Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuesday Night Edition of What's For Dinner

Ahhhh.  I love a good meal, don't you?  There is something so comfortable and relaxing about sitting around the dinner table with all your loved ones, bonding over a lovingly cooked meal.  (Maybe not always lovingly cooked.) 

Tonight's menu was thanks to Big Daddy.  Chicken Marsala.  I used to make this all the time before kids came along...and back when the wine I had in the house wasn't the cooking variety.  Nowadays, things are different, and I was forced to buy a cheap bottle of cooking wine.  I know, I know...this is a cooking faux pas!  Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) says you should never cook with a wine you wouldn't drink.  What's a non-drinking gal to do? 

So, here's to using the cheap, undrinkable stuff. 


And yes, I totally take pictures of things now with the intention of posting them on my blog.  The quality might be bad again...these are usually taken from my cell phone camera. 

The recipe was wonderful.  I'm going post the link to it, in case you would like it. 

http://www.cooking.com/recipes-and-more/recipes/Chicken-Marsala-with-Basil-Mushroom-recipe-6586.aspx?_mid=1103020&_rid=1103020.34100.1666642&ref=http%3a%2f%2fnews.email-cooking.com%2ftrack%3ftype%3dclick%26enid%3dzwfzptembwfpbgluz2lkptexmdmwmjambwvzc2fnzwlkptixnjkwnizkyxrhymfzzwlkptm0mtawjnnlcmlhbd0xnjc4mdy1nyzlbwfpbglkpwiyz2fycmlzb25abmv0c2nhcguubmv0jnvzzxjpzd0xxze2njy2ndimdgfyz2v0awq9jmzspszlehryyt1ndwx0axzhcmlhdgvjzd0mjiy%3d%26%26%262022%26%26%26http%3a%2f%2fwww.cooking.com%2faff%2fa.asp%3fa%3dcknwrdne01310a%26s%3ds2014229615s%26_mid%3d1
103020%26_rid%3d1103020.34100.1666642#axzz1l4t31Zz1

Hope that works since it looks strange on the posting screen. 

Anyway, if you're reading, thank you, Bill!  I did leave out the basil on the occasion that I could not find it anywhere in Kroger yesterday.  And I had nothing to improvise with except parsley, and it was looking a little wilted. 

Here are the fragrant mushrooms:


I was trying to blow the steam away so the picture would be more clear, but was unsuccessful.  You get the drift. 

Here's the seasoned chicken:


The recipe calls for chicken breasts, but I like to use tenderloins.  They're just more kid-friendly. 

Speaking of kids, once again, they all loved it.  I served this main dish with salad and homemade dressing, buttered noodles and garlic bread.  We had to stop eating in order to save some leftovers for Todd.  Since he's working tonight, he missed dinner and was a little upset that I was making this without him here to enjoy it with us.  He can now have this tomorrow night, while the rest of us enjoy hot grilled sandwiches. 

A couple more random photos:


This is Jonah's new backpack.  It's bigger than he is, but he loves it.  I had to send back their LL Bean backpacks because the zippers were broken, and this is one that they replaced it with.  Noah didn't get his picture made because he was in the backseat. 


Have I told you that Drew enjoys origami?  This is one of his creations.  He sat in front of the computer last night and this is what he made.  :)

And lastly, in case you need to remember God's promises:


This one's for you.  Look right under the loop hanging from the telephone poll (on the left side, almost at the middle of the photo).  Graham spotted this on the way to Lacrosse practice this afternoon.  :)  I love little visuals of God, don't you?

Since it's past my bedtime, I'd best say goodnight.  So, goodnight.  Love to all. 

Mama Bear

So, I had a little run in with another teacher from the middle school yesterday.  :-(  Unfortunately, sometimes I have this problem of going into Mama Bear mode.  I'm not a confrontational person, but here lately...oh my goodness.  I hate that I am like this sometimes.  And I asked a friend (who also had a run in with this teacher over the same issue with her son) to please remind me to NOT do that again. 

Sometimes I have a hard time remembering this.


I think I also forgot to pray before I sent the email. 

So, I had to go back and apologize for jumping to any conclusions, and though I do not like the outcome, at least it's just one little moment in time. 

I don't really want to post what it was right now...maybe next week when I've cooled off a little.  I think my feelings are still hurt. 

Isn't it funny, how that works?  I am so pouty sometimes!  Somedays it stinks being a girl. 

Are you like this with your kids?  I think we all have to be this way a little...because if we don't stand up for our kids, who will?  But still...I should have prayed first. 

Thank you to my friends who've been leaving comments!  It makes my heart so happy to see that little number in that section.  Feel free to keep sharing the love! 

Love to all. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Dinner...Monday Night Edition

I told my Mom tonight that it's a joy cooking for people who love what you cook.  And it is.  I love cooking, and always have.  I've just had picky eaters.  It's easy to start disliking to cook when you have little people that won't eat what you make. 

That being said, everyone in my house has done a great job of trying everything that I've made.  They haven't all loved every little thing, but they've all tried it and admitted that it was better than they thought. 

Even tonight's recipe. 

Which was Simple, Perfect Chili.  By The Pioneer Woman.  Click here to see her blog.  To get the recipe, click here

It was amazing.  Every last slurp of it.  Even down to the lime wedges.  Ahmaazing!  My Mom and Bill (my food critic) agreed.  :) 

How was your dinner?  Our was fantastic!  And yes, I did make Southern fried chicken strips for the few picky ones that were protesting the chili.  Because even though they tried it, it had a definite kick to it.  But it was oh, so good!

Sorry I don't have any pictures...I was so hungry by the time I got the food in the bowl, that all thought had flown out of my brain.  Love to all!

Happy Monday!

Okay, so the pictures in my previous post are horribly blurry.  They were taken from my phone, but so were many of the others you've seen on here.  I don't know why these were any different.  Oh, well.  If they made you feel cross-eyed, I'm sorry.  They made me feel that way. 

