Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Momma in the Doghouse

First off, it is a really great feeling to have made friends through this blog that care enough to pray for me and then remember to ask how my talk went. Thank you! What a blessing you are to me!

So, I am finished and I feel like it went pretty well. I had incredible peace about what I was saying and had time this morning to pray alone before I spoke.

I was prepared. Which is shocking in and of itself since I always procrastinate. I was up late obsessing over a couple things, though.

Hubby, being the experienced speaker that he is, told me about midnight last night that I was going to run over the 30 minutes I was allowed to speak. So, I needed to cut some of it. I was a little miffed that I had to cut anything out of my talk on anger, but he was right. There was just so much I could say!

I think I ran over anyway. Sorry MOPS ladies if I did - brevity is not my strongest attribute.

The title of today's meeting was Momma in the Doghouse. Cute and appropriate for my talk.

What I really wanted the moms to know is that they are not alone.

You know, it's not like we just go and talk about it. "Oh, Susan, let me tell you how much I screamed at my kids earlier today! You could have heard me from the next county."

It's not something we are exactly proud of. But it is something many of us deal with and would like to talk to someone about.

I know I feel and other moms feel frustrated in parenting and often do not deal with that frustration in the healthiest ways.

I know I have have been angry and hurtful with my husband and kids at times and that it grieves my God. But he is a god of grace and forgiveness. I wanted the moms to know that.

Mothering is hard work.

Hormones going all wacky are real.

Lack of sleep and "me time" can have a profound effect on how you respond to your children.

I think that moms put their needs dead last most of the time and that it can be draining.

I think we allow ourselves to get over tired, over booked and lack clear boundaries with those around us.

I think our anger, frustration and tempers are results of unfulfilled needs in our life. Lack of sleep, no date nights, lack of time alone, etc.

I know, I'm probably preachin' to the choir here. I am not sharing any big revelations. But I did feel led to share my story so they could be free to share theirs with each other.

The specifics of my story are most likely different than yours or the moms I met today. Or maybe not.

I definitely don't have it all figured out.

This is what I do know, though. I must depend on God for help with raising these kids he has gifted me with. Without him, I can easily lose it. So, I must lean on him and find his strength in my weakness.

It seemed like the questions that came at the end of my talk were mostly about how to discipline a child or how to help a child work through their own anger or emotional outbursts.

I did have a few tools for this that I shared with the moms when they asked. I'm sure they could have used more. I am no expert in this area.

But - Since, through my own actions, I taught my daughter how to have a tantrum when life hands you lemons, I in turn, had to teach her and myself for that matter, to deal with frustration in a healthy way.

We are all about feeling our emotions around here. We try to be keenly aware of them. We talk to counselors when we need to, pastors and friends other times. We acknowledge that anger and sadness are just a part of life that we often have to work through. There is no suppressing anger or sadness around here and as a family that is just how we roll.

I also feel I need to teach my children how to work through their own anger. My job is to raise them into big people that have self-control over themselves. If they don't learn that now, then they will have to face the challenges I've had to face in learning self-control as an adult.

And that is not easy my friends. Not easy at all.

Lastly, I need to teach them where to look for their own help. I want to teach them about hope. Hope and peace that only a loving God can bring.

There are hundreds of books out there on parenting. Discipline and parenting are personal family choices and not something God has laid on my heart to speak on. Honestly, I am not the best at discipline.

What he did lay on my heart was to talk about how to deal with the strong and sometimes dangerous emotion of anger as a mom. That is what I tried to do today. Not how to control your kids, but how to control yourself. I am hopeful that was my message.

I hated to leave the discussion today on this topic because I really felt like those moms had so much to say. But, alas, our sweet mommy time was up. The childcare workers wanted to go home. Imagine that?

I would love to have more discussion here on this blog, though. If there are some ladies from the MOPS group out there reading, please leave a comment or email me.

So, the big question that was left hanging at the end of our time together was this...

What are ways you help your children deal with strong emotions of anger and sadness?

Let Go!

I kept telling him, "Let Go! You'll go faster and it will be more fun!
What can you let go of today?

For more great wordless shots, visit 5 Minutes for Mom and Wordless Wednesday.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

New Real Bloggy Friends

Yes, I am afraid I have corrupted, I mean, encouraged some real life friends to start blogging.

The first is my friend Catherine, from high school. Now don't go tellin' all my secrets, girl!

Check her out at The Princess Papers.

She has great faith and really is able to share it in a fun and creative way. She has always been this creative and has always been this loving and sweet. I actually just reconnected with her after almost 20 years!!!

And then there is my new friend, Tatum. She just moved to North Carolina from Canada. She is a sweetheart! I am sure she thinks I am crazy, but also hoping she will let me keep my bloggy cover.

You know, just in case you thought I had it all together.

She lives in my neighborhood, is in my bible study and my book club and goes to my church.
Her blog is For Such a Thyme.

It's about her family's answer to God's change in plans for her - A move to a different country far away from friends and family. What is he planning for her? Let's find out!

