November 30, 2008
Menu Plan Monday
My hub woke up about 2am and said he was not feeling well at all -- he was burning up -- he has that stuff that is going around our town. IJN it spares the rest of us, we are taking precautions, lots of surfaces were washed down today with bleach and Oxy Sanitizer Air & Surface Spray (love that stuff!)
I have a hard week at work plus some nights and I need to be in good health. It'll be an easy menu week!!

It snowed but not enough to do anything with! Its gotten pretty chilly outside so that means my office at work should be interesting. The air cond blows 24/7/365!

Sunday - Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Corn, Rolls (Hub -- Soup!)

Monday -- Leftovers -- Turkey! (Make 2 batches Spaghetti Sauce)

Tuesday - Chicken Tamale Casserole (Put together Ziti)

Wednesday - Soup and Sandwiches for the Guys (Mom works)

Thursday - Beef Soft Tacos, Veggies (Mom Works again!) (Make Pudding & Candy)

Friday - Church's Annual Christmas Dinner (Potluck)

I am bringing Baked Ziti, Banana Pudding and Homemade Snickers Bars! I don't have a lot of spare time to make anything super great but .... hopefully this will do. At least I can make the ziti and candy ahead and put the Ziti in the oven about 2pm on Friday so it will be fresh from the oven hot!


November 27, 2008
Thanksgiving ... and a Challenge
Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with family, friends and food!
The minister that spoke at service last night reminded me of what life would be without HOPE, and today I am thankful for HOPE. I could be filled with despair over many things, but honestly I have a HOPE of good things to come, to the Lord answering prayer, and bringing our daughter back to Him. I have HOPE. It's a wonderful thing! It's what makes you keep taking the next step in life, even in the midst of trial.
What are you thankful for today? We really should be thankful every day and for the most part I think many of us are, but we don't express it as we should. Imagine the world if every day would be filled with the thankfulness that people share one day each year. Thanksgiving gives us a day to count our blessings -- and possibly share with others what we are thankful for.
When the kids were little we would have them write down on paper turkey feathers things they were thankful for and I would scrapbook the page ... Jesus, Mom, Dad, Grandma, Pastor, Food, their brother and sister were often noted. I'd attach the feather to a turkey body and date it for that year.
I issue you a challenge today after reading this post from The Champion Inside -- it touched my heart and spoke to my soul -- pull out a piece of paper, date it even, and make a list of 10 things you are thankful for. If there is more -- super!
Jason's wife Kolette has a beautiful Gratitude List you can download here. I plan on making my list and then making a simple scrapbook page of it so in the years to come (If the Lord wills) I can reflect on the Lord's goodness.
I'll share my list later today ... I'd love to see yours, please do share!!


November 25, 2008
Three Trees

Once there were three trees on a hill in the woods. They were discussing their hopes and dreams when the first tree said, 'Someday I hope to be a treasure chest. I could be filled with gold, silver and precious gems. I could be decorated with intricate carving and everyone would see the beauty.'

Then the second tree said, 'Someday I will be a mighty ship. I will take Kings and Queens across the waters and sail to the corners of the world. Everyone will feel safe in me because of the strength of my hull.'

Finally the third tree said, 'I want to grow to be the tallest and straightest tree in the forest. People will see me on top of the hill and look up to my branches. They will think of the heavens and God and how close to them I am reaching. I will be the greatest tree of all time and people will always remember me .

After a few years of praying that their dreams would come true, a group of woodsmen came upon the trees. When one came to the first tree he said, 'This looks like a strong tree. I think I should be able to sell the wood to a carpenter.' He began cutting it down. The tree was happy, because he knew that the carpenter would make him into a treasure chest.

At the second tree the woodsman said, 'This looks like a strong tree. I should be able to sell it to the shipyard.' The second tree was happy because he knew he was on his way to becoming a mighty ship.

When the woodsmen came upon the third tree, the tree was frightened because he knew that if they cut him down his dreams would not come true. One of the woodsmen said, 'I don't need anything special from my tree, I'll just take this one,' and he cut it down.

When the first tree was sold to the carpenter, he was made into a feed box for animals. He was then placed in a barn and filled with hay. This was not at all what he had prayed for.

