Monday, June 29, 2009

Let the Vacation Begin, the Shrimp Boil is on!

True to our little family tradition, we have purchased our fresh shrimp upon arrival to the beach and I am preparing the Shrimp Boil. For us, this marks the beginning of our week at the beach. I actually could eat this every night - the shrimp is so good here because we get it the day it comes off the boats.

Anyway, wanted to share the tradition with you.
Reposted from July 2008

Shrimp Boil or Frogmore Stew

My friend adds sausage and lemons to hers. I've made it like that before and decided to merge our recipes. My family loved the added sausage and lemons.
And no, we have no idea what Frogmore means. If you do, please let us know.

Here you go!


2 TBSP of OLD BAY Seasoning per gallon of water
3 lemons halved
Red-skin potatoes (depending on size, 3 or more per person)
Spicy smoked sausage, cut into 1-inch slices (1/4LB. per person) I used lite turkey
Fresh corn, shucked and broken into halves or thirds (1 1/2 ear per person)
Shrimp with the shell and tails on, rinsed (1/2 LB. per person)

I add a half of stick of salted butter. (for good measure)

Fill a large steamer pot half way with water.

Add Old Bay, Butter and the lemons.

When the seasoned water comes to a boil add the potatoes and boil for 15 minutes or longer depending on size. They should start to soften. We like ours pretty soft so we boile them forever.

Add the corn and boil for at least 7 minutes or until desired texture.

Add sausage and boil for 7 minutes.

Add shrimp and cook for 3 minutes then drain and pile in large container.

Serve with lots of paper towels, melted butter for the corn, cocktail sauce for the shrimp and sour cream for the potatoes.

* Another addition to a shrimp boil that I think sounds good but I have not tried- those little pearl onions. I just HATE peeling those little suckers.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

We're leaving. We're not leaving. Okay, now we're leaving.

Well, if you saw my Facebook or Twitter, you might have heard that we were all excited about leaving for the beach today.

That was our intention, anyway.

My daughter had a fever for two days and I was afraid that it would delay our trip but she woke up this morning fever free so we started preparing to leave.

I'm not sure what happened. We dilly dallied around and then it occurred to me that we actually did not have a place to stay until tomorrow at Noon.

I guess Hubby just thought we would stay at a hotel for tonight. So, he went to checking the internet for a hotel. There were plenty of them just waiting for our family of 4.

In the end, we just decided it was not worth the price they were asking. Beachfront hotels or even close to the beach hotels can be a little proud of their two queen beds in a box.

So, here we are. Waiting to leave first thing in the morning to our condo that we've rented for 3 years in a row. It almost feels like home! Except smaller and with a beachfront view.

We did enjoy some Mexican food and finally watched Slumdog Millionaire tonight instead. Wow, what a great movie. I cried like a baby. I just don't have the words to express my feelings on India sometimes. I have several friends that go on mission trips there and bring back pictures from their trips. The faces of the children are just unbelievably beautiful. Just look at my sidebar of that Compassion child in India. The things they have to go through tear my heart apart. Anyway, it is a movie you should watch. Definitely.

I'll be posting some at the beach. I will have downtime in the evenings as my hubby always tries to put together some million piece puzzle that leaves me bored to tears. He finds it relaxing. I find it hurts my head.

I did get a new camera today! Similar to the one (but better) that I dropped in the water last year when I went to the beach. It was marked down about 50% at WM! Woo Hoo - love a good deal. I am so excited to have a decent camera again - I've been taking the worst photos.

Okay, so see you this week!
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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Goodbye MJ

I remember the day my Dad brought the shiny black album home. He put it on our turntable stereo and we listened to it all night long. We bought the cassette and listened in the car. I listened in my room. The album, Thriller, was very loved in my home.

Like so many of you, I lost an icon from my youth today. Michael Jackson helped to usher in my teenage years with songs like Billie Jean, Beat It and of course Thriller. They are the background music to my years of discovering boys, clothes, make-up and middle school.

