Monday, September 26, 2011

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Ok, so I have scientifically drawn a winner from the give-away from last week.  

I can prove it.  Sort of.  

I went to Random.org which generates all kinds of junk randomly for ya.  I see it on peoples blogs all the time, however, the mystery of how to get it to show up on my blog still eludes me.  Oh well.  

The first time I put the numbers in,  it chose comment number 10, which was Tina, the mom of Haleigh who created the amazing CD.  I'm guessing she has a copy already *wink* so I did it again...which is totally not cheating, right?

The 2nd time I did the random drawing it picked number FIVE.  Which is Jodie.  Yay Jodie!  This cracks me up.  I've only done a few giveaways on this blog, and I sorta think Jodie has won before?!?  Have you won before Jodie?!? Random.org is your friend, my friend!

Thanks to all to entered, you're the coolest.  And there's still plenty of time to visit Lullabies for Africa and download it or buy your own copy.  You can even just download your fav songs, if you like.  Every. little. bit.  helps.  

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Civility

 Every now and then, someone shares a link to something, via Facebook or Twitter or a blog, and I read it and it changes me. 


Usually the link is shared by my friend Heth.  She's got this amazing ability to come across really fantastic stuff.  I'm quite certain it's one of her spiritual gifts.


Yesterday, she shared this link.


I've read it six times.  After I post this, I'm going to walk over to the printer and print. it. out.  


If you are a parent, or are ever planning to be a parent, it's a must read.  It's short  and simple, and punch-you-in-the-gut good.  


I am not a "yeller" by nature.  I don't scream and shout or totally fly off the handle (generally.)  But I have a tone.  A tone I use with my kids when they are not doing or listening or being as I think they should.  I've never thought anything of it.  I'm the mom, they're the kids.  


 Many parents feel free to speak to their children with a level of incivility they would not use with anyone else they know. They bark orders. They raise their voices. They use sarcasm and contempt: “Seriously? That’s how you cleaned your room?” They poison civil language with contemptuous tone: “Ryan, please put your shoes on.” They patronize. They eye-roll or sigh. They construct a cocktail of word choice, tone, and body language that they would not serve to a co-worker, a friend, or a stranger on the street. And then they serve it liberally to an under-aged consumer - the smallest neighbor they are called to love preferentially - their own child.

Some things make you hit your knees...this one did me.  I can't even number how many times, in the past 24 hours, that I started to tell them something and stopped mid-sentence...realizing that my tone was not respectful.  Without a doubt I have authority over them.  But I have not always been exercising that it in a way that conveys respect for them.  

They know I love them.  Without a doubt.  But do they know I respect them?  Working on my tone...praying God would help me to speak (with authority and love) to them in the same respectful way I would a friend or stranger.  










*Side Note*  There's still plenty of time and space to enter the giveaway from Monday.  If you've "liked" it on FB or ordered the album or even one song, please leave a comment to you can be entered!  Thank you!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Lately...

A few weeks ago I complained about a nasty canker sore I had on the inside of my cheek.  It's long gone now, but I still can't help but think about it.


It hurt that bad.


In comparison to my body, it was minuscule in size.  The rest of my body felt just fine, in fact. Healthy as a horse.  Yet...it made my days miserable.  Especially one of the things I enjoy most...eating.


It's like that in life though, isn't it?  So many things to be thankful for.  So many good things happening, and all it takes is that one little thing to distract us from the rest.  To somehow make all the other great things suddenly seem less enjoyable.


It's like that in churches too.  Ask anyone who goes to a church and they can likely think of a situation they've experienced.  Maybe they enjoy so much about their church...but there's that one little thing they can't quite get over. Ask those in ministry and you'll likely receive a faint smile and shrug of the shoulders.  Either because they're doing all they can to hand over everyone's one little thing to their Savior who promises He has the shoulders to bear it...because they do not, or because although so many people in their church are faithful and encouraging and growing in their faith and are joyful...there's that one...


It was tough to ignore the canker sore.  Sometimes, I just decided I would not be able to enjoy food until it was gone.  Totally and completely gone.  


And other times, I resolved to eat things that didn't bother it so much...because really, one little canker sore surely cannot ruin everything...that would be ridiculous.


