Thursday, December 27, 2012

What You Do...Does Matter!

Do not despise...small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.  Zechariah 4:10

Against a towering giant, a brook pebble seems futile.  But God used it to topple Goliath.  Compared to the tithes of the wealthy, a widow's coins seem puny.  But Jesus used them to inspire us...

Moses had a staff.  David had a sling.  Samson had a jawbone.  Rahab had a string.  Mary had some ointment.  Dorcas had a needle.  All were used by God.

What do you have?  God inhabits the tiny seed, empowers the tiny deed....  Don't discount the smallness of your deeds.

Max Lucado in Cure For the Common Life

The above was my devotional for today.  It made me think of several of my friends that feel their current "calling" in life doesn't mean much. 

Whether it is wiping noses and butts, cleaning an office after hours, picking up trash and so on, if God asked you to do those tasks....don't discount the smallness of your deeds.

I think all of us that have a personal relationship with God, wonder from time to time what in the world our purpose on this world is.  As in how could He use little old me to change His world?

But David didn't question his purpose when he went after Goliath.  I truly believe the widow didn't move the coins between her fingers trying to decide if she should give her final monies...she just did it because she knew God.

Friends, EVERYTHING you do is important.  Every sock you wash (you know who you are when you read this....), every trash can that gets emptied, every coffee cup you fill as a server, all of it is important.

You are being used by God.

This is a good word and full of truth.

So Amazed that once again....God speaks words of love and encouragement!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Knee Surgery: Pics and What You Need for Rehab

Night before surgery: my right knee is marked by the surgeon at the pre-surgery appointment.
At home, I had a sterile gauze over the incision with this fish-net stocking to keep the gauze in place.
Twenty-five staples held my 6-inch incision closed.
 I have really thick calves and knees so I was surprised the incision wasn't larger.

My mode of transportation for about two weeks was the walker.
  Actually, it held me up and my legs did the transporting.
Ultram, Extra-Strength Tylenol and Oxycodone were on board for pain during the first two weeks at home.
TEDS stockings to prevent blood clots.
I wear these every day and take them off at night.
Another preventive measure against blood clots is Fragmin (medication). I was not forewarned that I would be giving myself injections of this medication for 12 days. If Kidlet Three can give himself insulin shots in his belly every day, I can give myself a shot for 12 days. It hurt and my belly looked like a bruised battleground at the end of the deal.
We kept my meds and instructions in a container on the cupboard.
My mom stayed for two weeks and was so good at keeping track of my meds and giving them to me on schedule.
I have to say that I really didn't have a whole lot of pain and I believe it was the good nursing care I had!
This is a physical therapy belt.
The first couple of times I went up and down our 14 stairs,
this was tied around my chest and The Husband
held me from behind to prevent a fall.
  I also use the belt to lift my foot when getting into the car
(and for the first 2 weeks, to lift my leg in and out of bed).
This is a wonderful aid when your leg doesn't lift by itself!
Ice packs. Two of these nifty ice packs were sent home from the hospital with me.
They slide into the blue cloth bag pictured under the pack.
I continue to ice several times a day even one month after surgery.
Two wonderful-I-can't-live-without aids in the bathroom:
 an elevated toilet seat and a shower chair.
Flowers, cards, phone calls, emails, text messages,
and meals mean so much during the rehab after surgery.
Here is my 'thick' leg one-month after surgery.
 The staples were removed at two weeks and steri-strips
were placed over the incision. Only one strip has fallen off.

 I'm to leave them alone and let them fall off as they get loose.

It was extremely hard for me to look at my leg with the staples in.
 It made me queasy for some reason!
Now that the staples are out, it isn't so bad to look at.
After surgery, the knee doesn't want to bend.
The whole rehab process is forcing the knee to bend (ouch, ouch, ouch).
 One of the exercises I've started is sitting in the glider rocker
with my feet on the ground and I rock....
forcing the glider to bend my knee.

I also sit at the edge of our bed and let the knee
and lower leg dangle. This really causes a stretch.
 After a couple of minutes I try kicking the leg a little.

Laying on my back with legs straight, I try to bring
my heel to my butt. It only moves a couple of inches now.
You know the has to bend more!

