Tuesday, January 19, 2010

American Idol Season 9 Chicago Auditions

Here we go again! For the record, I do not particularly enjoy this part of American Idol and I used to boycott it completely, but my love for the show has deepened to the point that I am willing to sacrifice things, like time and the ability to watch something far more entertaining.

That being said, I will try really hard not to complain about the ridiculousness that I know without a doubt will ensue as soon as I push go on this here remote...

Side note* I just realized there is a 2 hour episode of 24 on the Tivo. How did I not know that it was on yesterday? Choices... Maybe I'll go back and forth.

Love Shania! I'm the opposite of what you would call a country fan, but I did like Shania for a minute back in the 90s.

Does anyone else wonder how the logistics of these back stories work? I mean, they must go get all of their details and footage after they've given them the golden ticket, right? It's always fairly obvious that this contestant is actually good, since someone has gone to the trouble of digging up some back story.

The good news is - we're kicking it off with someone who can sing! Yay. Love Kaitlyn's sound. And her hair. I so wish I had curly hair. Confession: I broke out my curling iron last week and I've been using it. If my hair didn't grow at lightning speed, I would seriously consider getting a perm.

Broadway girl with the weird chest thing and the passing out. Yep. Let that be a lesson to you, young lady. You actually can sing. And you blew it.

Charity. Very different. Very young. It's always fun to see people that have raw talent that needs refining. She is immediately reminding me of the girl from several seasons ago (Carmen?) Simon stuck his neck out for her and she just never really improved like he thought she would... Not sure why but that's all I can think of with this girl. I hope for her sake that I'm wrong...

It's not unusual to be loved by you? Oh My Word. Not often do I laugh out loud, but there is just something about that bow tie...

I love that Simon says (after the medley of awfulness) that this is a complete and utter (utta) waste of time.

No kidding.

I'm pretty sure that is not the fault of high pitch singer girl in yellow dress. Take it up with someone who can do something about it!

Moving on.

Wow. This Tip Toe guy really seems to be serious. I really wonder sometimes if there are different levels you can be at to get in front of the judges. Those sent specifically as a joke and who are fully aware of that fact, those who are sent in specifically as a joke who are unaware of it, and finally those who actually can sing but have to be impressive to this panel of judges that have seen amazing talent and are not easily impressed. I'd really like to be a fly on the wall and know exactly how all of this goes down...

Well, friends. Jack is back, and I gotta go see what sort of mischief he's stirring up tonight!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Writer's Block

How annoying is writer's block? I finally get a chance to sit down and blog and can't think of any of the great ideas I've had over the past few weeks. I've tried writing ideas down in the past, but honestly - I feel like my best ideas come at night when I'm just about to fall asleep. You know the ones, the ones that are so good that you think you couldn't possibly forget them, even if you get the best sleep of your life.

Well, you would be wrong.

Or at least I am whenever I think that. This seriously happens more often than not.

One night, I actually turned the light on, grabbed a pen, that thankfully was right on my night stand, and jotted down a phrase that was supposed to be able to perfectly jog my memory the next morning. I forget now what it said, exactly, but what I remember clearly is this: It was worthless. The next day I looked at it and thought, "Yeah? So?" I had no idea what I meant and couldn't possibly think why I would have thought it was worth turning the light on to write down, let alone write a blog post about it.


Most mornings, after having a great idea and not bothering to write some cryptic (worthless) phrase, I just wake up thinking, hmmm.... another idea gone, never to be recovered.

Anyway - I share all of this to say that I once again would like to try to start blogging regularly. Probably not every day, but 3-4 times weekly would be really awesome. Anymore, when I think of Must Share... I think of things that I, well, just must share with you. Now if you come for the random and the witty, I'm sure there will be plenty for you. But I hope to start refining this blog a little and making it a little more predictable and helpful.

You know I can't resist blogging about American Idol, so I'll be doing that for sure. Trying my best to keep the snark factor to a minimum... ;) I've been in the mood to try some new recipes, so if I ever find my way to the grocery store,and come across anything I feel like I Must Share... then I will! For those of you that have visited The Trysting Place, I'm thinking of incorporating some of my Must Share... wisdom and revelation over here, rather than having a separate place. It's overwhelming to say the least and I've decided not to let myself be so obsessive about keeping things separated and categorized. This blog will now be all things that I feel I Must Share....

