Sunday, June 24, 2012

Miami Heat Madness!

Let's go Heat!
Congratulations to the 2012 NBA Championship Team-The Miami Heat!

The city of Miami is electric and pulsating after the big win last Thursday night.  Players and fans partied until the wee hours of the morning to celebrate the illustrious victory.  Fans are waiting in lines for hours at sporting good stores trying to get their hands on Heat gear.  Championship teams aren't made overnight and the Heat organization learned that the hard way.

After the big announcement last year that the most polarizing figure in basketball, Lebron James, would join the Heat all eyes looked for the Heat to be national champions in 2011.  That dream never became a reality.  The Heat lost in the 2011 NBA Finals to the Dallas Mavericks.  Lebron James felt humiliated that he couldn't make good  on his promise to the Miami fans.  He spent weeks, after the 2011 NBA Finals, in his room, not shaving and with no energy to get out of bed.  "I had hit rock bottom" said Lebron James.

The 2012 NBA series finally opened after a three month delay on December 25th, 2011.  It would be a shortened season but the Heat again had their eyes set on winning the coveted national title.  Lebron looked only to himself to work harder and be a better player.  He made the choice not to play the game with hate for his critics but with love for the game.

The difference became evident in Game 5 on last Thursday night.  He played with a hunger almost like a lion ready to go in for the kill.  The Heat dominated over the OKC Thunder winning 121-106.  The jubilant Lebron left the game with only minutes left in the 4th quarter.  He was named the 2012 NBA Finals MVP.  After nine years in the professional NBA he can finally say, he is a champion.

Lebron James-2012 MVP
One of my favorite quotes from Lebron James (aka King James), "The best thing that happened to me last year was us losing the Finals."

Sometimes in life, the biggest loss sets us up and positions us for the biggest victory in our life.  So bring on the celebration and ticker tape parade.  The Miami Heat madness continues! (Posted by Roslyn)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Fun Friday

Every since seeing the movie, "Avengers", my boys have been obsessed with super heroes.  I recently took them to the library to find a few books.  My oldest is in love with the, "NERDS" series by Michael Buckley.  It is about a group of nerds that turn into super spies.

The characters are interesting because they deal with everyday problems school age children go through like:  Pufferfish (her allergies detect danger) or Wheezer (she uses her inhalers to blast the enemy).  I am just happy to find a Summer series that holds the interest of my tween.

So what about you:  What super hero would you like to become?  

My new name is-PenciLady (I use my words to erase all the evil in the world). Be creative, have fun and leave us a comment and let us know.  We would also love to hear about a great book you are reading to pass the time during the lazy days of Summer. (Posted by Roslyn)

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Do you spend a huge amount of time worrying?  Life has a way of throwing curve balls at us.  Then we are left to figure out how to "dodge" another bullet.  Will I lose my house?  How will I recover from this financial ruin?  How will I survive during my parent's illness?  Who can I trust in this new city?  What will I do when the entire family comes over for dinner?  Is my husband making the right decision for our family?  Will my manager approve my promotion?  Who is next to be downsized at work?  My teenager is pregnant, how will this go away?

First off, we are not alone in this life.  We don't have to figure out life's problems.  Worry can overtake our thoughts and emotions.  It finds a way to paralyze us.  We spend more time worrying over the situation than we do discovering or praying for a solution.  We can't move forward because we are brought to our knees with fear.  

The difference between concern and worry is that worry has negative emotions and thoughts associated with it.  You are literally trying to "figure out" the answer to the problem.  Many obstacles in life can't be figured out.  It is simply out of our control (ex. the CEO deciding to sell the business, leaving you without a job).

What you focus on expands in value!  

If the problem seems bigger, my constant meditation and thoughts on it will make it grow in value in my mind.  Worry is the opposite of trust.  God is our Creator and He has designed us to trust Him on the issues of our life.  Trying to pray your way OUT of a situation isn't always the answer. That situation might be the very thing God will use to draw you closer to Him.  

What worrying accomplishes:

  • More Stress
  • Time Wasted
80% of what you worry about NEVER happens.  

There is nothing productive about worrying. You are wasting precious time and energy thinking negatively.  Find ways to think and speak more positively.  Spend time with those who will encourage you vs those that add to drama to your life.  Refocus your thoughts on what you have.  We are surrounded by blessings but if we focus on the negative it will trick us into thinking we don't have anything.  

