This is Not Good!

I got this as an email this morning. I know what one of my many New Year's Resolutions needs to be. :(

Report 12-31-08

I have lost my work out buddy. Last time she was heard from was about 9:00p.m.
Brown hair and blue eyes if you have seen her please call me.
I really really miss her at the gym please help me find her!!

Lonely gym friend,

Menu Plan Monday - Last Menu of 2008

Monday - Stroganoff Sandwiches; see my daughters reaction to these if you want to know what kids think of them; I think they are awesome though and I use swiss cheese instead of cheddar which is part of the problem with my kids! :)

Tuesday - Chicken Pot Pie - I love my own pot pie-way better than the kind you buy at the store!

1 lb cooked ckn or turkey chopped
1 can cream of chicken
1/2 cup milk
1 can of veg all (brand name. . .located by green beans and corn in a can)-drain liquid, but keep a little
salt and pepper
2 pie crusts

Mix all of these ingredients together and pour in bottom pie crust

I get deep dish from Kroger ( cut edge off of top one and place it on top of the bottom one with ingredients in the bottom one)

Cut an X in the top so that it will not spill over.

Place it on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes until golden brown on top. My kids love this recipe and ask for it a lot. Plus, it has veggies. Yay! Make sure that you let it rest for a minute because it is not only juicy, but very hot!
Wednesday - 16 Bean Cajun Soup and Sausages; I follow the back of the cajun bean soup bag

Thursday - Crockpot Chicken and Dressing, black eyed peas

Friday - Lasagna
(this is one of my favorite recipes and the best/easiest lasagna ever)

1 lb. bulk sausage

8 oz. small curd cottage cheese

1 egg

1 lb. grated mozzarella cheese

1 jar (32 oz.) Ragu chunky garden style spaghetti sauce

8 oz. sour cream

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Make meat sauce by combining sausage and spaghetti sauce. Create cheese sauce by pureeing cottage cheese, sour cream, egg and Parmesan cheese in blender. In greased 9 X 13 put enough meat sauce to cover bottom of pan. Layer UNCOOKED noodles, 1/2 meat sauce, 1/2 cheese sauce, 1/2 mozzarella cheese. Repeat layering again ending with mozzarella cheese. Refrigerate overnight. Bake at 350 for 1 hour until cheese is brown and bubbly.
I usually make two batches of this to freeze for later or for a friend in need.

Saturday - leftovers

Sunday - Taco Salad

After Holidays Shopping Warning

Yesterday, I was shopping at Hobby Lobby in Little Rock and some girls engaged me in conversation about my daughter who was standing nearby, as well as some jewelry charms that I was near. One of the girls was standing beside me and the other one behind me. My purse was in the front of my cart behind me. The one standing a foot behind me took my purse and ran. I felt something happen and turned around to realize what just happened, grabbed my daughter and ran after the girls. I did not have my running shoes on or I would have caught them. . .I am sure of it!!!!! :)

Now I am not telling you all of this to make you paranoid or even frightened. I am just encouraging you to remember this so that you will be careful this holiday season.

These girls ran a scheme on me that was well planned without my knowledge. They had a guy waiting on them at the front of the store in a "get-away car." A couple of people saw them leave as well as getting everything on video. I had a lot of cash in my purse (which I promise is never the case!!!) I had my brand new camera, i phone, gift cards, drivers license, credit cards. . .pretty much everything they could have hoped for in the purse. I called the police. . .they found my purse emptied out of pretty much everything of value. The police officer offered little encouragement of finding my things. He was very kind, but just shook his head. This is a common problem around the holidays.

Please use caution as you are out shopping. I wish I would have read and heeded my own warnings before I went shopping. I hope this helps you as you are out and about.
I took this right off of the Little Rock Police Departments Website:

1) Be alert and aware of your surroundings
at all times. Knowing who and
what is around you can help you avoid
being surprised. It also allows you time
to react if something does appear suspicious.

2) Display confidence. Criminals choose
the victim who looks like the easiest target.
That choice is partially based on
their perception about your abilities to
react to an attack. If you walk with purpose,
scan the area around you, and
make casual eye contact with others,
you are displaying confidence.

3) Trust your instincts. Your body will
tell you when someone or something is
suspicious. If you have an intuitive feeling
something is wrong, do not secondguess
yourself. React immediately and
take action to reduce your risk.

4) Carry only what you need. Extra cash,
credit cards, checks, jewelry and other
items should be left at home. If it is necessary
to carry a purse, keep it in front
and close to your body. Men should
keep wallets out of back pockets where
they are easily stolen. Carry wallets in
front coat pockets or use a money clip as

5) Don’t be overburdened with packages.
Carrying several shopping bags makes
you look vulnerable. Request a store to
hold your merchandise until you are finished
with your shopping. If the store does
not offer that service, place your purchases
in the trunk of your car before you
buy additional items.

6) Shop with others. The chance of being
victimized drops dramatically when you
are with a companion. If there are three or
more people together, the chance of being
targeted for crime is 90% less than when

7) Ask for an escort. Many retailers have
security personnel. Ask for an escort to
your vehicle if you are uneasy about venturing
into the parking lot alone.

8) Be prepared. Have your keys in hand
when walking to your vehicle. The keys
can be used as a defensive weapon and
you will not waste time trying to find
them when standing outside your vehicle.
Carry a whistle, personal alarm or auto
alarm panic button. These devices will
alert those around you something is

9) Plan ahead. Choose areas to park where
lighting is good and activity is high. Valuables
in your vehicle should be kept out of
view. Be sure to lock the car at all times.
Most auto burglaries occur on cars that are
left unlocked.

I have hope in Christ that all of this will be reconciled. I woke up at 3:00 this morning still kicking myself and finding myself only hopeful in Christ Himself and His Word.

Psalm 21 encouraged my heart. 21: 11-13 Though they plot evil against you and devise wicked schemes, they cannot succeed; for you will make them turn their backs when you aim at them with drawn bow. Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength; we will sing and praise your might.

Psalm 21: 7 For the king (David) trusts in the Lord; through the unfailing love of the Most High he will not he shaken. My Life Application Bible says that "when we trust in God we have permanence and stability. We may lose a great deal - families, jobs, material possessions-but we cannot be shaken from God's favor. he will be our foundation of solid rock. He will never leave us or desert us."

I find myself hopeful in Christ and the Lord Most High at this time. I am trusting in Him that He will make things right in Heaven and if I trust in Him He will prove Himself faithful and Good.