There are other exercises, too.
For about a week and a half I've been using just one crutch.
 I walk, walk, walk around the house with the crutch.
In the kitchen I have set the crutch aside and
 use the counter for support as I do dishes or cook.
  I don't want to lose my balance so I keep the crutch close by.
I also continue to elevate my knee higher than my heart.
 All pillows in the house are stacked on my bed and
 I pull my leg up onto the stack. I lay back with no pillow under my head.
 If there is any swelling in my foot or knee, it all goes away after this procedure.
There you have a one-month look into total knee surgery rehab for me.  I know other people may be further along or behind where I am in my bending, but this is what is up with me.  In another month I'll be returning to work so I have a lot of exercises and bending to do to be able to even drive.

Happy New Year!
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Black Cloud

A black cloud came rolling in last night.  Tears, frustration, and hopelessness came in that cloud.  It has been three weeks since my surgery and I've been attached to a walking device every single day.  I am unable to bend my knee without tension nor can I completely straighten it.

For some reason sleep evades me.  In the past, I'm the one that can fall asleep anywhere and at anytime.  Not now.  When you have a leg that doesn't move when your brain asks it to, getting comfortable is hard.  I think fatigue is a huge factor as to why that black cloud came rolling in.

Thankfully I am not one that normally has black clouds roll in.  In fact, this is probably the lowest my mental attitude has ever been.  So it is unnerving to me and I decided to fight it.

I've downloaded the Bible to my iPod and as I go to sleep, I play the audio Bible.  So far I've listened to the entire book of Psalms.  Last night I started listening to Proverbs.

This morning as I realized the black cloud was still with me, I decided to make a thankful list.  With tears streaming down my face, I made a list that started with this:

  • I'm thankful I have legs that will walk normally in the future
  • I'm thankful I am not paralyzed
  • I'm thankful that I have made progress since the day of surgery
  • I'm thankful this dependency on a walker or crutches is temporary
  • and so on...
Once I got started on the list it was easy to keep going and list several dozen things I am thankful for.

Here is the really good part.  And I promise this is the truth.  As I was working on that Thankful List, the doorbell rang.  I was in my pajamas (yes, even at 11 am) and my hair was sticking up all over.  Grabbing my crutch I hobbled to the front window to look out and a flower-delivery-truck was sitting in the driveway.  Now the person at the door started pounding on the door.  See, there was a blizzard today and this poor delivery person was freezing outside my house.  There are nine stairs that I have to go down to get to the front door so as I started hobbling, I yelled as loud as I could "I am coming!!!"

Opening the door I could see icicles on the man's eyebrows!  I apologized for taking so long with my crutches, he handed me the package and quickly ran back to his van.  Somehow I got that package up the stairs with my crutch! 

Inside the package was a beautiful Christmasy flower arrangement with a card from a friend.  This woman knows I had surgery three weeks ago but she sent the flowers today.  The card read

I hope your recovery is going well.  Take your time.  Merry Christmas!

Oh friends, I believe God gave that friend a little nudge this morning to send me flowers.  On the day that I needed HOPE and ENCOURAGEMENT the most.  God has done this for me in the past and I just know He was involved in this today, too. 

The black cloud has been replaced with a new desire to do my exercises and pursue complete use of the new knee I've been given.  I have hope and a vision for the future.

If you have a black cloud, I'm praying for you.  Praying that you will have an experience with the Loving God that I know.  He loves you like crazy!

Today, I again was...So Amazed!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hobble-Fest at Our House

Kidlet Three's surgery was successful yesterday.  In less than an hour, a small plate was screwed into the growth plates on both knees.  This plate will prohibit growth on that side of the femur, forcing the bone to grow on the other side of the leg.  His knees are growing together (knock kneed) and this procedure will correct that.

Coming home from the hospital, Kidlet Three's knees are ace-wrapped.  He cannot bend either knee. As soon as we got into the house, he grabbed my walker.   The walker I've been using to hobble around the house in my rehab!  He is so much stronger than I so arm wrestling to determine who gets the walker isn't an option.  I gave him the walker and I graduated to crutches.

Last night we both were up walking around the house in what can only be called a Hobble-Fest.  Walker and crutches, hobble, hobble, hobble.  No one exceeded any speed limit.  No one tried to pass in the no passing zone.

We just hobbled. 

