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May/June 2012 FREE! Take One!

Inspiring, encouraging and uplifting the women of Hampton Roads.

The Family Issue It’s an old story. A puff of wondrous God-breath meets dust. Then, voila, man meets world. But soon, his heart is lonely. So, another dizzying God-moment knocks him unconscious, and boy meets girl. Family. It’s been in style since the worlds were made. Ain’t nothing like it. God designed it, after all. Family is love, identity, home, roots, emotional support . . . it’s like a nap under a shady tree on a warm, breezy day. Okay, sometimes there’s a little bit of ‘nut’ action too. But even good cookies include a few kernels for some texture and crunch, right? Family is about acceptance too, after all. Flaws and all. Good thing, since we all have a little bit of growing to do. Just sayin’. If you need to—it’s time to forgive. Forget. Move on. Put those big girl panties on, sister, and let it go! Quit making “tic marks” in that tree bark, and carve a heart instead. Be easy on your family; you only get one. Appreciate them, with words. Laugh. Be a team. Family is your heritage and legacy intertwined—past, present and future. Remember, what you sow is what you reap. So handle with care. Treat with respect. Love with all you’ve got. These warm days are as good a time as any to mend any fences; to appreciate and show your family some love! Send a card. Bake a cake. Throw a party. Whatever you do, just climb on under that family tree to find purpose and rest there; may your branches always dangle freely, with arms wide open. “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8

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Christian Leadership to Change the World

Editor’s Note I just love olives. I must because I even named my son Oliver. Funny tidbit, his sisters call him “Olive” half the time. I’ll admit, I didn’t see that one coming. Maybe part of the reason I had olives on the brain back then was that Flourish was being “born” right around the same time he was. The theme verse emerged, “You are like an olive tree, flourishing in the courts of God” (Psalm 52:8). Yep, when I commit, I commit. Well, not too long ago, all the magnificence and symbolism of the wonderful olive tree returned to mind as I began looking at the verse that resonated for this family issue: “Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in His ways … Your children will be like olive shoots around your table” (Psalm 128:3).

“But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God's unfailing love for ever and ever” (Psalm 52:8).

The Blessing of Your Legacy

So, it seems I’m not the only one of us with an ‘olive!’ Yep, each of us parents are the proud “owners” of little olive plants! Yay!! So, maybe now y’all will join me in all my olive-loving glory? So? What in the world is all the hoopla about the olive? It’s just a teeny weeny gem of a fruit that we like to squish down and cook with, right? Au contraire, mon frère. Not true! After all, it doesn’t say the blessed parent’s children are like lemon trees, now does it? I’m guessing it’s specific for a good reason. So, you wanna be blessed, I wanna be blessed -- let’s take a look at the olive to see what that looks like. For starters, sustenance, light, heat, medicine and cosmetics are all derived from this single tree that was pretty much instrumental for survival back in the day. Not to mention that the olive branch is used throughout the Bible as a symbol of abundance, glory, fruitfulness and peace. So, great, right? The goal is to raise our little “shoots” into trees that resemble these magnificent little morsels of greatness. Well, we all know that shoots don’t bear fruit yet. You with me? Raising children takes some serious time, love and tenderness. For starters, the preferred way of planting an olive tree is from the trimming of a mature tree. So, it goes to say that it’s basically going to reproduce what it is. Meaning we’d better keep “pruned” since the ‘olive’ doesn’t fall far from the tree, Mama. Too, did you know that an olive tree typically takes about 20 years before bearing fruit? Their most fruitful season is actually between 30 and 70 years. Hmmm, sound familiar? You see, the roots of the olive tree go down very, very deep. It’s all happening beneath the surface, though, and takes a very long time to before you see it up top. So, can you imagine all that work in the beginning until the roots grow deep enough? Think about the planting, fertilizing and pruning year after year. Twenty years of sweaty effort and tree coddling, day-in and day-out so those little roots could finally grow into a long and strong root system that is provision enough for a strong, sturdy tree. Untold seasons of effort are put in until finally that little seedling is big enough to bear some fruit.

Designed to Flourish Magazine is for Hampton Roads Christian singles, wives, moms, friends, daughters . . . women. It is for those aspiring to be all they were created to be—their most beautiful and fulfilled selves. It is for women who desire to sparkle with the light of Christ in their relationships, roles, finances, life goals and all areas of life. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). This includes being a Proverbs 31 woman! One Columbus Center, Suite 600 Virginia Beach, VA 23462 757-348-5664 Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Kelly Head Senior Editor Cresta Shawver Senior Copyeditor Belinda Elliott Editors Nathalie Jeter, Belinda Elliott Design Director Nicole Knight Flourish Ad Design Francisco Afanador Sales Executive Jenn Wakefield Delivery Operations Lori West Contributing Writers Jennifer Avis, Leilani Atangan Del Campo, Ree Drummond, Belinda Elliott, Kelly Head, Michelle Jeter, Nathalie Jeter, Charity Mack, Dr. Linda Mintle, Lisa Marshall,

The beauty of all that effort, you see, is that farmers know all the toil and labor is worth every single bulging blister. Those tiring days pay off to obtain all that gloriously abundant, succulent, life-sustaining fruit that ultimately comes forth when they do their job right. Now, I’m the proud tender of three tender “shoots” myself. Phew. I know first-hand how difficult some days can be. I’ll be the first in line to admit that there are just some days I’d rather like to hang up my “pruning shears.” But, the times that are the hardest, ladies, are exactly when we need to consider that sturdy olive tree. One day our little ones will rise up and call us blessed. Their little roots are growing deeper and deeper day-by-day even though we can’t yet “see” it. But someday many will even come from afar to partake in all that juicy fruit those little seedlings will bear. Like the olive tree, the roots go so deep that no storm can shake it. So that even in our own old age, we will have our mature trees surrounding us and our table, like the shade of a great, ancient olive tree, as we rest in their shelter and even enjoy the fruit of it ourselves. Truly, that is legacy. So, let me break it down. Hard work. Yes. Worth it? You betcha. Not only is the farmer blessed from that olive tree, but so is the entire village for generations to come. So don’t grow weary in well doing. Keep on watering, feeding and nurturing that little seedling you’ve been chosen to cultivate. Before you know it, people will come from miles around to admire and drink of the beauty, fruitfulness and healing that comes forth from your full-grown “olives.” Be blessed!


Cresta Brooke Shawver, Amy Volk, Jenn Wakefield, Dana Williams, Joy Wansley Special Thanks All the wonderful supporters, advertisers and contributors. Thank you!

Designed to Flourish Magazine is published six times a year by Flourishing Media, LLC. No portion may be reproduced without the written consent of the publishers. The opinions of the contributing writers do not necessarily reflect those of the publishers. Flourishing Media LLC, assumes no liability for products, services or statements made by advertisers. The publishers reserve the right to refuse advertisements that do not meet the publication’s standards. Have your Designed to Flourish Magazine delivered for $18 annually to cover the cost of shipping & processing. Visit All rights reserved.

In This Issue

3 Editor’s Note: The Blessing of Legacy 5 Motherhood: The Ultimate, Epic Journey.

13 Mompreneur: It’s okay to walk your bike, and other lessons from the road to success. 14

6 Joys of Style: Want Hot 16 Summer Style Without Baring Too Much Skin? 7

Lessons from the Hair Stylist’s Chair: You are beautiful!

8 Global Leader Devi Titus: Home is where the heart is formed. 10 Does Birth Order Determine Your Child’s Personality? 11

Simplified Living: Organizing a Toy Room

Fitness: Is inner fitness foundational for physical fitness? 12 Mintle Health: Lessons from the shower The Superhero I Call Dad.

Social Justice: The Power of 1 Heart Matters: One mom leads her little ones to Christ.

Help us spread the ministry of Designed to Flourish! Please pick up extra copies and pass them along to the women in your life. Our goal is to steward the copies by getting them directly into the hands of the Christian women of Hampton Roads. Also, are we available at your church, Christian conference, Bible study or other event? We would love to be! Email us! We are looking for people with a heart for the Christian women of our community. We currently are looking for volunteer help with online media marketing, administration, proofreading and distribution. Come be a part of our ambassador program or leadership committee. Please review the writing submission guidelines prior to sending submissions at

Visit: Facebook: Designed to Flourish


From the Street: What are kids saying they are thankful for?

Twitter: iflourishonline Email: About the Cover Artist


Miles of Smiles: Ideas for family fun on the road!


Kid Craft: Easy Peasy Personalized Tee’s.


Smart Cents: Ideas about Children, Chores and Allowance.

21 The Pioneer Woman: Recipes from the frontier! 22

Untamed Spirit Horses bring healing to special local children

Joella Skilleter is predominately a self-taught artist. For many years, she focused her attention on watercolors, as it suited her nomadic lifestyle. After settling in New Zealand for a number of years, she began to explore the acrylic medium. In recent years, she has developed an interest in painting during times of worship and prayer. Joella currently resides in the United States. You can explore her range of paintings at 

Is your business Designed to FLOURISH? Designed to Flourish magazine would love to promote your business to the community of Christian women in Hampton Roads—reach our estimated 30,000 (and growing) targeted readership with your business, product or services. Our rates are surprisingly competitive! Also, be sure to ask about our new advertiser discount. Also, find out about being highlighted in one of our Flourish Advertorial Profiles. Email kelly@ for our media kit, or call 348–5664. Thanks for your support!

Please let our amazing advertisers know that you found them in DESIGNED TO FLOURISH magazine.

