Archive for March, 2008

Sweatin’ Early in the AM

March 28, 2008

     Nothing like dripping sweat by 5:30 am.  Whew!  Today was one tough workout.  The past two workout days have been fairly uneventful.  Outfit lady had on all black Wednesday and all brown today.  Nothing fancy.  Belly button ring lady wore a longer t-shirt (thank heavens) so no sign of the tummy bling this week.  Today we did have a married couple join us. . . usually we are all women, but today we had a guy in the group.  He was sweating like crazy and had a hard time hangin’ with the chicks in the class.  It made me feel a little bit better about myself. . . seeing that I made it until the end of class, but he slipped out before we were through.  I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he had to get to work early. . . but he was huffing and puffing and so maybe, just maybe, it was a little too much for him today.  But hey, it was his first day and I have been doing this for well over a year now and it is STILL hard every single time I go!!!

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My Favorite TV Show EVER

March 26, 2008

Little House on the Prairie

There has never been a TV show as great as Little House. I love every episode and have seen them all a million times. My girls love it too. We have seasons one and three on DVD and they love them. I still can’t watch when Mary goes blind. I cry and cry. . . and I know what is coming AND everything that will happen to her in her life as a blind woman. I have to turn the channel when I know it is time for her to scream out for Pa. Gut wrenching!!! I turned on the TV this afternoon and went to the Hallmark Channel to see what episode was on today (click here to see the schedule for this month). . . Christmas on Plum Creek. One of my very favorites. . . everyone works and sacrifices for someone else to have a gift. Pa got Laura a saddle for Bunny (her horse). Laura traded Bunny to buy Ma a new stove. Mary made a new shirt for Pa and Ma had made him one too, but she hid hers under the tree skirt when he opened his gift from Mary. And Carrie spent her penny to buy a star for the top of the tree so the wise men could see to find Baby Jesus. I just love it! Here are some other reasons I love this show:

1) Ma respects Pa and Pa loves Ma well.

2) The children are, well, children, but they honor, respect and obey their parents.

3) Everyone works hard and they don’t seem to complain much.

4) Ma trusts Pa and he is the leader of the home. . . You can almost see Ma bite her tongue sometimes because she thinks before she speaks.

5) Miss Beatle is the BEST teacher in the world!

6) Mr. Edwards song, “Ole Dan Tucker was a fine old man. Washed his face in a frying pan. Combed his hair with a wagon wheel. Stuck a toothpick in his heel. Get out the way for ole Dan Tucker. It’s too late to get his supper. Supper’s over and dinner’s cookin’, ole Dan Tucker just stands there lookin!”

7) The banks of Plum Creek are absolutely beautiful and I would have loved to have been a kid then and been able to play outside and walk everywhere and fish in the creek and enjoy life on the Ingall’s farm.

8 ) Nellie grates on my nerves and so does Mrs. Oleson. . . but I love them on the show.

9) Wouldn’t you love to have Doc Baker, Mr. Hansen and Reverend Alden as your friends?

10) Everyone in the town pitches in when someone needs help and they work together as a community should.

There are a hundred other things I could say about the show. Do you like Little House on the Prairie? What is your favorite episode?

Shout Out to my Hubby!

March 26, 2008

I just have to take a minute to say how proud I am of my husband. In addition to being a terrific husband, wonderful daddy, and a hard worker, Rick has just finished a 13 month program and completed his bachelors degree from TNU!!! Last night he gave his thesis dissertation (I think that is what it is called). It was the culmination of many months of hard work and study. I am so proud of him for going back to school, studying hard, AND making straight A’s the whole way through. With several in his class flunking out and a couple who dropped out b/c they just couldn’t handle the pressure and stress of working full time and going to school. . . it makes his accomplishment even greater!! He has worked so hard and I am so excited that he will officially graduate in May. He is just as excited and happy that it is all over!! I love you Rick and am so proud of you!!!!

Wouldn’t You Know It??

March 24, 2008

This is great. We are on Spring Break this week which means we have no plans and absolutely nothing to do. So today we all stayed in our pj’s until about 1:30 this afternoon. The girls in this apartment were all lazy jane’s today! We kept the TV on all morning (which I NEVER do). I washed, dried and folded oodles of laundry, cleaned out the pantry with the help of the girls and had several around the apartment Easter egg hunts! I finally showered and got everyone dressed around 2:00 so we could run an errand to Staples for my hubby. We made a quick stop to Lifeway and then to Target. Both girls received $5 for Easter and they are just like their daddy and want to spend it the second they get it. They each found something within their limit and I picked up the four things on my list.

