5.30.2010

miscellany monday in cajun country

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

I'm feeling random today and I always love Carissa's Miscellany Mondays.  So here goes with some crazy southern randomness!

1.  There is a bullfrog under my bed.  No joke!  Well, technically, it's under our house but I swear it's right under my pillow--he croaks so loud I can't sleep!  I hear frog legs are a real delicacy down here.  I'm almost tempted to try them.  Almost.  Welcome to the south and raised houses!


2.  Joel went fishing the other day and sat next to an awesome red neck family!  Seriously, I wish he would have recorded it!  It could have been a scene from Waterboy!  You know the one of the man who speaks cajun and you can hardly understand a word he says.

 Let me set the scene for you:  there's a Grandpa with black thick rimmed spectacles perched on the end of his nose, a wide berth and a white fluffy beard, two men with mullets and cutoff shirts, their wives, and a teenage boy all fishing off the dock.

Joel:  Have you caught anything yet?

Grandpa:  Yeee, we din caught a rake.

Joel:  A rake?  What kind of fish is that?

Grandpa: Eh, et ain' no fish, et a yard rake.

Joel:  What did you do with it? 

Grandpa:  We trowed et in da back o' da truck.  Et's a good lookin' rake!  We gonna use et.

Mullet Man:  I caught sometin!  Sometin big!  (pulling on his line)

Joel:  What is it?  A tiller? 

Grandpa:  Hhehh heh heh heh hehh (he even laughed like a cajun)

The boy gets ready to cast his fishing pole and everyone fearfully scrambles out of the way as quickly as possible.  No one is joking at this point and they all look on in trepidation.

Grandpa:  (to Joel)  Eh, you best git out o' da way, he aint too good wid dat pole, he hooked sometin evey time he trowed dat ting.

Joel moves out of the way just in time as the boy throws his line and whizzzz plunk--he hooks a lawn chair!!  The chair almost landed in the water and no one is surprised!  Joel can't help it at this point, he's laughing hysterically! 

I couldn't stop laughing when he told me this story!  I'm definitely going fishing with him next time!  It promises to be an entertaining trip.

3.  Speaking of rednecks, I am married to a sitcom.  He's a one man show.  Not only do the funniest things happen to him, he IS the funniest thing that happens to him.  I don't think he's ever been embarrassed in his life.  But I have.  Oh yes, I have definitely pretended not to know him!  Check out this picture I took of him when he decided he wanted to grow a mustache (for fun).  I couldn't take him seriously.  I laughed every time he opened his mouth!

My baby rockin' a stache

5.27.2010

diary of a yankee girl living in the south












Snowballs:  fluffy shaved ice and almost every flavored syrup you can imagine in every combination possible.  Top it off with ice cream, whipped cream, caramel, chocolate and (my personal favorite) condensed milk.

These are not to be confused with the "snocones" we got in my yankee state whenever the carnival or circus came to town.  Oh, no.  These are gourmet.  And they come in extra large sizes!

It seems that snowball stands aren't complete without an array of pickled items.  The only thing pickled that I grew up eating was a pickle.  But here pickled pig lips seem to be a fave.  For some reason, I just can't work up the courage to taste this yummy looking treat.  Then there are pickled pigs feet, pickled green beans, and even pickled eggs.

I think I'll stick with the snowballs!


What's the weirdest thing people eat in your state?

5.26.2010

the new look






I've got a new look!

And I'm lovin' it!

It kinda feels like getting the best hair cut ever.

Or a gorgeous new dress.

But even better : )

The lovely and super talented Sarah Ann of Bon Blog Designs is to thank for my new do!
She was a dream to work with.  Endlessly patient and absolutely wonderful.  She gave me exactly what I wanted!

Sarah Ann, you are fabulous!



we have a winner


And the winner of the $80 certificate to CSN stores is...



Christy is such a sweet friend and a lovely woman of God.
Enjoy your gift, Christy!



P.S.  You should see some changes over here soon!  And hopefully I'll be able to visit you all and catch up--I've been crazy busy lately!

