Sunday, February 28, 2010

Inspirational Sunday


----------devotional by Greg Laurie

We all know how God mightily used Simon Peter as an apostle. But do you know how Peter originally came to believe in Jesus? His brother Andrew told him about the Lord.

We never read in Scripture of Andrew preaching to multitudes of people. Andrew never wrote any books of the Bible. Nor did God work miracles through his hands.

But God used him to reach his brother, Peter, who did all the above and more.

We can't all be Simon Peters. God is looking for people like Andrew too. The fact of the matter is, if we had more Andrews, we would have more Simon Peters.

This reminds me of a more contemporary version of this point.

From selling soles to saving souls

Edward Kimball was an ordinary man who taught Sunday school at his church. He sensed God's leading to share the gospel with a shoe salesman.

After nervously pacing outside the store several times, he found this young man in the storage room. Kimball shared God's love and the salesman received Christ.

The year was 1858 and the salesman's name was Dwight L. Moody, who went on to become one of the greatest evangelists in human history. But the story doesn't stop there.

But wait, there's more!

Several years later, when Moody was preaching, a pastor named Frederick B. Meyer was deeply stirred by Moody's preaching. As a result, he started a nationwide preaching ministry.

A college student named J. Wilbur Chapman accepted Christ after listening to one of Meyer's sermons. Chapman became a pastor and started holding evangelistic outreaches.

One of the assistants he hired was Billy Sunday, a former baseball player. Sunday went on to become a powerful evangelist, reaching thousands and thousands of people with the gospel in the early 20th-century.

From Billy to Billy

One of Billy Sunday's evangelistic crusades was held in Charlotte, North Carolina. Afterward, a group of enthusiastic businessmen wanted to do more outreach in the area and asked another evangelist named Mordecai Ham to come and preach.

During Ham's revival meetings, a young farm boy known to neighbors as Billy Frank made his way down the "Sawdust Trail" and gave his life to Christ. Today, we know Billy Frank by his given name, Billy Graham.

So look at this chain of events, starting with this unsung hero. Kimball reached Moody, who touched Meyer, who reached Chapman, who helped Sunday, who reached businessmen in Charlotte, causing them to invite Ham, who reached Graham!

It starts with one!

It all began with the simple witness of Edward Kimball!

If we had more Andrews, we would have more Simon Peters. If we had more Edward Kimballs, we would have more D.L. Moodys. If we had more Mordecai Hams, we would have more Billy Grahams!

So do your part to reach someone today. Who knows, they could be the next great evangelist God uses to reach a generation!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

"We're Into It"


Here are a few things we are into right now.  One thing is playing TROUBLE.  We play this at least once a day, and if Little Man wants to play more than that, he will play it against himself if no one else can play.  Too funny!
The next thing I am into right now, along with the Rocket Scientist, is our Keurig coffee maker!  OH how I look forward to seeing this little machine every morning!!  Do you see that rounder with little coffee cups in it?  I just love that thing!  When friends come over, we have a total assortment of hot drinks to serve in an instant, with NO coffee pots or large bags of coffee sitting around waiting to be used up.  We like the dark roasts the best, but I have hot chocolate, chai tea, flavored tea, flavored coffee...the list goes on, and you can change your mind every morning of what you want to drink. 
LOVE-LOVE!!

How cute are these little "Cuties"??  We all love these little clementine oranges.  They are small, easy to take with you, easy to peel, no seeds, and only 50 calories for a sweet snack.  The kids love them and will eat them, and even the 5 year old can peel one all by himself when he takes it in his lunch.  Brilliant!
But we can't be into a healthy snack and not include a sinful one.  Sweet Girl used to be in Brownies and Girl Scouts, so we definitely have to do our part in supporting our local troups!  Yum!

I can't leave out favorite television shows from this list.  Right now one of our favorites of the whole family is American Idol.  I don't know what it is about this show, but we just love it.  It is usually good for the whole family to sit down and watch, and you feel like you are a part of it. 
Oh, how they have us fooled!