We hobbled around the table, down the hallway, turned around and repeated the hobbling.

This morning we've hobbled together once already. 

Kidlet Three and I think we should make a video of our Hobble-Fest.  We could sell it as a comedy DVD for post-surgery patients to get them laughing.

Wise words state:  "A cheerful heart is good medicine..."

Watching our Hobble-Fest would definitely give a cheerful heart and possibly bring a quicker healing. 

So Amazed at how God is healing the knees in our home!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Kidlet Three's Surgery

Kidlet Three is having surgery on Tuesday, Dec. 17.  It is the month for knee surgeries.  He'll be having plates placed by his knees to straighten his legs as he continues to grow.

Please pray for a quick recovery for him and no complications from his diabetes.

I'll be hobbling along with him using my walker.  He'll be coming home using crutches. 

Too bad we already had our family Christmas picture taken.

Thank you!!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Vacuuming - Helmets are Required

The following account is true and can be verified by witnesses.

The Husband accidentally tipped over a poinsettia plant and dirt spilled onto the carpet.  He began trying to scoop the dirt from the light-tan carpet.  In unison, My Mom and I screeched:  Don't scoop, you'll rub it into the carpet...get the vacuum.

Begrudgingly The Husband got the vacuum, plugged it in and quickly cleaned the carpet.

I bet you are wondering why I stated in the title that helmets are required?  Here is the answer.

Switching off the vacuum, The Husband grabbed the cord and gave it a quick, hard tug.  The plug flew out of the outlet and right up to The Husband's forehead as if there were a target there.

In the blink of an eye there was blood running down The Husband's forehead. 

For the past week The Husband has a sore on his forehead as a reminder of that vacuum cord.

He thought it would be funny to send an email to friends giving his side of this story.  His moral to the story was that he should never vacuum again.

There were several people that encouraged him to walk to the outlet and unplug the cord. 

Many opinions and suggestions were given to the The Husband, none of which confirmed his I shouldn't vacumm anymore...

My favorite answer will become the moral to this story:  Vacuuming - Helmets are Required

**Just a funny, true story to bring a chuckle to your day**

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

2-week surgery appointment

Today was the second day of leaving the house.  I had a 2-week follow-up appointment with the surgery team.

But before I tell you about that appointment, I have to give a shout out to my parents.  They live in the Northern Frozen Tundra and came down while I was in the hospital.  Dad left my mom here and Dad went back the North Country to hunt.  He calls several times a day to check on my mom and us.  I know he misses my mom and I am so thankful for their marriage and their relationship.  It is really precious (and sweet)!

My mom has been staying with The Husband, Kidlet Three and I.  She has done our laundry, cooked meals, wrapped Christmas presents, kept track of the many meds I take, cheered me on, warned me when over-doing, and much more.  We have prayed together many times and I will cherish that forever. 

Dad and Mom...THANK YOU!!!  Thank you for sacrificing your time and activities in your lives to help us out.  I cannot say thank you enough!!!

Highlights of the 2-week checkup:

  • The physician's assistant held my heel and pulled my leg up in the air and he said it was almost all the way straight.  He seemed impressed with that.
  • My knee will bend to 90 degrees, which is exactly where it should be at this point in time.
  • The next month is critical for me to keep doing exercises to prevent the scar tissue from like freezing the knee in a certain position.
  • Sleep has become a problem.  I just cannot get comfortable with a leg that I cannot move.  I admitted to the PA that I took an Oxycodone last night just to sleep.  He kind of looked at me and asked how much Oxy I'd been taking.  I told him I'd quit taking it three or four days ago because the pain wasn't that bad. He kind of chuckled and said...take the Oxy!  Most people need it for the first month post-op.  As my leg/knee continue to gain strength, my ability to move in bed will get better and I won't have the discomfort.  He felt getting sleep was important right now. 
  • The nurse came in to take out my staples.  She said, "Oh you have such a small incision."  First thing that has ever been called small on my body..ha! ha!
  • The staples were removed (yes this hurts.  Don't let anyone tell you otherwise but it is a quick procedure).  Steri-strips were placed over the incision until they fall off.
  • The nurse went looking for my wheelchair at the end of the appointment.  I told her I walked to the appointment and she looked at me dumbfounded.  Her words:  No one two weeks after surgery has ever walked up to their appointment.  They all use a wheelchair because this is a long walk!  My whispered answer:  WAY TO GO, GOD!
After the appointment, Mom and The Husband and I did some Christmas shopping.  It took a lot out of me to walk more but I did it.  We were gone about three hours.  When we got home, I needed a nap and I slept 2.5 hours!  Without an Oxycodone!  Thank you, Lord God!

