Tuesday, January 30, 2007

What A Guy!

My hubby treated us to one of his delicious homemade meals tonight. Rande loves to cook, but doesn't get the opportunity as often as he would like. So when he suggested cooking dinner, I was happy to oblige. : )

He made meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beans. Now, I realize meatloaf is not on most people's list as a favorite meal, but Rande's meatloaf is absolutely delicious ~ and definitely *not* low-fat. To the ground beef he adds onion soup mix, garlic, salt, pepper, egg, bread crumbs and a dash or two of Worcestershire sauce and mixes it well ~ he then adds cubes of cheddar cheese. Oh yeah! This is the key ingredient. ::grin:: And his mashed potatoes! After mashing the potatoes he adds butter, milk, salt, pepper and garlic. They are out-of-this-world!! He even made plain ol' green beans taste like something special.

Anyone who has ever had this meal loves it ~ and we sure did love it tonight! And he even did the dishes! What a guy!!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Friends + Music= Fun Times

This past Saturday night, we were invited to the Purdy home for dinner. The Purdys are friends of ours from church and they had the Sikele family~missionaries to Fiji~ staying with them for the weekend. The Misners~another family from church~ were also invited to dinner. So with these four families together, we knew it would be dinner and music night.

Here are some pictures of a very fun evening:

The Purdys~our hosts

The Sikele family~they are a very special family and the Lord has knit our hearts together in a special way. And boy! Can this family sing and play music!! : )

Mrs. Purdy made a delicious spaghetti dinner~and I think we ate almost all of it! Here Bro. Misner and his daughter anxiously await the FOOD! : )

Oh yeah! Let the music begin!!

Here the ladies sing~beautifully!

Ok...here was a highlight of the evening. Bro. Misner had never played the mandolin, but at one point he started messing around with it and before any of us realized, he was playing rhythm and doing a fine job. We were impressed and most of all he was having so much fun!

Bro. Sikele and the kids were going through the hymnal and picking out songs and making them bluegrass-y. : )

My Honey and I~ he had to sit with a heat pack on his back, but I think it was really good for him to get out.

We all had a wonderful evening. It was one of those special times when you don't want the fellowship to end. But alas, it had to because we all had to be at church by 8am. : )

Remodeling Update and Hubby's Back...

There's not much to report for this past week because everything remodel has been put on hold until Rande's back is better. He went to the doctor and he has a "severe contusion" in the muscle in his lower back from when he fell. He is on some good medication ::grin:: that makes him feel much better, but makes him have the weirdest dreams. The other night he was cracking up in his sleep and I thought he was choking or something. He was laughing so hard he was crying...in his sleep!! LOL Then last night, I awoke to find him walking toward our bedroom door...when I asked him where he was going, he said Zach was calling him. Hmm, ok?! Zach was not calling him. : )

So...Rande is off work until next week and he starts physical therapy tomorrow. He's feeling pretty good right now, but I told him no scraping ceilings this week. : )

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Laugh With Me...

I was in Barnes & Noble the other day and walked through the parenting section on the way to the restroom (aren't you glad I told you THAT part! LOL). One particular book caught my eye. It one of those keepsake books where you write down memories or facts about your life. Well, this one was for a grandmother to write to her grandchildren. It was *so* cute! It was almost like a scrapbook...with places to journal and put pictures. I liked it too, because it wasn't all floral-y and foo-fooish. No, this one was filled with bright colors and geometric shapes.

Well, I was ALL set to buy the book, because you know...I am Troy's Grammie and he should have something like this. I mean, isn't this the kind of stuff grandmothers do?

But then I saw THEM...and I *knew* these four little letters would hinder me from purchasing this cute little book.

I saw the letters...AARP!! This sweet memory book was put out by the nice people at the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and there, right on the front was the AARP insignia. How nice.

Ok, now if you are reading this and you are a member of AARP, I truly do not mean to offend you. ::grin:: But I am considered a young grandmother by most people's standards...and I like it that way! Troy was born when I was 39 years old and now I am 40. Young, right?! : ) I don't know what the age requirement is for the AARP, but whatever it is, I am SURE it must be far from 40. It has to be. The AARP is what my mother belongs to!

