Saturday, November 13, 2010

i haven't been here in a while

I know. I'm sorry. Life. It happens. Lately it's not been fun. It's been hard. It's kept me on my knees in prayer. It taught me to give up things I can't handle. And it handed me a difficult blow that I will try to explain. For years I have been praying for one thing. More like begging. I've spent my life focusing on the "what if" that "might" happen. I've worked my hopes and dreams around this one thing. I've never wanted anything more. It feels impossible to write the words here. Know they are coming with fresh tears. I'm still working out the No answer that I got last week. What is this thing that has my heart so deeply wrapped? A daughter. (ouch. feels like I just got punched.) I dream about her. I window shop for her. I pray for her. I will not have her. You see, I've gotten very frustrated waiting on God to give me MY answer. Get that? I've been waiting for the answer I wanted. Last Sunday God made it abundantly clear to my head, and my heart, what HIS answer is. And you know what? I already knew it. When my heart heard it, my head already knew it. I just wanted to ignore it. I wasn't taking His no. I guess last week I finally accepted it. God spoke straight to me as if I was the only one in the congregation. He carved out some time that was just Him and I and sat me down like a father talking to His daughter about something she just really needed to understand and accept. It hurt. It still hurts. But I get it. I accept it. Sometimes our desires are not His. Sometimes what I want for myself is not what God has planned for my life. Since last week I have not dreamed of her. I have not spent my days in the "what if" mind-mode. I will not say I have not been sad but my life and heart are moving forward. I will take what God has given me and I will move forward knowing that I am more blessed than I deserve. I wish the answer didn't have to hurt so bad, but that's really the only way I would have heard it. So, now what? I honestly have no idea. God is stirring up something in me but I don't know what it is. In the meantime I will keep going to Him. Because even if He says no sometimes, He still loves me and He's still got an incredible plan for my life. That's what I hold on to.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

i blog-stalk

So would you PUH-LEASE update your blog! Lol :) Mamma needs some reading material! I visit blogs when I need a bread from school work. Who do I visit??

Debra - Love her blog because her thoughts are just cool, and she's got some rockin' photo skills!!
Annette - Who wouldn't love Mrs. Annette's blog! It's got everything!
Jenn B - Girl. You are REAL and I love it! I read this blog and feel like I'm sitting across the table from you!
Rachel - I miss you friend! But I love reading your blog and catching up on the goings on with writing. I can't wait to have a copy of your first book on my shelf!
Francesca - Have known Francesca since grade school. Love reading your heart for God. You are inspiring!
Amanda - That button necklace is too cool for words! You are so creative, I love love LOVE seeing your creations!
JoAnn - another blog I read and feel like I'm chatting with a good friend. JoAnn - you are awesome!
JJ Heller - now this girl is just crafty. I love her music, but I think I love her crafty ideas just as much!
Real Hope For Haiti - one of these days God will make a way for me to visit this place in person. Until then, I read and listen to God as He moves my heart for this kids.
Anissa - love love love how you write! I always end up pondering for a good portion of the day after reading something from you!
Melissa N - oh girl. I just love you friend. I love reading your blog. I just love it.

So there ya have it, my reading list :) I love reading about what you all are doing and what God is doing in your lives. I love sharing in praises and prayers, and I love that this crazy thing call Blogspot can connect us in the world of writing! May God bless all of you, and may He press upon you to keep your goofy friend Jen updated!

Until then - read on blog world! :)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

i took 10 down.

So. Today I walked. And walked. And walked. Felt like it was never going to end, lol. Actually the first six miles were great. Then I started the 4th time around the campus. Started out good, but towards the middle I quickly realized that Satan (the little punk) didn't want me finishing. I started to toy with the idea of stopping at 8. No one would blame me. I'm sick and feel like dirt. But then God showed up. He reminded me that yeah I may be tired and wanna quit, but He's THERE. Right there with me. Walking and having my back. Just like we learned in small group, He's the big Papa Bear standing behind the cub sayin "don't you mess with my girl!" So I kicked Satans tail today. That last trek around (the 5th one) was gruesome. I really just wanted to sit down and stop moving. All of those stone benches have never looked so pretty in my life. Did I sit? Did I rest? Shoot no! I knew if I did it'd be all over. Someone would just have to roll me to my car. So I counted in head. 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2.... And I looked at every flag posted on the route, trying to figure out what state/country it went to before I could get close enough for my blind-as-a-bat eyes to read it. I focused on one more tree farther, one more corner to round, one more time to pass by the softball girls gearing up for their game. By the way, they hit 4 balls over the fence and some girl scaled the wall to get them. That kept my mind occupied for a bit. I focused on anything other than the pain in my feet and knee. And guess what??? My last mile was walked just as quickly as mile 6 (the best one)! God was there like wind on my back pushing me to finish! The last two laps on the track (to round off the 10 miles) I barely felt. It was great. I did it. I whipped 10 into shape and reminded it that my God is big enough to push this big gal to the end! Satan did not win the battle. It honestly felt for a while that there was a battle being fought off to the side of me, one side willing me to quit the other reminding me of His strength. Today was a journey. And I won. 10 went down and 13 is next!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

