Monday, December 28, 2009

Monday's Menu

I hope this past week has been a precious time with family celebrating Jesus' birth. We certainly have had such sweet memories made and we also spent a little time sharing memories of ones we lost this year, our sweet Gaga Rachel and my dad's best friend, Roger. Those are sweet as well even it they produce some tears from time to time. :) (have I mentioned that I am a weeper?)

Anyway, we also got to see our dear friends, the Perkins and will be heading on Thursday to see our other dear friends, the Stumpf's. The three couples use to be in a small group together back when we had just adopted Emma, the Stumpf's had 4 of their 8 kids and the Perkins were waiting for God to bring them their precious little girls, now 5 and 3. What a road we all have taken since then and it is so neat to see that those friendships that are built in prayer and God's love just become like family. I'll post pictures of our visits later.

As for this week, we are going to do some soups and salads to get back to normal eating versus this gorging that has taken place! Whew! So here is the plan:

Monday: chili, corn bread

Tuesday: taco salad

Wednesday: potato soup and left over ham :)

Thursday: (headed to Stumpf's) not sure what we will take yet....white chocolate mix

Friday: veggie soup, bread

Saturday: white bean chicken chili, corn bread

Sunday: ham -n- beans (maybe by then the ham will be gone!) :)

For more menu ideas visit www.orgjunkie.com

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Heartstrings

This morning I got on my facebook account to find some pictures posted from a friend's recent mission trip to Romania to pass out Christmas boxes. He goes often as he has made his life's work to help the children of Romania through his organization Remember the Children. You can find out more about his story on their website but today I wanted to share a few of the photos with you of these kids who live like this everyday. We walked some of the same areas when we visited Romania 4 years ago. The images I have from that trip still tear at my heartstrings. Pray for God to move through areas like this in Romania and so many other countries. No one should have to live like this. The other thing to notice when looking at the pictures, the faces. Such joy from those who received the boxes...something so simple to do for any area including your own city. Bless a child less fortunate this Christmas....you will be the one who gets the best gift in return....pure joy! A mother and baby receiving a Christmas box.

A young boy getting his box. Notice his feet and the snow!

A church in Romanian village


The living conditions of some of the people in Romania is heartbreaking.

This was my friends favorite stop. They were stopped along the side of the road and were blessed with these Christmas boxes. Awesome!



More kids....more boxes.....more reasons to give.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Mondays Menu!



Can you believe it is Christmas week?! I am so excited! I love this time of year. Now that our house is decorated, filled with the smells of baking, I can relax and enjoy the fruits of our labor. :) I love sitting by the tree with the lights on and music playing in the background and that is what I have been doing! So awesome!

We are blessed to live close to both sides of our family so we spend Christmas Eve with my family. We then have time at home Christmas morning and then head down to Matt's folks later that day to join up with his crew. This year there will be a slight change since Matt's sister is heading to her in-laws for Christmas day. We will be hosting Matt's parents on Christmas and then going to the family get together the next day once his sister is in town. I just did not want his mom sitting alone on Christmas especially this year being the first one since her mom passed away. So I have had fun thinking of what to have for my first Christmas dinner at our house! :)

As I finish up shopping, look towards the family times, I am praying we never lose sight in why we celebrate this season. Taking time to sit at the feet of Jesus is what makes this time so special. So, be sure to do the same and really meet with God during this special time of year. As for food...here is what we will be eating this week:

Monday: baked chicken drumsticks, rice, green beans

Tuesday: White bean chicken chili, corn bread

Wednesday: Crouton chicken, mashed potato, broccoli

Thursday: Christmas dinner with my family!! (not sure what I am taking yet)

Friday: Christmas!
Breakfast: monkey bread, egg casserole, fruit, wassail

Lunch/dinner: Turkey,mashed potato, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole,
lime jello mold, fruit salad

Saturday: Christmas with Miller's! ( not sure what I am taking there yet)

Sunday: left overs!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sister Time

What a blessing to have a sister who you enjoy spending time with as a child, even more of a blessing is growing up together and becoming friends who respect each other and encourage each other. My sister and I are totally different in most ways. As short as I am, she is tall. As pale as I am, she is tan. As blonde as I am, she is brunette. As straight my hair is, hers is curly. As much as I am home, she is on the go. My sister and I from outward appearances as well as lifestyle appear to be quite different and one would think that would bring a lot of strife. What I adore about her, the differences. I love that she is so bold and fearless. I love that she lives a life full of activity. I love her kids to no end and I am thrilled to see them shine in the sport she loves, swimming. I cherish all the memories of growing up sharing a room with my sister, Emily. But today, I am just thankful that even when she is super busy during swim season, there are those brief moments of freedom that I can have a short giggle with her or share something we are very much alike in ....our love of chocolate.

Emily is a a strong woman of God who seeks to please Him in all she does which looks very different than the path I have chosen to do the same thing! Go figure! She is a teacher and a coach. Her influence on the teen girls she coaches is endless. I am amazed at the opportunities she has to share her faith through this venue. Her kids see this passion and know it comes from God. God uses whatever you are passionate about to bring Him glory...He made us that way! Who would have thought He could use a sport like swimming to reach so many for His kingdom? My sister has a gift and I am thankful she is using it to honor God as she is through her coaching, teaching, parenting and being a great encouragement to this sister who thinks her little sister rocks! :)

One cool thing that God gave my girls through my sister....whenever people ask our girls if they are " real sisters", Doodle gets so upset. so we have to talk about what it means to be a "real sister". We figure out that it does not mean looking alike, but it involves being there for each other and loving each other no matter what. Well, my sister and I look nothing alike and that helps my girls see that "real sisters" don't have to look alike. God knew what He was doing when He picked my sister before I ever knew I would become a mom through adoption. His hand in my life through picking the right parents, siblings, mate, children is evident and today I just wanted to say thanks for choosing so well. :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

He's A Busy God!

If I didn't know better, I would think that God is trying to show me something. :) Actually, I know He is showing me that He is more than able to meet all my needs and some of my desires too. I have told you two of the ways that is happening in our home with the washer and garage door. But He also gave me a simple gift that blesses my family. Every year for Christmas, I make these calendars for our parents. They are sweet pictures of the grandkids which they so love. I was afraid I could not do them this year because they are a bit pricy now. Well, leave it to God to bring me an email from Snapfish for...get this....BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE!!!! Isn't God just too fun! I told you that we would all stand in awe of how He chose to make all my needs and desires come to fruitition this season. So that gets me thinking...do you have anything you need to lay before God and watch Him move? He so will do just that and in a mighty way!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

God's Gifts

Well, if you recall, I wrote about my concern over financial issues we were facing lately and the fact that the list of things we needed to check on or get fixed felt like it was just growing. I made the list, prayed over it and let it go. I think now is the time to update on the amazing gifts God has given us since that post which you can read if you click here.

First, it was the washing machine which I wrote about last week and you can read about here.
Now, it is the garage door. My home is a lovely brick ranch. Nothing showy. That is not who we are. We just want what we need in a home. Anyway, while I like my house, the one thing that seems to have been an issue with my pride has been this crazy garage door. We moved into this house almost 10 years ago and it needed a new door then. We have not replaced it yet and we have certainly watched it deteriorate. It is nasty. I get so embarrassed when people drive up to our house and that is the first thing they see! Crazy! I think God had to show me to put that aside and know that is not what matters in His eyes. So, regardless that it has taken me 10 years to finally just let it go...today, God met that need in our life. Or the want in mine. :)

The patient of Matt's that fixed our back door this summer has been out to measure the door a couple times and we hoped he would order it for us. Matt trades services with him. He builds beautiful homes. Anyway, today at lunch, the doorbell rings. I answer it and it is this gentleman wanting to measure the door and know what color we wanted. We get the door..get this....TOMORROW!!! Only God can make that happen, friends! I stand in awe of a mighty God who meets all of our needs as well as some of our desires when we choose to fall at His feet in humility. I am so excited I can't process all of my feelings but I do know that this will be the most precious Christmas we have had in some time....can't wait to see what else God crosses off that list! What a mighty God!