Up On The Rooftop. . .

I wrote this a month ago with good intentions of having a Christmas Card this year. I always have a pic and a nice card, but this year things have gone awry. Us being on top of the roof in this picture may give you an indication of why things have not gone as planned this year. :)

Enjoy my bloggy version of our family Christmas CARD! :) I apologize for the weird font problems. I think it had something to do with copy and pasting from word.

The year of 2008 will not be soon forgotten by our family. It has been our year of construction. We all have hit our fair share of nails with a hammer. The construction started in March when Prince Charming and I decided that we needed to do something about our carport that was falling in. We decided we could tear it off or just start over and make it grander. As many of our choices have been in the past to make our lives “more interesting” we decided to dive in. Prince Charming really had no prior construction experience, but as you probably know he is a pretty smart cookie and it has not taken him much time to catch on. It has been fun watching the “addition” go up. We are turning what should have just been a carport into more living space and a garage.

The second opportunity we have had to do construction together as a family blew in with “Ike.” Yes, even in Arkansas we were “Iked.” Wind gusts of 60 mile an hour swept through our yard sending a large chunk of tree through our bedroom roof at 3 am. Talk about a rude awakening! We really believe God protected us as two large trees in our front yard blew over with one missing our bed by only a few feet. The good news is that we had just finished putting up the roof on our addition so we knew exactly what to do with our new hole in the roof.

In June of 2006, God allowed Prince Charming to be pastor of a small church in Arkansas, Fellowship Bible Church. As the church has grown, we have been meeting in all kinds of little buildings across town. The Lord has laid it on the people of our church to renovate the oldest movie theatre in Arkansas (brief but not up to date history on the link) to be our new church home. This place is full of history, but only three walls are holding it up. Yet again, we are called to more construction. While we are not physically going in right now to renovate Prince Charming has had to keep the balls rolling and continually learning how to make healthy church construction decisions once again.

It seems that since the day God saved me in 1993 He has been doing construction in my heart and life. I find myself very “thankful” this year for the many opportunities to grow as a person, mom, wife and child of the King.

We are all healthy, happy and head over heels in love with the Lord. He is good, isn’t He?

Have a Merry Christmas from the Hard Hat Wearin’ Crew in Arkansas.

Menu Plan Monday

My wallet is telling me to plan cheap meals this week. I don't know about you, but I have shopped until my quicken-online is telling me to "Tighten my belt."

Dear Hubs,
In lieu of nice dinners this week, you and our family gets to have nice Christmas presents. Not sure if that is how you would have wanted it. :) Please bare with me through December!
Much Love,
Your Snookems

Monday - smoked sausage, cajun beans, rice and cornbread. . .following the back of the dried cajun beans bag
Tuesday - Smoked Roast from way back when! buttered corn, bbq sauce and rolls
Wednesday -elders meeting/AWANA for hubs and kids; busy night = breakfast for dinner
probably pancakes or sausage gravy and biscuits
Thursday - holiday shopping party for me; leftovers for hubs and kids or grilled cheese with tomato soup (Your choice! :))
Friday - chicken, rice and oriental vegetables (Basically stir fry)
Saturday - Christmas parade. . .probably Sonic beforehand. . .ok I should plan this one better so that we don't have to eat out; Agh. Will think on it.
Sunday - taco salad

A fun holiday recipe to share with neighbors, friends & families!

Chex Muddy Buddies
1 12 oz box Crispix cereal
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (Hershey's recommended)
1 cup peanut butter (jiffy recommended)
5 tbsp. butter (Parkay recommended)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pkg. (16 oz. or 1 lb.) powdered sugar

1. Pour out cereal into large bowl and set aside.

2. In 1-qt. saucepan, heat chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter over low heat, stirring frequently until melted. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Pour mixture slowly over cereal while stirring with a spatula to evenly coat. Pour into a 2-gallon resealable plastic storage bag or grocery bag. Add powdered sugar slowly. Shake until well coated. Spread onto wax paper to cool. Store in airtight container in refrigerator. Share with someone you love.

(Serves about 12.)

Also, I am going to get that old dusty bread machine out this week that I got for a wedding present. I am going to try my hand at making homemade bread this week. I am hoping for a bread miracle because the times that I have done this before the bread tasted like yuk! I am hoping to make a basic bread and then branch out to some more exciting stuff like pepperoni cheese and oatmeal bread! We will see and I will let you know how it is going. If you have any bread making tips I would love for you to share them with me!

Have a great week!

Ten Substituting Tips

This past year my job has been in fluctuation so I wanted to make sure I had some sort of income as to not see our family starve to death. I love kids and teaching so I thought I might try my hand at substituting in the public school. I never thought I would be a substitute because I know exactly what substitute means. . ."not the real thing." I even had a little girl that I know from church come up to me on the playground and say, "Are you being a pretend teacher today? Can I go to the bathroom?"

As most everything I do when I don't know a thing about it. . .I googled "Tips for Substitute Teaching." I have taught before, but it has been about ten years ago and I was nervous mainly about classroom management. These are the things I have learned, as well as remembered, from my teaching days.

1) Establish your authority as soon as you go in the class. Make eye contact. Write your name on the board and the word RECESS. Only take away a letter if you have to and for 5 minutes off their RECESS.
extra bonus RECESS tip: I got this idea from one of the kids, instead of making them sit their recess out, have them walk around the edge of the playground for five minutes. That way they are expending energy and not getting to do what they really want.

2) During the pledge of allegiance, scan the room for those who are not paying attention and looking at me to see if I am paying attention to them not doing what they are supposed to. Say a prayer for those kids and for yourself. You are going to need all of the help you can get!

3) Try to get there early to review your lesson plans for the day. Try to do exactly what the teacher does because everything you do differently, the kids will say, "Mrs. _____ doesn't do it that way." Gently remind yourself and the kids that you may do things differently and that is ok.

4) Take a book for yourself for any times that you do not have anything to do (which is rare) and an age appropriate one for the kids if they finish their work early.

5) Make sure you have enough lunch money. I had to barter with the cafeteria lady to trade my pudding for a dollar because I only had $2 instead of $3 (which is pretty outrageous price for hardly any food). You will be happy to know the lunch lady did not make me give up my pudding, but took a rain check on the dollar that I owed her. :)

6) Take the teacher a gift to leave behind. I want to do this, but have not done this yet. I want to get a little bottle of expo board cleaner and tie a ribbon around the top and let them know that I appreciate them letting me sub their class. I will leave my phone number so they can call me for questions as well as call me for the future.

