I'm blogging at www.melaniedorsey.com . Please join me there.

Dec 31, 2010

At No Loss for Resolutions


Holidays have the potential of bringing out the best and the worst in a person. And by "person" I mean ME. Can I get a witness? Let's just leave it at this: I have lots of material in which to choose a New Year's Resolution! No details for now, I'll just share a few pictures from the past few days.











My niece and I won the Scrabble game with 139 points and using all of our tiles!

My friend, Amy ~ If you stop by, you have to try "Hookum."

Ted and his new Christmas toy ~ a moose.
This is my face when I focus.
My mother ~

Dec 22, 2010

Part 2 "Signed, Sealed and Delivered"


One spring day in 2009, Andrew called me out to the backyard to see his painting of Jesus. He had painted "Jesus" on his skateboard ramp. On the base of the ramp Andrew painted, "Long Live the King."

(Read part 1 here.)
You see, when Jesus came from Heaven to earth, He came for a purpose. In one man—Adam, sin entered the world. In another man—Jesus, atonement for that sin was made. Jesus, who laid aside his royal robes and entered our world, was wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. He came to take the sin of the world upon Himself so that we might be redeemed and reconciled to the Father. In a sense, His purpose was to sponsor you and me.
Andrew got his sponsorship!
In the book of Isaiah, God says to His people, “See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands…” (Isaiah 49:16). Some translations use the word engraved or tattooed. God loves us so much that he carries a picture of us in His hands. Created in His image, we are an indelible part of Almighty God! 
At the moment of our spiritual birth, our picture is placed in the family album and our name is written in heaven (Luke 10:20).
At a young age, Andrew was drawn to Christ. He believed and confessed  Jesus as his Lord. 
Andrew Christopher Dorsey ~ sponsored and signed.
To be continued.

Dec 16, 2010

Signed, Sealed and Delivered

~ Andrew, the summer of 2007, at our local skate park ~
"Signed, Sealed and Delivered"
by Melanie Dorsey

As Andrew’s skateboarding skills grew, he began to express his desire of being sponsored by a skateboard company which he usually referred to as being “signed.” A sponsorship means free gear, trips and sometimes even cash. I do not even remember when Andrew first began to skateboard. It is so much a part of his identity that it seems odd to think of him without a board.
One summer, a foreign exchange student moved into the neighborhood. He was a high school boy and Andrew was an eleven year old middle schooler but they skated together almost daily. Fransisco was from Spain and spoke little English. Andrew was home schooled and knew a little Spanish. But somehow he learned that “Fran” was sponsored by a skateboarding company in Spain.  There was no language barrier when skateboarding, ramps and rails were involved! An "ollie" is the same in any language! Fran would walk the half block from his host home to our house, knock on the door and ask for Andrew. They skateboarded on our street and in our driveway and often I would see them from the window skating on Andrew’s rails. And to my maternal consternation I would insist they move the rails from the middle of the road back to our driveway! Andrew was sad to see Fran return to Spain when the school year ended. 
When brain cancer quickly affected Andrew’s left side leaving him partially paralyzed, he was unable to pursue his passion for skateboarding. That was so heartbreaking for us as a family. Andrew had lived and breathed skateboarding. One day he told me sadly, “It’s been three months since I’ve been on a skateboard.”
I went to the garage and got his newest board – one his dad had purchased for him shortly after the diagnosis. We had debated on whether to buy it or not, wondering if it would be a painful symbol to Andrew or one that would keep his hope alive. I placed the beautiful board in his lap and I told him to see himself on that board, to visualize himself healed, whole and skateboarding. And I asked him to repeat a simple prayer after me as I prayed for his healing and offered thanks to God. He held the board in his lap and he prayed. And I swallowed hard and tried not to cry. 
In the past 12 months I have often thought of Andrew’s wish to be “signed”. One day a scripture came to my mind and my heart rejoiced as I realized Andrew had gotten his desire after all.  
To be continued...

Dec 13, 2010

No Box!

Marker
The permanent marker arrived. I can't help but feel that this is what we got our son, Andrew, for Christmas this year. I do not want to feel this way. Andrew is our youngest child and we miss not being able to Christmas shop for him. 
Gift
I chose a tag from our Angel Tree at church. I picked the gift request of a 12 year old boy. He wants roller blades. He needs a men's size 10. This has proved difficult to find in the local stores so we will search online today so we can fulfill another young boy's Christmas wish.
Shoes
One day in January I was home alone and I went in my boys' bedroom - the one Avery and Andrew shared. I looked through Andrew's side of the closet and saw his Nike shoes. I sat on the edge of the bed and I put them on. They were too big. At the age of 12, his feet had outgrown mine. But I slipped my feet into my boy's shoes and I tied them. Then I walked around the house in them. I thought to myself, "Why couldn't I have taken his pain to wear like I am wearing these shoes?"
 I would have walked that road for him, had I been given the choice.
 Choir
Yesterday marked a year to the day as the last day the five of us sat in church together. As the choir ministered in presenting a Christmas program, I held Andrew's Bible close to me, wrapping my arms around it as though it were him. 
And I remembered that last year while the Christmas choir sang, Andrew leaned into me and whispered in my ear, "It's just not the same without you up there, Mom." 
Poem
I wrote this poem and posted it in February. We had to box up the medical supplies and wheelchair for return. It was such a hard and heartrending task. I had also gone through some of Andrew's clothing and things. Some I boxed and some I placed in my cedar chest in my bedroom. I left a few of his clothes hanging in the closet. And the shoes I walked around in are there, too.
No Box!
by Melanie Dorsey

