Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Wailing Wall

For three and a half days men from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial. . . . But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them. Revelation 11:9, 11

I knew that TV would make the above possible, but I never thought about live streams online or even iPhone apps.


I just happened to see an article online this week that talks about a new iPhone app that streams live from the Wailing Wall and allows users to email prayers to be placed in the crevices of the wall. Amazing! (You can read the article here.)

Go to The Western Wall Heritage Foundation and you can find out more info about the iPhone app and also watch live streams from the Wall. I find this technology both fascinating and disconcerting at the same time. It just makes me wonder if it's a sign of the (end) times?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Who'd a Thunk It?

Me? A romantic? Nah! I do like the occasional love story, but we're talking The Notebook or Marley & Me (yes, I know it's about a dog), not like Harlequin romances. And I always ask my husband of 20 years when he's ever going to get around to proposing. Although, I think if he had ever gotten down on one knee, I would have laughed.

I happened to see an article online yesterday about the top 10 most romantic gifts. I decided to read it to see what I was missing. The article was aimed at men and what they should be getting for their significant other. Upon reading, I discovered that I actually got a romantic gift for Eric this year! Among the top 10 gifts, buying tickets for an event that your spouse would enjoy is considered romantic. Hey, I did that!
Let me explain. Eric has always liked Neil Diamond even though he won't claim to have lived through the 1970s because it was such a "tacky" decade as he puts it. He has suffered much teasing from family & friends for enjoying Mr. Diamond's music. In the past, we have given him Neil Diamond Cd's for Christmas. I think last year I gave Eric one of his Christmas Cd's (and have had to suffer through listening to it!). Not that I don't like good old Neil's music; I just don't go out of my way to listen to it. (Wait a minute. I think I may have the 45s of You Don't Bring Me Flowers and Forever in Blue Jeans up in our attic. Don't tell anyone!)

Back in November, I happen to find out that Real Diamond was playing at a local theater the day after Christmas. Real Diamond is a Neil Diamond tribute band. Since the real Neil is off touring in Australia and Africa for the next 8 months, I decided to get tickets for this local show. We've seen a Beatles tribute band, so I figured it couldn't be all that bad. Besides, it would be something different to do together and we could have a nice date. (Plus, the theater serves beer & wine!)

Thankfully, I got tickets for the late afternoon show because I was thinking we could go out to eat afterwards. The snow storm that hit us yesterday cancelled the evening show, but not ours'. So we went and had a really good time! They were actually very good! Our seats were in the second row, and "Neil's" mom was sitting two seats away from me. She went around talking to people in the audience during the intermission, and you could tell she's his biggest fan! After the show, "Neil" and the band came out to the lobby to thank everyone for coming. I was standing about 3 feet away from him while Eric missed it since he had to visit the little boy's room.

We decided against going to dinner since the roads were a mess and because Eric has been doing an elimination diet (for medical reasons under the guidance of a doctor). But, all in all, it was a fun time! AND I discovered that I am romantic after all (at least according to that article)! Perhaps I'll start humming You Don't Bring Me Flowers to give the hubs a hint!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

"O Come Let Us Adore Him"




Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.

Luke 2:11-12

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Seeing the Blessings Despite the Heartache

On Tuesday night I began making my rounds taking some goodies to my neighbors. Sadly, none of us chat very often with one another because we're always running to our jobs or other commitments. Only one of these neighbors lived here when we first moved in. We've seen families come and go in the other homes.

I went over to drop off the Christmas treats with this long time neighbor first. The youngest daughter answered the door, and I handed her the plate and then saw her dad come up behind her. I wished them a Merry Christmas, we made some short small talk and then I left. I thought it was odd that we didn't speak longer because we usually do at this time of the year.

Yesterday, I visited three other neighbors and as I was walking home, I ran into the dad from the night before. He was walking his son's new puppy. His son is 22 and has been married for a little over a year. His bride was diagnosed with brain cancer about a year before they were married. I stopped to meet the puppy and to ask my neighbor how his daughter-in-law is doing. The cancer is back and she may need surgery again. Then he told me that his wife also has cancer. Breast cancer that has spread to her lymph nodes. I couldn't believe it. The news just really saddens me. The whole family is very private and tends to keep things like this to themselves, so I'm not surprised that I didn't know before now. (Hence, I'm not mentioning even first names.)

We continued with our conversation, and he told me how it has been so amazing because they have been able to share Jesus with so many people on this new journey they're on. I told him about another friend of mine who experienced the same thing with her husband as he battled colon cancer for 4 years. Only with God's help could these couples witness to others during such personal, difficult trials.

My heart is very heavy for this family, but I'm trying to concentrate on the miracles that are playing out as a result of their circumstances. God can do anything! Please say a prayer today for this family, but also thank God for the blessings that are coming out of this!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Nativity Has Gone to the Dogs!