Please go visit them and say hello! I know they will love it!
Thanks a bunch,


I am giving a talk on anger to a group of moms tomorrow.
I'm a little afraid to admit that this is an area that God refines me in ALL THE TIME.
Though I also believe God refines me here, so I can share it with others who may be dealing with similar issues.

I like order. Kids don't necessarily care about order.

I like my way. So, do they.

I like my alone time. When does that happen exactly?

I need more rest. There's too much to do.

On days when I am feeling tired, cranky or stressed out, it is then that I especially ask my helper of all helpers to be with me that day. I ask for patience and to use loving discipline with my children when needed.

It may seem easy for some. It's not always for me.

I ask him to help me have fun with my kids and see all the incredible innocence and sweetness that only they can show me.

And he helps me. He can help you or someone you know, too.

Isaiah 58:9 NIV

You will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.

So,to the MOPS at Hope ladies, I am looking forward to spending my morning with you tomorrow! It should be so fun to be back for a visit!

I came across this poem by Julie Barnhill from the book She's Gonna Blow! Real Help for Moms Dealing with Anger and wanted to share it here.

If you know a mom who has a hard time managing her emotions. Give her a call. Let her vent to you and pray for her. Her family will thank you for it.

Hearts Entrusted

These tiny hearts to me entrusted,

Soft and tender,

Pockets of soil moist with innocence,

Laden with surprises,




With one blast of anger,

One word unkindly spoken,

One glare of intolerance,

I can cause these tiny hearts to...



Or - God forbid -


I want to plant within their souls seeds of...







Yet, thorny briers of...




I have heedlessly allowed to grow.



Able to call back?



Oh yes, more than I deserve.

Lord, I don't want to fail again.

May I be found faithful to these created by You.

Praise for A-B-C's perfected,

"Thank You," for windows cleansed with Pledge.

There are no second chances.

I cannot undo the past.


Sear my heart with love and devotion.

May I be a sower of seeds,

A shelter amidst the storm.

May I hear,

"Well done, good and faithful mother."

May I be found true.

Monday, April 28, 2008

My Peeps are home

They are home!
Hubby and Bee had a great Indian Princess Camping trip at Camp Seafarer and are home safely.

I wasn't worried at all.

Not when I heard about all the zip lining - OVER A LAKE (wasn't I just commenting on The Queen B's post about this?), BB gun shooting (you'll shoot your eye out!), swimming in lakes (with water moccasins I am sure) hikes in the woods (with wild animals, snakes, bugs and such.)

And not a MOM in sight to protect all these little girls. Not one mom.

Honestly, I am not sure how this trip was even accomplished.
How did anyone remember to brush their teeth and put their hair in a proper pony tail?

Or worse yet, did they even brush their hair?

Oh, don't you think I didn't send her off with plenty of sunscreen and bug repellent. I shudder to even think if he put it on her. I am not even going to ask, but she looks pretty bug bite and sunburn free.

After all, he did remember her nighttime baby and favorite blankie and I ALMOST forgot that. AND he remembered her allergy medicine and I did forget that.

I wasn't at all concerned when she told me he got my van stuck in the mud and some guy named Chief Big Hair had to pull it out. (Not the name I would have chosen if I was Chief.)
Secretly, (well, not anymore) I was relieved because now we're even.
Maybe he won't say much about the fact that I left his sunroof open while it poured rain into his car. (Oh, not for that long and good thing for leather seats)

I didn't become at all frustrated when she called to tell me she couldn't find her swim suit bottoms in her bag and had to wear shorts to swim.
When she told me I forgot to pack them, I assured her I did not forget (am I an amateur or what?) and to look again.
Or rather to have her father look again.
Sure enough - swimsuit bottoms, a swim shirt to protect her entire upper body from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays and a the cute little swim top just in case nobody else was wearing those shirts and she felt out of place.
All placed in a little plastic beach bag so she could carry her Bonnie Bell chapstick and towel to the beach with her.

All in all, they had a simply fabulous time and she could not stop talking about it. Something about finding shark teeth (there were sharks?!?!) and being made to hike a 5K without being carried by her dad (what, are they in basic training?).
They were both completely exhausted, but that kid determined as she is, got up on time for school this morning. I even offered to let her sleep and take her in late and she declined.
It was not the same story for her dad who slept until...well, let's just say he slept in.
The brought me a couple presents

Two big bags of this.

But most importantly sweet memories for both of them and that is more than I could ask for.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

What I need a little more of....

Be Still and Know that I am God.
Psalm 46:10 NIV

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Get your music on - the Winner!


Thank you so much for all of your comments!

Who knew a little talk about music would bring the most comments ever in the whole history of Dandelion Dayz!

I enjoyed reading all of your comments and share so many favorites with you.

I wish I could respond to each of you individually, but I have to take care of children and a house and stuff like that. I will try to visit your blogs over the next week or so, though!

Like you, I have a really hard time choosing just one song, or genre for that matter in music. I have more music than I can ever listen to, keep buying new music and can't get rid of any of my CD's. I love classic rock, new age, classical, jazz, blues, christian, country and pop. You won't catch me listening to any hard core music like metal rock or rap. I am deeply affected by music and won't listen to anything that makes me feel icky or hurts my head. I can do crazy things like remember exactly where I was and with who just by a few notes of a song.

