This Old House…

Almost 2 years ago now….I had to say good bye to my family home. The home that my family built in 1976 (before I was born). I was born into this home, lived there for 19 years, and then moved on. Lots of firsts happened there and countless memories. There’s so much that could be said, but I thought it would be fun to relive some of the quirky things about the home through a collections of pictures.

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Here’s my house probably around 1982-1983. Located 7 miles west of Langdon on the south side of the highway. For the longest time, it was this bright bright blue color. I loved it. Before that it was kind of a peach color. My family didn’t care so much about what color the house was, but that the paint was affordable. So….blue it became and I think it sort of became a landmark to many driving west. Every year my mom would plan petunias in that brick flower bed. She liked them because they were hardy and lasted a long time through the summer. That flower bed in the very front never seemed to grow anything very well so it wasn’t for anything special.

This is the crib I slept in and probably all my other siblings, cousins, and kids that stayed at our house for 40 years. Yes, my parents still had it. Pretty sure it was illegal by now, but somehow we all survived.

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See this chair?

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This chair is way older than me. I have no idea who it belonged to or where it came from, but I would bet that my mom could tell you! Anyway, once upon a time, many Christmas’ ago, I puked in this chair. I was probably 5 and I had never EVER thrown up before. I had no idea what had just happened! I knew I wasn’t feeling great so I went and sat in this chair to take a break and then….blaaaahhhh. Right in the chair. Then I ran to the bathroom where my cousin, Scott, was sitting on the toilet that I had hoped to use. I yelled at him to get up, but for some reason he couldn’t.😉 So I proceeded to use the sink for the rest of my puke fest. I don’t remember what happened after that, but it must have gotten cleaned up and all was well with the world because we had this chair until the house sold.🙂 They don’t make chairs this solid anymore. I also read and listened to a lot of “The Lone Ranger” books while sitting in this chair. It was placed right next to our tape/record player and made a cozy spot to curl up and read right in front of that large picture window that faced the south side of our yard.20141115_135102

 

 

This old light hung above that chair. This isn’t a great picture of it, but you get the idea.

The pool table.

Oh the stories we could tell about this old thing. First of all, it weighs a ton. Probably literally (or at least close). My parents got a good deal on it and when they were building the house, moved it into the basement. The problem was…..it didn’t fit down the stairs!! So stuck in the middle going down, they had to cut a hole in the wall to get it down. That hole provided a great little window to visit while sitting on the stairs and in all honesty, I thought it was meant to be that way for the longest time. Kids would often stick stuff down the holes and we’d have to get inventive on how to get the stuff out. Also, that front door where the balls are held would fall off when you’d jiggle it too hard. Always created some exciting times when people didn’t know that would happen.  They thought they’d broken it!! Sometimes we’d let them think that too. The wood paneled walls were just a smidge too close to the table so you couldn’t really get a full shot at some angles. You had to get very creative in how to hit those balls…..made for some pretty good pool players back in the day.

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Here’s that hole….and our crazy carpet.

Remember folks….this house was built in 1976 and this may not have been the most wild carpet in the house.

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See this post.

There’s a funny story involving this post. Back in the day, my cousins and I liked to hang out in the basement. We played a lot of games including “Blind Man’s Bluff”. For those of you who don’t know this game, it’s basically tag, but the person that’s “it” is blind folded. Once upon a time, there was a chair right in front of this post. This was sort of to protect the “it” person from bonking into the post, but also for extra seating.🙂

So what happened was this: My cousin, Scott, was it. He was tagging people left and right, but this one time he lunged forward for someone he heard and it just so happened that his knee hit that chair in front of the post, his arms went on both sides of the post, and WHAM!!! His head hit the post so hard, he bounced backwards, onto the floor, and laid there for a few minutes seeing stars! Poor guy….I think he about knocked himself out! We all laughed and then got worried, but then laughed again when we found out he was ok. Man…..none of us will ever forget this incident. In fact, I saw Scott in April and he asked if I remembered when he almost knocked himself out on that post in my basement. Yup….not going to forget that one ever.

Raise your hand if you grew up and had some sort of “store room”….We had TWO!

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20141116_110111 20141109_133834The pictures you see here are of empty rooms, but imagine these rooms filled with stuff, from stop to bottom, front to back, and everywhere in between. That’s what they once were.

