Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Where Did the Time Go?

My poor little neglected blog.  It has been a while since I have paid it any attention.  About 6 whole months! WOW! That's a long time!

Sometimes life goes a little crazy.   Sometimes life is hard and tries to give you more than you think is possible to handle.  Sometimes it is all you can do just to get out of bed in the morning and do what has to be done.  There are times that you are just minding your own business, and all of a sudden, out of nowhere, life just shows up and knocks ya' down, and while you are down it decides to throw in a couple of kicks and punches too.  That is where we have been.  Struggling to get back on our feet, make sense of circumstances and overall making lemonade out of lemons. 

But then, just as quickly, life can turn back around and the sunshine returns.  We finally make it back to our feet and start to get back on with enjoying life.  Slowly, painfully, but wiser than before.  That is where we seem to be now, at least for the time being. 

I have noticed a trend on my blog though, it seems like when life gets a little crazy the blog is always the first thing I let go.  I need to work on that.  I use this blog as a way to keep track of my life and remember the things that I need to remember along with keeping in touch with family members.  Obviously I am not doing a very good job at writing down our memories or keeping in touch!  So, maybe that is something that I can work on for the new year.  Is it rushing things to already be planning for the new year? Maybe so... Hmm, well then it will be something that I can work on for the holiday season, you know, since Thanksgiving and Christmas are big memory making holidays and all.  Yeah! That's it!  That is something that I am going to work on for the holiday season! 

Ok, so this post is full of odds and ends and ramblings, so I guess its time to wrap it up.  I will be back in a few days hopefully, (when I have my camera) to post a hodgepodge of pictures that I took over my little 6 month bloggy break. Maybe I can document a few of those memories after all....

Friday, May 21, 2010

Psalm 139

I am a worrier.  I think I have always been a worrier.  I think I was born worrying.  I don't know how to stop.

 Many of the tasks that I am assigned at work don't take a lot of concentration.  My mind starts to wander and it never fails that I start to worrying and stressing.  Then it just snowballs.  I spend the entire day worrying and by the end of the day my mind is a mess of mush, my stress levels are through the roof and my neck and shoulders are tense.  I finally decided that I needed something else to occupy my mind during the day because I was trying to lower my stress level and I was making myself crazy.  So, I decided that I would try memorizing scripture.  Any time that my mind was not occupied, and I felt myself starting to worry and stress, I just started working on my verse.

For my first verse I chose Psalm 139.  It was a verse that I started memorizing while I was in high school and never finished.  It took me about a month even with the head start, but I do only work three days a week, at least that is my excuse, it is NOT because I am getting old.

Psalm 139 (NIV)

O LORD, you have searched me and 
you know me.

You know when I sit and when I rise;
You perceive my thoughts from afar.

You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.

Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.

You hem me in - behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee form you presence?

If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if i settle on the far side of the sea,

even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me 
and the light will become night around me,"

even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for the darkness is as light to you.

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you 
when I was made in the secret place.
when I woven together in the depths of the earth, 

your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me 
were written in your book 
before one of them came to be.

How precious to me are you thoughts, o God!
How vast the sum of them!

Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you

If only you would slay the wicked, Oh God!
Away from me, you blood thirsty men!

They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.

Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
and abhor those who rise up against you?

I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.  

Search me, oh God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.

See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

I really love this passage and it definitely helped keep my stress and worry levels down.  Now that I have finished this one, I am looking for my next passage to work on during the week.  If anyone has any suggestions I welcome them!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Squirrls Need Somewhere to Sit Too!

While out walking the other night I spotted this tiny little bench.

I fell in love with it because I think tiny little things that look exactly like the bigger version that I usually see are so cool.  Don't ask me why, but I am quite fascinated by these tiny replicas.  Maybe because it kinda makes me feel like a giant....I don't know....I am quite curios why one would need a bench quite so small though.  Maybe at night when all the people go to sleep a little boy squirrel will bring his sweetheart here and they will hold hands and look at the moon.  I know...I am weird....you can stop laughing now....

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Newest Member of My Cleaning Staff

A belated wedding gift from Clint's grandpa.

Thanks to this fur ball who has started shedding her winter fur, the white hair that is already a full time job trying to control is now an even bigger issue.

This little beauty does an amazing job at helping me with my fur problem. It is such a nice vacuum.  I think I am in love.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Apple and Onion Pork Chops

Last week I tried a new recipe for some pork chops and it was to die for.  Clint even loved it which makes it a super duper hit.

