Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tasty Veggies- No Kidding

I wish I had a functioning camera right now. If I did, I would share the most beautiful food pictures with you. The pictures don't do the recipe justice though, so I'll just share the goods with you now.

Roasted Vegetable Enchilada Stack

1 Pablano Pepper cut in matchsticks
2 Red Bell Peppers cut in matchsticks
1/2 Head of Cauliflower
1/2 Medium Onion Slice
Olive Oil
Garlic Powder
1 lb ground turkey
1 1/2 cups of salsa verde
1-2 cups of grated cheese
Corn tortillas
Fresh Spinach

In a casserole dish or cookie sheet place all of the chopped veggies except for the spinach. Drizzle with olive oil, garlic powder, and cumin. Stir to coat. Roast in over on 425 for about 20-30 minutes or until veggies are tender. While the veggies are roasting, brown some ground turkey and season with garlic powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. (Or just use a taco seasoning packet).

After the veggies have roasted, layer your ingredients in a casserole dish in the following order:
Salsa Verde
Corn tortillas
Roasted Veggies
Hamburger meat

Repeat and top with cheese. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and browning on top. Serve with sour cream.

Y'all- my kid ate cauliflower! Make this dish. You won't be sorry; I PROMISE!!!

Happy Eating,

Sunday, November 20, 2011

SA Rock N Roll Race Recap

Last Sunday I ran the San Antonio Rock N Roll Half Marathon. It was a fantastic experience, although my training this go 'round left much to be desired. I vowed to do my best in spite of only completing about 70% of my training. Justin wavered on actually running the race, but his last minute decision to run with me had me pumped and motivated to get through all 13.1 miles.

After hearing about the insane crowds and logistical nightmares with parking and shuttle,  Justin and I set out to arrive super early in order to avoid too much stress on race morning. It was a great idea, until the alarm didn't go off and we were an hour behind schedule. So much for avoiding stress on race morning. It was just nuts from there.

We ran late, sat in traffic, stood in line for the shuttle, ate on the shuttle, walked a mile to get Griffin set up at the finish line tent, walked another mile to get back to the start line, stood in line for the port a potty FOREVER, and jumped straight into a corral to begin the race.

Mile 1- The crowds were crazy! We were running easy and I was taking in the crowds and the atmosphere of the race.
Mile 2- Justin timed our pace. Remember, there was no goal of a glamorous finish time, just to get through the miles and cross the finish line.
Mile 3- We were at a 10:00 minute pace. Faster than I would have liked for the beginning. Justin was chomping at the bits to move a little faster.
Mile 4- Justin started easing out it front of me, but would turn back and shoot me an encouraging and motivating smile and thumbs up ever now and then.
Mile 5- I spied Team Determination Coaches! One of them jumped out and ran with me for bit. She offered up all kinds of supplies, but the only thing I took was a wet wipe. Who knew that thing would be so amazing on a run?!?! It was so humid and the sweat and salt was beginning to feel cruddy on my face. Being able to wipe it off was refreshing.
Mile 6- I lost Justin by this point, but was so thankful he was feeling good enough to take off and run a little faster. We entered a historic district and one of the homes had a table set up with free beer. At the beer table I spotted a runner that was nothing but pure entertainment for the next several miles. Dressed in neon, 80's workout attire, he downed a beer and pulled off a few dance moves.
At the 10K point I was at 10:16/mile pace
Mile 7- 80's dude had been entertaining the crowds with his dance moves and even replicated the Flash Dance water scene, when he grabbed a spectators water, assumed a somewhat sultry position, and poured the water over his head. He then headed over to another crowd watcher for a little smoke time because filling your lungs up with toxins always helps when your running. Good entertainment,guys!
Mile 8- DONUTS! The sweetest girl was standing in the crowds holding a box of the most amazing, fresh, glazed donuts. Guess who headed straight in her direction? It was so sad to lose sight of 80's guy shortly after this point. The sadness was short lived because in the most perfect timing, my love showed up! My legs were feeling a little achy at this point, but otherwise I was feeling great! Justin's calf was acting up and he was really having to push through some pain.
Mile 9- Justin had to stop due to the pain, but he encouraged me to keep going. The roads got narrow and the crowds started to get a bit thicker here. The encouragement of the cheering crowd was great.
Mile 10-12- The Alamo! Bands!, Cheering crowds! But, of the lactic acid build up in calves was intense. It was so painful, but I never started cramping up and my breathing was under control and not labored at all. I kept thinking I should be moving faster, but I was only slowing down.
Mile 13- I was hurting and knew there was one last hill coming right before the finish. But, the crowds were incredible. I spotted ahead of me a lady in a pink shirt that said " I run because______!" My mental chant from here to the finish was every reason why I was running. Which is actually a good thought for another post, another day. But, to give you a hint, because I CAN is on the top of my list. We rounded the last corner and faced the hill. It was a moment where I was actually thankful for all of the hills I have encountered since moving to San Antonio. About 1/3 of the way up the hill my pink shirt stopped and doubled over to grab her leg. "Oh no you don't," I said as I grabbed her arm and forced her up. "Your shirt has gotten me through the last mile and I need you to keep going to the top of this hill." She quickly got on board and resumed her run across the  finish line.

