Friday, October 31, 2008

Getting Boo'd

As I walked the dog (yes, the before mentioned, RASCAL!) recently, I noticed something cute as I walked the neighborhood…several of my neighbors had been “boo’d”. Although this has been going on for several years in our neighborhood, I recently learned that Hallmark has not missed the opportunity to capitalize on the fun and is selling a kit for you to use (really not necessary) but that is for another post. Quite simply, to “boo” a friend and neighbor, you arrange a basket with goodies, treats and other fall or Halloween things and leave it (hopefully, anonymously) on their doorstep. Included in the basket, is a small sign of a ghost or some such which is displayed on your door so others will know you have already been boo’d and then you pass the fun on to another neighbor. Eventually, little ghosts are on doors up and down the block! Since we are known on our street as the ones who don’t “do Halloween,” we have occasionally been included in this game but, most often, we are not; however, it is fun to watch….to guess who will be next and who left the last basket?!?

I began thinking about how I, as a Christian, might be able to share some fun with my neighbors and others down the block? Would there be a way to perhaps work the “getting boo’d” idea into a surprise at Thanksgiving or even Christmas? The holiday season is right in front of us and now is the time to plan how we will include our neighbors in our plans for the next couple months. Do you have any ideas?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Rascal!

Thankful Thursday ....and I cannot believe it has taken me this long to give thanks for (and introduce) Rascal!! You might ask, "What kind of pup is he?" We don't really know - some type of poodle mix. "How old is he?" We don't really know - maybe about five!?! You see, Rascal was a rescue dog we brought home to our house just over a year ago. Its a great story actually - going to get him. We drove three hours straight across the mountain to the literal middle of nowhere to pick him up from his foster mommy. (To make the trip just about perfect, it started to POUR on the ride home!) Throughout the ride over, Hubbie and I must have remarked 100 times, this must be one amazing dog for us to be making this trek. And, we were not disappointed! What a sweet puppy!! He has never had an accident, never chewed anything...loves to take a walk, get a belly rub...and really just lives to love us (and let us love him) - and that is what this Thankful Thursday post is really about.

After Tyler died, all of us grieved (of course) but a mother's grief, a father's grief, a brother or sister's grief - are all so unique. As a wife and mother, I so wanted to help not only my children grieve but also my husband; however, I often was barely able to keep my own head up. And I believe in many ways grieving dads are often "overlooked". There is a tremendous amount of support for mothers (for which I am very grateful) but dads and husbands.....not as much. My hubbie often fielded questions of concern on my behalf but rarely did folks approach him and ask how he was doing....but, I've taken a rabbit trail.

Hubbie's heart was broken and we never knew what a balm for a hurting heart one little dog would be! Rascal has loved his master...and replaced sadness with joy and given a reason to get up in the morning on those days when it just didn't seem to matter. I am so thankful today - and every day - for Rascal.

Now....after reading this, you might think that our dog is spoiled. (?!?) Well, let me just set the record straight. NO....ok, so maybe just a little!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Quick Turkey Chili

Finally, some serious fall weather has set in...and just in time for some Quick Turkey Chili. I make my menus about two weeks in advance and this was planned for this past Monday - turns out, the weather was perfect for some chili and grilled cheese. Not only is this chili made with turkey (good for you!) but it is quick! It was also super yummy.

Quick Turkey Chili

1 medium onion, chopped (I use dried onion)
1 TBL vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped (again, I use fresh pre-chopped garlic)
1 pound ground turkey
2 TBL chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 small can tomato paste
1 (28-oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (16-oz) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups chicken broth
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

1. Saute onion in hot oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat; add garlic and saute one minute.
2. Add turkey, chili powder, and cumin, and cook, stirring often, until meat crumbles and is no longer pink. Stir in tomato paste, and cook two minutes. Add tomatoes and next five ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil; cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes.
3. To serve, garnish with shredded cheese and/or sour cream.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Cute Little Acorns

