Monday, July 29, 2013

Successfully Cheating

What a title ~ but I guess that accurately describes us right now.  This all liquid (except for sugar free jello..does that count as chewing?) is getting to us ~ big time.  I can successfully make it all day...till about dinner time.  I am not really hungry ~ but just feel we have cheated, a little.

We have bought 2 salads from Subway on 2 different days.  They contain lettuce, spinach, bell pepper, a little tomato,  turkey & cheese.  Each salad is 110 calories & we split 55 calories each.  We do our own dressing with is sugar free, carb free, cholesterol free, etc....and amazingly not taste free.  Or we do the red or white wine vinegar.  We've also baked some fish and split the fillets.

So with all that being said....this last week I lost 4.8 pounds.  Added to the previous week and what I lost before we even started, I am up to 16.8.  Whoo hoo....throw the confetti....pop balloons or whatever!  So that's the total for the month of July ~ I pray August is just as successful~

So far, so good!

Friday, July 26, 2013

A little bit of Everything

My green beans are flourishing ~ well the plants are lush and healthy, the beans are few and far between.  I did pick enough yesterday to can 4 pints.  I also canned some butter peas I had in a huge bag in the freezer, got 7 quarts of them.

I am trying to clean out the freezer and can a bunch of stuff.  Next is a huge bag of peaches we bought for jelly/jam.  They are thawing now.  After room is made in the freezer, Amy is going to have a cooking day for her and Will.  Since Greg and I started this diet/lifestyle change, she has taken over the cooking.  Then she can make some larger batches of food and freeze in smaller portions for lunches or dinners.

We took our 32 pound "puppy" to the vet the other day for her last set of puppy shots.  She won the vet and nurse over with her sweetness & then got home and went crazy again.  She has got lots of energy.  Chasing tennis balls and swimming in the pool are favorites of hers.

Pssst, I've made it to the last side of the quilt ~ the end is near!  But I am not rejoicing too loudly yet ~ just when I think I am nearing completion, I usually find a block I missed.

I've got some sewing projects going.  Amy and I have a glorious mess upstairs....buts its our mess ~ and we mostly know where everything is.  Amy is working on a machine quilted baby quilt to put in the fair & she made a cute owl potholder the other day that she is going to hand quilt.

Evenings are spent quilting, reading, or looking at goodies on Pinterest.  I've got far more projects and ideas that I've got time or money!  Inspiration is fun!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Just stuff!

We are plugging along here!  The temps are a little cooler than normal for the summertime ~ but that's ok with me....its still in the 90's just not the 100's.

I guess our bodies are adjusting to the diet.  We seem to have a bit more energy and for the majority of the time, we aren't hungry.  It was a bit discouraging yesterday to step on the scales at the dr. office and their scale only showed a 2 pound drop.  But, it was late morning and I had already had my morning shake, 20 ounces of water, and a coke zero.  Next week, we are going at 8...this is too hard to be discouraged by a scale.  But our scales at home show a 12 pound loss since the end of June! 

Back to school stuff is everywhere ~ I think its funny that in the middle of the aisle of back to school supplies is a huge display of candy.  Lets pump them full of sugar and then expect them to listen....that isn't going to end well for the teacher or the students!  Here in Miss., school got out in May and will resume in 2-3 weeks.  I just think it was much easier when we were little....we got out the Friday before Memorial Day and resumed the day after Labor Day.  We are slowly cleaning out some of our homeschool supplies and gifting others.  But there is lots more to clean!

We've got another wedding on the horizon ~ the end of September.  My Allen & Jennifer are getting excited about their big day.  2 more months and I will have another daughter!  I'm working on some projects for them, but can't share any details yet.

My hand quilting is coming along.  But I really think those squares are multiplying and dividing overnight ~ everynight.  The quilt only has 4 sides...but everytime I "think" I am finishing a side and about to start the last isn't the last side.  So at this point, I am going to be shocked when its actually done!

