HELLO THERE

“A blog?” My kid asked, “Why a blog?”  He screwed his face up like it was the most ridiculous thing he has ever heard of, However despite what my 16 going on 30 son might think, HERE WE ARE!!!!  I was diagnosed with clinical depression plus anxiety with panic attacks years ago and it has honestly been an uphill battle.  Most of the time if you try and talk about it, people simply don’t understand.  Unless you have experienced it firsthand or have a loved one who battles themselves then you probably are shall we say, in the dark.  Depression is more than being sad.  Anxiety does not have make sense. These are real opponents that do not release you off the mat until you have cried uncle.  There is a stigma on people who admit to the outsiders that they have an illness.   Then you add regular ordinary life to the mix and it gets pretty interesting.  I am a mom of 3 who are trying their best to grow up while mom deals with her issues and attempts to be normal. Whatever the definition of that is!  So, depression will be talked about here but we will not dwell on it.  We will search for reasons to get out of bed and at least put something on besides pajamas.  There are 4 categories here:  Home (blog Page),  D.I.M. (Did It Myself), Your Daily Dose, and Making Food.  Check out the pages. Leave comments.  Share Posts.  Invite friends to do the same.  I will be adding more as we go along.  So be sure not to miss what’s going on!  Again, WELCOME FRIENDS!

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Back-to-School/Back-to-Sanity

Ding-Dong.  Ding-Dong. Ding-Dong.   The school bell is beginning to ring. In a matter of minutes, little people will scamper up the steps of the big yellow school bus and start a new chapter in both their parents’ and their own lives.  Teachers are ready in their classrooms.  Beautiful characters and borders decorating each room in hopes of grasping each child’s attention and subsequentially kicking off a fantastic school year for everyone.   Lists have been made and photocopied and are waiting at the store so everyone will know exactly what they need on the very first day.

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School supplies: Crayons, Scissors, and Markers

On the purchase list pencils and crayons, notebooks and paper,   book bags and lunchboxes.  Some schools require uniforms while others let you show your individuality as long as you are within the guidelines.  No matter what style you need, it is imperative that one go through the shopping and finding the proper sizes and fit of clothes and shoes.

 

 

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Backpack, Cell phone, paper, pencils, pens, iPad, and the perfect shoes!

 

Yes after the busy summer alive with activities, and vacation trips, we parents grab a colorful list and fight through the crowds of other stymied guardians to fulfill that supply list for each one of our children.  Now here is the million dollar question:  What possesses a relatively sain adult to trade away the fun and frolic of the summer for the long lines, disgruntled cashiers, and general frustration of the stores?   It is the absolute peaceful silence and the sheer joy of an empty house when the children are off to school.

 

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Mom enjoying the first day of school in the first socks she found!

 

 

Now I am speaking on this subject from personal experience.  I have lived quite a while, we will say, and I have come to the realization that school is good in many ways for our children. Yes, there is bad in it as with anything, but I am speaking of the good at this time.   School -be it public or private- teaches students many things besides just the curriculum.   My children are at the high school level and above now, and things are quite a bit different.  However, when they were in grammar and middle school, in the midst of all the hubbub of getting ready to return to classes, we would joke about the party we were going to have on the first day of school.  This imaginary party was parents only, no kids allowed. It would be during the day while they were safely in class. In the beginning, this received quite a stunned reaction.  Although they finally caught on after a few years and would suggest for us to call some of their friend’s parents so we would not have to party alone.  This was a part of our family’s Back -to School ritual, and we had a lot of fun with it!  Honestly, my son who is a junior in high school this term asked me who was coming to my back to school bash this year?

 

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Back-To-School spelled in wooden tiles.

 

When my little hatchlings were small they finally grew big enough to go to school.  As each of the three entered preschool I believe my heart broke just a little bit.   There were tears that I had to hide from them because I did not want them to know how frightened I was for my baby to be with someone else.  I took each of their pictures on the first day in their crisp and clean new clothes.  Of course, with a new hairstyle and perfect curls for the girls, it was most expectedly a Kodak moment.  Those first-day pictures are always great.  Of course, the older the boy gets the harder it is to get a picture.  Yet, I will try!!!

