Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Design on No Dime!

My sweet sis, Ang, is not only a talented writer, but she can also design one heck of a header if you ask her sweetly. Of course, if too many people ask her sweetly, she might start having to charge a sweet little fee.....but go ahead and try to be one of the first before her email goes into overdrive!

My pregnancy (I'm guessing) has made me go totally nauseous over my last blog design. Those bows, that color green....eecchhhh! So now, call me wild about the zebra.

But I'm still debating on which header to use. The one above (cute, familia pictures, the general mumbo jumbo).....OR should I use this cutie? She was practically in tears laughing so hard at the little chick-a-dees......they are kinda cute. What do you think? Which one should I choose?

(My sister wanted me to make sure you guys knew the open-mouth-chickie is saying "God's plan is always better, dude." and the closed mouth chickie is saying, "tweet, tweet." There.)

Bible Journey: Genesis 9:19-Gen 12:9
I realized a bit of biblical history, if you will, on the Canaanites. I love when you figure out parts of the Bible that relate to earlier sections ....promises, curses....all things coming together like puzzle pieces. I told Boog maybe I should take some seminary classes......ok. Forget I said that. I'll stick to teaching!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Needing Some Relief....

Having Fun, Fun, Fun!

...from this heat!! I looked at the 5-day forecast and it said "100, 101, 101, 101.....etc.etc. forever and ever amen." This is the time when I start dreaming of my favorite season - autumn. Who doesn't love the cool air, the smell of football (yes, football HAS a smell!), college football ......(I'm soooo excited to go to some Aggie games.....they are THE BEST!) air, did I mention that?

For a refresher, we've been pulling out the ol'slip'n'slide alot (thanks, Carolyn!). It's an instant cool down, and Grace thinks it's "so cool!". Her words. Kids....they get so delighted in the little things. I wish I could be that way all the time!

Bible Journey: Genesis 5:32-Gen 9:19
Noah & the flood. "...Never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth." (Gen 9:11). I thought of that last phrase, God's promise. We all know He keeps His promises. I imagine if I was God (and I'm so glad I'm not!), that it would be really hard at times to keep that promise. I'd want to flood the world every morning, start anew.......the morning news can make you think that way. But He can look at our world and still see beauty...something valuable to save. He can look at us, and what we do to our bodies and with our bodies, and beneath all that mess.....he still sees something beautiful. Something worthy of saving. It's His patience with us, His mercy, His compassion, His perfectness in the full plan of it all.......His wonder.

Friday, July 25, 2008

If You Like McAllister's Broccoli & Cheese Soup...'ll want to try this recipe. I can't claim it as my own...I got it from Kellie Raspberry's website maybe 2 years ago. I've never tried it until yesterday (my pregnancy has gotten me craving soups of all kinds!.....but not "from the can" kind!), and I can say it was super easy and really good. (One note...if you don't want a ton leftover to freeze or give away, then half the recipe and it'll probably make 4-6 servings.)

The Players

It makes a TON!

1/2 cup butter
1 med. onion chopped
4 cans of swanson chicken broth with garlic
2 16 oz. bags of cut broccoli
1 32 oz. block of velveeta, cubed
1 cup milk
2/3 cup corn starch

Saute butter & onion. Add broth & broccoli and simmer until tender. Add cheese and stir until melted. Add milk. In a separate bowl, mix corn starch with enough water until it becomes a liquid, then add it to soup mixture. It should thicken instantly. Salt & pepper to taste.

On another note, this has been a pretty busy week for us.....lots of summer stuff going on. Next week, I think we're headed to Six Flags (no rides for me though, just eating alot of their fun stuff!). I'm trying to make the most of these last 3 weeks of "freedom" before school begins! It's amazing how fast summer goes when you're an adult.......remember it used to take forever when we were kids??

Bible Journey: Genesis 3:24-Gen 5:32
One quick note on how unbelievable to me it is that Cain, whose parents were Adam & Eve mind you, could have the audacity to talk to God in such a way as he did. "...Am I my brother's keeper?" he sarcastically said when asked by God where Abel was.....after he had murdered him. Wow...........

