Thursday, November 17, 2011

Money Saving Mom

I follow Crystal at Money Saving Mom in my Google Reader and she has SO many great tips, links and stuff on her site.  I am constantly either saving money or getting freebies in the mail because of her.  She also posts info on deals at CVS/Walgreens/Rite Aid and other stores that will save money in a big way by stacking deals and coupons together.  It's a GREAT blog to follow.

Now she has written a book!  The book is called The Money Saving Mom's Budget and it's a book that I'm definitely looking forward to.  Money is tight around here with two kids in college and working on a pastor's salary and I'm sure there will be so many great tips and info in this book.  In addition, she also has a freezer book which I am really looking forward to getting now that I have a freezer again!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Winter seems to be coming fast!

Wow.  What a fall we've had!!  It's been beautiful weather but we've already had snow and that happened before Halloween!!  But now it's getting cool, I'd say that we're past peak on the leaves and we're quickly approaching Thanksgiving which OH so quickly leads to Christmas in these parts.

Things have been going well.  Lauren is healthy as can be and is doing great.  She's due for another CT scan and we'll see how she's doing where we can't see but I trust that all is fine in there.  It's hard to believe it's been 6 months already!!

Nicole is going to be in our church musical with a main role with a lot of singing.  Her voice is really maturing and getting stronger as she has been singing so much and I can't wait to see her in her debut!!  :)  She's been leading worship at church many Sundays but now everyone else can get to hear her!

The new church campus is going along well but we're not growing right now.  We're all praying for how we can best reach our community to let them know we are there and how we can make an impact for Jesus Christ in Holtsville.  Please pray with us that all of those who have not heard the Gospel will hear it somehow through us or the other evangelical churches in the area.

Other than that, we're just going along with life.  Still homeschooling, still working at church, still riding, still loving my life.  I'm really feeling so greatly blessed right now and it's even hard to express how at peace I am - even though not everything is perfect.  God is good and He's on the throne.  Amen!

Oh - and for your viewing pleasure, I present you our little friend who I found in our yard today.  I have to say that announcing at 7 am "There is a young buck in our yard" really is a GREAT way to get everyone out of bed!  LOL

Monday, September 26, 2011

Organizing Goals

Once again, I need to keep working on getting life/home organized.  I've made up a short list of things I want to do this week.

First up is our garage.  My goal is to get two cars in the garage this winter and we need two new garage doors as well.  My friend owns a garage door company so he will take care of that but until then, I need to work on getting the garage cleaned out.  Our freezer died when Lauren was in the hospital in April and, unfortunately, we put stuff where the freezer was so I have to go through those bins and get rid of the things there to make room for a new freezer that we will hopefully get in the next couple of weeks.  So #1 job is to begin organizing the garage and at least making it that there is a space for the new freezer.

#2 is our game closet.  We have a hall closet full of games and "stuff" (costumes, Easter stuff, etc.) and I want to go through that and consolidate.  I know we don't need some of the games so I will pass the on to other families.

#3 is my utensil drawer in the kitchen next to my silverware.  It's a mishmosh of stuff and I can't find anything without removing a bunch of things so I'd really like to get this taken care of.

#4 is a table of baskets in our den.  I think this has become a trash repository so it's time to clean it up!

#5 is the desk in our den.  It's a mess, plain and simple.

These are this week's organizational goals.  I really want to get them all done!!  Next week maybe I'll get to the basement a bit because I'd love for that to be cleaned up as well.  :)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Happy Anniversary!!

Today was our anniversary celebration of our church campus!  One year ago this week, we started this new little church and God has done great things and also challenged us a lot.  It's neat because we came with a launch team who committed one year to this work and about 85% of the people will be staying on with us!!  Praise God!!  We have 7 new believers who were not saved this time last year and I trust that God will use us to bring more to Him.  Here's a picture of our launch team from last year.  What a great group of friends and co-horts!  LOL

I pray that God will use us to bring His Name to the community of Holtsville and that there will be a great heritage left from this humble beginning.  God is so good!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Reuseable Grocery Bags

I've gone through a change with my reuseable grocery bags.  I had been using those tote bags that you can get at the store for 99 cents that are kind of a fabric but I always stored them in the way back of my minivan because they were so bulky to store and then I'd always forget to take them with me.  But then I found something awesome and I will never go back.

