Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving 08

Well, we made it through the holiday! Whew! We have had a pretty good weekend overall. Brandon was off Thursday and Friday night, so it was nice to spend some time together while he is alert! We spent Thursday in Lewisburg with Brandon's maternal Grandparents, which was nice overall. Of course there are the one or two family members who seem to enjoy causing drama over stupid stuff, but that's a whole series of blogs in itself. We were so exhausted Thursday night we turned in at 7:30pm! This NEVER happens unless I'm sick!

After a much needed 12 hour nap, I spend half of Friday with my mom and sister, putting up my mom's tree for her, and then we went to Walmart and then mom treated us to a Pie in the Sky pizza...delicious! You must try it if you haven't already!

Friday evening Brandon and I went and walked around Opryland hotel for a while. I love this, but unfortunately Brandon doesn't enjoy it as much as I do. That's ok though, he is sweet enough to go anyway and watch me run around like a 4 year old, amazed by the lights which never seem to change, but I like that...I know what to look forward to!

Today we had our 2nd Thanksgiving dinner at my parents' house. Then we all watched Elf. I love that movie :-)
After that, Brandon came home and went to bed while I went and did some Christmas shopping and then wrapped them.
Now, I am fixing to go play the xbox 360 for a bit till Brandon gets up for work.

Not sure why I felt the need to give a play by play of our weekend, but there you go. If you read it all, then A) thank you for reading, and B) I'm sorry you're so bored :-(

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Nana's Famous Sweet Potato Casserole

This is the best sweet potato casserole I've ever had! Put it this way, before I discovered this recipe, I wouldn't TOUCH a sweet potato!

1 29 oz can Bruce's sweet potatoes, drained well.
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. vanilla
2/3 c. sugar
2/3 stick butter, melted
2 eggs
salt (optional)

Topping: 1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. flour
1/2 stick butter
1/2 c. chopped nuts (pecans are best)

Beat potatoes with mixer until smooth. Add cinnamon, vanilla, sugar, and butter. Beat 2 eggs and fold into mixture. Add salt. Pour mixture into buttered baking dish. Topping: mix all ingredients except nuts until it resembles course corn meal. Mix in nuts. Pour on top of potatoes. Cook at 350 for 25 minutes.

Brandon's Amazing Red Velvet Cake

Well, I took my shot at making them this time. I even made them into cupcakes!!!

1 1/2 C. sugar
2 c. oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vinegar
1 oz red food coloring (1 whole bottle!)
2 1/2 Self rising flour
2 Tbsp cocoa
1 C. buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla

Mix sugar and oil in small bowl. Add eggs and beat well. Add vinegar and food coloring and beat. In a separate bowl, sift or stir with fork flour and cocoa. Add flour to first mixture. Add buttermilk and 1 tsp of the vanilla and beat well.
Pour into floured cake pan and bake as follows:

2 9in cake pans bake at 350 for 35-40 mins.
12 cupcakes bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.

1 stick butter, softened (BUTTER, not margerine)
8 oz cream cheese
1 lb box powdered sugar
1 c. chopped pecans (optional)

Beat cream cheese and butter. Add remaining vanilla. Sift or stir sugar in a bowl. Add to mixture gradually. Add nuts and mix well.

This cake is fabulous!!! And rich! It's surprisingly not that hard to make.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thankless...a must read

Today I made a run to the Gyro place for lunch. The man in front of me ordered his food...a beef Gyro...and asked for some cucumber sauce (which just SOUNDS nasty!). The man behind the counter was working somewhat slowly, and didn't seem to be "all there." He informed the man that they were out of the sauce. At that moment, this man became upset at the fact that he may not be able to enjoy his $6 sandwich with this disgusting cucumber sauce, and stated (in ebonics almost), "oh yes you do! Don't tell me you ain't got none, I know you do!" The worker's boss told him (the worker) that there was a little bit left, and so the worker went to retrieve it. In the worker's absence, the customer says things (quite loudly) such as "what's wrong with you folks? Tell me you ain't got no cucumber sauce. You be tryin to lie to me." Yeah, ridiculous. The man returns with a squeeze bottle with a small amount of the sauce in it, grabs a little cup, turns the bottle upside down to fill the cup, and... SPLAT! The lid comes off of the bottle, squirting the entirety of the sauce all over the counter, leaving not even a drop in the man's cup. At this point, the "gentleman" (or not so gentle), becomes IRATE, saying "I don't even want it now. I can't eat it without my sauce!" and storms out the door, leaving his sandwich behind.

