Thursday, June 30, 2005

I LOVE to laugh...thanks Todd Goldman

I love to laugh. I like things that are creative yet simple. I also love things that are a sign of our times, it gives me a feel for our culture and society.

While my husband and I were in Las Vegas in May (celebrating 10 wonderful years of marriage) we wondered into a gallery that had some art displayed by Todd Goldman. We laughed and laughed. Todd's witty, sarcastic view is reflected through simply drawn characters and is a contemporary social commentary. Yes - they are by no means politically correct and in some cases they do not reflect my personal don't comment on how sacrilegious I am. Use them as a tool to further understand the culture that we live in and what its state of mind is. Take a minute to check out his art , I'd love to hear what you think.

My personal favorites (if you ever want to splurge on me, Honey):

  • I Understand, I Just Don't Care
  • Chillin
  • Gimme Your Donuts

  • Or for an everyday gift - a signed book by Todd Goldman, "Boys Are Stupid, Throw Rocks At Them!"

    Wednesday, June 29, 2005


    Tried a new recipe last night and it was so yummy I thought I would share it. And it is super easy and fast to make. Hope you enjoy it as much as my family did!

    4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (I purchased onion glazed breasts from Hen House and they were yummy)
    8 cups torn salad greens (I used spinach leaves. I'm not much of an iceberg lettuce gal.)
    1 cup frozen corn, thawed
    1 cup black beans
    1 cup Mexican style shredded cheese
    Ranch dressing

    1 - Preheat grill to medium-high heat. (George Foreman grilled worked great). Grill chicken 6 to 8 min. on each side or until cooked through. Slice chicken diagonally.

    2 - Divide greens evenly among 4 plates. Top with chicken; sprinkle with corn, beans, cheese. Drizzle each salad with dressing and salsa.

    Makes 4 servings.

    I got this recipe out of Kraft's Food & Family magazine. You can sign up for free mailings of their wonderful recipe magazine. Click Here.

    Tuesday, June 28, 2005

    Leadership Thoughts

    Okay, so Ben mentioned his "10 Things on Leadership" and asked us to share ours. I don't have a "10 List" but here are a few lessons learned.

    • Always Show Respect Nobody likes to be put down, talked down to, ignored, or yelled at. I've seen leaders try to make people follow them by using these tactics. Believe me, nobody follows you when these tactics are used...they simply obey until the project is done and then find a real leader to follow.
    • Welcome Criticism There is no better way to know what areas you can develop as a leader unless somebody tells you. Welcome comments and critiques from those below, around, and above you with an open heart and without defensiveness. Try as hard as possible not to take it personally but instead as a challenge. And always thank them.
    • Expect Others Opinions I love allowing everyone on my team to share their thoughts and opinions regarding any issue. As a director I reserve a time for open talk, I'll ask the entire team (lights, audio, media, actors, janitors, any living body) to share what they think is or isn't working. Mind you I have a small team, with larger troupes you may need to reserve the open forum for crew leads. But regardless of who it is I welcome their thoughts and truly consider them. Even though they may submit a crazy idea, I found quite often that it really is a good suggestion. This is not a sign of "weak" leadership; on the contrary it shows strength and confidence.
    • Surround Yourself With Spiders Perry Noble wrote a blog regarding this topic titled "I REALLY HATE SPIDERS!!!" It's a great blog about how you should surround yourself with people whose strengths are your weaknesses. Check it out!
    • Aspire to be Replaced Many people lead in fear of not being able to lead anymore. They micro-manage their teams, they baby step them through every project never allowing any personal growth, decision-making opportunities, or leadership development. I say – LET GO! Give room for mistakes, mentoring and growth – this is how leaders are developed. Once a team member has proven themselves step aside and let loose of the reigns. You’ll probably find they do a better job than you ever did. Besides, you won’t know what God has in store for you next until you move on. Believe me, people, it’s a good thing. Really.
    • Don’t Re-invent the wheel Read, read, read. Learn from others and their experiences so you don’t have to make the same mistakes they have. As Ed Young puts it, “You’ve got eyes…plagiarize!” And I can’t agree more. So many Christians waste time trying to make a project completely unique or totally “inspired” only to kill precious time that could’ve been spent investing in people’s lives. If there is a ministry, project, drama, whatever that is already working for another church, ministry or person – ask to use it. Besides being flattered they’ll be happy to know there are others with the same mission of reaching people and changing lives.
    • Attitude is Everything From personal experience I can attest that this works. My husband and I have been making this a priority in our home. No matter what swings your way if you have a great attitude you will definately handle it well. Nancy Beach wrote a book titled, "An Hour On Sunday" and she says, "Every person contributing to the hour on Sunday - no matter what their role - affects the rest of the team by their attitude. Just a look of disgust or disdain can quench someone's spirit. But when one of us shows up with a joyful spirit, feeling it's a privilege to serve and seeking out others we can encourage, we profoundly influence team culture."

