Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy New Year...Goodbye 2008

Abba



I love Abba....happy feel good music. They mention goodbye 1989 in this clip.

To some people that's no BIG DEAL, but to me and Dick....it's a very VERY BIG DEAL .


That's the year Dick went to a meeting at his job, that didn't have snacks. At that meeting, his company he had worked so very hard for 12 years.....let him go. He thought he was getting a higher paying position...Dick was completely taken off guard and shocked. ....
we ALL were in shock.


Up until that point Dick and I had the feeling most of the time....
what bad thing is going to happen today.
We were Christians, but baby Christians....
During this year we learned to trust in GOD...for everything.


It was the worst of times and the best of times
I'd read the bible and really sometimes, just couldn't understand it.
I prayed for understanding and the Lord blessed me greatly that year
through really spending time in His word and prayer
His word came alive in me....
We hit bottom and there was no place to look but UP
We learned to pray as a family


God heard our prayers and answered
We survived 1989....but we were changed that year.
We learned that God wants GOOD things for us everyday!!
Since surviving that year we now say......


"Good morning Lord!"
"What great things will happen today!!"
Happy New Year!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

How do you feel about change?

If you are at the point where I was last year,
that you have tried "everything" to lose weight
and "everything" hasn't worked.

Your sick and tired of it.
Period.
I feel your pain....I've been there.

If you are willing to
CHANGE...
that's the first step
willingness to change

Oh the JOY!...... if you are willing, that awaits you!!
Log onto http://www.livestrong.com/ go to the Daily Plate there or http://www.sparkpeople.com/

They are both FREE
You have nothing to lose
but the extra weight that you don't want.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Family games...

Here are a couple of games we really enjoy and can play for hours!








Mexican Train Dominos.... the rules are simple and easy.

So much fun! You can buy them at Target, Walmart and places like that. When you win, you hit the middle of the track and it choo choos.






Six card golf



Rich and Rachel taught us this one and we loved it! You play either 9 or 18 rounds...fun! Here are the rules.

A few memories of Chistmas 2008


Me with my daughter-in-law Rachel,
daughter Melissa and Silver Mist Leah
Sweet memories....

Dick and I are going on 31 years together.
He is the sweetest guy you would ever want to meet...

Rich and Rachel gave me the beautiful sea blue sweater ...put it on right away and wore it all night the next day! Love it!




Dick and our pastor had on the same outfit Christmas Eve....trend setters!!



Leah in her beautiful dress on Christmas Eve...and my pearls!

You know how presents can get a little mixed up....we thought they were for her...I think they look very nice on her and imagine we will share them!!

Thanks Aunt Rachel and Uncle Rich!

Leah loves, loves, loves her Aunt Rachel...plus Leah gives the best hugs ever!!

Love this picture!!













Melissa took this picture at her house..

Leah sneaking a lick!

Those eyes!!






















My baby doll is growing up!

So grown up looking in her Christmas Dress!!

Our daughter Melissa and her husband Shawn....cute couple!

The new Momma and Daddy to be


with a picture of

their little boy...
Rich and Rachel after sharing the good news.

We all went shopping Saturday and got our little one some overalls jeans, corduroys, sweaters, argyle socks, sandals and sneakers.




Pop-Pop snuck off and bought him a Christmas outfit...just the beginning!!


We all had so much fun going to Church together, sharing great food, opening wonderful thoughtful gifts, games and lots of laughs....family, I love you all so much!!

2009....here we come!!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Baby Changes Everything....

Christmas Eve was so wonderful at our Church...a soloist sang this song, and I've had it in my head ever since...I think about my own children and my sweet grandchildren. I think about Sara and precious little Mya. Most of all Jesus...
the last lines of the song are my story...


"My whole life is turned around

I was lost and now I’m found

A baby changes everything

A baby changes everything"

Thank you Jesus!



Faith Hill sings this like an angel!

Friday, December 26, 2008

It's a boy!!

Rachel and Rich handed us a package that they said was for everyone Christmas Eve....we innocently opened it and there were those blue baby booties and pandemonium broke out!

Melissa snapped this photo right after they announced the news.....we are blessed!!!



I know Dick instantly planned ordering golf clubs ASAP....Leah has pink handled ones...it's not a gender thing...it's just Dick believes all his granbabies need to know about the game of golf!