I'm sure my mouth was hanging wide open at the thought of someone acting so childish, but I was trying to figure out if this man was as old as he looked, or if it was really a four year old that had grown very quickly to over six feet tall.

As I left there (WITH my food), I thought, "the NERVE of that guy! The day before Thanksgiving and he obviously isn't thankful for ANYTHING!" I thought about all the kids in Haiti and Africa and other various places, who are literally dying of starvation right now. I thought about how they would have LOVED to have that sandwich, with or without the cucumber sauce, and how they would NEVER throw such a fit about something so small. It would make their day if they had a full, hot meal. I wanted to approach the man, but by the time I got over the shock, he was gone.

That got me thinking about tomorrow. I thought, "is there anything that we will eat tomorrow, that I would be upset about if I couldn't have it? Turkey? Sweet potatoes? Any one of the plethera of pies I'll have to choose from?" I realized that, while I really would never get THAT upset if I didn't get it, I would be somewhat disappointed. We all have our favorite holiday foods, and it just wouldn't be the holidays without them. Or would it?

Is the point of Thanksgiving to eat my sweet potato casserole? What if I couldn't have it? Would it not be Thanksgiving? Could I not still give thanks for what I DO have? Whoa.

We may not realize it because it is our very culture, but America is the richest, most selfish country in the world. Literally. We celebrate Thanksgiving with a huge Turkey (or the meat of your choice), tons and tons of sides, that we spend DAYS preparing, and a bunch of sweets. We celebrate Christmas by giving many wonderful, expensive gifts, wrapped in wrapping paper that costs around $4 a roll, with bows that are almost the same price. All the while, there is a family in Haiti that, tomorrow, will just pray to God that they survive another day.

Wow. Kinda makes me feel bad for eating that Turkey.

Brother Jerry Sutton!


Tonight we are going to New Visions Church to hear Brother Jerry Sutton speak. Most of you know the drama that went on at Two Rivers Baptist church, which resulted in Brother Jerry's retirement. This broke our hearts, and we have missed him tremendously, and I think that Two Rivers is feeling the effects of his absence. This, too, breaks my heart, because I love that church, and always will. Needless to say, I am ecstatic to hear him speak. He is an amazing, God-led teacher, and he ALWAYS has a good word for me, wherever I am. I miss his teachings greatly.

"My Husband Rocks" Fridays...on Wednesday

With Thanksgiving tomorrow, we have a busy week planned so I decided to go ahead and do this post today, while I have a chance.

I previously posted the story about locking my keys in my car. That day, I felt so loved and protected by him. He had slept all of 5 hours the two previous days, and we had church that night as well. He was exhausted. I was afraid he would be upset that I had to wake him, but when I called him, all I heard was his concern. When I told him that the man at the Kroger Customer Service desk was being so terribly mean to me, Brandon become furious! He was ready to fight, and in some ways I think if that man hadn't gotten my keys out of my car and I hadn't left before Brandon made it, he would have! He was almost to my office when I got into my car, so he came on up to say hi. He was so sweet that day. It reminded me that I can call on him anytime of the day (or night for him) to come to my rescue, and that he would kill to protect me if he had to. He doesn't like it when people treat me poorly, and that is a wonderful feeling.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

In light of the holiday...

I thought I should write about all the amazing blessings in my life, or "count my blessings," so to speak. I have so much to be thankful for this year, and these are just some of them.

- My husband, and that he puts up with me day in and day out.

-That God had mercy on Brandon and I, and saved us from what could have had much worse effect on our marriage. He used what seemed so bad, and turned it into something that drew us closer together, helping me to forgive and Brandon to get past things.

- My mother's health. I am so thankful that they got all of the melanoma, and that God has healed her.

- That I have another year with my family. Since my parents are 65 and 70, it is never far from my mind that this might be the last Thanksgiving/Christmas with them. They still hopefully have years ahead of them, but watching my Daddy change so much this year, becoming slower and slower has really made me realize that not everyone lives till they are 90 or 100.

- That my sister got married and is happy.

- That we have our own place this year! (We were living with my parents this time last year)

- That our rent is NOT going up when our lease is up!

- that we both have jobs!!!!

- That my mother in law has been so gracious as to give me a free ride to work the last few months to help us save on gas. This has helped tremendously!

- Our new church

- New friends. Bekah, Glenda, Brian, Charles, Jennifer G., our small group... they have been a blessing.

