Thursday, December 30, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
I tore into one of my FAVORITE places to shop year round, but a definite plus during the holiday season...Michael's and purchased materials to make my very own swags because even though I want to go all out with decor, I gotta stick to my budget. Luckily Michael's is already in full swing with their christmas sale. Everything is discounted up to 70%. I walked out with everything I needed and made some beautiful swags for my windows. I purchased LED candles to stick in the window and tonight, I got to witness the beauty of it all.
Am I wrapped up in the commercialized reason for the season? Nope! I am going all out and decorating my home because it is Jesus' birthday and I want to honor him in everyway. From praising His holy name while whispering the story of his birth to my little one, to giving small tokens to my family and friends to remind us of how the wise men brought gifts to Jesus from afar. Its all done to the glory of God for He is the true reason for the season.
Merry Christmas and a Blessed and Prosperous New Year.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
This year my children and I chose a day to go out and pick from an Angel Tree in a local store. I encouraged the kids to have a good time shopping for children who didn't have much. So they did! To my amazement, they stayed on task and only strayed one time to ask for a box of candy canes. Even though the total lesson may have gone over their heads, I pray they'll learn to be angels throughout life. An early push in the right direction won't hurt.
Visit The Salvation Army's website to explore online options for giving. Come on and be an angel in training!
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
My sister, my cousin and I were driving down a mountain just outside of Denver, Colorado when we took that picture. God's country, they call it. You can't look at that land in all of it's beauty and deny that God made it. So as you stare at the rise and fall of those natural curves, it stands as evidence of God's exsistence.
But sometimes...during life's trials... the picture of those snow-capped mountains begins to fade into the background. We become unsure if God is there and we don't even know where to even find him. When that happens just think back to a time when He showed up in your life. Replay what happened and meditate on that encounter. Know that God is there even when we can't see him and even when we have doubt. He has etched his truth on the surface of our hearts. No need to look for Him in a picture. Look within yourself. There He dwells.
Friday, October 8, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
- Use baking soda and vinegar to treat a clogged drain,
- Baking soda is wonderful for controlling blemishes and oil on your skin, take a bit, wet with water and rub over the face and neck, wash away and pat dry,
- Use an over ripe avocado to restore moisture in your skin. Smash it up and smooth it over your face and hands then rinse and pat dry. You'll be amazed at how soft and hydrated your skin feels,
- Use olive oil for a hot oil treatment to restore balance and to your hair,
- Suffering from congestion, eat onion and garlic. They are both great to open the airways,
- Drink 1-2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar at the first signs of food poisoning to settle the acids in the stomach and neutralize the toxins,
- Use ice cubes to deoderize your garbage disposal. Toss a few in and grind away!,
- Experiencing muscle cramps, grab the tonic water and drink away, the quinine in the water will soothe away muscle cramps,
- Cranberries do fight urinary tract infections, as does baking soda. Toss 1/4 tsp in 8 oz water and drink up,
- Have a toothache, swish with a bit of peroxide as needed to control the pain until you can see a dentist,
- Got an earache? Chop up a clove of garlic, soak in olive oil over night. The next day strain the oil and place a few drops in your ear. This will neutralize bacteria in the ear,
- Drop your cell phone in water, place it in an air tight container of rice to absorb the water,
- and as always if you have a cough, sip tea with honey and lemon
Stay happy and thrive!
Monday, September 20, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Before that we worked on his summer math assignment which ran into my time to go to the grocers and Babies R Us. I had planned to pick up dinner and snacks for my little one and lunch for next week. That did not happen. And I kept thinking we won't have anything for dinner tonight. We will have to srounge. So as we jogged, I told him what I planned to cook. I'll grill the spicy italian sausage, I said, and cook a pot of rice and some green beans. I will make some mac-n-cheese with the little macaroni noodles and some rotini (because there was not enough pasta for everyone).
'That's a full course meal' my son replied. I thought about it. It certainly was. Why had I thought in my mind that we did not have enough? We had an abundance, we have plenty. Thank you God for blessing us this way. When I really looked in the fridge I realized we have chicken, sausage and in the cubbard is corn, beans and more beans. Lots of rice and pasta, heck peanut butter and jelly. We have plenty. My little one has snacks...4 different kinds to be exact. There is deli meat and in actuality, I do not need to go to the store until this weekend.
