Hopeful Thoughts


Archive for August, 2009

“Down for The Count” now Available on iTunes!!!!

Today is a big day for my Dear Husband.  He’s been working on a new game for the iPhone and it just appeared in the iTunes store today.  ”Down for the Count” is a boxing game and it’s available for the low price of $1.00!!!  So, if you own an iPhone, you should go download it now!!!

Click Here to Download it!!!

A Dessert Classic

Real homemade banana pudding … you know, the kind with warm custard cooked on the stovetop … is a dying art.  Sometimes I like to forego quick and easy in favor of the real thing.  In this case, it’s totally worth it!

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How do you prefer your banana pudding?  Warm or chilled?

Stumbling into Dinner

Now that I am not working full time, cooking in an economical way has become a focus.  This week I decided to take advantage of a sale on whole chickens and cut them up myself in order to save a bit of money.

After breaking two chickens down to thighs, breasts, tender strips, legs, and wings, I intended to toss what was left.  My dear husband happened to stroll into the kitchen just as I was about to toss the first carcass.  He encouraged me to go ahead and make stock.  We are about to move, and I don’t really want to add a lot more to my freezer, but I had carrots and onions on hand, so I decided to humor him.

I filled a pot with water, tossed in the bones, added a couple of quartered onions, dumped in a handful of baby carrots straight from the bag, and seasoned the pot with salt and pepper.  I turned the burner up to high and brought it all up to a boil, then set it to simmer for several hours.  During those hours, I did an insane amount of cleaning, but paid little attention to my pot.

As I worked, the pot just kept smelling better and better.   The longer it simmered, the more I wanted Chicken Noodle soup.  I remembered the egg noodles in my pantry and decided to move forward.  With a bit of help from Mr. Brown on my favorite food channel, I knew what seasonings to add and I was on my way to a cheap  and tasty dinner.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Confirmed: I am Argentina Bound

I was just notified today that tickets have been purchased!  I depart September 4.  The team will arrive home on September 15, but I will be staying behind to spend time encouraging my missionary friends who are there full time.  I will be back on the 10th.

Praise God for His timing and provision.  All has not gone according to our plans, but He is sovereign.  Supporters have been generous and all of my money has come in as of just a couple of days ago and we are nearly ready to go.

We did experience a loss in our numbers due to the change in dates.  There were 10 people planning to go, but only 5 of us will be making the trip.  We will miss those who have helped in the planning stages, but would not be able to do the work without their contributions and prayers.

A Crazy Quilted Purse

Recently I posted some pictures of materials that I intended to turn into quilted bags.  After much great anticipation, I finally have something to show!

prototype After cutting up a few shirts and trying to piece them together, I was a little frustrated.  Nothing seemed to lay right and I was ready to give up.  Finally, I decided to keep it simple and start with rectangles.  I cut and stitched and here’s what I came up with.I’m not really happy with the colors, but at least the materials were free!  

 

coasters

 

On Saturday I went to a ladies’ craft gathering.  I took a crochet project … another bag that I hope to give as a gift.  The hostess is a quilter and has been making these cute quilted coasters.  She’d set up all the materials and the instructions, and I just had to make one.  It turned out so cute that I decided to come home and turn all of my fabric quarters into coasters.  I managed to complete 8 of them before realizing I really did want to see these fabrics become a bag.  

 

Sunday after church, I came home armed with renewed ambition.  I got online and looked at several Crazy Quilt tutorials.  My biggest problem is that I didn’t have a pattern.  I had to cut, stitch, unstitch, and trim over and again before I finally got a pattern that laid flat.  I lined every panel and the inside of the handle with fusible interfacing for strength.  I had to pin pillow cases together at one point to figure out how to stitch the outside to the lining.  But, all in all, I am pretty happy with the finished product.  

