Friday, July 31, 2009

BBQ Beans & Smoked Sausage

The Recipe: BBQ Beans & Smoked Sausage

The Results

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Wish I'd gone on to Sanford for our Walmarting---they're remodeling and ours is a mess right now!! I got what I needed though---and will now make a menu based on what's in my pantry & freezer and stopped at SCCC for farmer's market stuff & spent the 10-ish dollars in my wallet for 2 lbs of roma tomatoes to make beans...and a watermelon...and some red & orange tomatoes for salads and wraps. I'm gonna make a bean and polish sausage crock pot meal one day this week...

Our very first trip to the orthodontist was today. The first opinion is that Emily has impounded teeth (not the right word--impacted teeth) that aren't going to be able to come in if we don't make some room---also has a cross bite in the back which will mean when those molars fall out/if they fall out---those could also be impacted too. Apparently impacted teeth will grow in horizontal or destroy the roots of the teeth next to them---and permanet teeth could be lost or destroyed. He says she needs an appliance W-wing in top of her mouth and partial braces on top and bottom to the tune of $600 down and $160 a month for 14 months ($2400) which would then be applied to the toal amount of Phase II or "real" full braces that would be put on probably as soon as the partial ones come off---to the tune of $4000-$5000 (minus the $2400 we would have already paid and possibly minus a 5% cash discount...). They said if we start soon, they can get a lot of the appts done before school I'll try to schedule a second opinion ASAP--Read, baby, read!!! Finished the Picture Perfect Jodi Picoult book last night when storming & Boistrous Boy couldn't sleep---it was okay, no actually pretty good--but about domestic abuse (husband beating wife...)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday's Favorites...

  • Birthday dinners for family (auntie J celebrating a 40-something birthday)
  • Having great long-time friends over for a great visit and dinner--and kids who let us have meaningful conversation.
  • A visit with my hair chick...long overdue!
  • Camelot park! With friends! Kids who love to run and play...and get real sweaty...
  • A new baby safely delivered into the world...welcome Zachary Savage Wilson!
  • Baby Samuel Harrison Arnold...who is no longer a baby and today we celebrate your five years of life...sharing with us a different perspective on hope, living, and joy. May we continue to learn so much more from your presence in our lives than we could ever hope to teach you.
  • So many opportunities to meet and spend time with our new pastor and his family...worn out from all the activities, but an awesome glimpse of God's glory...and timing...and grace...and mercy...
  • Bible studies...and being real with some neat ladies!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Days 3, 4, 5 and 6...

passed in a frenzied blur...did I mention that Emo attended an evening VBS with a neighbor, who also attended our VBS? This resulted into kids taxied back and forth between the two families, meals eaten quickly...a sleep-over...tired kids...and lots of VBS crafts (what do you do with those??) Add in a Nate-ster who was not feeling well, very clingy and had to be carted to the pediatricians office a few times this week...then as thrilling as it is that our Pastoral search committee is on the home stretch with their work, that results were a harried me (read: not at my best to meet and impress new people...this is all about me, right??) involved in lots of meet-n-greet festivities with our pastoral candidate and his lovely family. Oh, there is all the husband-turned-seminary-student-drama at our house. The result is one "me" with her head screwed on crooked!!
I know you're probably getting tired of hearing how busy things are around here, but quite honestly, that just seems to be the theme of late...may be the theme for years to come for all I know. re-cap...oh, wait, I probably already did enough of that ;)
VBS was awesome, Christ led some kids to give their hearts to Him, snacks went over quite well, there was lots of laughing...a little drama (and you know what I mean, not the skit on the stage)...teenagers with hollow legs wandering into the kitchen that we couldn't seem to get full... some throw-up, tummy-aches, skinned elbows and a twisted ankle (did I mention that S and I shared the responsibility of VBS Nurse/band-aid applier?) and I got to hang out with some REALLY neat women in the kitchen and chat...and lots of work...typical VBS stuff. If you want more: see the cool website, complete with pictures.

Which leads me to this morning, the busyness is on the downhill stretch. There are two events today...a men's breakfast and a women's lunch at church. My breakfast casserole is in the oven, and I'm on the computer. I've finally slowed enough to let my thoughts be filled with a suffering friend, a fiesty spit-fire of a moma-person God graciously provided for me...and her coming battle with cancer.

A few years ago, the very first time we met to get to know each other better, she asked me point blank..."where are you in your spiritual walk--a mountain top or a desert?". No one had ever asked me a question like that threw me off balance...I expected us to chat about families, careers, maybe even how we'd come to know Jesus...but "where" I was spiritually...hum, no one had ever even seemed to care enough to get that right out in front...let alone the first thing. It spoke volumes to me, and I can't tell you how many times over the last few years I've turned to her when I was struggling and needed reassurance that God is/was in control!

