Monday, February 28, 2011

Laissez le Bon temp rouler!

video
This is how we roll on our street

The last few days of warm weather have been wonderful.  I wake up in the morning and I can hardly wait to get outside.  Brody has been riding his plasma car a lot.  His Nanny and Pops got him a plasma car for Christmas, and he has so much fun on it.  Our neighbors kids have them too, and it's a blast watching them race down the street. 

Today I'm just cleaning house, and getting ready for my Mardi Gras party tomorrow.  I'm so excited to have all the moms and tots over for the party.  All ladies are welcomed to come join us for lunch at noon on our pre-Fat Tuesday.  Ryan is cooking Jambalaya for us, and Brody is just looking forward to handing out 12 lbs. of beads.  I think Brody will like the King Cake too once we explain there is a baby to find in it. 


Laissez le Bon temp rouler!
Let the good times roll! 


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Live Simply

Live simply that others might simply live. ~Elizabeth Ann Seton

Income Tax money was inserted into the bank account yesterday, and I was amazed at myself for once not having a big list of needs and wants.  I had one thing I asked Ryan for and it wasn't even for myself.  There is an outfit at the Children's Place that I would like Brody to have for Easter.  We have plenty of money, but we do not buy expensive clothes for our child.  He has clothes from his grandparents, clothes passed down to him, or clothes that are on sale (he has GAP clothing but it's because I bought them from the season before on clearance).  I desire for him at an early age to learn he can still look nice without having expensive clothes.  I'm sure there might be a day he will ask "why?," and I will gladly show him pictures of children who have hardly nothing.  If our family can dress nice for a lower budget, then we can help clothed others. 

Learning to live with contentment and simplicity has been and is still a long journey for me.  It is my nature to love things.  After a few years into marriage, my husband Ryan introduced Dave Ramey's Total Money Makeover to me.  We needed to live on a budget, and there were some credit cards that needed to be cut in half.  For months, I could not hardly stand to hear Dave's name because my precious hubby would remind me often "Well, Dave says..."  I knew Dave was right, but I was so selfish and just wanted to do what I wanted to do.  I submitted to hubs, but I did grumble about it.  Ryan set up a budget, and when money from a category was gone it was GONE!  As Ryan kept up with every penny that was spent, I began to see just how much money was wasted.  I was a horrible steward of our money, and I would have never realized it if I hadn't seen it all out on paper in front of me.  We got out of dept and finally had savings just in time for Brody to be born.  He was born three months early weighing 2 lbs., and he soon became known as the 1/2 million dollar baby.  That season in our life would have been even more difficult had we not had already been practicing out in our lives on just what we could live off of.  I don't even want to think about what a disaster our life would have been if we hadn't been having a budget every month.  I'm so thankful for an amazing husband who leads our family in the right direction even in the moments where he had to pull his struggling wife along.

I used to curse Dave's name,
but now I can't wait to tell others about how his program can help give them financial peace too!


My spiritual gifts are hospitality, encouraging, and giving.  I love to give to people.  I cannot give how God has called  me to if I'm not taking care of the money He has put into our lives.  It would be hard to love my neighboors proparly if I had stacks of credit card bills that had to be paid.  As a christian, I'm called to tithe 10% of everything I have, but giving doesn't stop there.  There needs to be sacrifical giving too. You know the best parts of this week were the many moments God allowed me to give of what we have to several people.  It has really been a wonderful week because I got to do what God has called me do.  I'm happiest when I'm doing my purpose. I don't write this to say "yeah me," I write it because it is important to make sure money is well spent. How many meals could I feed people with the money that would be spent on going out to eat at a nice restaurant one time?  How many children could receive medicine for the cost of a mani-pedi?  How many children could go to school for the price of a football ticket?  How many shopping trips would add up to giving an orphan a forever home?  How many television shows could I cut out to go spend time helping a widow? 

