Thursday, July 31, 2008


Well, here it is late Thursday and I just remembered I had not posted anything. Really I have been letting go of having to post daily, especially on the weekends. But I thought of a couple things to share with you.

First, if you love the band Coldplay and have XM satellite radio - Channel 51 and 29 are playing ALL COLDPLAY for 30 days. I honestly did not even know they had that much music. I mean, the Rolling Stones for 30 days or U2 or the Beatles? Yes. Even Madonna or Mariah Carey, but has Coldplay even been around that long? Whatever. I am enjoying it.

Speaking of music, we had a couple guys staying with us this past weekend that are a part of this band called Swerve and this much larger ministry, Keynote. These guys and gals rocked! And in my good friends cul de sac no less. It was a great time and I was incredibly thankful as they shared their gifts and stories with us. Especially, my 15 year old niece. She struggles quite a bit in life for many reasons and the drummer of this band (who happened to be a girl!) spent about an hour with her just talking about life, God and even prayed with her. My niece has been having such a better week and even went to church with us last Sunday. Check them out! I can tell you that they were a blessing to us this past weekend in more ways than one.

My high school reunion is coming up in 2 weeks and I don't have a dress, yet. Ugh. I have tried on several. I have not been happy with any of them. And I think the reason is simple. None of them actually make me lose 10 pounds.

Send me your suggestions.
Jo-Lynne sent me this one. I like it very much but think I might need something a little more snazzy. I always love her advice, though so I may just go ahead and try it on. I could have some killer shoes and jewelry and make it more snazzy, hmmm yes?

I do like this one. Good cover up for the arms. And this, too. What's up with these tiered dresses? Like it, but not so much the color. Oh, I will be searching for the next week I will keep you updated. I know, you just can't wait.

School is going fine this week. B is just tired! Sorry I have no photo to show you but, shhh I think I am getting a new camera for my birthday. Which is Monday. I live for my birthday. Gifts are one of my love languages, that's all. And I love a party. We always have a party on my birthday. Because I am an extravert, that's all.

Okay, I am off to dinner with the fam and our small group. I love those people and haven't seen much of them this summer. We get together, study the bible, eat dessert and drink decaf while our kids scream their heads off in the basement. It's good fun.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Big Sis

Last night at dinner, my son told my daughter he missed her during the day now that she is back in school. He said, "I wish for just one more summer day with Sissy."

That kid certainly knows how to get to her heart. And mine.

For more Wordless Wednesday shots, go to 5 Minutes for Mom

And don't forget about Bloggy Giveaways and registering for my giveaway!
As always - thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Bloggy Giveaway - Stainless Steel Kitchenware

***Giveaway is closed now. :) I WILL post the winner by the end of the day. My computer is acting up and so was my blog. Thank you everyone for entering and visiting my blog!

Well, I can't actually believe that Hubby is letting me do this, but I asked him to let me give away a piece of Saladmaster for the Bloggy Giveaway Carnival and he agreed!

Woo Hoo - lucky you!

Now before you get too excited and think that it is one of the Titanium Electric Skillets which is an absolute necessity in my kitchen, let me assure you that while he loves me lots - he's not just givin' those away.

So, other than my actual cookware, I thought of two other products that we sell and I love and can't do without in my kitchen.

They are the Saladmaster Double-Walled Bowl and the Saladmaster Cookie Sheet.

You get to pick one of them for this Summer Bloggy Giveaway time!

They are each valued at around $100 each

The bowl is just what it says: double-walled and stainless steel. It keeps cool things cool and hot things hot longer.

I adore this bowl for making salads. I make my salad, put it in the fridge to chill and when it sits on my table it stays cold. Plus, it is really shiny and looks pretty.

The second is the cookie sheet which is also stainless steel. I make the best cookies on this and they don't stick one bit. No grease or Pam. No Teflon. The finish is matte and it is a nice heavy weight. It doesn't feel flimsy and cheap like most cookie sheets and it absolutely will never rust.

Stuff I have to say. :)

We are Authorized Dealers of Saladmaster Products. We sell locally only. If you would like to learn more about Saladmaster products, I can refer you to a dealer in your area or you can check out the Saladmaster website to find a dealer near you. It is in your best interest to buy Saladmaster from an authorized dealer only.

  • USA only
  • I will pick a random winner at midnight August 1 and post the winner on August 2.
  • Okay, so all you have to do is go to the Saladmaster Features/Benefits Page and look around. Then come right back and leave me a comment telling me which feature sounds the most appealing to you.

    Oh, and for more awesome giveaways you have to go by and check out the HUNDREDS of other awesome prizes! Go now! Right here at Bloggy Giveaways.

Second Grade, Here She Comes!

B is back to school today.

Our short summer is over. snif snif.

Second grade.

I really just cannot believe it.

It seems like I just brought her home from the hospital. I can actually remember wondering when she would start to roll over. When she would get her first tooth, take her first steps, eat solid food. I remember the first day of preschool. She was so sweet. Pudgy little smiling baby girl.

Now? Well, now she is ruling the roost around here.

