Saturday, February 28, 2009

My dependance on you...

Just know that Jesus loves you...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I'm ready for these!!

It's 60 degrees here today....did my 3 miles at the park and got really muddy (it's a rainy day here) I have a bad pair of tennis shoes and need to run and get some "good" ones. I'd rather buy these. If you haven't tried Croc yourself a big favor and try them. I could live in them!
Thanks Rachel and Rich for the introduction!

If you get the Sandals you may need some of this....

Bath and Body Works has this great line of Spa products that are awesome..
Love the foot products....especially, Toe the line foot it!

I love Shea foot cream too!

Come on warm weather.....we need you now! ;-)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

If you know anyone who was recently laid off...Cobra changes

We have been searching madly for the best insurance coverage.

Also, we found out the hard way that the government requires extra taxes taken out of severance checks. Dick's last paycheck payroll took out 3 times the Federal amount. When you have been laid off you need all the funds you can get. Fortunately Dick had 2 more checks coming for vacation pay and commission due, so we were able ( thanks Sissy!) to get Dick's W-4 changed in time to say 10 deductions.

On a personal note we are doing fine. Our new business has started out with a bang and we give God the glory! It's one day at a time...but that's okay!

COBRA Changes and the Stimulus Plan -- Law Cuts Employee Contribution to 35%, Many Employers Unaware, Says Business Benefits Insurance

ANDOVER, MA - The new stimulus-plan law requires the government to subsidize laid-off workers on COBRA for the nine months, starting March 1, to the tune of 65% of the cost, but employers have to pay the subsidy upfront.
"Employers will get the money back, but have to give the government a short-term loan," says health-insurance expert Jim Edholm, president of Business Benefits Insurance in Andover, Mass.
"Employers have to get ready now to start administering the subsidy, which starts in less than a week," he says.

COBRA is the law that lets laid-off workers stay on their ex-employer's healthcare plan. They used to pay the entire premium out of pocket. Under the new law:
-- The employer must pay the 65% to the government and then deduct that
as a credit against payroll and income taxes withheld from employees.
-- The law is retroactive to September 1, 2008, and the employer must
reach out to both those who took COBRA at that time and to those who didn't
take it.
-- There will be a special "open enrollment" for those who are eligible
for COBRA but didn't take it. This lets them join at 35% of the cost.

Please if you know anyone laid off recently, pass this on...leave your e-mail address if you want additional information...I have an e-mail I can forward to you.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Answered Prayers

The time was 1974...don't you just love my rose colored glasses and feathered hair? I'd taken Brad and Melissa to have their pictures made and the photographer sat me down too....thank goodness, since we have very few pictures of the three of us. When times are stressful or hard...the last thing on people's minds are to get a picture taken.

I was a single mom, juggling running a plant store I owned with my dad, going to college part time and day to day life with two little really helped they were awesome little good. You can't tell by looking at this picture, my self esteem was really in the gutter....I'd been told a lot I was stupid, fat and one would ever want me. So overwhelmingly I'd believed it true. It wasn't, sadly enough, until I'd taken a Human Development Class at UofL that I'd started to realize that I was nice and people liked me!!

The feelings of self loathing and doubt would take over however, when I would sit in church with my kids and see all the loving families together...moms, dads, children. "Oh Lord", I'd pray, "I know I'm worthless and don't deserve anything, but Lord, could you send me a christian husband, please?"

I wish now I could sit down with that person that was me

and give her a big ole hug.

I'd tell her

Jesus loves you and you are so precious to Him.

He's not looking for you to be one is perfect

Jesus would tell her....

All these people you see here looking so fine here in MY house..

It's not always what it seems

no one, no not one of them have perfect lives

They all need ME.

God was listening and He had a plan for my life and Dick's.

We like to say we picked each other up out of the gutter and brushed each other off.

Together we were better.

Dick is my prince on a white horse, my rock of Gilbratar, and he makes me laugh til the cows come home. More importantly....he loves me....a really nice christian guy loves..... me!

Thank you Lord for answered prayers!

Dick adopted Brad and Melissa several years after we got married...and then along came Rich ....he's about 6 weeks old here.

February 24, 1978
We are blessed over and over

we look forward to many more years together

full of laughter and


Monday, February 23, 2009

New Etsy purchase..

