Thursday, September 30, 2010

12 things in 12 months


One of the blogs I read, written by a long time online friend of mine found another blog that is hosting 12 new things in 12 months.  What a great idea!  I think this will be fun, and if you're planning on doing, please leave me a comment with link to your blog as well.  I really look forward to hearing what others are trying to do.  So, without further adieu...



Here are my 12 things:

September:  Learn to make Anglican Rosaries (Already did this :)

October: Take my husband and kids to the Grand Canyon :)

November:  Make Homemade Wheat Bread

December:  Make homemade gingerbread- I've made houses for years, but always use the box of cake mix...

January:  Make homemade tortillas that actually taste good

February:  Walk every day for a month (I know, I'm cheating using the shortest month LOL)

March:  Plant a vegetable garden

April:  Learn to play the Guitar

May:  Make thumbprint charms with Art Clay

June:  Sew my own apron

July:  Memorize the books of the Bible in order :)

August:  Blog for an entire year straight :)  By August I will have done that- hopefully!

This was WAY harder than I thought it would be!  I'm interested to hear what everyone else wants to try :)


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wordless Wednesday- The Shave!!!






Tuesday, September 28, 2010

GratiTuesday- Change



We're in the mist of a road trip now, and I can't help but marvel in the beauty of God's creation.  Just as He didn't make any two people alike, neither did He make any two trees alike, or mountains, or rocks.  Everywhere you go there is evidence of God's diversity, from the plains, to the mountains, to the swamp, to the forest, to the desert etc.  How Awesome is our God!  Have you ever sat and marveled at that?  I heard on the radio once that "Even the trees lift up their leaves to the heavens".  I'll never look at nature the same after hearing that.  It's so true!  And just as every place is different, every day in the same place is different.

So why is that we're so afraid of change?

We live in a world that is about change.  Change of seasons, change of people, change of daylight, change of time, change of temperature, change of circumstances.  

Wouldn't it make more sense to be afraid of staying the same?  Without change there is no growth.  Without change there is no progress.  Without change there is no improvement.

Today I am thankful for change.  Thankful for the changing scenery as we drive down the road.  Thankful for my ever changing family.  
 
  

Monday, September 27, 2010

Menu Monday 9/27-10/3

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This week and next we are out of town, so my menu will have a bit of a different format. This week I'll share how I planned our menu for our trip.

We're going to be gone for 2 weeks and we're taking an RV on our trip.  So, that leaves us with the ability to cook and have a refrigerator.  Yay!  I don't, however, want to spend the trip preparing food.  So, I've made the decision to depart from our usual healthy food and just get convenience foods.  I know it isn't ideal, but I do believe it to be better than driving through McDonalds.  (Which I can't guarantee won't happen either)...

While we're gone we're visiting friends and family a lot of the time, so in the end I only needed to plan a few dinners.  Here's what I've got:


Sun 9/26- Lunch, Eating Dinner with Family
Mon 9/27- Lunch, eating with a friend
Tue 9/28- Lunch, Dinner :  Pot Pies
Wed 9/29-Pack a lunch for train, Dinner in Crock Pot:Taco Soup
Thur 9/30-Lunch, Dinner:  Burgers, Chips, Salad
 Fri 10/1-Lunch on road, Dinner:  Grilled Cheese Sandwiches , applesauce, chips
Sat 10/2- Lunch, Dinner with friends
Sun 10/3- Lunch with family, Dinner with friends
Mon 10/4-Staying with friends
Tues 10/5-Staying with friends
Wed 10/6- Lunch on Road, Dinner:  Stuffed Baked Potatoes
Thur 10/7- Lunch, Dinner:  Taquitos, Nachos, Gringo Guacomole
Fri 10/8- Lunch, Dinner with family
Sat 10/9-Staying with family
Sun 10/10- Lunch, Dinner at home

For Breakfast foods we'll be bringing cereal, eggs, pancake stuff, and some homemade granola
For Lunch foods we'll be bringing stuff for:

Tuna and crackers
Sandwiches
BLT's
Hot Dogs
Mac and Cheese
Fruit Cups

 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Supper Sunday- Gringo Guacamole


Semalee's Gringo Guacamole
Ingredients:
4 Haas Avocados
1/2 tsp Garlic Salt
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp Chili Powder
1/4 cup Pace Chunky Salsa
1/3 cup sour cream

