Thursday, March 31, 2011


"Search me, God, know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:23,24

I think it's easy to praise God for His unlimited knowledge, power, and presence when everything in life is going great. But what about the hard times in we still praise God when life is difficult? Do we thank Him for His blessings, even though we can't see them?

Psalm 139 is one of my favorite Psalms. How cool is the psalmist that asked God to test him and know his thoughts. His desire was to be lead away from the ways of the world and into the way that is everlasting. It's scary to ask God to test you so you can be aware of what's in your heart. For me, I want to be the woman God created me to be. I learn something daily about this woman God desires me to be. It's through seasons of joy and adversity that I learn about God. I'm not a big fan of the adversity part, but I can look back on those times and see God's wonderful work in me. In the midst of the storms, I learn God remains the same, He is faithful, He is loving, and His grace is always sufficient. I've said this many times, but it can't be said enough, "There are valuable lessons I've learned through struggles that I could not have learned any other way." So as a Christians, when it feels like the world is raining down us, it's really just God's mercy falling on us. Now that's good blessings!

I have several families I have been praying for, and I want to dedicate the song "Blessings" by Laura Story to them. It's a beautiful song, and I hope it encourages your heart too. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Celebrating Life

This is one of my favorite weeks of the year because I get to celebrate my two favorite guys in the world birthdays.  Isn't it just fun to celebrate life!

We ate at the Thai House last night to celebrate Ryan's 31st birthday.  The food was really good.
Ryan's duck came in a duck.
Ryan ordered Duck Panang.  I find it a little freaky when the duck you order comes in a duck bowl.  Ryan loved it.  I ordered Goong Pad Prig which had just the right amount of red curry for me.

I've known Ryan for almost 12 years now, and it is a blessing to celebrate another year of Ryan.  He is the most amazing man I've ever met.  He is funny, smart, hardworking, handsome, and loves the Lord.  Let me tell you, I'm one lucky gal.  I love him more with every year that passes!  So to celebrate Ryan today, here are some of my favorite pictures of him.
The guy in the middle with the red hat is who I met in college that stole my heart.
Hoover Dam- Ryan is in Nevada, and I'm in Arizona.
The time we got snowed in at Gatlinburg.  
Ryan's first time to hold Brody.
Brody-a week old
The Bahamas
Niger- going to an African wedding
As our confused son says "Roll Tigers!"
My sweet guys taking a nap.
Cozumel, Mexico
Ryan on the phone with the airlines after his group missed the flight, and I headed to Romania by myself.
Romania- Hiking in the hills of Transylvania. 
Only my hubs would wear shoes on the beach.

I love all the traveling adventures we have had, but my favorite adventures are the ones that happen daily.  We've been blessed with great years!  I'll post my favorite Brody pictures in a few days when it's his b'day.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Praise You In This Storm

As I was driving Brody to school this morning, Casting Crowns "Praise You in This Storm" came on the radio. I was delighted to hear this song because there was a time several years ago when it brought so much encouragement to me. Life with baby Brody was CRAZY! He was delayed in every area of his precious little life, and as a frustrated baby he would cry a lot. To go along with all the developmental delays, Brody also has a sensory disorder. He did not like soft textures at all (soft=all baby stuff). Normal children enjoy blankets and sweet hugs, but not my son. He went against everything I had in my mind about babies and being a mom. Brody needed much help from doctors and therapists. He had between 6-9 appointments every week. I was so worn out from going and going and going. The hubs was pretty tired too. He spent his off day driving almost three hours to Atlanta for Seminary classes. He would get home late late on Mondays. He was gone more nights of the week than he was home, and it was just a hard season in life. I felt so alone, and it got to a point that as Brody cried I cried too. The family motto was "it is what it is." We were in a difficult situation that you couldn't change anything about it. As crazy as it all was, it was still the situation God wanted for our family. God grew us and showed us things about Himself that we would not have learned without this trail. We are to praise God whether it's a good day or a bad day. It seemed like the storm in my life was going to rain down on me forever. I remained faithful, and you know what, the sun did come out in the sky. As a wise teacher used to tell me, "This too shall pass." Today is beautiful, and I can't help but to smile at all the blessings surrounding me. I can hardly believe I'm getting Brody ready for kindergarten this fall. We are treasuring this current season of our family's life. Will the storms come again? You better believe it! Things can't grow without the rain. I choose to take the storms head on, and as Brody says "Bring it!"