As you have read this blog and perhaps have prayed for me, I want to say to you:  THANK YOU.  Thank you for partnering with God in my recovery. 

I remain, So Amazed, at the God of this universe.  For His compassion, mercy, healing and love in my life.  May you know Him in this way, too.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Walker Bells - A Knee Surgery Song for Christmas

(Sing to the tune of Jingle Bells...)

Today I left the house
For the first time in over-a week
Since my knee surgery
And my leg that will not bend.

Slid down the stairs on my butt
My mom took several pics
Bent that knee till it hurt a bit
To get into the car


Walker bells
Walker bells
Went to get some soup
Pushed that walker into Panera
Collapsed into the chair.

My walker holds me up
Keeps my balance so I don't fall
It has green tennis balls
And has become my friend.

I know our time is short
As crutches are calling my name
After that a cane I'll try
But for now I use my walker


Walker bells
Walker bells
Got me out of the house
I'm thankful for the time I had
My songs are really bad!!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Total Knee Replacement

Today is day eight since my right total knee replacement surgery.  I have had such peace through the whole adventure.  Here are a few of the I-Know-God-Is-With-Me-In-This tidbits.
  • I was the first case of the day. 
  • The anesthesiologist that came into pre-op had been personally contacted by a friend of ours that worked in the Department of Anesthesiology and he wanted me to have the best care. 
  • Went into the OR at 7:30 and was sleepy by 7:45.  I woke up at 9:05 as I was being wheeled into the recovery room.
  • I could move my toes and feet immediately and the recovery room nurse had never seen a patient be able to do that.
  • My total time in recovery:  40 minutes.  I got the "quickest patient out of recovery" award from my nurse and she called me amazing (credit to God for that).
  • Bed pans are a great therapy...after using one a couple of times you REALLY want to be able to get out of bed.
  • To prevent blood clots, I had to learn to give MYSELF a shot of clotting-prevention medicine. 
  • The physical therapist met with me two times on Friday and I was up walking.  S-L-O-W-L-Y
  • The nurses and I had great fun together.  I had the same nurses during the day and nights.  The night nurse called me Spunky.
  • Pain medications do wild things.  For me it was waking up with songs going through my head. I kid you not.   Here are the song phrases I remember waking up to:
    • Burn, burn, a ring of a ring of fire
    • blooded, check it and see.  I've got a fever of a 103..(the nurse sang it all night after I told her I'd been singing it)
    • Call me maybe...
Now that I am home, the real work begins.  My quadriceps (the thigh muscle) is like a cement block.  I look at my leg and say "move" and nothing happens.  There are exercises that I do two to three times a day to encourage my quadricep to wake up.

Today I put a cake pan on the floor and put my right foot into the pan.  I'm trying to use my foot/leg to push the pan.  This really works the quad and exhausts me!  I can barely push the pan from my kitchen to the TV in the livingroom without collapsing to catch my breath.  Isn't that weird!

Also, my knee bends to about 75 degrees.  It needs to be 90 and better to be 'healed'.  This is accomplished by bending and holding the knee several times a day. 

Swelling.  This has started to be more of an issue to I sit with ice packs.  I've also started elevating my leg way up in the air (trying to get my leg higher than my heart) and ice the knee for 20 to 30 minutes.

I was going to post pictures but Blogger tells me I've exceeded my photo limit.   Once I've figured out how to add photos, you'll get to see my 25-stapled knee.

More updates to follow in the next days.

Thanks for praying for me...I have certainly experienced the answers to those prayers!

I Remain...So Amazed

Monday, November 19, 2012

What Would You Do?

