Sunday, March 29, 2009

My Thankful List

I am so thankful for....

1. That I have a everlasting savior that loves me just as I am.

2. That I do not have the stomach flu and I'm not queasy anymore.

3. I'm thankful for baby Jonah going home tomorrow and many people praying for this little one.

4. I'm thankful for a really refreshing ladies chocolate conference in Quincy yesterday with Monica, Dawn and Joy. It was so encouraging to see so many women who love the Lord and wanting growth in their lives. I don't always see that, so when you do it is so refreshing.

5. I'm thankful for my encouraging daughter who seems to encourage me at just the right times. She has a big heart for others and she is starting to sound like me and all my 1,000 questions. It's funny to see her little 6 year old ask me all about my day and my things. I love that! I feel I'm reaping what I've sown!

6. I'm thankful for a package in the mail of running goodies in the mail this week.

7. I'm thankful for my journal.

8. I'm thankful to try new things after being encouraged to do so this past weekend. I'm always trying something new.

9. I'm thankful for my Spring flowers and how beautiful they are.

10. I'm thankful for good nights of sleep, warm days, chocolate chip banana bread, feeling good again, a 10 minute conversation with a foreign friend catching up on the last year ( you know I'm good when we can get it all in a short time) I'm thankful for so much....

Thankful for you too,

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Campbell Crew!

They really wanted their picture taken with the pine cones.

Lindsey and Drew posing in the cold without coats on!

I love it that Lindsey is still such a cuddlier, I think Chad does too.

Okay I love this picture of Drew, it kinda shows his little personality. I also love that my husband is always so funny in his pictures. He really has a hard time with pictures, even when he's trying. BTW- I really wasn't trying to have us all match, I just wanted to wear my new shirt, and then it happened that Lindsey would wear blue and I thought why not drew too. Now with Chad, that was just what he wore as he is low on the dress clothes. So I did kinda match the kids and I, but not Chad. It all worked out though and looks pretty cute!

Awwww my sweet lil peep!

Not sure, but the Lindsey was wanting to pose for the camera, Drew is all messing from who knows what and I'm just enjoying them at Grandpa's house.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Taste and see that the Lord is good....Thursday

Ahhh I love taste and see Thursdays.... I hope you do too. I'm excited to post ya some good ol' chocolate recipe. I am doing so as i'm going to a ladies conference on Saturday about the chocolate side of life, or something like that. I'm excited and I know those who are going are too, no we are not going to eat chocolate all day, (although that sounds appealing). So in light of my weekend without the kids on Saturday I found a oldy, and yummy recipe in my little recipe folder. I have made these in the past and it melts...... literally in your mouth. It's called Mississippi Mud Cake. I find it appropriate as I live by the Mississippi river...hee hee.

Okay so firs things first. The cake is as good as it sounds.... with it's rich, fudgy frosting poured over a layer of mini marshmallows atop a brownie-like cake, most chocoholics agree that this is sure bet to satisfying your chocolate craving.

So now don't ya wanna make it???? I know you do... or at least Elizabeth and Dawn do!

Mississippi Mud Cake

by the Gooseberry ladies

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook 40 minutes

1 1/3 c flour

1/4 t salt

2 c sugar

1/2 c baking cocoa

1 c butter, melted

4 eggs, beaten

1 t vanilla

2 c mini marshmallows

1/4 c butter or marg

1/3 c baking cocoa

2/3 cu milk

16 oz box powdered sugar, sifted

* Stir together first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Add melted butter, eggs, and vanilla, stirring until smooth. Spread batter into greased 13 x 9 pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Sprinkle hot cake with mini marshmallows.

* Combine 1/4 cup butter, 1/3 cup baking cocoa and milk in medium saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly with wire whisk, and boil one minute. Remove from heat and stir in powdered sugar. Immediately pour chocolate mixture over marshmallows. Let cake cool completely on wire rack. Cut into squares.

Makes lots.

Take a shortcut!

If time is short and cravings abound, substitute a 19.8-ounce package of brownie mix for the cake batter. Prepare mix according to package directions and spoon into a 13 x9 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes and proceed as directed in the recipe.

FYI- to get picture perfect slices from this rich cake, cover and chill it overnight before slicing it. The hardest part about that is waiting that long for the first bite!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Kidsrock reward trip

My lil Olympian! Lindsey earned this reward trip from church. This is a cool gymnastic center in Quincy, Illinois. I of course would love it if we had this studio here in our town as my little lindsey could have fun learning from them. Maybe she'd be the next Shawn Johnson.... nay I want her to just be what God wants her to be.

