Sunday, December 26, 2010

Being Content With Where You Are

(Our honeymoon, San Diego Zoo, 2008)
     "You are here". And how is "here" going for you? Are you happy with it? Do you want to be somewhere else? It's hard to answer because in many ways we are content, and in many ways we want a change. For example, are we content with where we live, or do we nit-pick every little thing we don't like,,,it's too small, it's too far from work, this room isn't the right color, my kitchen is too small. Or are we thankful that God's provided a home for us, to protect us, and in a country where we are given so much freedom? 
     I'm currently doing a study on being cultivating contentment and being the godly woman God desires. The book starts off with Edna's secret formula: Don't Compete, Don't Complain, Don't Compare. Women, do we not do this, even if it's with good intentions? What are some ways you Compete? "She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness." Proverbs 31: 26 How about Complaining? How much fun is it to be around someone that complains or just isn't very encouraging? Complaining can be in little things: I'm tired, we don't have money, the house is a mess, she's an overachiever. "Whiners neither enjoy nor give joy, But grace-filled people are reputable, sought after, and deeply loved." Patsy Clairmont. And, finally, we ladies like to Compare. We compare outfits, purses, home decor, our children(if you have any) and maybe even how involved we are in church.  Goldilocks was searching for something that was "just right" We'll constantly be searching too unless we find our fulfillment in God. Ask God today to show you how to be content and happy with what He has given you.

I hope that you had a Merry Christmas. It wasn't a white one for us but we did get to spend some wonderful time with family. 


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Random Blog from My Random Life

Beautiful quiet snowflakes are falling in the still of the night. Only the second snow of the year! I get to wake up tomorrow morning and see if God's creation is covered with whiteness. Cheery Christmas music is playing  in my house despite the Grinch stealing my Christmas tree! Ok,,, so,,, I didn't get it up this year. I'm the Grinch right? Luckily some decorations are up and the presents will be wrapped tonight.

And! I'm going to do a 90 day challenge to read through the Bible. I found this link through a blogger friend and it's being hosted by blog site Meditations of His Love. MOHL Bible Blast! It goes from Jan 1 to March 31. It will be a challenge but it will be worth it. Are there any other brave souls out there that want to join me?

Also, I want to share some more recipes, since I've missed my second Food Friday in a row!!

 Crunchy Granola
3 c. Old fashion rolled oats
1/2 c. Sliced almonds
1/2 c. Wheat germ
1/4 c. Oat bran
1/4 c. Wheat flour
2 tsp Ground cinnamon
4 Tbsp. Brown sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 c. Unsweetened apple juice
4 Tbsp. Honey, warmed
1 Tbsp. Vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. Canola or almond oil

Preheat oven to 300. Butter a baking sheet. Mix the first 8 ingredients together in a large bowl. Whisk the apple juice, honey, vanilla and oil together in a small bowl. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and toss well to mix. Spread granola on prepared baking sheet and bake about 45 minutes, stirring well every 15 minutes until it's a shade browner than it started and dry to the touch. (Make sure the oats are crispy) cool on the baking sheet. Mix in your choice of dried fruit after it cools. Raisins, currants, or dried cranberries are good. Cut larger fruit into small bits before adding. Store in an air tight container. Makes 6 cups.

Dog Treats
2 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 c. corn meal
1/4 c. wheat germ
1/8 c. milk
1/8 c. water
1 egg
1/4 c. broth
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp parsley flakes
1 Tbsp. soft margarine

Heat oven to 375. In a medium size bowl combine dry ingredients. In small bowl whisk wet ingredients. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir and add garlic, parsley and softened margarine.
Flour countertop and roll to approximately 1/4 inch. Sprinkle cinnamon over top if desired.
 Either use a bone shaped cookie cutter or use plastic knife to cut into squares. Mine measure approx. 1/2".
 Spread out on cookie sheet and bake 20 minutes or until golden brown, and crispy.
This yielded 100 squares for me and the dogs love them!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Lord is Good

(Ruger and Peyton playing in our first snow(yesterday!))
 (Peyton runs so fast!)
 (Ruger loves eating snow!)

