Friday, December 28, 2007

Tom Brady, your questions have answers by Tom Ascol

Tom Brady, the 3-time Super Bowl champion quarterback of the New England Patriots was featured the week in a 60 Minutes interview with Steve Kroft on CBS. Brady is already a sports legend in one of the citadels of professional sports in America, Boston. His current team is 15-0 and is poised to finish the season undefeated, something that hasn't been done in the NFL in 35 years. He has won the Super Bowl MVP twice and been named to the Pro Bowl 4 times. He also was recently named the Associated Press' "Male Athlete of the Year."

He has dated actresses and supermodels and makes millions of dollars a year. He has been called America's most eligible bachelor. By most popular standards, he has it all. That is why I was struck by hearing him make the following statement during the interview:

"Why do I have three Super Bowl rings and still think there's something greater out there for me? I mean, maybe a lot of people would say, 'Hey man, this is what is.' I reached my goal, my dream, my life. Me, I think, 'God, it's got to be more than this.' I mean this isn't, this can't be what it's all cracked up to be."

When Kroft asked him, "What's the answer?" Brady responded, "I wish I knew. I wish I knew. I love playing football and I love being quarterback for this team. But at the same time, I think there are a lot of other parts about me that I'm trying to find."

Here is what I would say to Tom Brady, if given the chance to discuss this with him.

You can read the rest of the article here

Quelf, in the land of the farm!

We had been playing for an hour. I looked around the table and couldn't help but laugh.

My dear sweet husband was wearing a homeade snorkle.

My sister and her husband had to spin around 7 times with their eyes closed.

Everytime anyone spun a 4 on the die, my dad turned into a weeping willow tree and had hum sad movie tunes.

Then there was my mom. She had so many rules, she didn't know what to do. Each time anyone picked a card, she had to clap three times and mystically twirl her hands and say "Abracadabra". Every time a game piece moved she had to fill in the blank "Holy ____ Batman!"

I was fortunate to have no personal roolz cards, but due to my sore throat, whenever it was my turn, I had to perform the toast "To ancient times and distant music".

There is much more that went on. We woke up the next morning making our own sign language. My dad made up a new language....among many other goings on.

I can't even remember who won. That wasn't really all that important. We had a lot of fun. This is probably one of the whackiest, funnest games we've played in a long time. I can't wait to get a bunch of people together to play it again!

Our Christmas

We had a great day! There was fun, games, laughter and family. It is so nice to get together with everyone.

The kids were adorable. Haddon felt like he had to carry around all of his gifts, which he couldn't quite handle and was dropping them left and right and was getting very frustrated. They have a train table yet to see since we left it in Tennessee. They did get conductor hats and their own trains, so they will be quite surprised when we get back home :)

I got the boys each a corn cob pipe. They were VERY happy and VERY cute!

Yes, I didn't get many pictures of Jamison, but he was there. He was feeling a bit under the weather and ended up sleeping away about 4-1/2 hours of the day. With the noise and organized chaos that is often any of the Kelly family gatherings, it was amazing he slept that long. He is feeling better now though....I am still hacking up several lungs a day though!

We had an excellent ham and an array of other goodies to eat. We had quite a full house. We had upwards of 30 people eating, playing games and sleeping....all at the same time!

John was pretty surprised to receive the most awesome watch in the world, lol. brother Chris, hugging my mom after the reading of a very sentimental card.

My mom made my niece, Cosette, and my niece, Ashtyn, dolls for Christmas. The pictures don't do them justice! They are just toooooo cute!

After an exciting game of 'I'm Satisfied', it came down to the Mem vs my mom. They shook hands and the play continued. Mem was the winner, much to my mom's dismay!

We finished our day with a rip roaring game of Quelf...but that definitely deserves its own entry!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

I write this as I relax in a nice warm (I use that word loosely as I am bundled up cause I am a bit chilled) house in Maine!

We ended up leaving Saturday afternoon and made it here yesterday around 5:15pm! Overall, it was a great trip! The kids were soooooo good in the car. Our trip took us about 16 hours....compared to last Christmastime it took us over 19 hours. That is the difference between traveling with a 3 week old vs a one year old who doesn't nurse every 3 hours :)

I will have some pictures of the drive up for you soon. I haphazardly snapped some shots while we were on the road. I got a couple cute ones too.

When Gideon started seeing snow on the ground....his response was: "Look! It's Christmastime!"

Nolan was thrilled that our van didn't break down. Can you tell we've had issues in the past? He seemed genuinely surprised yesterday morning, when we left the hotel, that our van was in working condition, lol. Last night, he and Gideon were even playing a game called "the van breaks down". Yeah, real cute!

We made it here safely and are blessed to be able to spend Christmas and New Years with my family.

