Sunday, January 30, 2011

More Joy

From God's Word:
The whole assembly then agreed to celebrate the festival seven more days; so for another seven days they celebrated joyfully. 2 Chronicles 30:23

I love this verse!  If I were to break the verse down I would say it this way:

the whole assembly more

That is just way cool.  They had been celebrating for seven days, had so much to celebrate about so they all agreed to extend the celebration seven more days.

To find out what they were celebrating, click here.  You can read the whole story. 

Since the word JOY is my buzzword for 2011, it was fun to stumble upon a verse that spoke of a whole assembly (which if you read the whole story boils down to "a whole country") was celebrating.  At their king's suggestion.  The people had much to be thankful for and their king knew that God was behind it all.  I'd encourage you to read it the whole story.
Have I ever given out a homework assignment on this blog?  I'd like you to read verse 26 in the chapter alluded too.  
You will get extra credit if you read the whole chapter (picture a smiley face inserted here). 
For those of  you that just won't or didn't click to read the whole chapter, here is a link to verse 26.  Click here
Now, I want you to read the first 6 words of that verse and where it says Jerusalem, insert the name of your country.  Read the words a second time as if you were proclaiming it...with your country's name inserted. 
How about we change the past tense of "was" to "is".
Read those six words again in present tense.
Every day this week, repeat those words.  Go ahead.  Proclaim JOY for your country.  All countries need more JOY.
There is great power in the spoken word.
If you do this, if you make a point of speaking forth JOY, you'll be amazed at what happens.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Riley Reporting In

Welcome!  My name is Riley and I'm the fluffiest member of So Amazed's family.  My first post was a little personal with bath pictures and all.  Today I decided to show you what life is like in the Frozen Tundra from my perspective.
First, can you tell in this outside photo, that I've had a haircut?  Why My Humans decided to have my warmth cut off just before The Big Snow, I'll never understand.  Here I am being told to go down the steps from The Deck.  Are they serious?  I love The Deck.  I'd just as soon not leave The Deck.  If My Humans don't shovel The Deck, I feel comfortable 'doing my business' on The Deck and then getting back inside as quickly as possible.  The Humans don't like my using The Deck in this way so they shovel it.  Forcing The Deck.

I will not bark too loudly about what My Humans have done for me in My Backyard.  A very loud machine that blows snow was carried up through the house and brought to My Backyard.  Oh the noise that machine made and the snow that blew around.  There was no way I was going outside during that chaos.  However, after the noise stopped, I let So Amazed know I was willing to go outside and what to my wondering eyes did appear, but paths.  Running paths in My Backyard.

This is actually, Pretty Amazing if I may say so myself.  My Backyard is like a play land and I can run on the Many Different Paths.  Don't I look tall in this picture!  This is my Stalking Pose.  There was a bird in the neighbor's feeder that I just knew was going to try to get in My Backyard and I was ready for it. 
One of my Many Paths brings me to the gate where I can see the front of the house.  In the summer, this is my favorite place to bark.  Every car, person, well, any moving thing I will bark at to let So Amazed know that something or someone is out front.  There isn't so much to bark at in the Frozen Tundra so I get a little bored at the gate.
Apples from the very top of the apple tree didn't get picked in the fall.  All to my pleasure!  When they hit the ground now, I enjoy trying to chew on the fruity mush.  I'm quite proud of myself in this photo.  It took all of my jumping skills to get on top of the snow.  It was treacherous, but someone had to check out that apple.

And after my several laps on the Many Paths, I head back up to My Deck and will scratch on the screen door to get back inside. 
Did you know that I am quite attached to So Amazed's Man?  She calls him, The Husband.  I call him My Human.  He scratches my belly.  He rubs my ears.  In the kitchen, I am faithful to be at his side because he drops crumbs every single time.  I will not leave his side because he needs me to clean up after him.  Attentive to My Human, that is my calling. 

There is a cupboard, in the kitchen, where my food is kept.  I will guard and protect that cupboard at all costs.  From the farthest point of the house, when that cupboard door is opened, I can hear it and I come running.  FOOD!  I love food...

