Friday, October 31, 2008

~Thought for Today~

Think deeply, speak gently, love much, laugh aloud, work hard, give freely and be kind.

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

~Scarecrow ~ 2007

Last Halloween, Ripley got the pleasure of dressing up so he could stand at the door and wait for the kids. Here are some pictures. I was rather surprised, but he actually loved his costume.

This first picture I have him sitting outside on a chair that I have on my porch.
This picture here is Ripley sitting at the front door, which he did for probably 2 hours waiting for trick or treaters.
This last picture is one I took from outside while Ripley is sitting there.
Enjoy ~ the little scarecrow!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

~Word Filled Wednesday~

For my "WFW" I want to share what I studied tonight in Psalms 18, and a portion from Max Lucado's ~ A Gentle Thunder:

"May I share with you a favorite verse of mine? I like it so much I wrote it on the first page of my Bible."

"Because He delights in me, he save me." Psalm 18:19

"And you thought he saved you because of your decency. You thought he saved you because of your good works or good attitude or good looks. Sorry. If that were the case, your salvation would be lost when your voice went south or your works got weak.

There are many reasons God saves you: to bring glory to himself, to appease his justice, to demonstrate his sovereignty. But one of the sweetest reasons God saved you is because he is fond of you. He likes having you around. He thinks you are the best thing to come down the pike in quite awhile." "As a man rejoices over his new wife, so your God will rejoice over you." Isaiah 62:5

If God had a referigerator, your picture would be on it. If he had a wallet, your photo would be in it. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning. Whenever he you want to talk, he'll listen. He can live anywhere in the universe, and he chose your heart. And the Christmas gift he sent you in Bethlehem? Face it, friend, He's crazy about you."

Do you sometimes miss exactly how much God loves us? I know I'm guilty of that. But, think about it, who else would send their Son to die a cruel death for you and I, who is ALWAYS available, just waiting for us to talk to Him, and who else can live in our heart?

As we come upon the next few months, think about how much he loves you!

Have a fantastic Wednesday. And if you have not, visit more WFW with Amy.

Love, Cheryl

Monday, October 27, 2008

~Tempt My Tummy Tuesday~ Chicken Tetrazzini & Apple Salad


1 1/4 cups skim milk
3/4 cup water
2 T cornstarch
2 t chicken bouillon
dash pepper
2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
2 T dry white wine
3 oz spaghetti, broken
Frozen Broccoli, corn, pepper mixture
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 oz sliced mushrooms, drained

In medium saucepan combine milk, water, cornstarch and pepper. Cook and stir until mixture boils. Remove from heat, stir in chicken and wine.

Cook spaghetti, add vegetable mixture last 3 minutes of cooking, drain. Stir in 1/2 of parmesan cheese and mushrooms in chicken mixture.

Place in pan and cover with remaining cheese. Bake 375 for 30 minutes or until heated.
* * * *
Apple Salad

1 can (20 oz) unsweetened pineapple chunks
¼ cup butter or margarine
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water
1 cup mayonnaise
8 cups chopped tart apples
2 cups green grapes
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
¾ cup chopped toasted pecans

Drain pineapple, reserving juice; set pineapple aside. Place juice in a saucepan/ add butter, sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Combine cornstarch and cold water until smooth; add to the saucepan, stirring constantly. Return to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Chill. Stir in mayonnaise. In a large bowl, combine pineapple, apples, grapes, poppy seeds and cooked dressing. Fold in pecans just before serving.

For more Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, hop over to Lisa
and Lana.

Have a great Tuesday. I'll leave you with this picture of Ripley while in the car today!

~Four Words to Transform Your Family — Part 1~

Portion of Devotion by ~ James McDonald
As we head into the most intense family time of year. New schedules, new routines, new opportunities to start doing what’s right. I’ll warn you right now---blink, and they’ll be putting out Christmas stuff in the stores.

Christmas? You might be thinking, “James, you’re way ahead of yourself.” Not so fast. The holidays surprise us every year—both in their timing and with all the family baggage that spills out. I want to talk to you about some preventative steps you can take now that will prepare you for a new season in your family’s life.

I want us to focus on one word that focuses on a principle from God’s Word that can transform your family. That is not an empty promise. I believe you’ll see from the Word of God some of the transformation that you long to see in your family by thinking God’s thoughts on family issues.

As difficult as it may be, forgiveness is the place to start.

We wish that our families were as perfect as the dreams that we dream---but they’re not. There is hurt and disappointment. There are things that we wish would happen that have not happened. There are things that we wish would have never happened, but they did. As we stand over the milk that has been spilt and plans that have gone south, we need a plan from God and we need the strength and courage to act upon His truth.

I want you to pull all the unresolved pain of your family past right up on the table and ask you to unpack it, look at, remember it, feel it, and deal with it God’s way.

We tend to look at families across town, on the television, or across the aisle from us in church and think, “If only we could have a family like that family.” You just don’t know some of the details about them like you know about your own family. Looking for that perfect, model family in the Bible? You’re not going to find it. All families are sinful families. Every single family in the whole Bible had some good parts, but also some serious problems.

