Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Nuggets on Prayer

The Prayer Retreat was such a blessing. There were some great sessions where we learned insights on prayer from godly saints who had walked with the Lord for many years. There were also beautiful times of individual and group prayer, and an acute awareness of God's presence, as we practiced what we were learning.

It will be hard to narrow down the highlights to share with you, but I do want to share some of the nuggets that I gleaned.

Here are some tidbits on prayer:

  • We can either Worship or Worry -- not both.
  • Instead of fretting and trying to think our way through our troubles (which leads to evil), we need to take our problems to Jesus. (Phillipians 4:6)
  • We need to develop an attitude of gratitude! When we feel like complaining, we should think of something to be thankful for instead!
  • Pray whenever someone makes a negative comment and we feel hurt. We must never give in to self-pity or unforgiveness!
  • Pray even when we don't feel like it!
  • Prayer is not a ritual! It is a relationship.
  • Remember that our prayer time is a meeting with a Person, we must not approach it like a pilot sitting in the cock pit going through a checklist!
  • Our hope rests on Who and What He is -- not on who and what we are. We must not focus on praying the perfect prayer of faith; but focus on God, Who is always Faithful!

Tips on Praying for our Families:
  • Ask God to rebuke the devil in our family relationships.
  • Pray daily for God to keep our children from the evil one!
  • Pray a hedge of protection around our family every day!
  • Ask God to keep each one from sickness.
  • Pray that each life will bring glory to God.
  • Pray for godly spouses for each one.
  • Be sure to thank God for the good we see in our children, and not just focus on the negative aspects we see.
  • Remember that we have a responsibility to pray for our family and our church daily.

Praying for the Church:
(This session by Jerry White was my Favorite!)
  • We will not have revival in the church of America until we have a correct view of God. In America today, we have a low view of God and an exalted view of self.
  • Christians today are too me-centered.
  • Sanctification is our cooperation with the Word of God by the power of the Spirit of God to be conformed to the image of Christ. It is the process by which we become more and more dead to sin and more and more alive to Christ!
  • We won't see God move in America until we see the seriousness of sin.
  • Genesis 6:5-6 -- God's heart was grieved over sinfulness of mankind.
  • Isaiah 63:9-10 -- God hurts when we hurt, but God reached the point where the Israelites' rebellion caused Him to be vexed and grieved and He then fought against His people. (Is God so grieved and vexed with the church of America that He has withdrawn His presence and His blessing?)
  • Mark 3:1-6 -- Jesus looked at the people in anger and grief. Our sin, unbelief, and hardness of heart grieve and anger God.
  • Ephesians 4:30-32 -- We are commanded to not grieve the Holy Spirit!
  • God and Holy Spirit grieved by wickedness, rebellion, pride, unbelief, hardness of heart, bitterness, anger, wrath, clamor, unforgiveness, etc.
  • 2 Corinthians 7:10 -- only Godly sorrow over sin brings repentance! Worldly sorrow brings sorrow over being caught, exposed and shamed.
  • Godly grief comes from being sorry about what we've done to the Heart of God, not what we've brought upon ourselves!
  • Problem is God and His program are not central in the church. We and our programs are central. We want to bring God on board to bless our own agendas.

How to Deal with a Crisis:
(by Rollie Reasoner, a former missionary to Japan for many, many years.)

  • This is a way to face a crisis situation that is bleak, hopeless, and you see no way out.
  • Look at your schedule and choose a day that is "free" or "lighter" than most days, if possible.
  • Since the Jewish day begins at 6 pm, start at 6 pm one day and go to 6 pm the next day. Eat supper before 6 pm on the day you start.
  • After you eat, spend time in the Word reading and worshipping God.
  • Tell God about the crisis -- then go on and pray about other things. You can only mention the same request so many times before it becomes vain repetition!
  • Immerse yourself in the Word of God and Wait on the Lord. Just pick up wherever you have been reading.
  • Concentrate on whatever strikes you as significant as you read the Word. Take notes on whatever God shows you. (Psalm 119:49)
  • Purpose is not to try to persuade God, but to prepare your heart to respond in faith!
  • Your focus should be on Who God is, rather than on what you want! Spend much time in praise and worship!
  • Wake up the next morning, and your hunger pangs will remind you to focus on God and to lay the crisis situation before Him again.
  • The next afternoon about 3 pm, your stomach is really empty and your focus is especially sharpened. Often this is when you reach a breakthrough.
  • Conclude the fast with supper around 6 pm and a final time of praise and worship to God.
  • Your mind may be flooded with doubts when the 24 hour fast ends -- but don't listen to them!
  • The 24 hour Fast is a breakthrough point in times of crisis! God has provided some amazing answers to prayer through this technique. (Two significant testimonies were given.)

