Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It's Matt Giraud Rally Night!

And I've got my rally "cap" on!!

Rat Pack Standards tonight on American Idol--Frank, Dean, Sammy....(Adam Lambert sings Joey Bishop?!)

Go, Matt! (Go Danny.... Go Kris.... my top three in no particular order)

And "props" to Chatty Kelly Dawg for the really cool (and browniful!) hat....

Not an official "AI" post, but there's sure to be one in the wings.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Here Comes the Sun

...It's all right!

Hot but gorgeous yesterday. Felt great to be out with the girls...going to church, driving. Like the new scarf-do?! More on that to come later this week. But for now....

Share in our yesterday. What a great Spring...finally!
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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Time off

This sort of looks like me at the moment.

Taking some time off to recuperate from some medical treatment that was more extensive than I was expecting. Brain's definitely not up for blogging.

But, I've rediscovered sleeping in the middle of the day, and it's not a bad thing.

Doing better every day! Will check in with you all soon....

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Did He Save You?

For God so loved the world
That He gave His only begotten Son
That whosoever believeth in Him
Shall not perish
But have everlasting life.
--John 3:16

"I serve a risen Saviour,
He's in the world today;
I know that He is living,
Whatever men may say;

I see His hand of mercy,
I hear His voice of cheer,
And just the time I need Him
He's always near.

He lives!
He lives!
Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me
Along life's narrow way.

He lives!
He lives!
Salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives:
He lives within my heart."

Do you believe He saved you?
Believe it today...and know the risen Savior lives in you!

A Joyous Easter to you!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Judges' Save

If you follow my American Idol posts, you know I always make a spiritual turn with them. Today's is no exception....

* * *

This year, American Idol producers introduced a new facet to the show to rectify what they saw as a problem situation that had emerged in some years. Sometimes, the good contestants didn't finish first. Cited for their "nice guys finish fourth or more back" placement have been folks like Chris Daughtry, Tamyra Gray, Michael Johns and Jennifer Hudson.

So, the producers invented The Judges' Save, which, essentially, gives one contestant one more opportunity to return to the show after he or she has received the lowest number of votes. I guess they figure even the best contestants can make a mistake--a bad song choice, bad performance, etc. And why should one mistake cost them the title?

The judges have had the chance to use The Judges' Save since the show began. They have not granted it to anyone. Honestly, I don't think they will use it. I think the power to save is not something they are willing to risk doing. And they all know that just because you have the American Idol title doesn't always mean you're best of the best anyway.

* * *

There was a man named Pilate who held The Judges' Save option for another man named Jesus. But, Jesus was no ordinary man. He proclaimed to be the Messiah! He had a number of followers over three years' time in the high-profile public eye. Many loved him. Others were skeptical, if not downright out to have him "voted off," as it were.

Jesus was thought by the people of the day to be the next king. He had performed miracles! He attracted throngs of people to hear him. He came through the city of Jerusalem as the people praised him. Their king was almost to be crowned.
But then, a traitor stepped forward and exposed Jesus. An overnight turn-of-events that pronounced Jesus as someone who wasn't who he said he was. Mockery ensued. Torture.

The man who would be crowned then came face-to-face with Pilate, the one with The Judges' Save. Pilate wrestled with himself more than he wrestled with Jesus (not that Jesus was "singing for his life" at that point). The voices in Pilate's head were not unanimous. How could he hold this man? He had no grounds to do so. Yet, how could he release him? What kind of turmoil would come to him? The risks to use The Judges' Save were too great. So, Pilate left the decision of Jesus' reign to the people. And Jesus received the least number of votes.

* * *

There was Another who had the option to use The Judges' Save that day. God. Jesus' Father.

Surely God knew the amazingness of His only begotten Son. He crafted His Son as carefully as any one of us, except that He made Him to be perfect. There was only One who was both fully God and fully man, and Jesus was Him.

God brought Him to earth in an amazing way--just like us! He grew up a child, like us. He learned a trade, supported his family, embraced a one-of-a-kind ministry that would have life-changing ramifications for generations to come. He brought the Truth and taught it to everyone He saw. He healed. He prayed. He fasted. He wept. He enjoyed the company of children. He reached out to everyone. He loved. He was love!

Yet, there was Jesus, in the Garden of Gethsemene, asking His Father to use The Judges' Save, but knowing in His heart and in His prayer that He would follow His Father's will and accept the place that He was called to take. Yes, even Jesus had The Judges' Save that day. But He refused to use it.

* * *

But, on this Good Friday, let us not mourn the decision that was made. For had The Judges' Save been used by anyone, the outcome for all of us would be very different. Our "going home" would look more like that of an
American Idol contestant at the end of his or her run. There would be no rejoicing.

Jesus did not come to take the title of king.

Jesus did not come to win an earthly competition to be king of kings.

Jesus came
not so that He could be saved, but that the world THROUGH HIM might be saved!
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.
--Romans 8: 1-4 (New Living Translation)

So, the only question left is, Did Jesus save you today?

He did, if you believe He opted out of The Judges' Save for you. (John 3:16)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Oobie-doo! I Wanna Eat Like You-oo-oo!

Can you guess what we're making?

The happy sous chef already knows. (She made one in preschool a while ago.) Yum! Who left that sweet sugar on the counter?

Looks like dumplings.

This was the 2nd rise. It's ready to bake!

