April 29, 2010


Hello Friends!
I've taken a little time to unplug this week.
Very little email, blogs, facebook, and surfing.
Lots of family time, spring weather, reading and spring cleaning.

Sometimes a girl just needs to step back and take a little break.
Thanks for understanding. I miss you and your sweet comments.
See you next week, though.
Enjoy your weekend!

April 25, 2010

Green Gone Too Far

Last week the world celebrated Earth Day. I made a point to post on facebook "Celebrating Earth Day by giving glory to the One who made it and sustains it alone."
I do believe we need to be good stewards of our earthly home. In fact, we've made a few changes at our house to be green:
I'm the poster child for carpooling ... we no longer drive to school. :)
I use reusable grocery bags when I remember.
I recycle. A lot.
In fact I thought I was pretty good at recycling until I ran across this little number this week:

What? Don't recognize them? C'mon. Every woman needs a set to be earth friendly.

If you don't have a pair of cloth feminine pads, you are putting our earth in serious jeopardy. Feeling guilty? Me neither. But it sure gave me a good laugh. Where they come from is even funnier.

The website is called Party in My Pants. In all my years of being a full fledged woman, I've never thought of my monthly visitor worthy of a party. Much less in my pants.


So, here's my question for you. What have you done to be earth friendly? Would you consider a "party in your pants?"

Just for the record, my answer? Nevah.

April 23, 2010

Backyard Box Garden

I'm linking up with Kimba's DIY party. She has a DIY day every week with awesome giveaways!

Yesterday we had a little discussion about gardening, (Thanks for all of the great comments!) in which several people declared their love for vegetable gardening. As I mentioned yesterday, I am a wuss when it comes to the summer heat of NC. We've tried vegetable gardening many years over but each year the weeds get out of control like unruly children in a grocery store.

And then there's the deer, rabbits, and squirrels that think our yard is their own piece of paradise, with a free lunch program.
After many failed attempts at a "real" garden, we decided to do raised beds. Last year brought a successful harvest of tomatoes and basil, so this year we tripled the size and got a little creative.

We wrapped the entire garden in bird netting to keep the munchers out. My man attached it at the bottom with some little 1x1 boards. And then he came up with this brilliant idea:
See that little screw poking out of the side? The bird netting hooks onto it and can easily be removed by human hands, not hooves or paws.
Another shot of the netting "closed" from the top. I'm so glad I married that guy. MacGyver's got nothing on him.

So here's our 2010 garden. The beauty of doing small raised beds is that there is little room for weeds to grow. Now if we could just figure out how to add air conditioning.

We're growing lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes, herbs and okra.
What's your favorite summer veggie?

April 21, 2010

A Lil Sunshine

I've turned into my mother. I mean that with all due respect, mom.
This time of year I can't walk past a home improvement store without getting giddy. Heck, I can't even walk into the grocery store without perusing the blooms that line the sidewalk.
There's just something about seeing the flowers and imagining all of the foliage potential.

I love to garden ... seasonally. As in spring and fall. Once the summer heat kicks in, my interest dries up like a Nebraskan dust bowl.

So for now I'll pretend that I have a green thumb and that our spring weather will last for 5 months.

How about you? Do you love to garden? Flowers or veggies?
Or do you prefer to purchase your flowers wrapped in cellophane in the cooler next to the produce dept?

April 19, 2010

A Cheerful Heart

As a mother you hold one of the greatest superpowers known to man: influence
It's a scary thought to know that the moment your child is placed in your arms you will be the most influential person in their lives for the next 15 years, possibly ever.

As you shape, mold, encourage and guide your children, the days can become long. It's easy to allow the daily grind to cloud our long term vision. Let's take step back and examine the heart.

What kind of attitude do my children see in me?
Do I respond in weariness or joyfulness?

A cheerful heart is good medicine
But a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
Proverbs 17:22

Parenting isn't easy, but I want my children to know that I love being their parent.
If all they remember is my weariness, what kind of legacy will I leave?
I want them to experience life with a cheerful mom.

