Yesterday afternoon, I found this e-mail from a dear friend in my in-box. She too said her goodbye's to her daughter this week. She wrote this down as a way to give her girl to the Lord's capable hands for guidance and direction. The stuff that only HE can do when the parents trust in HIS ways. Enjoy and may it help someone else as it helped me.
Dear Beautiful G.G. (God-seeking Girlfriend),
My heartbeat accelerated and I realized I was holding my breath. My sunglasses were securely in place. Sticky perspiration matted the back of my blouse. “Where is she? Where is she?” kept running through my mind. I was slightly slouched in my Mommy White Minivan when suddenly – I SAW HER! “Oh thank you Lord!” She was safe and having an animated conversation with someone who looked relatively normal and sweet. Immediately, slouching lower in my seat, I muttered, “Don’t catch me, please don’t catch me.”
We had moved my oldest daughter into her dorm room the day before, and I was on my third drive-by at the University of Arkansas. “Oh Lord, please don’t let her catch me,” I begged. I really did have legitimate reasons to drive through the campus three times. No… Really…. Well, legitimate in my mind.
Faith and continuous prayer have been my most constant companions for a week and a half since my baby girl has moved out. That sickly ball of fear that plagued my stomach for the last month seems to be growing smaller. I haven’t cried today… yet. I know the job of parenting her is not finished, but it feels like I’ve been fired.
Then I realized. My faith is so small. I actually had to ‘see’ my baby to relieve my fearfulness. In Jeremiah God reminds us that He has a plan for our children and for us:
“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
However; God asks us to have faith in Him without having to ‘see’ Him. Peter tells us:
“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,” 1 Peter 1:8 NIV
Even though Peter was telling believers to have faith when they couldn’t see Jesus, Peter knew firsthand how difficult that could be. Remember when Jesus walked on the water and Peter said. If it’s really you, I want to walk on water too.
"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." "Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" Matthew 14:28-30 NIV
Peter could see Jesus, and yet His faith faltered.
This made me ponder:
In what other areas of my life does my faith falter? Why?
Do I have less faith when God’s plan doesn’t match up with “my” plan?
List five ways in which God has been faithful.
So, the Bible tells us that God has a plan for us and for our children. It also says that if we will believe in Him even when we can’t see Him we can have glorious JOY! Right…Easy to say-harder to do, especially when you have just been fired from a job that you love (most of the time) and have been working diligently, persistently, and doggedly for the past 18 years. “Lord, when will I feel that glorious Joy?” and then He whispered to my spirit, “Have Faith”.
God has been faithful. I don’t know what He has in store my children. They are His. I just get to be the caretaker for a certain time period. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t have a bit of fun while I’m the caretaker. Do you think a different pair of sunglasses might work?
This week has been a huge week for our little family. Our baby girl....the lovely C.G. (who shall be renamed Penelope someday) packed her bags and left for college. I know she was ready to leave....but was the big scary world of SFA ready for her.??? I'll let you judge for yourself here.... :)
I think we could have squeezed a few more things into the grey cave here......maybe more shoes. BTW.....thanks for the opportunity to get new ones LAWRENCE. (typically, I like to use initials and protect the reputation of the innocent....not in this case) I can't wait to see what comes her way on Black Friday.... BABy.....don't forget mommy-dearest loves you and wears a size 9 1/2.
Do you think lil miss C.G. could get more excited? Doubtful. But that is her trademark pose. She can be quite the little goof-ball. But we do love her dearly.....as any parent would.
Home Sweet Home....for the next few years.
Dorm Sweet Dorm for the next year......This is a freshman only hall. She resides in the right tower on the back side........ It is 10 stories tall and complete with elevators and a matching one on the left side. FYI.....BOYS LIVE HERE TOO!!!! :(
She was so excited here....look she is about to wiggle off that bunk. NICE.
I have some black padded memory boards ready to mount on either side of that Audrey Hepborne poster. They were incomplete at the time of the move. I finished them last night....and let me just brag on my crafty self...they do look amazing.
