Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Cooking, Event Planning, and Bible Study

I have two exciting things I'd like to share with you today.

First, one of my dear friends, Wendy Blight, is doing an online Summer bible study that I want to tell you about. If you're like me, your schedule for the next 8 weeks won't allow you to meet at a specific time each week your bible study girlfriends. Now that my boys are out of school I have realized that my schedule has to be much more flexible. How about you...can you relate?

That doesn't mean we have to stop studying God's Word all together. Doing an online study can give you the flexibility that you need and create a new way to meet a whole bunch of new friends. In fact, over 1800 women from all over the world have signed up for this study on Ephesians. That's amazing!!!

I'm personally doing Wendy's study as my summer selection. If you'd like to join me just click here for more details.

Secondly, I want to tell you about another good friend of mine, Leann Rice. Leann just launched a new website called "She Cooks". I've known Leann for years and boy, can this woman cook up a storm! Leann will be sharing ideas on event planning, party ideas/tips, and wonderful recipes each week and I don't want you to miss out. I've tried several of her recipes for my family and their delicious!

Click here to hop over to Leann's website. I just hopped over myself and Leann is featuring great recipes for different marinades. Umm, Umm, Umm

Before you go, please leave me a comment or prayer request. I'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Testify in the Big Apple

Last week I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Virginia, New Jersey, and New York City with Testify. The entire week I got to watch over 100 teenagers share the love of Christ through song, dance, and drama to people of all ages and stages of life.
I certainly experienced a lot of "first time events" while traveling with these incredible teens. Here are only a few...
1. It was my very first time to New York City and I absolutely LOVED it!

2. It was my first time traveling with Brody and not having Keith and Carson with us. I loved getting to experience the Big Apple with Brody. We both love the raw energy and excitement of a big city. Keith on the other hand...not so much.

3. It was my first time going on a mission trip with teenagers. I typically stick to small children or adults when it comes to ministry stuff. I was really apprehensive as to whether or not these teens would connect with me. I was so wrong in my thinking.
4. It was my first time sleeping in a Motel 8 and The Loft hotel. Very different and sometimes strange but it sure created lots of funny moments and memories for all of us.

Here is part of the group practicing before one of their performances. Here is Brody and his friends goofing off from practice was over.
Having fun inside the NBA Store.
Waiting for the Staten Island Ferry to arrive.
N.Y.C. skyline - one of my favorite photos :)
Here is a picture of Brody with some of his friends in Rockefeller Center. Right below the wall they're leaning up against is the ice skating rink that you see on t.v. all the time.
These were my precious "daughters" for the week of tour. I had a family group of seven fabulous girls who all called me mommy, accepts for Barbara. She's exchange student from Germany and called me "mum". This was a dream come true for me since I'm a mother of two boys. We were getting ready to see The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway (another first for me). I just love these girls!!! Left to right: Caroline, Barbara, Ally, Madison, Hailey, Lauren, Natalie.
Goofing off at Grand Central Station.
Some billboards in Time Square...just incredible!
Brody and mum on the Staten Island Ferry.
I've always wanted to go to NYC and will remember this trip for a lifetime. What made it so special was traveling with Testify. They are a vibrant joyful group of teenagers that are not ashamed of the Gospel and love Jesus with all of their hearts.
Wow! What an experience it was...I'm ready to do it all over again!!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Brain Food

Do you have a good memory? I sure don't. In fact, my sister and I often joke about how neither one of us have many memories of growing up together. My brothers on the other hand have incredible memories and can tell you what they wore to school the day their second grade photos were taken. Not fair at all.

Well, Today I'm going to tell you what types of food you can eat to help sharpen your memory, keep your brain healthy, and working at optimum proficiency.

Yesterday I talked about a t.v. show I watched over the weekend that just made me so darn smart. If you didn't get a chance to read Monday's post, be sure to check it out first so that this all makes sense to you.

O.k., here goes...

Did you know that your brain is about 80% water? Drinking more water throughout the day not only helps with loosing wait but it also helps you to think more clearly and remember things better. I don't the taste of plain water so I often times squeeze an orange (instead of lemon) in my glass to make it a little sweet. I also buy Vitamin Water when it's on sale. It has zero calories and is loaded with vitamins too. What a deal!

Now that we know what to drink lets talk about some of the foods that are good for keeping our brains healthy. Here's a list of brain foods that you should include in your daily and weekly diet. Not just for you but for your entire family too. We certainly want smart kids and husbands, right? All of these items can easily be found at your local grocery store so no excuses!

Brain foods
Low fat dairy
Eggs (DHA)
Oats or Oatmeal
Olives/Olive Oil
Yogurt (Dannon has a lite yogurt that tastes good and has a lot less sugar)
Red Bell Peppers
Green Tea
Spinach (Did you know that spinach consists of 50% protein?)

Check back tomorrow cause I'll be sharing about what types of herbs are good to cook with, what your body mass index should be, and more.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Brainology 101

Friday afternoon someone asked me, "So what are your plans for the weekend?" and my response was, "not a whole lot". Ha! That sure was an understatement.

Although I didn't have a lot of specific plans for the weekend, each day some how became gobbled up with everyday mom stuff... cooking meals, running errands, washing clothes, running more errands, cleaning the house, making beds, going to church, running more errands. Get the idea?

