Passion is a gritty kind of love, tough and

optimistic enthusiasm that overcomes negativity and inconvenience to make it

through to the end. (10,000 Reasons Overflow)

Friday, September 30, 2011

God's best

My friend Sara sent out a call (email) because people she knows need something as basic as shoes.  So of course, I sent out emails to collect shoes from peeps I know too!  That's what we do as a family, we see a need, we do everything we can to fill it.

I unfortunately don't have very many practical shoes (my grandmother hated this about me) because I am the lover of cute shoes!  I don't have a TON of shoes, but I love me some cute shoes. (don't judge me)

I was going to give up my winter boots with the thought that I would just buy myself a new pair.  The spirit spoke pretty strongly to me, BUY shoes don't just give up yours, they deserve the best too. 

I held true that when I got paid I would buy them shoes.  I did, indeed, first chance I got, order shoes from for them.  I also was blessed to find a 20% off coupon on line that expired today, which meant that I got to buy an additional pair of shoes for someone who needs it.  (the payless code is 42573) should you be inclined to do the same.  Let me know if you need the address and the ATTN to and I will email it to you.  I was able to buy 8 pairs of shoes for $101!  

I really feel like the people who need the shoes deserve new shoes, I don't know why, but I do.  I feel like of course, my used shoes would be better than NO shoes, but sometimes there is nothing like slipping on a new pair of shoes.  BRAND NEW. They are created in God's image just like me, in all His beauty.

I don't tell you all of this because of what 'I' did. I tell you this because I think we are all called to do 'something' today, this is my 'something'.

Do 'something' today.

Gal 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

These are my thoughts not yours...

Its been a crazy day.  My thoughts have been kind of scattered. So here’s what’s on my mind this Thursday night.

The other day I was Grand River and Telegraph and I was admiring God’s handy work in a Monarch butterfly. I am not sure where the butterfly wanted to go but it looked as though he/she was trying to cross Telegraph, every time a car or truck whizzed by, it created a gust of wind and so many times in the few minutes I was sitting there that poor butterfly ended up right back where it had started from.  I thought to myself, “I know exactly how you feel” but it kept at it, and it flew out of my sight, I assume that it made it safely to it’s destination whispering sweetly to me “don’t give up”.

Early today I wrote about a time that I have never felt more loved.  I was thinking about that today on my way home.  I thought about how different it is for me now.  I know that I am loved instead of feeling like I am loved. There is a difference.  We walk out our faith because we KNOW we are loved not because we feel it because sometimes we just don’t feel anything at all, but we KNOW that we are loved by others and by God.  But I’d be lying if I told you that just knowing is enough… I really do want to feel it too.

You know what else, this one you might find hard to believe.  I sometimes admire selfish people.  They only think of their own happiness, they don’t do things out of obligation or guilt, they do (or don’t) what they want because they don’t want to.  Sometimes it’s true that we can’t make everyone else happy, so we might as well be happy ourselves

And sometimes I would just like to be wanted instead of needed…

A time awhile back

There was a time in my life that I worked out all the time.  It was the thinest time in my life.  I worked out 5 days a week, 3 times  I did two-a-days.  It was a time when I felt the best about myself.  I didn't ever feel the need to stress eat, and it was one of the most stressful times in my life.  Single mom, work, home.  It was a time when my dad was probably at his unhealthiest, or at least it was the time when things were starting to show.  Quad by-pass, corroded arteries.  Things were nuts. 

When I struggle I think of a time when I was a better 'overcomer'.  I often look back on my life and think about the things that worked (and the things that didn't).

I was probably even busier than I am now.  (are you wondering if that is even possible?). 

I was thin, and for the most part really happy.  Sure, I had choices that given the opportunity I would not make again, but they are choices that have made me who I am today.

There is something about that time. 

I never felt more loved in my whole life.

I'm not saying that time was perfect because it wasn't.  But I long to feel that loved again.

I was never one to patiently pick up broken fragments and glue them together again and tell myself that the mended whole was as good as new. What is broken is broken -- and I'd rather remember it as it was at its best than mend it and see the broken places as long as I lived. ~Margaret Mitchell

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Meal Planning

It’s gonna be a busy baking week coming up, I’m kind of looking forward to getting a lot of things under control including meals… I haven't had much planned, and instead of letting it slip longer... I am starting today!

So here is how it goes this week and into next…

Wedneday – Stuffed Pepper Soup
Thursday – Spaghetti and Salad with the fam
** cookies for Tina**

Friday – Breakfast for dinner
** prepping for a sprinkle**
Eggy Casserole
French Toast Casserole

Saturday – Brunch – Breakfast casserole, carrot cake muffins, fruit (YUM)
Dinner – AKT Theater Cabaret (you should come!)