Baby is healthy, happy and kicking and we all couldn't be happier...Can't wait for June 12, 2009!!
Now we can start buying things for our little grandson...he's gotta have sneakers and little sweaters, jeans and lots of books!!
We are over the top!! ;-)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

O Come O Come Emmanuel

Sung by Joshua James
Thanks Rich.. your gift of finding wonderful music is a true blessing.

The Waiting-O Come O Come Emmanuel -

Prophecy......

Isaiah 7:14
"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel."

Fulfillment....

Matthew 1:23
"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"—which means, "God with us."


The Birth of Jesus Christ

Matthew 1

18This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.

19Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."

22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:

23"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"—which means, "God with us."

24When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.

25But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I want to share a gift...

Today is my birthday. I've had the best day....had breakfast out with my guy.

Leah and Sammy both sang their hearts out for me with the best versions of Happy Birthday Gramma Re ever!! They make my heart overflow and ooze with happiness and joy!! Grand babies are the absolute best!!!



Sissy, Leah and I had a girl's day and got all dressed up and went downtown to Whitney Hall to see the Nutcracker Suite. It was so beautiful..we had the best seats and everything was so magical. Thanks girls!!

We met up with the guys at Mojito's and had so much fun with sharing Tapas and not feeling guilty about one bite!! On your birthday calories just don't count!

Finally, for the gift part....I really want to call him my baby...but he's 25 now and married, he and his wife Rachel are expecting a baby this summer, I gotta let that baby stuff go! Rich told me he'd added some new songs on his blog I might like....surprised me with a birthday post ...thought I'd share...he cracks me up!! Thanks Rich, you always remind me not to take life so seriously...

Thanks family for a wonderful, wonderful day...Love you!

Note* Thanks Sissy for your sweet and kind words...Love the video of my baby doll!! Perfect!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

If you eat one too many Christmas Cookies...

I know everyone is really busy and on the go but ......SIX cookies do not make a meal!!

Trust me, I know!

If you fall off the wagon...it's OKAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

We are human for goodness sakes!!

Forgive yourself big-time and
get back to normal
ASAP!!....

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A story of friendship, hope, love and God's grace...


I want to tell you a story of a trip we made to New York City 6 years ago. We left Lexington on my 50Th birthday with 30 students, including 5 college age, our youth pastor and his wife, and one parent.

Dick and I were Senior High Sunday School teachers at Centenary United Methodist in Lexington. We had been with these kids for 4 years....a big group that had been together for years and were really like brothers and sisters...we love them all like they are our kids.





It was the beginning of December, things were gearing up for Christmas...life was busy for all of us, very busy. After Sunday School one of our kids, Will, came over to talk to us..."We all need to go see Sean, ...all of us, we need to go to New York, he needs us." Will earnestly pleaded. Sean was one of our Sunday School fold....a major player....we all loved him a lot. Sean and his Mother were staying at the Ronald McDonald House in New York and he was being treated for cancer at Sloane Kettering Cancer Hospital a few blocks a way.


"Oh Will, it's Christmas time....parents are not going to let kids leave...the cost, where would we stay...how could we ever manage? I told him. Dick's business had been slow, we were really pinching pennies, financially it was not a good time for us, plus Christmas was nearing..plans were already in the making for family and friends..my 50Th birthday was nearing.. ...How could we pull this off. Will was dead serious....Will up until that point, had really never been serious about anything around us, ...we took his plea to heart and told him we would think about it and let him know as soon as possible.

Dick and I went home with heavy hearts....we loved Sean, this was his second big battle with cancer...he didn't deserve this..his family had been through so much..all he wanted to do was throw a football, be a kid. The tumor was in his shoulder moving toward his heart. He and his Mom were alone in New York. It was Christmas time....a visit from his Sunday School class could do him a world of good.


"Lord", we prayed, "We have a problem, we need your help and guidance....can we do this?" Then it happened...God heard and answered quickly....Yes, yes you can...hurry, not much time!
Thank you Lord, for answering Will's prayer.

We called Will and told him, "If you want to go, we will take you." We really didn't know what that meant...maybe 6 or so could make it?? We just knew, God would see this through, if we depended on him and let him lead us.