I like a busy soffit...hard to do when there isn't one. I decided vinyl words would be good. Sis helped me find this one at Etsy, I love it!

I'm still working on the to decide on window treatments. Dick made the valentine on the says ...I Love You the Most. I teased him, "who are the others, if you love me the most ??"...Sis said it stems from Pop Pop and Leah going back and forth on who loves who the most....but she did see my point! :-)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Keeping the love alive....

Valentine Day, Dick and I had reservations at our church for dinner and music provided by Michael O'Brien. We knew Michael from his Christian music...he writes wonderful songs and sings. He has written music for our Easter Passion Drama and has performed at our church many times. Michael has mentioned his dad, who is not a Christian, and not crazy about his music....but we didn't know much about him personally.

Dick and I walked into our Church's Family Life Center to see it had been beautifully transformed...the lights were low, flowers on the tables with red gift bags ...soft classical guitar playing...lovely. It really set the mood for romance...we were a little surprised, but loved it...we really needed it...the romance.

Then Michael started playing the piano and singing this really romantic...seductively romantic pulled their chairs together and hung onto every note.
I wanted to share one of Michael's' songs he sang.
(Clay Aiken has recorded this song too....if it sounds familiar)

Michael O'Brien's
music can be found at his website and his YouTube page has Michael and his wife Heidi's testimony...they have been through so much and are still very much in love.
Heidi was so cute Valentines night...she was dressed up in a simple long black gown with a lovely sheer shawl...she said, "Ladies, do yourself a favor and get yourself one of these." pointing down to her dress, Heidi went on to say,
"I bought this at a consignment shop for $40, and it's soooo worth it!".

When times get tough, we need to really hold on to each other....
dance in the kitchen, light the candles,
talk baby talk to each other,
run in the park and remember why we fell in love.

Dick and I will celebrate 31 years this Tuesday...
February 24, 1978....
I found true love, and I want to keep that love alive!!

Song of Solomon 7: 10
I belong to my lover, and his desire is for me.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Getting Fiber the fun way...and other thoughts

Some of the things I realized while loosing the 60 pounds was I HAD to control calories in, sodium and fiber....if I managed all of these...the pounds fell off. For a long time I used Fiber One bars. Finally, I had to face the fact they were not my friend...waaay to much... err....sorry, gas. So I switched to adding more fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains. Much better!!

Dick and I love these English muffins....8 grams of fiber. We try to get at least 25 grams of fiber each day.

Arnold Select Sandwich Thins are 100 calories and the whole wheat have 6 grams of fiber. They make great breakfast sandwiches, filled with scrambled eggs and low-fat cheese. I love them for lunch toasted with lean turkey or chicken, tuna salad....great with peanut butter and jelly. I'm thinking the Turkey Sloppy Joe's I made last night would be great with them.

Still have to have some fun in my diet so I don't feel deprived...usually it's Edy's ice cream for sweet and Pepperidge Farm Natural wheat crackers (17 crackers have 140 calories) for salty.

I found these Wheat Thin Artisan cheese crackers at Walmart, 14 cracker have 140 calories...not high in fiber but meet that salty craving I have around 3:30-4 o'clock each day...I used to think it had something to do with Oprah since her show comes on at 4pm. I stopped watching Oprah when she started that New Earth stuff...but still get that salty craving almost everyday, so I plan ahead and CONTROL the urges with these type crackers.

Even with all the stress Dick and I have been going through, we have been able to use the tools we learned over the past year to keep the weight off. We still measure everything and try to eat healthy and get some exercise every day.

Thanks everyone for your prayers and support! We have been busy forming a new business and KNOW that with God's help, ANYTHING is possible!!

Our teaching pastor Kyle Idleman had the BEST sermon Sunday about, really truly, Trusting can find it here . After this service he had all the Elders and their wives to come forward to pray with the many members whose wells have run dry....WOW!!! So many people have lost retirements, investments and jobs. Kyle's sermon helps makes some sense of all this. God Bless!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Open-faced Turkey Joes

Ya'll these are good!!

As usual I changed this a bit cause I never have everything at home....didn't have fresh garlic or tomato paste....used Sargento's reduced-fat provolone slices (50 calories) instead of I used Jennie-O turkey sausage instead of Italian turkey sausage. We really liked this concept and will make it the right way next time, although it tasted yum, yum, yummy!!