She informed me at bedtime last night that I should plan to pack her lunch that night and exactly what to pack.

I should also go ahead and plan to be up early because her alarm was already set for 7 am and she would get dressed right away. I should be dressed, ready to go and make sure I am snappy in the morning.

She will be riding the bus and there is no need for me to drive her.

I am not kidding. Those were my instructions.

Um-Kay. Who is the mom around here? I sometimes forget.

Anyway, she is beyond excited. She loves her new teacher. She went through her backpack 17 times smelling her erasers and making sure her new pencils have sparkly grips and monkey head erasers on them.

Her outfit? Well, let's just say - "it's a keeper." That is what she said about all the clothes she tried on and liked on our shopping trip the other night. (The ones she didn't like she said, "oh, I can do without that one.") It was the first shirt she saw, tried on and it's her favorite. A matching bracelet, earrings, necklace and headband are all laid out. A Bonnie Bell lipgloss and antibacterial hand wash are tucked safely away in her backpack - just in case.

Oh, she is a hoot. She makes me happy to be a mom.

She is so ready, that I actually went in my own room and laid out my gym clothes for the morning. Not my usual routine, but maybe she is on to something.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sunday Word

John 14:27 (HCSB)

27 "Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Fool Me Twice, Shame on Me...Part 2

"Mom, isn't that the girl we took to the bus station?" - continued from yesterday.

Indeed it was.

Here's a little background.

About two months ago after B's dance recital we were in our downtown area.
Not the smaller town that we live in, but our actual city.
Big buildings.
Where the symphony and professional ballet company perform.
That kind of downtown.

You might remember I mentioned a girl that stopped me on the street and was having a hard time.

Well, this girl about 19 or 20ish is crying. I have both my kids and am walking to the parking garage. She stops me and asks for my help telling me some terrible long story about the cops taking her car away and she needs to get to the bus station to get home.

Can I help her?
Oh, and she has no money to buy this bus ticket which costs $16.
She just needs $16 and directions to the bus station.

A few things you should know about me.
I never carry cash.
I am directionally challenged.
Strangers always tell me their life stories. Really they do. Not sure why, but they do.

So, I have no cash to give her and I no idea where the bus station is.

But I do have a GPS in my van and my credit card. So, I feel a nudge to help her and ask her if it would be okay if I just take her to the bus station.

I know.
Not the smartest thing.

But, she really didn't have that crazed killer look, so I decided to pay attention to the feeling that I could not possibly walk away from this girl and leave her standing in the middle of downtown with no where to go.

I took her to the bus station, bought her lunch and the ticket and told her I would pray for her.
I left her and thought I would never see her again.

Well, guess what? Guess who is leaning against the gas station wall crying two nights ago?

Yep, it was her.

So, after the mall, I needed to get gas. I pull in the gas station and my daughter is the first to recognize the girl. My van is between the girl and the gas pump. I think she sees me, but turns away.

And honestly, y'all. I did not know what to do. I kinda freaked out a little. So, since my car is between her and the gas pump, I just pump my gas and watch her through the windows.

I see her crying and talking to two guys paying for their own gas. She shows them money. They are pointing across the street somewhere. Maybe to the hotels. She is no doubt telling them a story of her troubles. But they actually just wished her well and left.

I finish my pumping my gas and go to get in my car. I feel the nudge again. Dang.

So, I catch her eyes and lean over my car to ask how she is. She tells me she has been better. I ask her why she is back in town. She looks at me confused. I ask if she remembers me. She says no.

I ask if she remembered the day that me and my two little kids, one in a ballet outfit, took her to the bus station and bought her lunch and a ticket home. Remember, I hugged you and told you I would pray for you?

Nope, she said she didn't remember me.

She then looked away pretty quickly. I left. I watched her walk into the gas station and wipe her eyes not daring to look my way again.

I wanted to help her again. I wanted to go in and just ask what her story really was. I wanted to know why I have come across this girl twice in such a short time. I wanted to know if she used my bus ticket to go home or was she just trying to scam me.

The optimist in me wants to believe she wasn't trying to scam me. The person that lives in this messed up world sort of believes differently.

Not wanting to be fooled again, having my child with me and it being dark out made me a little more reluctant to help her again. And besides, she didn't seem to want my help this time.

I just can't get her out of my mind.
We all have a story.
I just want to know hers.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fool Me Once, Shame on You...Part 1

This is a 2 Part story. Part one is pretty simple and fun. It starts out like this...

I took B shopping last night for some back to school clothes. Oh my!

The sales were awesome and I have to tell you that this kid...

She. is. my. flesh. and. blood. to. the. bone.

Oh yes she is.

She requested first off that we go to a different mall than our normal one.

Our normal mall is one story, close to our house and pretty lackluster to say the least. But it serves it's purpose and until last night, she never seemed to mind. Children's Place and Gap Kids seemed to always satisfy her.

Well, last night, she told me that she wanted to go to one of the bigger malls in our area. One with escalators and really cool stores.

Okay, twist my arm.

In this mall with escalators and really cool stores, she was truly excited.

At one point she declared the sun-setting blue sky that was shining through the mall skylights one of the most awesome sights ever.

