Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sharing my story

This weekend I will have an opportunity to participate in a panel discussion for a women's gathering at my church. The topic is "Not On Bread Alone---Strength for Every Season of Life". I feel humbled and honored to be invited to tell some of my story of how I have found strength from God and His Word during the season of life I am in.

But what season is that exactly? I am the mother of a teen-ager, so I've got some experience with parenting. I am in my forties, so I have some life-experience to offer there. I am single-again, five years post-divorce, after a pretty lengthy marriage (14 years). I have a multi-generational family that shares life together (though not under the same roof).

I know that all of these experiences in my life have brought me to a greater understanding of my need for Christ and have given me a desire to read and digest scripture to help me navigate life. I know very clearly that I have not gotten through these past few years, especially since my divorce, without clinging to God's promises to never leave me or forsake me (Deut. 31: 6) and to hold me with His righteous right hand (Isa. 41:10).

I don't mind telling my story to others, because God has done great things for me. He has mercifully shown me areas of sin in my life and has taught me more about His grace and His deep love for me. I want others who are going through similar circumstances to know that they can call out to God and He will listen and help them. My prayer and what I ask for you to pray for me this week, is that God would give me the words to say and that He would use me to bless and encourage someone else at the women's gathering. If God can bring beauty out of the ashes of my life, and He has, I only want to give Him the glory and tell what He has done.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Erica's Two!

This sweet little princess is two years old today! She has grown into quite the little girly-girl and is so much fun to play with! She is constantly expanding her vocabulary and it's hilarious to be talking to her mommy on the phone and hear words "parroted" in the background. The other night I was getting the Massey's order from Pei Wei (yes, I deliver) and Jeanette said, "Pad Thai" and then I heard, "Pad Thai" a little muffled in the background. The same thing happened when Jeanette mentioned "Kung Pao" (little mini "Kung Pao" heard from the peanut gallery). And she wasn't afraid to try any of it, either, including "Ma-may" (my edemame)!

You can bet your bottom dollar that I'll have more pictures to post of the birthday girl and her party, but until then, here are a couple of Smilebox slideshows to remember her first two years.

Click to play Sweet Baby Girl
Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox scrapbook

Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook: Erica Turns One!
Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox scrapbook

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Shave me some ice!

This summer, my favorite treat has been just around the corner at the SnoBiz Shave Ice stand. I first drove by back in June and noticed the sign, but didn't actually try it out until my sister told me that they had gotten some (this is the way it has historically gone with us . . . I'm not the adventurous one, but like to let her test the waters).

Let me just say, I'm probably very close to being addicted to these things. I learned quickly that the small is plenty big and that I am a fan of the "creme" that they put on top of some of the concoctions. If you're anywhere in the Nashville area, it is worth a drive over to Nolensville Road to see Jamil for a shave ice. And as my brother-in-law found out, Jamil will even let you call ahead to place an order (all orders are "to go" since there aren't any tables).

I've been once or twice by myself, but it's a ton more fun to go with friends. When Leanne and Doug were here, we went over and got some to take to Jeanette's house. Then tonight, Daniel and I invited Jeanette, Russell and the girls to go (Mary Lane had a totally different experience than the rest of us) and we brought some to Grandma and Grandpa.
If you're anywhere in the Nashville area, it is well worth the drive over to Nolensville Road to try a shave ice treat. And as my brother-in-law learned tonight, Jamil will even take phone orders so they're ready when you get there. Of course, with no tables, all orders are "to go" but maybe if enough people start going over there, maybe he'll put out some picnic tables. Or you can just come over to my deck!

Monday, August 16, 2010

I won!

A few weeks ago, I was reading the blog, Vanderbilt Wife, and decided to enter her give-away of some healthy snacks. I often enter give-aways on blogs (it's usually someone I know and this blogger is a friend of my sister), but I HARDLY EVER win!

Well, I guess it was my "once in ten years" turn, 'cause I WON!!

And the prize is so cool! Not only did I get a bunch of spreadable cheese, some crackers and some mixed fruit and nut mixes, but I got a very cool insulated picnic basket! I can't wait for the weather to cool off so I can get a group together and go on a picnic! Wanna come along?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sister Saturday

A whole new generation of sisters in matching dresses!

Erica is one week away from turning two years old!

Mary Lane was one month old last week.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Then and Now

Ten years ago, I was sending my Kindergartener off to school. As we drove past his old elementary school today on the way to take him to start his 10th grade year at his high school downtown, I couldn't help but think of several comparisons of then and now.


  • When he stood on the front steps, he barely came up to the door handle.
  • We drove him to school on that day, too, but we parked and took him inside to his classroom. We stayed for a few minutes, as was appropriate for parents in that grade, and made sure he was settled.
  • I remember that August 17, 2000, was the HOTTEST day of the year. Probably pretty close to how it felt outside today.