Anyway.....I know some of you might think it completely ridiculous that I would let four little letters get in the way of me purchasing a sweet memory book for my grandbaby. But I am sorry. I just couldn't do it. I just *could not* give Troy a memory book from his young Grammie, with the AARP insignia plastered on the front. Nope...just couldn't. Call me weird. Call me strange. Call me a young grandmother!! LOL

So if you see a memory book that I can give to my sweet grandbaby....let me know. Just make sure it's not published by the American Association of Retired Persons. ; )

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Something To Think About...

My precious daughter wrote an excellent post yesterday. Truly, I am *not* biased ::grin::, but it gave me MUCH to think about. Thanks Ashleigh, for sharing your heart!

You can go here if you want to read her post. : )

And if you would, please lift up in prayer those she mentioned. The friend who is on hospice care is in much pain right now and her family truly needs our prayers too. Thank you!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Monday, Monday...

I love Mondays! They feel like a Saturday to me....or what I suppose a Saturday would feel like if you had a husband with a normal job schedule. : ) Firemen do not live by the normal ebb and flow of work Monday thru Friday, then Saturday and Sunday off. Mondays are just a more relaxed day for us, even if Rande is working. Zach still does school and everything...but it's just less busy.


My hubby took a fall while scraping the ceilings and hurt his back pretty bad. : ( We tried to get him into the doctors today, but they can't see him until Wednesday. This is *really* bad when you are a firefighter...so he is taking the day off from work tomorrow and we are icing/heating it until he can get into the doctor.


We had a GREAT time at the bluegrass festival. It was wonderful to see our good friends and catch up...plus hear all the great music. And yes, it was cold!!


Yesterday started our church's annual missions conference. I am so thankful our church loves and supports missionaries. If yesterday's messages are any indication of what is ahead, it's going to be a great conference. Last night we heard Bro. Andrew Au share his desire to go to Hong Kong. He and his wife are both of Chinese descent and already know the language and understand the culture. Bro. Au grew up in San Francisco, in a Buddhist home. He began attending church through the bus ministry and accepted Christ as a young teen. During his senior year at a secular college, the Lord put it on his heart to go to Bible college. After he graduated, he went to Bible college and thought he'd be in full time ministry at his local church. But during a mission trip to Hong Kong, the Lord gave him (and his wife) a burden for the people of Hong Kong...and now they are on their way!

I am excited to hear about the rest of the missionaries represented during the conference. Tonight was the Missions Dinner, but Rande and I didn't go because of Rande's back (he can hardly move). I felt so bad he couldn't go, as the missions conference is one of Rande's favorites. (Zach is there and will fill us in on all the details. : ) )Lord willing, if he is up to it, we'll try to go tomorrow night.

Well, I'm off to catch up on some of your blogs...hope you had a great weekend!

Friday, January 19, 2007

This Week's Remodel Update...

For those who are interested...here's where we are this week:

We have taken much of our furniture and other items out of the house and put them in the garage. Rande and Zach continued scraping the acoustic popcorn off ceilings this week. We still have two more rooms to go. Then the contractor is going to come in and re-texture them. I did have the guys move some of the furniture back for now, as we needed something to sit on! LOL It is very strange having empty rooms and we are constantly asking each other, "Do you know where_____is?"
Brodie hanging out in the dining area. The walls were textured this week and are now awaiting primer .

Yep, I am posting reality! This is the old dining area as it is tonight. We have moved this stuff in and out of the new dining area ALL week. It's sort of funny and I was wondering tonight, why haven't we moved this stuff into the garage instead of moving it back and forth? O'well. : )

So this is where we are for now. We also had some tile work done in the kitchen area and our doors were ordered last week. It's coming along!

It's Bluegrass Time!!

Tomorrow we are going to the first big bluegrass festival of the season. Woohoo!! The Blythe Bluegrass Festival is one of the bigger festivals in California and one of our favorites.

