Saturday, December 19

so close to Christmas...

So...I had good intentions of posting Christmas pics each day ......
for the twelve days before Christmas.

But, life happens. Little man, Beck, was sick and not sleeping good...
so mommy had no time and any spare time I needed sleep.
So thought I would share some more Christmas images from around my house.

Meet Lindy. (named by Ava)
Lindy came to our home last year, from Santa,
to be our house elf. He watches the lil' ones and
each night reports back to Santa.
The next morning,

Lindy finds a new post, somewhere to watch the kids.

Ava and Beck love looking for Lindy in the morning.
It is so cute ...watching them look all over and screaching with
happiness when they find him.
Lindy is fun to have around.
On Christmas night he goes back to the North Pole...
and if we are lucky he will come back next year.

We have been enjoying our tree...
We have been loving our tree since the beginning of December.

Ava poses by the tree before her dance recital.Beck, after a long morning of play, takes a rest.

Ava and Mom make a gingerbread house.
Ava really enjoyed licking all the icing...yummmy!

We packed a Christmas package for Uncle Todd & Aunt Beth.
They are stationed in Germany.
They are expecting their own Christmas gift very soon....a baby Logan.

What in the world? you ask.

Well I got crafty today and finished making my

"Chillin" Santa ornaments from chile peppers.

not quite done with the faces...quirky and cute. I like.

And now six days before Christmas...

I hope everyone is enjoying this season & time of year!

Sunday, December 13

Twelve days till Christmas!

Finally a post...

thought I would share some holiday photos &

will try to post new pictures each day till Christmas.

so my first picture will be from my mantle....
tis the reason for the season!
I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays!
more posting & pictures to come....

Tuesday, September 15

I like this take on healthcare...

OK...I know I am in the healthcare industry,
working for a home health agency &
independently contracted with a pharmaceutical agency
educating and working with certain patients on one particular drug,
But...I am tired of the back and forth banter of the "healthcare debate."
Not everyone is going to be happy...but the current system
HAS to change. Really
I listened to Dr. Weil this morning on the Diane Rehm show.
I really like Dr. Weil and I am very interested in an integrative, holistic approach to medicine.
Dr. Weil was discussing his new book, Why Our Health Matters.

One of his here...discusses his book. (brief but excellent overview)
It is true and we all believe...
"Our long-term goal must be to shift our health care efforts from disease intervention to disease prevention and health promotion." Dr. Weil.

Our country is just not doing enough in the area of health education.
We have taken physical education out of the daily school routine.
gimme a break....we are told "exercise 30 mins. a day"...
but we don't give our children that chance in school.
If exercise is so important to us, it should reflect by our emphasis on this in school.
Don't even get me started on the drink machines in schools and the lunches.
Let's teach our children where food comes from and what real food is!

How about more education for our adults on the mind & body.
Our bodies are built for healing....and the majority of people
do not know how to help in their bodies' own healing processes through alternative methods...
instead we are looking for our answers in a pill.

Being a nurse I could really go on and on...but I won't.

I am really giving props to Dr. Weil's new book.
I love his philosophy on health.
Now I need to practice what I preach, what I believe in...
and take care of my own mind and body.
On that note I am off to bed!

Saturday, September 12

My boy is 2...

My boy is two today!!!
My sweet, adorable Beck!
We love him &
he loved his birthday...
especially the ice cream cake.

We have been blessed with a wonderful family!!!

and all love "our little man"!!

Beck on his Birth day...Sept. 12, 2007

what a wonderful change to our lives...

God has blessed us!

Friday, September 11

I remember....

SEPTEMBER 11, 2001
It is one of those days that you know you will always remember where you were and
who you were with. You knew the memory of that day would be
permanently etched into your mind.
I was in nursing school and was sitting with one of my classmates, Mike...
we were studying for a nursing quiz that morning.
Another classmate, Cheryl, walked in on us studying...
"Have you guys heard? A plane crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers?"
Well, we had been studying for awhile (such good and had not heard.
We went into our lounge area where other students and teachers had gathered and
turned the tv on the news...
whoa.....what in the world was happening? I could not believe what I was watching!
I was in complete awe...we watched as both of the towers came down.
Dear God, what is going on?
Shock is what we all felt.
I lived in NYC for some time (loved it!) and had friends there...
I remember always coming up to the street from the subway,
eyeing the twin towers and knowing which way was south.
And the many people worked in those towers?
Our teacher decided not to give us our quiz (after we brought it to her attention
that this was no ordinary day).
I went home and stayed glued to the TV all day...all night...
do not even think I went to the bathroom until I absolutely had to.
Oh...the lives changed forever!
Those that lost loved ones...
those forever hurt/injured from helping those in need.
I will say a prayer today for those families touched by this day.

