Harvest festival last night was really great! We had 10 from our church. Last year we had a record with 6 and so with 10 this year that makes it a 40% increase. How many churches can say that? The testimony time was really encouraging. A man, T, from our church gave a testimony about the healing power of God and how he feels our church is a healing one. He had come that night with hiccups that he’d had for 5 days! And they stopped during the other testimonies! Praise God! We were very blessed by his testimony.

We were also very blessed by the groceries. I took some pictures of our pile. Have a look:



I’m buried in groceries. How wonderful!!!


Here is an artsy one that I took:


And last, but definitely not least, I have a funny one.


I’m sorry, but if you have to say on your packaging that it’s for people, there really is a problem with your packaging. Am I right? I think so!

When we got home, I was flying high on God’s love. Someone also told the hubby about a vision he had of our church breaking from the old and sailing into the new. That was really great news and it was confirmation of what we already felt was happening.

Tonight we have our section’s annual Harvest Festival. All the Assembly of God churches in our area get together for a potluck and a service. Each church collects groceries and brings those, too. The groceries are than divided between pre-decided pastors from our area that could use some help. My family happens to be one of those families. This is always such a blessing to us. Our canned goods last us through the whole year! It’s really amazing! This is one more way that God blesses us. There is also a love offering taken up that gets split. There is another family in our area that always gets blessed, too. They have 7 kids, I think. I’m sure it must help them enormously, too.

I’m looking forward to the service. The festival is a lot closer to us this year than it ever has been. Only about 30 minutes instead of 60 or 70 minutes. That means that we have a lot more people from our church attending! Yay! There is going to be a time of thanksgiving with each church given 5 minutes to tell about the great things we have to be thankful this year in our church. I really hope that we can get someone, other than the hubby and I, up there to talk. I would love to hear what our people think! I have plenty I could say, but I’d rather hear others.

So, today, I’ve been praying for courage for our people that come. None of them are used to getting up in front of other people. It’s getting better, but right now hubby and I do all the in front of people ministry. There is a LOT of stuff that gets done because of thier hard work, to make the church run smoothly and look nice, behind the scenes. But, like I said they aren’t used to being in front of people. So, I pray God will give them courage to get up there and say something that will bless them, us and everyone else there.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)

Maybe I should have read that verse yesterday morning…

Those of you who know me well, know that I don’t cook. However, I do enjoy the sweeter foods in life, so I don’t mind baking, mixing, etc… As long as I’m in the mood or it’s easy, I’ll make sweet stuff. Today the Friday 5 was about food. Great topic considering my new resolution. Anyways, Songbird asked for the recipe for Snicker Salad. It falls into the category of things I will whip up, so here is the recipe:

3 tart apples

3 regular size Snickers

1 small box of french vanilla pudding

1 cup milk

8 oz container of cool whip

Cut up the snickers and apples into small squares. If you cut the Snickers in half length-wise and then cut into squares, they are perfect. Cut the apples into squares the same size; a little bigger is okay. Then mix the other ingredients together. Throw in the apples and Snickers and mix. You need to make this at the last possible moment because it does go sour tasting rather quickly (the fresher the better because of the apples). It never keeps overnight. Enjoy! It is SO good!

This Fall my family has been energetically watching Top Chef on the Bravo channel. My teenage daughter watches with the dream of some day being a chef. My husband watches because he loves reality shows and I mean, really loves them. Plus the whole competition thing really works for him. Me, I love cooking and good food. Every so often I get an idea from this group of talented young chefs who are competing for big money and honors galore.

The winner for this season was Hung. Not the fan favorite, but he won fair and square. In his bio, he says if he were a food “I would be spicy chili – it takes a while to get used to, but once you eat it you always come back for more!” With that in mind, here is this week’s Friday Five.

Photo by st0rmz on Flickr1. If you were a food, what would you be?
If I were a food, I think I would be a lemon. Definitely sour at times, but mixed with a little sugar, delicious. Also, I can be a little fruity at times!

2. What is one of the most memorable meals you ever had? And where?
My husband and I honeymooned at The Grand Hotel on Mackinaw Island. They have great dinners. They have 5 courses (their breakfasts have more like ten). It’s amazing. Plus, you have to be in formal wear after 6 p.m. It was a lot of fun!

3. What is your favorite comfort food from childhood?
My favorite comfort food would be my dad’s cheese manicotti. It was so delicious, but he died about 6 & 1/2 years ago and no one makes it the same. 😦 So, my favorite that I can still get is probably tuna noodle casserole. I know that is probably strange.Photo by cxn926 on Flickr

4. When going to a church potluck, what one recipe from your kitchen is sure to be a hit?
My hubby’s family always took baked hashbrowns because everyone asked for them. We do the same now. My mother-in-law also makes an apple, cool-whip, pudding, Snicker salad that I sometimes take, too. It’s always a big hit, too.

Photo by tami_chan5. What’s the strangest thing you ever willingly ate?
I’m a rather picky eater and I try to avoid all gross and strange things. I can’t really think of anything. Like I said, I avoid it at all costs. My hubby has eaten a cow tongue taco! Eww!

