Thursday, November 13, 2008

Just the good stuff

So I will leave you with the good stuff:

God is higher than anything and anyone,
outshining everything you can see in the skies.
Who can compare with God, our God,
so majestically enthroned,
Surveying his magnificent
heavens and earth?
He picks up the poor from out of the dirt,
rescues the wretched who've been thrown out with the trash,
Seats them among the honored guests,
a place of honor among the brightest and best.
He gives childless couples a family,
gives them joy as the parents of children.
~Psalm 113:4-9 (The Message)

A refusal to correct is a refusal to love;
love your children by disciplining them.
~Proverbs 13:24 (The Message)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Running on Fumes

In exactly three hours from now I will leave my favorite place on earth, my home, to catch a horribly early flight to Houston. Blah!

And yes, I'm not going to bed tonight. In fact, I still have to pack. And yes, I did get up at 5:00 am this morning. And yes, I did work a twelve hour day today. And yes, I did submit two grant reports before I left tonight. And yes, I am seriously considering quitting my job. And yes, I have officially used this platform to complain to anyone willing to listen.

So whoopty-do, I fly to Houston and stay in this hoteleat at this restaurant and sit in this hot tub Even after looking at these pictures, I'd still rather stay home. In fact, I suddenly feel the urge to belt out Sinaed O'Connor: "I could eat my dinner in a fancy restaurant, but nothing, I said nothing, nothing compares to you (hot husband, wonderful adorable children, my little house)...Oooh oooh!"
So I'm feeling a little glum tonight my faithful blog reader(s?). But not to worry, I will remain dedicated and focused to your blog reading needs and keep my promise to post every day for your reading pleasure.
....praying for strength (not only for me, but my poor husband who will be a single parent for the next five days)
Praise the Lord. Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in his commands. His children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man. Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice. Surely he will never be shaken; a righteous man will be remembered forever. He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. ~Psalm 112:1-7
An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up. ~Proverbs 12:25

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

On a lighter note

My adorable daughter Sarah and her adorable friend Mikayla started their own "web show".

It's called Say What?!

What could be better than getting together with your best friend and making silly videos? This video is one of my favorites.

So if you're extremely bored, want to partake in silly nonsense and be reminded of how fun it was to be a 10 year old girl, you can check them out!
The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy. They are steadfast for ever and ever, done in faithfulness and uprightness. ~Psalm 111:7-8
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity. ~Proverbs 11:2-3

Monday, November 10, 2008

To Meghan, With Love

About two weeks ago Meghan asked me for my sweet-n-sour chicken recipe. I said, “sure, I’ll email it to you tonight when I get home!” Like I said, that was about two weeks ago. So Meghan, and anyone else who needs a good idea for dinner, here it is:

Sweet – n- Sour Chicken
This is my go-to recipe, it turns out delicious every time!

1 to 2 lbs. of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Garlic salt
2 Tbs. oil

¼ cup pineapple juice
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup ketchup
½ cup vinegar (either apple cider or white)
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. soy sauce

-Combine sauce ingredients in sauce pan, stir well and heat on low to medium heat while preparing chicken

-Cut chicken into small pieces (a little bigger than bite size)
-Sprinkle chicken with garlic salt
-Dip chicken pieces in egg (I usually crack about 6 eggs in a large bowl, stir and then add all the chicken in at once so they can soak in the eggs while I work. I realize this is a tad wasteful)
-Coat each piece with flour
-Heat oil over medium high heat
-Add chicken pieces to hot oil, brown until golden on each side
-Place chicken in 13 x 9 inch baking pan
-Pour heated sauce over chicken
-Cook uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes
-We like to eat this with rice and broccoli and then finish off with a big dessert!
My aunt emailed me this picture today. That's my little sister on the left, my grandma, and the big-banged, velvet dress wearing, me! I remember being so excited getting this new doll...if only life could be that simple again.

The Lord is at Your right hand; He will shatter kings in the day of His wrath. He will judge among the nations. ~Psalm 110:5-6

He who heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray. He who conceals his hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool. When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. ~Provebs 10:17-9

Sunday, November 9, 2008

What would you do?

