Monday, November 30, 2009

The Princess Turns Five....

December 1st, 2009...the Princess turns 5.....

Decorating the Christmas tree with her special ornaments...
My baby loves to cook... She is a big help in the kitchen!
Heading to American Girl Cafe for her b-day party!
Her favorite boys...
Pondering her Christmas list....
Channeling her silly Aunt Jess, see the resemblance? :)
OHHHH, those TOES! perhaps my favorite delicacy in all the world! even unpainted!
Her best friend (most days)...her big brother, Joseph
Dreaming of Disney World...
Our soccer star with her leading man..October 2009
October 2009...
My little Spider Girl...Halloween 2009
Her best buds..Anna-Joy, and Cali Rose
The silliest girl in the world..
Sharing secrets with Mommy....


This year has flown by. These past 5 years have flown by even faster. You are the epitome of charm, laughter, and grace. My heart belongs to you, every inch of it. You are my best friend, my side-kick, my helper, my angel. God knew I needed you, and I thank Him every day for the gift of "you."

Happy Birthday, Princess.

trying to stop time with everything I have,


Friday, November 20, 2009

Even the rocks cry out....

My heart is heavy and aching for my friend, Heather. She has cancer, everywhere it seems. It started when her only son was 2 years old. She found a lump in her breast..too late it seems. It spread to her lymph nodes. She went through chemo and has lived with cancer for the past 6 years.

Her liver is now infested with cancer as well as tumors on her lungs. After a brain MRI last week, she discovered that there are 3 spots on her brain as well. Lord, me to understand.

Her son is Joseph's age, and they are friends. He is a "mature beyond his years" little boy, due largely to his mother's illness. He has had to be strong, to be her helper, to be her strength for the last few years. He is 8 years old. Heather is a single Mother. Her parents are deceased and her sister has cancer as well.

Too much to fathom, right? It's just beyond comprehensible to me. I know God has a plan in all of this, I just can't help to be baffled and confused. Cancer SUCKS. It took the life of my grandmother at a young age. It threatens all of us. It doesn't discriminate. It SUCKS.

For the past couple of months, I have had this overwhelming feeling of something "happening". Not sure of what was happening, or going to happen, just felt the need to be "ready". I have been searching God, and for His will and guidance diligently, more than ever before. My soul has had a desire for quite a while for something. Something that I do not want to share, for fear that God will halt it from my life. I don't know if this desire if from Him, or from me. Either way, I need affirmation, I need confirmation from Him.

His timing is so much better than mine, and He is so much more patient than me. I want nothing more than His will to be done. I want to be used, that is my cry to him morning after morning. Use me, please, use me. Open my eyes to the hurting, to the needy, to the lonely.

I find myself doubting my ability to be used.."I am not good enough, not righteous enough, not pure enough." Doubts not coming from Him, but from my feeble flesh. I now know that when these thoughts come, I am about to be "used", whether I feel worthy or not. No one is un-usable when it comes to God. Thankfully.

Wow. Just wow. I just took a second and checked my email, I heard it "ding." My Aunt Debbie sent me a verse. I had sent her an email asking for prayer for my friend, Heather, and she simply responded with this verse. My eyes are flooded with tears. This verse was shown to me twice today by God. I had written it in my prayer journal several times over the last couple of months. This morning He led me back to it. He has led me back again, from my Aunt Debbie's email.

Philippians 4:13:

"I can do everything through him who gives me strength."

Please pray for Heather and for Scotty, as well as for Lem and myself. Pray that He will use us for His glory, for His purpose.

wanting desperately to be used,


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cooking 101....

Easy Breezy Porcupine Balls

1 lb. uncooked ground beef

1 cup uncooked Minute Rice

1 large can tomato juice

salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning

~Mix uncooked ground beef, uncooked rice and 1/2 cup tomato juice.

~Season with salt, pepper, and Italian Seasoning.

~Form into small balls and place in a baking dish

~Pour remainder of tomato juice on meatballs

Cover dish with foil, and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Pineapple Casserole
1 20 oz. can pineapple tidbits
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp. self-rising flour
1 cup grated cheese
1/4 cup melted margarine
1/2 cup ritz cracker crumbs
Drain pineapple, reserving 3 tablespoons of juice. Combine flour and sugar in a bowl , then stir in juice.
Fold in pineapple and cheese.
Put in a buttered dish. Combine melted butter and cracker crumbs. Sprinkle over pineapple mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
Yield: Serves about 4, double for larger group.
**I used a medium sized corning ware dish, it wasn't enough for a 9x13 dish.

(Not the best pictures...i had to take them quick, because Lem was in the middle of making his plate. )

There is just something about Fall and Winter that brings out the home-body in me. More so than usual anyway. I get full swing in the cooking mode, and love baking during the holidays. My kitchen gets the most use for the next 3 months than it will see the whole year!

