Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Cornbread Croutons!  Every time we eat at one of our favorite restaurants, Red Rock Canyon Grill, where they have these, we think we'll remember to try this at home.   But we just made them for the first time at our house recently.  All you do is dice up your leftover cornbread and toast in the oven for a few minutes!  The problem is we don't usually have leftover cornbread!  But on the occasion that you do, give it a try.  They are awesome on Chicken Caesar Salad!  Here's my favorite cornbread recipe, if you need one - I grew up on Jiffy Cornbread mix but this recipe tastes as good!

Sunday, January 27, 2013


Sound fancy, but all it means is "Divine reading."  In the highschool class where we are CORE group leaders, we are learning about spiritual disciplines.  I think it's wonderful!  I don't remember ever being exposed to this as a high school kid.  Today we watched this WINTERFEST video and talked about LECTIO DIVINA, and tried to get our group to try it.  The components are READ (several times), REFLECT, RESPOND, AND REST. 

It took me back to last summer and our TREK experience in Colorado.  On the fourth day of our trek, we rested, acclimated, and played around the camp, in preparation for our summit the next day.  It was probably the best day!  Right after breakfast we were sent away for a "while" and not supposed to come back until we were called.  We were not supposed to be near anyone else and only take our Bible study and our daypack.   With no watches, I have no idea how long it was...but I think it was about 3 hours.
That day was a lot of LECTIO DIVINA.  It was an awesome experience.  But I want to confess to you the REAL story.  It was hard.  It was too long (in my immature opinion).  I sat and prayed.  I read.  I answered the questions in our trek booklet.  I sang songs in my head.  I played with sticks (above photo).  I drank all my water.  I cleaned out my daypack.  I organized everything I had.  I deleted some photos taking up space.  I made sure my poop can was sealed up good and tight.  (So maybe you didn't want to know that one).  I laid on the ground and stared up through the pine needles and looked at the sun.  But looking back, that was good.  It showed me how impatient I am and how I need to be still.  Be still and know God.
It's time for some more LECTIO DIVINA.  I don't feel like my 15 minutes right after I wake up is cutting it.  Time to get out of my routine and do something different.  Time to take off the watch and go somewhere besides my cozy kitchen with my tea and computer and go somewhere with my Bible and my daypack.

Friday, January 25, 2013



We got a winner this week!  It was fairly simple to prepare too.  The chipotle in it makes it a pretty spicy soup, so beware!  The turkey was just fine with me, but would probably be easier next time made with chicken just because I don't buy turkey very often.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Sawdust City Wood Signs

Maybe you saw this posted on Facebook or Pinterest, but it was one that really made me laugh and think, "Oh, so true!"  We just can't have it all.  Anyone that thinks they can will find out that they only had it for a moment - there is always something else to be done!  

We will never be perfect - and we cannot expect others to be that way.   Only our heavenly Father is perfect, and thank goodness we have his Word to help us through this life!  We must forgive ourselves and others as God has forgiven us, and press on:

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Philipians 3:12-15

Sunday, January 20, 2013


We had a great time Saturday making the trek to Tulsa for the All-State concert!  This was our baby's first year so we were thrilled for him!  Holding up the tradition of being an All-Stater in Vocal Music in our family.  After two intense days of practices, staying up late, and just having a great time, they perform.  Cool musical kids from all over the state.  We went up early and ate breakfast at the 
Blue Moon Cafe, a hopping little breakfast place!  Then we went on to the Tulsa PAC.  Great songs and what a conductor!  This guy had led the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for a number of years.  So thankful for these enrichment experiences for the kids!  We are blessed.
Yes, we must have a picture in front of the sign no matter how bright it is out here! 
My son's idea of a good picture pose...

