Monday, July 30, 2007

Monday Night Meme - One Word

This one was fun because it was quick to do and didn't take much thinking! Yeah! I also went with the first word that came to mind. Hats off to fellow mommy blogger, SHORT STOP who I got this from. If you want to play along, post in a comment. OR, if you have your own blog and want to post it there, let me know so I can come visit!


1. Where is your cell phone?
2. Relationship?
3. Your hair?
4. Work?
5. Your sister?
Which one?
6. Your favorite things?
Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream - Sundae Cone Flavor
7. Your dream last night?
8. Your favorite drink?
Moca with peppermint, whip cream and chocolate sprinkles on top
9. Your dream car?
10. The room you're in?
Living Room
11. Your shoes?
Flip Flops
12. Your fears?
13. What do you want to be in 10 years?
14. Who did you hang out with this weekend?
15. What are you not good at?
16. Muffins?
17. Wish-list item?
Hot Tub
18. Where you grew up?
19. The last thing you did?
Made dinner
20. What are you wearing?
21. What are you not wearing?
22. Your pet?
23. Your computer?
24. Your life?
25. Your mood?
26. Missing?
27. What are you thinking about?
28. Your car?
29. Your kitchen?
30 Your summer?
31. Your favorite color?
Midnight blue
32. Last time you laughed?
33. Last time you cried?
A few days ago
34. School?
35. Love?
Worth it

Thursday, July 26, 2007


You won't be able to find bleached baking flour in this house anymore. It's gone in the garbage. We will now only have wheat flour and non-bleached white flour. Doing this wouldn't have previously occurred to me until I heard a story from a friend, who heard it from her friend. It may be folklore by now, but it sure made an impact on me. The story goes like this:

"There was a lady who had some children that were playing outside. They had decided to have a food fight with flour. The playing proceeded to the driveway. Then, all of sudden, the family had to leave for some reason. There wasn't time to pick up the mess at the moment. So when they returned to clean-up the flour, they discovered that it had bleached the driveway!"

Hmmm. Something about that isn't right. It made me realize that when the flour packaging says, "Bleached Flour", it really means that there is bleach in it.

I'm not one to usually react suddenly like this, but it just really helped to take a look at what was in our foods. Buying non-bleached flour and more wheat flour, doesn't cost much more than the other and it is an easy change to make.

It's back!

The sparkle in my daughter's eyes is back now! :) She is feeling much better. Even trying to wrestle with her daddy. Yeah!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Thank you PBS!

My little girl has been in love with latest Idaho PBS series on Wild Horses. I don't know what it is about little girls and horses. They just go together.

She grabs all her horses when this evening show comes on and lines them up. Our daughter has an entire family of horses. She recently received a "Daddy Horse" from her Grandma Hertel. Of course the horses come with us when we go places in the car and Mommy is careful to locate these childhood treasures before bedtime. Let's not talk about what happens when one of them falls out of the bed. :)

A few other favorite PBS shows that my kids have enjoyed are the one's on Ferrets and another one on Stellar Seals.

Living Well

Thanks to everyone for their encouragement with our "yuckies". Mom and brother are getting better. Just need to get our appetites back. But little sis is still having troubles, so we are keeping an eye on her. :)

I have been following a wonderful blogger series called, "Online Finishing School - "Living Well", by Meredith written on her blog "Like Merchant Ships". I hope that you will stop by and take a look at her series this week. Her blog is very refreshing and has so many great ideas for living life well. Here are some of the titles of topics posted so far:

Living Well:
~Start Small
~Managing Servants
~and more to come...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


We have the stomach yuckies around here. It started with my little girl. Then mommy got it. And then my son started having symptoms. So far Dad is staying strong.

I had a cute conversation with my little boy. I was giving him a hug after finding out he had a fever. I told him, "Mommy's rules are that nobody can get sick anymore." He looked up at me and said, "Mommy, I broke your rules." I said, "I know sweetie."

I'm just trying to keep things going with the necessities of cleaning linens, resting, wiping doorknobs, refilling soap containers, lying around, trying to figure out what toddlers with no appetite & queasy stomachs want to eat or drink, doing more laundry and towels, and then more resting.

Looking forward to "normal days" here at our home. :)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

I had a great time planning this week's menu. Hope you enjoy!

Monday: Crunchy Mandarin Spinach Salad with sliced boiled eggs, chicken, and bacon pieces. Also plan to bake some Brick Bread.

