Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Meal Plan for January 30-February 5

Almost forgot to get my meal plan posted for this week. Here it is:

Monday: Leftovers
Tuesday: Chicken Sandwiches and Sweet Tater fries
Wednesday: Pizza
Thursday: Salisbury Steak, Pasta and Italian Green Beans
Friday: Baked Potato Bar
Saturday: Chicken Strips, Mac N Cheese, Salad
Sunday: Out

Not too fancy this week!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Journaling Idea

Just passing along a journaling idea that I saw on Pinterest a few weeks ago. Of all the things I've pinned on there the last few months this idea would not leave my mind. It mixes my love of journaling with note-taking, quotes and odd facts and creates a beautiful hands-on notebook, useful for Bible study, teaching and personal reflection. Here's the pin from pinterest:

So after a quick trip to walmart for a leather bound journal and a package of these:

...because journaling is always better with 80's glam sharpies....I started my journal. I'm only a few days in and already feel like this is going to be a perfect fit for keeping my notes and quotes in one place. If you're looking for something a little different to use for notetaking in church or your own personal notetaking at home, click on the journal picture and follow the link to see more examples and ideas of creatively journaling. Maybe this will work for you too!

Do you have a favorite technique for keeping your notes and things you want to remember all together? I'd love to hear your tips.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Yep...that's about it. The tree is still up...and right now there's no real plan to take it down. There was a plan last weekend, but that fell through. I actually love my tree and the glow and the coziness. I am not too lazy to take it down. I just like it. Now that it's the end of January well... now I'm rethinking my dream of a year round tree.

And don't be horrified distracted by the blue paint swatches. You'll be relieved to know the den will not look like a smurf, or a hospital or a nursing home or the sky. I was hoping for a nice grey blue color ..but all these look too polyester 70's tuxedo blue...so I am looking for a green I like now. Whew...glad we got that out in the open. 

Anyway...I hope we can still be friends now that you know my secret.

Monday, January 23, 2012


Yesterday at church I was uncomfortable. The message was on God's holiness and the explanation of Isaiah 6 was almost more than I could handle. God's holiness, something I will never ever begin to understand...by definition...I can't. But to hear how Isaiah saw the angels and to here about just the tiniest piece of God's garment filling the temple. Can you try to even visualize the vastness? And what about the pillars shaking with the fullness of His glory. It was just too much. As I sat there I was once again reminded how small I am in the scheme of His holiness...and reminded that in spite of that...His love for me is BIG...His desire for me is LARGE and His grace is ENOUGH to bridge the gap between my utter unworthiness, to this holiness that He wants me to get a glimpse of.

Then Sunday Night I was even more uncomfortable as we studied the rich man and Lazarus found in Luke. The question was posed "Do people in hell have more concern for the lost than Christians here on earth. The rich man was begging for an opportunity to share Jesus with his friends and family because he was experiencing hell. There was no question...he didn't want them ending up with him. Then the illustration of Paul...being willing to give up (if He could....but he can't) his salvation so that Israel will come to know Christ. What kind of love would be willing to do that?

I don't know...but I left church feeling like I was missing the mark and in desperate need of this zeal that both these messages contained. Sometimes these messages hit me but by Sunday evening I've brushed those feelings aside and moved on to thinking about the upcoming week and all the to-do's it holds. This week I think I'm going to sit on this uncomfortable feeling and allow this conviction to expose all these horrible inadequacies so that forgiveness and grace can do it's perfect work. I don't want to gloss over or shove to the side the uncomfortableness that I feel right now. I want to soak in it. Deal with the thoughts that are flooding my mind and then marinade in the promise of new mercy every morning, sufficient and amazing grace and beauty for ashes.

God's still working on me. Thankfully.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Menu Plan for January 23-30th

We're closing in on the end of the month and I gotta say this meal planning thing is working for us. I'm enjoying the ease of knowing what's for dinner before the clock strikes 5pm and I'm enjoying knowing we saved a huge amount of money this month by eating in. I've also learned a few things from some of the mistakes I've made.

