Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dog Pee & Pioneer Woman

So I made the mistake of stopping by Pioneer Woman this morning and now I'm wanting to make this Southwest Corn Dip & the Bacon Wrapped Pineapple Bites plus I drooled over a couple of others. My menu for today and tomorrow is already planned and I've shopped, so I'm not prepared to be adding new items. I had purchased the Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook for my sil that lives in Houston for Christmas. She loves to cook and I just knew it was the PERFECT gift. I wrapped it real pretty and put it under the tree and then dog pee happened. Our old smelly Boston peed in front of the tree and it traveled to the one present under the tree and so now I had a Pioneer Woman Cooks with wet dog pee on one corner. I ripped off the paper sniffed the corner and although it did not stink of pee I knew I had to get another. So off to Borders with my 30% coupon in hand I go the Sunday before Christmas and repurchased the book. I'm so proud and it is so worth it because I know she is going to LOVE this book. We arrive in Mississippi and my sil from Houston always has books from a friend of hers that works in publishing. She throws a pile of cookbooks on the bed and says take what I want, but she thinks the Pioneer Woman Cooks looks really good and she would like to keep that one or I can take it and she will just get another one from her friend. I gave the book to her on Christmas morning and we had a good laugh-haha and I came home and had not one, but three Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbooks. I returned one to Borders and still have the dog pee one and the free one from my sil. I'm not sure what to do about the dog pee one, but I've never given away anything on my blog. Haha!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Auld Lang Syne

The Nester has a Best of the Nest 2009 posting that was really fun to read. I don't necessarily think these are my best posts, but they are posts I like for one reason or another.

I still feel like this about our church. We officially became members in November and I thank God every day for placing us in this church. He knew exactly where and what we needed in a church home. Sunday

This is one of my favorite recipes from the summer. Father's Day

My photography skills and camera are both somewhat lacking, but I love this shot of my Bird. Reluctant Ballerina

This is my post on the four year anniversary of Katrina. Katrina

My little Bird made me smile by putting her beloved doll in a shopping bag. Miracles Everyday

Monday, December 28, 2009


Our Christmas on the coast spent with my husband's family was very pleasant. We ate delicious food and received thoughtful gifts. It's nice to have a family to spend time with on the holidays. I did miss going to the Christmas Eve service at our church and we considered going somewhere on the coast, but got wrapped up in cookie making and just being together. I love this retro tablecloth.
I thought the decorations on the sideboard were magical.
We always ride through neighborhoods looking at lights and we found this one. It cracked us up.
We are also Saints fans and love this family's support and Christmas spirit.

My Gratitude list continues:
16. cold brisk wind on sunny days
17. our tolerant cat
18. my daughter's sitter
19. clementines in season
20. warm socks

holy experience

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

I'm officially 47 today. I make it sound like I have been waiting on it to get here. Today we travel to the coast to spend the holidays with my husband's family. Saying we are going to the coast sounds much more glamorous than we are going to Mississippi. It is the beach though. Looking so forward to getting there. I still have my secret love affair going on with Mississippi and ask God each day if we should go. I've also realized that I don't pray enough about little things. My big list where I pour out to God about my children's futures and major events or needs I take before him regularly, but I don't think I'm trusting God to work in my everyday things. It's not that I don't think he cares or would intervene, it's just that I think I know what he would want so I act without laying it before him. My gift to myself today is a commitment to take each thing before him and ask for his direction.
I loved the way my mantle turned out this year!

Phillipians 4:6 Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. NLT

Monday, December 21, 2009

Is it finally here?

I breathed a sigh of relief when I got up on Friday and knew it was the last day of school for this year. Everyone seemed cheerful and the students were even a little subdued considering the dancing of sugarplums most of them had in their heads all week. I'm really trying to hear God's voice and find time and quiet solitude to focus on the gift of Jesus. There are still many things to do. We are traveling this year and my T-Bone is finishing up a job in Alabama. There are still gifts to wrap, clothes to wash and pack, doctor's appointments, lights to see, a dog to kennel, and other little nagging jobs to handle, but I'm glad to be off from work and know we will soon be on our way to the coast.

My Gratitude list continues:
11. my husband's salvation
12. Sunday afternoon calls from my son
13. O Holy Night
14. my new physical therapist
15. our small group

holy experience

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Happy Birthday, Jesus

This morning I find myself waking up renewed and I'm feeling encouraged by my lack of aches and pains. A couple of weeks ago, one of our vocab words was "looming" and I have been fighting off the feeling that Christmas was "looming" over me. That will certainly rob you of any joy you are feeling. I'm really looking forward to Christmas; it's all the things that must get done to get there that start to turn it into such a chore. I read this devotional this morning and thought what a sweet idea it is to remind us of the real gift we are celebrating this season. Today I'm unwrapping the gift that will never break or cease to bring me joy-the gift of Jesus. I'm linking this to Emily over at Chatting at the Sky.

