Saturday, December 27, 2008

Cricut Expression!

I got a Cricut Expression for Christmas....AWESOME!! I LOVE it. It is so cool. One of the things I LOVE about it is you can cut vinly to make a stencil and than stick the vinyl onto glass....than take etching cream to etch the glass. OR, you can take the vinyl you cut and stick on things like walls, glass items, canisters...or even laptops. I have been scouring the internet for ideas (I am not naturally gifted with creativity) and I saw someone had decorated their laptop and I HAD TO DO IT!!!

Here are a couple pics of my projects so far!!

Monday, December 22, 2008


So, I am sitting in my room waiting for laundry to dry and decide to see if there is anything on tv. Nope. I think...hey, I can watch a movie on my laptop with Netflix Instant Watch. So, I go to genres and think....hmmmmmm.....maybe a Romantic Comedy. I flip through the first couple pages of titles...not finding anything. Then I start getting into some raunchy titles. I am floored by the titles. Than I see some risque covers and start looking into what these are. One is an R movie about a GAY couple whose "religious" parents are coming for a visit and have no idea their son is gay...and than the other guy gets tempted into a relationship with this other "studly" guy.

WHOA!! I am not so naive to believe that these types of movies (and worse) are not made. What shocks me is how easily accessible they are!!! The covers themselves are nasty....loads with half naked women. Here I am with an almost 10 year old girl who is beginning to notice her body and comparing it to other girls.... Sierra is often on Netflix Instant Watch to see if there is something she might like to see. I got so excited earlier when I saw they had Kim Possible seasons...and Suite Life...innocent shows.

Now, I am disgusted. These movies are disgusting. It makes me fear the future of my kids....and their kids...and so on. Before searching, I came across Family Ties Season 1 was available to watch. I I watched the first episode and Alex Keaton loses his virginity. Dad sits across from him as Alex tells him how he thought he was in love (with this girl he had sex with just a day after meeting her). The dad explains that sex is not love and that he should know better. He does not explain how he should have WAITED. He talked about how he had rehearsed this talk with him several times. WHAT!?!! I was shocked. I had to instantly turn THAT off.

We laughed at those people who camped in caves with months worth of supplies when Y2K happened....but seeing this makes me want to sell everything and go live in a cave. Geeeez....

Saturday, December 13, 2008

An Interesting Concert Experience

A couple months ago, we bought tickets to the Winter Wonder Slam concert tour. The headliner for this concert was none other than Toby Mac. Sierra is a huge fan of Toby Mac and had always wanted to see him. Also on this tour was the group Relient K and Family Force 5.

I was somewhat aware of Relient K's work, but had no idea on Family Force 5. I had always had a predetermined assumption about Toby Mac (something I do, unfairly, with a lot of people and artists...unfortunately). I always viewed Toby Mac as a guy who was full of himself with lots of attitude. My views on him have changed completely. Before the concert, our local radio station, KSBJ, had arranged for a free basketball game to be played in the court across from the Toyota Center (where the concert was being held) between their radio station staff and Toby Mac and his band! So, Sierra and I decided we needed to be there. We got there when they were in "2nd Quarter"...they were not sticking to NBA We got to sit pretty close and I got to see Toby Mac up close. It was so cute...they had these little 3rd and 4th grade cheerleaders from a local Christian school who would cheer...Toby Mac gave them ALL his attention. Towards the end of the game, Toby started going around the perimeter of the court...shaking fans hands. Sierra was so excited and I had camera ready. Unfortunately, he got called away when he was mere feet from where Sierra stood. She took it well...

The concert itself was an interesting experience. Before going to the concert, I decided to see who, exactly, was Family Force 5 (one of the opening bands). I knew who Relient K was. What I found out about FF5, frankly, scared me. I mean, they are Christian, so I was not fearful of that...but they are like CRAZY metal. NOT my type of music at ALL. was worse than I feared. I hate to sound like an old fogie, but I couldn't understand a word that was said and they were slamming their heads and was nuts. The girls were screaming their heads off...Sierra and I had to put ear plugs in between the girls behind us screaming and the levels of metal coming from the group. Sierra thought they were great...only cause she thought they were interesting. LOL I am including a short video I took of them. The sound is not poor camera could not fully take the decibels.

Relient K was what I expected. They have a kind of alternative type of music that is a bit easier for me. I am not a huge fan of theirs, but they were a welcome relief from the noise of the first band! They played Christmas music, which was cool. I liked their take on some classics...they did O Holy Night...a fave of mine and they kept it as a nice, slow ballad. We enjoyed Sleigh Ride that had this little cartoon with it (one of their band members created this).

Finally came Toby Mac (finally someone I at least knew from when Sierra listens to him). The experience with Sierra and Toby Mac was one I will never forget. I mean, I know she really loves TM and listens to his cd a lot. She knows all the words. One thing I had never seen her do...or even knew that she did do...was worship! She always tells me how worship is her favorite part of church...but I thought it was because at church they make it fun with great songs, great movements, and all. But, I was wrong. She throws herself into the worship experience. She raises her hands to the Lord in complete surrender. I couldn't help but tear up. During one part of TM show, he was playing some song or another and she had surrendered herself to worship and one of the ushers came up to me and asked "is this your daughter?". "Yes," I replied. He said it was amazing and wonderful to see a girl her age praying and worshiping the lord.