England.  The year is 1517.  The King of England has deemed the Anglican Church as the church for the country.  The Anglican church did not allow individuals to read and study the Bible.  There was a group of folks that did not want to be a part of the Anglican church because they desired worshipping and learning about God.   Let me quote:
"Although they didn't seek trouble and even informed King James that they didn't want to interfere with the Anglican church, the king became increasingly bothered by this small congregation.  He called them religious fanatics, ever discontented with the present government...  He issued an ultimatum:  they must either conform to his wishes or be driven from the land.  When they didn't obey he ordered the police to hunt down the Separatists. 
People began hunting them with enthusiasm.  Neighbors spied on them and watched roads to inform on their whereabouts...  After much prayer and discussion, they decided that they must leave England.  But how would they do it?  It was against the law--under penalty of death--to leave England without permission."
The Some-Day-To-Be-Called Pilgrims found a Dutch ship that would take them to a new land.  However, after they were all on board, the King's officers appeared in several boats to take them captive.  The men were able to escape but the women and children were taken off the ship and put in prison.   Let me quote again:
"God was working through the prayers of his people.  Through the imprisonment of these women and children, the British people became aware of their cause and noticed their godly example, and the situation became a political embarrassment for King James.  To save face, he let them go saying again, they must conform or leave England.  They chose to join their husbands and fathers, who had escaped to the Netherlands.  God has answered their prayers, and there were all able to leave England--men, women, and children--with the consent of King James, although not in the way they had originally planned.
They stayed in the Netherlands for 11 years as immigrants.  They worked from dawn til dusk and were paid very little.  It was a hard life and many died an early death.  But these godly people did not complain and carried on cheerfully, worshipping God in freedom for the first time."
What would you do if the government decided that people must worship in one church.  In one way. 
What would you do if you felt an inner desire to learn more about God yet reading the Bible was banned.
What would you do if your family disowned you because you chose God's way and not the government's way.
What would you do if you had to leave everything. 
because of a conviction you felt so strongly about.
All of this took place before the Pilgrims-To-Be even got on the boat. 
I wonder what I would do if I was put into this situation.

As you get a day off work on Thursday to celebrate Thanksgiving, would you please chat around the table about the reason for the holiday. 

Would you give some discussion time to the truth that America was started by a group of religious fanatics that wanted to worship God.

Quotes from The Incredible Power of Prayer:  David W. Galsiger, Joette Whims & Melody Hunskor, pp. 71-83.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Grandbaby Claire

Kidlet One and Favorite Son-In-Law had an ultrasound of their baby yesterday.  They are 21 weeks pregnant.  That sounded funny...they are 21 weeks pregnant.  She carries the baby but they both are having a baby, right?

What a long day it was knowing the ultrasound was at 3:30 and at that time we would find out if it was a boy or a girl.  Not that it really mattered.  We would love a boy or a girl.

Finally my phone buzzed with the arrival of a text message.  This is the picture that appeared on my phone:

A picture of our beautiful daughter wearing a pink sash around her baby is a girl!  Doesn't Kidlet One look cute at 21 weeks pregnant!

The C is for Claire.  Baby Claire.  How excited we are to meet her, love her and teach her about Jesus.

Being a grandma is amazing.  If only March would hurry up and get here...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Dust Farmer

I have become a Dust Farmer.   At least that is what my house would tell you. 

The ceiling fan in our bedroom grows dust prolifically.  It was only a few months ago that I was standing on the bed swiping dust off the fan blades.  As I was snuggling down in my bed covers the other night, I looked up.  Dust was crawling over the edges of those fan blades again.

My house has a cathedral ceiling so the kitchen cupboards don't go up to the ceiling.  Dust collects along the top of those cupboards and it, too, creeps over the edges.  Maybe it is trying to escape or maybe it is trying to spread.

I think it is the latter.

It could really be discouraging to look at all the dust that has accumulated.  But I decided I wasn't going to let it get the best of me. 

Given the ability I have to grow dust, I'm giving myself the title of Dust Farmer.

Isn't confession the first stage to healing?

My house is like a field that has been planted to grow dust.  And my dusting spray is like Round Up.  Weed killer.  I'm going after the dust to wipe it out.  The fan blades have been cleaned. Very carefully I've climbed up on a chair to wipe off the top of the cupboard doors.  Every surface  and every area is being plowed up and turned over. 

And all of this is being done with a much better attitude once I realized I really am a Dust Farmer.  My cleaning is done with more of a chuckle as I think of the new title I have.  Instead of complaining and muttering, I'm humming in my new role.