This is our new nativity set that I found in a local shop. It's called the Happy Birthday, Jesus Nativity Set. It's one of the best impulse purchases I've ever made. The little story with the set said that the elves dropped to their knees and began to pray at the sight of the newborn child.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Gratitude Journal

My last post was so bleak; I knew I needed to share some positive thoughts and for the most part I do go through my days with a heart of gratitude. This little journal is so sweet. I want one for my sil for Christmas and managed to track one down at a local Borders.You can get one at Garnet Hill.
My Gratitude list continues:
6. twinkling lights on the tree
7. clouds in the winter sky
8. nativity scenes
9. nonstop Christmas music on the radio
10. quiet time

holy experience

Friday, December 4, 2009

Pain again

I feel as if I've been sucked into the vortex of chaos again. My last post was a couple of weeks ago and I was feeling very good and I mean in all ways, spiritually, emotionally, physically which is a big deal. So I was just minding my own business driving to work and wham, I get t-boned. I spent the next few moments shaking off the shock, assessing the damage, and trying to remain calm for the teenage girls that had plowed into me. (I drive through a high school zone each morning on the way to my middle school.) No one was bleeding, the cars could be driven, everyone had insurance and my looking for the good in the bad worked in those moments. Anyway, the car accident created more "things" to deal with like insurance adjusters, rental cars, doctor appointments, and phone calls. The next day I felt like a train had plowed over me and the pain I had worked so hard to rid myself of came back with a vengeance. My three months of physical therapy on my shoulder was wiped out in that one moment. The new medication that had started working to control the overall pain I felt on a daily basis stopped working overnight. The clenching of my teeth that is triggered by stress and creates pain in my face, neck, and shoulder that had been alleviated by letting a chiropractor pop my neck for the last three months suddenly returned. The pain in my shoulder is unrelenting; it now radiates down my arm. It speaks to me all day and keeps me awake at night. I have asked God for healing and relief. You see my life ticks on. I do not have the luxury of stopping and wallowing in this pain. I still enjoyed hosting Thanksgiving, going with my family to see the Rockettes, doing a little shopping, getting out the Christmas things, going to church, teaching sixth graders every day, and just being with my family. Today I'm asking God what I need to do to rid myself of this pain.

2 Corinthians 12:8-9 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I'm the youngest of four children, but I'm the only child from my parent's marriage. My older brother and sister were teenagers by the time I was born. My brother and his wife live fairly close to us, but just don't seem to spend much time together. We do the get together at the holidays for lunch and usually everyone will come for the Bird's birthday. I asked both my siblings to go to church with us this past Sunday (my T-Bone was baptized)and it was so funny that the message was on family and the importance of it. My brother reached across and took my hand and my sister's at one point. It really served as a reconnection for us. There is nothing as far as anger or conflict, it is just that we don't make an effort. I'm unwrapping my small gift of a quiet place spending Sunday afternoon with my family in celebration. I know God wants us to be closer. I'm linking to Emily over at Chatting at the Sky.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Christmas Shopping

My plans for the day are to go shopping. Hopefully, I will finish the majority of things I wanted to purchase today. We are trying to keep it simple this year and the only one I get a little out of hand with is The Bird. I am clueless as to what to get T-Bone too. Wish me luck!
This is our Christmas card photo from last year made on the beach at Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Gift of a Tuesday

I am so busy at work. Most of my days are a whirlwind and I leave each day reminding myself of what I did not accomplish. Secretly I had been longing for a "personal" day off to clean, read, make lists, but felt that it would just put me further behind at work. My day off came today though in the form of a fever in my Bird. The rain is falling and it is so cold and damp, but we get to stay in and snuggle in the bed and read books and make lists and do laundry in between doses of ibuprofen. Don't get me wrong! I'm not glad my Bird is sick, but I am looking for the good and appreciating the space to breathe and care for her. I'm linking my little jump off the fast pace of life today to Tuesday's Unwrapped over at Chatting at the Sky.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Gratitude Community

I've been meaning to do this for some time now. Here is my beginning to counting 1000 gifts I'm grateful for:

1. Hot coffee with cream
2. Leaves raining from the sky
3. A good night's rest
4. Reading glasses
5. The Bird giggling in her sleep

holy experience

John 15:7-8, "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Blogs I read...

I love to read. If I could have a day to myself, I would probably pile up in a chair and read. This morning I found myself wide awake at 4:00 a.m. and got excited at the prospect of having so much time to "read" this morning. I found myself on Lysa TerKeurst's blog and really appreciate how God uses her to get through to me. Her post on the Eight Simple Words spoke directly to my heart. Also Chapter One of her book is posted and I've known for a while that I wanted to buy that book, but am now more convinced that I am supposed to read it. Anyway, I just like her. She's funny and seems so down to earth.

Last night I wanted to do some chores and was a bit distracted by a problem I had at work yesterday. My Bird called to me, "Mommy, come help me wash piggy." My first thought was that we needed to be heading to the tub ouselves, but instead I sat in the floor and gave pretend baths to The Bird's Blabla collection-piggy, doggy, and froggy. We giggled and laughed and washed them all clean. This cat was not in the group that received pretend baths.

