Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanks Day and More

I am just now getting round to posting my Gobble Gobble Happy Happy Happy Thanksgiving day pics.

First is the Pancake I made for Annah in the morning. However, don't let it fool you. It was awful. It tasted like playdough. What happened was that I was all out of Bisquick so I thought... well, gosh, how difficult can it be to make pancake mix??? Paul was on the computer so I didn't want to bump him off to look for a recipe... I didn't even think of looking in a cookbook...I just mixed up some flour, eggs, baking soda AND baking powder... oil... whipped and whistled and poured my batter into a hot skillet and came out with playdough. This is truly one of those moments where its the thought that counts.
Below: Tiffany and Annah, mom's famous odd rolls, mom's displayed giant acorns, Annah and I, dad and Tiffany, Games after dinner, Annah makes dinner!

Playing 'Chicken Toes Dominoes'... dad would stand up and hover over the game when it wasn't his turn... he proclaimed he was just checking out the board but, I don't really know...

In the meantime, today, while Paul and I were playing Tetris, Annah, obviously unattended... yet just in the kitchen... she whipped us up some dinner.... it has eggs, carrots, butter and a Ritz cracker. She poured in a pan, put it in the oven and then turned on the oven and the timer and baked it for us for dinner.

And her dear dear daddy ate some and pretended it was just amazingly delicious. As I type this he is telling her is full and she is asking him if she is sure he doesn't want more. He assures he is very full. Do you suppose this means I do not have to actually cook a meal tonight???? I declare dinner hour to be officially fullfilled. :-)

"Be Kind, for everyone you know is facing a great battle".

Philo of Alexandria

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Conversation Cards, Gratefulness

“You know that just before that first Thanksgiving dinner there was one wise, old Native American woman saying, “Don’t feed them. If you feed them, they’ll never leave.” Dylan Brody

Conversation Starter:

If you need some ideas or thoughts on how to start a conversation at Thanksgiving Dinner today, click to enlarge the graphic to the left, print on card stock and cut out.
Pass em around and let everyone have an opportunity to answer.

More printable conversation cards

Things I am so very grateful for are the man God gave me as my husband, my parents, my children, my friends, home, food, health, hope, love, faith and mostly for Jesus Christ who came, who died and gave me life...gave me hope for every day, for every situation, in the midst of every circumstance, a skip in my step, joy in my day, love in my heart - love that is bigger than myself.

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
and your pies take the prize,
and may your Thanksgiving dinner
stay off your thighs!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy Dance

I'm just SO happy. So Happy!!!!

This may look like a sweet picture of a cute little girl sleeping but, its SO much more than that.

Annah... she is finally sleeping in her own room, own bed, all night!!!!!!

It happened on its own. No taking her back to her room ... she just decided she would stay in her 'big room'...which is how she always referred to it... 'my big room'.... I'm just thrilled. I wasn't sure if this day would ever come until she was a teenager or something. I never tried to make her stay in her room or her bed. I suggested that she would want to someday but never really addressed it... I figured when she was ready to be a bigger girl she would just do it and she has. Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy happy happy!

Happy! And not just happy, proud of her, so proud of her. :)

Now I officially need a baby. No I don't. Yes I do. No I don't. Yes I do. :) No.



Sweet Dreams!!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Candy Cane Fudge -N- Bubble Bath

I have decided that this year for Christmas platter gifts I will make a large batch of Candy Cane fudge and place a batch on a plain red ceramic plate and perhaps embellish with chocolate covered cherries. For an extra touch for some folks I may try to find some peppermint soap for fun. I am thinking the entire gift will cost around $6 - $8 dollars depending on the cost of the ceramic plate and if I add something like candy cane soap.
Here is the recipe for Candy Cane Fudge:

  • 2 (10 ounce) packages vanilla baking chips
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed candy canes
  • 1 dash red or green food coloring

  1. Line an 8 inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, and grease the foil.
  2. Combine the vanilla chips and sweetened condensed milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently until almost melted, remove from heat and continue to stir until smooth. When chips are completely melted, stir in the peppermint extract, food coloring, and candy canes.
  3. Spread evenly in the bottom of the prepared pan. Chill for 2 hours, then cut into squares.
And I really kinda like this idea.... You get a box of Bubble bath... Calgon or Vaseline or whatever...even one of those big jugs of bubble bath at Walmart that are kinda cute and cost around $2.97 or so... and you wrap a big bow around it and add the following note.... which I think would be a really awesome gift for a co-worker or such.

