Monday, January 30, 2012

Fake Names & Tooth Faries

1. Last night our amateur Tooth Fairy was summoned to the house due to a tooth that was pulled during the nap time that never took place yesterday.  She's only done 3 gigs, so I sort of understand the mishap, but still, there's really no excuse for what happened last night.

Unfortunately, the Tooth Fairy fell sound asleep reading a book.  Thankfully Santa woke her around 5:30am because he was sawing some mean logs.  SANTA, did you make the drop?  AW NUTS!  NO, did you?  No, but I'll go do it.

Luckily the lady of the house  had placed the itty bitty tooth in a very large Ziplock Freezer bag.  I checked her Saran Wrap drawer and all she had was Freezer size bags.  I looked at her stash in the garage and I tell you if she had one box of Freezer size bags she had 5.  That lady needs to learn how to make a list and lay off the BIG Ziplocks so she'll have a sandwich size bag when she needs one.

It made the drop easier though.  The Tooth Fairy was able to pull the gargantu bag out from under the pillow and save the day in the last hour.

2. Saturday I was at my friend JLo's house.  The kids were playing and she was introducing me to  the cutest site!  We were looking at bill organizers, hot chocolate bars and oatmeal stations when my 3 year old came in saying, "Carter is playing in traffic!"  We went out to check and Carterbaby was nowhere to be found.  JLo's husband took out on foot headed toward the park, Shane got in the bus and the neighbor Kay got in her car.  After all hands on deck circled the neighborhood we finally found Carterbaby.  The dog, Coco Chanel got loose and Carter was chasing him.  A family the street over found him and Carter said, "I NEED HELP!  My dog is running away.  I don't know why she'd run away.  We have a nice house and lots of bones!"  After we knew he was safe we had a good laugh.  A nice house with lots of bones-sweet boy.

3.  Last night at community group someone called 3 year old Addison by the name of Sophie.  Did they just call her Sophie, I asked Addie's Mom.  Yes!  That's her fake name.  That got the ball rolling for the three of us womenfolk who were sitting on the couches visiting.  We all had fake names.  Leslie was Vanessa and she used to play Mardel with her friends.  They would do price checks on King James Bibles and everything!  So dang funny.  Tiffny was Marie and my friend Holly and I used to be Hillary and Whitney.  Oh my, the memories.

So, I just HAVE to ask.

Did YOU have a fake name growing up and if so what was it?!

Friday, January 27, 2012


Thinking on the lonely in our culture has had me deep in thought.  I've studied scripture, spent a lot of time praying over this and now I'm just going to cut to the chase and give you my opinions.

I think iPhones, technology, Facebook, the Internet, Twitter, all of it is being used to deceive us.  I think these things can very quickly become iDols in our lives.  They are making real relationship die and they are reeling us in, in unhealthy ways.

An idol is something that is adored, often blindly or excessively.

It is something visible but without substance. A pretender. An impostor.

Have you ever been deceived?  It is an awful feeling.  You have been tricked.  No one likes being misled.  I believe Satan is causing mankind, Christians included, to become way too dependant and addicted to technology.

Take a look at Genesis 3.  The first sin.  Satan, called a deceiver and crafty, tricks Eve.  Think about the symbol of the first sin in the garden.

An apple with one bite taken out of it.  One bite is all it took to destroy perfect relationship with God in the garden.  Now look at the back of your phone.  I don't think for one second that is a coincidence.  I believe that Satan is crafty enough to have people everywhere right where he wants them.  We're so blind, we don't even see it.

Some words that define the tree and the fruit that was not to be touched:  When you eat it your eyes will be opened, it contains knowledge of good things and knowledge of evil things, it looked good for food and was pleasing to the eye, it was desirable for gaining wisdom.  Everything about the appearance of the tree looked good.  However, God has warned, "Do not eat from that tree.  I have given you all the provision you need, and I've given it in abundance, but I warn you.  If you eat from that tree, you will surely die."