Does it ever bother you that the stores are so quick to begin displaying and selling all the Christmas merchandise? Well, there is at least benefit....those same stores have to sell all the fall and Thanksgiving goodies in order to make room - and at great prices! I found these cute little acorns today for two bucks!! Of course, my pictures are never the best but these really were sweet. They are actually salt and pepper shakers but I don't know if I will even fill them - they just look great among my cornucopia and fall leaves on the kitchen table. And did I mention, I just love a bargain?!?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Thoughts to Ponder

There truly are so many wonderful blogs all across blogland. Women sharing from their hearts as they strive to live for our Savior and encouraging others to do the same. I really could spend way too much time reading each and every post...which leads me to more, new blogs and posts - and so on and so on. Actually, I have to set a limit for myself and then, on Sunday evenings...when all is quiet and in order for another week, I have "free time" to roam through blogland!

I have been really challenged lately....and I like that. Nicki at Three Girly Girls had a great post a few days back about our own personal mission statement - similar to the type of statement a church, school, business or other group might have. These statements show purpose and direction - and how helpful could that be for each of us as individuals? It certainly makes since that if we don't purposely know what we are striving for, then how likely are we to achieve it? She challenged me to think what my own mission statement would say. I wrote it in my journal - to reflect on often and to keep me focused.

Here's what I came up with for myself:
To purposefully order my days so as to be a reflection of:
God's mercy - in a "changed" life
God's faithfulness - in any circumstance
God's goodness - in a life well lived

What would be your personal mission statement?
One other blog to check out would be Buffaloes & Butterfly. While I have not really wanted to use my blog for political thoughts, per se, the video link for Gianna Jessen is tremendous and so worth your time to view. Whatever your political views, her testimony, as an abortion survivor, is very powerful - and inspiring. Just to hear her speak so boldly for her savior is wonderful! There are two parts but I would encourage to take the time to listen.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Shower

Today I had a "Mommy shower" for my girlfriend who is expecting her third child in about three weeks. She - and her husband - assured me they really had just about everything for the newest little one, so I decided to focus on Mommy instead. I had a luncheon in her honor (we had corn chowder, Mrs. H's poppy seed chicken, sweet carrots, broccoli casserole and apple cake with cinnamon ice cream for dessert....all pretty yummy!) and the gifts were specifically for her. There were lotions, comfy socks, teas and hot cocoas, cds and gift cards...all to pamper mom. It was even a surprise - that worked! - and it was a very special way to honor not only a very beautiful friend but also a wonderful mommy!!

Truly, one of our highest honors is to be a mother. I found this Mother's Prayer online which I thought was really special. I want to share it for my friend, for all mommies, and for those with a mother's heart who love the little ones God has put in their life.

Dear Lord,
I need your help today.
I want to care
for those you've sent into my life,
to help them develop the special gifts
you've given them.
But I also want to free them

to follow their own paths
and to bring their loving wisdom
to the world.
Help me

to embrace them without clutching,
to support them without suffocating,
to correct them without crushing.
And help me

to live joyfully and playfully, myself,
so they can see your life in me
and find their way to you.
Amen.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Barbecue Cups

Something easy that we had for dinner tonight...this is a "stand-by" recipe that I have been using since my children were little. At our house, just about anything would pass the "kid test" if it was coated in barbecue sauce, but these cups do seem to please even the picky eaters.

Barbecue Cups
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1 TBL instant minced onion
(or 1/4 cup chopped onion)
1-2 TBL brown sugar
10-oz can refrigerator flaky biscuits
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 400. In large skillet, brown ground beef; drain. Stir in barbecue sauce, onion and brown sugar; heat until bubbly. Remove from heat and set aside. Separate dough into 10 biscuits; place each biscuit in ungreased muffin cup. (so says the recipe...I use PAM on mine muffin pan). Press dough to cover bottom and sides of cup. Spoon hot meat mixture into cups; sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake at 400 for 10 to 15 minutes or until crust in golden brown.

These cook quickly - so watch carefully. I have also seen this recipe done as Pizza Cups using tomato paste and some Italian seasoning instead of the barbecue sauce and mozzarella cheese for the cheddar...but, like I said, barbecue sauce is always a winner at our house.

