Saturday, April 28, 2007

Photo Hunters - Rare

Photo Hunters theme for this week was "rare." I've been thinking about this for two weeks and was truly uninspired until I came home with some left-overs from dinner out with my dad. My dad likes his steak rare. This is what it looked like when I brought it home, practically "mooing" as far as I was concerned.

The Hunt - Rare

I had to actually COOK it before eating any of us would eat it. Once it wasn't so "rare" anymore, we all thought it made a delicious dinner.

TNChick is sick this week. If you're so inclined, please keep her in your prayers.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Left-over mac & cheese?

Before I figured this recipe out I used to just end up throwing away any left-over macaroni & cheese after several days in the 'frig. Nobody would eat it - me included. But I really don't like wasting food. Once I started making this recipe, my daughters practically fight over the left-overs. It's easy too.

Take yesterday's mac & cheese and warm it for about 35 seconds in the microwave. Melt a little butter or magarine on a griddle or in a skillet then add the mac & cheese. Use a spatula to spread it into a thin layer. Let it get a nice and crispy and a little brown on the bottom and the flip it. Another few minutes on the other side and it's ready to top with a sprinkling of shredded cheddar cheese. Sometimes we'll mix in left-over ham or a sliced hot dog or two. Certainly not low calorie but we don't eat mac & cheese all the often so it's not something we eat everyday.

When I have left-over macaroni & cheese, this recipe works for me!

Other WFMW tips.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Photo Hunters - Steps

I was looking for picture of "steps" for the week's Photo Hunters. I wanted to drive to Santa Fe to take a picture of the Laredo Staircase. But alas, it wasn't a good day for a road trip (and there wasn't food involved.) So as I was trying to think of some other good steps these came to mind.

The Hunt - Steps

This is the staircase at our cabin during last summer's family reunion.

But I like this picture of these steps even better. I know that it's not the best picture but it's precious to me. Here is my 17 year old nephew playing with his cousin, my Shorty, by sliding like a madman down the steps over and over again. He's an amazingly sweet young man.

Step over to TNChick's for her take on the theme.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Love Thursday #32

He'll still love me...

Last Friday, Pastormac was out of town. So we did what we always do when he's gone - we went out to eat. I packed up The Production and took them down to the neighborhood New York style pizzeria for lunch. We called in our order ahead of time so the food was on the table when we walked in the door. It was a beautiful thing. Pizzas, calzones, cheese bread, sodas. What a feast. We had a great time. I have great kids and lately I've been learning to just pause and enjoy these special moments.

As we were leaving, Joe Cool (He's 7.) was expressing with enthusiasm how much he had enjoyed his calzone. "When I get married," he said, "I'm going to bring my wife here to share a yummy calzone." Sounded like a good plan to me, I told him. Upon hearing this, #1 Son, who's nearly 10, chimed in that he hoped that his wife would like rollercoasters. (He loves rollercoasters!) "I'm sure she will." I reassured him. This got Shorty (my baby) thinking.

"When I get married..." He paused just a moment to think, his eyebrows furrowing. "...I'll still love you, Mama."

My heart runneth over with love.

Happy Love Thursday. May love fill your heart to the top and spill over the edges today. Love Is All Around.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Here's an easy way to stretch your cleaning-supply dollars. When adding detergent to your washing machine, or dishwasher, don't feel the need to add the full "recommended" amount. Keep in mind, that the folks that make those cleaners want you to use it up just as quickly as possible so you'll be buying more soon. I've found that most often I can use less and still get things clean. A while back I even read a WFMW tip that said that using less detergent in your washer can prolong it's life!

I also apply this when I'm mixing up a bucket of water for mopping or cleaning up around the house.

You might need to try a little trial & error to determine just the right amount for you as your water's mineral content can affect how well some cleaners work.

Having to buy less cleaning supplies (that stuff is expensive!) - works for me...everyday!

Check out all the other WFMW tips.

And don't forget that today is the day that we're going to "bless Heather's socks off!" Please go by BooMama's for all the details. Let's show Heather a lot of love.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Photo Hunters - Hobby

This week's Photo Hunters theme of the week was, "hobby." I have many hobbies that I enjoy so it was a difficult choice. I thought about doing something dealing with photography, but then I saw TNChick's amazing choice and decided on something else. Just so happens that tonight I was tying some macramé to give away as a present. I really enjoy doing it. So it an easy choice for The Hunt.

