Thursday, March 26, 2015

What's the Answer?

Yesterday at breakfast I asked Jacob what he wanted for dinner that night. (The very fact that I was thinking about dinner before 8 am is a flat out miracle).  I still haven't made a "big" grocery store run since our Spring Break trip and it's been slim pickings in the food department around here.  

I knew I was going to the store later and was hopeful he would tell me just the thing to make.  He suggested something that only has three ingredients so I said "PERFECT".  In fact, the recipe calls for a pound of hamburger which (miracles abound!), I just so happened to have in the freezer, already browned.  I set the meat out to thaw and knew I'd pick up the other ingredients after my exercise class.  

By four o'clock I had dinner prepared.  As in READY TO EAT.  

And I waited.

I waited because Bill usually calls about 4:00 and asks "what's the dinner plan?".  I'm pretty sure this started because he grew tired of walking in the door after work and asking the same question only to see  me get a panicked look on my face when I remembered that I meant to think about that earlier.  

I was so excited to actually have an answer for him ... but he didn't ask. 

We were meeting up at 5:00 at the middle school track meet.  Savannah made it to finals in hurdles (so proud and amazed at her jumping over those hurdles!  I can barely walk without tripping and she jumps over hurdles and makes it look easy).  

Still Bill didn't ask about dinner.

I was about to burst because I had an answer!

While I was driving home I called my mom because SOMEONE needed to know I had made dinner early!  HA!

Finally when Bill got home he asked and I think I saw a little shock and awe (and probably relief) on his face when I had an answer.  (yay me!)

And speaking of having an answer ... I've been writing sessions for a womens retreat on hope.  Today I was reading 
1 Peter 3:15-16. 

It says ...

     Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.  

Basically Peter is saying ... if anyone asks you about your faith ... know the answer.  Be prepared.  Don't wing it.  Don't "think about it later".  

As fun as it was to have an answer for Bill on our "dinner plan" ... how much greater to have an explanation for the hope I have in Jesus.

I want to always have an answer for where my hope comes from.  

And I WISH I always had an answer about the "dinner plan".

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Hello and Merry Christmas!

Well hello there dear blog readers.  I've missed you.  A lot.  I love to write but I also love my family and they keep me busy.  I'm hoping to write more ... be looking for it because I'm feeling kind of  "bloggy".  

I taught Sunday School this morning and I told our class that we love Jesus but we lost Him. (More about that in the links below). He is gone, can't find Him anywhere. When I looked up what I had written I realized two things:

1.  He's been missing for two years.  I thought it was only one.  Time moves quickly.  I've GOT to find Jesus!

2.  I never published the 2013 missing Jesus blog I wrote.  I think I just forgot to press "publish".  So I've done that now.

I'm going to keep looking for Jesus everywhere.  

And I might just go buy another one for my nativity set.  (hopefully I'll remember!).

Merry Christmas friends!

2013   "An Empty Nativity"     Read it here 

2014    "We Lost Jesus"            Read it here

We lost Jesus.

February 16 and I have just put up the last of our Christmas.  As in ... the very last.

Late, I know.

It was really just one thing.  Everything else has been put away for a long time ... except for our nativity scene.  

You see, we lost Jesus.

Somewhere I had read (pintrest maybe?) where families put baby Jesus away when they set out their nativites.  On Christmas Day they put him in the manger ... symbolizing that he is born.  I thought that was a great idea.

At least a great idea until Christmas Eve came and we couldn't find Jesus. 


Just so you know ... and not to point fingers, but Bill hid him.  And he has a pretty good (bad?) track record of losing things he has hidden.  We will forever be looking for the baseball Bill caught at Jacob's first major league baseball game.  

The last seven weeks or so we've been looking for Jesus and try as we might, we just can't find him.  So, I told the kids ... "we are putting the nativity away but we are still going to be looking for Jesus".

All year.

Until we find him.

And what is so great is this ... we ARE going to find him one day and he is going to have been here all along. 

And I just think that is very cool ... a metaphor really ... of our lives.  And how we can look and look ... perhaps in all the wrong places for Jesus.  We can become frustrated with how things are turning out.  We can wonder where he is and why he isn't showing up.  We can think he isn't there.

And then, one day, we'll realize ... he's been there all along.

I will be looking for Jesus this year.  And even if we find that small plastic Jesus that completes our nativity ... we will keep on seeking him, looking for him in the details of my life.  

