Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What's For Dinner?

Yes, this is the inside of my pantry..just what you always wanted to see. I love this chalkboard - or, at least, the memory that goes with it - and I did not want to get rid of it when we moved but I could not seem to find a place to put it in the new house. Then one morning as Hubbie was leaving and asked (as he does EVERY morning) what's for dinner?? I had the brilliant idea to write my weekly menus down...but I don't like things on the refridge, so where to put the menus - and the rest is history.
The green at the top is scrapbooking paper that covers the original picture of apples - which leads me to the story behind the chalk board. There was a time when I had an apple themed kitchen (as did half of America, I believe). The problem with themed kitchens, or any room for that matter, is the theme can quickly take over. It was apples everything!! Actually, I just took the last of my apple items to a local consignment store and have finally, officially ended the apple era at our home:)
However, during the time when apples were king in our kitchen, I took an amazing trip. My mother and I travelled to Moscow - by way of Paris! (A trip to ANYWHERE by way of Paris is an amazing trip!) We met a friend of mine in Paris and had a great long weekend....I will have to share more about that trip some other time.
Of course, we did what any good girlfriends would do when in sight of the Eiffel Tower...we ate and shopped - and then ate and shopped some more! While shopping, I came across this blackboard. So cute - AND it had apples at the top. I was convinced it was the perfect souvenir. A blackboard hanging in my American apple pie kitchen to remind me of my wonderful trip. Great idea....until you try to carry said blackboard through airports, in taxis, and every other tourist filled spot between France and Russia. It did not take long to regret my decision to buy such a large, awkward size souvenir (did I mention I don't travel too far from home very often!)
The worst experience was at the airport in Russia as we tried to leave to go home. The gate agent there went nuts over this blackboard as if it was some top secret contraband. He literally wanted to take it apart. I was a nervous wreck and, at this point, was thinking he could just have the board....but my brand new sister in law (we were there for my brother's wedding) "exchanged a few words" with him - I though for sure we would all end up arrested but apparently that's the custom and we were on our way. Oh my goodness. All that for a Parisian blackboard.
And the funny thing - once I got it home, the apples were a off-yellowy color and didn't match the kitchen at all...and it ended up hanging elsewhere in our home! HA...but it always reminded me of that trip. So, I am glad I found a spot for it in our new home. And Hubbie likes knowing what is for dinner - has always liked that. Sure wish I could write on it with a really cute handwriting - hats off to all my teacher friends that can actually write in straight lines on a blackboard!
Yes...I said all that to ask about your menu for this week! Do you have a special Easter menu? or something that you have every year that makes it Easter dinner at your house? I am putting the final touches on our menu today...and would love some last minute ideas. Hope you will share (and maybe I'll write it down on my blackboard...my cute Parisian blackboard!) :)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter Memories

Easter 1993
I mentioned last week I wanted to get some of my Easter pictures scanned and posted...so where better to start than the very beginning! Well, that is, our first Easter with all three cutie-patooties!! Emily (the little mom) was four...Jordan (our Easter baby and always smiling that big) was turning three...and Mr. Buster, who is trying to get on the move here, is seven months. I know I am just a bit biased...but, goodness, they are too cute for words:)

My parents always bought the matching Easter outfits...not too hard when there are just two but a bit more of a challenge finding all three just the perfect ensemble!...but my mom would scour every children's boutique in North Carolina until everyone had even just the right socks! Needless to say, I was one proud mama walking into church on Easter morning. We have always enjoyed new Easter outfits each year.....I even got myself a new dress this year. Hubbie....he always wears one of Tyler's ties! So bittersweet.

Are you wearing a new "Easter bonnet" this Sunday??



Monday, March 29, 2010

Its almost Easter

Simple Woman's Daybook for Monday, March 29, 2010

Outside my window....it is overcast and the ground is trying to dry up from a good rain we had last night - everything is really greening up and Hubbie's fertilizer really should be working on the yard!

I am thinking...about Easter this week! Such a wonderful week for believers!