Bubble bath

When the rushing of Christmas gets you down
And you've had all the fun you can stand
Don’t get discouraged and don’t give up
Just let this present give you a hand…

Take a break from the kids and shopping
Let the phone ring…don’t answer the door
Lay back and relax in a hot bubble bath
And you’ll soon feel ready for more!!

Update on Hit and Run Doggy ---The vet said she should be attempting to maybe try and get up ... but she isn't. At all. I am thinking its too soon. The vet had mentioned euthanasia if she makes no effort after a week but, I am going to give it longer than that. I am thinking the vet may of just said that because she is a stray dog and its a lot of effort to care for an invalid dog and if we don't see progress then maybe just end it. But, again, I am going to give her a lot more time than that and only euthanasia if it becomes completely clear she will not be able to walk because it would be cruel to keep her living like this.
I am happy to report she doesn't soil her bedding at all. I carry her outside several times a day and she goes outside. She has been crushed, thats for sure. The vet said not even surgery can repair her, no amount of pins and special things to put her together again...she is that destroyed. But only on one side... she will still have 3 good legs. That is SO doable.

I still don't actually have a name for her. Because she was hit by a car and has 2 extra toes... I was thinking 'Autoe' is a cute name... Auto/toe combination.... I call her 'Baby' all the time and she sometimes wakes me up crying to go outside so... that could work ... maybe 'Seis' which is 6 in Spanish...for 6 toes... or just call her 'Sixtoe'....Paul still thinks we should call her 'Lucky' but I'm thinking...who says she's so lucky ya know???? She got hit by a car after all. Who says she's lucky just because we got her ... I mean someone else like a super star with a zillion dollars to get her lambswool heating bed may of made her lucky but for now she is in a little pool with an Elmo and Big Bird blanket...

Have a superdy duperdy Monday tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Birthdays & Sunshine

Spent the day yesterday celebrating my dad's 70'th birthday. !!!! He doesn't act a day over 40. He's stronger than an ox and the most awesome - Awesome guy!!!!! Nobody could ever offer me a different dad ever. He's the best. I love the genes he passed along to me...the ones that are kinda wild and crazy... restless.... antennas always raised.... did I say crazy????.... Fun, easy going, solitary but social enough to be fun in a crowd...good stuff. Thanks dad!!!

My mom made her famous homemade vegetable stew.

She uses about 1 small can Campbell tomato soup, 1 can Rotel, Pure H20- fresh vegetables and seasoning. Mmmm good, specially wonderful with homemade cornbread!

We played Chicken Toes Dominoes and dad won every game. Then, Tiffany, my mom whom I call "Moon" and I played Bananagrams... to which I believe I won. :) I like to win. Alot. But, so does my whole family...cept my dad...he's okay when he doesn't win. But the rest of us have some issues with losing. I just don't like it at all.
It was a wonderful day with family. Paul had to leave early to go to work but he got to eat and open gifts.

I had ordered dad some coffee from the and we had Cinnamon Pecan Coffee... it was SO good!

I hope your day was beautiful. I hope it was full of God's grace, full of His love. I hope it was full!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Part 2 of the Hit and Run Dog

So here she is. We were going to call her Blondie but, it is not exactly original and even the vet said 'oh so original' so Paul said "okay, how bout Lucky" ( Isn't he witty) ...... but we already have a chicken named Lucky.

She is at my house in a kiddie pool. She is for the time being an invalid. Not only does she have a broken pelvis and a broken hip and a huge wound thats been stapled but air is escaping a little hole in her lungs so she coughs easily. She is on strong medication. The vet said she doesn't know if she will be able to ever recover and get up and walk but, she seems really determined which is a good start. Even today she tried to get up but she just can't. And she has a 6th toe. Isn't that something????

