Thursday, December 30, 2010

Business Savvy

We witnessed it and still couldn't believe it happened. My sister, and fabulous business partner, showed all attending Christmas dinner at her family's home what a savvy business lady can do.

She prepared a delicious meal and as we were all patting our full bellies, she commented that she'd better run upstairs to get an item that someone was in route to purchase from her. I perked up. "Surely, you're kidding," I said. "It's Christmas day. Who would come by today? And I think I'm more shocked that you are actually selling stuff on Christmas." She was nonchanlant about the whole transaction which took exactly one minute as she ran down the front steps wearing only socks, no shoes, to deliver the package.

When she returned, grinning with money in hand, my mouth fell open. "Well, I set the whole thing up earlier," she said, waving the greenbacks around in the air. What she had sold was old and used, but the customer wanted it because it fit their need. Point. Set. Match.

Thanks, Meek for reminding us all to be business savvy. I'm taking this attitude straight into the New Year.

God bless you all,


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Holiday Decorations

This year I am utterly and completely reved up for the Season. I decorated the tree my hubbie bought for us and pulled out all my Christmas lights, swags, garlands and bows to decorate the interior and exterior of the house. My husband and step son hung the lights outside and I wrapped the garland and placed the bows inside. I decided I wanted wreaths for the outside windows, but my neighbor did that, so I decided to do window swags.

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

Angels in Training

When I hear that bell ringing as I approach retail stores, I know it's Christmas time. And the bell? Well, the bell tolls for me. It is a joyous little reminder that I'm blessed enough to bless others. I give to charities throughout the year, but at Christmas I dig deeper. Food, heating and clothing maybe harder to come by for those in need. I take an angel off the tree, participate in toys for tots, or contribute to holiday baskets. It's any means necessary to share the magic of the season and the love of Jesus Christ.

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!

Merry Christmas,

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Giving Thanks

This Thursday, my family celebrated the Thanksgiving Holiday sitting around the dinner table at my Aunt's home. She had graciously prepared all of our favorite dishes and had everything waiting for us in a glorious spread when we arrived to her house. After a wonderful prayer by my uncle and her husband, Pastor Davis, we dug in relentlessly stuffing our tummies full, waists expanding and pants buttons popping off. We ate ham, citrus seasoned turkey, potatoe salad, collard greens, rolls, rice homemade pound cake, red velvet cake and lemon meringue pie. Man, we ate well!

After that, we spent some time with the elders, listening to stories of old...the ones I love to hear my Great-Aunt tell. They are her specialty and some of best time I've spent with her. My grandmother sat by listening attentively at times, dosing off at others and adding her own thoughts from time to time.

My husband, step-son, daughter and I traveled to see his family and spent the day talking, watching TV, shopping and yes EATING!

It was a wonderful 4 days and we have so much to be thankful for...from good health, sound body and mind, living to see another day, and spending another Thanksgiving with family to traveling mercies, sound finances, jobs, transportation and good food to eat.

We thank God for all His abundant blessings and lovingkindness.

Continued Blessings,


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Reason for the Season

The holiday season is upon us and the retail industry is bearing down with all it's might. Shopping is all we hear about this time of year. Deals, sales and helping the economy. But wait a minute! What about being thankful for what we already have? What about celebrating Jesus? The media and retail industry isn't helping us with that. So we've got to help ourselves.

It can be a challenge, especially, to teach children the true meaning of Christmas. First we have to know what it means to us. In our heart of hearts, why do we really celebrate? Once the answer is clear, God, his blessings and Jesus Christ will stand out before anything else. So if you are all about spreading holiday cheer and uplifting Christ, then here are three books to help further that message. Enjoy!

1. The Reason for the Season by Chantal Ellen - talks about the true story of Christmas and why we celebrate the way we do.

2. The Story of Christmas by Patricia Pingry - this book was reprinted in 2010 and contains multicultural images. I found it at Target. It also talks about Jesus and why we give to one another.

3.The Bible -Luke 2:8-11, 13-14; Matthew 2: 1-11 - this is the most beautiful story in history.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

I had such a fun time today preparing for the trick or treaters in my neighborhood to stop by my house. This is the first time in about 7 years that we have given out candy. Last year, kids stopped by and my husband had to offer up his apologies because we did not have any candy. I vowed then that we'd be prepared this year and I made sure we were. husband bought candy weeks before Halloween and we ate it all up, so I went out to Wal-mart today in the midst of all the drama to get candy. I got some healthy stuff, pretzels and some junk...twix, gum and ring pops.

The kids were so cute, from superman to princesses, all ages, colors and sizes. There were even ones I considered to be 'too old' to be trick or treating, so I gave them pretzels and gum :-) The little ones got everything in the bucket except gum for the ones to small to chew it.