Remember that influence we have? If I respond to my children with cheerfulness, then they will learn to respond to others with that kind of attitude. Not overnight. But if I set the example (on a daily basis) eventually our home will be filled with cheer.

I've often observed moms who respond to a whining child with whining of their own; a teenager with a sour attitude with a bad attitude to match. What good does that do? It only tells the child this behavior is appropriate and acceptable. It's a natural response to react negatively. I often catch myself doing that very thing.

However, if I set the tone, I am being proactive. Ah, that's so much better than being re-active.
'Cause, I'm not good at reacting, especially when it comes to whining and sportin' a tude.

So let's work on being cheerful moms together. Are you in?

April 18, 2010

Sunday Rest

A cheerful look brings joy to the heart,
and good news gives health to the bones.
Proverbs 15:30

April 16, 2010

A Must Read

I love to read.
Give me a good book and a chai latte and I'm yours forever.
I'm not afraid to put a book down if it hasn't grabbed me within the first chapter. Too many fish in the sea to waste time on one that won't bite.
I especially love to read books that are recommended by others; however, I usually hesitate to return the favor, knowing that our tastes in literature might be oceans apart.

So today I'm going to take a giant risk and not only make a suggestion, I'm going so far as to say you NEED to read this book:

Any person, at any stage in life, in any socioeconomic level, will be changed by this book.
Very few books have touched my soul the way this book reached in and snatched me. I bawled through the heart of the story line. I'm just thankful that it was 11:30 at night so that mama didn't have to explain why she was a blubbery mess with mascara running down her cheeks.

A word of caution: Don't flip to the back of the book and peruse the photographs. It will be a plot spoiler for you. Spoken from experience, unfortunately.

Have you read it? What did you think?
Have you read the sequel?
What book has snatched you, changed you?
I love a good recommendation!

April 15, 2010

Call it Wonderful

That's what we are up to this week. Glorious nothing.
Some people call it spring break. I call it wonderful.

Since we are on a (modified) year around schedule, we get to have 2 weeks of spring break. It's the perfect amount of time off. Just long enough to squeeze in a trip and have a week of doing fun stuff at home. Just short enough for my kids to not forget everything they've learned for the past 6 weeks.

This year we had our week at home first; which included having friends over several days, visiting a fun museum and doing a little spring cleaning. I didn't accomplish many projects other than my blog makeover, but I'm okay with that. I'm becoming less project oriented and more people contented. Make sense?

The second week has been spent in the mountains. Contented sigh.
We've rested, played, shopped, played games, read, laughed, walked, and slept -a lot.

Highlights of the week:
~I started and finished a book in two days, which is quite an accomplishment for this slow reader. (See my book review tomorrow)
~We spent 5 hours at the local park. Any park with views of the mountains is perfect; especially a park with a 30' slide from the 1950's.
~Laundry at the mountain house isn't quite as daunting as it is at my own house. Why?
~My 6 year old can beat me at Mancala. Every time.
~My shopping "needs" have changed drastically. We shopped for 5 hours yesterday and the only thing I bought was a pyrex bowl. Don't get me wrong. I saw lots of wants, but I'm learning the difference between needs and wants. Slowly learning.
~Staying up until midnight and sleeping until 8:30 is so fun. Me, not the kids.
~My mom and I polished off an entire lemon meringue pie in two days. Who could turn down her cooking?
~There is no pine pollen in the mountains. Lots of Christmas trees, but no pine pollen. Go figure. I'm not complaining, though.

Well, I need to go shower. It is, after all, 10:30 in the morning. Time to get the day started.

April 12, 2010

A Southern Staple

If you've lived in the south, then you know what I'm talking about. If you are wrinkling your nose at the picture above, I'll step aside as lightning might strike you.
One of the greatest concoctions to grace God's green earth is Shrimp-n-Grits. They just happen to grace more tables below the Mason-Dixon line.
Shrimp and Grits, like most culinary delicacies, can come in a variety of forms. I've had it served with a tomato base sauce (not my favorite), a creme sauce, a clear garlic sauce, and everything in between.

