Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thursday Thanks Tank

Without further ado...

...thankful that DaHubby's still working - even if his hours have been cut and we don't know week-to-week how many hours he'll be able to work

...thankful for DaHubby's scholarship which covers his textbooks - especially when I hear him say he's taking chemistry (*ching*), physics (*ching, ching*), mechanical operations (*cha-ching*), and pre-calc (*KA-CHING*) winter semester.

...thankful that DaHubby's emergency root canal Monday morning relieved his pain and that our dentist was able to get the tooth into such a state (albeit temporary) that the remaining procedures can wait a few weeks 'til (hopefully) we're more financially able to deal with it.

...thankful for all our far.

...thankful for the roof over my head, my utilities, a working furnace, and "warmer" (i.e. better insulated) windows.

...thankful for a fridge full of food including 2 drawers of produce and a freezer with several containers of chicken stock and gallons of milk.

...thankful (OH so thankful) that we went through Financial Peace University in the fall of 2007 because, as a result, we've been able to keep up on our payments in spite of DaHubby's hours fluctuating between 24-45 hrs/week for the last 9 months.

...thankful for my almost four-year-old "littlest man of the house" who has begun to open and hold doors for me.

...thankful for my big girl who can make me cry when she can already recite her Pledge of Allegiance perfectly thanks to her AWESOME kindergarten teacher

...thankful for the small moments - like when Pojke receives a treat and says "I'm gonna save some of this for (Flicka)" or when he starts spontaneously singing "oh no, You never let go...through the calm and through the storm..." or spouts out "I can do all things through Christ...flip-ee-ans four dot, dot thirteen"

...thankful for kids who are "getting it" and are thrilled with simply spending time together with a $1 DVD and some ice cream.

...thankful for the shower of comments this week about how cute, how well behaved, etc. the Vikings are. I *really* needed to hear that lately. A little validation goes a long way in my momma world.

...but most of all this week I find myself in wonder and utterly thankful for all the wonderful women God has placed in and around my life lately. The ladies from my Bible study group, MOMS Club, choir, my sisters-in-law, and online buds have no idea how they have lighten my load this week. So, a shout out to the Wednesday morning "Esther" ladies, Melanie, Amy, Melissa, the alto section, Susie, Peg, Heather, Shellie, and all my sweet friends/family on Facebook. THANK YOU!!

For more TTT, stop by Pam's place.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tuesday Tip Jar

Not exactly brain surgery but it's workin' for us this week...

A couple months back, I got a secondhand iPod Touch from a friend who was upgrading to an iPhone. Thanks to lots of free apps from Apple's app store, it's the gadget of choice for everyone in the house! LOL I gave DaHubby his own "page" of apps to play with as well as a page for the Vikings which contains some phonics games, some puzzles, and such along with some short Sesame Street podcasts that will keep one of them busy for 8-10 min of downtime. LOL

Well, combing and "doing" Flicka's hair each morning for school was becoming a real pain. The tangles, the whining, the actual doing, which accessories to use, etc. was just too much to deal with at 7:15 in the morning. LOL

One morning, I was trying to finish her hair as she was finishing her breakfast. And, my iPod happened to be on the dining room table since I had been getting my to-do list together for the day.

"Momma, can I play a game on your iPod?"

And, the lightning bolt struck...."sure, baby."

No more problems doing her hair! LOL The iPod was the perfect distraction from the de-tangling and doing and has got us out the door on time for over a week now!

For more Tuesday Tip Jar ideas, stop by Blogmommas today!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thursday Tanks Tank

Short and sweet...

Thankful for the Vikings - both miracles in their own way. Years of prayer, procedures, and medications preceded Flicka; Pojke proof to the contrary of my OB's advice that I'd likely have no more kids.

Thankful for my husband - who continues to amaze me with all he's juggling. The stress and anxiety must be so great. Money worries, unhappiness with his current job situation, full load of classes, barely any sleep. I don't know how he does it.

I have been waiting all year for this one - I'm thankful for my neighbor's "burning bush" which FINALLY I will now get to enjoy looking at out my window over my sink for the next few weeks. Absolutely beautiful.

Thankful...OH so thankful...for our emergency fund which apparently will be undergoing another test of its solvency since it appears DaHubby's work hours will be cut again soon.

For my Beth Moore Esther study and the ladies in my discussion group. The last 5 weeks have been AMAZING.

For Flicka's school, her teacher, and the rest of the staff. These people LOVE our kids and LOVE teaching. And, we're really enjoying the family feel...which is easier to achieve when there are only 70-some kids kindergarten through eighth grade LOL

And, for the wonderful people who watching over both Vikings at church. They are some of the best children's ministry people I have ever seen!

While we are exhausted juggling everything life is throwing at us, I think I'm more at peace right now than I've been in a long time. God is good. Our life is crazy but all in His hands. Praise Him!

Check our Pam's Thursday Thanks Tank archives here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: That's My Fish! LOL

For more WW, go here or here.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tuesday Tip Jar

I've had two requests on Twitter this past week about the refried bean recipe I use to I thought it would be worthwhile to just make it a post...

