Monday, December 28, 2009

Reading through the Bible in a year

I don't know how many of you do this but it's a wonderful blessing to read through the whole Bible.  I have to admit that this last time I read through the Bible, it was over 2 years but I'm just going to be done at the end of this year.  I read through the Bible in chronological order which was AWESOME because it showed me that I was not experiencing deja vu in reading some things but that the Old Testament DOES have things written twice in different books.  LOL  Thanks, Michelle, for getting me that plan two years ago!

This year, I'm going to follow a new plan.  It's from Discipleship Journal and it's a great plan because it has you reading just 25 days out of the month, which I think it SO realistic and freeing.  Admit it, there's ALWAYS a day we miss here and there and to allow us a few extra days to "miss" is wonderful.  Additionally, this plan has us reading through 4 different parts of the Bible each day.  It has bookmarks for you to keep in your Bible so that you can easily find and check off each section as you read.

If you'd like to see the entire thing printed out in one compact brochure, see here.

If you'd like to get the bookmarks, go here and here.

So, anyone want to join me??  Let's get into God's Word this year!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Tim Challies - "Letters to Luke"

As most of you know, I read a blog by a man named Tim Challies and I find him very insightful and with a great grasp of God and His Word.  Today he introduced us to a man who is an atheist who asked Tim if he could write to him to discuss God and atheism and Tim agreed.  Today was the first letter that Tim wrote to Luke which is a response to a letter that Luke wrote on his blog.  I think this will be an excellent read for any believer.

Here's the link to today's entry:  Letters to Luke

And here is the link to the blog if you wish to follow it all: Tim Challies

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Record snow storm for Long Island!

It was wonderful!  We had a blizzard during the night and we have a winter wonderland.  We postponed the morning services to 4 pm so we still were able to worship and see the children perform their pageant.

Here are some pictures from today's shoveling (we got almost 2 feet!).

"Wives submit to your husband" = no opinion???

It's interesting.  In reading things online recently, I came across an opinion of a woman that I've heard before and it's always bothered me.  This is the idea that as Christian wives, we're never to question our husbands at all.  If our husband says "Let's move clear across the country." we're just to say "OK - thank you dear." and wait for his next instruction.  If he says "I think we need to sell all we have and invest it in this new business", you might be worried inside knowing that this won't work but saying "Yes dear" instead of voicing your thoughts.  I honestly don't see this supported in Scripture and I think it makes for a very dysfunctional marriage.

God created woman for man - to be a "help" to him.  The word "help meet" in the King James is "ezer" and is the same term that is used regarding the relationship between God and man in Scripture.  Psalm 33:20 says "Our soul waiteth for the Lord:  he [is] our help and our shield" and Psalm 121:1-2 says "I lift up my eyes to the hills.  From where does my help come?  My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth."  God is certainly not silent in our relationship is He?  He gives us His thoughts, His desires for us and reveals to us His heart.  Should we not do the same with our husbands?

I do not see how submission means to not give our opinions on things either.  By giving an opinion, I am not being unsubmissive at all but instead allowing my husband to have maybe more information or a different perspective on the subject.  In our over 24 years of marriage, there have been many times that my husband and I have disagreed about something, some big and some small, but we learned over the years to recognize the other person's relationship with Christ and the Spirit's voice speaking to them.  I've learned to stop and listen to him and to pray that God would align my heart with his wishes if that's what He desires.  I've also learned to respectfully and quietly present my thoughts on the subject and my husband has learned to not lead with an iron fist and a deaf ear but to utilize the "help" that God gave him in a wife and to see if what I'm saying is something that is absolutely valid and he needs to listen to.  We are not only husband and wife but brother and sister in Christ and God has used me to bring something to my husband's heart that he would not have thought of.  If I were to just sit back and never give my opinion, I'm no better than a slave or an employee rather than a part of "one flesh".

To tell wives that they are to never question their husband, never give an opinion or an insight is to me a very dangerous, marriage damaging and crippling advice.  I'm certainly not saying that we're to argue with our husbands or question everything they do but if something doesn't make sense, ask for more clarification.  If you see an issue with an idea they have, give your insight as a woman and child of God. If your husband even needs a correction from a sister in Christ, please by all means do so.  Know that it will not always be received well but if we keep our mouths shut all the time, their "help" is as good as a GPS with no compass.

Be discerning and always approach your husband with something that might be difficult after much prayer and self-evaluation.  Are you doing this in pride because you know more than him?  Are you doing this because he's an idiot who should know better?  Pray that God will shut your mouth if it needs to be shut or to allow your husband's heart to have been softened already to that particular issue.  With prayer and wisdom, you will not be a nag or hinderance to your husband but instead a sweet partner "help" who is led by the Spirit and completes and compliments him perfectly.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

In the homestretch!!

We're getting to the homestretch of the play at church.  Tonight will be our last practice before we hit 3 performances in a row.  Tonight traditionally has been "wacky practice" where people dress up in weird clothes and we do weird things but this year, we need the time to go over a few scenes that are very complicated and need a bit of fine-tuning.  I'm still going to pop in a burp or something as a sound-effect, however.  :)

Please pray that God will use this play to touch the hearts of many.  It's great to see responses to the play even if it's just "Wow" as people walk out the door.  A LOT of hard work went into this - thousands of man hours and with a cast of over 80 and a crew of almost 40, it's certainly no little show and it is wonderful being a part of something that God may use to reach people for His glory.

Soli Deo Gloria!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Being a diligent listener - our responsibility for church

Tim Challies is a blogger and author who I highly respect.  He has a great entry today on just what OUR responsibility is in regards to church and specifically the Sunday service.  Excellent words for all of us.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Menu Monday

So this week is going to be busy yet again thanks to the play but I think I have food planned out.  Here we go:

Monday - Tortellini Alfredo with ham, salad
Tuesday - Breaded chicken tenders (I'll make extra), mashed potatoes, gravy, peas
Wednesday - Cranberry pork roast, rice, broccoli
Thursday - lasagna, salad
Friday - DH and I will eat at the yacht club and then I need to be at church around 7 or so for the play
Saturday - porterhouse steaks, mashed potatoes, some sort of veggie (I'll be home around 5 from the play)
Sunday - Cast party - I'll make cocktail meatballs in the crockpot at church to serve.
Monday - Taco soup, salad

This week has me at church on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights for play practice and work.  Then the play is Friday night, Saturday at 2 and Sunday at 4 with the cast party after the Sunday show.  It will be fun!  The play went really well with just a few glitches and I'm sure the rest of them will be even better!  :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Well, I have been sucked into the vortex that is known as the "Church Christmas Drama".  Our church does a huge production each year and this year there was a sound man but no one who was available to actually trigger the sounds (music and sound effects).  Since I'm the "expert" on this computer program that we have (and "expert" is in quotes for a reason because I barely know all of the features of the program myself but am learning a bit ahead of everyone else),  it was mentioned to me that a person was needed and, after checking with hubby about it, I went ahead and said OK.  The director was thrilled because she knew that she wouldn't have to teach me what to do since I know this program already.  So in the last few weeks, I've been to MANY hours of rehearsals and spent many more hours doing programming of the computer and setting up sounds.  It's been a lot of fun and the program is wonderful.

"Silver Bells" is a modern-day rendition of A Christmas Carol.  We see Mr. Benjamin Smith, a wealthy businessman in the role of Scrooge and his assistant is a single mom.  We follow through the past, present and future to visit a children's mission, a deaf church (we truly have a deaf church at our church and the deaf come and sign a beautiful song) and the home of Mrs. Jones and her 3 children, one of whom is ill.  It's a wonderful show where the Gospel is presented and tonight was the first show that was performed before a packed house.  We had over 700 in attendance tonight and it was great.