And here is what/who I am praying for this Thanksgiving:
-All of those who do not have anyone to spend Thanksgiving with.
- Those who have lost their jobs, homes, cars, etc in the economy.
- That people will stop complaining long enough to realize all of the blessings they have been given.
- Everyone to have safe travels, of course
- Our friends, Bekah and Charles, who are having a tough time. Charles' health, and finances.
- My friend, Jennifer...I am asking God to bless her and show her the way to go.
- My sister and Darrin, that they will feel God's love for them.
- Of course, this isn't all, but these are some of my prayers this year.

What are YOU thankful for this year?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sausage Balls

This was my first time making sausage balls. I'm not a sausage person, but I've always enjoyed sausage balls whenever someone brought them to work. I got this recipe from a family cookbook.

1 lb sausage, mild or hot
2 C Bisquick
8 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Mix all ingredients well. This is much easier if you use your hands. Gross, but effective. It takes some time and work, but it WILL eventually mix.

Roll into 1 inch balls. Bake on 350 for 10 minutes.

These were really good, although I have had better. They seem to be missing something...they were somewhat bland. Maybe it's because I used mild sausage? Not sure. You should try it and tell me what they need. :-)

(Sorry about the pictures. Sausage balls aren't very photogenic. I took 20 pics and they all looked like poo...literally)

Absense does make the heart grow fonder

In the last few days, I have seen my husband all of 5 minutes. His work schedule was different this weekend because of Thanksgiving this week, so he has had to sleep all day yesterday and today. When he has to sleep, I usually enjoy about the first hour that I have to myself. This is when I will typically take a bubble bath, watch a chick flick, or pick up a book. However, after that first hour is over, I get bored. Terribly bored. Almost to the point of tears. I hate that he is just in the next room, but I mustn't bother him...I get super lonely. It is these times, when I go days at a time without seeing him, that I realize just how much I love him and need him. I do a lot of thinking during these times, and yesterday I asked myself, "what in the world would I do if I lost him? I'd go nuts! Literally!"

The other day, I was talking to my friend, Bekah, who has been a great blessing in my life. She has been in this very spot before since her husband used to work 3rds as well, so she knows my pain. I was telling her how frustrated I get with Brandon because he doesn't seem to want to better himself. He stays at this job, hating it, when he could do so much more. He has so much to offer the world...he could really make a difference! But, he doesn't. It aggravates me because I know he is more intelligent than he gives himself credit for. She made the comment that in his mind, he is probably doing the best he can, and my frustration only brings him down. WOW. This was painfully true, and I needed someone to say it to me.

So, I wanted to take a moment to praise Brandon. He is an AMAZING husband...the best there is, if you ask me. But, I'm biased. He works so hard. He has called in all of twice (exactly) since we have been married, which is amazing to me... I love taking time off. He has more commitment to his job than I do, and I admire that. My words and even my actions don't always say so, but he is my hero. I know he does his best, and he wants to be loyal.

Honey, I love you more than anything, and I am so proud of you, even when I don't act like it. You are amazing, and I am trying each day to become the wife God wants me to be. I am imperfect, so forgive me. I just want you to have the life you deserve. I AM proud of you!

Grilled Sesame Ginger Chicken

I tried this last night and it was quite yummy. I'm sure Brandon would have liked it as well, but he had to sleep all day, so I ate alone :-( It was still good, though.

4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
2 TBSP teriyaki sauce
1 tsp ground ginger
Sesame seeds, toasted

Mix ginger, teriyaki, and sesame seeds together. Coat each breast in the mixture. Grill until juices run clear (I used an indoor setting for about 12 minutes).

I paired this with some stir fry veggies and noodles.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

This is a simple but really yummy Christmas time treat!

1 packet Swiss Miss hot chocolate (or whatever kind you like)
hot water
Peppermint coffee creamer

Make your hot chocolate according to directions. Add about 1 tbsp peppermint creamer and stir. YUM!

I still want to try this with Gingerbread creamer as well :-)

Down Here

Yesterday, we went out to Opry Mills to see the Music at the Mills with the band Down Here. This was the first Music at the Mills I had ever been to. We had a really good time, and the music was good. If you don't know who they are, you have probably heard their music on several Christian stations. One of their most popular songs is "How Many Kings," which is played a lot around Christmas. It is an excellent song! You can go to their website and listen to it, along with several of their other songs. Check em out!