Yes, my talents just never cease to amaze.

So, yeah, I could not pick one fave. So, why did I expect you to just pick one? Good question.

I have Three Little Birds by Bob Marley downloaded for my ringtone on my cell phone- that is a huge favorite.

Come Monday by Jimmy Buffet, Train in Vain by the Clash, Ain't No Sunshine, Show my Your Glory by Third Day, Angel by Aerosmith, You are The Sun by Sara Groves (actually I love this entire CD), Ice Cream by Sarah McLaclan(well, almost anything by her), Beautiful Day by U2. That is just the tip of the music iceberg for me really and by this time you are thinking, this is all great and fine and dandy, Janel, but who in the wide wide world of sports is the winner?!?!?!!??

Actually in hind sight, I really should have asked what your new favorite band or song is. That seems like what most of you wanted to talk about. Well, there is always next time.

Oh, yeah I was getting ready to tell you the winner. I get distracted like that - sorry.

So, the winner is Bonita! Her blog is Streams of Living Waters.

Her favorite song: CANON! As in Canon in D? That just happens to be one of the songs from my wedding and yes, I love it too!

Which reminds me of 2 other favorite songs from my wedding. By now, you are just tired of reading my favorite songs, I know. But I just want to get these last two out. Somebody by Depeche Mode was our first dance as hubby and wife and this really groovy couple with just a guitar sang, I Will Be Here by Steven Curtis Chapman during the ceremony. It was pretty special.

Thanks again and I hope all 199 of you win somewhere else in the bloggy giveaways!

Oh, and here is how I selected the winner. You know, last week I had a giveaway and just put the numbers in a basket. I had my 7 year old pick the winner. I always wondered about this random integer generator thing I see on big time blogs and here I am using it because there is no way I was putting 199 numbers in a basket. You know taking care of those kids and stuff.

Random Integer Generator

Okay, happy music listening to all of you out there and Bonita, I will email you!

Thanks again,

Friday, April 25, 2008


My 4 year old and I were getting ready to leave the house tonight. Hubby and B are out of town again on another Indian Princess camping trip. Yeah, another one. Another day, another post.

So, I am finishing up my hair and make-up, my son comes in to the bathroom and says, "Mom, are you ready to go?"

Me, "Yup, I'm ready. How do I look?"

Son, "You look perfect, Mom."

He is my favorite son ever.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Home Sweet Home

My House

My house is where laughter lives;

where lovers tears have dropped;

where life, in passing by one day,

looked in and smiled and stopped.

--Lanier Ward Pratt

I was reading a magazine article sometime ago about what makes a home.

What makes you feel at home?

My good friend says it is her bed. That while she loves going away to the beach, she longs for her own bed! Isn't that the truth - we love our beds!

Like a good song, I could not think of my favorite thing, so I made a list...

Here is what makes me feel at home.

My bed!

My family together - loud, laughing

A great meal together

Working in the yard

Pulling my car in the garage

The sound of my dog barking when he finally sees I am home (he's deaf)

The smell of my kids rooms (yes, that is crazy isn't it?)

The smell of my husband's pillow as I make our bed

My shoes all neatly lined up in my closet

The kids shoes thrown all over the house. They are never neatly lined up anywhere!

Clean laundry - because it feels so good when it is all clean and put away!

Dirty laundry - because of it, I know my family is living life, getting dirty and depending on me

The smell of a meal being prepared - (especially by someone else)

The sounds of my children yelling Mom! or Dad! when we walk in the door

Putting groceries away

A clean organized house because I feel productive

A messy house because I know it is alive with the activity of my family

Having friends or family over to eat

The smell of a new candle burning

The smell of chicken soup cooking

Fresh coffee brewing

Familiar flowers coming back each year

My computer

The sound of the washer

Neighbor kids running in and out of my house

Okay - your turn. Add on to the list in the comments!

**some of this post was originally posted 8/28/07***

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Remember this?

Do you remember a couple months ago, I asked for prayers for a little girl named Kyra and promoted an event here called Kindness for Kyra? She was having a bone marrow transplant?

Well, she had the transplant, it was a huge success and she is going home tomorrow! Much sooner than expected. Praise God!

Isn't that just awesome news?

Don't you just love to hear awesome news?

Check out more of her story here:

She is one incredible little girl.

Love your Wife - Wordless Wednesday

It's not going to be so wordless. Sorry, I just can't help but tell the story behind these photos.