Within several days the majority of our class signed up to go 25, or so. We had determined we would leave for New York City Dec. 20, and return home by Dec. 23 in time for all the kids to spend Christmas with their family.





I quickly started calling Churches near the Ronald McDonald House where Sean and his Mom were staying to see if they had any accommodations for a youth group. Our church in Lexington had hosted many a group...Churches do that sort of thing....but not at Christmas, I soon found out. No room in the Inn.


After checking hotel rates in the city I knew we would have to find rooms outside the city....reasonable, safe, and it had to serve free breakfast plus be on a bus route.





Forgive me for saying this, but there is no other way then to tell you...God led us to Secaucus, New Jersey....to the Amerisuites.





We could put 6 in a room because they all had 2 double beds, plus sleeper sofa's. The rooms also had kitchens, plus free breakfast...the good kind with homemade waffles. There was a bus stop outside the Hotel, with a bus that would take us on a several minute drive into the city and dump us out at 48Th street..you know where the Today Show is..Rockefeller Plaza....there's a huge Christmas tree there....BEAUTIFUL!!!! Thank you Lord, for a nice place to stay and food to eat.



With three nights in a hotel, free breakfast, it came to around $60 a person...maybe it was a bit more, but that's what it cost them, plus 5 or 6 meals. We provided pizza one night...kids eat cheap! Dick and I stuck everything on our American Express and prayed everything would work out okay. Transportation was another thing....originally we thought just Will and a few others would be going, so we would just take our car. We drive an Expedition that has a third seat. Thirty Five would not fit, plus luggage...Lord, we need transportation. Dick went to bat to plead for the church buses....long story short....we got 2 of them!! Our church only had 2 15-18 passenger vans.....it was Christmas. The impossible, became possible. Thank you Lord, for transportation.



Our one parent that made the trip with us had signed on after a meeting we had with the kids going and their parents. Dan came forward after the meeting and told us he had felt led to go...he was a Police Lieutenant and drove a big ole Suburban....he was our lead dog...He led two over flowing with people church vans into New York City!! If you have ever driven into the city, you know, it's not that easy for your average Joe!



THANK YOU GOD, FROM WHOM ALL BLESSING FLOW!!!!!!



Thank you Lord, for a traffic leader and extra hand.



Loaded to the gills, we left Lexington bound for New York City...two church vans, one suburban with one mission in mind....we were going to go cheer Sean on!!!

This is the group in the lobby of the Ronald McDonald House...we were not tired...just reflective and prayerful. Sean is far left playing the guitar with our youth pastor Ryan.
















Sean's mom told us his energy level had been low...after seeing all his friend's Sean got a second wind and wanted to go get pizza around the corner...The pizza was so good! The kids filled up the place with fun and laughter...lots and lots of talking!




We were just blocks away from Central Park, so we all decided to walk over....past Park Avenue and all the big houses and beautiful churches all lit up for Christmas....you would think it just couldn't get any better, but it did!!






As we rounded the corner to Central Park it was just getting dark, we heard the music and then saw the skaters!!






Ohhhhh....lovely, just lovely!










Sean is in the bright yellow jogging pants with Michael. Our girl Kristen sitting on the big rock by the skating Rink. Everyone having so much fun! Sean road the city bus back to the Hotel with us and spent the night with his buddies.




Will is far right....Sean, Michael and Kristen. The whole group behind them...they all stayed pretty much together most of the time.




The next day everyone had a blast walking around New York. Since it was Christmas, New York was beautiful, people were in good moods. We could not have asked for a better day of friendship and fellowship in the Big Apple.

Will and Adam




Waiting for the bus to take us to 45th street. Back of my head...our beloved Dad, we lovingly called Lieutenant Dan, Kristen, Sarah and Michael.




Our group on the bus headed for a fun day in the city. The two girls in the front were with us. They didn't know Sean or understand why we were there...they wanted to see New York so we brought them with us. Their parents were visiting missionary's from Africa.





Click and make them a little bigger.
we were getting ready to go check out the Subways.
Dick and I decided the Bus would be the best way to travel......the Subways were a little stinky.











Street's were full of shoppers and tourist.



No one got lost,

nothing bad happened,

nothing at all!!



