Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year, New Attitude, New Outlook, New Me

Wow I can't believe 2008 will be over in a few hours!!! This year has been filled with so many great things. My oldest turned 10, my dh and I celebrated 10 years of marriage, my youngest started Kindergarten, and I turned the big 3-0. It has been filled with some downs as well but the good outweighs the bad. If I had to, I wouldn't change a thing. Nope, nothing. Everything that happened doesn't matter because I am still here. Which means it wasn't bad enough to kill me.

Today when I looked in the mirror, I saw a new person. I am still Queeny and still ka-ute, but I don't see life the same anymore. My dh asked me if I had any resolutions and I told him no but I have goals. I have some personal goals but my overall goals are to live more, love stronger, and laugh harder. I am working on some things I can't mention yet, I am going to meet even more people, I plan to let God use me in any, way, shape or form He sees fit. Instead of complaining about stuff, I plan on working to help bring about the change I want to see starting with myself.

I want to be the type of wife, mother, minister, friend, daughter, and sister I would expect others to be. I have eliminated negativity, drama, gossiping, silliness, pettiness from my life, starting with me. I realized the only person I can control is myself and if I am not involved in those things, then life is that much easier. And yes I was guilty as charged but not anymore. No it wasn't hard but it is so worth it. Everyday I wake up, I want to make sure I please God and God alone. I am so focused, so determined, so steadfast that I cannot and will not be moved.

Thank you to everyone who has read my blog, pmed me, left a comment, or sent an email. This blog is here because God loves you and me. He allows me to use my life, and the insight He gives me to share with you. I can't tell you how much it means to me to read your testimonies or to know you've been blessed. That is why I do what I do and I plan on doing even more in the New Year. It is my prayer that we will all become the people God has called us to be. May 2009 bring you all the love, joy, peace, wisdom, and blessings you deserve and more. Remember to always seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness.. I love all of you!!! Q

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

End of year hair pic

So I was asked to be the Feature of the month for hair blog named Long Hair Don't Care. I wanted to give the owner a recent hair pic so I pulled out the old Maxiglide. Yeah I only did a small section. There is no way in heck I was doing all of that. Thanks girlie for choosing me!!!! Enjoy and goodbye 2008!!! Q

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Weekend recap

In spite of what happened with Thomas' gps, I can honestly say I had a great weekend. My in laws came in on Friday and we had such a great time. They gave the girls gift cards to Target for Christmas so we spent most of the day there while they purchased some things. It was so cute to see them pay for their items. T and I was going to check out a movie but opted for dinner instead. We had a nice dinner and got a chance to just talk, smile, and reflect. We shared our goals for New Year and gave each other encouragement.

Today we all went to church and the sermon was awesome!!! It spoke to so many things we were all dealing with and it blessed me. I came home and made brown rice, curry chicken with potatoes, leftover roasted squash and apple crisp. The guys watched football and my MIL hung out with the Supremes. I left to attend an evening service and came back to spend time with the family.

My in laws are leaving tomorrow and the girls thoroughly enjoyed having them here. I am surrounded by so much love and goodness, I can't complain. I know God has great things in store for me. Much love. Q

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Why just why

My husband went out to his car this afternoon to head out. It was then that he discovered the gps I'd given him for Christmas had been stolen. I am mad, sad, and I feel violated right now. People can be so darn evil. We will be filing a police report in hopes the person left fingerprints behind. I just can't believe this right now. Q

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

My morning started off great!!! The girls received lots of wonderful gifts and they made me smile so much, my cheeks are hurting. Here is a pic of them on their HSM chairs they got from us as gifts. I pray everyone is having a safe, blessed, and wonderful Christmas filled with love and joy. Although we get gifts, let us not forget why we celebrate this time. Jesus was the ultimate gift for all of us and He is the reason for the season. Much love. Q

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Day 22

I have so much to post but really I just want to tell the Lord how much I love Him and I thank Him for blessing me each and every day!!!! I will do a recap tomorrow. Q

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Holidays from the Supremes

Days 20-21

On Saturday I went to work and arrived home to get ready for D's party. After getting most of the stuff ready, the kids arrived. I had a great time believe it or not. Imagine being here with about 6-7 girls all age 10 and under giggling for no reason. It went on for about 5 minutes non stop and I survived. I smiled because my baby was so happy and had a great time so all the work I did was worth it. Some of the parents and myself watched tv and chatted while the kids ran around.

T was out volunteering, witnesses to people and serving food at the rescue mission. I love him so much because he is always giving of his time and helping others. After he arrived home, I went to get some Christmas dresses for the girls.

Sunday was a little different than usual. The heat wasn't working in church so everything was a little hectic. The kids still put on their best faces and sang their Christmas songs. They pretty much did all of the service except for the sermon, lol. I recorded them on the new camera but I need to download it and do some editing. We gave out gifts and then we headed to Target and then home.

I came home and went to sleep for a few hours. I got up and had to run out to get some stuff for the office Christmas party. I was going to do 3 things but I am worn out and tired. So as I type, I just finished frosting my red velvet and carrot cupcakes. Yes I am making them again. But they are so quick and easy.

