Smile for the Joy of Others

Smile for the Joy of Others

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Protect your Nuts...

Sitting in the waiting room at the Drs office to have blood drawn for follow up thyroid levels.

"Ms B. "please come with me."

Me: "boys, sit here. It won't take long. You know how to act. Yes, Mam?"

"Yes, mam."

I return to find them rolling in that gut like laughter while the close neighbors snickering in attempt to keep from laughing out loud.

"Boys, come on. I'm finished. We can go now."

"Momma, look at this ad. 'Protect your nuts'"

At this point the elderly lady sitting next to us starts laughing out loud along with the 2 teenage girls sitting across from us."

I'm mortified as my face turns all shades of red. "What did you just say?"

Brother B: "Protect your nuts, C!"

"That is enough. What are you looking at? Give me that."

And this my friends, is the innocent ad that went awry.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Homeschooling Boys...

So, you want to know what it's like homeschooling boys. Here ya' go.

Disclaimer: I came across this photo in my deleted photo file on my phone. Proof they try to hide the evidence of being class clown

Saturday, June 25, 2016

America's First Daughter

As you will notice, I didn't include this book with my most recent post featuring the books I've recently read.  This is because, this book deserves a post of its own...great books always do.

This is one of those books I didn't want to end, yet, I refused myself to savor its chapters, staying up well into the early morning to finish it.

It took a few pages getting use to the format in which the authors used to write it. It's written as Patsy telling her story to the reader while she searches through her father's, Thomas Jefferson, lifetime of letters. These letters are in fact, the archives in which the authors used as their foundation of the book.

I find myself amazed at just how much I enjoy learning history through such types of historical fiction. One must read this book understanding that while the book is fiction it is written based on actual events recorded in history and in the case of this book also written based on actual letters written by Thomas Jefferson and several of his comrades and family.

One of the enjoyments of this book for me was the vocabulary and communication style used at the of Thomas Jefferson's era. The vocabulary is exquisite, even so, I benefitted from having read this book using my Kindle so to have immediate access to a built in dictionary.

Upon reading this book, you will see that the authors romanticize certain events and relationships. They admittedly do so in order to add assumptions to the characters and relationships that aren't clearly defined in research. However, I don't believe they comprised the history to the point of making the story a fabricated work of fiction and they tried as much as able to keep the story as truthful as possible.

The historical aspects I enjoyed were of course learning more about the culture, the society and the politics of the time. I learned that some things have yet to change but that others have progressed for the better.

This book will be a part of my all time favorites. In fact, I find myself wishing this could be made into a movie, if not for the theaters than maybe a fictional documentary to be enjoyed on TV.

5 Stars! Even the cover is beautiful.  It's one I would want to frame and hang in my personal library...if I had one.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Recent Reads

There are elements in this book I really enjoyed. Some of events were written to be humorous while I think some were written as a joke to make fun of The South and its traditions.

The sex and heavily used vulgar language wasn't necessary to make the story line better. The story, itself, was enjoyable and needn't the added sex and vulgarity.

There were twists in the plot that made this book a page turner but not enough for me to give more than 3 stars.

This book is about a boy coming from Indiana coming of age in Mississippi during the 70s.

Romance isn't a genre I typically choose to read. I had one of my boys choose a book for me, and he chose this one because he thought I would like the cover. So, to keep my promise, I read it.

I didn't care for the romance aspect, though it was sweet, it's just not my interest for reading. I enjoy love stories but not romance.

However, this book did have minor suspense elements that made it more enjoyable than I anticipated.

I would normally rate historical romance as a 1 or 2 star but given it was better than I anticipated I give it 3. It was well written with a ease of reading.

(Christian, Historical Fiction)

5 stars.  This book challenges to do be and do more for Christ than just sitting on the sidelines. 

Though I was born and reared in Mississippi and now rearing my own family in Mississippi, I am not from the Delta. However, the Delta isn't too unfamiliar to me as I lived in Greenville for 2 years and my father is from the Delta.

Richard depicts most accurately the race relations in the Delta, though, it can ring true for most of Mississippi. His's complicated. If black/white relations had to be described as you would describe a relationship on social media, "it's complicated" would be the answer. I think only those from Mississippi can actually understand it. Outsiders just can't begin to understand and certainly not from a perspective of only one year of living here.

