Monday, September 28, 2009

Gotta love cake!

Over the weekend we celebrated Joe's birthday with his family here in Eastman. We had a cookout and a fun time fellowshipping with family and friends. Joe enjoys cake, but one of his favorite cakes is a chocolate chip cake that a friend of mine (thanks, Jean!) passed on to me. I have to tell you...the first time I made it, I didn't grease and flour my pan...I just sprayed some cooking spray on it. Well, lets just say that it was a big chocolate chip pile! But Joe ate it up and loved it! I remember he told me...I want this cake for my birthday! So I was determined to make it for him. It's not often that he specifically tells me something he likes. Here it is...

Chocolate Chip Cake
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 cup sour cream (I just put in the whole 8 oz container)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Duncan Hines butter yellow cake mix
  • 1 large box vanilla instant pudding
  • 1 bag mini chocolate chips

Stir all ingredients together and put into a lightly greased bundt pan ( I said...I had to Crisco and flour my bundt pan to prevent sticking). Cook at 350 for 45-50 min or until toothpick comes out clean.

Ya'll...this cake is so moist and delicious! The best part about's so easy! Hope you enjoy!

God bless!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Good recipes...

I just couldn't wait to post these! I haven't actually made these, but my sister (with our help) made them for her rehearsal dinner last weekend. Honestly, when I saw what she was putting in the southern caviar, and she brought over a bite for me to try....I was like...that's ok! She convinced me that it was really good and that I would like it. So I caved and tried it...I'm so glad I did! It was really good! It tasted a lot different than I thought it would. So that's why I'm posting it. It would make a great party food, a potluck dish, etc. Here it is...

Southern Caviar
  • 1 15 oz can black eyed peas, drained

  • 1 15 oz can shoe peg corn, drained

  • 1 8 oz jar Braswell's green tomato relish or may use Braswell's pepper jelly

  • 1 small bottle (8 oz) Italian dressing

  • 1 onion, chopped (small pieces are better than large for all the chopped veggies)

  • 1 tomato, chopped

  • 1 green pepper, chopped

Mix ingredients in a bowl and serve with Fritos (we used the Scoops....if you wanted to go healther, you could probably go with some corn chips...but the Fritos were really good!)

The next recipe is by Paula Deen. It is AMAZING!! Well, if you like traditional banana pudding, you might not like it...because this is....

Not Yo Mamma's Banana Pudding

  • 2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies

  • 6-8 bananas sliced

  • 2 cups milk

  • 1 5 oz box French Vanilla pudding

  • 1 8oz pkg cream cheese, softened

  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

  • 1 12 oz container of whipped topping, thawed

Line the bottom of a 13x9 in pan with cookies (it's good if they're crushed...or whole...however you like), then layer with bananas. In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a mixer. In a separate bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together until smooth. Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended. Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and put the remaining cookies on top. Refridgerate until ready to serve.


The Update

All I have to say is....praise the Lord this virus is over! It's hard when Mom, Dad, and child are sick. I'm so thankful that Isaac didn't get it! That was a prayer answered!
Joe and I were just sitting here talking about this time last week we were getting ready to go to Jekyll. I wish it didn't seem like months ago that we were just there! Isn't it weird how the fun things just fly by and the hard things seem to drag on? Anyway, I wanted to share some fun memories from our trip!

The wedding day turned out beautifully! There was a slight chance of rain, but there was no rain in sight that day. The wind was blowing, but that helped it to not be so hot. Paige (my sister) made those white flags (with mom's help) to mark where they would have the ceremony. My niece and Paige's friend, Laresa, were the attendants. They looked so pretty in their red dresses! We had the reception outside in the gazebo right beside where the ceremony was. The last photo was at the driftwood beach very close to where we were staying. Joe and I always think it's so neat to see all the wood that on the shore like that. Sophie always enjoys running around on the beach! She LOVES the sand and the water.

Well, that's a little snapshot of our trip. For the rehearsal we had a cookout and my sister made some GREAT food. I wanted to share a couple of the recipes. I'm running out of time right now, but I'll get them down later. One is called Southern Caviar (I didn't think I'd like this, but it tasted awesome!) and Paula Deen's Not Your Mamma's Banana Pudding. If ya'll haven't had this....oh,'s the best banana pudding I've EVER had!! So good!!

Hope you have a great day! God bless!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Update soon!

