Saturday, December 31, 2011

Movie Review: New Years Eve

Last night Michael and I went to the movies for the first time in what seems like forever.  We opted to see New Years Eve, it was a night where we wanted to watch something simple and funny and didn't really require my brain to work to follow the plot line.  It was perfect for that.

If you like movies like Love, Actually you will enjoy this movie.  I personally love Love, Actually and liked this movie a lot.  You follow many couples stories as they go through their day getting ready for New Years Eve.  The stories all intertwine together and you find connections between everyone.  I laughed and enjoyed myself immensely and there were even points where I had tears in my eyes.  I recommend this movie to anyone who wants easy entertainment.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Knocked Down

Have you ever felt like life has just punched you in the face?

That was my day yesterday.  It was a day that just wasn't going my way and it brought me to tears.  I don't cry a lot, so it's kind of awkward.  Sidda and MJ were not happy that I was upset.  But no matter; that was yesterday, we are now to today.

And today I feel stronger.  There are times that you need it to be hard and frustrating.  Sometimes life needs to get rough before it can get good.  When you know that the really good stuff is just around the corner it's never easy to get to, if it's too easy it's not worth it.  There is always a reason to fight to stand when you are knocked down.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Harry Potter and Mean Girls


 I do not know why there are so many Harry Potter and Mean Girls crossover references but I think that they are hilarious.  I love both movies so seeing these makes my day!  If you haven't seen any of these movies you are surely missing out on greatness.






Sunday, November 27, 2011

Force Field

Tonight as we are driving home from church MJ says: "Sometimes God is my force field."  and I'll tell you right there that my mind was blown.  He is only three, you know.  Michael said we should put that on a t-shirt and my thoughts were: Hey!  That's my next blog...

So, force fields if you think about them are kind of awesome things.  Usually when I think about it it's some kind of giant invisible bubble to protection.  Things shouldn't be able to penetrate it.  It's there to protect from physical harm.  It takes the blows so you don't have to.  And isn't this exactly what Jesus did for us?  I mean in our sin we are punished with death, we are separated forever from all that is good and from love.  That is what our sins do. But then Jesus steps in and blocks us from the forces that are after us.  He stands in the way of the attack, not just metaphorically, but physically and truly was beaten and scarred, tortured and hung on a cross to protect us.  He did it willingly.  He made himself our force field and took everything that the world could throw at him, he even took death itself and through his power he defeated it.  He raised himself to live again, to still be our protector.  His death did not stop him from still standing in the face of the battle for us.  He stays with us, surrounding us with the shield of him and walks by our side.

How amazing is that?  What an awesome God we have!  I'm am forever grateful that He is with me always.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I heart Pinterest

Have you heard of pinterest?  If you haven't you are missing out.  It is pure awesomeness mixed with a double rainbow and add in a touch of amazing.  It is a one stop shop for everything!  It's a site that bookmarks all the sites and thing that you love on pinboards so you can save them and come back to them when you need them.  It makes it so that I don't have to add sites to my favorites when I can just save it there.  It categorizes everything to your own boards.  Here is the link to my profile on pinterest so you can check it out!  Let me know what you think.  If you decide to join let me know; I would love to follow your boards too!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Laziness

I've been lacking my blog terribly.  I feel so bad every time I think about it.  I think to myself: "I should really write on my blog today but I am lazy/unmotivated/uninspired."  I kind of suck in that regard.  I need to just force myself to write everyday.  I have a strong desire to one day write a book and I need to keep writing to keep myself going and keep my ideas flowing.  So lets see if I can really keep myself going.  My first goal is to return tomorrow with another blog posted.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Being Followed

Yesterday we decided to go for a walk around the neighborhood as a family.  The four of a set off and we were about half way down the street when we saw that we were being followed.  Our cat Tucker happened to be outside when we left and he came chasing us down the street and from there walked with us for the rest of the time.  This was a new experience for us.  I have walked our dogs but never have I been on a walk with my cat.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

This is my probably my most requested dish that I make.  Family events, potlucks, whatever, I am told that I have to bring this along.  I really have no choice in the matter.  So, this time I'm trying something new with this post and I have pictures to show the process of how to make it, in all it's deliciousness.  