I have a confession to make: I did Daniel's homework. Am I a bad mom? Would you ever do your kid's homework, or is that something totally off the ethical radar for everyone but me?The poor kid was up to his eyeballs in homework one night, so not wanting him to stay up until midnight, I started working on his science poster for him while he worked on other subjects. It was just drawing a volcanoe and labeling the different layers of the earth's crust and types of volcanic rocks. I tried to make it look like a 6th grader's drawing, but my perfectionism took over. I couldn't stop, I should have only done about half, but I kept drawing, adding in trees, coloring the sky blue, and check out my lava chamber...I got that just right! Daniel was like, "oh mom, that's way too good. My teacher is never going to believe that I did that!"
Well, luckily Daniel's teacher didn't question who did the poster, he got an "A" AND a good night sleep. So it all worked out!
But you, O Sovereign Lord, deal well with me for your name's sake; out of the goodness of your love, deliver me. For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me. I fade away like an evening shadow; I am shaken off like a locust. My knees give way from fasting; my body is thin and gaunt. I am an object of scorn to my accusers; when they see me, they shake their heads. Help me, O LORD my God; save me in accordance with your love. Let them know that it is your hand, that you, O LORD, have done it.
~Psalm 109:21-27
Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning. ~Proverbs 9:9

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Better With Time

Today, Jon and I celebrate our 11th anniversary...some things just get better with time
Today has been the perfect day.

With every year that passes, I am amazed at how God has directed our steps. I don't mean to get too mushy on y'all, but I love this guy so much. On this day eleven years ago, we were young, crazy in love, and full of enthusiasm for wherever God would take us. Today, we are older, deeply in love, and thankful for God's faithfulness - how He has bonded our hearts closer together through years of joy, disappointments, trials, tragedies, celebrations, and the challenges of putting up with each other day in and day out for eleven years. :)
It's amazing how someone can know everything about you, all your faults and shortcomings, and yet love you even more than they did when they had no idea all those flaws existed.
(I love this picture. We were trying to take a picture of ourselves and kept busting up laughing.)

Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. ~Ecclesiastes 4:9,10

Friday, November 7, 2008

Just The Two of Us

This picture was taken five minutes ago at the Starbuck's in Bend, Oregon.

We are in heaven right now. We arrived at Eagle Crest last night and are enjoying an Anniversary weekend getaway...just the two of us! Something that doesn't happen very often.

Right now, the little things are the biggest luxuries to me, such as, not setting my alarm, waking up and getting out of bed whenever I feel like it. Taking a long shower and not being rushed, watching C-SPAN, working out in the middle of the day and not at the end of a tiring day, going on a walk with my husband, just having an uninterrupted conversation with my husband is a treat in itself.

Well, I don't mean to brag, but we're off to go see "Body of Lies" with Russell Crowe (my favorite actor), go shopping and then enjoy a nice quiet dinner. Ahhh...I love getting away!!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008


SA-WEET! I have made the most wonderful discovery. Now, some of you are going to laugh that it has taken me so long to figure this out, but I have just discovered Google Reader!!! Do you know what a huge difference this makes in my life? This is truly life-changing folks.

Let me give you a little background:
*WARNING* Boring, Detailed Daily Schedule ahead

5:00 am - Alarm goes off. I always hit snooze 3 times which means I get out of bed at 5:27. Shower, paint my face, straighten my hair, find something to wear that doesn't require ironing, decide if it's worth it to wear fabulous heels or just go comfortable and wear my favorite go-to Report flats.

6:15 am - Wake up Daniel. Repeat 3 times every 10 minutes until he is up and in the shower. Make breakfast. Pack his lunch. Make sure he has all his assignments in order, gym clothes, water bottle, and backpack packed.

7:15 am - Leave the house (nothing short of a miracle I tell you)

7:30 am - Drop Daniel off at the big scary world also known as Middle School. He always says the same thing to me every morning as he's leaving the car, "Wish me luck and pray for me today mom". And I always say, "I will, I love you buddy" with a lump in my throat. As I drive to work, I keep my promise and pray for the little guy(who is only about an inch shorter than me).

7:45 am - Call numerous people "idiots" and "morons" and tell them "it's not that hard to use your turn signal retard"

7:55 am - Pray for forgiveness

8:00 am - Begin my day at work

4:00 pm - Leave my office and walk across campus to the Willamette University Spark's Center(fitness center). This is pure torture, ladies! Do you know how old and fat I feel running on a treadmill next to a bunch of college students? I do not recommend this.

5:00 pm - Arrive at my favorite place: HOME! Followed by a family debriefing, where everyone simultaneously starts filling me in on their day.

5:30 pm - Make dinner, or sometimes if I'm lucky Big Daddy takes care of this for me, or sometimes (quite often) we have frozen pizzas and dinosaur chicken nuggets.

6:30 pm - Clean up, help kids with homework and piano practice, spend time with Olivia, lay out clothes, pack backpacks, brush teeth, say prayers, get everyone in bed.