Sunday – Lunch – Thai (maybe) or whatever Phyllis and I decide
Dinner – With Mom’s Family to celebrate Rob!
**carrot cake for welcoming a new baby for someone at the office!**

Monday – Taco Soup
**banana cream pie for Jill**

Tuesday – Life Groups

Wednesday - BBQ chicken Sandwiches and pasta salad
**Making extras to celebrate someone special at work for her b-day!**
**Lemon Coconut cake**

Thursday - Crockpot chicken with Cream of something soup with carrots and brown rice

Update - My ridiculousness!

Good morning!!!!!

Here is the update on the foot.  It's healing!!  It's not healed but it's healing! I've got at least two more weeks with the boot, but I think more like 4!  I will thank God for working body parts (especially feet!) all my days!

I was cleared to go to the gym on the stationary bike, which made me so happy!  The funniest part is that I strongly dislike the stationary bike, which I am not sure why... sitting down and exercising kind of seems like a win-win doesn't it?  I really ended up liking it!  I set it on the 'fat burn' setting and it was a good workout.  Not to mention, I read today's bible reading, and got 2 more done that I was behind trying to complete the bible in a year - I read Psalms and Proverbs today, as Levi would say 'whoa'.  I prayed, listened to worship music (for the last nine minutes as my 'treat').  It felt so good to get to the gym, get my blood flowing!  I really did forget how good it felt!

I also made a new recipe!  Starting my day off at the gym gives me incredible energy and makes me happy happy happy! I know it's ridiculous, but I feel like working out helps my mind, body, and spirit!  The time I spend at the gym on the bike (used to be treadmill or eliptical) is also time well spent with God. He's up with me, and sometimes it seems we may be the only two awake because it's great one-on-one time.  I talk, He listens, He talks, I listen.  It's great.

Today was the first day in 4 weeks that I had matching shoes on!  What a great day!

Psalm 46
1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.[c]

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

7 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

8 Come and see what the LORD has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields[d] with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”

11 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Stuffed Pepper Soup

Got this recipe from here

1 pound Lean Ground Beef (I used ground turkey)
1 whole Small Onion Chopped
2 whole Large Green Peppers, Chopped
2 cans 14 Ounce Cans Beef Broth
1 28 ounce jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
1 can (14 Ounce) Diced Tomatoes, Undrained (I used Stewed because that's what I had)
1 cup Cooked Rice (I will use brown rice)
1 1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce

Preparation Instructions

In a saucepan brown ground beef and onions over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Then drain grease.

In crockpot combine beef broth, soup, tomatoes, and the meat mixture, and peppers. Cover and cook 3 hours on high or 6 on low, cook rice right before serving and combine

Trying it out before the Sisterhood weekend!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Shoe status!

My girlfriend sent me a text this morning… telling me that I never stop doing good. I do though, but it’s nice that someone close to me says those things, because she really knows me (good, bad, and super ugly!)… and besides I never ever want the balance to be on the side of evil.
A lot of people tell me to slow down. I’ll sleep when I’m dead, thanks!

How would I slow down anyway? Last night I tried to ‘relax’ and watch TV and it was shows I like but I thought ‘what a waste of time this is’ so I cracked open my bible, prayed, journaled and thought ‘wow, that’s more like it’.
You know I’m getting on my own nerves about this ‘shoe thing’. LOL I always think ‘we have to do something’ and this is an opportunity. So let me tell you what God has done through me… ( I LOVE LOVE LOVE SUPER LOVE when I have the opportunity to be used by God!).

 I was able to find a 20% off coupon for Payless so I can go get shoes for a good price  YEAH!
 I’ve got people at work who are going to bring shoes! Woo hoo!!
 I contacted an organization that can possibly (probably) help with shoes! ANOTHER WOO HOO! Just need some paperwork filled out (forwarded to Sara).
 Started cleaning out MY OWN closet! Will have two piles – for now and for summer!

I’m excited that God is using me.

Also… fighting loneliness, but doing things for God brings me closer to Him, helping with that. You know what I say… left alone… I can get myself into lots of trouble! So really trying to stay out of trouble!

I'll just keep runnin' the race (LOL - figuratively until I find a way to run in this boot)! (1 Cor 9:24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize)  LOVETOYOU!

Gal 6:9 (NIV) Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up
Gal 6:9-10 (msg) So let's not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don't give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.