I remember clearly when MTV debuted Thriller. It was a highlight as we huddled around our TV to watch.

I remember his climb to superstardom and how loved he was. I remember the good he did when he sang We are the World. He seemed to genuinely be one of the first pop stars to care about the world hunger problem.

I remember putting away my Thriller music and moving on to other pop, punk rock and 8o's big hair bands.

Then I remember how the world accused him, tore him down and watched as he became more of a sideshow than the mega watt superstar he once was. It was one of the saddest things to watch the world embrace and then reject him.

He had it all so it seemed. All the money, all the fame but not all the happiness.

Goodbye MJ - thanks for your contribution to pop music. May the family find peace very soon at this unexpected loss.

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Goodbye Jill...

I just heard that Farrah Fawcett died this morning with longtime love, Ryan O'Neal, by her side.

Charlie's Angels was one of my favorite show as a kid. I loved when she was on the show and played Jill. To me, she is an icon of the 70's. It's hard to believe she was 62 - I think she aged very well despite her illness. I always considered her to be a beautiful woman. That was one mega watt smile.

Much peace to those she left behind.

Read more here.
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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

God Plays Volleyball?

Last night I went to tuck Bubby into bed and he was drawing in his prayer journal again.

I asked what he was drawing and he pointed to each picture:

"This is me and God playing volleyball.
And this one is of me and God camping."

As far as I know he has never played volleyball and I know for sure he has not been camping, yet.

Bubby is a little bit afraid to do some activities and lately very afraid of new situations.

For instance, he gets scared to play golf because there was a thunderstorm one time while he played with his dad. Now, he associates golf with thunderstorms.

A near drowning at age 3 makes him very cautious in the water. This is a good thing most of the time. My mommy heart rests much easier knowing this. This past weekend, he would not enter into any ride behind the boat, though. Even with Hubby and the fact that he would be completely safe. He just did not feel safe in the middle of the deep lake even though we reassured him his life jacket and one of us would keep him safe. "Maybe when I'm 6, I will try it," is what he told us as he sat firmly in his seat on the boat.

He doesn't enter into new situations easily and I have learned that I need to prepare him by explaining what I think will happen. Remember the Kindergarten orientation a few weeks ago?

So, I find it comforting that he is drawing pictures of himself with God doing things he has never done before. How cool is it that he would imagine our great big God right there with him playing right along and keeping him safe.

In other news today, the puppy ate my night mouth guard. That thing cost $200!!! Nice.

B is home sick with a fever and sore throat and we leave for the beach in 2 days! I really hope she feels better soon and that none of us catch whatever she has. It will be a bummer to be sick at the beach.

I am getting a lot done at home today, though. I'm all caught up on Facebook now. :)
Happy Thursday everyone!

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What's So Good About The End Of Strawberry Season?

The beginning of peach season.

More Wordless Wednesday at 5 Minutes For Mom.
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Monday, June 22, 2009

What Makes Me Happy

Well, it's Monday and as usual I am just trying to figure out what direction to take for the week. Not to mention we just got back from a relaxing trip to Lake Gaston and it seems I left my mind there. So, a Meme it is! I haven't done one for a long time and my friend from high school, E at Life Unscripted tagged me in this one.

What Makes Me Happy

1. Relaxing weekends with my family and friends.
2. A blank Summer day on my calendar.

3. Upcoming trip to the beach and kids out of school!

4. My puppy that goes potty OUTSIDE!

5. My 5 year old son trying to explain to me the power of a Bakugan card. Listening to him play with cars and talk to himself. His voice is one of my favorite sounds ever.

6. Silver Metallic Nail Polish on my toes.

7. My garden in bloom! AND that the deer have not eaten it.

8. The smell of Hubby lingering in the house after he leaves for work.

9. My daughter's handmade gifts for Father's Day - she is always making us gifts from whatever she can find around the house. It is absolutely the sweetest effort from her heart. She just cannot wait for us to open them. This was for Father's Day at the lake this weekend.
10. SUMMER!!!! I love love love Summer. Don't mind the heat. Love having the kids home. The pool, the beach, the clothes - everything!