Thank you Lord, for our safe trip!!






Saint Patrick's Cathedral...Beautiful!



The last morning we were all together we had a Praise and Worship Service at the Hotel.....we laid hands on Sean and had a very serious and precious prayer time together.



God heard our prayers and healed our boy Sean.



Lord, we are forever grateful to you for helping us with our trip to New York to see one of your kids...help us to never forget you are with us and care about our every need. We know with you, nothing, nothing is impossible! Thank you for carrying us through.

We are forever changed.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Nothing Like The Holidays.....

We loved this movie! It's the kind of movie that pulls you in and you are sitting at the table with them. They were a great big lovable Puerto Rican family that have struggles, just like we all do. Loved Debra Messing's part...


I leaned over to Dick during the movie and said," I gotta have some black beans and rice!"......we both knew what that meant! We were heading to Havana Rumba or Mojito's! We live closer to Mojito's which is a Tapas restaurant owned by Havana Rumba....


Dick really wanted the Cuban pork, so Rumba won. Oh man, just the thought of getting to go there ! I usually get the grilled grouper with cilantro, black beans and rice with fried plantains...flavor city! I will tell you we can't go without getting a Cuban margarita, tres leche cake and Cuban coffee......the Cubans really know what they are doing with food.

We started talking about favorite Spanish dishes, Arroz con Pollo came up, a favorite dish of Dick's. We first tasted Arroz con Pollo at our church in Lexington that we shared with a Spanish congregation.....every celebration someone made a huge quantity...wonderful, generous, lovely people, we miss them!


When I searched on-line for the recipe for Arroz con Pollo, I found that My Recipes had devoted space on their site in honor of the movie Nothing Like The Holidays.....wonderful recipes with the calories included!


This is not the first time we have been tempted by a movie to go get the food they were having....won't be the last I'm sure either..we are foodies!
Merry Christmas!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Happy Birthday Jesus!

Sung by 4 year old Avery Winter...starts out shaky, hang with it and grab a tissue..

Happy Birthday To You
Happy Birthday To You
Happy Birthday Dear Jesus
Happy Birthday To You.

Happy Birthday Jesus
I'm So Glad Its Christmas
All The Tinsel And Lights
And The Presents Are Nice
But The Real Gift Is You.

Happy Birthday Jesus
I'm So Glad Its Christmas
All The Carols And Bells
Make The Holiday Swell
And it's All About You
Happy Birthday Jesus
Jesus I Love You!
Written By The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir





Luke 2

The Birth of Jesus
1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.
2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)
3And everyone went to his own town to register.
4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.
5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,
7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels
8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.
9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
10But the angel said to them,
"Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ[a] the Lord.
12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.
17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,
18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
20The shepherds returned,
glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen,
which were just as they had been told.

The meaning of the Twelve days of Christmas...



















The twelve days of Christmas are the twelve days after Christmas, leading up to January 6th. This day is traditionally celebrated as the day of the Wise Men. The carol is supposed to be a medieval tool used to teach the basics of Christianity. Whether or not this is true, the symbolism is profound.

On the 1st day of Christmas my true love gave to me…
A Partridge in a Pear Tree
The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, whose birthday we celebrate on December 25, the first day of Christmas. In the song, Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge that feigns injury to decoy predators from her helpless nestlings, recalling the expression of Christ’s sadness over the fate of Jerusalem: “Jerusalem! Jerusalem! How often would I have sheltered you under my wings, as a hen does her chicks, but you would not have it so . . . .” (Luke 13:34)

On the 2nd day of Christmas my true love gave to me…
Two Turtle Doves
The Old and New Testaments, which together bear witness to God’s self-revelation in history and the creation of a people to tell the Story of God to the world.

On the 3rd day of Christmas my true love gave to me…
Three French Hens
The Three Theological Virtues: 1) Faith, 2) Hope, and 3) Love (1 Corinthians 13:13)

On the 4th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…
Four Calling Birds
The Four Gospels: 1) Matthew, 2) Mark, 3) Luke, and 4) John, which proclaim the Good News of God’s reconciliation of the world to Himself in Jesus Christ.