John 3:30 He must become greater, I must become less.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


My daughters were both very excited about Halloween. I was not so excited and feeling my usual angst over the chores that still were not finished and the day drawing to an end. While I was busy finding the whole interuption to my chores a nuisance, they were both waiting for the sun to go down so they could get on their costumes for a trek through the neighborhood. My secret hope was that the rain would start up again and I could have a better excuse to stay in and finish my laundry other than I just didn't want to go.
It was wet and cold, but soon our door bell started to ring and the parade of superheroes and princesses started. Reluctantly we set off into the icky night, but I only made it as far as across the street before I sent T-Bone off into the darkness with my girls. The only shot on my camera was this one that I took quickly before dashing back into the warmth of my dirty house.
Emily from Chatting at the Sky said in her post this morning at inCourage "It takes effort to be present on purpose and to see beyond the messy living room in order to appreciate the beauty of family and togetherness. For me, the simple act of noticing inevitably leads to thankfulness."
I've had a hard time lately stopping and appreciating what I have. What am I thankful for? A husband that loves Halloween and went out excited and happy with our girls. A sister-in-law that captured sweet shots of the girls in costume and bubbling with excitement on her camera. My girls for not letting a crabby mom dampen their excitement.
I'm thankfully unwrapping my Tuesday and linking to Chatting at the Sky.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Christmas Shopping

I really enjoy the holidays, but my lack of time to browse and go out looking for "special" gifts is so limited (nonexistent)and mall shopping is just not my thing. My sil and I do have a trip planned to go visit little shops in Virginia-Highlands or Decatur in November, but I'm worried that many shops may be out of business. It would be nice to do most of my shopping online, but sometimes that is hard if you can't see it first. I do love this little rack from At West End and think my other sister in law might like it. Have you started shopping yet?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Thankful Heart

We fell in love with our church on the first Sunday we attended. It all felt so good from the music to the message. I will say that having The Bird was what pushed me back through the church doors, but I know it was the Holy Spirit calling to me wanting me to come back home. My relationship with God had been placed on the back burner for a few years. We joined our church this past Sunday and my dear sweet precious T-Bone will be baptized next month. I'm thankful that our God is so mighty and powerful to move us to transform our lives for him. I'm celebrating a thankful heart and linking this to Tuesday's Unwrapped over at Chatting at the Sky.

Romans 6:4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


My life has been taken over by work again. I wonder each day how other people do it. Some of my friends have two or three kids and work full-time. Are they just as frazzled? I've made vague references to my health issues, but it has never been my intent for this blog to be a discussion about my condition. Getting shingles has magnified the already constant pain I live with and I just crumbled yesterday. Not a lot, but I shared with a friend at work how hard it was and that dealing with unrelenting pain was getting the best of me. Last night I was speaking with a loved one that intended to comfort and encourage me. I came away feeling exhausted and knowing she meant well, but just did not understand the daily pain I experience. It has gotten hard to hide and I'm not quite sure how to handle it publicly other than to say I'm fine, even when I'm not. I've asked God to "fix" me and lead me to help. I know I need prayer and am going to send off an email and make a phone call today to ask some faithful friends I have to pray for me.

Isaiah 40:29-31 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Katrina Again

I posted back in August about the impact of Katrina on our lives and what she took from us. Last year we got all worked up about moving to Mississippi again and making it work down there. I'll sit here in the burbs of Atlanta and fall in love with little cottages in downtown Ocean Springs or Pass Christian, but then we go to visit and every thought I've had about simplifying our life flies out the window. Between the pay cut we would take, the loss of services for B, and well, there is a huge list and I have convinced myself that we need to sit here outside of Atlanta and raise the girls. My year at school is pretty good. I really enjoy my students this year and even though I'm not entirely pleased with some things, I know I have it good. The "condition" I have has been out of control. I don't really want to talk about it now, but I suffer with chronic pain and am also recovering from a bout with the shingles. Ouch! So I pray Thank you, God for my family, my home, my job, my church, your provision, the trust that you are running things, etc... and I get hit again with the idea of Mississippi. I run into sermons or devotionals on trusting God's will and provision in our lives and sit behind cars in traffic with Mississippi license plates. In the past, I've shared my Mississippi thoughts with my sister-in-law, friends and my husband, but this is different and I've been wrestling in my mind with the idea and asking God to hit me over the head with his will.

This is a picture of the tree in my in-law's back yard. Whenever we go for a visit, I always enjoy seeing the tree. It has the ability to create awestruck wonder at the beauty of God's creation of our natural world. Yes, it stood firm during Katrina.

Psalm 143:7-8 "Answer me quickly, O Lord; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit. Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul." (NIV)

Saturday, September 26, 2009


I don't think I ever remember seeing so much rain. My school system closed on Monday because of flooding. A school in the south end of the county was lost and many people here have lost homes. We got through it unscathed. I started wondering if someone had built an ark and failed to tell us.

