Monday, November 26, 2007

Mountains out of Molehills

I have a friend who says that worries carry a lot more meaning in our heads than if we actually release them into conversation. Basically, I think she means that we can stew about something in our heads and make it a really big deal. We can make mountains out of molehills. Then we talk to someone about what we are worrying about and it seems not to be as big of a deal. So many times after I have vented a frustration or a worry to a friend, I will say something like, " I guess it doesn't seem like that big of a deal after all" or "This seems silly once I talk about it."

Today I was feeling overwhelmed about something and after a few conversations, I just got to worrying. I felt defeated in something before I really have even begun. I made a mountain in my mind out of a molehill - really more like an anthill. Later, I called a friend who is just solid in her advice. She is positive and best of all - a good listener. She listened and asked good questions as I got what was in my head out into the phone. After our conversation, I felt so much better. I felt like what I was worried about was really blown out of proportion in my head and that I had made a much bigger deal out of it than necessary. Good thing I didn't call someone and rant because of my own insecurities.

Too many times I speak too soon about something and my words hurt because I have not thought through them. I am living proof of what James speaks about and the spark that can set a forest fire ablaze. Many a forest fires I have started with the spark of my fiery tongue.

So, ugh! Words. Keep them in or let them out? I am going to go out on a limb here and say that it is better to let them out , but let them out carefully. I didn't call my friend right away and I called a friend whom I knew would give me constructive advice. I did not call a friend to gossip about my earlier conversations or one that would only give advice that would feed my ego. I called one who would have all parties best interest in mind - not just mine.

I waited until I was calmed down a bit and most importantly prayed that God would ease my anxieties. Then I called her, we talked and I felt better.

It reminded me of Psalm 37:8 - Be still before the Lord...
I love this translation in the Message of Psalm 37:8-9 - Bridle your anger, trash your wrath, cool your pipes—it only makes things worse. Cool your pipes! Trash your wrath! I love that Eugene Peterson.

The back page of my bible is covered in verses about the tongue. Frankly, I have a big mouth. I am passionate, easily excitable and often do not think or pray before I speak. I have learned many hard lessons by this little personality flaw and God really does use them to refine me. Praise this good God who sees past my flaws, opens my eyes to the lessons and loves me the whole time. And thank goodness for the friends who let me get those big mountains out of my head and back to the molehill where it belongs.

Sunday, November 25, 2007



Okay, I don't get too excited about college football. Actually, I don't get too excited about sports in general. BUT, this is so cool! This is my home team!


I won't even attempt a play by play here, but this is their first conference title in something like 38 years and they beat the Kansas Jayhawks which is a big deal in MizzouRAH! If you are not from Missouri - this is how you say that: kinda like a drum roll...Miiizzzzooou and then big finish RAH! Like a tiger growl - cool, huh? Okay, maybe only if you went to Mizzou, but it does bring back some fond memories for me!

So, read more about the Tigers big win!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Sample Saturday - Karito Kids

These are very cool dolls if you are looking for a new twist on the traditional doll for Christmas. See them at Karito Kids

Friday, November 23, 2007

Weaved Together

“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, you need one.” - Jane Howard.

My memories of the holidays growing up are scattered at best. For many of my childhood years, my mom was a single working mom. Even before she was a single mom, she was most always the breadwinner in our family. Although, she worked VERY hard at her job, my mom also worked hard to make sure that my brothers and I had wonderful memories of holidays.

My mom worked in the restaurant business. She always worked on Thanksgiving Day to provide beautiful buffets and brunches for the families that did not want to cook. However, she would always work to get ready for our Thanksgiving dinner, too. She would dress a turkey and prepare casseroles the night before. One of us would start the turkey and casseroles in time for her to make it home for the finishing touches. I suppose it would have been easier for her to just have us meet her at the restaurant and have Thanksgiving dinner there. Not my mom.

This is the part that amazes me the most. She would bake each of us our favorite pie the night before. She still did this up until a couple of years ago. Cherry Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Chocolate Pie. When she remarried, and my stepdad's children moved in, she added their favorite pies - apple pie, peach cobbler. When I got married she started to make my husband's favorite - Pecan. It was insane the number of pies that woman would bake just to make sure everyone had a memory of their favorite part of Thanksgiving. I'll tell you what the tradition is 'round these parts. Pumpkin and chocolate pecan. Love 'em or leave em'.