Update: SpiritMists‘ post reminded me of the Bloody Stump Cake I once ate. My sister-in-law and her brothers came up with and named the recipe. It sounds and even kinda looks gross. I think it’s pretty much just chocolate cake mix (maybe with red food coloring added) with cherry pie filling on top. I guess that’s what you get when you have three brothers. It was really was yummy, though!

Bonus question: What’s your favorite drink to order when looking forward to a great meal?
I don’t drink alcoholic beverages. My favorite drink with anything Mexican or with popcorn is Lemonade. I am a self-professed lemonade connoisseur.

That was a great Friday 5. I hope you enjoyed it, too!

Photo Credits: Lemon Harvest, Cheese Manicotti, Gyuu Tan (that’s Cow Tongue)

Yesterday I had to go to the doctor both for myself and Little Man. In the process, they checked my weight. It was not pretty! I don’t think anyone can tell yet, but I have gained back 20 pounds! I can definitely tell. I expected the extra 20 pounds, actually.

I have been having a hard time getting motivated to eat right. The problem is that I love sugar! I’m addicted! Really, really addicted. Besides that, my birthday is in a week, and I want to enjoy it. The day after that, I am going to Chicago with some family and a friend and I don’t want to worry about food then. I also want to enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s.

So, here is my Pros and Cons of eating right list:


  • More Energy
  • Get More Done In a Day
  • Less Fat
  • Fit into Clothes
  • Sick Less Often
  • Cranky Less Often
  • Happier
  • Less Chance of Dying Young
  • More Fun to the Kids (because I have energy)


  • Can’t Eat Sweets Whenever I Want
  • Will Feel Guilty For Indulging on My Birthday
  • Will Feel Guilty Not Eating Right on Trip to Chicago

Well, I guess the pros outweigh the cons! And I already feel guilty, so that’s kind of null, too. So, tomorrow I start eating right (how I was taught in my very expensive, but worth it, classes)!

EDIT: (11/1/07) These were my initial thoughts on the subject of tithing in the New Testament and I have written a new post clarifying these thoughts. Please read it as well. It really does clarify my jumbled thoughts!

Last night, I had quite an interesting conversation with my mom about tithes and how much our district officials get paid. Then I read this post by Travis Seitler. He has done research on tithing. His post shook me. I’ve grown up with the focus always being, “give your ten percent.” I knew, of course, that more is better, but still the focus is on that tithe. In his post, Travis tells that what he has found is that the tithe was Old Testament law and therefore not applicable to us today. Now before anyone cries, “heresy,” he is NOT saying that you should not give. He says we should give more and sometimes less than 10%. His post is very well thought out and backed by scripture. I tend to believe that he is correct. He also wrote that the tithe was in food, not money. Therefore, we should be giving food if we are going to follow the Old Testament law; we should be creating food banks to help feed the poor.

The last important point I found that he made, was that tithe, since it was always given as food, was not created to support the priests’ pockets (ministers in our day) or church buildings and bills. If this is so, I wondered how would these be supported? Well, basically he believes that we should cut down on these expenses and focus on the poor. The remaining should be paid for by offerings. That makes some sense to me. That post has shaken me in changing the beliefs that I have held for so long, but after talking it out with my hubby, it makes sense to me never to preach on tithing the same again. It makes sense to me to never use that word again. The New Testament requires much more of us than the Old Testament. Jesus tells the rich man to sell everything and follow me.

When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Luke 18:22 NIV (more…)

My grandma had quite a few grandkids and I was the third youngest. My brother was the youngest. By the time we came around, I think the novelty had worn off. But I still remember her fondly for several things.

When we would stay overnight at her house, she would let us watch TV till late at night. We didn’t have cable at home, but she did and I remember watching Nickelodeon and Nick at Nite.

She always wanted to feed us! We would be stuffed and she would suggest we eat something more. We had a hard time convincing her we could not eat any more.

She once got a new comforter and all the trimmings and gave me her old set. It was big, pink, floral and lacy. I think it was pretty ugly now, but I absolutely loved it then. There were even satin sheets! That was luxury to me then.

She taught me to crochet. I forgot how, but I enjoyed learning from her. She also gave me a book about home crafts. It showed how to crochet and make various things for your house.

She was a nurse, so we always had to practice our CPR on her dummies when we went to her house. Along with that, she paid for our swim lessons.

One of the greatest things she did for me was save an old crazy quilt. My other grandma died when my mom was only 12 or 13. She had finished a quilt my great-grandmother never finished. My family and I moved a lot and were many times hard up for money. My mom didn’t want to, but needed money so she was going to sell the quilt. My grandma Carmack bought it and then gave it back to her. She knew it’s value lay more with my mom than anyone else. Thanks grandma!

I didn’t know her that well. She wasn’t one of those perfect grandmas that cooks and bakes your favorite things when you come over and she didn’t spoil us. But she did love my brother and I and I loved her too.

I wish I had taken more time to get to know her after I grew up. Now it’s too late, but I say thank you to her. Thanks for loving me and caring for me in the best way you could. Thanks for being yourself. I am glad you were my grandma!