Thursday, February 28, 2008


I saw this on Food Network a while back. I have cooked it a couple of times...what a quick easy treat! Thought I would pass it along:

Hot Pimento Cheese Sandwiches

5 cups of shredded cheese (I mix it up...cheddar, monterey jack, colby, parmsan,etc)
1 jar pimento
1 t. ground pepper
1/2 t. garlic powder
1 t. paprika
4-5 T. Mayo - just enough to hold it all together

Butter the bread and cook just like a grill cheese sandwich. Nice twist on an old traditional grilled cheese.

By the way, I have never really cared for Pimento Cheese the cold way, but really love these!

Today I also made my own Quick Oatmeal! Check it out at:

Happy Eating!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Lately as many of my dreams and wishes are coming true for me, great health, energy, financial freedom, I have wondered why as adults we sometimes forget to dream. I look at my 16 and 15 year old and they think conquering the world is a very reasonable thing. They have such lofty hopes and aspirations. I know I was that way at their age as well, ANYTHING seemed possible.

Maybe it is somewhere between leaving home, going to school, starting to work that the reality of just trying to pay bills and keep up with the everyday stuff of life that our dreams begin to slowly take a back seat. I also think we have a misunderstanding about time and that we will get to it eventually. Only if we just keep doing what we are doing eventually we will run out of time to follow the dreams we desire.

I wish I could put into words the gratitude I feel for getting my life back. It was not that long ago that when I opened my eyes and saw the light of day I thought, "All I have to do is survive a few hours until I am back in this bed again tonight." I was so fearful of HOW I would get thru the day, it was just about surviving for me. Now, I wake up and have so much I want to accomplish I hope the day with magically lengthen itself so I can fit it all in. I used to worry about making it thru the day and now I am dreaming about my wonderful future!!

NEVER give up, NEVER settle - there is so much more out there waiting for you - Dare to dream again!!

Monday, February 25, 2008


Wikipedia says this: "Friendship is a term used to denote co-operative and supportive behavior between two or more humans." Wouldn't the world be a lonely place without it? Mine certainly would. I am very grateful for all of my friends. It seems God sends all different sorts of people into our lives at different times, depending on what each of us need at the time. I think friendship is a little like marriage in that it is rarely 50/50. Sometimes it is 90/10 and sometimes 40/60, etc... In a true friendship there is an alteration of lifting each other up, depending on where we each are. This is my opinion anyway. In a friendship, it is nice to be needed, makes me feel less guilty then when I need to lean on them. Appeases my guilt at not actually being the Superwoman our culture pressures me to be I guess. The truth is, none of us can do it all by ourselves.

I am in a bit of a valley experience in one of my friendships right now. We have been friends for a long time and I am confident with God's help we will resolve this and move forward. If that is what we both want I guess. I want it, but if she doesn't, I can't do much about that. I think in the end we will have a stronger friendship because we have both been able to be honest with each other and move past it. Forgivness is a choice sometimes, not a feeling. I am scared we will not resolve this and I will lose a dear friend. At the same time, I have spent most of my life shelving who I really am because I was so afraid of being rejected. I want to be Michele - the Michele I was born to be - and still be loved regardless of the good or bad. I am for the first time in my almost 40 years not playing the game of being what I thought others wanted and being who I really am. It is scary, because I am far from perfect. I am just me, trying to be the best me I can.

I found all of these in Proverbs 27:

"Wounds from a friend are better than many kisses from an enemy."

"The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense."

"As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend."

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A Whole New World

Well, I have been introduced to a world I never even knew existed before. This weekend we are staying at a hotel and "Scrapbooking". It is an interesting process. I have dabbled with this sort of stuff, mostly because my mom does it and has tried to show me how a few times before. I really didn't know what to expect on arriving. What sort of people do this sort of thing? I kinda expected it to be a lot of older women my mom's age. Actually, they are mostly all around my age or younger. I came with my little bag of pictures and a few pages, stickers, etc... I should have noticed my mom brought a LARGE rolling suitcase, small rolling suitcase, and two other bags. While loading the car, I was astounded she had brought so much stuff for two days. I did not realize at that time it was 1/8 personal items and the rest was all "necessary" items to scrapbook for two days! These women are SERIOUS! I saw a woman whose husband came along just to assist in getting all her "necessary" items into the basement. These women have bags and bags of templates, pages, stickers, etc... During dinner we were surrounded with women using vocabulary words I had never heard before, such as, "Power Palletes". Reagan wispered to me, "It feels like we are at a some sort of Star Trek convention, except these are 'creative memories' trekies"

I wouldn't say it was all for nothing. I have almost finished Elizabeth's baby book, she will be 6 in March. I suppose it is way over due!! So, even though I can not imagine me spending lots of weekends in the future doing this, and boy I pray to not ever be the one who has so much stuff I need a man to help carry it in, I am enjoying time with my mom and my daughter. They are happy, so that alone makes me happy, no matter what we are doing.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I LOVE to Cook!