My food dishes are not fancy and I don't care.  My nose fits perfectly in this old sour cream container.  You can pet me and you can talk to me when I'm eating but I really, really, really do love food.
I do have to be honest and confess that my love for food does not end at my Dog Food.  I will eat anything.  So Amazed has a tall container in the kitchen that I can sometimes push over or grab things off the top.  I hear her call the container A Garbage Can.  To me, it is the snack container.  See here, I had a wonderful snack and, unfortunately, I'm not good at cleaning up after myself.  The coffee grounds were not tasty.  For some reason So Amazed raised her voice at me when she came to the kitchen. 

My kennel is my sanctuary.  Sometimes I drag snacks into my kennel to nibble, chew and lick when I get the chance.
Well, I guess I got Long-Winded and rattled on long enough.  In a future post, I'm hoping So Amazed will post the video that she's made with me.  I am the next American Idol.  You should hear me sing.  But, in closing, I hope you enjoyed the glimpse into my life.  I'll leave you with another of my favorite pastimes....snuggling with Kidlet Three.  arrrrfffff....arrrfffff...bye!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

To Whom It May Concern....

As I was driving home from work today, you swerved into my lane because you were texting while you were driving.  You never noticed that your car was within inches of mine.  I could've written a message on your car window.  As I sped up to pass you, in the right lane, you were looking down at your phone.  I sure hope you got home safely.

And to the people that don't seem to have turn signals, you scare me!  In the three mile drive from work to my home, I saw at least three people slowing down to make a turn without signaling first.  At least one of them had a car behind them come to a screeching halt because there was no signal of the turn. 

Then there is the one stoplight that each and every night left turning cars speed up to get through the yellow light.  But it doesn't stop least two or three cars speed up on a red light and whoosh past those of us trying to get started at our green light.

Could I please ask that you be careful when you drive.  Don't text while you drive.  Use your signal lights.  Obey the yellow lights and yield.  It is for your safety that I write this. 

Sincerely Yours,

So Amazed That I Made It Home From Work Today

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Crafty Flower

A dear friend, MollyBea, created this beautiful flower pin for me. MollyBea is gifted with a creativity that exceeds my imagination.  Over the years I've been the recipient of many of her talents.

She took a wool sweater and put it in a hot dryer to shrink it.  So this is a Sweater-Crafty-Flower Pin and it looks great on my black winter jacket.
So pretty.
So special.
So Amazing.
Thanks again, MollyBea!

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Wowzers!  I have a whole new appreciation for people that live with chronic pain.

I've never had chronic pain.

Until the cartilage in my right knee dissolved and now I walk bone-on-bone.  Which hasn't been too bad until about six months ago. 

Yup, last summer and fall I joined ranks with a group of people that live in chronic pain.  I'm not really a full-fledged member because a cortisone shot cleared my pain up and I was BLESSED with no more pain.

For about three months.

The doctor thinks the shoveling I did with the massive snowfall in December "overstimulated my knee" and the pain came back.  And it was worse than before.

For the first time in my life, something was keeping from sleeping.  I can sleep anywhere and I can fall asleep within seconds of crawling into bed.

Until the knee pain came back.

There have been a couple of nights where I could be found crawling into the bathtub at 1 a.m. to give relief to my knee.  The warm water seemed to help.

There were nights when sleeping in the recliner was the only way to get relief.

So back for a second cortisone shot I went.  The relief has come but now I have breakthrough days.  Meaning, I "feel" the ache in my knee despite the wonderful cortisone living in there.  It has been disappointing that I have these breakthrough days.

My primary care doctor, whom I have the utmost respect for, listened as I shared my disappointment.  He then leaned toward me and said, "You have arthritis.  Arthritis is a painful disease.  You are going to be able  to predict weather patterns."

He wasn't being mean.  I appreciated that he was candid with me.  I'd been thinking the cortisone wasn't working! predicting.  Could that become a paying job?  I just have to figure out if we are "in" the weather pattern when my knee aches or if the aching means a weather pattern is "on the way".  TV weather people, look out....I may be taking over your job!  Ha! Ha!