My brother serves in the Air Force...
may we thank all those that serve our country...
the military, firemen, police, and relief response workers.

Below is a pic of my bro'
(not sure how fond he is of this pic...I like it

so I will also post a picture of him and his wonderful wife, Beth,
who are expecting a baby boy this December :)Thanks brother for serving!

and yes I am proud to be an American!

I will not forget!

Thursday, September 10

Admiration for Jane Goodall

Dr Jane Goodall Speaks At Taronga Zoo
I really adore Jane Goodall.
I recently listened to an interview with her on NPR and she is one powerful lady.
She was discussing her new book, Hope for Animals and Their World.
From the sound of it, the book is truly inspiring. How we should not give up hope...
that just one determined person can make a huge impact.
She really has taken her passion and created that into her life's work.
Something we all wish we were doing.
I really enjoyed learning more about her work at her website.
She also has a program for our youth, called...
Roots & Shoots: Empowering youth to make a positive change happen.
Dr. Jane states..
"Roots creep underground everywhere and make a firm foundation. Shoots seem very weak,
but to reach the light, they can break open brick walls. Imagine that the brick walls are all the
problems we have inflicted on our planet. Hundreds and thousands of roots and shoots,
hundreds and thousands of young people around the world, can break through these walls.
We CAN change the world."

A program making positive change in our communities, for our animals and our environment.

Don't you just love that!

Anyway....just a short post to share my thoughts on an inspirational lady!
enjoy :)

Monday, September 7

Happy Labor Day...what a start!

Good morning! :)
What a beautiful day it is...I am writing with my laptop outside on my table on our deck.
Let me tell you...the temperature is great, weather beautiful.
YES...I started out the day with homemade zucchini chocolate chip muffins, bacon, canteloupe,
and a big cup of coffee.
Life is good!
Today we are celebrating with friends, neighbors, and family at the pool.
Later a boat ride and swim on the lake.
Good food, drink, and fun!
I can't think of a better way to wrap up the summer!
Have a happy, relaxed, fun day all!

Thursday, August 27

Off to school ...

So my girl is off to school.
SO hard to believe it is that time...time for her to start kindergarten. She was very excited to go and I know she is going to just love school. Did I cry her first day? I walked her to class and was fine...she eagerly went into her class and sat down at the table with the other children.

and then...the teacher gave me a small ziploc bag...inside a tea bag and cotton ball...
with this note...

then I had tears...tears of joy :) MY BABY GIRL IS BECOMING A BIG GIRL!
my girl was in school...and I already was happy with her teacher...
(although I must admit, knowing that her teacher was teacher of the year for the whole school last year did mean something)
Ava's first day was a half day with just a handful of other children in her class. Her first "real" day was today, Friday. She went the whole day with the whole class. Last night, we had a First Day of School Eve dinner. ((I was inspired by another blog I read, Nienie dialogues...see link on this page.....the author survived a fatal plane crash, forever changed...her crash was a year should read her entries from even before her crash...amazing lady with amazing faith and love for life....she inspires me))
Ava decided she wanted pizza and ice that is what we had....yummmm :)

with full tummies we all went to bed and in the morning off to her first big day of school.
Ava really wanted to ride the bus and we decided she could ride it home. (the bus comes too early in the morning...)
Here she is ...all smiles after her first ride on the bus...

so...what did she say was her favorite thing from her first big day?

"riding on the bus with NO seatbelt"