Make sense?

I hope you bear with me. I promise to carry a go-go gadget notepad every where I go, including my cozy bed, in an effort to capture all my totally brilliant ideas.

It's okay, you can chuckle.

We'll see how it goes!

Friday, January 15, 2010


Along with much of the world, I am horrified by the devastation that has rocked Haiti. The state of every day "normal" life in Haiti boggles my mind, and now add to it this catastrophic earthquake and I can't even wrap my brain around the needs...

It's so easy to sit and shake my head and think there's nothing I can do that can make a difference. I wish I could go and hold babies who no longer have parents. I wish I could go and hold parents who no longer have babies. I don't think that's quite within the realm of possibility right now.

The $1oo that we contributed to the Compassion International Disaster Relief Fund seems like nothing, considering the amount of damage and number of people in need. BUT I SENT IT. I wish I was working and could send an entire paycheck. I'm sure there are many who truly can't afford to help out. If all you can afford is $5, you may think "what's the point?"

The point is this:

Whatever we do for the least of these we do for Jesus. When the widow put in her two coins. Her ONLY two coins, Jesus said:

This poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on. Luke 21: 3-4

What can you do? Don't miss this opportunity to help the hurting and bless the heart of God in the process.

I am blogging about this because of a challenge put out by Money Saving Mom. For every blogger that DOES something and posts about it, she and her husband will donate 10$ to the relief. I wouldn't normally share that I donated, but I also wouldn't normally leave 10 bucks sitting on the table. Do you have a blog? Do you have a couple coins? You can turn your $.50 into $10.50. You can turn your $10.00 into $20.00. If you would like to donate to the Compassion International Haiti Disaster Relief Fund, click here. And if you do (or contribute in some other way) and blog about it before January 21st, click here and add your blog to the list of links to add another 10$ to the cause. God Bless you Money Saving Mom!

My husband and I have been sponsors for Compassion International for years and I firmly believe in their ministry and have full confidence in their ability to steward these funds and get the money and resources into the hands of those who need it most. It's what they do.

If you participate in this as a result of reading this post, please leave a comment! I would love to know.

Be blessed!

Other bloggers who are making donations based on those who link up and share:

Who knows!? If I stay up late enough and click enough links, I just may have my hundy matched! Woot woot! God is stinking awesome.

One last thing: I came across this list of specific ways to pray at Thrifty In Dallas, and I just had to share:

In tandem with giving it is crucial that we pray. God is listening and He wants us to speak. To help you as you pray here is the list I compiled for our use at home:

Pray for the weather to be mild and rain-free as many no longer have a roof

Pray for God to comfort those that are perishing under the rubble

Pray for supernatural strength for doctors, nurses and rescue workers

Pray for clean water

Pray for relief distribution to take place with transparency, expediency and honesty

Pray for God to soften our hearts as we give for immediate needs

Pray for vision and long term commitment from all of us to not forget Haiti after the cameras are gone

Pray for sound air traffic control

Pray for quick rebuilding of port facilities and piers

Pray for the softening of hearts in Dominican Republic as they will have an even larger influx of refugees

Pray for a color-blind heart of adoption around the world

Pray for a time of harvest and restoration

Pray for hope

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Egg Free Pancake Recipe

Once upon a time, I blogged about these amazing pancakes, because of the EXTREME yumminess.

Seriously with the yumminess.

Well, then I found out my daughter has a slight egg allergy, but her doctor did say to avoid things with egg in them. Not sure how one lives life without baked goods containing eggs, but then I suppose many would say that about going chocolate free and I survived awhile.


Wow. Totally off point.

Pancakes, right. So, I went to the trouble of making some of these pancakes with eggs for us and some of them for Chloe without eggs, because as mentioned, Doc said avoid the eggs and I do what I'm told. I had my doubts about the quality of the egg free cakes, but then I got tired of the hassle and decided to abandon the eggs all together. And you know what? I really can't tell the difference. Fluffy? check. Flavorful? check. Superfantastically yummy? Check.