So the total cost wasn't as horrible as I was expecting. We don't have to have a payment plan or live on beans and rice for 3 months so I am grateful.

And I finished a little McDonalds Rag Quilt. It was fun to make. I only did it because Annah insisted on the material and I always like to make her happy. :)

This one will actually be for her little girlfriend,Angela, the girl in the video below that we went to the orphanage together. I'll make one for Annah too and they can have their little McDonald lap quilts next time we go since we literally seem to live on the road at McDonalds.... not so good for a Vegetarian such as myself but, I always get a large Vanilla milkshake and fries so my friend Debbie... and you know who you are... she sais to me... 'Libby, seems healthier to me if you would eat a burger rather than fries and a milkshake' and I say to her "Debbie, I never said I was a healthy Vegetarian."...
I don't eat meat because I don't like it. Its not that I am opposed to it or think its wrong, I just don't like it. And it sounds really cool to say I'm a Vegetarian... people get some impression that I like to be healthy or something... I am actually health conscious but its not my motivation to be a vegetarian... not for the purity of it or anything... I just figured I don't like meat so might as well take that step and give it up in all forms. I am not a Vegan..... Vegans do not eat meat nor any meat by products at all such as eggs or cheese and such... I couldn't do that. I have cookies and milk everyday... can't give up my milk.

Okay, so I'm officially tired and going to bed. Nighty night!!!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Dog hit and run

So today I was on my way to the homeless shelter when I notice some cars slowing down. By the time I get to the little back up, the cars had moved on and there in the middle of the road is a dog that has been hit. I had some instant mixed reactions like... oh no if I stop I will be late.. oh my gosh this poor dog... because first I thought she was dead because I could not even comprehend cars driving off and leaving an alive dog but then I noticed the poor thing was trying to get up and get out of the road but couldn't .... I could not comprehend people driving away... I just couldnt', can't. They slowed, looked and kept going as she struggled and cried in pain to get out of the road. If a car had come the other direction she would of been immediately run right over because she was at the bottom of a small incline where you can't see her at all and I mean, she was obviously not dead, not near death and trying to get up and people just drove by. My car was stopped in the middle of the road with the intentions of putting her in my car.... but she was in pain and when I tried she really cried and I had no idea if she would bite me. Several cars just drove right by me...slowed to look and kept going. Nobody asked if I needed help or anything. I called Paul and told him to get Annah out of bed and come help me. While I waited, Finally a guy stopped and helped get her in my car and he was SOOO nice and eager to help anyway he could. I got her to the vet but I was way to afraid to ask what the cost would be. I signed that I agree to pay and they told me she would be there atleast 24 - 48 hours. I still don't know what it will cost. Will it cost my money saving for my plane tickets to Panama???? I can't even think about it.

The vet called me later today and told me she has a broken hip, broken pelvis and a dislocated shoulder and open wound that needs stitches. I was like....okay.... she asked me if we had named her... I was like, okay, sure, Blondie..... its all I could think of. She is blonde. The vet said she is 5 months old (though rather big ) and unspayed and that I need to get her spayed because of her pelvis puppies would result in a C-section and that we need to get her started on her vaccinations and my head was just spinning off its axel because I am hearing the sound of a cash register going off in my brain ...I'm just trying to pay for this part....can we talk about spaying and vaccinations next month or something???? I take care of my pets but she doesn't know that as she has never met me before. I didn't go to my regular vet because they weren't open and farther away.

