Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Etymologically Speaking

I love words. I do. I love to see them written, I love to learn where they come from, I love that such simple little symbols have such treasure in their formation, just a surprise waiting to happen. One of the phrases I really like is (drum roll, please!): Spittin' Image. I was and am the spittin' image of my mom, and of course I hated to hear it. Now my kids hear it all the time. I think most kids cringe when they hear it. Sometimes I laugh and smile and without catching myself in a reflection I feel like I look like my mom, thinking, "I'm laughing just like her right now." And I'm realizing don't mind as much as I used to.

The meaning hiding inside this little phrase, Spittin' Image, is a task I have pledged my best attempt to achieve. Most people can define the phrase but it was a surprise to me to learn that this phrase is probably a slightly morphed contraction of 'Spirit & Image.' Hmmm. Now that gives me a completely different view of the phrase. It changes the phrase from a back-woods, slightly gross sounding expression to one that a person might actually want to be referred.

I received some bad news last week. My dad has stage IV cancer, which means that it is, at this point, inoperable. He's in Pennsylvania, I'm in Minnesota. There is nothing physically I can do, but I am praying. And my friends are praying. Full of God's Holy Spirit, they are the Spirit and Image of Jesus to me as they raise their voice in prayer, as they hug and encourage, as they cry with me. I only hope I can be the spittin' image of Jesus' love, grace and mercy to the people in my life, especially my dad and family during this illness.

Father God, help me be Your spittin' image!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

More Organizing Plans

OK - so our kitchen is a wreck.

1) We started a big painting project, cupboards and walls, and the walls are done, the cupboard frames are done, some of the doors still need to be hung, most need at least one more coat of paint, but I can do that when they are hung. So the hanging and painting must be finished. New flooring will have to wait until there is money, or someone donates to this fabulous cause.

2) My hubby started working (YAY!) again about 5 weeks ago and this is great... and stressful since many of the around the house stuff he had pretty much taken over are not only his responsibility alone anymore. I kind of feel like I should have caught some of these duties but just stood there with my hands at my side. So... we are spending way too much time trying to think about what to make, way too many trips to the store, buying stuff without a real list and getting home to find we just bought a third bottle of apple cider vinegar - and one bottle goes pretty far! And if we had looked, would we have found it anyway? Our cupboards are so full they desperately need some organization and help! So our planning sucks and our cupboards are pigsties.

3) Since I painted, mostly anyway, and really it's just time, the cupboard insides need to be cleaned, degreased, and new contact paper laid. I found a fun polka dot pattern that matches the paint and makes me happy every time I see it... in the one cupboard I did... over two months ago. That cupboard is also our storage container/Tupperware cupboard which only takes 2 days to mess up so it needs help again too.

4) I also need to go through the cupboards and note what foods we have, also the freezer and do some meal planning from the plethora of ingredients on hand.

Whew! When is this getting done? I don't know, but I'll be so happy about it I'll be sure to post pictures. But we need a plan to go forward with and since I'd much rather plan than do, I made a chart to help us with meal planning and shopping. I plan to just cut off the shopping list end on my way out the door. Here it is (and if you want to use it, feel free, or if you would rather have it as a spreadsheet, just tell me, then you can change it as needed):

I also think I'm going to make a list (I know this is going to sound super anal retentive!) of all the 'normal' meals we make so we will have a quick idea reference when we just can't come up with anything. Hubby doesn't think this will be too helpful, but we lose nothing by trying. Last week we made Taco Pie, which was so good, but it just hadn't occurred to us to make it for a while (like a year?). So I hope that will be helpful, too, and help us be better planners. I'm just going to post it on the inside of a cupboard door.

So... let me know how you organize this stuff. What works for you? What's easy to maintain?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Check this link:

My sister-in-law just sent me this link to Foodgawker. I am in such a planning & cooking rut, this could be exactly what I need, especially with all the great photos of each recipe! Although I would definitely like your favorite recipes, too, and info on how you plan and stay on top of the whole food/cooking/thing - rescue me, send them my way!