Here's a little taste from our dress rehearsal yesterday:

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sorry I've been MIA again

Seriously, I stink at this blogging!!  Sorry about that!  I don't see it getting much better over the next few weeks either because life is going to spiral out of control soon!  You see, I was asked and I volunteered to do the sound for the Christmas program at church.  I went for my first practice on Tuesday night and it looks like it's going to be fun but the real business starts this week.  Practices are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights with me at church on Wednesday as well to do my regular work.  I'm back there on Friday for more of my job and then I'm there all day Saturday for practice and the first play is Sunday afternoon.  So Sunday is another day I'm at church all day.  The following week is Tuesday and Thursday nights then the play is Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  So busy is on my plate for the next two weeks but I'm looking forward to it.  I'm trying to get the house in shape and food planned so I don't have to go crazy trying to keep up with everything and I've already lowered my expectations for school through this time.  We'll just work through the Christmas vacation week with taking a few days off right at Christmas.

So what I have to do for this play is to load all of the song music and sounds on the computer, which I did on Tuesday, and then to play each thing at the right time.  That's the songs, the sound effects and the music.  Fun stuff and the new computer program we got in June ROCKS for this sort of thing!!  It was beyond easy - I just need to pay attention and make sure everything is triggered at the right time.

The play was written by one of our pastor's wives who is amazing at writing plays and it's based on A Christmas Carol but set in modern NY.  My husband wrote one of the songs - "The Meanest Man" - that the kids will sing so that's kind of fun.  Oh - weird thing about that.  5 years ago, when DH had fallen off the roof and broken his foot, Mary (the woman who wrote this play) asked DH to write some songs for the play she wrote for that year and he wrote a few great songs.  Well, she asked him to write a few songs for this play.....and he injured his foot again!  So I told her that if she's going to ask him to write songs for a play again to give us a heads-up so that we can make sure we protect his feet well.  :)  Too weird!  LOL

So I will try to get on here and there but you never know.  "Busy" might make it kind of hard.  God bless you all during this holiday season and may you not forget the One who made a reason for this season.  :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Maple-walnut Chicken

This recipe is one I've had on the menu for a while now but haven't yet made it so I have no assurance that it's good or now.  However, it looks really good and we WILL try it this week.  I'm going to use the fresh spinach but a boxed pilaf to make enough for the family.

Maple-Walnut Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6-7 oz. each)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. packed fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup walnuts
5 Tbsp. cider vinegar
3 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 pkg. (8.5 oz) precooked whole grain pilaf
1 bag (9 oz) microwave-in-the-bag spinach

1.  Rub chicken breasts with oil, then rub with thyme, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper.  Let stand.
2.  In 12 inch non-stick skillet, toast walnuts on medium 4-6 minutes or until golden and fragrant, stirring occasionally.  Transfer walnuts to dish; do not remove skillet from heat.
3.  Add chicken to same skillet; cook 12 minutes or until golden brown and juices run clear when pierced with the tip of a knife, turning frequently.
4.  To same skillet; add vinegar and cook 1 minute, stirring.  Add syrup and 1/2 cup water; simmer 6-7 minutes or until mixture has thickened; stirring occasionally.
5.  Meanwhile, cook pilaf, then spinach, in microwave according to package directions.
6. Stir walnuts and any chicken juices into sauce.  Divide pilaf and spinach among 4 dinner plats.  top with chicken and spoon maple-walnut sauce all around.

Crockpot Italian Wedding Soup

As requested, here are two of the recipes from this week.  This one is a yummy recipe that my family loves.  :)

Italian Wedding Soup

1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3 Tbsp. plain bread crumbs
3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
8 cups low sodium chicken broth
3 large carrots, chopped
1 small head escarole (8 oz) washed, trimmed and cut into 1/2" strips
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 1/4 c. acini di pepe pasta

1.  In large bowl, stir together egg, beef, onion, bread crumbs, 1 Tbsp. Parmesan, 1 Tbsp. parsley and 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper.  Form into 1" meatballs (abotu 45) and place on baking sheet.  Refrigerate while preparing soup.

2.  Combine broth, carrots, escarole and oregano in slow cooker.  Gently add meatballs.  Cook, covered, on LOW for 6 hours.  Stir in pasta for last 20 minutes of cook time.  Stir in remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. black pepper.  Sprinkle each serving with remaining parsley and Parmesan cheese and serve.

Monday, November 16, 2009

This week's menu

Just sat down, figured all of this out and ordered my groceries.  How wonderful it is for me to not have to go for an hour and a half to the grocery store to do all my shopping, then come home, unpack, process the food and put it all away.  Now I get the groceries brought into my kitchen and I'll I'm left with is the unpacking, processing and putting it away.  This is done when I'm not tired from shopping.  :)  LOVE it.

Monday - pizza (a local pizza joint has a special- large pie, large hero - we get chicken parm - and ziti for $20.  I'll add in a greek salad for another $5 and we're set for the whole family.  Not too bad.

Tuesday - chicken pot pie, salad

Wednesday - Italian wedding soup in the crockpot, biscuits, salad

Thursday - probably FFY since I'll be riding then we have a church plant meeting.  I'll be lucky to get a shower between those to (as will everyone else be lucky if I get a shower between those two).

Friday - wine braised Italian sausages, salad (requested by my 9 year old)

Saturday - maple walnut chicken, steamed spinach and rice pilaf

Sunday - chicken enchiladas, salad

Monday - five cheese mac and cheese, salad.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Desiring God

You can download John Piper's Desiring God for free this month!  Go to and pick out the download version of the book.  At check-out, put in the code NOV2009  This book is WELL worth getting and I'd highly recommend it.

Monday's Menu

OK - I sat down to quickly do my menu since I had to get my order in for the groceries before 3PM.  I'll get them delivered around 10 AM tomorrow while I'm sitting at home schooling my children.  How wonderful is that???  So our menu for this week is:

Monday - Quesadillas and salad (using up one lone dry pork chop from last week)
Tuesday - Ginger chicken stir fry with rice
Wednesday - Baked ziti and salad
Thursday - meatloaf, mashed potatoes, gravy, peas and creamed spinach
Friday - I'm out for the whole day so it's a "FFY"  (fend for yourself)
Saturday - "Good salad" (lettuce, blue cheese, glazed walnuts, mandarin oranges, grilled chicken and a balsamic vinaigrette
Sunday - Pot roast, mashed potatoes, carrots, salad

An update on our deacon who I posted about

George lost his battle to cancer on Thursday, November 5th.  We had his funeral last night and it was apparent by the 700 people who attended the wake and service that he had touched many hearts.

It makes me evaluate what people will say about me upon my death.  Did I reflect Christ or myself??  George definitely reflected Christ and his dying wish was that each of his children, their spouses and THEIR children would walk in a relationship with the living God.  Amen.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Please pray as one of our deacons is losing his battle to cancer today

George is a dear man who has fought cancer twice already, being told each time he was going to die. He was one of the first successful bone marrow transplants in this country years ago. It is looking like he is going to lose his battle with leukemia today. Please pray for George that his homegoing is peaceful and that God will comfort his wife of 34 years Cindy. She is involved in our deaf ministry (she actually founded it) and he is one of our deacons so they are close family in our church. They have 5 grown children.

Monday, October 19, 2009

This week's menu

Well, our oven is down for the count, I think.  It's only 9 years old and we spent $1000 on it so it REALLY stinks.  We'll have the repair guys in tomorrow but I really think it's toast so this week I'm not planning on using it.  So for this week:

Monday - Pizza meal ($20 for a large NY pizza, a large ziti, chicken parm. hero) and salad
Tuesday - Maple Walnut Chicken, rice pilaf, broccoli
Wednesday - pancakes, sausages, fruit
Thursday - Beef and pepper stir-fry, rice
Friday - Angel hair pasta with sundried tomatoes and feta cheese (I'll add chicken to make it more "dinner" for us), salad
Saturday - burgers, homemade potato salad, green salad
Sunday - orange chicken thighs, buttered noodles, greeen beans

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Chicken Pot Pie

Hmmm - I thought I posted this but apparently I didn't!  This is our chicken pot pie recipe.  It's SOOO popular around here and I'll make it whenever I make a roast chicken or else I'll pop two chicken breast halves in some boiling water and cook that up instead.  This is also my go-to recipe to bring to another family for illness or death or some other need in their lives.  I can't wait - it's the ultimate comfort food!