Friday, January 18, 2013


SAVOY CABBAGE, FONTINA, AND RYE BREAD!  I enjoyed the taste of the soup.  I had forgotten how good Rye bread is with cheese.  The cabbage cooked in chicken broth was okay too.  But when layered like a lasagna, then baked for 45 minutes, the rye bread on the bottom was just too slippery to stomach.  It was a real problem with the texture.  My DH couldn't take it - had to make himself an omelet!  So this one is a NO, NEVER AGAIN.
I did learn more about cabbage - Savoy is a particular kind of cabbage that is a little sweeter than our normal green cabbage, leafier, and named for a region in Italy.  Unfortunately I couldn't find it.  Fontina is similar to Swiss cheese.  So I guess if I am not expanding my tastes, I am expanding my brain!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Trying to convince myself that these cuties look as delicious as muffins on a cake plate!

Monday, January 14, 2013


Because everybody in OKC has to do this!
A visit from my daughter and her boyfriend!
Adorable baby!
Gram got everybody funny glasses!
Christmas stockings!
Skyping with my girl Christmas morning!

Little does he know that he's getting back the guitar and hard case my son lost 11/2 years ago!
Another sweet baby!  I forgot how hard it is to get a good pic!

My sis-in-law with her oldest grand baby!  Sure makes the holiday fun to have little ones again!

Saturday, January 12, 2013


POSOLE!  It's a Mexican comfort food.  If I was naming it, I'd probably call it Pork and Corn soup.  I tried the best I could to find some of the special ingredients (dried posole, Mexican oregano) without success.  Some recipes say to use hominy if you can't find the dried posole (some kind of corn) but I made it with this dried corn I found.  The hubs garnished it with cheddar but I resisted!  Pretty good, but not sure if I'm saving this one or not...

Friday, January 11, 2013


This stuff is GOOD.  Had it last month at a friend's house - she used it as part of a filling for crepes.  It's from Belgium and she's had a sister who has been a  missionary there for years.  Now it is available here and I found it at Hobby Lobby (of all places!)  Similar to peanut butter, it is made of biscoff cookies.  So basically it's a cookie spread.  I love to try new things but wow, be careful.  The ingredients are all natural, but it is not a health food!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


The past month, two acquaintances of mine  have passed away.  Both were 82 years old, and one thing I admire about both of them is that they continued to be active Christians in their senior years.  More and more, I am convinced that physical and mental activity is one of the keys to happiness and well-being in later life.

Donna had returned to the area after being away for 20+ years (I first knew her as the mother of two boys in my youth group growing up).  But she had jumped right back into church activity, participating in two different Bible study groups last fall.  She was in my Thursday morning group.  One thing I learned about her at the memorial service was that she had had an unhappy childhood.  Her parents had not wanted children, and she had no siblings.  She had made up her mind that whenever she was a mother she would love her children and make sure they knew it!  All 5 of her children stood on the stage as one read memories of her.  Five successful kids -  a great testimony of a mother's love!   What a sweet lesson!

Unfortunately Donna was killed in a car accident after attending a function of one of her grandchildren.  It was untimely, but again, she was showing her love of children and being a grandmother.

Lou had been around for as long as I can remember...always very distinguished looking, she worked for many years at our nearby university, as a president's assistant and I'm told trained 3 presidents!  She knew protocol and etiquette, welcoming important guests.  With that kind of profession you might think she would be intimidating, but she wasn't.  Widowed over 30 years ago, she was always willing to help and loved to chat.  She regularly came to womens' events and served many times as a table hostess at RefresHER events that I coordinate.  Her daughter is a good friend of mine and she has told me often her mother's advice to "be a helper to your husband, and be willing to go wherever the job is"- not the easiest advice to give a child but she encouraged her to do what it takes!  Great advice and words of commitment.

She had only gotten really sick for a week before she passed.  Her daughter told me she passed on her wedding anniversary day.  Once again reunited with her husband!  Such a sweet thought.

I wish I had known both of these women better.  Something I have been thinking about for several months and made it my secret New Year's resolution was that I need to work harder on building relationships.  Yes, I can organize, yes I can lead small groups, yes, I can lead women's events, but is that what really matters?  What really matters are relationships.  My resolution is to not rush through life and my "to-do" list but to stop and really look people in the eyes and talk to them.   So I guess it's not a secret anymore.  If I stop and jabber to you and keep you from doing something important, sorry!  It's just me trying to build more relationships- THINGS THAT MATTER.

