Tuesday, June 26, 2007


This afternoon, I turned on my computer and was briefly checking my email in our living room. Brady was awake, and the worship music was on in our family room.

I heard little footsteps, and then little Brady appeared around the corner and was motioning for me to come with him. So, I closed up the armoire, and followed him, wondering what he wanted to show me.

As we got closer the the family room, he ran into it with his hand raised in the air and started to dance around. The song that was playing was "Come, now is the time to worship" - and it was time! He came to get me, so that we could worship Jesus together...it blessed me heart. So, we danced around, raised our hands, and clapped together until it was time for his nap (which was about 3 songs). His heart before the Lord blesses me and his dad, and I know puts a smile on his Father's face.

Monday, June 25, 2007

God Is My Confidence

In the past week, I have been praying about the time that I would be on my own with a client (not shadowing an experienced volunteer/staff person) at Morning Star. I remember specifically praying that the Lord would prepare my heart and give me the confidence that I needed. I also prayed that He would send the "right" clients for me to listen to and talk with for my first experience...

I had no idea that I was praying for this night!

Due to circumstances that arose, another new volunteer and myself were the only two people that showed up tonight. We were a little unsure of what we should do, so I called one of the people that are in charge, and she encouraged me that I was ready to meet with the clients on my own tonight!

It was a great experience, and I was not nervous at all. The Lord was with me in all things. I am glad that my first experience by "myself" is over. I don't know if I still will need to do more shadowing, but I know that my confidence is in Him - for whatever He has for me!

My Surprise Happened Yesterday!

Last Wednesday, I had a meeting that I had to attend. I was out of the house from about 6:00-9:00 pm. When I came back home, I noticed that our house smelled like chocolate that had been cooked...and I thought, "Yum, chocolate chip cookies!" I asked my DH if he made chocolate chip cookies, and he smiled and said that it was a surprise.

There was no evidence of cookies that were made, but I new that I smelled chocolate! I also new that he was trying to surprise me with something, so I tried to slightly forget about it...

Well, yesterday, after small group, we pulled up to our house. I noticed that there were a ton of cars lining the street - our neighbor was having a little party in her new pool. I saw a car that looked like my sister's and jokingly said, "there's my sister's car", then I looked at the car parked on the other side of our driveway, and said, "there is your parents' car!"

I was puzzled for a moment, and then a huge smile came across my face - this was my surprise that Dawson was planning!

Ever since we were little kids, my parents always bought a "surprise" ice cream cake for our immediate family to celebrate our birthday together (the baked one would be at our party). I love ice cream cake! Well, I thought that it would be a fun idea to make our own ice cream cakes, so in February 2006, the first ice cream cake was made for Dawson's birthday, and we have made them ever since then. They are not really a surprise anymore, now they are something that we really look forward to!

My birthday was in April, but that was a busy month, and it continued to be busy in our family until recently. My wonderful husband called my sister's family, his brother, his parents, and my parents, and planned a little surprise for me! He made my ice cream cake, and we had a wonderful time celebrating my birthday, and also his brother's birthday - which is actually today! Happy Birthday, Bro!

It was so much fun to have all of the family together again, and it is a lot of fun to eat a delicious ice cream cake too!

The basic "recipe" in a 9" spring form pan that has Al foil around the bottom and up the sides a little: the crust is crushed Oreo cookies that have been drizzled with melted butter and baked for about 8 minutes (hence the smell of chocolate cooking last Wed!). The first layer of ice cream is placed down (I chose espresso chip), then a layer of hot fudge and more crushed Oreos (freeze again), then the final layer of ice cream (I chose peanut butter ripple). The cake needs to be frozen in between layers so that it doesn't become soup! Then, you can top it with pieces of Oreo cookies. I will post a picture after I have downloaded the photos!

Thank you, Hunny, for making me feel so special! I love you!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Check It Out!