Monday, September 26, 2011

what if I only have 1?

To whom much is given much is required. (luke 12:48)

When I start to think 'oh poor me' besides wanting to slap MYSELF in the face I am often reminded of true need.  God has been blowing my socks off lately.  In lots of ways, it's amazing the things that happen when I actually seek Him, read my bible, and live out His Word.  How about that?

It's getting colder.  It soon will be cold in the D.  What does that make you think of?  It makes me think of those who will be sleeping under viadocks, sleeping in doorways.  It reminds me of how much I love and how absolutely stupid it is that I wanted to redo my bathroom because I needed a new vanity.  I guess I was singing the 'meme' song. 

My friend Sara - this is her blog needs shoes for the people that she works for, with, I'm not sure how you say it, her patients, the people God has entrusted her with - THEY NEED SHOES!   

Now, as a Christian, I don't know how you can see the need for things, and not do something. I think of the song 'everything' by lifehouse and one specific line that says 'How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?' I feel like most days my heart is being pulled in a million directions.  They need shoes.  Do you have a pair to spare?  Can you give? 

Are you saying to yourself 'I only have one to spare'?  Well, let me tell you, you'd be making a difference to someone.  Someone who needs your help.  Someone who is sick.  Someone who needs your help. 

I'm going to go, on my next payday, and find some boots or tennis shoes or something, and make a difference in addition to cleaning out my closet.  I know we have at least 3 pairs of shoes to spare.

I'm praying for shoes.  I know that if I knock, God will answer.  He is a God of provision.  He is a God of Love. He created those in need, in His image.  The beauty of God is in their faces, in their eyes.

Whatever you do for the least of these, you do for Jesus Himself.

Matthew 25:31-46
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Thursday, September 22, 2011

On my mind Thursday

There's weird crazy things on my mind right now.  These are my thoughts, not yours.
New vinyl art for the bathroom - a good reminder!

1. Troy Davis, I don't know the whole story, I am sorry, I wasn't there, I feel for his family.  May God be glorified somehow.

2.  Quit crabbing about the facebook changes!  Embrace change!  I think if facebook controls your life so much that you can feel it, try prayer, do something for someone else, BESIDES it's social media, they are getting unlimited free publicity.  Get a real problem.  If you need something to do, pray, or come and help me clean out my garage to get ready for winter, I can't do it with this boot. (And I just joined google+)

3.  I think I want to remodel my bathroom. I've actually wanted to do it for awhile.  I'm thinking a BIG change, take out the flooring, take out the tile, and redo it ALL! (anyone want to help!)  All because my sink leaked and the cabinet is now gross (it stinks) need to figure out how to get it out to the trash on Sunday (those of you that need something to do...  Sunday - come on over lol).

07-09 Camry Harness
4.  It's wire harness teardown day!  I'm excited to learn new stuff!  Who gets excited about wire harness teardowns?  This girl! (Pictured is a Camry but I thought most people don't know what a wire harness is, so I thought I'd educate you - consider yourself educated!)

5.  I need to redo my blog background. Would like the background to be the city of Detroit (can you believe that?! LOL!!!)  I also want my own web page, not a blogspot page, though I am not really sure why....  need to turn my 'wanter' down.

6. The new Metro building is looking pretty awesome!

7.  Still Journaling and reading my bible

8.  Still want to run (but I'm not)

9.  Can't wait for the Sisterhood reunion!

10.  Dad's having a heart cath today, please pray.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I've never been a journaler.  I would start but then stop.  My friend Sue, she's really 'my sista' bought me a journal A LONG time ago, I would start and stop, and I've always kind of used my blog as my journal, HOWEVER, it has been on my heart to not only journal on my blog but to journal in a book. 

I know the importance of journaling, I make sure my girls ALWAYS have one so they can record their thoughts, feelings, worship, drawing.  I actually have a picture that one of them made from their journal in my kitchen (if you haven't noticed, my kitchen is where the stuff I love goes).  I love this journal because it has a place to record daily stuff like how you feel, what the weather is like, who is on your heart, different stuff, and on the back page it is blank so you can write if you wish. 

My plan is to record what I'm reading, how it is speaking to me.  I'm super thankful for this journal that was waiting for just the 'write' time to write down my feelings, what God is saying to me, I am excited to grow in this process.

What is on your heart that you need to begin to do to take that first step?

Psalm 51:10-12
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,

and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Keep going!!! Marathon & my heart!

