Tuesday, December 30, 2008

One of the things that I miss the most at college is the ability to cook and bake. I LOVE doing such things, time in the kitchen is time in paradise, well at least most of the time. Since I've been home I've baked up a storm. I made over 200 cookies for the jail the week before Christmas. I've made cakes and pastries, plus supper several times. Yesterday was no exception. I made a batch of what I call "real" bread, in other words, no bread machine for me! I also made cookies and an apple pie. We are having one of my mom's sisters over for supper tonight so I needed something fun for the kids, thus the cookies, they are called kaleidoscope cookies. They have fruity pebbles in them. I've never made them before, and they look interesting. I think the little ones will like them. I made the pie for the "adult" dessert. It looks and smells GOOD!! :) I'll take pictures tonight of my cousins and post them later.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The wedding went very well tonight. It was a very simple, yet beautiful wedding. Christ was very much honored in everything. A great big thanks to those who prayed.
Other than the wedding nothing else terribly exciting happened. We had church this morning and again tonight.
This morning my pastors father, who is one of my favorite preachers, preached on the steps to hell. His passage was from James 1, and it was a very good warning to all. Tonight his son, preached on honoring your parents, and really all authority, his passage was from Ephesians 6. It was cool to hear a guy who isn't much older than me preach on honoring authorities. As my uncle would say, the brain fairy came back a little early and gave him his brain back. :)
It was chilly today...around 34 degrees for the high instead of 60 something yesterday. It still wasn't bad compared to some of the weather that we've had the last couple of weeks.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Today was a great day to stay inside and curl up with a good book and a blanket...which is what I wanted to do. I am playing my cello for a wedding tomorrow,so that is how my day started: rehearsal. It went great! I am playing 3 songs they are "Before the Throne of God Above" which is for the bridesmaids; "Come Thou Fount," processional; and "In Christ Alone," recessional. This is my first time ever doing anything in a wedding, and it is cool. Of course, I'm a girl, I would say things like that about a wedding. :)
Other than that I didn't do a whole lot, I ran to Kohl's, which was a mistake the second day after, and the first weekend after Christmas. It was BUSY!!!! I did get a couple of good deals which was wonderful.
The weather is really strange today, it was up in the 60s! GREAT flip-flop weather!!! :) Yay! It rained all day so that kinda put a damper on everything...but hey, it was warm and sure beat ice. We just have to be careful of flooding, and with a creek running right next to our house... Over the past 5 years that we've lived here it hasn't overflowed that far, but it got a little too close for comfort last year...hopefully not this time.

Wow! God is so good! I will not be able to work as much next semester as I did this past semester. I was getting worried because I didn't have enough money to pay my bill!! aaaahhhh!!! Mom kept telling me that God would work it all out, but of course I didn't believe her, I was too worried trying to figure out how I was going to pay my bill, I kept running into dead ends...it wasn't going to work. Yesterday I got a card in the mail from a friend...it had just about the exact amount of money that I need to pay my school bill!! I was shocked, even speechless...i sat staring at that check for almost 5 minutes, just trying to process what I held in my hand. What an AWESOME God I serve.
Last night we had a Christmas party at the Bible study that we go to every Friday night for ex-inmates and their families. We had almost 40 people there...it was AMAZING! People shared testimonies of how God had ch
anged them from the person that they were to the person that they are now. One man said that this was the first year in a very long time that he was sober the day after Christmas, several had been in jail the day after Christmas last year. One man got out of prison on Christmas Eve, he was there with his 3 year old daughter Valerie, (pictured above) and his mom. It was altogether a WONDERFUL day for me. Praise the Lord.
This Christmas carol is from a friend.....i think it's funny :)

Chipmunks roasting on an open fire,
Jack Frost picking at his nose.
A mule named carol being flung in the fire,
And folks dressed up like twinkle toes.
Everybody knows some turkey stole the mistletoe,
And now there's gonna be a fight.
Tiny tots with their eyes full of coal,
Will find it hard to sleep tonight.
They know that Santa's on his way.
He just ran over jack frost with his sleigh.
And every mothers child is gonna cry,
Cause Rudolf got baked in a pie.
So I'm offering this simple phrase
From kids from 2 to 93.
Although its been said many times many ways,
Merry Christmas to you!

