Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tools Are Our Friends! :)

On our trip to Cambria, Superman and I flew into
this favorite quaint store of mine (you didn't think
I was going to say "HIS" favorite store did you?).
He hates shopping as much as I loathe... as I loathe...
hmmmmm... right now I don't loathe anything, but as soon
as I do, you'll be the first to know! Anyhoo, without the use of a gun or anything, he freely walked into this little kitchen shop with me and SHOPPED! No rolling of his eyes, no foot thumping impatiently, no arm crossing, and best of all, no uttered words like "Are you almost done?" This is bonding at its best! (Well, besides that 'other' great thing married couples get bonded with). (Gosh, this is sounding too familiar. Did I already tell you all this in another blog? Where, oh, where has my little memory gone?!)

Both of us found items that we just had to take home with us. Me, I found that handy little tool in the above pic! I tossed the package, so do not even know what it's called. How helpful is that?! But, that little scooper works! Specifically, I bought it to use on my scrumptious homegrown butternut squash. A dull-ended spoon wasn't cutting it (hahaha, the pun was completely a surprise!). This dandy newbie in my kitchen cut like butter, turning a dreaded job into a piece of cake - and I looove cake! Oh, and my birthday is coming up, and when my mom was alive she always made me carrot cake with tons of sugar and oil and nuts and cream cheese frosting and pineapple chunklets and yum! I digress.... but wasn't that a sweet distraction?

So, I highly recommend that if you see one of these, get it for your kitchen's toolbox, commonly called A DRAWER! :)

Never think that screwdrivers and kitchen gadgets are the only tools around. Oh, no! Just look at these favorite tools of mine...

Cups are VERY handy tools for holding coffees and teas! One for Scrabble, where I whoop my friend every time (okay, not EVERY time), John Deere for when I ride my tractor (phyche), candy corns and checks and dots for an October treat, acorns and plaid for all the months of fall. Gotta have them!

And look at these cozy circlets of tea! No longer do they have the strings to tangle with, you just drop these tea bags into your awaiting hot water and their embrace births something delish to warm your tummy! By the way, pumpkin coffee and pumpkin ginger tea are delightful! (Oh, and if you live by a World Market, get a coffee card and on Wednesdays they stamp it two times instead of one. Yay!)

And last, but not even close to being least, are my beloved books - tools that aid in my Bible learning. On this shelf (with two missing that I used last night) are the majority of my favorite commentaries, my extra devotionals (Streams in the Desert and the rest in her series are my all-time favs), and my encouraging authors. I'm overdone when it comes to books, and I have a shelf-lined closet to prove it. It needs a major overhaul right now, so no pictures of that! :)

I'm pretty sure you can click on the picture and it will be big enough for you to actually read some of the titles. Matthew Henry and I have been BFFs forever! Jon Courson's commentaries are new to the shelf, so still uncertain if they are worthy of its space. The African commentary is just sweet...and encouraging in my walk. Wiersbe gives me tons of much-needed info and insight, so I am 'in' to him. And Spurgeon... who can walk through the Psalms without his Treasury of words?

There ya have it, tools are our friends!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fall's Welcome

I've flung open the doors and welcomed fall into my home! (I know, I can't quit talking about fall! I am a fall fanatic!)

The autumn months are cozy ones for me. The colors suit my personality (though I love pinks and reds and Minnie Mouse dots!), and there's something about cool nights and smoky scents from fireplaces (well, ours is now a fake-a-roonie, so I have to ride my bike around the blocks for that yummy inhale).

Anyhoo, while my husband was out in the deep blue sea with our oldest son, I spent the weekend cleaning and setting out the rest of my pumpkins and such. I have to tell you, I have been looking at photos of fall homes on various blogs. It was about making my brain twirl. They were all so inspiring and cute and magazine-worthy. That might be my dream, but not my reality. Truly, I had to shut down the computer, lay my head on the desk, and get a grip! Oh, and be thankful!

First of all, I am not an artist nor a decorator. But, my heart has always had a love for making a cozy and welcoming home. Sometimes it's easy to try and be, or wish for, what we're not, and well, it robs us of peace and joy. Much better is our attitudes when we are content to be the woman God made us to be. Really, contentment with godliness is good!

