May 27, 2011

Just A Little Change...

We've spent some time talking words this week.
I hope you've been encouraged and challenged.
This video is a wonderful example of the power of words.  It's less than 2 min.

May 25, 2011

Critical Words

Words that build up.
That's what we all desire, need.
Words that make souls stronger.

A critical person adds to the wearing of the soul.  
I do enough of that on my own.
When I am surrounded by the criticizing, I have no hope of getting it all right.  That's a hard pill to swallow for a pleaser.
Do you have a critical person in your life?

I've learned (the hard way) that I will never be able to change the criticizer.  I will never be able to do all that is expected, the right way.  It is painful to live life alongside a person doesn't look for the good in others.

Thankfully, the Lord has opened my eyes to the lies I was believing.  I have realized what a gift I have in my husband (who chooses not to criticize me, when he has many opportunities on a daily basis.)
Even greater a gift, is my Heavenly Father who does not seek for the bad in me, yet rejoices in the good.
Sometimes we see God as the one with the giant "NEEDS IMPROVEMENT" stamp in His hand just waiting for us to do something wrong.  In actuality, He sees only good, through His love and mercy.  He does not tolerate evil, but when He sees me, He sees the beauty of my faith in Him.

Oh that I would look for the good in others.  It is not my job to look for the mistakes, the poor choices, the trivial.  I want to be a woman who chooses to seek the good in others and rejoices over them, just as my Heavenly Father does for me.

May 23, 2011

Choosing Carefully

With two preteen girls in the house, we've had lots of cautionary conversations about the pitfalls of gossip.  We've discussed it in our weekly 6th grade girls' bible study.  We spent part of our summer study looking into the power of words. We frequently talk through the importance of choosing words carefully.
It is a lesson that takes a lifetime to learn.

I live in a bubble of sorts.  I surround myself with caring women and genuine friends.  Nevertheless, I was recently reminded of the destruction gossip can bring.

I stood at a table of used textbooks and chatted with two acquaintances.  Both claim to be Christian women.  Neither had an excuse for what came out of their mouths as I browsed their wares.
They spoke of a mutual friend, not caring that I was standing within earshot.  Grumbling about insensitivity and other annoyances they found in her.
Wreaking havoc.
What is it about women and gossip?
It's relational.
It's about power.
It's about tearing another down to make myself look better or justify my feelings.
The irony?
It leaves a path of destruction on the character of the one speaking.

Oh that I may learn to choose my words carefully.

May 19, 2011

Super-Easy Smoothie Delight

I'm a fickle friend when it comes to my morning beverages.  More like a seasonal friend.  I prefer to drink coffee in the winter and smoothies in the summer.  I thought I'd share my new best friend:
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie 

It's all the pleasure without the guilt!  
Here is all you need:

Yes, three ingredients and a bullet or blender.  

I bought the Silk Pure Almond Dark Chocolate with a double coupon but didn't know what to do with it.   I'm not a milk drinker, so I can't talk myself into pouring a glass, but my son loves the stuff.  I'm so glad I tried it in my smoothie.  Shut the front door.  Delicious!

Toss in a few frozen strawberries.  (I added some frozen blueberries, too) *The strawberries have to be frozen*
Add about 6 oz. yogurt
1/2 cup P.A.D.C. Silk


May 15, 2011

Rednecks on a Sunday Night

What do rednecks do for good CLEAN fun?
 We stick the backpack blower in each other's faces and laugh until we wet our pants.

Rocky Balboa stopped by for a visit.

It's cheaper than a facelift.  And yes, I realize I could park a car in my cheek cavity.

Kids, don't try this at home unless you are supervised by an adult (who doesn't mind acting like an idiot a kid).

*The headache/headrush that follows is a killer.

May 13, 2011

Friday Night Confessions

1. I have approximately 4 hours alone at home tonight with the house all to myself.  It's a little bizarre how excited I am about cleaning my desk, playing on the computer, baking, and listening to my favorite tunes AS LOUD AS I WANT!
Can I get an amen??

2. I keep trying to remind myself that the chocolate-peanutbutter no bake cookies cooling downstairs are much better once they've come to room temperature.  "Self" isn't listening very well.

3. I felt so proud of myself for cleaning 4 toilets and 3 sinks.  Then I realized the numbers didn't come out right.  Guess what my girls will be doing tomorrow?
No, not math, silly.

4. Remember that educational trip we were planning?  Well, the educational part just got thrown out the window.  Since the gas prices decided to skyrocket, we are opting for a shorter distance trip.  Which may or may not include the world's greatest roller coaster theme park.  It's all for the kids (wink, wink).