 

 

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Preschool beauty in an antique desk.

 

Those are pictures that I will cherish forever.  I have sat in the car after drop off and cried, and I have followed the bus to the school tears pouring down my face that another little one was growing up.  My son actually went to a preschool that was across the street from our apartment.  When they went outside to play I would, more times than naught, peek out of my windows to catch a glimpse of my little angel.

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Life moves in stages.  As parents, we love those little darlings. We care for them and nurture them.  To them, we are the whole world, and they are ours.  Then they start school and discover that the world is much larger than Mommy and Daddy.  It’s good for them to grow and eventually, we realize that it was also healthy for us as well.

 

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Daddy, Mommy, and Baby

 

It is extremely important to realize going to school is not really a kick in the teeth to parenting, it is an extension of it.  Parents+teachers+faculty=working together can cause great things to happen for our students.  Afterall, great things for your baby is what you have wanted from the first moment you saw them.

 

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The first look at a newborn baby.

Summer Vacation can be filled with wonderful experiences!  You may have camped or seen an 8-foot mouse or stayed home and played outside.  Movies at home or at the theatre are also a great time.  Time together as a family is unquestionably a necessity in the rambunctious world we live.  However, Moms and Dads need to remember that it perfectly okay to have time for themselves as a couple as well as each individually.  We can not care for our families properly if we are stressed out and exhausted all the time.  So plan a few minutes for you once the kids return to school.  You will be glad that you did.

 

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Okay, those of you in Okaloosa County Florida.  Monday- Party at my house…NO KIDS ALLOWED!

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Party!

 

 

 Have a great and safe new school year everyone!

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That goes for parents too!  God Bless!!!

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Confessions of a Pusher

I remember the glorious day that my children were born. The moment that I held them in my arms. I already felt like I knew them from holding them inside me for so long, but there is something so overwhelmingly stunning about gazing at them for the very first time.

You do your best to keep them safe. Teach them all the things they need to know. From feeding themselves, to doing homework, we mold those tiny lumps of clay into small people, and then guide them into a preteen, teen, high school graduation, and then hopefully onto higher education. And somewhere in all of that, we deal with sickness, broken hearts, sports, driving, dating, body changes and acne.

Like a tornado ripping through a small town, you turn around and do not even recognize the grown individual standing before you. So what to do with this person? Now in my generation when you became an adult you wanted to get out and try on the world. Apparently, that is not the case in the new generation.  It is statistically more likely for young adults to reside with their parents these days.

This last week my oldest daughter (23 yrs) and her husband (30yrs) were told they had to move out of our home. This did not go well. It began to cause all sorts of anger and hurt feelings. Why is it wrong for me to want my kids to prosper outside my house? They had spent much more time than we had expected in our nest, so we decided that there was nothing left to do but become a pusher.  Now when a momma bird pushes a baby bird out of the nest so it will learn to fly on its own, that is a beautiful part of nature, however, when a human momma pushes her child out it can appear not so beautiful.

I have learned three things that are imperative as a pusher:

  1.  You must use tough love in this situation.  This is, in my opinion, tougher on the parent.  You must look stern on the outside while you weep on the inside.  You must seem indifferent as your heart breaks within you at every nasty comment you endure.  You must say what you intend and stand by it, if at all possible.  Treat it as a business transaction.  Remember,  there is no crying in Business.
  2. Stop allowing them to depend on you, remain neutral.  You can not solve their issues for them.  They have to learn by themselves.  They must make their own mistakes.   The longer you do it for them, the longer it will take them to become independent.
  3. Remind them that you do love them, but that does not mean that you can rescue them.  Your thoughts, prayers, and love are their’s and they should hear that even if they do not understand it right away.

