Thursday, December 29, 2005

Our pursuit of improvement 2006.

Surferman and I seem to have the same conversations over and over. We even joke about it. One of us will approach the other and say that we need to have "Conversation #33" - the one about budgeting, or eating healthier, or exercising, or [insert virtue here].

With the start of the new year there is a natural tendency to want to make resolutions, to change, to improve. But... resolutions also seem to disolve faster then they resolve.

We came up with an idea. Instead we came up with a list of 52 things (some repeat) that are either new habits to continue or a challenge for a particular week. Each week we will choose an item off our list.

And of course I'll be blogging about our pursuit of improvement.

  1. Track every penny spent from now on.
  2. Make a will.
  3. Establish Budget.
  4. Spend no money one day this week.
  5. Spend no money one day this week.
  6. Spend no money this week (except groceries and gas).
  7. Save all change.
  1. OAMC session this week to fill the freezer.
  2. OAMC session this week to fill the freezer.
  3. OAMC session this week to fill the freezer.
  4. Eat no meat this week.
  5. Eat no meat this week.
  6. Eat no meat this week.
  7. Always Grocery shop with a list.
  8. Plan menus weekly.
  9. Track everything you eat this week and from now on.
  10. Eat from pantry this week.
  11. Eat from pantry this week.
  12. Eat from pantry this week.
  13. Eat from pantry this week.
  14. Stop eating fast food.
  15. Stop drinking soda.
  16. No eating out this week.
  17. No eating out this week.
  18. No eating out this week.
  1. Read Psalms from Daily Bible nightly with Surferman.
  2. Gratitude Journal nightly with Surferman.
  3. Pray nightly with Surferman.
  1. Exercise twice this week and weekly from now on.
  2. Exercise three times this week and weekly from now on.
  3. Exercise four times this week and weekly from now on.
  4. Exercise five times this week and weekly from now on.
  1. Start weekly date nights.
  2. Start monthly getaways.
  3. Set a romantic scene.
  1. Declutter closet - new in , old out.
  2. Paint closet.
  3. No television this week.
  4. No television this week.
  5. No television this week.
  1. Email / Call Surferman's Dad this week and weekly afterwards.
  2. Email / Call Surferman's Mom this week and weekly afterwards.
  3. Email / Call Mimi this week and weekly afterwards.
  4. Call Mama this week and weekly afterwards.
  5. Email / Call Surferman's MidBro this week and monthly afterwards.
  6. Email / Call Surferman's MidSis this week and monthly afterwards.
  7. Email / Call Surferman's BigBro this week and monthly afterwards.
  8. Email / Call Surferman's LilSis this week and monthly afterwards.
  9. Email / Call Surferman's BigSis this week and monthly afterwards.
  10. Email / Call Surferman's StepSis this week and monthly afterwards.
  1. Plan special activity with Grom.
  2. Plan special activity with Grom

Slow Cooker (Vegetarian) Chili

I found a great recipe at The version posted below includes the changes I've made to suit my family.

Slow Cooker (Vegetarian) Chili

1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 can vegetarian baked beans
1 can (14.5 oz) chopped tomatoes in juice
1 can (15 oz) whole kernel corn, drained
1/4 cup dried onions or 1 chopped onion
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 T chili powder
1 T dried parsley
1 T dried oregano
1 T dried basil

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cook all day on low or at least 2 hours on high.

Serve garnished with sour cream, chopped onions and shredded cheddar cheese.

I sometimes add leftover meat. Grom loves this.

Speaking of handwashing...

Flu season is here.

Wash your hands! I trotted everyone off for their flu shots, but truthfully the most important thing that we can all do to keep our home healthy is to wash our hands.