Introducing Baggu.  These are lightweight, nylon bags that hold a ton, hold up perfectly well and store in a small drawstring bag.  I bought the set of 5 of them in blue and they are amazing!!  The drawstring bag is pretty small - small enough for me to store in the front of my van next to my tissues and I will never have to forget them now!!  I just tossed them all in the washing machine and they came out as perfect as when I first got them.  I've been using them for about 9 months now and I can't see them wearing out anytime soon whereas my old bags would fall apart the first time I'd wash them.  Oh - and you NEED to wash your reuseable bags because they hold a lot of icky germs and we need to keep them clean.

I've used these bags for the groceries (I can easily put $100 worth of groceries in these 5 bags) and for so many other things!  Beach trips, laundry, work, etc.  I love them and while they are not cheap, they are WELL worth the money if you actually remember to use them and NOT have your groceries fall through a worn out bag.  :)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Organizing Update and It's Our Anniversary! (well, almost)

Well, I'm doing pretty well with getting organized but life keeps stepping in and side-tracking me!  But today I cleaned up the bookshelf at the top of our staircase where I keep school supplies.  It's outside the girls' room and they are the only ones upstairs so that hallway is a mess but I got the shelves cleaned and a lot of stuff tossed out.  Now to get the girls to clean the hall and we're in good shape up there!!!

Yesterday we celebrated with our launch team our one year anniversary and it was fantastic.  I have to say that this is the best team of people ever and we are greatly blessed to be working alongside of them.  The kids all had a great time swimming and we just enjoyed each others' company.  We look forward to the new year and what God has in store for us.  Our team has changed it's name from the "launch team" to the "ministry team" because we consider ourselves launched.  LOL  We've had lots of ups and downs but God is faithful and is leading us in where to go next.

Speaking of our launch team, could you please pray for a family on our team?  Jack and Nancy have been faithful workers and an integral part of the team.  They have two children, John who is 18 and has Aspergers and Jennifer who is best friends with my daughter and she is 9.  Nancy has battled many health problems and fell just over a month ago.  She broke her leg and had to have surgery to put in pins and she was in a wheelchair to get around while she recovered.  Well, just a couple of weeks ago, she had a seizure and died suddenly - most likely from a blood clot from her injury.  The poor family has had to deal with the sudden loss of a beloved wife and mother and just yesterday on the way to church, they had a serious automobile accident!  Fortunately, everyone is OK but their car is most likely totaled and since John was driving and it was his fault, their insurance rates are going to go through the roof and they are not well-off financially.  Please pray for peace, comfort and strength to all of the family.  They are great believers and have that assurance that they will see Nancy again but it is still so hard.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


So my life is a mess.  I admit it.  To some, I seem very organized but I'm far from it.  We have too much stuff - stuff we really don't need.  So I'm embarking on a project.  I am going to commit to doing something to organize my life each day of the week, taking Sunday off.  It doesn't matter if it's just straightening a drawer or cleaning a whole garage - SOMETHING must be done each day.

Today was my bedroom.  Well, a corner of the bedroom.  I am cleaning from my bed, over through my nightstand, through a giant pile of things (that I've since cleaned out and moved the bookshelf to this area), around the bend, to the bookshelf (moved), and then to my dresser.  As I said, I moved the bookshelf and I got one of those plastic drawer things to hold my bras since they wouldn't fit in my dresser so they just ended up - everywhere.  Now they are stored away.  I also cleaned off the bookshelf and took off books that I don't want to keep and will bring them to church to give away.  I sorted through a bunch of paperwork and have a pile to shred and another pile that went into the trash.  I was able to vacuum this side of my room and I feel good.  I still need to finish the stuff in front of the dresser but now it's my time to go ride.  :D

But I promise myself that I will do this daily so that I can have some semblance of order in my life.  Oh PLEASE God - let me stick to this!