1. Plan something super easy for Wednesday nights (this is our busy night). We deemed Wednesday night Pizza night at our house. We've done homemade before and I hope to get back to that, for January however, it's just been store bought at about $5 a pizza.

2. Realize the menu may need to be scrambled. It's not set in stone, so if something comes up and you need to trade meals it's no big deal...The menu planning police will not come get you.

3. Keeping a few extra meals on hands makes it easy to make a less fussy meal if something unexpected comes up. I did this with nachos one week when I forgot to start the crock pot!

4. Crock pot Lasagna is awesome... you can find the recipe at Betty Crocker's website ...however I do think adding a cup of water would help soften the noodles more uniformally.

From now on I'm not going to list my breakfast and lunch items because we are boring...we either eat cereal or breakfast bars or yogurt and fruit for breakfast. It NEVER changes. We eat sandwiches or leftovers for lunch. Everyday. I know...boring...but it works for us for now.

Without futher ado.....

Monday: Lasagna, green beans and salad
Tuesday: Chicken Stew, corn bread
Wednesday: Pizza
Thursday: Baked Chicken. Mexican Rice with corn and black beans, Pinnapple salad
Friday: Honey BBQ Chicken, sweet tater fries
Saturday: Breakfast for Dinner...we call this Brinner at our house!
Sunday: OTE (Out to Eat)

What's cookin' at your house this week?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Making Cents

This week I've priced over 100 children's garments to be placed in a consignment sale in March. I've been saving them up for a while and then I found a couple of boxes of baby clothes in the shed...I decided it was high time. Good gravy. I'm really wondering if it's worth it. By the time I print the tags, buy the safety pins, rummage up some hangers and make sure that everything is relatively wrinkle free I'll be second guessing myself for sure.

But, I made a kind-a-sorta goal to try to manage our money better this year and I think this is an easy way that I can recoup some money for S and T's summer clothes. I love the thought that I might not be out any $$$ for their summer clothes!

If you're in East Texas, check out Sellebrate Kids. It might be just the thing you're looking for to sell or buy used kids clothing.

Do you resale you're kid's clothing? Where? Consignment? Garage Sales? EBay? I'd love to hear your tips!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Meal Plan for January 16 thru 22

Hungry? Here's what's cooking in our kitchen this week:


Breakfast- Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Fruit
Lunch- Leftovers from the weekend
Dinner- Sausage, Baked Beans, Corn, Salad


Breakfast- Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Fruit
Lunch- Sandwiches, Chips
Dinner- Slow Cooker BBQ served on Texas Toast, potato salad


Breakfast- Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Fruit
Lunch- Leftovers or Sandwiches
Dinner- Pizza


Breakfast- Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Fruit
Lunch- Sandwiches, Chips
Dinner- Chicken Fettuccine, green beans, salad


Breakfast- Muffins
Lunch- Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Dinner- Chili/Rice


Breakfast- Pancakes
Lunch- Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Dinner- Nachos

Sunday- Cereal
Lunch- Out
Dinner- Out

What's for dinner at your house this week?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Little Known Facts...

Last night at our mom's meeting at church we played a little game....List 3 little known facts about you that you think no one knows...

Here's what I listed:

1. Played high school basketball.
2. I have never worn a baseball cap (you should have heard the gasps!)
3. I broke my arm 2 times playing volleyball

Eventually someone guessed my name and the game went on to the next person. It was a fun "get to know you" game and I actually learned some pretty interesting things about some of the ladies that were in attendance.

I'm thankful God knows about every detail....from my broken bones to my next meal to the things that are too painful to even say out loud. As much as I love blogging and try to be transparent, there are a host of things that never get talked about here. Some things were just meant for my conversations with the Lord. I'm glad he doesn't have to guess which one of His children are bringing their requests to Him. He's completely aware of our needs before we approach Him...and He knows our thoughts without us uttering them.