I do not love getting up early on Monday mornings.  I kept on pushing the snooze button this morning, and finally decided to get up.  The dogs are so funny, especially Crash.  Andy waits on me to come downstairs everyday, but the minute I turn on the upstairs lamp in the hall, Crash starts whimpering.  It's like he's been waiting so patiently, and he is done.  It always takes a minute to get to him, because I take all the dirty clothes to the laundry, turn on a living room lamp (because it's still dark) and turn on a kitchen light.  Andy just stands and waits patiently, Crash on the other hand...not so much. 

I desperately need to go to the grocery store.  I have my meals planned out for the week, but I'll post about that later.  I need the dinner items and I need lunch box items.  I'm so low on things in my pantry that Graham and Drew are buying today.  Pitiful.  Do you make your kids' lunches every morning?  What do you put in them?  I'd love to know...I try to switch things up some, so I love new ideas. 

I started my latest book last night.  I'd been putting it off because I was excited about it.  I always do that with the Janet Evanovich books.  I love them and always read them in a couple of days.  The one I'm reading now is Smoking Seventeen.  So far, so good!  If you read her books...I have a question?  Morelli or Ranger?

To not have a lot of food in my house right now, I was impressed with what I could come up with for Graham's and Drew's breakfast.  Cheese toast and turkey bacon.  :)  They love it. 

One of my favorite things to do in the mornings is to catch up on the blogs I love.  Which ones do you like to read?  Most of mine don't write often enough. 

I'm going to get started on my laundry.  What I can, anyway, since I'm all out of detergent.  Seriously...who (with four kids) runs out of laundry detergent???  Me, apparently. 

Happy Monday and love to all.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Update

It's been a great weekend.  Lots of family time, a little bit of friends...the perfect amount.  Friday night, my Mom, sisters, Tricia and Lisa, and I went to see One For The Money.  My Mom, Lisa and I have been reading Janet Evanovich's books for seventeen years.  We're up to reading number seventeen right now, although number eighteen was just released.  So, of course, we had to go see the movie.  

I liked it, although, I'm seeing on Facebook that most people didn't.  It's a movie that was made from a book, so my expectations weren't all that high.  But I was pleasantly surprised, and let's face it...I don't see many movies, so most movies I see, I like.  :)  In my opinion, they cost too much.  I love seeing them, but I do not love spending that money.  

After the movie, I came home and did this:


I went back to being brunette.  This is very close to my natural hair color, judging from the two inch roots I had showing.  I had gotten WAY too blond, and although I loved the highlights at first, I am tired of keeping up with them.  I think I'm ready to stay one color for a nice long while.  We'll see.  It actually looks a little darker than this in person, so it's a little shocking, but I like it.  I am counting on kids asking, "Mrs. Goodwin, why did you paint your hair???" tomorrow.  Gotta love kids!

Yesterday, Todd, Graham, Drew and Nate (my 5th son) went to Lacrosse practice.  I sat around and did laundry and read.  So much for cleaning the upstairs.  Hmph.  The good thing is that the mess isn't going anywhere....so why the pressure to clean right away?

Jonah and Noah did a lot of this:



I love when they use their little imaginations.

When we started getting hungry (around eleven), we were watching a cooking show, my new fave, The Pioneer Woman.  I was inspired to make French toast.  As I went into the pantry to get the ingredients, I found this:


(Yes the shelf paper is from the eighties, and no my entire pantry does not look like this.  This is the chip/cookie shelf.)

Jonah lost his little puppy dog and I found it in the pantry.  Makes sense, right?

Lunch was yummy.  So was the dinner we had at my mom's house.  It's been a good weekend.  It's almost time to get back to the real world.  Tonight, Drew has to finish writing about his science fair project.  It's due Thursday, and the only thing I want him to have to do is to assemble it to the project board.  I think he can handle that deadline.  Why on earth they feel the need to make a science fair project a requirement is beyond me.  Most kids can't do it all alone...although Drew is.  And Graham did last year.  I am all about them being independent for school.  We don't help much, unless it's to explain something.

How has your weekend been?

Enjoy what's left of it!  Love to all. 


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Things That Make You Go Hmmmm

Sounds like a song, huh?

I wonder if my dog is teething?  He is rolling all around on the dog bed, gnawing on a rope.  And on the rubber end of it.

I wonder if people could observe themselves, would they act differently?

I wonder if Andy the Wonder Dog hates me.  This might be why he randomly get a pb&j sandwich every once in a blue moon.  :-)

I wonder if the maid is ever going to get caught up on all her laundry and house cleaning?

I wonder if I'm addicted to carmex?

I wonder if we all just smiled more, what in the world would this place be like?!

I wonder if Frito Lays knows how amazing their cheddar sour cream chips are?

I wonder if people know the power of their words?

I wonder if they DID, would they change them into a softer, non-accusatory tone?

I wonder if I have always known the meaning of being (and having) a friend?  A true one?

I wonder if people know how amazing Jesus is.  And how He, when we pray, replaces our fears with calm, our upset with peace, and our troubles for joy?  But you have to ask.  And you have to believe.

I wonder if each one of us continuously poured into just one person, what would happen?  (Our church is offering a challenge similar to "each one, reach one".)

I wonder if anyone reads this?  Because I don't get very many comments.  :-(

Love to all.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What's For Dinner, Tuesday Edition

Well, there will be other stuff than just dinner on this blog post.  Just wanted to warn you.

This morning started off bright and early at the middle school.  I had to park far away, so as I was walking, I was thinking how much I will miss seeing this building everyday.  (The kids will have a brand new middle school next school year.)


I am such a sucker for historical buildings.  I never had the privilege of going to this school back when it was Collierville High School, but all my sisters did grace the hallways with their presence.  I have several pictures up on Facebook for them, because I know they like to remember what those days were like. 