So, the first thing I want you to remember is : All families are sinful families.

Isaiah 53:6 says, "We all have wandered away like sheep;each of us has gone his own way. But the Lord has put on him the punishment for all the evil we have done." Each ONE of us has turned to his own way. All of us. When we begin to face up to that, this next point from Ephesians 4:31 will be obvious: Sin produces pain.

When you grow up in a family where all the people are sinful people, guess what? Along with the joys, celebrations, and good things, there is going to be some hurt, disappointment, injury, fall-out, and some consequences. That’s what makes Ephesians 4:31 so necessary. "Do not be bitter or angry or mad. Never shout angrily or say things to hurt others. Never do anything evil." Those six things are destructive emotions that, if left unresolved, will hit your home like a tornado hits a Kansas farmhouse. Those emotions destroy your family.

Here’s the third thing: Pain requires forgiveness.

The next verse, Ephesians 4:32 says, "Be kind and loving to each other, and forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ." You say, “yes, that’s what I need to do. But how?” The How To Do It is in the last part, “Forgive one another even as God in Christ forgave you.” Forgiveness is the cure to family pain. Nothing else will heal family pain:

Not time...

Those of you who have invested decades in the time solution know that, as raw as ever, time heals nothing;

Not psychotherapy...

I’m totally for counseling but I’m not for worldly solutions to spiritual problems;

Not revenge...

Getting even. Making someone pay. You are the one that pays;

Not moving away . . . and
Not changing your name . . .

Forgiveness is an act of my will. It is a choice I make. It’s like getting out of bed in the morning when I don’t feel like it! I must. Forgiveness is an act of my will. Forgiveness is not “Oh, you’re so cute, I think I’ll kiss you.” Forgiveness is “I want to kiss you. You are beautiful.” Forgiveness isn’t something you feel and want to do. Forgiveness is “You have made a mess. OK. I’ll clean it up.” That’s forgiveness. It’s a choice. Forgiveness is the choice to release a person from the obligation that resulted when they took something from you. Somebody takes something from you, forgiveness is the choice to release them from that.

This is where you say, “Lord, I know there are people I need to forgive, some I can remember and some I can’t remember. Would You bring to my mind all of the people I need to forgive?” Get a piece of paper ready. As God brings to your mind all of the people, jot their names down. In this crisis I do two things: I name the person; and I name the pain. I say, “God, I forgive Bill for . . . ” and I say it right before the Lord. God hears and He answers. In that crisis I say, “God, I forgive Robert for. . . God, I forgive Sue for . . . God, I forgive my dad for . . . God, I forgive my sister for . . . ” In the crisis of that moment incredible healing happens. I have seen people freed. This can be your day. Name the person and name the pain. And then forgive them.

You may be saying, “James, I can’t do that. It’s too hard.” Do you think God would ever command you to do something that was beyond your ability? Sure---it is too hard for you, you must do it through Christ who has forgiven you. Do it today, Loved One. (The holidays are just around the corner.)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

~I'm Changing~

"In the Lord's name, I tell you this. Do not continue living like those who do not believe. Their thoughts are worth nothing. They do not understand, and they know nothing, because they refuse to listen. So they cannot have the life that God gives. They have lost all feeling of shame, and they use their lives for doing evil. They continually want to do all kinds of evil. But what you learned in Christ was not like this." ~ Ephesians 4:17-20

Do you believe that God changes people?

In principle it’s easy to say that God can work on anyone, but it gets risky to say He can transform the people you know. Then it’s personal. Can God change people in your family and in your church? Have you ever met up with someone you hadn’t seen in a while, and they seem different—in a good way? That’s God at work.

Is God changing you? Are you the same person you were 2 or 5 or 10 years ago? Think about a habit or a character issue that used to be a serious struggle. Is it still a battle, or have you seen victory over it? If you can point to something specific and say, "That used to be a problem for me, but it’s not anymore," then praise God! He’s changing you!

The apostle Paul offered the same encouragement to the followers of Christ at Ephesus. He drew a line and said, "Do not continue living like those who do not believe. . . .But what you learned in Christ was not like this!" (Ephesians 4:17, 20). In your days before salvation, you had no choice but to "walk the way Gentiles do." You may have been involved in any number of dark things. But, according to Ephesians 4:17, your life shouldn’t be like that anymore. Once you’ve come to Christ, you’re on a different road.

I believe that people change first when they admit their need to change and then when they identify and articulate specific areas on which to focus. Let me ask you to do this: Name three things that God is working on in you right now. Ready?

Do you have an answer? If you had to make up a scenario, or couldn’t think of anything specific, then you’re not taking seriously God’s offer to make you more godly. Change is not some mystical something that descends on you while you’re eating breakfast. Change happens because you see your sinful tendencies and allow God access to your will. Then you can yield to His Spirit when you come to those forks in the road when that inclination in your old nature is to do wrong. You can choose to turn around and act differently.