Last night, I stayed up with my mom making goodies that we could easily live off of for the next several months, lol. Ok, that was an exagerration, but there are a lot of treats! I spent what seemed like hours, forming peanut butter balls. We even got a little festive and delicately layered intricate strings of melted white chocolate over them after the initial layer of chocolate had set. Ok, there were some blobs and clumps but it had nothing to do with me! It was fun to do that with my mom :)

Our plan is to go out to eat tonight at the annual Christmas Eve hangout of Amatos (an italian place), get those stockings hung and then go to sleep! I'm sure my dad will be setting his alarm clock to wake up as early as possible, much to my mother's dismay, lol.

The kids are already talking about checking the manger to see if baby Jesus has arrived. We don't put him there until Christmas morning! They are very excited about Jesus' birthday :)

I pray that everyone has a wonderful Christmas!

My lists

I've been tagged...for the first time! Now I really feel like a blogger!!

I was tagged by Need a Nap 2 :)

1. Each player starts with 5 gifts that they would want for Christmas.
2. People who are "CARDED" need to write their own Blog about their 5 things & post these rules.
3. At the end of your Blog, you need to choose 5 people to get "CARDED" and list their names.
4. Don't forget to leave them a COMMENT telling them they're "CARDED", and to read your Blog.

My Materialistic Gift/Wish List:
1. a nice watch
2. a dirt gotta be practical when you've got four boys!
3. an embroidery machine
4. some new current most favorite pair of shoes are falling apart, and it is painful just to talk about it.
5. a new computer desk

My Spiritual Gift/Wish List:
1. work on the spiritual disciplines (especially Bible reading, study, and prayer)
2. to be more Christ-centered in raising my family
3. to be more supportive of missions
4. to pray more for my husband
5. to keep my tongue in check

The people I have carded:

Julia at All About Us

Melanie at Moss Family Blog

Megan at Free to Be

Angela at thoughts from a ragamuffyn

John at A Reforming Dad

Friday, December 21, 2007

A few thoughts on Jamie Lynn Spears

By now, everyone should have heard the outrage that Britney Spears' 16 year old sister is currently 12 weeks pregnant.

Was she wrong to sleep with her 19 year old boyfriend?


Should we condemn a 16 year old who has chosen life over abortion?


It would have been very easy for her to get an abortion. I don't even think she would have needed her parent's permission. It would have saved her the current judgement she is under. It would have saved her job, which is currently up in the air. It would have saved her family from more ridicule and heartache. It would have stopped prideful Christians, such as you and I, of shaking our heads at her, feeling good about ourselves that we would never be as foolish as she. When, in fact, we are just as foolish and sinful. The only difference is that our sins have been washed in the blood.

I request that instead of pointing the finger at the Spears Family, instead, we pray for them. They are in much need of a Savior. They need Jesus.

I am thankful that the decision was made to keep this unborn child. My prayer is that this little inconvenient baby, grows up to know Christ.

The Assembly Interview: A Pastor with a Church in Need

Our good friend Mark felt lead to interview a couple of local pastors. They are all dear friends of ours, and I am happy to have the opportunity to share it with you.

I met a couple of pastors, Charlie Scalf and Adam Fann, at the Southern Baptist Building Bridges Conference a few weeks ago. They pastor a church called TheAssembly Baptist Church in downtown Johnson City, TN. I met them through my good friends John and Shannon Jordan who I have known for several years. I also got to meet the Jordans’ pastor, Reggie, who you will read about below. Reggie was nice enough to buy us all Tom Schreiner’s newest book on baptism.

After spending a few days sitting with and eating with these guys I got to know them a little better. They don’t "look” like your typical Southern Baptist and this intrigued me somewhat, basically, because of the label “Southern Baptist” being attached. I was encouraged to learn of the type of ministry they were doing, but discouraged to
learn that their funding is basically gone.

I had an idea about reaching out for them through blogging. I prayed about it, asked John what he thought and then approached Charlie and Adam with the idea on the final morning of the conference. The idea is somewhat similar to Timmy Brister’s post on another way to support Southern Baptist churches. Needless to say, we were all on board with having an interview and asking that if anyone felt led to help this church out to please do so. What follows is an interview with Pastor Charlie giving more insight to their ministry at The Assembly.

You can read the interview here

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Mike Huckabee on CNN...setting the record straight!

Romney on Huckabee

Another attack ad has started in Iowa that is stating false information.

You can read the Newsweek article here.

Ain't that the truth!

A Chipmunk's Christmas

My boys received gift cards to Walmart from their great-aunt in Illinois for Christmas. I was going to hold onto them and then after Christmas, let them pick out a few things. But I decided that since we are taking a long road trip to Maine, I would let them pick out some new books and a couple of movies.

Now let me preface this by saying that my boys LOVE the Chipmunks. Remember Alvin, Simon and Theodore? It started when they saw a preview for the new movie that was released last week in the theater. Nolan counted down the days, and I was able to go on a date with my two oldest boys...and we went to the movies. They were so excited they couldn't contain themselves!

Ever since last week, it has been Chipmunks 24/7. Which I don't mind, since they were my favorite cartoon to watch Saturday mornings when I was a kid!