But let me tell you guys about blessings. The other day, I discovered some water, and mold in the hall closet. Yeah I know. I think it was leftover from the situation early this year and I just discovered it because I had a plastic bag where it was wet. So after removing the carpet, cleaning and disinfecting, we realized there was hardwood floors under the carpet. Since our house is old, I wondered if there was more. I went in the playroom and lifted up a section and started dancing. Yes we have hardwood floors under the carpet. I was thinking about putting some in but now it looks like all we have to do is remove the old carpet, do some sanding and refinishing and viola!!!! Yeah I know it is not as easy as it sounds but I am still happy. I admit I was a little down when I found the problem and I am still have a company come by to check to make sure everything is on the up and up but I am still praising God anyway. See what the devil meant for evil, God turned around for good!!! Q

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cupcake recipes

This is for Kim6992 who requested it. Here is the original tutorial for the red velvet cake. I used it for the cupcakes as well. I was able to make 24 from the recipe using a cooking scoop. I put about 2 1/2 scoops in each and baked them at 350 for about 20 minutes. The following is the recipe I used for the carrot cake ones. I got it from the food network but modified it.

2 cups self rising flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup of granulated sugar
2 (4 ounce) jars strained carrot baby food
1/2 of a small carrot grinded optional
2 eggs
1 cup of vegetable oil
Mix flour, cinnamon, and sugar in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and blend well with a mixer for about 2 minutes. I poured them into 24 cupcake wrappers, the same amount as the red velvet cake and baked at 350 degrees for 20 minutes as well.

I used a double recipe for the frosting since I did 48 cupcakes. It makes a lot and allows you to put a good bit on each one so it is coated with frosting!!!

1 pound of cream cheese, softened
2 sticks of unsalted butter softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups of confectioners' sugar

Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add sugar on a low speed and beat until incorporated. Turn speed to high and mix until light and fluffy.
Enjoy. Q

Saturday, December 20, 2008

D's party pics

Here are some pics of D and her friends at her b-day party today. As you can see, that is the same red dress from last year. She did jazz it up by putting a sweater over it but hopefully she will outgrow it real soon. Her hair is almost the same except last year she had braids and today she has twists. It's her day so it was her choice. Oh well, she still looks cute and she had a blast!!! Q


These are some pics of the cupcakes I made for Friday. I used my red velvet recipe and a modified recipe from the food network for the carrot cake. They came out so yummy!!! I also made the cream cheese frosting and put pecans on top of the red velvet ones. Q

Day 19- Renewed

I stayed up late the night before baking carrot and red velvet cupcakes for the girls' teachers and rec leaders. They came out so yummy if I do say so myself. I also made 2 special ones for my coworker. She was surprised when she came to work because I also had flowers for her. It was her birthday and she didn't want to tell any of us, lol. It was great to see the smiles on everyone's faces as I handed them their cupcakes. I put them in groups of 3 wrapped in red saran wrap and tied with ribbon that I curled myself.

Before this week is over, I am going to be red velvet out. D also requested it for her party on Saturday, my coworkers want it for the company Christmas party on Monday, and some friends invited us to their house for Christmas eve and requested it as well. There goes my big plan to make something new and yummy that I blogged about here. I was going to make a red velvet cheesecake and had tweaked the perfect recipe. But I don't think I will do that now.

Anyway, I feel renewed today. I am happy and excited about all of the things to come in my life. I thank God for blessing me and loving me in spite of myself. I feel renewed and ready to embrace my destiny!!! Q

Better late than never

This year I've really been doing a lot of praying regarding friendships. Proverbs 18:24 says, "A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly.." and I can admit I haven't been the best friend I could be. Earlier this year, we had a Super Bowl party and invited some guests. One brought a hostess gift, a bottle of sparkling cider. After they left, I began to do research and started to realize I've been slacking. So I made sure that every time I was invited to someone's house, I brought a gift for them. But I took it one step further, I not only wanted to be kind, bring a gift, and say thank you, I wanted to bless them. I did all I can to be friendly, prayed for them and asked God's blessings over them.

In the course of this journey, I've also had to cut some people off that was once my friends. But I have to do what I need to so I can be a real and true friend. I can't do that if I don't like someone and we don't agree. So sometimes you have to let people go and that in and of itself is the best way you can bless them and you.

One of the things I've decided to do was to make things right. I made a list of all the people I needed to thank or send gifts to and this coming week I will be taking care of it. I know some of them are going to think I am crazy but I have to do what's right. I've lost too many friends this year. I think about all the things I wish I could have done or said but can't. Since I can't get them back, I want to make sure I do right by the ones who are still here. Not only that, I am writing letters to them as well to explain where I am coming from. So if you are one of them and you are reading this, you have a heads up. For some of them, it may be a year or two late but it is better late than never.