We were darting out of the store and I saw someone out of the corner of my eye that looked like my aunt Kathy and someone else. I immediately thought it was my cousin, Katy, but she lives in NYC and so I quickly dismissed the notion. Without really thinking about it, I swooshed the girls out the door and back in the entrance and yelled, “Kathy.” She turned and yes, it was her AND my cousin, Katy. Now I see people all the time at Target and the grocery that I know. . . and I usually always look like a schlumpadinka. Today was no exception. . . I did have on makeup and my hair had a cute “windblown” look going on. . . but I pulled out the ‘ol brown velour sweat suit one last time since it was chilly outside today. My kids had on clothes that they had practically outgrown AND if you can believe it, they DID NOT have bows in their hair. I ALWAYS put in a big bow b/c you can be dressed like a rag-a-muffin and still look cute if you have in a hairbow. But not today. Now why, you may ask, does any of this matter at all?? Well, my cousin Katy is a stylist in NYC. . . yes, a stylist to the stars, people!! Check out her website and see the portfolio of clients!! I mean, seriously. She looked very New York Cityish. . . she is tall with perfect posture and she was dressed like, well, no one around here. Very stylish and hip and classy. We all hugged and chatted for a quick second. I didn’t really know what to say to Katy. . . so I came up with something real original, “How’s New York City?” What a moron. I mean, did I sound like the stay-at-home mom, can’t dress my kids or myself, don’t know what style is or means, kinda gal that I am???

It’s not that I can’t communicate with my family. . . but Katy is my 2nd or 3rd cousin and we usually only see each other at family events. . . at which times I am usually dressed up a little more than today and my children look much more presentable. Anyway, I was laughing outloud as we walked back out of the store. Katy was making a quick run into Target since they don’t have one in the city and she told me that she wanted to go into Kohl’s to see the Vera Wang line of clothing. I just smiled. I have never really look at that stuff at Kohl’s cause it’s usually STILL out of my price range. 🙂 But she is a stylist!! I just wonder if when she walked away she said to her mom, “Wow! Amy really looks like a mom now and she sure could use my help. If only I could get my hands on her and her mom wardrobe!!” HaHaHa!!!! Bring it on cuz! I’d love some help in the style department!  How about you?  What’s your style?  How do you even know what style to have??

Easter Outfits

March 23, 2008

We did something totally different for our family on Easter this year.  We went to the Saturday night service instead of Sunday morning.  It was very hard for me to do. . . but it was the same service as Sunday and it was phenomenal!  Because of this, I didn’t dress the girls up, or myself either.  Again, hard to do, but it really shouldn’t be about what we are wearing on Easter morning anyway.  So, on Sunday morning, we stayed home in our pj’s until Rick decided he wanted to get out of the house.  We decided to run by his parents to let the girls get their Easter goodies from the grandparents.  Rick told them to get dressed and this is what they looked like.

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Addison in her cozy pajama shirt and courdory skirt and hair brushed by her.

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Ava Jane in a sleeveless strawberry shortcake shirt, brown and pink polka dot bloomers (which Rick made her change out of and put on pants) and a brown velour jacket with hair not brushed at all.

It was a great and very restful Easter for a change.  We enjoyed egg hunts yesterday and church last night.  I decided to give them Easter baskets in the middle of the day today.  I’m not real big on the Easter Bunny thing and it really annoys me that my kids asked earlier in the week if they were getting presents for Easter.  That just about ruined it for them.   But I went ahead with the baskets. . .  I announced, “Get the baskets you got from Pops and Nonni last weekend and empty them out and stay in the livingroom until I get back.”  Real surprising huh??  Then I proceeded to fill eggs that I kept from last year with some candy I purchased after Valentine’s Day for 25 cents per bag.  Yum-yum!  When I brought them in the livingroom they were all excited.  They wanted to close their eyes and be surprised.  So, with eyes closed I asked, “What is the real reason we celebrate Easter?” and sweet Addison answered (with eyes closed), “Jesus died on the cross and rose again.”  Okay, just wanted to be sure we understood that part for sure.  “And what is just the fun silly pretend part of Easter?”  And Ava Jane answered, “The Easter Bunny!!”  You would have thought it was Christmas for Ava Jane.  She squealed with each discovery of candy.  Addison wasn’t overjoyed.  Just happy I let her eat one piece of it.

