Monday, December 31, 2007

Looking Back and Forward

I keep recalling what I learned in college and finding it continues to apply to my life even now, almost 10 years after graduation. Each semester, I would go to my new classes and listen as the professor would outline the coming semester and the requirements for the course. At least one class each semester would have projects and requirements that I would think were beyond me. "No way I can do that," I would think. Of course at the time I would know that I had no choice but to try, so I would dig in and do it as best I could. At the end of the semester, I would look at the completed project and find that I actually could do whatever the professor required. About halfway through college God spoke to me about it. He made me realize that new things are intimidating but nothing I am asked to do, accademically, spiritually, practically, etc, is beyond me if He wants me to do it. It is easy to get discouraged or afraid but God gives us what we need to do what He asks us to do. The wisdom God gave me in college to handle my coursework, has served me well in the life He has given me since. Teaching, parenting, marriage, housework, church work, these are all things that provide challenges to us and sometimes seem overwhelming. It has become important to me to remember that if God has given me a task He will give me what I need to accomplish it. Praise the Lord for his wonderful provision for us.
19And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ. Jesus
Philipian 4:19

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Praise God

We are really feeling God's hand on us this week. He has been merciful and blessed us tremendously.

1. Seth and Mindy were in an accident, but were within a mile of the best hospital for head injuries in the area. They would have life flighted Seth to this hospital if necessary.

2. DS's injury was pretty minor and he seems to be doing well.

3. No one else was hurt.

4. My sister and her husband were already on their way to Arkansas when we got word, and arrived quickly to lend support and comfort.

5. Seth was moved out of ICU yesterday and into a regular room.

6. Today they had him up and walking around and he got along okay, making two laps around the square.

7. The CAT scan this morning revealed improving conditions.

8. Their house has been on the market for several months, and they put an ad in the paper recently to rent it, and this morning got a promising call, and the people who looked at it will probably rent it.

10. Shan and I went ahead with our holiday plans to his parents and made it ahead of the snow storm that hit our area today.

God is so good. May we all feel His peace and joy at Christmas.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Pray Please

I should have blogged this last night but didn't think of it. My sister and her family were in a car accident last evening. She and the kids seem fine for the most part, my nephew DS has a mouth injury but he went home last night. My brother-in-law Seth is in intensive care with a head injury. He has swelling on the brain and some bleeding. He is conscious, aware, and we are cautiously optimistic as to his prognosis. He was driving and has skull fractures in both temporal bones and the base of his skull. So at this point we are thankful that things aren't worse. We fired up the prayer chain at church and among family. It is amazing to see God's answer even to this point. Seth isn't out of the woods, but they are hopeful that he will be soon. Please lift him up this week and my sister Mindy as she is dealing with him and three kids six and under.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

My kids crack me up

Me: I said add a little bit, that is more than enough.

Jo: Mama, did you know that I'm just little and sometimes I don't know what a little bit is?

Oh my goodness. That made me laugh out loud. Isn't she funny?

Letter from Je:

Dear Mom and Dad,

I have been good this ye!

Love Je***

Works for Me Wednesday Christmas

I have a few tried and true recipes that I can reliably turn out without fear. I inherited this recipe from my mom. I spent years hearing her talk about how easy it is. And she is right. I looks complicated and difficult, but if you follow the steps it is a snap.

We usually make this at Christmas but it is good at other times. It has a winter and a summer version.

Ice Cream Roll

3 eggs (1/2-2/3 cup)
1/3 cup water
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1tsp vanilla
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 gallon peppermint ice cream

Beat eggs until thick and lemony (5-10 minutes) Beat in sugar then blend in water and vanilla. Gradually add dry ingredients, beat till smooth. Line a jelly roll pan (11x 15 inch) with wax paper, pour in cake. Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes. Sprinkle kitchen towel with powdered sugar. When the cake comes out flip it over onto the towel, then peel off wax paper carefully, and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Roll cake up from one end. Let cake cool for at least an hour. Unroll, spread with peppermint icecream. Reroll and freeze. This a great thing to make ahead and have ready. Stores nicely in the freezer for a while. I wrap it in foil and then put in a ziplock if I want to save it for over a week. I usually get about eight slices per cake. To serve, it looks good to drizzle chocolate syrup on the plate and then put the cake on it garnishing it with whip cream. It looks nice with the chocolate cake swirl and pink peppermint ice cream

It takes half of a half gallon box. So I usually make two cakes at a time. The square package works easiest, you can slice off thin slices to lay on the cake. I used about six slices of ice cream per cake. I usually only mix up one cake batter at a time, and bake one at a time. The most important step is beating the eggs. If you don't beat them enough, the cake is not spongy it is flat.

In the spring and summer, I leave out the cocoa and substitute cool whip or whipped cream and 2 cups sliced strawberries. It is fabulous.