I want the people in my life to know how much they mean to me. I want to be the person God has called me to be which includes admitting when I was wrong and trying to make things right. To all of you reading this I want you to think about those people you need to reconnect with. Know tomorrow is not promised and as long as you have today, you have a chance to make it right. Even if they don't accept it, do it anyway and let God deal with it. But don't let another day slip by because today is better late than never. Q

Friday, December 19, 2008

Day 18- Dream a little dream

During my morning drive I usually talk to the girls if they are alert or just talk and pray to God. They weren't in the talking mood so I know God is always there. In my mind I began to look over my life and think about how much I have changed and how much so many things about me are the same. I've always been driven and a big dreamer. As a little girl, I wanted to be a neurosurgeon. God allowed me to see all of my dreams this morning. I've accomplished so many of them like, going into the military, marrying and having a wonderful marriage, buying a house, and having great kids. There are some I let go of because they don't interest me anymore like being a Soul Train dancer (lol does it even come on anymore), being a neurosurgeon, and being a fighter pilot. Then there are those that remain stagnant, tucked away in a spot in my heart just waiting for me to reach them.

Right as I was thinking about those dreams I still have inside of me, a car cut me off. I looked at the bumper and it had a sticker that said "Remember who you wanted to be." I got a chill. Then today as I was on the Supremes' school website, this scrolled across the screen, "Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born!" Wow just wow.

I continued to talk to God about my dreams. I wanted to make sure they lined up with His will for my life as well. Like a little giddy school girl, I was smiling and filled with butterflies in my stomach as my head began to think about those dreams. It was as if I was thinking about them for the first time. As usual, the devil tried to fill my head with doubt but I just remembered from yesterday and said, "with God all things are possible." What is so wonderful about all of this is some of my dreams are exactly what God has already put me on task to do. But I wasn't able to see it that way because I had put them away. It's amazing when your dreams line up with the destiny God has for you!!!

This weekend I will be making a list of my dreams and renewing them. Then I will be making an action plan towards reaching them. Some of them are big and some of them are small but they are important because they are mine and God will get the glory when I reach them. Do you have any dreams you have temporarily deferred? Why not renew them right now and get back on track. No matter what you need to do, just put God first and watch Him open the doors to make your dreams a reality. Q

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Day 17- Never giving up

I was off yesterday. After taking the Supremes to school, I was out an about with my Pastor's wife and daughter. I returned home to clean, cook, and to chill. Right before going to bed, I began thinking about all of the spiritual tasks ahead of me. I was scared for a minute because my flesh could not understand how it all would get done. I am just one person so I couldn't understand how God was going to work it out.

Just as I was about to turn off the tv to pray, I flipped the channel and Joyce Meyer was on. She said, "you know God could make bananas grow on an electric pole if He wanted.... Repeat after me, with God all things are possible." As soon as I heard those words, my eyes began to fill with tears and I felt the presence of the Lord over me. I felt as if He was telling me that it was okay.

Right there in that moment, I felt peace and all of my worry and fears quickly left me. I know that no matter what happens, I won't give up. I am going to keep trying, keep getting better, keep getting stronger, keep praying and fasting, and trusting in the Lord. I won't ever stop serving the Lord and seeking him. This race won't be over until I'm dead and can no longer fight. I won't ever stop telling of the goodness of Jesus. I won't stop using what God gives me to bless other people. I won't stop encouraging others and giving them my ear. I won't stop caring for people's souls and wanting them to know how much God loves them. I am never giving up. Q

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Day 16- I know I've been changed

Today I was able to look back on my journey and realize how much I've changed. I feel different, I think differently, and I speak differently. I found this awesome, local, Christian blogger and I was blessed to read what he had written. I really feel like God is about to bless me beyond measure and I am ready for it. I am ready to go out into the world and just share what God has done for me. I've begun to take some drastic steps to really branch out and do some big things. All the devil has tried to throw at me, has been preparing me for where I need to be. It is time for a change, and a change has come. Q

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Snow day!!!!

Yes they gave their snowman a mohawk!!!! Q

Day 15- The choice is yours

I am more than half way through this time of reflection and God has made everything very plain to me. You see I had all of these ideas and excuses for why I was running into the same problems in my walk. I'd plan to make drastic changes and do all of this and that, stressing myself out trying to figure out how to do it. But God finally told me, "it is all a choice." I thought and that and realized He is right. Everything I do, say, think and involve myself in, is a choice. I can try to convince myself otherwise but the responsibility falls back on me.

Our first lady made a statement recently. She said, "I refuse to participate in the recession." Although I don't fully agree with the statement, I understand what she is trying to say. She's not in denial that a recession exists. She is choosing to not let what is going on affect her relationship with Christ. She is choosing to trust in God to see her through this time. She is choosing to press on and be the best stylist she can be and bring in even more clients. She is choosing to be positive and praise the Lord no matter what.

I took her phrase and applied it to my life recently. When all of this drama and mess was swirling around me, I told my friends, "I refuse to participate in drama." They kind of chuckled but realized I was so serious. I had been drama free for weeks and all of a sudden it was starting to rear it's head and I decided to SHUT IT DOWN. You see I don't care about being right anymore, or telling folks off, or showing how bad I am because I don't care. The only opinion that matters is God. Everyone else can keep talking but I am going to live my life and be me regardless of who agrees with me and how I live. So here is a list I call, I refuse, I choose:

I refuse to participate in drama. I choose to let God fight my battles.

I refuse to gossip and keep mess going. I choose to speak positive or not speak at all.

I refuse to remain at my current size. I choose to do all I can to have my best body ever.