The Hunt - Hobby

Taking these

And making it into this.

mac·ra·mé –noun - an elaborately patterned lacelike webbing made of hand-knotted cord, yarn, or the like, and used for wall decorations, hanging baskets, garments, accessories, etc.

I've been doing it for years. I taught myself using this terrific book.. I make bracelets, anklets, necklaces & chokers, key chains and bookmarks. I like varying patterns, beads, and dangles. It's a lot of fun and pretty easy to learn. And the results make nice, inexpensive gifts.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Love Thursday #31

Sometimes love finds you...

Since I have absolutely no news on our adoption front, today I'll tell a little story about how once we were adopted ourselves.

Almost two years ago, #1 Son and Joe Cool were playing in the front yard. #1 Son came running into the house yelling, "Joe Cool has a bird on his shoulder!!" "Is it still there?" I asked. "Yes!" So I ran outside for a look and sure enough, here came Joe Cool with a little green bird perched on his shoulder. He told me that they had been playing on the tire swing when the bird flew over and landed on his shoulder. While I stayed in our boot room with the bird, the rest of the family canvassed the neighborhood, knocking on doors to see if they could find this little birdie's home, but to no avail. No one was missing a bird.

We didn't know the first thing about birds and never imagined have one as a pet. So we put him in our green house for a couple of days until we could figure out what to do with him. We put an ad in our town paper and decided we ought to take him to the vet to make sure he was healthy. From the vet we learned that this bird is a peach-face love bird and a very sweet friendly one at that. He's an adult bird but we can't really know how old he is. We also learned that bird like this can fly over 100(!) miles. In other words, there's just no telling where he came from. So, when no one answered our ad, we decided that we'd be his new family. He'd chosen us, afterall! It was meant to be. We brought a cage and other bird-keeping supplies and let him join "The Production."

Sometimes we find love and sometimes love finds us. Whether you are finder or the find, I hope your Love Thursday is full of love. Love Is All Around.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Sure am glad I dropped by Mary's. Her WFMW tip is not only a really good one that I've tried myself, I was also reminded that tomorrow is Wednesday. I was thinking that tomorrow was Tuesday!

Here's my idea.

Instead of threaten my little boys (5 & 7) with dire consequences should they give the babysitter (usually their older sister) a hard time while I'm gone, I make them each a "Babysitter's Assistant." As assistants, they are to be helpful, cheerful, obedient. and NO fighting. Upon my return, if the babysitter reports to me they have done a good job as assistants, they then are "paid" with a star each. The boys save their stars and use them to "buy" special treats like an ice cream at DQ or a small toy.

This works so well for us. I haven't had a problem with leaving the boys with their sister since I instituted this plan. I appreciate that it encourages their good behavior instead of threaten negative results for bad behavior. It's made all the difference in the world for my boys.

Definitely works for me!

Now you can go on over to Shannon's to see what's working for a bunch of other ladies.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Cherishing Every Moment

On Sunday morning during our Easter worship service, Shorty wanted me to hold him while we stood singing. As I held him, it occurred to me that this would likely be the last Easter I'd be able to do so. Not just because he's growing and is just about too big to fit into my arms anymore, but also because next year my arms will be full of another little person.

Soon we'll both be saying goodbye to his "being the baby of the family" days. Albeit a bit painfully - for both of us.

So on Sunday, while he still fit in my arms, as he laid his head on my shoulder, when he asked me what we were singing about, I was cherishing every moment. I was asking God to sear this special memory in my heart that I may never lose it, thankful for the awareness of how precious this time was.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Photo Hunters - Clean

This week the Photo Hunters theme was, "clean."

As a follower of Jesus, this weekend has special significance to me. His death and resurrection have brought a new meaning of the word "clean" to my life.


The Hunt - Clean

This is where I learned about what it truly means to be clean.

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Psalm 51:10 (New American Standard Bible)

Nothing but the Blood
by Robert Lowry

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

O precious is the flow
that makes me white as snow;
no other fount I know;
nothing but the blood of Jesus.

For my pardon this I see:
nothing but the blood of Jesus.
For my cleansing this my plea:
nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Nothing can for sin atone:
nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Naught of good that I have done:
nothing but the blood of Jesus.