This hubby of mine. He loves me.
He took out a 10 year old ugly cypress in front of our house. I only have a picture of the stump.
And replaced it with this beautiful Japanese Maple.
Just because I wanted him to.
He did not want to remove that cypress. He kind of liked it. It was green and growing. To remove it would be hard work and also cost money to replace it with something else.
"Why mess with it?", was his question to me.
"It's like redecorating the house, but in the yard," I told him.
Although, I am not sure why I used this logic because he is not the type to ever see why we need to redecorate something we have already decorated.
Anway, I told him we needed a fresh look in front of our house.
I wanted to be able to see our pretty house and not just this big ole' tree when we drove up.
I even got a few neighbors to agree with me.
So, maybe it was the peer pressure or maybe it was just because he loves me.
But, this is what he said, "If it means that much to you, then let's do it." And he did it. He cut down that tree, dug up that stump, purchased a new tree and planted it. Just because I wanted a better view of our house.
Now that is loving your wife. No, maybe he didn't give up his life, but he did give up his will and that's a lot.
Thanks, babe.
Check out more Wordless Wednesday photos at 5 Minutes for Mom and Wordless Wednesday.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sitting upright and Earth Day

Ah, sitting upright.

Such a simple thing.

But so nice to be able to do without feeling like the room is spinning.

I guess I have some sort of stomach bug. The only upside to this whole deal is that I might lose a couple pounds. Not my ideal way to lose weight but I am all about finding the silver lining, ya know?

My dog loves when someone is home sick, because this means:

1. He does not have to spend any time in his kennel.

2. He gets to snuggle with someone for the entire day. And I must admit, this and watching HGTV were the highlights of my day. He is awfully fun to snuggle with - very soft and warm and makes little snoring sounds that sound like a little baby.

My kids were in school and hubby picked up my son after preschool, so I actually slept most of the day and feel so much better. I am hopeful it is just one of those 24 hour bugs AND that nobody else gets it!

I do have some random thoughts, though. That happens when you are just laying around with your dog and some home and garden TV.

Like if there is NO eating allowed in the family room then why did I find all of THIS...under the sofa?
My son's response?
"I didn't want you to find it."

Speaking of food scraps, that reminds me that it's Earth Day. We are really trying to be more green around here.
I got my compost bin all cleaned out and started some new compost this past weekend. I actually bought that thing about the time I had my first baby, 7 years ago.
I have to admit that taking care of babies somehow became more important than making my own dirt. But, I thought it would be a good project to start with the kids this year.
And luckily since my son has been saving all of his food scraps under the sofa we're off to a good start.

Rain Barrel
We had a drought last year, so I also bought an 80 gallon rain barrel this year. No way, am I purchasing a fancy Japanese Maple tree just to have it croak from lack of water.
So, my hubby asked me after he "got it all set up" how long it would take for that thing to fill up just catching rain in the little hole. So, I went out to look at his handiwork.
Bless his heart. Uumm, okay, so you have to put the gutter spout into the little hole on top of the barrel. You can't just put it beside your house and hope it catches the rain. I guess I was not clear about how exactly to put it together.
It has been raining for about 2 days here and we have approximately one inch of water in the new rain barrel. We plan to fix that this weekend, just in time for no rain.

So, the moral of this earth day story is that if you are going to purchase these wonderful tools to help you conserve the earth, it is important to learn how to use them and then actually put them to their intended use.
Now all this story telling has worn me out and the room is beginning to spin again. Hubby took the kids to a math and science fair at school. Oh, I am so sad to miss that - really I am. So, I am back to my sofa, my dog and more HGTV because, well, even if I wasn't sick how often do I get an excuse like this? I am going to take it for all I can.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Rock On - Bloggy Giveaways

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

Oh, I love these bloggy carnivals! So fun!!!

It is a great chance to check out others blogs and register for some great prizes. I honestly never win anything - except in these giveaways!!! It is really like all the stars are aligned just right in the blog world.

I was thinking of what to give away. I thought about a CD but there are so many I love, so...I thought I would let you pick out some of your own music.

I am giving away a $15 gift card to iTunes.

  • Just leave me a comment and tell me what your favorite all time song or music is. I really want to know!
  • I will close comments at midnight on Friday night, April 25th. I will announce the winner on Saturday, April 26th on my blog.
  • Open to USA only.
  • You don't have to be a blogger to participate, but you must leave a valid email address so I can let you know if you win.

Oh, and go visit Melanie at Bloggy Giveaways to check out more great giveaways! Target gift cards, Amazon gift cards, handmade items, blog designs and much more!

Rock on!

Tracked In

Well, another track out has come and gone. B is back in school today after her 3 week break. I love the year round schedule because it allows her to be home with me and for us to be out of our routine for awhile. Then just about the time everyone is going stir crazy, it's time to go back to school.

It was hard to get up and moving so early this morning, though and as I watched her run to the bus, I got a little choked up. Every track in is like the first day of school and for whatever strange reason, I get melancholy on the first day of school. I guess it is a reminder of how little by little we have to let go of our baby chicks.

Since we went to Disney World during the last track out, we decided to take it easy during this one. It is nice to be able to take vacations when the rest of the world is in school, but I am not sure it is fiscally responsible to take one every nine weeks.

We finally did end up going to the indoor pool at our gym. We went to a children's museum another day and walked around downtown. Farm Days at NC State University another day.

Mostly, we gardened, had playdates and went to a million birthday parties, slept late and just enjoyed each other. The weather has been absolutely beautiful so we were able to spend quite a bit of time outside. Not the most exciting of track outs, but nice indeed.

Garden Tour

Planting, pruning, cleaning out flower beds?

Get your yard ready for the The Preachers Wife Garden Tour on June 13.