Tuesday, July 28


Aren't they cute?!
We are fortunate enough to live in a community on Mountain Island Lake and blessed to have a boat to enjoy going out on the lake as often as possible. Our family really enjoys being on the lake and swimming, eating, drinking, and just relaxing. Taking friends out is extra special fun. Both my little ones really love the it is great!
It is so hard to believe just how fast they are growing and how time just seems to fly by. I took my boy this week to have ear tubes placed due to his recurring ear infections (Ava had the same thing). While he was in for the procedure I waited in the waiting room holding his stuffed bear, Across from where I was sitting there was an elderly lady (probably late 70s) and her son and daughter (both probably in their 50s). Yes, I heard a little of their conversation, so I was able to figure out that they were brother and sister taking care of their mother.
I started to think.....whoa...if I get to live as old as this lady, my son and daughter might have to take me to the doctor. Then I got teary.....because I started to think how it seems like yesterday when they were newborns. I know how valuable each and everyday is with my children and really takes a conscious effort to try to remember to live for each day and be grateful for each in the moment. I know these things...but working so hard to live by those words. I am probably like so many people and just get bogged down in trying to get the day to day things done and make plans for the next day and the next day. hmmmm...I just need to slow down, stop worrying about all the things I need to do or should do and savor this time as much as I can.
I'll try!

Friday, July 24

mmmm...summer fruits & veggies :)

Oh the joy of summertime fruits and veggies...
I always have fun deciding just how I am going to use the wonderful food we grow and those foods given to us by family and friends. Our friends, Joel and Sarah, gave us some enormous zucchini from their garden. I really don't think I have ever seen a zucchini in person quite as big :)

My cutting board is not small....really this was a huge I made some fried zucchini fritters..yummy!

Then found a recipe for chocolate chip zucchini muffins. They turned out great! I was even able to get my super picky five year old girl to eat them up. They freeze great and can be popped in the microwave for one minute. love them!

I took my children to a local farm....and just as we pulled in, a truck with several farm workers and loads of fresh blackberries was being unloaded. These berries were beautiful. Of course I came home with quite a bit of berries.....
I laid some out on a cookie sheet to freeze individually before I freeze them in bags. And yes....
that is a Sam Adams blackberry beer. I just had to indulge while I made the below picture...
BlackberryClafoutis. This was yummy, despite my really poor attempt at taking a picture.
I got the idea from a blog I follow (let me warn you her site is wonderful).... please click here and you will see her oh so lovely pics of her clafoutis. ((I enjoy saying the word, clafouti......I am a little crazy, you know!))

We do not get much sunlight in our back yard...but we really wanted tomatoes, peppers, and herbs. So we just planted them in our front yard :)
OH....the fruits of our labor. Well actually Rob's since he is the one that has been watering and taking care of the plants. I am just too busy with the kids, LOL!

hmmmm....tomato sandwiches...

I love summer!

Sunday, July 19

farewell crib..... forest/trees same thing...

Well my little boy has decided the crib just isn't for him.
Just a few nights ago, Beck was not feeling well due to his reoccurring double ear infection (going to see about tubes this week) and has been sleeping with me...mommy. On this night he was upset/frustrated and had started to push on me. Rob went to put him in his crib so he could have a cry then I was going to get him. Well, Rob put him in his crib and Beck basically took a run for the rail and catapulted and did a complete flip out of the crib. Poor guy. I consoled him and he slept with me in my bed. The next night he did not have any more fever from his ears, so we tried to put him to sleep in his crib. Normally he goes to sleep very easily. We read to him, rock him briefly, then lay him down and he puts himself to sleep quietly. Rob put him down and left the room while I was across the hall reading to Ava. I started to hear Beck cry, but did not go to him immediately because I knew he would probably just cry for a few and then go to sleep ((he had slept the previous three nights with me)). After awhile he was still crying...then Rob opened Ava's door with Beck in his arms. He had gotten out of his crib. Well he got one more night with mommy.
The next day we bid farewell to crib and hello to b
ig boy bed,

Going to have to add some decoration to the wall now that the crib is gone and the bed is so low.
It was sad to see the crib go because it is the last time I plan on using it :(

Ava decides to help Beck get comfortable with his bed.
Beck has now slept in his new bed for four nights (although the transition time to bed is longer. I have to get on the floor with my head resting on his bed and rub his back until he is good and asleep...hopefully this time will become shorter). He also has taken one nap in his bed.
Not bad for less than a week with the new bed. for a cute tidbit on why I just love little people and the things they say.
Rob, Ava, Beck, and I all went to Greensboro to visit friends. Our friends have a cute little cat named Forest. Forest happens to have his very own room. Ava has been to our friends house before and has met the cat and knows about Forest and his room. Before we get to their house I asked her if she remembered the cat's name and she did not. So I told her..."Forest".
So we get to our friends house and I hear her talking to the cat. She is calling the cat something, but it is not Forest.
I say, "Honey, what are you calling the cat?"
Ava replies "Trees"
I tell her the cat is name is Forest.
Ava says..."same thing" (mind you she says this with a touch of attitude)
hmmm ...Forest, Trees....same thing. (we all enjoyed a laugh and called the cat Trees the rest of the night.