Chicken Pot Pie

1/3 c. butter or margarine
1/3 c. flour
2/3 c. chopped onion
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
2+ cups cut up cooked chicken
2+ cups frozen peas and carrots
1 double pie crust (I use Pillsbury)

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Melt butter over low heat in saucepan. Blend in flour, onion and seasoning. Cook, stirring, until mixture is bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in chicken broth and milk. Heat to boiling; stirring constantly. Boil and stir one minute. Gently stir in chicken and frozen vegetables. Pour into pie crust. Top with other pie crust, flute and slit. Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Busy life, Idols and ER

Yep - life has been super busy again.  Last week was filled with stuff outside the house including me working at church from 9AM to 11PM on Friday where we had a concert for Youth for Christ.  It was a wonderful evening and I have to say, while I don't like their music style, the three bands really showed me how much they love Jesus and they clearly ministered to the kids.  We had Mikeschair, AfterEdmund and LeCrae with Tedashi.  Look them up on YouTube if you'd like! 

As some of you know, I like Mark Driscoll from Mars Hill Church in Seattle and find him to be theologically sound.  He once again was on Nightline and this time he spoke of idols and I thought his segment was really good.  It's not long - only about 4 minutes - so take the time to watch it if you can!  One correction, though.  Of course the world doesn't know their terms and meanings well and they labeled Mark as an emergent leader and he's most certainly not part of the emergent movement.  Theologically, he's very conservative and isn't afraid to call sin a sin and in this segment, you can see he's really clear about God and idols.  So just because Nightline called him "emergent", he's not.  :)

Finally, please pray for my husband.  Yesterday while bringing the boat to the mooring on a very windy afternoon, he ran to the front of the boat and caught his toe as he was going.  He called me to let me know he needed me and there was "stuff" hanging out of his baby toe.  I got there, got the boat tied on properly and went down below where he was laying on our bed.  I took one look and said "Honey, that's bone."  Yep - the diagnosis is a complete compound dislocation of the baby toe.  Not only did he fully dislocate the last bone in the toe, but he was able to get the rest of the bone to come out of the skin completely.  Wish I got a picture for you but you'll just have to imagine it.  But God is good.  Our good friend is an orthopedic surgeon and he was at the hospital last night.  From the time we walked in the doors to the end of his surgery, only two hours had elapsed.  He was in his room 3 hours after that - so 5 hours from walking in the door to him being in bed - not bad!  He's staying in for a few days because of needing to be in IV antibiotics just in case.  He's on steroids for his asthma and they're just worried about infection.  He should heal up fine although there's likely tendon/ligament and nerve damage but it's the baby toe, so it's not like it's super vital.  Add in to that the fact that he trashed his other foot 5 years ago and that means that he's used to bum feet - only now he has two.  One thing he's disappointed about is that he can't go on our church's men's retreat this weekend and lead worship - doctor's orders (and our doctor goes to our church so it's not like he doesn't realize the importance of the retreat).  But there's always next year.  :)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday Menu Plan

I worked this out yesterday and went shopping last night.  I hate food shopping but now I'm ready for the week:

Monday - Tortellini Alfredo with peas and ham, salad
Tuesday - Ginger Chicken Stir Fry, rice
Wednesday - crockpot Swedish Meatballs, noodles, broccoli
Thursday - crockpot Taco Soup, salad
Friday - we're out all day so we'll do Wendy's or something - we'll see
Saturday - Penne Pesto with chicken, Italian bread, salad
Sunday - Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, roasted carrots/onions/broccoli

Yummy new recipe - Garden Chowder

I made this for dinner last night and it was really good, easy to make and I can see that it can use a lot of veggies that you happen to have around.  I bought a whole head of cauliflower, which we don't normally eat, and I used so little of it that next time I think I'll just use an inexpensive bag of frozen broccoli and cauliflower instead of buying those two veggies fresh.  I used an old bag of frozen broccoli cuts that I had in the freezer for the broccoli since I THOUGHT I bought it but couldn't find it.  Oh well. Everyone loved the soup and with biscuits and salad, it was a filling dinner that was really tastey.  So here you go!

Garden Chowder
1/2 chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup butter
1 cup EACH diced potato, celery, cauliflower, broccoli and carrot
3 cups water
3 chicken bouillon cubes
1 tsp. salt
2-3 cloves garlic minced
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup flour
2 cups milk
1 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
1-2 dashes of paprika, coriander and ground mustard
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

In a dutch oven, saute green pepper and onion in butter until tender.  Add vegetables, water, bouillon, salt, pepper; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.  Combine flour and milk until smooth; stir into pan.  Allow to thicken at a low temperature.  Add the parsley and other spices.  Just before serving, stir in the cheese until melted.

yield:  6 servings

Sunday, September 27, 2009

International Blasphemy Day

Al Mohler has a wonderful blog entry regarding International Blasphemy Day. I'm sure we've all heard about the "challenge" someone gave to send in videos of them blaspheming the Holy Spirit to show that God doesn't exist.  He's got some really wonderful, challenging words on what our response should be.  Muslims in some countries would kill someone for doing the same "blasphemy challenge" towards Allah.  How should Christians be different?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The H1N1 Vaccine hasn't been tested on children or pregnant women???

According to the US News and World Report:

"If the H1N1 flu outbreak doesn’t peak until midwinter, it could be curtailed with a staggered vaccination program that begins with children and ultimately targets 70 percent of the population, researchers report online September 10 in Science. "

"Current estimates suggest that between 45 million and 52 million doses of vaccine will be ready by mid-October, with another 195 million by the end of the year. Longini and his colleagues find that because children will experience the highest infection rates they should receive vaccines first. Vaccinating other at-risk groups, such as health care workers and those with compromised immune systems, is also important. Given the pattern of spread among connected people, the researchers suggest that vaccinating 70 percent of the U.S. population will contain the virus."

"If the pandemic flu peaks earlier in October, a vaccination program that targets children would need to be launched as soon as possible, the new analysis in Science concludes.
The new work is well done and highlights the importance of vaccinating children, says Jan Medlock, a mathematical biologist at Clemson University in South Carolina. Close quarters with multiple peers and more liberal personal hygiene policies make kids more likely to carry germs. Vaccinating kids protects them and reduces disease transmission, protecting others,  he says.
Compared with most influenza viruses, the H1N1 pandemic flu has also caused more disease in people under age 25 than in older people, perhaps because older people have some preexisting immunity to this strain. That offers another reason to focus initial vaccine efforts on younger people."

all from

Additionally, pregnant women should receive the vaccine:

ATLANTA - Swine flu has been hitting pregnant women unusually hard, so they are likely to be among the first group advised to get a new swine flu shot this fall.
Pregnant women account for 6 percent of U.S. swine flu deaths since the pandemic began in April, even though they make up just 1 percent of the U.S. population.
On Wednesday a federal vaccine advisory panel is meeting to take up the question of who should be first to get swine flu shots when there aren't enough for everyone. At the top of the list are health care workers, who would be crucial to society during a bad pandemic.

But pregnant women may be near the top of the list because they have suffered and died from swine flu at disproportionately high rates.

"Experts believe an effective vaccine would benefit not only a pregnant woman but also her unborn child."

from  "

However, here's from the vaccine insert:

8.1 Pregnancy
Pregnancy Category C: Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine or AFLURIA. It is also not known whether these vaccines can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproduction capacity. Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.

8.3 Nursing Mothers
Neither Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine nor AFLURIA has been evaluated in nursing mothers. It is not known whether Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine or AFLURIA is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine is administered to a nursing woman.

8.4 Pediatric Use
Neither Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine nor AFLURIA has been evaluated in children. Safety and effectiveness in the pediatric population have not been established.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

I was determined to get it done....

