I've Missed You Barbecue

>> Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I love spring and summer.

I love that spring and summer are barbecue season.

We don't barbecue like normal people.

We go overboard. Way overboard.

Example: Saturday we cooked 16 hamburgers, 6 chicken breasts, and 8 hot dogs. Plus, baked beans.

No, we didn't have any company.

Yes, we are going to eat it all.

Yes, we will eat barbecue for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for days.

No, I don't have to cook for half the week.

I love barbecue.


How We Survive Marriage - Part 2

>> Monday, March 29, 2010

If you missed part one you can read that here.

This week's survival tip is an easy one, yet I believe it is one that many people need to hear.

Don't take your spouse for granted.

My husband and I had a blow out last week. I should have known. I start a marriage series here, and all of my ideas of our happy, strong marriage are thrown out the window. We are fine now, but things were ugly in these parts for a couple days. I'm not going to share any details of our spat, but I am going to tell what I learned from it.

I learned I've been taking my husband for granted. Taking your spouse for granted is not a good thing for a marriage. It only has negative outcomes and should be avoided. The small things that I used to do to show my love and affection had stopped. How I treated my husband was not a thought on my mind because I was too busy with everything else. His feelings were not a priority in my life because I had the mindset that he would always be here and I have the rest of my life to show him my love. Poor guy.

Something that can lead to taking someone for granted is letting negative thoughts consume your mind. It is so easy to get caught up in life and only think about the negative things about one's spouse. I am so very guilty of this. Any married person can think of things he/she doesn't like about his/her spouse. Any married person can also think (I hope) of things he/she does like about his/her spouse. Always focusing on the negative will result in taking that person for granted. Imagine your life without your spouse. Let your mind go there. Think of all the things your spouse does for you and your family. Imagine that suddenly being taken away. It makes you appreciate your spouse a little bit more, huh?

Our little (big?) spat was good for us. It put all of our feelings about every little thing on the table. It made us stronger. A little fight every now and then can do some good, as long as it doesn't break you.

Do something special for your husband (or wife) and let him (or her) know how much he/she is loved and appreciated.


Busy Mom's Bible

>> Friday, March 26, 2010

Zondervan recently sent me a copy of their Busy Mom's Bible. I absolutely love it. It truly is perfect for busy moms. What mom isn't busy? Plus, it is also the custest bible ever, which doesn't hurt either. Jazlyn calls it my pretty Bible.

The Bible has thirteen colored pages throughout. On each of these colored pages are four sections about one topic. There are fifty-two sections so you can do one a week. Each section starts with a devotional, which it lists as taking one minute of your time. Then there is a reflect and pray part that should take about five minutes. After that it points you to the study index in the back of the Bible, which lists additional scriptures pertaining to the topic. The study section should take about ten minutes.

Some of the different topics discussed on the pretty colored pages are marriage, raising your kids, emotions, and God's love for you. There is also a concordance. My last Bible didn't have a concordance so it is nice to have one again. Wait, there's even more! After the study index in the back, there are two pages titled 5 Minutes Reading About Jesus and 5 Minutes Reading About the Women of the Bibile. It lists different topics about both on each page and goes through all of the scriptures related to each topic. I love how this Bible breaks down how many minutes each part will take. There are even some maps included. I told you it was a great Bible!

My only itsy bitsy complaint is that it is the NIV translation. I personally like the New King James. I'm not sure if the Busy Mom's Bible is available in different versions or not. I would still buy one if it is only available in the NIV, because I can always reference back to my other Bible if I wanted to. The way this Bible is broken down makes it totally worth it. The Busy Mom's Bible makes it so easy to not just read the Bible, but study it, even if all I have is a few minutes.



>> Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I played Guess Who with Jazlyn.

Then we played Candyland.

I spent some time with my hubby before he went to work.

I chased Isaiah around the living room savoring the sound of his laugh.

I enjoyed the beautiful day while watching the kids play in the front yard.

I am learning not to take for granted this special time of being home all day with two small kids.