Brown sugar, corn syrup, cinnamon sugar goodness! (And not a trace of banana!)

You're right! It's Monkey Bread!! Do you want RJ2's leftovers?

Obviously, more fun to make than it was to eat.

(Like I need to eat monkey bread after birthday cake this week....)
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Monday, April 6, 2009

Big Birthday Recap

There's nothing quite like waking up in the morning to 148 comments! Surely, it must have been a dream....


Here is the REAL chocolate cake from yesterday. My hubby made German chocolate cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting! I wish you all were closer, because we still have quite a bit in the refridgerator. CJ put on the flowers and did her first cake writing. It's really hard to write "Happy 45th Bday" when your purple (it comes out black) gel icing is almost gone. I thought she did great!

Had all kinds of surprises. The kids I work with at church in the music ministry sang and played chimes for a Palm Sunday processional. The co-director told them it was my birthday, so they sang to me. That was cool! And she had this adorable lamb container with a cranberry-orange muffin mix in it. Yummy!

Then, one of the gals from the bell choir stopped by my house with a gift certificate to The Melting Pot (for fondue dinner!!) and babysitting money. They are too good to me....

The barbecue was really, REALLY good. It's a local place that does it right time after time. Collards with just the right amount of pickling! Hmmm....

I have more cows for the kitchen and a barn, too! A 4-disk set of the "Sound of Philadelphia." (Think O'Jays, Delfonics, Spinners, TSOP, etc.) A cool book on journaling (which is kind of the precursor to blogging). A beehive cake pan. Some yummy food items, too. I have some 50+SPF sun protective clothing on the way....

Special E-mails, phone calls, and lunch with a friend on Friday...and a playdate with the Chatty Girls today!

Not to mention 148 comments on the blog yesterday, and some wacky, loveable (and sometimes anonymous...and browniful) friends!

Thanks again!
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Sunday, April 5, 2009

When I was 45....

It was a very good year!
(Yep, celebrating again! I hijacked my own blog--LOL!)

The glass is half full, and things have never looked more browniful!

Awesome day on tap....


take-out barbecue for dinner,


Thanks for celebrating with me!


(Let it rise....One of my all-time favorite praise songs!)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Do, Re, Mi, Oh My!!

Happy Saturday!!

If this doesn't put a smile on your face (or give you that unexplainable lump in your throat)....

My sister just sent me this link. You may have seen it. But if you haven't, you are in for a treat. (Unless you're Linda from 2nd Cup of Coffee, and then you're running for cover and saying "not again!")

P.S. Sound of Music purists may have some trouble about 3/4s of the way through. Hang in there! It does return to true form at the end.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Reduce-Reuse...Reusement....Reusement Park!

It's Friday, and way back when I started this blog (almost a year ago now--wow!), Daughter #1, CJ, took this day to blog on my blog. (Although I keep trying to encourage her to start her own blog, she insists that it's better to be on Mom's blog, and to read Mom's blog on Mom's computer. Hmm....About the only time I have much clout. Only kidding, CJ!)

Anyhow, I promised CJ that I would blog about her new adventures in recycling. A great recycler, she has been a big encourager of the practice at her school. Now, she's become a great re-user. We have cardboard boxes full of...well, cardboard boxes and plastic stuff, from which she creates lots of interesting new things.

After Christmas, with the arrival of RJ2's Polly Pocket dolls, CJ decided to create a house and furniture for the dolls. But, really, she contemplated something bigger. Something for the Pollies to visit. Disneyland? Dollywood? An amusement park, yes. But not just any amusement park--The Reusement Park!

Here is the front gate ticket booth (a macaroni box), complete with map of the attractions and eateries.

The Flying Tea Cups (built on a cherry tomato container).

The A-Maze-ing Maze (the innards of a beer box, cut to create secret passageways).

The Hall of Heads, with our President between Hannah Montana and an unknown man [strangely profound].

The Giant Slide! What Reusement Park would be without the giant slide made of cinnamon french toast boxes? (Companion piece to the Red Racer Rollercoaster, top photo, with waffle box cars)

The Swingy Ding. (It's like one of those astronaut simulators.) Those old cardboard spools of ribbon have never looked so loved.

The Stage (Just like the small stage in which Hugh Grant performed in the 80s music-/Wham U.K.-inspired film, Music and Lyrics. Very cute chick flick, by the way.)

And, the Go-Kart track (More spools. Mom must be sewing!)

CJ enjoyed her creation for several weeks. For CJ, the real joy is in the creation, not so much in the use. To hatch an idea into reality gets her jazzed. Naming the creations takes an extremely close second place. (She takes a lot after Adam; yes, that Adam!)

But, at some point, I step in and insist that the Reusement Park has seen its best days (as the Giant Slide hampers my weekly trek to the hamper!).

So, with continued good intent, the Reusement Park returns to its earlier state of recycled goods, and finds its way to the Recycling Center.

"(tch!) Awwwww....."

The story is not over, so don't boo the villain yet. (I'm far from the hero, but I do a good deed here.) CJ's enthusiasm for reusing is not reduced to shreds. Weeks later, she worked with Dad and Mom (I taught her how to use the hot glue gun; those taped seams just had to go!). She constructed a project for RJ2's teacher--a castle for the class' Irish-themed golf hole at her school's putt-putt fundraiser.

(Guess someone eats a lot of waffles!)