Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Church?





Does this look to you like a place where a church would meet?
Well, beginning on 01.10.10 it will be on Sunday Mornings!

The next location of Real Church Detroit will start right in this
room... which is on the top story of a beautiful building in
Midtown Detroit.

The waiting is FINALLY over! Thank you, Jesus, for providing!!!

To read more about it... and the irony of it all... please click
on Chilly's blog at www.ichilly.com

And please pray.
We need portable chairs & sound equipment
kid's puppets and a portable stage.
(I'll be starting this new kids' ministry, too!...
and I'm excited!)




Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Diss the "Dis" in Discourage = COURAGE!






Discouragement comes.
God knows that.
But what's the appropriate response?


Psalm 61:2-3 (NLT)
"From the ends of the earth my heart is overwhelmed.
Lead me to the towering rock of safety,
for YOU are my safe refuge,
a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me."



CRY OUT!
My strength is renewed when I'm crying out to God
-for help
-in praise
It's not a lack of faith. It's a result of faith!
(complaining & self-thought comes from Lack of )


OVERWHELMED?!
As I expressed my heart to God this morning I
realized suprising things were overwhelming me.
Stuff I hadn't realized were truly bothering me.
How refreshing to lay them down.


TOWERING SOLID ROCK!
He's above me... and when so many things in my life
are uncertain, the IMPORTANT elements are NOT!
I had to stop right here & praise Him for a while.

He's towering above - so I must look up!
When I do that I become so aware of HIS presence.
Then I'm reminded that He's a ...


SAFE REFUGE!
His presence remains constant.
It's me that focuses on other things.
When I stay aware of His consistent, precious presence
then...


ENEMIES CANNOT REACH ME!
That discouragement & "overwhelmedness" loses grip.
and I'm free!


SO....
What things are overwhelming you?
Have you truly "cried" out to God or just complained?
Are you aware of His presence?
Then you're free!
Freedom is COURAGE!




Monday, December 28, 2009

Menu Plan Monday, Dec. 28, 2009




Well, we KNOW we're planting another church in the
Midtown are of Detroit... on 01.10.10

What we still don't know it is WHERE.
Location. Location. Location.
grr
I hate wait.

But, while many things in our lives are on hold,
we still must EAT!
and thus..... this post.

MONDAY
Lunch- Do Overs
Dinner- Homemade Lasagna with Homemade Noodles

TUESDAY
Lunch- Loaded Baked Potatoes
Dinner- Chicken Fingers (Hmmd), Noodles, peaches

WEDNESDAY
Lunch- Pergoies
Dinner- Chilton Chili

THURSDAY, New Year's Eve
Lunch- French Fry Salad (and canned soup if it's snowing)
Dinner- Chicken Enchiladas (crockpot)




FRIDAY, Happy New Year!!!!
Lunch- Homemade Pizza Bar
Dinner- Broccoli Bacon Soup (hm md)

SATURDAY
Lunch- Waffles, yogurt & fruit
Dinner- Crockpot Gumbo over Rice

SUNDAY
Lunch- Crockpot Meatballs & Spaghetti
Dinner- Do Overs or Loaded Nachos


More ideas.... www.orgjunkie.com


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Whatever, Whenever, However!






Looking forward to the next step.
New people to reach.
New area of the city.
I love Detroit.
Midtown- so full of history & variety.

Living in limbo for months & months.
Not knowing what or when or WHY the wait...
simply knowing what God said.
Hanging on to that.
Obeying that.
It has to be enough.
Anything more would be man-made,
and that's recipe for trouble.

God doesn't lie.
He doesn't mislead.
He doesn't mess with us.
But my feelings, do... all of those things.
They lie to me.
Mislead me.
Mess me up.
They try to discourage me.

My feelings want "NOW!"
My feelings want "HOW!"
My feelings aren't getting what they want-
it can be very discouraging.
If I focus on "how things are effecting me",
then I'm a mess,
for sure

But my feelings won't rule me.
It's not about ME.
I choose JESUS!

My life belongs to JESUS.
He can do
whatever,
whenever,
however.

Life is really ONLY about YOU, JESUS!





(more details about the Midtown Church
can be found at www.ichilly.com)















Wednesday, December 23, 2009

This post is NOT about Baking!






Baking!
I love to bake!
Haven't done too much of it this year, though.

BUT...
while I was making a couple batches of yummy treats & adding
the ingredients together it struck me...

- All the things added to cookie dough are kinda gross on their own:
raw eggs, baking powder, flour, sugar, etc...

- But mixed all together and then baked they're irresistible!


JUST LIKE THE CHURCH!

-Each of us has something to offer, but by ourselves were not
very appealing or effective.

- Mixed together and baked in the warmth of the Holy Spirit
our efforts are WONDERFUL!

So...
eat and cookie... (or two) and thank God for the Christians
He's put in your life.
Name them.
Pray for them.




Then go eat another cookie...
it IS Christmas, after all!



Monday, December 21, 2009

Menu Plan Monday, Dec. 21, 2009






MONDAY
Lunch- Scrambled Eggs
Dinner- TBA

TUESDAY
Lunch- Broccoli Soup, Bread

WEDNESDAY
Lunch- Soup (of some sort)
Dinner- Crescent Roll Chicken Pot Pie

THURSDAY - Christmas Eve
Lunch- Veggie Wreath & Canned Soup
Dinner- Mama's NOT cookin!