Psalm 46
1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come and see what the LORD has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Healthy Food

Ryan and I are trying to eat healthy right now plus lose a few pounds, and it is hard.  My top 3 struggles are...1- is it's hard to find healthy food that actually tastes good to us. 2- it's hard to find healthy food that is not expensive.  3- it's hard because I not creative and only really have a few meals I can cook in the healthy category.

What are some healthy meals and snacks you eat? 

Let's do a give and take blog.  
I'll share a few things I have found that are tasty, and 
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE recommend something in return.

I'm a southern gal who likes everything fried, but I'm also a southern gal who wants to look nice.
Living a longer and healthy life might be nice too.   ;-)

This is usually my breakfast, but it makes for a good snack too.  The Fiber One oats and chocolate bar is my favorite.   It has total of 140 calories and 35 calories from fat.  The best part is that is has 9 grams of fiber.
Sandwich Thins are the best thing since sliced bread.  I love these!!!   I buy the wheat ones with 100 total calories a roll and 10 calories from fat.  It also has 5 grams of fiber. 
Here is my lunch from today.  It was really yummy!
These are the chips on my plate.  I'm big fan of the chips, and Special K Cracker Chips makes for one happy woman.  I can have 30 chips for 110 calories.  And the dietary fiber total is 3 grams!
I bought the large vegetable platter from SAM's for $10.  With produce being so expensive right now, I actually come out cheaper buying my salad toppings this way.  It also makes for good snacks in between meals. 

And what's a food blog without a recipe?  Here is a meal I made last week. 


Read more about it at,1950,144190-241192,00.html
Content Copyright © 2011 - All rights reserved.
1/3 c. olive oil
1 white onion, chopped
1 rib celery
1 carrot
1/2 green pepper
1 (6 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans, drained (9 g. of fiber people!!!)
3 c. boiling water
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 c. rice (You can use white rice, but I prefer Basmati rice.  It's a good Indian fragrant rice.)
Brown onion with the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the celery, carrot and pepper. Add the tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Then add the water. When it comes to a boil, add the beans. When it comes to a boil for 5 minutes, add rice and stir frequently until the rice is cooked, about 20 minutes. Stir in some fresh or dry parsley.
If you don't want a vegetarian meal, then stir fry some shrimp to go with it.   I cooked shrimp with Indian seasons to go with mine. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Great Wolf Lodge

Great Wolf Lodge is really great!  We had the best time there this week.  This is not a restful kind of vacation, but it is so much fun!  There didn't ever seem like enough time in the day to do all we wanted to do.  I'll do my best to give some details, but there is so much to tell.  The indoor water park is wonderful.  The stay included our water park passes.  We went during the weekday, and they upgraded us to a room with Kid Camp.  It was a wonderful surprise!  This was so special for Brody, and he enjoyed his own little space.  The food at the lodge is expensive, but the quality and quantity are good.  There are many nearby restaurants that you can go get food from.  All the rooms have a refrigerator and microwave so it's nice to be able to bring drinks and snacks from home.  There is a Dunkin' Donuts in the lodge that took care of my coffee needs. 
Kid Camp- Brody loved "his tent."
Brody is a big fan of maps.  This area was perfect for him.
The other side of the room.  It also had a cute little balcony with chairs.  Many of the slides have to go outside of the building, and it was neat to watch two of those from our balcony.

