January 31, 2009

25 Things About Me You Really Need to Know

Apparently there is this thing on Facebook that you list 25 random things about your self. Since I am not a member of that cult, I thought I would list my 25 things here:

25. I don't drink coffee.
24. People that think highly of themselves nauseate me.
23. I love to take long road trips.
22. If I could choose any other place to live, I would live in the Smoky Mountains.
21. I want to be Amish.
20. I am married to the most patient man in the world.
19. I have the three most amazing children in the world.
18. I have the two most wonderful children-in-laws in the world.
17. I was very shy and insecure up until I was in my twenties....now I am just insecure.
16. I hate bugs.
15. I miss my Dad..... a lot.
14. I used to write short stories and poetry and regret not pursuing it further.
13. I hate working full time.
12. I am not, nor have I ever been, a good money manager.
11. I am annoyed by slow drivers.
10. I took shorthand in high school and can not remember one single thing I learned.
9. I think tattle tales should have to wear a scarlet letter on their chest.
8. I never understood the purpose of parent/teacher conferences.
7. I really hate being lied to. (See #8)
6. I would really like to get a look at my "permanent record."
5. I like to be alone.
4. My favorite things to buy are shoes, purses and sunglasses.
3. I started writing a blog just to embarrass Stephanie
2. I hate dogs. (not really, but that is just to get back at the people who say they hate cats)
1. I wish I were smarter.

Hair - larious....

Oh I feel so good today. I got my hair done last night. I no longer have that dark brown/gray streak running down the length of my part! Now every strand is a beautiful, warm brown with gorgeous highlights sprinkled through that pick up the sun and just glow. Sparkle I tell you. It is exactly how God intended for my hair to look!

I haven't always been so confident with my hair. My earliest memory is when I was probably 6 or 7. I was in the first grade and had gotten a haircut. I remember going to my room and crying because I looked in the mirror was convinced that I looked just like one of the Beatles. I was just sure that whoever it was that cut my hair was obsessed with Ringo Starr and decided I should honor the drummer by sporting his same hair style. Oh, if I had only known then what I know now, it was to be the first in a long line of hair disappointments.

Well I eventually moved into the "shag" era. For those who don't know what a shag is, it is really just a feminine mullet. It is cut short and layered all over the head but there is just a little fringe that hangs down the back of the neck to about the top of the collar. Marvelous...just stunning. I spent my middle school years looking very much like Florence Henderson from the Brady Bunch. Then my junior year in high school I got rid of the modified mullet and let it start to grow. I also thought I needed some color. So documented for life in my senior pictures are my two blond streaks about 1/2 inch thick on each side of my part just on the bangs. Oh it was beautiful!!

Then the perm years. Ah yes, short and curly, long and curly. A good perm would last for months!! My daughter accuses me of ruining her childhood and scarring her for life by having her hair permed. I just think it built character. Yes the perm years were dark years and lasted for quite a while. We really just don't like to talk about them.

Now we are in the color enhanced years. I had made a decision I was not going to color my hair to hide the gray so I started before the gray appeared. Now I could be the most beautiful shade of silver to ever grace this earth, but I will never know because Kris at Riverside Salon has found the perfect color for me and I thank God every time I walk out that door.

I will always struggle with fine, bodiless hair, but it will always be the color of buttered toast. Thank you Jesus.

January 26, 2009


WOOO HOOO....It's been a long time waiting but the Cats are finally back in the
top 25!

**update....it was good for the one week it lasted!

January 25, 2009

Yummy in the Tummy #2

Had a busy week this week and ate out twice....make that three times this week.

But this recipe is a keeper. Give it try!

Enchilada Casser-Ole!
1 lb lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups salsa
1 can (15oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup reduced-fat Italian salad dressing
2 Tbs taco seasoning
1/4 tsp ground cumin
6 flour torillas (8")
3/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend
1 cup shredded lettuce
1 medium tomato chopped
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro

In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the salsa, beans, dressing, taco seasoning and cumin. Place three tortillas in a 2-qt baking dish coated with cooking spray. Layer with half of the met mixture, sour cream and cheese. Repeat layers.

Cover and bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until heated through. Let stand for 5 minutes before topping with lettuce, tomato and cilantro.

Makes 8 servings

1 serving=357 cal. 12 g fat, 37 g carbs, 3 g fiber

January 21, 2009

Daisy's Favorite TV Show

I am not kidding, you can have the TV on any channel and the cat will completely ignore it. She is only slightly interested in the Weather Channel, but turn on Animal Planet and she will sit for an hour or more watching it. When a commercial comes on, she stretches and looks around to see what everyone else in the room is doing, but once there is some sort of critter on TV, she is glued. How crazy is that?