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Motherhood: The Ultimate, Epic Journey (In honor of Mother’s Day) By Jennifer Avis

There are places reserved for the milestones of motherhood. Pathways of light and humor. Corners of confusion and dilemma. Realms of sadness or worry. These heartfelt places wait for me as I wander through this journey. And so I write, treating the subject of motherhood as if it is the ultimate, epic story filled with mystery and magic; triumph and loss; heroes and villains; masters and apprentices; realities and dreams. For there is no other adventure that evokes everything about the human senses quite like motherhood. As I trek through uncharted territory with my children ever so close, I am constantly reminded of love. The smell of my children after a bath as I’m sprinkled with soap and dusted with powder. The taste of a kiss as I’m brushed by their sugary cheeks crusted with jelly or syrup. The touch of their skin as I feel the epitome of softness. The sound of their laughter as it fills my house and streams into my heart. These are my powers, the things I bear on this ever changing plight. I am both a slave and a hero, watching, waiting and feeling everything about my children. Swamped and full. Taken yet available. Rich and poor. Humbled and alert. Steady and unstable. Tired and then invigorated. I practice, knowing that I am learning the impossible art of holding onto just enough in order to let go. And so I walk. One force of love against the world. More than just an ordinary woman. For I am the voice urging them to fly. I am the wind, encouraging them to move. I am the she-wolf, protecting their safety. I am the accomplice, striving to show them what is right. So as they are mine, I am theirs forever. |


Joys of Style 

Joy Wansley

Some Place Special 

Ever wonder how to dress for the summer without showing too much skin? Let me tell you, dear sisters, I have seen outfits that would turn your head because they just leave absolutely nothing to the imagination. Since we all want to put our best sandal forward and be a fashion “do” this summer— here are some ideas for outfits that show your class and style while still beating the heat. Dresses: Mullet Dress—Just like the Mullet Haircut, this style dress is long in the back and short in the front; pleated dresses, maxi long, flowy, cool, dramatic, simple to put on, solids, colors (bold or pastels), edgy prints, graphics, tribal prints, florals, bird designs; high neck, off the shoulder, one shoulder, and if they are too low-cut/deep-V neck wear a tank top or bandeau top underneath. Skirts: Broomstick Skirts—full, they come in a variety of colors, textures, pleated, knee length or ankle length. Straight skirts: preferably 1/2” or 1” below the knee so that when you do the almighty “sit-down” test the skirt is not hiking up mid-thigh and you are trying to cover your thighs with your handbag. Try the Mad Men style of pencil skirt that hits higher on the waist. It is slimming and the look can be sophisticated or rather vintage with a cute tee, some pearls or a bold chunky necklace.

Whether this summer takes you on a flight of fancy, inspired by the high-styled sophistication of exotic Parisian or resort destinations, or the simple serendipitous overnight road trip to the Outer Banks–you will want to look your best. Here are my top three questions I ask myself before packing anything for summer travels: How does it wear in summer heat? During summer travels, you want to make sure that what you wear is going to be: Comfortable Cool Washable or “easy care” Compact to pack and wrinkle-resistant How does it “travel?” Best travel fabrics include:

Cropped pants or capris: so many styles, colors (BRIGHT), textures, prints, widths i.e. narrow, skinny, wide (cargo styles are a very popular current trend), and the sporty look.

Cotton—light, washable, breathable, weight and color variations, and it can be dressed up or down

Tops: short-sleeved, sleeveless, three-quarter sleeved, strapless, tunic tops, solid, prints (tribal, geometric, ikat, polka dot), pastel, bold color (neon), so many fabrics to choose, and if it is sheer just plan on layering either a tank or another thin top underneath it.

Matte jersey—flat when it is packed, does not wrinkle, comes in variety of colors, goes from desk to dinner very easily and is washable

*Remember: Spaghetti straps are not meant for everyone, look for wider straps (1/2”- 1”) to give you more balance and support if you are more endowed on top.

Linen blends—light to the skin in high temperatures, does not wrinkle easily, great for tropical climates

Scarfs: gauzy, sheer, silk, cotton, polyester, linen, colorful, print, or solid…to add a splash of color or a mixed print to your outfit. It is a strategic tool to either use as a belt, shawl or cummerbund, to brighten up your outfit, or as a lap cover. And there are so many tricks out there for square or oblong scarves.

Denim—comes in a variety of weights, colors/rinses and designs

Jackets: cotton/spandex, polished cotton, denim, eyelet, textured fabric, short-sleeved, ¾ sleeved or long sleeved. The more shape detailing to the jacket the more figure flattering it becomes. Colors: white, tones of pink, teal, green, animal print, pastels and brights. The key for the summer is to find a multiple-use denim jacket to mix and match from semi-dressy to casual. Cardigans: pima cotton, cotton/rayon, linen/cotton blends, or matte jersey; the fabric should be a fine-gauge or texture. Fun styles would be the boyfriend, cocoon, asymmetrical, cropped or shrug/bolero. You choose the sleeve if it is to be short-sleeved, three-quarter sleeved, or long-sleeved. Shoes: well-cushioned for plenty of walking, strappy sandals, wedges, thong sandals, platform/flat-form, espadrille and/or tennis shoes. Have fun with your summer wardrobe by trying something NEW to keep your whimsy fresh! The BIG color for summer is orange! If you are running short on time or on a limited budget, simple accessories are the key. Put a colorful flower in your hair! I guarantee it will make you feel like you are going somewhere special . . . Paris or not!

How can I make the most of what I pack? Mixing and matching is my favorite thing to do when traveling. I bring a few basic colors and pieces, and then spice things up with a POP of color. There are so many options with this method—use a fun, unpredictable print, an accessory such as a scarf, belt, tank top, headband, or even a piece of jewelry. Core travel pieces: Pant/Skirt Lightweight Jacket Thin Knit Top Cotton Top—Tee, Button Front, Pull-Over Cardigan Casual Walking Shoe

Bon Voyage!

Dressy Strappy Sandal, Pump Or Dressy Thong Sandals

God SeesYou As Beautiful Lessons from the ‘‘Hair Chair”


eople often feel comfortable opening up to Stylists both about their beauty and personal lives. So, we may ask questions like, “How do you feel about your hair? What would you like to change about your appearance? or even, How are things going in your life?” I find many women who tell me they are unhappy -- either about the way they look, their weight or their life in general. Sadly, I see several women with distortions in how they see themselves; They don’t see the beauty that God has placed in them and in their lives. I want to tell these women who don’t yet know their worth, “God sees your beauty. He made you beautiful

By Leilani Atangan Del Campo

and sees the beauty even when no one sees it.” In Hebrew, the word, “beauty,” has several definitions. My favorite root word definition is “Yaphah” which means: to be bright, shine, to be beautiful or handsome (Splendor, brightness-Isaiah 33:17; Psalm 50:2; Ezekiel 27:3, 4, 11; Beauty, gracefulnessPsalm 45:11-12; Isaiah 3:24; Ezekiel 16:25). When you feel unhappy, remember this encouragment, “You are beautiful! You shine. You are made in His Image!” Below are some practical tips to having a “Healthy Body Image” so you can learn to love what you see in the mirror!

o A Healt hy Body Imag e

SELF-AWARENESS: Identify the negative and positive thoughts in how you see yourself. Being self-aware about your thoughts will help you realize what thoughts you should have.

POSITIVE SELF-TALK: Appreciate who

you are and others. Say positive affirmations daily. What thoughts and feelings are you saying and believing about yourself? “For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” - Proverbs 23:7.


your mental and physical health well. Examples: Decrease depression through exercise and other leisure activities. Increase your self-esteem through success-oriented activities. Practice stress management

through daily mediation, deep breathing exercises, positive coping skills, or spa services. Eat healthy foods with antioxidants, good fats, protein, fiber, and fruits/ vegetables to optimize your lifestyle.

have good fashion sense to help you create the look you want.

EDUCATION: Attend classes to keep yourself motivated and inspired. Classes in skin care, grooming, make-up, fitness, weight loss, and nutrition will help renew your mind and establish an overall healthy well-being.

SET GOALS: Write goals that are

realistic, specific, and measurable. You will feel more motivated when you see your goals achieved.

Image Planning: Decide on the look you want. Read and observe several fashion magazines (ex. Allure, Vogue, etc.). Create a vision board with images that represent how you want to be. Images may include: natural, business, dramatic, or casual looks. Visit clothing stores with friends or professionals who

TRENDS AND STYLES: Staying updated

will help you look and feel fashionable. The latest hair trends and styles for Spring/Summer of 2012 are: simple, slicked back, wraps, center parts, bold color, knots, ponytails and messy updos. Throwback looks of the 60s and 70s are the hottest looks on runway fashion.


Bold Color Stylists: Bracha Creative Design Team Model: Ashley Lyons


Stylist: Leilani Atangan Del Campo Models: Leya Atangan Macchi and Gianna Macchi

LONG AND BOUNCY Stylist: Jana Bell Model: Christian Markham

Side Ponytail

Stylist: Jana Bell Model: Christian Markham

Center Part

Stylist: Leilani Atangan Del Campo Model: Alyssa Miguelino

Leilani Atangan Del Campo, MA, MS, is a Motivational Speaker, Licensed Cosmetologist, Social Worker, Art Therapist, and Beauty Expert with extensive experience in artistic visioning, leadership training, educational workshops, and mentoring women. With over 20 years of experience in the beauty industry, Leilani and her husband dedicate their business, BRACHA, a Salon and Spa in Chesapeake, Virginia, to promote beauty and wellness of the whole person. BRACHA is located at 801 Volvo Parkway, Suite 123, Chesapeake, VA 23320. Call to book your appointments at 757-382-9988. Facebook: BRACHA. Be sure to look for Bracha’s ad and coupon on the back cover. |


Devi Titus:

Home is Where the Heart Is Formed by Kelly Head

Is “Home Sweet Home” the last place you actually want to be? Perhaps it’s because, like many women confess, disorder, despair and depression are “residing” there instead. Thankfully, the “fix” isn’t another set of rules we must try to impose upon ourselves. Rather, as global pastor and teacher Devi Titus offers, it is about an impartation and conviction regarding the purpose of our homes— and distinctly, our purpose in and for our homes.

She notes that when the home breaks down, it causes the breakdown of our society. In fact, Edward Gibbon in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire mentions the undermining of the “dignity and sanctity of the home” as the top reason for the fall of great civilizations of the past.

“We need to understand the significance of our role and have a plumb line of understanding of God’s Word,” Devi says, “because if we are off even just a little bit we will miss the mark. In our society the value of the home has changed dramatically Recently, Devi invited Designed to Flourish into her own beautiful, even in the past two decades alone.” She adds, “I’m not here peaceful home near Grapevine, Texas, to share about her to create legalism, but to share principals from God’s word that passion and life mission to see women come away with a real have been lost or misunderstood because whom one becomes change in their ability to create peace and love at home. is a direct reflection of where one spends most of his time.” Devi’s Biblical message comes as such a revelation that it may have us joyfully combing our cabinets (or the shelves at Pier 1 Imports) in search of the perfect plates on which to serve our most honored and special guests—our family. You see, as she says, it’s really about the heart of the matter.