The one with green carpet held all kinds of treasures. Bed frames, mattresses, dressers, relatives old discarded clothing, antiques, every school paper/project us 4 kids ever did (well most of them anyway), chairs, desks, wigs, hats, a couple of Ataris, Erector sets, a doll house, old dolls, and on and on and on. We never needed to shop for Halloween costumes or any kind of costume….we’d just go down to this room and “shop”. You could usually find something that would work in here. Many a lazy day, my friends and I would adventure in here and come up wearing all kinds of goofy get ups.

The other one with grey block walls, was our “cellar. Every single one of those shelves were filled with home made canned goods all through my growing up years. Sometimes 2-3 jars deep. Corn, beans (yellow and green), beets, salsa, tomatoes, jellies, pickled peaches…. everything you could grow in a garden in Northeast ND. That’s what we had in there. We had a GIANT garden and my mom would spend many hours slaving over a hot stove in our hot farm house (with no kind of air conditioning) in the fall to save up for the year. I always joked that we could have fed an army at a moments notice with all the goods we had down there…and I still think we could have. That counter top with the sink hole….that’s where we kept our potatoes. In the fall it would be full to the top. Since it was cool and dark down there, the potatoes would stay pretty good throughout the winter. They’d grow “eyes” that were kind of creepy, but they still worked for feeding our family. Oh and that’s also where my dad made his own shot gun shells right next to it. Ha!
The room with white walls….well imagine that’s it’s 1999 and you might be slightly concerned that the world as we know it will end in 2000. Well this is where you might store extra everything….just in case. Again….full. We would have been just fine if the world ended that winter.

Some of the things we found in the storage rooms

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Yes, there were two dead mice in these pictures….You’re welcome.

The bathroom that never really worked….

20141109_13391920141109_133905At some point in the history of this house, this bathroom worked. It was the one in our basement, right next to the pool table. The toilet worked….I even remember using the shower once. But at some point, maybe due to the crazy wall paper or the pink paint (again we didn’t care about color….just affordability) the bathroom gave up. Everything stopped working. I remember sitting in there as a kid and looking at this wall paper sort of mesmerized. I think it was sort of like reading a magazine, without the magazine.

There was a time that a litter box and cat things were kept in this room. Someone at least had a functional bathroom!

Then after the cat was gone it became the room where we stored empty boxes. We kept those….from everything. Just in case. At one point it was FILLED to the ceiling with boxes. Never needed to buy boxes for Christmas packages or shipping items anywhere….

I have no idea where that fancy looking flooring came from. I think it was some sort of crazy linoleum when I was growing up, but I honestly can’t remember now. Shoot.

The rest of the basement…

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In addition to the large storage rooms, the bathroom that never really worked, and the pool table, we had 2 bedrooms, a tv area, and a nook/ library/ office/ work out area. Back in the day, this floor had carpet on it. It was very 70s carpet, but it was carpet. Several years back now, the washing machine overflowed and caused some water damage which forced the removal of said carpet and some of the flooring, but picture this. In the corner by the window was our tv space. We didn’t have cable, but we DID have an antenna. That device hanging from the wall…..that’s the thing we could use to change the direction of the antenna to see if we could get the channels to come in better. Somehow it was connected to the thing on top of our roof and would actually turn it! Amazing, right! I think on a good day we could get channel 8 (ABC), 12 (NBC), or maybe 13 (PBS). I remember doing lots of exciting work out videos in this space with my goofy friends and as a kid I watched Mr. Rogers. We had some very retro furniture down here too. Some day maybe I’ll find those pictures and share.

The library…

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Tucked away underneath the basement stairs was this magical closet. Genius use of space in my opinion. You see, my family liked books. And encyclopedias. In fact, my mom sold Encyclopedias for awhile. So we had lots of them. You may have found them and many many more books tucked away in this wonderful space. It had doors that closed that were the same paneling and you wouldn’t even know it was there if someone didn’t tell you….

 

 

Downstairs bedrooms

How do you like them curtains….yeah buddy.

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How about that orange carpet. That’s my sister going through all her “text messages” aka “notes” from her school years. What a blast from the past that was!