Junior Crusaders

Thankful Thursday...and today I am so thankful for my class of Junior Crusaders that I could just giggle - because they always giggle....which makes me giggle! For the past 18 years (or so), I have had the blessing of teaching one of our children's classes that meet during our mid-week service at church. We call them Junior Crusaders and I teach the youngest ones.....2 1/2 to 5 year olds. (Yes, it's a pretty big age span which only keeps things more interesting!) I can't tell you what a joy they are to my heart. They are always excited, eager to sing - with enthusiasm - and never cease to amaze me how much they can learn so quickly! And they tell the best "stories".....you never really know what they might say!

There have been weeks that I have felt physically drained. There have been weeks I have been emotionally depleted. And, I must confess, there have been weeks that my attitude was anything but worthy of teaching little ones about the love of Jesus. However, after our short class, I am encouraged, refreshed and blessed.

Last night, we had a small harvest party. There is just nothing better than nineteen three- and four-year olds with cupcakes, candy and grape drink! What a sugar rush!! And lots of smiles and giggles!! I so thank the Lord for allowing me to be a part of this ministry at our church....and for each precious one that has come through my class.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Check This Out!

Faith is celebrating her 100th post with the cutest give away..go check it out. If you do, not only will you love her stuff (great Christmas gifts) but I will get entered twice to win....and, like I told her in my comment, that basket "has my name written all over it"!!! There are alot of give aways going on now...what fun!! I hope you win - but, then again, I hope I win!!

A Prayer Request

It has been just about a month now that I have been blogging...and what fun it has been. I have especially had fun "meeting" new friends and following their blogs for so many fun ideas for the home and family, lots of really yummy recipes, or just a good story from their house. For the most part, it has been light-hearted and fun. However, I would really like to use my blog today to ask for prayer for a "blog friend" of mine. Her son has been battling brain cancer for over five years and her testimony of faith is evident in ever post she puts out. I had the opportunity to meet her in person this past spring and she is every bit as warm, sweet and sincere as she seems on her blog. We became friends quickly.

Her sweet son, Nick, continues to battle his cancer...with amazing bravery and a beautiful smile. On Monday, they received very difficult news from the doctors. If you are interested, you can read her blog yourself. I would ask all of my friends to join me in prayer for Tammy. None of us can ever know exactly how someone else feels....but I do know the feel of a mother's breaking heart when she feels helpless - and how effective the prayers of many friends can be to bring a peace that passes understanding.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Front Porch on Parade



I learned about something fun yesterday from Kelli's blog .... it was Front Porches on Parade! Kelli's porch is beautiful and inviting - mine is quite a bit smaller but with its happy little scarecrow, a mum and and some pumpkins (even a white one!)..it says "home" to us. And hopefully, it says "WELCOME" to our friends and neighbors! Our snoopy flag we have had since the kids were quite a bit younger - but he still makes me smile!! What does your front porch look like?

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Tiny Impatiens


Imagine my surprise when I came home the other day and there to greet me was this sweet little impatiens...growing out of the crack beside our sidewalk! Blooming as pretty as you please in the middle of October seemingly from the concrete! Granted we usually plant a bed of impatiens...but sometime in the beginning of May and in the flower beds in front of the house - but this little seed was determined to bloom!

I was quickly reminded that my job is simply to "sow the seed" - or, in this case, to set the plants. We worked a bit - to turn up the soil and set in the young plants - but God gave the harvest. Not only did our labor give us an entire bed of pretty plants last spring but seeds were sown elsewhere (that we did not even realize) and additional blooms came forth...not where we expected or even when we expected but God blessed and we "reaped even more than we sowed"!!

That little flower was a gentle reminder to me...just to be faithfully doing my part and God is in charge of the harvest!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Today I finally was able to go to the pumpkin patch! Yes, it was twenty degrees cooler than it has been all week (chilly!) and, yes, it was overcast and drizzly all day...but, we had a great time - really! I went with the homeschoolers from our church....we learned about bees, visited the baby animals, played in the hay barn (the best!) and, of course, chose our favorite pumpkin from the patch. I definitely tend toward the round ones, bright orange with just a bit of imperfection. It was a great day.

