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Thursday, December 31, 2009

The List

I don't usually make a list of New Year's Resolutions. It's not because I don't need to. But probably fewer than 20% of those who make resolutions are actually able to keep them into the year for any length of time. That's probably because when resolving to change we rely upon our own determination, willpower, and strength.

So.......for whatever list you may or may not have made, let's all rely on our Lord to make us "into what He wants us to be."

And remember tonight when the clock strikes midnight, include thanking Him again for His blessings on your life!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Jonah and the Dallas Mavs

Today, Rick is my guest writer! I have never asked him to do this, but he graciously agreed to do so. I wanted to share our trip with Jonah but really haven't felt 100% yet. So, thanks for helping me out!!

During the holidays, Nanna and I got to take Jonah to his first Dallas Mavericks game. The story actually started a couple of weeks before. We had told Jonah we were going to take him to the game ahead of time instead of surprising him Christmas. This actually worked out pretty well because every time he came over to the house Nanna had to show him the tickets, and he would ask “ how many sleeps till we go." (It was not how many days but how many sleeps.) The day finally came, and after a stop at McDonalds, we arrived at American Airlines Center. The first fun thing was riding the escalator down in the parking garage. We were walking to the arena, and he was looking at this gigantic building, I can’t imagine what that place looked like to a four year old his first time.

Once inside Nanna and I were going to walk around a little and kill some time. I had told her earlier we would be leaving at half time because by then he would be bored stiff and be all over the place. Jonah didn’t like our walking idea; he wanted to go inside "NOW." Our seats were over the tunnel where the players go in and out. I told Jonah we would go down to the floor as far as they would let us to see the players up close. One of the floor announcers was talking to the crowd and asked, “How may people received tickets for Christmas?" Jonah’s hand shot up before he could finish. (The next thing I knew his hand was going up again with “Hook Em Horns” sign; wonder where he got that?)

The people sitting by us were having a blast. Every time Jonah saw Dirk in person or on the big screen it was “THERE'S DIRK."

We went back to our seats, and because of the people in front, I told him he could sit in my lap. The game started and he watched every thing going on. Every time the Mavericks scored his right arm with fist clinched shot up in the air. I told him about #2 Jason Kidd, #11 JJ, #31 Jet Terry, etc.

About half way through the game, he turned around and asked “Papa is #7 Tim Thomas?” I said "WHO?" I didn’t remember #7 so I looked up at the screen and sure enough. He never left my lap, and his eyes never left the court 'til time to go which was not half time! I’m sure he will never forget that day (and neither will Nanna and I).

Monday, December 28, 2009

Merry and Memorable Around Here

The holidays have come and gone just as quickly as we knew they would. I pray you had a Merry Christmas just as our family did.

Merry? Yes!
Memorable? Most definitely!

Chad , the Oklahoma City nephew, was trying desperately to get here on Christmas Eve. A 2 ½ hour drive took him 8 plus hours because of the snow storm that had hit up there. He missed the meal and a Santa visit, but arrived in time for all the gift exchanging and fun of Christmas Eve around here.

My DIL and I both made trips to the ER on Christmas morning. Neither was life threatening but major pain has a way of telling you when you need to seek help.

Yet amidst the possible downers, I was blessed and continue to be thankful.
(Remember thanksgiving is not just a holiday but a way of life.)

I am thankful for Christmas memories with our families.
I am thankful for Jesus.
I am thankful for Demerol and antibiotics.
I am thankful for good food.
I am thankful for the love and concern of my family.
I am thankful for my couch, a warm fire, and Lifetime movies.

Bring on 2010!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Friday, December 18, 2009


Do you like e-cards? No? Well, see you later. Yes? Then continue.

I like them but really prefer the short little interactive ones. Ashland College up in Ohio has a beautiful Christmas card from the past still posted out there in "web-land." Take a few seconds to enjoy it!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Fa La La La Licious

I made TWO batches of this yesterday. If you haven't tried this recipe version, do! You'll go NUTS over it!

Microwave Peanut Brittle

1 1/2 cups dry roasted peanuts
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 pinch salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda

Grease a baking sheet or cover with parchment paper. In a glass bowl, combine peanuts, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Cook in microwave for 6 to 7 minutes. Mixture should be bubbly and peanuts browned. Stir in butter and vanilla; cook 2 to 3 minutes longer.

Quickly stir in baking soda--just until mixture is foamy. Pour immediately onto greased or covered baking sheet. Let cool about 15 minutes or until set. Break into pieces, and store in airtight container.

So EASY and So GOOD!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Bright and The Beautiful

I wanted to share a couple of pretty Christmas pictures this morning. These are the streets in a beautiful area of Frisco. It is Jenna's view outside her apartment.