After my first child was born I decided it was time to establish some of my own family traditions. It was at this time, that I set down the rule that if my extended family wanted to celebrate the holidays together, we would have to have Christmas at my home. "I was not going to cart my children around the country during the holidays!" Kinda bratty, huh? Although I think that creating new traditions for my own little family was important, I now see that it was very hard on my mom to give up her traditions of having her family gather on Thanksgiving for that favorite pie or lighting candles on Christmas Eve and watching us open that gift she just knew we wanted.

In her book, Five Star Family, Carol Kuykendall says , “as children grow up, they weave themselves farther and farther away from the original family pattern. New threads are added as children marry and eventually bring their own children into the family tapestry. They begin to create their own space and weave their own unique family circle which stretches and tugs at the fabric. Ultimately, of course, these new patterns add richness and texture to the family tapestry, but both the fabric and the threads need to be flexible enough to embrace all the growing and changing patterns.

My mom moved to NC a few years ago just in time for the holidays. I have to say it has been exciting for us to weave our family traditions together. Looking back on my holidays as a kid, I can now appreciate the time my mom took to establish festive and fun traditions. After going through a couple of holidays without her, I am finally able to recognize the value of what she worked so hard to do - - bring a family together and create memories. I hope to do the same for my children and when they leave to start weaving their own tapestry, I hope I can be as loving and patient as my mom has been with me.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Psalm 138:1-6 The Message
A David Psalm of Thanksgiving

1-3 Thank you! Everything in me says "Thank you!" Angels listen as I sing my thanks.

I kneel in worship facing your holy temple and say it again: "Thank you!"

Thank you for your love, thank you for your faithfulness;

Most holy is your name, most holy is your Word.

The moment I called out, you stepped in; you made my life large with strength.

4-6 When they hear what you have to say, God, all earth's kings will say "Thank you."

They'll sing of what you've done: "How great the glory of God!"

And here's why: God, high above, sees far below; no matter the distance,

he knows everything about us.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Any other way

Preparing for company in your home this Thanksgiving? I am! 4 additional adults, 3 kids and 2 dogs. Fun fun and I actually can't wait! What a special time with family it always is and I would not have it any other way. Well, I take that back. I would go to the beach or mountains but only if we could all do it together!

Family are people who live together - if only for a week at a time. They're people who drop towels on your bathroom floor, put your cups and glasses back in the wrong place and complain about your weather. You do it to them, they do it to you, and none of you would have it any other way.
--Mary Roach, My Planet, Readers Digest Dec 2002

Monday, November 19, 2007

Marry me?

Conversation with my 3 year old son this weekend.

Me - "I love you, Buddy."
L - "I love you, too, Mom. I want to marry you."
Me - " Very sweet, but I can't marry you."
L - "Why not?
Me - "I am already married to Daddy"
L - "Next time, don't marry him so you can marry me."

Okee dokee, then. ;)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Souper Sunday - BBQ Chili

Back in October, I promised a second chili recipe to go with the Chili Seasoning Mix. See Souper Sunday - Shrimp-and Poblano Chili for reference

Here is the Chili Seasoning Mix recipe again
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
Prep 5 min

3/4 cup chili powder
2 Tbsp. ground cumin
2 Tbsp. dried oregano
2 Tbsp. dried minced onion
2Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. dried minced garlic

1. Stir all ingredients. Store seasoning mix in a an airtight container up to 4 months. Shake or stir before using. Good in chili, pork, chicken.

BBQ Chili (Southern Living Magazine - January 2007)
Makes 8 Servings
Prep: 5 min, Cook: 20 minutes or longer

Pick up shredded pork from your favorite restaurant or use ready-to-serve OR leftovers which is what I do.
1 2/2 lb. shredded BBQ pork, beef, or chicken
2 cans of diced tomatoes with green pepper, celery and onion (14.5 oz)
1 can tomato sauce ( 8 oz)
1 cup BBQ sauce of your choice
1/2 cup chili seasoning mix
(the recipe does not call for beans, but I added 2 cans of rinsed butter beans) - umm good.

1. Stir together shredded pork and remaining ingredients in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Serve with desired toppings.

Saladmaster customers note: Put all ingredients in your 4, 5 or 7 quart. Lid on - medium- click - low for as little as 30 minutes or up to a few hours.

