Thursday, September 30, 2010

The best bike ever

This is the second time I have seen this bike.

The first time I saw it, it was parked out in front of Walmart.  Yesterday, it was at the Library.  I couldn't help myself.

I had to have a picture.

I absolutely LOVE this guys ingenuity.  He has taken a board and extended this thing to make it one of a kind custom.  My first favorite thing is his creative use of box tape.  It makes me smile!  He has a flashlight taped to the handle bars...  so he is night riding compliant.

From this angle, you can see his cup holder.  It is smooth.  He has taped a clear plastic cup to the goose neck, in it rides a Starbucks Venti cup.  The man has taste.  I also enjoy the plastic purple cup...  it appears to be a neat dash stash spot for him.  It is a new addition since my last sighting.

Honestly, I can't wait to see who rides it.  Maybe one of these days I will get to meet him.  I hope I have my big camera with me.  I really want a photo op with this guy.....I need to know the story behind this bike.

are you looking?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I sit here this morning, heavy hearted.  The events of last night have been drawing me into much prayer with the Lord.  I bring this burden, that I have shared and will continue to cry out to God about,  to YOU my fellow prayer warriors. 

Let me explain.........

On Tuesday evenings, my local church holds a program called Master Clubs.  It is a wonderful program that teaches and trains young people in important biblical principles, as well as helping them understand their ability to serve the Lord, and impact those around them.  I help in the older group, the 4th -6th grades.  Typically, we have a small group, maybe 6 or 7 kids.  Typically, they are the children that are a part of our church family, many, if not all have made a decision for Christ already. We have been praying that God would bring new children to Master Clubs.  We want other children to hear the hope of the Gospel.

Last night we had 4 new children. Three girls, and a boy.  One was invited by a child that was already attending, the other three, the girls....just... came.

I think as leaders we were a little surprised to see new faces.
I don't know why we were so surprised that God answered our prayer.....
But we were.

As we moved through the evening I was privileged to begin to walk them through what we call the Membership Booklet.  It is an introduction to Master Clubs and there are some verses in there for them to memorize.  The biggest and most important part of that booklet is the presentation of the Gospel. I was nervous. I have never really presented the Gospel before.

Crazy I know,  a Christian for 32 years... and never presented the Gospel to another human being.
Tragic really.

 I knew these girls needed to hear it.  I have been praying to God for boldness to share Him with others.  I figured he got tired of waiting for me to open my mouth in public, so He just dropped these girls in my lap.  I desired to be obedient and let Him do the talking to their hearts, so I fired off a "Ok, Lord... here we go...  Help me out" prayer, and dove right in.

The first section of the booklet asks some questions of the kids.  It gets them thinking, and they help us assess where the child is in their understanding of sin, and their relationship to the Lord.  The questions are:
What do you want to be when you grow up?  What do you think will happen when this life is over?  Do you think you have ever sinned?  Where do you think your soul will spend eternity?  I think there was one more question, but I can't remember it right now.....  As the girls filled out their questions, I was just listening, there to help if they didn't understand a question.  One girl mentioned to her friend she had never been to church before...
No Pressure Julie.... none at all. (gulp)

Another girl, she had brought the other two, seemed to have been in church a few times, maybe she was from another church in town.  She said she was a Christian, she wrote that she was going to heaven.
The girl who had never been to church, she wrote that she didn't know where she would spend eternity. (ok.. I make a mental note about that.... and gulp a few more times...  "Ok Lord," I say in my head..." gonna really need your help here tonight...You remember I have never done this right?")
The third girl, she is the one who tugs at my heart.  She sat infront of me, with her pretty pink Bible.  Angry at the world.  She had on enough eyeliner to feel like she was hiding in plain sight.  She is in the 6th grade.  She wrote on her paper that she has committed so many sins.... she is beyond saving.  She wrote, that because of those sins, she will go to Hell.  She is convinced of it.  She has no hope.

I can barely write now what I saw on her page.  My heart breaks for her.  Tears stream down my face.  The pain of her life, the ache in her soul.... ah.... it overtakes me, I weep for her, I plead to my heavenly Father, to never let her go..... to hold her close.  I pray for her to let Him in.

So there I sit, in front of three girls, two of which I know need to hear how much Jesus loved them.  No pressure. (gulp)...  I fire off another prayer, "Lord, may your Word be heard."

As we walk through our condition as humans, our condition as sinners before a Holy God, and how because of our sin, the Bible says we deserve death.
She tells me she now doesn't like the Bible anymore because it says she will die.
I ask her to wait.... there is hope in my story.
She tells me that being here is dumb. Asks what time we are finished with the night, she tells me she is never coming back.

She is a tough cookie.
It's ok.  She can be a tough cookie.  God is in the room.  He is working.  He is in control.

We move on to the part where Christ died.  He is the substitute, He paid the wages for my sin.  He died so that I can live.  I look straight at my tough cookie.  I softly say, " So that you can live...."  She just stared at me..................