Happy Anniversary, Rick!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Hangups

Our children at church presented this great Christmas musical the weekend. They were so cute and did a fantastic job.

The story takes place just before Christmas, and the tree ornaments have been awakened from their yearly hibernation by the movement of the storage boxes. It's time! As they begin to prepare for another season on the family Christmas tree, they are greeted by a rather strange and “un-Christmassy” ornament: A hula-girl. The Star, the Snowman, the Angel and others don't understand what she has to do with Christmas and give her a rather cool reception.

However, a significant figure from the mantelpiece shows up to explain to all of them what Christmas is about and how they each have significance in God's amazing plan of redemption through His Son.


Now.......Webster defines "hangups" as (1) a psychological or emotional difficulty or (2) an inhibition or obstacle to smooth progress or development.

Don't let some hangups with the hustle, bustle, and craziness of the season cause you to lose your JOY during Christmas. Or more importantly don't lose sight of the fact that NO ONE is insignificant to Jesus!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Snowman Soup and Scripture

I was told that you’d been good this year
Always glad to hear it.
With freezing weather drawing near
You’ll need to warm the spirit
So here’s a little Snowman Soup
Complete with stirring stick
Add hot water, stir it slowly
It’s sure to do the trick!

Ingredients: Hot chocolate mix,
Snowballs, Snowman kisses and
Stirring stick

This was a great Saturday afternoon project for Jonah. He did all the counting, sorting, bagging, etc. I typed out the labels for him.

Let It Snow!


The Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. (1 John 4: 14)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

It's A Wrap!

Finally! I have some WRAPPED presents under a tree. Hope you do, too. It's only two weeks........

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Red and Green Trees

This was taken two days ago. You can tell it was cloudy, but just look. We wanted our trees to match all of the yard stuff this year. What do you think?

Seriously----It's December and our trees are still decked in the seasonal colors. It just caught my eye that afternoon as I pulled in the driveway. I probably should have gotten the whole front view instead of just one part. Oh well, you get the idea!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Spinning Plates

The question “How do you find balance in your life?” has been asked over and over. You may have heard it posed to someone during an interview either in person or on the television.

Have you ever given this some thought personally? Well, I am throwing this one out to you today.

Now, first let me say I acknowledge that as Christians we know it takes faith, prayer, daily communion with God, and many other attributes of a meaningful relationship with Him to find true joy and peace.

But for just a second, let’s talk though about the nitty gritty of our day-to-day “earthly” challenges. As a mom, daughter, wife, etc. I know we all have days where we begin to “feel” the spinning of the plates!

Bottom line….what do YOU do?

Is it a pedicure? Is it a girls’ night out? A hot bath? A shopping trip? A workout? Saturday outing? Listening to music?

You get the idea. So again--what do YOU do? Leave me a comment. We are all ears!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Merry Moments

A fabulous night at home with a little of this..........

And this...........

AND a Christmas special on television!

Aahh! Merry Moments

Saturday, December 5, 2009

"What Were We Thinking?"

Have you ever tried something new or different during the Christmas holidays? Does the phrase “What were we thinking?” ring a bell for you?

Yeah, same here! One year our family decided we would start a new tradition. We decided we would go Christmas caroling. I don’t mean with a big church group or other organized singers. I mean just nine of us. This group included four older adults and our five 18-25 yr. old kiddos.

We practiced for all of thirty minutes which also included picking out the songs we thought we could handle.

We dressed warmly, and best I remember looked the parts of real carolers. That’s about it!

Keelie sang really well!! But the rest of us pretty much added no musical talent whatsoever. Wait…I take that back. Greg’s guitar playing was awesome!

We sang for the lady who babysat all our children. We sang for a grandparent. Of course, they loved it! Their "kids" will always be adorable and talented in their eyes.

We sang for some residents of the nursing home. Of course, they loved it! Not sure how many could really hear us. They were so precious though.

After we called it a night (which didn’t take too long), we came to the consensus that our new tradition had been fun! Yes, even if it was just a one-year gig!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Travel Tree

I call this my "Travel Tree." I started it some years ago. I document places I am blessed to visit with an ornament. It is one of Hobby Lobby's pre-lit pine trees. I usually put this one in our bedroom. I just picked out a few to share with you.

Florence, Italy

British Columbia, Canada

San Francisco

Rocky Mountain National Park -- Colorado

I have hooked up to Keelie's TWOC.

Twelve Weeks of Christmas

Monday, November 30, 2009

Here are a few more CRAFT ideas for you 
to try when you get in the mood!

1. Tin Star:  cover with different scrapbook papers; put a coat of Modge Podge on it 

2. Frame:  make a pretty bow and bedazzle it up

3. Photo Block:  piece of wood (your choice of size), cover with paper; "spruce" it up with feathers, trim, etc.; add a clip to show off a favorite photo

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Song and a Slice of Sweetness

Regardless of how many times I hear this song, I am over taken with thanksgiving, joy, and praise each and every time!