     The Lord is good. It's easy to say this on a day when the sun is shining and everything seems to be going your way. It's so much harder to believe this when bad things happen. Things we don't understand. It's hard to say the Lord is good and His way is best when a loved one dies. For my cousin's short life of 25 years she filled it with loving and helping others. And it is a great comfort knowing she will be teaching little children in heaven now, just like she wished to do here on earth.
      So many times in our lives we ask "Why, God, why?" He knows why, and we just have to trust in Him and have faith.  How easy is it for all of us to take one another for granted? Love one another! One of the most important things in life: Love. God loves us and wants us to love one another. Spend time with those you care about and reach out to those who need a friend. I hope that people can see the love of Christ through my life.
     How are you doing today? Does life have you down? Busyness? Distractions? Sorrow? Turn it over to the Lord, trust Him, thank Him for all your blessings and know that you aren't alone in this life. You have many friends and family that love you, and you've got a friend in Christ.

Love, Erin

A poem I wrote in high school:

Under the Red Maple Tree
No one is here to hear my cries, to dry my tears, to mend my soul.
I look out at the red and yellow trees in the distance and wish you were here by my side.
Shivering, I long to feel the warmth of your body as you cuddle me in your arms.
Your love radiated like an old wood stove burning bright.
The sun is quickly setting as I sit on the old wood swing beneath the red Maple tree, where we sat so many times before just talking about life, love and little things.
Your spot on the swing is empty.
A stiff fall gust of wind causes me to pull your warm jacket even tighter about myself.
I wish you were here to watch the leaves fall from the trees.
You always loved to see the squirrels scurry about gathering nuts.
Sitting on our swing brings me back to a time when things were sweet, simple and serene.
I quietly ponder, in these last hours of the day, how I will live without you by my side.
Your smile could light up my day like the sun lights up the sky.
I miss you so much!
You are my sister, and you no longer are here to sit by me on our swing under the red Maple tree.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Food Friday!!

I'm going to try to bring back my food Fridays that I started on my old blog. Every Friday I will post the yummy recipes I made that week, and I'll post the titles of some recipes that I'd like to try in the coming week. I have to confess... I love recipes. I have a million cookbooks, a million recipes copied from cookbooks from the library and a million on index cards. Although cooking the same things over and over is easy(and they are our favorite recipes) I want to try new recipes. Switch things up. :D And, I love my husband, he isn't picky and he will tell me the truth about a recipe. So, here are some great ones that I used this week.

Crunchy Oven French Toast 
This french toast is delicious! Orange juice gives it just a touch of citrus flavor and wheat germ gives is a wonderful crunch! I topped mine with pure maple syrup. SO GOOD!
1 Tbsp margarine
3 Tbsp wheat germ
1/4 c orange juice
1 Tbsp honey
3 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
6 slices bread
2 Tbsp wheat germ

Preheat oven to 450. Heat margarine in jelly roll pan, 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1", in oven until melted; spread evenly in a pan. Sprinkle 3 Tbsp wheat germ evenly over margarine. Beat orange juice, honey, egg whites, vanilla extract, and cinnamon with hand beater until foamy. Dip bread into egg mixture; place in pan. Drizzle remaining egg mixture over bread. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp wheat germ evenly over bread. Bake about 10 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown. Turn and bake 6 to 8 minutes longer or until bottoms are golden brown.

 Photo from
Taco Seasoning
8 tsp dried minced onion
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 1 year.
Yield: 6 tablespoons.  

"Fried" Onion Rings
These onion rings are as good as fried! And my healthier. They are nice and light and crispy. 

2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c. seasoned dried bread crumbs
2 eggs 
2 large onions, sliced 1/4 inch thick and separated into double rings

1. Preheat oven to 400. Spray a nonstick baking sheet with nonstick spray. Mix the flour and salt on a small plate. Put the bread crumbs in a small bowl. Put the eggs(beat with fork) in a small bowl.
2. Coat each double onion ring on both sides with the flour mixture, shake off excess; dip into the eggs, then into the crumbs. (I swirled the onion ring around in the bowl, flipped it over and swirled some more.) Transfer to the baking sheet; spray with nonstick spray(don't overdo it).
3. Bake until browned on bottom, 10 minutes. Turn and bake until browned. about 5-10 minutes.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Birthday to My Cousin Lindsey Marie

To Lindsey, A beautiful, loving woman currently fighting a brain tumor.

        I remember the day back in February when I got a call from my family that Lindsey's brain tumor was back and that they only gave her 3-6 months to live and she's held on! My cousin, my beautiful, sweet, young cousin. I didn't want it to be true. My husband came home to find me in tears. It is hard to deal with bad news, it's made easier by faith in God that some way His plan is better.