Okay, your turn to do the meme! Let me know if you do, so I can come to your blog and check out what makes you happy! Or leave it in my comments.
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Friday, June 19, 2009

Vacation Bible School thoughts

The kids have been in VBS all week. I have to admit that the two hour break each evening was a treat for me AND them. They had a blast coming home each night with crafts and sing songy hearts.

When I was a kid, I would visit my aunt in St. Louis each summer for a few weeks. She had 7 kids and would take on me and my 2 brothers to give my single mom a break. She also babysat for a living. Her house was a zoo. I am not even sure where I slept most of the time but I am sure of the fact that I had fun!

For one week of our visit she would always send us to Vacation Bible School. I am sure that this was a strategic move on her part to get rid of the school age kids for a few hours of peace each day.

Anyway, my fondest memory of VBS other than making a matchstick cross and macaroni necklaces, was the feel of the Sunday school classrooms. It was the feeling of community and and joy of learning about Jesus. It was most likely some of the first memories I have about my God and many of them would carry me through until I found my way back to Him years later. It was definitely one of first associations with church - thankfully, it was positive.

So, I always send my kids. I think it is a good experience for them.

My 8 year old daughter seems to have a pretty firm grasp on God so far. She decided to be baptized a year or so ago to make an outward showing of her love for Jesus. For her, any time to worship God is a good time. She knows all the songs and moves by heart and could probably teach some of the lessons. Seriously.

My 5 year old thinks of God as the ultimate super hero. He imagines him as a flying, bigger than life man that can turn into a fireball in a second flat. It's been more difficult for him to get the concept of who God is. Well yeah - he's 5.

I had a lot of fun watching him this week in particular.

Early in the week they made prayer journals. On the front he drew a picture of a man. He said,

" Mom, I drew God on the front of my prayer book. I gave him brown hair. Kinda crazy brown hair. Is that okay? Do you think that is what God looks like?"

The next night I came into his room to see him madly "writing" in his journal. He can't spell more than his name right now. I asked what he was doing.
"Writing to God, Mom."

I asked what he was writing.
"Oh, how I love Him. How we are friends. Stuff like that."

Then yesterday we were listening to the CD of music from VBS and I looked in my rearview mirror to find him signing and singing to a song called, I am a Friend of God. Yes, I quietly cried right there in my car. It was beyond sweet watching a boy who wasn't even sure he wanted to go to see him now singing the songs by heart.

The biggest serious question came one night before bed when he pointed to his chest and asked me if his soul was in there.


I remember some of these conversations with my daughter and I am excited to be having them with him. The open heart of a child to God is inspiring to me.

So, how about you? Anyone else have VBS this week?

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Not Your Perch - Wordless Wednesday

What? This is not a good place to sleep?

(That, by the way, is the back of MY chair. And no, he is not allowed to sleep there. But he is testing the boundaries, that's for sure.)

For More WW head on over to 5 Minutes for Mom.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I think that I can easily look at someone in a certain role and know that there is no way I could do what they do. My doctor or dentist for example. While I have a great deal of respect for them and could dream all day about becoming a doctor, I'm not willing to go back to school and dedicate my life to medicine the way they do. That and all the bodily fluids would not be good.

There are other times, though that I look at a person and think I actually could do what they do. I might even wonder how a person got the position they did. Not that they aren't doing a good job but more a thought of how they got there in the first place. Do you ever wonder that?

For instance, I recently accepted a volunteer position at church. Now to be fair to myself, I do have several gifts that make me a good fit for it. But to be even more fair, there a lot of people that have similar or better gifts to do the job. So, why me?

One word has been coming to my mind over and over.