Yes, I was standing in the middle of College Street.  There were no cars coming, though, so no worries. 

And yes, I took these pictures with this blog in mind.  Crazy, huh?  It seems nowadays I have lots to say about lots of different things, and my friend Shari would be proud to know that I enjoy using pictures. 

So, after awards were presented this morning for honor roll, we got to eat donuts and have milk.  :)  Poor Todd can't drink milk anymore, so he had to have water.  God love him...milk makes his sinuses go crazy, so he doesn't drink it anymore.  After we ate, we got to sit around and visit. 


I love these middle school kids.  :)  These two guys came to sit with Graham as we sat around the lunch table and chatted.  Isn't this a great picture??  Todd had just taken my picture with Graham and Thomas (the one with his head thrown back) was making fun of him.  (All in good nature.)  I told him to keep on doing it.  He did.  So I took this picture.  :)  And now it's on my blog.  Alex is the boy next to him.  I love their expressions...makes me happy to see happy kids.  We also go to church with Alex. 




Me and my Graham.  :)  He took this picture with a good attitude.  Somebody is just like his daddy and does not like to have his picture taken. 



Lastly is dinner!  It was yummy.  We had pork chops, salad (with homemade ranch dressing), roasted broccoli and cauliflower and bread.  I marinated the pork chops in Italian dressing, then seared them in a pan with olive oil until they were nice and crusty on the outside.  I finished them in the oven, at 375 for 30 minutes.  I scraped the pan that I seared them in and drizzled that on top of them, then poured the leftover marinade over them. 

Success!  Once again, everyone loved it.  Nobody had anything left on their plates.  I even have enough leftover for one person to have it another night this week.  Awesome!

What was for dinner at your house? 

Love to all!

Inspired By A Friend



Is it hard for you to trust God?  When His plans aren't quite what your plans were? 

What does it mean for YOU to trust God?

To me, it reminds me of playing the game Spades.  In the game, a team member can opt to go "nil" or "blind nil", which means they are going to try to NOT score (mess up).  You have to trust that your partner will carry your weight.

One friend on Facebook said that for her, trusting God would be like walking a tightrope with a blindfold on.  When all that can get you to the other side is quietly listening for that small, still voice. 

What does trusting God mean to you? 

Share some love and comment.  Love to all!

Tuesday

I know it's going to be a good day when I wake up before my alarm goes off!  It's a good thing, too...since today is hair-washing day.  (I don't wash my hair everyday...sometimes I go three or four days without doing it.  Washing curly hair dries it out really bad, and since mine is already very dry...and colored...well, you get my drift.) 

I have decided that I have a love/hate relationship with Evil Knievel/Crash.  I think that dogs just have bad days sometimes.  Goodness knows I do...it makes sense for dogs, too.  Thank you to my sweet friend, Kathy, that told me this yesterday at work.  She works in our school's front office, and she almost always has some kind of wisdom for me...whether it be for my kids or my dogs.  She is a foster parent for golden retrievers...so she knows a lot about our furry friends.

Today is awards day for seventh grade.  I am glad that Drew is okay with Graham getting one and the fact that he didn't.  I just stopped writing to tell him how proud of him I am.  I don't need an award with his name on it telling me how smart he is...I already know that he is smart.  Unfortunately, a C in reading in the first nine weeks messed it up for him...but he has since pulled that way up.  I am proud of them both.  :)

I love making lunches for my kids.  Today I packed an amazing lunch for Graham and Drew.  Salad, chicken tenders for the salad, croutons to go in it, chips and a dessert.  They are so excited about lunch today.  (And dinner tonight...my kids LOVE pork chops!)  I am finding out that the saying "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach" is true. 

I have given in and started taking Graham and Drew to school everyday.  I am glad, since I found out their bus driver was suspended for cursing a student out.  (Not judging her, because I couldn't put up with some of those kids...just thankful that my kids have a nice, calm environment riding to school now.)

I am starting to LOVE Thursdays!!!  I never thought I would say that, but I do!  Our afternoons are insanely busy, but I love them.  We go from picking JUST Jonah and Noah up from school, to lacrosse practice, to the chiropractor, and then to my in-love's house for dinner.  I am sucker for traditions...and this one is becoming one of my favorites. 

I have to go...must wake up Jonah and Noah and get Graham and Drew off to school.  Happy Tuesday!  Love to all!

*Lord, I pray that today you clothe me in gentleness, kindness, patience and humility.  All for Your glory.  Amen.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Goofin' Around & What's For Dinner

:)  I sent my sweet Christa a "helluuuur" picture today of moi.  Wanna see it?


I miss that girl.  We haven't talked in like fourteen years, so after this picture, she sent me one back and then we scheduled a phone date.  :)  And proceeded to talk for 45 minutes.  I don't think we've talked that long since before she got married.  It was loverly. 

We were able to talk because I was at an elementary school while Graham's lacrosse team practiced.  And all the other kids were out playing on the playground.  It was heaven.  We decided to end it when my kids started getting back in the car. 

So, this week is week TWO of being prepared for dinner every single night.  And tonight was a success.  :)  Wanna see?


This was slap-your-mama good.  The fish is tilapia.  I baked it at 375 for seventeen minutes.  I think the package said 12-14, but I started at 12 and had to add five more.  I let it marinade in olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice.  Right before putting it into the oven I squeezed more lemon juice on it.  Yummmmmm.

The kids devoured it.  In fact, Noah and Drew had two pieces. 

The veggies and cheese you see are oven roasted potatoes and broccoli.  I saw Giada do some veggies this way yesterday and thought I would try it.  I sprinkled olive oil on the tops of the potatoes and broccoli, then added a little salt and pepper.  I roasted them at 425 for fifteen minutes.  At the last minute I added cheese, hoping that my picky eater(s) would try it.  He did.  And said, "I kinda like it.".  I'll take that.  He also tried some salad and said the same thing.  Progress!  Can you guess which one is picky?

