Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday Singing

One of the greatest things about our church is the many worship options available to us.  The service we’re attending right now is a very modern version I suppose you would say.  There is a full band and they play many of the hit songs that are on the Christian radio stations, which is great.  Some of the newer songs make you want to fling your arms upwards and just worship from your very soul.

I do admit that I miss some of the old school hymns though.  I think there is a lot of comfort in tradition and they always make me think of my grandmother.

It looks like at our church that we’ll soon be getting the best of both worlds.  When the Lenten season starts we’ll have Wednesday night services again and those usually are filled with the hymns.

I do enjoy sharing some of the songs we sing at our service, so today this is the one I chose.  And I think it would be a lot of fun to see the Newsboys in concert some time.   :)

Spiritual Sundays

Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday’s Fave Five

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Friday, Friday – oh how I love you!  :)

1. Movies with the family – Last night the three of us watched Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and had a grand time - lots of laughs and a very silly movie.  When I saw we watched, well we also had other things going on as well.  Lynne’ sits with her baby laptop and types away while watching and I was busy knitting a hat.  Good thing we weren’t watching a movie that required a lot of attention!

2. Joe is well! – I talked to the vet yesterday and Joe (the golden retriever) does not have cancer – the tumor was benign!  The amount of worry I had for this dog might be silly to some, but quite simply I do love him.

3. Attitudes – At the end of the movie last night they had a song playing that said “It’s raining sunshine”.  Lynne’ said “hey mom – it’s a theme song for you!” or something like that (you know I’m getting older and can’t remember things exactly!!!).  My point though is that I love that she thinks of me this way.  My blog name came out of my desire to count everything joy, even when you don’t want to.  I’ll admit that there are times I have to really  look hard to find joy, but I will not stop looking!

4. Family – It’s so good to have the kids home from their cruise and so much fun to have gone over there and listened to how much fun they had.  Believe it or not Little Miss Granddaughter seemed like she had gotten older while she was gone!  Loni had trimmed her bangs so instead of having toddler bangs she had little girl bangs.  And as each day passes she gets better and better at forming longer sentences.  So very much fun to be around her!

5. Facebook – HAHA – it’s been a while since I had that on the list, but here it is again.  My absolute very best friend from the time the kids were born until we all moved away about 15 years ago has finally gotten on Facebook.  We were totally inseparable while together and then devastated when both our families moved away to different states.  She’s never been a computer person, so we didn’t talk nearly enough in the last years, but now that is all changing and I haven’t laughed so much in a long time.

Now head over to Susanne’s place at Living to Tell the Story to see some more Friday Faves.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Love You Much Valentine Card

I noticed today that Valentine’s Day is getting close, so I better start posting my heart stuff!

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I made this card at Stamp Club and just love looking at it – silly I know.  It uses the latest and greatest stamps, paper, punch, ribbon and brad from the Stampin Up catalog.

What I see when I look at this card is a lady or grandma card.  Maybe it has something to do with all the floufs and flourishes or maybe the pink bow.  I do plan to send this card out and to write a note inside.  Again I’m reminded of the power of the written word vs.. an email.  Not saying email is bad, but it’s harder to wrap it up in ribbons and save in your box of important stuff.

My box is a little pink one high in the closet that has cards even from when I was younger.  Periodically I’ll pull that box down and look through the cards and letters and remember how much fun it is to hear from family and friends.  I’m hoping that others have that same fun.

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There’s a Valentine Party going on at the Craftaholics Anonymous blog that has a whole lot of links.  I’ve got some things printed out and hope that I get them done in time!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Joe Wears the “Cone of Shame”

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Poor guy…..  And how many of you think of the movie “Up” now when you see a dog with this collar?

Joe went in to get a tumor removed from his backside and we’ll know in a few days if it’s cancer or not.  Unfortunately Golden Retrievers are a breed with a high instance of cancer, so I’m pretty worried.

He’s taking the Cone of Shame well though and just plows through the house like it’s not even there.  I’m rather happy right now that I haven’t gotten around to painting the walls in the hallway as he just drags the cone along the wall.  

JoeandXena

And since I’m talking about dogs anyway, let me show you a picture of Joe (the Golden) and Xena (the lab) taken while we were babysitting the granddog.  They really are cute as can be.  :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday’s Fave Five

FFF snowflakes

Isn’t it funny how much you can look forward to Friday – even when you’ve had a short week?  I had Monday off work and I still was happy to see Friday roll around.

1. Is it wrong to have your hair listed as one of your week’s favorites?  I finally went last night to get a cut and root elimination and just feel so much better.  Vanity isn’t usually something I have much of, but I guarantee last night I felt pretty! And I look about 20 pounds thinner and 20 years younger too!