Back in May, we told our oldest that she HAD to clean up her room and I gave her my 1/2 of the garage to use to bring everything downstairs to sort then it all had to be brought back to her room in 2 weeks.  Of course that didn't fully happen and since it was summer and we had lots of things going on, I never got back to the garage to clean it out to get my car back in.  So I was determined to do it today and guess what?  It only took me an hour and an almost-asthma attack!  That's not that bad!  I didn't "clean" the garage but cleaned up all of the stuff that was right where my car goes and some stuff next to it (I guess someone found our sunflower seed bag since there was a nice hole and TONS of shells under/behind a box).  But I'm done and my car is in the garage!  Now the next goal is to clean out the other side so DH can get in there too.  He's not been in there for over 2 years.

MAN that feels good!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cranberry Pork Roast

Here's a recipe that is just awesome and a favorite around here.  It uses a pork loin roast which can be gotten on sale for under $2, which is a great bargain for boneless meat!   Yeah, usually I get 9 lbs. and cut the loin into 3 roasts so I'm set for quite a while to make this recipe.  I serve it over rice with a green veggie like broccoli on the side.  YUM!

Cranberry Pork Roast

1 (2.5-3 lb) lean boneless pork loin roast or rib roast
1 (16 oz.) can whole berry cranberry sauce
1/3 cup port wine or cranberry juice
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 small lemon, thinly sliced
1/3 cup golden seedless raisins (I've used regular raisins too)
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. diced candied ginger
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. cold water
cooked rice

Place pork roast in 3 1/2 quart slow cooker.  In a medium bowl, combine cranberry sauce, port wine or cranberry juice and sugar.  Stir in lemon, raisins, garlic, ginger, mustard, salt and pepper.  Spoon over roast.  Cook on low (covered) for 6-7 hours or until meat is 170 degrees F on an instant read meat thermometer.

Remove roast from cooker and cover with foil to keep warm.  Mix the cornstarch and water and pour into the cooker.  Turn cooker onto high.  Stir and cook the sauce for about 5 minutes until thickened.

Slice roast.  Serve with sauce and rice on the side.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

God is AMAZING - Look at these stormchaser photos!

These photos were taken by storm chaser Jim Reed.  Wowza!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

LIVE!! Menu Planning!

I still need to plan this out. I planned to today so that I'd be ready since I'm going riding later after Nicole gets home from school. I'm making roast chicken and then on the way home from riding, I'll pick up cheating mashed potatoes (don't have time to make them fresh at home since I don't even have potatoes in the house right now) and I'll serve it with broccoli and gravy.

Tuesday - Maybe I'll pick up some pie crust and make chicken pot pie for tomorrow and serve it with salad. Hmm - that sounds good.

Wednesday - Wednesday's are going to be tricky since we signed up Joanna for ballet which runs from 4:45 to 5:45 and I need to be at church by 6:30 to work (until around 9PM) and the kids go with me. So that leaves me about 15 minutes at home. I need to figure out something easy/quick for these nights. Hmmm - brainstorming here - maybe do the crockpot?? Country style ribs are on sale so maybe I'll make ribs and serve it with canned corn and sliced tomatoes. OK - that works for me for this week.

Thursday - I ride again which means I don't get home before 6:30 (leave the house at 3:30). Hmmm - maybe I'll make chicken tacos. OK - that works!

Friday - I'm out of the house all day working, so I need something easy. Maybe on Thursday during the day, I'll cut up veggies and make Pasta Primavera for tonight. I'll cook up some leftover sausages for DH since he HAS to have meat. That sounds good.

Saturday - Ugh - I hate all this planning but it needs to get done. Ummmm - not sure of the weather but maybe I'll plan to do some either baked or grilled chicken drumsticks. I have a bunch in the freezer. So I'd serve that with.....OH! I'll make the potato salad that everyone loves and then a nice big salad. DONE!

Sunday - I think I'll wait until later in the week to figure this one out.   Shrimp is on sale so I MAY do something with that - either shrimp scampi or teryaki shrimp and pineapple on the grill.

So there you have it - a real live figuring out the menu for the week! LOL  I do also have the option to bail on any given night and get one of three choices.  These are all relatively inexpensive choices for us and I allow each one once a month for my sanity. First we have a Mexican place that has a family meal deal for $20 which includes grilled chicken or steak, grilled onions and peppers, pico de gallo, guacamole, beans (black, pinto or refried), rice, sour cream and salsa along with 12 warm flour tortillas.  It easily feeds my family of 6.  The second place is Chinese which we can usually do for $30 with plenty of leftovers.  Finally, there's a pizza place that has a family special for $20 which includes a large pie (NY pies are big - 8 slices about 16 or 18" across), a hero of some sort (we usually get chicken parmesan), a large ziti and Italian bread.  I add in a salad from home and we have an awesome dinner.  These are wonderful "bail-outs" for those nights I am running late, don't feel well or just didn't plan well enough.  :)

Monday - Roast chicken, mashed potatoes, broccoli, gravy
Tuesday - Chicken Pot Pie, salad
Wednesday - Crockpot country-style ribs, corn, sliced tomatoes
Thursday - Chicken tacos
Friday - Pasta Primavera, sausages
Saturday - baked/grilled drumsticks, blue cheese potato salad and green salad

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Wine-Braised Italian Sausages

I just was looking for a recipe of mine on my blog because I really thought I put it here but I didn't. So here you go!

Wine Braised Italian Sausages

1 ½ lbs. mild Italian sausages, cut into ½” pieces
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
1 small carrot, minced
6 sprigs parsley, minced (I used dry)
salt and fresh ground pepper
1 large garlic clove, minced (I always use more since we love garlic)
3 fresh sage leaves, torn (again, I use dry)
generous pinch ground cloves
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
1 (14 oz.) can whole tomatoes (I used diced)
1 lb. pasta (penne, fusilli or ziti) cooked al dente and drained
1 ½ cups fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Asiago cheese

In a 12” saute pan, slowly cook the sausage in the olive oil until it is well browned. Work over medium heat. Remove it from the pan, pour off all but 2 Tbsp. fat and add the onion, carrot and parsley to the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute over medium heat until golden. Add the sausage, garlic, sage, cloves and tomato paste along with ½ the wine. Simmer while you scrape up all the brown glaze from the bottom of the pan. Once the wine is evaporated, add the rest of it and cook very slowly, 10 minutes. Sauce will be clinging to the sausage. (At this point, you could refrigerate the sauce for up to 3 days). Add the tomatoes and cook at a slow bubble for 5 minutes. Toss in the pasta to thoroughly coat. Blend in half the cheese. Serve hot, passing the cheese separately. Makes 4-6 servings as a main dish.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A new chapter in our lives

Well, I'm ready to announce a new chapter in our lives that has developed over the last month. We're really excited about it and know that God had to use something humbling to get us here but we're ready for the future.

DH and I will be planting a church. Technically, it will be another campus of our church but the style and staff will be a little different, although we'll have the infrastructure of our current church to back us up. So here's the story.

Our pastor has had a vision of a church plant for a number of years but it's just not been the time to do it yet. He told us after the fact that he was waiting for one of the staff to come and say "I would like to do this" instead of assigning it to someone because it's going to be a lot of work and really needs someone with a vision behind it. So it's been on the back burner for a number of years.

Just before vacation, my husband met with the senior and senior associate pastor and they basically took him off of being in charge of all the worship and instead would be taking that responsibility on themselves. This left my husband still leading one of the worship teams but not having a say in the direction or leadership of the worship ministry. It was a hard blow for him. It wasn't due to anything he had done so it was confusing to us as we went away the next day to go on vacation. Now basically, my husband's only responsibility was the computers and, honestly, if he was going to be a computer guy, he could do that in a regular job, make atleast twice as much money and no longer be struggling so with finances, and then volunteer to lead the worship team. When we went away on vacation, it seemed that would be the way we would go. But we left ready to pray about it and see what God would have us do. No one else knew about this but one other pastor who my husband had spoken to as a friend but not even our children knew.

