Feb 28, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Today I am dedicating my Thankful Thursday to one of my biggest blessings, my daughter Ashley. She has had to go through a lot this past year leaving all her friends behind in Corpus, saying goodbye to her church youth group, she began home schooling when she is the most social outgoing person I know, and for putting up with her younger siblings day in and day out with very little friend time. She has relied a lot of mom for that friendship need. I wish I could have done things differently for this sweet precious child of mine, but I know I followed God for this year. In all honesty, I am glad I was spared a lot of the drama that comes along with junior high, but I know that this transition was very tough on Ashley.

*I'm thankful for your smile that greets me every morning.

*I'm thankful for your hugs.

*I'm thankful for your obedient heart.

*I'm thankful for your willingness to help out when I need you.

*I'm thankful for your sweet spirit, and your love for animals and children.

*I'm thankful for your humor, your creativity, and your artistic talent. You may look like me, but you are just like your daddy. Well, except for the part about loving animals of course.

Since Ashley has been BEGGING for a blog for the last year, I finally let her set up her own yesterday. If you get a chance, go by a say hi to her. She is a much better writer than her mom, and I can't wait to see what silly and fun things she comes up with each day.

*If you would like to join in on Thankful Thursday, please go here and leave your link and a comment.

Feb 25, 2008

Prayer Request

Many of you followed along with me here a year and a half ago when Skip had his left hip replaced. That hip is doing great, but his right one is in really bad shape. Today was Skip's breaking point, and he made an appointment that was long over due. We will be seeing this doctor in Houston next month to see what our options are for getting the other hip replaced. He is doing a very new surgery that cuts down recovery quite a bit. Skip has a muscle condition that makes things a little tricky, but I know God is more than able to bless Skip with complete healing through this next surgery. I would just ask for you to pray for Skip's comfort until he awaits our next step, I pray for our insurance to cover as much as possible, and I pray for strength and faith for the road ahead. My husband has lived in so much pain for the last 12 or so years, that I would love to finally see him pain free. Thanks guys!

I couldn't resist showing this picture of my sweetie next to his favorite band when we went to LA several years ago. Look at how SKINNY he was! That was definitely before his gourmet chef days.

Feb 24, 2008

From the Inside Out

I was in a bad mood coming into church this morning. I was negative, and full of self pity about stuff I don't feel like sharing with you, but... God is so good. From the moment this song began, and I began to listen to this song, my heart just immediately softened. I repented from my selfishness, and just praised God. I felt an immediate overwhelming need to cry. I didn't care who was around. I just let it out and thanked God for who He is and what He has done for me. I don't deserve it, and never will. Will you read these lyrics, sing along, and tell Him how much you love Him today?

A thousand times I’ve failed
Still Your mercy remains
And should I stumble again
I’m caught in Your grace
Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending
Your glory goes beyond all fame

Your will above all else
My purpose remains
The art of losing myself
In bringing You praise
Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending
Your glory goes beyond all fame

In my heart and my soul
Lord I give You control
Consume me from the inside out
Lord let justice and praise
Become my embrace
To love You from the inside out

Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending
Your glory goes beyond all fame
And the cry of my heart
Is to bring You praise
From the inside out
Lord my soul cries out

*BTW- Skip blew me away with his guitar solo. We are no Hillsong, but I was amazed at how beautiful the band sounded.

Feb 23, 2008

Last night we had my brother and his wife over for dinner. I love spending time with them, and the kids love playing with their two yr. old twins. They are full of energy, but just precious. Not to make you hungry, but Skip made the most outstanding lobster and artichoke dip. We had a version at Red Lobster once, but we all agreed that that was nothing compared to this heavenly appetizer. He also made jumbo shrimp in a tempura batter, and some sauteed butter/garlic and onion shrimp to keep things on the healthier side(HA HA-not). I would show the pictures, but we were so hungry, by the time I thought of it, every dish was eaten. I really think that Skip should start a food blog, but the problem is that he never measures his ingredients and he rarely makes an entree the same every time. He is always perfecting and changing. In fact, he is just that way in so many areas. I remember when he would sit and oil paint for hours and then all of a sudden he moved on. When Photoshop first came out, the brushes and oils were permanently put away. At another stage of our marriage he would sit with a guitar and just play and sing to me all the time. Then he was introduced to the wonderful world of digital recording, and forget our quiet evenings. Headphones were on and music recording took over. I guess right now the world of culinary arts are in full bloom. I better enjoy it while it lasts!

Here is a picture of my bro Billy and his son Conner. Conner wasn't so happy because we were playing a game of 80's Trivial pursuit and he wasn't invited to join in.
Shelby was just perfectly happy having a sleeping Triscuit on her lap .