Happy September!

Yes, it's been the whole summer since I last posted.  Oh my!!  So much happened this summer with church activities, the death of dear ones, vacation, etc.   I started out the summer going to Camp Cedarbrook in the Adirondacks to help work with their horses and had a fantastic time there.  It's so beautiful there and the horses were wonderful - plus it's fun just being "Ann" for a while.  After the week I was there, we flowed right into the Mother/Daughter weekend with Nicole (19) and Joanna (8) coming up and my friend Lisa and her daughter spoke.  It was a wonderful weekend.

Joanna at archery

After camp, we got home on Sunday and went away overnight on the boat Monday, July 4th.  We saw some great fireworks and had a wonderful time but came home to the terrible news that our friend's son fell while skateboarding and had a critical head injury.  The next week found us doing a lot of hospital time, encouraging, praying, crying and working with our dear friends as they decided to let their handsome 19 year old son go home to be with the Lord.  It breaks my heart and I have kept them in my prayers constantly.  Even yesterday, I went to Pep Boys for a new battery for my van and I prayed for Nelson and Charlotte because that's where Vince worked.  :(  Please keep them in prayer as they adjust to having lost their only child.  They are strong in the Lord which helps but it's still devastating to lose your baby boy!

This pic is my daughter's friend Juliana on the left, Vince in the center and my daughter Nicole on the right

Right after Vince passed away, we had our basketball camp and dance camp at church.  That kept us hopping each evening but thank heavens my daughters could drive and all of the kids were involved so it kept hubby and I from having to run all over the place.  We had a number of nice date nights that week!

Nicole leading the girls in the tambourine worship

After camps, we had a week off to "rest" and get ready for the next event at church which was our biggest thing we do - VBS!!  It was a great week with 500 kids registered, 200+ workers and a ton of parents all being fed by me!  It was so much fun and we really made an impact with these kids.  Many heard about Jesus for the first time and there were many who were saved that week.  Praise God - He is so good!!

Ooops!  No pics of VBS!!  Sorry!

So after VBS, we had one week to get ready for our vacation - and clean up from VBS.  We had a wonderful vacation of almost three weeks on our sailboat where we went to Newport, RI, Block Island, RI, Martha's Vineyard and places in between.  We had a bit of a time getting home because of some bad weather and we HAD to be home because Hurricane Irene was coming!  But we did it, got home, got ready for the storm and weathered it well.  :)

Sunset in Cuttyhunk, MA

Now we are home, it's the other side of the hurricane/tropical storm and we are doing great.  School started for Lauren (21) and the rest will go back next Wednesday (the 7th).  I'm trying to get my life organized and catch up on things that have been put by the wayside.   Life is always running and sometimes I need to stop and get things cleaned up before the next thing comes!

So that's us in a nutshell this summer.  :)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A little church fun

As I walked into the hotel this morning, this is what I was greeted with.  I grabbed my camera and started taping!!  LOL

Monday, May 30, 2011

Solid Pseudopapillary Neoplasm

That was the diagnosis we heard regarding a large tumor on my daughter's pancreas.  But let me back up...

At the end of March, my 21 year old daughter had what we thought was the stomach virus.  Thursday, March 31st, she had about 12 hours of severe vomiting but it got better and she was fine all weekend.  Monday afternoon, she called me from school that she was sick again and I told her to come home if she couldn't make it (she commutes 30 miles from home).  She vomited 5x on her way home and continued to vomit until around 3 am.  I had been ready to take her to the ER but she was feeling better so we let it go.  Thursday, April 7th found her vomiting again, waking me up at around 6:30 in the morning that she was sick again and now her right side hurt so I thought maybe it was her appendix so off to the ER we went.  She continued vomiting while we were there and it was after her CT scan that we learned more.  She had torn a hole in her esophagus from vomiting so severely and she had air in her chest.  She also had a hemangioma on her liver but that was most likely nothing to worry about.  Her gallbladder showed a gallstone and some sludge in it and the big issue was an 8.5 cm mass on her pancreas.  HUH?? WHAT??? MASS ON HER PANCREAS??  This was the beginning of a long road.

