Wednesday, December 31, 2008

This angers me

Click here to read about the lawsuit asking that "so help me God," and any other religious references be prohibited from Brack Obama's inauguration.

This is ridiculous. Ok, so you don't believe in God. I don't get it, but that's your opinion. You cannot prohibit the rest of the country from acknowleging him.

Why is it that people want to push God out of every aspect of our lives, but we wonder why he doesn't help when a child has cancer, or someone's house burns down...they wonder where he is, but they tell him to leave.

Changing habits

Okay, so I have my motivation. I pray it lasts, or at least that I can have the willpower to do this even when I lose my motivation.

Did you know that it takes 3 weeks to break a bad habit?? With that in mind, here are some bad habits I want to break, one at a time for 3 weeks.

1) Give up sweets! I am going to resist dessert and sweets for 3 weeks. Then hopefully I won't feel the need for them as much and will be able to eat just one cookie.

2) Stop being a couch potato...aka: exercise (along with the other millions of folks this time of year). Once I've accomplished my sweets addiction, I will begin walking 3x a week for 30 minutes, or doing some other physical activity. Hopefully after 3 weeks, I'll be enjoying my exercise...

3) H2O! Weeks 7-9 I will drink at least 2 bottles of water a day.

These are the top 3. Why not do all three at the same time, you ask? Slow and steady does it. If I get carried away and focus on all of my goals at once, I'll quit. But if I can be a couch potato for 3 more weeks and focus on the small (but HUGE) task of sweets, I won't feel so overwhelmed. SO, one at a time.

I CAN do this. I always have it in my head that I can't (or just won't). But I want this, and I need it. So, join me, if you wish. Click here for information.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I MUST have one of these!

I must have a Jessie Steele apron! These are the cutest things I have ever seen, and I think I might even be a better cook if I had one :P

Here are a few of my faves from the catalog:




Words of Wisdom

"Will you keep going when you don't know why? When you can't get any answers that would make the pain go away, will you say, 'My Lord,' even though his ways are not clear to you?"
I am struggling with this incredibly right now. Sometimes it seems as though I am POSITIVE that God has a certain thing planned for me, that it is what I was made for. He has given me such a passion for it that it hurts. Yet, I cannot see the path...there are no open doors. It seems as though He is not giving me the means to do so. Sometimes it actually seems as though He is KEEPING me from doing it. That makes me angry.
Still, I know God has plans to prosper me and not to harm me. I know He loves me, even if I don't feel it all the time.

Thank God for the weak economy!

Couples Find It's Too Costly To Divorce

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Husband and wife make a vow for better or worse.
But when money is tight more marriages often end in divorce.
That's not the case this year.
Tough economic times are forcing couples to stay together.
Getting a divorce is expensive. Take the court costs and lawyer fees and divide all of the couple's assets.
And many couples don't have the money.
"You know those family issues of money, jobs, the stresses those are the things that really impact people on a daily basis," said Dr. Charles Ihrig, a licensed psychologist.
Ihrig said more couples are enrolled in counseling in an attempt to save their marriage. Ihrig said tough economic times are a factor.
"Honestly money is usually one of the easiest things for couples to fight over," Ihrig said.
"Yeah, typically when there is a bad economy the number of divorces increases," said Rob Turner, a Nashville attorney.
Turner said this recession is unlike anything he's seen.
"But this particular economic collapse has affected us even worse because what you're finding is people don't have the money to get divorced," he said.
He said he's seen about a 30 percent drop in the number of clients seeking a divorce.
In Davidson County, the number of people filing for divorce has also decreased. About 2,300 people filed for divorce between January and November 2007. During the same period this year, 2,173 filed or a 7 percent drop.
Turner's even offered his clients payment plans. But sometimes it's not enough.
"So it's really bad in this economy," he said.
Forcing a fighting couple to stick out will likely be a bitter split.
Turner said executing a divorce has also become more difficult because of the economy. If a couple owns a home, they're having a harder time selling the home. In some cases, a person can't sell the home and divide the funds. As a result, he or she can be found in contempt of court.
Local counseling services are seeing a dramatic increase in the number of patients seeking help for marriage issues, depression, and job loss. They said the weak economy is a main reason for the increase.