I refuse to stay where I am spiritually. I choose to grow stronger in the Lord.

I refuse to let time pass me by. I choose to live each day to the fullest.

I refuse to let the world raise my kids. I choose to be the example I want them to follow.

I refuse to be quiet and keep my testimony to myself. I choose to share and tell of the goodness of Jesus.

I refuse to stay inside and live a boring life. I choose to get out there and show others you can serve the Lord, keep His commandments and have good clean fun.

I refuse to be hindered by this economy. I choose to use this opportunity to open up even more doors for me and my family financially.

I refuse to work for the devil. I choose to serve the Lord until the day I die.

Go ahead and make your I refuse, I choose list. Q

Monday, December 15, 2008

Why we don't take family pictures

And he says he is smiling in this pic. Q

Day 14- How great is our God

Saturday evening as I was praying, God dropped something in my spirit that made me take notice. Yesterday during the morning sermon, He used my Pastor to confirm. I know it was for me because it spoke directly to what I'd been praying about. In that very moment, I felt a big weight being lifted and my heart just melted. All I could think was about how great God is. He loves me so much that He sent a word that would bless and encourage me. Out of it, I got so much and I was overcome with emotion. My Pastor is also working with me to get some help regarding the situation with my brother.

After church we headed home and toyed around a little. T bought the girls a game for their computer and he fell in love with it himself. I had to threaten him in order to finally get him out the door so we could go out to eat. We arrived at our favorite restaurant in order to celebrate T's birthday. It is a Brazilian spot and they perform a birthday song using drums. As T was up getting some salad at the bar, I quietly notified our waiter about the birthday boy. The girls were giddy with excitement and almost let it slip. A few minutes later, just about the entire staff surrounded our table and made the announcement. We clapped along with them the some of the other restaurant goers cheered and clapped as well. We had a good laugh.

We got home and decided to watch the finale of Survivor. I spoke with my mom, talked with a forum member SAL about doing a youtube video on my hair, shot off some emails to family and friends, and chatted with my girls meka and Tee before heading to bed. Q

Why this blog exists

I just recently added the Feedjit feature so I can see who visits my blog and I was shocked. Most of the people arrived via a direct link and yet only one left a comment. I understand because I do that on other blogs as well. I know some of you may be wondering why do I even bother since most of my posts have zero comments. You know this blog initially started as a way for me to talk about my life. I was a stay at home mom when it started and it was a way for me to get some stuff out of my head. At any given moment, I am thinking about 4 or 5 things at a time and so putting some of them on here was one less thing for me to analyze, dissect, and spend brain power on. This is one of the ways God allows me to release.

As time went on, it became less about me and more about my walk. There have been times when I was going to say forget it and stop blogging. But everytime I do, God tells me no. Most of what I post comes from the time I spend praying or reading the word and from there God will urge me to blog about it because it will help someone. You see what you don't see is the emails or the messages I get from people who read this blog. People I have never met or spoken to have told me how blessed they were by what I've written. They confirm what God has given me. Some of the stuff I've read has brought me to tears.

So this blog exists because God exists. I am here writing because it is He who made me. He is allowing me to use my life, the blessings and the insights He's given me to bless and help you. Through this blog, I hope it inspires, encourages and enlightens people. I especially want other Christians to see it and know you can still live a happy, fun, blessed, and fulfilled life. Yes there are some things I avoid but as you can see, my life is very full and wonderful. Serving God doesn't mean you have to live a boring life. Yes you will have ups and downs but through my life, I hope you will learn how to overcome obstacles and avoid some of the mistakes I've made. I don't need a lot of people on here although it would be nice because really, all I need is one. This blog only needs to help one person to make it through, to know God loves them, to give them hope, to help them lead a better life and it will serve it's purpose. So until God pulls the plug and tells me to stop, I will be right here. Much love. Q

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Day 13- A lovely day!!!!

I slept so well the night before, like a baby. I was up early because I heard my honey stirring. I looked up at the time and realized he must be hungry. He is the only person I know that will get hungry in their sleep and wake up and eat. I officially got up a few hours later by jumping on T singing "Happy Birthday." I gave him the first of his 2 gifts and then woke up my boy Fabian so he could make his flight.

As I was leaving for work, Fabian was putting his bags in his rental car and he saw me getting T's other gift ready. I chatted with him for a few, gave him and hug and kiss, said I love you and headed to work. I smiled thinking about T seeing his other gift. I got to work and was bored out of my mind waiting for all of these reports to print. I decided to return some phone calls while waiting. I called T trying to get him to leave the house so he could see his gift but thankfully Fabian already worked that out before he left. I smiled as T thanked me and talked about how much he loved it!!! I left after 5 and headed home. We were supposed to go to T's favorite restaurant but decided to go on Sunday.

The rest of my evening was spent on the phone with my mom, talking with some friends and just hanging with my family. My girls are so doggone funny and they just make me smile. Fabian called to let me know he had arrived safely and we spoke about his next visit. I turned into bed so T and I could watch and laugh at SNL. As I prayed, I could do nothing but thank God for His goodness and mercy. I had such a lovely day in spite of having to go to work. He also dropped a spiritual nugget into my spirit and I am looking forward to Him confirming it real soon. The steps of a righteous man are ordered by God and focused even more on following Him and Him alone. Q

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Happy Birthday to the two T's

Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband and his twin. I have the best brother in law in the world. You are a great friend and a wonderful uncle. You are going to make a great father.