Check out how you can be involved and get the button for your blog right here.

I'll be there!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Word of God Speak

Finding myself at a loss for words and the funny thing is it's okay.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Best Gardening Advice Ever

It's planting time here in North Carolina. The garden centers are buzzing with people.

We purchase beauty in black plastic buckets, hopeful they will turn our yards into a page from Southern Living.

Today I went out to a wholesale nursery. I needed some bigger plants and many of them, so I thought I would save a little money. It is about 40 minute jaunt from my house deep in some farmland. You know you are there when you see about a million other cars that have the same idea. I don't know why I thought this was my little secret.

Anyway, it is the kind of place where you really have to know what kind of plants you are looking for and that no matter what you pay, you are getting a better deal than if you bought it at the regular fancy dancy garden center just 5 minutes from your house. Which happens to be one of your most favorite places to go, but your husband has requested that you keep your trips there to a minimum. And since he is digging the holes for your plants and giving you the cash, you drive the 40 minutes.

So, there are all kinds of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Smoes from the "city". There are 2 older men who must own the place and about 25 men working there that don't speak a lick of English.

The Smoes from the city are bombarding these two men with all kind of questions concerning prices, types and species of plants, the best lighting, how much water and how should they plant them.

There is a reason these men do not sell to the public. Clearly they do not like the public.

My friend was with me and we were both buying a Japanese Maple tree. You know, those really overpriced pretty red trees that must have special planting instructions. I mean they must have special instructions or why would they be so stinkin' expensive, right? (Although, we saved about 50% by going to this nursery, thank you very much.)

So, my friend asks one of the men, presumably the owner, how she should plant the tree.

He smiles a crooked smile.

Are you ready for the best gardening advice ever?

He says, "Well, you take it out of the bucket. You put the dirt part in the dirt and you leave the green part (or red in this case) out of the dirt. "

Thank you. Thank you very much.

Good thing there is the Internet.

No work, no pay

Conversation at dinner.

My 7 year old daughter says, "Oh no! I forgot to do my chores today!" You know, I am just not getting the hang of this chore thing. Maybe we should just forget about it, Mom."

Me, "Yeah, that's fine if you are okay with not getting any allowance."

Her, "What about you just paying me for the days I did them?"

Me, "Well, I already give you 2 days off and I really count on you to do those things as a contribution to our family."

Her, "Sometimes you forget to do your chores, like the laundry."

They just say the darnedest things, don't they?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Giveaway winner!

Thank you so much for leaving a comment for my giveaway. It was really my first on this blog and it is fun to give away something!

I put all of your names in a little basket and had my 7 year old pick one.

The winner is Kristen at We are THAT Family! Congratulations! I have recently started reading Kristen's blog and I just really enjoy it. Funny, real and inspiring! Check it out yourself - right this very minute! :)

Thanks again for reading and commenting to all of you!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Got Anger?

I am in the midst preparing for a speaking event on the subject of Anger. I will be speaking to a group of moms with young children. You know they NEVER deal with anger, right?

Anyway, as I am finishing up my talk, I realized that sometimes anger can be just, effective and even righteous. Such as when Jesus turned over all the tables of the merchants just the week before he died. Matthew 21:12

I REALLY need some live mommy examples to finish this up.

So, I was hoping you, my trusty blog friends, could help me out.

1. Do you think mothers of young children are more prone to bouts of anger and why?

2. Please, tell me, an example of when your anger or someone you know whose anger was just or righteous. And did getting angry change the situation for the better? Would the outcome have been the same had you not gotten angry?

3. Oh, and if you would feel comfortable sharing a story about how you overcome anger in your own life you can email me personally at or leave a comment.

I would love to hear it and promise to keep it under the highest of confidence.

And if you would give me permission to use your example that would be awesome! Thanks very very much!!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Blue Like Jazz Movie

One of my favorite books, Blue Like Jazz, by Donald Miller is being made into a movie.
I think that is very cool!
I met Donald Miller at a book reading and signing a few years ago. I found him to be very funny, warm, real and approachable. He even signed 3 books for me! One for each of my brothers (To Own a Dragon) and my copy of Blue Like Jazz.

I am excited for his success and this movie to come out!

Check it out here.

My Weekend

As a young couple, we dreamed of a home with lots of trees and a big yard.
Yes, so we could spend entire weekends cleaning up the mess Winter leaves behind!!!! These pictures do not even do justice to the amount of brush and trees we took down. My husband nicknamed me Edward Scissorhands by Saturday mid morning.
But it feels good to clean it up and now comes the fun part. Planting new flowers!
Check out 5 Minutes for Mom and Wordless Wednesday for more great photos. For photos better than mine - DEFINITELY and usually really with no words.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

They are Hunting Them Down

****see correction in red below****

I am not sure how much you personally know about the situation in Zimbabwe or if you have been following the elections over there. I have a personal friend that left Zim about 6 years ago and lives in the states now. Her family's lives were definitely being threatened just 7 years ago when they decided to leave their beloved homeland.