Wash before you:
  • Prepare or eat food
  • Treat a cut or wound
  • Tend to someone who's sick
  • Put in or take out contact lenses
  • Do any kind of activity that involves putting your fingers in or near your mouth, eyes, etc.
Wash after you:
  • Go to the bathroom
  • Handle uncooked foods, especially raw meat
  • Eat
  • Blow your nose, cough or sneeze
  • Handle garbage
  • Tend to someone who's sick
  • Change a diaper
  • Play with or touch a pet, especially reptiles and exotic animals

Here's How
  • Use soap and warm running water.
  • Vigorously rub your hands together until you've worked up a lather. Scrub your wrists, between your fingers, under your nails, and around the tops and palms of the hands for at least 15 seconds.
  • Rinse, then dry hands with a clean (change daily) or disposable towel.
  • Apply hand lotion

Quiet Time - Mark 7 - How To Wash

  1. To make filthy or dirty; pollute: defile a river with sewage.
  2. To debase the pureness or excellence of; corrupt: a country landscape that was defiled by urban sprawl.
  3. To profane or sully (a reputation, for example).
  4. To make unclean or unfit for ceremonial use; desecrate: defile a temple.
  5. To violate the chastity of.

Mark 7:15 (NKJV)

There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man.

Jesus continues His ministry. Everyone seems to know that He has something going on; that's He's "the man". Some are beginning to believe that He is the Messiah, others are looking for fault and wanting to discredit Him and his followers.

The Pharisees are tweaked. Jesus' rough and unrefined disciples are not acting as "good Jews". They are not upholding the traditions of their faith. Jesus' response is that God's commandments are all that matter. Tradition is just tradition.

The disciples were accused of defiling themselves because they didn't wash their hands. Hand washing has it's purpose. It will keep me and mine healthier, but it cannot compare to a good washing with the Word. I need to be bathed daily. (My quiet time posts may be few and far between, but those are just the posts - I am doing fairly well with reading my Bible daily - just in case you were ready to start yelling, "Hypocrite!")

Monday, December 19, 2005

Save money by reusing zipper bags.

Zipper storage bags are super convienent (did I spell that right? It's one of those words I can never spell close enough for spell check to fix) but they can get spendy.

Many a frugal folk washes and reuses these bags. I can't stand the mess of plastic bags strewn around the kitchen drying. I don't dry my handwash dishes with a towel so why would I use on to dry a baggie? And there is no possible way to get into all of those corners.

I do something a little different. I wash them, but I don't dry them.

Instead I give them a good shake, fold them in quarters and tuck them into the freezer. Any water on the bag freezes. When I need a zipper bag, I pull one out of the freezer, shake off any ice crystals and load it up with whatever leftovers I'm storing.

I use new baggies for dry items like crackers and bread. But when they are emptied they get the freezer treatment.

By the way... I don't reuse baggies that have had raw meats or greasy foods in them. Some bags just can't be cleaned well enough to be reused.

This also works for those "quick cover" shower caps for bowls.

Quiet Time - Mark 6 - Respite

I have been bad about keeping my appointments with my God lately. Thankfully, He is full of grace and paitently waits for me to return - doesn't refuse to see me or charge me a fee for missing an appointment.

There is so much here... where to start? As my time is likely limited, I'll start with what I heard loudest and go from there.

In this chapter, Jesus sends out his disciples. He tells them to take only the clothes on their backs - to make no advanced plans and to serve and preach like crazy. Later they return and tell Jesus all the things they had done and what they had taught. And then Jesus told them to "Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest for a while."

My job is tough. Even though I have a good boss in my Pastor and a GREAT boss in my God, sometimes I get weary in my service. It can be hard to worship, learn and just "be" when people are looking for you because you "have all the answers and the solution to every problem". (if only I did!). My spiritual battery runs low sometimes. I believe that I need the teaching of my Pastor, that my own perspective can be flawed sometimes. I'm not a very deep thinker. I can miss some of the intricacies and cool things in God's Word. Don't get me wrong, I know that God can speak to me directly (why else would I be here at 6:30 in the morning). I just hold the tradition of "church" in high regard.

