Saturday, August 30, 2008

Happy Labor Day (And Company Came Calling To Crazyville Again!)

I just wanted to take a moment to wish all of my bloggy buddies a "Happy Labor Day!"

My weekend was made very special by a visit from two of my blogging buddies. I knew that Yvette was coming to see me, but she (and Shannon) surprised me by bringing another blogging buddy of mine, Tina from the Golden Goodness blog. When I saw her out the window I was so surprised and very excited! (And she was carrying the Vera Bradley purse that I want with the "Frankly Scarlet" pattern, but that is for another post.) I had never met Tina in "real life" before, and she was exactly like I expected she would be, full of golden goodness. Yvette and Tina are two of the nicest ladies that you could ever hope to meet.


And I know what you are probably not thinking as you look at that picture......You think we look familiar, right?

We sort of look like Kelly, Sabrina, and Jill, don't you think?

You know what, don't answer that. Just forget you ever saw this picture. Thanks!

We had so much fun eating pizza and chocolate pudding pie, talking, and laughing.

We piled up on my bed and talked all night long (literally) like teenage girls.

It was so much fun!

There was only one person missing......

But we were all three thinking of you, Mia! We even saved you a piece of pizza served up on my beautiful dishes that were hand made in Positano, Italy.


Yvette, Tina, and I weren't the only ones who had a good time. Allie was in on the fun as well. Tina and Yvette were so patient with her, bless their hearts. Allie thought that they had come to see her, so she just wanted to entertain her guests.

And don't be confused, Allie loves her some Yvette!

Tina and Yvette, thank you both for making my night so special and for being so patient with my Allie Girl. And thank you for the birthday gifts that you both brought me. (I'll post pictures of the gifts soon.) I loved everything you gave me; I even loved the big bag of cotton balls, Tina. ;)


My cup runneth over.

"Two may talk together under the same roof for many years, yet never really meet; and two others at first speech are old friends."
~ Mary Catherwood

Just For Laughs

It's that time again, another Saturday post just for laughs.

Today's clip is from the movie National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation. It is the scene where the Griswalds and Cousin Eddie and his family are visiting "Hoover Dam."

They share a lot of "Dam" humor in this clip. ;)

(This clip is only about 50 seconds long.)

"Laughter is an instant vacation." ~Milton Berle

Friday, August 29, 2008

Bible Study About Martha (And Her Family)~Part Two

Today I am sharing another part of the story of Martha (and her family). I read about her in my devotional book.

I have a soft spot for Martha, probably due to the fact that I identify with her so much. I feel like sometimes her positive qualities have been overlooked in studies of her life, because there is always so much focus on her mistakes.

Times have not changed very much, have they? Today, we live in a society that just waits for a celebrity to mess up and make a mistake, because that is what sells magazines and newspapers. And the reading public laps the bad news up like dogs to water, because it makes them feel better about themselves and their own lives.

So today, I am going to focus on another thing that I think Martha did well. I shared with you last week how I thought that she handled herself well even in her complaining. Although her frustrations were misguided, she carried them straight to Jesus. (You can read my thoughts on that by clicking here.)

Well, the part of her story that I am going to share with you today just goes to show you, Martha may have made many mistakes, but she got some things so right. Things that we should all take notice of.

Here is the story as told in Scripture.

John 11

1 Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair. 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, "Lord, the one you love is sick." 4 When he heard this, Jesus said, "This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it." 5 Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days. 7 Then he said to his disciples, "Let us go back to Judea." 8 "But Rabbi," they said, "a short while ago the Jews tried to stone you, and yet you are going back there?" 9 Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours of daylight? A man who walks by day will not stumble, for he sees by this world's light. 10 It is when he walks by night that he stumbles, for he has no light." 11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up." 12 His disciples replied, "Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better." 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep. 14 So then he told them plainly, "Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him." 16 Then Thomas (called Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with him."
17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother.

Now, Martha and Mary knew that Jesus loved their brother Lazarus as much as He loved them, so when they sent for Him, they expected that He would be swift in getting to them. But as you just read, He took His time.

Here is what happened when Jesus finally arrived in Bethany.

John 11

20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home. 21 "Lord," Martha said to Jesus, "if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask."

Did you notice what she felt and said? Right away, she voices her displeasure in Jesus' taking His time, but then she follows it up with an amazing display of faith by saying, "But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask."

Even at a time when she must have been completely heartbroken, she had not lost her faith.

