Saturday, July 30, 2011

Apparently These Places Offer More Than Disgusting Food

I am reminded after watching the following video exactly why I didn't take my children to fast food restaurants (as they have gotten older, they have gone on their own, but I chose not to take them when they were little because these places disgust me on many different levels).

I know what I would do to make sense of all of this mess ...I would simply not step foot in one of these places. Perhaps these businesses would get the message when they're no longer a lucrative corporation.

Just my thoughts...

Friday, July 29, 2011

My Personal Haven

Do you have a room in your home that brings you peace and solace? I do...

When I need a respite, it is so inviting. I don't have to do anything really. I may read, or sit on the bed and soak in all that God has to share with me for that day.

I used a rather shabby style with soft, muted colors because I knew it would be a haven not only for our guests, but for my family members as well.

There are pieces I've used in this room that have tremendous sentimental value to me. The following tea set was giving to me by my daughter will always be a treasure!

This picture was given to me by my mom and dad as a housewarming gift. It will continue to be a favorite in our home.

I purchased this bear table while on a craft excursion with my very dearest friend, Margie, just a year before her death. I will never part with it.

This doll and pillow were items my husband and I sold in our little cafe/gift shop in southern Indiana. It's a precious reminder of a special time indeed.

So, you see ...this room is ever so special to me not because of the "things," but because of what those things represent to me. They signify a warmth and love that cannot be purchased with any amount of money!

Let me encourage you to begin creating a special room in your home. I can promise you it will bring you indescribable joy!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Who Says it Doesn't Get Any Better Than Those Plastic Pink Flamingos??

Today I made Lentil & Split Soup With Tortellini and OMG it is delicious!

If I'm cooking with bulk items, I always use my Whole Foods bulk basics guide. It makes cooking with bulk foods a whole lot less intimidating.

First, I rinsed and sorted through 1 cup each of green lentils and split peas.

Next, I boiled these legumes in 3 cups of organic chicken broth for 3o minutes.

In the meantime, I added 8 cups of chicken broth to my crock pot.

I chopped potatoes, carrots, and onion and added these items to the chicken stock in the crockpot, along with the parboiled  lentils and split peas.

This next step is optional, but I like to add organic soy protein (found in the bulk section at Whole Foods) to my meatless dishes for added protein. To this soup, I added a half a cup.

To the veggies, I added 1 tsp. each of cumin, turmeric, onion powder, cilantro, and salt & pepper to taste.

Once all of the above items are added to the crockpot, allow to cook on high for 4-6 hours depending on the cooking speed of your crockpot and your taste preference in terms of the texture of the ingredients.

Another optional item is cheese tortellini. I say optional because this soup is phenomenal either way, but I'm a tortellini fan and would put them in everything if they would promised not to pack on the pounds when I do eat them :) This item you would want to add last ...during the last 30 minutes of cooking time.

You can ladle in a bowl and eat as is with a little sprinkling of cilantro:

Or, you can spoon a little feta on top (YUM) for added flavor if you'd like:

Okay, so some people think it doesn't get any better than those plastic pink flamingos in the front yard...

But, people ...wait 'til you try this tasty and tantalizing treat!!

Sayonara! It's time to eat...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

In the Eye of the Storm, God Brings Peace

I have had a horrific year of mourning over the loss of my precious father, as I know my mother and brother and all who knew and loved him have had as well. He went home to be with the Lord last fall after a two and a half year battle with cancer. Nothing in life can prepare you for this intense loss. I have had waves of good days, remembering all of the wonderful years spent with this incredible father, husband, and man of God and I've had days of extreme sadness, loneliness, and sorrow, realizing my time spent with my dad on this earth is over.

His funeral was a spectacular tribute to this great man. I was deeply moved by the awesome respect given him by all who participated and attended.
I know I have the hope of an eternity spent in Heaven with dad one day and for that, I am truly grateful. I don't wish him to be back here on this earth wracked with pain and suffering. He no longer hurts, he no longer cries in agony ...he is experiencing the kind of joy I can only imagine.

I'm so happy for you daddy!!

Today, I listened to another amazing story. I'd like to share it with you:

What a precious soul with beautiful faith and love in the Almighty God!

Here is the follow up story by his wife...

In the midst of the storm, God offers a peace and tranquility to weather the difficult times. As a beautiful, desert flower displays its spender, God allows tremendous good to emerge out of the tumultuous abyss to bless the lives of others.

I will forever and for always miss my dad while on this earth. But, I'm eternally grateful God gifted me with a glimpse of how special my relationship is with my Abba Father by giving me an earthly father-daughter relationship that was nearly perfect in every way. I have been blessed richly! To God be the glory ...GREAT things He hath done!

My mom read the book Heaven by Randy Alcorn to my father as he was fighting for his life. They said God used this work of art to give them a spectacular picture of their eternal home ...perhaps it will touch your life in a similar way.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Christina Perri - The Lonely (Audio only)

I'd like to introduce you to Nancy Wood. She is a musician, artist, and writer ...she also suffers from chronic pain. Nancy is in process of developing a sister blog to Me, you, and Creamed Corn titled "Painstaking." I don't want to share too much of her story because I would like for her to share it with you. It is her desire to create a safe and inviting venue for those of us experiencing pain. Whether you endure physical, emotional, psychological, and/or spiritual pain, "Painstaking" is a warm, accepting place ...a place where you have a voice to share with others -- to inspire and encourage.

