Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Bible in 90 Days

Well, I needed the two grace days to finish, but I did it in 90 days.

I've heard about people who have been given a Bible and read it cover to cover in literally days. That's always amazed me. The Bible is a long book.

Now that I've read it through in 90 days, rather than trying to read it over a year (which I've never successfully completed that way), I can sort of see how someone might do that. The Bible reads much more like an ongoing story when it's not being chopped up into 365 pieces. You want to keep reading and not put it down, and if it weren't for the obligation of my children and home, I would have kept reading at times. I actually got at least a couple days ahead early on, before I got hung up in the Chronicles. The beginning of those went slow for me.

I've never been a lover of the Psalms. I know, I know. I'm the only person in the world. But reading them through in larger chunks I found that I liked them more than I thought I did. They made more sense to me that way too.

I've also never read the four gospels through one right after the other so quickly. I enjoyed seeing all the similarities and being able to recognize them immediately.

One thing I did when I was a little over halfway through the Psalms through the end of the Bible — any time I read a verse that contained the words for a song or hymn, I would put a musical note in the margin of my Bible. I heard someone say they did that and I thought it was a neat idea. Now I just have to do the other half of my Bible when I read it through the next time!

I want to read the Bible through in 90 days chronologically. I think I might do that starting in July at the mid-year point.

Thanks to Mom's Toolbox for guiding us each day along the way. I just noticed she's leading it again starting July 5...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

WFMW — Easter Basket Scavenger Hunt

Our kids used to get up in the middle of the night to check out their Easter baskets.

Hubby and I are pretty heavy sleepers, sleep was and is important to us, and so we didn't feel like it was critical to stay up and keep them guarded. We just left them out so that when they got up in the morning they could check them out.

Of course that was when we thought they might get up a little earlier than usual rather than the middle of the night.

When we were in Virginia we decided to come up with a fun and make-them-wait Easter basket scavenger hunt. The first year, or maybe two, we did it before church.

Now they are older and we have to be there by 8:00 a.m. They wait until we get home.

When they were younger it started out by giving them an egg with the first clue. Last year we decided they had to find the clue amidst a lot of eggs.

Once we put that little piece of paper in there, we realized they would know immediately which one it was since you could see through the eggs.

So we cut a bunch of extra little plain pieces of paper and put them in all the other eggs. We're sneaky like that.

They found the first clue:

When visitors come over they ring the doorbell
Which is directly outside the front door.
So that’s where you need to go start your search
Inside by Peka’s vent on the floor.

There was an egg waiting for them with the next clue. We find that we have to be very careful and put them in the egg one-by-one as we walk through the house to make sure they end up in the right spot for the next clue. That first year or so when we did it late at night after they went to bed we almost goofed a few times.

They also know not to pick up any stray eggs they might find because they'd get messed up, but we actually hide some not in plain sight now to make it harder. They love it!

Here are a sample of a few of our other very cheesy clues:

Where do you find the ingredients
For grilled cheese in this house?
Just the white bread you need
Not the cheese for the mouse.

Who do you think has the messiest bedroom?
I think we all know who that is.
I wonder where you will find the next clue in that room.
I can tell you it’s not by a broom.

Find Harold.

A lover of Yankees
A lover of Cardinals
A lover of Blues
Go find the next clue.

Oh where, oh where is Mom’s new space
Where Chatty loves to go?
Just be careful when you are looking around
Or Mom will have to throw you to the ground.

We do 15 to 20 clues, and it's a lot of fun now that we have stairs plus a basement. We have them running all over the place!

They look forward to this every year.

Find more great Works-For-Me-Wednesday ideas at We Are THAT Family.

Monday, March 29, 2010


I'm just cleaning up my reading lists on my left sidebar. That's why you'll see several posts coming through on your Google Reader or Dashboard. I've linked the lists up to a post except for the one that has what I'm currently reading.

Menu Plan Monday — March 29

Buddy has his first baseball practice this week. As much as that means that spring is on the way (we're still wearing our winter coats here and have just gotten buds on the trees in the last week and a half), I know it means that we are in for a few months of busy evenings.

MondayReally Good Chicken and Noodles. I didn't get to this last week.

