"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"
~Isaiah 6:8 NIV
"He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"
~Micah 6:8 NASB

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bring on 2009

2008 is almost over. I can't believe this year is over already. I feel like it just started. It has definetly been a fun, exciting year. This is the year we really decided to jump on Dave Ramsey's plan. We completed Baby step 1 ($1000 Baby Emergeny Fund) and we made a plan to finish Baby Step 2, which is to pay off all debt.

I don't think we really made a New Years Resolution last year. If we did, I honestly don't remember what it was. It was probably something about eating better, getting out of debt, or losing weight.

This year we:

1. Celebrated our First year anniversary. We spent the day in Michigan where we went on our Honeymoon the first night.

2. We paid off our last credit card in May and trust me, that felt good.

3. We took a vacation to to Texas and Tulsa in March, then buried my best friend's husband a week later.

4. Went on a journey with some friends to lose weight this summer. Congrats Greg on winning the contest. Steve got second place. Even though we didn't win, it was still fun. I lost 10 pounds. Steve lost over 20.

5. Even in this "recession", we got a raise at work and picked up a second job working part-time at Sears.

6. We had a house literally fall in our laps. It was a foreclosure that my dad's bank foreclosed on and the price was just perfect for us.

7. This year because of how we budgeted we were actually able to spend more this year on Christmas then ever before. We saved and spent what we had.

8. We took a week vacation this fall and just stayed home. It was our "staycation."

9. We welcomed a new neice into the family (Steve's side) on December 22 and she is so cute. I can't wait to meet her.
10. We welcome a "Great Cousin" (My cousin and his wife's son) into the family in April. He is precious. He is our first "Great Cousin", so it was excited to see our family grow again.

11. We found out Steve has high cholesterol because it runs in his family, so it changed the way we eat and what I cook. It also raised our food budget. Why is healthy food, so much more expensive?

I'm sure we did other things too. The year flew by really fast.

I'm excited and ready for 2009. Almost every news story you read in the paper or on the internet is telling us that we should give up hope. They are telling us of a horrible recession that is coming and "we will never recover from it." I don't know, but I refuse to live my life without hope. We have a plan to be financially responsible and God that is good. Now are there people that are legimately struggling, of course, and could something major happen next year to derail our plan, of course, but I like to live with a positive attitude. I have amazing friends, an amazing husband, an amazing job, and an amazing God. Together there is nothing that we cannot do.

I think we can get through this suppossed recession if we live on budget, get out of debt, and build up our emergency fund. I'm excited about what is store in the next year.

Do I have a resolution for next year? Well it will probably be the same as the last year.

We will try to eat better, get out of debt, and build up our Emergency Fund.

I long to accomplish a great and noble task; but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble. - Helen Keller

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Americans' debt shrinks - 1st time ever


Oh no, say it ain't so. You mean to tell me that Americans have stopped overspending and actually starting saving and paying off debt. You mean Americans have actually starting not buying things they can't afford on credit cards and then not paying them. What a horrible thing? We are truly in a credit crisis now. Maybe it's just me, but I see this as a good thing.
Steve and I have been working really hard this year to lower our spending and get out of debt. We didn't lower our spending because the country is in a suppossed recession. We lowered our spending because we wanted handle our money better so we had more opportunities.
We are in a good place financially right now and our actually probably going to spend more on Christmas presents this then last year because we planned for it. At the current plan, we plan to be completely out of debt, expect the house, in 5 years. Hopefully it will happen sooner but that will depend on how sucessful our Garage Sales are this summer. Our Net worth declined this quarter, but that's because we bought a house.

I do get a bit frustrated sometimes because it seems to be taking so long. One month at a time, right?

By David Goldman, CNNMoney.com staff writer
Last Updated: December 11, 2008: 2:58 PM ET
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) --

In a sign that Americans' spending habits are shifting, their household debt fell for the first time ever, as their net worth declined by the largest amount on record based on data going back to 1951.
According to the Federal Reserve's flow of funds report released Thursday, consumer debt fell an annualized $30 billion, or 0.8% in the third quarter to $13.91 trillion.