And ONE MORE favorite television show of the Rocket Scientist's and mine is MODERN FAMILY on abc.  What a great show!!  We love all of the characters and we can SO relate to Claire and Phil!  haha It is SO funny.  Well, this is it!  This is what we are into right now!  ;-)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Frugal Wednesday -- "shhh.... $2.99!!"


Have you seen the annoying Wendy's commercial on TV with the two guys and the meal is $2.99?  Well, my family thinks it is so bad, it is hillarious, so they poke fun at it whenever they can.  Hence, my frugal, vegetarian supper last night!  I try to come up with a "meatless" meal for supper at least once a week, and it just so happens that last night's dinner, the WHOLE thing, came to just under $2.99!!  lol 
Here it is:


Half a Baguette from Publix -- $.69
Steamed ravioli in the bag with a tomato basil sauce -- $1.00 (clearance priced)
Eat Smart broccoli salad on sale at Publix -- $1.00

So there you go!  Meatless and frugal and under "shhhhh......$2.99!!"

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dear iTunes Execs...no explicit rating??


Dear iTunes Execs,

I was wondering what your criteria was to mark a song "explicit" in your "explicit" and "clean" ratings that you have in your iTunes store?  Is it the words themselves, what the song means, what it represents, is it appropriate for 12 year olds???  I'd really like to know.  I don't think any of you have a 12 year old that has downloaded this IMMA BE song by the Black Eyed Peas, or you would have the word EXPLICIT next to it!  Because this morning my daughter asked me what "semen" was.  I said, "What???"  Let's just say I had to then explain exactly what that word was.  I then looked up the LYRICS to this song to see in what context it was being sung about.  Hmmmmm....  Will.I.Am is a "Banker Loaning out SEMEN??"  Oh great.  Let's explain that to our kids.  Also, I see the "F" word is on there, kinda "mispelled" there on the immabe website.  On purpose?  hmmm...and the "SH" word is on there at least 4 or 5 times.  Not to mention the "N" word many times.  SO, please explain it to me....just WHAT ELSE IS THERE????  WHAT ELSE??  I understand I was lax in not looking up the words to this before my daughter downloaded it.  I did not hear anything in the small blip you give us to listen to, and also the album itself does not have an explicit rating.  But COME ON!!  Maybe some kind of rating should be called for here??? 

Sincerely,

A Wiser Mom

Monday, February 22, 2010

Weekend Recap - The Boy, The Girl and The Zoo

College Boy sent this picture to me on Friday, showing me that he was actually wearing the scarf I made him like two years ago.  I also made him a hat with college colors and asked him where that was, but he didn't answer.  He proceded to text me throughout the day when he got a compliment on the scarf.  He ended up with TWO compliments, so now he thinks it is cool to wear it.  OK, this picture to me really isn't much about my son or his scarf, or the fact that he knows how to take a picture of himself with his phone.  It is WHERE he is taking this picture!!  Ummm...what do you see on the side and in the background?!  Is this a PUBLIC RESTROOM on the FSU campus??  OH Lord have mercy, have I NOT raised you better than this???  Good thing no one was coming out of the stall!!
Can you guess which show Sweet Girl can't wait to come back on???   She texted me this photo of her in her bedroom.  Do you see the blow-up mattress in the background??  Yes, it has been there on the side wall of her room for a couple of weeks now, in case another friend texts her and says they are coming over and BAM it goes down, sheets are on, pillows and blankets are there and it is good to go.  At least the closet doors are closed!
Yesterday myself and some friends all went to the zoo.  A couple of them had never been before, and we have a pretty nice zoo here in our small coastal town.  That being said, at first it was a disappointment and I felt bad.  We went around 2:00 and the pythons were not in their cages.  We saw the new Cheetah exhibit, but the cheetahs were far away in the corner, then went to feed the giraffes, and they were no where in site.  There were SO MANY people there since this was the first weekend all year where the temps were in the 70's, so the wait for the kayaking was hours long so we couldn't do that either.  But all was not lost -- we got to feed the birds, then we came across this guy up above.  I have no clue what kind of prehistoric animal this thing represents, but it was the funniest looking bird I have ever seen! 
 