After a busy week of working on the house, we are all looking forward to listening to good music and enjoying good fellowship with our "Bluegrass Friends". My guys are hoping to jam a little in the evening, but it's supposed to be VERY cold tomorrow so I wouldn't be surprised if we head home earlier than planned.

Hope y'all have a wonderful weekend!!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Neat Website...

I ran across this website on another blog:


If you are new to blogging and have a question, this is the place to go! I really enjoyed reading through the information.

Happy Blogging! : )

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Fiddling Around...

Every Monday Zach teaches fiddle lessons in the afternoon. One of his students is a very good friend of ours, Mrs. Misner (that's her playing her purple fiddle). Today she brought her girls and at one point they had a little "jam" session going with Rande and Zach. The Misner girls have beautiful harmony and they started singing "There is Power in the Blood". I just had to take a picture! My family and friends are such good sports....because they know the "picture" will end up on my blog. : )

Monday, January 15, 2007

Can It Get Any Colder?

Ok, I suppose it could...depending on where you live. But in our little desert town, we just aren't use to below freezing temperatures. When Rande left for work yesterday morning it was a whopping 16 degrees!! On Saturday morning we awoke to NO WATER...which meant our pipes had frozen. Rande ran down to our little hardware store, where he was met by what seemed to be half the town. It turns out many people had frozen or broken pipes. We actually had both. So my dear husband spent Saturday fixing a broken water pipe and wrapping the rest. : ) Now we are good to go.

I don't know about you, but when the weather is cold my family loves to have soup for dinner. I thought I'd share a recipe I got out of the Urban Homemaker catalog many years ago (I've modified it some). We jokingly call it the "ugly soup" because children usually think the spinach makes it "ugly"....but it soooo yummy!

Tortellini Soup

2 Tbs. olive oil

2-4 cloves garlic, minced (we love garlic, so I use 4)

1 small onion, chopped

4 cups chicken broth

4 cups water

1 large can tomato puree

1-1/2 tsp. basil

1-1/2 tsp. oregano

1 package chopped frozen spinach

1 package fresh (frozen or dried will work too) cheese filled tortellini

salt to taste

Using a soup pot, saute the garlic and onion in olive oil until softened. Add chicken broth, water, tomato puree, basil, oregano, salt and frozen spinach; bring to a boil. Add tortellini and simmer until ready to serve (about 10 minutes). Sprinkle with freshly ground Parmesan cheese. Serves 6.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Let It Snow!!

For those of you who live where it snows a lot...please bear with me. : ) We get snow just a few times a year and when we do...it's BIG NEWS!! Everyone starts calling each other..."Are you awake? Look outside!" It just makes for a very happy day!
So here are a few pictures of a desert snowfall:

Snow on cactus...WOW!! (I told you... it's a BIG deal for us! LOL)

Of course my husband wants a picture of his "baby" covered in snow. Ok, I know it's not covered, but it's gettin' there! : 0)

Brodie (aka "The Brodeman")

We have a couple of inches of snow on our street.

This is "the big tree" in our front yard and it's swing. If we ever moved from this house, my kids would miss this most of all.

We had lots of little bunnies running around in the snow. Brodie spotted one and thought it would be fun to chase it. : )

Happy Friday!!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Thursday Thoughts...

The wind is howling and blowing in our little desert town this morning. Earlier, as I drove through town, there were all kinds of debris in the streets...lawn chairs, trash cans, tree limbs. It was like driving through an obstacle course!

On Thursday mornings Zach and I try to attend chapel services at our church's Christian school. I *love* this service because as the nursery coordinator for our church, I am usually busy running around on Sunday's and Wednesday nights (this is NOT a complaint--I LOVE being the nursery coordinator). The chapel service is the one service I can come in, relax and really listen to God's word being taught. We are so blessed at Calvary Baptist to have such a wonderful pastor. Pastor Watkins is truly a great preacher and Bible teacher.

