Sunday, November 23, 2008

Doin' Time


Last week I implied that I was possibly going to be placed under arrest…well, it’s true.
A dear friend (read with heavy sarcasm) has turned me in to the March of Dimes for my participation in an unfortunate toilet-papering incident back in September and on December 3 I am being held until I can raise $1000 “bail” for the cause.

SET ME FREE! …and help the March of Dimes arrest the rising rate of premature birth. 1 in 8 babies is born to soon, and often too small. These tiniest babies struggle to survive, and too often many don’t.I will soon be incarcerated in the March of Dimes Jail & Bail where I will be served only the finest bread and water (okay, maybe lunch!) You can help ensure my good behavior through your contribution. My hard earned bail will aid and abet the March of Dimes in funding lifesaving programs of research, education and community services. Programs that will save babies’ lives.

March of Dimes is a wonderful organization whose mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. Each year in Albuquerque, they hold their annual Jail and Bail to raise money for this worthy cause. I know times are tough all around right now—hey, I work for a non-profit myself! But I’m hoping you can donate anything, (even just a little) and also help spread the word to your friends to donate in my name…just click on this link: http://jailandbail.marchofdimes.com/pamhoyle and you can donate directly through them. If you would like to help out, but would rather mail a check and want the address, please leave me a comment and I’ll get the information to you.

Please, please help! Not only is this such an important fight, it’s become something very personal, because my friend who ratted me out is also being arrested and I desperately want to out-do her in donations. Don’t delay! Click now!!!! Time is running out….

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sometimes I Just Crack Myself Up


Two of the kids in the first youth group I was a part of leading got married about 2 years ago. They had a beautiful little boy, Cayden, on Tuesday.

I can't draw. But I'm a whiz with Publisher and an iron. I made these little onsies for them. I may very well be on to something here. I just crack myself up.

(p.s. Tyler got Caleb's iPod back at school today. What are the chances? There are about 3200 kids at this school. Some guy came up to a friend of Tyler's and asked if he wanted to buy an iPod. Friend recognized music as being Tyler-like and then saw photos. Tyler approached the seller and now Caleb has his iPod back. No case, no headphones. Caleb's still pretty ticked, but glad to have the iPod. I'm hoping he'll let it go about the case. Not worth getting suspended or worse over. Did I mention that both Tyler and Caleb are black belt candidates in Wushu Kung Fu? Yep. Both are 2nd degree browns right now. If I were that guy, I'd make sure Caleb got his stuff back).

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

It's Just Not Right...

I was very creative today—way more creative than I usually am. And since artsy-crafty stuff isn’t my forte (despite my parents wild excitement over a lot of white glue, some marbles and a wooden box), I was proud and about to post pictures. But I’m not going to.

Because this afternoon I found out that Caleb’s iPod was stolen from his gym locker today. He paid for it himself, scrimping with money saved from helping neighbors, lunch money he stashed and helping his dad out with less than pleasant chores. He is only 15 and doesn't have a regular job. He took very good care of it. Today was his first wrestling practice of the year and he didn’t bring an extra lock. He put his iPod in his backpack and put it in a gym locker. After practice, he discovered that his backpack had been rifled and his iPod is gone. I am so sad for him. And he keeps saying, “It was all my fault—I’m the one who didn’t lock it up.” And then, “If someone wanted or needed an iPod that bad, I would’ve given it to them. Now I’m just mad!”

The thing is..it’s NOT his fault. He was careless, yes. But the person clearly at fault here, clearly the one to blame, is the person who took something that didn’t belong to him. I understand temptation. But this just stinks. My stomach hurts. We’re not the kind of folks who can afford to replace an iPod, but I want to because Caleb just doesn't deserve this. I am just so sad….

Monday, November 17, 2008

Am I really the only one?



..who hasn't read Twilight yet? And I just spent about 8 weeks laid up. I can't believe it. As mush of a reader as I am. I read ANYTHING. Everything. I am going to get this book. This week. I feel so....left out....sigh....
Everyone who I know who has it has lent it out to someone else.
I may need to save it for my time in the slammer...I'm pretty sure I'll be serving time soon...

Final Fall into Flavor


Don't you just love Fall? The time when you have excuses to bake new comfort foods....

gotta make 'em and try 'em before the holidays. Linda at 2nd Cup has been hosting a cooking meme where we all share recipes for our faves...hers this week sounds like the answer to PMS, sad chick flicks, rainy days and other excuses to treat yourself all rolled up into one.


One of my favorites to make is baked stew. Using a cast iron or other oven-proof skillet, the gravy gets all creamy and the potatoes just a little crisp around the edges. Then top it off with canned biscuits cooked right on top, and , VOILA! Instant comfort...