Yesterday, when I let them pick out a couple new movies for our trip....Gideon found The Chipmunk's Christmas. You wanna see excited? You should have seen my little Giddy, lol. It has been less than 24 hours and they are watching it for the 4th time. It's all they want to watch at rest time.

There is a line in the movie that cracks me up. It really shouldn't, since it is not a funny line. It just seems funny for it to be in a children's movie.

"Mommy, Tommy will just die if he doesn't get a new harmonica!"

"Don't say things like that, you know how very sick he has been. We
just hope he lasts through Christmas."

I feel bad for Tommy...I do. This line just makes me laugh. Poor Bobby.

There is one other line that also seems funny to me.

Alvin is bringing Tommy a gift and when Tommy finds out he has a delivery, his response is:
"Is it more medicine?"

Alright already...we get it. The boy is sick, lol.

Here is my post about nothing really. I hope you enjoyed!

Thank you for my scarf, Melanie :)

This morning, I visited a good friend and exchanged gifts. I made her a patchwork scarf, and she crocheted a nice, warm, cuddly scarf for me. (Obviously, she has caught on to my scarf obsession.)

On the way home, as I drove with my new scarf around my neck, Nolan said to me:

"Mommy, I love your new scarf. It looks just like a kiwi!"


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

How to make the BEST baked ham EVER!!

Last year, we tried something different. A friend told me about how her family has always prepared their Christmas ham. It is quick and easy, and you will end up with a juicy, sweet, and just salty enough ham. I have never been a ham lover because of the saltiness of it. This recipe changes that and gives it a sweetness instead!

1 big ham, no added flavors, cannot be spiral cut, with bone (I always get the biggest I can find)
16-24 ounces of pure maple syrup, cannot be the fake stuff
1 large baking bag...I usually use the turkey-sized bag

Preheat your oven to 250-300 degrees. Open up your ham, and rinse it off. With a sharp knife, start sticking it into the ham, not making slices, just slits all over the ham. Get out your baking bag and place ham inside. Be sure to have a sturdy pan to place it in. Pour the maple syrup all over the ham. Close up the baking bag with the ties that are provided for you, getting out most of the air. Once it is closed up, make a few slits in the baking bag, on the TOP, to let air escape during don't want your bag to explode!

Cook your ham about 12 minutes per pound, until the internal temp is 155-160 degrees.

When your ham is done, be sure to save the drippings from the inside of the bag! I will use a baster to suck it all out before I take the ham out. It is great when used as a dipping sauce. Also be sure to let your ham rest for 15-20 minutes before slicing.


I wonder as I old Applachian carol

Sources differ as to the early history of the carol, although its collection is attributed to folk singer, John Jacob Niles. He claimed to have composed the piece in 1933, influenced by three lines of a folk song sung to him by a girl while working as a surveyor in Appalachia.

John Jacob Niles (b. Louisville, Kentucky, April 28, 1892; d. Lexington, Kentucky, March 1, 1980) was an American composer, singer, and collector of traditional ballads. Called the "Dean of American Balladeers"[1], Niles was an important influence on the American folk music revival of the 1950s and 1960s, with Joan Baez, Burl Ives, and Peter, Paul and Mary, among others, recording his songs.

I wonder as I wander out under the sky,
How Jesus the Savior did come for to die,
For poor orn'ry people like you and like I,
I wonder as I wander, ... out under the sky;

When Mary birthed Jesus 'twas in a cow's stall,
With wise men and farmers and shepherds and all,
And high from God's heaven a star's light did fall,
And the promise of the ages, ... they then did recall;

If Jesus had wanted for any wee thing,
A star in the sky or a bird on the wing,
Or all of God's angels in heaven to sing,
He surely could've had it... 'cause he was the King

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A first haircut

I live in the south where I see many mullets. If that is how you want to wear your hair, that is your thing, but if you are one of my children, I can only let it go so far. That is why Jamison was in desperate need of some scissors.

I did it on a whim. It was not planned. I just looked at him and decided that the time was right.

He didn't enjoy it. He fussed while he ate his graham cracker. The results are just what I expected. I've got a mullet-free little man!

I should have taken a picture of the back of his head. You could have really been able to see the length. It's too late though!



Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Paul Washer: Man's Two Problems

Adventures in Christmas Cookie Baking

I had such dreams. I let each of the boys choose their own cookie cutter yesterday at the store. Nolan chose a gingerbread man, Gideon chose a snowman, and Haddon chose a Christmas tree.

Oh, they were so excited. They kept asking me when they would be able to use them. I kept saying "Tomorrow" and their impatience grew.

This morning, they woke up wanting to make cookies.

As a mommy who loves to bake...can you ask anything more of your children than for them to want to bake too?

We made the sugar cookie dough yesterday, so there it waited.

I had such hopes of taking pictures of my boys, dusted in flour, creating their cookies. I memorable...making Christmas cookies with my boys.

But instead, this is what happened....

"Mommy! He took my cookie cutter!"

