Thursday, September 27, 2012


I don't know much about money. I DO know how to spend it, and I'm OK at saving it, but when it comes to investing, I'm pretty clueless. I leave that to my husband and the professionals. I know that it's always been said that real estate is a good investment, but as of late that is debatable. One thing I am confident in though is that when you spend time with your children, you are making a good investment. Moments teaching, laughing, praying, hugging... all of those are time well spent.

I firmly believe that time spent listening to Spirit FM with your children is also a good investment. Just this morning a listener made a gift online and said she used to listen to the Veggies when driving the kids to school. Her son is now 20 and has made some bad decisions lately. She's praying for him, but still scared. She heard the "Hairbrush Song" the other day and texted him, "Oh, where is my hairbrush?" and he replied with the next line and they went back and forth for several lyrics. In that moment, she was reminded that the seeds she had sewn in her son back when he was a little one had rooted. The foundation that was laid was still there. She found comfort in that and I'm so glad she did because it's the truth.

If you've been listening to Shareathon, hopefully you've heard me mention The Mom Squad Challenge. Over the years, Josh and I have always given $30 per month to Spirit FM. Now that we have Liam, I am experiencing this station in a totally different way. I hear ALL radio and see ALL television in a different way. I know I can't shelter my son from everything, nor do I want to, but I am so blessed to have this station! We've made the decision to increase our monthly giving to $50. My goal for this Shareathon was to see 99 other people match that gift. It's a gift of $600 over the entire year. Would you please consider it? We'd love to end Shareathon today, tomorrow at the latest. So can you make a gift online now? Make a Mom Squad note in the comments!

Sometimes it takes a negative experience to knock some sense into us and this was mine: On my drive home the other day I was flipping stations and I landed upon one where the personality was teasing the next topic. "Coming up next: Who in your life are you most tempted to cheat on your spouse with?" I shook my head and changed back to Spirit FM asking- Why are we glorifying this? Why are we joking about this? Why are we encouraging people to explore this line of thought? Liam wasn't in the car with me and he wouldn't know what they were saying even if he was, but I'd bet my life that many children and teenagers did hear that AND THAT'S WHY I SUPPORT SPIRIT FM. Because we need something better. We need it for ourselves as adults and we need it for the sake of our children.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wednesday's Weekly Wecipe & Creative Consequences

This week's recipe is super-dooper healthy AND tasty. It's Chicken International! It's much cooler if you pronounce "international" like in-ter-nah-she-oh-nal! Try it. You'll feel very fancy. Lemme get right to it.

4 Skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/4 c diced tomatoes
1/2 c soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tblsp extra virgin OO
1/4 c finely chopped scallions

Preheat oven to 400. Combine all ingredients but chicken in a glass baking dish. Place chicken in dish & let marinate for 1 hr. Leave it in the same dish and bake for 25 minutes or until done. Makes 4 servings.

I don't have a picture because I haven't made dinner yet! But trust me. It's delicious. You can serve it over rice or mashed potatoes.

Large Man says: 7 out of 10
Fire Extinguisher Readiness Scale: 2 - so easy!

No, I don't know these children,
but I wish I knew their parents.
Now on to other things. I meant to post this a while ago, but kept forgetting. I shared this last week and Fernando pointed out that I sounded way too excited about disciplining! I don't know if these suggestions work, but if you're at the end of your rope and about ready to ship the kiddos to Siberia, try one of these creative consequences from iMOM. My favorite: The correction can! Oh, and you've got to read #13. That's a punishment for anyone within earshot.

Do you have any creative disciplining techniques that work?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Win The MOM 100 Cookbook/Wednesday's Weekly Wecipe

Instead of one recipe this week, how about this?

The MOM 100 is the lifesaving cookbook that every mom needs, filled with delicious, no-fuss, easily adaptable recipes, plus tips, attitude and wisdom for surviving and staying happy in the kitchen while proudly keeping it homemade. Because homemade not only tastes best, it is best for you.

I chatted with The Mom 100 author, Katie Workman this morning and now I've got a copy of the book to give to a Mom Squader! Is "Squader" a word?