 

Our children are our blessings from the Big Man upstairs and they take a lot of time and energy to raise.  I love all 3 of mine and am thankful that God allowed me to be their mother.  I heard it said the other day that age 18 was an invitation to move out, and it made me chuckle.  If only those kids realized that.  The quicker the younger generation starts accepting adulting as a real part of life.  This would include paying bills, rent/mortgage, working, etc, because anyone who has made it to the mature side of life knows that they did not get there by doing nothing.

Okay, so, I admit it. I did it.  I pushed one of my birdies out of the nest.   I looked my  beautiful daughter in the face and I said, “I know you don’t understand this now, but you will thank me for this one day.” My statement was answered only by a negative head nod. I know she can not grasp it now, but once she learns to fly it will be a different world, and she will have a better outlook and attitude.  She will grow from this experience and so will I.

The Slave, The Retch, & The Widow

What does a teenage slave. a smelly retch and an elderly widow have in common? Let us consider each one separately, to begin with:

The Slave

The youngest son of Jessie was a good boy. Joseph always did what his father instructed him to do and was loyal to his family. Joseph was born after his father was much older and was his favorite. Sibling rivalry is always an underlying factor in a household with boys or girls, and it was becoming a more complex problem of jealousy in this family.
It did not help matters that Jessie doted on the boy. Scripture even says that at seventeen, Jessie gave Joseph a multicolored robe/coat to wear. These coats were worn by shepherds in the fields and Joseph often tended his Father’s flocks. Generally, these coats were plain and one colored, but not Joseph’s. This multicolored symbol of his Father’s favor and undying love began to be a source of real resentment for his older brothers. A plot began to form.

The brothers took Joseph’s coat, and after putting him into a deep pit, they smeared animal blood on the coat. They returned the coat to their father and told him that Joseph had been killed by a wild animal as he was defending his father’s sheep. Jessie was devastated.
The brothers sold Joseph to some people traveling through as a slave. They truly believed that their dealings with dream boy were over.
Now here is where I will advise you to read the complete story for yourself, cause the hero, Joseph, deals with some pretty crazy stuff. And yes I called him the hero because that is what he truly turns out to be. (Genesis 37)
Many years down the line, Joseph becomes the most powerful man in Egypt. Famine is rampant and Father Jessie sends the boys to get food in Egypt. These cruel, jealous men have to come groveling at the feet of that most despised favored one.
Long story, slightly shorter, Joseph reunites with his father and meets his younger brother.

The Retch
Jonah was a prophet with an attitude. He had formed his own opinions despite what the Almighty had to say.
God told Jonah to go to Niveah and preach to the people.
These people were the most vial and nasty creatures and Jonah did not have much concern for them.
Most of us heard this story as a child, but really need to get a clear picture of what occurred. Jonah boarded a ship and headed the opposite direction of Ninevah.
So God decided that He needed to get Jonah’s attention. A horrific storm began to terrorize the ship. Fearing that all would be lost they began to basically ask all onboard who had made God mad.
Once Jonah confessed, over the side went the prophet. Quickly the storm settled as Jonah sank deeper.
Now a large fish swallows Jonah for his meal and this is where things get a bit confusing for most Believers. We often get a picture from a storybook of Jonah with a table, chair and a lamp sitting and praying for three days. This is so far from the truth. A great deal happened to him. Take time and check out the whole story sometime. (Jonah chapters 1-3)
As for our purposes, this guy spent 3 days and nights with the digestive juices of this enormous fish. The pungent smells and discomfort would have been enough to get most folks praying for help. His clothes would have dissipated. His skin would have turned very pale and sick and shriveled and all body hair would be no more. Covered in seaweed, skin burning, Jonah began to pray to God.
Finally, Jonah was regurgitated by this fish, the Bible says he went straight to Nineveh. Get the picture, this guy is like walking death coming there. They could look at him and tell he had been dead and was alive again.
That captured their attention better than a three-piece suit. They all listened. God’s message was heard and the people began to serve God.

