Saturday, September 29, 2007

OK, OK ... We've Been Tagged!

Chris: Thank you, Dixie, Sherilyn, and Phil for tagging us, I guess. However, I don't participate in chain letters, I don't forward all those crazy email messages, and I don't play tag. :-) ) Sorry to disappoint you, but I'm not so sure I want to put seven facts about myself on here for the WHOLE WORLD to see!

Esther: Chris may be a party-pooper, but I'm not.
  1. During her pregnancy, God gave my mother the name Esther during a church service when she remembered the verse, "For such a time as this ..." from the book of Esther. That's how I got my name.
  2. I never met my grandparents on my mother's side. They were both deceased when I was born. But I did inherit my mamaw's green eyes -- when everyone else in my family had brown.
  3. I am the youngest in a family of four. All my siblings say I'm spoiled, but I doubt it.
  4. I've lived in a parsonage for all of my life, except for two years.
  5. I love to sing. I graduated from God's Bible School with a music ed degree with a major in voice.
  6. I love to cook/bake. Cookies are my favorite thing to bake. Cheesecakes are my favorite thing to eat.
  7. Chris and I knew each other two years before we began dating. Then we dated for two years before we were married. Then we were married for two years before taking our first pastorate. Then two years after that, we had our first child - Melanie. Then two years after that we had our second child - Alayna. Then the pattern ceases and Josiah was born 3 and a half years later.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

Esther got tired of all the political posts, so she is posting a recipe that our family enjoys. It came from a Taste of Home Cookbook, but Esther has made a few changes to make it better.

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
* 2/3 cup shortening
* 1 tablespoon cold butter, cubed
* 3 to 4 tablespoons cold water

* 1 cup diced peeled potatoes
* 1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
* 1/4 cup chopped celery
* 1 T. chopped onion
* dash of garlic powder
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 1 cup chicken broth
* 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup milk
* 1-1/2 cups cubed turkey
* 1/2 cup frozen peas
* 1/2 cup frozen corn
* 3/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon pepper


Combine flour and salt. Place cheese in a chopper and pulse until crumbly. Add cheese to the flour and salt mixture. Add shortening and butter; blend until coarse crumbs form. Gradually add water until dough forms a ball. Divide dough in half with one ball slightly larger than the other; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

For filling, in a large saucepan, saute the potatoes, carrots, celery, onion and garlic in butter for 5-6 minutes. Add broth; cover and cook for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. In a small bowl, combine flour and milk until smooth. Gradually add to vegetable mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add the remaining ingredients.

Roll out larger pastry ball to fit a 9-in. pie plate; transfer to pie plate. Trim pastry even with edge. Pour hot turkey filling into crust. Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of pie; place over filling. Trim, seal and flute edges. Cut slits in top or make decorative cutouts in pastry.

Bake at 350° for 35-45 minutes or until crust is light golden brown. Serve immediately. Yield: 6 servings.

It's Official -- We are endorsing Huckabee for President

Prior to last night's debate, I was strongly leaning towards supporting Gov. Mike Huckabee for the GOP Presidential candidate. After the debate, I am totally convinced. I found the following video on another blogger's site. It's a speech that Gov. Huckabee made at a Pastor's Conference. It's lengthy, but good.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Values Voter Debate - Monday, Sept. 17th ... 7:30 PM

From the Debate:

1. Candidates Discuss their faith:

Some of the Republican presidential candidates who took part in last night's "Values Voter" presidential debate in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, spoke candidly about when they accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee said last night's debate was unlike any other he'd ever participated in, noting he could never envision MSNBC commentator Chris Matthews opening a debate with a prayer.

Huckabee told the 2,000-plus audience members that he became a born-again Christian at the age of 10 while attending vacation Bible school at a small Baptist church in Hope, Arkansas. "And on that day [I] trusted Jesus Christ as my Savior -- it was life-changing," he said.

The former governor shared that he holds things in perspective, including his run for the White House. "Sometimes people ask me what's the greatest thing that ever happened to me, and they expect me to say being elected governor or running for president," stated Huckabee. "But the truth is, those are jobs that somebody else had before me, somebody else is going to have after me -- and those jobs have a limit.

"But the greatest thing that ever happened to me was coming to know Jesus Christ, because there is no limit, there are no terms set, and it's a position that I'll hold forever and forever."

Illinois businessman John Cox said he was "reborn in Christ" in 1979 when a Christian man ministered to him on a commuter train in Chicago. Meanwhile, Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-California) joked that he has never belonged to an organized denomination -- he's a Baptist.

2. Tax Issues

I liked Mike Huckabee's description of the Fair Tax plan that he would like to see replace our current taxation structure. He said his plan for taxes would be Flat, Fair, Finite, and Family Friendly. You gotta love the alliteration.

3. Missing Candidates

Refusing to participate in this debate were McCain, Romney, Giuliani, and Thompson. This is interesting, because all four have questionable stands on value issues such as abortion and gay marriage. ALL of the democratic candidates refused to participate in a values debate as well.

