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Saturday, January 29, 2011

My Favorite Local Restaraunts

This list is subject to change at any time.


Gourmet Wok - Our favorite so far here is the Honey Garlic Chicken with Vegetable Fried Rice. One pint of each is more than enough to feed our family of 5. Our food is always hot, fresh and fabulous! They also have yummy almond cookies!  Thanks for the recommendation Pat Coggins!

Middle Eastern:

Badawest - I love their Chicken Shish-Ta-Wook sandwich, Hummus, Lentil Soup and Fatoosh.


Ruggero's - This is definately an upscale Italian restaraunt. Their house bread and salad is so good! I think my favorite pasta dish from there so far has been the Pasta Al Pomodora with Chicken.  Thanks for the recommendation Ruth Dec!


Starlite Diner - The burgers are hand pressed and fried to perfection! In addition to their burgers, we have never had anything here we have not liked. I'm also very fond of their Western Omelet with Rye Toast (thanks Kim!).

French Cafe:

Le Grand Bistro - To date I've only been here once. However, my experience was fabulous! I had their special of the day, Meatloaf Sandwich with Aoli Sauce and a lovely Organic Salad with their own dressing. It was fabulous! I can't wait to return. The food is very high quality and unique!


Wize Guys - They have very fresh pizza that is not at all greasy. Their salad is also amazingly fresh and fabulous with lots of different choices. Our favorite pizza is The Goodfellas.  Thanks for the recommendation Sarah Harmer!


Panera - My favorite here is the yogurt smoothie and the Spinach and Artichoke Souffle.


Sagebrush Cantina - The chips and salsa is yummy and the guacamole is fresh! The Chicken Rice Soup is very good, thick and filling. The only entree I've ever had is the Chicken Chimichanga minus the jalapenos. It is nothing short of amazing! It's fresh, real food!  Thanks for the recommendation, Angela Maybee!


The Coffee Bar - While not a huge coffee person, when I want a good decaf, I go here. Their coffee is smooth and full of wonderful flavor! Their iced coffees are wonderful and their Caramel Mocha is lovely!

Specialty Sandwich:

Oliver T's - I can't say which sandwich is my favorite. We've had several sandwiches from here and they have all been very good. The portions are very large and the quality of food is fabulous!  Thanks for the recommendaiton Aaron Liversedge!

Jimmy Johns - My favorite here is definately the Beach Club.  First of all, the bread is perfect!  It's then topped  with an mayo, fresh veggies (including sprouts) turkey and provolone.  I like to also add avocado sauce. Mmm!  Thanks for the recommendation Jen Varberg!

Even before Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives featured them, we were eating at the awesome Union Woodshop in Clarkston.  Amazing one-of-a-kind bbq!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Family Christian Store $5 Deals!

I'm not sure when these items will no longer be available.  Check your local Family Chrsitian Store for details.  There are many more items listed available; these are just the ones I'm choosing to feature on my blog.  Also, don't forget to check out Family Christian Stores bargain racks.  You can find some amazing deals here!

Woman, Thou Art Loosed - Book

 Heroes in Black History - Book

 Kari Jobe - CD

 Women of the Bible - Book

The Case for Christ Dvd

Old Navy Deals

I just scored bit time again at Old Navy!  They are having their 40% off all clearance items.  While I did not get as many items this time as I normally do, I got some really high quality coats for my nieces, some clothes for Jon and Matt, sandals for Jon and lunch boxes for Lyshie and Jon.  I just LOVE a good sale!

Retail Price $294.68
Price we paid was $49.96

Saturday, January 22, 2011

All of God's Girls Have Issues

I love this article!  I first saw it by a post from my friend Deb Wages on facebook.  I would like to add to what Lysa says by saying this; you can apply this to any area of your life!  Whether you have issues with food, substances (coffee, caffeinated tea, cigarettes, alcohol, etc..), bad language, gossiping, flaring tempers, lying, cheating, etc... God is there waiting for you to call on him, and the let Him take the lead in your life.  We are not meant to live defeated lives as children in Christ!

Now, on to the article.

All of God’s Girls Have Issues
17 Jan 2011
Lysa TerKeurst

Two years ago, I lost 25 pounds and for the first time in my life, I've kept it off.

However, my real celebration isn't over the smaller clothing size and reduced numbers on the scale. My real celebration is over the spiritual insights I gained while losing the weight and maintaining my healthy progress.

