Thursday, March 28, 2013

I Smell Spring!

So even though there are piles of snow lingering from the recent storm, my students have informed me that a sunny 37 degrees feels awesome.  I see new green shoots sprouting up in my flower beds, and I had to resist the urge to buy a new pair of garden gloves the other day.  It's feeling like spring! 

Although these ideas and recipes float around on Pinterest and are available for anyone and everyone, I wanted to share a few photos from our March Women of Worth meeting.  The snacks were amazing, and they looked amazing, too!

Who's ready for spring flowers? 
(Me! Jumping up and down with both hands waving!)

Let's call him Mr. Bones -
My, do they have a crunch!

A healthy rainbow with my favorite pot of gold
(Hershey's almond nuggets)

Rabbit food :-) 
(crescent rolls, Philly spread, veggies)

Eggs and bacon anyone? 
(m&m's, pretzels, white choc.)
Maybe you'll be inspired to try one of these for Easter weekend?!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Snow Daze...

I love snow days.  Not because I hate my job, but because I love the opportunity to catch up on household stuff and pretend to be normal!  Last night we had the "perfect storm."  It was perfect because it came on the heels of a overwhelmingly busy but very blessed week of special services at church.  God is so good, and He provided our family with health and the ability to be in a place where we could be a sponge for practical, soul-searching truths that will benefit us for months and years to come. 

Back in February, Greg was scheduled to take a business trip.  The company he was supposed to visit didn't end up being ready to implement the program he was helping to represent, so the trip was put on hold.  When it was rescheduled, it was right smack in the middle of our revival week.  He would miss Wednesday through Friday.  I was sick about it, but we knew that it was something that was out of our hands. We both began to pray that God would work His will, but I'll have to be honest and say that my faith was pretty weak.  The plane tickets had been purchased, and hotel reservations made. 
In spite of my waning faith, God showed me something pretty special. He again let me know that He always has our best interest at heart, and He knows exactly what we need.  About ten days before the trip was supposed to happen, Greg was notified that it had been put on hold again.  That was only the first of several "miracles" that I specifically witnessed last week, and I'm smiling as I think about how the presence of God was so near and strong, especially in our Sunday morning service.  It was everything we had prayed for, yet so much more than we even realized was possible!   The lyrics to Gaither's We Are So Blessed come to mind, "When we're empty You fill us till we overflow..."    And that's exactly what happened.  Back to the snow day...

God gave us good weather right up until the end of our week of services, then He dumped about 8 inches of snow in our driveway and tucked us in for an extra day.  Although I'm as ready for spring as anyone, the beauty of a snow storm still has me somewhat enamored, and throughout the night and most of today I've been able to catch glimpses of it while cleaning, organizing, and surfing the web. 

If today is the last snow day of the year (who knows...we are in Ohio!), I'll be able to say that I did it justice.  Now it's time to blow out the candles, turn off the coffee pot, and secure a night of rest. 

Today I'm thankful for:
  • A warm, comfortable home
  • Pumpkin/vanilla candles from Swan Creek Candle Co.
  • A God who loves us more than we can even comprehend
  • Grace that is greater than sin
  • A husband who is sensitive to God's will in his life and career
  • Children who are growing, learning, achieving, and recognizing the voice of God
  • Snowflakes that multiply times a trillion and give us snow days  :-) 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

So What's A Girl To Do...

when she goes to Biggby with a bogo coupon...and she's all alone?  Yeeaahhh, you guessed it.  She buys one, she gets one free, and she drinks them both.  Hehe...I'm not a Starbucks girl, and I really missed my favorite coffee shop while I was in Muncie last week.  Combine that with the reality that I'm ready to pop some toothpicks in my eyelids while I try to finish a pressing project, and it's a coffee lover's perfect storm.  I'm pretty sure I just blew the lid off of any calorie reduction I was attempting today, but now today has run into tomorrow (or was it yesterday...I need some sleep!), and we're starting all over again.  I will try to stay away from the calories and the caffeine later in this day, but with a drive to Columbus and back in the early afternoon, I can't make promises.  :-)

Let me share a note that Alli passed to us in church last night.  I love reading "phonetic" writings, and it cracked me up to see her attempt at my name.  I'm not one to spend much time with my kids educationally before they start school (I figure there's enough time for all that in grades K-12), so she wouldn't have had a clue how to spell "Stephanie." 

