This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every moring: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3: 21-26

Friday, August 10, 2007

Favorite Ingredients Friday--Salad Edition

Cucumber and Tomato Salad Caprese
from July 2000 Pillsbury Farmer's Market Cookbook

1 large red tomato, sliced
1 large yellow tomato, sliced
1 medium cucumber, sliced
8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil or lemon basil

First, on a large platter, arrange tomato, cucumber and mozzarella slics overlapping in a single layer.
Next, In a small bowl, combine oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper; mix well. Drizzle over salad. Sprinkle with basil.
6 servings

CD giveaway & Pay It Forward book giveaway are open until Sunday.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Book Giveaway and CD Giveaway

Just a reminder that the book giveaway can be found here. And for anyone wanting a new Praise & Worship CD go here to sign up. Both giveaways end Sunday August 12.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Reason’s I Miss Thomas the Tank Engine

Thomas the Tank EngineThey go from Thomas to Transformers in about 15 seconds. You blink and they’ve gone from cuddly toddlers to boys exploding in Transformer fashion in the backyard.

I miss Thomas. Way to early, for some reason, we dove into popular culture Star Wars, Transformers, and Bionicles. Thomas kind of sits now, neglected. Once in a while though they will pull out Thomas and his friends and I am reminded why I miss him.

1. Who can resist steam engines that talk?

2. Thomas loves children.

3. Thomas always has a good lesson.

Diesel4. Bad Diesel never wins. Even if he has a claw.

5. Thomas does not explode or attack anyone. He is a little “cheeky” but the worst he does is get stuck in the snow.

6. The island of Sodor has perfect weather. Unless it snows. And then it only does that so Thomas can learn something.

7. Thomas tracks, unlike Bionicle pieces don’t become embedded in the carpet to be found by bare feet at 3 a.m.

8. Thomas has a rather sweet voice, no matter if it is Ringo, George or Alec who is narrating, unlike Optimus Prime who, although a good guy is extremely imposing.

9. Thomas comes from England, not from a galaxy far, far away. Therefore, Thomas speaks English and has pronounceable names. When the boys got involved in Bionicles it was like a whole new language—with lots of guttural and phlegm-y words and names.

James the Tank Engine10. I like Thomas’ theme song from the shows and all of the cute little songs that went with it. Somehow singing “Transformers! Robots in disguise!” to heavy metal just doesn’t evoke the same feeling of joy.

11. In Thomas’ world I never feel that Earth is in danger of exploding or being run by evil displaced robots.

12. Other than talking, Thomas has no super powers. Thomas is not larger than life. In fact he is rather small. And still manages to make a difference.

Thomas Playset13. I miss Thomas the most because lack of play with Thomas means my boys are growing up. And while that is a parent’s goal to raise healthy, thriving, growing children, the toys that come with maturity don’t have a lot of space for Mommy. Oh well, maybe if I learn some martial arts kicks and hits I could jump around and explode in the back yard too…Naaahhhhh…I don’t see that as being cool. Just a sure way to throw out my back. Oh well…Thomas, I still love you.

Read other Thursday Thirteen participants lists at the TT Hub!

THE PURPOSE BEHIND THE THURSDAY THIRTEEN:The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. What do you do? Write Thirteen things about yourself, summarize your week in one entry, make it easy for other bloggers to get to know you on a weekly basis. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Obviously NOT today. Six months ago. And in less than six months--all over again.

Visit WWHQ the place to find photos to make you wordless.

Works for Me Wednesday--Prayer Collage

Prayer collage.

It isn’t pretty. It isn’t tidy & organized. So all of you who are really all about the spiffy sparkling kitchens with the pristine refrigerator fronts—just run away now.

For those of us who, however do have the children's art gallery on the fridge, and for all you good cooks, or for those of you like me who struggle with the rummaging through the freezer & fridge for something that you might have forgotten was worth snacking on—this is the thing.

Post your prayer requests on your freezer. Save the art work for lower, eye level for the kids, but put your prayer requests at eye level for you. I do mine with a lot of pictures. Some of those people on my fridge I haven’t seen for more than five years. But I think of them every day and say a quick prayer, more if led, when they come into view.

