Thursday, January 29, 2009

Diets Are Easy When There's.....

No Dr. Pepper

No Twinkies, Little Debbie's or Zingers

Krispy Kreme


No drive-

I'm getting more depressed the more I type. Who am I kidding. Diets are NEVER easy. But all these things are true. I'm missing The States right about now.

I don't really like the word 'diet'. It's We all know it's true. No one ever stays on a diet forever. It's going to come to an end at some point. And at that time you eat like you've never eaten before and within 6 months, it's all back on again.

But, boy wasn't it fun to feel thinner....... if even for a little while!!!

Ahhhh, the self image, the self confidence. The extra bounce in our step...the many smiles on our faces.

We all like being thinner.


No...I'm not quiting. I'm on the one and only.......

diet of a lifetime!!

It feels that way.

Monday, January 26, 2009

ACS - Guest Blogger

ACS – Ask Your Doctor About It
I have been thinking about having an operation. Although I have yet to ask my physician about the condition, my powers of self diagnosis are rarely wrong. I have, in fact, lived in this same body for over thirty years. The only hurdle to my surgically enhanced well-being is current medical technology. I'm not convinced that such a procedure has ever been performed, but after much discomfort and increased problems, I have done my best to put a name on this horrible disease.
Maybe, I really need a support group. Would any one of the ten of my readers like to join and provide me comfort and assistance? You may possibly have the same condition, remaining in denial after having lost all hope for a cure.
Well then, let's waste no more time. [Standing] Hello, my name is Michael, and I have ACS – Attenuated Craw Syndrome. That is, things just keep getting stuck there. I have tried everything that I know to do, swallowing hard, staying away from issues that are difficult to digest. You name it. I've tried it, but to no avail.
Things just keep getting stuck in my craw. Perhaps I have a weakened or underdeveloped craw. Perhaps I simply have a craw that it much smaller than the average size.
What things you ask, normally get stuck in my craw? What is stuck there right now is a feigned attempt at unity, with the express intent to divide. That gets me every time. Take for instance our recent inauguration where the Rev. Joseph Lowery invoked God to help us work for a day, “when black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around – when yellow will be mellow – when the red man can get ahead, man – and when white will embrace what is right.”
Besides playing nursery rhymes while racializing what should be a solemn request to a holy God, Rev. Lowery perpetuated the myth that the United States is still living in the 1950s. Isn't the fact that our nation now has a bi-racial president (equal parts black and white) proof enough that black is not currently being asked to get back, neither will he be asked to do so in the future. Isn't it proof enough that Asians living in the U.S. remain, generally speaking, the most law abiding and prosperous members of society. They are neither hateful, nor terror loving, yet Lowery wants God to help us work for a day when they will be mellow? He speaks as if they are Al-Qaeda.
All of this just sticks in my craw. I don't blame President Obama. He didn't write Lowery's insipid request. No, I blame myself. I blame that particular part of my anatomy where my craw may be found, in addition to blaming the culture that prolongs a ridiculous sense of entitlement.
On the surface, he says that we need to strive for a day when everyone will be seen as equal, but his intent was solely to spout that the white man keeps everybody down. In Lowery's eyes the white man has yet to do what is right, but God help us to work for a day when he will! Instead of unifying, all he did was open up a wound that keeps trying to heal.
It just sticks in my craw. If you have the same problem – call it ACS and ask your doctor about it.

Written by Michael Andrzejewski for the LaGrange Daily News

Oatmeal Cream Pie Recipe

Eating an entire one will send you into a diabetic coma.

Consider yourself warned.

Oatmeal Cream Pies

1 C White Sugar
1 C Brown Sugar
1 C Oil
2 Eggs
1 T Vanilla

Cream together then add the following ingredients mixing after each one:

2 C All Purpose Flour
1 t Salt
1 t baking soda
2 C Oats

Bake at 375 on cookie sheet lightly sprayed til light golden. Approx 8 minutes.

Cream Filling:

1/2 C butter, softened
2 C Powdered Sugar
1-2 T whipping cream (I used milk)
1 t Vanilla

Beat till fluffy. I used Zeus. He worked while I washed dishes...we're quite the pair!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Move Over Little Debbie

A few days ago, with a longing in his eyes, my husband told me how nice an oatmeal cream pie would be. Since Little Debbie is prejudice against Portugal, I did a little experimenting in the kitchen. Here's what I ended up with. (Those of you on Weight Watchers need to skip over this picture very quickly....or else you may 'fall of the wagon' like I did!)

But I get tired of eating this....even if it is pretty!