As a matter of fact, I was told last week that my willingness to be flexible, learn and grow was actually one of the qualifications most appreciated.

So, this begs the question. Should a person who is more willing but with less qualifications get the job?

Well, in the case of the doctor - certainly not.

In the kingdom of God - most definitely.

I'm reading through 2 Corinthians right now. I've been fascinated recently by Paul and his ministry.

Yesterday, while reading through it, I got to a passage in 2 Corinthians 8: 10-12 where Paul is talking to the church of Corinth about matters of money. He's talking about how they gave to each other with sincerity. Not based on what they have or didn't have but just because they wanted to help each other out. They didn't compare their gifts to one another, they just gave from their hearts.

Willing hearts.

It occurs to me that a willing heart could be better than any gift you bring to this world. Especially when it comes to doing God's work.

In 2 Corinthians 8:12 he says
For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.

Just like that, God confirmed my thoughts on willingness. I love it when he does that.

Being willing is not always easy, though.

Willingness to grow means you might have to be willing to change.
Willingness to lead means you have to be willing to take responsibility.
Willingness to risk means you might have to be willing to make a mistake and be criticized.
Willingness to share your life means you will have to be willing to be vulnerable.
Willingness to serve means you will have to be willing to sacrifice time in other areas of your life.

Willingness to trust God to fill in where skill is lacked. Willingness to see all the cool stuff God does through you? Yeah, I'm totally up for that.

For more lessons learned be willing to click on over to Musings of a Housewife.

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Father's Day Ideas

Next weekend is Father's Day! Eek - I need to get busy. My hubby is always so great about getting me gifts that I want or need. Mostly because I am sure to fill him in on my wants and needs. Because face it - most men need our help. Not that they are helpless, they just don't always listen closely or read our minds and all that detail stuff we want them to do. So, sometimes you just have to help them out. Honestly, I wish he'd help me out more with what he wants. He just buys what he wants and then there is nothing left for me, so I have to be very creative.

I found these on Twitter this morning.

Hand-stamped Key Chain and lots of other cool ideas. My hubby loathes key chains or any jewelry except his wedding ring and watch. He loves watches but has more than enough of those.

Newest Men's Cologne - I'm pretty interested in that Diesel - bet it smells yummy. It takes my hubby for-evvvveeerr to go through a bottle of cologne. I think he still has some from the first Father's Day we celebrated 8 years ago. Seriously. I finally just threw out a bottle of POLO last year!!! I had to do it covertly. Shhh, I don't think he's figured it out, yet.

Find concert tickets and sporting events - thanks Mom Fuse. Now I could be down with this idea. I love concerts. Oh, wait - this is for him. Think Hubby...think Hubby...think Hubby.

Does he like sweets? Homemade ones at that? Great ideas to do with the kids at 24/7 Moms
Sweet Treats for Dad - Father's Day

Is your garage nicer than any room in your house? How about a personalized sign for his special space?

And then I love Red Envelope Gifts. They are very unique. Some are pretty pricey but definitely unique.

This makes me laugh out loud! Seriously, I can't imagine at all my husband wearing this! Beer Holster.

Okay, how about you - what are you doing for Father's Day? I need ideas!!!

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Aloha Friday

Hello Friday. I love you.

It's Aloha Friday over at An Island Life and I thought I would join in this week!

I'm also blogging over at Chic Critique about this Summer's nail polish trends. So in love with this year's colors that I am not sure which to pick - go and see what I'm wearing right now on my toes. Because you were dying to know, right?

Anyway, to participate in Aloha Friday I just need to ask you a random easy question.

What REALLY GOOD book would you recommend?
( Not Twilight, I've read them all and then some. I need to move on.)
I'm actually reading Soul Cravings by Erwin McManus and it is so good. I'm looking for a good novel to take to the beach in a couple weeks, though.

To see more questions for Aloha Friday, click on over there.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Pure Evil Right Here - WW

We have A LOT of squirrels in our back yard. Mostly, I enjoy watching them.