One Final Admonition:
Prayer is never easy! It is hard work! Prayer is Satan's biggest target! A primary tactic in warfare is to destroy the enemy's communication centers. (Think about the war in Iraq.) When soldiers are unable to communicate with their control centers, they are ineffective at best. Satan does the same thing -- he attacks our prayer life -- individually and in churches -- to keep us from communicating with our Commander! This renders Christians ineffective.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Prayer Retreat

I can't wait to tell you about my Awesome weekend!

My daughter, Hannah, and I planned to head to SC for the weekend to attend a prayer retreat at the Evangelical Institute where Ashlyn is a student. However, on Friday, just when we were scheduled to leave, the warning sirens went off, alerting us to a tornado warning for our area. We ended up waiting around for over an hour for the worst of the storm to pass, while I agonized over whether or not to attempt the six hour drive with the band of severe storms that were moving through the southeast. Finally, my meteorologist-wannabe-son examined the radar and encouraged me to go for it! And, I'm so glad we did!

The Lord really blessed us, as the band of storms seemed to have moved to the east by the time we got on the road, so I think we missed the worst of the weather. We did drive through rain, but it was never so heavy that I had trouble driving. However, the traffic was heavy, which prevented us from arriving in time for the opening banquet. At least, we made it in time to attend the evening service!

I thought about many of my bloggy friends on the drive up. First of all, one of the children had set the voice on my GPS to a woman with an Australian accent, and I kept thinking of my blogging budy, Jules, who is from New Zealand and wondering if she had the same delightful accent? Then, I eased the stress of driving through Atlanta at 4:30 pm on a Friday by listening to the soothing sounds of Kelly's Scripture Songs CD. As I drove through north Georgia, I thought about some of my blogging friends who live in that area, and so, it helped me pass the time by thinking of many of you lovely ladies!

We reached our destination about 7:30 pm. The Evangelical Institute is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, yet just minutes from the bustling city of Greenville, SC. Its rustic campus is both picturesque and peaceful, and the beauty and tranquility cause you to consider your Creator and to give Him glory. Here is a picture of the entrance to the school.

And here is a view of the dorms.

This is the auditorium where most of the sessions took place.

And here are some views of the beautiful campus.

My pictures, of course, don't begin to do it justice! So, you'll just have to imagine the beauty of this retreat center.

The prayer conference was wonderful! It was a much needed time of spiritual refreshment, and I have much to share, but I think I will share some of what I learned in another post.

Saturday afternoon, we had some personal time, during which I was able to sneak away and meet my dear friend, Melissa at a nearby Atlanta Bread Company. We enjoyed a precious time of fellowship together and spent some time in prayer for our families and our nation! It was a real treasure to spend this time with my dear friend!

I also enjoyed seeing my daughter, Ashlyn. She was very Busy during the conference, but we were able to engage in some late night chats!

The conference ended Sunday at noon, when we enjoyed a final lunch, packed up and got on the road. Sunday afternoon is definitely the best time to drive through Atlanta (except for when you hit a paving project!), and Hannah snapped a few pictures of the skyline as we sped through. (In Atlanta, you either go 70 or 7 mph!!)

I was pretty tired by the time we got home at 8:30 pm, but we still had a birthday to celebrate! Sunday was Hannah's 12th birthday. Tiffany had made Hannah an ice cream cake, plus, she had mobilized the "troops" and they had the house Spotless when I got home! Not only that, but the laundry was caught up and the socks matched!!! An amazing feat!! I was so blessed!