Listen to Jesus' reaction to her.

John 11

23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again." 24 Martha answered, "I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day." 25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; 26 and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" 27 "Yes, Lord," she told him, "I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world." 28 And after she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside.

What she said to Jesus is worth repeating. She said, "I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world."

That is one of the boldest displays of faith in the Bible to me. She wasn't wishy- washy with her answer. She was bold! She knew Who she was talking to. She knew What He was capable of. She knew that He loved her and her family. She accepted whatever decision He made concerning her brother. Period.

Oh, in that way, to be a Martha! She was a woman who knew that Jesus loved her. She was so comfortable with Him that she didn't hesitate to tell Him of her frustrations, and she never lost sight of her faith in Him. She knew regardless of her emotions or the outcome of the situation that He loved her.

The last few verses that I will share today are ones that touch me so much. I love the fact that they give us a glimpse of Jesus as simply a friend of this family. A friend that loves them so much.

John 11

33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 "Where have you laid him?" he asked. "Come and see, Lord," they replied. 35 Jesus wept. 36 Then the Jews said, "See how he loved him!"

I love those words. Jesus knew that He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead. He knew in mere moments they would all be rejoicing. But in that moment, He hurt for the pain that He saw in His friends.

He does that same thing for each and every one of us. He loves us, just like He loved Martha and her family.

John 11:5
"Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus."

John 3:16
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

Thursday, August 28, 2008

♪ That's Amore ♪

Now that I am able to do a little bit more around the house, I wanted to cook a special dinner for Shannon to show him how much I appreciate all he has done for me over the last few months with all of my travel and back surgery nonsense going on.

I also wanted to try to use some of the food we had purchased from Angel Food Ministries to make the dinner with. (Click here if you would like to know more about this program. It has really helped us stretch our "food" dollars.)

After going over all of my choices, I decided to make him an Italian meal of pasta and meatballs. (Oh, how I do love meatballs!)


Now, please keep in mind, I am no chef. I do not even remotely pretend to be a good cook; I am just a housewife trying to do something nice for my man. Mmmkay?

So, with that being said, here is everything I used to make this meal. Well, with the exception of the secret ingredient, but we will get to that later.

The spaghetti sauce, macaroni noodles, and meatballs were all from our Angel Food Menu order last month.

Now, these next two items, you don't necessarily need to make a delicious Italian meal, but they absolutely don't hurt a thing to have. These are handmade dishes that I purchased in Positano, Italy. Sigh.

Aren't they beautiful?


Okay, where was I?.....

Oh yes, I was cooking. Sorry.

The first thing that I did was start opening the cans and dumping them into the pan.

Here I am dumping the spaghetti sauce, like so.

Now it's time to dump the can of petite diced tomatoes.

The last (but not least) can to be dumped in is the little can of tomato sauce.

Next up are the spices. I never measure them; I just shake the containers until I feel like I've added enough.

I started with parsley flakes; I love to have a lot of parsley. Mostly because I think it makes the sauce look prettier.

The next spice I added was garlic. I have to go easy on the garlic, because Shannon wouldn't like it if I added too much. Not that I have ever done that though. Ever.

I threw in a dash or two of basil.

Every time I add a dash or two of oregano, I try to say oregano in my best Italian accent. I love how Italians say, "oregano." Sigh.

I threw in just a dash of salt. (But let's just keep this one between you and me, okay? Shannon worries about his sodium intake.)

Although I went light on the salt, I went very heavy on the pepper. We like lots of pepper here in Crazyville.

This next ingredient is my "secret" ingredient, so I would really appreciate it if you did not tell anyone about this one. It is Sweet~n~Low, two packets to be exact. The Sweet~n~Low helps to keep the sauce from tasting too bitter.
(But remember, you never heard about this ingredient, Mmmkay?)

After I added all the spices, it was time to add the meatballs. (Oh, how I do love meatballs!) I just added them still frozen straight from the bag; they were already fully cooked and would thaw out as the sauce simmered.

I cut the bell pepper into small pieces, like so.

Then I scraped them all into the pan, and only one piece or seven fell onto the floor.

After chopping the bell pepper, I had to chop the onion up into little pieces.


(I only used about half of the large onion; I was trying to be romantic after all.)


After I was finished chopping, I scraped all of the onion onto the floor into the pan.

Once I was finished adding all of the ingredients, it was time to stir them all together.