I've worked hard at being compartmentalized about this news this week...I even said out loud, "I can't talk about this right now...things to do and I don't have time to cry". This morning I can't stop the thoughts or the tears...I mean, I have prayed for her this week...prayed for her family...I've actually been praying since she told me two weeks ago she was having some tests, for what her doctor thought might be a hot gallbladder. She asked, "Would my gallbladder make me feel this bad"...I quickly said, "sure", but was filled with nagging unease. My prayers have been more of the quickly whispered, "Please, Lord, NO, not THIS, not NOW".

She is a survivor...Breast CA in 2005 (ish)...her Dad died earlier this year...she's had a year full of "stuff", but is quick to say and to remind this young chick, "God is on His throne". The cancerous tumors on her liver didn't surprise Him, and honestly didn't surprise me...and I think she had a nagging suspicion as well.

Thoughts of what to do, what to to respond (cause we always want to "do" something when met with the suffering of others) fill my head, what her family needs, how to encourage our mutual friends...and we wait for more tests, treatment plans...and to see what the God of the universe is going to do with this chapter of His Story.

And for now, I keep moving forward...and make Broccoli salad...Women's luncheon is only 2-ish hours away...

~as I rest between the Paws of the True Aslan...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Day 2 of VBS

120+ kids and bathroom facilities that went out about mid-morning ;)

Check out details here.

There's an excitement in the air and even w/the broken potties things are going quite smoothly. I'm working in the kitchen with great funny women...they just make me laugh and I quite enjoy hanging out with them.

Nate's a little better...maybe...poor guy has an infection and cruddy lungs on top of the croup.

We ate dinner outside tonight...with music from our neighbor and his bluegrass band filling the cooler night air, they finished w/Rocky Top to our delight (okay, maybe just my delight--I clapped and woohoo'd and Joe was worried the police would be showing up).

Picked two Roma Tomatoes and 2 cucumbers from my "garden"...made a great salad to go with our grilled chicken tonight!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

It's done...

~I finished up treatments yesterday and had the PICC line removed without any complications!! What a blessing! It's the end of a long and a eventful week.
~Nate had to go to the doctor yesterday for croup...yuck, he still sounds horrible.
~ I finished a lot of paperwork today...
~spent a few hours today just getting started on the house (yes...a few hours...yes started)
~VBS next week, WOOHOO!
~Lots of reading for pleasure this week, finished a Beverly Lewis series (makes me want to quilt and can) and started a new one...Yada Yada Prayer Group, looked fun!
~Nate & Emo spent a good bit of the day playing with a big box they turned into a rocket, a remote control for a car (steering for the rocket), and an aluminum foil/duct tape/box space helmet...complete with sound effects and a great outer space adventure!
all for now...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Two down...

and three more Venofer infusions more to go! All the things I worried about the most - who was going to take care of the kids-- has gone so smooth. I'm so thankful.
Today, while I was at the Outpatient Oncology Clinic where I get the infusion, sitting in a comfy recliner...with a warm blanket fresh from the blanket warmer...getting hooked up...I looked around. I remember last time, two years ago, feeling humbled by the circumstances of the lives that surrounded me as most of the patients there are in the midst of battle...not just for more energy or to feel better...but the battle for life. Most of the patients are receiving Chemotherapy. Yesterday, one such couple came in...she armed with notes, bottles of medications, questions about how to get nourishment in him, tricks to try to get rid of GI disturbances...I overheard her tell their nurse, "He's what I do now...". He sat in the chair, cracked jokes and the only time he even grimaced slightly was while getting his IV started. There was a lot of love between them...and life was going on...they talked about the errands they would run after they finished there and what he might be able to tolerate for dinner. He teased her about having a plan...she teased back that it's always good to have a plan you can deviate from. There was a lot of depth to them and they were busy with each other. It was not a burden for them to be there together. There was not much time for more than a glance my way.
Today, as they headed out...he asked how I was doing. I said, "Good..." He said, "Great...keep it up!" He thought I was fighting the same battle...
He encouraged me...even though I don't have cancer and my battle is different...we are all fighting the same war...because of Adam's fall, we are all born to die. You can't help but spend time in that waiting room or in the chair amongst those soldiers and not feel it strongly...and I was encouraged by his words...I will keep fighting the good fight...and maybe tomorrow, I can encourage him.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Well, it's Monday...what a wonderful weekend we had!!!
Friday, Sweet Hubby got home from Due West earlier than expected. He finished up his class work, talked to the professor for an hour and then hit the road. He beat us home since we did some late/after nap errands, thinking he wouldn't be home until way after the kids bedtimes! What a great surprise he was home when we got there!
I came home from Wally world with new deck furniture that I've been watching like a hawk. The price dropping was occurring as they were beginning to put stuff on summer clearance...and it finally hit my target price! Just in time for a hot dog roast Saturday night.
We did spend all our quality time Friday evening, talking theology, pondering what God is doing in our lives (I swear, I think my head is literally spinning), & sharing all the funny things the kids have done this week, while putting in screws and directions...and fighting with that little hex thing they give you to screw things in with...finally, about midnight, (about 5 hours later) we enjoyed more chatting and relaxing at our new table and chairs...SWEET!
Joe still has a few papers to write before he's officially "completed" this course, but I think overall God definitely used this week to guide us and direct our paths...even if the course doesn't ultimately transfer and count toward his Master of Divinity course work.
Our delightful daughter rode her bike in the local community Fourth parade with her girl scout troop. They decorated bikes and helmets...well, pics will follow as soon as I'm techno-savvy with that again! WE got nervous about her finishing the 4-1/2 mile parade route around the lake and followed the parade in the van--sure enough about half way around, she had pulled over to the side...exhausted and very hot (it was 2 in the afternoon!) the folks ahead of us threw her bike in the back of their truck and we threw her in the van and we kept going. Nothing makes you feel a part of something bigger like being in a local parade with everyone waving flags, catching candy and wishing each other a happy know moments like that make me tear up!
We had a hot-dog dinner with the Fausz's, sat on our deck in our new deck furniture while children played and ended our holiday with sparklers...cause we love sparklers!
Sunday the announcement was made...that after months and months of hard work and LOTS of meetings...our pastoral search committee has called a Senior pastor! It's so exciting...and amazing...and exciting! He'll be here the week of July 13th, the same week as VBS (the snack lady says to keep those donations for snack items coming in!!) doing all sorts of meet and greet stuff...then he'll preach Sunday morning and we'll have a Congregational meeting and vote...I cannot believe how God has worked during this. I am changed forever...God is Faithful and has led us through some tough the process making me more dependent on Him!
Oh, and a new baby was born into the flock on Friday! The Kirby's are the proud parents of baby far as I know everything went well...Congrats...can hardly wait to see the baby and bring them some Swiss-chicken casserole...well, there's just excitement all around.

I am scheduled for a PIC line placement today at the hospital and then a Venofer (iron) infusion to follow. Emily's starting Art camp this afternoon...and Nate will be playing at his Buddy-Jackson's house...I'll let you know how it goes...

Also on a walk this morning with my neighbor...heard about "the-most-perfect" part-time job that I'm a little excited about...if I could "create" my own would look like this one sounds...God's working, I tell you! I'll keep you posted...

Friday, July 3, 2009


warning...this post is unfinished, I will be completing and adding the rest of our pictures...

Saturday June 13th:
Arrived! After over 12 hrs in travel time, due being delayed by a thunderstorm we finally got there about 7 o'clock. Late check in. Had dinner at the All star Movies cafe and played in the Mighty Ducks pool. When we walked to our room, Nate saw the three story white duck hockey mask and asked if it was cheese (it did look like Swiss cheese)...and proceeded to identify our particular part of the hotel (there were two entrances w/hockey masks) by saying, "is that our cheese?" the rest of the week.

Sunday June 14th:
Breakfast at Cinderella Castle at 9:45!!! Arrived by bus from our hotel in plenty of time to see the show and see the characters arrive (Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, Donald, Daisy!!!) via steam engine. Immediately felt like we'd arrive in an alternate universe where everyone was happy and "having a magical day". We planned well, walked straight to the castle for our breakfast at Cinderella's Royal Table...had pictures taken with Cinderella with no waiting and went straight to our table. It was a great breakfast, the Chef came out to the table to handle Nate's allergies and brought him special food...he had a waffle for the first time in his life ;) Each of the princesses, Snow White, Belle, Sleeping Beauty, Jasmine were announced individually and worked the room. Stopping at each table for autographs, pictures and a short (but not distracted) conversation. Nate was given a "sword" to protect his princesses and Emily a magic wand. What a great way to start our time at Disney!



We then proceeded to ride Dumbo, explore frontier land, Tom Saywer's Island, Watch the Country Bear very hot...felt faint and went back to our cool hotel room to take a 3 hour nap!

