Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"The Warrior is a Child"

Several years ago, when I used to sing specials in church, this was one song I tried to sing a lot. I say "tried", because I rarely made it through without crying. I always choked up at the same place.

"People say that I'm amazing, never face retreat
But they don't see the enemies that lay me at His feet"

Can I get an "amen"? The words to this song are so moving, I don't know how Twyla Paris got through it every time she sang it. Very beautifully too, I might add. :-)

This afternoon I heard this song on the radio. I hadn't heard it in so long, and the second it came on I immediately knew what it was. I turned it up and began to sing. I remembered ALL the words, and then the part came. And I choked up. Praise God. :-)

So, I decided that since I probably won't be posting for a week I would leave y'all with this video. I pray that it blesses you as much as it blesses me. :-)

Wendy Darling

Monday, September 29, 2008

Can we say, "Overload?"

I seriously think that my brain is going to explode, y'all. Is anyone else so tired of hearing the words "bail out", "Presidential election".... that they could just scream?

I mean, I KNOW that it is important. I know this is a critical time in our country, and history is literally being made, but at the risk of sounding cynical, I just don't know how much more I can take.

We leave for vacation in 2 days, and it is starting to feel more stressful than relaxing. SO, I have vowed that for the next week I will do all I can to avoid the news, debates, magazines, etc. that have anything to do with the previously mentioned words or phrases, or anything even closely related.

I will record the Vice-Presidential debates and watch them next week. But, beginning on Wednesday there will be nothing but relaxing, learning, and enjoying my family. That's it. It may not be responsible, but believe me it is NECESSARY!!!

Wendy Darling

Friday, September 26, 2008

Recipe Swap Friday...

Today is Friday, and that means it's time to post a recipe. I had several I wanted to post, but I decided to go with this one. Some parts of the country are starting to experience the cooler weather of fall. Not neccesarily here in east Texas, but some places in the country. ;-) Cooler weather means it's time to make SOUP. So, I'm posting my recipe for home made vegetable soup. You'll need a BIG pot. You can change the amount of any of the veggies, or omit/add if what you like. These are just the ones I prefer to use. I have used others things as well if I had them on hand. Enjoy! :-)

Homemade Vegetable Soup

2 cups of frozen corn
2 cups of frozen peas
2 cups of frozen green beans
2 cups of fresh baby carrots (those tiny ones you can buy in the little packages. OR, you can just use the big ones and cut them into coins. Just try to make sure they are about the same size.)
1 large onion, diced small
1 cup of chopped, fresh celery (or more if you like.)
2 cloves of garlic, diced tiny (or you can use the jar stuff already diced for you)
3 cans of tomato sauce
3 cans of stewed tomatoes (obviously if you can your own you can use those, and it would probably be better)
at least 2 cartons of vegetable broth, or more if you like your soup with more juice. You can also add some water here if you don't want to use so much vegetable broth. I use the sodium free/organic broth)
1/2 tsp thyme, fresh or ground
1/2 tsp rosemary fresh or ground
2 bay leaves, whole
salt and pepper to taste. I use a lot of fresh ground pepper.

Put everything into a big old pot and heat on low to low-medium heat for several hours. I usually get mine started about 8 am and just let it go until 4:00 pm or so. :-) Be sure to stir and taste every once in awhile. Remove the bay leaves and serve with fresh bread, cornbread or crackers. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers. It's even better the next day. :-)

Wendy Darling

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It's the big 4-0...

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I turned 40 years old today. :-) So, I decided to do one of those lists about myself. Of course there are 40 things, but it is more of a "Hodge Podge" about me. Not one specific theme. Some of you may already know, some you may not. Hope you enjoy it. :-)

Wendy Darling

1. Sometimes, I really do want to be a kid again.

2. Everything I REALLY needed to know I learned from Sunday School, and Mr. Rogers

3. I like blogging.

4. I can be in a leadership position, and be successful.

5. I love Beth Moore Bible Studies.

6. I know WAY TOO MUCH TV trivia from the '70s and '80s.

7. Despite the horror of the pixies, Tenilles, and Dorothy Hamill haircuts of my childhood, I like having short hair. :-)

8. Fireworks on the 4th of July still rock!!

9. Christmas music sounds just as wonderful in July as it does in December.

10. OK, I like the Jo Bros.

11. I do like the soundtrack from Hairspray

12. I enjoy going to the gym and working out. (We have started back.)

13. "The Family Circus" is still the best comic strip ever written.

