Friday, December 28, 2012

Keeping Your Kids Healthy Naturally: Interview with Lisa Smith

Today we welcome Lisa Smith, a Natural Health & Wellness Consultant with Shaklee for over 20 years. Lisa is here today to share with us about how she keeps her family healthy all year long naturally and provides a nice life for her family through Shaklee Health and Wellness Products. 

Lisa: That's right! First of all, thank you Hannah for inviting me on your blog! I know you love the Shaklee products as well and have had great results with your son who struggled with eczema. 
Yes, I love the products and my son doesn't struggle with eczema or earaches anymore. I could go on and on about Shaklee, but Lisa, I would love for you to share your story.  Would you begin by sharing with everyone what Shaklee is?

Lisa Smith and Family
Lisa: Well, Shaklee has been the nation's number one natural health and wellness company for over 50 years. The products are always safe, always natural and always guaranteed to work--we have the research from the nation's leading health professionals to prove it. Our products have even been featured on Oprah and Dr. Oz. 
Thank you, Lisa. Can you tell us your story and how Shaklee has helped your family?
Lisa: Sure.  My father introduced me to Shaklee in 1985. He began using Shaklee Basic H which is a natural cleaning product, on his farmground as a soil enhancer. Shaklee nutrition made a big difference in the health of my parents as well.
I have been using Shaklee products for 25 years and have had great health benefits for myself and my family. We started our business with Shaklee along with my cosmetology career in 1984. I used the skincare and cosmetics on all of the clients in my salon. In 1992 I closed my hair salon and went full time in Shaklee. I have been a stay at home mom for the past 21 years enjoying a GREAT lifestyle along with our family.

We have 3 boys Joshua-21, Jacob-18, Noah-11. They have been raised on Shaklee products and have enjoyed great health. We have had only 2 antibiotics between the three boys in 21 years and only 1 of our sons has had an ear infection.

I have to interrupt here. Did you say in 21 years of parenting only one of your sons has had an ear infection and you have only had 2 antibiotic prescriptions.  That is unheard of!

Lisa: Yes, that's right. Just two antibiotics and one ear infection. You know, Hannah, God gave us awesome bodies and when we give them the nutrition they need, it's amazing what kind of healing can take place. 
How has Shaklee changed your family's life financially?
Lisa: Hannah, I can't even begin to tell you what a blessing this business has been. When my husband was laid off, our Shaklee income was all we had, and without it meant our family would have sunk. Right now I make over $100,000 every year and have made over a million dollars in this business since I started. I did all of this in the middle of a cornfield in Indiana all by just helping people out. When you share Shaklee, you change get to give health. I am the luckiest woman a live because I get to help others every single day and make a living doing it. So far,through Shaklee, we have been on 20 all expense paid trips from Shaklee including such beautiful places as: Maui, Hawaii, the Big Island of Hawaii, Hawaii, 5 Caribbean cruises, an Alaskan Cruise, Barcelona, Spain, San Diego, California, New Orleans, Louisianna, and Vancouver, Canada, and most recently Atlantis, Bahamas.
Our oldest son Joshua graduated with a Bachelors degree in animation from the Art Institute of Indianapolis. He recently became a FAST TRACK DIRECTOR and has decided to build a Shaklee business to help pay off his college debt! Our son Jacob also wants to build a Shaklee business when he turns 18 this summer! It is exciting when your children want to build a Shaklee career with you! 
We thank God everyday for our Shaklee business.
What advice would you give Momma's out there wanting to keep their family's healthy all year long the natural way?
Lisa: I would tell them to call you up right now Hannah and start their children out on the Shaklee products. Start with the cleaners. It's important to get the toxic things out of your home. Then move on the vitamins. I would love to talk with your viewers to share more info on Shaklee products.
Lisa, thank you for sharing with us today!
No problem!! Here's to your and your viewer's health! :) 

Lisa Would Love to Hear From You! Tell her Hannah says Hi!


Monday, December 17, 2012

Sandy Hook Elementary Shootings

Picture taken from

Our world is even more aware of the existence of evil, after the horrible tragedy on Friday that claimed the lives of 20 beautiful children and 6 brave adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Sending my son to school today was difficult. To see him get on the bus made me cringe.  I felt uneasy about sending my Second Grader to school. Was he going to be safe? I made myself nauseous mapping out ways that an intruder would be able to gain access to his room--it really would be all to easy. The truth is, it would be easy for someone to inflict damage on anyone of us if that was their intent. 

 As a nation, our hearts are broken for such devastating loss of innocence. Our children bring us such hope and joy. If adults could learn to harness the simple purity of a child's perspective on life, then the world would be a better place. Jesus knew what He was saying when He talked about having faith like a child. Children are what is good in this world, and worthy of our protection.

Many ask why God allows horrible things like this happen. They wonder where He was. I don't have the answers...I don't know why this happened. But I know that God is good and that people are not. 

Today, pray for the families of the victims. Pray that God surrounds them with His peace and comfort. Thank God that courage, and good still exists in this corrupt world and join me as I pray Psalm 91 over our children, our schools, our families, friends, and our country. 

Psalm 91

1-13 You who sit down in the High God’s presence,
    spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow,
Say this: “God, you’re my refuge.
    I trust in you and I’m safe!”
That’s right—he rescues you from hidden traps,
    shields you from deadly hazards.
His huge outstretched arms protect you—
    under them you’re perfectly safe;
    his arms fend off all harm.
Fear nothing—not wild wolves in the night,
    not flying arrows in the day,
Not disease that prowls through the darkness,
    not disaster that erupts at high noon.
Even though others succumb all around,
    drop like flies right and left,
    no harm will even graze you.
You’ll stand untouched, watch it all from a distance,
    watch the wicked turn into corpses.
Yes, because God’s your refuge,
    the High God your very own home,
Evil can’t get close to you,
    harm can’t get through the door.
He ordered his angels
    to guard you wherever you go.
If you stumble, they’ll catch you;
    their job is to keep you from falling.
You’ll walk unharmed among lions and snakes,
    and kick young lions and serpents from the path.
14-16 “If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,” says God,
    “I’ll get you out of any trouble.
I’ll give you the best of care
    if you’ll only get to know and trust me.
Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times;
    I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party.
I’ll give you a long life,
    give you a long drink of salvation!”