7) This is the best game for lining them up when they are taking a bathroom break. Even with a naughty class that talks in the hallway this works and the other teachers around you are muy impressivo.

You say, "I am going to describe someone and I want them to go to the front of the line. This person has is facing the front, not talking, has on _____, has ____ color eyes, etc." The biggest deal in the world is being in the front of the line when you are in elementary school. They are sooo quiet and they remember you by being the substitute that does the fun lining up game.

8) Just know that the teacher (not mailiciously I am sure :)) is probably going to leave you with every duty known to man! The last time I subbed I had recess duty, car rider duty, and naughty kids during Free recess duty. I had one planning period. Sometimes the time that the kids are in PE is my only time to think and get myself together.

9) Lay all of your sheets out on a table for the day and put your schedule on the board if you need to because the kids are going to say, "What time do we go to.. . .?" I can easily say, it is on the board. This makes it easy to find the sheets and know what to do in order.

10) Grab someone you know or that looks responsible in the class at the beginning of the morning and ask them, "How do things go around here? Does this usually happen? Where does she keep her extra ____? " This will help you to have an ally and she will probably whisper in your ear how you are supposed to do things and that you were supposed to be at lunch ten minutes ago :).
Bonus Tips: Plan a crockpot meal the night before for you at the end of the day to come home to. You are going to be tired. It is not your usual routine and it can be pretty draining. Don't let your family suffer because of your added responsibilities. You will be emailing me and thanking me for that tip, I promise.

Have a great and very successful substituting time!

Thank you to Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer for hosting another awesome Works for Me Wednesday!

Yo! Yo! What's Up?

I have to admit that one of my favorite past times is singing at home, especially rapping. I am terrible at it, but it is fun.

Tonight my kids and I were flipping through the channels and the American Music Awards were on. One of the rappers was talking and Hansel asked me who it was. Being an out of the loop 30 something year old mom I said, "I have no idea." Gretel (seven years old) says, " Hansel, it's a Yo Yo guy!" Yeah, I guess with all of my rapping she has learned a tad bit of "culture."

Two Important Things That I Need to Tell You!

The first thing I wanted to tell you is that I found an amazing site to help me with my finances. It is called Quicken Online. It is the coolest, free finance site out there. I have been looking for something like this for quite awhile and I was prepared to pay green for it. I started doing a little research and happened upon it.

These are my top five favorite things about the site:
  1. it combines my checking, credit cards, mortgage and everything all on one site; I can look at expenses and income at a glance
  2. it allows me to set spending goals and tells me (at a glance) where I am over (Oh, and if you are not into REALITY CHECKS, this site is not for you!!!! :))
  3. it is FREE so I do not have to spend money to look at my money
  4. my husband and I can both access it anytime and even at the same time!
  5. it is user friendly and if I can use it. . . you can too
Before I sound anymore like an infomercial then I will move on to my other important tidbit of information.

My amazingly talented sister- in- law is having a weekly give-away on her site, Anna's Nest. She hand makes all of her items and just started an etsy site. I am not kidding when I tell you she is an amazing artist, mom and just an all around great gal!! Go, hurry, quick register to win!

Don't Judge Me Because I'm Not a Plucker

My beautician would be horrified at what I am about to tell you so make sure that this does not get back to her. I have decided to stop plucking my eyebrows, but instead of plucking to shave my eyebrows. Not off!!! That has never made much sense to me why people shave their whole eyebrow off and then draw it back on. Anyway, my friend's eyebrows were always just nice and manicured looking. I told her one day about my eyebrow trauma that I was having.

You see, my eyebrow hairs must be stuck in my brain because when I pluck it hurts so bad that I am embarrassed to go to the beautician for a wax. She says that I am one of the biggest yellers she has. I asked my friend how she keeps hers so nice looking and she shared this little beauty secret with me. Now, I grant you that I might be the only one out there that does not know about these and you may have heard of them for a long time now. So please forgive me if this is repeat information.

Here is a picture of the pretties: I bought mine at Wal Mart for about $2-$3. I found these online at Happy shaving!!

Addendum: Many of you are asking how often I have to shave my eyebrows. I do it about every three days or right before I have to go somewhere where I need to look groomed. . .you know like wash my hair or even just brush it! Every few days! :)

Something Old, Something New and Something Black

I wanted to share what I am cooking tonight because it is a family favorite. For you, this is the something old. It is green, but not moldy! It is old only because it is one of my old family favorite recipes! It is Broccoli Cheese Soup.

Here goes the recipe.
Broccoli Cheese Soup

1 medium onion sauteed in 2 T margarine
1 can crm of celery
1 can crm of chicken
1 can crm of mushroom

3 soup cans full of milk
Cook 1 large bag of broccoli pieces in boiler, drain broccoli and cut up 1 roll of jalapeno cheese (any kind of white, spicy cheese will do) and put on top of hot broccoli. Add to soup mixture. Heat till hot. May be frozen.

I got a NEW cat. For many of you, this will not come as a surprise because it runs in my genetics to love stinky, furry, allergy producing felines. They are so cute and cuddly and relaxing, boy jeez are they relaxing. I decided for sure if I were to be an animal in an after life I would want to be a cat. All they do is eat, sleep and look like they are managing their world! That is so me. The cats name is Gravy. I asked the kids why they named it that and they responded with their most grown up teenager voices (7 and 9),
"duh, mom the cat is guhraaaayy"

The "Something Black" is my husbands fingernail. Just kidding. Actually he does have a hammered thumb, but we got a new black car! I have officially entered the mini van, soccer mom world. I love it! I have never wanted a mini van, but this ride is pimped quite lovely. I will post pics soon.

I wanted to update the world of Clappy Shoes so you did not think I clapped right off the face of the Earth. We are here, but just busy as always.


Menu Plan Monday

Monday - out to eat and to buy a car! Yay! (more details to come)

Tuesday - All American Meatloaf, green peas

Wednesday - AWANA; possibly having friends over for the best ever Overnight Lasagna (can be frozen for a freezer meal), green beans, french bread

Thursday - Chicken Pot Pie

Friday- Ladies Night Out; Slow Cooker Chicken and Dressing

Saturday - Hamburgers, broccoli and cheese

Sunday - Taco Salad and cheese quesadillas

Give-Away Winner!

