Tuesday, January 31, 2012

3 in 30 Jan. Recap


John tonsilsIt’s hard to believe January is just about over.  As I sit here writing, I’m with my Drummer-boy who had a tonsillectomy earlier today.  He hurts.  So does his mama.  I hate when my babies hurt.

Anyway, with all of the tonsil drama this month, I am amazed I actually got some things done.  Here is my original post.

My January Goals -

1.  Household:
*Update my Christmas Binder – finish up 2011 and set up for 2012 – Done!
*Change Doctor’s Offices (GP and Pediatrician) – Moved to March after the tonsil crisis.
*Update my blogchange header and signature,
start our GF Story – still gotta do that story – maybe in March at the 1 year mark…
3. Personal:
*Work on my morning schedule (quiet time, exercise, etc.) –
due to the fast at church, I have pretty much established a daily 6am wake up and quiet time. 
*Date Night with Chris (want to do this monthly) – turned into a family date, but we did a couple @ home dates – breakfast and lunch.
*Read my three  two books for this month – will finish the other two in Feb.

So yeah, I think I did pretty good.

How about you?  Did you accomplish what you wanted to in January? 
If you haven’t already, head over and check out the 3 in 30 site.


Monday, January 30, 2012

Menu Plan Monday–Jan. 30

orgjunkiempm1Is it Monday again already?  Actually it’s heading toward Tuesday as I write this, but I want to get it down on paper so to speak…it’s an accountability thing, ya’ know?

This week is one of “the unknown.”  Drummer has surgery on Tuesday to get those blasted tonsils out, so the meal planning HAD to include easy to prep meals.  I thought ahead just a little bit and roasted a chicken today in the crockpot, and aside from my house smelling divine all day, I have a large bowl of cooked chicken just waiting – like a blank canvas…

AND now, I have the broth simmering away in the same crockpot for use at the point at which Drummer is up to a little homemade broth.  I just love when a plan comes together…

ANYWAY, here is the menu plan, though it is completely subject to change…

Sunday – CORN – Clean Out Refrigerator Night

Monday – Burgers, Fries, Broccoli (Drummer called it his “last supper” at least for a week or so…)

TuesdayChicken Enchiladas

Wednesday – Chili – maybe.  Anyone have a good recipe?

ThursdayRed Beans & Rice

Friday – Chicken Noodle Soup (given Drummer wants it…)

Saturday – CORN (Clean Out Refrigerator Night) or homemade pizza

What’s on YOUR menu?
For hundreds of other ideas, visit OrgJunkie


Friday, January 27, 2012

Five Minute Friday–Tender

Each Friday we gather with Gypsy Mama and write for a mere five minutes on a single topic.  Today the word is tender.  And boy this was a tough one….(pun somewhat intended…)

Ellie 3 wks

Photo is my brother holding his 3 week old baby daughter in the palm of his hand…



Tender are soft words spoken between husband and wife.


Tender is holding your newborn babe for the first time. Or any newborn for that matter…simply miraculous.


Tender is holding your teen daughter as she cries over the loss of a friendship.


Tender are kind words spoken after a disagreement – forgiveness.


Tender are the “words fitly spoken” by a true friend – honesty, trust.


Tender is the Holy Spirit who leads and guides in all situations, relationships and life itself – love.




Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Standing or Flowing?

Standing Water Collage

At this time of year in the northeast, we see a lot of water – in the forms of rain, snow and ice.  And in the last week or so we’ve had it all.  We had a bunch of snow fall late last week – and it melted.  Then we had a bunch of rain fall – and it gathered into giant puddles.  Then we had the temperatures drop – and ice formed.  We’ve had it all!

What God has been showing me is about the standing water.  I wish I had taken a photo of our neighbor’s back yard the other day when it was completely under water.  Most of it is gone now, down where it’s needed most, into the water table, except for a few low spots where it stands today, as ice.

What He showed me about that standing water was that is doesn’t move.  It doesn’t flow.  It just sits.  And if it’s summer, bugs and the such start to accumulate.  But in the case of today, it freezes and really doesn’t move.

As I thought about that, I realized it’s kind of like our walk with the Lord. He is the Living Water…and we have the privilege of housing His living water within us as well…

“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”  John 7:38

How often to we tap into that source of Living Water?  Is it daily, maybe in our morning quiet time?  Is it at night when we lay our weary bodies down to sleep?  Is it a constant thing throughout the day – relationship?  That’s what He really wants…constant interaction, moving and flowing with Him, being ready in an instant to do what He needs done, relationship.

