"Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise." ~Andy Stanley

January 30, 2014

List making and traveling

So, I'm going to California for a week!!! My hubby says it will be known as Mom Appreciation Week.

And it may just be Processed Food Week at the C Family's house, as well. ; )
The shopping is done.
The lists are made. There's a list of who is cooking/heating up dinner on what nights, and I've got a list of whose doing dishes and laundry. (pretty sure there won't be any folding going on) ; ) -I debated whether or not to list vacuuming on the chore list because my vacuum is relatively new and certain boys have been known to have clogged a vacuum or two with a sock and a pencil. -Heaven help my vacuum while I'm away. ; )
We've scaled down a little on the activities for the week so that Hubby won't have to be running the kids all over creation.
They made their own list of who is cooking what for the Super Bowl! -Hubby's favorite night!
I have a reminder for the kids to watch the Bill Nye and Ken Ham debate on Creation. That will be a must see. We watched lots of Bill Nye when the kids were younger. We were blessed to hear Ken Ham in person a couple of time last year. He was awesome! I noticed that even evolutionists are saying Ken Ham will win. -Interesting! Then there's the Winter Olympics starting. Yay! Did I read right that the Opening Ceremony is on at 12:00 noon on Friday? Or is it that time in Russia?

I always have lists of school assignments for the week written out, but now Hubby has a list of what those assignments are, so that he can make sure that school is actually happening while I'm away. LOL

My lists are all written out and displayed on a white board, which makes me laugh and want to label it
 "How a Type-A Mom Leaves her Family for a Week." ; )

Its a lot of work to leave town. LOL
But I'm so excited and thankful that I get to go see our son in his new life in CA. -You know, see where he lives, goes to school and works and worships. Then I'll be able to picture it all in my head in the future. (sounds like a mom-thing, I know)
I'm thrilled to get to see my best friend again so soon and I get to see my precious family members, who all live in San Diego. Hooray! The spring semester hasn't started out there yet, so Nathan gets to come to San Diego with me and I get to enjoy him for even longer!

It's going to be tons of fun and my travels don't include any lists! Yay!


January 29, 2014

Wednesdays in the Word

I love a 'rags to riches' story and Joseph's is one of the best!
God doesn't need a lot of time to completely change a set of circumstances and a destiny.
The life of Joseph reminds me of how true this is.
 And I picture God doing it all in about the span of 10 minutes.

Joseph went from abducted teen, sold, falsely accused, and jailed
to riding in the second chariot behind Pharaoh with all the people of the land bowing the knee to him as he drove past.

Joseph went from being a prisoner in an orange jumpsuit,
to being given Pharaoh's signet ring to wear, garments of fine linen to put on and a gold chain around his neck.

He went from being in charge of other prisoners in a dungeon
to having Pharaoh declare "You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you...See I have set you over all the land of Egypt."

He went from powerless to powerful. "I am Pharaoh and without your consent no man may lift his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt."

And finally he went from lonely, single guy
 to married. Pharaoh "gave him as a wife, Asenath." ; )

That was quite a day!!!!!!!!!!

Then he became world famous.
"The famine was over all the face of the earth..."
 "So all the countries came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain..." Amazing!

It is a reminder that our situations are not impossible or irreversible!
 In one 'God moment' He can change everything and use us for His glory.
Then we, like Joseph, can declare to the enemy of our souls:
"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." Gen. 50:20


January 25, 2014

Time for a state park

Since everyone was home for the holiday on Monday, we decided it was time to enjoy some nature and took a little road trip. The state parks have a link on their website called One Tank Adventures and they list info on all the state parks that are within 100 miles of your home. We found one we'd never been to in Sarasota and we hit the road.

-Some great bonding happens when your people are all locked in a car together for an extended period of time. : ) Lots of chatting, teasing, Switchfoot blasting, Hubby singing, FUN.

Once we finally arrived at Myakka State Park we did some picnicking, swinging, Frisbee playing, and alligator viewing.

The best part is that this park has a suspension bridge up in the canopy of trees that leads to a 70 + foot observation tower.

 We had a great time!


January 16, 2014

Please pass the egg rolls

 I have to tell you about my egg roll success! 
 I live with a bunch of Chinese food connoisseurs. (CFC for short) : )
And much to their surprise, I decided to try making homemade egg rolls the other day! -I didn't know those egg roll wrappers existed in the produce section until my neighbor told me about them and explained how easy they are to make. She was right!
They were really fun to make, but I wasn't sure what my CFCs would think of them. 
To my utter amazement, 
they all said they were the best egg rolls they had ever had!!!
I was shocked!!! 
-Let me tell you, it isn't every day that every single person likes what I made for dinner! -Unless I just grill burgers. Speaking of which, I got a George Foreman grill for Christmas and I told my hubby that I may never light another grill again! The burgers were so juicy unlike the hockey pucks I occasionally accidentally make. : )

Egg Rolls

4 cups of shredded cooked chicken
1 bag of thinly sliced cabbage 
1/2 bag of shredded carrots 
(bean sprouts optional)

Take all of these and put them in a mixture of 1/2 c. of soy sauce and 1/4 cup of light brown sugar along with two tsp of garlic salt. (if you have ginger, add that. I didn't) and stir. 
Then take your egg roll wrappers and go to town! I used a beat egg as the 'glue' to help seal the egg rolls after folding. 
Those wrappers the best! They never tore no matter how I tugged, tucked or refolded them! 
I fried mine because I was fixing them for the CFCs of my world : ) but if they were for just Hubby and I, I totally would have tried spraying them with cooking spray and baking them. 
We bought a pre-made sweet and sour sauce for dipping and used some of our left over packets of various sauces from the many trips the CFCs have made to Panda Express. : )
Serve with stir fry veggies and enjoy!