4. Speed Round

I liked the second round of the debate, the candidates were asked about 20 yes/no questions. They had to push a button and a red or green light would appear. Most all the questions were unanimous. Ron Paul voted the opposite way about 5 or 6 times -- for example, he disagrees with "Teri's Law" - to keep the disabled from being starved to death like Teri Shiavo; he does not think we should prosecute manufacturers of pornographic material; and he is against expanding the indecency laws to cable TV networks.

5. Straw Poll Results

Here are the official results of the straw poll conducted before and then immediately after the Values Voter debate. The poll included 340 delegates hand-selected by 40 of America's social conservative activists and opinion makers. Pre-debate numbers are located in the parenthesis and the post debate numbers immediately follow the colon.

Mike Huckabee: 219 (119) Clear Winner with 63%
Ron Paul: 44 (53)
Alan Keyes: 24 (30)
Sam Brownback: 18 (26)
Fred Thompson: 15 (52)
Duncan Hunter: 13 (8)
Tom Tancredo: 7 (8)
Rudy Guiliani: 4 (16)
John Cox: 2 (1)
John McCain: 2 (13)
Mitt Romney: 0 (14)

Sign in Indiana

On our drive to Indiana, we saw this sign. I was hoping to get a fresh donut from 1973, but they were closed.

Trip to Indiana

Esther's mom wanted to make her a "birthday supper," so we decided to make the 3.5 hour journey for chicken and dumplings, corn, carrots -n- cheese, berry jello salad, cake, and ice cream. YUM! We had an enjoyable visit.

Dave recently painted the house. It looks really nice.

Esther wanted some acorns to use as fall decorations. Grandpa Dave helped the kids gather a basket full. I sure hope the squirrels don't mind losing some of their winter supply of food!

Momma and Daughter ... where is the iced tea???

Grandpa Dave reading a book to Josiah

Friday, September 14, 2007

Freedom From Want

Esther has commented several times that she loved this Norman Rockwell painting. The couple remind her a lot of her grandparents. This was her main birthday present yesterday. Below is a picture of Esther's grandparents.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Happy Birthday, Esther

Today, my lovely and precious wife celebrates her ??th birthday -- you didn't think I would really put in the number did you?? Below are some pictures in her honor.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Continuting with a Patriotic Theme ...

I have heard a recording of this tribute to the Pledge of Allegiance before, but I just found this video clip of it. I hope it will be meaningful to you.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Remembering 9/11

There's a stirring country song that asks the question "have you forgotten when the towers fell?" (You can hear it in the video below.) Six years have passed since that morning when one of our friends called, and asked if we were listening to the news. I can still remember the shock and pain of that day. Our prayers should still go out to the families who lost loved ones. We should be thankful for having a President who has provided strong unwavering leadership during and after the attack on our country. We should be proud of our brave military personnel who are sacrificing so much to ensure our safety and to give the hope of freedom to the citizens of Iraq.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Two FIRSTS today ...

  1. I actually attempted to post a video on the blog today ... and it worked!!!
  2. A Poll! A Poll! I love hearing results of polls and surveys, but am always disappointed that nobody ever asked me for my opinion. If you have ever felt the same way, now is your chance to let your voice be heard. Be sure to vote ... it's good practice for the elections next year!

Daisy Princesses

One of Alayna's "Going Beyond" projects from school today was to make a crown out of flowers. Here she is, posing by the flowers she planted this spring.

Of course, Melanie wanted in on the fun too! Here are the two princess sisters. The vines hanging over the block wall are from sweet potato plants. I hope the sweet potatoes are growing as well as the vines!

Republican Presidential Debate

Last night, the candidates for President on the Republican side (minus Fred Thompson) participated in a debate. It's time to start looking at candidates to support, especially with many states making efforts to move their Primary Elections to January. Each candidate has his flaws, but I am leaning towards supporting Gov. Huckabee at this point. In an earlier debate, the moderator asked the candidates who believed in Creation over Evolution to raise their hands. Only three did -- Gov. Huckabee, Sen. Brownback, and Rep. Tancredo. Their answer to that question also answers unasked questions about their view of the validity of the Bible, the Source for moral values, and their view of God.

The following video clip shows an exchange between Gov. Huckabee and Rep. Paul. I like the Governor's statement near the end of this clip that honor is more important than winning elections.

There will be another debate on September 17th at 7:30 PM. You will be able to view it online at Be sure to watch, so you can have an informed vote, come Primary Season!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

School Starts!

Our first day of homeschooling started yesterday.

For the last couple weeks, we have been busy building desks and gathering supplies. Thanks to Esther's step-dad, Dave, for helping me build the desk, and my dad for adding an electrical outlet and some other finishing touches!

Esther really enjoyed doing a "Welcome To School" bulletin board.

Melanie is in third grade this year. She was so excited about school beginning, she had a hard time getting to sleep the night before.

Alayna begins first grade.

Monday, September 3, 2007

12 Wonderful Years

Yesterday was our 12th wedding anniversary. It has been a great dozen years together! Here are some pictures I took of some pictures in our wedding album.