Good Luck with Life Baby GURLLLL...and always remember to make good choices. You know mommy and daddy love you always. Now AX'em Jacks and Live the SFA WAY!!!!!
p.s...... "could you 'pleaseprettyplease' call me occasionally? XOXOXOXO"
I have been baking brownies with no icing for years. My children love them. My husband has never complained. They aren't spoiled. I have always used a box of Duncan Hines and added some chocolate chips. It truly hasn't been a big deal. BUT..... I found this icing recipe recently on another food blog and it instantly reminded me of the Elementary School Cafeteria and a kind of brownie they made. We all know that comfort food is a must. Anything that brings a smile and a feeling of coming home is always a good thing. BUT enough of these guys and you have a totally new reason to come home...."BIGGER Pants"
Yes, these little babies are beautiful. Yes, these little babies are awesome. Yes, these are definitely not on the W.W. list of anything under 20 points a serving. But yes, I bet you have everything in the pantry to make these guys!!! Score!
Quick....run get a box of your favorite brownie mix. I prefer the cheap plain kind. Make them as directed and add about a third a bag of chocolate chips! Let them cool down for a bit when finished baking. Now that was easy.......
The harder part begins.... but isn't that difficult... I PROMISE!!!!
1 1/2 cup sugar
7 Tablespoons of milk
2 tablespoons shortening (yes...just do it. I know that is gross-looking stuff)
2 Tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
Mix all of that together in a saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil and stir constantly. Boil for 2 minutes and stop.
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 cup of peanut butter
Stir this until it is all melted and pour over brownies. Try to stay away long enough for this mad-ness to settle in and get comfortable on top. (yeah, leaving these alone is the hardest part.) Go ahead and lick out the pan now...I promise not to judge.
NOTE.... if you are planning on making these to take somewhere...Go ahead and cut into individual servings. It just looks nicer on a platter. It is an amazing treat that everyone will love. I guarantee this will be THE HOTTEST dessert on the potluck table. I also guarantee you will travel home with an empty tray. Maybe you should go ahead and make up another batch for the family now. Have a good day my friends......... Hugs to all in the blog world!!!!!
Yes, for those of you who have been suckered into being my friend on FB...you might recognize this list. I felt like it deserved to go global. I am now inspiring millions world wide (or at least the 11 followers I have) with a bucket list. Whoo-Hoo!! Life is getting good now. If anyone visiting this blog feels like they are financially able and willing to support a good cause...Please consider my little bucket list. We could do it together and you can pick up the tab? Or maybe just find a way to let me meet Pioneer Woman. Which would be awesome enough and pull me through any immediate crisis. Thanks and Amen.
Solve world hunger.
Learn to live without chocolate... who am I kidding here?
Watch all the episodes of Smallville in a row.
Watch all the episodes of Grey's Anatomy in a Row.
Run a 1/2 Marathon or at least walk really fast.
Win something really good.
Spend the night on a beach.
Go to Canada...and spend the night at the Ice House B & B!!!!!
Watch the Olympics on Location.
Learn how to dive. Become and Olympian. Win a Gold Medal and have the olympic rings tatted on my right shoulder or ankle.
Send out a Christmas Card with Greg & I actually on them with the kids.....
Do family pictures on a beach....hire the photographer.
Attend a Michael W. Smith Christmas Concert.
Meet someone famous and do lunch.
Go back to NYC with my girls.
Read David Letterman's Top Ten List on his live show.
Go on yearly vaca's with my girls (and their daughters too...when they happen)
Go to the beach yearly with J.G. and the girls.
Follow Annie Leibowitz around for a day and watch her work.
Meet Scott Kelby and follow him too.
Skydive (and not die.)
Walk the Great Wall of China.
Work for OPI and name nail polish.
Find a cure for Dry Skin and bad hair days.
Attend a movie premiere and walk the red carpet wearing Vera Wang.
Go to Prince William & Kate's Wedding. Have them name their firstborn girl after me.