So, dragging out my green plastic tub from the back of the closet, carefully hidden behind old jackets, I would clean a little, decorate a little. A little here, a little there, and by the end of two days my house was pretty clean and looked like fall had arrived (though it was still 106 degrees yesterday!). I had fun, and it's nice to finally have a clean home!

Most of my knic-naks were collected in Cambria on my girlfriend getaway with my BFF. We have tons of the same things because we both love fall! Every time I grasp a new item from the bucket, I say, "Ohhhh... I remember when we bought that!" For me, it's not just the decorations, but the memories that they evoke.

Below are Mr. and Mrs. Thanksgiving. I bought them years apart, and were they ever happy to be united! Problem is, I decorate in September and come November, I forget to set them out. This year, that dilemma is solved - I just put them out early! This will make up for all the lost years. :) And, why not have these darlings reminding me to be thankful a little early?

Anyhoo, last night I lit all the lamps and candles, settled into my cozy home, and watched a movie. Ahhhh... there's no place like home, there's no place like home, there's no place like...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pom Poms!

I see these at Christmastime, all the time. But until a few weeks ago, I never noticed them in the wonderful fall!

See, usually when they catch my attention, it's the dead of winter. I smile when I see them hanging like Christmas bulbs on a tree, because the cold has taken all the leaves, and there they hang, looking for all the world like God was decorating His trees for us.

But when I was riding my bike a few weeks ago, I was surprised to see them already growing on trees with leaves around them like beautiful scarves. Anyhoo, it makes sense they'd have to begin now to be ready for winter's display... but I didn't ever give it that much thought.

Anyhoo, poms are good to eat, smish and make juice, the jam from them is superb, and they are full of yummy red juice that makes your blood pump cleaner through your arteries. What a Christmas gift!

Monday, September 21, 2009

This Little Light of Mine

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven" Ecclesiastes 3:1.

During the summer season I get to stay home and frolic. For three whole months! Sun, Fun, Stay (at home), Play!

But summer is over and a new season (of school) has begun. As an elementary librarian substitute I used to be able to pick my days of work. However, with all the layoffs in our school system, they have not hired anymore of us ELS's, so I have a little less freedom. Still, there's a season for everything, and this is a season of working more. My sewing machine is crying!

But, it's an opportunity to be out in the world, letting my little light shine for Jesus! Every place our foot steps is a mission field...

And, speaking of lights, I found these mini candles at Walmart. Light one, and fall magically appears in your home, sight ('cuz they're cute) and smell (just like fall!). The good news is that these candles are very cheap!!! The little ones below were only one dollar each - glass lid included!. Being a jam maker, I am going to clean these jars out really well, fill them with some kind of red jam, like strawberry or raspberry (in case you didn't know which jams might be red),and then use them for small hostess gifts during the holidays. Ho ho ho....

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Will Power of Jennifer Anniston

You never know where your next great dieting tip is going to come from! But I, finder-of-great-secrets, am going to disclose it to you, for free!

It's this, and I read it right out of Vogue, or Elle, or one of those similar magazines, and it was straight from her BFF's mouth - Jen, the woman-wonder, can open a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos and eat just one - ONE, a loner, a single-eeee-Do (pronounced 'doe', short for Doe-ritos).

So, with that new-found dieting knowledge, I have been practicing. Yesterday I ate two, because, well, the first one was so amazingly delish that I had to make certain that my taste buds were not speaking with a forked tongue!

And then today... Well, Jen would probably look at me with disdain, but I ate about eight of them. I mean, come on. A tuna sandwich just has to have enough Doritos to cover most of the bites.

So, I might not have the full extent of Jennifer's willpower, but this latest dieting tip has armed me with enough will and power to now munch a little less chips!

Who knows where the next great dieting tip will be discovered! When I find it, I'll pass it on!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

From Peanuts to the Pressbox by Eli Gold

Buckle up, because Eli Gold, the voice of Crimson Tide, is going to whisk you away for the ride of his life – and what an adventure it is!

