Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I'm going to be out of touch for another short while. I have a work-related conference to attend... so I'll be back just in time to celebrate Handy-Hubby's birthday! Wahoo!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Blessings Monday

Answered prayers are such glorious blessings! Thank you all who have prayed and asked your faithful friends to pray for my mother-in-law over the past several weeks. What a blessing it was to hear of prayer warriors near and far pouring out their heart for this woman that they may or may not know personally. God is most faithful and has heard our cries. She is improving every day. Finally out of the intensive care unit. She can get up and move about on her own and is needing a little less pain medication. She still has a long road ahead, but God has revived her energies and is giving her more and more strength each day.

Thank you God for your undying faithfulness and the outpouring of mercy. Amen.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Friends In Need

While I'm pining over my own personal situation, we have friends nearby that have no home. This family with 2 children were not home when the house was struck by lightning and caught fire. They have been informed that they MIGHT be able to salvage 10% of their belonginings. The entire house will need to be gutted and rebuilt. They have to find alternative housing and have basically NOTHING to furnish a home.

Last night as K and I watched a movie and ate our dinner I thought... they don't have a plate to eat off of much less food... and not a couch to sit on or a tv to watch... and here we are living our normal every day life. How dare I complain about my own woes!!! There is always someone else in far more need than us!

And how about that... I have toothpaste, tooth brushes, deodorant, air fresheners, laundry soap, and other items to share because of my thrifty deal-shopping of late. We shall also prayerfully send them some money and see if there is anything else we can do to offset this traumatic experience.

Please pray for this family... For comfort, provision, and healing in many ways!


K's Mom is improving, but still in the ICU and will likely be there at least a few more days. We are encouraged by answered prayers. Thank you to all who are praying. Please keep it up. Answered prayers are so awesome! K's sister returned to California today. His other sister is stretched between work duties, caring for her child, and connecting with her Mom and step-dad. K is pining to return and be with his Mom. He has to work, but his boss did tell him that he's going to try to schedule his days off in such a way that K will be able to make short trips back to Cincy. That will be a good thing.

We have had an emotionally, spiritually, phyically, and financially draining week. We feel so far behind in everything. The past couple of months events have drained a large amount of our savings which we were hoping and praying to be able to use towards a home of our own soon... car trouble, TAXES, more car trouble, and impromtu trips, and...

Adding to my heartache is that I'm wanting to bring my pony home in July but I have to pay the school a significant amount of money first and then somehow cover travel/hauling costs and the like. I had no idea this would become an issue. The school knew my intent to bring her home eventually and never outlined their expectation in this regard. As a matter of fact, the director even apologized for the red-tape and agreed to reduce the amount significantly. Apparently the IRS will not let them simply return a horse to the original owner, nor will they allow an outright 'sale.' I have to pay them the equivalent of boarding costs for the 2 years she's been there, AND they will not release her before it is paid in full. So I have to pay this in the next two months. UGH!!!! Had this been disclosed in the beginning, I would have been paying them all along. I was under the understanding that she would be on-loan to them for educational purposes and that I would be able to retrieve her at any time, with no exchange of monies. (aside from some funds that we willingly donated on several occasions in support of their program) It is a very complicated situation. She is there because my options at the time we left KY were limited. She was with a family for a short while, but when they left they turned her over to the school. Again - very complicated. I'm so annoyed, frustrated, and drained over this situation. K is selling some of his stocks to help cover the cost. I hate that he's doing that. She is 100% worth it, but it is a heartache to realize that our future plans are again on set-back.

We must keep the perspective that she is God's creation, and the funding is also God's. The Lord is faithful and has a perfect plan for us. We shall proclaim our thankfulness and perservere in this situation. As I cried on K's shoulder sobbing that it pains me to choose between our home and my girl... he replied "It wouldn't be a home without your Penny." He is so right.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Family Emergency

We had to attend to a family emergency this past weekend. Saturday we got the call to get our butts to Cincinatti ASAP. K's Mom had developed blood clots in her lungs. K had to secure coverage for his job and that took several hours. Meanwhile I was supposed to be house-sitting for a friend and had to make alternative arrangements for that. So we get on our way and find out that we need to pick up his sister and BIL in Columbus on the way. Shortly thereafter we find out that they were bumped from their flight. So we got into Columbus about 7pm and had to wait until 1030pm to pick them up. In the meantime we get a call that K's Mom is having emergency surgery because she has bleeding in her stomach. We arrived at 130am in time to meet the surgeon after her 6 hour surgery to find that she had her gall bladder out, a ventral hernia repaired, and she had a hole in her stomach and needed her gastric bypass repaired. WOW! So we think the hole was the source of bleeding and was likely affected by the Heparin therapy. She has been in ICU ever since. She is VERY ill and in a LOT of pain. They removed the ventilator yesterday so she can talk softly now. She's quite weary but glad to have her children hovering over her.

