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Showing posts from January, 2011

Why Am I Still Amazed?

I cannot tell you the number of times that I am amazed by God.  I should be used to it by now and just be amazed when I'm not amazed.  Cause really, that's how often I am amazed.  I think God has really outdone Himself, I turn the corner and there God goes again showing off His love.

This weekend, I had a couple of really amazing things happen.  I was planning on meeting with a couple of ladies this past Friday, and when I woke up there was a major winter advisory already posted for that evening.  Well, I thought about calling around and seeing if we all wanted to cancel.  But instead held off to see what would happen.  Turns out it was dry as a bone well into the night.  And I know because I ended up driving home around 11 that night.  We ended up talking after dinner and pretty much closing down the restaurant.  They were moping when we left and still no snow.  God is very good. 

After I got home and settled in to bed, there was a phone call.  Yes in the middle of the night…

Thankful Thursday

What?!?! It's Thursday again already!  I'm still thankful for all the stuff from last week!!

1.  I'm thankful that Hannah was a welcomed tag-along while I renewed my license this morning.  She was terror to get out the door, but when I busted out the Oriental Trading Post catalog, it was all good. 

2.  I'm thankful for gift cards.  We had breakfast from Panera as a treat after getting my license renewed.

3.  I'm thankful for my husband who has more than welcomed all of my changes after reading thousands of books in our ten years together.  When it's written, I tend to try and make it a part of my life and I think I'm especially thankful for some of the things I've been reading lately.

4.  I'm thankful for God providing ways to heal me in areas I wasn't even aware of being gaping wounds.

5.  I'm thankful for unexpected phone calls.

6.  I'm so thankful that I was able to repierce my nose.  It was something that I had wanted and was beginn…

What if...

I've been thinking about the fact that God makes us a new creation each day lately.  Part of that has to do with things that he has graciously removed from my world and from my mind.  It was quite lovely to unload somethings that had been weighing me down.  Recently, I realized some images that I had been carrying around with me that were not healthy for me.  God blessed me with a way to remove those and He did it in such a way that I have the ability to drop things into that toss pile anytime I discover a new one. 

But it also makes me wonder what other things I should free up.  For instance, what if my friends list on Facebook was made new each day?  Would I choose to continue every relationship that I have connected with through Facebook?  I'm not sure if that answer is yes.  And then the other part of is do I care if they get mad at me, when my heart says "They are not really your friend."  Or should I put forth the effort to actually be friends with everyone on…

An open apology to my mom

Okay, we all know about that bug that I've had lately.  Well, I kind of settled on getting my nose repierced.  I had one before and I took it out for my brother's wedding last fall and did not put it back in.  There were lots of other factors in regards to not putting it back in, but lately I've been wanting to see that little sparkle again.  So I started doing some research and looking into where I could get one.  In Michigan, you have to go to a tattoo parlor or a body piercing place.  Neither of which are places that I frequent.  I kept wondering though if I could reclaim the piercing that I had before, partly because I don't really want to pick out which place to go and then have to go there but also partly because they are expensive and the healing process is long and somewhat painful. 
Well, I reminded myself this morning that where there is a will there is a way.  And I reinserted my nose ring in the previous piercing.  It's a little sore, but I think that …

More time for the things I love

I know that I keep mentioning this, but I love having a House that Cleans Itself.  I am so thankful that I received this book from my secret sister at the start of last summer



It was not a difficult thing to get started in our house, mainly because it was overrun with stuff and needed a thorough cleaning.  And after doing one very small area, the difference was so great that I was encouraged to take care of even more areas in our house.

Now I'm not saying that our home is never messy, what I'm saying is that I have much more free time and that I get to choose how to spend my time instead of my house doing it for me.  It's been a great thing for me and for my family.  Because I'm not cleaning as much or tidying as much, I have more time to cook, bake, craft, read and blog.  It's a much needed benefit in my life.  I still have some rooms that need some serious attention, but because I don't go in those rooms on a regular basis, it's a little tougher for me to s…

Thankful Thursday!!

Yesterday, I was all excited to do a Thankful Thursday post and then I totally did not have it come to mind when I sat down to write this morning.  And then I came home and I remembered again.  So here I am to give you a little Thankful Thursday...