I not saying we should never buy or go do anything fun.  There just needs to be balance and perspective.  We will go on vacation this year but we will also go on a mission trip.  Brody will eat a few Happy Meals from McDonald's this month, but we will also sponsor a child through Compassion International this month so that Monica can go to school and be fed through their Nicaraguan program.  I'm just seeking simplicity for our family's life so we are able to help people.  I want to store up our treasures in heaven and not here on earth.  There are going to be days that my selfish self will stumble, but I will continue to strive towards simplicity. 

So as I'm charging into each day with my Carpe Diem attitude, may I seize the day with our family's finances too.  May our journey of this life have just enough baggage.  :o)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Tribe


I fell in love with Africa a few years ago...or let me say I fell in love with the people of Africa.  It was the togetherness of tribes and families that I loved so much.  They could depend upon each other. I've sat through many Sunday School lessons on "love your neighbor as you love yourself" growing up, and I thought I had seen many Christians live this out in their lives.  It was not until I stayed in a village for a week that I understood the full concept of loving your neighbor.  They looked out for one another and shared their things with each other.  Amazing how non-christians do a better job at loving their neighbors than most Christians in the USA do.  They do it out of survival and customs. We only do it on occasions when we happen to think about someone.  I saw this hospitality in Africa that has made a huge difference in my life.  I began to a have desire in my heart for the companionship this village had.  It's true that it takes a village to raise children....or it should.

Why are we not more intentional at loving others?

I know I often make life all about me, and I fall down every time.  I cannot do everything all on my own.  It would be nice, but I don't think we were created to be all-sufficient.  Things happen in all families where we need help.  Oh the things that can happen to a household: sickness, spouse goes out of town for work, broken cars, new babies, etc.  At our house, when it rains it pours too.  My life is less complicated when I'm able to share it with others, and I can make others lives less complicated too.  In the words of the Wonder Pets, "What's going to work?  TEAMWORK!" 

How do I get a tribe of my own?

Some people are blessed to have a large family who lives close to each other.  If that's you, then be thankful and never take them for granted.  Others like me live no where close to family.  I have to go out and create my own family.  I count my close friends as family.  I look for other people who need a tribe of their own too.  We create a bond and then we stick together.   So when one of us needs a babysitter, we know we can depend upon each other for help.  When my car breaks down, I have people who make sure I get where I need to go.  And when I'm having an awesome day, I have tribe to share it with it.  



Does a tribe work?
Like everything else good in life, it takes work.  You have put out some effort to make the tribe grow and be healthy.  If you don't call or visit, then how will you know if someone needs help, encouragement, or praise?  You put time into your peeps and they put time into you.  It's a wonderful cycle! 


Want to hear another reason why I think adoption is so important?

Sure you do!  There are children all over the world who have no tribe or family to be a part of.  They long to be a part of someone's life.  If we are to be obedient to God's word, then we are to love orphans as we love ourselves.  They need help too!



Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family.  Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.  ~Jane Howard

Monday, February 14, 2011

Wuv, tru wuv

Valentines Day is good cheesy lovey dovey fun!  I suppose some view it as super romantic, but I like the goofy sweet side of it.  I'm just one big kid who loves to read all the conversation hearts.  This year I got Ryan a super cheesy gift.  I gave him a wok with a note attached that said "I wok you!"  He loves cooking stuff, and he liked it.  We gave Brody a Mario shirt and car.  Brody was so excited about his party at school.  He is at such a fun age in life where everything is so BIG!

If you have some good recipes using a wok, please send them our way! Or if you have a sweet Valentine's story or gift idea, I would love to hear it.

Here was Ryan's Valentine Day message to me:  "Happy "third century martyr's" day! Not sure what a guy standing up to the Roman Empire has to do with the fact that I love you but apparently it does! We could call it happy "waiting list day" and then it'd be special to us. I doubt it'd catch on though."  I love that man!!!!  Oh and yes, we made the waiting list today.  We are #10 on the India adoption list!  homefromindia.blogspot.com

And what would V-day be without a funny movie about true love?  If I could pick any movie to watch today it would be The Princess Bride.  I giggle every time when The Impressive Clergyman says "Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam... And wuv, tru wuv, will fowow."  Yep, you can see what kind of goofball mood I'm in today.