High School Reunion

>> Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It is time for it. My first high school reunion. I'm sure everyone says this, but it is hard to believe that it has been ten years. I'm am completely torn as to whether or not I want to go. There are many reasons I can think of as to why we shouldn't go.

First off, the price is $100. That includes my whole family going to a catered picnic at a park and then a cocktail party/dinner that night for my husband and me. I'm a frugal person now and that seems like a lot for one day's events.

Second con: I've kept in touch with about one person all these years. I played sports and was part of the "in crowd," but I got too wild for a lot of my friends, then I became too tame for the ones that were left. I am a completely different person than I was in high school, and I think it might be wierd to be around all of them again.

Third con: Cocktail party means alcohol. I'm sure if we went we would be one of a handful of couples not partaking in the alcoholic beverages. Being the only sober person around a lot of drunk people is not always enjoyable.

Did I mention the cost is one hundred dollars?

Now the one reason I do want to go is regret. I'm scared I will regret it if I don't go. I will look on Facebook and see all the pictures and wonder if I made the right decision.

A date night with my hubby wouldn't be so bad either.

Can someone please flip a coin for me and tell me whether or not I should go? Thanks.

Also, please leave a comment and let me know your experiences (or lack thereof) of your high school reunion and why you chose to go or not. I would love to hear what you have to say!


Five Question Friday on this Special Day

>> Friday, March 19, 2010

This special day is.........my birthday! Woohooo! I am twenty-eight, one more year closer to thirty. Thirty sounds so old to me (sorry to those of you over thirty). On a lighter note, I woke up this morning to a clean house (thanks to myself for staying up late cleaning) and it is going to be a beautiful sunny day. The high today is seventy. Couldn't ask for more perfect weather. I'm looking forward to a day outside with my kiddos.

Head on over to Mama M.'s to read others' answers. On to the questions.....

1. Have you ever had a celeb sighting?

Negative. I don't understand the going crazy over celebrities thing. That drives me crazy when people lose their minds when they see a celebrity, whom they don't even know.

2. What temperature do you keep your house?

I like my house cold. I like it between 65 and 70 degrees. Everyone who comes to my house always says that it is freezing here.

3. Do you notice dust at other peoples homes?

Yes. This just started recently. Not sure why I have this new obsession with dust.

4. What's the worst job you ever had?

Working in customer service for then Cingular. Worst job ever. I think I took calls only for a couple weeks after the training. Talking to rude people all day is not for me.

5. What is your most sentimental possession?

Probably my grandmother's earrings. She left this earth my freshman year of high school. I miss her.


Flesh vs Spirit

>> Thursday, March 18, 2010

Galatians 5:19-21 tells us that the works of the flesh are adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like.

Am I guilty of some of these sometimes? Yes.

Galatians 5:22-23 tells us that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

Do these words describe how I always act? No.

How do I stay away from the works of the flesh and make the fruit of the Spirit evident in my life? I need to watch what is going on in my mind.

Romans 8:5-6 says For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

When I wake up in the morning am I thanking God for another day or am I worrying about what I'm going to eat for breakfast?

When it is the end of a busy day will I choose to watch television or will I read my Bible and pray?

If I never spiritually feed my mind, then it will be evident in my actions. If I notice Chuck (my hubby) still hasn't taken out the trash like I asked him to, and I just got done praying, then I am more likely to respond with a kind and gentle word instead of an outburst of wrath.

Balance is they key here. I can't go a whole day without a single thought of God and expect to treat others the way I should. Being out of balance in this area has a negative effect on my relationships. Balance is what I need because God has let some special people be a part of my life.

Just in case you didn't know the exciting news, tomorrow is my birthday! Therefore, I am open to any love or kind words you might have for me. :-)


Do you have Swag?

>> Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Swag Bucks that is. I just recently signed up with Swag Bucks. I've been hearing about them in the past year, but for some reason I never signed up until now. I didn't realize how awesome they were. I heart them. If you are not signed up with them, click on the banner you see above and sign up. Now. No really, do it. Now.