The second tree was cut and made into a small fishing boat. His dreams of being a mighty ship and carrying kings had come to an end.

The third tree was cut into large pieces, and left alone in the dark.

The years went by and the trees forgot about their dreams.

Image Credit

Then one day, a man and woman came to the barn. She gave birth and they placed the baby in the hay in the feed box that was made from the first tree. The man wished that he could have made a crib for the baby, but this manger would have to do. The tree could feel the importance of this event and knew that it had held the greatest treasure of all time.

Years later, a group of men got in the fishing boat made from the second tree. One of them was tired and went to sleep. While they were out on the water, a great storm arose and the tree didn't think it was strong enough to keep the men safe. The men woke the sleeping man, and He stood and said 'Peace' and the storm stopped. At this time, the tree knew that it had carried the King of Kings in its boat.

Finally, someone came and got the third tree. It was carried through the streets as the people mocked the man who was carrying it. When they came to a stop, the man was nailed to the tree and raised in the air to die at the top of a hill. When Sunday came, the tree came to realize that it was strong enough to stand at the top of the hill and be as close to God as was possible, because Jesus had been crucified on it.

The moral of this story is that when things don't seem to be going your way, always know that God has a plan for you. If you place your trust in Him, God will give you great gifts.

Each of the trees got what they wanted, just not in the way they had imagined.

We don't always know what God's plans are for us. We just know that His ways are not our ways, but His ways are always best.

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November 24, 2008
What is your recipe?


- a dash of athleticism
- 2 heaping tablespoons of playfulness
- a gallon of trustworthiness

Serve hot.
'What is your personality recipe?' at


November 23, 2008
Menu Plan Monday - Thanksgiving Week

First, I'm thankful for a shorter work week! Last week for me included too many hours of mine given to my job! Ugh! Lots of late nights and I was exhausted -- too much stress between all of us because of the conference. Glad its over!

We missed some meals because I didn't cook -- but my boys made do fine. Plus on Thursday I brought home a TON of Arabic Rice. I have the name at work. It was good.

Sunday -- Everyone going in different directions

Monday -- Tortellini Soup (never happened last week, I made it today so just heating it up!)

Tuesday -- Breakfast for Dinner Western Omelets, Bacon and Toast. (have lots of eggs to use!)

Wednesday -- Easy night -- grilled cheese and chips.

Thursday -- Turkey, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Green Beans, Apple Salad, Antipasto Salad, Homemade Rolls, Mystery Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Some kind of cake for Stephen who dislikes pie.

Friday -- After Thanksgiving Shopping -- Leftovers!


Italian Style Meatloaf
As promised, I'll share the way my mom always made meatloaf. I was in my late teens when I first became aware that people actually made meatloaf in a loaf pan with ketchup on top (shudder) or with brown gravy. (sorry - gross!!) I can say that I have never eaten it that way, I guess once I like something, I won't change my mind and try it again. (or don't like something -- as in the case of hummus and guacamole!) Yuck.


2 pounds lean ground beef
1/4 cup diced onions
salt and pepper to taste
2 eggs (you can use Egg Beaters with the same results)
1-2 cups bread crumbs
tomato sauce

Combine the meat, onions, eggs, salt, pepper, and bread crumbs together until well combined. If it feels too sticky or wet add more bread crumbs. You can also add a splash or two of sauce when mixing the meat together. Shape free form in a rounded loaf or a huge fat patty. I'm not sure how to explain.
In a large frying pan on the stove, brown each side thoroughly. Try to get the smaller sides too.
My mom always put oil in the pan to fry it, but I just spray the pan with cooking spray so it doesn't stick. It really has enough fat, and doesn't need the oil.

After browning. This is basically to seal it tight together. You can either remove from the pan and clean it out (I try to get all the grease out) or just add about 2-3 cups of tomato sauce over the meat and let the meat simmer in this for 2 hours, covered until the meat is cooked. This gives the sauce a chance to get into the meat.

What I've done since I have owned a crock pot, is to just put some sauce on the bottom, put the meat loaf in, cover with sauce and cook on low for 5-6 hours. This works great for weekday dinners if you make the meat the night before, it can cook all day while you are working.