14. My favorite candy bar is Milky Way.

15. I also like Skittles.

16. My eyes are hazel.

17. I am a "big, beautiful woman."

18. I like to watch the Food Network.

19. Ace of Cakes rocks.

20. I enjoy homeschooling.

21. My favorite book in high school was "To Kill a Mockingbird."

22. The first book to ever make me cry was "The Outsiders."

23. My favorite movie soundtrack is "American Graffiti."

24. My favorite holiday is Christmas.

25. My favorite colors are different shades of pink and purple, but not together. ;-)

26. I love to bake.

27. I learned Power Point this year.

28. I get to meet Eric Dodge and FlyLady while I'm on vacation!!!! :-)

29. I would really like to learn more about photography, perhaps as a profession.

30. I like 4-H, and wish I had participated when I was younger.

31. I would like to learn to play the piano.

32. I still would like to have my children's books published.

33. I like to do one stroke painting like Donna Dewberry.

34. The first dance I ever learned was "The Stroll."

35. I was in college before I went on my first date, and now I do not date by choice.

36. My favorite subject in high school was home making.

37. My favorite subject in college/now is history.

38. My favorite hymn is "Blessed Assurance."

39. I like classical music.

40. I still do not know what I want to be when I grow up.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Back to our regularly scheduled program...

It's been a nice break, but I'm ready to get back to our normal routines. :-) I haven't posted in exactly one week, and as you can see I missed the Recipe Swap today. I'll post one next week though. I'm already looking for it. :-)

"Little Mark" went to stay in Dallas when Gustav was supposed to come this way. We got a little rain, but that was about it. Then, just before it was time to go and bring him home Hurricane Ike decided to make an appearance. And what an appearance he made!!

We got quite a bit of wind and rain here. We actually only lost a lot of branches and such, and 2 wooden post off our fence, but nothing major. We did lose power, but only for a few hours. Just a few blocks away people had trees uprooted, and tossed on their houses. Some people were without power for 3-4 days. So, we are not complaining at all. We realize how blessed we were. I actually do have pictures, but I will have to post them another time.

So, "Little Mark" and the younger nephew will be coming home tomorrow. School will resume as normal on Monday, and 4-H will be back in full swing as well. ;-)

Then, we leave for VACATION!!! :-) OK, so we are only going to Dallas, but it is still vacation. ;-) We have lots of things planned; the "King Tut" exhibit among them. :-) I am very excited. :-)

I am EXTREMELY excited, because on Saturday I will be attending FlyFest, and I will get to meet FlyLady, Marla, in person as well as Eric Dodge! :-) I'm so excited I could just scream. ;-) But, the rest of the family is in bed, so that would be very wise to do right now. ;-)

I have had a nice "break", but I got very little accomplished. I did get everything "up and running" for 4-H, and lesson plans are made for the next week or so, and vacation plans are made. I did rest, as well as fight allergies for several days. It's funny, but it seems that I get more done when I am super busy than when I have LOTS of "free" time. ;-) I guess it is the adrenaline rush. :-)

I am excited about next week, because the nephews and I are going to make our own chewing gum. Has anyone used the chewing gum kit? I can't wait to try it. It really looks like it will be fun, and neat learning experience. :-)

Wendy Darling

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap

With all of the hype about "Ike" I forgot to post a recipe today. So, I ran through my cookbooks and found a quick, easy one for you. ;-) I made this one not too long ago for a meeting I had to attend. Everyone really liked it. I hope you enjoy it. :-)

Roasted Red pepper Dip

8 oz Sour Cream
7 oz jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
4 oz Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 t chopped fresh or frozen chives

Blend sour cream, peppers, cream cheese and chopped chives in electric blender or food processor until well mixed. Refrigerate until serving time. Serve with crackers.