Friday, December 26, 2008

The promised picture of my snowman pretzel
To add to my post yesterday, another thing about the jail that I find so sad is the age of many of the inmates. Some are as young as 17! Quite a few are 18, 19, 20, 21, ect. Some of those that are in at that young age have already been in jail several times. It breaks my heart. That is one of the major reasons why I want to teach, I want to help teenagers stay out of trouble. I don't want to see their lives ruined by Satan. Many of these inmates have so much potential, but because they fell in with the wrong crowd have now completely wrecked their lives. It's so sad. God can still use them, but not in the way that they were once usable.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

I trust that everybody had a wonderful and blessed Christmas. I know I had an experience like never before. It was truly a blessing to me.
This afternoon my family and I along with others from the jail ministry went into the jail to pass out cookies and candy to the inmates. Some of you know how much I love going into the jail and how much I miss it when I'm at college. Normally we go into the chapel in the jail and the inmates come to us, I've never been into the actual cell blocks before. We went into each block and stood in a line as one of several people who were former inmates told the current inmates why we were there because we loved them, and knew that this was a very hard time for them to be alone, and that there is no other place that we could imagine being, which is the honest truth. We would all be in a line and the prisoners would line up and we would pass out the goodies and give them all hugs and/or handshakes. Some of those men and women wept, they couldn't thank us enough. I went into that jail to be a blessing, and came out feeling like one of the most blessed people in the world.
I've had people ask me if the inmates ever scare me. The answer is always a resounding NO!!!! I look at those inmates, not as inmates but as people just like me, who made bad choices and as a result their choices sent them to jail. Some of them didn't have the opportunity to grow up in a home like mine, they literally grew up in a hell hole, they weren't taught right from wrong. Others did grow up much like I did, but as they got older chose to make mistakes, and as a result God, as their loving Father is chastening them. They are no less a person just because they are in jail, if it weren't for God's grace I'd be in the jail right now with them. Praise the Lord for His grace and love.
Other than jail we really didn't do much. We of course ate our delicious cinnamon rolls for breakfast. :) After jail we came home and made soft pretzels. I shaped one of mine as a snowman, mom took a picture of it, but it is on her camera, I'll get it from her and post it tomorrow. They were good as well. :)
I hope that everybody had a very merry Christmas and that you took a moment to reflect on the True Reason for the season, and remembered the fact that Jesus was born to die on Calvary for all of our sins.
This is a favorite Christmas carol in our home. Hope you enjoy! :)

Chipmunks roasting on an open fire
Hot sauce dripping from their toes
(Oh! That tickles!)
Yuletide squirrels fresh filleted by the choir
They poked hot skewers through their nose
(Ow! Wrong end, ya cowboy!)
Everybody knows some pepper and a garlic clove
Help to make them seasoned right
Tiny rats with a crisp golden coat
Will really hit the spot tonight

And now when Santa sees his tray
(Ho ho ho ho ho ho)
Therell be some homemade chipmunk jerky for his sleigh
(MmmmHey, look at that!)
And every hungry child is gonna spy
To see if chipmunks really sing when they fry
And so Im brushing on some honey glaze
To keep them crisp and juicy too
Lets hope they get served many times many ways
Tasty Chipmunks; good food

And so I'm offering some recipes
From chipmunk pie to chipmunk stew
Im not really sad that it ended this way
Furry chipmunks screw you

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

WOW! The weather sure has been frightful the last several days! We had several inches of snow on the ground, then Friday we got around 1/2 an inch of ice! It made for really bad conditions on the roads, it took me about 35 minutes to get to a place that normally takes 5 or 10 minutes! Saturday night and Sunday brought in really high winds. We lost power for 5 hours on Sunday which resulted in our water pipes freezing! Thankfully they didn't burst, but we were without water from 9am until 10 or 11 pm! Monday was a beautiful, sunny day, but it was cold. Tuesday was a typical winter day, cloudy and chilly, nothing abnormal. Today it warmed up to the upper 30s, and brought with it rain. Not a good thing cuz its going to freeze again tonight and make for a icy Christmas!
It was a wonderful day to stay inside and cook, which is exactly what I did. I made
a triple layer banana cake with homemade peanut butter frosting! It looks and smells delicious! I also made an Italian pasta salad...my favorite.
Tonight as a family we will be making cinnamon rolls. Its a family tradition that we do every Christmas Eve. We will have a very yummy breakfast in the morning. :)