This is all my hope and peace:
nothing but the blood of Jesus.
This is all my righteousness:
nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Don't forget to drop by TNChick for her take on the "clean" theme.

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Love Thursday #30

A heart cupcake from our Adoption Bake Sale Fundraiser

Love is...waiting.

It's been over a week since we accepted our adoption referral. And we don't have any news. So we wait.

We're waiting to hear that the children have been moved to a foster home where the staff there will know that they are to be siblings. We're waiting to hear the results of a second round of medical testing. We're waiting to hear that we've been assigned a court date. We wait to hear anything.

We wait knowing that God's hand has been in this and He will bring it to pass.

It's a miraculous thing to be connected to two little people on the other side of the world whom we've never met. So we wait.

Love Thursday& Love Is All Around.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

WFMW - Car Helps Edition

This week's Works-for-Me Wednesday is a special Car Edition. Shannon was looking for the "best tips for handling life on the go. How to entertain the kids in the car, or keep up with your little league gear, or how to stock an auto first aid kit."

Here are the tips that came to mind.

  • I know that winter is past but here's a cold weather car tip anyway. It's always a hassle getting Shorty buckled into his 5-point carseat with his winter coat on. Instead of loosening the belt, I have him take his coat off, buckle up, and then I help him put his coat on backwards. It acts just like a blanket with armholes. It's also very handy if the car heater gets the interior nice and toasty, he's not stuck sweltering with his coat on. He can just take it off himself and then put it back on the right way when we get where we're going.

  • I wrote about this one last summer but it certainly fits the theme so I'll include it here.

    This is one of the ways that I make driving home exciting and bearable for our two youngest guys. We started playing it when the youngest was around 3. He's 5 now. It's a good way to break up the trip into manageable pieces. Once we're on our way, I tell the guys to look for some visible landmark coming up - a restaurant, a store, a factory or construction zone with big earth-movers, a home with something unusual in the yard. They get very excited and start looking. The older kids will usually help with hints or which side of the car to be looking. Sometimes when I'm feeling especially brain-fried, the older kids will help me come up with things to look for. The littles guys really get into it, "What's next?! What's next?!" and "I see it! There is it!" When we get closer to home, they start seeing things that they're used to looking for and so recognize that home is close.

    It's pretty mind-less and I don't hear, "Are we almost home yet??!!" a hundred times a trip (X2).

  • When we're going on a long trip sometimes we play a type of alphabet game that goes something like this.

    Pastormac begins, “Aunt Bertha went to the store and she got an (item that begins with A.)" Then I go, “Aunt Bertha went to the store and she got (the A item that Pastormac listed) and an (item that begins with B.)" And so on. Each person says the list of things and then adds one on an item beginning with the next letter in the alphabet. Play continues until Z is reached or everyone is tired of playing.

    Pastormac: “Aunt Bertha went to the store and she got an apple.”
    Me: “Aunt Bertha went to the store and she got an apple and bubble bath.“
    Sweetanlo: “Aunt Bertha went to the store and she got an apple and bubble bath and chips.
    Rummy: “Aunt Bertha went to the store and she got an apple and bubble bath and chips and donuts...

    Of course, as the list gets longer, we all need a little help to remember what has already been listed.

    Can be played by listing animals....“Aunt Bertha went to the zoo and she got an anteater.”

  • One more tip.

  • When one of my kids would finish toilet training, for about a year after, I always had a bag in the trunk packed with a change of clothes, some wipes and a few plastic grocery bags. Accidents do happen and its really a bummer to be away from home without a change of clothes when they do. Being prepared spared us embarassment and unnecessary hassle. I just had to remember to bring the plastic grocery bag of wet/dirty clothes into the laundry room once we got home.

Lots of great WFMW Car Edition helps over at Rocks in My Dryer.

Monday, April 02, 2007

This vacuum really sucks! Really!

Dyson. The vacuum cleaner coveted by many. Ahem, not me of course, but many. That kind of quality costs A LOT!

One lucky person is going to get one for FREE! Did you catch that? FREE! 5 Minutes for Mom is giving away the new Dyson Slim! I want one. I want one. I want one.

You can go here to get the details about signing up for a chance to win.