But today?

Well, today a gang of them...Yes, a gang...knocked down my favorite birdhouse. The one where all the sweet colorful birds come to visit right on my deck.

Those stinkin' evil little furry rodents seriously pulled the screws holding it into the deck OUT of the deck. Look - it is barely hanging by one little screw. And when I went out to shoo them away, they all just stared at me just like a bunch of vandals would.

So, I tried to send my new dog after them. I think he just wanted to make friends. I would send my 6 pound, deaf, Maltese after them but he can't hear me call for him.

Hubby is suggesting a BB gun. I have been against this for a long time. I am starting to consider it. Animal cruelty? Well, maybe. But the bird feeder?!? I mean that can be considered cruel, right?

Run away as little critter...your days are numbered.

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Check out some Freebies at Coupon Cravings by clicking HERE. Toothpaste, magazines, deoderant...
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Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Feeling some Clarity over on my other blog today. Click on over there if you like: Seeds Blog

Keep in mind this is a letter written to a group of women that I've enjoyed the privilege of coordinating their small groups for about two years. I am moving on to a new position this Fall and stepping down from this one. I shared some of this at a brunch today but this was more detail...

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Monday, June 8, 2009

A Few Things to be happy about....

It is cloudy here today. Muggy. Not my favorite kind of day.

I just like it to be either sunny so we can go to the pool or rainy - just decide, ya know?

So, in light of the lack of sunshine...
I am going to just name a couple things I am feeling happy about right now and not in any particular order.

  • These shoes I found over the weekend on clearance for nine whole American dollars! $9!!! So cute, yes?

I posted this quote from the book on Facebook and Twitter this morning because I love it so much - "When we are optimistic about the future, we find the energy to create it."

Know of any others? I would LOVE to find more.

  • Satellite campus of my church in my neighborhood. I am just so excited to be a part of a core team of people getting ready to launch this! I can't wait!

  • A Monday without an appointment. I'm still in in my pj bottoms at 9 am and very happy to be that way. Doing laundry, working on the computer and chatting it up with my 5 year old.

  • Fresh Blueberries. Actually, I made a bowl of cereal this morning, topped it with the blueberries and when I went to pour milk on top I realized it was sour. Don't you just hate when that happens? So, I just enjoyed the blueberries by themselves.

  • My new favorite song:

What are you happy about today????
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Friday, June 5, 2009


I'm kinda into the one word titles this week. My brain seems to be working like that lately.

I've been so busy taking care of our new puppy that it seems I seldom mention my little sweet Buddy. He's had a hard week.

First of all, he is the object of the puppy's affection. Buddy is Elmo's own personal little teething toy. The other day I came in the room to find Elmo towering over Buddy and blood on Buddy's white fur. Of course, I freaked out and banished Elmo outside but it turns out it was only blood from Elmo losing his baby teeth. Thankfully, he has never actually bitten Buddy or I would have a fit. I am not even sure that I wouldn't have to find Elmo a new home. I don't even want to think about that, though. So far so good.

Remember about a year ago when Buddy had to have teeth removed? And my guilt for not brushing his little teeth daily? Well, this week he had to have 5 more removed! Now his tongue sticks out because there are no teeth to hold them in. Pitiful. More guilt. In my defense, I have been brushing them more and he eats ONLY soft food. He can't have any bones or treats so there is no way for him to clean his teeth. I am pretty sure there was just no way around this.

Speaking of teeth...
I got a mouth guard a couple weeks ago. Apparently, I was grinding my teeth at night. Is my life really that stressful that I have to grind my teeth? I didn't think so but my teeth were chipping and I had to get some fillings - a sure sign of grinding.

I'm not sure about this thing. It bugs me at night. It's tight and makes my mouth sooo dry. I wake up feeling like I am walking through a dessert.

So, in wrapping up the week, it was mostly good - pool time, gym time and heading to the museum today. I like weeks like that. How about you? Happy Weekend!!!