At the age when most boys are climbing up trees and yanking on little girls’ pigtails, Eli was hopping onto the D-train and steering the course toward his future as “one of the busiest and most popular broadcasters on the air today.” If he wasn’t in the stadium cheering or selling peanuts, his trusty transistor radio gave his ear the latest play-by-plays, enabling him to not miss a beat with his heart’s love of sports. It’s rare to see someone so young with such a steadfast determination to reach his dream’s destination. This delightful autobiography shares the whole story!

Hop on board From Peanuts to the Pressbox, sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride! I sure did!

In fact, though I closed the door to the last pages of his book a few days ago, I’m still smiling. I love traveling to simpler days, when it was still safe for a young boy to skip school and travel alone towards his dream.

Mr. Gold mentions many books by other great sportscasters, and I’ve requested them from libraries all over our county. Soon, I will be zooming around on many more adventures, and all without having to pay for gas or packing a suitcase!

Books are wonderful!
I am a member of Thomas Nelson’s Book Review Blogger program.

Friday, September 11, 2009

30th Anniversary Trip

Good morning!

Anytime I leave for a girlfriend get-away or a retreat, I 'll leave Superman a note. This was the unwritten note I left him before I went to Disneyland...

I left the camera on his pillow with the LCD monitor open, so that he would know there was something to see. Just a fun way to say, "See ya soon!"

So, for our anniversary trip we drove over to the coast. None of my pictures turned out that great (I really must take time to learn some things about taking photographs!), but here's a few, anyway.

On the trip over we took backroads. The leisurely pace was a relaxing break from the rat race of daily life.

Where we live is normally quite hot, so the clouds and cooler weather were welcomed with open arms!

The golf course was gorgeous.

We had many furry and feathered spectators.

Yay, I made it across the water. My only good shot of the day!

Superman coming out of our Honeymoon Hotel!

Well, that's it! Gotta skedaddle and get ready for our first day back to Bible study!!! C ya!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Across the Finish Line With Disney!

This past week has been a whirlwind of fun!

First, I finished the Disney Half Marathon, on September 6th. Totally, this proves that WITH GOD all things are possible. If you remember, after completing the L. A. Marathon (26.2 looooong miles), I had gone to the gym to begin training for the Disney Half. Well, I went waaaay too fast too soon, and ended up hurting myself and in therapy all summer. So, with minimal training, I was not certain I could complete this Half, but prayed like crazy. And God graciously answered with so many answers - great weather, finishing, getting to help a gal I didn't know to the finish line. (Yes, I literally pulled her the last 1.5 miles.) PTL!

Anyhoo, finishing the race, getting to help that gal, really did make Disneyland the happiest place on earth...till it was over and I got back home!!! :)

"Is anything too hard for the LORD?..." (Genesis 18:14a).

Oh, and the second??? I'll tell ya all about the rest of the fun week tomorrow! Stay tuned! :)

Friday, September 04, 2009

Have you ever noticed how songs can be like pictures in our scrapbooks? Years ago, when the Lord had us move to a city far away from our hometown (okay, only 87 measly miles; but at that time, it seemed like that was the distance from Hawaii to California!), from our church family, blood family, and alllllllll of my girlfriends, it was not easy.

“I know the plans I have for you,” He said. HE KNEW! We didn’t, and therefore we had to deposit our entire faith into the account of His goodness and Sovereignty (which is the securest 'bank' around!).

During the six years that we lived in that far-away farm town, many Christian songs got me through the lonely and faith-stretching moments.I would write the title and words of those songs onto the blank pages of my journal, so that I would be able to glance back in later years and see the snapshots of Jesus and me, side-by-side. Or, even now, fourteen years later, if I hear one of those songs on the radio, which does happen from time-to-time, I can picture how I felt and recall what my heart’s cry was and how the Lord answered.

Christian songs are faith-builders, encouragers, comforters, booty-kickers, memory-makers, worship-inducers, fun-givers, Godward-thought-provokers!