Our hospital is a decent local hospital but this mass was too much for them so they decided to transfer us to a larger hospital on Long Island.  However, since it was Thursday afternoon, it was really not worth transferring her at this point because they would do nothing on the weekend for her so it was decided that she would stay at our hospital.  This was a great blessing because the hospital was close to home (20 minutes away) and since she was just 21, they put her on the pediatric floor which was very quiet all weekend.  Another blessing was that a friend of mine was the nurse on overnight and I felt as comfortable leaving Lauren with her as if she was my own mom.  The whole time Lauren was at this hospital, she continued to be very ill with severe vomiting and they were giving her so much medicine to try to stop it so that her esophagus could heal and that she further wouldn't injure it.  They finally gave her ativan, which totally knocked her out but also knocked out the vomiting quite a bit.  This was her first period of time that she was her sickest.

As the weekend progressed, we really were getting a sense that we should do some homework and find her a good - no GREAT doctor.  We had no idea how to go about this but in the end, after speaking to people and doing online research, we decided we wanted her in New York Presbyterian.  We told the gastroenterologist and he did what he could.  We found out within hours that Lauren was accepted into New York Presbyterian and their Pancreas Center.  Praise God!!  Even the pediatrician on the floor let out a "YES" and pumped his fist when he heard this.  So it was just time to wait on a bed.  Within 24 hours, she was in an ambulance being transferred to the city and our time at New York Pres/Columbia Medical Center began.

We got there late - around 11 pm and quickly got settled in a room.  I ended up staying with Lauren because I just didn't know what was going on there yet and all through the night, I was getting info on Lauren's next step.  I met the gastroenterologist on Tuesday morning (she had been transferred on Monday night) and she went in for what is called an EUS (endoscopic ultrasound).  What they did was to do an endoscopy where they put Lauren to sleep and put a camera down into her stomach and from inside her stomach, they used a needle to get a few samples of the pancreatic tumor to find out what we were dealing with.  The gastroenterologist was pretty sure we were dealing with a solid pseudopapillary tumor but without the biopsy, we couldn't be sure.  After the procedure, the doctor came out and said "It's not what I thought it was.  I'm not sure what it is but I don't believe it's cancer."  We had to wait a few days to get the results of the biopsy but on Wednesday, the doctors were speaking of sending Lauren home because she was not ready for surgery.  You see, it seems that she had a reaction to the CT contrast which affected her thyroid which sent her heart rate through the roof (just moving in bed would send it to 170), and they were also not comfortable doing general anesthesia where they would have intubate her (put a tube in her throat to help her to breathe) and possibly further damage the esophagus.  They decided to send Lauren home on Thursday and we would follow up locally with an endocrinologist who could watch her thyroid levels and when she was stable, we'd go back in to the hospital.  So home we came with strict instructions for Lauren to rest.  It was great to have her home again but we still had to face the hurdle of the surgery.

One prayer we had during this time that Lauren was home was that she would be able to go back into the hospital easily because these doctors were not on our insurance and we would have had to try to get them to accept us going there again.  Well, Monday morning after Easter (about 10 days after she was released), Lauren woke me up at 2:30 in the morning with severe nausea and pain.  I figured it was probably the gallbladder and told her to try to make it through but finally at 3:30 am, we left for New York Pres.  It made no sense to go to our local hospital because I knew they couldn't do anything for her and ultimately, we wanted the doctors who already knew her history so it was a no brainer to go back to NYP.  After 14 hours in the ER, the doctor said that it WAS her gallbladder and that she could go home to continue recovering but then the surgeon and gastroenterologist stepped in and said WAIT!!!  We want her admitted so by 9:30 that night, she was in a beautiful room overlooking the Hudson and the George Washington Bridge.  Man, we had NO idea we'd be there for over 2 weeks!!

