Wednesday, September 8, 2010


It was the afternoon of September 9th, 1995. The church was decorated. The groomsmen, bridesmaids, maid of honor, best man, and ushers were dressed. People were arriving and taking their seats. The music started playing and my brother walked me down the aisle. It was a beautiful day. It was my wedding day.

Happy 15 Harvey! Know that I love you and that I know just how very blessed I am. Thank you for hanging in there with me. :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Our Summer In Picture Review

It was a fun fast summer. The boys and I didn't do half the things I thought we would but we were busy every day. School is back in now and although it was a rocky start, its seems to be going well. Here's a fast and furious picture review of our summer.

On May 29th, Avery turned 9! Even though he has been nine for a few months now just even typing that takes my breath away. He's halfway to being an adult!!!! Halfway to heading off to college, 6 years from driving... I think I may need to go breathe into a paper bag. He had a sleepover. The boys competed in Minute to Win It games and fun was had by all.
Aidan graduated from Kindergarten. He had such an amazing year with truly one of the best teachers ever.
We went to Montgomery Bell State Park for Memorial Day Weekend. It was a lot of fun and an added bonus that there is an inn at this park so we didn't camp! :) We got to canoe, fish, paddle boat, and play in the creeks. The boys had a blast!

And we had fun with friends!!!

And more fun....
and more fun....
and more fun...
and more fun!!!!
We took a trip to the Great Wolf Lodge where we enjoyed playing around in their indoor waterpark. Aidan had spiky hair one morning which made him just tall enough to ride the Tornado water slide. Unfortunately once he came off the slide and the water had slicked his hair down, the lifeguards decided he wasn't tall enough.

We visited our sweet friends The Lathropes who were kind enough to let us hang out with them. The boys enjoyed riding the motor bikes. Jim and Aidan wrecked so if you are wondering why Aidan looks a little dazed-- well ask daddy. :) Mr. Mark worked with Avery on getting the hang of riding.

Ms. Donna took the boys on a ride on their sweet horse Roxy! A big thank you to Erin for letting them ride.

And we all had lunch at Olive Garden since they didn't have a Demos. :) A HUGE thank you to Mark and Donna for their hospitality. We so enjoyed being with them and wish we lived closer!!!

Avery went to church camp for the first time and LOVED it!!

Its always fun with the Smith girls. Aidan and Adeline pretended our back yard was Disney and they made the waterslide Splash Mountain, the trampoline Thunder Mountain Railroad, etc. And all four of them turned the living room into a Wipeout course. :)

3D Chalk!

We added a new member to our family. Welcome Biscuit! He is a collie and was seven weeks old when we got him.

Our sweet friends The Hoopers came in town and stopped by for a visit. Cannot believe how much their sweet little girl Sophie has grown! Hope my boys didn't teach any bad habits. They had a lot of fun with those planets!

The Traywick boys spent a weekend with us and it was a boy fest!!

We visited the Adventure Science Center with our sweet friends the Eversoles. The kids loved the space activities!

Our neighbors The Walkers came back to hang out with us! So glad to have them back in Hendersonville!
Aidan turned six on August 8th. Such a big boy!!
And the boys went back to school!! First day of first grade and fourth grade.
Phew! :)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Brownies, Peanut Butter, and Cheesecake- How Can You Go Wrong

This is from the Betty Crocker website. My hubby is a HUGE cheesecake fan and loves anything peanut butter so I'm expecting this to be a big hit. I copied and pasted the nutritional info at the bottom and for that reason this will be a rare treat in our house. :)

1pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® peanut butter cookie mix

Water, oil and egg as called for on cookie mix pouch
1box Betty Crocker® Ultimate fudge brownie mix (with chocolate syrup pouch)

Water oil, eggs as called for on Brownie mix box
3packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
1teaspoon vanilla
1cup caramel ice cream topping

Print these coupons...

About Concordance™

1.Heat oven to 325°F. Make dough as directed on cookie pouch. Cover and refrigerate about 1 hour or until firm.
2.Meanwhile, make brownie mix as directed on box for 13x9-inch pan. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
3.Wrap outside bottom and side of 9-inch springform pan with foil to prevent leaking. Spray inside bottom and side of pan with cooking spray. Press cookie dough on bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of pan. Bake crust 13 to 15 minutes or until set.
4.Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Gradually beat in condensed milk until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, just until blended. Stir in vanilla.
5.Crumble 2 cups of cooled brownies into coarse crumbs. Fold into cream cheese mixture. Pour over cookie dough crust.
6.Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes or until edge of cheesecake is set at least 2 inches from edge of pan but center of cheesecake still jiggles slightly when moved. Run small metal spatula around edge of pan to loosen cheesecake. Turn oven off; open oven door at least 4 inches. Let cheesecake remain in oven 30 minutes. Cool in pan on cooling rack 30 minutes. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight before serving. Cool completely in pan on cooling rack 1 hour.
7.To serve, carefully run small metal spatula along side of cheesecake to loosen. Remove foil and side of pan. In small microwaveable bowl, microwave caramel topping uncovered on High 10 to 15 seconds until thoroughly heated. Top individual servings with caramel topping. Store cheesecake covered in refrigerator.