I am thankful for....the death, burial and RESURRECTION of my Savior - and that I heard the gospel message from a young age. I was twelve when I accepted Christ but I grew up in a Christian home (so thankful) and heard of Christ's love for me as early as I can remember. I am thankful for my parents, our church back then, my pastor and my earliest Sunday school teacher who made such an impact on me.

I am wearing...Christmas socks!! so goofy but they are comfy on my feet:)

I am remembering...all the Easters spent in North Carolina with my parents when the children were little. Mom's food was amazing and, in addition to egg hunts, Mom and Dad always had pinatas at Easter for the kids! To say they loved it would be a huge understatement!

I am going....to get a lot done at home this week (there now I am committed...its written on the blog!)

I am reading...the beginning of my new study for the rest of the semester at Bible study. Just getting started but lots of good information. Its called "The Trusted Friend."

I am hoping...my sweet senior friend, Paul, comes home from the hospital this week - and that good, reliable and consistent care can be arranged for him when he does. There are so many needs for he and his sweet wife.

On my mind....what Jordan will be doing this first Easter (another holiday!) away from home. I'm sensing a trend of separated holidays - and that makes me sad.

From the kitchen... planning Easter menus - for myself as well as helping Erica plan hers. Won't be surprised if they are very similar:)

Around the house...not much going on...we have been spending our time, energy (and money) working outside - which is okay because we both enjoy that!

Plans for the week....Wednesday night at church, our pastor will be sharing his photos...and stories!...from his recent trip to the Holy Land. I am really looking forward to seeing and hearing it all!

One of my favorite things.....Cadbury eggs...the original ones! When something is so yummy...why do they always have to keep changing the recipe?? Cadbury eggs came out when I was in college (long time ago) and my girlfriend and I were addicted. We were also broke:) and these indulgent Easter treats were our huge splurge. Not only are these candies still delicious...they remind me of Debbie and so many great memories!! Do you have a favorite Easter candy?? I have to admit I do NOT like jelly beans but those robin's eggs are pretty yummy as are Stouffer's marshmallow eggs...but Cadburys are the best!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Easy Enchiladas

I love all the comments...especially the reminiscing ones...that posting "old" pictures elicit!! I especially love it when others share a story or a memory from an event that we were both at...yet, I had no idea something they remember had ever even happened - such fun! I had planned to post another picture today but I think I will save it for next week and share a few (random) Easter pictures each day next week....so, be sure to check back:)

Today, I have a quick recipe to share - maybe you are looking for something new this weekend. And, then I'm off to the Bizarre Bazaar....say that three times fast! A huge arts and craft show that looks like alot of fun - and its indoors which is great since it is a very rainy day! I'll let you know how it goes....have a wonderful weekend, friend.

Easy Chicken & Cheese Enchiladas (and they were easy!)

1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup pace picanta sauce
2 tsp. chili powder
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1/2 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
6 flour tortillas

Heat oven to 350. Stir the soup, sour cream, picante sauce and chili powder in a medium bowl. Stir 1 cup soup mixture, chicken and cheese in a large bowl. Divide the chicken mixture among the tortillas. Roll up the tortillas and place seam-side up in a 2qt. shallow baking dish. Pour the remaining soup mixture over the filled tortillas. Cover the baking dish. Bake for 40 minutes until enchiladas are hot and bubbling. (Here I uncovered and put some more shredded cheese on top and returned to oven until cheese melted. You can top with chopped tomato before serving...if you are crazy and eat tomatoes!?!?)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Still Making an Impact

I think I've finally got this scanner up and running!! Hopefully you won't get tired of my pictures...I've noticed I have a lot of "older" photos that I really enjoy (and spent some time looking through photos yesterday - you know, all those ones that I so desperately need to get into scrapbooks..oh my!) but I don't have nearly as many current pictures.



I think after Tyler died, I stopped taking pictures. Not on purpose but I can see now that it has happened. I really need to work on capturing memories from these days onto film as well. True, none of us are nearly as cute as were when my xweeties were little, but??? :)



But I do have a few (well, alot) of pictures from past years that I love......like this one of my buddy. We are on vacation in Florida here - I believe for Erica's wedding, which means it was HOT! That was the hottest weekend of our lives - and I'm not exaggerating. Tyler was Erica's biggest fan - they shared a very special bond - and he was loving all the excitement of that weekend.

