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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Our new family member


Hey everyone, I hope you are coming to 2010 with a renewed strength and focus. Things have changed in the last couple of days in our house for the better. On December 26th Anthony and I adopted a rescue kitty named Niakara. She is absolutely adorable as you can see from her photo above. She goes by Nika and so her full name is now Niakara Bigglesworth Lewis. :) We are having so much fun being pet owners now and every day she adjusts more and gets more affectionate. Sleeping is still pretty hard due to her lack of understanding of "bed time" but we are utterly enjoying her either way. From our family to yours, Happy New Year and we pray God's blessings over every day of 2010 for you and yours!

--Anthony, Erica, & Nika Lewis--

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Update on the Lewis' at the close of 2009

This year has proved to a be a tough year in the Lewis house but one in which we praise God for also. We began 2009 by continuing to try to have a baby and I was finishing up my last semester at Vanguard in the Graduate Psychology Program. In february we had our amazing first family photos and found a photographer that we will keep as long as we live in California. He is absolutely amazing. To view his work or look into getting your own photos done by him go to Kassel Photography
and check him out.

In February we also headed to Las Vegas for a weekend to celebrate our one year anniversary and shortly thereafter headed to Indiana to celebrate Hilliary's (my older sister) baby shower. Later in March on Spring break we took a road trip all around the state of California making sure to stop in locations such as The Hearst Castle, The Winchester Mystery House, San Francisco where we toured Alcatraz,Our State Capital, Reno Nevada, and even the Jelly Belly Jelly Bean Factory as well as much more. It was a blast. We spent a whole week on the road and enjoyed it so much.

In April, I was named Outstanding student in my graduate program and was asked to speak at my master's hooding ceremony. That was such an honor for me and absolutely changed the way I think about myself. It was such a blessing to know that not only my colleagues but my professors respect me in my field. How wonderful is that??!!! My wonderful friends were able to come out for my hooding as well as my Mother in Law, Step Father in Law, past boss, and many others who love and support me. It was a great night and really brought a finality to all of the work that God had done with me through Grad School.

In early May, I graduated with my Masters Degree and was given a much needed break after all of those years of school and we went for a little married retreat at my favorite San Deigo get away (Rancho Relaxo). While on that retreat, Anthony and I made our first child together. Little Jamie was conceived on that trip and in early June near our 3 year anniversary of dating, I found out I was pregnant. We had been trying for about 7 months when we found out. It was the most amazing moment of my life to realize I was holding life within my body. Anthony could not have been more excited. Right around the same time I got pregnant, my nephew Shawn was born. This was such a joyous event for us as we lost our first nephew in a car accident in 2007. Shawn is such a joy to both of us and we are lucky to have him!

This is where our whirlwind of a year started to be even more chaotic. I was admitted to the hospital pretty immediately after finding out I was pregnant due to diabetic issues. They monitored the pregnancy very closely as I had ultra sounds every week of my pregnancy. I carried my precious little one for only 11 weeks before I had to let go and Jesus took my little one home. This was probably the roughest thing I have ever endured in my life and for me, that's saying a lot. We lost our little one on July 16th.

On August 9th, Anthony and I celebrated one year married and my 29th Birthday. We weren't much in the mood for celebrating so we kind of went low key this year. Just a few gifts and a romantic dinner was enough for us. I also applied for my Board of Behavioral Sciences Marriage and Family Therapist Intern # this month and started working for my professor in a organizational/clerical position before starting in private practice.

In September, my little sister turned 23 and was getting ready to have my neice so I decided to surprise my family by coming home the day after her birthday and being there for my neice's arrival. I got to Indiana on September 28th and wonderful little Kaylea came into the world on October 2nd via C-Section. I also was able to meet my nephew Shawn on this trip and to be honest, it healed my heart after losing Jamie. They both bring me such joy and fill my heart with gladness so I could feel God's healing hands working through their sweet faces and cuddly little bodies. Isn't God good?!!!

Shortly after coming home, Britt was admitted to the hospital and needed to have her gall bladder out due to some complications connected to the birth. Through the kindness of my boss and the willingness of my husband I headed back to Indiana at the end of October/first of November to help out with Kaylea while Britt started to get better. I am happy to say now that Britt and Kaylea are completely healthy and God healed so much in that situation. While I was home I was able to see friends, hang out with family, and celebrate my older sisters/mom's birthday on November 11th before heading back on the 12th.

When I got home my awesome Intern # was waiting on me and God was so good to give me a client right away so I could start doing what I love and what I went to school for. I now have a second client and possibly a third starting at the beginning of 2010. Anthony and I spent Thanksgiving at home enjoying a delicious turkey together in the romantic quietness of our home. We are doing the same for Christmas and celebrating with Anthony's family after Christmas. On December 17th, Anthony turned 29 and we celebrated by spending the weekend at a very nice hotel in Laguna Woods enjoying some married time. This included tv in bed, romantic walks, Nice dinners, and champagne toasts. Our New year will most likely be spent alone as well. We are establishing our own family traditions each day. We are healing through this year but sometimes that requires that you get closer as a couple and spend time recouping your losses.

Our plans for 2010 include a vacation, seeing the neice and nephew as many times as possible, having britt and Kaylea out in the summer, possibly having Tasha and Mike out in the Spring, and getting our life together financially and working on our careers. Overall, we want to love better, live happier, and delight in our 2 year anniversary, our 30th birthdays and our 3rd married year together. God is soooo amazing and all is well on the Lewis' home front.

Still no news to report on having children. We will update you all when we feel like WE know what we are going to do.

Thanks for reading and Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and we pray the Lord blessings on your home in 2010!

--Anthony & Erica Lewis--

Friday, July 24, 2009

hard times but trusting HIM

Lately Anthony and I have been going through some very difficult times. We not only lost our first child to a miscarriage but have recently stumbled into some very hard financial times. We are having a hard time right now just getting through each day. Every 24 hours seems like it brings a new set of problems and worries and we are faced with making difficult decisions. We are trying our hardest to depend on Jesus through this and just ask Him to lead our steps.

It is very difficult at times to keep your marriage first when it's so difficult to not get worried and overwhelmed with life's problems. We have been trying to have time each night to just sit together and hold hands or snuggle up so that we are getting our time and remembering what the most important thing is; to stick together. Things are probably going to be hard for awhile but we are pressing on and trying our best to stay focused on God. If you could say a prayer for our little family that would be great. To answer the question that everyone seems to be asking, we are not sure when or if we are going to try to have children again. Right now my body needs to heal and my diabetes is the most important thing to get under control.

I pray that you are all doing well and we would love to know if you are praying for us. Thank you!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Pain and healing

I haven't written on our family blog for some time but I thought tonight might be a good time to update it. Anthony and I have just experienced our first pregnancy and a miscarriage. We are going through so much right now and just really need prayers from family and loved ones. I will be getting back to posting on here regularly soon and hopefully starting some new posts of things that interest Anthony and myself and getting back to our daily topics. I pray all of you are doing well and let us know how you are.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thrifty Thursday


Today I am going to share a few of my favorite finds on the internet to save money and enjoy some of my favorite things.

First of all, I love to read and buying books can get expensive. I also love to cook so cookbooks are some of my favorite books to have. Well, those can be extra expensive. I just started an account at a really cool site. I suggest you check it out. It's called Paper Back Swap and it's pretty great. If you have some books laying around that you have already read and don't mind getting rid of you can just input their ISBN numbers onto the site and make them available for other people to order. Once you load 10 books onto the site that you don't mind getting rid of you get 2 credits on the site to get 2 books that someone else has loaded up. I just ordered Rachael Ray's 30 minute meals and 30 minute meals 2 which retail for $22.00 on Amazon.com (total) all for free. I just loaded up 10 books that I was done with and that was it.

