Friday, January 23, 2009

FAITH--Lifted Up

Remember when I mentioned that when God wants to teach us something, he comes at us from a couple directions? Well, that happened yesterday again. I'm in the middle of two different Bible studies, but each had a verse in Psalms that grabbed me. Psalm 27:5 says, "For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock" and Psalm 3:3 says, "But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head." In other words, in difficult days (actually on all days) God protects me from the trouble around me and even lifts me above it. He enables me to rise above the circumstances and lifts my head so I'm not dwelling on them. Thanks, God (and Susanne).

On a more humorous note, I noticed this verse in Psalm 58:8: "Let them be like the snail that dissolves into slime . . ." Isn't that a picture? I can just imagine a little boy throwing this phrase back to one of his cohorts, "I hope you turn into a snail and just dissolve into slime! So there!"

Have a great day! I resolve to take some pictures today and work on posting them--soon--be patient with me!

Monday, January 19, 2009

More Food

I've tried a few more recipes in Healthy Cooking magazine--all are things I already have a recipe for, but they had some slight variations. First, I made the tuna casserole and really liked it. (I know most of you don't like tuna casserole, but that is something we eat occasionally.) John didn't like it--I'm not sure why! Then, I made the cheesy vegetable soup. It is very similar to Brenda's recipe, but just a little different and almost as good, I thought. Yesterday I made the crock-pot meat loaf. John is the only one who likes meat loaf, so I make it when I know Jessie won't be here to eat. She's very good about trying most things, but probably because of my own aversion to meat loaf, I don't press it upon her. And, meat loaf is something I don't really have a recipe for--I just throw it together. (Maybe that's why I don't like it--DUH!) Anyway, John and I both liked the meat loaf. I put it in the crock pot before church, but it seemed it wasn't quite done after 3 1/2 hours on low, so I put it in the oven for another 1/2 hour. And, it's a big recipe, so John will have enough for supper tonight while I'm tutoring and Jessie is working.

And, I just made the spiced apple tea (very good) and forgot to mention earlier that I made the double-chip pumpkin muffins. I didn't have the cinnamon chips, but I substituted toffee bits. It's a huge recipe, so I froze most of them for Bible study at my house this week. I'm also going to try the makeover apple bread.

This past Saturday was the first Show Choir competition of the season. Norris got second in class B. It was quite respectable since it is practically impossible to beat Grand Island Northwest. They are the same size as Norris, but they always go over the top with their Show Choir. The next competition is the 31st at the Lied.

A fun thing for me at the competition was visiting with Mary Zimmer, a Norris alum who graduated with Annie, I think. She is now the music director at Pius and she just happened to sit down by us. It was fun to catch up with her and her family.

I'm going to add another "f" word to my list--feeding birds! (I'm trying to give some integrity to "f" words!) I just counted 10 goldfinches either in the tree or at the feeders. I want to thank Jeremy for thinking of me at Thanksgiving time and taking the time to go to the Wild Bird store and buy me a bucket of REALLY NICE bird seed. I had been neglecting the birds and he was feeling sorry for both them and me. THANKS, JEREMY. Your gift has been much appreciated.

This is getting kind of long. If I don't learn how to do pictures SOON, I'll probably lose all my blog readers!

Have a great day!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Faith, Food, Frustration

I'm thinking of adding another word to my list on the sidebar--frustration! Last week I wanted to post a picture of my dad from his birthday, but in trying to transfer the picture from camera to computer I erased the picture from my camera--I was soooo disappointed. Then, when I tried to blog about the whole experience, I lost the blog update before I could post it! So you can imagine my FRUSTRATION. Will I never make the transition to technology?

So, I'm turning to FOOD! A couple days ago the latest issue of Healthy Cooking arrived. It always renews my excitment for cooking and meal planning. And, a couple of you have the same magazine, so maybe we can share some of our successes and failures. Yesterday I made the Slow-Cooked Southwest Chicken and we thought it was pretty good. (John probably wouldn't pick it, but I noticed he had two servings.) Jessie thought it could use a little more seasoning in spite of the 1 tsp. cumin already in it--maybe a couple dashes of hot sauce. This morning I made the Nutmeg Waffles. I thought they would be yummy, but they were a little heavy--maybe less flour and more oil would help.

Now I want to say something about FAITH. Isn't it interesting that when God wants to teach us something, he comes at us from several different directions? In our ladies' Sunday School we're studying Susanne Scheppmann's Birds in My Mustard Tree, a study of faith, and we're having some great discussions about faith and how it grows. For Christmas Jessie gave me a wooden plaque that says, "FAITH, ordinary people with faith can do extraordinary things." I have it hanging by my kitchen sink to remind me that I'm very ordinary, but God has chosen to use me to accomplish his purposes. He even gives me the faith to start with and the experiences to grow it.

Have a great day!

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Last Lecture

My friend Brenda loaned me her copy of Randy Pausch's The Last Lecture before Christmas, so I read it as we traveled. Since it has nice short chapters, I could manage it without becoming car sick. Anyway, it's quite good and has much good advice for the New Year. Mr. Pausch recently passed away from pancreatic cancer, so his book is a legacy for his family and for anyone else who wants to listen in.

Mr. Pausch was an extreme computer nerd, so I find it interesting that he praises the value of handwritten thank you notes. Since his last lecture was to college students, he directs his advice toward them. "Job interviewers and admissions officers see lots of applicants. They read tons of resumes from 'A' students with many accomplishments. But they do not see many handwritten thank-you notes. If you are a B+ student, your handwritten thank-you note will raise you at least a half-grade in the eyes of a future boss or admissions officer. You will become an 'A' to them. And because handwritten notes have gotten so rare, they will remember you." He closes the chapter with "It's just the nice thing to do."

I am so tempted to send a quick thank-you email or use a telephone call to suffice, but I know how much I appreciate a written thank-you note which comes via snail mail. I have received many treasured notes over the years (I wish I'd saved them)--many more than I've sent. I want to keep an old custom alive through the age of technology.

Thanks, Brenda, for passing your book to me. I truly enjoyed it. Uh, oh, should I send a note?

Happy Birthday to my Dad--84 years young today (or yesterday?).

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year! I'm starting out 2009 with a blog. We'll see how it goes.

These are pictures of our family, so you can see everyone is looking good!

We were at Brian's in Austin for Christmas, then went to Longview to spend New Year's with Annie and her family. We'll return home tomorrow, Jan. 2. We've had a great time in both places. We've spent much too much time eating, some time playing games, and some time shopping.

John and David are busy building a playhouse/swing set for Paisley. We'll see if they are able to finish it today!

We pray all of you are looking forward to a fantastic New Year praising and serving our Lord.