Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Just Poppin' In

to say that I have written 3 or 4 posts since you last heard from me. BUT, I am either not satisfied with them, or they are incomplete. I'll try to be better, really I will, or at least I probably will, OK - I might be better... For sure I have a recipe for tomorrow and I'll try to make some of the other posts presentable. Thanks for hanging in there!



Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Double Chocolate Fantasy Bars? Yes, Please!

Someone at work brought these in and I had to have the recipe. Turns out, it's one of those super easy recipes that uses a cake mix as a base and it only takes a couple minutes to whip up. I think I will keep these ingredients on hand!

Double Chocolate Fantasy Bars
1 pkg of chocolate cake mix
1/4 c vegetable oil
1 egg
1 c chopped nuts (walnuts)
1 (14 oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
6 oz (half a bag) semisweet chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla
dash of salt

Preheat oven at 350 degrees F. In large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, oil and egg.
Beat on medium speed until crumbly.  Stir in nuts.

Reserving 1 1/2 cups of the crumb mixture, press the remainder on bottom of
13 x 9 inch greased baking pan.

In a small saucepan combine sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips and salt.  Over medium heat stir until chips have melted.  Add vanilla and pour evenly over prepared crust.

Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture evenly on top.  Bake 25-30 min or until bubbly.
Cool thoroughly.  Cut into bars, store loosely covered at room temp.  Makes 36.

It makes this delicious fudgy layer in the middle. You should try these!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


The story of Jonah from Corinth Baptist Church on Vimeo.

Such passion! How do you read the Bible? Memorize Scripture? Internalize the Word?

This girl is amazing! I love love love how passionate she is about the Word of God!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It's muh birthday, fixed my bumper, new tail lights, it's muh birthday...

How weird is it that this song keeps going through my head?  =0)
(I just learned how to post videos like up there. ↑ )

Actually, we are buying a new air sensor thingy for my husbands car today. woo-hoo! Happy birthday! =0) The mechanic actually called to say that we could buy one part for $308 or another one for $483, which one did we want? Really? That is a crazy question! But thanks for not assuming, I guess.

Today is a milestone birthday. 4.0.

It's just a number, people. Get over it. Maybe it'll hit me tomorrow, but today just seems like a normal day, with LOTS of people wishing me happy birthday on facebook. It's nice to feel loved. Grace brought me a bagel with cream cheese on it for breakfast and I begged her to share it with me (I didn't want it), the bagel and the 12 hugs were very sweet! Micheal drove me to work since we are sharing a vehicle today so no long walk in to work. A very nice morning so far!

My birthday is a day I miss my mom more than any other. If I let it, that could easily overwhelm me.

I may spend my birthday money on cuddle duds - because our town looks like the *NEW BANNER* above (don't you love it?I love how stark & still it is!) and I want to ski ski ski! Now stop thinking of me in my long underwear.

I spent last night researching the benefits of rice hot therapy packs and I am a little too excited to make some. I started looking into them for my grandparents, but I want one for me, for the foot of my bed. See about the benefits here, and start making some for your family now! A local feed store has stove corn in 50# bags which is triple cleaned and not dusty like feed corn, for less than $10 - that's quite a few therapy bags. Everyone might be getting them. Micheal may think I'm going over board, but he hates when I put cold feet on him at night. I try to tell him that he is duty bound to warm me up:
...if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
   But how can one keep warm alone?
 ~ Ecclesiastes 4:11
It doesn't work. Soon, my darling, I will snuggle up to you with warm feet!  =0)
(Yup, he just called and asked what in the world we are going to do with 50# of corn. Lucky deer in our neighborhood will probably get the left-overs!)

Someone wrote on my facebook wall today: I hope you get everything you want today! I don't even know what I want for supper, let alone everything.

** Freedom for Life Update **

I started Freedom for Life to try and get a handle on this run-away food habit and some of the side effects of my depression, like sleeping & reading too much, burying my head and avoiding painful things... like life. It is interesting to me that God is not addressing it. At all. Yet. Instead, there seems to be an agenda that Someone made without consulting me! The lessons seem to be all about stuff that happened to me growing up, who I need to forgive, what kind of generational sin I have inherited (This is going to be a fun, uncomfortable sex talk with Micah, yay.), area's I've gone off track in response to all kinds of stimuli, coming to terms with belonging in this giant family of God...