5.24.2010

sending you flowers


Thank you for the sweet words of encouragement on my mommy melt down day!
Friday was a dream.  
Not because everyone acted like perfect little angels,
but because I started the day leaning on Jesus.
And I was determined
to let His Peace rule in my heart!

On my fridge today:

5.22.2010

10K in 20 Days


I nearly cried when I read this post.
Ok, so it seems like I've been crying a lot lately!  : )
But my heart is so torn up for children that have no homes and for the families that are struggling to adopt them.  

This is God's heart!  To place the fatherless in homes, to give them hope, to give them a future, to give them a family.  

And I never want to get to the place where what breaks God's heart no longer breaks my own.

There are so many families right now that are stepping out in faith and are opening their arms to adopt God's children.  It's amazing to witness.  It humbles me.  It inspires me.  It challenges me.

I want to help.  In whatever small way I can, I want to be a part of this miracle of love.  These families are giving everything they have (and even what they don't yet have) in order to bring a lonely little one into their family and call their own.

Courtney and her husband have started a tremendous campaign for families raising money to adopt.  It's called 10K IN 20 DAYS.  

In Courtney's own words,
"We want to bless families who in are process to adopt and are struggling to raise the funds to finish their adoptions. Since we have been so blessed by the donations we have received in the past for our adoptions, we want to pay it forward. So many families have faithfully come forward to adopt a precious child, yet they cannot come up with the funds to complete their adoptions. We want to bless these families and help meet the need, so that more orphans can come home! 
  We are not asking for large donations. In fact, the amounts accepted are either $5 or $10. You decide what you would like to give. Most, if not all of us have $5 or $10 to give. Once you have made your donation, your name is entered into a drawing to receive some very cool giveaways that have been donated for this cause."
What an incredible campaign of love!!
How many of us could sacrifice one latte or one trip to the movies to bring a child home?


Visit here to be a part of changing lives forever.


**I just found out about another awesome fundraising effort for a friend of mine who is adopting!

Lauren is hosting a Block Pary Blog Sale from May 24-27th!  Stop by and visit and maybe snag something cool from her Blog Sale!

5.21.2010

starting over


Yesterday, I felt like a failure as a mommy.
I lost my temper.
I was a sobbing mess.
I was totally overwhelmed by the disciplinary needs of my children, not to mention my lack of sleep.
I felt judged as a mommy.  Have you ever been there?
And I sat on my mountain of laundry and cried....and prayed...and cried some more.

God led me to some wonderful verses on discipline.  And even more on wisdom.
Because He knows I need wisdom!
And He reminded me that I can start over today.
His grace is new every morning.
And it's His GRACE that gives me the STRENGTH to love my children enough to correct, train, and reprove them.

So, today, I am going to....

Look into my children's eyes and smile tender smiles.

Build lego forts.

Read books--lots of books.

Laugh.

Listen.

Love.

Show them how to live.

Teach them right and wrong.

Train them.  Diligently.  Consistently.

Hold their little hands and dance.


"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."  Proverbs 22: 6




5.19.2010

speaking of giveaways...

I've been on a winning streak! : )
And I've been receiving the most lovely things from some of my favorite people.  
That's why I just couldn't resist throwing my own little giveaway in an effort to spread the love!

Check out what I've won:
This colorful necklace from Cole at Letters From Coco holds so much meaning.  It was made by women in Fiji who have been rescued from the sex slave industry and it's a constant reminder to me to pray for them.  Cole hosted a giveaway on her blog that I was so inspired by--the entire focus was on finding ways to give more.


Look at this beauty!  The lovely Miss Anne gave this away on her delightful blog.  She sent a whole package full of wonderful little gifts as well.  She's such a doll!

 And I just recently won this beautiful flower pin from Stephanie at Beside Still Waters!  Stephanie has an etsy shop called Pearls and Petals  filled with these lovelies as well as an etsy shop Bella Regali that features her gorgeous jewelry creations.

What can I say?  I'm blessed.
Legend brings me luck : )

5.17.2010

hooray for giveaways!

