Tuesday, March 31, 2009

my hairs, graying and numbered

Karin at Mommy Matters turned me on to Birth Verse. Go check it out. Here’s mine.

Luke 12:7 NIV
Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Monday, March 30, 2009

bread + cinnamon rolls = walk today



How many days of rain in a row? Who can keep up? Anyway, the inability to leave the house resulted in dangerous baking this weekend. The sun is out today and it’s time to face the consequences.

Is that the best dog ever hoping I drop the pan of cinnamon rolls?


Why, yes, indeed it is.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

wahm wow (not sham wow. that’s different.)


(My desk. 9:35 a.m. Yes, I know my coffee cup shouldn’t be that close to the keyboard.)

It’s no secret that I wear more than one hat. I was a working woman before I became a working mom. The transition to stay-at-home mom soon resulted in a career change and the adoption of a new acronym: WAHM. Now, in our second year of homeschooling, “teacher” has become a good fit as well.

For every mom who has ever said, “If I didn’t have to work…,” I want to send you over to the The Schoolhouse Store for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine’s e-book “HomeWork: Juggling Home, Work and School Without Losing Your Balance.” I was given the opportunity to review this collection of stories from families who have made the balance work, with a variety of ideas for those who want to transition home.

The stories range from a family running an orchard and B&B to a mom running a network management company for small businesses. They are real people, with the same exasperations and small victories I taste daily. (The mom who gets up at 2:45 a.m. to work? Yep. Been there. Worth it.) While they are homeschoolers, their stories transcend that and provide encouragement for any mom who wants to be at home with her children. The book also provides practical business advice and a clear perspective on what it means to find balance. From Katy Daum: “My work is fourth on the priority list. This means that I must appropriate time for work only after my obligations to God, husband, and family have been met.”

I think I am going to tape that quote on my monitor.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

a woman inspired, april 6 - 9

Here’s the latest conference information from my friends at A Woman Inspired. This is an online women’s conference, so you can do this without leaving home.

We are offering a reduced rate until April1 at midnight CST. Get your ticket for only $12.95! Don't let time slip away... register now! You definitely don't wan to miss this opportunity because because this is one women's conference that you definitely want to be a part of. PLUS, ticket holders will be entered into a contest to win lots of great prizes including autographed CDs from Mandisa!


There is also a gift bag full of goodies for every attendee that is valued at well over $100! It includes free downloads from Mandisa, Once Upon A Blog, Pickle Berry Pop {digital scrapbooking} & More! Sign up today!

button it up


We’ve got your vintage buttons right here.

Monday, March 23, 2009

love makes you real

DCF 1.0

Hop on over (get it?) to Heart of the Matter and read my review of “The Velveteen Rabbit” and my interview with Michael Landon, Jr. He’s one of the good guys.

The movie is inspired by the book, rather than based upon it, but don’t let that stop you. If you like the book, you will enjoy the movie. I started watching the screener DVD alone, but by the time the movie was done, every member of my family had joined me. And not just because I was hogging the TV.

dear spring


Please be real this time.





Thursday, March 19, 2009

good news, now there’s something we need

For those of you praying for Rachel, the surgery went very well. I spoke with Rachel’s aunt shortly after Rachel woke up this afternoon. Good things are happening.

(Jackie, I’m totally stealing from your web site.)

“Rachel is certainly a Trooper! When we got to go in and see her, the nurses said that they had asked her her name and she answered them. About 15 minutes later, Dr. Myseros came in and shook her leg and said Rachel, how do you feel Rachel said o.k. He said open your eyes and look at me and she did. He said how any of me do you see and she said one. He said stick out your tongue and she did. He said show me your teeth and she smiled. He said wiggle your toes and she did!
You Lord are deeper, wiser, stronger and higher and You amaze us! There by the grace of God go I. Amen.”

Amen, indeed.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

after (almost)


Chalkboard paint, I love you.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009



Some aspects of my laundry room were trying my patience. (I’m talking to you, Laura Ashley English Ivy.)

for rachel

When your children were small, did they have monsters in the closet and under the bed and behind the door? Night after night, you chased them away. Thankfully, when they are finally kicked to the curb, it’s a permanent eviction.

Our friends are facing a scary monster this week. Their daughter, Rachel, was diagnosed with a brain tumor last Friday. Brain tumor – the monster has a name in this case.

Through a series of events nothing short of miraculous, Rachel, her parents and her aunt are now in a city hours away, in the care of doctors who slay monsters daily. (They see this type of tumor all the time, which is at once devastating and reassuring to me.) I can’t be there, but I am there anyway – watching the clock, waiting for word. I want her parents to feel love around them like a blanket. I want her older brother to have peace. I want Rachel not to be afraid.

Already, her family has seen God move the medical bureaucracy equivalent of mountains. Now, they need Him to hold the hands of a surgeon on Thursday. (And may I add – this same surgeon will be performing the same operation on two other little girls, one today and one tomorrow. I’m sure the families of those kids would ask for your prayers as well.)

When I spoke to Rachel’s mom last night, she said Rach is keeping up with the location of people who are praying for her. As of last night, the count was 29 states and six countries. She is hoping to cover the globe. Please join us and let Rachel know where you are by commenting on her Caring Bridge site. (If you prefer, you may email me and I will pass your message along.)

We want this monster gone for good.

“If I were you, I would go to God and present my case to him. He does great things too marvelous to understand. He performs countless miracles.” Job 5:8-9

Monday, March 16, 2009

flour on chocolate


The chocolate Lab, that is. We made the pizza crust to end all pizza crusts this weekend. There was a light dusting of flour on every surface, including Maggie. She was hoping for a sprinkle of cheese and pepperoni.

