September 29, 2007
Country Living ...

I grew up in the city .... Brooklyn, New York to be exact. City sounds, dogs barking, sirens of police, fire and ambulance were always in the myriad of noises you heard on a daily basis. I could sleep through everything! I took the Subway to work each day. My husband and I were like the couple from Green Acres after we married and left the military --- he wanted country life and I wanted city life!! He did not want any part of city life.
So here we are ... country life. An old farm house in the process of being remodelling (very slowly!), a barn, hay, goats, quineas ... a dirt road!! Fast forward 20+ years and living in a small town whose name is hard to pronounce -- and peace and quiet reigns. About midnight last night, I was laying there trying to figure out WHY and WHAT was keeping me awake. It is so very quiet out here -- the creak of someone stepping on a stair jolts me awake!!

The neighbors' dogs were barking and barking .... my immediate concern was for them, because this NEVER happens, they don't normal bark unless something is on their territory. I finally fell asleep to their barking and woke at 6am to them continuing to bark. Of course, our goats were hollering because on Saturdays, it is my job to feed them. Ugh! Nothing like the sound of one of the female goats -- she sounds like a horn -- a very off key horn!!

How spoiled I have become - when the barking of dogs keep me awake. What sounds keep you awake?


September 27, 2007
Thankful Thursday -- Trust

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

I am thankful for the Bible Study we had at church last evening -- for God speaking to me loud and clear -- especially during this season of life -- with so many changes and upheaval. I don't handle change well -- but am thankful for the Lord standing beside me.

I'd like to share some things I learned from the Lord with you -- in the hopes it would be a help and a blessing to your life.

Trust is a dimension beyond faith.
Trust will take you through when you don't understand why your faith failed.
Trust will keep you, when faith 'won't'.
Trust submits to unchanged conditions.

Faith Reaches, Trust Retains
Faith Rushes Out, Trust Waits
Faith is Believing, Trust is Knowing

My faith has been tested to its limits, but I am depending on the trust I have in the Lord to see me through.

Its been a pretty stressful week -- but I am thankful for my sisters in the Lord -- especially Melinda who didn't need to walk a path she's already walking on -- and Crystal and Michelle -- who are faithful to offer prayer. It helps to know there are people lifting you in prayer. (and not judging or just being nosey!!)

I'm thankful for my brother -- who came home from work and brought me my favorite bread, butter cake and candy! I told him I haven't really been eating because of all the stress -- he just said "I know, sis." It was his way of showing he cared.

I'm just thankful for another day, another opportunity for us all to make a decision towards God; another opportunity to witness for His Kingdom. I figured if I was about His business, He'd take care of mine.

I'm thankful for our good health and tangible blessings! I do not take it lightly.

I'm thankful for the Lord Jesus Christ, for without Him, we would be nothing.

And as always, thankful for this community of bloggers -- whose thankful lists are truly an encouragement and balm to your soul. Iris is taking a well needed break -- and Thankful Thursday is being hosted here this week. Go visit and be blessed!


September 25, 2007
WD Passport Portable Hard Drive Giveaway

Yes, Western Digital understands that Moms have some of the most important data that needs backing up. And they have generously offered to give 3 of us our own new Passport hard drive in one of their new just-launched fun colors. 5 Minutes for Moms -- will draw 3 lucky winners and WD will give each winner one Passport in a new color with a carrying case.

In addition, they would like to offer those who do not win Passport units, a coupon for a free passport case with a Passport purchase at their online store. The colors are so cool!

You definitely want to get started with a Passport, so enter a comment at 5 Minutes for Moms and link back from your own blog to let your readers know about this great giveaway. These are invaluable for storing data and digital images.

They will draw the three winners on Friday, October 5th.

Coupon Information: If you don’t win a drive, you’ll definitely want to purchase one. And you can use the following coupon to get a free case with purchase of the drive. So you simply add the Colored Passport and this Carrying Case to the shopping cart and on the check out page, enter the coupon code “FORMOMS” which will make the carrying case free. This coupon offer is valid from September 24 to October 12.


September 23, 2007
Fly, Run, or Walk, but Don't Faint

Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, [that] the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? [there is] no searching of his understanding.

He giveth power to the faint; and to [them that have] no might he increaseth strength.

Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint.

In revival services on Friday -- the minister preached on Isaiah 40:28-31 -- how during our journey with the Lord -- no matter how weary we get -- DON'T STOP WALKING.
There are times we are soaring above the heavens, and sometimes even running -- but if and when we get weary -- we must keep walking, we must not stop and we must not faint. Just take another step ... and Wait upon the Lord and He will renew your strength.