I’ve been discouraged about running. I miss it. I miss just deciding at a moment’s notice that I will get pop on my shoes and hit the pavement. I miss that if I ate too much of something, a good run can combat that. I miss the feeling I get from running. I miss that feeling of knowing that I was doing something greater than me by running a marathon.

I’ve been asking God to speak to me about it. I’m planning on meeting and cheering my friends on as they run, and also my plan was that as soon as I am cleared to run, I will start training (slowly) to run the marathon on April. I wasn’t planning on giving up the dream of sending $2620 to 4-more for wells ($100 for every mile I run).

But like in most of the things in my life I was getting discouraged. Until yesterday. God blew my socks off. I was talking to a complete stranger about my boot and how I hurt my foot (to be perfectly honest I wondered why he even cared about my boot, he didn’t even know me), and when I told him why I was running a marathon… he handed me $20! WOW! What an encouragement! And then! At RC Detroit, the Pastor asks for anyone who needs prayer, I was going to raise my hand but I didn’t, but my friend Netta came up to me and prayed for me foot and my heart (both in need of healing!). I have no idea what made my friend come pray for me but I am glad she did, there is something about being lifted up in prayer that can change our hearts. And to have the confirmation of the $20 that will go towards my goal was like having God whisper in my ear – if I bring you to it, I’ll bring you through it.

It is amazing how when we can feel His eyes on us it can change our hearts and our attitudes!

Back on Track!

So I was doing really well about reading my bible, I was reading a ton, this was my schedule:

Daily reading of the bible in Chronological order
Ezekial with my girls
Real Church Monthly reading plan

And then… I don’t know what happened. I stopped pretty much reading all together. And then it really happened… My life started to go crazy… my house = mess, my eating habits = mess, budget = mess, my heart = BIG MESS.

I blamed it on having to read the old testament. It sometimes is hard to read, well, it’s not really hard to read it just kind of just seems like words on a page that are scattered in my brain. And so then I just lost interest.

Yesterday’s message from God, delivered by Chilly, at Real Church was just what I needed to hear. Turn the page. I have to be honest, I felt like giving up on EVERYTHING more than once in the last month (or two) and when I tried to talk to people I loved about it, I don’t know if I wasn’t communicating well, but it seemed like no one even understood or cared. Which really only makes me want to give up more (but it was probably me not communicating well, because I know people in my life love and care about me). But one thing I am not is a quitter. And yesterday’s message ‘turn the page’ was a message about going on, striving towards the prize (of Jesus), and in a literal sense, keep turning the page, keep reading your bible. Yes, I failed, I bit it big time, but you’re only a failure if you don’t get up. So I’m getting up, I’m brushing off the dirt, blowing the dust off my bible, and doing things like cleaning off the veggies, and packing them for snacks, packing my lunch (which not only helps with my budget but my eating habits as well). I brought my bible to read at lunch today. I’m going back to an old practice of writing a scripture of something God spoke to me while I was reading on a note card and putting them up around my kitchen and bathroom (I spend the most time there). I am going to limit my facebook time (though I haven’t decided how much yet – maybe to an hour) so if you need me text me don’t message me on FB.

I’m thankful that even in a mess that I created, that God continues to love me and speak to me.

Today… reading my ‘chornological’ & following the Real Church plan (today Acts 23)

Hebrews 12:1-2 1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Burritos! Cooking on a Budget!

It’s one of their favorite meals.  I call them ‘ice box round up burritos’!

It’s funny thing being thrifty, it helps you to channel your creative side!  On mission trips, when I cook the food, the first day is mostocolli, garlic bread (made from butter, garlic, parsely, smashed bread that didn’t make it in travel or leftover from the day’s lunch – usually smashed), some kind of chicken & mac& cheese, &mashed potatoes on Tuesday, Wednesday is taco night, and Thursday is iced box round up, Friday is pizza.

The term iced box roundup comes from Gramma Hutko, she is my Aunt Marcy’s mom, she is an amazing cook, and usually towards the end of the week we have leftovers, and she typically didn’t just pop the leftovers in the microwave, she made something yummy from some of them by adding one or two ingredients.

A lot of times on Thursday nights it was a big hit on the mission trip, either they were hungry or making burritos and whatever else made the student’s bellies happy!

I make dinner for the Alive leaders, sometimes it’s spaghetti, or a casserole, sloppy joes, but sometimes it’s burritos. Until now, most of them don’t know they are Iced Box Round Up Burritos.  When you only have two in your family, there is almost always leftovers.  And so especially on taco night, I take the meat, some cheese, and the leftover rice and mix it in a bag and freeze it, there are always leftover tortillas (because on of the best deals I’ve found is Kroger 20 pk) and so I freeze those too. When it’s time to make burritos I thaw everything, make the burritos, add a TON of cheese on top, and some enchilada sauce($2.19 at Kroger) that I always have on hand. 

