Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Masterpiece

I am so excited and, so amazed, that a big project has been completed.

It involves family.
My house is a split-level and within the past year almost
all of the upstairs and foyer have been painted.
I really wanted to change up the pictures from the
past and just couldn't decide what I wanted
on my freshly painted walls.
Until a Pinterest post caught my eye and I decided to recreate it.
Michael's Crafts had a sale on picture frames last
week so I went shopping and
spent an afternoon reframing family photos.
Here they are all lined up on the kitchen counter.

With the tall ceiling in the foyer, the wall
going up the stairs was perfect for all of
the pictures I wanted to show.
Using black construction paper, I measured
each frame and taped paper on the wall to
simulate each picture.
 I left the paper up for a few days to visualize if
I really liked this plan.  I did move a few
sheets of paper around to play with placement.
The day of the 'hanging' I assembled the framing
tools on the steps.
 I think The Husband got a little nervous when I came out
with the drill.
He stopped what he was working on and
offered to help me.
 For the next two hours he measured, drilled
and hung all of the pictures.
Yeah for The Husband!
 From the left we have pictures of
Kidlet One and Favorite-Son-Law's wedding
The Husband's parents
My parents
Our family picture
The Kidlets
Our India-supported daughter, Kavitha
Grand Baby C

 Tonight I removed the last placeholder paper.

  Family is one of God's Masterpieces
 My family is one of God's Masterpieces
 I'm so thankful for this project to the completed.
I'm really excited at how it turned out.
Plus, there is room to add pictures of Grand Baby N
that will join our family in July!
As God continues to amaze me every day, it was
important to me that He be honored on this
wall as well.  After all, He brought us all together.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

What Face Do You See

I arrived at my desk today and flipped the daily devotional to read the following.  I quote from Grace For The Moment, Inspirational Thoughts for Each Day of the Year by Max Lucado:

I stand a few feet from a mirror and see the face of a man who failed...who failed his Maker.  


I promised I wouldn't, but I did....  

If this were the first time, it would be different. 

 But it isn't.... 

Your eyes look in the mirror and see a sinner, a failure, a promise-breaker.  

But by faith you look in the mirror and see a robed prodigal bearing the ring of grace on your finger and the kiss of your Father on your face.

Be strong in the Lord and in His great power.  Ephesians 6:10
If you have asked Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, you are that robed prodigal bearing the ring of grace on your finger and the kiss of your Father on your face.  Don't give in to the lies that you are a sinner.

The Truth is so amazing!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Paula Deen Beef Stew

The sun is shining and I can see some grass in the backyard.

The temperature is 15 degrees above zero.

Yesterday it was near 40 degrees.

It seems like a bad joke to have days fluctuating so much!

My feet are cold and I am just chilled so I decided to cook.  That always warms me up.

I grabbed package of frozen beef stew meat from the freezer and started to thaw it.

After a quick search on I decided to make Paula Deen's Old-Time Beef Stew.  It was absolutely delicious!  Here's how to make it.

2 pounds stew beef
2 T. vegetable oil
2 cups water (I used 3 and could have used one more)
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 or 2 bay leaves
1 medium onion, sliced
1 t. salt
1 t. sugar
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. paprika
Dash ground allspice or ground cloves
Better Than Bouillon (this is my addition to the recipe)
5 small potatoes (another addition I made to the recipe)

I always start cooking by filling my sink with hot, soapy water.  Especially with raw meat, I want to be able to wash my hands quickly and easily.
Assemble the ingredients you'll be using.
My stew meat was slightly frozen.  I've learned from experience that partially frozen meat going into hot oil can be dangerous.  Make sure your meat is thawed!
In a large stock pot, heat 2 T. vegetable oil.  When heated, add the meat to brown it.  I stir it all the time to keep from sticking too much to the pan.  You just want to see brown on all the pieces as you aren't cooking it all the way through.

Add the water, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, bay leaves, onion, salt, sugar, pepper, paprika and allspice. Cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours.
Remove the bay leaves and garlic clove.