"No! This is mine! You can't have it!"

"Can we just make cookies already??? I'm getting kinda bored."

They didn't last I made cookies all by myself.

Works-For-Me-Wednesday...Quick and EASY fudge recipe!

It's Christmastime and if you are like me, you are scurrying around for last minute gift ideas. You can never go wrong when it comes to FOOD! If you make that food CHOCOLATE then you will be blessed many times over!

Here is a foolproof way to make creamy, indulgent chocolate fudge. You can also change the flavor by using different kinds of chips...vanilla, peanut butter, butterscotch...and can add whatever you want...walnuts, pecans, toffee chips, marshmallows, etc...the list goes on!

Wrap it up with a bow and you have got an easy, homemade gift to give!

Foolproof Fudge

8 ounces chocolate chips
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1-1/2 tsp vanilla

On low heat, melt chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla together. Once it is melted and smooth, remove from heat and add nuts (or whatever else you've got!...or nothing if you want plain), pour into a well-buttered/waxed 8x8 dish. (feel free to double the recipe and use a 9x13).

Put in fridge to chill.

Once it has solidified, cut it up!

Pictures from a party

We celebrated Jamison's birthday last night. Just a small intimate party with a couple of friends!

He definitely enjoyed his cake and had many helpers to open up gifts with!

Potato Candy

3/4 cup cold mashed potatoes
4 cups powdered sugar
4 cups shredded coconut
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 tsp salt
4 oz chocolate chips

Mix potatoes and sugar. Stir in coconut, vanilla and salt.

Blend well.

Press into a greased pan to about 1/2 inch thickness.

Melt chocolate chips and spread on top of candy.

Chill and cut into squares!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Christmas Card Disclaimer

A few weeks ago, I went to the post office with the kids. I had to mail something out, but also had to purchase some stamps for our Christmas cards. Since I had the kids with me, I decided to let them choose.

They did not pick anything with a winter theme. They did not choose anything that was even remotely related to Christmas.

Instead, they chose this:

So, when you receive your Christmas cards this year, don't be surprised to see the Hulk (or some other super hero) staring you down!

Monday, December 10, 2007

How to wrap a present

There are many people out there who just do not know how to wrap a present. There is something very 'redneck-y' (is that even a word???) about receiving a gift that is wrapped within the plastic bag of the store it came from!

So...for all you out there who are deficient in the area of wrapping you go!

How to wrap a present

O Holy Night by Pla­cide Cap­peau, 1847

Born: Oc­to­ber 25, 1808, Roque­maure, France.

Died: Au­gust 8, 1877, Roque­maure, France.

Cappeau, who lost a hand in a fire­arms ac­ci­dent at age eight, was a wine mer­chant and may­or of Roque­maure. He wrote po­e­try for his own en­joy­ment.

This song was originally written in French and translated to English by John Sullivan Dwight.

This is said to have been the first mu­sic ev­er broad­cast over a ra­dio.

O holy night, the stars are brightly shining;
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here came the wise men from Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger,
In all our trials born to be our Friend!
He knows our need—to our weakness is no stranger.
Behold your King; before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King; before Him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His Gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His Name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy Name!
Christ is the Lord! O praise His name forever!
His pow’r and glory evermore proclaim!
His pow’r and glory evermore proclaim!

To my smallest Patriots fan...

I couldn't think of a better birthday gift than this....

Patriots 34
Steelers 13

Happy Birthday to Jamison, my littlest man (12/9)

My dear sweet Jamison,

You are one year old. I can't believe how quickly this past year has flown by. And now, my baby is ONE!

You are such a happy boy...always ready for a smile. It won't be long until you are walking, and your mommy is filled with pride as she watches you learn and grow.

Last night you were sick. My little boy had his first real bout with sickness on his birthday. I hate to see my boys not feeling well. You clung to me as I held you. You laid on me as you rested and your stomach settled. You were so tired and went right to sleep. You didn't struggle to be freed. Those are the moments that a mommy treasures.

I thank God for you, my Jamison Tyndale. May He always protect you and keep you. May you always know that mommy and daddy love you very much.

Happy First Birthday!


Our First Picture together

And my life began as a mommy to four....

Friday, December 7, 2007

My boy's Christmas pictures

I decided this morning to try to take a decent picture of my boys for our Christmas card. There were many outtakes...especially as Jamison tried to crawl away after each picture!

I was able to get some cute ones though....which I won't show you...cause if I know you, you will likely be receiving it in a Christmas card :)

Here are some cute ones that just didn't make the cut....cute, but just weren't as good as the one I got.

The one I got has two very necessary things. Firstly, everyone is looking at the camera...miraculous! Secondly, no one is crying...also very miraculous! Who would have thought two miracles would take place simultaneously?!?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Two Library Totes

For my nephew Mark:

And my niece Cosette:

A quote

"The cross is not a sign of our great worth, but of our great depravity... that we were so evil that the only way we could be saved is by God's Son being crushed under the full force of the wrath that was due us."