Both of our other dogs were strays including our beautiful Doberman and I thank God for both of them so I am sure this little girl will be a blessing in the end.
What was SO sweet was when I went to check on her, when she heard my voice, through all her pain, she wagged her tail ever so lightly... just a little thump.... it was so sweet, that took effort!!!
I'll go back tomorrow to pay and to see her. And have I mentioned how bad she stunk? I am not sure I ever have smelled such rotten dog smell.
The vet said she will have to stay in a crate for a month. I will have to help her in and out. Thats going to be very difficult since our house is on stilts and a long stairway to the bottom. ???? I could put her in the cottage and it would be nice and quite but it seems so isolated.... I'll ask the vet. Maybe being isolated and in quiteness will be what she needs. I can't imagine actually but the vet will know.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Heart Beat & Small Stitches

Last week was our very first home church gathering of Heart Beat.
(If your ever in the area, come on in!!!)
Kelsey is snapping the picture and a couple folks are missing but, its a small beginning. Numbers aren't important.
As we were praying and singing while Jeff played the guitar Annah was pretty good but when we began to discuss and talk about God and life and such, Annah was not exactly disruptive, but distracting to me. She is the only small child right now ( actually the only child there the past two times ) so she is in the midst of the adults. I am used to sending her off to children's church. But, as the night ended I realized that she is learning in our midst. With me learning Spanish, she has picked up so much just by listening in on my stuff. So as she quietly chatters and hops from my lap to Pauls, wonders around looking for grapes and cheese on the table, she is picking up all the good stuff we are talking about. She is being immersed in our prayers and talk. I want to teach her to be a bit more quite...a bit more still, but just not sure how much to exactly expect from a 4 year old.

This actually didn't last as long as I was hoping for because when she said she wanted to sew, she meant on my machine. I had visions of her hand sewing an entire little blanket but, she only got 2 pieces sewn halfway together and it really bothered her to stick the needle through the frog print. She just kept saying "but the needle is going through the frog mommy"....LOL....

This is my son, Alan and his wife, Karmy and their 2 year old son, my grandbaby, Elias. They are currently in Heredia at YWAM as missionaries.
When they got married, I inherited several hundred relatives. I can't communicate with them yet. Someday soon....

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Waking the Dead and Spanish Ponderings

I am currently reading this book. The summary of chapter one... which I think is so far one of my favorite chapters is as follows:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the fullest- Jesus ( John 10:10)

We and the world, my children, will always be at war. Retreat is impossible. Arm yourselves. - Leif Enger

"In Mere Christianity, in the chapter he so rightly titled "The Invasion", C.S. Lewis tried to clarify our situation:

One of the things that surprised me when I first read the New Testament seriously was that it talked so much about a Dark Power in the universe - a mighty evil spirit who was held to be the Power behind death and disease, and sin. The difference is that Christianity thinks this Dark Powerr was created by God, and was good when he was created, and went wrong. Christianity agrees...... this universe is at war."

John Eldredge then goes on to say "Until we come to terms with war as the context of our days we will not understand life. We will misinterpret 90 percent of what is happening around us and to us. It will be very hard to believe that God's intentions toward us are life abundant; it will be even harder not to feel that somehow we are just blowing it. Worse, we will begin to accept some really awful things about God. That four-year old girl being molested by her daddy - that is God's will? That ugly divorce that tore your family apart - God wanted that to happen too? And that plane crash that took the lives of so many - that was desired by God?

Most people get stuck at some point because God appears to have abandoned them. he is not coming through. Speaking about her life with a mixture of disappointment and cynicism, a young woman recently said to me' "God is rather silent right now." Yes, it's been awful. I don't discount that for a moment. She is unloved; she is unemployed; she is under a lot. But her attitude strikes me as deeply naive, on the level of someone caught in a cross fire who asks, rather shocked and with a sense of betrayal, "God, why won't you make them stop firing at me?" I'm sorry, but that's not where we are right now. It's not where we are in the Story. That day is coming, later, when the lion shall lied down with the lamb and we'll beat swords with plowshares. For now, its bloody battle.

It sure explains a heckuva lot.

Before He promised us life, Jesus warned that a thief would try to steal, kill and destroy it. How come we don't think that the thief actually steals, kills and destroys? You won't understand your life, you won't see clearly what has happend to you or how to live forward from here, unless you see it as a battle. "............. End of my summary. :)

It is church for us tonight. Our new home style church has finally begun!!!! It has been a journey of visiting churches and trying to find a place that is our 'vision' of what church is for us personally.
I'm bringing my famous chocolate chip cookies and pizza rolls for the fellowship food after and I will bring up for discussion the above topic from the book, 'Waking the Dead'.