On the way home, I asked her about that. Was this just a one time thing or does she usually do this at worship. She said of course she does. She told me how her teachers at Woodsedge encourage them to worship and surrender themselves. It was such a precious view into my daughter's faith. I never question her salvation...and I have been seeing some fantastic glimpses into her spiritual side more and more in her prayers and her actions in everyday life, but to watch your child just surrender herself to praising her heavenly father......WOW! I had sat through the first half of the concert uncomfortable...texting Matt and telling him how HE should have brought her to this concert. In the end, I wouldn't have missed the experience for the WORLD!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008 Houston?

You betcha! We had snow yesterday. It was so exciting....especially for those of us who have NEVER seen snow!!! Yes, I am 34 years old and I have never seen snow (well a few years ago, I saw maybe a total of 6 snow flakes on Christmas Eve...I think they melted before hitting the ground). Yesterday, I could say with certainty that I saw snow FLURRIES!!

There were squeals that could be heard down the street as all the kids and parents ran outside to enjoy this rare treat. Sierra said it was a miracle (she had prayed for snow for years). Daniel was unimpressed...he was probably the smart one, choosing to stay indoors rather than standing on the cold, wet ground.

Unfortunately, this wonder was short lived. Much to Sierra's chagrin, when she woke up this morning, the snow was all gone...nothing but mud in it's wake. But, we told Sierra not to be so down. This is a rare occurence for Houston. We need to be happy that God granted her prayer...even if it was for such a short time!

So, here is our snow storm!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I am slow

I have stuggled with some things with this blogger site for some time....and with the push of just one button, I solved it. lol Who knew??!!! So, I will let blogger off of this small irritation.....this time.

You will notice in my blog list, there is a LONG list of blogger sites. If you are innto crafting or scrapbooking, I recommend you visit these. I am not into scrapbooking...too much time and discipline for that. BUT, I do LOVE a good craft. I am not near talented enough, but I hope with practice, it will come to me.

Friday, December 5, 2008


I am pretty annoyed with this blogger site. It lost my blog list. I have issues changing the background. I must be slow...or blogger is!!


I am not sure if I am experiencing the normal phases of grief or if I am under attack spiritually...i.e. that is Satan has seen an opening to attack me emotionally.

When I found out my dad had died...and how he had died...I had a normal breakdown. I cried and wailed and sobbed and all of that. However, my grief seemed to go down some within a week or so of his death and I found myself feeling comforted in knowing how he had died in the way he would have wished to go.

Lately, I have felt like a huge weight has been dropped on my chest. I keep getting reminded that he is gone. Maybe it is the holidays...maybe it is the normal cycle of grieving...I do not know. This week has been a tough one for me, regardless of the reason.

So, that is my big quandry for now....

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fun Questions!

Fun Questions

Welcome to the 2008 edition of getting to know your Friends.

1. What time did you get up? 6:45am
2. Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Bond Quantum of Solace
4. What is your favorite TV show? Chuck
5. What do you usually have for breakfast? Grapefruit, banana and toast
6. What is your middle name? Marie
7. What food do you dislike? cooked carrots and bland food
8. What is your favorite CD at moment? I put my ipod on shuffle...favorite cd would probably be Remedy by David Crowder Band
9. What kind of car do you drive? Kia Sedona
10. Favorite sandwich? Too many to count. I love roast beef and oven roasted turkey
11. What characteristic do you despise? liars
12. Favorite item of clothing? my boots or my new cords
13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Hawaii
14. Favorite brand of clothing? I don't really go for brands...whatever looks good. I got some GREAT shirts at Target the other day that I LOVE...
15. Where would you retire? Close to my grandkids...
16. What was your most recent memorable birthday? hmmm...there was the year I got surprised a month early...or the time we went to Moody Gardens for the day......
17. Favorite sport to watch? niete....although I will be enjoying watching Sierra play basketball!
18. Farthermost place you are sending this? Just blogging...not emailing this.
19. Person you expect to send it back first????? Anyone who wants to copy and redo on their blog.
20. When is your birthday? August 20th
21. Are you a morning person or a night person? Definitely morning...I am usually a dead head by night.
22. What is your shoe size? 7 1/2 - 8
23. Pets? I have a dog...she is pretty cool. Sierra just got a bunch of goldfish which is kinda fun to watch. They all come to the glass when Sierra comes to feed them.
24. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with us? not really???
25. What did you want to be when you were little? An astronaut
26. How are you today? got a headache that is driving me crazy! I just took Excedrin Tension headache medicine in fast release gel caps...I think I feel it easing out!!
27. What is your favorite candy? Dark Chocolate anything...snickers...chocolate with nuts in it....mmmmmmm
28. What is your favorite flower? Tropical flowers...bright colors....multi colored...
29. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? Saturday is Matt's birthday. We are going to go see Bolt (yes, it is a kid's movie, but it will be fun as a family) and than out for steak!! FUn!
30. What is your full name? Sandra Marie Kozlowski
31. What are you listening to right now? the menu screen on the Alias dvd and Daniel mumbling to himself.
32. What was the last thing you ate? See above for breakfast food....+ a mini 3 musketeers
33. Do you wish on stars? No...but I do admire them
34. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? blue
35. How is the weather right now? Chilly
36. The first person you spoke to on the phone today? Matt
37. Favorite soft drink? I love Dr. Pepper
38. Favorite restaurant? Toss up between Jason's Deli (I LOVE SANDWICHES) and Chuy's
39. Real hair color? Red...all natural
40. What was your favorite toy as a child? I had a couple dolls that I you could feed a bottle to and it would pee. It had a pretty dress and matching stroller. The other was a rag doll that was almost as big as me...I took her everywhere...her name was Isabelle!
41. Summer or winter? Both for different reasons. Fall is my fave, though
42. Hugs or kisses?, love, LOVE them!! Daniel gives the BEST!!
43. Chocolate or Vanilla? chocolate (duh!)
44. Coffee or tea? Tea, definitely. I HATE coffee!!
45. Do you want your friends to email you back? Only if need to, like I am waiting for a response.
46. When was the last time you cried? Intermittently over the last couple weeks...
47. What is under your bed? Lots of dog hair and probably odds and ends...I wish we had hardwood floors...
48. What did you do last night? Did some things on my computer....while the fam watched X2
49. What are you afraid of ? Snakes...bugs....rodents...something bad happening to my fam
50. Salty or sweet? PRefer sweet, but enjoy salty too.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Father Heart of God