-Paul Washer

Nicodemus, Part 1

John Piper has posted the first of his advent poems on the Desiring God Blog. You can read, watch, or just listen to the reading.

Nicodemus, Part 1

When Satan Hurts Christ’s People by John Piper

Reflections on Why Christians Suffer Losses

December 5, 2007

When huge pain comes into your life—like divorce, or the loss of a precious family member, or the dream of wholeness shattered—it is good to have a few things settled with God ahead of time. The reason for this is not because it makes grieving easy, but because it gives focus and boundaries for the pain.

Being confident in God does not make the pain less deep, but less broad. If some things are settled with God, there are boundaries around the field of pain. In fact, by being focused and bounded, the pain of loss may go deeper—as a river with banks runs deeper than a flood plain. But with God in his firm and proper place, the pain need not spread out into the endless spaces of ultimate meaning. This is a great blessing, though at the time it may simply feel no more tender than a brick wall. But what a precious wall it is!

As a father, I want to help our twelve-year-old daughter Talitha settle some things with God now, so that when little or big losses come—and they will come—her pain will be bounded and will not carry her out, like a riptide, into the terrifying darkness of doubt about God. So as we read God’s word together twice a day, I point out the mysterious ways of God.

Two days ago, we read this from the lips of Jesus to the church at Smyrna in Revelation 2:10:

Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.

I asked Talitha, “Is Jesus stronger than the devil?” “Yes,” she said. Indeed, I added, ten million times stronger. It’s not even close. In fact, as Mark 1:27 says, “He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” So all Jesus has to do is say to the devil, “You shall not throw my loved ones into prison,” and the devil will not be able to do it. Right, Talitha? Right.

So, Talitha, why does Jesus let the devil do this? Why does he let the devil throw his precious followers in jail and even kill some of them? She shook her head. I said, well, let’s read it again slowly, and you tell me the reason that the Bible gives. Slowly, “Behold the devil is about to throw some of you into prison . . . that . . . you . . . may . . . be . . . tested.” So why does Jesus let this happen, Talitha? “That they may be tested.” That’s right.

And what is being tested? The answer is given in the way Jesus describes what passing the test looks like. He says, “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Faithfulness to Jesus is being tested. Will his loved ones keep trusting him? Will they keep believing that he has their best interest at heart? That he is wise? That he is good? That he is stronger than all?

So, Talitha, there are a thousand things that God is doing every time something painful happens to you. Most of these you do not know or understand. Job, Joseph, and Esther did not know what God was doing in their losses. But there is always one thing you can know God is doing when pain comes into your life. This is something you can settle with God ahead of time. He is always testing you.

If the test leads to your death, as it did for some of the Christians in Smyrna, Jesus wants you to know something ahead of time. “You will receive the crown of life.” That means he will raise you from the dead and will crown you with the kind of everlasting joy in his presence that will make up for your loses ten-thousand-fold. “Crown” signifies majestic, royal restoration and exaltation.

James says the same thing:

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

Passing the test means loving God to the end.

So settle it, Talitha. Loss and pain are coming into your life, but Jesus is infinitely stronger than the devil. So even if the devil is causing it, as he did in Smyrna, Jesus is letting it happen. And he always has his reasons—more than we can know. One of those reasons is always testing, namely, the testing of our faith and our love for him.

We cannot answer every why question. But there is always this answer: My faith is being tested. And our Lord never wastes his tests. Whether we believe this truth is, in fact, part of the test. In the mind of Jesus, the promise that he would give them the crown of life was enough to sustain the Christians in Smyrna. I pray that it will be enough for Talitha—and for you.

Trusting the wisdom and goodness of Jesus in loss,

Pastor John

3 Months of Free Tabletalk from Ligonier!

Click here for 3 months of Free Tabletalk!

There is no obligation to continue, but you can always renew it yourself after your trial :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Free Breathe Right Nasal Strips Samples & Coupon (USA)

Dunkin Donuts Coffee Sample

Free Delicio Gourmet Chocolate Sample (USA)
(Sample contains:One (1) Dark Chocolate Truffle, One (1) White Chocolate Truffle, One (1) Champagne Truffle, and One (1) Irish Cream Truffle)

Free Sample of Cooling Care Nursing Relief Pads (USA)

Free Cashmere Fingerless Gloves from Lucky Magazine (just enter UPC #7560901226)

Free Gift from Sutters Creek (USA)

Free computer screen cleaner

Works For Me: What Do I Fix?

This week, it's all about simplicity in the kitchen. Now, there are nights when I say CEREAL is the quickest, easiest meal you could possibly 'make' for your kids. Am I right? or am I right???

But that isn't really cooking, so I figured you would want an actual idea. Here are a few meals I came up with. All quick and easy and can be done in large quantities to ensure leftovers!

1. Goulash (aka American Chop Suey)

2 pounds hamburger
1 small onion, chopped
1 pound elbow or some other kind of pasta
1 large can diced tomatoes
chili powder to taste
garlic powder to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Brown hamburger and onion together while boiling macaroni. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until hot.