Unfortunately, we don’t always tap in and flow with the Lord.  I know I have been guilty of letting my days slip away from me, only to breathe a prayer as I drift off at the end of a long day.  Too much of that and that’s when the standing water goes from merely standing to stagnant.  Icky.  That’s when we begin to feel more tired, and oppression and depression can be more heightened.

Friends, that’s a choice we make.  We make the choice to spend time with Him or not.  To pray, to worship with a cd in the car, to read a book instead of watch tv, to fellowship with other believers of like mind…all choices we make that can keep our water – our living water from becoming still and stagnant.

“For I am the LORD, I do not change”  Mal. 3:6

God doesn’t change…we do.  He’s always there, whether we are or not.  He’s waiting.  He’s provided that living, sustainable water for us, BUT He invites us to stir it up and flow with Him.  And I know for me, I am doing a whole lot of stirring and changing these days.  Some visible, some not so much.  But changes nonetheless.  And that is good. 

As I have implemented the 6am wake up time, prayer and more study of the Word, I feel a lot less weighted down, and I’m more ready “in season”.  More in tune with Him and His desires.

How about you – do you struggle with choosing to keep your river of living water flowing and moving?  What things do you do to keep it flowing?


Linked up with:
Women in the Word @ Good Morning Girls
Wordless Wednesday @ 5 Min. for Mom
Wordful Wednesday @ Living Out Loud


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Menu Plan 1/23 (Tuesday Style…)


Well, things were going pretty well.  I had the menu done, I just didn’t get it posted until now….bummer.

Sunday: BBQ Spare Ribs and Seasoned Fries

Monday: Grilled Chicken, Asparagus and Green Salad

Tuesday: Burgers, Fries and Mixed Veggies

Wednesday:  Taco Salad

Thursday:  Meatloaf, Green Salad and Veggies

Friday:  Out with the kids for dinner and a movie

Saturday: Homemade Pizza and Wings

That’s it for this week….what’s on your plate?
Visit OrgJunkie MPM for lots more ideas….


Friday, January 20, 2012

Five Minute Friday–Vivid


Every Friday over at Gypsy Mama we just write for five minutes on a particular topic. 
This week it is the word Vivid. 

Driving at sunrise wmReady.  Set.  Go.

Vivid, that is how I would like my life to be defined.  I’d like to be one who is bold and outspoken, always going-for-it in life.

I’m much more quiet and reserved than that.  I’m not outspoken and I over-think just about everything.

But does that mean I can’t live a vivid life?

If my days and relationships are constantly filled with the Presence of the Lord, then I believe they are vivid.  Not because of me, but because of Him who is in me!  He is the strikingly bright and intense, full of life, strong, and distinct therefore there is no reason I can’t be either – after all, He lives in me!

Your turn……

Thursday, January 19, 2012

One Snowy Day….

We live in the NorthEast. 

Today the forecast was windy, snowy, and cold.  And zero visibility. 

It started about two o’clock.  I left work at three.  Made it to pick up Dollie at her school in about half and hour.  It’s a 15 min drive.  Then we headed over to get Drummer from his school.  Another 15 minutes.

imageWhile we were sitting there waiting for him to appear, the snow started to pick up and then there was a “ding”.  It was a loud “ding”.  Then I noticed a symbol on my dash that hadn’t been there minutes before.  We checked the manual and it was a tire pressure warning signal. 

{I’m sure you know where this is going….oh yes it is….}

We proceeded to get out of the car in the blowing snow to see if we had a flat tire, and they looked ok to us. 

Drummer appeared and we took off.  We drove a couple of miles to the grocery store on the way home to grab a loaf of GF bread so Dollie could have a sandwich, because I just couldn’t even think about dinner.  I dropped her off with $5 and a mission and I proceeded to drive around to get ready to snag her when she emerged.

A kind woman trudging her very full cart through the 2+ inches of parking lot snow drifts stopped and informed me “that my tire was just about flat.”  Oh man!!!  We pulled over and I checked and sure enough she was right.  What did I think – she would lie to me? 

I wasn’t at all sure what to do.  Hubs is out of town this week.  Really out of town – like across the country.  So I made my first call – to our fabuloso mechanic!!  Voicemail.  Bummer.  My second call – to Hubs, across the country…what did I think he could do?  I was hoping for an idea of what to do…any idea would do….
flat tire 2m

He told me to drive home…slowly.  We both knew it would ruin the tire, but honestly, didn’t care.  I just wanted to get home. 
flat tire tow wm

Meanwhile, he called the fabuloso mechanic, and reached him.  In true fashion for Dan, he took care of everything…called the tow truck, will change to the spare in the morning and get a new tire by afternoon tomorrow.  We won’t have a vehicle in the morning…kids are bummed – they can’t get to school….oh well.

