Tuesday, October 31, 2006

My Walking Buddy...

For the past couple of weeks I have been walking in the mornings. The weather is cool and crisp...perfect in my opinion! : )

I enjoy walking, but much prefer a partner. Well...I found the perfect one! It's our 10 month old Border collie, Brodie. Together we make our way through the neighborhood and into the open desert. I love watching the wildlife (jackrabbits, cottontails, chipmunks and quail)...and Brodie loves chasing the wildlife (and cars, which is *not* a good thing)! LOL Today I figured out how far we actually walk and I was shocked to find out it's 3-4 miles! I would never have guessed it was that far.

So tomorrow morning, Lord willing, my buddy Brodie and I will once again, be out trekking through the desert. : )

Monday, October 30, 2006

Sunday Dinner Recipes...

Every Sunday after church, Little Mama and her family join us for dinner. I love this special time! After a busy morning, we are all ready to kick off our shoes and relax a bit...before heading out again for evening service.

I try to plan a nice meal, which can be a challenge because we are at church from 8am until after noon. Which makes me so grateful for my trusty crock-pot (I have two of them)! It's so nice to be able to just put everything in the pot and turn it on...with little preparation. When we get home, the house always smells SO good! I usually put out something for the guys to snack on (chips and salsa) while Little Mama and I finish meal preparations.

Yesterday's meal was one of our family favorites. Whenever I make it they always remind me just how much they LOVE this meal. So I thought I'd share the recipes with you! : ) Both of them came from the Taste of Home magazine.

Italian Beef sandwiches

1 jar (11 oz.) pepperoncinis

1 boneless beef chuck roast (3-1/2 to 4 lbs.)

1-3/4 tsp. dried basil

1-1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1-1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1-1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1 large onion, sliced or quartered (I use onion powder because my son-in-law doesn't care for onions)

1/4 cup water

10-12 hard sandwich rolls

Cut roast into large chunks; place in crockpot. In a small bowl, combine basil, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper (and onion powder if using it); mix together, then sprinkle over the beef. Pour juice from the pepperoncini's over the beef and herb mixture. Remove and discard stems from remaining pepperoncini's; place peppers over the beef. Add onions (if using instead of onion powder) and water. Cover and cook on high for 6 hours or until meat is tender. Shred beef with two forks. Using Slotted spoon, serve beef and peppers on rolls with Muenster cheese.


Cheddar Waldorf Salad

2 large Red Delicious apples, cubed

2 large Golden Delicious apples, cubed (or I just use 4 large Fuji apples)

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup mayonnaise

3 tbsp. sugar (or Splenda)

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I always use more)

In a large bowl, combine the apples and pecans. Combine mayo and sugar; add to apple mixture and mix well. Add cranberries and cheddar cheese; mix gently. Serves 6-8

I will serve either Tater Tots or sweet potato fries with this meal and Little Mama usually makes a yummy dessert for us to enjoy (which many times we don't eat until after evening services because we are stuffed from lunch! LOL)

If any of you have easy Sunday dinner recipes you want to share...please do!! : )

(Image by allposters.com)

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Something to Share...

This morning I finished going through the notes and scriptures from the women's retreat last weekend. I just wanted to share this little tidbit Jan Christianson shared with us.

Ways To Forfeit Peace
  1. Resent Gods ways
  2. Worry as much as possible
  3. Pray only for the things you think you can handle yourself
  4. Refuse to accept what God gives
  5. Look for peace elsewhere
  6. Try to rule your own life
  7. Doubt God's Word
  8. Carry your cares and concerns yourself

"The Lord will give strength to his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace." Psalm 29:11

Have a wonderful weekend! : )

Friday, October 27, 2006

Thank You and An Update...

Thank you to all of you that have emailed or called to see if My Fireman is ok. He is not fighting the fire as of right now. His department does have a crew out there and he would be on the next crew to go. He called me this morning to tell me that he knew the one firefighter that is still alive. This young man was in the fire academy last year where My Fireman is an instructor.

I know the Lord uses these difficult times to draw others to Him. Last night my husband was able to pray with three of his colleagues...something that would not usually happen. Please continue to pray for the families of the firefighters that were killed and the one who is clinging to life. Thank you!! : )

Thursday, October 26, 2006

An Interesting Day...So Far

On Thursdays, Fiddleboy and I go to chapel services at our church's Christian school. This morning as we were leaving, the phone rang and it was the school principal informing me the chapel service was cancelled because the church had been robbed and vandalized last night. While I was shocked and saddened by this, the terrible thing is it was the second time in two nights. Yes...the church was broken into Tuesday night as well. On Tuesday night the thieves/thief found the safe, but couldn't get into it. Last night they came back with tools and just ripped the whole thing out. : ( The church was awaiting the installation of an alarm system, but obviously because of what happened last night, it's getting installed immediately.