Friday, May 2, 2014

For all the breakfast planners out there ...

Sometime last year I began asking my friend Elizabeth about her "meal planning".  I'd text her on Sunday nights and ask her what "our" meal plan was for the week.

The first time she answered me I was SHOCKED because her meal plan included breakfast.

And y'all ... I have never given a second thought to what we were having for breakfast before I stumbled into the kitchen any given morning to make something while my people were dressing.

And by "make it" I really mean put out the cereal bowls.

When I called to tell her about my breakfast "meal plan" she said her family rarely eats cereal.

I couldn't believe it.

And while I have yet to embrace an "official" breakfast meal plan strategy ... I have felt quite fancy serving my sausage grabbies.  A friend gave me the recipe and said they can be made the night before and they freeze great and you just pop them in the microwave to heat.  I haven't actually frozen any yet because they get eaten too quickly at my house but for the "freezers" out there ... this recipe totally will work for you.

My friend Janet gave me the recipe and said she grew up having these for breakfast and sometimes even for dinner.  Bill takes them to the office in the mornings and warms them in the microwave there and eats them as he plans out his day.  Jacob has them as an after school snack quite often ... and my dad had one as a late night snack ... so, as you can see, they are very versatile. :)

It's not exactly a RECIPE recipe because it only has three ingredients ... but it's good and my family likes it.  I've given the recipe to neighbors and they've liked it and last weekend I made them while my parents were in town and my dad asked for the recipe. So dad ... here it is, as you requested.

And, BEST PART, they are SO easy.

Here's what you need:

You also need a bag or English muffins but I don't have any and I'm not going to the store before next week so you are just going to have to picture it in your head, ok?

The recipe is called "Sausage Grabbies" and if I was the Pioneer Woman I would make them and take lovely pictures of each step and the photos would make everyone hungry .... but I'm not the Pioneer Woman so what you see is what you get.

Here are the steps (again.... picture them in your head):

1.  Brown the sausage (I use Jimmy Dean reduced fat).  I brown two pounds of sausage and drain it and put in a bowl.  I add one or two jars of Kraft Old English and mash it all together.  (The original recipe calls for one jar of cheese to every one pound of sausage but when I reduced the amount of cheese no one seemed to notice).

2.  Take a spatula and smash, stir, mix the cheese with the sausage until it's melted and distributed evenly.

3.  Open each english muffin and put on a pan.  Spread each muffin half with the sausage mixture.

4.  Place in oven on broil for 2-3 minutes.

5.  Enjoy

Slice up some fruit and you have breakfast!

Tell them it was on your "meal plan".

Monday, April 21, 2014

And then they drove up in a Baylor car

For the first time in years we made it to the early service for Easter.  That is quite a feat for us.  Not lying.  The music was beautiful and it was a packed house.

Kind of like the movie theater the night before.

Saturday night we went to see "God's Not Dead" but it was completely sold out.

So we went home and got ready for the next day where we would celebrate the original "God's Not Dead" story which is SO VERY GOOD.

And after church and after lunch with the Easter bunny ... 

and some Easter pictures (notice the photo bomb over Savannah's shoulder)

and some Easter basket fun (look what a good sport the Easter bunny is bringing Caroline a University of Texas basket!)

we headed back to see the movie.

It was very good.  Totally recommend it.  GO SEE IT.

Afterwards we came home and made pancakes, eggs and bacon for dinner (which has absolutely nothing to do with the story but I love making breakfast for dinner).   I started scrolling through facebook and saw that the Baylor car (that a friends daughter had won at a football game in the fall) was TWO STREETS over from my house.  I mentioned that I would die if that car pulled up to my house ... and guess what?!  Five minutes later it pulled up.

I WAS BESIDE MYSELF.  I rode in it up the street so we could try and take a picture in better lighting.  Then my cute college friend said I could DRIVE IT.  And y'all, I laughed and I laughed.  In fact I laughed so much I hit a curb when I was pulling it up to my neighbors house so she could come out and see it.

It was SO FUN.

And funny.

And the car is for sale.

So now I want to buy it mostly so we can drive up in it to Caroline's dorm at the University of Texas next year for parents weekend.  

Because that would be hilarious.

At least to the Easter bunny.  

Saturday, April 19, 2014

It was kind of like having facebook ... except they didn't have facebook.

