Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Remember - today & always

I got this in an email this morning. I usually delete forwards, but this one was so good I had to post it. I even printed it to hang up on my mirror at home - I definitely need these reminders! Hope you're blessed by it, as well.

1. Pray.
2. Go to bed on time.
3. Get up on time so you can start the day unrushed.
4. Say No to projects that won't fit into your time schedule; or that will compromise your mental health.
5. Delegate tasks to capable others.

6. Simplify and unclutter your life.
7. Less is more. (Although one is often not enough, two are often too many.)
8. Allow extra time to do things and to get to places.
9. Pace yourself. Spread out big changes and difficult projects over time; don't lump the hard things all together.

10. Take one day at a time.
11. Separate worries from concerns. If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you do and let go of the anxiety. If you can't do anything about a situation, forget it.
12. Live within your budget; don't use credit cards for every day purchases.
13. Have backups; an extra car key in your wallet, an extra house key buried in the garden, extra stamps, etc.

14. K.M.S. (Keep Mouth Shut). This single piece of advice can prevent an enormous amount of trouble.
15. Do something for the Kid in You everyday.
16. Carry a Bible with you to read while waiting in line.

17. Get enough rest.
18. Eat right.
19. Get organized so everything has its place.
20. Listen to a tape while driving that can help improve your quality of life.

21. Write down thoughts and inspirations.
22. Every day, find time to be alone.
23. Having problems? Talk to God on the spot. Try to nip small problems in the bud. Don't wait until it's time to go to bed to try and pray.
24. Make friends with Godly people.
25. Keep a folder of favorite scriptures on hand.

26. Remember that the shortest bridge between despair and hope is often a good 'Thank you Jesus.'
27. Laugh.
28. Laugh some more!
29. Take your work seriously; but not yourself at all.
30. Develop a forgiving attitude (most people are doing the best they can).
31. Be kind to unkind people (they probably need it the most).
32. Sit on your ego.
33. Talk less; listen more.

34. Slow down.
35. Remind yourself that you are not the general manager of the universe.
36. Every night before bed, think of one thing you're grateful for that you've never been grateful for before. GOD HAS A WAY OF TURNING THINGS AROUND FOR YOU.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Free Bible Study e-books! This is awesome!

I posted a while back about my new online friend, Kristi and her blog that is just stuffed full of great information, inspiration, and fun.

Now she's outdone herself by putting her most popular Bible studies into FREE e-books that you can download, print, distribute, and use for your own quiet time and personal study! I'm so excited to start the first one - if I can decide on which one to do first!

Here's what Kristi has to say:

If you're looking for something to spice up your own personal Bible study or if you're confused by the Bible and would like an easy-to-understand introduction, I'm working on compiling some of our previous Bible studies into downloadable ebooks for your personal use.

Enjoy! And please remember to thank her for this amazing ministry tool she's provided for us all!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Feeling Smug

Thanks to my niece, who asked me to help work on her website, I have discovered Smugmug!

It's a photo hosting/sharing site, and is SO user friendly and has some great added features (for example, having galleries that can be public, private, or both; sharing with other Smuggers, ordering prints, and so much more!).

I've used several other sites to store my personal photos, but I like this one best. After my computer crash a few weeks ago, I sure wish that I'd found Smugmug sooner! I have photos on MySpace and Facebook, as well as some at another photo hosting site (which I really. don't. like. but didn't know any better when I first found it!).

I am definitely moving ALL my photos to Smugmug to keep them safe, just in case I have another crash! :(

Start your FREE Trial

Make-Do Monday

When our oldest son went into the Navy, we kept all of his things in his room as he left them. For two years! Hubby couldn't think of packing them up or getting rid of - or even box up - anything, even though we knew that Lee would no longer be living with us. We finally moved his old dresser into another room, where it sat full of his old clothes and whatever other stuff he'd tossed in the drawers over the years.

It's now been 4 years since he left home, and he and his wife came for a visit a few weeks ago and I finally asked what he wanted to do with the stuff in the dresser. He opened a few drawers, threw out some receipts from years ago and other nonsensical items that had been thrown in over the years, and said "Eh, just put the rest in a box somewhere, I'll look through it another time." So we did, and his beloved old clothes, high school notes, video games and cd's he will never play again now live in a box in the shop with our other older kids' long-forgotten momentos.