I got an email yesterday from a friend that gave me pause...a pause that has lasted since I received her email. Since my father's passing, I have received so many cards and emails...all lifting me up and holding me up. I really think I would have crumbled without them (not that I didn't crumble). Her email, though, gave me perspective and something to think about.

She said it was such a "joy" to be praying for us in this time. She said that it has been amazing to hear about my father (especially as one who does not have an "earthly father) as amazing as mine was. Well, let me just copy and paste what she wrote:

It has been truly such a joy to pray with you during
this time. As someone who does not have an earthly
father, your relationship with your dad has been such
an inspiration and testimony. So, thank you for
sharing in a time when it is hard to remember and
thank you for allowing us a glimpse into the Father
heart of God as displayed through your amazing Dad!

WOW! My father displayed the Father Heart of God?? You know, I have always said I have trouble grasping the true father heart of God BECAUSE of my father. While a great dad, he was not very affectionate, physically or emotionally. It's funny how you can see the negative and just sit on that...and not see the positive and sit on least not until a death (or something close to it). I had honestly not thought of him in that way until I received this email. Than it is a WHAM to the side of the head.

Yes, my dad did exhibit the Father Heart of God. He sacrificed himself (no, I am not trying to compare his sacrifice to that of the Ultimate Sacrifice) for me and my livlihood. He loved me unconditionally. He guided me while giving me freewill. He was always there for me. He grieved over me and he cheered for me. I am not eloquent as many of my counterpart bloggers are, but you get the idea.

How could I have missed this?? Thank you, DB, for showing me this...even though you had no idea of the personal turmoil I had put on myself. Though it is with my dad's death that I have come to appreciate the man who was my father, I see now with clearer eyes. With this comes a greater understanding of so many things...and a new perspective.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

My Dad, My Hero

As you may have read in my last post, my father passed away close to a week ago. You can read the below post to find out the details of his passing, but I am here to tell you about the man who was my hero.

You see, I came along in my father's life when he should be looking forward to his grandchildren. My father was 57 years old when I was born....I was a late surprise in his life. I do not think my dad would trade my birth for anything, but he would have changed the circumstances that was my beginning and certainly the woman who was my mother.

Shortly after my birth, my father realized he could not have me be raised in the environment I was in. My mother was not a fit mother. She had several other children from several other men...all of whom carried loads of issues with drugs, stealing, and a slew of other problems. My dad decided the best course of action was to divorce my mom and sue for custody of me.

The intersting thing about this process is that this was in the mid is rare for a father to gain custody of his children today, much less 30 years ago. But, he fought the battle and won. He gained full custody of me and my mother moved to California...only visiting me 2 times, to my memory (she visited a few more times before he gained custody).

My dad didn't speak of this time very much. I was constantly let down by my mohter. She would rarely call me and when she did she would almost always lie to me. I, of course, always believed each word she told me. I remember being on the phone with her and her voice would be so soft and gentle and I would wonder why I was seperated from this woman who called me "ladybug" and would tell me how much she loved me.

She visited me for the last time right around when I was 8 or 9. She was not allowed to visit me without supervision, so I remember my stepmother sat in a car the whole time making sure nothing happened while I sat in my mother's motel room. As a young girl, I wondered why I could not see my mom more and began to blame my father for keeping us apart. I cannot remember what my mother and I talked about, but I remember coming away from this visit with anger towards my dad.