Here is one reason to be thankful for a weak economy. Story taken from

Monday, December 29, 2008

New Start

I usually don't make New Years' Resolutions. While I do love the idea of a fresh start, and the motivation we all feel at the beginning of the New Year, I have yet to actually keep a resolution. However, I do have some goals for the upcoming year.

1. (I make this one every year) Start an exercise routine...hopefully my new mp3 player will motivate me.
2. Get more financially stable.
A. Create a budget and stick to it!
B. Put money in the savings regularly.
3. Lose weights (yet another that I make every year). I am thinking of joining Weight Watchers....again.

That's all I can handle for now. Too many goals are overwhelming, so I will focus on the most important.

We also are hoping to start our family this year! I am discouraged because we are having some problems (my mom had similar problems which resulted in 5 miscarriages and 18 years of marriage before she had a baby). I am hoping and praying that it doesn't take that long. I am taking ovulation inducers, and hopefully that will work. I'll let ya know.

Happy New Year!

Christmas is over...ready for Spring!

Christmas was good. Everyone got along for the most part, with the exception of a few bad attitudes, which was anticipated. We had 3 was exhausting! You guys who have 4 or 5 or more...I don't know how you do it! I'm pooped!

Anyway, I got a Chi flat iron for my hair, which I have been wanting forEVER! They are expensive, so I never would have bought one for myself, but I can straighten my curly, curly hair in 5 minutes flat, as opposed to the 30 minutes it takes with one from Walmart. This excites me.

I also got a pretty cool Mp3 player, a pink Sansa fuze.

Brandon bought me a few DVD's I had been wanting (Grease and Dirty Dancing), the new Taylor Swift cd, which I was especially excited about, and some stuff to go with my mp3player.

Brandon got 6 new Xbox360 games, and a GPS! We made out like bandits!

We did have a bit of bad luck this weekend, but all turned out well in the end. On Christmas night, Brandon decided to do some laundry, but didn't check his pockets...he washed his Sirius Satellite radio! Yep...round and round in the washing machine it went. By God's grace, it still works! I am convinced that it is indestructible!

We finally decided that Saturday would be our day at home, to rest and play with our new toys. Not the case. We had to return some stuff, which took the first half of the day because we had to go to 3 different places. Then, when we got home, Brandon got into his jammies, put one of his $300-$400 worth of games in the xbox, and it broke. Yep...the xbox died. Again, luckily, the Xbox people are going to fix it for free. He had to send it off for a few weeks though, so I am not sure what he will do for that period of time. I think the xbox is his lifeline.

Overall, we had a good Christmas. No major arguments or anything. We enjoyed our time with family, had some great food, and even started some new traditions. We got completely spoiled this year, but hopefully next year we will be spoiling a little Swindell. :-)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Isaiah 32:17

This Christmas, I am trying to remind myself of Isaiah 32:17, which says, "This righteousness will bring peace. Quietness and confidence will fill the land forever." I am trying to fill my heart with peace, and pray that we make it through Christmas quietly, and are able to enjoy and savor every bit of it.

I am troubled this Christmas. Sometimes the ones you love most (aka your family) can cause you the most pain, and the most problems. Why is that?

I will never understand my inlaws. I will always love them, but will never understand why things that don't matter are such a big deal, and why they cannot simply be thankful that they HAVE a family to spend Christmas with! So, this Christmas, I am shooting for peace. If things get out of hand and tension arises, Brandon and I will leave and spend Christmas on our home. That sounds pretty good right now!