CHRISTMAS DAY!
Main Meal- Beef Wellington, Yorkshire Pudding,
Date wrapped in Bacon, Fruit Tree, Gr. Bean Casserole,
Cheesey Potatoes (I'm not making all of these)
Zillions of cookies & Jesus' B-day Cake

Later- Crackers & Cheese, Veggies, Desserts

SATURDAY
Lunch- Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Fruit
Dinner- Chicken Alfredo, Peas, Salad


SUNDAY
Lunch- Salisbury Meatballs in crockpot
Mashed Potatoes in 2nd crockpot
Green Beans



More ideas? www.orgjunkie.com


Friday, December 18, 2009

DIY Encouragement!




It's super CHIC to do stuff yourself this year.
Recycle.
Reuse.
Repurpose.
There's a zillion DIY blogs out there with ideas about
how to make, create and craft yourself a fantastic Christmas.
(and I've read about 1/2 a zillion of them)

Did you know...
God is all about DIY!

"What?" (you're thinking)
"We can't do anything of worth without JESUS, right?"
RIGHT.

But He's given us the tools to get outa discouragement,
to walk away from disappointment and the things
that came wear us down into ineffectiveness.

Many of us hit a big bump in the road and then we're
bummed, smiling that pathetic "I'm-trying-to-make-
you-notice-I'm-not-ok-smile."
We don't have to walk around looking to other people
to "cheer us up" or to help us feel better.

Look was Jude tells us ...


Jude vs. 16, 20-21
"...grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires"
"But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most
holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.
21 Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our
Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life."

So, strap on your spiritual tool belt and
fix your sad face & weary heart:



D- Don't Complain

Jude calls complainers & grumblers "evil!"
Are you "evil" according to this definition?

Ungratefulness is selfishness.
Selfishness is putting self first.
Putting self first is taking God out of first place.
And that's serious!
(see Ten Commandments, #1)

Stop complaining... even if it's just in your head.
Enough said.




I- In the Spirit/In HIS Love

This isn't some weird spiritual trance...
it's living according to The WORD!
So you hafta READ it...
and LIVE it.
THINK on it.
Pray it!

Notice that verse 21 says
"keep OURselves in God's love."
His love has already been given.
It's up to US to stay close. Stay in it.

(This has a great deal to do with your thoughts
and attitude, too. See the first point again if need be!)
Pray as the Holy Spirit directs you.
Rejoice cuz JESUS loves You!
Then the Holy Spirit can be at work in you.




Y- You can Make a Difference

We cannot have mercy, share God's love &
snatch others from the fire & save them if
we're busy thinking about ourselves &
how discouraged we are.
Stop thinking about "self" and make a difference
in someone else's life!

You can decide to do this.
These steps are NOT feelings.
But feelings will eventually catch up with these actions.
Chose it!

Encourage yourself.
Do it.. yourself... with the power of GOD's WORD!




His WORD .... an AMAZING CHRISTMAS GIFT!
READ IT!
APPLY IT!






Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Things Overheard in Our House Recently...


(No promise of humor or insight of any kind...
just random facts that give you a peek into
our lives lately.)




(Jos Campau Street in Hamtramck at Christmas time)


"Mom, are you going anywhere today? We never go anywhere."

"Mama, please play a game with me!"

"I'm cold."

"Do you think the boys' room is warm enough?"

"Hey, Kids! Look outside!!! It's SNOWING! Yippee!"

"Where's my other glove?"

"Where are you going all bundled up?"
"The basement, just doing laundry."



"Would someone please let the dog out?"

"Would someone Please let the dog in?"

"Would someone PLEASE clean up the muddy dog prints
on the kitchen floor?"

"Did you hear the radio commercial raising money for the pets of
people who have lost their jobs. What's with that?"



"Let it snow... MORE!"

"No, Son, you don't need to wear your boots in the house!"


"No, we haven't found a building for the next Real Church...
YET!"

"Shhh. Please be very quiet for a minute while a make a phone call."



"Can we go to the craft store.... again?"

"I REALLY like driving the new (well, new to us) Suburban!!!"

"Online versions of stores are nothing like the actual stores."

"What? Christmas decor 60% off even though it's still over a week until
the Big Day!"

"Crazy. Valentine Decor is now taking up TWO rows of craft store. Grr"

"Mom, can I have a Valentine's Party with some girls from church?"



Little Ones: "Mom, another package on the porch. It's for you!
How come you keep getting all the presents in the mail?"
Mom: "Please just putt'um in my room & leave'um alone!"


"What are you doing Mom?"
"It's Christmastime, remember? I don't have to explain
anything... secrets are allowed!" (smile)

"Hey, Mom already said I could help wrap those presents!"


"I've had this ready for weeks. But if it doesn't get mailed
soon it's gunna be late... again this year!"


"A package came for ALL of us! Can we open it NOW?"Pleease?"



"Mom, please tell him to stop talking! MOM!
MOM! Please! Would you PLEASE tell him to stop talking!
MOM!?! He will NOT be quiet. MOOOOOM?"


"You must not believe in Santa cuz you're being baaaad!"
(it's NOT the parents saying this!)



"What is this? Do I have to eat it?"

"Can I have a cookie if I eat this?"

"Oh, did you make some poppy seed bread for us, too?"



"Can I please have another turn on the computer?"


"Can I play wii? I haven't played it today?"


"What do you mean we're not getting presents that require
batteries or that plug in?"


"Can you please turn up the music?"

"Can you please turn down the music?"


"Watch, Mom. This is the song we're doing on Stage at
Church. Watch. Mom, WATCH!"


"Can we just stop doing school for now & start Christmas
break already?"

"Can I watch a Christmas show?"

"Charlie Brown shows are sad. I don't like'um."


"Can I invite the neighbors to my Christmas play?"


"Look, I made a picture of Baby Jesus."

...... and then...

......I Smile....


(Smiles don't make noise, but they speak
louder than all the rest!)