So then we had an empty dresser sitting in the office. Not wanting to get rid of it, I decided to use it for storage. Now it's home to all the dog's (clean) blankets (any of you with dachshunds will know that they LOVE their blankies - so we have lots of them), dogfood, and stockpiled items such as bottles of peroxide, toothpaste, shampoos, etc. that won't fit in the bathroom cabinets. On top is a small television, a dvd player, and my workout dvds (hmm, I should probably dust those off since they haven't gotten much use).

Instead of getting rid of that old dresser or chest of drawers that you love - make it useful and store your stockpiled items (my fellow couponers), linens, or anything else that needs a new home in your home!

To see how others are "making do" on Mondays, check out My Practically Perfect Life!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fall Into Reading Challenge!

Thanks to Andrea over at Under Grace and Over Coffee, for telling us about the Fall into Reading Challenge. This will give me a great excuse to hide out and finish all the books I've been meaning to read. Yes, this is a bookcase headboard with my "Short List".

So here's my Fall Reading List. I'll report back on December 20
and let you know how I did!

Currently reading: Confessions of a Good Christian Girl - Tammy Maltby
Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World - Joanna Weaver
The Shack - Wm. Paul Young
Looking for God - Nancy Ortberg
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
Revolutionary Road - Richard Yates
Deception - Randy Alcorn
First, Do No Harm - Lisa Belkin
Dispatches from teh Edge - Anderson Cooper
Becoming a Woman of Prayer - Cynthia Heald

Want to join me in the Challenge? Check it out here: Fall into Reading Challenge 2009

Easiest Chili Recipe Ever!

With Autumn in the air, it's time to get out the crockpot and enjoy some delicious hot meals that will be ready when your family walks in the door. This recipe is courtesy of my step-daughter, who gave it to me when she was 16 years old (I think she got it from her ex-b/f's mom). She's now 24, and I've been making this regularly for the past 8 years. It's always a hit, and SUPER easy!

  • 1 lb ground beef , chicken, or turkey - browned & drained
  • 1 large can light kidney beans (I use the big cans of Hanover brand)
  • 1 large bottle of salsa (the bigger the bottle, the better - I usually use 2 because I can't find any huge bottles)
  • 1 family-size can Campbell's tomato soup
  • 1 can Rotel tomato/chilis

You can also sneak some extra veggies in this by grating zucchini, carrots, etc. The kids will never know. ;)

Dump it all in the crockpot and cook on low until warm. Serve with tortillas, cornbread, topped with cheese - however your family likes their chili!

Check out more great crockpot recipes here!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tell Me Tuesday

ForTheMomma's Tell-Me-Tuesday is about pets and/or kids. Since you all are probably sick of hearing about my kids already, I'll tell you about my four-legged babies...

This is Rusty and his pal, Bebo. Rusty was a rescue pup that we got when his other parents both developed cancer and couldn't care for him anymore. They trained him SO well, though, he is so incredibly SMART! I've never had a moments trouble out of him at all.

I joked with my husband on the way to pick him up that I was going to give him his first treat, and he would love me the most after that. Well, I was *joking* but that's exactly what happened. Rusty is my baby. :) He doesn't even really like anyone else in the house, only tolerates them. LOL He's getting up in age - he's 8 now - and likes to spend most of his free time in his crate listening to CNN. (no, I'm not joking. Hubby thinks it's silly that I leave the tv on for him all day, but I think he really enjoys it!)

Bebo is our little character. He's about 5 years old (we're not sure because his previous owners didn't give us ANY of his paperwork from the vet, and the vet had closed up shop by the time we got him). Hubby saw an ad in the paper for a "Free to a good home: Dachshund!" and fell in love the minute he saw Bebo. The previous owner said he was "95% house trained". WARNING: it's the 5% you have to worry about!! His nicknames are Pee-bo and Dribbles. LOL You have to laugh about it after awhile.

In January '09, we came home from church one night and Bebo wasn't able to walk. He was dragging his hind legs and falling down. This was NOT like him at all, he was always SO active! We took him to the ER Vet and were told that without $4000 surgery, he would never walk again. He has IVDD (Intervertebral Disk Disease) and was paralyzed from mid-back to his tail, including his legs. We struggled so hard that night, spending about 2 hours with him going back and forth about what to do. He was perfectly healthy, except for this! He was happy and still trying his best to get around, dragging his little legs behind him. It was heart-wrenching! We couldn't afford the surgery, but told the doctor we needed more time - we were going to take him home, spend the night loving on him, then probably bring him back the next day to take his place at the "Rainbow Bridge").