I am so excited for The Popes

The Popes-"Journey to Josie" who I have more in common with than I could ever imagine!!! Congratulations!

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2008-11-03 02:01:40 UTC

Shoes, Shoes, Shoes

Ok, I cannot keep this to myself. Now, listen I have not received them yet, but I did a little shoe ordering online from a company called and I have to say it may just be the best shoe sale I have ever seen in my life. Thousands of shoes for $9.95 and I cannot believe how cute they are. You have to check it out! You have to go. . .but do not tell your husband where you got the information from or he may block my blog and that would be SAD for both of us.

So shhhh! :) And my shoe size is 7 if you are thinking Christmas! :)

Getting In on the Carnival Action

I did not want to miss out on all of the bloggy carnival action. I am barely in it and I hope you like what I have to offer. I know, I know you clicked on my blog to get cool stuff, BUT make sure to subscribe to my blog if you like what you see.

I am a Mom Select member and they send me things like cool Swag Bags with LOADS of stuff to offer to my readers. They sent me the cutest little exercise/beach suit that would be good for a little girl or boy. It is a 24 month old outfit and I just wish I could squish my kids back to that size. The neat thing about it is offers UV protection from the sun and has a little hood. It is chlorine and sea water resistant as well as lightweight. Pretty amazing, right?

Introduction to the princess and what she generally talks about:
  • weekly menu (that the cooks prepare for us :) )
  • the wild antics of the royal family
  • things that work around the castle
  • life as a southern homeschooling pastor's wife
  • exercise
  • fun with my friends
  • adding on to the castle and what that looks like :(
No Claims Here
I do not ever claim to be perfect as many people think that a pastor's family is or should be. I am just a regular girl, with two wild children (Hansel and Gretel) and a man in my life (Prince Charming) who never makes things dull.

Leave a comment and I will select a random winner on Sunday, November 2nd! I will let you know if you win. . .good luck.

Works for Me Wednesday - Garmin for Motivation

I am realizing that my posts are coming few and far between, but that's ok. Just like exercising you just got to keep moving the best you can to stay in the rhythm.

I have actually been thinking about my post all week trying to decide what is the most important tidbit that I wanted to share with you. There are so many things that work for me these days! I decided on my Garmin that I got for my birthday.

As you know, I have taken up running or slow jogging according to my Garmin! :) Basically, it is a GPS system on your watch. It keeps your time, pace, calories burned and even the course that you ran. It has been helpful to me not only for the fact that it was an investment that I feel I must pay for in running, but it helps me in two ways.

It helps me while I am running to run against my own pace. When I am running a race I need to know how fast I am going to see if I am going so fast that I might need to call the Waaaambulance or if I am running so slow that I might not ever see the finish line. Important information like that is provided at the touch of your hand.

It also helps me after I run. Because I am technologically challenged when it comes to gadgets, it has taken a little begging on my part to convince my husband to show me how it works. He downloaded the Garmin software on my computer so that I can see inch by inch,
what my pace was like while I was running. If I am running a particular course in training for a race (I use this term loosely because I only sign up to keep myself motivated between races. . .no gold medals here) then I like to know in what particular part of the course I better kick it up a notch.

I compare the Garmin to a kitchen meat thermometer. . .it is a must have tool in the kitchen that tells you when you are rare or finished cooking! I love it and have really benefited from it. I think my husband got it off of Amazon for about $120. It really has worked for me and hope that if you have been thinking about buying one this helps you too!

Works for Me Wednesday - Helping Verbs

I learned this little diddy when I was in the sixth grade and it helped me all the way to high school when we were stilll learning the same thing. My teacher taught it to us to help us learn our "helping verbs." This has helped both my second and third grader this year as they have had to learn about helping verbs as well. In my best singing voice, to the tune of Jingle Bells, here we go! As my son says, "and a 1 and a 2 and 1, 2, 3, 4 hit it!"

Be (jing)

Am (gle)

Is (Bells)

Are (Jing)

Was (gle)

Were (Bells)

Been (Jing)

Being (gle)

Have (all)

Has (the)

Had (way)

Do (Oh)

Does (What)

Did (fun)

Can (It)

Could (is)

Will (to)

Would (ride)

Shall (in a)

Should (one)

May (horse)

Might (open)

Must (sleigh)

And for an added bonus, a little directional help for those of you who are trying to teach your kids North, East, South and West in order. Make sure they Never Eat Soggy Waffles. They are bad for you and taste yucky! :)

The Princess Teacher is off to get her Royal Family ready for the school day!

Menu Plan Monday

Last week ended up not turning out like I planned on meals. . .go figure. But we only ate out once! :)

Monday - Chicken Pot Pie
Tuesday - Hamburgers and Cauliflower Bake
Wednesday - Turkey Chili
Thursday - Dinner with the gals; kids to eat grilled cheese and tomato soup with babysitter
Friday - Hansel's Camp-Out in the backyard; boys are going to be roasting out hotdogs and smores
Saturday - Breakfast for Dinner; Pancakes and Sausage
Sunday - Broccoli Cheese Soup

1 medium onion sauteed in 2 T margarine
1 can crm of celery
1 can crm of chicken
1 can crm of mushroom

3 soup cans full of milk
Cook 1 large bag of broccoli pieces in boiler, drain broccoli and cut up 1 roll of jalapeno cheese and put on top of hot broccoli. Add to soup mixture. Heat till hot. May be frozen.

On Saturday, we celebrated my son's Ninth Birthday and I made him the Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cake that Organizing Junkie Posted. It was very good. I am not a big cake eater but I thought it was good enough to meet my peanut butter and chocolate needs! the icing was the biggest surprise. . .pudding, peanut butter and Kool Whip. Surprisingly a great treat.

If I Had a Soapbox. . .This Would Be It

Have you ever had people coming over and the things that you were supposed to do last week or the week before suddenly became very important. We had small group at our house last night and I walked into the bathroom to realize that the towel rack had not been fixed. I beckoned my Prince Charming and Fix-it Man into the bathroom. He said do you want me to fix it or make it look fixed? I said, "Whatever it takes."

Sorry for the interlude here, but I think we do this in our life as well. We make things look good or appear to be fixed, but if you put a towel on that towel rack or lean up against it. . .guess what . . .the weight or pressure on the the towel rack sends it to the ground.