Speaking of Christmas, I have plenty of activities planned! (Some of which I wish I could change...cough cough) Tomorrow, Brandon will have to sleep for a while since he has to work tonight, so I'll probably just hang out during the day reading or watching Christmas movies. Then, tomorrow evening, we are going to my inlaws'. This is one of the few times that I am truly greatful that we live only a mile from them. We'll eat and exchange gifts, and I am sure someone will complain about what they got (or how it's labeled), and then Brandon and I will head back home. Before we go to sleep, we will get in our jammies, fix some hot cocoa, crawl into the bed, and Brandon will read me the book, "Twas the Night Before Christmas." We'll probably awake unusually early on Christmas Day, since we are like small children who simply cannot stand the suspense any longer! Before we open gifts, we are going to read the Christmas Story from the Bible, which is a new tradition! Yay! I am truly excited about this tradition. I want to take time to remember WHY we are opening presents in the first place! Then, we'll pray together and tear into those beautifully wrapped packages that we spent no telling how long perfecting! After that, we will have some breakfast...probably cinnamon rolls...and take a nap. After our nap, we'll head to my mom's and spend the rest of the day there. (Thank you, Lord, for giving us one set of family that doesn't cause drama!) At mom's we'll have yet another gift exchange and a large dinner, which includes a whole Honey Baked Ham! Woo hoo! Then, on Friday, we will make the drive to Sparta, TN to have Christmas with his Grandparents. So, this will be a full weekend, but we are praying it is a good one!

I want to wish you ALL a very Merry Christmas!!! God Bless!

Three years ago today....

I was busy getting engaged. I remember it like it was yesterday. It was cold, and Brandon picked me up to go to Starbucks for coffee. Then he asked if I wanted to go for a drive, and I said sure. He wouldn't tell me where he was going, but just pretended he was driving aimlessly. Then we ended up at Centennial Park, which was one of my favorite spots. I loved going there on warm days and laying on a blanket reading a book and watching the ducks at the pond. We parked and got out of the car (he conveniently had to get "something" out of the trunk, but I was clueless...didn't even catch on). We strolled through the park, right over to the pond, which, of course, wasn't full of ducks at this time of year, and there were only a few people walking around, so we were pretty much alone. The fountain was on, and we stood there watching it for a moment. He was standing behind me holding me, and he said "I have a question." By the time I turned around, he was already on one knee with the ring displayed. It looked huge! Of course, I teared up, said yes, and we had our huggy moment. It was beautiful. Nothing fancy or over the top...just us, and a few onlookers. But it was perfect :-)

"My Husband Rocks" Fridays...on Tuesday

I'm not sure I'll have a chance to blog over the Holidays, so I thought I would go ahead and brag on my hubby.

Brandon's family makes Christmas very difficult. I know, all inlaws do, but trust have NO idea. They are impossible, and they cause drama over stupid stuff. I have lost all patience with them, and all it is going to take is one comment in front of me, and I'm going to lose it on them. However, my husband apparently has more class than I do because he just keeps putting up with it. I am a very patient person, but even I have limits. Brandon is not patient at all, but he seems to find patience with them, I suppose because it's his family, but I commend him for remaining so calm because I would have walked away a long time ago.

Friday, December 19, 2008

"My Husband Rocks" Friday

Simply put, he rocks because he puts up with me when I am controlling and make a big deal out of nothing because I am emotional. Thanks, babe.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Sometimes I find it hard to discern between what God is telling me, and what I WANT Him to tell me. And then, sometimes, I know for SURE what God is telling me, but I don't like it so I try to convince myself that He is really telling me something else.

I haven't elaborated much, but long story short, Brandon and I made a decision a few months ago concerning our church home, and we are now realizing that we did it mainly out of anger and hurt feelings. So, we are now faced with the decision on whether to leave our new church, where we have met some wonderful people and I have made a very good friend, and go back to TRBC, or whether to stay where we are. It is a tough decision because we love both churches. So I am learning to try to stay out of God's way and stop trying to tell myself what I want him to tell me. It's confusing, and a long story. Just wondered if anyone else ever has that problem?