Time to go get something done!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Testimony from Street Reach

The following testimony was written by the site Missionary ~ the site where our kids served last week~

 " It was a great week at Whittier!  Grace Baptist Church came with an unstoppable passion to see these kids change.  Several times in the week, team members expressed their desire to keep going despite the opposition*, they followed through perfectly.  Its almost as if the spiritual attacks were heightened this week against Whittier, which only encouraged the team more.  Knowing they were being opposed because something great was happening at Bible club, the team gave every part of themselves and poured loved on the kids in an amazing way.  And this love was evident to the kids.  They retained the Bible stories and were able to tell me the moral of the lesson each day, and each kids loved this weeks crafts, which enforced the Bible stories further.  The kids kept coming back each day despite the increasing heat, probing that the team had something they likes.  This wee, a lot of kids seemed to be broken hearted over the fact that summer is nearing its end, and many of them begged Grace Baptist to stay until the end.  This week in itself was a testimony to what God can do when we keep going and keep trusting Him, and because of this kids were able to be reached for Christ in a unique way, and a couple of the kids even ended u getting into one-on-one conversations with the team about who Jesus is and how to know Him."  Hannah

Our team got back Friday ~ honestly ready to go again.  And I think given the chance...they would not have come home.  The attacks against the group were quite intense last week ~ started with a leader stepping in a hole and badly spraining her ankle, first thing on Monday morning...then proceeded to one of our youth falling and dislocating his knee, another with a stomach virus, several colds and runny noses & and the temperature outside increased steadily.  Amy came home with a cold/allergy and has been taking meds all weekend.  All of these were spread out over the week.  One of the Street Reach Summer Missionaries told out team that they held the record for the most "injuries" to one team during a week ~ not really a record anyone wants to beat! 

They gave a report to the church yesterday morning on the trip ~ sniffling, sneezing, on crutches, and one in a wheel chair...looking a little battered and still tired.  The slide show right after the presentation was wonderful,  lots of our kids lovin' on and playing with these children.

At the end of the service the Pastor read the above testimony to the congregation! 

I am proud of the dedication, determination, courage, and energy our team had ~ for the whole week ~ in spite of the building opposition from the enemy.  What the enemy meant for harm & evil ~ the Lord used for His Glory.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Eating Low Carb

So eating low carb is going to be our new way of life, after the "diet" portion of this weight loss journey ~

Greg found these recipes online and shared them with me ~~~~~

     Fake Big Mac   
Description: Craving a Big Mac? I was too, this did the trick!
Ingredients: 1/2 lb hamburger
2 cups shredded lettuce
1 tbs dehydrated chopped onions
10 dill pickle slices (chopped)
2 slices american cheese
3 tbs low carb Thousand Island dressing
How To Prepare: Place dehydrated onions in a small cup of warm water to rehydrate.
Place lettuce and pickles in a bowl.
Brown hamburger over medium heat.
Drain, leave in a little of the grease, then stir in cheese until melted. It should coat the hamburger.
Immediately pour hot hamburger over salad and stir.
Drain chopped onion, and stir into salad.
I like to microwave my salad for a minute to warm everything up.
Stir in Thousand Island dressing.
Number of Servings: 1-2
Carbs per serving - include all nutritional information if known: 4
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Effort (Easy, Average, Difficult): Easy
    Fake Potato Salad  
Ingredients: 3 cups cooked cauliflower
3-5 cooked,chopped eggs
1-2 cup mayo
1/2 cup diced dill pickles
2 TSP diced onion
2 TSP pickle juice
Yellow Mustard to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
How To Prepare: Cook the cauliflower and eggs then drain, then add all the ingredients and put in the refrigerator overnight. This recipe tastes so good, you will have a hard time believing it is not the real thing!
Number of Servings: 4-6
Effort (Easy, Average, Difficult): Easy

So how come they both sound good?  Even though I haven't gotten a Big Mac in years & years and I don't even like cauliflower?
Oh well~ this is an interesting journey....all 5 days so far ~ and many, many more to go!
Who knew that sugar free jello could taste so scrumptious?  Or all the flavors they have now.....lemon, lime, black cherry, strawberry, orange, cherry, etc. 
Tips to help with this journey ~ have lots of variety on hand of what we can eat, or drink, the powder mix-ins for water are wonderful, and I unfollowed all my "food" or "recipe" boards on Pinterest. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

So What Do You Do?