I would like to say that his depiction of life in the Mississippi Delta, though very much riddled with drugs and alcohol, is not indicative of all Deltans. There are many who can enjoy life without having to include large amounts of alcohol if any at all.

Mississippi certainly has a past that isn't all glorious but Mississippi is certainly a place I love to call home.

Longest.Book.Ever. 776 pages.

I was disappointed in the ending. I guess if you like and can understand deep philosophy, you might would like it. I thought it left the reader hanging for more about the characters' future. Or maybe I was just disappointed bc the ideas I had for them didn't happen as I expected or hoped.

I give it 3 stars * * *

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Watermelon, Blueberry and Feta Salad

Sweet and juicy watermelon pairs beautifully with salty feta cheese! Blueberries add an extra bite of sweetness and a pop of color. Drizzle the whole thing with honey lime vinaigrette and enjoy your refreshing Watermelon, Blueberry and Feta Salad!
Serves: 6-8
  • 6 c. cubed watermelon
  • 2 c. fresh blueberries
  • 1 c. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 T. fresh mint, or basil, chiffonade
  • 2 T. fresh lime juice
  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • 1 T. honey
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Add cubed watermelon, blueberries, feta, and mint (or basil) to a large bowl.
  2. In a separate small bowl, add lime juice, lemon juice, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper. Whisk until blended. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Just before serving toss fruit and cheese together. Drizzle with dressing and toss again to coat fruit with dressing. Serve immediately.

My parent's neighbors have several blueberry bushes that produce an abundant amount of blueberries every summer.  They are so gracious to allow my parents to pick any amount of blueberries they like.  So each summer, we are looking for delicious blueberry recipes.  I came across the above on Pinterest.  While I wouldn't consider this a most fabulous, must have at every meal, it's tasty enough to enjoy the blueberries in salad as a healthy alternative of something to eat. 

(I do not take credit for the picture.) You can find the recipe here

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

10U-A State Champions

State Champions 10U-A. What makes this team unique is that they are a true All-Star team. They are nominated by their coaches and then voted to be a part of the team. Being on this team is truly earned. Clinton sponsors the team and the team represents the city; therefore, behavior from the coaches, the parents and players is utmost valuable.

We entered most of the tournaments as underdogs as we had not played as a team before the first tournament. All our players had played on separate recreational teams during the Spring season. Our first tournament, in May, was the first time our players had played as a team. Our team won 3 out of 5 tournaments with the 3rd being the State Championship.

We have been honored to be a part of this All Star team for the past 2 Spring seasons and I can sincerely say that it has been the best baseball experience we have had in our 6 years of playing baseball bc of the coaches, the players and the parents.

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Message of the Dog

This message is presented via "The Look"..this is the look you get when you ty to touch, steal or look at Sippi's chicken broth popsicle. 

This message from Bama says, "I don't appreciate the green beans you  mixed with my food." 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Testing, Testing....

I don't put much importance into standardized testing because children learn at varying degrees. As an intentional homeschooling parent, I am best able to measure my child's learning on a daily basis. However, we did allow our boys to take a standardized test this year. Their results came a few weeks ago. Both boys scored above their current grade level. What I gather from these results is not their ability to learn or retain, I already knew that. But rather their ability to apply what they have learned to another venue of testing and material.

Furthermore, these test results are for parental knowledge only. No government entity will have access to the results nor access to any other private information.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016 can't Ignore him

When you hate a people enough to kill them, it's not about's about who has control of your heart. As a believer in Christ, I believe only Satan births hate. The world may want to label certain religions or groups of people to be the creator of hate but the lone responsibility belongs to Satan. It's, we humans, who want to box him into religions. Even someone who "claims" to be Christian can be ruled by Satan. He's not limited to a few man made religions.

Hate can't be reasoned or explained without acknowledging Satan. You can't ignore Satan when trying to understand such despicable acts as the one that took place in Orlando, you can't ignore Satan when people are martyred because of their beliefs, you can't ignore Satan when innocent babies are aborted, you can't ignore satan...period. Search and reason as you wish or believe, but there is no other explained answer than him. He's the sole reason for hate and evil.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Things I believe as a follwer of Christ

1. No government entity, private organization or human can abolish God or prayer...ever. Do not rely on the government, the media or a political party to initiate or insight the need of prayer/God or the use of prayer...ever.