My legs were burning as I shuffled through the finishers maze. I made it back to the Team Determination tent and was immediately hit with the leg cramps. During my stretching, as soon as one muscle would stop another would start. It became quite comical for a moment.

Just as I got my legs back in order, Justin appeared with a finishers medal in hand. It was a terrific moment to know that we finished. He would probably beg to differ with you- the idea that I finished ahead of him was enough for him to commit to another half marathon in the spring. The idea of hanging up the towel on long distance running has been in the forefront of his mind pre-race day.

Here we are Race #1 in 2010 on the left and the most recent on the right. I'm 10 pounds heavier than I was the first go around, and definitely less trained than before, but even with the leg pain, I felt stronger and better post-race than my first time. I do attribute some of that to the northern terrain of San Antonio- THANK YOU neighborhood hills!

For this race, I joined Team Determination of the American Cancer Society with a group of co-workers. The experience of getting to know some new faces in the office and fundraising for a good cause gave me a different focus at this race. I wasn't just running for what I could accomplish, but for a multitude of other reasons. I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to run with such a great organization and group of people!

And you, my lovely readers, still have the opportunity to support my fund raising efforts. Although race day has come and gone, Cancer has not! We have left our fundraising open a little longer for those of you who would like to make a contribution. Please click here to make a donation! Help me meet my fundraising goal!

Off and Running,

Sunday, September 18, 2011

It's that time

Sun sets, a full moon rises
before each is done twilight glows
This crossing of a season into the next
begins with the crossing of day into night

Taken from a BHLDN advertisment. I have the Starburst Pleated Shift and love it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Week 2- What's been cookin' in my kitchen?

I'm a little behind schedule on getting this posted, but I've had some stuff come up the last couple of days that needed some immediate attention. I'm popular and when people need me, they need me. What can I say?

So last weeks cooking endeavors where well intended, but I took the easy way out a couple more times that I would have liked last week and dined out. But, we started off well and it's the intent that matters most, right???

Monday: Roasted Chicken Quarters, pan sauteed veggies, and mashed potatoes.

How'd ya do that? Skin-on chicken quarters were on sale this last week at the store, so I snagged up a family size package so we would have leftovers, of course. I rubbed them down with a blood-orange olive oil (but any old olive oil would do) and seasoned them with salt and pepper. Threw in a few sprigs of fresh rosemary, a quartered onion and added a bulb of garlic (which I cut the top off of and rubbed with olive oil )to the pan and roasted everything on 350 for about 30-40 minutes.

Boiled the cut washed red potatoes until soft. Drained the water and added milk, butter, salt and pepper to taste.

For the veggies, I melted a little butter in a saute pan and added some pine nuts until they were toasty and brown. To that I added the following leftover items from my fridge; steamed green beans, roasted asparagus, jar of pimentos. Just cooked until heated through and added a little salt and pepper.

Tuesday: Creamy spinach dip, chicken croissant rolls with salsa for dipping with chips and fruit salad.

How'd ya do that? Remember that left over spinach dip?? Well, it came in handy. I spread it on a package of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls and shredded up some of the leftover roasted chicken from the night before. Rolled them up and baked according to the package directions. And the fruit salad was my favorite medley of sliced bananas, strawberries, and blueberries.

Wednesday: Willie's Ice House

How'd ya do that? This is where we started to go downhill. But, it was a celebratory meal of sorts. Griffin had a tennis match that he won. He won!! This was cause for celebration and what better way to celebrate such a victory than a savory burger from Willie's.

Thursday: Homemade pizza. This started off with good intentions of being a veggie pizza, but the Italian sausage and peperoni's in the freezer caught my eye and stole my heart.