Drugs were offered to me to help with the pain.  Prescription drugs.  I just am not ready to go that route.  I am not a pill-popper and the thought of needing pain meds just doesn't sit well with me.  Glucosamine chondrotin I do take.  A friend recommended making a concoction of cartilage and bone marrow from poultry, beef or pork, which I do.  I make my own stock for soups and broths so I am drinking the cooked up carcasses (that sounds gross when I type it out this way...).  There is documentation that this could help rebuild and/or strengthen the cartilage I do have. 

On our Christian radio station, there is a devotional each day by Anne Graham Lotz.  I try to listen to this devotional each morning as I am making Kidlet Three's lunch.  One morning I caught just the tail end of what she was saying but it was these words:
In times of adversity...look up.  Look up.  Look up and find Jesus.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 has become a truth to me as well.  In Christ, I am strong.  Without Him, I am weak.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Pain.  It is drawing me closer to my Lord and Savior.  And, with Him, the pain actually diminishes. 

Isn't that amazing!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Soup and "Buns"

Homemade turkey noodle soup was the supper of choice the other night.  The temperature was -29 and that was without the wind chill.

That warm soup hit the spot.  Along with the soup I decided to make baking powder drop biscuits.  My trusty Heart Healthy Bisquick helped me make a quick batch of cheesy-buttery biscuits.  I stirred a cup of shredded cheddar cheese into the batter before dropping on the cookie sheet.

When I brought the meal to the table, Kidlet Three exclaimed,

"Oh good, I love those buns"


Obviously I need to make buns versus biscuits more often! 

Comfort food

Friday, January 21, 2011


Everywhere I turn, I see or hear the word JOY.

It has been going on for several weeks now.

It seems God is talking to me through these

subtle and Not-So-Subtle Nudges.

Perhaps I could miss these Nudges...

but it is bordering on obnoxious how many times

JOY is right there in my face again.

So I went to His Word and started looking up JOY .

In the New International version, there are

...242 verses with JOY in them.

I can see where this is going to be a process.

It is going to take some time for me to really read through

242 verses!

Want to read some with me?

For seven days celebrate the festival to the Lord your God at the place the Lord will choose.  For the Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the works of your hands, and your joy will be complete.  Deuteronomy 16:15 

Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his dwelling place.  1 Chronicles 16:27

Then, led by Jehoshaphat, all the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned joyfully to Jerusalem, for the Lord had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies.  2 Chronicles 20:27

Read the verses again.  Slowly. 

What stands out to you as you read? 

May you (and I) really learn what JOY is. 

Or maybe we will learn WHO joy is...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Passed-Around Pajamas

MANY years ago, my Dad bought my Mom some pajamas.

Mom was complaining she was cold so Dad bought her terry cloth,  one-piece-footed pajamas with a hood.  He thought they would keep her warm.

Pink, purple and white striped stretchy pajamas with a little drop-bottom-section in the back.

The most ugly pajamas any of us have ever seen. 

So, as a joke, Mom hid them in our Box-to-Bring-Home at the end of our Christmas together.

The next Christmas, I wrapped those funky pajamas up in a very pretty box and gave them back to my Mom.

The next Christmas, Mom put those jammies in a food saver bag and sucked all the air out of the bag.  She then wrapped that rock hard wad of pajamas in an ice cream bucket for me.

Back and forth those pajamas have gone over the years with each of us trying to disguise the package so the other wouldn't know when the pajamas were going to appear.

Mom even had them shipped to my work place one year.  At a department meeting, in front of everyone, a co-worker handed me the box to open and how embarrassing to pull out pajamas!