Serve with buttered bread.

2. Homeade macaroni and cheese

1 pound of macaroni or any other kind of pasta
1 pound american cheese
3T butter
1/2 cup milk
1 large can of diced tomatoes

While mac is boiling, in a bowl, melt cheese, butter and milk in microwave. When mac is done, add cheese mixture until fully incorporated, then add tomatoes. Simmer until hot.

(it's okay if this is a little loose when you first make it, the pasta will absorb some of the liquid in the fridge)

3. Crock Pot Pot Roast (I know that this one isn't last minute at 5:15...but it is something you can do quickly in the morning!)

1 large roast
a bunch of peeled and cut up potatoes
a bunch of peeled and cut up carrots
(fill up your crock pot until you can't fit in any more!)

Put roast in crock pot, surrounded by potatoes. Cover with water. Turn on crock pot...high at first to get to temp, then down low. Cook until everything is falling apart...about 6-8 hours.

Make a brown gravy from the packet.

Put some frozen rolls in the oven.

And you're done!

I hope these help! Check out the rest of the great ideas at Rocks In My Dryer!!!

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert...on Oprah yesterday

I don't watch Oprah very much.

Firstly, because the kids don't like her, and secondly, because I disagree with her so much. I watched the first half of her show yesterday, and once again, I was in disagreement.

She had a guest author, Elizabeth Gilbert, on the set. She is the author of Eat, Pray, Love. I've never read the book, so I am speaking about this just from watching the show yesterday. I was disturbed by what I saw!

The entire audience was filled with women who had read the book. There were several that had been videotaped, telling of how the book transformed their life.

It seemed like this book is all about reclaiming yourself and making yourself and your happiness your number one priority. As I watched, it seemed that this book was giving you the okay to be selfish. Someone even brought that up and asked do I do this and not be selfish? Gilbert's response was...If it is beneficial for you, than it is not selfish, if it is greedy or cruel, then it is selfish.

I have an issue with this. The definition of selfish says:

devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one's own
interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.

I'm not saying that Oprah was telling everyone to not be concerned with other people's welfare...but there are a lot of things that might be very beneficial to you that are completely and utterly self-centered.

Is this what the Bible teaches? That as long as you are benefiting from something, then you are not being selfish?

The next issue I had, was about how people were "finding God". There was no mention of Christ (not surprising) and a lot about meditation. I have no problem with meditating in God's word...but I do have a lot of problems when people are being misguided and think that they are "finding God" because they made an ashram in their bathroom or began a spiritual journey in India.

I found this quote most disturbing: (Gilbert was asked how she defines God)

"The perfection that absorbs," she says. "It is the perfectness of the universe which can bring you into that state where you are absorbed in that perfection, then you will know it. … I was absorbed in that perfection for a brief, glorious moment, and I knew something in that."

Is this how you would Biblically define God?

It is obvious that you can be spiritual and not be filled with THE Spirit.

I am saddened that Oprah has such a following of women that raise her up and take her word to heart more then they do their own pastors. These are women like me...that stay at home raising their families and don't even realize that she teaches a different gospel.

Should we also be most concerned with our happiness? If we don't feel completely fulfilled and happy in our marriage...does this mean it is okay to get divorced? I can't even tell you how many women on yesterday's show were single moms or single divorcee's who made that life change because they weren't happy and hadn't yet found their 'soulmate'.

This seems to be what is preached from today's culture. It is all about us. If we aren't happy, then we need to make some changes to get happy. And it's so wrong. Our fulfillment does not come from our spouse or our children. It comes from knowing that we are here to bring glory to our Creator.

God is glorified not only by His glory's being seen, but by its being rejoiced in. When those that see it delight in it, God is more glorified than if they only see it.... He that testifies his idea of God's glory [does not] glorify God so much as he testifies also his approbation of it and his delight in it.

Jonathan Edwards

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A quote

"If the gospel were more faithfully preached, there would be fewer people
professing to believe it."-A.W. Pink

Cookie Monster's Famous Sugar Cookie Dough

If you're like me, you want to have a foolproof sugar cookie dough recipe. Well, here it is! It is the original Cookie Monster recipe, taken from an old book from when I was a child.

I will write it step by step the way Cookie Monster does in my directions :)

Here is what you will need:

*a medium sized mixing bowl
*Measuring cups and spoons
*a fork

*butter or margarine (soft, not melted)
*all-purpose flour
*baking powder

What to do to make the dough:

1. Put 3/4 cup of butter or margarine (that's a stick and a half) into your mixing bowl.

2. Measure 1 cup of sugar.

3. Pour sugar over butter.

4. With a fork, squash butter and sugar together until blended.

5. Crack shells of 2 eggs and pour eggs over the mixture in the bowl.

6. Measure 1 tsp vanilla and pour over mixture.

7. With fork, blend everything in bowl together.

8. Measure 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour and pour over mixture in bowl.

9. Measure 1 tsp baking powder and sprinkle over flour.

10. Measure 1 tsp salt and sprinkle over flour and baking powder.

11. Nux everything together either with a fork or with your hands.

12. Put dough in the icebox to chill (at least one hour).

You can make lots of dough at once and keep it in your icebox in a plastic bag (it will last a long time). Then whenever you make cookies, just take out as much as you need.