You can continue to load books up, purchase book credits (for much cheaper than the book) and you can swap your life away with other readers. When someone orders one of your books, you just mail it to them (usually only $2.00-5.00) and you get more book credits. It's a great way to collect books that you really want or just read and pass on to others. I am keeping my cookbooks but there were plenty little reads I could just read and put back on the site. Also, if you are like me, I pick up a lot of my books at Borders or Barnes & Noble on the Bargain book table and they cost so little it would be worth it to read and them load them up on Paper Back Swap. I will let you know when I receive my first book so I can kind of review the site!

Another thing I recently came across was a site called SwagBucks where you use the site for a search engine and earn points to get great things like music, giftcards, etc... Please check it out and if you join use this link so that I can receive points for referring you....


Search & Win



So far it's been pretty easy to earn points since I normally use Google all the time. This site uses Ask.com and Google to make their search engine and you don't have to download anything. I really like it so far and also, I will update you on it when I receive a reward for using it. I like to make sure and report on how these sites actually operate.

Another place that you can sign up to receive points and get emails is My Points All you do is sign up for an account and receive emails. Each email is worth 5 points and you just click on get points in the email and as you collect points, again...you can cash them in for gift cards. I have been using this service for over 8 years and I have received a lot of gift cards for clothing, restaurants, starbucks, etc... You can also go from the mypoints home site and shop for things you already buy like ink for your printer, groceries, etc... by shopping online and you earn so many points on the dollar. I have used this for books at Borders.com, Clothes that I have ordered online, shoes, etc... and it makes your points add up much faster. Nowdays, I don't have a lot of extra shopping money so all I do is read my emails and click and I still stockpile tons of points. I would suggest that if you don't like a lot of email in your email box, open up a seperate email account for things like this (for example on gmail or hotmail) that way you can go there once every couple of days and deal with these issues. I now use my points to cash in for gift cards for Anthony and I to go out to nice dinners and have date nights. It's nice for neither of us to have to pay. :)

Those are my thrifty tips for today but I promise, I'll keep them coming! Happy Money Saving!!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Witty Wednesday


I love Family Circus so I put one on today!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tasty Tuesday

This one is for you Terra....

Creamy Cheddar Soup

This is literally one of my favorite recipes now. I tried this the other night and Anthony and I both were moaning with every bite. It is completely delicious. I hope you'll try it. I served it with crusty french bread and an iceberg wedge blue cheese salad. Delicious.


Ingredients:

1 small onion, diced
2 large pimentos, diced
3 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup grated mild cheddar cheese
1/2 cup green onions
Salt and black pepper, to taste
dash of cayenne pepper (optional)

Directions:

In a saucepan, saute onion and pimentos in butter for 5 to 7 minutes. Blend in flour. Add stock and cream. Cook until thick. Add cheese and stir until melted. Add 1/4 cup green onions, salt and pepper to taste, and cayenne if desired. Garnish with remaining green onions.



This recipe was originally taken from Paula Deen however, I did make a few changes by adding 1/4 up more cheese and making it heavy cream as opposed to just cream. I hope you try and enjoy this delicious soup!

P.S. Pictures are coming..Anthony took picture of my actual soup so when you see a picture..it's my soup! :)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Movie Monday


Today's movie is an oldie. I thought I would stick to that this week. Anthony and I curled up the other night and watched old Marilyn Monroe movies and this one was so fun. I think everyone should enjoy it. It's a great one.

Movie: The Seven Year Itch
Made in: 1955

We give it 10 out of 5 stars! HA HA

Here is a picture of everyone's favorite scene...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Scrapbook Sunday


Today's guitarist has to be mentioned because I was born in 1980 and love my hair bands. This is one of my favorite's for sure....



Saul Hudson was born on July 23, 1965 in West Hampstead, London, England [5] Slash's African-American mother, Ola Hudson, worked as a costume designer for David Bowie among many other actors and musicians, and his British father, Anthony Hudson, was an artist who contributed live ensembles for famous musicians including Neil Young and Joni Mitchell.[6]

Slash was raised in the city of Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, until the age of 11, when his parents relocated the family to Los Angeles, California. His parents separated and he lived primarily with his mother. He was given the nickname "Slash" by family friend Seymour Cassel because he "was always in a hurry, zipping around from one thing to another."[7][8]

As a young boy, Slash was influenced by a musical school teacher:

“ Tangerine from Led Zeppelin III was the very first song I mastered. I had a teacher at school who had a Les Paul and he was always playing Cream and [Led] Zeppelin licks and whatever. And when I heard him do that I said "That's what I want to do".[9] ”

After deciding to form a band with friend Steven Adler, Slash decided to pick up the bass guitar. This is due to the fact that Steven had declared himself lead guitarist. Slash stopped in at Fairfax Music School and told the receptionist he wanted to play the bass, and at that time met his teacher Robert Wolin. Robert told him to learn he would need a bass of his own. Slash went home and asked his grandmother and was given a worn-out, single stringed flamenco guitar. After hearing Robert play "Brown Sugar" by ear Slash realized that the guitar was his calling. He subsequently dropped out of high school to focus on music.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Singer/Song Saturday


Today's Singer/Song Saturday is an oldie. I love this song and I wanted to give it a little play today. The words are below...enjoy





Ain't no sunshine when she's gone.
It's not warm when she's away.
Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
And she's always gone too long anytime she goes away.

Wonder this time where she's gone,
Wonder if she's gone to stay
Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
And this house just ain't no home anytime she goes away.

And I know, I know, I know, I know, I know,
I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know,
I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know,
I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know

Hey, I ought to leave the young thing alone,
But ain't no sunshine when she's gone, only darkness everyday.
Ain't no sunshine when she's gone,
And this house just ain't no home anytime she goes away.

Anytime she goes away.
Anytime she goes away.
Anytime she goes away.
Anytime she goes away.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Faith Friday


Yet another reason to meditate on scripture...

Psalms 119:11 "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Thrifty Thursday


Hey everyone. Today I decided to share with you one of my favorite finds on the internet that helps me get a good deal on groceries, dining out, services, and items needed around the house. I swear by this blog and have printed a number of coupons off of it that have gotten me free products and services. I recommend that you go there now and check out this awesome blog.

Money Saving Mom!

Another site I always use for my money saving tips and hints is...

The Thrifty Mama!

I hope you check out these two links and enjoy the money you save. It helps if you have a printer to print coupons but really, it's worth the money to print!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Witty Wednesday


Psychiatric Hot-line.
If you are obsessive-compulsive, please press 1 repeatedly.
If you are co-dependent, please ask someone to press 4.
If you have multiple personalities, please press 1, 4, 5, and 6.
If you are paranoid-delusional, we know who you are and what you want. Just stay on the line so we can trace the call.
If you are schizophrenic, listen carefully and a little voice will tell you which number to press.
If you are depressed, it doesn't matter which number you press. No one will answer.
If you are delusional and occasionally hallucinate, please be aware that the thing you are holding on the side of your head is alive and about to bite off your ear.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tasty Tuesday


Today's Recipe is taken from the Kraft archives since I use a lot of Kraft products I also subscribe to their recipes. They are delicious. I recommend going to their web-site and signing up if you are wanting some new dishes. Today's recipe is...

