Sunday Dinner


Sunday is special.  It is the Sabbath for some where we are to take a day of rest, remember this day, and keep it holy.  It’s a day of family.  Family leads me to tradition.  Where would we be without tradition?  Honoring old promises a legacy.  Creating new adds diversity and is necessary in our dynamic world of go go go.

Sunday Dinner (which on all other days of the week, I would call it lunch—weird, uh?) was an event of tradition when I was growing up.  My Grandma Lee would cook the most amazing food your mouth had ever experienced from her fruitful garden every single Sunday after church.  There was always enough for all of us and anyone else who wanted to join.  From buttered potatoes, roast with the most perfect gravy from the drippings, yellow wax beans, okra patties, to the Italian cream cake she made, I would experience perfection Sunday after Sunday.  My Grandpa would tell funny stories while he put sacrine sweetner in his tea.  All of the kids would dive in like it was our last meal.  The men planned out their hunting trips while the women planned who was getting a perm that afternoon.  It brings back nothing but yummy, delicious memories.

Time forces change.  My Grandpa passed.  My Grandma unable to prepare meals like she once did.  Now, my mother carries out the tradition.  Someday, I’ll carry this out for my children and grandchildren.  What are your Sunday Dinner memories?What are your traditions of past and present?  I challenge you to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy putting God first and your family at a table with no distractions other than each other.  Share with one another positive things.  Funny things.  Things that create happiness.  I’m not willing to let tradition go…I’m stubborn like that!

I suppose I’m clinging to a simpler time.  Diggin’ in my heels, if you will.  A time where if a neighbor knocked on the door, you invited them in despite your messy kitchen.  A time where we had friends and family over for dinner and we all cooked–I mean really cooked–not just threw in some slice and bake cookies.  A time where we were not distracted by an incoming text and felt compelled to look at it while having a conversation face to face with someone else.  For crying out loud, this is terrible pragmatic judgment!

BE the memories.  Say it, Do it, Live it.  Protect tradition and may your Sunday Dinners be bountiful and filled with J O Y.  Oh and there’s ALWAYS room at my table. (reference to Heather Price MacFadyen’s God Centered Mom post—I couldn’t find the link 😦

Love to you all.


4 Wheelin’ Vacations Are NOT for Wimps


After reflecting on our Colorado vacation, I feel convicted to share my new mom knowledge about how to have a good time in the wild! Here are my Top 10 Tips for having fun, staying married, and returning home with all your family members.

1.  Before leaving home, realize that you WILL be in danger so scale back on the “I’m supermom, I will save the planet and all will live peacefully” thing.  Whether it be bear or huge mountain terrain presenting the threat, it seemed the boys were in constant danger which creates a nice breeding ground for mom anxiety.  Allow your husband to help you through this by dragging you kicking and screaming (if necessary) out of your comfort zone.

2.  Buy 18 cases of water and then go buy 2 more.  It won’t be enough.

3.  Being clean is completely over-rated.  If your children (or you) go without bathing for 4-5 days, you won’t die.  In fact, your children will praise you for the hero mom that you are for allowing this.

4.  Although camping for multiple days is not for the wimpy mom who requires a sleeping mask and perfect sleeping conditions, you’ll adapt.  Swishing from the same cup after brushing teeth isn’t so bad.  As Dayton reminded me, “We’re blood, Mom…it’ll be OK.”

5.  If you get a ‘say’ in what type of 4 wheeler, you’ll be riding, always choose a manual transmission.  If you understand the basics of driving a standard, you’ll get why this will slow down your death while descending down a gigantic mountain with boulders bigger than life.

6.  When things go wrong such as tires blow on the trailer or for some reason, your husband has to back a long-bed truck with a loaded trailer down a very narrow, muddy, rocky road while it’s raining, stay calm and quiet only commenting when necessary.  Do the things you know how to do such as getting your sweaty hubby some water from the cooler, stand in the heat with him to show your support.  But I beg you ladies, don’t offer advice on things you know nothing about.  (Insert the music of Stand By Your Man)

7.  Pack snacks (LOTS), a 1st aid kit, sunscreen, walkie talkies, extra blankets, food for a month (even if your 4 wheel excursion is for a day), enough drinks to re-hydrate an army, more band aids, compass, binoculars, camera, oh and toilet paper.  Prepare as if you are trying to avoid being on the show “I Shouldn’t Be Alive.”

8.  When you arrive at your excursion destination, there is what they call a “staging” area.  Try to avoid your son accidentally driving off the ramps while you look the other way and almost hitting a monster truck (rock crawler) before your day even begins.

9.  If you notice your son sliding backward down the mountain, jump off your own machine and save him, SAVE HIM I tell you!

10.  Ok, I said I would stop at 10 so here’s my final tip(s) for a great time.  For the love of all things camping, don’t forget the s’mores, play hide and seek with your kids in a giant forest with trees that seem to reach heaven, look around at God’s glory, love your family til you cry, praise the Lord for the awesome people he has loaned you, and jump for joy at the opportunity to create such memories.

Let Him Run…


“Let Him Run…” This phrase of Cowboy Talk is common during rodeo/playday events. It’s the audience’s way of saying, “give the reins more slack and let that horse run!” My boys are 6 (almost 7) and 8 years old. I think I have always struggled with letting them explore freely, wrestle til there’s blood and climb on haystacks, but it seems to be hitting me especially hard lately.

They’ve both recently shown interest in all kinds of activities and Derek and I are working hard to encourage, yet maintain balance in our home. Holton expressed interest in riding Taco in the local playday. I told my husband, “he’s interested–let’s foster it!” Excited for the day to arrive, we all headed out to the arena. Keep in mind, I made the boys ride with a lead rope until I could no longer justify it! This is a big jump for me. 