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Yummy Strawberry Smoothie

I couldn't resist drinking some before I took the picture!
In a blender:
5 fresh strawberries, chopped
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 T sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 large scoop of vanilla ice cream
8-10 ice cubes
blend and keep adding ice cubes/ice cream until desired thickness
OK. I know it doesn't have all the Protein Additions/Immune Blasts/Vitamin Boosters that some of those fancy smoothies carry....and I also know it could also be named a shake, since it has milk & ice cream, but darn it if this isn't a really refreshing drink on these doggedly hot days of summer! Is anyone else out there suffering? I'm pretty sure I cut short Grace's slip'n'slide adventure just because I was sweltering and didn't want to stay out there any longer (horrible momma!). Thank you to the inventors of air conditioning!

My bible journey is underway. It felt good to start at Genesis 1 today with a renewed commitment (and knowing I'd have bloggerworld seeing me succeed or fail!) I am not going to post everyday....a friend asked me that. I'm just not going to post a blog unless I can post that I've read in my bible. And I'm not giving myself a time limit. So this could take a I go!

Bible Journey: Genesis 1-Genesis 3:24
Notes: I always am drawn to the creation of our world. I love how there was no need for rain in the everything was perfect. I'm a visual person myself, so I can only imagine how gratifying it must have been for Him to create all the creatures, land and sea. To think it and then it IS. But my main focus was on the fall of man and how cunning the serpent was. How he began his lure with a simple act of falsely quoting God. In my notes, I put "Columbine" next to the part where he says to Eve, "For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God..."(Gen 3:5). I imagine that's how satan tricked those students and endless others....telling them to do something and they'll be like God. Shane & Shane have a great song called "Embracing Accusations" where it paints a picture of the devil as the father of lies, pacing.....waiting. I'm thankful our God has control over all.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Accountability Blog.....Here We Go!

I've been dreading writing this post for about 2-3 weeks now. Boog can tell you, one of my favorite things to say is "Do what you say".......something I repeat alot and often times have gut wrenching guilt over if I happen to have "said" I'd do something and then didn't. I always have huge respect for those people whose word is solid as oak. They say it, and you know it will get done. I'd like to be one of those people one day...... (I'd also like world peace, black olives to be shot off the face of the earth, to eat a whole tier of white wedding cake all by myself, world hunger know, the basics.)

So here we go. "Do what you say..."

I'm adding a new function to this blog. It's going to become my biblical accountability partner.My blog has always been great at pressuring me to update, even if I have nothing noteworthy to say. So in the past few weeks, I've really been feeling the need to completely read through the Bible....Genesis to Revelation. Beginning to End. Alpha to the Omega. A through get the point. I've started many times......but I tend to stop at Leviticus. I even had a "Bible in a Year" book, but that was a hilarious strikeout.

So I say this........(repeat "Do what you say...").......I will have a scripture log at the end of each post from here on out. It will have what I've read on my journey through the Bible and any thoughts on the subject. You do not have to read it (note, it is more for myself than for any readers of this blog) but.............and a big BUT............if you feel the need to do something similar, feel free to read along with me or let me know you are doing it, too, and maybe I can be a partner with you.

Letting bloggerworld know about this might just make me stick with it this time. And it'll make this little "blog" work just a wee bit harder for its paycheck. But mainly, I just want to do it because God's word is worth reading in its entirety...isn't it?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Mission Completed

The Crew on Sandia Mountaintop

We're back! Grace is back from the family circus (for hoots and hollers on her week, check out my sis's blog here) and she still has all her limbs, so thank you family for taking such great care of her this week.

Boog & I are pretty tired......but we spent most of today just R&R'ing. I actually splurged and surprised Boog with an hour long "deep tissue massage" to which afterward, he immediately went and helped his dad move 31 bales of hay on a tractor. I think the masseur's exact words were, "Well, if you're gonna do that after the massage, I might as well hit you over the head with a bat....that's how much good this massage will do you!"

Here are some pics from our week. Again, there's no place like Texas, but the mountains of New Mexico sure had some of the cleanest air I've breathed to date....not to mention a pretty horrible view. : ) I didn't take any pictures at the homeless shelter for obvious reasons. There's just something about toting around a camera, while homeless people eat their food, looking for photo ops that didn't seem right.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

A Really Horrible Picture of Mother Nature
Boog Trying to Push Me Off the Mountain
Our Nightly Worship Session

Decorating for their VBS

Boys (& Jen) doing the "Guy Decorating"

In True Griswald Form, We Stopped at the Texas Cadillac Artwork outside Amarillo

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Random Thoughts on,Albuquerque.