It is the grace of our long-suffering God at work in you and me that transforms us day by day. It’s an amazing testimony to His mercy that He keeps coming after us, pointing out the things that keep us from knowing the fullness of His joy. Ephesians 4:22-24 continues the process, "You were taught to leave your old self—to stop living the evil way you lived before. That old self becomes worse, because people are fooled by the evil things they want to do. But you were taught to be made new in your hearts, to become a new person. That new person is made to be like God—made to be truly good and holy." That’s the goal we’re going after—changed to be more like Him.

Devotion ~ Dr. James McDonald

Hope you all had a blessed, restful Sunday!

Friday, October 24, 2008

~Soap Bubbles~

Have you ever encountered firsthand or heard that dishwashers and and dish soap don't mix well together! Years ago, I had a friend, who had used regular dish soap because she was out of the soap that you use in the dishwasher. This is what happens. And, this is even the "cleaned-up version."

I have a red decorative bottle that I keep on my counter with dish soap in it. I've been using soaps and cleaners that are not bad for the environment. When I put said "green" dish soap in this bottle, it kept pushing the lid off. Since I couldn't use the pour spout lid, for whatever "green" reason, I took the lid off which made a mess on the bottle. When the bottle was empty earlier in the week, I stuck it in the dishwasher to get all the soap off of it.

I noticed that some soap had dripped out of the bottle into the bottom of the dishwasher. When running this dishwasher, sure enough, I walked in the kitchen and there was soap and water all over the floor. So, me and my little helper (who was really there to just "sniff" cleaned the water and soap from the floor, and just stopped the dishwasher. Later in the day, I tested it again to see if I could just finish running it and if the soap would finally go away.

Well, it did, but these are the pictures taken of the 2nd mess, which got trapped in the towel I put down. Once the load was finished running, all the bubbles were gone.

Have a great weekend! I'll leave you with one last picture of "my helper" who is taking a break.

~Friends, Awards and Pass the Love~

Last week, one of my close bloggy friends, who you all know and love, Laurie Ann
honored me with, "A Perfect Blend of Friendship Award." Thank you Laurie Ann. This means so much to me. I'm honored to call you friend.

This award has a questionnaire. Which I think I shy away from, because of "what is they don't like my answers, or if they think I dumb or ........ but I'll answer them.

1. Do you have the same friends since childhood? No, I don't. I do have a few close friends that I have had since in my early 20's that I used to work with.

2. What do you value most about your friends? My answer to this mirrors, what Laurie Ann used, so I'm going to say "ditto". "The qualities mentioned in this award, trust, kindness, honesty and caring. And above all, love. Respect is another value I have, as well as our common love for God."

3. Are your friends your sounding boards? There are a couple of friends that are. But, ultimately I have to trust God that he will lead me down the correct paths, so to speak.

4. What is your favorite activity to share with your friends? One friend of mine in particular that we don't see each other a great deal of the time, but we have a special connection. Whenever we see each other, it is like we pick up where we left off. We have a lot of fun together, but she is also one that I know at any time I could ask her to pray about something, and she is always there.

Now the fun part, I am to pass this on to five friends.........Love you all!

1. Tracy @ My Cup Runneth Over.
2. Tonya @ Safe in HIS Arms.
3. Amy @ Mom of 4~Saved By Grace.
4. Melanie @ The Fruits of the Spirit.
5. Denise @ Shortybears Place.

Then I got a couple of other awards from Gi @ U Can Hope 2. Gi is a fairly new bloggy friend, to me. Go check out her blogs, if you haven't already. You will be blessed.

So, the word of the week, it seems, is friendship.

I'm going to pass these on to:

1. Laurie Ann @ A Magnolia Heart Beats.
2. Christina @ All That Blog
3. Darlene @ Everything to Me aka Puff's Pocket

I hope you all enjoy these.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Radiance of God

For more Word Filled Wednesday, hop over to Amy Deanne's.

Have a Blessed Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

~Of Utmost Importance~ Tempt/Tuesday Below~

I wanted to ask a favor. A lot of you may be acquainted with, Tammy Nischan and her son, Nick who is fighting brain cancer. I've been communicating with Tammy some and have been receiving her updates on Nick. I've put a link to Nick and Tammy's blogs at the end of this post.

I asked Tammy if I could Nick's story on my blog, and she has told me I most certainly can. Nick is a 13-year-old young man. I've added Nick's picture also.

Since 2002 Nick has been battling brain cancer. He has had 5 brain surgeries and one spinal surgery since the age of 7. Now 13, Nick continues to face this giant called cancer with a smile and an attitude of victory!

Nick needs a lot of prayers right now. I'm going to insert a BIG portion of Tammy's latest update, so you can read first hand what Nick is facing, and also to see God shine through this young man, at what has to be an extremely difficult journey.

"Dearest, dearest prayer warriors,

I wish I could sit across from each of you and share about today face to face. It is so difficult to type the depth of our emotions at this time - the incredible sadness mixed with supernatural peace that fills our home.