 So here are all the ingredients you'll need to make baked mac and cheese:

1 lb large elbow macaroni
1 stick of unsalted butter
2 slices of bread to make bread crumbs with
2-3 cloves of minced garlic
1 teaspoon of mustard powder combined with 1 tsp of water
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
6 Tbsp of flour
3 1/2 cup of whole milk
1 3/4 cup chicken broth (I used water and chicken                       bullion)
4 cups shredded colby cheese
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

First, set a large pot of water to boil, and place noodles in after it boils, the take the 2 slices of bread and put them in a food processor and pulse to make bread crumbs.  Melt 2 Tbsp of butter in a bowl and then toss with breadcrumbs and set aside.
Add remaining butter to pot and cook over medium heat

Drain noodles in colander and wipe pot dry


Melted butter

Add garlic
Add cayenne pepper and mustard mixture
Add flour
Add milk


Stir and cook until golden



Add chicken broth and mix until mixture thickens, about 5 minutes
Add noodles back into pot and stir until combined

Off heat, whisk in shredded cheese until combined and melted


Put in oven at 350 degrees with bread crumbs on top and bake for 25-30 minutes

When you are done, it will be a bubbly and hot, let cool for a few minutes, serve and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What's for Dinner?- Meatloaf

Now I know that somehow meatloaf in general has got a bad rap, but I do have to say that mine is delicious!  It's so good even Sidda will eat it (she is my picky eater).  My secret is in the sauce that you put on top.  It's a mixture of ketchup, brown sugar and vinegar that really  makes it stand out.  Michael loves it when I make meatloaf; it's one of those meals the whole family gets excited about. It's ok to be jealous of my meatloaf.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Rolled Page Letter

So I found an idea similar to this on Pinterest a few weeks ago and couldn't wait to try it out.  Being a book fanatic this absolutely appealed to me.  I love the thought of taking old books that I am no longer using and re purposing them for something awesome.  All it took was tearing pages out of the book that I wanted to use rolling them up tight and using Mod Podge to glue them to the wooden letter that I got from Hobby Lobby today.  I'm very happy with the results, the only thing I wish was that I had found a bigger letter.  If I ever do, I will end up making another one I am sure.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Job

Oh, Job, Job, Job.  Poor Job. He was a good guy.  He followed God's law.  He stayed out of trouble, offered sacrifices for himself and his children to God and what does he get?  Everything taken away from him.  God stepped aside and let Satan put his hands on Job.  He took away all of his animals, his children, his servants and then the devil covered him with sores from head to toe.  They were uncomfortable and he used a broken piece of pottery to scrape at himself.  So not cool.

Poor Job.  He spends his time speaking to his friends asking what he did to deserve this punishment.  His friends sat and told him he must of have done wrong for God to punish him, though his friends seem wise in all their talk they were not.  They were convinced of Job doing something wrong.  But through it all Job stayed faithful.  He still believed and trusted in God.  In the end God returned everything to Job twice over what he had had before.


I guess what you really have to get out of it is that God can and will sometimes let satan do things to us to test our  faith.  Life isn't all good, there is always trials and suffering, it's how we react to the bad that happens that really matters.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Esther

I love reading Esther.  It's one of those things where you can see how much one person can truly make a difference for everyone, and many of them probably never realized what she did for them.

Esther became queen of Persia because of her beauty and humbleness.  She found favor with the king so he took her for his queen.  At the time he was not aware that she was a Jew.  Esther had a cousin named Mordecai who had helped stopped an assassination attempt on King Xerxes.  But there was the right hand man of the king names Haman who did not like Mordecai, but getting rid of him was not enough so he decided that he would talk the king into getting rid of all the Jews (sound familiar, ummmm Hitler, much?  Just goes to show you there is nothing new under the sun).  So Haman picked a time of the year which was a few months away and sent letters to all the governors in Persia so that on the same day they would all slay the Jews.  When Mordecai discovered what Haman was planning he sent a message to Esther, asking her to speak to the king and save their people.  This is not something that is done.  You don't just go talk to the king, the king has to call on you to appear before him.  She would be risking her life just to be seen before him.  And Esther replied like this

"Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me.  Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day.  I and my maids will fast as you do.  When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law.  And if I perish, I perish." Esther 4:16

She fasted and asked others to fast with her in order to have favor with God before she went to the king.  When she did appear before him the king was pleased to see her.  She invited him to a banquet that she a had prepared for him, and asked him to not follow through with the slaughter of her people.  King Xerxes asked who wanted to slay her people and when she told him that it was Haman he was promptly hanged.