We eat A LOT of refried beans around here. Quesadillas and bean dip are two of our favorites. After buying cans and cans of store-bought stuff filled with tons of sodium and who-know-what, I decided to try making them myself. I started with the Happy Housewife's recipe and have gone from there.

So, basically, this is it:

7am Day One
One half a bag of dry pinto beans in several cups of water in my OFF crockpot. Soak for 12 hours.

7pm Day One
Check water level, turn crockpot on low.

7am Day Two
Turn off crockpot and let cool. Then, place in fridge.

Dinner time Day Two
Pour about 1-2 T of oil or butter (your choice, we use olive oil) in large pot or pan.

Scoop batches of beans into blender, adding water from crockpot as needed to desired consistency.

I also throw a small chopped onion into one blender batch.

Pour into pot or pan. Heat to simmer.

I add 1-2 tablespoon EACH of cumin, garlic powder, and chili pepper.

Stir frequently until desired consistency. Use for dinner that night or store for later meals.

Enjoy! To see more TTJ, go to Blogmommas today.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tuesday Tip Jar

Necessity is the mother of invention - and when you are traveling with young ones, out of necessity you get REAL inventive! LOL

The Vikings and I made a one-day road trip across the state to visit my best-est friend of 30+ years and her daughter who had just had a major surgery. And, from experience I knew we'd have "down time" here and there at the hospital in addition to the 3-hour travel time.

A year or so ago, I ordered some plain canvas bags from Oriental Trading. I took two of them and customized them for each Viking with their name. Then, I dubbed them their "busy bags". They can fill them with whatever toys, crafts, cars, etc. to bring along with them. And, they can't bring more than will fit in the bag easily.

We've used this idea when we travel as well as when I've had to take the Vikings unexpectedly to a meeting I attended. We've taken the bags to choir and praise & worship practice when DaHubby and/or I are on stage but the Vikings need something to keep them occupied.

It's has been a HUGE help in nearly every case!

For more TTJ, stop by today.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Which side of the comma are YOU living on?

Just a short blurb this morning:

This has been rattling around in my head since it was presented by our new pastor yesterday during his sermon. His new series is about "living like you're dying" - focusing on what's important, what's eternal while bettering situations and relationships here.

He cited John 10.10 during his sermon:

"The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have [it] more abundantly."

He had us look at that last comma. So, being the good English teacher, I did...

"...that they may have life [comma] and that they may have it more abundantly"

And, then he asked us - "which side of the comma are YOU living on?"

Do you just have life? Are you just breathin'?


are you living it more abundantly through Christ?


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Random Beliefs Meme

I was tagged by Carmen at In The Open Spaces for this and it is probably the best (and hardest) meme I've seen in a while...

“Here’s the idea. Post a collection of 10 things you believe, ethical, philosophical or theological. You choose how much to connect them or make them coherent: do you want people to know where you belong, or do you want to mix and match to keep them guessing? I encourage you not to aim for a totally coherent credal statement of faith, and I also encourage you to put one or two in about controversial topics.”

1. I believe that God still does miracles.

2. I believe that God can deliver anyone from any bondage in a split second.

3. I believe that being in relationship with God should be something about which you can get excited!

4. I believe that people in general need to quit worrying about what clothes, what makeup, what hairdo, what school, what car, what TV show, which Hollywood whoever or whatever else influences you and start worrying more about treating your family and those close to you as politely as you do to impress strangers.

5. Speaking of family, I believe "family" is made up of more than blood and marriage. I think it's also about kindred spirits who fill in those little Swiss cheese holes in your soul as well.

6. I believe that we are made up of millions and millions of small and large decisions we have made and that assuming that any one person's experience was *just* like yours is ludicrous. The fact that any of us have anything truly in common is a miracle from Heaven. Because of this, there is no way to truly understand what a person's history is, the repercussions/consequences of that history, or what he/she is thinking, going through, etc. So, when you start to look down your nose at someone who is different - STOP IT!

6. I believe cussing (beyond the religious objection of taking the Lord's name in vain) simply shows a lack of vocabulary and a laziness about learning to express oneself effectively.

7. I believe in a marriage policy of "do not let the sun go down on your anger" even if it requires instances where neither of you sleep until it's resolved.

8. I believe that if one wants a spouse who is honest, faithful, and trustworthy then one should consider being COMPLETELY honest, COMPLETELY faithful, and COMPLETELY trustworthy (avoiding even the slightest appearance of inappropriate behavior) in all things oneself first.

9. While I believe that "all men" share some similar characteristics due to the way God built them, I also believe it is just as offensive to make statements that start with "all men..." as we women find statements offensive that start with "all women..."

10. And, I believe that intelligent people of different faiths, backgrounds, and worldviews can still have a civil conversation and agree to disagree.

For the tagging part...I know y'all are busy but I love how these ladies' minds work so I tag Anita, Sara, and Heather.