Aren't kids great?

Thursday, July 2

all for jerk...

Has anyone ever really bought a whole chicken and cut it into pieces? hmmm.
Ok. I do consider myself a bit of a foodie. I love everything to do with food and about food.
So since it is the holiday weekend and we are going to be grilling up some grilled jerk chicken....I purchased whole chickens and cut them into the pieces myself. YEP...breasts, thighs, legs, and wings. I have always seen various food show host/hostesses performing this task but never have attempted myself. thoughts: not too bad or difficult, but quite messy and slightly icky. Once I was done I felt the need to sanitize everything in the kitchen area, including washing my hands in scalding water only to then spray them with my "greener version" of hand sanitizer spray (clean well). I was proud of myself :) I know have a bag of cutup chicken marinating in my frig in a wonderful jerk marinade (provided by my brother-in-law)...and the chicken was cheaper to buy this way...which always makes me happy. Can't wait to eat!
I actually bought some plantains at the farmer's market to make with the jerk chicken! yumm!
will post pics with the resulting jerk chicken soon!

Wednesday, June 17

sand feet

my beach art :)

So I wanted to do some sort of project with sand and initially had found a project where you make sand footprints. Basically you get wet sand (not too wet) and place child's foot in sand to get their footprint. Then you pour in plaster of paris and let dry. get a sandy foot.

Well my little ones could not quite create a good clean footprint due their wiggly cute toes. So I decided to try something else. (I had brought the plaster of paris and wire to make a hanger...needed to do something, lol)

So I took her flip flop and his little croc shoe and made shoe prints instead. I found shells on the beach and decided to use their initials. We do call them "A" and "B" all the time :)

I think it turned out cute....a little something different to hang in a little space on my wall.

Thought I would share. You can really expand on this and make any sort of beach sand art using shells and plaster of paris. enjoy!

Thursday, June 11

favorite room @ the beach...

Nothing is better than the outdoor shower at the beach! It is a prerequisite when looking at what cottages to rent. Nothing fancy, just hot water and a spot to place your shower necessities is all that is needed. I LOVE IT! I never use the indoor shower at the beach....really I don't. I love to be all sandy and then step into the outside shower. When you are done there is none of that "steamy too hot bathroom" feel...instead you get the refreshing salt air smell and feel :)
My husband and children enjoyed it too. I am pretty sure Ava will be like mom and enjoy outside showers as much as I do. If possible I would have a outdoor shower at my year round home...hmmmm just not sure if the home owner's association would like that...ha!

Tuesday, May 19

say cheese...

Ok, my little ones.....say cheese..! Ava and Beck have this down pat. I just had to share this cute picture (wish it was a little clearer). Yes, Ava's favorite color is pink and she does own a pink jeep (thanks to grandmom). Beck loves this jeep and insists she take him for a ride whenever she has it out of the garage.
These two are keeping me busy!

Ava is now five and making me laugh with some of the things she says. Lately it has been, "for real" and "right". If she thinks her dad or I do not believe what she is saying she says, "for real" with a matter of fact look. I do laugh at this, although sometimes it can be a tad bit on the sassy side and I have to get "real" with her.

In the van she has been using the word, "right?" after every observation or statement she makes. Whew...sometimes answering can be exhausting, but I am glad she likes to hold conversations.

Friday, May 15

The scents in our yard...

I love this time of year. I really love the scents experienced outdoors this time of year. Right now the smell of the honeysuckle that is growing on our fence makes me smile. We have chocolate mint (yes, there is such a thing) in a container by our hammock that smells like thin mints...mmm! We also have a giant rosemary bush, basil, thyme, and oregano in our herb garden. It is so fun to teach Ava about the herbs and let her smell them. ((now getting her the eat them is a different story, although she did try the chocolate mint :)
And of course what could be better than the aroma of yummy food on the grill. I think grilling all the time is wonderful...but nothing is better than a late cool evening after a hot day with good food on the grill and a bucket of cold beer/wine with friends.
I am so ready for the summer time, I love it!