On the 5th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…
Five Gold Rings
The first Five Books of the Old Testament, known as the Torah or the Pentateuch: 1) Genesis, 2) Exodus, 3) Leviticus, 4) Numbers, and 5) Deuteronomy, which gives the history of humanity’s sinful failure and God’s response of grace in the creation of a people to be a light to the world.

On the 6th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…
Six Geese A-laying
The six days of creation that confesses God as Creator and Sustainer of the world (Genesis 1).

On the 7th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…
Seven Swans A-swimming
The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: 1) prophecy, 2) ministry, 3) teaching, 4) exhortation, 5) giving, 6) leading, and 7) compassion (Romans 12:6-8; cf. 1 Corinthians 12:8-11)

On the 8th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…
Eight Maids A-milking
The eight Beatitudes: 1) Blessed are the poor in spirit, 2) those who mourn, 3) the meek, 4) those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, 5) the merciful, 6) the pure in heart, 7) the peacemakers, 8 ) those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake. (Matthew 5:3-10)

On the 9th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…
Nine Ladies Dancing
The nine Fruit of the Holy Spirit: 1) love, 2) joy, 3) peace, 4) patience, 5) kindness,
6) generosity, 7) faithfulness, 8 ) gentleness, and 9) self-control. (Galatians 5:22)

On the 10th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…
Ten Lords A-leaping
The ten commandments: 1) You shall have no other gods before me; 2) Do not make an idol; 3) Do not take God’s name in vain; 4) Remember the Sabbath Day; 5) Honor your father and mother; 6) Do not murder; 7) Do not commit adultery; 8 ) Do not steal; 9) Do not bear false witness; 10) Do not covet. (Exodus 20:1-17)

On the 11th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…
Eleven Pipers Piping
The eleven Faithful Apostles: 1) Simon Peter, 2) Andrew, 3) James, 4) John, 5) Philip, 6) Bartholomew, 7) Matthew, 8 ) Thomas, 9) James bar Alphaeus, 10) Simon the Zealot, 11) Judas bar James. (Luke 6:14-16). The list does not include the twelfth disciple, Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus to the religious leaders and the Romans.

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…
Twelve Drummers Drumming
The twelve points of doctrine in the Apostles’ Creed: 1) I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. 2) I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. 3) He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. 4) He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell [the grave]. 5) On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. 6) He will come again to judge the living and the dead. 7) I believe in the Holy Spirit, 8 ) the holy catholic Church, 9) the communion of saints, 10) the forgiveness of sins, 11) the resurrection of the body, 12) and life everlasting.



Grammy's and mommy's here's some coloring pages for the kids!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Our family Sugar Cookies & Gingerbread Men.....




This recipe is from the

Sesame Street Library Volume 1

Featuring the letters A and B

and the number 1

We bought them in the 70's I'm guessing.


Over the years I've made this recipe over 100 times...always doubled it.




This is from my homemade recipe book...it's full of wonderful recipes that have been a hit in the past. I need to go through them and lighten them up. But this recipe, I will never change. So many memories wrapped up in one little sugar cookie recipe!


Years ago I watched the Bob Braun TV Show. It was a variety show and they always had a cooking section with Beverly Nye. I saved many of her recipes....she was famous for her pie crust recipe..you HAD to use ice water. Beverly loved this Gingerbread man recipe because there was no molasses in them, making them softer for the little ones. Not only are they softer.....they are delicious! Guess I'm made 100's of these too. Always doubled the recipe. Beverly taught us to flour the board you are going to roll the cookies onto and then cover the dough with plastic wrap and then roll out.....makes it so easy to make these cookies.





























I'm going to post Melissa's Buttermilk Chess Pie....
I'll just put it at 500 calories a slice! ;-) Who knows, who cares!!




These are some of our very favorite Christmas recipes....I wanted to share them with you!




Merry Christmas!!


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Pumpkin Pie Cake...Y'all this is Really Good!!!

Cooking Light did it again...managed to lighten up a yummy cake. This was so easy to make.

I decided to make it in
a bundt pan,
baked it for 45 minutes

Just swirl the frosting on.
318 calories per serving..not bad!