For two and a half hours I went back and forth to the door giving out candy, screaming as if I were scared and wishing the kids and their families a safe night. There is no other way I would have liked to spend my night and I can't wait to do it again next year!
Oh, I started the festivities early at work on Friday by dressing up a bit. I was a cross between Elvira and a classy witch!
Many Blessings,


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Are You There, God?

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.

Continued blessings,


Friday, October 8, 2010

Bring the whole family out to enjoy SterlingFest tomorrow from 11am-5pm. The festival is held each October in Sterling Park, VA. There are games and fun for all ages along with live entertainment and plenty of good food. While you're there stop by our booth and say hello!

Can't wait to see you!



Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Natural Remedies In Your Own Home

Over the past few years I have been seeking ways to lead a greener, healthier life. I would like to rely on natural cures as opposed to over the counter medications and drugs and chemicals. With the number of recalls that happen daily, there is no better time than the present to rely on homeopathic solutions for what ails you. Here are a few to keep in mind, including cleaning solutions for your home.

  • 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

Never Too Young to Learn

My back was against the wall this weekend. I faced eight loads of clean, unfolded laundry. My husband and I chatted over a few loads on Friday night (I guess you could call it date night -in) and we left 3 sorted piles for our three, five and six- year- old children to tackle the next morning. When Saturday came, it was clear and sunny. I knew that I could not spend hours sorting and folding the other 5 baskets of laundry by myself. My husband had some lame excuse about going to work. So I called the kids to come put their clothes in their dressers and then began to dread the task ahead. While handing the kids their clothes, the light bulb came on.

After they had finished with the already folded clothes, I grabbed a full basket of unfolded, unsorted clothing and dumped the whole thing onto our queen size bed. Next I told the kids to come pick out their own clothes and then fold them up and put them away. Each one made a pile of their things while helping me pull out mine and their dad's. They thought it was fun and it took all of 5 minutes to do one basket. At their ages the clothes were not folded well. But that's okay because we always iron. Together, we did the next 4 baskets in record time; including putting the clothes away. I praised those kids all day long and they beamed with pride. Since they are already familiar with sorting and loading the washer, I think I'm ready to make this a routine.

How old were you when you learned to do laundry? At what age will you teach your children this skill?
Peace and blessings,

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Family Activities

We often talk about the importance of "me" time, but did you know that family time is just as important? Here's a list of great ways to spend time with the ones you love. Let the bonding began!

1. Take a long stroll around the neighborhood. Walking is good for heart and soul!

2. Pick a game night. Choose fun favorites like Hungry-hungry Hippos, Monopoly, Operation or Scrabble. Anything goes when you play together.

3. As the autumn leaves began to fall, go outside and tidy the yard together. Everyone gets fresh air and the job gets done faster!

4. Attend worship together. If you don't attend regularly, start with once a month. Make a family committment to go to church, praise and/or pray as a unit.

5. Borrow a funny family movie from the library or rent one. Laugh together.

6. Eat dinner together then let each person tell something good and bad about their day. Support each other.

7. Put on some music and everybody dance. Act silly and get the blood flowing. Relax and let loose, you're at home!

Got something to add? Please share your comments with us.



Sunday, August 29, 2010


Tonight my DSS (Dear Step-son) joined me for a jog around our neighborhood. I had my daughter in the jogger and he said he would join me and bounce the ball while jogging with me.

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.

Matthew 6:26

Monday, August 23, 2010

One Happy Mother

I spent last Saturday hanging out with my fellow Mocha Moms at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference. In the past Meek and I have vended at such functions, but this time I went as an eager participant.
The weekend long event was held at the Gaylord National Hotel on National Harbor. It was my first time visiting the harbor and as you can see in the picture, it is a beautiful. What I thought was the perfect escape from my everyday work of being a mom, became every bit a celebration of the same fact. As we mothers were educated on finances, parenting, marriage, health, etc.-- it became clear that we were actually being empowered to go forth and do even more.
They were plenty events just for moms; like the complimentary spa services, workout session and mom's night out in the hotel lounge-- not to mention plenty of coupons, freebies, great food and specialty shopping. But what I liked most was how the conference emphasized our focus on family. At times motherhood can be trying, but it makes all the difference when we're reminded that we aren't in the battle alone. Validation and encouragement like that of Saturday are food for the soul. The conference events and speakers left me better able to make financial changes, martial adjustments and a stronger commitment to raising my children. I am blessed to be a mother and I pray that God continually bless you!
What encourages you as a mom? We'd love to hear from you.
Truly inspired,

Monday, August 16, 2010

Where the Horses Run Free!