I get it, sweetheart. I totally get it.

She squealed with delight, " Mom, this is the most beautiful place ever! I am soooo excited to be here!"
She squeezes my arm and finishes with, "I love you, mom. Thanks for taking me shopping tonight."

Okay, so this is when I opened my wallet to all her hearts desires. Yes, I even ventured in to Limited, Too and let her buy some earrings and hair stuff.

Oh, and the Hello Kitty store.
Which was all for her.
Really. It was.

Can I just tell you about the coolest eraser she got in there? It smells like coffee and caramel and it is squishy. I did not talk her into that purchase at all.
Really. I didn't.
It's all for going back to school. Every one needs a squishy Hello Kitty eraser that smells like coffee and caramel.

Oh, I digress...

When we finished getting her all the "keepers" she wanted, we finally left the mall.

The mall we seldom go to.
It was around 9:40 pm.

I needed gas.

I stopped and when I did, I noticed a young woman leaning against the wall of the gas station, crying.

My daughter noticed her also and says, "Mom, isn't that the girl who...

To be continued tomorrow.

Sorry to do that, but it is just too involved to do in one post.

Check back tomorrow.

Loves Books, Will Travel with them

This was my sweet B when she was almost 2. It was taken over 5 years ago!

It just amazes me how fast time flies.

Everyone said it would.
It does, indeed.

She heads back to school on Monday. She loves school and is excited. (me, too - snif snif)

She used to take this backpack, stuff it with books and carry them everywhere with her to "read" when she had a minute.

She still does this. Except now it is just one book. Whatever chapter book she is in at the moment.

For more fun old photos and stories visit We are THAT Family.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Beaufort, NC

First of all it is good to know that it's pronounced BOW-fort! Not to be confused with Beaufort, SC (pronounced like the beau in beautiful) This is very important in these parts.
Beaufort, NC is an amazing little town that is rich with history. Old homes (like early 1800's) line the waterfront historical area and ghost tours and stories of Blackbeard the Pirate are just one of their claims to fame.
We took a boat ride to watch some dolphins. Those are not sharks in that photo, but they were so fast, I could not get a good photo of them.
We enjoyed some great food, some beautiful wildlife and great family time.
I can't wait to go back for another visit! There are beaches just a boat ride away with wild ponies, lighthouses and amazing shelling. But for now, I have these wonderful photos and memories of our time there.
For more Wordless Wednesday go to 5 Minutes for Mom

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Absent Tooth Fairy?

****originally posted August 13 2007**** with some revisions. She has now lost about 7 or 8 teeth actually and they are replaced by big kid teeth. Weird stage for kids, isn't it? She has not lost one another one in about 5 months, though.

Well, this is an old picture of when she lost her first tooth.

Now B has lost 5 teeth including both front ones - a small fortune for the "tooth fairy."

I seem to remember getting a quarter for a tooth or maybe 50 cents for a front tooth. The going rate in our neck of the woods is now anywhere between $2.00-$4.00.

Hubby thinks she is purposely pulling them out now to get money. What's a little blood for some cold hard cash?

She is saving for a new American Girl doll. Nikki, the girl of the year. So, there is a deadline because she is only available until December. So, a tooth comes out and in the morning the tooth is gone, crisp dollar bills are left behind and she is like a little bank teller counting her most recent transaction with the tooth fairy.

So, the other night she loses a tooth, puts it under her pillow and goes to sleep with dreams of being that much closer to Nikki by getting some more money. Only to wake up and see that the tooth fairy did not come. What?!?!?

Okay, now don't judge me! It could happen to even the best of "tooth fairies!"

So, over breakfast we are trying to figure out all the reasons why the tooth fairy forgot to come.

She had a lot of teeth to collect and just ran out of time, she got lost, she was sick or maybe she couldn't find the tooth under the pillow. These are all the reasons I can come up with.

Then B is pensive for a minute and says to me, "Or maybe, the tooth fairy is really your parents and they just forgot!"

I ask with my most shocked face, "Do you really think that?"

She thinks a second or two longer, looks at me with the face of a salesman who is trying to convince you to buy something you don't need and says, "No mom, I really believe in the tooth fairy, don't worry."

Well, yeah, because she is smart enough to know that if she doesn't then this constant flow of money for teeth might stop!

So, we decide to try again that night. Surely that fairy won't forget again.

Only guess what?
Okay, now you can judge me.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Monday already?

The weekends just go so fast! I mean, it's not like I have a job outside the home I need to get up and go to each week day, but the weekends are just bliss. No real responsibilities and all about the fun!

We enjoyed lots of time together as family this weekend and it pretty much revolved around food. After dance class on Friday we decided that we had been cooped up in the house for 2 days with sickness so headed out for a Mexican feast. Which was not too good on the ole "20 year class reunion diet plan", but it was yummy!

Poor Hubby did have to work on Saturday, so we headed to the gym for awhile but then met him back at home to have our big night out! We finally went to see Kung Fu Panda which my son completely enjoyed!!! Seriously, the kid was so excited he stood almost the entire time in the movie and for the entire rest of the weekend, we all played the characters out for him. I had the honor of being Tigress the whole weekend! She rocks. This was a really cute movie by the way.

