Monday, January 31, 2011

Short and Sweet

It's Monday and one of my monthly goals was to post Monday updates for my Bible in 90 Days reading.  Today I read 1 Chronicles chapters 1-9.  With that reading accomplished, I am up to date with the reading plan. 

Tomorrow I'll post my update on the rest of my monthly goals along with my goals for February.  As for me today, I've been living on the couch just trying to warm up.  For some reason I am extremely cold and my stomach is upset.  Could it be I've finally caught the dreaded stomach bug going around?  I sure hope not!  Back to the couch I go...

Friday, January 28, 2011

Tasty 2 Weeks

It's been a while since I have posted a meal list for cooking day.  I'm only doing 2 weeks of meals right now because with 6 people in the house (4 of which are adults), I'm doubling the meals.  My freezer tends to fill up quickly with double the meals.

Here is what is on the menu for the next couple of weeks:

  1. Chicken Enchiladas
  2. Chicken Pot Pie
  3. Chili & Baked Potatoes
  4. Fish Sticks
  5. Hamburgers
  6. Hot Dogs
  7. Maple Glazed Stuffed Roast Pork
  8. Milanese Beef Grill
  9. Pepper Steak with Blackberry Glaze
  10. Pork Tender Wellington
  11. Spaghetti and Meatballs
  12. Stuffed Shells
  13. Sweet Onion Pork Chops
  14. Turkey Meatloaf

I have some fun meals in there (hot dogs, hamburgers, fish sticks) per the request of my mom.  My kids are rather excited to see them in there too.  I think my favorite this month is a toss up between the Pepper Steak with Blackberry Glaze and the Milanese Beef Grill.  It's going to be a tasty 2 weeks!

Again, if you'd like the recipe to any of these meals, please send me a note and I'll be happy to pass them along.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


If I put a chocolate cupcake in front of you, covered in delicious frosting, would you eat it?  If you're like me, you probably would have it gone before it was even offered.  If I put some broccoli in front of you, how fast would you eat that?  Probably not as fast as the chocolate cupcake.  Knowing the cupcake is high in fat and calories, I would still choose to eat it over the broccoli, no matter how well I am sticking to my diet.

Why is it, that when it comes to choices God has laid before me, I want to choose what is wrong?  I know it's my sinful nature.  I can not say, "The Devil made me do it!" because in all reality, that's not true.  But, I'm not the only one who struggles with making the right choices.

2 Samuel 15 tells us of how the Lord spoke to King Saul through Samuel and told him what to do with the Amalekites in battle.  Everything was to be destroyed; people, livestock, all of it.  But Saul chose not to obey.  He chose to spare the Amalekite king as well as some of the livestock.  The Lord was displeased and told Samuel, “I regret that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” 2 Samuel 15:11  King Saul claimed he wanted to give the best of the livestock to the Lord in an offering, but that's not what the Lord wanted.

I look at this passage and think of two things.  One - it has nothing to do with me, I certainly don't sacrifice animals to the Lord.  Two - Are there things I do, that I think will be pleasing to Him, but really, it angers the Lord?

This week I am going to take a good look and what I do in my life.  Things that I do to serve Him and things that are not worshipful at all.  The Lord is my priority and I need to cut out things that do not please Him.  It's always hard to give up things, but in the end, as long as what I do is pleasing to God, I will be blessed by it.

Lyrics for Rebecca St. James' "I Can Trust You" can be found here.

Chocolate Cupcake Photo from Sweetest Kitchen

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Going to the Ball

Yesterday, Tom Corbett was inaugurated as Pennsylvania's 46th Governor.  Last night I was able to go to the Governor's Inaugural Ball.  My husband and I went with State Representative Seth Grove and his wife, Kasey. 

We went to dinner first and then headed over to the ball.  When we arrived there were about 1,000 people there.  By the time the Governor's cabinet was introduced, the room was packed with 2-4,000 people.  We were over on the side platform talking with friends when the Mummers came out.  Being a Philadelphia gal, I was excited to see them!

