Friday, October 31, 2008

Food For Friday...

Nothing beats a bowl of good Macaroni & Cheese. I am very proud to say that I have finally been successful in getting my children to eat homemade macaroni and cheese. As far as they were concerned, nothing was better than good ole' Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. That kind is good when you are in a rush, but how could it possibly be better than homemade? I don't understand. Maybe it's just a kid thing. Don't think I haven't tried over the years to introduce them to homemade. I have. Lots of times. The recipes I was trying just couldn't replace the macaroni and cheese that came in the blue box. Until this...

A friend of mine came for lunch this week. Carrie brought some leftover macaroni and cheese that her husband ( who happens to be an awesome cook!) had made. It was good. I needed this recipe. She told me it's the recipe they use at Hoggy's in Columbus, Ohio. I've never even heard of the restaurant, but it was a favorite of theirs. "You can get it off the internet.", she said.

After getting my son from school, I made a stop at the grocery store so that I could get the few ingredients needed to make this dish. That night. I told you it was good!

This recipe was such a hit in our home, my daughter was talking about it the next day. Score one for Mom!

Macaroni & Cheese

1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
2 cups elbow macaroni pasta, cooked & drained
2 cups mostacolli pasta, cooked & drained
1 1/2 cups sour cream
2 eggs, beaten
24 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and place in a 9x13 dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.

I'm also sharing a recipe for Macaroni & Cheese that I was using prior to finding the other one. What I like about this one is that it cooks in the crock pot. It's good, but I honestly think the one above is BETTER!

Extra-Cheesy Macaroni & Cheese

1 (8 oz). pkg. shredded Italian three-cheese blend
1 (8 oz.) pkg. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups milk
1 t. salt
1/4 t. dry mustard
1/4 t. ground red pepper
1/2 t. pepper
8 oz. small shell pasta, uncooked

Combine cheeses in a bowl; set aside. Whisk together eggs and next 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in pasta and 3 cups cheese mixture. Pour mixture into a lightly greased crock pot. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup cheese mixture. Cover and cook on low 4 hours. Sprinkle servings evenly with remaining cheese mixture.

* The setting on my crock pot for 4 hours is actually the HIGH setting. I stir the macaroni and cheese a few times during the cooking time to prevent burning the edges. Keep an eye on it towards the end as it will dry out and burn. You probably could try it on the 6 hour setting, I just haven't done it.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


I am a big ole' copy cat coaster maker. I first saw this creative project from Susie at Bienvenue and then Empty Nest Full Life had step by step instructions last week for this project. Can I just say I LOVE this project!

If you want to give this project a try, here is what you will need:

~ ceramic tiles - (the small ones) I bought mine at Lowe's for 32 cents a piece.
~ rubber stamps
~ Staz On stamp pad
~ Sealer- I used matte clear acrylic sealer
~ Felt pads for the bottom of the tiles

Look how easy this is. Just stamp....

Place your felt pads on each of the corners to prevent scratching tables...

And there you have a pretty and decorative coaster...

Make sure you spray them with the sealer so the stamp stays on.
Don't you like the Westie dog? I had to use this one since we have 3 of these dogs...

Then tie them up with a pretty ribbon and you have a gift for someone special...

I know that I will making plenty of these coasters. What a great gift to give to teachers, friends, or to take as a hostess gift for all those Christmas parties that will soon be coming up.

Not only do these make nice Christmas gifts, but really special birthday gifts too! Look what I got in the mail this week from my friend, Kim....

Little did we know that each of us had been working on the same project. We even used the exact same Fleur De Lis stamp. How funny is that? Thanks for the coasters Kim. LOVE them!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Behind Those Eyes...

Chapters 6-7 from Behind Those Eyes by Lisa Whittle...
Make sure you visit the host of this study, Lelia as well.

(Words in red are quotes from Lisa.)

I think the best way of summarizing chapter 6 entitled Cosmetics for the Soul is the statement given by Lisa which says, "We use concealer-cosmetics for our souls-that will camouflage those places in our hearts that are uglier than we want to see." After reading these two chapters, I was hit straight in the face of where I have been before in my life. About eight years ago, my heart was completely covered in camouflage. It wasn't something I set out to do. It just happened slowly over time. The root of my cover-up was fear, insecurity, and thinking that I had to please those closest to me. I think these are all feelings that are very common to women. The thing is, I even thought I could fool God in all this. He didn't really know what was going on in the deepest places of my heart. Or did He? 

