Thursday, April 21, 2011

Five Conversations You MUST Have With Your Daughter

I just finished reading a wonderful book about moms and daughters! If ever there was a book that made me want to be a better mom who is more secure in her own skin, it's this one. If I've ever read a book that makes me want to de-bunk all the "bunk" my daughter is going to see and hear and be prepared for the trials that my daughter is going to endure living in a fallen world, it's this one. All the things I am concerned for on my daughter's behalf is in this book. I appreciated the author's candor, her ability to admit that she doesn't have all the answers, and her humility in confessing her short-comings.

What this book doesn't say is that there is one way and it's the only right way to raise your daughter and it's in her book. It doesn't say that if you do "a+b+c" that you will always end up with "d." It doesn't come across preachy or condescending.

What it does say is that in all our failings, there is a God who is greater. That with all the negative statistics, there is hope. That the world lies to our daughters (even more than it lied to us) and that there is Biblical wisdom that combats those lies. That your daughter is more than the sum of her parts. That sex outside of marriage IS detrimental to the whole of you...emotionally and physically. That, as our daughter's moms, our opinions DO matter to them. That God did give us years to grow up for a reason! Don't rush it! (And how you can protect your daughter against the "I'm five going on fifteen" mentality and appearance.) That dreaming and desiring to be a wife and a mom is a good, Godly dream! And that it's easy to be "easy" but hard to be virtuous (but there are still kids who are doing this!)

(You can't really look inside this book from here...but I snagged the picture from Amazon and you CAN look inside it there!)

I know, for me, I have to constantly check myself. Am I showing my daughter what a good mom does? Am I being a good example of grace and mercy? Am I lovingly disciplining or being angry? Do I protect her from too much (because yes, it's possible!) or am I allowing her to experience age-appropriate mishaps for learning and reproof? Do I love her enough to change the stuff I don't like about myself so that she doesn't have the same "stuff" to deal with?  Do I love and appreciate the person that God made me, inside and out, so that when my daughter is my age, she has a better love and appreciation for how God made her, inside and out?

Do I take every opportunity I can to make it a teachable moment? Even things that I don't necessarily want my daughter know...she's going to find out. I try to teach my kids things before the world does.  I've found with many things...whether it's truth of the Lord or something like Santa Claus, if I get to them first with the information, I've won the first battle.  Do I do a good job of that?  I bet I could do a better job.

Yes, there are statistics. And some are staggering. Some, I knew. Some, I didn't. All point to the fact that God's truth is truth and that His plans and designs for our daughters and their lives are more promising than anything the world has to offer. 

Thanks, Brooke! This was a great read for me! I owe ya! :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I'm redecorating....kind of....'s been creeping up on us for a while.  We've seen the signs, but it's hard to comprehend it until it breaks out in brawls.  We have six people in our house. While four are "little" people, they will not be so little forever.  We have a couch and two chairs in our living room.  One is pretty much not operational during tv time because you can't see the tv from it.  Minor technicality.  The couch seats the four kids uncomfortably. I had taken to sitting on the floor with Isaac.  Nic would have Hannah on his lap and the two bigger boys with him on the couch.  It was awkward for family nights.  Did I mention we have tile floors?  Not so fun to sit on for two hours during a movie.

So...buying a new couch was creeping up on us.  Buying one soon stopped creeping and starting jumping in front of us as important when they starting fighting over someone's elbow in a side, feet kicking legs, and stealing pillows.  *Sigh*  Can't they just stay little?

New we come....I looked.  I looked a lot.  I checked out Ikea.  Had to be a sectional.  Good sectional colors...I fainted over the red one.  And had my heart set on it.  For months.  It was cheap.  It was a cover so I could take it off and wash it.  I could change the color if I wanted to.

 *Sigh*  It was not meant to be.  Thank the Lord for the $300.00 delivery fee that stayed my hand on the check out button!!!  I saw a sectional that was comparable in size and realized that in five years, we would be having the same problem we have now:

Six people (four are now bigger...hopefully I am NOT one of them!) and no room to sit.

Off to the furniture store I went.  With Brooke.  'Cause the boys were home with the kids.  That's just how we roll.

And I fell in love.  With something completely different than I was expecting.  It means I have to readjust the vision in my head to fit the cozy feeling I want to have with our family instead.