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And the personalized window. Pretty sure some of my siblings snuck out through that window. Not me….just them. Seriously!20141109_135902

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upstairs bedrooms

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Once I graduated from the crib, that was in my parents room, this is the room AND the bed that moved to. The walls used to be a bright blue on the bottom and some very patriotic wall paper on top. When I was in high school I ATTEMPTED to paint the bottom burgandy and the top a sponged grey….but guess what….grey is hard to mix and often looks purple. And since we don’t spend money on paint….it stayed burgandy and purple. Uffda….The red curtains are original. And if you could see the floor, it’s still very blue.20141109_090046

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In 1976 when this home was built, this was my sister’s room. At 4 years old she got to pick everything out. Rose carpet and all. What you don’t see here is the wallpaper that used to live here. Little pink ballerinas….. everywhere! When I was old enough to live in this room I could only handle the ballerinas for so long before they had to go and I replaced it with blue. Here enters my blue stage. I loved blue. Everything blue. I might have gone a little overboard. In the picture 20141115_135335with me on the floor I may have been channeling a 1107141009amovie….can you guess which one?

 

 

 

 

 
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I didn’t get a good shot of my parents room, but I did take a picture of their light fixture. Yep….fancy chandelier. That might be so old it’s coming back into fashion!!

The end….for now.

Oh my goodness….I’ve spent a lot of time writing this today and I have so much more to do! So I’m going to leave off today with this little gem. We often had little signs around our house to remember who we are or who holds tomorrow or that God wasn’t finished with us yet….and that our rooms might have been messy….:) I’ll return another day to finish this up. I hope you enjoyed a little taste of what our farm was like! Until next time….

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To my dear friends…

There are days that I reflect back on the time we once had to talk on the phone, hang out, drop everything for a dinner out, watching a movie, or night on the town. We both had time for that. We both could stop everything without interruptions for each other. Not for anything planned, scheduled, or super important, but just because we wanted to do something with someone we love and you were the one we wanted to do it with. Weekends together were easier to plan or sometimes we’d just show up at each other’s house….and the rest would go from there.

1609732_10153671277912923_2810596948212779931_nThose days are not part of my reality at the moment. Now I have a husband. And kids. Kids that don’t drive and have their own things that they have to do. Like baseball, piano lessons, school activities and beyond. And I don’t love you less or want to do those things less….I just have other people in line first. People that need me to do those things with them. For this season I am just simply less available. To you. My friend. And more available to these little people that I brought into the world and get a privilege of being mommy to.

I think that once my kids are teenagers they will want to be around me less. And then my husband and I will have more time to hang out. Unscheduled. Unplanned. I’ll be able to drop things more to run out to dinner. Or for a walk. Or shopping (if I’m not completely broke from said teenagers). Then maybe we can be “that” friend again.

In the mean time know this. I am here. I haven’t gone away. I hope that someday we can do fun stuff together again. But for now, don’t forget me. Love me anyway. And know that if you need me….I mean really need me. I will drop everything for you. Because I love ya.

And until that day comes when we can be a little more care free….we just have to schedule our time together. Lunches might include little people. Movies might mean Disney is included. Hanging out might mean we’re at the carnival with our kids or choosing a trip that is kid friendly. Conversations might mean 50 interruptions because heaven forbid we talk on the phone.

Until that day….know that I love you. I always have. I always will. Because that’s the kind of friend I am.

You know who you are….my dear friends.

Ecclesiates 3:1 (ESV) For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:…

*The rest of this chapter is good too. Click Here to read it.

 

Striving for perfection will make you fail every time

A week or so ago I posted something on Facebook about that “perfect” mom that’s all cute and skinny and drives a fancy SUV and how that seems so unreal to me. How that seems to completely unlike any reality that I have ever known or experienced. With Anyone. Ever. This wasn’t my way of judging someone because I have come to understand in my few years on this planet that EVERYONE has their own struggles. That “perfect” appearing mom probably has her own insecurities. And I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that she is not perfect.

I realized today when I dropped off my kiddo at school that in my struggle to strive for perfection that it just can’t happen. I can even strive for great and I’ll fall short…a lot.

That’s a little discouraging and frustrating.

I want to be the BEST mom and wife and friend and sister and auntie and co-worker and and and….that I can possibly be. I want to use my time wisely. Treasure moments with my kids. Have a clean home. Be a good cook that prepares healthy meals. Have a healthy body. Be a friend that is there when needed and beyond. Be a disciple of Christ. Lead others to Christ. Be respected at work. Be respected among my peers. Enjoy my own life and give myself what I need to be happy. And the list could go on and on.