It’s one of their favorite meals and doesn’t hit my budget too hard!  So there you have it, cooking 101 for a ‘larger’ group of people!

I will make homemade salsa for them & give them tortilla chips to go with the the burritos! 

Proverbs 31:15 She gets up while it is still night;
   she provides food for her family
   and portions for her female servants

Friday, September 16, 2011

Menu Planning

This week I did not plan meals.  I was out of town so it wasn't possible.  Trying a couple soups this week, not sure what my plans are for tomorrow, hoping to get to 'the market'.

Starting tomorrow!  Back on track with meal planning!

Saturday – Cheezy potato soup

Sunday – Italian Chicken Soup & bread

Monday – Chicken Stir Fry

Tuesday - Lasagna (Chunk frozen that will be thawed)

Wednesday – Life Groups – Panera

Thursday – Leftovers

Friday – Fattousch & Hummus (bible study)

I feel like the worst mom ever!

Now, please know that I realize that I am not the worst mom ever!  But sometimes I feel like it.

1.  I just ordered Phyllis's senior pics like a week ago!  If you're wondering why you haven't gotten your thank you card yet, that's why.  I'm an idiot.  No excuses, I'm an idiot.

2.  I wish I would have saved for her college.  I know that, especially in the early years, there wasn't much to save, and as a single mom who never received a dime of child support things have been tough and tight always, but I wish I would have saved more.  I feel like I should have, even if it was $1000 a year, that's less than $100 a month.  I didn't have $100 a month? really?  I'm not fabulous with the finances but sheesh, what a failure! 

3.  Yesterday I yelled her for something that was bothering me but I shouldn't have gotten mad about and yelled.  No need to get upset, we could have just talked about it.

4.  I yelled at her about locking her keys in her car in Jackson (and i was in Kalamazoo) and the extra key was at home.  Ok, really, does it matter? The worst thing would have been that I had to drive all the way home but really I didn't even have to, I called road assistance and paid $35! big deal!  but why did I get so upset?  It really wasn't worth it. 

Ugh :/

I don't want sympathy, I'm just saying... I might lose my mother of the year award (LOL like I'd even be in the running for that!).  So all you peeps (the two of you) who think I'm a good mom... there you have it... I suck.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Love that lasts

My Aunt Janice and Uncle Vinnie have been married 29 years! Uncle Vinnie went to be with Jesus on Saturday, and if you see pictures of them looking at each other, from their wedding day until just weeks ago, you saw love. I think it is a great gift when photographers can capture that. I think it is a great gift to not only see that love but to hold it in your hand.

As someone who longs to be married, I sometimes feel like I am in a rush, I don’t know why because I am not willing to settle for anything less than God’s best for me, and it’s not like Aldi’s, there are no double your money back guarentees. I don’t really want any more children, I feel like I hit the jackpot with the one I got.

And as I was driving today (I think I drove all over Kalamazoo trying to find Starbucks! And ended up in Panera) I did a little math in my head… Uncle Vinnie was 41 when he married the love of his life. Wow! There’s hope for me yet! I was emailing a friend and she’s getting married in November and we were emailing today about how we would rather wait to get married and have it be the right one than to have settled, God brings you the right one, for sure!

You know what’s funny? I don’t really dream about my wedding. I don’t, simple and elegant, I dream about my marriage, but today, I was thinking (dreaming really) about Detroit, and I was thinking about weddings, two people I love were married this Saturday, and I was thinking about a simple white dress and the view of the city, married on Belle Isle (I’m a kook about Belle Isle). But more importantly I was dreaming about a marriage and love that lasts from start to finish.

My heart is heavy today over the loss from this earth of a great man, but my heart rejoices of the love that he and Aunt Janice had together, the beautiful life that they lived together and shared with others. I rejoice in knowing that I will see Uncle Vinnie again, that in heaven, we will meet again, and the love will be even bigger!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I could make a list of all the things that are driving me crazy. It doesn’t help making those kind of lists. But those kind of lists swirl around in my head, all the things that I’d like to change. Oh the list is long. There are things I’d like to change that are in my control but most of them are not. That drives me crazy. Isn’t it like me to think I know what’s best?

I feel so restless right now. I am having many ‘anywhere but here’ moments. I’m striving to trust God, that He knows exactly where I am supposed to be, and He has a purpose for me in this season in this place.