1 1/2 lbs stew meat, cut into bite-size portions

1/2-1 sm onion, chopped kinda big (about 3/4")

6-7 potatoes

1 lb baby carrots

1-2 stalks celery, cut about the same size as the onion

1 can Rotel tomatoes with gr chile (we like medium hot)

3/4 c flour

1 t. season salt

1t. pepper

1/2 t. celery salt

1 can beef stock or 1-2 bouillon cubes with about 12 oz of water

oil to cover the bottom of you cast iron skillet

2 cans of refrigerator biscuits


Mix flour, salts and pepper in a bag or a plastic container with a lid. Add the meat and shake it until well coated. Heat the oil in a large cast iron skillet (or other oven proof skillet with a lid) and brown the floured meat and onions until the onions start to caramelize, turning frequently. Add the rest of the ingredients except the biscuits. Make sure you put in any leftover flour dredge. Cover (preferably with a heavy glass lid) and bake at 300 for about 2 hours. Watch the liquid and add more as needed (water or stock). Remove glass lid and heat oven to 400. Put biscuits on top and back for 10-12 minutes until the biscuits are golden brown. Serve immediately. Stew is great the next day as leftovers, but the biscuits--eh, not so much. So you should probably eat them all then. Even if it means having 3 or (gulp) 4 biscuits...
Hope you've enjoyed this meme as much as I have. My Curves instructors do NOT approve. Maybe I should give them the little coffee mug cake things for Christmas...hmm.....
OH! I almost forgot--rumor has it that I will be facing an arrest warrant! Not a lot of time to tell you about it, but watch this space. I WILL need your help....


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Then Sings My Soul Saturday...



I lurk (pretty often) on lots of blogs by other Christian women. And am so often humbled and encouraged by their stories and writing. Amy over at Signs, Miracles and Wonders, does a weekly meme called Then Sings My Soul...the idea is to post lyrics or maybe even a video of a song that speaks to you especially, right where you are.


This is my first time to participate, and I have been thinking about it all day. It's not even Saturday here yet (it's about 11:50 p.m. on Friday), but all day I have had this song in my heart. And then, this evening, while still working (some more frantically than others) to finish up the new building for our grand opening worship service on Sunday, the sound guys were testing and played this song...

The lyrics say:


You're calling me to lay aside the worries of my day

To quiet down my busy mind and find a hiding place

Worthy, Worthy


I open up my heart and let my spirit worship YoursI open up my mouth and let a song of praise come forth


Worthy, You are worthy

Of a child-like faith

And of my honest praise

And of my unashamed love

Of a holy life

And of my sacrifice

And of my unashamed love


This has been an amazing week of ups and downs. Monday we were walking thru studs, no sheetrock in site. Tuesday, we were painting--not just primer, but in color. 7000 sq feet. And I came home so tired and exhausted, I wept. Wednesday, I spent part of the afternoon there, taking lunch to the team; I didn't plan to make it to the new place in the evening, but at around 5:30 p.m., I received a frantic call from my pastor--"Quick--google how to get paint out of carpet--we've had a spill of about a gallon. Rally everyone you can to bring towels and buckets." (I should note here he's seldom, if ever frantic. Wry, yes. Sarcastic, sometimes. Frantic--doesn't happen). Yesterday I came home after on and off all day at 11:30 p.m., tired with my fairly fresh incision throbbing and my ankle telling me I was stupid, but with full confidance that we would make it--today the fire marshall threatened to shut us down. After faxes and calls and entirely humble hearts, at 5:30 tonight, when fire marshalls never, ever work, we got it: our Certificate of Occupancy.

I am a part of our worship team (vocals and violin). I haven't played my violin since before the accident, obviously. This was one of my favorite songs to play. The violin part in it sings so sweetly. I miss playing so much. But I may again, someday...at least that's what they tell me.

Now, listen to these words. The enemy opened up his arsenal and wanted me to worry. But I chose to listen to God's call..and put aside my worries and quiet my busy mind. And do what I was created to do: worship. He is above all...WORTHY. This week was allowed to happen this way because we need to be able to point towards God and say that without Him, it just wouldn't have come together. I am unashamedly, unabashedly, completly without dignity and wholly in love with my God.







Head on over to Amy's blog and check out TSSS

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Things you didn't know about me (and probably don't care...)

Lidna at 2nd cup isn’t feeling well, so she posted a meme, or a fill in. It’s nearly 10:40 p.m. in the big city as I type this and wait for my various bulletins and flyers to print off and my eldest to get home from work, so I thought I’d take part in this. Join if you will…

What is your writing process?I don’t think I have a process. I think I mostly just sit down and free associate. I’m sure you can see that by reading some of my blogs. Very under-processed.