After living this way for quite some time, it finally came to an end. God brought a few women into my life to come along side of me and walk me through healing and restoration. The first and most difficult step I had to take was to get REAL. Honest. About everything. When I think about it now, it was a time when I have known my Lord to be the most tender, compassionate, forgiving, and loving. I was daily and sometimes minute by minute making the choice to BELIEVE God and to STOP believing and buying into lies. I clung to the promises of knowing that the truth would set me free and that I did have a hope and a future to which He has called me.

Lisa concludes this chapter with the fact that as women we often believe because of our situation, we have gotten the short end of the stick. I could have believed that back then. Wasn't perfection what I was supposed to be striving for in every area of my life? My appearance, finances, my children, my marriage, even my relationship with God. 

God's desire is for us to be real and open and honest and deeply and fully satisfied with our lives. That is the truth I choose to believe no matter what the circumstances are around me. Satisfaction is not going to come from the things I buy for my home, the clothes I wear, or who I am pretending to me. That is a road I don't want to go down ever again. Please hear me say that the temptation or struggle is not there anymore. It will always be there this side of heaven. It's not easy either. It's choosing to surrender to God and allowing His Spirit to consume me. To walk with Him and have my heart set on heavenly things. That's what matters.  This has been such an important lesson to me that's where the title of my blog came from!

"But seek first his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."~ Matthew 6:33

Chapter 7 is called The Feelings We Conceal. Ouch. Do I even want to go there? Probably not, but is it for the best? Yes. As women, we spend most much of our lives trying to conceal things we don't want others to know about us.

After reading through this book, I have to say that I am a lot more aware of who I am and who I'm not. I love how God continues to bring something or someone into my life to continue the process or journey of making me whole. To make me the woman He created me to be. God began this process of showing, teaching, pushing, and guiding me to be real about a year ago. Not that I was continuing to live in ways that were deceptive or untrue, but that I could live in freedom by just being who He created me to be. Knowing that I could be vulnerable to God, my husband, and those closest around me. Even sometimes to people I don't know very well. I want to be REAL. No pretenses.

Have I been a woman of insecurity, jealousy, loneliness, or fear? Absolutely. Am I willing to recognize when I am having these feelings and release them to God? I hope so. It is sometimes easier said than done, at least for me. Remember, I'm just keepin' it real! I know what I am willing to do for sure though. I know that I can fall into any of these areas quickly and without fair warning but I will ground myself in the truth of who God is and who says I am... without all the concealer.

Monday, October 27, 2008

McCain Road To Victory Rally...

OH MY STARS... The Nester is having a give away today! Go make a visit to her blog and leave a comment to enter to win!!!

What a memorable way to spend my birthday.... going to a John McCain Road To Victory Rally. The boys were just thrilled to not to have to go to school. Every year they get an R&R day. In our house, that is a no school day. Just a day of Rest and Relaxation. They wanted to make sure this didn't count as their R&R day. Unfortunately, Jessica wasn't able to go with us because of her school and work schedule.

We were so thankful when we got there because we thought we were going to have to wait forever (as my boys would say) in the lines. It actually only took us about 20 minutes to get in and while waiting outside, my boys were scoping out all the snipers and secret service.

We had really great seats. Now, it was time to just sit and wait. Three hours to be exact. There was plenty of entertainment though. The marching band of the high school where this event was held played us some tunes. Following that, we listened to the country singer Aaron Tippin (I don't even know how to spell his name. I have no idea who he is really.) Anyway, he sang a song called ,"Kiss This".  Like every other country song, it's about a woman who got tired of taking it from her man. She basically told him to come on over and kiss this...  After the song was over, my youngest son, Ben, wanted to know what he was supposed to kiss. Nice huh? I'm not going there. I'm just saying.

We then welcomed John and Cindy McCain...

It was definitely one of those moments when I was just so very proud to be an American. Saying the Pledge of Allegiance and listening to the National Anthem. Being in a large crowd of people who are supporting the man who they are voting to be the next President of the United States. Even Sam and Ben proudly showed their support...