Everyone's thoughts and prayers are so greatly appreciated.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Today is Thursday and I am especially thankful for:

  • My loving and gracious handy-hubby

  • My church friends/family who pray for me

  • A chance to retreat for a few days on my own

  • My pets and their quirkiness

  • My job which provides funds to pay our debts

  • My boss who so graciously bosses me (or is it the other way around?)

  • Our adequate home and all the provisions the Lord has bestowed upon us
  • We paid off one of our debts today and it feels so good! God is so good!!!

This is merely a snippet of what I am thankful for. Join us in proclaiming our blessings won't you...

Works For Me Wednesday

I have no children, but I have two kitties. That means that I have two dreaded litter boxes. Have you ever caught on to the diaper genie concept? I have a small trash can beside the litter box. I line it with a shopping bag (making sure there are no holes in it). Then I add another. And another. And another. Until I have lined it with about a dozen such bags. Each day I pick out the litter box and then tie that bag. The next day I will pick out the litter box on top of the first bag. I empty it about every third day. It works well, keeps the box clean, and keeps me from having to run out the trash every single day.

For the sake of practicality, I do a similar thing with the bathroom trash can.... line it with several bags and then just tie and empty one about every third day. Keeps me from having to re-line the can every time.

Got a tip to share? Want to find some tips? See what WFMW is all about by visiting Rocks-In-My-Dryer.

Tuesdays With Jen: My Memoirs

The Engagement

So while my soldier-boy was on the other side of the world practicing his soldier-like duties, much was said via way of postal mail. He revealed our secret to his mother and she kindly wrote me a letter expressing her desire to know me more. His sister chimed in with e-mail comments and alas our future was unfolding.

He returned from deployment in time to be released from duty... honorably discharged. It was funny that while he was serving in Bosnia, they made him the recruiting officer. Why? He was getting out. That makes no sense. Anyway... he bought me a plane ticket to Colorado Springs. Now this was my first flight - ever! I was somewhat nervous about traveling so far on my own and about meeting my soldier again face to face. When I arrived in Colorado Springs, there he was... at the baggage claim waiting for me. I'll never forget he was wearing a brown bomber jacket and it appeared as if he had recently had his hair cut - I mean - shaved almost completely off. Ahhhhhhh.... the embrace. So long and so sweet, with just a few tears of joy.

He showed me around the military base. We visited Garden of the Gods. We stopped by Seven Falls. We admired Pikes Peak from a distance. We ate at LaCasita's - yummy mexican.

Kissing Camels - Garden of the Gods
Seven Falls

One evening he took me to the Olive Garden. We dressed up for the occasion. I wore a black tuxedo dress with heals and wore my hair down. We had dinner and wine and it was fabulous. He proposed to me...

We've been together and far apart enduring 'for better for worse,'On our first date, we endured 'sickness and health,'Will you do me the honor of making it until death do we part?
Jennifer, will you marry me?

How sweet is that?!!! Then came the ring. It was beautiful! He had picked it all by himself and I was very impressed! I was on cloud-nine! Never had anyone given me anything so precious in all my life. Of course... I accepted!

We had plans to site-see a couple more days but unexpectedly he was notified that his Grandfather was dying. We scrambled to complete his discharge paperwork and began our journey back across the United States. We arrived in time for Grandpa's funeral... another time of bonding. That was sad. I was glad to have met him months earlier when I visited.

And that is the story of our engagement.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Blessings Monday

Today I am remembering that I am blessed by the change of seasons. God's glory shines forth as new life springs from abundant sources that surround us. Each day I take note of the significant changes that have occurred without our even noticing mid-day. The tree out front has gone from bare to lush green and continues to become fuller each day. K has noticed that one of our mums is reviving in the front flower garden. The birds are singing all the more. The doves have returned to their nest on the corner between our home and the neighbors. It's perfectly placed such that we can enjoy their cooing which excites our kitties beyond belief. Crystal sits by the window and chirps back at them. She circles the dining room, stares at the window, and meows as if she is pining for them. It's so sweet. There are daffodils and crocuses and all sorts of spring-like flowers planted here and there. I love spring. I love to witness the new life of this world and revel in the fact that God has created it with such diversity. His creation is intricate, detailed, and such a magestic display of artistry. What once was bare and appearing desolate has been revived, new, fresh, and vibrant. I love it!

If you'd like to bless many by sharing or be blessed by reading about other's blessings, head on over to Amazing Graze Farm and join us!

Sneak Peak Sunday

Oh my goodness... what a whirlwind of a week this past one has been. Let me re-cap:

Last Thursday: Had the day off. Had car trouble. Special thank you to Paul for helping and giving me a ride. You're the best brother!

Last Friday: Blonde moment of the year - told the mechanic to tow my car from the post office to the shop only I told them the WRONG post office. When I called to confess he said "We were wondering. There are a couple Toyota's here and we were trying to get into them." Funny, but I'm also sorry. Ooops. Left town with Dad in Amanda's car just to find out a couple hours into the trip that I just needed a new battery. Thank the Lord!!! It could have been way worse!