She watched "So You Think You Can Dance" last week and one of the songs touched her heart deeply and she wants to share it with us. Keep watch for "Painstaking" in the near future. Brittany and I are very excited to have Nancy join us :o)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Love Always Hopes

A few posts back I introduced you to Heather and Dillon, 2 older teenagers our son brought home a couple of months ago and have been with us ever since.
I'd like to share with you about another young man our son Josh brought home last fall (we're so proud of our son's servant heart). Ronnie truly has no one. He was living at local shelter when our son found him and brought him home. He had been recently released from prison ...combine a criminal record with severe disabilities and his chances of survival were bleak at best.
Ronnie is a character and adorable! He has personality plus and wiggled his way into our hearts very quickly. He and Josh hit it off and really enjoyed one another. They hung out, fought, and wrestled just like brothers.
Ronnie got the best of poor Josh! (Note the bald heads... I could have killed both of them for shaving all of that glorious hair).

Ronnie lived with us for several months. We celebrated with him his Birthday and Christmas. He said the Christmas spent with us was his first Christmas ever celebrated.
His family deserted him several years back and he floundered from one boy's home to another until his 18th Birthday when they finally asked him to leave... as a young adult with disabilities and no support, he was expected to make it on his own. Frightened and homeless, he robbed a man. Thinking he was taking the guy's wallet, he took his cell phone instead. The authorities didn't know what to do with him, as he had no family, so they locked him up in an adult prison for a year (and he had no prior criminal record). A month after his release, our son found him and brought him home.
One thing we were always thankful for is Ronnie's extraordinary honesty. We may not have always liked what he had to say, but we could rely on the truthfulness of his story.

Little by little, we noticed some of Josh's things were disappearing. When we approached Ronnie with this, he admitted to the "crime" and said that Josh consented to pawning his things because he never uses them anyway and could use the money. Josh's disabilities prevent him from thinking rationally all of the time. He can be easily coerced into doing things he wishes later he hadn't done.

Ronnie imposed his "street smarts" onto Josh and reasoned with him why the cash would be better used than the "toys" hanging out in his bedroom.

Over time, it went from Josh's things to our things that Ronnie thought we wouldn't notice were gone right away (Like my husband's tools, dvds...). As we learned of our things missing, we were more sad and disappointed than mad.

Finally, several months later Ronnie came to us and said it was best that he move out. We didn't ask him to leave ...he decided this would be best on his own. We believe that he has a serious problem (kleptomania) and because of that, he didn't want to hurt us anymore. We also believe he grew to really care about each of us and for that reason he was willing to give up his "home" for the streets so his dysfunction would no longer wreak havoc on our lives.

We let him go...

Shortly after, we heard he was arrested again for robbing a community warehouse. Our hearts sank! We've prayed for Ronnie and we still care deeply for him. It is our will for him to have a miraculous transformation.

A week or so ago, we received this letter from Ronnie in the mail and I'd like to share it with you:

"Im so sorry, and I thank you for all you have done, Im looking for the lord and have fond him, Im locked up but Im not dissauponted the hard time heplps for my sins have cout up.

Josh I thank you, you have helpd me and I thak you for the shelter your family has gave me.

It may be hard for you to trust my word I am sorry for all my rong doing. I hope we may be frindes.


Ron (plz right back)

I mentioned to my husband recently that I would like to go visit him in prison.

God says in Matthew 25:34-36 "Come, you who are blessed by my father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 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, 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."

Hebrews 13:3 says to "remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners..."
We've been blessed with a wonderful family, a home, and careers. How much more should we be reaching out to those less fortunate ...we've learned much from our son (and are still learning) who has the innate ability to see the good in everyone (he doesn't have to scratch through the surface like many of us do). No one on this planet has affected my life spiritually as much as Josh. If only I could see others the way he does...

Poor Ronnie has a rough surface and a battered spirit, but we have all witnessed the good in this young man. We aren't willing to chalk him up for another lost soul, exempt from redemption, but rather a prodigal son yearning in his heart for something greater, something with eternal dividends.

I don't know how this story is going to end... my faith in a loving, merciful, forgiving God says GREAT... no question!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Need a Jump Start?

My favorite morning drink:

First I add 1 1/2 cups of purified water to a blender

Then I grab my Raw Meal by Garden of Life out of the fridge

Take a few minutes to watch this video about this incredible product:

I add 1 1/2 to 2 scoops to the water in blender

...then 1 banana
...a tablespoon of ground flax seed
...2 shots of wheat grass is a must!

...blend into a complete meal replacement! 
I like to add fresh raspberries, blueberries, or strawberries (all organic) when in season. I love it as is, but, my husband prefers it sweeter, so an addition of agave is perfectly acceptable and palatable.

Couple this powerhouse with yoga and prayer and I can't think of a better way to jump start your day and send you on your way along the journey of: