Friday, November 6, 2009

Day 1: The Gratitude Experiment

Day 1 was interesting.

I'm not sure that I'll be updating this on a daily basis, in fact I'm sure I won't be just because life is so busy. But I wanted to write today because God is so faithful and kind. I have a sneaky feeling that my thought life will be under the magnifying glass over the next few weeks as I go through this personal gratitude experiment.

As soon as I said I'm ready God, He showed up.

It's 5:30ish last night. I'm scooting around the house doing all the stuff we Moms do. I'm yawning, it's been a long day and I still have a long night ahead of me. It's Thursday, Dylan has Vertical youth group on Thursday nights. I'm tired, I don't want to go anywhere. He's a new driver and in NC they have a provisional license that limits the time teens can drive. Since Vertical ends at 9pm he can't drive himself, so about the time I'm ready to be in pj's fading into la-la land, he needs to be picked up. Normally, Brian picks him up, but Brian's out of town. So I say to Dylan, "wow, I really wish you could drive yourself tonight." Innocent enough right? Out of the mouth comes the abundance of the heart. That innocent statement showed my true heart. I was more focused on my needs than what God wants or what Dylan needs. Instead of being thankful that I have a car to drive Dylan to youth group, instead of being thankful that our church has a thriving teen ministry that teaches MY son how to be in intimate relationship with Jesus, instead of being thankful that I have a son who wants to go be in the presence of God, instead of being thankful for all those things...I was complaining that I had to drive. BOOHOO!!! Wow! I immediately apologized to God and took time to thank Him for all the blessings that are wrapped up in this one little act of driving my son to and from youth group!

An hour later, it happened again. I decided to stop by the grocery store on the way to drop Dylan off. Just to run in and get 2 little things. I wanted to just hop out & run in, leave Dylan & Zachery waiting in the car. Nope, Zachery wouldn't hear of that. "Please Mommy, I want to go with you." Then he pulled out the big guns..."Mommy, I love you and you my best friend, I want to go with you, please. I'm having good manners." So, I take him in the store. Which makes a 2 minute quick run in turn into a 20 minute adventure. So as I'm telling him one more time, Zachery please stay right beside not walk away from my side. And, if I'm honest, getting a little frustrated! Quietly God says to my heart, isn't it beautiful that you have a child who can walk? A child who wants to be with you? Who says you are his best friend? Yes, God. It is beautiful and I am thankful for that! Now, this situation is a little different. Zachery does need to obey me, if for nothing else but safety's sake in this situation. But I think God was showing me that even in frustration, even in my rushing around, I can be thankful for the gifts he's given to me.

Day 1: The Gratitude Experiment. A big success!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Gratitude Experiment

It's November. I love November, mostly because it has Thanksgiving in it! Yay, Turkey and pumpkin pie! Oh, and all the other delicious food we get to eat for the rest of the year! :-) Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I mean, Christmas is awesome and I'm a Christian so Christmas has very special meaning to me but I really love what Thanksgiving embodies. The thoughts of how our lives are blessed, reasons we have to be thankful. It just brings out an overflowing amount of gratitude in me and I see that in other people too.

So I was pondering thankfulness and gratitude today. Thinking about what God says about thankfulness. I believe God wants us to have a lifestyle of gratitude. He talks about it so much in His word. He considers giving thanks a sacrifice that truly honors him (Psalm 50:23). Giving thanks brings you into the presence of God (Psalm 100:4). He tells us to give thanks in everything (Ephesians 5:20). I want my life to honor God and I want to be in His presence always.

Usually, at Thanksgiving dinner, as a family we all share a few reasons we are thankful. It's so gratifying to hear what everyone says. As I thought about all of these things and the scriptures, I wondered what would happen in my life if I chose to have more gratitude? What if I made a deliberate effort to have a lifestyle of gratitude. I felt God nudging me forward, saying why just think about it Dawn? Do it! Try it out. Thus, the gratitude experiment was born!