Recently I was invited to be among a group of parents forming a Parent Advisory Board working with the PANDA team at Children's Hospital. The PANDA team works directly with terminally ill patients, especially those near the end of life, and the Board is being established to share, educate and help improve the PANDA team's challenging task at the hospital. I was honored to be asked to join this group. If by my sharing, Tyler's life and experiences are able to impact the medical community and help other children in any way, I will be richly blessed.

So many doors the Lord has been opening lately. Life is rewarding!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wishin' You Were On My Playground....



Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pedersen concert...and Starbucks! Happy Tuesday:)

Let me just say...this morning was free pastry day at Starbucks! woo hoo...start your day with a Starbucks latte AND a free coffee cake to go with it - you know the day has to be good!! I found the coupon for free pastry day at 5dollardinners...have you seen this blog? Love it. Recipes, tips and goodies...and coupons!


Now on to my original though for a post - I got a little carried away there. Last night I attended a small concert by Alan Pedersen. What a nice evening. Alan's 18year old daughter died in a car accident back in 2001 and since then he has been writing songs that help him express his heart during the grief journey. And his songs really express the heart of any grieving parent. He plays the guitar and his songs are so mellow...it really was a special night.


He is currently traveling the entire United States doing concerts for conventions and other large gatherings but he really has a heart for grief support groups..especially the smaller ones. His cds would make a special gift for any grieving parent. I know that I am certainly not a poet and definitely not a songwriter but what a gift to have "your exact thoughts" written out and expressed so beautifully.


After the concert - and listening to a cd in the car this morning - I've spent alot of time today thinking about Tyler.....guess I was right, it is a beautiful Tuesday!!


Oh - let me just share a favorite photo......

Yep- definitely a favorite treasure as you can tell by the "wear and tear"...this picture stays posted above my desk and has been with me alot. Tyler dreamed of opening his own restaurant one day and was a HUGE fan of Emeril. He and I took a trip to Orlando just a couple months after he was diagnosed - one of the greatest memories of my life. Just he and I.....travelling to his sister's house. It was wonderful. In this photo, we are having dinner at Emeril's Tchoup Chop. Tyler was so happy and having the time of his life!! Although this photo already shows the effects of his treatments/steroids....I see genuine contentment and love of life when I look at him here!! I love that boy!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Where God Guides

Have you heard of She Speaks...a womens' conference connected with the Proverbs 31 ministry?? This is annual conference for women looking to challenge themselves and to better equip themselves as writers, speakers or ministry leaders. I had the priviledge to attend this conference two years ago and the impact from that weekend continues even today. In fact, the idea of this blog and the encouragement to start it came directly from the friends I met that weekend. I posted briefly about it soon after I started blogging. You can read that post here.

The friendships I made that weekend have been lasting and I am constantly blessed and encouraged by these women and what God is doing in each of their lives. Each of us are, two years later, involved in ministries and seeing God at work in ways that none of us had dreamed about. God used the She Speaks conference to encourage us to step out of our comfort zones and expect to see God's leading.

I think that was the key to the conference. Yes, I made some wonderful friends and we try to keep in touch. However, it was our willingness not only to share our hearts and our lives but our willingness to allow God to use us however He would choose that had the real lasting impact. When I attended the conference, it had been less than a year since Tyler died. I was hurting and raw. Among those I met, there were two grieving mothers, a mother whose son was at the time battling cancer (and is now a grieving mom) and another mom who lives just a few miles from me whose son was undergoing cancer treatment at the very hospital were Tyler was treated. God knew. He blessed me. And He challenged me that weekend.