A friend of mine sent this picture out in an email to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. I thought it was very cute and forwarded it to several friends. Then I decided to post it here too. I don't know who is responsible for this photo, so I can't give the proper credit. Hope it gives you a chuckle!




Monday, December 20, 2010

Are You Ready?

Is your tree up? Is your house decorated yet? Have you finished your Christmas shopping? If so, are all of the gifts wrapped (and mailed if need be)? Don't forget those stocking stuffers! Have you sent your Christmas cards? How about those Christmas cookies...are they baked and decorated? Have you planned and shopped for your Christmas dinner?

Yes, my tree is up and the house is as decorated as it's going to get. (I chose not to put everything out this year so that packing it all up won't be such an ordeal.) I'm done shopping for the hubby & kids but still have to get some things for the dog. (He gets very excited about gifts!) I haven't wrapped anything other than what needed to be mailed. (And that stuff has been sent.) I do have the stocking stuffers! I actually decided to send Christmas cards this year and have mailed some of them thus far. I've made fudge but haven't gotten to the cookies yet, mainly because I've had a cold recently & didn't want to spread my germs. Christmas dinner? Well, I still have 5 whole days to plan and shop for that! It seems as if I'm in pretty good shape, especially considering that I don't have anywhere that I have to be this week and the kids will be in school through Thursday. I still have plenty of time to get ready!

I wonder if Jesus sees how ready I am to celebrate His birthday? In addition to the above mentioned, I've been in church on most Sundays. I attended the Christmas concert since Cooper had to sing with the Youth Choir and Sam was asked to help with the lighting. And hey, I went to the Youth Group Christmas party with my boys where we ate yummy food and played games. Today, my family did one of the readings and lit the Advent candles during the service! Well, okay, Eric actually did the reading and Cooper lit the candles, but I stood up there with them. Yes, I've been in His Word if my Moms In Touch prayer meetings and watching Joyce Meyer count. I've certainly been charitable with some of my money but not my time by participating in Operation Christmas Child and giving to some less fortunate families and troubled teens in our area.

Oh dear. Maybe I need to rethink how ready I am to celebrate our Lord and Savior's birth. What do you think? Are you ready?

All photos from FreeFoto.com

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Musings from Mayhem

Mayhem is what life has felt like for the past six months. Not that things here are awful or I'm unhappy. I just feel like I'm looking at things while upside down. I quit my job to return to school, and I haven't been able to get into a rhythm yet in my new "normal". My kids love to tell me now that I'm lazy because I don't have a job anymore. In fact, this morning after I told my family once again that I'm not the maid around here, my oldest asked, "Well, if you're not the maid and you don't work, then what do you do?" (He was kidding around, so no, he didn't get into trouble for that comment!)

I feel as if all I do is read text books and write papers. Therefore, reading your blogs and updating my own blogs haven't been a priority or even enticing to be honest. My down time seems to consist of doing mindless things like watching TV or playing solitaire (with actual cards, not on the computer). Sadly, I've even considered doing the dishes as down time because I really don't have to think!!

I'm enjoying my classes, but I really do miss teaching preschool. Preschoolers are just the right anecdote when you're raising teenagers! I still sub occasionally at my old school. I love doing that because I get to play without all the responsibilities of being a head teacher! Still, I do think to myself, "What have I done? Why did I quit a job that I loved and was quite comfortable with? And one that was so family friendly?"

I've been watching Joyce Meyer on TV recently. She's been talking about how she was in a ministry for 5 years and had a difficult time obeying God when He told her it was time to leave and do something else. She liked what she was doing, was comfortable, and was "somebody". I can relate! Joyce says, "If you can't conceive in your mind that God can do something with you then you will never take even the first step toward a better life than what you have right now." Just like a woman cannot become pregnant unless she is able to conceive, we can't move forward in our lives if we can't conceive that God will show us where he wants us to be and what He wants us to do.

FreeFoto.com

I've been mulling this over for the past few days. I know God was calling me to move on, and I'm sure I'm moving in the right direction. It's just hard to leave the old things behind. If you go to Joyce's website, you can watch this series at your convenience. It is entitled What do You Want Out of Life?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Signs of the Times

Recently, around town, I've spotted some funny (or maybe not so funny) church signs. I always love it when churches have a bit of a sense of humor. As I was driving to the movies with the boys, Sam saw one sign that said Honk if you love Jesus. Text if you want to meet Him real soon! I thought that was pretty clever and was glad that my 15 1/2 year old was the one who read it to me as we drove by!

Today I saw one that said Exposure to the Son will prevent burning. Hhmmm, how true!

Photo from FreeFoto.com.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I don't have a lot of time to blog today, so I'm just going to get right to my list!