After the chapel service Zach and I went to breakfast with an old friend and her daughter (the friend is not old--I've just known her a long time! LOL). I would not normally take time out from school to go to breakfast, but this was one of those times it was the right thing. Zach and the friend's daughter used to be good buddies when they were little, so while they don't have a lot in common now, it was still good to get together. I posted about this friendship and the hard times we've been through and I am VERY encouraged to say the Lord has been answering some very specific prayers in regard to this family.

Speaking of friends...I have a few situations I have been praying about lately that have been really burdening my heart (one is the above situation). It's so difficult when you see people you care about make poor choices. And I am one of those friends who likes to carry the weight of those poor choices right along with you. So the other night I had a wonderful, long conversation with a dear, godly friend who basically encouraged me to just keep loving these people, to pray for them diligently and then to leave them in the Lord's Hands. Since that conversation a few nights ago...I have truly felt a HUGE weight lifted from my shoulders and such a peace when I pray for these situations.

"Be careful (anxious) for nothing;
but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving,
let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding,
shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:6-7

On a lighter note...my hubby and I are going on a date later this evening. We are going to Home Depot to order new inside doors for our house and purchase some other things. Now to some of you, that may not seem like a lot of fun, but Rande and I actually enjoy going to Home Depot (or Lowe's) together. We will probably end up going to one of our favorite restaurants for dinner and then over to Borders. A date night for us just would NOT be a date night without stopping at Borders. : )

We are taking a break today from scraping ceilings and working on other things. I am just thrilled with the progress we (and our contractor) are making. Thanks to all of you who have left encouraging comments. I so appreciate it!

Well, I am off to tackle more of my mountain of laundry. I just don't understand why it keeps growing! I mean, why can't my family just keep wearing the same clothes every day until I get caught up?! Just kidding! Have a great day!

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Making Progress...Sort of

I have a TON of stuff to do today. There is a mountian of laundry calling my name too. And I was supposed to have it all done before our bi-monthly "Homeschool Mom's Night Out" tonight. Can't say that's going to happen. You may be wondering why I am on the computer then, if I have so much to do. I don't blame you for wondering...because I was thinking the same thing. But I just needed a little break, ok? :o )

Anyway, I thought I'd post a few pictures from the work we did yesterday on our house. We scraped the acoustic "popcorn" off the ceilings in one room, the hallway and the entry. It was much easier than we thought, but very, VERY messy.

Rande scraping a-way! And look at me...I am hard at work watching. And NO, for those of you who know me well, I was not giving him instructions. : )

Zach looking for some tunes on his ipod before he starts working.

Working hard...and you can sort of see the pretty sunset in the background.

We needed fuel for the job, ya' know!

Our favorite helper...Brodie!

What was once on the ceiling, is now on the ground. Thankfully the clean up was pretty easy. Tomorrow we'll continue scraping and hopefully be done this weekend. Woohoo!!

Monday, January 8, 2007

Heart Issues...

"The heart of the problem, is usually a problem of the heart."

Yesterday our pastor preached an excellent sermon and the above quote is one he used (not sure if it was his or someone else's). He has been going through the book of Colossians on Sunday mornings and yesterday's verses were Colossians 3:20-4:1.

Colossians is one of my favorites books of the Bible and Chapter 3 is one of my favorite chapters. I have often told people if you are having problems in your home, problems with the people closest to you, problems at work, church, ect...basically any "people" issues...read Colossians Chapter 3.

Through the years I have read this chapter over and over again...it's one of the first places I go when I need to be reminded of who am in Christ and my responsibility as a Christian when dealing with people "issues" (whether in my home or otherwise). But the reason I loved this quote that Pastor Watkins gave yesterday is because it's so true. Oftentimes I will focus on the other person and how they need to change (and sometimes they do), but in reality it's my heart that needs to change. It's my attitude that needs an adjustment. It's my stubbornness or maybe my unwillingness to forgive. Whatever it is, I can't control what others do or say, but I can control the way I respond to them. I can change my heart attitude.

I am so thankful we serve a loving God and by His grace we can live a victorious Christian life. I am so thankful too, that we have the Bible, His Word, to lead the way.