Directions:
Mash avocados with fork.  Sprinkle spices over avocados and combine.  Add salsa and sour cream.  Mix to combine.  Store in refrigerator with the seeds from the avocados to prevent it from going brown.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Singing Saturday- All I Need is You




All I Need is You- Hillsong United


Left my fear by the side of the road
Hear You speak
Won't let go
Fall to my knees as I lift my hands to pray

Got every reason to be here again
Father's love that draws me in
And all my eyes wanna see is a glimpse of You

All I need is You
All I need is You Lord
Is you Lord

One more day and it's not the same
Your spirit calls my heart to sing
Drawn to the voice of my Saviour once again
Where would my soul be without Your Son
Gave His life to save the earth
Rest in the thought that You're watching over me

All I need is You
All I need is You Lord
Is You Lord

You hold the universe
You hold everyone on earth
You hold the universe
You hold
You hold

All I need is You
All I need is You Lord
Is You Lord

Friday, September 24, 2010

Family Time Friday- The day is here!

 
Well, the day has arrived.  Tomorrow my husband and I will be shaving our heads to raise money for childhood cancer research.   I'd like to tell you that I am excited  and exhilarated.  I'd like to tell you that I'm not wrestling with my vanity... at. all...  But honestly I'm scared to death!!!  I can't believe I've agreed to this.  ;)

What I am excited about, however, is it is something we're doing together.  And I don't have to tell you how important that is.  We're having our heads shaved together, but more importantly we're supporting a cause together, and that puts us going in the same direction.

Life is busy.  We all get caught in the business of life.  It's so hard to find things that ensure that you and your spouse are headed in the same direction, and things that connect the two of you.

But understand this:  The single most important thing you can do for your children is to nurture your marriage.

What kinds of things do you do together with your spouse?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday- Healing Prayer










Last week I touched on my gratitude for prayer and the power of prayer.  I mentioned briefly about how I was healed through prayer. Today I'm especially thankful for the healing power of prayer. We're about to go on a vacation, and I think back to all that has happened over the past several years since I was healed.

Before I was healed I had a hard time walking long distances,  or holding things in my hands.  I was told by my doctor that I would probably be in a wheelchair within a year because my feet were getting so bad.  I could not close my hands all the way anymore and hadn't been able to for several months.  I had to have a padded cover over my steering wheel so I could hold on to it, because I couldn't close my hands enough without it to get a good grip  on it.  I had no idea I would be healed, and I don't take this lightly at all.  I can't go through any part of my day without knowing the power of God.

Sometimes I have a hard time talking about it to people, especially if they are in need of healing themselves, because I don't want them to feel like I'm bragging, or that I think I am better than they are.  I also don't want them to wonder why I was healed and they have not been.  I don't know the answer.  I definitely was NOT healed because I'm a better person!  I am so not a better person!  And I don't know why God heals some of us, and not others, or heals us at different times.  I wish I did.

But what I do believe is that there is a reason that I was healed.

I believe that I have a responsibility to tell people about it, so that they can know that it really does still happen.  I believe that I was healed so that I can minister to others, either through prayer, or through service.  It is a part of why I'm letting my head get shaved on SaturdayWhich, by the way is in in only 2 days, and I'm having a serious issue with my own vanity... 

It's a big part of the reason we're in the foster care system.  Honestly, if I still had limited use of my hands and feet I would NOT be able to take care of babies.  And, back when I was healed I had NO idea we would be where we are on that!

It's a big part of the reason I homeschool my kids.  I felt I was called to homeschool them long before I did.  I finally gave in and agreed to do it, telling God the whole time about how I was not qualified.  As we approached that first year, and Fall was rapidly approaching I was scared to death, and very unsure of how I was going to do it.  One of the worst things that Rheumatoid Arthritis did to me was it overwhelmed me with exhaustion.  I could literally fall asleep standing up.  It was awful, and often made me feel very worthless.  I remember asking God how I was going to homeschool them from the couch.  No worries!  He had it covered ;)

I don't believe that healings are restricted to physical either.  Healing takes place every day in many forms.  Sometimes people choose to attribute their healing to God, sometimes to other things.  I believe that if more of us gave the credit to God we would have more peace in our souls.  But, it's hard not to sound crazy to those who don't believe.  Honestly, I have people who think I'm crazy, or over-exaggerating, or whatever.  Even people who saw me at my worst can't accept what has happened.  It is what it is.  It can be for many reasons, maybe they're unbelievers.  Maybe they're in too much pain themselves.  Maybe they're angry.  Maybe they're jealous.  God knows we all get jealous!