It's late...I have practically zero connectivity on Wi-Fi here.....(what, no Wifi at a homeless shelter? Come on people!). But in the next few minutes of "low connect" I'll give you my "low-down" of New Mexico, our mission, and our kids.

1. New Mexico? ....ummmmm, it needs trees. Really bad. The mountains are beautiful, don't get me wrong.....we're planning on taking the kids on deserved "fun night" and traveling up the mountain in a tram to enjoy the view and possibly scope out some wild animals. But this place still needs some trees! I can't take all adobe, no piney!

2. Our kiddos, who range from 8th grade to almost college freshman, are some of the most well-behaved, funniest, hard-working, mature, sensible kids on planet earth. Sure they have their "fart talk" moments and other not-so-memorable moments (I leave that to Boog to take care of...he tends to be "the warden" on no-brain antics like that) .....but when it comes right down to it, they have provided a great, living example of servanthood. And I've been quite honored to get to know them better this week.

3. The homeless There's gotta be a way to help them. There's gotta be more people willing to look past that some of them are crazy loons, addicts, or held by a stronghold bigger than they can deal with alone......we gotta look past that. We have to look them in the eye and address their needs......all of them. It's heartbreaking.

4. I'm seeing Christ with fresh eyes lately. The routine of church as the wife of a church employee can sometimes feel "routine"...if you catch my drift. It's funny how I thought it would be the homeless who would impact me, and they have. But the strongest impact has come from watching and being with our students, who again, have just continued to bless and amaze me.

5. I miss Grace. I love Boog. I'm feeling very pregnant (now approaching 3 months my belly is quite noticeable!)....air mattresses are not meant for the pregnant ladies.

6. I'm absolutely not looking forward to the 12+hours drive home. I love these kids, but they can get quite ridiculous when cooped up that long.

Catch you guys in a couple days! Hope all is well.....

Sunday, July 13, 2008

New Mexico? What's in New Mexico?

Me. By tomorrow evening. My sweet hubby, brother-in-law and myself are taking 2 busloads of teenagers on a mission trip to Albuquerque, New Mexico, for five days.

I think we're all crazy, but I'm excited. And sad. Sad because this is the first time that Boog & I have both left Grace for an extended period of time. She'll be hitchiking back and forth between relatives for the week, while her daddy and I pine away for her......we thought of taking her with us, but 12 hours in a bus? She's not quite there... yet.

I'm excited about the opportunity though. We'll be staying in a church's homeless shelter and helping out with meals, their lunch program, and also doing a little PR for their upcoming VBS. (Food! Right up my alley!) Seriously though, if there ever were an outreach that I could throw myself into, this would be it. Food, shelter, water, clothing....these basic needs that mean life or death both here and abroad. I want to learn about this program so maybe one day we can do something similar in our own area.

Pray for a safe trip. Pray for my easy car-sickness these days to hold off. Pray for the kids...this is a first mission trip for many of them. Pray for Boog. Pray that I don't treat these teenagers like my fourth graders and that I resist the urge to make them do a head count everytime we go somewhere (although, for some parents, I know my "overprotection" will be a good thing!).
I'll catch you all later on Friday!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Easy Meals...

(OK, Keri...this one's for you!)
Sloppy Joes. Who doesn't love 'em? Well, to be honest...I really didn't until I found this recipe for sweet, sloppy joe sauce that is just yummy! It's a thicker mixture, so it's not quite as "sloppy" either....good for kiddos. long!

1 lb. ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. mustard
3/4 cup ketchup
3 tsp brown sugar
salt/pepper to taste

In skillet, brown beef, onion, pepper & drain. Stir in g. powder, mustard, ketchup & brown sugar. Mix & let simmer for 20 minutes. Season to taste.

Also, at the Ferrell household spaghetti is almost always on the weekly rotation. Sometimes I mix it up and use this instead of the ol'ground beef:

Newman's Sockarooni & chicken chunks

Mix together, add a little salt & pepper & parmesan cheese....yummy!

These aren't "Top Chef" recipes or anything, but they sure do make for a good meal!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Don't Hate Me Because I'm Blogger-Lazy....