I am thankful that we've been able to pay out of pocket for my first two graduate classes. That means going into less debt!

I am oh so grateful that I got an A- overall in my first class!!! (Makes the tuition worth it!)

I am thankful that my hubby is fine with me quitting my job to return to school. He just left to go interview a bookkeeper for his business. I didn't even know he was looking for one. I asked him if he wanted me to do it, and he said he'd rather me not be stressed out and wants me to just concentrate on school!

My kids are finally learning to clean up the kitchen after they have cooked for themselves!!! (And with not a lot of complaining -- BONUS!)

Otto seems to be past his illness. I'm so very glad that it wasn't anything too serious. I was afraid he had eaten something he shouldn't have and had a blockage. Now if we could just decide on some new carpeting! Too many choices out there!

I should be getting my jeep back soon. Our mechanic has finally figured out what is wrong with it. Not a terribly cheap fix, but at least we'll be a two car family once again! Our jeep is 11 years old and has a few idiosyncrasies but I still love it. I will drive it until it is dead! (But Lord it can't die for at least another 2 years, okay?)

That's it for me this week. Please stop by Greg's General Store to join in on Thankful Thursday!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Am I Now the "Older Woman"?

A few things have happened recently that are making me question whether I am entering the role of the "older woman" which the Bible talks about in Titus 2.

First, I'm taking graduate courses with girls who were 1 year old when I graduated from college. Listening to their conversations and concerns just make me smile. I remember participating in those same conversations "way back when" I thought the world revolved around me. They have no idea how their views will change as they mature. And they'll be shocked when they hear something and realize it came out of their own mouths and not their mothers'!

The second item is rather silly. Lately I have been receiving emails saying that I can meet "singles who are 50 and over". (I don't open these emails.) Last time I checked I'm not 50 yet and I'm not single! It makes me chuckle on the outside, but on the inside I have this lingering thought that the world of junk mail has moved me from the young and hip demographic to an older one. They didn't even ask me if I wanted to make this transition!

Then yesterday I went to get my hair cut. Last week I had noticed a section of my hair that didn't feel or look right. I asked my hair dresser (a youngster in her 20's) if it looked damaged. After a consultation with her manager, they decided I needed this special treatment done. If it worked, it meant that a product I've used on my hair caused the problem. If not, something else was going on. Thankfully, it worked. As my stylist was cutting my hair, she began telling me about a product that she's learning to use on the hair of older women who are having hair issues due to menopause. She has a client coming in soon whom she's going to use it on and said she'd let me know how it works. The entire time I kept thinking, "Why are you telling me this? I'm only 45!"

This morning the thought crossed my mind that perhaps I am moving on to that new era in life where I'm supposed to mentor other women. Then the battle began in my head. How can this be? My youngest child is only 12! My oldest will only be a sophomore in high school. I have younger friends who have kids older than mine. Both of my boys are impressed about how high I can kick my legs! I just played wiffle ball the other day in our backyard! We even enjoy some of the same music. The dog and I still have big tug of war battles! Heck, I got pregnant just two years ago. I CAN'T BE GETTING "OLD"!!

We all know, however, that God has His own plan for us. So maybe in different, funny ways He's telling me that it's time to begin moving into a new realm of my life. I can still be fun and active but perhaps it's time to begin sharing some of the wisdom that comes (dare I say it) with age. I'm not sure what area my wisdom lies in, but I'm positive that God knows. God please give me the willingness to open my mind and heart to your desires for me and to accept that I am on the cusp of becoming the "older woman"!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Around Here

Yes, I dropped out of the blogosphere for a while again. I can't believe I didn't lose any followers! Thank you my dear friends for sticking around! As always, just pure busyness has kept me away.

I finished up my school year on June 3rd. It was a bittersweet ending as it was the toughest school year I've ever had as a teacher and because it was the last one at the preschool I've taught at for the past 7 years. I gave my notice back in March so that my boss would know in plenty of time that I won't be returning in the fall. I've decided to try to get my master's in special education. I just completed my first 12 week course and will begin a 6 week course next week. Between these two classes I have to earn 3.0 GPA to officially be accepted into the program. (Because I didn't have a 3.0 when I graduated from college 22 years ago! Boys were more interesting than school was back then. Just being honest! Actually, I earned two degrees simultaneously back then....a BBA and an MRS!) Hence, homework has kept me very busy, especially when being a teacher and a student overlapped for two months!

I know it may seem odd that I quit my teaching job in order to earn a master's in teaching, but I knew I couldn't juggle work, school and my family. Since my kids aren't going anywhere in the near future, work had to go! And I think my whole family is happy about my decision! Even though I have homework, I'm much more relaxed.