I wish I had the time right now to look into the Greek, well really I wish I had the skills to look into the Greek (I'll have to ask about that - I can be taught). I have a feeling that the "yourselves" in the text is meant personally not collectively - that Jesus wanted his men to go off have some alone time and rest. That's the call I continue to hear - Be immersed in His word, in songs of praise and worship to him. That I need to focus on my walk and as I do the rest will come into place and I'll prepared for the next time I have to feed 5,000 or make last minute copies for Sunday School, or...

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Quiet Time - Mark 5 - When Pigs Fly

Mark 5

What a busy day for Jesus!

First a man who is tormented by not one, not two, but a legion of demons is returned to sanity. The cast out demons are transfered to a herd of swine who meet their death.

I know that as a Christian I cannot be possessed by demons. But I tend to think of the things that I struggle with daily as my demons. I wonder how many pigs would it take? There would be some huge pigs and some baby pigs. Prayerfully as I mature the big pigs would be fewer in number as I am refined. Would I try to control and pen the pigs instead of letting them go to their deaths?

Lord, help me to recognize and hate my sin.

Then Jesus is sought out to heal a young girl. I can only imagine how precious she was to her daddy that he, a ruler of the synagogue, would seek out Jesus. He risked his livelihood, probably all that he knew because he believe that Jesus was the Messiah.

On the way to heal the daughter, another woman was healed. It wasn't an active healing by Jesus. She was unclean, she was taking a chance by approaching such a holy man. She "stole" some of His power. She knew he could make her well. She had the faith to reach out to Him.

Lord, let me have faith like these.

As the group continued to the daughter, they received word that she was dead. Jesus said to the father, "Do not be afraid; only believe". They went to the girl and she was brought back to like.

Lord, let me not be afraid. Let me only believe.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

I used to build the ugliest houses

It's amazing what can be done with a lego brick or two or ten thousand..

I just got some legos free at the grocery store. I stashed them away until Grom is bigger. I don't think we'll every be this creative with them though...

Check out this site of Bible stories.

And here's an amazing church.

Bringing Jesus in the House

After yesterday's quiet time I have been thinking of ways to physical bring Jesus and our faith into our home.

Some ideas I've had:

Scripture as decoration. My parents went to garage sales yesterday. They found a cute Mary Englebreit plaque with a verse from James.

Playing worship music and hymms.

Leave Bibles around the house for quick snacks on the Word. Just make sure you keep them dusted - HA!

Scripture as decor. A great friend painted our bathroom with vines and Bible verses. It's wonderful. A potential problem with scripture that stays put is that you can get used to it. Then it's just part of the wall.

So those are the obvious ones. Here are a couple that might be pushing the box.

Light candles as a visual reminder of the Holy Spirit.

Light incense to remind you to pray. Our prayers are like sweet incense rising up to our Father (see Psalm 141:2)

Do you have any others ways that you bring Jesus into your home?

Friday, December 02, 2005

Quiet Time - Mark 2

"and it was heard that He was in the house" Mark 2:1b

It was easier this morning. Not much, but still easier to get up.

There was a talk show host who announced each of his guests by saying, "Joe Celebrity is in the house". As I read this passage, I heard in my head an announcer saying, "Jesus is in the house" and the audience responding with woots and cheers.

Jesus is in this house.

I hear Grom stirring.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

It's a start.

I met the Lord this morning. It was a quick appointment. I didn't get to bed as early as I could have and rising this morning was hard. But He was there waiting for me.

Sleepily I wandered from my bedroom to my studio. Along the way I grabbed a cup of coffee (decaf, but that's another post) and thought about where in the Word I would start.

Since it's all about Jesus, a Gospel made sense. I naturally gravitate to Luke and we'll be starting Matthew at church soon. Mark was the place for me to start.

And then I received confirmation - "Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed." Mark 1:35

What an example and encouragement I have in Jesus.

