Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Love is Not a Fight--Warren Barfield

Love is not a place
To come and go as we please
It's a house we enter in
And then commit to never leave

Lock the door behind you
Throw away the key
We'll work it out together
Let it bring us to our knees

Love is a shelter in the raging storm
Love is peace in the middle of a war
If we try to leave, may God send His angels to guard the door
No, love is not a fight but it's something worth fighting for

To some, love is a word
That they can fall into
But when they're falling out
Keeping that word is hard to do

Love will come to save us
If we'll only call
He will ask nothing of us
But demand we give our all

I will fight for you
Would you fight for me?
It's worth fighting for

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Very Strange Christmas

Snow fell here in Washington this December. Lots of it.

We had over a foot, and it lasted for a very long time. We had a big storm again yesterday (Christmas) morning, which put our plans in doubt, but my parents braved the weather and made it up here anyway. It has melted quite a bit--finally--today, but there is still a great deal out there because it's not really warming up.

So...what did this mean for our Christmas plans?

The snow started to fall in earnest on Tuesday night the 16th. School and my Bible study Christmas brunch were cancelled on Wednesday. School was cancelled Thursday and Friday as well. So, no pre-break Christmas parties at school. Teachers didn't get their Christmas gifts. Mom didn't have much "child free" time to prepare for Christmas. All felt very strange.

Church was canceled on Sunday. LeeRoy got off work early every day except the 23rd. The kids' Christmas cantata at church was cancelled on Saturday and Sunday nights. They did have dress rehearsal on Thursday and a performance Friday, but that was it.

Gymnastics was cancelled all last week, along with the Christmas party on Thursday in which we had prepared a hand made gift for a fellow teammate. That will likely take place after the first of the year, because we have this next week off anyway.

Christmas Eve church service was canceled. We were really wondering whether or not Kimber's plane would actually arrive on Tuesday, because flights in and out of Portland had been mostly canceled on Sunday and Monday. Fortunately, she did land with no issues.

All in all, it has just been odd for the past week and a half. Almost everything we had planned and prepared for was either on hold or canceled. We all have a fairly serious case of cabin fever. Although we did get out to do some shopping and ran a few errands, it has just been strange.

The low key, less activity holiday has not been all bad. We have spent quite a bit of time together, gone on lots of walks in the snow and it's been fun, but overall, I am a little sad at missing out on some of the things we had really been looking forward to.

Yes, we'll give the teachers their gifts in January. The cantata will be held at a later date. The gymnastics party will still happen. But it will feel odd all over again to be doing Christmas activities so far after the fact.

Christmas 2008 is definitely one full of interesting memories.

7 Day Love Challenge

Do you believe that marriage works? Beyond anything else in your life, are you fighting for the health of your marriage?

Familes Northwest is starting a 7 Day Love Challenge during the week of February 7-14, 2009, where couples will choose to commit to show their love for each other in ordinary and extraordinary ways.

Each day will have a love challenge given to couples in hopes that they will take it on and see a new spark start within their relationship, or fan the flame already burning.

I will be posting more about this and posting more marriage tools as the days go on. With all of the resolutions you can make for 2009, how about making it a goal to nurture your marriage and make it the best relationship in your life this coming year.

You can sign up to receive the challenges by using the box in my sidebar, or by going to 7 Day Love Challenge And just by entering to receive them, you will be entered to win a couples' getaway to the Skamania Lodge here in Washington state.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


The winner of the Build-a-Bear Workshop gift card is Martha!

Thanks to all who entered!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Giveaway Just in Time for Christmas!

Just in time for Christmas, Build-a-Bear Worshop has a cute pair of Moose named Holly and Hal, ready for decoration or play (or both!)

Holly and Hal are brother and sister and Hal has light up antlers that will make your holiday season even brighter. He is adorable, very soft, and a very fun addition to your celebrations. Just squeeze his hand and his lights gently flash on and off until his hand is squeezed again.

When you go to Build-a-Bear Workshop, you can purchase Holly and Hal for only $12 each, and when you buy both, they come with a FREE book, "Holly and Hal Moose: Our Uplifting Christmas Adventure." This is a book the entire family will enjoy, the pictures are beautiful and the story is sweet.