Is there something too personal to share with a friend, something you think is a little known fact about your life....something your concerned about, ashamed of, maybe you're feeling alone or unloved? Take your burdens to Jesus....He already knows about them anyway...with Him, there are no little known facts.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Beauty for Ashes

I love this:

“Of one thing I am perfectly sure: God's story never ends with 'ashes.” 
 Elisabeth Elliot, These Strange Ashes

Isaiah 61:1-3

1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, 
   because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. 
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives 
   and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor 
   and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 
 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty 
   instead of ashes, the oil of joy 
   instead of mourning, and a garment of praise 
   instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, 
   a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.

...I love that last phrase....for the display of HIS splendor. I wonder if I have displayed His splendor this week? That's the reason he has called us out....to display His splendor. We do this by proclaiming good news, binding up the brokenhearted, freeing captives, shedding light, proclaiming the Lord's favor and day of vengeance, comforting those who mourn, provide for the grieving, trading beauty for ashes, joy for mourning, and praise for despair. All this....to display HIS splendor......and to remember....He doesn't ever end with the ashes. How beautiful is that!?!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Oatmeal Craisin Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

These just came out of the oven at my house...

After a recent discussion with a friend about our mutual love for oatmeal cookies, I decided to try this recipe. We had discussed the fact that a complete batch would go to waste because no one else eats this kind of cookie except each of us at our respective homes. So, I'm splitting this generous batch...with the hopes she will take half of them off my hands...because now that I've eaten one...there's a chance that left to my own devices...I could eat all of them...Yes, they are that good!!!

Just an FYI...I added walnuts, chocolate chips and exchanged raisins for craisins. They are soooo yummy! Nice and soft due to the applesauce! Click on the picture for the recipe.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Do the Best with what you have

This tribute is in honor of my mom, who taught me to do the best with what you have. I've used this motto in many areas of my life..and today I used it in my living room. I've really been wanting to make a trip to Homegoods or Hobby Lobby or even Canton to get a few things to spruce up the house, but between time and money this month it just wasn't going to happen. So after looking at the cluttered mess in our living room I decided today was the day to do the best with what I have. Here are some before shots:

I know it's difficult to see but there are 1,000,000 Legos scattered behind these chairs
...it's a death trap I tell you!

I can't begin to tell you how bad my carpet needs to be cleaned
...but that didn't happen today!

By the looks of this you'd think we were hitting the road as a family band!

And here's the afters....no $$$ spent, just rearranged what I had 
in the room to make it more appealing and clutter free...

I divided the room by using the sofa as the room divider. 

On the other side of the room is the piano

I love this table...a gift from my mom when I was home the last time. Nice and distressed!

And...I left an area for Tucker's Legos....with his political promise 
that I will never step on another Lego again....until next time!

I'm thrilled with the way things turned out...I don't feel nearly as desperate to run to the store to buy something. Mom was right....you can make something beautiful by just using what you have. 

Her little motto can be applied to many areas of life....wardrobe, housing, decorating, dieting, recipes, relationships... So, how do you make the most of what you have? Any tips?

Cheesy Crockpot Chicken

Slow cooking now in the crockpot is the following:

Cheesy Crockpot Chicken

1 Can Cream of Chicken (reduced fat)
1 Can Condensed Cheese Soup
4 Chicken Breasts
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Place chicken in crockpot. Mix remaining ingredients together and pour on top of chicken. Slow cook for 8 hours on low and serve over rice or pasta (we will be using pasta). We'll be having a side serving of Italian green beans. Super Easy!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Shipping and Handling

I've shipped my fair share of packages over the years. Having lived over 800 miles away from Georgia and all my family for over 20 years now has taught me a lot about how to prepare something for shipping. You can't take it for granted that our wonderful postal service will handle your precious box carefully. You also can never be quite certain that it will arrive in quite the same way you shipped it. You must carefully and purposefully wrap things in bubble wrap, tissue paper or those Styrofoam packing peanuts. You also have to be sure your packaged is address properly, has the right amount of postage paid and is taped in all the right places. Once you say goodbye to your package, well, you just have to have faith that the UPS will do their best to get your package from point A to point B. You have to trust a government agency with something important to you.