God's teaching me to {isolate} things.  To take captive the things that seek to destroy joy.  The things that distract me from Him.  And it's hard.  And it's constant.  Because isn't it true, there's always something.


Am I saying that people are sometimes like canker sores?  Yes.  Yes I am.  


Praying today that God helps me not to be that canker in someone else's life...and that I learn to not let the canker in my own life steal the joy from all He's doing...because He's doing some really amazing stuff.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Messy-Messerson

I sorta always thought my boys were dirty and grungy looking because, well, they were boys.  And then I had Lucy...


I can't keep this girl clean.  


Before church:



Don't let her big, sweet smile fool you.  She hates that hat.  She rips it off her head immediately.

Sunday night, Ben was putting the boys to bed, and I was sitting on the couch with the laptop...a big red chair obstructing my view of a very quiet 17 month old.

We found why she was so quiet.  We keep forgetting she can reach everything off of the table.  It was a fitting way for her to end the day, since at lunchtime she carried Jake's half-full bowl of chicken tortilla soup over to the shag rug and fed herself in the same manner pictured below.  We're still digging black beans and corn out of the rug.





Maybe our genetics just produce messy kids.  Good thing they're cute.  




PS - Don't forget to go HERE and not only register yourself for a chance to win, but spread the word so that $ can be raised for those precious kids in Africa!  Pretty please.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Make a Difference & Giveaway

If you haven't read yesterdays post.  You'll want to...unless you're one of those people who can jump into the middle of a movie and keep watching till the end, not even caring that you have no idea what happened in the beginning.  Not that I mind that *cough*


Yesterday I mentioned that I am SUPER excited about something...mostly because I love it.  A lot.  And I think you will too.  


Haleigh (from yesterdays post) is going to be going on a Christian Missions Aid trip to Kenya in November.  They'll be working in orphanages and doing other CMA relief and developmental projects.  You can learn more about it here.


To raise funds for the trip, she has put together a lullabies CD called Lullabies for Africa.  There are several different ways you can purchase it for download, all of which you can check out at the website  HERE.  And if you'd like to purchase the CD and case (below) you can here.








I downloaded it last week.  I can't even tell you how much I adore it.  It's a compilation of songs that Haleigh, her friends, and her sisters wrote and sing and it simply blows me away.  Every time I listen to it, I think of those babies in Africa...and I think of my own kids...and I just love it.  It's beautiful and fun, we've been listening to it all day long around here.


I just think it's such a great, creative way to not only raise money, but minister to people.  


It's the perfect gift for yourself, a friend, anyone...and the bonus is that it goes to such a great cause. 


The Lullabies for Africa website will have all the information you need to buy as much as you'd like.  Super simple.  You can even listen to some of the songs first.  We have some favorites in our house.  Bugga Boo is the song we sing non-stop around here.  Even my hubby is humming and singing it.  Right now, as I type this, I can hear (through the baby monitor) Ben whistling it.  For Real.  We also love Rest Your Head, One Two Three, I Love Ya, and Rest Your Head for the Night...you get the idea, we like it. 


There are also some ways you can help get the word out, so that everyone everywhere (go big or go home, right?) can get their hands on this music and fund this ministry opportunity.  I can't go to Africa to do the work needed.  Haleigh can.  The least I can do is help...and listen to music. ;)


I'm also excited to be GIVING AWAY a CD as well!  There's a few ways to enter.  For each way you enter, just leave me a separate comment telling me what you did.  


1 - Go to Lullabies for Africa and "Like" on Facebook. (you can also do this from the Lullabies for Africa website.


2 - Mention and link to the Lullabies for Africa website on your blog.


3 - Share the link on Twitter


4 - Purchase a copy or download it from the website (enter yourself twice for that!) and if you win, then mark someone off your Christmas list. ;)


5 - Listen to Bugga Boo and tell me you too cannot stop singing it.


Ok, I think that's it.  


I'm gonna leave the chance to win open till Friday.   Now it's your turn.  Spread the love.


Isn't this fun?!?  





Sunday, September 18, 2011

Back-Story

I am so excited to share something with you.  I mean SUPER excited.  


But first, I must fill you in on the back story, because isn't that the way to hook you?  Make you emotionally attached?  Oh wait, maybe that just works for me...