It was a sweet time. I know it will get sweeter. I need to be more organized - have the things I need gathered; have the coffee ready; set the scene. Grom greeted me in the middle and wanted to play a bit. I'm chilly because I didn't think to grab slippers or a blankie. I have to put things in high gear to get back on schedule.

Yet... I've been with the King.

Special thanks to Surferman for elbowing me everytime (and I won't say how many times it was) the snooze alarm went off and finally saying, "You want to get up and spend time with God". And also to Laine from Laine's Letters who has exhorted me to set aside quiet time. Her emails are sporadic. I always look forward to getting one. A couple showed up last evening - they were that push that I needed.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The answer is always


I've been teaching Sunday School to preschoolers for years. Us adults joke that the answer to every question we ask them is "Jesus". It's not always true, but usually the kids can't go wrong if they yell out "Jesus".

Today I was thinking about all the things that I want to do that I don't do, and all the things that I don't want to do that I do. It was a real Paul moment (see Romans 7).

I have trouble following through with my household chores - I have a laundry pile, AGAIN. The bathrooms need cleaning, AGAIN. You name it and it's stacking up, AGAIN. I'm not exercising regularly. I watch too much TV, spend too much time on the computer, eat too much fast food. There are other things, but they are just too embarassing to share.

I've been trying to figure out what I need to do to get myself back in gear. Lists have always been my friend, maybe I need to start making my lists again. Sometimes I request motivation from friends and family. Do I need to find a housekeeper?

Then it hit me, I realized that I have been shortchanging my time with God. I have time in the Word everyday. I pray quite often. I worship when I can. BUT, I don't have a focused time with the Lord first thing in the morning. My time with Jesus is scattered, here and there through the day. I make excuses. "The baby keeps me from focusing"; "I can't get up that early"; "insert anything here"

When I look at God's Word, it is clear. I have to get up and have my time with Him first. (Psalm 5:3) I know that my God is faithful and He will meet me there.

Quiet Time is the place to start because the answer is always Jesus.

Guess I better get to bed.

Healthy Foods - Swiss Chard

Last night we had some wonderful Swiss Chard. Never thought I'd use wonderful and Swiss Chard in the same sentence.

It's a deal. I bought 2 large bunches for $1 each. They were beautiful. The stems were bright shades of red, yellow, orange, pink and white. The leaves were big and ruffled.

It's easy to prepare.

Wash the chard in cool water. Trim the ends off the stems. Cut the stems into inch long pieces. Rough cut the leaves.

In a large pan (I used a non-stick wok), saute some garlic (to your taste) in a small amount of olive oil. Add the stems and continue cooking until the stems start to soften. Add the leaves and place a lid on the pan.

Saute until leaves are wilted. Season with salt and lemon juice. Butter buds can be added if desired.

Serve hot.
It's packed with nutrients. Excells in Vitamin K, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Full of fiber, it's also a great source for iron and calcium. More information can be found at this great site.

It can be used instead of spinach in many recipes. You should limit your swiss chard intake if you have problems with kidney stones or gall stones because of it's oxalate content. It shouldn't be an issue for most people.

I had trouble finding recipes at but found quite a few at


Monday, November 28, 2005

Did it again!

I just wasted another nap time.

I have all kinds of things that need to be done.

Instead I spent the coveted alone time putzing around on the computer.

Now I get to try to clean, divert and reclean with Grom's help.

Oh joy!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree - What do I do for my toddler?

I'm dreading the idea of having a Christmas Tree this year. Grom is into EVERYTHING. I see a month or so of too many NOs and persistent redirection of an inquisitive 16 month old. Doesn't sound like fun to me - Christmas is stressful enough.

I'm looking for alternative ideas.

I've heard about Christmas Trees that hang from the ceiling upside down. It's all too weird for me. I understand the purpose is so that MORE presents can fit underneath. What is frugal about that?

I read about putting a baby gate all the way around the tree to keep baby out. I think that would look terrible. Another idea was to put up a tree outside on a deck - in view but out of reach.