I hope everyone's Valentine's Day is filled with sweet and fun things!

Brody asking to please open his present.

Ryan's wok!  I hope he makes me something with it soon.



Friday, February 11, 2011

Lots Of Fun Stuff Going On With The Brices

 There are lots of fun things going on with our family right now.  I thought I would give an update with what the Brice family is doing.   Our biggest news is....

Our dossier was completed and mailed this week.  Hooray!  Hopefully we will be on the waiting list soon.  Check out our adoption blog for more details.    
homefromindia.blogspot.com


Today is the best I've felt in a couple of months.  It's bye bye shingles!  It's easier to have good days when you feel good, and I finally feel ready for 2011.

Mom's group has started back up again for the new semester.  I really enjoy my Thursday morningsThere are so many wonderful ladies a part of the group, and it's fun to share our lives together and study God's word.  We are reading a book called Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney.  It looks like it's going to be a great study based off of Titus 2.  I enjoy throwing parties for all the moms and tots, and this year I'm having a Mardi Gras party on March 1st.  Ryan is going to be making Cajun food for us.  Laissez le Bon temp rouler!


Brody is doing well.  He had a check up with his Developmental doctor in Concord yesterday.  She was pleased with his improvement.  We will still have to continue to work hard with his fine motor skills because she rated him a 3-4.  Yikes!  That's ok though because he has come such a long way, and I know he will continue to improve in this area too.  Brody has a great Occupational Therapist who has been such a blessing to us.  His OT is through the school system, and it's nice that they are working with him already.  We will go back in three months to the Developmental doctor to come up with a game plan for Kindergarten.  OH MY!  I'm not sure I'm ready for this, but it's going to happen anyways.  Brody is excited about turning five, and he is wanting a How to Train Your Dragon birthday party. His Mimi is getting him a Nintendo Wii for his birthday.  She is surprising him next week with it because she will not be able to travel to North Carolina for his party due to taking care of my dad.  I will be glad to have another activity for us to do in the afternoons or to have a reward of game time.  Our latest activity is posting up words of things all over our house so that he can learn some sight words.  It's not a pretty decor, but he his learning.

180  Weekend- I really liked the trees they brought into the sanctuary.



Ryan just got finished with 180 weekend.  He had 234 teenagers attend through Parkwood, and 37 churches in the surrounding area who also attended.  1111 people got to hear the word of God.  God blessed us with an amazing weekend.  We are heading to Gatlinburg next weekend with our Seniors.  For the spring, Ryan is teaching a series called "Origins: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."  Then in May, he is supposed to be going to Nigeria, Africa.  There is an election held there at the beginning of April, and as long as it is peaceful he will go.  So please be praying for peace so Ryan and the group will be able to go to the Dibo people.  Camp is in June at the beach with the theme "Here and Now."  In July, Ryan will taking two trips to Copan, Honduras on mission trips.  We have some awesome teenagers signed up go, and I can hardly wait.  I'm going on the first trip, and Brody will be getting to spend time with his Nanny and Pops.  So needless to say, Ryan is super busy planning and preparing at church.



Maggie got a haircut this week.  It's a rare thing these days; bless her puppy heart because inflation has made those appointments go up to $40.  Maggie Moo only gets a couple of cuts a year now.  She is still looking cute for nine years old.

I'm thankful for days to live and good things that fill those days.

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.  ~Annie Dillard, The Writing Life





Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Tale of Brodyaux

Brody has watched The Tale of Despereaux several times the past couple of months.  The mouse with big ears is pretty cute.  As with anything Brody watches lately, he picks up a few phrases from it. The line he quotes most often from it is, "I'm sorry your majesty." 

So now when he gets into trouble, he will say "I'm sorry your majesty."  Then he humbly bows his head.  It is so hard for me to keep a straight face when he says it.  The kid has finally learned how to play his mommy.
 