No, it’s not a nice tidy notebook, but I lose those. Trust me, it works, I never lose the refrigerator.

For more Works for Me Wednesday ideas, visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer.

Visit the rest of my blog for the book giveaway and the CD giveaway.

Goodbye Old Man, We Will Miss You

Yesterday, in the midst of waiting for news about my mother, we had to make the choice to put down our “Old Man” cat, also known as Tucker. Tucker was in his early to mid-twenties and had been a part of my life longer than my husband.

Up until Friday he was still getting up early every morning to greet my husband over coffee and meow about the current events. At one time Tuck was a large (near twenty pound) cat, but the last few years have seen him thin down quite a bit. Over the weekend we noticed he wasn’t up with the dawn and in fact needed called to be roused. Sunday night found him unable to navigate stairs and his meower was noticeably quieter. By Monday morning there was nothing but a squeak and two steps was about all his back legs were good for.

My sweet husband came home from work, made the vet call, and gave the boys a little time to say goodbye to their beloved grey tiger. Many tears were shed and I’m not sure that my sweetheart didn’t shed the most. This from a man who supposedly didn’t want cats. He’s missing his coffee buddy quite a bit already.

For my part, I’m missing a friend of near sixteen years. He came to me as an adult, he was somewhere between the age of seven and ten. I’m looking for someone to head butt me and track me down to the kitchen in case there is a can of tuna to be opened. His animal buddies, Libby and Sid are a little confused at his absence.

This cat somehow became “my mother’s cat.” When she would visit, he would wait for her to find a seat, thereby creating a lap, proceed to insinuate himself in her arms and stay there for as long as he could. He would position himself so he could gaze adoringly at her and meow and “talk” to her, telling her, surely, of his abused life with me and all insults, real and imaginary he was forced to endure. She of course would tell him how wonderful he was. I swear he knew when I talked to her on the phone. He would shove his way onto my lap and head-butt the phone until I told her he was there.

There is a furry hole around here, I’m telling you.

For those sweet friends who’ve commented or e-mailed about my mom, I am still waiting on any real “news.” She was transferred late yesterday from the local hospital to the university hospital in a nearby city. She has been unable to eat and has at least one episode of extremely low blood pressure with rapid pulse. She’s quite unhappy about all the tubes she’s wearing, among other things. We were going to visit today, but my sister and father think waiting one more day might be better. So the boys and I will leave early tomorrow and stay at least one night.

I plan on blogging as I am able, while to some it may seem insensitive, but as some may recognize it is really good therapy for me.


Sunday, August 5, 2007

Book Giveaway

Pay It Forward Book Exchange
created by Overwhelmed With Joy

The Pay It Forward Book Exchange is going strong. Several bloggers have been inspired to play along and host giveaways and I am ready to jump in too.

The first book I am going to give away is Crime and Clutter by Cyndy Salzman. I got this from Glass Road Public Relations a while back and already gave away one copy of it. Now this one is gently read and greatly enjoyed.

Perhaps it is because I enjoy quirky recipes. Perhaps it is the fact I join with five other friends on a regular basis for a girls night about once a month and we have been doing so for over sixteen years now—although, we don’t have a spiffy name for our group like the FAC (Friday Night Club) of the book, but I know what it’s like to have good friends. Or perhaps it is the era that I was a child in that this book revisits, although my parents were never flower children. I don’t know what it is, but this book resonated with me.

It was not what I expected, but it was more. I enjoyed it so much. Cyndy Salzman writes in a real and honest way about real and honest things but presents them in a unique light. Her book is full of humor, good recipes and love.

And so with that I am going to give away my copy of Crime and Clutter. If you would like to win it, it’s as easy as leaving a comment in the comments section saying, “Enter my name.” or something to that effect. If you want to link here and tell other people that is fine, but not a requirement. Remember you will need to be willing to give me your e-mail and IRL address to receive the book. So please, if you don’t think you want to do that, leave me a lovely comment elsewhere on my blog.