To my wonderful husband, you already know how I feel about you. You are the best husband in the world and each day I love you even more. Thank you for loving me and putting up with me. You are the man I wish every woman in the world could have for a husband. I LOVE YOU!!! Q

Day 12- smiles, laughs and tears

Those are the 3 words I would use to sum up yesterday. It started with a smile early in the morning. It was my baby's birthday and she looked so cute in her birthday dress. Everyone at the before school program greeted her with Happy Birthday. It made my heart smile. I got to work and was able to tell my coworker about the situation with my brother. It took all I had not to break down in front of her. So instead I went in my office and shed a few tears.

I sent off an email about Destiny's day, little did I know it would provide more laughs. Someone tried to use it as an opportunity to get at me but they missed. I was so over them already and I refuse to give them much time and energy on this day. I responded and quickly made them cease to exist in my world. (Folks if you have yahoo, please use the email blocking. It is a beautiful thing and you won't get the emails ever. Yahoo will automatically delete them for you and they won't even show up in your trash. It's a beatific thing.) I actually got some good laughs out of the situation. Yall know how I do, lol!!!

Most of the day in between waiting for reports to print was spent laughing actually I was over at Monnie's spot and I was in stitches. No words just pure laughs. I did log into the forum to shoot off a few private messages asking for some help. I need some folks on the East coast to help me locate the right people for my brother's situation. It was tempting to get back in especially after seeing the profile messages left on my page. That made me smile.

As I drove home, I just prayed and talked to God. I felt at peace and just really let go of some things. I am choosing to let God fight my battles. When I arrived home, I was greeted by the Supremes which put a smile on my face. I spoke with my mom and felt better about the situation with my brother. I spoke to my girl Meka and was able to have a good cry about it and she made me laugh like she always does. Then I spoke to Tee about it as well and I felt 1000% better.

The doorbell rang while I was on the phone with Tee and it was my big bro Fabian. Fabian is a long time friend of Thomas and I and I was so happy to see him!!! We have both known him before we dated and he had me cheesing all night. He is in love and he is running his own business. Even in this economy, he is making some smart moves and we are so darn proud of him. His birthday was yesterday as well. We spent the rest of the night eating, laughing, and we watched Semi Pro. Well Thomas and I did as Fabian snored, lol!!!! It was all good because he was here for work so he was rightfully tired. So inspite of the devil being on his job today, I had a wonderful day. I have a beautiful 8 year old, I know people are working to help my brother, and I have great friends. I can't complain. Q

Friday, December 12, 2008

Day 11

Today was my second day off. I spent most of it doing stuff around the house. Last night I discovered some water and mold in closet so I have been washing everything. I am praying it was leftover from the plumbing situation earlier this year. We cut the carpet out, I scrubbed it down with some bleach and then sprayed some disinfectant spray on it. We are going to watch it and see if it dries up. The good news is, we might have hardwood floors under the carpets in the house!!! I am in good spirits and have been talking to the Lord even more.

I prayed for my brother again and I will hear some news from my mother tomorrow. We are expecting a friend from out of town and we will celebrate Thomas' and Destiny's birthday this weekend. God is good and He mercy is everlasting. Q

Happy Birthday Destiny!!!

My beautiful baby girl is 8 today. Mommy and Daddy love you and we look forward to many more with you!!!! Q

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Day 10- I feel helpless

All I can do is pray and wait and I hate it. My mom is taking over the situation with my brother and I am providing as much help and info as possible. That's her baby and as I mom I know how she feels. Neither of us have been able to speak with him yet. I didn't even pray for myself yesterday. I just prayed for my brother and for God to work in the situation. The more I am learning about what happened, the more upset I get. But through it all, I am believing God will still get the glory in spite of what the devil is trying to do right now. I may feel helpless but I know I am not because God is on my side and greater is He who is in me than He that is in the world. Q

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

How I wash and manage my hair

People always ask me how I manage to do my hair and the Supremes. It is a task at times but I have some techniques that have really made caring for our hair easier. As you all recall from this post, I put braids in my hair. Well after the events of yesterday surrounding my brother, I couldn't sleep so I decided to take them out. It was almost 2 months and I figured what the heck. This is a good time for me to show how I manage. The best thing I have discovered on this journey was sections. Meaning parting my hair in sections. I part my hair and the girls in 4 sections and wash, condition, detangle and style while in those sections. It is easier to deal with 4 smaller sections than one big mass of hair on my head. It helps to keep the tangles down as well.

It is really easy. I part my hair in 4 sections and braid each one. I usually pre-poo with castor oil or conditioner. Then I jump in the shower and take one braid out, wash while holding it somewhat taut, add conditioner and re-braid. The stream of the shower also helps with tangles because the water keeps the hair pointing down. When it is time to rinse the conditioner out, I use a comb and my fingers to work out any tangles then I squeeze out the excess water, re-braid and do that all over. Here are some pics of my hair right now in the 4 sections.