Greg took off from work, the first 3 days of our new lifestyle ~ which was great!

We've had our ups and downs, have been tired, have drunk gallons of water, swam/floated in the pool, read books, worked on my quilt, clipped some bushes, walked the dog, washed all our cups/spoons/bowls from our liquid nutrition.  Oh, and lost weight.  I am up to 8 pounds now (since returning from the mission trip) and Greg is up to 18 (I think!) ~ motivation to keep going! 

We've also amassed a large collection of sugar free jello, been through the grocery store reading labels, cleaned out the fridge, rearranged all the fridge shelves to be Greg/Donna friendly, and put our blender through a workout. 

So far we like the chocolate shake (my fave), the vanilla shake (Gregs fave), the hot chocolate (both of us like this), the cheddar broccoli soup, the cream of chicken soup, and Greg likes the lemon pudding.  There is also a chocolate pudding and its ok ~ the first night it was nasty, the second night I added some of my Honduran Vanilla and that made it better but still not quite good.  We can add spices to stuff as long as we read the labels and keep up with carbs/calories we added some of our homemade taco seasoning to the cream of chicken soup ~ yum!

Oh....we've also been texting/talking to our kids at Street Reach ~ they are having a great time!  Mondays afternoon project was The Senior Center, Tuesdays was playing outdoor games with the kids at one of the sites, and yesterdays was the community center.  Last night was their free night for fun so they went to play lazer tag and went out to eat dinner.

Friday morning will be their last day at the site.  And after lunch they will head home. 

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Journey Has Begun

I blogged Friday about us starting our weight loss journey!  And I appreciate the supportive comments very much!

Monday was our blood work, counseling, dr. appt., etc.  We had to "fast" for the bloodwork...which was fine but our appts. weren't until 1 pm.  That made the morning just a little rough.

We got there filled out everything and had all our sessions with everyone. Oh, they did an EKG on each of us.  First I have ever had done. They tried to do Greg's bloodwork but his veins were not cooperative ~ at all.  My bloodwork went well.

We got all our liquid nourishment packets and headed to the car.  This diet is liquid meal replacements.  Shakes, puddings, and soups.  Its all formulated to give you all the vitamins, minerals, carbs, etc. that you need for a day. 

We had bottled water and Coke Zero in a cooler in the car.  We immediately set to mixing our first shake in our handy dandy blending cups.  By this time it was 3 ~ first anything we had all day and it was yummy! 

Then we have 10 carbs we can "add" on our own...along with a list of ideas.  I am very thankful that iced tea sweetened with Stevia is a "free" food.  After not chewing anything at all since Sunday night ~ I have thoroughly enjoyed my piece of Trident gum and my sugar free jello! 

We went back to the office today and got Greg's bloodwork done.  So we are done with bloodwork for 2 weeks!

After a week or 2, there are some meal bars that we can add and not have to just drink everything. 

Every week we go weigh in, get our meal packets, and see a nurse.  Every other week, we will have bloodwork done along with the other stuff...and see the dr.

And speaking of the dr. ~ turns out she has been on mission trips with our family dr. and she & Greg were on the same team in 1996....small world!

We are going to use this blog as our journal, of sorts.

Heres to liquid meal replacements!    CHEERS!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Our Mission Team to Street Reach

I am so proud of our Street Reach team. These kids could have gone to a beach somewhere or a mountain retreat ~ but this is the 3rd year in a row they have chosen to go to Memphis for hands on ministering to inner city children.  They will have a hot, exhausting, fun, exhilarating week!  And Street Reach has added 5 new sites to their ministering ~ they have a total of 13 sites.  Our children have requested the same neighborhood they had last I hope they get that site!  Amy has been keeping up with Street Reach through their blog and she is so excited to get up there!

They go with our prayers and our love!

Friday, July 12, 2013

A New Journey

Greg and I are embarking on a new journey ~ one we are excited about, apprehensive of, nervous about, and many other emotions. 

This will be a journey that will hopefully, prayerfully result in a new Donna and a new Greg. 