So suddenly the time to share with them was over.  We need to move to our "council time" and hear a devotion presented by one of our leaders.  I said to God, " Wait!  I wasn't done, I didn't get through it all."  He quietly replied, " She has heard what she needs for today."
"Ok, Lord..... ok."      ....sigh

Have you ever seen spiritual warfare?  I mean really seen it?  Have you seen someone interested in the Truth they are hearing, only to suddenly wall off their heart, and you can see it written all over their face?  This little, precious gift of God, was in the midst of a fight.... and she didn't even know it.  I would watch her soften, and be engaged in the devotion..... and in the next second be angry and tell me how stupid it was to be here, and how she was never coming back.  All I could do was smile and pray.  I prayed so hard I was nearly crying.  Thinking of her now, makes me cry.

I don't know all of the details of her life.  She shared bits and pieces of her pain, though the night.  Just enough to let us know how badly she needs a Savior, and how broken and bruised she has been by life.  (By the 6th grade!!) .....How desperate she is for HOPE.

The Bible tells me that it is my job to tell.
God will do the rest.

Pray with me, will you?  Pray that these three girls return so they can hear more about Jesus who died and rose again for them.
Pray for this little broken child.  She needs the Lord so desperately.
Pray for me, that I will continue to be obedient, and tell.
She is just a taste, a glimpse, that was brought right to a chair across the table from me, of a whole world out there that is broken, bruised, hurting...... and in need of healing.

All we need to do is tell.

*** if you do not know Jesus as your Savior.  If you do not have HOPE in eternal life.  Please message me.  I would love to share my Hope, my reason for living with you.****

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

No more Birfdays

Jeremiah was frustrated with life this morning....  All his frustration was evident after a quiet argument with his older brother..... he comes running in the house and yells............

"MOM!!!!!!!!  HUNTER'S NOT WEDDING ME TURN 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

poor guy. 

He'll have to stay 3 (fwee) forevah.....

I could live with that.

I am linking up to Tiny Talk @ Not before 7:00  head on over and share the funny things that your tiny people say........

Friday, September 24, 2010

Yogurt, Sweet Yogurt

Here real quick is the recipe for yogurt I was talking about on Facebook. You make it in your crock pot, and it is super duper easy. I will add pictures the next time I make it...

1/2 gallon ( 2 quarts ) of milk. ( don't use ultra pasteurized. just plain pasteurized is fine)
1/2 cup of plain yogurt ( I used a 6oz cup of Greek yogurt)

If you want to thicken it even more than it will be after you strain it... then you might want to add 1/4 cup of nonfat dry powdered milk, or 1 pkg of non flavored gelatin.
So you put your milk in the crock pot, heat it on low for 2 1/2 hours. unplug and leave covered for 1/2 hour more.
After the 1/2 hour, scoop out about 2 cups of milk and mix it with your plain yogurt. ( here is were you would add the 1/4 cup of powdered milk or the gelatin if you choose to use those thickeners).  Add that mixture to the milk in the crock pot, whisk it through, replace the cover, cover the crock pot with towels to keep it extra warm, and go to bed. 
When you wake up. You will have yogurt. Thin yogurt.
To get a thicker consistency, line a colander with paper towels or some coffee filters. Pour the yogurt into the lined colander. Let set for 2 hours or so,(IN THE FRIDGE)  and it will be like what you get in the store.
Even longer, and you will have a more Greek yogurt or a sour cream like texture.

For pictures, and any other tips or tricks that I am missing off the top of my head...  check out
Faithful Provisions to she her pictures and flavoring ideas.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

On Mothers and McDonalds

I sat in Mc Donalds for hours today, not because I particularly adore Mc Donalds ( or Mick- up Donalds if you are Jeremiah), but because it was raining and I have two very wiggly boys who desperately needed to run and climb on something beside each other and my furniture.  Hanging at Micky D's was purely a choice based on my personal desire to remain sane and at the same time, let both boys live until dinner.  I like to people watch,(it helps pass the time...), so anyone sitting near me is fair game.

Today, one of the first things I noticed as I was people watching, was the two types of moms that were joining me in their escape from the rain.

Type one:  She is petite and always dressed matchy matchy.... you know the kind.... the one where her cleaning the house clothes even are cute, and clean.  Her kids are also color coordinated, bow coordinated, sock and shoe coordinated, I have even seen the car seat and pacifier coordinated ( reallY???).  It seems to me that life for these moms is contained in their adorable polka dotted (and matching) hand and diaper bags.  Everything super cute and tidy.

And then.......there is the rest of us, which for the record there were more of ( this causes me to wonder if the first type of mom is more of a genetic hiccup or something) 

I digress........

The rest of us were wearing sweater or sweat shirts.  Something no self respecting type one mom would ever even OWN let alone walk out of the house wearing. A few of us even had on a baseball hat to cover a wickedly bad hair day.  I also found it interesting that all of the rest of us were wearing some variation of flip flop.  Despite the rain.  It was as if we were all not quite ready to give up on summer.  The likely reality of it was that we ran around all morning barefoot doing chores, and the flip flops were the first matching set of shoes we found before we ran out of the door.