    Monday, June 27, 2005

    Rebble, Start a Blog

    Just do it!

    QuikTrip DOES Rock!

    My husband posted a blog titled QuikTrip Rocks and I can't agree more. Yesterday I wanted to stop by a convenience store to pick up some sodas because nothing beats an ice-cold fountain drink on a hot day. There are two convenience stores near our home, neither is a QT and there really aren't any QTs that are close. The first convenience store I went in to had run out of diet caffeine free coke, after I finally got his attention (it took several, "excuse me, Sir"s) I mentioned politely that the soda was out. He rudely looked at me and said, "I know". So I asked, again politely, if there was any more that he could set up. Do you know what he said?!! "I don't even know" without any intention of going to the back to look. ARGH!!! I can't stand rude people. After that, I of course wasn't going to make any purchase there -I probably would've sought a different option but the thought of giving them any business after that kind of treatment make me nauseous. I left. Across the street was another little convenience store; with great hesitation (and thirst) I was going to give it a try. I looked and didn’t even see any caffeine free options and even if I wanted to ask the attendant for assistance I wouldn’t have been able to because he was too busy taking a personal call on his cell phone!!!
    So, what can we learn about barrier busting from this experience? I pray and hope that any visitors to our church do not get treated in this manner. I pray they are not spoken rudely to for asking an “obvious” question. And I pray if they do have the desire to ask a question that our members aren’t so busy “taking personal calls” or busy talking to their circle of friends that they can seek help. As a church we need to focus on excellence in service. Let’s try and make an impression that will leave visitors desiring to return for more.

    Thursday, June 23, 2005

    Men, there is hope

    Got milk? has a new ad campaign out that promotes the positive effects that dairy (calcium) can have on pms. Check out the new commercial.

    Any women out there???

    Alright, these past couple of weeks we've had several Grace men launch blogs. Women, we need to catch up! I'm a lonely bird out here and would love to have some encouragement and growth from the Grace ladies. So, men, let's get your ladies up to speed. Blogger offers free blogs (which is what I use) so there is no excuse!

    And if there are any ladies' blogs you read and would recommend please let me know.

    Tuesday, June 21, 2005

    Caffeine Free for 1 week!

    I've been off of caffeine for about a week now and all I can say is WOW! I know that doesn't seem very long but it is long enough to see effects of no caffeine. The biggest change I've noticed in my body is how much easier it is to wake up in the morning. When my eyes open I'm ready to go!!! That is amazing to me because before I would drag my feet until I had my first cup of coffee and the caffeine was running through my veins. I've also noticed that I have a ton of energy. Amazing for a mother of 2 little ones. I always heard people say that you have more energy when you're off of caffeine and I always thought they were nuts. Well, I'm the nut now! I do have more energy and it is awesome!
    My challenge to you: TRY IT! Try to get the caffeine out of your system and see what happens. And then come back and let me know. Good luck!

    Monday, June 20, 2005

    Boys will be boys!!!

    I always heard that boys will make weapons out of anything. Well, it's true. Joseph took a simple mommy and son moment of making pancakes and quickly turned it into a shooting fest when the eject button was discovered on the hand beater. At just the right angle the projection is quite nice. Really, what was I thinking? Cooking? Next time we spend mommy and son time it'll be water guns in the back yard.

    Sunday, June 19, 2005

    Happy Father's Day!

    I wish this to the two wonderful father's in my life, my husband and also my father.

    Thanks for being an example of what it means to follow God with all your life. You're the best!

    I love to see your interaction with our children and to see you displaying Christ is their lives daily. You're an awesome dad.

    Happy Father's Day!