Okay so this is one big pit of styrofoam blocks, I must say it is fun and really, really hard to get out of. I took the plunge myself and was sore the next day from trying to get out of it.

Lindsey is brave jumping into the pit!

Here she is swinging on the rope to another big foam block thingy.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My favorite little guys!

Drew loves to read with Daddy, in fact his nightly routine is read books in the rocking chair, then when it's serious bedtime, we read more books in his rocking chair in his room. We think Drew has become the master of making bedtime last forever.

Okay so this is what we do in winter, I know it's spring but drew was wanting a little chance to ride his bike in the snow, so I let him.

There he goes, boots and all on his favorite, non pedalling bike.

Monday, March 23, 2009

My new song

Oh Lord to you
We will seek you first Lord, you will hear our voices,
early in the morning and late in the night.
We will sing your praises, giving you the glory,
offering our lives to you a holy sacrifice.
May our praise arise like incense, oh Lord to you.
May our worship be a fragrance, oh Lord to you.
I have found myself thinking about this song, and now I have come to enjoy it. It is very dear to me right now. I'm not sure who the artist is, all I know is that it's on my list of songs I Iisten when I go run. The words are so powerful and to the point.
I will now make it my prayer, that I will seek You first early in the morning ( yes, even now as I start my early morning workout routine again) and that at night you are on my heart. I absolutely love the part in the song where the great crescendo build up is for these words "offering our lives to you a holy sacrifice"--- ooooh I love it, love the whole O.T. background.
I am thankful for sweet reminders in a song that echos my desires to live as your chosen people, holy and devoted to you. I'm excited to be a small part in your big puzzle. Make my life count for something, with my children and with all whom I associate with. Each day is such a gift, I pray I use each gift wisely for you Lord.
Much love,

Sunday, March 22, 2009

My Thankful List

I am thankful for.....

1. I'm thankful for a wonderful sunny Saturday, lots of time outdoors playing with the kiddos.

2. I'm thankful for Lindsey and Mommy date night together. We had so much fun!

3. I'm thankful for my kind husband who let me sleep in this weekend, took care of the peeps and then let me go on a long fun run, and he never even complained! Yeah Mr. Chad!

4. I'm thankful for a wonderful week at church this week, ladies luncheon and children's revival.

5. I'm thankful for many phone calls this week, despite my land line cutting out most of the time.

6. I'm thankful for many encouraging blogs that always brighten up my day and give me food for thought. Sometimes it's as if I'm supposed to have read that.

7. I'm so thankful that I finished a great book this week. It was such a well written book, with an incredible story. I found myself not wanting to put it down. The book of John is woven throughout the characters story. Great fiction if you want to read it!!

8. I'm thankful it's almost Popsicle season!

9. I'm thankful " I can do all things through Christ who give me strength"- Philippians 4:13. I pray that verse to my kids everyday on the way to school. I'm starting to believe it.

10. I'm thankful my job is that of a stay-at-home mom, that I can dwell well (that's been on my heart lately), that I have healthy children, a husband who loves me. I'm thankful that God has answered a prayer that's been in my heart for years yet I seem to not think I should pray for it. I'm thankful that it is coming to fruition.

11. I'm thankful for great tunes to listen to on my runs. I just started this week to listen to music, I think I'm liking it. I play track # 3 for miles!!!!

12. I'm thankful for you, that as you are reading this, you may see a little window into my heart and maybe still find me normal.

So what are you thankful for?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Tooth on the loose!

Toward the end of February, Lindsey lost her first tooth. She was so excited that she finally had a loose tooth. We were just about 5 minutes shy of leaving for Cedar Rapids on a Friday when I knew Lindsey's tooth was barely hanging on. Mr. Chad had just got home from school and he was hoping her tooth was still there so he could have a good look and it and pull it. Lindsey was ready so she told him he could, we both could. We both tried. We both failed. Mr. Chad wrapped her tiny lil tooth with some fancy floss and ...... POP it came out. Awwww she was super excited and couldn't wait to show off her little toothless grin to us all.

She also couldn't wait to use her tooth fairy pillow, well it was my tooth fairy pillow as a little girl. At our house the tooth fairy is pretty cheap, then when grandma found out about the tooth she kinda stole our thunder. Oh well, I guess that's what grandma's are for.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Great Giveaway!