Need a good BBQ recipe? Leave a comment here and I will post a great one.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Ode to B

This is one of my favorite pictures of my daughter. It was taken 2 years ago at Disney and she was looking over a map with a little boy that we met that day in the hotel. He was from Norway and that is soda in his glass, by the way. This was about the last year she would wear these cute little bows in her hair and that the dimples still existed in her little elbow.

When I was pregnant with my daughter, we did not know what sex she was. We wanted a surprise! We decorated the room in bright bugs and bought everything in yellow or white. My MIL named the baby, Fred - affectionately, of course, and not the real boy name we had picked out.

In my heart I knew she was a girl. I told everyone it was a boy, but I really knew she was a girl. Now don't get me wrong, I was blessed to be pregnant and love having a boy beyond comprehension. I would have been happy with a girl or a boy and am incredibly happy to have one of each now. I just really wanted a girl. I wanted this permanent friend, a shopping partner for life and the sweetness of a little pink girl. I wanted bows and dresses, Barbies and make-up. You see, I am all girl and I really did want a mini me.

When they delivered B and the doctor said, "It's a girl!", I sobbed. I delivered her medication-free and was in a lot of pain so mostly I was sobbing for this whole deal to be over! No really, I was just overjoyed! It was the first time I have ever seen my husband cry. I knew very soon what my MIL meant when she said that my heart would now walk about the outside of my body. I was so in love with this girl. I immediately started buying pink! I dolled up her bug room to make it more girly and quickly introduced her to the mall.

We really do call her B or Boo, but never Fred anymore. She would just die if we did, being the girly girl that she is. She is named after my husband's grandmother and follows in her footsteps in having a heart straight after God.

She is all of these things:
Smart and quick
Pretty and fun
Sweet, yet feisty
Dramatic, yet pensive
Affectionate, but reserved

She is all this and more...

She cries when her grandparents or cousins leave after a visit. She shares the love of Jesus with her friends. She very often calls me on a wrong attitude and teaches me about my own faith a lot. She plays with her little brother and wants me to have another. She is the social butterfly of the neighborhood. She likes to lead but will go with the flow to keep the peace, too. Her favorite subject is math - I hate math. She sings, dances her heart out and is my girly girl. She is not mini-me. No, she is so much better than me. I would guess one day that I will want to follow in her footsteps.

She is a good girl and I am proud to be called mom by her. Happy Birthday sweet girl!

The party

Well, it went off with out a hitch! Our first 1/2 sleepover was a success and I think B had a fabulous time. This was so refreshing to have only a few of her many friends here so she could spend time with each one. I was actually able to enjoy these little girls and their fun personalities. I can see why my first born is friends with each of them. They all are sweet, well-behaved and most importantly FUN, FUN, FUN! I really had forgotten how fun snuggling up with a bunch of girls to watch a movie can be. Of course, I cleaned up the mess of cake and pizza while they did this, but I did take pictures to capture the beauty of the beginning of female bonding and friendship. Plus, little brother as you can see from the picture. Not very many things bring me more joy than hanging out with a bunch of crazy gals and I think B is starting get this too.

So, they had pizza, homemade cupcakes, popcorn and some serious dancing to Hannah Montana's finest tunes! The all went home with freshly painted nails, sparkly "tattoos" on their faces and goody baskets stuffed with girly stuff. The parents picked all the tired little princesses up by 9:30 pm and am sure they all crashed as soon as they hit their beds. This is where the 1/2 sleepover part came in - better at 9:30 than in the middle of the night as one parent said.

Sample Saturday - Sara Groves

I LOVE Sara Groves. I love her music and I love her heart. During my time with MOPS, I went to a couple MOPS conventions. Sara Groves played live. She sat at a piano in front of thousands of moms and shared her heart about her kids and God. Then she played and sang the most beautiful music. It was a great experience. I have listened to her CD Add To the Beauty so much and the title of this blog is inspired by one of the songs on that CD. I am not sure I can love another CD like that one, but I am excited about her new CD, Tell Me What You Know, and how it will grow on me.

Check it out here.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Fill 'er Up!

I especially love doing 2 activities during my week. I love my women's small group/bible study and I LOVE my kickboxing class at the gym. I often find myself giving up one or the other to do something else, though.

It is not like the other activities I give them up for are not really important. Like two weeks ago it was my son's Halloween parade and songfest at school and last week it was painting a friends house that recently flooded or sometimes coffee with a friend. While these activities fill me up in special ways, I miss what I have given up. So, this week I struggled with this and I felt selfish. I have made myself believe that my favorite activities are selfish because they are all about me. Honestly, I was feeling resentful of the things that took my away.

