Wow, has it really been that long since I posted? There has been so much going on around here lately. Lots of family responsiblities, changes, things happening.....all good, but keeping us busy. I've missed blogging! :)
I've been very emotional about the Hurricane Katrina tragedy. I dream about it, watch the news coverage, read online articles....just watching for some hopeful stories. Signs of God's people showing His love thru their actions. The part that bothers me the most is the children. Suffering children who have no idea what is going on. I have a good friend who evacuated Sunday morning from St. Bernard's Parish, just outside of New Orleans. Their parish was one of the hardest hit areas and they lost everything. Everything except what they had in their car. Her family is relocated in a small town in Louisiana and it will be months until they can go back permanently. I am so proud of our online message board community, though. (she's a long-time online scrapping friend) We've pulled together almost $1500 for her and everyone is sending her pajamas, cards, scrapbooking supplies, and fun frivolous goodies. (hey, what chick doesn't need pink glitter nailpolish and cotton candy lip gloss?) :) I love you, Bridget, and you and your family are covered in prayer. God has and WILL continue to hold you in His arms.
I am SO PROUD to be a Texan right now! Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Dallas....we are all overwhelmed and actually "overstocked" on volunteers and donations for the Hurricane Katrina survivors staying in Texas. I read somewhere yesterday that there have been 35,000 volunteers logged at the Astrodome since last Thursday. Amazing! There are signs on the highways in Austin that say "No more volunteers or donations needed. Thank you, Austin!" There are 20 truckloads of STUFF just waiting to go to these precious people and volunteers are scheduled for WEEKS...fully scheduled. That is emotionally overwhelming to me. TEXAS just RULES. :) I have decided to wait a few weeks and THEN volunteer. I know that the *excitement* will die down then and they'll need people again. The Red Cross and Salvation Army have asked people to wait and not forget about these needs in the near future. I want to be involved with the children. That's where my heart is :) We've donated money, clothes, school supplies and personal hygiene products already. Time will be our next gift.
On a fun note.....In my Donny.com email newsletter (yeah, I get that...) Donny said that he is working on a 3-DVD set of the Donny and Marie Show to be released in the near future! Do you KNOW how excited I am about this? Sure it was silly....but it was what fueled my crush on Donny Osmond. I had the dolls, the stage set, the board game, the lunch boxes, everything. And Donny was my first concert...at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in 1977. My poor husband. He's just going to love watching these DVDs, I know. :)
EIGHT DAYS. Counting down until the day I go on my 3-day scrapbooking retreat! I have about 25 Disney layouts sort of planned. (that means that I've pulled the patterned paper and cardstock out that I think I'll use) I'm taking a lot of my supplies with me, but they are all portable and well organized, so it's no biggie. I'm looking forward to scrapbooking, but I'm secretly most of all looking forward to an hour-long massage, a pedicure, and listening to MY music on my Ipod all weekend while I scrap. ha :) (translated: Harry Connick, Jr., Donny Osmond, Nickel Creek, Alison Krauss, Jeremy Camp, Third Day, Tony Bennett...) Ahh...can't WAIT! Oh, and chocolate will be involved as well.
We are going to a potluck dinner tomorrow night. Fun! I have volunteered to bring a side dish and a dessert. The side dish recipe (Baked Potato Casserole) I shared back in July, I think. So here's the recipe for Banana Pudding that I'll be taking.
Best Banana Pudding (from Allrecipes.com)
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups cold water
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
2 cups heavy cream
3 bananas, sliced
1/2 cup lemon juice
36 vanilla wafers
In a medium bowl, stir together condensed milk and water. Beat in pudding mix until smooth. Chill in refrigerator 5 minutes.
In a separate bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream into chilled pudding mixture.
Dip sliced bananas in lemon juice. Shake off excess.
In a 2 1/2 quart serving bowl, spoon 1 cup pudding mixture. Top with one-third each of the wafers, bananas and remaining pudding. Repeat layers twice. Sprinkle top lightly with cinnamon. Chill until serving.
Look around you at all that God has given to you. It could be gone tomorrow, so thank Him TODAY.
"I will trust Him. Whatever, wherever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him; in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him; if I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. My sickness, or perplexity, or sorrow may be necessary causes of some great end, which is quite beyond us. He does nothing in vain." - John Henry Newman