Thursday, July 26, 2012

Chicken sandwich? Latte? Anyone? I'm having both.

It's all over FB.  Countless articles in newspapers and online editorials over Chick-Fil-A.  I've read some really good ones and some disturbing ones - in my opinion.  And that is all it really is...An opinion.  Our country has lost the art of practicing polite disagreement.  We'll say anything with an expletive added to it for emphasis as if it makes our point more valid.  We'll call names rather than exchange ideas.  We judge one another and declare the other a hater if they think differently than we do.  Free speech only applies if you agree with me. 
In my opinion, Chick-Fil-A should be welcomed in Boston just as much as Starbucks is.  If you don't like how their owners legally spend their profit, then show your disagreement as a consumer.  Using the government or legislation as retaliation for a citizen legally supporting his beliefs doesn't make us the land of the free. It makes us the Semi-United Censure of America.  We, the people, can do better than that.  In my opinion.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Motivational Mondays: Plans?

"Why must you find something in every situation to worry about?" said Tony.  If only if he had taken a picture!  Words cannot begin to describe the look of shock on my face.  Never having a snappy comeback when I really need one, a few minutes later, I told him that he was confusing worry with planning.  

I love to plan as many of you know.  But I often have a Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C.  Despite the fact that I know life does not go according to plan - no matter how many I make.  Looking back on all the situations in our married life that did not go according to plan, I am grateful that God's plan always have trumped mine.  Even when times were painful or bitter or desperate, the ending has always been a blessing.  

Yet, I still plan.  All the variations of my plans and lists are a security blanket for the unknown - my emergency preparations kit.  I'm trying to practice Tony's philosophy.  Embrace the joy and trust that everything will work out.  Even as I'm writing I feel the "but" wanting to come out. "Everything will work out"  But only because I have a plan for that. Truly, only one plan is needed...
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, July 16, 2012

Motivational Monday: Mental Reminders

After spending time on our family vacation and hearing a great sermon yesterday, I am reminded once again of how important it is to nurture our families.  With the return to school quickly approaching, I am giving myself mental reminders...Don't lose sight of this....This is what matters...Remember to listen...Of course, all this is easier said then done. 
Our church has been using this scripture as a focus these last few weeks: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates." Dueteronomy 6:5-9  My Jewish friends know this scripture well since they recite this scripture every morning and evening.  I think I may have to start too because it is way too easy to let my conversations be about homework, books, or math facts.  
When my overflowing school bag condemns me, when the laundry won't clean itself, and the living room floor looks like a land mine, help me to focus on those things eternal.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Ready? OK!!!

I secretly have always wanted to be a cheerleader.  Seeing though that I still confuse my left from my right and cannot clap in rhythm, the pleated skirt was never to be mine.  

But maybe I can be your cheerleader.  Maybe my words can be poms-poms keeping the beat to encourage you to face whatever it is - be sorrow or joy.  I'm cheering for you!  So here's to our first Motivational Monday!!!

So many of my friends are struggling with huge challenges.  Their struggle isn't defined by pity parties or cries for attention.  Their struggles are being fought with courage and grace and in the quiet.  So I am writing this for them...and you.  I'm also writing this for me.  "To remind me lest I forget."

YOU matter!  

Just you - without the job title, number of children, or friends list. 

YOU alone matter. 

Your sorrow. 
Your happiness.
Your hurt.  
Your triumphs. 
Your failures.  

YOU are NOT going unnoticed. 

YOU are NOT alone. 

YOU are loved.  

"Yet I am always with you. You hold me by my right hand." Psalm 73:23

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Hits and Misses

The summer has been full of hits and a few misses...

HIT: Cub Scout Day Camp
Having organized a few events myself, I was so impressed with all work that went into creating day camp.  It was like field day on steroids!

Parker and Macy attended two this year.  The first one had 600 kids!  Macy attended the preschool version all by herself and did great!  Since this wasn't at our church, I had to overcome the guilt of leaving them behind.  By the time, I got to the first store, I was feeling better! :)  The second one was at our church and had 60 kids.  Macy participated with the big kids at ours, and I could tell her comfort level was through the roof.  She had no problem leaving her group to give Tony or I a hug or tell us a secret.  Parker voted our church VBS the best!  He loved being with his friends, how the crafts and snacks matched the Bible lesson, and playing tag at games. Thanks to all my friends who took pictures and shared!

MISS: Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad
We loved the ingredients, but the dressing was smoky-tasting and so thick (even after trying to thin it out).  We'll switch out the dressing for good ole Hidden Valley Spicy Ranch.
chipotle chicken taco salad :: only 249 calories for 2.5 cups!  It's soooo good!!!

HIT: Strawberry and Cream Pie
On these hot summer days, this cold and easy pie was devoured by the whole family!

HIT: Ranch Chicken Roll-Ups
Yummy!  We've made it with and without the ranch packet.  The kids loved it both ways, but I liked it better without.

HIT: Old Spaghetti Factory Mizithra and Browned Butter Spaghetti
Oh. My. Goodness.  It tastes just like the restaurant!  Plus, now I know the mark-up and will never pay for this again! ;)

MISS: Chicken Tortilla Bake
No real favor.  Just chicken, cheese, and tortillas.  Even with tweaking it with hot sauce, we won't make this again.  

HIT: Balsamic Garlic Crusted Pork Tenderloin
Our tip:  Buy your pork tenderloin at Sam's.  It's huge so you can cut it in half and freeze it for a later date.  You'll want to have it again!

MISS: Korean Beef Kabobs
We would rename it Soy Beef Kabobs.

HIT: Fourth of July Parade
Despite the heat, Macy and I cheered the loudest for these boys!

Just when we got back to the air conditioning, Tony got a call to be back at the Main Stage at 4:30 with as many scouts that could come.  Drenched in sweat, the boys accepted a check for $300 and a plaque for third place!