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Legs- WW

A bigger bed maybe?

Wasn't me.

Pulling toilet paper rolls from all the bathrooms in the house is exhausting.

We consider him our own little reindeer. Just look at those legs! He is taller than he is long and it is sooo cute. We think that the rescue center had it a little wrong, though - maybe less Chihuahua and more Coonhound?

For more great Wordless Wednesday photos head on over to 5 Minutes for Mom.
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A couple weekends ago, my husband and I went to a parenting seminar by John Rosemond. I am a big fan of his because without his book, Making the Terrible Twos Terrific, I might not have made it through age 2-3 with my kids.

My favorite thing about John Rosemond is his no-nonsense, practical and traditional way to raise kids. I'm getting ready to read his new book, Parenting By the Book.

The seminar was good. He is funny and such a straight shooter. He really doesn't sugarcoat much for parents.

One thing he said that I cannot get out of my head was a story of having a conversation with his now elderly mother. He asked her what she talked about with her friends when she was a young mom.

Her response was: politics, books, movies, work, gossip, current events.

Do you notice that she never said her kids?

His point was that his mother was interesting. She was not child-focused. Her children, while very well taken care of and loved, were not the center of her world.

Hmmm. I have to say this thought has intrigued me.

As a matter of fact, I have been doing a little experiment this week to see what I talk about with my friends.

We talk about: politics,books, movies, work, gossip, current events.

However, we also talk about our children. Yes, we do and I would say John Rosemond's mother did too. Honestly, if you are a mom, you are going to eventually get around to talking about your kids - even if it is to complain about how they couldn't get their shoes on and that made you late getting out the door. And more than likely you will brag about something they are doing (like a certain little girl in a dance recital).

I've noticed something else, though. Your friends (even your bestest ones) will only listen to you brag about your kids for so long before their eyes start to glaze over.

When I was a mommy of a baby, I was in a play group with moms and babies the same age. We talked about our kids NON-STOP. There was so much to talk about because it was all new. They were absolutely the center of our worlds because they had to be - they were babies. But sometime shortly after potty training and tantrums there was a shift. We found ourselves wanting to talk about something OTHER than our kids.

Which is exactly what John Rosemond thinks is a natural mother/child occurence. His big point, is that if this has not happened that it is not so good for your family.

Anyway, the part that really stuck with me after all of this is the "My mother was interesting," part.

Because I started to wonder, "Do my kids think I am interesting? Or do they think that my whole world revolves around them?" "What about my husband - does he think I'm interesting?"

"Am I interesting?"

I'm not asking you to answer that. I already know that my talk of garden slugs and dance recitals is breaking news. I am so not trying to solicit compliments here. Really.

What I do want to know is this...

What makes a person interesting?


How do you stay interesting?

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Monday, June 1, 2009

Her Day

Whew - recital weekend is over. It has been back and forth to the auditorium for 4 days for rehearsals and performances, parking garages, make-up, family in town and food.

But mostly it was just a delight watching my little ballerina grow up to perform 3 times! You could tell she was really enjoying herself and has no fear of the stage. Watching her face was the best part of each performance. She loves the drama of it all!

She was in a duet with one of two boys in the entire dance school and that was the best to watch. They both did great and really put all they had into the performance. I cried like a baby watching her. Actually, so did my mom and mother-in-law. It was special.

When B was finished and we all greeted her after the show, she started crying. I was a little worried and asked why and she just said she was so happy!

Later, with the whole family at dinner on our deck, she was staring off into our yard and she said, "I love our yard. I love our house. I love our neighborhood. I love God. I love our family. I love to dance! " Then she let out a big sigh.

It was definitely her day and she felt pure joy. That makes this mama very happy. Every dance class, every penny spent, every stressful drive to rehearsal - all worth it just to hear her that happy.

*photos removed by me. :) If you are family, let me know and I will email you.

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