Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Update to "The Best Cake You'll Ever Eat" post:

I made this today and it turned out wonderful! Someone at the party actually said, "This is one of the best cakes I've ever eaten." So the name is appropriate.
I did alter the recipe somewhat.
* Instead of creme d'menthe I used peppermint extract and water (some sources said I could use grapefruit juice in place of water)
* I took everyone's advice and used chocolate cake rather than white.
* For the frosting I used 1 tub cool whip, 2/3 cup sour cream, 1 cup powdered sugar, peppermint extract, green food coloring.
* I piped melted chocolate for the greeting and dots. If this wasn't going to be for a party I would have made lines on the top like this cake. (Which, btw, I've made several times and looks and tastes wonderful too. That's also where I came up with the idea to change the frosting.)
So hats off to you Friend Traci for introducing us to this great recipe! It's a keeper!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

"Even criminally minded geese need to eat"
This is what my friend Traci said when she heard what we did with our kids yesterday. Being the funny, white trash parents that we are we decided to load the kids up and go feed the geese and other foul fowl down at the Oregon State Penitentiary. There is a creek that runs by the pen and there are just hundreds of ducks, geese, (or "honkers" as Samuel calls them) and pigeons. We checked the local news and made sure there was no breaking news of a convict escape and loaded up our rain gear and bread crumbs!

As many of you know, Hot Jeff is a far better mother than I am. He's really into the kids' safety and is always double checking seat belts and crazy stuff like that. I'm pretty laid back and parent by the "natural consequences" method. You know like, "well if they break a leg while riding their bike down the stair case they will learn to not do that again". So on our way home, after having a very wonderful and uneventful time with our prison geese Hot Jeff says, "If we're going to do this again we're going to be sure Samuel understands the geese could snip at him." Of course I reply, "So?" Hot Jeff looked at me like I was from Mars and says, "Well they could bite off his finger". Seriously? Like what kind of teeth does Jeff think these honkers have? My reply to this was, "Well if someday he's on a date with a girl and they run out of things to talk about he can tell about how he lost his finger in a freak, prison goose feeding incident". I made up a good story which I told Hot Jeff the whole way home.

"At 3 years old my parents took me to the state prison to feed the local geese. While feeding them, one deviant goose came striding up and totally unprovoked, bit my left pinky finger off. The blood gushed as my Dad pulled my screaming body into his arms. My Mom sprung to action and tackled the goose. He was shocked by her strength and began to honk and squeal but she was relentless in her pursuit of my severed finger. After what seemed like hours of wrestling my Mom arose victorious with the limp goose tucked under her arm; she had at last claimed victory by snapping its long downy neck with her bare hands.
"We drove to the emergency room at remarkable speed and I was beginning to black out as my Dad carried me into the hospital. Personnel whisked me back to a suture room and began to discuss my hand as if the finger had not been retrieved. About that time my Mom interrupted and said, 'Oh no, we've got the finger. My husband extricated it from the goose's stomach before we left the scene'.
"Tragically my finger was not the only one the goose had greedily eaten that day and the finger my Mother produced was not mine. The doctors tried to attach it anyway but the previous owner and I weren't a match and my hand rejected the finger, hence, my left hand only has four fingers".

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Bright Side: A Different Look at Monday's PYKM

I've received a fair amount of feedback this week regarding Monday's PYKM where I shamefully admitted I yell at my kids. Many of you were honest and brave enough to email, call or Facebook me and say you do the same and wish you didn't and what can you do and you too think you're screwing your kid up for life.

Tonight I was laying (lying?) in bed and couldn't sleep. I was thinking about all of it and some different ideas regarding yelling at my kids came to mind. Like this one: somewhere out there are moms who don't yell at their kids. Some of those kids are going to grow up and be successful therapists; it is our job to keep them in practice by giving our kids something to talk to them about.

Another thought: someday when our kids go on Oprah and talk about why they can't keep a job, or why they still live at home, or why they still wet the bed they will blame it on us. Instead of taking it personally lets all get together, mix up some Bloody Marys and talk about how much weight Oprah has gained.