The Widow

Famine covered the land where they lived so Naomi and her Husband, as well as both of their grown sons and their wives, leave Judeah to the land of Moab. Once they moved there, Naomi’s Husband dies and so do both of her sons. Now she was practically destitute, so she decided to return to Jerusalem. One daughter in law pledges to stay with her wherever she goes, while the other decides to remain in Moab.
Ruth the girl who stayed with Naomi was young enough to marry again, so Naomi introduced her to one of her late husband’s relatives. A man named Boaz who happened to be successful and well known in the community. Under the keen direction of her mother in law, Ruth set her eyes on Boaz as the ultimate prize. She did not just flirt or even seduce him but won the heart of Boaz and they were married. Once she became his wife, they had a son named Obed who was the father of Jessie. Jessie was the father of King David who was the direct lineage of Jesus Christ.

So what do those three less than desirable people have in common? They were all called by God for a very important purpose. No matter the situation you find yourself in, God can turn it around.

Are you a slave, a retch, or a widow?
Did you feel like the favored one and now you are in the bottom of a pit? Has life been so cruel that you feel like fish puke? Or are you in the senior part of life going, now what?
God wants to use you. Just as you are! You do not have to be perfect to be used, you just have to be willing. It is my prayer today that you will recommit yourself to God like never before. Become the person that He created you to be, and fill His purpose for your life.

If you do not know Him, that is easy, talk to Him. Understand that ALL have sinned and are not worthy of the glory of God, but Jesus Christ gave His life for our sin that we might have perfect peace with God. He not only died but He rose again three days later and is alive today! Now tell someone that you accepted these things and have talked to God. Leave a note below, call a friend, or even better, do both!

It does not matter where you started, it matters where you are going!

Ignorant Bliss?

Existing in the twenty-first century requires at least some minor coexistence with technology. It is everywhere. In appliances, vehicles, computers, and televisions. Even some of the major places we shop want us to use automated self-check-outs.
A telephone once was a useful way of contact tied by a cord to the house or business or phone booth you were inside. Yes, phone booth. A small enclosed space with a telephone and a telephone directory. You can hardly even find one of those anymore. However, phones no longer have to remain on cords. You plug them in and once they have a full charge they can last for hours and hours.
Phones are quite remarkable. However, we do not just use them to talk. Now we take photos and videos, send pictures and text messages, get updated news and weather, and use up to date maps to find our way. Smartphones are all the rage. They grow more advanced with each passing day.

