Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Monday, August 29, 2011

Go Jaguars!

Our Friday night this weekend, and the Friday nights to come until November, was filled with Friday Night Football, Southwind High style!

Mr. McGoo and I have the pleasure of being a part of our church's partnership with Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and Southwind High School Football. Through this partnership we have built a friendship with one of the players on the team, James and are enjoying getting to know him, encouraging him, and cheering for him and the team weekly.

This Friday we went to the game against Sheffield High and then hung out with James and some of the players at Buffalo Wild Wings after the game!

Here a few pics from Friday night.

Go Jaguars!
Mr. McGoo and James - too cool for smiles
James getting a Fantasy Football lesson from the Living Legends
Mr. McGoo challenged Senior "Booker" to an arm wrestling match
hilarious! Mr. McGoo is a big kid at heart!
And I'm diggin Southwind High colors - GO PURPLE!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Something New: Kentucky Derby Pie

I asked Mr. McGoo Tuesday afternoon, "What do you want for your birthday dessert Thursday night?" I knew better. I've been married to this man for 4.5 years now, I know what he likes and I should have thought through those desserts, chosen one I was comfortable making and just presented it to him Thursday rather than taking requests. Knowing my husband, I should know better.

Mr. McGoo's answer, "Kentucky Derby Pie".

This is where I interject in the story that I am not a cook. I cook, but I'm not a cook. I bake, but I bake things out of boxes where you add water, oil, and/or eggs. I'm not a baker, and I have certainly never attempted a pie - a Kentucky Derby Pie at that. Oh boy.

Unable to turn down the challenge, I guess, I got to work "Google'ing" recipes for a Kentucky Derby Pie. I found one and quickly passed it by, but the second recipe I found seemed like something I could attempt, so that's what I did.

So before I share the experience, let me give you the source. I found the recipe on this blog.

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbsp. Ky Bourbon OR 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 9-inch pie shell, partially baked (or I actually used graham cracker crust)
I was intent on making 2 pies. One with Kentucky Bourbon and one with Vanilla. To help reduce my stress level (because I'm prone to stress during new cooking adventures), I went ahead and measured out all ingredients times two and set them out before I began the process. It was very helpful and colorful too when you have Fiesta Ware.

What to do:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees 
  • Cream butter and sugar
  • Add beaten eggs, flour, salt and Kentucky bourbon (or vanilla)  
  • Add chocolate chips and nuts 
  • Stir well
  • Pour into partially baked pie shell
  • TIP: Put the pie(s) onto a cookie sheet to catch any possible dripping, or bubbling over of the ingredients (I learned this one the hard way, explained below).
  • Bake for 30 minutes, or until center is set
  • Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream or completely by itself!
My experience:
The process of preparing the pies was a piece of cake. As I mentioned before the pre-measuring of ingredients really helped. I didn't have to think about it as I read the recipe and added the ingredients each step of the way. The "problems" began when I put the pies into the oven.

After about 5 minutes of oven time, Mr. McGoo and I smelled something burning. At that moment, the recipe ingredients FLASHED before my eyes. It read "PARTIALLY BAKED PIE CRUST" not pre-made like I thought and purchased. I bought the pre-made ready to eat or bake graham cracker crust. Automatically I assumed the crust was burning and I had 25 minutes plus to go. I ran to the oven, opened up the door and smoke flew out. I panicked, thinking "my crust"...

However, the burning and smoke had nothing to do with the crust... it was the spillover of the pies causing the issue. I did not know that a cookie sheet underneath a pie is essential. Without it, the bubbling and spillover of the pies falls onto the eyes of the oven = burning. I removed the pies immediately and placed them on a cookie sheet before putting them back into the oven. The only thing to do now was wait... wait to see if the pies could make it through this without coming out smelling & tasting like smoke and ultimately check at the end to make sure the pie crust that I purchased incorrectly was able to survive.


Once I took the pies out of the oven they looked fabulous as seen here to the left... but considering the time (after 11pm at this point), I knew I would be unable to check the crust until morning.

Morning came, I checked the crust and everything looked okay. The true test would be that night when the dessert is served for Mr. McGoo's birthday in front of a large group.

Result: Everyone loved it! I thought it could have been cooked a little more to make the insides a little less gooy, but none of our guests complained. The taste was fantastic and delicious. Per Mr. McGoo's request this pie will be made again and again in our household. Next time I'll put the cookie sheet down in the beginning, but I will still use that delicious graham cracker crust!


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Mr. McGoo's Birthday

Happy Birthday to my fabulous and 
wonderful husband, Mr. McGoo!