Yesterday I went upstairs to do a load of laundry, and when I came down Brody had white icing on his face.  He decided to help himself to the box of Krispy Kreme.  I asked him if he had permission to eat the doughnuts, and he simply replied "I'm sorry your majesty."

My son just cracks me up.  I guess if he will learn to say "I'm sorry your majesty" to all the girls for the rest of his life he will do well.



What can I say????.................if the crown fits, wear it! 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Funny Prayer About Getting Old

My sweet friend Julie shared this with me, and it is such a funny video. I love to laugh, and it really made my day. Older people have always had a special place in my heart, and I think it's important to try to put ourselves in their shoes. This video really is such a sweet and hilarious reminder of what's it's like to get old. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

A friend of the couple who founded Home Instead Senior Care, Mary Maxwell was asked to give the invocation at the company's 2009 Convention. Initially it seemed like normal prayer, but it soon took a very funny turn.


Blessed In Aging
By Esther Mary Walker

Blessed are they who understand
My faltering step and shaking hand
Blessed, who know my ears today
Must strain to hear the things they say.

Blessed are those who seem to know
My eyes are dim and my mind is slow
Blessed are those who look away
When I spilled tea that weary day.

Blessed are they who, with cheery smile
Stopped to chat for a little while
Blessed are they who know the way
To bring back memories of yesterday.

Blessed are those who never say
"You've told that story twice today"
Blessed are they who make it known
That I am loved, respected and not alone.

And blessed are they who will ease the days
Of my journey home, in loving ways.



Sunday, February 6, 2011

My Favorite Party Foods

Happy Super Bowl Day!  Here are some of my favorite party food recipes.   Please add one of your favorites in the comments!

Party Pizzas
1 lb. hot pork sausage
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. Velveeta cheese
1-2 box of Melba Toast crackers
     Cook sausage and ground beef until brown.  Drain excess oil.  Add cheese to mixture while still warm.  Stir until cheese is melted and thoroughly mixed.  Spread on cracker.  Place on cookie sheet in single layer.  Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.  Makes about 3 dozen pizzas.  (Can be frozen indefinitely when spread on bread.  Take from freezer and back when unexpected company comes.)

Cheese Snappy Wafers
2 sticks butter or margarine
2 c. all-purpose flour
8 oz. sharp cheese, grated
2 c. Rice Krispies
¼-½ tsp. cayenne pepper
½ tsp. salt
     Cut butter into flour until texture resembles coarse meal.  Mix in cheese, cayenne pepper and salt.  Fold in Rice Krispies.  Pinch off small pieces; place on ungreased cookie sheet and pat flat.  Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwich
Ham
Swiss cheese
Spicy Mustard
Poppy seeds
Dinner Rolls (the kind in the aluminum tray)
Butter
     Cut the whole roll in half.  Spread mustard on one side.  Then add ham and cheese.  Sprinkle poppy seeds on top of cheese.  Place the halved roll back and spread butter on it.  Bake at 350 for 10-15 or until cheese is melted. 

Vegetable Sandwiches
2 large pkg. of cream cheese
5 or 6 carrots
6 or 8 small cucumbers
1 small onion
1 green pepper (if desired)
Amounts of vegetable can be varied; use more of your favorite ones.
Mayonnaise  (probably 2 Tbsp) to help soften the mixture
Salt and pepper to taste
Red pepper to taste (if desired)
    Let the cream cheese soften at room temperature.  Use the mixer to whip this along with the mayo, salt, pepper, and red pepper (opt.).  Grind up the vegetables in your food processor.  Drain using a colander lined with cheesecloth.  Squeeze until liquid is removed. Combine the vegetables with the cream cheese mixture.  This can be made ahead and put in the fridge which makes the flavors blend more. 