You know the story, with one bite, an apple became the symbol of Satan deceiving mankind.
I think back to the donut shop.  I remember the restaurant.  I look at my own days and how FB or blogs can pull me in, wasting valuable time.  This draw toward being tied to technology.  I know the sinking feeling when I'm driving somewhere only to realize I don't have my phone with me.  It's horrible.  What if this happens?  What if that happens?  Fear. 

Why do people want the iPhone with Internet capability 24/7?  To have knowledge.  What if I'm in a big city and want to find the nearest Starbucks?  I'll just be able to pull it up and it will be so convenient for me.  At the touch of my fingers, I have instant access to the World Wide Web.

After doing some research, I have found some interesting things in regard to Apple.  I would not be one bit surprised if Apple is the company who produces the mark that Revelation calls "the mark of the beast."  The first Apple computer was sold in California for $666.66.  With the release of the iPhone 5 one analyst predicted that Apple stock will reach $666.  You can click this link here to see the CNBC video.  Between the Internet and Apple products, I believe the Christian community needs to be watchful and mindful.

From what I understand, the Greek and Hebrew alphabet does not assign separate numbers from letters.  So, a letter can be the same thing as a number.  The Hebrew equivalent for our letter "w" is the is the letter "Vav".  The number equivalent for "Vav" is 6. WWW.  "Vav Vav Vav" or "666". 
A craving to have knowledge of good and evil.  Does that describe our desire to have the latest and greatest?

Just last week, I saw a commercial about a little device you can purchase at Wal-Mart.  For $14.99 a month, you can put a device with your child and know where he is at anytime.  Now you tell me, what is more valuable to you than the safety of your child?  Is technology moving us towards too much reliance on its benefits?
(Below are Scripture references that talk about the number 666 and warnings that accompany it)
Scripture warns us to be watchful, mindful, alert and self-controlled.  Scripture is clear that the Antichrist will come.  Scripture says in Rev 13 that when the Antichrist comes, he will perform miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down to earth in full view of men.  Because of his signs, he'll have the power to deceive the inhabitants of the earth.  He will force everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.  This calls for wisdom.  If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number.  His number is 666."

No one will be able to buy or sell without the mark.  Oh my gosh, we can't even find a Starbuck's without an iPhone, it makes perfect sense that our reliant culture would flock to the device for livelihood.

Here's what Rev 14:9 says.  "If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he too will have to drink the cup of God's fury"

Rev 16:2 says, "The first angel went and poured out his bowl on the land, and ugly and painful sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and worshiped his image."

Rev 19:20 says, "But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf.  With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshipped his image."
Reb 20:4 says, "I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of there testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God.  They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands.  They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years."  Verse 6 says blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection.

Friends, we need to be always on the watch.  I don't know the time he will come.  All I have is Scripture to warn me and give me promise.

In Matthew 24, Jesus says, "Watch out that no one deceives you.  I will give you signs that my return is near.  You will hear of wars and rumors of wars.  There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.  All these are the beginning of birth pains.  Do not be alarmed.  Nation will rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom.    Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death and you will be hated by all nations because of me.  At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.  Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm till the end will be saved."

The iPhone and all modern technology is supposed to be enriching our lives, but is it?  Have we been deceived?  Is eating the Apple leading us toward death?  Death of real relationship and reliance on God?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Lonely in families

This past summer I read a verse that puzzled me.

It said God places the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

The part about prisoners being led forth with singing is a picture I could understand. If it is a picture of captives being set free then that would cause a response of joyful singing.  That makes sense.

The part about the rebellious living in a sun-scorched land also made sense.  Growing up in the south, I understand about hot summers.  The hot sun beating down with no relief is miserable.  No one wants to be outside when the sun is beating down and I sure would not want to live out in the open when the hot sun is beating down on 100+ degree days.  This part paints a picture of where I'm choosing to live if I'm living in rebellion.