I just want to encourage you today, that if you are in need of healing in any area of your life right now, to ask for it.  God has a plan and a time and a method.  You may not get the healing you ask for, you may get something else.  You may be told to wait.  Or you may be like me and be caught completely by surprise by the depth of the healing.

I'm in a Bible Study, and the commentary said something recently that I found to be very profound, and appropriate: 

"If we are trusting Jesus Christ and have even a glimpse of God's great power, we can experience tranquility even when our world may be falling apart."

 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

GratitTuesday- Blogging











Today what I really want to take a moment to be thankful for is blogging.  Yes, you read that right.  This blog is often another thing in a long line of things on my to-do list, and sometimes I write a better post that other times.  And I honestly don't have spare time to dedicate to it.  However, it has become quite the outlet for me, and something that is mine.  As moms we end up on the back burner a LOT...  Heck, sometimes we end up off the stove completely!  Why do we do that?  Anyway, because of my decision to be consistent with with blog I make myself do it.  And, often times, like last week for example, I am so glad I did, because I'm able to work through some things and have an outlet for my thoughts.  As I've begun to write more seriously I also have really gotten into reading other people's blogs as well.  There is such a wealth of info out there, and a wealth of healthy expressions for peoples' thoughts.

So, I'm grateful for blogging, and I'm thankful for you,  my readers today.  For allowing me to be myself through the good the bad and the ugly :)

This post is linked to Heavenly Homemakers for GratiTuesday :)

  

Monday, September 20, 2010

Menu Monday 9/20-9/26

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We're headed out of town on Sunday, so you'll notice the end of the week doesn't have much....

Monday: Green Chili Frittata, Fruit Salad

Tuesday: Stuffed Baked Potatoes, Salad

Wednesday: Home Group, so I don't have to cook! WOOHOO

Thursday: Out to dinner with Mikey for his birthday, kids eat pizza

Friday: Mexican Beans and Rice

Saturday:
Snack Dinner

Sunday: Out of Town

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Supper Sunday- Ham Fried Rice



 Ham Fried Rice

Ingredients:
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1-2 cups cooked ham, diced
2 cups cooked rice
1 bunch of scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp garlic powder
Safflower Oil

Directions:

Put a couple of tablespoons of oil in wok or large skillet to coat, and heat.  If you don't have safflower oil you can use another oil, just make sure it's an oil that can handle high heat.  Have your ingredients ready, because this is a super fast dish to make.  Cook the eggs just until set, remove from pan, and set aside.  Add rice, ham, ginger, garlic powder, corn, and peas and more oil if necessary.  Cook until veggies and rice are warm.  Add scallions, cook a few minutes longer.  Add soy sauce, ( adjusting the amount until you get a deep brown color on the rice and can scrape up any bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan).  Cook about 1 minute longer.  Add eggs back into mixture and cook for 3 minutes.

That easy.  and YUM....










Saturday, September 18, 2010

Singing Saturday- Love Me



He cries in the corner where nobody sees
He’s the kid with the story no one would believe
He prays every night, “Dear God won’t you please
Could you send someone here who will love me?”

Who will love me for me
Not for what I have done or what I will become
Who will love me for me
‘Cause nobody has shown me what love
What love really means

Her office is shrinking a little each day
She’s the woman whose husband has run away
She’ll go to the gym after working today
Maybe if she was thinner
Then he would’ve stayed
And she says…

Who will love me for me?
Not for what I have done or what I will become
Who will love me for me?
‘Cause nobody has shown me what love, what love really means

He’s waiting to die as he sits all alone
He’s a man in a cell who regrets what he’s done
He utters a cry from the depths of his soul
“Oh Lord, forgive me, I want to go home”

Then he heard a voice somewhere deep inside
And it said
“I know you’ve murdered and I know you’ve lied
I have watched you suffer all of your life
And now that you’ll listen, I’ll tell you that I...”