I've been wanting to do something lovely for all of you.

I think it's about time I hosted a little giveaway, don't you?

I'm really excited about this one, too.
You might want to take a seat...


on one of these lovely sectional sofas  that I'm adoring from CSN Stores because the winner of this giveaway will receive...

(drumroll please)

an $80 discount 
on any item with free shipping
at CSN Stores


And there are millions of things to choose from!
Some of my personal faves are:







To enter this giveaway:

1}  Become a follower and leave me a comment letting me know you are.

2}  In your comment, please leave your e-mail address if it is not already on your web page  (or send me your e-mail if you would prefer)

For an additional entry:

3}  Blog, tweet, or facebook about this giveaway and leave another comment for the additional entry


This giveaway will end at 12:00 a.m. CST on Tuesday, May 25.


I'll announce the winner next Tuesday!


*side note:  for shipping reasons, this giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents only but another giveaway is coming soon for all my other lovely friends : )

5.12.2010

blackberry jam









"Mimi's house...Mimi's house...Mimi's house...."
Sing-song voices blend into a chant as my three little back seat drivers direct me into traffic.
I point the nose of the van onto I-55 and we breeze over the south pass to Lake Ponchatrain.  Legend isn't crying this time, so the forty five minute drive doesn't feel like a marathon.  He'll save his crying for the trip home.

We pull into the driveway and they spill into the yard, tumbling over each other in excitement.  And I remember.  That special place called Grandma's house that always smells like cookies and freshly baked bread.   Where the sun just seems brighter and there's never a moment to be bored.

What a fine day we had.  Swimming in the pool that has already taught three grandkids how to swim.  The scent of sweet jasmine teasing our noses.  Running through sprinklers and eating red jambalaya.  And the best treat of all?  Blackberry picking with Mimi and Papa D.  We meandered through the woods, eating the berries that grew on the side of the path, and finally stopping at the "mother lode".  Astair stuffed blackberries in her mouth, one right after another, until we feared her bulging cheeks would pop.  Thaddeus would have ventured on forever, as happy as a lark exploring the woods.

We left that day with happy memories fresh in little minds and faces still sticky from Mimi's homemade blackberry jelly.





Blackberry Jam Recipe


Ingredients:


2 c. crushed blackberries, rinsed and drained
2 c. sugar
2 tsp. lemon juice

Directions:

In a medium pot cook the blackberries, sugar and lemon juice for five minutes on high heat.  Then reduce the heat to medium and cook it for 10 to 15 minutes but no longer than 15.  Scoop the foam off the top and then pour the jam into a scalding hot jam jar.  Seal it with a hot lid.  Allow it to cool at room temperature before chilling and serving.

*If you want to make larger portions just remember to add 1 pound of sugar to every pound of blackberries.


Happy Jammin' to you!


5.11.2010

to my motherest


Dear Motherest,

We're sending hugs across the miles!  If Thad had his way, we'd send them in person : )

Happy Birthday to a woman
who knows how to LOVE.
How to GIVE.
How to LAUGH.
And how to LIVE so selflessly.

We absolutely love you, Grandma Chic!

Your little tribe

5.10.2010

5.08.2010

my ministry

Today, I'm adding a post from last year.

Because today all my time and attention is into being a Mommy.

I've been treating this gift, this privilege of motherhood, as a job.
A bone wearying, exhausting, overwhelming round the clock job.
And what a disservice I have done.

God is teaching me, showing me in so many creative ways, that motherhood is a ministry.
Not just any ministry.
The most important service I can do for my King Eternal.

And it's changing my attitude.
It's changing how I view dirty dishes, sleepless nights, and discipline issues.
It's challenging how I spend any spare moment, and how I react if there are no spare moments.

It's filling me with renewed purpose.
And thankfulness.  So much thankfulness.

From last year:




Motherhood--God's Idea!