Cheese Straws
1 lb. grated cheese (softened)
2 sticks butter (softened)
½ tsp. red pepper
3 cups self rising flour
     Mix all ingredients together with mixer.  Roll out/press with fork.  Bake at 350 until brown (12-14 minutes)

Sausage-Cheese Balls
3 c Original Bisquick
1 pound uncooked pork sausage (I like hot)
4 c. shredded Cheddar cheese (16 oz.)
¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese
½ c. milk
Dash of rosemary and parsley
    Heat oven to 350.  Lightly grease jelly roll pan.  Stir all ingredients until well mixed (you may need to use your hands).  Shape mixture into 1-inch balls.  Place in pan.  Bake 20-25 minute or until brown.  Immediately remove from pan.  Serve warm.

Pineapple-Pistachio Salad
1 small box pistachio pudding mix (instant)
1 large can crushed pineapple, undrained
½ bag miniature marshmallows
1 (9 oz.) Cool Whip
     Mix items in order listed.  Mix well.  Pour into a dish and put it in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. 

Creamy Baked Crab Dip
1 pkg. cream cheese
1 can (6 oz.) crabmeat
1 Tbsp. Milk
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
¼ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. Green onions
     Mix together and bake at 375 for 15 minutes.

Taco Layer Dip
3 ripe avocados, mashed
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1 c. sour cream
½ c. mayonnaise
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
2 (10 ½ oz.) cans plain or jalapeno flavored bean dip
1 c. green onions, chopped
3 medium size tomatoes, chopped
2 (3 ½ oz.) cans of black olives, sliced
1 (8 oz.) pkg. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Peel, pit, and mash avocados in a medium size bowl with lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Combine sour cream, mayonnaise, and taco mix in bowl.  To assemble:  Spread bean dip on a large shallow platter.  (I use a 9x13 Pyrex dish.)  Top with seasoned avocado mixture; layer with sour cream/taco mixture.  Sprinkle with chopped onion, tomatoes, and olives.  Cover with shredded cheese.  Serve chilled or at room temperature with tortilla chips.
  
Buffalo Chicken Dip
2 cans chunk chicken (or shredded cooked chicken)
2 pkg. cream cheese (room temp)
½ bottle of ranch or blue cheese dressing
½ cup of buffalo sauce
Hot sauce to taste
     Mix the ingredients together in pan.  Adjust sauces and dressing to taste.  Bake at 350 until brown and bubbly. 

Daffodil Dip
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
½ c mayonnaise
1 hard cooked egg- white chopped, reserve yolk
2 Tbsp. onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
¼- ½ c chopped parsley
1 Tbsp. anchovy paste
     Combine all ingredients except egg yolk.  Use crumble egg yolk as garnish.  Serve with your favorite crackers.  I prefer Ritz with this.

Tom Parnell’s Famous Salsa
2 cans of diced tomatoes
1 c green onions, chopped
1 c cilantro, chopped
2 cerrano peppers (jalapenos can be substituted)
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp pepper
Juice of a lime
1 small can (8 oz.) of tomato sauce
    Slice pepper and onions, and then pulse all ingredients in food processor until no large pieces remain or until it’s the texture you prefer. 

Apple Brickle Dip
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
¼ c. firmly packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
½ c. English Toffee Bits
3 medium tart apples, cored and cut into wedges
     Mix cream cheese, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla.  Add English Toffee Bits.  Serve with apple slices. 

Goo Cake
1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick margarine
1 egg
8 oz. cream cheese
2 eggs
1 lb. confectioners sugar
     Mix cake mix, margarine and egg.  Press into bottom of rectangular pan.  Mix cream cheese, eggs, and sugar with mixer, adding sugar 1 cup at a time.  Pour over cake mixture.  Bake for 35 to 40 minutes at 350.  Let cool then cut cake into small squares.

 Mini Chocolate Cheesecake
2- 8 oz. cream cheese
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup of milk chocolate pieces
18 Oreos
Cool Whip
     Combine cream cheese and sugar and beat until well blended.  Add eggs one at a time and mix egg complete before next egg.  Blend chocolate in.  Pour filing over cookies.  Bake at 325 for 25 minutes.  Let cool.  Refrigerate.  Top with Cool Whip before serving. 
For a softer crust, crush up the Oreos instead of keeping them whole. 