We saw the alligators and were there in time to see them being fed.  The girl was on the platform on the other side, where us spectators were, and she banged the pole to call them.  I'm telling you, all of a sudden came out THE biggest alligator I have ever seen!  He was 13 ft. long and weighed a ton, but he hoisted himself up and ate the meat off of the stick she held out.  His name was Humphrey and he was pretty impressive!
Here is a small group of them. 
One of my favorite things to see:  It is hard to see here, but it is a Sandhill Crane on her nest of two eggs.  Well, it may be the male about to sit on the eggs, I forget.  But we have them by my house also, and when these little guys hatch, they are SO cute to see with their parents walking around!  You can tell spring is in the air when you see this.  Hopefully the weather will remain mild, but I think it is suppose to get cold again by the end of this week.  Sweet girl was sick so I had to take her to the doctor yesterday to get her on antibiotics.  Little Man earned enough money to go to Target and buy some more Bakugan traps, but they were out of those so he settled on some cool Bakugan balls that he didn't have.  Boys and their toys!! 

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Artful Thursday

Today for Artful Thursday I decided to use the valentines paper I had out, and use some other little odds and ends I had around the house to make this tag.  My girlfriend dared asked me to make something with my new Martha Stewart punch I bought.  She is a great crafter herself, and liked the punch with the birds on a wire, but couldn't think of any way to use it so she asked me to play with it, so here it is:
 
I decided to use some vintage sheet music and try my punch out on that.  I think it turned out pretty good, considering I had the music upside down (shh - we'll just say I meant to do that to add character to the tag).  I had the felt butterfly and added it to go along with the "fly" theme I had going on. 


A little cluster of things in the bottom include the "negative" image from the bird punch, a punch from a french dictionary, a flower and a small button.  I'm thinking this would go pretty nicely on a card blank for a birthday or a sentiment to just say hello.  I still may add some stamping, but I'm not sure what.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Paczki Day


In Poland (The Rocket Scientist's heritage) yesterday was Paczki Day. My Publix grocery store actually had these VERY heavy, wonderful looking doughnuts for sale in their bakery, all to eat before lent on Ash Wednesday. Click on the link above to find a recipe to make them. Gone are the days when the window of opportunity for savoring a pączki was 24 short hours once a year on Fat Tuesday. Now, most bakeries offer these chubby fry cakes the entire Lenten season.

Pączki are made with a rich dough that has more eggs and sugar than a regular doughnut and they're cut larger, without a hole. When properly made, they look like huge, round baseballs, and boy are they HEAVY! Each one has around 500 calories! aahh! So go out and try to find some or make your own before Easter gets here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras Day


In honor of the start of Mardi Gras and today being Fat Tuesday, I decided to get on the Cajun 'Who Dat' band wagon and celebrate New Orleans style! A favorite cajun item I got at World Market today was a bag of Zapp's Cajun Crawtator potato chips! They are so good.  We found Zapp's potato chips back when we used to live in Pensacola, FL around 1987!  That really isn't "that" long ago, is it?? 

This dinner I made tonight is fit for any 'Nawlin, even though it is served with pasta instead of rice.  It is REALLY good and REALLY spicy!

Cajun Chicken Pasta

8 ounces linguine pasta
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
4 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
4 tablespoons butter
2 red bell pepper, sliced
2 green bell pepper, sliced
8 fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 green onion, chopped
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
 
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

Place the chicken and the Cajun seasoning in a plastic bag. Shake to coat. In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the chicken in butter or margarine until almost tender (5 to 7 minutes).

Add the red bell pepper, green bell pepper, mushrooms and green onion. Saute and stir for 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat.

Add the cream, basil, lemon pepper, salt, garlic powder and ground black pepper. Heat through. Add the cooked linguine, toss and heat through. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and serve.

(I used thinly sliced chicken breast, whole wheat pasta linguine and fat-free half and half in place of the heavy cream, and this dish was spicy and delicious!)

Happy Fat Tuesday everyone!