Swag Bucks is a search engine (you know, like Google). Every few times you do a search on their site, you earn points, or Swag Bucks. Then you can exchange those Swag Bucks for something in their Swag Store. Everyone uses an internet search engine from time to time. Why not get free stuff for doing it?


Race Talk

>> Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I registered Jazlyn for school the other day. I almost cried. I didn't think it would be this hard sending her to school. If I could stop time I would, but I can't. So forward we must go.

Just in case you aren't familiar with us, if you look at our pictures I'm sure you will notice the difference in the color of skin among our family members. My husband is (let me use PC terms here) African-American and I am Caucasian. As far as I know, nobody has ever made a big deal about this to Jazlyn. I don't want to make a big deal about it either, but I do think we need to have a talk with her so she has an understanding of things, just in case someone at her school does make a big deal about it.

We live in Alabama. When I was in school, people made a very big deal about any kid whose parents weren't both of the same race. There were maybe a handful of these kids during my school days, and I went to a large school. I know things are not the same as they were ten to fifteen years ago, but there might still be some ignorant parents out there raising ignorant kids. In Jazlyn's dance class of about fifteen kids there are four other biracial children, so I don't think I have to worry about her feeling out of place. I still want her to be prepared and have and understanding of who she is, just in case someone does say something to her. Although I don't think she will ever have a problem with her confidence or self-esteem.

I would love to hear any comments or experiences anyone might have regarding this, good or bad.


How We Survive Marriage - Part 1

>> Monday, March 15, 2010

I'm going to start a couple series here on my blog. There are some things I have been wanting to post about but the topics cover too much for just one post.

Can you guess what this series is about? Marriage you say? Why how did you guess that? You're just so stinkin' smart. :)

So here we go. I was looking through our wedding photos the other day. It made me realize just how far my husband and I have come in the past few years regarding our relationship. We were pitiful in the beginning. We used to fight all the time. Even before we got married, while we were going through pre-marriage counseling, I called numerous times to cancel the counseling sessions because we were calling off the wedding. I look back and laugh now, but at the time it wasn't fun. We have learned so much through this marriage process. We are by no means anywhere near being experts at marriage, but I do feel like we have either learned or been taught by others many things that are essential to a lasting marriage. Marriage is one of satan's favorite things to attack, because it is symbolic of Jesus and His Church. Divorce has a negative effect on all of those involved, but it takes work and compromise to avoid it. In this series I am going to share what we have learned to keep us away from divorce.

Let me start by saying that I do believe there are times when divorce is the best answer. I do believe that God can change anyone to make a marriage last, but sometimes people don't want to change. If a man is abusing his wife and children, mentally or physically, with no remorse or attempt to change, then unfortunately divorce is the solution to protect the wife and kids' well being.

The first thing that I believe is essential to a lasting marriage is making God a priority. Psalm 127:1 says "Unless the Lord builds the house,They labor in vain who build it." I've learned that God has to be at the center of our marriage for it to work. Any time there is discontentment between my husband and me, I try to take a step back and examine my relationship with Jesus, and nine times out of ten, it is not our marriage relationship that needs work. If my relationship with God is where it should be, then usually all my other relationships easily fall into place. I don't mean that there won't ever be any problems, but if I am in proper relationship with God, then when those problems do arise, they don't have a lasting negative effect.

Ephesians 6:12 says "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." Most people don't realize how real the spiritual world around us is. I've learned the more we pray together, the better we get along. I firmly believe our spiritual lives effect every other aspect of our lives. If we take care of our spiritual needs first, then the other areas of our lives will more easily fall into proper alingnment.

More to come.........


Five Question Friday

>> Friday, March 12, 2010

One two three. Here is some stuff about me. Like my mad rhyming skills?

1. How much time do you spend on the computer a day?

This varies greatly from day to day. If I don't have a lot to do and my kids go to bed early, I might spend a few hours. On busy days I'm on here for about 30 minutes. Usually on the weekends I'm not on the computer at all unless I need to look up something.