I realized today that I will never get it all right all of the time. God didn’t design us this way. We were made in His perfect image, but try as we might, HE is the only one that can attain perfection. We were created with a free will and frail bodies. We are only meant to be here for a short while and so we are charged to make an impact using the talents that he gave us within our sphere of influence (Read here to find out more about how to use your talents – Matthew 25:14-30). God created each of us so uniquely that we will NEVER look like that “perfect mom”. We’re not supposed to! Did you hear me ladies? We are NOT SUPPOSED to look like her.

God made you for you. Just you. No one else gets to be you. They can sure try, but they will never be you. And they shouldn’t want to.

I think there’s such freedom in that. It’s liberating to know that I was created for this time. For these roles. For a purpose. My job is to dig into my relationship with Him and do the very best that I can.

And THAT….is as perfect as we’ll ever get.

  • We’ll fall.
  • We’ll fail.
  • We’ll forget.
  • We’ll get angry.
  • We’ll sin.
  • We’ll yell.
  • We’ll lose perspective.
  • We’ll get it all wrong at some point.
  • We just will.

God’s loving arms will pick us up. Dust us off. Kiss our owies. And send us on our way. Just like our earthly parents would. *If your parents are like mine anyway….I acknowledge that not all parents are created equally.

Don’t be discouraged my friends. You were created to have success too. To have perfect moments. To reach your goals. But we have to keep moving forward. Every day. Choose in each moment to make the best of it. Make a difference where you can and let go of the ones you can’t save. God will walk this journey with you and gently be your guide….if you let Him.

I love you friends. I hope I can be an encouragement to you today. That’s one of the things I strive for. To be a light. To be a good friend. We (my kids and I) pray for that every day.

Lord, help me to be a light in a dark world. Help others to see Jesus in me so that they might want You for themselves. Calm my soul when I start to stress and worry over things I can’t control. Help me to be content in the place you have me. I am so ever grateful for the life you’ve given me. Help me to walk in your ways and follow the path you set before me. Forgive me for trying to be something I’m not. Forgive me for comparing myself to others. Forgive me for the bad attitude that I have when I see someone that has something I want. Protect my loved ones today dear Lord and give them opportunities to shine for You. In Jesus’ precious name….and all of God’s people said….AMEN!

When I Lay Down and When I Wake Up

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Last night as I laid my head on my pillow I felt

  • Accomplished
  • Loved
  • Tired
  • Weary
  • Sore
  • Discouraged
  • And yet hopeful that with a good night’s sleep I would have my energy and spirit renewed the next morning (which is usually how the whole sleep thing works)

When I woke up this morning I felt

  • Rested
  • Ready for a new day

Then I peeked at my facebook this morning and I saw all the fun things that some moms do with their kids in the morning and the great photos that they take and their cute little bodies (the moms) and the fun they had with friends yesterday and I was right back at feeling discouraged. Like a sub par parent, a bad friend, heavy…oh and really really pasty white. I don’t know why it hit me like this today….Normally I can look at this stuff and be happy for my friends. But lately as I become less and less happy with myself….and more aware that people are noticing, I am less and less happy for my friends.

I crave balance. I yearn for it. I want to find that place between faith, family, friends, work, health, cleanliness, organization, and FUN. I don’t want to be so crazy about my size that I lose sight of the fun of living. I don’t want to be so nuts about my house being clean and organized that I miss the fun of parenting my kids and being a good wife to my husband. I don’t want to be stressed out, but I want to do a good job at my work.

 

Balance —— That’s what I want.

 

So I’m on a journey. We all are. I’m far from perfect, but I’m trying. Man am I trying. Every day is a new day. I’m taking them one at a time. God gave me a verse many years ago and it’s just as needed for me today as it was way back then.

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” -Matthew 6:34

Oh and guess what….it was one of my devotional verses today. Weird, huh?

