Monthly Archives: March 2010

Maundy Thursday

Can you imagine the Upper Room?  A feast spread before Jesus and His disciples.  A feeling of thanksgiving for the Passover lingers across the aroma-filled room.  After the feast was eaten, it can be presumed that everyone was feeling satisfied with their stomach full.  Jesus humbly stood up from his seat, poured water into a basin, and quietly began to wash his disciples feet.  Such an intimate service filled with His love.  Imagine what it felt like: God in all his glory, holding your foot, gently washing it as if He was a lowly servant.  The honor and the indescribable love that must have been felt by both.  Jesus simply requested, “Do onto others.”

Tomorrow is Maundy Thursday, a commemoration of the Last Supper in the Upper Room.  What a wonderful opportunity for  you and your family to “Do onto others.”  Many churches have special services just for Maundy Thursday.  However, you can have a small memorable ceremony at home as well…

Begin with a Passover meal:

Menu

Matzo Ball Soup

Passover Rolls

Mushroom Onion Matzo Kugel

Beef Brisket

Passover Lemon Bars

Or have another traditional meal from Germany, Hungary, and Austria.

Spinach Salad

After the meal, wash each other’s feet.  Stress to everyone the importance of serving one another.  Then afterwards, plan a service project for your family to do..

God Bless…

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Sonflowerz

Couple of months ago, my 13yo brought home a CD from Joshua practice.  Joshua [Joshua is our church’s youth band..my daughter sings in the group.]  Tickled to death, she belted out some of the lyrics from the song the group will be performing for our church during our contemporary service.  Catchy little tune..not bad..not bad… was my thought..

Three of the Joshua singers is in my carpool.  Every afternoon, we have unplugged from our usual Skillet, Hawk Nelson and Barlow Girl musical montage [I know, I know..I’m 40 and probably need to face the fact that I may be reaching the age limit for listening to such music..uuuhhhh  NOT!] Instead, we have bee-bopped down the road to this group known as Sonflowerz. At first, it was just “to practice” the song they were performing, but eventually we had a mini-Sonflowerz concert in the ole family mini-van with me as the lead singer noise maker.

As the days crept towards the kids performing, we received news that the Joshua band director managed to bring Sonflowerz to our community for our own personal performance.  Giddiness filled the air!  It never crossed our minds that we practically knew nothing about the Sonflowerz.  At concerts, I can be a little old fashioned rockin … scary {that’s the word my daughter used after Winter Jam.}   There isn’t anything wrong with a middle aged woman trying to be 20 again…right?? Anyway, just knowing that they were coming, made our mini-concert even more meaningful.

Sonflowerz

The evening of the performance, the  sanctuary filled with buzz of the text messaging between all the young teen Joshua members. They were excited to say the least.  Minutes before the concert, the anticipation hung  thick in the air.  In fact, there were many new faces in the sanctuary… perfect opportunity to meet and make new friends.  My 8yo was sitting in the row in front of me..being a “big guy” too cool to sit with old mom and dad.[think he got word from big sis that mom can be a little scary].a young lady and gentleman sat down next to him as our worship leader warmed up the crowd.  As “Sardis welcomes the Sonflowerz” drifted through the air, the young couple stood and my son shot a look of amazement…the body language that screamed, “Hey Mom!  I was sitting next to some famous people!!”

A rocker at heart, I really enjoy music…I sport the spiky do..and can pull it off.  I even have colored streaks decorating my spikes {grey hair}.  So when the music started, my foot tapped and the praising began!  The music was awesome, but, I was blown away by this young group’s ministry.  Their message absolutely was Earth shattering!!  Their faces carried the message of God’s love as they sang.  There was no mistaking their passion to serve the Lord and to sing His praise.  It was pouring out of their music, their eyes, and spilling into the crowd.

I was moved the most when they presented the story behind their song, “Legacy.”  It was written in the honor of a friend who was serving God in Nepal.  Sadly and suddenly, he was killed while in service.  BUT, he left behind a legacy that shared to the world what it really means to serve God in a mission field.  This one song caused me to sit there and really reflect on my own ministry.  From of feelings of inadequacy, I have become a little stagnant…I mean, I haven’t been promoting my ministry as much as I should be.  As I sat there listening to the words that I have heard every day for the past two months, I realized that it was time that I begin to lead the legacy I am being called to serve.  Through the Sonflowerz music, their moving stories, and their obvious love for the Lord, I was moved to make a difference in my approach to speak and to motivate.  I guess you could say it was the fire that I needed to push me into promoting myself for more speaking engagements and buckling down in my writing.