First, take some cookie dough out of the icebox. If you all out of cookie dough (oh dear) just make some more!

Sprinkle counter with flour and put dough on it. Roll out dough flat, about 1/4 inch thick. Now come the tricky part-need to find things to make SHAPES with. Let me see...Ah! Can use GLASS to make round cookies....and those box lids make good rectangles and squares.

Me just push them down on dough and peel away dough on outside. Then me make squares and rectangles. (or whatever shape cutter you have)

Now me heat oven to 400 degrees, put cookies on ungreased cookie sheet, and put cookie sheet in oven. O.K. now come the hard part again. Me have to wait 6-8 minutes while cookies cook. What me going to eat?

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

This song was written by an unknown author, possibly in the 12th century. It was translated to English by John Neale in 1851. The original translation started: "Draw nigh, Draw nigh, Emmanuel".

The lyrics echo a num­ber of pro­phet­ic themes. The ti­tle comes from the well known Isai­ah 7:14: “Be­hold, a vir­gin shall con­ceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Im­man­u­el.” Im­man­u­el is He­brew for “God with us.” The “Rod of Jesse” refers to Isai­ah 11:1: “There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jes­se”; Jesse was the fa­ther of Da­vid, se­cond king of Is­ra­el. “Day-Spring” comes from Za­cha­ri­as, fa­ther of John the Bap­tist, in Luke 1:78: “The day­spring from on high has vis­it­ed us.” “Thou Key of Da­vid” is in Isai­ah 22:22: “The key of the house of Da­vid will I lay up­on his shoul­der,” which in turn re­fers to Isai­ah 9:6 “The gov­ern­ment shall be up­on His shoul­der.”

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.


Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Wisdom from on high,
Who orderest all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And teach us in her ways to go.


O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save,
And give them victory over the grave.


O come, Thou Day-spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.


O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.


O come, O come, great Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times once gave the law
In cloud and majesty and awe.


O come, Thou Root of Jesse’s tree,
An ensign of Thy people be;
Before Thee rulers silent fall;
All peoples on Thy mercy call.


O come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
And be Thyself our King of Peace.


Carl Trueman weighs in on The Golden Compass controversy

I am puzzled by all this hoo-hah: if The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is a Christian story/movie, it teaches a woefully inadequate, if not unbiblical, doctrine of atonement (**my note: Lewis' book leans toward the "Ransom to Satan" theory of the atonement - if you don't know what that is, click here**)-- if Aslan is Christ, one might say, then he cannot save on the account given by Lewis; yet Christians were ecstatic about the movie. Pullman writes a piece that, if his critics are to believed, is very clear and direct in its anti-Christian message. So, if you're worried about leading your kids astray, which, I wonder, is more likely to confuse them??? The subtle theological deviancy or the explicit anti-Christian message? Or maybe, just maybe, Narnia and Compass are both fun movies which are subject to a range of interpretations, and our children have the sense to see them as make-believe adventures about make-believe worlds.

I don't think I had ever really heard of the "ransom to Satan" theory of atonement.

This is its definition:

Ransom to Satan: This view sees the atonement of Christ as a ransom that was paid to Satan to purchase man’s freedom from being enslaved to Satan. It is based on a belief that man’s spiritual condition is in bondage to Satan and that the meaning of Christ’s death was to secure God’s victory over Satan. This theory has little, if any, scriptural support and has had few supporters throughout church history. It is heretical in that it thinks of Satan, rather than God, as the one who required a payment be made for sin and thus completely ignores the demands of God’s justice as seen throughout Scripture. It also has a higher view of Satan than it should and views him as having more power than he really does. There is no scriptural support for the idea that sinners owe anything to Satan, but throughout Scripture we see that God is the One who requires a payment for sin.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Grandpa Jordan 1917-2007

(this picture taken in September on his 90th birthday)

I only met him a couple of times, but each time he was very warm and so thankful for our visit. His life was his testimony, as he spent many years overseas as a missionary. He was always filled with great stories accompanied by a warm smile.

We are happy to know that he is now with the Lord. It is painful here to mourn the loss of someone that has been greatly admired and loved, but it is also a joyful day as he is no longer suffering the pain of sin and is fully engulfed in his Savior's arms.

Man cold...even you men will laugh at this! (how true it is!)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

I want a pair.....

The only question is: What color????