Hmmm, is that some sort of alligator?

I smell something funny!

I'm just not liking the hair do.

That dog looks depressed.

A C Slater....I LOVE YOU!!!

January 19, 2009

Book Report!!!

I enjoy reading, but find that once I have started a book, it is very difficult to put it down. I tend to let every thing go until I finish it. I certainly can't stop at the end of the chapter because I have to know how the tragedy works itself out. It is just a vicious cycle!!

As far as the kinds of books I read, that varies. Christian fiction is always an easy read. Just an opportunity to let my mind get lost into the story. The problems that the characters have are always far more exciting than my own simple existence. I mean really, when will I ever be caught up in a plot to discover my mother's past as in "Ruby Among Us" by Tina Ann Forkner, or I will never be married to the man who has discovered the cure for alcoholism as in "The Cure" by Athol Dickson. So fiction is just a pleasant way to remove myself from the dreary day to dayness. I also enjoy reading books that stretch my thinking and encourage me to improve my walk with God. Although "The Shack" by William Young is technically fiction, it made me examine how I view God and his relationship with me and is probably on my list for my top 5 favorites. John Eldredge ("Walking With God") and Brennan Manning ("Raggamuffin Gospel") also make me think outside the box. Although, some of the things they write about I may not agree with 100%, they still make me think about WHY I disagree with them and how I might argue my point with them. I also try to read books that will increase my knowledge, but those are pretty few and far between. Remember, my existence is simple and so is my mind!! Usually, I am also always in the middle of some sort of Bible Study. For instance, right now I am working on "Esther; It's Tough Being A Woman" By Beth Moore.

But today I just finished the book "Where Do I Go?" by Neta Jackson.
It is the first book in the follow-up series of the Yada Yada series. If you are looking for an enjoyable, light read, with characters that are believable and approachable, you will enjoy this book.

The book has some of the same characters from the Yada Yada series, but if you haven't had the pleasure of reading those books, you will still be able to pick right up with "Where Do I Go?". It introduces a new protagonist in Gabrielle "Gabby" Fairbanks. A Midwestern girl who has been dealt a bad hand in her early life, but seems to have recovered nicely with her new, handsome, wealthy, southern husband and their two young boys with their life in Virgina. That is until she is moved to Chicago and through a series of "coincidences" finds her world broken and hopeless. But the "coincidences" that appear to be the reason her life has been blown apart are the very things that will help hold her together.

If simplicity, encouragement and hope is what you are looking for in a book, I would recommend this one. But be careful, the characters will grow on you and you will be hooked and have to back up and read all 7 Yada Yada books until the next book in this series is released in September!

January 17, 2009

Yummy in the Tummy

I thought I would share some of lasts week successful meals. They are quick and easy and also pretty healthy.

1 medium onion, cinely chopped
3 Tbs. olive oil
1 4 oz can chopped green chilies drained
3 Tbs all-purpose flour
1 healping tsp ground cumin
2 15.8 oz can Great Northern Beans
1 14.5 oz can chicken broth
1 1/2 cup finely chopped cooked chicken breast

In a large skillet, cook onion in oil for 4 minutes or until transparent. Add chilies, flour, and cumin; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add beans and chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 10 minutes or until thickened. Add chicken; cook until hot.
Serves 4

1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese ( I used the reduced fat kind)
2 Tbls chopped roasted sweet read peppers
2 Tbls butter, softened ( I used the I Can't Believe It's Not Butter)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Tabasco sauce to taste ( I used three or four shakes---I'm a sissy though)
2 - 4 Hoagie buns ( I used four Light Hamburger Buns)
1 cup shredded cooked chicken
1/2 cup barbecue sauce.

In a small bowl, combine the first five ingredients; spread over buns. Place on a baking sheet. Broil 3-4 in. from the heat for 2-4 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Meanwhile, in a samll microwave-safe bowl, combine chicken and barbecue sauce. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes or until heated through. Spread chicken mixture over bun bottoms; replace tops.
Makes 2-4 sandwiches depending on how big the buns are.

Hope you enjoy these! We did.


January 13, 2009

What's in a name?

As many of you probably know, I am soon going to be a grandma to a little boy. My son and his wife are expecting the little man in May and I can hardly wait. Of course there is much planning to do before you can bring a child home from the hospital. There is the nursery; what will the theme be, what colors will we paint it, what style crib will we buy? Then of course there are the layette necessities; diapers, clothing, diapers, teething rings, diapers, blankets, diapers.....you get the picture. But one of the paramount choices to be made is the name.

