About Me

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I am a Christian. I am a loving wife to my Army-National-Guard-Recruiter-Husband of 15 years. I am a stay-at-home-mother to our four handsome sons. I am a photographer. My blog is about as erratic, eclectic and random as I am, painted with rainbows of photos and words that are hills and valleys you travel; so lovely sometimes that they hurt you. These are the stories of how far we've come in the last 15 years as Christians, as a family and as individuals.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ham & Cheese Tortelini Soup

I really don't know where these creations come from but today while making a grocery list I started jotting down this recipe.  I just couldn't get it out of my mind so I went to the store just for these ingredients and made it tonight... it was a hit!

8oz ham, diced or julian
19oz frozen cheese tortelini
8oz frozen carrots, diced or sliced
4oz frozen edamame (soy beans)
3 sticks celery, diced
26oz condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth
26oz water
Seasonings (add to taste):
Greek seasoning
garlic (fresh or powdered)
seasoned salt
Boil the tortelini and drain.  Add all other ingredients in a large pot (or crock pot) and simmer until piping hot and ready to eat.  Garnish with shredded cheese and serve with salad or garlic bread.

Let me know if you think you might try this one.  I might add spinach or kale the next time I make it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It's Tough Being A Woman...

It's tough being a woman who can balance passion with patience.

Reflect on the importance of timing.

Timing is crucial.
  • Knowing when it's time
  • Knowing when it's time to wait  * For me, it's time to wait. The culture we live in is training us in impatience - instant gratification. If we cannot wait upon the Lord we WILL NOT fulfill our destiny. 
    -It's not about paralysis of analysis... it's about waiting on God-  Just remember that God will check our motives too! He will not give us favor if our motives are impure. Do not nurse grudges; forgive. To hold a grudge is to be entangled in something. This is to become in bondage to the person to whom you hold a grudge, to hold something against them is to hold you TO them!  Ecclesiates 3:(1) There is a time for everything... (7) ...a time to be silent and a time to speak. Sometimes the words sound right but they don't taste right. -Job 34:2-4 "Hear my words, you wise men; listen to me, you men of learning. For the ear tests words as the tongue tastes food. Let us discern for ourselves what is right, let us learn together what is good."
  • Knowing when it's time to wait on someone else's time  *This is a tough one!  As women especially, we are to submit to our husbands, our times may not match up but we are not powerless; we have been given the gift of influence (not manipulation).  Sometimes we must wait for the other person's timing to be right, otherwise distress & bitterness would overcome the one who has been confronted before they are ready.  Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction... Be carefull of pride.  Sometimes God chooses not to stop us, he'll let us go on and on just to see how far we'll go.  Do not think you are the center of attention, God is the only center.  God gently reminds us that we can humble ourselves or he will humble us! 
  • Knowing the meantime is God-time  *God is never inactive in our waiting.  While we wait, things on Earth are coming into order with things in Heaven.  And what is more exhausting than waiting? Isaiah 40:31 reminds us to wait on the Lord and our strength will be renewed.  The longer we wait, the more we are to be renewed and restored (Habakkuk 2:3 "...it will surely come...")  You can also be sure that waiting on anything else will depleat your strength fully... wait on the Lord!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Long Overdue Update

In January I began a new Bible study by Beth Moore, called "Esther: It's Tough Being A Woman." I've posted blogs each week that our group has met sharing highlights of the video sessions and what stood out to me most so that I may be reminded to use it in my daily life.

Also in January, my sister, Lauren (my step sister, not to confuse anyone), called from Hawaii and wanted to move back to Cali (back with us).  After much prayer and thought, we accepted.  She arrived Sunday, Jan. 31 but her stay with us only lasted a mere 43 hours before she left to visit friends in Big Bear.  Two weeks to the day she left for Big Bear she broke my heart when she told me she had decided to stay with said friends.  I'm in prayer for her every day.  (Obviously there's more to the story, just please pray for her with me if you feel so inclined)

February has been brutal on my emotions, gentle on my spirit and genourous on our finances.  The way God works never ceases to amaze me and I am more grateful with each passing day that I've found salvation at the cross!