A box cannot contain my love for you, nor who you are.
Not any kind of box.
Not the ones that will store clothes and toys and boy stuff.
Not the one that holds a jar of clay in a place it hurts to see Your name.
Andrew Christopher Dorsey.
It seems so wrong.
It hurts so much.
But listen!
Listen to my heart.
The place where names are eternal,
That is where your name belongs and IS.
In a book; not on a box .
In a book; not on a name plate under the red flowers.
In a book; the Lamb’s Book,
Where Eternal Life has signed your name.
Andrew Christopher Dorsey


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 New
I started a new writing project today inspired by Andrew. It's entitled "Signed, Sealed and Delivered". I hope to share it here soon.
Bible Study
'Still looking but thinking of writing my own.
*Can you see the skateboard on the marker?
The pine boughs at the bottom corners we chose because we have FIVE pine trees in our front yard.

Dec 11, 2010

Rejoice, The Lord is King

Rejoice Lord King Religious Christmas 5x7 folded card
Create modern Christmas cards at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Dec 8, 2010

Help a Girlfriend Out!

What Bible study have you used that you highly recommend? I'm looking for something to do on my own as an individual study and I'd love to have your insight and suggestions.
Thanks!

Dannie & Melanie

The kids on Andrew's skate ramp and with his board

Love
Avery
We used our tripod and set the camera on a timer for some pictures in our yard on Sunday. The skateboard pictured is one of three Andrew got for Christmas 2008.

Andrew on Christmas 2008
The anniversary of Andrew's homegoing is next week, December 15.
Be still my heart.

Dec 3, 2010

I Get By With a Little Help From SHUTTERFLY!

With a little help from Shutterfly, I just may be on top of things this year in sending out a photo Christmas card.

For the past few years (2009 excluded),we have taken a family ski trip during Christmas holidays.
Our family Christmas card was actually a Happy New Year greeting featuring a photo of the five of us on a Christmas vacation.
Christmas 2005
Christmas 2006
Christmas 2007
Christmas 2008


Last year was the first Christmas without our wonderful son, Andrew, and, obviously, sending Christmas cards was not on our radar screen.
This year, however, I had the idea of taking a family picture with a photo of Andrew included.
While searching the Shutterfly site for ideas, I found a lot of inspiration for a Christmas photo greeting that says, “Merry Christmas” from our whole family ~ all five of us!

These are my top 3 picks for a Dorsey Family Christmas greeting.

Wishing you a Christ filled Christmas


Faith, Hope, Love, Family

Rejoice
The Lord is King.
If you would like to see what Shutterfly has to offer you as you decide upon that perfect 2010 Holiday card, follow this link http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery/holiday-cards.
 
Are you more interested in a Christmas greeting? Follow this link http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery/christmas-photo-cards.

On my mother's Christmas wish list every year is a pretty calendar.
I think I'll surprise her this year with a photo calendar. It will be even more special to her this year as we include pictures over the years of our family of 5. I think I'll order one for myself as well.
I like this one a lot: http://www.shutterfly.com/calendars/wall-calendars

Could you use a little help from Shutterfly?
http://www.shutterfly.com/
http://www.facebook.com/shutterfly
http://www.twitter.com/shutterfly

For information on Shutterfly's blogger promotion, go here: http://bit.ly/sfly2010.

Dec 2, 2010

Proverbs 31 Woman 2.0 ~ A chicken in every POTpie!


TastyTuesday200pix Welcome to my new home   Tasty Tuesday
Check out the tasty recipes at http://www.beautyandbedlam.com/

Proverbs 31 Woman 2.0
"Because virtue is always in vogue."


Proverbs 31:15 "She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day's work for her servant girls."

2.0 version: "She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast a meal for her household and plan the day's work for her servant girls loads the dishwasher leaving more time in the day for the rest of her plans.

This recipe is from the Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church cookbook (Red Bud Road, Calhoun, GA). When I was teaching at Red Bud High School I bought this cookbook from a friend and fellow teacher who attended the Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church. I was a newlywed then and my specialties were Eggo waffles, tuna salad and chili! That covered breakfast, lunch and dinner.