Of course, I love anything and everything pumpkin...cookies, muffins, pancakes and this yummy recipe for Pumpkin Bread Pudding. If you like bread pudding, this one is a must!!

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

1 loaf (16 oz) raisin bread
1 small orange
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
1 can (15 oz) solid pack pumpkin
1/2 cup plus 3 TBL sugar, divided
3 eggs
1 1/2 TBL cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice)
1/4 cup chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray square baking dish with PAM. Slice bread into 1-inch cubes; set aside. Zest orange and set aside.

2. Pour evaporated milk into microwaveable dish and microwave on HIGH for 3 minutes until hot. In medium bowl, whisk pumpkin, 1/2 cup of the sugar, eggs, cinnamon and orange zest until smooth. Gradually whisk hot milk into pumpkin mixture.

3. Place half of the bread cubes over bottom of baking dish; pour half of the pumpkin mixture over bread. Top with remaining bread cubes and remaining pumpkin mixture. Sprinkle chopped nuts evenly over bread. Sprinkle with remaining 3 TBLs sugar.

4. Bake 25-30 minutes or until set. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Serve with whipped topping, if desired.



Thursday, October 16, 2008

An End to Celebrate

Thankful Thursday...and this week is an easy choice. Today I finish the last of my latest round of treatments for my lymphoma. Although my scans have been clear, I am doing four rounds of Rituxin treatment every six months for the next two years - as a maintenance treatment. Rituxin is an immunotherapy and does not have all the side effects of traditional chemotherapy but it still is four hours of IV infusion and some mild side effects. While I am grateful to be doing "something" to keep my lymphoma in remission and I'm happy that today is the last of this round.

I am also thankful for: 1) a really good oncologist - she is highly respected, very educated but also very compassionate and kind. 2)rituxin - the advances that are being made to treat lymphoma are amazing to even my doctor...and rituxin is tolerated so much easier than chemotherapy (yea, I've done that, too). 3)could not forget insurance....each week, my insurance company is billed $5,950 just for the medicine (did I just type that??) and my part is 97 CENTS...that is nothing but a blessing from God! And 4)all of my wonderful friends who have shown me so much love in so many little ways these past weeks...it truly makes all the difference. Yes, today I am, indeed, truly thankful!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fall Cards

Today was such fun....I spent the morning with a wonderful girlfriend (and her children - two of my favorite anywhere!) She made delicious homemade potatoe soup and brownies - yeah - and she spent the morning helping me learn to make cards. My are very simple compared to many I have seen but I had so much fun making them. I really like all the fall papers to choose from and even tested my luck with stamps.


Unfortunately I am not so good with the camera and the cards all seem to have a glare on them. But it wasn't as much about the cards as it was a great time with my friends, trying something new that I have always wanted to try and creating something special myself to share with someone else. If you haven't tried card making...give it a try. It could be a new addiction! Thanks Donna!!

A Faithful Friend

A faithful friend is a strong defense; and he that hath found him hath found a treasure.
Louisa May Alcott

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Corn Chowder

Well...it certainly does not FEEL like a fall day here - another delightful, almost 80 degree day - but I'm not complaining. Even with the warm weather, here is what's cooking for dinner....homemade soup!! So yummy! The ingredient list seems long but don't be fooled - it really is not difficult and its worth any effort. (And one more reason to get excited - I paid under three dollars for gas last night....WOOHOO!!)

Corn Chowder

8 medium-size ears of corn

4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 TBL flour

3 cups chicken broth

2 medium red skin potatoes, cut in 1/4 inch pieces

1 tsp. minced fresh thyme

2 cups milk

1 cup heavy cream

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/3 cup white cheddar cheese

1. Cut kernels from 4 ears of corn (about 3 cups of kernels); set aside. Working over a bowl, grate remaining 4 ears of corn on the large holes of a box grater. Scrape pulp from cobs (about 3/4 cup) using the dull side of a knife; set aside.

