Thursday, March 31, 2011

I Finished the Course

This morning I finished reading the Bible from cover to cover, in 88 days.  The program I was using through Mom's Toolbox was a 90 day plan, but there were 2 days built in for make up days.  Thankfully, I didn't need to use them.  I kept with the reading plan and finished on time.  Wow!

It was wonderful reading from start to finish.  Some days were difficult and others were easy.  Most of the Bible read like a wonderful story, going in chronological order from the beginning of man to the end of days.  The prophetic parts were a little difficult for me, but they just require more in-depth studying in the future.

There were so many benefits of reading through the Bible from start to finish.  Here are a few:
  • Reading verses and a song comes in to my head.  There are so many, many songs out there that stemmed from Bible verses!  For a musically inclined person like me, this was such a blessing to see where the songs got their origins.
  • Reading verses and knowing them.  There are so many verses I have heard over the years that I just can't remember where they came from.  It was good to read them and to put them into the proper context.
  • Reading verses and realizing they are a lot longer than I know them.  Being a Cubbies teacher at church, I teach verses to 3 & 4 year-olds.  These verses are usually shortened so they can remember the key parts of a verse.  I've been saying them for 6 years now and it was fun to see how some of them are so much longer than how we study them.  For example, according to the Cubbies, Romans 5:8 says, "While we were sinners, Christ died for us."  But Romans 5:8 actually says "But God shows His love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."  The first part of that verse is wonderful!
  • The blessing of knowledge.  Do I pretend to know it all?  Nope! (If I do, smack me.)  But reading through the entire Bible has allowed me to gain knowledge of God and His perfect plan.  It also helped me to understand and get a clearer picture of what happened to lead up to Christ's life, death and resurrection on the earth.  Admittedly, the Old Testament is what I have read the least in my life as a believer.  So reading through the entire Bible has been wonderful to see all the history.
  • The blessing of time.  I don't know how He did it, but God granted me time each and every day to read His word.  Yes, my house isn't spotless, but everything that was essential to my household was completed every day.  I was able to add reading 12 pages of the Bible into my schedule and still get the essentials finished daily.  I've learned that in honoring God and putting Him first, He grants me time to still accomplish things I need to get done.
I've been asked if I'll do this program again in the future.  Yes!  Not right away mind you, this is something that does require a lot of time, for me it was 1-2 hours of quiet reading daily.  But in the future I would love to go back through and read it all quickly again.  For now, there were some books in the Old Testament that I would like to go back through and study, like Isaiah and the minor prophets.

If you've never read through the entire Bible, this is a great way to do it.  It's also a wonderful way to jump start your reading and get you in a daily habit of reading God's word.  There is another group starting up on Monday, July 11, if you are interested please head over to Mom's Toolbox and check it out.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Sad Sight

I went to grab some milk for my hot tea this morning and was greeted with a sad sight.  A virtually empty refrigerator.  Yes, I had milk for my tea, but there really isn't much in my fridge.  So I hesitated for a moment, then opened my freezer door.  YIKES!  I desperately need to do a cooking day.

I sat down with my cup of tea and got cracking.  I don't know what the worst part of cooking day is, shopping, prepping the foods, putting the meals together or writing the list.  For me, honestly, it's writing the list.  How do I decide what we are eating for a whole month?  Will it be warm so I can grill meals?  Will we be cold and want chicken pot pie?  Decisions, decisions...

Without further ado, here is what we are eating this month.  Seth, if you are reading this, which I know you are, let me know if there is something you want to add to the list.  :)

  1. Baked Chicken Pecan
  2. Chicken & Broccoli Rotini
  3. Farmers Casserole
  4. Glazed Pork Tenderloin
  5. Ham & Cheese Stuffed Chicken
  6. Ham, Vegetables & Bows
  7. Italian Slow Cooker Chicken
  8. Maple Glazed Turkey
  9. Marinated Flank Steak
  10. Mini Italian Meatloaves
  11. Oven BBQ Chicken and Cheesy Biscuits
  12. Pesto Chicken Packets
  13. Seasoned Turkey Breast
  14. Spaghetti
  15. Steak Fajitas
  16. Stromboli
  17. Stuffed Pizza
  18. Taco Pie
  19. Teriyaki Chicken
  20. Tortellini Spinach Casserole
As always, if a meal looks interesting to you, leave a comment and I'll get you the recipe.  I'm rather looking forward to this month as there are meals in here that we haven't had in a while.  The Tortellini Spinach Casserole is one of my favorites!  I even get to buy Gouda cheese for it.  Yum!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Day 85

It's day 85 of 90.  Yes, I am only a few days away from reading through the entire Bible in 90 days.  Actually, I'll be finished on day 88, there were 2 "freebie" days built in that I didn't use.  Today I'll be starting in Hebrews and by the end of the day I will have finished James 3.  It really has been amazing reading through the whole Bible so quickly.

As I've said before, this isn't an in-depth study.  It's just a motivational tool to read through the entire Bible.  Has it been beneficial to me?  Oh yes!  I can honestly say my walk with the Lord has grown and I don't think I will go back to not reading my Bible once this is finished.  I don't believe I'll continue reading 12 pages of the Bible daily, but I will continue to read and continue to grow closer with the Lord.