S-T-R-E-T-C-H!

Have you ever noticed how God gives your children gifts that cause you to be stretched out of your comfort zone? Or sometimes, you have to show by example to help them step out of their own comfort zone? I have had the lovely blessing of having a very perky daughter in the mornings. Most of the time, that is not my bent. However, I enjoy watching her and she is stretching me to try it sometime...just not today. :) Seriously though, Doodle has a gift of not really knowing a stranger in a group. I become terribly shy when I walk into new places. Typically she does not which helps me to stretch my comfort zone. I have to go with her after all. She also is a little dare devil with roller coasters and that certainly has forced me out of my comfort zone of the kiddie rides.

Then there is Bean. Man, that girl is going to be stretch me til I snap! haha! She knows no fear with rides either. But that is not why I write today. Bean loves helping her daddy with all sorts of projects. It doesn't matter if it involves a tool or loud noise or if you will get messy. She just likes to know how all this stuff works and be there with him. I must say, she is stretching me to learn more about these things as well. For example, two nights ago, my husband mentioned he was having a pain that we were not sure what it was. He feared it might have been a hernia but was not sure...could be a pulled muscle. He could have done that while crawling around the crawl space moving speaker wires to their new homes. Of course, Bean was with him on the venture.
But they were not able to complete the task at hand that night due to not enough wire. So, guess what? Bean and I crawled under the house to do it for him last night. She knew what had to be done from the night before. She did a great job. I was scared out of my mind but did not let her see that. I just thought if I saw a mouse or big spider I would create a new way into the crawl space with a mommy shape hole! But there were not critters as I feared. It was kind of like crawling around in playground pebbles but it was also a fun time with Bean leading me around. Doodle stayed up and grabbed the wires we pushed through to their new homes. She was a great helper as well. Her job is the one I usually take on with Matt...but this night...Bean stretched her mommy and I am feeling very proud that little girl. I am also so glad that God finds cute little ways to push me out of the comfort zones in various ways.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Monday's Menu!



Ahhhh! Can you hear the sigh of relief coming from our house? The rush is over. We have made it through the Christmas programs and now we get to just sit back and wait on Christmas to arrive. Well, maybe not sit back, but we get to bake the cookies we each enjoy. This year, I am only baking their favorites. No need to bake the others just for the sake of baking more cookies. We did manage to get a tree Sunday after church. It looks so nice and we just love decorating it together. The girls have had fun putting all the nativity scenes around. Have I ever mentioned that I have a nativity scene addiction as well as a book addiction? Well, if not, that is for another post!
This week we are really slowing down. We have our last co-op and BSF on Monday and dance ends Tuesday. The rest of the week, we are home. Did you hear that? Home!!! We will finish school on Friday and then have two weeks off. I am so excited to get the much needed house hold chores done and attack a couple of projects on my to do list during that time. Until then, here is what we will be eating this week:

Monday: (BSF night) Girls and Matt eat on the road.

Tuesday: (dance class) sandwiches on the road, apples, pretzels

Wednesday: ham, cheese broccoli ring, salad

Thursday: Teriyaki chicken, mashed potato, green beans

Friday: boiled supper, corn bread

Saturday: easy chicken pot pie, fruit salad

Sunday: pork roast, cheesy potato, salad, fresh bread
For more great menus, head on over to http://www.orgjunkie.com and check out all the yummy things being cooked up this week! :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Lights, Camera, Action!!!

The girls have both been involved in different Christmas programs this year. Last weekend, Bean was in the Sonshine Kids Choir's musical called Angel Alert. It was so cute. They did a lovely job. What I enjoyed was watching my quiet shy girl stand up to the microphone and say her line loud and proud. That moment was so exciting for me. She has always been our super shy girl, hiding behind my legs. To watch her come out over the past couple years to the point she is willing to stand up on stage in front of hundreds of people and speak, well that is just God's gift!

This weekend, Doodle has been involved with her praise dance ministry team in a Christmas program at a church. The first show was last night. It was beautifully done. I can not tell you what it does to me watching her dance for her Lord. She beams! It is not the same as when she is on stage for a play, but it is this look on her face that lets me know who she is dancing for...her Jesus. She is so reverent at that moment it brings me to tears.

Watching both the girls this week has allowed me to really hit my knees with a heart of gratitude to God. It is one thing to have a daughter who loves singing around the house or dancing like crazy. But to have two daughters who love singing praise songs daily and dancing for God, well that just melts my heart. There is nothing that touches my heart more than watching my children serve Him, seek Him and worship Him. Matt doesn't have to shop for me this year, the gift of watching each of them do their thing for God, well, that is the best gift I could open this year.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Best Christmas Gift


Each Christmas morning since we have been parents, we have started our morning the same way. We bake a cake for Jesus' birthday. Next we read the Christmas story from Luke 2 while the girls add Jesus to the Nativity. We then do my favorite part of our Christmas day...we sit around the tree and think about what we want to give Jesus this year and write them down on a small piece of paper. He gave His life for us, so surely we can think of some things we can do or give up for Him each year.

These have been so amazing to see what God places on our hearts and how some of them change and others are pretty constant. I then put the pieces of paper in a little decorated ornament box and the girls hang it on the tree. We pray together and then we open gifts. The girls get three packages, just like Jesus. This time is precious to me and I guess it is such a blessing to know that when we chose to not partake in the Santa world, we still have some fun traditions we do as a family on that morning. I think we feared it would be weird..which if I were totally honest, I would have to say it was a bit weird at first but not now. This is my favorite time of the day and it is also my girls.

All of this talk about slowing down to truly celebrate Jesus this Christmas has me thinking...what do I need to give to Jesus this year? I really want to honor what I give to him. Sometimes we give our time. Sometimes it is something we need to let go such as our anger, selfishness, etc. This year I want to make sure it is what He wants me to give up even if it is not on my radar right now. I want to give Jesus the best gift ever....all of me. I wonder what I will have to lay down in order to do that.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Time for a change!

I have had so much fun seeing all the changes in my blogger friends blogs lately. I was inspired. So I am working on decorating my blog for the holidays. For me, that is tough. I have to "try on" several to see what I like. So, know things might not look the same tonight or tomorrow, but eventually I will decide and it will be pretty. :) Until then...hang with me. :)

God Cares About My Washer!?!

I know what you are thinking....What? Why would God care about our washer? Well, I think the same thing but you see, He does! Ok, maybe not the washer in itself but He cares about the circumstances around my life and takes care of all it even the washer! Let me explain better...