First, I want to share about our weekend. Olivia had two basketbal games on Saturday in Morehead and Nick decided at the last minute that he would go along for the games and meet Evan there to ride home with him from college! I was so excited! I wish you could have seen the faces of the parents from Olivia's team (especially Hope's!) as we walked into the gym and Nick climbed the bleachers to the top! It was such a great day!

Secondly, Nick went to church for the second week in a row, and I was especially thrilled to notice that Nick was singing during worship. Last week he didn't sing, which was fine, but I just remember how much he used to LOVE to sing praises and it just made my heart jump to see him singing again! Sunday night the youth group came to our house again!...

The plan was for Nick to have an IV started at (Kenwood MRI) so that they could do the contrast for his MRI and then leave the needle in for our trip to Children's main branch for bloodwork. We are so happy when they got the needle in on the first try and it had a blood return, but as the nurse was preparing to tape it, she accidentally pulled it out! Ugh! She looked and looked for another vein and then after finding one discovered that their branch was totally out of tubing, so Nick had to go with just a needle for the contrast and then the knowledge of another needle coming at the hospital. He handled it all beautifully!

When we arrived at the hospital and were called back to a room, we waited for a bit and then Maureen (our nurse practitioner) came by to see Nick. In a while she came back and said they would really like to go ahead and put in an IV in case Nick needed a transfusion. This confused us and Nick was not happy. He didn't cry, but I could tell he wanted to. I really wanted to, too. I went out in the hall to find her and see if the needle would be as small as the contrast needle and when I did find her I asked why they thought this. She said she thought Nick looked pale and that she couldn't look me in the eye and tell me that Nick's MRI looked good. She said that Dr. Fouladi would want to talk to me and Tim alone. I had to keep my composure as I returned to the room and gave Nick an update and then I motioned for Tim to step out and told him what she had said. We stayed in the room a bit, and Nick decided he didn't want Emla cream. He just wanted to get it over with just like he had in the morning. Maureen came back to do a physical at some point and was very pleased with Nick's strength. Tim kept making eye contact with me and saying, "Stay strong," because I guess he could sense in my face that I was slipping. I held it together until they took us to the room next door. While they talked with us, we had some in and out conversations with Nick's nurse and determined that they would just do a finger prick and if Nick did need a transfusion we would just have it done at Bellfonte tomorrow. I am sure I am missing details here, but that is the gist of what happened. Anyway, Dr. Fouladi had print outs of Nick's MRI and she was so nice as she explained that the cancer is simply growing very, very rapidly and she fears that doing more chemo will make Nick's blood counts drop so low that it will cause other complications that are not good. The cancer is in his spine in a lot of places. It is all around his brain and going down into his brain....there is a blood clot at one place at the top of his brain from the cancer. Saying all of this, she is AMAZED at how Nick is doing! He rarely even uses Tylenol for pain, and he is totally funny and full of conversation. He is a miracle right this minute, honestly1

I kept from crying for a long time, and even as I began to ask questions, I said, "I don't want to cry," and she said, "It is okay." I think that was all I needed to hear.

After she had talked with Tim and me, she wanted to talk to Nick. She sent me to the bathroom which I couldn't find. I was walking down halls trying to hide the fact that I was crying and every door was an office. I went back the way I came and one nurse practitioner was coming out Nick's little hallway. I said, "I can't find a bathroom," and she took my arm and turmed me around, and it was right in front of me the whole time with the door open. She just said, "Love your heart." I went into the bathroom and literally doubled over sobbing. It was awful. I regrouped as quickly as I could and had another NP get my purse so I could powder my face...I hate when nick sees me cry. He is such a trooper.

Dr. Fouladi told Nick that there was definitely tumors growing and that she feared doing chemo because of his blood counts. We left it at that with him, and he said he didn't have any questions.

Tim and Nick went on out to get the van and then to pick up me and Donnette. Donnette waited in the waiting room while Dr. Fouladi pulled me into a patient room with a curtain and shut the curtain. She is so precious. She looked me straight in the eyes and said, "I want you to know that you have done EVERYTHING possible and right for Nick. I do not want you second-guessing yourself in the middle of the night. If you do, I want you to call me anytime." She hugged me and we both cried....again.

When I got in the van with Nick and Tim it was amazing. Nick was all set to stop at Graeters for ice cream and then he wanted to go home through Lexington and eat at the Good Foods Market Cafe!! He was in great spirits.....he said, "Well, we have some things to look forward to" and then he started listing upcoming tv shows and football games. It was unreal. Later when he got sleepy he said, "I'm tired. I've been up since 8 and gotten bad news three times today." Then he took a little nap. He just keeps such a great spirit about everything. I truly think there are angels all around him strengthening him and bringing a peace that passes understanding. That's all I can think.

I couldn't call mom. I knew I wouldn't be able to hold myself together. We texted back and forth for a long time, and I just ached for her not being with us, because I know how hard it is to NOT be with Nick when he has medical procedures much less receives troubling news. I love you, Mom!