2. No government regulation will ever cause one to love his neighbor...ever. The devaluing of the problem. Gun control will never cause another to value life...ever.

3. It's not the lack of prayer in the schools that is the's the lack prayer in the homes. Christians should never rely on prayer in schools to be the answer. How many of us go days without praying as a family, yet, we whine because there is no prayer in schools?

4. Christians should never put their faith in a government or political party to "save our nation"...ever. Patriotism is not the saving grace of Christ.

5. The American, Christian church needs humbling...we are not entitled to be without tribulation...ever.

6. Satan's biggest weapons are deception and lies. He is masked in beauty. He is NOT a cartoon character with horns and pitch fork. His goal is to destroy, to hurt, to confuse, to deceive. He knows his end is near and wants to take with him as many as he can. Yes, I believe there is a hell and it's not here on earth.

Monday, June 13, 2016


Elohim: one of the Hebrew names for God. It's God the Creator.

As a believer in Christ, the Bible is the foundation of my world view. And because of this, I believe that God (Elohim) is the creator of the Earth, the universe and all the major and intricate details involved. I believe He is the creator of life and all that is needed to sustain life be it for humans, animals or plants.

When an artist creates a masterpiece, when an inventor invents a life changing device...the rest of the world benefits. We benefit from beautiful music that someone put together, we benefit from beautiful paintings someone created, when benefit from inventions of technology and machinery and medicine. But benefit as we may, only those who created it/invented it can sign their name to it. Their creations of art, music, writings or technology aren't for others to claim as their own...we can claim the benefits but not the actual fruition or idea of it.

We benefit from God's creation, but, we mere humans, can't claim to be the creator or owner of it. Because we didn't create it, we can't claim to redefine it, we can't change the creation to suit our desires because we can't and will never be able to sign our name to it. Because Elohim is God the Creator, his creation is always meant to be used to glorify Him with acknowledgement that it's His.
This is why I can never believe that any form of life or holy institution was created from anything or anyone other than Elohim, God the Creator.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Bondage to Holiday Gift Giving

With our boys' birthday approaching in the next couple of months, gifts used to be such a stressor for most of our celebratory holidays, including their birthday.  But ever since we told them the truth about Santa, the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy, these gift giving holidays have become so much more meaningful. 

It truly hurts my heart when I see Easter and Christmas celebrated by trying to give our children the perfect gifts. I used to be one of those mommas who worried with finding just right thing that would make my children happy on these mornings. I also worried about having just the right outfits for our Sunday church attendance. You know, it was just thing to do. It's what is expected, right?

That perfection I was seeking drained all the joy and reason to celebrate. I was too consumed with having just the right gifts that I failed to recognize that the perfect gift had already been given...the birth of Christ, and the salvation from eternal damnation through his death and resurrection. seriously y'all, I worried that the baskets didn't have enough to impress or satisfy my children's wants. I worried that Christmas morning would be an epic fail if I didn't have the right gifts or enough gifts. I worried that we wouldn't look the part unless we all had new "Easter" clothes. My worry to have it just right prevented me from the freedom of worship and celebration. And isn't celebration the reason we worship, the reason we acknowledge Christmas and Easter? If we are truly the Christ followers we say we are, then striving for a perfection that is measured only by worldly standards to fulfill worldly expectations isn't freedom nor is it God's will. Those expectations are distractions from Satan and when we've heeded them, he's won.

Up until a few years ago, I let Satan win. I chose bondage every time I strived for worldly perfection. But, y'all, there's a sweet freedom when you finally break free from it and begin to celebrate the real meaning of Christ's birth and the real meaning of Resurrection Day.

I no longer worry about the perfect gifts or the perfect clothes. Instead, I try to teach my children and let Christ teach me that it's not about perfection or wrapped gifts or baskets. It's about us being imperfect but saved by the only perfect gift that has ever been and will ever be given. A gift so perfect that nothing on this earth will never match it.