Tuesday: Dinner with friends

Wednesday: Easy Coconut Talapia with salad and wild rice

Thursday: Baked Chicken with Veggie Casserole, and watermelon

Friday: Pork Stir Fry with Japanese style veggies, noodles, rice, and crab puffs.

Saturday: Burritos, Corn, and applesauce

Sunday: Pizza and Fruit

For more dinner ideas visit Laura at I’m An Organizing Junkie.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Zucchini Time

What do you do with an abundance of Zucchini this time of the year?

When my husband came home from his recent bike tour, he presented a bag of Zucchini to me, a gift from my sweet mother-in-law's garden. This is such a wonderful vegetable! There are so many uses for it in cooking and baking.

So if you have lots of Zucchini to use up, check out this website over at Menus for Moms where you can read this helpful article: "Zucchini Overload? 11 Ideas and Recipes To Get You Through Zucchini Time."

As for the Zucchini I received, here are the plans I have to use up this vegetable:

Strategically placed it into two weeks of meal planning:
~A side dish of sauteed zucchini w/butter, grated Parmesan cheese, and Italian Seasonings.
~Adding to a Quiche.
~Veggie Casserole
~Zucchini Tomato Casserole
~Grate into 1/2 cup increments and place in freezer bags to be stored. Then defrost for future meals to be used in: spaghetti, meatloaf, muffins, and zucchini bread.

Please feel free to share any ways you use up Zucchini... :)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Frugal Fridays! - Cook Once & Eat Twice

Baked Potatoes
are a wonderful thing to cook once and eat twice. Regular potatoes and yams and sweet potatoes work with this and are so good and tasty. They are wonderful as left overs, and warm up so nicely.

At Wal-Mart, there is a bag of large baking potatoes for under $4.00. There are 9 to 10 large baking potatoes in it. This is very inexpensive compared to other stores for baking large baking potatoes.

This would be great for either a large gathering at your home to provide a potato bar of baked potatoes and many different types of toppings like broccoli, cheese, chives, bacon, sour cream, chili, tomatoes, salsa, black beans mixed with salsa, left over taco meat, chicken, left-over veggies...the ideas are endless for what you could offer as some toppings.

When baking this many potatoes, you can pierce them with a fork on both sides and then wrap them with foil. You can also brush them with olive oil and roll them in sea salt before wrapping in foil, if you would like to. Then put them in the oven at 400 degrees for about 2 to 3 hours depending on your oven.

I would suggest that even if you are not serving these potatoes to guests that you go ahead and make the entire bag of them, and then eat them once more as baked potatoes or make home made scalloped potatoes with garlic, heavy cream or half & half, shredded cheddar, Parmesan and provolone.

You could also cube these cooked potatoes and make a sort of hash brown potato with onion alongside of a meatloaf, or chicken or to serve with eggs.

You could also make a very quick and easy potato soup with the left over baked potatoes. You would just slice them up and put them in a pot with some half & half, butter chopped onions, frozen peas, garlic, seasoned salt and pepper...heat through and serve! :)

Click on this recipe for Homemade Oven French Fries, and other frugal meal ideas.

Find lots of great frugal tips at Biblical Womanhood, hosted by Crystal.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A breath of fresh air

This morning, I decided to have my devotional time out on the back porch. With all the heat and smoke from fires lately, the air in the morning has been warm and poor in quality. Today, the forecast is 81 degrees at noon and 91 degrees for the evening. Definitely a breath of fresh air from the "summer time woes."

So I was reading through the Book of John and picking up verses that had been highlighted throughout the years that have had special meaning to me:

John 1:12
"Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God..."

One of my life verses:
John 3:16 "
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

John 5:24
"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life."

First heard this verse at Raft Rally Summer Camp
John 10:27-29
"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them out of my hand. My father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand."

John 15:1-4
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me."

John 15:16
"You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit - fruit that will last."

John 16:33
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Red Vines

The other day, my little boy had his first Red Vines Licorice. Since then, he's become quite addicted to them and thinks they are the greatest thing in the whole world. It cracks me up when he says, "Mom, I think about those all the time". Just one does not suffice.

Don't you agree?

It is so funny how he will do "cartwheels" for these. They are a great motivator. But, it seems to me that if he eats too many then a tummy ache may follow. And, I guess we should leave a few for others.

And of course you can't eat a licorice without learning to blow air through the holes, tie them up in a knot, or use them as a straw in your drink.

Good stuff...

