Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Happy Birthday Matthew

Today is Matthew's birthday. I can't believe you turn 14 today!! Man, how time flies... You are growing up to be a special young man. We love you!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Patti

Today is Patti's birthday. She has been a part of our family's lives for a very long time and, of course, is very special to us. Happy birthday Patti!! We love you!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Jill

Today is Jill's birthday. She is Janell's sister, my cousin. We are only two months and nine days apart. [Our family laughs...our grandparents went from one grandchild (Janell) to four within one year (me, Jill then Melanie)]. We had loads of fun playing together when we were growing up. Happy birthday Jill. I hope Ben and the kids make it very special for you! We love you!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Two Special Birthdays

Today are two special birthdays: Andrew's and my cousin Janell's.

Janell is my Uncle Fred and Aunt Sandy's oldest daughter. She has always been a card and fun to be around. Happy birthday Janell. I hope Rob treats you to something special for this special day. We love you!!

Andrew is 2!!! Can you believe it??? Man, this is a hard one. My baby is two years old. He is talking up a storm (non-stop) and repeats everything he hears. Andrew, you have brought joy, light, and happiness into our lives. You keep Daddy and I on our toes but we don't mind at all. I love the way you say "Hike! Hike!" when you want to play football and the way you start singing "Hi Ho!!" when we mention anything to do with going to bed. We love you baby!!! Happy birthday!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Linus is back and other ramblings

Everyone has been so patient, reading all the posts about birthdays and anniversaries so I want to thank you and do something different. I'm actually going to post something other than the before mentioned.

The reason for the lack of other postings on my blog is because I have been playing on Facebook. I will admit: it is very addicting; some people even call it "crackbook" because it is so habit-forming. I've been caught up in reading everyone's status and comments and looking at the pictures posted by my friends. One of my favorite features on Facebook is the chat. The other night I was chatting with Mich, my sister-in-law and with my friend Tracy AT THE SAME TIME for a few minutes. (Chatting is like Instant Messaging.) I have even got to chat with my dear sweet friend Angie who lives in Hawaii. Fun!!!

For those who are familiar with the "Charlie Brown" comic series, you know Linus. He is the one who carries his blanket with him everywhere. Andrew's nickname is Linus because he does the same thing. I am blessed that he does not have one specific one; he likes any of the receiving blankets we have, as long as it has a tag. He likes to hold the tag and stuff the blanket in his mouth to chew/suck on. It all started with burp clothes when Andrew was teething. When I got rid of the burp clothes, he started using the blankets I covered him up with. Well, last Tuesday, January 13th, he was playing with his blanket during nap time at school. The teacher took it (along with two other little boys' lovies) and put them up. Andrew went straight to sleep and didn't ask about it. He went the rest of the week WITHOUT ANY of his blankets (except the big one I crocheted him), even at naptime and bedtime!!! Now, Andrew did ask about it a couple of times but was easily distracted. Then, the inevitable happened. Saturday while I was with Hannah at her friend's birthday party, Mike GAVE Andrew his blanket when he was trying to get him to lay down for a nap. Now, before you start blaming Mike, he is not entirely at fault. We had folded clothes the night before and I left Andrew's receiving blankets folded up and on the coffee table instead of putting them away in the closet. So, where we were going places without "blankie" before, now it is our companion wherever we go. My strategy now is to wait a few more weeks before weaning Andrew off it again. Little by little we are taking it away: it has to stay in the car when we go places; he only gets it at nap and bed time, etc. We'll see what happens.