I took the braids out and it was kind of cute, I should have taken a pic. Anyway, today I used this unbraid spray and saturate each one. Then I used my bone comb to work out any tangles or matted pieces. It didn't take long at all. Next I slather castor oil on my hair and braided each section. It was easy since my hair was originally parted in 4 sections to start the braids. I will leave it on overnight and sleep with a satin bonnet and then wash tomorrow. I will use the shampoo and conditioner in my use it up box and probably use some of my shescentit butter on my hair. I haven't decided on a style yet but I am off tomorrow so I have time to play around. More pics to follow. Q

Day 9- A test of faith

That is the best way to sum up yesterday. I am still trying to wrap my brain around some things and there is so much going on behind the scenes. But I am digging down, way down deep to trust in the Lord through all of this. There is but so much I can do and the rest, I am leaving up to God. Q

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Oh the irony, the more things change the more they stay the same

Earlier today I was talking to my coworker about my brother. We talked a little about race and how I sometimes felt my brother used it as a crutch to not do better. Although I know some of how he felt was valid, I sometimes thought he was over the top. I love him so much and we have been estranged for awhile now. When I arrived home, I had a message on my phone from my mom.

I called her only to find out my brother had gotten arrested. I don't know all of the specifics but there were witnesses. Two cops tazed him and then proceeded to beat them with their clubs in his head and face while he was down and not fighting back. To add insult to injury, they were calling him the N word as they beat him in the face and head as he laid there unable to defend himself. He had to get stitches in his head and his face is swollen. I am not going to excuse my brother for the actions that led up to his arrest. But in the year when we elect the first black President, it's amazing how much racism still exist and how evil some folks could be. He wasn't fighting back and was immobilized but they used it as an opportunity to hurt him. My heart is aching right now. That is my baby brother d@mn it. How dare they? I am so enraged right now and I don't know what tot think right now.

We are currently looking into legal action. Please pray for my family. Much love. Q

Day 8- Cleaning house

All day long I was singing, "Create in me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit in me, in me. Wash me Lord. Oh Lord. Wash me." I learned that song years ago as a little girl singing in the church choir in Brooklyn NY. I've always loved that song and never paid attention to the words until I got older and discovered it was an actual scripture. But yesterday it was on my mind all day long.

That song is my theme song for this week. I know my heart has to be right so everything else will fall in line. There are some things deep down inside of it that I need to get rid of. Things I have buried or shrugged off but it seems like now they are bigger issues than I have ever imagined. I've lived long enough with them being swept up under the rug but now God wants me to expose them, and bring them to Him so He can take them away from me. It's hard because some of the things are so shameful and embarassing to even mention. But God already knows so I might as well deal with it and let Him help me. Q

Monday, December 08, 2008

Day 7- 1 week down and x more to go

I've decided that I will be on this journey for however long it takes. I initially set out to go 24 days but I think it may take much longer. There are so many things I need to get rid of and work out. I need to make sure I can be who I need to be and not fall by the wayside once again. So I will continue to deny myself and focus all the more on the Lord until whatever the work God is doing for me in this moment, is done. Q

See what had happened was...

Okay so I went crazy on black Friday but I still managed to stay within my budget. Besides Jasmine's I also purchased from Afroveda, Shescentit and I am awaiting a Hairveda shipment. Let's just say I won't be purchasing hair care products for a LONGGGGGG time. I already went through my current stash of hair products and put out a use it up box. That is a box of items that I am close to using up that I have to use first before I use any other products in my stash. So let me tell you what I ordered.

Shescentit is a site by a member of a hair forum, I frequent. I heard good things about her products and decided to give them a try. I wanted to find a replacement for Miss Jessie's Baby Buttercreme so I ordered 2 jars of Gillian Tearless Hair Butter in chocolate truffle and sugar cookie. I also ordered 2 jars of Seyani Hair butter in pink lemonade and coconut mango for myself. All of the items smell exactly how they sound and the jars are filled to the top. I swiped my hand over some of the butter and it melted to the touch and wasn't greasy. The butters are made with ingredients that are good for your hair such as shea butter, coconut oil, and cocoa butter. I will be trying the butter on K's hair tomorrow so I will have a more thorough review.

Another member of the hair forum posted about Afroveda. I had never heard of the site and decided to take a peek. I was impressed by how well put together her site was. I emailed the owner back and forth several times before deciding on the vata hair kit. It came with Sunsilk hair oil (which smells like lemon), Kissi Seed hair lotion, and shea alma whipped butter cream. I got this line specifically for D because her hair is extremely dry. I also got a free sample of Shikakai hair growth elixir. These products don't contain any mineral oil or petroleum and has shea butter, alma oil, castor oil, and aloe vera juice as some of the ingredients.

Not only am I happy with my overall purchase, I must say both transactions were smooth, they shipped in a timely manner, and they were packaged well. I love supporting quality vendors but I am especially proud these 2 businesses are run by fabulous African American women as well. It is nice to have products made by us and catered specifically to the care and proper treatment of my hair without cutting corners and using cheap products. You ladies rock!!!! Q

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Day 6- Surrendering all

I slept in real late today. I was awakened by the sounds of the Supremes giggling and laughing. I took my time getting up and chatted with the girls. I told them about our plan for the day and began to get ready. After taking them to the bank to deposit their money and coming home, the song "I Surrender All" popped into my head. I began to think about this time I am spending getting closer to God. I know that in order to be successful, I must be willing to surrender all to God.

