Thursday, November 14, 2013

Five (or 6) Cheese Jumbo Shells

Supper was awesome last night! And believe it or not, I followed a recipe, well, almost. LOL The only thing lacking was a salad & garlic bread, but hey, I was running short on time!

This fed my family of 5, plus had plenty left over for lunch. I may cut the recipe in half next time.

Box of uncooked Jumbo Pasta Shells
1 Tbsp Olive Oil (no, I didn't measure, but some people do)
1 medium Zucchini, shredded (I freeze mine in the summer time to add to recipes later)
1 can of Mushrooms or 1/2 cup of fresh, chopped Mushrooms
1 medium Onion, finely chopped
2 cups reduced fat Ricotta Cheese
2 cups shredded Italian Blend Cheese (includes Provolone, Asagio, Romano, Parmesan, & Mozzarella)
1 Egg
1 tsp Italian Seasoning (I like Tastefully Simple Dried Tomato & Garlic Pesto Mix)
1/2 tsp crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1 jar of Spaghetti Sauce
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese)

  • Preheat oven to 350. 
  • Cook shells to al dente. Drain & cool.
  • In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add vegetables. Cook until tender. Remove from heat. 
  • Combine cheese, egg, seasons, & veggies in a medium bowl.
  • Pour 1 cup of spaghetti sauce in bottom of a baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Fill slightly cooled shells with cheese mixture. Place randomly in baking dish.
  • Top with remaining spaghetti sauce.
  • Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake 30 minutes.
Don't forget the bread!

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Fall of an American Hero

It hit me a little harder yesterday. The history. The battles. The joy. The pain. The sadness. The life.

Papa Roscoe's 90th Birthday 9-9-12

As I walked down the hall, I tried to smile. I tried to offer encouragement to those around me. I tried not to think about how bleak it all looked.

When I got to the door, I stopped short. I appreciated the flag placed outside the door next to his name, but it made me sad. The colorful cards, the thank you's written in that bright playful sloppy hand writing that can only belong to a child, did little to lighten up the room.

Logan's 2nd Birthday Party 6-13

When I entered the room, those light blue eyes that have seen so many things in the past 91 years, brightened up just a little bit. The laugh lines etched in his weathered face deepened from the surprise visit of his oldest grandbaby and youngest great-grandbaby.

Logan's 2nd Birthday Party 6-13

It was hard on me to see my once strong, independent grandfather sitting in that wheel chair in his private room at the nursing home. Its hard to hold onto those hands that have been calloused over time and again from mending fencing and working in the garden. Its hard hearing that rough voice that for more years than I can count, called to cows every evening at feeding time. Its hard knowing that this man is the one & the same who once stormed the beaches of Normandy during World War II 69 years ago.

Christmas 1989

After a recent urinary tract infection and short stay in the hospital, Papa needs therapy to build his strength back up. I'm not sure how long he will be there, but I can't help but wonder if this will become his permanent home. This was the same nursing home where my grandmother spent some of her last days 11 years ago. You can see that those memories are still haunting him.

50th Wedding Anniversary 1996

Unfortunately, I had to leave all too soon. I leaned down, hugged his neck, & told him I loved him. His response, as always was "yeah". I don't think I have ever heard him tell anyone he loved them, but we all know he does.

I managed to make it out of his room before the tears started falling.

Today, November 11, 2013 is Veteran's Day. I am thankful for both of my grandfathers, my uncle, my daddy, & countless others who have served, fought, & died to provide a better place for me, my children, & one day, my children's children. I am thankful today & everyday for those who so bravely stood up for a cause they were willing to die for.

But I'm a Preacher's Wive

I recently had a run in with someone who had some pretty nasty things to say about me. It's not the first time someone has talked about me & I'm sure it won't be the last time.

I normally don't pay much attention to what people say or think about me. Most of the time, there isn't a whole lot of truth to their ramblings anyway.

But this girl really bothered me. Sad part is, I don't really know her & she sure doesn't know me, so why should it even matter.

This person attacked my faith, that's why. She told me I was a poor excuse for a preacher's wife. She told me that my husband was leading people to Hell if he was anything like me. She had plenty of negative things to say about my life.

I know that she was just lashing out. And I am certainly not the first to be the recipient of her anger. I'm not sure if it was jealousy or just pure meanness. It doesn't really matter. What does matter is that I know the truth, God knows the truth, & my loved ones know the truth.

In light of that recent confrontation, I would like to help you understand a preacher's family a little bit more.

My husband has been called of God to preach the holy word. He has been called to lead a congregation of followers. 

That doesn't make him perfect. That doesn't mean he never makes mistakes. That doesn't give him permission to whip anyone while he stands holier than thou.

That does mean he deserves respect. It does mean that he has to examine his own life before he preaches a message to help clean up someone else's. It does mean that his life isn't nearly as private as yours might be.