The platform we were on was rather far away from the stage, as you can see in this next picture.  We saw Governor Corbett's cabinet introduced and then Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley and his wife were introduced.  They danced on stage then headed down to the crowd.  After they exited, Governor Tom Corbett and his wife were introduced.  They danced as well then headed down to mingle with the crowd standing below the stage.

At that point, with so many people in attendance, we figured we would not be able to see or speak to Governor Corbett.  We took a few pictures, including this one on the left, and just started enjoying the music and the friends.  It was quite a shock about 30 minutes later when a large crowd started to gather up on the platform where we were standing.  We looked over and not 10 feet from us was the Governor and his wife. 

Governor Corbett and Seth.
After about 10 minutes of waiting, my husband was able to find his way into the crowd and speak to Governor Corbett for a minute.  After they chatted, we decided to head down off the platform to check out the food.  There were several stations set up all around the room with foods from the different areas of Pennsylvania.  There were perogies from Central Pennsylvania, mushrooms from Southeastern Pennsylvania (my neck of the woods), candy apples from Northeastern Pennsylvania, and even a salad with steak and french fries on it from Southwestern PA.  We didn't get to try all of the different foods, but we did have some delicious cherries jubilee and cotton candy, along with some Hershey's hot chocolate.

After our tour of Pennsylvania foods, we decided to take a rest on the platform on the opposite side of the room.  Surprisingly enough, Governor Corbett decided to visit that platform while we were up there.  At this point, many of the attendees had left and the party was back down to about 1,500 people.  The crowd was considerably smaller surrounding the Governor and I decided to put myself out there so I could write this blog.  After all, what good is a blog post if you don't have some fun pictures?

Asking Governor Corbett for his picture.
Kasey Grove and I with Governor Corbett.
Mrs. Susan Corbett and myself.

The entire evening was wonderful.  I wish I could dress up and go out like this more often!  Congratulations Governor Corbett!  May you do well as Pennsylvania's 46th Governor.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

2 Weeks

It's January 18th and I thought I would give a mid-month update on my goals for the month.  Here were my goals for January:
  • Stay on track in my Bible reading
  • Rest and recover from surgery
  • Organize my closet and weed out all the clothes I don't wear or need
  • Quit Smoking
So far, I am doing great!  I am 2 weeks smoke free today.  I'm not 18 days smoke free, but as I said before, I was a bit stressed about my surgery.  As for my rest and recovery, I spent a whole week in bed with my family waiting on me hand and foot.  I spent the next week on a couch, doing very little.  I did venture out of the house yesterday for a few hours, still not lifting or moving anything heavy.  My mother told me I am not going to lift anything heavy for 2 weeks.  So she decided she's doing all my laundry during that time.  *Score!*

My closet is amazingly organized.  Seth has hung bars, shelves, hanging organizers, put in baskets and more.  Almost all of my clothes have been sorted (I had a lot of free time the last 2 weeks) and I have quite the donation pile.  I think my husband and I filled 4 huge trash bags full of clothes that we are going to donate to a local Rescue Mission.

As for my Bible reading, I've only missed 1 day.  But, I knew I would miss the day of my surgery.  I started the Bible from the beginning and today I'm reading in Joshua.  It's quite a bit of reading each day, but it has been wonderful.  I'm glad I've been able to stick to my goals so easily this month.  I hope that as I get back into doing more, I will be able to stick to my reading schedule. 

How are you doing on your goals?  Leave me a comment and let me know if you've been successful with your resolutions.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Back to Reality

I got up this morning (around 10:00) and had breakfast.  I watched a little tv and then took a shower.  After my shower I did something I haven't done since January 3rd... I got dressed in day clothes.  I've been wearing pajamas since January 4th.  Yes, I've changed them and I've showered too, but today was the first day I've put jeans and a shirt on.

Since my surgery I've been living either in my bedroom or on one chair on the first floor.  My husband, my kids, and my parents have waited on me hand and foot.  While I've loved it immensely, I can't take it anymore.  I feel like a slothful glutton.  It's time for me to get back to reality.

After I came downstairs this morning (closer to noon) I did the dishes, put dinner in the crock pot, and sat down to do my Bible reading.  (Everyone went to church without me this morning.)  I've been reading the Bible straight through since January 3rd and I'm in Deuteronomy now.  The Israelites are being given a lot of information by Moses before he dies and they are allowed to enter into the Promised Land.  All I have to say is God gives a lot of rules.