Hey friends....
I have so much to blog about (weekend at Jekyll, sister's wedding, and a great recipe)....but our family is sick! Please pray for us. Apparently several of my family members...including Joe, Sophie, and a virus while we were at Jekyll Island and are having lots of throwing up and other things I will not mention! Please keep us in your prayers. I think we are on the road to recovery and we're trying to keep ourselves as far away from the baby as possible so he won't get sick. I am very thankful for our friends who have gone to Walmart and the pharmacy for us! Hope all of you are doing well and that you won't catch this very contagious virus!
God bless!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

New Bible Study

I think I have come to a good point in my life where I can venture out and join a ladies Bible study. I know that might sound crazy, but I've been very tired (crazy tired) since Isaac has been born and haven't really felt like doing much but stay home, try to get my house clean, and sleep any chance I get. The first 2-3 months he was born, he only slept a few hours at night and then most of the day. Of course, Sophie was up most of the day (she's outgrown her nap, unfortunately). I was just about passing out during the morning while she was watching cartoons. Anyway, I have begun the weaning process with the baby. I've had mixed emotions about it...I feel happy, relieved, a little guilty, and more. But I feel like I've done well with him and I'm ready to get some normalcy with my body. It's kind of been on a roller coaster for a while now...really almost 17 mos. I keep telling Joe I've been sleep deprived for almost 9 months. Since I've cut back on the nursing some, I've seen some positive changes with my body. And I've also seen the need to get out and fellowship with other women...and in a spiritual setting. I tend to shy away from the group studies, even though I love that kind of stuff. Being a pastor's wife can sometimes put me in a position of having to be very guardful in those settings. I had to do that a lot in the last women's Bible study I was in. But I think now is a good time. And boy, do I need the fellowship and feeding from God's Word. So I joined up. Last week was our first week. It's Priscilla Shirer's Discerning the Voice of God. Ya''s been great!

I've been doing the daily workbook stuff (I'm not always a fan of the workbook thing, but this has been good and not overwhelming, like some of them can be) and I can see that God is using this. Joe and I have always taken major decisions to the Lord in prayer. I am seeing how important that is...God is reaffirming that through this Bible study. But He's also teaching me something that I am weak in....patience! God is reminding me of the value of being patient and waiting for His timing in answering prayer. It's so good for me to be reminded of that. I hope you all are able to find a good Bible study...even if it's just a personal one. It's good stuff!

Blessings to you and yours!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Hey friends...I've just begun doing something that I think you might like. It's called swagbucks! It's free...if you sign in, you basically just use it as a search engine. The more you search, the more "bucks" you earn. You can redeem your bucks for prizes. Pretty neat, huh? A friend of mine has bought all sorts of neat things for her kids by redeeming her bucks for gift cards! So if you're interested, scroll down to the bottom of my page on the left side and you can sign up!

Monday, September 14, 2009

One of those days...

It's Monday. It's catch-up day. Baby boy woke up about 2 am last night crying, too, so Momma wanted to sleep as late as possible! Once I got up, I hit the floor running. There was laundry to do (and there's still some left), dishes to wash and put away, and cooking to do. The hubby had 2 big meetings today, so I knew he wouldn't be here until about 9pm. It was a good day, though. There was probably too much tv watched by Sophie, including a showing of Cinderella while I jumped in the shower, so we'll have to make up for it tomorrow and try to keep it at a minimum. The one thing I did do that I am excited about was that I made a small cake from Deceptively Delicious. Ya'll...that junk is good!! You use a cake box mix of your choice, but you add some eggs, an egg white, some pumpkin, a little bit of oil, and yogurt! I cheated a little bit and added some premade chocolate icing on top. It is so good! I've been nibbling all day. Sophie loves it, too. That's about it. I just wanted to blog, but didn't have much going on :-). Tomorrow we have a play date and I am looking forward to it! Hope all of you are doing well!
God bless!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Girls weekend