5. I am doing the happy dance tonight (while listening to my playlist of choice) because the pressure is off.  My kids completed their end-of-grade testing today and they I passed.

6.While my kids took their EOG's, I had 2 hours to myself at Starbucks.  My plan was to get my bloggy mojo going with several posts and design a new header.  Blogger decided that would be the perfect time to shut down their main server.  All my grand ideas were shelved for catching up with long lost friends.  It's amazing who you run into when you sit in a coffee shop for two hours.

7.I leave you with this little gem.

Hope your weekend is GRAND!!!

May 11, 2011

Almost Done

 My kids have end-of-grade testing tomorrow and Friday.
It's a good thing I don't have Oreos in the house right now, because I'm a nervous eater.
They're not too concerned.
Because if we're honest about it, I'm really the one being tested.
Did I teach them all they need to know this year??  Has been running through my head for the past 9 days.

I can't believe this school year is almost over!  Even on the long days, time flies.  Is your family doing the end-of-year-countdown?  By Friday afternoon we'll be doing the happy dance.  We still have some school days to finish out, but the pressure will be off!


I made these cupcakes for Easter.  The Walmarts had an adorable spring baking collection this year.  Doncha love the little eggs?  They remind me of the flowers that used to hang from the ceiling of the supermarket when I was a little girl.  Remember those?
Have you seen the new neon food coloring?  I think McCormick makes it.  I found it in the baking section with all the other food coloring.  It is so bright and fun!  Green, turquoise, hot pink, and purple.  The cakes (above) only used 2 drops and look how bright and springy they turned out!

I can't believe spring is almost over.  Well, at least in NC.  Mid-May usually brings hot temperatures and humidity (yippy skippy).  We've had a beautiful spring, though!  I think we'll celebrate by picking some strawberries.

May 10, 2011

Photography: Seeing the Whole Picture

Since this is the month we celebrate 16 years of wedded bliss, I thought I'd scan in a photo of our big day.  When I took a look at the photo, I had to laugh.  And wince.

My parents made me feel like a princess that day.  They didn't hold back when it came to the dress, flowers, food, or photographer.  Looking at this photo, though, I think they should have gotten some of their money back from the photographer.  This is my favorite shot of the day of just us ... and the trash can in the background.

Really?  A professional photographer didn't look into the viewer and notice the trash can and plastic lawn chairs in the background??

I'm sure you have a photograph somewhere in your house similar to this one:
a once in a lifetime moment captured
with the less than desirable item in the background

Long before I became an MWAC (mom-with-a-camera) this photo bothered me.  Maybe because I'm a detail person.  Maybe because I'm picky.  Maybe because there is a TRASH CAN in my wedding photo.  

Now that photography is a passion hobby of my own, I have learned to make sure I am seeing the whole picture when I take the shot.  You never know when that quick little click might capture your favorite photo of all time.

Let your eye dance around the viewfinder of your camera before you snap that shot.
Watch out for plastic lawn chairs unwanted background items!  They may haunt you!

May 6, 2011

Making His Dreams My Own

 If you had asked me 5 years ago about my husband's hopes and dreams the answer would have been very different from my answer today.  Five years ago, we were in the midst of a storm and dreams didn't seem all that important.
But everyone deserves to dream a little.
About a year and a half ago my man started talking chickens.
Chickens were about the last thing on my list of dreams.  Literally.
I bucked it at first, but then I realized that this was the first time he had ever truly expressed a dream with boyish giddiness.

Was I willing to shoot it down just because I was worried about the disapproval of others?
I balked at first, too eager to please other family members over my own husband.

Then one night the Lord and I had a heart-to-heart chat.
Who did He call me to serve?
Who did He give me as a mate?
Had my husband ever balked at any of my dreams?  No, he's always done everything in his power to make my own dreams happen; even at the sacrifice of his own desires.

So I said yes.
Then I had to say it with a good attitude and wild abandon.  (Still working on the wild abandon part, but I'm getting there)

Did I allow a little of myself to die by saying yes to his dream?  Surprisingly, no!
I find myself delighted in his joy.
Do I love chickens?  Not as much as he does, but I'm learning.

After all, it's not about the chickens.  It's about allowing his dream to become my own, which then makes them our dreams.

Does your spouse have a dream for you to discover?  I challenge you to hunt for it and then join the adventure.  You may look back in 5 years and giggle a little.  :)

May 4, 2011

May? Here? Already?

It's been one of those weeks that life has taken over and I can't quite find the left over minutes.
I've been thinking about you, my sweet readers.  Don't give up on me.

I hope you've had a wonderful week.