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Friday, April 29, 2011

We did it!

Isn't there a song by Dora the Explorer that says that?  We did it?  I don't know, she's going through my head but my kids were past that stage when Dora came out.

ANYWAY!  GUESS WHAT PEOPLE????  Today - yes - this very day - is Day 60 of being pop FREE!!  I can NOT believe I did it!  Literally can not believe it.  No Mountain Dew since February 28.  Kind of makes me wonder what else I am capable of that I didn't think I was.  Like being sugar free for 60 days.

Naw.  Anyway - the first 25 days - stunk.  Yes, 25 days.  The worst cravings were days 20-25 and then poof - wa-la - suddenly - gone - just like that.  I haven't craved one since then - not even today knowing I can have one tomorrow.

Everyone is encouraging me to stay off it.  I'm tempted to make a Dr.'s appointment for Monday just to get blood work done to see if it really has made any difference.  Lord knows it didn't make a bit of difference weight wise which just makes me angry.  Turning 40 stinks on the weight side of things - but that, my friends, is another story for another blog post.

On another note, just a little teaser, we have made a big decision as a family.  Nope, I'm not prego, nope, I'm not planning on becoming prego.  Nope, we're not moving anywhere and nope, we're not headed to Africa (how how I wish) - but it's a big decision for our family.  I'm afraid I can't share for a bit - but I promise my blogging friends - as soon as I possibly can - I'll be putting up a post about it.  Oh how I have waited to write that post.  You have no idea how excited I am about this little announcement.

Anywho - that's that!  60 days pop free!  Marty is cleaning out the shed tonight which will check off yet another 40 in 40 goal.  I highly doubt I'm going to lose the 40 pounds by September - but hey - you never know.

All righty my faithful blogger friends - thanks for those of you who continue to come back despite my little writing dry spells.  Love you guys!

Pier 1 Giftcard giveaway!

Check THIS out!  I love me some Pier 1 and almost never get a chance to shop there 'cause I just don't have the extra cash flow at this point - but maybe with a gift card - I could shop a little :)  Sign up for YOUR chance!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Warning, your system has been infected

These are not words you want to see when you start up your computer.  Running a virus scan and so far, 6 viruses have been located on my computer.  My antivirus software is (I hope) on a seek and destroy mission - locate the virus, isolate it and then annihilate it.  That's what it's designed for anyway.

This got me thinking.  How nice it would be if I had one of these installed in my heart and my brain.  No, not for medical issues - but for spiritual ones. What if, when I awoke in the morning, a warning bell would sound, letting me know my system has been infected.  Letting me know things are not safe, not as they should be.

But wait - I DO have one of those.  It's called the Holy Spirit.  The word, worship, prayer, fellow brothers and sisters in Christ - all are part of my antivirus software package.  If I spend time with all of these things, then there will be a seek and destroy mission to annihilate anything that invades my soul.

The key to my free antivirus program is actually running it.  If I don't have it running, it doesn't do me any good.  Just like if I don't spend time in the word, in worship, in prayer, with my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ - then how could I possibly be informed that something is running amuck spiritually in my system?

These past few days we've had the kids home on spring break - and I must admit - my time in the word and worship has suffered.  Because of that, my system is infected. With complacency, with a short fuse, with a lack of desire for time with my Savior, with a sense of lukewarm instead of being on fire.  It's time to run my antivirus program and get the viruses out of my system.

What about you?  Has your system been infected due to lack of time in God's word?  Or lack of time with God's people or prayer?  It's an easy fix - and free just like my antivirus program on my computer.  Just get in the word.  Spend time in prayer.  Throw on some worship music.  Get in church.  Let the antivirus program get rid of anything that is out to destroy your soul.  The sooner you do it, the less likely your system is to completely crash.

Off now to run my antivirus software.  Gonna dig out my bible and my prayer journal and get to work!  Anyone care to join me?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Neighborhood "excitement"

Thought I'd post this and clear up some rumors.

Yes, according to a child in our neighborhood, there was a man impersonating a police office.  Supposedly this man, dressed in uniform and driving a blue crown victory, approached my neighbors house and knocked on the door.  The kid was home alone - 13 year old boy - friend and classmate of Jon's.  He let the man in the home, who then searched the house and asked if he knew where another boy in the neighborhood was.  This was around 2 p.m. on Friday.

Today, we were woken by a loud banging on the door.  We answered, and there was channel 11 news.  We only knew what we were told by this boy.  We were never informed by the police, we did not see the man nor the car.  Marty explained this to the news station, who then asked him to comment on whether or not we are scared (no), and what we are telling our kids.  Channel 11 was polite and didn't try to sensationalize anything.