Finally, and quite really my favorite, I get super good and famous because I write a book called, 'Stop Crying'. And other loving things my mother told me that made me into the professional online gamer I am today. I'll write it from Samuel's perspective like I do those clever little posts where he has underwear on his head.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Bird Cakes
We're still in quarantine over here at the Henderson house so in order to help pass the day we decided to make bird cakes for our feathered little friends outside. I mentioned it on Facebook and got lots of requests for the how-to. I just made this crap up so if you've got a better method then by all means share it with the rest of us. When we hung them up outside fussy Hot Jeff, who apparently is like a bird know it all, said they will have a hard time eating out of them. C'mon Hot Jeff, please keep your bird cake criticism to yourself, you're bringin' me down.

Start with a bowl of equal amounts of lard (Mmm) and peanut butter. Stir in a bird food mixture of your native birds' favorite. We used a nutty and dried fruit mixture.

Clean out yogurt containers. Use as binoculars (this part is optional).

Poke a hole in the bottom of the yogurt container and string a string or ribbon through it. We kind of looped ours so that the yogurt container would hang at an angle and for strength. Fill the containers with your suet mixture.

Put the finished product in the freezer for a few hours or overnight.

Hang from the trees and then listen to Hot Jeff ridicule you for your genius idea and for doing wonderfully crafty things with his children. Oh yeah, Hot Jeff, you think you can make bird cakes so much better? Sorry, I digress.
* Yes, those are my kids in their pajamas and yes, it was 3:00 in the afternoon when we were making the bird cakes. Don't judge me.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

If you run in the Facebook crowd you know the 25 Random Things About Me is all the rage. If you read this blog you know I write a guest post on my cousin Bug's blog every Tuesday. Since she is not on Facebook and since I was lagging in topic ideas I wrote a 25 Random Things About Bug and slapped it on there for her readers. It was a big hit. She wanted to know if I had written one about myself to which I said: "of course". I really drew the "or" in "course" out. Like this: "of coooorrrrse". If you don't run in the Facebook crowd or somehow missed mine I give it to you now. :)

25 Random Things About Moi, Your Blog Master
1. If my house were on fire I would save my kids, my cat and Ruby our laptop.
2. I met Jeff in Alaska at a fishing camp.
3. I think my friend Kim has great breasts.
4. I used to have really great breasts...before 2 kids nursed on them for a combined 18 months.
5. I think men with stylish glasses are sexy.
6. My husband doesn't wear glasses but is way dead sexy.
7. I want to write book reviews for Oprah's magazine.
8. When Emily is a little older and Samuel is in school I plan on going to nursing school.
9. I LOVE Grey's Anatomy.
10. There is one person in my life who I still haven't been able to forgive (but am still trying).
11. I've never done any kind of drugs.
12. I like to smoke clove cigarettes (but haven't since having Samuel).
13. I typically vote Democrat although raised by a Republican.
14. I was a candy striper. Striper, not stripper.
15. I cried the first time I ever saw Elton John in concert. I love him.
16. I spent a summer in India.
17. I am the 4th woman in my family to have the middle name, "May". Baby Emily is the 5th.
18. I hate being pregnant but love giving birth.
19. Coffee and quiet libraries make me have to go poop.
20. I love to drink Diet Coke in the morning. I think its the carbonation.
21. If something ever news-worthy happens to me I will give the Today show the first interview but only if it is with Matt Lauer.
22. I love celebrity gossip magazines.
23. Speaking of which, Jennifer Lopez and I delivered our babies (her Max & Emmy and my Emily) on the same day: February 22nd. My friend Traci called me while I was being admitted to tell me JLo had delivered hers by C-Section.
24. I don't have any tonsils.
25. I love tulips. I had them in my wedding and Jeff always gets them for me for our anniversary.