I truly want to write more for Lindsey, and I will, but I have to go to work.

Update Friday, November 26, 2010

      The past two nights we have spent time with our family at the Morris house. Wednesday night was very emotional as we gathered around in Lindsey's room singing praise and worship to our Lord and reflecting on how dear Lindsey is to us. Our family is very close and we comforted eachother with love and hugs.
      Thanksgiving night the family was once again at the Morris house and sweet Lindsey woke up and opened her eyes. (She has been sleeping the whole week and hasn't been able to take any food, water or medication.) The whole family was able to say hi to her and we could see her eyes tracking us. Her husband, who is in Japan, was able to video chat with her, even though she said no words back.
     Please continue to keep our family in your prayer, especially her father, mother and younger brother and sister. It is a hard time in our family and we know that it won't be long before she is in Heaven with her heavenly Father.
I love you Lindsey Marie. You are a beautiful sweet woman and you have touched so many lives!

Please check out the blog her mother has been keeping at and be sure to have a box of tissues with you.

And You're closer than our troubles
More present than any danger
More grand than gold and silver
You are God, You are God
And You're the joy of man's desire
And You are Father, Satisfier
And we are stunned with wide eyed wonder
You are God, You are God
You fill our hearts with love and faith
You fight for us, You make us brave
You are God, You are God
You walk with us, You lead us on
Faith, hope and love wakes up with dawn
You are God, You are God
And life flows from God, it flows from God
Sing this truth
And life flows from God, it flows from God
And life flows from God, it flows from God
And life flows from God, it flows from God
"You are God" by Charlie Hall

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Life Lately

In the Spring my mom and I bought these wonderful hanging baskets,
and a packet of marigold seeds. 
and I watered them all summer...when I remembered to...
They grew tall,,,and skinny,,,but never bloomed.
I think I failed.
But!! One little flower from a broken stem.
In November!!
Lord, when we think all is done and there's nothing left,
You surprise us with something beautiful and unexpected.
Thank you Lord for these little miracles.

And my crafts open house was a huge success.
I'm glad I got to see everyone that stopped by.
Friends and family are so important in my life.
They are like pretty flowers on a cold autumn day.

And my lovely husband replaced the alternator in my car.
He is wonderful and I appreciate him.
While he was in the garage the boys waited for him.
And they stayed here while I got my camera!

"I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever
Forever worship You
I can only imagine"
I Can Only Imagine by MercyMe

Sunday, November 7, 2010

My Arts and Crafts Show This Saturday!

 Stop by and view artwork and crafts available for sale. Items include purses, wallets, lanyards, jewelry, artwork, picture frame mats and many more… all handmade by me! Any items purchased go home with you that day. Each guest gets some type of door prize! Don’t miss out, especially with Christmas around the corner!
I look forward to seeing you!
Saturday, November 13, 2010
10:00 am -6:00 pm

Email me if you have questions or need directions.

Here is a preview of some of the items!
 Fleece baby blanket
 Patterns I don't need
 Super cute sketchbooks
 Lanyards and Key wristlets
 A wide variety of purses
(many newer ones not pictured)
Cute coasters

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Just a Few Current Topics

  • I was reading a magazine this morning as I ate my breakfast, and it had a chart for best dogs to run with in certain conditions (like long runs, fast runs, cold runs, hot runs...) And  German Shepherds only showed up in the cold running column(of course!). Ugh, I'm not getting out in the cold to run! (You guys can go run around out back to your hearts content. I'll stay here and drink my cocoa.) My doggies will do just fine on our 2 mile walks/jogs during nice warm weather.
  • We have a For Sale By Owner sign in our front yard. So if you are looking for a house in Blue Springs, MO let me know!! It's a beautiful house, but we can't pass up getting a beautiful house in the country. I was raised a country girl. None of this neighborhood stuff for me!
  • It's cold! Feels like winter. But, our bill will be nice this month because we haven't had our air conditioner or furnace running for over a month. Yay for saving money!
  • On that note, my husband and I were making dinner a week ago. And David says "Why don't we do another thirty days of eating what we have?" he looks in our overly full freezer for some food item. Yay! 30 days of kitchen cupboard cooking, again. Our third time? So, we'll go to the store for milk and such, but I get to make meals from what we have, and I know I can do it. Join me if you dare...
  • And do you like the purse picture at the top of this post? I'm having a arts and crafts open house and one like it will be for sale. Tons of super cute things: lanyards, key wristlets, jewelry, photo mats, purses... view some at the My Crafts tab at the top of the page. Email me for more info.
  • My final note: I'm starting a Christian book club for teen girls. Starts Tuesday, November 9th at my house. I've created a new page and the tab is at the top of this page. Check it out, and if you're a teen girl and love to read let me know! I'm so excited about this!
Have a wonderful Halloween weekend and stay safe Trick-or-Treating.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Book Review: The Help

