Friday, February 27, 2009

Can't Get a Ring off?

I have had my wedding band off for a couple weeks now because my finger broke out. Well, I put my ring back on yesterday, went to bed, and when I woke up, my finger was swollen and red! So, I decided it was time to size the ring. I proceeded to the bathroom where I ran my finger under cold water, put a little soap on my finger, and pulled.

Nothing. Wouldn't budge.

Ok. No biggie. I pulled some lotion out, lathered up my finger really well, and pulled again. Nope. Not working. So, I soaked my hand in freezing cold water to make the swelling go down.


After about 15 minutes of twisting, pulling, and tugging, I knew I needed something stronger. Off to the kitchen I go. I poured a hefty amount of vegetable oil on my hand, and started the process all over again. Pull. Yank. Tug. Twist. Pull. Yank. Tug. Twist.

My finger started turning blue. Not good. Then Brandon got home from work and tried. He lathered me up in Crisco. He pulled, yanked, tugged, and twisted.

After a good hour of this process, my finger became extremely swollen (I would have taken a picture, but I was a little preoccupied with trying not to let it fall off) and turning colors. I decided I would go on to work and see if the swelling went down. On my drive in, I BLASTED the air, holding my hand in front of the vent.


By the time I got to work, my finger looked like it was going to fall off! So, I called a local jeweler, and he told me to come by. So I hopped on downtown, and he had it cut off in a matter of seconds. Thank goodness!

So, next time you can't get your ring off...just get it cut. Save yourself the time and pain.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Church and the Gay Community

I read this post on a fellow blogger's site. I think it is a great post, and one which gives us something to think about. Hop on over and check it out!


I have recently been overwhelmed with emotions about our baby situation. I am a woman, and human, so I can't help but to think about it. Every time I see a baby, walk through the store and have to just pass by the baby section because I don't have a viable reason to shop there yet, and every time I hear someone else is pregnant, I get a sense of loneliness, sadness, and being left out. It seems like EVERYONE is pregnant!

I have spent a lot of time in deep prayer these last few weeks, and my God is such a good God. He is a God of mercy and grace, and I KNOW He loves me...even when I don't act as though I trust Him. He has filled me with peace. I am peaceful because I KNOW that my God is faithful, and that this WILL come...even if it doesn't come right when I think it should. I have hope and faith. I see God working in our lives, and I have a feeling that this is coming our way! That makes me happy. I remembered this verse today, and it will go with me from now on, when I am getting those sad feelings:

"Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours." Mark 11:24

I am also reminded of the song "While I'm waiting" by John Waller (from the Fireproof soundtrack).

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait
I will move ahead, bold and confident
Takeing every step in obedience
While I'm waiting I will serve You
While I'm waiting I will worship
While I'm waiting I will not faint
I'll be running the race
Even while I wait
I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it's not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve you while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting on You, Lord
And what will I do if we don't get pregnant? I will love him. I will praise His name for knowing what we do not. I will worship Him. I will serve Him.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Brandon has been asking me for weeks now where his chapstick has disappeared to. It seems as though every time we turn around, we are buying chapstick. Well, this weekend we were doing some early Spring cleaning, and look what we found behind the stove!! Along with ink pens, milk jug rings, and candy canes, were two sticks of chapstick! We found even more behind the fridge, washer, and dryer! All in all I think we found six sticks! Don't worry...we threw them away! I blame this on the cat. :-)

So, next time you can't find something, look behind your appliances...never know what treasures you might find!

Friday, February 20, 2009

My Husband Rocks Friday!

There has been so much going on lately. Several of those things are....not so good. However, in the midst of all the trials we are facing, I have seen God take hold of my husband in a mighty way! God is really working in his life, and it is amazing to see. He is worshipping like I have never seen him worship before. He has the passion and desire to make time for us to pray together, and make God the true center of our marriage. We have both always known that praying together was something that we needed to work on (let's be honest. We just DON'T pray together), but it for some reason has always been a struggle. Of course, Satan doesn't want us to develop a deeper spiritual relationship. Brandon has also never been the "Spiritual Leader" in the home, either. We both agree that the man is supposed to be the "leader," but this has just never been. I have always played that role. However, lately it seems as though he is becoming so much stronger, and walking so much closer to the Lord, and I can see that leader coming out in Him. I praise God for that! One of the best parts of marriage is watching God work in your loved ones is simply amazing. I am so thankful for my husband, and I love him so very much!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Menu Day

These are few and far between these days, but here is our menu for the week:

