Monthly Archives: March 2015
Quickie Italian Wedding Soup
In our family this soup is the equivalent of Chicken Noodle Soup to others. It is rich and filled with vegetables, beans, a broth that would make you cry for more and then, the best…tiny meatballs.
1 – 10 oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach
1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium onion chopped (3/4 cup)
4 carrots peeled and chopped (3/4 cup)
2 celery stalks (3/4 cup)
1 tsp. bottled minced garlic
1 tsp. Italian seasoning blend
2 cups Water
2 cans (14 oz cans each) fat free Chicken Broth
1 pkg. frozen Italian style meatballs (MINI)
1 can Canellini beans ) White Italian kidney beans.
3 tbsp. already shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
Remove spinach from package. Microwave on high for 5 mins. to thaw. Meanwhile, heat the oil on med. in a 4 1/2 qt. Dutch Oven or Soup Pot. Peel and chop onion add to pot – Dice carrots, dice celery, add both to pot. Add garlic and seasoning. Stir 1 min. more than tender.
Add water and broth to pot. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil.
Drain spinach well, squeezing out excess water. Add to pot. Add meatballs reduce hear to medium cook till meatballs heated thru, about 5 mins.
Meanwhile in a 2 cup or larger bowl combine parm. cheese, salt, pepper and egg. Whisk vigorously until eggs and cheese are thoroughly mixed.
Reduce heat once meatballs heated and slowly drizzle egg mixture over. Cook for 2 more minutes and serve!
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Living your testimony
Yes, YOU have a testimony. Well, you may have a testimony that is a work in progress if you do not yet have a personal relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Or, you may have lived thru numerous testimonies in your lifetime and even shared them with others without even realizing it. But, once you “know” Jesus, you see the works He does in your life as blessings, as grace – a wonderful gift from Him personally tailored for you. It is the truth, it is evidence that there is a God. It is the easiest way for others who may not know Him to see Him and begin their journey on the path to salvation.
My Bible Study friends and I call them “God stories”. We are always excited to share them when they occur. Often the phone calls end in tears the situations are so moving. But, they are confirmations of our faith. They are real life experiences that show us beyond a shadow of a doubt that He exists and He is in control of our life and of everything that happens.
There is no coincidence. Everything has a purpose and was planned for you way before you were knit in your Mothers womb.
When I accepted Jesus and asked Him to control my life I shared my first testimony with the others who had led me to Him. I told them about how I had made many decisions in my life without praying about them or asking God for direction. And, consequently, many of those decisions were made to make me feel good in the moment. They were not wise decisions and I paid terribly for them. My life until that point was filled with sadness and very little true love. Funny thing was, I thought I had a relationship with God. I attended church and was baptized. But, one day after hearing another woman’s testimony I decided to draw a line in the sand, to put God first in my life – that simple.
Looking for the good in those early years was disappointing, but I did realize one gift God had given me. My first son. He came to me and was a source of love I had never felt. I thank God for him every day and so much more. This story became my first testimony. How God led me to find love I had never felt before. Security I surely had never known. My life had been completely transformed.
As the years passed, there were other life lessons that became clear to me. Lessons only God could reveal. He blessed me with a husband who really cared about me as well as loving me. He gave me earthly security. He showed me what a man of God was. And our family grew. My husband and I shared our faith with our growing children. I was thankful they would know God and not have to face the many serious consequences I had faced. I pray to this day they will have a strong faith and surround themselves with godly people who will encourage them rather than pull them down.
Recently I have been given another testimony. My battle with Pancreatic Cancer has strengthened my faith more than any other experience in my life. My family has seen first hand how a relationship with God produces the strength needed to face the most difficult challenge. This is truly an unspoken testimony. They see the smile on my face every day, they see the confidence I have in the face of death. They know where that confidence comes from. They have seen the power of the prayers that have been lifted up for me by so many of my friends and relatives. They know I am ready no matter what God has in store for me.
We all are a living breathing testimony.
Get right with the Lord TODAY and see for yourself how your testimony can change lives. It is the ultimate gift pleasing to God and enriches His kingdom for all of eternity.
God bless you…each and every one!
Titus 3:3-7 ESV
For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
There are days you capture something priceless
Grandpa Lugi had left chilly Cleveland just after the holidays to winter with his Florida family in warm sunshine. Well, if you were to ask him, he would tell you “it wasn’t so sunny, and it wasn’t warm.” It was one of our coldest and dreariest winters, yet Tom found a few days he could convince Grandpa to play a few holes of golf. Grandpa took a couple of Advil and off he went grumbling about the cold all the way. But, he always related some good golf stories when he returned as he tried to warm himself by the fire.
