Archive for December, 2010

Holiday Random

  • I got a new camera!
  • We fed 40 people today: chipped beef gravy (breakfast), chili (lunch), ham (dinner).  Thankfully, I didn’t have to do hardly any of the cooking or the dishes.  Instead, I crawled in bed and read.  All.  Day.  Long.
  • I’m still sick.  Head congestion, cough, sore throat.  Going on week #7.  So over it.
  • Snow!
  • Cookie overload.  I’m surprised my pants still fit.
  • I hung up a few pictures–there is NOTHING like filling up the walls to make a room feel like home.
  • Our Christmas tree that we put up the Monday after Thanksgiving has only lost 5 needles.  Wow.  Go, tree, go.
  • I love thrift stores.  My wonderful inlaws of the female variety and I dug through one on Monday.  It was glorious.
  • How long can I leave up my Christmas decorations?  A six-year-old second cousin told me today that it’s a little weird to leave them up ’til January.
  • Huge game of Speed Scrabble going on in the other room.  Maybe I’ll go watch.
  • Ta-ta!

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On Writing

Well, seeing how the next two weeks are going to be a hectic scramble of family, food, and road trips–I’ll just be sharing a few worthy quotes from other sources as I get a chance.  After all, that’s all you’re going to have time to read, anyway, right?!  🙂

Merry Christmas! 

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From Andree Seu in WORLD Magazine on November 20, 2010:

What is the purpose of telling stories, ever think of that?  Here is a better question: What is God’s purpose in telling stories?  God Himself is a storyteller, and we are to be “imitators of God” (Ephesians 5:1).  What kind of characters does He draw?  What is His agenda in telling the story?

I found much food for thought in her words to help in my own story-telling ventures.  God’s stories are never trite fluff–they always tell things as they really are–the only happy ending for any sinner is Christ–everything centers around Him.

Now THAT’s a good story.

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Secretariat

Have you seen it (the movie) yet?

Here’s a quick run down (haha, my puns are soooooo obtusely clever):

Disney’s latest family friendly film features the legendary racehorse of the 1970s–and the determined woman who owns him.

Tim and I watched it a few nights ago and really enjoyed it.  It was clean.  It was fairly historically accurate (I love movies that make history ‘real’).  It was overall well-acted and well-filmed.  It fit us to a T geographically, with references to Colorado, Virginia, and Kentucky.  It included a couple Scripture references and southern gospel songs.  And it touted quite a few family friendly themes–with one major exception: given the choice, Penny Chenery chose Secretariat’s well-being over her family’s.  In the end, it all worked out okay, they supported her decision, and she learned a lesson about what is truly valuable in life–but I’m afraid that in reality, when family drops down a notch (or two) on the priority list, it doesn’t always lead to such a happy ending

All in all, though, it’s a film well worth the time.  Isn’t it great to see a few family friendly films making their way onto the screen?  Let me know what you think of it!

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If You Frequent Lowes, Read This

I just spent all morning (and part of the afternoon) running errands.

Exhausted.

BUT I got some great deals!

At Lowes:  if you buy a specially marked 20 pack Energizer AA batteries for $8.97, you get a $10 off a $50 purchase coupon that expires in March.  So if you have any plans to spend $50+ at Lowes in the next three months, pick up a pack (or several)–it pays for itself and more!!  Plus, I had a $1/off coupon for the batteries from a recent coupon insert (not sure which one), so that made an even better deal.  I assume this is available at any Lowes, because the coupon is included inside the pack of batteries (you’ll see the sticker on the face of the battery pack if it has a coupon).  I also saw AAA and D batteries for approximately the same deal.

At Martins: The grocery store was already packed–WHAT is it going to be like on Thursday?!  Thankfully, I think I got everything I needed, plus some extra good markdown deals.  On sale this week, they’ve got 5lb boxes of clementines for $3.99 and yams for $.49…AND turkey hill icecream for $2/carton.  I stocked up on all of the above, thank you very much. 

PLUS I found 85% lean ground beef marked down to $1.49/lb (from $3.69–it expires tomorrow, so I just need to cook and/or freeze it today) ((I bought 20 pounds to get us through the holidays; we’re expecting lots of family in and out for the next week or two! )) AND a 20 lb spiral sliced whole ham marked down to $.80/lb (the whole thing was originally $68; I got it for $14).  For any locals, this was all at the Glenside Martins.  I didn’t see any more $.80 hams, but there was quite a bit more $1.50/lb hamburger.