These past months, God has been challenging me again. Not only has He been growing me and maturing me, but also pushing me, once again, out of my comfort zone. It can be overwhelming at times but I am learning to be excited at what He can do and how He will lead. I would like to attend the conference again this year. I would like to see old friends, make new friends and, especially, make myself available for His using. A sweet buddy of mine (Tyler's best friend) has a saying that I really like: Where God guides, He provides. I believe God can use this year's conference to better guide me and I am trusting Him to provide the opportunity to attend. They are offering some scholarships this week which you can learn about here. Perhaps this will be the way God provides...I don't know but it surely would be exciting. I promise to keep you posted.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Too Cute for Me

On Wednesday nights at church, I teach of class of 3 and 4 year olds..and they are a mess! Last night, before telling the story of the blind beggar, we had a discussion about our five senses. Quite the concept for these little guys. We talked about the eyes that we see with and how we hear with our ears and God gave us noses to smell. Eyes. Ears. Noses. No problem.

Then I tried to talk about taste. Oh boy. Our discussion went something like this:

Me: Can anyone tell me what God gave us to taste things with....to find out if something tasted yummy or not so yummy?

Total blanks.

Me: You know, if I had a drink and I wanted to know if it tasted sweet and yummy, would I put it in my ear? Noooo. What would I use?

One three year old cutie: A straw?!

Me: Well, yes, I could use a straw....but where would I put the straw?

The entire class in unison: The cup!!

Yes, indeedy, the cup. I admit defeat - they are too cute for me!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Eating Out

I mentioned on Monday (somehow I missed an entire day!) the door prizes given away at the ladies' conference. Just have to say for the record that I won after my name was drawn from an envelope that contained the names of the first twenty people to check in at registration that morning. That's right....I was an early bird. That was just for a select someone..and you know who you are!!:)

Moving on.....at one point, she asked all ladies who had not eaten out at any type of restaurant (fast food or otherwise) in the last week to stand. Honestly, my very first thought was, "Who's gonna stand up?" Really, it was. There were about 75 women that stood. I was shocked - and even more amazed when many were still standing when she narrowed it to eating out in the last month!! The woman who received that door prized had not eaten out - at ANY restaurant or even drive-thru - since Christmas! I'm as honest as I know to be - I couldn't believe it.

I think eating out has become as common place to me as going to buy groceries...and I don't say that it is necessarily a good thing - but just the truth. I remember when our children were young, going out to eat was a treat...a big deal, actually. We often used going to a restaurant as a way to celebrate - whether we were celebrating good report cards, a birthday, the big game, or just the start of summer! (We were good at celebrating!) Somewhere in the teen years, eating out became less and less exciting. Perhaps it was just eating out with Mom and Dad:) It seemed it was so difficult to please everyone. Thankfully, we have passed that stage and we enjoy eating out all together again but I can't say that we see it as a treat - and, in a way, that's a shame.

Hubbie and I were discussing this the day after the retreat (I was still trying to process all those folks who don't go out to eat....) and he told me the most interesting fact. He grew up on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. I often refer to this part of our state as "the land time forgot". It is cemented in the past - the distant past. And, for the folks living there, that's just fine by them. For this suburbanite girlie, however, it was a culture shock. Hubbie left the shore right after graduation from high school when he was eighteen. And in those eighteen years, he remembers eating out one time - that's right, one time TOTAL in 18 years. He and his family did a lot of visiting friends and family to share meals....especially going to his grandmother's house. But, as far as going to a restaurant - once. And that was to a restaurant his cousin had opened and he and his parents ate for free. All I could say was Wow.

So, I am too curious. Just how often do you eat out in a week - or a month?? And, while I am asking - do you have a favorite restaurant?? Happy Wednesday:)

Monday, March 15, 2010

I Won! and Had a Great Time

I went to a ladies' conference this past Saturday - not at my home church but one here in the area. What a lovely day!! The theme was "Feed Your Soul" and the decorations, etc. centered around coffee and chocolate! Even the ice-breaker games involved chocolate - what's not to love??!
The centerpieces on the lunch tables were hurricane vases filled with coffee beans and a candle on the top. It smelled wonderful in that room!! There were also some smaller vases layered with chocolate and white chips - and then a candle. It was really cute - and an idea to tuck away in the memory bank. (Of course, the memory bank just ain't what she used to be...and so I blog!) The cellophane gift bags in the picture were the gifts given away to all the ladies in attendance - very nice. And the Mary Kay gift set....well, I won a door prize! Woo Hoo...and I always said, "I never win anything!" But I did. I really liked how they did door prizes. She would call on ladies to stand - if you ever worked at a coffee shop, for instance - and then narrow the group down until one or two were standing and won a prize. At one point she asked all ladies to stand who had lead someone to the Lord in the last week......seven ladies stood!! How exciting. There was also one other interesting door prize category - which led to an even more intersting trip down memory lane at our house - that I will tell you about tomorrow.