The Christian life is a lot like the shipping and handling process. Once we begin a relationship with Christ, we begin this incredibly unpredictable journey with the Savior. He gives us the tools...the packing peanuts, the bubble wrap, the tissue paper...the Bible, the Holy Spirit....to guide us and teach us how to arrive at the end of life .... but if we don't wrap ourselves in the cushion of His protection, we end up with unnecessary bruising, scarring and even broken pieces. His guidelines are there for a reason. It's not just a suggestion when He says "don't" or "a wise man/or woman will..." He wants to guide us....each step of the way.

Does this mean we won't get knocked around or beat up a little in the process? Certainly not...His Word also guarantees us that we live in a troubled-filled world that will impact us...but the comfort and security of knowing He has us wrapped in His love and grace is a beautiful privilege of knowing the Savior. And sometimes...all that knocking around during the shipping and handling process changes you....your life might not turn out exactly how you had things planned...but one thing is for sure...God doesn't make mistakes. No matter what you're feeling....KNOW that when you trust Him with your destiny, with your hopes, dreams and plans, He has a way of making something beautiful happen. Maybe not today...or tomorrow...but in His perfect time.

Revelation 21:5 - Behold, I am making all things new.

Ecclesiastes 3:11- He has made everything beautiful in His time.

So don't get discouraged if you don't feel like you've arrived yet....or if you feel a little worse for the ware on this journey. He's not done...He has something beautiful planned. Relax. Wait. Study His Word and find out how precious you are to Him. Perhaps...in the process...that's what will make you truly beautiful. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

I'm pretty sure....

Sometimes all you can do is laugh at yourself...or cry...

I'm pretty sure there's a chance that I flashed the whole choir at church today....thanks to a good friend who came to my rescue...I'm not entirely sure....and just so you know...if you're reading this and you do know if I flashed the choir or not...I don't want to know. I think it's just good for me to get it out there and admit that it might have happened and I'm pretty sure it did...and I don't want to talk about it because...the laughter might turn to crying....and I'm so so sorry.

I'm pretty sure I was fighting tears as I heard my hubby preach tonight at church. There are times he makes me very proud. Tonight was one of those times.

I know I was tearing up at the Burger King today....even though it should have been over the amount of calories I was consuming...it was over one of my preschool students.

I am convinced that if Tucker doesn't stop practicing his cowboy manners (the tilt of the cowboy hat with a "howdy") I may die laughing. He's also calling me his "beloved"....I'm telling you, he is hilarious.

Clothing a nine year old girl is going to also bring me to tears! Savannah's wardrobe is 100% bigger and way cuter than mine....and yet....If I hear "I don't have anything to wear" one more time....well let's just say I may need a trip....a long extended stay trip somewhere!!!

Everyday we have choices on how we are going to handle things. Some days I laugh at the same thing that the next day will make me cry! Thankful...as I was reminded in our sermon this morning at church, God NEVER changes. He is the God of the present tense...I AM. His presence is with us today...and when your tomorrow becomes today. He's there. Through the ups and downs...the laughing and the crying...the joys and sorrows. Whether you flash the choir...or you're trying to reach a goal or break a bad habit or want to cry in Burger King.

Thank you Lord!