I want to go where the horses run wild! It is a must have photograph for one of our upcoming projects.

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

Back To School

...And just like that, it's August! I'm enthralled by all the store circulars boasting school supplies, especially while the tax free shopping bug is going around. I get so excited for all the possibilities of a new school year when I see the bins full of brightly colored folders, pens and notebooks for sale. That's about the same time I realize I've got to get down to business.

My kids had a carefree summer which allowed them to slip out of their school routine and has let me become lax with the supplemental teaching I normally do at home. I know they're going to have a hard time getting back on track for the start of the next year. So I'm prepping them right now!

Yeah, it may sound cruel because they still have a few weeks of summer left, but it's for the best. Going cold turkey to a new bedtime is only going to make them miserable. When that first day comes I want them rested, nourished and ready to learn. So over the next four weeks we'll practice reading comprehension, handwriting and math so their brains will be firing when they get to class. I'll take it easy and only do about an hour of review per day. Then we'll balance it out with science experiments and crafts so everyone can still have fun (including me)! All the while I'm inching the bedtime up by about 15 minutes per night until it's back to what it should be. And so long as I'm taking the time to prepare the kids, I might as well tell myself to get with the program. It's showtime in less than a month!

How do you get ready for a new school year?

Many blessings,


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Words of Wisdom

I looked around my house with a bit of disgust and sighed. "I did not do any cleaning this weekend" I said aloud, " I was too busy doing other stuff and my house is a mess!"
"Well", a small voice replied, "it is good to take a break sometimes".

I immediately smiled and thought, such great words of wisdom and hugged my source. These very simple yet profound words came from my bonus baby (my step-daughter) who is all of 9 years old. Surely, if this little one understood that we needed to take a break from time to time, I should. With that little piece of information I sat down and put my feet up while her little sister slept.
The past two weeks have been full of messy dinner tables, loads of laundry and floors that need to be mopped. Why? My DSD (Dear Step-daughter) is here for her summer visit and the family is all together again. We have too much fun stuff to do for me to worry about what the house looks like. I am too busy making sure my family is fed and we have times to make the smores on the fire pit, bake sugar cookies and banana bread and oh of course for me to make homemade sushi. On top of that we have to get in our long walks together and catch a movie at the theater as well. Its been non-stop and tons of fun as usual.

My DSD is such a great help with her sister too. She loves this little one to bits. She gets up in the morning when she hears her sister's voice and tends her whilst I take my shower and get ready for work. She takes her to the floor for floor time and play all types of games. She rocks her in the glider at night and even once put her sound asleep. She is dedicated to her sister, tending delicately to her every whim and desire. Just another reminder that sisters are from heaven. Indeed!

Her summer is just beginning and tomorrow she is going to Virginia Beach for some fun in the sun, then back home for camp. Once school starts she will have tons of stories to tell. I have stories to tell as well. All about a truly fantastic summer with my bonus baby, who helps me in more ways than one with small words of wisdom, a helping hand for her little sister and tons of stories to shock and wow me on a daily basis.

No sir, I do not have time for cleaning the house. I am too in love with my family and looking forward to more experiences to come.

Continued Blessings,


Saturday, July 10, 2010

I look to the hills from whence cometh my help. All my help comes from the Lord.

When man fails me, God is there. I often times forget who I should be leaning and depending on in my times of need. When I need a break from mommy duties and house duties, when I am running late for an important meeting...sometimes I lash out at those around me. If only my husband were not so selfish and helped me more, if only my co-worker would drive a bit faster so we could make the meeting in time. When my frustration level is just about to reach its zenith I remember to call on my Father. It is He who is my help and my strength and Him who will enable me to rise to any challenge that comes my way.

I take great comfort in knowing this. It gives me peace and a sense of calm that I cannot explain. When I realize the error of my thoughts, I smile when I realize it is my Father who art in heaven who is my help. Not man.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Top 10 Cheap Summer Getaways

Ah yes. Summer is a great time to take a vacation. If you're looking to save some green, try a local or domestic vacation this year. I'm willing to bet you still come home refreshed. Here's my top 10 list for low price domestic getaways:

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

By The Grace of God

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

Reminiscing on Father's Day

Everyday is a good day to celebrate Dad. Thanks Hallmark for saying it best.

The world needs more daddies

who nuture and care,

that families can count on

to always be there...

that mamas can love on

when living gets stressed...

that babies can cry on

when mamas need rest...

that daughters can call on

to share tears and laughter...

that sons can fall back on,

respect, and take after...

The world needs more daddies

with hearts good and true.

The world needs more daddies

exactly like you.

Dedicated to fathers everywhere. You are amazing!

