Tuesday, November 29, 2005


I'm not letting myself blog until my house is decorated for Christmas, all the Halloween and Thanksgiving stuff is securely in the attic, the laundry is done, and the house is "company" clean. : ( I may be offline for a while! It's good to have a goal, right?

In the event that you don't hear from me (do you actually "hear" from me if I post and you read it?) for a few days, I want everyone to post their favorite appetizer recipe here. I will post mine in comments later but I thought I would try to get some new recipes because everything we are invited to this season is a "bring an Appetizer" type thing. I can only make sausage balls so many times in a month! Please give me feedback! And stay tuned for that Sausage Ball Recipe!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Omelets in a Bag

I got this recipe in an e-mail from Susan a few weeks ago and did this with the kids this morning. It was really fun AND both kids tried things in their omelets they never would have tried before (green pepper, diced tomatoes, ham. Etc) . The omelets were perfect! I may never make omelets any other way. Instructions are below if you want to try this with your family. Be sure to use freezer bags and to squeeze the air out of the top. (I heard of a messy situation that occurred when a friend didn't read that part!)

Good for when all your family is together and no one has to wait for their special omelet. Have guests write their name on a quart-size freezer bag with permanent marker. Crack 2 eggs (large or extra-large) into the bag (not more than 2) shake to combine them. Put out a variety of ingredients such as: cheeses, ham, onion, green pepper, tomato, hash browns, salsa, butter etc. Each guest adds prepared ingredients of choice to their bag and shake, Make sure to get the air out of the bag and zip it up. Place the bags into rolling, boiling water for exactly 13 minutes. You can usually cook 6-8 omelets in a large pot. For more, make another pot of boiling water. Open the bags and the omelet will roll out easily. Be prepared for everyone to be amazed.
Can be made with 4 egg whites or with corresponding measurements of egg substitute.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


I am thankful for...

...My healthy strong husband who works so hard and loves us so completely

...My children who amaze me everyday with their creativity and ever developing personalities. There is no doubt a great God in control who allowed these precious little people to come from Rob and me!

...Our parents who support us 100 % with all their hearts in everything we do. I can't imagine our lives without them and I don't want to have to!

... My sweet sister who will not be here tomorrow because she is having the time of her life in San Francisco. Sari had a hard year last year, but she truly loves her life right now and I am so very happy for her. I am thankful God has taken care of her with plans only he could know! She is such a blessings to us!

... My extended family. Moving to Waco seemed easy because of our family here. There are things we miss about our independent metro-plex life, but we would not trade back! For the past four years my big family has been the source of much joy and laughter. We have demolished many a restaurant together! :) We take up an entire section at church. Like me, my kids think of their cousins as their best friends. They all have several adults they trust and love around to turn to if Rob and I aren't there. I am very blessed to be related to these people and their incredible spouses. God has been so good to us!

... My friendships. Can you imagine life with out friends who share the core values of your life? God has blessed and provided me with so many great friends at church, in our neighborhood, in the community, in Rob's work, from both Kolby's and Rhett's schools, from our past, even from blog world (:) You guys are my cheering squad and I love you all!) and in every area of my life. For as far back as I can remember God has surrounded me with good friends who had incredible impacts on my life. If I am half the friend you all are to me, then you know how much I love and appreciate you !

... My church family. I don't always appreciate this body as I should. Since we moved here I have met some incredible people who love my kids and love and support each other in a way that only church can. We are blessed to be part of Crestview.

...Most of all I am thankful for God's love and faithfulness. I am ashamed to think of all the times I haven't said thank you to him when I should have. Is there an hour that goes by that he does not provide for or bless me? I am thankful for his grace and his unconditional care. I am thankful that he is faithful. I can never thank him enough!!!

I hope and pray that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and that we enjoy an attitude of gratitude through out the year! God bless you and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Beautiful Weekend

I was lucky enough to spend a good part of Saturday and Sunday out side with two of my most favorite things overhead, trees and a beautiful clouded sky! I love trees. I long to live in a house surrounded by tall old trees like this one. Is there anythng more beautiful than a tall tree? We have two medium size young liveoaks in the back yard that have tripled in size since we moved here almost 4 years ago. They are nowhere near the tree above , but I hope they will be someday. Don't laugh when I say I pray for them and thank God for them, because I do! We also have two in the front that have not grown an inch n three years...I pray for them too! Someday I will have big trees!

On Sunday there must have been a weak front blow through because the sky was so blue and the clouds were so pretty. We had a West Texas sky! I never realized how pretty the sky is in West Texas ( San Angelo in particular) until I moved away. But now every once in a great while Waco is treated to a sky like we had today! BEAUTIFUL!