Add chopped carrots, celery and I also added potatoes.
My secret ingredient is the Better than Bouillon beef flavoring.  About 1 t. is enough.  Add it now.
Cover the pot again and cook 30 to 40 minutes longer.  You can add cornstarch to some of the hot liquid (in a separate bowl) and re-add to the stew if you like it thick.  With the addition of the potatoes, my stew was plenty thick with veggies.

It was delicious and the perfect meal for a chilly March day!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Jury Duty, Cockroaches, Missing Airplanes

My thoughts are all over the place this morning, just like the subject of this post.  What do jury duty, cockroaches and missing airplanes have to do with each other?  Or better yet, why would I write those words?

Well, I am on jury duty.  For the next two weeks I am to be available in the event a jury is needed.  It is really a weird sensation to block and protect my activities in the event I am told to report in. Each day for the next two weeks I am to call after 4:30 pm to listen to a recorded message that will say "no jury is needed tomorrow" or "please report in".  At work I am not sure how I should plan to handle my projects.  I don't know how many times last week I found myself saying, "do I schedule this meeting for next week or not".  It is interesting not knowing what "tomorrow" may bring.

A famous man addressed this very topic.  In a great book of wisdom and guidance you will find these words:

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Good words, right? 

Now onto the cockroach topic.  On one of the several trips to Mexico I've made, I stayed with a family in their home.  They didn't speak English and I didn't speak Spanish.  Our attempt at sign language and hand gestures would've made the game of charades look easy!  I was so blessed in that this home was one of the nicest homes in the area.  And there were cockroaches in the bathroom.  I showered with the cockroaches.  Those little pests were a part of their life.  I think that trip prepared me, somewhat, for the cockroach that fell from the vent above my desk, ticked my shoulder and then started scurrying across the floor to my co-workers open bag (on the floor).  I wasn't scared but just so surprised.  In a split second I stammered "bag....bag....PICK UP YOUR BAG" to my co-worker.  She reacted just as quickly scooping up her bag and then she saw the critter and screamed.  As she jumped up on her desk.  Meanwhile I was up and out of my chair to stomp as hard as I could on the over-an-inch-long invader. 

All of us in that office were moved to that building in mid-January.  We found out that the basement is infested with cockroaches after we moved.  Fumigating monthly is a common occurrence.  Really?  In Minnesota!  Well, we have been creeped out a little and none of us returned to the office on Thursday and Friday.  Over the weekend I think there will be fumigating again so next week, if I don't have jury duty, I'll need to report back to the bug office.  Again, I'm not scared of them but it is a little creepy knowing they are crawling above me and in the walls. 

Where is that airplane missing from Malaysia?  I do not know why I am so haunted by this but I find myself continually checking CNN's website for updates.  My heart does ache terribly for the family members wondering where their loved ones are.  I guess that is the driving force behind my obsession. 

All of this brings me to my knees.  In prayer.  I have learned how much I take "tomorrow" for granted through this jury duty unknown.  I have today and I need to enjoy today.  And for that I thank God for the reminder! 

For the cockroach situation.  I am praying that the pipes freeze in the basement of the building.  Okay, okay...some of you are shocked that I would pray such an expensive thing.  Well, the facilities people told our office that the cockroaches are living in the sewer and the adjoining building owners don't fumigate.  So this problem is going to continue forever and ever until everyone takes responsibility and goes after them.  Or unless the pipes freeze and have to be reconnected (they are the original sewer lines from the wagon train days) to the new city sewer lines. 

My prayers for wisdom and revelation to the searchers of the missing jet continue.  That they may be guided to where this plane is quickly.  This is crazy, isn't it? 

I remain, So Amazed, that God has everything in control.  I know He does.  I have seen His hand in all areas of my life for years and years.  His hand will be in my tomorrow.  His hand will be with the cockroach problem.  And I know His heart is broken over the people in the missing aircraft.  May He give wisdom and guidance to the search teams and peace and comfort to the family members.

Enjoy your "today".

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

No Cancer!

The Israelites were running from Pharaoh's army and came to the Red Sea.  They didn't have boats and there wasn't a bridge.  They were trapped and going to be killed.