When I got home, I immediately got online and started researching. I found an AMAZING group of people at and cried out to them for guidance. These people are incredible. They told me that we did NOT have to put Bebo down, that he didn't have to have the surgery right away in order to recover. They gave me the tools and support needed to get him through 8 weeks of crate rest (which meant 8 weeks in a playpen ONLY coming out to use the bathroom, which I had to assist with). It was like having an infant in the house again - changing diapers, feeding, late nights, exhaustion, and lots of tears. We checked into doggie carts, in case he didn't regain the use of his legs, and learned all we could about caring for a handicapped pup. The first week was sheer HELL on me. I remember calling my husband at work and saying "I can't do this. I just can't!" He calmed me down and we pressed on. 8 weeks was over and we let him out of the playpen for an hour or so at a time. We progressively gave him more time out of the crate/playpen as he got stronger.

His new vet said that he probably wouldn't walk again, and urged us to start looking into more detail about carts if we planned to keep him. But we kept the faith. At his last visit for his follow-up checks, she said "Bring him back in a year unless anything gets worse. Or if he starts walking, I want to see him!" but she didn't say it like she thought it would ever happen.

He is still wobbly, but he is not only walking now... he's RUNNING! I look at him sometimes with those big brown eyes, and think "You were almost a goner, buddy." I'm still going through so many paper towels to clean up after him that I'm surprised GreenPeace isn't banging on my door. But he's just SO sweet and loving, and there's no way we'd trade him for the healthiest dog alive. :)

Ok, that was probably way too much info - but maybe it will help someone else who faces a similar problem. Dachshunds are very prone to IVDD, so it's nice to have others around who have gone through it. If you find yourself in a similar situation, hit the Contact Me button at the right-top of this page and I'll be here to support you through it! I never could have gotten through those first few months on my own.'s more of our boys. :)

Doesn't Rusty look distinguished? :)

Great deal on great coffee

You may have heard - I'm a coffee addict. I admit it. I am in constant search of the perfect cup of coffee. One of my absolute favorites is Gevalia Decaf Vanilla Nut. I'm not big on vanilla flavored beverages, but the nuttiness hooked me. Nice on a chilly evening relaxing after a long day.

Gevalia is now running a special and you choose any 3 for $3, get a free travel mug, and then cancel as soon as your first order arrives and pay nothing else - ever! They also have other specials to get a coffee maker and coffee assortment for less than $20. I have had my Gevalia coffee maker for about 6 years now (?) and it's still going strong - and trust me, I use it EVERY day! If you want, you can have the home delivery set up at your convenience, but I find it kinda pricey. But I absolutely love the specials they run like this one! The boxes are a good size and last me quite a while since I use the Gevalia coffees for special times, not my every morning cuppa joe.

BTW, canceling is a snap - you don't even have to call them. Just log in and cancel right online. ;)

Anyway...if you love good coffee, but hate high prices - check out this deal!


Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday Madness

Mama Buzz

The highlight of my weekend was: Motorcycle ride with my hubby along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The goals for the week are: Catch up at work, Bible study every day, exercise every day.

My marriage goal for the week is: go 5 days without saying *anything* critical!

A parenting goal for the week is: go visit Adam @ work at least once (Walmart), try to have dinner w/Kelsey at the table every night that she's here.

A personal goal I hope to achieve this week is: at least a 30 minute workout every day

The thing I'm most looking forward to this week is: dinner tonight with Liz & Peggy!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Late Friday Fill-In

Was busy yesterday with my daughter's last day of Rush Week (high school sorority - she was a Biggie (big sister) this year) so I didn't get to do my Friday Fill-In. So, here goes nothing:

1. My car suits my needs.

2. Mopping the floors is coming up next.

3. Lately, things seem hectic, yet unfulfilling.

4. My bed is one of my favorite 'hiding' places.

5. What happened to the years since my children were small??

6. With God, everything is not impossible! (that doesn't really read right, but you get my point)

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to maybe a movie with the hubby, tomorrow my plans include church, lunch, hopefully being lazy.

Spiritual Fasting?

A friend of mine is finishing a 40 day fast this upcoming week. Yes, 40 days with absolutely NO food - only juice and water. He says he feels amazing, has tons of energy, but most importantly - feels closer to God than ever. I want this.

I've considered fasting for years, but never really done it long term. I've done a day here and there, but that's about it. (what can I say, I love to eat, and I am weak!)