Great giveaway:
If you post it on your blog you get a chance to win some tshirts. I really
like the shirts. Go check them out!!
Wild Olive Tees

Taste and see that the Lord is good....Thursday

Aww what a refreshing week. I'm thinking I should post a recipe for my homemade freshly squeezed lemonade, but everyone knows how to do that, even my little people. I love today's fun fun recipe. It comes from a cookbook that I have, yet I didn't even know it was in my cookbook until my sister-in-law, Elizabeth told me about it. We both got this cookbook from our cool father-in-law ( If your reading, I'm not kissing up). So when she made these tasty bars I feel in love with the bars.
Elizabeth likes to bake lots and always shares her fun stuff with our family. Recently she's taken up making homemade cakes and frosting. She always makes great birthday cakes for her kids and spends like a gillion hours creating cool cakes. I admire that, I spend 15 minutes at Hy-Vee picking out a cake for the little people, does that count? Elizabeth is married to my husband's brother. They moved to Keokuk the year I got pregant with Lindsey and then they too had a baby the same time we did. Our kids are close in age and my kids have special bonds with the cousins. I love that.
One thing Elizabeth and I have in common is talking on the phone. We usually have a reason for calling each other but we get so distracted in our conversation that we end up forgetting why we called in the first place. Elizabeth is good at making people feel comfortable by talking, I think that's one of your gifts, even if it's just talking about silly stuff (Love it). One thing I appreciate about Elizabeth is that she helps out with communication between our family. The men in our lives do not properly communicate and we seem to get the job done. Thank you for staying on top of that. Thanks for all your goodies, fun talks and being my friend ( not just family).
Love your guts,

Can't Leave Alone Bars
by Elizabeth

1 package of white cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter or margarine, cubed

In a bowl combine dry cake mix, eggs, and oil. With floured hands, press 2/3 of the mixture into a greased 9 x 13 inch dish. Set remaining cake mixture aside. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine milk, chocolate chips and butter. Microwave uncovered, on High for 45 seconds; stir. Microwave 45-60 seconds longer or until chips and butter are melted. Stir until smooth. Pour over crust. Drop teaspoons of remaining cake mixture over the top. Bake at 350* for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool before cutting( if you can wait that long)
Makes 3 dozen


Monday, March 16, 2009

My random questions and answers

This is like the facebook 25 things, I could not do the 25 things on facebook, but I did answer some funny questions.

1.What did you want to be when you grew up? A teacher and mommy. So far my dream is come true.

2. First thing I did today? Woke up to husband’s alarm and then started to pray

3. Funny memory this week? 6 year old getting sick at nice restaurant all over me, the floor and then 2 year old falling in it. Husband was nowhere to be seen:)

4. Best thing about today? Family time, making fabulous dessert and talking on the phone lots

5. Worst thing about today? Eating too much dessert

6. Favorite place to be? Home

7. What do you do often? Text message people

8. What do you love to do in spare time? Lately it’s been get lost in a book, or go on a run

9. Funniest gift you have received? Snow flake earings

10. Goals for 2009? Have lots… hope to achieve most, love it

11.Favorite book? The Bible (good Sunday school answer, but true)

12. Over achiever or under achiever? Neither

13. Content with where you are in life? Always room for improvement, I am enjoying the progressive journey of life right now

14. Lots of friends or prefer a few? That depends, I have lots of friends (look at my facebook page) but only a few I’d really share the real nitty gritty things with.

15. What is the first thing you’d pack if going on a trip? GPS, flat iron, books, snacks, if I had the kids with me I’d pack their stuff first.

16. How would someone else describe you in a few words? Cheerful & loyal

17. What word would you like to be remembered by? Faithful

18. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be? ( nothing physically)
accept change easier, not a people pleaser, more open and not standoffivish

19. Who do you admire? Mothers

20. Best time in your life? my time at OCC, and Now

Saturday, March 14, 2009

My Thankful List

I am really amazed how fast time goes by, it's seems like I just did this list and now it's time to do another one and I'm thrilled. I think about thankfulness everyday, I'm just not always good at writing down what I'm thankful for each day of the week.

1. I'm thankful for a family in North Carolina who share their heart on their blog. They have a baby with serious health issues and I am thankful for their authenticity. Pray for them. They have a blog.

2. My family feeling better!!!

3. A great getaway at my friend Donna's house this week when the family was sick. I am thankful for our bible study, your hot tea and great jelly beans, and for writing on your hand all the things you didn't want to forget to tell me after the Beth Moore dvd. You bless me so!

4. The simple sweet ways my children show me their love. They are so great, I'm glad they are mine.

5. I'm thankful for a fun filled Saturday, KCA action ( my mom bought about everything), 2 birthday parties ( I attended one) and a fun Kidsrock reward night.