Monday, December 10, 2012

Biblical UNICORNS!!

Taken from
What did I MOST want as a little girl?? A UNICORN!! I seriously begged God for a Unicorn!! Good grief those creatures are crazy beautiful! May I ask, what young girl wouldn't want one? My precious one horned stallion would have been named Bellerella,  after all of my two favorite Disney Princesses! Bellerella is a pretty amazingly clever name for a unicorn if I say so myself, and it pretty much oozes awesomeness!

While Unicorns are thought to be fictitious creatures found in fairy tales, the Bible actually says otherwise! No snickering! THIS IS FOR REAL! Don't be a Unicorn hater. In the King James Version of the Bible Unicorns are mentioned in Job, Psalms, and Isaiah.

"[...] the biblical unicorn was a real animal, not an imaginary creature. The Bible refers to the unicorn in the context of familiar animals, such as peacocks, lambs, lions, bullocks, goats, donkeys, horses, dogs, eagles, and calves (Job 39:9–12.1) In Job 38–41, God reminded Job of the characteristics of a variety of impressive animals He had created, showing Job that God was far above man in power and strength.2 Job had to be familiar with the animals on God’s list for the illustration to be effective [...]"

To read more of this article, click here.

The article goes on to burst my bubble and smash my dreams by saying that this Unicorn in the Bible isn't like the horse-like beauty we would think, but a more of a beastly, strong, horned animal. Boo. Some scholars think that the Biblical Unicorn could be a Rhino.

Taken from:

 Nice. Whatever it is or was isn't something we will probably find out this side of heaven. Still, it's pretty cool to know that Unicorns are mentioned in the Bible. IT MADE MY DAY!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Life's Mortifying Moments

I've had some whoppers when it comes to mortify-ingly embarrassing moments, many of which, I just flat out REFUSE to share on the blog-o-sphere. Today, however, I had a pretty horrible/awkward/mortifying moment that I just have to share!

My son is used to my crazy antics. Singing and dancing around the house, making goofy faces, and just being silly. He has pretty much seen it all from me putting spaghetti noodles in my hair just to see if he notices to making strange smoothies and seeing how long it takes me to chug it. Basically, my son often has a big kid for a mother...which has many benefits. I am a stickler on manners, respect, hard work and doing your best, but I also like to have a good time with the kiddos just goofing off with them.

 Officially my son saw me do the craziest thing today which tops MY PERSONAL chart of Mortifying Moments (Yup, I have a chart!!). Awkward/Mortifying moment of the day: While doing sit-ups in my bathroom floor--naked-- before hopping into the shower, my son walks in!!! I'm blushing right now!! HORRIBLE MOMENT! Fortunately, BY THE GRACE OF GOD, my scream seemed to blur his vision which miraculously allowed me time to grab a towel! 

He said, "Um, Mom...what are you doing?"  The smarty pants in me wanted to say "Trying to fix what you and your sister did to my stomach," but I figured that was not only rude, and unloving to say but would probably result in intense therapy later in his life. Instead, I just stuttered, finally able to spit out, "I'm exercising."  "That's weird, Mom," was all I got in reply. Nice. 

Any Mortifying Moments you all care to share??

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

God & Science, BFF's

Image from:
During my high school years, I remember hearing rumors of picketing parents outside of schools all up in arms about the Theory of Evolution being taught in their child's Biology class. This theory, and much of what Science has to offer, seems to have many Christian's fuming hotter than their torches. I say, "Put down those torches...Science isn't an ogre!" Our faith doesn't have to be bullied by Science and its theories.

God KNOWS science and it doesn't offend Him! Science only proves the existence God. As we seek to learn more about creation, life, elements etc., it only makes us more in awe of our Creator! Everything we see, touch, smell, and hear around us screams "I have an incredible creator." His fingerprints are on all of creation! Why not study science? It's just another way of getting to know the God we were made to know.

A great friend of mine, Purdue University Professor, Erica Carlson--Condensed Matter Physicist & Part Time Apologetics Fanatic (That is my title for her, lol), explains creation and other "things" from a Biblical, Scientific point of view that will ROCK your world! Listen to Erica's podcasts by clicking here and feel free to share them with your friends and family. Even though Erica is ridiculously smart, she is able to explain all of this "sciencie stuff" in a way that is easy to grasp. After listening, I found myself even more in amazed by God...and more aware of how BIG and POWERFUL and GENIUS He is!

Wanna hear more about God and Science shaking hands? Check out

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

General Petraeus Sex Scandal

Scandal, scandal! Yet another Political Sex Scandal! 

Pic taken from
Why does this shock me? Why does this shock us, America?  It’s no news that Washington has a history of Sex Scandals dating back to…well…since the VERY BEGINNING! Sex Scandals have written history! David and Bathsheba, anyone? Samson and Delilah, ring a bell? JFK and the voluptuous Marilyn Monroe. Even Benjamin Franklin had his share of mistresses!  I could go on and on!  I could also dive into the psychology of an affair, but I won’t…not today at least, the point is, infidelity has been rocking our world since pretty much the dawn of man.

I think our feathers are all in a ruffle over General Petraeus’ infidelity because we expect MORE from our leaders. Fair or not, our leaders—Political and Spiritual—are held to a higher standard. We TRUST them to always do the right thing! An Officer leads by example, and I am sorry to say, but his example is crippling. Our soldiers and their families have been stretched to the limit, many families have already crumbled under the weight of this war, and the last thing we need to hear about is the World’s Greatest General crumbling his own life.

As an Army wife, this whole thing makes me sick, and my heart goes out to the General’s family. Although my inner redneck woman would like to take a frying pan to the General, my heart hurts for him too. He is, after all, just a man…someone who sins like everyone else. Sin is a funny thing…it’s a very selfish thing ‘cause we never consider who all will be casualties of the crossfire.  I will be praying for Mrs. Petraeus, the General, his children, and for an uprising of moral leaders in our country on the political and spiritual spectrum.  