We decided to make it a whole themed evening that night and headed to a Chinese/Japanese restaurant for dinner. To have noodles, of course!

It was at this time that my 7 year old daughter informed us that we are the officially the most embarrassing family on earth. With all the pretend kung fu and voices going on, she was ready to sit with the family next to us! I can't believe this is already starting. I thought we had years before she wanted to officially disown us.

Last night we made a some very good kabobs and pineapple rice. Yes, pineapple rice. I will have to get that recipe out sometime. The kids loved it. I made fresh blueberry cobbler to finish it off. Hubby decided we needed to go for a walk after dinner, but about 2 minutes into that the rest of us decided a quick trip to the pool was in order. It's July, in case you didn't know. A leisurely walk in NC even at 7pm is a little toasty.

This is our last week before B goes back to school. This is my least favorite part of year round school. A short Summer vacation. :(

Anyway, we have lots of fun plans for the week. I will keep you updated!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sunday Word

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”- Isaiah 41:10 NIV

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Linked Up!

Some posts I enjoyed this past week.

The Waitress is Watching - Anne Jackson for Catalyst

An Ordinary Glass Window - Lysa TerKeurst

Awesome photos - Musings of a Mum of 4

Growing Up - Just Keep Praying

Some Mighty Helpful Blogging Tips - Blogging Basics 101

and this is just funny!! Jim Carey and Jenny McCarthy found over at La Dolce Vita

Friday, July 18, 2008

Finally Friday - Hope

It seems to me the buzz around the blog world is that many are taking a break or just so busy with summer right now. I have seen a few of my favorite bloggers are taking a little hiatus from their sites and I even started out that way myself this week.

The week started out on a sour note to say the least. While I have said before I hate to be a downer on the blog, the truth is...bad stuff happens in this world of ours.

The story of a young mother's murder in my area has hit our town hard. The rumors are flying and the pain for her 2 young daughters is felt by every one of us. It is a very unsettling and sickening feeling when something like this happens at all much less right down the road from you. A beautiful young life has been snuffed out at the hands of another human being and her family and friends are reeling from the pain. It is absolutely tragic. My prayer has been for God to just hold this family close and be with her little girls every step of the way. Their journey is going to be hard. If you want to follow this on a more personal note here is a link to a blog that her friends have set up for her.

The week has otherwise been filled with going to the pool, back to school shopping and sick kids unfortunately. Fevers, sore throats and throwing up. Always fun. The upside is that while the kids are happy to just watch movies and hang out, I have been able to catch up on some much needed housework.

I have been doing a great bible study this summer. Beth Moore's Psalm of Ascents. I have struggled with insecurities most of my life. (yeah, who doesn't, right?) This study is an excellent reminder of how we just have to find our security in God. That he will protect us. That he surrounds us with love and a hedge of protection. He is our mountain. He is our peace. Only he cannot be shaken.

This life can be so overwhelming.

Sometimes, I am bursting with the joy of it. The beach, the kids accomplishments, my funny and hard working hubby, my sweet mom. The garden in my backyard and the hummingbirds flitting around. Beauty absolutely surrounds me every single day and I feel blessed beyond my imagination.

And sometimes, the chaos of running a household, dealing with sick kids and taking care of my responsibilities can just wear me down to where it is hard to see a blessing if it hit me in the face.

Other times the pain I witness around me is almost unbearable and definitely overwhelming for those experiencing it. A depressed friend, a friend who has lost a child or a young mother here one day and gone the next. It is just too much.

It's like I am a wave tossed in the ocean. A seed blowing in the wind. A fickle child just riding the waves of her emotions and circumstances.

So, if I look to this crazy and overwhelming world for my security - I will be lost and I will surely be disappointed. Because there is none in this world. Security can only be found in the One who created it.

Psalm 125:1-5 The Message
Those who trust in God are like Zion Mountain:
Nothing can move it, a rock-solid mountain
you can always depend on.
Mountains encircle Jerusalem,
and God encircles his people—
always has and always will.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

It Was His Dancing

I am sure the intention of Sincerely 'Fro Me To You was to post photos of ourselves from way back when. To poke fun at our old hair, our old dresses and all that fun stuff. But it is so much more fun to post old photos of Hubby. I was the one taking the picture and it does grace a family photo album. I just saw it and couldn't resist.

This one is from his brother's wedding 11 years ago. Although, it could have been taken yesterday. It would be the same thing.

Before you say you can't believe I am posting a picture of Hubby like this, let me assure you.

He loves it.
He always asks when I am taking pictures if I got one of "just him."
He is a ham, loves photos of himself and is not embarrased by this - AT ALL.
And I got his permission to post it, of course. He is happy to provide others with a good laugh.

When I asked his permission, he said with a smile, "Now that's a good shot!"

As a matter of fact, I wish he was just a little bit embarrassed sometimes. He has the most uncanny ability to not give the slightest care to what people think about him. He cracks the craziest of jokes in the silliest of voices and acts like a loon much of the time. In the meantime the rest of us (more specifically, my daughter and I ,as my son thinks everything he does is hysterical) are left in his wake just shaking our heads.