I found this project - Christmas Tree Magnets. Grom just discovered magnets and I'm sure he'd have a ball arranging and rearranging them on the refrigerator.

While searching the net, I came up with a great idea. How about a Christmas Tree Mural for the wall. All I need is a big piece of butcher paper, some paint, some construction paper and a little creativity. We'll have a tree, some holiday decorations and less worries. I'll post a picture.

Ruth 1:1-5

Ruth 1 NKJV

Elimelech’s Family Goes to Moab
1 Now it came to pass, in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons.
Book of Ruth takes place during the time of Judges - 350 years (around 1380 to 1050 BC)

Famine causes family to move from Bethlehem (
house of bread. (1.) A city in the "hill country" of Judah. It was originally called Ephrath (Gen. 35:16, 19; 48:7; Ruth 4:11). It was also called Beth-lehem Ephratah (Micah 5:2), Beth-lehem-judah (1 Sam. 17:12), and "the city of David" (Luke 2:4). It is first noticed in Scripture as the place where Rachel died and was buried "by the wayside," directly to the north of the city (Gen. 48:7) to Moab ( the seed of the father, or, according to others, the desirable land, the eldest son of Lot (Gen. 19:37), of incestuous birth).

There was no bread in the house of bread so they left for the desirable land.
2 The name of the man was Elimelech, the name of his wife was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion—Ephrathites of Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to the country of Moab and remained there.
Elimelech - “my God is king.” / Naomi - “my pleasantness.”

Mahlon - “sickly.” / Chilion - “sickly."
3 Then Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons.
4 Now they took wives of the women of Moab: the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth. And they dwelt there about ten years.
Orpah - “neck,” “girl with a full mane,” or “rain cloud.” / Ruth - "female friend", "compassionate friend"
5 Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; so the woman survived her two sons and her husband.
Naomi is widowed. Two daughter-in-laws in tow. Living away from "home" but she has been there at least 10 years.

Friday, November 25, 2005

In just nine minutes...

I will officially be another year older.

I "gave up" secular music a number of years ago. Sold the entire extensive collection as I considered how the things I expose myself to effect my heart and brain. Afterall, God's word tells us to think about certain things (See Philippians 4:8) .

Still every year a Cracker song - Happy Birthday to Me, comes flooding into my head. It runs around all day and then leaves me alone for another year. I guess I could be haunted by worse songs.

Surferman stole me away for my birthday. Got me out of town and is treating me to a fabulous birthday weekend. Grom is with his grandparents and prayerfully he won't be too mad when we return.

Here I sit in San Francisco - in a beautiful apartment overlooking the city. WOW!

We arrived this morning and seem to have walked ever since. We walked to Chinatown and had Dim Sum for lunch. We walked to the shopping district, window shopped and gathered ideas for Christmas presents. We walked some more and some more. Found a nice place for dinner - The Thirsty Bear for dinner. It's a brewery that serves Spanish Tapas. It was a great dinner. Then the walking ended. Surferman decided we need a taxi to get us back to our place.

A couple of DVDs from our Netflix subscription that we brough along and our evening was complete. We thought about a movie, but at $10.50 each we didn't think long.

Can't wait to see what the morning holds.

Happy Birthday to me!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Kitchen Tip

Last night when I was cooking dinner I decided to try something that I had seen on 30 Minute Meals It wasn't a recipe. A lot of her recipes look delicious, are healthy and are obviously quick to prepare.

What I tried was using a garbage bowl instead of the trash can. My trash can was missing, so I really had no choice.

It's a simple idea. Just keep a bowl on the counter and put all of the waste from meal prep in the bowl. No stopping and opening the cupboard where the trash can lives. No bending over. No vegetable trimmings down the disposer.

I like it.

Monday, November 21, 2005


I am part of a fabulous Women's Home Group on Monday nights. It's a group of about 20 women who meet weekly to worship, study God's Word and pray together.