While on vacation, my husband came to me and told me that he felt God leading him to think about the church plant and he was beginning to see that maybe taking away the worship would free him up to be willing/able to do the church plant as it's leader and maybe that's why God let this happen. As we prayed about it, we both began to feel strongly that this was the road we were to take but we weren't sure how it would be taken back at home (church). When we returned, DH went to lunch with the senior pastor and told him what happened while we were away and Pastor sat quietly. He told DH that he had been waiting for someone to take this vision and be the "man" in the lead yet no one had come to him about it until now. He got excited as DH spoke to him and, over the next few days, began to see that this just might be it. So, from my understanding, Pastor will announce tomorrow morning in services about the church plant to the whole congregation. Wow.

The basic plans are so far that we've found a location where there are no duplicate churches in the area (there are some other churches and some pseudo-churches as well, but none with the same stance on the basics as we have), and it's a youngish community. DH was just looking at the census information and that area has a high population of young families and it's a growing community. There's a lot of land there so for the future building, we will be able to build but for now, there are a number of hotels and a movie theater that we can look into as well as plenty of store-fronts. It is an area of the intersection of two main highways so it would be easy to get to from many areas and it's about 40 minutes away from our current home/church so we'd not have to move (unless we feel lead in the future to go out there, which is always a possibility). We would use the "simple church" model where we'd have Sunday services and home groups during the week, encouraging families to not be running all over for programs or separating to do their own things. Our home church has plenty of programs if people would like additional resources (kids' activities, youth group, classes for adults, support groups, etc.), but it would not be done at the new church. We have 9 pastors at our church and only 2 preach regularly (our senior pastor preaching to the congregation and our recovery pastor who preaches to the deaf) so that leaves 7 who would be able to cycle through the new church for possibly a few weeks at a time to do series of messages. We have a few worship teams who would be able to come through to assist in the worship and the area is one where we have atleast 25 families who are closer to the new location rather than our home church. So that would mean they could help "seed" the new church AND have someplace to bring their neighbors rather than a church 40 minutes away. We'd plan to have a great nursery/children's program set up for Sunday morning right from the start so families will feel comfortable coming.

So we're at the starting gate. We're ready to go and begin the planning and vision casting for this new chapter in our lives. God is so good and I so thank Him for leading us and giving us a great church home to be launched from. It's going to be an interesting next year as we pull this off with God's help and I pray that this church would lift high the name of Jesus on Long Island. How humbling to be able to be a part of it!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wow - what a story

It's long but a GREAT read.

Life lost....and found??

So today I got word that a dear woman from our church passed away last night after a very fast fight with leukemia. She was diagnosed at the end of June and it looked bad right from the beginning. The fact that she was on chemo within 24 hours of diagnosis told us this. But she's now home with the Lord and no longer in pain - and her family has the assurance that she walked with the Lord here and trusted Him as her Savior. Thank God for that comfort.

Now I just heard from another friend that a young woman who was in our youth group is within hours of her own death. She's leaving behind a husband and very young child (like a year old) and is also battling leukemia. I'm not sure where this young woman stands with Christ because, while she came to youth group, she fought a lot of the teaching and just really wanted friends there rather than Christ. But I don't know her heart and I haven't spoken to her in years, so I don't know. I'm praying that her heart is right with God and that God comforts her and her family during this time.

Then there's my older brother. My older brother is as self-centered as they come. He has refused Christ for over 35 years and did his own thing.

Apparently something is happening because he called our younger brother (who is saved) and started asking him questions!!! I'm in absolute 100% shock!! My younger brother called my husband to get some advice and I called him last night. Seems my older brother is not happy with his life and is seeming to think that there's something more. He was remembering my mom talking to him all those years telling him about Christ and now he wants to know more!! You can knock me over with a feather right now.

So my older brother will be in town tomorrow for who knows how long and I'm going to see if he wants to get together with us. He had mentioned getting together with DH and I to my younger brother so I think he's up for it (we NEVER see him - ever. He's never met my youngest daughter who is turning 7 at the end of the year).

Please pray that his heart will be softened. Pray that after all these years, that God will bring him into the family of God. Oh my word! I honestly cannot believe this in the LEAST!!

So death and dying - and the possible new life in Christ. That is what today is filled with.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Country Herbed Meatloaf

Here's a meatloaf recipe we love here in our home.

Country Herbed Meatloaf from Country Magazine

1/4 cup olive oil
8 oz. fresh mushrooms
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 6oz. can tomato paste
2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. sugar
1 cup water
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil or 2 tsp. dried basil

2 lbs. ground beef or combination of ground beef, pork and veal
1 cup seasoned dry breadcrumbs
3 Tbsp. milk
2 eggs, beaten

In a skillet, heat oil on high. Saute the mushrooms, onion and garlic until softened. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, pepper and sugar. Remove 1 1/2 cups. Add water, bay leaf and basil to skillet. Simmer, uncovered for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, combine all the meatloaf ingredients with the 1 1/2 cups reserved sauce. Press into a 9X5X3" loaf. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and drain. Spread 1/2 cup of herb sauce over the top of the meatloaf and return to the oven for 15 minutes. Serve with the extra sauce over the sliced meatloaf.

Book Giveaway at Jack of all Trades!

Bitsy over at Jack of all Trades is having a book giveaway! She's giving away DA Carson's book called "Jesus' Sermon on the Mount". Head on over and sign up!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Morning Glory Muffins

When we go to Mystic Seaport in Connecticut, we love to get the muffins in the bake shop. This year, I got them the morning we left so we could have some yummy muffins and coffee as we traveled down the Mystic River to Fisher's Island Sound. I love their blueberry lemon muffins and the kids love the blueberry streusel and chocolate chip muffins but hubby loves a muffin called Morning Glory. Well, the other day I was going through an old coffee table book my mom had on table settings for different occasions and low and behold, there was a recipe for Morning Glory Muffins! So I wrote it down and I just got the ingredients today. I think I'll make them tomorrow after church and when I do, I'll let you know how it goes. They look really hearty and I think they'd be great for "running out the door to school without time for breakfast" kind of situations. So here's the recipe:

Morning Glory Muffins
from "The Perfect Setting"

Morning Glory Muffins

2 1/2 cups sugar
4 c. flour
4 tsp. cinnamon
4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup raisins, plumped in brandy and drained
1 cup coconut, shredded
4 cups shredded carrots
2 apples, shredded
1 cup chopped pecans
6 eggs
2 cups vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl. Lightly dust the raisins with flour. Add the coconut, carrots, apples and nuts and stir well. Add the eggs, oil and vanilla, stirring only until combined.

Spoon batter into muffin tins and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Muffins should "ripen" for 24 hours for maximum blending of flavors.

A most amazing site - ANY Bible you can think of, pretty much!

Wow! What a resource! Here's a site with about 200 Bible versions on it! We're talking old Bibles, new Bibles and everything in between. Wanna see the Bishop's Bible from 1568? That was one of THE Bibles before the KJV was even a twinkle in King Jimmy's eye. How about Tyndale's Bible from 1534?? Or a Bible version from around the year 1000?? How cool is that? You think the KJV is the only Bible that is not copyrighted? Well, take a look at this site and be SHOCKED! LOTS of them - so many that they had to make 2 pages. This looks like it's going to be a wonderful resource. Enjoy!!

Look Higher

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Choosing Thomas - Choosing Life

This is an amazing video - one that I think everyone should see. It's about a couple who chose life for their unborn son who was diagnosed with Trisomy 13. It shows their struggle, the sweet little boy's birth, short life and death. It also shows the love and grace that God has bestowed on us to be able to get through such a difficult situation still trusting in Him. Please let me know if you look at it.