So, that was Easter Day for us.  Not very eventful.  But actually not having anything to do gave me much more time to think about what Jesus did for us.  Especially after the powerful message we heard last night.  We deserve hell.  But Jesus paid the debt in full.  Hallelujah!

Tax Rebates

March 21, 2008

I am just curious what everyone thinks of the tax rebates that we will be getting as part of the economic stimulus package. . . there are lots of people who feel strongly one way or the other.  Personally, I am thrilled with the idea of getting some extra money!  Since we are building a house (if it EVER gets started), we can use all the extra cash we can get.  There seems to be some confusion about how this rebate will affect next year’s taxes.  From everything I have read, it in NO way affects 2007 or 2008 taxes.  You will not have to claim it as income and it is not an “advance” on your 2008 taxes.  Since I don’t know how the government works and makes all her decisions, I don’t feel like I can rightly say if it is a good or bad thing.  I read lots of comments about this on another website and boy was it lively!  Here is a link to the irs website with a little more information.  I was just wondering what you thought about it and what you plan to do with the money you will receive!

Chicken Tetrazzini

March 20, 2008

This is a favorite and oh so yummy meal.  It is also great if you freeze half of it and eat it later.  Here are the ingredients:

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts cooked and chopped (or canned chicken, I suppose)
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 (7 oz) pack spagetti
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 1/2 T flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (or cooking wine)
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 (4 oz) jar sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 1 (2 oz) jar pimentoes
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Cook spagetti noodles in water with salt and olive oil.  Drain well and set aside.   Saute green pepper in butter until tender.  Add flour and stir well.  Stir in milk and next 6 ingredients and 2 cups of the cheese.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 10 minutes or until throroughly heated.  Add chicken.  Grease (spray) a 13×9 baking dish.  Spread 1/2 spagetti and then 1/2 chicken mixture and layer again.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup shredded cheese and toasted almonds and bake an additional 5 minutes.  Let stand 5 minutes.  Serves 6-8.  YUM-O!

Great with a side salad and french bread!  Enjoy

Observations from Exercising

March 19, 2008

Okay. . . I have to write today about some things I have observed and thought through from my early morning class. . .

1.  For all you 18 year old girls who are getting your belly button pierced – you will gain weight one day. . . maybe when you have a baby. . . maybe when your hormones change and you get older, but you will gain a little weight.  And as cute as you think your belly button ring looks now, it WILL NOT look cute when you have a pudgy tummy.  Now, I know some people think that it is sexy to be big and pregnant with a belly button ring – whatever. . . I personally think that people that WANT their pregnant bellies to show while pregnant just look like they couldn’t afford maternity clothes that fit.  And then they have this bling that pops out of the center of all that.   I digress.  Anyway. . . I saw a lady today who is a little fluffy.  She had a nice rounded belly (can you use the word nice when you are kindly saying someone was overweight), but I SWEAR that I saw a belly button ring when her shirt (which was too short to start) moved up.  And she was probably about 38-40ish.  PLEASE!!!!  For the love of all that is good. . . who wants to see a belly button ring on a heavy person?????

2.  I love people with flair and pizzazz!  The sweet lady with the leotards was all decked out in turquoise today.  Turquoise tights. . . turquoise and white striped shorts (like Richard Simmons has), a turquoise shirt and EVEN a turquoise bra (I could see the strap)!!  On Monday (St. Patty’s Day), she had on black pantyhose with green shamrocks all over them. . . green socks over that. . . green St. Patty’s Day shirt and shamrock earrings.  I just love it when she walks in.  There is nothing boring about her.  She is so sweet and I just love that she is secure enough to wear all that.  She always makes me smile!!!!

3.  In honor of Easter, we had to “HOP” during half of our class. . . We used the step benches in this order. . . two high, three high, four high, three high, two high. . . they were good and spaced out and we had to JUMP up and down, run a lap in the gym, do some crazy running exercise through a ladder-like thingy and then REPEAT!!!  Okay. . . so I heard a slapping sound a few times. . . you know. . . well, you probably don’t know. . . but some of you can relate. . . all your jiggly parts slap around and the bigger the jump, the bigger it all slaps!!  YIKES! 