Peace and blessings,


Monday, June 14, 2010

Praise for Praise Kids

Last week I was listening to a debate on the radio about whether children's church should be mandatory or not. I immediately thought about what a blessing this fairly new idea has been to my family. If you're not familiar, children's church is a lot like Sunday school but it happens during the regular service. It's called "Praise Kids" at our church.
When we arrive on Sundays the first thing we do is check all three of our children into their classrooms. The two smaller ones go to one class and the oldest goes to another. There the children are taught about God on their level. This is done through crafts, music and short movies and activities that pertain to the Bible. Snacks are even provided in the lower level class. Kids in the higher level class are given "church bucks" that they earn through take home exercises and class participation. On the first Sunday, the Praise Kids store opens and they can shop for fun items.
Sometimes I volunteer at children's church because there can be lots of children and if there are any teachers out sick, the rest of the staff will need help. It's the best way for me to serve right now, while my children are still small. However, on most Sundays, I go back to the sanctuary where I can enjoy the service in peace. It's amazing how much better I can hear from God without my little ones taking my attention as I try to keep them quiet and under control.
But the best part of the program? The best part of this is that the children are really learning! The format of teaching is so engaging and fun that the kids can't help but enjoy themselves. They talk more about the lessons of the bible and can't wait to go to church every Sunday. Even when we're at home they listen to the bible stories more intently and try hard to apply the lessons. This new attitude is definitely because of Sunday morning worship and I'm so happy to leave the dread about going to church behind. Now my children embrace God's message with open arms; for that I am grateful.
Three cheers for Praise Kids!
Many blessings,

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Lottery

Each week at my day job, a group of my employees play the lottery. It started out as a small group and has quickly expanded to 20 of the 35 employees at my site. I am one of the players...every week putting my $1 or $2 into the pot in hopes of winning the 'big pot'. The most we have won so far is $16. But still I play.
Sometimes I tell myself that I am not going to participate because a dollar or two a week adds up. Thats $4-$8 a month and $48 to $96 a year! But once they start collecting, I feel compelled. What if this is the one and I don't put my $1 in. Its not going to break me. That's what I say as I dive into my purse and scrounge up coins if needed to enter the pool.
It was weighing on me a bit and I was chatting with a co-worker about it. I told her, I need to win so that I can bless some people. She said 'well Amen to that'. Then we started up a conversation about helping others and we both understand that is what we are supposed to do. Its not worth having if we cannot bless others. Of course I want to spend and make my family comfortable, but I don't think I could ever be happy hoarding a large sum of money while others barely get by. Still, as the weeks went by and we did not win anything, I thought maybe this was the wrong path and I should just stop altogether.

I was visiting Proverbs 31 Devotions and low and behold there was a blog on the lottery. The blogger was one in a group who would pool their money and buy lottery tickets, just like my group of co-workers do. She said one day she did not have the $5 that they were collecting and did not play and that was the day 13 employees won $33 million dollars! She went on to say how she was bitter and jealous, much as I KNEW I would be if my co-workers won the big pot on a day I did not give my $1. Her blog brought her to a different outcome than the one I arrived at...keep playing because it can happen.

I truly believe that it is my calling to help others and that I will be a blessing to people that need it the most. I know its not always financial, but I think that is the way "I" am supposed to bless people. I pray each night that God leads and guides me to my calling and that I am ready and willing to hear and obey Him when He does.

So, what is your calling?

Many Blessings,


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Testimonial Tuesday

As I sit here enjoying the free Wi-fi at Chick-fil-a I can't help but reflect on the blessings I've received today. I'll recount in reverse because I have a full belly now and I just praise God for Chick-fil-a chicken. It's good all the time.

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

A Day At Button Farm

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.

Continued Blessings,

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cutting Down on Mommy Guilt

This past mother's day marked one of the few times that I didn't run away from home on said momentous occasion. No. I stayed here and instead asked my husband to take the kids out with him for a spell while I relaxed. He obliged and I did not feel guilty.

Wow what a change! In years past I'd worried about the kids feeling rejected or unloved if I didn't spend the day with them. I mean after all, I am their mother. Aren't I supposed to always be here no matter what? Shouldn't I revel in the bond I've created with them and feed their need for love and comfort? Well yes, but not 100% of the time. What mother can? Besides, I've learned that children don't even require all that we think they do. But they are good at overreacting. In other words, they are great manipulators. So when we look at their puppy dog eyes combined with the tremendous pressure we put on ourselves to be the perfect mom, it's no wonder we feel guilty.