Isn't interesting that one of the most intimate parts of your claim to humanity is chosen for you by someone else? This puts a great deal of pressure on a parent. Some parents have chosen to throw caution to the wind and name their child much like one would name a puppy or a doll. I am thinking of the rocker Frank Zappa's children; Diva, Dweezil, Moon Unit, & Rodan Zappa. How about Jermajesty Jackson, son of Jermaine Jackson. Or one of my favorites, I. P. Freely Carradine, son of Kung Fu fighter, David Carradine. Others choose names with significant family meanings. For example, if we had chosen to go this route Christopher would be known to all as Elmo. You see my husband's father's name is Elmo.....and so is my grandmother's. Well, her given name was Flora Elmo, but she preferred to be called Elmo. I wished I would have asked her why. Still others choose their names according to their meanings. In Genesis Isaac and Rebekah named their twin sons Jacob and Esau. The name Jacob means "heal grabber" or "supplanter." This name fit him well because as the Bible tells us Jacob was delivered grasping his brother's heel and eventually supplanted Esau from his rightful place as heir and eventually ruled over him. Esau's name fit him well too, as it meant hairy. I wonder, did they live up to their names or were their names their destiny?

Personally, we chose the names of our children just because they were classical names that would fit a child and still be acceptable adult names. Also, simply for the beauty of the name itself. I looked up the meanings and was pleased to find that they were encouraging and grounded in Biblical history.
Christopher - bearing Christ
Elizabeth - my God is abundance
Stephanie - crown
My name, Deidria, on the other hand, means raging, broken-hearted, darkness or fear. Celtic legend holds that Deirdre died of a broken heart after her lover's murder. I wonder, did I live up to my name? I hope not and certainly hope it isn't my destiny!

Either way the name is chosen, it is the years and years of love, caring, instruction and guidance that follow that will shape the child. I am sure the name chosen plays a part in how a child is received depending on the environment and culture is exists in. But if the parent has instilled an unshakable confidence and built in that precious child, the foundation of who they are in the eyes of their creator God, they will grow old knowing that they are loved. If no one else on this earth loves them, their Abba Father does. Once any of us have come to that realization, not even a name like I.P. Freely can crush us. Whether our names be Dweezil or Gavin we are known to God by name. He calls us by name because we are his (Isaiah 43:1). We are graven on the palms of his hand (Isaiah 49:16). He loves us.

So go ahead Chris and Kelly, name my little man whatever you choose. I know that whatever name we call him here on earth, in heaven God will call him his own and that is far more important than the name that will be on his birth certificate, his report card, his driver's license, his diploma, his business card, his social security check (if there will be one then) or his tombstone. The name you give him will walk with him all his life. But the Name Above All Names will walk with him all of eternity.

If you would like to help Chris and Kelly choose a name, stop by their blog and vote for one of the names they are considering. You can find them at http://peaceloveandcantwells.blogspot.com/


January 10, 2009

It's Snowing.....Again!

Yes, it is snowing again here in northern Illinois. The last couple of years we have experienced several significant snow storms. I remember, however, that when I was a child winters were almost always snowy like this. I also remember the very fashionable winter apparel that we wore.

I can remember a plaid, wool-y kind of coat with big buttons. Girls of course were allowed to wear pants under our dresses. You see, even though I attended a public school, it wasn't until probably 1969-70 that girls were allowed to wear pants to school. So in the winter we would slip our stretch pants on underneath our dresses and have to take them off once we were at school.

I also remember a hat that fit very snuggly to the head and had fur running all around the front with ties that had big fur balls on the ends. I can't remember if I wore mittens or gloves. That detail escapes me. However I do vividly remember the footwear. Ah yes, I wore boots and changed once I was at school into the shoes that were left there for that purpose (book bags and back packs were uncool so transporting them was not an option). But the stunning factor of the winter boot was the plastic bread wrappers I wore before putting the boots on!!!

Yes, for whatever reason, my mother thought I needed an extra layer of waterproof protection and came up with this idea of putting bread bags on my feet before I put the boots on. She must of thought this would best provide this much needed barrier to the wet snow. So every morning I would slip on my Wonder Bread bags, then my boots, slide into my coat and button it up, pull on my furry hat, and then I don't know, stuff my hands in my pockets I guess. Just kidding, I am sure my mom made sure my hands were well covered, I just don't recall how. And off to school I would go. I don't remember being ridiculed for the anti-dampness accessory, so apparently no one noticed or everyone else was wearing their own Sunbeam bags!