My stepmother must have relayed some of this to my father. My father, after my mother had left for California, went to the store and purchased a small box with a lock and key for me to keep my special things in. He sat me down and told me about my mother and told me about his fight for my custody and the reason why he had to do what he did. I did not fully understand everything he said, but he was my dad and I took what he told me as truth.

Over the years, my dad has told me a little about his fight for custody and about my mother. My sister Vivian was a young adult when this battle was going on and she was by my dad's side and helping him fight the battle (even as she cared for her own young child...just one year younger than me). She has given me many details of this time in our lives and I have felt fortunate to have had a father fight as hard as he fought to, honestly, save my life. The conditions in which my mother lived would have surely killed either me physically or my spirit. I always considered him a hero for dedicating himself to raising me.

He always told me when I was older, I could ask to see the documentation he had on my custody. I asked him for the papers just a couple years ago and he said he wasn't sure where they were. Upon his passing, I was helping Gloria clean out some paperwork when I came across the papers I had so wanted to see. I did not have time to read them then, but I did read them upon arriving back home from the memorial. My dad kept all his records and all his notes from this period and it was a facinating read. He did not type, so all his notes are freehand. I came across this one document he wrote that just slid it home. My dad was a very special takes a very special man to do what he did. I was so lucky to have him fora father. I wanted to share his words about his little daughter, me...written in his words. I will cherish this handwritten note more than I will cherish anything else.

My Statement About Sandra

Sandra is a very secure, happy, and loving little girl. Even with the circumstances of our marriage, she has been in a home that belongs to her. Sandra is well adjusted little who loves her home, her yard to play in, her visits to her grandfather, her room with all her belongings, sunday school class, our fishing trips and all her friends she has learned to love. Sandra is a little girl that needs love and security. With Vivian's (my daughter) help, I have given her that since she was born. Being a teacher, I have spent a lot of time with Sandra because of my working hours and vacations. Most of my recreation has always been built around my children. What time I am not with her I see she is well taken with care of.

I plan on getting married, in the near future, to a wonderful person whom has known Sandra for almost two years. Sandra knows her and is looking forward to her coming back from the state of Virginia. She has no children living with her and is willing to help me anyway she can in building Sandra's future. I believe this will insure Sandra's security and create a home like atmosphere.

Sandra doesn't really know her mother. She doesn't even talk to her on the telephone. Sandra talks freely to people she knows. Mary never spent much time with Sandra when we were married. Mary went to work at about 6:30 a.m. and got home around 6:30 p.m. This meant Vivian or I took care of the kids. She went to a lot of meetings at night and even worked some weekends. I have raised Sandra in the three and one half years of her life.

Since Mary has moved to California (a year and a half ago) she has seen her very few times and very short meetings. Mary has not visited Sandra in the last five months.

Sandra loves it here - she loves her daddy. To move her out of these securities would kill this little girl's spirit and break her heart.

I have so many other documents that were also handwritten by my dad further stating his case. It is an amazing story about an amazing dad that would do whatever it took to ensure the health and safety of his daughter...even in those years when only grandchildren would seem to be in your future. He stated in one letter that he had thought of just bailing out on the whole thing, but he could not stand the thought of his little girl being raised that way. My sister, Vivian, can attest to all the things that occured at this time. It was a long and expensive battle, and my dad never quit.

My dad is my hero. There is no telling where I would be without him. I will miss him, but I will remember him and cherish these glimpses into the man he was. He was not about telling everyone about all that he did. All he knew was that I was safe...I was secure...I was cared for.

My Dad, My Hero

Monday, October 27, 2008

James Daniel Canady

My father died today, October 27th. It came as quite the shock. He was 85 years old (yes, 85 years old). He was the most vibrant, healthy man I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

I have been grieving for him all afternoon. I mean, HELLO! He just died...he wasn't sick....he didn't have any conditions that were life threatening. He was just out fishing, as he did ALL THE TIME. He was coming back in with his boat when a cold front came in....making the water choppy. His boat flipped, hit him on the head and he drowned!! WHAT IS THAT ALL ABOUT!

In the course of finding out this news, I have made calls I never thought I would have to make. I have felt things I have never thought I would ever have to feel. I have had a rush of memories...everywhere we have gone, special times we had. I cried out "WHY! Why now? It is TOO soon!" But, I was reminded of his wish to die suddenly....I was reminded of the prayers I offered up to God that my dad could only go quickly....I was reminded of his love of the water. God gave my dad a GREAT gift with this. My dad would not have wanted to go any other way. Now, I may want to argue with God about the timing. There was a lot more that I wanted to experience with my dad. I thought of calling my dad and inviting him to see his granddaughter who was about to start basketball....would he like to see her play in a game?

My heart tears cannot be held back. I loved my dad. He sacrificed so much of himself for me. I would not be who I am today without his guidance. The memories I have of him are almost too much to bear. The many days out on the water fishing. Waking up at 2 or 3 am to go "junk" fishing (this is what we called fishing off the pier off of Port Aransas, Padre Island...since you can't really catch any "good" fish there). The time I did not want to go to Field Day and he let me skip school and go fishing. OH, the times on his motorcycle....I would feel so great when he would take me to school or pick me up on it. I felt like the coolest kid in school.

