaving my house only to return a few hours later with dinner DONE and the house smelling wonderful! (It is also important to note that since we live in the deep south, both of these appliances can be put on my screened in back porch and used there to further reduce the heat in the kitchen)

I dove into the magazine, and found the promised article. What genius! How awesome is this! The basic principle is you make a big batch of stuff in the slowcooker, then when it's done you scoop some out and save it for another night. Then they give you the recipe to use the scooped out leftover portion to make a different meal! How cool is that???? My family is not big on leftovers, so this was a real plus for me!

I've made one of  the recipes once, and another one twice. Both are keepers. The first time, I made them both basically exactly as the recipe reads. I decided to share the one I made twice with you today, because it is gray and cloudy here, and it just seemed appropriate. I will list the recipe as it is in the magazine, then note the changes I made.
Chicken Soup
1 Tbsp, Vegetable oil
1 jumbo sweet onion, finely chopped
salt and pepper
1 1/2 lbs. fennel (2 large)--I left this out, as we are not fan of fennel
1 lb. carrots
12 oz. Yukon Gold potatoes (2 large)--I used russett
8 oz. celery stalks (4 large)
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 lbs. bone in chicken thighs, skin removed
1 1/2 lbs. bone in chicken breasts, skin removed
1 qt. lower sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp. Packed fresh dill leaves--I left this out, not big dill fans here either

1. In 12 inch skillet, heat oil on medium low. Add onion and 1/8 teas salt. Cook 15 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occassionally.
2. While onion cooks, trim and cut fennel into 1/4 inch slices. Cut carrots in quarters lengthwise, then into 3 inch long pieces. Cut potatoes into 1/4 inch half moons. Thinly slice celery.
3. In 6 qt. slow cooker bowl, evenly spread the vegetables and toss in the bay leaf. Arrange chicken pieces on top, pressing down into the vegetables. Sprinkle with 1/2 teas each salt adn pepper. Spread the hot onion over the chicken. Add broth, cover, and cook on low 6 hours.
4. Stir in dill. Transfer one-third of the vegetables, 1 chicken breast and one chicken thigh to a container and refrigerate up to 3 days. Divide remaining vegetables among serving bowls. Remove meat from remaining chicken and divide among serving bowls. Stir 1/4 teas salt into broth. Ladle over the chicken vegetable mixture and serve.

Chicken Pot Pie
Preheat oven to 425. Transfer 1/2 cup potatoes from the reserved mixture to a large bowl. With potato masher, mash until crushed. Stir in 1/3 cup heavy cream and mash until well combined. Remove the meat from the reserved chicken, shred into large chunks, and add to the potato mixture. Add reserved vegetables, 1 cup frozen peas (thawed), 1/2 teas freshly grated lemon peel, 1/4 teas salt and 1/4 teas pepper. Mix well. Spread mixture into a 91/2 inch deep-dish pie plate. Center 1 refrigerated pie crust on top. Fold dough overhang to make edge flush with rim of pie plate and gently press against pie plate. Cut 5 slits on top. Bake 25 minutes, then cover rim with foil. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until golden brown.

For the pot pie, I didn't think it looked soupy enough so I stirred in one can of cream of chicken soup and used peas and carrots instead of just peas (we are carrot people). I also left out the lemon peel, because that just seemed strange to me.

Both recipes were delicious!!!! I made them with the above directions the first time, then altered it a bit the second time. Here's how:
For the soup, I cooked at as directed. When the soup was done, I strained off the juice and used it to cook a 16 oz package of peas and carrots and a half bag of egg noodles. (next time I will throw the peas and carrots in about half way through cooking time if I am home) We liked the addition of the veggies and noodles to the soup. When I made the pot pie the second time, I again used a can of cream of chicken soup, and I made my crust with biscuit mix. My family liked the pie crust version better, and mentioned that crescent rolls would be THE BOMB! We also found that both recipes needed a bit more salt for our tastes, especially with the addition of more veggies and noodles.

Although the recipe is meant for two weeknight dinners, I made mine for Sunday lunch and used the second recipe for Sunday evening dinner. We are at church from 7:45am until after 1:00 every Sunday, so having something ready in the crockpot and bread machine makes Sunday lunch a breeze!

Try this out,and see how you like it!
I tried to put a link to the recipe on the magazine's website, but I couldn't find it listed. This is from Hearst Magazine's Good Housekeeping October 2011 issue, and the article was entitled "Superfast Slowcooker Suppers." I did not find an author listed.  I do not take any credit for the original recipe, it was all from those great folks over at Good Housekeeping!!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Where Have I Been?