The other sides are black beans and rice.  I don't usually fix two starches, but the potatoes were a last minute add on...and who eats fish without rice?  Well, not us.  Not since we met our little friends from the Children of the World choir a couple years ago. 

Dinner was a hit.  I had to take a picture, because I thought it looked pretty.  :)

Tomorrow night's menu is pork chops, and oven-roasted broccoli and cauliflower.  I might take another picture...but I'll let you know how it turns out.  I don't know how I'm going to do the pork chops yet...any recommendations on what you do to them?  I don't want them to be chewy and rubbery.  Feel free to share the love and comment. 

I'll end with a picture I saw on Facebook posted by Women After God.  I really like this saying...it's close to what my old pastor used to say.  "Attitude is the most important thing you put on everyday." 

Enjoy your family tonight.  Love to all. 


Oh, and the picky eater would be this little guy.


Jonah.  Not Nana.  I love this picture of her, though, so I thought I would post it. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

storms


"Don't be afraid, for I am with you; don't be discouraged, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you.  I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."  Isaiah 41:10

Lord, keep us all safe tonight.  In Your name I ask this, amen.

Love to all.

a few of my favorite things (another Sunday edition)









All of these images were taken from Women After God on Facebook.  Happy Sunday.  Love to all. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Saturday Morning Random

I read a friend's blog yesterday and was leaving a comment when I thought of this statement: if you stay in the Word, the Word stays in you.  Isn't that true?  If we take that time to read God's Word, we will be so encouraged.  Especially if you read in the New Testament.  Or the book of Psalm. 

I actually got up and made breakfast.  I know, right?  It is Saturday, though.  I made turkey bacon and crescent rolls.  I don't know what it is with that combo, but my kids love it.  And what is UP with me and this cooking binge?  My kids like it, though.  :)

I am happy when my house is full.  I love that my kids love to have their friends over.  I think we're pretty fun to hang out with, too.  You never know when I might randomly burst into song.  :)  I make up little ditty's all the time at my kids, and when their friends are here, well...I might as well sing to them, too, right?

I am watching CMT music videos right now.  The song God Gave Me You is on right now...by Blake Shelton.  I love this song!  And yes, I know it's not new...I've heard it plenty of times, I just really like it.

I'm thinking of going back to being a brunette.  I know, right?  I've lost count on how much my hair color has changed in the past year or three.

So, in watching CMT, I see a commercial for My Big Redneck Vacation?  Really?  Okay...if I am what I watch, then I might be in trouble. 

Todd took Graham to lacrosse practice this morning.  The other five boys that are here are in my front yard playing "capture the flag".  I looked outside and saw that they were across the street searching in Mr. Dan's flower bed.  Yikes...they're at least back on my side of the street now.  I wonder if they're frozen yet.  They've been outside for 45 minutes, and my computer says that it's a balmy 32 degrees.  (It was sixty-five last night.)

Graham and I made cake balls last night.  Shut your mouth.  They are unbelievably delicious.  It's a good thing they're a royal pain in the rump, because I will not be making them again for a long time.  You take a boxed cake mix and bake it according to the instructions.  Once the cake has been baked and is completely cooled off, you mix an entire container of the frosting of your choice into the crumbled cake mixture.  Once that's all mixed (you have to use your hands, which I hated but Graham loved), form them into balls.  I made mine a little bigger because I was already over this whole process.  Once the balls are formed, you melt any kind of candy coating you prefer.  I used all chocolate (cake, frosting and candy coating).  Once the coating hardens, enjoy!

They were (still ARE) amazing. 

I told you...I'm on this cooking binge.  These cake balls are a huge hit with all these boys I have in my house.  Well, except for the one (Hopper, we like to call him) that doesn't like chocolate. 

Laundry is calling my name.  And my nails...I need to redo them all.  And my Bible reading...can't forget that.  My Youversion app is blinking at me from my phone, so I'll do that first.  Enjoy your day!  Love to all!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Weekly Meals

It's Friday and week one of being completely ready for dinner each night was a huge success! 

Sadly, we were only home for three nights...well, four I guess, but Wednesday night was so fast that I'm not counting it.

Here's what we had, in case anyone is interested. 

Monday night was Herbed Shrimp Pasta and bread drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and dill weed. 

8 oz angel hair pasta
1 cup butter
1 1/2 lbs peeled shrimp
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup chopped parsely
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp fresh dillweed (optional...I left this out)

Cook pasta according to directions.  Drain, set aside.
Melt butter over medium high heat, add shrimp and garlic.
Cook, stirring constantly, 3 to 5 minutes, or until shrimp turns pink. 
Remove shrimp and set aside, reserving garlic and butter.
Add half and half, bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, or until thickened.
Add shrimp, parsely, salt, pepper and dillweed.  Stir until blended.  Serve over pasta.  Yield: 6 servings.

It was so good!  I bookmarked it to let me know to cook this again.

Tuesday night we had Creamy Chicken Casserole.

3 cups cooked chicken
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 (8 oz) carton sour cream
1 T poppy seeds
1 1/2 cups crushed Ritz crackers (1 sleeve)
1/4 cup butter, melted

Combine first 4 ingredients; spoon into lightly greased casserole dish (11x7).  Combine crushed crackers and butter, and sprinkle over chicken mixture.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 30 minutes.  Yield: 4 servings.

I've made this before, but man was it good again.  It's been a while.  Jonah wasn't thrilled with it, but he did manage to choke it down.  (I know, right?)  I served this with salad and homemade dressing, which only Drew and I ate.

Wednesday night we had church, so for that night I made hot turkey and cheese sammy's.  

Thursday night we had dinner with my in-love's.  Thanks, Phyllis!
 
