Monday, December 21, 2009

Glad I'm NOT a Celebrity...

Recently a number of celebrities have been in the news for not so pleasant things. And people have been pretty hard on them.

Tiger Woods...he fell...because he is human. We are hurt because we elevated him to a level similar to God. He could do no wrong. He was the go to man for how to do things. I admit as the news came out I was shocked but then I stopped. Because the reality is he is human. And he made his case multiple mistakes. He is the one who will have to live with those. And there are many consequences that he probably didn't think of when he was in the moment. But he is still human and if he is sorry and asks for forgiveness he should be forgiven. It may take time and we will not forget. (well until the next celebrity does something stupid)

Chris Henry...he and his fiance got into a domestic dispute and in a freak accident he got seriously hurt and died. His family and friends are hurt by the loss. But the circumstances of his death were not pretty. So will we focus on the sorrow his family and friends are feeling or will we focus on the circumstances. He was a 26 year old young man who had a life and a career ahead of him. There is a grief in the loss.

Famous people are not really any different than the rest of us. But they have their lives good and bad paraded in front of them, their family, their friends, and all the rest of us. I suggest we give them a break. They are human. The only perfect person...sits at the right hand of God.

Pray for their families.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Story of US...part 1

J and I are coming up on our two year anniversary of when we started dating in February and as we approach the holidays I thought I would tell you some of the story of how we met.

First some background...

Me: I started dating at age 16. Shortly after I broke up with my high school sweetheart I started dating my first husband. I got married at 21 to a man who was 9 years older. Not a wise plan...he wanted me to be where he was and I was trying to figure out who I was let alone who we were. Needless to say we both had different expectations of marriage and it didn't work out for us. We got divorced in 2004. I then dated an ex for a while...well the old addage is true...they are an ex for a reason. So in April 2005 I was single for the first time since I was 16. I decided I was not going to find the man of my dreams in a bar and where I work there isn't really a dating pool so I went online. I signed up for E-Harmony. (Another story for another day) Then I signed up with but still not working out. So when my friend recommended Yahoo I said "why not" and signed up.

Him: He had been single for years by choice and then thought he found the right woman and got married. Well needless to say it didn't work out. Her loss would be my gain.

In November of 2007 I sent a "wink" to J by December having not heard anything I decided cancel my membership and go another route. Well sometime in January I receive this message back from J explaining that his sister had killed his computer in November/December and he had just gotten it back up. We talk through IM every night learning all kinds of things about each other from family to favorite foods to work. He surprisingly was not thrown off by my working in a church. We decided to meet. From that night on it was set...we went to lunch the next day and talked about religion, exes, etc and determined that we were going to be exclusive with each other. And the rest is follow at a later date.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Easy, Healthy, Yummy Shepherd's Pie

I'm constantly on the hunt for easy recipes to fix when I get home from work...this is one of my favorites.

It is a variation on a Weight Watchers recipe that I improvised with what I had.

Easy Shepherd's Pie (Makes four servings)

1 lb ground turkey breast - make sure it is turkey breast it is leaner
8-10 oz Jar of turkey gravy - I use Boston Market Brand
12 oz bag of frozen peas, carrots, and corn mixture - the one with green beans works well too
4 servings of instant mashed potatoes - last night we made real mashed potatoes because we needed to use up our potatoes
Grated cheese
Pepper & Salt
Italian Seasoning (optional)

  1. Cook the turkey breast until there is no pink left. Add salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning to taste. I use a lot of pepper because we like it. Drain or spread out on paper towel to remove excess grease. (there isn't much)
  2. Put frozen vegetables and gravy in sauce pan over medium-high heat. Stir frequently.
  3. Mix cooked turkey into gravy mixture. Stir to prevent burning.
  4. Make four servings of mashed potatoes while vegetable mixture is getting warm.
  5. Divide gravy mixture among four plates or bowls. Put a scoop of mashed potatoes on top. Sprinkle with grated cheese and pepper.
  6. Enjoy!
Great recipe for when you are in a hurry and it is great this time of year because it is nice and warm. Also it is healthy.

    Grinch vs. Who

    How the Grinch Stole Christmas is one of my favorite Christmas movies because I think it really does show the real meaning of Christmas. And I think the Grinch gets a bad wrap really. Yes he does try to ruin Christmas but then he saves the day and realizes what Christmas is all about. And ultimately Christmas is about forgiveness so I think we can all learn a lesson or two from this seemingly simple Christmas story.

    How many of us at one time or another have had a Grinchy attitude toward something. That we must figure out a way to stop it or ruin it. Or just didn't want to participate.

    I admit since I started working in a church I have a little less of the Who spirit and more of the Grinch until Christmas Eve...then I'm totally Who. We constantly have services, events, etc that seem to cause a crazy amount of stress for all involved but always look great at the end. And it amazes me how in a time of year when we are focusing on God's greatest gift to us we forget and focus on petty issues that really don't mean anything.