Honestly, I didn't know anyone was looking for me over here on the blog :) It's nice when I get an email saying something along the lines of "Hey, is everything ok? I have missed your blog updates!" Most days when I was blogging regularly, I wondered if anyone even read what I posted. Apparently, at least one of you does, and I appreciate it! ;)

So, since I have not posted for several months, I could do a standard old "update" post telling you of my adventures with my new role as mom-of-a-highschooler, the excitement/trials/crushes on boys of my daughter's high school marching band time, my general enthusiasm of high school football games (LOVE THE VIOLENCE!), news at church including a women's conference that I am SUPER excited about, and general life stuff. However, I'm choosing to go against the grain here and not post about such things at his time. (There is always tomorrow, and those things give me fodder to post on in a day or two, as I strive to get back into the swing of blogging on a more regular basis)

Today, I chose to post about friendship.

I have been blessed in my life to have very good friends. Some friends come for a season, then move on. Some friends never become more than casual friends to socialize with. Some friends come in family roles, like sisters. (I am extremely blessed in this way, having the world's greatest sister!) Other friends come by proxy, such as the wives of my husband's friends. But then there are the other kind of friends....

Once such friend is my best friend. She lives about 5 minutes away. We met when we worked together in a little cafe nearly 11 years ago. Through the years, she has been there through the ups and downs, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the hilarious. :)  One such hilarious time involved us visiting a mattress store, where she proceeded to bounce on the bed to see how firm it was and managed to launch herself off the end of the mattress with her skirt up over her head. The good? Lots of long lunches at Cracker Barrel....therapy for me! Laughing together over things only we, with our warped senses of humor, find weird names in obituary listings. Shopping at discount places to find killer deals--including one joint where I was lying in the floor to see if the earrings I chose would get caught in my hair. And eating.....lots of eating......The bad? Tough times in my marriage, the death of my grandmother, my surgery last year, my husband's battle with depression, financial lean get the drift. She is a true friend, one who loves me like I am and prays for me through it all!

The other friend is a long time friend...going on almost 30 years now. We met in church, waaaaaaay back in the day. We too shared and survived things like death of friends and family, school drama, church drama, high school crushes, marriage, divorce, birth of our kids, job issues, military life, the loss of beloved pets, periods of questioning what we truly believe in, and parenting.  There is one weird thing about this friendship though, sort of a sixth sense when ti comes to each other. It's a connection that tells us when the other is going through something, and even if it has been months or years since we last talked, one email or phone call has the connection re-established and it is as if no time at all has passed. It was this dear friend who emailed about my lonely little blog. Hope you are happy now! ;)

I am so thankful for friends, both new and old. They make life so much better! There is a saying....."Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold." Through Facebook, I have connected with many friends from high school and military life. It's a great thing!

So to all my friends.....I leave you with this thought from Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.  If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.--NLT

I am so thankful for each of you!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Of course not!

There was nothing on tv last night. I don't understand it. We have cable tv with over 900 channels, but still can't find anything worthwhile to watch. Last night, after Army Wives went off, I found myself scrolling through the guide trying to find something worth watching. This is very unusual for me, because since we got DVRs I record everything I want to watch and then watch it at my convenience, usually late at night. I do this a lot, especially when my hubby is gone. The greatest thing is I can pause it to go get more tea or to go to the bathroom (think maybe the two aforementioned pause-worthy items may be related?????) but the thing I like most is that I can fast forward through all the annoying commercials! I despise commercials, especially those who use ad blasting technology to make their commercials much louder than your normal tv shows. Thought it was just you? Didn't know it was a fact that they do that? Yup. Read more here.

Anyway, last night I found a show on Oprah's network, OWN. It is called Finding Sarah, and it is about the Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson. and her journey. Basically, this chick is a nut ball. She is battling so many issues, and the six part series is supposed to help her though these. Last night, Dr. Phil came riding in on his sanctimonious white horse to try to save the poor damsel in distress, and Suze Orman came to offer financial support but made it clear that she was not there to find a friend in the Duchess.

I watched with the sort of morbid curiosity that piques when you pass a train don't want to watch but can't force your finger to press the button on the remote. The Dr. Phil part annoyed me, but made me sad. Sarah is so lost. She is so sad, and he quickly diagnosed her as "emotionally bankrupt".
The voyage into her troubled red head continued with Suze Orman. Then I heard the saddest thing I think I have ever heard.

Suze Orman asked Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, formerly married to a prince, mother of two beautiful young women, author of over 30 books, spokesperson for Weight Watchers......a simple question. She asked "Do you like yourself?"

Sarah immediately replied "Of course not!" She had the look on her face that implied that she had just been asked if she ate shredded sheet metal for breakfast.

I was so sad. There are many days when I am not happy with my actions, but I do love myself. I am a daughter of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! I am a Princess myself, of a Royal Priesthood! How could I not like myself? I watched as the painful interview went on, and heard her ask "How does one find self worth?" I screamed at my TV-much to the shock of my daughter who was sitting beside me- "YOU NEED TO FIND YOU SOME JESUS!" Of course, neither Dr. Phil or Suze whats-her-face offered anything spiritual, just a lot of mumbo jumbo, but really, that is what it all boils down to. We have to know who we are in Christ, and when we know that we will not only like ourselves but many days LOVE ourselves as we see ourselves for who we truly are! Redeemed. Precious in His sight. Worth the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.  A daughter of God. Joint heirs with the only Son of God.