In the ebb and flow of the hours I was there, there was always one or more of these two types of mom in the playland.  Type one mom's were always looking a little up tight, and the rest of us were tuning out all the screaming the kids were doing..... not to mention the screaming that type one was doing to her kids to get them to quit screaming. (go figure....)

So yeah... that is what I do when I am sitting alone, letting the boys run wild in Mc Donalds.  Sort out the types of moms.....  weird, I know.... but hey, someones got to do it.

OH>>>>>> if you are a type one mom....  I don't mean to sound like I am picking on you.  I am not.  I don't even know you.  But some of your girl friends were having a bad day up at my Mc Donalds......

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Random Dozen~ #1

This looks like fun.... Linda lists the questions, you answer and link to her original blog post.

If you want to link up head over to 2nd Cup of Coffee and join in the fun!
1. Have you, or has someone close to you, ever won an award for anything?
My Husband has service medals from several different military operations.  He also won a contest that was for military families, we got the outside of our house decorated for Christmas, Dinner and a Limo ride.... oh, and our picture and an article about him in the paper..... does that count?

2. Who is the nearest relative to you who has served in the US Military?
My Husband, He just finished his contract with the SeaBees. 

3. Share something that stirs the patriotic spirit in you.
Stories of military families, or stories of what happens to a service member.... I am a complete sucker for those and need tissue regularly when I hear or read them.

4. Where are you in the birth order in your family? Do you think your "placement" made a difference in your personality?
I am numero uno in the birth order. Yes I do believe placement affects personality.  I can spot a middle child at a 100 yards......

5. Name one trait you hope you carry that was evidenced in your parents or grandparents.
Love of the Lord, and Hospitality.  My Grandparents ALWAYS had someone over for dinner.  They had missionaries, new Christians, bible studies....whoever.... but lots of people.  They always were open about their faith and shared it with people over a good meal.  My Grandma studied the Bible like no one I have ever seen.  There were literally VOLUMES of binders from her studies of the Scriptures.

6. If female, do you prefer wearing a skirt or pants? If male, shirt and tie or polo?
Pants.  They just tend to be more comfortable to chase children in.

7. Approximately how many times do you wake during the night? What do you do to go back to sleep?
Depends on the night.  Some nights 2 or three times, but that depends who screams my name in terror in the middle of the night, or how many times the cat brushes against my face to let me know she is either hungry, thirsty, or has to go out to go pee.  Last night.  I was blessed.  No cat, no screams.... mommy got to sleep right on through.
To get back to sleep....  I usually get in bed and close my eyes.  It doesn't take much.

8. Share a favorite movie quote.
Right now I would have to say "squirrel"  from UP! ...... we use this often on the children when they lose track in their conversation or jump topics mid-sentence.

9. What is your favorite Fall candle scent?
All of them? Can I pick that answer?  NO?.... ok...... Apple, pumpkin, whatever.... I love them all!

10. What is one Fall activity you're looking forward to?
Baking.  I love to Bake in the Fall.  Love the way the house smells when good things are being made in the oven.

11. Tell us about a pleasant surprise that happened to you recently.
My husband made me coffee and brought it to me in bed.  He put extra beans in the grinder..... cuz it was Monday....

12. What was it like when you first met your in-laws-to-be?
The first in-law-to-be that I met was my husband's sister.  During this first visit.... she barged in on me in the bathroom and snapped a photo of me... ahem.... sitting there...ahem... and did indeed take the developed picture HOME and showed it to her MOTHER!... ack!  Also that same trip, they had a food fight, not just any ole food fight.... but a cake-up-the-nose-and-ground-into-the-hair-ice-cream-in-your-ear-while-I-hold-you-in-a-head-lock, kind of food fight....... I did not come from a home that allowed such shenanigans.....  I did not know what to think about these people....

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

overheard last night

I know these things have to happen in your house too...
they just have to...

I can't be the only one.....

Overheard last night as I was preparing dinner.............

(flush, panicked footsteps.... the ripping open of the bathroom door in a frenzy...)
"DAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  my poop clogged the toilet!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

(hurried, purposeful footsteps of my husband to the bathroom.... sounds of plunger being called into service)
(nervously.... as the water level approaches critical mass.) " ooohhhhh nooooo....  towels! TOWELS!"

(calmly from the father to the son...)  " Hunter, if I needed towels I would have asked you to get them."
(calmly from son to father....) "oh."

(in a tone of voice expressing awe at a job well done..) " wow, it didn't overflow.  That's a dependable plunger..."

( joyful skipping down the hallway by son, glad that a crisis he nearly caused has been averted.)

(large sigh from the bathroom...)  " Hunter!.....  come get your car, your marble, and your trophies out of the bathroom...."