Yield
16 servings (serving size: 1 slice)





Ingredients

Cake:


Cooking spray
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup egg substitute
2 large eggs
1 (15-ounce) can unsweetened pumpkin
2 cups all-purpose flour (about 9 ounces)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons pumpkin-pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt


Frosting:
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 (8-ounce) package 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons fresh orange juice
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Orange slices (optional)


Preparation
Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare cake, coat 2 (8-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray. Dust pans evenly with 2 tablespoons flour.

Combine 1 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, and oil in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 2 minutes or until well blended. Add egg substitute and eggs; beat until well blended. Add pumpkin, beating until blended.
Lightly spoon 2 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, and next 3 ingredients (through salt) in a medium bowl. Gradually add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, beating just until blended.
Spoon batter into prepared pans.
Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove cake from pans; cool completely on wire rack.




To prepare frosting, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until blended (do not overbeat). Add juice, stirring until blended.
Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate. Spread 1 cup frosting over layer, and top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top of cake. Sprinkle with pecans, and garnish with orange slices, if desired.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 318 (30% from fat)
Fat: 10.6g (sat 3.5g,mono 3.8g,poly 1.8g)
Protein: 5.2g
Carbohydrate: 51.8g
Fiber: 1.4g
Cholesterol: 40mg
Iron: 1.6mg
Sodium: 284mg
Calcium: 42mg

Liz Rhoades, Cooking Light, NOVEMBER 2005





Baby is always a happy camper when I bake...

Years ago when our family was young and all together, I baked a lot.

So when he walked in today and saw me making a cake, for a minute his

mind went back to those happy times of Christmas baking.

Things are different now...the family is all spread out...part of our

hearts are in Virginia and Tennessee.....even China.

We are so blessed to have had all those fun Christmases with

our three kids.

Now three has turned into eight, soon to be 10!

If Y'all come home, I'll bake you a cake!!







Merry Christmas!!!

I always thought you had to starve yourself to loose weight or give up good food....NOT SO!!! Here's some good fast food choices...

My favorite fast food is Panera Bread .....hands down! The only issue I have would be the high sodium levels in most of their food. Their website contains all the nutritional info you need to make the right choice.

My Go-to choice there right now is the Tortilla Soup. A large bowl and whole wheat baguette is under 400 calories and fills me up.

Dick however, needs more food and usually gets the pick two...half soup, half sandwich...he tries to get the apple side but most of the time he gets the baguette.....we love bread!! I'd stay with a salad & baguette or apple, pick two or soup and baguette or apple. A sandwich alone at Panera can run 800-1000 calories...not worth it.

That's why the Adkins diet never worked out for us.




















Love Chick fil A....used to always have the #1 and now that I know better...am ashamed sometimes we got a shake or lemon pie too...not anymore! We get the grilled chicken club (380 cal) and a side salad. It's really good! ...sometimes I get the grilled chicken salad. If we have extra calories left, we get a small dream cone (160 cal). Their website has a great restaurant locator...it lead us to a Chick fil A in Beckley West Virginia on our last trip...right to it!





















Jared had success here and so have Dick and I! Our friends Tom and Carla eat lunch here everyday and have lost a ton of weight...they are on Weight Watchers. Anything on the 6 grams or less menu, their favorite is the club. WE LOVE SUBWAY!

Get wheat and have them toast it ...yum!! We like the sweet onion sauce..40 calories and always add cheese and load on the veggies.




We love Wendy's Chili ..it's low in calories


(small is 190 cal)

Yum!!


Pair it with a side , we really like the baked potato with whipped butter and chives.


Bottom line there are lots of great food choices at Fast Food Restaurants now.....if you get hungry.....eat!

Don't forget, if you need a "little" something else....
McDonald's Ice Cream Cone.....

Low-fat 150 calories...;-)


Note* If you want to have your heart blessed, go to my friend Sara's Blog ASAP! They are in China and having a great trip.
Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tis the season to be merry!!

Straight No Chasers 12 Days of Christmas...
Love these guys!!

This whole get healthy thing....

Remember, in the beginning of this journey I had been on so many diets and

failed so many times, I'd given up

...look at that video of me in China, I was BIG!


Dick and I went to the gym 3 days a week and walked the days we didn't.....and we were still FAT.


I had just accepted I was going to be a size 16/18 the rest of my life.




I resisted going on another diet when Melissa told me about www.thedailyplate.com .