Friday, November 21, 2008

"My Husband Rocks!" Friday

A day or two ago, I was at work chit-chatting with some coworkers. My friend, Teri, was complaining because her hubby is going to be off work for a few weeks on medical leave (he is an officer in a public high school and was breaking up a fight when he fell and hit his head). She was telling us how he NEVER helps out or does anything around the house. She said he lays his trash on the counter instead of in the trash can, he can't cook, won't clean, and won't even straighten the house up a little before she gets home from work. Apparently, this is common for men. Several of the women in my office were telling me how their hubbies don't do any cooking or cleaning.

Brandon has always been great about these things. I do most of the grocery shopping, and he does tend to leave stuff laying around a lot, but he does most of the laundry, he takes the trash out, he cleans the bathroom, and usually on his day off, he'll vacuum if I haven't already, and he'll do any other cleaning that needs to be done, with the exception of dusting. He also shares the cooking duties. Often times, he already has dinner cooking when I get home. I really appreciate this, and need to recognize his efforts more often, because he does a wonderful job.

Thanks, baby! You rock!

A familiar yet new journey

Well, I've started a journey today that I have started many a time. I am starting a "lifestyle change," aka a diet. I always seem to find something that I think will help, so this time I'm hoping that if I blog about it openly and I know people are reading it, it'll hold me accountable...we shall see. What's my plan this time, you ask? Well, here it is:

- log in everything I eat on My Fitness Pal, a totally free weight tracking site
- cut way down on red meat and breads/white enriched starches
- pump up the protein and fruits/veggies
- have grilled chicken and lettuce 4 nights a week (just kidding)
- Eat the veggies on my plate FIRST
- plan ahead!
- eat 2 snacks a day to keep from getting too hungry and binging
- When eating out, stay away from the bread basket, and order salads with grilled chicken and dressing on the side, or have grilled or baked fish or chicken with veggies.
- Drink water like a camel...right now my goal is a 1 liter bottle a day. I'll add more later.
- Do some sort of exercise every day, even if it's just a 15 minute walk twice a day on breaks
- Shoot for 30 minute workouts 3 times a week.
-Have UNSWEET TEA (this is ludacris for me) and sweeten it by the glass with splenda

That's pretty much it. I started this morning, and so far I'm great! I've had a bowl of bran flakes with 1 paket of splenda (I usually use sugar), 1/2 cup milk, and 1/2 a banana sliced for breakfast. For snack I just had an apple cinnamon rice cake with 1 tbsp reduced fat peanut butter and the other half of my banana, and I've downed half a liter of water almost. :-)

Ya'll leave me a word of encouragement!


Ok, so I was a little stunned to find SNOW on my car this morning as I left for work! What's up with that? It's still a little early for it to be this cold, much less SNOW!!!

Well, maybe we'll have a white Christmas for's to hoping!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My new found love...

is the Peppermint Mocha Twist from Starbucks. I wasn't so sure about this one at first, since I don't care for the coffee taste so much, and mocha tends to be kind of strong, but I had to try it because I LOVE peppermint. And I LOVE it! It almost tastes like hot chocolate with peppermint, only with a hint of coffee. Topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings, this is a very yummy Christmasy treat! You should try it!

However, I was bummed at the realization that the Starbucks Holiday cups lack the "The Way I See It" quotations. Am I the only one that did not realize this?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My First...

I had a "first" today. On my lunch break, I drove to the Kroger in Bordeaux (the not-so-good part of town) to get gas since I get .10 off per gallon. I was going to get my gas, and then eat at the Chinese place right next door. As I got out of my car, I shut my door and immediately realized I locked my keys in my car!!! In 8 years of driving, I have NEVER done that! I am always so careful to take my keys with me anytime I exit the car! Well, I was somewhat panicked because my purse, wallet, and cell phone were ALL in my passenger side seat...laid wide open! It was an open invite for a theif, especially in this area of town! I asked the lady at the little box if she had a phone, and she said I'd have to use the Customer Service phone at the store. With no other options, I asked her to keep an eye on my car, knowing she wouldn't, but thought I would ask anyway. I trecked across the parking lot, in the cold, with no coat on and my debit card in my hand, thinking someone was going to mug me at any minute. As I'm using the CS Desk phone to call and wake my husband from his slumber, the guy starts shooing me away, telling me I was tying up the phone lines. Well, my husband's key to my car was broken, so I called my daddy to see if he had a key. Negative. I called Brandon back to ask him to call AAA, as the mean man is continuing to get more and more hateful with me. At this point I'm MAD and in tears. I told Brandon (right in front of the man), "Well, this guy doesn't care if I stand out in the cold with no way to get into my car, so I have to stop tying up his precious phone line. Get out here please." And I hung up. As I started to walk away, the gentleman looked at me with a terrible look and said, "ma'am, I didn't mean to upset you, but I needed my phone line." I replied, "Well, you aren't being very nice. I have locked my keys in my car, and my phone, purse, and wallet are all sitting in my front seat. I'm very upset, and you are being very rude." He said he would help me get into my car. As he is walking back across the parking lot with me, he says, "I break into cars all the time....I mean, people are always locking their keys in their car, and I've always been able to get them out..." I thought, "yeah...I bet you can." So, we get to my car and he starts fiddling with it. He needed a hanger, so he went BACK to the store to hunt for one. As I'm standing there, in the cold, alone, a man was pumping his gas right next to me. He said(as I'm looking in the window, trying to fiddle with the door), "Ya lock your keys in your car?" I thought, "here's your sign...." This man was pretty nice, as he began to give me tips on how to break into my car....WOW. I'm really scared now. He comes over and starts looking in my window, probably scanning the "merchandise," which only consisted of a Sno-Caps box, a Mt. Dew bottle, and an empty coke can. I'm really scared at this point. He told me about the "hold the key thing up to your cell phone trick," which I have recently learned from Katie's blog, does not work.