Check out the blog 5 minutes for mom! They are having at least a dozen giveaways over the next week or so - in honor of the 4th of July! The first giveaway is a Krups GVS1 Ice Cream Maker and a 4 piece set of Rosanna Sweet Dreams Bowls courtesy of SplendidLife.com. This is a super summer prize - make sure you click over and enter to win. You can always link to their site by using the button on my sidebar. Good luck - and if you win, can you invite me over for an ice cream party?

A Taste of Summer

Today I have had a few reminders of why I enjoy summer so much...farm fresh blueberries, sweet cherries and nectarines. Brady and I took a little road trip to Strite's Orchard. I love to go there and get fresh fruit and some veggies (I get a majority of my veggies from Spiral Path Farm). The blueberries were sweet and Brady and I sampled quite a few on the way home! The nectarines and cherries are also delicious! I am looking forward to getting peaches and apples, once they are in season.

Fruit tastes so much better when bought from a local farm - and I am really enjoying it!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Our Little Worshipper

Brady blesses my heart, his Daddy's heart, and his Father in heaven daily. Brady will hear a worship song, and almost instantaneously, he lifts his hand (or hands) in the air and begins to worship Jesus. If we are at home, he will also sway a little bit if he is standing up (and the song is somewhat slow).

Today when we were driving to the chiro to get our adjustment, I decided to turn on WJTL. I turned around to look at my little guy, and there he is, with his hand in the air, waving it back and forth a little bit - it blessed my heart! His heart is worshipping the Lord, and he is only 18 months old!

He has been worshipping the Lord in this way for many months. Whenever he hears a song (usually worship, although he has praised the Lord to "Old MacDonald"), up his hand goes - and I tell him that he is blessing Jesus' heart, and his mommy's too, as he worships the Lord. I never needed to prompt him and say, "lift your hands to praise Jesus," it is something that he started to do on his own. He has seen us worship in church, and sometimes he will raise his hand there - sometimes he just looks around at all of the people and then wants to go to the nursery, but I guess that is fun for him too!

I feel that worshipping the Lord is a part of who he is, who each of us are. There is a song that is on the DVD, Born to Worship that Brady received for his 1st birthday - called Born to Worship, and it blesses my heart when I listen to it, because it is true:

We were made to praise You
We were made for love
We were born to worship, the Father, the Son, and Spirit above,
Made in Your image
And wrapped in Your love.

When we are listening to worship music together, I do encourage him to clap, dance (and that is so cute to see - he runs/or walks in a silly way, in a big circle), and raise his hands. I want to nurture what God has placed inside of him. I want to point Brady to the Father however I am able to. Right now, we worship together, and we have fun doing it.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Swimming, the zoo, the spa and golfing

If you have already stopped by my sister's blog, The Campbell Corner, you will already know that we just returned from a wonderful week long vacation at Marriott's Fairway Villas at Seaview in Galloway, New Jersey. About three years ago, my DH and I decided to invest in a timeshare, and we have been enjoying the vacations each year since then. We heard great things about this resort, and ever since 2004, I have been wanting to go to this place. The rooms were really nice and updated, and they had an Elizabeth Arden Red Door Salon and Spa which the girls enjoyed spending a little time there.

We had a great time with our family and we were able to relax a lot too. However, I do have to say that my best nights of sleep were the first night that we were there, and the first night home...why? Well, although we had a 2-BR place, my parents stayed with us, so Brady slept in a pack-n-play in our room, so when he woke up at 6:30-7:00am, he realized that we were right there, and he wanted to get up! Usually, if he wakes up at 6:30am, he will fall back to sleep, because he is by himself in his bedroom at home. He usually wakes up between 7-8am here at home, and lately it has been closer to 8am, which has been nice. (just in case you are wondering, we normally start putting him to bed around 7-7:30pm).

