Smile for the Joy of Others

Smile for the Joy of Others

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Tonight's menu:

Ranch House CrockPot Pork Chops
Roasted Asparagus
Fried Apples
Steamed Broccoli
Baked Parmesan Tomatoes
White Rice with gravy from Pork Chops

Click on the red to be directed to the recipes.

Bon Appetite!

Thanksgiving 2012

This past Thanksgiving was full of thanks and blessings. 

Thanksgiving Eve, we started our taco night that had been suspended while living in G'ville.  My sister and her family and my parents came over for tacos and fellowship. 

Thanksgiving day, we traveled to B'haven to spend the day with my grandmother, aunts and cousins.  My boys always enjoy this time and didn't want to leave.  While there I rummaged through my grandfather's shop.  I scored 3 old windows.  I already have 2 pinterest projects I hope to accomplish soon. 

My sister and I ventured out at midnight for Black Friday despite my lack of "Black Friday" enthusiasm.  She and I have done this for the past 3 years.  After seeing the crowds and chaos, she and I went back to our beds and slept.  We just didn't 'feel it' this year.  Instead, we ventured back out the next mid morning.  To our excitement, we found the same deals still available and scored the purchases we were gonna camp out for. 

Friday, after JB got off work, we traveled to AL and spent the weekend with his parents. 

Sunday afternoon, we picked out our Christmas tree then came home and decorated it. 

Nothing but memories and blessings!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Retail vs Thanksgiving

"Why are retailers ruining Thanksgiving? Commentary: Customers want Black Friday to start on Thursday"

The above is the title of a news article obviously regarding corporate retail stores being open Thanksgiving Day.  Am I the only one who reads the contradiction in the title? 

I've seen all this outrage on FB and the media about corporate retail being open on Thanksgiving Day.  Umm, HELLOOO!  We the consumers control these circumstances.  If there wasn't a demand for it, than it wouldn't happen.  Corporate retail is not who makes us shop on Thanksgiving...priorities are what either keeps us home with our families or makes retail employees cater to our need for material bargaining.  I know I sound biased on this circumstance.  But as I see it, there is absolutely NOTHING that I need that would cause others to have to forgo their time away from their family. 

As for the article I mentioned is indicative of what America has become...we want to blame others for our selfishness.  Retail does NOT make one shop.  I know my opinions are not shared by many, but lack of priorities is what makes us shop on Thanksgiving Day.  Yes, retail can keep their doors closed but we all know retail is out for number 1 and shopping on Thanksgiving Day only supports that. 

On a similar note, this year I am more inclined to either shop via the web or local/home based businesses.  I'd rather give my money to a local business than retail.  I obviously will not be able to solely shop local but I'll do what I can.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Days of Thanks

There are have been many on FB who have been sharing something they are thankful for each day leading up to Thanksgiving.  It's been an encouraging pleasure to read them but I often wonder to whom they are thankful.  I don't think I have read one post that acknowledged to whom they are thankful for the what they mentioned.  I find that interesting because most of what they are thankful for doesn't come from any 'man made' source; but instead our Heavenly Father.  I just wonder if they recognize that or just dismiss as a blessing from nothing.  I'm not assuming either, just an observation I've noticed when reading them.

As for me, reflecting on all the things, people and events I am thankful for, this year the 1 that stands out the most for me: In the declining of our culture as I see it, I am ever so thankful for being in a family along with the generations before me that reared their children with the love of Christ. This is the ultimate love I will pass on to my children..teaching them that as much as I love them, Christ loves them even more. I am also ever so thankful that God allowed me to marry a man who came from a family of generations who did the same. The 2 of us together, continue to pass this same love on to our boys with prayers that this love continues for generations to come in world that increasingly seems to reject and mock it.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

This Little Light of Mine...

Some days I just want to live in a 'box' keeping away from people who differ from me. Sheltering myself from people who want to mock me for my beliefs, who want to label me as hateful because I believe differently. Some days it would be easier to just delete some of these people not only from my profile (Facebook) but my life, also. But then I'm reminded, mere sheltering keeps me from growing...keeps me from a stronger faith in God...keeps from relying on Him when I'm hurt by those who know me. I pray my reaction to hate is love instead of cowardness. I pray I refuse to live in that box...for in that box, His light can't shine through me for those who need it most. 

This little light of mine,
I'm gonna let it shine!

No One Else but the Lamb....

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My Voting Measures

These are the measurements I use to vote:

1. He/She must fear God

2. He/She must value the sanctity of life

3. He/She must value the sanctity of marriage between 1 woman and 1 man.

4. He/She must value a national and political relationship with Israel.

6. He/She best protects my country from harm as Commander in Chief.

7.  He/She best protects the Constitution, including my freedom of speech, religion, to bear arms, etc.

Please go vote.  We may not share the same measurements in voting but we do share the same right to vote.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Government is not the Problem...