Sunday, December 13, 2009

Menu Plan Monday, Dec. 14 2009




MONDAY
Lunch- Cranberry French Toast, scrambled Eggs
Dinner- TBA

TUESDAY
Lunch- Crockpot Beef Stew
Dinner- Grilled Cheese, fruit

WEDNESDAY
Dinner- Lunchables (homemade)

THURSDAY
Lunch- Yogurt, Apple Slices, Tiny PB & J Sandwiches
Dinner- Chili in Crockpot

FRIDAY
Lunch- Canned Soup (w/ leftover Veggies added)
Dinner- Homemade Pizza

SATURDAY
Lunch- Homemade Mac & Cheese, Broccoli
Dinner- Do Overs

SUNDAY
Lunch- Crockpot Meatballs over Spaghetti
Dinner- Crescent Roll-Ups

For More ideas check out Organizing Junkie

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What are you doing that day?



What are you doing on January 10, 2010?
(Besides wearing warm clothes, eating lotsa
soup & shivering occasionally?)

We've made our plans!
and yet,
The future is completely UNKNOWN at this point...
But we know this...
There's another church opening in Detroit on that day!!!

No building... yet.
No specific funds available... yet.

But God knows HIS plans.
Where He guides He provides!
(That's not just a catchy Christian cliche'...
it's the truth! Our lives are living proof of
that OVER & OVER!)

You can read more of the story on Chilly's Blog.

Is God asking you to be involved ?
I dare you to ask Him.




Monday, December 7, 2009

Menu Plan Monday, Dec. 7, 2009



My schedule bulges with events, errands,
projects, surprises & TONS of room for
Jesus to do miracles!
(more details about that later!)

I'm shopping @ Kroger & buying way more
"quick foods" this week that usual. But with
coupons & online coupons loaded on my store
card it should work out OK.
_______________________________

MONDAY
Lunch- Scrambled Eggs, Oranges
Dinner- Lasagna, salad

TUESDAY
Lunch- Veggie Wraps
Dinner- Canned Soup & Toast
(w/some fresh veggies added)

WEDNESDAY
Lunch- Car Picnic
Dinner- Crockpot Cornbread Casserole

THURSDAY
Lunch- Cresent Roll Ups
(chicken, veg & cr. cheese, wrap in Cresent roll, bake)
Dinner- Brats, Gr. Peppers, Rice

FRIDAY
Lunch- Chicken w/Sweet Potato Fries
Dinner- Pizza

SATURDAY
Lunch- Chilton Chili & Rice
Dinner- Do overs

SUNDAY
Lunch- Roast Beef & Potato, Carrots
Dinner- Cheesy Biscuits, canned fruit



For more ideas check out Organizing Junkie.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

"Waiting is Poopy!"

My kids have been known to say ...
"Waiting is Poopy!"

I've said it, too. Quite a lot lately, but just to myself!

Our lives currently sit in a holding pattern as we
wait for Jesus to reveal details regarding the next
church plant in Detroit.

Waiting isn't a mistake. It's purposeful.


The following is taken from my journal entry just a few days ago...
______________________________________________








Selfishness overwhelms me.
Desires of "what I think I need"
are constantly fighting with my faith.

Of course I know better than to do this.
Of course my heart knows Jesus' way is the best way!

Why do I battle?

Sin is ugly. Sneaky. Sly.
It parades proudly like the "normal desires of all people."
"Normal" all right!
Normal as SIN.

Jesus,
Forgive me.
Forgive my sin of "want."
It hold me captive.
It feeds me lies that I believe.

Please forgive me for trying to fulfill my own needs;
it only adds to my bondage.

YOU!
Jesus, YOU are Liberating King.
Your plans.
Your will.
Your direction.
That's FREEDOM!

You ARE joy! Freedom! Song!

Today... YOU!

Always YOU!








Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It's HIS Birthday




Everyone wants things to improve
until it requires us to change something.

Change happens when we're willing to
let the Holy Spirit improve us.

Hangin' on to something?
Lay it down at Jesus' feet.
It's His Birthday, after all...

Give Him the gift He's wanting!


Jonah 2:8
"Those who cling to worthless idols
(anything I'm unwilling to lay down)
forfeit the grace that could be theirs."


1. What change are you hoping for?
2. What is Jesus asking you to do?
3. Are you doing it?


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Menu Plan Monday, Nov. 30, 2009





MONDAY
Lunch- Waffles w/diced cooked apples & yogurt
Dinner- Crock Pot Pasta Fagioli
(the link is not for crock pot version, but I'll adapt it)

TUESDAY
Lunch- Chicken & Rice Soup, toast
Dinner- Messy Max's, Carrot Sticks

WEDNESDAY
Lunch- Mac & Cheese (homemade), Broccoli
Dinner- Hmd "Lunchables"

THURSDAY
Lunch- "Dippy Lunch"
Dinner- Crockpot Swedish Meatballs over noodles,
corn & peas

FRIDAY
Lunch- French Fry Salad(w/roast beef)
Dinner- Pizza

SATURDAY
Lunch- Tereiki Chicken, Rice, Sweet Potato
Dinner- Hmd Lunchables

SUNDAY
Lunch- Crockpot Ham & Scallop Potatoes, Gr. Beans



For other ideas check out Organizing Junkie








Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Story of Fall #1



Once Thanksgiving is over it's Christmas Season ...
and in my head, FALL is over, too.

(And as far as I'm concerned it can start
snowing now, also! Don't hate me.
I love snow. I'm a Colorado Native, give
me a break!)

Here's a little review of our fall season...