TuesdayChicken Spaghetti. I have some cut up chicken in the freezer I should try and use up.

WednesdayLeftover Chicken Spaghetti and I'll probably fix some mac and cheese for the boys (blue box special!).

ThursdayMexican Beef Casserole. I haven't made this in a long time and it's good.

Friday5-Minute Southwest Layered Salad.

Saturday — We'll either eat out on this day, or we'll have a big meal ham meal and have leftovers for Sunday. I'm not sure which.

Sunday — Dependent on Saturday. We do have to be at church early for the Sonrise Service (only 8:00 a.m. but still early) and it includes breakfast. If we do our big meal at least we won't be starving when we get home.

Visit The Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Special Sandwiches

You start with your leftover meat from your Roast.

I slice it up really thin. Sometimes it stays in slices, and sometimes it crumbles. I think it depends on what cut of meat I purchased.

This time it crumbled, and I heat it in a skillet with a little bit of the leftover juice from cooking the roast.

While that is heating up, I butter up my hoagie rolls and toast them on my griddle.

I put meat and a slice of provolone cheese on each hoagie roll. They've graduated to a cookie sheet.

I pop them into the oven to broil on high (my oven has settings for the broil) for about two minutes, until the cheese is melted.

While all this was going on I heated up the rest of the juice from cooking the roast. Serve a little to each person who wants to dip their sandwich.

Every person in my family loves this Special Sandwich. That says something considering there are some picky eaters!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Orange, Fuchsia, and a Machete

There were people coming by daily to sell things when Sparky was in Africa. It wasn't random though; it was planned.

At the beginning of the week a lady came by. If they wanted a bag made they were to pick small, medium, or large, and the two-color combination they wanted.

Sparky picked large and my favorite color combo, orange and fuchsia (although blue is my single favorite color).

Matches my Bible like a charm!

Look at all the intricate work.

I wish you could feel this bag. The person or people that make these bags must have very tough, calloused hands or very cut up hands. You know that white plastic rope that is stiff? It's like that but a thousand times stiffer. (Kind of like comparing Elmer's to Super Glue.) Yet it is woven tight like normal string would be woven. I can't even imagine how they do it.

Hubby got a cool gift. It was 'the only thing' Sparky could think of that he would like.

Remember that lady selling machetes in her Togo pictures? That's who she purchased this machete from.

I took a picture of it with my Blackberry so you could see how big it really is.

The kids feel pretty safe in the house now too.

For more Show and Tell Friday, visit Cindy at My Romantic Home (plus she lives in California and it's green there already!).

Precious Children

Sweet children in the's all in French...when you click on the arrow to play the black box goes away too...

The Twenty-third Psalm:

Another classroom:

This is some more video from that classroom.

Mark 9:37 "Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Roast in the Crock Pot

I always use about 6 lbs of roast. It depends on what is on sale. I would only do 3 lbs if I either didn't want leftovers or did not plan to have company. I usually end up with two pieces that average 3 lbs each.

Brown each roast in olive oil on the stovetop.

I had my towel covering the back part of the stove to keep from having to clean it from any grease splatters, and I singed the edge of the towel. Eek!

Transfer each one to the crock pot. I sprinkle each one with some black pepper and sea salt, and press it in with a spoon.

Of course there is no salt or pepper pressed into the roast in this picture.

I use between four cups and four cans of beef broth with the two roasts. It depends on what I have on hand. I like to use four cans because then I can make sure that my carrots and potatoes are well covered later in the day, but four cups works okay too. I usually put a little in the bottom before I put in the first roast. Just because.

I cook mine on high for 6-8 hours. During the last couple of hours I put in a bag of baby carrots and several cut-up potatoes. I have a lot of people that like potatoes at my house, so I probably do more than most people would.

When the vegetables are tender, it's time to eat!

Tomorrow I'll share the recipe for special sandwiches made with the leftover meat and juices. Mmmmm.....

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

WFMW — Decorating Easter Eggs

Several years ago, as in more than ten, when we lived in New Jersey and only had three children, we purchased an egg spinner to decorate our Easter eggs. At the time, and until about a year or so ago, the only place I'd seen it was at a specialty toy store or in catalogs.