“A wise woman builds her house, but a foolish one tears it down by her own hands” (Proverbs 14:1).

According to Devi, the stakes are too high to miss the truth about God’s view of our homes. Devi has written and produced the book and DVD curriculum The Home Experience: Making Your Home a Sanctuary of Love and a Haven of Peace, along with Marilyn Weiher. Devi says that most issues, from rampant divorce to addictions, relationship issues and more, can be traced back to the home. “A wise woman builds her house, but a foolish one tears it down by her own hands” (Proverbs 14:1). Devi is the wife of renowned pastor and speaker Larry Titus and a 48-year ministry veteran who now travels extensively ministering before large audiences. She has seen firsthand the broken lives that stem from homes that are out-of-order and passionately desires to see change.

Home Is Meant to Be a Place of Love and Peace. “God created the home to be the institution to develop the two essential human emotions—love and peace. That’s all your kids need, that’s all your husband needs, and that’s all you need. Have you seen those little plaques that say ‘Home is where the heart is,’” she asked? “Those are cute, but I say, ‘Home is where the heart is formed.’” We are called, as women within the home environment, to be the guard, or “keepers” of our homes. The word keeper used in Titus 2:4 is the same Old Testament word for the “guard” who was the watchman at the gate of the city. The keeper’s assignment was to look beyond the walls of the city and discern if there was going to be any encroachment of the enemy to come in to take away the peace of the city. “God has positioned women to be the guard at the gate of her household in the same way,” she explains. “He has established you within the environment of your home to be the keeper of peace.” Having worked with families for decades, every personal issue people dealt with in life: relational issues, sin issues, anger, bitterness and addictions, can be traced back to the home, she explained. “The heart is either hardened, hurt, or hindered, or it’s made sensitive, safe, and secure from the home,” she says.

“It is amazing how many people were wounded because their home wasn’t a place of peace and love. We are either messing (our children) up or nurturing their hearts. We can disfigure who God made our children to be by the very basis of our homes,” she said. “I think it’s time, with the redemption of the Cross, that we learn how to live beyond that.”

Eating as a Family Devi says that the number one thing people can do to bring peace at home is to make eating together as a family a top priority. Doing so creates deeper, more meaningful relationships. In fact, the American Psychological Association published a study that illustrated the crucial role of the family meal in the lives of teenagers. The study found that adjusted teens, those with better relationships with peers and more academic motivation and few, if any, problems with drugs and depression ate dinner with their families an average of five days a week. “If academic research says that if your kids eat at a dinner table five times a week that they’re less likely to experiment with drugs, experiment with sex, wouldn’t you think we would do it? It just seems reasonable, but we don’t. Why? Because we’re so busy doing good things—church, volunteer, doing this, soccer, all the stuff that you sign all your kids up for—that you don’t have time to come to the table.

In contrast, the Proverbs 31 woman ran her home like a mini-corporation. There was order in her waking, feeding and caring for her family. “If we treated our businesses like we treated our homes— talked to people the way we often talk to our families, ran things how we ran them at home—those businesses would certainly fail,” she shares. “If we have order and structure in our homes they can become a place that is life-giving to our families and give the joy and purpose that we might be seeking to gain from so many outside things,” says Devi. Making a peaceful home is also about keeping it simple and special for the important people in your life. “People always say, ‘48 years of marriage, wow, how do you do it?’ I say, ‘Do something every day to make that day special for your spouse, a kind word, a special meal – just anything your mind can create to add a touch of special for your husband and your children too,”’ she added.

“Older women … encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, keepers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be dishonored.” Titus 2:3-5

“I’m here to tell you, moms, that something supernatural, beyond your words, beyond your analytical abilities, beyond you trying to convince your kids, beyond you condemning your husband and arguing with him, if you will prepare a meal and come to the table, there is a supernatural presence called the Bread of the Presence that will heal whatever happened that day, but we have to come to the table,” she said.

Bringing Peace A main ingredient to a peaceful home is to find the way of excellence, or what Devi calls “The Also Principle.” “My favorite scripture is, ‘And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord … knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance….’ (Col. 3:23). “Just change Whom are you doing this for,” she says. “It is that when you set the table you light the candle also; When you wash the dishes, you dry them also…. When you do, you will receive the reward of the inheritance initially given to Abraham and includes: faith, provision, prosperity, obedience and intimacy with God. Another pitfall that may steal the peace from our homes is lack of order or structure, which then causes many women to desire to be anywhere but at home.

Also, getting to the root of the issue is important in bringing the peace back into our homes. “For where jealousy and selfish ambition are, there is confusion and every evil work” (James 3:1). “You have to ask yourself what is in me that has brought this result? You have to take ownership,” she said.

Once you’ve decided to bring peace and love back to your home, contrary to conventional wisdom, Devi says it’s best to then work from the outside in – starting with just a small space – preferably the kitchen so that meals can be prepared and shared. Cleaning up the environment will start the path to peace. “It didn’t get this way overnight, so you won’t regain order overnight,” she says. But when you begin putting the pieces of your life in order, you will gain the peace of God. Like any other aspect of discipleship, it is done in small bites. So do each thing, and then be real proud of yourself,” she encourages. From Devi’s perspective and experience, grasping the significance of our role in the home makes all the difference in whether we find and give joy and peace there. Her resources also offer many practical solutions on how to best love those in our lives through the ministry of what really can be our “Home Sweet Home.”

You can get more in-depth teaching along with practical advice from Devi by participating in The Home Experience: Making Your Home a Sanctuary of Love and a Haven of Peace. Also look for Devi’s latest book, The Table Experience: Discover What Creates Deeper More Meaningful Relationships. Both resources are available online and at major bookstores.

Does Your Birth Order Determine Your Personality? Ask any parent about their children and they will be quick to point out the differences in personalities among the family. No one can identify the strengths and quirks of children quite as quickly as their mom. But are these traits just random, or is there a pattern to how your children develop? Parenting expert and author Kevin Leman says there is a pattern. In his book, The Birth Order Book: Why You Are the Way You Are, Leman explains that the order in which children are born can determine their place in the family and the type of personality they will develop. Birth order can even affect their outlook on life, their relationships with others and their career choices. Becoming familiar with the general traits of each birth order can help you better understand your children and parent them according to their personalities. “Every birth order has inherent strengths and weaknesses,” Leman says. “Parents must accept both while helping the child develop positive traits and cope with negative ones.” He identifies four general personalities—firstborns, middleborns, lastborns and only children. Firstborns and only children are natural leaders. They tend to be ambitious, organized and detail-oriented. “Statistics show that firstborns often fill positions of high authority or achievement,”

seek relationships outside the family, a group where they can “belong.” Being diplomatic and good negotiators, a lot of middleborns become entrepreneurs.

Lastborns are social, outgoing and good with people. They use wit, charm and humor to By Belinda Elliott get attention and get Leman says. Many of our presidents their way. They tend to be the entertainers have been firstborns. They are also in the family, and many have gone on to prominent in universities as professors, pursue careers in acting or comedy. These and a large number of them pursue are coping skills they develop as a result professions in science, medicine or law. of being the “last” at everything in family life—last to wear the family hand-me-downs Leman notes that of the first 23 American and last to enjoy the privileges that their astronauts sent into space, 21 were firstborns older siblings enjoy. They also tend to get and two others were only children—a picked on the most by older siblings and keep group that shares the traits of firstborns. their baby nickname well into adulthood. Because they set high standards for While these descriptions give an overall themselves, firstborns often feel pressured view of each personality, these traits are to perform and excel at all they do.

He notes several variables that play an important role in determining a child’s personality. For instance, if there is a gap of five years or more between siblings, the birth order traits tend to start over as if another “family” has been formed, meaning the next child born could be the third or fourth in the family but could have the personality of a firstborn. Gender can also play a role. Often the firstborn male and firstborn female will both exhibit firstborn traits regardless of which child was actually born first. Family dynamics and parenting styles also play a crucial role. Leman found in his research that if parents are overly critical, especially of firstborns, it can negatively impact their child’s development. Firstborns who grow up being nit-picked and criticized will lose their tendency to be reliable and conscientious and could instead become sloppy and shun responsibility. He also found that in dysfunctional families where abuse may be occurring, the birth order patterns become distorted as children develop habits and personalities to cope with whatever they are enduring.

Only children are known as “super firstborns,” because they exhibit extreme versions of firstborn traits. Without sibling interaction, they may find it difficult to relate to kids their age and often act mature beyond their years. Books are their best friends, and they like to work independently. Middleborns can vary in personality. “They’re the hardest to pin down of all the birth orders, but they’ll typically be the opposite of the child above them in the family,” Leman says. They tend to be good listeners, loyal, negotiators and people pleasers. They are usually the ones in the family who try to keep the peace. Since middleborns feel squeezed between siblings who get more attention (the oldest and the youngest), they tend to

“Every time a child is born, the entire family environment changes,” Leman says. “How parents interact with each child as he or she enters the family circle determines in great part that child’s final personality traits. The key question is: Was the environment provided by the parents loving, accepting, and warm, or was it critical, cold and distant?”

general and not set in stone. They will not always hold true for every child. “As important as a child’s order of birth may be, it is only an influence,” Leman says, “not a final fact of life forever set in cement and unchangeable as far as how that child will turn out.”

Every child needs a home filled with love, encouragement and support. In addition, understanding the role that birth order plays in developing their personality can help you better understand their needs and identify areas where you can help them.

For more information about Dr. Kevin Leman and his parenting books, visit

Firstborn (oldest)

Middleborn (2nd, 3rd, 4th child)

Lastborn (youngest)


High achievers, natural leaders, reliable, conscientious, organized, list makers, do not like surprises, goal-oriented, determined

Usually opposite personality of sibling before them, negotiators, people pleasers, good listeners, mediators, secretive, often become entrepreneurs

Social, outgoing, spontaneous, humorous, risk takers, open to change, excellent people skills, many go into entertainment field

Famous Examples

Neil Armstrong, Oprah Winfrey, Martha Stewart, George W. Bush, Bill & Hillary Clinton

Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Steve Forbes, David Letterman, Susan B. Anthony, Princess Diana

Jim Carrey, Billy Crystal, Eddie Murphy, Whoopi Goldberg, Jon Stewart

Parenting Tips

Balance is important, especially for females. Help children learn to “settle” for excellence rather than perfection. Let them know it is okay to fail and not everything they do will be perfect. Don’t put too much pressure on them. Age-appropriate chores are good, but don’t expect them to pick up the tasks their siblings don’t complete. Though they are the oldest and can watch younger children occasionally, this shouldn’t be the norm. Allow them to be children. Often firstborns feel they are left with all the responsibilities (especially in large families) while younger children get to enjoy all the fun. Be sure to spend quality time with your firstborn doing fun things.