School Begins




Dividers helped kids concentrate



















Mom (aka Grandma) came to visit & celebrate
Chase's b-day






































Saw some sweet cousins from Ohio & Toledo
(Mel & Becky Schafer, Alyssa & Chris w/Baby
Nathaniel and Amber)



















Celebrated REAL CHURCH's 5th Anniversary
with 7 of the 8 original people who helped
us plant the church.

















Learned to make applesauce at Mary Beth's
house. mmm



















Attended the STORY conference in Chicago area
with Freddie & Mo and...























Pastor TJ & Jess



















My little guy @ the Great Pumpkin Party...
completely unaware that he's probably not
supposed to be on the stage, dancing! ha!

























Beautiful "Lucy" from Narnia,
surrounded by cute baseball players.



more to come...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"Thanksgiving" is making me Sad

It makes me sad to hear the advertising...
"Shop ON Thanksgiving Day!"
(online or some stores are even open)

ICK

It's crazy enough that the day after Thanksgiving
turns into complete selfishness.
(We can say that it's all about getting a great gift,
but isn't it really about US saving OUR money?)

Don't get all upset, I'm not saying that all shopping
is bad. But we should examine our hearts.

What are you motives?

Why are you wanting those expensive gifts for so little?

Why can't THANKSGIVING DAY actually be a day
of giving thanks, enjoying people we love and giving
praise to GOD for what we already have... instead
of planning out & even buying what else we want!

sigh.














Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Fog Advisory

















Changing seasons bring FOG.

Our life is changing- but we're in a fog
We know where we're at,
but can't see what's ahead

And although we do know where we're at now
it's all fuzzy & seems unfamiliar

Fog changes ordinary into mysterious

Fog covers the obvious and triggers a
curiosity to understand what's behind it
and beyond it.

Fog pushes our thoughts past the regularity
into the unknown

Fog even decorates the plain with a mysterious desire for more

Fog
Requires caution
Move cautiously and with guidance

There's more on the other side of it
CHANGE
New
Currently Unseen

I'll walk through it
As the season transforms, I'm part of it

Fog Advisory.
Smile
Move and wait joyfully... at HIS command



Monday, November 23, 2009

Weekend Review

What an eventful, fun weekend!

Friday Evening -
A clothing exchange, ladies night out!
Shared Jesus' love through actions
and words.
So fun! Lotsa ladies attended!
So thankful for my church family.

Saturday-
Taught my 4 yr. old how to play
SkipBo! Crazy. He picked it up
in a few minutes. Fun!
(and made Sun.'s lunch & stuck it
in the frig!)
So thankful for my family & home.

Saturday Evening-
Attended an AMAZING Christmas
Dinner for ladies at Freedom Christian
Center. Was honored to speak to them
and share "DIY Encouragement." (Don't
wait for someone to encourage you, do
it yourself, from Jude 20-23.)
Had a blast!
And, my friend, Mary Beth filled the back of
my van with homeschool books! THANK YOU!
So thankful for opportunities to share
& be with new & "old" friends.


Sunday AM-
Real Church was spilling over with people,
praise & joy! Such fun to play piano for
worship (Chilly led) and hear God's
Word. Love Real Church!
So thankful God called us to Detroit.

Sunday Afternoon/Evening-
Nothing like a yummy lunch that's
already prepared and then a nice
quiet nap! zzz
Later I tackled a fun project & made
a Thanksgiving apron for Thursday.
Zoe helped me sew some fall pillows, too.
So thankful for evenings at home with the fam.


Fall.
Love it!
Love my fam & JESUS even MORE!

Happy Monday!

(sorry, no Menu Plan Monday today...
next week)





Wednesday, November 18, 2009

They left a Mark

NO one is "self-made."
We've all had many people who have left their
impressions on our lives. I'm so grateful for
those who have imprinted my life as a Child & Teen!

I'm thankful for... (in RANDOM order)

Mrs. Millie Bay, my Aunt, who used to sew Barbie clothes for
me as a child, created & built a dollhouse for Christmas one year,
laughed, loved and showed us all how to put out a great feast
with ease (with tables lined up all over her house!).

Mrs. Trisha Anderson who displayed gentleness & patience
when my teenage-instinct was anything but that.
And always welcomed me into her home.

Mrs. Cindy Steel who taught me much about "grown-up life"
but wrapped it all up in gut-busting laughter.
And always welcomed me into her home.

Mrs. Judy Young, cheerleading coach & teacher, who taught me
that I can never lead until I first learn to submit & follow.
(ouchy lessons) And I still hope to someday conquer that
stupid soft-shoe step she always tried to teach us! ha!

Mrs. Phyllis Robinson who cultivated my love for literature,
writing properly and the joy of working hard cuz someone was
expecting great things of you.

Mrs. Cindy Huey (my sister) who has loved me, hugged me,
laughed with me, believed in me and cheered me on from
the sidelines... even if those sidelines have been 100's of miles away.

Mrs. Luretta Bay, my Grandma, who loved all children,
found great joy in teaching us, had time to play games, made
great stovetop popcorn & let us eat pizza for breakfast,
had very soft skin & shared her love for jewelry with us.
I miss her.

Mrs. Doris Buxman who is every bit an "Aunt" to me. Loved on me.
Asked lotsa questions cuz she cared, feed me yummy meals cuz I
was always welcome at her table, and helped me enjoy the
"farm-life" when I went to her dairy.

Mrs. Pauletta Mickley, my Pastor's Wife & friends' Mom, who
showed me it's possible to be every-bit a lady while still being completely
called to the ministry. Loving her husband & family while leading,
preaching, directing, loving & caring for the church family.

Mrs. Marie Ann Hoke, my Grandma, whom I mostly know through
stories. Her strong and determined faith in Jesus inspires me
and encourages me to smile & find the best in things. (Her name
lives on in my daughter, Mariah and her middle name lives on in
Courtney's middle name)

"The Sisters." Those three adorable & generous sisters who each
taught a Sunday School class. For three years (in a row, I think)
we had one of them who'd invite us to their home for parties
and give us gifts at Christmastime. They spilled love on everyone!