Lord, walk beside me today. Lift my spirits. Let me not be so concerned with what others are doing, but focus my attention exactly where it needs to be. You chose me to be Dan’s wife and the mother to my children. You trusted me to love them and support them in the way that they need it most. Please work in me, my life, and my heart so that I can achieve these goals and all that you have for me. Let my focus be more on YOU and less on the things that I see as “missing” in my world. And Lord most of all, help me to shine brightly for you so that others can see you and know you and love you. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Who are you?

Do you ever find that depending on the group of people you’re with you are a different person? Not that you aren’t you or being true to you….but in the group dynamic you play a different role….

I’m noticing lately how that’s true for me.

Work/Church (I lump these together because for me it’s one and the same)
I’m the bubbly one. The life of the party. I like to chat and laugh and generally make the situation light. People laugh at/with me and often shake their heads at me because that’s just who I am. Don’t get me wrong….I feel respected and appreciated in my work environment because I know how to be serious and dig in to get the job done. But in general I would say I’m the “fun” one (not the only one, just one of the fun ones).😉 **Work people correct me if I’m wrong.

Home
I’m the hammer. I’m “mean” (according to my kids). I’m in charge. Sure we have fun too, but my role is that of mom. I have to keep everyone fed, clean, healthy, and clothed. It’s a big job to keep everyone in line and love them like crazy. I’m typically not that “fun” at home. I’m not saying I like to be the hammer….but somebody has to do it, right? Trying to find balance between “mean” and “fun” at home can be a challenge. **Home people correct me if I’m wrong.

With the Girls
For some very weird reason that I can’t quite figure out, I think I’ve ended up being the “boring” one with the girls. Maybe boring isn’t the right word….maybe I’m the “plain” one. I’m not as loud. I’m not as funny. I don’t have the most interesting stories to tell. It’s weird. This is not my natural place. This is not where I see myself and yet with these women that I would consider to be the best friends that I have on this planet…my role is wrong. It doesn’t matter if we’re having lunch or if we’re having drinks…I’ve ended up being the wallflower of sorts. Maybe the word is that I’m the serious one. I don’t like this. It’s unnatural for me and yet I’m stuck. How do I fix it? I don’t want to be the “wild” girl, but how did I get to be the serious one? **Girl people, correct me if I’m wrong.

With my Husband
This is probably the most real I could get. I am me. I am Sueann. I am all of the things listed above. Fun. Serious. Mean. Honest. Life of the Party. This is where I am most comfortable because my husband knows all parts of me and loves me anyway. I don’t need to have a good story to tell or tell him to clean behind his ears or even be funny. I get to just be his wife and THIS is a pretty amazing place to be. With my husband. **Husband, correct me if I’m wrong.

I am all of these things. I like to observe the situation and adapt to what is needed, and yet I want to be true to who I am.

Does anyone else find themselves in this place?

I am not a perfect mom

I’m publishing this today….October 1, 2014, but it was written in December 16, 2013. I’m posting it today because it’s still so true. (I sometimes write stuff down and then sit on it….)

I believe that there are misconceptions out there that your life, kids, and house must look a certain way in order to be a “good” mom, wife, person, etc. I call BOLOGNA!! Here’s my attempt at showing you what my life really looks like. It’s not perfect. It’s messy. And I would bet that there are more women out there that can relate, but are afraid to tell the world. Today I’m tearing down the curtain…

 

I Am Not a Perfect Mom

Do you ever feel like no matter what you do, you’re never doing enough?

I try to be that mom. You know that mom who has these good looking, well rounded, smart, polite kids. Those kids know their mom loves them and would fight for them in any circumstance. I’m the mom that wants her kids to know how awesome their dad is and that they should aspire to be like him. Most of all I’m the mom that wants her kids to know the Lord. To know His love and want to share it with the world. And in all that I want to be the mom that doesn’t lose herself. That’s still the woman God created me to be. For me it’s singing…God gave me the gift, I feel called to use it. I want to garden. I want to spend time with my friends and family. I want to read. I want to cook good meals and share them with our family and friends.

But I’m also that mom that wishes I could do more. Be more. Have more. Dream more. Craft more. Garden more. Cook more…..and on and on and on.