Middle children often feel out of place at home, like they do not have a spot in the family. This “Middle Child Syndrome” can create a deep need to belong, and they usually seek close friendships outside the family, even if they choose “the wrong crowd.” To help them find their place in the family be sure to schedule time alone with them. Let them choose an activity to do with you without interruption from siblings. Also, capture their memories. Middle children often find family photo albums are full of photos of their firstborn and lastborn siblings, but very few photos of them. Another big complaint is “hand-me-downs.” These are okay sometimes, but your middle child will appreciate new items—a coat, a pair of shoes—something they can call their own.

Youngest children often try to steal the spotlight from their older siblings. They typically get the most attention and parents often dote on them or “bend the rules” that once held firm for previous children. If they become accustomed to being allowed to break the rules, or always getting their way, they may be shocked to find this isn’t how the world works in adulthood. Be sure to hold them accountable for their actions. Also, remember it is okay to say “no” to them. Youngest children are typically more self-centered than the rest and will try hard to get their way either through charm and wit or manipulation and tantrums. Set firm boundaries and stick to them. Help your youngest to feel included by doing family activities in which all ages can participate. Maybe your son is still too little to ride bikes with the big boys like he wants, but everyone can enjoy a trip to the local zoo or science museum.

Sources / The Birth Order Book: Why You Are the Way You Are by Kevin Leman /

Pureis Your Gold?


Organizing a Toy Room Amy Volk, Simplified Living, LLC

Lisa Marshall

When we hear the word “fitness,” we usually think of physical fitness, but that is only one part of the bigger picture. A woman may appear to be fit on the outside while her inner self– heart and spirit—is broken or even toxic. Busy moms sometimes work hard to present an image of superior fitness, striving to be the best cooks, home managers and professionals. They convince others and themselves that they are in control of everything. But the depths of their beings tell an entirely different story. The outside may present a golden sheen, but the inside is tarnished silver. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 states that one’s being is comprised of a spirit, soul and body. Notice the order. One’s spirit is the head of her being. God’s order is that it leads her soul and body as it is her primary connection with God. The truth is, “as the head goes, so goes the body.” If the head is misaligned in relation to the body, the body will follow the path of misalignment. This idea may be applied to both physical fitness and spiritual fitness. As with exercise, such misalignment results in malfunction and potential injury. And, in terms of the family, if the mom is not functioning at her best, the family suffers. What’s under your golden sheen? How is your spirit? Are you in tune with the Lord or are there strongholds in the way? How is your heart? Are there broken areas or wounds that need to be cleaned and bandaged? If left untended, they will become infected and defile those around you. Ezekiel 36:26 states, “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” Take a fitness assessment of your spirit. Ask the Lord to expose hard areas that need His touch and to reveal any strongholds of thought or attitude. Invite His tenderizing love to soften your heart and restore His life flow. This process takes time just as muscles must be stretched regularly to restore their flexibility. Ask God to realign your spirit with His so that His Spirit leads your spirit which leads your soul and body. Pursue your inner fitness so that you may experience the abundant life God has intended for you. Allow Him to rub off the tarnish; to replace the underlying silver with pure gold so that you are made of pure gold inside and out and truly shine with His glory. Lisa is a certified personal trainer who approaches fitness from the fact that we are spirit, soul, and body. Her passion is to cultivate fitness inside and out so that her clients reach their fitness goals and live their best lives. Find her at

We get tons of requests for help with children’s spaces. I’m sure it’s because there is an overload of toys these days between birthdays, holidays and the general trip to Target! I have included a picture of a toy room we did several years ago to show you how easy and inexpensive organizing a toy space can be. I love it because this area is the “formal” living room of a home and a very open space. The requirements were that it be fun to look at, completely manageable for the kiddos to keep up with, and easy for mom to pick up in a hurry. As a mom of now 13-year-old twins, I had to become intimately acquainted with managing a lot of toys in a small space. Toy containment is the key—creating fun, easy-to-handle ways to contain toys. Containers themselves should be lightweight, small enough for a toddler to pick up and move, and easy to label. The biggest mistake parents make in organizing toys is that the containers are too big. Too much stuff is in them and they are difficult for little ones to move around. Not to mention that large containers become dumping grounds for things.

Here are Three Key Strategies for Toy Room Organizing: Keep like toys together, but not necessarily in one container. Example: Polly Pockets can be separated out by dolls and clothes, then furniture, then all other accessories.  Lego can be separated out by general Lego pieces and then individual sets.  Don’t over organize! I see it time and time again...trying to be too specific with toys creates frustration for the child when you say “clean up!” Keep Barbies with Barbies, but don’t try (or expect) your kiddos to keep the shoes separate from the clothes. Having broader categories makes clean up a cinch! Label Every Container This makes it so much easier for our little ones especially if they are toddlers. Bright, colorful tags with large letters are fun and if you can laminate them, they wipe clean too! A label maker is a terrific tool to have in your home and not just for toys, but almost anything.  When you say “clean up,” they can find the container with the label on it and away it goes.    Toys will quickly overtake a home if you don’t have specific places for the kids to put them. Create homes for every toy including board games and outdoor equipment. With the right containers and great labels, you will actually remember that adults live there too! Have fun. Simplified Living LLC founder Amy Volk has a passion for creating beautiful, clutter-free homes and corporate environments. She helps people learn to live more simply. Visit her at

Mintle Health

Linda Mintle, Ph.D.

Lessons From the Shower One day, years ago, when my daughter was 4 years old, I emerged from my shower only to find her young eyes staring at me. “Mommy, will I have that crinkly stuff on your legs too?” Crinkly stuff? Then I realized she was referring to the cellulite on my thighs! As I studied her uncertain face, I realized this was a key moment. My response to this seemingly innocuous question mattered. For years, I have treated eating disorders and body image problems as a licensed therapist. I knew my attitude toward my own body was part of an on-going process of shaping my daughter’s opinion about her body. So how I answered this question was important. In a culture obsessed with thinness, beauty and physical perfection, the normal invasion of cellulite to that 40-year-old frame needed to be discussed in its proper perspective. “You will only have this crinkly stuff when you are an older mommy, “ I replied. But my little one did not look satisfied. “And it doesn’t hurt at all,” I added. Bingo! That was her concern. She giggled and said, “OK” and that was the end of it, or was it? Not really. Every time we as moms or dads make comments about our physical bodies in front of our young daughters and sons, we teach them how to think about their bodies. Do we feel fat today, hate our hair, criticize our appearance or pick on our imperfections while they stand by absorbing it all? When we make disparaging remarks about our physiques, we run the risk of teaching our children how to feel inadequate and never measure up. Our voices matter in the sea of media voices telling them to be thinner, prettier, perfect and improved. The importance given to physical appearance is way out of balance when it comes to personal development, and we need to change this. Fortunately, we can begin early by normalizing the changes of aging and talking about our bodies with respect. Resist cultural prescriptions of beauty and focus conversations on inner beauty and character building. Model body acceptance and healthy living—-teaching your children self-care rather than self-obsession. View yourselves holistically and do not dissect yourselves into parts. Replace negative, degrading thoughts with loving and caring statements about the way God made you. The next time you are tempted to complain about your flabby stomach or ask, “Do I look fat in these jeans?” reconsider. You are teaching the next generation how to think about their bodies. Your voice matters and is one of tremendous influence so think before you speak. And like the title of my book, Making Peace With Your Thighs, practice acceptance and respect for the body God gave you. It will make a difference in the life of your little one. Dr. Linda Mintle is a licensed therapist, a national speaker and best selling author who wrote the book, Making Peace With Your Thighs (and other body parts, Thomas Nelson, 2005). For more help and/or information regarding Dr. Linda, visit her website at

o r e H r e p u S T h e l l Da d I Ca efield Jenn Wak

At age 5, my dad picked,

me up from my mother s door step. He said it was the

happiest day of his life. Up until this point, he didn’t get to spend much time with me. He loaded my bags into his Ford Ranger and we never looked back; it was us against the world. It’s hard to fathom that my dad was the exact same age that I am today when he took full custody of me. He changed my name, gave me a good life and a chance at succeeding. In my early years, my life was full of brokenness and desolation. I witnessed and endured things that children should never be exposed to. He gave me a new hope and a future. One of my first memories was lying on the tank of a Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle while my dad walked the bike down the street making me think he was driving it. Most girls were playing tea party with their friends; I was one of the boys. I played football, cops and robbers, and honestly thought I was in a rock band playing an electronic keyboard with absolutely no skill. Picture day was my least favorite day of the school year. I know most kids hate it. I promise I hated it more, never mind my teal shirt with my green corduroys. My father thought it would be a good idea to chop all of my hair off—so much easier to manage than chasing an 8-year-old around the house with a hair brush. So I was the little girl who looked like a boy with a weed-whacker haircut. I never knew my life with a single father was different from others. I thought everyone watched the TV show Cops every night and ate frozen burritos regularly. (I still do!) The only cooking we did was barbecuing, which is my favorite to this day. Every night before bed for years, I would perform some type of Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston song for my dad with the boom box/microphone that I am positive he completely regretted buying for me. To this day, my own singing gives me a headache. He was such a trooper! He clapped each time like I’d won a Grammy and tucked me in tightly. “Good night, sleep tight, Poohbear” were the last words I heard

before bed every single night. When my dad got a girlfriend, the jealous daughter mode kicked in. Like most teenagers, I disliked authority. Especially since I never

had a woman telling me what to do, I hated it. But I always knew I was his #1 girl. Like many kids, I rebelled as a teenager, so we went through a rough patch. But no matter where I have been in life, my daddy has been the most important person, and I know that I am still his baby girl. I joined the Navy right out of high school, a decision that broke his heart. The day I left for boot camp, I saw my father cry for the first time in my life. I know that being without me was very hard for him. It was my first time being without him. We both cried every night for weeks without each other. I felt no shame in that. It’s been over six years since I lived in the same location as my father. I won’t say that it has gotten easier, but I have gotten used to it. Each time I go to Ohio to visit, leaving feels like the first time all over again. My daddy made the biggest sacrifice someone could make, although he didn’t really know what he was doing at the time. He took a 5-year-old and gave her the world at any cost. He worked more, he gave up his social life, and he learned to be the best dad in the world. My dad gave me a life that I am positive I would never have had without him. He gave me the opportunity to be whomever I wanted to be and the confidence to reach for the stars. Every single day before school he would say, “Go get ‘em, Tiger!” and when I need to hear that again, he’s just a phone call away.

