Sunday, November 30, 2008

I Am a Messy Cook

I don't know that I'd call myself a cook.

But when I do cook, I'm definitely a messy cook.

I like to move fast. My sister teases me because I don't mess around. I get 'r done, as they say, and am kinda rough doing it. So when it comes to cooking 12 pumpkin rolls, the quicker the better.


I forget that it's hard to be fast when I am cooking.

I just end up slinging pumpkin all over the cabinets...
and the counters and floors have a nice coating of powdered sugar everywhere...

And I ruined a whole sheet of pumpkin bread (tried to peel it off the pan too quickly).
Last year, when I was making pumpkin rolls, I was being quick and careless and was scraping the side of the mixing bowl with one hand while SIMULTANEOUSLY mixing with a beater in the other hand. Left hand slips down into the beater and I honestly thought I had cut off my thumb. The pumpkin rolls had a little red hue to them last year. Just thought it was food coloring, huh?

They are delicious though and messing up my whole Body for Life diet something awful.

Here is the recipe, in case you'd like to try them.

Yummy Pumpkin Rolls


  • CAKE
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup Pumpkin Pie Filling
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar (optional for decoration)

oven to 375° F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with wax paper. Grease and flour paper.

COMBINE flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with nuts.

BAKE for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. (If using a dark-colored pan, begin checking for doneness at 11 minutes.) Allow to cool. Carefully remove cake from pan using wax paper underneath cake. Then, carefully peel off paper and lay cake on fresh piece of wax paper sprinkled with powdered sugar.

cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Spread thin layer of cream cheese mixture over cake. Cut cake into thirds, widthwise. Roll up carefully and roll in powdered sugar if necessary. Wrap in wax paper and then plastic wrap; refrigerate at least one hour. I like to freeze mine. I take them out and cut off the ends to make the ends looks crisper. I then put back in freezer and hand out when needed, making sure to tie up with a bow!

Also, I had some request for Thanksgiving Day recipes, so here they are!

Carolyn's Salad
Lettuce of Choice, cut into 1/2 inch shreds. (she used romaine)
Bleu Cheese
Toasted Walnuts
Pre-made Raspberry Vinegarette Dressing

Easy and DELICIOUS! I want it right now!!

Finally, here is the corn recipe:

Judy's Corn

Cook 2 lb. bag of frozen corn according to instructions. Drain off most of the water.

1/4 C. butter
8 oz of cream cheese with chives
1 tsp. onion salt

Stir on top of stove until blended.

I never said I loved healthy recipes, now did I???

Friday, November 28, 2008


Thanksgiving Dinner was as usual, fabulous! My top 3 favorite items on my plate? *Granny's Mashed Potatoes *Mom's Cream Cheese Corn *Carolyn's Salad w/ Bleu Cheese and Cranberries -The ham and turkey was very, very delicious too. I also had my first pop in 10 days, which fizzled fabulously as it slid down my throat. Here are some pics of our day at cousin Ronda's house: We played our annual game of spoons, of which I believe I am the defending champ. It is cut throat (especially right beside Kim R. and her nails.) We had a BLAST playing and I am proud to say that I defended my title well.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks Where Thanks Is Due

I couldn't let this day slip away without making a record of what I am so very thankful for in this year of our Lord 2008.

I'm going to make it simple.

Could write at length on each of these, but they are what they are.

No sense expounding too much.

In no particular order:

~Church. I am so deeply thankful and glad that we have finally found a new church home. We have not "joined," but it is pretty obvious that Fellowship Bible Church is where we should be. And that feels so good. Finally.

~Basketball. Tom's job is hard to love. But God gives me great peace and thankfulness for the way He has directed our steps. I even love his job sometimes. And that is nothing but a Godsend.

~Husband. Tom is not hard to love. He is a solid
man who God put me with to balance out my wacky emotions. He anchors me, and there are no words for my thankfulness for T.

~Blogging. Blogging is my friend. When I am sad, blog listens. And when I am feeling happy, blog proclaims my happiness to the world. I am thankful for this fun, creative outlet that allows me to write and express my feelings. Thanks Dawn, for the award! I've passed the award on to some people at the end of this entry.