Our biggest challenge since purchasing the egg spinner was not each child taking their turn as we passed it around the table, it was finding an egg kit with some of the water-soluble liquid dye in little packets that we could use in the spinner.

Then the challenge was not mixing red and blue (for purple) and then forgetting and putting some yellow in before we rinsed it out. Brown eggs aren't as pretty.

Last year, I saw the egg spinners at Wal-Mart for $5.00. Since we have four kids now I picked up another one so that egg decorating would go just a little faster.

This year I decided that at $5.00 a pop, we could go ahead and get one for each of them.

Plus if we have oodles of grandkids someday, we'll be the go-to house for egg decorating.

I also got some packages of the egg coloring kits that have the little color packets in them. We just throw away whatever else comes with it (bags or something).

Here are our eggs from last year.

The kids look forward to this every year, and for us it's much easier than the other methods. This is what 'works for us' when we color our Easter eggs.

Visit We Are THAT Family for more Works For Me Wednesday ideas.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Split, Peel, Dump, Bananas!...and the dreaded Rotten Banana

Have you played before?

Bananagrams. Fun in a zip-up banana.

All the ages in our house from 10 to 44 were able to play. It was fun for everyone even when they didn't win.

Maybe except for me. I'm a tad bit competitive.

Depending on how many people are playing you pick a certain number of tiles. They are like Scrabble tiles without points. We picked 15 each.

Then you make crosswords with your words. You can re-do them as much as you want.

You can get rid of letters you don't want by 'Dump"ing them, but you have to take three in return.

When someone uses all their letters, they call out 'Peel' and then everyone takes one more tile from the pile.

You keep going until there are fewer tiles in the pile than there are people playing. When one person finishes using all their tiles they yell "Bananas!" and you pull out this if you need to check anything.

If you make up a non-word or use a proper noun or misspell anything, you're a Rotten Banana. Then everyone else just picks up where they left off until someone else finishes using their tiles.

Here are some of our crosswords.

This game was tons of fun. We've had it for a while and just pulled it out tonight for the first time. I have a feeling it will stay out on our table for quite some time.

On another unrelated note, I'm a little behind in my reading the Bible through in 90 days. I've been behind since I think the beginning of the Chronicles. They were difficult to read through quickly and then I just never got caught up.

I'm in the New Testament now and getting caught back up rapidly. There are actually two grace days built in, but I'd like to finish it in the 88 it has on the schedule. You know, the OCD and all. It's been bothering me that I've been behind all this time, especially because I was several days ahead for a little bit.

Either when I get caught up or when I get finished (hard to believe it's almost over), I'm going to read this book I picked up at the Christian bookstore the other day by Alex & Brett Harris.

I've heard a lot about this book, and I want to read it before I let my teens read it. I'm excited to see what it has to say.

Has anyone else read this book, and if so, what did you think?

Tag — You're It!

Mari, my friend from My Little Corner of the World, tagged me with a photo meme.

She really is in my corner of the world here in Michigan, although she's about three hours away. She must meet me at Ikea. Soon!

I had to take the 10th picture out of my 1st picture folder.

This is Sparky at the Detroit Boat Show in 2009. She went with Hubby, and she's in front of a blow-up Geico lizard.

She hasn't grown any taller either, much to her chagrin.

I'm supposed to tag five other bloggers to do the same.

I stink at this, kind of like giving out awards (of which I have three or four that I haven't posted because I don't like having to pick who to give them to).

So does anybody want to do this and be tagged?

Or you can just leave a comment on my cute kid.

I'm indifferent and easy to get along with.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Menu Plan Monday — March 22

I have been doing really well the first part of every week, and not so well the end of every week. We aren't eating out, we're just scrounging around last minute. That makes it hard for me, especially since I've been battling a cold for over a week. I'm going to try and do better this week.

Monday — Clean out the fridge and pantry. There is some leftover rotisserie chicken in the refrigerator, a vegetable tray, and I can make some mac and cheese and/or soup from the pantry. I think we also have some cheddar jack cheese cubes.

TuesdayRoast in the crock pot.