Then I put a lid on the pan and turned the heat on low. I let it simmer, stirring occasionally for several hours.

After about an hour of simmering, since the meatballs were ginormous, I cut them into fourths. And obviously, I was very careful not to drop my knife into the boiling spaghetti sauce.

And I definitely did not get sauce all over my white tee shirt.

When it was getting close to the time that Shannon gets home from work, I boiled the water for the pasta. Once the water was boiling, I dumped the entire bag of pasta into the boiling water.

I let the pasta cook until it was "Al Dente," about 7 minutes.

When the timer went off, I drained all of the water from the pasta.

Then I dumped all of those "Al Dente" noodles into the spaghetti sauce.

And I mixed all of the ingredients together, like so.

Once I was done mixing everything together, I put some of that yummy stuff into my beautiful bowls that were handmade in Positano, Italy.


I then sprinkled some Parmesan cheese on top of each serving.

Followed by some freshly ground pepper.


With just one whiff of this delicious Italian meal, that was served up in my beautiful handmade dishes from Positano, Italy, I started dreaming of romance with my husband. I instantly got carried away with romantic visions of Lady and the Tramp.


And then I started to hear Dean Martin singing so softly in my ears.......

In Napoli where love is King,
When boy meets girl, here's what they say:

When the moon hits your eye like a big-a pizza pie,
That's amore;
When the world seems to shine like you've had too much wine,
That's amore.

Bells will ring ting-a-ling-a-ling, ting-a-ling-a-ling
And you'll sing "Vita bella."
Hearts'll play tippi-tippi-tay, tippi-tippi-tay
Like a gay tarantella.

When the stars make you drool joost-a like pasta fazool,
That's amore;
When you dance down the street with a cloud at your feet,
You're in love;
When you walk in a dream but you know you're not dreamin', signore,
'Scusa me, but you see, back in old Napoli, that's amore.


Of course, I can't promise you that bells will ring ting-a-ling-a-ling if you cook this meal for your husband, but the bells were definitely ting-a-ling-a-linging at my house.

I'm just saying is all. ;)

Philemon 1:6
"I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ."

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday

One morning, a couple of weeks ago, while Shannon was getting ready for work, he decided to have a little fun at my expense.

When he got out of the shower, this is what he walked in on.

Allie and I were sleeping so soundly together.


He got tickled at his two girls sleeping together, so he grabbed the camera and took this picture.

I do love that man.

And I love that Allie Girl.

Also, since most of you know that Allie has a torn ACL, I thought you might appreciate these next photos.

Let me set the stage for you first though. Allie is what is known in some places as a "couch potato." She love, love, loves the couch. But with her ACL being torn, we do not want her to hurt herself more by jumping on and off the couch all day. So, in order to keep her off of the couch, we keep the couch pillows turned down. This system has worked very well for us.

Sometimes though, Shannon or the boys we forget to lay the pillows back down once we get off of the couch ourselves. Like the other morning, for instance,
Shannon someone forgot to lay the pillow back down, and this is what happened.

Is it just me, or does she look like she feels guilty?

I'm just saying.


I do love that Allie! :)

Genesis 1:25
"God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good."

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bad Hair Tag (And An Award!)

Dianne, my peep at the Deez Dayz blog, has tagged me for a new meme.
It's called the "Bad Hair Tag."

Dianne's post made Shannon and me laugh out loud. You have got to take a peek at this post for yourself. Dianne is hysterical! Click here to see Dianne's series of hair "mishaps."

Here are Dianne's rules for the "Bad Hair Tag."

Basically, you select 5 photos of yourself in which you think you have bad hair. You know, the ones that you look back at and wonder, "WHAT WAS I THINKING!" Yeah, those ones; come one now, I know you all have them.

Well, I have definitely had my share of "bad hair," so I am totally prepared to humiliate myself in front of tens of people on the World Wide Web. The hardest part of doing this tag for me was narrowing the choices down to just five. The 80s were very cruel to me and my hair.

I hope that those of you who read this blog will still want to come back occasionally once you have seen all of these ridiculous pictures of my tragic teenage years.

And I feel like I should just say in advance, Melissa had nothing to do with any of these unfortunate decisions that I made regarding my hair. She is a complete professional who would never send me out in public with such ridiculous pitiful hair dos.

Okay, here goes...I hope that you are all ready, and I would just like to apologize in advance.