I realized today that I have never blogged about one of my favorite things in the world - COOKING! When I think back, I started cooking in high school. I remember helping my mom some as a kid, but my mom liked her house clean and cooking with a child is usually a messy process. I guess I helped some, but not enough to remember it much.
Now, cooking is something I love to do. In fact, if I go a day without creating something in my kitchen I have withdrawal. All those years I was sick and couldn't eat anything out of a can or a box I really became quite creative with food. Now, that I can eat anything I want, my love of cooking has just grown and grown. I really enjoy creating food that is enjoyed by others. I don't know if it would be near as fun if I was just cooking for me. I LOVE to cook for friends that are ill. If I hear someone is sick, that is the first thing I think of is that they need a meal for them and their family. I love to cook my kids favorite foods when they are having a bad day. Or even when they aren't!! Today Jake, my 15yr old son, asked for breakfast about 10:30! I thought of all the things I needed to do instead, and then with a smile on my face headed into the kitchen. I am always glad for any excuse not to clean house! As my son sat at the table eating his hot pancakes and sausage, he turned to his sisters and told them he would never get married because women are actually useless. I couldn't believe my ears, after a slight hit in the head with the spatula, he decided they were all useless except his mother. Smart boy!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


You know, we have a saying in our house... "you can take the girl out of Texas, but you can't take Texas out of the girl." Being born there and living there for the first 30 years of my life, I do LOVE Texas. Sometimes I think about living there again, then we go visit and my heart leaps for joy as we cross back over into Montana - every time. I think if it wasn't for all the people and the heat I might go back there. There are just so many people, it all feels closed in to me. I think I just need to expect the unexpected more. You remember that scene in the movie, "Pretty woman", when they are in the bathroom and she is flossing? He tells her that very few people surprise him. Her comeback is, "You are lucky, most of them surprise the hell out of me." I feel like that a lot.

I have never enjoyed being hot. I have a theory, a person can always put on more clothes, but can only take off so many and still be presentable!! Guess maybe that's why Montana suits me. Not many people, in comparison, and only about 6 weeks of hot weather a year. At the same time, I will always hold a place in my heart that belongs to Texas alone. Montana owns the rest of me though.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

"Tell Me Again"

"Tell Me Again"
(Words and Music by Geoff Moore and Steven Curtis Chapman)

A little boy sitting on a metal folding chair,
In what appears to be a Sunday school room.
He could see that shepherd boy, His sling up in the air,
He could feel that giant hit with a boom.
In that room I saw the Red Sea part,
And two by two animals get in the ark.
And Mrs. Keen gently would say,
The God of the past is still God today.

So tell me again of the old, old stories.
Tell me again of the faithful who walked,
In the lions' den and the fiery furnace,
Of Noah and rainbows and donkeys that talked.
I don't want to forget so please, tell me again.

A young man sitting at a desk with a wooden chair,
In what appears to be a high school class.
He can see a battlefield there's giants everywhere
saying, "The Bible is a thing of the past".
In this new age you believe what you want to believe.
'Cause god is whatever you want it to be,
And I can hear Mrs. Keen gently say,
The God of the past is still God today.

So tell me again of the old, old stories.
Tell me again of the faithful who walked,
In the lions' den and the fiery furnace,
Of Noah and rainbows and donkeys that talked.
I don't want to forget so please, tell me again.

How the God of the ages,
Turned history's pages and saw my need.
Tell me again of the shepherds and wise men,
And the star that would lead them to the baby who was born,
So that we could be born again.

Tell me again of the Gospel story.
Tell me again how the whole world was lost.
How the Only Begotten with grace so amazing,
Gave up His life on an old rugged cross.
I don't want to forget so please, tell me
Tell me again of the old, old stories.
Tell me again of the faithful who walked.
How the Only Begotten, with grace so amazing,
Gave up His life on an old rugged cross.
I don't want to forget so please, tell me again.
I dont' want to forget, so please, tell me again.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Post-it notes

My mom gave these to me yesterday - I think they are hilarious!