1.  The growing desire within our church to be the best that we can for God's glory.

2.  The Writing Road to Reading.  It has really made things a lot more concrete for me in regards to teaching Hannah how to read.

3.  My AMAZING husband.  He's awesome and I love him and grow more in love with him every day.

4.  My girlfriends.  For the first time in my life I would not say "I don't like women"  Instead, I find my love and compassion for my sisters to be real and increasing, too.

5.  The return of a creative mind.  Looking at things and seeing them as they are and what they could become and knowing that I may have a hand in that movement.  It's wonderful to have that back in my life.  I praise God for it!

What are …

A big step in maybe the right direction

I know you probably saw it yesterday if you opened your computer and went on the Internet.  There was a huge deal over livingsocial's daily deal.  It was 20 dollars worth of amazon merchandise for 10 dollars!  People were acting like John the Baptist had shown up, letting everyone know that the deal was the deal of the century.  I looked at it at least 10 times and thought about it when I wasn't looking at it.  And then I wondered do I really need 20 dollars worth of merchandise? Do I really want to spend 10 bucks right now with nothing definite to buy?  The answer was ultimately no.  I currently have 14 dollar Video on Demand credit with Amazon and haven't got a clue what to use it on.  I thought I'd be the latest Shrek movie



But then I was put off by the fact that there is a black out viewing date for it.  I could download it on to my computer to continue watching during that unknown black out period, but that seemed like a lot of work.  I went to check and see if How…

Nasty Nasty Bug

Okay, so the Stuff bug is still lingering around.  I did give in and buy Brandon Heath's newest album, Leaving Eden



I was trying to listen to "Your Love" on YouTube yesterday and got sick of the song pausing in the midst of the really good parts, which is basically all of them.  It was putting a damper on my praise moves.  So I rocked out to that yesterday while I tried to clean up my bedroom, which has been a disaster zone since about Thanksgiving. 

This morning, I was praying and asking God what I should do with some birthday money that I have and there I was asking, begging for direction and it hit me, I should be asking God what God wants to talk about, not for direction on what I want to do, though I would say that it felt good to ask God what I should be doing with my time and effort, when it was put in my face how selfish I was being, it was quite sobering.  Makes me wonder how many times I've asked for direction and felt righteous doing it, without ever giving…

The Writing Road to Reading

We've tried lots of different things when it comes to learning how to read.  I have mainly been discovering ways to torture myself and then wimping out.  But I finally broke down and ordered The Writing Road to Reading.  It was recommended to me a few years ago and it had been in the back of my mind. And then I needed to reach the 25 dollar mark on Amazon for free shipping and I saw it



I decided that I might as well give it a go with this new year. I started reading and I started getting even more scared of my ability to teach our daughter to read.  There are scripts and cards and writing and philosophies.  After two weeks in I'm still not sure that I'm doing it correctly, but Hannah seems to be grasping the sounds and shapes of the letters much better than she has with any other system that we have used.  I think I might need to take a class or two to make sure that I teach her as well as she deserves. 

I have enjoyed the writing on the chalk board and I'm not really lo…

Save the Date by Jenny B. Jones

Jenny B. Jone's story of Lucy and Alex is modern day fairy tale. The ugly step sister of society is picked out by the beautiful prince only to discover that her prince is not as broken as she thought and that she is a princess after all.
In Save the Date, Alex and Lucy have an easy relationship right from the beginning and it develops into a great love by the end of the book. I enjoyed reading their story. Jenny B. Jones took some age old concepts of romance and shows the reader how they can still happen today.
My favorite relationship in the story though was probably Claire Devaraux and her man, Julian. It was comical to read their interactions and to see their love for one another. A love that was not based in romance but out of need, a true need for God and for each other.
Jenny B. Jones does an excellent job of crafting a love story fit for Cinderella herself. It is a wonderful weekend read with characters that could very well be friends of yours. I would recommend it as b…

Recovering, Slowly

I can't say that the bug has completely gone away.  I'm still wanting deep within me.  Today I added these to my wish list.