How was your Thursday?

Linked with PhotoStory Friday with Lolli & Better in Bulk.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

January Reading List…

January reads wm

I have a goal this year to R.E.A.D.

I have always loved to read. And this year I am going to go back to that love.   I am hoping to read at least one book from each of three categories: Edification, Education, and Enjoyment.

Edificationto build, establish, to instruct and improve especially in moral and religious knowledge

Education - to provide schooling for, to provide with information, to develop mentally, morally, or aesthetically especially by instruction

Enjoyment - to take pleasure or satisfaction in, to have a good time

Now that I have defined my parameters, I chose a few books for January. 

My January List:

Edification: The Meal That Heals by Perry Stone

Education:One Bite at a Time: 52 Projects for Making Life Simpler” e-book by Tsh Oxenreider    52bites.com

Enjoyment:The Witness, by Dee Henderson

And of course the over-achiever in me rose up as I did a Sunday School lesson Benaiah recently, and I began another book called “In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day” by Mark Batterson.  I’m not really sure which category it fits in…

And the book on the bottom of the pile is turning out to be rather good.  “Relentless” by John Bevere.  This one will be read over a three month period and since Chris is out of town this week, I get to teach Life Group, and this is the text.

For the most part, the books I’m focusing on this year are ones I’ve picked up over the last few years with lots of good intentions to read.  Well, here we go.  But I also have a couple of Kindle gift-cards from Christmas, so I am picking up a few   e-books here and there.

Have you seen Saving & Giving's lists of Free Kindle books?  I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!  My Kindle Fire is totally stocked and they were mostly FREE!  But wait!  You don’t have to have a Kindle to enjoy most of these freebies!  You can download an app and read them on just about any device…

And finally, there is …

You can click on that big pic to learn more, if you don’t already know about Paperback Swap!  It’s a great way to get great books, and keep down the clutter as well!  Win Win Situation!!
Here’s my latest mailing…

Paperback Swap wm

What are you reading?  What is your source for great books?

Monday, January 16, 2012



Intentional.  That’s my word for 2012.

I’ve never assigned a word to a year before, but this year, after reading various blogs, I was compelled to seek the Lord and see what He thought.  Even that was intentional, deliberate. 

When I looked up the word intentional, this is what I found.

Intentional – done by intention or design
Intention means – a determination to act in a certain way
Synonyms include:  conscious, deliberate, intended, knowing, purposeful, purposive, set, voluntary, willed, willful

So far, this new mindset is working for me.  For that is what I feel it is, a mindset.  Though I am getting things done, and thus have more time for things like reading and movie-watching which of course is a wonderful side benefit, the purpose I think is much bigger.  Much more purposeful.

“A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.”  Prov. 16:9

“Commit your ways works to the Lord and your thoughts will be established.”  Prov. 16:3

It’s more about me focusing in and really seeking the Lord on everything!  I’ve gone so far as to ask Him what to do, what to focus on today, and He gave me a list.  Really, a list.  And unlike my to-do lists which seldom get finished, His list is DONE.  AND I had a lunch date with my kiddos, and I’m headed back in to watch a show or two with them before bedtime.  And maybe even a little more reading before bed.


So my goal, or one of them for this year…I guess it’s kind of like the “Master Goal” upon which all the others are built, is to live each day with intention…deliberately…purposefully…taking it all in, not just letting the days go by and Enjoying the Process as I go along!!

That’s my goal for 2012 – how about you – do you have a word for this year?


Linked with The Better Mom!




Menu Plan 1/16/12


Things seem to be going pretty well here in the land of Menu Planning at our house?  How about you?  We did pretty well following the schedule last week, with only one spontaneous take out dinner.

Sunday: Gluten Free Baked Ziti

Monday: Homemade Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Tuesday: Fajitas

Wednesday:  Breakfast of some sort I think, since we have church

Thursday:  Lime Chicken & Black Bean Burritos

Friday:  Potluck for Life Group

Saturday: Ribs and Baked Beans

That’s it for this week….what’s on your plate?
Visit OrgJunkie MPM for lots more ideas….


Friday, January 13, 2012

Five Minute Friday - AWAKE

ClockPhoto Credit: dascrooge

I giggled to myself just a little bit when I opened my RSS this morning and found that Gypsy Mama had chosen the word AWAKE for her Five Minute Friday topic.  I knew this was one week I wasn’t going to miss…

Here we GO.

Awake.  I’ve been awake a lot in these past few weeks.  A Lot.  Between Drummer and his seemingly endless nights of feeling sickly over the holidays and the month of January, I have been awake.