"I FINISHED YOUR LAUNDRY. The ashes are in the Fireplace."

"I understand the concept of COOKING AND CLEANING, Just not as it applies to me."

"Oh, I'm sorry. You must be confusing me with the maid we don't have."

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Log Cabin

The past few days I have been reading a blog listed in the "blogs of note" column. It is the story of people building a log cabin. You can check it out at
It reminds me of lots of things back when we started this house. Sean went to a log building school in Washington, and came home ready to go! He told me we would be living in our house in 3 months at the longest. Looking back, I wonder why no red flag went up for me. I guess I forgot that he is a perpetual under-estimator of time! Anyway, we boxed up everything we owned except about 5 sets of clothes each and necessities and put it all in storage. To make a long story short, it was 4 years before we saw most of the things from that storage unit! It was a rough few years. I found out I was pregnant with #3 in a port-a-potty!! Anyway, at this point, living here, with lots of equity, I suppose it was all worth it. Well, maybe not all, but most of it anyway.


I really LOVE being a parent most of times. Sure, there are moments when I feel like running away or throwing in the towel, but those are fairly rare in the big scheme of life. I do find at times it is hard to meet each kid where they are and feel I am adequatly parenting them all in the ways they need at all times. I guess this is probably not possible with 3 kids. Which brings up what is on my mind. I have met a lady, who seems to be a really neat person. She has 3 birth kids, 4 adopted siblings from Ukraine, 1 adopted son from Hiati. That is 8 children. We were having quite a discussion about it all. Then the conversation took a turn as she shared they have paperwork in process for 2 girls from Hiati to come home soon... now we are at 10, are you following the numbers here? They are also in the process of choosing a sibling group of 3 from Ethiopia right now. I asked if that would be it she responded, "Well, at that point our 15 passenger van would be full, so I guess that will be it." Now, she talked a lot about God and this being a calling, etc... So, it really is not my place to judge what she and her husband choose to do. I just wonder if it is possible to parent that many kids at once. Many of whom have emotional needs due to their previous experiences. My teenagers refer to them as "child collectors", which is actually a fairly accurate name I guess. I just wonder if it is a calling or is there a mental imbalance somewhere? I truly do not know the answer.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Sisters of the Transfiguration

I wanted to share about the picture on my blog. Did you know there are Episcopal nuns? I didn't until a few years ago. This picture is on the grounds for the Sisters of the Transfiguration. It is an amazing place. The chapel is something you have to see to believe - GORGEOUS on the inside. Lots of carvings, etc... and everything has a meaning. I have a friend here in Bozeman that introduced me to them and she has been an associate for about 20 something years. I did a lot of praying and went thru a probation period and was recieved as an associate last August. It was so special to me. They are the neatest community of women I have ever met!! God has truly blessed me thru my association with them. Check them out at:

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Hard to be good

I wonder why most times it is so easy to do the right things in life, then I have days when it is really a stuggle. Is this human nature or am I just a freak of nature? Today is one of those days. Days when it is hard to just bite my tongue and not tell certain people what I REALLY think. Hard to not let my mind wander and think on things that are just not where my mind should be wandering. Days I want to be selfish and do what I want regardless of the consequences... So, instead of sending that email that I have written twice now and deleted because I know I shouldn't send it, I will blog instead, hoping this will get it out of my system.

The play for Jake and Lizzie is coming along very well. They are both doing great. Jake is one of the oldest, there is one other girl that is 15 in it. The truth is though... he looks like Goliath. I certainly do not think he knows that he is a foot taller than the next tallest person there. He reminds me a bit of Sean's old hunting dog. He was 85 pounds, but would still try to climb into my lap like he did when he was a puppy. Jake seems so large on the outside, yet so small on the inside at times. Today was one of those rare glimpses. There is still a boy lurking inside that man sized body. I am so proud of the man he is becoming, but will always love the boy he was, and am glad to catch a glimpse of it occasionally!

OK...I feel better, maybe I can go and attempt to be the woman God wants me to be instead of the wicked witch of the west that keeps emerging today for some reason!