Spaghetti with Zesty Bolognese

Ingredients:

1 small onion, chopped

1/4 cup KRAFT Light Zesty Italian Dressing

1 lb. extra lean ground beef

1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce

1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained

2 Tbsp. PHILADELPHIA 1/3 Less Fat than Cream Cheese

12 oz. spaghetti, uncooked

1/4 cup KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:


COOK onions in dressing in large skillet on medium heat. Increase heat to medium-high. Add meat; cook, stirring frequently, until browned. Stir in tomato sauce and tomatoes. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 15 min. Remove from heat. Stir in cream cheese until well blended.

MEANWHILE, cook pasta as directed on package.

SPOON sauce over pasta. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Pretty easy and quick and tastes delicious!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Movie Monday


Ok, so I should start by saying that not only do I love Disney but I love C.S. Lewis as a writer and really enjoyed the Chronicles of Narnia. Last night Anthony and I decided to watch a movie and chose Chronicles of Narnia, Prince Caspian. We have the first movie in our collection but have been pretty behind in watching the new one. We loved it. It kept me captivated from beginning to end and really reminded me of the majesty of Jesus Christ which is always good to be reminded of. I recommend you read the books first if you are interested and then see these movies! They are great! 5 out of 5 stars from the Lewis Household!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Scrapbook Sunday


Again today I will be covering great guitarists and please remember that this is entirely my opinion, however, they have had successful careers in guitar as well. Today's pick is Eric Clapton. I enjoy Clapton's music so much and many of his songs have personal places in my heart. Here is a video of Clapton performing Layla and then some info about his career.




IN the late 1960s, one of the most prominent pieces of graffiti seen in London and New York was "Clapton is God." Thirty years later, the stalwart guitarist and singer continues to hold the initiated enthralled, and a fair share of his present-day fans weren't even born when those words of worship were emblazoned on public edifices. Clapton's meandering and groundbreaking musical career has been punctuated by extreme personal hardship and tragedy. Through the emotional truth of his music, he has sought refuge and release from the suffering of drug and alcohol addiction, personal relationships gone awry, and the deaths of several loved ones.

Eric Patrick Clapton was born on March 30, 1945, in his grandparent's house at 1, The Green, Ripley, Surrey, England. He was the illegitimate son of Patricia Molly Clapton and Edward Fryer, a Canadian soldier stationed in England. After W.W.II Fryer returned to his wife in Canada, Patricia left Eric in the custody of his grandparents, Rose and Jack Clapp. (The surname Clapton is from Rose's first husband, Reginald Cecil Clapton.) Patricia moved to Germany where she eventually married another Canadian soldier, Frank McDonald.

Young Ricky (that's what his grandparent's called him) was a quiet and polite child, an above average student with an aptitude for art. He was raised believing that his grandparents were his parents and his mother was his sister, to shield him the stigma that illegitimacy carried with it. The truth was eventually revealed to him, at the age of nine by his grandmother. Later, when Eric would visit his mother, they would still pretend to be brother and sister.

As an adolescent, Clapton glimpsed the future when he tuned in to a Jerry Lee Lewis appearance on British television. Lewis's explosive performance, coupled with young Eric's emerging love of the blues and American R&B, was powerful enough to ignite a desire to learn to play guitar. He commenced studies at the Kingston College of Art, but his intended career path in stained-glass design ended permanently when the blues-obsessed Clapton was expelled at seventeen for playing guitar in class. He took a job as a manual laborer and spent most of his free time playing the electric guitar he persuaded his grandparents to purchase for him. In time, Clapton joined a number of British blues bands, including the Roosters and Casey Jones, and eventually rose to prominence as a member of the Yardbirds, whose lineup would eventually include all three British guitar heroes of the sixties: Clapton, Jimmy Page, and Jeff Beck. The group became a sensation for their blues-tinged rock, as did the budding guitar virtuoso Clapton, who earned the nickname "Slowhand" because his forceful string-bending often resulted in broken guitar strings, which he would replace onstage while the crowd engaged in a slow hand-clapping.

Despite the popularity of the band's first two albums, Five Live Yardbirds and For Your Love, Clapton left in 1965, because he felt the band was veering away from its bluesy bent in favor of a more commercially viable pop focus. He joined John Mayell's Bluesbreakers almost immediately, and in the ferment of that band's purist blues sensibilities, his talent blossomed at an accelerated rate--he quickly became the defining musical force of the group. "Clapton is God" was the hue and cry of a fanatic following that propelled the band's Bluesbreakers album to No. 6 on the English pop charts. Clapton parted company with the Bluesbreakers in mid-1966 to form his own band, Cream, with bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker. With this lineup, Clapton sought "to start a revolution in musical thought . . . to change the world, to upset people, and to shock them." His vision was more than met as Cream quickly became the preeminent rock trio of the late sixties. On the strength of their first three albums (Fresh Cream, Disraeli Gears, and Wheels of Fire) and extensive touring, the band achieved a level of international fame approaching that of the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, and Clapton became even more almighty in the minds of his fans. In fact, the "Clapton is God" gospel contributed largely to Cream's disintegration--the band had always been a three-headed beast of warring egos, and their intense chemistry, exacerbated by the drug abuse of all three, inevitably led to a farewell tour in 1968 and the release of the Goodbye album in 1969. Early in 1969, Clapton united with Baker, bassist Rick Grech, and Traffic's Steve Winwood to record one album as Blind Faith, rock's first "supergroup." In support of their self-titled album, Blind Faith commenced a sold-out, twenty-four-city American tour, the stress of which resulted in the demise of the band less than a year after its inception.

Clapton kept busy for a time as an occasional guest player with Delaney & Bonnie, the husband-and-wife team that had been Blind Faith's opening act during their tour. A disappointing live album from that collaboration was released in 1970, as was Clapton's self-titled solo debut. That album featured three other musicians--bassist Carl Radle, keyboardist Bobby Whitlock, and drummer Jim Gordon--from Delaney's band, and yielded a modest pop hit with Clapton's version of J.J. Cale's "After Midnight." The collective proceeded to baptize themselves Derek and the Dominos, and commenced recording Clapton's landmark double album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, with the added contribution of slide guitarist Duane Allman. An anguished lament of unrequited love, "Layla" was inspired by a difficult love triangle between Clapton, his close friend George Harrison, and Harrison's wife Pattie (she and Clapton eventually married in 1979 and divorced in 1988). Unfortunately, personal struggles and career pressure on the guitarist led to a major heroin addiction. Derek and the Dominos crumbled during the course of an American tour and an aborted attempt to record a second album.

Clapton withdrew from the spotlight in the early seventies, wallowing in his addiction and then struggling to conquer it. Following the advice of the Who's Pete Townsend, he underwent a controversial but effective electro-acupuncture treatment and was fully rehabilitated. He rebounded creatively with a role in the film version of Townsend's rock opera, Tommy, and with a string of albums, including the reggae-influenced 461 Ocean Boulevard, which yielded a chart-topping single cover of Bob Marley's "I Shot the Sheriff." Some critics and fans were disappointed by Clapton's post-rehab efforts, feeling that he had abandoned his former guitar-heavy approach in favor of a more laid-back and vocal-conscious one.

Just One Night, Clapton's galvanizing 1980 live album, reminded devotees just exactly who their guitar hero was, but unfortunately, this period marked Clapton's critical slide into a serious drinking problem that eventually hospitalized him for a time in 1981. He experienced a creative resurgence after reining in his alcoholism, releasing a string of consistently successful albums--Another Ticket (1981), Money and Cigarettes (1983), Behind the Sun (1985), August (1986), Journeyman (1989)--and turning his personal life around. Though some say Clapton never regained the musical heights of his heroin days, his legend nevertheless continued to grow. That he was a paragon of rock became more than apparent when Polygram released a rich four-CD retrospective of his career, Crossroads, in 1988; the set scored Grammy awards for Best Historical Album and Best Liner Notes.