And since I'm "on a winning streak" :) I wanted to tell you about a great giveaway over here. Tracy's had several giveaways over the last days but, alas, I did not win...but this one could be my big chance! :) Give away, she has a really cute blog, too! H

Hope you are having a great Monday. I'm later than usual posting but was out early...shopping:) Found Miss Roo the cutest Easter dress!! Oh, I remember those days. (If I ever get the photos of dad scanned and posted...maybe I can get a couple of my sweeties in the Easter finest!) Thank you, Lord, for precious memories.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Ready for Spring!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Just a little something....

Happy Wednesday! Already to the middle of the week. I have so enjoyed working in the yard a bit this week - had to make a couple trips to Lowe's and they are starting to put all the flowers out and I am itching to work on those flower beds. (Let me honest how that works...I pick out and buy the flowers and Hubbie gets his hands dirty. OK, I help a bit but I am no gardener. Something about dirt under my fingernails...ha ha.) Nevertheless, I love the finished product:)

I read this verse in my Bible reading this week. (The italics are mine.)

For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: Isaiah 55:10

A little convicting with all that whining I did this winter - and how exciting to think about God's faithfulness....and His goodness!!

And, just a joke to share for today. Never assume anything!! Hope you smile all day today:)

His request approved, the CNN news photographer quickly used a cell phone to call the local airport to charter a flight. He was told a twin-engine plane would be waiting for him at the airport.

Arriving at the airport, he spotted a plane warming up outside the hanger. He jumped in with his bag, slammed the door shut and shouted, "Let's go." The pilot taxied out, swung the plane into the wind and took off.

Once in the air, the photographer instructed the pilot, "Fly over the valley and make low passes so I can take pictures of the fires on the hillsides."

"Why," asked the pilot.

"Because I'm the photographer for CNN, " he responded, "and I need to get some close up shots."

The pilot was strangely silent for a moment. Finally he stammered, "So, what you're telling me is....you're NOT my flight instructor??"

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Surprise Taste Sensation

I mentioned yesterday a recipe that was a winner at our house. It was Chicken-Corn Pizza. I am not a huge pizza fan - can take it or leave it - but I LOVE chicken and I also am a new fan of goat cheese. (Don't stop reading yet...) If you had told me even a few months ago, I would admit to liking..or even trying goat cheese..I would not believe it. But, it is true. There is a dish at Carrabba's restaurant that a server talked me into trying - a chicken dish with roasted red peppers (YUM) and goat cheese on top. I thought, worse case I'll scrape the cheese off the top. Oh No. It was heavenly. I had always assumed goat cheese was very sharp or pungent, tasted awful, and that I hated it - but I'd never tried it. It is none of those - it is delicious. So when I came across this recipe with chicken...and corn...and goat cheese - well, what's not to love?!? But, the kicker is Hubbie loved it too!! It is a keeper at our house.

1 12-inch packaged prebaked pizza crust (oh yea, and you don't have to make your own crust...just gets better and better!)
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 10oz. pkg. frozen whole kernel corn in butter sauce
1 6oz. pkg. refrigerated cooked chicken breast strips
1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
2 tsp. tarragon
1 tsp. bottled minced garlic
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
1 can sliced olives - totally did not use these (yuck!)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1. Preheat oven 450 and line baking sheet with tin foil. In bowl, combine ricotta, Parmesan and black pepper. Spread on crust leaving space around edge. Bake 5 minutes.
2. Transfer corn and sauce from package to bowl and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Stir and cook one minute more. Stir in chicken, sweet pepper, tarragon and garlic. Remove pizza from oven and spoon corn mixture over ricotta mixture.
3. Top with goat cheese and bake five minutes more until lightly browned. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Thinking about Dad

A Simple Woman's Daybook: March 8, 2010

Outside my window....it is a glorious day! I think spring has finally arrived - the wind has died down and the temperatures are supposed to reach the 60s...woo hoo!!