Jen Wakefield, is originally from Toledo, Ohio. She spent 5 years in the United States Navy before attending Regent University studying substance abuse counseling. She is an advocate for human rights and social justice, founding a non profit focusing on youth empowerment. Currently, she resides in Virginia Beach, in her spare time (what’s that?) she enjoys writing, reading and catching up on sleep.

Mompreneur There was a time in my life when I would have considered this story I’m sharing with you a failure. I would have beat myself up for doing things “the wrong way.” And I would have been too embarrassed to tell you the truth—that I “cheated” my way to the finish line.

Theresa Ceniccola

can’t get to the top of the mountain. The same concept holds true in any goal I set for myself—we don’t have to be 100 percent polished and perfect every step of the way. We just need to decide to do it! Tools and Training Won’t Do the Work for You: I didn’t have the proper tools (bike gears) to succeed at my task. Nor did I have the proper training. Sometimes I think we get caught up in buying the latest technology, reading the best-selling parenting books and earning a set of credentials . . . then we remember that Disney got their start in a garage, Mother Teresa was filled with doubt and Bill Gates dropped out of college to launch his career.

It all started on a spectacular October day in Asheville, N.C. My husband and I were on a mini get-away before a business meeting and we planned to spend the day biking our way around the countryside, soaking up the fall foliage and treasuring some much-needed couple time. I had been praying for the gift of a beautiful day so we could experience God’s creations in all their autumn splendor! We intentionally chose a route that was described as “rolling hills” rather than “steep mountain passes” because I had no desire to spend the following day limping around town searching for Advil. As we parked the car at the starting point, we realized that the first part of the ride would be on a heavily congested road that was under construction, making it unsafe for biking. Despite my exceptional skills as a navigator and map-reader (Girl Scout training!), I made a tactical error in adjusting our route. I found a small (seemingly harmless) road that would eliminate the construction and put us back on the original path.

It’s OK

Change is not the Same as Failure: So I had to change my plan—I had to walk part of the way. But I didn’t quit. And I didn’t fail. I simply made a change. God directs us on new paths all the time—he simply calls us to shift our focus . . . and yet, sometimes we see that change as failure. We need to give ourselves permission to change our plans every once in awhile, as He calls us to do; To explore a different tactic or a new route to success—to discover HIS plan for us.

To Walk Your Bike:

Unfortunately, I did not notice the elevation changes on the detour, and my splendid Saturday excursion quickly transformed into a painful test of strength and endurance. One minute I was chatting about the babbling brook and the beautiful old barn, and the next minute I was facing a steep and windy road with no guardrail or sidewalk. (Have I mentioned before that my husband loves this kind of ride?) At first, I was in denial. It couldn’t possibly be as steep as it looked! I shifted into my lowest gear and was determined to make it to the top —slow and steady. I knew if I stopped I would never be able to get back on my bike again. So I kept pedaling, my heart racing, my eyes filling with sweat from my forehead . . . just praying I would see the top of the mountain around the next bend. But each time the road twisted and turned, I was greeted with a new stretch of asphalt, just as long and unforgiving as the last. Eventually I gave in. I got off my bike, told my hubby to keep going and started walking my bike in shame. It took me awhile to catch my breath and I realized that walking up the hill was almost as challenging as riding. When I finally reached the top, my extreme athlete husband was waiting for me with a huge smile and a hug! Here I was feeling like a failure because I couldn’t bike to the top, and he was so proud of me because I had made it there—one way or another. It took me a few minutes to admit that I was proud of myself, too. I had to let go of my

And Other Lessons from the Road to Success belief that there was only one way to the top of that mountain, and recognize that it didn’t matter that I did it my way—the end result was the same. And the view was just as rewarding. (If you’ve never seen the Blue Ridge mountains in October, you are missing out on one of God’s most spectacular canvases!) I see my life journey in much the same way. Sometimes it’s frustrating because I know others who are “further along” the road to the top and I can’t seem to keep up. Whether it’s the journey of motherhood or entrepreneurship, I seem to compare myself to those just beyond my reach. Then, when I think I’m almost “there” on a particular phase or goal, I realize that there’s another long road ahead. And I fall victim to the pressure of all the things the experts tell me I “should” be doing. Well – no more beating myself up! I’m going to walk that bike of mine and be proud! When in doubt, I will remember my accomplishment in the Asheville mountains and find the encouragement and motivation to continue. If you care to join me on this imperfect excursion, keep in mind the following lessons from my steep and windy road to the top:

Do it Your Way: It’s easy to become brainwashed by all the messages out there about how you “should” raise your children or run your business. But even if you follow all the rules and do what all the experts proclaim, you may still find yourself at the bottom of a mountain of stress and frustration. It actually takes more courage and faith to accept the wisdom and inspiration of others and then create a unique path for your business and your family. Never Underestimate the Power of Support: Without a doubt, if I had been on that mountain alone, I would not have made it to the top. The one thing that kept me going was the fact that my husband was ahead of me. If he didn’t have faith in me, he would have gotten off his bike and offered to push both bikes up the hill. But he didn’t do that. He pedaled on ahead because he knew I would be just fine. (He actually rode back down the hill a few times to check on me – and to prove that it wasn’t difficult for him!) But just knowing that he believed in me and supported me was an energy boost more powerful than Red Bull. If you surround yourself with friends and colleagues who believe in you as a mom and/or a business owner, then you set yourself up for success! What kind of support do you have in your life? Is there someone who has more faith in you than you do in yourself? How do you surround yourself with support so you can reach your own mountaintops?

“Pretty” Doesn’t Matter: Just because I don’t look like Lance Armstrong, doesn’t mean I

Theresa Ceniccola is the Christian Mompreneur —a mentor to moms running a business that suuports faith and family. Read her inspiring e-zine: |



by Dana Williams

The Power of

I’ll admit it. I don’t watch the news. It’s too infuriating. Rapes, murders, armed robberies . . . . It probably makes you angry too. But what if I told you that behind every crime there is a tragic backstory? The vast majority of people committing crimes were once “at risk” children—homeless, disabled, products of divorce, substance abusers, teenage parents or just plain neglected and unwanted. So how about ending crime before it even starts? Well, let me introduce you to “The Power of 1.” Kids Hope, USA, a national, nonprofit organization that partners one church with one school for one child for one hour. Through just giving one hour of her time each week, Paula Wynn has been able to make a positive difference in the life of her KHUSA student. “I decided to become a KHUSA mentor because I want to help [my student] to develop his potential and realize that he is valuable, cared for and has a lot to offer. It’s all about love and enabling him to hope and to see beyond his present circumstances.” Paula explains. During the time that Paula spends with her student, she is able to play games with him, engage him in conversation, work on his schoolwork (helping him with any deficits he may have) and discuss any issues or problems he wants to share. “I always reinforce the idea that I am there for him,” Paula states. And that is really all that’s needed. All that’s required is that the mentor is willing “to develop a relationship of trust which allows the child to open up and receive our words of affirmation, encouragement and sometimes caution,” explains Cheryl Muniz, director of the Kids Hope program in South Hampton Roads. She goes on to say, “Many mentors have their student from kindergarten through 5th grade and then keep a lifelong relationship.” It’s particularly significant that the mentors visit the student’s school for them alone. No group sessions, just one-on-one time with the student to send the message, “You’re important, you’re special.” Presently, to include New Life Providence Church in Virginia, there are 725 churches partnering with 725 public schools reaching 12,000 “at risk” kids nationally. Kids Hope USA was recognized for their outstanding program by President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama in January of 2010. Mecki Lewis and his mentor, Roger Jackson, along with Cheryl TOO MANY CHILDREN ARE AT RISK Muniz from New Life Providence Church, were all recognized and invited to the The numbers speak for themselves. According White House to meet the First Family. to March 2008 statistics collected by the Children’s Defense Fund, every day in America: 4 children are killed by abuse or neglect. 5 children or teens commit suicide. 8 children or teens are killed by firearms. 1,154 babies are born to teen mothers. 2,467 high school students drop out. 2,421 children are confirmed as abused or neglected. 2,483 babies are born into poverty. 3,477 children are arrested, 451 of them for violent crimes or drug abuse. It’s time we help to end the cycle. For more information on Kids Hope, visit

There are literally thousands of success stories of the difference that Kids Hope USA is making in the lives of underprivileged children, and their mentors say they are forever changed as well. “As a result of working with my student, I have seen him develop self-confidence, become more outgoing and interactive with his schoolmates, pay more attention to his schoolwork and achieve greater success in school performance,” beams Paula. “The nicest thing he ever said to me was, ‘I love you, Miss Paula, and I’m glad you’re my friend.’” For many mentors, the effects are residual. Paula, like others, not only has had the privilege of impacting her student’s life, but the life of his young mother as well. She has visited the family home on numerous occasions where the mother has taken her into her confidence, receiving encouragement and prayer for her own issues. Paula has also taken her student on fun outings. With this type of care, KHUSA mentors are changing a generation, one life at a time. For thousands of students all over the country, Kids Hope USA is making an enormous impact . . . all because of the power of “1.” One choice is all it takes to make a difference in the life of a child for a lifetime.

Dana Williams’ life passion is to see broken people restored. She is currently working on young adult novels touching on social justice issues and inspiring readers to renew hope in God. Dana resides in Virginia Beach with her husband and four children.