Americans holding less debt may sound like a positive, but it also means consumers are spending less, as debt has become more expensive and harder to come by.

As the credit crunch intensified in the third quarter - and exploded late in the period with the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers - Americans were increasingly unable to finance big purchases like homes, cars and big-ticket goods.

"Interest rates have shot rapidly higher in the last few months, and people are borrowing less because they don't want expensive credit hanging over their heads," said Michael Englund, chief economist for Action Economics. "The other component is the credit crunch, where qualified borrowers are unable to get credit."

That's a worrisome sign for the economy, as consumer spending makes up 70% of overall U.S. gross domestic product. The economy entered a long and deep recession in December 2007, and the prospect of a turnaround will weigh heavily on consumers' confidence to spend money.
"Everyone over the past three months decided to become thrifty at the same time, but our incomes depend on other people spending," said Englund. "If we all start saving and cut back on our spending at the same time, it means more people will ultimately get fired."

The U.S. economy has shed 1.9 million jobs so far in 2008, with precipitous declines since September. As more Americans keep their wallets closed, Englund said the economy has entered a vicious cycle, in which Americans spend less and have less to spend.
And fourth-quarter debt data is likely to be even lower, as the peak of the credit crisis came in mid-October.

"There has been a particularly steep rise in the savings rate recently," said Englund. "With a large part of thriftiness due to panic, this trend could continue for a long time."

Net worth in 12-month tailspin
Consumers watched their net worth decline for the fourth quarter in a row as it dropped by $2.8 trillion, or 4.7%, to $56.5 trillion, dragged down by precipitous declines in home values and the stock market. It was the largest decline in the 57-year history of the report.

The first quarter's decline follows wealth declines of $393 billion in the second quarter, $2.4 trillion in the first quarter and $1.5 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2007. Until then, net worth had been rising steadily since 2003, climbing nearly 31% over those five years.

The four quarters of declines have resulted in a net 11.1% decline in Americans' wealth in the last 12 months. During the bear market of 2000 through 2002, household's net worth dropped just 6.2%.

The net value of financial assets for households fell by $2.1 trillion, or 4.4%, led mainly by declines in stock holdings and mutual funds.

Americans' share of corporate equities plummeted $943.5 billion - an 11.5% drop - in the quarter to $7.3 trillion. With major stock indexes like the S&P 500 falling 40% or more since January, shares of mutual funds, a primary investment of 401(k) retirement funds, declined $597.4 billion, or 12.4%, to $4.2 trillion.

Financial assets account for about two-thirds of households' net worth, but consumers have also been hit hard by sinking home prices. Home values declined by $347 billion in the quarter to $19.1 trillion.

"Consumers are going through a major change in their spending and savings habits," said Lyle Gramley, a former Fed Governor. "Throughout the housing bubble, consumers had a savings rate of zero, relying on the rising price of their homes. Now they're saving money for the future instead of spending it." -->> Oh no! That's horrible.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Is Rudolph a Religious Figure?

Why do they atheists and anti-God people always come out at Christmas and ruin the season for everyone? Attention all Atheists: The Constitution says Freedom OF Religion not Freedom FROM Relgion and why is Christianity the only Religion that is allowed to get attacked.

Come on, it's an aborable children's movie. There is nothing religious about Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Diabetes Meal Plan Recipes

Diabetes Meal Plan Recipes
It's not always easy to follow your diabetes meal plan day after day, but these delicious recipes may help.

Appetizer recipes
Almond and apricot biscotti
Apples with dip
Avocado dip
Chickpea hummus
Chickpea polenta with olives
Chipotle spiced shrimp
Cranberry spritzer
Crispy potato skins
Eggplant with toasted spices
Fresh fruit kebabs with lemon lime dip
Fresh spring rolls with shrimp
Ginger-marinated grilled portobello mushrooms
Grilled pineapple
Marinated portobello mushrooms with provolone
Pita wedges with green olive tapenade
Shrimp marinated in lime and Dijon mustard
Smoked trout spread
Southwestern potato skins
Sweet and spicy snack mix
White bean dip