I feel like I’ve got mustard seed faith right now, maybe ¼ of a mustard seed faith. I can tell you all the things I feel, however, I know that I live by faith not by feelings. In the book ‘The Art of Racing in the Rain’ the story teller says ‘Your car goes where your eyes go.’ It’s true about our lives. Our lives go where our eyes go, so it is so important to keep our eyes focused on were we want to go, not where we ‘feel or think’ should go.

2 Cor 5:7 For we live by faith, not by sight

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Fun days ahead!

This boot is driving me crazy, everytime I think of something I want to do, I remember… and then sigh…  so here is a list of the things I will do once the boot is off.

Go to Cranbrook
Walk all the way around Belle Isle (this may take some working up to do)
Run a mile
Go to the DIA
Walk the River Walk from start to finish and back again!
Go to the Detroit Historical Museum
Take Levi and Judah on a date!
Maybe even paint playground equipment at Belle Isle.

WW muffins

Got this recipe from Pat!

Weight Watcher Muffins
(2 points each)
Mix together:
1 & 1/4 cup skim milk
1 & 1/4 cup wheat bran
1/2 cup regular brown sugar
(do not use substitute)
Mix first three ingredients and set aside for 15 minutes
1 & 1/2 cup wheat flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon baking powder
mix well then add:
8 oz. crushed pineapple in its own juice (do not drain)
2 egg whites
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Mix well, fill muffin tins to the top (this does not rise much) . Bake at 350 degrees for 16-20 minutes. 12 muffins 
equal 2 points (old point conversion) each. One recipe should yield a dozen muffins if you don't use jumbo muffin pans!

*I leave out the cranberries,  raisins, and slightly increase the raisins. I also add about 1/2 cut shredded carrot, to increase the fiber, but not the calories.
Making and then freezing these makes a great quick breakfast or snack. They do not keep well for long unless frozen because of the moisture content.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I remember...

I remember that the first person to tell me about the first of the twin towers going down was Lynne.  I remember not even thinking it was a big deal. I know that is terrible, but sometimes, especially at that moment, it didn't affect me.  And then #2, then all the other stuff.  They sent us home.

I was scheduled to go on vacation just 6 days later (9-17-01) for our trip to Disney.  It was a vacation that we had planned for a long time.  We got to the airport 3 hours early I think, and we waited and waited and waited!

People thought we were nuts for going on vacation, and I would say 'fear doesn't rule us' which is kind of funny because I am one of the most worrisome people I know.

I remember that we had one of the best vacations in our lives while so many were surrounded by tragedy. I remember feeling such a loss and pain for others, but life does go on.

It's 10 years later, and being more grown up I guess, I realize what a tragedy this was.  I think about how many lives have been lost because of hate.  No matter where that hate comes from, twin towers, war, gangs, home violence.  It's a shame.

We can only win if love wins!  And Love is winning!

We love because He loved us first.  1 John 4:18

Friday, September 09, 2011

Piece of my heart

‘If I could have been anywhere today... I would have been on a boat (I don't care if it was a little rainy, that's what ponytails are for), with a big glass of Sterling Meritage, my new book, A Bridge Across Forever, and Supino's pizza’

I was dreaming about my perfect day yesterday. I often contemplate why I love something so much. There usually is a reason. I have many perfect days, each one different, but yesterday, that was it.

Here is a piece of my heart.

We had a boat growing up. I spent from May – September every summer on the boat, and October was the month when things started to wind down and every week a little more would come home with us until the last big push for stuff. We were boaters, rain or shine.  Boating is not something I do, it is part of who I am.

As an only child, I found escape in books. I found imagination and life in them. The words on the pages came to life. The people I read about seemed like they could be my friends. I fell in love with reading while staying with my Aunt and Uncle for a couple weeks in the summer. We would visit the library and I would devour books. Funny, because my daughter does the same. I would ‘complain’ but not really, that Phyllis could read a $4 book in two days in 3rd grade. People would say ‘go to the library’. I wish they would realize that the library was open the hours I worked. You can’t be in two places at once. I love that I passed on the love of reading that was passed on to me. Video games have no value in my house.

I also love a nice glass of wine. I love the way the flavor dances on my tongue. I no longer drink to get drunk. I do love a good glass of wine, but the funny thing is that I’ve had a bottle in my cupboard that is one of my favorites for 10 months (that should tell you how often I drink). I know that a lot of people might be freaking out because I do enjoy a glass of wine. But let me just say this… I don’t drink to get drunk, and I have been an adult for some time now.