This is true of our married life, the way we interact with our kids, as well as our hearts that have been hurt. We spend a lot of money, time and energy trying to patch things so it will appear to be perfect. The fact of the matter is that you can patch all you want, but when anything that bears weight on that towel rack comes along, it will come crashing down. When the pressures and hard times come into that marriage (believe me they will come), that marriage will not be able to stand if you have been trying to patch it to make it look like it is fixed. Interesting statistics tell us that the first five years of marriage and about 5 years into the empty nester stage will try our marriages like never before. There will be more divorces during this time.

We need to do the things that will fix the marriage, that will repair our broken hearts and will send our kids to the next level in their spiritual being. This may mean that we have to give up some pretty hard things that are keeping us bound in chains. We may have to give up some of our selfish ways. Let me tell you from this only child. . .that ain't gonna be easy! I am the ultimate "only child."

I think one day when we face Jesus we are going to be reminded of all of the things that we meant to fix. Let's fix them today in His strength so that we will be prepared when the guest arrives.

Colossians 3: 12-14 (NIV)
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Menu Plan Monday

I am miles away from being caught up on work, home issues, and thank you cards but we have to eat dinner don't we? And what would we do without our handy dandy Menu Plan Monday!? You have transformed our life, Menu Plan Monday.

Monday -Chicken Packets my word Gretel has been having a fit to have these and I planned to have them on Saturday but chicken patties won my tired bones over., broccoli and cheese

Chicken Packets-
This is a tribute to my dear friend, Tanya who taught me how to make these. I miss you!

crescent rolls
1/3 package cream cheese
1 lb. chopped (I use my mini food processor) boiled chicken breast
couple of T of green onions
Italian Bread Crumbs

Basically, you combine the chopped chicken, cream cheese and green onions, salt and pepper if you wish. You roll an 1/8th of your mixture into a crescent roll triangle. Sprinkle or dredge with butter and roll in Italian Bread Crumbs. They are a little salty if you mix too much so use according to your taste buds.

My seven year old loves to make these and has enjoyed making these for awhile. It is a fairly easy straight-forward recipe that is fairly healthy.
Tuesday -
Spaghetti and Meatballs (Night One) - my daughter loves meatballs and my son loves spaghetti, green beans and french bread
Wednesday - Hamburgers and Cauliflower Bake
Thursday - Chicken Pot Pie
Friday - Turkey Chili; crackers, cheese
Saturday - Race for the Cure; leftovers
Sunday - Hansel's 9th Birthday
Heart-Shaped Waffles or Peanut Butter Pancakes and sausage for breakfast
(Hansel's favorite food) Spaghetti (Night Two), green beans spiked with brown sugar and butter
and rolls

Funny Story: One evening I fixed, I kid you not, Hunt's Spaghetti Sauce out of a can with no hamburger meat or any added spices. I made some spaghetti noodles and handed it to eight year old Hansel on a plate. After he was finished oohing and awing after every bite he told me it was the best food I had ever made and he was going to leave me a tip! I laughed so hard I cried. I love an easy to please eater! :)

Clappy Shoes Hiatus Over

I did not know I was taking a break from my blog until it happened. Sorry about that. Every time I went to post something I just felt like I just didn't have it in me.

It has been a little wild lately. I know that many of you have experienced that dizzy, life is turning too fast to keep up feeling before. After the tree landed on the house, we have had a lot of extra To Do's in life. If you have ever read the book, Margins, just don't correlate that book with our family because we do not live life with a lot of margin. So when something that is not planned happens we just have to buckle our seat belts and hold on for the whirlwind.

So besides a continuation of the Arkansas Chainsaw Massacre we went on a marriage retreat in North Carolina. If you have never visited Asheville, North Carolina. . .you need to go asap. It is beautiful this time of year and it is a really fun town to visit. We went to Billy Graham's Retreat Center, The Cove. It was not only beautiful and refreshing, but there was some amazing food there. . .especially if you like Country Cookin' like me. Amazing Sweet Tea!! Oh, and I learned a lot about marriage as a pastor's wife. That was the point, right?

"Prof." Howard Hendricks and Chip Ingram were the speakers at the retreat. Chip Ingram founded Life On the Edge Ministries as well as Walk Thru The Bible. Howard Hendricks is a prof of a bazillion years at DTS and has been married 62 years! The tools they gave us for our marriage were awesome. Prince Charming and I have been to several marriage seminars before, but this one was exactly what we needed to go deeper. We have some invaluable tools and have had a time of refreshment so we are back in the saddle. I am thankful for the time away from the chaos and life's demands and I feel refreshed to be the wife that God intended for me to be.

Anyway, all that to say I am glad to be back to my regular posting and "normal life" with hopefully a little more husband/wife communication going on!

Menu Plan Monday

We are still on the mend from the after effects of Ike in Arkansas and another lightning storm that came through on Friday. I told Jonah to get off the ship because the seas were getting too rough. . .if you catch my drift! :)

Monday - Chicken Pot Pie.. . .love it because it is a one dish meal!
Tuesday - chili, crackers and yummy weight watchers cheese (what is going on around here!)
Wednesday - thaw out frozen lasagna, french bread, green beans spiked with butter, brown sugar and Worcestershire :)
Thursday - Grilled Cheese, apples and caramel dip
Friday - Crunchy Baked Chicken, hot buttered egg noodles, broccoli and cheese, crescent rolls
Saturday - White Bean Chicken Chili, fritos
Sunday - leftovers and small group

Have a great week cookin up some love in the kitchen!

Aftermath of Ike in Arkansas

My room with my bed pushed to the side.
What I discovered when I woke up.

I felt the dust and insulation from the ceiling and heard the crash before I knew what happened. It was a pretty scary night. It sounded like our house was being picked up and put back down like something out of the Wizard of Oz. My husband, the quick thinker, bolted up and said I think a tree hit our house. We darted out of bed and turned on the light to see a tree limb sticking right through the roof, nestled right above where I was sleeping. I never say, OMG, but that is exactly what I said. . .and I was really crying out to Him.The second of three trees that came down.

We gathered the kids in the living room and realized that the winds that were howling before we went to bed were really giving the trees a beating. Somewhere shortly after that, another tree came down on the top of the other one. It sends chills up my spine to see how close to death we came. We are so fortunate to have survived the aftermath that "Ike" sent in to Arkansas.
That is the corner where our bedroom is.

We are so grateful to our church family who came very quickly to our home to help us cut up all of the trees and get them off of our roof. We are so blessed by our God. A neighbor came over when we came out for the first time to see the damage and he remarked how he cannot understand how we were laughing and ok with all that had happened. It goes back to the sermon that Prince Charming had just preached the week before (which he is not allowed to preach again for a very long time). It comes from James 1: 2-4 (NIV)

2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Some pics of our church family and kids who came to help.