At least appearance wise ~ healthwise too.

Our weight loss journey is officially beginning on Monday.

Why wait till then?

Because we both have dr. appt. for lots of blood work and tests at a local hospital before we join their program.

We went to an orientation last night ~ there were 3 of us in there (I would have preferred just the 2 of us and the counselor/cheerleader).  We listened, we read the material, we brought the sample meal replacement things home and "fixed" them for dinner.  The #3 person came and left with the assumption she was going to do the lap band surgery.  She didn't seem at all interested in the diet part.

We both have health issues that are necessitating these changes.  Mine would include but at not limited to osteo arthristis.  Also, blood sugar, cholesterol, acid reflux. 

We set a goal ~ mine is high!  Reaching these goals would mean we would weigh much less than we have in 30 years or so. 

Where won't be a weight given (that part is personal!)!  But I did install a tracker to keep up with pounds lost.

What I need ~ prayer, encouragement, excitement. 

What you may hear over the coming months ~ my excitement, some sharing, and probably some moaning and groaning! 

Oh, this is all through a local hospital, is going to be medically supervised (dr. nurses, and labs).  And we are doing it together ~ our own support group!

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Here are some projects we've completed or are working on completing.....

restrung our fancy lights on the back deck beside the pool

the quilt is about 2/3 done ~ got 1 top and 1 side to complete, then the binding

Rosie and her bucket ~ she loves toys

our floating cooler ~ because Rosie will help herself to whatever is on the side of the pool

Gregs Ford Hubcap clock her made!  Its hanging on the back porch!

Our Pinterest inspired Hubcap flowers! 

Rosies giant outdoor playpen ~ keeps her out of mischief while we are away from home.

Antique rocking chair Greg refinished & redid the seat of the chair.  Now it needs a cushion for the back.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

True Confession

I've always been intimidating by the thought of making Gravy.
Why?  No clue!
I guess I thought it was too hard!  Or would be lumpy!  Or wouldn't taste good!
Or the fact that my Mom makes amazing gravy, so why learn?
I did find a homemade mix for the white gravy that you put on biscuits & Greg likes this gravy on mashed potatoes. Its a very easy gravy, but I do make it ahead of time and save because of the variety of spices in it.  Just saves time in the kitchen!  Plus we put it on country fried steak whenever I feel like a greasy kitchen ~ maybe once or twice a year.
For everything else I wanted/needed gravy for ~ I bought the little organic packets and followed the directions.  Easy enough.
Then it happened ~ Greg made gravy from a church dinner and everyone loved it.
So I had a choice...let the gravy making switch from my Mom to my husband.
Or bite the bullet and start making it ~ either works for me.
I did finally make it ~ and have made it twice now, with good results.  Last night was a little lumpy but nothing that my immersion blender couldn't take care of. 
My favorite things to put gravy on....
roast beef
ct. fried steak
but my very favorite is
Cornbread dressing at Thanksgiving!
Ahhhh, confession time is over!
Happy Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

"I Am The Lord" acrostic

†~ Exodus 20:2-17. ~†~ The Ten Commandments ~†These 10 words convey a lot of thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

Idolatry ~ everyone has idols whether we admit it or not....what about your job, paycheck, children, sports, bank account, home, holidays, family traditions,  possessions.  Its ok to have all these things but keep it in perspective ~ they are blessings from the Lord in your life....not things to worship.

Adultery ~ Almost any tv show, country song, or gossip can glamorize this.  The Lord says NO.

Murder ~ don't do it ~ to any age ~ young or old.

Take ~ Thou shalt not steal....if its not yours, don't take it.

Honor ~ Children obey/honor your parents...This applies to all of us who are someones child.  I am still my mothers child, even though I am married, out of the home, a mom and a grandma.  No where in the Bible does it tell us to not obey, listen, honor, respect our parents after we are grown, married or established in our own households.  (My personal belief is that when you are grown, on your own, "obey" is not applicable, you are responsible for you ~ however the honor/respect applies at any age)

Envy ~ are we happy when good things happen to others or do we complain/gripe/whine?  I think we are probably all guilty of this at one time or another.  The Lord blesses his Children in different ways and at different times.  We need to be content in our circumstances and not envious of others.