I cannot imagine life without him. God blessed me beyond measure with this guy and truly gave me the desires of my heart, even beyond what I realized my true desires were.

Here's a picture from his 31st birthday! We were just dating then! Cannot believe how quickly five years has gone. I love serving the Lord with this man and being his teammate.

We're a team, honey! I love you! Happy Birthday!

Happy Bday Author of Kee Creative!

Happy Birthday to my great and 
awesomely talented sister, Robin!

Sis, you're not even close to being aware of how talented you are! I'm thankful for you, as God has blessed me with a rock star family! It has been so cool to see how God has been specifically working in and through you over the last several years - constantly making you a better sister and wife! You're more than my sister, you're my friend!

Wishing you a fabulous birthday. Hate that I'm not close enough in geography to give you a big hug for your day, but am confident that your wonderful hubby will take good care of you!

Love you! Happy Birthday!

Ps. Folks, if you ever want some design inspiration, challenges, or are in the mood to read some witty narration, check out my sisters blog: . You will not be disappointed.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Feelin the Burn 2

We have t-minus 12 days until "race" day.

So I thought I'd give an update on how my "training" or back to working out progress is going. I've really tried to take advantage of not having school two nights a week (about to be 3 times a week starting next month) by getting myself back into the workout routine and pushing towards getting back in shape. So far I've worked out six times since I began this quest (Thursday, August 11th).

Here is what I've done so far:

  • First run (Thursday, 8/11) - less than 1.5 miles, long walk & stretch after
  • 1 hr spin class (Saturday, 8/13) - got my sisters to come with me
  • 1 hr spin class (Monday, 8/15)
  • 1 hr Bodycombat class (Thursday, 8/18) - more on that below
  • 1.8 mile run, long walk & stretch after (Sunday, 8/21)
  • 1 hr "Team Training" (Tuesday, 8/23) - more on that below

I'm feeling better and making progress every step of the way. But I definitely feel the burn. The body is asking me what I'm doing to it, but I can tell the muscles VAGUELY remember what they once were, so there is a little pep to my step to continue. Well, actually I'm lying if I say there is "pep" in my step today, I'm actually walking like an old woman as I work the soreness out from last night. But I digress.

So what do I mean by "Bodycombat" class, huh? Here is the gym's description:
BODYCOMBAT™ - Infused with a wide array of martial arts disciplines (karate, tae kwon do, tai chi, kickboxing, and muay thai), BODYCOMBAT is not for the meek. Kick, strike, and punch your way to superb physical condition. Moderate to high fitness levels are welcome.
I could definitely tell this class gave me a full body workout. I punched and kicked and blocked and moved in ways that I do not normally and it used my own body weight all throughout. It was up-tempo and entertaining, not monotonous at all. As long as I continued to "get over" the fact that I looked silly and did not do the moves in the most coordinated fashion, I really liked it. I chose to watch the instructor instead of seeing myself in a mirror - I distracted myself otherwise. I think I'll be back if my schedule allows.

So what about "Team Training" at the gym last night, well I'm definitely paying for it. Muscles within my body that I never knew existed are aching. Nevertheless I like this kind of burn - even if I'm walking around like an old woman - it reminds me that I'm working out again and pushing myself. It's a group style "class" that has a circuit training like process to it. After warm-up it's 45 minutes of hard core movements - you can push as hard as you're able, and rest as much as needed throughout reps - doing it at your own pace. Granted if you stand around forever, the trainer there is going to instruct and push! We did lunges, squats, wall sits, push ups, tricep pulls, bicep pulls, abdominal work, you name it - the muscle was worked. If it didn't cost more than my typical gym membership, I'd be all over it once a week.

All that to say, I'm on my way. Hopefully I'll be able to move a little more normally by Saturday am and get back to the gym with a Sunday morning run in store before church. T-minus 12 days until I'm "called" to run 3.1 miles. Thankfully I have a good running partner. She's letting me take it slow, but is also capable of running for days - she'll push me.

In other news... after getting home last night from the gym and grocery shopping for the ingredients for Mr. McGoo's birthday dessert he requested (blog post to come on that later), I came home and put up the groceries, fed the dogs, and took out the trash. Ummmm, I never made it back into the house after that until Mr. McGoo returned home at 930pm or so. For 2 hours I was locked out of my house. The furbabies were totally confused - - mom went out of the house with a bag and never came back. It was hot and I have some mosquito bites to show for it, but I did enjoy an hour long conversation with one of our fabulous neighbors.

Always something. ;)

Monday, August 22, 2011

On Mission

The other day I was asked if I have some feedback on primary myths that many church people have concerning missions.

For example:
    Missions is just about reaching people overseas in Africa.
    Only certain people are called to missions.

