Monday, April 1, 2013

What makes you laugh?

Today I was reminded as I read in the book of Proverbs (which I highly recommend, there are 31 chapters in the book of Proverbs so read one chapter for each day of the month).

…. “A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face; a sad heart makes it hard to get through the day.” 

  “A miserable heart means a miserable life; a cheerful heart fills the day with song.”

Now I am not suggesting living in non-reality, but laughter is so good for you…. LITERALLY!!! Ty and I so value a sense of humor We laugh a lot. We know we need it because life is so intense.  So, today I am sharing with you one of my favorite YouTube videos.  Now you might not think it is as funny as I do.  But, take it for what it is worth.  The bigger point is, find out what makes you laugh and do it--often.  
Everyone who comes in contact with you will benefit!!!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Made these muffins this week and they are fairly healthy and yummy.  Try them and let me know what you think.

Heart Healthy Apple Muffins



  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup natural applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup low fat buttermilk
  • 1 Golden Delicious apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch pieces


·         Directions

·         Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 12-capacity standard muffin pan with cooking spray.

·         In a small bowl, mix together the pecans, 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar and the cinnamon.

·         In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole wheat flour, baking soda and salt.

·         In a large bowl, whisk the remaining 3/4 cup sugar and the oil until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in the applesauce and vanilla.

·         Whisk in the flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the buttermilk. Whisk just until combined. Gently stir in the apple chunks.

·         Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan and sprinkle with the pecan mixture. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center of one of the muffins comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

·         Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the muffins to loosen them and unmold. Cool completely on the rack.



Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Journey

On a recent road trip with my beautiful and wonderfully talented daughter Annie, we traveled over 1,700 miles together [in two days] in a moving truck. We traversed through 9 different states and one time zone.

It became my goal to get the welcome sign for each state we entered and although some are pretty blurry, I accomplished my goal.


I would love to have stopped along the way to see some of the sights in each state but for this particular trip, that was not possible.  Our destination was our target, and getting there as quickly as possible was our goal.

Needless to say, I had tons of time to think and reflect as I sat in that truck for two days.  It seems in life I often get my eyes so set on my goal that I fail to enjoy the journey.  I recently read somewhere that, " we must be intentional about enjoying the journey."  The journey comprises most of life and if we are so focused on a goal we will miss so much in everyday life.  I often find myself thinking, once I get this done, or reach this weight, or get through this event, then I will feel great.  When I fall into this trap of thinking, I miss out on the joy that each and every day has to offer.  Like the old saying, “Stop and smell the roses”.  I want to embrace all that each and every day has to offer.  I hope that you will purpose to do the same!!


Friday, March 1, 2013

It's all about perspective!

I have always wanted to visit New York City and this weekend it is going to happen.  My daughter, Annie Alice Schenzel, is moving from Austin, Texas to NYC.  I am flying down to Austin today to drive with Annie, her U-Haul truck, and all her belongings to New York.  I love to travel.  No matter the destination, I love to meet new people along the way and hear their stories. 

I am in Omaha at the airport as I type sitting beside a gentleman who is retired from Conagra. He has more than 3 million miles flown on United Airlines alone.  He has been to 5 continents and every state in the US except Alaska.  When he asked me where I was headed and I told him, he could not stop talking about how expensive it is to live in New York.  He said before he went to New York the first time, everyone told him how expensive it was to park his car.  When he arrived and went to park his car he said he was surprised when the sign for parking said $2.50.  That’s not too bad he thought…. until he read the fine print….. $2.50 for 15 minutes!!  And that was many years ago.  He went to the deli for a pastrami sandwich and it said $2.50, but when he looked closer it was $2.50 for ¼ of a pound!!  Then, he spoke about the cost of housing in New York and how a tiny apartment costs more than living in a large house in other cities.  So bottom line…… NYC is darn expensive.   His perspective was one you might expect from a retired 80 year old man from Omaha, NE.  The information he shared was no doubt factual, but perspective is everything.

You see, Annie is my beautiful 24 year old adventurer.  She is full of life, passion, courage and promise.  She will no doubt agree that NYC is really expensive, but from her life perspective, so worth it.  She is following her heart into the next adventure and chapter of her one and only life.   And as far as her mother’s perspective, you GO Annie Alice Schenzel!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

"Flipper Rod"

Hopefully you haven't noticed that I have not blogged for quite some time.  You know the holidays, 3 weeks vacation, home now getting my ducks back in a row, (where did that saying come from anyhow?) 

So I will begin 2013 sharing a highlight from our time away.  We spent the last night of our vacation in Memphis TN as we made our way back to Nebraska from Florida.  Here is what happened:

When we visit a new city I am always interested in seeing the hot spots.  I am curious about where the great shopping is, what events or entertainment we might want to check out, or what scenic spots we should see.  Then there is my beloved husband.  When we visit a new city he has one thing on his mind..... Where is the "hood"?  I kid you not.  He cannot help himself.  It is like there is a gravitational pull reeling him in.  I however am not always thrilled by this desire.  I know we have been called to Omaha's "hood" and have supernatural covering to be there.  But, an unfamiliar city is another story in my book. 

It happened to be Ty's 52nd birthday.  He was about to get an unexpected birthday gift.  We had just visited Martin Luther King's Memorial.  When we got into our car to head to our hotel I suggested we check out the downtown area of Memphis to see what it looked like.  Within a few blocks we happened upon Beale Street.  Here is what we saw! 
Talk about finding where the action is.  We definitely found it.  We parked the car and headed for Beale Street. 