After watching a Bobby Flay Shrimp-n-Grits Throwdown on the Food Network, we decided to have our own Shrimp and Grits Throwdown at the NEM household. My man, who sometimes believes he is Emeril, tends to like things plain. Plain, as in NO sauce, no condiments, no salad dressings, you get the idea. So his version was plain grits with shrimp on top. Now before I go touting my bidness, I will admit that his shrimp were more flavorful than mine, so I'm going to share the combined recipe below.
It's a quick and easy recipe. You will also be glad that there are not 56,000 calories due to using heavy cream, as in most s&g recipes.

1/2 lb. bacon, cooked 2lbs. shrimp
1/3 cup white wine juice of 2 limes (or lemon)
1Tbs. bacon drippings 1 Tbs. parsley, fresh or dried
pepper to taste

Saute shrimp in bacon drippings, wine, and lime juice until pink in color. Add bacon and parsley. Serve over cheese grits.
1 cup quick grits 1 1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup milk (skim is fine) 1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. garlic powder 8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
Bring all ingredients except cheese to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low 10-12 minutes. Stir in cheese until melted and serve immediately. Grits will serve 3-4, so I usually double.
(I like to add a little tabasco sauce to mine, to kick it up a notch.)
Tell me what you think. Do you like shrimp and grits? What's your take on this southern staple?

April 11, 2010

Sunday Rest

Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name;
Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord
1 Chronicles 16:9-10

April 8, 2010

My 1st Interview

Please take a moment to check out my first official interview.

BlogInterviewer.com (click and it will take you right there)

I'd really appreciate your vote, too.

I would love to say more, but Katie Couric is on the phone and Oprah is knocking on my door. wink,wink

April 7, 2010


1. Glad that we are on spring break.

2. Gladity-glad that we are on a year-around schedule, so our spring break is TWO weeks long.

3. Glad that I've had two days full of spending time with friends.

4. Super glad that my precious future sister-in-law is so excited about becoming part of our crazy family.

5. The fact that she is a delight, loves my brother, and treats my children so well makes me more than glad.

6. Since I'm on a little spring mental-break, I'm glad I have friends like Gretchen (of the west) and CPQ who gave me the idea to do a Gladi-day.

7. Uber glad for the talents of Girl Creative. Like my new blog duds? She's the best and super reasonable for a blog makeover. Not only do I have a whole new look, I have a new bloggy friend!

8. Glad that it is 11:07pm so I can still call this a GladiWEDNESDAY.

9. Gladder than glad that NCAA basketball is over.

10. Glad that I cleaned up my closet since my eldest tried to use my dirty little secret as an excuse to not clean her closet. Do as I say, not as I do.

11. Glad that I'm not anal about symmetry and lists so that I can end this on an odd number of glads.

What are you glad about today?

April 6, 2010

Easter Fun

I hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend! Ours was full of fun, family, and food.
The Resurrection Rolls were a big hit. What's not to like about a crescent roll, marshmallow, butter, and cinnamon/sugar?? I love finding an easy hands-on lesson for my children, especially of the edible sort!

Speaking of edible, have you tried these?
I have a slight addiction.

And apparently NC decided to go from winter to summer. Today it is supposed to reach 92 with blizzard-like pollen conditions. I'm staying inside.

The biggest news of the weekend was the engagement of my brother!!! I can't wait to share their story with you. But I have to run because a high school friend of mine is coming over for lunch with her adorable twins that I've never met. Should be a fun trip down memory lane!

Oh, and did I mention we are on SPRING BREAK?!!!!! Doing the happy dance in the pine pollen.

April 4, 2010

Easter Rejoicing

The angel said to the women,
"Do not be afraid, for I know that you are
looking for Jesus, who was
He is not here; he has risen,
just as he said."
Matthew 28:5-6

Jesus said, "I am the
resurrection and the life.
He who believes in me will live,
even though he dies..."
John 11:25

April 2, 2010

Good Friday

With a loud cry, Jesus breathed His last.
So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body,
wrapped it in the linen and placed it in a tomb cut from a rock.
Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.
Mark 15:37, 46