Tonight we are having hot dogs and macaroni and cheese...per their request.  BUT, the mac'n'cheese is homemade.  So yummy!!  The ultimate comfort food.  If you would like the recipe for that, click here.  

Tomorrow night is dinner with my Mom and Bill and Sunday night is...I don't know.  Maybe dinner with Travis and Katie?  Again?

This has been a successful week, and for that I am thankful.  And I'm thankful Jonah is still breathing.  Because this kid's eating habits are enough to make a nun curse.  

Happy weekend!  Love to all. 

what's up?

I love mornings.  LOVE them.  I have always been a morning person.  I get the most accomplished in the least amount of time.  Once I eat lunch, I'm not so great.  Maybe I would be if I stayed home more, but since I don't...well, you get the drift. 

The thing I love most about my mornings right now is the quiet time I've been practicing.  Since December 30th, I have made a concentrated effort to have at least 30 minutes of quiet in the morning.  It's not necessarily the first thing I do, but once I am awake and my mind is alert, I read my Bible plan for the day and pray.  And journal...I've gotten away from the art of journaling, and since I got a new one for Christmas, I have picked it back up. 

Turns out I have much to write about. 

I write out what I've read for the day (I'm reading the chronological Bible in a year), and I write out prayers.  Personal stuff.  Why do I do this?  Because I want my husband and kids to know how much I pour over their sweet names in prayer and in Scripture.  Their names are also all over my Bible. 

Why? 

Because should anything ever happen to me, I want them to have these letters from me.  And I want each of my sons to have at least one of my Bibles. 

I am now marking up Bible number four. 

Added to this blessed time of Bible reading, I've also been completing my Bible study homework.  I'm participating in Beth Moore's newest: James: Mercy Triumphs.  I love it.  I feel like it was written just for me.  Especially today's homework, which was all about wisdom. 

The good Lord knows I need it.  I'm seeking Him in a couple of areas right now, and it's like He timed this perfectly.  I know He did. 

So that's what I've been doing in the mornings.  I love this time and am unwilling to part with even one of my precious mornings.  What have you been up to this week?  Comment, and share the love. 

Love to all. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Words...Again

I had a thought today: for those of us on Facebook...does our Facebook activity reflect who we are?  It should.  I think it says a lot about someone...whether joyful, thankful, sad, full of complaints...I am challenged to watch my words. 

I cried over a blog post written by my friend, Marian, yesterday.  It was about her beloved dog, Zeus, and reminded me of that day last year when I was convinced Andy was about to die.  Seriously...I boohooed.  And then today as I told her that at work, I laughed so hard over our dog antics that I almost cried. 

My laundry has not been touched since Monday.  It's piling up and is close to overtaking my laundry room.  Yup, you read right.  I am human.  But the one thing I have not neglected is reading the Bible!  I am so excited over my daily reading...I crave this time.  Crave it. 

I am in a new Bible study at church.  It's the new Beth Moore one on James...it's called Mercy Triumphs.  I love the homework so far. 

My stomach has been hurting a lot lately...last night, this morning...right now.  :-( 

Drew had number one of his two part evaluation today at the Southern College of Optometry.  It was stated that he does definitely need vision therapy...once a week for anywhere from eight to twenty four weeks.  Yowza.  That is a LOT of school to miss and a lot of work to have to think about.  :-(  I foresee a future meeting with my boss.  (Did I mention that he is seeing double?  His eyes are not working with one another, and we are trying to correct this.  My dad had this when he was young, and so did my mother-in-law.)

I am thinking ahead to next year in school...and am in some need of prayer, if you are the praying type.  I am praying for guidance and for wisdom and discernment.  And clear-headedness. 

I made a very judgmental comment tonight watching American Idol, and now I feel bad.  :-( 

We watched the season premier of American Idol!  I loved that last guy, Phillip Phillips.  (I know, right??)

I am on a reading kick.  As in, cannot get enough time in to read.  I came home on Tuesday, read the Bible, completed two days of Bible study homework, and ate lunch so I could finish the amazing book I was reading. 

I'm thinking of painting my kitchen.  I warned Todd tonight that someday in the distant future he might come home to a new kitchen.  :-)  And I'm not even telling him the color.  My mom and I were brainstorming this morning.  Mom is really good at helping pick colors and picking the perfect fabric to make curtains.  And she just so happens to be bored right now, so why not???

I also want to paint the playroom...but before that happens, it needs to be cleaned out.  This task overwhelms me.  Kinda like the attic...same thing.  It needs cleaning, but it's too overwhelming!

Birthdays are going to be here before I know it.  Exciting!!!

I cannot believe Todd and I agreed upon the fact that Graham could buy a set of drums. 

I am in the process of trying to develop a new habit of planning out our entire week's worth of meals...and week one has been a success.  :-) 

I have to go to bed before my stomach makes me any more miserable. 

Love to all. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pet Peeves

I have them.  I have lots of them.  Do you?  I thought I would share a few...in case you were dying to know.

Teachers who are mean.  I am in the middle of a little "tiff" with one of Graham's teachers.  Do they not know and realize the power of their words?  You can literally make or break a seventh grader with your words alone...their self-esteems are very fragile at this point in time, and shame on them for not being mindful of that!

The commercial on cable for the new show "Taboo". 

Holy socks.  (And yes, I know that is not really a word, at least when it comes to socks...but you get my drift.)

Hair on my floor.  Dog hair.  For all these years I thought Andy's hair was bad.  Then came Crash.  His little white hairs are all over my hardwood, and it is enough to drive me bonkers!

Chapped lips.  Mine are horribly chapped right now, and the only thing that soothes them is Carmex.  (Carlips.  Grin.)

Mean kids.  I am almost to the point of being fed up...I hate how politically correct everything is nowadays, and how mean kids are rewarded for doing good on one day, and good kids (who are good ALL the time) are ignored.  Do NOT get me started.  I'd better stop right there. 