Choosing Thomas

Just call it Lazarus

My computer is back - with a new hard drive. Thank goodness for a geeky husband AND a hubby who doesn't toss things out. He had a same vintage drive as this computer so he replaced it, and got me all set up. Fortunately, he had saved my bookmarks back in December because of changing me to this "new" computer from my old Windows98 machine so I even got all of those! Oh - and all my documents were safe because they were on the server! Woo-hoo!!

Wanna know what's even better? DH got PAID for the hours he worked on my computer! He has a client in Switzerland who shipped him this computer back in 2001 to use to test the software for their product and since he hasn't used it in a few years, it was just sitting upstairs in his office. He figured at Christmas, he could set it up for me and allow me to have a computer - and it would still be available for him to use if his client contacted him (since he's not doing the consulting full-time anymore). Well, they contacted him on Friday about a bug and he HAD to get this computer going because he needed the old operating system. So even if it weren't my computer, he still needed to resurrect it - and those were billing hours! So fixing this computer paid for our entire two week vacation. Can you imagine??? How cool is that???

So now I'm back online on my OWN computer which is so nice. I can also finally get my homeschool paperwork finished **blush**.

Monday, August 24, 2009



I'm so sad.

My "new" computer that I got at Christmas seems to have bitten the dust.

What's even sadder is that my PC is still going strong (running Windows 98 and my 2001 Mac is toast.

DH will look to work on it this week but for now, I'm on his old laptop (thank heavens for a computer geeky hubby who has lots of spare computers).

What I'll miss most are all of my bookmarks. :(

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Strong words from Mark Driscoll - but he certainly has a way with them!

Mark Driscoll is a controversial pastor at times but I have to say, he says what he means and doesn't mince words. Read the following to see:

Self-righteousness has so seeped into American Christianity that being a missionary to one’s neighbors is easily overlooked because of the sickness of our faith. How sick are we when the most popular books among American Christians are about how to get blessed by praying a small section of the Old Testament Scripture like a pagan mantra, and about the Rapture, as if the goal of the Christian life were to get more junk and leave this trailer park of a planet before God’s tornado touches down on all the sinners? Only through repentant eyes will we see that God has a plan, by the power of the Gospel of Grace, to build a community of transformed people.

— Mark Driscoll, The Radical Reformission, p. 78

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Back from vacation - pics to follow soon!

We're back from our 2 week vacation and all went great. Weather cooperated for the most part, our ports of call were fun (we got as far as Martha's Vineyard - Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven) and we got to swim a lot. Now it's time to face the music once again - and do the gazillion loads of laundry that we produced. 2 weeks with a family of 6 and me not even hand washing anything - OY!!

So I came home to over 1700 e-mails (well, actually, I got rid of over 1100 of those in Newport earlier in the week) and even my Google Reader has 455 new entries for me! YIKES!!

Well, a girl must do what she must do. Off to go through my Reader entries! Call in the National Guard if you don't see me in a few days!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Is the world ending? I'm ... shhhh....ahead of the game!!!!!

Of course, now that I said that, something will come up to ruin everything but I think we're ahead of the game a bit for getting ready to go on vacation! Yep - another vacation. DH gets 3 weeks off a year and all 3 weeks are done during the summer since we own the sailboat. Today I purchased all of the non-perishable food and put it all away already. I went through the cabinets, took off things that we won't need and made all the beds. Everyone has their towels for the first week (each person gets a fresh water towel and a salt water towel so we don't end up with a gazillion dirty towels) too. We sent our 17 year old up the mast to fix the wind vane (it tells us the wind speed and wind direction on a display at the wheel) and we got some great pictures and even a video! She had a ball going up there - DH and I about had a heart attack hoisting her there. LOL So to share what she saw, here are some pics:

Here's the video too:

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Premium Bible Giveaway

Logos Bible Software is celebrating the launch of their new online Bible by giving away 72 ultra-premium print Bibles at a rate of 12 per month for six months. The Bible giveaway is being held at and you can get up to five different entries each month! After you enter, be sure to check out Logos and see how it can revolutionize your Bible study.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

CRAZY Busy - VBS was the best one yet!

This week was our VBS week. Our church is a bit atypical to most churches in that our VBS is large. We had over 450 kids registered (not including worker's kids in nursery and PreK - VBS is for K through 6th grades) and 250+ workers. It was amazing to see God's hand at work all through the week.

I run the refreshment department. That means that I run the department that puts out over 400 kid snacks per day plus keep 2 tables of food going for all of the workers and any parents that wish to stay. To give you an idea of what we went through this week, here's a partial list:

10 large canisters of lemonade mix
1800 Oreo cookies
900 Chips Ahoy
45 1 lb. boxes of Golden Grahams
30 bags of mini marshmallows
12 bags of M&Ms (these three ingredients made up a trail mix)
1050 cups of coffee
3 gallons of milk
2 gallons of 1/2 and 1/2
12 large flavored creamers
46 Entenmann's cakes/donuts/cookies
15 cantaloupes
35 dozen bagels
15 tubs of butter
7 lbs. sugar
3000 cups

We also had a lot of donations of food so we were all pretty well stocked. I only had a few leftover Oreos and some lemonade mix left. We stayed under budget by $600, which was GREAT!!

But better than that, we collected enough money to help build an orphanage in Burkina Faso in Africa (over $5400), over 1400 toiletry items for the local needy families and we had MANY decisions for Christ (I kept hearing about them - but don't know the numbers yet). It was such an exciting week but oh, so busy! I had to be at church each day at 8:30 and never left before 1:30. Thursday I left at 4 and today (Friday), I left church at 4:45 only to return for our fair at 5:45. I had a cup of tea at home and that's it!

I'll try to post some other pictures but here's one from our opening today, and then the second picture is my "office" at church - my station in the sound booth. My job is to set up the computer to project the words and graphics on the screen and there was a LOT of that for VBS.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Strange letter we received yesterday

I was out for a lot of running around preparing for VBS yesterday and when I got home, my hubby told me to come into the kitchen. He had something to show me. It was an envelope from someone we don't know and he had opened it and handed me the contents. The first thing I saw was a car payment for my minivan that I had before the one I have now - dated July 15, 2001!! It was the envelope that I had mailed - or atleast I thought I had mailed. It was stamped but not cancelled (did you know that first class stamps are now 10 cents more expensive than 2001??). Then there was this letter:

Hello Mr. Snider,
This will certainly be an unusual letter. We purchased our car, a Sonata and my son found this under the front seat of the car the other day. Amazingly enough we've cleaned the car many times since the purchase. I hope it would be safe for me to assume this attempted payment was resolved. I thought it mght bring you some closure to where you thought you might have lost it.

On another note, this gave me an opportunity to share Christ with someone who I may never meet. Christ is Messiah dear friend, the Bible is truth, please read these tracts and if you don't know Christ has chosen to save you and grant repentance to you may He richly bless you with His gift of salvation. "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God." "...God commands all men everywhere to repent" "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life." "...unless a man be born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of heaven." "The Lord God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren, Him you shall bear."

Your friend,

How cool is that?? It's going to be fun to let him know that he contacted a pastor - but I'm sure he'd love to know that he actually introduced someone to Christ. But we'll send him a letter letting him know we got his letter and that he and my husband are brothers in Christ.

Just thought that was very interesting!

Friday, July 24, 2009

God still amazes me!

Next week is our VBS at our church. 450+ kids, 170+ workers and I get to feed them all. So this week and this weekend is the preparation and shopping so I've been super busy. In addition, I need to set up the computer for each day of VBS to project the song words, the videos of the missions project, Bible verses, etc. So, needless to say, I've not been online very much. I've been on a computer, but not online for my fun.

So anyway, I got a call from a young woman at our church who's deaf (there is a service that will take a video phone call from a deaf person and will then translate it to a hearing person that the deaf person wants to speak to. It's a pretty neat thing). She wants to help me in the kitchen for VBS and I told her to call the staffing person just to be sure that this is the best department for her (I thought it would be since working with the kids would be hard when she's deaf and none of the kids know ASL). She called me back twice yesterday saying that she couldn't get a hold of the lady and what should she do? I called her and told her just to come to the kitchen on Monday - it's great if she can help us out. Now this young lady reads lips really well - but she has a hard time communicating to the hearing so I was a little worried abour our communicating but I know a few bits of sign language and there's a big white board in the kitchen that I can use to write notes. Things will work OK.