Makes 2 cups.

Wendy Darling

Thursday, September 11, 2008

"Ike, the 'Cone of Uncertainty' and coughing"

How is that for a title? Yes, here in East Texas we are preparing to get a lot of rain from Ike. IF the "Cone of Uncertainty" is correct. I like what Big Mama had to say about that today. We are prepared, but NOT panicked, for the storm. We have water, non perishable food, batteries, etc; but after seeing Big Mama's picture of her supplies I realize I need to go back and buy M&Ms and Skittles.

But, instead of enjoying the "Hurricane Hoopla" I am trying to hack up a lung. Seems all of the rain we have had lately is REALLY wreaking havoc with my sinuses/allergies. Come to think of it, I may need to go back to the store and stock up on decongestant. That would be bad to run out of this weekend.

In all seriousness, we are praying for everyone on the coast and in the path of Ike. I wanted to share with you this "Plan of Preparedness" that I got from Fly Lady. It won't help those in Harris County who are being forced to leave NOW, but those it MIGHT come to still have time. As a matter of fact, we actually did all of this to prepare for Gustav, and since he changed direction we were not affected, but we are still packed and prepared. ;-)

FlyLady's 11 Points to Preparedness for Evacuation

"We can FLY in the face of Danger and Emergency if we are prepared. Don't wait till you are being asked to evacuate. Everyone thinks that it could not happen to them. Well it could and it is up to you to make sure you are prepared. Don't wait! DO IT NOW!!" -- FlyLady

  1. PEOPLE: Have a plan for getting out of the house and make sure everyone knows it. Have an emergency bag of food and water for your family. Include wholesome snacks and treats for the children: dried fruit, nuts, peanut butter, crackers and granola bars.

  2. PETS: Keep pet carriers and leashes readily available to lead pets to safety. Also take pet food with you.

  3. PICTURES: Keep negatives or CDs of pictures in a lock box or at a family member's home. Have picture albums in one place ready to grab and go at a moments notice.

  4. PAPERS: Have all your important papers in a lock box at a bank and only keep copies at the house. This keeps you from panicking. If you have them at home then put them in a folder that you can easily grab if you have to move fast. Color code it so you can find it!

  5. PRESCRIPTIONS: Take your medications with you. Don't forget the ones that have to be refrigerated like insulin. Have small ice chest and cold packs readily accessible to pack and go. If you have babies; remember their formula or medications.

  6. PURSES and PETROL: This is where you keep your identification, credit cards and cash. Keep a stash of cash for emergencies and grab it. You may not be able to use an ATM in the event of a power outage. Make sure your car always has a half a tank of gas.

  7. PROPER CLOTHES and COMFORT ITEMS: According to the weather conditions; gather up a change of clothes along with outer clothing: coats, rain gear, boots, gloves and hats. If you have babies remember diapers. Remember to grab your children's favorite blanket, stuffed animal or toy. A game or a deck of cards could keep them occupied and calm too.

  8. PLANNER/CALENDAR/CONTROL JOURNAL: These documents have all the information you will need from phone numbers, insurance numbers and important dates. They are small and filled with things you don't have to try to remember.

  9. PERSONAL PROTECTION: Many of us still have that time of the month. Be sure and grab a box of your preferred protection. It may be hard to find if you have been evacuated. Stress can cause our bodies to do strange things too. So be prepared. Take medication for cramps too.

  10. PHONES and RADIOS: Many of us have cell phones now. Always keep them charged up and have a charger in the car or an extra battery. They may not work in the event of power outages, but then they might. Know which local radio station has emergency bulletins. Keep your battery powered radio tuned to that local station and have plenty of batteries for it.

  11. PATIENCE: This is one of the most important things to pack. Keep it inside of you so that you have a clear calm head. Having your P's to Preparedness list guiding you will keep you patient. In the event of an evacuation there will be lots of displaced people. Being patient will make things less stressful. Your children need to see you calm and collected. This will help keep them calm too.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

An amazing woman...