In reality, I have made my favorite activities negotiable. I have given others reason to believe they are flexible because I have told them so by either my words or my actions. I have led them to believe that my small group and my kickboxing class are not that important and that other activities can trump them.

This is what I have come to realize, though. Those 2 activities fill me up so I can be a better person to everyone. And this is what I give up when I miss them.

1. Fellowship and friendship

2. Spiritual exercise and growth

3. Physical exercise

4. Stress release

5. Much needed time to myself.

6. Commitment to the women in my group

So, why do I give them up? I can come up with a couple reasons:

1. I am a mother and most moms put EVERYONE before themselves. We just are naturally caretakers and the nurturers of the home. This is not necessarily a healthy thing to do, but alas, my mom did it and still does. Many of my mom friends do it and so do I.

2. I am a Christ follower and believe I am supposed to put others before myself. Yeah, this one is the one I struggle with the most. I don't struggle with it because I don't put others needs ahead of my own. I struggle with it because I do it too much. And I end up feeling drained and even sometimes resentful. NOT because of what I have done for others, but because I am not taking care of myself.

Someone reminded me this week. Jesus took lots of time to himself to rest. God wants us to lead and start our week from a place of rest. In Genesis each day is defined by evening and then morning. We rest in the evening and start our day fresh - renewed and rested. That is why activities that renew us and give us rest should come first so we can serve our families and friends better. It is my goal to not miss these activities that fill me up. I am a nicer person and have more energy to serve others more because of these activities.

It is like a gas tank in a car. The car needs to be filled up with gas to go. My small group and exercise are like gas in my car.

Except today. L is home sick from school with a fever. Today, my car sits in the garage while I take care of my little sick boy. That trumps it all of course.

If you are reading this and feeling drained, ask yourself the question, "What fills me up?" What is the gas in your car? Then find some time to do it!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Waffles, please

Every morning, I ask my lovies what they would like for breakfast. Our family is pretty much the same in that none of us eat a lot early in the morning. HASH eats a yogurt or a protein smoothie almost every morning. I drink coffee and then have also been on this protein smoothie kick. My doctor told me it would help me lose weight. Okay, so I bite - it's easy, tasty and anything to help me lose those extra 10 pounds. B has quite a bit of variety in her choices. A cut up apple with peanut butter, yogurt with granola and berries, cinnamon toast and sometimes a waffle or pancakes if I make them. So, my concern this morning is not with her.

So, every morning, I ask L what he would like for breakfast and his answer is the same.

Every single morning.

"Waffles and juice."

Every morning.

Even if I make pancakes, he wants a frozen waffle.

Sometimes he wants them plain.

Sometimes with syrup.

Sometimes with butter and syrup.

Every morning.

A frozen waffle.

He really is a just a guy - simple choices. Keep it easy. No fuss.

In my effort to make this more healthy I have switched to real maple syrup instead of the regular pancake/waffle syrup. Thank goodness for Trader Joe's waffles. They are whole wheat, cheap and yummy! So, I stock up and feed him a waffle every morning. He is 3 and I am just happy he eats breakfast.

This morning the only difference is that he has now thrown up his waffles and juice all over my kitchen floor. Happy Monday. Oh, I pray the stomach virus has not hit my home. I hate the stomach virus.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Sample Saturday - Phil Wickham

A friend turned me on to this CD. I really like it! Click for a sample. Phil Wickham is his name and his Dad has a great acoustical Christmas album on the bottom of the webpage.

Friday, November 9, 2007

7 for 5

This is a fun post I read on Musings of Housewife this morning. Here are 7 things you may not know about me. I always hate that icebreaker game where people ask you to tell an interesting fact about yourself because, well, I am really not that interesting. But these things will let you in on what goes on in my head a bit.

1. I wait until the last minute to do almost every important task or project. I guess I work better under pressure. However, I wish that I would prepare more, start earlier and be finished with these projects earlier. I recently took a personality test and this is considered normal for an Extraverted Sensing with Introverted Feeling (ESFP).

2. I am a low-maintenance friend. I have many great friends and I love spending time with them. But if you don't call me for a month or even a year and then suddenly call, we will talk like we talk every day. You never have to apologize to me for being too busy to call or email. I will understand. I can never have too many friends.