Here comes the rude man walking back across the parking lot, hanger in hand. He goes to A car (not sure if it was his or not...I wonder), and gets a set of wire pliers. At this point, the lady pumping gas behind me says, "I have a jimmie if you need it." Ugh...I have three people around me that are very prepared to break into a car! The jimmie didn't work, so he wedged the pliers between the door and the car, stuck the coat hanger down there, and pulled the lock up!! HOORAY!!!! I thanked him and apologized if I was hateful, that I was just afraid someone would break my window and steal my purse, and he apologized again as well. And after all of this, I was too flustered and embarrassed to get gas, so I'm still on empty!

I guess if you're going to lock your keys in your car, there's no better place than Bordeaux!

What's For Dinner?

I finally made a decent weekly menu. Well, I hope so anyway! We are on a TIGHT budget with Christmas so close and all. I'm hoping to keep the budget around $30 for food this week. I'll let you know how well that works!

Friday: BBQ Grilled Chicken with corn and green beans
Saturday: Sesame Ginger Chicken with asian style stir fry veggies
Sun: No clue yet
Mon: Grilled chicken salads
Tues: Chicken pitas - this will be a 1st, and I don't have a recipe. I'm attempting the greek restaurant style chicken sandiwch. Again, I'll let you know how it goes.
Wed: on our own

I know...heavy on the chicken. Like I said, we're on a budget, as well as a diet, if you couldn't tell. We both have gained a ton of weight since we got married, and are desparate to get it off. So, we're changing our habits....again. For the 3rd time, I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Marriage isn't religious?

Most of you have heard about the vote in CA the day of the Presidential election that banned same-sex marriage. Apparently (well, obviously) many people are very outraged at this. Today I read an article on about this ban, and the gentleman that they are interviewing said something very interesting.

"Hughley: But I think what happens is that marriage, regardless of the legal aspects of it, are seen mostly religious. You stand before God and you vow to love and to cherish this woman or this man. And so I think people have a -- I know particularly people that I talked to -- had a hard time unhooking the religious component from the civil. "

So, am I right that he is saying that marriage should not be religous, but only a civil issue? God is the very one who created marriage in the first place, so who are we to take him out of it?

You don't have to wonder too much to figure out my stand on gay marriage, but I found this chilling.

What are your thoughts?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Congrats to Shannon and Russ!

This weekend we had the honor of attending the vow renewal ceremony of our dear friends, Russ and Shannon. Brandon and I work in the preschool dept at Two Rivers with Shannon, and we taught their youngest son, Wyatt, last year in the three year old class. They have been through a lot in their marriage, and wanted to re-commit themselves to one another. I think this is an awesome thing to do! Congratulations, Russ and Shannon!


Wyatt right before he stopped to give Brandon a high five


Saturday, November 15, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

At least in our house!


Macaroni Grill...Made by me!

That's right. Made by ME! I love Macaroni could possibly be one of my favorite places to eat. They have now come out with Macaroni Grill meals in a box - like Hamburger Helper, only MUCH better. Today we tried the Basil Chicken one, and I must say, it was great! I loved it. Brandon even liked it a lot. He doesn't like Macaroni Grill, but now he wants to go just to get this dish in the restaurant! He usually doesn't like cream sauces, but he really liked this one!