So. not. my. agenda. at. all. But in truth (Truth?), it is all such good stuff. I can feel myself stretching & growing as I consider things I have avoided with my whole being for years and years. And I can see that God has more planned for me than I ever expected, and I am amazed at the wide chasm I see between my idea of whole and healthy and His. His idea is way more work, with different priorities than I would have planned. I definitely want His.

Friday, November 12, 2010

A few things I forgot to mention...

I love these socks from LittleMissMatched! They don't match on purpose, but are color coordinated, and so. fun. I'm am trying to decide if I am too old for them...

Have you heard about the great promotion over at UdderCovers? For a limited time, if you enter 'thanksgiving' in the promo box, you get one of their stylin' udder covers for FREE, just pay shipping and handling! They sell for $32 - a sweet deal that just gets better and better because then you get sent an email with another similar deal at SevenSlings where you can get a FREE sling, again for just shipping and handling. You can fill up your staff of gifts for the next baby in your life!

I think my favorite candy bar it a MilkyWay Dark - 'it's better in the dark.' I think I am having an afternoon slump as my mind is on dark, sweet chocolate. Sorry about that!

Today is To Write Love on Her Arm day. I did. Will you? See the vision here, and why I support it here.

I think I will have plenty of coffee bag scraps to make some trinket keepers. I would have loved these when I was a kid, and I know Grace will too! I just got a call that my sewing machine has been tuned up and is ready for pick-up! I am excited to start sewing away on gifts gifts gifts! I find that it makes me want to give more gifts than I usually would. Should I just cut off the impulse or go with it? Does it set a precedent?

I also need to find a source for bulk rice and buckwheat so I can make the hot pack for my gram and the cold pack for my grampa who gets menopausal hot flashes as a chemo side effect. Here's a good tutorial for the Therapy Bags.

I'm playing keyboard at the Duluth Vineyard Church all weekend and if you are in the area, you should come! Not because I'm playing (though I'll work as hard as I can to play well!) but because of the great community. I need a community to love on and be loved by, and this is a good one!

And finally, Freedom for Life has been kickin' my butt. I'm loving the ladies at my table and thankful for the community that God ordained for us before we even started this journey! God is moving, He's bringing up things that hurt, and I'm afraid, but I am so desperate for change, I'm trying to let Him come.
"Fearlessness may be a gift but perhaps more precious is the courage acquired through endeavor, courage that comes from cultivating the habit of refusing to let fear dictate one's actions..."
~ Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel laureate

Thursday, November 11, 2010

This Old Ratty Shirt

If you ever stop by to read here, you might guess that I learn best, and get the most excited about, metaphors. There is never a perfect metaphor for a life in Christ, but once in a while I hear or come across one that makes so much sense for a particular situation - this brings me joy! That happened to me today. And I can't stop thinking about it.(And thank you for continuing to come back after some darker posts!)

I was doing homework for Freedom for Life at lunchtime today, and one of the questions stood out to me. So much that I couldn't just breeze through it, though I was quite certain what my answer was.
Which areas of pain are you medicating?
My flippant answer was 'the part that says I am no good...' that's where I hesitated. The area in my life that causes pain that needs to me medicated in the first place begins with a voice. It's external. It's not part of me. I allow it to touch me, it gets to me, it invites me to make poor decisions... but it's a voice. A voice I can choose to listen to, or not.

It's like a shirt. A ratty old shirt that used to look OK but now looks awful, you know you shouldn't wear it because you'll look terrible, but you choose to anyway because it's just so dang familiar. It's that item of clothing that rarely gets laundered, because you are always wearing it. And then you get so comfortable in the terrible shirt that you wear it out of the house, first just to pick up the kids and a quick trip to the grocery store, but then you wear it once on a casual Friday to work. And no one said anything, so you wear it again the next week. And more and more frequently until you are wearing it all the time. And it doesn't even seem ratty, to you.

And then you're wearing it and something is itching you in the neckline until you can hardly stand it. So you scratch and scratch and scratch it raw. And people see it and ask what's wrong and do you need help? But when you insist you are fine they shrug and go about their day. Your spouse sees that the shirt might be a problem but every time they broach the subject you get angry. So they stop trying to help.