3. I love to read, but often don't finish non-fiction books. I always finish a fiction book unless it is really bad, but I have to force myself to read an entire non-fiction book unless it is REALLY good. I often have several books going at one time.

4. I like to have a clean house but it's messy a lot, because I am not home a lot and don't have time to pick it up. However, since it is clean, it only takes me a little while to shove everything in a closet before people come over giving them the illusion that it is always clean AND picked up.

5. I like antique glass objects. Bowls, vases, deviled egg trays. I have 3 deviled egg dishes because when I first moved to NC, I went to this ladies luncheon where this very proper and funny southern woman talked about "What it means to be Southern." She said all southern woman have a deviled egg tray. So, I have 3.

6. I grew up in the Midwest, but love living in the South. I hope I will never move from the South.

7. I was a table side chef at one time in my life. I can make Steak Diane, Shrimp Scampi, Caesar salad and warm Spinach salad in a matter of minutes while people are staring at me. I was doing this when I met my husband.

Okay, you are supposed to pick and tag 5 people to do this same thing but I like this way better - so if you are reading this and want to play, go for it and leave a comment so I can read your 7.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Party of 8, please

My daughter's birthday is coming up. Every year, we have a little shindig for her. Well, let me correct that by saying, we have a big honkin' birthday party for her every year. My son, too. Some years with all the kids that we invite, and their siblings, it gets to be upward of around 40 kids! It can be insane. And did I mention that both my kids birthdays are in the Spring and Fall when the chance of rain is always high. So, there are even times these kids end up in my house!

I made lady bug invitations for 25 kids for her 2 year old birthday party. I custom made labels for bubbles for her 1 year old party. I once spent $60 on a cake that had a Fairytopia Barbie in the middle - her wings lit up and everything. It was beautiful! However, there were so many kids at this party, that my daughter who was turning 5 at the time, was too distracted to show $60 worth of excitement. For my son, I made Buzz Lightyear invitations and personalized Space Ranger id's on lanyards for 30 kids.

The comment, "You have too much time on your hands," has come my way more than once.


Don't get my wrong. I have loved doing this for my little lovies. They mostly get a kick out of it and it makes for great scrapbooking pages. But, you know what I've noticed? That they don't really have time to dedicate to any one friend for too long and that many of their friends end up feeling left out. Plus, if I keep this up, what will they expect for their sweet sixteen?!?!?

So, I have decided this year to have a party for 8 as Hallmark intended it to be. You know how all party supplies, except the napkins come in packages of 8? This is a great size party! And I have found out that plates, cups, invitations are actually quite affordable when you are not buying 5 packages of each.

This is no easy feat, by the way. I have mentioned before the 25 kids around our block - 17 of them are girls all within a year of my daughters age. Then there are the friends from school and church. Old friends, new friends and friends in between. Friends from dance and even those from cheerleading. So, now try to tell my little social butterfly, (no idea where she gets that) to narrow it down to 7. That's 7 friends + her= 8 girls. It has taken us 3 days and we finally delivered the invites last night. A Hannah Montana 1/2 sleepover it is. Pre-printed invitations in a package of 8, no doubt. I have not even opened my craft supplies or touched my computer to make a thing. So far, so good.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Fun Thanksgiving tradition

A couple years ago we started this fun tradition that the kids really get into. It is a thankfulness chain. Remember, those red and green paper chains we used to make in elementary school? It is similar to that!

We cut out strips of fall colored construction paper. Each night we each write something we are thankful for up until Thanksgiving. Anyone that comes for dinner in the month of November gets to make a link in our chain, too. Then I staple each strip in a circle making a link and connecting it to another. By Thanksgiving, it is huge! We read them all that night after dinner. It's fun and we all get a great visual of all we have to be thankful for!

Monday, November 5, 2007

My coffee stained world

I love coffee. I guess based on the number of Starbucks within 5 miles of my house a lot of other people do to. I wish I would have listened to my husband when 15 years ago, he said we should get in on that Starbucks thing. Anyway, so I love coffee. I drink about 3-4 cups a morning. If I hang out at home doing laundry and housework it can creep up to 5 cups. To justify this a little, most cups get somewhat chilly because I get interrupted, set the cup down somewhere and when I finally find it again, I have to freshen it up. So, maybe I drink less than I think or at least that is what I told my doctor. Often I have a cup in the afternoon before the bus comes just to get me through that homework, activities and dinner hour.

