October 30, 2011

Introducing... Lori of Nourishment for Ladies

One of the neat things about the internet is that it seems to have shrunk the world. I've enjoyed getting to know women from around the country through their blogs, and I'll like to introduce a few of them to you over the next few weeks. I've only met one of these ladies in person, but these are all women who have inspired me in one way or another. I hope you'll enjoy getting to know them. Be sure to stop by their blogs, too!


Lori Rhodes is a woman of many seasons… she’s the mother of five girls (the oldest is soon to be married) with another on the way. She’s been married to her favorite pastor, Ray, for 24 years. On her blog, Nourishmentfor Ladies, Lori shares special family moments, funny stories, and encouraging words. I'm thankful that I have met Lori personally and have experienced her gracious hospitality. (Note: Ray also has a blog, Nourished in the Word, and online bookstore, Books that Nourish.)



Please share your job description in 25 words or less.   
My job description includes, but is not limited to being Ray's wife; mother to Rachel, Hannah, Sarah, Mary, Lydia and baby to be born in November; pastor's wife to Grace Community Church; daughter to Ray's and my parents; sister to all of our siblings; ... My life is not my own, but I'm glad about that.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
One of the most challenging parts of my job is having to choose between my children. There are often times when one will have an event at the same time as another, or one will want to talk when another needs me. It's hard to choose between one child's music class and another's basketball game.
Being pregnant at forty-four, controlling hormones is also a huge challenge for me.


What is the most rewarding part of your job?  
Having all of my family around the same table or in the same room, talking, laughing, reading or having Bible time together are incredibly rewarding times. I also love to see the girls reading on their own, playing dolls, or playing together. A wonderful sound to me is to hear giggles and whispers from another room knowing that my family members are loving each other.
What is your favorite room in your home? (and please tell us why) 
When I began to think of my favorite room in my home, my bedroom was what came to mind first. When it's clean, it is calm and peaceful and where I can usually be alone with Ray. But I also love our living room. It's big, holds a lot of people and is usually where there is the most laughter.
One of the goals in my home of girls was to have books and baby dolls readily available in every room. As the girls get older, that doesn't always work out, I think it helps to foster a love for reading and babies.

Please share a favorite recipe you’ve cooked or DIY project you’ve done (you can briefly describe, then link back to your blog/website – and I’d love a picture if you have one).
One of my favorite projects was our Scripture canvases! Our whole family painted canvases and put our weekly Scripture memory verses on them then hung them on the wall. I am still trying to figure out how to make them stay on the wall and hang straight, but I love the idea. Here is a link to the post. Because it's on my stairs I couldn't get a great picture of it. 


When you are unmotivated, what keeps you going?

Accountability is often what keeps me motivated to do what's right. If my girls are around, I really don't want to set a bad example for them.

Also, knowing Scripture is profitable for my life, I try to stay close to that. Some days I have to quote it over and over to make myself think correctly. And to be honest, in my own sinful heart, there have been times when I have known I needed to be doing something more productive, I've pushed aside thoughts of Scripture to satisfy my sin.

What sage advice would you give a young woman today who would like to marry?

My own "sage" advice for young women about to get married would be to love God more than you love your husband! He will not let you down. He is faithful, trustworthy, and your best comforter.

What were you doing thirty minutes before you answered these interview questions?

While I'm answering these questions, I'm also cooking a special meal for Ray's 50th birthday. I started making this meal when first got married and it has remained one of our special occasion meals. The only problem is I lost the recipe at Father's Day and I am going on memory tonight.

What’s your favorite Starbucks drink?

I don't think I could ever get too much coffee, I love it! At Starbucks I would generally choose a plain latte or add a shot vanilla to it. In the Fall, hands down- Pumpkin spice latte. But I also enjoy the peppermint mocha latte in the winter. Being pregnant, I haven't drank a lot of coffee in the past few months so I'm looking forward to that soon.