Of course, I'm getting little jabs from my boys. My oldest likes to tell me that I'm lazy since I quit my job, and my youngest's comment was, "Good, now you can clean the house!" Nice, huh?! Even one of my classmates said, "So, you're going to do nothing?" Oh to be 23 and naive! Okay, so for the last two weeks I haven't gotten out of bed before 9 AM, but I have been cleaning!! I even took the curtains down in our living room and hand washed them in the bathtub! Come on, give me some credit!

Living on one income again is an adventure. I've definitely been cooking and baking a lot more. However, I have found that it is cheaper to buy a brownie mix than it is to make them from scratch. We didn't join the pool this summer because we didn't feel we got our money's worth the last two summers. Naturally, one of our vehicles has had issues since I stopped working. It sounds like a rocket and will go even if your foot isn't on the gas pedal! And our mechanic can't figure out what's wrong with it. The kids have been good about waiting for movies to hit our local cheap theater. You can't beat $3 matinees and $5 evening shows! Even the snacks are cheap.

Then there's the dog. I've been dreading having to take him to his yearly vet appointment this summer because it's always so expensive. Rather than doing that yet, we've had other vet bills because poor Otto has actually been sick! He's six years old and this is the first time he's been ill like this. Apparently he picked up a parasite from somewhere, and we are now shopping for new carpeting! As they say, when it rains, it pours.

This post kind of sounds like a downer, but I'm actually pretty happy. Like I said, I'm more relaxed now and I'm getting to spend a lot of time with my family. My kids are excited because I'm baking for THEM rather than my students. I even made my very first cheesecake for Father's Day. It was delicious! Thanks to our friends who own a beach house, we will get to take our yearly trip to the Outer Banks this month. We just won't be able to stay as long since I can't miss class.

I hope life is slowing down for all of you this summer so that you can enjoy just being with your families! I'll check back again soon!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The War

I wouldn't go out there if I was you!


War -- the beginning.

Watch out men!

It was all a blur!

OH THE CARNAGE!

What have my human brothers done?

Happy Independence Day!


FreeFoto.com

Saturday, April 17, 2010

How is Your Posture?

POSTURE - a mental or spiritual attitude; one's image or policy as perceived by the public; to adopt an attitude or position. (per Dictionary.com)

During the past 2 weeks, I've had six appointments with a chiropractor. This is the first time in my life that I've ever been to a chiropractor. Eric made the first appointment for me in hopes that the doctor would be able to help me with my dizziness and headaches.

So just about every other day for 2 weeks I've been hearing how I need to watch my posture; that I need to pay attention to my posture. Therefore, I've been thinking about the word posture a lot for the past few days. Prior to even looking the word up in the dictionary, I kept thinking, "How is my posture with God? Have I positioned my attitude and my life to honor Him? Am I living on the straight and narrow as they say?"

Speaking of straight and narrow, I decided to look up that saying as well. This is how Dictionary.com put it: The way of proper conduct and moral integrity. [Probably alteration of "Straight is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life" (Matthew 7:14).] INTERESTING!!

To be honest, I'd have to say that my posture regarding God probably isn't as good as I'd like to believe. Do I read from the Bible daily? No. Do I always treat my husband with respect? No. Do I ever gossip? Yes. Do I judge others? Yes. Am I guilty of not always honoring God with my thoughts, words and actions? YES! Hmmm...doesn't sound like a very straight and narrow life.

Following my chiropractor's instructions will give me good physical posture while heeding God's Word will provide me with perfect mental and spiritual posture. The latter is what I desire the most. I realize that only Jesus is perfect, but if we want to spend eternity with Him, then we have to adopt a posture that reflects His. One that is straight and upright. How is your posture?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thankful Thursday

It's Thankful Thursday once again! If you decide to write a Thankful Thursday post on your blog today, please visit Greg's General Store and add your post to Mr. Linky!

I am thankful for the beautiful weather we have been having. It does so much to lift my mood!

Despite the inconvenience it caused on Saturday, I'm thankful that the "stand-off" involving a neighbor was a hoax. It could have been a lot worse than it was.

I'm thankful that Sam's foot has healed after a slight break 4 weeks ago! (Especially since he only wore the boot for 2 weeks because he said his foot felt fine!)

I'm grateful that I'm back in school and getting the hang of student life after being out of school for 22 years! I'm slowly finding my way around campus!

I was not in the mood to go to church choir practice last night, but I'm glad I did. It's been a long week, and I felt that yesterday should have been Friday. Choir practice got my mind off of other things and helped me to relax. I'll miss not being in choir next school year. Since I'll be going to school full-time in the fall and my classes will all be held at night, I have to give up singing in the church choir.

I know my list could go on, but I must get to work! Happy Thursday everyone!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I Love a Bargain!