Saturday, January 5, 2013


We finally had our last family Christmas party today!  Not a lot of emphasis is placed on gifts due to the large numbers in my husband's family, but we enjoy getting together and exchanging our home-made gifts.  Here's the goodies we gave each other this year:  (l to r:  jar of chocolate dipped pretzels, pinecone door decoration, license plate dustpan, homemade pickles, clip picture frame, yo-yo ornament, whisk with candy, and a screen painted cross.  (I missed a couple but don't feel like redoing the pic) Always fun to see what people make and with Pinterest how can you not be able to do this?

This was our project this year!  I had seen these a long time ago and wanted to make them, but never found the license plates cheap enough.  Finally saw a bunch at Canton, TX, and they were $1 each.  Just couldn't pass them by...but my husband is ready for me to make homemade gifts that don't require so much of him...probably took us 5 hours total which is about 4 hours too much for him.  :)

Just had to prove I did do a little of the work...and yes, we worked in the kitchen instead of the cold garage.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


My DH, the Adventurer, was asked to go on a trip a couple of months ago, in December.  Of course, being in mid-December, the Christmas lover in me refused to go (I also didn't want to leave my highschooler alone for 8 days) and so my husband asked our college son if he would like to join in, since he would just be finishing his finals.  I tried to be happy about all this.  :)  

I was so happy I didn't really learn much about Peru or Machu Picchu at all.
They had a really incredible trip.  After acclimating for a few days, they hiked 28 miles over several days, along the Inca Trail, over 14,000 ft. mountains to Machu Picchu.  They were in a group of 10 Christian tourists, had a guide, porters (required) and a chef in their group.  You can tell how steep it was behind them in this picture.
They saw remains of a nation lost 500 years ago.  Little is known about the Incas but they were mastermind architects!

I asked them to take some pictures of Christmas decorations in Peru.  There wasn't a lot, but here is one of a nativity.
Here is one of several Christmas trees they saw made of recycled pop bottles!  
One of my favorite shots - My husband sent this and said it was "Selfie" and in my non-techie innocence I thought the llamas name was "Selfie" - providing my kids a good laugh at Mom's expense.  

So they did bring me back a few neat little gifts - playing cards, chocolate, and an alpaca and hat key ring that we used for Christmas ornaments.
My husband picked out this pretty scarf for me...
and some hand-made orchid earrings.  They saw lots of orchids in the mountains.  

So I guess for not getting to go, I did pretty well with the gifts!  Now I'm happy they went and I'm sure had some good bonding time together. It didn't mess up Christmas too much.  Sometimes you just have to take advantage of the opportunities when they come up.  

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


I've decided to try something new in 2013 - not a weight loss challenge or an organizational goal (although both would be good ideas for me) but adding a special feature to my blog called, get ready,


Original, huh?  Or maybe I'll just name it "SOTW" and let people wonder what in the world it means...anyway, it all started because I ended up with this book for Dirty Santa at our family Christmas party:

I was actually really excited about getting this gift, because for one, we love soup at our house!  This book, from Williams Sonoma will challenge me a little because it has some exotic recipes and ingredients and techniques I've never heard of!  It's organized by month, using ingredients that are in season.   So I plan on trying a new soup each week, mostly from the book, but maybe add in an occasional family favorite and give you my gourmet (Ha!) evaluation.

Having said that, my first SOTW has to be this one, not from my new book - a family favorite - because it has Black-eyed peas in it, and everyone knows you must eat them on January first or suffer bad luck all year.  It originally came from my friend Kathy, but I've changed it a little:

Black-Eyed Pea Soup (aka New Year's Day Soup)

1# cooked and crumbled sausage
3 cans black-eyed peas, juice included
1 white onion, diced
1 can Rotel with chills
1 can diced tomatoes
2 T. chili powder
2 c. water
salt & pepper to taste

Mix all together and cook in large pot until hot.  Serve with grated cheddar and cornbread.
This soup gets a "9" because it's easy to prepare and my family likes it!