A month of giving thanks in everything! A month of sacrificing myself to truly be grateful in every circumstance! I'm not sure what will happen....I'm sure I'll have more joy but I wonder what God is teaching me! If you are reading this, hold me to this okay? Make me accountable! .

Surprise me God! I'm ready!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Key Rings

Here's a little something I've been thinking about for the past few days.


I'm working through this amazing book called "What Happens When Women Say Yes to God". In a nutshell it's about radical obedience to God. No, not necessarily selling all my belongings and moving across the world to Africa to spread the gospel to the "utter most parts". But sometimes to change the world all you need to do is walk across the street to your neighbor! More along the lines of keeping myself in a posture of complete surrender and obedience to God.

So, I'm showering and thinking about what I've been reading. Hey, as a Mom, you take the quiet times wherever you can get them...even in the shower! Actually, now that I think about it, it's usually in the shower.

Anyway, I think to myself...AH-HA, the key is obedience. The key to God is obedience.

But wait, haven't I said the same thing about love? If I just had more love then my behavior would be more Christ-like.

And the more I think about it...I realize, I've said that about many things.

The key is faith, just have more faith and my relationship with God grows more intimate.

The key is trust, if I just trust God a little more then that's where I finally get it!

The key, the key, the key.

Like I need a key to unlock the great padlock on the mystery that is God. God says I don't need a key...I just have to knock and He'll open the door.

Okay, then the key is knocking, if I knock a little louder then I'll finally get it.

My thoughts are interrupted....Oh, Dawn, Dawn, I hear a little whisper in my heart. God always says my name twice when he's tickled with my way of thinking. I can just imagine Him sitting(standing, floating, being--however He exists) there slightly shaking his head and saying oh, Dawn, Dawn...there you go again. Bringing me down to your level. I'm much bigger than a key, Dawn.

Isn't that what we like to do? Try to bring things down to our perspective, our understanding, our way to understand it more, to grasp it more. I don't even realize I'm doing it most of the time. Putting God in a box, a neat little box that allows me to pretend I understand His ways. But he tells us clearly that His ways are not our ways, so why do I do this? What compels me to search for the key that is going to unlock the final door to the mystery?

I feel productive when I'm doing that, in all honesty. I like feeling productive. I feel validated when I'm productive. I feel useful and secure when I'm productive. I feel worthy when I'm productive.

Humph, well, there you go. When I'm able to put God in my neat little box of understanding or I'm able to put another key on my key ring of who God is, then I feel in control and I feel worthy.
But when I do that, I miss it all. I miss everything. I'm worthy simply because He calls me His own. I'm secure under His protection. I'm validated because He chose to die for me.

So I whisper back to Him, you're right God. Just like I shouldn't try to fit you into a box, I don't want to put you on a key ring either. There's so much more to who you are than that.

And because God is really funny....He says right back....And Dawn, don't you always lose your keys anyway?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Toilet Humor

Don't all boys love toilet humor? It seems that most of them don't ever grow out of it either. Well, Zachery's put a new twist on toilet humor.

In the mornings when I need to shower and no one else is here, Zachery hangs out in my room watching TV or playing with his monster trucks. Of course, he occasionally will need to use the potty. We all know what happens when you flush a toilet while someone is in the shower....the water in the shower gets really hot! So the conversations went something like this, I'd hear him in the bathroom and say "Zachery when you finish using the potty, don't flush the toilet." "Why, Mommy?" E-GADS, the WHY is a whole nother blog, good gracious!! Anyway. "Why, Mommy?" "Because when you flush the toilet, the water in Mommy's shower gets really hot." "Okay Mommy". And of course, he'd flush and I'd say...."Oh no, Zach, Mommy's water is hot now."

So one day a few weeks ago I'm in the shower and I hear him come into the bathroom. And a minute or so later I hear the toilet flush. At this point, I just let it go, and didn't say anything about it. And then he says to me..... in a sing-song voice.... "Mooooommmmmmeeeee, is your water hoooootttt?" Oh My Gosh, I think....he came in here and flushed that toilet on purpose! "Zach", I say, "that's not nice to do that on purpose to make the water hot". I hear a little snickering laughter and out he runs. I just giggled to myself and thought, that little STINKER!