I love a bargain! I found this Fix-It and Forget-It calendar at our local Christian book store. Since it's April, it was on sale. Rather than paying $14.99 for it, I paid only $1.97! I don't need a calendar, but I do want the recipes! I've gotten the actual cookbook from the library in the past. I would much rather use my crockpot to cook with instead of my oven or stove-top, especially during the summer. My kitchen is very sunny and is the warmest room in the house during the summer. So grilling out or using the microwave or crockpot are my favorite choices when it's warm outside.


This is what it looks like when you open up the box.

There are two recipes on each card. I can either keep the cards in this box or put them in my recipe book. I love this find!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010

It Was All a Story

Thank you for your prayers concerning the post below, but it turns out to have been a lie. The "victim" made up the whole thing. It sounds as if he may have been under the influence of something. I feel badly for everyone who was affected by his actions. His story worried us all, inconvenienced a lot of people (including interrupting a funeral), and cost a lot of our tax dollars. A SWAT team was called in for Heaven's sake!!! I just pray that this guy gets some help.

Please Pray

As I was sitting here, home alone, I heard a lot of sirens going off. I always say a prayer for whomever the sirens are for when I hear them. They sounded close but not like they were on my street.

I just went outside to get in my car to go to Cooper's first baseball game of the season, and I saw that my block and the next block up from me are closed off. There are police cars and fire trucks everywhere. People are milling around watching. I saw my neighbor and asked her what was going on.

Apparently, someone was shot in a family dispute in the next block. The victim was able to crawl out of his house, but the gunman and supposedly two other people are still inside. This block of homes consists of all old row homes. The gunman is threatening to burn the house down. These row homes don't have firewalls between them. So everyone in that block has been evacuated.

I can't believe the police are letting people stand outside and watch. I came back inside just to be safe. I had to call Eric to tell him I can't get to Coop's game (Coop is at the field already with Eric) and call Sam who is at the mall with a friend and his family. I could walk to Cooper's game, but I want to be here when Sam gets back.

Please pray!

UPDATE
Everything seems to be over with, but I don't really know what happened. I haven't been able to find much news coverage. HA....I wrote that sentence and the NBC news van just drove by!! I guess I'll tune in at 11 PM.

I went out to my porch as one of the fire trucks was leaving (I thought) and was told to go back in my house. At that point, I noticed the police telling everyone to go inside. Our two blocks proceeded to be closed off for about the next 4 hours. Eric & Coop were able to sneak in the back way, but Sam was stuck at a friend's house for a while.

I heard different things from different neighbors, such as the guy escaped; there were drugs involved; and there were chemicals in the house, possibly a meth lab. Like I said, I have no idea what went on. All I know is that my neighbors and I were pretty much held hostage in our homes all afternoon, while the immediate neighbors of this family were ousted from their homes! Thank you for your prayers!

Play Ball!

Here we go....the start of another baseball season! Over 600 kids are signed up this year! Cooper is out there somewhere! This will be his last year in this league due to his age.


My hubby, Mr. President, making his speech at the Opening Day Ceremony! Would you ever guess that he & I are actually introverts?

Even the local Chick Fil A cow showed up!

Sitting in the dug out!
We're looking forward to many special MOOments this season!
(C'mon, how could I resist?)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Ultimate Blog Party!

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

Hey everyone, 5 Minutes for Mom is hosting the 2010 Ultimate Blog Party! The point of the party is to help us connect with other bloggers. Plus, you have the chance to win a prize! You should see their list of prizes!!! It's pretty long! So head on over and join the fun!

I would like to win the following prizes:
USC25 - $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card from Baba's Farm Life
US96 - A Laundry Prize Pack from Mama's Laundry Talk
US14 - 10 Free Custom Bumper Stickers from Build a Sign
US88
US41

I'll probably add more to my list before the party is over. There's too much to choose from!!

Changes

Last night I started back to school for the first time since graduating from college 22 years ago! I was surprised to find that I wasn't really nervous about it. Sometimes age is a good thing...it can give you some confidence and helps you put things into perspective. Yes, I'm a student again, but I'm a mom & a wife first. (My nerves were replaced by "mommy guilt", so I made brownies for the boys before I left for the evening!)

Since it's a graduate class, I figured there would be people around my age in attendance. There are only 8 of us taking this course. Two of them seem to be my age and are married and have kids. The others are in their early to mid 20's. Two of the younger girls are preschool teachers like me. My professor and I figured out that Cooper's 5th grade teacher was one of her students!

All in all this first time back was a good experience. The environment is relaxed since it's such a small class, and we all seem to have things in common with one another. I don't think the course will be a breeze, but I'm looking forward to the challenges.

I had to go back over to the campus this afternoon to buy my books ($155...UGH!) The bookstore is located in the University Center, which is basically the student center. Now I did think I'd feel a little weird going in there, but actually I didn't. It was a very nice building; the girl who waited on me was very sweet and wished me luck in my class; and nobody looked at me like, "Who is that old lady?"