As I've been reading Leviticus - Deuteronomy, I've been amazed at how many rules there are.  They are so very detailed too!  There are rules on how many lambs to slaughter on each day of the feasts, there are rules on what animals they can or cannot eat, there are even rules on owning slaves.  I've sat here and thought, "I'm so glad I didn't live during that time."

I've spoken to a few people about these detailed rules.  One person told me that there were so many rules is because of how disgusting sin is to God.  Specifically in reference to the disgusting smell of the burnt sin offerings.  Another person said there are so many details because God cares about all the details of our lives. Both of these suggestions I agree with.  God loves His people and He cares about every little thing that we say, think and do.  He also detests sin, it is disgusting and repugnant to Him.

Do I treat sin that way?  I should.  There are certain sins that I just sweep away, others are worse.  It doesn't matter though, sin is sin.  Do I look at the little details?  I should.  I had a fit when I first came downstairs this week because there were no clean kitchen towels and someone wrote on my calendar in a sloppy manner.  Yet, I really don't care if there are crumbs on the floor or if all the toys are picked up.  Am I focused on the right details?

I should be focused on the right details.  Making God first in my life will allow me to focus on Him and focus on making every detail of my life a blessing to God.  Reading and learning His word and His laws will keep me focused on Him eternally.

I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. 
Psalm 119:11

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Week 1 Wrap Up

I've completed week one of my Bible in 90 Days reading.  I've read through Genesis and Exodus.  There was a lot in there that I had never read before.  I had no idea the elaborate detail that went into the Tabernacle that Moses erected for the Lord, or in the garments that Aaron and his sons wore.  It makes sense to have them so elaborate, wouldn't any gift I give to the Lord be like that?

After I finished reading today, I spent some time thinking about what gifts I give the Lord.  I tithe, I serve at His church, I honor Him in the way I follow His commandments.  Those are all well and good, but are my gifts elaborate?  Do I honor Him in the way that only He deserves?  I don't think I do.

While constructing the tabernacle, the Israelites brought gifts of gold, silver, and bronze; fabrics in blue, purple, crimson and fine linen.  I don't exactly have those gifts to give the church, nor would my church have a use for them. 

And they received from Moses all the contribution that the people 
of Israel had brought for doing the work on the sanctuary. They still kept 
bringing him freewill offerings every morning.  Exodus 36:3

Here's the kicker.  The Israelites kept bringing gifts.  More and more gifts.  And they did it of their own freewill too!  Is that how I'm bringing my gifts to the Lord?  Do I go to church and pass out the Sunday school roll sheets with the heart of a servant who wants to serve the Lord with this gift?  Or do I pass it out with the mindset of, "they better fill these sheets out right this week"?  I think I know the answer to that question.

I don't have to have gold and crimson fabrics to give.  I do have me to give.  I have my attitude and my heart to give to the Lord and my service.  But I continually need to refocus my attitude and serve Him elaborately and with all my freewill. 

Friday, January 7, 2011


I received an email last week from someone who said she valued our friendship. She said I've been steady and real to her and she's never not trusted me as a friend. What she didn't know is that has been my prayer for years.

I've seen friends torn apart by petty fights, gossip and back-stabbing. I don't want to be that person. In all honesty, I used to be such a gossip! I still to this day struggle with it. It's my sinful nature and I recognize that. But it's not who I want to be and it's not who God wants me to be.

"Loyal" is my word for this year. It is the word that I am going to strive to become. When someone thinks of me, I want them to think of me as a loyal and trusting friend. This means no gossip, no back-stabbing, being truthful, sincere, loving. There are so many things that go into being loyal!

When God thinks of me, I want Him to think of me as a Loyal and trusting servant. I want to tell others about Him, to do what's right according to the scriptures, to read His word and grow closer to Him. This is the person that I want to be!

Psalm 31:23
Love the Lord, all you godly ones!
For the Lord protects those who are loyal to him,
but he harshly punishes the arrogant.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Falling in Love with a Good Book

Most of you know I had outpatient surgery yesterday. Needless to say, because of the drugs and sleeping afterwords, I didn't get any of my Bible in 90 Days reading accomplished. So today I played catch up.