*Image by allposters.com

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Today's Remodeling Update...

Oh my! We realized today, we have accumulated a TON of stuff in the 16 years we have lived in this house. I can tell you this: not even half of it is coming back inside once we are done with the remodel. Y'all hold me to that ok? : ) Anyway, I am posting some pictures of how things are looking around here...VERY messy. For some of you these will mean nothing, but I have family and friends who have seen our house and I think it will be neat for them to see the process. So here goes:

This is a corner of Ashleigh's old room (soon to be Zach's, much to Ashleigh's dismay...LOL). She came by today and we went through ALL of her wedding stuff we had been keeping in boxes, in her room...since June 2004. She and John were married in Colorado and we had to transport all the decorations (ceremony and reception), favors, ect... It was VERY stressful and hectic at the time, but today we were both surprised at how organized we actually were back then. Anyway, we narrowed it all down to one box of memorabilia for us and one for her. After we were through, Zach and Rande moved all the furniture out.

This is room is going to be the dining area (this was the original patio) and it's where most of the work is being done right now. The french doors lead out to the new patio.

Another view of the dining area (opposite of the above picture).

Don't you just LOVE the microwave in the middle of the room?! : /

Aaaand...here's how my kitchen looked today!! Nice, huh? This is why we ordered pizza for dinner. : )

As much as I dislike my house to be a mess, I am totally OK with it this time because right now, MESS=PROGRESS!! Woohoo!

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Wednesday Happenings...

It's been a busy and productive day around our house. The Christmas decorations are put away and we have been packing things up to get ready to scrape the "popcorn" off the ceilings throughout the house. We are putting in new flooring too, so we thought it just easier to put everything but furniture, into the garage. It feels like we are moving...only we aren't going anywhere!

I am not a big one for New Year resolutions, but I do like the fresh beginning the new year brings. I have enjoyed reading different blogs and hearing about the goals some of my blogging friends have for the new year. I am right there with those of you who want to get back on track with healthy eating and shed a few pounds. : )

Susan (ByGrace) is reading her bible chronologically this year. I really liked that idea and so I printed off the reading plan. You can go here if you are interested in checking it out.

My dear friend Julie (A Day in the Life of a Preacher's Wife) writes the most wonderful bible studies for women. I met Julie about 10 years ago when she and her family lived in our town. She was well known for being a source of encouragement to women in her church, in homeschooling circles and in her neighborhood. A few years later Julie's husband enrolled in bible college and they moved away. Even though we lived miles apart, she continued to be a blessing to me and most especially when I went through a very difficult time in my life. My mother-in-law (whom I was very close to) came to live with us during an extended illness and later went home to be with Jesus. The Lord used Julie as an earthly lifeline when I honestly felt like I could not take another step forward. We emailed daily...and it seemed as though she was holding my hand through the computer. I will always be grateful for her friendship then and now.

But anyway...back to the great bible studies Julie writes. : ) She is a very gifted writer (and speaker) and I loved receiving her newsletters way-back-when. I have always known the Lord would use her gift and I am thrilled she has a blog(s) and that she has a website. So I have decided to print off her bible studies and do one a week. I have been printing them off all day as I have been doing stuff around the house. I have a pretty binder to put them in and everything! : ) If you are interested in getting to know this special lady, visit her blog here...and if you are interested in her bible studies, you can go here.

Now I want to jump right in and start reading my bible! : ) But it's actually time for dinner and then we are off to church.

Hope y'all had a GREAT day!

Monday, January 1, 2007

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope today finds you enjoying time with your family and/or friends. Last night at church we sang this familiar hymn and I thought I would post the words here. It is the prayer of my heart for the new year.

"I Surrender All"

All to Jesus, I surrender;
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.

I surrender all,
I surrender all,
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
Take me, Jesus, take me now.

All to Jesus, I surrender;
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.

All to Jesus, I surrender;
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power;
Let Thy blessing fall on me.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Now I feel the sacred flame.
O the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory, to His Name!

May you have a wonderful day!! Happy New Year! : )