Beverage recipes
Almond and apricot biscotti
Blackberry iced tea with cinnamon and ginger
Cranberry spritzer
Frosty almond date shake
Fruit smoothies
Iced espresso latte
Island chiller
Minty-lime ice tea
Morning mojito
Orange dream
Strawberry banana milkshake
Sweet ginger tisane
Watermelon-cranberry agua fresca

Bread recipes
Almond and apricot biscotti
Apple corn muffins
Buckwheat pancakes
Chickpea polenta with olives
Cinnamon rolls
Creamy polenta with roasted red pepper coulis
Double-corn spoon bread
Irish brown bread
Morning glory muffins
Muesli breakfast bars
Pumpkin-hazelnut tea cake
Rhubarb pecan muffins
Southwestern cornmeal muffins
Three-grain raspberry muffins
Whole-grain buttermilk biscuits

Dessert recipes
Almond and apricot biscotti
Ambrosia with coconut and toasted almonds
Apple berry cobbler
Apple-blueberry cobbler
Apples with dip
Baked apples with cherries and almonds
Berries marinated in balsamic vinegar
Caramelized pear bread pudding
Carrot cake
Casaba melon with creamy sweet curry
Chocolate pudding pies
Cookies and cream milkshake
Cran-fruit coffeecake with crumb topping
Creamy fruit dessert
Date-walnut cake with warm honey sauce
Fresh figs with walnuts and mascarpone
Fresh fruit kebabs with lemon lime dip
Fruited rice pudding
Grapes and walnuts with lemon sour cream sauce
Grilled angel food cake
Grilled fruit with balsamic vinegar syrup
Grilled pineapple
Lemon custards with fresh blueberry sauce
Melon fool
Mixed berry pie
Mixed fresh berries with ginger sauce
New England trifle
Orange dream
Orange slices with citrus syrup
Peach crumble
Peach floats
Peaches a la mode
Pineapple cream cheese pie with berries
Poached pears
Pumpkin-hazelnut tea cake
Red plum tart
Rhubarb pecan muffins
Rustic apple-cranberry tart
Sauteed bananas with caramel sauce
Seasonal fruit palette
Strawberries and cream
Strawberries and cream cheese crepes
Strawberry balsamic sorbet
Strawberry shortcake
Summer fruit gratin
Tropical fruits with mint and spices
Vanilla poached peaches
Warm chocolate souffles
Watermelon-cranberry agua fresca
Yogurt-almond ice cream
Zucchini bread