I am thinking....of ideas for our flower beds. Although not a gardener by any means, I am anxious to get to outside and do a little planting.

I am thankful for....good parents - not perfect parents but two people who truly loved each other, loved my brother and me...just the right parents for me! - and for a very happy childhood!!

I am wearing...why is this statement included each week?? I know I can leave it out - and I might - but I'm curious what is the significance of this when journaling?? And, just for the record..its early and I'm still in my pj's but why does anyone need to know that?!?!

I am remembering...my dad!! Yesterday would have been his 76th birthday! Of course, I think of him all year long but this time of year is full of Dad's memory. He loved spring...and everything budding and getting ready to bloom and grow. He would LOVE my new home and he would have amazing ideas for my flower beds! I miss him greatly. (I'm going to see if I can use my new scanner and get some photos of Dad uploaded......)

I am going...to the post office and to take Mr. Rascal to the groomer:)

I am reading....well, not much this week and that probably is not a good thing.

I am hoping...this is a good week for someone I love very much. Last week was a very difficult week and I am praying that God can use it for good.

On my mind....a new project I am working on with a girlfriend that I believe God can really bless and the possibilities are endless as to what He can do with it.

From the kitchen...a new recipe we tried last week that was a keeper! I will share that one tomorrow.

Around the house..is so much dust - what is up with that? I dust (I think) often and during the day things look fairly "dust-free" but let that sun stream in first thing in the morning and, my goodness, notice the dust! I don't like dust.

Plans for the week...are to get in touch with several folks by phone that I need to "check on" - I don't make phone calls like I should and I don't know why.

One of my favorite things....looking through the family photo albums - especially the pictures of little ones with my parents...wonderful and precious memories!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Is My Service A Hinderance??

Thanks to everyone who shared their thoughts yesterday regarding Satan's tactics to interfer with our closeness to the Savior. I love to read everyone's thoughts - for several reasons actually but I am especially encouraged to know that so many women struggle with the same things - its not just me:)...and yet they are committed to continue seeking Him. So many of your blogs are such a blessing of encouragement to me.

We can certainly keep ourselves busy - that was a common thought - and the struggle can be very real to find...or create..that quiet time to simply be still and hear from Him - and to draw near to Him. I mentioned that a bit in my daybook on Monday. However, I also, think that a real hindrance for many women is our service, or more specifically our Christian service. Hear me out.

We want to do our best for the Lord. We are involved - and busy. There are Bible studies to attend, or even facilitate. Choir practice. Sunday school classes to teach. Hand bell choirs. Visitation programs. And ladies' programs. The list goes on and on and we are eager to do all that we can. And all of those things are good - and even right. But I think we can began to focus more on our service...and getting it all done...than on the one we truly want "to serve." Then we become "check box" Christians. (You know...choir practice - check. Visitation - check.) We check off all that we need to do for the Lord during the week, and yet still feel so hungry for Him at the end of the week.

I'm not suggesting at all that we need to stop doing any of those things. I am very grateful for all the opportunities of service and ministry that are available and I feel privileged to be a part of them. I simply have to guard that I don't allow those times to substitute for my "quality time" with Christ. Those purposeful times of quiet where I come aside, am still, and can draw close to my Heavenly Father. Satan's tricky, for sure. It needs to be a real matter of prayer and seeking God's guidance to know exactly what to do, how much to do, and how to get it all done.

Have a beautiful weekend, friends.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Share Your Thoughts -

After my breakfast this morning with some girlfriends, I just was not ready to "call it a day" and head home:) so I headed over to Ikea. Do you have an Ikea home store in your area? and, if so, isn't it the best for simply wandering and looking for ideas?? For a store that is totally contemporary - and I am not really at all contemporary when it comes to decorating - there is a lot of great inspiration in that store. I just like roaming through each department...sometimes that's because I'm completely turned around and cannot find the exit, but - oh well. Where else do you for inspiring home ideas??