Genesis 7:11-12 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


"When I speak of home, I speak of the place where-in default of a better-those I love are gathered together, and if that place were a gypsy's tent, or a barn, I should call it by the same good name not withstanding." Charles Dickens

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Sunday Morning Unwrapped

I really enjoy going to my church each Sunday. Each week I look forward to it and afterwards I reflect on the message throughout the week. The message was about change and I was grateful for the words I heard, but the music blew me away. My life has always been defined by music and while I may not remember many things about events or special occasions, I do many times recall what music was playing. Echoing Angels was visiting and played our worship songs, so the music was bigger and louder than usual. One of the last songs played was Revelation Song. It has always been a great song to me, but I had never heard it live. The words raced through my soul and sent chills up my spine. Good chills! Chills that made me feel enveloped by the power and grace of God. This video isn't from my church, but it a great performance of the song.

The chorus is my favorite part.

Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come
With all creation I sing:
Praise to the King of Kings!
You are my everything,
And I will adore You!

I'm thankful for Sunday morning at church and the way God restores my soul. I'm linking to Tuesdays Unwrapped over at chatting at the sky. Go see what others are unwrapping.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


2005 was a crazy year for us. We got serious about having a baby and spent six months trying before getting that positive on a HPT on August 27. The following week we had plans to travel to the Gulf Coast to look at my mother-in-law's rental house that was on a street that led to the beach. The rat race in Atlanta was getting to us and we had decided that we would have the baby here and then move to Mississippi. It seemed like such a good plan. My sil had moved back there two years before from Atlanta and had remodeled a little cottage near the beach. Our child would be raised in a small town near her grandparents and we would be out of the fast pace of life that swirled around us here. We had many hurricane scares over the years and my husband would watch the weather vigilantly, but August 29 was different. We woke up to his hometown being wiped out and agonized over not being able to reach his parents and know if they were safe. Thankfully all our people were safe. His sister's home was still standing , but had filled with storm surge. The house we had planned to go live in had been broken in half. I probably think about Katrina every few months and still feel a great sense of sadness that she kept us here in Atlanta. The only thing left of the little house we were going to live in is the tile floor. Here is what it looked like after the storm.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Reign in Us

On Wednesday morning I woke up with a song playing in my head-Reign in Us. It has stayed with me all week and whenever my brain gets quiet or I have a minute, it floods into my thoughts. I love the chorus, but also the verse that sings out:

Spirit of the living God fall fresh again
come search our hearts and purify our lives
we need Your perfect love
we need Your discipline
we're lost unless You guide us with Your light

Returning to work last week was hard and this week brought classrooms full of sixth graders. This morning my reading gave me the question related to John 17:6 about how do I reveal God to those around me. I felt extremely resentful earlier this week about another task at school a coworker had "decided" would be a good thing for me to handle. My first thought was "how dare her dictate what she thinks I need to be doing". Now I do have a legitimate reason why I should not do this task, but in the end I decided that I should and I'm glad I did. Mainly I'm glad because I think it is what God wants me to do and I don't have to create conflict by not doing it. I know God gave me light this week by showing me he is in control and working in my life. I'm his and I don't have to react in a worldly way to the people I interact with each day in the world.

John 17: 6-10 6"I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Morning Routines

I have so many things on my mind right now and do not even know where to begin to share. I'm all over the place and feel the unrest and the fast pace of life creeping back in. One issue I really struggle with is not letting my attitude get wrecked. I can talk a good talk about trust and casting my cares upon the Lord, but do I really? My best laid plans yesterday (aka the first day of school) were running smooth till I had to involve other people in them. I left my house so frustrated and was determined not to let the anger I was feeling get the best of me. Driving to school I turned up the CD player as loud as I could and asked God to give me back my peace and joy as I sung along to Everlasting God . Thank goodness, God will not grow weary, because I hadn't even pulled into school yet and felt defeated. My attitude was still ugly for a bit, but I let it die out and did not nurse the self-righteous convictions I was having at how wrong the other people (aka T-Bone) had been that morning. We still need to talk about morning routines, but at least I'm not angry anymore. I'm smiling...

John 16: 31-33 "Do you now believe?" Jesus replied. "A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Calm before the storm?

I was so glad this morning to be able to get up and not have to scoot out the door. It has made me a bit angry each morning that I couldn't hang out and read blogs, sip my coffee, be alone for a while before the family starts moving. Several things hit home this morning and I feel so thankful that I had the time to reflect on God's word and then stumble upon various blog posts that encouraged me. It feels like I had time to chat with friends even though it was reading posts from people that are virtual strangers. (My scripture today made me think of how we are all part of this huge body of Christ that is connected through the internet.) Funny how God uses technology to guide us. If I'm keeping it simple this week, I need to get on the ball and accomplish some things for the good of the order. Monday will bring a classroom full of students and I don't want my home to feel chaotic. Meals to plan, clothes to wash, planning for school, shopping, icky house to clean, and many other things that need to happen.

Colossians 3:15-17 "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Upgrading my faith...

