Sunday, February 19, 2012

My Favorite Vacation...

We think we first went in 1998 or it might have been 1999 - so sad that we really cannot remember.  But what we do remember was from that point on - we have been each year since....

Las Vegas, Nevada.

The first few years we stayed at the south end of the strip, we have never stayed downtown, and now we love the north end.  We have seen the implosion of the Sands, the renovation of the Tropicana, the change of the front of the MGM, the building of so many - including Mandalay Bay, The Wynn, Trump Towers, Center City (Aria & Cosmopolitan), Paris, Bellagio, Venetian, and the list will go on and on.  We love the Cirque du Soleil shows and we've seen Penn & Teller (not our favorite), Blue Man Group (not so much that one either), and many of the traditional Vegas shows (our first year we saw the motorcycles in the round cage - that was amazing!).  We did not see the tiger show before it moved and female taxi cab drivers make us very nervous.

And - we do not walk to the casino next door!  We tried that one year and hours later - we found a cab.

We have some favorite restaurants - although the days of cheap (good) food and constant drinks if you are playing are somewhat gone.  Hash Hash A Go Go is one of my favorites - Twisted Farm Food (how cool is that), the steakhouse at TI was our choice for Russell's birthday, the Rio Seafood Buffet is our all time favorite and I love every buffet that exists but my all time favorite is the one at the Luxor.

We enjoy this vacation with Kevin & LynDee.  They have been joining us in the desert since our second year.  Since our boys were all so little we promised them that we would take them for their 21st birthday.  We owe Son one his trip - we are going in October of 2012 - he wants to see the PBR World Finals (2011 would not have worked - they are the week before his birthday!)

2008 - Nephew two's Birthday Steak Dinner - our waiter was an Ohio State guy....

2012 - The Big Nasty - we met them at Harrah's and they live in Lufkin!  Gary is a radio talk show host (The Big Nasty).  We had dinner (their treat) at Nobu's - absolutely wonderful Sushi!

2012 - Sushi - I don't remember the name of the dish - but it was amazing!

I LOVE Batman!  These guys were on the sidewalk outside of Caesar's - Kerry said it is wrong to laugh when the Joker is trying to slice your throat. (2012)

Our Vegas Trip Partners.....2012

I do love the bright lights of that city.  I find it absolutely amazing to think of Vegas in the early years (Elvis, the mob being in control of every casino, and the old stage shows...) - we enjoy meeting people and playing blackjack, craps, and roulette and just recently I have sort of figured out how to wager on basketball games.  We might have won some money that first trip..... I am still waiting for the next time I win!  Until then our family enjoys a world that is so totally different from our own!

Side Note:  This year the most amazing thing happened on our trip.  I have been reading (as you  know) - the book 1000 Gifts - and the word that Ann Voskamp uses quite frequently is eucharisteo.  It is a Greek word - I have looked it up online to hear the correct pronunciation.  Thanks to my brother in law- we always know about the taxi cab drivers.  This time our driver from the airport was from Greece!  And I remembered to ask him how to pronounce their word for "Thank you".

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

B12 & A Woman

We serve an amazing God.

If you are a close friend of mine you probably know that I haven’t felt great in a while.  My family rolls their eyes when I say I don’t feel well.  They aren’t trying to be inconsiderate – but they are right I have said it for a while!  I decided I had to find out what was going on after I gained weight even though I wasn’t eating wrong.  I know that I don’t exercise enough – but I have just really felt like I just did not have the energy.  And I know if I would exercise – I would have more energy – what a vicious cycle.

So these symptoms have led me down every imaginable path.  Several years ago I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes so I really felt like I would find those numbers to be closer to the diabetic range.  I have cut out most sugar, counted carbs and really tried to evaluate what was causing me issues.  There is no doubt that I have to watch what I eat – so I have made more of a concentrated effort to add lots of vegetables and fruits and just do a better job at eating healthy.

Vitamin B12 deficiency.  I don’t know why and we ruled out some of the major causes (Celiac Disease) but at least we can treat this condition.  So shots I will begin.  But that’s not really why I am blogging about this.  (and really – nothing else was a concern, cholesterol levels were good, blood sugar normal, thyroid normal….. )

I have mentioned that I get up early and enjoy this time to be alone in my home when it is quiet.  I enjoy thinking about our 1000 Gifts but I have noticed that I haven’t really been reading an actual devo and looking at His word.  So I found my favorite devo Bible and added that back in today.  It just so happens
the book marker was on a Wednesday.  So I read…..

The devo began telling about this woman who was exhausted and just had no idea what was wrong to cause her conditions – she knew God was in control and her strength grew as she trusted God.  Then the writer talked about the woman who touched the cloak of Jesus.  Matthew 9:20-22 has the account – 2 verses – that’s all.

I want to know more.  I want to hear that woman’s testimony.  What an incredible story she has – she knew that touching Jesus was all she had to do – just touch his garment – and I love what happened next….

Jesus turned – caught her at it. (The message version). 

He wanted her to know that he knew her – He took time for just her.

He wants us to know that He knows when we are reaching.

He turns and catches us. 

Courage, daughter (or son).  You took a risk of faith, and now you are well

The woman was well from then on.

We have faith, we reach to touch Jesus, He sees us – acknowledges our leap and 
we are never the same.


Last night we celebrated a sweet girl's 5th birthday.  Her family knows all too well how one can have faith, reach Jesus and never be the same.  We are blessed to call them friends.

Sweet Family!

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Labels, pages, formatting - I am clueless!

Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Romans 12:13
This whole blog thing is just a self taught process for me.  I really have no clue what I am doing in terms of formatting these pages and such.  I read other blogs - and try to copy some of the formatting but I am really clueless.  So today when I wanted to start sharing recipes and such - I tried to create a page for this - but that wasn't really what I wanted so I am just going to do an entry each time I want to share a recipe- and I will just "label" it so that you can find the recipes if you like!!!

My favorite recipes began in this recipe notebook that I got when I got married ......

Our favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Patsy Dollar is the mom of 2 of my students - Toby and Ryan.  I remember the boys bringing her chocolate chip cookies to school for "Cultural Events".  They are so wonderful!  We have adapted over the years - my boys do not like nuts so ours do not have pecans - and now I make them in my Pampered Chef baking stone and have chocolate chip bar cookies.  

We finally purchased a house warming gift using our Williams-Sonoma gift card (yes we received the card in 2005!) - anyway - here is what I bought:

I LOVE eggs!

Beer Bread - so good with just about any evening meal (steaks, grilled chicken) - the "sr" is for self rising flour.  I also do not recommend using dark beer - just regular is best.

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.