Wednesday — Leftover Roast sliced up for Special Sandwiches. That means we'll be taking deli style hoagie rolls toasted with butter, putting some sliced meat and provolone cheese on them and then broiling them, and then dipping them in the leftover heated juice from cooking the roast. It's yummy.

ThursdayBacon Frittata.

FridayReally Good Noodles and Chicken.

SaturdayChicken Caesar Pitas.

Sunday — Eat out since we ate in all week!

This week I also plan to make Strawberry Topping (I triple the recipe and keep it in the fridge to use as a topping for vanilla yogurt and ice cream), Homemade Granola (I have a Ball jar I need to return to a friend and I want to include something healthy in it, plus we need some too), and Restaurant Style Salsa (because this stuff is gone as soon as I make it, I always make a double batch).

Hope everyone has a great week! Visit Laura for Menu Plan Monday.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


I will tell you that some people at our church will be getting pelted with them in a couple of weeks. Either the church leadership or the Awana leadership and leaders. Depends on which group wins a certain ongoing contest. Some of the men are getting it either way because they are in Awana and also deacons. Insert a little giggle here because my husband is one of them.

But that is not the purpose of this post.

I bought a cute new winter vest this last week at Sears. It was in their Lands' End section on super duper deep discount clearance, where you get an extra big percent off of the already deep discounted price. I'd been wanting a cute quilted nylon type vest, and it was in a chocolate brown. It was also my size. It was about the only thing in my size amongst the teeny tiny things that are always on clearance because there can't possibly be that many microscopic people out there.

So I got it. And since it was in the 60's all week I didn't wear it.

It was 36 when I went out today. I wore it along with a mock turtleneck and a t-shirt!

So just to switch gears for a minute, I'm doing my first Awana T&T council time lesson tomorrow. The girls' director doesn't usually do the lessons herself and the leaders do. This just happens to be the first time this year I've done one. It also happens to be when we're going on an off-site visit to an assisted-living facility and doing a group council time with the boys.

My husband is the director for the boys' T&T club. He does most of his own council time lessons. I suppose you could say that it worked out that I happen to be doing the girls' lesson this week and we are collaborating.

Except that we do things very differently, and we both realize that.

Today though, he is being very cooperative and getting his done early to please me. I was sitting at the computer earlier looking up some facts for my part. We had a little discussion at which point I said in a gentle exasperation while hanging my head, "It would work so much better if you just listened to me the first time." Kind of like a week ago. He came over and put his arms around me in the computer chair and said, "My cute little marshmallow." You know, because I was still wearing my cute little new vest.

Which is apparently puffy.

My head is still a little congested from this cold. I can't decide whether to be flattered or never wear the vest again.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


It's advancing more rapidly than my age at my house. And that's saying something.

Caboose is working on factoring for least common denominators and stuff like that. I'm so okay with that. Makes me remember why I'm a math geek and love it so much. I always did like fractions. I even like fractions that have fractions in them. I used to make them up and do them for fun.

Comment at your own risk.

The girls on the other hand are in their third year of algebra, which is called Algebra II. Go figure that one out and I give you permission to have some chocolate as a reward. Their factoring is not so much fun. Actually it is no fun. I don't remember anymore why I loved Algebra II when I was in school.

The last week or so we have done:

  • Monomial Factors
  • Perfect Square Trinomials
  • Factoring a Perfect Square Trinomial
  • Difference of Two Squares
  • Factoring the Difference of Two Squares
  • Difference of Two Squares — Special Case
  • Sum or Difference of Two Cubes
  • Sum or Difference of the Same Odd Powers (here is where we got into the tricky stuff)
  • Difference of Even Powers of Two Numbers
  • Factoring Binomials (where you have to choose your method — yuck!)
  • The Quadratic Trinomial
  • Trinomials of the General Form ax² + bx + c
  • Polynomials Whose Terms May Be Grouped to Show a Common Polynomial Factor
  • Making a Perfect Square Trinomial in Order to Factor a Difference of Squares (you add something in to the problem to make it a perfect square trinomial and then subtract it at the end of the problem so that the problem is still equivalent to what it started out got that, right?)