Parents that aren't parents.  Get the picture?

Chipped nailpolish.  Mine is chipped right now, and driving me nuts.  I need to go fix it, but can't seem to find the energy.  I am going to read my new Debbie Macomber book instead.  :)

Kids that argue.  That is all. 

Weather that can't decide what to do...today it was almost seventy degrees...tonight, as I write this, my computer says forty-one.  Grrrrrr.

That sick, moist/humid feeling.  And what my hair looks like on such days.  Curly hair only likes cold weather. 

The two/to/too, there/their/they're mistake.  Learn it, people!!!  And you would be shocked at how many people make that mistake. 

That's about all I can think of for now (actually, I could go on, but I don't want to seem too down-in-the-dumps!). 

What are some of your pet peeves?  I know you have them.  Leave some love.  Comment.  I know you read this.  Yup, YOU.  :)

Love to all!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Character of my Kids

Graham.  Twelve, going on twenty-two.  Legalistic.  Leader.  Helper. 



The first picture was taken when he was eight.  I think?  Andy is in the backseat, so it's been within the six years we've had him.  And yes, he is truly driving that Jeep.  The passenger you see is my husband's best friend, Bob.  The driving was taking place on Bob's farm. 

Drew.  Funny.  Loyal.  Loves to laugh.  Friend.  Tenderhearted.  Compassionate. 


Drew was fishing with Big Daddy.


Drew got this shiner by not holding his baseball glove in front of his face.  This eye started with a goose egg and ended in the colors of the rainbow.  He was so proud of his black eye!  And the girls loved it.


I'm pretty sure this was on his birthday.  Crazy kid. 

Jonah.  Helper.  Compassionate.  Smiley.  Bossy. 


My favorite picture of Jonah ever...this was taken in Nashville when he and Noah were two years old.  :)


Mr. Blue Eyes, himself.  And those precious little dimples.  And sweet red cheeks.  :) 

Noah.  Sweet.  Complimentary.  Encouraging.  Loves to draw.  Quietly reserved. 


Sweet, baby Noah.  


 A really cool park in Nashville. 


His favorite jeans ever, and his first time in a pair of ice skates.  This was after a Memphis Riverkings game. 

Love to all. 

Jonah



He has a special heart.  He reminds me of Graham when he was that age.  On Tuesday, Jonah was so excited to come home and tell me a story.  He had been in class that afternoon when their room's intercom buzzed and an assistant called and asked if Jonah could please come to the office.  (Words that would probably scare most kids!)

Once he got there, it was explained to him that the principal had asked for him specifically.

There was a special friend on the playground that they wanted to teach to use the rope climb.  Jonah had helped with this friend in the past in the classroom, and he is really good with him.  Because of that, the principal knew that Jonah would do good with him on the playground.

So, Jonah went out and demonstrated for him.  :)  A little bird told me that the friend listened really well to Jonah, and he ended up accomplishing exactly what they wanted him to.   

As I walked by our principal yesterday, she stopped me and told me what a great job Jonah had done.  I thanked her for choosing him to work with our special friend.  I also told her she had made his entire week by singling him out.  A funny thing about twins is that usually never happens.  I'm glad it did for a day.  A little extra attention never hurt anybody.

I am really proud of this special boy of mine.  (They're ALL special in their own separate ways...but this day, I am talking about my little Jonah.)  It does a Mom's heart good to hear good things about her kids.  Especially coming from the principal of the school...who sees literally hundreds of kids everyday and interacts with them.

Thank You, Lord, for the gift You gave me in my kids.



Love to all.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

reactions

We all have them...reactions, that is.  Sometimes I am really quick to react in a certain situation.  Usually when that happens, I know that I have not done or said the right thing. 

Other times, I take a long, deep breath and then pray.  :)  Because when I ask for God to give me the words, He does.  Just because it happens like that doesn't mean I want to scream.  I usually do, but it slowly fades. 

These times, these instances that cause my reactions are good lessons.  Lessons in patience, lessons in how to remain calm, lessons in humility...all of these things are things to learn from. 

Some days I learn a lot.  :( 

Some days I forget to pray this verse that I love to pray:

"May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in Your sight O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer."  (Psalm 19:14)

Some days my intentions are taken the wrong way. 

Some days I might seem like I'm boasting. 

And then I remember that verse...the one that says (something to the extent of) "if I boast in one thing, may it be in the Lord".  And then I have to apologize. 

Even when it might be something I've done or said unintentionally.  (I always tell my kids, "Even if it's an accident, you STILL have to say you're sorry!")  Same thing applies to me. 

I am human.  I am flawed.  But still...I am loved by the Lord.  All of us are...thankfully, He doesn't require that we be "good enough" for His love...His love just IS

How do you react?

Love to all. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Listening

Wow, God.  It's all I can say.  Well, except for what I'm about to write.  ;-)

I was listening to the Klove morning show as I was getting dressed, and I heard the d.j.'s talking about how the words "restore" and "renew" are being used in the medical field today.  In a fad sort of way.  Even as I heard them say that, I could think back on recently hearing the words, "renew your mind" in the past few weeks.  Have you heard them spoken?  Or seen them written?


I'm on day twelve of my Chronological Bible in a year.  The only reason I even tell you that is because (without even knowing it) you are my motivation.  My accountability.  I cannot do something so important to me without some accountability.  So, even if you might not have known it until now, thank you.  :)

Anyway, in today's reading, I am still in the book of Job.  I am shocked at all I am getting out of this book!  I've read it all before, but something about it this time around is just jumping out at me, almost every single day.  I wanted to share with you what I got today.  (And please know that what I am writing is at myself...not you...I don't ever want you to think I'm "preaching" at you.  It's usually for me, and I get so excited that I have to share it.)