Monday, February 15, 2010

A Birthday and Valentine's Day Recap

I had a wonderful Valentine's Day yesterday, exchanging a few gifts and having a nice meal out, just the two of us, at Carabas.  These Ghirardelli chocolates came straight from San Francisco!  I'm so glad the Rocket Scientist made it home the other day, in time for Sweet Girl's birthday party and Valentine's Day.  With the snow all over the country, flights were cancelled left and right, but his were fine.  Thank the Lord!
 
Sweet Girl had a GREAT time on Friday, having a chocolate party at school, exchanging valentines with friends and then having a FUN birthday party that evening with a slightly cheesy great movie and a pizza party.  First off, the party bunch, myself and Aunt Shannon went to see Valentine's Day 

while the Rocket Scientist and Little Man went to see The Tooth Fairy which was playing the same time.
Let's just say the KIDS loved the movies!  haha  The Rock in a pink tutu??  Oh Lordy, lordy....
Pizza and cake finished up the night.  Because it was Sweet Girl's golden birthday (she turned 12 on the 12th), I made up some candy bags that included gold Hershey Nugget candy and gold Rolos.
We let the girls order the flavor of pizza that they wanted, and they chose a Spaghetti Pizza (it has spaghetti noodles and cut up meatballs on it) and a Hawaiian Pizza.
She loved all of her gifts which mostly consisted of clothes which she is REALLY into lately! 
Little Man didn't make it through the whole party.  He pooped out right when his pizza came out.
Happy 12th Birthday, sweety!  So glad you loved your day!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Golden Birthday

Happy Birthday to Sweet Girl who is 12 today on the 12th!  Her golden birthday.  We have been planning her party all week, inviting a few friends to see the opening movie of Valentine's Day, then going to the Pizza Gallery for dinner right across the way.  She is at that stage now where she doesn't want me to bring cookies to the class or buy a cookie from the cafeteria for her.  She doesn't want any added attention.  She almost didn't want a cake!  What, no cake?  Of course we have to have cake!  So I ordered her favorite - the Raspberry Elegance cake from Publix.  Yum! 
It is so good...vanilla cake with raspberry filling and a cream cheese frosting.  Another thing she was working on were valentines for her class. 

Yesterday I was taping the candy to Little Man's valentines, and was thinking since College Boy was 4, I have been taping candy to valentines every year since then!  Too funny!  Now, again -- with Sweet Girl doing her own and this being her last year to hand any out, next rises up Little Man!  6 more years of valentines to put together!  ha - that's what you get when you have your kids 6-9 years apart. 

Some more things going on...

The College Boy had his picture taken with Govenor Charlie Crist a couple of days ago at a state funding rally, and was elected to the Union Board at FSU.  So proud!!  He is majoring in accounting and loves being involved with student politics.
 
The Rocket Scientist just got back in town this morning from San Francisco, taking the red eye flight home so he would be here for Sweet Girl's birthday.  And he brought with him a loaf of Sour Dough bread!  Yum -- the perfect accompaniment to the lasagna I made last night.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

An Orgaization Book for those of us with ADD

Organizing Solutions for People With Attention Deficit Disorder: Tips and Tools to Help You Take Charge of Your Life and Get Organized Organizing Solutions for People With Attention Deficit Disorder: Tips and Tools to Help You Take Charge of Your Life and Get Organized by Susan C. Pinsky



My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book had some good ideas for those of us that are ADD. Mainly it was first to purge what you don't use, then when you store it, have it out in the open where you can see it - like open shelving. I had done this with my spices - not having them hid in a cabinet but have them in a spice rack that is on the wall of my pantry. Though it may not "look" the best, it will help you function better and I have found that this is true, already doing this without knowing it was something that would benefit a person with ADD. Unfortunately I didn't finish the entire book (due to my ADD I would suppose!) but I will check it out from the library again and finish it.



View all my reviews >>

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A School Play

Little Man had a performance yesterday with his school in helping the director in her bible story.  They all did a good job!  It was Jesus calling his 12 disciples.  Above is a picture of him in his costume as one of the disciples.