I'm reading through John right now as a continuation of the message at church this past Sunday. Looking for how I should serve and wanting God to see my availability. He knows what holds me back. I realize that a lack of commitment is the mark of an immature Christian. I don't want to be immature; I want to be a grown-up.

John 17:17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

August 4th

I just realized that today was August 4th. It's the second day of back to school for me. My school looks all shiny and new. I walked into a newly painted and floored room with no furniture in it. I managed to round some up and am trying to smile. I'm glad I have a room because it means I have a class of my own. Reading-my favorite thing to teach. (can you see I'm counting blessings, so I'm not going to mention the chalkboard).
Back to August 4th, my son is supposed to board a plane out of Kandahar, Afghanistan today and head home for a two week leave. This is what he looked like the day we sent him off to war. I'm thinking he will look pretty much the same. I don't want him to be different. I've prayed a hedge of protection around him. I've asked God to surround him with Christian friends and to give him peace in a land of turmoil.
It's a waiting game now, but hopefully by week's end I'll be seeing him again. What are you waiting for?

I'm unwrapping the gift of a son coming home from a far away land and linking this to Tuesdays Unwrapped over at chatting at the sky. I enjoyed reading her post this morning.

John 15:7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

I am a Winner!

We had a week of events around here. T-bone and I celebrated our 10th anniversary. We said we would spend the 10th in Ocho Rios, but work and The Bird made that seem impossible. I didn't mind and had a hard time coming up with an important gift. I gave him a little book called I Like You and a bounce house. The bounce house wasn't really for our anniversary, but it seemed expensive and extravagant, so I claimed it as an anniversary gift. The Bird loves to jump! We thought we should buy something or I should get a piece of jewelry to mark the event. I even picked out a ring, but in the end decided I really didn't want it. I wanted the love and adoration of my husband and I got that. He said the sweetest things and I felt loved and lucky to have such a great husband.

The next day was my fil's birthday, the next day my sil's birthday (I made her dinner and gave her a pretty metal mermaid), and the next was T-Bone's birthday. I never bake, but got brave and made his mom's mahogany cake. It's a German chocolate cake with a chocolate coffee frosting. I never got the frosting thick enough and it puddled on the platter. The Bird was in charge of decorating and decided we needed balloons. We made a trip to a party store and she picked five balloons and a flower necklace for the decorations. She picked out three candles for the cake and planted them in the center. I made Green Chile Enchiladas and black beans for his birthday dinner. Usually I try and make something that seems "special" for birthday dinners, but we love these enchiladas and so keeping it simple this year seemed like a good idea. Our evening was fun and we all felt lucky to have each other and to celebrate T-Bone's birthday.
I also had a fun surprise that day. Lucky me! First of all, I never win anything. There could be two names in a hat for a drawing and my name would not be chosen. I had entered the drawing at 4 Reluctant Entertainers for a book giveaway and WON! I'll be receiving The House Always Wins by Marni Jameson. How fun! The Green Chile Enchiladas I made for T-Bone's dinner are a recipe I found at 4 Reluctant Entertainers a few weeks ago.

I feel blessed! Family, birthdays, and ten years married to a wonderful man! Yes, that's icing dripping off the platter.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hidden Blessings

I woke up at 3:00 a.m and could not go back to sleep, so have been up for hours already. Yesterday was spent dealing with another problem related to B's services (she's disabled) and I never found time to sit and read the blogs I follow or read the links at Tuesdays Unwrapped. I'm achey and sore and frustrated. I've prayed, cried a little, and read my bible looking for comfort and answers. When daylight finally peeked through I spotted this in my backyard and the first words out of my mouth were, "Thank you, Lord." We have been watching this tree for weeks and saying that we needed to call someone to take the tree down. I was dreading the expense and this tree is in a neighbor's yard, but hanging over ours. I just knew it was going to come down, take out the fence and crush our garden. My garden is just a few tomato plants and some peppers and herbs, but this is the first time that we have had such success. We have these beautiful tomato plants that are full of big tomatoes and we are just starting to enjoy the fruits of our labor. T-Bone is out of town and B is at camp, so my dinner last night was a tomato sandwich. It was so good. I was so happy. I was so proud that the tomato came from my garden. The tree is down and I know that T-Bone and his chainsaw can finish the job and my garden is untouched. There is a limb that came so close to taking out the tomatoes, but it miraculously missed. It seems so small, but it is such a blessing. Thank you, God, for the hidden blessings in big messes.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Holding On To Summer

Summer has faded away. The heat is still here and the pool is still open, but for me school starts next week. I intentionally kept this week unscheduled. B is away at camp and T-Bone is very busy with work, so it's pretty much just me hanging out with The Bird. We made our last Monday afternoon to the library yesterday and today we have a tea party planned with real cookies and lemonade. I am not happy about returning to my current position, but at the same time feel God has kept me there for a reason. God knows how I'm always trying to see beyond what is right in front of me and how I wrestle with the future. It's a season of growth for me to trust him, to keep on keeping on, and to know great things are unfolding and that maybe I just don't see it yet. Instead of feeling anxious and sad, I'm going to enjoy every second of one of my last "stay at home" mommy days. I'm going to rejoice and be glad in this day the Lord made and gave to me. I'm going to trust in his master plan for me. I'm linking this post to Tuesdays Unwrapped over at Chatting at the Sky. What are you holding on to today?