    Potty Training Blues

    2-1/2 year old boy...need I say more? Argh!!!!

    I think I've tried every tactic in the book. If you have any ideas I would love to hear them.

    Friday, June 17, 2005

    Healthy Eating

    Okay, so I've been trying to "adopt a healthier eating lifestyle", that's the new term for diet. I have never been a big dieter so the healthier lifestyle really is the direction I'd prefer to go in anyway. The problem...I've discovered I'm not as educated as I think.

    My husband was a high school athlete and has learned a lot about the human body and how it functions. He's been trying for several years to help me "get it" but I guess I'm a thick head. Finally, he said, "It's simple, you can't gain weight if you burn more calories than you take in." He's right that is simple. Again, the I really know what I'm consuming?

    I've been tracking all my calories and such for meals at home and have been doing great. I haven't been tracking meals at restaurants. So I decided to find out what the calorie count is for some of our common meals out. YIKES! Not a good idea. Well, actually, it was a good idea just very sobering.

    So, here are a couple of reads for better fast food choices:

  • Healthy Fast Food For Kids

  • Fast Food Best Choices

  • Wednesday, June 15, 2005

    Cheap Summer Fun

    Movies. I love them, love taking my kids there but hate the cost. What ever happened to $1 shows? Well, they're $2.50 shows now. I've just discovered that many of the national theatre companies offer special summer showings. The days of dollar theatres are gone and now you can see movies for a reduced price at your neighborhood theatre.

    AMC has a program called "AMC Summer Movie Camp" that allows you to get tickets 8 days before their show for free. Their movies show on Wednesday mornings at 10:30 a.m. You can check out their site for upcoming movies.

    Dickinson's Summer Vacation Movie Series has a lot more viewing options and time options than AMC. Their selections are not free but the flexibility it lends to mothers is worth it. They have 2 showing of 1 or 2 movies at least 4 days a week. And at the small price of $2.50 a ticket (children 3 & under are free!) it is well worth it.

    Other Inexpensive Summer Fun:
    -Bike Riding
    -Focus on the Family's ideas:
    -More ideas:

    Have fun this summer!!!

    Saturday, June 11, 2005

    Finding "Quiet Time" as a Mom

    Last week was tough. Real tough. I was at a spiritual low and it wasn't until last Sunday that I tried to climb out of my little pit. I realized my heart was far from God and I made a concentrated effort (once again - why can't I learn?) to find a "consistent" quite time to spend with God. So Monday morning, following that path of that Virtuous Woman in Proverbs 31, I awoke "while it was yet dark" (in my house that is around 6 a.m.), got showered and dressed, and enjoyed a wonderful quite time with God. Ah, it was so refreshing. Tuesday I followed the same routine. Ah, what bliss. Wednesday, I followed the same routine, however, my children did not. They decided that it was no longer "dark" at 6:45 a.m. My quiet time didn't last as long. Thursday, it was no longer "dark" at 6:25 a.m. (mind you my goal was to have quite time from 6:30-7 a.m.).

    Friday I was going to try to get up at 6 am to have my quiet time. Would’ve worked great had my son not chosen to wake up at 5:40 am. I was frustrated beyond belief! I took him downstairs and plopped him in front of the tube and decided to play around online to burn off some steam. I stumbled onto a web page that a father had created that shared his account of his 3-year-old daughter’s battle with a brain tumor. It was one of the most troubling things I’ve ever read. This man shared the short life of his daughter and the trails of the battle she lost. It was sobering.

    As my day progressed, I realized that I resented my children for “stealing” my quiet time. This is a trial I’ve had since my first daughter was born 5 ½ years ago. When I was younger I had the time to spend hours of study in the Bible. That season of my life was filled with easy quiet times.

    Then it hit me…I should be thankful that I have my children to steal my quiet time. I should appreciate that they are healthy, happy children. For life is but a vapor (James 4:14) and God can take them away from me as easily as He gave them to me. They are His children after all.

    Then the next learning hit me…God just spoke to me via a web page! God can teach me and speak to me in many ways. I should not limit Him.

    The season of life that I am in now brings new ways of learning. Having young children is very demanding and rarely allows for any quiet time much less “a Quiet Time”. So I must seek new ways in which God can speak to me and teach me. If I do get the rare moment for a quiet time I’ll enjoy and appreciate it. But when I don’t get that study time I’ll look for other ways to listen to God.