January at church was designated as a Corporate Fast.  Everyone fasts. Every day.  You choose the “way” with the direction of the Holy Spirit, but it’s up to you. 

I felt led to fast sleep.

Strange huh?  Well, a fast is about denying the flesh, and what I’m learning as I get up each day at dark-o-clock, is that my flesh is feeling it.  You see, I like to sleep.  I crave it.  I will avoid other things for it.  It had to be fasted, in order for me to discover these things, and admit them.  That’s the key.

Have I taken a nap or two.  Yeah, late in the day usually when I still have many hours left, but only 15-20 min. The key for me has been getting up and spending that dark, early time with My Maker…and enjoying it.   I am learning so much about Him AND ME!  Imagine that.

Will I continue to get up like this after January is over?  I don’t know.  I hope it becomes a habit, because I kind of like the effects….but will I be able to continue denying this flesh of mine? We shall see…….


    5-minute-friday-11. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
    2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
    3. Most important: comment and encourage the person who linked up before you.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Recipe: Monkey Bread

One of our favorite traditions during the Holidays is to have Monkey Bread on Christmas Morning.  This year was a challenge because of the whole gluten-issue, but I searched and prayed and searched some more and thanks be to God, we had our Monkey Bread on Christmas morning.  And again on New Years! 

When Drummer saw it come out of the oven he said –
“Who says gluten-free can’t look good?”

Monkey Bread 1 wm

Then after he said – “who says gluten-free can’t taste good?”
(And he’s NOT my gluten-free child!!)

Monkey Bread 2 wm




Gluten-Free Version:


Cinnamon Roll Dough Directions:  Adapted from GF Homemaker

2 T butter

¼ cup sugar

2/3 cup milk

1 egg

¼ cup oil

1 tsp. vanilla

1 Tbs instant yeast

¼ cup sorghum flour

½ cup millet flour

¾ cup corn starch

¼ tsp baking soda

2 ½ tsp. xanthan gum

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt


1.  Combine butter and sugar in mixing bowl and mix well.

2.  Add egg, oil, vanilla, and milk (hold back about 3 T).

3.  Beat on high about 2 minutes until well mixed with no lumps.  Dough will be soft.  Add more of the milk if necessary.

4.  Cover and chill in refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.


Monkey Bread Directions:

1 cup sugar

2 tsp. cinnamon

½ cup butter

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup chopped nuts (we like walnuts)

½ cup raisins (optional – ick!)


1.  Place sugar and cinnamon into a large Ziploc bag and shake well to combine.

2.  Roll chilled dough into 1” balls and place several at a time into the bag.

3.  Shake to coat with the sugar.

4.  Lay coated pieces in bundt pan, interspersing with the chopped nuts.

5.  Melt butter and brown sugar in small pan and let boil one minute.

6.  Pour butter and brown sugar over the dough.

7.  Bake at 350 ° for about 20 minutes.

8.  Cool for a few minutes and turn onto a plate.

9.  Enjoy!!!


And if like us you need still more sugar, add glaze to the top:

¾ cup powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 Tbs milk


Original Gluten-Full EASY Recipe:

3 pkg refrigerated biscuit dough (12oz each)

1 cup sugar

2 tsp. cinnamon

½ cup butter

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup chopped nuts (we like walnuts)

½ cup raisins (optional – ick!)


1.  Place sugar and cinnamon into a large Ziploc bag and shake well to combine.

2.  Cut the biscuits into quarters and place several at a time into the bag.

3.  Shake to coat with the sugar.

4.  Lay coated pieces in bundt pan, interspersing with the chopped nuts.

5.  Melt butter and brown sugar in small pan and let boil one minute.

6.  Pour butter and brown sugar over the dough.

7.  Bake at 350 ° for about 20 minutes.

8.  Cool for a few minutes and turn onto a plate.

9.  Enjoy!!!


You’re Welcome!