If you take a few minutes to make this homemade crust topping, which is quick & easy, you will feel very "virtuous" and may even impress your family! Of course, you can use a rotisserie chicken for a shortcut.


Chicken Pot Pie

3 cups chopped, cooked chicken (may also use leftover turkey from holiday dinners)
1 cup chicken broth
1 can cream of celery soup (or chicken or mushroom)
1 pkg. (10 oz. frozen) peas and carrots (I always cook fresh carrots and add peas or even potatoes but increase chicken broth if you use potatoes b/c they soak up some of the broth and you don't want this dried out.)
salt/pepper to taste

Crust Topping
1 cup milk (You can also use buttermilk.)
1 cup self-rising flour
1/2 cup melted butter


Preheat oven to 400*. Grease a shallow 2 qt. baking dish. Place chicken and vegetables in baking dish. Stir together broth, soup, salt & pepper. Pour over chicken & veggies.


Crust Topping: Combine flour, milk and melted butter. Stir until smooth. Don't over stir or it will be tough. Pour over mixture in baking dish. Do not stir topping into chicken mixture. Bake @ 400* 35 - 40 minutes or until light to golden brown. Let cool 10 minutes before serving. Serves 4 - 6.

Nov 30, 2010

Recipe for Drama

What happens when you combine a dad and his daughter in a small kitchen for Thanksgiving? Mix with an attitude of, "I'm the better cook" and a pinch of family rivalry and you have a recipe for drama!
(But it's all in fun and makes for good memories!)
Wednesday morning, our family drove twelve hours to my parents' home in rural Mississippi. (Whenever I spell Mississippi, I want to break out into the crooked letter, humpback version.)

Thursday morning I began the process of getting our Thanksgiving meal ready. My mother is unable to cook due to health issues, although she did direct my dad on how to make the cornbread dressing before we arrived. I was a little disappointed because I thought I would be under her tutelage for that delicious dish. She makes the best!

My dad is funny.
When we arrived late Wednesday night, the first thing he said when we walked in the door was, "Are y'all hungry. I have a brisket."
There was no, "You made it!" or "How was the traffic?" or even "Hello!"
He shows his love by feeding you.
He loved on us for 4 days!

Marshmallows
As I was adding the praline topping to the sweet potatoe souffle, he suggested I put marshmallows on top.

Me: "Well, I guess I could do half and half. Get me the marshmallows."
Dad: "Oh, I don't have any."

Bacon
My daughter eats gluten free and vegetarian. My Dad planted a garden this year and had put up vegetables in their freezer. I took out some butter beans to prepare them "vegetarian style" as a side dish for my daughter. I told Dad that I didn't use bacon drippings or pork fat to season them for her.

Me: "I just use olive oil and onion."
Dad: "Oh, well why don't you just cut it down to one piece of bacon?"

Pancakes
Friday night I told my son that I would fix pancakes for him the next morning. So first thing Saturday morning, I put on an apron and get the ingredients out for buttermilk pancakes.

"Who wants pancakes?" I ask.
Dad: "I'll eat some."
As I am pouring the buttermilk into the flour, he walks into the kitchen and says, "I just use water."
Me: "I'm not using a mix. I make them from scratch."
Dad: "Well, that batter's too thick. The best pancake mix is that kind that starts with a 'k'."
Me: "Krusteaz. But I don't like to use mixes."

Dad searches around the kitchen and finds his pancake mix. And we both stand at the counter preparing separate pancake batter having our own brand of Throwdown, because it wouldn't be Thanksgiving without some competition in the kitchen.
And while we use a couple of tablespoons of syrup for our pancakes, Dad likes his "swimming in syrup."
He actually says this everytime he eats pancakes. "I like mine swimming in syrup."
And I usually say,"That's too much sugar. Won't that run your sugar up?" He's diabetic!
When I saw his plate, I almost took a picture. The pancakes weren't just swimming. They were drowning. At least he included a life jacket for them in the way of a hunk of butter on top.

And that's what happens when you combine a dad and his daughter in a small kitchen at Thanksgiving. 
Serve warm with LOVE.


~my daughter and my dad reading cookbooks~

My Buttermilk Pancakes
1 1/2 cups flour (I use self-rising.)
2 T sugar
1 large egg beaten
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
1/2 stick melted butter

For how to make Perfect Pancakes, go here.

So, spill the beans...any drama in your kitchen at Thanksgiving? Anything funny happen?

Nov 29, 2010

In the Presence of the WORD

Britton reading his Bible and now in the presence of the Word made flesh...
Please remember in prayer my friend, Gina, and Britt's dad Kevin, as they prepare to do what no parent should ever have to face. Britton departed this world for Heaven last night. No more cancer. No more pain. Only joy unspeakable and full of glory for Britton. But for his parents the grieving for a son begins...