For me, this has been a spiritual journey—a significant spiritual journey with great physical benefits. I had been overweight physically and underweight spiritually and finally tying those two things together was life-changing.

One of the richest lessons has been realizing the amount of mental and spiritual energy I wasted for years just wishing things would change. All the while, I was beating myself up for not having the discipline for making those changes.
If you have an issue with weight and food, you know what I mean. But no matter what issue you are currently dealing with, can I offer a bit of encouragement? Jesus wants to help you with that issue. He really does. But you've got to stop beating yourself up about it and determine to follow His lead.

Have you ever looked at other people and thought to yourself, "How does everyone else have it all together? And why is it I seem to have so many issues?"

We like to identify our shortcomings, form them into a club, and beat the tar out of ourselves mentally. Over and over and over again. We label ourselves and soon lose our real identity to the beaten and bruised fragility we call "me."
We compare, we assume, we assess, we measure and most times walk away shaking our head at how woefully short our "me" falls compared to everyone else. How dangerous it is to hold up the intimate knowledge of our imperfections against the outside packaging of others.

If there is one thing that living 40-plus years has taught me it's this... all God's girls have issues. Every single one of us.
Now, hear me out.

Having issues isn't the absence of victory in our lives. It's simply a call to action reminding us victory is right around the corner.

I can make the choice to identify my shortcomings and instead of using them against myself, hand them over to Jesus and let Him chisel my rough places. The grace-filled way Jesus chisels is so vastly different than the way I mentally beat myself up. My mental scripts can so often be full of exaggerated lies that defeat. His chiseling is full of truth that sets me free.

Oh what a difference.

Jesus doesn't compare.

Jesus doesn't condemn.

Jesus doesn't exaggerate.

He simply says, "Hey, I love you. I love you just how you are. But, I love you too much to leave you stuck in this. So, let's work on it together. You can do this."

There is something so powerful in really believing that with Jesus' help you can do this. Say it with me, "I can." In my new book, Made to Crave, I wrote, "I can is a powerful little twist for a girl feeling deprived and defeated."

I can helps me walk into the dinner party and find the conversation more appealing than the food table. I can helps me stay on the perimeter of the grocery store where the fresher, healthier selections abound and smile that I know this. I can helps me reach for my water bottle and find satisfaction in its refreshment.

I can helps me look at the drive-thru menu and order a fruit tray without even giving a thought to the fried foods I used to snack on. I canreminds me to look up a restaurant's nutritional information on the internet before going out, insuring wiser choices. I can reminds me no food will ever taste as sweet as victory does.

I'll say it again, having issues isn't the absence of victory in our lives. It's simply a call to action reminding us victory is right around the corner. Today is a great day to start believing you were made to walk in victory and to say to Jesus, "Yes, with Your truth as my guide, I can."

Dear Lord, help me to see myself the way You see me. Please help me to remove the lies that defeat me more often than I want to acknowledge. You have set me free. Help me to live like I truly believe that. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."Romans 8:1 (NIV)

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Florida Chronicles Part 7

Can it really be the last day oƒ our trip?  I can't believe that by the time the sun sets, we'll be home.  It's bittersweet.  I always love being home after being gone for a few days.  After being on the road for a bit, my dear hubby was pulling off the side of the road.  When asked why he said "because you need a Tennessee magnet".  Yeah once again for hubby!  Now my set could be complete!  He stopped off at the Museum of Appalacia.  He sure knows me!  I was so bummed we couldn't stay and take a tour - not enough time.  That said, it was so nice snapping these photos.  Matt and I hope to take a trip here sometime again in the future when we can spend more time enjoying it.

Appalachia Heritage Museum store.

Outside buildings.

Inside the store.

Chickens were there to greet us.  Jon loved them!  They were allowed to wander freely.

Quilts in the store.

Neat cookbooks and such.

We hope to be able to make a gun like this for the boys.  Fun!

Ok now these are just awesome!

More buildings outside.  Man I'd love to know the history here.

Little gadgets and trinkets.

Museum sign.

More outside buildings.

I have no idea what this is but it's neat.

Back in the car we go.  I was able to get a neat handmade magnet as well as a few other things from here.  Very neat place!  

Unfortunately, I did not take notes on this trip so I don't have much to say.  I can say that when we hit the Welcome to Ohio sign, I was geeked!