Queen Esther had courage and saved thousands from death because she was willing to risk herself.

Another awesome tidbit that I learned while reading through Esther, the word God is never mentioned within any of the chapters.  It's kind of interesting but you can see as you read that God just pours out of the pages.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Ezra/Nehemiah

When I told Michael that I would b combining Ezra and Nehemiah for my next blog post he said that I should call it "kicking it old school" because way back when the books were combined but have been separated in to two books for hundreds of years.  I know, Michael is kind of a dork.

I decided to write about them together because as I read through the books were easy reads but very boring to me.  It was all about rebuilding  the temple and repairing the wall of the city.  It was full of lists and names and such.  I know that reading it and knowing about these things is very important and it's there for a reason but as I read through this time nothing was really catching my eye, spurring my thoughts or making me want to inquire more about what I was reading.  It took me longer to read it then it should have but it was because every time I sat down to read it my mind would wander off and I would lose focus.  But now I am on to Esther, which is a pretty awesome book and hopefully I will have more to write when I finish up.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Getting Crafty

Finally, finally I have I done something crafty.  I've been feeling the itch that I want to work on something, be creative and make something, but I really wasn't feeling like working really hard to get it done, so this past Sunday, Michael's mom, Selina, and I made this beautifully awesome frame.
We were testing out Selina's cricut at cutting vinyl and it worked out great.  The only thing was that we didn't have transfer paper, so I laid each and every letter by hand, so it's not as even as I would have liked but I think that it came together fabulously.  I found the phrase on pintrest and loved it and Michael wanted it up somewhere in the house.  I will probably be changing out the pink background soon for something with more texture to it, but this works for now.  Yay for crafts!

2 Chronicles

We begin off with Solomon and all the great things that he did as king of Israel.  The greatest thing that he does though, is build the temple that David had planned.  The first few chapters are dedicated to the building of the temple and all the measurements and the work that went into it.  And it was a lot.  I felt like I was reading about the building of the tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant all over again.  It's difficult for me to read things describing how to make and build things, especially since I don't fully understand the measurements for me to picture it but I am sure it is all very amazing.  But when they had finished building the temple and were bringing the Ark in this is what happened in 2 Chronicles 5:13-14

"The trumpeters and singers joined in unison, as with one voice, to give praise and thanks to the Lord.  Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instuments, they raised their voices in praise to the Lord and sang:
     "He is good; his love endures forever."
Then the temple of the Lord was filled with a cloud, and the priests could not perform their services because of the cloud for the glory of the Lord filled the temple of God."

And as I picture it, God's presence was so thick and so tangible in that moment that everything stopped.  Nothing could be done except for focusing on the Lord.  There wasn't even a way to continue the songs of praise because God was there and the His awesomeness just froze the room.  They were in awe of Him.

How amazing would it be to be in such presence that it stops you.  That there was nothing you could do other than just be there.  This is something I would love to do.  Be so wrapped in the Spirit that it keeps my mind from wondering or even thinking at all.  That it would just let me be with God, without all these human things getting in my way.  This is the way I want to be in worship of God.  This is what I desire and pray for.  For a mind that would let me go and just experience without getting in the way.  I think way too much, I'm sure, and it gets in the way of being with God fully.  I just can't seem to shut off.  I let myself get distracted and I won't let go of myself and just be.  I have control issues, I know.  These are also the same things that keep me from getting too close with people other than Michael.  I am aware of the problem, I just lack in the area of solving it.

Wow.... So I didn't expect to go into all that on my blog about 2 Chronicles, but it's ok.  Out of the whole book, this spoke to me the most.  The rest was pretty much 2 Kings all over again.  It's funny how much a verse can speak into your life, especially when you felt like the Old Testament didn't really apply to your life.  I think I'm starting to see things differently.

Friday, September 30, 2011

1 Chronicles

Wow!  I went through 1 Chronicles pretty quickly.  I actually read it all in one day.  It was easy considering the first nine chapter are constant genealogy.  It's something that can be very interesting if you put a lot of study into it, but what I found the most interesting about it was in the middle of chapter four the genealogy suddenly stopped for two verses and mentions Jabez.

1 Chronicles 4: 9-10
"Jabez was more honorable than his brothers.  His mother had named him Jabez, saying, "I gave birth to him in pain."  Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory!  Let your hand be with me and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain."  And God granted his request."

