Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mornings at My Home

I love to get up early – however I can safely say that I only get up early when I have to!  That’s pretty pitiful but it is just the honest truth.  I do know that I have always been an early person – just like my dad!  Right now my reason to get up early is because Son one must go to work early – and you know if your child is living in your home then you take every opportunity to be a mom! (he is working full time & going to school full time to complete the Oil & Gas degree at the college here in Graham.)  And I love breakfast – so if I get up early enough I can cook breakfast.  My list of reasons could go on forever – for example since I got up early I have time to write this blog.

The inspiration for today’s blog comes from my morning cup of coffee.

I wanted to share with you my creamer recipe and a new twist I created a couple of weeks ago.  I started making homemade creamer quite some time back – it is so perfect!  I use organic cream and Stevia.  Add some cream to a mixing cup (the 4 cup one from Pampered Chef is perfect) – for about 2 cups of cream I use about ¼ cup of Stevia – then I mix on the highest setting until it is stiff.  I also make sure to put  my beaters in the freezer and if I remember the 4 cup mixing cup too – that way it is super cold and tends to form better.

That is perfect cream and keeps quite nicely in the refrigerator.  However I do love chocolate!

So now I am taking a bit of that mixed cream and adding cocoa and keeping it in a separate container.  Yum!  That even makes my cup of coffee more perfect.  My perfect cup of coffee is:

                Kona Coffee brewed in my Keurig
                One heaping teaspoon of chocolate cream stirred in the coffee
                A couple heaping teaspoons of homemade cream plopped on top of my coffee

Also each morning I attempt to plan my day – I have purchased or tried every day planner that is on the market (okay maybe not quite that much – but I have definitely looked at them to see if they will work).  But thanks to some blogs I have been reading – I have created my own.  It is custom made just for me and fits nicely into my planner that has the monthly calendar that I do love so much.  I call the document My Everyday World – and I have the Jesus Creed included plus my basic to do list – a scripture focus – which right now is Colossians for me and then room to write.  So far it is perfect.  If you need some more inspiration in this area – visit aholyexperience.com – Ann shares a printable day planner that might work for you or if you are like me I took the idea and made my own.

Did you notice the "Underwear Cafe Menu"?  Well our kitchen is called the Underwear Cafe.  That is because when my boys were little and we lived at PK Lake and we would all love to eat out.  To create some humor while not getting to do what we wanted - we called our kitchen the Underwear Cafe!

I will close with the Jesus CreedThe Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others by Scot McKnight (I am currently reading his book.)

Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one, Love the Lord you God with all you heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these. Mark 12:29-31

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.

Monday, January 16, 2012

MLK Day ~ Montgomery ~ Roll Tide Roll

I enjoy holidays thrown in the middle of a work month.  I am quite thankful.  But you know the reason for this holiday thrown in the middle of January has fairly far reaching implications.

I can remember when Kerry & I were just married and moved to Pittsburg, Texas.  In Pittsburg in 1986 one could still see evidence of an earlier world.  The back door and alley entrances to the downtown businesses were still operational.

Living in Graham, Texas doesn’t bring race issues to the mind.  It’s a quiet Texas town with little racial confrontations.  I am not so na├»ve to think that we don’t have concerns but they are certainly not open and I know our family has never been targeted for having friends of many colors.

That all changed when Son one moved to Montgomery, Alabama.

When Kerry and I visited Montgomery for the first time together we drove downtown – in a small area is the Bus Boycott Memorial, the slave trade corner, the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, and the state capital of Alabama. 

I was amazed at the history that happened in such a small area.  I wonder just how tired Rosa Parks was that day – I wonder how much of a financial impact a 381 day bus boycott cost the city of Montgomery – I wonder how many people pledged to follow Jesus and were baptized in that church?

And I know that Montgomery still has the past as a part of their daily lives.  I know we are thankful that we don’t live in turbulent times such as in 1955 when Rosa Parks sat in the wrong place, in 1963 when Governor Wallace stood in the doorway on the campus of the University of Alabama, or in the 60s and 70s when peaceful demonstrations weren’t always a definition of peace.