    Here are some ways in which God can teach:
    Song – Deut. 31:19
    Nature – Job 12:7-8
    Any way He chooses – Ps. 25:12
    His Eyes – Ps. 32:8
    His Word/Bible – Ps. 94:12
    Testimonies – Ps. 132:12
    Holy Spirit – Lk. 12:12

    Friday, June 10, 2005

    TEN YEARS!!!!!!

    Today Brian and I celebrate 10 years of marriage!!! Wow!

    I remember the days when I wondered if I would ever get married. I wondered if it was possible to find a man that I considered perfect. Now, I'm here 10 years later and perfect is an under-statement for the man that God gave me.

    I love you so much! You are more than I ever could have dreamed of. The man you have become in God is overwhelming for me. I just can't think of a better life and family than what we have together. You are a man of character, strength, and wisdom. To see who you have become as a husband, father and minister is an honor. I love you.

    Thursday, June 09, 2005

    So, what's the sitch?

    We collected all 52 cards!!!! Plus a bonus card and approximately 156 duplicates (sarcastic tone implied).

    For those of you unfortunate people who haven't been so lucky as to stumble into the Kim Possible world of your average teenage cheerleader. She can save the world, do her homework, and update her wardrobe -- and that's just on a school night!

    One trait (I haven't decided if it's good or bad) that my daughter has picked up from me is one of persistence. So, when we stumbled --by that I mean I would have never taken this path had I know its destination -- upon Kim Possible's So the Drama trading card page I should've known what was going to happen. The 6 cards we collected on that day would not be complete without the remaining 46 (and, lucky me, the bonus 53rd card!). So we would log in daily to collect cards. The first week really wasn't so bad since we were just beginning. But day after day and more duplicates arrived the persistence of my daughter slowly turned into passion and then into obsession. Can you believe I would let her log on 2 -3 times a day just to collect cards! You bet I would, because I knew we wouldn't stop the craze until all the cards were collected. And printed. And cropped. And glued.

    Ah, we've arrived at the end of the craze. Be ware parents....Disney is always finding clever ways to hook your kids into these never ending journeys.

    But, as Kim says, no big. It's so not the drama.

    Monday, June 06, 2005

    "Look, Mom, no wheels!"

    This was such an exciting night for Brian and me. I held the video camera while he ran along side her bike. All of us giggling with joy. It was the first time Kiersten rode her bike without the training wheels. What a blast to share these moments together!

    Thursday, June 02, 2005

    Our Kids

    Left to Right: Carys, Maelee, Kaylie, Baby Jackson, Kiersten, Joe, Tanner

    The perfect gift to yourself

    "A friend is a gift you give yourself." - Robert Louis Stevenson

    Why is it that as a mother we tend to forget about our own "refueling"? This week has really been a challenge for me. My children somehow lost all sensibility and set their goal to be "drive mommy crazy!". Truth be told, they succeeded the better part of the week. However, God saved the day (as He always does) and intervened. Two of my dearest friends came over today. He must have known what my week was going to be like when He had us plan our get together.
    Lesson learned: I need time with my dear friends to keep my sanity.

    Homage to My Friends
    Addie and Jennifer. We go way back. In fact, Addie and Jenn knew each other in elementary. I didn't meet them until junior high. It was during our high school years that our friendships developed. It seems as if we've been through everything together. Dating, babysitting, house sitting, camps, retreats, ministry trips, engagements, weddings, and even child bearing.

    So, here we are, all grown up. We always talked about these years as if they were so far away - how did we get here so quickly? I can remember conversations of our dream husbands; we've all been blessed. I can remember conversations of our dream weddings; we've all been blessed. I can remember conversations of our dream families; we've all been blessed.

    I remember Addie talking about her grandmother's circle of friends. Her grandmother would say that years would pass between get togethers with her circle of friends but they could always just pick right up where they left off. I always wanted that for us, we've been blessed. In this stage of life only seasons pass between get togethers and I'm not naive enough to think that our day won't come when years will pass but I have no doubt that we'll always just pick right up where we left off.

    Jenn, Addie - I can't thank God enough for you. Our friendship is precious to me. Thank you.