Feb 22, 2008

Friday Fun

I haven't done a Friday Fun update since September, so I thought I'd give it another try.

1. This week Skip and Michael shot a quick commercial for our church. It was stinkin' hilarious to watch them do this at my house. My kids sat on the couch watching instead of doing their schoolwork. I guess years of this crazy creative church stuff may lead them to a career in broadcasting or tv production. Ha, I doubt it! If you like Elvis and you have a strange sense of humor go here, here and then watch the outtakes here. I'm not sure which one they are going to use yet, but they did have about 6 good ones without busting out in laughter.

2. I am so tired lately. I'm not sure if it's the weather or getting up early with a new puppy. Triscuit is precious, but she likes to rise before the sun comes up. The kids have already spoiled her rotten. She has worn every American girl outfit we own, and gets carried around like she's a celebrity pooch. I tell the kids, "Guys, she is a beagle. You don't dress up beagles." She had on a pink Easter Bitty Baby dress the other day and looked absolutely miserable. Poor thing. Oh, I forgot to mention that she is a yelper in the morning, and she is chewing everything in sight. Other than that, we love her!

3. I have lost 5 lbs, BUT, that happened over a week ago and I haven't lost any more this week. Skip decided to cook a homemade pizza one night, and then we went to Red Lobster for a date. Yikes! I have to get serious here ladies. The countdown is on to summer.

4. There are a couple of pregnant ladies I would love for you to pray for. One is barely pregnant and having some issues, and the other is my neice who is almost 23 weeks along. I just want them to have easy, healthy pregnancies the rest of the way.

5. I am still loving my Believing God study! I am surrounded by such sweet godly girls, and we are having a ball learning together. This week we had a few out, but it was such a wonderful time of sharing. I noticed that I have finally allowed myself to get closer to a few girls here. It is hard at first as a pastor's wife, but these ladies don't treat me any differently. That really means a lot to me.

*I have to leave you with this precious picture of Triscuit sleeping on Ashley's bed. Don't let the calm, sedated look fool you.


Feb 21, 2008


I went to the library yesterday afternoon to find some books on Abe Lincoln and George Washington for my home school Co-op. As I approached Main Street, I noticed quite a heavy bit of traffic for this time of day. Actually in Victoria, you rarely see much traffic downtown. As I pulled into the parking lot, I could barely find a parking spot. I noticed lots of cars in the area around the Square. I started seeing emergency vehicles, lots of police men and then I noticed some swat team people walking around with guns. Okay, I'm getting a little freaked out, but I was alone without the kids and very curious. I walked in the library and everyone seemed very calm. Maybe they weren't aware of what was going on just 50 yards away. Finding the nearest librarian, I asked, "Do you have any idea what is going on outside?" She was a young girl probably just out of high school, and she looked at me as if to say, "Duh!" Apparently Bill Clinton was in town rallying for his wife, and I was the only one in our city of 60,000 that didn't know it. Here are some clips of his visit. And no, I didn't go watch him. Sorry, if Hillary is your gal. I did think it was pretty funny that I was researching presidential stuff and a former president was right outside the building.

Feb 17, 2008

Reality Check

My husband as you may know is the worship media pastor at Parkway Church. That means he always leaves at the wee hours of the morning for practice and two services on Sunday mornings. That also means that we rarely talk on Sundays until after the service at about noon. Well, today I left for church with the house a mess, literally dishes filling the sink and puppy chew toys scattered everywhere.

When I finally met up with Skip after church in his office today, he was standing with our interim pastor hanging out and talking. Michael said, "Did you tell her?" Skip said, "Oh honey, Michael and his family are going to come over for lunch today. I know I forgot to tell you, so we will just order some pizza, okay?" I really tried to act natural, and nice, and hospitable, and all that jazz, but I could have died. I knew the shape of my house, and I knew that this was our friends first time over. They came right over, and everything turned out fine, but I was so dissappointed that I didn't have a chance to present my best for them. I always feel like because I stay home that I should have my cleaning act together. It is almost impossible now that I home school to EVER have anything together.

This whole situation reminds me of how often people think that before they can come to Christ that they somehow have to have their lives together. Isn't that the whole reason we need a Saviour is because we can't measure up on our own? Praise God that He doesn't want perfection. He just wants our belief and trust in Him. I asked God today to forgive me for being so worried about appearances, and to trust that God would let others see beyond the clutter and straight into my heart.

*Just a side note: I don't think Skip will forget to give me a little more notice next time. The horror in my eyes definitely left an unforgettable impression.

Feb 15, 2008

It's a Boy!