Then...an hour later, My Fireman called me with very sad news. Apparently 3 firemen were killed this morning fighting a large fire (about 30 min. from us) and 2 have been very seriously injured. You can read about it here on FOXnews. My Fireman and three others, were on their way to teach at a fire academy today, when they heard the whole thing taking place on their radios (they work in the same county where the fire is burning). Needless to say, the guys are just torn up about it. The firemen that were killed work for a department in central California, but the fire service is a like a big family and when something happens like this, they all feel it. If you think about it, please pray for the families of the firemen that were killed and injured...and for those firefighters still on the fire line. Thank you! (**Update--the firefighters killed in the tradgedy now totals 4 and they are actually from a fire department closer to where the fire is burning.)

"Hear my cry, O God;
attend unto my prayer.
From the end of the earth will I cry unto Thee,
when my heart is overwhelmed:
lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.
For Thou hast been a shelter for me,
and a strong tower from the enemy.
I will abide in Thy tabernacle for ever:
I will trust in the covert of they wings."
Psalm 61:1-4

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Ironwood Women's Retreat

The retreat this past weekend was wonderful. What a blessing to spend time with my sisters-in-Christ...to hear biblical teaching AND have fun! Many of us are busy serving at church on Sunday and Wednesday and often we don't take the time to really sit down and talk about what's going on in our lives. Retreat is a good time to catch up and get to know each other better. : )

Jan Christianson was an excellent speaker. She was bubbly, fun and yet serious when it came to presenting the truths of God's Word. The theme was "Walking In Light". There were 4 sessions: "Who Am I in This Dark World?", "Delivered from Darkness", "Glimmers of Hope" and "Testing for Amperage". After the morning session on Friday, we were able to attend workshops of our choice. I chose one on "Practical Hospitality" and then my favorite, "Denying Self Through the Power of God". Oh...it was so good!! Convicting, but good. : )

I think my favorite part of the retreat was when our group of ladies (16 of us) participated in what Ironwood calls "Jed's Quest". Our group was given two "problem" scenerios and we had to solve them together. The first one was that we had to line up, in alphabetical order by our middle names, without speaking or using any kind of sign language. What a challenge! Especially because we didn't know each others middle names!! It took a few minutes to develop a communication system (using our fingers to count out each letter of the alphabet), but we did it. The second one was an even bigger challenge and took much longer to complete. (And it's a little harder to describe...LOL!) Basically, there were three telephone polls laid out (sort of in a "U" shape) like balance beams and our group of 16 had to stand on them. Then...without falling off...we had to maneuver people from one pole to another. That meant one lady trying to climb over another lady, while the other was crouching down...all while trying to stay balanced. At first everyone was very serious, as we tried to figure out how we were going to accomplish this seemingly impossible challenge. But once the first person made it "over", then everyone worked together to complete the challenge (and as you can imagine, it made for some pretty hilarious pictures). We were given 8 "passes" if someone stepped off, but I think we only used three of them.

Once we were finished, the facilitator gathered everyone around and she asked us discussion questions relating to why the challenge worked, what we could have done differently, ect... The whole time, she's pointing out biblical principles (putting others before ourselves, helping those who are weak, bearing with one another) that we can apply to our relationships as sisters-in-Christ and when we are serving the Lord together.

So another retreat is over...and now I'm asking the Lord to help me apply the things I learned. This week during my devotions, I am going back over the notes I took and re-reading the scriptures. I am finding even more "nuggets" of truth found in God's Word.

"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet,
and a light unto my path."
Psalm 119:105
Have a blessed Tuesday! : )

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Off Again...

I am off to attend the Women's Retreat with the ladies of our church. We are going to Ironwood Christian Camp and the speaker is Jan Christiansen. I have no idea who she is, but I am excited to hear her speak. : )

Have a wonderfully blessed weekend!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Biology and Homeschooling...

Fiddleboy is doing biology this year and one of the experiments is to study the reproduction of organisms. He had to gather cultures from a water source, so My Fireman took him to a nature preserve near our home to gather the specimens. We like to take pictures of fun stuff like this, because at the end of Fiddleboy's high school years, I will present him with a scrapbook/yearbook (I did the same for Little Mama).

Anyway...after they got home, I remembered the pictures we had of Little Mama when she did the same experiment six years ago. (The curriculum we use is "Exploring God's Creation With Biology" by Apologia Science). I just knew I had to post those pictures for y'all to see. : ) Little Mama is going to *love* me for this, I know. But hey, what are moms for right?! LOL

Little Mama~ September 2000

Fiddleboy~ October 2006







Sunday, October 15, 2006

Remembering Tim...

"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints."
Psalm 116:15

Spc. Timothy D. Watkins

Killed in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, on Oct. 15, 2005 when an improvised explosive device detonated near their M2A2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle during combat operations.

One year ago today, the Lord called Tim to his heavenly home. He was only 24 years old. Today as we remember him, we remember a young man who loved the Lord, his family and his country. The Lord definitely used Tim while he was in Iraq (and at other duty stations). There have been numerous testimonies since his death of Tim sharing the Lord with others and inviting them to church services.