Valentine's Day was busy!  Hayden woke up with a fever and after taking him to Urgent Care, we found out he had bronchitis.  Seth also went to Urgent Care with a fever but his was due to an ear infection (sorry, no pics of Seth)  Hayden wanted his breakfast in bed (cinnamon cream cheese toast, apple Gerber Puffs & veggie Gerber Puffs)
The binky is and has been our toughest battle, but since he's overtaken with fever (see how red his little face is?) we let him use the LAST ONE!  It was given to us as a joke from a friend around Halloween, rofl!
Since half of us (yes, even Brad) was sick, we well ones (Tristen, Garrett and I) made Cherry Chip cake (dessert) and apple cinnamon pancakes (breakfast) for Valentine's Day.
"AP" strikes again! 
While standing on a stool, much too close to the frying pan, watching me flip the pancakes, Hayden (our little accident prone one) lost his balance and leaned over with his arm outstretched to brace himself on the rim of the hot pan and burned his elbow!  Now he'll have scars on both arms! : (
*Before you get too excited, this is NOT my test!  Congratulations to Nanny Roz who is having her own baby now!
I rarely post pics of me on here so... well... here you go!
My older sister, Bonnie and I were never really as close as my younger sister, April and I were growing up.  Even into adulthood, we just never really bonded. But by becoming a mother, Bonnie and I have found our common ground... our sons.  She texts weekly with photos (this one being the most recent), calls for advise or just to share experiences and I am in love with our blossoming relationship!  I just wanted to add that to this very randomly written blog.  Ryder Wayne is such a doll!
I've continued to keep busy with crafts and sewing. 
I made this ruffled scarf out of a remnant piece of fleece I picked up for $2.46  I thought it went perfectly with my new coat and the color was in sync with the month of love.
Roz asked me to make her a bow tie necklace for a special occasion.
In preparation for converting my spare room (overtaken with crafting, sewing & workout stuff) in to a room Lauren could be comfortable in, I made this bedspread, dust ruffle and matching curtains for the twin bed our wonderful neighbors (who are moving) were getting rid of and GAVE to us!  (Isn't God great!?  He always privdes!) so Lauren wouldn't have to sleep on the couch.  However, since the room will once again have no occupants, I'll take my time completing the set (matching pillow cases and accents) for upcoming guests.  I just wanted to post my accomplishment so far. 
There are three pregnant women in my Bible study group and we are adding items to a basket for them, I made these bibs and burp cloths as my contribution to one having a boy.
Another friend's daughter invited the boys to her birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese's and I was informed that she was going to Disneyland the following week and could use a place to put all the things she bought with her birthday money so I whipped up this Tinkerbell (her favorite) bag and stuck $15.00 in it!
I also made this oversized shirt (a dress for some) out of a remnant I got for only $1.59 and a scrap piece I had lying around, with NO PATTERN! 
I'm currently working on bibs and burp cloths for the two ladies in my Bible study group who are having baby girls to add to their baskets and disinfecting this house of mine while nursing the sick ones back to health.  In love...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

It's Tough Being a Woman in the Tight Fist of Fear

As it is written:  "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him." -1 Cor. 2:9
We have a choice.
God reserves the right not to force us how we do the what.  Whatever it is that we need to do, we have a choice in how we do it.  Sometimes we can have such a strong desire for self-preservation that we protect ourselves right out of our calling.  No one is born brave but we can become brave; we must overcome ourselves in order to do what God has created and positioned us to do.

We must face the fear.
A line from one of my favorite songs, by Casting Crowns called East to West, says "Today I feel like I'm just one mistake away from you (God) leaving me this way."  God has NO INTENTION of ever leaving us but we may be one mistake away from choosing to be left.  We all play the "what if" game.  Consider for a moment that IF is an acronym for "I Fear" and repeat your "what if's" to yourself replacing "if" with "I Fear."  Then face the fear!  The most frequent command in the Bible is don't be afraid.  Do not deny the problem, deny it's victory over you!  We cherish fear so much that we can't shed it even when we are told to do so!
Proverbs 31:10 speaks of a virtuous wife and Judges 6:12 speaks of mighty men of valor; these words refer to the brave!  All you need to do is ask God to release you from the hold fear has over you; pray to him to help you become a virtuous woman (or mighty man of valor).

Fear of death is the most profound fear among us, even as Christians we fear death.  Hebrews 2:14-15 from The Message: "By embracing death, taking it into himself, he destroyed the Devil's hold on death and freed all who cower through life, scared to death of death."  Don't be so scared of death that you can't really live!  Walking in the shadow of death is as perilous as dying.  Are we to live a thousand deaths fearing the one?

Romans 8:36 - "For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep." (NLT)
Galations 2:20 - "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me." (NIV)
Colossians 2:13 - "You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away.  Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave our sins." (NLT)
Ephesians 2:6 - "For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in hte heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus." (NLT)
John 17:3 - "And this is the way to eternal life - to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth." (NLT)

Phil 1:6 is "certain that God, who began the good work within you will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns." (NLT) Death is not our final destination.  Death is only part of our destiny.  "Oh!  Death, where is your victory?  Where is your sting?" (1 Cor 15:55)

We must take courage.
If we only trust God to never allow us to suffer our greatest fears the enemy will keep threatening us with them over and over again!  Never will God not offer His courage, we just need to take it
Mark 6:51 "Take courage, it is I (says the Lord), don't be afraid."
Courage is not the absence of fear but the judgement that there's something more important than fear.  The word courage comes from the Latin word cor which means heart.  (1John 4:18) Take heart, my friends.

So I conclude with this:
Live until you die.
Live like you will never die.
Remember, you get to decide; you have a choice.
You may be one brave descision away from the most important step in your destiny.

Friday, February 5, 2010

It's Tough Being A Woman Thrown A Giant-Sized Weight

Consider the delima of destiny from a human perspective:

1.  The poor timing.  When everything in your life seems topsy-turvy and then you get hit with yet another blow you consider and you consider the timing of it all is just way wrong... that's when you're sittin' pretty for a revelation from God!  God's time is your prime time!  It will often be crisis that God uses to pivot our ego.  Also consider that your destiny will always involve a group of people, it's not just about you.

2. The unreasonable expectation.  When you seem to be the only one who can come up with a solution to the crisis.  When it all falls on your shoulders.  Did you ever think that God is holding you up?  He has you on His shoulders so you can carry the crisis on yours.

3.  The risky identification.  To identify is to testify.  One of the most important parts of fullfilling your destiny is your transparency.  Let God be seen in all you say and do... risk being identified.

4.  The unanswered question.  Go never hangs a veil unintentionally.  He is calling you to faith!  There is always a reason you are blind to the answer now.

Wherever God has given you deminion He has trusted responsibility to you "for such a time as this."  We all assume God knows - "who knows?" - Psalm 100:3 consider the possibility that you know!  "And you shall know I am the Lord your God" -That my friend, is destiny!