Then you are crossing the street and get hit by a car, not too bad, but the cut on your shoulder is enough to go to the Emergency Room. The kind nurse asks you to remove your shirt so they can treat you and you adamantly refuse! You always wear the shirt, it's become part of you and they will just have to fix you up around the shirt! And then somewhere in the argument, you realize that you can just take the shirt off and throw it away! You can live without it, and it does not define you. So you go home with a bandage in the right place and allow the wound to heal.

Anyway... I'm sure you get the picture. The part of me that says it's no good isn't really a part of me at all. It's something I can choose to put on or take off. I can walk in it and be miserable, or I can ask Jesus to come speak Truth. I've always just thought it was part of who I am, that's a lie, it doesn't have to define me. It's like that ratty old shirt that I can start each day with: to wear or not wear? Walk in Truth or darkness?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Light & Linky, Nothing Too Deep Here

My posts have been really heavy lately. If you've followed at all, you'll see I have a bunch of hard stuff going on, but it's not all heavy. Micah has been a HUGE help around the house and peeking at his report card he is doing really well there, too! Micheal and I keep looking at each other like, "What is he doing? Who is he?" It's great. I must get some more pictures of Micah.


Grace got her ears pierced
and a new blue hair weave. She was very brave. 
And now constantly reminds me that we need to clean her ears. What a big girl.


I think I love this website:  not martha
and I want to make these with the kids in all kinds of fun designs
and I want to try all kinds of other things here, too!
Check it out! What's your favorite?
I know the men in my house would be thrilled if some pies baked in tiny jars were waiting in the freezer for them.


I also want to crochet snowflakes, starch them and use them to decorate. Or randomly mail to people I love. And the kid's teachers. Here's a bunch of patterns. I like this one. And this one...


I've loved stamped silver jewelry for a while and just found this site - cute jewelry at really good prices!

I have a stack of local coffee roaster burlap bags that I have a project in mind for for Christmas. (You can find these for sale for $17 online, but if you ask your local coffee roasters, they'll probably give them to you, with sweet bonus local stamps on them!) There are some great ideas to repurpose these. Here's one.  And this super easy one for some kids on my list.

And I went through my sewing cabinet and am SUPER motivated to use stuff up and give it away. Everyone may be getting home made gifts for Christmas!
What are you making for Christmas this year? And how are you being frugal?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Counting the Sand in the Desert

I have had a recurring dream for most of my life. I remember having it in 2nd grade and I specifically remember thinking at the time, "I hate having this dream!" knowing how it would end and repeat... The last time I remember having the dream is about a year ago.

I am in a desert, surrounded by nothing but sand in any direction, as far as the eye can see. And somehow, I know I must count all the sand. So I start, carefully brushing the sand from one area into another as I make piles in certain amounts. After an indeterminate amount of time, lots of hard work and many piles of sand later, I hear voices coming toward me. A group of people is chatting away and they walk right through all my piles, ignoring my pleas to please go around. I know that I will have to start over, that I will never ever finish this task. And I cry.

And I wake up crying, my pillow wet and my hands smoothing the pillow as I smoothed the sand in my dream. I fall back asleep and the dream starts over, a whole night of this nightmare where I will never measure up to the task in front of me. I would often wake up physically sick from this dream, even as an adult, so stressful is this dream.

~    ~    ~   ~   ~   ~  ~  ~ ~ ~ ~|~|~ ~ ~ ~  ~  ~  ~   ~   ~   ~    ~    ~

The other night at group while we were having a quiet time, praying and asking God what He is addressing, this dream popped into my head. Uninvited, I tried to shrug the memory of this bad dream off, again asking God what He was doing, and again the dream was there. So, fine! "What does this have to do with anything, God?"

And clear as day, I heard Him say, "I never meant for you to live so alone."


And then it seemed like God was telling me what that dream meant. (And not in the way my best friend and I would look up things in a dream dictionary in junior high, like a top hat = wealth & status, a guinea pig = you learn from your mistakes & a pogo stick = a need to focus on one thing at a time, or sex. Not that kind of interpretation.) But in the way that you know is true, because it touches your heart.

And God said that, due to how I interpreted and internalized circumstances when I was young, I have always lived like I am alone. I have taken on the impossible task of trying to be lovable to people who often don't even see me. And walking in that lie has allowed me to be hurt over and over and over. To protect myself, I've adopted some pretty bad responses. Crazy what you can get used to!