Nov 23, 2010

Proverbs 31 Woman 2.0

My New Blog Series ~

Proverbs 31 Woman 2.0
"Because virtue is always in vogue."

Proverbs 31:25 "Strength and dignity are her clothing and her position is strong and secure; she rejoices over the future [the latter day or time to come, knowing that she and her family are in readiness for it]!" ~ Amplified Bible

2.0 version:  "Her strength comes from the Lord and His faithfulness envelops her like a robe. In HIM alone, she finds a position of security; she is able to rejoice over the future, knowing she and her WHOLE family are more than ready for it."

Sunday, November 21, 2010, I had the honor of speaking publicly for the first time in my home church since the diagnosis of cancer and Andrew's departure to Heaven.
For those of you who have been following along on this journey with me for the past many months, I hope that you have seen me reveal my heart as honestly as I know how. Truly, the Lord Jesus has been my rescuer, my strength and security over and again. People who have not endured the grief of child loss talk about "closure." There is no closure. There is simply a new kind of patience. Patience to wait until that beautiful morning when the family reunion of all family reunions unfolds! I CAN rejoice in that, and our FAMILY is ready for it.
The link to hear "A Faith that Endures" is here:
 
http://www.gulfcoastchurch.org/pages.asp?pageid=79901
 
As you'll hear on the video, as much as I want to honor my son, Andrew, I want MORE to honor my Lord.

Rock On, Moms! ~ Win Prizes with Rayovac & Paper Jamz

RAYOVAC wants YOU to win $1000 with “RAYOVAC MOMS ROCK the HOLIDAYS PAPER JAMZ online SWEEPSTAKES! (I really think kids of ALL AGES will enjoy rocking out on Paper Jamz guitars!)
Paper Jamz Guitar

As moms we are most often the ones who make the holidays “rock.”
I’m talking…grocery shopping, adding that festive touch to the home, preparing delicious dishes and warmly welcoming friends and family to gather together.
So, moms, for all you do, Rayovac wants to help you rock on like a ROCK STAR!


And speaking of ROCKING THE HOLIDAYS, have you heard of PAPER JAMZ?
Rayovac is the official battery of PAPER JAMZ and Walt Disney World.
This holiday season, Rayovac wants to help you rock on by giving away some great prizes.

Check out the Rayovac MOMS ROCK THE HOLIDAYS Online Sweepstakes which kicks off Monday, November 22nd and runs through Monday, December 5th.


Entering is EASY in 2 SIMPLE STEPS:

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Three winners will receive $1000 cash from Rayovac.

Twenty winners will receive a Rayovac Jam kit including a Paper Jamz guitar, drum, amp and guitar strap with 2 packs of Rayovac Alkaline AAA 24 pack batteries. (Prize package valued at $90.)

Paper Jamz Guitar

• Official Sweepstakes Rules at Rayovac.com.


• For more information on the sweepstakes and Rayovac brands/products, visit and “like” Rayovac at Facebook.com/Rayovac or www.rayovac.com/Promotions.aspx.


 
And please leave a comment if you plan to enter the Rayovac MOMS ROCK THE HOLIDAYS online sweepstakes! Really, you have nothing to lose. It only takes a few minutes and YOU may win $1000.
 
Paper Jamz Guitar
Rock on!
~ Followers who promote the Rayovac Mom Rocks the Holidays Sweepstakes may receive gifts from Rayovac.

Nov 19, 2010

Proverbs 31 Woman ~ 2.0

My New Blog Series ~
Proverbs 31 Woman 2.0
"Because virtue is always in vogue."

Proverbs 31:15 "She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day's work for her servant girls."

2.0 version: "She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast a meal for her household and plan the day's work for her servant girls loads the dishwasher leaving more time in the day for the rest of her plans."

While I rarely get up before dawn, I do prepare many meals for my household. And while neither I nor any of my friends have "servant girls," most of us have modern conveniences that "serve" us and save us time.
And so in the interest of serving you and saving you time, I'm sharing what may be the easiest and fastest homemade bread in the universe ~ fried cornbread.
Today my fried cornbread topped a ham bone soup. You can find the recipe here but it's never the same twice because I use what I have on hand. This time I used carrots, potatoes and Kentucky Wonder green beans.

Ham Bone Soup & Fried Cornbread
I make ham bone soup anytime we have a ham.