Lie ~ or could be shown as stretch the truth, leave out details, gloss over what really happened, hide the truth ~ just be truthful....then you don't have to remember what you said to who, when, and about what ~ tell the truth

One ~ there is only one God.  He is the creator, author, and perfecter of our Faith. 

Rest ~ actually this doesn't mean sleeping in on Sunday.  Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy (this is the only 1 of the 10 commandments not repeated in the New Testament).  For us, this means to set aside Sunday as our day of Worship, family time, and rest.  Most Sundays we can accomplish this easily ~ others we aren't so successful at...however those are few and far between.

Disrespect ~ Don't take the Lords name in vain.  Don't toss it around, use as part of profanity, or as an exclamation to make a point.  There are 3 little letters that are used frequently ~ you hear them anywhere you go, see them on pins on pinterest, hear them on tv shows.  The next time I hear "Oh my God" as an idle comment ~ I would love to hear a voice from heaven booming out ~ WHAT?  You keep calling me!  (but that's just the way my mind is working).  Many claim not to believe in God, but use his name all the time.  Words have meanings, be careful.  (I have been guilty of this when younger, thinking it didn't mean anything ~ it does, I've repented)

I found the poster on Pinterest.  The commandments aren't in order as given in the Bible but the acrostic "I Am the Lord" is an effective way of memorizing them.

Monday, July 8, 2013


Life is wonderfully....normal!

Having a working son means we are adjusting to his schedules and his available times to help with household duties.  He is loving his paycheck every week and with Dads help, managing his finances, paying some of his own bills, and saving for the future.

Amy tried out a new cookie recipe the other day.  She found it on Pinterest (haha, that's where we find everything!).  Its a soft iced lemon cookie.  And its large!  Just a little smaller than a dessert plate.  The recipe made about 10 cookies.  Next time, she is going to use less dough for each cookie to make them a little smaller.  But the first time she followed the recipe, exactly.  The Tapleys already approved of the cookies.  I know Mom and Brenda will like them too.

We added to our family a couple of weeks ago....Rosie!  She is a 17 week old black lab/boxer mix.  Some church friends of ours were moving and couldn't take her to the new home.  Its funny to watch her with the Chihuahuas, she doesn't realize that she isn't one and tries to do what they do and run where they run.  Doesn't work out too well for her.  Amy is having fun training her and walking ~ although sometimes Rosie is stubborn about the walking part.  And Rosie loves to swim in the pool! 

I've taken my quilt out of the quilting frame upstairs and carried it down to the den with my quilting hoop, thread and needles.  I am determined to get it done ~ and brought it downstairs to stare at me, be in the way, and annoy me till its finished.  Unfortunately when I took it out of the frame, I saw that I had not finished what I thought I had.  Oh well, whats another 4 - 12 squares?  But it will get done.  I should have thought of this last winter and brought it down instead of waiting till summertime and the Mississippi heat.  This could very well be the last queen size quilt I ever do. 

Greg cooked for us all weekend!  He has perfected his homemade fried rice and we did stir fry last night.  On Sat. he grilled us some awesome hamburgers and we ate by the pool (thanks to our Citronella candle that tried to keep the skeeters away).  And on the 4th we had ribs, corn on the cob, and baked beans.  Yum!

Our house projects included building a chain link fence dog run for Miss Rosie (her own little area away from the other dogs).  Its a giant Rosie sized playpen for when she gets a little to rambunctious for the other dogs!  And Sat. Greg and Will installed a new garage door opener.  Ours bit the dust,  had a minor explosion and billowing smoke.....all clear indications that we needed to replace it.  Its done and the new one is so quiet! 

While they were installing, I decided to look through old pictures.  Wow!  Have all my kids changed!  My walk down Memory Lane was was great to see how the kids have changed and grown/matured ~ but sad that they aren't still as close to either us or each other. 

My fridge has pictures in magnetized clear acrylic frames and I am going to change them out and put some of the ones I found in them. 