Saturday, July 14, 2007


Thanks for all the responses!
And the winner is: Daphne Wallace.
Thanks for your support, Mom!

You'll enjoy this book, Humor for a Woman's Heart.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Last day for Drawing

12 more hours to go - to send me your name and email address to to win the book, "Humor for a Woman's Heart" - Stories, Quips, and Quotes to Lift the Heart.

Click here for details.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Belated 4th of July News

We had a great time with some good friends celebrating the 4th of July. We went out to their country home and stayed until the fireworks were done and the bugs chased us home.

The evening had all the "fixins" of a traditional 4th of July Celebration. There were barbecued hamburgers & hot dogs, beans, chips, watermelon, ice tea, pink lemonade, rice krispie squares, brownies, Raspberry Cobbler, and ice cream.

There were 7 kids, under the age of 5, running around (except for the 2 month old). They had fun splashing in the kiddie pool. My little Emily just lit up when she went down the slide into the pool. All the kids got along so well. It was a joy to watch them play with kittens, run on the lawn, check out the cows, and watch fireworks. Definitely a night to remember...

Here are the kids enjoying the water:

Kids checking out the kittens that are hiding in the bushes.

And the cows...

Kids waiting for the fireworks to light up the sky:

What does your name mean?

L is for Love
I is for Influential
S is for Song
A is for Attitude

Hats off to Nise' for this fun little ditty on her blog.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Fear Not

Hats off to Especially Heather's Blog where she shares,
"365. That’s how many times Jesus said “Do Not Fear” in the Bible. That is 1 “Do not fear” for everyday of the year".

This was a very encouraging post and video to view. Hope you stop by her blog.

Friday, July 6, 2007

100th Posting!

Hello everyone!

To help you join me in celebrating this special occasion I have some great news for you:

I will be giving away the "Humor for a Woman's Heart" - Stories, Quips, and Quotes to Lift the Heart.
From favorite Christian authors and comedians. Humor has the unique power to lift a heart to new heights, to heal the hurts of a bad day and to infuse the soul with inspiration.

To enter to win this book,
all you need to do is:

Email your name and mailing address to:

To be entered into the drawing twice,
post about this giveaway on your blog, linking to this post, and email me the link to your post along with your name and mailing address and you will be given two entries in the contest.

One entry per family unless you blog about it and then you are entitled to two entries.

Entries must be received one week from now, Friday, July 13th at 8:00 p.m., Mountain Standard Time. A winner will be randomly selected from the entrants on Friday and the winner's name will be posted on Saturday. Email me if you have any questions.

Spread the word!

Berry Pickin

Last Saturday we went to a farm called the The Berry Patch. Where you can pick your own berries, take a hay ride, and view the farm animals. My husband and I spent about 2 hours picking raspberries with the help of our little ones (at least they felt like they were helping). The kids had a fun time talking about the birds and the bees, the mud, the corn in field, and the farm animals.

We picked more than a flat of raspberries. Which turned out to be 5 pounds or 12 cups.

When we got home the berries were washed thoroughly and frozen in 1 cup increments, with Fruit Fresh sprinkled on them and placed into the freezer. The plans for these raspberries are to make smoothies, a cobbler, and when the peaches come in - some Peach/Raspberry Jam.

Here is a picture of the smoothies we made and my little girl really enjoying hers!


The amount needed for each family will differ. We make one blender full to feed our family of 2 adults and 2 toddlers.

We eat wheat toast with our smoothies and for our little ones we give them about 1 cup of smoothie and for adults a full that's about 2 to 2 1/2 cups full or 16 to 20 oz. for each big person. Do what works best for your family though.

~We purchase plain yogurt in a tub. One tub (32 oz) that costs about $3.00 lasts us two weeks and makes 4 blender fulls. (we don't measure we just try to use 1/4 of the tub for each blender full that we make)
~We use 1-2 bananas per blender full
~We use 1 to 1 1/2 cups of fruit per blender full
~We use milk to fill blender and to make it the proper consistency (we don't measure)

You can use fresh or frozen berries, peaches, cherries, or pineapple to make smoothies.

You can also add fruit juice instead if you prefer that over milk.

We don't add ice....but you could.

Birthday Cake

Here we are celebrating my husband's Birthday
with a yummy ice cream cake.
The kids get so excited celebrating birthdays!
They love surprises.
Happy Birthday Daddy!

Thursday, July 5, 2007


You know it is going to be a hot day, when it's already very warm in the morning.
105 degrees today,
107 degrees tomorrow.