10:00 pm - Pass out (Actually, it's usually like 11:00)

Notice anything missing?


That's right folks. Number one reason why I didn't post a new blog in over 12 weeks: TIME. There has been little to no free time where I could sit down and type out boring, random happenings of my life for you all to read. But the thing I've missed the most about blogging is YOU! I've really missed reading everybody else's boring, random happenings in their lives. I love checking in on everyone and seeing what you're up to, and looking at pictures of your adorable children. So this is where Google Reader enters the scene and forever changes my life.

I have everyone's blog entered into Google Reader so I just go to that one site and it shows me if anyone on my list has updated their blogs...Genius!!!

I am on my computer all day at work. I don't take a lunch break, because I'd rather just get the 8 hours over with and go home. law, I'm entitled to two 15 minute breaks. :)

I now just click on my Google Reader, and Booya! I can see if anyone has a new post, and I have time to leave a fabulous, witty comment that could only come from LizzyG! It's been wonderful! Every day I just do a quick check, and now I can stay on top of all the exciting happenings in Blogland! Very convenient, which makes me very happy.

Olivia and I cuddling with my new nephew, Colton

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Voting isn’t something you do every year or two. We cast multiple votes each day. We cast votes for heaven or hell, for grace or truth. For self-control or self-indulgence. For the Spirit or the Flesh. For abiding in Christ, or independence from Christ. For wisdom or foolishness, and for blessing or curse. Every decision we make, every action we take—and the heart attitude with which we conduct our lives—casts a vote for one kingdom or another. Every vote counts. God tallies them. Eternity will be affected by them. You can still talk to parents and kids in your neighborhood about the value of unborn children, and offer support and help as needed. You can go to city streets and homeless shelters and offer your service. Your ballot may not have made a difference, but your vote to love your neighbor will. God won’t overlook it, as He won’t overlook a single cup of water given to little ones in His name. Our next chance to vote is right here and right now, whether we spend time with God, pray for His help, read His Word, serve our family, help the poor, give to help the dying and needy in the Sudan, entertain this thought, speak these words, watch this television program, or click on this Internet site. (You already vote often; so vote wisely.) The key to change and influence in this world is not, and never has been, politics. It is faithfulness to Jesus. In the end, which will never end, acts of faithfulness—many of them quiet, some seen only by God—are the votes that will count, bringing the eternal results that will matter.

“For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).

Circumstances change: Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth. (Proverbs 27:1)

Our Savior does not change: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)

Only by trusting in Christ and His promise of the world to come can we find peace: Trust God; don't worry; be at peace. Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am…Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:1-3, 27)

No matter what direction our earthly country may be going, it is our never-ending heavenly country that we should represent: All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. (Hebrews 11:13-16)

America may or may not unravel in coming decades, but God’s kingdom certainly won’t. People of the world don't need America; they need Jesus. While living in the wreckage of this sin-stained earth, let’s realize the world's main problem is that it's inhabited by people like us, sinners in need of redemption. These thirsty people need us to reach out our hands and extend to them, as cold water, the love of Jesus.

This text is just a small excerpt from Randy Alcorn's blog. He had many, many more good things to say today (and every day). I encourage you to stop by and read today's post in its entirety.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Cause and Effect

So, I've been tired lately (see excuse #5 in the previous post). Not getting enough sleep. Staying up way too late and getting up WAY too early. I've always enjoyed my type-A personality. I loved calculus and chemistry as a student because it's all based on formulas, which are based on unchanging facts. You figure out the formula you can figure out the problem. I'm the handyman at our house. Give me any size project to put together and as long as I have instructions to follow step by step, I can do it. I've always been a logical person, making my decisions based on pros and cons, black and white, without emotions getting in the way. Yes, I would say I'm not an emotional person at all. At times I've even been frustrated with my frequent inability to show emotion.

Well, I've come to realize that
lack of sleep = unexpected emotional outbursts

Example #1: Last week I took my daughter and her friend to see High School Musical 3. In the very opening scene of the movie Troy's basketball team is playing in the state championship game and they're losing! It's half-time, Troy and his friends break out in song and rally together to give it all they have. They come bursting out of the locker room (still singing: "The way we play tonight is what we leave behind! It all comes down to right now it’s up to us!") to a cheering crowd and warm up for the second half...and I'm crying! Yes, that's right, actual tears rolling down my cheeks. I was crying, true story! It didn't stop there. I cried when Gabriella moved away. I cried when she called Troy to say she couldn't come to prom. I cried at the end of the movie. What the heck is wrong with me?!!!! I didn't even cry the first time I saw Titanic or Braveheart or when Heath Ledger's character died in The Patriot. I didn't even cry when I watched Old Yeller as a child, or Where the Red Fern Grows.