When I was in High School, he understood the emotions and social aspects of being a teenager. We would go to the mall every weekend. We would shop around and go to the movies (I remember we went and saw "The Cutting Edge" and he got weepy at the end!). I remember dancing on his feet when I was a little girl. We would listen to old country...George Jones and the like. I remember the pride he had when I joined the band...when I was chosen for Who's Who (never mind that most kids are) honor rolls.

He told me growing up that I needed to be a career woman. I could get married and have children, but we needed to be a 2 income family. He said that was the only way to live anymore. When I got married and than shortly after had Sierra, I remember being trepidatious about telling him I had decided to be a Stay At Home Mom...and he was TOTALLY supportive.

My dad always told me how proud he was of me. He loved Matt and adored my children. He said it made him so happy to see me succeed and be happy. He said he couldn't wish for anything more.

I was always so proud of my father. He grew up in a very poor time. He was the oldest of 4 kids. He adored his mother (who died shortly before I was born) and, though was not as close to his dad as he would have liked, still had respect for him. My dad joined the navy out of HS and knew his goal, the thing he wanted more than anything, was to use the GI bill to get a college education and become a coach. He served on an aircraft carrier during World War II. The stories he would tell me were just TOO interesting. The things they had to do when crossing the equator...WOW! He was in the bay of Japan when the treaty was signed!!

Upon leaving the navy, he went to the University of New Mexico. He pursued his dream, and obtained it (living on pb& He graduated from college and went on to become a coach...first at a jr. high and then, eventually, at a High School. He rose to head coach and than athletic director. He won state championships with his football team. He even just recently attended a reunion with these football players where he was honered...and had the best time!!!!

My dad was remarkable. He did all he could do for me throughout his entire life. It is funny, cause when technology started taking over, he was unwilling to get on board. We had a rotary phone until I was a teenager!! We got a microwave when I was a teenager....he kept that microwave until this very day...and never learned how to change the clock!!

HOWEVER, sports always ruled his life. He had a satellite dish when I was just a child...complete with hand crank where he could watch sports anywhere. Just a few years ago, he got a BIG screen tv....before we did (we haven't even gotten one yet) so he could watch his sports on the bigger screen.

He has to be the MOST HEALTHY man I have ever met....much more so than ME! Years ago, he made a health decision. He, daily, ate raw veggies daily. He limited fried food by a lot....ate lots of fish (fresh fish he caught)...and excercised like CRAZY!! In the Spring to late Summer, early Fall, he swims. He has an above ground pool and just swims and swims and swims. When it gets too cold for that, he walks for miles and miles. A few nights a week, he is out dancing. I was talking to my sister earlier and we both spoke about how we could not keep up with him on the dance floor. I imagine his heart and lungs were the healthiest 85 year old organs ever!

Not many kids could claim to have a stay at home dad. Not many kids could claim to have a relationship like I had with my father.

My head hurts from crying. My brain is firing many electric currents with all the things going on. In the end, it will be a LONG, LONG time before I am over this! I have always said that I will NEVER leave Texas as long as my dad lives....believing he would live forever. I cannot believe he is gone. But, I believe God gave him such a gift. Not many people can say they have lived the life he has led. Not many people can say that they had a dream for their life and were able to reach it. Not many can say that they were able to retire and dedicate their senior years to raising a daughter and doing what retirees like to, dance, garden, be there 100% for their child, make jewelry..... On top of it all, to be able to die in the very water he loved to fish...his favorite place. Through my tears, I keep reminding myself of this fact. Through my broken heart, I tell myself over and over what a gift his life was. What an inspiration he was and is. I know his spirit has left this earth and I rejoice in him!! I LOVE MY DAD and I WILL MISS HIM.

The following pics are ones with my dad and Sierra.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Stand Up

I have felt it deep in my heart for a while now that I am back sliding. I have been a strong believer in Christ and rigid in my beliefs...but since leaving the position of Children's Pastor, I feel like I have not been as close to God.

Now, Matt argues against that because as CP, I was not being filled spiritually (well, I was....but not on an adult level) while now, I am involved in MOPS, a Ladies Bible Study, a couples bible study and Church each Sunday. I can see that, and I can see how I would feel more empty just not being in a church everyday of the week as I was when I was a CP and being in the presence of others working in the ministry.

So, I am working on my spirit now...trying to fill the holes. In church on Sunday, the Pastor talked about just that and it was a GREAT sermon!! Since then, I have had confirmation after confirmation to work on this more. I just found this you tube video and will share now...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I had a bit of nostalgia tonight....nostalgia I am ashamed of in the deepest parts of my soul....nostalgial that can be simply stated as a blast from the past in the form of NKOTB!

Do you remember this group from the late 80s to early 90s?? MAN-O-MAN, I do. I had, probably, 100 posters of them on my walls.....I even put some on my ceiling. I had the shirts and the pins....the hats and the jewelry....I had everything I could get my hands on.....ok, not the dolls, but you get the picture.

It is funny thinking back to that time when we are in a new age where Hannah Montana and the Jonas Brothers are experiencing the hype NKOTB did except in larger forms. And they get a ton worse (HM and JB) with the Internet and digital cameras....