How about you?  Are you a Dust Farmer?  I'm willing to share this title with anyone that wants to have a change of attitude about the realities of life.  Dust is going to happen.  Humming as you "plow up the dust" is much more fun that complaining about it.

A So Amazing Dust Farm.  Come on over to my house anytime!

Saturday, November 10, 2012


My answer to the election results?  God is our only Hope.  I believe He longs for those of us that have invited Him into our hearts to be our Lord and Savior, to partner with Him to share the Good News to the lost.

Need some re-focus and....hope?  This video says is all:

There is an amazing God, full of Hope, waiting to fill those disappointments, fears, and hurts.  His love is like no other...

Sunday, November 4, 2012

New Knee - Meet The Surgeon Day

I believe in miracles.  I believe in God that does miracles and I believe He does miracles daily.  Miracles of protection, revealing Himself to each of us, healing of mind, body, emotions, and even more.  Because of my faith in Him, I've asked family and friends to pray that God would heal my knee before any surgical intervention need to be done.  I pray for that, too, because I've had and seen miraculous healing.

My surgery date is November 29.  There is a lot of time between now and then for a new knee to be placed in my leg.  And since I'm on the topic, let's pray right now...

Lord God, maker of the heavens and the earth, I praise You.  In You I place my heart, my life and all things.  I love You and worship You alone.  You are the Lord in my life. Thank you for Your unending guidance, love, and faithfulness.  Thank you for the healing You've done in my heart, emotions, body and thoughts.  I ask again, joining with the readers of this blog, that you heal my right knee.  Arthritis, go!  Cartilage, be restored and fill the areas where there is lack.  Bone spur, shrivel and aren't meant for that knee.  Knee be restored in the Name of Jesus.  Praise You, God!  I choose to keep my focus on You and love You with all my heart.  Bless Your Name and in the Name of the Risen Jesus I pray...Amen.

I also believe God desires to work with each of us to spread His love and forgiveness on this earth.  My new knee could be built through the hands of Dr. T, my surgeon, with the wisdom and steady hand given to him from God.

Last Thursday The Husband and I met with Dr. T.  He is very kind and took time to answer all of our questions.   With my x-rays on display in the background, he reviewed the changes that have taken place in my knee.  One of my first questions was:  am I a weenie and just tired of the achy, painful I really qualify for a new knee.

He chuckled at me and confirmed that my knee was definitely shot and that the arthritis would cause aching and pain. 

The next steps are many in preparing for November 29.  I'll have a phone interview with a nurse to go over at-home-prep, have a medical exam and get my Christmas shopping done!

The last preparation I have was personally handed to me by Dr. T.  He'd left the room after the exam but then popped his head in a few minutes later.  He handed me a sheet of paper with exercises.  Exercises to strengthen my leg/knee muscles before surgery. 

If you see me lifting my leg and holding it in place over the next few weeks, just leave me be.  I am trying to be a good patient and strengthening my leg!

Keep praying for my new knee...I am!  Thanks amazing friends!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

New Bread

We've been enjoying a new bread at home
that I've been making from a recipe in
Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day
by Jeff Hertzbertg, M.D. and Zoe Francois
This easy-to-make bread is delicious
as sandwich bread.
The ingredients of water, flour,
kosher salt, yeast and butter are stirred
together and left to raise for two hours.
Use a large container with the lid off...
can you see why!

The dough is refrigerated or can
be baked immediately. On this day,
I baked a loaf right away.
When I grease a pan, I use a baggie.
I put the baggie over my hand and take
a swipe of shortening from the can.
Then I can spread the shortening around
in all corners and up the sides of pans
without getting my hand greasy.

Sprinkle flour on the top of the dough and pull
off a cantaloupe-sized ball of dough.
The dough is tucked from top to bottom
and not kneaded.

Pull the dough into an oblong shape.
The pan should be about half-way full.

The dough sits for 40 minutes when baked on
mixing day.  If I'd taken out refrigerated dough
the raising time would be 1 hour and 40 minutes. 

The dough will double in size. 

With a serrated knife, make a few slices
in the top of the raised dough.  Melted
butter is then brushed or poured over the
dough before baking.

Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

After completely cooling the loaf,
it can be sliced.