At our "dry run" (the final meeting of all VBS staff before VBS), one of the ladies was saying that she wished she could take the coffee that I was about to dump home because she had house guests and they like coffee but this lady didn't have any coffee maker. So I told her that I had a spare and I'd bring it over that afternoon. I went to her house to deliver it and met the house guests - really nice couple with 3 kids. The mom asked if she could help in the kitchen too since her kids would be attending VBS and their hostess would be working with me too and I said "Sure!" Many hands make light work, right? So I finally said that I needed to get to church to set up the computer for the deaf church and the houseguest wife seemed surprised. "You have a deaf church??" and I explained the situation. She thought it was so cool because her own parents are deaf and her dad is a pastor. He'd love to have a church to lead like that.

"Wait. Your parents are deaf??? That means you know ASL." says I. "Yeah, I do" says she. Me suddenly yelling in triumph, "YES!!!" Everyone was shocked - until I told them that just an hour before I told a young deaf woman that she can work in the kitchen with us even though I wasn't sure how we'd communicate. But here God provided an interpreter - from clear across the country! How AMAZING is that???

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A review of my day "Off"

Well, it was a glorious day - rain and all. I felt SOOOO unpressured, so unhurried, so .... calm. So what did I do on my day "off"?? I went through 12 years of homeschooling supplies, 3 bookcases were organized, children's September books are all set in the bookcase, and about 1/3 of the books that I don't need are listed at VegSource, with the rest to follow over the next few day. I did run out to purchase some Greek salad and a spinach pie (I've been craving them for days so I figured "why not??") and some things from the drug store but otherwise I was home. It was wonderful.

But of course all good things must come to an end. Today will be super busy and a day mostly out of the house. I need to go to my ob/gyn's office (there's a billing issue with my old insurance company), church (need to get a cash advance for VBS), Target (Lauren stepped on Robby's favorite Bakugon so she's going to buy him some more - and we all need some new undies), Costco (buying for VBS's "dry run" tomorrow), supermarket (again for dry run). Tonight I need to go to church to do some training on the new computer system (I do NOT like being the only one who knows how to run it - we need more people!!), so dinner will be early. I'm thinking of purchasing dinner at Costco - a rotisserie chicken and salad would be yummy and cheap!

So, back to the real world. :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A day "off" for mom!

I don't know how summer is for everyone else but at our home, summer is BUSY. Our church really ramps up for the summer with lots of activities for the kids so I find I'm running all over all the time. There was youth week to start (teens out all week at activities and the nightly meeting), then we went on vacation for a week (lots of planning, shopping, loading stuff on the boat, etc.). As soon as we got back, we went right into MiniDOZ which is the dance/tambourine worship camp for the girls (my two older ones were teachers and my little one was one of the campers). Now this week is a week "off" but it's the week before VBS which is a busy week for me since I feed all 450 kids and 160 workers. We also have dry run this Thursday so I need to have food ready for that. Next week will be VBS, then we have a few days before we go on our 2 weekk vacation which of couse means more planning, shopping, loading stuff on the boat. Once we get home, I'll have about 13 loads of laundry to do, will need to get school stuff ready to go, and just get ready for the fall. So my summer is quite busy.

So in all of that, I started feeling REALLY overwhelmed last week - almost to the point of tears. I decided that today, Tuesday, would be my day "off" of any responsibility. My plan was to not even leave the house but I think that I may go to a new Greek place for lunch with hubby. But otherwise, I'm not leaving the house and I'm not even going to make dinner! Hubby will bring home a great dinner from a Mexican place we love and it's cheap - only $20 which will feed all 6 of us easily with leftovers. What's really funny is that because I'm home, I'm motivated to get things done! I never feel motivated to do a lot of stuff around the house when I'm out of it all the time but today? I've got a to-do list a mile long but I'm not pressuring myself to get it done! What freedom!! I love it!

So I'm off to enjoy my day "off". I think I'm first going to clean off the homeschool bookcase and put in all of the new books that came yesterday. I'll toss in a load of laundry too. Ahhhhh - I'm loving life today. Oh! And God gave me a gift! It's cold and rainy today - so no guilt about not taking the kids to the pool! LOL

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Praise in the Park

We had a WONDERFUL day today for our church's "Praise in the Park". We rent the gazebo in the village park and do worship, have some creative arts stuff and promote our VBS too. It was wonderful to worship the Creator on such a gorgeous day (low 80s, no humidity and right on the water - PERFECT). Here are a few clips to share with you.

This is my hubby (in the white polo playing keyboard) leading worship:

These are the little girls who did the tambourine worship camp. It's amazing watching these little ones learn the patterns - which each have a verse and a purpose for the movements and the girls needed to learn all of this stuff too! These are kids from Kindergarten through high school (the high schoolers are the teachers in the green - those are the girls who do this stuff in worship)

Here's another worship song. My daughter is the singer with the short dark hair. :)

Finally, the funny skit for promoting VBS. These guys will be doing the skit in VBS each day. "Buff" is a youth intern (works in the youth department with the youth pastors), "Dan the Man" is one of the youth pastors, "Gordo" (the dorkey guy) is a character that was in our kids' program during the year - he's a kid going off to Moody Bible Institute to become a pastor, possibly to the deaf. Finally, "Chanel" is a young woman who'd studying the arts and is a big help in dramas during the summer. Her mom is the head of the "DOZ", the tambourine worship.

Finish to a busy week

MAN was this week ever busy! We had 2 camps going on at church - MiniDOZ (a tambourine praise camp for young girls) and basketball camp. We thought this would be a nice easy week since our oldest is now driving but were we ever wrong! It was still running here, running there, hospitality, scrambling for dinners, and just a lot of chaos, IMO. I don't like chaos. I also don't like being pulled away from home all the time. I MUCH prefer to just be home and do stuff around here. My poor house has suffered this week and I have tomorrow to clean it up. SIGH

But we also had a lot of fun this week. Early in the week, we took our our guest pastor from last Sunday on the boat and we had a wonderful visit. The weather looked like it was going to be really bad (very windy) but it turned into an evening with a wonderful sail and lots of great food. We then took out another crew on Wednesday afternoon and again, had a wonderful time. This time was with a man who was helping at our basketball camp and two friends of his. This guy was a former Harlem Globetrotter, so he later in the week showed Robby some of his tricks. VERY cool. I had a great time on that sail because he brought his 2.5 year old daughter with him and she was ADORABLE. She was so funny - wanting to do "siwwy" things (silly). It made me ever so slightly think "Hmmm - another baby??" LOL

This week was also a time to watch my two older girls be mentors/teachers/spiritual "older women" to the young girls who were in their care. Both girls are leaders and had to deal with some situations that really showed their maturity. My 17 year old had a young girl (she had first graders - girls going into first grade) who didn't want to learn the patterns for the dance because she wasn't going to be there at the end on the last day. My DD explained to her - and to the other girls - that it's not about performing but about worshipping the Creator and even in how we do our practice and learning will be a form of worship to Him. The little girl "got" it and my DD told me that her entire attitude changed and now she was wholeheartedly learning the patterns so she could do it easily and then focus on God. How awesome is it to see our children walking in the Light! :)

Well, I'm off to church now. This afternoon, we will be in our village park with our worship team (DH leading it), the young girls doing one song and some other skits (promoting VBS) and drama. Should prove to be an amazing day and I thank God for the absolutely PERFECT weather we have for today. God is so good, isn't He?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Oh the best laid plans.....