You Are My King
(Chris Tomlin)

I'm forgiven because you were forsaken
I'm accepted, you were condemned
I'm alive and well
Your spirit is within me
Because you died and rose again

Amazing love how can it be
That you, my king would die for me
Amazing love, I know its true
It's my joy to honor you
Amazing love how can it be?
That you, my king, would die for me
Amazing love, I know its true
Its my joy to honor you
In all I do I honor you

You are my king
You are my king
Jesus, You are my king
Jesus, You are my king

Amazing love, how can it be?
That you, my king, would die for me
Amazing love, I know it's true
Its my joy to honor you
Amazing love, how can it be?
That you, my king would die for me
Amazing love I know it's true
Its my joy to honor you
In all I do I honor you
In all I do honor you.


Red Velvet Cake

1 ½ sticks (3/4 c.) butter, softened
1 ½ cups sugar
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 t. vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2 T. red food coloring
2 t. white vinegar
2 ½ cups flour

2 bricks (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
2 sticks (1 c.) butter, softened
2 jars (7 or 7 ½ oz each) marshmallow cream

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Coat two 9 x 2-in. or 8 x 2-in. cake pans with baking spray (nonstick spray with flour).

2. Cake: In a large bowl with mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and vanilla 2 minutes until creamy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until blended. Stir buttermilk, food color and vinegar in a 2-cup measure until well blended. With mixer on low, beat in flour in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk mixture in 2 additions, beating just until combined. Spread 3 cups batter in each prepared pan.

3. Bake 30 to 33 minutes for 9-in. layers, 40 to 43 minutes for 8-in. layers, until cakes pull away from sides of pans and a pick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean. Do not overcook. Cool in pans on a wire rack 5 minutes before removing from pans onto rack to cool completely.

4. Frosting: Beat cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add marshmallow cream; beat until smooth and fluffy, about 1 minute.

5. To assemble: Place 1 layer on serving plate; spread with 2 cups frosting. Top with remaining layer; frost sides, then top with remaining frosting.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Turkey Tex-Mex Casserole

Now is when everyone tells you how to use the leftover turkey. I saw this one cooked on television this morning. Well, it's right up my alley---mushrooms, cheese, turkey, cheese, tomatoes, cheese.......you get the message. Don't let the length of this post scare you; it looked easy!

6 tablespoons butter
1 pound button mushrooms, wiped clean, stems trimmed and quartered
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 1/2 cups turkey stock or canned, low sodium chicken broth
12 cups tortilla chips
3 to 3 1/2 cups diced roast turkey
2 cups finely chopped onions
1 cup finely chopped bell peppers
2 jalapeno peppers, stem and seeds removed and finely chopped (optional)
8 ounces Pepper Jack cheese, grated
8 ounces Cheddar cheese, grated
4 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 cup drained and chopped canned tomatoes
One 4-ounce can diced green chilies, drained

Cooking Directions
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Heat the butter in a skillet over high heat until foamy.
Add the mushrooms, ¼ teaspoon of salt, and the black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms release their liquid. Continue to cook until mushrooms are golden brown and all liquid has evaporated, about 6 minutes. Sprinkle the mushrooms with the flour, stir to blend, and cook for 1 minute. Add the milk and stir, scraping the skillet to release any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.
Cook until the mixture begins to thicken. Add 1 ½ cups of the turkey broth, stir, and cook until thick and flavorful, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Place the tortillas in the bottom of a glass 9 x 13-inch casserole and crush with your hands so that the tortillas form a thin layer on the bottom of the dish. Pour the remaining 1 cup of the turkey broth over the tortillas and allow them to soak up the liquid.
Scatter the turkey pieces over the top of the tortilla layer. Spread the chopped onions, bell peppers, and the minced jalapenos evenly over the turkey. Top with half of the grated cheeses.
Sprinkle with the chili powder, cumin, remaining ½ teaspoon salt, and the cayenne . Spoon the reserved mushroom mixture evenly over the top of the spices, then top with the tomatoes and green chilies.
Cover with the remainder of the cheeses. Bake uncovered for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and the casserole is heated through.
(Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, courtesy Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.)

Thursday, November 26, 2009


"I will always trust in you and in your mercy and shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord because He has blessed me so richly." (Psalms 13: 5-6)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Big "Thank You"

Thena had a giveaway recently, and I won 50 custom cards from Uprinting.com. It was so easy to upload pictures and complete the order. Shipping is usually done within 24 hrs. of the proofing. Pretty easy, huh?