I feel like I am progressing in my Spanish. I will be enrolling in a beginners class in December and will continue on until I have a degree in the Spanish language even if I have to end up driving to UNT to do it!!!! I am so determined. But its been slow for me.
I wish my brain would just open up and fully just get it but... well, okay I guess what I am trying to say is I wish God would just bless me with being able to speak it and not have to do all this labor I am doing to learn it. I'd like a miracle to occur and all the sudden it all makes sense...the verbs... the everything. I have been reading children's books in Spanish, I just read Muy Bien, Fergus to Annah. I had to translate it online but each page only has a few words on it so its easy to learn ...such as one page just sais "Listo" which means "Ready".... It will be convenient when we move to the jungles of South America although I am sure the Guaymi's have thier own language...not necessarily Spanish. :)

So, off to make the house decent before we go. It will never be spotless but, I do like it to be all picked up. Even if the corners are full.... if its picked up, swept, dishes away, counters cleaned off...I'm happy with that. Although...this little area room that I type in... its just hopeless I think.

Friday, November 13, 2009

My Trip to the Orphanage in Los Palomas

This trip to the orphanage was brutal traveling 13 hours with the little ones but when we were there, I wanted to stay forever. The location is in a dangerous part part of Mexico.
Just recently
the mayor of Mexican city of Puerto Palomas was murdered. He was a good friend to the church who started the orphanage and big supporter.

Despite this, the church that began Casa de Amore para Ninos orphanage travels there every single month taking donations and staying a few days and loving on the children. Not only do they take donations to the orphanage, they go about in a truck all over Los Palomas and distribute food and clothing to the very poor. I went with them the last time I was there and the poverty level and the conditions of the way people live forever changed me.
At this time, Randy (in the below video) is traveling there with John Taylor, Associate Pastor of Faith Fellowship church in Lucas. I imagine they arrived last night. There is another trip planned for January.

The children you see in this documentary are orphans. Many will remain orphans and live at the orphanage until they are around 12 or 13 and sadly, that is when a family member will often come to claim them and use them on the streets for profit. The orphanages are run, obviously very differently in Mexico than here. The parents rights are rarely terminated unless they choose to go through that process which they rarely opt to give up their parental status. Children will not be allowed to be adopted because of this. It is not easy to be able to adopt children from areas such as Mexico or Panama. You will see many little ones in here...many under the age of 5. They are so precious!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Secret to the MOST delicious cookies

The top secret to the most amazing, mouth watering cookies is butter. Its that simple. Butter. If your recipe calls for 2 sticks of butter.... forget about it...use 3 sticks. If your recipes does not require you to grease the pan...forget about it....grease it with butter. I will share with you here and now my blue ribbon recipe. You will forever give up food and live on these cookies. Here is my own, award winning, million dollar, mouth watering chocolate chip cookie recipe:

You will want to preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

You will need 3 sticks of softened real butter, salted or non salted * 1/2 cup cane sugar* 1 and 1/2 cups dark brown sugar * 2 organic eggs... 2 tsps real vanilla extract * 3 cups flour * 1 tsp course salt such as sea salt however, regular is fine * 1 tsp baking soda * 1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder* 3 cups chocolate chips...any variety such as chunk or mini...* 1/2 cup white chocolate chips* 1/2 chopped pecans* 1/2 cup walnuts * 1 box instant vanilla pudding powder 1.5 oz.

Beat your butter and sugars for about 4 minutes till nice and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla and beat for a minute. Add soda,baking powder, salt and flour, pudding and mix it all in. Add the rest.

Take another stick of butter and butter the bottom of your cookie pan.
Scoop out spoonfuls of dough...large or small depending on how you prefer...I personally like thin and crunchy and very browned.
Cook each batch for about 12 minutes or until your desired soft or crunch level is apparent.