One of my favorite parts of the Easter story ... well you know, besides the part where Jesus died for our sins ... is that He first appeared to Mary.

When Jesus ROSE FROM THE DEAD he could have made himself known to anyone.  He could have stood up on top of that door of the tomb, which was the "rock that was rolled away" and yelled for anyone to hear .... "I'm alive!  What my Father said was true!!!!".  

But He didn't.

He appeared to Mary.

Mary who, I'm sure in her grief, had gone to the garden to be close to the tomb.

Mary, who was there doing probably exactly what I would have been doing, ... FREAKING OUT.  

"WHERE DID YOU PUT HIM?!" she cried.

She knew his body wasn't there and it was just too much for her.  She had to know where He was.  She had to be thinking ... surely this cannot be happening.

She didn't recognize him at first.  

And then he said her name.  Gently,  I'm sure.


And, through tear filled eyes and a choked up voice she said ... "Rabboni".

I truly think that might be one of the tenderest verses in the Bible.

She knew His voice.  

He called her by name.

And she was overwhelmed, overjoyed and SHE HAD TO TELL SOMEONE.

Because thats what women do, right?

When we have good news, we want to share it.

And Mary ran straight to the men who, I get tickled just thinking about it, probably thought Mary had lost her mind.

But they did what men do ... they ran to see for themselves.

Trust but verify.

And since that day ... SINCE. THAT. DAY. the prophesy that was foretold in the Old Testament, the resurrection of Jesus Christ who died for your sins and mine .... has been told over and over and over again.

So, had it been today, Mary probably would have been the first to tweet it. 

It wouldn't have taken long before it was a "trending" story.

And this is what is so cool ... it's still trending.

The story, the tweets, the facebook statuses continue even unto this day.  We must tell the story.  The story that our sins "not in part but in whole ... were nailed to the cross and we bear them no more" and "it is well, it is well with our souls".  

Happy Easter!  He has risen.  He has risen indeed.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Hands down my favorite place in New York City

I love New York.

I love the horns honking and the tall buildings and the theater and the people and really just all of it.  

I especially love Central Park because who wouldn't?  Bill and I have gone running there, rowed around in a row boat, ridden the carousel, eaten breakfast at Tavern on the Green and had lunch from a food vendor (y'all it was SO good) We've watched the ice skaters, ridden in the horse drawn carriages, taken a zillion pictures and spent hours watching people.  

We've done it all.

My absolute favorite place in the park ... and to be honest, my favorite place in all of New York City is just on the edge of the pond.  People don't line up to see it or make reservations to go, but I don't ever miss seeing it.  It's right here:

(It says:  In memory of Jinny and Bob Simons.  They loved this view.)

Isn't that the BEST?!

I have no idea who Jinny and Bob are but I LOVE them because they "loved this view".

They loved it so much that someone bought a plaque and put it on a rock in their memory.

Here is the view:

It is pretty, even in winter.  

It is calming, even in the middle of New York City.

I love thinking about Jinny and Bob enjoying that view.  

I imagine they enjoyed it season after season, year after year.

Here we are enjoying the view (actually we are turned the wrong way but we were trying and it's a selfie so hey ... we did the best we could).  The funny thing is that every time we took a picture in Central Park that day ... EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.  .... the snow would start to fall.  When we put the camera down it would stop.  When we would take the camera out, it would start again.  Bill said it felt like we were on a movie set and someone was sprinkling snow out of a box down on us.  

I think Jinny and Bob would have enjoyed seeing that too.
I imagine they enjoyed the view when the leaves were on the trees and when the leaves were off.  Enjoyed it when the sun was shining and when the snow was falling.  Enjoyed it in the quiet of the morning and in the bustle of the afternoons.  Enjoyed seeing the babies in their strollers, the toddlers jump in puddles, the businessman hurrying through the park and the old lady shuffling along.   Enjoyed the tourists and the regulars ... I imagine they enjoyed it all.

And I also imagine that, in their own lives, everything wasn't always as picturesque and beautiful as their view in the park. 

But they had the park.  

And they enjoyed the view.

It's such a reminder to me to pause and look around and ENJOY.  Yes, things may be all messed up in so many areas but there is good and there is beautiful and there is peace to be found.  

Look around.  

Enjoy the view.

Jinny and Bob did.