Each week it seems there is someone new. We always introduce ourselves and then answer a question. Previous questions have been silly and random like "favorite color" or "favorite ice cream".

Tonight we were supposed to share something that we were grateful for.

It was so cool to hear all the things that these wonderful women were thankful for.

A newly married gal was thankful for her husband (of course).

Another newly married gal was thankful that God was showing her the things in her life that were most important. She was caught up with tasks and not wanting to take extra time for an outing with her husband. She realized the "work" would be inconsequential soon, but that hubby was hers forever.

A single gal was thankful that she was single. Praise the Lord for her contentment.

Our hostess was thankful for our church body. She shared a story about a German couple that she and her husband had met in Ireland. They became fast friends. The German couples had no belief in God or Jesus. They came to visit their American friends and attended our church - once. They now are attending church, downloading messages off our church's website and are sending emails full of scripture, faith and hope. Our God is awesome.

Me? I'm thankful for my family and the people in my life that are like family. The women who love my son and care for him the way that I do. The men who fellowship with my husband and encourage him to be a better husband and father. All of our friends who are helping us to raise Grom to love our Lord. For all the love.

5 Things Super-Happy Couples Do Every Day

5 Things Super-Happy Couples Do Every Day

I realized that so far I had neglected my pursuit of an awesome marriage in my blogging. I surfed around and found this article from Redbook. It's secular and I'm reading it as I'm blogging. The author brags about having a ridiculously happy marriage. I hope God is part of it, I can't really tell from the introduction.

Here's the ideas and how I could pull some of these ideas into my own marriage.

Daily Habit #1: Talk to Each Other
  • Start a habit of "decompressing". When Surferman gets home, we can take a few minutes before dinner to enjoy something to drink and talk about our days.
  • Re-establish our weekly "Family Meeting".
  • Send notes with lunch.
Daily Habit #2: Flirt
  • Brag about Surferman whenever I can to whoever I can.
  • 60 second kisses.
Daily Habit #3: Get Stupid Together
  • Surferman loves B grade (even D grade - the cheesier the better) Sci Fi. Netflix has a great selection of these movies. Film Festival?
  • Seek out and share silly clean jokes.
  • Speak in fun movie quotes. I used to send Surferman off to work with, "Have fun storming the castle" Why did I stop?
Daily Habit #4: Declare Your Independence
  • Me: Bible Study, Scrapbooking, Quilting
  • Surferman: Surfing, Guitar, Cars
Daily Habit #5: Share a Spiritual Moment
  • We regularly attend church and a home group together.
  • Daily Bible Reading
  • Devotions
  • Prayer

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Grom Update

Grom had his 15 month well baby check up today.

After waiting an hour in the reception area, and another 15 minutes in the exam room - we finally saw the doctor. It's not usual, so I am trying to let it go.

He weighed in at 23 pounds 1 ounce and is 31" tall. He has climbed the growth chart to 70th percentile for height and 30th percentile for weight. He has been little (30th height, 10th weight) which didn't make sense as Surferman is 6'6" and I'm 5'9". Doctor had said that if he wasn't up, we would start some additional testing. Praise the Lord that we don't have to be concerned with that anymore.

Grom bravely got three shots and we don't have to go back until he's 2. Unless of course he gets sick.

Father, thank you for this wonderful child. I thank you for his health and ask that you would continue to keep him well. Protect his health this winter and always. Help his father and I be good examples of healthy eating and exercise. Thank you for the excellent health care that we are provided with - help us to not use it. Amen.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Knit Wits

I guess I'm a knitter.

My mother is a prolific and talented knitter. I think she knits in her sleep. I know she can knit in the dark. She is constantly working on something. She has made some amazing sweaters for Grom. She creates gorgeous scarves, purses, and hats. Frugally she scours eBay and garage sales for wonderful wools to create her masterpieces. She sells some at a local shop. She way undersells her goods. She really just wants someone to enjoy her things. She's a modern day Proverbs 31 Woman.