2. In a large pot over medium-high heat, cook bacon for about 6 minutes or until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper-towel-lined plate.

3. Add onion to pot and cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until golden brown. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add flour and stir constantly for 2 minutes.

4. Whisk in chicken broth . Add potatoes, thyme, milk and grated corn and pulp. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Using a potato masher, press down on the potatoes 4 to 5 times. Stir in cooked bacon.

5. Add whole corn kernels and heavy cream and cook and additional 5 minutes or until corn is tender but still crunchy. Stir in salt and pepper. Ladle chowder into bowls. Top each serving with a little cheddar cheese, dividing equally.

(If anyone can tell me how to "single space" the ingredients that would be wonderful....I tried everything)

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Treasure Hunt

I spent this past weekend so very heavy hearted..deeply burdened and worried. I tried repeatedly to give my burdens to the Lord but seemed to hold onto them even as I prayed. But, instead of growing impatient with me, God showed Himself faithful and gave me some very clear truths from my Sunday school lesson and then some wonderful prayer partners who agreed to pray for me (thank you so much, ladies). One verse from our lesson yesterday morning was Colossians 2:3 "In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge..."

We have access to ALL treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I can KNOW how to pray for each situation, how to handle each stress or how to love even the most difficult...and more...if I will seek the treasures found in his word. The illustration used in our lesson made this so clear for me. (Thanks, Dan.)

If I were told (and reliably convinced) that one million dollars had been hidden in my house...and it was all mine once I found it, what would I do? Undoubtedly, I would search every floor, every room, every corner, nook and cranny trying to find the treasure. I would not casually glance around each room or just move a pillow or two. I would not look in one room then leave to run errands hoping to get back to the search later. I would not quit nor would I complain about the length or challenge of the search. I would be eager, expectant, excited and diligent (and I believe I would probably have the same attitude for just about any amount of money....it is a treasure to be had!)

In the very same way, God has "hid" treasure for us in His word. Hid in the Colossians verse means placed - to be found - not something withheld. So often I want God's wisdom and I ask for His knowledge; however, the amount of effort and diligence I put into finding the answer in my Bible suggests anything but a treasure hunt!! Sometimes, I am overwhelmed and quit too soon. Other times, I'm simply too lazy. How foolish of me!

The burdens I had this weekend - and still have - are, indeed, heavy but God's word has the peace for me during the storm, has the wisdom for me to know what to say (and when), and has the promises for me to remember....my God is faithful and offers me all hope! I pray you will embark on a treasure hunt in God's word even today!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Proverbs 8:17

I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.
Proverbs 8:17

Friday, October 10, 2008

Crock Pot Chicken Parmigiana

I spend the bulk of Thursdays at the doctor's office (at least for the next few weeks) and so I really like to use the crock pot - especially on those days. It is so nice to come home to the smell of dinner...done! Here is a yummy one we recently tried (and beyond easy)!

Chicken Parmigiana
1 egg
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
6 boneless, chicken breast halves
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
2-4 T. butter
14-oz jar pizza sauce
6 slices mozzarella sauce
grated parmesan cheese

Beat egg, salt and pepper together. Dip chicken into egg and coat with bread crumbs. Saute chicken in butter in skillet. Arrange chicken in slow cooker.

Pour pizza sauce over chicken. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours. Layer mozzarella cheese over top and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Cook an additional 15 minutes. Enjoy!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Homeschooling

Thankful Thursday...and this Thursday I am so grateful for the opportunity to homeschool the last 2 1/2 years. For the 12 years preceding that, our children attended the Christian school at our church. I was also on staff there, as an aide, and we were very involved...and I am VERY grateful for those years as well. I never really imagined myself involved with homeschooling at all. However, when Tyler was diagnosed with his tumor, it was only a couple of weeks before we realized he would not be able to keep up the pace at school and, so, began our experience with homeschooling.