Here are a few pictures of Liberty's birthday party we had to postpone til this weekend.

We may not have Little Debbie, but we have sparkler candles!!

She is so excited about her calculator!

Last Friday, after my 4 year old's convicting words, we ended up squeezing in a Mommy/Daughter day. It was horrible weather outside. Cold, rainy and wind blowing something like 650 mph. She didn't really care what we did on her special day. All she requested was that I buy her something.

She said, "Mommy, I'll only get one small thing, so I don't use up all your money."

(I tell you what...I don't know about you, but when my kids say things like makes me WANT to use up all my money!! She was so sweet!) She picked out a pair of dress-up shoes that had matching hair bows and necklace. The quality is about the equivalent of toys from the Dollar Tree. She waited patiently on us to get home and ripped open the package, flung off her socks and to both our surprise, her little fat foot wouldn't fit in the shoes! She was sweet again....she said "I'll just give them to Justice...he can play with them." My son wearing pink high heels was not a pretty thought...but I was focusing on her kind heart. Twenty minutes later I found the hair bows on the floor. Each with their pretty pink flowers torn off.....I guess she gave her hair bows to Justice too?!

Friday, January 23, 2009



I usually like it.

I like knowing someones being 'for real" and I like being "for real".

But the truth of the matter is that sometimes it hurts.

Transparent is what I'm being today, and always....good or bad.

So it's with a very heavy heart that I open up to you today.

This morning Trinity, my 4 year old that never stops talking began a conversation with me. (Nothing unusual there) I was busy catching up on blogs, checking email and drinking coffee so I only caught bits and pieces of what she was saying plus she was talking threw a mouth stuffed with cinnamon toast crunch (or at least that's what the cereal resembles).

Careful to nod occasionally and "uh, huh" her now and then, she rattled on.

She told me all about her horrible cough and about her brother wasting his cereal. She asked for the 694
th time when was it going to be her Mommy/Daughter day like Lib got last weekend. She told me that she really likes the fresh orange juice I make and wishes that our trees had oranges all year 'round. ---Then she said this.....

"Liberty told me stories about God last night in bed. She told me about when the bad guys said Jesus was a liar, but he wasn't mom... the bad guys just didn't like Jesus. I'm glad Liberty told me those stories mom cause I was starting to forget about God."

It was right about then that she had my complete, undivided attention. It was also right about then that I felt like a freight train ran into my stomach.

Talk about conviction.

These are the things missionaries deal with. If a missionary family is blessed to have a church to attend and there's actually a Sunday school time for the kids, it's normally in another language. And if that missionary mom (we're talking about me here) doesn't do her job at home of telling her preschooler bible stories in English, then the said preschooler will apparently forget what she's been taught. ----Ouch..

I had to turn away from her, walk to the sink, wash dishes and compose myself. All the while crying silently out to my Lord for forgiveness.

After blowing my nose 40 times, we talked about Adam and Eve, the three Hebrew boys and Joseph's coat of many colors. We found audible bible stories online that she listened to while I finished cleaning the kitchen.

Folks....transparency hurts. Missionary life is not all glamor and we face trials raising our children just like you. My job of wife and mother is the most important..... and I've been off track.

Pray for me.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Monday Mayhem

We had it adjusted perfectly. A little tugging, a little stuffing, and little twisting and her belt was just like her little obsessive compulsive self likes it. She brushed off her skirt and looked in the mirror. NOW she's content. Her skirt is just the way she wants it and her belt is the perfect tightness.

Then it happened.

We both spot her tights lying on the bed.

I tell her in my distracted, Monday Mayhem Mom voice, "Lib, put your tights on."

Her shoulders slump, she pooches out her bottom lip, she whines...."But Mom, I'll have to take my skirt off."

I tried really hard not to laugh....but once I met my husbands eyes, it was all over.

She turned 7 Sunday and she still doesn't know you can pull a skirt UP to go to the bathroom.....or apparently, put on tights.

Killer Cars - Guest Blogger

Once upon a time, long before I ever had a license to operate a motor vehicle, my dad the driver's education teacher, taught me that anytime a driver runs into the rear of another car, it is the first driver's fault. Sadly, and somewhat violently I learned that lesson first hand Thursday morning.