That sums up my incredible weekend. I will post again later and share some of the great nuggets I learned about prayer.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Weight Loss Wednesday

The good news is I haven't gained any weight since last week! The bad news is I haven't lost any either. Obviously, something needs to change. Basically, I need to eat less and exercise more to break this stalemate! It sounds simple, doesn't it?

One thing I need to do is be more consistent with exercising. It is very hard to fit it into my busy life on a regular, consistent basis.

I have spent much time over the last 24 hours reading a fascinating series of posts on the concept of "induced exercise." There are 16 posts in the series, so far. If you follow this link, you can click on numbers 1-16 to read the entire series. It is rather lengthy, but is the most comprehensive treatise on how to make regular exercise a part of your life that I've ever seen. It is extremely thought-provoking and covers all the bases.

Consider this quote from part 4 --

"If Mom decides to make it a priority to give herself the exercise she needs,
there's less "Mom" to go around. This is different from fixing the
overeating problem. In overeating, one ought to take less for
oneself. One sacrifices, leaves more for everyone else. It is so
easy to see that this is right and good. With getting more exercise,
one must take MORE for oneself. This is a barrier for a lot of us."

Induced exercise, part 7 deals with priorities, and part 8 explains how the author made regular exercise a real Priority in her life, at least for a season.

I especially liked this post -- Learning to Juggle: Induced Exercise, part 12, which talks candidly about the challenge of making room for exercise in your life. And, I love the way the author helps you work through the practical logistics of fitting exercise into your life, including choosing your place and your path for exercise, and finding a way to cover child care or elder care so that you can concentrate on exercise in part 15 and part 16.

Like I said, this series is very comprehensive and gives you a lot to ponder. I encourage you to check it out. The author also addresses the issue of gluttony, and you will find much food for thought. (Excuse my pun!)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Josh!

Today is Joshua's 17th birthday!!!

Josh is #4 in the line up, which means he has 2 older sisters and 1 older brother, and 2 younger sisters and 4 younger brothers!

Josh is an industrious young man, who can't stand to just "sit around." He likes to keep busy! He shows initiative and works hard. He is precise and can be rather technical at times. He also has the "gift of gab!" Josh is a junior in high school, who works as a lifeguard, and hopes to pursue a career in the navy as an oceanographer/meteorologist.

We celebrated Joshua's birthday on Sunday, because he is golfing in a school golf tournament today and won't be home until late. He doesn't really like us to make a big deal out of his birthday, but he does enjoy having that special birthday meal and collecting that birthday cash!!!

Josh really wanted steak for his birthday, but didn't want to ask for it, because he knows it is so expensive, and would put a strain on the grocery budget. Fortunately, Alan and I found a good deal on some steak at Sam's, and were able to surprise him with his favorite meal!

Josh enjoys doing the grilling, so he had the opportunity to grill the steak exactly to his liking!

I served the steak with some of Joshua's favorite side dishes -- Ranch Mashed Potatoes, Sauteed Asparagus (which Taylor calls "Asparagi!"), and Fresh Pineapple.

Josh thoroughly enjoyed his birthday feast! Of course, everything tastes better on the Red Plate!!!

My mom bought me the Red "You are Special" plate nearly 20 years ago, and we have used it many times through the years to honor the person who is celebrating some special occasion.

Josh requested a birthday cake from Sam's. He likes marble cake with buttercream icing. Here is his much-anticipated cake!

Josh blowing out the candles . . .

and opening his cards . . .

Ok, now for a walk down memory lane!!! I dug out some old pictures of Josh for this special occasion! He was such a cute, little baby/toddler!!

This is me (a mere babe myself at 29!), Tiffany (6 1/2 years old) and Joshua David (about 2 weeks old).

These are pictures of Joshua taking his first steps on Tiffany's birthday, July 18, 1993~! He was 16 months old, and he thought he couldn't walk unless he was holding onto something -- thus the umbrella! :)

The following picture was taken on Joshua's 2nd birthday.