At this season in life -- I am weary and tired of life's trials -- but I continue to walk. One small step after another ... it is enough. I know the Lord will see us through.


Splat Designs Contest

Contest ends Oct 4th! You must post on your blog and link back to her site. Click here for information and to enter.


September 21, 2007
My son ...

Would you please pray for my son, Joshua. Without going in to detail on here -- he desperately needs prayer. Please lift his name up before the throne of God.
Updated: Tuesday -- please continue to remember Josh and our family in your prayers! We are so appreciative -- God is more than able.


I'm Invisible ...
I read this earlier -- and can TOTALLY relate.


A Pink Vacuum
My daughter LOVES pink -- she brought back a sweatshirt from California that says "Pink University" and a pink tote bag that I need to ask her again what it says.

5 Minutes For Mom is giving away a Pink Dyson , and you do not have to be a blogger to enter!

Hey, since Sarai loves pink maybe she would volunteer to vacuum for me, ya think? I doubt it, pink or not!

Cookies anyone? Interesting in some recipes for Christmas and holiday gifts? -- my wonderful blogger friend Michelle plans on posting a bunch in the days ahead. Yum!! She has a cookie mix recipe on there today with additions to make it Oatmeal Raisin, Lemon Yogurt or Peanut Butter & Jelly!!
I love oatmeal and lemon -- and while not a huge fan of peanut butter, even that sounds good.


September 20, 2007
Thankful Thursday -- Trading Our Sorrows
1 - To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 - A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 - A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 - A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 - A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6 - A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 - A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 - A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (KJV)

I have so many thoughts going through my mind today -- I wish that they would just flow out through my fingers with elegance and grace.

I had the privilege of attending the Memorial Service for LTC Rocko V. Stowers, former Commandant of the 705th Military Police Battalion this morning.
His wife, a Colonel was serving in Iraq at the time of his death. He leaves behind 5 children and a host of friends and family. He always had a smile on his face and a joy that oozed from me every time I came in contact with him. Honestly -- I never thought about what it was, we never spoke of the Lord -- but he did have a faith and trust in God and was actually pretty vocal about it from the testimonies at the service.

As I was sitting there, not really knowing what to expect -- brothers and sisters from his church began to sing "Trading my Sorrows".

A lady in the front row with the family -- stood up and began to clap and worship with them -- now keep in mind, had this been in church, I would have stood right up! As a sat there almost feeling sorry for myself about my inability to give praise to the Lord. I mean "What would people think?" Here we were in the auditorium of the building where I work! {eye roll} Am I pathetic or what? I sat for a minute more -- but the Lord would not let it rest and I knew that I needed to be up on my feet. I told my co-worker. "I'm sorry, but I can't NOT get up."

I'm sure she was uncomfortable -- but there were many more that ended up standing and singing and clapping with the singers. Perhaps my little act of (delayed!) obedience will bring a yearning to her own life.

I'm am thankful for this time -- this season of life -- I may be struggling through it -- but there is a purpose this side of heaven.

I'm thankful for the seeds planted in our children -- since they were born -- and am rejoicing for the plants that will bloom in their lives.

I'm thankful that the Lord allowed me to be part of His kingdom -- and washed me white as snow and cleaned up my life.

I'm thankful for the tears I've shed -- both of joy and sorrow. I'm thankful for laughter and joy in the Lord.

I'm thankful the Lord showed me that I needed to keep silent in certain situations right now and allow Him to do the talking.

I'm thankful for the Lord, my husband, children, my church family, life, health and the joy of the Lord.

And as always, I am thankful for this community of bloggers who are an encouragement to me.

Visit Sting my heart for more Thankful Thursday praises!


September 19, 2007
A few prayer requests ...
Please pray for Copeland Farley who was born yesterday and has Trisomy 18 -- pray that the time they have with their new daughter is joyous. The family was aware prior to her birth of the diagnosis -- which does not make it any easier, and Nathan and Angie who await the arrival of Poppy Joy.

I've been home sick -- so I have been doing much reading --{I Heart reading!} -- and thinking and praying about stuff. Please keep our family in your prayers as we walk this season of life. God is more than able.

I thought I would share some of my daily blog reads -- in the event you would be blessed:

Saved By Grace (when she has time to blog!!)

A Dusty Frame

Ozark Sew & Sews (they do some awesome cross stitching!)

Eyes of Wonder

Morning Ramble

Ali Edwards

I also go through quite a few baking and cooking blogs as well as Bento blogs! I have 158 blogs in my Google Reader! Ugh! Of course many do not post daily -- kind of like me! LOL!