Tuesdays With Traci

Twenty Questions to Ask Your Spouse
Adapted from Faith Baptist Counseling Ministries

Both you and your spouse look over this list and find 5 that you would like to ask the other person. Then go on a date and discuss. I think you will find some of the answers very interesting. I did this with my husband and I learned so much that I didn’t know before. And a bonus - it was nice to have somthing to talk about other than the kids!!!

1. What gifts do you like to receive?
2-4. What makes you most fulfilled or happiest as a man or a woman? As a husband or wife? As a father or a mother?
5-7. What makes you saddest/most scared as a man or a woman? As a husband or wife? As a father or a mother?
8. What do you look forward to the most?
9. How much sleep do you need?
10. What are your skills?
11. What are your weaknesses?
12. With what chores and responsibilities do you like my help?
13. At what times do you need assurance of my love the most?
14. What concerns do you have that I do not seem interested in?
15. What do you enjoy doing with me, with the most enjoyable as first?
16. In what ways would you like me to protect you (physically, spiritually, socially, emotionally)?
17. What things do you think are first in my life? As you look at me what do you see?
18 How might I help motivate you and our children to use your skills and develop your abilities?
19. In what ways would you like me to sacrifice for you?
20. What ways demonstrate to you that you are a very important person to me?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

May you find the encouragement you need today, in whatever place your at, by these timeless words. May I challenge you to take one of these verses (or one of your favorites) and write it on a notecard and tape it to your bathroom mirror, your dashboard, anywhere where you'll see it and be reminded of God's astonishing love for you!!

For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works or righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:3-7

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection in Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:3-5

The God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 1 Peter 5:10

Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. Isaiah 43: 1-2

Friday, March 20, 2009

I'll Be the Judge About That
Not that I'm in the habit of not opening email from BFF Traci in Montana but she sent me one yesterday that said in the subject line, "The Best Cake You'll Ever Eat". Let me just say, had my computer scanned that message and found it to be fraudulent and packed with vicious viruses and then sent it to cyber-hell I would have still tracked it down and opened it with the hopes that it really did have the recipe in it to the best cake I had ever eaten. I heart cake.

Here's the recipe exactly the way Traci typed it out to me (which makes it even more delicious I'm sure): Get a mix for a white cake, and take out 3 T. of whatever liquid they call for and replace with 3 T. of creme d'menthe (or however the crap you spell that). You can get the green kind to make the cake green. Bake the cake. (Duh.) Buy some hot fudge topping, microwave it until you can pour it, then put the fudge sauce on top of the cake. Let it cool. Put a little more of the creme d'menthe in some Cool Whip and spread on top of the cake. This is chocolately and minty and sooo yummy.

I really like chocolate and mint and am wondering how it would taste with a choco cake instead of white? Any comments? Oh wait, you guys NEVER comment; why would you start now?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The High Ball Screen
For all you ladies out there who were hoping for a chance to have a baby with Hot Jeff, you're outta luck. Hot Jeff had the "big snip" today and his baby makin' days are oh-ver.

Hot Jeff has a lot of great qualities; one of mention is his clever thinking. After we decided last December to get the vasectomy he decided to do it in March on this specific weekend as it is when March Madness starts. Thursday marks the opening day of the opening two rounds in which 48 basketball games will be played. 48! If you're going to have to be laid up on the couch for a few days why not do it watching something you love and would otherwise have to take vacation time to watch. Well played Hot Jeff, well played.

In addition to being very clever, Hot Jeff is also Chuck Norris like in his pain tolerance. The man drove himself home. You heard here first folks: he drove himself home. It really is too bad he's not going to have more offspring because he is supremely clever and strong.

Below is a picture of Hot Jeff post-op. He's got his bracket and his remote...he's a happy camper.

I love you Hot Jeff!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Oh Sew Sweet Creations...
It is so crazy to see your friends grow up and become fabulous. What's even weirder is to see their little sisters grow up and be fabulous! My dear friend Kelli, BFF's little sister, has started her own web-business for adorably cute homemade kids stuff. I was on her newly launched website tonight and cannot wait to get some of this fun stuff for Samuel and Emily. Check it out at: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6932480. And don't forget to tell everyone you know to check it out and do their birthday and Easter shopping with Kelli!

