Monday, October 31, 2011

Meal Planning Monday

Sunday: We get to be home!  Left over enchiladas.

Monday: Carnival food while working UBC's Fall Festival

Tuesday: Swiss Chicken and homemade Applesauce

Wednesday: Taco Salad

Thursday: Leftover chicken

Friday: School Dinner Club at T-bone Tom's

Saturday: Pearland to hear all about my mom's trip to Britain!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Visit from the Boys

Last Tuesday-Tuesday, Isaac's brother Jacob and their cousin Jason came in for what is becoming an annual visit.  Our home turns into a frat house with lots of food, messes, and laughter, and I try to lay low so I don't bother them, though I must say they do a fine job of waning me around.

On Thursday, we spent the afternoon at the beach.  It was a cool day, too cold for swimming, but warm and sunny and perfect for walking, running, throwing toys, and even an impromptu ballet set by me.  :)  It was just blissful in every way!  The dogs loved our jaunt and slept so well that night!

The boys crewed a hot air balloon for the Balloonar Festival at NASA over the weekend, so they were very busy Friday morning and evening, Saturday morning and evening, and Sunday morning.  Friday afternoon found us at the bowling alley, enjoying how the quiet of normal working hours.  I was horrible at bowling, as always, but the brothers were in a bowling league as tykes, and Jason's just good at sports, so they had a blast.  I laughed a lot!  

Saturday night several teachers and their families met up at school for a bbq and then we went across the street to see the balloons glow.  The boys had a great time setting up and tearing down their balloon all weekend, and Jacob even got to fly with their pilot on Sunday morning.


Come back soon, Jacob and Jason!  We all miss you!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Meal Planning Monday

Sunday: Leftovers from the week

Monday: The guys' last night, and they requested hibachi at Ichibahn.  Yum!

Tuesday: Hibachi leftovers

Wednesday: Leftovers from last week-can't let all that goodness go to waste!

Thursday: Chicken Enchiladas

Friday: Isaac's on his own; I have a birthday party

Saturday: Pearland

Friday, October 21, 2011


Sissy, on the left, and Braveheart munching peanuts
When we came home yesterday, the dogs were looking around Sissy's cage, so I went to check on her to see if she was awake to play.  The dogs tend to forget gerbils are nocturnal and not always up to playing before dinner time!  Sadly, I found Sissy curled under her jogging wheel, no longer with us.  She is probably having a hard time choosing between running in Jesus' huge gerbil wheel or climbing in a huge set of tubes in Heaven, all while living again in her sister Braveheart's shadow.  We're pretty sure Sissy had a stroke about 3 weeks ago, and since she was close to three years old, we were expecting her to head back to Eden anytime. 

Isaac put her a container so the pups could say good-bye.  They both nosed her and couldn't understand why she would pop up to play.  We let them follow us outside to dig the hole to bury her, and this very much upset Aggie Belle.  She did not like Daddy putting dirt over her little gerbil girl one bit!  Bailey just sat there and then looked toward Braveheart and Igor's graves.  I guess he remember the summer's two burials.  So sad to watch them say good-bye!

Both gerbil girls gave our puppies so many hours of fun, and we enjoyed them too.  What a treat to care for two little furballs of love for nearly two years!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Meal Planning Monday

This is a fun, crazy week as Isaac's brother and their cousin will be in town!  

Sunday: Leftover Meatloaf and Salad after church activities

Monday: Chicken Green Bean Casserole, Cranberry Casserole, and Pumpkin Cookies (splitting the recipes to take to the Tanners).

Tuesday: Chili

Wednesday: Tookie's

Thursday: Ichibahn

Friday: Italian Beef Sandwiches

Saturday: BBQ at school before the Balloonar Festival Balloon Glow

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Ticket Pull

Saturday morning felt like I was back in college, getting up early to pull tickets for a big game.  It was my turn to buy tickets for our family to see Celebration at FBC this year (see here and here to understand why this is such a big deal).  I woke up at 5:30 and made it to FBC by 6:42.  Tickets go on sale at 8:00 each year, and I was 27th in line.  I had brought my book (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Howling-fabulous story!) and plopped down to dig into the story.  At 7:00, they opened the doors so we could wait in the candy cane-themed foyer until 8:00.  More and more people kept arriving, and by the time I had my ten tickets and was walking out the door at 8:24, I bet there were over 200 people in line.  We're picky about where we sit.  We want the lower level, but the first couple of rows of the back section so we can see the animals parade across the middle aisle.  Too close to the front and we won't even know they were in the sanctuary.  Too high up and it's just not as fun. 

While in line, the couple in front of me were Ol' Ags, so they struck up conversation upon seeing my shirt in honor of our (hopeful) win against Baylor and my Aggie ring.  The gentleman was giving me a hard time about my ring because it looks so new while his is so worn that many of the symbols are no longer visible. I love hearing stories about the glory days at A&M...when everyone had to be in the Corps, and it was still an all male campus.  So many funny tales! 