Not an hour later, another knock on the door.  This time, Detroit 4 news.  Pushier than channel 11 news, we repeated the same information to them.  After this, we had some errands to run and as we were getting in the car, another news vehicle approached - this time channel 13 who REALLY tried to sensationalize the whole thing - and again - Marty repeated the same information.

We don't know anymore than that.  There are comments on some of the news stories that "maybe it's a drug house because it's a beat up shack."  That is unfair.  It is not, I repeat, not a drug house.  It is a hard working family with 5 kids who do their best to make ends meet.  I don't know why this person was looking for this other young man, also a neighborhood boy the same age as Jon.  We haven't seen him to speak with him since the incident.

No, we are not scared.  First and foremost, because God is in control.  Second, because we feel it must have had something to do with this specific young man.  I pray for HIS safety, but I think we are fine.  No one was hurt, no damage was done, nothing was stolen - and now it's all over the news.  My only concern is that the news failed to share how we repeatedly said we were not involved and didn't see anything.  I don't want my neighbors, whom this DID happen to, to feel like we jumped in on something just to get on t.v.

Anyway - just wanted to clear it up.  It's not a drug house - and it makes me sad that people are saying that.  Just because we don't all live in big fancy houses does not mean we are drug users/pushers.  As I said, hard working people - not a drug house.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Good News

Although I know this article ends with words that are not necessarily what we want to hear, I still find reason to praise.

President Obama spent Easter morning in a bible believing church. 

I don't know where the President is spiritually.  I don't agree with him on much of anything - but praise the Lord - he was in church today.  The Lord can work in anyones heart - and that includes our President.  How awesome would it be if today, President Obama saw his need for salvation?  What if today, on this resurrection Sunday, President Obama heard the still small voice of our Savior whispering in his ear?  What if?

With so much bad news about the President on the news every day - I thought I'd pull this out as something positive.  Yeah, it was probably about show - but who knows.  You and I, a lot of us, spent several Sunday mornings in church - for show.  We spent it there to make our parents happy, or because that's what a good person is "supposed" to do or for whatever reason we did - but along the way, seeds were planted.  The word never returns void.  Today, I pray and trust that President Obama heard the salvation message and if nothing else, is contemplating the meaning of it to him.

Easter Morning

He is Risen!!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

FitBlogger Challenge - Health and Fitness

My friend Jacque posted a blog challenge on her blog tonight and I think I'll join.  I'm already in the midst of getting healthier - counting calories and no longer drinking pop - so this is right up my alley.

You can see in my sidebar, my main health and fitness goal is to lose 40 pounds by the time I turn 41.  In the past week, I have lost about 7 - maybe 8.  I'm well on my way.  I started the week strong, but by the end, had stopped counting calories.

The past is past - so lets move on to the future.  For this week, I need to focus on combining the counting calories and exercise.  Week 1, I focused on exercise and didn't lose any weight.  Week 2, I focused on counting calories and lost weight.  So, for week 3, lets bring it all together and see what happens.  My goal for the week is to exercise at least 3 days for 30 minutes each day.  I know, it's not much - but we all have to start somewhere.  Why not start with something that seems attainable?  I also want to continue tracking my calories and keeping that food journal.  I need to be a bit more disciplined in this area this week.

If you'd like to join the challenge - click HERE.  You can also click on the button matching the picture in this post at the bottom of the blog.  It seems there is a sweet prize to be won.  You know I love a good challenge and who doesn't love prizes?

Thanks again Jacque for sharing a unique challenge!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What God has been teaching me

1.  In His silence, He still speaks.
2.  I am not my own, I was bought with a price.
3.  We need friends.  We were not meant to walk alone.
4.  God has a sense of humor.   
5.  Saying sorry isn't as hard as I thought.
6.  Sometimes the answer really is wait - and I can actually be content in the waiting.
7.  He is the great provider.
8.  Discipline, although difficult, is necessary.
9.  Even when you give up on your dreams - God has not.  
10.  It's okay to have people over when my house is trashed.  Most times people don't care half as much   as I do.
11.  Oh how great is His love for me.
12.  Food was not meant to be my god.  I am an idol worshipper.  I will become an idol destroyer.
13.  Fasting - in His strength, in His power, is actually possible.
14.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
15.  The Word is life.  Soak in the Word.
16.  Prayer actually works!!
17.  A gentle answer turns away wrath.
18.  Draw near to Him, and He will draw near to you.
19.  God can stretch the gas in your car when you have no money left to fill the tank.
20.  Life is made in the small moments.

What about you?  What is God teaching you?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday is Coming

Today is Palm Sunday - the day we celebrate Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  Next Sunday we celebrate His resurrection.