A little before serving, I will slice the meat so more sauce can work its way into it while I prepare the finishing touches on the potatoes/vegetables. It is really yummy!!

Side Note: I have made the meatloaf recipe on back of the Hunts Diced Tomatoes with Onions and its almost as good, you add brown sugar so its a little sweeter but tastes great. Below is how mine is usually shaped to give you an idea!

Image Courtesy


November 17, 2008
Menu Plan Monday - Nov 16th

We finished a long revival with Bro Owens from Ohio last night. Service last night was beyond awesome. I believe many prayers were answered -- I know quite a few of mine were!!

It's going to be another long week at work with stayer longer through the evening and busy days with a conference our organization is putting on with about 80 out of town guests.

Dinner must go on ...

Sunday -- Meatloaf , Buttered Red Potatoes, Mixed Veggies

Monday -- Leftover Taco Soup

Tuesday -- Hub and Sons gone -- OYO (On Your Own)

Wednesday -- Tortellini Soup (I just use pasta instead ... its cheaper and tastes just as good!)

Thursday -- Chicken Soft Tacos, Spanish Rice, Corn

Friday -- Homemade Pizza

I'll share my meatloaf and Tortellini Soup recipes later this week -- they are really good!!


November 14, 2008

My car is finally paid in full! God is Good!!

Image Courtesy Link!


November 11, 2008

Happy Veteran's Day

For those who gave all -- it's a sad day for their families.

I am thankful for our veterans, their sacrifices and especially for those who gave all.


November 10, 2008
Menu Plan Monday - Nov 9th

It's nice to be home again -- it was a busy trip, on the go from 0745 am until 930 at night! It is much better going with other co-workers than solo!
God has been showing Himself to us in a mighty way and we are thankful for His grace.
Sunday -- Double Easy Mexican Casserole, Rice and Corn
Monday-- Hamburger Patty Special (I've changed this up a bit and will share this week, one of my husband's clerks owns a restaurant and wants to offer this dish, how cool is that? My hub bragged on it quite a bit at work.)
Tuesday -- Taking the boys out to eat after we pick up 100 canning jars that someone blessed us with for free!
Wednesday -- Taco Soup (specifically request by Stephen)
Thursday -- Pasta with Homemade Sauce
Friday -- Mom works at night ... dad will take care of it! (I hope!)
We have been blessed by savings from coupons lately and have a ton of frozen Green Giant Steamers Veggies in the freezer -- they have been free or close to it! I like that they are not huge bags because our now smaller family can eat a bag and it not go to waste. Many people say they don't have the time to do this -- my time is limited too, but I make the small amount of time it takes. Its been a huge blessing -- our stockpile includes so many things we use on a regular place. We actually have enough for at least a year, or in so cases 2 years of deodorant, (men and women) toothpaste, tooth brushes, laundry detergent, body wash, feminine hygiene products to name a few. It's definitely worth the small amount of time it takes.


November 7, 2008
Been in Texas this week for a TDY trip -- actually technology is an interesting thing as I am typing this on a free internet computer system in Dallas.

I know, I'm behind the times a bit ... waiting for my flight back home to see my husband and boys! I miss home. Pray for me!


November 4, 2008
Vote Today!

My hope and prayer is that this Nation will prayerfully consider who they support -- our Pastor summed it up -- in that if you vote for someone who condones sin, you are a part of that sin.
I plan on voting today, it is a privilege many countries in this world do not share.
Edited to Add:
Five Things Which Are No Different About This Election from All Other Presidential Elections in Our History
1. God is still on the throne.
2. The Scriptures are still the only rule of action for Christians.
3. The duty of believers at the ballot box is the same today as it has always been. We may only select leaders who meet the Scriptural requirements for civil magistrate. Leaders need not be perfect, but they must be qualified.
4. The obedient response of the elect of God to the Lord Jesus Christ and His law-word, not Muslim extremists, political activists, or the results of presidential elections, is the key to national blessing.
5. The results of the presidential election, regardless of who wins, will work together for the good of the elect of God
(the above is From the Vision Forum)