    The true meaning of Christmas is celebrating God's love of us and the gift of his Son. And I admit it is easy to forget these things in the midst of preparing for Christmas with shopping, events, gatherings, etc. I myself often forget the true reason for the season. Although I often think it is to eat cookies, baked goods, heavy meals until I can't move it is really all about Him.

    I'll finish with my favorite Grinch quote..."He puzzled and puzzled till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas... perhaps... means a little bit more!"

    Tuesday, December 15, 2009

    Amazing Husband

    I'm a blessed woman. I know this. God was looking very favorably on me when my husband came into my life. He is a good man. He is amazing at many things. He adores me and does things he doesn't love to make me happy. Last night I get home from work to see Christmas lights on our front porch. Now he hates putting up and taking down lights but he knows I like them so since he got home early yesterday he put them up for me. He also had dinner cooking and almost ready when I came through the door. He is amazing. And he does it with a smile.

    Monday, December 14, 2009

    Engage Brain...Then Mouth

    So this weekend was another full one. J hates how full our weekends are sometimes but it seems no matter how bland I try to make them something comes up. So we'll see what happens this weekend.

    At work we host a Drive-Through Nativity for our community. It is an amazing experience and I hope to put up some pictures of it later this week. It runs Friday and Saturday from 5:30-8:00 PM. We came up Friday and J got to go out and play a shepherd at the Nativity scene. Then Saturday we came up and J (who has a good deep voice) got to sing with the Carolers. He loved it but he was reluctant at first.

    Well prior to that we got into a conversation with one of the youth about going into the military or going to college. As a man who skipped college and enlisted in the Navy J was advising the young man to go to college and then if he wants to, go into the military upon graduation. Well the youth left and his mother asked J and another gentleman if they got him straight. And we explained that we advised college then the military.

    Another woman who is an officer overheard the conversation and put in her two cents about how the young man would hate being enlisted because anyone with an IQ over 100 will hate being told what to do, etc. She recommended going to college, through ROTC, and then onto being an officer. And I made a comment about how as an active duty enlisted man J commented that he wished someone had told him about other options. She said "well I'm not saying your husband is stupid" to which I had to bite my tongue...not to say something about officers. My father is retired Air Force and he had some officers around him from time to time that amazed me they could tie their shoes let alone command a group of men.

    I realize that I'm protective of my husband and I probably took her comment wrong. But it amazes me how people make comments without A) Knowing their audience and B) without thinking about how it could be taken. And my husband was valedictorian he could have successfully gone to college...and he trains officers to do what he husband jokes I'm the brains of the operation but he is very smart and it frustrates me that people make comments like that.

    Friday, December 11, 2009

    Christmas Getting To Know You...

    Welcome to the Christmas edition of getting to know your blogger friends. Okay, here's what you're supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!! Just copy this entire post and paste into a new post on your blog, if you have one. Change all the answers so that they apply to you.

    Yes, I know you're thinking "Puhlease, another list?" Yes. Another list. I like hearing this kind of stuff about you all! LOVE IT. I can't wait to read your answers!

    1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I love wrapping gifts but I admit I use gift bags a lot to save time.

    2. Real tree or Artificial? Currently we don't have a tree but I love a real tree.

    3. When do you put up the tree? See above...

    4. When do you take the tree down? See above...

    5. Do you like eggnog? I love it...especially with a touch of nutmeg...and some Captains', some brandy, and a splash of Amaretto.

    6. Favorite gift received as a child? My Little Pony Castle

    7. Hardest person to buy for? My Dad. I often get him a gift card because I don't know what else to get him.

    8. Easiest person to buy for? My Husband.

    9. Do you have a nativity scene? I have a number of them and J has one too so we have plenty.

    10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail!

    11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? All gifts are good because they are given with love.

    12. Favorite Christmas Movie? White Christmas (Always teary at the end) or How the Grinch Stole Christmas

    13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? As early as I start finding things...

    14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I try really hard not to...I'm not opposed to re-gifting but I think it can backfire.

    15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Cookies and Fudge

    16. Lights on the tree? Tons of them

    17. Favorite Christmas song? O Holy Night

    18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay at Home

    19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Most of them

    20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Angel...we currently have a mechanical one who has issues...she makes a weird shrieking noise from time to time

    21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas Morning

    22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Crazy drivers in parking lots

    23. Favorite ornament, theme, or color? a 1976 Hallmark Train ornament my parents bought the year I was born

    24. Favorite for Christmas Dinner? mint yummy!

    25. What do you want to do for Christmas this year? Spend time with family

    26. Favorite Christmas tradition growing up? Sorting presents Christmas Eve

    27. Favorite tradition now? Waking up with J and sharing a cup of coffee on Christmas morning

    28. Favorite Christmas Memory? A gift exchange in 5th Grade...we each had to bring a $5 gift and I went out and picked a nice new gift. The day came and I excitedly took the gift to school. When it came my turn to pick a gift there was one wrapped in a paper bag with ribbon. When I opened it I found a slightly grungy, well loved bear and was disappointed. But I took it home to my mom and she looked at it and explained that it may have been a favorite toy of someone and it meant the world to them so it was the best they had to give. From that day forward I have kept that bear. He actually sits on my bookcase at work to remind me that sometimes we just need to give the best we have and not worry about the details.