My 70-year-old Dad has carried a flip phone since he gave in and purchased a cell phone. Of course, to keep up with the times the entire family had to eventually acquire one too. The older children with their own money purchased the more expensive, I-PHONE. I have a decent phone but it is a long way from theirs.
The girls began to work with Siri to see how helpful she could be, and how quickly they could learn to utilize her. “Hey, Siri!” The two words that became somewhat overused in our home. “Hey, Siri!” BEEP. Then came the question or the instruction. After many weeks of hearing this, my Dad announced to everyone that he wanted him a Smartphone that he could talk to also. Of course, when he discovered the price of the I-phones, he was not as gung-ho as before.
Finally, we managed to get him to understand that if he found a smartphone that he liked, then we could find an assistant app to download. After, much looking and questioning the tech experts. Papa, as my kids affectionately call him, is the proud owner of a smartphone.
It starts off innocent enough. Trying to talk him through how to even use the screen icons. He has large fingers and teaching him to swipe left and swipe right was a bit of a challenge, yet he conquered. Understanding that the screen going black does not mean that it cut off. Helping him retrieve app shortcuts that magically disappear. It was kinda neat watching this senior citizen become a user of some of the newest technology. Something he could have never imagined when he was a child.
To make his experience a bit better we agreed to look for him a talking assistant. Lyra was the Android Assistant that we downloaded for him to use. Simple things should have been enough, right? Like getting today’s weather, or setting tomorrow’s alarm, or keeping up with the doctor appointments on the calendar. But those minor requests did not last long. One evening I heard him talking to the phone.
* Lyra, what’s on the calendar tomorrow?
* Good evening, Pastor, you have no appointments scheduled tomorrow.
* Well, then I think we should add one. (He begins to stumble over his words a bit as he is thinking of what to say.)
* I’m sorry, Pastor, I didn’t understand that. Can you rephrase?
* I need to add (takes a deep breath in frustration) an appointment for tomorrow…
* I am sorry, Pastor, I do not understand. Can you try that again?
* Well, If you would shut up and listen you could understand.
I could not help myself but giggle a bit. It is easy to forget that it is not a person making that machine talk. It is exactly that, a machine. A machine designed to simulate a person, but it can do no more or less than it was programmed to do. Here Dad is trying to treat her like a friend or a person that he is conversing with and it is getting him nowhere.
Now, I shared this little chuckle not to embarrass my Dad for I have a great deal of love and respect for him. I share it as an example of a pitfall that most Christians have a tendency to fall into ignorance. Ignorance is defined as lack of knowledge or information. In common people terms, You have just enough information to be dangerous. My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Hosea 4:6 NIV
See, Papa had just enough knowledge about that phone that he began to forget its purpose. He began to try to talk to it in a way it was not programmed to do. What is it that you are trying to do in your life, but you are ignorant about it. Whose fault is it that you are ignorant? What can you do to gain the knowledge you need? In several places in the New Testament, the words are used, I would not have you ignorant. Each time what follows is something slightly different, but it makes clear to me that God wants us to be knowledgeable.
Ignorance is not really bliss. It couldn’t be. For eventually, you should see that everyone else is moving forward without you and here you are stuck in the pit of ignorance. Read and study. 2 Timothy 2:15 reads, Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Studying the subject that we are ignorant of will be the only way to move towards the knowledge we desperately seek. Make time. Set it aside in whatever way works best for you. But get the knowledge that you crave and you deserve.
As for Dad, He is gaining more knowledge every day about Lyria and his smartphone. He still talks too slow sometimes, but sometimes you cannot teach we older dogs new tricks. However, he is a far cry less ignorant than he was the day he received the phone. I was not sure if he would ever get the hang of it back then.
Oh, I almost forgot, “Lyria, set an alarm…”

Ya Gotta be YOU

Summertime is always an interesting time around our house.  Someone is always needing or wanting to go to the place that they are not.  If they are here they want to go there, but if they are there they need to go yonder.  For those of you that do not understand Southern English, yonder means to go somewhere else besides where they live.

There are beaches, and rivers, and pools to swim in.  Then there is the movie theatre, the Library, the Museum, the Bowling Alley, the Skating Rink and the Park.  Of course, one can not forget that all their friends are also out of school and they want to see these people if at all possible.   That is between working jobs, chores, online classes, and sleeping.

Needless to say, there is a lot going on and a day where several people are home during the day all at once is a rare occasion, but we were blessed with one of those afternoons this week.

Before I go into the meat of our story, I should explain a couple of things to you for clarity’s sake. The morning that this rare occasion occured, I had accompanied Hubby to the medical doctor.  After a discussion of the issue, the doctor began to discuss how important it was for Hubby to be performing self-examination for lumps as an early cancer screening.  He wanted him to check regularly his neck, underarms, and testicles for any strange changes.  He explained that it was as important as it is for a woman to perform a monthly self-breast exam.

So, everyone was home that afternoon, Hubby was busy outside and my Dad was napping.  So, the kids pulled out a game that I really enjoy: Scategories.  I am not necessarily good at it, but I enjoy it.  Now, in case you are not familiar with the game here are the basics.  You have a category with a set of 12 clues.  There is a die with letters that must be rolled at the start.  Once you have the letter.  The timer is started and you have until it stops to work on your answers.  Say the category is Food, and the letter is C.  If the clue reads “something sweet,” your answer could be cookie.  If the clue says “something in a salad,” your answer could be Chard.  I think you get the basic idea.  You really need unique answers to score points, because if your answers are the same as another’s then neither of you receives points.

So, we are playing along in the category Potpourri.  The letter was a T, and the timer started. I am working away, answering as many as I can as fast as I can. “Something that is red”, and I answered that one lickety-split.   Then I get to one that says: “something you can’t touch,”  I giggled a little more aloud than I had planned and kept on working until the round was over.