It's definitely a very different experience the second time around; especially when you have to hurry home after buying your textbooks because you want to get there before your kids arrive home from school!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

I've had a request from Julieanne over at From the Beginning for my peanut butter cup recipe. I got this recipe from the February/March 2008 issue of Taste of Home magazine. Here it is:



1 cup creamy peanut butter, divided
4 1/2 teaspoons butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups (12 oz. bag) semisweet chocolate chips
4 milk chocolate candy bars (1.55 oz. each), coarsely chopped (I just got one of the really big Hershey bars)
Colored sprinkles, optional

In small bowl, combine 1/2 peanut butter, butter, confectioners' sugar and salt until smooth; set aside.

In small microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips, candy bars and remaining peanut butter; stir until smooth.

Drop teaspoonfuls of chocolate mixture into paper-lined miniature muffin cups. Top each with a small teaspoonful of peanut butter mixture; top with another teaspoonful of chocolate mixture. Decorate with sprinkles if desired. Refrigerate until set. Store in an airtight container. Yields 3 dozen.

**I had difficulty dropping the chocolate mixture into the paper muffin cups. It just took a long time. I then tried putting some of the mixture in a baggie and snipping the corner of the baggie so that I could just squeeze the chocolate out. This was kind of messy. If anyone has a better way to do this, please let me know!! Thanks Julieanne for requesting the recipe!

I didn't do my "I Get To Tuesday's" post today because I woke up with a migraine this morning, and I had to go back to work after my nice 5 day weekend. I still have a headache. UGH! Praying you all had a better day than I did!! Blessings!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Peep Sunflower Cake

Here is the Peep Sunflower Cake that I made! Originally, I was going to take it to church on Easter. At the last minute we decided to have some friends over for dinner on Saturday night, so I served it then. Everyone thought it was cute and yummy!

Some Easter Pics

Sam & Coop's Easter baskets.


The boys hunting for eggs! It took them forever to find the last two!


The Easter Beagle brought Otto some Snausages and a new frisbee!


Eric and I before church. Not sure what's going on with Eric's hair!


I got my Hyacinths!







Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Lily and Poinsettia People

The lily and poinsettia people. That's what my coworker called them. It took me a brief second to get what she meant. Those people who only attend church on Easter and Christmas. She said that she was hoping they would really hear the gospel this weekend and begin a relationship with Christ.

As I pondered this, the thought came to me that it will probably take more than an interesting sermon to reach this special group of people. It will take us. Those of us who call ourselves Christians. We who are God's sons and daughters. We who are the body of Christ.

We are to be His hands. His feet. His voice. His heart. Jesus' last command before departing for Heaven was: "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation." Mark 16:15

I know. This command is difficult for me, too. However, on this day, Easter Sunday, let's try to do what our Lord & Savior has commanded us. It can be as little as shaking hands and genuinely welcoming "Lily" to your church or as big as inviting her over for Easter dinner. Let's just be obedient today of all days!



Lily photo from FreeFoto.com

Update: I'm in our church choir. Today we sang at both services. Our choir pews are on the alter facing the congregation. So during the services I looked at all the faces to see if I saw anyone unfamiliar. It took me a few minutes, but I finally found a few. All of them were in the back pews! I didn't stand a chance in trying to greet them when I was at the front of the church and they were at the back!! Thankfully, Jesus' last commandment is meant for EVERY day! So even though I wasn't successful today, I'm sure I'll have plenty of other chances. I did at least introduce myself to the woman I'm supposed to teach Sunday School with in April & May! She's fairly new to our church, and I hadn't met her beforehand.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter Eggs

I snapped some pictures yesterday as Cooper dyed his Easter eggs. His response to me was, "Really?" Like I'm so uncool for wanting photos of him doing his eggs! Sadly, the teenager (Sam) didn't want to participate this year. Even Coop told me he is too old for the Easter egg hunt happening at our church today. That surprised me because he'll take free candy any day! (He joined the school choir in 4th grade because the teacher promised candy at the end of the school year. She didn't deliver, so he didn't participate in choir in 5th grade! Yeah, that's my kid!)

I believe he is drawing a Spartan on this egg. Don't ask me why!
Now for the dying!



There's that smile!

BEAUTIFUL EGGS!

Friday, April 2, 2010

MMMMMM......


....Homemade peanut butter cups! SCRUMPTIOUS!! Later this weekend I'll be attempting a Peeps sunflower cake. If it turns out well, I'll post pictures.

Good Friday

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I have been out of the blogosphere for so long that I didn't realize Greg over at Greg's General Store is now sponsoring Thankful Thursdays. I am glad someone has picked this up! If you have a Thankful Thursday post, please stop by Greg's blog and join us this week.