I wonder - what was this week like for Jesus?  As we face our normal routines - running our kids everywhere, doing laundry, fixing dinner - the "stuff" that makes up our lives - do we even stop and think - what was this Sunday - what was this week like - for our Jesus?

He knew what he was about to face.  He knew what was coming.  He knew the incredible physical pain He would endure - for you - for me.  He knew and yet - He did it anyway.

I wonder - if we knew what the week would hold for us - would we do the same?  Or would we run, would we not even head to the garden - knowing the kiss would destroy us?  I'm sure we would pray like Jesus - at least the first part - if it is possible - please take this from me.  But very few of us would pray the second - but your will Lord, not my own.

How our Jesus must have suffered this week.  Oh the pain He experienced.  The mental anguish.  Knowing He was about to say goodbye to the people He loved.  To know His father would turn His back on Him, if only for a moment.  For you, for me.  There are no words to express how my Jesus must have felt this week - the great sadness He must have been burdened with.  The sins of the world nearly crushing him.  For you and for me.

Have you ever really thought about it?  What He did for you?  I can't imagine.  If I held the power that Jesus held/holds - I think the first blow by people who hated and mocked me would have been enough for me to bring down the world on their heads.  But to think - to truly grasp - He took it all because of His great love for us - that just blows my mind.  I don't understand it.  I am humbled by it.  I am overwhelmed by it.  In a way, I am ashamed by it - to think He could love me - who does so many things to hurt him - that way?  Wow.  There are no words.

Here is a video for you - it's really for Easter Sunday.  It's graphic - scenes from Passion of the Christ - but watch it.  See what Jesus did for you.  Realize the great love He has for you.  Bend your knee to the Savior of the world.  Understand that this week, a long time ago, He took all of this - for you.  Before you even yet knew Him.  He came to die.  Remember that.  He loves you.  No matter what you are, no matter who you are, no matter where you've been, no matter what you've done.  He still did this - for you.  He loves you.  Oh how He loves you.  Watch the video - this, my dear friend, is how much He loves you.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Beyond a Shadow of Doubt

Last night I attended a women's ministry event and the speaker spoke on living beyond a shadow of doubt.  I kept singing bibleman (in my head) - for those of you who remember  "Shadow, of doubt".  But that has nothing to do with this post.

Anywho - when I heard the topic previous to the event, I thought, I'll go, talk to some friends, but I don't think this message will have much to do with me.

Mmmm hmmm.  It did.  A whole bunch.

I'm going to attempt to paraphrase some of what she said here.  I apologize, I don't know the name of the speaker - it was a video and I believe it's from Proverbs 31 ministries.  If any of you know, let me know and I'll put it up here.

The speaker shared a personal story of being asked to speak at a women's conference.  She struggled with feelings of inadequacy.  She even tried to back out of it.  She shared the story of Gideon - who - reminded me a lot of me.  God told him to do something, Gideon doubted if it was REALLY God telling him (how many times have I said that very thing) to go.

God called Gideon a mighty warrior - while he was hiding in a wine press.  (As the speaker said - not real mighty there Gideon!) God saw who he could be - not who he was in that moment.  God was very patient with Gideon as Gideon asked him repeatedly for signs to confirm God's call on his life.  Once Gideon removed himself from the shadow of doubt, God did mighty things through him.

There are many, many times, in my life that I doubt God's call.  I'm not good enough, I'm not well-spoken enough, I'm terrified of speaking publicly despite God giving me a tremendous testimony of His faithfulness.   So much doubt, so little faith in the God I serve to come through in spite of me.

I really knew the message was for me when the speaker shared this:

"God has called me to preach good news to the poor, God has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,  God has called me to proclaim freedom for the captives."

Those are my verses!  At this point, I was in tears as God was gently reminding me what He has called me to do.

I don't know if I will ever live without doubt in my life.  It plagues me - always speaking lies into my heart.  Maybe this is my cross to bear - because if I could do things on my own - maybe I would easily take the credit instead of giving the glory to God.

The message spoke to my heart and I told God - when He calls - I will do my very best to move forward in His strength, in His courage - and allow Him to move through me in mighty ways.  I am a mighty warrior - and like Gideon, God is patient with me too.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Creative Memories Give Away!

I don't know how I missed this - but my beautifully amazing friend Jackie is having a Creative Memories Give Away HERE.  You know you want to go win this sweet looking album - but don't work too hard at entering 'cause then it's less of a chance for me to win - he he.  Just joshin' ya - enter away!!