By the time Sunday night rolled around, I wanted nothing more than to:
1. Get my shower.
2. Plop into bed with a remote in one hand and a big bowl of rocky road ice cream in the other.
3. Find a romantic comedy that wouldn't require any brain power or sharp thinking skills.
4. Veg out for the rest of the evening.

I flipped through the channels and to my surprise there wasn't a single romantic comedy on t.v.. What on earth is wrong with this picture? I would think that surely the local t.v. station big shots would know that showing romantic comedies over the weekend is critical for some of their viewers and an absolute must for me.

I continued to flip from one station to another, almost giving up, when I came across the P.B.S. channel. Yes, they were having another one of their fundraiser marathons...(yawn). I had my finger prominently placed on the off button when something the broadcaster said grabbed my attention.

It was something like this: "Next up we have Dr. Daniel Amen who is going to tell us all about how we can better take care of our bodies and especially our brains". This certainly sounded nothing like a romantic comedy but it piqued my interest. Yes, I know, strange but true.

For the next two hours I was glued to the t.v.. Now hear me when I say I'm not an advocate for Dr. Amen and I'm unaware of his biblical views but I have to say that from what I could tell the guy is pretty smart. He explained, in layman's terms, how a person's brain works and what each of us can do to keep our brains working at optimum proficiency.

I wrote a whole bunch of stuff down and decided that I'd share it with you all this week. It's a lot of information so I'm going to break it down over several days.

I hope you'll check back tomorrow because I'll be sharing what types of food you can eat to help sharpen your thinking/memory and keep your brain fit.

I think you're going to be really surprised about what I found out.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Too Many Choices

Life is filled with tons of choices.

Is it just me or do you agree? From the moment my alarm goes off each morning, I'm faced with a slew of choices that require a quick decision...

Should I fix my boys cereal or eggs for breakfast?

Do I want to pack healthy lunches or let them buy school lunches?

Should I go to the gym first thing this morning or wait until after I get some work done?

Do I need to put on make-up today or can I go without it?

You get the idea? Here's the problem though. By nature, I'm very indecisive. I think it's because I over analyse everything! Some times my choices are major and yes, I need to think through them very carefully. However, often times my choices are pretty basic and don't require major cross examination. I'll give you an example.

On Tuesday mornings, I teach a women's bible study and often times run some errands afterwards. Last Tuesday was no exception. I had about 3 hours to get everything done and make it back to the house before Carson got home from school. I had a long list and was determined to scratch off each line item before 3:00 pm.

With this mission in mind, I didn't take time to eat. Around 2:30 pm a nagging headache began to spread across my forehead. It dawned on me that I hadn't eaten a thing since 8:00 that morning. Fortunately, I was driving down a major highway with plenty of fast food places to choose from. You think it would have been a no-brainer. Not for me. As I passed Burger King, Taco Bell, Chick-fil-A, Zaxby's, and Pizza Hut, I did a mental survey of their menus, thought about which places might have some healthy options, calculated calories in my head, wondered if I had enough cash and so on.

I slipped into my "paralysis by analysis" zone and before I knew it I was five miles down the road with nothing to eat and hunger pangs rattling around in my stomach. I became totally frustrated and started reading myself the riot act. "Honestly, Leah, how hard can it be to choose something to eat? This really isn't a tough choice. Just make a decision and get on with it!"

Instead of choosing, I got mad and went home - feeling stupid, incapable, and yes even defeated. I know it seems ridiculous now but looking back I allowed my indecisiveness to completely change my attitude and plans.

What about you? Can too many choices overwhelm you? Would you consider yourself an indecisive person? Do you find yourself often in the valley of "paralysis by analysis"? If not, would you consider yourself a very decisive or sometimes impulsive decision maker? Can you think of a time when making a quick decision backfired on you?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hello Summer

I can't believe it's June 1st already.

It seems like just last month our family was celebrating Christmas and ushering in the New Year. Where have the weeks and months gone? Time is just flying by so quickly and I'm having trouble catching my breath as each day slips away and a new one begins.

There is a buzz in our home right now. It's the wonderful sound of "school's almost out and Summer is finally here". I asked Carson yesterday what he's looking forward to the most about being out of school for the next 11 weeks and he quickly said with a shout "no school work!".

Personally, I'm looking forward to sleeping past 5:15 am every morning, not having to pack lunches, or help with school projects. Although I'm really looking forward to Summer, I"m feeling a little bit anxious too. Brody's last day of school is Friday and Carson will be finished next Thursday. I had so many projects on my list that I really wanted done by now such as...

1. Finish my personal and business taxes (yes, I filed an extension again this year).

2. Take an online creative writing course (I'd love to go back to school if I had the time).

3. Schedule a day with my girlfriends and go to the outlet malls (I've has this on my list for the last 3 years).

4. Do some Spring cleaning (ya know, clean out all the drawers and closets that have some how gotten filled with miscellaneous junk).

I can still do these things once the boys are out of school but I really wanted to have them done by now. Especially my taxes. Oh, those taxes! Just thinking about it stresses me out. This project requires more brain work and concentration that I think I can muster right now.

What about you? Do you still have any projects or items on your "to-do" list that you wanted to accomplish before Summer break. Are you feeling frustrated and anxious that you haven't gotten to them yet? Are you looking forward to your children being out of school and at home for the Summer?