Wednesday, June 30, 2010

#183/365 Peanut Products on Parade

Remember this post?

You all were soooo interested in the product (as I was). Many of you asked me to tell you how the product measured up, since if it was good, you'd be interested in scoring some for your own pantry.

Weh-heh-hellllll....lemme just tell ya. I have struggled to find the words to describe this no-cal/no-fat/no-kidding product.

The appearance is OK. Looks peanutty enough. The smell (that doesn't seem like the right word...fragrance?, odor?--nah--smell, it is) is alright, too. (shrugs) So far, so good.

I dove right in with a spoon and immediately noted that the texture of the product seemed ... off. Like a whipped butter sort of feel. (shrugs again) Das OK. I like whipped butters.

The taste was next. Oh dear. Like water-y, peanut-colored, marshmallow fluff. It was just 'wet'. Blech.

I shouldn't have been so surprised, since the first ingredient on the label is WATER, but ... (shudders).

I would have to give this product a disappointing two thumbs down. My husband thinks I should take it back to the store, since I will NOT be using it, but I feel sort of like I got what I deserved.

I mean, did I really think something with no calories and no fat could be a tasty product? Ummm ... yeah. Apparently, I did. HA

The next product needs very little text, as it gets two thumbs UP.

Sweet and salty. Portable. A new spin on a tried and true.

'Nuff said. :D

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

#182/365 We will not rain on her parade...

The girl in the red is my friend, Addy. She is the one I wrote this post about.

In about 9 days (::gasp::sob::), she and her husband and 4 children, will drive away from the only hometown they have ever known and will head to Nashville to begin a new life.

Tonight, they hosted a Going Away Open House. The following is a funny exchange that happened during the party. All dialog is spoken by Addy.

"Oh hey, Erika!. Come here! Take a picture of my friends adoring me".

"Ok. You guys just look at me. I want to remember this moment forever".

"Now, Erika, take one from over my shoulder, so I can remember what this felt like.
I'm gonna print this off and put it in a frame".

This is her "adoring public's" response....LOL.

We surely love our girl, Addy. And we will miss her soooo much, we aren't even going to talk about it.

Denial works well for me, so let's just go with it, shall we?

Monday, June 28, 2010

#180/365 Something New

I had the fun of being allowed to observe a Music Therapy Session today, held at a local music store, conducted by a real, live Music Therapist.

It was fun and interesting and impressive. I am glad such a program exists here and would feel good referring my families to this class.

Networking and teamwork is so important to the success of these little clients. And I learn so much from the experiences, too.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

#179/365 Beauford

Great places to contemplate.

Peace. Faith. Life. Eternity. Hope.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

#178/365 Happy Birthday, Manny!! **UPDATED with Video

Happy First Birthday, dear Manny!!!

Here is a way that you can get in on the fun of celebrating Manny's first birthday!!

I love, love, love this idea from Manny's mom, Beth. Thanks for letting us be a part of his special day!

My friend, Kathy and I will be posting our photos later in the day.

Happy Day, dear Manny.

God loves you and so do many others!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

177/365 Never Underestimate....

The power of chocolate and retail therapy to bring about solace.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

#175/365 Digs

My distraction. Well, one of two of them.

My weakness. Thankfully, I (mostly) brought healthy foods.

Where the homework happens every night.

Psych! This is really where the homework happens. haha (note the *other* distraction on the bed)

My office on wheels. Goes with me every morning.

My new summer wardrobe. Dresses!!!

And a cart full of water.

And there ya have it.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation. :D

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

#174/365 Possibilities

I am spending the week here, taking a course that will allow me to take an exam to become a nationally certified lactation counselor.

I have thought abut this for years and finally, I felt as though the time was right to stick my toe in the water and pursue the possibility of a complimentary career, or the possibility of an entirely new career.

I completed Day 2 of the course today and am enjoying the information and learning opportunity. I have met a few great people, many of whom are already working in this area, in some capacity or another; WIC counselors, labor and delivery or NICU nurses, etc.

I am more than a smidge nervous about passing the exam and unfortunately, we will not find out if we pass the test for 4-6 weeks. Booo!

Please pray for my memory to be adequate to pass this test. It has been 25 years, since I took a board certifying exam. (shudders)

Monday, June 21, 2010

#173/365 Randomness in My Head

A note I found recently, when I awakened from a nap.

My first thought was, "HaHa! That reminds me of "Drink me" from Alice in Wonderland".

My second thought was, "Awhhh. I love the little faces he always draws on notes he leaves."

Sunday, June 20, 2010

#172/365 Happy Dad's Day UPDATED with captions

Mark, with his daughters, Rachel and Abby (L---R).

They really love their Dad.

We had a Father's Day breakfast to try to accommodate the most of our adult children's schedules. They are busy people. Before the casseroles came out of the over.

The honoree, with his women-folk: Alannah (step-daughter), Virginia, (Mom), Abby and Rachel.

Caleb, with the card he choose for his Crumpa. It had a fishing lure keychain. Cute.

Mark and his furry lady, Scout.

Alannah and Scout taking over my chair and my laptop. Heeeyyyyyy. lol

Suffice it to say, we looooove our Dad, step-dad, son, husband.