Do you wonder what these famous pajamas really look like?  Well, when I turned 50, my mom drove 250 miles to deliver those jammies to my front yard.  She and Dad stuffed them to make them look like a body and this is what I found when I got home from work that day:

Uff da!  So when my Mom had her 70th birthday, the pressure was on to top what she had done for my birthday.  I put the Pajama Lady in Kidlet One's prom dress and gave her a Red Hat.  She was stuffed into the trunk of my car and I drove the 250 miles to my parent's town.  I had called ahead and got permission to wire Pajama Lady to a bench outside of the Small-Town-Church.  It was so hard to keep a straight face visiting and staying overnight with Dad and Mom.  Dad and Mom went to church alone the next morning and oh boy was my Mom in for a surprise.  On the bench right by the front door was Classy Pajama Lady with a huge Happy Birthday sign!  The pastor even made a comment about the Lady on the Bench that greeted everyone coming into the service that morning.
 Several years have past and the pajamas hadn't shown up.  I was waiting for my next big surprise and it came at Christmas 2009.  Kidlet One was given the pajamas and oh the response on her face when she realized she was now included in the game!  She was not thrilled but Son-In-Law sure that it was funny!

 Which brings us to Christmas, 2010.  Guess who got them this year....Kidlet Two! 
And that little smarty pants...he quickly left the room and wrapped them in a new package and put it under the tree so Grandma got them back 10 minutes after he had opened them.
Those Passed-Around-Pajamas live on.  Do you have any fun Family Games that you want to share?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Goal and Two Assists

Kidlet Three is flying high...

Monday night in a hockey game against a highly-rated team, he scored his first goal of the year and had two assists.  Which is pretty impressive given his team scored only three times and he was involved in all three scoring actions!

Because I didn't have my camera with me that night I didn't get a picture of him coming out of the locker room at the end of the game.  Can you picture a beaming-from-ear-to-ear-mouth-full-of-braces smile! 

Oh my goodness I hope I don't ever forget that look.

He usually plays in the defense role.  That night he was moved up to the center position.  So not only was he in a different role, he scored!

Amazing Kidlet Three!  Way to go!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Towel Shower

We were talking in the office the other day and a great idea was born. 

The idea...well, we decided that women should throw a shower for each other every 5 to 10 years.

Instead of waiting for bridal showers, we should just bless one another.

Because towels only last so long.

Take a look at these poor towels that I finally boxed up.

My bleached, frayed and well-worn towels that had, seriously, been our daily towels are boxed.

They have become rags.

Officially...rags.  They were rags a few years back but I just couldn't bring myself to the buying of all new towels.

But this shower idea is not such a bad one.  I'm not sure, however, if "Towel Shower" will catch on or not.

Anyone got a catchy name for the non-bridal-I-need-new-towels type of shower?  Let me know!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Courage Works

Courage.  The cowardly lion asked for that in The Wizard of Oz.  I think we chuckle at that lion and don't realize the importance of what he was asking for.

What is courage?

Merriam-Webster defines courage as:  mental or moral strength to venture, persevere and withstand danger, fear or difficulty.
Within the past two years, there was a point where everytime I turned around I saw or read that word.  Courage.  It was like God wanted to me get understand what courage was.  Over and over it would seem that word jumped into my life.  So I looked up every occurrence of the word courage in the Bible and wrote out the verses.  Time was spent reading those verses over and over and eventually I came to a place of saying:  we all need God to give us more courage.  It is a powerful gift that He can give us.

Life is not for the faint-hearted.  There is some real ick in this world.  Sometimes the ick happens because of me.  I know there have been times in my life where I naively made a choice or decision that made a mess.  Yet there are times where I know full well that I am making choices and decisions that not good. There is no naive in these decisions. We all do it.  We just push through the "nudges" we feel inside and do what we know we shouldn't.  And the result of those decisions is ick. 

Yes, you've done it, too.

At the point we decide (that is another big word) to make a change...courage should be right around the corner for us.  Hmmmm.  Think on that one for a minute.  Some of the ick in my life could be changed if I had more courage to make better decisions?  Or perhaps if I had courage I could just not create ick situations!  Isn't that an interesting concept.

When I pray for people now, I always pray for courage.  It doesn't matter what circumstances the person is in, I pray for courage.  And I ask God to give me courage, daily.

