Monday, October 29, 2012

For The Love of The Corn!

OH, for the love of the corn!~
I Interrupt What Does Joe Know?  For a little shout out to my favorite Halloween Candy!

 Many a child has stood on the dining room table, trying to take a bit of these candy corn
They are always disappointed to find out they are not real!

Major husband bonus points for purchasing the jumbo glitter corn for an
anniversary gift last year!

Favorite frame for Halloween!

Little Pumpkin Man holding a candy corn in his bucket

Candy Corn Machine - every family needs one!

Around here the candy corn grows on trees!

 How do you get your crow to go?  Dangle a candy corn in front of him!


 And I got a little thoughtful package in the mail this weekend with some fabulous
Candy Corn Earrings!
What is your favorite Halloween candy?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Embrace The Boo

It's been awhile since I've Enbraced The Camera with Emily and friends!
But today I had to jump back in for a little Embrace of the Boo Berry Crunch!
It's no secret that I love Halloween and this is just one of the MANY reasons why!  I love the little cereal that only comes out this time of year and takes me right back to my childhood.
Thanks GM for keepin' it going!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Glorious Mundane

The other day I was on Christy Nockels website and watched this quick video about the inspiration behind her new album.  I met Christy many years ago when she and her husband were the band Watermark and they were opening for Point of Grace on their tour.  I was working on the tour and got to spend some brief moments with these wonderful people.  I was quickly won over by Christy's amazing voice and the powerful lyrics she writes.
As I watched this video, what she shares in the first moment pierced my heart much like it did hers.
When she asked her dear friend, a mother of 9 who is also a song writer, how she manages life with 9 children, a song writing career and time with the Lord - her friend replied,
"you can invite the glorious into the mundane."

I've often thought, long before being a mother, that every aspect of my life is to be an act of worship to God.  In college I often thought that my studies were my act of worship for that season.  I now feel that serving my family and taking care of them is my act of worship.
But the everyday, repetitive, mundane tasks - they are killing me.  Monitoring homework, putting shoes away, dishes, laundry, cooking...   I sat today, staring at a sink filled with dirty dishes, laundry maching humming in the background and dinner on the stove and I looked out the window with tears in my eyes, "I can't do this anymore.  I'm tired of it."  And I remembered her words.  I quickly stopped, took off my purple dish gloves and looked out the window and invited the Glorious to come into this mundane routine that is my life.
I don't have the new album yet, Into the Glorious, but you can be sure I'm going to get it!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Joe Knows Dogs! And the Winner is...

First Things First
The winner of the Trader Joe's Care Package is none other than my sweet
Boni Lady
Way to go sista!
e-mail me your address and I'll send you a box of love!!
And now for this week's feature:
Joe knows dogs!
 OK, Shrimp Corn Dogs?
Oh yea!  They're awesome and come with a sweet chili dipping sauce. 
I HIGHLY recommend them!
And the Turkey Corn Dogs
I've been looking for more substantial after school snacks for the kids.  They seem to come home ravenous these days and an apple or cheese and crackers doesn't cut it.  I saw these at Traders and thought I'd give them a try.  As I was checking out the clerk said, "this is a superior product."  Who says that about corn dogs?  So I knew I made a good choice and sure enough, they are a huge hit!!!
What fun things have you tried recently at Trader Joes?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sometimes Things Have to Get Worse Before They Get Better

Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better.
This is a very tough concept to grasp, especially when you’re in the midst of tough circumstances.  Can things really get worse? 
I remember my mom telling me once that I would make a great doctor because I’m not afraid to hurt people to make them better!  Sounds like an insult right?  But sometimes bones have to be broken to be set straight again.  Sometimes hard truth needs to be spoken in order to set someone free.  Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better.
One of our little ladies had a crazy loose tooth that she couldn’t get out.  It was pinching her lip and painful, but she wouldn’t pull it out.  Daddy said he’d help her and pulled out the pliers.  She thought that was much worse that getting her lip pinched by the snaggle tooth!  But once it got worse, she was willing to make it better.
I think of Jesus going to the cross.  It just seemed to get worse and worse.  Beatings, insults, spitting in his face – can’t we just get to the cross already?  But there was great suffering that didn’t just last a moment.  And with the crucifixion it got worse before it got better.  3 days of silence.  3 days of waiting.  3 days of hell.  And then it got better.
In fact, it was better than better – it was miraculous!  He conquered the grave and is alive.  With his victory, we can have victory in the toughest of life’s circumstances.  Jesus is not apart from us in our suffering, He understands, and promises that
things will get better, even if they have to get worse first.

Monday, October 15, 2012

What Does Joe Know? Soup!