All this with a cold running rampant through my head. I'm starting to have difficulty explaining to Chatty (who does not enjoy math or any form of it) how she is ever going to use this in real life. Feel free to come to my rescue if you do.

I'm ready to go back to 4th grade.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Guest Post — Sparky's Africa Experience

Sparky and I have been discussing for the last week the best way to go about doing her guest post. This last Sunday night, she and Mr. Churchmember spoke and gave their testimony of the trip and shared pictures. Sparky wrote out what she wanted to say (she still gets a little nervous in front of people) and then we typed it out. We decided it was an excellent summary of her trip and it was her version of the trip from her eyes, so we'd just cut and paste it from Word over here. I did change names just for the blog, because of course she didn't use Mr. Churchmember and Mrs. Missionary when she was talking, and I left it in a different font too.

I will tell you the rats they were selling on skewers in the market didn't make it into the story...

First of all, thank you all for your prayers. I really appreciated it.

I had an awesome time while we were there in Africa, and I miss it a lot. Basically each day the ladies got up at 5:00 in the morning to start fixing breakfast, which was then served at 6:00. I set the tables and did dishes a lot of the time — that kind of thing since there were 3 other ladies to do most of the cooking, although I did help with some of the cooking as well.

After breakfast the guys started working and the ladies cleaned off the tables, did the dishes, and set everything out for lunch. Then we’d go in our room to pray, do devotions, rest, take the men like Mr. Churchmember water, and that’s also when we took our showers. While we were there we were only allowed to take 5 minute showers, called missionary showers. All my family completely cracked up when I told them this because they all know that usually a quick shower for me is like 20 minutes.

We would start getting ready for lunch at 11:00 doing everything in the same way as we did at breakfast. Then after cleaning everything up from lunch, we’d have about 2-3 hours to do whatever we liked, or Mrs. Missionary would let me off kitchen duty sometimes so I could participate in extra things. That’s usually when I’d help Mrs. Local Togo Missionary with the kids from nearby who would come for the Bible study and games. Mawilly helped me do things there, and there is a picture of me with him in the slideshow. We’re working in the kitchen pouring lots of cups of Koolaid. Mrs. Local Togo Missionary took me with her to a small market that was different from the big one that the ladies went to earlier in the week. We also visited some kids at the hospital where we were adding on the maternity wing.

One of the last days we were there we went to a school that CWE built last year. It was an hour drive on crazy, bumpy roads which I loved anyway, but I’m not sure everyone else was as enthusiastic about. It makes our dirt roads look really good. We visited four classrooms and got to see the kids and they all sang for us. It was sweet and especially for Mrs. Missionary to see children in the classrooms since she had been there when they completed the school. The pictures you see in the slideshow where children have on pink colored shirts are from the school. There was also a church right next to the school that we got to go into.

For dinner we’d go through the same process as before, and once we were done eating dinner we’d clean off the tables and the guys would put them against the wall so that a devotional area could be set up. Devotions would last at least an hour and were always a special time.

The main focus of the devotions was turning the world upside down. Now how do we turn the world upside down? We’ve got to see people like Christ sees people if we’re going to turn someone’s life upside down. A way we can turn people’s lives upside down is by telling them about the gospel. It dramatically changes people's lives. But for people to even listen to what we’re saying and take it seriously, we need to have credibility and a good reputation. As you all know, a reputation is a person’s character, distinction, what we’re known for. As Christians, we should be known for our walk with God. Our character should be a step above the worlds. God will always be there for us – that’s his reputation. Samson, David, Joseph, Abraham, all had reputations. We all can turn the world upside down by using our reputations. People who live upside down for God stand out. They’ll have all the fruit of the spirit. So we have to be focused and have the right priorities. We need to be disciples, faithfully spending time in God’s Word so that it’ll nurture us. We’ve got to surrender and be willing, pray, fellowship with others, and we’ve got to witness. We have to be and have these things in order to turn the world upside down.

The last full day we were in Togo we had a maternity wing dedication. Now that the women giving birth can be separated from the sick women, the hospital is now culturally correct. The morning we left Togo there were already babies being born in the maternity wing.