 {Note: I shared one of Lori's favorite fall recipes here.}

October 24, 2011

Introducing... Becky at Organizing Made Fun

One of the neat things about the internet is that it seems to have shrunk the world. I've enjoyed getting to know women from around the country through their blogs, and I'll like to introduce a few of them to you over the next few weeks. I've only met one of these ladies in person, but these are all women who have inspired me in one way or another. I hope you'll enjoy getting to know them. Be sure to stop by their blogs, too!

Becky lives in Southern California and loves to organize and decorate (and often combines the two), as well as gardening and playing the piano. She describes herself as “a wife, Mommy, and child of God.” On her blog, Organizing Made Fun, Becky shares some of her favorite organizing secrets, ways to save money, and projects she does around the house (in a modern twist on the Proverbs 31 woman).



Please share your job description in 25 words or less.   
I am a stay at home mom, piano teacher, and part-time blogger!
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Keeping my focus, I get distracted easily! I am a big advocate of schedules and in order to have time to do everything, I MUST have a detailed schedule. As a blogger, I can spend 3-4 hours on one post, sometimes more time –  taking photos, editing photos, writing out content, editing content, etc. so I have little bits of time here and there carved out to work on blog stuff. As a piano teacher, I have to have had to make “business” hours and stick to only those – if someone can’t work with the days/hours I teach, I’m not the piano teacher for them! As a mom, it’s important to me to make sure when my kids are home from school, that I’m completely focused on them. So, I make sure that blogging and piano teaching don’t divert from that.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?  
As a SAHM, my children! They are amazing! As a piano teacher, I love my students and they really are learning something and enjoying it! I hope to encourage them, be patient and kind, but also firm if there is something better that they can do. As a blogger, it is my goal to motivate and inspire other Moms/Ladies to get their homes and families organized and scheduled to free up their time and tie them down!
What is your favorite room in your home? (and please tell us why) 
Our family room. It’s blue and calm and delightful. We all hang out in there. It’s beach-y feeling and just a warm place with all our family photos. We have the kids' computer, the game table, and our TV in there. So we all are in there most of the time.

Please share a favorite recipe you’ve cooked or DIY project you’ve done (you can briefly describe, then link back to your blog/website – and I’d love a picture if you have one).
My recent project for my daughter’s room was fun! It was a set of nightstands for beside her bed.

When you are unmotivated, what keeps you going?

Honestly, I have to stop and do something that I enjoy for a few moments. There are days I schedule in “projects” and I would rather not do anything all day! So, I have to get myself motivated by starting small.

What sage advice would you give a young woman today who would like to marry?

Oh, my! Be teachable. I see so many young Moms and young ladies who feel they know it all. I was that way. Be willing to let old women share their lives with you – disciple you and encourage you to holiness and godliness. Learn to serve. You will be doing a lot of that once you married, but you need to do so for the glory of God. Not for what you get!

What were you doing thirty minutes before you answered these interview questions?

Working on my blog updating stuff!


What’s your favorite Starbucks drink?

I hate to disappoint, but I don’t drink coffee or ever go to Starbucks!

October 18, 2011

Great meals, less time -- sounds good to me!

I enjoy cooking dinner for my family (and I sure enjoy eating), but I find myself cooking the same meals month after month. And even as a stay-at-home mom, our family schedule sometimes leaves me with little time to spend in the kitchen.

A couple of years ago I found great resource: Eat at Home: Everyday Food for Busy People. On her blog, Tiffany shares great tips and recipes that allow her to save money by quickly cooking at home rather than ordering takeout when life gets busy. And now, Tiffany has a new e-book: Feast in 15: Speed Cooking for Weeknight Dinners. Packed with loads of recipes, as well as tips, tricks, menus and grocery lists, it's an great value at just $4.99.


Disclosure: I am a Feast in 15 affiliate and will receive a commission for those who purchase through the link on my site. Thanks!

October 14, 2011

Did I mention I love fall?

I'm really enjoying the advantages of living in the North Georgia mountains in the fall. (However, there may well be a post about the DISadvanges of living in the North Georgia mountains come winter.)