Friday: Cheddar Chicken and Rice Skillet (
Saturday: Quesadillas and chips and salsa
Sunday: Probably eating out
Monday: Pancakes!
Tuesday: Ultimate grilled cheese on Texas Toast and some sort of soup

Tuesday, February 17, 2009



I am sad today. My heart hurts. Why is it so hard to simply trust you? I know that you have it all planned out...but the uncertainty is killing me. Why is it so easy for others...especially those who don't know you and won't even do what they should? Yet Brandon and I, who vow to raise our children in your will, just seem to have such a hard time? I don't have any right to question you, but I can't help but wonder. It just hurts so badly. I'll love you no matter what. But I just don't know how I could handle not having children. Please, Lord, give me peace. If the time is not now, then make the hurt go away. I want this more than anything in the world, and Brandon finally wants it, too! I never thought that would happen. Lord, I see you working in our lives...especially his. You are really working on his heart, and I can only hope that it is in preparation for a little tiny blessing. God, I can't help but fear that I will have the same problem as my parents did. Please don't let that happen. Lord, I need you. I love you. And I need you to walk me through this.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Garlic Butter Spread

I am a HUGE garlic bread fan. Actually, I am a huge garlic fan...period. So, when I came across this recipe for garlic butter spread, I was super excited. (I found the same recipe on several websites, so I'm not sure who exactly gets credit..if it's you, thanks!)

1/4 c. butter softened (I used margerine
1/4 c. parmesan cheese (I used the sprinkle kind)
1 TBSP oil
1 tsp garlic powder (NOT salt!)

All you do is mix them together and spread them on whatever kind of bread you like. I used a loaf of Italian bread from the grocer's bakery. I also added a sprinkle of basil and parsley for color and sprinkled a little mozzerella on top. Bake on 350 for 3-4 minutes, then broil just till the edges are golden.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Handmade Valentine's

These are some pictures of the card and box of candies I made Brandon for Valentine's Day. I am not an artist, so don't laugh.

Friends and Fun

Friday night we got to spend the evening with some very dear friends of ours, the Elkins. David and Sonja have 5 children (Ian, age 3 above). When their 5th, Shiloh, age 20 mos. was born, there were some major difficulties and Sonja was mostly in bed for almost the first year of Shiloh's life. So, after she was born, many many people from our church began coming to their home to help with the kids. Brandon and I went every Thursday evening for a year to help with dinner, baths, and bedtime routines. We had some awesome times, and learned so very much from them. We became very attached to them and their children...they are simply precious! I even got to teach Elliana (age 7) at church when she was 3 and Shepherd (age 5) when he was 3! Thanks, guys, for the great evening!

Little Bitty Visitor

Our neighbors have this little black kitten that they never take care of. He sits outside their door all the time crying, wanting to come in. The other day, it was so cold, and he had no food, so I put some of Codi's food out there for him. Well now, of course, he sits outside OUR door everyday crying. And his crying is so loud and pitiful, I can hear it in the other room! It makes me very sad, and it makes Codi sad too. He sits at the door and meows back at him, like he wants me to let him in. And I am continuously telling myself not to. However, I think eventually I will end up stealing a cat. Is it stealing if they don't care for it??

Friday, February 13, 2009

10 Ways to Love Your Husband All Year Long

"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord...Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it" (Eph 5:22-25).
What is Valentine's Day about? Showing love, right? Well, what about the other 364 days? Are we not to love our husbands then, too? I know that I like to receive flowers and cute little thoughtful things all throughout the year! And so do our hubbies! So, in the spirit of this special day, I made a list of ways to show your husband you love him all year long!
1) Have a movie night, and let HIM pick the movie
2) Show an interest in his interests (even if it's the most boring thing ever)
3) Surprise him by washing his car for him (Brandon LOVES this)
4) Bake his favorite meal AND do the dishes
5) Let him know that he is your hero. Men want to be your hero!
6) Let him win an argument! Pick your battles, and if it doesn't matter, then let him win.
7) No guilt trips! I am so guilty of putting guilt trips on Brandon it's not even funny.
8) Bake his favorite sweet treat, and pack it in his lunch for him. Want to make it even better? Don't tell him you're doing it! He'll be surprised when he opens his lunch box at work.
9) Don't make fun of his hobbies, no matter how silly they may seem. I am guilty of this one, too.
10) Don't just tell him you love him, but tell him you like him, too. need to feel loved, too!