(Laugh from mom in the kitchen.)  Really?  I don't even want to know why all that was in there with him.

not at all.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The River Road

The road along the river, is made up of concrete slabs, long ago separated by the shifting land beneath them.  They are close enough to drive on, but far enough apart for weeds to grow in there when the weather conditions are right....
As you drive along, it provides this peaceful, clip-clop, clip-clop sound that is reminiscent of a horse clopping along. A drive along this stretch of road is guaranteed to put any mildly sleepy child, into a nice deep slumber.  This happens often to dear Jeremiah, and it did again today.   I was thinking as I drove along, how our lives are like that.  They have a general destination, and as we drive along, the sound of our own clopping lulls us to sleep....

This thought was prompted by an interaction Hunter had with a family in the park.  I was sitting over in the grass, watching the kids play on the structure, and a woman walks up to me.  She is about my age, and her kids do the stair steps down from about 9 to 4.  Hunter had been playing with them for the last 45 minutes or so....  So she walks up and asks me if the little boy who had just been sitting with me was my son.  I replied yes he was, and shame on me the first thought in my head was... OH NO.... now what did he do???

She started out with saying that he was SOO Smart!  I think I looked at her as if to say, my kid?  And then I was thinking about boasting about how we homeschool.  I didn't say anything out loud, except, "thank you."
She explained how he was talking to her dad, the subject started out as being about a construction tool they have at the play ground and how good this man's granddaughter was operating the toy.  The grandpa explained how this girl's daddy used excavators all day at work, so that was why she knew how to play with them so well....

And here comes the part that humbles me.
Humbles me to my very core.
It puts me to shame... but even though it reveals in me something I lack,  I hope, I pray, I will beg God, all the rest of my days.... for Hunter to never loose this....

Hunter: "Um, yeah, so what do you do?"
Grandpa: " I am a farmer."
Hunter: "Really?  So, where do you go to church?"
Grandpa: ( both the woman who told me and later the Grandpa himself came and told me how that question took him aback) "Well," pause.... "We go to a church that believes in Jesus."
Hunter: " Oh yeah?  Well, He is my Personal Savior"
Grandpa: "How old are you?"
Hunter: "8." " I go to Grace Baptist Church, it is on the corner of 10th and Union. You should come sometime."

The woman told me how her dad kept talking to Hunter, and how completely impressed he was with this little boy who knew Jesus was his Savior.  I was speechless.  Her words were not what I expected to hear.  I was sure she was going to tell me that some sort of scuffle or argument had happened.  I did not expect to hear that my son had been telling others about Jesus and where they could go to learn more about Him.
I managed to squeak out that it wasn't all me....  I can't take all the credit.
She looked at me, and said.... " Oh I know, it's that." She pointed to my Bible that was on the blanket near me. "It's in there... that's what does it."

She walked away, to go be with her folks and her kids.... and I just watched her go.  I was stunned.  God-smacked would be one way to describe it.  I was so proud of him, and so ashamed of myself. As I relive the moment, I am awash with fresh tears, the monitor is swimming... "oh GOD! Create in me that innocence and love for you!"
 I so want that childlike desire to share my faith, with ease, without fear.  Without being one of those people who is lulled to sleep by everyday life, that I sleep right through opportunities like the one my son just saw.

A bit later the Grandpa came up himself, and told me he was here from Ohio, visiting.  He said, never in his life had he met a kid who was 8 that could talk like that about Jesus.  He wanted to let me know he thought I was doing a great job of teaching and training my kid....  again, all I could squeak was "thank you."  He gave me that nod. The one that is done by older and much wiser men. The one they give to women who look like they are about to up and cry on them... The one that says " I understand. No words needed."

I don't share this as a yea Hunter... or a yea me.  It isn't.  It is a yea GOD.  Our relationship with Him is personal.  His Spirit lives with in us.  Sadly, many people are like me, and Jeremiah on the concrete road by the river.... "clip-clop, clip-clop...." and we miss it.  His Spirit is alive and well in Hunter..... and today, the Holy Spirit whispered, and gave Hunter the power to speak, with a knowledge beyond his years.

I hope and pray Hunter always listens.

The little things

It is the millions of little things that make up a day. Little moments in time, that are laughed at or cried over, and weave themselves into the fabric of our memories, constructing who we are, or who we will become.

Here is a snapshot into my day yesterday, all these little moments.... at made 24 hours.