But God setting the lonely in families, what is that about?

These words can also read God sets the desolate in a homeland. 

He sets the desolate in a homeland.  He sets the lonely in families.  This is a good thing, right?  Is it a picture of God placing those who need the love we can offer in our path so we can be vessels of His love to them?  I believe after reading the surrounding verses that the lonely being set in a family is meant to be a picture of blessing, covering and protection.

When I look around I see something that appears to be happening in families.  It appears we as a culture are squandering away any real relationship.

We are making a very noticeable shift in our interactions with others.  We are throwing away valuable opportunities.

Several months ago we were on a family outing at Krispy Kreme donuts and a father was there with his two sons.  While the two sons sat at the table drinking there chocolate milks and eating there donuts, Dad sat on bench nearby with his face buried in his phone.  God sets the lonely in families?

Another night, Shane and I were out on a date.  As I looked around the restaurant, I saw many people interacting with their phone and not the people they were there to share a meal with.  More disconnect.  More lonely people?

God sets the lonely in families.  Is this a positive statement-the verse before it talks about God being a father to the fatherless, a defender of the widow, yes, he will take you when you are lonely and set you in a family.  That is supposed to be a good thing, right?

Why then when I look around does it appear lonely being sat in families are still just that-lonely?

Why is there this shift in our culture where we are so chained to technology that we cannot even put it down to share a meal together?  I don't know about you but when we were growing up my mother took the phone off the hook while we ate dinner together.  By doing that she taught us that the table was an important part of who we were as a family.  Even today, if I call in the evening I might get a busy signal.  She still takes it off the hook so that the meal she has prepared can be enjoyed with conversation. 

We didn't feel lonely growing up because my Mom established a culture of relationship in our home.  Every night we sat around a table and talked while we ate a great meal. 

I'm still processing the meaning of this verse but as I think through it one thing is very certain.  There are lonely people in families everywhere we look.  I hope you'll come back tommorow as I continue to share about why I believe we are experiencing disconnect in our homes/families/relationships.

Psalm 68

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


 I love extreme makeovers.  All the photos today are from Extreme Make-Over Home Edition.

Families who got the change of a lifetime.  Old homes, completely demolished.  Expert designers brought in to tear down and rebuild.  I've been asking God for an extreme makeover of my own.  Starting today, every time I see 11:16 on the clock it will serve as my reminder to ask for my own extreme makeover.

Proverbs 11:16 says, "A kind-hearted woman gains respect" 

Responding with kindness is not always my natural response.  Yesterday, when my 3 year old took his foot and purposely bent the page on the cover of my book, it was not kindness that emerged from my heart or worse yet, my mouth.  This morning, when my 6 year old came and jumped on me while I had a full cup of coffee, kindness was not the knee-jerk reaction my heart felt.

But could it be?  Could God come into my life, demolish the old and rebuild the new?  There's only one way to find out.  11:16  Code: Ask God for a heart filled with kindness.  Demolish entitlement mentality and rebuild with walls of kindness.  Demolish sharp tongue and rebuild with kindness.  Demolish anger and rebuild with kindness.  Demolish critical eye and rebuild with kindness.

The law of kindness is on her tongue.  The fruit that emerges from her heart is kindness.  She is known by it.  It defines her.  A banner that waves over her days.  Kindness.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Barbeque-Trifecta BBQ that is

Typically BBQ chicken does not change my life. It ranks right up there with Hamburger Helper in my book. Not the life changing meals I like to serve my family. Not the ones that make you want to light the candles and sit awhile longer.

My usual BBQ Chicken recipe consists off tossing chicken in the pan, pouring a bottle of sauce on top and dusting my face with a little flour when I'm done. Dinner time rolls around and everyone's main response is Meh.


Meh, Meh, Meh.

Not good enough for me.

Meh is for Hamburger Helper.