However we now live in a hidden agenda of discrimination.  Both blacks and whites have gotten creative in their quest to prove their feelings of superiority.  Both groups have forgotten:

We cannot walk alone.  And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.  We cannot turn back.  ~ MLK excerpt from the famous I Have a Dream speech.

I certainly cannot prove in a courtroom that Son one was treated differently because of his choice of friends.  There were several coincidental moments that happened that caused me to wonder.  There were black students who were given consequences that were harsh and non forgiving.  And perhaps the most troubling were the consequences that forced young Christians to leave a university – to leave a place where learning about God’s grace should have been paramount.

The boys with Dooce - Dooce has an amazing voice - we have lost track of him but so wish I could hear him sing once again - he left Faulkner in the fall of 2010.

Doug Amos - our connection to the Roll Tide world - Doug graduated from the University of Alabama and is now the Sports Information Director at Faulkner.

Doug & Karla's daughter sitting in my lap after church. Isn't she beautiful? We had an immediate connection - she's adopted too!  

Trent & Adrian - Trent is a dear friend who now plays football at Troy University - Adrian now lives in Austin - he is from Garland!  Trent grew up in Tuscaloosa - another connection to the University of Alabama.

Son one celebrated his 20th birthday in Alabama - LOVE the cake - what a great memory!

So I believe that while we have certainly progressed – there’s still much to be accomplished.  We must march ahead.  We must do as Peter recorded in I Peter 4:8.

Above all ,love each other deeply…

Notice the shirt? Did you watch the National Championship Game?  I thought Alabama was just amazing - I know LSU had a great team but Bama just came with a fierce determination that was unstoppable.  I would have liked to have been in Tuscaloosa that evening - I can just see the smiles on their faces - the hope they clung to after a spring of 2011 and the tornadoes that changed their lives for a lifetime. 
There's part of my heart that will always be in Alabama.  

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.  I Peter 4:8.  ... Live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. I Peter 3:8.

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A New Year, Alabama, And a Book

We had a wonderful holiday season.  I especially enjoyed our time at my mom and dad’s new home.  Sharing Christmas with my brother and his family was enjoyable and I am thankful for the time we spent.  I haven’t always been thankful for my brother – it makes me laugh to think about the time that I told my parents “to take him back – he gets too much attention”

my brother Chris, me & my dad & mom in their new home!

New Years was spent at our cabin with our boys – and enjoying the last day of 2011 with James Kelly & Mona Lois.  And I finally got another picture of our kids together.  Look how they have changed!

Top picture 2012, Bottom 2005

The month of January also brings the National Championship – and all the bowl games.  I have loved every moment of all this football.  I just cannot believe that on Tuesday – I will be counting down the days until the season begins again.  It is exciting to have a connection to the National Championship Game.  We have many friends that love the University of Alabama and Son one & I will be chanting ROLL TIDE ROLL on Monday (okay I may have started already).  As for Kerry and Son two – they aren’t quite the obsessive ones that I tend to be.  I have been reading today about the University of Alabama and the history involved with the University is just amazing – I am not so much a history person but I am interested in the history involving the civil rights movement.  I wonder where I would have been in those days...  I would like to think that I would feel as if I do today that we are all equal – I have always been proud that I raised boys who do not see color.  Would I have been like them?  God gave my boys that gift – I am thankful. 

My Bama Stuff!  LOVE this shirt - and check out the cups!

My dearest friends Ross & Jamie gave me a book for Christmas that is just perhaps my favorite gift of all time.  How did they know it was exactly what I needed?  Have you heard of “One Thousand Gifts”?  What a wonderful daily life plan…. The author – Ann Voskamp – also started a Joy Dare for 2012 – visit her website to learn and you can join in too!  aholyexperience.com

5. something you’re reading, you’re making, you’re seeing

I read about the University of Alabama and the events of June 11, 1963, I made potato soup for my boys  (yes they don’t feel very good…) and look what I have been seeing today….

my Christmas plant - blooming in our entry way - from my dear friend Lana....she is a gift.

I would love for you to capture gifts with me….I enjoy my cup of coffee and record my gifts in my journal.  I am quite thankful for the Christmas gift that included this cup & this journal – perfect timing!

 Roll Tide Roll…

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.