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 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: .) 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 ( ). 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.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Knitting Anyone

For those of you who do not know, I have really started to LOVE knitting and crocheting. Yarn is just AWESOME! I enjoy walking through my local craft store and looking at all of the wonderful yarn types and colors. I think that I really enjoy this "artform" because I didn't need any real visually creative talent to be good at knitting and crochet. In a family chock full of artists, this was a relief. I found my craft!! What's more, this craft is contagious. If your friends find out that you're a yarn junkie, several will want to join in on the fun. So, if you're local and you'd like to learn, give me a call. The more the merrier! And, if you're far away, here are some great websites that helped me along the way:

Oh heck, just google how to knit or how to crochet. There are free tutorials and free patterns everywhere. :-] If you choose to join in the fun, please let me know and post some pictures. I'd love to see other people's projects.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Funny Conversation with Cass

Upon seeing chocolate on Cassie's face after picking her up from school.

Mommy: "Cass, what's on your face?"
Cass: "Chocolate ice cream."
Mommy: "Where did you have ice cream?"
Cass: "At school."
Mommy: "Who gave it to you?"
Cass: "The lunch lady."
Mommy: "Cassie, that isn't free ice cream! (each student has an account) How often are you getting ice cream?"
Cass: "Everyday."
Mommy: "Did you eat all of the carrots I sent in your lunch today?"
Cass: "No."
Mommy: "How many did you eat?"

Cass holds up her hand forming a zero with her thumb and fingers.

Mommy: "What did you do with the carrots?!?!"
Cass: "Threw them in the trash."
Mommy: "How often do you throw your carrots away?"
Cass: "Everyday."

As Mommy dials Daddy's number while stifling a laugh, Cassie pulls out her Amount Due $4.53 notice from the kind, ice cream wielding lunch lady.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Oh Snow!

North Texas is covered in a white blanket this morning. It is beautiful and I love the quiet created by snowfall. I admit that I have been a bit jealous of my Virginia friends and family. They have been blasted by snow this winter. While I don't envy all of the hardships that massive amounts of snow cause (power outages, shopping craziness, and traffic snarls), I do miss enjoying the fun that snow can bring. I long to let the kids enjoy snowballs and snowmen and especially sledding. My mom and Dad have the best sledding hill and I have fond childhood memories of gliding down the snow-covered hill with the cold wind tangling my hair. So, today, I'll watch the snow fall here in Mansfield and sip a hot cup of tea and remember those snowy, winter days of long ago and be thankful!

Password Snafu

Back in January, I decided to add a few posts to my blog, but discovered I had forgotten my log in and password. As a result, I started a new blog and made two new posts. Well, of course, when I recently went to log back in, I forgot the new info but was able to access my old blog. So.... here are my January posts for you reading pleasure. :)

Fusion Wisdom (posted 1/6/2010)

Today, at Fusion, we talked briefly about the Transfiguration. This passage of scripture (Matt. 17:1-13) has always been a bit of a mystery to me. I thought it was maybe another showing of God's power or another example of Christ's Deity. In Bible study, is was described as a "Mountaintop Experience". It was indeed on a mountaintop and we also discussed the "Mountaintop Experiences" of both Moses and Elijah. We talked about the idea that this was a time of preparation for Jesus' days ahead. I started thinking about my times on the "mountaintop" and that I always want to stay there. The "mountaintop" is a place where I feel so close to God, worship comes easily, distractions are minimal, and direction seems clear. But, what are these "mountaintop experiences" preparing me for? That should be the question that I am asking myself. Am I allowing God to prepare me for His work, or am I just basking in His glow? Is the "mountaintop" about how I feel and what I need, or am I making it about Him? When I leave the "mountaintop", can the people I come in contact with tell that I have been there? Am I outwardly changed by my time on the mountaintop with God?

Leaving a Legacy (posted 1/10/2010)

This morning, our MOPS speaker spoke on Leaving a legacy. This topic has been weighing on my mind as of late. I have been questioning how I appear to the people around me. My kids? My husband? My in-laws and parents? People in the grocery store? My friends? What legacy do they see me passing on? Am I the frazzled, distracted, impatient mom? Or, am I the soft place for my kids to fall? Am I the wife who unloads on her husband as soon as he walks through the door? Or, am I a calm and listening ear? Who do strangers see when they come into contact with me? And, my friends? Am I an encouragement to them? Most importantly, do others see Christ in me? Am I passing on a legacy of faith?

My hope in the coming year is to strengthen that legacy. I want people to know by my words and actions that I am a Christian. I want to pass that baton of faith to my children and our unsaved friends and family. I want people to see love, kindness, hope, peace, and joy when they see me, and I want them to that all of those traits are a result of my relationship with Christ. If I can reflect that, then my legacy will be lasting and beautiful.