Tonight Nick watched part of the football game while Tim helped Olivia with homework. Then after realizing that her backpack weighed 19 pounds Olivia decided she wanted a backpack with wheels. We knew we had one, but I did not know where it was. So I spent time in the attic and outside in the dark in a shed with a flashlight. Finally, after running out of places to look, I started back through the closets for a second look and sure enough I found it in the very back of a closet behind clothes.! Honestly, a backpack with wheels was the furthest thing from my mind, but in Olivia's world it was huge......balancing normal stress with the stress of Nick's cancer is so hard for me sometimes.

We then all sat down to watch The Amazing Race which we taped last night and Nick loves to watch! It was a great mind-releaser for about an hour. Nick was pretty tired after that, so I came on up with him to sleep. He is sleeping right next to me, and just the sound of his breathing comforts me.

As I lay here tonight, I have to try and find the words that are somehow tangled up in my mind.

First, NICK IS A MIRACLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He has defied the doctors time and time again. Even in July of this year after looking at Nick's petscan, Dr. Fouladi said that Nick should be incapacitated on a morphine drip already. Now, she is just blown away. And the fact that the big tumors are growing "out" rather than "in" means that Nick is still here with us! Thank you, Lord!

Oh, I still pray for a miracle. To wake up and see Nick's head perfectly round..................I just believe God could do it if He so desired.

I do not undertand God's plan. I truly don't. But, I do believe that God is with us............always has been, always will be!

Second, WE NEED YOUR PRAYER!!!!!!!!!!!!!! More than ever.

My eyes are starting to fall asleep as I write, so I will write more tomorrow.

God is still on His throne. Nick is still His child.

My heart is breaking tonight and yet I refuse to stop praying for a full-blown miracle.

Please keep praying with us.

Oh, I love you all so much, and as Dr. Fouladi said today, "Only God knows the time for man....." Isn't that true of all of us? I guess that is what is keeping me going is the reality that NONE of us knows about our tomorrow except for our Creator and He has everything "under control."

I love you all so much, and I have a favor to ask you.

If you have time, can you write a letter to Nick (not saying anything about this latest news) just simply telling him how his life has impacted yours.............

I want him to know how his life is impacting others (present tense) all over the world........"


"When I ended my email earlier, I just couldn't sleep. I found myself literally walking through our house and spending time on my knees by Olivia's bed crying and then by Todd's bed crying...............I didn't want Nick to hear me. I wanted to call someone, and I know so many of you have said to call you any time day or night, but honestly, the phone ringing at 1:30 in the morning is something I would never do to anyone. And truthfully, what could anyone say at this point.....that is an awful lot of pressure to put anyone under. So, I made it downstairs to our room and woke up Tim which was probably not the most sensitive option, but he is so kind. At first, I think I scared him when he heard me crying. But then, he realized I was just having a hard time. So, we made it out to the new room and I just cried and cried. And Tim just let me say everything I needed to say. And then he shared some thoughts with me that were on his heart and we prayed and then I cried some more.

Now, I am back in bed with Nick with a cold washrag on my forehead and very thankful I decided I couldn't sub tomorrow.

I am writing now simply to say that I am so thankful for the huge army of prayer warriors that Nick has out there in the world because of the Internet and KCU and churches and family and friends, etc. who care and love him so much. I don't think anyone could be more covered in prayer. I really don't.

God has been so evident throughout this entire journey of Nick's. I have to continue to trust and believe that He will not leave or forsake us now.

And I thank all of you for staying so connected to our family.

I guess I just had to write one more time to let you know that, although Tim and I are both brokenhearted to the core, we are NOT without HOPE. We are totally, securely, steadfastly, and unconditionally committed to God and His Son Jesus Christ.

And our prayer is that you are too. Please don't allow Nick's battle to be in vain. If you do not know Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, PLEASE email us so that we can find a church family in your area of the world that can help you become part of God's family.

Clinging to the Cross and Ready for His Return As Soon As Possible!"

We cling to the verse in Psalm 126 that says,
"Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy."

I would ask everyone who reads this, please pray for Nick and his family. Unless you have been there, you can only imagine what they are dealing with. And, if you know someone who does not have Christ in their life, please show this to them.

It is so very true, ONLY GOD, knows the number of our days. Nick is a miracle, pray that he will be healed to tell his story.

Nick's Blog
Tammy's Blog

Please also visit Nick and Tammy's blog. Read Nick's complete story. Let them know you are praying for THE MIRACLE!

And, thank you for taking the time to pray! Please also pray for Jan. She hasn't felt as good as she was for awhile. She is off the steroids. She feels weak. She has some swelling in her hands/feet. And, she has a personal prayer request. Pray for healing, peace that surpasses all understanding for Nick and Jan both.

Monday, October 20, 2008

~Tempt My Tummy Tuesday~Apple Crisp~

Apple Crisp

1 cup butter (cold)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup oatmeal
1/4 tsp. baking powder

9-10 apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon

Topping: In large bowl, mix all ingredients until butter is just broken up and the ingredients are mixed together. Mixture should crumbly.