Me? I knit washcloths. They are useful. They are easy to finish. Not exciting, but it keeps me out of trouble.

Mom and I met with a group of women from church tonight. We sit and knit and talk and drink tea and have a marvelous time. Mom is our expert. She is such a patient teacher. Humble when she doesn't know how to do something, but always willing to put down her needles to help a new knitter. The room was full of fun projects - scarves, hats, afghans, purses, bowling pins and I finished... you guessed it... a washcloth.

Makes this Mom's heart glad

I am a church secretary. I work part time. Grom usually works with me, but on Tuesdays he goes to see his Aunt La. He's a blessed boy to get to spend time with her every week. She is an amazing godly woman who loves him as much as if he were her own. I thank God for La.

Today was a beautiful day. When I drove up, La and Grom were outside enjoying the sun. It was so fun to watch them having fun with the dog. The sun was bouncing off Grom's head and he was glowing.

Just then he saw me.

Ma! Ma! Ma! Ma!

Makes this Mom's heart glad.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Yummy Quick Meal #1

I blogged earlier about "magic meals" that seem to appear out of nowhere.

Decided I should instead label them Yummy Quick Meals.

Here is the one I served tonight.

Meatball Sandwiches
frozen precooked meatballs (the smaller the better - count out enough to serve your family)
spaghetti sauce
french rolls
sliced provolone cheese
grated mozarella
sauteed peppers and onions (optional)

Green Salad

These are fast to prepare - just heat and serve.

Grom loved them - ate an entire half of a sandwich!

It's Ruth!

I was wondering what book of the Bible I was going to blog about and it looks like it's going to be RUTH.

I have taught a Women's Bible Study at my church before and have been on an extended break because of Grom. Well, I was feeling ready to teach again, mentioned it to my Pastor's wife and she asked me to co-teach on this wonderful book.

I won't be teaching at the study until after the holidays, so I'll have lots of time to dig in and search the Word.

I was just looking through my podcast directory and noticed that John Piper just finished a series on Ruth. I love listening to my iPod while I'm doing chores.

Know any other Ruth resources?

Can't wait to dig into this wonderful book.

Friday, November 11, 2005

I really am reading my Bible everyday

I thought that trying to blog about my New Testament readings from my Daily Bible would be a fun way to a be accountable and maybe share some of the things God is showing me in His Word.

I'm finding I run short on time to submit an entry every day. I had long stretches without turning on the computer lately.

Instead I'm going to find a topic of interest and start blogging on that. Extra digging into God's Word when I'm able.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Daily Bible New Testament ~ November 8

Hebrews 4:1-16 NKJV

11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Thank you Jesus for coming to earth, experiencing life as man so that you know my humanity. Thank you for the mercy and grace you show be day after day.

I also checked The Message.
12God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon's scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. 13Nothing and no one is impervious to God's Word. We can't get away from it--no matter what.

What's for dinner ~ November 8

Black Bean and Salsa Soup

Pepper Jack Quesadillas

Green Salad

I found this soup recipe at It's one of my favorite recipes sites. I like reading the reviews and finding out how the recipe really is and the best ways to change it.

Everyone liked the soup. And I'll make it again. It's an easy pantry meal.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Daily Bible New Testament ~ November 7

Hebrews 3:1-19 NKJV

1So, my dear Christian friends, companions in following this call to the heights, take a good hard look at Jesus. He's the centerpiece of everything we believe, 2faithful in everything God gave him to do. Moses was also faithful, 3but Jesus gets far more honor. A builder is more valuable than a building any day. 4Every house has a builder, but the Builder behind them all is God. 5Moses did a good job in God's house, but it was all servant work, getting things ready for what was to come. 6Christ as Son is in charge of the house. Now, if we can only keep a firm grip on this bold confidence, we're the house! Hebrews 3:1-6 (The Message)

I have been having a hard time with Hebrews this go round. I usually read NKJV. I'm just not getting it. I checked out the Message version and was blessed by the differences. Jesus Christ as the builder of God's house and then to realize that I am God's house.