Thanks again, Thena!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"Believe" Sweatshirt

Craft weekend share #1

 I put this on a red sweatshirt to enjoy wearing during the holidays! All you need are some letters, fabric of your choice, sweatshirt, backing, an iron, and a sewing machine.

Give it a whirl!

Monday, November 23, 2009

All That Glitters

Keelie helped Jenna and me with a couple of Christmas things this past week.

I had bought some supplies and then showed her a picture. After a few minutes, WAHLAA! My new large swag was finished. 

She was also sweet to help Jenna out with her tree. One afternoon Keelie, Glory, and I headed down to her apartment. We ordered Chinese food, and then Keelie began her magic. Jenna had everything on hand. So within a couple of hours her beautiful tree was aglow and complete.

I have hooked up to TWOC to share my swag. (Yeah I know it's not really a wreath, but she won't care.)

Twelve Weeks of Christmas

The DIY Show Off

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I left today with Marilyn and a friend for hopefully what will prove to be a very profitable girls’ weekend of crafting. We will be “moving” in with my 24 yr. old nephew at his house in a neighboring state. (He’s a great kid by the way!)

He will not know what hit him when all the crates, boxes, bags, sewing machines, etc. come rolling in the back door. I think he is honestly looking forward to having us around. He knows there will be some free meals involved, too!

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I wanted to personalize some homemade baked gift packages this year. I decided to do it by creating some name tags.  Just for fun, I also wanted to do it without purchasing anything.

Out came some old Christmas cards from last year, scrapbooking paper, ribbon, a hole punch and a cutter. I began by sorting through the cards and finding some I really wanted to use. I trimmed them  and then selected some coordinating paper.

I will confess now. I actually had to go to the dollar store and buy a glue stick. 

And the finished products...............

Who said projects had to be difficult to be worth it? This was an easy, fun, and inexpensive DIY

 I have hooked up to

Twelve Weeks of Christmas


Monday, November 16, 2009

Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day

Oh my gosh! If you didn't hear this yesterday, November 15,  was "Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day." 

MOST everything in a refrigerator was once a fresh, healthy food (or not), ready for your consumption. It may have been a tasty leftover, intended for later enjoyment. Unfortunately, over the course of weeks or more, things got pushed to the back of the refrigerator and slowly transformed into something impossible to identify.

What's that in the back of  YOUR refrigerator!? Do you really want to know? Don't open it...... the odor may overwhelm you!!! Hold your breath, scrunch your nose if you must, and throw it straight in the trash.

Happy Cleaning!!

P.S. What's the most unusual thing you have in your refrigerator RIGHT NOW? Mine was a wrapped used paint brush! Don't ask.............

Friday, November 13, 2009


 This is GOOD...Pass it on!

 A simple friend when visiting acts like a guest.
 A real friend opens your refrigerator and helps herself AND doesn't feel even the least bit weird shutting your Diet Coke drawer with her foot! 

 A simple friend has never seen you cry.
 A real friend's shoulder is soggy from your tears.. 
 A simple friend doesn't know your relatives' first names.
 A real friend has their phone numbers in her address book. 
A simple friend brings a gift to your party.
A real friend comes early to help you cook and stays late to help you clean. 
A simple friend hates it when you call after they've gone to bed.
A real friend asks you why you took so long to call. 
 A simple friend seeks to talk with you about your problems.
 A real friend seeks to help you with your problems. 

 A simple friend wonders about your romantic history.
 A real friend could blackmail you with it! 

 A simple friend thinks the friendship is over when you have an argument.
 A real friend calls you after you had a fight. 
 A simple friend expects you to always be there for them.
 A real friend expects to always be there for you! 

 It keeps us together......our Circle of Friends!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Let Freedom Ring As We Remember! 
Veteran's Day

I am proud both my father and father-in-law served our country. This is my dad standing under the Eiffel Tower in Paris. He served most of his time in France and Germany. My father-in-law was in the Philippines. (I'm searching for a photo of him in uniform.)

I'd love to know if you have a family member who served as well. 

I pray God continues to bless our nation.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Remember our troops and families today as they hold a memorial service at Ft. Hood here in Texas for the fallen soldiers.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Race Weekend

Rick and I have been at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend in the RV.

The weather was absolutely perfect. I enjoyed being with family and friends. Huge meals are always included in the these weekends. We've had a full breakfast every morning that the GUYS cooked. Other meals included brisket, baby-back ribs, Mexican food, and on and on.

Now, I should say I didn't even go to the actual races. I stayed back at camp and caught up on reading these.... 

as well as my ladies bible study material. One of the ladies in the group use to have her own floral shop and decorating business. She was thrilled to give us some pointers on bow making. I think if we had had our Christmas trees out there, she would have done them for us! Don't think I didn't consider the logistics of that for a few minutes! 

Hope you had a great weekend, too.