Yesterday, I'm enjoying a warm steamy shower and I hear the door to the bathroom slowly open and then I hear the toilet flush and then I hear his little feet RUN out of the bathroom! He did a flush-n-run!!!

People, this kid is only 3!! Calgon....take me away.......

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A typical day....

So do you ever wonder goes on around here? Here's just a quick little peak into a very typical day....I'm so glad God is teaching me how to laugh at all this.

I had an early morning meeting at work...I returned home about noon. I drive up and see the cutest sight I've seen in a while. Brian is changing the brakes on his car. Well, let me stop there, can I tell you awesome my husband is? He is so handy...We've had to make some budget cuts at Moyer, Moyer, Gibson & Moyer, Inc and one of things he's done is he has taken over the routine maintenance of our cars. I mean, really how great is it that he can do that? I am amazed at his knowledge of cars. So he's changing the brake pads on his car and I drive up. No, that's not the *only* cute part! HAHAHA The car is lifted up, Brian is sitting cross legged on the garage floor, Zach is sitting right in front of him and Zach is putting the lug nuts back onto the bolts for the wheel. Of course, Brian is helping. Even Dylan is out in the garage helping. But close your eyes and try to imagine, a Daddy, a little boy nestled close into his Daddy's crossed legs, both leaning over and putting a wheel back onto a car. My teenager...who usually only wants to hang in his room, is outside working with his step-dad and helping his little brother. That is one of the things that I love so much about my husband, he's so kind and loving to our boys. I fall in love with him over and over again every time I see him being such a good Daddy. I tried to run in and get the camera so I could capture the moment for eternity...but Zachery saw me and jumped up all excited. So the picture is now just mine, in my own memory.

So as I said Zachery jumped up all excited. Hmmmm...wonder why he's so excited to see me? Look, Mommy! Look what I did! As he points over to my flower bed. This is what I see

This is what it looked like before...

OH MY GOSH!!! Zachery what happened to flowers? "I smashed'em Mommy, I smashed'em wif my baseball bat!" Oh and he was super excited to tell me all about it too, actually I think he may have even been proud of his work.....uh, destruction! OH MY!

A little while later I walk into the kitchen from the garage and this is what I see...

Zach....what are you doing? "I want my fruit snacks, Mom. I know where they are, they are way at da top." Um, yes, Zachery they are at the top for a YOU can't reach them. Time to find a new place for those!

It is no wonder that most days Zach, AKA Mr. Destructo winds up like this....

People tell me I will miss these days.....hmmm, we'll see!

Friday, September 11, 2009

So what's been going on around here?

Well, a lot, actually!

Dylan got his drivers license.....eeeeeeekkkkk!!!!! He's in his 3rd week of Junior year. Can you even believe that I have an almost 17yro old. I know what you are thinking....I look too good for that, right? Well, thanks, that's so sweet of you. HA! He's also in love ............ with his guitar! Ha, fooled ya! He plays every chance he gets and even plays with the worship team for youth group. That sure makes a mother very proud. He's a great kid....ummmm, I mean young man!
Zachery started preschool.....Mon/Wed 1/2 days right now. He was such a big boy....walked right in, put up his own book bag, sat down and said.... "Bye Mommy". No crying, no I can't live with you Mommy, don't leave. Nothing, Nada, Zilch. WOW.....raising independent boys is heartbreaking sometimes!
I've started a women's Bible Study for the women in my neighborhood. We just met for our 3rd week. It's been amazing so far. I love the study, it's called What Happens When Women Say Yes to God. I'm very excited to see what God does during these next few months.
We went hiking over Labor Day weekend with a few friends. We went to South Mtn State Park just outside of Charlotte. It was a strenuous but gorgeous hike. And we had so much fun! Didn't even mind getting up and out the door by 8:30AM on a weekday holiday! We hiked for several hours and the kids all played on the rocks in the river. We saw a beautiful waterfall. Ate a picnic lunch and then drove home.
I'm still working at the restaurant. Brian is still happily working at American Tire. We are gearing up for a fantastic, busy fall season. The weather has really changed to quite pleasant around here lately. Warm days, cool evenings, the leaves have a touch of yellow & gold already. I'm not ready for fall yet...but I'm definitely ready for the summer heat to be gone!
Speaking of work....I've gotta go there tonight so I need to end for now. Here's a few pics of what we've been up to.....