I will love you for you
Not for what you have done or what you will become
I will love you for you
I will give you the love
The love that you never knew










Friday, September 17, 2010

Family Time Friday- Movie Night












Movie nights are a lot of fun, and an inexpensive way to spend some quality family time.  I have a friend that does it almost every week, and if our life weren't so busy I could see us doing that.  We do let the boys sleep in the living room on the weekends, though, and they often stay up all night watching movies.  Last year for Christmas I found some popcorn containers at Target in their Dollar Spot section, so we like to make up some popcorn and all watch a fun movie together.  It's also a great solution if you have little ones at home, put the babies to bed and then gather round...

Some of our favorite movies are:

 Letters to God- I actually haven't seen this, but Gregory watched on the Netflix on the Wii and said it was very good.












Open Season- a great movie for all ages..












Little Shop of Horrors- good for older kids, but a fun movie












Beetle Juice- one of my all time favorites.. definitely for the older kids, but I like it. 












Up- Wonderful movie...  Great for all ages, great message...  I just love this movie!












Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium is one of my very favorite movies.. I could watch it over and over again











What are some of your favorites???

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Top Ten Things I've Learned


Top Ten Things I've Learned (Or am still learning)

  1. It really isn't worth it to leave dishes in the sink.  Are you like me?  Do you spend more time avoiding the dishes than it actually takes to do them?  How many times have I thought to myself after doing the dishes that it took virtually no time and I feel so much better now....???  
  2. An object in motion stays in motion.   It is so easy to sit on the couch and stare at this computer for hours.  I can find a million games on facebook to play to occupy my time, or a million things on TV to watch and reason that I am just so tired and need to rest.  Most of the time I feel much better if I just get up off my toosh and do something!
  3. Organizing is hard, but worth it.  Think about it, when your life is organized, and you know, for example, what you're going to have for dinner tonight, or what you're going to do tomorrow, there is a certain amount of comfort in that.  It really does lower the stress level.  But, starting is hard, and if you're like me, and a perpetually unorganized person, it is a daily struggle and a daily process.  Have I mentioned I'm really liking One Year to an Organized Life? It too will be a process that will take me more than a year, but it is atleast a process.
  4. Less is more.  I know...  DUH....  But really- it IS!!!  I have a pretty small house, and we're on the verge of being buried alive amongst all of our stuff.  I've begun the process of cleaning out (another process....)  And when I get through an area of clean out I feel so much better.  When I'm really honest with myself I realize that the majority of the "stuff" I have isn't benefiting me at all..  In fact, it's hurting me.
  5. Taking time for yourself isn't selfish.  Most of you who read my blog are other moms or dads.  We want to give everything to our kids.  We can easily get trapped in the thought that we don't need time to ourselves as much as they need us.  But the opposite is true.  They need parents that feel refreshed, and they need to learn to get by without you from time to time too.
  6. Regular Quiet Time is a must.  It's so easy to get into the business of our lives and let that fall to the side.  But if you make it a priority, you'll see that your days are more ordered.
  7. Exercise isn't just for fitness buffs.  I don't like to exercise.  I really don't.  But lately I've been trying to take a walk every night with my husband.  Most nights I don't want to go.  But afterwards I feel much better and I'm glad I did.  
  8. Boundaries are important.  You don't have to share everything that happens in your life with everyone.  It is very important to have an inner core with whom you can share, but you should keep the really personal stuff- personal. 
  9. Your spouse is the most important person in the world.  I know, some would argue it is the kids, but I disagree, because the best thing you can do for your kids is have a healthy marriage.  Period.
  10. God is in control.  When we're caught up in the chaos of life, or it isn't going our way it's easy to look the other way where God is concerned.  But we need to seek Him and trust Him especially during those times. Oh- and church should be somewhere that you can be real, not somewhere you can't go when you're in trouble. 
What are some of yours? 









Tuesday, September 14, 2010

GratiTuesday- Power of Prayer






We all have busy, stressful lives... right?  It isn't just my life that's stressful..... right?  I mean, really....  Don't we all go through times when our life feels so stressful that we just don't know where we can turn.  Don't we all go through times when we feel so alone, the silence is deafening?  A lot of us have good friends to lean on in times of excessive stress, and especially for us ladies, there's nothing like some girl time to pull you out of a funk.  But there are times in everyone's life when even that's not enough.  When you have so much stress, that you don't even know where to begin.

"…The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective" (James 5:16). 

Maybe you can't even put words to all of it.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7).

Maybe the sheer stress of the stress has left you speechless.