Main dish recipes
Acorn squash with apples
Asian pork tenderloin
Asparagus, tomato and red pepper French bread pizza
Baked chicken and wild rice with onion and tarragon
Baked macaroni
Baked salmon with Southeast Asian marinade
Balsamic roast chicken
Banana-oatmeal hot cakes with spiced maple syrup
Barbecue chicken pizza
Barley and roasted tomato risotto
Beef and vegetable kebabs
Beef fajitas
Beef stew with fennel and shallots
Beef stroganoff
Black bean burgers with chipotle ketchup
Braised chicken with mushrooms and pearl onions
Breakfast burrito
Broccoli cheddar bake
Broccoli, garlic and rigatoni
Broiled grouper with teriyaki sauce
Broiled scallops with sweet lime sauce
Broiled trout with tomato and red onion relish
Broiled white sea bass
Brown rice pilaf with asparagus and mushrooms
Buckwheat pancakes
Buttermilk waffles
Caesar salad with grilled chicken
Caribbean red beans and brown rice
Chicken and asparagus tossed with penne
Chicken and spinach calzones
Chicken quesadillas
Chicken salad with Thai flavors
Chicken stir-fry with eggplant and basil
Chicken strips with honey mustard sauce
Chinese fried rice
Chinese noodles with spring vegetables
Cinnamon French toast
Cod with lemon and capers
Corn tamales with avocado-tomatillo salsa
Cornmeal-crusted sole with chili vinaigrette
Cranberry-walnut oatmeal
Creole-style black-eyed peas
Curried pork tenderloin in apple cider
Farfalle with fresh tomato sauce
Fettuccine with clams, basil, tomato, corn and garlic
Fettuccine with Swiss chard and mushrooms
French country chicken with mushroom sauce
Grilled chicken breasts with roasted yellow tomato sauce
Grilled chicken salad with buttermilk dressing
Grilled chicken salad with olives and oranges
Grilled miso salmon
Grilled pear and watercress salad
Grilled pork fajitas
Grilled portobello mushroom burgers
Grilled turkey burger
Grouper with tomato-olive sauce
Halibut with tomato basil salsa
Ham, pineapple and asparagus crepes
Hawaiian calzone
Hearty turkey chili
Herb-crusted baked cod
Herb-rubbed turkey au jus
Honey crusted chicken
Jamaican barbecued pork tenderloin
Linguine with mushrooms
Mahi-mahi with macadamia nut crust
Mango salsa pizza
Mediterranean-style grilled salmon
Moroccan fish tagine
Mussels mariniere
New York strip steak with whiskey-mushroom sauce
Nutty berry granola
Orange rosemary roasted chicken
Orange roughy with lemon and thyme
Oriental chicken with braised pineapple ring
Orzo with cherry tomatoes, capers and lemon
Paella with chicken, leeks and tarragon
Pan-braised swordfish with feta
Pasta primavera
Pasta salad with mixed vegetables
Pasta with grilled chicken, white beans and mushrooms
Pasta with marinara sauce and grilled vegetables
Pasta with spinach, garbanzos and raisins
Penne tossed with cherry tomatoes, asparagus and goat cheese
Personal pan pizza
Philly steak sandwich
Pineapple chicken salad with balsamic vinaigrette
Pineapple chicken stir-fry
Polenta with fresh vegetables
Polenta with roasted Mediterranean vegetables
Pork chops with black currant jam sauce
Pork medallions with five-spice powder
Pork medallions with herbes de Provence
Pork tenderloin with apples and balsamic vinegar
Pork tenderloin with fennel sauce
Portobello and blue cheese salad
Potato soup with apples and brie cheese
Prawns puttanesca
Quinoa risotto with arugula and Parmesan
Red bean chilaquiles
Roasted duck breast with lemongrass and green onion
Roasted rack of lamb with parsley crust
Roasted red pepper and chicken wrap
Roasted red snapper
Roasted salmon with maple glaze
Roasted turkey with balsamic brown sugar sauce
Rolled ham and Swiss omelet
Rotelle pasta with sun-dried tomato and black olive sauce
Salad greens with pears, fennel and walnuts
Salade Nicoise with tapenade
Sea bass en papillote
Seared salmon with cilantro-cucumber salsa
Seared scallops with new potatoes and field greens
Seasoned baked cod
Sesame-crusted tofu
Shrimp and mango curry
Shrimp scampi
Soft tacos with southwestern vegetables
Southwestern chicken and pasta
Southwestern frittata
Southwestern wraps
Spaghetti with summer squash and peppers
Spicy beef kebabs
Spicy ground turkey tacos
Spinach frittata
Spinach lasagna with sun-dried tomato sauce
Spinach-stuffed sole
Steak with steamed vegetables, soba noodles and ginger sauce
Stuffed chicken breasts
Stuffed eggplant
Sweet peppers stuffed with scalloped corn
Sweet-potato waffles with blueberry syrup
Swordfish tacos with lime and cilantro
Swordfish with roasted lemons
Thai crab cakes
Three-bean chili
Tofu hoisin with baby bok choy
Tomato-basil pizza
Tuna steak sandwiches
Turkey and broccoli crepe
Turkey club sandwich
Turkey or chicken stove-top casserole over toast
Turkey potpie with baby vegetables
Vegetable and garlic calzone
Vegetable wrap
Vegetarian chili
Vegetarian kebabs
Vermicelli tossed with roasted asparagus and tomatoes
White chicken chili
White sea bass with dill relish
Yellow lentils with spinach and ginger

