Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Crockett Summer Weekend!

Hubby and I decided about a month ago that we needed a weekend away with some good friends.  Since this summer has been so busy and so expensive, we decided to head to his family's lakehouse in Crockett, Texas with some of his fraternity brothers.  We had so much fun!
This is Terrence at Don Rafa's - the tallest ice cream cone I have ever seen!
The boys might not be in college anymore...but they sure do enjoy themselves like they are!
We were treated to a patio concert by Geoff and Josh.  They really are good!
Okay, so I know how incredibly white trash this picture looks, but we had the best time.  Note the chair leaning over into the water...yeah...that's mine.  There are so many things about this picture that make me giggle :)
This is Champ.  Josh fell in love with this dog.  He dived down into the water for muscles, cracked the shells in his mouth, ate the inside and spit the shells out.  Gross, but very smart of him :)
I found this picture on my camera the next morning.  Silly boys.

Wanna hear a funny story? 
So, hubby and I got to the lakehouse early to get everything turned on and opened up.  We left to go to the grocery store, and saw a little doggie wandering down the road.  I told hubby that we just had to stop and check on her, so he did.  He loves animals.  She had on a collar, with a rabies tag.  On the back of the tag, someone had scratched "Bella" and a phone number on it.  We tried to call all the number, and every possible combination of the number - but nothing worked.  It was just too hard to read.  So, being the smart cookie that I am, I decided that we should call the vet that issued the rabies tag.  Oh my small town gracious!  The sweet woman on the phone looked for the file for about 20 minutes, and the tag that "Bella" was wearing was not issued to a small terrier.  She didn't have a "Bella" in her system either. 
Me: "So, does she maybe have a microchip?"
Sweet Vet Lady: "Oh no honey, people don't do that in Houston County."
Me: "Oh.  Well, can I bring her to you so when her owners call you will have her for them to come and get?"
Sweet Vet Lady: "Well sure, but we gonna have to charge you $50."
Me: "I'm sorry, what?  I don't understand."
Sweet Vet Lady: "Well, we ain't gonna just take in strays, so we gotta charge for when people bring 'em in."
Me: "Oh, okay.  Well, how do I get there?"
You see, at this point, we are involved.  It is not an option to just let the dog out where we found it.  What if something happened?  What if Bandit was lost and someone wasn't willing to pay the $50 to get him to safety???
And, this whole time, this sweet little dog is sitting in our truck, licking hubby on the face.  He loves her now.
Sweet Vet Lady gives me some very confusing small town directions, which I am trying to pull up on my phone at this point.  Then, I tell her, okay we are on our way.
Sweet Vet Lady: "Well honey, we're closed, you can't come until Monday."
Oh my goodness.  We have been on the phone for almost 45 minutes now.  Why on earth did she give me all these directions if I can't come???  Hubby is starting to giggle.
Me: "Well, can I at least leave you my phone number in case someone calls looking for "Bella"?  You are welcome to give it to them."
Sweet Vet Lady: "Well Honey, I'll take it, but I think you just done got yourself a new dog to take back to your big city!"

Oh my goodness.

So, we take "Bella" back to the lakehouse, and put her in the laundry room with some water, hoping and praying that she does not destroy anything.  Off to the grocery store and dinner we go.

All our friends coming into town met us at Don Rafa's for dinner, including our cousins, Don and Kristy, that have a place just up the road from our lakehouse.  I start telling them our story, and Don starts laughing so hard that he turns red.  "Oh Michelle, YOU STOLE BELLA!"  You see, Bella lives right across the street from where we found her.  She is an outside dog you see, and apparently people just let their precious furbabies wander the streets (okay fine, dirt roads) all hours of the day.  Oops.  So Don called their neighbors to let them know that Bella was with us.  They hadn't even realized she was missing!

Bella was returned to her road, and all is well.  After that, everytime a dog ran by the porch, it became the running joke - "Michelle, those dogs are lost, go steal them!".  Very funny guys, very funny.

Just a Little Random Update....

Oh my goodness...I haven't blogged in forever! 

Life has been so full and so fun - and I have been trying not to spend as much time on the laptop at night since our schedules have been so crazy.  Trying to give hubby some good quality time :)

Here are a few things that have been going on in our world...

* I just got back from my sweet friend Erin's bachelorette party in LA!  It was an amazing trip with the most fun, beautiful women I know.  I'll do a post on it this week :)

* We spent a weekend with my parents and my Pappa in Port O Connor.  We fished, went to the beach, ate some great seafood, and enjoyed a Sunday at my Pappa's church.  It was a wonderful weekend!

* While I was out of town in LA, hubby decided to "clean" the house.  His version of cleaning is putting things away.  If you have read this blog for any amount of time, you know that he is more than a little OCD about clutter.  Well, now I can't find anything!  My drawers are reorganized, my closet is all confused, and our hall closet is so jam packed that I can hardly see anything.  He also changed out the pictures in a bunch of our frames : /  I'm not sure why.  I know he was trying to help, but I would have much rather him worked on his "honey do" list and left my stuff alone - haha!  I mean, who needs to replace the light in the kitchen that burned out two months ago, or fix the recliner swivel, or put the little pluggy thing back in my sink that he took out?????

* My Daddy had three kidney stones removed.  Then, they realized that he had a huge one in there, and they had to break it up with a laser.  He is recovering and doing fine, but I just feel awful for him!

* I've decided that I want to paint our living room and our bedroom before Christmas.  I am consumed with finding the perfect shades of paint.  I didn't realize it would be this difficult!

Those are my recent highlights :)  I am way behind on my favorite blogs, but I promise I will catch up this weekend.  We are doing NOTHING for Labor Day Weekend and I couldn't be happier!

I hope you are all doing great!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Too Cute Thursday

Marriage Tales













Today I'm excited to link up the Marriage Tales for her first Too Cute Thursday!  It's about sharing something that you found this week that is just too cutie not to share.  I love this idea!  I can't wait to see all the cute things you wonderful ladies find!