A slice of bread with homemade raspberry
jam is amazing.
Amazingly delightful!

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Columbus had a bigger vision when he hopped on the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria.   According to his personal diary, he had a burden.  Here is a quote from that diary:
It was the Lord who put into my mind (I could feel His hand upon me) the fact that it would be possible to sail from here to the Indies.... There is no question that the inspiration was from the Holy Spirit, because He comforted me with rays of marvelous illumination from the Holy Scriptures....  For the execution of the journey to the Indies, I did not make use of intelligence, mathematics, or maps.... No one should fear to undertake any task in the name of our Savior, if it is just and the intention is purely for His holy service....  The fact that the gospel must still be preached to so many lands in such a short time, this is what convinces me.  The Incredible Power of Prayer, Balsiger, David W, Whims, Joette, Hunskor, Melody.
Columbus had a burden to share his faith (his experiences with God) in other lands.  As I'm reading a book on the history of our nation, I'm realizing I was never taught this fact about Columbus.  He loved God and he loved people.
His diaries are filled with prayers and first-hand experiences of God answering his prayers.  As I read that diary, those words, I realized, aren't written from someone that knows about God, those words reflect a relationship and faith in God. 
I find it very interesting that the land we live on, America, had a beginning based on God.  Columbus had a personal relationship with God.  He didn't just say a prayer, he talked to God and heard from God.  There was a vision and a purpose in Columbus when he set sail.  He had no fear because he knew God was with him. 
Columbus had the burden to share the Good News of Jesus Christ in other lands.
With this as a backdrop to the beginning of the United States of America, why do so many want to take God out of our history?
 Amazing grace, how sweet the sound...grace that saved a wretch like me...Columbus knew the same grace.

I hope you do, too.  Pray for America.  Pray, pray, pray.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Feelings...nothing more than feelings...

Are you singing along with me?  That wasn't really the direction I wanted to go with this post but the words and that song popped into my head.

As I'm getting ready for bed, I picked up my Joyce Meyer devotional and read today's post.  And I started to giggle because at work today, we were talking about feelings versus facts.  The point being, when you have to have a crucial conversation it is best to focus on the facts and not get emotional.

Yes, there are times when we need to speak up and say "my feelings are hurt" or "that made me feel..."

But then there are times when the facts and just the facts need to be stated. 

So with that discussion in my head, I read the following from Joyce Meyer in her Starting Your Day  Right devotional (or in my case...ending your day right as I'm getting ready to sleep).


Don't Let Feelings Rule
"This is my comfort and consolation in my affliction; that Your word has revived me and given me life".  Psalm 119:50

God showed me that we are always going to have feelings, and that denying the existence of them is not godly.  We do have to learn how to manage them, so they don't manage us.

If we live by our feelings, we will be destroyed, because our feelings aren't always in line with God's truth.  We are to walk by faith in His promises, and not by sight or how things appear or the way we feel (see 2 Corinthians 5:7).  Ask God to keep your feelings balanced with the truth of His Word today.
Don't let feelings rule.  Ask God to keep your feelings balanced with the truth in His Word.
Those are good words to ponder on as I slide down under the covers and snuggle in. 
Oh Lord, thank You that you made me to have feelings.  Being robotic and not experiencing feelings wouldn't be fun at all.  I do ask that You help me keep my feelings balanced according to Your Word.  That all areas of my life would be in balance with You.  I bless Your name and am thankful for the feelings of love, peace and contentment that I have right now.  Praise You!  In the name of Jesus I pray...Amen.
If you haven't thanked God for the amazing feelings He's created in it now.  And maybe you'll want to pray for balance, too!
Good night!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


The slips of paper tacked above the table are food orders.

Food orders for a chef.

Food orders for Kidlet Two.

There was a night recently in which he was the only chef on duty at the hotel where he works.   The restaurant, room service and an employee lounge with food were all his to maintain.

Eighty food orders are represented in those tickets. 

In a two-hour time frame, there were 80 hungry people looking for their food.

There was no other help in the kitchen on that shift.

In fact there was no one to deliver the food for room service.

Chaos, pure chaos, is how Kidlet Two later described the experience.

The hotel manager and the front desk person had to deliver the room service orders.  There was no other staff to help out.