If you can't wait for the cornbread to bake, fry it!
Frying the cornbread
Ingredients:
Martha White Self-rising Buttermilk Cornmeal Mix  ~ 1 1/2 cups
Buttermilk ~ 1 cup (sweet milk works, too)
1 egg ~ if you have it and if you don't like I didn't today, use 1 1/2 T. mayonnaise
diced onion plus some green onion if you have it ~ a handful of onion sounds right to me
Play around with the ingredient amounts. You want the batter to be a little thinner than a pancake batter. Add more oil between batches, as needed. You want a crunchy edge and the oil gives you that.
oil for frying ~ enough to cover the bottom of the pan and then some
cast iron skillet or non stick pan
Mix ingredients and fry in heated oil. When one side is golden, carefully turn over. Drain on paper towel.

And now with apologies for putting her in the same post as soup and cornbread,
last night I had the privilege of meeting Lysa Terkeurst, president of Proverbs 31 Ministries. I left a comment on one of her recent blog posts and she replied. A couple of emails back and forth and, at her invitation and offer of tickets, I made plans with a friend to drive to Lakeland to hear her speak. She shares well her salvation story and her life of saying, "Yes" to God.
If you ever have the opportunity to hear Lysa speak, take it. You'll be blessed.

Nov 17, 2010

Hair's My Secret

I’ll let you in on a little secret.


I totally drop my guard if you brush my hair. Hair brush optional.

It all started when I was a little girl. Forget tea parties. I preferred playing beauty shop.


I was a bald baby and Mother says that when I finally got enough hair for her to gather up into a swirl for a little bow, my big brother cut it off!


Well I’m a big girl now and I still like to play beauty shop. Of course I always want to be the customer.


While in college, my roommate, Angie, fixed my hair for my dates and for special occasions. Heaven ~ I was in Heaven. Angie had a way with hot rollers and a rat-tail comb. And I did forgive her for giving me the high hair that one time. That North Carolinian, whose mama went weekly to have her own hair washed, combed and set, could backcomb with the best of 'em. (Whoever 'em are.)

College Hair ~ Angie's "work"
 I remember the first time I met Angie’s mother. She drove from Henderson, NC, to Cleveland, TN, and the first words I ever heard out of Mrs. Duke's mouth were as southern as sorghum on a biscuit, “I declayah, that cahr ride ruined mah hayah.”

And I don’t even care if you make my hair look good, just do something to it and I am under your spell all yours.


If my husband plays with my hair, I’ll even watch a football game with him. The other night I scooted closer to him and said, “Just do anything to my hair.”


And then I “discussed” the football game with him. I even guessed who was playing by the color of their uniforms ~ The Steelers.


Sure, I may have called them The Philadelphia Steelers but props to me for coming so close.


When we took our road trip a few weeks ago, we stayed with friends. The first night there I was admiring their oldest daughter’s beautiful hair. And then she made me her  customer friend for life when she casually asked if I wanted her to fix my hair.


My daughter caught the gleam in my eye and smirked. Then she answered for me.
“She’s always trying to get one of us to play beauty shop.


She brushed; she smoothed; she curled.


She asked questions.


I answered questions.


We laughed.


I may have shed a tear.


We bonded over the barrel of a curling iron.


Beauty shop puts me in such a relaxed state that I have to be careful not to make promises I may or may not be able to keep.


Last night in a “hair brushing stupor” I raised hopes for a biscuit and sausage gravy breakfast for this morning.




Oops. (We were out of sausage.)

Avery & Me (I even try to recruit him for "beauty shop.")
He'll do a lot for a sausage and gravy biscuit breakfast.
I owe him.

Nov 16, 2010

Breaking Heart

Look at my sidebar and see Britt and his mother, Gina on her wedding day this summer. Britt is Gina's only child.
My heart is breaking for my friend and her son.
Britt has a type of brain and spine cancer. He is 15 years old and was diagnosed last September.
Last fall he met Andrew at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, FL, while Andrew was recovering from brain surgery. Britt has endured treatment, including chemo drugs, radiation and clinical studies.
Gina and I knew each other while both students in college in the 80's.
We reconnected when she learned of Andrew's diagnosis.
I remember at the viewing of Andrew's body last December that Gina stood in line. When she got to me, we hugged and retreated to talk.
I remember telling her, "Gina, don't let what has happened to Andrew affect your faith in God."
We have stayed in touch and I drove to Tampa one day to sit with her while Britt had chemo through an IV.
She has been so very strong. Gina is truly a warrior mother.
This picture is from today. She posted it on FaceBook so I feel free to post it here.


Gina and her strong and beautiful son, Britt
Britt needs prayer.
Gina needs prayer.

While I don't understand why some are healed and some are not...this side of Eternity, I do believe God DOES still heal today.
So I'm asking that you take 30 seconds and ask God to perform a miracle for Britt.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Souffle All The Way!