2. Focused Knitting – I told about my goal of knitting 11 hats yesterday and I have to admit that it is bringing me much pleasure. Between having a goal and doing something that always meant a lot to my mom, this project is just perfect.

3. Cleaning and Organizing – I’ve been following along with some ladies on a forum about organizing a craft room.  The goal is to work on it and finish in six months (they are going through EVERYTHING in the room) and since my own personal goal was to get my office/craft room done this year it was a perfect fit.  One of the problems I have with researching things like this online is that I drive my family over the edge while I excitedly tell them about the exciting information I find online.  Having some online ladies to share with that have similar goals is a really good fit.

4. An Extra Dog – The kids, including little Miss B, are on a cruise this week and we are taking care of their lab.  She is totally a nut and makes us laugh so much.  I don’t think I’d like being a two dog family, but she sure is fun while she’s here.  This dog does everything FAST, including getting a drink of water!

5. Blessings in General – I’m certain that Haiti has been on the minds of everybody.  Even while doing everyday things like filling the dog’s water dish they pop in my mind.  The people in Haiti are desperate for water and all I have to do is turn a faucet and can have all I desire.  We really are blessed – and please remember Haiti in your prayers.

I’m linking to Susanne at Living To Tell The Story where you can read many more posts about the week.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hat #1 for Red Andrews Dinner

When my kids were little my best friend and I went to garage sales every single Saturday morning.  Between us we had five kids, so when we would go there would always be a couple of them with us and it might change week to week as to who would go.

It was during this time that my mom starting knitting hats for the Red Andrews Christmas Dinner in Oklahoma City.  If I remember right she would donate 30-40 hats every single year. 

This ties into the garage sales because she always had me keep an eye out for yarn.  Lots of times at a garage sale you’d find somebody selling a grocery sack of yarn for about a dollar, which meant lots of warm heads for a low price.  Mom would even use the partial skeins to put stripes in the hat, so really nothing went to waste.

So this year Mom and I were emailing one day and I said I was thinking about making hats for this dinner.  She replied that it funny because she had been thinking about knitting the hats again.  We now have  a plan for hats and I figure I can give my stack to mom at Thanksgiving so she can take them to the drop off point.

I’m not a fast or every day knitter, so my commitment was less than hers.  I’ve decided to do a hat each month and any time I think that’s not enough I’m reminded that eleven people will have warmer heads this way.

Hat #1 was finished yesterday.  I used the Classic World War II Watch Cap Pattern, derived from Beanie #212 pattern.  I’m here to tell you that it’s very satisfying to knit a hat with a history like this behind it.

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I used Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Yarn in Ivory Tweed.  Very happy with how this turned out and Keith liked the large cuff on the hat – he said it would be good when it’s cold to roll it down over your ears more. 

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tomato Herb Pasta

For dinner last night I made roast chicken and tomato herb pasta as the side. This was the single most fantastic side dish I’ve ever done! Keith loved it, the house smelled fantastic and it tasted like something we would order at a restaurant.

I do want to point out that there is a LOT of butter in this and that I will try half the amount next time as we had a pool of butter on our plates.  Perhaps that’s why it was so good???  ;)

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TOMATO HERB PASTA
adapted from Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker

1 T dried onion
1/2 t oregano
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t basil
1/2 t salt
1 stick butter (I’ll try 1/2 a stick next time)
4 T water
1 15oz can diced tomatoes
2 cups uncooked egg noodles

Boil noodles according to package directions. Meanwhile, melt butter over low heat. Add herbs, salt, water and tomatoes. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Mix in drained pasta and serve.

 

I’ll be linking to:

 Tasty Tuesday at the Balancing Beauty and Bedlam blog
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed With Grace
Tuesdays at the Table at All the Small Stuff

Monday, January 18, 2010

Brooklyn Says "You Too Big!"

Keith and I took Brooklyn to the RV Show again this year. Last year she was fascinated with the bathrooms in the rv’s and this year it was the closets. Sometimes you really do wonder what they must be thinking!

And here’s what she told me when I asked if I could come in the closet with her:
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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Scripture Challenge – Hope

Last year the LPM Blog challenged us to do scripture memory – 2 verses a month.  Since I dropped the ball after a few months I thought earlier this week about how I had “failed.”  But the more I thought about the less it seemed like a failure to me.  Even now those sweet verses that I did memorize come back to me and comfort me, so how in the world can this be a failure?  :)

I had been toying with doing some scripture memory when I read that sweet Valerie had decided to continue with the LPM challenge on her blog.  This thrilled me as I love to share that sort of thing with others. 