  • He stands a lot taller on the front step these days. In fact, he can probably reach up to the top of the doorframe without any effort.
  • We drove to school, but had a lot longer than a half mile to go today, since his school is in downtown Nashville. We enjoy the drive together, though, and have figured out the best route to avoid the worst traffic (and make the commute less stressful for me).
  • Today as I pulled up in front of the school to drop Daniel off (notice that there's no taking your kid into the building in high school), he was already spotting people he knew and as he got out of the car I could hear him calling out to his friends. When I stopped at the red light, I looked back just in time to see several people run over and give him a hug. A happy reunion after the summer break!
  • One thing that has stayed the same after all these years is the amount of paperwork they send home on the first day of school. Who made the rule that parents need homework??? So many forms to fill out . . . can't they just get that info from last year's forms?
  • And speaking of homework, the intensity and volume of that has changed over the years, and I'm sure that come Monday, Daniel's backpack will be heavy when he comes home from school.
  • Oh, and one more difference to note: Looks like Daniel will be taking the MTA bus home from school this year, due to a change in the schedule of a friend's parent. Daniel never had to ride the district school busses, since we lived so close to the elementary school and he went to a magnet middle school, so doing the bus thing will be a new adventure this year.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Summer Recap

You can't tell by the heat index, but summer, as we know it, is coming to an end this week. School gets off to a slow start with a half day on Thursday, and then a day off on Friday, but by Monday, it will be back in full force. That means early morning commutes downtown, homework, making lunches. Hey, wait a minute. Except for the commuting, we still did the other stuff all summer, thanks to summer reading assignments and the fact that we still eat lunch all year round.

But, since this is the last week of summer BREAK, I thought I'd give a recap, partly for my benefit since I seem to have gone to sleep at the end of May and have now woken up and found myself in the middle of August.

School ended right before Memorial Day, but the end of the school year was kind of still enmeshed with the Flood. Daniel was with me a lot of the evenings and weekends, at least for the overnights, because his dad's house was still being renovated from flood damage. Memorial Day weekend was pretty quiet until the end, when Grandpa ended up in the hospital after a fall. Thankfully, his stay was short this year and he recovered quickly.

Daniel's summer got off to a fast start with his annual trip to see the Braves play in Atlanta. Then his other long-standing tradition of attending Belmont Basketball Camp. He has gone to that camp since he was seven, only missing one year when it conflicted with Centri-Kid camp. Also in June, Daniel worked as a volunteer at a worship arts/music camp for kids at our church. He got lots of experience being a go-fer and helping the kids learn about music.

Grandma's birthday, June 2nd

Daniel's Highlight of the Summer:
I asked Daniel what his favorite thing about this summer was and he hardly had to think before he said, "Baltimore." At the end of June, he and the youth from church traveled north on a mission trip. They spent most of the week leading Vacation Bible Schools in the inner city and got to do some other things to help out the church they worked with. At the end of the week, Daniel got to spend his 15th birthday in Washington, D.C.! Can't ask for a better birthday than being with 30 of your closest friends in our nation's capital!


We celebrated Daniel's birthday with our family after he got back from the trip and also had a fun time celebrating the 4th of July with friends at Crockett Park.

The big event of the month of July was welcoming Mary Lane Massey into the family. She was born on July 7 and will forever share her birthmonth with her big cousin.

Later in July, our church held Vacation Bible School and we were very involved that week (me by default since I work there). Daniel was "promoted" to Family Group Leader and got to lead a group of four, five and six-year-olds through their morning of Bible stories, games, snacks and crafts. He did an awesome job and had a blast!

This is the month that only gets a little of the action of summer break. Daniel spent a lot of time finishing up summer reading projects and continuing to learn music for jazz band. A highlight for us was a visit from our family friends, Leanne and Doug, who came to visit and meet Mary Lane. We had a great time having them with us for a few days and they got to spend time with the Masseys and we all went out to see our other friends, The Umbargers, in Murfreesboro.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sister Saturday: Wedding Edition

Eight years ago this past Tuesday, my sweet sister was a bride. She and Russell tied the knot at First Baptist Church in downtown Nashville and I had the honor of being Jeanette's matron of honor. It was a fun day and a wonderful gathering of family and friends from all branches of the family tree!

This is probably one of my all-time favorite sister pics! It was taken at the rehearsal dinner, which was a Tex-Mex Fiesta! Thankfully, only the bride and groom had to wear cowboy hats!
Happy Anniversary to Jeanette and Russell!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fruit Pizza!

A couple of weeks ago, I needed to take a dessert to a party, so I decided to make a fruit pizza. It turned out so well, I think I kind of impressed myself!

Of course, I had to take a picture. And it had to be quick because it was HOT and it was almost time for me to leave!

If you want a really easy and pretty dessert to bring to a party, here's my version:

1 roll refrigerated sugar cookie dough

1 block light cream cheese

3/4 c. sugar (to taste)

assorted fresh fruit

1. Preheat oven according to package directions. Slice dough and lay the rounds on a pan (round or rectangle). Bake according to package directions, but don't let it get too crispy.

2. When the crust comes out of the oven, use a spatula to gently press down the dough to make it uniformly flat on the pan.

3. While crust is cooling, mix cream cheese and sugar. When the crust is cool, spread cream cheese mixture on top of crust. (If you will not be serving the pizza within a couple of hours, keep crust/cream cheese in the refrigerator without fruit on top.)

4. Cut up assorted fruit. Arrange on top of crust/cream cheese.

5. Slice and enjoy (sharing optional)

This will definitely be one I do again!