Prep: 20 min., Cook: 35 min., Bake: 13 min. If you are watching your sodium intake, substitute ground turkey breast for Italian turkey sausage.

Makes 6 servings

1 (19 1/2-oz.) package Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 (8-oz.) package fresh mushrooms, quartered
1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 (15 1/2-oz.) jar spaghetti sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 (12-oz.) French bread loaf
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup (1 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Cook sausage in a Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring often, 10 minutes or until meat crumbles and is no longer pink; drain. Add mushrooms and bell pepper; cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, 5 minutes. Stir in next 5 ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 400°. Cut bread in half lengthwise. Place bread, cut side up, on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Bake 5 to 6 minutes until toasted.

3. Spoon sausage mixture onto toasted bread, and sprinkle with cheeses. Bake at 400° for 5 to 7 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used Jennie-O Sweet Lean Italian Turkey Sausage.

Nutritional Information
Calories:360 (0.0% from fat)
Fat:13.3g (sat 4.4g,mono 1.1g,poly 1g)
Stephanie Nolan, Bradenton, Florida, Southern Living, JUNE 2008

Dick and I turned down the lights and pretended we were at at a cozy Italian restaurant....

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Heart Day....

The world is changing, changing...everyday something new. For Dick and I...lots of change and lots of new. One change I'm thankful for is a chair with a view....a place to pray, read and dream. I picked up the Amy Grant book, Mosaic, to reread a couple of weeks ago. In her introduction she mentions Minnie Pearl....I loved Minnie Pearl!! Momma loved Minnie too...her hat with the price tag still attached and her humor really made us laugh and love.

Amy wrote about visiting Minnie ( Sarah Cannon) one day when she was bedridden and at the end of her life. As they talked Minnie mentioned that the most important color in an artist palette was "Black is the most important color for an artist." Minnie went on to say, "without black there is no depth. Without black everything appears flat. But mix black with any other color and you can paint an object so real you want to reach out and touch it. " Amy went on to say..."In our lives the darkest times, the days that are bleak and black, add depth to every other experience."

How wonderful must it have been to have sat on the bed with Minnie and talk....I'm so grateful to Amy for sharing that experience with us. It's not fun and so hard to walk through the "black periods" of our lives. Nothing can really prepare us for it and every experience is different and new.

It's during the darkest days of my life that I truly feel the love of God....oh, I see it in the beautiful clouds on a bright summer day....but I feel His love in the depths of my heart when I need Him most. I'm so grateful for the deep love of God!

Love Letter from God

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Carousel...

This is how looks are deceiving...Leah is having a blast..she loves, loves, loves this carousel.

I however, not so much...I was begging to get off!! That bowl spins..I was so sick!!

Nevertheless, we had great time going to Ikea, eating awesome Mexican food
riding this 2 story carousel.

Leah was desperately trying to make the bowl spin faster and I was ready to climb out!!

Take me away....

Don't ask me how I somehow got a subscribtion to Coastal Living, but I did. This is a picture of Curacao (kyur-a-SOW)....a Dutch Caribbean island 40 miles from South America. It's not too far from Aruba...don't want to go there...but, Curacao is calling me...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Our New Home...

Welcome to our new "old home".....the fireplace burns wood..we haven't had one of those in a while...we roasted marshmallow's there during the ice storm week before last. I'm going to make panels for this room probably a neutral green. I need to move the rug to the left, but so far haven't "forced the issue".

Looking down the hallway to the 3 bedrooms, bathroom and the kitchen is the first door to your left. There is a tiny coat closet there too.

Think we are going to like a living room with no TV....already had a lot of talking and book reading in there! I'll try and get the dinning room and kitchen pictures up tomorrow.

Our comfy bed that will not hold me much past 5 or so....working on that! Only one bedside table would fit...I gotta find a small table for my side..need drawers. I'm using a very fashionable tray. :-)

Got the drapes up here....JoAnn Fabrics had rod's 50% off!

Guest bedroom will be really awesome when I get drapes made and pictures up....the quilt is blue toile. There's a cherry sugar chest and a cherry chest of drawers. I think I'll put the canopy on too. Looks really naked person it's homier but still a lot left to do.