They still have friends and family there that did not feel the same pull to leave at that time. Many of them are being oppressed tremendously for just exercising a simple vote for a change of power in Zimbabwe.

I want to ask for you to pray for this country. Pray for a change of heart for the leadership to step down and allow the newly elected officials to step in. Pray for the people there not to be starved and hunted down. They are tired of fighting. Many of them are even tired of praying. They need others to stand in this gap and I am sending this prayer request out to any of you that will earnestly pray for this country - this beautiful homeland of my good friend.

The following is a personal note to her from a friend currently living in Zimbabwe about the current situation. For more news on Zimbabwe you can also check this website out

It is important to note that many of the youths that are spoke of here are young boys that have been forced to fight because they had no other choice. The only people with weapons in this country are the police and the army.
****correction from my friend**** Mugabe's political party is ZANU-PF whereas the opposition to that is MDC (Movement for Democratic Change), or the "good guys", as we see it from our perspective. At any rate MDC have fought faithfully and peacefully for change, often at great personal cost both financially and physically, for the past 8 years - never resorting to violence or intimidation as ZANU-PF does, so that makes them good guys in my eyes.

Sunday 13th April 2008

Dear Family and Friends,

I received a call early one morning this week from a friend in a small
country town. Speaking quickly and quietly for fear of being overheard, he told
me of the frightening events that were going on all around him. Eight double cab
vehicles had arrived in the town. Armed men in civilian clothes alighted. They
had lists of names of people who had been involved in the election campaign for
the opposition MDC in the area."They are hunting us down," he said. "Each and
every one of us is being sought out, beaten and punished for supporting the
MDC." Some have had their homes burnt down, large numbers of people have been
beaten and a local opposition organizer said :" it is terrible, there are
injured people everywhere."

Later another call came, this time the story was of events on one of
the few remaining commercial farms. Again the eye witness account was of armed
men. There were youths too, many scores of them and they were clearly high on
drugs and drink. The drumming, singing, shouting and intimidation carried only
one message: there will be no change in Zimbabwe. Scores of stories like this
are coming in from all over the country. Armed men, drugged youths, lists of
opposition supporters and activists, and a wave of fear sweeping over our
country. None are being spared : men, women, children. Beating, burning,
threatening and intimidating is the result of the brave voices of Zimbabweans
across the country who voted for change.

While this goes on the economic and domestic situation for families
everywhere has reached absolutely critical levels. In the fortnight since the
elections food supplies in the shops have dropped to almost nothing. One major
supermarket in my home town this weekend had lines and lines of scouring powder
but no basics at all - no rice, pasta, flour, cereals, tin, jars or in fact
anything edible. All fresh produce from milk and eggs to vegetables and meat has
become virtually unobtainable as thugs and mobs close down farms, terrify
workers and rob the nations shelves of the last few mouthfuls of food. A friend
who helps feed children whose parents have died of AIDS, waited for almost 5
hours at the local Grain Marketing Board Depot while every single bag of the
precious staple grain was loaded onto army trucks. She left empty handed and had
also failed to find any beans, fish or even soya to buy for vulnerable children
hungry and alone.

The reaction of our neighbours to the terror and tragedy unravelling
Zimbabwe is beyond all understanding. South African president Thabo Mbeki
emerged from an hour long meeting with Mr Mugabe saying: "There is no crisis in
Zimbabwe." Fourteen African heads of state met for 12 hours in Zambia and
emerged saying: "election results must be released expeditiously." Of course we
don't know what went on behind closed doors but it seems like quiet diplomacy
has again been the convenient smoke screen for Africa's Big Men.It is no comfort
whatsoever to us mums who can't find enough food for our families. It is no
comfort to frightened men whispering on crackly telephone lines about men with
guns on an opposition witch hunt. It is no comfort to farmers trying to grow
food but faced with drugged, drunken youths who want what they've got.
Zimbabweans voted for change a fortnight ago, the MDC announced that it had been
achieved but day by day that change is being painfully, brutally stripped

Monday, April 14, 2008

Since when are the 90's considered vintage?

Okay, so I wore these in the 90's and now they are apparently hip again. (Or maybe they are from the 80's - it's all a blur by now)

Anyway, they are actually considered VINTAGE. Since when is the 90's vintage? Wasn't that just a few years ago?

I guess I always thought vintage meant like really old. You know, something from the 70's or older. I am sure some fashionista friend out there will let me know the skinny here - please.

I suppose vintage just means old. So, to my kids - I am vintage. To my grandma - I am a spring chicken. It's all about perspective. At any rate, my brain keeps forgetting to tell my body that I am not 24 anymore.

If you want some, you can go to Giant Vintage and get them along with all kinds of other vintage style sunglasses from the 70's, 80's and 90's.

Not for me, but maybe one of you spring chickens will enjoy them!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Love That Girl

My daughter was invited to one of her very good friend's birthday party on Friday evening. (We only had 2 parties this weekend!) Anyway, the party started at 5 and she has dance classes until 6. She has recital soon and really needed to be at class to practice.

So, she was late to the party which was luckily right in our neighborhood. We had to run home for her to change and we actually drove by the party. She started crying (she really never cries) because she saw them hitting the pinata.