What a fun past couple of days. A friend from Eastman asked me a couple of weeks ago if I wanted to go to a christian concert with her and her girls. I immediately said yes! This is something I haven't done in years. I also haven't had a night without the kids in several months. Don't get me wrong...I love being with my kids and husband. I even missed them a little while I was gone. But doing something fun with the gals was just what I needed! And the concert was so encouraging. The first singer, John Waller, sings a song that was on the movie "Fireproof" called While I'm Waiting. It's great. His portion of the concert was very encouraging to me. He sang a blessing over all of us. Pretty neat. Then we heard from Fee. Steve Fee and his band. Very fun. I had honestly never heard of him, but he rocked the house! Then we ate some awesome food at Fatz and had a lot of laughs. It was a special treat for this stay at home mom. Thanks, Amy and family, for ministering to me so much!
Today was fun, too. I got to sleep in and then went to a bridal shower for my sister. Showers are always a lot of fun! Then Mom and I went to the mall and found some great deals and Mom treated me to a few new clothes. What a blessing!
As I'm sitting here reflecting on all of these special things I feel very undeserving, but very grateful. It brings me to the Lord in an attitude of thanks for ministering me in such a special way. He has used my friends and family, His children, to lift me up and provide for me. I'm so thankful that these different people were joyfully willing to be used, but also that God loves me so much that He would set all this up for me. Wow. It blows me away. I'm humbled and grateful to know such a loving God.
Now I just want to say a great big THANK YOU! Especially my hubby who, the whole weekend, encouraged me, watched the kids, and said, "You deserved it!" Love you!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What's cookin'?

Labor was busy and a lot of fun! We had some fun friends over for dinner...something we don't do as often as we'd like! We were scurrying to get the house cleaned up (sometimes we do some of our best and fastest cleaning when we're expecting company :-D). I decided to make something from our Children's World Cookbook...goulash from Hungary. It basically like a beef stew with stew beef, potatoes, onions, garlic, diced tomatoes, and water. The thing that worried me a little bit was the two TABLESPOONS of paprika that I put in! :-) But thankfully it didn't come off too strong. I think that's the most paprika I've used in years! :-) At the end of cooking it, you make this dough dumplings and put on the top. It was a nice, hearty dish that I served with brown rice and some of those Sister Schuster yeast rolls...I think I could eat a whole pan of those by myself!! They're so good!

Dessert was some of my chocolate chip cookies I made from Deceptively Delicious (they have chickpeas in can't even taste them, though!) and smoothies! The smoothies were awesome! It was my first time making smoothies, and they turned out better than I thought they would! Here's what I did...

Fruit smoothie
  • frozen strawberries (about 10-13)
  • frozen pineapple (about 10 chunks)
  • 1 banana
  • low fat vanilla yogurt

I put all of these ingredients in my blender, fruit first, and then added as much yogurt as I needed to smooth it out. Everyone enjoyed it, including the kids! Isaac even got a few tastes and was all smiles!

Hope you all had a great Labor Day! God bless!

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Our church is doing revival a little different this year. Instead of having consecutive nights of revival, we're having 5 Sunday nights in a row of revival with a different speaker each night. So far we've had two different Sundays of this. I felt the need to blog about it because it has been so awesome! God has used these two pastors to speak to me in a special way. I especially felt that tonight spoke directly to my heart.

As I've mentioned many times before, I'm a stay at home mom. I do love being able to do this, but it is not without its many challenges. Let me shed a little light on my weaknesses here....I'm not a natural at organization, cleaning (I don't enjoy all), and I don't have tons of energy. But I love when something is organized. I love it when things are clean. I just wish someone else could do it for me! :-) That sounds terrible, doesn't it? I've seen the need to be more diligent in my household responsibilities. I've been trying to keep the clothes cleaned regularly so they don't get piled up, cook more, keep things tidier, try to organize more, etc. It often seems like an impossible task. I get frustrated. I grumble in my heart. My mind starts having thoughts all day of how I don't feel like serving, if only I were appreciated more, if only I heard more words of thanks, etc. I want to serve, but I'm not serving with much joy. In comes the sermon tonight. I wasn't expecting it. The guest pastor's text was about how Jesus cleaned the disciples feet. This sermon was about being a servant...the way Jesus was a servant. It was about serving even if you don't receive anything in return (like Jesus did). Jesus even washed Judas' feet...even though He knew Judas would betray Him. He talked about serving without expecting gratitude (that one really spoke to me). When we expect gratitude there's a pride involved...on the part of the server. That's not what serving is all about. Something else that really struck me that he said was that we should be motivated to serve out of love for the person we're serving. We may not enjoy doing something, but we do it because we love. Jesus loved us. He didn't have to die for us, but He did because he was motivated by love to do it. It wasn't pleasant. It was a terrible way to die. But He did it because He loved us. And serving us in that way brought Him joy. I can be joyful in serving my family. That's what I desire. So I have repented and asked for the Lord's help to be a prideless, joyful servant. Please pray for me in this! It's gonna be tough. God is at work in my heart....and it's exciting.
God bless!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Many thanks and much activity