Crust recipe is here. The key, I think, is letting the dough rest overnight. The dough became soft and pliable unlike any other pizza dough I’ve ever made. It’s even better than (hometown boy) Tyler Florence’s recipe. (Sorry, Tyler.)

And the recipe’s author, Peter Reinhart, lives in Charlotte – a mere hour away – and has a new book coming out this year. I think I need to write a story about him that involves a day of baking lessons for me. Don’t you agree?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Delicious New Solar Cell Technology

My nephew is the "Ben" noted in the credits. I am so glad to know I can finally afford my own solar panels.

on the table


Making muscadine jelly, August 2008

I was pointed to a great post over at Buttons Magee about frugality – everyday tips for making the most of your grocery budget. In that spirit, here are some of the things we do.

* I buy local food in season when I can. This summer, I am hoping to expand our pantry and freezer offerings (darn you, drought!), but here, in March, we are still enjoying the fruits of our labors from July and August.

* I buy what’s on sale. (Duh.) Recently, I have started using coupons again, because I interviewed an expert “couponer” who said, “Coupons are cash.” Of course they are. Why didn't that occur to me before? (Story coming soon in Upstate Parent magazine.)

* I pay more for a few things on our list. Milk comes from our local, organic dairy. I buy Amish butter because once you’ve had it, everything else is just margarine. In warm weather, I buy local, free-range eggs – they are actually about the same price as regular, cruelty-laden, can’t-be-good-for-you grocery store eggs. As a really poor alternative in winter, I buy cage-free eggs. (“Cage-free” doesn’t mean much, I know.) We buy local, grass-fed beef in bulk. It’s more expensive than the stuff at the regular grocery store, but about half the price of grass-fed beef at Whole Foods.

*And on that note, since I am a vegetarian, our household really doesn’t consume that much meat anyway. Even the carnivores here enjoy veggie meals: beans and rice, veggie lo mein, soups, etc.

* If I can make it myself, I do. This started as a healthier, less processed way to feed my family, but it is significantly less expensive. That $4 loaf of gourmet bread? It’s about a dollar’s worth of ingredients and so much better than even a bakery loaf.

What are your ideas for spending less without compromising quality?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

me gusta comer


I thought about writing this post entirely in Spanish, but my deep respect for Spanish-speaking people prohibits me from butchering their language, at least in a public forum. My intentions are good, but high school Spanish was a long time ago.

We had a super cool field trip to Toni’s Tienda, the oldest Mexican tienda (store) in our area, yesterday. I may or may not have had a shameful amount of guacamole. My son is in a wonderful Spanish class in our homeschool co-op and this was a great way to extend the kids’ experience outside the classroom, which is kind of what homeschoolers do best.

I bought saffron and Mexican gum (saffron for me, gum for the kids). Since I didn’t bring in a bag, I just carried my purchase out in my hands, but later decided I didn’t need saffron rolling around in the van. I stuck it into the dark, unreachable abyss that is my purse, only to need my phone later. That’s a new one: digging for my phone through lipstick, papers, wallet, saffron and Mexican gum. Tomorrow, I make yellow rice with lime. Si, es muy bueno.



Monday, March 9, 2009

prepare for the beginning, and other miscellany

My fellow geeks, run, don’t walk, to see the new Star Trek movie trailers. This makes “Heroes” tolerable again. Yatta!

While you’re surfing, my column on turning the big 4-0 is out in this month’s Upstate Parent (and others, but this link is to Upstate). Also, if you’re on Facebook, Upstate Parent has a fan page now. Your support is greatly appreciated. Really.

It was pinewood derby time on Saturday. Think he had fun?


Now, I am off for a little time in the 80 degree temperatures. It’s hard to believe that one week ago, we had 6.5 inches of snow. Goodbye, winter. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

my focus is probably misplaced


But I like that headline on the catalog.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

turns out, i’m a science geek


My story about how homeschooling has filled the gaps in my own education is up at Heart of the Matter Online. I am very proud to be a part of this online magazine and community that is designed to encourage Christian, homeschooling moms. (Do not stereotype us; you would be wrong.) I would be honored if you would click over and give them a view.

But back to the snow: It’s still here. We currently have more snow left on the ground than we usually get in a total snowfall. Today was another snow day for the kids and tomorrow is two-hour delay. Yep – nothing’s getting done this week.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Sunday, March 1, 2009

and since we’ve no place to go


Observations about snow in South Carolina:

The employees of Publix at Five Forks in Simpsonville must be grace personified. As far as I could tell when I was there on my ibuprofen run today, not only had they not harmed a single customer, they were all smiling and seemed genuinely glad to help the large crowd that had gathered post-church. Good on them.

We don’t know how to drive in anything more than a summer shower. If you are a transplant from some snowbound state, do not honk your horn at us. We can’t help it. Black ice is scary. That’s why most of us just stay home.

While forecasters are saying rather disturbing things like “potential for biggest snowfall since 1980” (I was 11 in 1980), instead of digging up snowman-making supplies, I am tallying the first aid gear. The boy had a temp of 102.7 this morning and the girl is spending the weekend in bed with back pain. (Orthopedists don’t go to work in the snow here, I bet.) And Buddy has somehow strained his paw. Few things are sadder than a 13-year-old dog limping around.

But everyone – even the sick and injured – will be going out to play in the snow. Enjoy!