Our last night of vacation in New Bern NC...

Zachery and Daddy at the pool on Fathers Day.....
South Mountain Waterfall on Labor Day

Zachery's 1st Day of Preschool.....

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My Bible

I love my Bible. If you are reading this, you probably know that already. :-) Brian's parents gave us this Bible as a Christmas present in 2004. I never knew that I would get so attached to a book. But my Bible isn't just any book, obviously. We have several Bibles...a small travel one for Brian to take on his business trips, a woman's devotional one for me, 2 others in different translations. But the one I'm talking about is the one we use most. We take it to church every Sunday. We use it for our LDG meetings. We take it on family vacations. I read it almost every day....some days I read one of the others ones but usually I always come back to this one. It has notes written all through it, highlights, underlines, stars, arrows, brackets, hearts....all on scripture that God has used to speak to me, to guide me, to comfort me, to teach me, to change me.

As I'm writing this I'm realizing that I have a relationship with this Bible.

I remember the 1st day it came into our home. We were new Christians. It was Christmas. We opened the wrapping paper and inside the box was this brand spanking new Bible with our name on it and I was so touched. I cried. We read the "Christmas Story" right then and there. We proudly started carrying it to church every week. I slowly started underlining things that stood out to me, highlighting stuff I wanted to remember.

I remember the 1st time it spoke to me. The Word is alive. I had heard that so many times and had absolutely no idea what people meant when they said that. But then one evening, it came alive and spoke to me. I used to drink a lot. Even after I "got saved", I still drank a lot. In the back of my mind, I knew it was too much...but at the time that was as far is it went...just to the back of my mind. One night I sat down to read my Bible, with a glass of wine. I felt a little weird about it....but hey, I always read other books with a glass of wine. So I was reading and looked over at the glass on the table and "heard" in my can't read my word with that stuff here. Well...I thought about it and realized that was probably right, but I ignored it and started reading again. And even got a little resentful...."Who is HE to tell me that? Really, what is all that about? It's my business!" And then let me tell you....if words can move....these JUMPED UP right off the page and hit me smack dab in the eyeballs! "My child, don't ignore it when the Lord disciplines you, and don't be discouraged when he corrects you. For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights."(Proverbs 3:11-12) I read it a couple more times just to make sure I had it right and then I got up and put that wine in the fridge to save it for later, when I was done reading. (I still had some things to learn, didn't I?)

I remember the time it got me through one of the longest nights of my life. I've made a lot of mistakes, done a lot of things I'm not proud of. One of the battles that happens to me & most everyone I the replaying of memories and regrets from my past. And the devil, he likes to heap on that condemnation in truckloads. This night was about a year after I gave my life to started early in the day actually. Memories started flooding my brain of things I had done, bad decisions, people I had hurt, really really bad stuff. Oh God, how can you love me, how can you save ME, how can you use me for any good....after all that I've done. And right then that's when the enemy came in with his're right, Dawn, you are too bad, God doesn't love you, you've done too much, He can never use you, He doesn't even want to use you! By the time I got home from work I was an emotional wreck, drained, exhausted. Now I recognize that as Spiritual warfare and an attack from the enemy. At the time I had no idea what was happening. Thankfully I had an amazing friend at work who told me what to do....get into my Bible, turn my thoughts onto praising God, listen to worship songs. So as soon as I got home I got out my Bible and started reading. I cried and prayed and read all night. The family went to bed, it was time for me to go to bed too....I was still in pain but exhausted. I climbed into bed and in the quiet of the night and no dinner or laundry or games with the kids to help distract me, the condemnation started up again. I was tired. I prayed. I got my Bible, opened it up, laid it on my chest and gave up. I slept with my Bible for the 1st time that night. And just as before, it came alive and protected me all night. I rested.