I am beautiful. I am loved. I am worthy of the love of my own Prince....the Prince of Peace. And this allows me to like myself.

I hope one day Sarah can find this for herself.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

I Gotta Blog Something

Wow...I can't believe my last post was the one about 70 things about myself. I had written it so long ago that I had to go back and read it again to see what I had written! Then I laughed at some of it :)

So...what to write about today? Life is busy, but none of it seems monumental enough to blog about. I wonder of there is a limit to cyber space, and if my mindless rambling is taking up valuable space out there someplace.

Only two weeks left of school. I can't believe my baby is finishing middle school in just a few days. There will be a "Recognition Ceremony" at the end of this year, and I am hoping I can keep it together and not have a nervous breakdown in front of the entire school assembly.  I can't possibly be the mother of a high school kid, can I? On a high note, we have been to the new high school several times, and we really do like it. Band looks EXTREMELY promising! The instructor looks like he is passionate and energetic about the music, which I like. He has been communicating a lot with me via email about upcoming band camps and workshops, and we have signed Marissa up for two things so far. One is a Clarinet Workshop at the college here, with 4 private lessons, one master class, two rehearsals and a recital. The other is a week long, afternoon camp at the high school with the aforementioned awesome band leader. He is big into getting scholarships or the I am totally on board with him so far!

We are going to meet my sister and her family in Atlanta in July, and we are looking forward to that! We have tickets to a Braves game, and we may tour the World of Coca Cola with them. (We have done it a couple times already, but it would be fun to do it again with the family) I am counting down the days until we leave.

Also, we will be spending a lot of days on Tybee Island again this year. We have a week long trip planned for July also, with some of our best friends. It will be so nice to relax and spend some time with them! We are so blessed that my mom and step dad live on Tybee, so we can run down and hang out  with them.

We got the pool set up again, and Marissa has been it a few times but it is still a little cool for me to get in. I know it won't be long though, before the days are so hot that it will be hard to keep us OUT of the pool!

CRCT testing is over, and EOCT testing is winding down. (Let me use this as my podium to say that I think the EOCT testing finishing up THE LAST WEEK OF SCHOOL is STOOOOOOOOOOPID!) Also, a Humanities project was assigned Friday, and is due next Friday. REALLY? This close to the end of school? Hmmmm.......

I think that is about all I can come up with for today. Have a wonderful weekend, and enjoy your Monday off for Memorial Day! Don't forget to say prayers for our military, both for protection of those currently serving, as of thanksgiving for those who served and lost their lives defending our freedom.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Random Facts About Me....(70!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

One of the blog authors I follow recently wrote a post called 100 Random Facts Abut Me. I was fascinated by the idea, and many of the things she listed were really funny! I decided to make a list, but I am not sure that I can come up with 100! I am an odd person to say the least, and I am sure there are literally HUNDREDS of ridiculously quirky, random things about me, but most would not interest anyone in the least. So I shall start a list.....and edit the title accordingly :)

1. I have not eaten red meat since 1989.

2. I have one sister, who is 15 1/2 years older than me. My mom says she had two "only" children

3. I love cats, but I am not a big fan of dogs. It isn't that I hate dogs, I just find them to be jumpy and licky and unpredictable.

4. I am an obsessive list maker.

5. My favorite color is pink.

6. I am a scrapbooker. This means I like to play with pictures and paper and adhesives and make a huge mess in the name of creativity and artistic expression.

7. I hate having my picture taken.

8. I love to cook, and even more than that I like to watch people EAT what I cook.

9. I screwed up my life at 18 by giving up college scholarships to get married to my high school sweetheart, who turned out to be a huge donkey.

10. In the aforementioned college plan, I was planning to be an English major.

11. I didn't know ANYTHING at 18.

12. I learned a whole lot very quickly at age 25, when the donkey marriage went south.

13. My favorite flavor of jelly beans is orange.

14. I do not like spicy food AT ALL.

15. I loved Coke Zero until I had major surgery last year, now I find it sickeningly sweet and I drink Diet Coke.

16.I love Triscuits or Cheeze-Its with the Diet Coke.

17. I wear a size 10. (In a shoe, that is...............)

18. I am a Christian. I am 100% sold out to Jesus.

19. I cannot get a tan. I use self tanner on my legs to prevent blinding poor unsuspecting people when I wear capri pants.