We purchased a very nice machine a couple of years ago after saving to pay cash since our old one broke. At that time, we took our clothes to the laundry mat for almost 3 months! It was nuts. So once we decided on what to buy, we have been in love with this silly machine because it does 3 loads of laundry in one load! Anything that saves time around here is a love of mine. :)

A month ago, this blessing of a machine became a bit shall I say "agitated". (sorry couldn't help it!) It started blinking "F1" at me during the fill up times in the cycles. I read what that meant and knew we were in trouble. We did not have money to pay for someone to fix it. We did not have money to go to the laundry mat either! Plus, this machine is only two years old! What's up with that? Luckily, every time I restarted it, as the instructions told me to try, I was able to get it to go. So, I prayed over that silly machine and God made it hold out to finish our laundry each week....until Sunday. On Sunday night, Matt had to take our laundry over to the office to do. He was there until 1:30. (much smaller machine!) That did not bless him and I felt horrible! It got us researching the problem and brainstorming how to fix it.

Matt found online that there were others who had this problem and that the manufacturer took care of it. So I called yesterday. I told them what we have had happening and guess what....they are sending a repairman out to our house tomorrow!! Best part~ FREE OF CHARGE!!! Did you catch that? FREE! God is amazing how He manages to show us He cares and will take care of it all....even a washing machine. I know some would say it is not Him, but I know it is because I have been praying about it for a month and asking for Him to either fix the machine so it will just work or bring the money to fix it. He did! So that gets me to thinking, if He cares about my silly machine and fixes it, why don't I leave all the other big stuff with Him and watch Him move? No answer today..just thinking about that one.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Keeping CHRIST in Christmas!

This season really does start to make me crazy as I put on myself the need to do all the extras that make Christmas what it is "suppose" to be. However, that is just what I am being challenged to not do this year. On Sunday, our pastor spoke on having a simple Christmas this year. Making it all about Christ and not about us. And really when we get down to it, all the "extras" are really about us. We want to have the traditions with our kids and we make these things a priority. So, I was challenged when Pastor Gary mentioned that we are no different than the people of Bethlehem...we did not make room for Jesus. We do not make room for Him in our life at Christmas and we don't make him a priority. So I know for a fact that we do not want that to be true of our home. We have always made the celebration about Jesus versus Santa and I guess I thought that was good enough. I think I have over compensated with other stuff to make our girls not feel like they "missed out" of the whole Santa pull. In doing so, I have done the same thing we were trying to pull away from by not doing Santa, I have made Christmas all about us.

So I have been contemplating what to give up and some how God has made it so that certain circumstances make it easier to do so. We are not going to be writing a letter and sending cards to everyone we have ever known this year. I am going to send a photo card to those who I know pray for our family so that they can continue to do so.....I use the Christmas photo cards as prayer cards throughout the year. A different family each week is prayed over and it helps me to use the pictures.

Second thing to go, excess spending just to spend. We usually only buy three gifts for our girls for Christmas. We figure if it was good enough for Jesus...why change it! That will remain the same, but I am not going to be able to buy all of my nieces and nephews, sisters and brothers gifts this year. I just can't do it. And truly, I am so much more all about the memories we make together anyway, so I will figure out something to "give" them instead. My first thought, take all 10 kids to the lake house for a cousin sleepover which would allow all parents to go on a date night. We'll see. Still praying over this one as it really causes me to be sad that I can't buy them something. God is still working on this one yet I know they don't put getting or not getting a present from me as how much I love them. It's my issue.

Third thing to go, parties. We are invited to lots of parties and people kind of expect you to come. So I am going to bow out of them as they usually involve extra baking, buying and stress. We don't need that right now. We need peace as we get ourselves prepared to celebrate Jesus' birth. So we will do the girls' Christmas programs at church and I am hosting my co-op mom's meeting next Monday night while the family goes to Bible Study Fellowship, but after that we are done. No more. So don't be offended if you ask us to a party and we say no. We need time to be a family, playing games together, watching old movies, reading great stories, worshiping our Lord. We need time to be still before God and really allow Him to meet us in these moments before Christmas. How can we find that time if we do not be still? In order to do that, we must say no to some stuff. I guarantee you that doing that will ruffle some feathers. I just hope the people who get ruffled are able to one day understand and that God will give us the right words to say to calm those feathers if needed.

Lastly, we are not putting out lights this year. I am making that decision for my husband. He hates it. He really does. He does it for us. His girls always tell him that we are the only house that doesn't have them out. So what?! We also are the only house on our street that doesn't have Santa come and that homeschools, so why start being like everyone else in this area?! We are different by choice most of the time and truly why should we make him be more stressed at this time of year just to be like the neighbors?! So I am saying no to that this year. Let's instead spend the time Matt would have used to put up the lights to go down to our friends mission and help put Christmas boxes together for those who don't have anything for Christmas. Better way to spend our time for sure.

Our plan in how to use this extra time is to flip it for being God's hands and feet during this season. We want to serve with our friends with the boxes and possibly through our church if we find a way to do so. We want to help our neighbors with their tasks if needed. We want to be home spending quiet time together. We want to have our home filled with love, laughter and peace. We would love to invite our neighbors over for a soup/bread meal or maybe a cookie/cocoa night but that will depend on if I can do that without making it all about the food and decor having to be "perfect". We also want to spend time with grandparents more. We have lost both of our grandmas recently and we both cherish those times so much. We want our girls to have that time with each set of our parents. We know those moments change you in wonderful ways. So, pray for the Miller's to continue to peel away the stuff of Christmas that make it all about show and glow. We want to shine for Jesus only and take time to sit and meditate on God's Word.

Menu Plan Monday




Well, it is that time of year where we all have a few more holiday parties to attend or cookies bake which can lead to busy schedules all around. We have a ballet dancer in our family who is dancing in a Christmas show at a church this next weekend. That means she has practice every night this week. Ugh! Poor thing is wiped out already so I am showing her some grace with school work this week. She will be doing co-op work and history but no math and spelling to shave off some of her workload and allow for a rest time in the afternoon.

We still don't have a tree and with our schedule this week, I am not sure when we will get it! I am hoping we can pick it up Wednesday night and plan on decorating a bit through the week and finishing up on Sunday as a family. We'll see.

So while trying to keep Christmas all about Christ and yet adding parties and practices to our schedule, I am deciding to keep it simple with food. So here is what the Miller's will be eating this week:

Monday: (BSF night) Girls and Matt eat on the road.

Tuesday: (dance practice/class) sandwiches on the road, apples, pretzels

Wednesday: (dance practice) veggie soup, bread

Thursday: (dance practice/meet friend for dinner) pizza, salad

Friday: (dance performance) taco salad

Saturday: (dance performance/ co-op Christmas party) Girls eat with cousins!

Sunday: (NOTHING!) Pot Roast, carrots, potato and fresh bread....yummo!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Missing a Buddy

Last night, I was given a sweet little letter by Bean at bedtime. I opened it preparing to have some stalling tactic as she does not like having to go to bed lately. She has struggled with staying asleep through the night and even getting to sleep. We keep talking to her but until last night, we did not know what the problem was and truly at this point were getting a bit frustrated at being awakened in the middle of the night by a 9 year old. You kind of expect it when they are 9 months but not 9 years.

The note said (written in crayon which added sweetness in my book):
Dear Mommy,
I am missing Gaga Rachel. Can you help me
get through this please?
Love,
Bean


Then there was a second page with a large picture she drew of Gaga Rachel and a note:
Gaga Rachel, I love you!