In late 1990, the fates delivered Clapton a terrible blow when guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan and Clapton road crew members Colin Smythe and Nigel Browne--all close friends of Clapton's--were killed in a helicopter crash. A few months later, he was dealt another cruel blow when Conor, his son by Italian model Lori Del Santo, fell forty-nine stories from Del Santo's Manhattan high-rise apartment to his death. Clapton channeled his shattering grief into writing the heart-wrenching 1992 Grammy-winning tribute to his son, "Tears in Heaven." (Clapton received a total of six Grammys that year for the single and for the album Unplugged.)

In 1994, he began once again to play traditional blues; the album, From the Cradle, marked a return to raw blues standards, and it hit with critics and fans. The fifty-one-year-old Clapton shows no signs of slowing down: in February of 1997 he picked up Record of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance Grammys for "Change the World," from the soundtrack of the John Travolta movie Phenomenon.

Already a double inductee into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Yardbirds and Cream, a third nod as a solo artist is an inevitable honor for the legendary guitarist. Until Clapton springs his next album on a waiting world, fans can content themselves with his latest side project, TDF. The band's techno-pedigreed 1997 release, Retail Therapy, represents a marked musical departure from Clapton's blues-rock roots, and he appears on the album with the correspondingly off-the-wall pseudonym "X-Sample."

Next came the acclaimed Pilgrim, which captured the Grammy nomination for Best Pop Album in ‘98. In 1999 he won a Grammy for his performance on “The Calling” from Santana’s Supernatural. Clapton revisited the blues with friend and musical legend BB King in 2000’s Riding With The King, garnering the artist more platinum and a Grammy nomination in a career full of chartbusters and precious metal.

The only triple inductee into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (as a member of both The Yardbirds and Cream and as a solo artist), Eric Clapton continues to astonish and delight a vast spectrum of music lovers. It’s a legacy that continues with the release of Reptile, the latest journey in the lifelong musical odyssey of an authentic musical genius.

(original biography done by http://www.eric-clapton.co.uk/biography/index.htm

Sorry if this is a bit long but his career is interesting if you ask me!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Singer/Song Saturday


Today's song is a remake of a song orginally done by Don Henley. It is a great song and when I heard this remake I was even more pleased. Enjoy

Song: Heart of the Matter

Singer: India. Arie

Here is the video of her performing it live, she also performs Rhianna's Umbrella on here so if you are not a fan of that song, it's in the latter part of the video. I like it better by her though! :)



Here are the lyrics as well...

I got the call today, I didn't wanna hear
But I knew that it would come
An old true friend of ours was talkin' on the phone
She said you found someone
And I thought of all the bad luck,
And all the struggles we went through
How I lost me and you lost you
What are these voices outside love's open door
Make us throw off our contentment
And beg for something more?

I've been learning to live without you now
But I miss you sometimes
The more I know, the less I understand
All the things I thought I knew, I'm learning them again
I've been tryin' to get down to the Heart of the Matter
But my will gets weak
And my thoughts seem to scatter
But I think it's about forgiveness
Forgiveness
Even if, even if you don't love me anymore

These times are so uncertain
There's a yearning undefined
And people filled with rage
We all need a little tenderness
How can love survive in such a graceless age
And the trust and self-assurance that lead to happiness
They're the very things we kill, I guess
Pride and competition cannot fill these empty arms
And the work they put between us,
You know it doesn't keep us warm

I've been trying to live without you now
But I miss you, baby
The more I know, the less I understand
And all the things I thought I figured out, I have to learn again
I've been tryin' to get down to the Heart of the Matter
But my will gets weak
And my heart is so shattered
But I think it's about forgiveness
Forgiveness
Even if, even if you don't love me anymore

All the people in your life who've come and gone
They let you down, you know they hurt your pride
Better put it all behind you; cause life goes on
You keep carryin' that anger, it'll eat you up inside

I want a happily everafter
And my heart is so shattered
But I know it's about forgiveness
Forgiveness
Even if, even if you don't love me anymore

I've been tryin' to get down to the Heart of the Matter
Because the flesh gets weak
And the ashes will scatter
So I'm thinkin' about forgiveness
Forgiveness
Even if you don't love me anymore
Even if you don't love me anymore

Friday, May 29, 2009

Faith Friday


Meditation Continued...

Preparing to Meditate.

As I had mentioned in my post last week, I have been reading a really good book about the spiritual disciplines and the first one covered is meditation. I am learning this discipline from the book as it is something I have never really mastered in my walk with Christ. I have always had "prayer time" but the silence and listening time was always my struggle. I decided today to put in a few things I learned in the section on preparing to meditate. It was very clear upon reading that is hard to tell someone how to meditate since it is a very personal experience.

The first thing mentioned was that it was "ok" to use your imagination and picture Jesus there with you. God gave us an imagination and although our imagination can lead us to very scary and dark places, it can also be used by God and lead us to a place where we can truly BE with him

The second thing that I noted was that the posture of meditation is mostly about finding a place that is comfortable for you but not distracting from your agenda of being with the Lord. For me, this includes sitting on my comfortable couch and just talking to God.

Another thing was discussed was what time we should meditate. Since I can't say it any better...I will quote the book on this one. It says:

" We must come to see, therefore, how central our whole day is in preparing us for specific times of meditation. If we are constantly being swept off our feet with frantic activity, we will be unable to be attentive at the moment of inward silence. A mind that is harassed and fragmented by external affairs is hardly prepared for meditation." -- Richard J. Foster

I thought that was very well said and my heart was certainly pinched as I considered how often I am frantic with activity and don't give God my ultimate in attention and time. This book is really helping me as a person learning how to Serve God more faithfully and directly.

Have a great Weekend!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thrifty Thursday


At our house, we are always trying to find ways to be green while making a little extra cash. We drink a LOT of water and Anthony drinks a lot of canned beverages so we started recycling a long time ago. I decided to talk about recycling today and how you can make a little extra spending cash if you have a lot of plastic, aluminum, or glass hanging out at your house.

We first made steps of taking our reusable bottles out with us filled up with our water cooler water to cut down on the bottles but sometimes, you are in a bind and have to buy that bottled water at starbucks that gives back to clean water programs in a third world country.

First of I suggest you visit Earth 911 to find a recyling center near you. You just put in what you would like to recylce and your zip code and it shows you where to go!

This covers magazines, newspapers, cans, bottles, electronics....whatever you have to get rid of that could be reused.

If you have old computer parts that you want to get rid of for pay, you can go to this site and check out ways to get rid of that stuff.

And we all know we can recycle our old stuff like furniture by selling it on Craigslist!

Anthony and I mostly do our glass, alumininum, magazines, newspapers, and plastic and go to a local recycling centers and it's paid for many married dates! Good luck helping the Earth while adding to your pocket book!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Witty Wednesday

Today's funny is in honor of my hatred and fear of clowns...

I liked this one!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tasty Tuesday


Today's recipe is Ground Sausage with Campanelle Pasta and Herb Butter. It sounds fancy but it's way easy and really good. Enjoy...to lighten you could try turkey sausage and trade the butter in for a low fat margarine.


Ingredients:

1 cup butter softened
7 large basil leaves, minced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground pepper
1 package (16 oz) Campanelle Pasta (or any pasta that you like)
1 package of Italian all natural ground sausage (I use Johnsonville)
1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes
6 oz fresh mozerella cheese, cubed (make sure it's fresh mozerella)

Directions:

In a bowl, combine butter, basil, garlic, and pepper; set aside

Cook pasta according to package directions

Meanwhile, in a skillet, cook and crumble sausage until no longer pink; drain fat off and set aside

Drain pasta, transfer to a large bowl

Add sausage and half of the herb butter, stir gently

Add 2/3 of the tomatoes and cheese; toss until coated

Top with remaining tomatoes and cheese. Top with additional herb butter and serve immediately.