I loved hearing how Sonflowerz got their name..  They travel through Kansas and where fields of sunflowers are surmountable.   The flowers face the sun and never stray from its powerful rays of life.  In turn, these young ladies want to do the same..following God’s lead and never straying from His guidance.  Hence the name, Sonflowerz.  Powerful!!

Their music…Great!  Their message…Meaningful and Powerful!!  Their love for God..Immeasurable!! They are the perfect role model for the young ladies in our Joshua band.  It is my prayer that their story, their moving message to serve, will touch the hearts and focus these young leaders to become God’s servants.   It isn’t everyday that a group like the Sonflowerz take the time to come to out neck of the woods.  It was a memorable impression made on our Joshua group.

Ladies, may you continue your walk with God with the same reverence and love you share.  You bring such joy and a powerful message that many of the young…and young -at-heart.. need to hear.  It was a true blessing to see you perform and to sing along with your music.  May God Bless you and keep you.

The 2nd Half of a Great Day!

I am so glad you came back to hear about the grand day we had exploring downtown Little Rock, Arkansas.  I know, I know. how “grand” could Little Rock really be???  The first half of our day, we visited the ATA Garden, The Peabody Hotel, and the Capital Hotel.  The goal of this fine day was to entertain 4 kids and one mom without spending much money.  So far so good!!  If you haven’t already, run over to last Friday’s post and check out our morning..

Now, to finish what we started… We left off leaving the capital hotel and boarding the trolley…

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All Aboard

All AboardLittle Rock 136!!

Starving, we rode the Trolley back to the area where our van was parked at the Clinton Library.  We had plans to picnic on the grounds of the library.  Unfortunately, after recent rains the grounds were soupy.  But we made do…. we picnicked on the sidewalk.

Little Rock 141 Can you believe the Beatles were in Little Rock??

Look the Fab 4 are walking to the Heifer International Headquarters!!

After lunch, we walked three blocks over to the Heifer International Headquarters for a self guided tour…. which was fun, interesting and FREE!! The building is “green.”  The building is 70% recycled or recyclable material.  They collect rain water to flush their toilets.  [I checked to see if the toilet water was discolored.. I mean it is rainwater!!  Surprise!  It looks just like the water in my bowl at home!]  Impressive to say the least.

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At Heifer, the goal is to rid the world of hunger and poverty.  They have a really cool self guided tour for folks like myself to learn about other countries and how I can make a difference.

The kids really enjoyed learning about the projects like “A Classroom in a Box.”  Everything needed for a one room school house is in the box.  Amazingly enough, it was very modest.  And to think, back in the day, when I was teaching, my complaint was that I didn’t have the “tools” to teach.  I hold my head in shame!!

The kids and I enjoyed seeing the difference in the types of foods that are necessary for establishing and maintaining a living.  And we are not talking McDonald’s or Burger King.. Needless to say, after visiting, I felt as if I needed to re-examine my lifestyle and be even more conservative…as well as eco-friendly.

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Left:  Kids are learning about the classroom in a box.  Center:  Model of a home being self-sufficient Right:  Little Man learning about burgers.

After the Heifer Village, we caught the trolley to the Historic Arkansas Museum.  The galleries inside this museum is free.  The kids enjoyed a few minutes in the kid’s gallery.

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Getting Twisted playing Arkansas Twister

The Historic Arkansas Museum had a really neat knife collection and some art to view.  The museum has a nice well preserved territorial city block..unfortunately it was closed due to restoration and it also cost money to take a gander at the old buildings.  I am sure the interpretive guided tour is great but the kids really enjoyed a game of Arkansas Twister in the Kid’s gallery.  It is the Twister game on a large map of Arkansas… I liked the play on words to be honest..


We grabbed the next trolley and went to the River Market.  We enjoyed walking through the market smelling all the great food.  We stopped by the Bath Junkie for a complimentary hand scrub and to enjoy the many scents they offer to add to the creams and soaps.  Afterwards, we were entertained by bubbles and a street performer.