Thank you God for the overflow, for the abundance for giving us so much and supplying all our needs.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
I was driving down a strecth of rural highway in my area and came across a few farms with horses. They were out frolicking about eating and just being horses I suppose. In my mind I wondered what it would be like to get up close and personal with one of these majestic creatures. Then I thought, nah, I better have my long lens for those shots…I would rather observe from a far.
It is a photo that Polly said we need to have. Horses running free. In my mind I see them running fast, mane and tail flying in the wind, muscles well defined and rippled, maybe even running into the sunset enjoying the life God has given to them.
Who would have known that wild horses roamed most of the land and though the numbers have dwindled a bit, we can still find wild horses here and there. I want to go where they are and see what they see. To watch them and see how they live. That's why I am heading to the assateauge and chincoteague islands next spring. It is there that I can find these majestic horses roaming freely as nature intended. I cannot wait to showcase the beautiful moments I plan to capture on film.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Monday, July 5, 2010
1. Florida - there's always a great supply of cheap tickets to these sandy shores. Consider Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale, Cocoa Beach, Pensocola, South Beach, the Keys... I could go on and on.
2. Annapolis, MD - simply beautiful. Hunker down in a Bed & Breakfast for the weekend and then take time to visit the local theatre and shops. There's even a beach nearby.
3. Napa Valley, CA - get your wine and dine on while relaxing in Cali. There are nice packages that include flight, hotel and car. Check it out.
4. Nice Hotel, YourTown - That's right. Book a few nights stay at the nicest local hotel you can afford. Indulge in spa services if you've got the extra cash.
5. New York City - If it's within driving distance then go for it. If not take the train before flying. There's plenty to see here. Book a room at a hostel to save some dough.
6. Carlsbad, NM - Visit the caverns and be amazed.
7. Chicago, IL - I've heard about the great food at street fairs and all the sights and sounds. Check out Navy Pier while you're in town.
8. Denver, CO - Hike into the Rocky Mountains or take in the city's scenic backdrop. Sure to please.
9. Lake Tahoe - really nice couples' retreat. All sorts of activities under one lovely umbrella.
10. Washington, D.C. - The mall and museums of this great city are so underrated. Get a hotel in the suburbs and commute into the city to save $. You'll wax patriotic in no time!
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Today, I saw the magnificent grace of God take control of my situation and turn everything around for good.
My little cousin came up here to help me with my daughter and I was attempting to get her to the train station to catch her train back home. I had planned everything out the night before. I would wake at 8:30am and get the ball rolling to arrive at the station in time for us to sit, chat and say our goodbyes. As 10am rolled in and I began my drive to George Washington Parkway, I realized we were running really late. I told her this and she said 'oh we have plenty of time', but I quickly reminded her how I am prone to getting lost in DC and that we really did not have that much time.
I remembered a lot from the trip to pick her up, but low and behold when I got on Massachusetts Ave, something went wrong. I missed a turn and was in unfamiliar territory. I tried to map my way out of there with my iphone but was too confused with the O, P, N and J's of DC streets. I started to curse, then reallized I needed to pray. That is what I did.
After a few u-turns and asking a pedestrian for help, I told God it was up to Him to lead me in. I did not know where the station was. I drove on instincts and somehow came up beside union station with 10 minutes to spare. I parked and we literally ran all the way to the station and through it to the check-in.
I did not know how to use the machine, but a fellow train rider quickly told me what to do. I got the ticket and we ran all the way through the station to gate J. We had 5 minutes to spare and the lady at the gate told my cousin 'you have got to hurry; run downstairs to J24'. She took off with a flash and the lady closed the gates for anyone boarding that train.
I stumpled over to my seat, tired and praying she'd make it. I sat there for 10 minutes with my little angel waiting and waiting. I called my cousin on her cell but it went to voicemail. I started the walk back to the car (after cleaning up my daughter who had somehow managed to poop everywhere except in the diaper).
I began the drive back home and got a call from my cousin. She said she made it. She was on the train and safe and sound. All thanks go to the Lord!