I am thankful for my Easter break! I had today off and don't go back until Tuesday. Our kids have the same break. Oh, and that we're having actual spring like weather makes it a double blessing!

Eric doesn't have today off. In fact, he's having a stressful busy day. However, I am thankful that he is taking a little time to go over to the baseball field with Cooper and throw the ball around. (Although Lord, please give me the strength to be nice despite his stressed out mood!)

I am thankful that I'm 1/3 of the way done with my student profiles for my upcoming parent/teacher conferences.

I am grateful for the mom of one of my students who brought her month old daughter up to me this week and said, "I thought you might like to hold a baby."

I am especially grateful that my nephew and his girlfriend decided they will have the baby that they are expecting together. They decided against other alternatives. I'm looking forward to having a great-nephew in July!

By the way, I'd be REALLY thankful if someone stopped by to clean out my rabbit's cage. I'd give you a Reese's Easter egg! Yes, I'm resorting to bribery.

And God, thank you that my pizza dough is rising for tonight's dinner!! (He is even in the small things!) Amen!

Hyacinths


The Hyacinth is my favorite flower! I can look at this photo and imagine the fragrance coming from them.

On Sunday, I was at the grocery store for the first time in weeks (since I hadn't been able to drive). As soon as I walked into the store, I was bombarded by the fragrance and beauty of the Easter flowers...particularly the Hyacinths. I was actually taken aback because I had forgotten that it was the time of year for them. I couldn't believe that I had forgotten about something that makes me happy! I was tempted to buy one but didn't because I knew my grocery bill was going to be quite large. Maybe I'll treat myself this weekend.

Thank you God for the beauty and delicious scent of my favorite flower!

Photo from FreeFoto.com

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Funny or Sad?!

cartoon from www.weblogcartoons.com

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Random Dozen

This looked fun, so I thought I'd join in!

1. How do you feel about the marshmallow Easter Peeps? I loved them as a kid, but they're too sweet for me now. I especially don't like them when a mom sends them in for snack for my preschool class along with donut holes!!! This combo equals 14 3-year-olds bouncing off the wall!

2. Chickens are notoriously nervous creatures. When you are nervous, what is the best way to calm down? Praying, taking deep breaths, drinking water and picturing Jesus standing behind me with his hands on my shoulders.

3. People say, "April showers bring May flowers." Do you enjoy Spring rains? Sometimes...like when you wake up on a Saturday morning hearing a soft rain coming down. It's very soothing.

4. When I was randomly flipping through TV channels this week, I saw a show in which tattoo parlor employees received tattoos of a co-worker's face on their bodies. I can't imagine having a portrait of a colleague tattooed on me. But if someone forced you to receive a portrait tattoo (face only) of anyone, who would it be? Why? Barb because we've had some "Lucy & Ethel" times!

5. Would you rather have a tattoo (any kind) or a nose ring? A tattoo in a non-obvious place.

6. Do you have any special plans for Easter? Singing at our Good Friday service and at both Easter services.

7. Cadbury Eggs or Reese Eggs? Oh, definitely Reese. I enjoyed one earlier this evening from my secret stash. At least I'm sharing with my husband this year!

8. What was the last thing/person you took a picture of? My students in my 3-year-old class just today. I needed their photos for a bulletin board.

9. What book are you reading now, or what was the last one? Miracle Run

10. What do you think is the most difficult task when it comes to Spring cleaning? Just getting motivated! Cleaning the fans and window air conditioners.

11. How many pairs of flip-flops do you own? 5

12. Which color makes you happiest? My favorite color is red, but I have no idea which color makes me the happiest.

Pop on over to Linda's blog at 2nd Cup of Coffee and following her instructions if you'd like to join in!

"I Get To" Tuesdays

The thought behind this is to list a few things that could come under the category of "Ugh...I have to (you fill in the blank)." However, I want you to look at these "have to's" as blessings of "I get to". We all take for granted such things as our health, jobs, family, friends, etc. and sometimes don't appreciate them or see them as blessings as we should. So here are a few things for me this week.

On Wednesday night, I'll get to go to choir practice. It will be our last one prior to our Good Friday and Easter services. This means it will probably be a long rehearsal. I know I'll be anxious to get out of there because I'll have the next 5 days off from work. Plus, based on the different personalities of our choir members, I won't be surprised if some tension is felt if practice goes on too long. However, I do think that this rehearsal will help me to focus on what this week really means to Christians.

Not only will the choir sing at the 10:30 AM Easter service, we get to be up bright and early to sing at the 8 AM service, too!! I don't do the early service very well! I need to look at this as an opportunity to bless others with our music. Most likely there will be people in attendance who don't go to church on a regular basis. It will be one of the few times they hear the Gospel.