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We left the Market area for the river park.  The kids enjoyed the rock climbing and sliding.  It was a really cool place to play.  What really makes it cool is that the planners of the park asked children what would make a great park and they had some pretty cool ideas..

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Then we walked across the Arkansas River.  The Junction Bridge was once a train bridge turned foot bridge.  We enjoyed watching boats and the cool breeze off the river.

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From the foot of the bridge on the North Little Rock side, we walked two blocks to catch the trolley.

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Back on the Little Rock side of the river, we walked over to the Nature Center. There, we enjoyed the wildlife our Natural State has to offer.  Once again we learned lots and it was all FREE!!

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After an hour of fun, we said good-bye to all the animals and headed back to our van.

We had a wonderful day.  It was a day filled with excitement and laughter.  We learned a lot.  We were all tired when we piled back into the van, but we are already planning next year’s visit!

So did we reach our goal?  As a matter of fact, we did.  We had fun [even the teenagers] and only spent a grand total of $10.  The day only required a couple of hours on the internet Googling “free things to do in Little Rock” to plan out our agenda.  Everyone was armed with cameras and some of the coolest pix captured were from the kids..

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And of course….while dodging the pigeons under the freeway bridge we found this….

God Bless..

Downtown!!

I’ve joined my friend, Hilary, The Other Mama, in her Friday Favorites!  Check out everyone’s favorites!!  In the meantime, look what we did this week!!

We packed our lunch……

Picnic for Champions!! Pizza and Kool-aide!

And headed to DOWNTOWN!!

Little Rock

Little Rock has always seemed like a little city with a “Wanna-be” big city attitude.  A couple of years ago, I took the kids and their friends for the downtown experience.  They have been talking about it ever since.  So, this year, I planned yet another day trip to our fine capital city.  Our goal:  Be Cheap and Have Fun!!

We found a free parking space at the Clinton Library.  From there we trekked  to the Little Rock visitor center in the River Market to purchase the $2 day passes (per person)  for the Trolley.  Now we were set armed with our cameras.

We had to get to the Peabody Hotel by 11 to watch the ducks.  As we were walking along we found this….

ATA Garden

It is a garden dedicated to Eternal Grand Master H U Lee, the founder of the ATA (American Taekwondo Association).

Next stop…. The Peabody Hotel!!

The Peabody of Little Rock

We had a  blast watching the ducks walk the red carpet….

enjoying the lobby

Just across the street there is a piece of my family’s history.  The Capital Hotel was built in 1870.  It was renovated by my great-grandfather,  Loyd E. Neely in the late 1940’s.  The lobby looks like something from a movie.  The grand ceiling is decorated by a beautiful stained glass image of the State Capital.  My grandfather, Elbert Cornett, was working for Grandpa Neely.  They had just removed the glass from the lead casings when my grandfather slipped and fell through it onto scaffolding.  The scaffolding saved his life.  Needless to say, my clumsiness comes natural.

After the Capital Hotel we were starving….. If you think the first part of our day was cool…. wait until you read about the afternoon!  Click Here

God bless…..

Squashed Bread

Don’t you just hate it when you go to the grocery store and by the time you get home your loaf of bread is flattened??

Squashed Bread

My Granny would’ve refused to eat it because it is ruined.  My Grandmother would have given me a lecture on how wasteful today’s young people are and that there could be an alternative use for it.

There are a number of uses for squashed bread…..

1.  Make French toast:  a couple of eggs and two cups of milk beaten together in a bowl.  Dip slices of bread into the egg/milk mixture.  On a griddle brown both sides and remove.  Sprinkle  cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar over the toast.  Serve with syrup.  EASY AS PIE!!

2.  Make bread pudding.  My Granny made the best.  Check out her recipe.

3.  Make croutons.  This is unbelievably easy to do…..

Cut your bread into cubes

Slice and Dice
Cubes Rule!!
Cubed Bread

Drizzle Olive Oil over the cubes.

Drizzle

Sprinkle Garlic Salt over the cubes.

Sprinkle

Toss to coat….

Place on cookie sheet.

Cookie Sheet

Bake for 1 hour and 20-30 minutes in a 275 degree oven…

Place in air tight container.  Serve on salads and/or in soup.  YUMMY!!

Squashed bread no longer goes to waste!!