Thanksgiving Dinner ~ 2008
Our Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner

Turkey (baked, smoked or deep fried)
Cornbread/chicken dressing (My mother makes the BEST. This year the gauntlet has passed to me!)
Chicken and Dumplings
Sweet Potato Souffle (I always make this one.)
Greens ~ turnip greens or collard greens
Butter beans, black eyed peas or zipper peas
Various other sides...sometimes it's a broccoli/rice casserole or Texas Potato casserole or the green bean casserole (My sisnlaw makes this.)
Yeast rolls
Cranberry jelly (I have made a variety of cranberry dishes but it seems everyone at our table likes the "log" chilled and plopped out of the can.)
Pepper jelly ~ served with the dressing and peas (My momnlaw ~ in Heaven now ~ canned pepper jelly . Fortunately we still have a jar or two in my pantry.)
Buttermilk pie ~ I make this one and it's a must. But we usually have pecan pie (now made by my dad), and a cake, too (I like to make a carrot cake from The Total Woman Cookbook. It's fabulous!)

Buttermilk pie


Instead of posting my sweet potato souffle recipe, I'll just share a couple of things that I do that may be different.
First of all...I BAKE the sweet potatoes the night before. This makes it easy to peel them and it's one less step to take care of on Thanksgiving morning.
I also use half and half instead of whole milk or evaporated milk. Eggs ~  I add in the yolks with the other ingredients and then my last step before the praline topping (brown sugar/flour/chopped pecans) is to fold in the whipped egg whites. This gives it that "souffle" consistency.

Aside from the turkey, which dish makes it Thanksgiving dinner for you?

What is your favorite dessert at the end of the Thanksgiving meal?
Thanksgiving ~ 2007
Andrew (10 years old) and me...

Nov 14, 2010

"Uncommon Women" part 3 ~ final thoughts

Final Highlights from "Uncommon Women" ~

So just how does a woman draw upon an uncommon courage in uncommon days?
I believe the answer lies in having an UNCOMMON FAITH.

By uncommon faith, I do not mean to suggest a faith that is attained through some kind of super spiritual manuevers. I simply mean a faith that endures and even develops in the face of.
In the face of desperate circumstances and in the face of disappointing and, perhaps even, dreadful outcomes.  

Our faith in God is not a tool for manipulating the outcome we desire. Our faith in God is the vehicle by which we arrive at an unshakeable trust that, regardless of the outcome, God IS working ALL things together for our good.

Mary was a woman of uncommon faith. She carried in her womb a literal promise of God. Mary's body housed and birthed Christ, the Son of the Living God.
When Gabriel delivered his stunning news to Mary, he shouted, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."

And Mary responded, "I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as you have said."
Above all other mothers, Mary knew without doubt that God had a plan for her son's life. I wonder if, over the course of thirty years, Mary thought as did many others if the Kingdom Jesus came to establish was to be an earthly one.  
I imagine her heart swelling with joy as He performs miracle after miracle.
I imagine her sorrow when she hears of His arrest in the Garden of Gethsamane.
I imagine her state of shock as she maintains her vigil at the foot of His cross.

Bleeding, battered and bound by nails, Jesus speaks to His mother, "Here is your son."
And he nods toward the man near her.
"Here is your mother."

I wonder if in that moment Mary's own words thirty three years earlier pricked her heart ~ "I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as you have said."
Is this God's plan for her son's life?
I imagine every fiber of Mary's being wanting to scream out, "You are my son. I want you. I want you back."
And in Mary's hours of grief, I imagine that scene between mother and son replaying in her restless mind.
After all, even though Mary had carried the Divine, she was just a woman.
But she was an uncommon woman, living in uncommon times, possessing uncommon courage with uncommon faith.

How can this be?

I believe it is because Mary had something in common with us ~ an UNCOMMON SAVIOR.

Are you in an uncommon time in your life?
Do you need uncommon courage?
Do you need uncommon faith?

Allow me to lead you in prayer.

Dear Abba,
You are the only One who knows what will come tomorrow. You are the only One who knows if the next bend in our road will bring us to uncommon times. As we run our race and persevere in the faith, may we dig deep in You and discover an uncommon courage. May we have a faith that endures--the kind of uncommon faith that's based on fully trusting You with the outcomes in our lives.
May we be uncommon women on the "good days" and on the "not so good days."
And as we approach this season in which we celebrate the miracle of Christ's birth, may our lives become less about us and more about Jesus ~ our UNCOMMON SAVIOR.
In Jesus' Name,
Amen.

Nov 13, 2010

"Uncommon Women" part 2

Highlights from "Uncommon Women" ~ (parts 1-2)


"She girds herself with strength and strengthens her arms" Proverbs 31:17.
We cannot see around the next corner, the next bend in the road of our lives. Perhaps your tomorrow will be an ordinary day. Common. But tomorrow someone will face hardship or heartbreak. Tomorrow someone's world will turn upside down and she will wish for an ordinary day ~ for "common times" to return. And perhaps, it is your strength that she will need until her own is renewed.