Because my girl, well, she hates to miss a good party. I can relate.

So, we went home and she changed lickity split and she made it to the party by 6:10. It was a "dress like a rockstar" party. Holy Hannah Montana - those girls were cutie pies.

When she arrived, all the girls had sprayed their hair with those fun fluorescent colors and there was none left. Another upset although she did a good job of hiding it by now. She can be a tough cookie.

There was also no candy left from the pinata. I saw the sadness in her eyes as she smiled through it and said, "Oh, that's okay."

Because my girl, she likes her some sweets. Again, I can relate.

She quickly bounced back and became excited to see her friends as they each ran up to her and hugged on her.

Because my girl, loves her girlfriends. Oh yeah, I can totally relate.

When I picked her up, I asked how it all ended up and she said it was great. They did karaoke, played games, danced and had a blast. My girlfriend really did a bang up job of creating a whole stage area for the girls to sing karaoke.

Then she said this, " You know all that colored hair spray that I missed, Mom? Well, all of my friends tried and tried to get more out of the cans. They just kept trying to spray it on my hair, so I could be like them. And they gave me so much candy that I ended up with more than they had. I just feel so thankful to have good friends that cared enough to make me feel better."

OMIGOSH. Can you say, tears pouring from my eyes, lump in my throat, hug my child because she is the most amazing kid ever??!!?

Because my girl - umm, I love her. I love her heart.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Linked Up

Confused about organic labeling? Check out Organic Label Conundrum at Green and Clean Mom

Having a rough time of it and in need of a little inspiration? Go to Boo Mama and check out her post called Blossoming

Oh, you can always count on Shaun Groves to start a good ole' bloggy discussion. I love to read his blog because he always makes me think. Reading his comments is always good, too because they are so lively and often full of passionate comments! Check out this one, Semantic Search - Authentic.

Feeling a little pale coming out of these winter months? Are you ready to get your tan on? You need to check out Chic Critique's advice on self-tanners. Be sure to check out the best way to exfoliate first. I have tried both pieces of advice and am a very happy tanner camper. And I normally loath self-tanners.

Happy Linking!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Thank you God for feeding me

Thank you God for feeding me."

My 4 year old learned this little song/prayer in preschool. He loves to sing it before we eat. I, of course, enjoy hearing him sing it and that for him (out of habit) eating does not begin until he thanks God for his food.

As I listened to him sing this prayer before digging into his waffles, I just couldn't help but wonder...

Last night, I helped my friend in passing out Compassion packets at a concert. The audience was a bunch college kids and frankly, I did not have much hope in many Compassion kids getting sponsored.

I remember being a poor college student - a selfish poor college student. Sponsoring a child for $32 a month would not have been a priority to me.

I was pleasantly surprised and find much hope in our youth as I watched these young people open their checkbooks and credit cards to sponsor children. 10 children sponsored by college students. That instead if sitting around discussing the ills of the world, these young adults actually want to do something about it.

I was especially impacted by the ones who sponsored a child together or the ones who wanted to sponsor children in the places they would be serving on mission trips this summer. They wanted to sponsor children they could actually visit while they were there. That told me they desired to have a relationship with them which is pretty cool.

I am always affected when I work a Compassion booth by just handling the packets.

As I lay each of them on the tables or hold 10 or so in my hands to pass out, I can't help but look at each face, read their short bio and say a quick prayer for them.

Each one of these children is a real live person in a far away land. I read about their moms and dads and think about how much they love them just like I love my own children. About how their parents want the best for this child just like I want the best for mine. I think about how one person, taking that packet and sponsoring that child could change the course of his or her life forever.

As my son prayed this morning, I reflected on how I went to my freezer full of food, pulled out his favorite waffles, put them in the toaster, put butter and syrup on them, poured his juice and sliced some strawberries for him to eat.

He prayed his simple prayer and ate. He has never known what it is like to ask for food and not almost immediately have his hunger satisfied. He thanks God for food that he will never want for (hopefully).

While I think his prayer is sweet and he is saying it with his whole 4 year old little heart, I wonder how differently a child thanks God for food when it is his or her first in days.

Just wondering.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Help make a difference in the lives of children in need. Now is the time to sponsor a child.

I am pretty excited about my upcoming evening! I will be working the Compassion International booth at a Shaun Groves concert at UNC tonight with my good friend, Cindilee. She basically is the whole reason I know about Compassion and she always asks me to work the booths with her. It is a privilege to hold in my hands the packets of information of little boys and girls in need of sponsors. Last time I did this, I still has one packet left and no one sponsored him. Yeah, he is mine now. Cutie pie that he is.

I just absolutely knew I could not go home without sponsoring that child. Fabrizzo.

Have you sponsored a Compassion child or ever thought about it? Click the link above. It has been so awesome for my family to pray for this little boy and to communicate with him. I hope you will consider it for your own family.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Three times a charm

Disappointed again. And don't you know my 7 year old was tellin' me all about it. I think that kid is perfect like her dad.

I read the indoor pool schedule wrong.

Well, at least this time I attempted to read it!