That's a hard thing for most people to imagine. How can one surrender everything to someone they've never seen? But for me, not doing so is not an option. I know how my life was before God and after experiencing it with Him for over 10 years now, I couldn't imagine it being any other way. Most people who follow God don't truly surrender. They give up some things but they still hold on to things they feel is not that bad or isn't an issue for them in their walk. But if you want to truly be who God wants you to be, you must be willing to give it ALL up!!! Yes the cussing, certain kind of music, the gossiping, the drinking. Some of those things are not necessarily sins, but they can put you in situations that will hurt your testimony or prevent you from being an effective witness. I know it doesn't sound fair but it wasn't fair that and innocent man had to die so we could live. So since we are following Christ, and we want to be more like Him, we must remember that doing so will sometimes require us to give up things we don't want to.

The wonderful thing about God is, He is a loving and giving God. He will always honor the sacrifices we make to serve Him. So all though we may have to give up some of the things we enjoy, know the blessings He gives us in return, will be much greater. A true child of God obeys and listens, no matter how hard it is. Q

Our first gingerbread house

I purchased a gingerbread house kit a few weeks ago. Yesterday the girls and I decided to decorate it. Me being the wonderful cook I am, figured it would be a breeze. But little did I know, it was harder than I imagined. The hardest part was fighting with the icing. We were following one of the patterns in the kit but towards the end, I gave up and let them have at it. Here are some pics of the final result. Q

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Day 5

This morning I got to work only to find out my coworker's father was in the hospital. He had been sick for sometime now and he wasn't expected to live as long. I prayed for him, my coworker and her family. I know how much she loves him and although death is a reality for everyone, it still stings when a loved one is so close to it.

I picked up the girls from school today and looked forward to tomorrow because it is my Saturday off and I will be able to sleep in. As I lay in bed, I began to think about the economy and how so many people are going through right now. I couldn't help but thank God because He continues to bless us financially in spite of everything that is going on. I also got a post for my fitness blog that I will post as well. I still need to figure out how to use my new camera so I can record the girls. TGIF Q

Friday, December 05, 2008

Day 4 Hebrews 12:5-14 Making straight paths for my feet

Hebrews 12:5A nd ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.

11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;

13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.

14Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

God disciplines us not because He wants to hurt us but because He loves us. It is a hard thing to accept because God is a very loving and giving God. But it is because of His love that He corrects us when we are wrong. Just like our earthly parents did when we were younger. Many of us can attest to being better men and women because of the discipline and punishments given to us by our parents. Receiving God's discipline produces righteousness and peace. Righteousness leads to holiness and without it, no one will see the Lord. All of the things God does for us, is so we can spend eternity with Him. Sometimes the things He asks us to do is so very hard but understand He always has our best interest in mind. He will never take us to it without bringing us through it. Just trust in Him and watch how He will move on your behalf for being obedient. The more you seek Him and be like Him, the less spiritual spankings you will have to receive.

Understand we are not like everyone else. We are kind of like kids who have super strict parents and don't get to do like the other kids do. It seems like it is mean and unfair but it is done to protect us and to keep us on the right path. If we do like the world does, we will fall into the same traps like others around us. That's why we can't go everywhere, do everything, say anything, and be with everybody. God requires more from us. He wants to set us apart and have us be the example for others to follow. But we must follow Him so that when others follow us, they are following Him as well. Q

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Day 3 recap

Wednesday is my day off. I get to sleep in a little later before taking the girls to school. I got up and made waffles and hot chocolate with the leftover marshmellows from Thanksgiving and some whipcream. The girls loved it and I loved seeing their faces smile. I headed back home to do some cleaning and to eat. I met up with my Pastor and first lady at 10 for a meeting that had to be rescheduled then I sent off the prizes to my 2 a day challenge winners. I pulled out some stuff to cook, set my alarm, and took a nap around 11.

I got up a little after 4 and started dinner. I talked with God as I cooked and just thought about my life and the changes I need to make. The crew arrived home and I opened my order from Jasmine's!!! Later on the girls and I played with the camera and took some pics. I ordered dh's b-day present and I am so excited. I spent most of the night helping a friend on the phone. My dad called and I chatted with him and then I spoke to another young lady I mentor. I shared with her some stuff I had gone through and how to spend time with God. Before we hung up, she asked me for a scripture to share with her. So I pulled up this one, 1 John 3:2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

I explained to her how that scripture is basically saying, the best is yet to come for those who follow Christ. It gives me hope to press on no matter what I am going through. I told her we must remember we are eternal spirits and even though we live on earth, we have to spend eternity somewhere so never forget that. I trust the Lord enough to know that what I am, and who I am, is not who I will be. I know as long as I seek Him, He has even greater things in store for me. But God is no respector of persons, and if He is able to bless me to be better, He will do the same for you too. Q

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

What matters most to me?