I just got a new van. Such a beautiful vehicle with an olive interior. Well, I mean as beautiful as a van can be! I traded in my other van which was 7 years old and the carpets were severely stained with coffee. I mean really stained. I spilled coffee more times than I can even remember. I had that van with both kids as infants and honestly, most days coffee was the only way I would be considered a safe driver due to lack of sleep. So, I vowed never to take an open cup of coffee in this new van. Now you may tell me that there are plenty of really cool coffee cups with lids that I could buy and I would respond by saying that I already have them. Hubby takes them and leaves them at the office or I am just too rushed in the morning to pour my cup into the to-go cup before I leave the house. So, here is my new van and it has coffee stains already! As a matter of fact, last week one morning while driving L to preschool, I turned a corner and the entire cup spilled all over the middle console and onto my cell phone which took 2 days to dry out and the only thing I had to clean it up at that very moment was my white hoodie sweatshirt I was wearing to the gym (over my t-shirt, of course). This was the beginning of my day. I think after an event like this it is always a good idea to drop your kids off and find a quiet place to pray and beg for God's mercy for that day because you know it is going to be a doozy! Anyway, because I still care how pretty my new van looks, I have an appointment to have the carpets cleaned...until the next crazy morning when I forget to bring a to-go cup! Or I could stop drinking coffee altogether like my doctor wants me to. Such a silly doctor, maybe I should find a new one. ;) In all honesty, I have started to slow down a bit.

Since starting this post, I have noticed coffee stains on my bible cover, my denim jacket sleeve, a blanket I often curl up in and the chair I sit in at the computer. My coffee stained world!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

To the ends of the earth...

My heart is a little tender today. For the past couple weeks our pastor has been delivering some powerful messages about serving others. The stage in front of our auditorium is set as an old time gas station and there are even old cars parked outside our church to set this tone of an old time Full Service gas station. Full service in a self-service world. At the core of this message is how do we serve others in such a self-serving world? Good question!

Last week really was BIG. AMAZING. WOW. UNBELIEVABLE. Our pastor talked about money, but this was not just any talk about tithing. It was reverse tithing. He suggested we find something to do with our money to impact the community. Then they passed out $35,000 divided by bills of $10's, $20's, $50's, $100's and even $500 in one envelope. The buzz among the congregation was cool. I was most amazed that our church trusts us so much to do the right thing with this money that they handed it out. My husband and I each got a $10 bill as did many of the 4000 people that attend our church on a weekend. This is called the "Mina Project" based on the parable of the Ten Mina's.

So, our pastor challenged us to take this money and invest it or grow it somehow, to be creative and then do the following:

  • 1. Give it to someone who needs it in our community
  • 2. Do it by Christmas time
  • 3. Then tell the story of what we did so we can celebrate it.
There are already some great stories on our website at Hope.

We have not yet decided what we will do with our money, although, we have talked with a couple others about combining the money, growing it somehow and finding a worthy cause locally. I will keep you posted on this because I am so excited about this opportunity!

This week he followed up with an amazing message about global missions. They showed two videos that moved me beyond words. The first video shows all of these children in impoverished areas and they say their own names. The language is different but the sweet voice of a child is the same. I could almost hear my own children say their names. We have all seen the similar photos of these kids at one time in our life, but to give names to those faces!?!?!? That was huge for me. They are not just "them" and "us". We are all named by God and God's heart beats for the world (John 3:16). How much do you think his heart breaks to see these children in such poverty when there are so many resources in the world to care for them?

The second was the most devastating to my heart. I saw it earlier this summer and could not get it out of my head. Believe it or not, I never want to forget it and today I was reminded why. It is a video of a girl, maybe 3 or 4 wondering the streets of a city in India where she finds a corner in an alley to roll out this dirty blanket she has, then she lays a little pillow down and then she lies on the pillow and blanket to fall asleep. People are just walking by like she is not even there. It ends. This video is raw footage, uncut. I was sobbing as you can imagine.

I wish I could find these videos to link here, but I can't. I wish every single person could see them.

Acts 1:8 (NIV)
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

Our pastor ended today with a few questions to ask ourselves.
  • What obligation to I have to bring God's kingdom to earth?

  • Am I going to focus on myself or am I going to focus on the world around me?