6. I'm thankful that my mom watched Drew this week so I could go shopping kid-free with cool Dawn Farris and for a fun lunch with father-in-law!

7. Funny thankfulness: My let's call everyone I haven't talked to in awhile on my way to and from Mops time. I love it and I loooooove to talk on the phone.... I'm thinking that's one of my gifts :)

8. I'm thankful for family time this week. We haven't really had lots of time together ( when we aren't sick) and Friday we had lots of family time and the kids enjoyed time at grandpas and more fun playing with cousins.

9. I'm thankful it's almost Spring!

10. I'm thankful for the small runs I've had this week, and a great one I'm going to do today. I'm excited for our ladies exercise class continuing on till the end of April.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Taste and see that the Lord is good....Thursday

Today's tasty recipe is so yummy and delish delish that I think I may have to go make it this coming weekend. I got this recipe from a girl at a pampered chef party, so I can't really write about her because A. I really do not know her and B. At least she gave me a great little spicy recipe.

Spicy Chicken Dip is it's name and when I was pregnant with my 2nd I craved this and always had people over so I could make it. (Maybe that's why I gained the 50lbs) Guess I'm being reminded I should have people over so I can make this, but not gain 50lbs.

BTW- This is a big hit with the fellas, chad request this at the after the game football parties we have. So if you know people who like spicy things, make this they will looooove it.

Spicy Chicken Dip

2 cans of chicken
2 blocks of cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 jar of jalapenos (add to taste)

Soften cream cheese, add chicken, soups, and jalapenos. Warm in crockpot. Serve with chips or crackers. ( We like fritos corn chips scoops) I have a programmable crockpot that just does warm, it works out perfect. I have used the low on a regular crockpot and it gets super hot.

***Enjoy and if you make this you better tell me, or better yet invite us over :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Isn't it funny how we can have such a bad attitude one minute, then be super okay then next. Ahem, right now my people are sick. The chaos is almost too much for me. Now as I am reflecting on the blog.... I am changing. It's a good thing, a scary thing, and a trust in Jesus thing for me as well. So when I think about my little household of sickness I am learning that I'm selfish. Okay so my question is why? I like my little schedule, my people here at certain times and not here at certain times. Get the beautiful picture folks?
I think I do my relationship with the Lord like that some days. I like my little schedule with the Lord, certain times I am SELFISH and put that time off for just another hour..... I have dishes to do, laundry to maybe start and then of course my email to check. What? I'm thinking that's so selfish, I need to be where You are, no rely on self. SELF never really gets me anywhere, there is no peace or security in self. So today I've realized that and been in this prayer state since like 5:30 a.m. folks. Yep I am, and I realize I probably need a good dose of His medicine for my soul.
It has been my prayer that last couple weeks to be a truer worshiper, ( by today's attitude I feel I'm way failing). I want to be a truer server, truer seeker and a truer confessor. So today I have highs ( at least a couple), lows (many), celebrations, and frustrations.
A great verse I'm going to pray today is from such a cool old testament story... go read it and enjoy. 2 Chronicles 20:21 " Give thanks to the Lord, for His Love endures forever."

I'm so glad his love endures forever, and our little sickness does not.
Much love,

Saturday, March 7, 2009

My Thankful List

What a great week this has been and what a great God we have. As I reflect on this past week, I can't help but steal a little saying from my Lindsey's daily devotional sheet from church, this little quote was probably more for me this week than her.
Looking at individual days in our lives can be like looking at one piece of a puzzle. Only God knows what the finished picture of your life will look like. He knows where to fit each piece--each and every day that we live.

1. I am thankful for God's redeeming love, ( can you tell I love francine rivers) and that He has a plan for me.

2. I am thankful for all the ways God has surprised me this week, with prayer, friends and 2 encouraging cards that I read over and over.

3. I'm thankful that I can take burdens of others to God and not try to fix people, that is so freeing.

4. I'm thankful for my new book my friend Donna got for me, can't wait to see it, she even had the author sign it.

5. I'm thankful for a messy, cluttered house with lots of neighborhood kids laughing in it... and of course picking it up.

6. I'm thankful I have AAA, so when I locked my keys in the van at my friend Dawn's house, I didn't have to pay all my tax refund.

7. I'm really thankful for signs of spring, my flowers peeping up a little on the south side, sleeping with the window open and waking to the early birds chirp ( I know call me crazy).