Josh got this tricycle and tool belt for his birthday! I think he was 3 or 4 here.

Joshua, helping Nanny make bread! I know my Mom remembers this day!!! ;)

Joshua, found his drawer to be a convenient place for a little nap!!!!! :)

Josh is 5 here and his Dad just gave him his first "buzz!" He is with Nanny (my mom), who is holding baby Hannah. Josh and Hannah both share a March birthday.

I love this picture!! Josh is the one crawling through the tunnel!

I believe this picture was taken in the fall of 1996. Tiffany would have been 11, Ashlyn - 9, Taylor - 6, Joshua - 4, Joseph - 2, and Christopher - 1.

It is amazing how quickly the years go by! If you are still a mom of littles, try to savor the moments! Before you know it, your little boys will be young men, towering over you, flexing their manhood muscles, dreaming their own dreams, planning their futures, looking forward to the day when they can establish their own homes and families. So, enjoy those little boys . . .

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Typical Saturday

I thought I would give you a glimpse into what a typical Saturday looks like at our house!

I like to sleep in a little bit, but still get up before the rest of the family to enjoy the peace and quiet! That is always my favorite time of the day -- the early morning before anyone else is up! I so enjoy being able to hear myself think!

Gradually little ones and bigger ones begin to stir from their cozy nests, motivated either by hunger pangs or by their desire to be the first one to claim the computer!

My son, Josh, is always one of the first ones up on a Saturday -- but for neither of those reasons. He leaves for work at the "Y" around 7:30 am. He is a lifeguard and he guards the indoor pool on Saturdays throughout the school year and teaches swimming lessons.

After everyone has gotten up and eaten their breakfast, which is sometimes a big breakfast like pancakes, but yesterday was just a grab-your-own-bowl-of-cereal-or-bagel day, I give out job lists. These are a list of housecleaning chores written on index cards. Usually, when each child completes his or her job list, he or she gets free time. However, yesterday, my husband had his own agenda for the children, with a list of outside jobs that each one needed to accomplish. So, his jobs lists took priority over my job lists!

We also got sidetracked from cleaning the inside of the house when we started working on removing the sticky layer of pollen from the porches and rearranging the back porch to incorporate some wrought iron furniture that Alan's mom was tired of using. Matt and Bethany enjoyed a banana break on the "new" porch furniture.

Then, mid-day, we left our work to go to Luke's baseball game. Luke played well -- got some good hits, and it was an exciting 8-7 victory for his team!

After the game, Alan went to pick up the new wicker porch furniture his mom had picked out, while I made a quick run to the grocery store, and the boys worked in the yard -- raking, pruning, tilling the garden, cleaning Mum Mum's bird bath, etc.

Then, Alan and I drove over to see his newly renovated office, and while we were out, we took our old porch rockers to their new home on another family's porch, and went to SAM'S to pick up milk for the week and pick out a cake for tomorrow's birthday celebration.

By the time we got back, Taylor was leaving for work at Zaxby's for the night, and Josh was just returning from the golf course. I sometimes wonder if our neighbors just sit and watch in amazement at all the vehicles going in and out of our driveway as various family members come and go!!! It is probably rather entertaining at times! ;)

By this time, it was already getting late, and I had promised to make pizza again. So, I hurriedly mixed up the pizza dough and while it was rising, I cut up the veggies. Then, Joseph was my hero!! He browned the Italian sausage and Steak'um meat and sauteed all the onions, green peppers and mushrooms. Then, he and Tiffany topped the pizzas while I panned them out.

Before long, we were all enjoying delicious homemade pizzas!!! It was a perfect meal, because the fellas enjoyed piling their plates with pizza and eating it in the family room while watching the basketball games. By the time supper was eaten and cleaned up, it was unbelievably 9 pm!

I never did finish all the house cleaning and laundry, but after supper, I talked to Ashlyn on the phone while I ironed all the boy's church clothes for Sunday. And then I sat down and worked on this blog post, while I waited for Taylor to get home from work. He didn't get home until 11:30 pm, but by then, I had no brain cells left . . . .