I read chapters 32, 33 and 34 today.  At this point in the book, Job has spoken his peace, his "friends" have spoken their peace, and now it's Elihu's turn to speak up.  He's kept silent up till now because of his age.  He is much younger than the other friends, and only when they've finished does he speak.  And I love what he has to say!

The first verse that jumped out at me was in Chapter 32, verse 8. 

"But it is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding.

I wish I could give a number as to how many times I have prayed, asking for wisdom and understanding.  And I always get it...maybe not the wisdom or understanding that I thought I was going to get...but God's wisdom and understanding.  At those times, I have to simply trust Him...that His way is much better than my way.  And yes, that is very hard.  But He always uses it in some way that I might or might not understand.  The key is to trust.  Do you? 

The next verses are totally appropriate for my blog.  I love to write and share what is on my heart.  I know that not everyone believes Who and What I believe in, but that's okay.  My prayer is that what you read on here will plant a seed in your heart, and that someday you will remember some of God's truth. 

Job 32:18  "For I am full of words, and the spirit within me compels me." 

Job 33:3&4  "My words come from an upright heart; my lips sincerely speak what I know.  The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life." 

I have good intentions when I write.  I promise. 

I love this next one:

Job 33:14  "For God does speak-now one way, now another-though man may not perceive it." 

He has the capability of speaking to everyone...the key is to listen.  He speaks to me through His word.  I have to read it and listen for it, though.  I do that by asking Him to give me a word for the day...and most times He does.  (John 1:1  "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.")

Are you listening?  Some days I really have to strain my ears, and still I don't hear Him.  It's all about the condition of my heart for that day.  Some days I rush through my quiet time, other days I really soak it up.

This next one is that fad medical term I was telling you about. 

Job 33:26  "He prays to God and finds favor with Him, he sees God's face and shouts for joy; he is restored by God to his righteous state." 

Be renewed.  Be restored.  We are all made in His image, and that makes us righteous.  (2 Corinthians 5:21  "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.")

Job 34:4  "Let us discern for ourselves what is right; let us learn together what is good."  

He gave man free will.  I think that speaks for itself.

Job 34:21  "His eyes are on the ways of men; He sees their every step."

Not just how we are in church on Sunday.  Our every step.  How we are at home when nobody's watching.  How we speak to our husbands.  How we speak to our kids.  I don't know about you, but that makes me cringe from guilt!  I have to pray Psalm 19:14 all the time.  "May the words of my mouth and meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer." 

That one verse covers all the bases...what I say and what I think.  Yikes.  I am guilty!  But He is not done with me. 

I'm so thankful for that...He is molding me and shaping me into what He wants me to be.  I just have to read His word.  I have to seek His will.  And in the chaos of my life, I have to listen.   

I challenge you to listen for Him today. 

Happy Tuesday and love to all!

Monday, January 9, 2012

three little words

Roll Tide, Roll! 

Guess what we'll be watching tonight? 

Guess where we'll be eating dinner?

Guess who is NOT going to bed on time tonight?

Answers:

The Big Game

In front of the television, watching all the pregame stuff

Graham, Drew, Jonah, Noah and myself

In case you didn't pick up on it:

Roll Tide, Roll!

weekend recap

It was amazing, this weekend we had.  They usually are.  I love family time!  Even if we don't "do" anything, I just love us all being together at home.  I even love that the dogs and cats are a part of us.  :)

Friday night Drew had a friend spend the night.  Nate the great, as I still call him...seven years into knowing him.  Once Nate got here, Graham, Drew, Jonah, Noah, Nate and I all headed up to church.  It was Go Fish night at church.  (Go Fish is a free event for kids in first-fifth grade.  It lasts from 6-9 and they get pizza, play games and make their own ice cream sundaes.  This go round, the kids played Minute To Win It.)  I had signed us up to help...Graham, Drew, and I.  And Nate.  He helped, too. 

It was amazing!  I love helping out at these...because, ultimately, it's this event that led us to this church.  I don't mind working all of them to give back and show my appreciation for all the time and effort that Austin and his crew put into it to make a night like that happen.  Guess how many kids came???  211.  Guess how many adults came to help?  50.  I know, right??  There were so many people there, that all of us ladies that did registration and check-out just stayed put.  We weren't needed anywhere else. 

Jonah and Noah took their friend Myles with them from next door.  He stayed with the third grade group because he was a little nervous about not knowing anybody.  I love when I see the two littles being a good friend to someone.  I told them to not leave Myles' side the entire night...and they didn't.  Even when they went to the restroom.  Funny, huh? 

Saturday was spent at home, tinkering around here.  I did some laundry, took a long, leisurely shower and repainted my fingernails.  I also loaded the dishwasher, started the dishwasher, unloaded the dishwasher and restarted it.  Seriously.  I am ashamed.  We might need to consider firing our maid...she is getting behind on her daily duties. 

We went to my Mom's Saturday night.  I put her to work after we had dinner.  :)  She cut Graham's and Drew's hair and mended Noah's jacket.  I love having a resourceful mom!  I didn't intend on asking her to cut their hair, but the boys had asked me about it, and she jumped all over it.  They look so much better...not as mop-ish as they did when we first went over there. 

Sunday morning we went to church.  It was a great service.  Afterward, Graham went home with his friend Gavin, and the rest of us went to Lenny's for lunch.  We came home, I took a nap, Todd and Drew headed to Drew's Lacrosse practice, then everyone came back home.  Well, Jonah and Noah alternated between being in our backyard to Travis' and Katie's house next door.  We had breakfast for dinner, and the boys played the XBOX the rest of the night. 

It was fabulous.  (And I almost finished my book...plan on doing that today.) 

Don't you just love weekends?  Family time?  I do.  Too bad they don't last longer. 

Happy Monday!  Love to all. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Words

I was in church this morning singing (in the congregation) and thinking at the same time.  (I know, am I talented, or what??)

Some of the songs I really liked...and some of them were so-so. 