On Friday I will be blogging about the whole experience.  I'm anxious to see what the Lord has in store for me this week. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Prayer Request

Photo from Watton on the Web
Over the last week I have been evaluating what all I do.  Not just at home, but everything.  I'm involved in quite a lot with my church, I cyberschool my kids, and set up field trips for the cyberschool.  I will be taking on some new responsibilities within my husband's National Guard unit in relation to the families which will be more intensive over the next year or so as we prepare and go through a deployment to Kuwait. 

You may be asking why am I taking on a new responsibility if I feel I already have too many?  Well, with my husband being the Executive Officer of his unit right now, it's kind of falling to me to take on the family duties.  And having gone through a couple of deployments with absolutely no contact from the family volunteers, I don't want any other family going through what I have gone through and I want to help in that area.

With the new responsibilities coming in, I feel like something needs to go.  There are days where I feel like I am involved in so much stuff, that I can't focus on my family, or my home.  At that point, I need to cut something.  There are 3 things that I am torn about losing.  All three I'd be ok with stepping back from, but all three I do enjoy doing.  So what do I do?  Do I cut one of them?  All of them?  If only one, which one?  I just don't know.  So over the next week I am going to be doing some focused prayer into what I should do.  If you think of me over the next week, please be in prayer for me as I make a difficult decision.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Best Cupcake EVER

Have you ever tasted something that was just so delicious, you had to tell everyone.  Yeah, this is one of those times...

A few weeks ago, a friend posted on facebook a link to Bake at 350's blog post about Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes.  She said she would like someone to make them for her birthday and a mutual friend suggested that I give it a go.  Well, I'm always up for a challenge!

These cupcakes are amazing.  I don't mean they are good, I mean amazing!  These aren't for the feint-hearted, oh no, with 6 1/2 sticks of butter, 2 1/2+ cups of brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk, and powdered sugar, let me just say if you have diabetes, stay far away from these!  But be warned -- eat, enjoy and don't think about what's inside.  Here's the link to the printable recipe.

With that being said, these are the best cupcakes I have ever made.  They will go into the "repeat because they are delicious" recipe file.  The cupcake is denser than a regular cupcake, almost a cookie texture.  It tastes like a big fluffy cookie.  In the middle is homemade cookie dough filling.  Wow, just wow.  On top is a brown sugar frosting that I would love to just keep in my fridge to snack on, if it wouldn't make me fat, which it will.

The recipe made 24 cupcakes.  I gave 12 cupcakes to my friend for her birthday yesterday, Happy Birthday, Sandra, and am keeping the other 12 for my anniversary.  Yesterday was my 11th anniversary to my wonderful husband, Seth.  I love you honey!  I hope you enjoy the cupcakes!

My first time decorating cupcakes by piping the frosting.

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Relaxing Weekend

I had an amazing weekend.  My husband and I got away for the entire weekend.  Alone.  No kids.  Just us.  It was heavenly.  Don't get me wrong, I love my kids, but I love my husband too.  This was the first time that we have been completely alone together since, well, since a weekend when he was home on leave from Afghanistan.  I spent that entire weekend sick as a dog, so that doesn't count.  So before that... well, I honestly don't know.  I'd have to say it was probably in October of 2009.  Yes, that's right.  That was the last time that the kids spent a weekend at Grandma's house where Seth and I were alone together.  Needless to say, we had a great weekend.

We spent the weekend up in Harrisburg.  We ate at some local restaurants, went to a Hershey Bears game, and did some shopping.  Overall it was a quiet, relaxing weekend.

Surprisingly enough, I had some time to read.  Not much though, as I found myself still doing Friday's reading on Sunday morning.  But I had a little over an hour in the car on the way back and during random times during the day yesterday, I managed to get myself completely caught up in my reading.  In fact, it was 5 minutes to midnight last night and I finished Daniel 8.  I had to laugh because I don't know how He did it, but God sure stretched my time to allow me to finish 3 days worth of reading in 1.  I read from Ezekiel 31 through Daniel 8 in one day.  Wow. 

What I read was mostly prophecy, some of it was chronology for Daniel.  Some parts were easier to read than others.  All of it was wonderful.  I'm so glad that I'm still on track and reading so much of God's word right now.  This week I have 2 field trips and a whole house to clean before my grandparents get here next week.  I'm sure God will provide time for me to continue to stay on track and read His word.  It's such a blessing to be reading the Bible! 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Is Your Check Engine Light On?

I'm blogging over at Today's Housewife today.  Come over and find out if your check engine light is on.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

March Goals

Here we are at the beginning of the month again.  It's time to set goals and I hope to succeed on all of them this month. 

  • Exercise 3 days a week.  I'm going to go for this one again.  I may have missed my opportunity to look good this weekend in a swimsuit at the hotel, but I'm going to be ready for swimming this summer.
  • Plan 2 field trips in May.  I'd like to get at least 2 scheduled and also start working on some for the fall.  
  • Continue reading my Bible.  Yes, this one is going to keep being on here.  
  • Plan another cooking day.  I'd like to get some more ladies involved in this, but if it's just me, that's ok too.  I like the benefit of cooking one day a month and not worrying about what we will eat for a whole month.
  • Organize the school room.  The room has become cluttered and what we have for storage is minimal.  Extra computer paper, construction paper, envelopes, etc. are all sitting on a shelf at the moment and get scattered and look terrible.  I'm trying to find creative ways to keep papers, art supplies, extra books, all of it.  I'm open to suggestions if you have some!

Overall, it looks very similar to last month.  Here's to hoping I can get this month accomplished!