We never know when we will be called upon to face our worst fears, take up courage, gird ourselves in strength and just keep walking out our faith.

We all hope for and revel in those days of calm, in which the waters of our lives provide for smooth sailing and we are untouched by tragedy and sorrow. But those other days--the days of trial by fire are the ones, that if we are willing, refine us as gold.

It is in those seasons that in our very weakness, the power and strength of Christ Himself manifests in such a way that people do not see you, but Christ IN you ~ that your life becomes less about you and more about Him who purchased you.

Esther was a woman who lived in UNCOMMON TIMES. From an orphan to a queen, she was a nobody who became a somebody ~ a common, ordinary kind of woman whose courage in uncommon times revealed her to be quite extraordinary and uncommon.

Her elder cousin Mordecai's rhetorical question, "Who knows that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" has reverberated through the ages to inspire godly women over and again. (Esther 4:14)

For a real life example of an "uncommon woman," visit Elaine at http://www.peaceforthejourney.com/

In UNCOMMON TIMES, you need UNCOMMON COURAGE.

Deborah and Jael were partnered in a moment in history which required UNCOMMON COURAGE.

In the days of Israel when women in leadership was uncommon, Deborah the prophetess, was a judge and a leader in a battle than ensured 40 years of peace. As she and Barak went forth in battle against the Caananites and their leader Sisera, there was another woman who played a key role. Jael, a tent dweller, welcomed Sisera as he stumbled into her tent asking for a drink and protection as he slept.

Jael, keenly aware of who lay sleeping in her tent, did what she had done many times before  ~ a common activity in her nomadic world of tent dwelling. I wonder if her hands shook and her heart beat faster as she picked up a tent peg and drove it hard. Only this time, her target was not the ground, but the head of the enemy ~ from common to uncommon in one hoist of the hammer.

In the post battle song of Barak and Deborah, they praise Jael for her uncommon act of courage. (Judges 5:24 - 27)
Most blessed of all women is Jael,
wife of Heber the Kenite,
most blessed of homemaking women.
He asked for water,
she brought milk;
In a handsome bowl,
she offered cream.
She grabbed a tent peg in her left hand,
with her right hand she seized a hammer.
She hammered Sisera, she smashed his head,
she drove a hole through his temple.
He slumped at her feet. He fell. He sprawled.
He slumped at her feet. He fell.
Slumped. Fallen. Dead.
~ from The Message

When you feel you are at your weakest and unable to make another decision, to take another step, to pray another prayer, you must look beyond your present and into your future where your hope lies and your joy is made full.  Look to Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross.
To look beyond what your eyes see in your "present" to what is coming in your future takes courage.

Courage is not always, and perhaps not even often, exhibited in one brave act. When I think of the people I personally know who are courageous, they are the ones who, despite ongoing adversity in one form or another, just keep putting one foot forward making the right decisions day in and day out.

Courage does not always roar. Sometime courage is that quiet voice at the end of the day saying I will try again tomorrow. ~ Mary Radmacher

To visit another real life example of an "uncommon woman," meet my friend, Leslie at http://letajoykeepyou.blogspot.com/.
Leslie fully embraces Christ and knows Him in the fellowship of His suffering. She is just one of the many uncommon women who exhibit uncommon courage in uncommon days.
 
How is this accomplished? I think I know.
 
(to be continued...)

Nov 12, 2010

A Little More of "Uncommon Women"

I got to speak to some wonderful women last night. For the gathering I prepared a new topic entitled "Uncommon Women."


In "Uncommon Women," the women I honor are those in UNCOMMON TIMES of UNCOMMON COURAGE with UNCOMMON FAITH.


Not only do we have the Biblical examples of women like Deborah, Esther, Mary (mother of Jesus) and Elizabeth, but if you look around, there are plenty of women that you know who are UNCOMMON.
In fact, it may be YOU!
Uncommon Women are:
~ called upon to live out a season that is UNCOMMON and not of their choosing.
~ digging deep to discover an UNCOMMON COURAGE.
~ developing an UNCOMMON FAITH that endures despite adversity.


Highlights from "Uncommon Women" ~


"She girds herself with strength and strengthens her arms" Proverbs 31:17.


We cannot see around the next corner, the next bend in the road of our lives. Perhaps your tomorrow will be an ordinary day. Common. But tomorrow someone will face hardship or heartbreak. Tomorrow someone's world will turn upside down and she will wish for an ordinary day ~ for "common times" to return. And perhaps, it is your strength that she will need until her own is renewed.
We never know when we will be called upon to face our worst fears, take up courage, gird ourselves in strength and just keep walking out our faith.
We all hope for and revel in those days of calm, in which the waters of our lives provide for smooth sailing and we are untouched by tragedy and sorrow. But those other days--the days of trial by fire are the ones, that if we are willing, refine us as gold.