If you need to avoid eggs, or are just out of them - try this recipe. You'll be glad you did!

Egg Free Sour cream pancakes


1 ¾ cups flour

2 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt
1 cup sour cream
2 tbsp. butter, melted
1 ½ cups milk

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat together sour cream, butter and milk.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir until you form a smooth batter.
  4. Heat a griddle or pan to medium high heat and lightly grease with oil or butter.
  5. Pour the batter onto the hot griddle to form pancakes that are about 4 to 5 inches in diameter. Cook on each side until golden brown.
  6. Serve hot with maple syrup.
  7. Pinch yourself to make sure you haven't died and gone to International Pancake Heaven. You will not have, but you will need to pinch yourself just to be sure every time you make these.

I ALWAYS make a double batch of these and when I have tons of flour on hand, I also measure out two double batches of dry ingredients(which I put in freezer ziplock bags) to put in the freezer. Because A. I have a little of the OCD. B. I'm kind of lazy and would rather do the measuring for 6 batches at once. C. It makes it so easy to whip up the batter later. and D. They are just that yummy.

The double batch makes a lot of pancakes and they freeze and reheat really well.

Why haven't you turned on the griddle yet?

Looking Like A Fool With Your Pants On The Floor

I mean really. What more is there to say?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

American Idol Season 9 Boston Auditions

It's here!!! American Idol season 9! Woot woot! I'm praying that the audition rounds this year are like last year. If you remember, there was less rubbish and more actual contestants that can, you know, sing.

Before we get started, let's take a moment for Pauler.

Sigh. I don't know about ya'll, but despite my relentless teasing, I will really miss her. 8 years is a long time to then switch it up. I sure hope Ellen brings it.

Okay - first ticket (along with the sappy grin award, that grin being mine) goes to sweet girl with the brothers that have down syndrome. How precious is she? And she can sing!

And just so you know, I refuse to waste perfectly good time that I could be wasting on other things like facebook or Heroes, watching fools that can't sing and seem to want to be made fun of for it. So I will be heavy handed on the fast forward tonight.

Is anyone else thinking that this Italian guy is screamin' a bit? I'm surprised no one seemed to notice or care. I guess they're just excited to find a guy that can carry a tune at all...

What is this crying montage? My word, make it stop.

Man with glasses, (who, if I'm being totally honest has a bit of a sociopath thing going...) who rubbed Kara the wrong way, actually didn't sing all that badly. Too bad he got off on such a sour note with the judges. He could have done a lot more waiting in a lot cooler places.

Mmm... Love the girl that sang Alicia Keyes. So good. And so beautiful!

Tyler seems interesting. Love Let's Get It on. He definitely did it justice.

Please. Why can't I hear the other 17 sing? Gah. I would just really prefer to hear less about someone's mama's cooking and definitely less of the madness and more of the actual talent!!!!!

Okay, I'm done complaining. Well, probably not - but at least for the moment.

Oh no. No. NO. Not a grandma story. Oh my word. Did I even share that my grandma died 2 months ago? Well she did. And that sucked. And it still sucks. Sigh. Katie can sing. Good for you Katie.

Moving on.

Man in white cowboy hat. Yikes.

Justin (cancer survivor) Whew! Cutie pie can sing!

Woah. Shiney vest boy kind of reminds me of Michael Jackson. Oh - he just mentioned him, I guess it's on purpose. That hair is something else.

Love Bosah. (Spelling?) Weirdest song choice ever. Okay, probably not ever, but very weird song choice.

Overall, I guess I'm happy with the balance of silly and serious. I know if I got what I wanted, a lot of other people would be bored silly. Those people should tune in to Jerry Springer. Just saying...

Well - the countdown begins! How many weeks until things get serious?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Saving Cicadas by Nicole Seitz

Saving Cicadas by Nicole Sietz is the story of Priscilla Macy, the single mother of two daughters, who is pregnant and unsure what to do about it. The journey she embarks on with her family is her only hope of finding herself and the answers she desperately seeks. Their journey takes them into the past, exposes the truth of their present and has a profound effect on their future.