Well, the fun things that we did while at the resort include:
  • Swimming in the outdoor pool. Brady LOVED this! He loves to splash, and we tried to get him to kick his legs a little too. We had a great time down at the pool. The most challenging thing...getting sunscreen on Brady. We usually uses the spray sunscreen because it is quicker, but he does not like it because it is cold. He does not mind the lotion, but sometimes, you just need to go the quicker route!

  • One day we all went to the Cape May Zoo. I had a feeling the Brady would enjoy this, but I did not realize how much he would love it! He got out of his stroller, and would help to push it along, which was so funny - he was charging down the path! When he saw the animals, he would hold on to the posts of the fence, and point at the animals and say something in toddler language. He was really sad when we had to leave one type of animal, so that we could see more of the zoo, so I had him say "bye bye" to each of the animals that we were leaving, so he would wave and say "bye bye". It was so cute. When I was little, we went to the Catskills Game Farm (which closed down in the past year), and what I remember was going on the elephant ride (yes, a real elephant), and then I remembered how it poured with rain when we were ready to leave. I shared this with my parents as we were entering into the zoo, and it was a foreshadowing moment, because it poured with rain when we were ready to leave the zoo! The animal highlights were: zebras, giraffes, the tiger, the alligator that snapped his mouth and scared all of us, and the brown bears. There were other cool animals too, but those are what stuck out to me.

  • Grammie, my sis, and I all went to the Elizabeth Arden Red Door Salon and Spa and decided to get pedicures. The was my first ever pedicure, and I really enjoyed it! I chose to get the Sea Spa Pedicure, and it was so nice to be pampered for about an hour! Later that evening, the guys went golfing on the Bay Course and had a great time whacking the ball around. It was a nice day for the adults, and of course the kids had fun together too!

  • Grammie and Poppy watched their little grandsons one evening so that the younger couples could have a night out at the mineral pool. The pool does not have any chlorine in it, so it is supposed to be good for your skin. It was fun to experience that.

I am so thankful that our family is able to go on vacation together. We always enjoy spending time together talking, walking, playing games, or whatever else come our way. We had a great time, and I am looking forward to planning our next vacation.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Celebrating 5 Years of Love

Five years ago today, I married the One that God had promised for me. That day was one of the many promises that He has fulfilled in my life.

Ever since I was a little girl, I knew that I wanted to be a wife and a mother. My mom and dad prayed for my husband, ever since I was a baby - and I am thankful that they did! As I grew older, I began to pray specifically for things concerning my future husband, such as that: he would have a heart before the Lord and would be a Christian, he would love me unconditionally, he could make me laugh but also know when to be serious, hair color did not matter, he would want to have kids, and there are many other things, but the last thing that I will share at this moment was that I wanted him to be taller than me, so I could wear heals without being concerned that I was taller than him! Ever since nursery school, I was always one of the tallest people in my class (I was a head taller than the rest of the kids at my nursery school graduation!). This really did not bother me - I enjoyed being tall and used to wear chunky heals - but I did not want a husband that was shorter than me...and I really do not think that is a shallow request that I made to the Lord (although I was told that once...by a short guy!); I am only 5'8" tall. I just did not want to be the one to carry my groom over the threshold on our wedding day! :)

Well, in January 2000, I was looking for a small group to attend. There were two that were meeting that weekend, so some friends and I attended the Friday (or was it Saturday?) night one, and as people were arriving, this tall, blond guy walked in, and I thought to myself, he is cute and TALL - and believe me, I was not looking for the One that God had chosen for me, I believed that the Lord would bring him into my life at the right time (but I was not blind either!)! Anyway, when the time came to have some food, the tall blond guy kept asking me questions about what I was teaching (I just started my first teaching job), and it seemed like question after question - I was thinking to myself, would you stop asking me so many questions! Then, on Sunday night, my friends and I attended another small group, and I felt like this was where I was supposed to be. I saw the tall, blond guy throughout the year when the small groups would get together, but it was not until Dec 2000/Jan 2001, that the Lord began to bring us together.