I thought it was open until 3 pm yesterday, so we headed up there at 2 pm to swim indoors on this rainy day for about an hour.

We made it just in time for swim practice.
That we were not a part of.
That is on the schedule.
That I read wrong.

Where exactly have I left my brain?
This actually reminds me very much of Kellie's posting last week titled, Why? Funny stuff.

I think that this deserves creating a whole new label called Where Exactly Have I Left My Brain?

This way, I can file losing my cell phone, not checking pool schedules or to see if fun restaurants are open or spilling coffee in my car or any general goofiness under this so you can easily find it to make yourself feel better.

Today, we are going to give it another try and I know for a fact because I looked at the schedule that we are going to be able to swim from Noon until 2pm!!!!

Happy 200th Post and spa products giveaway!

Happy 200th post to me! I honestly cannot believe I am sticking with this blogging thing, but it turns out, I am having fun!

To thank you for continuing to read my ramblings and nonsense, I am giving away this very yummy smelling and luscious body butter from Cuccio Naturale.
It does not feel greasy on your body like most body butters, but is very moisturizing. I have only found this at a local spa. It is really a treat when I decide to get myself some of this.

For you men that read my blog, you can give it to your mom for mothers day if you win! It is quite nice, indeed.

In addition to the body butter, I will also be sending the winner the Salt Scrub which will get your skin in tune for summer weather. It is a treat to use as well. And did I mention how good it smells? The smell is light and sweet and your skin will feel great after you use this. Finish with the body butter and your skin will be soft as a baby's bottom.

  • Value is about $45.00

  • I will randomly pick a winner by Wednesday, April 16.

  • All you have to do is leave a comment and if you choose to link back to my blog from yours that would be just peachy. If you do not have a blog that is okay, just leave a comment and you can be entered into the contest, too!

And again, thanks for reading and for your comments. I truly enjoy reading them and your blogs.

It Goes Fast - WW

When I was pregnant or would be carrying around my children as infants, mothers with older children would always say the same thing, "It goes so fast. Enjoy every minute."
At the time I was either too pregnant to care or too tired to worry about how fast it went. At that point, I hoped for time to speed up to the point where I wasn't nursing round the clock.
But now, 4 and 7 years later, I realize how right they were. So, I am off to enjoy some minutes with them.
For more Wordless Wednesday go here and here.

p.s. I am having a giveaway to celebrate my 200th post - go here to enter.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Gooder than anything

Yeah, it is about the worst possible grammer, but I love that little NC saying - gooder than anything. And let me tell you, it is reserved for only the finest in southern cuisine. The Coffee Caramel Milkshake from Chick-fil-A deserves this and more.

I had to sacrifice myself today just to taste this limited edition milkshake. I might have to give another try tomorrow and maybe just a third later this week. I mean, it is limited edition and only here for 115 more days. Get it while it's here!

Birthday Parties

Okay, so I don't want to start a mommy riot here on the blog, but what has happened to the birthday gift? You know the days of receiving a Barbie or coloring books and crayons?

I witnessed 4 birthdays this past weekend and most of them, including mine were big time events. At least - AT LEAST - $100 was spent on each.

I say that in jest because, I spent about that much before the party even started. And I have been guilty, way guilty, on spending too much time and money on these parties. So, this is not a post standing in judgement in anyway. It's more about me just wondering, that's all.

My wonderings here are more about how much is too much to spend on a birthday gift? How much is too little?

Now before I had 2 kids and before my 2 kids were invited to sometimes 3 parties in one weekend, I did spend about $20 on gifts. More on family. But now, I really try to keep it under $15. Am I spending too little? Am I spending too much? From the looks of the parties I went to last weekend, I am not spending too little.

One thing I love is to grab some awesome toys during after-Christmas sales and tuck them away for birthday gifts throughout the year. That saves a lot of money and I am able to give some really cool gifts.

Anyway, my son got some very nice gifts at his party this weekend and we are ever so thankful. Especially for Marble Run. My kids actually LOVE this game. Yeah, me too - with the marbles rolling around my living room floor.

Anyway, nice gifts.
Very generous.
It actually makes me feel bad. I mean, I really want kids to come and have fun, but not for my friends to have to shell out big bucks for gifts. But then I don't want my kids to miss out on the whole party and gifts funness either.

For two years in a row, I had gift free parties for my kids. Then they got old enough to really care and my mom made me feel so guilty for not having gifts for my kids. And really, people brought gifts anyway.

My friend had a book exchange party. That was cool. Each kid brought a gently used book and traded it for a new one. Another did a similar party, but we were instructed to bring our favorite new book and trade it. So, she didn't even have to buy goody bags and we left with a new book! Very smart.

Another had everyone donate to a cause that was special to their family. It was nice, but a bunch of moms were complaining about that because they felt forced into giving to a charity that was not their choice. Yes, they really were. Because, you know, it would be terrible to give to a charity that you were unfamiliar with.

So, what do you say?
What do you think the etiquette for birthday gifts is these days?
And do you think the birthday party is out of hand or do you think the pendulum is swinging back to more low key events?

Let's just grab a cup of coffee and talk this one out.

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