I would love to hear your winter memories. You can leave them here by clicking on the word "comments" type your story in the box marked comments. Click on the "select profile" drop down box and choose anonymous. Then click on "publish comment".

January 07, 2009

Winter Break '08

Well things are starting to settle back into the routine now. Back to work, back to cooking, back to laundry...all the fun stuff. Our Christmas tree is still up and the ornaments are scattered over the living room. That will have to wait until Saturday I guess.

I am finally caught up on my sleep from our vacation. This was the year for Chris and Elizabeth to spend Christmas with their spouse's families. Chris and Kelly were in Eau Claire, WI and Elizabeth and Rob were in Louisville. We all met up on Dec 28th, in South Padre Island, TX, and spent a week there. We stayed in a condo on the beach. Danny, Steph and I drove there. We took three days to get there and spent an evening in San Antonio. We took a boat tour on the River Walk and ate at the best Mexican restaurant I have ever eaten at. It was oh so good. Chris, Kelly, Elizabeth and Rob flew into South Padre on Sunday.

We had a great time. The weather was less than ideal, but it was warmer than 9 below and it didn't rain or snow so I was just fine with it. SPI, as we like to call it, is about 30 minutes from Mexico, so we spent a day in Matamoras in the market square there. It was very interesting, because it was an authentic market place and not a typical tourist kind of place. On another day we went to a Wildlife refuge and saw alligators, rattle snakes and lots and lots of birds in their natural habitats. That afternoon was then followed up at an outlet mall....what is a vacation without a trip to an outlet mall. Chris and Kelly win the prize for the most purchases!! We also went deep sea fishing. Caught lots of red snapper, but unfortunately, they were out of season and we couldn't keep them. It was fun just being on a boat and seeing dolphins swimming around us. Kelly, in her pregnant state, opted not to ride the waves and enjoyed a nice morning to herself. We ate LOTS and LOTS of seafood. I think we had some kind of seafood every night. It was all very good, but I know I have had my fill of shrimp for a while.

Chris, Kelly and Steph had to leave on Thursday. Chris had a conference in New York on Saturday that he had to prepare for and Steph had to work. Elizabeth and Rob flew out early on Friday morning and Danny and I drove...and drove....and drove for 25 hours back home.

But like I said, back to reality. Now I am counting the days (about 4 months worth) until Little Man Cantwell gets here and things will really pick up then!!

Here some pictures from the Cantwell Winter Break '08
Sorry they are a little scattered around I just figured out how to line them up!

Chris browsing for a tortilla maker.

Mamacita, Papacita, and the little Bambino!!

A little fog never hurt anyone!

It was really, really early to be up and on a boat!!

But well worth it!!

A visitor to our fishing trip!

I think Rob looks very distinguished in his hat!

Celebrating with the sisters!!
I can't remember if this was before or after Steph was dancing on a chair.

The best way to bring a new year, with your family!

January 06, 2009


I wonder if Aunt Bea would try to blog. She tried to make pickles...tried to act...tried new recipes...tried to sing and write songs...tried to save money by purchasing a half side of beef to put in her old beat up freezer...I think she would try to blog. So I think I will too!!

I know that my kids will CRACK UP when they read this, but I really don't care!! Just remember, I never laughed at any of you when you tried to play drums in my basement, curl your hair like Little Orphan Annie for cheerleading, or when you sang a solo in the Christmas play at church!!

Probably what I will write about the most will be the fam. But who knows what might show up here. I am just a wealth of ideas just waiting for a place for them to come to fruition. (Ok...stop laughing kids.)

Well enough for now. Check back soon for more witty writing and if I can figure it out, maybe a picture or two!! But for now...sit back and enjoy a few moments in Mayberry.

January 01, 2009

Seista Memory Verses 2009

#1 Jonah 2:8-9
#2 2 Corinthians 5:19b-20
#3 Psalms 34:17-18
#4 2 Corinthians 10:12
#5 Psalm 115:1
#6 2 Corinthians 1:8b-9
#7 Habakkuk 3:2
#8 Acts 1:8
#10 Psalm 90:14
#11 Isaiah 43:1
#12 Ephesians 5:1-2
#13 Psalm 141:3-4
#14 1 John 3:1
#15 Psalm 51:1-2
#16 Hebrews 10:24
#17Psalm 37:7
#18 Hebrews 2:1
#19 Deuteronomy 30:11
#20 Revelation 3:7-8