Click to read last week's Q and A with Author Joanne Bischof author of Be Still My Soul, which has some scandal in it as well! Blush, blush! lol :) Really, it's not that scandalous or I wouldn't have read it!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Q and A with Author Joanne Bischof

Please welcome our wonderfully fabulous guest, Author and friend, Mrs. Joanne Bischof! (The crowd goes wild! I can't hear!! The applause sounds like stampeding buffalo--as if any anyone now knows what that sounds like, lol). 

Joanne, thank you for joining me on my blog, and taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer my prying questions! I appreciate you! Joanne is debut author who just released her novel, Be Still My Soul--a fabulous study worthy must read! Click here to read the rave review!

Without further a due, welcome Mrs. Bischof!

1: When did you begin writing, and what do you love most about being an Author?
I began writing when I was little. The first story I can remember was one I wrote in third grade. I was in love with the written word. The best part about it was that my parents really encouraged me in that area. If it was my passion, they were just as excited about it. I love writing. I love creating characters and getting to know them—their passions, fears and their struggles and hopes. My favorite thing about being an author is connecting with people. I love to talk books and characters and whenever I get a note from a reader who was touched or blessed by one of my stories—it’s one of the greatest moments. And it’s never about me…I’m so glad that I write stories about God’s love. I think that is something people can get excited about.

2: Can you give a little insight on your journey to publication? How did it all start? What was the process?
 It was when I had the three books that make up the Cadence of Grace series finished that I first began querying agents. I queried over a dozen, and while many passed, a few of them hitched their door open, wanting to see more. One of those agents was Sandra Bishop with MacGregor Literary. I sent her the manuscript. I heard back that she liked what she had read and had an editor in mind. It was one of those pinch me moments. We worked on my proposal, submitted it and then waited.
As the proposal went further down the line, passing through the different levels of consideration, I got more and more nervous and more and more excited! I spent a lot of time praying and talking with God—the waiting wasn’t easy, a year to be exact, but He was with me the whole time, teaching me lessons about patience and faith that I wouldn’t have learned any other way. The manuscript headed to pub board which is where the BIG decision happens. The editorial team gets together with sales, marketing, and top decision makers and they basically negotiate over your proposal. I remember the day it went. I was SO nervous the whole day. A while later, I got the call from my agent. That year of waiting ended with a 3-book contract from WaterBrook Multnomah. It was an incredible moment.

3: How has becoming an Author changed your life? Your faith?
Probably the biggest way it’s changed my life is that it’s brought me out of my shell. I’m a super shy person and being an author has changed that. And I’m so glad! I realize now how much of life could have passed me by if I’d always been too shy to step out of my comfort zone. I love interacting with readers, chatting books and characters and just getting to know them as people. I think this has impacted my faith in the same way. It’s made me little bit braver and a little bit bolder. All for the sake of spreading the word about who God is and what He can do.

4: What inspired you to write Be Still My Soul?
As the idea for Be Still My Soul took seed, it unfolded to be a love story between two mismatched people—a marriage between a shy, innocent girl with a strong faith, and a cocky, confident bluegrass musician who hasn’t given God much thought. By throwing them together in a shotgun wedding, I wondered how their story would unfold. Could true love rise from the ashes of broken hopes? This was the question I asked myself as Lonnie and Gideon’s journey began. I love a good happy ending (and a good romance) so this couple provided a few additional challenges for me!

5: Many Authors use personal experiences in their writing. With that said, are there any instances in Be Still My Soul in which you can relate to personally?
Most definitely. Like Lonnie, the biggest one is probably being married to a man who had little regard for God. It was a difficult time in my life but God was with us each step of the way and I am so INCREDIBLY excited to say that just over a year ago, my husband accepted the Lord as his Savior and has never looked back. It’s been an amazing time of growing closer to the Lord together as a family and I know now that God uses the trials in our lives to make us stronger and draw us closer to Him.

6: Readers will LOVE Be Still My Soul—I know I can speak for them! When they read it, and love it, what message do you hope they receive from this captivating novel?
When faced with a difficult situation God is always ready and waiting to be our strength. I hope that readers will take away a peace that God works in all situations. The scripture I’ve based the series around is 1 Peter 5:10, and I chose it because it’s a great reminder that we are never alone on this journey called life. Through the ups and downs, God is there and His mighty plan is at hand.

 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. (1 Peter 5:10)

7: Tell us a little about yourself!
·         Favorite hobbies: Gardening, cooking and baking, music and singing (but the last time I sang in the car, my kids started howling. Maybe I’ll stick to my other hobbies) ;)
·         Describe your “best day ever:” Probably one of my best days was just recently. It was the day Be Still My Soul released, but it was ALSO our anniversary. My husband and I had a plan to go to the bookstores and see the book on shelves…but it wasn’t in stock yet. I was kind of sad and my hubby, being the guy that he is, decided he would spend the rest of the day making me laugh. We had so much fun!
·         Dessert you find impossible to say no to: Chocolate. Any kind of chocolate. Especially if it’s combined with cheesecake. I’m a goner.
·         Dream vacation: I would absolutely love to go to Scotland. I’ve had the joy of touring England, Ireland and Wales on a 10 day trip and absolutely love that part of the world. Scotland is on the top of my bucket list and I would love to bring my husband.
·         Three most important things in your life, in order of top priority: God, my family and afternoons spent writing while listening to good music and eating chocolate. (I just snuck in 5 didn’t I?) J

8: What advice would you give aspiring authors?
The good news is, you don’t have to have a degree in English or Literature to become a writer. As a stay at home mommy who never went to college, there are some things that have helped me on my journey: being part of a critique group, going to conferences, and reading great fiction have helped me in my writing.
Also, above all else, enjoy the journey. Often times, the path to publication is not an easy one. I’ve been on this road for years and I know many others have as well. I’ve learned more during this process than I ever expected. At times, it was easy to get discouraged and just when I felt maybe nothing was going to ever happen, God carried me through a valuable lesson because His timing is perfect.