When Brian lost his job & we were facing financial bankruptcy, our Bible was there for us. I'll try to make this long story short. We had absolutely no financial responsibility. We spent money like it grew on trees. Made bad, bad financial decisions. On top of that we had huge financial obligations, court ordered obligations. We started doing better once we woke up out of our fog....but it was too late. Brian lost his job. He was unemployed for almost a year. And then "underemployed" (meaning he took a job for WAY less than we needed to even think about paying bills!) for another year. We were 10's of thousands of dollars in debt. We got sued for those court ordered obligations I spoke about above. Not only were we having trouble paying our necessary bills....electricity, food, we had to face going to court and getting a lawyer with no money to pay for one. It was scary. Scary isn't even a big enough word. So we got into our Bible once again. I made posterboards with scripture of God's promises to save us and protects us and provide for us. We prayed like we had never prayed before. I had the mini sticky-notes marking scripture that promised us Who God is and what He would do. I prayed His word back to Him constantly. When we went to court, Brian took his files of paperwork and documents, I took the Bible. While he was in the mediation room, I read that Bible. And prayed. I bet I looked really funny on the security camera video from the little woman walking around that empty courtroom with a Bible and praying. Brian came out of mediation. We went home and waited. We lost...I guess you call it that. But we trusted God and His word. Even though we had no money, we had to pay a portion of those obligations.....$30,000..... in 30 days. We had 1 month to come up with $30,000. God did it. That's a story for another blog. But on the 30th day, we had $30,000 to pay. That was at least a 8-10 month journey through all that.....there was no way we could have made it through that time, no way our marriage could have survived that time, without our Bible.

There are so many more stories I have about how my Bible has supported me, comforted me, even helped others. Like the time that a friend was in desperate need of encouragement from God. She is a life long Christian, strong in her faith, I really look up to her. But she was going through a very difficult time and one day as I was praying for her, God took me right to a scripture that I knew I was supposed to share with her. It was her exact situation and how God had rescued the people in the Bible from the same thing. I called her and read the scripture to her and it really, really encouraged her and gave her hope. Encouragement and hope, that's what we all need.

Why am I writing this? Well, my Bible is coming apart. I have a choice to make----not really, there is no choice in this situation, for me at least. I can either get if repaired and rebound or I can buy a new one. It would probably be a lot less expensive to just buy a new one. But after all that we've shared, you tell me how I'm supposed to just go get another Bible? I'll be visiting a bindery this week. Turning over my precious friend to the hands of someone who can give it some tender loving care, reinforce it and get it ready for years and years of more good times ahead!

Monday, May 4, 2009


Dandelions! No matter how carefully I try to pull one up, I never get the whole thing. The root stays deep in the ground, threatening to grow up and blossom again.
But despite their bad reputation, dandelions are pretty little flowers with their yellow strands all tucked neatly into the center. And truly they are the most beautiful of all flowers when presented clutched in a child’s dirty little hand. No one gets yelled at for picking them. Perhaps they grow only to be used and enjoyed by children.
Dandelions are ignored or attacked, never nurtured or cared for, and yet they always bloom profusely. They demand no pampering or special attention to yield their bright blossoms; they pop up in fields, in lawns , and between cracks in the sidewalk, even in the best neighborhoods. Can you imagine trying to grow them in a garden? They’d sneak through the boundaries and pop their sunny yellow faces up in the surrounding lawn. They would never stay put!
Christians should be more like dandelions. Our sunny yellow faces should be a reminder that simple faith has deep roots that are impossible to dislodge. Our vast number would show the world that even though we are not fancy or pampered we are evident everywhere, even in the best neighborhoods.
We should be as easily accessible as a dandelion. Jesus was. We need to get out of our gardens and jump across the boundaries that keep us where people expect to find us. We need to show our sunny yellow faces in all the spots that need a little brightening up-the crack in the sidewalk or the lawn of a country club. (Author Janice Kempe)