Trees and a beautiful sky... Doesn't take much to please me!

We had a fun weekend. The kids and I went to a fun "Camping Birthday Party"on Saturday then played on the play ground near the party site for a long time after the party was over. Sunday we returned to the scene to see some friends and take some pictures. We also snagged another hour on the playground.
It was the type of weekend I live for... very fun and very relaxed!

Friday, November 18, 2005


If you came here looking for BLUE JAY Soccer pictures, email me here or through my profile, and I will get them to you!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

He's Always Been Faithful

Yesterday I shared a situation Rob and I are facing with a friend. I'll share that situation at a later date, but today, sort of in response, my friend sent me a recording of "He's Always Been Faithful." Beautiful song!

I listened to it with my eyes closed and found myself weeping by the end. Not weeping for my situation, but weeping because I lack faith so often. These words struck me especially hard

I can't remember a trial or a pain
He did not recycle to bring me gain.
I can't remember one single regret in serving
God only and trusting his hand
All I have need of his hand will provide.
He's always been faithful to me.

I have a really wonderful life and I am so blessed with family, friends, and love. God has never left me. Why do I so easily loose sight of this when there is a bump in the road, or a hair-pin curve that I can't see around? You would think by now that I would have learned to trust God enough not to freak at the little or even the big chills and spills in life.

But it is hard sometimes isn't it? I have been thinking a lot lately of a young recently widowed mother I know. I wonder how long it will be before she can sing this song with any conviction? I want God to take away her pain but I'm not sure I have faith that he will.

I want my God to be big enough and strong enough to withstand all the whys of this world. I want him to heal all hurts. I want God to be a God I understand and can explain. And while in retrospect I thank my lucky stars for the "problems and challenges" in my life and praise God for all the great things he is done for me, something about my trust in him falters when I see others who love him so much in so much pain.

About the time all my "Why God?"s crescendo, he whispers "I am God. You are not. Trust me my beloved child. Trust me with your life and the lives of those you love. I am God. Whether you get it or not, I will take care of everything!"

Then comes the next part of the song...

This is my anthem, this is my song,
The theme of the stories I've heard for so long.
God has been faithful, he will be again.
His loving compassion, it knows no end.
All I have need of his hand will provide.
He's always been faithful to me.

So that is faith. That is the walk. That is the struggle. That is the victory.... Believing he will when everything around you screams he won't.

I don't know where you are today. I don't know what God has put on your heart. I have no idea if this will mean anything to anyone but me. But a friend shared his heart today and it touched mine. God spoke to me in the words of a song I have sung a thousand times, calming fears I didn't even realize were impeding my faith. I hope sharing this will help someone else out there.

God is good and He is faithful!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

What did you do today?

I made a cake.

Tonight we're having a small shower for my cousin and I wanted to make the cake. It was not too hard to make and gave me the excuse to stay home today. I relish days where I am home all day...They seem so rare! I'm looking forward to some good girl time tonight.

Sorry I have been off line lately. I'm almost over that virus/sinus/throat stuff I have had. (This would be day 9 if you are keeping track.) It's nice to be able to recognize my own voice again. :)

Busy Busy Busy! That is all we seem to be these days.

So how was your day?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

A Groovy Kind of Lunch

It is over!!!!
We had a great time. Our husbands were great. The food was great. The volunteers were great. I may talk about it more later but right now I am too pooped! Thought I would post some pictures. I don't think I was meant to be a blond!




First Grade

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

A cure for bloggers block

DJG didn't tag me, but since I am having a bit of bloggers block, I thought I would try this.
The rules:
1. Delve into your blog archive.
2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to).
3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions. Ponder it for meaning, subtext or hidden agendas.
5. Tag five people to do the same.

From 7-24-2004 "Anger, furor, hate, tearing others down, and jealousy, these are the products of not forgiving."

One of my deeper blog posts, I guess. I was talking about the Anne Lamont quote "Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and waiting for the rat to die." I think the sentence speaks for it's self. I think I was implying that these "fruits", not exactly fruits of the spirit mind you, are what I see in my life when I hang on to anger and don't forgive.