You can also use the remaining herb butter as a spread for bread if you do not want to add it to the mixture.

This should serve 6.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Papa!


Today would have been my grandpa's 80th Birthday and I miss him so much. He has been gone a little over 9 years now and it feels like he died yesterday. I miss his smile, his love, and his support in everything I was and did! I miss him even more this year as I spend my first year married and have graduated with my Masters....

A note to my Grandpa!

Papa,

I love you more every day and I miss you even more than that. I wanted to wish you a Happy 80th Birthday and wish you could spend it with me! You are my inspiration for all that I do and I thank you for all that you did for me and the girls. You were a father when noone else was at times. You are precious to me and I will never forget your love and sacrifice.

Your Kiddo,

Erica

Movie Monday


Today's Movie Monday is based on a movie I had ordered from Netflix because I was curious if it was any good. Anthony and I totally love Disney movies. We love the music, the animation, and especially the witty characters. Today's movie is Brother Bear. I absolutely loved it and I am even looking forward to watching the sequel. The Characters were great and the story (although sad and troubling at times) was extremely real and would teach great life lessons. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars for our love of the movie! I hope you choose to enjoy it with age appropriate kids if you have them!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Scrapbook Sunday


So today I decided to talk about one of my newer hobbies of playing guitar. Anthony got me my first guitar for Christmas last year and I just adore it. Can I play it yet? No! But, I love it and I am trying. I am not sure anyone will care but I have taken some time to begin researching guitarists. I have decided to enlighten you on some top guitarists over the next couple of Sunday posts. (By the way...the guitar that is pictured at the top of this blog, is my guitar!!! I love it)

Today's top guitarists is Jimi Hendrix. Here is a little Jimi Hendrix data and a nice picture of him doing his thing!



Jimi Hendrix was an American guitarist, singer and songwriter. Hendrix is considered one of the greatest and most influential guitarists in rock music history. After initial success in England, he achieved worldwide fame following his 1967 performance at the Monterey Pop Festival. Later, Hendrix headlined the iconic 1969 Woodstock Festival. Jimi Hendrix helped pioneer the technique of guitar feedback with overdriven amplifiers, incorporating into his music what was previously an undesirable sound. Hendrix is also widely thought to be influenced by Pete Townshend of The Who, who performed in London when Hendrix started his career there in 1966.

Fender 60s Reverse Headstock Stratocaster is Jimi's signature guitar.

Singer/Song Saturday


Today I chose one of my favorite female vocalists for the Singer/Song Saturday. I love Kelly Clarkson and have since she won the first American Idol Competition. She just seems a little deeper than most female vocalists that I have heard lately plus she doesn't look like she doesn't. That is a bonus! Here is the info on today's song.

Singer: Kelly Clarkson

Song: Because of You



Here are the lyrics to follow along...

I will not make the same mistakes that you did
I will not let myself cause my heart so much misery
I will not break the way you did
You fell so hard
I've learned the hard way, to never let it get that far

Because of you
I never stray too far from the sidewalk
Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side
So I don't get hurt
Because of you
I find it hard to trust
Not only me, but everyone around me
Because of you
I am afraid

I lose my way
And it's not too long before you point it out
I cannot cry
Because I know that's weakness in your eyes
I'm forced to fake, a smile, a laugh
Every day of my life
My heart can't possibly break
When it wasn't even whole to start with

Because of you
I never stray too far from the sidewalk
Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side
So I don't get hurt
Because of you
I find it hard to trust
Not only me, but everyone around me
Because of you
I am afraid

I watched you die
I heard you cry
Every night in your sleep
I was so young
You should have known better than to lean on me
You never thought of anyone else
You just saw your pain
And now I cry
In the middle of the night
For the same damn thing

Because of you
I never stray too far from the sidewalk
Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side
So I don't get hurt
Because of you
I tried my hardest just to forget everything
Because of you
I don't know how to let anyone else in
Because of you
I'm ashamed of my life because it's empty
Because of you
I am afraid

Because of you
Because of you

Friday, May 22, 2009

Faith Friday


Today I am going to put on a few verses to meditate on as God is taking me through the disciplines of meditation. I pray that you find something in these verses for yourself. If you do, share it.

Blessed is the one who finds wisdom,
and the one who gets understanding,
for the gain from her is better than gain from silver
and her profit better than gold.
She is more precious than jewels,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.
Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
and all her paths are peace.

—Proverbs 3:13-17

Thrifty Thursday


Today I have a few tips that I have gathered together for those of us trying to save a few pennies...

To Save Candles

-- Go ahead and pop your candles in the freezer for an hour before burning them, cold candles last longer and don't drip as much.

Think before you buy

-- Before you buy anything (except for necessities) allow yourself time to think as long as it would take to make the money to buy the item. For example, if you are going to buy a new pair of shoes for $60.00 and you make $20.00 an hour...think on that for 3 hours before you buy it.

For your garden

-- A lot of people do not know that Starbucks gives away free coffee grounds as compost for your garden. Ask your local Starbucks for details.

Don't feel deprived

-- If you are cutting back on expenses (which most of us around American are), don't feel deprived, just make a list of 5-10 things that you love to do that cost no money and then do one of those every day so you remember that the best things in life really are free. (Mine are listening to new music, blogging, reading a great book, watching things on my DVR, and organizing around the house)

Those are my thrifty tips for the day. I hope that you use one of them and have a great day!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Witty Wednesday


Here is a great thing to enjoy on Witty Wednesday...

101 Ways To Annoy People


1. Sing the Batman theme incessantly.

2. In the memo field of all your checks, write "for sensual massage."

3. Specify that your drive-through order is "to go."

4. Learn Morse code, and have conversations with friends in public consisting entirely of "Beeeep Bip Bip Beeep Bip..."

5. If you have a glass eye, tap on it occasionally with your pen while talking to others.

6. Amuse yourself for endless hours by hooking a camcorder to your TV and then pointing it at the screen. <

7. Speak only in a "robot" voice.

8. Push all the flat Lego pieces together tightly.

9. Start each meal by conspicuously licking all your food, and announce that this is so no one will "swipe your grub".

10. Leave the copy machine set to reduce 200%, extra dark, 17 inch paper, 98 copies.

11. Stomp on little plastic ketchup packets.

12. Sniffle incessantly.

13. Leave your turn signal on for fifty miles.

14. Name your dog "Dog." 15. Insist on keeping your car windshield wipers running in all weather conditions "to keep them tuned up."

16. Reply to everything someone says with "that's what YOU think."

17. Claim that you must always wear a bicycle helmet as part of your "astronaut training."

18. Declare your apartment an independent nation, and sue your neighbors upstairs for "violating your airspace".

19. Forget the punchline to a long joke, but assure the listener it was a "real hoot."

20. Follow a few paces behind someone, spraying everything they touch with Lysol.

21. Practice making fax and modem noises.

22. Highlight irrelevant information in scientific papers and "cc:" them to your boss.

23. Make beeping noises when a large person backs up.

24. Invent nonsense computer jargon in conversations, and see if people play along to avoid the appearance of ignorance.

25. Erect an elaborate network of ropes in your backyard, and tell the neighbors you are a "spider person."

26. Finish all your sentences with the words "in accordance with the prophesy."

27. Wear a special hip holster for your
remote control.

28. Do not add any inflection to the end of your sentences, producing awkward silences with the impression that you'll be saying more any moment.