How'd ya do that? Click right here for The Pioneer Woman's easy, cheesy, pizza dough recipe. It makes plenty for a family of 5-6 or leftovers for a family of 2, like mine. Topped with some leftover jar pizza sauce hanging out in the fridge and browned Italian Sausage, Peperoni's and Kraft Pizza Cheese Mix.

P.S. I had leftover browned Italian Sausage to be used in a future meal. Love.

Friday: Boiled crawfish from Repka's. We had cause to celebrate again. It was the weekend. We live for the weekends.

Their motto is: Good food. Good friends. Good fun. I like these people and their motto.  It's a hole in the wall in the middle of nowhere. And if you think I'm exaggerating, I dare you to drive there. Only be prepared to wait on a Friday night. Because a lot of other people dare to drive all the way there too. It's just that good and that fun. Pool. Crawfish. Dollar bills stapled on plywood ceilings. Juke boxes. Peackocks and guineas out back with a fire pit. Open kitchen crawfish purging and boiling. Picnic tables. And they even moved up a little last year and got a credit card machine. Whoa. You have no excuse to go.

Many Happy Times,

Sunday, April 3, 2011

What's been cookin' in my kitchen?

This last week's menu went a little something like this...

Monday: Cracker crusted chicken strips with mashed red potatoes and oven roasted broccoli.

How'd ya do that? Cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts into strips. Dredge them in melted butter and dredge them in a mix of crushed crackers, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Bake them in the oven on 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes until done. I used Ritz crackers, but you can use whatever you have on hand.

Tuesday: Spicy Dr. Pepper pulled pork, leftover mashed red potatoes and roasted broccoli.

PS. I froze a lot of the leftover pork. That will surface again. I give it a two thumbs up. But, boy is it spicy!

Wednesday: Fox's Pizza with Caesar Salad.

How'd ya do that? Pick up the phone and call your nearest Fox's pizza right now. You won't be sorry. I promise. While your waiting, wash and tear up some Romain lettuce leaves. Toss them with creamy Caesar dressing, Caesar croutons, and Parmesan cheese. I bet you will eat one or two less pieces of pizza if you throw this salad together while you wait. A little roughage and fiber never hurt anyone.

Thursday: Gorton's Fish Sticks, steamed green beans, and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.

Don't judge. Just don't. We do the quick and easy and totally processed diet from time to time. Especially when the 14 year old is in charge of dinner.

Friday: Pork Chops topped with mango, apple, habenero salsa, garlic and cheddar mashed potatoes, and oven roasted asparagus.

How'd ya do that? The pork chops were seasoned with a little salt and pepper and grilled stove top in my grill pan for about 4 minutes on each side. Then, I placed them in a casserole dish topped with the Mango Salsa and finished cooking in the oven. For the potatoes I boiled and mashed potatoes and added milk, butter, grated sharp cheddar cheese, minced garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Tossed the asparagus with olive oil and sea salt and roast on 350 degrees for about 7-10 minutes.

This weekend has left me with a large helping of leftover spinach and artichoke dip. I've got my thinking cap on and  getting creative about how to use it and can't wait to share it with you. Hope you all have fabulous weeks planned!

Munching away,

Friday, April 1, 2011

What's Cookin?

At Christmas I was doing a little shopping at a spice store called Penzey's in The Heights. Tucked in the bottom of my bag was a bumper sticker that says...."Love people. Cook them tasty food." I stuck it up on my fridge and it has become one of my favorite things in my kitchen. You see there are a few things in life that I really love.....like, really, really love.

One is that I love food. Not just eating lots of food. But, I love the flavors and the preparation. The magic that happens when you add the right mix of ingredients with a little heat or cold that causes a party in your mouth.

The other is that I love cooking for others. It just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

So, the sticker is perfection on my fridge.

In an attempt to reacquaint myself with more consistent posts, I am going to attempt to introduce some regular weekly posts. One of which will be a weekly dinner menu. This is a trial basis, so don't get too attached too quickly. My life is known to get crazy on a whim and if that happens, the blog usually gets neglected. So this is my disclaimer, you could get your heart broken if you fall too fast, too soon. Remember the heart on the sidewalk lesson, people. There was truth in them thar words!

But, because I love people, I am going to cook them tasty food. I mean you. Cook YOU tasty food.

My goal is to 1. cook regularly, 2. do my shopping and cooking on a decent budget, 3. incorporate a balanced diet with occasional splurges on cupcakes and chocolate cake (because who can live without those little bits of sweetness) and 4. use my leftovers wisely.

It is simply divine to end my days with good food and good people. There isn't much that  I can think of that makes it better, except maybe a great glass of wine.