Well, let me just say that with our one week of Fall last week (now it's 90 again!  horrible tease last week with a thunder storm!), I got hooked on a new soup from the Trader's sample stand - they get me every time!
No, the box isn't crooked, it's my photo! 
I kept taking it over and over and everyone looked lopsided :)
So, the Trader Joe's sample stand was handing this out with some chopped, cooked bacon, rice and scallions!  It was AMAZING! 
I quickly bought it and their Organic Brown Rice in the freezer section that cooks in 3 minutes!  Together with the soup it's a perfect Fall meal.
*Don't know what Trader Joe's is? click here and enter the Trader Joe's give-away!

Friday, October 12, 2012


Last weekend we decided it was time to take off the training wheels.  Our elementary school is in our neighborhood and the blacktop was the perfect place for the first run on 2 wheels.  We unloaded 3 bikes, 3 kids and some tools and went to work.  I was surprised to see my husband grab our son’s bike first and start removing the training wheels – he’s 3!  And sure he’s super coordinated, but riding a bike doesn’t have a ton to do with coordination.  It has a lot more to do with confidence and trust.  So after the training wheels were off, my son lasted about 2 seconds before he realized that he couldn’t go super fast, take turns at motorcycle speed and coast with his feet in the air, so back on went the training wheels! 
 But then the real action began when he took off the girls’ training wheels.  He started with one little lady, giving her instructions, insuring her that he’d be holding onto the back of her bike at first, and telling her that she could do this!  After a few tries, I walked over and said, “say, ‘I can do it’”.  She said, “I can do it,” half heartedly.  I said, “no, like you mean it.  Let me hear you say, ‘I can do it.’”  And I continued until she was shouting that she could do it.  It was amazing to see her hesitate for about 2 minutes and then take off!
The second little lady was a different story.  She was rather uncertain and a little scared.  Daddy assured her that he wasn’t going to let go.  She didn’t trust him.  She’d start and then stop, looking back to see if he were still there.  He’d promise that he wasn’t going to let go.  I walked over and gave my pep talk, “say ‘I can do it.’”  But that didn’t work too well either.  She really wanted to ride without her training wheels, but she didn’t trust Daddy’s promise to not let go, she didn’t trust her bike to stay upright without the training wheels, and she didn’t trust herself.  I was so frustrated watching this.  I couldn’t help but feel that her lack of trust, fear and insecurities were totally unjustified.  She rides her bike like a maniac in our small backyard – I’m often yelling at her to slow down!  But she was used to the support of the training wheels and she just couldn’t imagine that this bike riding thing would work without them.
Eventually, little by little, she understood that she was safe and capable and she did it!  She rode by herself without training wheels and 2 seconds later I was yelling again for her to slow down!  Once she did it, it didn’t take long for her to realize that we were right, she could trust her bike and have confidence in herself.

 How many times has God promise to not let go of me, empower me to step out, and ensure that I could do it, but I haven’t trusted?  I’ve hesitated.  I’ve started just to quickly stop and look back to make sure that He’s keeping His word.
 He doesn’t get frustrated though.  He doesn’t roll His eyes.  He doesn’t complain of a sore back from holding me up.  He is patient.  He is gentle.  He is loving.  He encourages me along and continues to whisper, “trust me.  Trust me.  Trust me.”

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


There is rest amongst the chaos of life
On my journey with anxiety, I have started to go to acupuncture.  This is certainly something I never really thought I’d do in my life!  But my doctor suggested it as an alternative aid to ease stress and balance my nervous system and so on.  I called the woman she recommended and talked to her for quite some time.  I was nervous, not knowing hardly anything about it, and being a Christian, I wasn't sure if it was something that would work for me.  I had ideas of Buddhas everywhere, incense, and perhaps something spiritual that I wouldn’t agree with.  But after a long conversation, I felt peace about giving it a try and was assured that there would be nothing spiritual in my treatments.  My first appointment met my expectations – there were little Buddhas everywhere and incense!  But my time with the acupuncture therapist was amazing and she has been a great source of encouragement to me, a cheerleader if you will!  And she genuinely cares about my health and healing.  Plus who knew you get a full body massage after each treatment?!  It’s almost better than the spa (and it’s no Chinese Foot Massage!).  When I asked a dear, Spirit filled friend what she thought about me going to acupuncture and all the Buddhas everywhere and if I was entering into something that I shouldn’t, she reminded me, “they’re just statues”!  Very true.
One tool that I received in acupuncture was a Daily Breathing & Meditation Guide.  I modified some of the language to fit my life and it has been a wonderful tool to use to quiet all the noise swirling around me, focus my heart on the truth that God promises me, and live into the abundant life Jesus came to give me.  I wanted to share the meditation guide with you and encourage you to give it a try.  I can honestly say that when I’m sinking down, I get alone and go over this meditation for about 20 minutes and after I feel completely different!