Tuesday morning, we saw the surgeon and he said that Lauren would have her surgery the next day since she was there and ready.  Wednesday, the surgery went well, although it took them 2 hours to get big enough IVs in her because she has such tiny veins!  They finally had to put in a central line (an IV catheter in the jugular vein) in order to do the surgery!  But the tumor and a few centimeters of pancreas were removed (the tumor was in the tail of the pancreas), her spleen and gallbladder were removed easily.  She lost very little blood - just 5 oz. according to the surgery report!!  She woke from the operation and did very well for the first few days.  Wednesday was still nothing by mouth, Thursday was clear fluids which she tolerated well and finally, Friday found her eating real food.  This was the beginning of "hell week" for her.

After eating a lunch of turkey and green beans, Lauren started vomiting.  Basically, she vomited steadily for the next week, not being able to keep anything down.  For a time she could keep liquids down but even that stopped staying down by Tuesday.  Many tests were done to try to figure out why she was having such a hard time but nothing showed up that would cause this sort of vomiting!  Tuesday was her worst day and everyone on the floor would come in to see if she needed anything - all except her nurse.  For some reason, that was the day we had a terrible nurse and I was sure to report her because there was just no excuse for how we were treated.  We were not treated meanly but were almost ignored and it was not a good thing at all.  So, anyway, by Thursday, she had kept nothing down for a whole week and it was decided to put in a PICC line (a "super IV" that has a catheter that goes in your upper arm and goes to a larger blood vessel near your heart) so that she could receive TPN (supplemental nutrition through the IV).  It was bad.  Friday morning, Bob called me and told me to get her to think about other things by playing the Bible on iPod or something but I told him that all she was doing at this point was sleeping (because she was now on ativan every night which makes one very sleepy) and he broke down.  He was so upset and worried that she might die so he decided he was coming in too.  Up until now, I was the one who was in the hospital most of the time and he would come in some days and would spell me on Saturdays so I could rest and get some things done around the house.  So he came in the late afternoon and told me that a friend was coming in as well and we'd pray over Lauren and anoint her with oil as per James 5.  Jim got there around 9:30 and we all prayed over Lauren and Bob anointed her and we said "goodnight".  I asked her to take a sip of some chamomile tea I had made for her but she said she was afraid because it would come up again.  That broke my heart.

Saturday morning, Bob went into the hospital early and walked in around 8:30 am to Lauren eating an Italian ice and having some juice!!  The doctor came in a short while later and said, "Something changed last night and we don't know what it was."  Lauren was doing MUCH better!!  The doctors were amazed and told me the next day (Sunday) that they have no idea why Lauren was better but she was.  It was so clear!!  They disconnected her from the TPN on Monday morning and by Tuesday morning, we just had to wait for them to remove the PICC line and she was released!!   Her stomach was still sensitive to things and she had to be careful, and we went home with prescriptions for the two meds that seemed to help her (reglan and nexium) but she was seriously better!  We came home Tuesday and Lauren vomited Wednesday morning when she took the reglan (an anti-nausea med) on an empty stomach and then she vomited again on Thursday morning when she ate too much oatmeal but that was the last time she vomited!

A week after she was released from the hospital, we went back in for her check-up with the surgeon and for her to get some innoculations she needed since she lost her spleen.  The doctor once again said that he had no idea why she got better and he felt that the vomiting issue was not part of the surgical issue but he still had no idea what it could be from.  She got a clean bill of health and she should no longer need to go into NYP.  We got her in with a local internist and I had her see the doctor on Thursday of that week so that we have an established relationship should anything happen.  If Lauren gets any infections, she needs to go on antibiotics quickly so having a doctor that knows what's going on is important.  In the future, she will need to have a yearly CT scan to make sure that there is no re-occurance and that she stays healthy.   The solid psudopapillary neoplasm - what the tumor was - is not benign but it's not yet cancerous.  From what we read, in the future it most likely would have turned into pancreatic cancer - probably the most deadly cancer out there.