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Flower Gardens

I’ve been facing my imperfections lately. What else is new, right? Well, I’ve been facing them in a new, uncomfortable, surprising way. For a long while I’ve been dealing with a rather large personal issue, I’m still dealing with it, and in all honesty I’m not ready to talk about it yet. However, it’s slowly moving away. As it has moved on, I’ve been very surprised by what’s left behind. See, I had this idea that was the giant…this personal issue…was the problem, the disease. My eyes have been opened over the past month or so that that problem was simply a symptom. There are underlying issues that are what really need to be dealt with. I am journaling the process and I hope to share in a beautiful, God given way one day. Right now though, I want to tell you about what happened at church this morning. Because it was exactly what my God is about and exactly why I love Him so much and exactly why I long to know Him more intimately and precisely why I want everyone to know Him.

Back to my “imperfections”. I mistakenly thought that if I was able to conquer the giant I spoke of above that the feelings of inadequacy and insecurity and guilt would disappear. Well, they haven’t. So, I’ve had to face the cold, hard truth that the giant was there just to cover it all up….how I really felt about myself. I thought I felt inadequate and insecure, guilty and shameful because of “the giant”. In reality it’s the other way around…the giant is there because of those feelings. God just had to get rid of it, for me to see the truth. We, God & I, we’ve been on a long walk through this. And I know He’s telling me the truth. He’s been kind when I needed it, been stern when I needed that and loved me like no other every step of the way. At any rate, I woke up this morning feeling very inadequate. See, I didn’t do enough yesterday. I was supposed to work last night…but I was scheduled to work on the patio at the restaurant where I waitress and thunderstorms popped up last night. So I was offered the night off, now I’m sure I could have gone in and asked around enough and someone would have gone home & I could have taken over their shift inside the restaurant. But I didn’t. Instead, I called a wonderful friend & we decided to go to the movies. As soon as I did it, I knew I’d be kicking myself later. With thoughts like, “you really should work”, “if you aren’t at work then you should at least be at home cleaning the house”. And then, I didn’t even do anything once I did get home. No cleaning, no organizing, nothing. And then, I slept through the alarm this morning. So I was maybe 7 minutes late for church. I almost didn’t go to the 8:30 service because I knew I’d be walking in after the music started. But something made me go anyway. All the way there, I fought the internal battle of knowing in my head that 7 minutes is not that big of a deal especially when I’m on time every single Sunday otherwise, but in my heart wondering what people would think, and if I’m honest, what did God think about me sleeping though the alarm. YES, I know how all this sounds…but it’s real. And I know that these feelings are not how God desires me to live or be. So I told Him that. And I walked into church, late. Feeling like I didn’t do enough, already planning what I was going to do today to make up for all I didn’t do yesterday. And then He wrapped me in His arms. That was the 2nd song our amazing worship band sang at church this morning. These are the words….

There is a God who loves me. Who wraps me in His arms. And that is the place where I'm changed. And that's where I belong. Take me to that place Lord, To that secret place where I can be with You. You can make me like You. Wrap me in Your arms