I've now discovered how to can change that guilt into happiness. If we give all of our time they will still want more so why not find the amount they can live with. When we are spending at least 30 minutes of undivided attention with our child a day and providing food, shelter, clothing and above all -- love-- then there's no reason to wallow in guilt. Our children will continue to love us and will learn to respect our time because we are ever present and mentally tuned in to their needs, as well as, our own. Too much guilt will turn life into a nightmare for all by keeping moms grouchy, tired and unfulfilled. We need to give ourselves a pass to enjoy life outside of motherhood, without regret.
Many blessings,

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Allergy Season

Tis the season for allergies. I have bragged to just about everyone I know about how I do not have seasonal allergies and it takes an awful lot for me to sneeze in regards to grass, pollen, ragweed and the like. Yes, I am blessed and fortunate I've told people because this stuff just does not bother me. Well that was until last week.

I had been warned by some that 'after the baby came I developed allergies' or 'I developed them when I was in my 30's' but somehow I thought I have gotten by, flew in under the radar. Well I'd say it was Tuesday, that the strangest thing happened. I walked from my car in the parking lot to the building I work in and begin to sneeze over and over again. My nose was clogged by the time I sat down at my desk and I had sinus pressure and itchy eyes. Oh now I thought to myself, let me pop a zyrtec (oh who am I kidding a generic zyrtec). I took it, but it did not help me in the least. I continued all day long feeling awful, skipped out on the gym and went home and straight down for a nap. The allergies have lingered on now with postnasal drip and a cough. I feel like I have a cold but I know what it really is....ALLERGIES!

So, do I dare say I am officially a seasonal allergy sufferer. Well not just yet. I will give it another whirl next year to see for sure. I don't want to have to count myself amongst those who look outside with dread at the blooming trees and flowers and cringe at the sight of yellow dust on their cars and windows. I want to open my windows and let fresh air in. I don't want to have to wear a face mask (like some of my coworkers do) to make it from the outside of the building to the inside. And I don't want to have to do a rain dance and pray it comes to wash all the pollen away and make things new again. No not me.

I want to work outside in the sun and come up with new plans and agendas for Polly & Meek. I want to vend outdoors with no fear of sneezing and wheezing all over the product and customers. I want to walk outside so I can expand my mind and come up with new and exciting ideas for the business. Luckily, seasonal allergies are just that...seasonal. They don't last always. Unpleasant things rarely do!

Continued Blessings,


Monday, April 26, 2010

What's for Breakfast

As I looked for my oldest this morining, I wondered where she was and how she could be so quiet. When I finally got downstairs I found her. She had gotten herself some bread and was putting it into the toaster. She looked over her shoulder saying, "I thought I should try it myself." I said, "I was hoping you would." We had just practiced yesterday. In my whole craze over education and higher level thinking for my children, I nearly missed the window for teaching them to function on their own. But the wonderful thing about kids is that they are constantly seeking independence ---no matter how thorough you are as a parent.

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.

Many blessings,

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sweet Rewards

Polly & I had a great day vending this past Saturday at the Lake Arbor Elementary PTA Carnival in Mitchelleville, Maryland. I always like to go to each new vending site with an open mind and heart, ready for the giving and receiving that normally takes place between Polly & Meek and our community. This vending opportunity was no different.

When I arrived I was delighted to see the moon bounces, face painting artist, DJ and food vendors. There was popcorn, hot dogs, snow cones and cotton candy just to name a few. The DJ was very interactive, even taking a few moments to perform for the crowd, playing the instrumental of popular songs and singing the lyrics.

There were a variety of vendors as well. Ladies selling shoes and clothes, those promoting after school businesses, some selling candles and lotions. It was very fun to be among other minority small business owners out promoting our business.
We got plenty of traffic and of course sold books and our newest produce, the dry erase board. We spent a good amount of time speaking with a parent who wanted more information on how to self publish and Sheriff Michael Jackson who is running for office in PG County. Sheriff Jackson has a positive message that he shared with us, he was compelling, passionate and most of all sincere. One thing that stood out most to me was that, he included young children in his conversation and told us all that 'we are the main ingredient' and that 'we must hold our elected officials responsible. He definitely knows his stuff.

At the end of the day, Polly & I packed up with a sense of self accomplishment for a hard days work full of rewards. I cannot forget to mention the Pastor we met who came up to us and struck up conversation, gave us some great ideas for our future book, Brothers Are From Heaven Too and anointed our products and prayed success over our business. He immediately saw our book as a positive children's ministry and we saw him for the man of God that he is.

Truly a wonderfully blessed day!

Continued Blessings,

Monday, April 12, 2010

Working In the Sunshine

My email was explicit.