I went to do my hair. I am allowed to do that at least once a week. Really I am.  the rest of time, I am lucky if it gets WASHED.
When I was done I went to look for the boys.  They had escaped into the backyard, again.  Not really a bad thing, except that Jeremiah was clad in only his Nemo underwear, and he was digging a hole in the yard, in full view of the neighbors, and anyone who drove by.  One day, a social worker is going to show up and talk to me about his "nakedness", I just know it.
After herding the boys through the house, and to the shower... because we can NOT go to the dentist with a hair full of dirt.  I really will get the social worker visit then....
We find a cricket in the bathroom.  The conversation went a little like this:
Jeremiah:  "Wookit mommy!... wat's dat?"
Mommy: "It is a cricket Jeremiah."  said with a calmness that carefully concealed the full body shiver that I was having from looking at the little black creature.
Hunter: "oh cool!  a baby cricket!"
Mommy: " yes, a baby cricket." I then take the corner of the bathmat nearest the cricket.  Place it over the helpless, nasty bug that dared invade my bathroom....  and pressed down.
Jeremiah: "awwah... no more twikit."
Mommy: " Yes, Jeremiah, no more twicket. Now get in the shower."
We make it to the dentist. Yes, On-Time.  Despite the unfortunate cricket incident.
Hunter had his tooth taken out.
Fairly routine, except he came out with attitude.  A big one.
We discuss it.
Then proceed to have about 4 more complete meltdowns. 
In the last of the meltdowns and discussions, He prayed.  He was tearfully, sitting in the middle of Mc Donalds, praying his heart out to the Lord, asking Him for forgiveness.  Asking Him for help to not be so upset.  It nearly made me cry at his honest conversation with God.  It was a privilege to watch, and be a part of.
I found a $5 bill in the freezer.  I was tempted to keep it.  I figured someone finally wanted to pay me for all the cooking I do around here.
I found a piece of gum, squished onto a shelf in the refrigerator.  Just as I was reaching to chip it off, and throw it away, Jeremiah comes in and swoops under my arm and in front of me in the fridge.  He grabs the gum ( dum, if he says it. ) and puts it in his mouth.  Before I can screech the NOOOO!!!!!!!!  he pops it back out and sticks it to the shelf again. 
Now I am curious.... I don't say anything, I just cock my head and look at him like " What was that about?"
He looks up and tells me, "I whill weave it here to det fweezed."
"Fweezed?", I ask.
"Yeah, fweezed. Mom tan I have anoder ban-illa?" ( this is code for vanilla yogurt)
"Yes you can. And don't put your dum in the fridge, k?"
"Otay mom."
He's weird.  What can I say.  I guess he figured that we keep things fresh in the fridge, it would keep is gum fresh too....
" MOOOOOOMMMMMM!!!!!!  Jeremiah turned the movie to Spanish!"
"He turned it to SPANISH!"
I get up and walk into the living room to see what in the WORLD he is talking about....
I will have to admit, there was something absolutely hysterical about hearing the vultures in Jungle Book say "ey Chistoso.... "  It made me laugh. 
I looked at Jeremiah and asked him what remote he used to change the language.  He just stared at me. He was going to be no help at all.
Checked the TV first... nope still English
Checked the PS2....  nope still English....  Checked that one three different times actually, because I didn't think you could change the language anywhere else.
Asked Jeremiah again.  What did you do? 
............. still the stare.....this time with a shrug thrown in....... still no help.
Checked the TV again. Twice. Nope.
Checked the PS2 for a 4th 5th and 6th time.  Nope.
Accidentally turned the movie off.  Menu came up. Movie was still in Spanish.
In a moment of brilliance, and nearly 15 minutes since someone yelled MOOOOOMMMMM!  I realized he somehow changed it in the menu of the movie.
Fixed it.
Crisis averted.

It isn't boring here.
At all.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Tayler

15 years ago.... and 15 months after your older brother came....I was hoping you would be a boy.

Gross.  I know.  How dare I think I wanted another boy!

I can explain.........

It was purely a clothes issue.
I had all these great clothes for your brother.
I didn't want to have to buy anything new.
You being a girl....  a real live GIRL was quite a surprise!

It went a little like this......

September 14th came, I was supposed to have a doctor appointment.  I was really excited to have this appointment... because I was very DONE being pregnant.  I missed the doctor appointment.  It wasn't very fun.....

September 15th.  I have a new doctor appointment.  I am excited.  I go, they do all the Dr. stuff.  I sit up after the appointment and have a contraction.... My mind is alternating between, Yippie!... OUCH!... I settle on yippie...  I can wait to meet the new boy in the family.

Pretty much the whole day....  I have these Ouches... but nothing that says you are going to be here soon.
I decided to go to bed.... and rest, while I had the chance. 

You woke me up at 3 in the morning.

You were very ready to appear. OUCH!

I will save us all a lot of time.... and skip to the end.....

You arrived just before 8 am...... and you were a GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
a what?  I said to the Dr.  She repeated " A GIRL!"

I set my head back on the pillow and thought.  Great, what do you do with those?.......

Now, 15 years later,  I understand why God did it.  He knew I would need a daughter.  He knew I would need someone calm around here, someone who thought like I do....  Someone that would help me keep my sanity.

Tayler, it has been a privilege to watch you grow.  There is a strength about you that is beyond your years.  I often forget your given age, because you act much older.  Your character, is a bright reflection of your love for the Lord.  Your desire to place Him first in your life, shows a spiritual maturity many adults never achieve. 

My prayer for you on your birthday, is that your fire, your zeal, your zest to serve, never leaves, never goes dim.  I pray that you will always seek to serve your God with all your soul, with all your heart, and with all your mind.  He is leading you to the Mission Field.  I see it clearly, and that means you will need to pack me in your suitcase, as you travel the world.  But more than that, it means God has great things in store for you, the more you learn to trust in Him.  I can't wait to see what it is!!!
Love you kid.....  ~mah.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Photo day

Some of my all time favorites:
These pictures were taken by my daughter. They are subject to copyright.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sweet and Sour Chicken

This post was originally titled: Emergency!  I need dinner! 