So, keep an eye out for upcoming posts on my weekly menus. I'm preparing one today for this upcoming week and will get it up over the weekend.

Happy Dining Friends,

Friday, March 25, 2011

For the love of NOLA

Last weekend we celebrated Spring Break in New Orleans with some friends. We walked the endless streets, ate beignets and incredible seafood, drank fruity drinks, visited the casino, caught beads while watching a parade, sang and danced our hearts out....we basically did all the things you do in New Orleans and had a downright good time!!

On Saturday night we ventured out and found this fantastic place with a nice patio, great music, and a mechanical bull. Memories were made here, folks. The ladies were infatuated with Justin and dancing skills, but one in particular decided she needed to take our picture dancing together after she had her turn dancing with him. I found this series of photos on my phone and I love them. Love. Them. There is something sort of artistic about them.

However, what I perceive as an artistic eye could also be her lack of ability to hold a camera straight while being completely inebriated. After all, it was NOLA on a Saturday night.

NOLA Dance
NOLA Dance 2
NOLA Dance 3
NOLA Dance 4
Dance NOLA 5
Dance NOLA 6
Dance NOLA 7
Dance NOLA 8
Dance NOLA 9
Dance NOLA 10
Dance NOLA 11
Dance NOLA 12
Dance NOLA 13

From the bottom of my dancing heart,

P.S. I may or may not have ridden that mechanical bull.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lunchtime Adventure Story

I ventured out for a little shopping on this absolutely gorgeous day because I just couldn't stand the thought of being couped up sweating my rear off in a spin class, which was my original plan for the day. As I crossed Main Street in downtown Houston, an apparent homeless man yells out to me,

"M'am, M'am you dropped something. You dropped something. Aren't you going to stop."

The only thing I had was my bag tucked tightly under my arm, because that is the only way to carry a bag in downtown Houston. My mind went quickly from "is he talking to me?" to "what could I have dropped?" to "is this guy a lunatic?" When I heard again...

"M'am, you dropped my heart right there on the sidewalk. Aren't you going to pick it up?"

Why no sir, I am not.

I moved along a little perplexed by that situation but thoroughly entertained.

As I was finishing up my lunch time adventure in Macy's, I noticed the same guy pass me as I was coming into the store. A grin crossed my face as I replayed our previous encounter and I promptly went about my business of purchasing some socks.

When no sooner was I in the store and at the counter about to pay and I hear the same voice...

"but I didn't take this shirt. I had it on when I came in. Go look at your video tapes."

I turned around and the noticed the same man, whose heart was splattered on the sidewalk outside, sporting a brand new plaid polo and striped cardigan with tags still attached being escorted by two security gaurds.

The moral of the story here is twofold.

1. Never, never throw your heart to someone who isn't looking or who has no interest in catching it. It will end up on the sidewalk, no doubt.


2. If you are going to shoplift shirts from Macy's first, be smart enough to take the tags off and be confident that two men wearing black jackets with gold letters spelling S-E-C-U-R-I-T-Y will escort you straight to asset protection. Here you will probably be turned over to the police and have charges pressed against you. And then you may earn yourself at least one night in the county jail....with a bed, a meal or two, a toilet, a clean jumpsuit.

I was beginning to conclude the guy a lunatic, but I think he may be far smarter than he is given credit.

The End.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Saturday, February 12, 2011

iPhone Dump and a List

My iPhone has 456 pictures on it and approximately 367 of those pictures are of my sweet niece. Today I am going to share a few of the latest. But, I'll hold off on sharing too many pictures of the sweetest and cutest baby ever. It's my attempt to leave you wanting more. So all three of my loyal readers will come back again one day.

1. If this does not leave a forever picture in your mind when you hear the saying "sleep like a baby" then I don't know what would?
Sleepy baby 2

2. Possibly something like this?

SLeepy Baby

3. I'm in love with this guy. Today we are celebrating our love for each other. WHAT am I thinking?
Rock on MJ

4. Michael Jackson took Griffin and me to see a basketball game and we sat on the fourth row. It was a new perspective for me on the game. Those guys are giants. Huge. I had not idea. TV does NOT do them justice.