9: Can the world of novels expect to be hearing from you again soon? Would you be so kind as give hints as to what we can expect?
There is more to come! Starting this spring with Though My Heart is Torn and then the third book in the Cadence of Grace series will arrive next fall. All three books follow Lonnie and Gideon and their love story. Let’s see….a hint ;) Here is an excerpt from the upcoming book, Though My Heart is Torn. It’s a scene between our hero and heroine:

Clearing his throat, he voiced her name. It fell from his lips like sweet honey. Would he ever have a reason to say her name again? Perhaps he would have to whisper it in the silent places of his heart to keep himself from losing his mind. They continued walking and Gideon waited until he had her attention. He longed for her forgiveness, but that seemed selfish. He focused instead on bringing her peace.

10: Any parting thoughts, comments, etc. you would like to add for your viewers?
I just want to thank your readers for being here and for the opportunity to get to meet them. Each new name and face is a blessing to me! And I really want to add what a joy it has been to get to know you, Hannah. Your fun review of Be Still My Soul stole my attention that day and it’s been so fun to get to know you ever since. Praying for your family and your precious soldier overseas!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

God at the Voting Booth

Oh MY-LANTA! Was anyone at Hilldale Baptist Church this morning to hear Bro. Larry lay the smack down on what God thinks about the Presidential election? Whew! I'm sweating right now just thinking back on it! I was all fidgety waiting for some kind of outburst, lol. Seriously, I did not hear one Amen during the sermon, lol...I think we all feared a political riot! 

 Don't get me wrong, IT WAS A GREAT SERMON, AND FULL OF TRUTH, but when you talk politics and religion at the same time...well, let's just say I'm sure some pacemakers in that sanctuary were fluttering!  Bro. Larry was on FI-YA today! Sizzzzzlllle!

Highlights from the Sermon:
*God doesn't pick political sides...He is his own side (That kinda sounds like a Chuck Norris joke)
*God cares about all things, but who is in office is not going to change the fact that He is in control and still has a plan that can't be thwarted
*The outcome of elections gives us a glimpse of what the heart of America really looks like, and it's not a pretty sight right now
*What if Christians voted for Biblical values instead of their political party.

I've tried to live my life by making decisions based on what Jesus would do...and no I never wore a WWJD bracelet, or maybe I did in middle school, but in my defense, they were cool then.  Being a follower of Jesus is more than just saying you believe in him-- it's how you live, act, and talk that shows you are believer--and this applies to me even when I am in the polling booth. When it comes to voting, believers should vote for God and the things He stands for. Don't be silly, God's name isn't on the ballot, but we can vote for the person that represents the things that God has already voted for--note that I am about to steal my notes from Bro. Larry's sermon today.

These are the things that God has already voted for--the things He represents, and so should we as followers of Christ.
1: Protecting the lives of our unborn children. Abortion is a hot button topic, but God is clear on this. All life is sacred, and the killing of innocent unborn children is unacceptable.
2: The sanctity of marriage. God is very specific on how He designed marriage to be--between one man and one woman, and for our society to try to redefine what marriage means only leads us down a path we shouldn't go.
3: Religious liberty. God gives free will...we have the God-given right to accept or reject our creator, and our religious freedom is protected under the 1st Amendment.   However our religious freedom is being threatened...not cool.
4: God has already voted on Israels sovereignty. A nation that allies with Israel is wise...they are God's chosen and He says "I will bless those that bless you and curse those that curse you." I'm not into being cursed.

When we vote on Tues, let's vote for the candidate that supports the things God has already voted for. I know the choice can be difficult, confusing and down right frustrating, but pray about it. Ask God to give you wisdom when you dive into the polling booth on Tuesday (and I'm sure that means you will vote for the same person I am voting JOKING! :) )

Friday, November 2, 2012

Show Some Lunch Box Lovin'

Who doesn't enjoy receiving a sweet note from someone you love? 

I will give kudos to my hubby who is fantastic when it comes to surprising me with thoughtful written words hidden in places he knows I will see--like a secret message on the bathroom mirror that only shows up from the shower steam, or a card on the kitchen counter waiting for me when I wake up. Ugh, thinking about how wonderful he is makes me miss him even more. Boo to war and deployments! Anyway...little thinking of you/I love you/You are Great notes can definitely add a pep in your step, and when given to your child, that note can really say even more than you ever thought!

I have made it a goal to put a little note in my son's lunch box each time I pack it for him. Sometimes I draw a funny little cartoon with a message. Sometimes I write a thank you note for something he did for me or around the house that I noticed. Sometimes I make a list of all the wonderful things about him. Sometimes I make up a silly poem about how great he is. Sometimes I make up a "to be continued lunchroom saga napkin story," lol. I just want to make him smile throughout the day. I want him to know he is special and wonderful, and appreciated.

I know it's just a lunchbox note, BUT if I for some reason forget to include that handwritten sentiment in his lunch, he is quick to ask me why I forgot--which tells me that it's SO MUCH MORE than JUST a "lunchbox note."

I would love to hear all of the creative ways you say "I love you" to your kiddos. :)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Things I Thought I Would NEVER Say...or hear!

My Little Angels :)  Yes, She is Screaming.

Motherhood! That says it all! lol :). With my hubby deployed right now I have been a little more tense than usual, and definitely more absentminded--which is saying something. Solo parenting is a tough field to plow, and some days I feel like I would actually rather be plowing a field than in the home where things can be intense/crazy/hectic/nonstop! I need to laugh more; I need to step back from the situation at hand and find the humor in it, and believe me, there is A LOT to laugh about. 

There are things in life you never think you would hear yourself say. There are things you never think that you will hear. Parenthood has a way of introducing you to these things, and these things are SOME SERIOUS KINDS OF FUNNY! I mean, TOTALLY  TV HIT SERIES's just trying to remember that they are funny while you are in the moment.