I’ll be honest. I usually have laundry piled high in the living room. My kitchen counter is always covered with mail, kid’s papers/artwork, DS games, pencils, boxes, and who knows what else. And that’s just one counter.🙂 My bathroom counter has cotton balls, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shaving cream, jewelry, pony tail holders, flat iron, and all kinds of other crap on it. It doesn’t get cleaned as much as it should – and don’t ask me how often that is because you might not want to know the answer. My dusting is behind. The beds don’t get washed as much as they should. The vacuuming….well I get around to that more than anything which still isn’t as much as some think I should. Half the time I feel lucky that I got the kids out of the house dressed, shoed, clean, and with all their “stuff” that they need for the day. And sometimes I have to run back to the school because someone forgot something.

I work full time. My husband works full time + and often the hours are weird. Most days consist of me getting done with work, go get the kids, go home, try to find something in the fridge/freezer to put together for dinner, make dinner, eat dinner, clean up dinner, homework, baths, bed time routine, everyone is sleeping….and by this time mommy is ready to pass out because she’s so tired. Then I often take a look around the house, see what I can pick up or work on before I pass out (but it has to be something quiet because the kids are sleeping now), then try to get ready for bed myself only to start all over again. Sometimes daddy can be there to do the evening stuff and there’s a little more space in there for fun stuff, but I can’t count on that most of the time. And I do all of this on a tank that is empty which isn’t fun for the kids. I’m tired, short with them, frustrated that they aren’t helping, aren’t doing what I’ve asked, they’re wanting more than I can/want to give (candy, movies, computer games, etc) and then complaining (and by complaining I mean throwing holy fits) when they don’t get what they want. And this is when we don’t have anything else going on….like soccer, football, swimming, AWANA, birthday parties, etc. I basically get 2 hours with my kids on weeknights and I don’t want that time to be spent on cleaning all the time.

Then there’s the weekends. Could I spend every moment of my weekends cleaning? Sure! If I didn’t have anything else going on (like church, family gathering, something fun with the kids, etc). Or maybe I could spend my weekend trying to catch up on rest and soaking in time with my kids. And even in those moments….those choices….I still don’t feel like I’m doing enough.

I didn’t cook a meal with them.

I didn’t do some fun art project with them.

I didn’t play the game they wanted to play at the moment they wanted to play it.

I didn’t take them to the Bison game or the UND hockey game.

I didn’t do a service project with them.

We didn’t go on some fun and faraway vacation with them.

We didn’t go to the fun play place with them.

We didn’t go over letters and shapes and colors or math problems and reading.

We didn’t study our Bible verses for Awana

We probably just stayed home and tried to breathe. Tried to cuddle. Tried to keep our heads above water. I probably didn’t accomplish half of what I ever wanted to. And to be honest…I’m not sure how to get there. My house is still a mess. My kids are probably still complaining. I’m probably still exhausted. But I’m still here and I’m still trying. Some days are easier to be hopeful that I can get better at this. Some days are just hard. Today is that hard day. I am trusting for each step ahead of me today. Trusting that the One who holds my future will carry me through. Trusting that if I am walking in the light of His truth that all things will come together for good.

As I list all the things we didn’t do….here’s what I can focus on for today.

  • Today my kids brushed their teeth without arguing.
  • They are well rested, healthy, and in relatively good moods when they left the house (even if one of them was late for school).

I just pray that my kids love their mama despite her many imperfections.

Sincerely – an imperfect mama

What she said…

You know that moment when you’re talking to a co-worker, a friend, a family member….and they are talking about someone else you know with not so much kindness? Do you join in and agree? Do you defend the person? Do you say nothing and avoid the conflict?

I have those moments from time to time and sometimes I agree. But then I leave the conversation feeling badly. What if that person, who you call your friend, heard you say those things? How would they feel? Then I think….I am not naive enough to think that the person who is saying those things about the mutual friend doesn’t do the same thing to me. Sad, huh? If people talk about others, what makes you think they don’t talk that way about you?

Then I think, what would they say about me? What could they say that would hurt me? Would it bother me? Should it bother me?

Things they could say:
She works too much
She’s really opinionated and thinks she knows everything
She is bossy
She talks to much
She’s loud
She spends too much time on the computer/facebook
She’s messy
She’s emotional

Things that would really hurt:
She thinks she’s a good singer, but I really don’t like her voice
She’s a bad mom
She doesn’t take care of her family
She isn’t very good at her job
She’s fat
She’s ugly
She’s not a good wife

And so as I think about my conversations….I think “what would I want said if it were me they were talking about”. Just food for thought….Oh and here’s what my favorite book has to say about it.

