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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fall Family Fun Day 2009!

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We love FFFD! It's one of my favorite days in the Bacak fam.
This was our seventh annual Fall Family Fun Day! I can't believe it!
It starts in the pumpkin patch.
I love pumpkin patch pictures.
The colors are unbeatable.
Then there's caramel apples.
The caramel apples were best ever this year! I made the caramel sauce with the wrapped caramels in a bag and added half and half to it. It melted into the best caramel we've ever made on FFFD. I have fine tuned the caramel apples for the least amount of mess and sticky as possible, and have increased the caramel to apple ratio. Cutting the apples just makes more sense. Everyone got their own caramel bowl this year, which was brilliant.
The pumpkin decorating and carving is fun too!
Enjoy the slideshow.

Run For Compassion 2010

Our first Run For Compassion was last April, as some of you remember. It was a special time for this family as we gave our all for a cause that has moved us. We sponsored a Child Survival Project in Ethiopia from this run, and because of so many of you, sent almost $4,000, which was wildly exciting! Here is an excerpt from our Run For Compassion website about the CSP...

The Child Survival Program through Compassion is saving the lives of children. You can sponsor a child, beginning at age five, through Compassion. We do, and we highly encourage you to do the same! But the mortality rate is so high for children under the age of five, they have to live to five first. That’s where the Child Survival Program comes in. This is straight from their web site. Tragically, nearly 27,000 children under age 5 die every day, mainly from preventable diseases and related causes. Through the Child Survival Program (CSP), Compassion is battling for the lives of vulnerable children and their caregivers, providing: prenatal care ongoing health screening infant survival training for mothers and caregivers spiritual guidance and education Help save lives. It’s hard to sum up everything a Child Survival Project is doing in their work with children and mothers or caregivers, but in short, they are doing all that it takes to give them life, and not just physical life. Spiritual life as well. Your registration fee will not just possibly make a difference. It will make a difference. Lives will be saved and people will come to know Jesus as their Savior. What better reason could we have for running for Compassion? A couple of Christmases ago, my Mom and Dad decided our family was going to raise money for the Child Survival Program. My Mom’s life work is at New Life, a pregnancy Crisis Center and adoption agency in Houston. (Two of our kids have come from New Life.) She has given all she has to babies, born and unborn, and their mothers. It was not hard for my parents to connect to this work. So they gave us $50 and told us to make more money with that seed money. At the end of the year, we would collect our money and send it to a Child Survival Project. We did. It was exciting! God moved in us as He used us. So we got our $50 again this year. And the idea of a Run for Compassion was born. That’s where you step in to this story. Literally.

We are just as passionate about this cause this year, and more sure of what God can do through us, just simple, broken vessels for Him. We knew nothing about being race directors last year. Not one thing. But God did good things, despite all of our shortcomings. We have full confidence that He has a good work through this run planned for this coming April 10, 2010.
The planning has just begun. Basically, all we have is a date. But I have started assembling a team of precious girls who are going to help me this year, and make this successful and profitable for the Kingdom.
If you are interested in being on this team who raises sponsorship money, advertises, helps with race day logistics, works on the website, manages finances (that's not for me!), and collects prizes, let me know. We will have a chairman over each area of this race, and I would like for these chairmen, or chairwomen, to have a full committee so that no ONE person has to do all the work. It was amazing for us last year, but it was too much work for a few people. We need a team.
If you're interested in being a team player for Run For Compassion, let me know!
If you're interested in running, then get your shoes on! You can train to do the 5K or 10K this spring, no matter who you are! More to come on Run For Compassion...get excited!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

H1N1 shots are in at the Amazing Dr. Bacak's office! FYI!

Advent Conspiracy!

I love this video! I posted it last year, but take just a minute and look at this inspiring and fun video from Living Water on what they call Advent Conspiracy. It's been a blessing for the Seay/Bacak family as we have heard God call us to deeper worship through giving in the Advent season and all year long.
Christmas is a special time of year. No doubt about it. But what makes it special for us, and what emanates from us during this time should tell the world what is hapenning in our hearts during Advent; adoration for our Savior, and a deeper drive to live like He did.
I hope this gets us started in considering what God has for us this Advent season!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Flu Shot, and only in a doctor's house...