But I've felt the need to get closer to God, to just let myself be totally dependent on Him, to give it ALL to Him - and I haven't been doing very well with that in some areas. I've been praying about this for some time now, and what I keep hearing is - I really need to lay down some things at His alter and give them over to Him once and for all. You know how sometimes we say we've "given it over to God", but then we - in our silliness - soon think we need to take back control over the situation... ~shaking head~ As if we can even think of doing the work that only He can??

Have you fasted?
For how long?
Any advise for someone thinking of attempting a longer-term fast?
What are your general thoughts on fasting?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Nana's Biscuits

One of my fondest memories was watching my Nana create her amazing homemade biscuits - every morning and evening, and sometimes at lunchtime. She would sift the flour, throw together the ingredients in her aluminum mixing bowl (never measuring anything) and mix and knead and then - my favorite part - cut them out with her silver biscuit cutter with the wooden handle.

Ok, I'll admit, my
real favorite part was after they came out of the oven, but I did think it was so cool how she could always cut those biscuits and never once did they stick to the little metal ring! (I was an easy kid to amuse)

Nana tried to teach me how to replicate her biscuits. I'd put in just what she said, exactly like she told me. I'd knead it with her watching over my shoulder and instructing - but they never, ever turned out like hers. I think there is just something about the years and years of making them that makes them perfect...

When Nana finally had to go to the nursing home and we were cleaning out her home, the only thing I wanted was to make sure that her aluminum biscuit mixing bowl and sifter stayed in the family and didn't get donated/sold/given-away to someone who wouldn't appreciate all the memories that they hold. Luckily, no one in the family objected to my keeping them. :)

So, in an effort to make the perfect biscuit by the time I'm a grandmother, I'm starting now to try and perfect this - before my kids start bringing theirs over to
visit and have some of "Nana's biscuits". I'll use her bowl and sifter, and search for a cutter with a little wooden handle like the one she had. And I'll try to mix up some memories for my kids and grand-kids...I only hope I can be as successful at this as she was.

This is a basic buttermilk biscuit recipe that I found online. Yes, I asked Nana for hers, but as I said she never measured, and now at nearly 99 years old, said she doesn't even remember what ingredients she used in them way back when...

Basic Homemade Biscuits

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup shortening
1 1/4 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450°F. Sift together dry ingredients in a large bowl. Sifting is important, it helps loosen up the flour so the lard and milk mix into the flour quicker with less kneading. Cut in lard with a pastry blender or a couple knives.

Once you cut in the shortening or butter into your flour mix, stir in milk only until distributed. The dough should be sticky. You want your dough to be as moist as possible, yet able to retain its shape.

Dump your biscuit dough onto a lightly floured surface. Fold the sides of the dough gently towards the center of the dough. Flour the surface again and flip the dough. Fold one more time, very gently. Then flip the dough and press out with your finger to the desired thickness and cut out rounds.

If dough if is too sticky to roll out, you can pinch off individual pieces of dough and shape each piece with floured hands.

For crusty biscuits, place biscuits on a greased baking sheet 1" apart. For softer biscuits, place biscuits in a large casserole dish with the sides touching. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Brush tops with butter for a brown finish, if desired.

Want to star in my brother's commercial?

No, really, I'm serious! He's looking for users of his new program called "Gimmee" to star in his first TV commercial!

"What's Gimmee?" you may ask? Well, ummm...that's for him to explain. I'm a geek, but he is THE GEEK, and I really haven't wrapped my brain around what all Gimmee will entail yet. (hey, I do good to remember to breathe these days, so cut me some slack). I know it's something to do with tailoring your ads - you know, the annoying ones that are always on your computer screen telling you what you need/want - like a Kirby salesman that stops by as soon as you sit down to dinner? (no offense to any Kirby salespeople who may be reading this)

Well, somehow my bro is going to make it so that those ads actually DO tell you what you need/want vs what some marketer says you need/want. In other words, you'll choose your own ads! And that sounds peachy to me. (at least I think that's what it will do...he will probably pop by here at some point and enlighten us all)

Frankly, I'm getting a complex with all the weight-loss ads that keep showing up on my monitor - can I get an "Amen, sister!"??

Check it out, sign up for more info, he's good peeps. :) Oh yeah, and you could be the next Gimmee Star!

The Gimmee Members Site

Monday, September 14, 2009

Oh where, Oh where can she be??