We were about 1 hour and 15 minutes from home when I got really hungry.  Matthew suggested we stop off at Cabela's to get some dinner.   Sounded like a plan to me!  I had never been here before and neither had the kids.  What a way to round out the day as well as the trip.

This is the cafe where we had dinner.  Lyshie had wild boar, Matt had elk and I had bison.  The boys had mac 'n cheese.  Go figure.  rofl!  Everything was wonderful!  I loved the wild boar but was not as fond of the elk.  It wasn't bad, just not my think.  My bison was of course fabulous!  Oh and Lyshie and I also got broccoli cheese soup.  It was the best I've ever had (besides what we make at home).  Very good!

We're now home getting ready to put away everything that we just brought in.  It's so good to be home even though it feels almost like it's not our home right now.  lol.  I can't wait to sink into my wonderful bed and pull up the covers.  God has blessed us so much with this trip in more ways than I can count.  Thank you again Mark and Cheri, this has helped more than you'll ever know.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Florida Chronicles Part 6

Today is the day we head out for home!  It's amazing how time has flown and yet stretched out a bit as well. Weird how that happens.  I was still very tired from Disney as well as from a little boy who woke up several times to nurse for long periods of time.  Ok, it was only 2 times but it seemed like many.   rofl!  He didn't have protein food before he went to bed - always happens.  Anyway, I awoke to my hubby making some eggs and toast.  I had a leftover burger from yesterdays lunch and had some of that as well.  Very good breakfast!  We are in a rush getting things packed, cleaned and ready to head out of this sunshine state.  After I had gone through the rooms, I walked out seeing some very bored kids.  I thought, "hmmm, I should give them a job to do."  Jon especially feels very important when he has an "important" job to do.

"Hey Jon, I have a very, very important job that needs done.  Are you able to help me with something like that?"

"Sure mom!" was his reply.

So, I had him double check the rooms, closets, etc... looking under the beds, on top of things, etc... I don't know why I hadn't thought of this before.  His sister joined in and not only did they help us, but they felt like they were doing a very wonderful and important job as well.  Everybody was happy :)  We didn't end up leaving till about 8:30 which you'll find out hurt us later; that's for sure.  Oh and a little funny for you, my husband had made hard boiled eggs for Jon and was cooling them in the freezer.  Unfortunately, he ended up forgetting about them.  He wondered how long it took the cleaning crew to find a pan of eggs in the freezer.  They probably thought that "those Michigan people are really weird".  rofl!

I started out driving and boy was I still tired.  About 1 hour from exiting Florida, we found a shop that sold oranges, orange juice, nuts, gator heads and more.  I ended up taking Jon in with me since he needs to get wiggles out from time to time.  We came out with a small (real) gator head, 2 containers of orange juice, a Florida magnet and some salt water taffy.  It's so hard to find true, blue salt water taffy anymore.

"On the road again..."

Around noon we ate lunch at somewhere I had been dying to eat at for the whole trip, Chick-fil-a.  We don't have any around where we live, so needless to say, I was geeked!  Matt got a spicy chicken sandwich, I got a homestyle sandwich, Lyshie got a homestyle sandwich and the boys shared some nuggets.  We all also shared waffle fries.  Mmmm, mmmm, mmm!  And once again, it was an easy on and easy off.  We spent maybe 5 minutes getting our lunch and jumping back on the road.  I didn't drive much further till Matt and I switched off for him to get gas then drive.  I was so ready for it!  By this time I was VERY tired!

Can I just say I love holding hands with my hubby.  We've done more hand holding in this trip and in the car than we have in a long time.  I'm so thankful for that!

We were planning on stopping in Georgia at Lane Orchards again but it just didn't happen:(  However, we did get some cool pictures of the Atlanta area.

We had to stop around 4:30 to fill up on gas.  I thought, "hey, since we are already stopped, we may as well get dinner".  We found a Cracker Barrel right across from the gas station and stopped there for a bit.  I love how they have their gift store with all kinds of fun goodies.  Hubby asked me if I had found anything I wanted and of course I did; but nothing I needed to get.  So, I passed on this one.  He got himself some sasparilla which is very yummy!  I had just a tiny sip.  He also got a couple other goodies; one being Goo Goos.  Fun times.  We all got our bellies filled and got back on the road once again.