My Pampered Chef wish list

As someone who loves being in the kitchen, I have fallen in love with Pampered Chef items. I have received a few items as gifts, such as the batter bowls (which I LOVE) and the spatula. I have listed just a few of the items that I need (yes, need). You should try them :-)

Grill Press
Grill Press

Salad Chopper
Salad Chopper


Baker's Roller
Baker's Roller

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Merry CHRISTmas!

I HATE forwarded emails, texts, etc, and there are very few that I actually forward. This is one that I got on my work email, and it expressed me feelings about Christmas pretty well...only much more nicely than I would have (I have VERY strong feelings about this topic!).

On the way home last night, we were listening to the radio when a
called his little 91 year old granny to talk to her about the
'Holidays'. He
mentioned that he had noticed that Christmas has become so 'politically
correct' that no mention of Christmas is made by most retailers, we now
people 'Happy Holidays.'
His granny said she missed the Old Fashioned Christmas when everyone
wished each other 'Merry Christmas'.
We thought about it and this year we will be making a
effort to wish everyone Merry Christmas...our way of saying that we are
celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. So we are asking our e-mail
friends, if
you agree with us, to please do the same.
And if you'll pass this on to your e-mail friends, and so on...maybe we
prevent one more treasured tradition from being lost in the sea of

While the subject is open, here is my opinion in brief: if you are going to celebrate someone's birthday, INVITE THEM TO THE PARTY! (Don't try to say you celebrate something else this time of year, but not the birth of Jesus. That's just an excuse for a party. Christmas is what it is. Either recognize it or don't.)


Mixed Feelings

Do you ever have a hard time figuring out what God is telling you to do? Usually I am pretty good at hearing what God is saying, but I am torn. I don't know what He is telling me to do. I made a decision, and at the time I was positive God wanted me to do it. But now I feel as though He is telling me to do the opposite, and I am quite confused. Did I do the wrong thing? Was God really telling me to make that decision, or did I make it out of hurt feelings, anger,and bitterness? Is He really telling me to change that decision, or am I feeling the desire to change it because I miss the way things were? What is the right decision? And why can't I seem to "hear" God? Am I not listening hard enough?

Hard Times

Kroger cut Brandon's hours in half next week. They SAY it's just for that week, because of Christmas...they are closed for a day and a half, but the pessimist in me (which rarely shows it's face) doesn't buy it. I can't help but fear him getting laid off. And at the same time, I fear for my own job. I work for the State, which usually is a good thing and makes me feel safe, but not lately. With each dept having to make 20% cuts, it's not looking good. I'm praying that God will fix our economy, and fast. I am holding onto God's promises. He has promised to provide, and I am clinging to that.

Dear, Lord. Please take care of us. I am scared and worried. I know your word says not to worry, but I am human and cannot help it. I am truly greatful for all you have blessed us with, and I know that you giveth and you taketh away...but please don't taketh. No matter what happens, I will praise you and worship you, for I know you have plans for me. Amen.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Words of Wisdom

"When human beings shrink God, they offer prayer without faith, work without passion, service without joy, suffering without hope. It results in fear, retreat, loss of vision, and failure to persevere."

Monday, December 15, 2008

Did you know?

Did you know that one way to curb the mid-afternoon munchies is to think about what you ate for lunch? According to Good Housekeeping, there was a study conducted among 47 women. They fed each woman lunch, and 3 hours later asked them to write about either their lunch, or their morning commute. Those who wrote about lunch consumed 1/3 less calories later in the afternoon. Apparently, thinking of your lunch trigger's your body's natural "I'm satisfied" signal so you will eat less. Who knew?

Thanks to Good Housekeeping(December 2008) for this information.