It means that the mantel I created is going to house a tv above it instead of a picture.  It means that we are going to have a much bigger tv than I ever thought we would (thanks to a very generous couple that we love in our young married's class).  It means that my husband is through the roof excited that what HE wanted for the living room is what he's getting.  And I'm excited because this means I get to redecorate.  PROJECTS! it is...sort of....our MASSIVE couch that our whole family will get to sit on for at least a decade (hopefully, two decades!).
We bought this (but in a lighter tan-ish color):
 The picture just doesn't explain how big this couch is.  Seriously.  Two walls of our living room and the chaise sticking out to kind of separate the breakfast nook from the family room...gone.  And now...that means our tv armoire has to go.  I have taken one for the family team and opted for a bigger couch that will seat us all comfortably, even when the boys are six feet tall...provided they don't try to lay their big, dirty, stinky bodies on my couch (because aren't all boys big, dirty, and stinky?).    That, together with the chocolate chip oatmeal bake they had for breakfast this morning should score me enough Mommy points to last me for a while.  Like...their whole lives!

And what used to be in our family room...will now be in our living room.  More room for Monday night Bible Study!  YAY!!!!  It's a win-win, I know!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Cake Balls and Sugar Cookie Smoore's!

Everybody's askin' here you go!

Cake Balls
This recipe is from Paula Dean (no wonder it tastes so good!)

1 cake mix, baked as directed
1 can of frosting
2 cups of chocolate chips (I always need more)
2 TB shortening

While the cake is still warm, but not hot, crumble it up in a large bowl.  Dump in one full container of store bought frosting in with the cake and stir.  Refrigerate for at least one hour.

When cake mixture is cold, roll it into walnut sized balls.  Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze for at least two hours.  (I have taken the balls out in this form two weeks later(!), coated them in melted chocolate and they still tasted great.  Just put them in a ziploc and they should keep for a couple months).

Take two cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips and two tablespoons of shortening and melt in the microwave in thirty second intervals until chocolate is completely melted.

Dip the frozen balls into the melted chocolate and place back on parchment paper.  Refreeze for at least one hour before serving.


I like to get creative with my cake mixes.  I'll use cherry chip with chocolate frosting and chocolate chips.  Or dark chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and white chocolate chips.  I'll make a spice cake with pumpkin and then coat with chocolate, etc.  Use your favorite cake/frosting/chocolate chip combo! 
I also only use 3/4 of the frosting because I think they taste better with less. 

Sugar Cookie Smoore's

1 package store bought sugar cookie dough
marshmallow creme or large marshmallows

Bake the sugar cookies as directed.  I form mine into balls and then smash them with the palm of my hand.

Once the cookies are cooled, spread Nutella on one and marshmallow creme on the other and then sandwich them together.

If you are using large marshmallows, put them on the warm cookies so they melt slightly.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

All Aboard!!!

"This is the POLAR EXPRESS!!!"

We are back from our first EVER family vacation!  We drove to Williams, AZ and rode the Polar Express. the NORTH POLE!  Santa gave all four kiddos a very special bell.  If you can still hear it ringing, you must still believe in Santa.

For the record...I can still hear it ringing!

And since I don't like Blogger's new format for can see the whole 200+ pictures on FB!  Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas!!! 

Friday, September 3, 2010


I've kind of joked around with Insanity and the encouraging words Shaun T. uses to keep you motivated.  It must work for me, though, because I am still doing it and still loving it.

My favorite phrase he says is, "Dig deeper!  You can freaking do this!"

Because, you know what?  I can.  I can poop out really fast, too.  It takes a whole lot less self-encouragement and arguing with my body to have it just sit on the couch instead.  But I know, at the end of the day, I'd be annoyed with myself. 

And then, I hear God whisper to me, "Dig deeper."  

And my first reaction is, "I will later, Lord.  I want to (fill in the blank) first."

And my day goes on with more things that come "first."

But lately, I've been getting up early because Hannah has given me a 6:30am wake up call to use the rest room.  "Mommy!!  I need to go peeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!"  Thank you for that, Pretty.  So, I've taken the opportunity to read my Bible and start a journal again before the kids are awake.  And you know what?  I can freaking do this, too.  And I want to.  And I feel like something is missing when I haven't done it.  And He is faithful to whisper still, "Carrie, dig deeper."

The difference of starting my day with the Lord in unexplainable, except that His grace seems to be in abundance when I have tapped into Him. 