Spending time with my girls. Q

There are good vendors out there

Jasmine's has done it again!!! As you all know, I love body products. I have a cabinet full of lotions, scrubs, body washes, you name it. A few weeks ago, I was notified of a sale online at Jasmine's and decided to order some items and I fell in love. I took them to work and my coworker ordered some as well. I received another email last week about her black Friday sale offering 30% off. You know I was all over it. I got 3 lotions, 2 for me and one for the girls name Monkey Snacks. Monkey Snacks has a hint of banana and smells so yummy. I can't wait for them to put it on after their baths tonight. I also ordered 2 scrubs and a roll on of lotion. My girl was nice enough to send me a goats milk soap bar to try. I am so excited!!!! Thanks again girlie for the excellent products, and fast shipping. Much love. Q

I am going to cook something so yummy

On Monday, I began searching for some recipes for Christmas. I stumbled across something that made my mouth water. It is a dessert item and I am so excited about it!!! I told the girls too and they are going to be my helpers. I can't post it yet because I don't want anyone to bite and I am still tweaking the exact recipe but just know, it's gonna be so very good!!!! I will be during a tutorial with step by step pics of the process and ingredients. Stay tuned. Q

Recap of Day 2 in the wilderness

So I started the day out much better. I got to work early like I had planned. During my breaks I decided to read "What Matters Most." Man was I blown away. I had read this book before but it was like I was reading it for the first time all over again. God was using the words in the book to speak directly to me. I couldn't even get through the first chapter because I needed my journal so I can take notes. I would encourage EVERYONE who wants to follow Christ to read this book. Here are some things that stood out from what I read so far:

1. This was on page 16, "If you want to find out what mattered most to someone, read his last words." Here is some of Jesus' last words Matthew 28:18-20 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19- Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing then in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20- and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

2. On page 16, he gives a working definition of Discipleship, "Discipleship is that developmental process of the local church that progressively brings Christians from spiritual infancy to spiritual maturity so that they are then able to reproduce the process with someone else."

3. Discipleship requires the right information, the right skills to use the information, being yoked with someone who will help you grow, time, growth, accountability and finally, transferring what you've learned to someone else.

As you can see, there is a lot and that's just part of the first chapter!!! I even had an ouch moment that I will post about later. After leaving work, I headed right to church for bible study. I got there early and spent a few minutes praying. I went straight home, ate, fed the kids, took a shower, checked my email and was in bed early praying before I fell asleep. Q

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

All I want for Christmas....

Only me right? Only I would want some cookware for Christmas. But this is just not any cookware. This is the GreenPan with Thermolon Gourmet Cookware by Todd English. I saw this a few months ago and fell in love. This is much better than the set I currently have. Yall know how I love to cook and this will be a nice, environmentally friendly replacement. Here are some of the highlights:

The ceramic-based, nano nonstick in this cookware does not contain any PTFE, nor is it manufactured with PFOA. PFOA is a chemical that is used in the manufacturing of traditional PTFE-based nonstick cookware coatings and other products.

Thermolon nonstick food release - for quick, convenient and healthier cooking

Scratch- and abrasion-resistant

Good Housekeeping Seal

Oven/stovetop safe to 850º; lids to 420º

Comes with a manufacturer's lifetime limited warranty

The set can be purchased on or ebay. There are different colors as well. I asked for the set above along with another pot and lid that goes directly in the oven. Although my sweetie scratched his head when I told him what I wanted, I know I am going to get it because he always loves making me happy!!!! I can't wait to get cooking in them. Q

Recap of Day 1 in the wilderness

I know you are probably scratching your head about the wilderness part. But that's how I feel. I have removed a lot of the comfort things I used to spend energy on which took up a lot of time and thoughts. This is not just for this season but I am making long term changes in my life.

My day was kind of rocky. I got up and I thanked God for waking me up. I went to bed really late and I did not want to go into work. I arrived on time, which is late for me because I am usually there about an hour or so early. I struggled to find things to do to occupy my time while waiting for my reports to print. I usally go on the hair forum and post but that wasn't even an option. I spent my free time talking with God and making lists of things I need to focus on during my devotion and prayer time. I also searched the web for some recipes. I want to try something new and I am so excited about it. I will blog about that later.

After work I headed to the bakery to pick up some cookies for my coworkers. I arrived home and greeted the Supremes and the Mister who was studying. I chatted with the girls about the new recipe. They are just as exicted as I am. Then I made myself a plate and headed to my room. After getting comfortable, I ate and decided to take a nap. I set my alarm to wake me up in time for Heroes. I watched show and then logged online to check my emails and to chat with someone I had sent a gift to. It was short and brief because I didn't want to get sidetracked.

At around 9:30, I headed to my room to plan my monthly workouts and to organize my dresser. I purchased some more dividers on Saturday and I wanted to get them in place. Dh arrived a few minutes later and we watched the ending of CSI. I got into bed a little after 10 and we watched some of this show about a guy dealing with an eating disorder. I turned off the tv, prayed and went to sleep.

I used to think there was not enough hours in the day. Although I still feel that way, I am able to see that eliminating some stuff frees up a lot of time for me to do the things I want and need to do. My goal for today is to finish reading chapter 1of "What Matters Most" and to pray in my holy language. Much love. Q