Gaga Rachel

Ok, I don't know about you, but my heart sank. I feel so badly that I did not put two and two together before this note. Bean is getting ready to sing in a church kid's musical. She has so much fun doing that however the last time she did, we got a call from Grandma while eating ice cream. That call was that Gaga Rachel heart had stopped and the EMT's were trying to revive her. We left the girls with my parents and Matt and I darted to the assisted living facility where she lived but it was too late. Graciously, my parents brought the girls over as we wanted them to have a chance to say good byes there if they wanted to. Doodle did not, but Bean did. She went in with me to see her buddy and she stayed close by the rest of the time really. Then at age 8, that little girl wrote a little something and read it in front of the crowd at the funeral. We were so proud but also so shocked as she is our shy child. She is the one we have to practice what to say if we see people we know when we go places so she will not just hide behind my back.

Gaga Rachel with her "Little Brown Bear"

Why would this little girl do that? Because Gaga Rachel and Bean had always had such a sweet bond that doesn't really go with explanation. It just was what it was. That does not mean Gaga Rachel was not precious to all of us and that Doodle is not missing her as well, because that would not be true. I just think that with this musical, all of that stuff has surfaced and she does not know how to process it. On top of that, I think she truly realizes that she is not coming back. This is Bean's first time to deal with death at an age she can truly understand. It never gets easier to say good bye no matter how old you are but we keep pointing her to where Gaga Rachel is now. We also have encouraged her to remember all the fun times or silly things she did with GagaRachel so she will smile through the tears. Focus on the good stuff and let the rest take its course. So, it is with tears running down my cheek that I write this post today and must say to you, Gaga Rachel, thank you for loving my girls so well that they miss you so much. The memories they have spent with you will last a lifetime. We love you and miss you, sweet Gaga Rachel.

Doodle with Gaga Rachel at the lake house. Sweet memories.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Testing Faith

I find it amazing that just when you think everything is going well, you are tithing above and beyond the 10% you are instructed to give to God and have extra in the bank....all of a sudden life hits full force and you are scraping nickels together for a loaf of bread! Gracious! I was getting discouraged with recent financial issues when I realized that God wants to know that we will trust him in all things, in all ways and all circumstances. So, once again, we enter this busy season not prepared as I so much prefer. I will trust God to bring the finances to take care of what is needed and the extras will just have to be icing on the cake if and when God chooses to bring that money in as well. So while I remain faithful with giving, helping others and such...I also have to prove faithful in how the money God gives us is spent and what we do to honor Him with that money. It is sooooo easy to be all protective and hoard it when there is a time of less in your life. But God wants us to be extravagent in our giving. So, with a bit of fear but much faith I write this and know that by the end of this season, we will have an amazing story to share about how God has blessed this family once again. He never ceases to amaze me. He may not be early but He always comes through and in ways I just can't imagine! So, God, I give these concerns to you today knowing you will be faithful to figure it all out and that in doing so, I can not take it back....

washing machine (fix it or $$ to fix)
cars acting up (fix them or $$ to fix)
debt to pay off
garage door
new shoes for the girls
desire to have Christmas dresses for girls
money to go to the doctor (all 4 of us need to get a check up)
braces
dance
gas money
desire to help out the needy this season with $$ or presents
$$ for books for school

Lord, this is just the stuff that goes through my head on a daily basis as I make decisions. I know that all of this junk going through my mind is not allowing me to serve you or worship you in a way that brings you honor. I may never fully understand what it means to have abundant wealth and truly I do not want to as I find it puts my trust in money and not in God's provision. So while I struggle with feeling overwhelmed with worry at times, I still love having a God that will provide my every need. Now, if I can just get over feeling guilty when friends do nice things for us for the holidays when we can not repay that favor. Thank you God that you never look at the outward gifts but the inward. May our gifts be a sweet aroma to you.
In Jesus' most precious name, Amen! :)

Facebooking Your Faith

Well, lately I have had a few people in my life come down really hard on people who use facebook to contact old friends. I was starting to feel a bit guilty. I agreed that it is less personal than a call or note but with the season I am currently in with life, I don't have the luxury of sitting and writing notes to all the people that cross my mind or picking up the phone to talk to them for longer than 10 minutes. I really don't use the phone much to talk to my best friends so how can add this group to my list?!

Anyway, I was just about to jump the facebook ship and give it up when I have recently had the best experiences and conversations with two of my friends from high school. One of them was my best friend through high school. We were really together or talking all the time. We did not always make the wisest choices then but we so enjoyed being together. This recent death of a classmate has brought the two of us back into communication as it was a reminder of how fragile life truly is and we need to take the time to be involved. But something else has happened....I was able to chat with her for about an hour off and on while doing laundry and lesson planning. Our chat started off about this mutual friend, drifted to good memories and ended on the best thing yet...my faith in Christ. She is at a point of wanting to know more about scripture. She is reading through the Bible but has lots of questions. We talked through some things and I was able to invite her to my church or a Bible study. She jumped a the chance!

The other friend was a buddy I so enjoyed while we danced together on the PomPom Squad. We had not spoken since high school and she is a joy. We are both believers and she was struggling in sharing the Word with a cousin who was commenting on her page about gay marriage. I just read the post and thought led to write something. That little comment allowed the two of us to write back forth about sharing Jesus and being godly wives in situations. It was such a blessing.

So, after praying about these two events on my facebook, I have decided to stay put. I do think right now my ministry is at home with my girls and the other children God places in my life. But what an awesome opportunity to also be able to spread the love of Jesus Christ through something so relevant in today's society such as facebook. So I am going to reach out in Christ to these friends of mine from years gone by and pray that God will continue to bring opportunities to my door...or I guess my wall! What a blessing!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Menu Plan Monday




The next two weeks will be a bit busier than normal. Who am I trying to fool here? It is going to be nuts! But at the end, we will be finished with all Christmas type programs the girls are in and we should be able to really have the week or so before Christmas arrives to really concentrate on what it is all about. I hate that hectic feeling during the holidays and refuse to take the focus off of Jesus to just be busy doing all the little things we think are so important to make it what we think it should be. I think it is great to have traditions but if that tradition begins to be the focus and not Jesus Christ, than even good, fun traditions must go. Ok, I'm stepping off the soapbox. haha! Not sure where that came from but I am thinking it might have been one of those things I needed to write so I would remember what we are doing this month. :)
So, coming off a lovely relaxing weekend with family and my dear friend, Lainie, at the lake house...I am ready to take on this week! Here is what we will be enjoying this week:
Monday: (BSF) sandwiches, chips, veggies (quick and easy and get on the road!)
Tuesday: (dance) Wraps for the road, apples, chips (so jealous....aren't ya?!)
Wednesday: (choir practice for Bean) Biscuits and Gravy, fruit salad
Thursday: (girls at grandparents, Date night to Cincy) Dinner at Cincinnati Christian Univ.
Friday: Crockpot lasagna, bread, salad
Saturday: (Bean's play at church) Stovetop chicken and rice casserole, broccoli, oranges
Sunday: (girls go to Yuletide Celebration with my parents) Veggie soup, fresh bread, cottage cheese

See more menus at www.orgjunkie.com

Cherished Moments

This weekend was a lovely time with family as we celebrated Thanksgiving weekend with Matt's family this year. (we rotate years) I so enjoyed spending time with his parents and sister's family as well as all his cousins, aunts, uncles....etc. It is a big group! After the dinner crowd left, I really had an enjoyable night with Tammy, my sister-in-law and my mother-in-law as we all worked at straightening up their library. Although the process was painful for my MIL, I know she cherishes those moments with all of us together. The four kids had so much fun together they ended up having a cousin sleepover at Grandma's. That allowed me to get home and pack for my lake house escape with my friend Lainie for a much needed scrapbooking retreat.