~Children. My kiddos and their varied personalities. They are so all stinkin' different, and we absolutely love it. We derive such immeasurable joy from watching them interact with the world around them, in such different yet wonderful ways. I am fall-on-the-ground thankful for my children.

~My kids' school. I find myself just thanking Him for where he has put us. It is not a perfect school, but it is where He wants us. And I take great comfort in that.

~Family & Friends. They bless the heck out of me. The thankfulness in my heart for these wonderful people flows like a river all the day long.

~Hot water. I love hot water to make tea with and hot water to take a bath in. Hot water is one of my most soothing things that I crave and love and am thankful for.

~Pics. Pictures make my heart sing with joy. I love
taking pictures and am thankful for the opportunity to do so.

~Creative Juices. Not much makes me feel more alive than bein' crafty. I just love it. I am convinced that in heaven I am going to be chief craft creator for His heavenly kingdom. I may not be as talented as some, but I feel blessed by using my mind and hands.

And my awards will go to....
Ellen for a beautiful blog with GREAT pics!
Audra for the tireless pursuit of excellence!
Ashley for being so fab.u.lous!
Amanda for being such a faithful blogger!
Roxanne Kristina for her hard-hitting posts!
Amber for being so crafty and having such cute girls!
Katy for her homeschooling passion and sweet words!

Katie for her heart-felt and always scriptural entries!
Baloney because she's funny, something I have no talent for!
Rena for precious words and an awesome heart!
There are so many more of you! I could list many more, but I will save all of you for the next award that (might!) come my way.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

God is Good, So Good So Good

A blogger friend of mine, who I just adore, has started a meme with her sister. On Sundays, bloggers are encouraged to share a story of how we’ve seen God’s mercy at work in our life or in the lives of others and then link to her blog.

Believe me, I have no shortage of ways that He has taken up my slack and watched out for me. I can be pretty much a walking disaster at times, if not for His amazing mercy and grace. Seriously.

He has given me unmerited mercy by helping me with stuff, both big and small. For example-

Big: He pulled me out the dark and frightening corner of fear and worry that I had worked myself into a few years back.

Little: He helps me find my keys everyday. I am serious about that.

The one I want to talk about today is a pretty big one that has occurred over the last few days.
It has to do with that maddening, orange sphere called a basketball.

More specifically, game day in the basketball arena.

As I was driving to the ORU vs. TU game a few days back, I began to feel that familiar gush of adrenaline that does wacky things to my heart, head and bowels. It is unbelievably unpleasant and if the game is a big one, can truly feel like an out-of-body experience.

And then I asked myself, WHY? Why is this happening to me?
I told myself....

We are driving to the game.
Nothing is even happening at the moment!
Why do you feel like you are a squirrel staring down a Mack Truck?

And then it hit me.


I am a Pavlov dog. Show me a basketball game: my body responds (and not by drooling.)

It was at that moment that I began a sincere and desperate plea to God to help me handle these games with more poise and spiritual maturity... with the peace that passeth understanding. I had a few friends pray. I thought about this verse:

You will keep in perfect peace
him whose mind is steadfast,
because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3

And then... my friends, his mercy came like a wave.

Two games down, absolutely no anxiety.


And that... that... was a major mercy. It was NOT of myself. He provided peace and assurance for me throughout those 2 games!

Check on me again on Tuesday when we play Louisiana-Lafayette at Louisiana-Lafayette.
and then again next week when we play Missouri at Missouri.
and how about in December when we play none other than the number 1 team in the land, North Carolina. AT North Carolina.

I could certainly use your prayers and more of His Daily Mercies.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Turkey Sink Hole


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Do You See What I See?

It is subtle. But definitely there.Here, look a little closer.
Can you see it? What if I zoom in?The only thing I can say is... that is pretty nice penmanship for writing on a bumpy pillow with a sharpie marker!In triplicate! (look back at first pic). And we have a pretty good idea of whodunit!

Has Anyone Ever Said These Things to You?

"Gee, the productivity in your husband's business has really gone to pot!"

"Tomorrow, I think your husband should fire his colleague and go out and find someone who can really do the job!!!"

"It's going to be a really hard year for you and your husband! His effectiveness has taken a major turn for the worse."