1. The mullet. I feel certain that once I made my public debut with this hair do, the mullet craze ended. If I remember correctly the only other person that continued to sport this look after me was Billy Ray Cyrus. But in his defense, he probably never had the opportunity to see me out in public.

(Please just ignore the Colonel Sanders style bow ties that my mom and I are both sporting. We were not only hair victims of the 80s, we were also fashion victims. The 80s were just cruel.)

2. Height and wings. This next picture was taken when I had just learned to tease my hair to abnormal heights, and somehow I still managed to feather it at the same time. And remarkably, it only took one full can of Aqua Net hairspray to hold this ridiculous look in place.

(When this school picture was made, I was so excited to be wearing my Add-a-Bead necklace. Unfortunately though, due to the height of my hair, the photographer had to lower the stool I was sitting on to fit me and my hair into the picture. So, you can only see a small piece of one of my beads on the necklace.) Sigh.

3. Bangs (and nails). This next look is when I first discovered "bangs." Also at this time in my life, I had discovered that I could grow my fingernails to disgusting great lengths.

(It's hard to know what to look at in that picture, isn't it? You are probably having trouble deciding whether or not to stare at my bangs, my hideously long fingernails, or the gold rings on every single finger.)

4. Sun In (the aftermath). Like a million other girls in the late 80s, I was so proud to have discovered the hair lightening product called "Sun In." Unfortunately, what I didn't know at the beginning of my love affair with this product, was that it continues to lighten your hair every single time heat is applied to it. That being said, my senior year was spent in this "two toned" phase. I had to let the "Sun In" grow out....Very gradually.

(All of my senior year was spent sporting these "dark bangs" while the rest of my hair continued to get lighter and lighter and lighter.)

I would love to tell you that once I graduated from high school that my "hair dos" improved, but that would simply not be true.

Once in college, I had one career ambition and only one. I wanted to have hair like Tawny Kitaen in all of the Whitesnake videos. (Don't laugh; I'm baring my soul to you right now.)

I was obsessed. I was a girl on a mission. I desperately wanted to be able to flip my gorgeous long locks all over the place. (I, of course, knew I would never be able to do a cartwheel across two Jaguars, but I could definitely flip my hair with the best of them.) So the last hair do I have to show you is my attempt at having Tawny Kitaen style hair.

5. The Tawny Kitaen wannabe Hair Do. This last picture was obviously taken at a time in my life that was spent in deep denial. I was in a phase of growing out my perm (another unfortunate look for me) and getting my bangs to unbelievable heights.

(Obviously this hair was also during a time in my life when I had yet to discover the miracle of conditioner.)

Needless to say, I never achieved my career goals of obtaining Tawny Kitaen style hair. Also, needless to say, eye glasses were in my very near future, because no one with any kind of clear vision would have ever left the house looking like that.


Okay, people now it's your turn. If you have bad hair in your past (and just so you know, you probably did), I am tagging you now.

All you have to do is find five bad hair photos and be willing to humiliate yourself by letting tens of people see them on the World Wide Web.

So, if you're willing, play along, and let me know if you do this tag, because I want to share with you in your time of public humiliation.;)

Just one more thing before you go, I received an award from Michele at the fabulous My Blessings From Above blog. Here it is in all of its glory!


Michele, I cannot thank you enough; after humiliating myself in front of tens of people on the internet, this award was just what I needed. :)

I can let you people in on a little secret about Michele too, she is going to be my special guest on an upcoming episode of "Inside The Actor's Blogger's Studio." But remember, you didn't hear that from me.;)

If you haven't been there already, Michele's blog is awesome. Michele is the mother of two beautiful little boys. She always shares some of the most creative homeschool, cooking, and gift giving ideas, and she has the ability to save money and stretch dollars, like no one I have ever seen before. She's a very special lady, so stop by and show her some bloggy love!

The rules for the "I Love Your Blog" award are:
1. Link back to the person who gave you the award.
2. Include the award on your blog.
3. Pass it on to 7 worthy bloggers with links to their blogs on yours.
4. Notify your recipients.

I don't know how to even begin picking "just" seven, because I LOVE all of the blogs I read. So, at risk of bending the rules a lot a little bit, I want to pass this award on to all of my bloggy buddies. So, if I am a regular reader of your blog, please accept this award from me.

And one more thing, let's just keep this "Bad Hair Tag" between us, Mmmmkay? Thanks!;)