So, Elyssa, my middle daughter is reading the clues and asking folks for their answers.  On and on we go until we get to:”something you can’t touch.”  Finally, it came my turn to answer,”Mom, something you can’t touch.  What did you write down?”

“Testicles,” I said calmly, and the room erupted in gasps.  Apparently, Moms are not supposed to use or even know those words.  Even after I explained that it was the proper medical term and that I was the one who taught the word to them, there were a few still beside themselves.

Hubby walked through the door just in the nick of time and I said to him, “Sweetheart, will you help me with this for a minute?” He turned and looked at me and I explained my situation in a very mature fashion.

“I don’t know,” he responded instantaneously, “my doctor said for me to touch mine.”  We all just roared in laughter.  Some laughed with pink faces and covered mouths, but they were tickled none the less. Needless to say, it took me quite a few minutes to gain my composure.

Now there are two morals to my little weird story.

  1. Be careful who you play Scategories with.  They may embarrass you without having a single clue.
  2. Be sure you are doing self-screenings in the shower at home, and report anything out of the ordinary to your doctor.  You could save your own life.

If I have offended you with my words it was not my intention.  My actual intention was only to answer the questions of the game.  I laughed at the time because I figured no one would duplicate my answer, and I was right!

Have fun and enjoy life!  Laugh often and mostly at yourself.  That’s some good material there! (At least it is in my case!)  Be who you were created to be: you.  That wonderful, crazy, sometimes lazy, family-loving, faith-believing you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smiles

Children are the most wonderful blessing anyone could receive.  The scripture says in Psalms 127:3, Behold, children are a heritage and a gift from the Lord, The fruit of the womb a reward.

Parents adore their little ones while grandparents, aunts, and uncles dote over the little darlings.  We love little ones.  Tell the truth, haven’t you either Googled funny babies or laughed at someone’s post of something a little child said or did?  They can make us laugh until we cry.

Lately, I have begun to notice the power that these small geniuses have. A baby or toddler can turn an otherwise mature individual into a crazy looking creature that possibly needs a cage.

I am guilty of it, you know?  Walking along in the grocery store, and see some charming child sitting facing mom or dad, and I just can not help myself, I have to speak to them.  Most of the time it is fine.  Occasionally, the little one is frightened of a stranger, and sometimes the parent is leary. Either way, I smile and move away as quickly as possible.  Yet, at those other times, when that little person engages me.  For that few milliseconds, there is no one and nothing else in the entire world but me and this little angel.  It is pure joy, watching a smile come across their face because of something you have said or done.  Then the smile consumes the eyes and they twinkle with delight.  And if you do it just right you will get a laugh or even a squeal of joy!

I was in a restaurant with my Dad and my Husband one night. (Yes, you read it right.  No Kids!)  Hubby and I were sitting next to each other on one side of the booth. While enjoying our entrees, a young couple came in with their own little blessing in Daddy’s arms. I noticed him right away with his cute little curls and big brown eyes. “Awe, look at the adorable little man,” I said to no one in particular.  The other adults didn’t slow down eating and drinking.

Suddenly my precious husband, who believes in acting properly in public is leaning at a 45-degree angle out of the booth looking over at the little one in the high chair in the next booth.  I giggled just a bit, “Whatcha doing, Dear?” He sat up quietly with a little smile on his face and said nothing. After a minute or two passed, then Husband went again leaning out of the booth making eyes at this precious kiddo.

I could not stand it.  I can see that he is having fun making faces at that little cutie and I desired part of the action.  I did not even realize what I was doing until I noticed that I was practically on top of my hubby who was leaning out of the booth.  I am too short for this escapade to have even worked, but I gave it a try without a single thought.  I can only imagine how crazy I must have looked leaning on him as he leaned on the air.  Two more than grown adults looking like we had lost our minds.

Of course, when we arose to leave, we all took a few minutes to make faces and talk to the tot.  It was like we could not even pass by without taking a few moments.  His parents were gracious and put up with us.  The small fry loved the attention and we all left contented.