So, that is a fairly typical Saturday for us. How about you? Are you busy on Saturdays?

Friday, March 20, 2009

And the winner is . . . .

Have you ever gone to an Exhange Club Meeting? Friday was the first for me. Maybe only men can join this organization, because all of the regular members seemed to be men, dare I say, Old Men!! :)

We were invited to attend this meeting with our oldest son, Taylor, because he had entered an essay in a scholarship competition offered by The Exchange Club, and had been selected as a finalist from his school. The topic for this year's essay was "Today's Youth -- Changing the Beat of America." Taylor wrote an inspiring essay, weaving in his love of history and his vision for the future.

Here is a picture of all the finalists from our county. I imagine you can figure out which one is Taylor!!! ;)

Taylor's football coach, who has been battling two terminal cancers and has only been home a week from having a stem cell transplant, gave an inspirational message to the young (and not-so-young) adults in the room. The story he told had everyone riveted to their seats. His main points were: to identify and then pursue your Life Purpose with everything you have, to trust God to help you overcome the obstacles you face, and when given a choice -- to choose the Biggest Dream.

The Exchange Club then announced a female and a male Youth of the Year for our area, who were both presented with college scholarships! Can you guess who was chosen as the Male Youth of the Year??

Here is a picture of that young man with his proud mom and dad and football coach. :)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sisterhood Award

Amy from Cheeky Cocoa Beans has graciously awarded me this Sisterhood Award.

This award is supposed to be given to those who display great attitude or gratitude in their blog. I am honored to have been chosen for this award by Amy!

Here are the rules for accepting this award:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.

2. Nominate at least 10 blogs who you feel are worthy of this award by displaying great attitude or gratitude in their blog! (Naming 10 is a lot! I'm just going to select 5 blogs, which is also what Amy did.)

3. Be sure to link to the blogs you nominate within this post.

4. Let your nominees know about the award by commenting on their blog.

5. Link back to the person who gave you this award.

Here are the blogs I nominate for the Sisterhood Award. All of these blogs have a beautiful spirit and demonstrate gratefulness to the Lord in a variety of ways.

1. My sister, Rebecca, at Rebecca's Refining.

2. Jules at On Eagle's Wings.

3. Kathy at Mom of Many.

4. Lainie at Peaceful Home.

5. Michelle at She Looketh Well.

Pour yourself a cup of tea, and pay a visit to one of these ladies. You will certainly be blessed by any of these beautiful blogs!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Weight Loss Wednesday

I can't believe it is Wednesday again already! Can you? Time to weigh in . . .

How did you do? I hope you made progress this week!

I gained back 1 pound. :(

I'm kind of discouraged. I know that I ate too much good food last weekend. But, what I don't understand is how hard it is to lose weight and how easy it is to put it back on. :(

Here is my weight loss wisdom for this week:

"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God."
-- 1 Corinthians 10:31

May this principle guide our weight loss efforts this week!

Recipe Requests

I've received some emails requesting the recipes I mentioned from my post on Sunday about our big weekend. Actually, I intended to include them with my post, but I ran out of time. So, I thought I'd post them today.

First the Pizza Crust. I got this recipe from my daughter, Ashlyn, who got it from one of her friends at the Bible Institute that she attends. I guess that is how good recipes work! From now on, you can just call it Elizabeth's Perfect Pizza Crust! :)

Mix together:

10 cups all-purpose flour (I added about 3 cups whole wheat to ease my conscience!)
1 TBSP salt
3 TBSP dry yeast

Make a hole in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour into the hole:

1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup honey
4 cups hot water

Mix well. Knead by hand or with mixer using a dough hook. Add flour until no longer sticky (if mixing by hand) or until dough cleans sides of bowl (if using a mixer)-- probably about 4 more cups.

Let rise 30 minutes. Punch down. Roll out onto pizza pans sprayed with Pam. (We got about 6 pizzas out of this recipe.)