What are your greatest creative inspirations?
Watching the way that God orchestrates both the big and little things in my life and the lives of my friends and family. Being out in Creation. And my silly little dog, kids, youth group and family.



What are your greatest creative barriers?I feel like most of what I write is so hackneyed that no one would ever waste time reading it. I so badly want to be entertaining and engaging, but feel that most of the time I end up being just sort of…boring.




What is your favorite word? I’ve been using “wield” quite often lately. Like in swords and power and such. And although not a word, I like to use ellipses....ya think?!?



What is your least favorite word? “irregardless” That’s not even a word. Regardless of what newcasters and pundits say--it just isn't.




What sound or noise do you love? My kids singing and playing. Great worship music. Especially my kids singing and playing great worship music. And the ocean. And birdies like Chuck.




What sound or noise do you hate? Dishes or cutlery being tossed into sinks, cabinets or the dishwasher less than gently. I always want to do it myself so that my dishes won’t get chipped, and then I feel like whoever is tossing is ticked off about something. And then I end up resenting doing the dishes.




What is your favorite curse word? I don't like curse words, so I don’t have a favorite, for sure. Even tho' I sometimes use them, I don't like them. I really like My ADHD Me’s new word, but I don’t know if it’s a curse word or not—“Bomb Diggety.” It’s really fun to say...




A song/band/type of music you'd risk wreck & injury to turn off when it comes on the radio? Gangsta' rap.

Best show on television? Ooo...hard to choose. Glad you didn’t say work of non-fiction. I like Heroes, and LOST. I kind of got into Saving Grace earlier this fall, but it’s a little dark—just incredibly well done. I watch way too much TV. I’ve spent 5 of the last 8 weeks pretty much tied down to the couch or bed. I think I want to swear it off. Except I don’t.



Favorite movie? Again...hard to choose. Love Braveheart. I just melt when he says, “Ah luv ya. Alwuss hev, alwuss will.” And I like Princess Bride, too. Newest finds: Fireproof and Iron Man…



Favorite room in your house? My living room. It’s red and has 2 big comfy dark red leather couches. Like my own little cave. I can snuggle up and watch a movie or TV with the fam or have a favorite girlfriend over for coffee and forbidden desserts…




Best concert? David Crowder, hands down. Just before Collision came out. Took eldest 2 kids and they were nearly on their faces worshipping. It was A. Maz. Ing.




Brass or strings? Strings. I’m a violin player—what did you expect? McYummy said today that I would probably be able to play again, eventually.



If you could have anything put on a t-shirt what would it be? "Jesus Loves You (and I’m trying...)". My best friend actually has that one. PLUS, it has the bonuse of having both ellipses and parenthesis....yea!




The best part about being your age? Being comfortable with who and what I am. I can dress up in my Stacy and Clinton put together sleekness one day and the next be in my rattiest sweatshirt and have toilet paper stuck to my shoe and still not feel like I’m bipolar. I get to be me.




Favorite Girl Scout cookie? Samoas, aka Caramel deLights. I have been known to eat an entire box during one run through of The Notebook.



Poker or gin or bridge? Apples to Apples or Phase 10 (a new one I picked up at camp).




Shower or bath? Baths, when I have the time. With candles, bubbles, music and a good book.



Favorite pajamas? Men’s Aeropostale flannel bottoms and my softest sweatshirt on the planet in the winter. A soft, soft night shirt in the summer..



Nightmare job? Dumping airplane lavatories (potties). I really used to do that. And I delivered singing telegrams, too.



A talent you wish you had? Drawing or art. Ted and Tanner are A. Maz. Ing. Also, it would be nice to be a cleanie instead of a messie.

(Ted drew this, and the scan doesn't even begin to do it justice. My BFF's daughter)


Dream vacation? A warm beach. And 7 or 8 good books.

What's on your nightstand? Lamp, clock, tissues, water bottle, a stray ibuprofen, dust probably and probably 7-8 books.




3 weird things about you:

I don’t like gravy. At least cream gravy. That could be a blessing in disguise, I guess.


I anthromorphosize computers and calculators. I sometimes think that they think I’m stupid or lazy for not knowing the answer or for keeping on hitting “enter” when it didn’t work the last 12 times.


I feel like I need to give things a name, animate or inanimate. A few weeks ago on Grey’s Anatomy, Lexi named a bunch of pigs. I can totally identify with that.