So I’m singing my guts out on the bolded part. And then, because I do want to be more like Him and I want to be changed, I prayed one of the Psalms that I pray a lot….. Psalm 139, search me O God, search my heart. Show me my heart God, what is it in my heart that makes me feel the way that I was feeling this morning. I wanted God to show me what was wrong with me, so I could fix it. He says …. I’ll show you your heart, Dawn. Here’s what your heart looks like to me. And then I saw something like a book being opened up and a huge, enormous, overflowing, beautiful flower garden came pouring of it. And the flowers never stopped. And He said, your heart is beautiful and I love you. Your heart is a garden that I love to walk through. And then the tears came. And then I remembered a scripture God showed me one day, Isaiah 55:13. Isaiah is one of my most favorite books in the Bible. It says “Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow. Where briers grew, myrtles will sprout up. This miracle will bring great honor to the Lord’s name; it will be an everlasting sign of his power and love.” My heart used to be a place where thorns and briers grew. But with God’s power and love, He’s taking out those things and replanting beautiful cypress trees and myrtles. Sometimes those old weeds want to try to make a comeback but my God shows up and plucks those suckers right out. Like I said before, I prayed that Psalm because I thought I wanted God to show me what was wrong so I could fix it….but He knows me better than I know myself and what I needed was a vision, a reflection of who I am in Him. A beautiful flower garden.

I hope this gives you a glimpse of why I am so in love with God.

Friday, May 1, 2009

A picture blog.....

Here's a few pictures of what we've been up to lately. I'll add more in a few days.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Robot Parades & White Prizes

Life with an almost 3 year is crazy. Especially an imaginative 3 year old. This little one of mine is seriously mad at me today.....all because of a robot parade. Here's the conversation....I'm checking email and I hear: "Mommy, I watch Robot Parade!!" What? "I watch Robot Parade!" Really confused now, I ask Zach what is a robot parade. "Mommy, I.WATCH.ROBOT.PARADE!" Okay, I have no idea what a robot parade is Zach, show me, where is it? "I mad, Mommy" "I watch Robot Parade!" He got up, turned off the TV, went to the stairs, sat down on the bottom step, crossed his arms, said "I mad" "I watch robot parade!" I'll never know, I guess!

I talked to my Mom this morning, she tells me the conversation she had with Zach last night on the phone(I was at work). Zach gets on the phone and says to her "Grandma, you come my house, bring me prize, a white one". Good luck, Grandma, trying to figure out *which* white prize to bring!

Typing the end of that 1st paragraph, Zach comes running into the living room, saying in a sing-song voice....."Moooommmmeeee, guess whaaattt?" I say, "Whhhaaaatttt?" his reply.... "It's a beeeeuuuutttful sunneeeee daaaaaay" I just had to pick him up and squeeze him till he squealed! So darn cute. Off to go play in our "beeuuutttful sunneeee daaaay".

Monday, February 16, 2009

Home Sweet Home

The move to NC has been better than I expected. Now, I didn't expect to sit around homesick for GA for years or anything. I just figured I'd really miss a healthy way. And I do miss seeing my friends & family like I did before I moved. But NC has been good to us, to me. Our church is awesome. Our house and neighborhood are great. But one of the neatest things is that I've made some really good friends so far.
A few Friday's ago(2/13/09) was one of the reasons I love living in the South! It's February....most people are cold, not us in NC! Friday was a beautiful spring day in NC. The sky was crystal clear Carolina Blue, a few fluffy clouds floating around, the sun was just right to warm our faces, the temp was a wonderful 70 degrees! So I & my fellow playgroup Moms decided to have playgroup at the park. "Playgroup" is a group of several Moms who have children of similar age and we meet once a week for the children to play and the Moms to commiserate. The children make friends quickly & have lots of fun. We Moms---well, it gives us a break and a place to find some sanity. We chat about preschool & potties & what funny thing our kids have done lately, we vent about our frustrations, and we share many cups of coffee.'s what keeps us going!
Enjoy a few pictures of our fun park day and meet some of my new friends! This isn't everyone...a few Mom's were busy that day and couldn't make it.

Becky w/ Sara, Julie & Samanta

Brandon, Sam's son

Richard, Sam's son

Alex, Becky's son

Sara, Becky's daughter

Zachery, he's MINE!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A delicious healthy dinner

At the beginning of January, I, like everyone else in the world, decided to eat healthier & lose a few (ahem...more than a few!) pounds. So I've been searching for healthy and tasty recipes. I found this great website that has many healthy recipes to try. The recipes are grouped by many different criteria such as occasion, type of cuisine, main ingredient etc... Or you can use the "advanced search" feature to narrow down your search to things like "high fiber", "low carb", "high protein" etc.... The web address is

Here is a dinner I planned using the recipes from that website. Both of these are delicious and do not taste low calorie or low fat at all! And both were easy to make and bonus....these are usually ingredients I always have on hand.