We have to remember to call on Him when things look like they are turning for the worse and there is no way we can make it work. God is always in control and He will direct our paths if we only ask.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
Monday, June 7, 2010
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Before coming here for a late lunch we visited the dentist and no one had cavities! Praise the Lord again! We had arrived there on time after leaving the allergist. I needed to drop off several medical forms so that Lauren would be ready for camp this summer. I pulled up at 12:30pm just as I remembered that the office is closed during lunch. So I sat, unphased. I'd check if they were open after I filled in Lauren's name on the forms. Sure enough door was wide open and I hadn't come all that way for nothing. The receptionist had me cracking up about my good fortune because someone forgot to lock the door. She commented on Lainey's $10 sandals which came from Target. "Ooo," said the receptionist, "I love Target and Walmart too. Although, you can never get out of Walmart cause it's always so busy." I told her that was true, but guess what? My brake lights went out this morning right after dropping all the kids off. Walmart was on my route home so I stopped by on the off chance that they could fix the lights before the school bus came AND do it for cheap. I testified to the receptionist that it cost $15 dollars and I was out of there in 20 minutes flat. She said, "Well you'd better buy a lottery ticket cause at this rate you're subject to be a millionaire before the day is over." We laughed again and said goodbye.
No doubt the best blessing of the day had been dropping Lauren and Orion off for camp and meeting another impressionable receptionist. I did not yet have the medical forms completed for this first camp because they didn't send a notice like all the others. So I took the medicine with us anyway. The lady at the front desk was so kind. She told me they aren't a private practice. "Fill the form out later and bring the medicine in right now," she said. I was so overjoyed to have Lauren's health take priority over being sued. I knew right then it was the work of God.
The day was capped when the holy ghost came over me as I listened to the Clark Sisters sing I'm Looking For A Miracle. As the song says, "Just believe and receive it. God will perform it today!
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
My daughter and I spent this last weekend volunteering at Button Farm in Germantown, Maryland. My employer made me aware of this place as I have been living in the DC Metro area for a while now and never knew that it existed in my own backyard.
Button Farm is an old 60 acre plantation that is part of the Underground Railroad Immersion project. It depicts a 19th century slave plantation. My daughter and I spent time weeding, planting and covering our plants with hay. We planted tomatoes, bell peppers, potatoes and greens. The harvest will go to 12 different families who co-op with the farm and the proceeds from the sales go to the upkeep of the plantation.
Most of my co-workers were in awe that I was out there bending, kneeling, sitting on the ground, digging in the Earth with my 9 month old strapped to the front of me. I told them this is how my ancestors did it. Some of them even gave birth in the fields. They labored all day long from sun up to sundown. So what I was doing seemed pretty darn easy. My daughter was never happier. Basking in the sun and marveling at a lady bug that I picked from a leaf to show her. She enjoyed digging her bare feet into the soil, touching it and at times sampling it. It was a beautiful experience indeed to hear her laugh with glee and smile big and wide with each new discovery.
After a long days work, we went in for our meal, compliments of Smokey Glen Farm. As I ate, I looked from one end of the plantation to the other thinking of how my ancestors worked that very land, sat where I was sitting, planted where I had planted. I imagined them walking in to the old slave house after toiling the fields. I looked at my little one who had passed out from all the excitement and gave God praise. He has brought us from a mightly long way. All praises to Him.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
For us, it began several months ago with them wanting to fix their own juice. At first, I was mad because I didn't know what was going on until it was done and there was a mess to clean up. However, I quickly realized that learning to do these things were just as exciting for them, if not more so, than education. I backed down and even moved their cups and bowls to where they could reach them easily. Their overwhelming desire to do things themselves rubbed off on me.
So I took the ball and ran with it. Like the Obamas, we implemented an alarm clock at 4 years old with both girls. Our kids are old hat at making up their beds, as well as brushing teeth and washing faces. Next we set our sights on learning to work the shower. Folding a basket of laundry and putting away clothes appears to be fun for them right now. Let's see how long it lasts. Completing these tasks requires patience and understanding, but to do it without tears is my always my goal. I'm looking forward to breakfast in the morning.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
"Please note that I will be out of the office for a spell. If you need to reach me, call me on the cell phone."
I proceeded to pack up my things and a few minutes later, I plopped down at an empty picnic table on the playground. I only had 45 minutes while the kids were in science class, but who could tell. Every moment spent under those blue skies, breathing the crisp air was like eternity. I dragged out every second as I worked alongside nature.