In case anyone was wondering, I do have pictures from Christmas. They have been downloaded off my camera (I think). Again, when I have the time, I don't think about it. (I have to adjust them before posting here.) When I am up to my ears in laundry and dishes, I can't get them off my mind. I promise to post them when I get a chance. PROMISE!!! I have LOTS of other pictures too. I just can't remember what they are all of right now. Hey, be happy I have something other than birthday and anniversary posts for you to read right now. HEHEHE

Hannah did a poster for her school's reading fair. Unfortunately, she didn't place but did get a ribbon for participating. It was actually kind of fun to do. I wish they did this when I was in school. We had Science Fairs, not reading fairs. YUCK!! Science is not my forte' but reading is right up my alley. I LOVE TO READ!!! Or, at least I do when I can sit down and concentrate. Grandma got Mike and me a book that was put out by the History Channel. It is on different obscure facts on events, people and items that occurred in (and even changed) history. It was awesome!! I love history and reading and this book combined both!! It took me a little bit to finish, even though the articles were short. I was reading them at night while watching t.v. after the kids went to bed. I learned quite a bit from it.

Well, I guess that is all my ramblings for now. If I think of anything else to post, I'll try to remember to write it down and add it later.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Hannah!!!

Today is my beautiful daughter's birthday!!! I can't believe she is turning eight years old!! It seems like just yesterday I found out that I was expecting, then holding her in my arms. I will never forget the commotion she caused among our friends when she was born with her red hair. Hannah, you are one very special young lady and I am blessed to call you my daughter. Daddy and I love you VERY VERY VERY much!!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Uncle Joe

Today is Mike's Uncle Joe's birthday! Happy birthday Joe!! We love you very much!! It was great getting to see you in November. Hopefully we can see you again soon.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Melanie!!

Today is my sister Melanie's birthday. I won't say how old she will be but she is thirteen months younger than me. Even thought we have had our fair share of fights and disagreements, there is no other person I would rather have for a sister. She has been there for me when I needed her and I hope to always be there for her. Happy birthday Melanie!!! You are a very special woman!!

Monday, January 12, 2009


I have to brag a little. Tonight I made a chicken spinach quiche with a homemade pie crust that was awesome!! I found the recipes at last night while looking for dinner ideas. Even if you don't like spinach, I would recommend you try this recipe. The pie crust recipe was very easy to make. I've never made a homemade pie crust before. It is a little intimidating to even think of making one. The recipe I found online has ingredients that I keep on hand. It is really good. If anyone is interested, I am going to post them both here.

Easy Pie Crust
(submitted by B1BMOM)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsps white sugar (I used 2 1/2 tsp instead)
1 tsp salt (I used 1/2 tsp instead)
1/2 c vegetable oil
2 tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place all ingredients in a 9 inch pie pan. Stir together with a fork. Pat mixture into bottom and up the sides of the pan. Poke holes in bottom and sides of crust. Bake for 15 minutes in preheated oven or until light brown. Use as directed in favorite pie recipe.

(For the quiche, do not bake the pie crust beforehand.) While looking at the recipe reviews, I noticed quite a few people said the crust was a little too salty for pies, but would work in quiches and other items. They all suggested reducing the amount of salt and increasing the sugar. I did both and it turned out great. It was flaky too.

Chicken Spinach Quiche
(submitted by Barbara McCalley)

Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 40 minutes Servings: 6

1 c shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
1 9 inch unbaked pie crust
1 c diced cooked chicken (or more if desired)
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/4 c finely chopped onion
2 eggs
3/4 c milk
3/4 c mayonnaise
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
(I added some garlic powder too)

Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese into the pie crust. In a bowl, combine chicken, 1/2 cup spinach, onion and remaining cheese (save remaining spinach for another use). Spoon mixture into pie crust. In a bowl, whisk eggs, milk, mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture over the chicken mixture. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting.

(We ate it about 5-10 minutes after coming out of the oven and it was fine.)

Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Report Cards

The kids received their report cards from school today.

Reading - 95
Math - 98
English - 96
Spelling - 98
Science, Social Studies, Writing, Art, Music and P.E. - Satisfactory
Conduct and Citizenship - Satisfactory

Will received S's (Satisfactory) in everything. His teacher, Mrs. Kicker, noted that he is doing great in school. His teacher's assistant, Mrs. Shelton, told me Will is a little Einstein.