At least a couple of times a week, I head down a 4-mile country road to get into town. The speed limit on this road is 35 mph, but I find there are very few places where I can comfortably get up to that speed (although others do -- and I let them pass me). But I love this -- I love that I'm made to drive slow enough to notice the beauty around me. Here are a couple of pictures I took earlier this week on that drive.




On his way to visit a client on the other side of town recently, Jeff discovered a beautiful drive. We had a few minutes after running errands late yesterday afternoon, so he shared it with us. I'm thankful there was a scenic lookout for this first one, but wish you could see the fall colors as well as we did.



As we stood there, we watched a storm roll in...


and roll in some more.


We made it to the top of the mountain before the storm arrived, and it was just beautiful.


Yes, I do love fall.

October 11, 2011

Fall thoughts

I love the fall.

I grew up in the Valley of the Sun (the Phoenix area) where fall is about two hours long. One minute, the mulberry trees had leaves, the next minute, they were all on the lawn.

Fall in the North Georgia mountains is different. It meanders in, teasing first with a day or two of cooler weather in early September. I can count on each of my family members coming to me with a big grin, saying, "Oh, I feel fall in the air!" Never mind that it's September 5. When I just smile and tell them, "Don't pack up those summer clothes just yet," they call me a fun-sucker.

But come October, fall decides to come in earnest. Each day, we look for a tinge of color on the leaves. The dogwoods, my favorites, begin to turn first. {Dogwoods are just beautiful in every season.} The sun is slower to rise, and the mornings are crisp. And coffee just tastes better.

I get the urge to visit antique stores and craft festivals (probably a hangover from the years Jeff used to hunt on weekends). AnnaKate wants to bake; Jared wants to stay in the woods until dark-thirty. Christopher likes to wear sweaters (with flip-flops). And Jeff wants to build a fire in the fireplace.

We all look forward to our annual fall pilgrimage to Burt's Farm for pumpkins and pumpkin muffins, and Hillcrest Orchards for apples, apple cider, and apple donuts ("Welcome to Hillcrest!"). When our kids were younger, we'd picnic at Amicalola Falls and let the kids and the cousins wade in the creek until their little feet turned blue. Now that they are older, they prefer to wander around the Dahlonega square, sampling fudge and seeing what treasures they can find in the shops. One year, we watched the Blue Ridge Rifles run through their precision rifle drills at The Military College of Georgia.

In the fall, we're back in our school groove. We're thinking toward family get-togethers. We're more intentional about being thankful.

I love the fall.


What do you enjoy about fall?


October 5, 2011

My Hunger Games Blog Post


So, my daughter is hosting a Hunger Games blog event this month, and she just came in and informed me that I should write a blog post from the perspective of a 49-year-old Hunger Games addict. Just a couple of problems there...
  1. I'm not 49 years old.
  2. I'm not a Hunger Games addict.
She said she got mixed up because my hubby / her father is about to turn 50. I informed her that when he turns 50, I still will not be 49. Math has never been her strong point.

As far as the addiction issue, here's the deal. She was loaned the books. She devoured the books. She bought the books. Then my son borrowed and devoured the books. I'm always a bit leery of "hot trend" books, so I figured I might as well read them to be sure my children were not being exposed to a demonic plot (although, knowing the family that originally loaned the books, I wasn't overly concerned). And I enjoyed them.

Now there's a movie coming out in the spring. And my kids and their friends talk about the books, the movies, and the characters. Often. The only other book/movie series I've seen generate this much discussion between them has been Lord of the Rings (and, for the record, HG is no LOTR). Among my daughter and her friends, most of the discussion goes like this:

AKJ: Peeta is the best, most true, most courageous character EVAH!

Friend: No way, Gale rules!

AKJ: For pity's sake, go over to my blog and read all my reasons why Peeta is the best, and you will be converted forEVAH!

I have talked about Hunger Games with my friends, as well. The conversation has gone more like this:

Me: Did AnnaKate loan The Hunger Games to (your child)?

Friend: Yes.

Me: I hope (your child) enjoys it. Want to get some coffee?

Now I've written my obligatory post on The Hunger Games to fulfill my maternal blogger obligations. And I feel almost 49 now.