Salad recipes
Ambrosia with coconut and toasted almonds
Apple salad with figs and almonds
Apple-fennel slaw
Avocado salad with ginger-miso dressing
Baby beets and carrots with dill
Bean salad with balsamic vinaigrette
Black-eyed pea and sweet corn salsa
Bulgur and chickpeas with preserved-lemon vinaigrette
Caesar salad with grilled chicken
Chicken salad with Thai flavors
Citrus salad
Crab salad
Cucumber pineapple salad
Dilled pasta salad with spring vegetables
Dilled shrimp salad on lettuce leaves
Edamame and summer bean salad
English cucumber salad with balsamic vinaigrette
Fennel and leeks with roasted onion vinaigrette
French green lentil salad
Greek salad
Grilled chicken salad with buttermilk dressing
Grilled chicken salad with olives and oranges
Grilled flank steak salad with roasted corn vinaigrette
Grilled pear and watercress salad
Mesclun salad with radishes, avocado and blood oranges
Mixed bean salad
Pickled onion salad
Pineapple chicken salad with balsamic vinaigrette
Portobello and blue cheese salad
Quinoa risotto with arugula and Parmesan
Roasted red pepper with feta salad
Salad greens with pears, fennel and walnuts
Salade Nicoise with tapenade
Seared scallops with new potatoes and field greens
Shrimp-apple salad
Spring greens with butternut squash
Tabbouleh salad (cracked wheat salad)
Tossed greens with pasta, fruit and balsamic vinaigrette
Tuna pasta salad
Warm coleslaw with honey dressing
Warm potato salad
Yellow pear and cherry tomato salad

Sandwich recipes
Chicken and coleslaw wrap
Chicken and portobello baguette
Chicken Caesar pitas
Grilled portobello mushroom burgers
Grilled salmon on sourdough bread
Hot ham and cheese sandwiches with mushrooms
Philly steak sandwich
Sloppy Joes
Tuna pita pockets
Tuna salad sandwiches
Tuna steak sandwiches
Turkey and broccoli crepe
Turkey club sandwich

Sauce and dressing recipes
Apple and sweet onion marmalade
Avocado dip
Basil butter and sun-dried tomato sauce
Cranberry orange glaze
Grilled mango chutney
Lemon or lime glaze for chicken, fish or vegetables
Orange basil vinaigrette
Peach honey spread
Peach-nectarine salsa
Pear and toasted pecan chutney
Raspberry coulis
Sherried mushroom sauce
Spinach dip with mushrooms
Turkey gravy
Vegetable salsa

Side dish recipes
Artichokes alla Romana
Asparagus with hazelnut gremolata
Baby beets and carrots with dill
Baby minted carrots
Baked acorn squash with pine nuts and garlic
Bean salad with balsamic vinaigrette
Black bean and corn relish
Black bean cakes
Black-eyed pea and sweet corn salsa
Braised celery root
Braised kale with cherry tomatoes
Broccoli rabe with toasted garlic
Brown rice pilaf
Brown rice pilaf with asparagus and mushrooms
Brussels sprouts with shallots and lemon
Bulgur and chickpeas with preserved-lemon vinaigrette
Butternut squash and plantain mash
Cannellini beans with wilted greens
Chinese-style asparagus
Classic Boston baked beans
Creamed Swiss chard
Creole-style black-eyed peas
Curried vegetable couscous
Edamame and summer bean salad
Eggplant with toasted spices
Fava beans with garlic
Garden peas with fresh mint
Garlic mashed potatoes
Ginger-marinated grilled portobello mushrooms
Glazed root vegetables
Granola with raisins, apples and cinnamon
Green beans with red pepper and garlic
Grilled portobello mushrooms with thyme and garlic
Grilled radicchio
Honey-glazed sweet potatoes
Lean country-style breakfast sausage
Lemon rice with golden raisins and almonds
Lentils with wild rice and crispy onions
Lima bean ragout with tomatoes and thyme
Pan-braised onions with rosemary
Quinoa risotto with arugula and Parmesan
Ratatouille with roasted tomato vinaigrette
Roasted potatoes
Roasted potatoes with garlic and herbs
Roasted root vegetables with cumin and coriander
Sauteed fresh corn
Sauteed zucchini coins
Savory buckwheat pilaf with toasted spices
Seared endive
Sichuan broccoli and cauliflower
Soybeans with fennel, thyme and oregano
Spicy Oriental snow peas
Spicy red cabbage
Spicy red lentils
Spring greens with butternut squash
Steamed summer squash with warm leek vinaigrette
Stewed flageolets in lemon broth
Stuffing with cranberries
Sugar snap peas with fresh marjoram
Sweet carrots
Sweet potatoes and roasted bananas
Tabbouleh salad (cracked wheat salad)
Two-potato gratin
Warm potato salad
Wild rice pilaf with cranberries and apples
Wilted greens with warm balsamic vinegar