Saving Cicadas may well be the most unique book I’ve ever read. I will be honest, there were moments when I hated this book. Having finished, I’m a little undecided. This is not the first time I’ve experienced a shocking twist in a novel, but I don’t know that I have ever felt betrayed, and that is the only word that comes to mind. I appreciate what the author was trying to do, I’m just not in love with the way she went about doing it. Ultimately, I think the true test of a work of fiction is the author’s ability to draw you into the story. I cannot deny her skill in creating characters that you can’t help but love, and her ability to weave a story that you can’t put down until you know just how it all works out in the end.

Thomas Nelson has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Sweet By and By by Sara Evans with Rachel Hauck

What a blessing it was to read The Sweet By and By. This emotional and beautiful story of Jade Fitzgerald was a great read. As she is preparing for her upcoming wedding, Jade is forced to take a very heart wrenching walk down memory lane. What she finds at the end of that lane is so worth the pain it took to get there. Such a sweet and moving story about forgiveness, honesty and redemption. To quote Sara Evans, "It's about looking backward while moving forward." Who can't relate to that?

Anyone who has had to endure "mama-drama" from either side would connect with one or more of the quirky and lovable characters that Sara beautifully depicts. Overall, I would say that all of the characters were very relatable and very well written. For me, that's what keeps me glued to those pages. I find myself wanting to know what happens next.

I look forward to Sara's future endeavors, and will be passing this book on to my close friends.

An Eventful Decade

Let's see if I can even remember half of what happened in this 10 year period. Much of it I'd rather forget, but well - that's not how it works. I already know that I'm leaving a lot of major stuff out, but here are some of the biggies...


Celebrated our 1 year anniversary


Watched, along with the rest of the world, two planes change our world forever.

I'm sure there's plenty more to document, I was just too busy misbehaving to notice...


Lost my oldest, dearest and best best friend in a car accident.

Started attending Kensington Community Church and found my way onto the path back to God. Can you say Prodi-Gal?

Quit my job and returned to school full time.


School school and more school.


Had a wonderful student teaching experience in the 2nd grade. My first peek into the very difficult job of being a teacher.

Graduated from U of M Flint with a teaching degree.

Joined a Women's Small Group Bible study that was utterly and completely life changing.


Counseled for a week at Senior High camp and realized I missed my calling.

Was miraculously hired by Flint Schools. Seriously, God gave me that job. No other logical explanation.

Fell in love with a world that was very different than my own and began learning that different doesn't equal wrong. Frustrating, but not wrong.


Was laid off from school and had to play the waiting game, also known as the Trust the Lord game. Was hired back in July, before I really had too much of a chance to get worked up about it.

Bought a house with 28 acres very close to where Frank and I grew up and was ecstatic about being close to family and friends for the first time in 7 years.

Lost my Grandma who was one of my very best friends, very unexpectedly 2 days before Christmas. This shook me to the core and catapulted me into a depression.


Things changed at school and being laid off would have been a blessing. After much soul searching, decided to resign from my position of 7th grade Science teacher at Northwestern High School. One of the hardest, yet easiest decisions I've ever made.

Within 1 day of making it official, God confirmed my decision with a little pink line. Or was it two lines?


Chloe Earlene was born at home; healthy, happy and weighing in at a whopping 8lbs. 15 oz.

Began attending The Freedom Center. Very different from what were used to, but so so good for us.


Realized that I had been suffering from some form of depression for a few years. It felt so good to finally be me again.

Finally started making efforts to get plugged in at church. Began volunteering with The Baby Closet, joined the MOPS steering committee and actually started getting out. What a difference!

Lost my other dear grandma who I loved more than words can portray. Left a hole in our family and a very lonely man to figure out how to do life alone after 59 years of marriage. (Father God - draw my grandpa close and comfort him during this time of transition...)

Began therapy with an amazing woman of God and knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that there was hope and healing and that life would never be the same.

2010 - I've deemed this year The Year of Transformation and Intentionality. I have the greatest feeling about this year and can't wait to see what God has in store for us. Some of the verses that I'm focusing on are...

Ephesians 5:1-3 The Message

Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.

Galatians 5:6b NIV

The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

This is my prayer for myself and those that I love...

Philippians 1:9-11 NIV

9And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, 11filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.