Blogging Tips

My blog isn't getting very much attention, and I have realized that it is because I am a terrible blogger. Apparently, there are folks out there who go to any length to get traffic on their blog, such as using social sites (some that I have never heard of) to publicize their site. While I don't want to take it THAT seriously, I would like more followers (I only have 3). So, with the help of SEO, I have a list of tips to help gain traffic on my blog. Hopefully they will help!

1. Add an unforgettable image in your blog header

2. Reply to your comments

3. Link to other bloggers, not only the well known ones

4. Create pillar or mile stone content like huge lists, thorough tutorials, breaking or unique news

5. Be the first to say something: uncover scams, debunk myths

6. Review other bloggers

7.Make a list of the top 10 blogs in your field and try being like them and better

8. Contribute guest post on other blogs

9. Write about popular topics but not those everybody else already covered

10. Do not write too short posts

11. Do not write too long posts

12. Know your audience and offer it what it wants, not only what you think is appropriate

13. Ask questions and incite discussions

14. Use headings, lists, bold, italic and other means of making a text readable

15. Use striking images in your posts, like collages, bright colors, images that metaphorically illustrate your point

16. Do not steal images without proper attribution

17. Cover the most important things in life: Love, peace, happiness, community, freedom

18. Interview interesting and well known people

19. Write about stars, people love stars

20. Write about what you know first hand, what you experienced

21. Concentrate on positive topics, do not just write how bad everything is

22. Get a unique and remarkable name for your blog

23. Use your logo and/or avatar throughout the Net

24. Do not offend people for being different than you

25. Be open minded, let anything and everything inspire you

26. treat your readers and other bloggers like real people, with respect and compassion

27. Do not overload your blog with ads

You can see the complete list here. I just took what I could use. Happy Blogging!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Ok guys, I need your help. I'm trying to find tons of healthy, low fat recipes for lunches, snacks, and dinners so I can stock my recipe box. I have a LOT of weight to lose, and I need ideas! For dinners, they should be relatively easy and quick since I work all day. Snacks should be something I can prepare ahead of time and take to work with me, and lunches as well...quick and easy, grab and go kinda thing. So if you have any recipes, or if you know of any good websites or blogs I can view, please share. :-)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas: 1 Corinthians 13 style

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family. I'm just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata, but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.

Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.

Love is kind, through harried and tired.

Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way.

Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return, but rejoices in giving to those who can't.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust... but giving the gift of love will endure.

~Author Unknown~

Thanks to Katie for this post! (Katie is an awesome blogger, and I steal a lot of stuff from her!)

Parade pictures

Here are just a few photos from the Nashville Christmas Parade last weekend.

It was COLD!


I am so glad we got to see some snow before Christmas! :-) Take a look!


Buttermilk Pancakes

I'm not a huge pancake eater, but I like good buttermilk pancakes, and I finally found a great recipe! Click here to see it!


I got this recipe out of my Kraft Foods cookbook I got in the mail. They are messy to work with, but yummy and easy!

20 squares Baker's brand semi-sweet chocolate (2 1/2 pkgs)
8 oz cream cheese

Melt 1 pkg of chocolate. Cream with blender the cream cheese until smooth. Add melted chocolate and mix well. Chill until firm. Shape into small balls and place onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill a while longer, until firm.

Melt remaining chocolate. Using spoon, dip truffles into melted chocolate and replace onto paper. Top with garnishes as desired. (I used crushed peppermint candies and sprinkles. You can also use powdered sugar, nuts, or edible beads). Allow chocolate to harden.

These are really yummy!!


Gingerbread Men!

Here is the recipe for gingerbread cookies I got from Karla's blog. The recipe is from Food Network. I was a little worried as I made them because this was my first time working with molasses, and I must say...I hate the stuff. I had no idea it smelled THAT BAD. Molasses reeks! I was afraid they would taste like they smelled before baking them, but they actually turned out very good. I usually am not a Gingerbread fan because it's usually hard and really spicy, but these are neither. They are soft and not spicy at all, and they hold their shape well, although the dough is kind of hard to work with because it is somewhat crumbly. This was a little more difficult than I am used to, but it was worth the work in the end. (click here to get recipe).