"Sep 14, 2009 8:21 AM On FedEx vehicle for delivery" - that's where...

My new PINK Blackberry Curve, that is. I was able to "upgrade" after 2 years with Verizon, so I just switched to a new PINK one, even though it's the same model. I luuuuvvvvvv my 8330! It rocks!

But...she is somewhere out there, in a hot, stinky truck...and I'm getting impatient!!

Come to Mama....

Friends I've Found Mondays

I usually start out my Monday mornings (after everyone in the house has left) by sitting with my coffee and looking over my Google Reader list to catch up on my favorite blogs. It's a great way to start the week with some fresh inspiration from the wonderful sites I've discovered.

So I decided that I will share one with you each week. Mondays will be a day that I will share a blog that I've run across that has touched me in some way - may be a funny blog, a thoughtful one, a crazy one, may be about couponing/homemaking/Bible/other topic.

I never realized until recently how many WONDERFUL blogs there are out there that are such blessings! I hope you will check them out and let me know what you think.

My first Monday Friend-I've-Found is Kristi at

Run the Earth...Watch the Sky.

I found her blog much by "accident" (but you know, God makes no "accidents") She has been a real inspiration to me in my Bible studies and quiet times. What a wise young woman! Check her out!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Rush Week

My daughter is in her high school sorority, and this is the beginning of Rush Week. I have mixed feelings about this process, mostly because I don't see the point in dumping buckets of NASTY stuff (leftover food/drink) all over your friends... but then again, I'm old. LOL

Yesterday was the official start of Rush Week - a week full of dressing up your "Little Sister" in all sorts of goofy outfits, making her do silly things at school and in public, not letting her use shampoo or shave all week (UGH! for that reason alone, I would never participate!). Some girls are much meaner - they don't let their Little Sisters shower/bathe AT ALL, all week long. Some make them shower outside in a bathing suit with the cold water from a hose. Every Big Sister has their own list of Rules, which are written in a book which the Little Sister must wear around her neck all week. Not adhering to the Rules means you get a black mark for each offense. My daughter got 6 last year because she was caught shaving and using hand soap to wash her hair. Personally, I'm proud that she refused to go all week without these things!

I'm glad that she has the chance to participate in the group activities like this, even if I don't "get it". It's a good bonding experience, and teaches lessons in trust and kindness IF you get a good Biggie (as I said, each Big Sister is different, but my daughter isn't going to be really mean to her Little Sister - just silly). Plus, it's just downright FUN for the girls, a chance for them to be silly and goofy and have an "excuse" to be so.

Maybe we ladies should have our own form of Rush Week.
I know I could certainly use a week of goofiness sometimes!
What do you think?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Great auctions on!!

Ok, two of them are mine... ;) But everyone at WuC is a winner when you check out and bid on the great auctions there. Seriously SO much more fun than eBay! You always get a SUPER deal!

I just won a Coach bag (ok, a knock-off but a really GOOD, $65 knock-off!) for $27 shipped. Most of the auctions end for MUCH less, though - check it out, you'll love it! Just be careful, it's easy to get sucked into bidding and looking, so make sure your family has some cereal or frozen pizza or something to eat while you're busy. LOL

Here's my two (click links to go directly to auctions):

Feed Your Dogs on Chinet and More!

Who Loves Ya, Baby?

Check those out if you have pets, need paper plates, or have a baby or baby shower coming up soon!

Many more great auctions up here at - have fun!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday: Do we trust God with our children?

Please note before you read further:

This is NOT a homeschool vs public school debate. Please don't start slinging mud at other parents for their own personal choices. Those comments WILL be deleted.

My children are in public school. There was never really any option since both parents have always worked (except when they were not yet school-age). I home schooled my oldest for a year, due to some violence issues he faced at his new school his freshman year. But other than that, they have been in public schools from K-12 (my daughter currently being a Junior, the boys graduated). They are believers, they are firm in their faith and convictions. My boys support our current President, my daughter leans more toward the right – perfectly fine with me. They research and read and watch (both at home and our actions/words and outside) and make up their own minds - as they should as young adults. I am not the least bit afraid of them being "led astray" by a speech from the President of the United States - whoever may be in office at the time.

How is a public school address considered “indoctrination” (as was said on the other blog - a comment, not the article), any more than homeschooling a child is? Home school parents are teaching specific things which go against other specific things. My children have learned from both sides – in our Christian family and in the public, including their public schools.