What a wonderfully written book!
This is Kathryn Stockett’s first book and she did an exceptional job developing the plot and characters. This story takes place in Jackson, Mississippi in the year 1962 and follows the lives of three different women. The first is Skeeter, a 22 year old college graduate that returns from college to find that her childhood maid, Constantine, is gone and no one will tell her where she went. Skeeter is an aspiring writer who begins to question her friendships and the way maids are treated in their households. The second lady is a black maid that helps raise her employer’s daughter and tries to instill in the child that we’re all created equal no matter the color of our skin. The third woman is a short and sassy maid that always says what’s on her mind, even when it’s to her white employer.These three women’s lives intertwine as they work together on something that will hopefully change how Mississippi, and the United States, views one another.

Stockett does a wonderful job and I would highly recommend this book to anyone. It’s a very engaging book in that I wanted to read on to see how these women’s lives, jobs, and reputations were affected for taking a stand on what they believed.

The Help is a classic story of a time in our history that we should all be aware of.

Look forward to more great book reviews by me (b/c I always get way too many books from the library!)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Healthy Granola Bars

     Just the other night I whipped up a pan of my favorite healthy granola bars. I got this recipe from a friend and they are so good! We’re going camping tonight so I knew granola bars would be an easy snack to bring along. However, my husband texted me yesterday saying they were “SO GOOD” and that “they won’t last long.” Luckily there are some left for tonight, mostly because half the pan has dried cranberries(because I like them). I know my husband would pick them out if he had to. So, these bars are very yummy and soft and filling and healthy. Here’s the recipe if you’re interested.
Healthy Granola Bars

Dry ingredients:
2 cups oats (not quick oats)
3/4 cup wheat germ
3/4 cup rice krispees(optional)
3/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup peanuts, chopped
1 cup raisins, chocolate chips, or dried fruit (or all of the above)

Wet ingredients:
1/4 cup butter or margarine
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
2 tsp. vanilla or almond extract
1/2 tsp. salt
1. Put first 5 dry ingredients into glass bowl (oven safe). Toast in oven 10-12 minutes 350˚. Stir every 3-4 minutes until lightly toasted (you can tell by the smell when it's toasted). Remove from oven and add last dry ingredient(s).

2. While toasting mixture, melt butter in a large skillet. Add sugar and honey (now is when you would use peanut butter instead of honey or with less honey). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and stir until mixture stops foaming (mine never stopped but it was foaming less) and begins to turn clear amber. Do not cook mixture for more than 10 minutes or it will taste scorched (the longer it cooks the harder the bar). Remove from heat and add extract and salt.

3. Pour syrup over dry ingredients and stir until well mixed. Turn out onto wax paper (i lined my 9x13 pan with wax paper, dumped the mixture in, then i covered it with wax paper, and pressed into the pan). Cool then cut (wait 20 minutes or less to cut. The bars were really soft until they had set up overnight.)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My Life in Bullets

Hi everyone. Sorry it's been so long since I've posted but life has been so busy lately. So, to save time, here is what's been going on in my life in bullets.
  • Today is my birthday. My husband made me breakfast this morning. What a sweetie! He never cooks!
  • My husband also surprised me with a dozen roses at work. He's the best!
  • We had a garage sale this weekend. We made money, and got rid of stuff.
  • Our workout competition is on a standstill. My hubby hurt his knee... torn meniscus... not good...
  • Our month of $100 food budget went great. I've just been so busy I haven't been able to do it again.
  • We tore out wallpaper and painted our kitchen. Looks beautiful!
  • Our wonderful house has a "For Sale By Owner" sign in the lawn because we found an even more wonderful house in the country.
  • I'm going to have a open house craft sale soon! Need to sell some of my crafts.
  • Now, it's back to work. :D

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Weekend Fun!

Here's a quick update of all the fun and business that has surrounded our house...