20. I am horribly afraid of wearing shorts in public because of my pale skin.

21. I DVR most all TV shows that I want to watch. Commercials annoy me.

22. I don't wear much jewelry, except my wedding ring and sometimes earrings. When my husband is at work, I wear his wedding ring because it makes me feel close to him. (Because his work is very dangerous, he cannot wear his ring for fear of losing a finger)

23. I am afraid of birds. They look pecky and suspicious to me, with their little beady eyes.....

24. I love to read.

25. I probably use the word GOOGLE about a zillion times a day. I constantly say things like "Google it" or "I wanted to know such and such, so I Googled it". I even Googled the word Google to find out what it meant. (Google is a number followed by 100 zeros. Now you know.)

26. If I eat something hot and gloppy, like oatmeal or grits, I cannot drink a hot beverage.

27. I think I have pretty feet.

28. I want to move back to Washington State. I miss it so much.

29. I started writing a novel about 5 years ago, but never finished it.

30. I let my boy cat sleep on my pillow. I scootch down in the bed so he has room.

31. After watching the documentary about McDonald's entitled "Supersize Me", I cannot eat there.

32. I have to sleep with my ceiling fan on or I feel like I am suffocating.

33. I recycle compulsively.

34. I shop with coupons and watch sale ads like a hawk.

35. I am afraid of heights.

36. I do not like to go to amusement parks. They do not amuse me because I cannot ride any of the rides due to my equilibrium issues and I end of walking around carrying stuff for everyone else in my party. 

37. I am currently obsessed with the show My Fair Wedding With David Tutera.

38. I laugh really loud, and usually at very inappropriate times.

39. When I laugh, I aspirate anything that happens to be in my mouth. I have found that Dr. Pepper really burns, and shooting a Tylenol caplet out of your nose is AGONIZING!

40. My (current and forever) husband literally saved my life when he married me. I was on a path of self-destruction.

41. I do not like tattoos, but my husband has 15 of them.

42. I am a peacemaker. I hate conflict and do anything I can to avoid it. Therefore I do not have much conversation about the tattoos on my husband.

43. I have never broken a bone.

44. I still have my tonsils and wisdom teeth, but the wisdom teeth are going to have to be extracted in the very near future, per my dentists' instructions.

45. I never had surgery, even so much as a tooth pulled, until last year when my OB/GYN said it was necessary to hang up the "No Womb At The Inn" sign. That was a horrible surgery and recovery. The results have been fantastic, but the surgery and recovery were NOT enjoyable at all!

46. The smell of patchouli oil makes me gag.

47. I am 5"10" and built like a linebacker, but I like to be girly too. I like to have my nails done and wear makeup because it makes me feel pretty and more self confident.

48. I am not political. I do not vote by the party, but by what the candidate stands for and supports.

49. I thank God everyday for the man He sent me. My husband is a Mighty Man of God and I am so grateful for the blessing He is to me! I have made many mistakes, but he has forgiven me and now we are moving forward, in a better place than we have EVER been!

50. I am horrifically afraid of snakes, lizards and frogs/toads. Bleck!

51. My favorite food is chocolate.

52. My favorite non-chocolate food is pizza.

53. I can bait a fish hook with a work, but not a cricket.

54. I abhor sushi.

55. I lived in Hawaii for 3 years.

56. The first time I flew in an airplane, I was 18 years old and I flew from South Georgia to Honolulu Hawaii, which I previously thought was in the Gulf of Mexico because that is always where they showed it on the map. A 15 hour flight is not a good first time experience. I carried my money in my shoe......

57. I am OCD about many things, like locking the doors, unplugging the iron or curing iron, turning off the oven, closing doors and drawers, and lining things up in order of size. I also used to alphabetize my CDs and spice containers, but I have overcome that. I still straighten crooked pictures in doctors' offices and other peoples' homes though.

58. I cannot open one of those biscuit cans that pops when you peel off the label. I make my husband do it because the unexpected "pop" terrifies me. Even the anticipation of the "pop" rattles me. I much prefer the "press spoon at seal" cans, that allow me to predict the "pop". I hate when they sneak up and cheat by popping on their own.

59. I have never used an illegal drug in my life. Not even pot. Ever. Seriously.

60. I have never found a beer I could stand the taste or smell of.

61. Having anything reflecting in the car windshield when I drive makes me a nervous wreck. I have to move it.

62. I was born at 12:34

63. I love to find sequences or patterns in numbers. It is part of OCD. I love that I was born at 12:34. I like when a series of numbers adds up to an even number.

64. I think Martha Stewart rocks! Yes I know she does not do all of those things she shows, but I think she rocks. I think if she had been a man she would have not only avoided prison, but been hailed as a financial genius.

65. I got food poisoning from sunny side up eggs, and I can't eat egg yolks to this day. I order my eggs "egg whites only, fried hard."

66. I have a bizarre sense of humor that very few people get.

67. I once told a man on a flight from New Orleans that I was a bounty hunter, just to see if I could say it with a straight face. I did. He was impressed.....until I burst out laughing. (see #66)

68. I volunteer at my daughters' school. In the media center. Away from the children. FAR away from the children. I am afraid they may revolt en mass, and I would be trampled to death in the stampede. I do not trust hormonal, moody middle schoolers.