Visit with Nicole & Keith in Australia! After that, eat dinner with Hugh Jackman and his family.
Spend a month in Italy & Take cooking classes. Move on to France and do the same.
Visit Vineyards in Italy.
Go to Greece.
Learn how to grill steak and have it be amazing..better than 3Forks.
Be the next Food Network Star. Meet the Pioneer Woman and become her BFF. Spend the weekend at her lodge and be mentioned on her blog and cooking show.
Sing Opera with anyone....really embarrass my children.
Drive a corvette (hey, neighbor D.F.......???)
Walk the Golden Gate Bridge.
Ride StreetCars named "Desire" in San Francisco
See the giant Redwood trees in California...
Work with a Landscaper designing a yard.
Watch Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade from my hotel balcony.
(CHECK!)Attend the Superbowl.
Name a Celebrities child............"Pokemon" or "Beevus".
Give all my friends $10,000 for Christmas....expect them to tithe it.
Swim the English Channel.
Co-host Good Morning America with Robin Roberts.
Have a building named after me.
Learn how to play the harmonica
Be an actor on a Tele-Novella Soap Opera
Watch "Wipe-Out" live.......Greg is doing the stunts. They will call him "Inspector Gadget"
See my son...C.G. as the next Old Spice commercial guy and have him become famous.
Ride a horse on a beach wearing white.
Find that castle & pond place in Central Park....Watch a movie being filmed there & become famous.
Do a cruise to Alaska with my children. Feed a whale. Build an amazing log cabin lodge on the back side of my parents land.
Go there periodically to escape life.
Meet Paula Deen! Eat Thanksgiving day dinner at her house.
Spend a week in Savannah Georgia. Eat Lunch at "The Lady & Sons"...Then drive up the coastline.
Run across the swiss alps and pretend I am Julie Andrews while singing "Climb Every mountain!!
Be my own reality show. (i might be living that one now...)
Be a character in a video game....
Re-invent the wheel.
Re-name my oldest daughter...."Penelope".
Re-name the middle girl-child..." Petunia".
Hit a homerun.
Go to the towel aisle at Walmart and re-arrange them R.O.Y. G. B.I.V. style.
Set off all the alarm clocks at Wal-Mart to go off at 3 minute intervals....and watch the chaos.
FInally Figure out Photoshop 100% (I am getting there.)
Be in Boot-Camp condition....
Go on an African safari. Take some amazing pictures and have them published in National Geographic.
Be a food photographer for Southern Living.
Be given an Honorary Degree from Harvard and Stanford.
Go on a Zip Line Vacation in South Africa or South America.
(Check!) Vacation in the Hamptons. Own a house in the Hamptons. (Check!) Take a Tropical Vacation. (We have been to Jamaica & the Bahamas.) Take another Tropical Vacation. Finish my quarter collection. Get more of those really-cool pennies on my vacations. (Check!) Have a Blog. Walk through the Bazzill Warehouse and drool at all the cardstock colors. Own 3 of every color. See my children graduate from college and grad school. See my children be successful and happy with their adult lives. See my children get married. Spoil their children rotten and send them home. Take my grandchildren to DisneyWorld without their parents. Live a long full life for God and see the Love of Christ inside my children & their families. Die peacefully in my sleep of old age in my home.
Today is the 40th day in a row of 100" weather! I thought I would turn up the heat inside the house and make up some firecrackers. The humble M.M. turned me onto these when she mentioned they were being sampled at our favorite store...Williams Sonoma. I ran to the mall just to try these babies. These don't disappoint with the heat level. There is a nice ranch ting that smoothes and brings you back for more.
2 packages of those tiny saltines.... about 16 ounces in all
1 cup of Canola oil
2 teaspoons of crushed red pepper flakes
1 package of dry ranch salad dressing mix
Dump the crackers in a large ziploc. Mix everything else together and pour over the crackers. Zip it up and mix it up every 5 minutes or so for about an hour. The longer they sit...the better they get. Enjoy!