This is what it looked like when done

Friday, November 14, 2008

My Husband Rocks Fridays

Every week on Thursdays after work, I go to the store...95% of the time by myself. I HATE going grocery shopping because I can think of much better things to spend money on. I mean, who needs food, right? Well, Brandon's not usually up for going to the store with me...he would rather stay home and play video games or sleep. Well, I didn't make it to the store last night, and so this morning Brandon called when he got off work and told me to email him the grocery list (it was in my purse) HE could go to the store today!!!!! This never happens. He is giving up sleep (he works 3rds) so he can go to the store while I'm at work! I don't even have to SEE the inside of the grocery store this week! And, he even is going to 2 different stores! That REALLY never happens!

Thank you, Baby! You rock! :-)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Me? Organized? Apparently.

Lately I have been extremely organized. Well, when it comes to schedules, anyway. I have actually created a "Christmas Holiday Schedule." This is a first, I must say. So was creating a Fall Schedule (which we actually stuck to, by the way!). But I have found out that if I do not write activities into my calendar, we will never do them. We always find an excuse, or something else comes up. But, if I write them down, then it becomes a solid plan, and I don't feel so bad telling people "no" when they ask us to do something else.

I have been REALLY into the seasonal spirit this year...first Fall, now Christmas. And when I say REALLY, I cannot express just how into it I am. I've always loved this time of year, but for some reason, this year I simply couldn't wait until Thanksgiving to begin the Christmas season. I suppose it is partly due to the fact that last year we lived with my parents and were flat broke, bored, and miserable. So, this year, even though we're still broke, I am determined not to be bored! I am so thankful to be on our own feels wonderful. Last year just didn't feel like Christmas, so I am determined to make up for it this year! We already have the house decorated, packages wrapped AND under the tree!! Yeah...I've lost it.

So, here are my activites so far for this year:

11/22 Music at the Mills with the band Down Here.
12/5 Nashville Christmas Parade! (Neither of us have ever seen it!)
12/6 Annual trip to Opryland Hotel to see lights, and have hot cocoa in the Delta!
12/13 Brandon and I are baking and decorating Gingerbread Men! I am excited!
12/13 Later that evening, I am thinking of having a Christmas party/movie night with a few, popcorn, a Christmas movie, and maybe board games!
12/20 I scheduled an entire day to do my Christmas baking!
12/24 Christmas Eve at mom-in-law's
12/25 Christmas Day at my mom's
12/27 Possible Christmas in Sparta

I also plan to go on a carriage ride through Nashville one afternoon, as well as going to the Festival of Lights in Lebanon one evening. :-)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What's For Dinner?

Ok, I know I haven't posted recipes in a while, and that's mainly because I haven't tried any new recipes in a week or two. This past weekend I made a big crock pot full of homemade vegetable beef soup and we ate on that all weekend. I didn't do much cooking at all while I was on "vacation." But, I'll be getting back in the swing of things soon with the Holidays coming up. I'll be posting my Thanksgiving menu and recipes, plus all my Christmas baking in the coming weeks. I'm thinking of starting a food-only blog as well, but then I'm not sure what I would blog about on my regular blog. :-/ I probably won't post a weekly menu this week. With Thanksgiving coming up, we're eating cheap the next few weeks...SpaghettiO's, Hamburger Helper, etc.

Lunch on the go

I am constantly looking for new, convenient, yummy lunches to take to work. I get sooo sick of sandwiches, chips, and soup. And I am most certainly not the type to eat "fancy" things like hummus, or anything that looks like it was removed from the human body.

I really enjoy Lunchables. My favories are any of the meat and crackers, and the Pizza ones... I love those! However, these can get expensive, and they are terribly fattening and loaded with sodium! So, I decided to try making my own "lunchables." Today, I made myself a pizza, and I must was delicious! And very satisfying, too!

Here's what I used:
1 Whole Wheat pita
3 tsp pizza sauce
about 1/4 c. low fat shredded mozzarella cheese

The directions should be self-explanitory: top pita with sauce, then cheese. You could even put pepperoni on it if you want! It was very good. You can also microwave it for 30-45 secs till the cheese melts if you don't like the Lunchable thing. This one clocks in at 243 calories.

Tomorrow I am having multigrain crackers, thick sliced turkey and ham, and cheddar slices.

Pair these with 1/2 cup canned mandarin oranges, or whatever canned fruit you like, and BAM! You have lunch!