I don't have my own show or anything (which is a good thing because I talk to myself out loud a fair amount while I'm cooking) (and while I'm grocery shopping).

I had high expectations for this recipe. My cookbook was in need of finding the one.  The one where you could toss the frozen chicken in the crock in the morning, pour the magic sauce on top, and come home at the end of the day to find this...

This recipe is where it is at. Go on ahead and buy an entire bag of boneless skinless chicken breast and toss the entire bag in your crock pot. 

Here's the way I see it. Have it tonight with your salad and other sides. Heat it up again tomorrow for lunch or dinner. When you're done with it tomorrow night, shred it with two forks and freeze it.

Portion it out in Ziplock sandwich or quart size bags. In about two weeks, pull it out on one of those nights when you're going to be home late. Heat it up and put it on toasted rolls. BBQ sandwiches baby.

You're welcome.

If you get this much mileage out of the one bag of chicken, you have every right to label this dish The Trifecta. The chicken dinner that keeps on giving. The Little Chicken Dinner that could...

4-6 pieces boneless skinless chicken breasts (i threw them in frozen... even easier!)
1 bottle BBQ sauce (sweet baby ray's all the way!)
1/4 c vinegar
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 - 1 tsp. garlic powder
Mix ingredients together, pour over chicken, cook in crock-pot on low 6-8 hours.

(Spray your crock-pot with Pam before you use it.  Our spend fitty cents and buy a box of crock-pot liners.)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Go big or go home

Several weeks ago you all shared what type of shampoo you like.  The only one on the list I had not tried was Infusium 23. 

Last Thursday evening I had the luxury of leisurely shopping at Wal-Mart by myself.  After spending a large amount of time smelling the different formulas I can say they all smell amazing.

Trust me on this.  I am a smell aficionado.  This shampoo is where it's at.  All your reviews were right on-it's great stuff.

I had some girls over for dinner Friday night. One thing led to another and before you know it naturally we were talking about hair care.   Our conversation has left me troubled.  As we ate guacamole and enchiladas, a disturbing bit of information was uncovered.  Out of the four of us girls, two of them do not use conditioner.  Wha?  You don't condition?  And I don't need to be either? 

They told me if I'd quit my conditioner I'd get some more height on my hair.  I come from a long line of Big Texas Hair.  Take for example this picture I snapped of my mom's hair at the boys game Saturday.  Her Big Sexy Hair had so much height the people on the row behind us couldn't see their kid play.  That's how we roll people.  Go big or go home, you know what I'm sayin?

Oh my gosh Mom, do you condition? 

What?  Oh heck yeah I'll end this post with a picture of my big boys from their first basketball game.  No, I don't condition there hair.

So I am just perplexed. Am I the only one conditioning anymore? Are you conditioning? Should I break up with the creme rinse?

Monday, January 9, 2012

5 Minute Fluff

You should be able to take a room from drab to fab in 5 minutes or less.  Here are some secret weapons for you to get the job done. 

Secret weapon #1: Feather duster

Secret Weapon #2: 5 minutes (set the timer)

Secret Weapon #3:  Move quick!  You are only making the bed and clearing surfaces and floors of clutter that needs to be taken to proper rooms and spaces.

Secret Weapon #4:  Vacuum lines.  I better not even get started about how much vacuum lines make my heart swoon.  When I was growing up, if I had just vacuumed a room I'd ask my family to kindly walk the parameter of the room as not to mess up the lines.

A room can be fluffed and transformed in 5 minutes or less.

The only way to make this happen is if the room is decluttered to begin with.  Now, what you don't see in this picture are some drawers that are a little too overstuffed.  There are some odds and ends under my bed that need to be culled.

Deep cleaning and major decluttering are not the goal of a 5 minute fluff.  The goal of the fluff is to make your room sparkle which adds a layer of peace and calm to the atmosphere of your home.