Feeling sorry for those folks in Arizona with fore-casted temperatures of 116 degrees and those in Texas dealing with flooding.
Feeling thankful that we don't have to deal with either of those two extremes.

Putting it into action

Dear friends:

The following is an excerpt of an email received from my mentor, Lori. The timing of this letter goes so well with my last post on being in devotions, that I wanted to be sure to share this with you. Hope you enjoy it.

A quote from Charles Swindoll:
"Let me mention one more 'cheap substitute' so common among Christian wives in our day. It is learning about what's right rather than doing what is right... It has been my observation that a large percentage of Christian wives know more--much more--than what they put into practice. And yet, they are continually interested in attending another class, taking another course, reading another book, going to another seminar...learning, discussing, studying, discovering...and what results? Normally, greater guilt. Or, on the other side, an enormous backlog of theoretical data that blinds and thickens the conscience rather than spurs it into action. Learning more truth is a poor and cheap substitute for stopping and putting into action the truth already learned."

God's Word has much to say on this but here are just a couple of verses on the topic....

James 1:22-25 "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and , after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it ~ he will be blessed in what he does."

We are not to deceive ourselves into thinking that hearing or reading or being taught or writing the Word or posting the Word up in our homes, is enough.....God says if we stop here, we deceive ourselves! He tells us to "DO WHAT IT SAYS!"

He tells us to not forget the truth of God's Word and His Ways that we've been taugtt (by the Holy Spirit, by God's Word, by the pastor, by our Bible study teachers) not forgetting what we've heard....BUT DOING IT!
Then we will be blessed in what we do!!! :)

Many of us want to be blessed by what we do...
but if we are NOT DOING what Jesus tells us to...
we will not receive the blessings that we could be!

Often we are frustrated by things not going well in our lives and by the struggles we face....but as we DO WHAT IT (God's Word) SAYS....
we will be blessed in what we do! :)

Luke 7:46-48 "Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord' and do not do what I say? I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When the flood came,the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built."

I know there were times in all of our lives when wisdom was shared with us, but we didn't do what we were told to do....and then when the consequences come we call for help! God says why won't you do what you should?

He wants us to:

1. Come to Him! To pray, to look to Him, to see our need, to draw close to Him.

2. Hear his Word. To be in his Word daily, to hear his Word taught, preached, spoken, and to remember it...not forgetting it, but meditating upon it...thinking about it...stopping and really seeking to truly HEAR it and remember it!

But the final step is sooooo important and one we usually have the most problem with....

3. Put it into practice!
We need to come to Jesus, to see our need for him, to realize we need his wisdom and truth and help and salvation!

Then we need to read his Word and listen as it is taught truthfully and well and be encouraged by it....but we also need to put it into practice...walking it out much like a toddler learning to walk! We will fail and fall many times...but just like a toddler, we will learn to walk in the Lord's ways as we keep getting up and practicing again and again and again what the Lord is telling us to do! :)

This is as much a reminder for me as for anyone else! :) I know that one word has helped me sooo much to keep in mind what I should be doing each morning when God's mercies are new...and I meet with him.

The one word that has helped me so much is the word "purpose!" I seek to purpose each day to do what the Lord is showing me and encouraging me to do...what his Word tells me to do and what the Holy Spirit is leading me to do.

Phil. 3:12-14 says it best....
"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do, forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

Oh, that we would be godly women that are not only hearers....but doers!

That each day, we would "forget" what is behind (God's grace is sufficient to cover the mistakes and sins of yesterday as we humble ourselves before him) and instead PRESS ON, STRAINING toward what is ahead...putting into practice the truth that the Lord has given us as we COME to him, and HEAR his Word....may we also be faithful in his grace to PRACTICE obeying what he has given us! :)

Hope this was an encouragement and blessing to you today!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Always Relevant

"Since you are my rock and my fortress,
for the sake
of your name
lead and guide me"

Psalms 31:3

On Saturday, I came across this verse while reading from my devotional booklet. After reading it I thought to myself, "that's nice". The fact that He can lead us and guide us is a pretty simple idea. But at the moment it was nothing of a huge impact on my thinking.

Then after the events of Sunday and Monday (read this post), the meaning of this verse completely had a new meaning after I read it again on Tuesday morning. It's amazing how this happens. The verse dug deep into my heart with full acceptance and acknowledgment.