It was amazing to see the cultural differences. Like here we have dogs and cats for pets—there the local missionary family had not only dogs, but a monkey and scorpion for pets as well. One of the boys actually caught the scorpion using a pair of flip flops. I thought the fact that they could keep those as pets was pretty cool. My mom and dad won’t even let me have a non-poisonous snake as a pet. Go figure. Practically all the ladies carried some type of bowl or bin on their heads filled with all types of different items. The women and girls carried babies on their backs by wrapping some cloth around their waist. It was all interesting to experience.

I also got to learn some lessons that I might not have otherwise. I learned how to live without my suitcase while overseas since my suitcase never showed up. Luckily there was enough in my carry-on to get me by. At one of the customs stops there was a toilet that wouldn’t flush normally. I learned how to flush it by using a bucket of water, so now I know what to do if the power ever goes out. For one of the first times in my life I realized that being short isn’t always bad. On the plane I was the only one who could lean over and use the food tray to sleep on.

I was also shown how very fortunate I am and how much I take for granted here. Some of the kids didn’t have shoes or a whole pair of clothes to wear; and when we’d hand out things, for example, they might get one piece of candy and they’d act like you just handed them some treasure. The ladies who worked in the guest house behind us would go through our trash we’d put out and scrape off all the plates and bowls to reuse them, and maybe even eat the leftover food as well.

On the trip, God confirmed the call that I’ve felt to Africa. My favorite part was when I got to interact some with the children. I now feel as though I’m supposed to do something with children there. I can’t wait to go back there (hopefully next year for a month with Mrs. Missionary). It was such a wonderful experience for me and I will remember it always.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Menu Plan Monday — March 15

Last week I stuck to my menu plan pretty well. I do have a question though for anyone out there.

I went shopping for the Wild Rice Salad I was going to make. It's been on my menu for two weeks, and I would have made it last week, but I can't figure out exactly what kind of rice to buy. The recipe calls for wild rice, but the boxes I saw are fairly small and it seems like I'd have to buy so much it would not be economical. Am I missing something? The recipe does not call for brown rice or long grain and wild rice. Any tips would be appreciated.

Hubby is out of town most of the week, so we'll be going kid-friendly and simple.

MondaySloppy Joes. Yes, again. They were a hit last Monday for small group! We love this recipe, and we didn't have enough for leftovers. We're having company for dinner, so we're having them again.

Tuesday — Since our company is only two people, we will probably have leftovers this time.


Thursday — Breakfast for dinner. Buttermilk biscuits, bacon, and smoothies.


SaturdayLeftover buffet and/or clean out the fridge and pantry.

Sunday — Eat out since we ate in all week. I have a few kiddos craving Chipotle's.

Visit The Organizing Junkie for hundreds of menu plans!

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Don't you love getting packages in the mail? I do.

I love getting them when I know they're coming, even if I don't know exactly when they're coming.

About a week and a half ago I got a package. I'd actually kind of forgotten I'd be expecting one.

Maybe about six weeks before I'd sent my mom an email with a link. The email was pretty much begging her to make me what was in the link.

Because I can't knit, I can only crochet.

She called me from the yarn store in her home town a couple of days later asking me to pick my yarn color from the three choices. Of course I picked blue.

Here's what she made me.

Of course it was also frigid Michigan weather when I begged her, and today it was 60.

The frogs in the empty lot next door are even thawed out and croaking. Croaking all day and night.

They will for weeks. Weeks.

My mom had never knit in a circle before. I think she did an excellent job.

I got to wear them around the house a couple of times and I wore them out once last week when I knew I'd be sitting somewhere and be chilly otherwise. Then it warmed up this week.

The original link with the pattern can be found here. I love this site!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Jellybeans and Eggs

I don't usually do much decorating around my house this time of year, but I saw a cute idea and couldn't resist.

I tend to fly by the seat of my pants a bit, so I used some fall cupcake liners to hold my paint. I saw them when I was getting the toothpicks to hold the balls while they dried.

See, since I had to use floral foam inside the pot, I figured I'd just use it to help hold up my painted items while they were drying. I even had my long dowel rods stuck in there that were painted white, along with three pink styrofoam balls.