Courage works.  Unfortunately each of my Kidlets has faced huge obstacles already in their lives.  Each of them has faced life-threatening obstacles.  I now see how courage played an important part (and still plays an important part) in their safety.  Courage works.

Today I want to give a public shout out to Kidlet Two.  He has made the decision to quit smoking.  He has tried several times before and that strong hook of addiction wouldn't release.  This time is different.  I feel it that this is the time he will be released from cigarettes.  Praise God! 

It has taken great courage to get to the point of wanting to quit.
It has taken great courage to admit to his parents the addiction and desire to quit.
It has taken great courage to pursue his treatment plan to help in the quitting.
It has taken courage.

Today is Day 12 of no smoking.  We are celebrating each day that he doesn't smoke.  Join with me in shouting out...WAY TO GO KIDLET TWO!  And then, please, thank God for His courage for Kidlet Two.

Courage works.  Ask Him for some.  You'll be amazed at what He does in your life with courage!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Quilting Again

My grandma was a home economics teacher.  She could cook, sew, mend or make anything.  I am so grateful that she taught me how to sew. 

When grandma passed away, we found she had boxes and more boxes and an entire closet full of fabric.  Sewing was her passion and whenever she found fabric she liked, she bought it.  I don't have the passion like she had (for sewing) but no one else in the family sews so I took most of the fabric when we were cleaning out her house.

I had this dream of making quilts from Grandma's fabric.  When Kidlet One was a toddler, I took a quilting class. I worked diligently on my quilt squares but then Kidlet Two came along and I was busy.  The quilt never got finished and the fabric was moved to storage.  In the back of my mind there was this wish that I could spend time sewing/quilting. 

Move the clock ahead many years now.  Within the past year or so, I realized that at some point in my life I started believing a lie that I couldn't quilt or do crafts until I was retired from my full time Outside-of-the-Home job.  It was quite a revelation when I realized that I could sew an hour or two during a week night.  It may sound strange to you, but I had become frozen in this lie and it makes me sad now.  But, oh the freedom I have NOW to sew!

For Christmas I decided to make my Dad a lap quilt.  The fabric would be from his mother.  Isn't that cool!  So last fall I pulled out the many boxes of fabric and started dreaming of what I could make.  Grandma sure liked flowers and feminine-looking materials!  I had to really dig to find fabric appropriate for my Dad!

 Then I pulled out my quilting supplies and went to work.
 Cutting strips and sewing them together...
 Squares and strips of fabric being placed together...
 Using the quilt pattern called Turning Twenty
 Here I'm laying out the squares trying to decide
where and how each should be placed
The actual quilting (the meandering stitch) was done for me by a co-worker.
Here I am sewing a fleece binding along the edges to turn and finish off the quilt.
And Dad opening the quilt at Christmas. 
Ignore the broken lamp/lightbulb just above his head...that story is for another day.
Right now I have fabric for two more quilts sitting on my sewing machine.  I'm ready for my next projects!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Get Rest

I share all of the following from the book Starting Your Day Right by Joyce Meyer.  I felt a "God Nudge" that someone needed to read this, so here is a good word:

As for me, I will continue beholding Your face in righteousness; I shall be fully satisfied when I awake beholding Your form.  Psalm 17:15

The Message Bible states it this way:  And me? I plan on looking you full in the face. When I get up, I'll see your full stature and live heaven on earth.

Each evening the sun sets on all of our problems and on all of the mistakes we made that day.  But something marvelous happens to us as we sleep--the Lord gives us rest physically, mentally, and emotionally.  We are renewed and rejuvenated to face the next day.
Today we may wake up with the same problems we had when we went to bed, problems that yesterday we felt we just couldn't take anymore.  But somehow today, after proper rest and sleep, we think, I can do it; I can face it again.  God promises to renew our strength when we rest in Him.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Recipe From My Brother...

The following came in an email from my Wonderful Brother..he is getting to be quite the chef! 