SometimeS you juSt need a helping hand. thankfully, angel Care iS there. There In Your Times Of Need

When sisters Susan and Dottie Unger* first met their “Angel” from Angel Care Private Duty Nursing Services, they were badly in need of some relief. The ladies were ragged after months of caring for mom and dad, whose declining health had them both bedbound and in need of constant care. The daughters were loving and very helpful, but just needed a break for their own mental health. That’s when someone told them about Angel Care. Susan and Dottie were amazed that they could just call the day before for services and didn’t even have to be committed to a contract or set number of hours! They were also very grateful and relieved to find someone they could trust. Angel Care gave them the break they desperately needed. Then, a few months later, mom passed away. It was hard on the sisters, but they also were very stressed about who would stay with their father the day of the funeral. Again the sisters rang for an Angel. Later they expressed how they couldn’t have asked for better service. “The caregivers are just so caring and professional. We will definitely refer others to Angel Care” -- Dottie and Susan Unger. *names changed to protect privacy

ring for your angel today 757-480-2929 angelCare-llC.Com Bathing/Dressing/Grooming, Meal Preparation Medication Monitoring, Light Housekeeping, Errands/Doctor or Other Appointments Post Surgical Care, Post Childbirth Care

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Take Heart

Photography and story by Charity Mack

In my teenage years, between the stars plastered to my ceiling, I wrote verses with a Sharpie marker. They brought me direction when I was given options to take. My favorite verse, which still sticks strongly with me today, is:

O Lord, you alone are my hope. I’ve trusted you since my childhood (Psalm 71:5). I wouldn’t have found my best friend, Jesus Christ, so early on if it wasn’t for the fortitude of my mom sending me to Vacation Bible School and for the amazing teacher I met there, Ms. September. She had the wisdom in knowing that it is not a matter of age that allows us to personally understand Jesus’ love, but rather the power in discussing and offering His love to anyone willing to listen; even if that someone was 3 years old. Last week my niece, Savannah (4 years old), and I were pulling dead flowers in the freezing cold while my son Ryder (2 years old) played on his bike. She was telling me about her fear of drowning in floods (we had a hurricane last fall that made her terribly nervous due to the flooding it did in my neighborhood and her’s). She was discussing how she would feel if it happened again. I told her not to worry because she knows how to swim. Then she asked what would happen if she got tired and drowned. It took me a half second to respond to her, as I would have responded to anyone else, “Well, you know where you are going if you died, right?” To which she responded, “No.” I could have stopped there. But I didn’t. I proceeded to tell her about my closest friend, who has been with me since I was three and how my life is better because of Him. That I make mistakes and I don’t always know what to do, but because of Him I am never alone in whatever happens. Her response, “Well. If He is that great, I should ask Him into my heart right now!” I stopped pulling dead flowers and looked that baby girl in the face and asked her with equal seriousness and excitement, “If that’s what you want, that’s what we will do. Is that what you want? - To ask Jesus into your heart, to be your best friend?”

We talked about what it means to be a friend of Jesus and what a responsibility it is; about not knowing all the answers. About His Book. She was soaking in every word. Then, just like that, her childhood, and all it should be, fluttered back in like a sweet butterfly taking her attention to what is important now—riding bikes, pulling flowers and playing with cousins. But the difference was now in her heart. She was so excited that she said, “I want to tell Ryder! Let’s ask Ryder if he wants to know Jesus, too!” “Well okay then,” I thought. “This could be interesting.” We have been reading the Bible at breakfast the last month or two. He knows about it, but is he ready to truly understand it? My mind was racing. My heart was excited. But my thoughts were skeptical. He wouldn’t repeat every word she prayed with him and so I chalked it up to him not being ready. As important as this is to me, it’s equally important it be his choice. Yet in Sunday school the next day he was telling his teachers that he knows what the Bible is and that Jesus lives in his heart. “It happened yesterday,” he said. His teachers were blown away asking me about it. My heart swells. The amazing complexity of Jesus’ love is not to be hindered by the simplicity of His invitation to know Him. The journey to learn the details and grow are one thing, but the invitation to get on that path is much simpler than we often think. I think accepting Jesus doesn’t have to be complicated, it can simply be authentic. Do not over think an opportunity, but rather let that opportunity be led by the heart. Accepting Jesus is powerful in the sense that it confounds the mind, and that’s the complexity of it. But the simplicity comes from the understanding in our hearts that awakens when we hear His voice. Children understand this and I am honored to be a part of it.

She simply said, “Yes.” Right there, in the freezing cold, the world stopped and my niece repeated the most important prayer she will ever pray in her whole life. I was so honored to be with her.

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We as parents should be open to the invitation of Jesus in our children’s lives, even if it is at a very early age. The Bible says nothing of a specific prayer that is required to know Jesus; He already knows us and wants us to love Him (John 3:16). It isn’t a formula. It is personally believing that He is Lord (Acts 16:31). To admit we do wrong and asking Jesus to guide us through our lives. Children can accept this simplicity in various ways: prayer, lots of questions answered by someone they trust, something they see and then process, etc. Our role is to encourage that curiosity and nurture their acceptance of Jesus in order for it to grow even more in understanding. We get to teach them the responsibility of being a follower of Jesus with all their heart, soul, and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5).

Charity has been a Sunday school teacher for 1st -5th graders for over ten years. She is a graduate of Regent University with her Masters in International Politics and currently works full time for Regent; half of which is achieved from home with her babies helping at her desk. She married her buddy, Chris Mack, in 2004 and they have two children, Ryder (2 years old) and Aurora “Rory” (11 months). Charity has recently started a blog, Mini Macks: Tracking R & R, and welcomes you to stop by

Gratitude: it’s a sign of greatness. Parenthood is a constant reminder of what it means to be thankful. By its own design, family life forces us to remind ourselves of the positive things. Moms and dads are too often humbled when we have no choice but to turn bad things into good things. We are constantly reminded to focus on what is important rather than the petty details that can sabotage any given circumstance. And when we succeed in these moments, parenthood makes us great!

With Mother’s Day and Father’s Day coming around once again, gratitude is one of the top things we think about. We find ourselves thankful for sleep-filled nights, mistakes we’ve made right, and the baby steps which bring us closer to our kids. Up and down, all around and back again—a grateful heart is a joyful heart. In this high-paced, self-gratifying world where entitlement can oftentimes trump the simple obvious of the spirit of thankfulness, now more than ever parents should be focused on how to raise thankful children. Just a few ideas can help ensure the emotion of gratitude as a strong thread running through a household. Be thankful, not only for the good/easy things but for the bad and/or difficult things. 5Be thankful out loud and together. 5Model the art of giving and receiving (service makes a difference in house and out of house). 5Establish consistent family traditions (these often manifest natural appreciation for all things bright and beautiful).

In Their Own Words... “I am thankful that my mom is always there when I need a little help. My dog, too.” Isaac, age 7 “There’s not just one thing to be thankful for, there is everything!” Noah, age 6 “I am thankful for pancakes and ice cream cones. My mommy makes good ones.” Kelly, age 3 “When it comes to my parents, sometimes I am just thankful for their smiles. They help me know I did good.” Christopher, age 12 “That God never leaves me. I learned that from them [my parents].” Paul, age 9

5Share thankful experiences with your children at home and in public.

“I am thankful to love everybody.” Emma, age 5

5Make it a point to be thankful for each other out loud (spouse to spouse and parent to child)

“I am thankful that my dad works a lot, because things are suspensive [expensive]!” Steven, age 6

5Don’t wait until the holidays to be grateful. 5Have a contest to see who can be the most thankful in a day. 5Encourage your kids to give to others (their time, their efforts and their words). 5Go without the extras. 5Show your children that being thankful for the little things makes a BIG difference. 5Be consistent in your gratitude: be thankful on a daily basis. If you practice these ideas with your family, though you may not see it immediately, eventually your children will have shining moments of gratitude. During these months where mothers and fathers are honored everywhere, be sure not only to think about fruits of labor, but encourage those we love to see them. The best part about all of this? Not only will you gain appreciation for your children but others will too!

By Jenny Avis

“Things get hard, and I always have a place to lay my head.” Sorelle, age 15 “I am one of those kids who likes to talk to my mom. I am thankful for that.” Courtney, age 13 “For toys and flowers. For my backyard. For mommy, who is always by me.” Nick, age 4 “I think I am thankful for my big sister.” Henry, age 6 “Art and dogs are my favorite, but mom can give the best hugs.” Matt, age 7 “I am thankful for my mom because she is really a princess.” Amani, age 9 “Cooking with my mom.” Marybeth, age 6



“Yellow!” … “Convertible!” … “BUG!” erupt the screams and giggles from the backseat. Nothing says “family road trip” like a crazy game. Proven to stimulate the mind and the imagination, road trip interaction between parents and kids can lead to mountains of happy memories. And higher test scores. But who cares about

that last fact, right? You’re on vacation! The bottom line is that family time on the road, even with squabbling in the back seat, leads to healthier and happier kids. “Parents underestimate the importance of that uninterrupted, unscripted and messy family time for kids’ development,” says David Walsh, Ph.D., former president of the Minnesota-based National Institute on Media and the Family.

GAMES YELLOW BUG CONVERTIBLE In this game, everyone is on the lookout for yellow cars, Volkswagen bugs and convertibles. First one to spot it, gets it. You “collect” them until you have all three and then yell “I WIN!” Of course, a yellow bug convertible is an automatic win. But be forewarned: “Bugs” are serious business so things can get loud! ALPHABET GAME – BACKWARDS For a variation on an old favorite, try reciting the alphabet from Z to A! TRAVEL BINGO Make bingo cards by gluing pictures of objects like a cow, barn, horse, silo, blue truck and fire engine in four columns and four rows for a total of 16 squares. Children put a sticker on each object they spot. First one to get four in a row wins.

REST STOP FUN Instead of trying to rush rest stops, embrace the opportunity to let kids stretch their legs and blow off some steam. Play bubbles, hula hoop, jump rope and interactive games like ring-around-the-rosie and the hokey pokey. Bring along a beach ball that you can inflate and deflate in seconds. TRAVEL BUDDY Remember Flat Stanley? Despite the poor economy and sky-high gas prices, he is still going strong—traveling from country to country in envelopes, pockets and backpacks. You can either print out your own Flat Stanley or you can adapt the concept and create your child’s travel companion, whether cardboard or stuffed animal. Take a picture of your child and his companion in front of monuments, at the beach, with grandma and wherever they go.

BOOKS MAD LIBS These deliriously funny fill-in-the-blank stories will keep the family laughing for hours.