So the question of the day is:  why all the vomiting??  I do believe that there was a two-fold purpose for that severe suffering Lauren experienced.  First off, without the vomiting, we would have never found out about this tumor.  Who knows how long it would have been before we found it?  When it was cancerous?  When it was risking a pregnancy?  We just don't know but it was a blessing that it was found when it could be treated - and treated by some of the top doctors in the country.  But then the tumor was removed so why did the vomiting continue?  Well, I certainly won't know the absolute answer until I'm standing with her Creator and can ask Him directly but I do know some further purposes it served.  One is that we had to fully rely on God and His comfort.  To hear one of the top pancreatic surgeons in the country say "I don't know what else to do", it's very difficult as a mom.  But we know God.  We know that He is good and we know that He loves Lauren even more than we do.  We so didn't want to lose Lauren but if we did, we knew it was God's plan and that Lauren would gain from it.  We were beyond ourselves during this time and had no place to go but God.  He sustained us through a very difficult time.  Additionally, who got the glory for this girl being better?  Not the doctors, even though they did a wonderful thing in operating on her.  But there is no question at all in anyone's mind who healed Lauren.  It was God.  Clear as day.  We were faithful to the Word of God and God chose to heal Lauren.  It's amazing to think that one Friday, Lauren was so ill that she couldn't drink and Bob was wondering if she was going to die and the very next Friday, Lauren was cleaning her room and arguing with her sister!!  God used that vomiting and severe illness to absolutely bring glory to His name.  What a humbling place to be!!

Since Lauren's illness, so many people have asked how she is.  She's doing great.  You would not know that anything at all was wrong with her if you saw her!  But what I find interesting is that I'm hearing from my friends who work at the hospital how the doctors and nurses are asking about her and they too will be able to hear the story of God's healing when it was beyond the doctor's reach.  We serve a truly amazingly awesome God!!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

ABCs of Me

I saw a friend do this and thought it would be fun!

Age:  46
Bed Size:  Queen
Chore I hate: Cleaning bathrooms
Dogs: Had one but she was put to sleep at 18 and since hubby is actually allergic to dogs, we've never replaced her.  We DO have a bunny who thinks he's a dog, though.
Essential Item for the start of my day:  Tea
Favorite color:  For decorating, it's green.  For wearing, it's black.
Gold or sliver?  Silver
Height:  5'3"
Instruments I play:  I used to play guitar but haven't played for years.
Job Title:  Mom, teacher, pastor's wife and media tech.
Kids:  Lauren, Nicole, Robby and Joanna
Live:  Long Island
Mom’s name:  Patsy - she passed away in '99
Nicknames:  Annie (from everyone), and an OLD nickname "Maime Durkin" by my Uncle Joey
Overnight hospital stays: 4 times for babies (90, 92, 00 and 02) plus staying in the hospital 2 nights with Lauren after her pancreatic tumor diagnosis
Pet peeve:  OH so many!!  Fresh kids, tailgaters, people throwing trash out of their cars are just a few.
Quote from a movie: Ours is better.  It goes to 11!
Right- or left-handed?  Right
Siblings:  Joe and Walt
Time I wake up:  About 8 am although I have periods of time where I wake up really early for some reason.
Underwear:  Absolutely!
Vegetables I dislike: pretty much just brussel sprouts
What makes me run late: my kids
Xrays I’ve had done:  head, teeth, shoulder, chest, pelvis
Yummy food I make:  You'd have to ask my family but I do have a number of great recipes that they all love.  They are all at my food blog -
Zoo animal that is my favorite:  All of them?  I love animals!