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Fallsview Get-away

About a week before Christmas Chris and I had the opportunity to get away for an overnight!  The first in a good long while!  Since we live in Western NY, heading to Canada to stay near the Falls is not a huge stretch.  Yes, we are blessed!
When we arrived at the hotel and checked in on Sunday afternoon, it was C.O.L.D. and we could see lots of freezing mist from the falls which was freezing on the trees!  Sooo pretty! But incredibly cold!  These photos were all shot from the window in our room!!
Fallsview 1 wmFallsview 2 wm
Then, as I was snapping a few photos in one direction,
Chris pointed out the rainbow!  Love it!
Fallsview 3 wm
Part of the package we had was dinner.  It was NICE.  They had a shuttle for us and everything!  Dinner was lovely, and it included a singing wait staff.  Our waitress told us it was “part of the job description.”  How cool is that?!?  I couldn’t work there, but I enjoyed it!  We had a nice table by the fire and the food was delish!!!
We also had conversation!  God really led us and we talked about our hopes and plans for the new year and all that we feel God is going to do.  We are not big on resolutions, but we do feel change is necessary and indeed imminent!
And what better way to end our time than a sunrise like this?
Fallsview 4 wm
God really met us this weekend.  We walked away not only refreshed and renewed, but re-connected and we have a vision and a plan for this year!!!  What could be better than that!?!
How about you – do you do this kind of planning?
Linked with Lolli at Photo Story Friday

Recipe: Enchiladas


Enchiladas – Corn & Cheese


8 Tortilla Shells (Corn for gluten-free)

1 Tbs vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic

½ onion, diced (optional)

1 ½ cup frozen corn

¾ cup black beans (optional)

½ cup milk


2 cups Pepper Jack cheese, shredded – reserve ½ cup.

1 can Enchilada Sauce (Old El Paso is GF)


Note: You can easily adapt this with chicken too if you want to increase the protein.


1.  Preheat oven to 350°.

2.  Warm oil in skillet and sauté garlic and onion.

3.  Stir in corn and milk; cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened about  7-10 min.

4.  Season with salt.  Add black beans and warm through. 

5.  Spoon mixture onto center of each tortilla, top with cheese and roll.

6.  Set in pan, seam side down.

7.  Pour enchilada sauce over all; sprinkle with remaining cheese.

8.  Bake 20 min. or until bubbly.


Again, I forgot to take a photo, but I’ll get one next time and add it.
These are very yummy, GF or not.

I’m working on a better alternative to the corn tortillas, since they don’t hold together very well.



Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Recipe: Red Beans & Rice

Can hardly believe I forgot to take a photo…next time. 
But I’m going to post the yumminess anyway…
It’s simple and just a few ingredients which makes it the perfect go-to!!

I almost always double this for our family of four…

Red Beans & Rice
2-3 slices of bacon
1 14 ½oz can chicken broth
¾ cup brown rice (or 1 cup instant rice)
1 small onion, diced
Tabasco sauce (to taste)
1 15 ½ oz can red kidney beans

1. Cook bacon in skillet until crispy. Remove and allow to cool. Chop.
2. Saute onion in bacon drippings.
3. Add bacon, broth, rice, and Tabasco.
4. Bring to a boil and reduce heat.
5. Cover and simmer 40 min.
6. Add un-drained beans (I drain them).
7. Cover and heat through.

8. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream.


Monday, January 2, 2012

MPM– 1/2/12


A new year.  2012 – Can you believe that one!?!
A new resolve to organize.
A menu plan for the next TWO weeks!
I got going and just kept on going…..

This week I pulled out some “oldie but goodies” since we are just trying to get back in the swing of things and Chris will be out of town at the end of the the week…

Sunday – Panini Sandwiches
Monday – Lunch @ Denny’s – No one is hungry…
TuesdayRed Beans & Rice with Corn
WednesdayEnchiladas with Veggies
Thursday – Venison Teriyaki Stir Fry
Friday – Roast Chicken in the Crockpot
Saturday – Chicken Salad with leftover roast chicken

What is on your menu this week?

Linked up with OrgJunkie and Menu Plan Monday

Sunday, January 1, 2012

January 2012 - 3 in 30 goals…


I’m not much for making New Year’s Resolutions, but this year I am into making some changes and getting some things done.

In my blog trolling reading lately, I came across this wonderful site 3 in 30  by Meghan and Ashley. It’s a great way to take our to-do lists and break them down into manageable pieces that get accomplished during a 30 day period. 

One month – 3 goals accomplished – I’m IN!

This month, I will be working on the following in three areas:

1.  Household:
Update my Christmas Binder – finish up 2011 and set up for 2012
*Change Doctor’s Offices (GP and Pediatrician)
2.  Blog:
*Update my blog – change header and signature, start our GF Story
3. Personal:
*Work on my morning schedule (quiet time, exercise, etc.)
*Date Night with Chris (want to do this monthly)
*Read my three books for this month

What are three goals you want to accomplish this month?

3 in 30 

Happy New Year 2012!!


Photo Credit: eighteen25

I cannot believe 2012 is here! 
There are so many changes coming and it’s exciting! 
I am not one on making resolutions, but I am making some changes this year!  And I can’t wait to share them with you!
Happy New Year 2012!!