Moments when I need to remember that "it's funny."
*When my two year old daughter runs to the breakfast table naked AGAIN, and I say "Remember, we don't come to the table naked."  Five hours later..."Sweetheart...We don't answer the door naked."  In the evening..."You don't climb into the dryer don't climb into the dryer ever, and just remember to always keep your clothes on."
* After my son's two hour long football practice and I am frazzled from chasing my daughter, on the verge of starving and my son runs up while my hands are full of stuff and starts loudly begging, "Can I please, please, PLEASE, grab the flashlight and hunt for Big Foot tonight?"  My tired response..."Not tonight son...Big Foot can wait." I'm sure everyone thinks we are freaks lol.
* It's bedtime and I am wiped out and my son says "Mom! My butt is thundering!!" What does that even mean?? My response, "Let me know if it begins to lightning."
* It's bedtime and my son says "Mom! My butt is dry and I can't stand it!" What does THAT mean? I tell him to shower better, text my mother-in-law regarding my son's "issue" and she texts back saying "put Vaseline on it...he probably has some potpie stuck in there that he missed."  Potpie? REALLY? HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Oh autocorrect, you're sooooo silly!!! :) Ok, so I laughed at that situation like on the spot!

It's apparent that my son has a lot of strange things to say regarding his cute little tush, lol. I won't even begin to go into all of the crazy embarrassing, but hilarious, anatomy questions he has been coming up with lately!! Btw, Lifeway Christian Bookstore has FABULOUS books on puberty and other related topics.

Summing it's funny what I never thought about saying or hearing, and I pray that I remember to keep in mind how funny it all really is when it seems too much to handle at the time.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Debate Anyone??

Yes, yes, last night was the final Presidential Debate and let me say that it was not as interesting as the second one.If it were to come to a boxing match--which I know we have all imagined--I think Romney may be able to take Obama. Call me sick and twisted, but I was totally looking forward to seeing the candidates go at it, but nada!   I'm sorry to have to announce that SNL is not going to have much ammo to work with in  recreating this debate in skit form. Side note--SNL's version of all things political brings great joy to my life! :) 

I love a good debate better than the next person. Really though, a debate is just a fancy word for "arguing," and arguing can be fun, ONLY if the other person you are arguing with understands that the argument is just all in fun--that's why there are Debate Teams, which I totally should have been a part of!

Debates/Arguments are SOOOO appealing! What is it about my nature that wants to scream "Uh,UH, you're wrong?" When I was a little girl my Momma would say, "You would argue with Jesus himself," and I would reply "No I wouldn't!" with my hands on my hips.  Lol--I was a defiant little blond headed child. Now I'm a defiant fake-brunette-headed adult.

The sky is blue. "Well, actually it's Robin Egg Blue!" The grass is green. "What shade of green because that depends on the kind of grass it is?" Slavery was the cause of the Civil War. "Actually that is not was a BIG cause but not the sole cause." I  feel the need to argue! It feels good to argue! It feels even BETTER to win an argument! What is wrong with me? 

I don't think I am alone...I KNOW I am not alone! People want to be right. Why do you think game shows have been on TV forever?? They jump at the chance to prove they are right! I'm going to argue (lol) that our need to be right stems from selfishness--putting ourselves before another so we can look better, feel better, and THINK we are better. The Bible has a whole lot to say about quarrelsome people and's humbling and if I had a tail I would tuck it. This past year God has been working with me on my need to argue, to be right and I'm learning to just let it go. I'm a work in progress...

Titus 3: 9-11: But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Deployment Bucketlist

Deployment Bucket List: UPDATED :) 

Disclaimer: I had to write a few things on the list that I have already done to make me feel more productive--I know you totally do that too! ;)

1: Organize the Garage  Um...I may need to do that again
2: Organize Laundry Area
3: Organize Top of the Fridge
4: Paint Kid's Rooms (And add shelving...)
5: Paint Our Master Bath  (Need to figure what design) Got a brain cramp trying to figure out what color
6: Clean Carpets (Or just pray for them)
7: Redecorate Master Bedroom
8: Start a Bible Study
9: Stencil the Book Shelf in the Living Room...and the one in our bedroom Not
10: Spend Saturday's Playing with the Kids and creating an awesome Pinterest craft/game idea!
11: Take the Kid's Somewhere AWESOME for Spring Break  With the Fam in Ohio!!
12: Camp Out in the Living Room with the Kiddo's at least once a month   Did that like 4 times!!
13: Learn How to Sew It's just sad how bad I am...I should get a sewing machine to help me :) 
14: Figure Out Which Pinterest Crafts I Want to Do and Then Schedule Time to Do It!
15: Get a Pedicure or Massage Once a Month  um...nope...that was a lofty dream, huh?
16: Go See a Movie With No Kids With Me
17: Organize Emergency/Important Papers in the Firebox
18: Clean Out Kid's Closets
19: Make Chalkboard for the Kitchen          It looks so cute!
20: Create and Area for the Kid's Artwork      Did it! 
21: Stencil Wall in Living Room  Almost done...sorta...maybe soon...I think???
22: Create a Workout Routine
23: Finish Family Yearbooks on Snapfish, but there's still time
24: Pay off Student Loans!! Woohoo! (I'm so taking a pic of my smiling face with the last payment in my hand!)  ALMOST...soon!!
25: Volunteer more in the community I did! :) 
26: Have Dad teach me how to build stuff...gotta learn if I am gonna be a Pinterest Pro  Kinda did that
27: Go out of my way to encourage others (a good reason to hit up )
28: Finish Reading the 5 Love Languages for Kids and begin to fluently speak my kiddo's love language
29: Pray Psalm 91 over my husband and his men every night  Did it, still doing it...won't stop doing it!
30: Clean car thoroughly!
31: Keep my car nice and tidy (yeah..that's gonna be a hard one...but I'm on my way!)  Sorta doing's kind of a work in progress

Sunday, October 7, 2012

My First Court Appearance

I had my first court appearance nearly two weeks ago--it's taken me this long to blog about it 'cause frankly I was totally embarrassed! The whole thing was a misunderstanding really. 