"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express" (Romans 8:26). 

Maybe you kneel down to pray and all that comes are tears....

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). 
 

 The truth of life is this:  We ALL have someone to turn to.  We can turn to God in prayer any time during the day, for any reason, and we don't even need to have words.

Here's another hint:  If you pray during the good times in your life with gratitude and a yearning for a God-directed-life, it'll be easier when you need Him in your dark moments, but sometimes, even if we don't have a fruitful prayer life it is those very dark moments that God uses to bring us closer to Him.

There are a multitude of books on prayer, if you need a little help.  Some I would suggest are:  The Power of a Praying Husband, The Power of a Praying WifeThe Power of a Praying Parent, (She has several books on various topics..)  another one that might be good is Lord, Teach Me to Pray in 28 Days.  All you have to do is do a search and you'll get a million books.

I found some websites too:
All about the power of prayer
All about praying the scriptures
Scriptures that are good to pray
More Prayer Scriptures 
If you need healing- a GREAT blog post on prayer and healing
(If you need some encouragement that God heals today, read my blog post about my healing)

I want to thank you all who read my blog.  As I sat down to write this post, I was going to write that I couldn't think of a thing I was grateful for.  But then I thought, "Semalee, you can't write that!"...  Think think think...  and it came to me that I should write on prayer....  I'm feeling very blessed now to have a Savior who works to intricately in our lives.  I needed this post.  Thanks :)

This post is linked to Heavenly Homemaker's GratiTuesday 

 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Menu Monday

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Monday:  Taco Soup

Tuesday:  Stuffed French Toast  II

Wednesday:  Chicken Fried Rice, Egg Rolls

Thursday:  Ham and Rice Bake

Friday:  Pizza Pockets

Saturday: Snack Dinner

Sunday:  Pork Ribs, layered salad

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Supper Sunday- a tip for you


Today instead of a recipe I have a tip for you. I learned this at a recent Pampered Chef show I attended.

If you have a problem with your bananas going brown before you'd like them to, here's how to keep them from doing so:  When you get them home separate all of the bananas, so they are no longer connected to each other.  This will slow down the aging process in the banana.  Also, do NOT store your bananas near apples, because the apples give off a gas that causes the bananas to ripen faster.

There.  Now go buy some bananas!!!  :)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Singing Saturday- God Gave Me You

If you've read any of this blog or my other blog then you know my very strong feelings about marriage. For Better or for Worse is for Better or for Worse. Not For Better or for Better. This is a great song that reflects that. You'll be glad you listened.





God Gave Me you by Dave Barnes

I've been a walking heartache
I've made a mess of me
The person that I've been lately
Ain't who I wanna be
But you stay here right beside me
Watch as the storm blows through
And I need you

God gave me you for the ups and downs
God gave me you for the days of doubt
For when I think I've lost my way
There are no words here left to say, it's true
God gave me you

There's more here than what we feel
A divine conspiracy
That you, an angel lovely, can somehow fall for me
You'll always be love's great martyr
I'll be the flattered fool
And I need you

God gave me you for the ups and downs
God gave me you for the days of doubt
For when I think I've lost my way
There are no words here left to say, it's true
God gave me you

On my own, I'm only half of what I could be
I can't do without you
We are stitched together
And what love has tethered
I could never undo

God gave me you for the ups and downs
God gave me you for the days of doubt

God gave me you for the ups and downs
God gave me you for the days of doubt
For when I think I've lost my way
There are no words here left to say, it's true
God gave me you
Gave me you
 
 



Friday, September 10, 2010

Out Live Your Life- a Book Review


I recently received a copy of Out Live Your Life By Max Lucado in the mail from the publisher. I am a long time fan of Max Lucado, and I was very excited to receive this book. I was never disappointed.  The book is a collection of short stories, so to speak about people and actions that have changed the world.  It is a collection of stories put together to help you see the bigger picture in life.  We go about life often in a daze, only consumed with the troubles of our own lives and our own days with nary a thought towards others.  From front to back it is an engaging book.  I found my self feeling the need to share bits and pieces of it all the time with the people around me, and couldn't wait to read more.  It also comes with a study guide in the back, and would be a fantastic book to study in a small group setting, or in a church setting.  I believe this book is so versatile that it would also work well for a church wide study.  All in all, I would definitely recommend this book, and I will probably read it several times.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received these books free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”