I focused mostly on the second example myth that "only certain people are called to missions" when I answered. Here is what I was thinking:

Often times when people use the wording "I'm not called" they are really saying in churchy wording "I don't FEEL like it". Throughout the Bible the Lord tells us to be self-controlled, this includes our emotions... they are not truth, they are often our fleshly reaction to something rather than a Biblical response.

With that in mind, just because we do not FEEL like doing something doesn't mean we're not supposed to do it. God says to GO (Matthew 28), and therefore we should obey and go. It's not about going overseas or not, although some will gain a burden for people groups outside of their own. It's more about obedience and serving the least of these (Matthew 25), serving and loving our neighbors (Matthew 22), serving and loving our enemies (Matthew 5), and obeying what God has commanded us to do. Out of our love for Jesus and in following Him we should imitate His walk in these areas.

The question isn't about do you feel like doing missions or not. The real question is "are we serving and loving and sharing Christ to those around us"? Just because you don't feel like it (aka. aren't called) doesn't mean the command doesn't apply to you and to me. By not doing it and using our own emotions as the reason, we're being disobedient.

By definition "missions" means a group of people taking part in an assignment. God has given us an assignment (quite a few actually) within His word. Are we obeying? Am I obeying?

"Missions" does not strictly mean going overseas and living in a hut. "Missions" does not strictly mean giving up everything you have here for a life in a third world country. Or whatever the first thought is that comes to your mind. "Missions" is about right here, right now, everyday. God calls us to be "on mission" as Christ followers. Am I being obedient to the assignment given to me? Are you? Am I sharing Christ with those around me? Are you?

Maybe that's part of it all... people's hesitance and/or resistance of being involved in missions both locally and overseas - the wording. People have categorized the churchy wording associated with missions to mean something it is not and therefore brush it off, saying that's not for me, I'm not "called", or I don't feel like it, and therefore might be allowing the enemy to use this as a reason/excuse to not obey something God is calling us to do.

So after answering, I find myself asking how can I be "on mission" more regularly and constantly in my life? How can I truly share the love and hope of Christ with those around me today?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Book Corner

I'm enjoying my time away from school, but down time is still limited. I have been filling my extra time post work with workouts, Bible study, coffee dates, family birthday celebrations, committee meetings, and things like that.

Nevertheless, I am finding some time to read. I have quite a bit to go, but look forward to hopefully finishing this read by the start of school on September 6th.

My current read is a suggestion from my mom's book club. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. It's a fiction book set in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - be still my heart, and is about a surgeon. I'm totally enjoying reading the details of the environment, places and a culture I'm actually familiar with and knowing some of the medical terms being used also. It's been neat.

I'm 124 pages in and the book is over 650 pages long... so lots more to go.

What's currently on your reading list?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Such a time as this?

Something I have been thinking about for the last several days...

"For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” 
Esther 4:14

Friday, August 12, 2011

Feelin the Burn

Started my workouts again yesterday and already I'm feeling the burn. Oh how I've missed this feeling and the awkward walk as my legs and abs ache with each step.

I've committed to running with a friend in the Labor Day, September 5th Chick-fil-A 5k. Counting today we have 25 days until the race.

I ran last night for the first time in forever. We did just around a mile and walked for the remaining 30minutes or so. It's definitely a work in progress and I'm feeling the burn, but you've got to start somewhere.

This 5k should be the perfect "goal" and motivator to make sure I get my tail in gear.

I'm taking today off to stretch regularly throughout the day. Spin class awaits me Saturday morning. Let the games begin.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

C4C - Making a Difference

The Forsaken Children are currently underway with their Chicks for Change campaign that is working to raise the funding needed to start up our partner project's chicken hatchery in Chencha, Ethiopia in 2012. It's an awesome campaign, reminding folks that every little bit can make a difference with the Lord's blessing and provision.

One way the campaign is focusing on making a difference with every little bit and working to get the entire family involved is by encouraging folks to start a Chicks for Change jar. Collecting your everyday pocket change in this jar until it's time to roll the coins up, deposit them into your account, and cut a check for The Forsaken Children's Chicks for Change fund.

Me with my C4C Jar
Mr. McGoo and I are particpating in this campaign. I have a Chicks for Change jar at home and at work. It has been fun and exciting to see how the funds have grown simply with pocket change.

The first time I rolled up the coins in our C4C jars, only counting the ones that could be rolled into the specifis amounts for deposit (i.e. $10 for quarters, $2 for nickels, $5 for dimes, and $.50 for pennies), we were able to donate $30.00!

Last night I rolled again and came up with another $69.50!