As I was throwing this recipe into the crock pot for dinner, I decided I needed to share it with you all. Why? well, read on!

How many times have you looked at the clock around lunch time, and said " I forgot to take out the chicken! " or " I have 3000 things to do between now and dinner and no time to fit cooking in there!

I've got ya covered.

It is simple, it is fast. It doesn't require pre-thawing a thing. If you keep three things in your pantry, you can always pull this amazing dish out of your hat.... still run all your errands and have dinner on the table before 6pm.

You will need the following:
Crock Pot
Frozen Chicken Breasts or Tenderloins
1 package of Onion Soup Mix
1 8oz bottle of Catalina Dressing
1 cup Apricot Jam

grease or spray the inside of the crock pot.... this is a sticky dish and it will help you clean up!

place chicken in pot. Yes, frozen chicken. Ignore your Crock Pot directions and do as I tell you. ( For my family of 6 we would use say 10 tenderloin pieces or at least a whole breast per person)

Mix the other three ingredients together. Pour over chicken.
Cook on Low for 5 hours or until Chicken is done ( yes maybe before 5 hours it is done... depends on how much chicken you use, size of crock pot.... stuff like that) If the sauce looks to thick just add a bit of water while it is cooking...

Typically I serve this dish with Brown Rice and a green salad. There are many a great rice out there that can be nuked and set on the table fast. If you need that check into Trader Joe's Brown Rice. It is in their freezer section and great to have on hand when you don't have 20-40 minutes to cook rice.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Reasons 1 thru 5

 I do not take any responsibility for this idea at all....

I am in fact blatantly stealing the idea from another facebook friend, who stole it from someone else.... so I guess in the land of public domain.... all's fair in the reusing of ideas...

My friend started posting to her facebook status... all the reasons that she loves her husband.  I have started doing it with Big Daddy, by leaving him notes,hidden in his lunch box or car, even texting him reasons through out the day...  I figure their might be some wives out there who need some ideas on how to show their husband's how much they love and appreciate them....  All those little things we did when we were courting tend to get lost in the shuffle of school, work, homework, church meetings, sick kids, soccer practice, cooking dinner, and laundry....  I assure you, that a little time invested in actually TELLING your husband, the ways he has positively impacted your day.... will REVOLUTIONIZE your marriage.  Don't do it, if you expect anything in return.... do it just because you love him, and want him to know.

So here we go... I am going to post the first 5 Reasons I have already given to my husband.... and who knows, I might post more in the future....

Reason #1:
You caught my vision for some storage under the microwave.  You went to the store, and bought the curtain for it all by yourself.... then set to work fixing an old worn out dowel, and hanging it under the shelf....  It was a sweet token of you wanting to make something special for me.  You earn bonus points because: it matched the kitchen!

Reason #2:
You have the courage to work through issues for God's glory.  Even messy, not fun at all issues.....Your desire to do things God's way, makes you my hero, and my point man.  I will gladly follow you anywhere.

Reason #3:
You make me coffee in the morning.... and you tiptoe into the room with it in the morning.  It is a very cute sight to see......This shows me your tender, loving kindness.

Reason #4:
You fix my truck.  You will stay up late the night before a trip, just to make sure there is oil and fluid in all the right places.  I see your unselfishness in gestures like these.  You want me to be safe, above wanting to sleep.  Thank you for your servant hearted model.

Reason #5:
You take good care of me when I am sick.  You let me rest, and watch the boys.  You check in on me while I am sleeping.  You wash the dishes so there isn't a pile for me when I feel better....You fix me meals and bring them to me in bed.  You put Carmex on my dry cracked lips and make sure I drink plenty of water....

Now.... take this idea.... steal it.... tweak it, change it.... but above all USE it.... and see what great things you can thank your Husband for!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Kids say the darnest things!

Today, we were at the library.... and everything was going great.....


Jeremiah opened his mouth.

So we are walking out of the library, and there is a gentleman sitting on a bench.

And Jeremiah says...  " He's so bid, mom....."

I jerk his hand and give him the LOOK.  The one that with combined with the hand jerk, means....  "SHUT UP! I can't believe you just said that!!"

He missed my subtle clue....  he kept talking....  and not only talking, he added straining and contorting ones body to see the very large man on the bench, so that there is absolutely no doubt in this man's mind that this little kid is talking about him and only him.

Now Jeremiah says, as he is being drug speedily from the scene by his mother..... " heez, sooo , fat."

I wanted to die.  Right there on the spot.  I wanted the earth to swallow me whole, and take my brutally honest, overtly frank, and extremely LOUD child with me.