this is why I walk

I am blessed to be able to homschool our boys. I love it. They are two of my favorite people in the entire world and to get to see their faces light up when the understand something. I'm also incredibly blessed to serve in Children's Ministry. I love seeing kids smile, play, and have fun. The joy on their faces is always contagious! Which brings me to the reason I'm walk/jogging in this half marathon. The Real Hope For Haiti Rescue Center in Cazale, Haiti do amazing work for the sick and malnourished children in their region. They also help children go to school. $250 is all it takes for one child to attend school for the year. That's it. I'm walking to raise awareness, and hopefully money to send at least two children to school. Below is a link to view the latest children up for sponsorship. Please pray for these kids and also if God lays it on your heart to donate you can either donate on their page or mine. All of the money will go towards sponsoring the children. Above all, please pray for the kids and servants at Real Hope For Haiti. They are doing great things for the people of Haiti in God's name!!

Here is the link.

Monday, September 20, 2010


I know I haven't written much in a while. I kind of come here for some "blurb" therapy when I need to just get stuff out of my head and onto the screen. But well... my life is going pretty good right now and there's not much to blurb about. Good problem to have right? Lol. So I'll update y'all in some bullet points - here we go....
*1/2 training is still happening - I haven't been able to do as much as I'd like to over the past few weeks, but I'm doing alright.
*School is kicking my tail. Health class is a LOT of work. Not too difficult, just a LOT. It's piled on and seems to come from every direction.

*I absolutely love my Acts class. I *almost* (I said ALMOST professor!) wish it would last a bit longer than 8 weeks. It's fascinating to me.

*I absolutely dislike my Algebra class. Seems like just when I feel I have the hang of it, they throw in a fraction just to remind my brain of how weak and lacking it is in the Algebra Department. Seriously thinking of doing some Geometry just to remind my brain that we CAN do some higher math!

*I miss my sister. We text a lot, usually daily and we're planning another trip to NM around Thanksgiving, but still... I miss her. Can't wait to see her again!

*I am feeling God stirring a deeper purpose within Children's Ministry in me. I'm not sure what, but it's there waiting for revelation. I'm scared of what it will be, but I am praying for courage to do whatever it is God has for me.

*A friend of mine from Tarleton found out she has breast cancer on Friday. She is my age with two children. No words. Please pray for her.

*I am having some health issues. Not really sure what's going on, but pray for me as well.

*The boys are doing great. David joined the homeschool Cool Runnings track team and loves it. He is convinced the right running shoes have made all the difference. I think he's right. He is also going to start Piano lessons soon. We are all excited about that!

*Daniel is... well, Daniel. We are having some issues with begging and whining so we're trying to combat that. But he's a good kid and so we hope it's just a phase. He's doing great with school. The other day I heard him reading and went in his room and he was reading the Bible. Too cool for words.

*Scott is working a lot but what else is new :) We've learned to adapt to his schedule and are getting in some really good family time and that is really making a difference for the better in our family.

I think that is about it for us. Do you feel updated? Lol :) We are just living life and trying to make it day by day. We focus on the Lord and family and do what we can do for our Lord, our church, and our family/friends. God has blessed us and we are simply in a happy season. I hope this happy season lasts and lasts and lasts :)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

i walked with God this morning

This morning was a great walk. I managed 4 miles. I say managed because old mr. shin pain creeped back in and wouldn't go away for the entire first mile. Ugh. But by mile 2 I was 90% pain free and in my stride. I was tired though. But I didn't want to stop at 2, I wanted to keep going so I pushed. What happened at the start of mile 3 was awesome. The sun peered out from behind a cloud and shone with a bright vigor only God could have poured down and my ipod began the tune of He Is Lord. Oh my soul. Right there at ACU, right in front of the track, my hand flew up and it and my soul did some praising. I don't know what I looked like. I really don't care. That moment was a God moment. I knew I could finish because God was with me and cheering me on. When I had about 5 minutes left, God reminded me that He was with me by playing This Is Our God. It was a great closing to a great walk with God!