Sunday - steak, mashed potatoes, cucumber salad
Monday - chicken picatta, angel hair pasta, green beans
Tuesday - wine-braised Italian sausages, salad
Wednesday - hot dogs, burgers, grilled onions, salads
Thursday - Indonesian pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes, peas
Friday - 5 cheese mac and cheese
Saturday - chicken sausages on the grill, black bean and corn salad

I had a good start for my menu planning on Sunday. I went food shopping on Sunday and we're all set with food. Then the week started. Last night was supposed to be the chicken picatta but we had a guest pastor in to preach this week and we took him out sailing instead. I picked up Subway footlongs and a bunch of deli salads so that's what we had instead. We had the chicken picatta tonight and it was yummy anyway. :) We'll see how the rest of the week unfolds. We're taking someone out on the boat again tomorrow at noon - and I'm not sure what time we'll be back. Maybe I'll get everything chopped and ready to go so we'll have time to eat before we all need to be at church.

It's nice to be able to be flexible though! AND it's been a pleasure to get to know some new friends. :)

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Well, our vacation is over - although the memories (and laundry) still linger. :) We had a wonderful time with the trip and were surprised by the very cool weather! Thursday's high was just 67 degrees - unheard of as even a low for July on Long Island! We went on the 4th to New Haven, CT to see fireworks (it was a very industrial area - not a fun destination except for the fireworks but it was fine), then we headed to our favorite harbor - Hamburg Cove, CT. Hamburg Cove is off the Connecticut River about 8 miles up from Long Island Sound. It's a fresh water cove so we did a LOT of swimming despite the cool temps. We stayed there two nights and then headed down the river a mile to Essex where we stayed at the Yacht Club and had a nice dinner at the Grizwald Inn (even though it POURED as we were going there and were soaked as we ate dinner). After Essex and it's rain and thunderstorms, we headed back to the Island and Greenport where my ILs live. We stayed on a dock there which was wonderful because we had wifi and full electric so we ran everything including the 3 computers we had on board! LOL We stayed in Greenport Wednesday and Thursday nights then headed to Port Jefferson, NY for our last night and were home by 2PM on Saturday to our mooring. As I said, now it's time to deal with the aftermath but it's not too bad since this was only a 1 week trip. Now our 2 week trip? THAT creates a lot of work afterwards! LOL

So without further ado, I leave you with some pics:

We bring all of our own food so that we don't have to take a family of 6 out to a restaurant (easily $150 no matter how frugal we try to do it). Here's what our galley (kitchen) looked like as we left the dock:

Here's my bed with all of our duffles:

Robby and JoJo processing their duffles and stuff. We put it all away in a locker (closet) on the left. I don't like to keep duffles out because it just seems to make more of a mess.

Robby, JoJo and I looking at something - don't know what it is:

Robby, the First Mate, navigating for the captain.

Here's JoJo swimming in Hamburg Cove:

Bob and I at the Griswald. My FIL graciously treats us to dinner here each time we're in Essex.

Lauren and Nicole at the Griz:

Robby and Joanna at the Griz:

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Want to get to heaven? Have we got a deal for you!

Act now!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rain and vacation planning - VERY pic heavy!

**Looks like you'll have to click on the pics to see them larger. Sorry about that!

OK - The weather man said that as of last night, we have had 4 full days that didn't have a drop of rain this month. That means 14 days had some form of rain in Central Park (our measurement for the metro NY area). This getting beyond out of hand. I think I have mushrooms growing out of my hair (I don't bother to style it in this - why do it if it's going to end up as a giant frizzball in an hour anyway??). SIGH Oh - and the 5 day forecast? Ummm - yeah. Rain. UGH!!

So in the midst of all of this rain, I realized that we are leaving for our first boat vacation of the year in 2 weeks and 2 days! YIKES!! That means I need to get my planning done - and I really SHOULD get to the boat to do the full cleaning. It's just not even really been great weather for me to think about it yet! I cleaned the galley (kitchen) and I cleaned the "forward head" (bathroom). I still need to clean the rest of everything and then begin loading things onboard. I REALLY don't want to be stuck with the massive provisioning at the last minute this year. You think it's bad to put all your food away after grocery shopping? Try having to find places for it on a boat! It's crazy!

So you think "Boat?? FUN!!" It really is but it's also a lot of work. Think of it this way. The boat is 42 feet long but the interior is maybe 38 useable feet (the extra is in the bow - the front pointy part of the boat, and a bit in the stern - the very back of the boat). The boat is just shy of 14 feet wide but that is at it's widest point. Remember that a boat is tapered at the front, gets wide towards the middle then gets smaller again at the back. In addition, the sides of the boat are not straight up and down but sloped so the interior useable space is approximately 10 feet. So our "house" for 6 people is 380 square feeet. In that space, we have enough sleeping space for 6 (two "double" beds and a "queen"), two heads (one is like a 1/2 bath, one is a 3/4 with a shower), a galley (kitchen) with a refrigerator, freezer, microwave, oven and 3 burner stove - oh and a double sink! We have our living room/dining room/family room/spare bed right next to the galley and then our outside "porch". Sounds like lots but I can get a drink of water from the kitchen from my master bed. ROTFL! Add to that the fact that hour "house" moves - sometimes quite roughly and you end up with a very interesting time. But I have to say, we've had some wonderful times with this boat and I thank God that the boat was bought and paid for by the time our income dropped. :) So our vacations cost us what we pay in food (granted, our food bill is higher on the boat than on land) and the cost of wherever we stay. There are times that cost is free and times we need to pay for a mooring or a dock. But we try to keep costs as low as possible since...we've just not got it. LOL

So for a tour of our boat, we begin with the inside of the boat. Remember I said living room/dining room/family room/spare bed? That's literally what it is.

Now, opposite that side is the galley or kitchen. Here is my daughter making lunch. Realize that if she steps back, she'll bump into the seat from the living room/dining room/family room/spare bed.

Here's another view of the living room/dining room/family room/spare bed. This is DH doing navigation for our day's travels. The computer interfaces with the GPS and autopilot so we can tell the boat to go to a particular place and it will follow the course set for it on the computer (important if there are land masses in the way).

Next we'll see the "bedrooms". Yes, we have 3 bedrooms on this boat. However, as you see in the next two pictures, they consist of a double bed wall to wall on 3 sides and literally 1.5 square feet of floor. There is also a small closet and a seat in each one. First is the little one's room which is under the "cockpit" or outside seating area of the boat. The second one is on the opposite side of the boat and a mirror image of the other one. This is my girls sleeping one morning.

I don't have a good picture of my "master stateroom" but here's a pic of me in bed reading a book. The large cream colored post next to me is the mast going through the boat to the bottom and immediately next to the empty pillow next to me is the side wall of the boat. We have a wall at our head and a wall at our feet - quite cozy. :)

This is the only picture we have of the master "head" which is just past our bedroom. You can see our bed in blue on the left and on the right is a closet, a cabinet and some drawers. Since the angle of the boat is consistent through the whole thing, the bottom "drawer" is only 3" deep. LOL

Outside the boat is another seating/dining area as well as steering and such. This area is called the cockpit and we eat out here unless the weather is really bad. Here we are I think on the night we had some clams we caught ourselves. You don't see shells because when you're done with a clam, you just toss the shell overboard!

Speaking of those clams, here's how we cooked them. It's our BBQ that hangs off the back and runs off of those small propane tanks you use for camp stoves. It works great!

Just a few more pictures of some scenes from outside the boat. Our favorite destination is Mystic Seaport in Connecticut. It's an amazing place of history and learning and we get to stay right on the property (well, their water - LOL). See our view?? That large black boat behind us is the Charles W. Morgan, the only wooden whaling ship left in the world.

A misty morning in Mystic:

At Block Island, RI, there is a boat that comes around twice a day through all of the boats delivering baked goods and coffee in the morning and bread, chowder, raw seafood and desserts at night. He calls out "Andiamo" which means "let's go" in Italian. His boat's name? "I gotta no change". LOL

Finally, here are two pictures of me and my little ones. What a wonderful bonding experience living in 380 feet for 3 weeks gives us!