My children are/were lights in their school – my daughter is the first to invite the new kid to sit at lunch with her, or carry the handicapped child’s books to class. She also “took on” a young girl in her class who was going on about premarital sex and called my daughter a “goody two shoes Christian” because she is waiting until marriage (which she is not ashamed to let people know). She didn't "take her on" by name-calling, not by putting the other girl down who proudly and publicly discusses her sexual practices. My daughter told her very simply and compassionately what the Bible says about saving herself for marriage, and that she is a Christian who believes in this and has vowed to be abstinent. This all took place in front of the entire class, by the way. My "public school kid" has NO shame in discussing her faith. Not many Juniors in high school will step out this way. Who knows, she may have just hit a nerve with that girl. Maybe that was why she was in that class. Perhaps God put my daughter there - at that table, in that particular class - to reach that one young girl before she did something else she'd regret. All I know is I am one PROUD public-school mama. :)

Jesus did not live in a bubble. Nor did God create us to live in one.

Hear me: I am NOT saying that home schooled children are completely sheltered from the world. I am very well aware, and applaud, all of the programs available for home schooled children to participate in extracurricular activities and the parents who go to the extra effort to not only teach but create and lead outside activities.

What I am saying is that many of our Christian public school kids are ministers where God has planted them. And for those who say we should home school “if we don’t want our kids learning things we don’t agree with”, perhaps you should try to see that there are godly children who do attend public schools and try to serve as ministers there every day – along with Christian teachers, principals, counselors, lunch ladies, and others. Those students bring their un-churched friends at school to church on Sunday mornings, they share their faith to kids who may not have otherwise heard of how much Jesus loves them. Try to see, instead of passing judgment or looking down on "public school kids", what a BLESSING it is to the whole community when there are Christian children in the public schools! Jesus didn't sit and wait for those who needed Him to come to Him. He went out and met them where they were (at the well, in the town square, at the tax collectors stands, in the Temple, and on and on...) I dare say if He were walking the earth today - He'd want to be in our public schools so he could reach those kids who need Him most!

We have to trust that our children are capable of living what they have been taught, and trust the LORD that he will protect them in the world.

As Jesus said to Mary: "but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Tasty Tuesday

I wish I could give you all some grand, spectacular recipe to drool over today but... I'm recovering from a very busy holiday weekend, and frankly just too tired to have planned anything in advance. Oh yeah, and I have to go back to work today.

So...I'm doing a very simple dinner in the crockpot today:

Lazy Workday Pasta Dinner

3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
Large jar (2lb 13oz) of Chunky Ragu tomato, garlic & onion pasta sauce

Place chicken breasts in bottom of crockpot (sprayed with non-stick cooking spray first)
Pour whole jar of Ragu over chicken.
Cover & cook on low all day.

To get ready to serve:
Cook one box of whole wheat pasta of your choice (I used spirals)

Shred chicken & mix in with sauce.
Mix pasta with chicken/sauce mixture.
Top with shredded cheese (I used cheddar).
Replace cover and let cheese melt.

Told you - very lazy!

When I get home, I'll shred the chicken and mix it in well with the sauce for pasta topping.

UPDATE: This turned out to be FABULOUS!!! Seriously, it was one of the best meals I've "cooked" in a long time. The family loved it!

Monday, September 07, 2009

TODAY ONLY DEAL: 50 free prints AND free shipping!

Snapfish just released a special offer which is good only through the end of today. Use the coupon code FREELABOR to get free shipping through midnight tonight (September 7, 2009). If you sign up for a new account with Snapfish today, you'll get 50 free prints and free shipping.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Anniversary Week!

This week, my husband & I celebrated our
4th Anniversary!

We blended our family on September 2, 2005 after being together for 4.5 years ~
bringing together our 5 kids (2 his, 3 mine - all "ours") and our extended families.

To be honest, we'd both admit that it hasn't been easy. We've been through medical problems, job issues, kid issues, dog issues (try raising a partially handicapped and often-incontinent dachshund together if you really want to test your love!), in-law issues, ex-law issues! You name it, and we've probably faced it in the past 8 years that we've been a couple.

We've also been through the break up of our previous church home - which was pretty devastating to both of us. It was then that I took my first real leap of faith in being a submissive wife and we joined a new church. I was hesitant, and it took me about six months before I would really get involved at this new church at all. I was still too raw after losing my "old church" and all of the things that had transpired in the end there. Then one day, it just "clicked" - we were Home Again. The past 3+ years with our new church family have been incredible. I think we have both grown more spiritually than we ever have before. I can't thank my husband enough for being wise enough to say "This is where we are staying." even when I wasn't sold on the idea.