We are forever grateful for the hand of God in our lives this weekend. I know that there are many more who will come back to their homes to just find rubble or water seeping through their most precious valuables and we are praying that God will touch you and give you His strength to persevere through this tragedy and possibly to consider it pure joy.

I Registered

(no, not to vote. . . I did that last month remember and I donated my organs and they did not even give me a discount on my drivers license renewal :)), but for a half- marathon today. What is wrong with me? I have been going back and forth to try to decide if I wanted to pursue it. With a little peer pressure, I registered forty five big ones! I am scared to death. Someone, anyone talk me out of this exercise sickness that has come over me.

Part of the reason I have been wavering is because I have some major shin splints that has stopped me from running before. The word on the street is that the pain from running will subside after I break a running barrier or a leg . . .whichever comes first. I am at four miles and I have not been able to break the barrier. I have to ice down my shins right after I run and for quite awhile after I run. I am going to persevere though. All two of you that reads this blog will see pictures of me at the half marathon on December 6th. . .possibly crawling through the finish line. . .but I will finish! :)

In honor of the little frog and my perseverance, I will re post this anonymously written poem:

Two frogs fell into a deep cream bowl;

The one was wise, and a cheery soul.

The other one took a gloomy view

And bade his friend a sad adieu.

Said the other frog with a merry grin,

"I can't get out, but I won't give in;

I'll swim around
till my strength is spent,

Then I will die the more content.

And as he swam,
though ever it seemed,

His struggling began
to churn the cream

Until on top of pure butter
he stopped, And out of the bowl
he quickly hopped. The moral you ask?
Oh, it's easily found! If you can't get out, keep swimming around!

My pot runneth over!

Last week was my sister-in-laws wedding and I helped make the lasagnas for the rehearsal dinner - about 12 of the "no boil noodle" lasagna recipe I posted yesterday. I felt like I was in a catering business! It was really fun though.

The menu was Italian. We served kind of a Greek salad (ok, not so Italian. . .but yummy), amazing green beans made in the crock pot, lasagna and Parmesan bread. We had little bowls of rosemary garlic seasoning, olive oil and Parmesan cheese to dip their bread in on each table.

It really was quite the night. There were beautiful white lights on the porch wrapped with toule and real ivy from the yard. It was a beautiful night, the weather was PERFECT for dining outside and everyone looked like they had a great time.

I am so thankful to have married into a wonderful family! My pot really doth runneth over. . .and my in-laws are not my enemies :)!

Psalm 23:5 (King James Version)

5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Psalm 23:5 (The Message)

5 You serve me a six-course dinner
right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
my cup brims with blessing.

Now, that's what a call a blessing! I hope your "pot runneth over" today!

Menu Plan Monday

Monday - Homemade Pizza topped with pepperoni/bell peppers/onions/tomatoes, etc.
Tuesday - Biscuits, sausage and gravy and a game of Rummy with the kids
Wednesday - Chicken Fettucini Alfredo - you will not believe how amazing this stuff is; well you might if you look at the ingredients; my hubs and I made this earlier in the year and it is really good
Thursday- Chicken Caesar Salad - I love this stuff!!
Friday - possibly a date with my Prince Charming; otherwise we will be eating grilled cheese.. . .Prince Charming, you don't want to just eat grilled cheese do you? :)
Saturday - Chicken Pot Pie
Sunday - Taco Salad

This is a lasagna recipe that I made last week for my sister - in laws rehearsal dinner. It was REALLY good and it is really easy to make. . .except when you are making 8 of these! :)


(this is one of my favorite recipes and the best/easiest lasagna ever)

1 lb. bulk sausage

8 oz. small curd cottage cheese

1 egg

1 lb. grated mozzarella cheese

1 jar (32 oz.) Ragu chunky garden style spaghetti sauce

8 oz. sour cream

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Make meat sauce by combining sausage and spaghetti sauce. Create cheese sauce by pureeing cottage cheese, sour cream, egg and Parmesan cheese in blender. In greased 9 X 13 put enough meat sauce to cover bottom of pan. Layer UNCOOKED noodles, 1/2 meat sauce, 1/2 cheese sauce, 1/2 mozzarella cheese. Repeat layering again ending with mozzarella cheese. Refrigerate overnight. Bake at 350 for 1 hour until cheese is brown and bubbly.

I usually make two batches of this to freeze for later or for a friend in need.

It's pretty bad

when life has gotten in the way of my blogging! You know there are things that can wait and blogging isn't one of them! :) I am at my in-laws in the midst of madness and confusion. I made 8 very large lasagnas today, made some really cool luminaries and am rearranging furniture without trying to be "the bad guy." Hard and fun times!

I will post pics of how hot I look in my dress next week. . .minus the sucking in that I will be doing and tripping over my 3 inch heels! Should be interesting!

Ok, worry about me!

The week is underway and I realize that I cannot even put together a menu for the week because it is so crazy. Between visits with friends for my birthday and "the wedding" I will just be winging it. I have great hope of fitting into the dress after this week's "slim menu."

Family, here are the options for the week when you are hungry:

  • frozen fish
  • chips and salsa
  • yogurt
  • tuna fish crackers or sandwiches
  • cheese tortillas
  • frozen vegetables with cheese
  • Ramen noodles
  • popcorn
  • Two cans of Chef boyardee
  • hamburger helper in a box
I think that's it. This is pretty sad, isn't it? Family, make sure to take your vitamins, you are going to need them.

Don't Worry About Me

The only thing I have posted this week was my menu. Does that tell you anything? I can definitely tell that we are out of the chute now!! There has been so much going on between work, home schooling the kids, church and home that I think we have gone mad. I have been exercising and eating healthier too which takes a lot of brain power to stay on target.

You see, my sister in law is getting married in a week and I have to fit into this dress. If I don't, she said that I have to wear a corset. I have to get into that dress. I am not wearing a corset.

Must go to bed. . . I am beginning to feel like I might go eat a big bowl of ice cream.


Menu Plan Monday

This is a huge birthday week for my family. My birthday is on the 5th so I expect lots of ecards! :) If you want to read something morbidly funny, read my post from last year about my birthday.

That's all I ask . . .just an ecard from my friends. Prince Charming, you are not off the hook with just an ecard though. I will post my list on the fridge or I will email it you if that is more convenient! ;) Ok, back to my menu planning.