29. Signal that a conversation is over by clamping your hands over your ears.

30. Disassemble your pen and "accidentally" flip the ink cartridge across the room.

31. Give a play-by-play account of a persons every action in a nasal Howard Cosell voice.

32. Holler random numbers while someone is counting.

33. Adjust the tint on your TV so that all the people are green, and insist to others that you "like it that way."

34. Drum on every available surface.

35. Staple papers in the middle of the page.

36. Ask 1-800 operators for dates.

37. Produce a rental video consisting entirely of dire FBI copyright warnings.

38. Sew anti-theft detector strips
into peoples backpacks.

39. Hide dairy products in inaccessible places.

40. Write the surprise ending to a novel on its first page.

41. Set alarms for random times.

42. Order a side of pork rinds with your filet mignon.

43. Instead of Gallo, serve Night Train next Thanksgiving.

44. Publicly investigate just how slowly you can make a "croaking" noise.

45. Honk and wave to strangers.

46. Dress only in clothes colored Hunters Orange.

47. Change channels five minutes before the end of every show.

48. Tape pieces of "Sweating to the Oldies" over climactic parts of rental movies.

49. Wear your pants backwards.

50. Decline to be seated at a restaurant, and simply eat their complimentary mints by the cash register.

51. Begin all your sentences with "ooh la la!"

52. ONLY TYPE IN UPPERCASE.

53. only type in lowercase.

54. dont use any punctuation either

55. Buy a large quantity of orange traffic cones and reroute whole streets.

56. Pay for your dinner with pennies.

57. Tie jingle bells to all your clothes.

58. Repeat everything someone says, as a question.

59. Write "X - BURIED TREASURE" in random spots on all of someone's roadmaps.

60. Inform everyone you meet of your personal Kennedy assassination/UFO/ O.J Simpson conspiracy theories.

61. Repeat the following conversation a dozen times: "Do you hear that?" "What?" "Never mind, its gone now."

62. Light road flares on a birthday cake.

63. Wander around a restaurant, asking other diners for their parsley.

64. Leave tips in Bolivian currency.

65. Demand that everyone address you as "Conquistador."

66. At the laundromat, use one dryer for each of your socks.

67. When Christmas caroling, sing "Jingle Bells, Batman smells" until physically restrained.

68. Wear a cape that says "Magnificent One."

69. As much as possible, skip rather than walk.

70. Stand over someone's shoulder, mumbling, as they read.

71. Pretend your computer's mouse is a CB radio, and talk to it.

72. Try playing the William Tell Overture by tapping on the bottom of your chin. When nearly done, announce "no, wait, I messed it up," and repeat.

73. Drive half a block.

74. Inform others that they exist only in your imagination.

75. Ask people what gender they are.

76. Lick the filling out of all the Oreos, and place the cookie parts back.

77. Cultivate a Norwegian accent. If Norwegian, affect a Southern drawl.

78. Routinely handcuff yourself to furniture, informing the curious that you don't want to fall off "in case the big one comes".

79. Deliberately hum songs that will remain lodged in co-workers brains, such as "Feliz Navidad", the Archies "Sugar" or the Mr. Rogers theme song.

80. While making presentations, occasionally bob your head. like a parakeet.

81. Lie obviously about trivial things such as the time of day.

82. Leave your Christmas lights up and lit until September.

83. Change your name to "AaJohn Aaaaasmith" for the great glory of being first in the phone book. Claim it's a Hawaiian name, and demand that people pronounce each "a."

84. Sit in your front yard pointing a hair dryer at passing cars to see if they slow down.

85. Chew on pens that you've borrowed.

86. Wear a LOT of cologne.

87. Listen to 33rpm records at 45rpm speed, and claim the faster speed is necessary because of your "superior mental processing."

88. Sing along at the opera.

89. Mow your lawn with scissors.

90. At a golf tournament, chant "swing-batabatabata-suhWING-batter!"

91. Ask the waitress for an extra seat for your "imaginary friend."

92. Go to a poetry recital and ask why each poem doesn't rhyme.

93. Ask your co-workers mysterious questions, and then scribble their answers in a notebook. Mutter something
about "psychological profiles."

94. Stare at static on the TV and claim you can see a "magic picture."

95. Select the same song on the jukebox fifty times.

96. Never make eye contact.

97. Never break eye contact.

98. Construct elaborate "crop circles" in your front lawn.

99. Construct your own pretend "tricorder," and "scan" people with it, announcing the results.

100. Make appointments for the 31st of September.

101. Invite lots of people to other people's parties.

Tasty Tuesday


This recipe is one that I use as an avid supporter of SPLENDA. I have been diagnosed as a diabetic for 12 years and Splenda is the one thing I can really say tastes like sugar. Here is a great recipe for your enjoyment!

Very Berry Blueberry Muffins (By Splenda)

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup light margarine, softened
1 cup SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
1/4 cup honey
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed

Directions:

Place oven rack in top 1/3 of oven.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

Lightly spray liners with nonstick cooking spray.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt, set aside.

Beat margarine at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.

Gradually add SPLENDA® Granulated Sweetener and honey beating until light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time beating until blended after each addition.

Stir in vanilla.

Alternately add flour mixture and milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Fold in berries.

Spoon batter evenly into paper lined muffin cups.

Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until golden.

Remove from pan immediately, and cool on wire rack.
Note

Serving Size: 1 muffin


To freeze muffins, wrap in heavy-duty aluminum foil or place in a zip-top plastic freezer bag. Freeze up to 3 months.


Here is the nutrition info as well...

Nutrition Info
Servings Per Recipe: 12
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 160
Calories from Fat: 45
Total Fat: 5g
Saturated Fat: 1g
Cholesterol: 35mg
Sodium: 280mg
Total Carbs: 26g
Dietary Fiber: 1g
Sugars: 8g
Protein: 4g

Movie Monday


This Monday's movie is "Roxanne" with Steve Martin. This is not a new film in any way shape or form, however, it is one that Anthony and I cuddled up to watch this week and I realized as an adult how funny it really was. There is a lot of inappropriate comedy in it but again, as an adult, it's ok. It has a lot of big names including, Steve Martin, Darryl Hannah and quite a few others. I also found out while researching this that Steve Martin actually wrote the screenplay for this movie which is why it's so great!

It is based on the play "Cyrano De Bergerac" which is a fantastic play to begin with and then it is made more modern and was created in 1986 so as modern as that is! I give it absolutely 5 out of 5 stars and recommend if you haven't seen it that you see it now and if you have, try it again...great movie!

Scrapbook Sunday


Today I decided to talk about one of my favorite hobbies and that is organzing. I have added a few organization tips as well as some sites you can check out to see what I use around my house and my tasks!

Here are some tips to organize any room

1. Set goals -- make a list of what you would like to accomplish in the room:

Example: Bathroom

-- Repaint
-- Organize bathroom supplies
-- Overhaul Towels/wash clothes
etc...

2. Start Small -- DO smaller rooms, areas, and projects first to get yourself started and then move to bigger projects as you gain momentum and motivation. Some areas to start with would be a bathroom, linen closet, pantry, book case, etc...

3. Determine where to donate -- this one is important in our house because there are clothes that are past their prime or do not fit, items that do not fit in our house, or simply we got new things and need to give our gently used items to charity. We use a goodwill down the street from our house that is in a great area of our neighborhood to serve our community.

4. Toss old medicine -- organizing is a great time to get rid of medicines that are past their shelf life. This task often gets ignored if not done on a regular basis.