8. I'm thankful for all those people this week who asked me about my running, thank you, you are thoughtful.

9. I am thankful for what God is doing in the hearts of His people. It is so encouraging to share that with others.

10. I'm thankful for so much, so much, so much.... that's a song we sing and Lindsey and i sing it so much. I'm thankful for that reminder.

11. Silly thankfulness- Dancing crazy with the kids, sarcasm with the hubs ( he is so funny), text messaging everybody (loooove it), good hair days, cold house at night so I can sleep.

12. I am thankful to God for introducing me to some awesome people before we get to Heaven! Now that's cool!

Thanks for reading, seeing and understanding my list!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Taste and see that the Lord is good....Thursday

Ahhhh today's tasty recipe is a sweet one, and it comes from a southern sweet little girlie girl friend of mine. My friend Rebecca gave me this recipe, she is so funny. I attended Ozark Christian College with her and have numerous stories I could share, she is very unique and a very organized person. Everything she does is done with such diligence and 100% thought behind her perfect work. I appreciate Rebecca's thoughtfulness in making every gift she gives to have so much thought behind what she does. I pray for her everyday as just recently she sent me these cool magnets she made from clear rocks, behind each magnet she put some cute little color paper , or letters to spell out my name, a picture of a dog because she loves Herky our fox terrier, and baby feet as I had just recently had a baby, and the funny one was her behind a magnet. So thanks Rebecca, my children have tried to shallow you and ask who you are all the time. ( We are now out of the stage of everything goes to the mouth). I really think i need to start a friend journal of all the funny things/stories I remember about my friends, so when I'm in the nursing home I can look back at my life and just laugh.
I will write down Rebecca's dorm room garage sale first because you over drafted. I just recently got rid of those good deals... course they as I remember were free due to your guilt. Thanks for the laughs.

I'm not a real old fashioned custard pie person, I know my mom and her generation are but I gave this a try a few years ago .... due to the fact you can't mess it up in the blender. I found out I really like the simplicity of it, and it tasted good, and I have brought it to family functions and all the old people gobble it up. Hee Hee!

Impossible Custard Pie
By Rebecca Lamke Sas

Ingredients: 2 cups of milk, 2/3 cup sugar, 4 eggs, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 stick margarine, 1/2cup flour, 1 cup coconut ( i never put this in), and 1 tsp vanilla.

Pour all ingredients into a blender. Blend for 20 seconds then pour into a 10 inch pie tin. Do Not use a smaller pie tin. If you like sprinkle nutmeg on top. Bake at 350* for 45-60 minutes or until knife comes out clean. ( If glass pan is used, lower heat to 325*)
A crust forms on the bottom, custard in the middle and the coconut rises to the top. The pie will be puffed up when it comes out of the oven, but will drop in the center as it cools. Enjoy!

* Note: The name of this recipe is Impossible but it's really not. It's so simple!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

My Thankful List

I am so thankful this week I could just squeak or maybe just hug somebody! I have thought a lot about what I am thankful for this week. In fact I prayed/ reflected on it today on the treadmill for like the entire afternoon.

1. I'm thankful for my great run and talk with God today. I am realizing God's way is easier than my way in things.

2. I'm so thankful for laughter. I've been doing that a lot here lately with the family, at myself, and with these dear old ladies the other day. I'm still laughing about their stories even right now!

3. I'm thankful for my new book Tender Grace by Jackina Stark. She is an old professor of mine and she really paints a portrait in her book that is so much needed right now in my life. I'm so thankful I had the entire afternoon yesterday to just get lost in it with a box of Kleenex's. Almost done!

4. I'm thankful for the flattery my friend Jill Ralph gave me! Thank-you beary much!

5. I'm thankful for great reminders in God's word this week. Here's a little version of my Psalm 130 in my own words. Lord you hear me even when no one else does. You love me and don't count things against me. You are feared as you are the one who forgives me. I wait for the Lord, my soul will wait- put my hope in You- that's all that matters. With God's unfailing love there is great redemption, you buy us back because we have originally belonged to you. I love you. Tara

6. I'm thankful for real conversations with friends, not just instant messenging. Although I do love that. I'm just wondering if I'm avoiding real conversation by texting. So all you beware I'm going to be calling :)

7. I'm thankful for Dawn for organizing a fun ladies bunco night!

8.Thankful for each of you reading this. I do hope that you are moved to reflect some things you are thankful for this week.

9. Now for my shallow thankfulness: Girl scout cookies, tac0 pizza, eating on my good china, feeling great in my favorite pair of jeans, laundry folded, enjoying this season of my life!