So, today, while I was helping one of my dearest friends find things for her wedding welcome baskets, I came across these -
They are koozies for wine bottles!!!!  Not only are the adorable and useful, but they are monogrammed too!  I want one!  I think I shall be giving a few of these for Christmas gifts this year :)

I found them on etsy, here.  Let me know if you order one, I want to see how you like it :)

Prayer Thursday

Hi Ladies! 

Thank you all so much for your prayers this past week!  If we can pray for you, please leave your prayer request in the comments below, or feel free to email me - michelle.ann.ellis@gmail.com

Here are our prayer requests for this week -

Please pray for Laura.  Her Grandma is showing signs of kidney failure.  She has had a very rough time over the past 15 years, losing two husbands and her mother.  Please also pray for her husband Don, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer last year and is going through treatments.  Please pray for God to give her the strength and hope to fight through this, and that he hold her tight with love and comfort during this time.

Please pray for sweet baby Bennett.  He was born oh-so-tiny, and is having some trouble with his lungs right now.  You can read his little story here.


We have been praying for sweet Annika for awhile now, at the request of Kasey.  Please say a special prayer for her dear little body, that God will give her the strength to fight this disease.  Annika is 5 years old and was diagnosed with a rare form of acute lympocytic leukemia.  Please pray for her, her family and her doctors.  I can't imagine what her family is going through.  Isn't she beautiful?  Just look at that smile!


Please pray for baby Cohen's parents. You can read their story here.  He is in God's beautiful hands now. 



Please pray for sweet Sarah.  She is praying and waiting for God to bless her with a true Godly man that could be a wonderful influence to her young son to share their lives with.  Her testimony is so beautiful, I felt inspired just reading it.

Please pray for my coworker Colin.  His daughter in law had breast cancer three years ago, and won that fight.  Unfortunately, the cancer is back - this time in her spine.  She is going through radiation now and the prognosis is not positive.  Please pray for her.

Please pray for my sweet friend Jackie.  She is pregnant with quadruplets!  She has survived 4 full weeks in the hospital!  She is carrying these babies like a champ!  She and the babies are doing very well!  Please pray for her and the babies.  You can read about her journey here.

Please pray for my Daddy's (Jerry) job search and that his good spirits continue.  He did not get the job offer that he has been interviewing for for months, and I know he is disappointed.  I just know God has the perfect plan for him.

Please pray for my Grandparents, Ed and Helen.  They are having some health troubles, and my grandmother seems like she is suffering from depression. 

Please pray for little Jed Harper.  You can read about his story here.  What a beautiful family turning their sweet son's health over to God.  They are truly inspiring.

I have been following Lianna's blog for a few months now, and she just seems like the sweetest girl in the whole world!  She and her husband are waiting for God to bless them with a child.  You can read about them here.  Please pray for their journey to become parents.

Could you please also pray for our friend's Dad?  He had surgery a few of weeks ago and is having some memory problems.  Please pray for their family and his doctors, and that they can find out what is wrong.

Thank you so very much for all of your prayers!  Please let me know if we can pray for you!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Treat Cupcakes!

So, our neighbors recently had a baby, and I had the best of intentions to make them dinner.  Well, a week went by and I am ashamed that I didn't make them (or us!) dinner.  So, I decided that I would do something fun for them and their other two children - cupcakes!

So, I went to Treat! in Vintage Park.  If you live in the Northwest Houston area, you need to try them out - they are so pretty and so yummy!  Just look at this goodness -
They are a little pricier than I thought they would be (almost $4 each) but totally worth it for a special occasion.  Hubby, being the wonderful man that he is, said, "These are really great but yours are better."  I think he just doesn't want me spending $4 on cupcakes - ha!
Do you have a cupcake place that you love?

Tuesdays at the Table - Chicken Summer Squash Bake

Today is our first day to participate in Tuesdays at the Table from All the Small Stuff. I made this Chicken Summer Squash Bake last week, and hubby just loved it!  It took a little bit of time, but it was okay because he was working on the toy car in the garage, so he didn't mind eating a littler later than usual.




Here's what you need -
Two Chicken Breasts
One Small Onion - Chopped
Two Cloves Minced Garlic (or garlic powder if you prefer)
3 Yellow Squash - Sliced
1 Cup Chicken Broth
1/2 Breadcrumbs
3 Medium Potatoes - Scalloped

I am always for saving time, regardless of how many skillets I use.  If you want, this could be a one skillet meal, just set aside each component and use the same skillet as you go.  I used three skillets to save time.  In one skillet, I cooked the chicken in Italian dressing until no longer pink.  In skillet #2, I sauteed the scalloped potatoes and 1/2 of the onions and garlic until tender.  In skillet #3, I sauteed the squash and the remaining garlic and onions until tender.

Then I lined the bottom of my 9x13 corning ware with the potatoes, placed the two chicken breasts on top, and topped with the squash mixture.  Pour the cup of chicken broth over the food, cover, and bake for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees.  Remove the lid, sprinkle the breadcrumbs, and cook uncovered for 10 more minutes.

It's not too terrible for you - and it's very yummy!  We served ours with white rice, because hubby loves it.  But, I think it would be fine without it.


Hope you enjoy!

Love and Respect - Chapter 2

Well, I just couldn't help myself.  I have to share my favorite points from Chapter Two of my new favorite book - Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs.  If you would like to read my notes on the fist chapter, you can here.



Just last night, I realized how much this book helps.  Here is the setting -

Monday Morning
Me: "Babe, don't forget we have plans for wine with our friends."
Hubby: "Ok.  I did forget, thanks for reminding me!"
4:30PM
Hubby calls me at work: "Babe, it's raining over here!"
Me: "I know, it's raining over here too!"
Hubby: "You better call our friends and let them know we can't make it tonight."
Me: "What?  Because it is raining?"
Hubby: "Yes, I'm not getting out in the rain!"
Me: "Are you serious?  You want me to cancel because you don't want to drive across the road in the rain?"
Hubby: "Well, um, I don't feel really well.  You go ahead and go."
Me: "Oh, you are sick?  Well, I don't want to go by myself so I'll see you at home later."