So....'fess up....ever been a time you had to choose between laughing and crying? Especially if you flashed the choir....I gotta know!!!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Meal Plan January 9-15

Here's what's cookin' at our house this week:


Breakfast: Breakfast Bar/Gogurt/Cereal (choice)
Lunch: Sandwiches or Leftovers from weekend
Dinner: Cornbread Casserole/Salad (recipe here)


Breakfast: Breakfast Bar/Gogurt/Cereal (choice)
Lunch: Sandwiches or leftovers
Dinner: Cheesy Chicken (Crockpot) with noodles, green beans


Breakfast: Breakfast Bar/Gogurt/Cereal (choice)
Lunch: Hotdogs/Chips
Dinner: Pizza


Breakfast: Breakfast Bar/Gogurt/Cereal (choice)
Lunch: Sandwiches or Leftovers
Dinner: Chicken Nuggets/FF


Breakfast: Breakfast Bar/Gogurt/Cereal (choice)
Lunch: Grilled Cheese/Chips/Fruit
Dinner: Crockpot Lasagna/Salad/Bread


Breakfast: Pancakes
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Chicken Stew w/biscuits


Breakfast: Breakfast Bar/Gogurt/Cereal (choice)
Lunch: Out to Eat
Dinner: FF, Leftovers, Sandwiches...OYO

I'm linking up with OrgJunkie's Meal Plan Monday! Check out other great meal plans there!

It's Your Birthday!

Happy to be celebrating Bruce's 41st birthday today! 

I am so thankful for the gift God gave me 18 1/2 years ago. I had no idea what a great catch I received that day. The years have only gotten better and I'm thrilled to have each day with this wonderful, godly, loving man. He makes life fun, interesting, comical and an adventure. He cares about people. Really cares about people and is the most loyal person I have ever met in my life! He's not afraid to do things out of his comfort zone...like motor bikes, shopping....2-seater airplane rides and the 12 days of Christmas dance which you can see here. (Be sure to watch it...it's hilarious!) 

He's a good dad...who has learned the art of juggling work, ministry and family. He's a good husband who keeps me laughing and smiling and loving. He's much more to many people but I feel like this post is getting a little too mushy for him and since it's HIS birthday I better stop! Love you Bruce! I hope we have 41 more birthdays to celebrate you!

Friday, January 6, 2012


I read this quote this evening as I was flipping through a book I read last year:

“When faced with a decision, many people say they are waiting for God. But I understand, in most cases, God is waiting for me.” 
 Andy Andrews

What do you think?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Curly Sue

In an effort to fulfill one of my new year's something or another's...I got a kinda new look today at the hairdresser. As a throw back to the 80's or maybe 90's...or heck...I had a perm in 2000 too...I went curly again....for no other reason than I wanted change...and maybe to drive my very stylish friends crazy! We'll see how long it lasts...the perm, the style, the smell....most all of this will depend on how long it takes to fix in the morning!

Cornbread Casserole

Here's one of Bruce's favorite recipes for me to make during the winter. I'm making it next week. It's an old pampered chef recipe from 10 years ago or so...not sure I follow the directions perfectly...but hey, that's the joy of cooking isn't it???...make it your own!


2 boxes of Jiffy cornbread mix prepared as directed on box
2 Cans cream corn
1 Large can of chili (or homemade leftovers)
1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese
Sour Cream (optional)

Prepare cornbread as directed on box and add two cans of cream corn to mixture. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until a knife comes out clean from a middle test check. Remove from oven and spread with chili and then top with cheddar cheese. Place back into oven for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top with a dollop of Daisy (or your favorite brand of sour cream). Yummy!

***You could add peppers if your family likes things on the spicy side.

It Was Sew Easy

My sister in law got me a small Brother Sewing Machine for Christmas. I am thrilled. I've sewn very little but most of the things that appeal to me are very simple. I was thrilled when I was actually able to follow the directions and get the thread and bobbin ready to use in the machine! I kid you not, growing up when I was learning a little sewing from my mom, I could never thread the bobbin.

For Christmas one of my students gave me a gift card to Hobby Lobby so of course I went there to pick out my fabric for my first little project...cloth napkins (my mom would be so proud). I cut an 18 inch square and folded the edges down twice to make a total of a half inch hem.