"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

Easter Monday ~ Reflecting on Easter Sunday

We hope you had a very Happy Easter. I spent my Easter Sunday in church, sitting beside my hubbie and holding my little girl as I listened to the story of how Jesus Christ suffered and died for our sins so that we may have a right to the tree of life. I love to hear the story because it reminds me that he made the ultimate sacrifice for ME. Little ole' me who never did anything so great or deserving of such a great sacrifice. Its an amazing and overwhelming feeling to know that He loved me and loves me just like that. No questions, no if, ands or buts about it. Thank you God!

After church my family and I headed to Northern Virginia to enjoy Easter Sunday dinner with my sister and her family. It has been a longtime dream of mine to have our children play together and take photos together on Easter. I remember growing up, Easter always marked the day that we could begin to wear shorts. It was our unofficial start of Spring. Sunday was no different, beautiful, sunny and warm. I pulled out capris for myself and a dress of my little one. My sister's kids were dressed in pink dresses and shorts. Of course I got the chance to get those photos that I've longed for for so many years. Absolutely priceless.

Dinner was delicious and the ham was delectable, especially after a 20 day meatless fast. We ate well but did not waste and I devoured the most lovely lemon cake that Polly made from scratch. There is no going back to store bought treats after a cake like that! Everything was wonderful. Polly gifted my daughter with the cutest little Easter basket (see the photo above).

As I loaded up my baby girl and my husband drove us home, I was simply content. I was and am so thankful that God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. I am full of excitement and happiness in seeing my daughter enjoy her very first Easter and sharing that with her cousins, aunt and uncle and so satisfied with the life that God has blessed me with. I am as pleased as punch!

Continued Blessings,


Monday, March 29, 2010

Planning Summer Camps

It's that time of year again. Registration for local summer camps will be opening soon and I'm on a mission! This is just my second year of planning camp for my bunch but I'm keeping in mind a few things to make sure we're on route to another smooth summer.

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

2010 Census

I've been hearing about the 2010 Census for some time now and finally got our packet in the mail. I immediately tore it open, reading through the letter enclosed and looking over all the questions that were on the list. I remember completing the census before, but did not take it seriously or really understand why I was completing it. Years later, I understand the importance and will fill in our information promptly and return it.

If you have not had a chance to read up on the 2010 Census and/or you are questioning why you should fill out your information, here are a few points to keep in mind:

  • 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.
I for one have used the Census to research both my and my husband's family. It is absolutely GREAT for that. I was able to pull census reports from as far back and the 1890's and glean information about my family and his including names, ages and job titles. It is a small snapshot in time that is priceless.
I cannot wait for my little one to do her own research years from now and see how times have changed. We have come a long way as a people. Its most interesting for me to see the job title's change from Laborer, farm hand, seamstress, homemaker, maid to Engineer, Highway Constructor, Lab Technician, Doctor, Nurse, President of the United States of America.

We have come a mighty long way. Make sure you complete your Census packet and return it. It is not only important, it is mandatory. The benefits of completing will be felt for years to come.

Continued Blessings,


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Do It Yourself!

I have realized over the past few years that I am a person who likes to have a lot of control over most things. Most of my close friends and family already know this about me and will probably laugh when they see it. Its been hard for me to let go and let God, but it is something I have learned is best to do.

I decided that I wanted to take an all around healthier approach to life, starting with the foods I eat. This weekend I was craving a chocolaty treat. Polly and I had discussed how it seems like the desserts now are not enough and they are not as filling as they should be. I decided that I am no longer going to waste calories on store bought desserts, instead I'll just make them myself. I made the best ghiridelli chocolate chip cookies I've had in years. I could only eat two they were so decadent.
I did not stop there though. I love the smoked turkey on country bread from Panera Bread Company. It is already made with fresh cuts of turkey and is simply delicious, but I figured I could make it myself at home. I found a recipe online and tried it out this very first time making bread. It turned out delicious, chewy and crusty on top. I ate slice after slice and really appreciate my food having kneaded the bread and made it from scratch.

The cookies and the bread were so good yal and I wish I could share them with you!

So you see it does not just stop at books. Polly & I wanted books our children can see themselves in and that taught positive lessons. We know there were some books already out there, but we created our that we could share it with you.

Continued Blessings,


Monday, March 8, 2010

Before You Start Your Business

Contrary to popular belief, a slow economy can be a great time to start a business. Why? Well, instead of being dealt a hand by someone else, many choose to take hold of their own destiny. In doing so they end up thriving, as others sit anxiously ringing their hands and wondering if they will survive the lows. But, caution. While a great business idea at the right time can be a wonderful blessing, a bad idea can put you in over your head.

If you are considering starting your own business, here are some things you should know before you go:

1. Research. Seek out data and statistics on your idea so that you know if there is a market for your product/service and who your competitors might be.

2. Analyze any strengths and weaknesses your business might exhibit. For example are you an expert in this field or perhaps this business will only be parttime. Things like that will matter.