I did an egg bake last night.
grease a 8 x 11 pan
get two tubes of cresent rolls
lay flat in pan
roll up on edges of pan
rise in oven 5-10 min @ 325-350.
a tube or two of pork sausage (browned) 2 is too much I think
take 5-6 eggs and beat with a little milk.
I added chopped onion...skys the limit here. green pepper, other veggies,etc
put browned sausage over pastry
pour eggs over that
bake for, oh, 25 min.
take out and lavish with shredded cheese
and bake for another 5.
its almost like a big omelet!!
mum mum.
but don't spray your pan over the tiled kitchen floor.
it becomes an ice rink!!!!!!

I so understand what he means by "don't spray your pan over the tiled kitchen floor..." Have any of you ever turned your kitchen floor into an ice rink with Pam?

Don't you love the way Wonderful Brother wrote out this recipe!  I'm going to try this recipe soon.

Hey, anyone else have a fun recipe to share? 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Butter Beef

Just saying the words, Butter Beef, makes me lick my lips again.

I found a crockpot recipe using stew meat that I tried last week. The meat almost melted in my mouth.

Seriously, I have already written stew meat on the shopping list so that I can make this recipe again soon.

Here is the easiest, most delicious Melt-In-Your-Mouth beef recipe:

Butter Beef

3 lbs. stew meat, browned

1 stick butter

1 envelope onion soup mix

Melt butter in crockpot.  Add beef. Sprinkle soup mix on top. 
I did add about 1/2 cup of water for more broth.

Cook on low 3-5 hours.

We ate ours over mashed potatoes.

And had second helpings...

Butter Beef.  Check this recipe out.  It is amazing!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Lethal Luau

Oh my goodness....did you hear hilarious laughter ringing through the hills on New Year's Eve?  The laughter was coming from The Lethal Luau.
What is The Lethal Luau?

A murder, mystery party that The Husband and I were invited to with two other couples.  I'd heard of these dinners but had never participated in one and now I am hooked!  This was so funny and quirky!

The day of the party, the hostess dropped off an invitation that described the scene of the crime, a luau.  This was a lethal luau in that a man, Chase Diamond, was poisoned and died.  There were six of us guests at the luau and one of us put the poison in Chase's drink. Thus, the name, Lethal Luau.

Also on the invitation was the assignment as to which of the six guests The Husband and I were.  There was a brief description of each person and suggestions for costumes.  This was a dress-up, costume party!   We were to really play up our part.

I will not give away the details of this storyline in case you ever play this one out.  In other words, no spoiler alert in this blog!  You can know, however, that I was Holly Day, the wife of a billionaire and I was a meticulous dresser.  I wore my magenta suit with matching nail polish and lots of jewelry.  Take a look at my bling ring...
Now The Husband got to be a Polynesian tribal chief.  He had a really long name but for short he was called Chief Wiki Wiki.   He really got into this part...

 Arriving at the party we had place cards at the table and a script that we read through.  Well, we laughed and acted out the script!

This is  Bo Jo, a surfer dude.  He started the evening with sunscreen smeared on the end of his nose, like a real surfer dude!

And then there was Nadia Seymour, the swimsuit model!  She was very clever in that she had a turtleneck on and put her swimsuit over the turtleneck!  Especially since the outside temperature this night was like 1 degree above zero!
Leilani had the only grass skirt of the night!
Unfortunately I missed getting a picture of the last guest, Les Baggs, the tourist with the missing luggage.

As mentioned above, each of us had a script and questions we were to ask. 
And then at specific times, each of us had a clue that we were to reveal.
Our hostess made food around the luau theme. 
Including pineapple salsa that was out of this world good! 
This was one luau in which the pig could not be roasted in a pit in the back yard...there were several inches of snow on top of the frozen tundra! So we had pulled pork sandwiches and lots of fresh fruit and munchies.

Chief Wiki Wiki's headdress kind of fell apart during the evening so he wore his feathers in all different ways...
The disclosure of the killer was a suspenseful surprise!  Only one of us guessed the right person so it was a Well-Acted-Out night, ha! ha! 
I hope you had a special New Year's celebration!