I could get very used to 4 days weekends!  We got lots done and had our fair share of time just floating in the pool, reading books, and watching a little tv.! 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

One Nation Under God

Pictures taken by me in Albion, New York ~ last week in June 2013.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Some Menu's from last week

Breakfasts ~ 
2 mornings ~ scrambled eggs, pancakes/syrup, sausage, grits/oatmeal, fruit, drinks
2 mornings~ scrambled eggs, biscuits, sausage gravy, fried ham or sausage patties, grits/oatmeal, fruit, drinks
other morning ~ scrambled eggs, fried grits, sausage or bacon, grits/oatmeal, fruit, drinks

The fruit was usually Apples or Bananas.  Drinks were milk, chocolate milk, oj, coffee, and soft drinks.  There were also bagels/cream cheese, and breakfast bars available. 

Lunches ~
sandwich fixins' ~ breads, mayo, mustard, lunch meats, cheeses
+ with the donation of food stuff from the host church we added ~ baked trout (oh my goodness, yummy), large fresh salad, tortellini & tomato sauce, Gregs special concoction of au gratin potatoes with ground beef, Mexican lasagna (leftovers from Mexican night), dirty rice with sausage
Desserts ~ cookies, brownies, banana pudding, etc.

Dinners ~
*Sunday night was: Baked Ham, Sweet Potato Casserole, Peas, rolls, salad & desserts
*Monday night was: Barbeque chicken, baked beans, corn on the cob, salad, buns to make a barbeque sandwich, salad & desserts
*Tuesday night: Roasted Pork Loin, green beans & potatoes, salad, raw vegies, rolls, & desserts
*Wed night: Mexican ~ chicken/cheese enchiladas, build your own tostadas with seasoned ground beef, refried beans, black beans, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, cheeses, chips & salsa, raw vegies/dip, desserts

We used our leftovers ~ Sunday nights leftover baked ham was cut up and used for the fried ham at breakfast, leftover sausage was used in the dirty rice, the leftovers from Mexican night were all layered like a lasagna into a turkey roaster pan and reheated for lunch on Thursday as Mexican lasagna (the dish was pretty well wiped clean).

There was always coolers available with water bottles, soft drinks, drink kegs of tea, koolaid, and Gatorade.  Snacks were available all the time at the church ~ chips, vegies, fruit, cookies, etc.

We usually set a limit on the ## of pieces you can get going through the line the first time....2 pancakes, 2 sausage patties, 2 enchiladas, etc.  This insures the folks at the back of the line get to eat also....not just the teens at the front of the line!  After everyone goes through the line ~ we open it up for 2nds or 3rds.  Then any leftovers, get turned into something new.

Our sample daily schedule was:
Wake at 6
In kitchen by 6:30
Breakfast at 7:30
Clean up ~ leave church at 8:20 or so
Make a grocery/walmart run for drinks, ice, etc.
To the other church by around 10
Start fixing lunch to serve at 12:30 (everything is served buffet style)
Clean up
Start working on dinner to serve at 4:30
Relax for a few minutes and wait to get our ride back to the other* church for the night...around 8:30.

The rest of the team did Backyard Bible Clubs in 2 parks ~ they fed the kids sandwiches, chips, cookies, and water/koolaid.  This was from 10-noon everyday.
They also did Block Parties (bashes) everynight.  6-8 (that's why we served dinner at 4:30)  at the bash ~ they grilled hamburgers/hotdogs, had water/koolaid, cotton candy & popcorn.
This was a very low income area and the decision was made for food to be served instead of just a cookie/koolaid snack ~ then some of the kids took the leftovers home. Many parents came to both sessions and followed the team around for the morning kids clubs & evening bashes.

Our team was hosted by 2 churches!
One church we slept at and had breakfast at. *This was the church trying to establish another congregation in Albion.  The Pastor is from the Seneca Reservation, he has one church on the reservation and the other at the church we resided at. 

Then we traveled to the other church (about 30 miles away) that let us use their commercial kitchen all day (what a blessing & treat!)

**We had 2 kitchens to set up and this stretched us a bit.  But the church we spent the day at, had everything we needed and let us use whatever we wanted so next year will be easier to set up.