Okay - here's the deal.  This is what was going through my head the whole time - RESPECT HIM MICHELLE.  Here is what I was thinking - "What do you mean you don't want to get out in the rain?  Are you 80?" and "Oh, very convenient that you don't feel well now.  Nice Jeff, real nice.  Whatever." and "That is so selfish of you!  You know I was looking forward to this, why can't you do this for me?"  And this is where we usually enter the crazy cycle.

Now, I know these are not nice things to think about your husband.  But, I am being honest.  I'm human, and he makes me crazy sometimes.  Here's the good thing - usually I would say them, we still wouldn't end up going, and the whole evening (possibly more than one) would be ruined.  So I said nothing and went home.  When I got home, he had dinner made and a bottle of our favorite wine open (He NEVER does this.).  And, he was SO SWEET.  Hmmm...showing him respect, even though I was cross with him worked.  Enter positive reinforcement.  When I shared this with Hubby, he said well yeah, you were really nice to me and didn't give me a hard time, so I wanted to do something nice for you.  And that ladies, is hopping right off of the crazy cycle.  I'm hooked - haha!

Here are some of my favorite points from Chapter 2 -

We send each other messages in "code", based on gender, even though we don't intend to.  What I say is not what you hear, and what you think you heard is not what I meant at all. (p 30)


We all see things out of our own needs and perceptions. (p 30)


The wife can get irked with the husband because he isn't being sensitive, something that most wives always anticipate or expect.  In less than a minute, the wife can start feeling unloved and accuse her husband of being unloving.  Meanwhile, the husband can get displeased with the wife when she starts talking to him as if he's insensitive.  He starts reciting the mantra of many husbands: " I can never be good enough."  The husband is feeling disrespected or at least unfairly criticized - again. (p 31)

Just because you may feel unloved or disrespected does not mean your spouse is sending that message (p 32)

We focus on our own needs and simply overlook the needs of the other person.  The wife needs love; she is not trying to be disrespectful.  the husband needs respect; he is not trying to be unloving.  The "issue" is not the real issue at all. (p 32)

...She wanted him to be genuinely sorry - not defensive, but asking forgiveness. (p 34)

When men hear negative criticism, it doesn't take them long to start interpreting that as contempt for who they are as men.  (He thinks) I don't deserve this kind of talk.  Everybody respects me except you.  You're just picking a fight.  I wish you would just be quiet.  When a husband can take it no longer, he gets up and walks out without a word, and that is the coup de grace.  he might as well have screamed at the top of his lungs, "I don't love you!" (p 38)

She criticizes out of love, but he "hears" only disrespect.  He distances himself to prevent things from escalating, which is the honorable thing to do, but she "sees" only his failure to be loving!  ...Women reading this are saying, "Well, if husbands just weren't so immature...if my husband could just be man enough to talk things out, then we could get somewhere."  You can think that kind of thing, and I understand why you would.  unfortunately, it's not going to change men at all. (p 39)

Whenever a wife is complaining, criticizing, or crying, she is sending her encoded message: "I want your love!"  And whenever a husband is speaking harshly or sometimes not speaking at all, he is sending his encoded message: "I want your respect!". (p 40)

(Source: Love & Respect; The Love She Most Desires, The Respect He Desperately Needs; Dr. Emerson Eggeriches)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Completing Him Challenge - Final Thoughts

This summer, we participated in Courtney's Completing Him Challenge at Women Living Well.  This challenge was amazing!!!!  It was great for our marriage.  It taught me how to pray for my husband, to prioritize his needs, and to ASK him things.  I was assuming way too much - turns out, I just needed to ask him what he wanted and needed from me!  I was putting way too much pressure on myself.

Courtney asked us to talk about where our marriages are right now.  Mine is in a great place.  I am learning to "save it for the big stuff", to be more respectful to my husband, to let him lead, and to relax a little.  We have been married for a little over a year, and we are having so much fun!  I love being married to him.

If you haven't checked out the challenge, visit Women Living Well and give it a try - trust me, it's great!  Thank you Courtney, for such a wonderful challenge!!!!

Marriage Monday - What kind of wife will I be in 30 years....

Today we are participating in Marriage Monday with Julie at Come Have Peace.  I LOVE her story today.


Today's reflection is - Do you know what kind of wife you want to be 30 years from now?  What you do today determines where your marriage will be in the future.

Wow.  30 years from now...that will really make you think, won't it?  The scripture Julie shared really sat with me this morning - Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.  Phil 2:3-4

So, 30 years from now hubby and I will be pushing 60 years old - older than my parents!  Wow...I hope that then I am a wife....

*That treats him better than he treats himself
*That has helped my husband realize his career dreams
*That has supported him in all his relationships
*That has raised his children to be respectful, God loving individuals
*That has contributed financially to our home
*That is his BEST FRIEND
*That treats him with the up most respect, even when it's hard

It's hard to wrap my head around where we will be in 30 years.  But, I know that if I continue to practice these habits now, by then, hopefully, they will be old hat.

Do you ever feel like God puts things in your path to reinforce what is going on in your life right now?  I am currently reading Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs.  This book is incredible, and outlines the type of relationship that I desire to have with hubby.  I read parts of it out loud to him, and he just loves it.  I have only been reading it for a week, and I can already see the changes in our interactions.  It's amazing.

What kind of wife do you want to be in 30 years? 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Scale Make-Over

Hubby and I decided that we were going to have a no spend weekend.  We spend so much unnecessary moola.  So, what does a weekend at home mean?  Cleaning, Crafts, and cleaning out the DVR.  On Friday night, we watched Rocky Balboa.  I've never seen any of the Rockey movies (I know, I know...) but this was actually a pretty good movie.  It grabbed my attention pretty early with a sweet story, and I enjoyed it despite the bloody boxing match at the end.  But, just in case I didn't like it, I decided I needed something to keep my attention.  I have been thinking about Modge Podging my bathroom scale since I came across this tutorial.  So, I decided to give it a go.  I had some of this pretty black and white fabric on hand, and I just took our regular old white homedics bathroom sale.  First I turned the fabric over, and traced the outline of the display onto the white side of the fabric.  Then, I cut out the circle.  I covered the front of the scale with a thin layer of Mod Podge Matte Finish and placed the fabric on top.  I let it dry for about 10 minutes, and then started working on the sides, applying Modge Podge and wrapping the scale kind of like a present. 

