Friday, December 28, 2007

mmmm... the taste of triumph

As far as my cooking goes, I'd like to consider myself pretty decent. I take pride in being able serve up some good grub for my family. But there is a recipe so chilling that I hesitate to even put it in writing in fear that you would turn away in horror. It's name, skillet meat loaf. Yes, you don't need to go back and re-read it. I said skillet meat loaf. It's basically a super fast way of making that super tasty dish that we all loved so much when were growing up. I have attempted this dish once and only once.. until tonight. You see, this story goes back about 8 years. You will probably be able to picture me, A young, newly married wife, just so eager to be able to prepare a meal for her helpless (or hapless) husband. So, as I thumb through a recipe book, I find what seems to be an easy one. Just put the meat together with the ingredients and put it in the skillet and let it sit. Well, I don' know what happened, but something was terribly wrong. What came out of that skillet was pink, fleshy, greasy, and slimy. I swear, it had a mouth and was laughing at me. I was so deflated. My very first attempt at becoming Jr. Betty Crocker was a disaster. So, fast forward 8 years, (I have never, ever even considered remaking this dish) I'm thumbing (again) through my recipe book and there it is, taunting me. I decide, okay, I'm much better at this now, I should be able to do it. Baxter asks me "Hey, what's for dinner" my reply "I'm not telling you until I'm done". He saunters over to the stove to read the open page and I hear "Oh no" "Skillet meat loaf, really?" So, I try my best to usher him out of the cooking area and try to keep my composure to complete this task. After checking and double checking the recipe, (getting some unsolicited input from said husband) I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I did it. I conquered the meat loaf. (Golden Girls reference coming, wait for it) "I flung madam chance down, bloody, and beaten to the mat" And eat it, Baxter, literally.

Father Knows Best

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Happy Birthday Papa Mike

In honor of my dad's 50-ish birthday, here's a list of things I love about my daddy. ( I could name 50ish, but for the sake of time, I'll just do 15-ish.)

1. I get my sarcastic wit from my dad. He can zing you in a second if you're not on your toes.

2. When my sister and I were little, he wasn't afraid to act like a kid to entertain us. My sister and I especially enjoyed the games of "monster", (basically like hide and seek with a fun, yet scary twist.)

3. My dad can whip up some mean vittles. His specialties include, omelets, spaghetti, and steak. (he loved to make sure my mom would know when we'd prefer his style of cooking over hers too)

4. My dad is an avid fisherman. Some of my best memories are of my dad taking us to the river. My sister and I would just lie out by the water, watching the clouds and the bluest sky. We'd spend the whole afternoon talking while he caught dinner.

5. Sometimes for Valentines Day, our dad would sneak individual red roses in the mailbox, and then tell us to go get the mail.

6. My sister and I came home one day from school on the bus, and I remember our mom and dad riding some new bikes around in our front yard. It was awesome.

7. My grandma and grandpa had a pool in their backyard. We called it "the frozen lake" (you can imagine why, yes it was cold). Our dad loved it, he would do these HUGE cannonballs off the diving board and I swear i thought the waves were going to sweep me out of the pool. A kids dream come true.

8. When dad would go gift shopping for mom, he'd take us with him and let us help. He'd ask our opinion, and let us in on the plan.

9. I'll never forget the look on my dad's face when he saw me in my wedding dress for the first time. It's something I'll always remember, you could almost see the shift in the way he looked at me. I turned suddenly from little girl, to lady.

10. The superman picture. That's all I can say...

11. My dad is not just a dad, he's a papa, and he lives up to this title. My girls adore him and would probably spend every waking moment at my parents house given the opportunity.

12. My dad kind of looks like an ax murderer, and it's funny to watch people when he's out and about because he totally messes with them. My boyfriends used to be scared stupid about meeting him (but sadly, for most of them, stupid wasn't that far a stretch anyway)

13. If you've never watched a scary movie with my dad, you haven't truly lived, or lived in fear...

14. Dad would take mom on the ferris wheel (which we had to beg her to ride) and rock the car. I love him for that. (mom eventually forgives him everytime).

15. Both my parents taught me to drive, but I think dad definitely had the most patience with me, and (sorry mom) dad's the best driver.

ish. I don't know any marriage that has flourished through all the trials life can bring (excluding my own) more than my parent's. They will have been married 30 years in June. (although neither one of them can recall the exact date with much consistency.)

So, for all you've done, and for all you do, and for who you are, thanks.
Happy Birthday, Dad.


Friday, December 21, 2007

The Machine

It's dark outside now, there's a definite chill in the air. You can feel the wind blow hard against your face and you pull your jacket tighter around you. As you walk across the parking lot there's a sound that you are not used to hearing. It's a crackling, and a murmur. A sound that does not identify itself in your mind right away. You walk towards the open door, not sure at all what you're going to find on the other side. You step inside and there it is, The machine. It's bigger than you can imagine. There are so many parts. And it is loud. It sounds joyful, and strong. You can see it working it's magic, it's getting the job done. Many parts working together with the same intensity to complete it's task. You just stand there, wondering what to even do. Do you run away? Do you stand there and watch the machine continue with the ferociousness of a steam train? Or do you jump in? Do you try to add your meager effort to the job? What is the job? What is going on in this room, on this dark, chilly night? What is the machine? It's the family of Christ, It's the body of Christ. It is people who give up their Thursday night to pack little "blessing bags" for those men and women who have fallen and lost their way and are now behind bars. These are hearts that beat in unison to the one perfect melody of Christ's love. It truly was a machine. 2100 hand decorated bags, each saying "Jesus loves you" filled and packed in an hour and seventeen minutes by the members of our new church. I am so thankful for the opportunity to witness and be a part of the machine.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Bridging the Gap

Okay, this may be a controversial post, and if you know me, you know I usually don't do controversial, but here goes.