First I want to say thanks to all of you who made some great suggestions and comments on the last entry! It has been so encouraging to me. Joe and I already sense that the Lord is at work in this and wants us to be good stewards of what He has given us. I'm going to look into the websites that you've suggested and hopefully continue to save money! Now for our activities the past couple of days!

Friday night we had dinner with some folks from our Sunday School class and headed over to the Dodge County football game. Football is big here, and I've really enjoyed being a part of the crowd at the games. When I was in high school, the stands were never crowded! In Macon there were so many high schools that had football games going Eastman there's only one high school. When I first moved here, it was almost like being in a movie or something. I'd never lived in a place that only had one high school and everyone in town was pumped up about the football team. It's pretty neat. This was Isaac's first game since he's been born. He did great! Sophie, on the other hand, was your normal little two year old. She wanted to go up and down the bleachers, move back and forth from Mommy to Daddy, etc. She did look cute, though, in her little Falcons cheerleader outfit! :-) Dodge County colors are red and white, so this came pretty close to matching. We did end up leaving around half was already 9pm at that time and we definitely needed to get sleepy kids back home!
Friday and Saturday morning I had the immense pleasure of getting to sleep late! Thank you, Joe! But once I got up, I was on the go! Friday I made purees and baby food for Isaac (butternut squash and yellow squash). Today (Saturday) I got up and after fixing lunch, cleaning up, and getting Isaac down for his nap, I sewed Sophie a pillowcase dress. My stitches were very uneven, but, "I did it by myself," as Sophie would say. I was excited!Then I got out my Deceptively Delicious cookbook and made chocolate chip cookies with a very interesting ingredient...chickpeas. Sounds weird, but it tastes pretty good! Sophie loves the cookies...I could hardly keep her out of the kitchen!
Then I made steamed broccoli, brown rice, and poppyseed chicken...minus the poppyseed (I don't keep it on hand)...for supper. It turned out well! Plus we have enough left over for supper after church tomorrow. That's especially good! I was really busy today. But the reward is getting to sit here and enjoy some computer time. Hope all of you have a great Labor Day weekend!! God bless!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Praying for Direction

I have really enjoyed writing my thoughts and ideas on this blog! I have really appreciated all of your support and comments over the past months as I've thrown out a lot of different things. I like to try and make each post look snazzy by including a picture or recipe or something like that. So my blogging has gotten a little less frequent because I shared most of my good recipes hopefully I'll keep taking lots of pictures! Anyway, tonight I just wanted to write about what's on my heart and what I've been trying to do lately. First of all, I want to say that I have been quite blessed by being able to stay home with my kiddos. God has provided for us over the years. Last week, the hubby and I sat down to take a closer look at our finances. We have seen the need to cut most of us have had to do with the economy the way it is. So I've been praying about what I could possibly do to help financially, but still be able to stay home with my kids. It's hard. I have been able to get on the substitute list for Fridays when Joe is off. I'm hoping God will open the door on those days for me to substitute. I'm also going to start advertising to tutor kids. Hopefully that will work out, too. We've had several ideas, but I just want to seek the Lord and get His direction.

Another way that I can help my family is by saving at the grocery store...or in Eastman...Super Walmart. I feel like I've got Mission Impossible on my hands...but I want to accept it!! I love reading about how women go out and use coupons and get like $500 worth of groceries for $50. That's so cool to me. how do they do it?! Today I saved a little over $12 on my bill. I thought that was pretty good. I got a lot of stuff...including two boxes of diapers, two outfits for Sophie, and a little shirt for Isaac, and still spent about as much as I do when I don't have to buy those things. I'm trying to cut our bill way down. And Walmart is not just's baby stuff, toiletries, medicine, etc. But I feel like I can cut the bill down...with the Lord's help! Who knows...we might even eat less and lose weight in the process :-).

Please pray for me and with me and we are seeking to change the way we spend money, make money, and manage the resources God has given us. Thanks!! May the Lord bless you!