The recipe came with the food that we order every month (which is another post that I will post about some day).  Since the recipe came from there, I don't exactly know who to give the credit to so, if this recipe happens to belong to anyone that reads my blog, or may read it one day, or if you know the person this recipe belongs to, please let me know and I will gladly give credit where credit is due.

So, now that all that is out of the way, presenting Apple and Onion Pork Chops.

So yummy!

2 teaspoons coarsely ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
4 center cut pork chops
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 medium apples peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons brown sugar

In a small bowl, combine the pepper, salt and garlic powder.  Rub over the pork chops.  Grill chops, covered, over medium heat for 7-9 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F and juices run clear.

Meanwhile, in a skillet, saute onions and apples in butter until tender. Add brown sugar; cook until thickened and bubbly, Serve with the pork chops.

The only thing I did different was grill the pork chops on my George Foreman Grill rather than on the stove.  It was so easy and so tasty.  I will definitely be making this recipe again!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Little Piece of Wilderness

Last week we branched out a little for our evening walk.  I like our evening walks for many reasons, I get some exercise, it gives us something different to do at night, it seems to calm me and I get to chat with my hubby without all the interruptions.  Clint, however, likes the walks to be adventurous and  he likes to explore so we decided to go exploring one night.  We didn't wind up where we thought we were going, but we found a cool little spot.  It is a nature preserve type thing, I think.  It was a big surprise though, because once we got in and started walking around I didn't even feel like I was in the middle of a busy city.  I saw a few too many snakes for my comfort on the little path that we decided to take, but over all it was a nice place and I felt like I had gotten away from the chaos and spent some time in the big outdoors even if it was still in the middle of the big city.

No city here!
I could come back and sit beside this lake for a while...So peaceful....

City....What city???

Nope, no sign of the city here either!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

How I feel today...

Some days are just like that....

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

City Sunset

I come from the wide open flat plains of the Texas panhandle.  The sunsets there are absolutely breathtaking and, while there are many things that I do not miss about the panhandle such as the wind and the lack of rain, the sunsets are definitely not one of them.  I miss them terribly.  That is why, when I do get to glimpse of a sunset in the big city I try to enjoy it as much as possible.  It will never compare to the panhandle sunsets but they are still pretty.

It is still beautiful you just have to look through the electric lines, over the fence and past the street light, but look at the color.  So pretty.

The clouds do look pretty cool here though.

Such pretty sights God gives us to look at on our evening walks.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Tres Leches

This weekend we had dinner with Clint's cousin, Meagen and her husband, Brian.  She made the dinner, which was a delicious mexican casserole with rice and beans.  Soooo yummy.  I was in charge of the dessert so I made a Tres Leches cake.  This is my favorite dessert from Papasitos restaurants.  I have tried it at several other places but have never found one that was quite as good.  I tried to recreate the Papsitos version and I didn't get it quite right.  Maybe with a little tweaking I can get it right next time. It wasn't a bad cake, just not quite what I was aiming for.  I thought I would share the recipe anyway because it was still pretty tasty and super easy to make.

I cheated a little and used a box cake mix.  Some recipes I found online called for a type of pound cake but I thought I wanted something a little lighter.  So I just made and cooked the cake according to the directions on the box.

When it was done I let it cool for about 5 minutes and then I turned it into another pan that was just a little bigger.  In my mind it seemed like the bottom of the cake would be softer and absorb the liquid better.  Then I poked holes in it with a fork.

While the cake was cooling I mixed a cup of the whipping cream, a cup of the evaporated milk and a can of sweetened condensed milk.

 Then I poured the milk on top of the cake and refrigerated for about 5 hours.  This is one of those cakes that the longer it sits the more moist and better it is so you could even make it the night before and refrigerate overnight before serving.

The finished product.  Like I said, it was a good cake it just wasn't as moist as I wanted it to be. I will definitely make it again with maybe just a few modifications.

I added some whip cream and a strawberry.  It tasted like a moist fluffy strawberry shortcake.  Yummy!!

If anyone tries this recipe let me know what you think!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Garden Ladys

My little garden had some uninvited guests arrive this past week.  They are bad news for my plants.  I tried to get some pictures but they were way too tiny.  They are aphids.  The aphids took up their main residence on my mint plants which did not make me happy AT ALL! I was nervous to treat my herbs with pesticides because we eat the herbs.  I found some organic spray that were supposed to kill the aphids, but after two applications they were still alive and well.  So today, Hubby took me to the nursery that we like and we brought home some reinforcements.