My family came up with all kinds of creative ideas for what they thought I was going to make.

I used a small 4-inch clay pot sponge-painted white, a dowel rod cut with scissors at an eyeball-length, a 3-inch pink-painted styrofoam ball, Lifesavers pastel jellybeans, low heat glue gun (dries faster and doesn't hurt your fingers as much), ribbon, floral foam, and some mossy stuff.

It took me almost two hours just to glue the jelly beans on this 3-inch styrofoam ball.

I didn't do the other 3-inch ball I had painted or the 4-inch ball either. One by itself is plenty cute.

I've had some wooden eggs for close to 15 years. I don't usually get them out in time to decorate.

I was at Hobby Lobby and saw this little ceramic egg holder, and I thought it would be a cute way to display some of them.

They also had some really cute fake grass.

That took much less time than the jellybean topiary.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Menu Plan Monday — March 8

I thought I did pretty well with last week's menu, until I went back and reviewed it prior to doing this week's menu.

I did somewhere between so-so and stunk.

This is going to be a busy week, so I really, really need to stick with the plan. Really.

MondayFettucine Alfredo. This is one of Sparky's favorite foods, as well as mine, and she asked for it now that she's back home. I should have time to go to the store when Hubby gets home from work and get the groceries I need for the week, including for this, and still have time to make a fairly timely dinner.

TuesdaySloppy Joes for Small Group. That includes 12 people other than my 6. One is allergic to tomato products and will eat pb&j, so it's only 17, like that counts, but the good news is that other people are bringing salad, chips, and dessert.

Wednesday — If I'm lucky, I'll have Sloppy Joes left over.

ThursdayItalian Baked Chicken Breasts and Butternut Soup. I had these planned last week and didn't get to them.

FridayNachos. Also didn't have these last week and still have the taco meat in the freezer.

Saturday — Eat out since we ate in all week!

SundayWild Rice Salad. The other thing I planned last week that I didn't make. Since this is something that is to be eaten chilled, I'll make it on Saturday and then we'll eat it when we get home from church.

For hundreds of menu plan ideas, visit Laura, The Organizing Junkie!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Africa Souvenirs

Sparky brought some neat souvenirs home from Togo, so we thought we'd share those for Show and Tell this week.

The ladies got to go to the market early in the week. She bought these bracelets and necklace at the market. They are made from animal bones.

There were people who came through during the week and sold things. She purchased some fabric and then you might remember me showing you the picture of the lady who made her dress. That was with the fabric she bought.

If you've read my blog much, you will remember that Sparky has issues with clothes being fancy. A v-neck on a plain t-shirt makes it fancy. Well, she had to make a big decision with this dress on the neckline. She could have just left it without the extra stitching at the top, but she was worried it would be too plain! It even has some pink thread up there. I think she made a good choice.

Mrs. Smith, the older lady that worked with them in the kitchen, purchased a wooden chicken one day from a man that came through selling some wooden items. It came with five little chickens, and they all had spots painted on them. She gave the other three ladies (girls) one of the little chickens to remember her by.

I've never quite seen a chicken like that one.

One day they went to the "blind shop". She picked up these two hand-carved wooden elephants for her brothers.

And she also got me this doll for my doll collection.

She got me this hand-carved giraffe from one of the men who came through and sold things where they were staying, since it's my favorite zoo animal.

There was a young man named Mawilly (which I am spelling phonetically) that she helped prepare things for prior to the children coming over each day (separate from the hospital work). He made jewelry, and she purchased the two plainer necklaces from him, and then he let her pick out one of her choice for helping him. She picked out the one that has the larger beads on it. She said he spoke pretty good English too.

I have a couple more souvenirs that I'll share later. One is lost in Mr. Churchmember's suitcase (it's Hubby's), but it is in New York now. I also have matching bags that Sparky got for me and Chatty I forgot to take a picture of, and she got Hubby and me some coffee.

I'm going to do what Julie in Australia suggested and have her work on a guest post. If you have a specific question you'd like her to answer about her mission trip, please leave it in the comments.

For more Show and Tell Friday, visit Cindy at My Romantic Home.
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