Kelli and her beautiful daughter, Emily

My oh sew very favorite: the Bag O' Numbers!!!

How ridiculously cute is this crown?
She's got ones for little guys too.
The real question: Kelli, can you make me one that says, "Queen"?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Submissive Chicken
This is my sister in law Jodi's recipe but she calls it Yummy Chicken. After making it the first time I changed the name because I saw amazing things in Hot Jeff: little things like oh I don't know...total submission. :) This chicken is so amazing a friend of mine made this dish to reconcile with his wife--true story.

I made this chicken tonight with no alterior motives yet while I was upstairs bathing the kids (see the picture below), Hot Jeff cleaned up dinner, loaded the dishwasher and vacuumed. LOVE it!

Below is the recipe that will change your life forever. I like to serve it with mashed taters and some sort of steamed veggie. I have written the recipe with Weight Watcher ingredients making a serving only 5 points. If you make your taters with nonfat milk and dijon mustard instead of butter you bring those points way down also. If you want Submissive Chicken to be full strength then replace all the fat free stuff with regular stuff of the same kind.

Preheat oven to 315.

In a baking dish place 4 trimmed chicken breasts. Pour over the chicken one can of 99% fat free cream of chicken soup. Dab a few pats of Brommel & Brown yogurt butter spread over each breast and soup. Sprinkle a layer of fat free cheddar cheese over the gooey love. Cover that layer with Pepperidge Farm herbed stuffing mix.

Bake uncovered for 75 minutes. Serve with taters and steamed veggies (preferably steamed green beans sauteed in garlic). Then...watch your family's eyes glaze over with adoration and prepare to have your husband do your bidding.

Seriously? Does anyone ever get tired of looking at Roo with food all over her face? How cute is she? And while I do recommend mashed taters...I don't recommend eating them with your fingers and I don't recommend peek-a-boo if you do.

Tuesdays With Traci

This week at our mother’s group we had a speaker share on helping your children with patience, tantrums, and whining. Wow! What a blessing. I thought I’d share her thoughts and then conclude it with my own.

Thee main categories for the whine and temper tantrum
1. Comfort – physical and emotional
Examples: Pajamas too tight, overtired, hungry/thirsty, cold/hot, getting sick, scared, missing Daddy, frustrated with developmental ability? These are usually a simple fix and ones in which grace should be given.

2. Wise in own eyes – Are they in rebellion? Talking back? Do they think they know more/better than you? Angry over an instruction? Proverbs 12:15, Romans 12:3

3. Need for structure –
Are they overwhelmed by too many choices? Are they bored due to inability to govern their own time?

Proactive Training
1. Structure your child’s day and provide boundaries.
2. Teach your child to obey. Obedience is: right away (immediately), all the way (completely), and in a willing way (obedient spirit).
3. Correct your child, holding them accountable consistently, gently, effectively (modeling), and patiently.
4. Patience – Teach children that being patient means waiting with a happy heart/willing way.
5. As the parent, you make the choices. You are in charge. Manage the freedoms and choices your child has to prevent your child from becoming wise in his own eyes. If you give them too many choices then you are allowing them, even teaching them, to be wise in their own eyes.
6. Set a good example. Be sure you are not grumbling, complaining and whining.
7. Encourage our child with truths from God’s word when training throughout the day, not just when you are disciplining. If you only speak of God and the Bible when you are disciplining this will give the child a negative and skewed idea of who God is.

These were all good for me to hear but the one that was most important for me was the need for structure. Let me illustrate:

Last week I was preparing for my daughter’s birthday party, making 10 meals for the meal swap, organizing the MOPS craft, and my house was in shambles. My husband came home to a very frustrated and misty-eyed wife. I had so much to do I didn’t know where to start. If I would have done anything it would have been okay but there was so much that I just stood there, overwhelmed, and did nothing. Our kids are the same way. We say, “Okay kids, I have to send some e-mails, you guys go play.” Then we are surprised that they whine, fight, and crawl all over us. “Why don’t you just go play?!” Believe it or not they are overwhelmed with all their toys and they don’t know which one to start playing with first.

