Thursday, September 27, 2007

Death Warmed Over

This book is hilarious! Death Warmed Over by Lisa Rogak. The first story is as reads:

"An elderly man was at home, dying in bed. He smelled the aroma of his favorite chocolate chip cookies baking. He wanted one last cookie before he died.

He fell out of bed, crawled to the landing, rolled down the stairs , and dragged himself into the kitchen, where his wife was busy baking cookies. With his strength waning, he made it to the table and was just barely able to lift his withered arm to the cookie rack.

As he grasped a warm, moist chocolate chip cookie, his wife suddenly whacked his hand with a spatula.

"Why?" he whispered. "Why did you do that?"

"They're for the funeral!"

I LOVE to cook, so these types of stories really get me. The book contains recipes for foods commonly served at funerals from all over the globe. I know, it's totally morbid, but intriguing. Here are a few examples.

Greek Orthodox - Mercy Meal Fish
Amish - Funeral Pie
Ireland - Irish Wake Cake
Great Britain - Buried With Ham
China - Buddha's Delight
Mexico - Pan de Muerto (Bread of the Dead)

The book also has stories from funerals as well as posts from old funeral home price lists.

Here are a few I enjoyed.

From a funeral home price list circa 1920
For composing the features $1.00
For giving the features a look of quiet resignation $2.00
For giving the features the appearance of Christian hope and contentment $5.00
(Which one would you choose? Marketing!)

A Culinary epitaph
Here Lies The Body of Our Anna
Done to Death By A Banana
It Wasn't The Fruit That Laid Her Low
But The Skin Of The Thing That Made Her Go.

Pretend obituary
Veteral Pillsbury spokesman Pop N. Fresh died yesterday of a severe yeast infection. He was 71.

Fresh was buried in one of the largest funeral ceremonies in recent years. Dozens of celebrities turned out, including Mrs. Butterworth, the California Raisins, Hungry Jack, Betty Crocker, and the Hostess Twinkies.

The graveside was piled with flours as longtime friend Aunt Jemima delivered the eulogy, describing Fresh as a man who "never knew how much he was kneaded." Fresh rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with many turnovers.

He was not considered a very smart cookie, wasting much of his dough on half-baked schemes. Still, even as a crusty old man, he was a roll model for millions.

Fresh is survived by his second wife; they have two children and one in the oven. The funeral was held at 3:25 for 20 minutes.

Anyway, I got a kick out of this book. Maybe you will too!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Nada Surf

Dr. Bob (our pastor) used a song by this group to portray the love that God has for us as well as the love we should have for others. He also quoted C.S. Lewis :

"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. In fact, the only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from the danger of love, is Hell."

To make a mountain of your life
Is just a choice
But I never learned enough
To listen to the voice that told me..
Always love… Hate will get you everytime
Always love… Don’t wait till the finish line

Slow demands come 'round
Squeeze the air and keep the rest out
It helps to write it down
Even when you then cross it out
But Always Love… Hate will get you every time
Always Love… Even when you want to fight

The service was awesome. Dr. Bob can always bring you to tears and makes you re-evaluate. I LOVE this church.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Dance class

Today is Friday. Fridays used to be so much fun for me! In the evenings, after dinner, I would head to my dance class. Dancing is my favorite thing to do. It's even better than baking for me!

I go to Dancesport on the Plaza in Mishawaka, IN. They teach all types of ballroom. I like the studio for the most part. Of course, anyone who dances knows that there's always drama / gossip at dance studios. I just try to avoid it. I really just miss having some adult conversation. Even if it's only in passing on the dance floor. Oh, and the excercise is nice too! Since joining Financial Peace, I gave up my dance classes. It was costing 68 per month to go 2 times per week. Not a lot of money, but that could still go towards debt. We're getting closer BTW.

The point of the post is that, I was cleaning out my dance bag last night and found that I have one more punch on my punch card. I can go for free! Well, not really free. I paid for it quite awhile ago. I'm excited to see my friends, and have a little fun. I especially miss seeing Candy.

It's been over a month since I've gone. I may have forgotten some of the steps. = /

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Craig's List

I am a total ebay fanatic. I sell stuff all the time! One of my friends suggested I try Craig's list. You can list for free...who doesn't like free?

I listed several things on there this weekend. My fourwheeler, Ross's truck, our trailer. I was so excited to get an email a few days ago about the trailer. They wanted to know if it was still available. I responded quickly and looked up the person's name on my nationwide database. They live in GA. The language from the email was kind of weird, but we figured he was some foreign car collector, by the way he spoke. He offered full price. He would send the cashier's check and when it cleared the bank, we would wire the shipping money to the shipping company and they would pick it up at our doorstep. Not actually our doorstep, but at Ross's work.

I decided to look up more info on transactions made through Craig's List. It seems that this type of arrangement is common, but not safe. People from Nigeria arrange these types of transactions. You wire the money and then weeks later, the bank discovers the check is a fraud. Aren't these the same people who did that lottery scam?

Anyway, seems I still have a trailer for sale. Ding dong it!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Choc - oat chip cookies

Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE cookies. Not the store bought kind, homemade is the best. Some of my best memories of my Mom are baking cookies w/ her, as well as licking the beaters.

I used to wake up in the middle of the night, seriously 2 a.m., to the sound of the mixer. If you had known my Mom, you'd know she did a lot of strange things at 2 a.m. For example, she'd vacuum my room.......Yes, at 2 a.m.