But, how I remember the albums...I think I had tapes. I am was IN LOVE with Joey McIntyre. I just knew in my heart of hearts that we were meant to be together...that if he could just meet me, he would love me. I had more Joey posters and Joey t-shirts and pins than anything.

I remember the year I actually got tickets to see them in CONCERT!! HELLO!!!!!! My dad got tickets for me, him and one of my friends, Sherri (who introduced me to this group). We drove from Corpus to Houston to see them perform at the Astro Dome. What a night...a night I will not forget. I fantasized the whole way there....that I would run into Joey in the halls and he would realize that he loved ME and we would get married. *sigh*

It is funny, cause I find myself shaking my head and rolling my eyes as I see so many girls going crazy to get their kids in to see Hannah or Jonas brothers and I forget what it was like to be that little girl. The excitement and adrenaline. BUT, it is fun and I have no regrets with my obsession with this boy group....and I do not mind when Sierra is going crazy for the Jonas Brothers or Demi Lovato (she is not big on Hannah). It is fun to dream!!

I will admit shame, though. I was just watching the VHI special on NKOTB and am ashamed to admit that I did not know they released another album after Step By Step. How can I expect Joey to whisk me away if i cannot even keep it straight on when each album was released?? All I know is it was quite a blast from the past!!

Ok...gotta go to sleep.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My daughter

My daughter has hit an age of many changes. She is 9 now going on 16. She wants an ipod, a new laptop, a digital camera, a cell phone. Gone are the days of Barbies and Littlest Pet Shop.

The other morning, she was getting ready for a marathon day of shopping and hair cuts. She put on a cute brown shirt and jeans, but stood in front of the mirror forever looking this way and that. She finally decided that the shirt "made her look fat". Uh, I do not think there is even ONE ounce of fat on her body. She asked me to tie it in the back...and then changed her shirt to a tank top that showed how skinny she was.
Yesterday, we were getting ready for Splashtown and she wanted me to brush her hair because it bugs her to have it messy. I told her "but, we are going to Splashtown, your hair is about to get all wet." Still, she had to have it brushed.

Where is my baby??

One of the biggest complaints she has had is her pink is too "girly" and she is not "girly" anymore. So, all the pink in her room is gone. It has been replaced by blue and green walls. Soon, her "girly" furniture will be painted a copper color to give it an edgier "punk" style.

I remember the girl in pig tails and now is a girl who is growing up before my eyes. Gone is the girl who would grab my legs to stand is the girl who is quickly getting so tall that it won't be long before we can stand nose to nose. Gone is the pretty pink room and now is a room fit for a tween. I love my daughter and who am I to question God's design, but why do they grow so fast??

But, here is the biggest conundrum. As much as I hate the idea of her growing up....I AM LOVING HER GROWING UP!! It is SO COOL!! I love shopping with her....talking with her...hanging out together....getting manicures...listening to the same music....and still have her curl up in my lap! So, I say "BRING IT ON!!"

Sierra at 3!

Sierra at 9!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day Fun

Thanks Chrissy!

I found this on another blog, and thought it was fun, play along if you want!
***It's generally pretty quiet around the blogosphere on holidays. Just for fun, I thought I'd pull out this meme (Chain letter) I found. In honor of Labor Day, it's about...well, labor. And not the kind you get a day off for either.

How long was your labor?
With Sierra it was close to 24 hours. With Daniel, no labor....planned c-section

How did you know you were in labor?
Uh, let's see....the intense shots of pain!

Where did you deliver?
Sierra -- Cyfair Hospital
Daniel -- St. Lukes The Woodlands

You betcha. Good thing about the c-section is drugs that lasted almost all day.
With Sierra....they gave me something to ease the pain pre-epidural (I was having double contractions). They over doped me and I got loopy and passed out. It was great. LOVED the epidural, though it wore off during the pushing stage....and so the pain of birth was full on!!

With Daniel, yes....bugger was breech!

Who delivered?
Like Chrissy, with Sierra it was mostly the nurses and a couple pushes she came out. With Daniel, big duh....doc did most of the work since it was a c-section. lol

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Better Hands

So, I was just listening to my iPod and one of my favorite singers came on (Natalie Grant). There several songs of hers that just speak to me way down deep in my soul.

This particular song is one of those songs. It is called Better Hands. Read the lyrics. I love this lifts me up! You can go to my MySpace page to hear the song if you want.

It's hard to stand on shifting sand
It's hard to shine in the shadows of the night
You can't be free if you don't reach for help Y
ou cant love if you don't love yourself

There is hope when my faith runs out
Cause I'm in better hands now

It's like the sun is shining when the rain is pouring down
It's like my soul is flying though my feet are on the ground
So take this heart of mine there's no doubt
I'm in better hands now

I am strong all because of you
I stand in awe of every mountain that you move
Oh I am changed, yesterday is gone
I am safe from this moment on

There's no fear when the night comes 'round
I'm in better hands now

It's like the sun is shining when the rain is pouring down
It's like my soul is flying though my feet are on the ground
So take this heart of mine there's no doubt
I'm in better hands now I

t's like the sun is shining when the rain is pouring down
It's like my soul is flying though my feet are on the ground
Its like the world is silent though I know it isn't true
Its like the breath of Jesus is right here in this room S

o take this heart of mine there's no doubt
I'm in better hands now I'm in better hands now

Monday, August 11, 2008

Best Word in the World!