May I recommend another idea: Structure their time and tell them what you want them to play with, where, and for how long. If needed, set a timer. “Okay honey, I’m going to fold the laundry; I want you to sit here and work on puzzles.” “I’m going to fix dinner; I want you to draw Aunt Jen a picture.” “I’m going type on the internet; I want you to sit on your bed alone and read books for 20 minutes.”

One final word (I’m speaking to myself) - When you are teaching your children to be patient and wait with a happy heart you are essentially saying, “Trust me, I’m going to do what I said I’m going to do.” How are we supposed to teach them patience when we don’t follow through on what we say? If we want them to obey us, we need to be respectable and dependable. When we tell our children something, we better do it. I know there have been oodles of times I’m on the internet and my daughter asks for something and I say, “I’ll get it for you in just a minute.” Then I don’t. Thirty minutes goes by and I’m still engrossed in my own world and I’m not doing what I need to do for them.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Spaghetti Night
I don't even have any words...I am, at last, speechless.

Friday, March 13, 2009

My parents are all about "choosing their battles" these days so tonight I was like, "Hey, I wanna eat naked". Mama and Daddy said I could eat with or without clothes on as long as I ate dinner. They didn't even blink--what is up with that? So of course I had to roll with it so I ate dinner naked. I did leave my socks on though because you just never know when you're going to have a fire drill and if I have to go running outside I'm gonna want my socks on. To my peeps out there reading this: if you're going to try and call your parents' bluff and eat naked then leave your socks on too. We'll start a movement.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Now that I'm 1 and fab"Roo"lous I've been thinking that I should blow this joint and go to Hollywood; I think I could make it big there. With that said, I've been practicing some looks.

This is my "Magnum" look. My inspiration was my "Blue Steel" look but Magnum really takes it to the next level. Look out Angelina Jolie, there's a new girl in town.

This is me practicing my acting chops. I told Mama to throw some impromptu "problem" at me so she said, "Ok, you're an actress on a soap opera and you've just been told that your fiance is your much-older, dead sister's son, born out of wedlock, making him your illegitimate nephew. Not only that, but he is the one who abducted you last year while you were on the Cruise of Deception. And...that is not his real face."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hot Jeff's "Other Woman"

I've known about her for a little over a week now. I knew she was thin, sleek, and didn't weigh very much. I knew she was easy and fast and her drive was hard. I knew that in April Hot Jeff would start spending all his spare time and weekends with her and I knew she was single and lookin' for a home to wreck.

Here's what I didn't know...I didn't know she'd come knocking at my door at 8:30 this morning looking like a million bucks and flashing her red hot smile. How dare she come to my home when I was in my pajamas and hadn't had my second cup of coffee yet?

Here's what else I didn't know...I didn't know I would love her. I took one look at her and knew why Jeff had chosen her. She was sleek, charming and oh so...portable. Oh I tried to stop, I tried to tell her, "No, this isn't right...Jeff needs you. I have a PC whom I'm compatible with, whom I've shared hours and memories with. Stop. Stop looking at me like that." She sat there quietly, looking at me with those penetrating, almost invisible web cam eyes. I knew she had read my soul.

Jeff does need her. The Becker course starts in just a few short weeks and he will need her speed, reliability and...oh it kills me...portability. I have fought the urge to hold her, caress her, buy her a matching case with my initials monogrammed on it...for now.

I've named her Ruby. Like the great Kenny Rogers song, "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town" she is a firecracker whose passion I can't contain. And, well, she is after all...red.

You've painted up your lips
And rolled and curled your tinted hair
Ruby are you contemplating
Going out somewhere
The shadow on the wall
Tells me the sun is going down
Oh Ruby...
Don't take your love to town
*by popular demand, I give you the crockpot beef stew recipe I made on Monday and spoke about on Facebook. This is the post I wrote my guest spot on Bug's blog.