Why does "closed minded" only work one way? If you are religious, have morals that you try to stick to, and believe that accountability is key, you are thought to be one of "those people" who are shoving your "religion" down the throats of everybody around you. If you talk about your faith to someone who doesn't understand it, you are a "bible thumper", and you should never, ever, under any circumstances disagree with someone's lifestyle, (even if you never say anything , a simple disagreement with lifestyle choices is enough to label you a bigot or closed-minded). I'm tired of being lumped in with the extreme cases of misguided faith, and being waved off because I believe in a different point of view.

Here's my statement to those that think that religion, or belief in Christ is hypocritical. Yes, I am a hypocrite. I'm more than a hypocrite, I'm a liar, a gossip, a defamer of character, a narcissist, a glutton, and so much more. I can never, ever, nor will I ever be good enough for the God that loves me just the way I am. I can never EVER repay what God has done in my life through my relationship with His Son. Thank heaven for that, can you imagine trying? phew, it makes me tired just thinking about it. If you've never lived this life, how can you automatically shut it down as fake, or wrong? I once heard someone say "It's not that seeing is believing, it's that once you begin to believe you will see" How will you ever know until you try it? Am I getting preachy? Let me back it up here for a minute. Just as we are called to love our fellow man, as God loved us, we are also called to be different from the world who does not know Him. Is that why we are called hypocrites and fakes, and frauds? Well, please, call me that. Because I relish it. I'm thankful for the opportunity for God to heal me.

Now, how do we translate this to the people who don't know that we do love them? How do we bridge the gap and let them know that we are not so different from them?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Christmas-Time Tradition

Santa is not the only thing that enters our life this time of year. Apparently, RSV comes a knockin' when the weather turns cold, and Ella seems to always greet him with open arms...

Our timeline of this week...

Monday-Ella has crackle in her chest, and cough in her throat and misses Mother's Day out.

Tuesday-Ella has a fever by afternoon, accompanied by the cough and crackle.

Tuesday evening 5:30 p.m.- Ella has a high fever of 102, so Baxter takes her to CareNow. We've seen this before and we're awful jumpy.

Tuesday 8:45 p.m.-the Dr. at CareNow advises us to take her to the Emergency Room at Childrens in Dallas

Tuesday 11:45 p.m.-Ella is diagnosed with RSV at the emergency room, and given Motrin (and sent home, thank Goodness!)

Wednesday 11:00-Follow up at our pediatricians office- RSV also diagnosed with an ear infection.

So far, she sleeps okay, and thanks for all of your prayers as we were really worried about what was going to happen. We got off easy this year, I guess compared to last year, but boy, RSV is a booger. (By the way, I told our nurse yesterday that the emergency room gave her "Midol" not "motrin". Baxter immediately started laughing at me.

'Tis the Season.

Monday, December 10, 2007


If you've seen the news in the last few days, you've most likely read the stories about the church/missions shootings. We have a very dear friend that is on staff at Youth With A Mission, and though he is safe, he has lost friends. Please pray for the members, victims, their families and friends as they try to make sense of these tragic days. I would also pray for the one that held the gun. God loved him too, he probably just didn't know it.

Why are people so broken? Why do people lash out with violence? What is happening to our world? We have to reach out and connect with the suffering, and lost. They have to know that when we cry, God cries with us. And Jesus saves us all. Seems so simple doesn't it?

Thinking of you Fozzie.

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Friday, December 7, 2007

My endorsement.

Well, I have to go ahead and endorse him, and I might even do some campaigning... - I Like Mike!

Check him out.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

What are we protecting?

There's been lots of talk over the past few years over secularists taking away Christmas from the mainstream. My daughter is having a "Winter Party" at school. Christmas trees are being renamed "Family Trees". Local students are being made to take out the red and green m&m's from their party bags as to not offend those that do not celebrate the holiday. Some store employees are not allowed to wish customers "Merry Christmas", but are allowed to say "Happy Holidays".

So, what do we do? I say we actually look at what Christmas has become and re-evaluate what we can do about it. Why do we as Christians care that red and green m&m's are not allowed, (as ridiculous as that is)? How does a tree represent a symbol of Christ? Much less the mounds and mounds of presents under the tree that our children have come to expect. Perhaps God is using this time to make us recognize how far we've really come from what we're supposed to be celebrating. I think that we deserve to have Christmas taken out of the mainstream, because it has turned into something of this world and does not glorify God. I know that I have certainly been somewhat guilty of this. Of course this does not apply to all Christians, as I do know some who use this time to truly celebrate our salvation. But think about it, if Christ really was the focus of our attention during this holiday, I think there would be more of an outcry to protect Christmas.

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