Friday, May 20, 2011


Again, it's been a long time - a LONG time.   A lot has gone on here and I'll post about it soon but suffice it to say, God is good and He brought us through a very rough time with grace and mercy.

However, for your viewing and listening pleasure, I wanted to post a video of my daughter Nicole and my husband Bob leading worship on Mother's Day.  This is a song called Hosanna and it's a great song and I think Nicole and Bob did a wonderful job.  :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

I promised!

I promised I'd post three times this week and I've only done it once!!  So I'll post one more time tonight and hope I can get to tomorrow.

We've been having a bit of a "thing" going on around here.  If you guys could pray for us, that would be wonderful.

Today I had to go to church to do my regular work for Sunday morning but also work on stuff for Sunday night.  Sunday night will be our annual dinner/budget vote and it's so much fun.  A potluck dinner for 650 people will always be interesting and with this creative crew at church makes it even moreso!  We'll have games, have a slideshow of a summary of the year's ministries, meet the new deacons, vote on the budget and eat lots of food!  :D  But since I do all the graphics, I had to put all that together today.  I was planning on going up on Wednesday but because of the thing going on at church, I just couldn't face anyone at that point.  So 8 hours put in today and I'm sure at least another 2 tomorrow should get us to the point of being done.

One thing that I'm looking forward to is the worship time!  Hubby will be leading his old worship team and it should be some great music and a great time to be back with our WHOLE church family to worship our Savior.  :)

OH!!  Then Sunday, we have a guest speaker/preacher coming to our church campus!  Tim Smith is a parent coach and he's got some great stuff on parenting.  He was a pastor but left that ministry to further the ministry to families in crisis and he's since written numerous books and has been on national TV.  Hubby will pick him up from the airport tomorrow night, go to dinner with him and then they'll be coming back here.  Tim will stay with us.  Then we'll be off to church in the morning so his stay will be short but hopefully we'll have a great visit since Tim is a good friend of our church's.   He actually did the very first "event" at the new church campus so it will be exciting to have him back again now with the 6 month old church!!

So that's what's going on around here.  Lots of "stuff".  Some good, some not so good.  But I have to say that God has placed some very dear people in our path and in our lives and I love them dearly.  :)  What a blessing it is to have godly friends!

Monday, March 21, 2011

I really need to get on the ball!! Sorry!

Once again, I'm slacking off.  I am determined to post 3 times this week and 2 times on the cooking blog even if it kills me!  Well, it won't kill me but you know what I mean!!

For now, I'll post my menu for the week.  We've got a little craziness this week and a bit more next week so the menu reflects that.  :)

Monday (taking care of horses by 4:30 and annual budget meeting at church at 7) - Roast beef, baked potatoes, gravy, green beans
Tuesday (worship leader's meeting at church at 7) - Penne a la vodka, salad
Wednesday (ballet at 4, church at 7) - "Good Salad" (a salad made with greens, chicken, blue cheese, mandarin oranges, glazed walnuts, craisins and a dressing of 1 part honey to two parts balsamic vinegar), bread
Thursday (taking care of horses and riding so home by 5:30) - Pineapple pork chops, rice, peas
Friday (work) - hubby and I go out for dinner and kids are "fend for yourself"
Saturday (picking up guest speaker at 7 from airport) - most likely going out to eat with the man who's guest preaching on Sunday
Sunday (will most likely take guest preacher out for lunch then we have our annual dinner at church) - dinner at church - I'm making pulled pork and a side dish but don't know what yet to make for the side

So there you go.  A bit busy but not terrible.  :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Anyone want snow? We have a bit to spare!