I may have to see if those small round pretzels would be good mixed up like this...... :)
My oldest daughter just said..."ah man...those things are evil!"
Today marks the record of 38 days in a row of 100 plus degree weather. Let me tell you........no longer will I complain of a mere 96". Let's just say there is a huge difference in the heat. I love the sun. I love the heat. BUT...... this is ridiculous. We no longer want to do anything around here. Grilling outside is no longer an option. Cooking inside isn't a fun option. We do a lot of cereal and sandwiches now. I can't keep up with the amount of milk we are going through as a family. I shop for groceries at night or really early in the morning.
So I sit around and think of things to do inside. This afternoon, I cleaned out some cabinets in the kitchen. Tomorrow, I clean out my closet and take kids to the dentist. I make new playlists for my ipod. Last week, I cooked eggs outside on the sidewalk. Seriously, it was disgusting.
Those first three were taken after 3 hours on the sidewalk.
Notice that the yolk is still sort of runny on the inside. I think it's called "over easy"
The next set of pictures represent 6 hours later. I think the ants are the only creatures to consider eating these eggs. Hard-boiled-YUCK!!!
I must admit to feeling guilty. I have been found guilty of complaining, guilty of whining, guilty of not seeing the bigger picture. I was dreading the day to come. The big picture is that my life could be so much worse. A breeze flew by at that time and I noticed the current temp was 89' . I have air conditioning. I have ice cubes and running water. I have a fabulous home completely decked with furniture and belongings. I have a car which runs and we "lovingly" refer to it as the "GREY CAVE". All of my 3 children are completely healthy and well mannered. They all have a strong faith in the Lord and will grow up to be successful adults. My husband is a hard working man with convictions about what is right and wrong. He is also compassionate and faithful.
Yet, this morning I sat in my chair on the patio feeling the dread of another hot day. Yea, it should be about 110' by this afternoon. I fear to wonder what the humidity level will be......no doubt it will be higher. Yet, those thoughts started. Funny thing, a song came to my mind right about then. It was an old song that I most likely heard at VBS when I was a child.
"This is the day.
This is the day.
This is the day that the Lord has made.
That the Lord has made.
I will rejoice.
I will rejoice and be glad in it and be glad in it."
Yep, things could be worse. But they're not. I am blessed. My life is pretty good. My life is complete.
Remember that pizza/pasta sauce I made a few weeks ago? Let me introduce you to my new best friend in the kitchen.......... Meet Mr. Calzone Maker!
I found this guy at Williams-Sonoma a couple of weeks ago and I am smitten with him. Lets just talk about how easy this is. In a prior life of mine, I used to make pizza dough with a bread machine. Yes, it is easy. Yes, it is cheap. Yes, it is amazing. BUT, I am just tired of getting it out. I am tired of setting it up. NO MORE! I walked myself into Sam's Club Deli and found that for a mere 16.00 ...(I think). I am able to purchase a case of pizza dough which contains 25 dough balls. Nice! All I do is get a ball out first thing in the morning. I spray a large plastic bowl with canola or olive oil. I cover it with plastic and continue with my day. BAM! DONE! You just have to love that.
BTW>>>>>one dough ball makes about 5 calzones. Roll them out to about 8 inches. I also like to shred my cheese. It just melts nicer and you can add some variety. Tonight's mix included
Jalapeno Havarti, Mozzarella, Parmesan, and Colby Jack.
I have purchased in the past a large pampered chef jelly roll stone. I place it in the oven and let it heat with the oven. Which BTW.....is set at 500'. Yeah, it does get the kitchen pretty darn hot....but these little babies only cook for about 13 minutes.
Follow the directions on the box....Fill with Cheese, Pepperoni, veggies, whatever you desire. A small tablespoon of Ricotta cheese really makes these guys AMAZING. Brush them with an egg white and shake some italian seasoning on them before you put them into the pan.
The edge on the pan is nice because if the cheese happens to melt out of the calzone......it won't be dripping down into the oven. Serve with a nice little cup of pasta sauce and a side salad. Enjoy!