2. Will you pay for your children's college or raise them to pay for their own way?

We will help our kids financially as much as we can, while making sure they are financially smart. I don't want them finishing college with a lot of debt. My parents did a good job of making sure I wasn't too dumb when it came to my finances and I want to make sure we do the same for our kids. Credit cards are evil. I will teach that to my kids just like my parents taught me.

3. Have you ever been in a car accident?

I've been in too many. In one when I was young I earned my first ambulance ride thanks to a bump on the head. When I was fifteen I was in a bad wreck where we ran over a brick mailbox and flipped quite a few times. There were four of us in the car and nobody was over fifteen. Not smart. My parents were notified (don't remember how) and when they tried to come to where the wreck happened the road was blocked off and the police didn't want to let them come to us. I think they panicked a little. God had His hand on us because we were all ok. Literally minutes before we wrecked something told me to put on my seatbelt and I made the driver put on his. Only bumps, bruises, staples, and stitches were the end result. I've been in a few other minor accidents. I'm a pro. Not by choice.

4. What is your favorite book?

Green Eggs and Ham......or did you mean a more grown up book? I can't pick one. Yes, I am a fan of the Twilight series but I wouldn't say it is my fave. Right now I am loving Karen Kingsbury's books.

5. Do you make your bed everyday?

My bed has to be made before I go to bed, but sometimes that doesn't happen until right before bed time. I don't sleep good unless my bed is just right. I'm wierd like that.


Notice something different?

>> Thursday, March 11, 2010

I bet you do notice something different, unless it is your first time visiting. If you are a first timer, welcome. If you are an "old friend," let me know if you like the new look.

I think I'll be happy with the design of my blog for a while. I'm done playing with it for the night. Goodnight all.



The Point of No Return

Hi blog world. I have missed you.

I said I wasn't posting this week. I guess I lied. I am somewhat caught up with everything. Maybe that's another lie, but it is raining here today so I will have time to get everything caught up.

Tomorrow is the day I have to register Jazlyn for kindergarten. We considered homeschooling, but anyone who knows her knows she would do much better in a class with other kids. Jazlyn is very social, maybe a little too social at times. I think she might get bored and resent school time if she is at home everyday with only her brother and me.

So tomorrow is the point of no return. I am going to get her blue card in the morning, then we are heading to the school. I didn't think it would be this hard. I don't want Jazlyn's world to change. Right now in her world she is the princess and people are nice to her. She hasn't been around too many people that are just plain ole mean, like some of the kids she might encounter in the classroom. Right now I always know what she is doing and who she comes in contact with. In five months her life will be out of my control. Boo to losing control.


Blogging Vacation

>> Monday, March 8, 2010

I'm not going to do any blogging this week. The weather has been nice, so we have been spending a lot of time outside. We have had a lot of fun, but my house has been neglected. I also have some stuff I need to get done this week for church. I don't think blogging will fit into the picture if I am going to do what needs to be done.

I'm so sorry to disappoint you. Hopefully next week you will get the privilege of reading my interesting posts. :)


Five Question Friday

>> Friday, March 5, 2010

Ready. Set. Go.

1. What's your guilty pleasure?

Right now I would have to say Coke. I have been steering clear of the calorie loaded drinks. Sometimes. And just in case you're not from the south, Coke is Sprite, Sunkist, Coca-Cola, Mt. Dew, root beer, etc. Coke in the south is anything carbonated. My husband calls it pop still sometimes and it drives me crazy, just like I probably drive him crazy calling it coke. My other weakness at the moment is Oreos. Yummmm.

I know I probably have the lamest answer. I'm a boring person nowadays.

2. What is your favorite TV series?

Really just one? How about I pick five and we pretend I picked just one? Ok.

Big Bang Theory (funniest show ever!), Criminal Minds, CSI(all of them), Biggest Loser, real life crime shows like Dateline, 48 Hours Mystery.

3. Can you speak any foreign languages?

Hola. Como Estas? That's as far as my foreign language abilities go.