My new friends also asked me if I knew who won the Heisman in 1950.  I sadly didn't know.  I was then asked if I knew which actor when the Oscar in 1960.  Still didn't know.  He then asked me if I remembered the name(s) of teacher(s) who had made a difference in my life.  Of course I do!  God knew exactly what I needed to hear to keep my career in perspective because it sure has been a challenging year.  Thank You, Jesus for speaking through the words of others!

Cranberry Casserole

This is an old family recipe that is a Thanksgiving requirement at our house.  Sometimes we pull it out for Christmas, Easter, and 'just because' too, but we always, always have it at Thanksgiving. It's sweet and tangy and just perfect piled on a roll or a piece of turkey.  Or, as my little brother would do, get a cereal bowl, fill it up, and dig in!  And no, it's not dessert but a truly delectable side dish!

1 package fresh cranberries
1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
3 cups peeled and chopped apples
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 teaspoon salt

1 stick butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup oatmeal

Combine casserole ingredients and put in a 9x13 baking dish.  Mix topping and spread over the casserole.  Bake at 325* for 1 hour.
Holiday Linkup

Chicken Green Bean Casserole

An old family recipe:

1 box wild rice, cooked as directed
1 sm. jar pimento
1 can  cr. of celery soup
1 cup sour cream
4 cups chicken
1 can french gr. beans
1 can sliced water chestnuts (optional: Mom uses them; I don't)
3 T. chopped onion
1 cup mayo
 1 can onion rings
Season and cook chicken; shred.  
Mix all ingredients into a 9x13 dish.
Top with crumbled onion rings. 
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
It tastes like Fall!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Writing Is On The Wall

But are we reading it?

The news this week about the Iranian backed assassination attempt on our Saudi ambassador is just another piece of evidence to back the yet unfulfilled Ezekiel 38 and 39 prophecies.  If you aren't familiar with these, read here.

Iran has been an interesting country for me to study for years.  It's a stunningly beautiful place (google images of Iran for a taste for yourself) with a strong heritage thanks to the Persian Empire.  Fabulous culture!  But, a little over 30 years ago, the overthrow of Shah Mohammed Reza in 1979 ushered in one of the purest theocracies this world has known, based solely on Shi'a Muslim beliefs and the ever increasing certainty (to Shi'as) that the 12th Imam (Mahdi) is returning soon to usher in a glorious world reign. However, many think that before the 12th Imam will appear, Israel, Iran's "Little Satan", and America, Iran's "Great Satan" must first be destroyed.  Hmm..scary.  Iran's Grand Ayatollah Khamenei, and his predecessors, have been angry with America for decades because we offered asylum to the Shah's family (and still do), and our Western culture supposedly infiltrated and ruined their culture.  Cultural borrowing is a choice, so I'm not sure how that's our fault, but yes, we are guilty of keeping a family safe. 

So, if Ayatollah Khamenei really believes that Israel and America must both be destroyed for the Mahdi to return, then why aren't we paying more attention?  Why aren't our government and military leaders reading everything they can on Shi'a eschatology so that they can understand the mindset of the Iranian leaders?  If they really think sanctions will stop a nation from completing tasks they feel are vital to their future, they're nuts.

Now, bring in Russia.  Did anyone else pay attention to the fact that Putin is pretty much for sure and for certain going to be president AGAIN (czar wanna-be, perhaps?)?  Does anyone know how much he talks about not liking America?  Does anyone pay attention to the deals and meetings Russia and Iran have?  This screams of Ezekiel 38 and 39!  War on Israel by Russia and Iran is imminent, and what are the chances America will be threatened too?  The writing IS on the wall.  God, in all His sovereignty, has given us all the knowledge we need to prepare ourselves spiritually and as a country to face not a power of this world, but the Prince of Darkness, disguising himself as the political and religious leaders of Iran.  His Word is perfect, living, and teaching us, if we'll read it!  In Beth Moore's study on David called "Seeking a Heart Like His", she reminds us in Session 5 how as Christians it's a responsibility to know what's happening in the world and to be a part of the solution, not more of the problem.  She's right, because she pulled her words right out of Scripture.  So, if the problem is Satan, what are we doing to fight back appropriately?  WAKE UP, America! 
To learn more about all of these ramblings, check out Joel Rosenberg's blog.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Ozinga Cakes Unlimited

I'm about to dub our house the above mentioned blog post title.  This past week was filled with buttercream and cake as Isaac filled three cake orders, one for 100 people!  My kitchen is currently nice and clean and will remain that way until Isaac, his brother, and their cousin commence their late night baking sessions next week, but that's just pure fun!

Here's what my creative husband had up his sleeve last week:
Our friend Callie asked for this cake for her Mom's
This was for 100 people...huge!  For a Primetimers' Event at our church.

For a little girl at church.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Meal Planning Monday

This is another clean out the freezer week because I need room for all the Blue Bell and other goodies I need to stock for our special guests next week.  Yay for company and a husband who doesn't mind leftovers!!!