Finally I thought.....what have I got to loose?

Come to find out.....a lot!


Really struggled when I first started the daily plate.

I started believing in it because....it makes sense!!

Control calories by logging in what you eat.


Honestly..every bite

Make better food choices...slowly sometimes, painfully....I got it!


Dick and I stopped eating out all the time. If we did decide to eat out, we only went to places that we could find out the calorie count.

There were plenty of birthday parties and events thrown in there too.

We did the best we could in those situations and

forgave ourselves if we messed up.

We still lost weight!!


Home should be a safe place basically free of empty calorie foods.

Find snacks that work for you or low calorie...a serving of little pretzels can help when you need salty, rice cakes come in lots of favors and you can top them with natural peanut butter, apples, oranges, banana's, yogurt.

Scream, yell, fuss and fight...get it out!!
It's not fair!!
Some people don't have to worry about anything they eat.
Some of us have the genes that predestined us to have to exercise and watch our calories
...so what!!
Doing the RIGHT thing is not easy sometimes
....but if we do the right thing enough
....it becomes second nature!!!!

Sorry didn't mean to yell ;-)

I've been doing this since March 08, 2008
It gets easier..it does. I promise.
I will always measure my food...
the food scale is on the counter.
I'm in recovery......
This is my life.
I will always remember and be grateful...always!!!

Finally, this is God's world, everything is HIS...
everything!
Lay your burdens down.
You can't do this without HIM....when we are weak,
HE is strong.
My life is NOT a bowl full of cherries...
...times are hard.
I can't do this alone
Jesus is my strength and my constant help in times of trouble.
I keep this song in my head most of the time, thought I'd share it as a devotion

Steven Curtis Chapman singing Yours

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

If you need some daily motivation...

I know I do! While waiting in the Opthamologist office yesterday I read a Health magazine...great articles.

There was an article about cucumbers in water being a diuretic...Spa's use it all the time...why don't we??

I tend to retain water, so I'm always watching sodium and try and keep it below 2400mg. Still...if drinking water refreshed with cucumber could help......I'm doing it! Some people add lemons and oranges too. Evidently it helps your skin too.

Since Dick and I started eating more fruits and vegetables I've noticed an improvement in our skin for the better.



FromWiki....
Diuretic properties
The cucumber is a natural
diuretic which is used in the fitness world by bodybuilders and people trying to reduce their weight.


While searching for the article on Health I found this one...great ideas...not that I WANT to be as thin as Cameron Diaz ;-).......but this is a fun article with some great ideas.
http://eating.health.com/2008/11/12/star-diet-tricks/

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sam's pretty excited about Christmas!

Sam is getting the hang of Christmas this year ...
.....not so crazy about sitting
on Santa's lap,
but really likes Santa's Hat
and the lights daddy
put up on their
house in Virginia.

We talked to Sam tonight on Skype, he'd been sick today
....tummy ache. Ouch!
Reminded me of talking to
Sam's mommy
while she waited in Moscow
not so long ago.


Waiting to gather him up and
bring him home.
So glad she did!
What a doll baby!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Bridge

...sometimes we need to be reminded how much God loves us.....am I that selfish woman?....I want to be the woman worthy of a Christ that died for me.


I copied this message from Godtube

This video features scenes from the short film "Most", the story of a bridge operator who is forced to choose between the life of the son he loves dearly and a train filled with people."Most" received an Academy Award Nomination for Best Live-Action Short Film. For more information on the film, or to order a copy for your church, visit MostTheMovie.com.This is a fan-made video, and not affiliated with the producers, director, or actors in any way. I simply loved the message of this film and wanted to share it with as many people as possible to give it the recognition it deserves. God bless!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

First Light...

By Glad
( you may have to hit the arrow on the bottom left a couple of times, or click here, awesome)


1 John 1:7
But if we walk in the light,
as he is in the light,
we have fellowship with one another,
and the blood of Jesus, his Son,
purifies us from all sin.
*******************
Please say a prayer for my friend
who will be leaving for China this week
to go get her baby girl, Mya Jian
whose waiting for
mommy and daddy
to
come get her!!!!
************************
My daughter Melissa's "Journey to Leah" Video
Gramma Re got to go along too....what a journey!!