Let me tell ya a little about Jackie.  It was my friend Jackie who I sang my first duet with - and who taught me to harmonize - a skill I still use today :)  My friend Jackie was a shining example to me in high school of living a Christian life.  I was struggling, to say the least, making bad choices, but through her life, I was able to see it was possible to live a God-fearing life.  We played clarinet together too :)

Anywho - enter the giveaway if you'd like - and in the meantime - say hello to my friend Jackie and let her know I sent ya!  Nope, I don't even get any extra entries for that - lol :)  Good luck - but not too much ;-)

Creationism under attack

Creationism is under attack more than I've ever seen before.  Just this year, one of my kid's teachers told them the biblical story of Creationism has been disproved.  We've heard it said, by teachers, in militant fashion, that it is their job to teach kids who come from these wacko Christian homes the truth of evolution. 

If your kids attend public schools - or if they will attend a secular university especially - we must teach our kids the truth - at home.  We must ground them in the word.  The movement against Creationism is, as I said, militant.

Personally, I don't get it.  To me, it takes just as much faith to believe something came from nothing, to believe physical beauty came from destruction - and no matter what the evolutionists say - it all HAD to start SOMEWHERE.  It wasn't just THERE one day.  Even if you believe the nonsense - at some point - you have to agree there had to be a creator to create that first thing - gasses - whatever - in order to start the world in motion.  Hear me out here - I don't believe that - I can't look around and see the beautiful world that surrounds me and think it came from a ball of gasses floating around space.  That's stupidity at it's best.  Oh yeah, I went there.  I almost went off the deep end when above teacher tried to sell the whole bible has been disproved lie.  Funny how separation of church and state applies the minute a child/student tries to speak the truth - but our kids can be subjected to the RELIGION of evolution and that seems to be okay.

Moving along.  Let's see what the bible has to say about creation, because, after all, that's where we base our beliefs.

Of course, we have to start with Genesis 1 & 2 - the beginning of the world.  Read the chapters but Genesis 1:1 states "In the beginning God created heaven and earth."  Really, evolutionists could save themselves a lot of time and money if they would just read - and believe - that one verse.

Nehemiah 9:6 "You alone are Lord.  You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all the starry host, the earth and all that is in it, the seas and all that is in them.  You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.

Isaiah 42:5  "This is what God the Lord says - he who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread the earth and all that comes out of it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it."

There are several more, of course, but that's a start.  You can google it and find them, or ask and I'll give you more.

Just reading one article opposed to creationism calls us "brainwashed", "contentious", and accuses us of "fabricating beliefs based on an old book", and to end the article - I quote:  "Religious evangelism needs to accept science or cease spreading it's lies , for the good of everyone."

Do you hear the anger?  Do you see the dogmatism?   Do you feel the hate dripping in those words?  This article also says we don't base our beliefs in science - and there - he is wrong.  There is plenty of science disproving evolution and proving creationism.  I'm not putting it here - we could spend days arguing.  See the links below for more scientific proof that creationism is truth.

Personally, if someone wants to believe evolution - that's their choice. I disagree with them, and I pray one day they will see the truth - but I don't hate on people who don't believe the same way I do. I don't go around saying it's my job to teach these kids that come from wacko secular homes the truth. 

I'd like to tell the author of this article, however, that evolution evangelism needs to accept creation and cease spreading it's lies - for the good of everyone.

A great resource is Answers in Genesis.  There is all kinds of information on there for you to check out.  Resources, videos, devotionals, etc.  There's also the Creation Museum in Cinci.  I've never been there, but I hear it's awesome!

To sum it all up - have no doubt, your kids are being taught evolution in public schools.  Creationism is under attack. Teach your kids God's truth - show them the actual science of it since evolutionists aren't faith based anyway.  Teach them to stand in the darkness as light of God's truth.  One day - we will all stand before God and the truth will be revealed.  On which side will you stand?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

What are you addicted to?

A wise man once said look at your calendar and your checkbook and you will quickly discover where your priorities lie.  Honestly, calendar wise - that is a scary thought - 'cause ours is covered - and I literally mean covered - with kids activities.  I guess if you look at the kids as being the priority and not the activities, then it's a good thing. Checkbook wise, I must be addicted to paying bills 'cause Lord knows that's all that's coming out of that thing these days - lol!!

Anywho.  Some recent events have left me thinking - what am I addicted to?  Where are my priorities?  Where is my focus - or on whom is my focus?

I used to be addicted to Mt. Dew - but - praise the good Lord above - I am no longer.  I have been dew (and pop) free for 44 days now.  I am super proud of myself!!  I'm NOT addicted to exercise - and I need to be.