Mrs. Norma Dunn, music teacher, who gave me opportunity
to sharpen & use the giftings invested in me. Some that would soon
after become my life's calling.

Mrs. Beth Burough, who taught children's church my entire
elementary years. Her (and her husband, Don, & a rotating team)
taught me songs that still play tunes of encouragement in my
head & heart, and their creativity (long before "kids ministry" was
"cool") inspired many ministry ideas in my own life.

"Teacher Buxman" who to this day I cannot actually remember
her first name, but was everyone's Sunday School teacher in early
elementary (or late preschool) years. We knew she loved us!

Mrs. Helen Hoke, my Aunt, who smiled at all of us cousins, and
seemed to find such joy in just observing us play.

Mrs. Joyce Fleenor, my piano teacher, who made learning fun,
who insisted on calling me "Netta Sue" and continually found
the good in my life. (And her gorgeous fingernails have left
a lasting impression, too. Not a week goes by that I don't do
my nails!)

Mrs. Daisy Crossiant, my Aunt, who always smells lovely,
laughs easily, prays for me and closed her kitchen often.
(I'm still trying to learn that last part!)

Mrs. Doni Kimble, my Aunt, who would play the piano at
family gatherings. And although everyones' singing was
kinda hard to listen to, I always admired her piano talents
and was inspired to keep practicing.

Mrs. Diane Garnsey, who showed me what colors look
good on me, how to apply makeup and that
I "should probably put on sweater cuz she's cold!" So Sweet!

Mrs. Linda Hoekman, who displayed love, loyality,
laughter & how to enjoy a good time without compromising!

Mrs. Kelly Reither, friend & cheerleading coach, who
proved her friendship many times and shared many
laughs and lotsa patience with me.

Mrs. Ruth Hoke, my Aunt, who proved that anyone
can fall in love with Jesus at any age and truly let
Him fill your life.

Mrs. Donna Hoke, my Aunt, who asks thoughtful questions
and remember what you've said the last time you talked
with her.

Mrs. Lisa Buxman, who taught me much through her honesty
about her life, marriage & family; and paid me to babysit
her adorable kids (Justin, Paige & Jaeda) that I love so
much I would've done it for free!

And of course...
Mrs. Martha Hoke, My MOM! It's SO hard to sum up all
that she's imprinted in my life! But ONE of the lessons
she lived out in front of me was faith & persistence!
Giving up wasn't an option. She pressed on, trusting
Jesus and never quitting!
(and about a zillion other things!)
____________________________________


















My 5 children reflect the many attributes of these ladies
& lessons learned from them.

If you're in MY life then you've probably been
indirectly effected by these woman as well.

"Thank You, JESUS, for all the wonderful ladies
who invested in my life!"

(and thank YOU for reading this all they way
to the end!)


















The Only One












Alone.

It stood alone among the other trees.

Not many were like it anywhere.
Most trees were empty. Naked. Leafless.
But there it stood.
Alone.
Beautiful.
Changing!

It's beauty caught my eye and soaked into my heart.
Change is beautiful.
Even when no one else seems to be in on it.

Or when it feels like everyone else is past this
and on to something else.
Keep changing.

God's Plan is perfect.
Jesus knows what He's doing.

Keep changing.
You're beautiful.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Menu Plan Monday, Nov. 16, 2009


















MONDAY
Lunch-Stuffed Baked Potatoes
Dinner- TBA

TUESDAY
Lunch- Penni's (grilled cheese in tortillas)
Dinner- Crockpot Chicken & Dumplings (w/carrots & celery)

WEDNESDAY
Lunch- Crispy Baked Chicken, Sweet Potatoes
Dinner- Homemade Lunchables

THURSDAY
Lunch- Veggie Soup & Salad
Dinner- Pasta Alfrado w/Veggies

FRIDAY
(a form of this soup)
Dinner- Homemade Pizza

SATURDAY
Lunch- Ham, Scalloped Potatoes, Gr. Beans
Dinner- Cheesy Roll-ups , Apples

SUNDAY
Lunch- Dorito Casserole, Tossed Salad, Rice
Dinner- Do overs (left overs)

For more ideas check out Organizing Junkie.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Dear...

Our lovely 13 yr. old, Courtney, was helping her 4 yr. old
brother, Max, get dressed for church this morning.

He did NOT want to wear the pants that she was
putting on him. He had other plans altogether!

"But Max," said Courtney, "these cool pants are from
Old Navy!"

Max replied,
"Dear Old Navy,
These are the ugliest pants in the whole wide world!"
Signed,
Max"



LOL!!!!!!

(He IS wearing them... and they're adorable.
But now I will always think of this when he wears them!)


I love kids!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sick Boy, Bible Videos & Priests

A few Sundays ago my 4 yr. old, Maximus,
wasn't well enough to go to church.
So we got to hang out at home... just us.

Just the two of us.
(If you know us at all, you'll understand that one-on-one
at home is a rare treat!)

Among lotsa fun, quiet activities we enjoyed together,
we watched two Bible videos.
And I do mean VIDEOS!







When our oldest
daughter was 2 yrs. old
my parents purchased
this wonderful set
for her. At the time
there were 20 some
in the set.


(Today's there's many
more & they're all on
DVD of course)


While we watched this Good Samaritan movie
a line hit me...

One priest said to the other: "Don't waste time on your trip."

Other priest: "Oh, I won't because I'm doing the Lord's work."

1st priest: "You're a priest. EVERYTHING you do is the Lord's Work!"