After prayer and Bible study with a friend, I stopped by the bank, and then was on my way home when I got behind an elderly couple driving very slowly. So slowly, in fact, was the man creeping that he actually pulled his converted golf cart to the side of the road for me to pass. Actually, that description is not entirely accurate. Golf carts go much faster. A new version of the

We have here in Portugal terribly small contraptions with four wheels and two doors that inch up and down the road. Only people over seventy drive them, and Nina and I are convinced that they are powered by a large key that is inserted into the trunk and twisted. Sort of like something out of Stewart Little. I could be wrong, they may have a hamster wheel under the hood or places to stick your feet in the floorboard – Fred Flintstone style. The interior seems to be made out of cardboard and the motor makes less noise than an average weed eater. They are two seaters and extremely dangerous. Top speed can't be more than 40 mph.

Now, you have a good idea of what I was driving behind. Unwillingly to be rude and hasty, I patiently stayed in the rear as we approached the entrance to the highway. I looked back to see if I could safely merge, and seeing no approaching cars, I made the poor assumption that those in front had continued. Only they hadn't. So, by accident, I rammed into the back of the overgrown hot wheel, sending plastic everywhere. We got out, assessed the damage, checked on everyone's health, and I made great and repeated apologies. Being a normal winter day in Portugal, rain fell steadily as they began to worry about how we were going to resolve things.

Where did I live? Close. Was my car new? If 1996 is new. What should we do? Call my insurance company. They pelted me with questions faster than the rain drops could fall.

After my insurance agent arrived, they felt more at ease and were willing to follow me back to his office. As they followed, I had to make periodic stops on the side of the road for them to catch up. I also discovered that my new friend always drives only on the shoulder of the road...never between the white lines like everyone else. Arriving at the office, they felt even more at ease, when my insurance man told them that I was, “a good boy, a nice man, 5 stars” and even, “a friend of Bush.” We all laughed and I said that the accident must have been the president's fault – since everything else was. When the report was completed and everyone satisfied, I stayed behind to speak with my agent. Though I made no qualms about my guilt – it was clear, I did express my opinion that the other party was a danger to everyone else on the road. The insurance man agreed and gave me the Portuguese name for the “wind up car.”

Translated, they are called, “cars that kill old people.” How thankful I am that the name didn't prove true in our collision.

Written by Michael Andrzejewski for The LaGrange Daily News.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Liberty's Day

I survived oral surgery.

Not only did I come out alive, I still had a little goofy pill left in me, so everything was funny.

We made a quick stop at the grocery store in search of ice's orders. (I'm starting to like this lady) then home to relive Ms. Dawne who stayed with the kids. My dentist even told me to sleep late and watch movies. I forced myself out of bed about 10:00 this morning and shorty thereafter my dentist called to check on me. Now I CERTAINLY like this lady....and I probably owe her an apology.

I spent the day with Liberty. Just me and her. Her birthday is tomorrow so we went shopping, ate lunch together (salad for me...thank you very much) drank a coffee together (she had chocolate milk)and we even stopped by McDonald's for ice cream (fruit and yogurt parfait for me...thank you very much and McDonald's ice cream is my absolute favorite dessert in Portugal!)

Lib then got to pick out a few things for her birthday. One of which was a calculator. She is such a nerdy little thing. She always has a notebook and pencil in her hand. And now she has her calculator too. The entire half hour drive home she quizzed me. "Mom, how much is 2,456 x 3,769?" When I couldn't answer she'd tell me how smart she USED to think I was.

While at the mall, I ran into the dentist's assistant. She was shocked to see me shopping the morning after surgery. She asked if I felt okay then told me I needed ice. I felt like I was in trouble, so I said a quick goodbye and fled.

Now I'm home, checking email, blogging and drinking a cup of tea called, "No Belly".

Hope it works.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday Night Frights

Having 5 kids in 7 years can be hard on one's body (and..sanity) This includes teeth.

Yes I had prenatal vitamins, yes I took them...cough cough most of the time.

But about halfway through the populating of our family, my teeth started falling out.....with a little help of dental surgeons, pliers and a lot of force.

Today I'm still without two teeth. Gasp!

I know...I know....but my smile is so pretty, I couldn't possibly be missing teeth.

Tonight, I'm proud to report, I will go under the knife again. But this time my dentist doesn't speak more than 10 words in English and she's half my age...well, she looks half my age. She also requires the assistance of another dentist. ( she that I think about it I didn't see her degree on the wall. And I think she said something about a correspondence class she took from America....)

Not only does she need help, she scheduled my surgery for 8:30 on a Friday night.

I was half expecting her to give me an address for another location that sort of looks like this....

Long dark hallways with an occasional scream coming from behind it's many locked doors.