I'm sure that some of you remember a few years ago when the prayer of Jabez was everywhere. There was a book, plaques, pictures, mugs and even hand towels with the prayer etched on it.  It was very popular for a short while there.  I even bought the book during the craze but I didn't read it until about a year ago.  We don't know anything about Jabez other than what is written in these two verses, but we knew that he asked God to bless him and enlarge his land and keep him safe and God granted his request.  What I learned is that if you are faithful to God you can ask things of Him.  It's ok to ask.  It's ok to ask to be blessed and safe and for more, but you also have to do your part and remain with God.  It's pretty simple if you really think about it.

So, moving on, 1Chronicles covers again David's reign from Saul's death to his own.  It shows how the Israelites were divided up, what their jobs were and lists much of the genealogy through each of the tribes.  It's turns out that most of this book consists of hundreds of names of people who was the father of this son and that son of that father.  It goes on and on and on.  But over all it was very interesting.  It goes through a little more detail of the the what David did in running his kingdom without going through all his faults.  This is a place where you can really see that David loved God and had him in mind with the decisions of his kingdom.  I'm excited now to move on to 2 Chronicles and really see how Solomon ran the kingdom and then into the kingdom split.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

40 Days for Life


Michael and I are starting a fast today for the 40 Days for Life. This a a campaign that goes on every year to which you fast and pray for the end of abortion. While this is a subject that is touchy with a lot of people and something that should be prayed about regardless of the time of year, this is a time that we set aside and really concentrate on this issue.

While many during this time will stand outside of abortion clinics and speak to who they can and will pray in front of the building, I will not. I will be praying each day and will be talking to people about my fast and what it is all about. I personally will be fasting reading any book that is not the Bible for the next 40 days. This is something that will not be easy for me. I love to read. I love to read fiction and we all know that sometimes reading the Bible can be tough but I really feel pushed to set aside that I normally do during the day for reading and get that extra Bible time in. It will also add more time to my devotional time during the day.

If you want more information about 40 days for Life you can go to their website /www.40daysforlife.com/ It talks about where there is participation and more on what they do.

2nd Kings


Finally, finally, finally I have finished reading 2nd Kings. I've been a super slacker on my Bible reading over the last couple of months, but today I am done.

Honestly, reading 2nd Kings was exhausting, there is so much information and so many kings and people and prophets that they talk about it's hard to keep up. I did take a few notes on a couple of things that I found interesting, but did not stay on top of it like I did when reading 1st Kings.

Let's start with 2nd Kings 6:1-7

This talks about when Elisha went with the prophets and they started to build a new place to live and one man had an ax that he was borrowing from someone. As he worked, mid-swing, the axhead flew off and landed in the water of the Jordan. The man was upset because it was not his, so Elisha helped him to retrieve it by causing the axhead to float.

I know that this story seem completely insignificant to the other things we learn in the Bible, almost like this passage wasn't worth reading but it made me think about how God is in the little things, like helping someone to retrieve an axhead from the bottom of a river.

Then in the same chapter we see verses 24-29. This talks about how the famine in Samaria was so bad that it caused many of the people to turn to cannibalism. If the Israelites hadn't been so separated from God this would never even be a consideration. I mean in all honesty, it grossed me out. It's unfortunate and disgusting.

We finally reached the death of Jezebel in 2nd Kings 9:30-37. She was thrown from a window, trampled on by horses and then devoured by dogs and all that was left of her was her skull, her hands and her feet. Pretty graphic, I know.

There were few great kings and many evil ones. I guess many just found it easier in life to turn away from God. Many kings worshiped and sacrificed to idols, even their own children. God gave his people many chances to follow him before letting the Assyrians take over Israel and the Babylonians taking over Judah.

There is a lot more that happens within these chapters, a lot to take in. Next time I read it, I'll have to take it slower and do some cross referencing to really help it soak in, but for now, on to 1st Chronicles.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Homework


It's all new for Sidda.... Homework each day after school. She works so hard!

Monday, September 5, 2011

This is how the Abell's do S'mores!









We decided to have some fun with the kids tonight so we made s'mores! We were out of propane for our BBQ and were feeling kind of lazy but had a great time roasting marshmallows over the fire from our stove. The kids had a lot of fun setting them on fire and blowing them out! (Michael did too!)