The front porch Ala' winter...needs some pillows, people and ice tea!..It's the south, we ALWAYS have ice tea...well, and lemonade too! We are going to paint the front door a little darker red.

This is the view from the grand kids bedroom to the front porch and yard...Leah just loves the view!

Leah loves the reading pillow too...the room is bright and much better than their windowless condo bedroom!

This is the grand kids basement playroom....we have a lot to do to make it homey, but it's a start...need drapes and more artwork ASAP!

This is our basement family "office" is at one end...I have a window with a tree. All the windows in the house have a tree...good and bad...found that out in the ice storm!

Our poor buffet has not been in the dinning room for a was in our bedroom at the condo. The little rocker is very, very old. It belonged to Dick's grandmother....still holds grand kids!
Dick's office is on the second floor, it's really cozy.....he has a TV and his lap-top..nice set-up. There's a sky light over his desk...beautiful view.

This is supposed to be the master bedroom. Has a walk-in closet and the's an Ikea type bedroom I'm thinking.

I need to get something to hold my summer shoes, laid out here in the upstairs "master suite". Leah went shopping when she saw the shoes...she got really excited and picked out 3 pairs of the girliest heels for her playroom...gotta love it!!:-)

Oh's our pantry for now....LeAnn got any suggestions???!!

Gramma, where is your pantry?....

Leah spent the day with me Monday....she always hits the floor running the minute she gets here! We park hopped since the day was so beautiful....60 degrees and the sun came out to play! Hit her favorite McDonald's too.....cheeseburger Happy Meal, no onions, no pickles please.

Park hopping means to go to Cherokee and Seneca Parks (they are right next to each other) and visit all the playgrounds...there are 4 different play areas all different and fun. My parents used to play tennis at Cherokee Park when they were dating over 70 years ago....we have so many memories here!

Our pantry at our condo was one of Leah's favorite places...Sam too come to think of it! Leah would always check out the pantry every time she would come over...even putting a foot stool in there from time to time. I made her an area down low in the cabinets here at our new home for her favorite plates, cups and straws...but no pudding, snacks or drinks in there! I didn't even think of when Leah came to get me, grabbing my hand to lead me into the kitchen...

"Gramma, where is your pantry?" pantry here in our 54 year old home.

Just a lot of love!

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Pretty Amazing...
our little grandson...
all 1lb 4 oz of him....
Sweet little baby boy..

Our son Rich and his wife Rachel who live in Tennesee are the proud parents.

They came up a few weeks ago to help us move. Rachel organized my kitchen for me. We moved from a 10 year old condo with all the trimmings to a 54 year old house with no pantry and small closets... all I can say is...Rachel rocks!! Our son Rich helped with heavy stuff and setting up our computers. Most of all they came to give us moral support.....warm fuzzies...we felt them and are blessed!

Love you guys!!

Thank you Rich and Rachel for sharing these wonderful pictures of our little sweety pie!

These Things I Know are true....

1. My husband Dick
is the most awesome guy
I've ever met in my
entire life.

2. I've always said, my daughter Melissa is just like me, only smarter, nicer, prettier and skinnier.....x 10. These last several weeks she entered into Sainthood.....Shawn too. Words can never, ever, express the gratitude I have in my heart for them.

3. When stress enters your life, food does not have to be the first thing you grab CAN form new habits and keep them. ( It also helps not to buy the bad stuff, just in case!)

4. God does open doors....our pastor says.... God is rarely early, but he's never late. Amen

5. Blogger's are the most wonderful network of support for each other.


We got home Monday night after eating a great meal (chicken spaghetti casserole, Pioneer Women's recipe)with Sis, Shawn and Leah. Our house had lights and was WARM!!

Dick proceeded to get sick Tuesday afternoon quickly, 102.4 temp...aches, pains. The doctor at Norton's Immediate Care said it wasn't the flu....could be a virus.....Dear Lord this sweet man has been though enough! Although he had an 100 degree temp last night, he left at 6am this morning to meet a customer 100 miles away. Think I may have to sit on him to get him to rest!

Dick and I are starting a new business. Medical Insurance will be our biggest's the reason he went to work a year and a half ago and closed his business. We both needed a colonoscopy.

We are depending on God. Throwing our hands up and saying everything is Yours Lord, we KNOW you love us, we are our Your kids....we are waiting for.....

Amazing things to happen here!