Filling: Place apples into large baking dish (9x13). Mix in separate bowl: sugar, salt and cinnamon and then sprinkle apples. Spoon topping over top. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Now, head over to Lisa and Lana's and see what else is cookin!

Happy Tuesday!

~A Picture Speaks 1000 Words~

Periodically when washing towels I will throw some of Ripley's toys in the washer and dryer. Last week he caught me as I was moving towels and toys from the washer to the dryer. I usually try not to let him see me washing his toys, but I didn't this time. The first picture shows

him looking in the dryer at a toy. The second picture shows him sticking his head in to try to get one of his toys. I don't think he realized if he would have put his paws up on the dryer, he probably could have reached at least one of his toys.

But the last picture, he is just staring in at his toys. It didn't matter that he has TONS of other toys to play with. After I started the dryer, he kept going back in the laundry room looking for his toys. He was thrilled the next morning when I pulled his three toys out of the dryer. It was really funny, but I guess you had to be there.

Friday/Saturday Janet had a garage sale. She very graciously allowed me to take my left over stuff from my garage sale to put in hers. I had a loaded my vehicle Thursday, and Ripley had to ride in my lap because his seat was full also. I know this is a "no-no," but he needed to get out of the house as well. Today, after church, I went and picked up the rest of my stuff. And, brought back a loaded vehicle. I made $137, but not really sure what they sold. I'm getting ready to go pull it all out of the vehicle and see what I can get rid of.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

~WFW~Faith in the Night~

"After he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, "It is a ghost!" and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid." - Matthew 14:24-27

Why is it that problems always seem bigger in the middle of the night? In the hours between the days, our fears loom larger and burdens grow heavier. It was between three and four o'clock in the morning when the disciples fought the storm on the Sea of Galilee. In Matthew 14 we hear about how their imaginations whipped around like a wild wind. And just when the storm was taking them under for the last time, Jesus walked by on the water! Crazy!

Just look at their response.

"And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, "It is a ghost!" and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid."

Why do you doubt? He asked him. I'm right here.

We painfully identify with the disciples' fear. When we're out here on our own, our hearts become filled with fear. Overwhelmed by circumstances, we forget who He is. He's God. He's in control.

The Christian life is a life of faith. In faith you can say, God has made some promises and I believe Him. I don't always understand His ways, but I trust Him. He's in charge.

God has given you some assurances so that you can walk by faith while you're waiting for Him to work. You don't have to take your view your life from what you see happening right in front of you. Living by faith and holding onto God's promises gives stability and strength to life.
Devotion taken from James McDonald

I find my heart is heavy tonight. There are so many people who are sick, and the numbers keep growing. In less than 1 month now, it will be a year since everything changed in our family. In this last year, it is unbelievable how MANY people who have cancer, alone. There are MANY other types of illnesses. And, so many people who are hurting for various reasons. Please join me today in praying for the many with illnesses, people who are hurting and for our country.

In particular, Jan was pretty wiped out from her last trip to MD Anderson. She is attempting to come off the steroids. Her potassium was low, so they are supplementing that. She said she felt off balanced. The nurse over this clinical trial she is on made a comment that these new feelings are due to the chemo. Pray that she will not dwell on these comments and that she will remain positive and feel GREAT!

And, Joyce is doing dramatically better. Thanks for praying.

To find more Word-filled Wednesdays, visit 160AcreWoods

Love & Blessings!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

~Tempt My Tummy Tuesday~

Hey there, I am going to add 2 recipes today. One new, one old. Hope you try and enjoy!

Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding ~ 12 Servings
2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
6 to 8 bananas, sliced
2 cups milk
1 (5-ounce) box instant French vanilla pudding
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping thawed, or equal amount sweetened whipped cream

Line the bottom of a 13 x 9 by 2-inch dish with 1 bag of cookies and layer bananas on top.
In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer. Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth. Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended. Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Note: This is pretty rich. I even used 2% milk, and low-fat cream cheese. Next time, I may used the lower fat sweetened condensed milk. I think it would be good with Nilla wafers also. It got better the 2-3 days. It is super-duper easy! And, BTW, this is a "Paula Dean" recipe.


4 large baking potatoes
2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup flour
6 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 green onions, chopped and divided
12 slices bacon, cooked, crumbled and divided
1 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 8oz sour cream

Bake potatoes at 400 degrees until done. Let cool. Cut potatoes in half, scoop out pulp and set aside.

Melt butter in heavy saucepan over low heat; add flour, stirring until smooth. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thick and bubbly. Add potato, salt pepper, 2 tablespoons onion, 1/2 cup bacon, 1 cup cheese. Cook until heated, stir in sour cream. Add extra milk.

Serve with remaining onions, bacon and cheese.

Now head over to Blessed With Grace for more great recipes!
Happy Tuesday!

Monday, October 13, 2008

~Random Things~

Okay, I've been tagged here in the last few weeks by 3 of my GREAT bloggy friends. So, I have to list 7-8 RANDOM THINGS about myself. I'm going to see if I can think of 7-8 things, BUT I'm breaking the rules, just because I think most have already been tagged, but if not and you want to play along, please feel free!