I am, however, quickly becoming addicted to my quiet time and prayer journaling.  I can't live without it.  There is an immediate change in my mood and attitude when I miss.  I love my time with the Lord - love talking to Him, love journaling, love reading the word, love Pandora radio and listening to worship music.  It rocks :)

Yesterday, I experienced my first ever 24 hour fast.  Pitiful, I know.  I quickly learned - I am addicted to food.  I was a mad, angry, not very nice Mom or wife by the end of the day - with very bad breath!  Today I followed up with a 1500 calorie restriction day.  My goal - to realize food is NOT all that important.  I typed out a bunch of verses to put everywhere and anywhere to remind me my strength - my portion - is Jesus - and not food.  It's embarrassing to say that - but I didn't get to this weight by not being addicted to food.  It's not so much my weight that I'm concerned with (although that's a huge problem as well) - it's my mindset.  It's knowing that I had to PRAY my way through the fast.  It was not fun, it was not easy, and it made me realize I have a major amount of work to do.  I decided fasting is going to become a DISCIPLINE in my life and I determined to spend one day a week doing a 24 hour fast from here on out.  I must train my mind, train my body - to think differently.  No idols.  This body is the temple of Jesus - and I need to start treating it as such.

I'm still not addicted to water - although you would have thought so yesterday after I downed an entire gallon just to survive.

I am addicted to my Jesus, to my good looking man, to my 2 awesome teens, to my stinking adorable puggle Kiwi (although I am the only one who thinks she's so adorable), to my purple and blue prayer journal pens, to my nose spray (ha ha - threw that one in there for the kids), my free bible in 76 versions on my phone, my sneakers (despite my son thinking I'm trying to look like a 16 year old skater kid - they are the cheap equivalent to vans - sorry - I'm in love with the pinkish plaid), to all fresh and clean smelling things, and - oh - to a game called Ticket to Ride that I spend far too much time playing on xbox.

What about you - what are you addicted to?  What does your calendar, your checkbook register, say about you?  What things get your time and your attention?

PS - Isn't the picture hilarious??  Yeah - that's another addiction - the computer!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Messenger of Hope

I had another post scheduled for today - but this morning, during my devotional time while I was praying for the girls The Daughter Project will soon have, God reminded me of something and I felt someone out there needed to hear this post instead.

Jeremiah 29:11 states:  "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.  Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

In approximately 1982/83, I was in jr. high.  I attended a church camp.  I remember very little about this camp - but first you need some background.  For those of you who have not read my testimony - please go up and read "Beautiful Past".  As you will read, I am a survivor of child sexual, physical, and emotional abuse.  In 1982, things were not good.  To get away for a week was a blessing - something that didn't happen very often.  Rape was a part of my daily life at that point in time.  I was suicidal, scared, desperate, and very much alone.

One day at camp, I found myself in an area where there was a picnic table/pavilion like thing.  I have no idea what I was doing there.  I know it was shortly after a service - but I was alone.  I believe I was debating telling someone what was happening in my life.  As I sat there and the sun was setting - out of nowhere, stood a man.  He wasn't there before and he was gone before I knew it.  I had not seen him prior to this, and I never saw him again.  I was not afraid - which would, at that time, have been my response if a strange man appeared and I was alone.  This man looked at me and said a few things.  He told me God loved me.  He told me God had not forgotten me.  He told me God had a plan and a purpose for my life.  He told me I had a future.  Then he was gone.

I now know his words came from Jeremiah 29:11.  Those words this "man" spoke to me were what I clung to for the next 7 years before my father was finally arrested and I began to heal.  He was my messenger of hope. 

Maybe there is someone out there right now who can't see past the next 5 minutes, let alone a bright future.  Maybe someone out there is alone, afraid, and can't even begin to fathom a God who loves them in the middle of their circumstances.  Maybe it seems there is no hope.  Maybe you are desperate for rescue.  Maybe you say "well that's good for you, but that's never going to happen to me."  I would have said the same thing.
Do you know how much Jesus loves you?  Even though my rescue did not come for several years - those words gave me something to cling to in my desperate times.  I ask you to do the same - cling to the promise God gives you of hope, of a bright future.  He WILL prosper you.  He DOES have plans for your life beyond the pain you are feeling right now.  Don't let anyone tell you different.  Cling desperately to Jesus in heaven who WILL be your rescue.  It doesn't matter where you come from, what your going through - Jesus loves you.

This morning, God gave me another picture.  He showed me the moment He had enough of my father and the terror he inflicted on me.  The moment he commanded his angels to GO.  The moment He decided I was to be set free.  That moment is coming for you as well.  I couldn't see it, and neither can you - but it IS coming.  God sees your tears.  He hears your desperate cries for help.  You are not forgotten.  I don't know you and you don't know me - but I do know the God I serve loves you desperately.  He hears you, He sees you, He is in the business of pulling us out of the pit of hell.  He's going to do that for you too.  He loves you far more than you can know or understand in this moment.  Please know that.