Matt got up early and drove over to the lake house to turn up the heat and turn the water pump on for the ladies. (Have I mentioned what a great guy I am married to before?) Anyway, Lainie and I arrived at the lake at very close to the same time on Friday afternoon. We ate lunch and laughed some before getting started on our books. We worked on those things until dinner and then back to it until things started getting a bit loopy! That is what I cherish about these trips with my dear friends....losing it over something so simple as green glitter for example! Who would think that green glitter would bring such joy or giggles..but trust me it can when you are tired enough and hopped up on caffeine! We actually went to be early for us and both slept well.

While I was scrapbooking, my girls were able to spend Friday night and Saturday with my parents and their cousins on that side. They had a blast! Matt took a friend down to chop wood at his uncle's home. They also enjoyed that time together. Matt's uncle has always been a dear man in Matt's life. Lately, this uncle has not been well and I know that weighs on Matt. So while I played, he got to go do the same. Funny how his "playing" always involves a machine or tool! :)

On Saturday, Lanie's family came to pick her up after lunch to go hiking. (Did I mention what a nice guy she is married to as well?) You should have seen the kids' excitement as they explored the lake house! Truly can't wait to take them out on the boat someday. Too sweet!

Sharing life with those friends who become your chosen family is just as sweet as sharing life with the family God has chosen for you. Once Lainie's crew headed out, my husband and girls joined me for the evening at the lake. There is just something about being on the water that makes you just relax and know that God is in control. I wish I could find that same feeling by looking at the water in my kitchen sink...but since I don't, I guess I'll just do the dishes and head back to the lake for that much needed refreshment when needed. :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

There is hope!

This morning, I find myself saddened by the news of a dear friend from school passing away. This friend not only is gone, but I found out he also took his own life. So many thoughts whirl through my head with the knowledge of this information. What was going on in his life that would make him feel this was the only way? Why would he want to leave his precious baby here with no daddy? Why did I not tell him about the hope there is in Jesus? That last one is the one I am clinging to right now. Why did I not tell him, or all my friends for that matter, about the precious love of Jesus before it was too late? If we weigh the measure of success on earthly standards we will always come up short. There is no way to find success or worth in the world. Our worth has to come from Christ alone.

Today, I am sad for this family. I struggle with how to reach out and yet I know this is not the only friend from school or person God wants me to share the hope of Jesus with. So I wonder, who will God bring to my mind today. Will I be bold enough to share this hope? What else do I need to wake me up to the importance of sharing our faith in a bold manner? My heart aches for the family but also for the many others in this world that do not know the hope, faith and love of Jesus Christ. So with that in mind, I keep singing this song in my head and thought I'd share it with you....

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There's light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of this earth
Will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.

His word shall not fail you He promised
Believe Him and all will be well
Then go to a world that is dying
His perfect salvation to tell.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of this earth
Will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.

I realize I skipped a verse. These just happen to be the two that are screaming in my head. I am so thankful for the hope we have in Jesus and am eager to share that more openly in the future. But for now, I want to pray for this family in sorrow and for this precious 3 year old boy who will never really know his daddy. Hitting my knees.....

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Blah, Blah, Blah!

Do you ever go through times when you just feel kind of...well, kind of blah?! I have been struggling with that feeling for about a month or two. Couldn't really put my finger on what the problem was and yet I just did not have my normal zest for life. I would not say this was a true depression, but I understand how those who struggle with that in their life would need assistance other than family and friends.

I have had no desire to get up in the morning and start my tasks ahead of me. I have found it hard to allow myself to find joy in the every day things as I usually do. I have struggled to just smile. I just felt blah.

I have been told that it is because I am a mom and give so much of myself to my girls and husband and needed to take some time for me. I think that is a very normal response to this feeling. I must say, that approach did not work. Pushing them away made me feel worse. They gave me a couple days to just be still and alone with my thoughts. What did I think about? The fact I was missing out on all the fun they were having! So that did not work.

I certainly have not been blah all the time. I mean I giggle a lot. I love to laugh. So that is still true. I just didn't have the same oomph to handle my tasks at hand nor the desire to do it.

This week, my husband and I had a discussion that sent me to my knees in prayer. The topic is not what was important but what I found there on my knees would be. As I knelt and prayed, I found that my blahs were leaving. I cried tears of joy and some tears of sadness for situations out of my control. I realized that my blahs have nothing to do with what is going on in my home. What the blahs for me have been about is a direct relation to my pulling away from my heavenly Father. I stopped having that daily prayer time. I stopped digging in His Word for answers in handling the daily tasks. I started going through the motions. Sure we talked about God and what He expects in our home but I stopped meeting with Him daily.

I learned something valuable there on my knees. I can not do the jobs God has called me to do without Him. I am not capable to pull that off. I rely deeply on His guidance, love and wisdom in all areas of my life. When I choose to stop that daily meeting in order to get more sleep or do more jobs, I am choosing to step into the world of the blahs. I will say that while I feel better today, I know that this shifting back to my normal zest for life will be a process. I know what I need and I know how to get it. Now I just need to do it.

As I was reading today, God gave me this verse:

Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thess. 5:16

Can you imagine?! I wept. He knew just the right thing I needed to read today so that I could find my way back. I am thankful for a loving heavenly Father who meets my every need. Do you need to have a meeting with Him today? He truly is my everything and He can be that for you too.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Feel the pressure...cooker that is!

Well, my friend Lainie, has outed me with hinting at a story to blog about pressure cookers. :) So I took the bait and I think it is something those of us who use these lovely pots need to know.

I inherited my pressure cooker from my Gram. She had it for years before I received it. I just love it! The size is perfect to make stews, soups for large groups and of course big roasts, ribs, chicken to boot. So I used it a lot because I am known for forgetting to lay out the meat needed for supper that night. (getting better by the way) Anyway, this certain fall day about a year ago or so, my family was outside and I decided to make my homemade veggie soup. I think it tastes better after letting it cook all day allowing all the tastes to come together and make this yummy bowl of comfort food. MMM! This time, I did not have all day as lunch was needed in about 45 minutes.

So I pulled out the pressure cooker knowing that would work as well. I did all that you are suppose to do to get it ready and I came in to make sure that the top vent dealy was just dancing a little bit but not over the top. This was not my first time using this device by all means. About ten minutes later, I hear an explosion in my kitchen! I run in to see what was making that sound.

To my horror, I found a fountain of veggie soup spewing from the top vent of my pressure cooker. I could not take the lid off yet and the fountain was not stopping just by removing the pan from the heat!!! I had vegetable soup all over my kitchen from the backsplash, up the cabinet fronts and most of it was on my ceiling!!!! How do you get vegetable soup off the ceiling?! Anyway, I am a problem solver by nature so I didn't panic, but I grabbed towels and threw them on top of the lid so it would spew into the towels instead. Then I stood back to take it all in.

You had to laugh! I mean, if not, you cry at that moment. I have never had a bath in vegetable soup really. However, I feel certain I know what a shower would feel like. We still have a mark on our ceiling that is a reminder of this moment. It truly made me stop making that soup for a bit! Now, we are just more certain to check the vents and rubber seal as the company suggests. Good to know why they say that. So glad I could take one for the team in figuring that out for everyone. I now share this story with those who tell me they use their grandma's pressure cooker as well. It always brings laughter, but I assure you that at that moment when I saw the fountain o' soup spewing out of that cooker, I was not laughing....yet. :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Let the Little Children Lead Us....

As a mom, I have found many times when my girls will cause me to stop in my tracks and stand in awe of what they are doing. Sometimes due to sheer amazement that one child could make such a mess, but that was when they were much younger. Lately, I have found myself standing in awe over my Doodle's disciplined spiritual life.