69. I love it when my husband rubs my back. He used to brush my hair and paint my toenails too, but somehow the thrill of that must have worn off FOR HIM after 15 years.....

70. I have learned that trying to come up with 100 facts about ANYTHING is harder than it sounds!

Thanks to Heather at Wanting What You Have for the idea!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Blah blah blah......

Wow. Once again I have horribly neglected my little blog. Seems like I have done a lot of little things but not much to blog about. I think I will just list off a few things....things I have done and things on my mind...and things I want to do.

  • Easter. It was wonderful. Our church hosted it's first ever Good Friday service, and my daughter and the team danced. It was incredible! Easter Sunday we attended all three services at church, and the dance teams performed again. AMAZING! I cooker dinner, and my Mom and PaPa and Brenda and Joe came over to eat with us. The bunny dropped off a basket for Riss, and we dyed eggs, but for the first time since Riss was born there was no interest in an egg hunt. Made me a little nostalgic.
  • I was nominated for the United Way's Volunteer of The Year. The luncheon was wonderful, and although I didn't have a snowball's chance in Miami of winning, I was so honored to even be considered. I was so glad Brenda, Joe, Jamie, April and my  nominator Mr. Brooks were able to attend with me.
  • My birthday came and went. It fell on a Thursday, and Jamie was out of town working. My Mom and PaPa came over, and Brenda and Joe were here, and we all went to Cheddars to eat. It was tasty :) Jamie came home the next day with flowers, cake squares from Cake Corner, and a beautiful card for me. Then, we were invited to April's house for dinner this past Thursday night. Guess what? The sneaky April and my sneaky husband conspired and had a surprise birthday party for me! I was truly shocked. It was a wonderful night!
  • My daughter was sick for about 10 days with a horrible sinus infection, and missed a whole week of school. She had to go to the doctor twice. She is doing better, but she is still struggling a bit with congestion and a cough and just not 100% back to her old self.
  • Watched the Royal Wedding yesterday. I thought it was simply beautiful. I loved everything about it. I remember watching when Prince Charles and Princess Diana got married. We got up very early and I watched it with my mom and grandmother. Riss and I watched some while she got ready for school, and I got so involved we missed the bus. I drove her to Matt's and she caught the bus there.
  • Riss and some of her classmates competed in the district Quiz Bowl Thursday. It was neat to watch it played, and although our school didn't place, it was a great experience for the kids!
  • I've gotten back into scrapbooking a little more frequently, and I see how much I have missed it. The pages I have done are simple but fun, and I am loving it again. :)
Have a great week! I will be coming up with a new blog plan soon, hopefully to make me blog more often. :) I am thinking of following some bloggy sisters and doing something like Recipe Monday, Wordless Wednesday, Inspiration Thursday, etc.

Friday, April 1, 2011


 Stolen straight off of Crea's blog....check her out here.

In honor of the lovely month of April. :)

1. April rolls in  this week and in celebration of that infamous date (April 1) answer this question-what is something foolish you've done?

Oh gee....I have to narrow it down to just one? I mean, there are so many! Hmmm....well, I guess one of the most foolish things I have done is when I played a practical joke on my best friend's husband. I called him and when his friend answered the phone, I portrayed myself as my friend's husband's ex wife, naming myself Wanda Gail Pruitt. I called to demand my child support from him. The friend was so incredibly shocked! I can't believe I managed to get through the entire conversation without bursting into hysterical laughter. Well, when he called my friend's husband, we found out he was stuck in a horrible blizzard in Ohio and was not amused by the shenanigans AT ALL! (He has since forgiven me......)

2. With April comes Easter and that classic edible treat known as tell me...what's your favorite way to eat/fix chicken? That's wasn't what you were expecting was it? I 'fooled' you. teehee
Didn't see that coming!  I love it when my husband, The Grill Master, grills chicken. It is so tender and juicy!

3. What's the best museum you've ever visited? Or your favorite? Or the one you'd most like to visit?
Hmmmmm.......the one I would LOVE to visit is the Smithsonian. I enjoy museums, and we go to all sorts of cool places when we travel. I enjoyed the World of Coke in Atlanta, the Fernbank in Atlanta, the Bishop museum in Honolulu, the MOMA in San Fransisco, the Naval History Museum in Seattle, the children's museums in  San Fransisco, Jacksonville and Columbia SC. I guess I am kind of a dork about it. I like zoos and national parks too :)

4. You know what they say about April showers....what's your preference-a bath or a shower?
A shower if the sole purpose is getting clean. If I have time to relax, I like a bubble bath but I always take a shower afterwards so I don't feel sticky from the bubble bath.