I don't know who this post is to - but I know I was supposed to write it.  I am praying for you, dear friend.  Hold on.  Your rescuer is coming.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Prayer Request

Little Man himself (just a friend with him, relax Abuelos!)

Hola Amigos y Amigas :)

Just a little prayer request.  Little man has managed to pull his calf and hamstring muscles.  It's been bothering him since a little hit he took at a soccer game 2 weeks ago (the one in which he scored the game winning goal - so I suppose it was worth it for him!).  We took him in today to see the trainer at the High School.  It's not a big deal - but if you wouldn't mind saying a little prayer - that would be great.  He's gonna have a rough time with all the "hoop-la" he's going to have to do to heal this thing.  We have to buy him a neoprene sleeve (don't ask, I have no idea) for his left knee, we have to buy wrap, pre-wrap and tape to wrap his Achilles tendon (another mystery - something to do w/ wrapping that helps support the calf and take pressure off that area), he has to ice, rest, and perform stretches.  If you know our "little" guy - you know all of this is going to be - well - difficult for him.  He'd rather just run and play soccer and think it'll all just go away without any assistance.  It's gonna be just as rough for me as it is for him..... :)

We're thankful it's not anything more and that he's still clear to run track and play soccer as long as there is no pain w/ the above "modifications" or whatever you want to call them.  Just pray for a quick and easy recovery and that we would have the patience to insist the above instructions actually get followed :)

Gracias friends!

Country Apple Dumplings

Tonight I made something yummy :)  Country Apple Dumplings.  Actually, I'm not normally a fan of dumplings as the whole slimy dumpling taste bothers me.  You get that here, a little bit - but the ingredients of this thing - more than make up for it!  Hope you enjoy :)

2 large Granny Smith Apples, peeled and cored (I used 3 small granny smith and just doubled some of the slices in the dumplings)
2 (10 ounce) cans refrigerated crescent roll dough
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 (12) Mt. Dew (Oh yeah, you KNOW this got my attention!!)


1.  Peel and core apples, set aside

2.  Unroll Crescent roll dough - separate into triangles

3.  Wrap apple slices (if you are using large granny smith, one wedge per crescent triangle - I used small apples, so on some of them, I wrapped more than one apple wedge.

4.  Place in greased 9x13 pan

5.  Melt butter slowly, then add sugar and cinnamon.  Do not boil or burn.

6.  Pour over the dumplings

7. Pour Mt. Dew over dumplings

8.  Cook at 350 for 35-45 minutes, or until golden brown.  
Sorry - forgot a picture of the final product!!  I will say - I turned the dumplings about half way through because I was concerned they were going to burn.


Now, I must give credit where credit is due.  This is NOT my recipe.  I repeat - this is NOT my recipe!  I got this recipe on my favorite recipe site -  Here is the link for Country Apple Dumplings, originally submitted by docswife.  I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!  Next time, we'll try it with some ice cream!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

On offense

I think I mentioned previously, I'm in the process of reading the book "Bait of Satan" by John Bevere.  Can I say something?  This book is irritating me - lol.

Seriously.  I think this must be something I need to work on - because I find myself irritated the entire time I'm reading.  I find myself annoyed with everyone around me.  It seems the offenses keep coming when I consider dealing with this in my life.  

Today is a beautiful day outside.  Blue skies.  79 degrees (rarity in the middle of April in this part if the country!), sunny, windows open, breeze blowing through the house.  It's gorgeous outside.  The kind of day that makes you oh-so-quickly forget the long hard winter.  

Yet, I am irritated.  With the mess in the house.  With the animals.  With people and circumstances.  With myself for having no motivation to do anything around the house.  With..... - well that's the entire point.  I'm irritated.

And again.  I think it has to do with this book.  I think I'm going to have to stop reading it just so I can stop being irritated with everything around me!

Has anyone else read this book and found this to be true?? I'm curious.  I know lots of people have read it and said it to be a life changer.  The jury is out for me just yet.  I'm still trying to figure out if it's REALLY a sin to be offended when people - well - offend!  It's a book I'm going to have to read from front to back before I give my opinion :)

Seriously though - who else out there has read it and what was your take on it?  I'd love to hear from you!

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Hola :)  My amazing hubby and I spent the last 24 hours in Sandusky, OH enjoying some us time.  Tonight I type this - content.  What an incredible marriage God has blessed us with.  I can't tell you how much fun we have and how much we enjoy each others company.