We finished painting our kitchen. Just a few more finishing touches 
and then I'll post photos of all our hard work.

We took our doggies to the carnival at my old church.
All the kids loved them and wanted to pet them!
They were good boys!

Cooked up some Weight Watchers Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies 
and had other (mostly) healthy snacks for a Thirty-One party.
Just don't order a thunderstorm, they're a party pooper. :(
My friend Glenda had all these cute goodie bags for us, 
and a fun drawing for the thermal bag.
So many cute bags and such! What's a girl to do??
You can check Thirty-One out or order some items here.
Today I spent some time to myself and...
Labeled my organizer
And I painted some coasters
& used cute scrap fabric for the center
I finished off the night with a yummy salad:
Spinach, fresh strawberries, feta cheese and poppy seed dressing.
Life is busy, but that's ok.

"There is hope for me yet
Because God won’t forget
All the plans he’s made for me
I have to wait and see
He’s not finished with me yet"
Wait and See by Brandon Heath

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Works in Progress...

Does anyone else leave projects unfinished?
I started this quilt in high shool.
About FIVE years ago!
I want to finish it now, because it will be SO cute!
I'm also making these super cute picture mats.
They're really cute and fun.
Thanks grandma for the mat board cutter. 
 And now there is no more time for crafts...
we're tearing out wall paper...
that was on the CEILING in our kitchen!
It's gotta go, no more flowers.
And now my house is talking to me.
The writing's on the.... bookcase.
Messy, dirty, dusty house.
But it's worth it because my house will be BEAUTIFUL!

"Well if I had one place
Just one place to be
Well, I'd be at Your feet
And if I had one prayer
I know that I'd pray
I'd ask You to fall down on me"
Fall Down by Phillips Craig and Dean

Thursday, August 26, 2010

$100 Grocery Budget for the Month

(A beautiful double rainbow)
(And a promise from God)

     Ever wonder how in the world you can go to the store and spend hundreds of dollars of groceries. As you push your cart out the door you wonder what exactly you bought that cost so much. And I know that when I went to the store as a child with my mother we all wanted these cookies, or that cereal. 
     I feel that we spend so much on groceries and it's only my husband and I! No little kiddies yet. So, I got the urge to do a revamp on my kitchen cupboard cooking. Check out what I did for this here. It's basically cooking from  you have for one month and only buying milk or other have-to-have items.
     The challenge: One month with $100 for groceries.
     To make sure I only spend that amount I got it as cash and have it in a separate part of my billfold.
     We're currently one week in and here's the breakdown of spending:
          Wal-Mart: Only $12.00!  Thanks to sticking to the list!
          Hy-Vee: $40.00  There were some great sales.
          Aldi: $3.00   Woo-Hoo! Only milk and sugar.

     Grand total left for three weeks: $45.00. I can do it! It's been great. The past couple of nights we've had chicken Parmesan over spaghetti, grilled salmon and loaded baked potatoes. 
     I'll keep you posted on how the rest of the month plays out.

"Lord I trust you
To move in miraculous ways!
Now I feel your arms around me
And I'll worship you all of my days
And give you praise"
Unconditional by SonicFlood

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Workout Challenge: Husband Vs. Wife

(Fresh fruit picked from my parent's backyard)

     I have challenged my husband to see who can work out more. Men love competitions. Give them a simple game and they will go all out, like they're going to get a gold medal for winning. Yet, this is one thing I love about my husband. I casually suggest we should see who works out more and for the next couple of days he asks who is winning. 
     I chose to start this competition one day too early! That morning he mountain biked 3 1/2 hours! Way to go Erin, put yourself immediately in last place. And then I allow him to count busting up concrete. (My parents are replacing their driveway) And yes, it is hard work, especially in hot weather! My beloved racked up 4 more hours. His total: 7 1/2 hours.  My total: 2 1/2 hours....
     Oh, I will put up a fight! I'll be like the tortoise; slow but steady. And then we'll see if he can catch up! 
     One thing is I haven't picked when it should end, either a set number of hours, or a set time (like a month).
     My husband suggested ending it now, because he is winning! Yeah, right.....
     I'll update you on the results and what the prize is for winning this challenge. Let the workouts begin!

If you are interested in my previous posts please check out my old blog:

"I lift my heart in worship. Taken by the truth, that You are God. 
Silenced by Your virtue. Surrendered and in awe of who You are."
Song: Bless the Lord by Shaun Groves

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