~I must have made zitti a little too often recently, because a certain somebody asked if me if egg rolls could 'be the new zitti.' LOL


January 13, 2014

The weekend, football and other things

-Now there's an exciting title! ; )

We were a house divided yesterday during the playoffs, since hubby and I were each cheering for our own hometown teams, the Chargers and the Broncos. Oh Chargers! What can I say....

It was a weekend full of football and full of various visiting teens.
Just when you realize that you are exhausted, you remember that little prayer you prayed that went like this:
 "Dear God, Please make our house the house that teenagers want to hang out at" and then you feel all better...and go buy more food. : )

Who else but us, Floridians, have weather in the high 40's for a couple days a week and then the high 80's?  Last week, I wore the boots, a sweater and my big coat (that I can only wear once or twice a year) and then it was back to shorts and flip flops! Weird, but the plus side is that there is no chance of getting bored with your wardrobe...

I'm back to exercising on the treadmill. Yay! I missed it! We had to move the treadmill to put our Christmas tree in the window and then we found out that it didn't work on carpet and so I couldn't use it during the holiday season. Don't ask about that space of time between when I took down the Christmas tree and moved it back to its spot and still didn't use it though... (lol)

I'm SO excited about salads in a jar! Aren't these great!?

 They last for 3 days in the fridge without wilting if you pack the layers in the right order. (salad dressing on bottom, hard veggies, meats, soft veggies, lettuce, leafy greens and then a paper towel on top -to absorb moisture and then the lid!) Aren't they pretty?

We have a friend on the Wheat Belly Diet, so I read about it and I gave that a try for.... about 24 hours. Gluten free bread is not something I can live with. Unfortunately, it and Styrofoam have a lot in common.
 I'm just going to eat less bread and try to avoid white sugar and exercise. That's my healthy plan for the new year.
In keeping with that plan, our football snacks included cantaloupe, grapes, hummus, pretzels, pita chips and spinach dip and broccoli.
-Let's just say, this menu isn't going to fly for the Super Bowl.But the fam will be all on their own for that big day, because I will be in California!
-Unfortunately, not cheering  for the Chargers.

Have a happy week!

January 9, 2014

My heart is full

We had two + weeks of fun and are now trying to ease our way back into our real life, which  includes me driving two teenagers all over creation and homeschooling. (and hopefully exercising after all that EATING)

We had an absolute blast over the break!

It was soooo great to have our son home after 4 months away. It is wonderful to know that he loves his life in CA, he got great grades and loves his ministry job.

On the way to the airport I told him that small empty hole that exists in the family when he's away, was filled and it was SOOOO much fun to have him here. His brothers corrected me and said that it isn't a 'small' hole. Zac said it is a large one and Andrew described it as some kind of vortex hole in Star Trek. Bless them!
Anyway, it was fun to be a family of six and joke, tease, quote our favorite movie lines, share our memories, celebrate the season and not be missing someone! : )

There were parties, a concert, jamming sessions, movies, gaming with Nate's Christmas gift to us, bonfires, a crazy camping trip, awesome worship services, lots of family nights, dinner with special friends, and much more. It ended with 2 crazy days of shopping.

In an unexpected turn of events, my bestie drove from Chicago to FL during the break. It was like getting an unexpected Christmas gift!
-One evening when I checked my Facebook messages, I realized that everyone that usually messages me, was staying in my house that night! Happy moment! : )

I'm really thankful that I have a plane ticket to CA waiting for me to use in February, so I wasn't a sad mess when we had to say our good-byes on Tuesday. He was so cute saying "Don't cry, Mom, I'll see you on the west side soon." Yay!


January 7, 2014

Another birthday to clebrate

Our oldest turned 21 on Sunday!!!
 Happy Birthday, Zac!

When Hubby was giving the traditional birthday speech, he mentioned Zac being our first born and us wondering about the future when he was just a baby. We wondered what his life would hold and what kind of a man he would be at the age of 21. (it seemed scary to picture the teen years and beyond while holding a beautiful baby in your arms)
He went on to tell him that we had NO idea how blessed we'd end up being by his life and his choices and he thanked Zac for his part.

Speaking of what a blessing he is, we made him a list of our 21 favorite things about him. Here are some (mostly from his siblings)
His sense of humor, his diligence, his generosity, his style,  that he's goofy,  his leadership skills, his musical ability, his determination, and his great hair (LOL)

This morning I was reminded of how faithful God is and how He hears and answers prayer. -We started volunteering in youth ministry when Zac was two and Nate was a newborn and we did it for the next six years. We loved it and I have youth ministry to thank for all the prayers it made me pray for our kids and their future teens years. In fear and trembling I cried out to God and boy, did He answer big! Maybe every new parent should try leading a youth group. It's a real prayer motivator. :-)