(And I'm not even a huge Croc lover, but come on! How comfy does this look???)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

A very misguided quote by Max Lucado

Men will be judged on the basis of the light they had, not on the basis of a light they never saw. The person in the remote jungle who never heard of Jesus is judged differently than the person who is only broadcast or open Bible away from the gospel. Jesus explains as much with his harsh criticism of the cities of Chorazin and Bethsaida... Not everyone will be judged by the same standard. The greater our privilege, the greater our responsibilities. Chorazin and Bethsaida saw much, so much was expected of them. The gospel was clearly presented to them, yet they clearly rejected it... On the other hand, Tyre and Sidon saw less, so less was expected. They, to use the words of Christ, will "get off easier" than others. The principle? God's judgment is based upon humanity's response to the message received. He will never hold us accountable for what he doesn't tell us.

--Max Lucado (from the book Where Jesus Walked)

Matthew 11:21 says "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes."

Am I alone here in thinking that the meaning in this verse has been very wrongly interpreted by Mr. Lucado?

If God is going to hold those in the jungle, who have never heard the name Christ, less responsible than you and I....what does that mean to missions? Aren't they better off never hearing the Jesus Christ preached when there is still a chance they will go to heaven? After all, they won't be held responsible for not hearing the gospel.

What of Christ's death on the cross? Does this mean that you can be saved without Christ and a true regeneration of the heart? This cheapens His death.

I would love to hear more of your thoughts on this!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Reason to Hate Sin by Phil Johnson

This article seemed especially fitting to our family as my husband's grandfather is in failing health, as a friend fights a recurrence of cancer and is not doing well, and a distant cousin is no longer with us. May the members of our family reach out to Christ as their rock in this painful time, and that their sorrow is not hopeless.

A friend of mine learned on Thanksgiving Day that he has terminal cancer. I visited him in the hospital that afternoon, and he was devastated. Doctors had discovered an inoperable tumor during surgery, and they simply stitched him back up. He now has all the pain and none of the benefit from that surgical procedure, which was extremely invasive. He was not much improved when I saw him again a couple of days later—after I had been to a memorial service for another friend's father.

So I've been thinking a lot recently about the frailty and the shortness of our human existence—and how sad death is, even for the Christian.

Of course, Christians understand that death is a consequence of sin, and death's sorrow ought to be a universal reminder of how evil sin is. The fruits of humanity's rebellion against God are invariably bitter, tragic, painful, and ugly—and death is the culmination of it all: sin's wages. We all know the pain of loss from death, or we will at some time in our lives. It is simply impossible to live a long life in a sin-cursed world without being assaulted with the sorrow and tragedy of human loss. Even Jesus felt that pain, and He wept at the death of His friend Lazarus (John 11:35).

Have you ever wondered why He was weeping? It could not be just grief over the loss of Lazarus, because He was about to bring Lazarus back to life. Yet it's clear from Scripture that His tears signified real sorrow.

So what was He mourning about?

Surely He was grieving over the effects of sin on people He loved. He was sorrowing over the ravages of evil on His creation. He was thus identifying with those whom He loved, even in their anguish. "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities" (Hebrews 4:15). He bore our griefs and carried our sorrows. He is a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And at Lazarus's grave He felt the full weight of anguish over the sinfulness of the human condition. He was deeply and sincerely moved by it.

Death is a horrible enemy. Scripture says in 1 Corinthians 15:26 that death is "The last enemy that shall be destroyed." And when you sit with someone who is dying slowly, you come face to face with the fact that death is a formidable, tyrannical, universal foe. The searing pain and sadness of death seem almost unbearable at times. If we thought about it in merely human, earthly terms, we might be tempted to become chronically melancholy and despondent.

But Scripture gives us both hope and a reason to rejoice, even in the midst of the gloom of death. Remember: it was in this very same context that Jesus made one of His most glorious promises about His victory over death and hell. He told Lazarus's devastated sister Martha: "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die" (John 11:25-26). He meant, of course, that believers can never die spiritually, and that even their physical death is only a temporary condition.

But that promise, glorious as it is, does not erase death's temporal sorrows. It did not even keep Jesus Himself from weeping. The short verse that records His sorrow over Lazarus's death comes just ten verses after He made that promise. We who cling to that promise likewise still have profound sorrows, but thankfully, our sorrow is not a hopeless sorrow (1 Thessalonians 4:13).

Pondering the universality of death and the inevitability of it, I have to wonder what certain Emergent leaders could possibly be thinking when they systematically try to downplay the hope of heaven and urge Christians to be more concerned with earthly matters.

Indeed, "if in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable" (1 Corinthians 15:19).

HT: Team Pyro

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Works for me Wednesday....Christmas tag idea

I don't know about you, but I never know what to do with all the Christmas cards I get every year. I hate to throw them out because they are so pretty, but don't really have a use for them. So I started doing what my mom does. She saves all her Christmas cards and when the season comes around again and it's time to wrap gifts, she pulls out last years Christmas cards. She cuts them into strips and uses them as tags on all the gifts!

You end up saving money and making neat little one-of-a-kind gift tags!

For more helpful hints visit WFMW at Rocks in My Dryer!