Is there any word in the world better than "mommy"? Hearing that word come out of your child's mouth is like music. It gives you chills and makes your heart pump harder. My daughter is 9 now and seems to be growing out of the "mommy" stage. She tends to lean towards calling me "mom" which is such a sad event for me. It not only means she is getting older, but I do not get to hear that sweet, sweet word from her sweet, sweet mouth.

I have a better appreciation, now, for the quickly passing time of childhood. I watch my 9-year old and find it hard to believe that she could be 9! I watch my 3-year old and I hang on to every moment. Daniel is a very loving child, so it is easy to soak up these moments. He loves to just hug on me and say those oh so wonderful words "I love you, mommy". I can't help but wonder how long this will last. I know boys grow out of this sooner than girls.

Now, do not get my wrong. Sierra is a HUGE cuddle bug. If she does not get in enough cuddles and "I love you"s during the day, she will not be happy. She is very affectionate.

And talk about a warming moment....the two of them are the most loving siblings I have ever seen. Sierra HAS to have just as many hugs and kisses from her brother...and has to let him know she loves him all the time. She plays with him daily and they just love each other.

Now, this is NOT to say that "mommy" can not be annoying. "Mommy, can you find my spiderman" or "Mommy" screamed from upstairs or downstairs in a whiny tone! That can also give you a funny feeling....though more of a annoyed, crawly nerve feeling and not so warm and fuzzy!

I love my kids!!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Incredible Chicken Glaze Recipe

I subscribe to the Rachael Ray Magazine and I like most of what I find in it. I have made a couple of the recipes in these mags and liked some and not liked others.

I found this one recipe for a glaze that sounded SO good, but Matt was less than hopeful for the outcome.....simply because of ONE ingredient....apricot preserves. lol I was MORE excited about the recipe because of the apricot preserves. Matt admitted, last night, that this was good!! It is VERY simple and VERY yummy!

Apricot-Balsamic-Glazed Chicken

1/2 cup apple juice or cider (I used the juice)
1/4 cup apricot preserves (I used a bit more of this to cut down the bitterness of the balsamic vinegar)
1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar (didn't see aged at the store, so I just used regular)
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
4 chicken breast halves
salt and pepper

Preheat grill to medium-high.

In a medium saucepan, bring the juice, preserves, and vinegar to a boil. Lower the heat and cook until thick and syrupy, stirring occasionally.

Drizzle chicken breasts with evoo all over the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Grill till cooked through. When done, coat breasts with glaze and enjoy.

It is SO yummy!! I loved it (and I loved it again today for lunch!).

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Beijing Olympics

Anyone who knows me well knows how much I LOVE the Olympics!! I like the Winter Olympics, but LOVE the Summer Olympics. I love the swimming probably the most (GO PHELPS) and than gymnastics, diving, track, basketball....etc. This year, I am so excited because I have DVR! This is, by far, one of the BEST inventions in HISTORY. I love to just program my favorite shows and watch at my leisure. I programmed every Olympics program I could find on any network.

It was soooo cool last night to take advantage of this for the Opening Ceremony. I do not care for this too is always a bit over the top for my tastes, but I always feel like I SHOULD watch it and particularly enjoy watching the lighting of the BIG torch. Last night, we got to watch the highlights....the INCREDIBLE show was amazing.... We got to watch all the fun parts and fast forward through the speeches, and fast forward through the parade of nations (not through the U.S. part, of course).

The lighting of the torch was INCREDIBLE and I had to replay it for Sierra this morning (another positive aspect of DVR).

Today I saw the beginning of the heats for several swimming events and will watch the FINALS tonight! What a great start.

Sadly, my family will not see much of me over these next couple weeks...but maybe more than they would have if I did not have DVR. I blazed through 8 hours of Olympic coverage in just under 2 hours (equestrian and fencing...really?). GOTTA LOVE IT!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Nim's Island

Tonight, we watched Nim's Island on dvd. Sierra saw the previews for this movie so long ago and we both thought it looked like such a fun movie. The reviews for it came out, though, and they were less than stellar. We do not like to waste money on seeing a movie that is not going to be good. I mean, movies are expensive. So, we talked Sierra out of seeing it and she was not happy about it. She made proclamations over and over about how she did not care what the reviews said, she wanted to see it SO bad.

Matt put it on his Netflix que and we got it today. I had my laptop on standby to use when the silliness ensued. BOY WAS I SURPRISED!! This was a really great movie. It was clean, cute, adventurous. I was totally wrong. We will be buying the movie, I am sure. Sierra looked at me with those big blue eyes of hers and asked if we could buy it. How RARE is it to find a movie that is good and clean....of COURSE we will buy it.