It is in those seasons that in our very weakness, the power and strength of Christ Himself manifests in such a way that people do not see you, but Christ IN you ~ that your life becomes less about you and more about Him who purchased you.


Esther was a woman who lived in UNCOMMON TIMES. From an orphan to a queen, she was a nobody who became a somebody ~ a common, ordinary kind of woman whose courage in uncommon times revealed her to be quite extraordinary and uncommon.
Her elder cousin Mordecai's rhetorical question, "Who knows that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" has reverberated through the ages to inspire godly women over and again.

For a real life example of an "uncommon woman," visit Elaine at http://www.peaceforthejourney.com/


In UNCOMMON TIMES, you need UNCOMMON COURAGE.
Deborah and Jael were partnered in a moment in history which required UNCOMMON COURAGE.


(to be continued...)

Nov 11, 2010

Uncommon Women

I get to speak to some wonderful women this week. I've prepared a new topic entitled "Uncommon Women."
In "Uncommon Women," the women I honor are those in UNCOMMON TIMES of UNCOMMON COURAGE with UNCOMMON FAITH.

Not only do we have the Biblical examples of women like Deborah, Esther, Mary (mother of Jesus) and Elizabeth, but if you look around, there are plenty of women that you know who are UNCOMMON.
In fact, it may be YOU!
Uncommon Women are:
~ called upon to live out a season that is UNCOMMON and not of their choosing.
~ digging deep to discover an UNCOMMON COURAGE.
~ developing an UNCOMMON FAITH that endures despite adversity.

How is this possible?

Come back and I'll share more from "Uncommon Women."

In the meantime, the weather here on the west, central coast of Florida is getting a bit cooler so I thought I would do a little online dreaming.
These would be fun to wear!
Have you made any new purchases for fall fashion? Trending fashion I actually like: capes and patterned tights.

Nordstrom

Hue Argyle Sweater Tights, $18

Ann Taylor

Jessica Simpson
Dillard's
trendy colors for fall '10
In reality, I wore yoga pants to run in yesterday and got too hot. I'm about to head out now and will be in running shorts. 'Got to get my miles in!
Have you been to my running blog ~ http://www.seemymomrun.com/? I asked my sidebar trainer, Meka, a question that ties in with the Essie nail polish. Go see how that relates. And if you are a mom who runs, I sure would like to interview you for See My Mom Run! If you've never been to my running blog, be sure to click on the month of June, scroll to the bottom and see why I started running again.

Nov 8, 2010

Double Duty Dinner

TastyTuesday200pix Welcome to my new home   Tasty Tuesday
http://www.beautyandbedlam.com/

Sunday's crockpot chipotle roast is Monday's shredded beef enchiladas.

Shredded Beef Enchiladas with refried beans and cilantro/lime rice
My favorite roast recipe is found here: http://www.thebellamella.com/2009/03/saturday-stirrings-my-favorite-roast.html?spref=fb
I like the smokiness that comes from the chipotle peppers.

For Monday's dinner, I shredded the leftover roast and reheated it with some of it's reserved juices and 1/3 can of green enchilada sauce. After "frying" the corn tortillas, I put a line of shredded roast and green sauce down the center and rolled the tortillas. Lay them in a baking dish in which you have added enough green sauce to cover the bottom. After arranging all of the tortillas in the dish, top with the remaining green sauce and shredded cheese. Bake @ 350* until cheese melts and bubbles.
Ingredient list:
Shredded roast
Corn tortillas lightly "fried" in oil to soften them up for rolling; You don't want these crisp, just softened up.
A can of green chile enchilada sauce
Cheese ~ I used monterey jack and cheddar
Refried beans
Salsa ~ Serve over beans or rice or on the side. I enjoy fresh salsa the best.
Rice (When rice is cooked, toss with lime juice and cilantro to taste.)
Lime
Cilantro
Tortilla chips
Your favorite toppings ~ mine are onion, onion and more onion

Nov 5, 2010

Road Trip

Family in Annapolis
~ Forever A Family of Five~
Always carrying Andrew in our hearts...
We took a road trip last week.
Annapolis, DC, Williamsburg
Cracker Barrel (twice!)
rest areas - too many stops to remember,
AM radio,
We visited friends who offered gracious hospitality.
I had a " first" - eating sushi.
I liked the Crunchy Ebi the best (shrimp).

Joss Cafe and Sushi Bar
Featured on the Food Network "The Best Thing I Ever Ate."
My favorite was the Crunchy Ebi - shrimp, not raw.


In DC on election Tuesday
My favorite place
My heart could barely contain the beauty in this place.

One of my favorites!

"Benedict Arnold" at Colonial Williamsburg
To War.
Gorgeous fall colors!

Don't worry, Babe. I'll get you the best public defender money can buy!
We walk this way.