It seems like only yesterday my niece Steph was just a baby, and now 20 years later, she is expecting her first baby. I used to babysit this sweet precious child all the time, and I can't believe that I will soon be holding her little one this summer. Here we are together about 18 years ago having fun at a park.
Isn't she just beautiful! She had the prettiest brown eyes and sweetest chubby face and thighs.
Here is Steph pretty recently, and I am so proud of her. She is blessed with such a wonderful spirit of kindness and love. Thankfully I live very close to Stephanie, so I hope to get a few phone calls to help out when Grandma is busy. Congrats on your little blessing Stephanie. I am praying for you and that precious little BOY on the way! Steph just found out on Valentine's that my kiddos with have a new boy cousin. Seth is thrilled to have another guy in the family.

Oh, this is her first baby-Bentley! He stole her heart, but he will have to quickly move out of the way for the real thing.

Feb 14, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Since it is Valentine's Day, I am doing my Thankful Thursday in honor of my special Valentine-Skip.

1. I'm thankful Skip is a fighter. There are so many things I have seen this man go through in life and triumph. He shows me that there is no obstacle we can't face head on with God on our side.
2. I'm thankful for his affection. Oh man, is he ever affectionate!
3. I'm thankful that he is off the charts creative. He's artistic, musically talented, and so funny with the things he comes up with on a daily basis.
4. I'm thankful that he forgives easily. He has always been that way. Praise God!
5. I'm thankful that he follows God and isn't afraid to go on new adventures. It really makes
life much more interesting.
6. I'm thankful the man CAN COOK! He probably cooks on the average 6 out of 7 nights a week. Don't be too jealous girls, he doesn't do dishes. Well, he has done them about 5 times in our 15 years of marriage. (Not that I'm counting or anything). And his meals are always delicious!
7. I'm thankful that he doesn't snore. I was a little worried the first time I met his father, and heard him snoring in his recliner while taking a nap. Praise God the snoring gene was not passed on.
8. I'm thankful that he is faithful to me, to his family, to his friends, and especially to God!
9. I'm thankful that he always lights up any room. It is so funny that he has such a way about him that people want to be near him. My kids would always rather hang out with him, and I love that! Ask anyone that knows him, the guy is hilarious.
10. I'm thankful that among all the wonderful things above, Skip is a flawed individual in need of a Saviour. He will be the first to say, it is by God's grace that he is who he is today.
If you have things for which you are thankful for this week and would like to join in on Thankful Thursday, just go here and leave your link. Blessings to you all, and Happy Valentine's Day!

Feb 11, 2008

Our Surprise!

Our family is whacked. I just want to let you know that upfront. We rarely take time to think things through that are major decision making kinds of things. I know that's not a great idea, but it's just how we roll. In fact on Friday when I was in big need of a change, the kids were in need of some excitement, and Skip was just ready for some adventure, we went to the classified section online and found a new listing for puppies. Skip has always wanted a beagle, and within one hour we went and picked up this little girl. Her name is Triscuit. The family voted and it was four to one on the name. I wanted something more girly, but I was quickly overruled. I think a snack food is a strange name for a dog, but oh well, it fits her perfectly. She sleeps all the time, has the sweetest puppy breath, and has melted everyone's heart. So far she has made it at least 6 hours through the night for 3 nights. In fact last night, she slept from 10:00pm until 7:00 am. What a dream! I feel so bad that my kids have waited so long for a dog, but they said the wait was worth it. Here she is in all her cuteness!

Feb 9, 2008

What Do You Do When?

What do you do when you have a lot on your plate from homeschooling, bible study, kids that are bored and cranky, and life in general. Well in situations like this, our family does the most random thing that makes absolutely no sense to a sane person. We....

I'll let you know tomorrow. Try and guess if you'd like.

Feb 7, 2008

Thankful Thursday

1. I'm thankful for Christ's forgiveness. There is nothing better.

2. I'm thankful that my husband is joining me on my quest for better health.

3. I'm thankful that my sis is moving back to Texas on Monday.

4. I'm thankful for my dear friend Laura who moved to Victoria yesterday and will be only 5 minutes away.
5. I'm thankful that God is a God of provision!
If you would like to join in on Thankful Thursday, just go here and leave your link.

Feb 6, 2008

Coffee! I Need my Coffee!!!

Three days into this eating healthy venture and the one thing I miss more than anything is my coffee. I know you are sitting their saying, "Why can't you have coffee? Add a little splenda and you should be fine." Well, the reason I can't have coffee is because what I really drink is hazlenut creamer with a little coffee. Call me a whimp coffee drinker. I really don't care. I go absolutely crazy for frappicino's and vanilla lattes. The sweeter, the better! Even though I've been super restrictive for three days, I knew I had to have a little something tonight to fill my strong sweet tooth. While searching through an old "Self" magazine, I found this recipe. It is not only low in calories (139 per serving), but it is also has healthy ingredients. I think they're healthy anyway. I certainly didn't have these things currently on hand. Well, I had honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg, but that's about it.