I finally got it all sorted out and stowed away (and my fridge cleaned and freezer organized in the process–I didn’t have much choice if I wanted to fit everything in!).  Still on my list for today:

  • laundry
  • clean bathrooms
  • attempt to clear enough space in the ‘junk room’ to fit a queen size air mattress
  • aaaand, if I have extra time, web design!  Tim helped me find a good (and free!) web design software and I’ve been working on learning how to use it…if I want an online thrift store, well then I jolly well need a web page, don’t I?!  🙂

Wish me luck!

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Christmas Encouragement and a New Year’s Resolution:

Luke 1:38
Then Mary said, “Behold, the maidservant of the Lord!  Let it be to me according to your word.”

Luke 1:45
“Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”

Luke 1:37
“For with God nothing will be impossible.”

[Not that I’m claiming to be Mary or anything–just admiring her faith.]

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My Week in Dinners: December 13-17

Just in case you were dying to know…

Monday: Easy Beef Stroganouf (with asparagus in cream sauce and bread)
1 lb hamburger, seasoned and cooked (I do mine ahead and freeze)
1 can tomato sauce
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
1-2 Tbls Worcestershire sauce
handful of sliced mushrooms
seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic) to taste
Mix, simmer, serve over egg noodles.

Tuesday: Chicken Artichoke Casserole (with green beans and bread)
1 cup diced, cooked chicken
1 can artichoke hearts
1 cup cooked rice
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup cheddar cheese
Layer in 9×9 pan in order listed, bake or microwave until cheese melts and center is hot.

Wednesday: Leftover Chicken Artichoke Casserole
(see above recipe)

Thursday: Italian Wedding Soup (with whole wheat biscuits)
4 cups chicken broth
1 package (10 0z) spinach
1/2 lb meatballs
1 diced carrot
1 diced celery
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup orzo
seasoned salt, basil, oregano, rosemary, garlic to taste
Simmer all 15-30 minutes, top with parmesan cheese.

Friday: Frozen Pizza (with Mushrooms), baby carrots, and clementines
Tim fixed it while I vegged out on the couch–which made it taste extra good!! 

Since it was a cold week, we mostly had leftover pork soup and fruit for lunch and lots of Christmas cookies for dessert.

So there you have it!

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I Plan To Raise My Kids In An Iron Cage

I just had my first horrifying glimpse into my future as a parent.

Umm, Tim?  We need to re-think this whole procreation thing like now.

No, honey, I’m not even kidding.

Two evenings ago, on a frigid Wednesday in mid December, the entire city shut down in preparation for the coming morn: 2-4 inches of cold, wet snow.  School closings, grocery store stampedes, winter storm advisories, cleared schedules–the whole nine yards.

And then there was the matter of Pop’s 10:00am appointment with his heart doctor.

Just a two-month check up, mind you.  No problems, no troubling symptoms, no expired medication refills.

I very gently recommended late Wednesday night (in view of the forecast) that he may want to think about calling to cancel.

He agreed that it might be wise.

We left it at that.

Thursday morning, bright and early, no snow.  But the weather man was full of dire predictions: starting around 9, slow then picking up in volume, perhaps mixed with icy rain, stay off the roads, stay warm, hunker down for the long haul.

Tim rushed off to work to fit in a few brief hours before the coming doom.

Pop and I stayed glued to the weather channel.

“Are you going to go ahead and cancel that appointment?”

“Well, I’ll wait and see what it’s like out there in an hour or two.”

“Sounds like a good plan.”

Then around 8:45, I hear him on the phone with the Dr’s office giving out his new address.  I think, oh thank goodness, he made the call.

15 minutes later, it starts to snow.  I think, oh double thank goodness.

15 minutes later than later, Pop comes walking down the stairs with his coat on. 

“Well,” he says, “Guess I’ll head on over there while I still can.”

My jaw drops.  I stare at him in utter amazement.  I am speechless.

“You’re going to the doctor?!” I gasp.

He nods.

“Do you want company?” I manage to stammer, as a formality, because I always go with him to such things.  Of course he wants company.

“No, I don’t think you should be out with that cough of yours.  I’ll manage just fine.”

I enter a state of shock.

“Are you sure?  Are you sure you want to go?  Are you sure you don’t want company?”  I barrage him with such convincing protests as I can muster.

Of course he is sure.  His mind is made up.

I let him go.  What else am I supposed to do? 

He must know I am worried, because he calls to let me know he has arrived safely to his heart doctor’s exam room.  “The roads were fine.  No problem.”

But still there at the window I stand and watch and pray the whole time he is gone; and the snow drifts gently down to blanket my world.

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