QuiltedPurse

Recent Kitchen Creations

Last week I made homemade pizza.  I mixed flour, water, olive oil, salt, sugar, and yeast to make the crust.  It took about an hour to rise.  The sauce was canned.  We topped one with pepperoni and sausage, while the other was an assortment of veggies, including zucchini and fresh basil.

girlPizza1

Thursday night I made two Quiche.  Both were filled with cheddar, swiss, bacon, and chopped ham.  I tried yellow sunburst squash, zucchini, and kale this time.  They were quite tasty!

rawQuiche

CookedQuiche

Independent and Dependent

Recently, I’ve found myself bombarded with these two terms.  They seem to be hitting me from all directions.  While working with the Jump Start program, the little three week teaching job that I’ve recently acquired, I’ve been teaching the concept of functions.  Every functional relationship has an independent variable and a dependent variable.  We have discussed the definition of “independent” and “dependent” and looked at contexts outside of the math classroom.  All of the kids have decided that they want to be independent.

Yesterday I received a note from an old friend.  (We’ve been friends a long time, and she’s many years older than I am, but she is not old!)  She’s a precious lady that I’ve been blessed to know as both my “other mother” when I was a kid, and more recently as a dear friend and mentor when we worked together in the same school for three years.  It’s been six years since I left that job, and we were recently able to get together and chat about old times.  

A result of our time was reflection on both sides about what our friendship had meant to each of us.  It also seemed to spur on a renewal of the friendship she’d had with my mother, as I her note mentioned.  She referred to a conversation she and my mother had over dinner about how they had raised us girls, her daughter and my sister and I, to be independent women.

I began to think about that.  All most of us ever want as kids is to get through school and get out of our parents house so that we can be independent.   I suppose that getting a scholarship to college, moving to another state to get married, and traveling to foreign countries might make me look like I’ve been pretty successful at achieving independence.

The reality is that I am probably more dependent now than ever before in my life, and I love it that way.  

Between my God, my husband, my church family, my friends, my sister, and even my parents, I find myself leaning on others at every turn.  And I am so HAPPY to do so.  The relationships in my life are a lovely balance of giving and receiving so that all needs are met.  None go without as all share out of their excess.  I’m not even talking about the material.   It’s spiritual encouragement and prayer, but I’m convinced that this dependancy is a good thing and how relationships are meant to work.    I love being able to help a friend in need and am so blessed by those who’ve been there to comfort me.

Our Creator designed us to be dependent first on Him and then on each other.  

I am dependent.

 

A few of the ladies I depend on most.

A few of the ladies I depend on most.

Making God Laugh

I’ve always been a big planner.  I like to know what’s going to happen, when it’s going to happen, who’s going to be a part of it, and how it’s going to be paid for.  It’s actually a bit of a struggle for me to be patient in the midst of certain situations.  In fact, it’s probably one of my biggest areas of weakness.

I know all the truths from God’s word, as I posted days ago, but I still find the urge to make plans.  I know it just makes God laugh.

Here’s a update on some of my recent “plans” not turning out like I intended.

maddyThis is Madeleine.  I was supposed to be on a plane TODAY to meet this sweet little baby in Argentina.  She is the daughter of my precious friends who are serving as full time missionaries in Argentina.  However, due to the Swine Flu, I’ve spent the last three weeks wondering if we were even going to go.  The elders at the sending church spent a great deal of time debating back and forth over whether to send, postpone, or even cancel the trip altogether.  Finally, on July 29 we received confirmation that the trip would be postponed.  We are now considering September 4-15 as the new dates.  Of course, this is still subject to change depending on how much the situation in Argentina improves.  

Then there is that whole plan I had to quit teaching.  While I still have no intention to go back to work when the 2009-2010 school year begins late this month, I currently find myself in a paid teaching position.  On Thursday of last week, I was hanging out by the pool with my pastor’s kids when I received a phone call.  There was no name, but I recognized the three digits from the high school.  It was one of my former Assistant Principals.  I knew when he identified himself that I was going to be asked to come back for something.  Just didn’t know what.

HopeAllyPool

Long story short, they were running out of options and I was asked to come teach  math for a Jump Start program targeting rising 9th graders who failed their Math TAKS.  On Monday, I began this experience.  It’s from 8:00-12:00 for three weeks.  It’s a paying gig,and I wouldn’t have been able to do it if we traveled to Argentina as scheduled,  so maybe we’ll be able to buy our new couch after all!!  (30 days until we move!!!!!)

So, today I’m sitting on my couch with a notebook, a laptop, a pen, and a pad of paper and I’m planning my day, my week, my month, and my life.  

And God is laughing.