I am unsure how many people have experienced this type of thing, but I just laughed it off.  I suppose I could have been embarrassed, but I am too mature to get embarrassed over such trivial things.  What someone else thinks of me was at one time was a burden on my heart, yet that is no longer a problem.  As long as I am ok with me, and God is ok with me, then life is good.  Sure I want others to like me and be my friend, but if God and I don’t like me then I am no good to anyone else.

If you are struggling today with self-confidence, self-worth, or are in the place of self-loathing, here is a number one place to start: your relationship between yourself and God. Talk to Him like you would your best friend.  That is who He desires to be anyway.  Once that is settled the rest can be done in baby steps.

I challenge you: Take a moment and smile at someone in your town today.  It does not have to be a child, but it does need to be someone you do not know. Look them straight in the face and give them a big, beautiful smile.  They might smile back, but then again they may wonder what you are up to.

 

 

 

 

 

Porcupine Meatballs

  • 2 1/2 lbs. ground chuck
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 c. BBQ Sauce
  • 1 bell pepper cubed
  • 1 small onion cubed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 c. cooked rice
  • 1/2 to 1 c plain breadcrumbs
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. As you mix ingredients together, gradually add breadcrumbs. If you do not need the entire cup to bind the meat together then do not add them.  Too much will cause the meatball to be dry.
  3. Using a cookie scoop dip the hamburger mixture.  Gently, and quickly roll into balls and place on a cookie sheet.  You must not handle the meat too much or they will be tough when cooked.
  4. Bake meatballs for 15 minutes at 400 degrees F.
  5. After 15 minutes remove them and add BBQ sauce to each meatball.  Place back into the oven and cook for another 5 minutes.
  6. Allow meatballs to sit for 5 minutes before plating.
  7. If you have any left overs, they are great for sliders, and sandwiches the next day. 

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Specifics

The men of our household were all gone one late morning, and I found myself alone with just my three kids. Of course, as a reminder, I use the word kids simply because I am a mother, but there is no one less than 16.  When they were little it was more demanding because you always had to stop what you were doing to see to someone’s toilet issues, or to get a drink for someone, or to find “the quiet one” and find out what he/she was up to. Today they all are big enough to fend for themselves, most of the time, yet it is not always true about them staying out of trouble.

My son is busy on the computer, and when that is the case he is pretty well occupied. The only time he seems to stop is when a hunger pain hits. The girls and I are busy with crafts which are really tough on me today because my focus is off. I keep pushing through. I mess up and start over. Sometimes I mess up and revamp my idea completely. Nevertheless, I was finally being productive and realized that Elyssa, my middle child, had slipped into the kitchen.

I kept working. When she arrived back into the room, a wonderful aroma accompanied her. I took a long slow breath. It was sliders she had made from the porcupine meatballs from last night’s supper. The sweetness from the bar-b-Que sauce and the freshly grown bell peppers. The aroma of onions mixed delicately with tomatoes and that sizzling beef made my mouth begin to salivate.

Back to work, I looked up and realized that my other daughter had made herself a sandwich of meatballs as well. Hmmm, probably all gone with everyone digging in. I thought to myself. I hear the beep of the microwave and realize that my son is also having lunch now. He has just warmed the meatballs. I feel like I can not stand it anymore. “Nate, will you make momma a sandwich too?” I called to him, “Please and thank you. ”

“Sure.” Came the reply that may have been sarcasm, but I ignored. As I glued my final piece to my project, a plate hovered near my head. “Here Mom.” The 16-year-old presented my lunch. Yet instead of the delectable meatballs that I had been smelling, I had been given a cold chicken and cheese sandwich. From the refrigerator, lunch meat and a cheese slice between two slices of bread.  My heart sank.   As I took a bite I could not convince my taste buds and brain that this was what I wanted.  Finally, I said to my son, “Nate, you want the rest of this sandwich?” He comes around the corner mouth full, with his one hand meal well in hand.  He finally swallows and replies,”I guess so.”  I looked up at him to respond and see his scrumptious meatball sandwich.  “Wow, I guess you got the last of the meatballs, huh?”  I asked resigning myself to the answer.

