Friday, November 30, 2007

The Dog Is Sold

4 Christmas' ago, Big D named our new black labrador puppy "Truck". Actually, the official name is Holden'sBlackPowderTruck. He was 8 weeks old when he joined our pack and certainly NOT the runt of the litter. The name was a good fit due to his size but also because, at the time, D didn't own a truck and we would laugh that the only way he was going to ever get one was to name the dog Truck.

Shortly after this D found his dream vehicle...a big black 4 wheel drive dooley diesel. Since our move up north, the vehicle has certainly gotten its share of comments. (We do live in suburbia and we aren't in Tejas anymore.) People are also amused at the name of our labrador, and he gets his share of comments as well. Anyways, much to our amusement, several of our friends decided to name D's truck "Dog".

For the past few months, the realization has slowly been hitting us that driving the truck doesn't make sense any longer. So D put a sign in the window and yesterday the sad day arrived. Dog has been sold.

D is mourning a little bit, but I just keep reminding him that:
1. a mini-van isn't exactly my dream vehicle
2. he still has Truck, the big black goofy dog that he is

They even do devotions together when its warm outside!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


...for a seven year old can be many things. It is body function noises. It is Sponge Bob. It often doesn't make any sense whatsoever to the mature adult mind, let alone to other seven year olds. May I just say, I usually fail to appreciate seven year old humor. But this last Sunday, J and I enjoyed an extended, side-splitting giggle over something she said in the car on the way home.

It went like this: Big D asked if his talk that morning had made sense. I said yes. And J leans over and asks, dead serious and with a gleam in her little eye, how many cents did it make?

Jenna and I proceeded to giggle for about the next 5 minutes together. Here it is Wed. night and I am still smiling over the memory!! For a brief moment in time, we bonded together in laughter and a common sense of humor.

Now I need to go turn Sponge Bob off before he drives me insane.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Our Tree

It is cold, snow from yesterday is still on the ground and the girls have been sledding. The fire isn't just for ambiance!!

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree!

It is after Thanksgiving now, so I have full permission from society in general to begin the decorating of the house. If I waited for permission from my Grinch-ish husband, it might be Christmas Eve before he would endorse any hanging of ribbons or lights. (I know you are reading this, sweet man of mine, and you know it is true!)

My tree is up and my mantle decorated. It feels so nice and festive in the livingroom, with Martina McBride singing Christmas carols on the cd player!! I am going to take a picture and talk my Grinch into helping me get it onto my computer by tomorrow's post. I would love to see your tree too, so if you are able, post a picture on your own blog and I will come and admire it!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Conflict Stinks!!

I just thought I would put that statement out there as safe common ground we can all relate to. 'Cause it does and everyone knows it! Except lawyers. They actually like it. But anyways, for the last little while conflict has swirlled near me, but not touched me directly. All of a sudden I find myself flat in the middle of some myself.

In an uncomfortable turn of events, I have been forced to put my actions where my mouth has been. As I have encouraged those in the swirl of conflict to handle it Biblically, so now I am having to summon the courage to not gossip, to confront directly and openly, speaking the truth in a loving way, with a forgiving and non-judgemental attitude, having removed the log from my own eye first, etc. And I just have to say again, Conflict Stinks.

But I am thankful that the God has not remained silent on this topic and that in addition to the above principles He also included in His Word the following verse:

"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." Romans 12:18

Dear Lord,
if it is possible,
as far as it depends on me,
I want to live at peace with everyone.
Please help me!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Such a Proud Moment

My son in 8th grade had a Thanksgiving brunch in his class this morning. His job was to bring fruit salad, and wisely the room mom emailed me with that information last week so I was completely prepared the night before rather then the morning of. Chatting with the room mom tonight at his b-ball game, I found that as M presented the fruit salad to his class, in that true "Thanksgiving spirit", he requested they not eat it all because he was saving some of it for his snack later. He was apparently dead serious. And his classmates apparently complied with this request. All I have to say is, such a proud moment for me! And of all my kids, I would not have expected that from him. On the up side, at least he is making good choices to eat healthy snacks!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Basketball Is My Favorite Sport...

And I am going to get PLENTY of B-Ball this year. D-3 made JV, M is playing jr high, and C and J will play in our church league on Saturdays. Big D will coach J's team this year, since he and I coached C's team last year. But as for me, I will sit on the sidelines, cheer my kids on, and love doing it. Most of the time. For that small bit of time that is frustrating I make the following commitment:

When I get tired of driving, I will remind myself of how fun it was when I was in their stage of life and be thankful for the sacrifice of time my own parents made.
When I get discouraged because 2 games are going at the same time and I can't be at both, I will be thankful that my husband can usually be at one and I can be at the other.
When I grow butt-weary of sitting on the bench, I will remember it is a season with a beginning and an next Fall I will again be saying "Basketball is my favorite sport!"

Friday, November 16, 2007

Chai-Spiced Bread

It turned out pretty good and was very easy, so I am posting the recipe for you to try. As I warned my friends this morning during our coffee time, it seems like a mid-morning type bread, not a whenever-you-want-it kind of snack like banana bread is. But who doesn't need a mid-morning bit of spice added to their life?!

3/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. butter or marg. softened
1/2 c. prepared tea or water
1/3 c. milk
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
2 c. flour all purpose
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves

1c. powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
3-5 tsp milk
additional ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 400 deg. Grease bottom of 8x4 or 9x5 inch loaf pan with shortening or cooking spray.
Beat granulated sugar and butter with mixer on med. until fluffy. On low beat in tea, 1/3 c. milk, 2 tsp. vanilla and the eggs until well combined. Stir in bread ingredients just until moist. Spread in pan.