Here's the finished product:

If you're a seamstress, do you have any suggestions on another easy sewing project for me? Or, what's been your favorite sewing project ever?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Embracing Imperfections

I love old windows and doors. I have many window frames used for decorative purposes scattered throughout my home. On pinterest I've seen even more creative uses for them and I secretly am wondering where I can find different shapes and sizes than the ones I have now. Please don't tell Bruce.

All these windows have many imperfections. One doesn't even have any glass in it. One has chicken wire instead of glass and another has a huge crack in the glass. The thing is, it doesn't bother me. I've embraced the character and age of the piece. I think it looks good and adds some personality to our halls.

I think of myself as a woman of imperfection. When I look in the mirror I see freckles and small eyes and a slightly crooked smile. I see pounds that need shedding and skin that needs moisturizing and dark circles under the eyes. I see wide feet, short fingers and a weirdly placed birthmark. But as I was reminded of recently, God is far more concerned about my inward appearance than anything that people can actually see. Remember how he passed over all shepherd boy David's brothers to pick him. Remember how he used Rahab the harlot, remember how the executioner Saul was transformed into the soul-winning Paul.

It's no surprise that God uses imperfect, but inwardly beautiful people to be instruments He uses to draw people to Himself. I'm guessing, but I bet there's no one reading this blog that thinks they've arrived here perfect. We all know there's work to be done on the inside and out. It's the constant battle between flesh and heart and reality. Truth is, while I want things to look better on the outside, I'm not nearly as excited to put the work in that accomplishes that. And spiritually speaking, I know many of the things it will take to grow and become more beautiful on the inside, but really, am I willing to do the work?

Understanding that embracing imperfections doesn't mean I am settling for a less than beautiful life. It means I accept certain aspects of who I am because I can't change them. My wide feet aren't going anywhere...and I'm pretty certain I'm not getting rid of my birthmark. While spiritually speaking I can wholeheartedly say my salvation isn't going anywhere...and who I am in Christ isn't either. Yet, there are plenty of other things that could be spruced up, fixed, updated or remodeled. And still there will be imperfections...lots of them...to embrace and to remember....God is the transformer, the remodeler, the one who makes everything....everything, beautiful in His time.

Do you sometimes get bogged down with your imperfections? What helps get you refocused?

Here's what I'm learning to do:

1. Trust the truth of God's Word
2. Remind myself that He made me in His image
3. Control what you can and ditch all other guilt
4. Be moldable...open and willing to what God asks of you
5. Work hard but pray harder

Wanna add anything else to the list? Leave me a comment!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Jesus Accessories

I was thinking (OK....honestly, I was dreading) about going back to school. I love my class...I love teaching...but I love my own family, home and church ministries more...and sometimes I wish I could be 2-3 places at once. But, God gave me this great job and I will do it until He says, "Finished".

Anyway...I digress.

I was laying out all our clothes for tomorrow's first day back to school and the convicting thought struck me...I need to put on His (God's) glory. The Lord has been so good to me and in the midst of my dreading going back to school I was reminded of the large ministry He has given me with my class at school. It hit me that these clothes I was laying out merely cover up this body I'm in and that more than anything my class and their parents need to see God's glory. It prompted me to make a short list of what that might look like...it's by no means conclusive....

1. Joy on my face
2. A listening ear
3. A spirit of humility
4. A friendly countenance
5. A word of encouragement
6. My best foot forward
7. A less of me is more of Jesus attitude
8. Thankful heart
9. Appreciative spirit

What if I really concentrated on Glorifying Him...on Exuding Him...on Sharing Him....and less about my own agenda? What could happen? I'd say the possibilities are endless!

Here's to an amazing first day back to school. If your like me and are working on glorifying Him more this year, what Jesus accessories are you putting on today?

Last Days

I'm spending today...the last day of Christmas break....in my jammies, watching movies with the kids. Given my obsession with Christmas movies, I'm pretty sure I could do this for a month solid and not be finished...but unfortunately time has run out and I'll be back in the classroom tomorrow morning bright and early. This last day is bittersweet. I love this time with my kids and Bruce. I feel like I'm such a better wife and mom when I'm off from school. I cook more, keep things more orderly, take more time with the kids. I'm more patient, less uptight about schedules and bedtimes. I'm more me.