I was always worried that if I got out of bed to see what kind of cookies she was making, she'd get mad. I would lay in bed and wonder, trying to find another excuse to go out to the kitchen. I'd always end up going out there, I just couldn't wait another 5 hours to see or taste them. She never got mad at me. She'd plop me up on the counter and give me the beater, as well as several heaping spoonfuls of....whatever kind of dough.

Later on, she teach me how to make all kinds of fabulous cookies. Ginger, snickerdoodles, thumbprints, stained glass, crinkles, etc. My problem now is, that I still LOVE cookies, and the dough. I finally figured out how to get my baking fix and not eat the whole batch in a matter of days. I make a HUGE batch, scoop them on to cookie sheets and freeze them. Then I can stick them in a large freezer bag and pull them out a few at a time. I'm not sure why it took me so long to figure this out! Anyway, last night at about 9:30, Ross said he thought it was time for some cookies. So, I pulled out 6 little lumps and popped them in the oven. 8 min later........perfection. From my Mom's recipe box, to yours..........

Choc - Oat Chip Cookies

1 C (2 sticks) butter softened
1 C firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 C granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 T milk
2 t vanilla
1 3/4 C all purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 1/2 C quick cooking or old fashioned oats, uncooked
2 C semisweet chocolate chips
1 C coarsely chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Beat butter & sugars. Add eggs, milk & vanilla. Add flour soda, salt. Stir in oats, chocolate & nuts. Drop onto ungreased sheets. 9-10 min for chewy cookies. 12-13 for crisp cookies.

These freeze very well! You can transfer them directly from the freezer to the oven w/ out defrosting! Hope you love them like we do!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Kid size commission

Some of you know that Ross & I started the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University several weeks ago. It's been interesting to see how much of a difference it makes to physically write down your budget the way Dave suggests instead of our own way, or even worse, no budget at all.

One of Dave's ideas is to give kids commission instead of an allowance. He says there are enough people in the world who want allowances made for them, lets try to train children differently before they get to that mindset.

I sat down with both older girls last week and discussed a chore chart. We decided which kid will do what and how much they could possibly earn. Cyra has 5 chores and can earn $5 each week. Kenady has 3 chores and can earn $3 each week. Here's my dilemma. I constantly remind them to check the chore chart. It's supposedly to be like a job. If you don't do it, you don't get paid and eventually your job will be given to someone else who will do it in a timely fashion. I have to make sure I give them the opportunity to succeed without constant reminder.

Cyra has 3 envelopes. Church, savings & spending. $1 to church, 2 to savings, 2 to spending. The spending money is for anything other than family activities. Mostly toys, treats or birthday gifts for friends. I pray that she learns to use money wisely and has no interest in credit cards when that time comes. She's hoping our new plan can help her to become a millionaire by the time she's a grown up. I know she can!

Kenady has a clear plastic jar. The money gets wadded up in a ball and put in the jar. Dave thinks that helps them to see their money grow and then get smaller when they spend some. She's pretty excited about doing chores!

As for us, the plan is AWESOME! It's so basic, but novel at the same time. So far, we've paid off 7500 in debt! We can't wait to be debt free! Our new mottos is "Let's do the things that other won't, so that later on, we can do the things that others can't!"

Friday, September 14, 2007

Godless Chatter

Tim Stevens, one of the pastors at our church, posted a blog that talked about the difference between kids who use myspace vs. kids who use facebook. Although I don't agree with the findings, it did get me thinking.

I do not like using facebook. I actually like myspace. It's so much prettier. We girls care about that stuff you know! Do people really think of me differently because I have a myspace page? I only use it to keep up w/ friends back in Oregon. Then, I started thinking back over the past few months and the influence of myspace. I had a great girlfriend (one of over 25 years) that got me started on myspace. It had fun at first, but then I made a HUGE mistake several months ago. Apparently I told somebody something that was meant for my eyes only. I know, I know, at 30 years old, I should know better. The truth is, I'm not sure what I told. Maybe it was something so important, that I should have kept it a secret. The friend of 25 years did not contact me and tell me she was upset w/ what I'd done. Her boyfriend told me. I apologized for saying.....whatever it was I said. She just wished me luck in my life and said she harbored no ill will.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not upset at her for doing what she did. I'm upset with myself for ruining a great 25 year friendship. But, there are always blessings that come from these type of things. I cried, lost sleep and prayed. In the middle of the night I woke up w/ a scipture in my head. I ran downstairs and read it - 2 Timothy 2:16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more ungodly. Whoa.

At that point I decided that I would make sure to avoid putting myself in that type of situation ever again, including ridding myself of the myspace world. I'm also working w/ my girls to help them avoid godless chatter at their young ages. I also promised myself that if, or should I say when, it happens to me I will make sure to apply grace or mercy on the situation. Cyra asked me "What's the difference?" Here's the easiest explanation. Grace is - getting something you DON'T deserve. Mercy is - NOT getting what you DO deserve. I deserved to lose the friend. I don't deserve the grace that God has given me. I must pass that on to those who hurt me as well.

Here we go!

I'm a little nervous about this blog thing. Several people have asked me to do one, but I've been reluctant. I'm not a great writer, nor do I claim to be. I'm a great speller, but sometimes tend to use punctuation improperly. If those things are important to you......don't subscribe!

The things that I want to gain from writing this are 1. Feel like I'm having some type of adult interaction 2. Find a way to express the things I'm thinking w/ out actually having to write (I have horrible penmanship) 3. I LOVE, I mean LOVE to type. It's part of my OCD (more later)

So, here we go! It may take a little while to find my bloggerific voice, but it'll come!