That didn't happen.... so I said to Jeremiah, loudly, because I didn't want the poor guy who had just heard a kid say that about him.... to think that this child's mother was encouraging such rude or unloving remarks....  I said  " He is the way God made him.  God thinks he is beautiful just the way he is, and He loves him just like He loves you."

He pondered that fact for a minute.....
Long enough for us to get half way across the parking lot, and out of ear shot....
He looks behind him again, and replied...." but mom.... heez sooo fat."
I can see this is going to have to be one of those things that takes a while to sink in....
Next time, I will just take duct tape with me to the library......

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Jeremiah the alarm clock

I have decided that we no longer need an alarm clock.  It is a waste of electricity, and frankly they are easy to ignore.

Why would I need an alarm clock when I have a perfectly healthy, 3 year old willing to do the job?

He is routinely up before 7 am.  Like at 4 am.  So really I don't see the need to set an alarm for 6 am.  I am already awake.

This morning, he shuffles, sleepily into our room....this time it was just after 7 am..... and moans a hello....  It is overcast outside, so I try to seize the opportunity to convince him it is still sleep time, by telling him that even the sun isn't up yet.  Coaxing and cajoling him to climb up into the recently vacated yet still warm covers of mommy~daddy bed.  He climbs in, and snuggles under the covers....  but he clearly has no intention of returning to the land of slumber.... because.......

In perfect 3 year old logic, he tells me it is indeed time to be up.  He heard da wooster.

I am desperate to get him to sleep for a while longer, so maybe I can do something important like..I don't know...... shower?!?  So I counter with how can the wooster be up if he hasn't seen the sun yet? ( yes I did indeed say wooster... I can't help it.  some of the words he says are contagious.)

I gave up when he responded with....  " mom, da wooster, da one dat wates up da doesn't doe to sweep."

Far be it from me to argue with logic like that.  I went and made breakfast.

Monday, September 6, 2010

A Christian Home

Yesterday at church we celebrated Grandparents.  The theme of the songs and message were family inspired.  As we sang this hymn, I found myself praying it.  That this would be the kind of home we have for our children.  I thought about it so much during the day, that when we went back to church that night I copied it in my journal.....

A Christian Home
Text: Barbara B Hart
Music: Jean Sibelius ( Finlandia)

O give us homes built firm upon the Savior,
Where Christ is Head and Counselor and Guide;
Where every child is taught His love and favor
and give His heart to Christ, the crucified:
How sweet to know that though his footsteps waver
His faithful Lord is walking by his side!

O give us home with godly fathers, mother,
Who always place their hope and trust in Him;
Whose tender patience turmoil never bothers,
Whose calm and courage trouble cannot dim;
A home where each find joy in serving others,
and love shine tho days be dark and grim.

O Lord our God, out homes are Thine forever!
We trust to Thee their problems toil and care;
Their bonds of love no enemy can sever
If Thou art always Lord and Master there:
Be Thou the center of our least endeavor.
Be though out Guest our hearts and homes to share.

I hope and pray it is the kind of home you desire for your family as well.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Happy Birthday Hunter

On a Thursday in September....  8 years ago.... someone amazing literally FLEW into the world to greet us.

We didn't know his name yet.... only that we would not be calling him in the real world, what we called him while he was a belly dweller....  No child deserves the torture that would come with the name Homer.  It took us 7 days to finally decide on his name.... but it suits him.... he really does hunt stuff.... and that stuff usually ends up in my washing machine....

He was one month early.... and the smallest child, at birth, out of the 4. 

As he has grown, we have come to appreciate the unique way he looks at life.  It is all an adventure, and it is all there for him to explore.  He makes us laugh out loud, LOTS....  and he keeps us humble. 

He has a servant's heart for the Lord at an early age, and my prayer is that he will never lose it.  If you were to listen to him pray, you would say he is destined for the ministry.... an ordained minister's got nothin' on this kid.

never quite seen a toe separator used as braces before.......

Exploring at Half Moon Bay.... on a quest for muscles I believe

See how strong I am?  I can hold up the Bay Bridge with just one finger!

I am all boy, I love camo.  I believe all camo coordinates no matter if one is grey and one is green.  I don't listen to my mom when she tells me they don't match.... I love camo, and I wear it anyway.

I like to learn and I think that flowers are pretty, but if you think I am a sissy, refer back to the previous picture...... and remember, I know how to shoot a gun. ( at least a bb gun. )

I have quite possibly the worlds most active imagination.  I have war games and battle scenarios competing for my attention at all times......

Happy Birthday bud.  Can't wait to see what the next year will bring...
Love Mom and Dad.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mexico Memories ~ education

Our sixth day in Mexico was a Saturday.  Our Carnival days were complete, and Pastor Nelson had decided that we would work in his neighborhood this day.  Chris Bautista, the missionary that had met us at the airport with Nelson, had experience working with youth, and came to know the Lord through Campus Crusade for Christ.  We were going to use his comfort, and ease with speaking to young people to find some to minister to in the neighborhood of Las Alamedas.