Valentines Day

I found some interesting things on google this morning. I was wondering the true root of Valentine's day. Well, I knew about St Valentine, but wonder how holidays end up so commercialized. NOT that I don't like that I have a dozen roses and some yummy chocolates waiting for me downstairs, I do. I just wonder how holidays get from something about the people in our lives to what we buy or recieve? Is this truly a way to measure a person's love for us? My hubby doesn't read this, so I can safely tell you that although I am very appreciative of the roses and candy. I would much rather have him give me some time. That would be a true sacrifice, as I know he doesn't have much of it to give. Wouldn't it be cool if he arranged a sitter and asked me out on a date? After 20 years of marriage, guess that is out of the question. Anyway, I already arranged Grandma and will take him out instead, if he decides he has time to go. I will probably get dinner out of it anyway, he will need to eat eventually, right? I am not meaning to rag on my hubby, he is a good man and I am grateful for him...just a romantic thought in honor of St Valentine I suppose...

Here is what I found on google:
"Valentine's Day HistoryThere are varying opinions as to the origin of Valentine's Day. Some experts state that it originated from St. Valentine, a Roman who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity. He died on February 14, 269 A.D., the same day that had been devoted to love lotteries. Legend also says that St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer's daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it "From Your Valentine". Other aspects of the story say that Saint Valentine served as a priest at the temple during the reign of Emperor Claudius. Claudius then had Valentine jailed for defying him. In 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius set aside February 14 to honour St. Valentine.
Gradually, February 14 became the date for exchanging love messages and St. Valentine became the patron saint of lovers. The date was marked by sending poems and simple gifts such as flowers. There was often a social gathering or a ball.
In the United States, Miss Esther Howland is given credit for sending the first valentine cards. Commercial valentines were introduced in the 1800's and now the date is very commercialised."

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


I am hyper today! Tonight one of the corporate Reliv guys, Steve Hastings, will be HERE in BOZEMAN!!! I can't wait!! PLUS lots of friends we only see every few months, but talk to on the phone a lot will be here as well!! It is always good to see these people face to face. The day just seems to be dragging along!! I am just trying to pray and pray. Pray for the people traveling, pray for God to bring the ones who could have their lives changed to the meeting, prayer to just be the servant that God wants me to be today!!

I can't get two things out of my head today....well, besides the meeting of course!! Yesterday I was on a fellow blogger's blog and it has a profile for the Chinese calender. I am a monkey, at the bottom of the monkey's profile it says I should stay away from the Rooster. Sean is a rooster!! HA!! So, we were having a laugh about that... then my two teens got me on a complete profile for the "Scorpio Woman" Yep...I am scorpio, anyway...somewhere in there it said scorpio's keep their house neat and orderly. If they don't, it is because they have deep unhappiness in their life somewhere. OK, people, I am NOT neat or orderly!! I also do not feel unhappy in any way... so, today I have been cracking myself up because I keep wondering, "Am I really deeply unhappy but don't realize it???" LOL!! Pretty fun, huh? I guess I am thinking if I could solve this deep unhappiness then I might become that neat and orderly person that I sometimes long to be!!

I read an interesting scripture today: "God gave Paul the power to do unusual miracles, so that even when handkerchiefs or clothes that had touched his skin were placed on sick people, they were healed of their diseases, and any evil spirits within them came out." Acts 19:11
Pretty amazing how powerful our God is... wonder what the people that touched the handkerchiefs were thinking? They were probably not looking for that form of delivery! I pray I see God's answers to my prayers, no matter how he chooses to deliver me.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Items now found!

From the previous list we have now found:

1.One set of Van keys
2. Elizabeth's Coat
3. Reagan's Wallet
4. Gypsy tickets - boy I was pleasantly surprised - that is a great play if you ever get the chance
to go see it!

Today Lizzie and Jake are auditioning for a play, Robinson Crusoe. It is a theater group that comes into town, works with the kids for a week, then put on the play friday night and saturday morning. It is usually fun. Jake is really excited, mostly because it means no math this week! :)!! This will be Lizzie's first time, bet she ends up loving it. She is a bit of a drama queen. I almost said, just like her brother, but queen wouldn't be appropriate. What is the correct term for a male drama queen???

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Borrowers

I have seen the movie, "The Borrowers" a couple of times. I now know that those little people are living in the walls of our house. Yes, that must be it because it could not possibly be a matter of disorganization on my part, right?