Sunday: Clif bars between church activities

Monday: Meat Loaf and Veggie Medley

Tuesday: Spaghetti and Salad

Wednesday: Pork Tenderloin and Salad

Thursday: Meat Loaf and Veggie Medley

Friday: Pearland with the family

Saturday: Pork Tenderloin and Salad

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Wet, Messy, Glorious RAIN!

THIS is why I was a distracted mess in worship this morning.  I promise I was talking to God the whole time, tell Him, "Thank You, thank You!" over and over again for this loveliness that was falling from the sky and that I could see so clearly from the choir loft.  Then in Sunday School, the kids were laughing at me because I kept losing my train of thought because I was looking out the window at the rain running off the roof.  WHOOP! 

Folks, Texas has been in a serious drought for 10 months now.  Like, watching desertification happen before my very eyes, and I don't have to show my students videos of the process from them to learn about it anymore-that bad of a drought.  Cracks in the ground large enough to trap cell phones, keys, and small puppies-no exaggeration.  Houston itself is 24" below average rainfall; our 3-ish inches today won't fix our drought, but it has been a pleasure to stay inside today, take a nap, and work around the house with the blinds open wide to catch every glimpse of the wet goodness falling from the sky.  Perfect day of worship!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Love Knows No Bounds

Keven and Matildah were married today, and I can't wait to see pictures from their wedding in Lusaka!  What a thrill for these two amazing people to get to spend the rest of their lives serving God and loving on some of the coolest kids I know (that would be those at CACZ, of course!).  Congrats, you two!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hope's Journey to Zambia

November 6th is our little girl's 'birthday', and my friend's offer to take things with her to Zambia gave Isaac and me the perfect opportunity to ensure a special something would be waiting for her on her big day.  No one living really knows her birthday, so for our little girl, November 6th has been dubbed the exciting day all children anxiously await.

Material, tangible presents aren't always a big deal in Lusaka, but Isaac and I wanted to give something, probably because we can't actually be there.  Yes, I know that sounds a lot like parents who 'buy' their kids' love, but hopefully the whole international adoption situation excuses us at least a little.  :)

Admittedly, a birthday present for our cutie was more about the shopping experience and memory building for Isaac and me, but we still wanted the present to be special and meaningful.  We decided on Build-A-Bear, and we had a great time making our bear to send to Zambia!
We choose a cute little tan cub with a huge brown nose and chocolate eyes.  She didn't look too cuddly at first!

We made sure our little bear was stuffed nice and full so she'd be hug-able and cuddle-able for years to come.

Isaac made sure our bear was nice and fluffy too!
We didn't decide on the name Hope until we sat down at the computer to make the 'birth certificate'.
Once Hope was free to leave Build-A-Bear, Isaac insisted on hold her until we reached the car.  He didn't care what the other shoppers thought as they gave strange glances at the grown man carry a teddy bear in the mall; he was going to pass on as much lovin' as possible to that little bear to give our little girl.  I'm proud of him, and watching him made my heart melt!

Our puppies are always interested in the things we bring home, and Hope was no exception.  Aggie Belle whined for two days, sitting next to Hope, wanting to play.  Bailey slept curled up on Hope's lap Saturday and Sunday night.  Dare I think that they truly understand a member of our family is missing and Hope represents that?  I used these pictures and Publisher to make our sweetie a little story book to tell about Hope's journey to Zambia.  This is one special bear folks, but she belongs to one special little girl!

It was bittersweet tucking Hope, the book, and a birthday card into the suitcase Monday morning to begin the long journey to Zambia.  We can't wait to hear stories from Kevin, Matildah, and Janet about the adventures of our darling and Hope!
Sweet Hope!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Suitcase of Love

A friend of ours is heading to Zambia in a week, and she generously offered to take with her anything I wanted to send!  Praise Jesus for the loving arms of those who help me 'be' with my friends and family who live so far away.  With the help of some very generous students and family members, Isaac and I were able to stuff a huge suitcase full of 47 pounds of toiletries and school supplies for our friend to pass out at her church.  We also bought a present for each of the 31 older kids at House of Martha.  The little kids get stuff all the time, but the older ones get overlooked, so each kid has a present we picked out with them in mind.  We wrote names on each present so they know it's theirs.  We take so for granted being able to call any tangible item 'mine', but it's a big deal for these kids.  I collect toiletries, hand-me-down clothes, and small presents all the time so that I'm prepared when these suitcase opportunities arise.  A second suitcase could have been filled, but we didn't have enough money to ship a second suitcase to Kentucky at the moment, so we're just one step ahead in packing for this summer.  :)
Thank you, thank you to all who helped us send this suitcase of love to those I love so very much!

Meal Planning Monday

Sunday: Cliff Bars between church activities

Monday: Chicken and Biscuits

Tuesday: Spaghetti with Salad

Wednesday: Italian Pinwheels with Salad

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Don Pico's with Work Dinner Group

Saturday: Leftovers
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