Yes, that's right it says 2,000 lady bugs, and yes it is really spelled "ladys" (I know you thought I misspelled it in the title...its ok I think it is weird too.)

Sprinkling them on the plants.

So many!

Just what do 2,000 lady bugs look like?  I am glad you asked!

The adventure seekers.  Off to see what the great, wide world has to offer on the other side of the patio.

This is the popular plant.  It is where all of the "cool" bugs hang out and socialize.  A little further up the plant a few of the hard workers have found the feast of tasty aphids, but the others.....well...

They had other things on their mind. How embarrassing!

Now don't let those party bugs give them all a bad name, some of them went right to work and worked really hard, only stopping on occasion to get a little drink from the water drops on the leaves or to wash their face.  There was a lot of face washing going on.

More hard working little ladys.

And yes, I spent a good 45 minutes outside watching the bugs fly away, eat aphids, drink water, wash their faces, get acquainted with their new surroundings and well the other stuff.... all I can say is maybe soon we will have some baby ladys too.

If the little ladys keep up the good work in a couple of days I hope my garden will once again be pest free, and in the mean time I need to shower or something, all these bugs have made me itchy!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Tribute to Moms

Tomorrow is Mother's Day and this day is somewhat bittersweet for me.  My mom had planned to visit this weekend but when they were 40 miles away from our house they got a phone call that they were needed in another state to work.  I am happy for them because they have been needing work for a long time.  Work for them was one of the prayer requests listed on the prayer request blog hop a few posts down.  This is truly an answer to prayer so I am very happy for them, but I was looking forward to spending Mother's Day with her.

I had also hoped to be joining the ranks of other moms this Mother's Day, and for reasons unknown to us, God has not decided to bless us in this was yet.  I know there are many people out there who have been trying to get pregnant a lot longer than we have and some that know that they may never get pregnant.  I don't want to take anything away from these people.  I can't imagine the pain that they face.  We are a long way from being in that boat right now, after all we have only been trying for 8 months and it can take a year or more for some people, but it is still discouraging at times.  We are still hoping and trusting God to make our dreams come true in His time and give us patience while we wait. 

Over all though, we have much to be thankful for this Mother's Day.  We both still have our mothers with us.  We get to spend the day with Clint's mom and I can call and talk to my mom.  There are many people that don't even get that.  We are very blessed. 

So this Mother's Day we want to recognize our mothers; the women who gave birth to us, who loved us, who prayed for us and continue to be our friends and advisers now that we are grown.  Thanks for being the best moms we could ever ask for!  We love you!

Lavonda - Mom to 3 girls, homeschool teacher, wife and grandmother to two little angels.

Cindy - mother to 2 boys, loving caretaker, wife and servant.

Happy Mother's Day to two special ladies.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Post of Lucy

Lucy is the third member of our household.  She was my cat until she met Clint and most days she prefers him over me.  She is one of the most spoiled felines to ever grace the face of the earth I believe.  She had some strange quirks and habits that keep us entertained from time to time.
She hates the outdoors but she loves the patio.  She would stay out most of the day if I let her, but the minute I close the patio door she panics and the fun is over.

I planted some cat nip in my patio garden especially for her.  She was not impressed.

She prefers the impatients.  She makes a beeline for them as soon as the door is opened.  She grabs large mouthfuls and thinks they taste the best when the leaves are still wet from being watered. 

She loves ice water and while she likes it best straight from the glass.....

She will settle with some in a plastic bowl if that's all she can get.

Someone didn't like it when we got the carpet cleaned.  This corner was the only part of the carpet that didn't get cleaned so she took refuge for a couple of days.  Can you see her?

There she is!

Our little Lucy.  She is odd at times but is a sweet little companion.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Bless This Garden

A gift from my Hubby a couple of weeks ago.  Isn't it cute?  It looks so nice in my little garden.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Weekend Away

One of Clint's cousins got married over the weekend so we got to get out of town for a couple of days and enjoy some family and down time.

Beautiful wild flowers.  I have always heard about the flowers that grow here but never got to experience them for myself before.  I was very excited to finally be able to see them.  I kept looking for the Blue Bonnets but never did see any.

My Hubby and I before the wedding.

Cute way to give out the wedding programs.

Clint's cousin Meagen and her husband.  She is quickly becoming one of my best friends and it was so good to see them.

The groom's cake.