Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

I know...I know. You're thinking, "She's seriously going to do a post on New Year's Resolutions?!?" Well, yes I am. I actually have a few this year that I am pretty sure I can make good on. So, here goes...

My first resolution has to do with yarn (of course). I resolve that in 2011 I will complete at least one pattern from each of my knit/crochet pattern books/booklets/magazines/etc. As a part 2 of this resolution, I resolve that if I do not use stash yarn to complete a pattern, then I will do a separate project using stash yarn before moving on to the next pattern. I cheated a bit on this resolution and did a dishcloth from one of my books, using stash yarn, before the New Year officially started. I am currently working on a scarf, also using stash yarn, from a different pattern book. So, I am well on my way to completing this resolution. Yea!!!

Resolution number two is really the most important. I resolve to read more scripture and spend more time in prayer this year than I did last year. I want for my life to line up with God's will. I desire His direction and blessings in my life and I realize that these are given when they are sought after through Bible study and prayer. I know that if I keep this resolution it will make me a better wife, better mother, better daughter, better friend, and most importantly a better reflection of Christ to the world.

My final resolution is to resume the running that I started back in August of 2010. I was doing so well for a time there and I want to get back into the groove. I don't want to resolve to "lose weight" or "eat better". Those two are so generic and it's so easy to fall away from them and get discouraged. With the running, I know that I will "enjoy" it and I remember the sense of accomplishment that I felt last fall. Additionally, I have several friends who will participate with me and offer encouragement.

So, there you have it. I have made my resolutions. Now, to get busy accomplishing my goals. I need to spend less time on the couch and more time on my knees and in my running shoes. And, of course, always with needles (or hook) in hand. :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas Stocking Success

I am so excited!! I started knitting a Christmas Stocking about a week ago for a swap on http://www.ravelry.com/. I wasn't very sure that I would be able to complete it. I was even less sure that it would look nice. However, it is done and it looks cute! There are a few mistakes, but they aren't major and don't really detract from the finished project. I can knit SOCKS!!! Woo Hoo!! Now, I can't wait to get started on knitting stockings for my family. Next year, we'll all match (even Bella).

Friday, October 8, 2010

Puttin' On the Ritz Parmesean Chicken

Here's what you need to start.
In the first dish is flour, salt, pepper, and chili powder. Dish 2 contains eggs beaten with a splash of water. The third dish is crushed Ritz crackers and grated fresh parmesean cheese.
Start by coating the tenders in the flour mixture. Then dunk them in the egg wash. Last get them crunched up with the cracker and cheese crust.

Bake them at 350 degrees in a greased casserole dish til they are cooked through. Enjoy!
Chicken tenders
Chili Powder
Eggs (2 or 3)
Ritz (or comparable) crackers
Parmesean cheese
- Mix flour, salt, pepper, and chili powder to tatse in one dish. In a second dish, beat eggs with a spash of water. In third dish, combine crushed crackers and grated cheese.
- Coat chicken with flour mixture, followed by egg, and finally with the cracker/cheese combo.
- Bake tenders in greased dish at 350 degrees til done.

Friday, August 6, 2010

I Was Running, and Running, and Running...

Well, I finally did it. I finally started exercising and trying to get in better shape. I started about 5 or 6 weeks ago by starting the Couch to 5K program. (Check it out here: http://www.c25k.com/ .) I made it all the way through Week 4 of the program, but could not consistently complete that week's runs and was really nervous about Week 5. So, I have set out on my own. My goal right now is to build my endurance and be able to run a full 5K. I may return to the Couch to 5K program once I have a bit more confidence. But, for now I am trying to get to the gym and run more than 3 days a week and I am challenging myself to run more and walk less each week. I have started tracking my progress below. I am really excited and have already noticed a difference in my breathing and in the muscle tone in my legs. Can't say that I love running yet, but I know that I'll get there eventually.

Tuesday, 8/3/10

Walk 5 minutes at a pace of 3.6 (Warm Up)
Run 5 minutes at a pace of 4.6
Walk 3 minutes at a pace of 3.6
Run 4 minutes at a pace of 4.6
Walk 3 minutes at a pace of 3.6
Run 3 minutes at a pace of 4.6
Walk 3 minutes at a pace of 3.6
Run 2 minutes at a pace of 4.6
Walk 3 minutes at a pace of 3.6
Run 1.5 minutes at a pace of 4.6
Walk 8.5 minutes at a pace of 3.6
Run 1 minutes at a pace 4.6
Walk 5 minutes at a pace of 3.6 (Cool Down)

I also ran on Wednesday and Thursday but didn't start tracking all of this til Friday and couldn't quite remember the stats for these two days. By Thursday, I know that I had increased each running segment by 1 minute.

Friday 8/6/10

Walk 5 minutes at a pace of 3.7 (Warm up)
Run 6.5 minutes at a pace of 4.7
Walk 3 minutes at a pace of 3.7
Run 5.5 minutes at a pace of 4.7
Walk 3 minutes at a pace of 3.7
Run 4.5 minutes at a pace of 4.7
Walk 2.5 minutes at pace of 3.7
Run 3.5 minutes at a pace of 4.7
Walk 2.5 minutes at a pace of 3.7
Run 2.5 minutes at a pace of 4.8
Walk1.5 minutes at a pace of 3.8
Run 1.5 minutes at a pace of 4.8
Walk 2 minutes at a pace of 3.8
Run 1.5 minutes at a pace of 5
Walk 5 minutes at a pace of 3.8 (Cool Down)

Total of 3.55 miles
475 Calories burned

I took Saturday and Sunday off and really thought I would pay for the break when I got back in the gym on Monday. I was pleasantly surprised by my results. I was able to push myself even farther.