You can experiment or embellish with other ingredients such as a butterscotch chips, peanut butter chips, 1/2 cup oats.... might need to add more butter if you add oats.

And, may I suggest you switch from using table salt which is toxic to Celtic Sea Salt? Once you begin to use it, you will never ever want to use table salt again. Not only does it taste so much better, its actually loaded with essential minerals straight from the sea. It helps to normalize the water in the body and it plays a vital role in cell functions. Keeping the amount of salt and water in the body in proper balance is critical for many functions.Using unrefined raw sea salt in moderation keeps a healthy balance between salt and bodily fluids and ensure that the body is operating at its optimum level. And make sure that if you are going to buy sea salt that it is unrefined... sea salt is course, even when its fine ground. Of course I suppose going on a health spill and having a recipe with 3 sticks of butter in one blog is a bit of a contradiction but oh well. :) I like real butter and I like real salt.

So in addition to baking cookies and eating them for days now...probably why I haven't been on because I have been eating cookies... I have been extremely here and there. For now, have a happy day. May the Lord grant you peace and joy!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Texas Pajama Cowgirl

Whenever you wake up to such a beautiful, crisp TX morn you just gotta get your boots on and your cowgirl hat and hightail it outside.

Sneaking up on a little cowgirl who likes to sneak out and onto our Old mare, Crimson. This old horse is about 26 years old so she is safer than dirt as I don't think she would run even if the pasture was on fire. She walks slowly to and fro and Annah is perfectly content to sit bareback on her while Crimson just hangs out and eats. Annah uses the hay stacks to get on her back. She has learned how to put the reins on her halter, lead her to the hay and then crawl on.
I figure she's not higher than her fort swing and certainly lower than our tree branches and nobody is doing alot of moving. I have taught her how to safely get down on her own but I'm sure she probably would of figured that one out by herself. Amazing what children will learn when they are really eager to do something.

Have a happy big as Texas Day!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

My Garmin& Favorite Preschool Learning Tools

Well, though many worse things could befall me... my big let down so far is that my GPS failed me miserably. I had such high hopes.... so much faith in the little device.... My first day out and I almost tossed it out the window into oncoming kept telling me to exit onto the ramp in such and such miles but, uh, I had already exited the ramp... I was already on the just kept acting like I wasn't... Garmin says its an issue with GPS and not the unit... so I guess I just need not put my entire hopes into its ability. Thankfully I had an idea where I was going and what roads to turn on... I guess its just a back up plan,not an actual brain. However, Paul did tell me that no matter where I am, if I hit "Home" that it will atleast get me home and thats worth its weight right there.

FAVORITE PRESCHOOL LEARNING TOOLS - We do not have an actual curriculum that we go with but, these are some of our favorite learning tools for Annah, who is 4.

*I love all the BrainQuest activity cards and workbooks. And more so, Annah loves them and wants to do them all the time. They are very age appropriate with sometimes having easy questions and sometimes having difficult ones.

*Kiss Your Brain by Dr.Jean and all of her learning CD's are fantastic! Children will learn to sing all the states and Presidents etc...

*We play Old Maid daily with Annah or Memory Game for children and other preschool board games.
* Leap Frog DVDs on learning phonics and how to build words.
* Lacing Beads and Sewing cards
* And a learning clock
In addition, we have dolls to learn how to tie shoes although I hate tie shoes... she still has to learn. Handwriting tablets, coins and dollar bills to learn to count and identify money... we bake, walk, explore, learn how to take care of animals and learn about God, art, and whatever else comes along to teach and daily reading books. She loves to read and we make it a goal to read atleast a very minimum of 5 books per day. Plus, I make up learning stories to tell her.
And lastly, daily we watch "Professor Parrot Speaks Spanish" which is a WONDERFUL learning tool for the Spanish language. Annah knows how to count to 10 in Spanish and knows most of the colors. When we stop at a red light she proclaims "Rojo, Rojo"... I have learned alot from this DVD too. I wish they would make another one but this is the only one they have out.