I feel like I should sort of explain all these towns and areas that we have been in, to you.  I will start at the top, and hopefully I won't lose anyone in the explanation. The whole time we were there, we kept saying we were in Mexico City, and our ever patient guides kept smiling at us and telling us no.  We were indeed NOT in Mexico City.  In Mexico, Mexican people refer to Mexico City as the D.F..  The closest thing I can associate it to is how we view Washington D.C..  The DF is their Federal Government seat. Now, around that, to the north of the DF is the state of Mexico.  I can see the look of confusion.... hang with me....  this took me 2 weeks to understand, and almost a month to figure out how to explain.....
Mexico is made up of 32 independent states.  Maybe this map will help it make a bit more sense....

O...K....  see that MEX above the stick that points to the letters DIF?  DIF is the capital.  That MEX... that is where we are.  Now there are a bazillion towns that are in the State of Mexico, and we have been in three that are next to each other.  Atizapan, Colonio Olivos, and Tlalnepantla.  Then....... as if that wasn't confusing enough.... the neighborhoods are all broken into areas as well.  So we are sleeping in the TOWN of Atizapan, but in the neighborhood of Las Alamedas.  We have worked at a church called Fransisco Villa, but it is in the town of Tlalnepantla.  Finally, the church Los Olivos, is in the town Colonio Olivos.....  AND.... just in case you were wondering..... all of this area is counted in the mix when they say how many people live in Mexico City.....  but if you are in Mexico... it isn't really Mexico City....  got it?

Now that I have lost you completely with the lesson in Geography....
I will get back to what we did on Saturday, day six.

We walked up several hills to a park that was nestled on a hillside in the neighborhood of Las Alamedas.  It really wasn't that big of a hill....  but when you are at 7,000 ft above sea level....  being out of breath takes on a whole new meaning.

We finally made it to the top.... and were able to stop panting and wheezing, long enough to get a game of soccer going.  It was American concrete soccer.... it wasn't pretty.  Our goal was to strike up a game and see if we could get some high school or college aged nationals to play with us, our lame American version of soccer.  We were able to talk a dad that was there with his family into a bit of game time..... but when the World Cup started, he was headed home to the couch to yell at his TV with the rest of the country.

After Tayler decided, while in mid-air, to turn the opposite direction from how she had planted her foot on the ground...... and twisting her knee and therefore crumpling to the ground like a wadded up piece of copy paper, and needing to be carried off the field.......  we decided that soccer and concrete don't mix..... and that not a soul was going to join us while the World Cup was on.... so, we decided that we would go back for lunch, join the rest of the entire country, and watch the game ourselves.

This brings us to the next installment of Mexico Math.  We fit 8 people into 5 passenger car. 6 of them in the backseat.  This was because Tayler was injured.... so she got the front seat, the other one to have his own seat, was the driver.  We thought that was important.  Our driver was the always present Pepe, there will be more on him later....  So in the back seat there was Pastor Bill, his wife, their 2 girls ,Evan and ME....  it was raining, so we couldn't roll down the windows, and Evan and Tayler had just played soccer.....  Can anyone say RIPE?  We bottomed out on a few speed bumps, and on one I thought we ripped a hole in the gas tank, but all in all, we made it home alive.

After we peeled ourselves out of the car.... we had lunch and then headed down the street to Pastor Nelson's house to watch the World Cup.  Here is where I learned how passionate, our dear , sweet, reserved, quiet, Pastor's wife is...... about futbol.  Those who sat near her on the couch may have permanent hearing loss.... we are still waiting for their hearing tests to come back. 

After the game was over, we headed back up the hill to the park, to see if anyone was out playing soccer.... excuse me...  futbol.  This time we were in luck.  There were a group of guys hanging out at the actual soccer field.  We strolled up... ( descended upon them like a flock of locusts would be more accurate ) and asked them if we could play.  I think they said yes, for the sheer entertainment value of playing futbol with some goofy lookin' Americans.

I will just call it as it was....... we got SCHOOLED!
They passed circles around us........
we did this a lot.....  Kicked the ball off the field...... We always chased it down the hill, so they didn't have to.....
it was hard work.....

What happened next was the best part of the day.  It was the whole reason that we were willing to suffer great humilitaion on the futbol field.  We invited the whole bunch of them to see a skit we had prepared.  They agreed ( and I am sure that God provided rain just then to help us along ) so we went up to a pavilion at the park, and got to business.  After the skit, two of our guys shared their testimony.  Alex shared his with them in Spanish...  and Cory shared his, in English with Mrs. D translating.  Cory's testimony was amazing.  He shared with them, that no matter how many good things you think you have done....  not a one of them without Christ, will get you into heaven.  The whole time he was talking, my head was bent in prayer....  beseeching God to make Himself clear through Cory's words.
Chris, our new missionary friend, finished up the time with an invitation to accept the Lord.  He passed out tracts, and let them know where a church was in their community, so they could learn more.  It was a great ending to a very busy and action packed day.  We may never know if any of those boys accept the Lord, but we do know that they heard about Him, and how the only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ.  It was a blessing and a privilege to be used by God that day.

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