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 allrecipes.com but found quite a few at epicurious.com.


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 allrecipes.com 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.