As I reflected on this, I think of how good our God is to speak to our hearts. Right were we are! To reaffirm us. To remind us of His promises and faithfulness. I was again encouraged to read the Word every day. It somehow makes the day go so much better. At least I feel more grounded to deal with the many challenges that "come up" throughout the day.

I was also thinking about how some of us who have read the Bible growing up, may sometimes think,
" I've already mastered or completed a certain part of scripture, or I studied this in Sunday School Class. Or, "I already know this - now I can read something else. Or, I don't really need to read it every day. Or, have the attitude - been there done that. Or, maybe I'll read books written by Christian Authors instead." I'm guilty of all of this and much more.

But again, I have been inspired to treat every verse from the Bible as if it was the first time reading it. Discovering it's truths and meaning for my life. Just because I've already read a verse once or a dozen times, doesn't mean it won't have meaning for me in the future. That's for sure!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Angora Fire Update

Good news!

My grandparent's home is safe. With 70% or more of the fire contained. The threat is dissipating and many firefighters are going home or being reassigned to other fires in the Nation.

After being evacuated from their home for almost a week, they returned Saturday morning. They are now unpacking all the clothes, pictures, and other valuables taken out when fleeing from the fire danger. They were the lucky ones as so many lost their homes.

My Grandma, shared with me that there were so many people in church on Sunday. There are lots of people needing hope right now.

Please continue to remember the South Lake Tahoe Community in your prayers.

Bad News/Good News

The Bad News:
Yesterday, my little boy and I opened the front door to pick up our newspaper from the porch. Next thing I knew, our dog Shadrack jetted by my legs and out across the street to another dog that was being walked by his owner. I began to yell at him to come and stop. Although, he gets along really well with other dogs, I just didn't want his charging toward them to frighten the lady who was walking her dog.

In an unreal moment, in a split second, Shadrack was hit by a Jeep. He was broadsided and tumbled by the impact. But he got up and ran into the house. The owner of the Jeep, asked if he was "okay"? All I could reply was "I don't know!" as I headed for the house, realizing that my little boy just saw his doggy get hit. I quickly shut the door and turned my attentions on assessing the damage to our dog and calming a little boy.

Luckily, our dog was able to walk, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to carry him into the car and take him to the Animal Hospital. I called my husband on the cell phone, who was at church helping with set-up. He would meet us at the hospital. So I loaded the kids up and the dog and went on our way.

The exam showed that Shadrack's abdominal area was very tender and it was difficult for him to sit down or jump up. The doctor gave him some pain shots and x-rays. The kids and I spent all morning at the hospital and they did extremely well in the waiting room. There were some really good toys and books available to them. Shadrack's test results came out clear. So we were able to take him home, give pain pills, and monitor for any other concerns.

He seems to be in better spirits this morning. We are so thankful that he is alive and well for the most part. I don't know if I will ever be able to clear the image of our dog's accident from my mind. My hope and prayer is that it will be cleared from my son's memory. Being 4 years old - we hope!

On the way to the hospital, I was so touched by my son's compassion. You see, there was a tense silence as we were driving along. Then from the back seat I heard my son say, "Mom, I love you. Shadrack is going to be okay. God will help us". It was so special to see how God was ministering to me through my son. Tears welled up in my eyes. :)

Our car has issues:
~Brake light is on. They are 90% gone. Makes a grinding noise when driving.
~The engine light is on. Crack in exhaust pipe.
~Problem with the A/C belt? There is a very high pitch squeal when starting the car and sometimes when driving.
~The front CV Axels are both blown.
~Air Filter needs replaced
~Transmission Fluid, Brake Fluid, and Anitifreeze need topped off.
~Anything else?
~There is a tail light out.

The car is at the shop this morning getting the CV Axels fixed and the AC Belt tightened. Although, this means I don't have a car today or longer, it sure will be worth having some of its issues taken care of. Then my husband will work on the brakes and fluid issues. He is handy that way. :)

In Retrospect:
Before going to bed last night, I told my husband that I didn't want to have another day like I had today! Although, it felt unbearable, I was able to remember that God was with me. He was there helping me to make all the decisions that came up. I kept throwing out these "911" prayers: "Help!"; "What do I do with the dog?"; "Who do I call?"; "Lord, what do I do now?"; "What medical procedures do I approve for the dog?"; "How am I going to pay for this?"; "How do I bring peace and understanding to my children?". God was there every step of the way.

I am so thankful that His mercies are new ever
y morning!

Shadrack getting his fur brushed out
by our little boy and Grandpa.

A close-up of Shadrack and our little girl.