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you hope and a future."

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

While we were watching The Bird play in the yard last night, T-Bone looked at me and said, "wanna have another one?" My first response is to scream and strike him, and it reminds me of the guilt I feel over The Bird being alone. We didn't start soon enough and I'm too old and too afraid to jump in again. I know I couldn't work with two and I'm our health insurance, so quitting is not an option. Also I am so happy with "just" The Bird. She has my undivided attention and my heart swells with joy when I look at her and see God's blessing on our life.

Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Manic Monday

I have a crazy week ahead of me and am desperately trying to ignore the fact that two weeks from today at this time I will be sitting in a faculty meeting-a nice welcome back from summer. Last week I had to take a round of steroids to try and break a cycle of hives I have been having since February, so I was a bit crazy. Hopefully it worked and I (my husband too) am hoping I never need steroids again.

A couple of years ago I opened an online boutique and since I went back to work full time I have been trying to decide where to go with the shop. The economy has not helped any and I have been very undecided about the future of my shop. Anyways, I participate in a clearance sale in Atlanta and it is this week. Lots of work! Tagging, packing, hauling, and it was a nightmare getting help this year (everyone traveling). It is a great sale and if you like children's boutique clothing-a shopping fiesta! Things I need this week are lots of prayer and physical stamina and strength.

Cuckoo-Boo Ponytail Holders & Zanzibar Road

I could not resist these little ponytail holders for The Bird and have a cart full at Etsy. These may save her from the back-to-school haircut I have planned next week. A little retro fashion statement from Cuckoo-Boo at Etsy. She also makes pacifier and badge clips too.

Our trip to the library a couple of weeks ago was so fun and one of The Bird's favorite books turned out to be one she pulled off the shelf and thumbed through by herself. I had Caldecott and recommended reading lists in hand and was scanning for author's names when she brought it to me. We have fallen in love with Welcome to Zanzibar Road. It stars Mama Jumbo and Little Chico. It is also set up as a chapter book, so we felt very big while reading this book.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Perfect Summer Days

Yesterday was a nice day spent with a friend and her daughter. First, we went blueberry picking at Berry Patch farms in Woodstock. We picked until we were very sweaty and the little one asked for water. Our bucket had 3/4 of a pound, which I think is pretty good for a three year old. Next, we went to my friends for lunch and then off to the pool. The Bird loved my friend's neighborhood pool. It had a kiddie pool with fountains and I was actually able to sit on a lounge chair and chat with my friend while thumbing through a magazine. The pool usually wears me out having to be on high alert and I usually just end up staying in the water with her the whole time. Thunder roared in the distance and ran us out of the pool late afternoon. It was a great escape for us, since I knew The Bird was only going to leave her friend and the pool kicking and screaming. My productivity from a couple of weeks ago paid off when I was able to open the freezer and retrieve a bag of bolognese sauce (made from a Pioneer Woman recipe), boil some spaghetti, pop some bread in the oven and bam, dinner was on the table. The Bird was so hungry (even though we had eaten all day off and on) and pratically shoveled her spaghetti down and gobbled up the bread (after licking it first). We still weren't finished and went to swimming lessons. The Bird is now a minnow and quite happy about her newly acquired skills. When we got home, she ate a bowl of corn flakes and after reading three library books fell asleep. The last words I heard from her were" I love you, my mommy" and she was out.

Yesterday was the kind of summer day you want to have and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The friend I was with is fairly new. We shared an office last year at school and have so much in common. I had already had my quiet time this morning and was feeling very motivated and reflective this morning. After breakfast, I did one more email check and had another Crosswalk that I usually don't get (I get Encouragement for Today & Girlfriends in God) called Crosswalk Women. Time allowed me to read it and a passage the author wrote about her journey to write a book really touched me.

"I've discovered the Holy Spirit as my Teacher. I've spent the last 3 plus years watching as He has led every step of my writing journey. I've felt Him stir my heart as words pour onto a page and can catalog His tutorage--how He's led me to just the right person at the right time to learn what I was ready to learn. He never sent new information before I could receive it. But, He always gave it just in time. Only God can do that." (Paula Moldenhauer at
(I'm not writing a book. As you can see, I am not even a very good writer. I'm too careless and hate to proof and edit, but if I get bogged down in that I won't even bother to write.)

What this meant to me was how I was not ready for some things last year and now I see so many things changing. It is like I did not get the things I was needing or wanting until God knew I was ready to receive it. I am thanking the Lord today for continuing to encourage and show me how he is working in my life.

(I wanted to post a picture of the bird picking blueberries, but T-Bone made off with my camera this morning. Here is a pic of the sauce I made a couple of weeks ago. Yes, you should make it too.)