I have, indeed, suffered from a bit of lazy blogger syndrome! Usually, I'm so on the blogger conscience says to me, "'s been a couple days, time to blog!" But lately, I've been pushing that aside and spending my summer time doing other things....such as....
.....going to Wal-Mart. : ) My grocery bill has SKYROCKETED since summer began. Does yours? It could be because it's summer and we eat at home a lot more. Maybe it's because I'm pregnant and my cravings tend to make me buy impulsively. Yesterday, I grabbed a big 'ol fat jar of ready made cheese dip....just because it sounded great at the moment. And how about that big'ol fat tub of ready made potato salad I bought the other day. Ewww...just thinking about it now makes me a little nauseous. The things this baby is making me eat!

I've also been doing a lot of TV watching. If any of you know me, pre-pregnancy I was not a TV watcher. Especially during school.....I just don't turn it on. But now, Boog jokingly mentioned how he could see the "tv glow" as he pulled into our driveway. He knew I was in bed and watching some cheesy reality show or Steel Magnolias for the 20th time. I literally put Grace to bed, change into my jammies, then hop into my own bed and like 8:30. Horrible, I know.

So today...I'm babysitting my beautiful niece, Ella (above, next to Mr. PotatoHead), and we're planning on having a good 'ol day of summer time. Maybe my TV loungin' and Wal-Mart gluttony will end soon.....I'm hoping!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

July 4th Extravaganza!

Grace in her Patriotic Duds...
Living about 10 minutes away from one of Texas's largest lakes is quite nice....especially on the 4th. Everyone goes all out for fireworks on the lake, so when we were invited to my sister-in-law's new lake lot (her future home site!) to have some food & fun.....we couldn't say no!
The site of the party
Make-shift "home" for the afternoon!
Pre-Party Activities....
On the Boat with Daddy
Enjoying the View!
Sittin' back & enjoying everyone else's fireworks!
A Really Fuzzy Picture...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Sno-Cones & the Name Game (read on....I know that doesn't make sense!)

Green - Grace's favorite color since she's been alive.....I know, strange, huh?

Darby's IcyHotz. A staple of summertime here in Athens, Texas. This little sno-cone stand is owned and run by a Freshman at Aggieland, and I'm pretty sure she paid for her first semester last year with the revenue she made off of me...I mean, Athens residents. : ) Her name is so could her little business not thrive?

Speaking of names, I'm stuck. As a teacher, we have the worst battle with choosing names for our own children. Every name out there either reminds us of a child we don't want to be reminded about, or it reminds us of a child that we've heard stories about....either way, I've already had to cross off a plethora of precious what's a girl to do? Pick a strange name so that you never hear it on someone else? Answer to that...negative Ghostrider. I, being Florence for my entire life, have never heard of anyone under the age of 80 with my name and hated it for the longest time. Now I just go by "Flo" and do you know how many "Excuse me, Flo?"'s I get????? Darn that Dumb & Dumber. ....tee hee....

So, I'm still thinking.....and thinking.....hopefully, it'll hit me before my cook time is up!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Sweet Hubby....Date Time

Well, as if he could read my mind (or if he just thought this might help with all the hormonal issues!), Boog surprised me with a date night. It was just what I needed.

We started off by going to Tyler and eating at Johnny Carino's.....I told him I wanted to eat somewhere with a good salad (I'm off my junk food craving!) and I love their caeser salads. I ordered up a Chicken Skilletini (glorfied, yummy spaghetti) and it was fan-tab-u-lous! I can't wait for lunch leftovers today.

Then we went to the movies. Let me say this. If there is ever a new Pixar movie out, I will be one of the first to go see it. Pixar Productions are the Shakespeares of moviedom, and WALL*E is amazing. Warning....there's not a lot of talking in this movie, so I'm not sure itty bitty ones would enjoy seeing it....but adults? It's better than any "human" movie out right now. Go see it!

All in all, it was a great date night and my hubby is always the best date. He makes me feel beautiful even when I a) got nauseous on the 45 min. drive over to Tyler and spent the first 10 minutes at Carino's slumped over the table with a greenish tint to my face and b) I had on zero make-up on .....which could've actually helped with that greenish tint. I love that man!

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