I guess that even my old pair of sneakers aren't enough incentive to get me off the computer and moving my body.  I need to spend money on ice traction thingys to make it happen.  I have my suspicions that even if I spent the thirty bucks on them, I wouldn't go walking very much in this cold weather.  I'm a weeny.
I did, however, buy this

You see, my friend, Sarah, over at The Craig Life has a friend, Becky, who is hosting a book group at her blog The Kiser Family.  And this is the book the first one for the book group.  You can check out her post about Intimate Issues by clicking here.  Is that enough links for one day?  I'm going to go do some reading.  I'm really enjoying Intimate Issues and thankful that I downloaded it onto my Kindle app, because then I don't have to answer questions about it when I'm with a group of people…

Got the Bug

It's probably the worst bug ever.  I have the bug that makes me want to buy something.  Something that I can convince myself that I NEED, even if I really don't.  Maybe it's because I want to do something different with my time (desire to add just a little exercise during these cold months).  But I don't really need any thing to do that.  I've got a stairwell in my home that's easy access and pretty quiet.  I have an exercise ball that is currently deflated to save space.  I have exercise videos and a step to use in front of the the TV.  I have videos via Netflix streaming that I have barely even explored.  I have running shoes and a quiet neighborhood.  I have Walk Away the Pounds.  I have Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus AND Active Life Explorer, which can accommodate up to 8 people at one time. 
This bug is really nasty because it's telling me that I need a treadmill



or a kids balance ball



or a new TV to watch exercise videos on



And it does not help that my birthd…

Unstuffing: Where the rubber meets the road

So you remember, or maybe you don't that I reviewed Unstuff a little while ago.  I convinced a couple other people to read it too, and then I convinced them to come over and talk about it.  Too my surprise, neither of these things were difficult.  I guess people actually like to hang out with one another and talk. 
I personally had to unstuff some things in order to be able to meet with them.  And here's the best part, it was worth it.  I was attending a bible study about an hour away which was not as fruitful as I desired.  I used to have a house that was so stuffed with junk that it was not a place for people to come and be.  You had to step over things, wonder about smells and were always a little suspect of the bathroom.  I'm glad that part of my life is less stuffy.  Because it means that it's less stressful for me to have people over.  I don't have to spend an entire week putting all my stuff away so that someone will have a place to sit down that isn't …

My favorite shirt

When I found my favorite shirt at the Salvation Army, I had no idea how much I would enjoy it.  It's a perfect fit and so easy to care for.  The best part is, I love it even more when it's dirty.  The palm tree design reminds me of the coastal area where I grew up near.

Here's a picture of my favorite shirt...


I got a little spaghetti sauce on it the other day, which always makes me smile.  I think it's the irony of how upset I would be if I had that actual stain on my clothes that gets me.

What's made you smile today?

A day's difference

Yesterday remained at a turtle pace.  It was not pleasant.  I trudged through the lessons for the day and got a whole bunch of "I hate you"s as well as scowling and huffs.  Not so much excitement and pleasantness. 
I was ready to throw in the towel yesterday.  Thoughts of private tutors and a functioning illiterate adult danced through my head.  I just knew that I had wasted money on buying another book about learning to read.  I went to bed frustrated and woke up begging Joel to tell me it was okay to take the day off.  He didn't so I felt that I should probably do it all again.
Today, was different.  Hannah had remembered some of the terrible things I introduced to her yesterday, willingly wrote on the board, and took in new information.
I could see where things are going to go, and I am now willing to walk the road.  She was so much more receptive and I was better at expressing myself. 
Hannah said that she was so upset yesterday because it was something new.  I…

It's one of those days

I love coming here and writing for all of you.  Today, I am running on slow.  We used to have a riding lawn mower when I was little, it had two speeds.  They were represented with a turtle and a rabbit.  Today, I'm in turtle.  Fortunately, my little one appears to be in turtle, too.  I'm hoping that my two cups of tea will at least kick it up to dog speed.