Here's the story: my driver's license was apparently suspended--stop judging me, it was an accident; I didn't know, honestly! Literally the first week I had moved to Tennessee I got a ticket for pulling a U-Turn, in and area that totally did not have a sign posted saying that I couldn't pull a U-ey! Not fair! So...I got a ticket, forgot to pay it on time because I am a crazy Mom/Army Wife/Community Volunteer, and the great state of Kentucky suspended my license. Upon hearing this news, I quickly paid the ticket and thought life was peachy once more, UNTIL my wreck happened over a month ago. Yes, yes...hearing that you have been driving on a suspended license after you have just been in a car wreck is pretty devastating and pretty much a big bunch of horrible. Visions of jail-time flashed before me and I literally burst in to tears all but begging the officer not to arrest me or at least let me call someone to come get my daughter. Fortunately, Mr. Policeman was MUY BIEN nice, and just gave me a court date saying "You HAVE to appear!" in a crazy deep voice.

So I appeared. I rehearsed my story to present to the judge. I printed out a copy of my driving history proving that my license had been reinstated--I had to pay the great state of KY $40 to get my license activated again; $40!! Can you believe that? Do you know how many Chai Tea Lattes I could have indulged myself with for $40?  Ten! That's how many! So...back to my story.  I dressed in my court best, placed paper towels underneath my armpits to absorb the nervous sweat--I sweat like a beast when I'm nervous-- and walked into my first court room. It was a humbling and somewhat crushing feeling. I sat on a bench with other "offenders." Ugh...I felt criminal! Names were called. The people rose and stood in a line to await their moment in front of the Judge. Not only was I embarrassed to be there, but I was embarrassed for the people as the judge read aloud each person's offense. His voice boomed--he could have at least whispered.  "Drug charges," "domestic violence," "DUI, "violating parole " and a few driving violations. The Judge's word was sovereign--no one dared to argue with his sentence, or to speak when he was speaking. They were careful to address him as "sir" or "your honor."  Respect--it's what he demanded and what he received. 

I couldn't help but to be nervous! This man had the power to change my life for the worst! My name was called--that's a sinking feeling. I stood in line, waiting, sweating, rehearsing what I was going to say to make the Judge understand that this had all been a misunderstanding, and that's when the thought hit me. One day I will stand in front of God...we will all stand before Him--The Supreme Judge who demands honor, and who is worthy of all honor. Will my knees be knocking? Will I be preparing my excuses and explanations? No matter what the explanation, what the excuse, the truth would be, just like the truth was standing in front of this very human judge, was that I was guilty. No explanation changes the fact that I was guilty, and there will be no excuse for me, but one.  When I stand in front of God, guilty of breaking His laws, the only thing that will save me is Jesus. As He reads aloud what I have been accused of and asks me how I plead, I can say "Not guilty, only because of the blood of Jesus."

However, on this day, I wasn't in front of God, and when the Judge read my charge and asked how I pleaded, I had no one else to cover my hiney and I had to say "Guilty, your honor." He asked if I had handled the situation. I assured him I had, and then he just dismissed me as he called the next name. I stood, frozen for a second, expecting something else--advice, a wave, "don't do it again," something! This whole scenario played out in seriously under 60 seconds! I had just been judged and SET FREE! I had been dismissed! While I was completely elated, I couldn't help but feel for those who had not been as fortunate as I. There were others who would be spending many months and years in jail for their crime, and I couldn't help but wonder if they were believers. Who would reach them with the hope of Christ? Did they commit their crimes because they had no hope? How can I share the hope that I have with them?

I left the courthouse that day with a different perspective of God and a hearty dose of great respect for Him. My view of "criminals" had been altered too. Walking out of the courtroom doors, I found a place to discretely throw the soggy, sweat soaked paper towels under my armpits away, and pondered how I could make an impact of those are behind bars. Any suggestions? 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Must Read: Be Still My Soul by Joanne Bischof

Be Still My Soul, Cadence of Grace Series #1   -     
        By: Joanne Bischof
Not that I have loads of time to just sit down and read at will, but I'm telling you, this book was worth the effort I took to find the time to read it!  I give Joanne Bischof's debut novel, Be Still My Soul a two thumbs up!

Through no fault of her own, Lonnie Sawyer has experienced many hard knocks in her short 17 years. Perhaps the most difficult hard knock to bounce back from was the unexpected and not at all desired/forced marriage between the town's "playboy,"  Gideon O'Reilly. Oh (I say shaking my index finger), but we Christians know that God works in the most mysterious ways, and the things others had  intended to harm us are the exact things God uses to bring about good! Beautifully written--the words create vivid scenarios that unfold before you at the turn of each page. The story, well, quite simply--it's captivating! I found myself staying up a little longer than I should have just to read a few extra pages, and of course I had to sacrifice a few mounds of clothes waiting to be folded, but it was essential that I finish! You will fall in love with Lonnie (and Gideon), and watch love grow in the least likely of places! Joanne Bischof, well done! When is the next book coming out?


 "I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review."

The Theme of Your Life & Writers Conference Take-Away
A Captive Impsoter by Dawn Crandall: Book Review! 
A Fighting Faith: Justified War from a Biblical Perspective

Hannah Conway is a military wife, mother of two, and speaker. Her novels are a deployment experience of their own, threaded with faith, and filled with twists and turns sure to thrill, and encourage. Hannah is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and My book Therapy. She and her family live in Tennessee

A / IBook /BN / K )
CLICK the Links Below The Image to Download Your eCopy of WEDDING A WARRIOR

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Once Upon a Time--Sounds A Lot Like A Bible Story To Me!

Once Upon A Time

With the onset of Fall brings back dearly missed sitcoms--one of which, Once Upon a Time, is being welcomed back with open arms. Yes, there are nay-sayers who would like to make fun of this show and to you I say, YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE MISSING!