When we left the school, the bus was making it's way out as well...

The day is now coming to an end and I am headed to one of my favorite spots...

To have a cinnamon crunch bagel with hazelnut cream cheese and coffee. It's just what sounded good. It's my birthday right? And to read the latest issue of Southern Living...

Thank you to everyone for all of my birthday wishes. You made me feel special!!!

For all of my Yes To God girlfriends... I will be posting this weeks chapter on Wednesday. See you then!

I don't know why there is so much space here at the end, but keep scrolling down to leave a comment...


Since our daughter, Jessica had to work tonight, my family celebrated my birthday last night. We had a delicious dinner and Jessica had this cake for me...

My mom came for dinner (I missed you Dad!) and she brought some Graeter's ice cream...

Graeter's is an ice cream store that is based originally in Cincinnati. My Dad grew up in Cincinnati, so he can remember having it when he was a young boy. When I was a little girl, my grandmother would get Peppermint Chip and Mint Chocolate Chip at Christmas time for us to have. This is probably the best ice cream around! What makes it so special? It is the HUGE chunks of dark chocolate they put in it. YUM! Last summer when we were at the beach in North Carolina, my aunt had 8 pints of it shipped there for us to have. Yes, they do ship all over the U.S. :)

Mom brought two flavors that I have not tried yet. Usually you have your one or two favorites that you also get when you go to Graeter's. Last night we had Pralines and Cream and Coconut Chip. It was pretty much like eating a Mounds candy bar, which I love. We now have a Graeter's a few miles up the road from us and it one of those places we always take people new to the area to. Our family spends a lot of time there too. Especially in the summer! Thanks for bringing the special treat Mom!

Today, we are keeping the boys out of school to go to the John McCain Road to Victory Rally. I think it's pretty neat because several summers ago, our family also saw George W. Bush when he visited the Air Force base in our area.

Thanks to my family and friends that are making this a special day for me!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Outside My Door...

Fall is finally here in Ohio. The last couple of weeks we have had cool temperatures during the day and temperatures in the 30's at night. As much as I love the change of seasons, I am not ready for the really cold and snowy weather we will soon be having. The older I get, the more I find that I want my warm days to stick around. 

It is a beautiful morning. The air is crisp and cool and after it being rainy and overcast yesterday, the sun is shining. Here is just a little peek of what is outside my back door...

My husband, Steve, sitting in one of his favorite places...

And of course, Lily isn't too far from his side. She loves to get her picture taken...

We got this sign this morning at the local Republican headquarters. We also got FREE tickets to see John McCain this Monday at an area high school for a Road to Victory Rally. We are taking the boys, so it should be a memorable day.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend where you are!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ragamuffin Garland...

I thought I would attempt to copy one of the Nesters original crafts... the Ragamuffin Garland. I love crafts that are easy and are not time consuming. I like immediate results and satisfaction. This is a no-brainer. So, do what I did... make some coffee, watch some T.V. with your husband, and start tying!

Step 1~

Pick out your fabric. For the first one I choose 5 different patterns. I used burlap and I really like having a different texture in the garland. You can also add ribbon, fringe, or rick-rack. I've also seen some garlands that have decorative items hanging from them or photographs. Very cute!

I bought 1 1/4 yards of fabric and it was enough to make 2-30 inch garlands and 1-54 inch garland. The fabric cost me a total of $18.

Step 2~ Cut fabric into strips. I measured mine out to be 2 inches wide and 10 inches long. I've seen some other garlands with longer strips of fabric and it looks really pretty that way too.

Step 3~ Use twine or jute to tie the fabric strips on. Cut it the length you want your garland to be and then just loop it at each end so you can hang it. I double stranded the twine.

Then just start tying. It's that easy! Make sure you push the fabric strips tightly together so that you will have a full garland.

Step 4~ Fluff and straighten out your garland and hang...

I'm sure you are wondering how long this project took aren't you? Cutting the fabric took about an hour. The longer garland took a little over an hour, but the smaller ones only took half an hour.

These garlands can be hung on cabinets, mirrors, mantles, or in my case... the pantry door. Yes, I know it really won't work in keeping my children out of the food. Can you give me credit for trying?

