Friday, July 01, 2005

God Is In the Details

(Photo taken at the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids playground at MGM Studios in Disneyworld in May. It reminds me that God can handle anything in our lives...big or small!)

Good morning! Finally....Friday, and it's a holiday weekend! I love the 4th of July and all that it brings. The neighborhood parade, sparklers, hamburgers on the grill, water guns, and all of the fun photo ops for scrapbooking, of course! My Mom creates her own 4th of July mini-play each year, always something patriotic and involving history, with lots of corny humor. I love it! We enjoy choosing parts and reading our scripts. Mostly we enjoy laughing at the expressions on the faces of those people who haven't BEEN to our family holiday celebrations before and are wondering "WHY are we doing a play and singing "You're a Grand Old Flag?"" :) She always makes all of the holidays special and unique for our family. I love that about her and hope that I got that gene!

We are working on a few little home improvement projects this weekend, so I'm excited to see the end results. When we bought our house it came with a kitchen table, 6 chairs, and a buffet with a hutch. I loved the style but didn't really like the colors. (stained wood with hunter green) I don't really have much hunter green in my house. I think it's because I went way overboard with it when I lived on my own, so I'm just over it. So we are painting all of the hunter green in the dining set black. The rest of the kitchen is cherrywood cabinets with lots of red, tan, and a little mustard yellow. I love the look already and can't wait until it's finished! Laurie on Trading Spaces says that each room in your house should have something black. I think ours does, whether it's a piece of furniture or just a small lamp.

Another project will be to paint our master bedroom. We still have the builder antique white in there and the window faces east. Not a cozy mixture. So our walls will be painted Behr Pepper Spice. It looks really dark on it's own, but it is really a beautiful warm color that will look great with the antique white trim. Our bedroom is really big, so hopefully it will also bring the walls in a little and make it cozier. I must be the pickiest person in the world when it comes to bedding because I've been to just about everywhere I can think of and can't choose a comforter set! The colors aren't exactly what I want in any one set and I really don't want to just "settle" on something. I want to go with red, brown, tan, maybe a little azure blue? Definitely want a print (king-size bed) and want it luxurious. We want a retreat bedroom, a place where you feel pampered, so that's what I'm going for. The rest of our house is casual so I think it will be fun to have a real master suite! I'll be sure to post photos when we're done.

I have always loved the word "Simplify" but have never truly applied it to my life. I recently realized that there was a reason for this! I like to stay busy. I like to have upcoming projects, parties, events, anything that I can look foward to planning. The problem arises when all of these things come at ONCE. That is when I go into panic mode and don't put my best effort into any of it. This summer I've really scaled down my overlapping commitments and it's amazing how much more relaxed I am about it all! God has really shown me that it's ok to say no, that I can't handle it all, and that doing one thing at a time helps me stay focused and enjoy it more. That is where the title of my Blog comes from. I want to keep things simple and scaled down so I can know the blessings of each event that God puts in my life. This weekend is painting. Next weekend I am hostessing a baby shower for my sister and her husband. The calendar is empty between these two events and I am feeling no stress at all because of all the time I have to plan. I am so thankful that God has revealed this to me. It sure will make saying "no" easier in the future when I remember this feeling of peace. I'm really proud of myself, too. I have always used a calendar to keep up with our lives. Always have one on the refrigerator and ANYTHING we have to do goes on it. So now instead of filling it up, I check for overlap. :)

I don't want to ever get to the point of burnout of anything important in my life and that's what overcommitment does. I've been reading a lot of threads lately on 2Peas discussing overcommitment on Design Teams, getting your pages published, teaching in a store, meeting project lines....and doing all of this at once. Scrapbooking is such an important part of me and I am being so very careful to stay behind that line. I recently resigned from my teaching job at my favorite scrapbooking store. That was hard to do but there are other family commitments coming up that I know will overlap with the teaching and preparation time, so I prioritized and stepped away from the teaching. I'd love to get a couple of regular Design Team positions for scrapbooking manufacturers and be able to work from home while Noah is in school. I am really enjoying being on the design team for Wendi Speciale Designs. Wow, what an amazing group of talent there! (I feel intimidated most of the time!) Most of all, I want scrapbooking to remain fresh, fun, and for my family first. (how's that for using lots of F's?)

One thing I want to do in each blog entry is share a great recipe! I love to cook and the best recipes are the ones that are personally recommended. So you can be sure that anything I share here is something I've made more than once and that my family requests :) For the 4th of July we'll be going to my sister's in-law's house. I have signed up to bring Baked Potato Casserole. This is a perfect dish for large get-togethers and is sooooooooo good.

Baked Potato Casserole
5 large baking potatoes, cooked and diced
6 slices bacon, cooked very crisp and crumbled
1 1/2 pounds shredded cheddar cheese
1 pint sour cream
2 bunches chopped green onions (optional: sauteed in bacon grease)
salt and pepper to taste

Wash and scrub the potatoes, stick with a fork several times, cover with foil and bake in oven until very soft. (I like to leave the skins on) While potatoes are baking, fry the bacon until very crisp, reserving some of the grease. Crumble bacon and set aside. Chop the green onions (saute' in bacon grease - optional) and set aside. When potatoes are done, unroll from the foil and place whole potatoes in a very large bowl. Using two knives, slice the potatoes into large chunks. Add sour cream, bacon, onions, salt and pepper and mix well with an electric mixer on low. (or mix by hand, but make sure it mixes well and potatoes aren't left "dry") Add cheddar cheese, reserving 1/2 - 3/4 c. to top the casserole. Mix until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed together. Pour into a very large greased casserole dish, top with reserved cheddar cheese, and bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serves 10-12.

Have a wonderful Friday! :)
- Jennifer

"Buried under the biggest burden is a good place to find an even bigger blessing. "
- Janette Oke


Robin said...

Hey!! Welcome to the blog world! :-) Your potatos sound so yummy!! I'll have to try them! Have a great 4th! Sounds like you will!! :-)

Heather said...

Okay, Jennifer . .thinking i'm making that casserole to go with the pork loin we're having Monday evening. We are always with family, and always do something, but have never put on a pageant. . . hmmmm, thinking the kids might start that one sooner or later.

I had to LOL when I went to your blog. I first named mine {Simply Me}, then switched to {Just me}, and decided both of those sounded like I was trying to be someone else. . .I ended up with {A Slice of Life}. I think I should have Rambling or Tangent in my title if I change it again!

Adding you to my favorites and will keep an eye out on you and what's going on.

Heather(you know the duo-personality hag221/bazzillgal)

Vicki Landrum said...

I look forward to reading your blog every day. I hope you keep it up. You are such a good writer as well as a wonderful mother, wife,daughter and sister. I love you and I'm so proud to be your mommy.