We do have a per person food budget for the week.  Shopping at warehouse stores, a restaurant supply store and Walmart help keep the food costs in check ~ plus reusing our leftovers.  We were also blessed with a large bread supply from our host church, and "charity" food for our team from the other church.  The Albion church gets a shipment of 800 pounds of food every Monday and Friday (food almost out of date, dented cans, etc) to give out.  They invited our team to go through the boxes and take out what we could use.  The families that came to help unpack the truck, then divided up all the rest of the food & left with lots per family.  With our food, we were able to supplement our lunches, add some desserts, and fill 2 requests for food from folks who came to the door asking.  On Fridays the church has a soup kitchen and regularly feed over 300 folks ~ these folks are able to take home the food from the shipment on Fridays.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Pictures (finally got everything downloaded!)

G bought us new air mattresses!  Its self inflating and 18" thick ~ very comfortable!

Pancake flipper

for our Family Eagle Scouts ~ James, Allen, Brian & Billy ~ taken on a Seneca Reservation

Many beautiful farms in western New York ~ they are gorgeous!

Super Moon in New York

One of our dinners ~ barbeque chicken, baked beans & corn on the cob

Salsa, Chips, raw vegies, Dip & Hummus

Amy "helping" with the dishes!

Mission Master Chef ~ Gregory!

We are trying to figure out how to get one of these 90 second dishwashers at home!  Amy liked doing the dishes in NY!

chicken/cheese enchiladas

the clearest picture I got of Horseshoe Falls ~ Canada

the girl "met" a Mountie ~ He was speechless!

Choc-o-holic to the core!

Designer Ponchos from "Maid of the Mist" ~ we got soaked not drenched!

Hello Niagara Falls ~ Canadian side

Bridal Veil Falls

Bucket List Item checked off ~ standing in 2 countries at the same time ~ US & Canada

Monday, July 1, 2013

Things I Learned/Remembered for Mission Trips

Things I learned or remembered for Mission Trips ~

*Days are LONG

*Sometimes schedules don't work

*Plans are great but be flexible

*People everywhere are longing for friendship, a friendly smile, a hug, a positive word, encouragement.

*Its not about us

*We need to get ourselves and our egos out of the way so the Lord can work through us and through situations.

*Teamwork is essential.

*No whining, backbiting, pouting or strong language

*Drink plenty of water or Gatorade (2 got dehydrated last week)

*Eat vegies & fruit, plus the meat & starches ~~~ not just junk.

*Help wherever you see a need ~ even if its not "your job" ~ we appreciated all the extra kitchen help last week when the rest of the team had downtime.  The dishwashing, chopping vegies, making salad, etc. was all a blessing to us.

*Rest when you can. 10 minutes with your feet propped up can work wonders on your energy level and your attitude.

*Don't assume anything.

*Blessings come unexpectedly.  We were blessed with free food to prepare for the group through a donation from the host church.  Our team then got a hot entrĂ©e for lunch in addition to the sandwich fixings.

*The "strangers" you got on the bus with to travel to the destination are "friends" by the time you ride the bus back home.

*Its awesome to watch your children grow in their confidence with ministry and service. Amy worked on a VBS team, worked with the blockparties, and helped in the kitchen ~ morning, noon and night.

*It takes all types of people & their gifts to make an effective team.

*Not everyone has the same convictions as you do with regards to many different issues.  We need to make sure ours are based on the Bible and its teachings.

*Make time to pray & read the Bible.  It is possible to get up and get going and not stop till you drop in the bed.  Its better to spend some time with the Lord and rely on Him.

*Watching my husband cook & create over the course of a week is fun.  As one gal said "He can take normal ingredients and turn them into something you never expected." ~ which in these cases was really tasty.

*Pack what you need and use what you pack.  Don't overpack.  Or in our case this week ~ we underpacked a few things and needed to make a Walmart run.

*Expect to be tired ~ it will happen.

*Keep good records of what you fixed and how much ~ it will be helpful on future trips.  We are going back next year.

That's all I can think of right now.  I am sure more will jump into my head at unexpected moments!

Happy Monday & Happy July 1st!