5. My BFF from High School decided to take a stroll down memory lane and came across this picture. We were 18 year old, college students. I won't reveal all the details about the story behind this picture, but it included a botched hair cut, a road trip, a cheap motel, and Aggie Land. Oh, and lots of hair spray...always lots of hair spray.
D & A Bad haircut road trip

6. My love again. Not so much a giant on the basketball court, but amazing none the less.

7. Griffin is kicking my butt in spin class. He's been gloating in the fact that in the middle of a run to "Fat Bottom Girls" I have to sit my fat butt down for a rest, while he pedals away. He's just a little competitive. Maybe a lot. But, he gets it from his 'fat bottom' mother. We have a very odd relationship. I'll kick his butt next week. Because fat bottom girls....well, make the world go 'round.

Night Vision Sping

8. This is how Ribbon pouts. I tried to call her name 10,000 times to take her picture, but she would not look at me. Who knew Beagles were so sensitive? Good thing they have super short term memories. A mention of food and she was motivated  in seconds to be my best friend again.

Ribbon Pouting

9. Have you ever had Fox's Pizza? I have one across the street and I love. love. love. their pizza. We are on a first name basis with the peeps over there. It's a part of my weekly menu planning, which is precisely why this "fat bottom girl" is struggling in spin class.

Happy Saturday Sweets!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Dirty Talk

Today I spent 45 minutes scrubbing the toilet in my 14 year old sons bathroom. And while I was scrubbing said toilet, I thought about an essay that I wrote in Mrs. Elkin's fifth grade English class. The assignment was to write in the first person from the perspective of an inanimate object. I chose a toilet. I did not stutter....you read that correctly.....a toilet.

All that I can say about that is...Thanks mom! You were one heck of a toilet cleaner because when I was in the fourth grade, I must have had no clue of the potential disgust, filth, and grossness that could accompany a toilet. I feel certain I would have never gone in that creative direction if I had any clue at all.

This essay sits somehwere in my mothers house. And, I am sure it will surface since it's mention in this blog. The details of this essay have not stuck with me over the years. Mainly just the fact that I wrote it and that it was impressionable enough for my mother to say, "be sure you get that back from your teacher after it's graded. That's one I want to hang on too. Forever." At the time, my innocence left me clueless as to her persistence on keeping this essay. In fact, her daily inquiries about whether I had received it back yet only annoyed me. And it was this persistance that made a strong enough impression on me that I vividly remember this writing assignment nearly 30 years later.

In the event that this essay does surface then I may or may not choose to share the details of that story with you. She kept it for a reason. One I am sure will make for a good laugh. But, I'm not sure I am ready to share that laugh with everyone just yet. I'm a vulnerable person, you know.

Back on topic, I have one thing to say here. Boys are disgusting.

Even cute boys like this one. D to the I to the S to the G to the U to the sS to the T to the ING!!!!!

And that's really all there is to say about that.

Warm fuzzies to you,

Thursday, January 13, 2011

On Parenting...

It's becoming a theme in my life. After 14 years, it's about dang time, don't you think?

Below is a pictorial representation of my philosophy of parenting. Well, an aspect of parenting. A foundational aspect of parenting.
PArenthood Theory

It's simply says, that as an infant children wholly depend on their parents to be the decision makers. They have no authority or power, other than a blood curdling scream, to make decisions for themselves about what they will eat, where they will sleep, what they will wear, etc.

But, as a child grows through the stages of the toddler years on up through adolescence and the dreaded teenage years, they are given more authority to make decisions for themselves within the safety net of parental boundaries.

Let me give you an example:

When Griffin was a toddler he was given the option of 2-3 outfits to choose from when getting dressed for school. He could choose within the very limited selection he was provided.

During elementary school his instruction were that he could choose any collared shirt Monday through Thursday from his wardrobe and was free to wear T-shirts on Friday.
This was a Friday and I clearly lost the battle on tube socks vs. ankle socks. It happened a lot. But, I chose my battles wisely. Tube socks- not really a battle worth fighting.
This was a rough morning. It was a battle of the wills. Obviously, he was NOT happy with the rules and wanted to go to school in his robe, helmet, and gloves. But, I stood my parental ground and we came to an agreement.
And all was right with the world again.

We have now entered Junior High and he is allowed nearly full wardrobe creative rights. As long as he is within the school dress code policy. However, I still have the authority to veto purchases when shopping for school clothes because the majority of the time, I am paying for those clothes.
Hot diggety dog
He attempted to get out of the house in this one morning, but I gently reminded him of the time that he pushed the dress code policy rules and wore my mini skirt to school under the pretense that it was no shorter than his finger tips and he ended day in after school detention. He decided to change.