She is so much fun right now because she is willing to try anything.  She's always pounding out something on the piano, spelling words aloud, or sounding things out and it's just something new every minute with her.  Love this stage.  The other day I noticed that she was playing the same note over and over on the piano, but she was frustrated because she couldn't get the timing right.  I wasn't catching onto what she was doing, but she finally asked me to help her cause she was trying to play the "wedding song."  Then it hit me...the prelude notes leading into the Bridal we worked on that for awhile.  Not sure why it was important to her to get that figured out, but maybe in a few years she'll be able to add the rest of the song to the first three measures.  ;-)  While the other kids were sick, she was going a little stir crazy in the house.  She changed costumes multiple times per day, and danced and pranced all over the place for hours.  At one point she came to me with a veil over her face and asked me if I had worn one like that.  I told her no, and she said, "Well, that's how REAL people get married!"  Ooookay! 

Now that my baby is growing up, I find myself relishing every innocent word and action.  All too soon, she'll no longer want daddy to "tickle her awake" on Sunday mornings.  She'll decide that she can tuck herself into bed.  And her favorite meal won't be ice cream.  Now, that could pull some tears.  The days are passing quickly...

Since it's all of 1 a.m. (yeah, too much coffee), I think I'll have to quit tracking my parents' flight and catch some sleep.  They're covering a lot of ocean right now, and it's safe to say that I'll be a little more comfortable when they crawl into the van with me tomorrow, er, today! 

(And to think...I came this close to joining Money Saving Mom's Early to Rise Challenge this month!  What an epic fail that would have been!) 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

No Place Like Home!

After a virtually media-free week, I am back home and enjoying catching up on all my favorite blogs and posting a few pictures of my own.  For a peek into our week, click here.  I was able to spend a little time with my college bestie at the event we attended last week, and she concurred with me...there's no place like home!  I never considered myself a homebody {I can become 'housebound' within just a few hours}, but sleeping in a motel, eating out every meal, and constantly rearranging clothes in a suitcase isn't really my cup of tea these days.  I guess it is a small price to pay for the benefit of what we were doing, but I'm really glad to be back to the comfort of the place I love. 

When we walked into the house, it only took a split second for me to realize that whatever I had put down the garbage disposal before we left really hadn't gone all the way through the process of being disposed.  Rotten roast beef is utterly lacking in appeal.  :-)  With the magic of baking soda and some candles, we had it smelling like home again in no time, and spent the evening getting everything back into place and kicking our feet up for awhile. 

This morning I was able to catch up on one tiny detail that I hadn't had time to take care of before leaving - the fridge cleanout.  Ugh.  Needless to say, the dishwasher has run twice today.  Then it was on to organizing the pantry, making a grocery list, and all the other little details of getting ready for a new week.  It's good to be home.

Earlier in the week, I was a little anxious.  My parents are off for a trip to the Holy Land, my brother and his wife were attending the National Religious Broadcaster's Convention in Nashville, their children were at home with their maternal grandparents, three of my kids were in Cincinnati with my sister and brother-in-law, and we were in Muncie with the responsibility for a group of kids who are not ours.  It's not often that we are all scattered in different directions in travel, but it just happened to be that way this time.  So far, all of us except for my parents are back safely.  Mom and dad have a couple more days to experience this incredible journey they are taking.  Please pray for them as they complete the trip and fly home on Tuesday. 

Since it felt like spring today, Greg grilled some steaks for supper.  Only in Ohio can you go sledding one day, and be comfortably grilling on the deck the next.  ;-)  It's soooo good to be home!