4.  People who are overweight and exercising SHOULD NOT be required to carry around hand weights while they exercise.  Occassionally we have to walk or jog with weights. . . today it was walking lunges and squats with two 8 lb weights.  Okay. . . think about it. . . I am already carrying around about 50 extra pounds that YOU are not.  So, it is automatically more difficult for one like myself to lung and get up, squat and get up, etc.  I DON’T need the extra weights!!!  It’s like a double whammy!!!  Now, obviously we use weights for arms, etc.  And I know that sometimes we are suppose to be using the weights when we walk for arms, but WHATEVER!!  If anyone wonders why I am slower than you, it’s probably because I am carrying around extra weight that you are not!  Enough about this.

5.  People who whine about having to exercise should be kicked out of the class!  Oh, wait!  That would be me!  I just whine for fun.  It lightens the mood for everyone.  Today I almost made up my own cuss words.  Kinda like this commercial.

Hope you have a FANTASIC Wednesday!!!

Listening to God

March 14, 2008

Wow!  I was just sitting in my bedroom putting on makeup and the tv was on the 700 Club.  First, let me say that normally I am ready to “go” by 8:30 a.m. (and it is 11:00). Second, my TV is never on in my room unless it is early in the morning when I am getting ready or late in the day when I am folding laundry.  Okay. . . I was curling my eyelashes and thinking. . . and it hit me that I needed to pray.  I put down the lash curler and mascara, turned off the TV and got down on my face on the carpet (something I have done several times through the encouragement of Beth Moore through the Bible Study I am doing).  I began to talk to God and confess my attitude about some things and MY PRIDE.  Don’t know where all that came from. . . well, actually, it came from God, but I even hit my hand on the ground as I confessed that DARN PRIDE. . . I just hate that sin!!!!  And I said the words (rather reluctantly), “Please help me die to self.”  Then I wasn’t sure what else I needed to pray for so I wrapped it up and got back up, turned the TV back on and continued my mascara application.  As the 700 Club came back on from a commercial, the guest being interviewed talked about this being a year of change and how for her the biggest battle she faced was with herself and her PRIDE!  Ouch! Did I hear that correctly?  And the host said, “We must die to self.  And do so, daily!”  Okay. . . seriously. . . God, did I just hear all that?  Did you just prompt me to pray and confess and actually ask you to help me die to self?  And then confirm all that I had JUST PRAYED. . . and also show me that soooo many of us struggle with the very issue of PRIDE and DYING TO SELF???  Wow!  I was in tears. . . just to see how very personal God is!  And how when we listen to God. . . He really does speak to us.  I believe that had I not actually obeyed God when I felt like I needed to stop and pray, that what I heard on the TV would just have been blah, blah, blah. . . but God had a word for me and He prepared my heart to hear it by prompting me to pray in the middle of my eyelash curling!  Oh, how sweet He is!!  I just pray that you, too, can experience Him in this way!  That is what He desires for each of us.  TO KNOW HIM!!!  Thank you, Jesus, for drawing me close and squeezing me tight.  That is how I feel right now. . . like God is giving me a huge hug and telling me just how very much He loves me.  Anyone want to share what happens when you listen to God and obey?

I Love How God Provides

March 9, 2008

I just love how God provides.  We haven’t been out to eat in a while. . . funds have been a little low, and since we don’t do credit cards, we can’t just go out whenever and find the money later.  We either have it or we don’t.  Well, tonight we decided to go to Uncle Bud’s Catfish (after someone was talking about it at church today).  We were going to pay for it from the last of the grocery money and then use the rest to buy groceries for the week.  We went with some friends and had four adults and 5 kids.  KIDS EAT FREE. . . so we had that going for us.  The prices aren’t too bad, but I still ordered water to drink and Rick had Dr. Pepper.  We all ordered our drinks and it took a while to get them.  We then ordered our food.  And waited, and waited, and waited.  The table that came in after us got their entire order (for six adults) and when we asked, the waitress told us it would be another 5-10 minutes.  My hubbie was over it!  And we were all tired of the kids telling us how hungry they were.  Rick kindly walked over to the manager and explained our situation.  The manager came back out and apologized.  Apparently the young waitress had forgotten to enter our order and had just put it in.  He apologized and said, “Your meal tonight is on me!”  Yippee.  Did I hear that correctly?  I felt bad for the girl. . . she was young, the restaurant is new, and she is probably just learning everything.  Nonetheless, we did not have to pay for our meal.  Now, that is a blessing.  Our visit there was a little longer than we would have preferred, but it allowed us a good time to talk with friends, a lesson in patience and a FREE dinner.  We left a tip and walked out with full tummies and smiles.  Anyone want to share a neat way that God has provided for you?