I promise that I am not going to turn this blog into just posts with videos. :-) However, I began a new Bible study tonight, "Walk By Faith," and this woman is so amazing that I wanted to share her with you. If you have never heard of Jennifer Rothschild, then you need to get acquainted with her and her story. The following is taken directly from her website:

For Jennifer Rothschild, these words are much more than the lyrics from a familiar hymn; they represent a foundation upon which many life lessons have been learned…in the dark

At the young age of fifteen, Jennifer was diagnosed with a rare, degenerative eye disease that would eventually steal her sight. It was more than a turning point for the Miami, Fl, native. Her dreams of becoming a commercial artist and cartoonist faded. Words and music have replaced her canvas and palette for more than 25 years.

Known for her substance, and a down-to-earth style, Jennifer weaves together colorful illustrations, universal principles, and music to help audiences find contentment, walk with endurance, and celebrate the ordinary. Through her signature wit and poignant story-telling, audiences are prompted to look beyond their circumstances to find unique “gifts,” in unusual packaging."

Of course, me being me I wanted to share videos of her with you. I found two that I really wanted to share, so I am posting both. They are not long, and believe you will truly be blessed after seeing them.

Friday, September 05, 2008

"No Limbs, No Limits"

This young man is simply amazing!! Take the time to watch it, and you will be truly blessed.

Wendy Darling
Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap

It's Friday, and that means it's time to post another recipe. :-) Once you read this one head on over to Gayle's to see some more wonderful recipes. :-)

Are there times when you just sit around and think about the food you ate when you were little? The stuff that people ALWAYS brought to family parties and holiday meals? Surely, it's not just me. ;-) I was actually doing that just the other day. Our family had "staples" at most parties. The things you could always count on being there. Like Nana's fudge, or chocolate pie. One of the things my Mom always brought was "Cottage Cheese Delight."

Now, don't scrunch up your nose and say "Ewww, cottage cheese..." This is not the typical cottage cheese. This stuff ROCKS! And I have been craving it for days. :-) So, just give it try, and I am betting you will like it. :-)

Cottage Cheese Delight

1 carton of small curd cottage cheese
1 large box of Jell-O (any flavor)
1 can crushed pineapple (about 15 oz)
1 carton of Cool Whip

Melt the Jell-O and pineapple in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Pour in the cottage cheese and whipped topping. Mix together well and pour into a 9 X 13 dish. Chill for 1-2 hours.

This can be made low fat, or fat free just by using the LF or FF cottage cheese and Cool Whip. Also use the sugar free Jell-O. See? It's healthy. :-) Another fun thing is to use the use a color of Jell-O to co-ordinate with your holiday. For instance, use the lime or strawberry/cherry for Christmas. Or Orange for Halloween. It's fun, and even the kids can make it! :-)

If you try it, let me know what you think. :-)

Wendy Darling

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Fireproof!!! :-)

I have been waiting for months for "Fireproof" to be released. ONE theater near me will be showing it, and I would love to be there opening night. :-) Here is what IMDB has to say:

Lt. Caleb Holt lives by the old firefighter's adage: Never leave your partner behind. Inside burning buildings, it's his natural instinct. In the cooling embers of his marriage, it's another story.

After a decade of marriage, Caleb and Catherine Holt have drifted so far apart that they are ready to move on without each other. Yet as they prepare to enter divorce proceedings, Caleb's dad asks his son to try an experiment: The Love Dare.

While hoping The Love Dare has nothing to do with his parents' newfound faith, Caleb commits to the challenge. But can he attempt to love his wife while avoiding God's love for him? Will he be able to demonstrate love over and over again to a person that's no longer receptive to his love? Or is this just another marriage destined to go up in smoke?

It is made by the same people who did "Fly Wheel" and "Facing the Giants." Both were fantastic movies, so I am really looking forward to this one. :-) Also, I really enjoyed Kirk Cameron's acting in the "Left Behind" movies, so I am sure his performance here will not disappoint.

The release date is September 26th. Perhaps this could be a "birthday present" to myself. ;-)
Is anyone else planning to see this movie?

Wendy Darling

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

She has spunk!!!

I like her. :-)

Wendy Darling