Oh my stars, has January been a prolific month when it comes to snow.  We're about an hour outside of New York City on Long Island and I just heard on the news that we right now stand as the snowiest January in history for Central Park (and most other areas around here) and with just .9 inches more of snow, this will be the snowiest month in HISTORY (well, since they started keeping track of these things)!!  All this week we kept hearing about a "disruptive snow event" on Wednesday but it just seemed like this would be the kind of storm that they could only properly predict close to the event itself.  Well, Tuesday night, they said that we would have flurries in the morning and then we'd have the afternoon with nothing and by rush hour, it would start up again and give us significant snowfall - 4-8" was the predicted total.  They couldn't have been more wrong.

So it started snowing around 9 am yesterday.  The snow that was supposed to stop at noon finally stopped at 4.  The "little to no accumulation" ended up being 4".  Then we DID have a lull for a little while only to have freezing rain step in around 9 pm.  By 11 pm when I went to bed, it was white out conditions!!  By now, they were saying that we should see an additional 4-8" of snow.  GULP!!  So off to bed we went.  I took my computer so that I could check for school closings (both my girls commute to college) and when I woke up at 3 am, I decided to check the computer - nothing for my girls but lots of delayed openings.  I decided to get up to see what I could see and I just about had my chin hit the kitchen floor when I looked out the front window.  My car is a Dodge Grand Caravan but it was looking more like the Sprinter - it was covered in no less than 15" of snow.  I could see the once bare driveway now had snow up to the top of my wheels!!  ALL of the trees were drooping heavily from the weight of the snow.  I went back to bed for a few hours and then got up at 5:30 to see the damage.  19" of snow.  Fortunately my one daughter's college was cancelled but the other daughter's was just a delayed opening at 10:30.  UGH!!  We figured we'd send her on the train but the problem was the train system had shut down!  Finally at 7:30, they too decided to cancel school for the day.  Thank heavens because it was 12:30 before our driveway was finally fully snowblowed, shoveled and scraped.

So, without further adeau, I'll share some photos with you.  The "before" pics were taken yesterday afternoon after the 4" snow and then of course the "afters" were taken today.  Enjoy the winter wonderland!!

My back patio set before and after (the poles above support an awning in the summer)

My street and mailbox - not perfectly the same picture but you can see the difference in the mailbox.  The second picture shows the snow plow that was stuck overnight as well.

My minivan in the driveway.  When the snow first started at 9, the driveway was complete blacktop.  That's our goal in the winter - to keep it as clear and safe as possible.  So you can see in the first picture, it's about 4" on the ground.  

The children's little picnic table in our backyard

 Now it's just a lump!  LOL

Just a pretty view of the backyard.  Those branches out there that are down to the snow are usually about 8' off the ground.

My two little ones, Robby (10) and Joanna (8) on the driveway.  You can see it's almost to their waists!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

No way!! It's been MONTHS since I posted!!

Wow!!  I didn't realize just how long it's been!  I thought it was since just before Christmas!  Oops!!  Well, I'll update on what's going on.

Not much.  Tee-hee.  Actually, I've been sick since before Christmas with some sort of virus that's causes asthma and I've been coughing all this time.  I went to the doctor a couple of weeks after getting sick and was put on an inhaled steroid and some cough medicine but the cough medicine didn't work.  The next week they tried an antibiotic and that didn't work.  I was finally beginning to feel a little better and then it hit again - the exact same thing!!  So off to the doctor I went again and I was put back on the steroid inhaler  and a few days later I ended up at the pulmonologist.  He put me on oral steroids last week and MAN, does that hurt!!  But it seemed to help a bit and when I saw him yesterday, he said I still have some inflammation and so to stay on the inhaled steroid for 2 weeks but if I'm still coughing to come back.  Today is a particularly bad day and I used the rescue inhaler 2x and it didn't seem to help for more than about 30 minutes each time.  This REALLY stinks.

I have a few new posts I'll be posting in the next few days.  They've been rolling around in my head and I want to get them out of here.  If anyone is still here, watch for them!  :)  In the meantime, I started another blog of just recipes.  It's  I have just a few recipes on there but I want to have one place on the internet where I have all of my recipes so I figured why not do a new blog??!!  So there you go.  :)