We're ready to decorate!
Brandon couldn't wait...
He's hard at work.... (don't ask what exactly he's doing to the poor man. Not sure what the red blob is)
This one is supposed to be singing, but he looks scared instead...

Friday, December 12, 2008

"My Husband Rocks" Friday

I almost forgot about this today since I stayed home! I got to stay in today because of all the snow (Northerners, do not laugh). I had already planned on doing a ton of Christmas baking this weekend, so I was glad to be able to get a head start on it. Today, I made truffles and gingerbread men! It was my first time making both, and let me tell ya...gingerbread men are no easy task! I'll be posting pics and recipes for both later.

Anyway, once all my baking was done, Brandon and I sat down and decorated the men together. This was a first as well, and we had so much fun! We laughed forever! I think this is yet another new Christmas tradition!!! A lot of men wouldn't do something so "girly" but Brandon really got into it and had fun with it. And I love him :-)

Snow Day!

I am very excited to say that we have a snow day today! I absolutely LOVE snow days! And a snow day BEFORE Christmas never happens!!! I guess this is as close as we'll get to a White Christmas.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

New Christmas Tradition

I have accomplished another task from my "101 in 1001." We have come up with a new Tradition to start this year. Actually, we've come up with a few, but for the purpose of this post, we'll focus on the one. This year, before we open our gifts on Christmas morning (or possibly on Christmas Eve), we are going to sit down together, Brandon and I, and read the Christmas story from the Bible. Although my dad is a former preacher, this is something we have never done before. So, since this is our new tradition, I felt the need to share it with all of you. So, here is the Christmas Story, taken from the Bible!

Luke 1:26-35

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, 27 to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. 28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you![
29 Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. 30 “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 And he will reign over Israel[
b] forever; his Kingdom will never end!”
34 Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”
35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.
Luke 2:1-35

1 At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. 2 (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. 4 And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. 5 He took with him Mary, his fiancĂ©e, who was now obviously pregnant.
6 And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. 7 She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.
The Shepherds and Angels

8 That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
15 When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. 17 After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. 18 All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, 19 but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. 20 The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I hate Goodbye's

Next Wednesday, I have to say goodbye to some people who are very near and dear to my heart. I am officially leaving the Two Rivers family.

We joined FBC Smyrna a few months ago, but have continued to serve in the preschool dept at Two Rivers on Wednesday nights for several reasons. One of them is that I could not bring myself to say goodbye. I have worked in the Preschool as a teacher at TRBC for 5 years. Most of that time was spent teaching 3 year olds, but this year we have been in the baby room. So, through the last 5 years, I have kept some amazing kids and their siblings a few years later. I've seen a lot of these kids grow up. I have become attached to the parents and families. Therefore, this is not going to be an easy time. I love these families, and I will miss them terribly. I also will miss my connection to TRBC. I have loved this church dearly for most of my life, and it tears me apart to see what is happening to it. I pray that I will be able to forgive. I am still struggling with that.

Anyway, tonight will be hard as well because I have to tell all my parents and coworkers. I know they'll have no problem finding another teacher, but I have poured my heart and soul into these little ones, and I pray that the parents know that.

Thank you for letting me serve you and your children!

Christmas Baking

I'm pretty stoked about this weekend. This weekend is when I am going to do most of my Christmas baking! I still haven't made my complete "menu" yet, but there will be several things on the list. So far, I know I'll make chocolate truffles, peppermint bark, chocolate covered pretzelz, peanut butter ritz cookies (2 ritz with PB in the middle, covered in chocolate), oatmeal carmelitas, and probably some cookies. We may make gingerbread men this weekend and decorate them :-) We are having a Christmas lunch at work next Wednesday, and I'm making a sweet potato casserole for that. I still can't believe there are only 2 weeks left before Christmas! Part of me can't wait, and the other part will be sad to see it go. Time goes by entirely too fast!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Drive Safely!