 The Bible is full of people who meditated on God’s word.  Meditation is a spiritual discipline that we are all called to.  I’m just learning about it and I’ve loved using this tool to start that discipline in me.
Psalm 19:14
May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Psalm 49:3
My mouth will speak words of wisdom; the meditation of my heart will give you understanding.
Psalm 104:34
May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the LORD.
Psalm 77:12
I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”
Genesis 24:63
He went out to the field one evening to meditate, and as he looked up, he saw camels approaching.
Joshua 1:8
Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.


Rhythmic Breathing:  INHALE to the count of 4, PAUSE & HOLD for 2 seconds, EXHALE to the count of 4, continue for at least 4 minutes.

 THEN, taking your awareness off of your breath, OBSERVE how that exercise made you feel.

 TUNE INSIDE, TAKING NOTE OF YOUR MENTAL, EMOTIONAL, SPIRITUAL, PHYSICAL STATE.  Simply notice, being present for yourself without judgment.  Thank yourself for taking the time to listen.

 CLOSE YOUR EYES AND ACKNOWLEDGE to yourself that your health, how you feel physically, mentally, spiritually & emotionally is creating your life experience and your memories day by day.

AFFIRM that you are a valuable being, a child of God! And you’ve been promised the full inheritance of Christ.  Abundant life, life to the full, has been given to you through what Jesus did on the cross.  There is a full banquet table before you, filled with God’s promises and His equipping to give you victory in this day.  Affirm that abundant life in Jesus is not only possible, but available and attainable.  

ASK God to transform you by the renewing of your mind.  Ask His Holy Spirit within you to work to keep you focused on abundant life in Jesus.  Ask the Holy Spirit to help you release the root causes of your disease or discomfort through choices that support healing and abundant life.

 NOW ALLOW yourself to fully imagine in exquisite detail, the experience of vibrant health, ease and flow in your body, balance in your life, joy in your heart and abundant life in Jesus.  Continue for 2 minutes or more.  Acknowledge once more that this is what you’ve been promised and what you are working towards in your life.

 OPEN YOUR EYES AND STRETCH YOUR BODY.  Continue your day from this place of awareness of who God has made you to be and His promises.
I often end with the Lord's Prayer
There is peace in the midst of the storms of life
 * Also, don't forget to enter the Trader Joe's give away!  Go here for details.

Monday, October 8, 2012

What Does Joe Know? Give Away

So it’s been brought to my attention and my shock, that many of you do not have Trader Joe’s in your area and don’t even know what it is!  This is tragic – you must write you cityman or citywoman and petition!  Trader Joe’s is a wonderland of gourmet culinary delights from around the world.  They are a little grocery store of love where magical items seem to be less expensive and far more delicious than other markets.  Trader Joe’s carries loads of organic produce and foods with no preservatives, artificial flavors or colors, has a crazy wine and cheese selection, and when you go there – everyone is laid back and happy.  Like, I want to hang out there and be friends with these people.  They’re laughing, ringing bells, handing out delicious bites of love in their sample stand and wearing Hawaiian shirts!  What more could you want?
 So, in honor of you poor folks that are void of Trader Joe’s in your life, I want to send you a care package of TJ love!  Sadly I cannot ship their frozen shrimp corndogs or rosemary assiago cheese, but there are plenty of dry goods to make you smile!

 Here’s the deal – if you do not have a Trader Joe’s in your town, leave a comment on this post and on October 22nd, I will randomly select a winner who will receive a little taste of Trader Joes!  The give away is open from October 8th – October 21st.  Leave as many comments as you’d like!  Good luck.

And now for my pick of the week - it's a 2fer
These are light, crispy snacks that scream Fall!
The apple taste is not super sweet like fake apple candy.  Oh no, it tastes like
apple sauce, but crispy!
I'm not going to lie - only 1 out of 3 of my children like them, but I'm sure
all other children will love them!  Like I do.
And another little bite of Fall - the Pumpkin Bars.
These are great snacks for kid's lunches or to grab when you're
running out the door.  The pumpkin is jut for Fall, but
during the year they have fig, apple, blueberry and strawberry.
What things do you love to buy at Trader Joe's?
Don't have a TJ?  Leave a comment and you could get a little care package of TJ love!!