Chocolate Delight
1 c. chopped pecans
1 stick soft butter
1 c. flour
1 c. powdered sugar
1 c. Cool Whip
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese softened
1 pkg. vanilla instant pudding
1 pkg. chocolate instant pudding
2 c. milk
     Mix together first 3 ingredients and press in ungreased 9x13 glass pan.  Bake at 350 degrees fro 20 minutes; cool.  Mix together next 3 ingredients and spread on cool crust.  Beat together puddings and milk and spread on creamy layer.  Cover top with more Cool Whip and sprinkle Heath bar bits on top of Cool Whip.  Refrigerate.

Millionaire Tarts
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Juice of 2 lemons
1 large container of Cool Whip
1 small can crushed pineapple, not drained
1 c chopped nuts
6 maraschino cherries, chopped
Athens mini fillo shells (15 per pkg)
     Combine all ingredients except shells, mix well by hand.  Spoon mixture into shells.  Refrigerate until set (about 3 hours). This makes more than you need.
    *If you want pies, substitute 2 baked pie crusts for the mini fillo shells.

Brownie Chip Cookies
1 (23.7 oz.) pkg. double fudge brownie mix
1/3 c vegetable oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 c (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate morsels
½ c chopped pecan
    Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring well.  Stir in chocolate morsels and pecans.  Drop dough by rounded teaspoons into lightly greased baking sheets.  Bake at 350 for 8 minutes.  Remove to wire racks and let cool completely.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I Wish I Was a Glow Worm


I wish I was a glow worm,
A glow worm's never glum.
'Cos how can you be grumpy
When the sun shines out your bum!

Wintertime is full of darkness, yet there are no cute glow worms to be seen.  I long for the warm summer sun with only a few hours of joyful nighttime. But until then I've got to deal with what I've got.  Today I've got rain and cold.  I'm going to have to make my own sunshine.  And of course, a cloudy day is no match for my sunny disposition.

When watching a glow worm, we almost get the illusion of magic.  If we saw it during the daytime, we probably wouldn't look twice at it.  However, at night it appears to be so special.  Amazing how a little light makes all the difference. What a difference light would make in our lives! Oh to never be grumpy and to have the sun shine out of our bums (yeah, I giggle everytime I type bum). In our lives, it isn't the position we're in but our disposition which makes us happy.  We make the choice how we look at our lives and what's going on around us.  When we get up in the morning, we are faced with the decision of "Will I think positive or negative today?"  When an unpleasant situation comes our way, the outcome of it has a lot to do with the attitude we had during that moment or moments.

Our grumpiness or sunshine also has a major effect upon our family and friends. When we are surrounded by people who love life, we love it too, but when we are surrounded by people who don't, we don't.  I don't think we all realize how our disposition truly effects our love ones.  Just because I may be having a bad day does not mean my family has to have one too.  I was really convicted by that a couple of weeks ago when I was very sick.  I don't have to act fake, but I can choose to have an pleasant attitude.  It is especially important how I act in front of my son. The children in our lives will typically grow up to be like the people they have been surrounded by during their childhood.  But it isn't just parents children watch it's also grandparents, aunts & uncles, teachers, neighbors, friends, librarians, EVERYBODY.  I hope all the lives that I have an impact upon see love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control from me.  I hope they want to be glow worms too!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Swept Off On An Adventure


Never a dull moment at the Brice house. I walked downstairs to get Brody and Cade a snack and as I started back up the steps I heard sweet Cade say "You stuck!" Brody had climbed in the shelves on the side of his bunk bed, and then he climbed in the box springs of the mattress to only get himself stuck. I had to rip the bottom of it out to free him. *SIGH*


I went from mad to scared to laughing hysterically all in the matter of minutes.   Of course, I gave a good motherly lecture to him, but I just couldn't hardly be mad at him.  I asked him what in the world gave him the idea to do this.  In the sweetest voice, Brody said, "I wanted to hang like a monkey."  In his mind, he was convinced it would be an exciting jungle adventure.  He was disappointed, and he ended up with some red hips.  I think spring needs to get here quickly so we can go to the park!
 