"The employees of your husband's business are rude!"

Or my favorite-
"I really hope that the competitors beat the heck out of your husband's business tonight!!!!!"

Of course not! No! People don't do that kind of thing. Unless they are a social moron OR your husband happens to be a coach.
You'd think after 10+ years in the business, I'd get used to it. But maybe I never will.

Since my husband makes his living coaching a GAME that people are able to watch, I guess that people think it's just fine to make whatever stupid comment comes into their minds.

You know, I've heard that if you can't take the heat, then stay out of the kitchen.

And I have 2 problems with that.

#1 - I had no choice in this. God gave me this man, and He gave Tom this job, and I am here faithfully believing that He is going to bless us. Even when the point guard screws up. Even when we didn't land that top recruit. Even when we have a 5 game losing streak. He is with us, and He has a purpose for us. And YES, He cares about basketball games, even though people tell me He does not.

#2 - There is something called politeness. Your husband's job is very important to you. My husband's job is very important to me. I won't make dire predictions about what is going to happen to your husband's job and you don't do the same to me. I will sincerely wish you and your husband the best when it comes to his job. I'm hoping for a promotion for you, not that he gets beat out by the others (even if I happen to know the others and like them very well.)

You know, I try to tread lightly. I try not to be easily offended because in my heart, I think people just really don't get it. They have an opinion on every other game on TV, so why not have an opinion on my husband's game? And for the most part, I move on through life thankful for where God has put us and thankful for the friends (they are precious to me!) He has put in our lives who do understand and are sensitive to our situation. Some friends even put away their colors and wear ours for a game! Wow!

But at the most recent game pictured above (THAT WE LOST, by the way,) I had one "friend" walk up to me wearing opposing colors and begin complaining about the 30 person cheering section for our team: "They are so loud and rude!" And then another one, who at half time, thought he would come tell me how bad our team looked: "You guys are looking pretty terrible so far."

Maybe it's just that I'm approaching 40 or something, but it didn't slide off my back this time.

What about common courtesy?

That felt good. Thanks for letting me vent. It's been comin' on for oh, about 10 years. :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

I Went on a Trip

...not just any, ordinary girls' weekend! Oh no! Instead it was a week-long, 40th birthday blowout cruise for a near and dear friend, whom I've happened to know since, oh... 1985.
Here she is, and the shirt fits, if you know what I mean! Doesn't she look amazing? We found that hilarious shirt in a vintage store in Tampa the night before we left on the cruise. It's going to become the traveling shirt, as we each hit the fabulous age over the next couple of years! The three of us were LAK growing up... Linda, Anne, Kim... we were inseparable, forging our way through high school and college ... the time we spent together molded me in ways that I am still discovering. God gave me a gift of lifelong friendship when he gave me these girls! We haven't seen nearly as much of each other since starting our families a decade ago, so there was years of catching up to do. We added a new friend in college, named Chrissy (in purple.) She is darling and fun and a blast to go cruisin' with! I have not seen or even talked to her in over TEN(!) years, but I thoroughly enjoyed seeing her and learning about her life as a mom of three and ER nurse! We definitely rekindled an old friendship! Then there is Rhonda (in pink), the spunky little sister (also mom of three) of the birthday girl... she kept us going... laughing... and smiling. Sweet, funny and thoughtful, so thoughtful that she brought us all matching, pink, embroidered robes! Grand Cayman was our first stop after a couple days at sea. Amazingly, hurricane Paloma had passed over the area just two calendar days earlier. But the day was sunny and pleasant! We went snorkeling and got to gaze through our masks at the swimming jewels of the sea, flitting around the ocean floor. Then... we had the unusual opportunity to hang out with the Stingrays. So the story goes that years ago, on this particular sandbar, a fisherman began feeding the stingrays his leftover fish pieces. They became rather tame stingrays, unafraid of human contact. Yes, I know that Steve Irvin was killed by a stingray, and believe me, that did race through my mind at the time, especially given the huge size of these things. But we decided they were quite like puppies as they rubbed up against our legs and let us hold them. I know it sounds crazy, but the stingrays were lovable creatures. Never thought I'd use that word in the same sentence as stingray.Next stop was Cozumel, Mexico, where we basically rented a little slice of our own beach for the day. We just did nothing but listen to the beat of the waves on the sand, beachcomb for shells, read our novels, talk and laugh ourselves silly and tell Carlos what next fabulous food or drink we would like to have delivered, beachside!Wow! What a trip! We talked a wild streak, laughed till our ribs felt sore, danced like no one was watching, and sang as loud as we possibly could. We shed some tears while talking, stirred up old memories from the dead, and made plans for the future! We sang and danced some more, freaking out every time we heard one of our favorite songs, such as "Push It" or "Jessie' s Girl." We went to a comedy show and dressed up like the 80's. Big hair and bright colors. Did I mention we ate and ate? We had to take advantage of the free buffets! Right, Chrissy? We celebrated a very special person in our friend Linda. And we took zillions of pictures of it all. Truly, through it all, we felt the very strong hand of God on all we did. It is no coincidence that everything went so smoothly. Yes, we believe that He cares even about 40th birthday parties, and especially His birthday girl... Linda Ruth! We give Him praise for the ways He watched over us, big and little. Everything good and perfect is from above.
In the end, leaving was mostly sweet. The vacation was more than I could have expected and the time with friends was irreplaceable. However, I missed my family so much that I could barely sleep our last night on the boat. I was so thrilled to finally be back at home with my loved ones, but......