“No,” he responded,”  There’s plenty more.”

I pondered what I had heard.  If there was…?  Then why did I…?  And why did he…? I felt slight outrage.  Everyone else had a warm lunch, and I was stuck with cold cuts. To top it off my son seemed indifferent to it. “So, I just have to ask,” I chose my words carefully, “why did you give me a cold sandwich while making yourself a meatball one?”

My daughters began to laugh and make snide remarks like,”Oooo, you got caught.”  “Boy, you gonna get it now.”

“Now, Mom, in my defense,” he began to respond to me once the jeering died down,”You asked for a sandwich.  You never once specified what kind.”  I took a slow cleansing breath.  At that moment I felt that there was egg all over my face.  There was no argument to that.  He was right.  I did not specify anything except a sandwich.  I thanked him for his efforts and went and made me a meatball one on my own.  But as I did being “specific” kept rolling around in my mind.

With all prayer and petition pray [with specific requests] at all times [on every occasion and in every season] in the Spirit, and with this in view, stay alert with all perseverance and petition [interceding in prayer] for all God’s people. (Ephesians 6:18)

So God wants me to pray specifically.  Not just generic requests.  Not just God bless So-in-so, but God bless him with a new better paying job and heal his marriage.  See the difference.  Because those specifics are not just for our own personal issues but the petitions of all of God’s people.  It says so right there in Ephesians.  It amazes me how much instruction can be found in just one verse.

So, I have learned an extremely important lesson.  Ask for sandwiches, and pray very specifically, or you might get what you do NOT ask for.

 

Prayer Boxes

My lovely daughter, Elyssa, wanted to make some prayer boxes for her Bible Study group.  This requires Altoid tins.  For a funny story about those tins, click here: funny story  

To create the prayer boxes you will need:

  • Altoid box (One for every person)
  • Scrapbooking paper
  • Stickers of choice for decoration
  • Letters
  • Clear Tape
  • White Glue
  • Printed Poem or saying (optional)
  • 1 piece of white printer paper
  • 10 sheets of colored printer paper
  • Rhinestones
  • Decorative trim
  • Hot Glue
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • 1 piece of felt
  • scissors

 

  1. Remove mints and wash and dry the tins.
  2. With the pencil, trace around the box to create a pattern.  You will need one for the outside and inside. The inside pattern should be slightly smaller than the outside one.  Check your patterns with the tins before proceeding.  This will save you a headache later on. 
  3.  Cut your papers for inside and outside.  One for outside, and 2 for inside. (You will cut outside bottom from felt.)

     

  4. Add your decor for center, and letters as you wish.
  5. Tape the paper and the poem on the top inside of the tin.  We also added a sticker there too.  Cover all of it completely with clear tape.
  6. Decorative paper for inside bottom does not have to be glued unless you prefer.

7.  We added rhinestones on the bottom between the trim, this is optional.

8.  Cut paper small enough for inside the box. Ours is approx 1 1/2 by 3 inches.

9.  If you cut your own paper, use stickers to decorate the edges of the paper, so that it matches.

10. Add a golf pencil or short pen.

11.  Using the pattern for outside, cut a piece of felt for the bottom and attach it with hot glue.

These make a beautiful gift and can be created in a style that fits one’s likes.

IMG_3181

 

 

 

No Sweat Broccoli Salad

  • 2 bunches broccoli
  • 6-8 slices bacon
  • 1/4 c. chopped onion
  • 1 c. mayonnaise
  • 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • 1 TBSP sugar

Fry bacon crisp and drain.  Wash and drain broccoli.  Cut off stems. Use only flowerets for this recipe.  In a large mixing bowl, mix mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar. Toss in broccoli and cover with mayo mixture.  Add crumbled bacon.  Chill before serving.

***Alternate***You may substitute frozen broccoli.  Must be allowed to defrost completely before using.