Items we are urgently searching for presently in our house:
1. BOTH sets of keys to my van
2. Reagan's wallet
3. One set of key's to Reagan's truck
4. Jake's Book of Common Prayer
5. Tickets to Gypsy dated Feb 10 (buying them 2 months early, then loosing them defeats the purpose!!)
6. Elizabeth's Coat

So, I hope the borrower's enjoy driving one of the vehicles, while reading Prayers together, staying warm in Lizzie's coat on their way to watch the Broadway edition to Gypsy at the Field house this sunday!!

Thursday, February 7, 2008


"Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough." Franklin D. Roosevelt

"You can't have a better tomorrow if you are thinking about yesterday all the time."
Charles F. Kettering

"If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing." Anatole France

"The heart has eyes that the brain knows nothing of." Charles H. Parkhurst

"There are no shortcuts to any place worth going." Beverly Sills

"Life is for most of us a continuous process of getting used to things we didn't expect."
Martha Lupton

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Lizzie and Chica

Isn't this sweet? Every little girl needs a dog to snuggle with!

Monday, February 4, 2008


Well, tomorrow is Fat Tuesday, then it is Ash Wednesday. So, it is time to figure out what I will sacrifice for Lent. Sometimes I give up something like People magazine, sometimes I add something, like pray for something specific everyday. I am not sure what to do this year. I do not believe across the board everyone should sacrifice for Lent, but I do know for me it brings so much more meaning to Easter. It isn't like a huge, dramatic thing, but during those weeks prior when I am doing a token sacrifice it brings closer to my heart the large sacrifice my Saviour has made for me. I am not crazy about Lent, but Holy Week is the highlight of my year.

I grew up southern baptist and I knew Easter meant that Christ was risen, but it seemed more about the new dress and hat than anything spiritual. There is something amazing of going thru the entire week of services that brings Easter morning an entirely different meaning. It truly feels like a spiritual celebration! I love that.

Whatever I choose to do for Lent will not even come close to what Christ has done for me, well could it!! I just hope during the next few weeks I grow a little more grateful, a little less selfish and a little more into the woman Christ wants me to be.

Saturday, February 2, 2008


It is saturday at 2:30 and I am sitting here in my PJs with NO intention of getting out of them today!! WOO HOO!!! Later I may actally soak in the tub for a bit, then get out and put on clean PJs. I LOVE days like this. I have finished a good book, watched a decent movie, done laundry, made some money, cuddled with Lizzie and Chica! What could be better? I do not really know when I started loving PJs? Maybe I was always this way, but they are my favorite attire. When in a store, some people gravitate to shoes, or clothes, I always end up in the Pajama section.
So, here's to a great PJ day!!

Friday, February 1, 2008


" ' Be encouraged, dear woman, You are made well because you believed.' And the woman was healed from that moment on." Mathew 9:22

I wish I could pass hope on to all those suffering today. Our world is full of dispair. I think sometimes we look around and see those around us with worse problems and feel like we shouldn't be sad or angry or upset because our lives could be so much worse. And that is true...we can always find someone with more problems than us, but that doesn't mean our hurts are not really hurts. Our pain is still real, no matter if it is about relationships, money, health, careers, whatever. I know one thing, that God can and does deliver His children.

If you are feeling dispair today, for whatever reason, have hope! God doesn't want us to stay in that dark place any more than we want to be there. I do think God uses these times to teach us and grow us, if we choose to learn. I know thru my horrible years it was terrible and I wouldn't really choose to go thru it again. At the same time, I am so glad God has brought me to be the person I am today VS. the one I was before. God makes lemonaide out of lemons...and He is really good at it!

How can I extend hope to you? What would I have wanted to hear all those years that I was living in a dark, dark place? "This too shall pass" is a good one, and usually true. I guess more than anything, even though I felt helpless and hopeless, I felt so weak and yet, now from the other side I look back and see that I was filled with strength. Strength and courage to get up each day and face it, whatever it held. God gave me that. Also, NEVER GIVE UP!! Do not buy into that crap that God wants you sick, or fat, or poor, etc... that is NOT what God wants. He wants us to be humble, which does not require any of the above situations! God wants us to live in abundance!! Keep your eyes open and your heart softened, thru lots of prayer and seeking of God. I didn't expect my miracle to be powder in a can... so, don't assume you know how God will choose to deliver you. He is a God of miracles, and sometimes life changing surprises!!

To quote my wise son, Jake - "Jesus - He rolls cool and I am one of His Posse!"