 I let it dry overnight, and then did another coat this morning.  After a few hours, I applied a coat of Ceramcoat Exterior/Interior Varnish Gloss so that I would be able to clean it in the future.  Have you used this stuff?  I am IN LOVE with it.  I usually buy mine at hobby lobby, but discovered that Amazon carries it as well while I was searching for a link - good to know!

Here's the finished product...
What do you think?  Hubby says the fabric is girly, but much better than the white scale.  I love the black and white against our maroon wall.  Overall, very easy project that cost nothing and took a couple of hours!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Sometimes I feel so naive...

Want to hear my most embarrassing moment to date?  Here you go....

So my Momma forwards me an email from my Aunt today talking about my Emommy (my grandmother).  She has trouble getting around, and therefore needs to wear diapers because she cannot get to the bathroom in time.  She does NOT like wearing them, and I don't blame her.  So, she sneaks and takes them off, and then has an accident.  I feel terrible that she has to do this.  So, being the thoughtful problem solver that I am, I think, "Gosh, cloth diapering is all the rage right now for babies, I'm sure they have something for the elderly."  I mean, maybe if the diapers were more comfortable and looked and felt more like panties, she would be more inclined to wear them, right?

Off to etsy I went.  I search adult cloth diapers.  So, I found some - and they were cute!  They were only $17, and I thought they would be perfect for her!  They had poka dots, stripes, and some prints of ducks and pirates, which I kind of thought was odd, but whatever. 

So, I copied and pasted the listing and sent it to my Momma to see what she thought about it.  Then I decided to look a the seller's other items.  That's when I noticed something was really weird.  She had adult rompers and onsies - perfect for diaper changing, just like for newborns.  "Hmmm...that's weird...why would you dress your grandparents up like babies?", I thought, really confused.  Upon further reading, I saw this statement - Perfect for ageplay.  What on earth is ageplay?

So, I did what I always do when I don't know what something is - I google!  I went to Wikipedia and found an alarming description.  I'll share it with you so you can join in my embarrassment -

Ageplay or age play is a form of roleplaying in which an individual acts and/or treats another as if they were a different age.  The practice can be regressive, in which the goal is to re-experience childhood, or sexual, recreating a sexual relationship with people of the pretend and/or true ages.  Generally this can involve someone pretending to be younger than they actually are, but more rarely can involve assuming an older role.  Sexual variations may include among other things incest play, in which individuals recreate and sexualize roles within a family, and Daddy's girl fetishism in which real or imagined age differences are the basis of the roleplaying and the female is portrayed as the younger partner.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME????  PEOPLE DO THIS?????  AND I SENT IT TO MY MOMMA?????

Just wait, it gets better. 

So, about an hour goes by, and I get an email from our corporate saying that I have been tagged for looking at inappropriate websites, and reminding me of our company's Internet policy.  I have NEVER in my LIFE been so embarrassed.  I mean, my goodness, I WAS JUST TRYING TO HELP MY GRANDMOTHER!

P.S.  Still haven't heard back from my momma.  I hope she didn't send that to anyone else!!!!!!

Happy Friday the 13th (Which, by the way, I didn't give a hoot about until today).

Radical Love - Angel Ministries

Have you even visited Angel Ministries?  I heard about it from another blogger, and I cannot remember who - I am so sorry!  Anywho, I subscribe to their daily emails, and today's really grabbed me.  I couldn't resist sharing.

"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13 NIV

We love others, who meet our needs, whom we get along with, who make us feel good, who do things for us, whom we like.

In essence, our fist concern is for our own well-being and having our own needs met, and we love others in proportion to the extent they fulfill those purposes.  Our second concern is that others respond positively to our overtures; if they don't, we refuse to continue to love them.  But Jesus outlined a radically different kind of love - a love that puts the needs and well-being of others before our own to the extent we would sacrifice our time, our energy, our money and our thoughts in order to demonstrate it.  We are to demonstrate it to others whom we may not like or with whom we may be incompatible or who respond negatively or who may never do anything for us in return!  Now that's radical!

What an amazing reminder of how to treat other people, especially those that treat you badly - or without kindness and respect.  I would love to be someone that lived by this!  (I'm trying!)

Friday Fives

Just Me and My Life

Happy Friday Ladies!  Ahhh...I am so glad it's Friday.  That is literally the only thing that got me out of bed this morning.  After my third snooze, hubby said, "Just think babe, get up today and then tomorrow we can sleep in".  That's all the motivation I needed!

Today's Friday Five at Beth's Just Me and My Life is your Favorite Websites!  I have a few favorites...

1. Blogger!  I don't remember what I did before I had my blog, and found all the wonderful ladies' blogs out there in blog land.  What a wonderful outlet & support system this has been.  I am so thankful for it!

2. Facebook.  Yes, I love Facebook.  I love looking at people's pictures, their families, what they are up to...no, I'm not a stalker, but it's so fun!  And, it's such a great way to share pictures.  My 10 year reunion is coming up and I think it will be a little less enchanting because I already know what everyone is up to - haha!

3. Etsy.  Oh my gosh - you can find anything in the world handmade on this site.  When I was getting married, I was obsessed!!! 

4. People of Walmart.  Yes, it's mean.  No, I don't think that's okay.  But - after having a bad day I just giggle and giggle at the pictures and the captions.  Whoever writes them is so witty!

5. The Nest.  I am not as active on the boards as I used to be (thanks to my new bloggie friends:) but, there are some wonderful ladies with wonderful advise on there.  And, they have tons of great articles about newlywed life and life in general.

What are your favorite websites?  Link over to Beth's Blog and tell us about them!