Ephesian 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear

Matthew 18:15-20 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.

Matthew 5:2-11

The Beatitudes

And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Venison Round Steak Fajitas

So I didn’t have a lot of time and I knew I wanted to cook something at home. I have some venison in my freezer (thanks Dad), but my husband doesn’t like it. Sooooo….I thought maybe a flavorful marinade would disguise the flavor. And guess what!? It totally worked. The 8 year old boy said it was the best dinner ever and the husband had no idea it was venison. SUCCESS!! Here’s what I did.

Ingredients:
1 lb venison round steak
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
4 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons kosher salt
6 soft taco shells
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grape tomatoes sliced
1 medium onion
1/2 cup julienned carrots
1/3 cup black beans

Directions:
Put venison into a baggy with the olive oil, garlic, lime juice, and salt. Mix around and let sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Slice onion into strips. Julienne carrots. Put carrots and onion into medium-high frying pan with vegetable oil. Cook about 5 minutes or until onion is clear. Remove from hot pan and place in a serving dish.
Remove venison from marinade and slice into 1/4 inch strips. Put into hot pan. After a couple of minutes add the rest of the marinade juice for extra moisture. Cook about 7 minutes total or until venison is cooked to your liking.
While meat is cooking you can slice up your tomatoes, warm up your beans, and set cheese aside for use.

When the meat is done warm up your shells (I like to pop mine in the microwave covered for about 30 seconds) and serve! Enjoy.

Again…I don’t have a picture of it, but it was quick and easy and low cal. Here’s what I calculated for nutrition information.

Per Fajita
305 Calories
19 Carbs
12 Fat
26 Protein
380 Sodium
2 Sugar

Yay! Another one under 500 calories! Unless you have 2….which I did.

Chicken with tomatoes and celery greens on buttery orzo

Here’s a recipe for my friends.

5 chicken breast tenderloins
1 1/2 cup sliced grape tomatoes
1 teaspoon garlic
1 small onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon diced celery greens

Orzo:
1 cups orzo
2 tablespoons butter
1 can chicken broth (I used Better than bouillon chicken broth)

Start Orzo first: melt butter in medium sauce pan and toast orzo until golden brown. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Then simmer for 15 minutes or until done.

While orzo is simmering, dice up onion into small pieces and put into skillet on medium-high heat with olive oil. Let onion sweat for a few minutes and then add garlic. Slice chicken breast tenderloins into bite sized pieces and add to onion, garlic, and oil mix in pan. Cook chicken until about half way done and add sliced up tomatoes and celery greens. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook until everything is warm. Serve over orzo hot/warm. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts:

492 calories
48 carbs
19 fat
35 protein
794 sodium
4 sugar

Sorry I didn’t get a picture, but believe me….it was pretty and yummy. I’ll make this again.

Thanksgiving Pies

In our family we split the duties of Thanksgiving meal prep. This way there isn’t one person totally stressing out about getting their house ready and timing everything just right for the meal. My job for the past ummm….probably 10 years…has been pies! At first I bought them (usually from Village Inn). Then I decided I could do this and I started baking. Now I love this part of the holidays!

This year here’s what I’m making –

  • Classic Pumpkin Pie – I like this recipe because it uses Sweetened Condensed milk instead of just evaporated milk. It just sounds better, right?!
  • 3033930460_91c1a25af0_oThe Pioneer Woman’s Pecan Pie – The best, hands down, recipe for this pie ever! I never liked Pecan Pie until I tried this one.
  • My mother in law’s apple pie (secret recipe) – Sorry, you’ll have to bribe my mother in law for a taste of her yummy pie.
  • Sour Cream Apple Pie – Trying this one for the first time this year. I’ll let you know how it goes.
  • Grasshopper Pie –  Don’t tell my nephew that it’s called Grasshopper Pie. He asked for Mint Oreo and this is what I’m making him. This is another first time recipe. Wish me luck!

I might do some Christmas baking this weekend too. I found some yummy ones to try on Pinterest this year….

nutter-butter-snowmen-1-550

 

 

 

 

 

What are YOU making for Thanksgiving this year? Share your recipes! I’d love any tips you might have too. Happy Thanksgiving everyone and happy baking! God Bless!