Nutrition Information:

1 Serving: Calories 580 (Calories from Fat 270); Total Fat 30g (Saturated Fat 14g, Trans Fat 1/2g); Cholesterol 135mg; Sodium 470mg; Total Carbohydrate 65g (Dietary Fiber 0g, Sugars 47g); Protein 10g Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 15%; Vitamin C 0%; Calcium 10%; Iron 10% Exchanges: 1 1/2 Starch; 3 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 1 High-Fat Meat; 4 Fat Carbohydrate Choices: 4
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


My sweet friend and neighbor started a summer Bible Study in June. We are doing Beth Moore's Esther. Because of the nature of summer, attendance has been hit or miss and sadly I have missed more than I've attended. Things are settling down now as school is starting back in a week so I am hoping to attend more regularly.

Even though I haven't attended each session, I have been able to keep up with the weekly homework. I think the thing I love most about Beth Moore is her ability to write as if she is speaking directly to you. There is an ease about her style that flows. Another thing I love about her is how she can make a one or two sentence statement and it just shoots straight to the heart of the matter. There have been so many in this Esther study and rather than write a narrative, I'd like to just share some of the things that have really spoken to me.

  • When we trust our lives to the unseen but ever present God, He will write our lives into His story and every last one of them will turn out to be a great read with a grand ending.
  • You cannot amputate your history from your destiny.
  • God is so wholly secure in His own spotless integrity that He feels perfectly comfortable giving us an account of something without making himself accountable to us.
  • We too can become so steeped in our culture that we are almost indistinguishable from the world. We too can lose our sense of identity and forget who we are. Indeed the fact that we can hide our Christianity assumes a certain amount of assimilation. I believe one of God's purposes in this journey is to help us recapture both our identity and identification as His children-- not so we can be obnoxious but so we can be influential.
  • Only a person strong in character and steadfast in spirit can follow someone else's instructions for long.
  • Information served with a heaping side of personal agenda almost never turns in to the meal we had planned.
  • Some crises are too important for saving face.
  • Guilt is a relentless mocker even if it's misplaced.
  • That which shatters our superficiality also shatters the fetters of our fragility and frees us to walk with dignity and might to our destinies.
  • Sometimes we fear that fighting for what is right will kill us. Then again, it occurs to us that to stand by and do nothing out of self-preservation is to be dead already.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Easy BBQ

My friend Melissa passed this recipe on to me and I made it for my family last week. It made such a large amount that I was able to share it with my neighbor and her sweet family. I have never made BBQ before because honestly I thought it would require a lot of work. This recipe was so simple!!! And delicious!

4-5 lb Boston Butt Pork Roast (I couldn't find anything smaller than 7 pounds but that worked fine)
1 bottle Allegro Hickory Smoke flavor

Place Boston Butt roast in crockpot fat side up. Pour entire bottle of Allegro over it. Fill Allegro bottle 1/4th of the way with water. Shake and pour over roast. Cook on high for 1 hour then set to low and cook for 8 hours.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What ever happened to....

Mercurochrome.... Merthiolate...

If you read the words above and have no clue what I am talking about chances are you are much younger than me or at least younger than your early thirties. If you read the words above and cringed then you know exactly what I'm talking about!

It came in a little bottle with a cap that served as a dropper or just had a stick on it. It was this reddish orange color that stained everything it touched including your skin for days. And it was what my momma used on every cut, scrape, or injury involving blood throughout my childhood. Just the mention of it brought tears to my eyes. Sometimes I wouldn't even tell my momma if I cut myself or had a bike wreck for fear she'd break out the mercurochrome.

What made me remember the good ole days where all cuts and injuries were treated with this reddish orange antiseptic from the devil? My little one was running the other night and fell on the concrete driveway- scraping the crud out of his knee. He came running up to me, big tears streaming down his face and a small stream of blood running down his leg. "Don't touch it momma! No I don't want you to wash it off!" I ran in the house scrambling for something to clean it with. I pushed the peroxide aside and grabbed this Instant Antibiotic spray foam - the creators of Band-Aid produce it and in big letters on the front of the bottle it reads... HURT-FREE.