Monday, May 11

Mom's List

my mom

I am hoping everyone had a great mother's day!
Sometimes it is so hard for me to believe that I am actually a mother...a mom to two beautiful, amazing children. Who knew how much a "mother's love" really is? I had absolutely no idea that I had the ability to feel the way I feel, the love, for my children. It is the most important job in my life....the raising of my children and everything that encompasses. Wow...I always think...Am I able to do this? But as fellow moms know...we can and we do what we have to do. This mother's day I am grateful....very grateful to be a mom! I also am grateful for having the time I did with my mom, but also sad that she is not here to see me as a "mom". Sixteen years ago, my mom left this lifetime.....but has never lost that special place in my heart!
This Sunday, at church, the pastor's wife, Marilynn Chadwich delivered the message... "Mom's List"...Seven Secrets to Reaching Your Dreams
((I loved the message and wanted to share the notes, everything below is from the notecards given at the service))
1. Learn to see the beauty - ...they saw that he was a beautiful child...-Hebrews 11:23
2. Grow with the grain- Train up a child in the way he should go and in keeping with his gift or bent... -Proverbs 22:6a
3. Dream big and know the race you're running - ...let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. --Hebrews 12:1b
4. Lighten your load- Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles..- Hebrews 12:1a
5. Every dreamer needs a team- ..spur on another on toward love and good works. -Hebrews 10:24
6. Help others reach their dreams- ...if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed...then your night will become noonday. -Isaiah 58:10
7. Train yourself to sustain yourself- I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. - 2 Timothy 4:7
There are always mountains to climb as we reach for our dreams. How we climb matters... Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith...-Hebrews 12:2a
Hope you liked...if you want to see Marilynn deliver this message, 30 mins long...go to and click on message.

Thursday, May 7

A bed bug tale...

It is 9:oo at night and I am comfortable in my bed thinking of going to sleep when a little visitor comes into my room. Ava, my recently turned 5, little girl comes in telling me, "I can't sleep."

The rest goes a little something like this:
mom-why can't you sleep honey?
ava-there are little things biting me in my bed
mom-what kind of little things?
ava-there are bed bugs in my bed
mom-bed bugs? bed bug or more?
ava-there are ten bed bugs in my bed
mom-are they big or little?
ava-they are so little, like smaller than the tippy part of your pinky nail, only I can see them
mom- so i can't see these bed bugs in your bed?
ava-nope, only I can
mom- does it hurt when they "bite" you? this (ava pinches me :)
mom- hmmm, I would not like that...maybe those bed bugs are asleep now.
ava-nope mom...they do not sleep, they don't even take naps, they stay awake
mom-well maybe I can go change your sheets and wash them
ava-they won't work mom..they will just hop up and be on the new sheets, they have very strong legs
mom-what if we turn the ceiling fan on and blow them off?
ava-mom...i told you they have really strong legs and they will just stay on the sheets

~~~by now ava is in my bed thinking she is going to snuggle and sleep with me. I know daddy will be coming up soon and hopefully he can get her to bed (ha!) ~~~

mom- ava, you know you can't sleep in my bed until you are grown up
ava- i know mom, i will be too big and there isn't enough room for you, me, and daddy when i am big like you
mom-so how long will these bed bugs stay in your bed?
ava-until I am about 6 years old, they like 4..hmm 5 year old girls like me.
mom- well i am not sure what to do..we will just have to wait till daddy comes upstairs.

Daddy caves in and lets Ava sleep with me and he goes to the guest room :)
(he really can't sleep with a little one who ends up with her legs and arms all over you, facing the wrong way in the bed)

thought i would share.

Monday, May 4

feeling good!

I think this warmer weather has got me feeling so much better! I feel more energized and happy. I probably suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder) in the cold, gray months of winter. I just love the longer days! Who knows, perhaps my vitamin/supplement regimen is helping too. All I know is a feel good! yippee!

The picture is from the planter on my front steps. It had just rained and I walked outside right before 8pm....and the air had that crisp after rain smell and the temperature was perfect (after a hot day). I snapped this photo b/c the color stood out when I looked on my porch and made me smile :)

Monday, January 5

Here we are 2009!

I still am amazed at how quickly time can fly by! This year I have so much I want to do and accomplish. Most of all I want to be "a constant work in progress." I want to work at improving so many aspects of my life....and since no one is perfect (something I remind myself everyday) we can only strive to constantly be working on ourself. I plan to share more of my thoughts and plans with others here on my blog. I will be working on my blog this week.
My goal: to be a better me for my husband, children, family, and friends.