I Cooked Something! Cresecent Beef Casserole

So, potatoes were on sale, and I bought a 5lb bag - and then once we were tired of mashed, baked and scalloped potatoes, I started searching for recipes that I could make with potatoes.  I found a variation of this one at Allrecipies.com.  This one was so good and easy - and hubby loved it!

Here's what you need

1lb lean ground beef
1 diced zucchini
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup tomato puree
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups mashed potatoes
1 cup shredded cheese (any variety you have on hand)
1 package refrigerated crescent rolls

In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.  Saute zucchini & onion until crisp tender.  Add the cooked beef and tomato puree (or tomato sauce) and season to your liking.  I added garlic powder too.

To make the mashed potatoes, I peeled and cubed them, and then boiled them in a large pot of water.  Then I added a little bit of milk and mashed them up.

Spread potatoes in an 11 x 7 x 2 baking dish.  Top with beef mixture, sprinkle with cheese.

Unroll crescent dough.  Separate into four rectangles; arrange three rectangles over the casserole. 

Bake at 375 degrees for 12 - 15 minutes until top is browned.


Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Prayer Thursday

Hi Ladies! 

Thank you all so much for your prayers this past week!  If we can pray for you, please leave your prayer request in the comments below, or feel free to email me - michelle.ann.ellis@gmail.com

Here are our prayer requests for this week -

Please pray for Laura.  Her Grandma is showing signs of kidney failure.  She has had a very rough time over the past 15 years, losing two husbands and her mother.  Please also pray for her husband Don, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer last year and is going through treatments.  Please pray for God to give her the strength and hope to fight through this, and that he hold her tight with love and comfort during this time.

Please pray for sweet baby Bennett.  He was born oh-so-tiny, and is having some trouble with his lungs right now.  You can read his little story here.


We have been praying for sweet Annika for a few weeks now.  Kasey asked that we pray especially hard for her this week. She is starting a very difficult treatment called the "red devil".  Nothing about that description sounds easy or good.  Please say a special prayer for her dear little body, that God will give her the strength to fight this disease.  Annika is 5 years old and was diagnosed with a rare form of acute lympocytic leukemia.  Please pray for her, her family and her doctors.  I can't imagine what her family is going through.  Isn't she beautiful?  Just look at that smile!


Please pray for baby Cohen's parents. You can read their story here.  He is in God's beautiful hands now. 



PRAISE!  We have been praying for April, Brad and their little twins for quite some time now.  They are home and safe!!!!  Thank you so much for your prayers! .  You can visit their page here to read about their story. 

Please pray for sweet Sarah.  She is praying and waiting for God to bless her with a true Godly man that could be a wonderful influence to her young son to share their lives with.  Her testimony is so beautiful, I felt inspired just reading it.

Please pray for my coworker Colin.  His son's daughter just found out that she has bone cancer.  She is having trouble eating, and the treatments are wearing on her.  Please pray for strength.

Please pray for my sweet friend Jackie.  She is pregnant with quadruplets!  She has survived three full weeks in the hospital!  She is carrying these babies like a champ!  She and the babies are doing very well!  Please pray for her and the babies.  You can read about her journey here.

Please pray for my Daddy's (Jerry) job search and that his good spirits continue.  He did not get the job offer that he has been interviewing for for months, and I know he is disappointed.  I just know God has the perfect plan for him.

Please pray for my Grandparents, Ed and Helen.  They are having some health troubles, and my grandmother seems like she is suffering from depression. 

Please pray for little Jed Harper.  You can read about his story here.  What a beautiful family turning their sweet son's health over to God.  They are truly inspiring.

I have been following Lianna's blog for a few months now, and she just seems like the sweetest girl in the whole world!  She and her husband are waiting for God to bless them with a child.  You can read about them here.  She just had her surgery yesterday, and is recovering.  Please pray for her comfort and recovery.
Could you please also pray for our friend's Dad?  He had surgery a couple of weeks ago and is having some memory problems.  Please pray for their family and his doctors, and that they can find out what is wrong.

Thank you so very much for all of your prayers!  Please let me know if we can pray for you!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Love & Respect

I am reading the most amazing book I have EVER read.  I mean it!  I would be remiss if I didn't share it with you wonderful ladies.  I think every wife in the world should read this book :)  I am so thankful that Kristen posted about it.  After her review - I ordered it immediately.


If you follow my ramblings on a regular basis, then you know that the adjustment from single people to married people has been an interesting challenge for hubby and I.  We love each other oh-so-very much, but, it is a hard role adjustment for me to totally depend on him and allow him to lead, which makes things difficult for him.  Well, this book speaks to me.  I mean, really speaks to me.  I started reading, and immediately grabbed a pen so I could underline the parts that spoke to me.  I started reading some of the underlined parts to hubby, and he said, "Oh my gosh, did someone write this just for us?"  haha!  In our humble opinion, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs is a genius!!

So, I wanted to share my favorite parts from the first chapter with you.

* You can be RIGHT but WRONG at the top of your voice.  (p 10)
You can totally be in the right, and making a great point to your spouse - but if your delivery is not kind, loving, or respectful - they will most likely not hear what you are saying.  They will become defensive, and this enters you into what Dr. Eggerichs refers to as the Crazy Cycle.

* Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband - Ephesians 5:33 (p 15)

* How the need for love and the need for respect play off of one another in a marriage has EVERYTHING to do with the kind of marriage you will have. (p 15)

*A husband is to obey the command to love even if his wife does not obey this command to respect, and the wife is to obey the command to respect even if the husband does not obey the command to love (p 15-16)

*When a husband feels disrespected, he has a natural tendency to react in ways that feel unloving to his wife.  (Perhaps the command to love was given to him precisely for this reason!)  When a wife feels unloved, she has a natural tendency to react in ways that feel disrespectful to her husband.  (Perhaps the command to respect was given to her precisely for this reason!) (p 16)

*To love and respect each other are commands from God himself (p 18)

*Women usually ask, "Does my husband love me as much as I love him?"  She knows she love him, but she wonders at times if he loves her nearly as much.  So when he comes across as unloving, she typically reacts in a negative way.  In her opinion, he needs to change into a more sensitive and caring man.  unfortunately, a wife's usual approach is to complain and criticize in order to motivate her husband to become more loving.  On the other hand, a husband does not commonly ask, "Does my wife love me as much as I love her?"  Why not?  Because he is assured of her love.  If you ask husbands, "Does your wife love you?"  They reply, "Yes, of course."  But if you ask, "Does she like you?"  and the answer is usually, "Nope".  The wife's dislike is interpreted by the husband as disrespect and even contempt.  In his opinion, he has changed from being the admiring, ever-approving woman she was when they courted.  Now she doesn't approve, and she's letting him know it.  So the husband decides he will motivate his wife to become more respectful by acting in unloving ways. (p 17-18)

* The apostle Peter wrote to wives that if any husbands were disobedient to God's word, "they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior" 1 Peter 3:1-2.  Peter is talking about unconditional respect. (p 18)

* Peter is not calling on wives to feel respect; he is commanding them to show respectful behavior.  This is not about husbands deserving respect; it is about the wife being willing to treat her husband respectfully without condition. (p 18)

*God has ordained that wives respect their husbands as a method to win husbands to Himself.  (WOW - THAT IS HUGE!)  As a husband opens his spirit to God, he reopens his spirit to his wife.  No husband feels affection toward a wife who appears to have contempt for who he is as a human being.  They key to creating fond feelings of love in a husband toward his wife is through showing hi unconditional respect. 

I know this is a long post, but I just couldn't keep some of this stuff to myself.  I feel like I have found a whole new outlook on my marriage - and I just had to share it with you ladies!

I hope you all have a wonderful evening!

(Source: Love & Respect; The Love She Most Desires, The Respect He Desperately Needs; Dr. Emerson Eggeriches)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Advice Please... Progressive Dinner Themes

I have learned that there are so many talented and creative ladies out here in blog land.  I mean, some of you do such amazing and beautiful things that I could never even begin to imagine creating!  So, when I was asked for my ideas for our neighborhood Christmas party - I just knew who to ask for inspiration - YOU!

First of all, imagine my surprise when I received an email with the subject "Christmas Party".  I thought, oh fun, are we going to do one of those Christmas in July parties!  Hmm...no, it's August and that would be really short notice.  Oh my goodness...Christmas is only a few months away!!!!  How has this year gone by so quickly?  It's just crazy!

We are blessed with great neighbors.  I mean, really great.  They are so nice, fun and supportive.  Last year, we did a progressive dinner, "An American Christmas".  Each house had a state, and prepared a small food item (or 5 or 6 items, whatever...haha!) and a drink that went along with their state.  You can read a little about last year's party here.  Yeah, we drew Arkansas.  It was challenging and interesting :)  I LOVED that evening, it was so fun to see everyone's home, their Christmas decorations, and their creative ideas for the theme!

We need a theme for this year.  A couple ideas that have been throw out there are colors, world, and alphabet.  Do you have any fun ideas?  I know you do!

Thanks so much for your help!  I hope you all had an amazing weekend!!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Prayer Thursday

Hi Ladies! 

Thank you all so much for your prayers this past week!  If we can pray for you, please leave your prayer request in the comments below, or feel free to email me - michelleannadams@yahoo.com

Here are our prayer requests for this week -

Please pray for Laura.  Her Grandma is showing signs of kidney failure.  She has had a very rough time over the past 15 years, losing two husbands and her mother.  Please also pray for her husband Don, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer last year and is going through treatments.  Please pray for God to give her the strength and hope to fight through this, and that he hold her tight with love and comfort during this time.

Please pray for sweet baby Bennett.  He was born oh-so-tiny, and is having some trouble with his lungs right now.  You can read his little story here.


We have been praying for sweet Annika for a few weeks now.  Kasey asked that we pray especially hard for her this week. She is starting a very difficult treatment called the "red devil".  Nothing about that description sounds easy or good.  Please say a special prayer for her dear little body, that God will give her the strength to fight this disease.  Annika is 5 years old and was diagnosed with a rare form of acute lympocytic leukemia.  Please pray for her, her family and her doctors.  I can't imagine what her family is going through.  Isn't she beautiful?  Just look at that smile!


Please pray for baby Cohen's parents. You can read their story here.  He is in God's beautiful hands now. 



Please pray for my friends, April and Brad.  They had twins this, and the babies are so tiny and need a lot of love and TLC.  You can visit their page here to read about their story.  They are improving each day - please pray that this continues.

Please pray for sweet Sarah.  She is praying and waiting for God to bless her with a true Godly man that could be a wonderful influence to her young son to share their lives with.  Her testimony is so beautiful, I felt inspired just reading it.

Please pray for my coworker Colin.  His son's daughter just found out that she has bone cancer.

Please pray for my sweet friend Jackie.  She is pregnant with quadruplets!  She has survived two full weeks in the hospital!  She and the babies are doing very well!  Please pray for her and the babies.  You can read about her journey here.

Please pray for my Daddy's (Jerry) job search and that his good spirits continue.  He did not get the job offer that he has been interviewing for for months, and I know he is disappointed.  I just know God has the perfect plan for him.

Please pray for my Grandparents, Ed and Helen.  They are having some health troubles, and my grandmother seems like she is suffering from depression. 

Please pray for little Jed Harper.  You can read about his story here.  What a beautiful family turning their sweet son's health over to God.  They are truly inspiring.

I have been following Lianna's blog for a few months now, and she just seems like the sweetest girl in the whole world!  She and her husband are waiting for God to bless them with a child.  You can read about them here.  She will be having surgery soon, please pray for her doctors and that God will guide them during their decision making process.

Could you please also pray for our friend's Dad?  He had surgery a couple of weeks ago and is having some memory problems.  Please pray for their family and his doctors, and that they can find out what is wrong.

Thank you so very much for all of your prayers!  Please let me know if we can pray for you!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Completing Him Challenge - Week #8


Hi Ladies!  Welcome to week #8 of Women Living Well's Completing Him Challenge.