Listen, Lord,
a mother’s praying
low and quiet:
listen, please.
Listen what her tears
are saying,
see her heart
upon its knees;
lift the load
from her bowed shoulders
till she sees
and understands,
You, Who hold
the worlds together,
hold her problems
in Your hands.
-Ruth Bell Graham

There is so much my heart wants to say about motherhood.  So much.  There is nothing like carrying life within us.  There is nothing like the life our children give to us in return.  There is a beauty in motherhood, a glorious, sacrificial gift that God decided to bless woman with.  Yes, we were the first to bring death into our world (remember Eve).  But God, in his graciousness, made us life givers!  Ours was a great sin, but God gave us even greater mercy.  The amazing mercy of motherhood

It is so wonderful to know that motherhood is an incredible GIFT from Him.  There is no greater joy than to be fulfilling the calling of God upon my life.  This is my purpose, it is what I was created for--to be a mother who loves her God, who loves her family, and who loves her world.   To be a mother who raises her children to love their God and to love their families.  To be a mother who loves.

I posted a poem from Ruth Graham because I am always so inspired by the way she embraced her role as a mother.  She walked out her Kingdom Calling with grace and fortitude.  The path of motherhood is not an easy one, it is one that is tread with the heart, and often the heart gets tread on.  Motherhood is one of God's chosen descriptions of sacrificial love. 

After reading her poem, I felt God begin to whisper His answer to it's prayer.  Here is the poem he gave me in response:

I hear each prayer,
See every task
performed in love,
in selfless acts.
It is you I have
entrusted life to.
Life to carry, hold
and see through.
Know that you are
blessed my daughter,
for it is you I have
called to be
mother.

Happy Mother's Day to you!

May the Peace of Christ rule in your hearts and minds and may you abandon yourself to this great calling! 

5.05.2010

1, 2, jump-a-roo

This is what we do when mommy lets us break the rules.

Because trampolines are expensive.

And the beds are off limits. 

This is what we do afterwards....



ring slingin' tutorial



I love my ring sling.  It's easy.  Easy to wear, easy to put on, and especially easy to adjust.  I tried probably four different types of baby carriers and slings before I decided to make this one.  Nothing was really working for my little man and I.  Either he was uncomfortable or I was.  I knew I had to find something, though, because our dear little Legend is still struggling with tummy issues and isn't sleeping much.  It needed to be a sling I could throw on in a hurry--because my little people are busy.

I looked up instructions online, but sewing instructions must be written in a different language, or something, because I was so lost.  I finally realized that it wasn't as complicated to make as it sounded.  Huge sigh of relief.  

Here's how I made my ring sling:

#1.  I ordered my rings from slingrings.com because they are made with high quality aluminum and are tested for safety.

#2.  I chose a cotton blend fabric that was soft and breathable and I used a full two yards to make my sling.  I doubled the fabric to make the sling stronger.  (The fabric I used actually came from a missionary to India)

#3.  Next, I cut my fabric in half lengthwise so that I now had two pieces of fabric that were each 72 inches long and about 22 inches wide. 

#4.  I laid one long piece of my fabric down with the right side up.  Then I matched my other piece to it, making sure the right sides were facing each other.  I pinned them in place.

#5.  I then sewed three sides together like a pillow case, leaving one short side open.  I pulled the inside out through the open side and pressed the edges.  Now I had one long piece of doubled fabric.

#6.  For the next step, I folded the unfinished short edge of the sling down 1/4 inch and pressed that fold.  Then I folded it over again 2 inches and pressed that fold as well.  

#7.  I drew a line with a sewing pen (tailor's chalk is even better) right at the edge of my pressed two inch fold.

#8.  Next, I placed both rings on this short edge--right at the two inch fold and made sure the fabric of the sling was looped over them.  I matched my 1/4 inch folded edge to the line I had drawn with the pen and pinned it in place.

#9.  Finally, I sewed along this edge 4 to 5 times for reinforcement and for durability.

#10.  Now the sling was finished and all I had to do was loop the free end through both rings and then pull it over one ring and under the other.  Ta-dah!  Now all that it needed was a baby and some adjusting.  There are a million youtube videos on how to wear these things, so no worries there.

Speaking of youtube videos on slings, have you seen this one?  Hillarious!! 

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