Michelle -- I would love to have the recipes send them my way! I also would like to post them with your permission. Hugs!!

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5 Minutes for Mom -- Chicco Stroller!
5 Minutes for Moms has another great giveaway in the works!
Chicco is a high quality Italian brand and the Ct 0.1 stroller is the one they will be giving away and it is a premier stroller in their line.
Contest ends on Sept 28th.
Leave a comment here to enter at 5 Minutes for Mom -- but for more chances to win Chicco is giving away 30 Strollers in 30 days!!
So visit Chicco to enter at their site as well.
If this blessing comes my way -- I know of a little miracle due in 2008 who can put it to use.


September 18, 2007
Monk and Neagle CD in Stores Now!
monk & neagle banner 1

I was blessed to receive this CD this summer (even though my husband acquired it!) -- and today is the official release date!

We also saw them in concert last year, and if I remember correctly they were one of the lead bands for Casting Crowns. My husband didn't buy the Casting Crowns CD at the concert, Nope. He wanted the Monk and Neagle one!

This would be a great Christmas gift for teens -- as well as old folks like us. (uh, not really old!)

Visit their website for more information and concert dates, as well as their MySpace page and you can even order their newest release here.

monk & neagle banner 2


September 15, 2007
Christmas ...
I am already thinking about Christmas -- does anyone have any home made gift ideas to share? I need to start now in order to do this Christmas a bit more frugally. Thanks!


Autumn has arrived in Kansas!
It is about 40 degrees outside this morning! Unfortunately, we are not entirely ready as there is much wood left to split and stack. My husband's seasonal allergies hit hard at this time of year too so he limits his time outside. I think it may be a cold winter, has anyone heard the rumours?

I've been struggling at work a bit lately with "things" and "people" but God is good and still on the throne -- and everything will work out in the end.

We are all doing well health wise, and I am so thankful for the Lord for that. I have my car back FINALLY -- the shop had it for 24 days. {sigh}

I have been doing a lot of thinking and praying about life and things I need to change and things I need to do -- to be honest, I haven't posted because I was afraid I would just be BLUNT about some things that have gotten under my skin in the hopes it would get back to the people, but ultimately I know that is the wrong attitude.

Our Pastor defined attitude at Bible study on Wednesday -- Attitude is the direction that you want to take."

So -- which direction do I want to take? Enough said. God is good, I hate when I let Him down.

I made these yummy low fat Pumpkin Streusel Muffins. The original recipe came from here, but I changed it a tad. Amy shared that weight watchers skipped the egg and oil completely, and since I have made the Tupperware cakes in the microwave before with no oil, I figured it could work, but opted to add 1 T. of oil because the batter was too dry. Next time I will use a hand mixer instead of mixing by hand. These would freeze great -- and my goal is to stock up on healthy treats to freeze and have available, plus some type of breakfast food that my husband can grab when he runs late. (like this morning!) I have been staying away from processed foods as much as possible, but gave in to this cake mix recipe -- I just wish I could make a cake from scratch with the texture of a box of cake mix. The denser cakes/muffins are NOT my favorite at all.

Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

1 package yellow cake mix (you can try different variations with other cake mixes too!)
1 can pumpkin (15 ounces)
1 egg (I used one egg beater)
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used 1 Tablespoon)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (next time I will use an 1/8 -- too much!)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Crumb Topping:
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/8 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1 T butter (I used a T. of Parkay Butter spray adding no fat and still have 1/2 left to make another batch)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the muffin ingredients together and pour into a greased muffin tin. Combine brown sugar, flour, ground cinnamon, and butter to make the topping. Cut the topping together with a fork until it resembles a coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping on the top of the muffins before baking. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

My plan is to try and make these with a classic white cake mix and lemon filling this weekend. I'll let you know how they come out. For the crumb topping I plan on using white sugar and then some lemon peel and for the batter leaving out all the other spices but maybe adding a teaspoon of lemon flavoring. What do you think?

Also, my son keeps asking me for Pumpkin Roll, Pumpkin Pie, and this Layered Pumpkin loaf that was just in the new Kraft Food and Family and Magazine. This was yummy to my tummy! {grin} And low fat. You can also substitute some of the white flour with wheat.

Have a wonderful Saturday --

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September 11, 2007
Urgent Prayer Needs
Sarai emailed from California -- please pray for her friend Sondra's uncle. He is in desperate need of a miracle -- please read her email -- and PRAY!!