On our first date we went to a dance club and he told me he made up all his own dance moves. Um-kay. Let's just say it's a good thing his blond hair and blue eyes won me over first.

He provides a lot of fun for our family and yes, he still makes up all his own dance moves.

For more fun flashback photos hop over to We are THAT Family.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

WFMW - Easy Healthy Eating Tips


 *** Updated 8/26/09****
Okay, I am on a kick to get healthier these days. While we mostly try to eat healthy, sometimes we fall short. Like when we go to the beach or on vacation. So, we're back on track now!

Why am I qualified to tell you about how to eat healthier? Well, I am not really. I am just a stay at home mom who tries to keep her family healthy. But, Hubby and I have run a business for last 10 years in which we teach people a healthier method of cooking. We teach people through this method of cooking how to cook without unhealthy fats and oils, too much sugar and maintain more nutrition in fruits and veges.

During course of years we run into lots of people with so many great ideas. Many of our customers are recovering from diseases or have started to live healthier lifestyles for one reason or another.

The majority of our customers are just moms who want to cook for their family in a healthier and easier way.

So, over the years, what I have found is that by doing a couple of very simple changes in my life, I am able to provide my family with healthier options.

  • Plan a menu - this keeps me from making quick unhealthy meals. I try to plan it, shop for it, and then choose from those options when I go to make dinner that night depending on what we feel like.

  • I avoid two things almost religiously while shopping. Partially hydrogenated oils and High Fructose Corn Syrup. It is difficult. I have to read labels. There is a lot of yummy foods we do not buy and my kids complain occasionally. But they actually know the words and my 7 year old even can find it on the labels. They know if it is in there, we do not buy it. Margarine and most processed foods are loaded with trans fats or partially hydrogenated oils.

When making ground beef (or ground turkey) for tacos, spaghetti, etc., I steam it instead of frying it. The grease drops in the water and I season it after it's cooked.

  • When making a meatloaf, I get extra ground meat and make meatballs, too. I put the meatballs in a freezer bag and freeze them for a later meal of spaghetti, etc. I also, use half lean ground turkey or lean ground pork and half lean ground beef. It makes for a leaner and tastier meatloaf.

I use Olive or Canola oil to cook with instead of butter. Or even chicken stock sometimes.*** I no longer use Canola oil - some new studies have come out showing it is not as good as we thought. ***

I do most of my shopping in the outer aisles of the store - produce, meat, grains - avoiding as much packaged food as possible.

  • Goldfish do not have any trans fats in them and Whole Wheat Goldfish - same price and exact same taste!!! Annie's makes a snack similar that is made from whole wheat called Cheddar Bunnies. You can buy it in the regular grocery store and they taste just like Goldfish. Annie's also makes a great microwave mac and cheese. It is my kids favorite.

Puree zucchini and/or carrots and put it in pasta sauce. Kids never even know they are getting a serving or two of veggies. My kids actually love veggies, but I often still shred them up and hide them in foods so they get an extra dose. There are entire cookbooks dedicated to how to hide vegetables in your recipes now.

I use Whole Wheat pastas instead of regular pasta - nobody here can tell the difference. Well, they can't now. I had to work into it and try a couple different brands to find a favorite.

    ***Corrected*** I use the full Egg Noodles when I use them now.  
  • No Yolks Egg Noodles are a great alternative to regular pasta. They do have carbs actually, but they are the "good" kind, higher in fiber than traditional egg noodles and lower in saturated fat. They cook up quickly and my kids love them. They have them from very fine to extra broad noodles. Read more about them here.

When buying condensed soup, I buy the Campbell’s Healthy Request ones. I use these a lot for casseroles and such. They have no MSG and fat free. 

Rice: Brown rice is best, but may take awhile for your family to adjust. We use Brown Basmati for better flavor and cut in half with White Basmati. Slowly take out white rice each time you prepare until you have all brown eventually. I still have to use half and half. My family just does not go for total brown rice.

Fat free saltines have no hydrogenated oils in them. Thank goodness for Trader Joes, too. I can find all kinds of crackers here without these.

Make an extra batch of cookie dough and freeze it for later use. Even though there is lots of sugar its better then the slice and bake ones at the the grocery store.

Stonyfield makes great yogurts for kids and adults without all the added sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Those are available at the regular grocery store. Trader Joes also has great yogurts without high fructose corn syrup. Or use plain or vanilla and mix frozen fruit in it.

Oatmeal: daily or a couple times a week for many health benefits.
Some things to add to your oatmeal with health benefits:

  • Use vanilla soy milk in place of regular milk to add sweetness and healthy dose of soy if you need it.
  • Cinnamon is said to have some health benefits and tastes yummy.
  • If you have someone with allergies add some local made honey. This is supposed to help become more immune to the pollen in your area. (NO honey for kids under 1).

For more great Works For Me Wednesday ideas, visit Rocks in My Dryer!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Brillante Weblog Award - Thank you!