This week's challenge is something that I have REALLY been working on since we have gotten married last year.  RESPECT!  I did a challenge a while back - The 14 Day Love and Respect Challenge.  I learned so much through doing that challenge.  I learned that women need love and men need respect.  It is amazing how differently our needs are met.  The pre married Michelle thought that people earned respect.  Well, people do.  My husband doesn't have to.  If I don't respect him, why did I marry him?  God commands us to respect our husbands.  This was the reading at our wedding.  We have it printed out on our fridge at home as a constant reminder -

"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.  And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.  Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.  Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body and is himself its Savior.  As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands.  Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such things, that she might be holy and without blemish.  Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.  he who loves his wife loves himself.  For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.  For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined with his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.  this mystery is a profound one, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church; however, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband." Ephesians 5:1-2, 21-33

I think it is difficult for women of our generation to totally submit to and respect our husbands.  We are taught from an early age that we can have it all - smarts, careers, husbands, children...and that we matter.  We don't need a man - we can stand on our own.  Get our own education, provide for ourselves, make our own life decisions - we are powerful and important.  We matter.  This is how I felt, especially after college.  I was single and empowered.  I lived alone for the first time in my life.  It was glorious.  I was able to be selfish - why not, it was just me!  Then I met a wonderful guy that I respected  and that respected me because I was that empowered young woman.  He respected that I was not needy and could take care of myself.  He admired that I was self sufficient.  Then, we got married.  All of a sudden, it wasn't just me looking out for myself - I had to shift over to him looking out for me.  I used to make all the decisions - where would I live?  How much money would I spend?  What kind of car would I like?  What electrical provider is best?  Should I switch?  Now, HE makes the decisions.  We talk about them, but, ultimately, he's the boss and I respect his decisions (outwardly anyway, I am working on the inwardly part).  The first 6 months or so of our marriage were are very difficult transition for me, and I imagine they are for some other women too.  Especially those women that have lived alone and made their own lives post college.  I'm getting better though.  Once I realized that I had to let it go, and realized that he had to lead our little family, and that I had to respect his decisions, I knew I had to do something.  But what?  So, I prayed.  I prayed that God would make me happy with being a little more meek and respectful, and to not question his decisions.  And, it's working.  God is great!  But, I have a feeling that this is something that will take me awhile to totally adopt.  I'm a work in progress :)

Here is our challenge for this week - take some time to assess your husband's respect-o-meter.  Ask him what sort of things you do that make him feel disrespected and respected.  Work on weeding out disrespectful thoughts and attitudes and exchanging them for respectful ones.

I love this!  As I have learned throughout the other challenges in this series - it's important to ASK hubby about things.  I assume too much.  I'm anxious to see what he tells me.

I hope you have a great week!


Monday, August 2, 2010

Completing Him Challenge - Week #7


So, I know I'm a week behind, but I am still going to participate in last week's Completing Him Challenge.

Do you ever feel like God puts things in front of you just when you need to hear them?  I do!  This weekend, hubby and I were talking about our future.  It started with me eyeing some amazing house projects.  Namely, Susan's Vintage Crate Stairs, and Embellished Bayou's new counter tops and back splash.  We started talking about how long we would be in our current home.  I figured we would be there at least 5 years.  Hubby thought 2.  I thought we would still live in our community because I am comfortable and I love it here.  Hubby thinks he would like us to move to The Woodlands.  This lead to talking about what we would do when we paid off our cars...when we planned on doing that...when we would have children...turns out our plans had changed a lot a little in his world. 

Now, don't get me wrong.  We have had these conversations.  Many times over our relationship, even before we were married.  But, a couple of things have changed since then.  1.Hubby is now the breadwinner.  Up until we got married, I was.  I didn't mean to be the boss of things...but I guess I kind of was.  It's crazy and amazing how money = confidence and self worth in Men, but I've seen it.  They have a NEED to provide and be the providers for their families.  I didn't understand this until recently.  It wasn't ever a big deal to me.  Hubby has started leading us more and more since this money shift changed.  2. Hubby has a job that he LOVES and is VERY GOOD at.  This makes him more confident, and I think it makes him more comfortable in the decisions that he makes.  So, I think that both of these things have made him change his outlook on things, and think about what he wants for our lives.

I started to panic a little, but then I decided that if I panicked, he might not ever be comfortable telling me these things. And well, we can't have that, can we ; ) So, I listened. And, I decided to give it to God. I am going to trust that he will lead hubby in the right direction for the both of us and our marriage. I just pray that hubby will let God lead him and have an open heart to hear what God tells him.

So, imagine my surprise when I looked at last weeks topic of our challenge - Support his vision.  Discuss his vision for your family.  Where does he see your family in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years?

Ephesians 5:23 "For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church".
Well, if that doesn't tell me that I need to listen and let hubby lead me, I don't know what does :)

Prayer Thursday...On A Monday....

Hi Ladies! 

So, since I pretty much slept through Thursday thanks to my lovely summer flu...I thought I would go ahead and post our prayer requests today.  I just hate missing them!

Thank you all so much for your prayers this past week!  If we can pray for you, please leave your prayer request in the comments below, or feel free to email me - michelleannadams@yahoo.com

Here are our prayer requests for this week -

Please pray for Laura.  Her Grandma is showing signs of kidney failure.  She has had a very rough time over the past 15 years, losing two husbands and her mother.  Please also pray for her husband Don, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer last year and is going through treatments.  Please pray for God to give her the strength and hope to fight through this, and that he hold her tight with love and comfort during this time.

Please pray for sweet baby Bennett.  He was born oh-so-tiny, but is making great progress!  You can read his little story here.


We have been praying for sweet Annika for a few weeks now.  Kasey asked that we pray especially hard for her this week. She is starting a very difficult treatment called the "red devil".  Nothing about that description sounds easy or good.  Please say a special prayer for her dear little body, that God will give her the strength to fight this disease.  Annika is 5 years old and was diagnosed with a rare form of acute lympocytic leukemia.  Please pray for her, her family and her doctors.  I can't imagine what her family is going through.  Isn't she beautiful?  Just look at that smile!