I do have to tell you that after I got home and the soreness of the walk began to set in, my mood went sour. It's crazy that I was on such a high moment with God and then one small thing snowballed and the day went south quickly. I didn't understand much of my schoolwork today, the boys picked up my mood and the grumpies set in. It was a rough afternoon that I finished off with an "ugly-cry". Yuck. I hate feeling that way. So, I put the books down and did some house cleaning. 5 loads of laundry later and I began to perk up. Then came the dinner of comforts and everyone's mood is picking up. It's slow, and we're all pretty worn out from the emotional roller coaster of a day, but at least we're not grumpy anymore. It's kind of funny, God took me through the journey of my walk today, and they had to take me through another journey of emotions. I think I went from high to low to okay. And right now I'm okay with okay :)

Monday, August 30, 2010

the right shoes do indeed make all the difference

Hello blog land! I've been gone for a while I know. Life got BUSY for a whole minute there. Walking got pushed to the side because I didn't have time for it :( That made me very sad. The changes I could feel taking place in my body slipped right back to their norms and I've just felt BLAH the past two weeks. It's been yuck. So today I was able to get back out and walk again! 2 miles around ACU and it was fantastic! I did notice that my legs weren't hurting on the first half mile like they usually do. I then realized it's because I wasn't wearing my knock-off-shape-ups. Don't get me wrong, I love how they make my legs feel, but the fact that I didn't have to spend the first half mile in pain was great! And I still felt just as good at the end in my new shoes as I did in my "shape-ups". So what new shoe you ask? Well, I went to Academy and found me some women's running shoes by New Balance. I really like them! And not just cause they have some pink on them. Though - the pink was the deciding factor in buying them, just sayin. My feet don't sweat nearly as much because they have some kind of air-flow-mesh-stuff (I do believe that IS the technical term, lol), and they don't hurt as much after the walk. I feel pretty good right now! I wish my body had felt like going another two miles. Maybe tomorrow. I'd been told better shoes would produce better results by our half coach (Ruthie is probably smiling at this point :) ) but it didn't really sink in until after my walk this morning that, wow! The right shoes really do make all the difference in how I feel during and after the walk! As does the tying technique! My feet didn't slip in the shoe once! The only time I felt a bit self-conscious during the walk was my wardrobe, lol. But that also is new and not changing so people are just going to have to get used to it. I found a bunch of walking/running clothes on clearance at WM a few weeks back and this morning tested out my jogging crops with walking shorts, and two (yeah two, lol) tops. I gotta tell ya - I did not feel the sweat as much! The clothes are supposed to wick the sweat away and I think they did! I knew I was sweating but didn't feel it as much. Works for me. The only downside is that they are a bit "clingy", not tight, but they do show all my "curves", lol. So when the teeny-bopper blondes come running by I feel a bit elephantile, but oh well. I'm here, I'm big, get used to me, :). I just turned my music up and walked on anyway! And if felt great :) So, please pray that I can continue to work out some walking time. Scott's schedule has been changed a little bit which is good for us, but it takes away my regular walking times. Plus, school has begun - both home and college, and those take priority as well. I'm still in this though. I feel better than I have in a very long time and it's a direct result of walking. I'm doing this half marathon and I'm not going to let Satan block me! Help me fight him off with some powerful prayers will ya? :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

i jiggle when i walk

** men, be forewarned, this may not be a post you want to read **
Yes, that's an issue for me. I confess it. But my question is... WHAT do you do about it?? Are big girls just bound to jiggle? Ugh. Walking has managed to bring out a whole new list of worries for me, lol. However, I did find that my "shape-up" knock offs do manage to keep the back parts in place, but my goodness. Sometimes it feels like Santa gave ME his bowl-full-of-jelly-belly in my stocking. Take it BACK, Santa!! Despite the wobbles, walking is making a big impact on me! I feel like I have more energy, I'm staying up with the housework, schoolwork, churchwork, kidswork, much better than I had before I started walking. It's been two weeks and already I can feel a difference in my body. Already two things that were health issues before are rectifying themselves, praise the Lord! I think the combination of me time and exercise time is a great thing! I love it :) I also love that this is not just for me. It's for a much greater cause! All children deserve a good education. After what Haiti has been through over the past several months, at least two more children deserve the priviledge of going to school! I see their faces when I walk and I pray for them. There are some days, those thoughts are the ones that keep me pushing through the tired muscles. Please keep the kids and the missionaries at RHFH lifted up in your prayers.