So as I sat there coaxing my little one in to letting me spray this on his leg, promising it wouldn't hurt I had flashbacks of the cleansing antiseptic my momma dabbed on my cuts and scrapes. It was most definitely NOT hurt free. It stung like the dickens and she never promised it wouldn't hurt. In most cases the application of mercurochrome to my injury was more painful than the injury itself. I think peroxide would have been a welcome alternative. But before you start thinking of my momma as some demented woman who took pleasure in dishing out more pain and if you are younger, just know that it was what the doctor recommended. And did you know that whatever properties it possessed, it also apparently aided in minimizing scarring?

So if you grew up with mercurochrome then you are probably as thankful as I am for all of the research and progress and for companies like Johnson and Johnson that produce hurt free antiseptics.

And I guess what doesn't kill you makes you stronger... In 1998 the US Food and Drug Administration said that mercurochrome was not generally recognized as safe and effective as an over the counter antiseptic. Oh yeah and it contains mercury. Ok FDA- coming out with that observation 20 years earlier would have saved me a lot of pain!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I had the wonderful opportunity to visit my friend's church and hear 90 Minutes in Heaven author Don Piper speak. Don Piper was in a terrible accident in 1989 and was pronounced dead on the scene only to come back to life ninety minutes later. In this book he recounts his ninety minutes in Heaven, how it felt to come back, and his long and painful road to recovery. Just reading his story is so powerful; however, actually hearing him tell it was overwhelming. I kept thinking to myself that I needed to be taking notes but I was too caught up in his story to take my eyes off of him. He is a humble man with a miraculous story. I wish I could share everything he said but I'll take a few lines to share what I loved most about hearing his story.
What Christian doesn't want to hear about Heaven?? I remember when Avery was younger he would ask me about Heaven. Mainly his questions were very child like- Do you think there are toys in Heaven? Will there be a McDonalds there....? As he's grown older and with the experience he has been through with my mother living with us through her illness and death and with his own growth in the Lord, his questions have become more poignant. What will Nana look like when I see her in Heaven? Who will I see in Heaven?
As I was listening to Mr. Piper speak about his experience, I was overcome with emotion. He spoke about seeing his grandfather waiting to greet him and how his scarred hands were now perfect. He described his great grandmother and how for the time he had known her on earth, she had been bent over from osteoporosis and had always worn false teeth. When she greeted him at the gate in Heaven, he said the first thing he noticed was how upright she was standing and then he saw her smile, her real smile.
He spoke about many people who greeted him in Heaven and it was only once back on earth and laying in a hospital bed for months that he realized what each of the people who had greeted him had in common. Each and every person who came to greet him at the gate had played a part in getting Mr. Piper there. He spoke about seeing his childhood next door neighbor and at the time wondered why in the world she was there to greet him. After figuring out what everyone had in common, he realized that his childhood neighbor was there to greet him because she had for many, many Sundays picked him up to take him to church when his mother had no way to get them there.
Driving home, I kept thinking about who will greet me in Heaven. And of course I thought about my momma and daddy. How wonderful it would be to see them healthy and perfect! Avery was thinking the same thing. As we were driving back home he said he wished that Jesus would just come on back and take us all to Heaven so he could see Nana and see her walking. Avery and I are a lot alike and that makes us butt heads quite often but it also makes us "get" each other so much more than anyone else. :) Love, love his sweet heart.
As much as that part of Mr. Piper's story hit home with me, there was something else that hit me hard. I got all caught up in thinking who will greet me when I get to Heaven and wow what a wonderful thing to think about. But then, I began to think about who will I greet when they get to Heaven. Who had I helped get there? . I struggle with sharing my testimony- I admit it. Its not because I don't love the Lord. And if I love the Lord, I need to be sharing that not only in the way I live my life and in my actions but in my words.
The following song has been one of my favorites for a while. Makes me cry every time I hear it. I've added the video and the lyrics are below it. It seemed to perfectly fit this post.

Homesick by MercyMe
You're in a better place, I've heard a thousand times
And at least a thousand times I've rejoiced for you
But the reason why I'm broken, the reason why I cry
Is how long must I wait to be with you

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
I've never been more homesick than now

Help me Lord cause I don't understand your ways
The reason why I wonder if I'll ever know
But, even if you showed me, the hurt would be the same
Cause I'm still here so far away from home

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
I've never been more homesick than now

In Christ, there are no goodbye
And in Christ, there is no end
So I'll hold onto Jesus with all that I have
To see you again
To see you again

And I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
Won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
Won't you give me strength to make it through somehow

I've never been more homesick than now