Monday 8/9/10

Walk 5 minutes at a pace of 3.7 (Warm up)
Run 8 minutes at a pace of 4.7
Walk 3 minutes at a pace of 3.7
Run 6 minutes at a pace of 4.7
Walk 3 minutes at a pace of 3.7
Run 5 minutes at a pace of 4.7
Walk 3 minutes at a pace of 3.8
Run 4 minutes at a pace of 4.8
Walk 2 minutes at a pace of 3.8
Run 3 minutes at a pace of 4.8
Walk 2 minutes at a pace of 3.8
Run 1 minute at a pace of 5.0
Walk 5 minutes at a pace of 4.0 (Cool down)

Total of 3.0 miles
491 calories burned

I might just make it back to the C25K program before I know it. There is a 5K the last weekend in September and one the first weekend in October. I hope to participate in both and can't wait to see how I do.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Rejoicing With the Angels

Yesterday, at VBS, my Cassandra professed her faith in Jesus. Hallelujah!! I am rejoicing with the angels. God is so good. So big. So amazing. I am overjoyed that my daughter has made the choice to become a Christ-follower. We will now share eternity worshiping the one true King and couldn't be happier. I am as happy today as I was on the day of her physical birth! He makes all things new!!

Father God,

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your gift of forgiveness. Thank you for the promise of Jeremiah 29:11. You have a plan for each of us and your plan is for our welfare, not to harm us. Thank you for calling my Sweet Cass and for softening her heart towards you. She has decided to follow your plan for her life. Help her to be bold in her faith and to tell others about You without fear. Help her father and I to teach her what it means to be salt and light. We are so excited to worship you together! We praise you because you truly are our future and our hope.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Letter to My Sister

Well, I don't really want this to turn into a rant, but it is my blog, so I need a place to dump this. Not too long ago, my niece, sister, and I got into a fairly heated debate on Facebook. I think that it all began over the passage of the Healthcare Bill, but it quickly spiraled into a bad place that hurt me on a personal level. Comments were made about my sister not having help as she struggled through certain troubles in her life. When I responded that she most definitely did have help, I was informed by my niece (who wasn't old enough at the time to form her own opinions) that the help was not offered without strings. I told her that I was sorry that she and her mom didn't realize how much they were loved and that they had a very jaded view of certain family members. Sis then chimed in with something to the effect that I had jaded opinions, too. This convo was months ago, and I am still stewing, so maybe writing out a response will help me to let it go. Maybe my sister (or niece) read my blog and will gain a better understanding of where I am coming from. Maybe my Christian friends who take the time to read my rambling will send up a prayer that I will find some peace in this area. Maybe one day I will be brave enough to talk it out with or at least send this letter to my sister, and then move forward. So, here goes....

Dear Sis,

I have been stewing for awhile now over a comment that you made on Facebook. You feel that I have a jaded view of you. I get the impression that you think that my opinions aren't my own; that I have been fed stories by my mom and dad regarding you. It hurts me if you think this, because our father loves you!! I wish you could understand how much. Maybe I could share with you a story about his love for you. I was 15 when you made the decision to move back in with us in VA. You would be coming with your daughter and son and Dad took me for a walk one evening to talk with me about it. When he told me that you were coming back, 15v year old me did not want you to. I was scared that you would move in and I would get attached to you and the kids, and then you would leave again. Dad understood my fear. He loved me and he acknowledged that I had been hurt before by an oh so similar situation. BUT, he also loved you. He knew that you were hurting and felt alone. He knew that you were scared about your future and the future of your kids. And so, he asked me to open my 15 year old heart to the possibility that we could help. We could love you. We could care for you and the kids. We could maybe ease some of your hurt and offer you an escape from some of your troubles. He asked me to allow for the possibility that this time might be different. This time you might start a life with us. You might stay. My 15 year old heart leapt at the chance to actually have my sister with me full time again and I put aside my reservations and of course fell madly in love with your kiddos. Sadly, you once again chose to return to KY. While I can certainly understand missing home and wanting to return to the place you were raised and felt comfortable, my then 16 year old heart was broken. Not only was my sister leaving (again), but she was taking her beautiful babies with her. I feel like I have harboured this for so long. UGH!!! It's been 17 years and here I sit, writing about it. I think that it was at that point that I realized how little you care for me and our brother. You've talked with me about your life and why you've chosen certain things. You want my sympathy and even my respect. But, you've never talked with me about how your actions and decisions have affected me. I wonder if you have even ever considered that I was hurt. It's not that I want you to change your choices. They are in the past and can't be taken back. It isn't even that I can't understand some of your decisions (especially the choice to move back). I get it. I know that it wasn't a perfect situation for you. I just wish that you could acknowledge that your choices have left scars on other people who you claim to love. And, I wish you could understand how much we (Dad especially) love you. He asked his younger daughter to put aside her feelings and fears in order to benefit his eldest child. Would you have been willing to do the same? Anyway, maybe this will give you some insight into my feelings. Maybe now, I can start to let it go. Maybe, in the future, you'll remember how much Dad loves you. He's not perfect. He'll readily admit that himself, but he loves his kids unconditionally and I hope that you know that and share it with his grandchildren. They deserve to hear from their mom how much their Poppi loves them. I guess that's about it. Know that I love you and really do try to understand you. I hope that maybe someday you'll understand me a bit better, too.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Who knew there was such cool stuff online?

Just had a friend tell me about The Pioneer Woman ( http://www.thepioneerwoman.com/ ). Wow, what a find! Can't tell you what she sent me there for (I am sworn to secrecy, but it's in the cooking section.), but I am just loving exploring the sit. This woman is FUNNY!! Check it out if you have a few minutes...or hours. I can vouch for at least one of the recipes (so can Trey!), and I can't wait to try a few more out.