Until next time - I walk on :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

my playlist

It makes me laugh. You see, I like songs with a good beat. I can't walk to slow music. But I like any type of music with a good beat. I set my ipod to shuffle and go. It's not rare for me to hear Boom Boom Pow and then Live Life Loud :) It makes me laugh, it keeps me walking, and it takes my mind off of any aches I might be feeling. Music keeps me walking at a good pace. What do you walk to? Any good songs you might recommend?

Onto other news, I'm doing pretty well sticking to the training schedule. I'm really beginning to enjoy the walks. During the week I get a good half hour to myself. I listen to my crazy playlist, walk my tooshie off, sweat out all the bad vibes, and come home feeling great about myself and feeling more healthy than I've felt in a long time! There have been a few times when I've come home feeling very tired and yuck, but for the most part walking is making a difference already! As for the shoes, the knock-off "shape-ups" are a revelation. I've not gotten sore and I can tell a big difference between when I walk in them and when I don't. My booty "bounces" when I don't use them, definitely going to use them! Lol :) Big girls don't bounce needs to be my new motto. Anyway, yeah, the walking is going great. I'm sort of at a loss for the cross-training days but I've been utilizing our Wii Fit Plus for that. The obstacle course, boxing, step, and balance games are my favorite. I feel the burn on the "marching band" step game, that thing is LONG!

I've also been trying to watch what I eat. We got a lot of fresh fruit at Sams the other day and that has been my snack throughout the day. Feels good to have some more healthy options in the house :) Scott has been incredible throughout this change. He is very encouraging and supportive. I love that.

Other than that, our summer has been fairly quiet. I'm still working on school stuff, haven't had a break since December so I'm ready for this December, lol :) We haven't started our homeschool back up yet, that will come after VBS this year. We are planning a day trip to Six Flags soon, but we're going to surprise the boys with that :) They will love it. Last time we went they were not really sure about it, but now that they've been they are ready to go back. So, we've had a nice quiet summer, how has your summer been??

Friday, July 16, 2010

Healing Begins - Tenth Avenue North - w/lyrics

This is one of my favorite songs right now. God has taken this heart through much healing over the past year and it is beautiful. Healing begins right where you are. Drop the pretense, and let God restore your heart. He's here now. And He's ready for healing to begin.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

let's run

Well friends. It's been a while. But I am *hopefully* back to blog land with a purpose :) For a while now (longer than I care to admit) God has been convicting me of my lack-o-exercise. It's been an inner struggle of, mostly, my own whining. Finally even I have had enough. I need to get up, I need to get out, and I need to move my tushie! But I knew I wouldn't stick with it unless I had some accountability. (sad isn't it!) So I am joining with a group of ladies, and one VERY energetic Coach, and I am going to participate in a half-marathon. Yep, 13.1 miles of sheer craziness! Nah, it won't be that bad, but at this point I do feel a bit crazy. :) BUT, this group has an awesome purpose and is something I am more than happy to be a part of. It's called Marathoning for Missions, you can check it out here. Each runner/walker picks a charitable organization to raise awareness, funds, or both for. I think that is a great way to take the focus off of ME and put it onto someone else. Love this idea. For those that know me, I am all about Children's Ministry. I love working with kids and I have great respect for others that share that passion. It is not easy. There are days I want to come home and cry. But the joy that comes from this job are immeasurable. It is because of my passion for Children's Ministry that I have chosen to walk for an organization that I love - the Real Hope For Haiti Rescue Center. You can check them out here. Several years ago God placed this organization on my heart. It is my hope to one day visit the Center in person as part of a mission team. You can read about how the Center got started here. Currently they are preparing to raise scholarship funds for children to attend school in Haiti. To send a child to school for a year it cost $250. I would like to raise enough money to send at least two children to school for a year. Anything raised above that will go towards the RHFH Center and their needs. 100% of the money you donate will go towards this goal. I've added a "Donate Here" Paypal button to my blog page. All donations made there will be sent straight to RHFH. You can also make donations in person if you wish, or you can go straight to the RHFH page and click on the "Donate" button on the right side of their page. Above all, please pray for RHFH and the children they serve. What they do is not easy. Together I know we can give at least two children an incredible chance that not all children in Haiti have. We can send them to school! Will you help?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

catching you up on recipes I've tried

Whew, it's been really difficult to catch the blog up lately! I've been keeping up with my goal of trying 5 new recipes a week, just have had no time to post them! So, I'm catching you up from this past week of recipes. I've tried some great new recipes, and one that was kind of a flop. I'd say those are good numbers! :) So far everyone's liked what I've made which is a great encouragement to me! I'm so sick of the same old menu that it's really exciting me to try all these new things! So read on my readers! And hopefully you will be inspired to try something new too!