My Husband ROCKS!

rose Pictures, Images and Photos We didn't have the money to do anything really special for Valentine's Day this year. Ok, let me rephrase....nothing expensive. Brandon wanted to get me some flowers and bring them to me at work, but we really didn't have the money. So, I settled with the fact that I was getting anything (don't get me wrong...I'm not materialistic at all, but all girls like flowers, right?) and I was kinda sad, I admit. But, when I woke up this morning and looked on our nightstand, there was a single SILK rose, chocolates, and a card. It was so sweet. Inside the card, he wrote, "I know it isn't a real rose, but this one will never die." Altogether now...AAAAWWWWW. We couldn't afford real ones, so this was his best, and it was PERFECT. And I love him for it. It's not about the flowers. It's about knowing you are loved and thought about. And I definitely knew that this morning :-)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

High school 1959 vs. 2009

Scenario 1:
Jack goes quail hunting before school and then pulls into the school parking lot with his shotgun in his truck's gun rack.
1959 - Vice Principal comes over, looks at Jack's shotgun, goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show Jack.
2009 - School goes into lock down, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.

Scenario 2:
Johnny and Mark get into a fist fight after school.
1959 - Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up buddies.
2009 - Police called and SWAT team arrives -- they arrest both Johnny and Mark. They are both charged them with assault and both expelled even though Johnny started it.
Scenario 3:
Jeffrey will not be still in class, he disrupts other students.
1959 - Jeffrey sent to the Principal's office and given a good paddling by the Principal. He then returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.
2009 - Jeffrey is given huge doses of Ritalin. He becomes a zombie. He is then tested for ADD. The school gets extra money from the state because Jeffrey has a disability.
Scenario 4:
Billy breaks a window in his neighbor's car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.
1959 - Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college and becomes a successful businessman.
2009 - Billy's dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy is removed to foster care and joins a gang. The state psychologist is told by Billy's sister that she remembers being abused herself, and their dad goes to prison. Billy's mom has an affair with the psychologist.

Scenario 5:
Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school.
1959 - Mark shares his aspirin with the Principal out on the smoking dock
2009 - The police are called and Mark is expelled from school for drug violations. His car is then searched for drugs and weapons.

Scenario 6:
Pedro fails high school English.
1959 - Pedro goes to summer school, passes English and goes to college. He becomes a successful engineer.
2009- Pedro's cause is taken up by state. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files a class action lawsuit against the state school system and Pedro's English teacher. Pedro's English teacher is fired. English is then banned from the core curriculum. Pedro is given his diploma anyway, but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English.

Scenario 7:
Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from the Fourth of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle and blows up a red ant bed.
1959 - Ants die.
2009 - ATF, Homeland Security and the FBI are all called. Johnny is charged with domestic terrorism. The FBI investigates his parents -- and all siblings are removed from their home, and all computers are confiscated. Johnny's dad is placed on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly on airlines again.


I did it! I never thought the day would come!! But it did! God is good!

I got Brandon to eat BROCCOLI!!!!

46. Mission Statement

We have written our family mission statement! I think this is a very cool thing to do, just to remind yourselves regularly what your family goals are...your purpose as a family.

Swindell Family Mission Statement

We the people of the Swindell family, in order to form a more perfect union, do establish these two basic principles:

1. To love and honor God
2. To love and honor others

We hereby base these principles on the Word of God.

We also establish, within these two principles, these five boundaries, which we hereby agree to adhere to at all times:

1. To honor and worship God and only God.
Exodus 34:14 “You must worship no other gods, for the Lord, whose very name is Jealous, is a God who is jealous about his relationship with you.”

2. To love and honor one another through loving words and actions
John 13:35 “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

3. To honor and obey the Word of God.
John 1:1 “In the beginning, the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

4. To love and respect others as ourselves by helping them and meeting the needs of others.
Matthew 22:39 “A second is equally important: love your neighbor as yourself.”

5. To study the Word of God so that we may know who God truly is and have a deeper relationship with Him.
Joshua 1:8 “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

MHRF...late again

So, I failed to do My Husband Rocks Friday again last week, but I had a good excuse this time! I was on my way to Missouri to see my aunt.

While I was gone, Brandon was home sick and had to work. Yet, he was still nice enough to clean the house for me so I wouldn't have to do it when I got home Sunday evening before going straight back to work Monday morning. (Although he did 'forget' to mop the floors. He won't mop for anything! But who's keeping track?) He also was very worried about us all weekend. Don't get me wrong, I don't want him to worry, but it is nice to know you are loved and missed and thought about!