5. Consider creative containers -- if you have things that need to be well...contained think about getting things that are decorative that might serve as a piece in your living room as well as holding all of your un-read magazines. The possibilities are endless.

Here are a few links I use to organize my home and life:

The Container Store!!

HGTV a great pleace to learn to organize


All About Home

Singer/Song Saturday


Today's Singer/Song is a song that makes me think about the marriage of two of my friends as it was their song at their wedding. It is the most beautiful description of a man's love for his wife! I completely suggest you check out this singer and namely this song!

Singer: Tyrone Wells

Song: Seabreeze



Here are the lyrics so you can follow along...

Did I really need her, was it just a sweet dream
That lingers in the morning, like a melody
Over and over, all through the day,
I can't stop thinkin' 'bout how I'm feeling this way

She moves like sea breeze, swirling around me
The fragrance that she leaves hangs in the air
Soft like a whisper, she's calling me to her,
These eyes have seen the most beautiful dream

We found each other, staring at the waves
We started talking and I couldn't break away
I made plans to meet tonight down by the pier
And when midnight strikes I'm gonna hold that dream near

She moves like sea breeze, swirling around me
The fragrance that she leaves hangs in the air
Soft like a whisper, she's calling me to her
These eyes have seen the most beautiful dream

To my surprise, oh,
She took my heart with one look in her eye
To a place that feels like home

She moves like sea breeze, swirling around me
The fragrance that she leaves hangs in the air
Soft like a whisper, she's calling me to her
These eyes have seen the most beautiful dream
Repeat 2X
These eyes have seen the most beautiful dream, oh, oh

Faith Friday


Anthony and I went on a marriage/spiritual retreat which is why I am trying to catch up the blog today. In saying that, I am gong to start covering spiritual disciplines for our Faith Fridays. I am reading a book called "Celebration of Discpline" by Richard J. Foster. I picked it up a few weeks before school ended as a means to me really gaining serious spiritual focus and I have been reading it since I have been out and it's really helping me focus not only in my spiritual life but in other goals I have had for myself.

The first discipline that I will be focusing on for our Faith Fridays is Meditation. I do not mean meditation the way the new age movement means it but rather as a means of really looking at scripture and allowing it to get deep inside of you. Over our spiritual retreat, one of the things I really took the time to do was to sit in nature and look around and allow God's word to become real to me. I was looking around to see all that he created and how it completely captures his character and love for us.

Over the next several Faith Fridays I will be writing about meditation as I learn about and it giving scripture to begin to meditate on if you are intersted. God has really been giving me peace, opening my eyes, and working on my character through this time and I pray he does the same for you through meditation on scripture.

For today a thought...

The purpose of meditation is ....a familiar friendship with Jesus -- as quoted by Richard Foster in the text.

Thrifty Thursday


Today I have a great tip for you if you are around a Regency theater. Anthony and I are on a very limited budget! That is saying it nicely. We are BROKE most of the time. We have started to use the Regency theater as a close friend. In our area, they show movies for the bargain price of $3.00/ticket. That is a great deal considering our local theater charges about $11.00/ticket. Concessions are also considerably cheaper at these low cost theaters.

They also have a weekly deal at our theater where you can get two tickets, 2 small sodas, and 2 small popcorns on Wednesday nights so that has become our Wednesday night date night and we just throw a few candies in my purse and the night is set. They show most movies about 2 weeks after they are in major theaters so we are seeing brand new movies also.

There are also a vast amount of theaters that will show older movies for less price on the big screen as well. I recommend going to see a great cheap movie!!! :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Witty Wednesday

In honor of my Nephew's birth, here is a video of some funny babies! :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tasty Tuesday


One of the greatest tools in my kitchen are my Ziploc Zip N Steam bags. If you haven't used these I totally recommend them as they make healthy cooking really easy. I found the idea on The Biggest Loser and started experimenting with them in my own kitchen. I am trying to eat healthier and include incredibly lean sources of protein into our diets so I have made today's Tasty Tuesday one of my ziploc recipes of...

Garlic Lemon Cod:

In a small bowl, prepare rub of 1 teaspoon Olive Oil, 3/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder, and 1/4 teaspoon season salt

Use 1 cod fillet; 8-12 oz, about 1/2 inch thick, cut in half. Spoon Rub on top of cod, spreading evenly

Put prepared cod in Medium or Large Zip and Steam bag, placing thicker parts toward outer edge of bag, seal bag and place in microwave

Cook on full power for 3 and 1/2 - 4 minutes or until cod is cooked through or flakes easily. Use 30 second intervals if cod is not cooked at first until it is thoroughly cooked.

Allow to stand one minute before handling. Put fresh lemon juice onto fish once removed from the bag. Serve with Parsley and Butter if desired.

This is a great way to get good protein really fast and not make a mess making fish! :)

Movie Monday


Hey everyone, I apologize for being a bit behind on the blog but we have been in baby world for the last 48 hours or so.

Before he was on his way, Anthony and I sat down to watch a movie on our netflix queue. It was Mad Money with Diane Keaton, Queen Latifah, and Katie Holmes. It was really great. Not only was the plot and concept really smart but it had great funny moments as well. I really like Diane Keaton so I try to watch everything she makes.

The whole story is about three women who work at a Federal bank and find a way to start pilfering money out. It was really enjoyable and I encourage you all to see it. On our charts, it gets a **** out of 5 stars!

Have a great Day!

We have a new nephew!


Please help me welcome to the world....

Shawn Christopher Lee

Born May 12, 2009 @ 6:49 A.M.

6 lbs, 15 oz; 20 and 1/2 inches long! :)

Thanks Heavens for little boys! If you know Hill, congratulate her!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Scrapbook Sunday


So today is pretty much the first day of the rest of my life since I graduated yesterday. My hobbies will be returning which is nice. One of my favorite hobbies is scrapbooking which is why I labeled this scrapbook Sunday. I thought I would let you know about a business that I love...creative memories. They have amazing products and they are absolutely the best place to get ideas on what books to create. I have a digital program where you can make a book in a night with digital photos and digital layouts. I thought I would give you some links to check out!

Creative Memories Main Page

Their New Products

Project Center

Find a consultant in your area!

Singer/Song Saturday


Sorry this is late, yesterday I was busy getting my Master's Degree!!!!!! YAY!

Today's Singer/Song is something that makes me think of my accomplishment and God's place in all of that. This song makes me think of the incredible calling that God gave me to be a therapist and how every breath needs to be rooted in Jesus and what he has me to do and say! I have included the lyrics so you can follow along. The following video is from a live performance of his so some of the lyrics are changed to honor the place he is singing! :)

Singer: Shaun Groves

Song: Should I tell them



Walking with you is not without hazards
Trippings this traveler's curse
Price paid for falling is more than my stumble
In a world that is watching and waiting for words

But I listened when You said to go
And I set out in spite of my fears
About truth mixed with my imperfection
And the question of what to say when I got here

And now that I'm here
Should I tell them that
You are the one who has made me
And saved me and set up a home there inside
Should I tell them that I am a perfect example
Of all You can do with a life.
What should I say to them?
What if I'm failing them?
What should i tell the tonight?

Now don't get me wrong
I'm thankful to be here
With this song to sing and a spotlight on me,
But lately I'm wondering if you are mistaken,
If you're seeing all of me there is to see.

Cause on every face I detect
The same questions I've posed to you
Like do you speak through the imperfect
Are we too dirty for your light to get through?
I want your light to get through.