If you end up making one of these Ragamuffin garlands, please let me know. I would love to see it!

Monogram Chick is having this giveaway through October 29th. Go check it out along with all the other really cute monogrammed products. Leave a comment to enter and PLEASE mention my name as I have a chance to win along with you!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Great Is Thy Faithfulness...

Thank you to all of you who were wishing me well on my little break. Many things have been going on here in our home the last few weeks. Really, for the last month to be exact. As I shared in a previous post, our daughter Jessica has been struggling with migraines. All of our attention and focus has been on her and getting her well.

In the midst of all this, I have seen and known that God is working and that He cares about our every need. He has answered our prayers in so many ways. We have known His presence.  I am so incredibly thankful for our friends and family that have surrounded us, encouraged, and prayed for us. 

I'm still catching up on some things... like the bible study Behind Those Eyes that I am posting about on Tuesdays. I will have one ready for next week! To all of my friends that are joining me in this, thanks for being patient with me:)

This is a week where there is nothing on my calendar and I am so very happy! I really need calm, quiet, and stress-free (yes, there is such a thing!) days. I'm looking forward to reading, working on a little project that will hopefully turn out cute enough for me to share, cleaning my house with the music turned up loud, and especially having some time with God. I've been doing a lot of crying out to Him lately, so now I just want to sit at His feet.

Tonight I was listening to one of my favorite C.D.'s called Be Still My Soul by Selah. I LOVE their music and there are times when I just need to listen to some good old hymns. I was standing in my kitchen thinking about how I have known God's faithfulness over this last month with everything we've gone through. That was when this song came on...

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning
New mercies I see
All I have needed
Thy hand has provided
Great is Thy faithfulness
Lord unto me.

He has been all that I've needed. He has been faithful. Always.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Be Back Soon...

I'm just taking a little break and will be back on Monday!

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Boys...

So, I thought I would share with you a little of what my boys have been up to lately.

Sam is now in band at school. He has been looking forward to this since last year when he was able to choose between band or study hall. It really wasn't a hard decision for him because he wanted to follow in the footsteps of other trumpet players in the family. His Papa and his Dad. His Papa even handed down his trumpet for Sam to play.

This week, Sam officially played his very first song ("Rolling Along" a.k.a. "Mary Had A Little Lamb) all the way through...

It gets pretty loud, but it really is a lot of fun to listen and watch him play...

Ben has recently found a new sport that he loves. Golfing. A few months ago, Steve took both of the boys out for a day of golfing. This was the real deal. 18 holes. Golf cart. Lunch at the 9th hole. Sam said he never wanted to do it again, but Ben could hardly wait until the next time. I've learned to never ask about bogies. I got the glare from Ben. Instead, I am to ask about birdies. I thought I knew what I was talking about. Obviously not.

Ben and Steve try to go play a round of golf every other week. There is a golf course that actually gives pastors a discount so they get to play really cheap. It's a good thing. Ben likes to stay up on his game, so he will go and hit a bucket of balls...

When they left here, Steve said they got in the car and Ben said, "Golf is really addicting." He has now added a set of golf clubs on his Christmas list.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Food For Friday...

The recipe I'm sharing today is for one of my favorite Fall cookies. When I first found this recipe, I wasn't so sure about the whole chocolate and pumpkin thing. These are really good though. Moist and really soft!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies~

1/2 c. shortening
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
1 c. canned pumpkin
1 t. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 t. ground nutmeg
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 c. chopped walnuts (optional)
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheets. In large bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg , then stir in the pumpkin and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon;gradually mix into the creamed mixture. Stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly brown. Cool on wire racks.

Happy Fall!

Thursday, October 09, 2008


This week I was able to go and hang out with some of my favorite people. My friends. I had been having a difficult week and there was really nothing I needed more than to be with my friends.  We got together at Lori's house for lunch and to help her do some decorating. She has a beautiful home and needed some help getting things in place. So, she called in the troops...

I am so thankful for the friends Steve and I have. You have impacted us, encouraged us, blessed and challenged us more than you know. You are a VERY important part of our lives. With that in mind, I would like to give a big shout out to a few of my friends!!! 