Top with pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese and a variety of delicious pizza toppings and bake immediately at 400 F for about 20-25 minutes. I actually had trouble getting my crust done and turned up the oven to 425 F, so you may need to make adjustments, depending on your oven.

This crust has a really good flavor and nice texture.

Now, for dessert . . . .

Pan Buckeyes:

1 pound butter (4 sticks)
2 cups peanut butter
2 pounds confectioners sugar

Soften butter and cream together butter and peanut butter in a mixing bowl. Add the powdered sugar and mix well.

Spread evenly into a jelly roll pan.


1 huge Hershey's milk chocolate bar
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter

Melt chocolate and peanut butter in microwave. (Heat for 30 seconds, stir, repeat until melted and smooth.)

Pour chocolate mixture over top of the bottom layer in the jelly roll pan and spread to coat evenly.

Refrigerate until firm and cut into bars.

Note: Take out and cut before these get too cold, or it is really hard to cut.

These are incredibly rich and delicious!!!

This recipe comes from my sister, who lives in the Buckeye State, and knows how to make a delicious Buckeye!

Green Smoothie:

It doesn't seem right to post the recipe for my green smoothie right after my brown treatie!! :) But, here it is anyway:

1 1/2 cups liquid -- I used about 1/2 cup aloe juice and the rest water
3 large handfuls of fresh raw spinach -- I used the spinach from SAMS

Blend well in blender on high speed, until no clumps remain.

Then I added:

1 scoop whey protein powder (from SAMS)
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup frozen strawberries

Blend well. Enjoy!

Yesterday, I bought some orange juice concentrate to add, as suggested by this recipe. Also, a dear friend of mine suggested adding a handful of almonds and about a TBSP of coconut oil with the spinach and water to get the healthy fats, which your body needs to better utilize the vitamins and minerals in the greens.

Actually, the beauty of this recipe is its versatility. You can add any liquid of your choice, any greens you find palatable (most agree that baby spinach is the most mild), and whatever fresh or frozen fruit you have on hand, plus any nuts or seeds that you want, and you have a beautiful, healthful, delicious green smoothie!!!

Please check out this post from Passionate Homemaking for the basic recipe and more information.

OK -- One more recipe -- and a request.

This morning, I made Baked Oatmeal for Breakfast. We used to eat this all the time when the children were all little, but I don't remember which recipe I used way back then. Today I used a recipe that I got many years ago from my friend, Marmee Dear. I'm going to share this recipe below, but I would like to see some other recipes. If you make Baked Oatmeal for your family, would you share your recipe? You can either type up your recipe in the Comments section, or post a link to your blog, or email me your recipe at busymomof10@gmail.com.

Baked Oatmeal:

Mix together:

1 cup melted butter
2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs, beaten


6 cups rolled oats
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
2 cups milk

Mix well.
Bake in a greased 9x13 casserole dish at 350 F for 30-40 minutes.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Go for the Green!

I did it! I made my first Green Smoothie!!! Want to see??

I was inspired to try a green smoothie by reading this blog post, and motivated to use this recipe. My intentions were confirmed after looking through my most recent Beeyoutiful catalog, where I discovered an informative article entitled, A Smooth Transition to Eating More Greens. This reminded me of a dear friend who discovered that starting her day with a green smoothie gave her tons of energy! So, I decided it was time to give this idea a try!

The Smoothie was indeed green, but everyone is right, with some frozen bananas and strawberries thrown in, you really can't taste all of that spinach! I also added some aloe juice and a scoop of whey protein, to complete my nutritious concoction!

I discovered that greens aren't just ordinary vegetables, they are nutrient powerhouses! According to Nancy Webster, the author of A Smooth Transition to Eating More Greens:

"The simple and delicious answer to getting more healthful greens into your family's diet is smoothies. Yes, green smoothies. . . . Why not just eat them, rather than hauling out the blender? It's because green foods have strong cell walls that hold in their valuable nutrients. Although the walls can be broken down by cooking, heat kills the living, beneficial enzymes, and many vitamins and minerals are lost in the cooking water (that's why you should always consume the water after cooking vegetables and greens, either as a drink or disguised in soup). You can also eat greens raw, but no matter how long and how hard you chew, you won't break them down into the 1-2mm sized particles required to rupture all the cell walls. Blending releases all the stored nutrients without destroying any of the health-giving benefits."