3.Get help. Visit your local small business center and ask for someone to work one on one with you about any questions you may have before initiating any official actions to start your company.

4. Do your best to create a mission statement, so that you know what the real purpose of your product/service will be.

5. Draft a potential marketing plan for your first year of operation. It will help you decide your budget and if the business is feasible, since most start up money is spent on marketing and advertising.

6. If you have time, take a small business course or something related to the product/service you plan to sell. A bit of extra knowledge can give you the just the edge you need to win customers.

7. Experiment and study the latest social media. Technology is a powerful asset in today's business world.

8. Once you've done the footwork don't forget to reach for the sky!

Many blessings on your endeavors,


Monday, March 1, 2010

A Short Message: One Step Closer

Today Polly & I moved one step closer to having our second edition of Sisters Are From Heaven printed. We approved a pdf file of the book this evening and hopefully will be able to approve the softcover proof that will be arriving in the mail shortly. It is such an exciting time. Our second edition will have our very own logo on the back! God is good...all the time...and all the time...God is good.

We will be coming out in full force marketing, promoting and selling our book. As of now we have a wonderful vending opportunity in April and it will be the first time we are debutting our the book with our personalized logo. Soon Polly & Meek will be a household name. We believe it and embrace it and pray that God will work through us to deliver his positive message to the masses. A message and a testimony that not only lets young children see themselves on each page of our book and learn from the positive message it teaches but also one that reminds us all that everything is possible when done to the glory of God and he will make your wildest dreams a reality. That is the kind of God we serve!

Do you believe?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fasting and Praying

One banana. Two corn tacos with lettuce and tomato. One cup of piping hot green beans sauteed in olive oil and pepper. That is dinner tonight. Dinner, after two days and one evening of a full fast. Now I continue with a partial fast of vegetables and fruits only, until Easter. This is my first time fasting and I chose it for personal, spiritual reasons.

There I was this past Sunday, sitting on the pew; bible in hand. My three children to my left and God all around me. Speaking to me. After years and years of scoffing at the idea, I read Luke 4 and instantly decided to fast . It wasn't the first time I'd seen the text, but on Sunday the words came alive. That was the day I made a life-changing decision.

Why is it life-changing?
Consider the Hungry and what it feels like not to have food, yet when I had food I wasted it or often over ate. Consider the Lost who have no comfort in Christ, while I was easily sustained and continued life normally even without a meal. Consider the desperate who give up because they have no help, when all I had to do was pray and call out to God. Consider giving up all unnecessary things just to hear His voice and then, diligently, waiting on him. Finally, imagine living to your full potential because it is what God intended.

I will never be the same.

From now until Easter, I am praying for the people of Haiti, praying for our government leaders and praying for my church. I thank God for this spiritual break through and for what He's going to do in Haiti, in our nation and in my church.

Have you ever fasted? How did you feel afterwards?

Peace & blessings,


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Free Your Mind

I must admit that my mind has become somewhat of a post-pregnancy mush. I am more scatter brained and forgetful than ever and cannot do much without a written or spoken list anymore.

I have gone from jotting things down on sticky notes, note pads and finally to speaking them into my voice recorder and then playing them back later as a means of getting things done. I think my memory is improving a bit,but I want it to be even better. What can one do?

Today, I hopped on my treadmill for a few minutes while my daughter took her nap. I put on my favorite Barry White CD and did a light jog and then a brisk walk on incline. As I walked, my To Do List began to run through my mind. I remembered it all vividly as if I was actually reading it from a written list...clean the upstairs bathroom, put the clothes in the dryer, lay out clothes for work and for my little one, arrange the shoes in the new organizer I purchased, make copies of needed paperwork, follow up with the deck builder...on and on it poured out.

So there it is! I even came up with a few ideas for upcoming blogs as I jogged and walked. Wow! Exercise truly is good for the mind, body and soul!

Continued Blessings,


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cure for Cabin Fever

Since the mega-storm hit our region last weekend school has been closed for days. I actually cried tears when they called yesterday to say the kids won't return until February 16. I wondered how we'd make it when there's too much snow to even go sledding. But kids are notorious for making up their own games. This is day three of being inside and tomorrow we'll have to pop out again for some air. Here's how they cure cabin fever, in the meantime.

Revel in it.

Marvel at it..."Come on, Mommy, let's take a walk."

Create their own non-snowy scene.

Pretend to be somewhere else, while taking a break for blueberries.

Take turns sliding down the stairs in a laundry basket. Lord knows I didn't condone it...

We'd like to hear how you cure cabin fever. Post a comment to share.

Many blessings!