And then, while looking at some scrapbooking blogs I came upon Patter’s Scripture Challenge and knew it was a done deal.  I love the idea of her challenge – she gives a word every other week and we find a verse to scrapbook.  For me, I’ll take it a step further and that will be my memory verse for Valerie’s challenge.

I am thrilled with this whole plan because at the end of the year I should have scriptures memorized to cover all sorts of subjects. Better yet will be a book with those verses.

Our first word was HOPE and I chose the following for my verse:

“While we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” Titus 2:13 NIV

I’ve decided to do my scrapbook pages digitally so that I can work on that.  The paper I found has sort of a sunburst in the middle, which made me think of that glorious appearing!

Week 1 Scripture Challenge - HOPE copy

I’ll need to look up the paper and embellishment so that I can properly credit them – that part is still new to me and I’ve not quite got it organized. :)

Have a great Saturday today!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Crocheted Dishcloth

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Pardon me while I do a little mom bragging.   My daughter Lynne’, 24, has made two baby blankets so far.  She knit the first one for her niece and the second blanket was crochet for her BFF’s baby.

For Christmas this year she decided to do a crocheted face cloth for each of her grandmothers.  Both of them turned out absolutely gorgeous and her packaging was perfect.  She used a very light sage green yarn called King Tut that has a beautiful sheen to it and oh so soft and luxurious.

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A trip to World Market for some boutique handmade soap and it was time to package.  The basket was gathered in plastic wrap and tied with a bow.

What a great gift for somebody you love!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Scripture Sunday

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 church service today was one of those that you just want to play over and over in your head.  The music was over the top good and the sermon – oh the sermon.  Have you ever listened to a sermon and just felt so convicted - and to be honest, even a little uncomfortable?  And I mean that in a very good way.  Sometimes the words you hear are some that you don’t really want to hear or face, but oh we are better for it.

What I find interesting about this is that we overslept this morning, which meant that we missed the service that we actually wanted to go to.  Instead, we went to the service that God wanted us to attend, though we didn’t realize it at the time.

Things like this always make me think of my Grandmother’s words: “It’s not odd, it’s God.”  AMEN!

I found one of the songs from our service on YouTube by the original artist.  Beautiful song and when you sing it at a service there is just no way to stand there without lifting those arms heavenward.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Friday’s Fave Five

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So the first week of 2010 is behind us and now it’s time to look back and remember 5 of our favorite things from that week.  Head on over to Living to Tell the Story to see links to more posts like this.   And then do a post of your own – it’s a great way to focus on the good.

1. Dinner – We are doing so good at cooking and eating at home for dinner.  It was interesting to me when we all first realized that we actually prefer that over Eating Out as that seems like such an event. But at home it’s relaxing, prayerful and so good. Plus you get leftovers for lunch the next day!

2. Prayer – Speaking of prayerful, in yesterday’s Bible reading I read again about the Lord’s Prayer and that got me to thinking. Maybe once in a while instead of praying before our meal we could say that prayer together. Last night was the first time we did it and I stumbled on the words twice – and then got the giggles.  I was absolutely mortified! Worse yet was once I got the giggles it got Lynne’ going too.  Maybe this isn’t always going to work for us.

And now it got me to thinking of inappropriate giggles. I’ve probably shared this story before, but many years ago a lady I worked with lost her son. My boss and I attended the funeral and as we were leaving she walked with purpose up to a door, opened it and discovered it was a broom closet. We both started giggling and scurried out as quick as we could. What is it about things like that that can make you laugh – nerves maybe?

3. Corner Gas – Last night we finished watching Disc One of Season One of this show.  The three of us watching it together, and laughing so hard, is great. The show is from Canada and it has a rather dry, almost deadpan humor – and that is so totally my family.

And this is a perfect example of why reading the Friday Fave Fives is a good thing.  I first read about this show on somebody’s blog and ordered the first disc from Netflix. I’m sure we’ll order all the others as much as we’ve enjoyed it.

4. Knitting – My word have I been knitting! And actually I’ve finished the knitting part of several projects that are just sitting here waiting on me to weave in ends or do a seam. I enjoy it so much and it’s so relaxing for me to sit and knit and watch a movie or tv show. I’m thankful for the opportunity to enjoy my hobbies.

5. January – There are few things I enjoy more than holidays with my family, but that also means January soon follows. What I like best about January is looking towards an entire year just waiting to be filled in. Yes I do make goals/resolutions, though that doesn’t mean I always keep them. But I have always had the theory that if I didn’t at least try then I’m doing nothing to improve myself. I just read a quote yesterday that said “If you fail to plan you plan to fail” and that struck a chord with me. I definitely do not want to plan to fail (!), so I will be refining my plan over the next few days.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Bracing for the Weather

All week long we've heard on the news about the Arctic Cold Front that is blowing through on Thursday.  Our low temperature will be about 13 degrees and we won't be back above freezing until Sunday.  But even more impressive, this is the longest and coldest cold front to hit the Dallas area in 12 years!

