A blog about finding God's way on the journey with our children, our family, our jobs and our community.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Names of God

The more I learn of God, the more I yearn for God.  And to know Him, and to know His names, is becoming more and more important in my life.  Let me share with you just a few of my most favorite names and their meanings:

Jehovah- The Lord
Jehovah-Jireh - The Lord will provide
Jehovah-Rophe - The Lord who heals
Jehovah-Nissi - The Lord our banner
Yahweh - The covenant name of God
Adonai - Master
Jehovah-Shalom - The Lord our peace
Jehovah-Elohim - The Lord our God

Copy down these names and then try this;  when you are praying, use these name to pray to God.  Repeat them in praise and worship and you will reap the peace and presence of a mighty God who loves you so much!

May this bring you blessings today!


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tribute to Loubie; My mother, my friend

My mother was born Betty Louise Flannary.  Her first husband, while not my Dad, was the love of her life.  He died of Hodgkins disease while my Mother was carrying his only son, their second child.  My Mom met my Dad a few years later and she tells that she fell in love with him because he was so different than her first husband.  My Dad was full of life - funny, good looking and everyone loved him.  He wasn't an intellilectual, like her first husband, but she loved him.  He had a son.  They got married and then had me and my baby sister, Lisa.  My Dad never officially adopted my oldest sister and brother out of respect for their father, who was an only child and so wanted to carry on his family name. 

My Mother is the strongest woman I have ever known.  Sometimes, especially since growing older, I often think of her as a true miracle.  She was born in 1930 in an economically depressed area called Appalachia, VA.  Her mother was uneducated.  So was her father, who worked in the coal mines of Southwest Virginia for many years.  My mother, who we lovingly call "Loubie," somehow made it into college at the University of Virginia, where she graduated the nursing program and went on to become an RN and LPN.  The first person in her family to graduate college.  Her great love of the written word has pretty much inspired me to both read and explore writing.  Even today, her favoriate things are reading, Jeopardy (the television show) and Crossword puzzles.  Oh, and spending time with her great grandchildren.  She is a true caregiver.  Heck, I think she invented the word when she was in her early 20's.  That's when she took care of her very first patient - her husband who was dying.  Even with a young baby underfoot, her husband was diagnosed with a terminal illness.  And while devastated, he asked her to consider having another baby - hoping it would be a boy to carry on his family name.  And knowing that she soon would be a single mother (back in 1950, are you kidding me?) she agreed to try.  And soon, she was the mother of two children - children who were 10 months apart - both in diapers - burying her husband in a town where she knew no one.

From there, she started on her care-giving journey and to be very honest with you, some 60 years later - at age 80, she is still taking care of people.  Now, her great-grandchildren are her pride and joy.  They simply adore her and she is quite energetic and loves to take them - where else - but the library!  We have all gleaned a love of reading from my Mom.

You will be hard pressed to find another woman of her era who is more energetic, intelligent or better loved than my mom, Loubie.  So, on Mother's Day and in honor of my Mom, Loubie, I offer these words:

Mom, without you, there would be no me.  Your love, your attention, your guidance, have made me who I am. Without you, I would be lost, wandering aimlessly.  Sure, I may have gotten there someday, but it sure was nice following along in the path that you carved out.  

You showed me the way to serve, to accomplish, to persevere.  Without you, there would be an empty space I could never fill, no matter how I tried.  Instead, because of you, I am a much better person today.  A better mother.  A better wife.  A better daughter.  And better friend.  

Thank you, Loubie.  I have always loved you and I always will.  And I am so very proud to call you my Mother.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

"Storking The Freezer" party for the New Mom-To-Be

A chef and fellow blogger, Tess, has this great idea she came up with for expectant mothers.  Check it out below as my link back - she is brilliant - and has great recipes on her site to go along with it.

Great work, Tess!  You did all the hard work for us!  Bravo!!  I think I am going to suggest this for our next baby shower!


I wanted to post this blog entry on how to have a baby shower for expectant mothers where guest focus on cooking freezer meals. It's something I have enjoyed doing and I know I have seen a lot of new mothers find a little bit of sanity.My amazing friend Kendra has an outstanding blog and I am excited to be a guest writer on My insanity. The full story should be up on her blog in about a week, but as I imagine there will be a lot of new visits to this blog as there often is after a new segment hits Fox 10, I thought I would post it here as well.