Soup recipes
Beef stew with fennel and shallots
Carrot soup
Chicken adobo soup with bok choy
Cold potato-leek soup (vichyssoise)
Corn chowder with roasted poblanos
Creamy asparagus soup
Curried carrot soup
Curried cream of tomato soup with apples
Easy chicken stock
Easy vegetable stock
Fresh tomato soup with crispy herb toasts
Gazpacho with garbanzo beans
Gingery chicken noodle soup
Home-style turkey soup
Minestrone soup
Miso soup with watercress and shiitakes
Moroccan fish tagine
Posole with fresh corn gorditas
Potato soup with apples and brie cheese
Potato-fennel soup
Pumpkin soup
Split pea soup
Summer vegetable soup
Three-bean chili
Tuscan white bean stew
White chicken chili
Zesty tomato soup


Friday, December 5, 2008

Planned Parenthood Excuses Rape

Planned Parenthood suspends employee after video on abortion counseling

A local Planned Parenthood employee has been suspended after the release of a video surreptitiously shot at a clinic which shows a woman who identifies herself as a 13-year-old being given advice that is a violation of the organization’s policies.

A press release, sent by e-mail today from liveactionfilms.org, identifies the video as being shot on June 24 by UCLA student Lila Rose. It shows a blond haired female and a nurse, identified as “Diana.” The nurse’s face is blurred during the interaction.

In the video, the “patient,” who is accompanied by another female identified as a friend, states that her name is Brianna. She tells the nurse she is 13 years old and has missed her monthly period. The nurse responds that anyone under the age of 13 needs parental consent to get an abortion in Indiana. “Brianna” further reveals that she doesn’t want to explain who the father is because he could get in trouble. She later says that the father is 31 years old.

In the video, which has breaks and cuts, the nurse advises how to lie about the father’s age. The “patient” is then shown a piece of paper which Rose alleges showed her that she could get an abortion in Illinois without parental consent.

Rose, who has done previous videos at Planned Parenthoods in Los Angeles, where she posed as a pregnant teenager under 18, is a 20-year-old history major. She said Wednesday that Indiana is just one of many states chosen by liveactionfilms.org for “audits.” She called Bloomington a “major” clinic in the state, explaining why it was chosen. She said she expects videos of other clinics will be released that show similar scenarios.

“In the vast majority of cases, you’re going to find sexual abuse cover-up,” Rose said in a telephone interview.

Rose said the scenarios are similar, in which a “young girl” purports to abort a pregnancy by a much older man. She said Indiana’s case is one of the more “severe” cases because of the extreme age differences.

Rose said one of the concerns she had was that the clinic advice directed the teen to avoid reporting the abuse, which put her back in the hands of her abuser.

This is not the first time that Planned Parenthood has been embarrassed by illegal and/or immoral behavior by employed staff. Why do they continue to get government funding when they have been shown to have utter disregard for not only the law, but for women in general?

Neighbors shocked by toddler's death, father's arrest


This is such sad story. Steve and I have been working all week trying to get everything moved over to the new house. Our friend, Greg, came over and helped us with the bathroom.

Tuesday night our neighbor across the street welcomed us the neighborhood by backing into car while it was sitting parked in front in the house. Our next door neightbor also welcomed us to the neighborhood by getting arrested. This story just breaks my heart. We actually saw this little girl standing in the front yard the night before he got arrested.

People that abuse children deserve to rot in Hell. I know that God is a forgiving God, but I find it hard to understand why anyone could do this to a child. This is so heartbreaking.