I remember this entry was a response to reading other blogs on the same topic. I realized that I was holding on to some hurt I didn't even recognize as that, and as a result damamged some relationships in my life. I am a cautious person once I get burned. It is hard for me to trust again and let go of past hurts. But that is so hypocritical of me becasue heaven knows I have done my share of hurting others whether intentionally or not. It is hard to put yourself out there again after a deep hurt. But what is the alternative? Never putting your self out there again? Who is that going to hurtin the end? So I guess my point then and now is I have to forgive and put myself out there if I am to enjoy all God has planned for me. Getting hurt is just part of life. To truly embrace life however we have to decide what parts of it we want to hold on to. Any sorrow or pain we hold is taking the place of possible joy. So I must let it go, forgive and do not let myself be fearful.

As I said one of my deeper blogs.

Anyone else having bloggers block is welcome to do the same.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Strep from the net/ The ugly little voice

Last week I read that fellow bloggers Elizabeth and Jacinda (I finally added her link to my blog list this week!) were down with strep throat. Today I find myself down with the same thing. While I did talk to Elizabeth on the phone a few times, I never saw her face to face and Jacinda lives a couple 1000 miles away!!! Can you get Strep from the web? I am beginning to wonder! It is much more likely that I got it from one of the three kids who I was in contact with that came down with strep. Luckily none of those three were my kids! I am keeping my fingers crossed that I will be the only one in this house who gets it.

I'm not sure it could come at a worse time. This is a big week for me. My friend and I are in charge of the big appreciation luncheon (aka "The Teacher Prom") at Kolby's school this Thursday. We have been talking about it and planning for it for over six months. It's a big event that involves busing the teachers to a local church fellowship hall that has been transformed in to an incredible theme decorated luncheon hall.

There are about 70 teachers and staff who come to this. We feed them, give them door prizes and treats, have a fun activity or two, take their pictures in front of pretty elaborate back drops, and then two hours later bus them back to school. My guest bedroom and garage are full of 70's stuff. I'm really excited about it, but hoping I feel better soon enough to finish the dozens of last minute things that can not be done until, well, the last minute.

Our theme this year is "A Groovy kind of Lunch." Outback is catereing it. The big decorations are made. Everything is ordered and most of the 40 to 50 volunteers it takes to watch all the classes at school and serve are lined up. AND WE EVEN DID ALL THIS AND CAME IN UNDER BUDGET!!! I think it will be great...or at least I am hoping it will be.

Will I ever outgrow that secret panic that no matter how hard I work or how many plans I make, my event will totally flop? Have I ever had an event flop? Not treally. Will the teachers love anything that involves free Outback and a 2 hour break from the school? Most definitly! So why do I still listen to that nagging little voice? The strep throat seems to be giving the voice a mega phone today!

Any of you have experience with that ugly voice that whispers that you can't do it and somehow you forgot something big? What do you do to shut it up? Just wondering....

Saturday, November 05, 2005


Live. And Live Well.
BREATHE. Breathe in and Breathe deeply.
Be PRESENT. Do not be past. Do not be future. Be now.
On a crystal clear, breezy 70 degree day, roll down the windows and FEEL the wind against your skin. Feel the warmth of the sun.
If you run, then allow those first few breaths on a cool Autumn day to FREEZE your lungs and do not just be alarmed, be ALIVE.

Get knee-deep in a novel and LOSE track of time.
If you bike, pedal HARD… and if you crash then crash well.
Feel the SATISFACTION of a job well done—a paper well-written, a project thoroughly completed, a play well-performed.
If you must wipe the snot from your 3-year old’s nose, don’t be disgusted if the Kleenex didn’t catch it all… because soon he’ll be wiping his own.
If you’ve recently experienced loss, then GRIEVE. And Grieve well.
At the table with friends and family, LAUGH. If you’re eating and laughing at the same time, then might as well laugh until you puke.
And if you eat, then SMELL. The aromas are not impediments to your day. Steak on the grill, coffee beans freshly ground, cookies in the oven.
Taste every ounce of flavor.
Taste every ounce of friendship.
Taste every ounce of Life.

Words to live by, but not my words. These words are from the message Kyle Lake typed out and had ready to deliver the morning he tragically died. That was just one week ago tomorrow.

Kyle Lake (pictured here ) never said these words to his congregation that morning, but he lived them everyday of his life. It is a little eerie. I wonder as he typed these words if he had any inkling that he was typing his own eulogy? But can you think of a better eulogy? No one has to wonder what Kyle would have wanted. His loved ones know how he wanted them to live and to grieve. "Grieve well" he said. And so many are doing just that.

I'm sorry if my blog has been a little heavy with this over the last few days. Though I only knew the Lakes through my sister and mutual kid activities and friends, I can't seem to shake the sorrow, loss, and amazement at the life and death of this young pastor.