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Natural Beauty

As soon as the snow began to fall I snatched up an article I had been saving and told the kids, "We're going to look at these!" I waved the paper around in my hand excitedly until they all screamed, "What? What is it, Mommy?"

"Snowflakes!" I yelled as I grabbed the magnifying glass. They could hardly wait. I explained the article to them and talked about Kenneth G. Libbrecht's work at While we could go to the site and look at beautiful pictures like the one seen here, the newspaper had encouraged us to go out and see for ourselves. That's when I realized I'd never actually seen a real snowflake. I had simply believed what my teachers said about their shapes and how no two are alike. For 30 years I believed without ever seeking real evidence. Well no more!

Quick as a whip, we put on our snowgear and went out for some sledding and research. At first the flakes were hard to see. We'd missed the large ones which came down first and were now surrounded by ones much smaller. But, once we all became calm and really focused, what came into view was breathtaking! There they were, just falling like heavenly dust. Everywhere, with no one questioning what it was. All this time we'd been missing the total phenomenom of snow by looking solely at the whole event instead of at its parts. Each snowflake floating gently to rest upon the Earth's surface was a miracle in itself. I was a little embarrassed as I "ooo-ed" and "ahh-ed" with the kids. Then fascination took over and I soon assimilated. Every single speck was perfectly designed. Utterly magnificent! At the moment of revelation I whispered,"God you are amazing."

As you've probably guessed, there is a scientific explanation. It comes via physics, one of my favorite subjects. Hop on over to Mr. Libbrecht's website for the details. But if you're lucky snow may be softly falling outside your window right this instant. See if you can catch a bit of natural beauty in the palm of your hand. Scrutinize it. You'll become a believer.

Happy hunting,


Monday, January 25, 2010

Leisure Time

I'm reading an article from yesterday's The Washington Post Magazine which suggests that people, specifically mothers, have more leisure time than we know. The article is called the Test of Time. Instead of finishing the article, I decided to stop pretending I had said leisure time and get to work since it gave me a good topic to discuss on today's blog.

When I first began reading, I was skeptical. How could anyone have 30 to 40 hours of available down time per week? But once I realized the data was based on time studies then I knew it was entirely possible. As it is, many of us don't even realize how we spend the bulk of our time, let alone know how many leisure hours we have. I believe this is true because I worked as an industrial engineer for several years performing these types of studies. There'd be these whole departments of people working everyday on the same issues. Since they did the job daily they thought they knew for sure where their time went. Surprisingly they did not.The results were nothing short of fascinating. I've thought once or twice to perform a study on myself, then gave up saying, "I don't have time."

That's one main point of the article. We have the time if only we'd take it. There are some who even revel in the helter-skleter flow of our busy lives. Even if this daily hustle isn't the way we want to live, we go on with it anyhow and then complain. Sort of like a badge of honor. Well, I for one am tired of the complaints. All in favor of leisure time everyday raise your hand. Or better yet, just take take a stroll around the neighborhood when the mood stirkes. The other stuff can wait.
Many Blessings,

Monday, January 18, 2010

Happy Martin Luther King Day!

I have a dream...sounds like a very simple statement, but boy does it say alot. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream that one day people of all colors and nationalities could stand together and be counted as equal. We have made much progress since his speech, but there is still so much more ground to break. I think seeing Barack Obama being sworn in as President is definitely a large part of it all.

What is your dream?

My dream is that one day Polly & Meek will be a household name known for promoting positive messages for families through published works such as our books, calendars, gift cards and portraits. My dream may not be as profound as Dr. King's, but it is mine nonetheless.

We must not give up on our dreams. Sometimes it may seem like they are not coming true or that they are too far fetched to ever come to fruition, but lets not be discouraged. Good things happen to those who are faithful and work diligently. Speak your dream into the atmosphere and confess that you will realize it, that you will put forth the effort and do it all to the glory of God!

Happy Martin Luther King Day!

Many Blessings,


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cutting Back on Television

If you're like most parents then you know how conveinient the television can be in your household. It will hold your child's attention when it seems like nothing else can. Still, what we hear is that too much TV is bad for kids and that it leads to higher rates of childhood obesity. I was once an advocate for using television as a learning tool. Then I found out that even though a particular show may be educational, a child's brain still needs a creative outlet. So I gathered my courage and once school started last fall, I cut viewing time to a minimum.

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 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.

Many Blessings,

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Year's Resolutions!

It’s the fifth day of the New Year and all I can think about is my resolution of holistic living. Now unlike a lot of people who feel that making resolutions is a waste of time and have given up on doing so, I am still a believer that we need to write our plans down so that we can see them, measure ourselves against them and redefine them as time goes on. So as December 2009 was winding to a close, I did not hesitate to speak into the atmosphere my resolution.

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.

Continued Blessings,