I walked into her room the other day and spotted a new sign on her wall. She likes to make and decorate signs and posts them as needed. Sometimes these signs will have scripture to help her be kind to her younger sister. Other times they will just have a fun saying she enjoys. This one made me stop in my tracks. It said:

I, Doodle, vow to God that I will not watch tv, play on the computer or play outside until I have spent time with God each day.

Now the difference between us is simply that I have that same desire and yet I fall short of meeting that goal daily. She doesn't. When she says she is going to do it, she does. She finished her chores over the weekend and asked if she could play on the computer. I agreed. About 15 minutes later, I came around the corner and she was not there. I called for her and asked her if she was going to play on the computer. Her answer: "Yes, but I needed to spend time with God first". Let me just say, not only does that make me proud, it makes me fall on my knees and pray that I will follow suit. She gets it. She follows through which is amazing at her age. What a blessing to let the little ones lead. ( I will post pic of signs later)

Menu Plan Monday




This week is really the same ol' same ol'...nothing new. So we are going to be trying to finish up some loose ends around the house. (at least what we can until we get bookshelves installed) The girls have dance and BSF but the rest of the week, we will be home. It is suppose to be a gorgeous week as well. Yeah! So here is the plan:

Monday: (BSF) left overs (quick and easy and get on the road!)
Tuesday: (dance) PB&J on the road, apples and pretzels (I know you are jealous!)
Wednesday: Baked cream o'celery chicken, buttery noodles, broccoli
Thursday: Pulled BBQ Beef , baked beans, salad
Friday: Individual Beef Wellington's, salad, fruit
Saturday: Mexican Skillet dinner, chips n salsa
Sunday: Baked Spaghetti, bread, salad

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Big Brothers Rock!

Do you have an older brother by chance? I do. Over the years of growing up, we certainly had our moments of fighting, laughing, learning various things together. Tom is 2 years older than me...well, actually 2 and a half! :) He has always been very protective of me throughout school. I loved that and still do. When Matt travels, I know if I needed him to come check out some sound in the night, he would do so without whining or complaining. That is just what he does. What brought on these thoughts?

Tom and all his girls. :)

Well, Matt left for Chicago on Friday. We are still in the midst of a transition in our home remodel. I feel helpless most the time as I can not do the different tasks simply because I don't know what to do. That got me to thinking. Matt must feel overwhelmed with his "to do" list because I just can't help much beyond cheering him on during his tasks. While he appreciates that, it is not checking things off quickly. So on Friday, the girls and I went to Menard's and found the lights we had wanted to switch out in the hallway. Then Tom, Tommy to me, got the call. I wanted to have him teach me how to exchange lights so Matt would not have that on his list and I could learn something new to be more helpful.

Saturday afternoon, he and his girls came over. He did the first light, explaining everything he was doing along the way. He was an excellent teacher. I did the second light by myself. While I was excited, only one of the bulbs turned on, which meant something was not connected correctly. Regardless, he showed me what was wrong with grace and we tried again. After three attempts, he made sure I had it connected correctly so nothing would start a fire! (he works for Koorsen!) Then he sat down and talked to me for an hour. Just chatting about his job changes, girls, etc. It just made me feel that although we are all grown up and have our own families, those times of laughing, learning together are not over. I am grateful for all of my family, but last night when Matt came in and saw lights, well, I was just so grateful I have a brother who gets my heart and is willing to come over to help me bless my husband. I truly love the men in my life....thanks Tom. You have always been a big brother who ROCKS! :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Just for fun!

I really try to stay pretty politically stagnant on this blog as this is not the forum I want to discuss such topics. However, there are times that my sense of humor gets tickled or my passion flared and I just must share. I don't know about you, but I have had a horrible time trying to get Doodle the H1N1 shot not the mist due to her having asthma. No matter who I speak with, where I go, I get the run around. I know everyone is doing what they can but it feels as if no one really knows who has what or who is in charge. It makes me feel like a hamster running on a wheel. It makes me think that the left hand really doesn't have a clue of what the right hand is doing as far as the governments handling of these said shots. So with that, when a friend sent me this picture below, I just laughed. I don't know that it is the message as much as the look on the face but it made me giggle so hard my girls came running to see what was up. So with that in mind, enjoy a laugh on me. :)



Saturday, October 24, 2009

Boys and Their Toys!

The girls have been on their big trip with grandparents which left Matt and I home alone to tackle a paint job. We got up on Friday ready to get going on painting the ceiling in the living room and hall. I was going around spackling the holes I made with all my pictures hanging on the wall. Matt kept standing and looking at the half walls that divided our living room area with our very tiny entryway. I should not have been surprised when he looked at me with that look I know so well.
Matt tearing the last part of the half wall out.

He had a vision to tear out the walls, fix the hard wood floor he put in when we moved in then paint. It all made perfect sense to him because if we have to paint anyway, now is the time to tear stuff out. I just keep thinking, where do these things come from? I mean, we both slept in the same bed, ate the same food and yet never have I ever started a paint job only to stop and think" Man, those walls need to come out". I just don't get it. Yet, I am also very blessed with a husband who knows his ways around the tools and is a perfectionist with his jobs. (who would go to a dentist who did not expect perfection?!) Anyway, he started tearing down the first wall and I just stayed in my happy place...the computer! haha! After he tore down one wall, he called me out and I have to say that while I really deep down just wanted to get the painting done so we could put the room back together quickly and have a date night, he was right. It looked so much nicer and he looked so proud.(and cute!)

Dr. Demo is his new name...looking way too cute and proud of himself!


The poor second wall has no idea what or who is coming.

So now he is out there still fixing the floor. I can't do much to help. I have sanded the spots I fixed yesterday but really I am just here for moral support and snacks. We still don't have the ceiling or walls painted, but I know they will be soon. He gets his mind set to something and he won't stop until he finishes. That is one of the things I love about him. He is much more of a risk taker than I am and let's face it...I'm so glad he is since we met on a blind date! :) I'll post after photos soon.

Dr. Demo completed his task: both walls down.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Harvest of Friends Blog Party!


Lynnette Kraft is hosting a fun blog party to get to know each other better. Take time to answer these fun questions or just one. Then link to her blog and hop around to other blogs. Enjoy the harvest of friends!

1. What is your favorite thing to snack on while you're blogging?
I am not much of a snacker at the computer but if I do it would be chocolate. :)

2. What is one thing you wouldn't want to live without?
First thing that came to my mind, my family...but I think we all feel that way so I will simplify. I can't live without chocolate.(refer to answer 1)

3. Beach, Mountains or Farm? Where would you live if you had a choice? Oooh, tough choice. I love parts of all three. So, how about a farm near mountains with a cottage on the beach for getaways. Is that asking too much? If I have to choose one, beach by the ocean always reminds me of just how big my God is. :)

4. What's your least favorite chore/household duty? Oh, I have two, laundry and dishes because they are never ending! :)

5. Who do people say you remind them of? Not sure anyone has ever said I looked like anyone famous...usually my mom but as I have gotten older, rounder people say my dad! Not sure how to take that but regardless, I love them both and will consider that a complement. :)

6. Prefer parties and socializing or staying at home with the fam? Staying with family always wins!

7. What's your all time favorite movie? I have several. I like to laugh but I would say the one that makes me giggle most and takes me to my "happy place" fastest....don't laugh....Winnie the Pooh! Love that bear!