Example #2: A friend of mine invited me to attend the Habitat for Humanity fundraiser breakfast this morning at the Conference Center downtown. So, I'm sitting at a table with mostly strangers, watching a video presentation of the work that Habitat for Humanity does. Yep, the tears start rolling. I'm crying and can't stop! Then people who have had homes built for them get up to share their personal stories, and oh boy, I kept wiping my eyes....I felt so stupid! (That said, I was very impressed with the work Habitat for Humanity does and the way they run their organization.) There I was, sitting next to these well-dressed men and women in their business suits...the only one crying. Sheesh! I've got to get more sleep!!!

Random picture to go along with this random post: Olivia, my niece Victoria, and Sarah, rockin' out!

Monday, November 3, 2008

There's a first time for everything

I've heard of this happening before, but thought it would never happen to ME. :)

I just typed out this long post about what's been going on in my life over the past 12 weeks (since I know you're just dying to find out). One hour later, I click to publish posts the older version that I started earlier in the day, which was two sentences long!!! My long, beautiful, witty post...GONE! Where did it go? I don't know, I have no idea what happened. I DO know that I'm tired, frustrated and have to get up in five hours, so I will try to re-create that wonderful post another day.

Well, I'll give you Part 1.

Here are the top 5 excuses why I haven't blogged in over 12 weeks:

1. I started working full time on August 18th

2. My camera broke in August AND our home computer got sick and died a few weeks ago :(

3. I'm a political junkie

4. Daniel started middle school

5. Feelings of stress and exhaustion on a daily basis. (I'm working on this, okay)

You will just have to wait in nail-biting suspense until tomorrow, and I will fill you in on how these 5 reasons are related to my shameful lack of blogging.

The good news: Today is November 3rd and I read Psalm 103, one of my all-time favorite Psalms! I just had to share the whole thing and highlight some of my favorite parts. I hope you take the time to read through it. Wherever you're at, whatever you're going through, this Psalm will lift you up and remind you of God's faithfulness and goodness. It's worth the read:

Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, O my soul and
forget not all his benefits-
who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,

who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel:
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever
he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children-
with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.
The LORD has established his throne in heaven and his kingdom rules over all.
Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word.
Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.
Praise the LORD, all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the LORD, O my soul.

And what blog post is complete without an adorable picture? Olivia and her dear friend Ella on Halloween with their matching precious!
Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.
Proverbs 3:3

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Reason Why

This picture alone sums up the reason why our family goes to the Retirement Home every year on HalloweenIf you look closely, you can see a tear in this man's eye. As I watched from a distance, I saw his face light up when Daniel sat down on the couch next to him and struck up a conversation.

It brings so much joy to these wonderful people to see the kids each year . We always leave feeling so glad that we took the time to go. This year almost didn't happen. As October 31st started to creep up, I told Jon it was literally impossible for me to get everything ready this year, and I just didn't think we could go. He reminded me of how much it means to the elderly people and how it's just as important for our kids as well. So Big Daddy (as he likes to call himself) took over! Calling the retirement home, arranging a time for us to come and how many gift bags we would need to bring. Multiple shopping trips with a 3 year old in tow to the Bible Book House, Walmart, Targt & Winco. Then he and Olivia stuffed 105 gift bags full of goodies...I didn't do a thing! So thanks to Jon, we didn't miss out on any of this: I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me.... Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me. (Matthew 25, The Message)

Yep, it's November 2nd, so as promised, here's your Psalm & Proverb for the day :)
Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry for help come to you. Do not hide your face from me when I am in distress. Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly. ~Psalm 102:1-2
For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. ~Proverbs 2:6-8

Saturday, November 1, 2008

November Pledge

I hereby pledge to blog every day in the month of November.

Yes, you read the above sentence correctly...every day this month!

It has been 12 weeks and 3 days since my last post, so I have plenty to share with the few people who will stop in to see if LizzyG is still alive and blogging. This is no simple task people, so please don't count on anything too deep or meaningful. I do however, want to get back in the habit of reading a chapter in Psalms and Proverbs each day. So today I started in Psalms 101 and Proverbs 1.

My theme song is God's love and justice, and I'm singing it right to you, God. I'm finding my way down the road of right living, but how long before you show up? I'm doing the very best I can and I'm doing it at home, where it counts. I refuse to take a second look at corrupting people and degrading things. ~Psalm 101:1-3 (The Message)

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline. ~Proverbs 1:7
Can you guess who Sarah dressed up as for Halloween?