Recipe – Best Ever Lasagna (5 stars)
From - Goose Berry Patch, Harvest Kitchen

1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained
1t. Italian Seasoning
8-12 lasagna noodles, uncooked and broken into thirds
28 oz jar spaghetti sauce
1/3 c. water
15 oz container ricotta cheese
8 oz package of shredded mozzarella cheese

Combine ground beef and Italian seasoning. Arrange half the lasagna noodles in a greased slow cooker. Spread half the ground beef mixture over noodles. Top with half each of remaining ingredients. Repeat layering process. Cover and cook for 5 hours on low setting. Serves 10.

My Notes – I also added about ½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese, ¼ cup per layer, and then sprinkled some on top as well. This is fantastic! Word of caution, don’t forget to spray. I did and my noodles tried to stick to my crock pot. Add a salad and some garlic bread and wah-lah! You have a great meal that didn’t take much effort!

Recipe – Chicken and Dressing Casserole (3 stars)
From – Goose Berry Patch, Harvest Kitchen

½ c. margarine
1 c. celery, chopped
1 c. onion, chopped
2 c. cornbread crumbs
2 c. bread crumbs
Dried sage to taste
10 ¾ oz. can cream of chicken soup
5 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and diced
10 ½ oz. jar chicken gravy

Heat margarine in a large skillet over medium heat. Add celery and onion; cook until tender. Combine celery mixture, cornbread crumbs, bread crumbs, sage, and soup. If desires, add water to reach desired consistency. Transfer to a lightly greased 13x9 baking pan. Arrange chicken over top; spread gravy over chicken. Bake, covered, at 375 for one hour. Serves 12.

My Notes – This was okay, but not something we’ll try again. The flavor was a bit “off” for us. You can substitute chicken broth for the water if you want. Also, this took longer than an hour for me.

Recipe – Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Cake
From – Goose Berry Patch, Church Suppers

6 T. butter, melted
1c. sugar
2 eggs
1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
1 ½ t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
8 oz container sour cream
6 oz pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Blend together butter and sugar in a medium bowl; add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition and set aside. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon in a separate bowl. Add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream; mix well. Pour into a greased and floured 13x9 baking pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until golden and toothpick tests clean. Serves 12.

My Notes – This is terrific!!! I used mini chocolate chips and a Bundt pan and it still came out fabulous. You have to add about 5-7 min to the cooking time if you use a Bundt, but it still turns out the same.

Recipe – Shredded Baby Back Ribs Sandwiches
From – Jen Rector

1 rack Baby Back Ribs
1 bottle Cattleman’s Original BBQ Sauce
8 hamburger buns

Place the ribs in a 13x9 baking dish and lather on ¾ of the bottle of BBQ sauce. Bake uncovered at 350 for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until done. Remove the rib meat from the bones and place in food processor. Add remaining BBQ sauce and pan drippings, and shred meat on low. Serve on buns; serves 8.

My Notes – You may want to use a larger size bottle of BBQ sauce. I found that reserving only ¼ of the bottle didn’t leave much sauce to shred the meat with. This is a fantastic recipe that I will be using again for sure! It is super easy!

Recipe – Cashew Beef Stir-fry
From – Best of Taste of Home

2 T. Cornstarch
2 c. cold water
4 T. soy sauce, divided
1 bunch broccoli, chopped
2 T. canola oil
3 medium carrots, julienned
1 lb. beef top sirloin steak, cut into thin strips
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ t. pepper
2 medium green peppers, cut into strips
2 medium sweet red peppers, cut into strips
2 medium onions, halved and sliced
1 yellow summer squash, sliced
1 ½ c. salted cashews
Hot cooked rice

In a small bowl, combine cornstarch, water, and 2 tablespoons soy sauce until smooth; set aside. In a very large skillet or wok, stir-fry broccoli and carrots in 1 tablespoon oil until the vegetables are crisp-tender. Add the beef, garlic, pepper, and remaining soy sauce; stir-fry until meat is no longer pink. Remove and keep warm.