John 14:26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Miracles Everyday

God never ceases to amaze me. As I have stood before him asking that he hears my answers, he answers. The answers seem to come while I am not looking. They come when I relax and finally hand over the doubt and fear I had been wrestling with to him. He was going to give me my answers anyway. You have to wonder if he smiles as he watches us hold on to things that we need to hand over to him. I'm enjoying the miracle of a Father that listens, that loves, and that wants me to come to him. Visit Chatting at the Sky for more everyday miracles.

This picture is of Percy. She is my Bird's beloved baby and I never know where I'll find her. I though this was a bag that needed to be folded and stored, but turns out, it was a "sleeping bag". "Mommy, she is sleeping leave her alone."
Pslam 139:17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Vintage Style

I just love vintage styles. Little dresses made by grandmothers in cotton print fabrics. The Bird has a little pile of outgrown dresses that were passed down to her from her Yaya. Yaya had been saving the little dresses for forty years before one of her children decided to bless her with grandchildren. She also had stored a soft little pair of blue jeans that belonged to T-Bone. It was the dresses though that make me smile and think of simpler times. Times when women put curlers in their hair and hung clothes on the line. I can't buy my Bird any more clothes-she is stocked till she is five-but look at these sweet dresses from Patouche. Made to be worn for years by going from dress to tunic. I love them and want one of each. The skirts are fun too with big pockets and aprons. You can buy them at Patouche's Etsy Shop. Tell her I sent you and maybe she will send one to The Bird's overstuffed closet too.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


The power to change comes from God's grace. I keep saying this to myself over and over as I feel powerless over so many things. I'm talking daily challenges-housework, budgeting, parenting. There are several things I want and need to change to make life flow better around here. There are habits that need to be changed. Today I'm getting my boxes out and clearing the house. I'm down to three and half weeks of summer break and a house still full of clutter. If we don't love it or use it, it needs to go. Today I'm asking God for his help and confessing I can't do it on my own. I know he cares even about these little things that drag us down.

1 Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What does it mean to be a friend of the world?

My quiet time usually provides me with some guidance and peace for the day, but this morning I used the study notes to continue the sermon from church on Sunday. I'm baffled and confused and asking God lots of questions this morning. The most confusing is: what does it mean to be a friend of the world? Not of people, but of the world system. What in my life reflects the world rather than my commitment to God? I started to wonder if I should be blogging. Also lately, I have disliked Facebook and have been avoiding it, because I am seeing a friend post things about her marriage that I don't like. This was my little unexpected "gift" of the day. Conviction of getting some things right in my life and questioning. I'm linking this to Chatting at the Sky for Tuesdays Unwrapped.

Psalm 40:8 "I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart."

Monday, July 6, 2009

Enjoying the moments....

I wish I could say I finally started my Spring Cleaning for Normal People from Simple Mom, but after the Bird's swimming lessons we went to the library. If I decide I want a book for myself or the kids I just go buy it, so I have not been in the library in years. I loved it! The Bird has baskets and shelves full, but I thought she needed some new and I'm trying not to spend (yeah right, two Misha Lulu clearance items and a Pink Chicken dress today). We have a nice little stack of "new" books now and new clothes on the way. Tomorrow I'll start my cleaning....

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day

I love little messages that God sends through messengers. One blog I follow Renee Swope: The Journey of My Heart sent a message to my heart that said, "this is what you need to do." The journey she is going on is different than mine, but the words God gave to her spoke to me in a different way about the turmoil I create with trying to control our future. God told her to "Just be where you are. Be fully where you are and look to see why I have you right there, right then." I especially love the "be fully where you are" because I always feel distracted and like I'm not giving the right here and now my all. Today is Independence Day and I expected to straighten the house, prepare some food, play in the pool, and see some fireworks with family and friends in celebration of our freedom. I think I'll also enjoy the independence from my nagging thoughts and enjoy being fully where I am today. Here is picture of my bird looking out the window of the Georgian Terrace onto Peachtree Street in Atlanta fully enjoying where she was at the time. What sort of independence are you celebrating today?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

My Prayer

Psalm 142
You Are My Refuge
A Maskil of David, when he was in the cave. A Prayer.

1 With my voice I cry out to the LORD; with my voice I plead for mercy to the LORD. 2 I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him.
3 When my spirit faints within me, you know my way! In the path where I walk they have hidden a trap for me. 4 Look to the right and see: there is none who takes notice of me; no refuge remains to me; no one cares for my soul.
5 I cry to you, O LORD; I say, "You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living." 6 Attend to my cry, for I am brought very low! Deliver me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me! 7 Bring me out of prison, that I may give thanks to your name! The righteous will surround me, for you will deal bountifully with me.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Just lemonade, please!