I'm warned of about a having a hard heart; a deaf ear. I don't want to wander 40 years. I want to experience God today; now; always.

Let Him enjoy this house that He's built. May it please Him.

Pampered Restraint

I went to my friend's annual Pampered Chef party. I'm a sucker for their products and usually buy more than I should. Just like Surferman, I like to buy "tools".

I love the stoneware and can always find another piece that I "need".

Tonight I bought a couple of Christmas presents, some nylon pan scrapers (must haves) and some cake testers. Yes, cake testers.

Here's the cool thing I figured out tonight. I won a door prize - a cake tester .

Looking at it I figured out a handy alternate use for them. I go to a lot of potlucks or events where I take a dish. I like to tag the food I bring so that people know what it is - if it has nuts, etc. I had these cool flags on toothpicks that I used and used up. The top ring on the cake tester is a split ring and a little sign will easily slide between the 2 rings. I can easily trim the length of the tester with a pair of wire cutters. Stocking stuffers for everyone!

My final bill was high enough to earn me the "free" vanilla - but only about $5 of it was for me.

Now that's restraint.


I am a homemaking magician. I can pull meals out of my hat - only because I have planned ahead.
I like to have meals available that I can pull out of my hat. They are perfect for those nights when I don't want to cook.

Tonight is one of those nights. There is nothing up my sleeves. The boys are getting better; my motivation is still lagging.

Here's what I came up with...

Lasagna (from Costco) - throw it in the oven and bake it.
Focaccia Bread (from the freezer and day old rack at Albertsons) - defrost and then warm in the oven at the end of the lasagna baking.
Green Salad - from the bag is easiest, but I find the organic salads don't keep as long as the whole lettuce. Even magic meals should be as healthy as possible.

Not the most frugal meal, but it beats take out.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Down for the count

Both of the boys are sick. I think it's a cold, but it might be the flu. I've never been clear on the difference. Growing up I always thought you couldn't have the flu unless you were puking. Now I'm not so sure.

Any hoo... Surferman has been suffering since last Monday. He's been near death a few times. He's a big guy and he falls hard. He went to the doctor on Friday and got a Z-pack (just in case). Just in case came this morning. He just isn't getting better. He missed 2 days of work last week and I don't see him making it to work tomorrow.

Lord, Help me to be patient and sympathetic. I know he really isn't feeling well. Help me to support and love him - in sickness and in health and all that.

Grom has had a runny nose and a few other symptoms since last Tuesday. Fortunately Grom seems to take more after my family. I deny I'm sick and will probably continue to deny that I'm sick until they close the lid on the coffin. He's been toddling around the house with snot flying out of his nose. A scene only his mom could find joy in. I really don't want to take him to the doctor, but if he's not better by... I might have to. He's sleeping now, the vaporizers moisturizing his room.

Lord, I thank you for this little boy. He blesses me so with his joyful spirit. Heal him. Give his mommy wisdom and patience. Keep him from harm.

Me? I'm not sick (remember I deny). My nose is a bit stuffy and my throat is a bit scratchy. But I will be fine. I'm not concerned with this cold or whatever it is. My mood however, it really stinks and it's getting old. I'm low, blue, moody, just don't use the "d" word. I refuse to be depressed. I am going to ride out this period of illness in our home and see what happens.

Father God, You are my hope. I know You have good things for me. Please take this feeling. I can't trust my feelings but I know I can trust you. Help me to pull myself together. Give me great times in Your Word. Help me to listen. Restore my joy.

Maybe I need a pedicure?

What do you do when you don't want to do anything?

Start a blog.

Welcome to my blog.

It's about my pursuit of God, of being a godly wife, mother and homemaker and having some fun.

I haven't done this before. Don't know how it will turn out. I think I'm smart, funny and clever, but I might be boring and dull. Time will tell.