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 song...it lifts me up! You can go to my MySpace page to hear the song if you want. http://www.myspace.com/smkozlowski

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 much...it 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 me...how 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 www.foodsubs.com. 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 thought...no, 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.