I begin to visually create in my mind what’s about to happen and start getting nervous about all that could possibly go wrong. As the hour approached for Holton to ride, I found myself becoming more and more emotional. I finally broke and shed a few tears while expressing to Derek how hard it is to watch the boys grow up. I’m still not sure all that prompted such emotions, but I know they were real and they were raw. Holton’s turn approaches, he nervously awaits in the alley and then his worst nightmare came true. Taco had other plans rather than heading straight down, slowing down slightly for H to grab the flag, and then safely returning to the gate. Holton was devastated after the performance did not go as well as practice, and was left feeling a little scared after Taco decided to make a mad dash back to the gate.

I found myself hurting for him. He likes things done correctly (the first time). I can’t imagine where he got this idea! 🙂 What I learned is that I’m going to have to “Let Him Run.” Even though it’s so hard to watch these little fellas grow up, it’s what I’m training them to do-grow up. And even when they fail, it’s so important to teach in that moment what’s REALLY important which is that he tried and again showed bravery and courage. What a remarkable kid…! So, we’ll get ’em next time and until our next challenge, I’m going to work on letting go a little more and enjoying the ride called Motherhood. Go get ’em, boys…!

Let Him Run



My boys began a martial arts class this week.  I still can’t remember what it’s called or how to pronounce it.  This is something that they have wanted to do for a long time and Derek and I finally decided to give this a whirl.  Please picture the following and create the scenario in your mind…

We walk into the class.  Everyone is in uniform (except my boys) because the lady who took my money said, “Have them wear comfortable clothing.”  My boys are the only new kids to the class.  Dayton is the youngest in the class.  There are rules that we don’t know and don’t understand.  We have a shaky introduction with the instructor.  He begins and insane warm up, and begins to scare the pants off of me!  As a doting mom, about every 30 seconds, I have the urge to take a photo of my boys.  I’m too scared to take out my camera in fear that this will be breaking some unspoken rule.  The boys are following the pack and hangin’ in there.  I’m in knots!  We move on to the self defense part of the class.  I’m quite certain that the boys are going to leave with a broken vertebra and never walk again.  They survive and are laughing (But not too much laughing or they will be ordered to drop and perform push ups). I’m relieved to see they can still walk.  Then, they begin the “forms” (whatever that is…) portion of the class.  Everyone is yelling random Korean words as they move like mannequins that are perfectly in sync.  My boys were pulled out and taught by some older black belts while the robots continued with their advanced forms.  I’m dying inside thinking “What I have gotten them into?–they have no idea what they are doing!  My poor babies…!”  The end of class approaches.  For me, it was comparable to running.  The end is near, it’s almost over, soon the pain will stop!  They turn toward the flag, again they begin chanting Korean words.  My boys have an excellent phonetic base so they were able to fake it. 🙂  They sit and meditate trying to find and balance their ‘energy.’  I can barely resist taking a photo once I see that Dayton is meditating (without laughing) with his eyes closed, but I’m still too frightened that I’ll be kicked out of the building and never allowed back in or worse, ordered to drop and give “him” 10!  It’s finally over.  The boys look over at me while I’m resisting the urge to jump up, hug and kiss them all over and ensure that their self concept is still intact.  They both shoot me a smile.  They are proud of themselves. 

BRAVERY—Once I was able to breathe and lower my heart rate, I realized that I was the only one that had been nervous and on the verge of vomiting for the past hour and a half.  Although at first, the boys’ faces flushed a little with uncertainty, they were amazingly brave throughout the class.  They followed each direction given, tried their best, exhibited tenacity and NEVER GAVE UP!  For them, it wasn’t a confidence shaker, but rather a confidence builder.  It isn’t easy to be new, to be low man on the totem pole, or to not yet have the skills to be as successful as those who surround you, but my little guys stuck with it and showed what they are made of!  What courage!  I won’t say they were fearless because I think all three of us were overflowing with fear, but what makes the experience special is that they continued despite the fear.  They are fantastically made by Him and demonstrated character traits that made me one proud Mama.



What a shot!

Yesterday was a tough day…Surrounded by memories of my dad and all that was important to him.  Through it all, I was reminded of compassion.  Compassion for other humans, compassion for the misfortune of others, compassion for all God’s creatures.  You get the idea…  I’m certainly thankful for those who have compassion for me.  My sweet husband has been so understanding and shown compassion for his wife.  Although he may not truly understand each and every circumstance or my reaction/emotion to it, he consistently shows compassion for me and for me feelings.  He has mastered the art of knowing when to offer a statement of encouragement and when to offer a gentle hug (and when to grab me and INSIST that it really IS going to be ok)!  –Insert grin here!  Feeling thankful, grateful and warm.  Thankful for Derek, but also thankful for my dad and each grandfather who provided  models of what a husband should be.  That modeled behavior turned into my expectation for my own husband.  I’ll forever be grateful for all they did right!

God is the best example of compassion. He loves all of mankind whether or not any one individual loves Him or not.  As our Creator, He desires us to be as compassionate as Him and show human kindness to others.  Thanks Derek, for showing ME human kindness.



I’m extremely concerned that the other day I had to call a friend to schedule a time to call back for a chat. This is ridiculous! What have I done to my life and why is there no time in it? Are we all so busy with FB, texting, working, and BLOGGING 🙂 that we have no time for human contact?

Yearly goals make sense to me. I like timelines, clear objectives and someone with whom to be accountable. So, my goal is to have at least two parties/social gatherings before the year is up. Time for friends and their families to come and enjoy one another with good food and even better convsersation! So, await your invitation. It will be coming…