What are the health benefits of eating greens??

The article explains that, "Greens provide a two-fold magic not found in other vegetables: greens assist the digestion of all our food, and they contain life-giving chlorophyll. In fact, greens are the only food group that helps digest other foods because they stimulate the secretion of digestive enzymes. We're all born with a limited supply of digestive enzymes because the plan was that we'd regularly consume greens to re-supply them. Instead, we've generally abused our gastrointestinal tracts with processed foods, chemicals, and stress. Our birth supply of enzymes is exhausted, so replenishing with greens is desperately needed. Hydrochloric acid (HCI), a substance our stomachs secrete to help digest food, naturally starts to diminish as we near age 40. Without HCI, stomachs are unable to break down and assimilate nutrients."

The article goes on to explain the health benefits of chlorophyll, but I'll let you research that on your own!

Today is the Perfect day to try a Green drink! So . . .

Go for the Green!!!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Weekend Visitors

My second oldest daughter, Ashlyn, came home for a visit this weekend! That means we spent all day Thursday cleaning and disinfecting the "hospital" (house) from the flu epidemic! Friday, I went to SAMS club and stocked up on food for the month, and then made Pan Buckeyes and Homemade Pizza for supper! (Obviously, it wasn't a low calorie weekend!)

The pizzas were sooo good! I made the dough using Ashlyns' favorite recipe and prepared a bunch of tasty toppings -- pepperoni, italian sausage, peppers, onions, roma tomatoes, etc. I also put together a Philly Cheese Steak pizza, which was my personal favorite! YUM!

We timed the pizzas perfectly, as they were just getting out of the oven when Ashlyn arrived about 7:30 pm. The children were so glad to see her!!!

Especially Bethany, who is her special "honey" . . . .

But what a surprise when not only Ashlyn got out of her car, but three of their good friends from SC -- Joel, Abby and Bekah! :)

Abby and Bekah wanted to surprise Hannah for her 12th birthday, which is coming up later this month! Abby and Hannah are about the same age.

And Joel and Luke are about the same age . . . but not the same size, as you can see below!

Speaking of size, this is what it looks like for a "shortie" like me to be surrounded by all the big men in my life!! I'm 5'4" and my sons and husband range from 6'3" to 6'10"!!!

I love this picture of my oldest daughter, Tiffany. Isn't she beautiful??

Once we got everyone settled inside, we sat down to a delicious feast of homemade pizza! After supper, Tiffany organized a game night. Here we are playing Last Word, which ended up being totally Crazy and LOUD!!

Saturday morning, we went to Luke's baseball game, which was not the optimal game for Ashlyn to go see, as Luke got walked twice (no hits) and his team got creamed 13-3!! :(

I Love this snapshot of Joel and Luke at the game! Aren't they the cutest little boys?

After the baseball game and lunch, the girls went shopping and the boys played war -- both on the computer and in the back yard! Then, those crazy kids actually went swimming in the pool!!! It was only 70 degrees out, and the water was probably about the same temperature, which is at least 15 degrees too cold for me! I didn't think they would stay in long, but they did! Then, they warmed up in the hot tub. Ever seen so many kids in a hot tub???

Josh, our chef extraordinaire, smoked some leg quarters for supper. Not only did they taste delicious, but the smell was incredible! For supper, we had smoked chicken, creamy cheese grits, and sauteed green beans. It was a wonderful feast!

After playing baseball and war, going shopping and swimming, eating lots of good food, watching movies, and eating huge bowls of ice cream, everyone enjoyed a good night's rest . . .

Sunday was a rush of getting ready and going to church, getting Sunday dinner on the table, eating and cleaning up, taking pictures and packing, and before we knew it, our weekend visitors were on their way back to SC and our weekend fun was over. Now, there is a void in our home and in our hearts . . .

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