8. Do you sleep in your make up or remove it like a good girl every night? Remove it most nights unless I fall asleep before I finish reading.

9. Do you have a hidden talent or a deep desire to learn something that you've never had a chance to learn? What is it? Hidden talents....no. Desire to learn something would be just about anything. I love learning new things.

10. What's one strange thing you're really good at? Remembering who gave my kids gifts from infancy. When I pass down the clothes to friends, I will see their child in it and know who gave it to mine. Gee whiz that was 10-12 years ago! Freaky! Either that or rearranging furniture/pictures. It is something my family still calls me to help out with at their homes. :)

11. What first attracted you to your spouse? We talked on the phone before meeting on our blind date. So what first attracted me to him was his sense of humor. Then came that smile and those eyes! :)

12. What is something you love to smell? My kids AFTER a bath. :) Fresh baked goods.

13. Tell something about you that you know irritates people. I am a loud laugher and can talk too much at times.

14. When you have extra money (HA!) what's the first thing you think to do with it? Do something with the family then save.

15. Are you a silent laugher or a loud laugher? What makes you laugh the hardest? Loud laugher! My kids make me laugh. They are seriously funny. Physical humor gets me every time as well and anything makes me laugh once I hit that slap happy point of an evening.

16. Where is your favorite place to shop? Hmmm, that's tough because it depends on what I am looking for. Most of the time I shop online. If I go to a store for me, I love to go to office supply stores! ha ha! Isn't that fun! But it is for me. Nothing like new notebooks and fresh pens! Love them. :)

17. What's one thing you'd do more often if you had more time? Read for me! Dance

18. Are you a big spender or frugal? Neither, I want to be more frugal but enjoy my comforts yet can't afford those...so really we are pretty average. We tighten the belt where we can and spend according to what we put as a priority.

19. Who is your favorite character of all time (from a movie or book)? (Can't be real)
I think I already said...POOH BEAR! Love that little guy. Who can't be in love with a bear who sings," I am short, fat and proud of that"! As for non-animated, there are too many to mention.

20. Would you want to be famous? No, it comes with a pricetag too steep for my liking. I prefer to be given my treasures in heaven.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Unexpected Visitors

On Saturday, the girls and I had gone to the grocery store after Doodle's dance class. We were unpacking the groceries when two men came walking up our driveway. They were dressed in their Sunday best and had a Bible with them. I was pretty sure this was team going door to door witnessing for their faith, which is not ours. I knew this was going to be an awkward meeting in front of my girls but thought Matt would come out and save the day. :) As the men walked up, I started praying for wisdom and strength.

While I do not desire to debate doctrine or theology through my blog, I will say as for me and my house, we serve the Lord and believe His Word only. We believe the Bible to be the true Word of God and it is alive and useful for all things everyday and every day to come.

With that said, these men had another book they viewed equal to the Holy Bible. They were kind, considerate and tried to quote their scripture to me about family. That is where they get people sucked in to their beliefs. Family is huge with this group and I must say that I see why people desire that. However, the one thing they do not do well is recognizing God's family, His Son, as deity. We believe that Jesus is the only way to the Father and all others fall short. Scripture supports that and we stand by it.

The men tried to give me information and I asked who publishes the item. They told me and I thanked them for their time and kindness but as for our family the only place we go for guidance with raising our children, marriage and family is straight from God's Word, the Holy Bible. They were kind and seemed stumped as to what to do or say then. God won that moment. I was sweating and my girls looked at me like I had a fire on my head! I think I shocked them in being able to stand up to these men without Daddy. What I shared later was that it was not me, it was Jesus using me to share His truth. This message on this day was not for these men. I think it was for me and my girls. They needed to see that Mommy is not just their teacher, laundry woman, cook, cleaning woman, and nurse. They needed to see that Mommy is capable to take a stand for Jesus and He will give her the words to say and bring the opportunities to share His Truth with others. I had been praying about having opportunities to share my faith with others outside my family and isn't it just like God to have them walk right up my driveway. I have to say that I was humbled by their knowledge of the Bible and need to take that challenge to be sure I am just as versed in God's Word so that I do as Christ and quote scripture as tempted or fed lies. Have I mentioned lately what a mighty God we serve?!

Hello McFly!!!

I might be aging myself a bit with that title for my post, but I definitely felt like poor McFly from Back to the Future today. As I have said before, my girls are preparing to leave for a very fun trip with their cousins and grandparents tomorrow. All week, we have been running around getting things ready. I had noticed that Bean had really been acting out. I just thought it was her being a stinker before a big trip with Grandma...preparing for the spoiling. :) I also chalked it up to direct disobedience, until today. Duh!! Hello!! McFly!! My "baby" (and I use that sparingly but she is) is going on her first trip without her parents. She has never been away from us in this way. Sure she has stayed over night at both sets of grandparents but never on a trip without all four of us together. So I prayed about it and decided I needed to talk to her. When I mentioned it to her, tears fell immediately. She crawled up on my lap, which is a sight in itself as she is almost as tall as me. She sat there and let me rock her and pray with her until she felt better. I gave her some scripture to help her when she is sad and reminded her of what is true...

What is true sweet child?
1. Mommy and Daddy are only one phone call away.
2. Doodle is with you and will help you feel better if you ask.
3. Grandma and Grandpa are parents and know how to help with anything you may need...you just have to tell them.
4. You are safe and loved.
5. Most of all, God loves you so much and will be there anytime you feel sad or scared.

After that, she felt better. The rest of the evening and not night, I think I am reminding myself what is true as the momma. ;) They will have so much fun and this will be an experience they will never forget. This is the stuff great memories are made of and my husband and I need some time alone as a couple. Well, I think I will be able to go to bed once I am able to find that same comfort she felt while sitting on my lap. What is the truth sweet Jesus? The truth is my Abba Father loves me so much that when I feel sad about my babies going on a trip, I can crawl up in His lap until I believe all that is true and am able to let go of all my fears. Aren't you glad we serve such a mighty God and have such a precious intercessor? God is so good! I will have to let you know how the good byes go tomorrow. Praying over it already. It is so hard to be so excited and so sad all at the same time!

School Photos


Click Here to see more photos.

These are the girls "school" photos for the year. A friend from our homeschool co-op took them and has for the past three years. She does such an amazing job that I have stopped paying a professional to take their pictures! These truly remind my how quickly my girls are growing up. Beautiful pictures! Enjoy!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Menu Plan Monday




This week is a big deal at our house. The girls are both going to be leaving on Thursday to go to Philadelphia and Hershey, Pennsylvania with their grandparents and their cousins. It is going to be a great trip for all of them. I know we will miss them but it is also so sweet to think of having 4 days with just my husband. Can you believe it?! We have not had a weekend without kids where both of us are free from activities in two years! We use to take our anniversary weekend and go somewhere or at least send the kids somewhere, but that has not happened the past two years due to the girls activities. So this will be a refreshing time to spend together. With that in mind, our menu will be a bit different as we will be going on on dates while the girls are gone. We finally get to use the gift cards I have been saving! God is good! So here is the plan:

Monday: (BSF) sandwich, fruit and veggies on the road
Tuesday: (dance) ham and cheese wraps, fruit and veggies
Wednesday: Baked ziti, salad, green beans, fresh bread
Thursday: (girls leave) Pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans, salad
Friday: Date Night!!!
Saturday: Date Night!!
Sunday: Taco salad, nachos and salsa

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Upside Down Your Turning Me....