To Aamie (and you too, Tim:)) from Connecticut. It was great to catch-up with you on the phone.  We hope we can see you real soon...

To my new friends... Debbie in Kansas, and Julie in Illinois...

This also goes to Kim in Minnesota who has been a HUGE support for me through her prayers, e-mails, and sending scripture to me through text messages regarding Jessica's recent migraine. (One day we will get to meet in person!)

To our community group... it is a privilege to journey through life with you. 

To Liz and Ryan in Washington D.C.... we miss you so much!

To all my friends, near and far, I love you like crazy!!!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


I would like to thank Darlene from The Only Thing Worth Walking Toward for giving me this award this week. 

Here are the Smile Award Rules:
1. The recipient must link back to the awards creator.
2. You must post these rules if you receive the award.
3. You must choose 5 people to receive the award after receiving it yourself.
4. you must fit the characteristics of a recipient.
6. You must create a post sharing your win with others.
7. You must thank your giver.

Characteristics for the Smile Award:
1. Must display a cheerful attitude.
2. Must love one another.
3. Must make mistakes.
4. Must learn from others.
5. Must be a positive contributor to blog world.
6. Must love life.
7. Must love kids.

And then I would like to thank Coco from Ordinary Miracles and Sandy from Shell In Your Pocket  for honoring me with this award. 

Now, here comes my speech (sniff, sniff)....

I really see this as an honor to receive these awards from you. I began blogging with my sister because we thought it would be a fun way to stay in touch. With the distance between us, we don't get to see each other nearly as much as we would like. We thought with blogging, we could really see what was going on in each others lives. Over the past few months, I've learned a lot about myself because of having a place to write. It's definitely given me a place be creative with two things I love to do-journaling and photography.

I try to be honest and real through my words. Sharing my life. The times of joy, disappointments, struggles, celebrations, and my journey with Jesus Christ. If I have brought encouragement and hope and maybe even a little fun, then I am humbled that I have impacted you in some way. 

There are many blogs that have touched and impacted me. I'm very thankful for getting to know you through your blogs. There are many that I would pass both of these awards onto, but because I can only choose 6, here they are...

Sarah - Nesting In Pleasant View. Sarah is honest, inspiring, and has completely shared her heart and life through her blog. She has an incredible story of God's faithfulness. Besides that, she's my sister:)

Kim- Seasons Of My Heart. I first found Kim's blog because she had given me an award shortly after I began blogging. You know how there are just some blogs you are drawn to? That's how I was with Kim's. Since getting to know one another through our blogs, we have become friends in real life. We e-mail and talk on the phone regularly and know that it is no coincidence that there was a reason God brought us into each other's lives.

Carrie- Buzzings of a Queen Bee. Carrie posts just about everyday. I don't know how she does it! She always has some creative tip or decorating idea.

Shannon - Bless Our Nest. Shannon has great decorating ideas and this girl knows where all the good finds are. 

Genny - My Cup 2 Yours. Genny is a wonderful and creative writer. I always come away from reading her blog with something to think about. Recently, she has read through a New York Times Bestseller called "One Month To Live". She is hosting "My One Month"- focusing on living life in a way that if I did find out I had a month to live, I'd have no regrets. She is posting her thoughts through this and has invited us to be a part of it as well. 

Kristen - Over the Backyard Fence. Kristen is a woman that loves God. It shows in everything she does and I know to those around her.

Mekia- Mom on a Mission. Mekia is a close friend in real life. She has always been one of the most real women I've ever known. I am blessed by her friendship. 

With this award I am also to include 6 interesting things about me...

1. One day I hope to have read through the Anne of Green Gables series.
2. I hate going to the dentist.
3. I only buy Jif peanut butter.
4. My husband proposed to me while we were rock-climbing.
5. I have recently found out that I don't like owls. We have a screech owl that seems to be flying around our house lately. The noise it makes really freaks me out.
6. One of my favorite shows is Jon & Kate Plus 8.

With these awards, pass them onto 6 other bloggers and share 6 interesting facts about yourself. This awards may be given individually or together. Happy Blogging!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Ms. Confidence (Chapter 3 from Behind Those Eyes)...