And Supino’s pizza. Once you have it, you’ll understand. Until then, it’s too hard to explain.

I’m simple. Boat, book, wine, pizza.

Thursday, September 08, 2011


If I could have been anywhere today... I would have been on a boat (I don't care if it was a little rainy, that's what ponytails are for), with a big glass of Sterling Meritage, my new book, A Bridge Across Forever, and Supino's pizza...

I do get to snuggle up in my bed with my book, I had a great dinner (at Supino's with Megan Kallenbach).

It's a good day.  Just as God intended.

“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.” Psalm 143:10 NIV

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Baby it's chilly outside!

I love most of the seasons of Michigan.  I hate winter.  I know some people love it, but I hate it!  snow, ice, I always wished I had a summer birthday or even fall or spring, but winter, bleck!

I particularly LOVE fall.  I need to get to blocks and get some harvest.  It's time to freeze (I might try to can this year!) tomatoes, get a bushel of green beans and snap while I watch movies.  I love apple time, apple sauce is one of my most favorite things to make.  And Phyllis loves making apple crisp!

I love sweatshirts, that I do wear with shorts. I've been thinking about slowing down this fall (yeah, I always THINK about it) I don't think I've ever officially slowed down in MY LIFE!  I do love to nestle up with a good book, I love sitting on the porch wrapped in a blanket and reading.  I love walking around the zoo, I love walking in the city, I love the color of the leaves, I even like raking leaves, weird.  I love hunkering down and snuggling up.

I used to love going on boat rides in the fall, the air is crisp, and it smells different.  It's time for bonfires (I think I need a fire pit!), and marshmallows, but not so many that I begin to look like one.  It's time for the Detroit Marathon (wish I was running but next year!), it's time for trips around Belle Isle, it's time for Apple Orchards and Applefest. 

It's time for breathing in and breathing deep.  I love the chilliness of the air. 

It's fall.  YAY!

Saturday, September 03, 2011

A dream come true

What keeps you from following your dreams?

I can tell you that I have this crazy dream of reopening the Belle Isle Aquarium. Sounds insane doesn’t it? Why would anyone want to do such a thing?

I guess growing up in Detroit makes me love the city. Because I’m old I’ve seen some fabulous things in the city. I’ve been to Belle Isle more times than I can even count and one day I will run all the way around the island, not with this stupid boot on my foot, but someday. I’ve taken Girl Scouts to the Island as a field trip, and they pictures of the city as the back drop to the fun day. Doisen Museum, the conservatory, and thankful to have taken them to the Aquarium. If you’re thinking that it was as big as the Shedd aquarium, it won't be, but it will also be AFFORDABLE for families. It was small but homey. It’s greenish yellow tiles were beautiful and inviting! The tiles on the walls, the fish from the river and little facts about them.

So this is my dream, to reopen it. I’ve got many dreams, one to own a bakery/soup place. Maybe I open the aquarium and have the bakery as a place where people can come eat. I could tell you all the reasons why that wouldn’t succeed. But I won’t think about them.

Cupcakes and Soup, birthdays and friends. Prayers and Praises all after a day of fun on Belle Isle. What if kids had their birthday parties there?

So thinking… what will it take? A lot.
A lot of work, a lot of money. But I don't have to do it by myself!

I’ve never been afraid of hard work. I know that God provides. If this dream is meant to be a dream come true, He will make it happen. I need to be faithful in small things…

I’ve had a ton of people whisper not so sweet nothings in my life which makes me believe that I could not pull this off, but I’ve got one BIG GOD that tells me every day that I am something, that all by myself I can’t do much (if anything) but with Him I can do ALL things. (Phil 4:13)

So I am starting to really think about this. If it’s possible. What needs to be done. And praying about how to do it. Crazy…   The best part, I don't have to do it alone!

If you don’t have a dream, you can’t have a dream come true!


“This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow.” Isaiah 48:17 NLT

Friday, September 02, 2011

Banana Bread

I got this recipe from here it's my new favorite!  My friend Sara told me about it, she says it's the bees-knees!  It is really really good! 

1 cup mashed bananas
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup butter (I only bake with butter but the recipe called for margarine (gross!)
1 1/3 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour one 9x13 inch pan, or two 7x3 inch loaf pans.

Combine banana and sour cream. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and banana mixture. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; stir into the banana mixture. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan or pans.

Bake for 50 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.