In reference to hurricane Sandy and the recovery efforts...

I know anger is one of many natural reactions when faced with devastation.  So maybe I'm just missing something, but there are some issues during natural disasters that the government just can't fix, at least, not immediately. 

I've seen many on TV screaming at America, "We have no heat!"  "I've lost everything and no one is doing anything about it!"  These angry proclamations just affirm so many people are dependent on the government to fix their problems while blaming them for the same. I know they are waiting on electricity to be restored but that just takes time.  Where do they expect the government to bring in heat from?  Maybe moving all the politicians in Washington to the affected areas...have them talk about the promises they are gonna keep, attack their fellow political rivals and praise themselves for all the good they have done...there's the hot air needed for those who have no heat. The perfect government solution to getting the people the heat they keeping screaming about not having. 

Where are the shelters?  And if there are any, why aren't they being recognized for the good they are trying to do?  I remember there being many, many shelters in the wake of Katrina; as far west as Texas, as far north as Memphis, as far east as affirmation that maybe the South just takes better care of it own.

A fellow friend, CP, made 2 very valid points on FB...recognizing the Southern Baptist Convention sending numerous relief units..."Is it better to tithe than pay taxes?"  You could add giving to charities to that idea...The Salvation Army being one of them.

To end this post, I'll quote his next point which says so much with just a few words: "I remember during Katrina, people leaving homes without electricity to help people without homes."

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Lesson of Integrity

Teaching life's lessons is just as hard as learning them.  As a parent, you realize this as your children grow and their innocence begins to fade away to the sinful nature of being human.

Yesterday, we were faced with a lesson on integrity.  BB came home from school with a prize from the big box that he didn't actually earn.  Students earn a chance to choose a 'big prize' from the 'big box' by staying on green every day for a month (green indicating good behavior).  BB received a yellow one day during October, thus loosing he chance to pick a big prize from the big box at the end of the month.

Well, it so happened that his teacher made a mistake and called his name for a big box prize.  He came home with it just as proud as if he had actually earned it.  I remembered him 'getting on yellow' one day and questioned him about the prize.  He fully understood that he shouldn't have received the prize but honestly felt he should keep it in spite of the mistake his teacher made.  I tried to make the moment a 'teachable moment' of integrity encouraging him to give it back with an explanation of the mistake made but he would hear nothing of it. 

Later on, JB tried talking to him and emphasizing integrity and doing the right thing.  We both encouraged him to give it back on his own without us having to send a note explaining what happened.  I didn't care if she allowed him to keep the prize but I wanted him to be honest and do the right thing by at least telling the teacher he wasn't supposed to receive it.  As of bedtime, he still refused to do it on his own.

This morning we encouraged him one more time to do the right thing.  I fully expected to park and take the prize inside and ask to quickly speak with his teacher.  However, BB anxiously said he would tell his teacher what happened on his own.  So anxious in fact he didn't want to talk about it on the way to school.

I prayed all day that his decision to do the right thing would be a blessing he would experience so not to be discouraged the next time something like this happened making it even harder for him to make it right. 

I actually dreaded the conversation.  I struggled with the idea of rewarding him ourselves.  While he needed to learn this life lesson, he also needed to learn that you don't always get 'rewarded' for doing the right thing, at least not materially.   I asked BB the dreaded question, "how did it go today?" To my surprise, he replied, "It was the best day ever!",   I thought maybe it was because he got to keep the prize with a simple smile from his teacher thanking him for being honest.  Instead, nothing of the sorts happened at all.  She took back the prize, gave him a hug and thanked him for being honest.  She went even further giving him a 'Horseshoe High Five".  This honor is even greater than obtaining a big box prize.  This is an award given to students who exemplify good citizenship and positive role modeling.  His integrity was not only rewarded but more importantly, recognized.  I didn't care if he was rewarded but I wanted most of all for it to be simply recognized in a way that honored him in his 'world'. 

I am so grateful to God for honoring BB's decision to practice integrity on his own in spite of loosing a prize.  And I thank Him for honoring us as parents when trying to teach our children integrity not just for the sake of humanity but for the sake of honoring Him.   BB's lesson learned is an affirmation of how hard it is trying to rear boys into men of integrity in a culture that teaches otherwise.  But the outcome of his lesson is an affirmation that God blesses us as parents when we do it for his honor.  My blessing was seeing God honor BB's integrity and it couldn't have been anything better than a simple recognition.