First, let me say I was tagged by, Laurie Ann, Tracy, and Debra Kaye.

1. I don't like to be in the spotlight.

2. I took cake decorating classes when my niece and nephews were young, and made a lot of their birthday cakes, as well as my parents 40th anniversary cake, and Jan's 2nd wedding cake.

3. I love auctions and estate sales. We used to go to an auction every Friday night. We did this for, I think a couple of years.

4. I cried the first day of school from 1st through 3rd grade, that I remember, and probably kindergarten also. But, I do remember that I hung on my kindegarten teacher's skirt.

5. Taking it a bit further, I told my parents that I didn't feel good in 1st grade because I didn't want to go to school. This went on for some time until they figured this out, and also many trips to doctors to try to find out what was wrong! Pretty sad when you would rather go to the doctor than grade school.

6. I teach 1st grade Sunday School at my church.

7. I was never really an animal person, until I got Ripley! The reason I got Ripley was that I had kept my nephew's dog for him for a few months, and was very sad when that ended. I immediately started looking for a puppy and picked Ripley up the next day!

8. Now, you see how boring I am.

Have a great day!!!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

~Update on Joyce~ TSMSS~ Just Below~

Update: 7:37 p.m. Central Time

Brianna just called. The message that I thought she left last night was an old message, I guess that I hadn't listened to.

Anyway, Joyce is doing better. Her body is absorbing oxygen. They are trying to find out what type of pneumonia she has. She seems much better tonight than last night.

In regards to her cancer, the treatment so far has worked on shrinking the lung mass. BUT, everything they have tried so far has not worked on shrinking the lymph nodes. And, she has an area, on her bottom where radiation burned her skin. I will not go into detail, but she has some serious problems from this also.

Thanks again for your prayers.

Hi All,

I missed a call from Brianna late last night. BUT, her Mom's condition has improved GREATLY. Brianna was on her way home.

I know Joyce still has a long road ahead, but we can praise God today for answering prayers. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

As I mentioned when Joyce was first diagnosed, she is NOT a Christian. So, please continue to pray for her health, but also that she will have a change of heart.

Have a blessed weekend!

Friday, October 10, 2008

~TSMSS~ Tenth Avenue North~By Your Side~


For more "Then Sings My Soul Saturday" posts visit Amy at Signs, Miracles and Wonders

~Urgent Prayer~

UPDATE: I have talked with Brianna via text messaging, and she said her Mom, Joyce's lung are not working properly. They are giving her antibiotics. Apparently the problem is her body is not absorbing oxygen. Joyce is aware of what is going on. I gathered at this time, they are trying to find the cause of why her body is not absorbing oxygen. If I find out any more, I will let you know.

Thanks for all your prayers.

Hi All,

Earlier this week, I talked to my friend, Bri, who is Joyce's daughter. She had been hospitalized for pneumonia. She had just started on her 3rd type of chemo, as she was allergic to the second one.

I just received a call that the family had been "called in." Please pray for Bri as she travels from Oklahoma to Texas. Brianna has 2 sisters. I think Shannon may be in Texas still. But, Lindsey just had her baby last week and has been dealing with problems with her blood pressure caused by the preeclampsia. I'm not sure if Lindsey is physically able to make this trip right now.

I have a call into Bri, and will give you an update if/when I talk to her.
I have a call into Bri, but haven't been able to talk to her yet.

I know these girls will appreciate the prayers said on their and their Mother's behalf.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

~Thankful Thursday~ Be Thankful~

Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don't know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you're tired and weary
Because it means you've made a difference.

It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.

GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.
~ Author Unknown ~

Thankful Thursday is hosted by Iris at Grace Alone.


~WFW~ Romans 5:8~

Died For Me

To find more Word-filled Wednesdays, visit 160AcreWoods

Monday, October 6, 2008

~Tempt My Tummy Tuesday~ Peanut Butter Cookies~


2 eggs – beat approximately 10 seconds
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla

Mix the above 4 ingredients

1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp soda
1 tsp salt

After mixing first 4 ingredients, add dry ingredients. Add ½ bag peanut butter chips.

Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

These are the best peanut butter cookies, I have ever had. They are soooooo good!


For more great recipe finds go to Lisa/Lana's Tempt My Tummy and all the others joining in.

~God's Demonstration~

But God shows his great love for us in this way:
Christ died for us while we were still sinners.

There is no reason to say, "If God loves me, let Him prove it!"
He already has.

God gave a demonstration proving He loves you at Calvary --
where Jesus died a cruel death on a cross. He died, in your
place, suffering punishment you deserved, to set you free.

By dying for you, God proved He loved you supremely. How could
He love you more?

Jesus showed that He loves you more than He loves Himself.

JOHN 15:13 ~ The greatest love a person can show is to die for his friends

Jesus gave His life for you. What more could He do?