Brody's little safari reminded me of some of my climbing adventures as a kid.  We had woods behind our house growing up, and I loved climbing the trees.  I had a huge imagination, and I had thrilling escapades daily.  I had so much fun as a kid.
 
As an adult, it's a little harder to have grand adventures.  We feel the need to plan every detail of our day.  Although I'm a big fan of planning, I also like to live in a moment sometimes. It's nice to have that childish moment and jump in the middle of something just because.   I don't think life has to be mundane in adulthood.  Life is more exciting when we do create an adventure.  
 
I really like The Lord of the Rings because of the adventure.  My favorite part is when Frodo and Sam are about to leave The Shire and Frodo reminds Sam of something Bilbo said.
 
Sam: This is it.
Frodo: This is what?
Sam: If I take one more step, it'll be the farthest away from home I've ever been.
Frodo: Come on, Sam. Remember what Bilbo used to say: "It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."

I can help but think "Oh please let me be swept off to an adventure."  And should I ended up disappointed and with some red hips that will be ok too because I went...because I lived life!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Baseboards in Life

Don't be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs.  Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger.  If you do the little jobs well, the big ones will tend to take care of themselves.  ~Dale Carnegie


Yesterday I cleaned the baseboards in our house.  This is one of my least favorite chores to do.  My dislike for cleaning the baseboards is not because it's a really hard chore or that I have to crawl along the floor.  I'm ashamed to say it's because it's a job that no one will notice.  There is not going to be anybody that comes into our home and says, "Cristy, these baseboards are amazing.  I'm so glad you cleaned them."  My attitude is quite ridiculous sometimes.  I want to do an important chore/job that is seen.  I reminded myself yesterday that not everything I do has to be seen to matter.  Sure it's nice to work hard on something and be praised for it, but it shouldn't be the motive of the work.  I do it because it needs to be done.  I'm sure everyone has some type of "baseboard" work they do not care to do.  I think it's important to give the best of ourselves in our jobs.  To make things the best, it requires a lot of small tasks.  There should never be a job beneath us.   I talked to a man once who had been out of a job for a while.  He complained and complained about no jobs.  I said, "McDonald's is always hiring."  He then made several comments basically saying how he was better than that.  Here me say, "A job is a job, and we should not look down upon anyone who is working hard."  This man had chosen the responsibility of having a family, and there should have been no job too small to support his family.  There is a rule that I made for myself a long time ago.  I should never ask anyone to do something I would not be willing to do myself.  It's a personal rule that has kept me in check over the years.   Even though cleaning my baseboards seems like an unimportant job, it isn't.  My husband and my son both struggle with allergies and living in a dusty home would be bad for them.  My job is taking care of them, and it really doesn't matter if they notice or not.  So whatever kind of job you hold, do it right.  Do the small tasks because it's something that needs to be done.  Although one small task may go unnoticed, I promise that a lot of them together over time will not.  A person who constantly gives his or her best, will stand out because that's the kind of person we all want to work with.  



Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Blessed Be Your Name



I woke up this morning thinking of this song. It's been a few months since I've heard it, but it still makes me smile. It is such an encouraging song for a christian because some days "the sun is shining down on me when the world's all as it should be" and other days "the road is marked with suffering though there's pain in the offering." My favorite line of the song is "My heart will choose to say Lord blessed be Your name." I asked myself this morning, "Cristy, how will you choose to serve God today?" I may not feel great today (although I'm getting so much better every day), but I can choose to praise God for His many blessings with an attitude that would glorify God. It doesn't matter how I'm feeling from day to day because God remains the same. I was created to praise God. Worshiping God isn't just about singing some songs; I worship God with my how I live my life for Him. So no matter what kind of day it is still I'm going to say, "Blessed be the name of the Lord, Blessed be Your glorious name!"