If you try this recipe or any other from the website...please write & let me know what you think!

Sauteed Chicken with Creamy Chive Sauce
Makes 4 servings
ACTIVE TIME: 35 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 35 minutes

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound), trimmed of fat
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 large shallots, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup chopped chives (about 1 bunch)

1. Place chicken between sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet or heavy skillet until flattened to an even thickness, about 1/2 inch. Season both sides of the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place 1/4 cup flour in a shallow glass baking dish and dredge the chicken in it. Discard the excess flour.
2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate, cover and keep warm.
3. Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring constantly and scraping up any browned bits, until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon flour; stir to coat. Add wine, broth and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil, stirring often.
4. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until heated through and no longer pink in the center, about 6 minutes. Stir in sour cream and mustard until smooth; turn the chicken to coat with the sauce. Stir in chives and serve immediately.
NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 244 calories; 9 g fat (3 g sat, 4 g mono); 72 mg cholesterol; 8 g carbohydrate; 26 g protein; 0 g fiber; 679 mg sodium. Nutrition bonus: Niacin (50% daily value), Selenium (31% dv).

Roasted Florets (broccoli/cauli mix, I omitted the lemon and added 2 cloves chopped fresh garlic)
Makes 4 servings, 1 1/2 cups each
ACTIVE TIME: 5 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 30 minutes

8 cups bite-size cauliflower or broccoli florets (about 1 head)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Lemon wedges (optional)

Preheat oven to 450°F.
Place florets in a large bowl with oil, salt and pepper and toss to coat. Spread out on a baking sheet. Roast the vegetables, stirring once, until tender-crisp and browned in spots, 15 to 25 minutes. Serve hot or warm with lemon wedges, if desired.
NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving (cauliflower): 113 calories; 7 g fat (1 g sat, 5 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 11 g carbohydrate; 4 g protein; 5 g fiber; 351 mg sodium. Per serving (broccoli): 101 calories; 7 g fat (1 g sat, 5 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 7 g carbohydrate; 4 g protein; 4 g fiber; 327 mg sodium. 1/2 Carbohydrate Serving

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

"Finding something good in a mess...

Subtitled: "Words you never want to hear from your 2 year old!"

I'll set the scene for you: I'm running behind for work, of course! Zachery is all dressed, bag packed for the baby sitter. I'm almost ready to walk out the door with no time to spare. I'm standing in front of the mirror in my bedroom and Zach walks in.... Here's the conversation:

Z - "zachery clean up mess, mommy"
M - (thinking to myself)oh no! OK, if I ignore what he just said...maybe nothing happened, right?? so I innocently say... "Hi Zachery, are you ready to go?"
Z - "Zachery clean up mess, mommy"
M - (OH NO!!, not now) "Really Zachery, what mess?"
Z - "Zachery clean up eggs, mommy"
M - And RIGHT THEN is when I remembered that I needed to put the eggs back in the fridge! "Alright, Zach, lets go see what happened."
So I run down the stairs in my state of "almost ready" to the kitchen. And find that he has broken 3 eggs on the floor. And, yes, as he said...he did try to clean up the mess. The shells were in the trash can...and the broom was lying in the gooey mess on the floor. He had tried sweeping it up....only to smear all the egg whites ALL.OVER.THE.FLOOR.

So, with less than 10 minutes before I had to walk out the door for work, I'm standing in the kitchen spraying clorox spray and floor cleaner and mopping the floor.

Really I would never have chosen to mop my kitchen floor at that moment in time. BUT the good in all this mess is....Today, my floor is mopped! One less thing to do today, my day off.