Now that's all well and good......except that I don't own a coat.  I've got jackets, some of them are even fairly warm.  But the thing is, 12 years ago when it was so cold, I weighed a lot more than I do now.  I finally donated the large coats several years ago and it honestly hasn't been cold enough to warrant me spending the money on a new one.

So yesterday I decided it was time for a coat.  During my lunch hour I went to two different stores and found no coats.  After work we ran up to Penney's and I found a rack that had two lonely little jackets - probably about a size 2 - hanging there...with the sound of crickets in the background.  It was starting to seem like a cloud of locusts had descended on the area and no more coats were to be found.

Next we went to Belk, which is a fairly new store in our area and there they were - several racks of coats just waiting to be chosen and come home with us.  The roof opened up, rainbows and unicorns appeared and there was much rejoicing.

Better yet - coats were now 50% off!  I found the cutest red wool coat and really couldn't have been happier.  I feel quite sassy in a red coat and now I'm almost looking forward to the cold weather.

Heavenly Father, we ask that you be with the homeless people during this cold weather.  Keep them warm and safe and offer up a place for their comfort.  Let us never forget just how blessed we are in our homes.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Sunday Scripture

God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.”  Genesis 1:25 NIV

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve started my read the Bible in a year series again.  It’s rather comforting to read the familiar words of the beginning of time again.

We didn’t make it to church this morning as Keith and Lynne’ are still sick.  As I drank my morning coffee and read my Bible in the quiet of my house I was at peace.

And it was at this point that the cat wandered over, jumped on the sofa with me, curled up purring and went to sleep.  As I stroked his back and listened to his purring I couldn’t help but think of God creating all the animals.  Many times I look at this cat and think him worthless (and I say that with love!), but there are few things as comforting as listening to a cat purr. 

It truly was good.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Hoppin John – and Nothin’ Else Hoppin!

Alas, my household has fallen victim to the a winter cold.  I don’t know if it’s because we weren’t sturdy enough to play out in the massive snow or if it was just our time, but all three of us have been fighting it the last few days.  I have never been so happy to see a three day weekend!  The unfortunate part is that we weren’t able to celebrate New Year’s Eve much. 

They say that whatever you do on New Year’s Day you’ll be doing all year long.  Fortunately I did wake up feeling better today and was able to do quite a bit of knitting.  Lynne’ also felt better and spent most of the day out with friends.  Unfortunately, poor hub Keith seems to have the worst of all and hasn’t quite bounced back.  So while he rested on the sofa watching movies I cheerfully watched with him, all the while knitting away.

I’m probably the last person on the planet to have seen Julie and Julia, but we did see it today and I enjoyed it.  We’ve had it here from Netflix for a bit, but Keith was never really interested in seeing it.  Today he decided to lay down on the sofa and nap, so I said I would pop the movie in and watch and knit.  What we didn’t realize is that this movie also shows some of Julia Childs’ life, so Keith ended up more interested than he first thought.  He especially was always a fan of her show, so he enjoyed the movie more than he thought he would.

And like any good southern wife I made sure to have our black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day so that we would have good luck all the year long.  Keith and the kids don’t like them, so I’ve argued every year trying to get them to eat at least a few spoonfuls.  This year I went for something a little more exciting – I turned the black-eyed peas into Hoppin John ala Emeril.  MUCH better and that will be our new tradition.  Recipe follows, along with the changes I made.

And a HAPPY NEW YEAR to all!

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HOPPIN JOHN
adapted from Emeril

1 T olive oil
1 large ham hock (I used 16 oz pkg of diced ham)
1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
1 T chopped garlic
1 pound black-eyed peas, soaked overnight and rinsed
1 quart chicken stock
bay leaf
1 t thyme
salt, black pepper and cayenne
3 cups steamed white rice

Heat oil in a large soup pot, add the ham hock or ham pieces and saute for about 4 minutes. Add the onion, celery, green pepper, and garlic and cook for an additional 4 minutes. Add the black-eyed peas, chicken stock, bay leaf, thyme and seasonings. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes or until the peas are creamy and tender, stirring occasionally. If the liquid evaporates, add more water or stock. Serve over rice.

 

Glory to God in highest heaven,
Who unto man His Son hath given;
While angels sing with tender mirth,
A glad new year to all the earth.
~Martin Luther