There are multiple other Christmas Animals available at Build-a-Bear Workshop, from the Chilly Cheeks Penguin to holiday Bears and Bunnies. You can even buy Christmas outfits to put on the animals you already own.

And don't forget, Build-a-Bear Workshop is an extremely fun and entertaining place where you can make your own, one-of-a kind stuffed animal and choose clothes and accessories just for that animal. My kids each have stuffed animals they have made there, and they remain among their most prized possessions even years later. If you haven't been lately, there's no time like the present to make a trip, Christmas vacation is a perfect time for a family activity like Build-a-Bear Workshop. And if you've never been--get in your car and head there right now! Your kids will give you an extra big hug for doing it!

Now for the Giveaway:

The folks at Build-a-Bear Workshop have generously donated a $10 gift card good at any location toward the purchase of Holly and Hal Moose or any other animal or accessory you choose. Won't this just make a child in your life's day this Christmas season?

Here's how to enter:

1. Leave a comment on this post, be SURE to leave your e-mail address if it is not clearly visible on your blog, or you will be disqualified.

2. Tell me one thing you would love to give to your spouse or kids (or both) this Christmas--is there something you'd give them if you had the money, or have you already purchased the exact thing you want to give? Tell me!

3. The deadline for this contest is Sunday, December 21. I'll draw a number using and mail the card out first thing Monday morning.

Good luck!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I'm a slacker

I know, I've been a slacker with posting. Life has just been so crazy busy, I'm trying to make as much money as I can before my December 15 payday because that's all I'm going to be able to earn before Christmas.

Here are my latest posted reviews:

Noelle DVD

Hannah Montana: The Complete First Season

The Amazing Bible Fact Book


As soon as I can get a review written for the book The Paper Bag Christmas I plan to give it away. Be watching in the next couple of days.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

First two Recipes

Here are the recipes for the first two days' menu items. I have made both of these before and they are always positively received by my family. This time was no exception.

I don't think I'm going to make the meal for tonight (the chicken). We have so much of the lentil stuff left that I think I'm going to serve it in tortillas tonight for leftovers.

Spaghetti Pie--From The Potluck Club book 3

8 ounces spaghetti, broken in to 2-inch pieces
2 T melted butter
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1 egg, well beaten
1 1/2 lbs ground chuck (I used ground turkey)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped green pepper (I didn't use this, didn't have any)
2 T vegetable oil
1 jar (15 1/2 ounces) thick spaghetti sauce
1 t. sugar
1/2 t. leaf oregano, crumbled
1/2 t. garlic salt
1 cup cottage cheese (I used ricotta because that's what I had)
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded

Cook spaghetti in boiling water following label directions; drain. Place in 9x13 inch baking dish. Stir in next five ingredients until thoroughly combined. Spread mixture evenly in pan. Saute chuck, onion, and green pepper in oil in large skillet until meat is brown; drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce, sugar, oregano, and garlic salt. Spread cottage cheese over spaghetti layer and top with meat mixture. Bake at 350 for half hour. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over top and bake and additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and just begins to brown. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.
Serves 6.

Sweet and Sour Lentils and Kielbasa over Rice

3 cups dry brown lentils, rinsed
1 package turkey kielbasa, sliced.
3 Tb. vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 med to large zucchini, shredded
3-8 to 10 ounce cans pineapple chunks
2-3 Tb fresh ginger, chopped fine
6 Tb. soy sauce
6 Tb. brown sugar
6 Tb. ketchup
1 tsp. pepper

1. Put lentils in a pot and add twice the amount of water. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn heat to medium-low, simmer until tender, about 45 minutes. Drain lentils in a strainer.
2. Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and zucchini. Cook until onions are soft.
3. Add pineapple and ginger. Cook for 5 minutes.
4. Add lentils and kielbasa and the rest of the ingredients. Cook, stirring regularly, for 20 more minutes.
5. Serve over rice or wrap in tortillas.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Menu for This Week

Surprise, surprise, I actually have it together enough to post my menu for the week.

Monday: Spaghetti Pie

Tuesday: Sweet and Sour Lentils and Kielbasa over Rice

Wednesday: Chicken Tikka Masala

Thursday: Ham and bean soup with beer cheese bread

Friday: Pizza Pockets (doubling recipe for lunches)

I really need to be better at cooking a "real" meal more than twice a week. I know we're busy, but it's no excuse.