1 JOHN 3:16a ~ By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us.

Many people have a distorted view of God. The true picture of
God's nature is that He loves all the people of the world so
much, He was willing to suffer for their freedom.
Taken from Daily Devotion

If you remember, please say a prayer for my cousin's family today as they lay their love one to rest. And, tomorrow for Anita, and her immediate family as they lay my uncle to rest. Because of my job, I didn't feel like I could take off both days, and so I had to make a choice, and will be going to the funeral of my uncle. Anita has a big task ahead of her in getting her Mom settled where she will be closer to her. Her parents have insisted in the past to live independently. This has been approximately 3 hours from where Anita lives. My Aunt is unable to live independently by herself, so this has and will be a chore.

Then Wednesday, my cousin Sheila will be leaving to return to home. I haven't really been able to spend that much time with her since she has been here, but will tomorrow after the funeral. Please pray for safe travels for Sheila. She is also returning home to continue in the daily task of caring for her mother. So, please pray for Sheila, her sister and brother as they continue to care for their mother. It has been extremely difficult for them to watch their Mom become less aware of her surroundings, being confused, upset and not understanding at times what is going on. I don't think until you've been there, you could imagine how difficult it is, like in so many circumstances.

Jan/Gerald will also be leaving Tuesday to return to MD Anderson. She will NOT have an MRI this visit. It is her, as they put it, WELL-BABY visit. But, she will have an EKG, blood work and see her oncologist. Jan has been feeling good, except for some stomach issues. She is having problems with her vision and will be seeing the ophthalmologist soon to see if she can get this straightened out. This has been an ongoing problem, since even before she was diagnosed with GBM!

There is also a young lady at Mom/Jan's church who was diagnosed with cancer. She just turned 31. She has a 5-year-old and a 2-year-old. Her chemo is every other week, and it has really been hard on her. It is the highest possible dosing of chemo she can have. Yet, she still remains positive.

Update: My cousin's last blood/lab testing her blood counts were improved. We are extremely thankful for that. Pray they continue to improve.

As for Joyce, who has lung cancer, her doctors are very pleased because they were seeing improvement in her. She will be testing soon, but they were unable to feel her lymph nodes and felt the chemo/radiation was working.

Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers. They are so very appreciated.

Have a great day!

Friday, October 3, 2008

~TSMSS~ You Reign~ Mercy Me~

I recently told you about my uncle and cousin, both with lung cancer. Well they both passed away early Friday morning. We will be celebrating my uncle's life Tuesday. Not sure about my cousin. I would ask you specifically to remember my cousin, Anita. She is an only child. It is hard enough with siblings and a mother who does not have dementia. I know the last 1 1/2 weeks have been so hard on her, and this is a hard road to walk. Her mother is still alive, I don't think can stay alone. Please pray for this transition to go smoothly.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

~Thankful Thursday! ~Praise~Thankfulness~

He is Your Praise
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18 ~

The meaning of thankfulness:

1. feeling gratitude: feeling or expressing gratitude. We must be thankful for small mercies
2. glad about something: glad or relieved about something

Has God blessed you?

Sometimes God doesn't answer our prayers the way that we think that he should answer them. God sees our situation much better than we do and we can trust that he always has our best interest in mind. We only see a tiny piece of the big puzzle and God has the entire puzzle in his vision.

Are there times when you do not feel thankful? Or, you have a hard time trying to think of what you are thankful for? Sometimes situations in our lives can make being thankful a difficult chore. Even in the worst of times we can find reasons to be thankful. Knowing that Jesus loves us and chose to willingly die for us is a very big reason to be thankful all the time.

Knowing that God is in control and that he has a purpose for our lives is another reason to be thankful.
God blesses us in so many ways and sometimes we fail to see or recognize His handiwork in our lives.

Do you have a place to sleep? Food to eat? Family? Friends? Car? Bicycle? A computer you are now typing on to join in Thankful Thursday. I want to choose to see the positive in all things. At least we have the opportunity to make Heaven our Home. We won't live on this crazy place called "earth" forever.

The greatest of all things is Jesus Christ. He paid a very hefty price for us! That should keep us thankful for our entire lives.

Update on my job~ It is a lot different than what I was used to. But, for the last week I've set daily goals and then a goal for the end of that pay period. I DID IT. I've changed a few things and it has made a huge difference. I'm so very thankful for that. I'm pushing up my goal for the next 2 weeks. I'm thrilled that with the gas prices that a tank of gas lasts me at least 3 weeks. Plus, wear and tear on my vehicle which I'm thankful for. (Not thankful someone keyed my car though).

Update on Mr. Ripley ~ I can see such an improvement in his leg. I'm taking care and retraining him not to jump up and especially off furniture. And, he is such a good learner. I've been getting him out every day and letting him exercise his leg and I think that is helping. He's also lost some weight, which is a big plus (I gained it). He has a very expensive front leg/elbow, so we are taking extra special care to get it healed. It has been 6 months since his last surgery. He got to got visit my sister's dogs the other night. One of them just pestered him to death. And, then they got in a contest of who could "mark" my Mom's yard the most. I'm so thankful that this leg is healing. And many other things as well.

See if you can find 5 things every day to be thankful for. It will change your life.