I don't completely understand the psychology of a good lure, but somehow, someway, this show has it. Yes, Yes, I know these are just retold fairy tale stories, but still--it's captivating!  Hulu and I have a date on Monday evening after I read the spoiler alerts after it has premiered on Sunday.

Maybe it's just me, but I can't help but notice how the story line parallels The Greatest Story Ever Told--that being the story of Jesus of course. Before you skip to the next blog, hear me out. Think about it for a second. Once upon a time an evil witch (the evil queen) casts a curse on the entire earth; no one was exempt and there was only one way out (the enchanted tree), and the one who made it out (Emma Swan) would one day return to bring the curse and free the people. Now! Seriously! Tell me that doesn't sound just a little spiritual to you! Let me break it down: Once upon a time sin entered the world destroying everything in its path; no one was exempt, but there was one way out--Jesus. By dying on the cross He created a way out for those willing to believe and follow him, and He too will one day return for His people and put the curse and the one who cast it in its rightful place. 

No kidding, this same message is found in most noteworthy books and movies. Like Harry Potter. There are some seriously spiritual concepts in that movie (way too many to touch on here). Star Wars has many Biblical truths,  even Twilight dances with the spiritual idea of a war within oneself---the good versus evil struggle that the Bible clearly hits on as we as believers struggle with the things we should and shouldn't do. Most successful stories have a problem and a hero who sacrifices to provide a solution. It's like this universal truth in storytelling and I honestly believe it's God's way of revealing His story to us in anyway He can. We relate to stories...maybe that's why Jesus spoke in parables....hmm...perhaps the movies and books we read today are like modern day parables.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Hello Fall! My How I've Missed You!

Please applaud for the beginning of Fall! Summer will be missed; we said our goodbyes with a commemorative Sonic Happy Hour Half Off slushy and then embraced the Fall Season with a hot cup of apple cider! 

Saturday--the debut of Fall--was beautiful! The air, the sky, the breeze! Completely ideal for Fall's first appearance! I Watched a little Jr. Pro Football followed by a family trip to the pumpkin patch at Riverview Mounds Farm. If you live in the Clarksville, TN area, YOU HAVE TO VISIT Riverview Mounds! Lots of fun to be had by all! Yes, my inner child was released as I heehawed at the donkeys, gobbled at a turkey, went down the pipe slide--a little too fast I might add, conquered a wall of tires, and attempted to win a walk & roll pipe race (I totally should have won...the kid beside me totally cheated...everyone knew it!). My kids and I could have stayed all day...we may just do that next Saturday! Looking around the farm got me thinking "I could do this! I could own a pumpkin patch one day, set up an awesome barn and host amazing family fun activities!" I think I'm going to add "Own a farm/pumpkin patch" to my bucket list!

So Saturday was a fantastically fun family day! Best day ever! Picture perfect! So perfect, it made me wanna take the back roads! So after the Jr. Pro Football game and trip to the farm,  I loaded up the kids and we drove those winding Tennessee roads with our windows down until I found a gravel drive....:) ....then drove a little further just to enjoy the sound of the gravel underneath my tires--one of the greatest sounds on earth.

Oh Fall! How I love thee...let me count the ways! 1...2...3...88...99...150...WAY TOO MANY TO's just a few reason Fall is amazing:

The Beautiful Trees, the falling and rustling of the leaves! The crisp cool wind, and the pumpkin desserts that seem to have no end! Hayrides, Hot Chocolate, S'mores...and Pumpkin Chai Lattes galore! Flannel and Fleece to keep us warm, while the fragrant scents of pear and apple fill our home! A little bit of football, some tailgating too; Welcome Fall, We have missed you!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Forgive me Lord...I killed a caterpillar...

Did I even spell caterpillar correctly? I think so 'cause it's not showing up on auto-correct--which I have a love hate relationship with currently. My hubby sent me a text the other night that said "I love you sweet feet." Um...okay?? What? Immediately after that text he sent another saying "Hahahaha, auto-correct. I meant sweet cheeks!"  Nice! :) It was good for a laugh. Oh're so silly! Anyway, life seems to be handing our family a lot of lemons lately...good thing I have an amazing recipe for lemonade! It's been a week today since my cousin committed suicide, and this morning I got a phone call from my hubby's Aunt informing me that Oma (my husband's grandmother) had passed away. My stomach just knotted up at the news and OF COURSE Stephen is gone right now...ugh...delivering bad news over the phone is just awful! On the bright side, it looks like he will be able to come home for the funeral....I just wish he was coming home for a happier occasion.

Emotionally, this week has been exhausting! Death makes you think of, well,...death...all death...your death...the death of loved ones. It makes you wonder who you will see in heaven...and it makes you wonder who won't be there. I've been thinking a lot this week on the concept of "once saved, always saved," meaning that once you have asked Jesus into your heart that you can never lose your salvation. I believe that...but the real question is, "Was the person saved in the first place?" A Christian's life should show evidence of their salvation...TOTALLY NOT TO SAY we are perfect...we mess up (I mess up all of the when I spaz on my kids or when I  killed that caterpillar out of anger--I will tell that story in a sec). It's a misconception to think we can say we are a Christian, ask Jesus into our hearts and then live like the world....but people do it all of the time....and if that's the case, we need to check ourselves to make sure what we have is the real thing and not settling for some knock-off.

Because this week has been so strenuous I have forced myself to find humor in the daily happenings of life this week...bare with me, and at least pretend to smile--it will make me feel better :)
* A caterpillar murdered my beautiful bell pepper plant, so naturally, I waged war on the critter. I am usually an advocate of caterpillars 'cause I love butterflies, but this little sucker picked on the wrong person's garden and met his maker. I felt guilty after killing him and seriously asked for forgiveness, lol...I'm so silly.
* I learned how to sort of, kind of, put football gear on my son after several attempts of shoving his head into the helmet with so many fails that ended with him shouting "MY EARS ARE COMING OFF!" All of the other parents were laughing at me on the inside...I could totally tell; OR they were about to call child protective services on me...
*My daughter successfully learned to take her diaper off...and in the most random of places--football practice, during dinner, nap time. The girl is a real Houdini! Oh what fun, lol. Yesterday, as I crammed my son into his football gear (at home this time to escape the view of other parents), my daughter ran around the living room with her bare bottom showing and diaper in hand. I had to stop and laugh...a few hours later.
* Any story that starts with "I was in the bathroom when..." is going to be awkward, so just know that duck waddling to get toilet paper so happened this week!