I haven't watched a horror movie in over 10 years. But I promise mind is visualizing somethings I wish I could forget. (I can hear the screech...screech...screech from Friday the 13th!!.....and did you know there is an official website for this movie? Someone should really do something about this...but not me. As soon as I saw Jason's mask come into view, I was out of there.)

My only consolation is the tiny orange pill she gave me to take about an hour before I arrive at her backyard garage...I mean office.

She gave it to me with a twinkle in her eye and said one of her 10 English words ......."relax"

And that is just what I intend to do.

Have a great weekend folks. Mine will be filled with gauze, blood, pain killers and jello....IF I make it out alive.

Now where is my orange pill?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Double Honor

Humbly I share with you some recent blog awards I've been given.....

Pam over at Midnight Musings gave me this sweet award.

The rules are:
1) Give it to 3 special bloggers that have commented regularly from the beginning.
2) Give it to one new special commenting blogger.

Here are my three oldies but goodies:

Tori at A Home Away from Home has the first blog I started following. She's also the first missionary wife that I met through blogging. I got..err...stold many ideas from her!

Tabatha at The Bentley Bunch was the person who introduced me to blogging. She's commented regularly ever since. She's also provided a bed for me to sleep in about 4 million times while on deputation!

Sandy at The Valley of the Mountains is so sweet and encouraging. She's busy on deputation right now and doesn't comment like she use to, but I know she reads when she can and even better, she prays for me!

And here is my new bloggy friend:

Tricia otherwise known as fringegirl at The Domestic Fringe has really been a blessing to me and my family. Her father lives in Portugal, thus an immediate connection was made. She's hilarious and brutally honest. Two attributes I adore!

I am so grateful to all of you who take the time to leave a comment. It's what keeps us bloggers going. I went back and looked at my first few months of posting to see who my commenters from the beginning were, and I had a few months where I had no comments at all. I guess that was before I knew what a blessing comments were, so I didn't miss them.

This lemonade award was given me by fringegirl and TCKK.

I guess for my ability to make lemonade when God gives me lemons. I have 4 lemon trees in my yard full of lemons just waiting to be squeezed.

Thanks to all of you that sent awards my way. It's the best pat on the back a blogger can receive.



cold sweats

hunger pains

head aches

uncontrollable shaking

I feel like I should be in a rehabilitation center for those addicted to heroine.

Not sitting at home trying hard not to eat sugar.

Diets stink.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

This is Ridiculous

When I can see my breath INSIDE my house. That's too cold.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bragging Rights

I just feel like bragging a bit. Hope you don't mind. I found this cute hubby tag over at Midnight Musings and I just had to do it too. You see my sweet love has been so good to me lately. Well, he's always good, but lately something has gotten into him! He's been coming home with small gifts just for me and he's washed dishes 4 out of the last 5 nights! Yesterday he completed a long honey-do list. Some of which included installing a light fixture in my kitchen and a new exhaust fan in one of our bathrooms. Aren't you jealous?!

Hope you enjoy seeing us - up close and personal:

1. Who is your man? Michael Paul

2. How long have you been together? married for 11

3. How long dated? 8 years

4. How old is your man? 34

5. Who eats more? that would probably be me

6. Who said “I love you” first? He did

7. Who is taller? He's a tad taller

8. Who sings better? no comment

9. Who is smarter? oh my....he is!

10. Whose temper is worse? That would be me...again

11. Who does the laundry? I enjoy laundry...most of the time, so me.

12. Who takes out the garbage? Usually he does. Although our oldest daughter did tonight for the first time she's doomed.

13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Right side while laying in bed or looking at it?

14. Who pays the bills? He does.

15. Who is better with the computer? Me of course....(yeah right)

16. Who mows the lawn? He does unless I feel the need for exercise which obviously doesn't happen very often!

17. Who cooks dinner? The kitchen is MINE.

18. Who drives when you are together? Him, always.

19. Who pays when you go out? I don't have any money!

20. Who is most stubborn? Absolutely me.

21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? Absolutely him.

22. Whose parents do you see the most? Mine I guess...although we don't see either very much.

23. Who kissed who first? He kissed me first...

24. Who asked who out? we were 14....there was no asking out.

25. Who proposed? He did. While I was eating banana pudding watching the baseball all-star game. I waited a long time for that day. After telling him to move out of my way, I noticed he was on one knee with a small black box in his hand. He didn't say, "Will you marry me?" He said, "Will you spend the rest of your life with me?"----Being the pessimist that I naturally am I accused him of having a fake ring. I had to call my mom to confirm he was for real. (Michael asked my parents for permission before asking me.)