- Roast, potatoes and carrots in the crockpot; using Marie's Easy Slow Cooker Recipe
Tuesday - BBQ sandwiches, coleslaw and beans. . .momma going to run tonight!
Happy Birthday, Brian!

Wednesday - Elders Meeting and the kids and I will chill out at home with omelets
Thursday - marinated lemon chicken, brown rice and broccoli in the steamer with shredded cheese
Happy Birthday Moms!
at my in-laws for Birthday Bashes!! We are going to have a "Cheetah Themed Party" (like the design, not the girls) at Gretel's (7 years old) request. I need to get myself together. Any ideas are welcome! I am really excited though because I have bought some fun gifts for her that I know she will LOVE.
Saturday - coming home from in-laws and probably eating there
Sunday - Happy Birthday, Gretel!! I think she would like to eat salsa all day. Still not 100% if we are doing anything outside of celebrating with family this year. I am a big birthday basher, but I think this year my limit is one per child. We will see though. I am always pulling stuff at the last minute.
We may just have a taco salad, salsa fest today! :)

Being Chased by God

The Wild One!
We found "the surrendered one" studying the Bible on my bed.
Yes, this is a boy cat but we were lacking "boy clothes" obviously.

I have been going back through my study that I did this summer with an awesome group of ladies in my community. It is by Mary Kassian and it is called Vertically Inclined. To sum up the study in my own words, it is about your relationship with God and how it goes through various stages and series of peaks and valleys.

There were quite a few lessons that I missed and it was such a good study I thought I needed to go back in and fill in the blanks. In this particular lesson that I was going back through today it talked about how we often ask, "why" when we have trials. She goes through all of the great heroes of the faith and had verses to back up the times that our Bible heroes asked, "Why?" As I was doing my study, my silly cat was walking though the yard and I was reminded of when they first came to our house. Really bare with me here through my ADD moment.

There are always going to be those, "Why" moments in our life. For instance, right now I am going through a job change. My hours are going to be cut down to half of an already part time job. My question is, "Why, Lord." Mary Kassian says that we should not just ask "Why me" but "What now, Lord." Not the, "What now, Lord?" where I have my hands on my hips, shaking my finger at Him screaming, "What now, Lord!" but what do you have for my life now Lord. How can You work through this situation?

Back to my cats. About two weeks before Christmas I found these two cute kittens outside my door. I had been asking my husband for a cat for Christmas. He could not believe two weeks before Christmas there were two cats outside the door. Of course, I squealed in delight and ran to bring them inside because I knew this was God answering my little Christmas prayer. :)

The cats had two different reactions to becoming part of our family. The first little kitten was so funny. We (my daughter and I) ran outside to get him and he ran for a just a split-second and then flopped down on the ground as if saying, "I surrender, just take me in. . .pet me and make me your own. Please dress me up to your hearts content, but please do not give me a heart attack by chasing me around anymore."

The other was a little more difficult to catch. First, he ran under the car. Of course, with my expert cat skills I grabbed a stick and played with him to try to coax him out. To no avail, he would play for a second with my cat charmer and I would try to grab him and he would get away. He was so lightning fast. I wish I recorded myself trying to catch that cat. I chased him around and around that car.

Finally, after giving up for awhile I went over to talk with my neighbor when the cat came strutting over to me. I interrupted the conversation rather abruptly (while my neighbor looked on in horror I do believe) to try to catch the cat again and he ran up the tree in her yard. Right as he got about 5 feet in the air I finally caught him. He was trying to scratch me and get away. He was madder than a hornet and as wild as can be. I ran him over to my house before he clawed up my arms and put him inside my house all the while exclaiming how I caught the cat and was so proud of myself.

I reminisced sort of happily today as I saw "the surrendered cat" walking through the yard. I wish I was like him. No not hairy and fish-breathed, but surrendered. I wish I was not that wild one kicking and scratching all the way home. I wish that when God chased me that I would give up quickly and say, I know you have good plans for me. Please take care of me like I know you desire for me to be taken care of. No, I have to be caught and soothed into submission. The Lord is still trying to tame my wild heart, but I think He got a little closer today. Teach me your ways, o Lord. Help me to know that Your plans for me are good. Tame my wild heart.

Menu Plan Monday

And we're off! The first day of school. The races have begun. . .the gates are open and we're coming out of the chute!

And we have Menu Plan Monday to start off the race.

Monday - Chicken and Dressing in the crockpot, crescent rolls and green beans

Tuesday -
snack 100 calorie pack crackers or cookies
lunch - leftovers and Capri Sun
dinner - Chicken Stir Fry with brown rice

Wednesday -
snack popcorn and water
lunch - turkey and cheese wrapped in tortilla on George Foreman
dinner - Wet Burritos from Happy to be at Home/refried beans

Thursday -
dinner - leftovers or breakfast for dinner (pancakes or eggs and bacon)
To Do: put beans on for tomorrow's dinner

Friday - friends coming from Texas; Yee Ha!
snack - popcorn and water
lunch - turkey sandwiches, Capri Sun and 100 calorie crackers or cookies
dinner - Beans, fried potatoes and corn bread

To Do: cook roast for tomorrow's meal;

- BBQ, French Fries and Cole Slaw

- after church - eat lunch out to get my friends back off to Texas :(

Next weeks lunch to remember: pepperoni and mozzarella wrapped in crescent rolls
Back to School Story for your reading pleasure! :)

A Back to School Story for Your Enjoyment

This is my eight year old now. . .going on 24!!! This is a story about him just three years ago.
My son, now going into third grade took me for a loop the first day of kindergarten. We lived in the Big D at the time. We had a 45 minute commute on the toll road to a very nice private school. He would go two days a week, but we paid the price of a college if you ask me. I felt very good about our decision to send him there because he was on track for learning Latin in the third grade. You know the basis of our language might be helpful for his career as a doctor. He could be the next Doogie Howser, MD. You never know.

Let's rewind a couple of years, it was the very first day of kindergarten for my first born. I do have to tell you we rolled in about 3 am from a family reunion the night before. I stopped at Kroger to get some frozen waffles about 2:30 am just to make sure we had a great breakfast to get his day started off right. . .in what like 3 hours? Are you catching on to what might happen here?

I took him to school that morning. I have pics of how adorable he looks in his cute little private school uniform. By the way, all they accept as clothes are Lands End, but we were in seminary for pete's sake. Who has extra money for Land's End?