I hope he knows how much we all appreciate him.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

#171/365 It was a Dark and Stormy Night ... and morning ... and afternoon

The tornado siren is right across the street from our home ... which is kind of handy when the sky looks like this.

Wow. Wicked weather all day.

Love the clouds. Love the storms.

The angry sky reflected in my sun room window.

Bit of ground saturation? Hmmm....I'd say so.

This morning, we awoke to (unpredicted) sunny skies!!! Thrilling and soooo welcome!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

She Spoke My Heart

Last week, I had cause to email several friends, most of whom I knew were raising or had raised, adult children. I needed advice. Wisdom. Input. Opinons. I needed to know I'm not the only one puzzled, confused, scared and hurt.

There isn't a manual for this. There is no GPS. There isn't even a satisfactory *word* in our vocabulary for the "adult child". And I am lost.

I titled the email "The Paradox of Parenting Adult Children", because it is *such* a paradox. A tight-rope. A delicate dance.

And I am either the recipient of someone stepping on my toes, or I an unknowingly stepping on theirs. This is a heartbreaking, breath-holding time for me. Can we do this? Will they fly? Will they see and know the unfailing love I have for them.

Do they *see* the love at all?

My cyber friend, Sherri, wrote this piece in response to her own ponderings. She has a blog full of beautiful writing, photos and thoughts. She has two adult children, one teen and two "littles" adopted from China. She is a creative, engaged parent, whom I admire. In my opinion, she and I view children the same: fascinating little people puzzles, with unique thoughts, talents and tendencies to be admired, nurtured and rejoiced over with wonder and amazement.

Here is what she wrote (reproduced with her permission):

Lately they come to me,
smelling faintly of
smoke and leaves
and other people's cars.

They come
for renewal and validation,
they come begging,
like street performers
hiding behind
tricks, or grades or funny stories.
Aching for approval or more often,
for money,
willing me to open
the mother wallet
and let the spirits move
to finance their dreams,
or their snacks,
or gas for their car.

They come to me
all false bravado and devil may care
never knowing
I see
the trembling hand
or lowered shifty eyes revealing
haunted hurting hearts.

At night
they come to me
still needing some small goodbye ritual
and never knowing
I can still see them
all blankets and thumbs and small feet kicking.

They come
with more questions than answers.
tilling secret gardens,
proof they are growing away from me,
don't need me

But still,
they come.
Finding their way
in from the cold
They let me reach for their hand
For a moment
I pull them close and smell their hair
and know they are mine.

Behind stubble and bangs of a nameless color.
they still sweat grass and pool water and wind.
mixed with a secret scent we share,
branded onto my heart
from the first day
I knew them.

Even though they have again stolen my sleep,
overtaken all my prayers
and recklessly wrapped themselves up
in most moments of possible peace.
There is hope
down the hallway
they come.
To me.
To home.
hearts still open wide.

#170/365 A Soft Place to Land

This is my friend, Suzanne's, home. She has created a Welcoming Front Porch for Friends.

She owns a little Cubby doggie who is shameless in his quest for belly rubs (after he dutifully barks his yappy head off, upon your arrival).

Suzanne has an apron. She actually wears it, because she actually bakes and cooks and loves to entertain. And she is good at it. More than that, I believe it is one of her many spiritual gifts--hospitality oooozes from her pores.

See?? Evidence of hostessing wherever you look. She loves cupcakes. She loves the CuppyCake song.

Suzanne is a savyy TJ MAXX decorator. She is a savvy evangelist, too, always leading, directing, pointing those she loves in the direction of the Lord.

Chris and Suzanne's home is FILLED with photos of family. Other than God, family is the central focus of their lives, their home, their hearts.

Modern, classic, warm and welcoming. That's my Girl.

Sometimes, I sit here. Sometimes, she does. Sometimes, a golden retriever is at our feet and a yorkie is on our lap(s). There are always beverages and treats. Always.

I love this cozy chair. So many discussions made here. So much face time. So many burdens shared, prayers lifted, laughter generated, love exchanged.

Look what love has done, indeed. Have you ever seen a more beautiful family? Inside and out. The only thing missing from this photos, is Baby Leo. He was just a twinkle in his Mommy and Daddy's eyes. But God already knew him.

Why this tribute to my friend, Suzanne? Because we found out just this week that they will be relocating to Tennessee.

Am I excited for her? That would be an understatement. I am THRILLED that she will be in the city with her mom and sister. Closer to one of her brothers. Enjoying a new job (Chris), a new community, new sights, sounds and smells. New friends, new home, schools, ministries.

But will I miss her? Oh, man. You have no idea.

She has been a rock, one of the few that will "speak the truth in love" to me. She has been the epitome of Christ "with skin on". My soft place to land. Never any judgment. Never any gossip. Just love. And fun. And inclusion. And making me feel as though I matter.

The countdown to her move is rapidly approaching; as in less than 30 days. In that time, she will oversee the moving process, care for her family and friends, walk the walk and talk the talk. She will be, as always, the Proverbs 31 woman personified.

God goes before you, Addy Suzanne. He has made the way clear. Go with peace in your heart and the love of those into whom you have sowed your fertile seeds of love and care.

You are God's Rock Star.