I am
very glad I went on that trip.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Maybe, Maybe NOT

you are pleased at yesterday's election,

but maybe
you feel awful rejection.

you feel exhilarated! Vindicated!

you just feel things are complicated.

you partied late into the night -

and Maybe
you are sick with fright.

But there are no



when it comes to this:

God, and God alone, fashions the tapestry of human history.

He rules from the heavens and determines the next part of our earthly story.

He is bigger than votes and scams; he is smarter than Democrats and Republicans.

HE.... The mighty one... is control of this election.
No doubt about it; it's divine selection

Maybe NOT - should we worry and scurry

Maybe NOT - should we judge

Maybe NOT - should we doubt that our God has made a mistake.

I determine to look forward with peace and expectation, without reservation....

believing that HE is on the throne.
He will never leave us alone...
He is using our President elect...
in ways we may never expect.
Let's pray God's blessing upon him
and this great country we live in.

No MAYBE about it!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Post Note on Previous Post

Lest you think that I posted my previous post to let the world know my daughter's amazingly high IQ, I must add that is not at all the case. While I do, of course, think she is a bright, little girl, (what parent doesn't!) this is more a tribute to her uncanny knack at picking up things in pop culture and using them correctly in conversation. Since the day she was 2 and she busted out "That's Smoking HOT!" we just have to laugh at the things she says. I would venture to say she has little to no grasp of the policies of our two candidates or even exactly who Honest Abe is. But when she said that, it just sounded right. We seem to need someone who really IS going to cut through all the CRUD out there and be a true American leader. In one of the classes I teach, one of my students did an excellent presentation about Booker T. Washington. I knew who Booker T. was before that presentation, but not of his character. He was an incredible leader. That presentation made me truly LONG for someone in this day and age who will lead fearlessly, fight vigorously, and guide our country in a way we sorely need. That's the kind of man I wish for and pray for to be president of this amazing country. I'm not sure we will get that with either candidate tomorrow; however, I believe that God's mighty hand is in charge and will lead us through. For a great post on the spiritual perspective for tomorrow's election, look at my friend Katie's post here!

Post Post Note: I used Scrapblog for the first time today (THANKS DAWN!) and I am in blogging heaven! It is so easy and cute and fun!!! I highly recommend it.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Politicial Prodigy?

I try to keep my mouth shut when it comes to politics, but THIS I could not pass up.

Car talk today....

Ellie: Mom, is it true that McCain will just give us more of the same?

Mom: (after I recover from my surprise)
Not exactly Ellie... followed up by the best explanation I can give to 8 year old ears.

Ellie: Mom, is it true that Obama wants to take away our freedoms?

Mom: (after I again recover from my surprise)
Well, babe, not exactly... followed up by the best explanation I can possibly give her.

After a pause....and with a wistful inflection...
Ellie: I sure wish Honest Abe was still around.