Back that night...toon town, Mickey and Minnie's autographs, toured Mickey's house. Rode train around to Tomorrow land...rode little race cars at the Tomorrowland Raceway...Mad Teaparty teacups...ate dinner at Tomorrow Land watched fireworks show at the Castle "Wishes Nighttime Spectacular" including Tinker bell! It's a small world ride, Snow White's Scary Adventure ride, Winnie the pooh ride, and the Carousel

And yes!  I felt like a little kid when I saw the castle change colors!  
And when I saw Mickey Mouse for the first time, I thought I would come out of my skin...
I know it's crazy...

Monday June 15th:

Joe has his first day of duty at the PCA General Assembly.  The kids and I slept in since we'd been to Magic Hours at Magic Kingdom until 2am (did I say we had a three hour Nap on Sunday?)....after lunch kids & I went to Magic Kingdom, got more character autographs, went back to Toon town, rode on train...had lunch at Gepeto's Grotto.  We were bascially doing things that we not too exciting for Daddy ;)

One of the many parades...

Chip and Dale...Dale was quite funny and tried to "rip" out the page in Nate's autograph book with Donald duck...his arch nemesis.  His body gaurd had to step in and tell him "No Dale"....this made the kids day!

the wait for Pluto was a little longer, he had to take a potty break (people change I bet-It was HOT!)

And we stumbled upon this show in front of the castle just as it was starting, but after about 20minutes, we could take the heat no longer...the only time we got to see Goofy was in the parades and at this show...



Another trip over to Toon town to visit Minnie's house with an ice cream snack while we were waiting!  (I was enjoying the meal plan at this point)



In the evening since we had park hopper tickets, we decided to do some park hopping and Animal Kingdom had extra magic hours that night so we headed over there, had some great barbecue with our meal plan and checked out all the rides in Dino world.  Nate was a trooper but got a little scared on the mini roller coaster there....and no pictures ;)  There was a triceratops ride that was a lot like Dumbo, so I think that was his favorite.  We saw the It's tough to be a Bug and waited in a very long line a little while for The Lion King, checked out DINOSAURS but decided it might be too much for Nate and really it was getting late and it was sooo hot, we were melted!

Tuesday June 16th:
Joe needed to be back at GA for some committee meeting late this afternoon, so we decided to spend the morning at Animal Kingdom, for him to leave us when we needed to or for us all to go back to the hotel together.

We went back to Animal Kingdom...did all the Maharajah Jungle Trek and Pangani Forest Exploration trails/walkways, rode the Wildlife express train over to the Conservation Station and the Affection Section petting zoo.  We went on the Kilimanjaro safari ride, Kali river rapid ride, and Emily and I rode the Expedition Everest-Mt. Everest "Yeti" roller coaster ride that went backwards for a time.  I think Emily & I were wrapped up in each other with our eyes closed for that part ;).  We saw Jiminey Cricket and Refekie but Nate was "done" with characters by this time and said he was scared...

We ate a buffet lunch at the Tusker House resturaunt, where once again the Chef was wonderful, came out to our table, took me to the buffet to tell me what was safe for Nate to eat....and then brought him some allergen free cookies for dessert.  Nothing could have put me more at ease.

And the Safari ride which was awesome...animals were so close!

This is the way to wasn't long before we realized the cost of the double stroller
was worth it, even when Emily could and would have walked, it just felt safer to have them both in the stroller and to have it to carry our water bottles, snacks and backpacks (with lip balm, sunscreen, epi-pens, bandaids, face sticks, fresh socks, maps, ID's...)

Wednesday June 17th:

This was our full day of General Assembly activites.  I attended the Women In the Church Women's Brunch with the speaker being Paul Tripp.  It was wonderful...there will be another blog post about those details at a later date :)

Joe and I perused the CEP Bookstore together and I was able to browse the vendors before and briefly after the brunch.  SO many good books and so little time!!

Joe stayed for voting and such...the kids and I shopped for some souveniers nearby, for things we needed (more sunscreen!!!).

Thursday June 18th:


Lunch @ German restaurant...

Magic Kingdom

Les Chefs de France

Friday June 19th:

Hollywood Studios

Tower of Terror!!

Prince Caspian

Beauty and the Beast

Playhouse Disney

Lunch @ Hollywood and Vine---character lunch w/little Einsteins

Dinner in Liberty Tree Tavern---best meal we had the whole time we were there!!!!

rides in Adventure land--Aladdin's carpet, Pirate of Caribbean,

Peter pan....Nate and Joe rode Dumbo a few times and It's a Small World several times and the carousel while Emily and I rode big thunder MT railroad and splash MT two times each!

We Saw Spectromagic light parade twice...

and took one more carousel ride before we left that evening...

Saturday June 20th:

Bfst at all star movie resort...souveniers...hit the road!!!