Oh my gosh...how much do I love Dancing with the Stars? There are really not enough words nor adjectives to describe my love for Dancing with the Stars. Monday was Season Eight's electrifying premiere and it did not disappoint. There were Tom Bergeron's witty one liners, lovable Bruno's sexy accent, spray tanned bodies and the perfect blend of great and awful dances.

When I woke up Monday morning my first thought was that I needed to have dinner ready to go right on time so there would be no excuse for chilrens' late baths and postponed bed times. I settled on a crock pot meal that I could make early in the day and then have my afternoon free to get any necessary chores out of the way so that after the babes went to bed I would be a woman free to indulge in her dancing fantasies. My friend Rochelle recently posted on Facebook her recipe for Crockpot Beef Stew and I give you the recipe now. However, it will from here on out be known as "Dancing with the Stars Premiere Night Crockpot Beef Stew" (I would imagine this recipe will be a good one to repeat for the equally anticipated DWTS finale.)

Dancing with the Stars Premiere Night Crockpot Beef Stew

In your crockpot, mix a 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes with one envelope of onion soup mix and 1T of "Minute" tapioca. Mix in 1t. of sugar, 1T of salt and 1/2t of pepper. Toss in 2-3 pounds of stew meat along with one chopped onion. Add 3-4 pounds of chopped potatoes and 6 chopped carrots. Cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 5-6 hours. Serve with a tossed salad and buttermilk biscuits. Mmm.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tuesdays With Traci

Meal Swap – One of the best things I did this year

First, this is not for everyone. If you are a picky eater or have family members with severe allergies you can stop reading here, this post is probably not for you. On the other hand, if you like to have home-cooked meals, eat a wide variety of foods, and like the ease of having dinner ready in the freezer, you may want to give this a shot.

What the meal swap entails:
*4-6 ladies
*Each lady makes 1 meal for the number of ladies in the swap
*On a set day of the month everyone gets together to swap meals. If there are 6 ladies each person will leave with 6 different meals.
*There is a money cap per meal; ours is $6.
*Most meals can be stored in Ziploc bags. This not only saves room in the freezer but money because you aren't buying aluminum containers every month. (To the right is a picture of 6 freezer meals stored vertically in my freezer.)
*Menus, dietary restrictions, meal sizes, and other issues are agreed upon by the ladies in the swap.

Here are some great websites to get freezer meals: http://freezerchicks.blogspot.com/ ,
http://www.30daygourmet.com,/ http://www.once-a-month-cookingworld.com/ , http://www.recipezaar.com/.

There are several books at the library about freezer meals/once-a-month cooking. Another book that I just found and fell in love with is Fix-It and Forget-It, 5-Ingredient Favorites.

We’ve been doing the meal swap for a year now and our group has ebbed and flowed. There are only two of the original ladies me being one of them. But our group actually birthed a new group last month so the idea is catching on.

Finally, I want to leave you with one of our meal swap favorites:

Chicken & Wild Rice Casserole
½ cup onion, chopped
1 box wild rice, prepared
1 c mayo
1 c cheddar cheese
1 can green beans
1 can cream of celery
3 shredded chicken breasts

1. Sauté onions in butter.
2. Add everything else in mixing bowl.
3. Put mixture in 11 x 13 dish.
4. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes (or until bubbly).

For freezing: Prepare as directed in steps 1 and 2. Then put in a Ziploc bag and freeze flat. For eating: Thaw in bag. Continue with steps 3 and 4.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Conversations with a 3 Year Old
Tonight while Samuel and Emily were in the bath Hot Jeff took a shower because he's starting to feel achy like the rest of us. Samuel knew this was a little out of the ordinary and here is the transcript of the conversation that followed:
S: Why is Daddy takin' a shower?
M: Daddy is feeling achy and the warm water will help.
S: Why is Daddy feeling icky?
M: Not icky, achy.
S: Icky?
M: No, achy. Like 'aches and pains'. Not icky like 'eew'.
S: Is he going to the paint store when he gets out of the shower?
M: Huh?
S: Icks and paint. Is Daddy going to the paint store?
M: No, not paint. Pain. Like "owie" I have a pain and need some tylenol.
S: I want some tylenol. Tylenol is purple. Paint is purple.
M: Yes, paint and tylenol are purple.
S: Why is Daddy takin' a shower?
Waylon & Willie