In the same pan, stir-fry the green and red peppers, onions, and squash with the remaining oil until crisp-tender. Return beef to the pan.

Stir cornstarch mixture and gradually add to pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in cashews. Serve with rice.

My Notes – This is great! I didn’t add in the cashews but it was still wonderful.

Recipe – Blueberry Almond Coffee Cake
From – Best of Taste of Home

1 c. all purpose flour
½ c. sugar
¾ t. baking powder
½ t. salt
¼ t. baking soda
1 egg
2/3 c. buttermilk
2 T. butter, melted
1 t. vanilla extract
¼ t. almond extract
1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries, divided
½ c. sliced almonds
1 T. brown sugar
¼ t. ground cinnamon

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. In another bowl, whisk the egg, buttermilk, butter, and extracts until blended. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Stir in 2/3 cup of blueberries.

Pour into a greased 8 inch square baking dish. Top with remaining blueberries. Combine the almonds, brown sugar, and cinnamon; sprinkle over the top. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

My Notes – This is very tasty! I used frozen blueberries and it came out just fine. If you used stoneware to bake this be sure to add about 10 baking time.

Monday, March 22, 2010

cooking challenge week 2

Alrighty friends, we are headed into week two of my cooking challenge to myself :) I'm excited to try some more new things. Starting with tonight's Scalopped Potatoe recipe. Should be yummy! I can't wait to try it out. Not sure what else I will be trying this week just yet, but I will let you know! I do still have three more recipes to post from last week, but rest assured, I met my goal of 5, yay! Wish me luck!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

3 recipes

So far I have tried three great recipes - Golden Cheddar Biscuits, Mile High Chocolate Meringue Pie, and Scratch Brownies. As I type this the brownies are plumping up in the oven. I've never made brownies from scratch. I realize now what I've been missing! Wow! That batter was out of this world! Below you'll find the recipes that I tried out :)

Golden Cheddar Biscuits - Gooseberry Patch

1/4 cup shortening
1t. sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 t. salt
1t. garlic powder
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese


Cream shortening and sugar. Mix dry ingredients together; add to shortening and sugar mixture. Blend in egg, milk, and cheese. Divide evenly into a greased muffin pan and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes until golden brown.
*My notes - this is very easy to mix with a spoon, be sure to grease the muffin pan well, and 20 minutes was a bit too long for my oven - try 16-18 minutes but don't go over 20.

Mile High Chocolate Meringue Pie


1 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 t salt
4 egg yolks beaten (save the whites for meringue)
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1/2 cup flour
2 cup whole milk
9 inch pie crust baked and cooled (from scratch is best, but can be store bought)


Mix sugar, cocoa, salt, and flour in a medium bowl and set aside. Place egg yolks in a medium heavy sauce pan. Whisk in sugar mixture and milk alternately until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir in vanilla. Bring to a boil stirring regularly until thick. (about 10-15 min) Remove from heat and beat smooth. Pour into pie crust and spoon meringue over hot filling. Seal to edge of the crust. Bake at 350 degrees until meringue is lightly golden - about 12-15 minutes. Cool completely in fridge before serving. Store in the fridge.

Meringue Recipe:

6 egg whites (at room temperature)
1/4 t cream of tartar
6 T sugar
1/2 t vanilla extract
Beat egg whites until they form soft peaks. Reduce speed to low and add tartar. Gradually add sugar one tablespoon at a time. Beat until stiff, glossy, peaks form. Add in vanilla. Beat until vanilla is fully mixed in and peaks are firm. Spoon meringue on top of pie.

*My Notes - I do like this recipe but it makes a dark chocolaty flavor. Instant chocolate pudding might be an easier and better tasting flavor if you don't like that dark chocolate taste.

Scratch Brownies


1 cup melted butter or margarine
2 cup white sugar
1 t vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup baking cocoa
2 cup flour


Pre-heat oven to 350. Cream margarine/butter and sugar with whisk. Switch to using a spoon to mix the rest. Add vanilla and eggs and mix until smooth. Add in cocoa and flour, again, mixing until smooth. Add in any extras (nuts, chocolate pieces, caramel chunks, etc.), fold in. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes. You can use either two 8x8 pans or one 9x9 pan. Using one pan will make brownies thicker, and may take a bit longer to bake.