This giveaway will run until Sunday, August 12, when I will draw a winner's name. I am also going to be giving away a CD on my blog. The artist is someone that I'm quite partial to.

I will be giving away another book next week, posting more about that on Monday, August 13.

Good luck!!

Visit Overwhelmed With Joy for her Pay It Forward Book Giveaway. She is giving away The Road by Cormac McCarthy. She also has several other ladies giving books away.

Another Giveaway--Music!!

While I am giving things away (see here for my Pay It Forward Book Exchange giveaway), I want to give away a CD. This CD, New Life, is by Marian Greer, a wonderful woman I have known for several years and am blessed to count as a friend even though I only get to see her two or three times a year—she is one of those genuine people who doesn’t need a lot of formality.

This is her second CD and I have really enjoyed listening to my copy and I wanted to share a brand new, in the wrapper package with someone else—my treat. You can also listen to samples of the songs here.

Marian didn’t know I would be giving this away when I purchased an extra. So this is not a paid advertisement—just something God has prompted me to do.

The promo for her CD says:

Marian’s positive, prayerful music reawakens the soul with her message of hope and joy, and her gentle reminders of God’s love. The music is comfortable, easy and real. It’s a stirring mixture of Marian’s vocals and the inspired instrumental talents of Dave Greer and Jeremy Cameron that invokes praise and invites prayerful contemplation. The New Life CD will bring you to a place of peace and New Life in Him. A portion of the proceeds of the New Life CD will go to Option Ultrasound, a ministry which provides ultrasound equipment and training to Pregnancy Resource Centers in the hopes that young mothers-to-be might see their unborn child in a new light and choose life.

This is a fun CD by a Christian mom, she is a teacher and a praise and worship leader at the church I used to attend. I've heard all these songs in person during Sunday morning worships & they are very personal & dear to my heart.

If you would like your name entered for the CD leave a comment saying, “I want to win that.” or something to that affect. You will have to be able to be reached by e-mail and willing to give me your IRL address to send it too. You are welcome to link to this post if you want to let others know, but it is not a requirement.

This giveaway will be open from today until Sunday, August 12 when I will draw a winner's name.

Have a great week!!

Grains of Gratitude

Grains of Gratitude is a Sunday meme started by the joyful Christine at Brady’s Bunch. She is mommy to a whole beautiful family and I love to visit her site.

This week I am grateful for a week that feels “normal.” Too much of anything, even good things, wear a person down. This has been a “normal” looking week. (Of course we all know “normal” is relative and only an ideal.)

I am grateful for boys who have had pretty good attitudes. They cheerfully cleaned their room this week in a manner that impressed me. While there are some things I want to go in and organize, I would not be embarrassed for someone to view their room.

The van is paid off!!!! I am so excited. That is has finally happened is amazing to me. It is a milestone for many reasons for my husband and I. Doing a tiny, little happy dance and praising my Father for bringing us to this point.

Oddly enough, I am grateful for reaching an emotional low this week. It is when we hit bottom that we see how nothing is really in our control and if we give it to the LORD He will be faithful—He may not follow our plan—and sometimes that is why we need a low. We have to be low enough to let go of ourselves.

I am grateful for my craft area. My husband has his cave, my children have most of the house—I have a desk. It is there that I vaguely remember that people used to think I was creative. Some of that creative energy is slowly trickling back. A free ten minutes is all it takes to rejuvenate.

What are you grateful for?

This week I am keeping many friends (both those met IRL and met on the web) and family members in prayer. My mother is starting a new chemo study and still having issues with the stent in her kidney, a traveling niece and nephew, “B” and her family making a long journey & for health issues—you know who you are ((()). And dear Kelli & Heather. Continued prayer. Continued prayers & believing for sweet, sweet Izzy and her family.

And if anyone would feel led to pray for wisdom for my husband and I as we are faced with some issues and decisions, I would be really grateful.

Have a great week everyone!!

Edited to add: My mother has been admitted to the hospital today & if anyone is so led, I would appreciated a prayer for her. Blessings, Julie