Facing The Giants

Facing The Giants Pictures, Images and Photos

Brandon and I finally watched Facing The Giants last night. I must say, I was highly impressed. This movie was so inspirational, and I cried several times! This movie spoke to me in a few different, but huge ways.

1) Don't fear! You can't hold back from life just because of fear.

2)NOTHING is impossible with God. Although the movie does tend to give off the idea that if you pray for it, you'll get it, at the same time it is made clear that you should praise God in the good times AND the bad...whether you get what you want or not.

The most influencial part to me was between Grant Taylor and his wife. They are struggling with infertility and have been trying to have a baby for four years. It shows their pain and frustration, which is exactly how I feel. At one point, after spending the entire night in the word and hitting rock bottom, Grant asks his wife: "If God never gives us Children, will you still love him?" This really hit me. I realized that I have been SO focused on getting pregnant, and taking it into my own hands, that I haven't given God any of the control or glory. So, this movie actually changed my life in that I now am giving it to God. There is a man in the movie that says this to Grant:
"There were 2 farmers who desperately needed rain. They both prayed for rain, but only one spent his days preparing the fields for when it comes. God will bring the rain when He is ready. Your job is to prepare for it until that time." Wow! How true is that? I realized that I am praying so hard for God to give us a child, but I am doing nothing to prepare for it! So, last night, I had a heart to heart with God, and asked him to show me exactly what I needed to do to prepare...whether it is finances, health, marriage, or spiritual life. Or all of the above. So, now, while we continue trying, I will be preparing to be a mom, whether God gives us our own or leads us to adoption. I have faith. I trust that God wants us to have children. His timing just might be different than ours. But, no matter what, I will choose to love God and praise Him.

I highly reccomend this movie to anyone who struggle in any area of their lives.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Prayer for the day

Dear Lord,

I hear you. I know you are speaking to me. Thank you for your words. I realize that I have been so fixated on my desires that I have ceased giving you the glory. I know that with you, nothing is impossible. I believe that you have a plan for me, and whatever that plan is, so be it. That is hard to say, knowing that it may or may not be what I want, but only you know best. I am giving it to you, God. You are on your throne, and I trust you. I will love you no matter what your will holds for us. Amen.

Hearts, Candy, and Chocolate Day!

Valentine's Day has kind of snuck up on me this year. I did a really good job making plans way in advance, but, unfortunately, I haven't stuck to it. I had plans to handmake somethings for Brandon since we're flat broke this year, and we had planned to go out to a nice dinner, but, again, we're broke. So sad. So, I've been thinking of a few inexpensive ideas. Let me know which ones you like, or if you have ideas of your own!

Cook a nice dinner at home, decorate the house with rose petals, etc and candles, and have a romantic evening in. Possibly go to the Cheesecake Factory for dessert.

Order a pizza and rent a movie / play board games

I am planning on making him some goodies and putting them in a homemade box, too. We aren't doing gifts since we just spent way too much on a new tv.

Ideas are welcome!


This is going to be a long story short, but I am so amazed at the mountains God is moving. Aunt Jeannie's husband is a hateful man. And I mean that. He HATES anyone who stands up to him, makes a comment he doesn't like, or simply doesn't do a certain thing. You make one comment he doesn't like, and he will literally hate you and hold a grudge against you for the rest of his life...including not being welcome anywhere NEAR his presence or his wife...whether she feels the same way or not. He is abusive to her and is as controlling as I have ever seen anyone (to the point of telling her what she can and cannot eat). He has hated and had a grudge on most of our family members for most of my life...all three of Jeannie's kids, my dad, and my Uncle Alvie. These people are people that he will have escorted away from them if they come around. He won't allow Jeannie's kids to see her (even though she is dying). My cousins got my aunt some flowers, and on the card wrote "We love you - Penny and Gary." Just so you know what kind of man he is, he tore the "we" and the "Gary" off of the card! He HATES Gary, and has no problem saying that to anyone. He even had a block put on Jeannie's room phone and took her cell from her so no one could call her.

Well, when we were at the hospital Saturday morning, my mom decided to have a talk with Buster and set him straight. She said a lot to him, and didn't think it went anywhere. Yet, as we were leaving the hospital yesterday to go back to Nashville, Buster arrived and asked all of us (me, my mom and dad...whom he despises) to come back in her room for a minute. He sat next to her, said he was wrong, gave her her cell back, and said lots of stuff. Of course, we didn't know if he meant it or not. He said he thought a lot about what my mom had said, and realized that Jeannie needs her family...she needs her kids, and they have got to set aside the family feud of the last 25 years and come together.