In light of the storms occuring right now, and the fact that in 40 minutes I will have to drive home in it, I found some safe driving tips for all you Nashville drivers! I thought these described my drive home perfectly!

Drive carefully! Remember, it's not only a car that can be recalled by it's maker.

A careful driver is one who honks his horn when he goes through a red light.

Why do they call it rush hour when nothing moves?

Until you've learned to drive, you've never really learned how to swear

Aggressive Driving is Emotionally Impaired Driving

When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

Who will protect the public when the police violate the law?

Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and enjoy the journey.

Travel safely!

Monday, December 8, 2008

My First Christmas Parade

I have been a horrible blogger lately. I apologize!

Friday night Brandon and I went to the Nashville Christmas Parade. This was both of our first Christmas Parades! It was very exciting, and we had a blast! It was freezing cold, though! I was all bundled up in my Timberland boots, jeans, layers of clothing, a down coat, and a scarf! The only part of me that really got cold was my feet. At one point during the parade, we had to step inside a record shop to warm our feet up because we could not longer feel them! Nonetheless, we had a great time together. I'll post a few pics in another blog.

We stayed in the rest of the weekend, playing board games and whatnot. It was a wonderful weekend. This is one of my favorite things about this time of year...staying home in our jammies with the Christmas tree lit, playing games and watching movies and baking cookies together. Ahhh...memories to last a lifetime. :-)

Friday, December 5, 2008

"My Husband Rocks" Fridays

Brandon got off work 30 minutes early this morning, so he got home right as I was getting in my car. He literally jumped out of the car, RAN over to mine, opened the door, and wrapped his arms around me in a huge hug. It was sweet. Then he even scraped my winshield for me! It was a simple thing, but made me feel loved and missed. :-)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Carried Away

Wow. Christmas is a mere three weeks away! I can't believe it! This year has flown by so fast! Where do our lives go?

Well, I have been REALLY into the Christmas spirit this year, at least for the most part. However, I find that I have been very stressed out about our finances. It just seems as though every time we get stable and somewhat comfortable, or every time we are going to have some money to put into the savings, SOMETHING comes along to take it. We bought a chair to match our couch back in July, and we got it on 6 months no interest. We did the same thing with our couch and paid it off pretty quickly. Not the case here. The interest is added in January, so I've been freaking about it. My mom gave us our Christmas money early so we could get it paid almost all the way. Well, I'm not real sure where that money went, but it's no longer there. We were waiting till we had the rest of the money so we could write one check, but by the time we got the rest of the money, the other $400 was GONE. It's just seemed like we needed this and needed that. So, we still owe on the chair. I'm paying like crazy on it this month, but I'm scared to death that we won't get it paid off. On top of that, my tags expire this month, so there's another $100.

I think maybe I got carried away on my Christmas shopping. This is the 1st year since we've been married that we have been able to buy ANYTHING for our families. So, I kinda got lost in the spirit :-(

Oh well, I guess money management isn't my best strength. Not this time of year anyway. *sigh*

What's For dinner?

Ok, I know I've been lazy with my menus lately. I apologize. This week's menu is nothing exciting, because we are financially strained right now, so I am on a TIGHT budget. But, here you are, nonetheless.

Friday: Eating out CHEAP since we are going to the Christmas Parade downtown. :-)
Saturday: Spaghetti (I'm making a huge batch)
Sunday: Leftover spaghetti
Monday: Asian sesame chicken (can you tell we like this dish?)
Tuesday: BBQ Chicken with cornbread and veggies
Wed: Church night.
Thurs: Probably a do it yourself night. Or maybe a frozen pizza :-(

I know, we eat a lot of chicken. That's cause Aldi has big bags of boneless skinless frozen chicken breasts for $6.99, and that gives us 3 nights.