The Red Sea parted.  A pathway was created, the water held back, the Israelites raced to safety on the other shore.  When the army came to the Sea the water was let loose, the pathway closed, and the Army was stopped.

It was a miracle!

Moses climbed a mountain and encountered a bush.  The bush was on fire and never burned up.  How can something never stop burning and turn to ash but continue burning.

It was a miracle!

A huge wedding was taking place and the wine ran out.  The bridal party was humiliated that the guests wouldn't have wine.  Jesus asked the attendant to fill jugs with water.  He didn't wave His magic wand or repeat some mantra, he told the attendants to then dip into the water jugs.  Wine better than the bridal party started with now filled the jugs.

It was a miracle!

My dad had a PET scan four weeks ago and the report stated there were hot spots in his chest and all down his spine.  A biopsy of the chest lymph nodes was done two weeks ago and came back with a "no cancer cells spotted" report.

It was a miracle!

Last week a blood test and bone scan were done to check the hot spots in the bones.  After a week of waiting the report today was "no cancer". 

It IS a miracle!

Don't let anyone tell you that miracles were a thing of the past.  Miracles are for today!

No Cancer!

It is an amazing miracle and I would ask you to join with my family and I in thanking God for this miracle.  The glory goes to Him!

I am so amazed...

Saturday, February 15, 2014


Last night I attended a concert in which five Christians artists performed.  It was an incredible experience.  One of the performers, Matthew West, sang a song I'd never heard.  It was an incredible song and it made an impact on me.


Something that makes you stop.  It has an effect.

In the case of this song, the lyrics were being displayed as Matthew West sang them.

It made an impact on me because I needed to hear it.

I believe many need to hear this song and its message.

In fact, you may be one of the people that needs to be impacted.

Dear friend, would you please take the time to listen through the entire video that I'm linking here.  I found the YouTube version of the song and better yet, it includes the background of the song.

Please listen to it.
Let it soak into you as I did last night.  And I listened to it again today.
There is a message to bring healing and freedom to all of us.

I'm praying for you....

Monday, February 10, 2014

Hello, Old Friend!

Dear Blog,

I cannot believe it was last November that I last posted.  So many times I have thought of you and my fingers have itched to jot even just a few words on your page.  Tonight I am compelled and cannot go to sleep until I give an update of everything that has transpired since November. 

  • My dad completed his chemotherapy
  • Favorite Son-In-Law and Kidlet One announced they are having another baby
  • Baby C learned to crawl
  • My brother lost his job
  • Kidlet Three gets playing time on the junior varsity and varsity hockey teams for his high school
  • Christmas was sacred
  • I was moved to a temporary office for my job and then in January moved to a yet a different location. 
  • Kidlet Two celebrated a year at the restaurant-that-asks-too-much from him
  • The Husband continues his sharing of candy at all hockey games
  • Dad's PET scan in January caused some concern and the first biopsy came back negative of cancer.  Thank you Jesus!
  • Believe it or not this old brain in my head allowed me to get two A's on my first college courses that I finished in December.
  • Hockey boys have been growing their hair out and call it 'flow' and 'wings'.  With my natural curl I guess it looks like wings and Kidlet Three tells me I need to get that taken care of as in get a haircut.  Why can boys have wings but not their mothers?
  • Grandbaby number two is a BOY and he will arrive end of June or early July (happy, happy, happy).
There's a whole lot more that I could list but let me end by saying that I've decided to have a Gratitude Attitude.  Every person I know has a bundle of trials they are mudding through and it is so easy to get down and bummed out.  However, that just sucks life out of us.  If that is where you are at, speak out right now and say "I am going to have a Gratitude Attitude".  And then start making that list of things to be thankful for.  Speak out a 'thank you' for the parking space you get.  Or when you start your grocery shopping be thankful you don't shop in open air markets with sides of beef or pork heads staring at you.  We have a lot to be grateful for.

So Dear Blog, I am glad you are still here for me after all these months.  I promise to not be such a stranger!

So Amazed