*** Because I have some things going on tomorrow, I am posting this early*** 

Welcome back to Yes To God Tuesdays. You can link to the host of this study, Lelia at Write From the Heart. Also, make sure you check out Lisa's (author of Behind those Eyes) blog as well. 

I really enjoyed reading this chapter because I think Lisa did a wonderful job of sharing what true confidence is and as women, who are confidence can be in. 

(Everything in RED is taken from the book.)

"A Strong Woman vs. a Woman of Strength" (poem found on page 52)

A strong woman works out every day to keep her body in shape...
But a woman of strength kneels in prayer to keep her heart in shape.

A strong woman isn't afraid of anything...
But a woman of strength shows courage in the midst of her fear.

A strong woman won't let anyone get the best of her...
But a woman of strength gives the best of her to everyone.

A strong woman makes mistakes and avoids the same in the future...
But a woman of strength realizes life's mistakes can also be God's blessings and capitalizes on them.

A strong woman walks sure-footedly...
But a woman of strength knows God will catch her when she falls.

A strong woman wears the look of confidence on her face...
But a woman of strength wears grace.

A strong woman has faith that she is strong enough for the journey...
But a woman of strength has faith that it is in the journey that she will become strong.

I totally agree with Lisa's point that society's suggestions about how to be a confident woman often contradicts the truth about where real confidence comes from. I see this not only from my perspective as a woman, but as a mother of a daughter. The truth of knowing that confidence can only come from one source- Jesus, is what I want to be kept in those deep places of my heart and the heart of my daughter.

I really had to do some thinking about the times when I've portrayed myself in an overly confident way because deep down, I've been afraid to let my vulnerabilities show. I've just never thought of it this way before. It makes sense though. I don't want to be vulnerable with my husband sometimes because I do want him to think I am strong. That I have it all together. 

God keeps showing me how to be VULNERABLE. To me, being vulnerable means I can tell my husband that I need him, that I'm scared, that I have hopes and desires. It also means that I am laying it all out before God. The good and the bad. Vulnerability is really discovering who I am, if that makes any sense. It's hard. It's a risk. You know what I am discovering though... It's worth it. It's often easier for me to push feelings aside for whatever reason. Being afraid, not really understanding myself how I'm feeling, or sometimes because I'm just tired and I don't have the energy or strength.  If I push them aside or ignore them, maybe they will go away. Perhaps for awhile they are gone, but they eventually come to the surface again. When I do stuff my feelings, it effects everything. The way I feel, my perspective, my marriage, how I respond to my kids, and my relationship with God. For a long time, I believed that I really could keep a lot of things from God. I don't know who I thought I was kidding.  I want to go to the places of my heart where I can look at my fears and weaknesses because I can TRUST and BELIEVE that God will be there to meet me. God is really taking me on this journey of knowing Him in such a deeper way. I want to know and love Him more. I can only know Him at this deeper level when I am not afraid for Him to see the real me. The real me that has fears, worries, and vulnerabilities. The real me that puts a name to my feelings. On this journey, I know that His grace is enough. The weaker I get, the stronger I become.

As a woman, I do desire to be fearless, strong, self-sufficient and confident. Are these qualities being displayed in what I do or Who I believe in. I hope the latter. 

At the end of the chapter, Lisa gives us a new set of definitions of the characteristics that would describe a confident woman.

~ Fearless- A complete state of being for a woman who rests in the strength of God. 
 Lord, help me to be a woman who does rest in you because in You I will find strength.

~ Strong - A resilience that goes beyond any tangible or physical condition and is unmatched in its fortitude. 
Lord, I know that there are going to be things in my life that I have no control over. When my hope is you and because I know that You are on my side, I can scale any wall.

~Empowered - Comes from knowing who we are in Christ and who, by His strength, we can become. 
Thank you for the promise Lord of knowing that He who has begun a good work in me, will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.

~ Independent - Recognition that our relationship with God is deeply personal and our need for anyone else but Him diminishes.
Jesus, You are my all in all. Thank you that you do know me in such a deep and personal way. That You have called me by name. Draw me close to You, that I may know your heart. My hope is in You alone.  Lord, You are dependable and can be counted on. You are all that I need. 