I had missed the Welcome to Tennessee sign on the way down so I told hubby we HAD to get it on the way back.  He's so sweet and obliging!  He kept track of where we were and when he had to slow down to a stop along the side of the road just to get a picture.  We were laughing and giggling about it (being stupid) the whole time.  I'm so glad my hubby has a good sense of humor and doesn't mind giving in to some of my silly whims. And guess what, I got the picture! 

We had talked about stopping off and doing some more things in the Tennessee area before we go home but now that we're on the way home, we don't want to stop.  This drive was the hardest on Joshua.  He screamed and cried on and off for the last hour of driving :(  Breaks my heart when that happens.  He was asking for his "mama" and pointing to me and making a motion like he wanted me to hold him.  My poor baby.   

But, finally we arrived here at Holiday Inn Express in Knoxville, Tn at exit 373 off of I-75/40.  Our room is lovely!  This is a different color scheme than we're used to.  It's mostly blues and greens with brown accent.  Very pretty!  And yes, they have a pool which the kids just got back from and a free breakfast.  That's why we LOVE Holiday Inn Express.

Well, my Jon is having a hard time tonight and Joshie needs to nurse.  It's already 9:22 and I know if I don't get the nursing marathon started, I'm going to regret it in the wee hours of the morning.  I'll see you all tomorrow!  Lord willing, we'll arrive home tomorrow evening and find everything still in it's place, safe and all in working order.

Till tomorrow.....

p.s. My parents told us about a big storm that hit everywhere in the U.S. just a few days before we left. It left Georgia and Tennessee roads a mess!  Thankfully, they are all mostly clear and we had no troubles at all traveling them today!  God is good!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Florida Chronicles Part 5

Being pretty stinkin' worn out from last night, I slept in till about 10 am!  I awoke to find breakfast from Panera.  Mmmm, my hubby sure knows me!  For reasons I'll not go into now, we ended up calling many places in the area to finally find Jonathan a pull string Woody doll.  It was too cold to go to the beach unfortunately :(  After that we went to a fun book shop where I could have probably stayed all day and spent lots of $$.  However, not a penny was spent which was a good thing.

 Lyshie at Johnny Rockets with Joshie.

Me at Johnny's.

Jon at Johnny Rockets.

The view outside the restaurant.

Inside Johnny Rockets.

What they do to every bowl of ketchup.  Cute!

It was already lunch time at this point.  We found Bonefish Grille which looked fabulous and piled out of the car only to find out that it didn't open till 4pm.  Stink!  So, on to Johnny Rockets, which still proved to be fun.

Inside of Shell World.

 Another inside picture of Shell World.  See the bulk shell bins?

After that we headed out to a place called Shell World.  Since we didn't go to the beach, I was hoping to find shells that were originally found on the Florida shores.  We were in luck!!!  I got a few other things to which we'll be using for school as well as having them as souveniers.    Next, on to our hotel to get some R and R till a bit later.  Joshie, Matt and I are all ready for a nap.  They are already sleeping while I'm blogging away.  I better lay my head down before nap time is over.  More later :)

 The view outside our resort.  So pretty at night!

Winter Park

Winter Park Heritage Museum.

Harry & Larry's Bar-B-Que.

WInter Park City Hall.

The nap was fabulous!  Matt and I both woke up more refreshed than when we went down.  We decided to try out a BBQ place in Winter Park.  We got ribs, briskit and pulled pork along with sweet potato fries and coleslaw.  The food was fabulous!  The little town was gorgeous as well.  If we ever make it back down to Florida, we hope to stay for a bit in Winter Park.

 Lyshie at the Clubhouse.

 Jon playing at the Clubhouse.

 Mama and Jon elk hunting.

 Joshie playing at the Clubhouse.

After dinner we arrived back at the hotel and played on the club house.  This was our first time in there and boy, a person could spend a lot of $$$ in there if they weren't careful.  You get 4 tolkens for ever dollar you put in the vending machine.  The kids played a racing game where you sit in the race car seat.  Jon and I played a hunting game which was SO fun!  For every shot you took, you had to cock the gun and reload.  It was sweet!  Matt and I both tried our hand at winning prizes.  We also went in the photo booth together which was so fun!

Well, we will now call it a night after we get back into our hotel room and pack up.  We must leave early tomorrow morning if we want to get to Tennessee at a reasonable time to once again sleep and wake up early.  Homeward bound; I'm not sure if I'm ready for it quite yet.