I just finished reading Genesis chapter 40. So in a few days, I have read 40 chapters. I've never been able to do this before. But for some reason, it's easier this time. I've read a lot of tips on the Mom's Toolbox site and during our Twitter party Monday night, someone gave what I think is the best tip of all... Read the Bible like a story.

The Bible is a story, a true story written by God. It is perfect and error free. 2 Peter 1:16-21 attests to the validity of the Bible. It's not a chore for me to be reading this book. It is a story for me to fall in love with. If I can read novels and other books happily, why shouldn't I read the Bible in the same way?

Using that outlook has totally changed how I desire to read the Bible. Here God has given me a book that allows me to learn about Him and grow closer to Him. How can I not read this book that has an amazing story to fall in love with?

If you've never read the Bible completely through, I encourage you to reevaluate how you look at it. Do you see it as a duty to read your Bible? Or do you see it as a great story with a bonus of growing closer to God? It's easier than you think to read the Bible.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Day One ... or Three

Today is the day! I began my Bible in 90 Days reading program today. I read through Genesis chapters 1 - 16. Yes, it may seem like a lot, but I am so glad to be doing it. I've read the main stories of the Bible, but usually I skip over the "begat's". Not this time!

I say Day Three because this is January 3rd. It was my NY's resolution to read the Bible every day. So far so good! I'm glad to say that this is the first year that I didn't give up on day 2.

Tomorrow will be tricky though. I go in for surgery at 6:00 a.m. and I'm not sure what kind of happy meds I'll be coming home with. As long as I can find time to read through my verses, I'll be happy. Keep me in your prayers tomorrow!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Resolution

2010 is now behind us and 2011 is here. What a year 2010 has been. If you're reading this then you probably already know all about my year without my husband, so I won't get into that. 2011 is going to be a wonderful year full of family and friends. My husband will be home most of the year (save a couple of 2 week trainings), my mom and step-dad are living in town (currently still in my house), my dad is getting married and I'm starting the year off with several new changes.

For starters, my resolution for 2011 is to read my Bible every day. I confess, I don't read it every day. I truly have no excuse. This year will be different and I will also read the entire Bible this year, something I have never done before. To help me in this endeavor, is sponsoring the Bible in 90 Days program. You can click on the link in my sidebar. Not only am I excited to be reading through the whole Bible, but I'm excited about the habit that I will be forming in order to do this. I'm also looking forward to the accountability that I will be held to in order to be a part of this program. On Mondays, I will be blogging about what I have read and learned over the course of my weekly reading, starting January 10th.

The only hiccup I see in this plan is that on January 4th I'm having more surgery. This surgery is a little more in-depth than my last one. I'm expecting more of a recovery time and I'm thankful that my husband is home and my mom is living with me so they both can help take care of the kids and me. But with all my rest and quiet time in my room over the next week, I hope to still get all of my reading accomplished.

I hope to also blog more this year. Yes, I know I say that every January, but I mean it. Monday posts will be a regular and also posts on the first of the month will now be regular. I plan on making a set of goals for the month and coming back and reviewing them at the end of the month.

Here are my goals for January:
  • Stay on track in my Bible reading
  • Rest and recover from surgery
  • Organize my closet and weed out all the clothes I don't wear or need
  • Quit Smoking
That last one might shock some of you, others may already know it. I smoke when my husband is gone and I've been smoking since right before he left for Afghanistan last year. Am I quitting today? No. Why not? Because I'm a little stressed about my surgery and I figure a few days of being banished to my bedroom (where I can't smoke) will do the trick. So, I've got about 3 more days of smoking and I'm finished.

I know the list of goals is pretty light, but really, I don't know how much I'll be able to do physically this month. Reading and recovering are really my main goals.

Please, help keep me accountable! Feel free to email me on a Monday afternoon if I haven't posted, or just send me a note to see how I'm doing in my reading. I hope you have a wonderful and blessed New Year. If you've made a resolution, please share it with me as I'd love to hear it!