Last Saturday: Had fun galavanting with Wendy. Grocery shopping. Played Starwars on Playstation with Isaac. Lot's of chit-chat, etc.

Last Sunday: Went to church with Cory and the kids. Gave the kiddos gum like a good Auntie. Gaylie chewed hers into her pretty dress. Had a fabulous ham lunch that Wendy prepared. YUMMY! Watched some tv. More chit-chat and lovins from the kiddos.

Last Monday: Braided Esther's hair for school. She's way cute! Had the honor of driving them to school. More galavanting with Wendy. Had an interesting stop at the gas station... shopping... then drove home 5+ hours. UGH!

Last Tuesday: Work & Daniel Bible study at church. Love it! Also got my car back from the shop! Wahoo!

Last Wednesday: Work & rest.

Last Thursday: Work & dinner with an old friend.

Last Friday: Work & Girls Group Bible Study in Butler

Saturday: (just yesterday) Laundry, dishes, groceries, etc. Oh and taxes... don't even get me started!!! Also, K's Mom is very ill. Please pray for her.

Today/Sunday: REST - I got up early and put the coffee on. Then I somehow fell back asleep and we missed church! UGH! Watched the video for the Beth Moore Bible Study that I'll be facilitating at our church starting tomorrow. Did some research. Listened to some music. Made dinner.... Oh My I have to run!!! Got to deliver dinner to Keith at work and make a trip to see my folks!


Thursday, April 03, 2008


I have plans to vacate the area for a few days... What might this entail?

  • No work
  • Little or no phone
  • Probably no internet and thus no C.O.W. Friday, Saturdays Savings, Sneak Peak Sunday and possibly no Blessings Monday... sorry.
  • Some good one on one time with my Dad
  • Some exhilerating greetings from little ones
  • A good bit of driving
  • A whole lot of spoiling, smiling, hugging, and laughing
  • Lots of fun pictures

Can't Wait! Although I shall miss my Handy-hubby. Boo hoo :(

Thankful Thursday

Things I am especially thankful for today...

  • DAY OFF!!!!

  • Sleeping in until 8AM

  • Handy-hubby starting the coffee this morning

  • Time to plan for my weekend trip

  • Our new mail box - yippie!

  • Sunshine with the change of seasons!

Want to share your thankfulness today? Join many others over at Sting My Heart. There is so much to be thankful for.

AND I might just add that Sting My Heart is one of my more recent daily reads... AND... I won a lovely prize package in honor of her Blogger-anniversary!!! I'm delighted, excited, and how sweet that I should win that on the day of MY Blogger Birthday!!!!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday

This is not my original idea. I gleaned several similar ideas from various bloggers over the past few months... but this is what WORKS FOR ME!

I buy ground beef when it is on sale. I put it into a large pan and brown it. Then I freeze it either in reusable containers OR in ziploc bags flattened out so they fit nicely in the freezer. (about a pound per container) I do not season the meat, just brown it. This shaves a ton of time on my meal preparation during the week. In a moments notice I have meat ready for meat-sauce, or lasagna, or tacos, or whatever. Just defrost, season, and there you have it.
I do the same with ground sausage when it is on sale. Then I have it ready for breakfast casseroles or frittatas anytime!

I do the same with bacon. I cook a couple pounds at a time. Then divide it and freeze it. Defrost takes but a moment and its ready for breakfast on the go, to sprinkle on salad, or just for a snack.

Have a handy tip to share? Meet us over at Rocks In My Dryer. She's running a "Greatest Hits" version this week; however I'm only a couple weeks into it... so I don't have a "greates" idea just yet.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Tuesdays With Jen -- My Memoirs

How I Met My Hubby -- Part IV

Need to catch up? Part I -- Part II -- Part III

You might have guessed it. It's time for my new-found friend to pay a visit to the Keystone State. He was home on leave before a big deployment and made his way to Pennsylvania. He met my family and my friends. I took him horseback riding on Peppy one morning. We went to the Farm Show one afternoon and watched the tractor pull. One evening we walked down to the farm where I grew up, kicked back on the bank, and took note of all the stars. I knew I was in trouble when I woke up one morning and found him sitting on the front porch with my dad, smoking a cigarette and talking about army stuff and the Civil War. (Just reinforces the idea that I married my father!) Before he left he asked me if I would marry him someday. I was rather shocked! It was not a REAL proposal. It was simply his way of saying that he was in this for the long haul.

And... In the blink of an eye he was gone again... back to his military base and then on to his deployment. He was headed to Bosnia for about 6 months. There were lots of love letters coming and going, greeting cards, and I even sent him a Christmas package to share with the guys in his tent. It was a warm feeling to find an envelope with his handwriting on it and in it. This was something so much more personal than all those e-mails we had sent in days gone by. He had plenty to say and spoke of various duties of his assignment there. On Thanksgiving day he called me. It was SO GREAT to hear his voice and by this time I missed him SO MUCH that I cried. He was to return to the States in the spring... when we would meet again...