Chorus:

What should I tell them when
They're thirsty Lord
My cup is empty Lord
Come and lead me here in this place
Cuz I'm unashamed, yeah, but I'm unprepared
And I'm just plain afraid



Song:

Friday, May 8, 2009

Faith Friday


1 Corinthians 2:9

However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who loved Him (NIV)

Today's post is going to be about the above verse because I am reminded of this concept every single day in my walk with God. Last night is a great example. I gave my speech last night for the Hooding Ceremony for my Masters Degree. It was amazing. The whole ceremony was very good and my speech went well. The thing that amazed me was how God was truly there through the whole thing for me. My professor gave me a little matchbox Mustang after I spoke in honor of my grandpa and that filled my heart and reminded me of how proud he would have been.

The overall thoughts in my head last night were that God has done such amazing things in my life through pain and suffering and I could never have forseen any of them. Even as I prepare for my commencement this Saturday, I realize how special these times are. As I saw my boss show up to hooding last night and enjoy my speech on God (when he is not a believer) really showed me that I can not conceive what God has prepared for me.

I am going in to a time of complete trust with the Lord and I am actually really excited to see what God has prepared for me. I know that things are not happening the way that I forsaw them happening and sometimes if I am not careful this can cause me anxiety and disappointment as opposed to excitement of how God is going to show his character and provision for me. As I read this verse I realized that he has amazing things planned and it's not for me to know or figure out but to just rest and trust him through it.

Isn't that an exciting truth that we cannot even begin to conceive what he has planned for those that love Him! :) Thank you Jesus for your love and plan for my life!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thrifty Thursday


Today's thrifty post is about making everything go the extra mile. Here is an idea that I have been using for some time. At the store, the larger cuts of meat like whole chickens, beef roasts, and turkeys are less expensive per lb due to bones, convenience etc... What I do is buy those cuts of meat and make them go two to three days in our two person home. Now I realize if you have a larger family, this might not work.

I'll use the chicken as an example. A chicken at our house can survive about 3 days. First I make a whole chicken in the crock pot by doing the following:

-- Clean chicken thoroughly

-- Put in bottom of crock pot with a few potatoes, lemon juice, spices to your taste and about a cup of low sodium chicken stock.

-- Cook on high for about 5 hours

-- When chicken is done it is amazing...serve is up beside the nice tender potatoes and a vegetable and you have round # 1

The next day in our house we always have left over chicken. I usually just get as much as I can out of the crock pot and put it into a storage container.

The next day I make chicken and dumplings and this is how

--- Store bought cresent rolls

--- left over chicken

--- One can of cream of chicken soup

--- 1 cup of low sodium chicken stock

--- Vegetables if you choose (peas, corn, carrots, etc...)

I take a 9 X 13 baking dish and lightly spray with olive oil spray so nothing sticks

Next I take the cresents and unroll them. In each cresent I put a generous portion of the leftover chicken and roll them up into dumplings

I place these in the bottom of the baking pan. I then cover with stock, soup, and vegetables.

I bake this in the oven for about 1/2 an hour at 350 degrees or until the cresents are nice and brown as everything else will be heated and your chicken is fully cooked.

I serve this besides some mashed potatoes or rice and of course your veggies are in the dumplings if you used them, if not serve up with some veggies.

These two days of meals are the following:

Whole chicken: as low as $2.00-4.00 when they are on sale

Produce: about $2.00 for everything

Stock: about $2.00 (you can use broth also if it is cheaper)

Soup: $1.00

Cresents: $2.00

At most this is about $11.00 for two days of dinner. More likely it is less as I rounded up for every item.

I use these tips for things like Turkey also and make Turkey salads, open face sandwiches, etc... with leftovers

With Roasts, I cut up the extra roast and create a vegetable stew. Two days of dinner for the price of one dinner! :)

I hope that you find ways to make leftovers into whole new experiences!

Also, if you haven't already done so, make sure and print your free coupon for a two piece grilled chicken dinner at KFC that Oprah made available. You do have to install a coupon printer application so be aware of that and use your security measures to make sure all is safe. Mine did not find any problems with it. Here is the link.

Free KFC from Oprah!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Witty Wednesday


-- Baked goods and Ladies of the night-- *Warning, inappropriate in nature*

When Anthony and I first moved in to our apartment there was something strange that we noticed almost immediately. There is a donut shop on the corner across the street from our complex and it is literally busy all hours of the night. It is open 24 hours and it always seems to have business. We thought, "wow, they must have good donuts." Eventually we started to notice women dressed a little bit scandalous around that shop and started to wonder if they were selling more than donuts over there.

We were driving home from work one day when I saw what had to be a shall we say....lady of the night. I started to laugh to myself and said to Anthony "I know they are prostitutes babe, I just know it" and I continued to laugh hysterically and Anthony finally said "what is so funny?" and I said with a big cheesy grin on my face..."They are donut hoes"

We lived on that joke right there for several weeks. Then one morning we were headed to take Anthony to work bright and early at 6:30 am and we saw one of the "ladies of the night" walking back to the donut shop. She was probably around 60-65 years old and had on a shiny shirt, a short skirt, fish net stockings, and house slippers. Yes, I said it...house slippers.

So, I then got yet another grin on my face and said "I bet she is going back to the donut shop to get her a long john"

They never stop coming! Anyway, I thought I would share one of Anthony and my favorite funny stories to make you laugh. We are constantly watching out for the "donut hoes" and "long johns" by our house so if we have anymore funny stories...prepare to hear them.

I apologize if anyone is offended by the inappropriate nature of this story. Have a lovely Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tasty Tuesday


Today I thought it would be nice to share a recipe that I absolutely love which is cheesy potatoes. Now, I want to warn you that this is NOT a healthy item and there is probably a way to make it healthy but I do not do that. This was passed down to me from a professor so make sure if you make it to let me know so I can tell her you loved it.

Here is the recipe: (Serves 15)

Ingredients:

2 lbs. (1bag) frozen hash brown potatoes

¼ - ½ cup frozen chopped onions

1 ¼ lbs. shredded cheddar cheese

2 cups sour cream 1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can cream of mushroom soup

salt

pepper

Directions:

Mix thoroughly all ingredients and bake, covered with foil, for 90 minutes at 325 ' in a 9 X 13 pan that has been well sprayed with Pam.

Topping: Corn Flake Crumbs, crushed

After baking for 90 minutes, top potatoes with a layer of crushed corn flake crumbs. Return to the oven, uncovered, for an additional 30 - 45 min or until potatoes are thoroughly heated.

These potatoes are amazing. Anthony literally asks for them every week so I hope you all enjoy!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Movie Monday


Good morning everyone! I got up bright and early this morning and decided to get some things out of the way for the day. Last night before heading to the gym Anthony and I ate dinner and watched a movie which I decided to cover for today's blog. We watched "A Bee Movie" and although Anthony had already seen it, I really had wanted to see this one. It was as good as I imagined. It had great wit and humor, good innovative ideas, and a great plot. I loved Jerry Seinfield's character Barry Benson, he was really funny and a great hero of the movie. I also noticed the voices of Matthew Broderick, John Goodman (Hilarious), & Renee Zellweger. They were all great and the characters were well developed.

I thought the movie was absolutely great and I would recommend it highly. On Anthony & Erica's movie ratings, this movie gets ***** out of 5 stars! It's clean, family friendly, and even has a few good Jew jokes which I of course enjoy with my Heeb self! Awesome! :)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Scrapbook Sunday

Anthony and I are back to one of our old passions and loves. (I am laughing a little as I type that) We have started to go back to the gym. That is the reporting on your "hobbies" this week. Maybe I should have written this on witty wednesday. Keep us in your prayers as its only day two and we are both limping to bed! Goodnight everyone!