***Update*** 8/17 - I am speechless really. Which doesn't happen very often! Jen from Cheaper Than Therapy just awarded me for this award today, too. Wow! Thank you so much - I really needed the encouragement this week. If you have not checked Jen out - go now. She has a great blog. Very funny, fun and encouraging place to be!

Well, I have to say that I so needed this today!!!! I checked my email to find my new bloggy friend LeAnn over at tollsons4him passed along this award to me! Thank you so much! It's such an honor to receive any kind of recognition for writing my nonsense! ;)

The rules for receiving this award are:
1) Put the logo on your blog.
2) Add a link to the person who awarded you.
3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4) Add links to those blogs on yours.
5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs.

Here are my 7
Carrie at The Gremlin Wrangler - always makes me laugh
Queen B - DITTO and I miss her lots right now!
Tatum at For Such a Thyme - always makes me think
Jen at The Peacock's Nesting Place - in the middle of a big move from England!
Dawn at In His Image - makes me think, too!
Life is like Champagne - she will need some bling for her new design debut this week!
Genny at My Cup 2 Yours - she is always so encouraging!

Thanks again!

Hello there

Sorry I have been so MIA the last couple days. You know how summer goes. Just lots of activities and less structure, so it is hard to get to the computer as much.

Honestly, I really needed a couple days to not focus on my blog and the computer. I get a little obsessed sometimes and need a reminder of why I am blogging at all.

Many people blog for business of some sort and that is just not where mine is at this point. It is simply a place to record my thoughts, our life and meet new friends. So, I think it was good to get some perspective on that. I have missed my conversations with you, though and look forward to catching up on those!

Also, it seems like so many sad events are taking place around me that it has been hard to write about them. While I always want to be authentic here on the blog, I don't want to be a downer in any way.

Here are some updates on some things that I have been praying about the last couple days.

Missing Woman Update and here.
My friend Heather here.

Who knows why this bad stuff happens. I try very hard to rest in the fact that what this world intends for evil, God will use for good. I know he is sovereign and will hold these people close in their pain right now.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Taking a break

I am taking a break from the blog this weekend.

I have just been spending too much time here and not enough time doing things like cleaning my house!

Blogging is just way more fun.

I will leave you with one of my favorite sites for finding recipes, though!
It is a site that is made up of real people and their favorite recipes which is why I love it. Tried and true.

Happy Saturday everyone!

Friday, July 11, 2008

New Camera

Okay, so do you remember that I dropped my camera in some water at a mini-golf course while at the beach?

Well, if you want a recap, read here.

Anyway, it is such a goner and I need a new one.

I am sure Hubby thinks this one is about my speed right now.

From Fisher Price. Tough. Pink. Hmmm. It does say it is indestructible and while I feel my kids would love it, the photos it takes of my kids may not be so much of what I am looking for.

So, give it to me, bloggy friends.

Camera recommendations.

Oh, and remember it has to be fairly inexpensive.

With my history and all.

And easy to use.

I am not that smart with the electronics.

Maybe someone is giving one away somewhere in bloggy land? Anyone?

That is all. Thank you. ;)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Recovering Stuff Collector

As a long time shopaholic, I must often remind myself when making
purchases of
what I really need versus what I want.

And believe me, sometimes the line seems very thin.

To read the rest of my story, come on over to my friend Tatum's blog where I
am guest posting today.

And check out her blog. She finds inspiration in her daily routine and
"kidlets" . She's from Canada - transplanted to North Carolina -
and all that entails. For Such a Thyme

Someday He Will Hate This Photo

This was exactly one year ago today.

It was dress up time in the play room. They do this about once a week. We have a TON of dress up clothes and they love it. His sister can really get him in some get-ups.

Although, now he is getting a little more determined not to wear the tutus and more of the superhero outfits.

I am sure he will look back on this one day and be mad that I posted it.

Oh, and I might feel bad if it wasn't so darn cute.

For more fun photos visit We are THAT Family.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

What do you cook for a sick friend?

I like to take dinner to friends that have a new baby, surgery, etc.

I have a few great recipes, but am getting kind of tired of making them because I usually make them for my family too.

I make it sound like I take one every week which is just not so. It is just I have been making the same ones for years.

So, other than lasagna, what is a great no fail recipe that you would take to a friend and their family.

Oh, and VEGETARIAN ones would be extra helpful. I have only 2 and my friend just passed along another. Not necessarily vegan, unless you have a really good one. I did run into this a few months back.

Never Confuse Wearing a Cute Fitness Outfit with Actually Being Fit

So, I was at the big Super WM yesterday buying all the essentials a household needs, - you know food.

I was getting ready to leave - honest I was - and walked by this big rack of work out clothes all marked down. Cute stuff, too! So, I had to have myself one of those new workout mini skirts and it was on sale!!! Like $9.00 on sale, y'all and work out shirts for $5! They were that cool breathable stretchy stuff, too.

So, I put on my new workout outfit this morning and look in the mirror and declare to my inner voice, that normally tells me I am fat, that I look pretty fit. Sometimes you just gotta shut that inner girl up - she is not nice! Anyway, I am feeling pretty good.

