Tuesday, November 28, 2006

a.k.a. June Cleaver

So I always wanted to be the mom who had warm chocolate chip cookies waiting for the kids after a long day at school. Fresh from the oven. With a cold glass of milk. But alas, the school bus has gone by the wayside. If you are one of those June Cleaver wannabes like I am, then here's an idea. Make a BIG batch of cookies on the weekend or after the kids are sleeping or whenever you have some free time. Then, line a cookie sheet {or two} with wax paper and using a cookie/ice cream scoop, scoop the dough onto the cookie sheets & freeze. When frozen, put the dough balls {this sounded really funny to me} in a freezer bag and mark with date & baking instructions. Then, you can have freshly baked cookies for the kiddies any day of the week just by turning on your oven. As one of my favorite food network celebs says, "Now how easy was THAT?!"

Here is the recipe I use:

2 sticks of softened butter
2/3 c. sugar
2/3 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. salt
3/4 t. baking soda
3/4 t. baking powder
1 bag of chocolate chips

Blend butter and both sugars on medium high speed until light and creamy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add the dry ingredients, beating just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Portion onto lightly greased cookie sheet {or onto your Silpat if you're a Silpat-girl like me}. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12-15 minutes (depends on the size of your cookies). Add 1-2 minutes to the baking time if using frozen dough.

You can also substitute any type of flavored baking chips or pieces in place of the chocolate chips. Like butterscotch, mini m&m's, or whatever else you have on had. How about 1/2 chocolate 1/2 peanut butter? YUM-O!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just wanted to wish everyone who reads A Stirring Life a happy thanksgiving! I hope that the turkey was delish, your time with family was blessed, and most of all, that your hearts are filled with gratitude for all that God has given us! Thanks to some encouragement from an ASL reader, I have felt motivated to make a couple of changes to make this blog a little more pleasing to the eye. I've added/removed some more links in the sidebar & also enabled the feature for posts to be emailed to someone by clicking on the little envelope below the post.

We celebrated yesterday at Rick's sister's house which was nice, but um...very tiring. I was so exhausted I fell asleep in the car on the way home. We are also having a meal here on Saturday with family and some friends as well. {Why is it that we only usually spend holidays with our family and not our friends too?} This last week has been so productive and enjoyable for me as I've prepared for the Thanksgiving holiday. Not only have I made 2 cheesecakes, 2 pumpkin pies, some spiced cranberry sauce, and baked macaroni & cheese (so far) but I also managed to sew the girls matching outfits. I think this productivity can be directly attributed to three factors 1) a detailed plan for the week 2) having morning quiet times 3) I don't watch TV during the day anymore. I can hardly believe all the things I have time for now that I'm not watching TV. Stuff I REALLY enjoy so much more than TV, like knitting and scrapbooking and sewing and cooking and blogging. Like going outside with the kiddies and playing playdough together and reading more books.

I am thankful for so many things, which if named, would probably fill up an entire page. To many of you, though, who are my friends outside of the blogosphere, I am thankful for you. I am thankful to the support you have given me when times have been difficult. I am thankful that we are able to enjoy life together and increase each other's faith. I am thankful for the laughs we have shared. I am thankful that you make my life better just by being in it.

I hope {to use a term from dear friend A} that wasn't too....cheesy!

Monday, November 20, 2006

"the Lump" and goosebumps too

Whenever I hear this song, which has only been a few times, I get "the Lump" and goosebumps too. You know "the Lump"? That tightening in your throat when something takes the express lane directly to your heart. Take a looky:

Third Day - Cry Out To Jesus
From the album Wherever You Are

To everyone who's lost someone they love
Long before it was their time
You feel like the days you had were not enough
when you said goodbye

And to all of the people with burdens and pains
Keeping you back from your life
You believe that there's nothing and there is no one
Who can make it right

There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart
There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He'll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus

For the marriage that's struggling just to hang on
They’ve lost all of their faith in love
They've done all they can to make it right again
Still it's not enough

For the ones who can't break the addictions and chains
You try to give up but you come back again
Just remember that you're not alone in your shame
And your suffering


When your lonely
And it feels like the whole world is falling on you
You just reach out, you just cry out to Jesus
Cry to Jesus

To the widow who suffers from being alone
Wiping the tears from her eyes
For the children around the world without a home
Say a prayer tonight


The way the words are written are just so powerful and truthful. I remember trying to explain to Tatiana a few months ago about a friend who had taken his own life. I almost said that it was just God's timing for him to go, but then it struck me that I wasn't so sure that was even true. I felt exactly like the first verse: "lost someone they love long before it was their time". It seems I know at least one person struggling with all the heartache mentioned here, from a marriage struggling just to hang on to addictions and chains to the widow wiping her tears away. And I can't even think about children not having homes or being in ones where they are neglected or beaten. Can't even think about it. When I think of my own pain and struggles and occasional feelings of hopelessness or helplessness, it's a comfort to remember that He'll meet me wherever I am...and wherever you are too. If only we'll cry out to Him.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


I just finished reading the book Chasing God and the Kids Too by Cheryl Carter, which I mentioned in a previous post. I can't say enough what a blessing it has been. Here are two things I read today that stood out to me:

We talk a great deal about God's awesome power and our trust in him. The greater question becomes, can God trust us? Can he trust us to have a good attitude no matter how dark things become? Can he trust us to keep our eyes on him and to walk on water to the other side despite what everyone in the boat is saying
Q:What is one mistake mom's make?
A: The real reason we do not take time for ourselves is because we don't feel we are worth it. We are worth it.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

So blessed!

I am feeling so blessed lately by other women. SO blessed. I just love the blog GirlTalk & their conversations on biblical womanhood and other fun stuff. I was totally encouraged by some posts there to wake up before my children so I can have some quiet time before the chaos of the day begins. I have found myself really more open to God's leading & better able to hear His voice since I started my "7:00 am club". Please, if you are a "sister", keep me accountable! Ask me what I read today. Rick has started asking me what I've been reading & it's really encouraging.
I also have been so encouraged/challenged/stretched by the book Chasing God and the Kids Too: balancing a mom's most important pursuits. I can honestly say it is unlike any other "parenting" book I have ever read, if you can even call it that. If you want to be challenged to take your thoughts captive, learn purposeful thinking, be provoked to meditate & be a Christ-like example for your children, then I highly recommend reading it. I have been so BLESSED by it, I almost want to do a study about it here on my blog. You can check out the author's blog here. Oh, and {A} , if you read this, she has a book on organizing & seems to really love organizing! (I think you know who you are ;-) She even has a website started by her kids on organizing for kids. I am *loving* organizing too. Makes my life {and that of my household} run so much more smoothly.
I also have been so blessed by Christian radio messages lately. Seems like they sink in a lot more than they used to and I am really taking more to heart than I used to.
More blessings have come in the way of my new email buddy, {B}, who is also a "sister". I think we have learned so much about one another through our writings. Kinda like old-fashioned penpals! I am really valuing relationships so much lately & am working harder than ever to build the ones that are important to me & develop new ones as God so leads. But ya know, not just the "hi, how are ya? how are the kids?" kind of friends. I am trying to build my friendships into the, "what burdens can i bear for you? how is your relationship with God? how can i be an encouragement to you?" type of friendships. I think, even in Christian circles, these types of friendships aren't as common as you might think. It requires a level of personal-ness (is that even a word?) that makes a lot of people uncomfortable. And vulnerability too. Scary, huh? I think our fast paced, virtual, high-tech world doesn't help much either.
Let me know what you've been blessed by lately! I guess this would be a good time to prepare our hearts for a season of thankfulness as Thanksgiving approaches.
Bless you gals today! (Oh and guys too, in case there are any of you out there....)