All day I wondered how he was doing. I wondered if he was getting along with the other kids and making friends. I figured I would pick him up and get an amazing glowing report at how well he took to the new Latin vocabulary words and that he was a natural.

I started on my way to get him. I was in the line with all of the other pimped up cars and I saw smoke spewing out of my 96 Jeep Grand Cherokee. (By the way, I have one for sale.) The smoke was pretty thick and I thought I better move this puppy out of the car line before we all explode. I pulled to the side, cut the car off and called on my trac phone to get help. My hubby started making the trip to rescue the family.

In the meantime, I still needed to pick up my son, so I walked across the parking lot to get him. I am sure that he was expecting a car, but all he had was me so I walked in the school to get him. His teacher found me quickly, and said, "Are you Hansel's mom?" I said yeah a little haggardly, but still expecting the praise report to come gushing now. She said,"Hansel had a little trouble today. You will need to talk with him at home about some of the things he did today. He taught all of the other kids "potty" words like poo poo and pee pee during lunch." I said I was so sorry and I would definitely talk with him at home and we would straighten this out.

I steered him away from the teacher and back to see if I could get my car and child under control. Right before I escaped into the parking lot, the "Head Master" stopped me. He said, "Is Hansel your son?" I am thinking, no. . .he is a neighbor's kid and I am just picking him up for today. I gritted my teeth and said yes. The Head Master said, "We had a few problems with him today and he will not be able to go to this school with this kind of behavior." I apologized and said, "We will straighten this out." He said that Hansel's teacher left for a few minutes and he had to check in on the class and asked that the class quieten down a little. Hansel blurted out, "You're not the boss of us."

No!!! This is not my child. The Head Master was actually quite ticked off about this little five year old telling him that he was not the boss. I don't know where he gets that kind of attitude??? :( So I told the Head Master, "Talk to the hand." Just kidding.

I was pretty much in shock at this point. Hansel has a lot of energy and sometimes gets a little ahead of himself, but I had never known him to be downright disrespectful or rude. I am not sure what was wrong with him. All I knew was that my car had just about caught on fire, my first born child's first day of kindergarten was a disaster and I was having to patiently wait for a ride home. I felt a little delirious. Several people stopped to see if I needed help and really hitching a 45 minute ride at that point did not sound appealing with someone I did not know.

Finally, hubs came to pick us up and I cried all the way home.

So, if today is your child's first day of kindergarten. . .lower your expectations just a hair and take it from me . . .it will probably not be this bad.

New Year's Resolution Revisited

I was thinking the other day. . .I wonder if I have accomplished any of my New Year's Resolutions and I am glad that I posted them. I am revisiting and going to highlight what I have accomplished thus far. I still have 1/2 month of August till December to get the other ones accomplished! The proof is in the pictures!!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

2008 New Year's Resolutions

I am blogging on this basically for my own accountability and reminders of what I am working on! It never hurts to share your deepest passions with all of cyberspace when you need a little accountability. Cheaper by the Half Dozen started this blog topic and has some great resolutions if you need help thinking of something. :)

I am reminded in a post by Wellblog on the subject of New Year’s Resolutions. “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”—Prov. 16:9 (NIV) I am keeping that in mind as I think of all that I want to do this year.

She also added in her post that they are doing a Bible study curriculu m (Faithlink Dec. 30, 2007, copyright Cokesbury) and it had this quote: “While a lot of people who make New Year’s resolutions do break them, research shows that maki ng resolutions is useful. People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.” (Quote by John Norcross, a researcher at the University of Scranton).

Spiritual Goals: How do you measure closeness with Jesus? My only guess is that you look more like Him each day. That’s the goal. The ways that I might attain this. . .
1) Consistent Quiet Time – my time is before bed because I usually hit the hay before hubby; It has been better this year than in a long time. . . not perfect, but on the right track
2) Memorizing Scripture with my family through Awana
3) Praying without ceasing

My vertical relationship will impact my horizontal relationships: reaching out and ministering to others

Family Goals:
1) More Time with my Hubby (You know . . .time)
2) To play with my kids. . .you know to get down on my hands and knees in the floor and play. . .they don’t want presents, they want my presence!! That is going to be my reminder this year. Presence not presents! I am still working on this. . .the other day I taught them how to play rummy which is much more enjoyable than Chutes and Ladders!
I was dugout mom for Gretel's t-ball team this year. That was a lot of fun.

3) I would say to clean my house better. . .nah!! Not important, right!? Maybe I could get a house cleaner in 2008! Woo Hoo!
4) Continue to pray and seek the Lord for wise counsel on our school decisions for next year. Decided to home school both this year. The Lord provided my sweet friend to tag team home school this year. Thank you, Lor d!

5) Continue with my meal planning because they save everyone from chaos during the week. It also saves our family money when I am able to think ahead. Yay!
Who can meal plan with this crazy crew???

6) Take a family vacation somewhere. Celebrate our 10th anniversary somewhere tropical even if I have to decorate the bedroom like a rain forest! 
7) Remember my family’s birthdays and try to get a card to them on or before their birthday. We will start with family first and then work our way to friends. Baby steps!

Physical Goals:
1) Continue with my crazy exercise program; it not only benefits me physically, but emotionally, mentally as well as socially! Wow, now that’s a keeper!
2) Eat well. Look for healthy alternatives to my faves: chips and dip and cookies!
3) Drink water. Like a camel. I will look young when I am 100. Now that’s for thinking ahead!
4) Run or walk in at least one 5K like the Race for the Cure. . .possibly a summertime 5K as well would be fun. Yay! This is me at the end of the Tax Run in our town.

5) Look for ways to push myself physically-like buy a bikini and look in the mirror every day with it on. Never mind. . .erase that mental picture! 

Personal Development Goals:
1) Possibly take classes to get my teaching certificate back; I am studying for the Praxis to get my license back as we speak
2) Continue blogging at least 3 times a week.
3) Work hard and diligently at my job with Apartment Life. Look for ways to honor God and help others in what I do. Take every thought captive when working with applicants.

This is a pic of some of my co-workers. It's not too hard to be diligent with all of the fun that we have between work!

4) Garden this Spring throughout the fall. Very enjoyable. Very rewarding.

Looks like a wild year. And my God always brings on a couple of extras in there. My hope is that my security will lie in Him only this year. . .not things, people or any other distractions. . .only in Him!

“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”—Prov. 16:9 (NIV)