*My Notes - It did take a bit longer to bake one pan of brownies, but they are amazing! This is a definite MUST try!

a chef is born

Or so I wish! Lol :) I've always had this urge inside to cook these fabulous things. An inner-chef waiting to burst forth. But she's been quited with a fear of not being able to cook those fabulous pretties in my head. Then along comes the movie "Julie & Julia" and it inspires that inner-chef to break out. And boy do I mean BREAK out! I've been cooking up a storm! I've tried new recipes each day since watching the movie and so far they have all turn out well! So I've decided to challenge myself. At least 5 new recipes a week. I'm not bold enough to do 7 because I know I won't make that and I'll feel defeated. So, 5 is a good # to me. I've always wanted to bake so don't be surprised if I post baked goods recipes more than the rest. I will (hopefully) try to post pics along with the recipes I try out. Some will be my own, most will be from cookbooks that have piled up and collected dust in my cupboard. I'm spending the next week going through them, marking them, and menu planning with them :) I'm totally excited. The boys (and Scott) are a bit more hesitant than I am, but we all need to try new things! Scott keeps cracking up when I am in the kitchen. Apparently I have been humming, giggling, and 'prancing' around the kitchen with a goofy grin on my face. I am having FUN in the kitchen and I love it! So here goes, challenge on! If you go on the journey with me, lemme know! I love comments :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

bullet points

* I am tired. Very tired. I need sleep. It's only 9:30, sigh.
* We are no longer at Trinity - I have not shared my emotions about that. That is not like me.
* I've endured gossip, lies, and guilt trips over the past few months. I have still kept silent. Again - not like me.
* I want to talk about it. I can't bring myself to. I was asked not to by someone I respect a great deal and so I've not dealt with it verbally. This I have come to realize also means I have not dealt with it emotionally.
* Saying goodbye didn't happen. I thought that was okay. I missed saying goodbye to the one person I really wanted to talk to. I've now realized that's okay.
* I'm going through a plethora of emotions now that I've allowed myself to feel.
* The biggest hurt is the dissapointment. Not with myself.
* The gossip didn't affect me like before. This time I let it roll off. That has been freeing.
* I truly now realize how much I just don't care what others think of our leaving.
* I never really grieved the loss emotionally. I think that is how it was meant to be.
* A huge weight lifted once the final decision was made. It was followed by a cloud of unspoken, unfelt, emotion.
* I vented in my prayer time the other day. That's what woke me up to the clutter within.
* I need to get it all out. I refuse to do that publiclly. The gossip against me was done publiclly. By those I'd thought were better than that. They are the ones who dissapointed me.
* Not sure why/what I'm sharing here. Just trying to unclog the webs...

Thursday, February 18, 2010


So over the past several months the boys have been putting up boundaries. And they've been warring over them. They fight A.LOT. these days. David is highly bossy and Daniel is a screamer when he is frustrated/mad/sad/irritated - you get the point. So there are days when all I do is say BE NICE or STOP YELLING or SEPARATE ROOMS NOW. It's been frustrating. Why won't my two boys get along? They're brothers for goodness sakes! I've read up and realize this is normal, but at the same time it's irritating. I wish they would get along like those angelic kids you always see. Never calling each other ugly names, never being mean to each other, never taking toys away or saying you can't play with me. I guess it feels like a failure when they don't act nicer to each other.

Fast forward to last night. It was our first night of Awana in our new church. The boys have not been to Awana for about 2 months so they were very excited to be going back. I watched them stick together like glue! At one point even holding hands down the hallway to get to their room. Neither was nervous, they just both wanted brother with them. It was a very sweet moment :) Then Award time comes. Daniel earned a green jewel but it was forgotten when they mentioned awards so when he got it there wasn't clapping. Okay things happen, no biggie. I talked to the leader and she realized she'd forgotten him and went right over to give him his jewel. Then David did something that made this mommas heart soar. He applauded his brother. All by himself, no one prompting, he starting clapping big and loud for Daniel. Talk about one proud momma!

I realized then that I may not have gotten the kind of kids that are crazy obedient and never argue, but I did get some awesome crazy boys that, despite all the boundaries and arguing, love and are proud of each other. I'd take my boys over those others any day. Just reminded me yet again that God sure did know what He was doing when he gave me my boys.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

on of my favorite photos

I'm feeling a bit nostalgic (sp?) after reading Debra's blog today so I dug up some of my all time favorite photos of the boys. :) Enjoy.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pray Ronel Home!