It also means that sometimes he has to tell you things he doesn't feel comfortable saying when he finds out your private sins. It also means that sometimes he spends more time away from his family than with it. It means that his heart is always burdened down over your needs even when he has his own problems to worry about. 

Being a preacher's wife doesn't mean that I wear dresses all the time. It doesn't mean that my life is always sunshine and rainbows. It doesn't mean that my house is spotless.

It doesn't mean that I am perfect. It doesn't mean I believe I am better than you. 

It does mean that I reverence my husband & God's house. It does mean that I try to teach my kids about God. It does mean that you are welcome at our house even with all of its clutter & sticky floors.

It does mean that I mess up daily. It does mean that I still sin. It means I lose my temper just like you do, but most of the time, nobody sees when you get aggravated.

It also means that if I act a little stand offish, it's not because I don't like you. It's because I'm scared of getting close to someone who could turn on me & my family in a heartbeat. It means that even though I am praying for you, I need you to pray for me as well.

Being a preacher's kid isn't the easiest job either. Again, it doesn't mean they are perfect. It doesn't mean they love going to church all the time. It doesn't mean they always choose God.

Being a preacher's kid means they are still a kid. It means they WILL mess up because we are all still human. We are all still growing & learning.

Being a preacher's kid also means that more likely than not, they will rebel from what they have been taught all of their lives. It means they have to learn on their own the lessons we are trying to teach them. It also means that people are much quicker to point out their faults & failures even though their children are doing the very same thing.

So you see, being a part of a preacher's family doesn't make us any better than you, but being a Christian does make us forgiven. Being in a preacher's family doesn't mean that we mess up more or less than your family does. It means that more people are watching our lives and looking for those mistakes.

Being part of a preacher's family really doesn't make us any more or less special, any more or less different, any more or less dysfunctional, any more or less stressed than your family. Being a part of a preacher's family just means we are who God designed us to be.

Now that you know we aren't that different, take a few minutes to pray for our family & for your own preacher's family the next time you feel we don't meet your expectations. Remember God isn't done with us yet!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Is the Ball Broken Yet?

In a frantic realization today, I realized that today is November 1st. That means that Halloween is over.

Not a big deal you say. Humph, maybe not to you but it is to me. The WHOLE month of October is over. One of my favorite holidays is over.

Still not a big deal? Sure, but I realized this morning that I didn't get ONE. SINGLE. PICTURE. of my kiddos in FULL costume!! Yes, I snapped a couple with Makenzie fully done up, Logan partially dressed, & Austin without his gear entirely! And the only reason I got those was because we went to see my grandpa in the hospital and I wanted a picture of him with the kids. I guess we will have to get dressed up again just for a photo op, especially since Austin informed me this was probably his last year trick or treating in costume. *sigh*

I also realized yesterday that the WHOLE month has passed and we haven't watched NOT. ONE. SINGLE. HORROR MOVIE. Not a Freddy, not a Jason, not a Michael. The kids haven't watched anything remotely scary, spooky, or suspenseful. We haven't even watched Halloweentown this year!!! And we ALWAYS watch that!

Ok, so NOW do you see my dilemma? No? Hold on .....

Haunted houses have been a part of my life since I was 12 (maybe younger than that). I still love going! We started taking Austin 2 years ago. Yep, you guessed it. We didn't make it to one of them this year either!

Next on my list of failures for this Halloween season .....

Guess what is STILL sitting on my front porch? Pumpkins, not jack-o-lanterns. PUMPKINS!! We haven't had TIME to carve them!! Hmmm, maybe I can start a trend of Thanksgiving themed jack-o-lanterns!

Oh, and that's not all (but these goofs have nothing to do with Halloween).

On my daughter's 3rd day of public school, I had to dig a pair of jeans out of the dirty clothes for her to wear because there weren't any clean. Hey, I wore my jeans at least a dozen times in college before washing them! One wearing doesn't even get them good & comfy yet.

We have officially ate out more than we have ate at home for the past two months! BLAH! I'm so sick of hamburgers!

I completely FORGOT about Austin's teacher conference the other day! I was waiting for a "confirmation" on a time. Well, I guess in middle school, that no longer applies!

I looked at Justin this morning as I laughed and wondered out loud just how many more times can I drop the ball before it breaks into a million pieces.

But it didn't end there!

Austin missed out on free time at school today because I "forgot" to sign some paper that he swears he told me about. Ummm, I really think the ball was in his court this time! I don't remember any paper.

And just a few minutes ago, Austin called me to figure out just where I was. "Uh, on my way to get you." He informed me I was late. WHAT??? But I thought the dance was over at 9:30. Then I obviously tried to pick him up at the wrong door. I guess it didn't make enough sense to pick him up in the same place I dropped him off at, huh.

Oh well, such is life.

I'll get it together one day, just don't hold your breath waiting for it.

I’m Waiting on the Bigger & Better

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