It's my vision and utter hope that as he continues into High School he will have a job earning money of his own. This will lead to full authorized purchasing power in the hands of one diligent and hardworking teenage boy. Guess what? The only position that I will take is to veto anything that is completely inappropriate for the occasion. Like if he wants to wear a speedo to Uncle Bartholomew's wedding, I might take the liberty of strongly encouraging him to re-think his choice of attire lest he be completely alienated from the remainder of the family to sulk in a corner and wonder why in the world his family has left him in such a state of loneliness and despair.

This could be him one day. I'm just saying, I will do everything in my power to help prevent that, but ultimately it is HIS decision.

Let's say a prayer for him now... Amen.

Seriously though, this theory of mine applies to all decision making. How to spend/save money, what to eat/drink, how much time to spend studying and doing homework, how to use his designated free time, and the list goes on and on and on. And the hardest part is sticking with this theory. Being consistent is by far more exhausting than just deciding for him what he's going to order from the menu in a restaurant or who he is going to invite to his birthday party or what he is going to spend his allowance on this next week (or save, SAVE, SAVE that money).

Y'all- I. mess. this. up. all. the. time. Especially when I can see an epic fail in the making. Oh yea, it happens! But I have to continually remind myself its better for that epic fail to happen in my presence where I can assist with piecing his life back together than for it to happen when he's out there on his own in the cold, lonely, cruel, harsh, big, bad world of adulthood.

My heart's hope is that he leaves the nest with skills to make educated decision, has experienced some failures so he understands they aren't the end of the world when he experiences other cruel and unusual punishment dished out by the world, and that he always knows he can come back to his mama for support and encouragement in the form of a hug, cup of coffee, and a chocolate chip cookie. Because let's face it, life is better with coffee and chocolate chip cookies.

Signing off now,

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Lead Me.. into 2011

Whoa! I just checked the date of my last post. Falling off the blog post wagon happens to the best of us, I guess. But, just like everything else in life, I'll just pick right up and get back on.

This last weekend I was driving home from a brief weekend excursion, reflecting on 2010 and thinking about this new year and all the mysteries it has yet to unveil. Lost in the depths of some serious imagination, I suddenly found myself singing along to an amazing new song by Sanctus Real that was on the radio.

Now, what girl in her right mind doesn't want to be married to that man? No really, he is amazingly handsome, has a beautiful voice, is sensitive and insightful, loves the Lord and above all....acknowledges his screw ups. Seriously, that is the ultimate guy. Am I right ladies?

I kid. I kid. Don't get your britches all in a wad, guys.

But, as I reflected on this song I found myself thinking about the words simply from the perspective of a parent. Unfortunately, I have to admit that my kid doesn't always get my best. Fortunately, I recognize that he deserves my best. But sometimes, I am a little late in recognizing that.

That's why he is allowed to dress up like this:

Play with real toys like this:

Or this:

Oh, I think I got off track a little. Let's take a hard right and get back on course. Where were we? New year, parent issues, Lead Me, teenager with reckless abandon....oh yea, got it now.

The line of the song that reached out and grabbed my heart....

see their faces, look in their innocent eyes
They're just children from the outside
I'm working hard, I tell myself they'll be fine
They're independent
One of the most common compliments that I get about my son is that he so well behaved, mature, and independent for his age. I get a big grin on my face and thank the kind person for their sweet words and recognition and try to remember to always acknowledge that I am blessed and that the Lord was surely looking out for me when he gave me this independent, mature, well-behaved (in public- grins) kid of mine.

But inside, I reel with torment. It's a battle I have fought nearly daily from the time he could empty a garbage can. Because that is exactly what he has been doing. Helping me. As a single parent, I have thrust upon him duties well beyond his years. Don't get me wrong, I love that he can empty trash cans, wash dishes, do laundry, cook meals, put gas in the car, do the yard work, and on and on and on. I'm sure one day, he will impress the socks off a young lady like no other. And at 14 I don't believe he is doing anything more than any other 14 year old should be doing. BUT, he's been at it a heck of a lot longer than he should have had too!!

The following line of the song that moved from my heart to my throat and nearly took the breath out of me was this...

But on the inside, I can hear them saying...
“Lead me with strong hands
Stand up when I can't
Don't leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams, but what about us?
One of my goals for 2011 is to be that parent that leads him, being faithful and true to the Lord as a steward of this precious gift of a child he has entrusted me with and always seeking His direction in my life so that I can be the leader that Griffin needs me to be...

...as long as he continues to clean his room, do his laundry, and keep up with the yard work. (You know I'm kidding, right? It's a habit I have. Well, sort of.)

Ringing in the New Year,