We actually got to eat dinner on the deck last night. It's one of my favorite things to do and because of the completely un-summer-like weather we've been having and busy schedules, July 20th was the first day this actually happened. After dinner, because I said I'd try, I took a couple pictures of the kiddos last night. Grace was happy to pose, Micah not so much.
Grace has finally learned, when she feels like it, that she can actually swing by herself. Though it's easier on the rocket rider, it is definitely a step toward independence! Yay!
On Sunday afternoon, during Micah's birthday gathering, Micah was out swinging in the back with all the kids and suddenly was on the ground. The chain broke, sent him tumbling hard on his tailbone & knocked the wind out of him. Since I didn't take any pictures of the party or Micah writhing on the ground I made him show the damage last night.
Acting like he broke it on purpose with the wiry strength of a 14 year old.
And checking out the damage.
This last picture makes me laugh. Once in a while I am shocked by the age and size difference in our two children. Nine years, until September they are 10 years apart. Wow, a big'un and a litl'un. I don' think a day has gone by in the last few months that Micah has not stood next to me, obviously measuring my inferior height, and reveling in his, dreaming about how tall he will one day be.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Some Random Bits this Monday

I should never go to this website when I have anything to do. But maybe you'll like it. It's like solitaire on the computer, so easy to 're-deal' and just do one more before you do whatever you're supposed to do... Also Bejeweled on facebook...

We had Micah's not-really-a-party birthday party yesterday with family and in-laws and family friends. Micah really wanted money, as 14 year olds do, and he got enough to order his new itouch. I think I'm jealous, but I'll let you know for sure after I play with his when it comes. It will also come engraved with his name which we hope will deter thieves as he has now had two ipods go missing. The last one was during the nap he took during the last couple hours on the bus home from the Denver mission trip. Very sad to say he went to sleep with it on & playing and woke up to it being gone. We checked each seat, we dug through the garbage, we hoped someone accidentally scooped it up with their stuff and would give it back when it was discovered. It's been 3 weeks and not a peep. We can only assume that it was stolen by someone on the trip since it was on the bus when it went missing. Very sad. But the new, improved & engraved version is on it's way!

And how about this video? Our God is amazing!!!

Quick book review: I'm reading Angels & Demons by Dan Brown and I think it's an OK novel. I'm not sold on the whole Illuminati storyline but do like all the references to historical European locations. And I will admit to being intrigued with the idea that God and science can coexist as belief systems. Which I do agree with. I'm not saying I think that the big bang theory is correct, but I do look at things in nature, things concerning various branches of science, and think what an amazing God we have. Were there dinosaurs on Noah's arc? I don't know. Did that story even happen? Yes. Did the unicorns get left behind? Now I'm getting silly, but I liked that song when I was a kid. My point is, I think God is the creator, which means He created science and I think they can exist together and that's OK, as long as science doesn't become your god. I saw a bumper sticker the other day, " Fine - I evolved (pic of fish w/ legs), you didn't! (pic of Jesus fish sans legs)." I thought it was funny.

My legs hurt today, like I've worked out, but I haven't. I think I would have noticed, but should probably take this opportunity to start, again. I keep saying that we need a membership to Snap Fitness... And we want to set a better example for our kids. So far they are quite slender, but Grace is a grazer and Micah could certainly expand his diet to more fruits & veggies...

Tonight I have laundry, bathing Grace, and I hope to go through and organize the cupboards which are a BIG point of embarrassment. I'll let you know how this all goes.

I haven't been fulfilling my contractual obligations as the family photographer lately, but I'll try to rectify that too and get some on here! I told you this was random! Ta-ta!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Who I Am

I was on facebook, as is my habit as I turn on the computer in the mornings, and saw a comment on something a friend posted by someone from my past. Someone I immediately associate with past hurts, someone who's name makes me 'see red' in anger, someone who makes me feel like a little, lonely girl again. Wow. So right away I thought, 'Oh God! (and not in a blasphemous way) I thought I was done with this!' I guess I'm not done with this. :o(

My fabulous church has a class they do a couple times a year that details some great tools for spiritual growth and one of these tools talks about emotional hooks and looking below the surface to heal root issues, not merely medicate symptoms that are bound to return. (How'm I doin', Brenda?) So God and I had a little talk about this unexpected emotional response I had.