Almost immediately we saw two young black men who were performing flips in the middle of the street and then collecting donations from the crowd.  Of course my husband began conversing with one of them and inquiring about their group.  He told Ty that they were known nationally as The Flippers.  He then walked us into an adjacent club to introduce us to Rod, the founder and head of The Flippers.  Rod told us he was no longer an active flipper because he had been shot in the butt.  Ty told him what we do in Omaha and Rod came alive. 
Rod called Ty "white chocolate" and commented on his "swag".  Little did he know that he was making my husbands day!!!!  Rod informed us that he was the king of the streets in Memphis and that he was known by all.  He had street cred and was not shy in telling us.  Ty asked about their "hood" and Rod replied, it is right over there, two streets away, wanna see it?  Well, do I even need to tell you what happened next?  We began walking with Rod to see "the hood".   We immediately noticed that Rod walked with an obvious limp.  He told us he limped from the bullet in his butt and deteriorating discs in his back.  As we walked he told us about the area and some history about Beale Street.  It used to be part of the Memphis inner city.  We passed many individuals from all walks of life, and most of them knew and greeted Rod.  Several asked if they could talk with him and he told them to "come by" later.  You got the feeling they would definitely be coming by.  As we walked and he talked we were taking it all in. 

I would be lying if I did not tell you that I had the thought, "he could roll us at any moment", but somehow I knew we were safe.  We walked through empty lots and within two blocks of Beale Street, we were smack dab in middle of the hood.  He took us by "Streets Ministries" which is Memphis' Hope Center and then some.  He took us in a neighborhood convenience store and introduced us to everyone inside.  People continued to ask if they could speak with him and he told them all later.  He told us about his life, the neighborhood and the racial climate in Memphis.  His perspective was fascinating. 

We probably spent an hour and a half with our new found friend.  I think he was as fascinated with us as we were with him.  We walked back to Beale Street and we chatted a bit longer.  We thanked him for the tour and his time.  As we said our goodbyes he told us to be praying for him.  We asked if we could pray for him there and now.  He did not hesitate to say yes.  He told us to wait so he could put down his cigarette.  He said he did not want to go to prayer with a cigarette in his mouth.  We just laughted.  We prayed for his health and safety.  We prayed for favor and revelation of God's love for him.  Then we prayed for healing for his back and blessing on his life.  We hugged goodbye and left Rod standing there talking with his next customer.  Not sure what he was selling and definitely sure we did not want to know.  We will never forget "Flipper Rod".

Friday, December 7, 2012

Today we had our Hope Center staff Christmas party at our house.  We have an amazing staff (4 staff members were missing in this photo) and we love the opportunity to hang out together. 
We each shared our hightlights of the year, and once again I realized how very blessed I am.  Hands down my highlight was being in the room when our grandson Theo entered this world.  Another hightlight was that Emily, Paul and Theo moved back to Omaha this past June.

So now I am officially a nonnie and I love it.  So here are some photos of my amazing, precious, adorable grandson.  Words cannot express the joy he brings to our life.  Just tonight he was biting my nose and I was laughing my fool head off.  Every home should have a baby to bring joy, innocence and laughter.

Is he precious or what????  I melt everytime I see him, which is almost daily.  I feel so blessed. 

Ok another hightlight of my year was anytime all our children were home and we were all together. 

In September they all came home and Ty's Dad and his wife were visiting too,  Definitely another hightlight.  2012 has been another year filled with so much blessing,  I am one grateful lady.

Monday, November 12, 2012

I like doing almost everything with Ty

I love my husband to death, and we love to do most things together.  This past Saturday I was reminded of one of the few things I do not like doing with him.

Ty wants to turn one of our upstairs bedrooms into a prayer room.  We decided to go shopping to look for a comfy chair and ottoman for the room.  I was so excited to go with him.  You see, one of my favorite things to do is go shopping and my favorite items to shop for are home goods.  As a matter of fact, Home Goods was one of the stores we visited on Saturday.  For Ty to suggest we go shopping was too good to be true; one of my favorite activities with my favorite person on the planet. 

So off we went on our shopping mission.  We went to several stores in search of the perfect chair and ottoman.  What I quickly realized was that our outing was actually more of a "hunt".  There was nothing leisurely or browsing about it.  We entered each store, marched to the section that had chairs, scouted out the options, and when we did not find a suitable chair Ty was ready to march back out.  If I veered from the path to look at anything else I realized that I was frustrating my dear husband.  After all, that was not part of our "hunt".  We were shopping for chairs and ottomans and NOTHING ELSE.  To even consider deviating was beyond his comprehension.  He had no margin in his mind that I might see something else that I wanted to look at, touch, or consider buying.

What was I even thinking?  We had been shopping many times in the past and had run into this snag.  We would be leaving a store together and on our way out, I would spot an item that grabbed me.  When I would go to look at it, Ty would protest saying, "I thought we were leaving.  You remind me so much of my mom.  I used to get so frustrated shopping with her.  I could never get her out of the store!" 

Ty and I on a recent trip to the mall (thought taking Theo might help)
Being compared to his mom was a compliment.  She was an amazing "shopper".  She loved to shop, loved buying gifts for others, and had great taste.  So when he would compare me to her I wore it as a badge of honor.

So, I was again reminded that although we love doing most things together, shopping is not one of them.  When we shop together I will most likely exasperate my husband and he will most likely frustrate me.  If we do end up going shopping together, I need to majorly adjust my expectaions and realize this trip will be more of a "hunt" and not my kind of shopping. 

All that to say, I cannot wait to go shopping soon.... without my dear husband.