But do you pay attention to the songs you sing in church?  If not, you should!  Once I got past the actual song and started paying attention to the words, I was instantly more worshipful. 

Isn't that strange, how that works?  Worship is an active verb (at least to me it is), and I have to remind myself of that quite often.  Does anything hinder you from worshiping?  The types of songs you sing?  The volume?  The people around you?  I challenge you to focus more intently on what you're singing...and if any of the above things hinder you...see how it goes away when you focus on the words. 

Our church sings lots of hymns. 


Yup, these kinds.  

At first I kind of didn't like it.  Because I come from a church that is known city-wide for their music.  And changing to a church that sings hymns really got to me.  But then I tried to redirect my thinking and tried to really appreciate more of what we were singing.  I am thankful that my kids will know hymns now.  When before, they did not.  Even if it's a little old-fashioned, sometimes, that's a good thing. 

Needless to say, I enjoyed church today.  The songs, the preaching, Sunday school...seeing friends. 

That's one of the best parts.  One friend, in particular, I haven't seen since the Sunday before Christmas.  I just love her to pieces.  When I was walking by our kids' church room, I saw her and had to sneak in for a hug.  


I haven't known her for very long, but I feel like she is a true friend.  We connected at kids' camp last summer, and she just wriggled her way right into my heart.  Apparently the children's pastor knew that she would, because he put us together.  Every week or two I really miss her if I don't see her, so today I was thrilled that she (and her sweet husband) was back.  Words can't explain what this precious friend means to me...but her and her sweet family are just amazing. 

Sometimes it's just good to draw on someone for encouragement.  Maybe that's what she is to me...although, I try to be more of that for her!  Funny how that works...we seem to draw it from one another.  I consider her one of my gifts in life.  :)

Who can you do this for this week?


Find someone!  There is always someone in need of this...but if you feel like you can't, don't feel bad.  Maybe you should stand back and receive some encouragement.  I will try to be that for you this week...on my blog, on Facebook...any way I can.  If there is any way that I can pray for you, please comment on here...or you can email me at allboys@gmail.com.  I would be honored to do that for you this week. 

Another thing I love to do is this:


Yup.  I am a self proclaimed hugger.  I love to give them, I love to receive them, and I consider myself a great one.  Hugger, that is.  I hold on tight...and cling to that moment.  I don't ever think about it...I just do it.  I hug all my friends without even thinking about it...I sure hope they don't mind!  I hug my mom, my dad, my sisters, my in-laws, coworkers...the list could go on.  I love to hug people, most of all my husband and kids.  We've made them into snuggly little fellows and I love it. 

How do you connect with people? 

How do you handle them when they don't connect the same way you do?  Like sometimes people just do not hug.  I have felt really dumb a time or two...or three, but I got over it. 

Find someone and connect with them this week!  I wish you all the best.  Love to all!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Blogging with Pictures

I told my friend that I would try and blog more with pictures.  So, Shari, this is for you.  (Even if it is a pain in the rump!) 


This little (well, not so little anymore) puppy just might be the death of me.  I spend my time divided between loving him to pieces and being mad at him.  This morning, at 9:57, he has already earned his name...Evil Knievel.  That's what Jonah calls him half the time anyway...E.K.  I am looking forward to two milestones with him: obedience school and having him "fixed".  I pray that those two things calm his little happy self down.


Tricia, I promised that I wouldn't post this on Facebook.  And I didn't.  But I think this picture of my sister is the cutest thing ever.  I love the hat she's wearing, and I love the fact that she was freezing when it was taken, so she pulled her hoodie up over her hat.  I caught her when she was laughing...which I'm pretty sure we were laughing at her...and I just love the look on her face.  Like, "OOPS!".  This was taken on New Year's Day...she had ridden out to my Mom's house with us and was subjected to sitting next to some smelly boys for the ride out there and back. 


This is a motivational thing we have going on at school right now.  Although, I'm of the belief that kids should be sweet and helpful ALL the time, I am proud that Jonah got his name on the board.  It happened before Christmas, in his own classroom.  People in the school (teachers, assistants, cafeteria people, principals) wear a Dragon Diamond Award necklace around their neck everyday.  If they catch someone doing a good deed, they give them their necklace.  They have their name put onto this board, and the student gets to pick an award.  The awards are helping in the cafeteria, helping in gym, assisting a pre-school class, eating lunch with a friend...things like that.  Pretty cool. 


Jonah got his name put on here before Christmas.  His class had an auction one day before the break, and Jonah had lots of money (they earn "money" for good behavior, too) leftover.  His friend wanted to buy his sister a puppy a calendar for Christmas but had run out of money.  Jonah offered to buy it for him.  His teacher saw this and took off her Dragon Diamond Award and gave it to him.  She was all teary about it, too...and of course I was too as she told me about it later.  :)  He picked assisting the gym teacher as his reward...and he got to do that on Thursday. 


I know the quality is kinda bad, but this hot air balloon was flying over our school Thursday morning.  Cool, huh?  I think Jonah took this picture. 


Can you read what kind of car this is?  It's a Chevy Impala.  This illustrious person (who cut me off, by the way) thought it would be super fun to add a "P" to the word "Impala"...thus making it a Pimpala.  I know, right?  And yes, I totally took this picture as proof.  And then called my sister Trish to tell her about it, laughing hysterically.  ONLY IN MEMPHIS


Isn't this cool?  This was taken last night at Collierville First Baptist church.  There is a HUGE cross that can be seen for miles around, and the kids wanted to hop out of the car to go stand underneath it.  Noah wanted to take a picture, so I gave him my phone, and this is how it turned out.  Pretty cool, huh?  I might have a future photography-lover on my hands. 

Well...this is our week in a nutshell.  With pictures.  Ahem, Shari.  :)  Enjoy your weekend...I know we will!  Love to all!

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  I'm linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals , and friends, for this blog post.  We've had a great week around ...