Our daughter was a senior and we allowed her remain at school to finish her year, but we began schooling Tyler and his older brother at home. We did choose to use DVDs in order to make the transition as smooth as possible for the boys - and I don't consider my "job" as teacher nearly as challenging as so many I know about; nevertheless, the rewards for me were just as tremendous!

God not only gave me extra time every day with Tyler - he finished his entire eighth grade!! - but we continued to homeschool my older son after Tyler passed away. The bond between us became one for which I will forever be grateful! During some deep valley days for me, my son gave me purpose, hope, encouragement..and smiles (he really is funny!).

I admire all moms who homeschool - and do it well. I don't know how "well" we did with the whole process (looking back, there are lots of things I would have loved to do......of course) but I will always be grateful for those months with my boys, the memories I have, and the impact homeschooling had on all of us!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Mr. Andy

I couldn't wait for the chance to share my newest "friend"....We were spending the evening with friends in a local historic town-dinner and shopping-when I spotted this guy! Of course, there was just no way I could leave him behind. I think he looks right at home on my red hutch - a favorite that I bought from a new (and good) friend earlier this year when she and her family were transferred. (Did you recognize it, Jen?)

I don't even collect Raggedys (now sheep...that's another story) but this cute guy could make me seriously consider it! Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Smile Award


Imagine my surprise...to open my very own, new little blog and find an award!! I cannot even remember the last time I was given an award...how sweet it is to have so many new blogging friends. Thank you very much, Heather, for my Smile Award!! (Wow, I even like the name of it....) As Heather explained, the characteristics of the Smile Award are:

1......You must display a cheerful attitude. (well, I try...of course, I usually don't long on or publish a post when I'm in a grouchy mood!)
2......You must show love to others. (my new friends are all so nice that this one is easy)
3......You must make mistakes. (oh boy...got that one covered!)
4......You must learn from others. (and that is the fun part....things I have learned so far: many great recipes, how to enjoy the important things in life, some really terrific decorating ideas...just to name a few)
5......You must be a positive contributor to blogging. (hope so)
6......You must love life. (That I can say for sure, is the truth!)
7......You must love kids. (Another one I know for sure...)

As with most things..there are a few rules to follow when receiving the Smile Award. And those are:

1......You must link back to the award creator. (Will give this my best shot...not exactly sure how to "link" anyone or anything???)
2.....You must post the rules if you are a recipient. (so noted)
3.....You must choose 5 people to pass the award to. (will do)
4.....You must post the characteristic of the award and fit the characteristics of the award. (see previous paragraph..)
5......You must create a post sharing your win with others. (ta da)
6......You must thank the giver of the award. (see line two!!)

Whew....that was alot to get started but now, I can hand out awards....

For Tammy - http://tammynischan.blogspot.com/ - what an amazing testimony she and her family share....her blog is always an encouragement to me!!
For Faith - http://walkwithmebyfaith.blogspot.com/ - the love she has for Emma (see #7 above) is so obvious and so much fun to read about....
For Giggles - http://tlsgiggles.blogspot.com/ - she is new at this too but her blog is fun to read....keep us posted!
For Heather - http://quietrest.blogspot.com/ - such a sweet blog that I enjoy reading every day
And, for Marybeth - http://www.marybethwhalen.com/ - one of the first blogs I started following...I really don't know how she does it all!?!
Well, that was alot of work for me...but it was fun. For all of my new friends, thanks for visiting my blog. It is a blessing to know a bit about each of you through your blogs as well.


Monday, October 6, 2008

Temptation

The idea of temptation - and resisting it - has come to me several times during my Bible study this past week and whenever this happens, I know I should pay close again. When you think of temptation, very often two thoughts come to mind....sins of immorality/sins of the flesh and, of course, Eve. It's interesting that Eve and temptation are so closely linked; however, Eve's struggle with temptation really had nothing to do with immorality - adultery, pornography or other impure thoughts. She knew nothing about any of that. However, the serpent was able to get her to sin that's for sure. How? He made Eve discontent with what she had and/or her situation and circumstance. Eve had perfection....but Satan was able to convince even her that she was missing out on something.