I head to the gym and decide to take a Total Body Conditioning class that I have not been to in...a month.

4 weeks.

I am in my mid-thirties now.

4 weeks to a mid-thirty woman is like 10 to a twenty year old. What takes you 8 weeks to build up takes only 2 to go bye bye. Oh, to have my 20 year old body again.

I did walk the beach a few times last week, but you know how it goes on vacation. You have the best intentions and well, that's all they end up being.

Okay, so I go to the class feeling all "fit" in my new fitness outfit.

Holy hurting body, Batman.

I mean!

I seriously thought I was going to die. Thankfully, I love the instructor and I would be too embarrassed to admit, by leaving the room, that I had actually been just a bit ambitious in my exercise attempt.

So, I muddled through.

And do you know what happened?

The instructor started having major microphone issues and had to quit instructing to fix them. Which was a huge blessing because I.GOT. TO. REST! I am sure I wasn't supposed to rest, but the whole class was taking the opportunity and praise the Lord, so was I.

Church Billboards

Sin Usually Begins as Something Fun

Seen on a sign outside a church in Somewhere, South Carolina

I live in the bible belt and as we travel the back roads of this area, I find it pretty interesting to read the billboards or signs outside the little churches along the road. The words above are from one I saw a few weeks ago while driving back from the big canoe trip.

Most of the time it is a verse or a quick summary of the series that the preacher is speaking on that coming Sunday or the weeks to come. I occasionally find it inspirational or sometimes my curiosity is peaked

I especially enjoy the churches who name their series in creative ways, though.

They will usually do a play on words to make it more relevant. Ours does this a lot and it does really peak my interest for the up and coming weeks. Like Grace Anatomy or BMPR STKR RLGN (Bumper Sticker Religion) - it was one of my all time favorite series.

However, I wonder what a sign like the one at the top says to someone who doesn't attend church or is far away from God. Or to someone who wants to enter a church, but is afraid of being judged for their "fun" lifestyle?

Is it any wonder that some Christian churches are dying in this country?

I mean, who would be driving by that church and say - "Now there is a church I want to be a part of - I need a little less fun in my life! Sign me up!"
That just totally reminded me of a line from Billy Joel's song Only the Good Die Young. "
I'd rather laugh with the sinners than
cry with the saints. The sinners are much more fun..."

Not that I feel that way. At all.
Or that I am basing my theology on 70's music. I'm not.
I'm just sayin'.

Anyway... Thoughts?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Hello Normal Life. We're Back!

Oh Monday Monday after vacation. I am not a fan of you.

Yesterday started with a wake up call at 6:30 from my son. Mind you, I have not been up before 8:30 for a week.

I did get him to sleep a little more in my bed with me, but then woke up later than I needed and had to be at soccer registration by 8 am.

31 people obviously got there before 8 am to sign their names on the list to register because I was #32.

So, I sign the list. We all wait.

They tell us the computers are down. Of course they are.

They will just be taking our registrations and checks by hand and calling us later if there are problems. I think that is a brilliant idea and wonder why they didn't think of it earlier.

Okay, I am about to have a mommy rant.

So, this lady with child in tow comes in just as a Parks and Rec Representative is calling our names from the afore mentioned list. We are instructed as our name is called to go stand in line so we can hand in our registrations.

This lady that comes in late asks me what she is supposed to do. I tell her to sign the list and they will call her name. She doesn't like my answer and asks someone else. Same deal.

She proceeds to bypass all of us and just get in line. In front of about 3o of us.! Can you say rude? I can - definitely rude.

I was stunned actually, but I was not even finished with my coffee and did not have enough energy to tell her how peeved I was with her. And to be honest I probably wouldn't have anyway. I guess is she was that much in a hurry then I would have let her have my place in line anyway. Whatever.

So, then I am running late and have to get my son to VBS by 9am. Hubby gets them dressed.

Bubby has obviously picked out all of his own clothing. He is in both red shorts and a red shirt. Green Crocs. "But mom, it matches!" Yeah - no time to change.

I drop him off and race to the gym to work off just one of the Seafood Bisques I ate last week. I make it in time for a step class which are not my favorite, but it's sure to burn some calories so in I went. There is a new teacher and I quickly realize I have stacked my step too high. Okay, can we just have some simple moves here? Why do some of these instructors find it necessary to dance around a big plastic step. It is not safe. I'm just sayin'.

So, I pick up Bubby from VBS, head to the park with a friend, home for lunch.

The rest of the day was spent cleaning, doing laundry and catching up on paperwork , paying bills. I did get my desk cleaned off! Hallelujah!

Of course, B is in VBS at night, so off we ran to there this evening. She has declared VBS as the best time ever, by the way.

While she is gone, I decide that Bubby and I will go for a bike ride. To burn off another seafood bisque.

The tires are flat on both my bike and his. Okay - no biggie, I will just pump them up.

Two pumps. Both broken.

Luckily my nice neighbor helps me and we are on our way.