2 Peter 2:9
"But YOU are a chosen people,
a royal PRIESTHOOD,
a holy nation
a people belonging to God..."

Monday, November 9, 2009

Menu Plan Monday, Nov. 9, 2009












Last week I went back to Aldi.
The coupon cutting & e-coupons were too time
consuming for me....
and made shopping more stressful than ever. Grr

BUT... this week I'm trying out Walmart again since we have
an appt. nearby.
_________________________________________

MONDAY
Lunch- Strata and LowFat Cranberry Muffins
Dinner- TBA

TUESDAY
Lunch- Biscuit Bacon Pull-Aparts, fruit
Dinner- Tomato Soup, Grilled Cheese, Peaches

WEDNESDAY
Lunch- Car picnic
Dinner- Crock Pot Veggie Soup

THURSDAY
Lunch- Mexican Dip w/Chips, fruit
Dinner- Spaghetti & Crock pot Mtblls

FRIDAY
Lunch- Dippy Lunch (fruit dipped in yogurt, apples in PG)
Dinner- Homemade Pizza

SATURDAY
Lunch- Stuffed Bkd Potatoes
Dinner- Meat Roll Ups

SUNDAY
Lunch- TBA
Dinner- Slow Cooker French Dip, Broccoli

For more ideas check out Orgjunkie.com


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Have to Scratch it! right?


My hair is new color.... again.

Many of you have commented on the cool colors
and funky highlights I've been sportn' over the
past few years. Those are all the creative results
of my friend, Ginger. All her ideas!
























Well, yesterday my hair became "Black Cherry!"
Ginger calls it by numbers & letters... but it's
black cherry to you & me.
(it's hard to see the color in this pic)

I love change.
I crave it.
If anything is the same for too long I'm restless
and frustrated.

So I like my new color.
But ... it itches!!! Yeah, itches! Like mad!!!!


For the first several days after a new color,
at any given moment I can drop what I'm doing
and attack my poor colored scalp with ten vicious
fingernails that scratch the bah-gee-bers outa my head!!!

Life is like my hair color.

I love change.
I crave it.
If anything is the same for too long I'm restless and frustrated.

Jesus desires change in us.
But change is uncomfortable.
It doesn't always feel good.
It's itchy...
But it's better.

My life hangs in the middle of the old the new right now.
The old is no longer a possibility.
The new is uncomfortable...
and quite honestly-
it's pretty much invisible right now... to MY eyes.

My life is itchy.
Some moments I'm overcome with extreme itching,
and I must decide if
I'll give in to extreme temptations of un-mannered scratching
or simply trust The One who created
all this color & change in my life.

I will continue to choose to trust JESUS.
He's the ONE (the only one) who knows what' s going
on anyway.
And it's beautiful.
Colorful.
and worth the uncomfortable, itchy moments.




Monday, November 2, 2009

Menu Plan Monday, Nov. 2, 2009

















Last week our internet was being poopy,
so I didn't post menus.
But we're back in "bid-ness" this week! :)

And... I'm going to Aldi today.
I've yet to add up the exact total of what was spent
last month by using coupons at the other stores.
But, I have to say this...
The time it took me to plan those trips nearly
drove me to Drink!!!!... more DIET COKE, that is!

So, back to what my time & brain can handle!


MONDAY
Lunch- Bird's Nests
Dinner- Crockpot Chicken & Biscuits

TUESDAY
Lunch- Ham & Scalloped Potatoes in Crockpot, gr. beans
Dinner- Big Salad w/dried cranberries & walnuts, toast

WEDNESDAY
Lunch- Chilton Chili & Mashed Potatoes
Dinner- Hmd Lunchables

THURSDAY
Lunch- Mini Hot Dogs, Chips, apples & carrots
Dinner- Chicken Parmesan, Rice, Broccoli
(make extra rice for tomorrow's Taco Bowls)

FRIDAY
Lunch- Taco Bowls (taco ingredients over rice in a bowl)
Dinner- Hmd Pizza

SATURDAY
Lunch- Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup

SUNDAY
Lunch- Swedish Mtbls in Crockpot over noodles, broccoli
Dinner- Ham & Cheesey Warm Sandwiches, carrots


For more ideas check out Organizing Junkie.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Netta's Niche - Quick Kitchen Fixes

Here's a few quick ideas to spice up things.

FRUIT DIP





Sour Cream

Brown Sugar

(dot of vanilla, optional)

Mix until it's smooth & brown.
It'll be kinda runny,
but so good for
apples, grapes, etc...





HOT CHOCOLATE

Sugar Free & Fat Free but full of yumminess!



2/3 C nonfat powdered milk

1 T cocoa powder

2 T Splenda (or other sweetener)

1 1/2 - 2 C Boiling Water

dash of salt
Optional - dot of vanilla
1 t of creamer



I mix the dry ingredients together first... mix'um well.
Then add hot water & any liquid flavoring you desire.
Stir... alot & often.

But mmm, so yummy & much cheaper than hot chocolate
packages... especially when you have a house full of
kids. When ONE asks for hot chocolate they all ask for it!

mmm

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Shush

(This little cute girl below is not one of mine)








When as child doesn't understand what's going on
and she fees unsure, she often clams up - won't talk-
and clings to the pantleg of her parent.

When we're going through a transition that we don't
understand we should do the same.

Shhh...and hang on tightly to Daddy God!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"Oh Mr. Sun, Sun..."



(If the title of this blog prompted you to start singing an
old BARNEY song for 90's.... well, ha! Sorry you have
that in your sub-conscience!) Not the reason for blog though...


In Michigan we haven't had a lot of sunshine this fall...
or even any "fallish-weather" for that matter.
We crave it.
Want its warmth.
Desire the joy that it brings.