Now, hopefully, she won't say to me.....since I was right that Nim's Island is good, so will you take me to Space Chimps or Journey to the Center of the Earth! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Saturday, August 2, 2008


I never had the pleasure of having a relationship with my mother. She and my father split when I was very young (under 3) and my father won custody of me. She would never have been a good motherly influence in my life anyway. My father did marry another woman when I was just 6 and she was that motherly figure in my life until I was 16. She was not a good motherly influence in my life either. She was emotionally abusive for most of the 10 years she was my "mother". I still have her voice in my head.

I have spent much of my life yearning for that motherly influence for my life. I see so many mothers and daughters, grown and so close. It is so hard to see as I have such a strong desire for it myself. In recent years, I have had close relationships with some women who are old enough to be my mother. I have let myself rely on them for guidance and mentoring and soaked in their love for me. Through them, I have had hope.

I remember, once, a boyfriend I had. His mother did not want for us to get married. She said to him that since I did not have a motherly figure in my life, I would not know how to be a good wife and mother. If only she knew how much that hurt much that confirmed so much of what I had been told by my step-mother. It has been a deep pit that I keep trying to claw my way out of.

I have been married to a man for over 10 years now...a man who loves me wholly and completely and who daily reaches out his hand to help pull me out of the pit I am in. He is the most generous man I have ever met and he builds me up and shows me how wrong everything I have been raised to believe is. I am a mother of 2 wonderful children who I adore more than I ever thought I could. My children love me and fill me daily. My daughter and I have such a wonderful relationship and I will be damned (yes I said damned) if our relationship will ever suffer. She has no doubt in her mind that she is loved...that she matters....that she can be whatever she wants to be....that she is beautiful....that God loves her.

I will never have a relationship with my birth mother. I found out recently that she has died. I cannot get back those years of emotional abuse I suffered in childhood...adolescence. But, I can move on. It is so hard sometimes. I have to fight the battle almost daily. I have to get it through my thick head that I am not worthless....that I can be loved....that I am not a loser...that I have something to offer....that I can be a good wife.....that I can be a good mother.....that I am not ugly.....

God made me. He chose the color of my hair. He chose the color of my eyes. He placed the freckles on my skin. He chose the man I was to marry. He put me on a path. He gave me the instinct to be a mother. He has NEVER called me names. He has NEVER called me worthless. He counted the number of hairs on my head. I matter to Him. To Him, I am somebody. I can look in the mirror and see who He made me to be....not what I was told I am.

So, maybe I didn't have a good role model growing up. But, I met Matt. It was no accident. God placed this man in my life....a man who would be everything that I missed in life growing up. A man who has made it his goal in life to erase the bad...make up for the past. I thank God for my husband.

Ok...sorry for the rant. God is mending my heart. He is replacing the missing pieces in my life. My husband and my kids....they fill those gaps......and God is there with them.

Short Food Tip

I subscribe to Rachael Ray's magazine and I came across an article that had different websites to use for reference. There is one site that I found interesting. It is It has a cook's thesarus which can answer some questions you may have in a recipe. I am definitely bookmarking the site.

Friday, August 1, 2008

VBS 2008

So today concluded the end of Sierra's fun week at VBS. She had such a great time...the best time yet. She really LOVED her crew leader a LOT....the feeling was mutual on the end of the leader. The joys of going to a large church is that the resources are great. They spared no expense and you could see the support they had from all areas of ministry. I would guess there was approximately about 250 kids. It made me so pleased that Sierra got so much out of this week...more pleased than you could imagine.

I have to admit I was a bit jealous. Since I used to be a Children's Pastor and I directed several VBS' myself, I had hoped she would miss my productions. This one did come close to a VBS I put on that was called "Arctic Edge". It is still talked about among many kids and parents. Sierra was so sweet when she asked me "Is it ok that I liked this new VBS more than Arctic Edge?" Of course it is ok. It was more than ok.

I did make the effort to let the people know who ran this VBS just how much of an impact the week had on Sierra. As a previous director and leader in VBS, I know how much hard work goes into this and I know how much it means to be told the work is appreciated. **I will say now, go and let your children's teachers know how much you appreciate their dedication to your children.

So, Kudos to Woodsedge for making a week that was so much fun for my kid, that she was sad to see it end and made many wishes that it could have lasted a month!! She is still singing the songs....still dancing....begging us to buy her the songs. I LOVE IT!!

Here are some pics!

Sierra and Matt after the VBS closing ceremony

Sierra and her friend, D. She goes to Sierra's school.

She is also in Sierra's Sunday School class and was in Sierra's crew!

First Blog

So, I am not a leader, I am a follower. I have read many blogs from a variety of bloggers and have, I will not follow suit. I will not form a blog account! I followed the crowd and got a myspace account. I followed another crowd and formed a facebook account. Now, here I am creating a blogging account. I have always told people that I was not a leader, just a lowly follower. Oh well. If you can't beat them, join them.

So, I will use this to keep everyone updated on the what goes on in our family. I will also post favorite recipes...I LOVE cooking and collecting recipes. I will also use this as a forum to vent some opinions I have on various topics. So, come visit when you can or want to.