He will laugh when he reads this, I'm sure, because I've never been anything remotely resembling a "submissive wife". I was one of those women that had to be independent and have things MY WAY (yes, honey, I see you nodding!). All of my adult life I've been a....oh,what's the term...CONTROL FREAK.

But after reading the words of some very wise women (this is just one), though, and seeking God's guidance in this area of my life - I have realized that I am exhausted.

I'm tired of always being in control!
I want to hand over the reigns to my husband and let him lead our household. I realize that I have taken so much from him in not allowing that up to this point. And for that, I am sorry. The Biblical role for my husband is to be the head of our family - that isn't my role as a wife. The only one I should strive to please more than my husband is God. Instead of fighting to get my way, I need to step back and seek Jesus, and pray that my husband is doing the same, and encourage him to do so. That is my Biblical role as a wife, and I plan to embrace it.

Now, this doesn't mean that I will roll over and accept everything that he says without having any opinions myself - not at all. It certainly doesn't mean that I would tolerate any abuse in any way, shape, or form. It means that I will respect him and his ideas, trust him to make the right decisions for our family, encourage him in his spiritual growth and in any areas that he struggles, and love him as Christ loves me - unconditionally.

With all of that said - Happy Anniversary, honey!

"Issues! Party of One?"

I have a confession to make.
I hope someone will tell me I'm not a total freak, but honestly - I'm not expecting it... so don't feel bad if you're not the one to relieve me of this burden.

Here goes:

I can not stand the smell of clothes dryers.

My own laundry is fine. I don't mind, and even look forward to, smelling my laundry fresh out of the dryer. But I realized the other day that I have a very real aversion to smelling other people's dryers running.

Hubby and I were on the motorcycle last weekend, taking a nice ride up into the VA mountains...lovely day. Then I noticed that whenever we passed a house and I could smell that fabric softener smell that wafts from a running clothes dryer - I would tense up, exhale quickly, and hold my breath until we got far enough down the road that I knew the smell would be gone. (feel free to stop here & skip right to the comment form to post "Yep, you're a freak!")

It wasn't just once, but I noticed that I did this every single time. Then I remembered the apartment above the office next door to mine. I do the same, if they are running their dryer, when I come in or leave work.

Well, since I had nothing but 7 hours on the back of a motorcycle to ponder the Bigger Things In Life - this was it.

Why does the smell of other people's CLEAN laundry repulse me so? To the point that I literally blow the smell back out and HOLD MY BREATH?!

I don't mind my family's laundry and the resulting scent from the dryer vent. But there's something about a stranger's that just totally squicks me out! Like somehow ... their germs are being carried through the dryer vent, clinging to the scent of their fabric softener, and finding their nasty little ways right up into my nasal cavity. Yes, I realize how completely bizarre this sounds, trust me (strange phobias-to-laugh-at are just a few of the services I offer). Then I thought, that can't be all there is to it. That's just silly, right?

Then I had quite a revelation - it's too intimate.

Which also explains why I am not a "honey/sweetie/darlin'" kind of person. You know the type - those who call everybody "honey/sweetie/darlin'". They are usually found in small diners where I come from. I often wish I was one of those people, they are so friendly! I'm not a huggy person, either, at least until I get to know you pretty well. I don't tend to touch people when I speak to them - holding their hand in mine or touching their arm for effect. I'm the one that doesn't really speak to strangers unless spoken to - Why is that? Fear of germs? Fear of rejection? Fear of intimacy - even at it's smallest form - or closeness with someone I just met?

So - the dryer vent situation has opened up a whole new point to ponder for me.

Who knew Downy was capable of spurring such deep thoughts?!

Hmm, I wonder if I could land a spot on that new show "Obsessed", during which they would force me to "face my fear" by standing outside people's houses with my nose under their dryer vent... Ha!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Freebie for Teachers!

Clorox has FREE Clean-up Wipes for teachers! Remember homeschool moms, you're teachers too! :)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Is your tummy green?

If you're trying to eat healthier, and make better choices for the environment, check out Mambo Sprouts coupon booklet - mailed 3 times per year (or pick up at your local Whole Foods). Great savings on earth & body friendly organic foods!