I remember how naive I was when expecting my first baby. I didn't know what I was in for, and that may be better. As a chef and a mother, one of my favorite services to offer is that of making freezer meals for expecting and new mothers. I don't know how anyone else's has done with motherhood, but for me it has been, by and far, one of the most challenging, passionate, and sometimes nerve racking experiences of my life. I never expected to be stretched (in sooo many ways...) and sleep so very little. For many, the first few weeks and months of having a new baby in the home are the most incredible...and eye opening. It wasn't a vacation, though having a new one around is a blessing. It doesn't go without work, most of which is unseen by others. Keeping that in mind, offering a baby shower to a brand new-new mom is always wonderful. What about baby showers for those mothers who are expecting their third, fourth...or tenth baby. What about the joy and sometimes fear that accompanies that new child? One solution I have found is offering a "Stork the Freezer" Party and Baby Shower.

When I call the expecting mom, the first thing I do, is introduce the idea of freezer meals to the mom and ask if that is something she would be excited about. Usually there is a few questions I like to ask:

Would the mom to be prefer to have the cooking party at her home or someone else?If they have it somewhere else besides their home (which is always nice) be sure the location will have adequate space in a large capacity freezer to accommodate the meals until the time the meals can be transferred to the mom-to-be's home.

How many children in the family? Age matters...be specific.

Are there any restrictions in their diet? (ie allergies, vegetarian and so forth)

Do they have a large storage freezer or just a standard freezer? This will determine how many dinners and what size you can offer her.

Present some menu choices. I tell her to pick 5-7 meals. She gets a nice printed menu to pick her meals off of, as well as an idea of side dishes she could or would need to make if you are offering those.

Try to fill her menu with several different meals that you know you can cook. Try cooking the menu choices yourself before the shower, or at the very least, be confident you know how to put it together. Another option is to assign "meal captains" to head up each meal during the cooking procedure. This will ease the burden on the hostess from having to supervise all the cooking.

Offer meals that would most appeal to her family.

If the family is not in any way "gourmet" then offering the French chicken wouldn't seem right. If they have kids that go to school and need lunches, offer items that can also double as quick lunch grabs for the kiddos (like pizza muffins and homemade hot pockets).

For the rest of the story, and the full menu and recipes from Tess, visit her site link here:  http://cheftessbakeresse.blogspot.com/2010/04/storking-freezer-party-and-baby-shower.html

She gets my vote for the best idea for the expectant Mom this week! 

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The $2.00 Chair is Complete!!

Yesterday I completed the $2.00 thrift store chair for Avery's room (my 14 year old daughter).  It turned out great.  You might remember me writing about the find back in March when I scooped it up at a local thrift store for $2.00!!  I thought I had taken 'before pictures' of it then - but alas, I can't find them anywhere.

Let it suffice for me to 'paint' this word picture in your mind;  good bones, but U-U-G-L-E-E-E!!  Two shades of brown, avocado green and fake woodgrain - yuck!

First, I took the whole thing apart - wheels, base, seat and chair back.  I washed the whole thing off really well and let it dry while I gathered my supplies.  Valspar Gloss Black spray paint ($6.94 at Lowe's) and my old trusty tool set.  Then, I went to work painting the entire thing outside on an old sheet - front and back - bottom and top.  Two coats got it in all the nooks and cranny's of the wicker back.  After it was dry, I put the entire thing inside the garage until the HUGE thunder storm passed (lots of rain).  I had planned to cover the seat cushion with matching fabric from her room, but once the cushion was cleaned it looked great - here's the fabric - what do you think?  Should I cover it or leave it as is?

Finally, I brought the piecces into the house and got out my tools again.  I put the entire thing back together and it turned out beautiful!  Avery loves the way it works with her room (done in a red and black and tan Paris theme):

While the wheels were a little tricky to paint evenly and then get put back on correctly, it really turned out nicely.  And for under $10.00 total, are you kidding me?  It's fabulous!!