This tall blond guy, lived about one and a half hours away from where I lived, but he would drive that distance and stay with his brother during the weekend, so that he could attend church, and he also drove here and back to where he lived on Wednesdays, so that he could attend the church service that night. I saw that he was at church on a Wednesday night, and I thought to myself - this guy really has a hunger and devotion for the Lord - and my heart began to be pulled towards this tall, blond guy, that I now refer to as my dear husband, Dawson.

Since we lived so far away from each other, we would email and occasionally talk on the phone, and from January 2001-May 2001, we built a friendship with each other. We prayed about and felt that God was showing us that we were meant to be together, and began courting in May 2001. The Lord moved Dawson to the area in August 2001. On October 27, 2001, Dawson got down on one knee and proposed to me (that, of course, is a whole other story!). I always told him that I needed at least 6 months to plan the wedding, so he "gave" me a little over 7!

Our wedding day was beautiful, and I have such wonderful memories of the ceremony - when we pledged before God to live our lives together with unconditional love. I remember that one of my eyes kept having a tear fall out of it. I waited 28 years to marry the man that God had chosen for me, and I am so thankful that the Lord chose Dawson for me - he was worth the wait! I cannot imagine life without him. He is everything that I ever wanted in a man, and so much more! The Lord has blessed us in so many ways, and I continue to feel closer to my wonderful husband as we continue to grow in our relationship. Thank you Lord for placing us together, and fulfilling this promise in my life.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Raising Money Without Spending a Dime

Sound too good to be true?

I am currently volunteering at Morning Star Pregnancy Services. This is a place where women with an unplanned pregnancy can come for free and confidential services such as pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and information regarding the options that are before them. It is a place that cares about the women and the unborn and born babies - the people there value life.

There is a way to help Morning Star to raise money, and in turn help more people, without actually having to donate any of your own money...read on!

By using www.goodsearch.com as your search engine, Morning Star will earn one cent for every search that is performed. GoodSearch is a Yahoo powered search engine with a unique social mission. They give 50% of their advertising revenue to non-profits that the user chooses. Type in www.goodsearch.com into the address window and be sure to enter Morning Star Pregnancy Services as the charity that you want to support. (You could make this your homepage.) If you did four searches every day for one year, you will have raised $14.60 without spending a dime. If 500 people did that same thing, $7300.00 will have been raised. It is pretty amazing.

So, the next time that you do a search, consider supporting Morning Star Pregnancy Services.

$3 Bath Gels

If you love Bath and Body Works shower gels, but refuse to pay full price (like me), then head over to your local mall today (or buy on the Internet) and get in on the savings! For the past 3 days, they have been having their semi-annual sale, and the shower and cream gels are only $3!!! However, today is the last day to buy them at $3, I think that after today, they will be sold for $5.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

What's For Dinner?

My sister, TCC, has been a wife and mother a lot longer than I have and has taught me quite a few good tips. One of those tips is freezer cooking. The first time that she told me about it, I thought to myself, "I love to cook, why would I want to do all of this prep work ahead of time, and then not be able to enjoy the time that I was cooking the meal each day?"...Then, I had a baby, and realized that I did not always have time to cook everyday - but I wanted to eat healthy, and we cannot afford to eat out all of the time. I do like when others cook for me, but we do not make it a weekly practice.

Anyway, a few months ago, it happened...I was in BJ's, and went to purchase their brand of chicken breasts. Usually they sold it for $1.89/lb, but when it was rung up, I had to do a double take because the price was so low...it had been marked down to $0.89/lb! The reason why, is because the sell by date was in two days, and they wanted to be sure that it was sold in time. So, I went back to the meat area, and I ended up buying about 40 pounds of chicken! It was crazy, and I did not want to just freeze it all without doing anything with it, so that was the first time that I tried freezer cooking. You spend many hours making many meals, but it is worth it in the long run - I cannot remember how many meals that I had made, but at least 15, I think.