I've done a few posts over the years about the occasional strange hapennings of a doctor's house. Like having a urine specimen in your refrigerator, or your child's favorite toy being the pap smear stick thingy. (If you don't remember that post from years past, don't worry...it's not as creepy as it sounds. It's like a tongue depressor they use during pap smears. You've probably never seen one because, let's face it, we don't know what's going on down there. But they're harmless little sticks that once were Jax's favorite thing to play with.)
Well, only in a Doctor's house does a child get a flu shot in his sleep.
I know, how scarred are my children!?!! Rusty had brought home our shots (NOT the H1N1 shots- they're not in yet. Still waiting) over the weekend and we realized on Sunday night, after tucking all the kids in, that he forgot to administer all of our shots. So we decided to see who was up, and go for it. Emma, always awake, rarely asleep, was the first victim. She started hyperventilating right away, turning ashen in the face, and then quickly it was over, and she immediately went back to normal and said "that wasn't bad, Dad! I hardly felt it. That's the last time I'm going to freak out over a flu shot." Wow! That went well!
Treston, who has been getting in BIG trouble at night, getting out of his bed, and doing terrible, terrible things in the house, of course, got out of his bed. Normally, he would have been disciplined for this, but instead...Rusty gave him a shot. Come to think of it...I don't think he's gotten out of his bed since then? Maybe we're onto something. Treston takes shots as stoically as a Marine. He is expressionless. Doesn't even wince. He takes his band-aid and goes on his way. Last year, I think he even smiled. It's really remarkable.
But the other boys were out cold. Rusty, my dear husband, was convinced that he could give the boys their shots in their sleep and they wouldn't even wake up. I, on the other hand, thought this was the worst possible way to screw up our children. Can you wake up to your parent putting a needle in you, and ever recover from that? That's what horror movies are made of, right? It's like a scene from Alias.
But my husband was fairly certain he could pull it off. I adore this man. He is right most of the time. But not this time...
Jax woke up, screaming, crying, and disoriented. What in the world were his parents doing to him? And WHY????? It took me about 10 minutes of snuggling with him in bed to calm him down and get him to go back to sleep.
We obviously aborted the plan after that one. Justus got his later on, and he was fully awake. So I'm guessing only Jax will need the intense therapy later in life.
Needless to say, we ARE getting flu shots this year. I've had a lot of people ask me, so yes, we actually always get the flu shot. We will also all take the H1N1 shot. Rusty feels confident in it's safety. He says the flu is more dangerous than the shot, for sure! I understand people's concern over the fact that this flu strand is new and therefore the vaccination is new, but Rusty says that flu strands are really different each year, so every vaccination is different. It's not so different with this swine flu. Because we are exposed to it more than most, being that Rusty sees the flu each and everyday, (please don't cough on him if you see him with the flu!) and we go to the office often as well, if the vaccination becomes available to us we will get it. Luckily, God has miraculously protected us so far! We have been exposed many times already!
Just so you know, we do have the regular flu shot available at our office. (695-3570) We personally are thankful for flu shots and other vaccinations that have been a protection from diseases that kill. As far as the flu shot goes, we know we could still get the flu. But we're going to do what we can to avoid it! And of course, Dr. Bacak would say prevention method #1- wash your hands with soap frequently! And wash your kids' hands with soap! Anti-bacterial gel is nowhere near as good as good ol' hot water and soap. There you go! Stay well, people!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Spoons: My new office

College Station friends: A new day has dawned for us.
Frozen yogurt has been restored to us, after much waiting, anticipating, lingering in this barren land of strictly fatty desserts.
Spoons has opened! And this place is brilliant! It's a self serve yogurt shop, with fun toppings to choose from, and they just weigh it, and you pay it.
I love it! I went twice this weekend. Friday, on the Grand Opening, on a hot date with my husband, and then back on Saturday night with my sister.
I had to restrain myself from driving by on Sunday to see if they were open.
There are many choices, but I have a favorite already. Pistachio with Andes mints topping. It's like chocolate chip mint ice cream, basically, but it's only 100 calories per 1/2 cup.
I've decided I must do all business there from now on.
When I meet with college girls, we're meeting there.
It's my new office.
Why? Because Titus 2 says I should be mentoring younger women, and some versions of the Bible might imply to do that over frozen yogurt.
The owner checked us out on Friday, and he said this was a class project that took off! He got an alumni to be the investor, and here we are! Blessed with yummy frozen yogurt!
I might school my children there later.
See y'all there!
(This was in no way a paid endorsement from the owners of Spoons, like on the Biggest Loser when they do those oh-so-subtle commercials for products that will "help" them lose weight. This was completely inspired by my own excitment over pistachio frozen yogurt. But I am going to check with them to see if they'll pay me from now on...)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Butternut Squash and Sausage Soup