Please pray for baby Cohen's parents. You can read their story here.  He is in God's beautiful hands now. 



Please pray for my friends, April and Brad.  They had twins this, and the babies are so tiny and need a lot of love and TLC.  You can visit their page here to read about their story.  They are improving each day - please pray that this continues.

Please pray for sweet Sarah.  She is praying and waiting for God to bless her with a true Godly man that could be a wonderful influence to her young son to share their lives with.  Her testimony is so beautiful, I felt inspired just reading it.

Please pray for the oil spill.  That it will be resolved in the best way possible, protect our oceans, beaches and animals. Please pray for the families of those that lost their lives in this disaster.

Please pray for my coworker Colin.  His son's daughter just found out that she has bone cancer.

Please pray for my sweet friend Jackie.  She is pregnant with quadruplets!  She has survived two full weeks in the hospital!  She and the babies are doing very well!  Please pray for her and the babies.  You can read about her journey here.

Please pray for my Daddy's (Jerry) job search and that his good spirits continue.  He did not get the job offer that he has been interviewing for for months, and I know he is disappointed.  I just know God has the perfect plan for him.

Please pray for my Grandparents, Ed & Helen.  They are having some health troubles, and my grandmother seems like she is suffering from depression. 

Please pray for little Jed Harper.  You can read about his story here.  What a beautiful family turning their sweet son's health over to God.  They are truly inspiring.

Please pray for my Pappa.  It was about this time last year that he and my Daddy made some very difficult decisions regarding her care.  She passed just over a year ago, and I know he is struggling with all those feelings.  It would mean the world to me if you could please lift him in prayer.

I have been following Lianna's blog for a few months now, and she just seems like the sweetest girl in the whole world!  She and her husband are waiting for God to bless them with a child.  You can read about them here.  She will be having surgery soon, please pray for her doctors and that God will guide them during their decision making process.

Could you please also pray for our friend's Dad?  He had surgery a couple of weeks ago and is having some memory problems.  Please pray for their family and his doctors, and that they can find out what is wrong.

Thank you so very much for all of your prayers!  Please let me know if we can pray for you!

New Orleans - My 2 Cents

People usually have pretty strong opinions about New Orleans.  From what I've heard, you either love it or hate it.  Well, I LOVE it!  Yes, it is a little dirty.  Yes, at night there are some questionable things that go on right there on the street, in front of my sweet little eyes.  But, I think it is such a neat place with such a unique quality to it.  I just LOVE the courtyards and the beautiful architecture. 

I travel there for business about once a quarter, and am lucky enough to have a boss that is so fun and very knowledgeable about the city.  He takes me to the best places!  I thought I would share a few of them with you, in case you are planning on traveling there sometime.

Now, I don't have any pictures, and I apologize for that.  But, I think it would have been a little weird to be taking a million pics wandering around with my boss - I didn't want him to think I was weird - haha!

For our nice dinner Monday night, we went to GW Fins.  AMAZING.  I had the halibut.  The service is wonderful, the food is wonderful, I don't have enough great things to say about this place.  It's a little pricey, but totally worth it.

Tuesday night, we had sushi at Rock-n-Sake.  My boss had heard about it, but couldn't remember where it was.  We drove around on those one way streets for what seemed like forever, but finally found it!  AMAZING.  I had the best sushi roll I have ever had.  Really and truly.  We tried lots of rolls, but we both decided that the California Sunset was the best ever.  The middle was spicy crab meat, wrapped with rice, rolled in salmon and mango, and served with a spicy mayo sauce on the side.  If you are a sushi person, you must try this place!  The atmosphere is fun too.

Our favorite bar there is the Erin Rose.  It is a typical Bourbon Street area bar.  Dirty, smoky, with an interesting mix of characters.  But we love it, and it's usually our first stop for our pre dinner drink.  Molly works there Sundays through Tuesdays until 11, and she's our buddy.  There is never, ever a dull moment in this little old bar.  I couldn't imagine a trip to New Orleans without visiting Molly at the Erin Rose.

We went to Fritzel's, which is a great little jazz bar.  When you approach the door, there is a beautiful woman dressed kind of like a flapper, but kind of French (I know, I know, I'm terrible at describing) that walks you in and shows you where you can sit.  It's just too fun!  They have an amazing jazz band - like nothing I have ever enjoyed before!  They were founded in 1969, and house in a building that was built in 1831 - I just love the history!

We also went to Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop.  Well, it's really a bar, but it used to be a blacksmith shop.  It was built sometime before 1772.  If you love history, you will love this place.  It is in the "alternative lifestyle" (I don't know the PC term for this...) block of the French Quarter.  We got a couple of bud lights, pulled our chairs out front, and watched the world go by.  It was only around midnight on a Tuesday night, but wow, we saw some very interesting individuals.  Don't you just love people watching?  It was the most interesting I've seen in a long time, perhaps ever!

So, there you have it - my 2 cents.  I really do adore this city.  Hubby is not a fan at all, and I am trying to convince him to go with me sometime time.  I would love to show him just a few of the treasurers I have been introduced to.  I don't think he knows all the fun history that this city has to offer!  Are you a fan of New Orleans?  What places there do you love?  I would like to try them out on our next trip!

Absence makes the heart grow fonder...I hope?

Happy Monday Ladies!

I have not blogged pretty much all week.  I feel so behind!  I spent the first part of the week traveling the Gulf Coast with my RVP to visit some customers and do some training.  Then, on our way home on Wednesday, I started feeling really weird.  Upset tummy, aches and pains, cold sweats, not the best way to feel on a road trip with your boss's boss.  When we made it home, I took my temp and it was 102!!!  Turns out, I had the flu.  Gross.  So, I pretty much spent the latter part of the week sleeping.  I don't think I have ever been that tired! 

So, I apologize for being so behind and missing so many things!  I'll be trying to catch up today, so you might see lots of posts for old things that I missed : (

I hope you ladies had a much better weekend than I did!

Have a wonderful week!