5. Absence makes the heart grow fonder"-fact or fiction? Why?
Totally a fact, and one I know from experience. I was a Navy wife for 10 years and I grew used to deployments and overnight duty. Now, as a tugboat wife, our routine is one week together, one week apart. I enjoy my time alone, but I look forward to him coming home too. We say that we have it made. We rarely fight, since we are together just long enough to start getting on each others nerves before he leaves. Then he is gone just long enough that we begin to miss each other. A perfect world for us:)

6. What's your favorite product made/grown in your home state/province?
Gotta be the peaches. I love peaches in just about any form.

7. What is going on in the world today that affects you the most?
Wow, let's not hold back on the tough questions huh? There are so many....homeless children, abused children, abortion, broken hearts, battered women, lost souls....they all pull on my heart.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I need to read more blogs for inspiration. This was fun!

Friday, March 18, 2011


Just a few thoughts here. This has been a busy month. An incredibly busy month, which followed another very busy month, to be precise.

Let's reflect on busyness. While many may say that "Cleanliness is next to Godliness", (which is not exactly scriptural, but that's another post) I have decided that "Busyness is next to......well.......insanity."

Let me begin by showing you my datebook.

My husband looked at this page, and asked me if I realized how absolutely insane it is. My response to him was. "Try living this life Bucky!"

In the past couple of months, I have realized how out of control my life is getting/has gotten. I have to slow down. Really I do. I go on about 4 hours of sleep a night during the week, and crash when the weekend comes. This is not good for my body or for my family. Weekends should be a time of relaxing and enjoying family activities, not spent crashed in my bed from burnout. It has gotten to the point that I can't remember how to relax anymore. We went to Jacksonville last week, for some required testing for my husband's job, and I was still in such an "on" mode that I couldn't even relax and enjoy the jacuzzi tub.

What is wrong with me?

I began reflecting on some teaching by Joyce Meyer late last month. I used to watch her program all the time! A lot of what she said is stuck in my head, but nothing more than her teaching on busyness. She said, (and although this is a paraphrase I will put it in quotations. This is just the gist of what she said, I could never quote her word for word, so this is what I got out of it.. You can read an article on this from her here.)

"God never called us to be busy, he called us to be fruitful!"
and....another wonderful Joyce-ism....
"God called us to be human BEings, not human DOings."

So am I busy or fruitful? If I am brutally honest with myself, some of what I do is bearing fruit. Some of it is necessary for the function of my home and family. Some of it is flitter and fluff.

The first weekend of this month I attended a Women's Conference in Tifton GA with my church. We were blessed to hear Darlene Bishop preach, and guess what she talked about? Yep. Being busy.  She said that sometimes we get so busy doing the Kingdom's business that we forget who we are in business for.


So.....I am not committing to anything new right now. I am finishing up all of my commitments for the month, and I am earnestly seeking God about what I need to do in the upcoming season. I was to be fruitful. I want to be vital in the Kingdom . I want to be productive without being CRAZY!

Am I alone in this? I think not. Somehow it seems to me that as a woman, if I am not busy, then I am perceived as lazy. (Especially as a stay at home mom, which is a specific calling on my life, not just a choice) But in my mind, if I stay busy, then I appear to be valuable. My question to myself is this: Who am I living my life for?

My answer is this. God first. My husband second. My child third. And everything and everybody else falls into place.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Resurgence of Blogging....

I am amazed that blogging seems to be making a comeback! I have seen people begin blogging for the first time, and I am enjoying their excitement. I hope it is contagious, because lately I have been in a blogging funk! Life is crazy busy right now, and blogging seems like another thing on my to-do list. It used to be an outlet....a way to vent. Hopefully I can catch blog fever again and reinvent my blog. It is tired of being neglected.

I don't think it is just me though. I have seen several of the blogs I have followed for years go through the same thing. I have one blog that I follow that went on sort of a bloggy vacation, and I missed her terribly! (That is you Cassandra!!!!) One of my favorite blogs of all time is From Dhu Land With Love...., which started out as the Savannah Scrapbooking blog but when the store closed, it became a personal blog by my friend Jamie. (Disclaimer.....go to the bathroom and do not have food or drink in your mouth when you read her blog. You will either wet your pants or spew-or maybe both- if you don't. It is that funny. I promise.)

So what interests new people about blogging? What makes them trip into this cyber rambling world? I think people do it for many reasons. To voice an opinion. To connect with others. To vent. To create. To find like minded friends. To connect with family far away, and keep them up to date on their life. I blog for all of these reasons. I just gotta get back to it.

Happy blogging!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Words That Make A Difference

Last night, I asked my Bishop (in some churches this would be the senior pastor, or Doctor of Divinity) to write a couple of letters for people who are going on a spiritual renewal/retreat weekend. Our church is very busy these days, with exponential growth and getting ready to launch another facility on the other side of town, allowing us the auspicious  honor of duplicating ourselves in ministry, so everyone is busy to say the least. In a joking manner he asked me why I didn't just write the letters myself and let him sign them. He is a real NUT sometimes!