To get your name in the proverbial hat, submit a comment below. Just tell me your favorite dish to make. If you want to include a link to the recipe, go for it!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Gift of Hope

365 days ago God gave me a gift, and boy, it sure has been a spit-up and dirty-diaper-filled year! I am confident in saying that since September 11th, 2011 Josh and I have smiled brighter and wider smiles than we ever had before. Isn't that the amazing thing about love? I know I smiled at Josh on our wedding day. I know I was overjoyed to marry him, and I'm pretty sure he was psyched to marry me, too. But our love for each other was great enough to create a new life and now we're smiling even bigger. God has been very good to us.

On my first day back from maternity leave, I shared on the air that I really had this overwhelming feeling of gratitude when I looked at my son. I knew that the work of God's hands had been placed in my arms. What an honor! But I have to continually remind myself that he's a loaner! God has just entrusted him to me to care for. If for some reason we only had this year together I could say with 100% confidence that it's been the most wonderfully grace-filled year of my life.

I was chatting with my sister & she said that her first thought this morning wasn't, "It's the anniversary of 9/11" but instead, "It's my nephew's birthday!" She was grateful that she had a new focus on this day that for so many can be filled with feelings of despair and sadness. I pray that everyone has a "Liam" who can give them hope on days that otherwise would be filled with hurt.

Here are a couple of pics to bookend this wonderful year. The first is the first time Liam and I checked each other out. What a moment (except for the arm fat)! I love my red nose. A red nose on me is the sign tears are coming. I've always hated my crying face. I'm an ugly crier. But Liam's nose turns bright red when he is about to cry, so now I love it. But that's a topic for another blog.

The second picture is from last week. It's not the best quality, but I love his little ear and his fat little legs. I hope he is always a lover of books and learning.

Thank you for the prayers & support throughout this year.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

More Mish-Mash

Do you remember the first time you wrote your name tagged with a crush's last name? "Abby Lawrence" might have been my first one (yes, I was going to marry Joey Lawrence from Blossom. I would've been destined to a life of flannel!). Our kids start thinking about marriage and who that lucky guy or girl is going to be way before dating age. So what's going through those little heads? Here's a printable from iMOM with conversation starters about who your kiddos think they'll marry. I'd love to hear their answer to "What makes a good husband/wife?"

How about the awesome Mom Squad Bloggers? Julie gives a big pat on the back to Spirit FM here and reflects on the first time she tuned in. Do you remember the first time you heard Spirit FM. Has God blessed your life through the music and ministry? I sure hope so. Thank you, Julie for the kind words!

If you're an animal-lover, your heart is gonna go out to Danielle. I love her quote, “Lord, help me to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am.” She just went through a tough time with one of her doggies and took it as an opportunity to reflect on unconditional love.

And one last thing, have you signed up to walk with me on November 10th at the American Heart Association's Heart Walk? It's the next Mom Squad event! It's at Raymond James Stadium at 9am. We have a team fundraising goal of $1500, but it's free to sign up. You can bring the whole family! What a fun opportunity to represent Spirit FM and our Christian community! Sign up here.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wednesday's Almost-Weekly Wecipe

Sorry I've been slacking on the "wecipes". I was on a super healthy kick for a while and then on vacation. So much for the super-healthy kick. I'll get back to it. I just have to muster up the determination. I just saw this on the Weight Watchers site and I was immediately drawn in by the name.
Any recipe that includes the step, "Bake Until Bubbly" is a winner in my book! Need an idea for dinner tonight? Try the Red Snapper & Tomato Casserole. Mmm... I love a casserole. This one does not involve cheese, sadly, but it sounds awfully tasty!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Take Some Time for You!

We all need a Calgon moment now and again. That can come as a retreat to the manicurist, a retreat to the tub or maybe an actual retreat! I know what you're thinking. "Abby, I've got two kids and a million things on my calendar. I don't have time for a weekend retreat." How about a day? How about a few hours?

The Mother's Prayer Group of St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Tampa sent me word of a Mom's Retreat led by Sister Paula Hagen, the author of Ministry of Mothers Sharing (among other accolades). There are two sessions. The morning starts with 8:30 Mass and it's all about the "Blessings of Motherhood." What caught my eye in this session is a reflection on the Beatitudes from a mother's perspective. I'm sure "Blessed are the peacemakers" is one you can relate to!

The evening session starts at 5:30 and is about "Finding Hope in Chaos". One of the themes is ways to deal with fear. I think from the moment our children come into the world, there is something we can fear in regard to them. What a great theme!

It's October 10th and all are invited. Catholic or not. It's just $25 for one session or $35 for both. If you want info or to register, email Lilly at

A little renewal might be just what you need!