You have heard the saying "if life hands you lemons, make lemonade". Bushels of them keep getting handed my way and after having quite a little "fit" yesterday have decided I'll just order the lemonade. Ahhh, lemonade cool and refreshing. Actually my favorite thing is limeade with club soda. I really did ask my Heavenly Father to just hand me some good. I need a break from the bad that I have to dig around in to see the good. Even as I say it, I know it sounds petty and childish, but about once every three months my emotions just bowl me over (PMS) and because of the past year, this is what I cried, "Can I have something good? Just one little thing?" Now I know my life is full of good, I look around me and rejoice in my family and know we have many blessings, but it's big things that lack closure that seem to be taking a toll on me (I even get hives). I need to make a list that highlights the good I have found in the bad, but today I'm recovering from my emotional outburst. I pray, I seek, and I think I listen. I've asked God for an authentic faith that is more than just saying I'm trusting and believing. I am; I really am. I know the Lord is in His Holy Temple and he still rules. It is always comforting to know that no matter how we are feeling, God is the same. God gave me kind words in my turmoil-Encouragement for Today-and I made limeade with club soda topped with a sprig of mint.

Paula Deen's Lemonade Recipe

Psalm 11:4 The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD is on his heavenly throne. He observes the sons of men; his eyes examine them.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Moments to live to the Hilt-Summer Days

I'm off during the summer, so each day is precious to me. I start to see the days sift through my hands and start thinking, Hey, wait a minute, we need to go swimming one more time or go for story time or make Blondies together or practice our letters. Before I know it, school busses start rolling and children come to school wide-eyed and afraid of sixth grade teachers. My own little one will cry for two weeks each morning as she gets left in a room with Miss. ? as Mommy goes back to school to teach "big kids". So today, while it seems unimportant, I enjoyed cleaning and scrubbing the fridge while the Bird played with babies and flitted in and out of the room. Every now and then she would stop and engage me in a conversation about how her girls (two naked dolls) were getting hair cuts to day and she was going to buy vegetables. We are off to the store now-to buy carrots and yogurt and many other things too. We can go slowly and talk and make a game out of finding things, because it is summer and I have time. Read more Moments to Live to the Hilt over at Chatting at the Sky.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Our minister continues to "Bring It" in the current series at church. I love Sundays. First of all, I love going to church. I look so forward to it each week and told a friend at work this year that if I could just get up and go to church everyday my life would be better. The praise music runs through my head all day and makes me feel strong inside when I repeat the words that life God high in worship. The messages in this series are built around the theme of working out and this week it applied to your mouth (which we over work). My attempts to be funny can make me say things I later regret and my stress level this past year drove me at times to really fly off the handle. My biggest challenge is probably with the children when I am frustrated. Most of the time I am content and say nice things, but when frustration moves in-watch out. I want my children to remember that I encouraged them and was patient, so I'm offering it up in prayer and putting duct tape over my mouth.

Hebrews 3:13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The To-Do List

After finally getting a decent night's sleep, I am prepared to make my to-do list today and actually tackle some of it. There is a lot to do, since I've let the house go this week (nothing unusual about this, I'm just trying to minimize to myself what a bad house cleaner I am). The Bird has ballet this morning and it is B's turn to host her friend group. We have tickets to go see a local production of High School Musical 2. The kids will arrive by 5:30, so I need to have my ducks in a row and know what we are having for dinner. My daughter B is intellectually disabled and twenty five years old. She went to school with the same kids her entire life, so we developed some good relationships with people with similar values. Even though they are grown, we (the parents) still have to organize their social lives. Our group formed after they started graduating from high school and did not have as much social contact as when they went to school each day. I should probably just order pizza, but am toying with the idea of making spaghetti. BRAINSTORM! I should do lasagna. I could stop by the market and get cheese, bread, bag salad on our way home from ballet and put it together at lunch time. We'll see. I'll add the dinner picture once I get it made. It will either be pizza boxes or a yummy lasagna.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Fairy Garden

Today we visited a sweet shop near our house in downtown Woodstock to make Fairy Gardens. Here is the finished product complete with gazing balls and garden furniture.

I still need to dig up some moss from the yard and fill in the dirt areas, but here is a little garden constructed by little hands that love fairies.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Mommy, Will You Play With Me?

I loved this article I found over at The Integrated Mother. I spend a part of every day feeling like I'm not truly connected to The Bird. If she asks me to play, I always think I should be multi-tasking and keeping laundry going or cleaning something and I can't sit still for too long. I'm making an effort to get over being distracted when we play and giving her my undivided attention. Mommy, Will You Play With Me?

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Job Interview

A few days ago I decided a job I had applied for had been filled and I should not be concerned about not being able to interview, but today I got a call for an interview tomorrow. I have not been content with my current job for some time now though it has always seemed that I was where I supposed to be and God certainly knows what I need much better than I do. He has proven that to me time and time again. This job seems perfect and would meet both professional and personal goals I have set. A week ago, I was handed a scripture that I thought was for my husband, but it occurred to me that it was probably meant for me. It has been hanging on my bathroom mirror and I have read it daily-not understanding how it was to be applied. I hope I say what I need to say to land the job!

"And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say." Luke 12:11-12