Today, the sun has popped out.
My once gloomy little abode has brighten up.
Warmth & joy stream through the windows.

And wow... what's that in the corner?
What huddled under my desk & around the bottom of the piano?

DUST BUNNIES!
LOTS of them!
They were NOT there yesterday... when it was cloudy.
I'm quite sure of it! Yes, pretty sure. Yeah. um...Right?

We crave the light of the presence of JESUS in our lives.
Want the warmth of His "closeness."
We desire the joy that it brings.

But when He really starts to shine His truth into our hearts
we suddenly become aware of the junk we've let live in the
hidden corners, or even the obvious ones...












It's as if they weren't there yesterday...
but they've obviously been there a while.

We crave the Son.
In reality, we actually crave the very light that exposes our
yuckiness inside. So, don't ignore them.

Get out the "Broom of the Spirit" and cut through the cob webs
and dust bunnies.
Weep. Repent. The enjoy the joy that's flooding in your heart!
(I had a serious experience of this today! SO GOOD!)

Son.... shine in all the corners of my life!

What's His light exposing in you

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 10/19/09 & A CONFESSION












Confession....
Last week my "I'll think I'll use coupons-again" was frustrating &
time consuming. Neither surprised me. Sigh.
I spent tons of time on Sunday night & Monday AM
planning, cutting, sorting, etc. Sigh again.

Then, after a 2 hr. shopping experience inside of MEIJER
and a cash register that kept ringing things twice, but a
really kind employee who worked hard to make it right...
I realized on the way home that the coupons were never used!
I'd handed them to her, but could picture RIGHT where they
were sitting... unused! UNUSED!

My eyes filled with tears. I was ANGRY!
ANGRY with myself for NOT reminding her.
GRRRRR.... more tears.
What a stinkin' waste of time & money!
And approximately $20 of coupons... gone! GONE! Grrr... again!

When I got home, my kind & patient husband encouraged me
to call the store. I did... and I'm pleased to say that the manager
sent me $20 gift card! Ok, so I'll got back there... in a few weeks.

So,
The "Skip-Aldi-use-coupons-again-Challenge" continues
through the month. And my sister-in-law, Lana, gave me
lots of ideas about how to find on-line coupons & load'um
onto the store card of your choosing.

So, this week... it's KROGER. We'll see how it goes.
Next week I'll probably go back to Meijer again.

Ha... this was probably TMI.
You either think I'm totally insane or you completely relate.
RIGHT? WHICH?
____________________________________________

MONDAY
Lunch- Eggs & Gr. Peppers & onions
Dinner- Crockpot Chicken & Biscuits

TUESDAY
Lunch- Eggplant Parm, Spaghetti
Dinner- Veggie Wraps

WEDNESDAY
Lunch- Shepherd's Pie
Dinner- Hot Dogs, apples

THURSDAY
Lunch- ABC Sandwiches (Avacado, Bacon, Cheese grilled cheese)
Dinner- Crockpot Cowboy Stew, toasty bread

FRIDAY
Lunch- Giant Salad
Dinner- Homemade Pizza

SATURDAY
Lunch- Cheesy chicken & Biscuits (some form of this)
Dinner- Sandwiches

SUNDAY
Lunch- Crockpot Ribs, Potatoes, Carrots
Dinner- Open-faced sandwich melts

For more ideas check out www.orgjunk.com

It's Crossed My Mind Lately

Healthy people aren't necessarily beautiful people.
Beautiful people aren't necessarily healthy.
Skinny people aren't necessarily beautiful.


Sometimes it's better to be lonely when you're all alone
than to be lonely in a crowd;
and even harder to be lonely in a crowd of people you know.


Why do I get so excited when I have lotsa new emails
in my "inbox" when I KNOW that 3/4 of them are ads,
frugal newsletters or ebills?



I guess it's a good thing that saving money has become
a game - a sport of sorts.



If a child is made to clean a toilet as punishment but gets
in trouble often, is it still considered "punishment" since
the toilet stays so clean?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Why did God...?

A conversation during science with our 9 yr. old as she
was studying the solar system...

Zoe: "Why did God make all these planets if no one is living
on them, anyway?"

Mom: "God's so much bigger than we are,
so we can't possibly understand everything. I don't
know why."


Zoe: "I'll tell you why! Just to create MORE WORK for
us, that's why!"

LOL

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

One at a Time, Please

Multi-tasking is frying my brain.

I do too much of it, too often.

Of course, Moms (and everyone, really) are often
required to do several things at once...
but I don't HAVE to choose to add MORE to
that list.

Today I will pay close attention to what I'm doing.

Today I will not be doing two things and then
be thinking about several other things all while
my 4 yr. old is telling me all about the new
city he's just set up for his cars.

Today when I'm cooking a meal & listening to my
daughter read Pippi Longstocking I will not
check my phone for Twitter updates or flip
through my organizer to see what tomorrow's
dinner will be.

Today when my kids sit down for a snack, I will
sit down with them, listen, laugh and soak
up the moment.

Today I will decide where my attention goes.
No one and nothing will suck it away from me.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Menu Plan Monday, Oct. 12th, 2009











Returning to the old for something new...
I've not been please lately with our grocery bill.
It's been over budget, we we haven't had the same
quantity we normally have.

So, instead of JUST shopping at ALDI, I'm going
to venture back to Meijer (a giant department & grocery
store). I'm not a fan of it, but will try it again.
Plus, it's a 20 minute or more drive further than Aldi.
BUT....

Coupons are clipped.
Ad was carefully studied.
Menu planned.
So, my grocery shoppin' buddy, Zoe (youngest daughter)
and I will be heading out to the mega store and attempt
to do what needs to be done in a short amount of time.