I only have to work three days this week. Since it's the last week of the month, I need to get my classroom changed over from March to April. Due to the short week, I get to do this in 3 afternoons rather than 5. At least it will be all done when I get back from our Easter break!

I get to start going to school next week. I wasn't planning on doing this until the fall, but I found out last week that I need to begin in April. I'm not thrilled with school overlapping with work, but I'm glad I should be able to earn my master's under the current certification requirements. I am also thankful that my husband is being so supportive of me returning to school!

Well, that is my "I Get To" list for this week. Remember, try to find the blessings in your "I Have To's" and turn them into "I Get To's"!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Something to Ponder

What does it mean when your husband gives you flowers for your 20th wedding anniversary and there is a sticker on them that says "Freedom"? Hhmmm.....

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The title for this post just came to me as I clicked on "new post". I think maybe it sums up the past 6 weeks.

First, the good. I've decided to return to school. Something I never imagined I would do at 45. I am going for my masters in special education. Over the years, I have become fascinated with kids who are autistic or have Asperger's Syndrome. I would just love to get inside their minds and figure out how they think and how I can help them adapt to living a "normal" life. (What is normal anyway? I dislike that word!)

This school year I have so many special needs students that I've been drawn into their world even further. So I made the big decision to go back to school. If I'm going to do it, now is the best time. For one thing, I should be done before Sam goes to college. Plus, I feel that the future of our type of preschool is questionable, and therefore, I should prepare now for a new job. Also, if I feel led in the direction of working with special needs kids, then I think I should follow my interests, my heart and most of all, God's calling on my life.

Thankfully, I have Eric's full support in this! Especially since I gave my resignation at work, effective the end of this school year. I know I wouldn't do a good job balancing school, work, and parenting. Something had to go and obviously it had to be my job. I will terribly miss being with the little ones and my coworkers, but I know it's for a good reason.

Next, the bad. Almost a month ago, I was in bed for two days with an awful headache, nausea and dizziness. Since then I have felt off balance and slightly dizzy. Looking at the TV or computer screen bother me sometimes and riding in a car can make me dizzy. In fact, poor Eric had to be my chauffeur for three weeks! After seeing my doctor, an ENT and having a CAT scan of my sinuses done, we think we have a diagnosis. The ENT believes I have Meniere's Disease, which is an inner ear disorder. I have 3 out of the 4 symptoms. You can read about Meniere's here.

It's not a fatal condition, but there isn't a cure. For some people it can become very debilitating. In fact, I could eventually lose my hearing in my right ear. The ENT prescribed something for my dizziness, and he told me to go on a low sodium diet. This will reduce my body's fluid retention and decrease the fluid in my inner ear. I have to see my ENT again in about 3 weeks. If I do have Meniere's Disease, then I can look forward to "attacks" of vertigo for the rest of my life. Swell.

Now, for the ugly. And when I say ugly, I mean UGLY! Just prior to the "bad" I came down with this horrible looking, itchy, scaly rash on my face and one side of my neck. In fact, my neck looked and felt like I had a really bad sunburn. I had to put an ice pack on it one day. I had this for about a week. Then it went away when my doctor prescribed a steroid for me, only to return as soon as I finished the medication. I ended up seeing a dermatologist. He thought that I came into physical contact with something that caused an allergic reaction. What that something was we don't know. I've ended up changing all of my hair and facial products and am now using all allergy free products. Some of them I can't even get in stores and have to order them online instead. Expensive and a pain!

I have pictures of the "ugliness", but I'm not so sure I want to share them. I had to go for days without using makeup or hairspray. I keep wondering if God was trying to humble me for some reason. I'm not a real "girly" girl, but I do like to have my face on and my hair in place. I didn't want to go out looking like I did because I was embarrassed and because I didn't want to creep people out. Thankfully this all happened around the time that we had several snow days, so I didn't have to miss too much work. I did end up taking a couple of days off because I didn't want to scare my students or their parents.

So there you have it...the good, the bad and the ugly of me (minus hideous photos)...or why I've been MIA lately. I'd like to definitely say that I'm back, however, for the next two months work and school will be overlapping. I have to take one class beginning right after Easter in order to finish my master's in time to be considered under the current state certification requirements. (They're getting ready to change them!) I also may have to take a class this summer. So if you see a pile of papers sitting around in the near future, lift it up to see if I'm buried underneath!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Funny for Valentine's Day

His lips are like lilies dripping with myrrh....His mouth is sweetness itself; he is altogether lovely. Song of Songs 5:13, 16

I hope your Valentine has sweet words for you today...unlike this funny guy!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

This is for Kelly!

Chatty Kelly had a post that caught my eye last night. It made me chuckle because I could relate, and it also spoke a truth. So I decided to expose our current messy side, too! Praise God for loving us whether we're clean or have a case of the messies!





Eric's desk.


My personal disaster!