4. How many pairs of shoes do you own?

Is there really a woman who can give an accurate answer to this question?

5. What's your favorite kind of M&M's...peanut, almond, straight up regular, etc.?

Peanut or peanut butter, depending on my mood.


I Don't Feel Like It

>> Thursday, March 4, 2010

I feel like I'm in a rut. I'm not sure how to get out. Actually I do know how to get out, but I don't feel like it.

I don't feel like cleaning my house.

I don't feel like teaching Jazlyn anything.

I don't feel like doing the dishes.

I don't feel like cooking.

I don't feel like picking up toys.

I don't feel like praying.

I don't feel like reading spiritual stuff.

I don't feel like spending time with God.

That last sentence is my real problem, letting my feelings dictate what I do. I need God in my life. If he's not a priority in my life then I get in a rut. I need that fellowship with him to be a good wife and mother. Sometimes it seems like it is just easier not to take the time to read my Bible. Sometimes it seems like it is easier not to to take the time to pray, and instead just go about my day.

That's when the rut comes. Every time I begin to feel this way, it is the same reason behind the cause of it. God speaks to us everyday. If we are too "busy," or just don't feel like hearing from Him, we become more and more distant from the One we need most. This results in the rut. So....

I don't feel like praying, but I'm going to.

I don't feel like reading the Word, but I'm going to.

I don't feel like communing with God, but I'm going to.

Nehemiah 8:10 says "For the joy of the Lord is your strength." Fellowship with God brings joy. Joy brings strength. If I spend time with Him, even though I don't feel like it, He will give me strength to get through the day.

Is there anyone else that can relate to being in this rut?


Kids' Passions

>> Wednesday, March 3, 2010

If you are a long time reader of my blog, then you are cool, and you know that Jazlyn loves to dance. Jazlyn also loves to run, so this year we are going to let her try soccer. She is a very prissy girly girl, so I'm not quite sure how that will turn out. She might go to one practice, get a smudge of dirt on her, and decide that outdoor sports are not for her. We are going to let her try as many things as we can think of to help her figure out what her passions are. I know one of Jazlyn's passions is dance, but we want to find out if there are any others.

Isaiah is still young, but I think he might have a thing for music. Any time he hears music he stops whatever he is doing and starts clapping his hands. He is much more aware of music than Jazlyn was at his age. We'll see if it is something that keeps his interest or not.

I believe that God puts a desire or passion is us for the things that we are supposed to do in life. Some love to sing. Some love to dance. Some love sports, and some love music. My husband and I have made the decision that we are going to do everything we can to give our children the tools they need to find their passions and be successful in them, whatever those passions may be.


What's up with all these blizzards?

>> Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A light dusting on the ground is considered a blizzard here in Alabama. We have much more than a light dusting now, so the blizzard has probably been here for hours. And it is still coming down. I'm sure we have seen more snow this winter than the past five years combined.

In Alabama snow doesn't mean the same thing as it does in the northern states. Our state goes into complete panic mode when the "s" word is mentioned. Panic mode means the grocery stores are wiped out clean. If we are expecting more than half an inch, eggs, milk, and bread will not be found in any stores. Panic mode also means the kids get to stay home from school, even if there is no snow or ice on the roads. Frost bite sets in quicker in Alabama than anywhere else so we can't take the chance of the kids having to walk from their house to the bus through the snow. *Yes, that was sarcasm.*

It is Tuesday and there is a blizzard today. This past Sunday we had to turn on the air conditioner in the car. This weekend the high is 67 degrees. Gotta love this unpredictable Alabama weather.


My Sweet Kids (pictures)

>> Monday, March 1, 2010

It's been a while since I have posted any pictures on here. My camera is still doing the funny line thing. I need to check on the warranty for it. I have something exciting for you today, because you have been deprived long enough. Pictures!

Friends who are photographers are great, especially when they take pictures of your son at a birthday party and send them to you. The pictures of Jazlyn are older ones taken by my dad. Enjoy.



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