I have found what I call my "Sweet Spot" with the Lord.  My yellow chair flanked by two corner windows and a little table with a lamp on top for light. It's where I meet with Him in the morning and offer Him my day and all that is contained in it.  Because He already knows it.  Because He's already seen it, walked it, and graciously given me the day that He has made.

Oh God of mine, I’ll have no idols
Oh God of mine, come lead the way
Oh God of mine, I’m greatly humbled
This sinner’s heart You came to save
Oh God of mine through storm and trial
Oh God of mine through death and grave
Oh God of mine in resurrection
Your scars display my soul’s refrain
Oh God of mine Who holds all nations
Oh God of mine Who saves the day
Oh God of mine, Your grace sufficient
And tender mercies new by morn
Oh God of mine, forever faithful
Oh God of mine, forever stay
Oh God of mine, forever after
These eyes upon Your face will gaze

-Rita Springer

Have you found your "Sweet Spot" with God?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I Define God to My Kids

I have been washed, wrung, and hung out to dry with something that I was re-taught last night.


Yesterday, we were at Michael's and I accidentally broke a picture frame. Noah knows that they are not allowed to touch things in the stores because they could break something and then I'd have to buy it and that's not how we want to spend our money, etc. So, when he saw me break the picture frame he said, "Oh broke it Mom. Now you have to do the right things and buy it." Yes, I do and yes, I did. Thankfully, it was only $5.


Last night at our Growing Kids God's Way class (yes, we are taking it again! Trust me, we need it!), we were reminded that Christianity is not a religion of mediocrity. This is HUGE! We are to do things and do things as unto the Lord, and if you do something for the Lord, you naturally WANT to do it well. Christianity is NOT a religion of MEDIOCRITY. I was reminded of the idea of "good, better, and best." It is good that Noah wants to be a witness for the Lord. He could learn to do it better by speaking with more love. Eventually, he could be the best witness ever because he is unashamed of the gospel. I am a good mom. I could be better. For the sake of my kids, I want to be their best mom ever.


Love is not RUDE. Be COURTEOUS to all men. Another thing I was reminded of, not just during our GKGW class, but also during my Precept study I did earlier that day. This was meant to be a reminder for us to teach our children good manners. Offer your seat to the elderly. Open the door for people (my boys are awesome at this). Honor age by offering them the first plate of food. All these things are done because love is not rude and God asks us to love our neighbor by being courteous to all men. The problem here for that I am rude to my kids. Ouch. I hate to admit it, but it is true. I am sarcastic at times. I also act as if they are bothering me when they ask for something which is not very courteous. I have a bad habit of ignoring them when they call my name. How can I expect them to trust me in big things, like God and Jesus and His saving grace, if they can't trust me in the little things, like knowing I will answer when they call?


And let's just be real here. I bake bread, make cookies, make granola bars, wash clothes, clean the house, work out, lead a Sunday School class, attend Bible studies, and make signs. People ask me how I do it. I don't. I am a figment of your imagination. I guarantee you the process of my daily grind is way less glamorous than you have it in your mind. You know what I keep thinking? What does all that matter if I have not love? Some days, I am so over-whelmed, I yell at my kids. I yell at my husband. I crash and burn into bed at 8:05pm because the kids have gone to bed at eight. Some days, I go all day without praying or reading the Bible. The hours between 4 and 8pm are the most daunting for our family. I'm trying to cook dinner while the kids are screaming that they are starving and I'm burning the bread, yet again. Dinner is a yard sale because the kids don't like what I fixed...and by that time, I'm exhausted with being nice and kind and not losing my mind that I make up for the whole day of "nice" Mommy with one explosion. Did I mention that my house is not clean?


And we are here to define God to the world. My kids will one day define God to the world and the picture I want them to have of God begins with me.

I am in prayer for a young wife who is waiting for a double lung transplant. While talking to Nic about her, I have also been in awe of her mom who is as strong as ever in her faith, but also raised an amazing woman of God. What did she do? What was her secret? What can I learn from her? What do I know of her?

I know she was and is a woman of God. I know she was involved with her kids and their friend's parents. I know she practiced what she preached to her kids. I know she was constantly in prayer for them. I know she earned their respect, honor and trust. I know her children will praise her at the gates.

Will mine? That is my hearts desire, but I could certainly do better on the road to getting there because:


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Isaac, it's not even 10am, yet!

He's just too resourceful for his own good.

Um...I think he wants to watch tv and he can't quite climb up on the couch, yet. That's his sister's chair from the breakfast nook.

He's pretty proud of himself.