We knew Tim because he was our pastor's son. Our pastor (Rob Watkins~Calvary Baptist Church) and his family have been an tremendous testimony of God's sufficient grace during this past year. While there are no easy answers as to why this happened, the Watkins family has dealt with their grief by keeping their eyes on the Lord and trusting Him. They have continued to serve the Lord in the ministry here at Calvary, as well as ministering to others who have lost loved ones.

If you are interested in reading more about Tim, there is a wonderful tribute here.

Please remember to pray for our those serving in our armed forces and their families.

Vacation Pictures~Part 3

More pictures from Alabama...

The Little Man and his Great-Aunt Pat (my mom's sister).

The Little Man trying out some new foods. He also got his first tooth while on our trip...and started crawling! : )
My mom's front yard. It's hard to see in this picture, but there is a creek and a bridge to the left. Alabama is so beautiful!

As you probably know by now, we are a family that loves traditions. Well...here is another one! Little Mama and Fiddleboy always go for a bike ride when they visit Grammie. This one almost didn't happen, but Little Mama would not allow it. : )

My mom is so tiny! Here is Fiddleboy picking her up. She's smiling, but she actually hates when he does this. : )

Four generations...Great-Grammie, Grammie (me), Little Mama and Little Man.

Vacation Pictures~Part 2

We made the drive from Tennessee to Alabama and my mom saw her great-grandbaby for the first time.

Great-Grammie and her Little Man. : )

Pickin' and singin' at the Evans home. What a fun night!!

Fiddleboy competing in the Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddler's Convention fiddle contest. Little Mama's Marine is accompanying him. He played "Fire On The Mountian". We were all so proud of him and thankful the Lord gave him the courage to get up on the stage and compete.

I had to take a picture of the crowd at Fiddler's. There were so many people!! The contest is held at Athens State University, which was once a women's college and was used as a hospital during the Civil War.

Little Mama and the Little Man...taking a rest during Fiddler's.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Vacation Pictures~Part 1

Here are a few pictures from the first part of our trip--IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Assoc.), Nashville, Tennessee.

My Fireman and I at the IBMA awards show. (Fiddleboy was taking the pic.) We had a great time seeing some of our favorite bluegrass groups perform. A special highlight was seeing Bill Gaither induct The Lewis Family into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame.

While at the IBMA conference, our evenings were spent watching different bands perform on various stages. There were workshops available during the day and an exhibit hall filled with instruments, music, cd's...everything bluegrass. This particular band (3 Ring Circle) was playing at 1:30am. Yes...that's 1:30 in the morning! The hours we kept while in Nashville were crazy.

While in Nashville, we just had to make a trip to the Grand Ole' Opry. What a fun experience!! Ricky Skaggs, The Whites, The Cherryholmes (the group above) and Rhonda Vincent performed. The Little Man was such a trooper the entire time. Here he is with his Grandpa Dule after the show.

Another highlight of our time at the IBMA was seeing The Isaacs. They have the most beautiful harmonies I have ever heard.

On Sunday there was a church service and then different bands performed gospel sets. Our favorite was The Whites singing "Farther Along". After the band were finished, IBMA was officially over. We headed over to the Country Music Hall of Fame museum and then we were off to Alabama.

Friday, October 13, 2006

We're Home!

We got back late Monday night and it's been a whirlwind ever since!! I don't know what I was thinking when I planned doctor's appointments, fiddle lessons and a field trip for this week. Obviously I wasn't thinking!! LOL

We had a wonderful trip and I will try to post pictures this weekend. Thank you for your prayers for Fiddleboy's wrist. It is doing much better! The fiddle contest went well. He didn't place (there were 25 contestants in his group and they place the top 5), but he was totally ok with it. The kids that placed all had competed in contests before and this was Fiddleboy's first time. He did great...and despite being nervous, he made it through the song (thank you, Lord!). He learned some things he would do differently if he does another contest and overall it was a good experience for him (and Little Mama's Marine, who did a great job accompanying on the guitar).

Tomorrow we are heading to a local apple orchard to do some apple pickin'. Our church school has graciously invited the homeschoolers to come along. The weather is supposed to be cool and crisp...perfect for picking apples.

Well, I have to get back to the mountain of laundry we have...AND make lunches for the field trip tomorrow. Have a blessed Friday!! : )

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Hello From Alabama!

Just wanted to say we are having a wonderful time here in Alabama. We just love it and every time we visit, we try to devise ways to move here. : )

Tonight we spent the evening with our dear friends the Evans family. We spent the evening playing music and singing hymns and gospel songs...AND eating barbecue and drinking sweet tea. Thanks Mitzi!! : ) It is a special blessing to not only have family here, but to have good friends too.

On Saturday Fiddleboy and Little Mama's Marine are entering the fiddle contest. If you think about it please pray, because Fiddleboy's wrist (his bowing arm) has been really bothering him since we've been here. Thanks!!

I'll post pictures when we get home (my mom has dial up internet). Hope all is well with everyone and I'm looking forward to catching up with ya'll when we get back. Until then...have a great week!!