I'm from a small town.  Not nearly as small as tiny town where I currently live.  Small town is about 10,000 times bigger than tiny town.  Confused yet?  So, in a small town, it seems that every one's lives criss-cross in some way or another.  Growing up, I found that rather annoying.  But as an adult, I've come to adore it.  It's a part of me.


Growing up, I had a friend from school (who also lived close to me) we'll call her Shera...because that's her name.  I loved going over to her house.  Shera had a little niece named Haleigh.  Haleigh was seriously the cutest little thing I'd ever seen.  I remember I couldn't get over how tiny and petite she was.  Isn't it weird the things your mind remembers?  But I remember loving the atmosphere in their home.  


Shera went to a parochial school with me.  At that stage, I knew about God, but I didn't know Him.  Neither did my family.  But Shera's did.  


I switched schools in fifth grade.  Parochial school turned out to be a bad fit for me.  Just what you want to hear about a pastor's wife, eh?  Shera and I lost touch...new friends and such.


At the end of eighth grade, my mom received a call from the pastor of the church we attended, informing her that I would not be getting confirmed with my classmates because I had not been accomplishing my work...on purpose. My lost, distraught mom, decides to accept the invitation of a friend and try a different church.


*side note* 8th grade was not my finest moment.  I also managed to fail band on purpose because my mom would not let me quit.  I knew if I was failing she'd let me drop it.  And she did.  I'm quite sure the band teacher still hates me.  


So we go to the church.  I think the pastor is crazy and inform my mom we are not going back.  But, we go back...and I met Jesus there.  My heart changed.  And most certainly the direction of my life changed...significantly.


Turns out, Shera and her family were also coming to that church.  We had so much fun in youth group together.  And we may or may not have completely stalked DC Talk.  Youth group was crucial in my life.  It was my favorite place to be.  At the end of my youth group years, Shera's brother and his wife (Haleigh's parents) became our youth leaders.  I loved them...still do.


Life, always intertwining.


Little Haleigh is now a beautiful grown young woman.  And she's got a project going on that simply amazes me...and I can't wait to let you in on it. 


Tomorrow.


Brutal, I know.  But I'll leave you with a little something...there will also be a give away. Yippee!  


See you tomorrow :)



Thursday, September 15, 2011

I'm Rude Like That...

I'm so rude.  I totally left everyone hanging on my flesh-eating-canker/no-sugar-insanity post.  I hope none of you lost sleep.


Never fear.  I salted the thing like a mad woman and in a few days it was good. to. go.  You guys gave me some great advice.  Who needs Google when you have blog friends?


Also, I'm on day 18...or 19 (I've lost track) of very VERY little processed sugar.  I cut my carbs down too, because when I eat them, my body ends up craving sugar even more.  By about day 8, I wasn't craving it nearly as bad...and by day 10 I knew it wasn't quite long enough to break my addiction...one pumpkin spice latte and I'd totally fall off the wagon.


It's empowering to tell myself no.  I feel better.  I only ran once the past couple weeks (I'm on a lazy-sleep-loving streak right now) and I still managed to lose eight pounds.  Eight pounds of sugar!







Thursday, September 1, 2011

Riveting Stuff

I bit the side of my cheek with my molars.  It happened about a week ago, and now I have the biggest baddest canker sore evah.  I think it may actually just eat a hole entirely through my face. Can they do that?  Wait...don't tell me if it can. I don't wanna know.


I've tried gargling warm salt water (because this is what my Grandma has made me do since I was a toddler) but it's not helping all that much.  I've also been spraying it with sore throat numbing spray, and that helps for about 1.5 seconds.


Any tips for me?


On a totally other topic about me I am on day 4(of 10) of my low sugar/carb detox. I'm less cranky, for sure.  But I'd still love me a bowl of cookie dough...and by bowl, I mean mixing bowl.  I will admit, the food I am eating now is keeping my belly full much longer than the usual junk I eat, but at the end of the day, I'm just not eating all that much because, lets face it,  if I can't have sugar, I'd rather not eat.    


Also, yesterday on my morning run, my body was like, "What the heck?!?  Where's the sugar? Where's the carbs? I quit."  It felt terrible.  So tomorrow I'm gonna give my body what it's used to having before a run: peanut butter toast and coffee.  


Wow...aren't you glad I'm blogging again...riveting stuff here folks.  Riveting.