Since laughter is the best medicine...I'm trying to find it in huge doses right now! :)

Monday, September 10, 2012


It's been over a week since I've written! Ugh, life gets crazy, and this past week took the cake. Labor Day weekend was amazing! Stephen and I danced our weekend away at a cousin's wedding in Alabama, and spent some quality time with family we don't see that often. Tuesday came...back to school...laundry...back to the routine of things. Stephen rolled out around 3a.m on Wednesday morning....goodbyes are always hard. Church Wednesday night, get the kids in bed, take a hot bath...the phone rings around 10pm...nothing good really comes out of a phone call that late. The news, as I had expected, was literally Earth shattering. My cousin had committed suicide...on his birthday.

He was only 25, and he left our family in a lot of pain, and with too many unanswered questions. Just when I think I can't cry anymore, the tears come again...I can't help but wish I had reached out to him. Maybe sent a card or cookies occasionally. Of course I smiled at him, and hugged him at family events, made small chat...but I never took the time to really get to know him, it's sad to admit. It makes me wonder if he knew I cared. Do my other family members know how much I care? Do those around me know how much I care? I want to live my life intentionally...intentionally positively impacting's what God made me to do.

This whole situation is sad. I keep thinking that it didn't have to end this way...that God had great plans for his life. He was more than what he was feeling at the moment he took his life.  I also keep thinking about my Aunt and Uncle...I can't stop seeing their pain, and was...indescribable, almost unending, like it engulfed them. It was hard to witness. It was hard to stand there knowing you could do nothing but be there and pray that being there helped them out in some way. I would have given anything to make their hurt stop.

I wonder if they will ever sleep again, eat without feeling nauseated...dream pleasant dreams...will they ever be able to smile again, and then I think of how much God loves them, and I know that somehow, someway, someday, they are going to be okay.  I know we serve a good God, and while this situation is not good, He will make good come from it. Right now, I pray God keeps my Aunt and Uncle and Cousins close to Him...that they will very much feel His comforting presence, that He will give them rest, and that this situation will draw them close to Him.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Resiliency...Army Wives Know That Word....

Ugh, Stephen leaves next week...the deployment begins. I knew it was coming, but it was still weeks away, and now it's a week away. :(. We had our pre-deployment briefing not long ago...nothing much new, same 'ole info for the most part, but I thought I might lose it if I heard the word "resilient," one more time. Yes, yes, resiliency is key to surviving in the Army/Military and basically life, but all I kept picturing in my head to conceptualize resiliency was that clown punching bag from my childhood that kept coming back for more after I  know I totally knocked that thing senseless....not a fun image...kind of frustrating actually. So I guess our family is like the clown punching bag now, and the deployment is the punch that keeps us "resilient?" That analogy just doesn't sit well with me, so I've been trying to think of other analogies to help me process the concept more thoroughly....   

Resiliency is like the elastic in my underwear that is able to miraculously go back to its original shape after each washing. LOL, well, that's true for at least some of my others, well, they need prayer.

Resiliency is like continuing to wear a pair of fabulously amazing high heels because they make you look awesome even though each step makes you cringe with pain. I totally did that on Sunday--thought I was dying!

Resiliency is like my beautiful begonias that continue to bloom against all odds--a drought, and our dog who has made my flower garden his urinal.

Resiliency is like the first batch of cookies I ever made--tough, refusing to crumble even after multiple attempts to be eaten.

So if I put these analogies together it means, basically, that if I'm resilient I am rolling with the punches, stretched--but never too far, looking amazing even when it hurts, blooming in the least likely of conditions, and too tough to crumble. Hmm...I guess being resilient isn't so reminds me of 2 Corinthians 4:8-10:

We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

Now that's RESILIENCY!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Kids can

I've started a Bible Study on Romans...well let's say that I've been attempting to start a Bible Study in Romans. No kidding, I have been up an hour earlier every morning this week--with my cup of Tazo Awake Tea (so amazing)--Bible open, ready to dig in, and guess what happened each day? Oh yes, all of you moms out there know what happened--the kids woke up! Of course they did! Surprised? I shouldn't have been! How do they sense when my slumbering has ceased, and why do they feel the need to notify me so loudly when they wake up? Oh, the joyous mystery of children! 

Thinking ahead, I decided to have all of my Bible Study materials handy by my bedside ahead of time, so when morning came I wouldn't even have to get out of bed--they would never hear me when I woke up! Genius idea--in theory only. I'm pretty positive children--or at least my kiddos--have some freakishly in tune, highly sensitive ability to know when their parents are awake, and when to interrupt at pretty important/busy times. To prove my case in point, please consider the following two scenarios among many:

* While on the toilet, little hands appear under the door.  One kid attacks the other and you hear "Mom I need your help," but reply "I'm not much help on the toilet right now," or something along the lines of "Can't I go potty in peace." Ugh, yes, I say potty--you do too, admit it. :( lol.

* While you are on the phone your children decide to throw an epic tantrum, thus creating the worst background noise known to man, and you half threaten them with a sweet tone so you don't sound evil to the person on the other end of the line.

Kids just somehow know how to push our buttons when we have our hands full, when we are tired, when are busy, and sometimes it can be downright frustrating. As I was sorting through through the frustration of being unable to get through my Bible Study, the thought occurred to me that my kids are probably not trying to be "disruptions." They just want to be with me...they want my attention. They actually like me. They like me so much that I am the first person they want to run and see in the mornings (smile), and that makes me feel pretty good. So, I've decided that instead of just closing up shop on my Bible Study time when they wake up, I will include them! We can all  learn about Romans together, which will either be a great experience or enough to make them stay in bed until their alarm goes off, lol.