The end result of spending 5 minutes fluffing.  The room sparkles.  The blinds are open.  The surfaces got a very quick feather dust.  The floor got a quick vacuum.  It smells good, looks good and adds motivation to be productive today.

Go ahead, try it. Pick a space, set the timer for 5 minutes and see how fast you can fluff the room. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Books Everywhere

I have books everywhere.

Study books

Bathroom Books

Purse Books

Spiral Notebooks (4 to be exact)

Other books scattered here, there and everywhere

2 translations of the Bible (NASB & NIV)

I don't remember when I became such a reader.  I'm very choosy on what I decide to spend time reading.  It's great always having a book on hand.  If you're in a season of life where you do not have the time to have discipleship type relationships (where you regularly meet with someone for spiritual growth) I highly recommend spending time reading great books.  There is so much to learn from people who have already walked the road you are on.

My top picks from last year were 1000 Gifts (Voskamp), Seasons of a Mother's Heart (Clarkson) and Resolution for Women (Shirer).

How about you? What's the best book you've read lately?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Searching for the good

It's been a rough week.  Trying to find the good in the days has been hard.  Coming off a great break can do that to a girl sometimes.  We had nearly 2 weeks together as a family and it was the sweetest time.  I'm more relaxed and rested than ever.

But.  I have zero motivation for getting things around the house done.  Pockets of clutter are here and there and everywhere.  My clothes are not cooperating with me.  All in all I'd say the report over here is a big case of the blah's.  Why can getting back into the real world do that?  The enemy has been attacking me on so many fronts.  I know what I need to do to get back into the swing, but I'm not doing it.

I'm still counting those blessings though.  Counting my blessings and looking to God and trusting Him.

671. worshipping as a family
672.  hearing my oldest sing his heart out
673. visiting with friends after first service of the year
674. shirtless boys eating spaghetti lunch
675.  a good nights sleep

Trying to live within the boundary of today, even though today wasn't all that grand.

How's that for keeping it on the reals?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Soft Plans

Shane went back to work today.

I had some soft plans to be productive but they got scratched mid-morning when the boys asked me to watch America's Funniest Home Videos with them.  Since I was still in my new purple fuzzy pj's it seemed like the right thing to do.

One thing led to another and we ended up at the table with shortbread cookies and hot cocoa while we waited on our DiGiornio to cook.

Now it's nearly nap time and the boys are playing while I write.

I have already had 2 Sonic Happy Hours this year and I had dessert yesterday.  How do you like me now?

My 6 year old found an old bridesmaid dress hanging in my closet last night.  MOM!  I've found the most BEAUTIFUL DRESS for you!  Do you wanna wear it to my basketball practice tonight?! 

Over the holidays, I dusted off my aprons, pots and pans and started cooking again.  Pinterest is the place to go for good recipe ideas.  I'll be sharing my latest and greatest with you over the next weeks.  Don't forget to check out the Trainwreck recipe from yesterday.

We've been on a more beans kick with our boys.  One day last year, for no apparent reason and out of nowhere, as we were driving home from church one Sunday I just declared it loud and proud, "Boys, we're going to start eating more beans around our house, learn to like em', OK?"

Now only one member of the fam throws down when he sees the beanage on the plate, but he's learning.

If you like to talk housekeeping, decorating, and eating stick around the next few weeks because that's what we'll be talking about around here.

Monday, January 2, 2012


This is a tried and true crock pot favorite at our house.  If you love Mexican, you'll love this.  It's super fast, easy, affordable and packed with great flavor.  Perfect for those nights when you have plans and need something yummy and quick.

3 cans Pinto beans
1 can Rotel (I blend mine so there's not a tomato revolt by the boys)
16 oz tomato sauce
1 pound ground beef browned and drained
1 pkg. taco seasoning

Put all ingredients in crock pot.  Cook on low all day.  We layer tortilla chips, meat sauce, shredded lettuce, shredded cheddar and sour cream.  Yum!