Something will happen at 6:05 in the morning when the alarm goes off. The last day will be behind me...the new day ahead of me. I'll ready myself physically and spiritually for the new day and I'll put my best foot forward to retain some of the "last day Gina" for my family and for myself. Don't get me wrong, I love routine, the steady everyday rhythm of our lives. I love waking up on Sunday's and knowing we will be in church together and knowing that Monday's is Bruce's day off every week. I love knowing that God is watching over us and protecting us and guiding us and loving us. I love those dependable qualities about my God and my life. So tomorrow as I stroll back into my routine I am going to aim to be more concentrated on the beautiful moments that Wednesday holds, looking for opportunities to embrace the me of the last days, all the while, searching for meaning in the ordinary and working hard not to fall into the trap of the mundane. I'll count my gifts and live a more grateful life for today. And maybe along the way merge a little of today...the last day...into everyday.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Close to Heaven

It was 3:40pm on Sunday afternoon and our phone rang. A sweet elderly man on the brink of heaven is on the other end of the line. His family is huddled around him. They've released him. They know heaven is just a few breaths away. Yet, this man...just steps from the valley of the shadow of death wants to talk to Bruce. It's been 5 years since they've sat and talked. 5 years since they've shared a coke in his den. 5 years since Bruce was his pastor.

And what I hear from another room...the sweet prayer of a friend for a friend who is on the doorstep of the kingdom of heaven...what may only be moments from being in the presence of our Lord....the sweet prayer of a friend for his friend...although older and in many ways probably wiser...this special unforgettable friendship. What an honor for one to pray the other into eternity. Whether it is moments or hours or days...only the heavenly father knows. What we do know is this man will walk with Jesus soon. His life speaks volumes of the type of man he is. His death will speak that same wonderful story.

To pray for someone that close to heaven seems a privilege. To know that person finds peace knowing that you are interceding on their behalf...Certainly it is nothing of Bruce's doing that will get this gentleman into heaven any differently than every other person on the planet. It's all grace. God's grace. It's a comfort to everyone to know our friend has received that grace. The saving kind.

Have you experienced that kind of grace?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Menu Plan for January 2-8

Here's my menu plan for the week. Hope your first week of 2012 is awesome!


Breakfast- cereal (Honey Nut Cheerios)
Lunch- Ramon Noodles
Dinner- Left Overs from the weekend


Breakfast- Breakfast bars or Cereal or Yogurt
Lunch- Turkey Sandwiches and Chips 
Dinner- Roast/Potatoes/Carrots/Onion and Salad and Bread (crock pot)


Breakfast- Fruit and Cereal or breakfast bar (school starts back)
Lunch- Leftovers or Turkey Sandwich and Chips
Dinner- Pigs in a Blanket, Macaroni and Cheese and Fruit


Breakfast- Fruit and Cereal or Breakfast bar
Lunch- Turkey Sandwich and Chips or Ramon or Leftovers
Dinner- Spaghetti, green beans, bread


Breakfast- Breakfast bar or Cereal and Fruit or Yogurt
Lunch- Hot Dogs and Chips
Dinner- Jambalaya, cornbread and salad

Saturday: (Bruce's Birthday!)

Breakfast- Pancakes 
Lunch- Egg Salad or Chicken Salad Sandwiches and Chips
Dinner- BBQ Chicken, Sweet Potato Fries, Broccoli, Pineapple


Breakfast- Cereal or Yogurt
Lunch- Out to Eat (Sit Down)
Dinner- Leftovers from the week or Sandwiches

Snack Items:

Dessert for Bruce's Birthday
Brownie Mix
Ice Cream

Anything yummy cookin' at your house this week?

I'm linking up with Orgjunkie today for Meal Plan Monday.