With each passing day it becomes clearer and clearer who this man of God was and how many lives he touched. To say he will be missed is quite an understatement. The best any of us can do is heed his words to live and love God with a great gratitude that his death won't stop the message he pledged his life to spread.

You served your Savior and all of us so well. May you commune with the Father and breathe in the sweetness of heaven Kyle Lake! May we all "Love God, embrace beauty and live life to the fullest!"

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Highlights of our Halloween

After sharing the sadness of the last few days with you, I wanted to share all the fun things that have been happening too!

K won one of the awards for 2nd grade with her "Princess and the Pea" literary Pumpkin. She was so excited. "This is my first ever win in a contest Mom!" she squealed when I picked her up from school. I admit we were all very happy and proud. But I would have hated to judge this! It was one of the most creative contest I have ever seen! K's school librarian thought it up and had over 100 entries. You can see all the winners here (click on "our web sites", "Library", "Library events", "pumkin contest"). Ms Judy would be so proud! In other Halloween news... This is the year of the JEDI!

Can you tell we like Star Wars? The big cousins had a great time as usual. We had two Anikins, two Padme Amadalas (different dress though) one Lea, and a fairy.

The newest little members of our tribe, Kt & S3. Sweet babies!

Rt dueling with fellow star wars fans down the street. These guys were great! They dressed up and put on a show every ten minutes the whole night. When Rt saw them he turned his saber on and ran to join the battle. Rob an I laughed and laughed seeing him really try to get these big guys with his Jedi moves.

Our Neighborhood really gets into trick-or-treating! It is so fun to go to all the decorated houses. Nothing too scary...Just really fun. I love this night!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Life goes on

Friday night I couldn't sleep and ended up watching a PBS show about women who have immigrated to the US seeking asylum. The show was none to spectacular but it showcased some pretty amazing women. One women told her story of coming to the US from Iran when her country transitioned through the last Shaw. She came here pregnant to live with her mother and sister, but her husband was detained and later executed in Iran.

When her sister came to tell her the news of her husbands death, she was holding and feeding her infant son. She said what struck her hardest after hearing the awful news, was that she still had to feed her son. She wanted to run away and hide and cry and throw things, but her son had to be fed and no one else could do it. The baby had no way of understanding the news his mother had just received. He was just sweet, innocent and hungry. At that moment she realized that even though her world had been shattered and the love of her life was gone, her life had to go on. The baby still had to be fed. That part of her story really stuck with me.

Life does go on no matter how much we wish it would stop for the tragedies in our life. My heart and mind have been so heavy for the loss of Kyle Lake and for the painful road that is now laid out for his sweet family. Sometimes it is hard to shake a sadness so deep, even if it is not your own.

I found myself tearing up at the silliest things yesterday. But it was Halloween and my sweet little 4 year old wanted to make cookies with me. We had planned it all day. So we started. Rhett looked up at me with those blue eyes and spoke beyond his four years saying "You don't seem very happy Mommy. Don't you like to make cookies with me?" I assured him that I loved making cookies with him but that I was still sad about Sari's friend. He gave me that blank look and said "But you have to be happy today because we get to trick or treat tonight." And he was right.
Life goes on.

I am to the age that knowing life goes on no matter what somehow seems almost more comforting than cruel. I thank God that Jennifer Lake has three children who love and need her so that she will have to go on despite her broken heart. I am really glad that my sister has a new job that is going to take her to Boston for several weeks so that she has to move on, though her heart is heavy with this loss. I praise God that Kyle Lake left the kind of legacy that his church will not let die. In his memory and because he was so committed to bringing people to the love of Jesus, they will have to move past this horrible tragedy and try to carry on what he started. Though it will never ever be the same, life will go on.

Dearest Father God, Thank you so much for making life go on, even when we don't want it to. Please give us the strength and hope to brave the battles of this world until we can all be home with you. Please wrap your arms around the Lake and UBC families as they bury their beloved Kyle today. Please take care of Jenn, Avery, Sutton and Jude and fill their broken hearts with your healing love. Help us all to go on joyfully proclaiming your peace and joy to all who know us. And please father bring us home soon. Amen.

According to Sari, Kyle ended every message with these words "This week may you love God, embrace beauty, and live life to the fullest." A charge to keep.

P.S. The national news media may not pick this up but they found out that Kyle's death had nothing to do with the microphone. The water pump in the baptistry was running and it had shorted. When Kyle touched the metal side of the baptistry or the microphone poll, he grounded the current. That is what killed him. Not the battery powered microphone.

New DVD out today

Just in case you missed it, there is a new DVD out today. I think a few in my family have already made their purchases and it isn't even noon yet!!!