The Joy Friends Bring

Year before last, there was a slight rumbling within me.  I needed more time with people.  I'm thinking these rumblings happen off and on through out my life.  A little rhythm that circulates between a need for fellowship and for solitude.  I knew that I needed it, but I wasn't sure how much or even how.  Because lets face it, no body wants to be a needy friend all the time and when you're new in town, you don't know how everything works.  With God's direction, a group of us got together one evening at church for a time of devotion and fellowship.  It was a small gathering at the church the first time.  It was quite nice actually.  It warmed a spot.  We decided to do it again, and at someone's home.  Now here it is a year and few months later and we are still gathering together once a month. It has not been easy.  We have waxed and wained but we continue to meet.  It is even more enjoyable now than it was when we began.  It has become more than what it was that…

Thankful Thursday

I think I should kick this particular Thankful Thursday with a shout out to Jesus!  Thank you, Lord, for all the blessings you have poured into our lives.  I am forever grateful! 

I am thankful for my darling husband.  He's so awesome!  I miss him a ton now that he's back at work, but it keeps we listening for the sound of the garage door and his return every day.

I am thankful for my beautiful daughter.  She has been doing a really good job in regards to returning to school work this time.  She's only mildly complained and from what I understand, that's something all kids do this time of year.

I am thankful for my new computer!  And the opportunity it affords me to write, not just blogs, but other things like emails, status update, tweets, and books.  I'm sending in a manuscript this year, I promise!

I am thankful for our cat, Tinkerbell.  She's so very cat like.  She only comes out to see us when she wants to and she gives me cuddles every morning.

What are …

Some of my Common Substitutes

There are a few things that I hardly ever keep in the house, even though I use recipes that call for them on a semi regular basis.  I've collected these over the years and so I know I didn't come up with them on my own, but I don't quite remember where I got them.

I do, however, remember that I love The Cook's Thesaurus online!


I almost always substitute Buttermilk with milk and lemon (place a tablespoon of lemon juice in the measuring cup and then add milk to equal one cup)

I NEVER substitute self rising flour, because as many times as I've tried, it always tastes funny and doesn't work right.

White wine is either purchased in little tiny four packs, or it's subed with chicken stock.

Baking Mix (like Bisquick) is easily replaced with a stash of good recipes.  I don't find that the mixes save much time in regards to pancakes and maybe just a little for biscuits, and other than those two things, why would you use it?  I have made up this recipe and it wo…

From Trash to Treasure

Last fall, Hannah and I would go out for walks around the neighborhood. Sometimes we would walk on garbage day.  One particular day, we found some potted flowers on the curb beside a garbage can.  They were geraniums.  The two of us decided to bring them home. There were still blooms on them and I set them up in the yard. Over the next couple of weeks, we gathered ourselves quite the collection of flower pots, complete with flowers.  Now here is something that you may not know, geraniums are perennials.  That's right, they don't die at the end of their flowering season, they actually can live to the next season in the right climates.  Where we live, it's a little too cold to keep them outside all year.  Some people bring them in and let them rest for the entire winter either potted or with bare roots and store them in the basement.  I, however, did something else.  I decided to bring them in and keep them watered and pruned to see what would happen.  And here is what I was…

LoL ariffic Taco Soup

This morning I was putting together Taco Soup for dinner tonight.  It's early and I have a new crock pot, so the truth is, I like making things hecta early.  Here's the thing though, my family does not like tomatoes.  I mean we like them in sauce, but to eat actual tomatoes, I'm the only one to do that and I only like them raw.  I'll tolerate them, but yuck.  You can imagine my joy as a child when my parents would serve stewed tomatoes for dinner with rice.  YUCK YUCK!  I've grown to enjoy somethings I didn't like as a child, but stewed tomatoes have not made the list.  But they are an ingredient for one of our favorite soups.  I'm not really interested in figuring out a good substitute, because stewed tomatoes are so easy to come by.  Any way, I decided that I would go ahead and dirty up the food processor in order to obliterate the tomatoes into a sauce like texture.  I was very careful to hold the blade with my finger through the bottom.  You know just l…

Project 52 wrap up

I must say that it was wonderful to start dating my husband again.  And for that I am thankful.  We did end up doing our own thing, with the check in, which I talked about here.  But I was kind of struck by what date night can become when we recently watched Date Night together.


It was clear that even though this couple was spending time with each other on a weekly basis and going out to eat, they were not connecting with one another.  It helped me to remember that Project 52 isnt' so much about coming up with fun and adventurous dates, but allowing yourself the time to be genuine with one another and remembering why we got together in the first place! Thanks, Simply Modern Mom!!