Happy eating!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

When trials become blessings

Marriage Love Pictures, Images and Photos
I'm very thankful today. I'm thankful always...or at least I try to be, but especially today. Brandon and I have recently gone through a very rough patch together, and I must say, it has brought us so much closer together and strengthened our marriage greatly. It has made me more aware of words I choose (which seems to be a lesson theme in my life right now), and of how I treat him. It has helped him realize what he has to be thankful for, and that he really CAN talk to me. For the longest time, he was scared to death to tell me certain things for fear of judgment, which makes me think one of two things: 1)Either I am extremely judgmental, or 2) it was simply because I am his wife, and the last person he wants to disappoint. For the purpose of my ego, I'll go with the latter. Either way, once he talked to me and realized that I wasn't going to run him over with my car, lock him out of the house, or pack my things and leave, he learned that he can confide in matter what. I may not always smile and nod, or say "Ok, honey. That's biggie," but I will support him and choose to be thankful that he told me in the first place, even if I didn't want to hear it. Ever since we discussed this issue and went through a few days of emotional and mental distance, we have been closer than we have since the day we married. We haven't argued (we bicker like crazy!), we have both been so much more patient with one another, and in all honesty, some of those "old feelings" have come back. God has taught us some great lessons through this, and I am eternally greatful. I know that we'll have to go through rough times now and then, and I know that we will face more trials in the future, but for now, for this moment, things are amazing. We have learned that we are SUPPOSED to be different, even complete opposites (which we are), and that it's ok! We aren't weird for being completely different from one another and for challenging each other. If we didn't challenge each other, our lives would be totally boring. So, thanks, God, for waking us up. And thanks to everyone for your prayers, support, and encouragement. We love you.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ahh how I love

Not having to get up early on a Monday morning! I've been on vacation since Friday, and I have loved every second of it! We've gotten all our Christmas decorating done (yeah, yeah, yeah, I know), I've spent some much needed time with Brandon, and we have done some Christmas shopping. Other than that, we've watched a ton of movies! There is nothing like piling up on the couch with the Christmas tree lit up, and watching movies and eating popcorn. I love it! I have some errands to run today...going to visit mom and dad for a bit, and maybe some running around later. Then tomorrow I'll be on the couch all day since Brandon will have to sleep all day...well, that's the plan anyhow. :-)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Another simple pleasure

PEPPERMINT Pictures, Images and PhotosPeppermint Holiday creamer...delicious! I'm not a coffee drinker, but this stuff is awesome! I still need to try the gingerbread kind, and there is one other flavor I can't think of...oh yeah, Caramel Apple I think!

Friday, November 7, 2008

My Husband Rocks Fridays

I got to spend the entire day with Brandon today, which is very seldom since he works third shift. The only day that he is off is Saturday (well, Friday night), and he always has to sleep in the evenings to prepare for work on Saturday night. But I took the day off today to be with him, and we have had an amazing day. We haven't left the house all day. We cleaned up, clowned around, and decorated for Christmas (it's early, I know). But he rocks because all I have done today is laugh...hysterically. I love it when he makes me laugh :-)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I've lost it...

My mind, that is. I listened to Christmas music on the way to work this morning. Yes, Christmas music. I's so early! But I can't help it! I am so into the Holidays this year! I can't wait! I absolutely LOVE the Holiday season...I could do without the super-cold weather, though :-)

I think I'm going to put my tree up this weekend since I'm off for 5 days. Hey, it's logical. That means I won't have to do it on Thanksgiving weekend while trying to go to 10 different places!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Simple Pleasures

1) I LOVE the sound of leaves crunching under my feet!
2) Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks
3) Watching children jump in piles of leaves, like I used to do!
4) Any dessert with apple
5) Hearing my husband say "I love you."
6) Holding and cuddling babies and lil ones
7) A good glass of sweet tea
8) Not having to drive to work because my mother-in-law is gracious enough to bring me!
9) Christmas music :-)
10) Text messages, and messages on Facebook and Myspace.


Well, I'm obviously not happy with the way the election went. Here's why. The majority of people who voted for Obama, only voted for him based on the color of his skin. I am the least racist person there is I think, so let me get that on the color had NOTHING to do with my decision. I voted based on morals and values, and the Biblicalness (new word?) of them. Abortion is NOT Biblical. Gay marriage is NOT Biblical. Greed is NOT Biblical.

But I feel that the majority of blacks only voted for Obama BECAUSE he's black. That's ridiculous. So, now, because you wanted "change," there's no telling where our country will go. We need some old fashioned values. Our society already tells us that murder, abortion, homosexuality, promiscuity, etc are OK, and they are not. Just read the Bible...I don't make the rules. We need to CHANGE THAT because THAT is what's wrong with our country to begin with!