Last night, Buster called my mom and told her he took the block off her room phone. Then, this morning, we get a call from my Cousin Joy (Jeannie's daughter) saying that he has called a meeting with EVERYONE...Alvie, Joy, Penny, Ricky (who he hates most of all), and said he wants to talk with them, and that they need to come together for Jeannie. WOW! If you only knew what all has gone on the last 25 years, you would know that this is a HUGE deal, and has brought us all to tears!

As mom was talking to Buster Saturday morning, I was praying. I told God, "this is a mountain that we cannot move. He will never listen to us as humans. Speak through my mom, Lord, and MOVE THIS MOUNTAIN!" And He did! This is a miracle! And, even though we know we don't have much time left with Jeannie, we are praising Him because she now can spend what time she does have with her family...without being afraid of him! Praise the Lord!

Dear Aunt Jeannie

We went to Missouri this weekend to visit my Aunt Jeannie (mom's sis). We found out last week (after she threw up bloos for two days before her kids finally convinced her husband that she needed to go to the hospital) that she has stage 4 colon cancer, which is the last stage. She had an aneurysm, a bleeding ulcer, and a hole in her colon from the cancer. They took out the part of the colon with the hole and she'll have to have a colostomy bag for the rest of her life, and there is basically nothing they can do. The cancer is all over the colon, in both bowels, and the liver. Needless to say, it was not a fun weekend, we are all exhausted, and very afraid of when we may get "the call."

Please pray. Pray for us, for my mom, for Jeannie's kids, and pray a LOT for her husband, Buster, who is the most hateful person on the face of the planet. That is a whole series of blogs on its own. He just needs a lot of prayer. He needs Jesus.

Dear Lord,

I am not sure what your plan is. I am not sure why we are faced with all of these trials in this season of life. I am not sure why you are allowing Buster to treat her this way. But what I AM sure of is this: you are on your throne. You are mighty and loving. There are mountains in our lives right now that we cannot move, but you can. We do not know your plan, but you do. We do not understand these things, but we do not need to. Lord, I will praise you if she lives, and I will praise you of she dies. No matter what Buster brings our way, I will praise you. I will praise you if Brandon and I get pregnant, and I will praise you if we do not. I will praise you if you heal Uncle Tommy, and I will praise you if you do not. I will praise you in this storm.

In Jesus' name, Amen.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

MHRF...almost a week late

I apologize. This has been a hectic week and I did not get to do "My Husband Rocks" last Friday. So, here goes.

I have been incredibly irritable and impatient lately with Brandon. A down right butt. I have been so tired and stressed out with everything that is going on, that I have just chewed him out over, time, attitude...everything. Isn't it ironic how sometimes when we lecture someone about their bad attitude, we do it with a bad attitude ourselves? Or might just be me. Anyway, he has put up with my attitude and hatefulness. I wouldn't have. But he did...and he hasn't even chewed ME out once! Thanks, baby, for dealing with me. I'm sorry. I love you. Thanks for being there through all of this and loving me. I really need it right now. You are my world. :-)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I am feeling so weary lately. It seems as though it is one thing after another, and I can't keep up! I am working on my relationship with God...trying to make time to read every day, praying more, etc. And I suppose it is a good thing, because God is giving me plenty to pray about! Last month it was my uncle's stroke (by the way, he is home now and doing better every day! Praise Jesus!), last week my daddy got sent to the cardiologist, which was a scare (he is ok! Praise Jesus again!), and this week it's my aunt's bleeding ulcer/hole in her colon/ aneurysm all in one. During surgery, they found out that she has colon cancer, and a spot on her liver. It is not looking good.

On top of that, I am very distraught and discouraged with our baby-making process. It just doesn't seem like it will happen, and I am not clear on whether or not God wants us to adopt. Plus, I am in fear of losing my job this year. On one hand, I know this probably isn't the time to have a baby for financial reasons, but on the other hand, I serve a God who is loving and can provide. The economy may not get better for years, and I can't wait for the world to get better before we have children.

I am tired. Tired of not catching a break. Tired of taking one step forward and two steps back. Just tired.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Chili's home!

If you're like me, you probably LOVE Chili's fajitas (chicken is my fave). Well, after weeks of searching, I have finally found a recipe for them! I don't like fajita seasoning that you buy at the just doesn't taste right to me. So, here you go! Try them at your own risk...I have not made them yet, but plan to in the near future. I'll let you know how they turn out.

Click here for the recipe.