Here he is in the boat, casting their nets into the sea.
The disciples all gather around Jesus.
The cast.
Our favorite star of the play!

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Last Night Launch of the Space Shuttle

This was the view we had this morning of the last night space shuttle launch.  The Rocket Scientist set his alarm to get up to see it at 4:00am, and he wasn't about to miss it.  It was beautiful, as always, seeing the bright glow above the houses, then seeing the glow fade into the sky.  The space program is uncertain, with the President's recommendations in ending major programs.  Many jobs will be lost if it goes his way, but we are praying for God's will to be done and we know it is in His hands.  All we can do is pray.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Artful Thursday

It is Artful Thursday again!  Another day to assemble some things I have and create a little art out of it.  I love this challenge.  It had me thinking, that I wanted to do something decorative for Valentine's Day, yet use things I already had on hand.  I printed out some valentine images, gathered some vintage buttons, some vintage forget-me-nots, some sparkly ribbon twine and some adhesive.  I stopped by a little antique store by my house last week and was SO sad to learn that they were going out of business. A few things were half off - so I picked up this little tin jello mold and crafted all of these things together.
I think it turned out so simple and cute.  I placed it in my little sock monkey's hands, which my friend made me for Christmas.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

You learn something new every day...

Getting pictures from my camera to my computer has always been an ordeal for me.  I have a digital SLR that I love, but to take pictures off of it and upload them into a file on my computer always took A LOT of time.  I wondered how people that had blogs and those taking a photo a day had the patience to deal with it.  I had been using the program on my computer to do this, and some friends said that I was doing it all wrong.  So I took their suggestions and tried it out today.

 I took some pictures with my little point and shoot camera, took out the memory card (didn't know you had to push down on it to make it pop up to take it out), and put the memory card in the card reader on my new computer. It has 4 slots for memory cards and I picked the smallest one and it fit! Then I went on my computer files, figured out I better click on E drive, clicked on one folder that was empty -- now I'm hoping the other file has the photos in it -- opened up the next file and there they were! I'm so proud of myself. This was WAY easier than using the program on my computer to open up pics and move them around. I can upload pics from my iPhone now also! Those pics aren't as good, but hey - at this stage of the game I'm not complaining! Now to stay perfectly still so these photos aren't so blury!

Monday, February 1, 2010

The New Diet Rocks and a Banana Oat Muffin Recipe!

I must say, I just LOVE my new iPhone!  I had an iPhone touch, so I already had some apps on there, but now with internet ALL OF THE TIME I have found that this iPhone is indispensible!  I just love it.  One of the apps I found was MyFitnessPal.  It is like online journalling, where you keep track of all of the foods you eat in a day and the amounts.  You just put in what your current weight is, what you want it to be, and how many pounds you want to lose in a week.  I said i wanted to lose two pounds in one week, so it suggested I go on a 1200 calorie diet, and by the end of February I should be at the weight I want to be (losing around 14 pounds was a good start I thought).  I must say, it is easy to follow and I know how much I have at the end of the day, and I can lower my calorie intake in the morning if I am going out that evening (like tomorrow), and I LOST 4 POUNDS the first week!  Yippee!  I know this next week will not be as much, but this is something I can stick with, for sure.  I made some Banana Oat Muffins, and used my allrecipes app in the kitchen to find the recipe and to follow it. :-)  So here it is, I'm sharing it with you.  People had other suggestions of how they fix these, but I made them as is, and my recipe came to 18 muffins, making them 130 calories each instead of 12 muffins being 200 calories each.


Banana Oat Muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mashed bananas

Directions

1.Combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt.

2.In a large bowl, beat the egg lightly. Stir in the milk, oil, and vanilla. Add the mashed banana, and combine thoroughly. Stir the flour mixture into the banana mixture until just combined. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper bake cups, and divide the batter among them.

3.Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 18 to 20 minutes.

Nutritional Information

Amount Per Serving Calories: 200
Total Fat: 7.5g
Cholesterol: 19mg