Now, come on and play! This was kinda fun!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Goin' OFFROAD

For the past several years, this is what I’ve spent almost every Sunday morning doing:


(yes..that is my wonderful son in the opening shot at 7 a.m. on a Sunday..and in the closing shots at around noon the same Sunday...I'm in there...look for white and black plaid shorts)



I belong to an incredible church family. Without SoulRio, my life would be much less full and much lonelier. I LOVE this church! We began attending 10 years ago when it was brand new and called Harvest Community Church and we met in a small community center in my neighborhood. We outgrew the community center and moved into a high school. We were there for a couple of years and then moved into a strip mall location for a few years. Our children’s area outgrew the strip mall and we went back to being portable…this time to a different high school. We have met in movie theaters, parks, even on the mesa once or twice. I’ve seen things wax and wane, grow and slow, and have never been more amazed about how much God is able to accomplish through His people. We have a wonderful parcel of land that God has provided for us to purchase and hope to build on it within the next couple of years. We’ve been at Cibola High for about 4 or 5 years now (being the secretary, you’d think I’d know, but…too lazy to look it up.)

And now...we’re going OFF ROAD again….by this, I mean we’re moving back into the strip mall location. We have lots of build-out to still finish before our grand opening on November 16. For all my loyal readers (all ones of you) who pray, I covet your prayers. We are running down to the wire on getting inspections and drywall and painting and a final certificate of occupancy. We have drywall to hang, texture to text, paint to paint, not to mention unload those trailers again and set up sound, lights, projectors, kid’s stuff, yada yada yada. I’m still not strong enough or steady enough to do a lot of it, which is totally frustrating to me. Yesterday in our Bible study, we talked about those sacrifices of praise we need to make. I love being in the thick of things. In charge, active and DOING. In all honesty, the sheer business of it makes me feel important. But this is a time that God has told me to be still; be quiet. Wait on Him. This is hard for me…really hard. And good for me to watch other people flourish and bloom and get as excited as I do about working for God. And to know that it WILL happen—with our without me. So…YAY! Go God! These are exciting times!
(p.s. I did get to pass fluorescent lightbulbs up to Ted last night while he stood on a ladder and installed them. And then I threw the old ones in the dumpster. So I am participating…however marginally. I'll hang on to that right now. And never cease to praise Him.)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

God Bless America



If you have already voted, thank you! If you haven't, please do! If you aren't going to...why NOT?!? It's both a privilege and a responsibility. Besides, you will be making history. Either you will be voting for the first female Vice President or the first African American President. That's a story that will bore your kids and grandkids, alike, but one that you can be proud of! NOW: Get out there and vote..... (and go Maverick!)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Fall Into Flavor Week 5 - ULTIMATE Grilled Cheese


I am a true afficiando of comfort food. Easy-peasy comfort food is the absolute best. I make award winning grilled cheese sandwiches. Sandwiches to make your son forget that he fell down on the way to school and tore his brand new jeans on his way to kindergarten. Sandwiches that celebrate staying up late with your daughter and her girlfriends to watch silly movies. Sandwiches to make you forget about your flat tire. In the rain. With a dead cell phone.
So...since this may be one of the last of this year's Fall Into Flavor's (check out more over at 2nd Cup), here it is:
For each sandwich:

2 slices of bread of your choice (Texas toast or sourdough is my favorite)
Butter (REAL butter) to spread on all 4 sides of the bread
2 slices gooey cheese of your choice (I like 1 slice American and 1 slice Havarti)


Butter all 4 sides of the bread.
Heat griddle or frying pan until a water droplet will dance on it.
Toss bread in pan and toast until lightly browned. Flip over one slice of bread and put the cheese on it. Place the 2nd slice of bread on top of the cheese (toasted side down) and flip it over to toast the only untoasted side when the first slice you flipped is nicely browned. (confusing to write out, easy to do once you see what’s going on in the pan). When it’s j-u-s-t r-i-g-h-t take it off and stand it on it’s crust on a plate for a moment or two, so that both sides stay perfectly crisp. Cut as desired. Serve with tomato soup or chocolate milk (daughter’s favorite) for dipping.
Remember your childhood and make grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner sometime this week...it's got to be the ultimate comfort food.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

SOOC Saturday - Is it Plagiarism if I give Credit?



It's Straight Out Of Camera Saturday again. I did NOT take this photo. But it is one of my absolute favorites. Taken by the my daughter's BFF....Thanks SG (no names here). This shot is a few years old, but I will treasure it always. The composition isn't right and the lighting is wrong, the the subject(s)...ahh.....

OK, here's my confession: I don't have Photoshop. Everything I post is SOOC...oh, well.

Head over and check out Melody at Slurping Life for other great shots.