This soup is THE BEST! It just screams fall to me. I love fall. I love soup. I LOVE Butternut Squash. I think it's even on sale this week! Yee-haw! So here's the recipe...
1 large butternut squash, halved, seeds removed (see if a strong, capable husband or male will do it for you. Also, using Cutco knives has helped me a lot!)
a little olive oil
1/2 t salt
1/2 lb. sweet sausage
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 t sage
1/2 t marjoram
6 c chicken stock or broth
1 t cider vinegar or lemon juice
1/2 c heavy cream

Lightly coat the squash with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven until tender 45 min. - 1 hr. Scoop out the flesh. I sometimes do this in advance and keep it in the refrigerator.
In a large pot, cook the sausage and onion. Add the garlic, sage, marjoram, and cook stirring for 1 min. Add the cooked squash and chicken broth, stir, and bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer for 30 minutes. Then pulse in a blender in batches, or just buy an immersion blender thingy. That changed my life. I saw one on a cooking show and thought how cool it would be to have one and never have to pulse hot soup in a blender and burn myself again! Turns out, I had one in my kitchen all along. I got it for my wedding and didn't know what it was so I never used it. How crazy is that?
Finally, add the cider vinegar and the cream. Don't forget! I sometimes forget the cream and then get really mad at myself! How could I forget cream?
I have served this with a sourdough bread, made in my bread machine, and salad.
Be sure to invite me over for dinner when you make this, k?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Winkflash books for Christmas!

Yes, I definitely have Christmas gifts on the brain already!
And these books were a great deal for us last year!
You can make a photo book up to 100 pages for $19.95!
You may find books you like better, but none cheaper that I know of.
I gave them to grandparents as gifts last year, and they loved them!
I just finished our 2008 book last night, and I finished at exactly 100 pages.
It's not as cool as scrapbooking, with minimal backgrounds, fonts, creative
possibilities, but you know what, I got it done! And I have three more
books to make before the special runs out on October 24th, I think.
So get busy if you are like me! I'm photobooking at every possible free moment, which are incredibly few.
It takes a while to upload your photos on the site, but I let my run for like
two days, highlighting all of them, and it finally finished and I was ready to go!
For next year, I'm re-evaluating. I'm thinking about a new system...but for now,
these cheap books are too good of a deal to pass up!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Where is your treasure?

First let me say, I have not abandoned blogging. We are having serious internet issues. It's down every night, without fail. So frustrating!
During the day I could blog...if I didn't have a few other pressing matters around here!
So here is what I've been thinking about lately...
Matt. 6:21 says "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
This is a verse that should bring much self-examination.
I thought of this as I've been sitting on the sidelines of children's sporting events lately. Jax is playing soccer, and Emma occasionally competes in horse shows.
What happens to seemingly normal people when they're kids get on a field (or horse arena, in our case)?
The constant coaching and yelling and frustration from the parents, I want to just cry for these kids. And sometimes I want to punch these parents in the face.
And I'm embarrassed for the parents.
Now I know, this could easily be us. None of us is above this kind of junk.
How do we check ourselves to make sure we are not ridiculous, raving, sports parents?
The heart issue has to be where our treasure is.
And that question is "What makes us most proud?"
I read an article in the newspaper recently from a sports writer talking about how watching his son play football, he was the "most proud he'd ever been" of his child.
Wow. That stinks.
So what makes us "most proud"?
When do we want to beam, as parents?
When our kids score a goal, or when we see evidences of grace in their lives?
When they win, or when they are getting up on their own to read God's Word?
There's nothing wrong with winning. I'll be the first to admit, winning is fun.
And sometimes, we put a lot into our kids' interests and sports teams. It's nice to see them advance.
But it's fleeting...it's like the wind. It's not eternal. Col. 1 talks about setting our minds on what's above, what's eternal.
So I am checking my heart. What makes me most proud?
There is nothing in the world like seeing my kids grow closer to the Lord! That has to be our focus. Their spiritual development! Everything else can't even hold a candle to that. And if they perceive us as holding non-eternal things like sports us as so important, we are sending them a clear message.
That message is messed-up.
There's no time to re-read this or edit. I've got a day to start. It will be light soon. Hopefully I'll have internet regularly soon. Don't give up on me!