Bake 50-60 min. or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 min. remove from pan and cool another 30 min.

Glaze. Stir powdered sugar, 1/4 tsp vanilla and 3 tsp of the milk, adding more milk by tsps. until spreadable. Spread glaze over bread. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon. Cool about 2 hrs before slicing.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

It's An Evening to Bake

The weather outside is frightful (cloudy, dark, light snow but not sticking) and so I am printing out a recipe for some Chai bread that my sis-in-law sent my way last week to give a try. If it turns out nicely, I will make a bunch for my coffee pals who I am meeting tomorrow AM and will post the recipe for my long distance coffee pals! It is about time you came over to the Tea Side anyways!!!

Biding My Time!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

My Response to Blessings

So how should I respond to blessings, those good gifts from God? In Eph. 1:3-4 it says,

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.”

My response should be one of praise and gratitude to God, recognizing His spiritual blessings with an attitude of humility and a heart ready to live an obedient life according to His holy ways.

A specific type of obedience that God expects from His children when they have experienced blessing in hardships is found in II Cor. 1:3,4. The gift of comfort that He gives to us, He expects us to pass along to others around us.

II Cor 1:3,4 says:

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”

Where God has touched me in the past, my gratitude, recognition, humility, and obedience should lead me to be willing and able to pass those blessings along to others. Simply put, God often chooses to use you and me to bless others in His Name.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Blessings Defined

To those of you who were thinking of me this past week as I worked on my talk for the brunch, thank you!! I love how God shows up in my life through the study of His Word and through sisters in Christ who help me push forward through challenges. I wish I could relay to you the whole story of this past week, but it would be much too long. Suffice it to say, He is faithful!! The following is the intro. to my talk if you are interested.

Growing up in the south, this word “blessing” is thrown around alot in common everyday conversation. It is a word used by Christians and non-Christians alike. It is kind of like grits and coke. It is part of the culture. And because of this, I think the word loses a bit of its real meaning sometimes. Last week I googled the word blessing. I wonder how closely their definitions agree with what you think of when you hear the word blessing?

*praying at the dinner table is “blessing” the meal
*a town in Texas is named Blessing
*going to your parents and asked for their approval on your marriage
*sympathetic thing to say when someone sneezes
*a herd of unicorns is called a blessing (I didn’t know that one either)
*divinely appointed gift

I am willing to bet that if I went over to Kohls and stopped random people to ask them what a blessing is, most would probably respond with something like this...

it is something good that happens to you.

And they are right. Blessings are good things and we all enjoy them.

But the best definition of blessing is that it is a gift from God.

Blessings come to us wrapped up in different packages. There are the obvious blessings in our life that when we see them we immediately recognize them for the wonderful things they are. These are satin blessings, like romance, dear friendships, a lovely home, special abilities and talents, fun vacations. And then there are denim blessings. Still good and very necessary in our enjoyment of life, but not so flashy as satin blessings. These are things like cars that run and get you to where you need to go. Maybe it is a job, not necessarily your dream job but certainly a fine job and there for you when you get to work in the morning. Maybe it is good health, and your kids not coming down with strep when all the other kids in their class do. And then, there are burlap blessings. These are the ones that often come to us in disguise and in times of hardship. These gifts don't appear to be valuable or desirable. In fact, burlap is rough to the touch and often frayed at the edges. But inside the burlap packaging are sweet spiritual gifts like peace, hope, love, grace, forgiveness.

All three types of gifts qualify as blessings and all of them are wonderful things that we desire and need, given to us from the hand of God. So how should we respond to them? Tomorrow, I will post my thoughts on that question!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


...would be an ok excuse for my blog being so sadly ignored, but no, Blue Skies, that is not the reason. I have been up to my ears in stuff. Specifically, in preparing for a Thanksgiving Brunch talk on, of all things, "blessings"! ("A tisket, a tasket, the Lord has filled my blessing basket" is the theme of the brunch!!!!! ) That will happen on Saturday, so I will be able to re-focus on the blog a bit better next week hopefully. So say a prayer for me Saturday morning, if you please.

P.S. First snow happened yesterday. It melted immediately, but, oh, it sure was fun to watch it come down!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

I Will Do It This Time!!

Well, I am going to do it this time. I have voiced my good intentions before and then not followed through, but this time WILL be the time that I actually begin to scrapbook! After a bittersweet hour of searching for a very specific picture of J. as a toddler, I have come to the conclusion that enough is enough and I need to get busy!! (By the way, it was bitter because I couldn't find the picture but sweet because I unearthed so many other precious memories.)

I would take a picture of my horrendous mess that I am facing, a la Spaghettipie, but I can't. My room is too messy for a photo and I would have to borrow Big D's computer to download it and he is is just easier to describe it. Under my unmade bed, I have all sorts of shoe boxes in varying size, color, and state of dilapidation containing piles of pictures that are just crying out to be either creatively framed in a acid free environment or thrown away because C.'s eyes are crossed (mild myopia as a preschooler) and Big D.'s head got cut off the top (he can't help that he is tall).

By the way, I did make that first crucial step towards following through. I found two scrapbooks on clearance and bought some paper and tape (acid free, of course). So off I go. But not to scrapbook. I have to clean my room first! And then some laundry. And then work on some Bible study. Sigh!