  • Am I a self-serving Christian or a full service Christian? (Luke 9:23)
I am not a political person. In all honesty, politics just frustrate me. So, I don't even to attempt to understand these countries governments and the role of the USA in helping them. But I am a Christ follower and Jesus says for His church to take care of the poor, the hungry, the underprivileged. It is the only area that he says we will be judged. (Matthew 25:34-36) He does not say this is government's responsibility, but the church. I am the church.

After this service today, I helped my friend with a Compassion booth. Compassion is an organization that helps folks like you and me to sponsor children in these impoverished countries. It was awesome to see all 45 kids sponsored today in about 30 minutes.

I have posted a link to Compassion to the side. Check it out and reach out to the ends of the earth.

Souper Sunday - It. Sausauge Soup w/ Tortellini

Souper Sunday
Here is an easy one from my friend, Michelle. Thanks, Michelle!

Italian Sausage Soup w/ Tortellini

1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 c chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 c sliced carrots
½ tablespoon basil
½ tsp oregano
5 c beef broth
½ c water
½ c red wine
4 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded & chopped (I used 1 can stewed tomatoes)
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1½ c chopped zucchini
8 oz. tortellini, cooked
3 tablespoons parsley

1. In a Dutch oven, brown sausage. Remove and drain.
2. Sauté onions & garlic in sausage drippings. Stir in beef broth, water, wine, tomatoes, carrots, basil, oregano, tomato sauce, sausage. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat & simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

2. Stir in zucchini and parsley. Simmer covered for 30 minutes. Add tortellini during the last 10 minutes. Sprinkle w/ Parmesan cheese on top of each serving.

Note - I would almost add another can of broth as I don't think
the recipe makes enough sauce.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Sample Saturday - Monk and Neagle

I know this CD has been out for awhile, but I read about it on another blog and went to buy it immediately. It is an AWESOME CD. So, happy and mellow. Here is a sample. Enjoy!

Indian Princess

HASH and B have joined Indian Princess Y Guides. I am very excited because they will get to spend time together and this will be something that is just for them. I am actually just a little more in love with my husband because he did this on his own and has set aside the time to be with her. It was not my idea! Friends and family did share their experiences with him and encourage him, but in the end - he pursued it and signed up and they are going on their first mini-camping trip this weekend!

Last night, as I held the remote and watched TV, my husband sewed his leather vest together. Great role reversal! I did feel a little bad as he expressed several times that he also had to sew patches on the vest and he just didn't know how. Well, I may be a stay at home mom, but I am sewing impaired for sure. I told him maybe he could find a good tailor...or I could give it a try.

So, this is my question? Just how involved should I become with this endeavor of theirs? Should I make sure they have all necessary camping materials? I mean, I do know where everything is, I would like to make sure my child is sufficiently warm and my husband is pretty busy working all day. Should I sew the patches on? Or should this be all his deal? I think he would like to take it all on, but I also think he would appreciate the help. Or maybe not...

Addition to this post...
Apparently, you cannot sew the patches on. They have to be Superglued on and I can do that. However, hubby has told me that when he needs my help he will ask for it - nicely of course. Okay, I am good with that.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

I know I never ever got this much candy...

My daughter collected 152 pieces of candy. My son 65. We only covered about 2-3 blocks in our neighborhood! I just can't believe the amount of candy we have and I am sure that I never collected this much as a kid. I would have been in heaven! Halloween was the one time of the year where we really could have as much candy as we wanted. My mom, bless the woman, did not limit our consumption like I do. At the rate of 1, maybe 2 pieces a day, it will take us Easter to go through this - just in time for some new candy! I actually think I am going to have to send a good part of this candy away somewhere. Because we all know who really eats this stuff.

B was a trip in this Sharpay costume. I fear I may have a bit of a diva on my hands. She seriously just fell right into character. The neighbors were laughing at her walk because she had her hand out and everything! She did get chilly toward the end of the night and also promptly told me that her earrings were hands off for me even though she could only wear them for dress up!
L really got into Halloween this year. He kept up with all the bigger kids and was sure to stay clear of the older kids in scary costumes, "Dat guy is scary, mom." Yes, some of them were.
Buddy did not appreciate his costume or that I got it on sale, but he was a good sport.
One of my favorite parts of Halloween trick or treating is the neighbor who has his house decorated so cool. He hands out great candy for the kids and every year has Samuel Adams Autumn brew for the adults. It is right at the halfway point and makes the trek back so much more relaxing! So, we survived, it was fun and now it is onto November which is always a crazy month.

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