For some reason I felt it was the appropriate time to blabber on and I told him that my mom and I were discussing my Dad recently. She was asking me what I remembered about my Dad, and I told her that the main thing I remembered was that he never said the words "I love you" to me. He would say "Daddy loves you". Mom said that she felt it was the same thing, and I told her I didn't think it was. I wanted to hear it from him! I wanted to hear the words "I love you" come out of my Daddy's mouth, directed at ME.! 

Now, if you know my Bishop, you know "the look". It is the look that says "I hear what you are saying, that makes sense to me", but it also has a deeper side that makes me think he might be chewing on what I said a little bit more.

So I pondered this conversation this morning. I have always struggled with self esteem issues, and wonder more often than not if I have just made a complete fool of myself by something I said.  I began thinking of what I had told Bishop last night, and the enemy began playing with my self doubt and telling me how he "might" have taken it. In my mind, I could hear him saying "That girl is messed up! I just joked around with her and she got all philosophical on me and drug up all her past baggage". Either that, or "the look" was actually him saying "Ok, ok, would you shut up now so I can go get something to eat?"  Or worse yet, he zoned out and went to his happy place.

Now if you know my Bishop, or have ever even been near him, you know this is not the case. This man of God loves each and every person with a love that only comes from Jesus. He is compassionate, caring and the most humble man I have ever met. His words are always uplifting, edifying and encouraging.  It was my own self doubt and my own mind allowing me to think of him in any other manner.

So this morning, as I played over all of this in my mind, I began to pray about it. I began asking God was I wrong to want to hear "I love you" from my Dad? Was that a trivial thing that I had allowed to haunt me all these years? [side note: Dad walked out of my life when I was nine and died when I was 21]

God began showing me some things about this, and a lesson came from it for me. I had no power over the words that came out of my Dad's mouth, or over what I heard with my own ears. 


What if I only allowed others to tell me that God loves me? What if I took everything that Sunday School teachers and pastors have told me and that was as far as I went with it? I would be living the same life, with an emptiness of never hearing my Heavenly Father say "I love you" with my own ears.

The Word tells us that God speaks to us through His Holy Spirit. I have heard the audible voice of Almighty God once and I hear the quiet voice of His Holy Spirit almost constantly. The Bible says "Blessed is the man who listens to me" (Proverbs 8:34) and Jesus said "My sheep listen to my voice." (John 10:27). We need to remember that  "the word of God is living and active" (Hebrews 4:12) God also speaks to us through other people and through dreams and visions.

If we only allowed others to tell us that God loved us, we miss the boat entirely. We need to hear it from Him. 
Are we listening?  We need to earnestly seek God, and cry out to Him. We need to hear "I love you" from Him, and He wants to hear it from us as well.

Sometimes things come to me slowly and quietly, but this didn't. It was a booming voice in my Spirit, a passionate cry from my Heavenly Father saying to me "My precious daughter, I LOVE YOU!" 

And that made all the difference.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Dinner time!

We are a living paycheck to paycheck family. Sometimes, it seems that payday will NEVER come! I have a pretty good system of stocking the pantry and freezer, and we are always blessed to be able to share what we have with others. Because of my smart (read:obsessive) shopping and stocking up on sale items, for the months of November and December I purchased only fresh fruits, milk, bread, and the required "holiday food" items like turkey, dressing mix, cranberry sauce, baking needs, etc. This allowed us to stay on budget and still have everything we need.

January came, and because of all the holiday extras, money was extra tight. We have been eeking through, using what we have on hand, and I am planning a BIG stock up shopping trip this week. (Watch for the post on that adventure)

My coupon supply has dwindled, and I am eagerly combing through my stash, making my list and checking it twice for good sales and coupon pairings.

Tonight's dinner is pork chops from the freezer, macaroni and cheese (from the freezer, actually leftovers from a previous meal but it heats up well when you add some extra milk), canned green beans, and baked red potatoes and carrots, which are nestled in the oven with the pork chops.

 Here is my delima. My husband is a bread eater. We must have bread at every meal. I forgot to start the bread machine this afternoon, so we are officially dinner bread-less. What to do, oh what to do? Let me point out I am a HORRIBLE biscuit maker, and somehow cornbread doesn't really go with this meal in my opinion, so I decided to make popovers.

I first made popovers when we lived in Hawaii. Being 18 years old, working for minimum wage, married to an E-2 in the Navy, money was t-i-g-h-t. I found this recipe one night, a few days before payday, and since it did not call for everything I was out of (biscuit mix, shortening, baking powder, cornmeal, etc.) I decided to try it.


This easy recipe is my go to quick fix for breadless nights, (oh, the horror) and I decided to share the recipe with you!