The highlight of my day was when Bubby said this, "Mom, I had fun just hanging out with you tonight riding bikes." Yeah, that is why I stand in line to register him for soccer and drive him all over town for fun times at VBS and the park.

Whew - glad we got Monday over. On to Tuesday!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Diggin' some Wells

This past week at the beach our family of four drank 2 cases of bottled water in addition to the 3 - 5 gallon containers we used for cooking and making coffee, tea, etc. The water at the beach doesn't always suit our taste buds.

We are seriously spoiled and so blessed. Absolutely and completely blessed to live in a country where we can pick and choose where we get our fresh, cool, and clean water.

Then I remembered the service at church the Sunday before we left and wanted to share this with you.

Jim Hocking from ICDI visited our church to let us know about the status of some wells in the Central African Republic. Our church supports ICDI and have sent teams to the C.A.R. this year. Praise God for the work that has been done recently to provide these people with CLEAN water.

12 New Wells = Fresh Water for

6,000 people

Repairs to fix 125 wells = Clean water for

100,000 people

Amazing and really so simple.

What is amazing is that before these wells 106,000 people were without fresh water.

What is so simple is how clean water can change these people's lives. They have better hygiene, can grow food and entire communities are built and prosper around maintaining these wells.

What can you do to help more people receive clean water?

ICDI partners with Living Water International and Blood Water Mission to give clean and fresh water to people living in the Central African Republic. Check them out.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Gifts From The Sea

The waves echo behind me.

Patience - Faith - Openness, is
what the sea has to teach.

Simplicity - Solitude - Intermittency...

But there are other beaches to

There are more shells to find.

This is only the

-- Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift From the Sea

Alas, our time at the beach has come to an end as we pack up and head out tomorrow. (I am writing this on Saturday night)
We are officially sun-soaked and fattened up. Oh my, we've had some great food down here. I think we have had enough shrimp to fill half the ocean.
My 4 year old is officially a big shrimp fan - he wanted it at every single meal - and not fried. Peel and eat.
Except that he can't peel it, so guess who had that fun job.

Oh, here's a funny story with the shrimp and Bubby.
On the second or third night we are at the beach we usually head to the local fish market and get some fresh shrimp for dinner. We do a typical shrimp boil and just stuff ourselves on this yumminess.
So, on with the tradition!
I guess my son is not old enough to really remember that we do this and I suppose we don't really have shrimp boils at home.
So, we load his plate with the shrimp and I tell him, I will peel his in a minute.
He tells me, "it's fine, Mom" and proceeds to eat an entire shrimp with the shell and tail!
No choking (thank goodness) and just swallows the thing whole. Crazy kid.

Hubby says, " Well, I think that is the first time I have ever seen someone eat a shrimp - whole."
Yes. Yes, indeed.

Safe to say, we quickly peeled his shrimp because this kid was obviously not into waiting on us to eat them.
That is just one of the fun stories from this great week together as a family.

I really am not quite ready to go back.
I love being on vacation.
I love the downtime.
I love to eat like I am not gaining a pound.
To have cool fruity mixed drinks on the beach before 5:00. Okay, its 5:00 somewhere, right?
I love the quiet evenings alone with my hubby after the kids go to bed.

Speaking of Hubby - he is working like a madman to finish a puzzle right now. He loves to work on a big puzzle the whole week. This one was especially hard because there was so much sky in the picture and all these very close but slightly different shades of blue.

He will often walk away from the puzzle muttering, " It's all just shades of blue."

About 2 days into the puzzle, while we were having dinner one night, my son knocked the puzzle right off the table. It was like a slow motion part of a movie as we all watched it crumble to the ground. We quickly recovered it and all was fine. Of course I took a photo for you to see. Hubby really was not excited about us memorializing his puzzle on the ground, but at this point he is starting to understand that our life can become blog fodder at any time!

These are the last photos I took yesterday.

It was just before I dropped my fairly new camera in a fake blue water stream to retrieve my daughter's ball at the local miniature golf course. (Oh, she is a ham for the camera, isn't she?)

Yeah, it's a goner. Thank goodness the memory card was okay.
And this, people, is why I do not own a camera that costs more than $100.
Actually, this one did, though! I had to beg hubby to spend $150 on this one and it was seriously marked down right after Christmas. He did not want me to buy this camera and really wanted me to buy a cheaper one that I could throw in my purse. But this one had a cool zoom lens and looked more like a real camera! So, he caved and let me have it. I was relieved that he did not remind me of this yesterday, but he did remind me of my history with electronics.
So, yeah.
I have a history.
This is why I don't own a camera over $150. Or an iphone. Or any electronic that I could drop, lose or break in some way. It is shocking, really, that he lets me have access to this laptop.

I do try to be careful.
Really I do. (I am pleading my case right now, so I can get a new camera.)
The strap on my camera just came undone. Seriously, it slipped right out of the little plastic strap holder thingy and fell right into the water.
Big sigh. I would so love it if Kodak found it in their hearts to send me a new camera. It would be the perfect ending to an otherwise perfect vacation.

Well - more packing to do. Last night to sleep to the waves crashing. But on the bright side - I miss my dog terribly and can't wait to see him tomorrow!

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