What a crazy weekend! We have a dear friend who is building built in bookshelves to surround our fireplace. We are very excited about their completion but he can not put them in until we paint. Oh boy, the crazy life of painting while still in school. Friday night Matt went to our small group while I kept the girls home with me since Doodle was still coughing so much. The girls and I started emptying the old bookshelves and placing everything from inside the entertainment center in boxes. The boxes are being stored on the bottom bunk in Doodle's room! She loves it! haha! We had no were else to keep them out of the walk way and off the floor. No one sleeps on that bed so it seemed like a good fit. :)

Saturday we filled the rest of the boxes and took pictures off the walls in the living room and hall. The girls are excited about the new shelves and are eager to help. Matt was ready to start painting the ceiling. What we did not expect was to find evidence of a mouse while we were working. I went into the kitchen to make lunch and found said evidence in the pantry. So the painting project ended quickly and clean out pantry mode went in full effect. We now have a house that feels and looks a bit turned upside down but the pantry is clean. :) Matt set a mousetrap last night and he had the little scoundrel this morning. So we should be in the clear. Makes me nuts to find those little guys but it is just part of living near fields. Not sure when the painting will be done but I know it will. I am just happy that my family likes to tackle jobs together and we don't lose sight of what is most important...the time spent together. We laughed a lot during this ordeal and we truly enjoyed our day. What a blessing.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Giggles, giggles...uh,oh!

Recently I was given the pleasure of reading Green Eggs and Ham to a little buddy over at Peaceful Home. I giggled as I kept reading " I Do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them...Sam I am!" Each time I would stress a different word. Funny how that sticks with you even when you are not reading it anymore. Today, I was working with my youngest daughter with her grammar program which will remain nameless to save everyone from telling me how wonderful it has been for their child. :) I do not like this program but use it because that is what the co-op we attend uses at this time. I will not make that mistake next year. :)

Anyway, as we were working, I kept hearing that little voice, "I do not like this __ ___ program. I do not like it in a box. I do not like it by a fox. I do not like it in my house. I will not use it with a mouse. I do not like ___ _____ ____. I do not like it JAM I am. "

Now those of you who know me know that I am a big joker. I enjoy a good laugh. So I started laughing out loud as I was working on this little number in my head. I could not help it! However, my poor girl thought I was laughing at her!! Oh boy! Talk about back tracking! I did my best to explain what I was laughing about but somehow she did not find it as funny. I guess that goes to show you that if you are going to giggle at your own jokes....be sure no one else is in the room. :)

Slow Cooking Thursday


I love finding new items to blog about! I was trying to find something I could get excited about for fall and winter and I found it~ slow cooking Thursday! Woohoo! I love using my crock pot whenever I can and could always use some new recipes. So, this will be a meme I will enjoy thoroughly. Thanks to Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom!

So my first entry for this new venture will be an easy one. My mother-in-law always used to amaze me at her ability to make the best pulled pork or beef sandwiches. I could never time it just right to get the meat to the point it was ready to tear apart when ready for food! So I decided to give up on her oven idea and try the crock pot. Viola! It worked beautifully and has for 18 years. So the trick is...buy a roast,
put it in the crock pot,
cover about half way with water,
put lid on,
turn crock pot on and
walk away for between 6-8 hours (depending on your crock pot).

Now that is not so hard is it?! After you are able to stick a meat fork into the meat and gently twist some meat off, you know you are ready. Take the meat out of the crock pot. Take two large forks and tear the meat apart gently. I drain some of the juice out of the crock pot for gravy. Put the meat back into the remaining juice. Serve with buns of choice or all by itself. It is simply the best tasting pulled pork/beef. My husband does add BBQ to it, but my girls and I prefer plain. Give it a try! Everyone who has ever had this meal with us always talks about that silly meat...oh, you went to too much trouble. Oh boy, if they only knew! Shhhh! Don't tell. :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cocoa Time!


Last week, we enjoyed spending time with our friends, the Stumpf's. While visiting, we picked up a couple handy ideas, as usual. :) One of these ideas which all the Miller girls enjoyed was Cocoa Time. Who doesn't like a good cup of cocoa? At their home, each morning is met with a cup of cocoa and God's Word after animal chores. Well, the only animal we have is a a dog so that doesn't take long but we so needed assistance in getting kids out of bed and to the kitchen for breakfast as well as for Bible time without whining. My girls did not complain one day about getting up and going with this lovely greeting.

Upon my return home, I decided to implement this time into our day as well. So today was our first cocoa time! We all were up, most showered and dressed and at the table ready to begin our day in God's Word together. My husband takes the girls to BSF so that is what we worked on and then had quiet time reading what we wanted to in God's Word. After reading, we prayed and started breakfast. What a lovely way to start the day. God's Word is sweet to the soul and let's face it, nothing hits the spot on cool days like that sweet cup of cocoa. The two are a great match. Teaching my kids to start their day in God's Word is something I have tried for years but had not had success in finding a way to do it where they were eager to get out of bed. Problem solved. Thanks Lainie! :) Now if you can figure out something for the afternoon uglies that would be great! :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Menu Plan Monday





What a great week! Doodle did great as Billy Goat in the musical. I just love watching her perform so much. Bean helped out with the little ones and played with her buddy all week. We enjoyed our visit to the Stumpf's so very much. I think it is just fun to get to stay with friends from time to time. While we always enjoy that visit, there is just something about being home that is such joy. With the end of Missoula Madness comes the after math of that week. So we are going to get back to our normal routine as much as possible with some flexibility for starting times as we are all sleep deprived. So here is what the Miller's are eating this week:

Monday: (BSF) sandwich on road, fruit, veggies
Tuesday: (dance) chicken salad lettuce wraps, grapes, snap peas
Wednesday: Teriyaki Chicken (crock pot), rice, broccoli
Thursday: Crock pot lasagna, salad, bread
Friday: (small group/girls at grandparents) eat at group
Saturday: History club's Seder meal! So fun!
Sunday: Glazed Chicken, potatoes, green beans and salad

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Missoula Madness!

This week we are staying with my buddy, Lainie, to delve into the madness of Missoula Children's Theater. It is an amazing week! We move in with the Stumpf's after try outs on Monday. Each day the kids do some school, chores and play until time for rehearsals. One of us drives those that go to practice while the other holds down the fort with those who get to play. At the end of the week, the children in the play will be amazing all of us with a production of Robinson Crusoe that is quite well done. I never cease to be amazed at what these people can pull off in one weeks time.

The Stumpf's have been involved in this craze for three years and invited us to join in last year. We had 7 kids try out for parts and 5 of them got them. The two that did not are buddies and decided that either they wanted to have both of them have parts or none. They did not want to have one with a part and one without like last year. So those two are enjoying the freedom of playtime together everyday! What a joy!

It is so much fun to move in with friends. Last night the girls all slumbered down in the girls room, boys in boys room, while the adults sat up talking and then watching Tim Hawkins and other silly videos on YouTube laughing our silly heads off until after midnight. Today, we feel the pain of that late night but it is so fun to see how other families live and to know that we are not alone in our pursuit of living for Christ. What a joy! I will be sure to post pictures of the production later.

Right now, I am enjoying the sound of three sleeping little ones and three middles outside playing with the rabbits....that would be the sound of silence in a house that had 10 kids running through it all morning. Those precious moments are few, but what is even better than silence to an old tired woman is having a little one run up to me in the morning and ask me to read a book to her as she climbs up in my lap. Such a worthy payoff. Sleep....or cuddles and books? Hmmm....I choose cuddles and books every time. Can't wait to see what I get to read tomorrow!
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