At the end of the evening, the hotel manager came to the kitchen and congratulated Kidlet Two for keeping his cool and for doing a great job despite the circumstances.

I was texting Kidlet Two during the evening.  He wasn't answering me.  The night before he had been texting me about the nummy food he'd made.  But on this evening he was strangely quiet.

Ha!  About 10:30 pm he sent me the picture above with the words,

I've been a little busy...

Staring at the picture on my phone I almost started to hyperventilate as I thought about what Kidlet Two was dealing with.

What would I do if I had 80 people waiting on me? 

There are days at my work that I feel really swamped with work and pressured with deadlines.  But none of those deadlines affect 80 hungry people. 

I've printed a copy of the picture and have it tacked on my cloth-covered cubicle walls at work. 

There are times I need a new perspective and a reality check.

When I feel pressured, I look at that picture and realize how good I have it at my job.  I wouldn't do well with the demands that Kidlet Two has.

He and I have talked several times since that evening about perspective and I've thanked him for being such a dedicated worker.  His boss doesn't really acknowledge the work he does.

But God sees what He does. 

I reminded Kidlet Two of these verses from Colossians 3:23-25 from The Message Bible:

Servants, do what you’re told by your earthly masters. And don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t cover up bad work.

Perspective is an amazing thing.  I'm sorry Kidlet Two had to have such a chaotic night.  But I'm thankful for the lesson in perspective that I learned from his experience.

How is your perspective these days?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Livingroom Renovation

It is with some slight embarrassment that I write about our livingroom. We have not been good stewards of our stuff.

I'll start with the furniture.   The springs in the love seat have been poking butts for about a year.  The cushions on the sofa have become so flat you almost need a hoist to be lifted out.  The reclining chair is nice but we keep pushing it too close to the wall and it has dinged up the paint...badly. 

The walls aren't much better.  The last paint job wasn't the best so we've got paint showing through in spots.  Plus, The Husband started spackling and sanding several months ago.  I could be hearing things, but I think the walls have cried out for paint...

Our end tables and lamps are 27 years old.  We got them with our wedding money.

My decorations are dated.  Don't get me started on this topic...

Drum roll please! 

I actually got The Husband to go shopping with me recently and we purchased new furniture, end tables and lamps.  Today the sofa and love seat were delivered.  The chair, tables and lamps will be delivered in a week or two.

I am amazingly blessed.

This whole blog was typed while reclining in the love seat!  After all of the furniture is delivered then I'll decide on the wall colors.  And I've got great ideas for pictures.

An amazing livingroom renovation.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Raspberry Jam

Family and friends, you will get your raspberry jam if Santa thinks you've been good this year!!!  I started working on my Christmas list today by making raspberry jam.  It was my day off work and I accomplished a lot today, starting with the jam.

If you've never made jam, let me give you a quick lesson.

Get all equipment set out before cooking the raspberries.  This includes the jars.  I wash them in the dishwasher and set them on a towel in preparation of the hot jam.

Confirm you have lids and rings for each jar. 
The lids are to sit in a pan of hot water and drained just before placing on the jar.
This ring fits inside the jar to keep jars clean as
the hot jam is poured in.

This is an over-sized stock pot called a canner.
This should be filled with water and the
wire contraption that sits inside to hold the jars.
Get the water boiling as a first step. 
The recipe calls for 5 cups raspberries.
Over the summer I picked the berries, washed them
up and froze them for this jam-making day.
After taking the picture, I used a potato masher
to smoosh the berries.  Then I
measured the 5 cups and poured
the fruit into a stock pot.
 Carefully measure 7 cups sugar.
You read that correctly.
7 cups of sugar.
Set this aside.
 Add the pectin, Sure Jell, to the berries
and stir well.  Over high heat, stirring constantly,
bring the fruit to a rolling boil.
 Pour in all the sugar and stir well.
Continue stirring until a rolling boil occurs.
Boil, stirring constantly, for one minute.
Remove the pan from the heat.
Pour the hot jam into jars that have been
kept warm sitting in hot water.
Add a lid and ring to each jar.
Tighten the ring.
Place the jars in the canner with 1 to 2 inches
of water above the jars.
Cover and boil for 10 minutes.
 I let the jars sit for the day and will
store in a cool place until Christmas.
Oh I cannot wait for toast and raspberry jam!