The indoor water park was so much fun.  It was a nice, warm 83 degrees.  There are 12 slides, a BIG water fort, and three pools.  I've never been a water park kind of girl, but this has made me one.  There was no hot sun, no freezing water, and the lines were short. 
Wave pool
Leap Frog
One of Brody's favorite things to do was dump water on people's heads as they passed by him.  Then he would do his "evil" laugh.  Ryan and I laughed at him laughing

We also enjoyed playing Magi-Quest.  It's three floors of quests and adventures.  Brody got to pick out his own wand which he got to keep.  This was a lot of fun for us to do as a family.  We are looking forward to playing it again this summer at Myrtle Beach.

Ryan defeating the dragon
We celebrated victory over the dragon with ice cream.

The Pup Club is good for younger children.  It has puzzles, games, and many crafts.  Brody made a tie dyed t-shirt.
Our little problem solver
The Great Wolf Lodge also had several shows in the lobby everyday.  It was neat to see all the animals come to life.
We also spent some time in the arcade, but we were so busy having fun that I forgot to take pictures.  There is also a place for teenagers called gr8_Space that has internet, music and gaming stations like Nintendo Wii and Xbox360.  So there is something to do for kids of all ages.

Another good thing about this trip was that it only took us 30 minutes to get there.  Usually coming home from a vacation is misery.  Everyone is tired, and no one wants to spend 6 hours in the car.  What a joy it was to be home so quickly!

Would we want to go to Great Wolf Lodge in Concord again?  OH YES!   We made many memories with our son, and I'm sure he will be talking about it for a long time.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Day Is Too Short

I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read and all the friends I want to see. ~John Burroughs

I love that quote.  It is quite fitting today.  So here just a little bit of what's on my mind...
I've been thinking about babies this morning especially the one who will be ours one day.  Every morning I have this exciting thought, "Could today be the day our baby is born?"  Somewhere in India is a woman who will have to make one of the hardest decisions of her life sometime in the near future.  My heart breaks for her, and I pray God will give her strength daily.  And as my heart is broken for her, it is also very thankful too.  I'm glad she will make the choice to give her child two mothers. 
This year has started out kind of rough, and I am thankful to be feeling better now days.  I'm ready to start walking again.  My rear end is pleading for me to walk and gets some of the fat off of it.  So Mr. Greenway I will see you soon!
I love to read.  I've got two books I'm reading right now.  The 1st is Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney, and it is based off of Titus chapter 2.  I've really enjoyed reading it and discussing it a Mom's group.  It is the perfect book for an older woman who is mentoring a younger woman to use. 

The 2nd book I'm reading is A Game of Thrones by George R. Martin.  I had to make myself read the first few chapters, but now I'm really liking this fantasy book.   It has a lot of characters to keep up with, but the characters are all very interesting.   I can't wait to see how this adventure will end.
If I could see any of my friends today, it would be my besties in Alabama.  The friends we grow up with always remain very special to us.  It's fun to remember old times and to talk about the things to come as well.  It makes going home even better when I get to see them.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Working In The Yard

I am thankful for a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home.... I am thankful for the piles of laundry and ironing because it means my loved ones are nearby. ~Nancie J. Carmody
Black Gold
One day when my life does flash before me, I hope there is a small scene of a nice looking yard.  I don't need an amazing landscaped yard, just a "nice" yard.  I'm excited that this weekend our town is selling Black Gold (leaf compost) and mulch (ground yard waste) for $10 a truck load.   If someone had told me ten years ago that I would enjoy working in the yard, I would have laughed at them.  But here I am at an age not to be named, enjoying making something pretty.  It's just a good activity our family can do together. I want to teach Brody to take pride of where he lives.  I also want him to see his mom working and understand I'm not asking him to do anything that I'm not doing myself.  Having a good work ethic is important and being a sluggard is unacceptable.  I'm finding nothing but pros about yard work today.  It's going to be a good day!  We finally have grass in the backyard now, and it already needs to be mowed.  Oh how this black gold will make it even more thicker!  What about you?  Do you enjoy working inside or outside?

I took this picture of Brody in the backyard yesterday.