MONDAY
Lunch- BIG Salad, toasted bread & cheese
Dinner- Lasagna (w/hm made w.wheat noodles)

TUESDAY
Lunch- Sausage, Onions, Peppers & Broccoli over Rice
Dinner- Hm Made Chicken Noodle soup

WEDNESDAY
Lunch- Tortilla Pie
Dinner- Sandwiches, Carrots

THURSDAY
Lunch- Boiled Eggs, Bacon, Iceburg w/Thousand Island
Dinner- Steak Fajitas, Rice

FRIDAY
Lunch- Butternut Squash Risotto Soup
Dinner- Pizza (homemade)

SATURDAY
Lunch- StoveTop Grilled Chicken, Gr. Beans
Dinner- Sansiches

SUNDAY
Lunch- Roast, Potatoes, Carrots
Dinner- Ramon Noodles & Veggies

For more ideas check out www.orgjunkie.com

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Will you just...

"Mommy... I want a cuppie."
"Mommy... can I have a snack."
"I'm hungry."
"Can I go outside?"

Wait, Baby. Hang on. I'm taking care of you.


"Hey Mama, You're pweety."
"You're nice, Mommy."
"Wow, you're so cool, Mommy."

Thank you, Baby. But will you please
just be really quiet and listen to me for a minute?"

___________________________________

"Jesus.... I need this situation taken care of."
"Lord, please help me figure this out."
"Jesus, can you please do this for me?"

"Wait, Child. I'm taking care of you."

"Lord, of course You are. You're so great."
"Jesus, I love you & you're so awesome and cool."
"Wow, Lord, you do the most amazing things."

"Thank you, Child, but will you please just
be still and listen to me?"


Ps. 46:10

Monday, October 5, 2009

Menu Plan Monday, Oct. 5th, 2009












Wow!
I love the fall... and the beginning of SOUP season,
weather that's suitable to backing and wearing
snuggly clothes! My menus don't really reflect
much of this cuz it' s a busy week. My Mom is
here from Colorado & we've got places to go &
people to see! :)


Monday
Lunch- Homemade Mac & Cheese, broccoli
Dinner - pizza (probably gunna buy it)

Tuesday
Lunch- Enchiladas, Rice, Peaches (or possibly
a picnic by Lake Erie)
Dinner- yet to be decided

Wednesday
Lunch- Cream of Broccoli Potato Soup (crockpot)
Sausages, apples
Dinner- Homemade "Lunchables"

Thursday
Lunch- Pink Celebration (my Mom's a cancer survivor)
Creamy Pink Pasta (use food coloring) & veggies
Pink Jello Salad
Dinner- Crockpot Chicken & Biscuits

Friday
Lunch- Warm (turkey) Ham & Cheese Sandwiches
Veggie Salad
Dinner- Pizza Pockets

Saturday
Lunch- Mozzarella Tomato Broccoli Crepes
(inspired by the yummy food at Paris Crepe's in Detroit)
Dinner- Hot Dogs

Sunday
Lunch- Crockpot Spaghetti & Meatballs, Salad
Dinner- Biscuit Cups

Several of you inquired about the "Biscuit Cups."
I saw a pic of them in a magazine or website,
but can't remember where. But here it is...

A batch of biscuits, pinched into round balls
and spread over the bottom of a muffin tin.
Bake approx. 10 minutes.

















Fill each cup with scrambled eggs and
bake until cooked through. Add cheese
the last 5 minutes!

















Biscuit Cups were a big hit with the WHOLE family...
and that's sayin' something!
(I wanna try'um fill them next time with pie filling and
other yummy sweet treats!)


For more ideas go to Organizing Junkie.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I'm expecting...

HA!

I am NOT expecting a BABY...

But I've been thinking about what I DO expect...
from people.

Sometimes I expect too much.
The kinda thing where I'm thinking they're do
this & that and when they don't
I'm disappointed & frustrated.
(I forgot to give them the "script" of our friendship...
how dare they not be able to read my mind.)

Sometimes I expect too little.
The kinda thing were I just figure the other person
is probably gunna take the easy way, the wrong way,
and let me down. So I put up my defenses and hold
them at a distance so it won't hurt when they, of course,
let me down.

Both kinds are WRONG!

My love for Jesus should fill me with kindness & compassion
so that I'm understanding & considerate. (Colossians 3:12-14)

His love should give me courage to look for the best in others
and learn to "hope for all things" good. (1 Corinthians 13:7)

My expectations are changing.
I'm expecting myself to expect the BEST & LOOK for it..

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Menu Plan Monday, Sept. 28, 2009












MONDAY
Lunch- Chili in the crockpot (started in on Sun. pm)
Dinner- Grilled cheese, jello & whip cream

TUESDAY
Lunch- Scrambled Eggs & homemade biscuits
Dinner- Creamy Chicken (in crockpot), ramon noddles,
corn

WEDNESDAY
Lunch- Lasagna, broccoli
Dinner- PB&J Sandwiches

THURSDAY
Lunch- Taco Bowls, chips
Dinner- Juicy Lucy's (cheese filled hamburger patties) Patty Melts

FRIDAY
Lunch- Chicken Spinach Rice Soup
Dinner- Homemade Pizza

SATURDAY
Lunch- Enchilada Casserole, Rice, Fresh Fruit
Dinner- Yummy Bread, Cheese & Butter, carrots

SUNDAY
Lunch- Roast Beef, Potatoes, Carrots
Dinner- Veggie Wraps

TREATS
Apple Crisp, Banana Bread, Oatmeal Squares

Check out more menu ideas, planning tips, etc
at OrganizingJunkie.org.