I also have another question - this one that I have been mulling over since Bible study yesterday. We had quite a good discussion around the question "what do you believe most hinders Christians today from a more intimate relationship with Christ??" No doubt, we all long for that deep relationship with our Savior - to really know the heart of God and to be a "man after God's own heart"......I know I do. Satan has so many tricks up his sleeve but what do you think is the most effective deterrent to that closeness we so desire?

I would love to hear your thoughts. And I will share mine tomorrow. I teach my sweet crusaders tonight at church and need to make sure I'm prepared. Happy Wednesday, friends.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

(No) Snow Update

Remember this (rather fuzzy, uploaded from my cell phone) photo from only a mere month or so ago??????
The same spot in our backyard - WOO HOO!! Yes, there is still a little snow mound there but what a difference!

The new season is coming (slowly but oh so surely!) Just praising God for His faithfulness today!! Hope everyone is having a great Tuesday:)

Monday, March 1, 2010

New Every Morning

Simple Woman's Daybook: March 1, 2010

Outside my window.....it is a beautiful morning! It might even reach 50 today and the sun is glorious streaming through the windows.

I am thinking.....about my last post - from last Monday - and what a difference a week can make:) I definitely struggled last week. Not exactly sure why...maybe all that thinking about Heaven got me started....but my emotions got the best of me and then begins the negative thinking and so on and so on until it just is not pretty. But my God is faithful - and sticketh closer than a brother...always ready to lift me up and put my feet back on solid ground (if only I thought of these lines myself! :) )

I am thankful....for new beginnings. A new month. A new week. A new day. And His mercies are new every morning!!

I am wearing....my snazzy pink rain boots when I take the dogs out today. All this melting snow - can I get a huge HOORAY - is leaving a lot of soggy muddy ground...but that's okay.

I am remembering....some of the funniest (and cutest) things that my little 3 and 4 year olds say each week during our crusader class on Wednesday nights. I told my husband that I really need to be writing a book because some of the things "out of the mouths of babes" there are totally priceless!!

I am going....to get my friend Susan (the one who recently moved to PA) a birthday card today if I don't remember anything else. Wednesday is her birthday and she is certainly lonely - I hope she has a special day. Other than that, I really need to do some grocery shopping today.

I am reading...well, looking at the pictures, of a Home and Design magazine that I was given at the Home and Garden Center Expo we went to this weekend. The magazine is a little over the top but the expo was a lot of fun - so much totally cool stuff and completely beautiful ideas for both inside and outside.

I am hoping....my sweet nephew had a great birthday this past Thursday - and that his dad is home safely from his trip to Kentucky. (I need to call them both today.)

On my mind...are some of the thoughts I have from last night's sermon about guarding ourselves from "busyness". I think one of Satan's greatest tools for keeping us not only ineffective, but also discouraged and defeated, is busyness. How easy it is to keep ourselves busy and, sadly, many women seem to get some (or even most) of their self-worth from being busy...as if when asked "how have you been" and they could not answer "oh, so busy" that they were failures. There was much to learn in that sermon and some re-shaping of the thinking that I need to ponder.

In the kitchen...I flipped over the calendar (the one that is strictly for appearance..ha) and it said "Nature is God's Art" - love it.

Around the house....it is (for the most part) clean - yeah - as I spent the whole day on Friday scrubbing before guests arrived that evening. So, today, I get a little break from my normal "cleaning day Monday" and I am enjoying waking up to things looking fresh and tidy.

Plans for the week.....oh my. I was thinking over my week ahead and I noticed a bit of a theme - let's see....lunch with a friend on Tuesday, breakfast at a girlfriend's house on Wednesday, breakfast at Cracker Barrel on Thursday for Ladies' Day Out, dinner out with friends on Saturday. WHY do all my plans revolve around food????? No doubt, next Monday's plans for the week will involve working off another three extra pounds!

One of my favorite things...Jordan's phone calls and hearing his stories from work (he has a great story ability) - he made his first arrest! and that story keeps me laughing every time I retell it.