It is with great pleasure I introduce you to Waylon & Willie Henderson. Waylon is on the left and Willie is on the right, more towards the top. Waylon has more translucent fins while Willie's are very red, hence he was clearly going to be Willie, after his namesake.

Thanks to all of you who voted on the name poll. Since it ended up being a tie I broke it and went with the country music legends. I miss my late Uncle Bob dearly every day and he would have loved that I named my goldfish Waylon & Willie. He would have also given me a lot of grief about it.

The kids are crazy about the fish and last night during dinner Samuel spontaneously bowed his head, closed his eyes and said, "Thank you God for our fishies". Good times!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tuesdays with Traci

Last week our pastor (at Open Door Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC) preached a sermon on “Worship that Pleases God”. He spoke about how far churches have strayed from what God intended and offered these characteristics of a church that pleases God. (I added the stuff in parenthesis for clarification.)

It is God glorifying
It is Christ and cross centered - (the full gospel)
It is saturated with Scripture
It is Spirit empowered
It is orderly and has unity - (not chaotic)
It is congregational – (not people watching a performance but every member worshiping)
It is gospel driven

As he was talking I made the connection that our lives ought to have the same characteristics.

God glorifying – In everything, do I fear the Lord and have His glory as my sole ambition? “Charm is deceitful and beauty is fleeting but the woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Prov 31:30

Christ and cross centered – Do I remember how much he gave for me? When I am tempted to wallow in my circumstances, do I remember that Christ died for just such a moment and that he knows my suffering? Phil. 2:3-8

Saturated with Scripture – This is where I fall miserably short. I know the basic principles of the Bible but I don’t have them hidden in my heart. I am striving toward memorizing Scripture so that I am always ready to apply it to each situation. I want His words to come from me not my own, which can be erroneous (selfish, worldly, or ignorant). “She opens her mouth with wisdom and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” Prov 31:26

Spirit empowered – Oh my, how often am I frustrated at the end of the day and look back and realize I went the whole day in my own power. The mornings that fall on my knees and plead for help and continually talk to God through the day are so much more rewarding. Why don’t we do this more?! Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground. Ps. 143:10

Orderly and have unity – Think about the godly women in your life. Would you say their lives are chaotic or orderly? Are they often breathless and frazzled or one step ahead of the game? They have a plan, prayed-through no doubt, and they execute it with grace and strength. “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future.” Prov 31:25

Congregational – Are we fellow workers at our church or do we leave ministry to the pastors? (That’s what we pay them for, right?) If you are a Christian, God has given you special gifts and talents that He wants and expects you to use for His kingdom and His glory. Romans 12:3-13

Gospel-driven – What is our goal in life? Know God and make Him known. When we talk people we meet throughout the day do we have this mindset? Do we portray the love of Christ in all we do? Do we show mercy? Are we sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit and speak Truth when we are prompted to do so? “Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.” 1 Thess. 2:8

Remember you can always check out Jen on Tuesdays on my blog.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The 4:00 Beer

My dear friend Shannon has implemented the "4:00 beer" at her house. She has 3 kids under the age of 5 and I applaud her for not being drunk all day long. Shannon is pretty open about her 4:00 beer and has started to suggest it to all her mommy friends who stay home with their children all day. The idea is catching on and while in a conversation with another mom last week I heard her reference the 4:00 beer! Love it!

Today while reading the news online I saw a picture of President Obama sipping a cold one at a Wizards game! Shannon, look, your idea is catching on with the President. We know he spends the day with children: senators, congressman, lobbyists... Go for it President Obama; you deserve it!