If you can't find peppermint ice cream you can use mint chocolate chip. This is a great dessert for those heavy holiday meals, the mint is a nice taste and it isn't heavy. It also has the added bonus of looking fancy and difficult but it really isn't hard. If I can make it then anyone can do this. I promise.

Go check out Rocks in My Dryer for more works for me tips.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Mother of the Year Committee? Call me.

Oh yeah I absolutely deserve this. I had both girls crying at the same time. I am soooo good at this. NOT. After a daddyless day I snapped. It doesn't help that they are tired and were naughty. Maybe mama needs a nap. I would like to blame it on being alone with them all day, but my mother spent the day with us. We went to the mall. I am so glad I didn't need to buy anything, cause it was crazy out there. More incentive to start shopping early, like January. Seriously.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

As I Promised

I have been talking about our redecorating at church some and finally we finished phase one of the plan (and maybe all of the plan) so I took pictures last night at the Christmas Program. In all we painted several rooms, and they look great, if I do say so myself. My mom was the decorator, she picked the colors and made curtains. We had help from others in the painting and more handyman aspects of the task. Gene and Jeannie, a retired couple came in several times to help as did another retired lady one afternoon. All of the rooms were painted linen white, which is a basic creamy white color. Eleven years ago we did that, thinking we would add color and decorating as we went. Now, no one did anything so it was time to do something.

We started in the secretary's office. It was cluttered and crowded with too many pieces of office furniture. We took out the cabinet, empty computer desk and long table. We will get some new low cabinets to work on but for now we we have a big open space. We moved the desk to the angled wall and it feels great. We had to get a new folding machine last month and plan a new copier next spring. Lots of changes really fast. In the pastor's office we took out an old battered file cabinet, and a metal bookshelf. We already had some pretty oak book cases and we moved them to the other wall. We painted the walls the same taupe color as everwhere else, but added an oak chair rail and crown moulding. beneath the chair rail we painted a dark navy color.
Mom made tailored curtains to coordinate the two colors. We discovered that Frank had a talent and interest in furniture refinishing so we asked him to refinish the desk top. It was battered and waterstained. Now it looks fantastic. We moved the phone line to another wall so that we could move the desk around. Now a person can see out the window from the desk without getting up.
We painted the youth room and
re-christened it the junior room. We hung posters and the parachute from last year's VBS. I missed getting a picture of it. We also painted the little bathroom next to the office. We got a bigger mirror and put up a border. We also put a larger lightbulb in the fixture and it looks so much brighter and less dingy. We painted the double classroom the taupe color and moved the cabinets around a bit. It is easier to move around the tables now when the class is full. We then painted the three sabbath school rooms. Two we painted taupe with a rusty red chair rail. In the open classroom we used a dark blue. We originally bought it for the study, but it wasn't dark enough so we got a darker navy color for it. Mom made curtains for the first red classroom. Right now the class is two boys so she tried to find a neutral pattern. The other red classroom has three girls and they wanted to be in the picture when I took it. They were playing dress up before the program. We moved the cabinet away from the traffic pattern near the door so it is out of the bonk zone. It feels good to have it updated, and it feels really good to have it done. It took a bit of effort, but we had such a nice group of people working that it was almost fun.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Works for Me Wednesday: Hair Things

I have girls. This is not new information I am sure but it is relevant. You see, girls come with hair. And my girls have a lot of it. Je's hair is very very thick. Even thicker than mine and that is saying something. It also has the same texture as her dad's which isn't as great for her but she has a lot of hair. Last year when she cut it for Locks of Love it was a big change, but her hair has grown back mostly. It isn't quite as long but we're close. Long hair is easier to do for me since I had long hair for probably 30 of my 34 years. It's what I know. Which is why I was less than pleased when Jo cut her hair last spring. It is finally growing out and I trimmed it recently to even it up. All this is a long winded into to the hair things. I used to keep our ever growing collection of hair ribbons, barrettes and things, in a basket on the counter in the bathroom. Then it grew to two baskets. And they were overflowing. Now maybe it is just me, but I like the hair things to coordinate with their outfits. I also love Gymboree hair things but they are way expensive. I will write another post sometime on making my own hair things. I still need practice, but they are looking pretty good.

I went to Big Lots and bought one of those drawer things. It is a small Rubbermaid cabinet, with three drawers. I labeled each drawer, Barrettes, Elastic Bands, Scrunchies and Pretties. Then I put each hair thing in the proper drawer. I showed the system to the girls. Now the counter is clear of hair things. The really great thing is that my kids like to put their things in the right drawer. Je especially loves to do it. I will toss things on the counter as I walk by, to be put away later, and when I go back later, she has already done it. So it really works for me.

Go on over to visit Rocks in My Dryer for other tips.

(I didn't know I would want to do this so there are no pictures of the old way. I simulated as best as possible. It still looks better that before.)

I have been hoping for a sunny day to take pictures up at church to show you the finished project, but it has been overcast for the last week, so hard to show you the new look. I may just take them and be done with it!