Well, last Thursday, Brady and I were in BJ's buying some detergent, sunscreen, and American cheese. As we were passing by the meat section, I decided to check out the chicken - they so not sell bulk chicken breasts that are their brand (or a no name brand), so I decided to check out the Purdue. I really do like Purdue the best because it does not have any fat, to speak of, that you have to cut off. Anyway, I was looking at the tenderloins, and saw that it was 69 cents/lb - It did not hit me right away how unbelievable this price was, and I thought to myself - "Oh, that seems to be decent...and then it hit me (I must have been really tired!)...that is incredible! I had to look at it again, and I realized that the sell by date was in two days, that it why it was marked down (Usually, Purdue is about $3.29/lb at BJ's)! So, I went a little crazy, and I bought about 40 pounds of thinly sliced breasts, about 12-16 pounds of tenderloins, and about 10 pounds of boneless, skinless thighs! I bumped into my parents at BJ's, told them about the great deal, and they picked up about 6 packages for them, and some for TCC too - they called her on their cell phone - we do not have one of them yet! :)

So, what did I do with all of this meat, and why did I buy so much chicken? Well, I do not eat red meat, because I cannot digest it well - it goes right through me - so, we do not eat that in our house. Dawson does not like seafood at all, so there is not point in me cooking that. We are not big pork fans - so the meat that we eat is chicken, and turkey. Actually, we were both raised not eating read meat, so that was not a big deal for Dawson, however, if we are invited to someone's house and they have some type of beef, he will eat it! So, that is why I was so excited about the chicken deal.

What did I make? One of my close friends checked out a library book for me that is all about freezer cooking called, Don't Panic, Dinner is in the Freezer, so I got a few meal ideas from there (I am going to buy this book). There are many recipes that I have not tasted yet, but they sounded good to try out! Anyway, here is the delicious list (and I made about 3 meals of each):
1. Chicken Marsala
2. Piquant Chicken
3. Baked Marinated Chicken
4. Orange Teriyaki Chicken (this is for the grill)
5. Creamy Swiss Chicken
6. Hawaiian Chicken (this is for the crock pot)
7. Italian Stuffed Chicken
8. Lemon Glazed Chicken
9. Chicken 'n Wine
10. Chicken Parmesan
11. Almond Chicken
12. Chicken was cut up for wok meals - Dawson really enjoys cooking with the wok, and I enjoy eating the meals - the high heat that he cooks at "scares" me a little bit!
13. Some breasts were frozen, and we will do something with them later
13. we just froze the thighs - those will be for wok meals too

I think that I listed all of the meals!

Tonight was Almond Chicken (this is one of my favorites), tomorrow will be Baked Marinated Chicken - I have not tasted this yet! I am excited to try new tastes!

I am so glad that this cooking/prepping is over. My DH helped me by playing with Brady this weekend, he was my helper chef (sometimes, I am the helper to him!), and he cleaned up yesterday and today! Now, it is time for bed!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Lots of Sleep!

This first trimester of my pregnancy has been really good. The only main sign that has reminded me that I am pregnant has been that I have been tired - Praise God that I have not been sick! A few weeks ago - around week 5 or 6 - I was completely exhausted. I was praying that I would be able to stay awake through the morning while Brady was awake...he had just moved to one nap a day - so no morning nap for either of us!

Now, I am not feeling exhausted, but I have been tired. My friend, The Baby Catcher, was telling me that she had just learned that mother's are so tired in the beginning of the pregnancy because that is the time that the nervous system is being formed in the baby - and that takes a lot of "work". I thought that was cool that the science community connected that - and it made me not mind the tiredness as much.

Well, last night, I was REALLY tired! I did not get my afternoon nap, because I was volunteering at a pregnancy center. So, after I put Brady down to sleep, I crawled into bed, at 7:30pm, and besides a few interruptions, I did not wake up until 7:00am! That has not happened for so long - but I SO needed it! I hope that you all had a good night sleep too!