Canola oil cooking spray
1 cup fresh blackberries
1 cup fresh peaches(pitted and sliced)
4 tsp. fresh orange juice
½ tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp whole wheat flour
3 Tbsp rolled oats
2 Tbsp brown sugar
4 tsp canola oil
2 tsp honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Coat four 4 oz. ramekins with cooking spray. Combine berries, peaches, juice, and vanilla in a bowl and mix well. In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients with hands until moist and crumbly. Spoon fruit mixture into ramekins; scatter crumb mixture evenly over the top of each. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until fruit bubbles and top is golden brown.

Have a look at how it turned out. I only used blackberries because I forgot to see if our store had frozen peaches. I'm definitely trying it with peaches next time.

It was pretty good. The only thing that would have made it a lot better was a huge scoop of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Icecream, however, that IS what got me in trouble in the first place.

*In case you were wondering, Skip did make this for me. I could have, but he needed to get his chef skills working again. Salads aren't doing it for him.

Feb 5, 2008

A Little Too Up Close and Personal I'm Afraid

Okay, Skip and I have decided that we both are going to lose some weight. I know I've said it before here , here, and once again here, but this time we really are doing it. Ha Ha, right! No, seriously, we must. It is a matter of life and death. I want to be around when my kids grow up and have their own kids. I want to live a full life, not feeling tired and unmotivated all the time. Okay, who am I kidding? Bottom line- I want to look Hot again for my hubby! There, I said it. It's out there. Lately, I have been feeling so insecure about myself. I have reached a point where I can no longer blame home schooling, stress, or age. I am the only one to blame. I have been so motivated lately reading Kelly's blog, and I want to do the same. Scroll through her recent archives and you WILL BE AMAZED. She lost 50lbs, and that is not all. God gets all the glory! I love that about her. She is doing Fit Friday, and all kinds of other helpful posts for those interested in getting in shape and losing weight.

In case you're wondering, my sweet husband has never said anything negative. Praise God he loves curves! He just knows that I am not feeling so great, and wants to help me by joining in on this endeavor. As much as he loves to cook rich foods for me, he promises to make low calorie dishes for the both of us. Please check in on me from time to time. I would love some encouragement. Also, my friend Laura is moving to town today!!! She wants to start working out with me. Yipee! Hopefully I will check in each Tuesday with results. Pray for me. It would mean so much.

Feb 2, 2008

My Sweet Annie

Annie came up to me tonight and said, "Do you like Spam?" She wasn't referring to junk email I soon found out. She meant the kind that comes in a can. "Well, no actually I don't." She does and she ate it while at her MeeMee and PawPaw's house this past week. I didn't even know the stuff was still available. Annie also informed me she likes it straight out of the can or fried. Excuse me while I call my mother-in-law.

Earlier today Annie and Ashley were looking up baby names because Annie needed some new ones for her twin dolls. She is tired of Rachel and Ryan. They started to look up their own names and all of a sudden Annie ran out of the room and shut her door for about 30 minutes. When she came out, she grabbed my hand and led me to a beautifully cleaned bedroom. She said that she looked up her name and it meant "gracious and merciful". Wow, if I would have known that, I would have plastered that on her wall in huge letters a long time ago. Ashley stayed hanging out at the computer playing. It might have something to do with her name just means a tree.

Birthdays and Wishes Come True!

Here's Annie with her older cousins Matt and Steph at Christmas. Matt gave Annie the best gift ever for her b-day this year! You see my baby girl who just turned eight has a huge puppy love crush on Zac Efron from HSM and since Matt is a buddy of his, he got her a signed copy of the HSM 2 cd. She was estatic! He wrote, "To Annie All My Love, Zac Efron". Zac also signed a copy of the HSM 2 DVD for Ashley and a basketball for Seth. However, Annie is the one who was most thrilled due to her HUGE puppy love crush on him. We haven't given Annie her gift from us yet because she is waiting for our trip here in a week or so. All she wants is this, and she wants it so bad. She really plays with all her American girls and her Bitty babies. Ashley still joins in too. I'm so glad they opened up an American Girl in Dallas because it will be a lot less expensive than a plane ride.
My little man Seth has just turned 11. OUCH! For some reason that is so hard to stomach. I baby him so much more than a mother should, but it is because he had such a rough start in life. He is doing so great, and his favorite things at the moment are riding go-carts here and playing this birthday gift.

Feb 1, 2008

Day 3 of Panama

If you want to see my favorite Day in Panama Scroll down to find Day 3... For some reason it posted after my Day 2. I am seriously having issues with Blogger. It's actually me, not the system that is the problem.