    Bead Give-Away

    I love beads. I've collected them for years. Many of them are just sitting waiting for the right project to come along so they too can be used in creative ways. And I love any time I can get more beads especially for free. So when I saw Lori over at Pretty Things was doing a give away I had to enter and share. So go over to her site and see the 6 (yes 6) ways you can win beads.

    Good Luck!!

    Friday, December 4, 2009

    Missing Out

    J and I have thoughtfully and prayerfully made the decision not to have children. We have two dogs and four cats, more than enough to keep us busy really. And I won't go into all the reasons for not having children but it was not a hasty or light decision for us. We love children...but we also love giving them back to Mom and Dad.

    I will admit though I sometimes feel like we miss out on some things because we don't have children...whole conversations, firsts, birthday parties, play dates, clothes & toy shopping, etc. Now don't get me wrong we shop for friends kids and for nieces and nephews. But it is a bit odd going to a child's birthday party when you don't have a child. I've done it and I enjoy but answering "which one's yours?" gets awkward sometimes when none of them are.

    We continue to stand by our decision to not have children but I do think there is a separate society of sorts for those with children that has its own language and everything. For now we will brag about our dogs and enjoy our freedom.

    Tuesday, December 1, 2009

    All About Christmas

    So Rebecca Jo over on Knit By God's Hand had this cool post about Christmas and I decided I wanted to do it too.

    (1) What is your favorite Christmas movie?
    How the Grinch Stole far because it has a great message about what Christmas is about. But it is followed closely by Charlie Brown's Christmas

    (2) What is your LEAST favorite Christmas movie?
    A Christmas I know many may disagree but this movie does nothing to put me in the Christmas spirit.

    (3) What is your favorite Christmas song?
    O Holy Night.... how can you not love it. It is amazing. It is what it is all about.

    (4) What Christmas song(s) drives you crazy?
    Although I'm not a fan of Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer...I despise...the Christmas Donkey song.

    (5) What is your favorite Christmas drink? (i.e. egg nog, hot chocolate)
    Egg Nog for cold...Apple Cider for warm

    (6) What is your favorite Christmas memory?
    Coming into the living room and seeing the tree and our stockings. That and going to Christmas Eve service with Mom.

    (7) What is the best toy/gift you've received on Christmas?
    My blue and white bear. We had a Christmas gift exchange in 5th Grade and we all had to bring a $5 or less gift to exchange. I went out with my mom and picked out a good gift (by 5th grade standards) and wrapped it all pretty to take to school. And it came time to do the gift exchange. I picked a gift in a paper bag and opened it to find a well loved, slightly beat up, grungy bear. I was crushed. I took it back to my desk and took it home to my Mom. She looked at it and said to me that although we had the money to go buy a gift this was probably the best that someone had. It was probably a beloved toy that they gave as a gift because they wanted to give their best. I still have that bear. It reminds me that sometimes we give the best we have and not to compare with others.

    (8) What is the worst toy/gift you've received on Christmas?
    Don't really have one. I love getting gifts and giving gifts.

    (9) What do you LOVE about the holidays?
    The atmosphere of music, lights, hustle & bustle, etc.

    (10) What annoys you about the holidays?
    People's impatience.

    (11) Do you prefer star or angel on top of a Christmas tree? Or something else?
    Angel...but right now because of our pets we bypass a tree and our angel sits on our mantel.

    (12) What is your family favorite recipe at Christmas?
    Mint Mom has made this every Christmas since I can remember and I love it. Lime jello, Cool Whip, buttermints, and pineapple. Yumminess.

    (13) Are you a Grinch or a Who at Christmastime?
    A Who...because I just love everything about Christmas. Even though it is chaos in my job.

    (14) Christmas light displays - Love them or Hate them?
    Love going to look at them. But I haven't done one in a while.

    (15) Santas at the mall - Fun times or Creepy?
    CREEPY...I hated them as a child and I'm not too fond of them now. Although our preschool has a Christmas program with a Santa and he's ok because I know him.

    (16) Christmas cards - do you send them, yes or no?
    I haven't in a while. I used to but then I'd miss Christmas and Christmas cards in July miss something.

    (17) What is the best thing about Christmas, in your opinion?
    Jesus' birth. Does it get any better?

    (18) What is the worst thing about Christmas?
    People being impatient and rude while trying to Christmas shop

    (19) When do you put the tree up and take it down?
    Refer to #11

    (20) Out of the 12 days of Christmas, which day and item would you want your truelove to give to you?
    Swans a swimming...I think swans are pretty.

    (21) Why do you think that Grandma got run over by a reindeer?
    Because they needed to have a goofy song

    (22) Who is your favorite reindeer?

    (23) Do you believe in Santa Claus?
    I believe Santa Claus is very much a part of Christmas and we need to keep the spirit of giving alive.

    (24) What is your favorite smell at Christmastime?
    Sugar Cookies...I love the smell of them baking

    (25) What would make you happy at Christmas this year?
    Spending time with friends and family