My radiation and chemo treatments ended December 24th, so there were limited Mayo visits, and my strength was slowly returning day by day. We had committed to watching baby Jude two or three days per week and I welcomed the help Grandpa Lugi provided in carrying him around the house and helping fetch items from the nursery upstairs when I needed them. He was a huge help.
We have not had a baby in the family for 13 years. Tommy & Olivia were the last. When they were born they lived in Palm Harbor, Fl. four hours away, so our visits were limited. We never really got to enjoy the day to day experience of watching them as they learned new things about the world and their milestones of crawling, walking and talking. So, when Lindsay and Matt, Lindsay being our youngest and only daughter presented us with Jude just a week after my DX of PC, it was as if God had sent this little bundle of joy to keep us focused on the positive. What a little carrot he turned out to be for everyone in the family, including Grandpa Lugi.
Grandpa Lugi called Jude many different names since the time he heard Lindsay was carrying a boy. When Jude was born he settled on “Ricky Bobby” and that was the name he called him by most of the time.
As time flew by, I became stronger and in March, Grandpa Lugi returned to Cleveland missing his daughters and his buddies from the gym who would come by the house to play cards once in awhile. He missed his old routine.
It was time for him to go back.
This video was captured thru the window the day before he left. I wish I could hear what he was saying to him. But, I know he is up in Cleveland thinking about him right now. Little “Ricky Bobby” stole Grandpa Lugis’ heart.
He will return for TPC and I know he will be showing him all about what happens during that magical week here in Ponte Vedra during The Players.
Scanxiety and handling a diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer
“Is my belly-button sort of going to the right ?” I asked my husband as I lifted my blouse to expose my distended stomach. “Yes it is, now lets go we are late.” We left the house headed to a PanCan.org – Purple Light Ceremony with some family and friends. We were secretly both anxious about the CT scan we were scheduled for early the next morning, our second scan since surgery in May.
Thank God for Pan Can Action Network and the affiliates located all over the US ready to support and inspire all of us with PC. The Purple Light Ceremony honors those who have “earned their purple wings” of PC and the caregivers and family of those left behind. They also honor the survivors who usually number just a few. The PanCan. volunteers are truly angels.
My Facebook friends on the Whipple Surgery Survivors page call it “scanxiety”. It is the awful feeling that begins the day you receive the appointment and steadily builds until you reach the date. Each lump or bump, each pain or ache raises the question, “Could it be cancer rearing its ugly head again?”
Being diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer is the worst possible thing that has ever happened to me. And yet, in some ways, I admit it has been the best thing that ever happened. So much good has come out of the situation for myself, my family and my friends that I can make that statement in truth.
One person has been introduced to me with PC that has survived 13 years. And that is a miracle. 13 years would not support statistics from the American Cancer Society survival rate for this cancer. He has truly beaten the odds. And he is my inspiration. I can be just like him….a long time survivor. I believe this and I pray for that. But, I still worry.
Each case of PC is different. This disease, that normally strikes after it is too late to treat, places an expiration date on your life. Not a precise one, but, it causes you to face your longevity head on. You could live a few weeks, a few months, a few years. But always the adjective “few” precedes the time.
The good that comes from this is that you can prepare. You cannot help but be thankful for each morning when the sun goes up and you are standing in your kitchen window, coffee cup in hand, admiring God’s handiwork. You look at your family members in an entirely different light. You see the good in them, and they are probably on their best behavior. You see more of them and you have deep conversations that you would never have had. Your friends go out of their way to offer and give assistance. They send beautiful cards expressing their concern and letting you know they are praying for you. Your church family visits you in the hospital and at home and confirms their support and prayers. My house is always filled with a bouquet of fresh flowers from a thoughtful friend. It is really very wonderful.
I was personally convinced the lumps and bumps in my tummy were new cancerous tumors. I lay on the hard bed of the CT machine filled with apprehension praying to God. I told Him I could accept His will whatever it was, but I really needed more time. I have some important things to do this year. Please let me get thru this scan with a good report.
Dr. Johnson, my Oncologist, rushed into the examining room with a smile on her face saying….”What a good report you have. Everything looks good.” She sat at her desk pulling up the scan on her monitor and explained the lumps were just hernias that had developed in the surgical area. “I can live with hernias…I love hernias” I laughed. I had to ask her to say it ….”So I am cancer free?” “Yes, you are cancer free.” she replied.
When we pulled into our driveway there were three smiley faces and one big purple flower balloon tied to the mailbox. I still don’t know who did that, but it sure made me feel good and it was an excellent way to tell neighbors we had a good report. Thank you to my secret friends whoever you are.
We are good for another three months. That takes us to June……just one month before our family trip to Italy.
Father God, thank you for the good news today, And, please let that June scan be good.
I am still living under His angel wings. Maybe I never will move from there.