Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Oh So Relaxed...

A lawn chair.  A swimming pool.  Temperature in the mid-80's.  My three boys with me.  All I was missing was Kidlet One and Favorite-Son-In-Law. 

Here is the very relaxed view I enjoyed for several hours recently:

Sigh...this is close to paradise.  And I am so relaxed it is amazing!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Turn It Around With Praises In Your Mouth

I heard this phrase during a praise and worship time:

Turn it around with praises in your mouth....

Think how the world would change if we spent more time speaking praises instead of negative.

Let's give it a try.

I challenge you.

Watch how the attitudes and the atmosphere changes when you speak praises.

It works!


Monday, March 28, 2011

Bathroom Renovation

Twenty-three years ago we built our house.  Recently we decided to re-do the one bathroom we have on the main floor of the house. 

The remodel process took over a year because we couldn't decide what we wanted for a counter and vanity.  The sales people at Home Depot and Lowe's were very patient with us and most of the time hid the rolling of their eyes when they saw The Husband and I coming in again to look around.  Finally we made a decision and the process started.

Here is the original "single sink" and counter in the bathroom:

 Once we made our decision, we loaded a flatbed cart and two shopping carts full of supplies!

All of it was carried into the house and
stored in the livingroom as we started the renovation

 The Husband pulled out the old single set of lights and removed the huge mirror

 Holes were cut for the new light fixtures

Electricity to the room was cut off during the project

so lamps were brought in from the hallway

 The new lights were hung and wiring holes were patched

 The beige walls were prepped for painting

 The spiny ceiling was scrapped off and the new ceiling painted

 I love this shower curtain. A local paint store matched the paint to the curtain.

 Lightbulbs screwed in

Matching outlet covers put in place

 Here is the new "double sink" counter

 New faucets

The two matching mirrors aren't hung here
but in the finished bathroom they are hung centered over the sinks.
The new vanity is a dark, rich wood like the mirrors.

And after the project was finished, the piles of supplies
and bathroom reading material could be put away!

The completion of a project..amazing!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

blogging quiet...

Sorry I have been blogging quiet.

Life got busier and I couldn't squeeze in an extra few minutes for blogging.

I'm back.

And in the next days, weeks and months I'll share what we've been up too!

For now, know that I am praying for each of you.  Praying that your days will be blessed with the knowledge that God, a tremendous Father, loves you more than you could possibly understand.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hope from Max Lucado

Such a great message was in my daily devotion this morning.  This is from Max Lucado. 

Our problem is not so much that God doesn't give us what we hope for as it is that we don't know the right thing for which to hope. (You may want to read that sentence again.)
Hope is not what you expect [but] a wild, improbable tale with a pinch-me-I'm-dreaming ending.  It's Abraham adjusting his bifocals so he can see not his grandson but his son.  It's Moses standing in the promised land not with Aaron or Miriam at his side but with Elijah and the transfigured Christ....
Hope is not a granted wish...[but] a zany, unpredictable dependence on a God who loves to surprise us out of our socks and be there in the flesh to see our reaction.
This is from Max's God Came Near book.

For you that don't know the story, Abraham and his wife, Sarah were not able to have children.   But God promised that they would have a son, which seemed very doubtful to Abraham and Sarah.  They waited and they waited and there was no baby.  But, the promise did come true.  Their son was born when Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90.  Yes, you read that correctly.  They were old!  Do you suppose they had given up HOPE?  In fact when they got pregnant, they both laughed!  So they named their son, Isaac, which means laughter.

The mention of Moses is another "that's impossible" story that you might just want to read in the Bible!

Bottom line:  God always keeps His promises.  And, there is always hope.  Sometimes we have to wait and sometimes we have to look for hope without blinders on our eyes.

I love that last sentence in the devotional so I'll repeat it again and leave you pondering...

Hope is not a granted wish...[but] a zany, unpredictable dependence on God who loves to surprise us out of our socks and be there in the flesh to see our reaction.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Psalm 86:6

Hear my prayer, LORD; listen to my cry for mercy.

Cries and prayers of mercy for the people of Japan.
Oh Lord, mercy...hold back the earthquakes. 
Calm the seas.
Wisdom and safety from radioactivity.
We cry for mercy.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


In the spring of 2010, this was the scene outside of my work door...
Today this was the view...

Quite the contrast!

The buds last spring were full and fragrant...
Today the branches were heavy with snow...
I am forever amazed at the contrasts God gives me to enjoy!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

89 Years Old

My Favorite-Father-in-Law turned 89 recently.  We had a quiet dinner with him.  Some of his children and grandchildren were able to join in for the evening.  This is one of the most generous, giving men I've ever known.  Oh, I hope God blesses his socks off this year and tickles him lavishly with His love!

Happy Birthday!

Monday, March 7, 2011

All the Power You Need

Over the past couple of weeks there has been a song that keeps playing over and over in my head.  Over and over I hear the song to the point of it was getting obnoxious!  I've learned that this is a God Nudge and I should respond to it. 

The name of the song is All the Power You Need and it was first released in 1996.  It took a few emails but I was able to track down the CD the song was on.  And now I'm listening to it over and over again because I want to! 

This song makes me sing at the top of my lungs because it says exactly what I believe and how I live.  In fact, not only do I sing loud but I find myself stomping my feet in a proclaiming type of way as I'm singing.  Every word in this song is truth and I'm stomping the truth when I sing.  You know, there is a power in the words we say and speak.  When I'm singing these words, I bet the gates of hell shake! 

After I'd been given the CD to listen to, another friend found the song on youtube.  So, for your listening pleasure, here is the song All The Power You Need by Darlene Zschech of Hillsong Australia.

If you have any questions about the song, please send me an email.  Otherwise, let me know if you find yourself hearing it over and over in your head, too!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Black Bean Brownies

If you enjoy cake-like brownies, you will like this recipe. 

I've been looking for a healthier brownie (did you giggle at the words "healthier brownie") and recently on the Weight Watchers website, a link for Power Food Favorites appeared.  In looking through these new recipes, what did I find?

Black Bean Brownies!!!!

I just had to try them.  So without further ado.  Here is a Weight Watchers recipe for Black Bean Brownies.

1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained

 1/4 cup black coffee, strong
1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 oz bittersweet chocolate
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup flour

In a blender or mini food processor, process beans with coffee until smooth; set aside.
 In a double boiler over very low heat, melt butter and chocolate.
With electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar until light and fluffy.  With mixer on low speed, add melted chocolate to eggs; incorporate well.  Add black bean mixture, vanilla and salt; mix well.  Add flour; combine thoroughly on low speed.

Coat a 9 x 13 inch pan with cooking spray; line with aluminum foil and coat foil with cooking spray. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees until a tester inserted in center of brownies comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes.  Remove pan to a cooling rack.  After 10 minutes, remove brownies from pan by pulling up on foil and placing brownies on cooling rack to cool more.

Cut into 24 pieces.  And the important Weight Watcher number is:  4 points per serving

I think I found that healthier brownie that I'd been searching for!  It amazes me that black beans are the secret ingredient.  Let me know if you try this recipe!