For many of you that follow my Facebook page you've read my please. But I want to reach out to those that read this blog too. Ernest and Debra Parker were in the process of adopting Ronel from Haiti before the quake. When the US granted Humanitarian Parole for Haitian adoptees two weeks ago, they got busy doing what needed to be done to bring Ronel home. However because he was missing some paper work, he was not able to come home when several others were. It's been heartbreaking for the Parkers. And for those of us praying, although our heartbreak pales in comparison. Last week Ernest went to Haiti with everything they needed. He's been told every day since that today will be the day they can come home. And then every night he's told maybe tomorow. For whatever reason, Unicef has gotten in the way of adoptees going out of the country. They are going around in circles and causing major problems. Ernest and Ronel have slept on the floor of the embassy for a week. Leaving without Ronel is not an option. So this is a call to arms! Raise up your arms and pray with me and several hundred other prayer warriors. Let's pray without ceasing and pray Ronel home! God is so much bigger than we can ever imagine so let's take this to Him! He is our rescuer. Our protector. Our healer. And yes, OUR SAVIOR! He comes to the rescue when we need Him, and WE NEED HIM! Please get on your knees, your face, stand and shout, raise your arms up high, do whatever you need to do to plead straight to the heart of God. Plead the Parkers case and pray pray pray with all you've got. God has radically changed my prayer life over the past several weeks. Let him change yours too! Go before the trone and stand in the gap for this family. And then watch God work, cause He's got something awesome in mind for this family. I feel it with every fiber in me. God has something BIG in store. Pray my friends. Pray Ronel home!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

words fail.

There are no words. I can't imagine what the people of Haiti are going through. Praying seems like such a small, intangible way to help, but it is all we can do so we do it. I beg you to pray as well. We know of several missionary families there in haiti who are right in the middle of the mess after the quake. Some report the ground is still shaking. Some have gone out in search of friends, workers, and loved ones only to see body after body laid out on the streets. Some have needed to buy supplies and food only to find that prices have doubled, if not more. There is minimal contact, phone lines are down, it is almost impossible to get in touch with anyone there. It seems the only way to hear news right now is through Facebook and Twitter. Through those sites we've been able to hear that everyone we know is safe. Those are only the dozen we know, there are still hundreds of thousands of people that are waiting to get in touch with their family. It is unreal. I can't begin to imagine what these people in Haiti are going through. Nor can I even begin to explain it in a way that would do it justice. What I can do is ask you to pray for these people. Please please pray for them. They will need massive help. This is one situation in which differences need to put aside and people need to come together and just help. Just love on these people and HELP them. We can't jump on a plane and get there ASAP, but we can come together as brothers and sisters in Christ and PRAY. Some can help financially and I'll leave some links to where you can do that, but the biggest way to help right now other than money is prayer. Lift these people up before the throne. The need is massive but so is God. He can take this situation and turn it for His good and I know He will. Please don't passively read this, please actively kneel and pray for these people. God is calling us to Him, stand in the gap and come before Him for these people.

I will be editing below and adding links of where you can find information on Haiti and information on donations.

Real Hope For Haiti - We first heard of the Rescue Center through Debra and our hearts have been captured by them every since then. The work they do in His name is amazing. Currently they are sleeping outdoors because their clinic/center building is cracked. 70 children sleeping outside. Praise God they are all safe and okay! Please follow Licia's blog and pray for them. Please also keep Debra and her family in your prayers as they are adopting a little boy, Ronel, from Haiti who stays at the Rescue Center. You can also mail a check to this address:
RHFH, PO Box 23, Elwood IN 46036

Help Haiti T-Shirts
- Aaron and Jamie Ivey are a couple we also found through Debra. Their adoption journey has touched our hearts and we have followed their story and prayed for them for several years. Currently they are adopting a little boy Amos who is at the Rescue Center. Click the link above if you'd like to purchase a Help Haiti t-shirt. All the proceeds will go to Haiti.

The Livesay Family story on
Livesay Blog - Troy and Tara are missionaries to Haiti. Over the past few days they have been working non-stop trying to find people in Haiti. You can follow Troy on Twitter and their blog.

The Livesay's also work with two other ministries who need prayers and financial support. They are Heartline Ministries and World Wide Village.

Send Relief $ via Text Messaging - You can send $10 of relief money through your cellular phone by texting, the charge will come on your next cell phone bill - if you have this # please post it in the comments, I am working on finding the right one. ** Edit - I believe you text Haiti to 90999 to donate to the Red Cross. Someone please post the correct # if I am wrong.

Debra and Ernest on their local news channel

The Ivey family on thier local news channel

I am working on more links, will edit as I get them.