Sunday, November 29, 2009

Menu Plan Monday, Nov. 30, 2009

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)

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

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

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

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

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

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)


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!


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

Requires caution
Move cautiously and with guidance

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

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

Fog Advisory.
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.

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.

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


It stood alone among the other trees.

Not many were like it anywhere.
Most trees were empty. Naked. Leafless.
But there it stood.

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

Lunch-Stuffed Baked Potatoes
Dinner- TBA

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

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

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

(a form of this soup)
Dinner- Homemade Pizza

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

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

For more ideas check out Organizing Junkie.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


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!"


(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 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.

Lunch- Strata and LowFat Cranberry Muffins
Dinner- TBA

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

Lunch- Car picnic
Dinner- Crock Pot Veggie Soup

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

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

Lunch- Stuffed Bkd Potatoes
Dinner- Meat Roll Ups

Lunch- TBA
Dinner- Slow Cooker French Dip, Broccoli

For more ideas check out

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.
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!

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

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

Lunch- Chilton Chili & Mashed Potatoes
Dinner- Hmd Lunchables

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

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

Lunch- Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup

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

For more ideas check out Organizing Junkie.