LICENSE PLATE BINGO A variation on Travel Bingo is License Plate Bingo where the bingo cards contain the names of states; if you don’t want to put all fifty states on the card, choose a few at random and leave several blank squares for the kids to fill in the other states they spot on license plates.

AGE-APPROPRIATE LITERATURE Unless a child suffers from car sickness, reading books or magazines can provide hours of quiet fun. Books (and stories) on CD are a fun alternative that the whole family can enjoy. PHOTO BOOK Provide young children with mini photo albums filled with pictures of their destination, grandparents and other family members, as well as objects and animals they may see along the road.

KIDS TRIVIA This game (which you can either buy or make yourself) is a sneaky way to make learning fun.

ARTS & CRAFTS ALUMINUM FOIL SCULPTURES Hand kids sheets of aluminum foil. See what those little Michelangelos can create. COLORING SHEETS For hours of old-fashioned entertainment, look no further than a coloring book and a box of crayons. There’s just something soothing about coloring, isn’t there? PLAY-DOH A travel tray will come in handy for clay and play-doh projects. Buy the travel-size mini packs. SEWING CARDS Make your own sewing cards with card-stock paper, yarn and a kid-friendly oversized plastic needle. Draw or trace a simple design and poke holes at regular intervals so they can “sew” the picture.

ACTIVITIES SCAVENGER HUNT Make traveling fun for older children by giving them a list of things to find and snap photos of out the window, at stoplights or at rest stops. Ideas for the list: someone making a fish face while crossing their eyes, fifteen bare toes in one shot, the coin with the oldest date you can find, a sunset, the strangest name of a restaurant or diner. Then compare photos at the end of the trip and see who has the most and best shots.

So, sure, keep the DVD as a reward for good behavior after hours of I Spy and the License Plate game, but what would a family road trip be without a rousing rendition of “99 Bottles of Coke on the Wall”? If you’re going somewhere fun this summer, give these ideas a test drive. Fun games maximize the laughter and minimize the bumps in the road.

JOURNALS Adapt the journal to the child’s age. For younger children, draw or help them draw shapes of the states you pass through, pictures of places you see and things you do. Glue in little keepsakes like flowers and stickers. For older children, buy travel journals with sentences to complete about their trip, like “Still can’t forget the sound of _____or the smell of_____,” “The best eating experience of the trip was_____,” or “The worst bathroom was at _____.”

MUSIC SING-A-LONGS Gone are the days of listening to the same tapes or CDs over and over again. Download hundreds of their favorite songs and play them on “random.” NAME-THAT-TUNE So you think you’re a Disney song pro? See who will be the first to shout out the title of each song!

“EMERGENCY” FUN If all else fails to entertain, keep a secret bag of goodies containing wrapped gifts (for the youngest it doesn’t matter if the gifts are old or new) that will buy you minutes of quiet. Keep travel-friendly snacks on hand to keep little stomachs satisfied on long stretches of road where no restaurant or fast-food establishment is to be found. Also consider keeping a lightweight, colorful scarf on hand: hide it in your sleeve and slowly pull it out, or toss it in the air for baby to catch– it’s surprising how entertaining a scarf can be in a pinch!

Travel writer Nathalie Jeter admits she loves road trips as long as she gets to be the navigator. Her favorite road trip activity is snacking. She wants to thank her Facebook friends for their creative activity ideas!

How do you keep your kids occupied on long road trips? Compiled by Nathalie Jeter We all pick a color and any car or truck that passes of that color “belongs” to the person. We get a good laugh out of who ends up with a junker or a big “aw” out of a really nice car. Heidi Walker Do the alphabet with license plates. When you see a plate with A on it then you say A, one with B then you say B then so on and so forth. It gets them looking at license plates and seeing where people are from other states. You can also do it with billboards. David Jackson We drive 19 hours to Disney World and back each year with four kids. We play Mad Libs, kids trivia, the alphabet game. I would download fun songs (Animaniacs states and capitals song) and see who can memorize it first. Colette LePori Ginn We play a game we made up called “deduction.” The person leading thinks of a person/place/thing and then says “Ready!” The other three of us get however many questions the lead person allows (usually five to eight questions each). They have to be yes/no questions like “Is it red? Can it fly? Have we ever seen it? Is it alive? Does it exist in the state of Montana?” Then through deduction and listening to all of the answers to your questions and to the other people’s questions, each person gets ONE guess after their number of questions is up. The boys LOVE the game. We started playing it when they were about 5 and 7. Good for long road trips and we play it at restaurants, too.” Glenn Tay lor For our trip to Florida this summer, I’m planning to put together some scavenger hunt cards. The girls will cross the pictures off as they see things along the road. We are limited in our games though since we have a 3 and 5-year-old. Holly Haller Bennett My cousins used to play a Bible character guessing game—you tell the first letter of a Bible character’s name and everyone else has to ask yes or no questions to guess who it is. If the letter is N, for example, someone might ask: “Was it the man who built an ark?” And the other person has to say, “No, it’s not Noah.” So both sides really have to know their Bible characters! Michelle Jeter We have magnetic scenes with magnets for the kids that are in hinged boxes, and we have felt boards with felt characters. My son prefers his felt Thomas the Train stuff to his real Thomas trains. Amonda Matthewman-Isgrigg There’s the build-a-story game. You start a story and then you keep going around the car and everybody adds a line to it. There’s also the old “I’m going on a picnic” game. We use our imagination to make up random stories about people or things we see as we drive by them. For a twist on the 20-questions game you can play “pretend” hide and seek. You decide where you’re hiding in your house in your mind and the others have to find you, and because it’s pretend you could hide places you wouldn’t really fit like under the lamp shade or in the microwave. Danae Cammarata We also played a story game. One person says one sentence of a story like, “There once was a girl in a blue dress.” Then the next person adds on their own twist to the story in one sentence, and so on. Rochelle Seaton Have you seen things called story dice? They are dice with pictures on them and you . . . well . . . roll them and then tell a corresponding story. Erik Ramsey

For a fun summer project that is totally kid-friendly, try these bleached t-shirts! You could use any word or phrase you’d like! First, print your words or phrases out of stock paper and cut the letters out one by one (or use contact paper in your printer). If you’ve used plain paper, spray adhesive on the back of the letters. Adhere the sticky letters to the t-shirt. Fill a spray bottle with a solution of half water, half bleach. Mist the shirt evenly with the bleach solution. Keep in mind, the more you spray, the lighter the t-shirt will be, and the greater the contrast between the words and the rest of the shirt. Darker colored t-shirts need more spray than light colored shirts. When the shirt is damp evenly with the bleach solution, slowly peel off the letters. You’ll see the words almost immediately! Let the shirt dry in the sun, and then wash and wear as usual! Decision Making • Organization • Time Management • Self-Control



Christian Oriented • Bilingual (Spanish) Performing Arts • Co-Ed Ages 2-10 Offering children a learning environment that is nurturing, consistent, safe and peaceful. We serve the total developmental needs of children, building academic, emotional, moral and social skills.

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Tami Nicholson

Kids and Allowance Kids love to get an allowance, but how should parents dole it out? Here are ideas to help parents decide on how allowances will be incorporated into their family. The following tips are ideas that can help children learn the importance of carefully spending, saving and giving money to those in need in the community. Learning financial discipline is one of the components of positive discipline in the Christian home. Chores and Allowance Many people link chores with an allowance and that’s how many parents grew up. But when it comes to family values, it might be a good idea to keep them separate. Ideally, chores should be seen as an important part of what it means to be part of a family. Everyone works together and cooperates to help make the home a clean, safe and happy place. It helps children learn the responsibility of being in a group where everyone does their part to take care of each other. As well, it’s hoped that children learn that who they are is more important than what they do. Part of building a strong and healthy foundation for the family, is for kids to know they are loved unconditionally. As an extension of this, then allowance would not be linked to chores. Allowances should be based on helping kids meet their expenses and to help them learn how to handle money responsibly. A great way to approach an allowance is to teach the “Three $’s.” They are Spend, Save and

Teach kids about the importance of always having some money saved up. Kids can start with small goals like saving up for a toy or DVDs. They can also save for bigger things like money for going to college or a family vacation. If there is a family goal for saving money, like a vacation, it can be talked about and charted at a family meeting. Saving is a habit, and it’s good to start early.

Serve. The idea is to teach children to divide their money into three categories: money to spend on their expenses, money to save for what they want and money to give to the church or donate to a charity. Teach this concept to children as early as possible. Help them open a bank account and learn how to budget and earn money. Spending: Allowance for Expenses Everyone in the family has personal expenses. These can include basic clothing items, school lunches, swimming or skating admission fees, etc. It’s important to talk to kids about the difference between “wants” and “needs.” For example, new shoes can be needed, but $250 name brand shoes are a want. An allowance should help cover everyday needs. Anything above that, kids can work on saving up their money. Kids Earning Money If kids are looking for extra money, some families have a list of specialty “jobs.” They can choose to do things like wash the car, clean the windows, organize the shed, etc. As kids get older, they can get work through paper routes or baby-sitting.

Serving: Giving Money to Good Causes Service is the last S in the “Three $’s.” This is about teaching a child that part of his or her money should be given back to the community. Children can bring in their own money for offering at church, they can donate to a non-profit agency or they can buy something for a family in need in their area. How much they give as a percentage of their allowance can be decided as a family. If parents want their kids to give 10 percent of their money to charity, parents must also remember to model this themselves. An allowance is a great opportunity to teach children how to be financially responsible by learning how to spend money, save money and give back to their community. Courtesy

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The Pioneer Woman: Recipes from the Frontier

Ree Drummond

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan that’s at least 2 inches deep (or you can split the batter between 2 pans if they’re not deep enough). 2. To make the cake batter, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 3. Add the sour cream and vanilla, then mix until just combined. 4. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda and add it to the bowl. 5. Mix it together until just combined.

Strawberry Shortcake Cake Makes one 10-inch cake

I made this cake a few years ago on a whim . . . and what a delightful whim it turned out to be. It’s a spin on strawberry shortcake, but the cake is, well, cake—not the biscuit-like disc in the classic strawberry shortcake recipe. I added cream cheese frosting instead of whipped cream, just for kicks, and it turned out to be just what the whole mess of deliciousness needed.