I love Detroit

My friends are writing on a website called HopeWorks.  It has inspired me to tell you a little bit about why I love Detroit.  And if you know me, you know I LOVE DETROIT, and I could go on and on.  The true only reason why I would walk away from my home is so that I could live in the city.  People think I'm nuts. Detroit is a big city, it covers a lot of ground.  West side, East side, Downtown, etc. Most people think about the Downtown area when they talk about Detroit.  I've seen a lot of the city, and can find my way around pretty much any part of it.  But I'd want to live downtown, preferrably the Eastern Market Area. 

Its a weird thing, when I am in the city, I feel like I am constantly being hugged.  When I take a deep breath in, I feel like an extra big smile comes across my face. 

When I drive around the city, I think about my childhood and all the great places I've seen as a child, I think about the history on every corner. I think about the beautiful people who lived in our city and who made it great.  I think about different people who live here now, and continue to make it great! 

I think about Faygo pop, Belle Isle, the old Packard Plant, DHAM, hamtown, The Stroh's plant, Franklin Street, Johnny's Ham King, Oblivions, and you know my favorite place Roma's. I think about The Market and all the people who come and bring their veggies to sell, I think about flowers, and oil drums cut in half with bbqing meat. I think about JR Hirt.

I think about how the heartbeat of our city may have slowed down a little, how its a little worn for the wear but people are coming in who believe in the city, people like me, who feed others,. who bring love and joy to the city, who walk along the river banks who dream of what it could be and change it.

I think about... 

I think about you.  I think about taking you to the city, and showing you around, and telling you the stories and the history of my great city.  To show you the smiles on the beautiful faces of children who run in our city.   To show you the beauty of what it once was, and what it continues to be, for us to dream together of a beauty undefined.

I love Detroit.

meal planning

Already planning next week’s dinners! It worked out really well this week, a lot of planning ahead, a lot of success!!  Good thing too because this boot is making me crazy!!!

Saturday –
Dinner - Stuffed Peppers, I am making these ahead and then Phyllis can plug the crockpot in before she leaves for work. I’ll be in Kzoo not sure when I’m coming home, but the worst thing that can happen is I’ll eat them as leftovers this week! But Phyllis will have a good dinner no matter what time I get home (and I’ve got some peppers to use up  )

Sunday –
Lunch after church – Tacos with Tom! Our great friend Tom is coming over after church and we are having tacos and Spanish rice, I’ve also got Tamales by Jen in the freezer so I am going to bust them out too. A few others are coming over, it’s going to be a nice afternoon!

Dinner – Not sure because since we are eating later, not sure, we might just have frozen pizza (how’s that for planning)

Monday –
Lunch – homemade pizza
Dinner – Asian Noodle Salad (I’m adding chicken)

Tuesday – Dinner Chicken Spaghetti, when I made this last week I made 2 casserole dishes and froze them , so we will have having it again.
Wednesday – Chicken with pasta and veggies

Thursday – I’m treating myself to Fattousch and Hummus (and I’ll bring Phyllis home a schwarma) for Bible Study

Friday – Fondue night with the girls (I hope I’m up to this, I’ve been super tired since this stupid boot)

Some Ideas:

Chocolate Peanut butter Fondue:
Cheese fondue:

Proverbs 31:27  She carefully watches everything in her household
and suffers nothing from laziness

Thursday, September 01, 2011

My name is not Susan

My name is not Susan or Gimpy or Cripple or whatever funny name you think you will call me to lighten the fact that I hurt my foot.

Here is how I feel right now:

My foot hurts.  More than it hurt on it’s worst day before the stupid boot.

I’m mad because I had to buy a pair of ugly shoes because I either have heels or flip flops.  Heels would probably cause me do a face plant and flip flops aren’t allowed at work (don’t you think I could get away with it to combat my stupid boot – I think it’s the right thing to do)

My hips/back hurt from lugging this stupid boot

I’m annoyed that the doctor had to write me a note so I could get a secured at work.  Like the boot wasn’t notice enough?

I can’t believe that people would cut me off to get on a shuttle after they saw my boot (I know they saw it they were staring at it like they wanted to ask what happened).  Next time I’ll grab them by the shirt collars and say ‘oh sorry, I needed a little assistance’ lol Here’s the funny thing, they couldn’t leave without me… and there was plenty of seating!

I’ve got a stomachache every time I think about that marathon that I can’t run.  But I will be there, boot or no boot to root on my friends!

And the boot is so big you can’t even see my cute pedicure

I am thankful it could be worse.

I am thankful for medical coverage, a good coverage at that

I am thankful that in 4-6 weeks it will be healed

I am thankful for a lot of things… I’m just annoyed.