You wanted change, huh? Although, no one has ever said exactly WHAT kind of change they wanted. I hope you want negative change, and when we get that, I'll just tell you like I tell my husband all the time..."Maybe next time you'll listen!"

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I cannot express how happy I am that election day is finally here...and that it will be over in a few hours. For months, all we have heard is "Obama this, Obama that..." and then there's McCain's mud-slinging that just got on everyone's nerves. I hate politics!

Regardless of who wins this election, I am simply glad it is over. Regardless of who the winner is, I will support them. Not because I necessarily like them or agree with them, but because God said to. If God chooses to put Obama in the White House (Dear God, please don't. Amen), then I will continue to pray (very hard) for our country, but I will just deal with it. I hate politics!

Seriously people, if your candidate loses (whoever your candidate is), DEAL WITH IT. I don't want to hear any more about this stupid election. It's enough to make me not want another election EVER. Did I mention that I hate politics?

Monday, November 3, 2008

"It Was Good" Week 3

This week Pastor Hood spoke on something that really hit home. He spoke about marriage, and what marriage is supposed to be like. Here are some key points that slapped me in the face:

*Marriage isn't intended to make me happy. I will be unhappy with my marriage at times. God never promised to make me happy.

*After the honeymoon phase wears off, we tend to focus on our differences with one another, and on our spouse's flaws. Just because we are different doesn't mean we are wrong for each other...this is a GOOD thing!

*God created Brandon and I differently because if we were the same, then one of us wouldn't be necessary.

*(As far as teaching kids about sex) "If you don't want your kids to hear me preach about sex, send em to the locker room...I'm sure they'll learn the right stuff in there. Better yet, send em to sex ed class in about we teach em about sex from God's point of view, ok?" I loved this.

*Woman was created from man's SIDE. She wasn't created from his feet to be beneath him, or his head to be above him. She was made from his side, to walk beside him, from under his arm to be protected by man, and from close to his heart to be loved by man."

Are you a servant?

We all know that God has called us to serve Him and others, but how well are we doing at this command He has given us? I know, I know. You're so busy! You don't have time to invest in others. You have work, school, family, kids.... you just don't have time! You have health problems and can't commit to anything. Yada yada yada...the excuses can go on and on. I have been known to make them, too. We all do.

I have come up with a list of 15 simple, easy things we can do to serve others. They all require different amounts of time and energy, so I am sure you can find SOMETHING that you are perfectly capable of doing.

1. Help clean the home for someone who is elderly or just simply unable to do so. Agree to clean for them or do laundry for them once a week, a month...whatever you can do!

2. Get together with your small group and hold a FREE car wash. This is a fun way to serve others, and it doesn't require a commitment! If you are physically unable to wash cars, agree to hold signs or help advertise!

3. Pick up trash in your neighborhood. People will notice that the area looks much better!

4. Volunteer at church to greet people.

5. Volunteer to work in the preschool, children's ministry, or youth group at church. If you cannot make a commitment, volunteer to help with any special events.

6. Volunteer at a local homeless or women's shelter. They need volunteers of all sorts!

7. Take a friend dinner. This is especially helpful when the family is ill or has welcomed a new one into the family.

8. Have coffee or dinner with someone. Sometimes the greatest thing you can do to help someone is just to be involved and show an interest in their life!

9. Babysit for FREE. Yep, that's right. Babysitters are expensive, and if you have a friend who needs a break, offer to watch their child(ren) free of charge! They will very much appreciate it!

10. Send out birthday cards and just because cards...just to say you are thinking of them or missed them in church! This costs a few bucks and takes only a moment.

11. Call someone randomly just to say hi. This takes no physical effort, little time, and costs nothing, but can mean everything.

12. LOVE. That's all.

13. When at work, why not ask your coworkers if you can do anything to ease their load when you have downtime?

14. Donate loose change. When checking out, leave it for the next customer. Cover someone's expired parking meter. Drop it for someone to pick up! Give it to a homeless person, or buy them a few McDonald's Bucks! Leave change in the little tray in a vending machine for someone to find.

15. More than anything, just pray for others! I like to keep one person in mind at all times and pray for them...someone who is having a hard time, or someone who is lost. Or, sometimes just because...ask God to bless them!

Remember that the point of serving someone is not for a pat on the back. It's not so you can receive credit. It's just because Jesus said so.