I feel like God said 'Trust Me, I'm still working on you' and reminded me of His Word:
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
~ 2 Corinthians 10:4-5
I will not walk in those old emotions, I will not dwell in those strongholds! I will not. Instead, today I am pressing into who God says I am. I am His and He says I have value. I am not powerless and alone.

Thank you Papa, keep working on me, open my eyes to see You at work and discern Your Truth.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

These Posts on Facebook

I just wanted to send a quick note to everyone who sees these posts on facebook. They are realy coming from my blog, Now & Then, Here & Now, This & That, which I have linked to my facebook account for the time being. My friends on facebook range from childhood friends to family and current friends and the views expressed in my blog may surprise you, please you, or make you want to un-friend me. I'll admit to having clicked the 'see less of ****' button on facebook a time or two. As much as I'd like to say that these posts will come 5 days a week, they won't and you won't hurt my feelings if you ignore them and I won't ask if you read them. I just thought I'd tell you why you may see random posts from me! Of course, always feel free to comment, as long as you're kind.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I don't suck anymore!

I play keyboards once in a while for our weekend worship services and often feel like the learning curve with these amazing musicians is quite high. To challenge myself to learn I have started asking some of the other keyboard players if I can come to their practices and pretty much just hang over their shoulders to see what they are playing. Probably a bit disconcerting for them, but a great way for me to see and better hear their musical genius. (I feel like I should say something here like, 'Ha, ha, HAH!!!!' while tapping my fingers together...but I digress.) Last Wednesday I sat in on practice and when I was leaving, I had a conversation something like this:

Me: Thanks for letting me come watch over your shoulder!
Her: No problem.
(something... something)
Me: I really just want to learn. I want to not suck.
Her: You don't suck, don't say that...

Which all sounds pretty pathetic when I type it out. BUT something really good came from this whole sad conversation. I realized that I really don't suck. I realized that I have been walking in that lie for so long that I really believed it, previously, and it was such a habit to think of myself that way that it just popped out of my mouth. And when I was gently challenged on it, I actually heard the lie for what it was. Huh. All this personal stuff to say that this is an area of my life where God has really been working. I feel completely differently about myself. I have a bunch more confidence and I can feel the approval of my heavenly Daddy. I always knew it in my head like a fact, now I feel it in my heart. He's changing me from the inside out, changing my perspective. I wonder what He'll do next!

And, since I wrote the majority of this post, I've had the opportunity to play on a weekend worship team. While I'm not quite ready to tour, I had a blast and walked away feeling really good about the night, and I know that this change inside me made the worship even better than all the practice did.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Recipe Box, but not on Wednesday

Ever year, for the past 3 or 4, we have made Brandy Slushes for the 4th of July barbecue at my in-laws. They are so good on a hot summer day! I thought I'd share the citrus-y goodness with you! (Thanks to my Aunt Elaine for the fab recipe!)

Brandy Slush

7 C. cold water - bring to a boil and add
2 C. sugar - let simmer for 2 minutes, remove from heat & cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, in a separate pot:
2 C. cold water - bring to a boil and add
4 teabags (I use plain ol' Lipton), steep 5 minutes, remove from heat, squeeze out tea bags, & cool.

In ice cream bucket (5 quart size), add:
12 oz. can frozen (thawed) OJ concentrate
12 oz. can frozen (thawed) lemonade concentrate
2 C. Brandy (brand of your choice)
& the above 2 mixtures.

Stir well & freeze covered, stirring occasionally. Consistency should be slushy.

To serve, fill tall glass half full with slush & fill remaining half with chilled club soda
(or tonic, but we don't like it as well). Mix w/spoon/straw & serve. Yummy!

Let me know how you like it! Mmmm-mmm!