Mike and I are sooo proud of them both!!!

Happy Birthday Grandpa Jack

Today would have been my Grandpa Jack's birthday. He was my dad's dad. Grandpa Jack died just after I turned four. Happy Birthday Grandpa!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Hannah's Reading Skills Test and Comments from Will's Teacher

Recently, before Christmas break, Hannah took a STAR Reading computer-adaptive reading test. This test shows her reading level and how she compares with other students nationally. Based on national norms, Hannah is reading at a level that is typical of a third grader after the third month of the school year. Her percentile rank is 83 which says Hannah reads at a level greater than 83% of other students nationally in the same grade and is above average. The Instructional Reading Level shows she is at least 80% proficient at recognizing words and comprehending reading material. This means she is at least 80% proficient at reading third grade words and books. Isn't that awesome?!! Mike and I are very proud of her. She loves to read and we encourage her to read often.

For Christmas, Patti bought Hannah some "Magic Treehouse" books, four I think. Within a few days, Hannah had read all of them. Today, she picked out another "Magic Treehouse" book (there are about 26 in the series) and finished it while at school. She has really enjoyed them. I think I know what to get her for Christmas. Now, if I can only get her interested in the "Little House" books. Those were my favorites (and still are). I think I still have them up in the attic, along with my Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and Bobsey Twins books. I will have to see if I can get them down.

Now to brag on Will at bit... I went to the kids' school Christmas parties back in December. While I was in Will's room, his teacher, Mrs. Kicker, told me that she really enjoyed having Will in her class. She mentioned that he amazes her with how smart he is. Mrs. Kicker said he is reading and comprehends everything very quickly. When I mentioned to her that I had debated on whether or not to hold him back (because of his birthday being in June), she told me it was a good thing I didn't. He would have been extremely bored and would not have done as well. Again, Mike and I are so proud of Will and the work he is doing in school. My kids just amaze me (and scare me sometimes) at just how smart they are. Aren't they just awesome?!!

Information about our cabin

It has been a while since I posted any information about our cabin. This is where we stand at the moment.

Because of the foreclosure sale of the cabin on January 13, Mike and I have stopped taking rentals for the cabin as of December 30th. We are going to remove the furniture and sell everything at a later date (if the sale goes forward).

A man in the Knoxville area made us an offer to buy the cabin (furniture included) below the amount we have mortgaged. Mike got all the paperwork together and faxed it to the mortgage company on Christmas Eve (we have to have the bank's approval before we can accept the offer because it is below the amount of our loan). December 30, Mike and all of us headed to Pigeon Forge to relax and see family instead of packing furniture. Since we hadn't heard anything about our offer, Mike called the bank on Friday, January 2. They have a back load of paperwork to go through. Because of this, our case was to be assigned to an analyst either Monday or Tuesday (January 5 or 6). The analyst would review our offer, Mike's cover letter detailing everything and the rest of the paperwork and then decide whether or not to hold off the Foreclosure sale scheduled for January 13th. (Mike didn't get a chance to call them today to see if our case has been assigned yet but the Manager did call him and left a message.)

Mike and I know that God is in control of this situation and He knows exactly what needs to be done. We are trying to trust Him and not get ahead of Him. Please pray that God's will will be done and that we rest in Him.

Also, you may have heard that FedEx is cutting the salaries of some of their employees to keep from laying off employees. We have been asked if this is affecting Mike and his job. Mike is having to take a 5% pay cut starting in February. He is also losing his 401K match and bonuses for this year. He is taking about a 15-20% cut in benefits with all of this.

Happy Birthday Grandpa

Today would have been my Grandpa James' birthday. He was my mom's dad. He went to be with the Lord in 1997. We miss you Grandpa but we will see you again.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Grandma Pernell's Birthday

Today is Mike's grandmother's birthday. She is a sweet lady. She is small but, boy, she ruled the roost!!! Happy Birthday Pernell. We love you!!!