So our current Chicks for Change jar total looks like this:

Installment 1: $30.00
Installment 2: $69.50
Running C4C Total: $99.50

Whoo hooo! Cannot wait to see how this total continues to grow!

Join the Chicks for Change campaign - message me and I'll send you all the materials you need - a sticker to put on your change jar and literature to share with others what it's all about!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Last night I completed my first official nursing class - Health Assessment. Tonight I received word that I made an A, so I'm feeling pretty good. I was blessed with a great set of study buddies for this class and am lucky enough to have them all  in my classes next trimester too. So now, I'm looking forward to the next twenty seven days of "freedom". No school, but I will have plenty to fill up my time (what's new?)!

Here are a few things I hope to do in the next 27 days of 'break'...

Work will continue.
Read (more on that in my next "book corner" post).
Run - somehow I got convinced or agreed to run a 5k on Labor Day. I haven't ran in FOREVER, so training starts tomorrow - should be comical to hear about the progress of that.
Clean - the house has been neglected the last several weeks, for the most part, considering Mr. McGoo was out of town and my summer trimester was coming quickly to a close. Time to get some of the deeper cleaning that was missed taken care of once again.
Cheer - Mr. McGoo and I have joined the Fellowship of Christian Athletes "take the field" initiative at our church where we have the opportunity to "take the field" with a young man in high school and his family. We will partner together to cheer for this young man on and off the football field. I'm looking forward to meeting him (he's a junior) on Friday night at the opening season jamboree and can't wait to cheer for him and the team in purple, which happens to be my favorite color.
Celebrate - Mr. McGoo and my middle sis have the same birthday - August 25th, so we will celebrate their birthday as well as the middle sista's husband, my B.I.L. His is the 30th. We will celebrate all three this weekend - the only time everyone could get together.
Ride roller coasters at Six Flags St. Louis. We had tickets for when we went to St. Louis in April, but the park wasn't open the day we planned to go. So one weekend this month we'll do a quick trip to use our tickets and enjoy the rides.
Rest mentally more so than physically.

I'm looking forward to seeing what God has in store for me over the next several days.
Mr. McGoo is about to enter chaos as his fourth and last pre-season begins this weekend for the U of Memphis. That means in addition to everything else he is doing, he will be committed to pre-season activities and I'll only see him late in the evening when he brings home dinner, showers, and crashes before the next day's to dos.

Now to go and get that desired reading started...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Weight Lifted

I have six days until my summer trimester of school is complete! It really has gone quickly.

Last night a huge weight was lifted off my nursing school carrying shoulders as my lab partner, my normal study buddies, and I all completed our Head to Toe Assessment Check-off exam. We each had 30 minutes to do a full head to toe assessment of our partner, completing each individual part requested and verbalizing our findings.

This assignment felt like a beast and I was very nervous throughout the day yesterday as the "impending doom" loomed overhead, but it's quite comical how all four us walked in and cranked it out with batting an eye. My partner and I did our happy dance once we left school and are planning to studying hard this week for our final on Tuesday. After that we can look forward to some relax time until the fall trimester begins September 6th.

Happy Hump Day! It is for me.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

TFC Blog: Thunderstorms

A little over a year ago, I wrote a post on this blog titled Thunderstorms. This week it is featured on The Forsaken Children's blog. I'd love for you to go and give it a read - leave a comment or two while you're there.

I lay in bed last night, snuggling up and enjoying the sounds of the thunder roll in and the rain beginning to pour.

I love thunderstorms . . . And as I listened, I began thinking about how much I enjoy a good night’s sleep under the comfort of my home, being lulled to sleep by the rain and thunder outside my door . . . nothing like that kind of sleep . . .

But then my heart started aching, as a consciousness crept in – “Wait, Mrs. McGoo – you are the lucky one, you have a warm bed, a dry roof over your head to “enjoy” such a storm . . . but how many folks do not have such blessings?


With that thought, that reality in mind last night, I began aching [. . .]

Complete the post by following the [. . .] above.

Monday, August 1, 2011

No More Common Man

The whole debt ceiling discussion simply continues to show the lack of efficiency and broken nature of our current government. No longer do we have common man/woman serving his/her constituents like this systems was created and intended to be.

Now we have career politicians with favors owed and others in their own pockets. No longer does anyone simply stand for what's right and necessary for our nation, but instead are constantly skewed by the need to "get re-elected", cover their tail, make those they owe happy, and get ahead.

We need term limits (like our President) in the House & Senate.
Until we have common man serving again, we will continue to have broken government.

Anyone willing and able to lead this charge?
2 terms in House and 2 terms in Senate Max = 16 years of service, then go back home