A sparrow flew by and tweeted something special; nothing like the internet type tweeting that leaves you bogged down online. I handled business via a notepad and pen and I placed a few calls. It was quite different from sitting inside staring at the computer screen, phone ringing in the background and kids screaming. My productivity shot through the stratosphere!
In reality, there will be many days to come where I'll venture out with laptop in tow. But every now and then, I need to unplug and just relax while feeling the sunshine on my face.
How do you take a break from the daily grind?
Monday, April 5, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
To get it just right, I involve the kids in the camp selection. We'll sit down and hash out where their interests lie. This step is key because I've learned from others that there's no faster way to cause failure than to stick them with somethimg they have no interest in at all. Even the youngest kids have likes and dislikes, so I give their input some value. As parents, we'll still have to consider things like schedules, money and location. But if we give the child options such as first, second and third choice we'll be on target for a great summer experience.
There looks like some exciting topics this year and I can't wait to see who chooses what. We never have enough funds to cover all 10 weeks of summer for all 3 children, but a few weeks spread out across the months will give me piece of mind while leaving plenty of flexibility for a trip to the beach!
Have you started planning your children's summer activities yet? Which programs do they enjoy?
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
- The results of the census help determine how many seats your state occupies in the U.S House of Representatives,
- Results help determine how much monies are spent on things like hospitals, schools, training centers, senior centers and public work infrastructures in your area, and
- The US Census can be used as a useful tool for geneology searches.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
Monday, March 1, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Marvel at it..."Come on, Mommy, let's take a walk."
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Monday, January 25, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
The first day of no TV, I thought I'd die. I'd grown used to the background noise and the kids actually sitting down for 20 minutes or so at a time, depending on the show. But when they asked to watch something I said no. Then I realized I had to help fill their void until they could auto pilot their own play without TV. If you are in the same boat, here is a list of good things to do to balance your little ones out.
1. Go outside. You'd be surprised what a daily outing will do for you and the kids.
2. Make cake...or cookies, or meatballs. Whatever you're cooking, they'll want to help. After they've help make a dish they usually eat whatever portion you put on their plate.
3.Stock up on art supplies like construction paper, watercolors, crayons and markers. Make these items easily accessible. Kids will keep busy on their own.
4. Go to your neighboorhood library and check out picture books for preschoolers and chapter books for older kids. Once you read the stories a few times, they'll seek them out on their own. Also try out books on CD. Get a set of $1 headphones and teach them to enjoy quiet time.
5. Go to storytime or craft time at the library. There are normally live shows and other entertainment for kids and adults to enjoy. Most of it is free.
6. Encourage imaginitive play by providing play clothes and accessories for kids to dress up in and pretend. You can even give them some things from your closet. Their imaginations will do the rest.
7. Play-doh. Need I say more? Be sure to set rules or use a plastic mat around their play area. Play-doh in carpet is no fun.
8. Let the kids help sort laundry, fill and start the washer or fold clothes. The more involved in household duties they become, the better for everyone.
9. Do at home science experiments. This one is my personal favorite and the kids' favorite. Check out a science book from the library or go to www.pbs.org/teachers. Pick a grade level to see different ideas.
10. Set a small amount of TV time and stick to it. Let your child know that they can watch a little at whatever time you specify. After that time is up, turn the set off and put the remote away.
I hope these tips are helpful. If you have more to add to the list, please leave a comment.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
My goal of holistic living extends into all facets of my life…from healthy cooking and eating, to wise shopping and positive thinking. I plan to live a life with minimal stress and chock full of organic goodies. I plan to exercise and declutter my home, to seek out foods that are grown free of pesticides and additives and meats that are humanely treated and free of hormones. I want healthier foods altogether. I will be eating less processed foods and more healthy ones like the wonderful baked chicken at Boston Market, the delicious burritos at Chipotle and the totally organic goodies at Trader Joe’s. I will be mindful and knowledgeable about what I introduce into my body and the impact it will have on my health and well being. In the words of that Kaiser Permanente lady I want to ‘live long and thrive’.
So what about you? What is your New Year’s resolution? It’s not too late to decide you want to have one. What’s more it is never too late. You can make a resolution at any time and for any reason. I challenge to do so.
Have a blessed and prosperous New Year Everyone.