Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking Ahead

2011 has been quite the year. Lots of smiles. Lots of tears. Reflecting, I can say for certain that God has been faithful. I can't say that I have all of the answers for 2012. I can't say that there won't be bumps in the road - in fact, I'm more certain than ever that there WILL be. However, I am expecting a lot from 2012. 

I don't do resolutions, but I AM declaring some areas of focus for 2012.

Bible Study: I am getting involved with a group of ladies at our new church in January and my sis-in-law and I are going to do Beth Moore's study of James. I want to stay in the word and have focus. I am not one to just read through the Bible (although I have done that)...I need something to make me think about it. I also get the Girlfriends in God devotional daily (which I really like!)

Job: I am praying about what God would have me do. I want to work and we could use the extra money, but I honestly don't know where to begin. So, I'm praying for direction and open doors. I am certain that He has a plan that will unfold at the perfect time.

Exercise: For reasons that I will reveal in the coming days, I need to move my rear. I have found a ZUMBA class close to our house, so I am going to try to plug in there 2 or 3 times a week.

Encouragement: I want to spend more time writing letters, emails, blog posts - things that will lift others up. Life has a way of dragging you down some days and I want to really focus on uplifting people in my life.

Happy New Year. May your 2012 be blessed and prosperous!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I'll Be Home For Christmas (and the week after)

If you are expecting pictures - move on. We all know I own a camera, but just so it can sit in my bag and look pretty. Hello!

So, last week Precious worked 4-10 hour days so that we could leave on Friday morning and head to Illinois. It takes all day to drive. All. Day. Precious can't seem to decide if he wants me to sleep while he drives (because sometimes he wants to talk - or wants directions - difference? nope.) or be awake. However, if I am awake there are things I must do:
-not talk...unless he needs directions (not gonna happen. he says I'm like a 5 year old in the car and he's totally right. I talk to stay awake and because I'm bored!)
-stop talking (hmm...still not happening!)

Well, that's pretty much the entire list. And I admit it's bad. I try to read a little - listen to my ipod (book on CD) - Sudoku, but it's 9 hours. N.I.N.E. HOURS. I am pretty sure I suffer from ADD!

However, we made it safe and sound. We went to have chili with his parents and met a new addition to the family - Dotty, their new puppy. She's something and she HATES the lil brother (who just got engaged - Hooray! Congrats to you and Nutmeg). Too funny!

Christmas Eve - got to spend time with some of my family, went on a little shopping trip with my mom, and spent the evening with Precious' family. A house full of people is anything but dull. 4 little boys with new Lego sets, a game of Dirty Santa, lots of food and a few good rounds of Dutch Blitz made for a super fun night.

Christmas Day was a whirlwind. Early morning with the in-laws (and a dirty trick played by mom-in-law on pop-in-law - it was CLASSIC and she deserves and Oscar for her performance!), lunch with my parents, a visit with one of my favorite kids, and back to be with Precious' family.

Are you sensing a theme? We've been able to spend times with lots of people and it's been so great!

Monday: shopping, lunch with friends, Precious' new iPhone up and running, dinner at a local pizza joint.

Tuesday: Sleep. Hooray! Errands with my momma. Dinner with some of my former students (WHAT A BLAST! Miss you guys!).

Today? Breakfast at my favorite local eatery (Lynda's - DUH!). Time with mom and dad in Cape. Lunch with Precious. We came home and took down Christmas deco outside and the whole time I kept thinking of Taylor at The Lumberjack's Wife. She has a child who thinks she hates Christmas because she took down the decorations.

It's been busy few days, but SO WONDERFUL! I am so thankful for the time we have had and can't wait for the next few days! (except for this dumb weather! REALLY? 55 degrees at the end of December? What have we done to deserve this?)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Phoodos - For Casey

Pasta Carbonara
My friend Casey is a fabulous chef and has given us some fabulous recipes on her blog. This is my shout out to her. She posted a recipe for Pasta Carbonara and while mine is a little different, she was TOTALLY the inspiration for my experimentation with this dish.

Her recipe can be found here.

Here is mine (Lord help us - I threw a bunch of stuff in a pot that I wanted to get rid of before we leave for Christmas in Illinois.)

I used Bacon - LOTS OF YUMMY BACON - actually it was 6 slices of thick cut (and I baked it in the oven - 400 degrees until its crispy - because I vowed to never EVER fry bacon again!).

I used Penne pasta (cause that's how I wanted to roll that night and that's what was in the pantry). I boiled it and threw in some frozen peas during the last few minutes of boiling.

Sauce (my burner was on 6 or 7):
-melted 1/2 stick of butter in a skillet
-sauteed a container of sliced mushrooms and some garlic (don't ask me how much 'cause I just threw some in - add as much or a little as you want)
-added 1/2 onion, chopped, to skillet
-added about 1 1/2 cups of diced chicken (it was about half a package of the frozen diced chicken from Tyson)
-salt and pepper
-I added 1/2 package of cream cheese and let it begin to melt
-added a small container of half and half (oh, it's REAL healthy)
-added shredded parmesan (about 3/4 of a container from the store - I'm too lazy to grate it myself)
-add bacon, crumbled

Mix sauce with pasta/peas. Voila!

Veggie Lasagna
I also made Veggie Lasagna (last week - I'm late posting it). If you're interested, you can find the recipe here. We shared it with a couple from church - I have found it impossible to make a small amount of lasagna and soup/chili.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Stole This:

I totally ganked this from someone on Facebook, but isn't it hilarious?

I come home to....

I left last Tuesday to drive to Illinois. I spent several days there with my parents. I'm going to be very vague here simply to protect privacy, but it wasn't the sort of trip people look forward to. However, I am so grateful that I was able to spend 5 days there. I'm not currently working (which is driving me nuts), so it wasn't a huge deal to take off and go.

Can I just go on a little rant for a minute? I understand that God has purposes in everything, but sheesh some things are just almost unbearable. I really want to be the one who doesn't ask "Why?". I would rather be the one who says, "Ok, what now?" But days like today just leave me feeling more like screaming my head off. I just want to skip the questions and go straight to the fit pitching.

But just as I am mid kicking and screaming like a kid in the cereal aisle who didn't get the box she wanted, God reminds me of my many blessings. Today, they revolved around my family and my husband - my husband who had done all of the laundry, cleaned the kitchen, made the bed and bought me flowers which were on the table in vase when I got home from Illinois (that and some chart on the fridge about why the heat in our apartment rarely kicks on - too much time on his hands). I am very blessed.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Beef with Broccoli

So, I love Pintrest. In fact, I may be slightly addicted. However, it does produce good things...just ask Precious. He enjoyed some delicious Beef with Broccoli all because of Pintrest! Here is what ours looked like. YUM, right? (Note: I omitted the Sherry - I didn't have any!)

All plated up like Food Network. (RIGHT!) 


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