Monday, November 28, 2011


in thinking about a new year coming up, i realise that i need to simplify. i want to wipe the slate clean and start fresh.... ive got so many irons in the fire, and so many responsibilities right now, its hard to keep track of my days sometimes.
January brings a new year, and new challenges. what will i be committed to? what do i need to let go?
i'm tenatively starting a small business (tupperware consultant.. i said it was SMALL! lol). but i dont know if i should pursue it or let it go. it could majorly subtract family time in my week, and that is not something i am ever willing to sacrifice...
teaching sunday school is very iffy for next year. the church has changed up the sunday schedule, and the idea of being there from 8 a.m. til 12 then turning around and being there from 4p.m. till 7:30 is... well, its no day of "rest" that is for sure.
my weekly Bible Study is getting more difficult to make it to each week, and with hubby out of a job, i wonder if driving across town each wednesday is worth the gas money we dont have, and then i have added volunteer babysitting for them once a month, since, you know, "I'm not doing anything"...
the doctor appointments once a week keeping me running... and i know those have to stop in January whether I need them or not. no insurance+united states health care system= can't afford it on our own....
Pink Elephant has to quit preschool... there is no $$ for it, now. so that will give me two elephants home, 7 days a week, looking to me to fill the time, and educate them.
oh yes, and there is the "small amont of time" (haha) homeschooling 5 days a week...
all of these things are pulling at me, making me busier and pressed for time, and even grumpy!
what is a mama elephant to do?
oh my goodness, what is wrong with me???
somewhere in the middle of all this rehashing of schedule and woe, i forgot the most important element, the key ingredient... HOPE.
where do i get that hope?
"I lift my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? my help comes from the LORD, the maker of Heaven and Earth."
where do i get hope? from the ONE who gives me help!
i am not doing all these things on my own. i am not facing the unknown of unemployment, uninsured kids all on my own. i am not alone. i am held by the creator, the maker of heaven and earth. he will help me. and knowing i am held in the palm of his hand, i have hope.
i know January is rushing headlong to meet me.... and that life is changing at a lightening fast pace for me and the elephant herd. but i know that the things which HE has called me to will be made clear, and the doors HE wants to open will be open and no one or nothing will be able to shut them. i know the ONE who gives me hope for each and every day, for every minute of every activity i find myself involved in. i know HE will show me where my dedication and my commitment should be.
but where does my calling lay?
here with "hearth and home"... or "herd and home" in my case..
my two precious, growing elephants. they are my calling in life.
the rest is all "peanuts" to me... and i know the Father will help me figure it out.
and with his reassurance, i have HOPE.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Battle of the Needles

It's on, my little green plastic enemies.
Battle of the needles, 2011, has begun...
Daddy Elephant and I put up the Christmas tree yesterday... and out they marched.
The thousands.. tens of thousands... of  1 inch, jolly green static-cling-enabled carpet huggers.
They swarmed from the box, desperate to hide inside my living room.
i think they have contests to see who can "stick around" the longest.
Daddy Elephant vacuumed everything up last night... but i am dead certain that there are "die-hard" troops in carpet foxholes laying in wait for my groans during housecleaning, long after the tree has been tucked away and warm weather has returned.
i think the record holding needle from Christmas 2010 was the single green goblin i found in september... really, needle, september??
I am certain that the parade of the greenery will be a constant battle this season, as not only are the two little elephants touching all over the shrub, but the felines are getting curious and reckless already.
I'm half expecting to hear the tree come crashing down overnight any day now.
Maybe then all excess needles will relinquish their hold on the tree, and i can vacuum them all away... maybe there wont be a grand war with multiple battles this Christmas season.... yeah, right. who am i kidding? I'm already steeling myself to find those rouge pointed soldiers come July.... beware my little friends, i've got a hoover and im not afraid to use it!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Winds of Change

The winds of change, they are a-blowin' around here. as i write, my hubby elephant is off at his new job. i am certain he is loving it, even though his feet are bound to be tired when he makes it home late tonight.
i am glad for him, getting to be even one small part of something that is a passion in his life. i will always be proud of my husband, and i will always believe that he is a great leader of our herd, able to make wise decisions and to find a way to support me and the little elephants.
thank you, lord, for such a wonderful mate!
its almost over, 2011. oh, we have a few weeks, but the whole year has flown by so fast, it feels like tomorrow i will wake up to new year's eve. with the end of a year, you start to think back over the last few months. and i've been doing alot of thinking. maybe too much. but i see how every major area of our lives has been disrupted in the past 3 months, and i also see a lot, a LOT of changes dead-ahead for this herd. i'm over the "fear and trembling" stage of the change. i'm onto the "hopeful and excited" stage, now. you see, if life has taught me anything (and i think its taught me a few lessons here and there, most of which were cruel and hard-won but worth it) it's that immediately after the winds of change die down, this thing called hope begins to grow. and not so immediately, sometimes even years later, this thing called "hind-sight" comes into play. the pieces fall together, and you can clearly see the PURPOSE for the shifting changes in life.
change is not always pleasant, but it is very necessary for growth. the LORD knows what he is doing, even if i do not understand it.
I'm relying heavily upon "trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not on thine own UNDERSTANDING. In all thy ways, acknowledge Him and HE shall direct thy path." proverbs 3:5-6
I may not understand NOW the reasons, but i know the faithfulness of the ONE who is leading the way. i know HE is directing the path for this herd. and i know along the way there are road blocks and bumps, voices of disagreement and waves of doubt that will try to waylay us.
But i know he who has called us to this path is faithful, and he will guard his own.
so, change?? Bring it on! :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sneak Them In

I've found an awesome way to sneak in another veggie to my elephants' diet. Zucchini. And its not in muffins or bread! They eat it, and they LOVE it! How do I do it, you ask?
It's called Veggie Pasta, and it is a huge hit! In fact, even Daddy Elephant has requested it as a side dish- at Thanksgiving! (wow!) How did I conform even the adult-not-into-eating-green-things Elephant to a Zucchini lover? Well, here goes.....

3 medium to large zucchinis
1 large (green variety) pear
2-3 T of butter spread (we use Smart Balance)
2 T sugar
heavy dash cinnamon and nutmeg (to taste)

Peel all veggies and fruit. Discard peelings. Julienne (however you spell that!) cut everything lengthwise, to form long strings of "pasta". place in 8x8 glass baking dish  (no need to spray, the butter melts..) Sprinkle sugar/spices on top. and add dots of butter.
cover with aluminum foil, bake at 400 for 25 minutes.

The pear juice, butter, and spices combine together to make an amazing "sauce" for the pasta.
Tell your elephants to take a bite, and think about "apples"... its sure to be a crowd pleaser!

This recipe serves 4 as a side-dish. Increase amounts on a 3:1 ratio for larger serving size.