My goal this winter is to become a better cook, and to learn some new recipes. I have already started on my quest, and it has been quite fun. Lem has certainly enjoyed coming home to a warm meal on the table these last few weeks. Unlike the Summer time when he is lucky to have milk for his cereal.

To help me obtain this lofty goal of "becoming a better cook", I have challenged myself to try one new recipe a week. This being week one. My recipe tonight was White Bean Chicken Chili. Big hit with the husband, and the son...not so much with the daughter. I will post this recipe tomorrow, I want to post a picture with it...and the picture is still in my camera. Too lazy to download it tonight.

However, I will post an old staple of a recipe around the Hill homestead. We had it last night for dinner. Porcupine Balls. Sounds appetizing, right?? Well, it is! Try them and let me know what you think. My kids (both of them!) even enjoyed them. Joseph says during dinner, "Mommy, you should really think about trying out for "So, you think you can cook!". Ahhhh, melt my heart.

Poor thing, his taste buds are highly distorted from the likes of my cooking. I still appreciated the compliment and his sweet sincerity, though. My little charmer.

I am thinking that Wednesdays will be my recipe post days here on the old blog. So, tune in on those days...and let's get cookin'! Most importantly share, share, share your recipes. Give a girl a hand on this cooking challenge.

dusting off my apron,


Monday, November 16, 2009

Camping 101....

..our first night at the campsite..all smiles!
Our lovely tents..ours is the blue one in the background.
Riley and Presley...cutie pies!
Joseph and buds.
a little lounging in the sun with my sweetie...
the bed that I never slept in...:(
the camping Hills!
look at them...just little lovebirds...Tracey and Darren
NO, this will not be our Christmas card picture..just in case you were worried...maybe Halloween next year...bad hair, all the way around...yikes!
the Hill's and the Greene's having some fun at the park near our campsite
getting a little goofy, and mostly tired of all of the picture taking
Joseph takes a break on the bench, and I snag a little cuddle time in.

Two weekends ago we ventured out into the deep woods for our first camping trip. We traveled all the way to Alexander City, Alabama. Brave, aren't we? The reason for the far travel is because we met up with some of our best friends, Darren and Tracey Greene and their girls, Riley and Reagan. The Greene's live about 30 minutes from the campsite that we visited.

Our car was loaded down with everything but the kitchen sink....on second thought, pretty sure we brought that too. Being our first "camping" trip, I had to make sure that we didn't ''want" for anything. You would have thought that we were headed west for a year with the sight of our loaded down vehicle.

Darren and Tracey were already there when we arrived. As soon as we landed, Lem started unpacking the car, and hurriedly setting up the tent. Apparently daylight runs very short the further West you head from Georgia. At 4:30 it was getting dark....WOW!

Once everything was settled and unpacked, we made some delicious hot dogs for dinner. Well, let me rephrase...Darren made us some delicious hot dogs for dinner. The kids were happy and fed, and we had fun catching up with the Greene's.

Tracey recently had knee surgery, so she decided that two nights in a tent, on the ground, would be too much for her knee. She had decided early on to go home Friday night and come back early Saturday morning. Like I needed an excuse to get to sleep in a bed?? I whole heartedly and without an ounce of hesitation, offered to escort her home and stay with her. She couldn't go home to an empty home...alone. No way! I was the loyal friend who stayed with her and sacrificed a night in the woods to be with her. (Lucky me!!)

We made it back to the campsite early the next morning and spent the rest of the day lounging, talking, playing, and just having a good time. The weather was absolutely picture perfect. We took advantage of our ample time and took about a million pictures. Posed, action, you name it. What better than to capture our camping memories with some pictures! The husbands were not as delighted. Tracey and I wrangled them into some really cheesy poses, all the while they were reluctantly obliging.

As night fell...somewhere around 4:30-ish...we cooked dinner and made s'mores for dessert. Well most everyone did...I just ate big, fat, burnt marshmallows and relished every bite. After dinner, I was feeling really crampy. My little friend had showed up on our way down the day before, and she was back with a vengeance. I kept imagining myself getting up to go to the bathroom during the night, not being able to see very well, and trying to keep everything in tact...if you know what I mean. SURE, you are GIRLS. 99.9% of you reading this can follow.

Sheepishly, I turned to Tracey and asked her if she minded if we went back to her house for the night. There was no need for arm twisting, she didn't bat one pretty eyelash. She was ready!

We got to her house and decided to get on FB together. Oh my gosh, we laughed so hard. We found some funny stuff. We laughed our butts off. Silly, silly, silly girls. It was like a slumber party, but just the two of us. I love Tracey Greene. No matter how much time has passed, it's like we are right back in sync.

To sum it all up, we had ample fun, and an abundant of laughs that weekend. Although I didn't get a chance to break in the tent...I was okay with that.

Our next camping trip is scheduled for this weekend. I am sure I won't be able to find an excuse good enough for not sleeping in the tent. So, say a prayer for me. Please.

still smelling the campfire,