11. To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt in a mixing bowl. 12. Mix until very light and fluffy. Warning: You’ll feel like eating this bowl of icing before you even get it on the cake. 13. To assemble the cake, use a sharp knife to cut it in half through the middle. It’s easier if you go all around the perimeter of the cake, slicing only halfway through the circle the whole way. 14. Lay the two halves cut side up.

6. Spread it in the pan or pans and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the cake is no longer jiggly like my bottom.

15. A nd cover both halves with an equal amount of strawberries. Then—this is an important step!—place the cake halves in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes. This’ll firm up the surface of the strawberries just a bit so that it’s easier to spread on the icing.

7. Carefully remove the cake from the pan and allow it to cool completely.

16. R emove the cakes from the freezer and place one layer on a cake stand or platter. Cover with a little less than a third of the icing.

8. Next, mash the strawberries with a potato masher or a fork (reserve a few for garnish if you like).

17. P lace the second layer on top, then spread the top with icing.

9. Sprinkle the strawberries with the sugar. Toss them around and allow them to sit for a little while. 10. They’ll give off this beautiful liquid after several minutes. Try not to drink it with a straw.

18. Carefully ice the outside of the cake with the remaining icing. 19. Lovely! You can certainly decorate the top of the cake with strawberry slices, too. But I’m hungry and want to eat, so I’ll skip that part. Store leftovers in the fridge. The cake can be made up to 24 hours in advance.

This is one of my father-in-law’s three favorite desserts. He likes to eat it for breakfast. I do too, now that I think about it! CAKE ½ cup (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened 1½ cups plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar 3 large eggs ½ cup sour cream, at room temperature 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1½ cups all-purpose flour 3 tablespoons cornstarch ½ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking soda

STRAWBERRIES 1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved 3 tablespoons granulated sugar CREAM CHEESE FROSTING One 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter 1½ pounds powdered sugar, sifted 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ¼ teaspoon salt

Makes 10 to 12 servings I learned to make this drip beef from my best friend Hyacinth. It’s a delicious, slow-cooked concoction designed to be slapped onto a deli roll. The juices “drip” onto the bottom half of the bun, and the flavor is seriously beyond measure. One 3- to 4-pound chuck roast Salt and black pepper to taste 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons canola oil 2 cups beef broth 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary 1 jar peperoncinis 10 to 12 buttered, toasted deli rolls 2 yellow onions, sliced and sautéed in 1 tablespoon butter until light golden brown 1. Season the chuck roast with salt and pepper. 2. Melt the butter and canola oil in a heavy pot over high heat. Sear both sides of the chuck roast until very browned, about 5 minutes in all. 3. Pour in the beef broth and 1 cup water. 4. Add the rosemary . . . 5. Then pour in the peperoncinis with their juice. Now cover the pot and simmer for 4 to 5 hours, or until the meat is tender and falling apart. 6. Remove the roast from the pot. 7. Using 2 forks, shred the meat completely . . . 8. Then return the meat to the cooking liquid. Keep warm. 9. To serve, slice wedges out of the top of the deli rolls. Heap a generous portion of meat on the roll, then spoon some of the cooking liquid over the meat. 10. Top with a few peppers from the pot . . . And plenty of caramelized onions. 12. Top the sandwiches with the wedges of roll and serve to a roomful of ravenous guests. You’ll win friends and influence people. Like, totally. Variations • Lay thinly sliced cheese on top of the meat before adding the peppers and onions. • Serve dishes of the cooking liquid on the side for dipping.

Ree Drummond’s new cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from My Frontier, is a mouthwatering collection of the simple-but-scrumptious recipes that have made her famous! Her Perfect Pancakes, Cowgirl Quiche, Sloppy Joes, Italian Meatball Soup, White Chicken Enchiladas, and a spicy Carnitas Pizza will win you over for life. There are also some elegant offerings for more special occasions at your house: Osso Buco, Honey-Plum-Soy Chicken, and Rib-Eye Steak with an irresistible Onion-Blue Cheese Sauce. And the decadent assortment of desserts, including Blackberry Chip Ice Cream, Apple Dumplings, and Coffee Cream Cake, will make your heart go pitter-pat in the most wonderful way.

Untamed Spirit: Horses Bringing Healing to kids with Special Needs

outside. The teenager has muscular dystrophy but with six years of lessons behind her, Taylor mounts the horse without hesitation. Barb walks alongside the independent young rider asking her to go left, right or straight. At one point the three stop as Taylor names the parts of Roxy that Barb points to. Then she names tack items including the bridle, bit and reins. Toward the end, Taylor dismounts and leads Roxy back to the stall all by herself. The lesson concludes with the teenager brushing her down. “The lessons have given her confidence,” comments mom Kara Russell. “It’s been a great form of exercise. She loves to come. It’s always, ‘Are we late? Are we late?’ We love coming to this farm because Barb gives the full experience versus ‘Here’s your pony.’”

Siblings Hunter, 7, and Sarah, 10, look forward to their lesson. Jonathan, 20, rides therapeutic horse Ben with the help of volunteers Tara and Maddie. Challenged with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Bart, 32, does stretching exercises with Barbara.

Siblings Jonathan, 20, and Morgan, 7, love to play “Red Light, Green Light” during their lessons at the Untamed Spirit Therapeutic and Educational Program. Untamed Spirit’s Barbara S. Ford has incorporated many fun resources into her saddlebag of learning. Eleven horses and ponies along with goats, rabbits and cats provide a therapeutic environment for children and adults with challenges such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, stroke and autism as well as anxiety disorders and behavioral difficulties at Untamed Spirit Therapeutic and Educational program run by Executive Director Barbara S. Ford of Virginia Beach. The benefits of weekly lessons for these special riders include an increased self-confidence and self-awareness; gross and fine motor skills and muscle tone; and enhanced verbalization as well as the emotional growth benefits associated with being around the horses. The purpose of Untamed Spirit is to bring the community together to enhance and enrich the lives of people with special needs through a partnership with horses. Animals often have a way of bringing emotional and physical strengthening in a way regular physical therapy may not. Challenged with autism, Jonathan has been taking lessons with Barbara for more than 14 years. Morgan, a traditional rider, has joined in on the fun for a year. “Jonathan has been learning patience,” commented his father Allen Pulley. “Riding is therapeutic for him. He’s all about jumping on the horse and riding.” As many living with autism do, Jonathan has a very structured day beginning with breakfast at a specific time, and then he attends school. The family lives in Suffolk, but Allen continues to see the benefits of lessons at Untamed Spirit and is committed in making the drive every other Saturday morning. The program is dedicated to enhancing and enriching the lives of individuals with special needs through a partnership with horses. Professional instructors, which include Barbara, daughter Ashley and volunteer coordinator Ellie Hardnack, have more than 48 years of combined experience. All of

them are certified by PATH, Int’l (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International) and are individual members of the Therapeutic Riding Association of Virginia (TRAV).

Over the years, Taylor has competed in numerous shows including the state show in Lexington, Va., sponsored by the Therapeutic Riding Association of Virginia and received first and second place in equitation and dressage classes. Kara continues, “It’s the highlight of Taylor’s week. It’s been invaluable to us. I can’t imagine riding anywhere else.”

Seeing the progress of special needs riders like Jonathan, Hunter and Taylor motivate Barb and Untamed Spirit’s small team of staff and volunteers to do their best. Maddie Dubinsky, 16, began With a goal of providing a holistic learning and volunteering in June 2010. “I volunteer at Untamed outdoors experience for all of her riders, Barb is Spirit because there is no better feeling than walking currently pursuing a master of arts in counseling away knowing that even if it’s just for 15 minutes with an emphasis in community and or an hour, you have helped someone who school from Regent University. struggles day to day, with simple life tasks to be completely free of all The purpose of In 2005, Barbara was the struggles, of all the hardships Untamed Spirit is to awarded the James . . . these individuals have a bring the community Brady Professional place to go where they aren’t together to enhance and Achievement Award, one judged by disability. They of the top honors in the enrich the lives of people aren’t turned away because therapeutic riding industry. with special needs they are different. They are The Northern Virginia accepted and loved as people, Therapeutic Riding Program and free to be the person God (NVTRP) honored her with the made them! This is why I do what I do.” Community Legend Award in 2010. Rebecca Goldbach is one of the Untamed Spirit parents who has seen a difference since her son Hunter began riding last summer. The 7-year-old has mitochondrial disease. Mitochondria exist in nearly every cell of the human body, producing 90 percent of the energy the body needs to function. Each year, 1,000 to 4,000 children in the United States are born with a type of mitochondrial disease (umdf. org). Hunter’s mitochondria are failing and cannot convert food and oxygen into life-sustaining energy. Developmentally, Hunter is 3 years old, experiences cognitive delays and severely depleted energy. But this little boy is all smiles when it’s time to ride at Untamed Spirit on Saturday! “He has a great attachment to me,” shared Rebecca. “But when you get him near a horse, it’s opposite. Being on Piper gives him a lot of confidence and builds muscle tone. Coming out to the farm is wonderful for him. He takes a lot more initiative now.” It is now 2 o’clock on Saturday afternoon. The bright blue sky has warmed the farm’s outdoor arena enough for Barb to conduct the day’s last lesson outside instead of the indoor arena where the others have been held. Taylor, 14, meets her instructor at Roxy’s stall and proceeds to get the mare ready for an hour

“Over the past year, Untamed Spirit has expanded its riding program at a tremendous rate, serving numbers of clients that you typically see in year three of a new nonprofit organization,” shared Barb. “We are looking forward to many more exciting and productive years serving the special needs community in Hampton Roads.”

How Can I Help?

Volunteer to assist Barbara with lessons and care for the animals during the week or weekends.


It costs $350 to care for each of the program’s 11 therapeutic horses and ponies every month. One time and monthly gifts are appreciated! The Golden Bridle Fund is an exclusive fund set aside to care for the aging therapy horses and ponies who require additional medical care and supplements as they head into their twilight years but have so much still to offer Untamed Spirit clients.

Untamed Spirit Therapeutic & Educational Program

3943 Dawley Rd. | Virginia Beach, VA 23457 |

Kristin Vischer is the owner of KJ Productions. A member of PRSA (Public Relations Society of America), she specializes in media campaign development and web content production as well as corporate event and wedding planning. Having extensive international nonprofit experience, she passionately brings awareness to the needs of the “least of these” here and around the world. Kristin may be reached at

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