~ Emotionally Healthy - The desire to please only one source- that is Jesus Christ; the opinion of anyone else pales in comparison to what He thinks of us. 
Lord, may the things I say and do bring glory to you. I know that I am accepted and loved by you and nothing can compare to that. 

~Accomplished - What we do for God becomes the central and primary focus of our lives. What we accomplish on this earth can be gratifying but does not make us who we are.
Use me,  Lord. Use me to share the truth of who You are to those around me. Lord, I pray that the passion I have for You would be so clearly evident. Lord, show me the places You want me to go, the areas you want me to serve and that I would be effective for You.

I started writing this post this weekend as I was getting my thoughts together and praying about what the Lord wanted to teach me in this. As I sit here now, a couple of days later, I am so thankful to know that my confidence can be in Jesus. My Lord and Savior. 

A situation here at home has really shaken me the past few days. I don't feel confident at all. I feel helpless, unsure, anxious and scared. I know that there is nothing I can do right now to make it better. All I can do is pray and believe in the God I love. I have come to the Lord weary and tired. I've laid my worries at His feet. I will praise Him in this situation as well. He is working. He is answering prayers along the way. I have felt His presence. He has come to me in my silence before Him and through His Word. My confidence is in Him because I know who He says He is. Faithful. Trustworthy. All-powerful. Healer. 

When I am weak, then I am strong. Only because of Jesus.

But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when the heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. ~ Jeremiah 17:7-8

Sunday, October 05, 2008


Last night, Jessica attended her Senior Homecoming...

This is Jessica's best friend, Morgan. When Jessica went to school the first day of her Freshman year, I began praying that God would bring into her life a best friend.

Little did I know, there was another mom who was praying the same thing for her daughter. Jessica and Morgan sat by each other in one of the classes the first day, and have been best friends ever since.

This year was a lot of fun because Jessica and her group of friends decided they would go without dates. I wish this would have been the "cool" thing to do when I was in high school! It was so much fun to see these girls together having fun. Instead of going out for dinner, Morgan's mom prepared a special lasagna dinner for them. Then, it was off to the dance!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Our puppies...

Look what Jessica caught the puppies doing...

In order... Lily, Henry, and Anabelle. Is that cute or what?

Thursday, October 02, 2008


Usually on Thursday evenings I get my Food For Friday post ready. Instead of sharing a recipe with you, I am sharing something that I am very thankful for this evening.

This last week has been a very difficult one. Our daughter, Jessica suffers from migraines. For the past two years she has been dealing with them off and on. For the most part, they are manageable with medicine, but there have been several over the last two years that have been horrible to say the least. Last Wednesday, Jessica began having a migraine that has been the worst one she has had up to this point. The pain has been so intolerable that we have had her to the hospital twice within a matter of three days.

It is so incredibly difficult to see your child be in so much pain. Jessica is a very happy, busy, energetic girl. It's hard seeing her not being able to do anything. Not wanting to talk or laugh, and just not be Jessica. When she has these migraines, one of the things I miss the most is her smile. She has missed 6 days of school. We have felt so helpless through this. The only thing we've been able to do is help her to be as comfortable as possible, remind her that it is going to go away, and pray. Like crazy. The doctor has pretty much treated her the best he can, so at this point we are pursuing other routes.

Yesterday, Jessica began feeling better. Her smile had returned, and conversations were taking place again. Slowly, the migraine is going away.

Today was even a better day. We had an appointment with a doctor and will have a follow up appointment next week. Steve and I have been praying for wisdom, and discernment concerning her care and course of treatment at this point. The doctor we saw today is a believer and I truly felt the presence of God in this doctor's office. I needed that. Jessica needed that too.

We just came in from playing outside. All of us. Jessica started up a little bit of soccer with Sam.

This is the smile I'm talking about...

Jessica wanted an "action" shot...

Ben practiced his pitching with Steve because he has baseball try-outs this weekend...

We laughed and had fun. I stood back and just enjoyed my children. I'm thankful that they have a Dad that teaches, guides, and totally enjoys playing with his children. I am thankful that God is restoring Jessica's health. I am thankful for family and for those who have been praying us through this week. I am also thankful that we have a God that cares about our every need and that He answers when we call.

Have a very blessed weekend!!!