I don't think I've mentioned this before but maybe this will offer someone out there some hope.  This marriage - is a God thing.  It has not always been what you see now.  12 years ago, we suffered in silence and our marriage was falling apart.  I never would have believed we would move beyond those struggles and enjoy each other the way we do now.  If your marriage is in trouble - let me offer your some hope.  God can do amazing things - if only we would look not to ourselves, not to each other - but to Him.  If you look up, you spend a lot less time tearing each other apart - and suddenly - your marriage will become what you never thought it could be.  Is it hard?  Yes.  Are there struggles?  Yes.

The root of most marriage troubles is selfishness.  What a shame that we treat others better than we treat our spouses.  In marriage, we must give - and give - and give - until it hurts.  We must think of the other more highly than we think of ourselves, put their needs above our needs.  When we stop spending so much time focusing on ourselves, suddenly we can truly see the other person.  Just some free advice :)

Anywho - I could go on - but instead - let me share with you some pics of our fun weekend.  We sure had a good time.  Thanks again to our incredible friend who gifted us the hotel for the weekend.  It was a big blessing and saying thank you doesn't seem like enough.   We got a free upgrade to a Jacuzzi suite - so not only was the room free - but the upgrade was free - and that was great!  I love me some Jacuzzi time!  This morning I ate my danish in the Jacuzzi and had my books there too.  Ahhhh.  It was wonderful :)

Here are the pics!!

 Jacuzzi.  Soooooo relaxing.  I think we should put one of these on our back deck!!

 The room.  Yes, 2 double beds.  They didn't have king size rooms w/ Jacuzzi.  I found that strange.

 For some strange reason, I can't get this thing to let me type between those 2 pics.  Anyway - Pic two was to say THANKS to A, our friend who gifted us with this fun weekend :)  Pic one was the first ice cream cone of the season.  Good stuff!!  Superman ice cream ROCKS!!

 East Harbor State Park - Lake Erie.  I'm trying to refrain from saying this - but no matter how many times I visit Lake Erie - boy does it make me LONG for Lake Michigan.  Lake Erie, is just nasty.  The beaches are ugly, it's, I don't know.  It ain't Lake Michigan.  

 Okay, couldn't type between those two pics either.  First one is us - of course.  We are so cute together - lol :)  The next couple of pics are from a nature preserve we found off of route 2 between Sandusky and Toledo.  I was pretty.  We got to see a goose fight, an eagle, and lots of birds and bird watchers.  I am looking forward to going back when the leaves are on the trees.  I think it will be beautiful.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Encourage one another

We have an awesome friend who is a great encouragement to our family.  He loves our kids, he drops in unexpectedly like Santa Claus, he prays for us and he is always offering words of encouragement.  He is a friend we greatly, greatly appreciate.  Sometimes God blesses you like that by placing people in your life who, no matter how much you screw up, still see all God has created you to be and all God is creating you TO be in the future. This friend is like that to us.  I know when we hit the missions field, he will be the first to jump on supporting us in prayer.  He already is.

I Thessalonians 5:9-11 (The Message)  says:  "God didn't set us up for an angry rejection but for salvation by our Master, Jesus Christ. He died for us, a death that triggered life. Whether we're awake with the living or asleep with the dead, we're alive with him! So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you'll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you're already doing this; just keep on doing it."

Do you see what that says?  No angry rejection?  Salvation?  A death that triggered LIFE?  We're ALIVE?  Speak ENCOURAGING words.  Build up HOPE.  No one left out.  No one left behind.

That's amazing.  Oh how God could move in His people, in His church, if we would speak LIFE and not death.  If we would learn, like my friend, to encourage one another - offering hope.  No one left out and no one left behind.  If we could only grasp how deep and how wide the love of the savior is - and then treat each other the same - wow.  God could do amazing things.

I wonder sometimes how much it hurts our Savior when we act just the opposite of this.  When we backbite, when we gossip, when we are short with our words, when we dash the hopes of others.  It must grieve him greatly to see his children tear each other up the way we sometimes do.  I know I truly dislike when my kids fight.  When they say harsh words to each other and yes, sometimes, fight physically - it does split my heart in half.  On the flip side - when they laugh and play, speak words of life, to each other - oh how my heart swells with pride.  Both bring tears to my eyes - but I prefer tears of joy to tears of sorrow.

I encourage you fellow sisters and brothers in Christ.  Encourage one another.  Lift up.  Speak life.  We need each other.  We need each other.  We need each other.  We were not meant to do this thing called life alone.  Leave no one behind.  Leave no one out.  Be like my friend who always brings joy to our lives when he stops over, calls, or writes.  Love each other the way Christ loves each of us.  Then watch what God can do in our hearts, in our homes, in our world.  The world needs us to love each other my friends.  We must offer something different, something life giving, to the dead and dying.  Be a hope giver.