We do face a very crafty and deceitful enemy - and he so wants us to live in that place of discontentment. When we do, not only do we struggle, worry, waste time, effort and resources to "fix" things but we, then, undoubtedly miss the benefits that Christ "daily loadeth us with"....We have a God who is able to not only defeat the enemy but also helps us resist temptation.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Psalm 62:8

Trust in him at all times;
ye people, pour out your heart before him:
God is a refuge for us. Selah.
Psalm 62:8

Friday, October 3, 2008

White Pumpkins or Orange??

I finally finished up my fall spruce-ups. Actually, I did most of my work outside today - it was a beautiful day and my son was home and we had a great afternoon. I really am not very good with a camera and the photos of my front porch were not much to look at so I included one of my table. I think one of the problems with the porch photos was that I wasn't even overly thrilled with the results. Its funny....I have oohed and aahed over all the white pumpkins I have seen across blogland and so wanted to include some in my decorating...so when I went to buy pumpkins, there they were and I was excited. Sad thing is, I don't like them nearly as much once I included them on the porch. (I guess I am a purist when it comes to pumpkins....I love the orange ones - tall ones, fat round ones, even the lopsided "Charlie Brown" ones!) I know there must be an application in that somewhere.......we want something so much and then, well.........you get the picture. Anyways, I will stick with my inside photo - did you notice the little bird's nest in front of the pumpkin? I love it - and my scarecrow looks a bit "twisted" in this picture but he is actually very cute..with his floppy straw legs!


While my son was "working" with me this afternoon, he noticed, "This really makes you happy doesn't it, Mom?" I told him I really do enjoy working on my house (and the yard, too) and making it a home for my family and guests. He hugged me and said, "Then it makes me really happy, too!" You know, its going to be a great weekend!! Happy October!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

There is nothing on this earth
more to be prized
than true friendship.
Saint Thomas Aquinas

Trisha and Tyler


Thankful Thursday....and today I am thankful for my girlfriend, Trisha. I am also thanking the Lord for Tyler but more about him in a moment. Trisha and I have been friends for over twenty years and that, in itself, is a huge blessing. All kinds of friendships are wonderful but there is something special about a "lifetime" friend - and Trisha is one of those kind of friends.
This past week, Trisha gave a luncheon for me. It was such a special day. She invited several of my friends to her home and we had a yummy brunch but the most beautiful thing about the day was she had the party to honor my son, Tyler. A day set aside to purposefully talk about and share my boy with my friends!!

My (13 year old ) baby, Tyler, was taken home to Heaven exactly 26 months ago today...after an 8-month battle with an inoperable brain tumor. He was, indeed, my baby - the youngest of our three children - and my best buddy. I hope to share more about him in the weeks ahead.....

He would have turned 16 on the 20th of September...and so the luncheon was to honor his life and the amazing blessing I have of being his mom. I suppose any grieving mother can understand how I so deeply fear that Tyler will be forgotten - not on purpose but that time will just gradually steal him from other's memory (certainly not ours) - and so you can only imagine how wonderful the luncheon was for me. And I am immensely grateful on this, my first, Thankful Thursday!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

Something new to try for dinner....it is a Paula Deen recipe I pulled from somewhere a while back but thought I would try it tonight. I like meatloaf well enough but Hubbie loves it so I am always willing to try a new and different approach to an old favorite. I will serve mine with mashed potatoes (duh?!...they don't call 'em "meat and potatoes" men for nothing!)

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

1 pound ground chuck
10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 (8-ounce) package sharp Cheddar, grated
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 TBL Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/3 cup ketchup
2 TBL mustard
1 (3-ounce) can french fried onions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck and next eight ingredients, mixing well. In a small bowl, combine the ketchup and mustard. Stir 1/4 cup of the ketchup mixture into the meat mixture, reserving remaining ketchup mixture.

Press meat mixture into a 9X5 loaf pan. Spread remaining ketchup mixture over loaf. bake 40 minutes. Top with french fried onions; bake another 10 to 15 minutes, or until meat is no longer pink. Enjoy!