I feel like this is a root, the root, at least a big root, the stuff under the surface producing bad fruit in my life. And maybe now that I can see where it's coming from I work on hearing who God says I am and what He wants me to do.

I've said that before, but could never see the lie so clearly.
I see it now.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sole Source

You may know that I work in a busy office on a state university campus. One of my duties is purchasing expensive electronic equipment. I usually don't understand exactly what it is I am ordering, but I have to know the rules the U has set up to make sure purchases are made ethically while spending funds in only the most appropriate way. One of these rules involves the amount of money you can spend from contracted or non-contracted vendors. You are allowed to spend more with a vendor if they are the only ones who can provide the product or service you need, you just have to justify it and fill out a form stating they are the 'sole source.'

A business dictionary defines 'sole source' as: One and only one source that possesses a unique product having singular characteristics or performance capability.

Sole source sole source sole source...  it keeps bouncing around my thoughts, invading my actions.

In Freedom for Life, the weekly class I am taking at church (mentioned here), we are talking about idols. Idols can be anything you have allowed into your life that usurp the rightful place of God. While talking to God this week, I have been surprised and convicted of surprising idols, often good things, that I have wrongfully allowed to control my actions and attempt to meet my needs, resulting in miserable failure.

But through this business term, I am reminded that:
God is my Sole Source. He is the One and only source that possesses a unique product (Jesus = only Son, both God and man) having singular characteristics (forgiveness and grace given by the Father) or(and) performance capability (Holy Spirit, come work in me).

He is the one and only source for my soul that will ever ever ever satisfy the longings of my heart. Anything else, whether good or bad, is an idol.

Uniquely qualified to provide every thing I will ever need, God is my soul source.

Another Gracism

A conversation between Micheal and Grace on the way to dance last night:

Grace: Dad, I like the name Crystal.
Dad: That's nice. I like the name Grace.
G: Dad, I want to change my name to Crystal. I don't like the name Grace!
D: But I think Grace suits you.
G: But Dad! Can I please please please change my name to Crystal?
D: No Grace. It costs too much money.
G: How much? I'll give you three choices: $100, $1000 or $1,000,000?
D: Grace, it is very expensive to change your name. I think it's $1000.
G, mumbling in the back seat: I bet it's a million...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Me, Wealthy?!?

The Bible warns that your spiritual life is in danger if you are rich. I don't know anyone who thinks they are rich. In fact, I just heard a podcast where the speaker said the "being rich is a moving target. It's hard to tell what it means to be rich." The amount you currently make per year changes the amount you think you need to be 'rich.' And no one ever thinks they have made it. More, more, more, we all want more. Over the whole world, if you make $37,000+ per year, you are in the top 4% of the world's wealthiest. If you make over $45,000 you are in the top 1%. Wow!

A facebook friend just posted this fact: by age four... children growing up in poverty have been exposed to 12 million words; middle class children have been exposed to 30 million words; and wealthy children have been exposed to 48 million words. I know you can't hear Grace ramble on and on via this blog, but let me assure you we must be on the upper end of middle class,  possibly even wealthy!

We Wilson's are having a hard time. Our household is not as restful as I would like it. We seem to not have enough time, or money, or patience, or sleep, or .... You get the idea. But I am reminded that we are wealthy, and to be thankful for the wealth, and to share it.

172) Wealth in denominations and types other than money.

173) An extra seasonal job.

174) Time for an extra seasonal job.

175) Teenage son who says, "Thank you for giving up your 'extra' time and getting another job for us," unprompted.

176) and then teenage son vacuums, does dishes, helps with little sister and laundry without being asked or reminded.

177) Friends pray and encourage.

178) Spouses learn to hear each other, again.

179) Daughter overcomes fear of Halloween terrors and is the first to every house's doorbell.

180) Family who laughs and cares.

181) Son who earns trust.

182) Heat when it's cold out.

183) A job, even when Monday comes too early.

184) We are privileged to vote.

185) The political calls, commercials, and sign holder/wavers will discontinue, for a while.

186) Clean sheets for tired bodies.

187) Shaved legs in clean sheets, lying next to the man I love = heaven

188) A brand new day, and another one tomorrow, and another one after that, each with new things to be thankful for.

**Pictures from Halloween with family.