1 cup flour
1/2 teas salt ( I fixed the typo)
1 cup milk
2 eggs

Mix all ingredients very well. Pour into generously greased muffin cups, filling 2/3 full. Bake at 425 about 30-40 minutes or until golden, toasty brown.

This always thrills kids when they bite into what they think is a traditional roll, and find it hollow and full of air!
If you are not serving these the minute they come out of the oven, you will need to cut a slit in the top of each popover to keep it from collapsing in on itself. (NOT attractive)

Popovers make for a happy hubby, which makes for a happy dinnertime at our house!

Friday, January 28, 2011

It's All About Me!

I was trying to think of some fascinating subject to blog about tonight, and I was coming up very short. My daughter came in and found me staring at a blank blog form and said "What's up Mom?" I told her I could not think of anything to write about. She looked at me and said "Well, why don't you write all about yourself? Like, a list of your favorite color and food and stuff?"

Well, I am sure that countless hordes of people lie awake every night wondering what my favorite salad dressing is, so I decided that I will make a list. It's all about me :)

Favorite food: chocolate
Favorite real food: cheese and Triscuits
Favorite color: red
Favorite outfit: dark straight leg jeans and my peach shirt
Favorite movie: Gone With The Wind
Favorite TV show: NCIS LA
Favorite vacation spot: mountains of north Georgia or Tennessee
Favortie vacation spot to dream about: a cruise to the Caribbean
Favorite hobby: scrapbooking
Favorite number: any one that can be evenly divided into rows or groups
Favorite cartoon character: Tinkerbell
Favorite restaurant: Bella's
Favorite store: Ross and World Market
Favorite animal: pandas and cats
Favorite thing to cook: anything that people enjoy eating
Favorite household chore: steam mopping
Favorite season: fall
Favorite holiday: Christmas
Favorite quality in a person: transparency
Favorite super hero: Batman
Favorite accessory: my silver hoop earrings
Favorite flower: Gerber daisy
Favorite actor: LL Cool J
Favorite actress: Marisky Hargitay
Favorite car to dream about owning: Dodge Challenger
Favorite book: The Bible
Favorite smell: new lipstick or a fresh box of crayons
Favorite secular song: My Baby Loves Me Just The Way That I Am
Favorite Christian song: Oh How He loves Us
Favorite Bible verse: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13)
Favorite place to dream of retiring: Washington State (Western)

Well now, I am sure you can all sleep a little easier tonight now that this knowledge is public. Have a great weekend!
P.S. My favorite salad dressing is Ranch :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Update on "What Would You Do?

Remember my blog post from November entitled "What Would You Do" about my dear friend with Leukemia? Well, you can get a step by step retelling of the story to date by following my friend Stephanie on her blog here.
So trot on over and read her words, leave a comment and wish her all the very best on her journey! Then watch for her updates, and let's all encourage her as she WINS the fight against Leukemia!!!!!

Friday, January 7, 2011


 From our family to yours, HAPPY 2011!!!!
We wish you all peace, joy, happiness 
and God's abundant blessings!

Monday, January 3, 2011


Yesterday at our church, our Bishop taught on some Commitments for 2011. While most everyone is thinking of whether or not to make/keep New Year Resolutions, I thought that most of these could apply not only to our church body but to everyone as well.

My friend Rebecca typed up her notes from Sunday and posted them in a note on Facebook. I asked permission to copy her notes here and she agreed. I think this is something we could ALL benefit from committing to!

Bishop's Notes--Eleven Commitments for 2011
1. We will add value to others.  This can be done through compliments, encouragement, and support.
2. We will not live in hypocrisy.  This means we will not try to force what we like or believe onto others and respect others for the things they enjoy.
3. We will refuse to live in offense.  By this, we will not put others down or talk about them negatively. If we are then that means we are not happy about ourselves or something that someone else has said to us so we try to take the attention off of ourselves and put it on someone else by talking about them.
4. We will embrace the positive and reject the negative.  Be happy!
5. We will refuse to be passive.  A passive person does not really care about being committed to anything and this is not how we should be.  Instead we should work hard to commit and give everything we have.
6. We will be committed to self control.  By using self control we will not lose our temper and keep our mouths closed when necessary.
7. We will be committed to compassion and not ignore when others need us.  We will not forget about others, how they feel, and what they need.  We will show compassion for everyone.
8. We will be a true representation of Christ.  We should be proud that we are the children of God and represent him as well.
9. We will be committed to challenging religion by kingdom and God.  Kingdom people work to see how the church can change the world.
10. We will be committed to a renewed mind.  A renewed mind does not just show up to church from time to time but instead is involved and at church.  Without a renewed mind we will be cut off from the abundance of God.  Remember you become what you think.
11. We will be characterized by the presence of God.  We want the presence of God and in order to get that we should approach him with clean hands, an open heart, and go after Him.  We should ask for His presence.

For those of you who would like to check out our church, please go to We will be streaming live on the internet in about a month.