Will you ask Pastor if he could have the church pray for my friend’s uncle? He was diagnosed 2 weeks ago with stage 4 cancer in his lungs and right now he has 5 tumors in his stomach. 2 have opened yesterday and he is now bleeding to death and the doctors can’t do anything. He is 46 and leaves behind a 12 yr old boy and his wife. I told him I would ask the church to pray because the only thing left is a miracle. People are taking off work and staying by his bedside in case he goes today. That is what they are expecting.




Where to Start?
You Are a Marble Cake

Eclectic, inventive, and peaceful.
You are never willing to accept what's "normal." You live to push the envelope.
You find it hard to make up your mind. You prefer to have everything you want, right away!
That looked like a great place to start since I've been non-existent! I saw that on another blog - and I had to check to see what I am. I love vegetables, love bread, BUT I love sweets. My scale can attest to that!! If you do it, leave me a comment with what kind of cake you are -- some of what they came up with is actually true!

Let's see -- MUCH has been going on around here. It just seems to be another one of those seasons of life. Not enough extra time to do anything, so instead of focusing on the bad we'll just go with the good. And at times I wish I could share EVERYTHING, but I do know people read this blog and their feelings would be hurt. Of course, it never matters that ours would be! Ya know? Clear as mud, huh?

A couple of prayer requests first -- a Brother in our church is facing amputation of his right foot right now -- please pray for a healing for him. He is diabetic, but also had a kidney transplant about 10 years ago and is back on dialysis. Pray for his family and their teenage foster boys. Its hard for all of them. I can NOT imagine.

Josh ended up in the ER last Sunday morning -- and was pretty much in bed the entire day.
But is doing better now.

Here is a photo of Mini -- this pup is a NUT. A spoiled nut I might add. Her favorite place to hang out and watch everyone is on the top of the sofa, like a cat! How goofy. We found her and Stephen yesterday like this on the sofa. They were both out like a light.


September 10, 2007
Once again, please pray.
So much prayer .... but God is faithful and just and able to supply our every need.

Please pray for Amy Wilhoite. She is so very young - - yet so very strong.
Updated: Amy went to be with her Lord and Savior yesterday, 10 Sept. Please pray for her family. I can't imagine -- she was so young.

Pray for sweet little Mei-Ling who is still in the hospital. Again, so very, very young, yet with the strength of 10,000. Updated: 11 Sep -- heard she was being released today!!

Please pray for a brother in our church who is facing amputation. No blog -- Bro Eugene Newkirk. No news yet.

Also remember their families -- they need the comfort of the Almighty.

Small prayers -- pray for Sarai, she is in California on a business trip. And a small financial matter I need the Lord to keep His hand on! (But not where things would be late!) Clear as mud, huh? Updated: Less than an hour later. God answered this small prayer already! Thank you Jesus!

May the Lord bless you, keep you and grant you grace ...


September 8, 2007
Free Samples ... and cookies!
I love to receive mail -- especially FREE samples of products!

Folgers Gourmet Selections. Get A Free Sample

Curves Honey Crunch Cereal

Zip N Steam bags for Sam's Club Members

Appetizer from Longhorn Steakhouse

Honey Bunches of Oat Cereal (bottom right-hand corner is the link)

I have a recipe for soft baked chocolate chip cookies that my family loves, but I saw this recipe and have to give it a try. I need to bake cookies soon for the carriers at my husband's PO -- so I may try this one instead. They say this is the last chocolate chip cookie recipe you will ever need! We all love cookies in our family. Yum!

*Wendy Gaynor’s ‘Perfect’ Chocolate Chunk Cookies
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

4 cups semisweet chunks (preferably imported). (they say to reduce this)

1. Place the butter in a large bowl and cream at high speed untilfluffy. Add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy, about 4minutes, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs, oneat a time, until completely mixed.
2. In a separate bowl, mix flour, salt and baking soda. Add to thebutter mixture at low speed until just combined and add vanillaextract. Beat on medium speed, scraping bowl down, until blended. Donot overmix.
3. Add chocolate chunks and mix till thoroughly combined. Refrigeratebatter until cold, preferably overnight.
4. Preheat a conventional oven to 350 degrees or a convection oven to300 degrees, and line several baking sheets with parchment paper. Dropheaping spoonfuls of batter 2 inches apart on the lined baking sheetsand bake, turning tray once, until golden brown around edges and soft(but not bubbly), about 9 minutes in a convection oven or 12 in aconventional one. Cool on a wire rack.
Yield: 36 to 72 cookies, depending on size.
*This recipe appeared in The New York Times on October 27, 2002