26. Who is more sensitive? Me, but he surprises me on this one!

27. Who has more friends? Him....I'm sad to report. (Do bloggy friends count?)

28. Who has more siblings? He does

29. Who wears the pants in the family? Definitely him

30. How did you meet? do I explain this one? ---We met on the phone actually through my sister. We talked for a week straight before we met. After spending those first few days with him, I told my Mom that I had met the "man" I was going to marry. She laughed.... but I showed her!

Michael's been working diligently on our new ministry website. It's a great site full of all sorts of cool information. Take a look and see. Click here to see our new ministry website.

Enjoy your weekend everyone! Bom Fim Semana!

Friday, January 9, 2009

History in the Making?

About 10 minutes before our rush out the door for school, Lib ran into our room screaming, "It's snowing!" Michael quickly said...."It's not's probably just....."

About that time I flung open the curtains and sure enough....

We've been told that it may snow in our area once every 15 years or so??

They had about 10 minutes to play then off to school where they were disappointed to see school as usual. They were hoping for a snow day!

Instead of "cheese" they all said "snow"...mouths wide open!

My poor oranges

Update: I've since learned that it hasn't snowed here in about 30 years! I guess we ARE seeing history!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Monday Mayhem?

I was barely out of bed and out of the bathroom when all three school girls came into my bedroom fully dressed, coat and backpack on, asking for me to help fix their hair. Wow....they must have really been looking forward to going back to school! They didn't get ready that fast the first day of school! I quickly helped with ponytails and ribbons. Even sprayed a little body spray on their hair. More for me than for them. I love to get cuddles and hugs and smell their hair. They all passed on breakfast hoping that we'd leave for school a little earlier than normal. We had time in Proverbs with their Daddy and discussed the differences between and a"woman" and a "lady". To which Liberty proudly exclaimed "Mom is definitely a lady". It was the smoothest of all school mornings this entire year! So, I have no mayhem to report. Strange huh?!


When I was nine I:

Jumped off a balance beam and broke my arm.
Tried to hold Brian Hamilton's hand during movie time at school.
Went on my first date ever...not with Brian though...(I wish I had a picture to show you. I had my cast on my arm and a neighbor rolled my hair. It was hideous! We went to see Soul Man.)
Was in love with Pac-Man, Donkey King and Frogger. Our family kept score on a chalkboard. It was a HUGE deal!
Was wearing leg warmers.
Did as little school work as I could get away with and my grades showed it.

My daughter Brooklyn is nine and she:

Got an excellent report card today from a Portuguese speaking school! (I couldn't do that in an English speaking school!)
Read about 10 books over the Christmas break.
Could break her arm just walking across the kitchen. She has no need to jump off anything!
Would never dream of trying to hold a boys hand.
And I'd never consider sending her to the movies with a little blond headed German boy like my Mom did!
Got Pac-Man for Christmas and has no idea how to play it. (Poor girl)
Can conjugate a verb in Portuguese in a flash!
Can whip up some mean cheese toast and chocolate milk...for 5 kids at once!

I tell you what....sometimes I think my kids are raising me. I've learned so much from them.

~~~"Brooklyn, Faith &'re doing great! Your first ever report cards are amazing! And to think you did it all in another language just thrills my heart! Keep up the great work. Be a light shining for Jesus. Allow Him to use you. I love you all!~~~~Mom"

Friday, January 2, 2009

To Send Or Not To Send

You know those times. When you're all into making a meal and you realize you don't have all the ingredients. Because your precious children finished off the last of the butter with their morning toast, or maybe your husband ate the last of the all-purpose Maria cookies which dubs as an excellent vanilla wafer or graham cracker in certain recipes. Then the decision has to be made....Do I send HIM to the grocery store? Or do I stop everything and go myself?

Pros and Cons:

Pros: He usually comes home with a special surprise just for me. i.e. new cookbook (what's he trying to say?) brand new paring knife (sweet!) silicone cooking utensils (not to bad..)and the best...chocolate (yeah baby!)

Cons: He shows up with some after Christmas sale racing speed boats. His excuse..."Justice hasn't gotten anything yet with his Christmas money!"

Poor Justice. He can't even play with HIS racing speed boats because he sticks the antenna of his remote control into the water. This makes the boats go faster, and stands his hair on end. ( his hair is always sticking up. But how safe can that be?!) When we hide the boats and remote controls I later find cars, jungle animals, and his sisters socks in the water where he tried to make his own boats. Usually a soggy cookie and a wet cat can be found nearby as well.

I think I'll hold onto Justice's Christmas money next year.