Here is the Monday Challenge:  Stop being anxious!   Make a decision this week to think and speak positively.  Pray and ask God for guidance.  Leave us a comment and let us know how it goes.  (Posted by Roslyn)

"So don't worry about tomorrow..."  Matthew 6:34

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Steamy corn

My family loves corn so when a friend recently suggested a different way to cook it, I couldn't wait to try it out.  I was skeptical with the method at first because it seemed way to easy.  Corn doesn't have the best of reputations in today's society even though it is a great source of vitamin C and fiber (white corn has more fiber than yellow corn).  I bet you didn't know that one cup of corn provides 18.4% of the daily recommendation of fiber. Its high fiber content is one of the biggest benefits of corn. Fiber has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels and help reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Corn also contains folate, phosphorus, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, manganese, protein, potassium, fiber, thiamine, and panthotenic acid.  It also has Vitamins A, E and K. Now that's an impressive list of nutrients.

Let's face it, is anything more satisfying than a grilled ear of corn with butter at a Summer barbeque?

Here's a quick way to steam corn versus boiling which causes it's rich nutrients to leak away.  Take an ear of corn (including the husk) and place it in the microwave for 5 minutes.

Let the corn sit for about one minute to allow it to cool some.  Remove the corn from the microwave with oven mitts because it will be extremely hot!  Remove the corn silk and husk. 

Rub softened butter on the corn and sprinkle with salt (I like Kosher salt the best because it has better flavor and no additives).

Take time and enjoy some this weekend.  Corn is in season so you can buy it really cheap at a local veggie stand or in your local grocery store.  My local store currently has 6 ears for $2.00.  (Posted by Renee)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Pain I Asked For

When I asked God to be closer to Him, I never imagined the journey to get there.  When I surrendered my will to His will, I may not have done it, if I knew the path I would have to take.  How many of us have felt this way?  We want to be closer to God, we've even asked for Him to draw us close, but little did we know, it would be a painful process that we asked for.

This question reminds me of our attempts to conceive our first child.  We were ready to have babies but it wasn't happening.  The desire to be a mom is often an innate desire that is hard to shake loose.  Men might not get it, but women who've felt that way truly understand.  It can become all that you think about.  Your mind will circle every action back to your thirsty desire to give birth.  While waiting for the gift of life, I pleaded with God for a child.  In my mind, getting pregnant should have been a quick process.  We were married.  God was at the forefront of our marriage, we were entitled to this privilege.

Boy was I wrong!

Month after month, no baby.  I didn't share with my husband my disappointment because I knew he couldn't relate to my need so why place that worry on him?  I may never understand the delay in conception but ten years ago, we were blessed with a baby girl.

When I pleaded with God for a child, I didn't have full knowledge of the pain associated with the birthing process.  Not only labor pains but morning sickness, tiredness, and a hospital stay during the pregnancy would be a part of the journey.  When I asked God for a child, subconsciously, I was asking for the pain

Intense contractions.  Needles and iv's would be a part of the trek to motherhood.

Your current situation is quite possibly not punishment from God, but purely the route to destiny.  If you've asked for a deeper relationship with Christ or to know Him in another way, I can almost guarantee you, the path will take you through a wilderness experience.  Hosea 2:14-15 shares the following:

 "And now, here's what I'm going to do:
   I'm going to start all over again.
I'm taking her back out into the wilderness
   where we had our first date, and I'll court her.
I'll give her bouquets of roses.
   I'll turn Heartbreak Valley into Acres of Hope.
She'll respond like she did as a young girl,
   those days when she was fresh out of Egypt.

Could the pain that you are in be just what you asked for?  (Posted by Renee)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Players Became Champions

Who would ever think we could win it all?

Let's Go Bengals!
I am so proud of my son's  travel baseball  team (PPO Bengals Orange).  Our team planned for months to travel to Disney (ESPN Wide World of Sports) for Memorial Day weekend.  We spent days and countless hours fundraising to pay for the hotel accommodations and new uniforms.
Watching the action!

The boys spent numerous time with practices, trainers and scrimmages.  We finally get to the end of a grueling Spring season. They make it to the playoffs and lose in the 2nd round.  One of our starting pitchers ends up in a cast. Despite all of this, we head off to Disney to compete.

Funny enough, our boys had a new energy as they walked into the ESPN sports complex.  Bright eyes shined as the boys realized this was NOT one of their normal tournaments.  Teams from across the country (Canada, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Kentucky, etc.) came to battle and hopefully win.

The PPO Bengals Orange stepped up to the challenge.  They were faced with many adversities.  Blazing hot sun, soreness, ripped pants, injuries (my own son has a sprained deltoid muscle), stomach viruses, and even a hospital ER visit for one of our players. None of this deterred our players from overcoming these hurdles.  The focus, enthusiasm and winning spirit never left them. 

They quickly learned that success would be no "walk in the park". Each victory would have to be hard fought.  The final game came and our boys dominated!  Two rain delays, torrential downpours, and lightning did not stop them from coming away as Champions.

The road to get to a mountain top experience is not always easy.  Our boys left their blood, sweat and tears on the field, literally.  

As I always tell my son:  What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!  

The Gold Medal
Our team came away united with one common goal-WINNING
(Posted by Roslyn)