Quiet Time

I've said this before, but beginning March 1st, I made 2 significant changes to my life.  First, I quit drinking pop.  I'm sure that has been to my benefit.  36 plus ounces of mt. dew a day - gone.  That HAS to have a positive effect on my health, right??  The second change - made an even bigger impact.

I've said it before, but I'm not always consistent in my quiet time - or my time with the Lord.  Beginning March 1st, I decided I was not going to miss a day.  60 days of no pop - and 60 days of being in the word, in worship and in prayer without missing.  The change in my heart - dramatic.

I feel calmer about life.  I know that sounds weird - but sometimes - well - a lot of the time - I allow the littlest of things - people in particular - to really get on my nerves.  I feel like I'm in a better place than I was just 30 some days ago.  I feel like things are not rattling me as easily.  I even saw someone - well - a couple of someones - tonight - and didn't feel like getting out of the car and ripping their heads off - and didn't even think about them past the parking lot.  THAT is a HUGE improvement!!

I can't say every day has been a mountain top experience before God.  Quite honestly, at times,  I feel like I'm talking to myself and writing (I write my prayers) words no one will ever read.  But then there are other times where I feel the very presence of God and know my heart is changing.  I know he is molding me and shaping me into what He wants me to be - preparing me for whatever the next day holds.

I'm excited to see what happens in the remaining days.  Excited to hear what words God will speak to me.  Excited to see what wounds He will heal.  Excited to see my joy continue to return. 

Join with me - 60 days of giving up something you really love - and 60 days of spending consistent time in the word.  You'll be glad you did :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Girls just wanna have fun!

K-Love's word for the day was:

So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life.  That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun.
~Ecclesiastes 8:15, NLT

Can I get an AMEN???

I'm a fun-lover.  Now.  My kids call me the fun-sucker - ruiner of all that is good and fun (and dangerous) - but - I disagree.  Paranoid freak??  Yeah, okay, maybe a little bit.  But - I do love to have a good time!

One of the things I enjoy most is BIKE RIDING.  It's fun and FREE!  The Toledo area has several places to bike - lots of trails.  This week for spring break, since we didn't have the mula to go anywhere and the kiddos had to be in school (their spring break isn't for a few weeks), we decided to hit up the various metro parks and check out all the trails.  Yesterday we went to Wildwood and did the University Parks Trail.  It's closest to home - but also one we're familiar with and ride often.

Today we went down to Waterville, OH and started at Farnsworth Metro Park and headed towards Providence.  I was really hoping to do the whole trail - but, yeah, I'm just not there yet.  The ride was rough, it's hilly (not horrible, but far hillier than University Parks), and it was 37 degrees out :)  We rode a total of 8.4 miles, there and back.  Burned almost 500 calories, thank you very much.  Forgot my inhaler so it was a bit slow going.

Here's some pics of the trail, the view, our lunch spot - and of course - us.  The sun was in our eyes, the camera is muy impossible to take a picture with (it's my phone) so we're a little squnity.  I was also 3 miles from the end of the trip and feeling rather tired.  Hope you enjoy the pics as much as we enjoyed the ride!!

 Maumee River - pretty, huh??

 Maumee River again - still pretty :)

 Towpath Trail.  Don't let this pic fool you.  It is hilly in parts :)

 Our lunch spot, our bikes, and my handsome man :)

Us.  Not the greatest picture - but hey - who cares??

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sleepless Musings

Long time, no post.  I have to admit, this is a frustrating thing for me.  Sometimes I seem full of things to say - other times - not so much.

Anywho - It's 5:45 am and I find myself wide awake with little man who is having trouble sleeping tonight/today which gives me time to ponder.  For the past couple of nights, I've woken up with these crazy ideas in my head about different things I could do for the kingdom.  It's left me with a few questions.

I've been praying God would speak to me.  In dreams, in visions, in the word, through other people - I don't really care - I just long to hear Him speak.  I don't know about you, but I find His silence at times frustrating.  I'm perfectly content with moving through life knowing His voice - and when I feel like I'm flapping in the wind somewhat, I grow weary.

So - when I wake up with some crazy thing floating through my head - I wonder - God?  Or sleep deprivation? Or just something that is a "good" idea and not a "God" idea?  Or what?  So I ask God for confirmation if it's Him.  And still nothing.

What about you?  Do you ever come up with "brilliant" ideas and wonder - is that God?  If so - what do you do about it?  I'd love some input.  I've got 2 particularly crazy ones.  One not too difficult, yet still insane, and one more idea I'm just not sure I'm capable of.  God, good or sleepless insanity?  How do you figure this one out?  I'd love to hear your thoughts.
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