Friday, October 5, 2012

A New Life Update

 For those of you who read my series “A New Life” in February, you know that I’ve been battling anxiety for a little over a year now.  My battle continues with the past two months being the most intense yet.  It’s been very difficult.  God has brought me to a place of complete surrender.  I’ve never felt so incapable in my whole life.  But at the point of complete surrender, I’ve met God like never before.  In the midst of the darkest days of my life, He has not been shaken.  He is not threatened by evil.  He is not pushed by fear.  He is the Might God who saves.  Period.  He is the Victorious Warrior.  End of discussion.  He conquered the grave!  Enough said.
I’ve prayed the Lord’s Prayer everyday, focusing on “give me this day my daily bread” over and over again.  Most often I say, “give me this moment my daily bread,” and I pray that about every 5 minutes!  And guess what?  He is faithful to give me that daily bread, that daily deliverance, that daily breath, that daily strength to take just one more step forward.  He is careful to not give me too much as He knows I’d run out ahead with it!  No, He’s keeping me close by His side, relying on Him for everything in every moment.  It’s a sweet, humbling place to be and I’ve never felt so loved in all my life.
His daily bread has come in many forms from family coming to take care of us all, ocean breeze on a hot day, e-mail from the Netherlands, prayer from the Body of Christ, a new therapist that said with confidence, “God will heal you from this,” and most of all from His very words in Scripture.
 I’ve never been through the fire like this before, but because God’s presence is so palpable in the flames, I can say, “it is well with my soul.”
I am confident that I will get to the other side of this mountain and I will be standing, praising God.  I know He is at work through this time of trial and I know His purposes will be accomplished.
Have a great weekend knowing that the battle has already been won!
Psalm 20:5,7
We will shout for joy when you are victorious and we will lift up our banners in the name of our God.  May the Lord grant all your requests.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God!

I'll see you back here Monday for "What Does Joe Know?" and a little give away!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Double Feature - What Does Joe Know / Make Out Monday

It’s that time of year again… time for “What Does Joe Know?”
Every week I will try a new item at Trader Joe’s and post about it on Monday. 
If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s in your area… I’m sorry! 
Really, really sorry! 
If you are a Trader Joe’s fan too, let me know what your favorite TJ’s products are!!
I’m starting small with a new little cracker I just tried for the first time.
Savory thin mini Rice Crackers
Multiseed with Soy Sauce
I had the bag ripped open before I checked out and I haven’t stopped eating them since! 
They are a delightful little salty snack. 
**WARNING** they give you horrible breath!  But worth it!
And it just happens to be Make Out Monday!

The theme for October is:
 Asian Date Night
or Dasian as my husband called it!
Buy some frozen egg rolls, chop sticks and sake and enjoy when the children go to bed!
Or head out like we did for sushi and a Chinese Foot Massage!
I'm not sure if the Chinese Foot Massage places have started to spring up in your area, but they seem to be all the rage in Southern California!  I have friends that have gone and rave about it, but I hadn't tried it... until Dasian!
It was my husband's idea and we decided we'd go inside and if we didn't feel comfortable, we'd simply say we wanted to get some info!
When we walked in I was surprised to see 2 rows of about 8 cradels with people laying in them, getting their massages!  We were greeted with smiles as the soft spa music played in the dimly lit room. 
I'm not going to lie, there was something creepy, yet inticing about it!  They had 2 cradels side by side for us, so we decided to go for it.  Yea, they're probably called massage tables, but they were low to the ground, very plush and curved up on the sides, so I affectionately named them cradels!
We started off sitting up with our feet in a tub of hot water.  As we soaked, they massaged our neck and shoulders.  I had a man and he was a little too strong for me, so I told him to be a little more gentle.  My eyes were closed and about every 10 minutes he'd whisper in my ear, "this ok?"  The first time it scared me and I jumped! 
Then we got to lay down in the cradel of love.  I kept hearing soft slaps from the other masseuers and I wondered what was going on.  Then I understood.  After my feet were massage, the guy gave me a few little slaps on my feet!  Nothing painful, but definite slaps!  I kept thinking, "why are you so angry at me?"  Well, with each area that was massaged, it ended with a little slap.  Arms done - slap, slap slap.  Legs done - slap slap!  I started laughing and shaking!
Then he said to roll over, so I was face down in the cradel and the unexpected happened - he unfastened my bra!  Oh yea, you're fully clothed for this, so he pulled up my shirt and unfastened my bra.  Then I was really cracking up!  I kept thinking, "is he going to hook that back together or leave it undone?"  Oh, sure enough, after he massaged my back, put a flaming hot towel on my back and roughly rubbed off the oil, he refastened my bra!  I had tears streaming down my face!
Then he yanked my arms around, a few more slaps, and then the butt massage began!  Nothing in appropriate, but a complete butt massage!  There was no "foot massage" about this place! 
I tried so hard to control my laughter, but I think a few snorts came out.
Of course that portion ended with a few butt slaps!
Then he once again whispered in my ear, "that ok?"  I thought, "not really!"  It was over and I looked at my husband - he was in heaven!  He had drifted off to sleep!  Seriously?  You fell asleep?  Didn't you get slapped around?  Didn't that scortching hot towel burn you?
Let's just say it was a very memorable night! 
Now it's your turn!  Are you ready for a Dasian adventure?


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