But wait! Where do songs come from? Yes – your brothers and sisters in Christ. More, though, they are husbands or wives with families, giving up their time, like missionaries, so that they can follow the call to serve. Such is the case for Chris and Joy Lockwood. Joy was a special Guest-Bee on A Pair of Barletts (scroll down to the blog entry Married to a Musician on the Road). If you ever need a shot of encouragement in trusting the Lord, you only need to travel over to that blog and read her honest and intimate note. I have it saved so that I can go back and breathe in her faith's invigorating oxygen.

Chris is in the inspiring and talented group 33 Miles. Have you ever heard them??? They are awesome! Their newest CD – One Life – is the one in my car right now (I won it!!!), and I turn it up as loud as a teenager, ‘cuz I like it!! Everything about this group I’m in love with – the vocals, the words, the music. All of it! Some of their songs remind me of Rascal Flatts, another group I really like! They are that good! Their talent is truly amazing. I can see why God called these three men (families) to this – to bless our hearts' socks off!

Yet, now, when I hear their songs, I picture Joy, Chris, and the little baby they are holding. I remember that it's not just great voices and music that I'm hearing, but I'm getting to listen to the Lord's message to my heart, sent to me via these men who chose to say, "Yes, Lord."

So, now, after reading Joy's inspiring guest blog, in my mind is pasted the picture of her, Chris, and the little one in their arms. And I get to bless them back via prayers for their little family.

Buy their CD and support these musical missionaries! :) Oh, and Joy's angelic voice in on Hosanna!music's Believe CD!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Good Morning!!!

I am as happy as a lark this morning (even though I don't feel very good...a cold coming on, maybe?)because you chimed in with fall's love with me! Thank you! It was fun, and settled in my heart a yumminess like an autumn morning's crispness. So delish!!!

And, the giveaway goes to .... drum roooolllllll.... QUEEN TO MY 3 BOYS!!!!! Thank you for playing along with me and helping me celebrate fall and my 200th blog entry! Your comment still has me laughing in its originality! Please send me an address at this email:, and I will get that Starbuck's fall fun sent right to your waiting palate!

Part of my celebration yesterday included putting this, one of my fall favs, out on my desk....

It's a pumpkin scripture card holder! I also have an acorn one, but that's for another entry, that will get me to the goal of my 300th blog entry!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

200th Blog Entry! A Giveaway!!

Giveaway is over, 'cuz we have a winnnner!!!

Two very important events are happening today!

One - Today's blog is my 200th entry! Wow! Therefore, there must be a giveaway! I'll explain what it is in a bit.

Two - It's September 1!!! What does this mean? You mean you don't know??? Well, let me spill the coffee beans -- this is the official day for Starbuck's to begin serving fall drinks, namely - Pumpkin Spice Lattes!

Pumpkins! Roley-Poley orange orbs of happiness! Use them for decorations, soups, muffins, lanterns, pies, lattes, seeds, color, throwing contests (if you're a 15-year-old boy out with your buddies on Halloween), fun, to scare. The pumpkin's delights are multifarious!

You just know my innards were snapping to celebrate! Not wanting to drive to Starbuck's, which would mean spoiling my luscious morning's loll, I strolled into the kitchen and concocted my own version of the famous Pumpkin Spice Latte.

So, with much fanfare over in my house (clapping my hands and saying "yippeeeee," simultaneously), I introduce to you Liz's Pumpkin Pie Latte!


All that needs to be done for this pumpkiny beverage is this: heat up some milk, canned pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, marshmallow creme, and sugar if you like it sweeter than sweet. Play around with the amounts of all these, till your taste buds are smiling wide! Then, add some hot coffee, stir, close your eyes, and take a sip. And then another. And another. :)

And now... the Giveaway! To celebrate my 200th entry, I am going to give away a $10 Starbuck's card! That way, you can celebrate with me as you sip your own favorite latte or mocha.

All you have to do to enter to win this trip to Latte Land is leave me a comment about fall. It can be one sentence OR a whole autumn recipe OR instructions for a fall decoration OR a favorite fall family tradition. Anything, really. The one who will soon be visiting the barista/baristo will be announced on Thursday morning!

Oh! Remember, the official fall countdown began when you flipped your calendar! Only 21 more days to go till the first day of FALL! Yippeeee!