August 28, 2011

Beware: Predators Are EVERYWHERE!

You go about your day the same old usual way: your commute, your chores, your exercise, your errands and everything else in between. All the people you meet from day to day that cross your path - you would have no reason to suspect them of anything. Usually when you meet someone new, you give them the benefit of the doubt that maybe they aren't a serial killer and are genuinely a nice person, right?!

That's all well and good but BEWARE: sexual predators are everywhere! When you first meet them, they will probably seem pretty normal, just like everyone else. As you get to know them, they begin to win your trust. After that, they begin to slowly, methodically cross certain boundaries to see how you will react. Then they will strike and leave you wondering, "How did this happen?" School teachers, clergy, boy scout leaders, and family members and others comprise this group of heinous criminals! Most of the time the offender is someone you know and trust, not a stranger!

It happened to me. And it happens to hundreds of thousands and even millions of people everywhere. These predators may live in your town, neighborhood and even next door! If you live in Gwinnett County go to the Sheriff's Sex Offender website, click to "Search for Offenders in Your Area," type in your address and see how many registered offenders there are in your neighborhood. There are 11 within a 1 mile radius of my home and two of those are in my same subdivision! Stay alert to protect yourself and your precious children!

Also, you must be aware that not every abuser has a criminal record. Not every abuser has ever been reported or prosecuted. The current statistics are this: 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be assaulted by their 18th birthday! AND only 1 in 10 actually report it! So I can deduce that of those 11 registered offenders living in close proximity to my home that 1) they are repeat offenders and/or 2) there are actually MORE than 11 living in close proximity to my home! This raises very unsettling questions . . .

1. How can I possibly know who to watch out for?
2. How can I protect my family?
3. How can I possibly trust anyone?
4. How do I teach and train my children in case something horrible happens?
5. What resources are available for awareness and preparedness?
6. If the worst should happen, where can I go for healing and encouragement?

A1. In many ways, we always watch out for everyone! You give them the benefit of the doubt in Christian love until they begin to "groom" you by testing personal physical boundaries - then you better watch out!

A2. Protect your family by always being aware of where they are, who they are with, how to contact them, locking doors, security systems, etc.

A3. Everyone can earn a healthy level of your trust, but that doesn't mean you must trust them with everything you hold dear to you! I trust my neighbor to pick up their dog doodie in my yard, but I will never trust them to watch my children with me absent, even for 10 minutes!

A4. Teach your children, even while very young, about physical boundaries. Teach them what is appropriate behavior, physical touch and language and teach them what is NOT appropriate! Teach them to say, "NO!" Teach them where they can go that is safe. Teach them what they need to know in an emergency. If you drill this information (phone numbers, addresses, etc.) or put it in song, they will remember and not easily forget.

Voice Today is a non-profit, Christian based, organization for victims, survivors and victors of childhood sexual abuse. They provide resources for all of these things. Voice was started locally, in Marietta, and has been reaching many with it's message of "Breaking the Silence" in order to equip families for prevention.

A6. Report it to the authorities in your jurisdiction immediately! If a sex crime has occurred, do what you can to get an accurate identification of the perpetrator with thorough visual description, DNA and any other information you can give. Some of this info may be on your physical person after an attack so don't bathe and lose valuable evidence before it can be collected. Voice Today was begun to free victims from the shame and guilt of past crimes committed against them. Victims can find healing and victory over these experiences through Christ who is able to heal every infirmity. His blood will never lose its power.

Protect yourselves and your young ones.
Spread the word.
Check out the web links.
If anyone gives you ANY reason to be suspicious, don't trust them!



August 27, 2011

Shiphrah's Birthday!


We had a blast for Shiphrah's birthday! I made two kinds of cupcakes: Yellow Butter and Triple Chocolate with two different kinds of frosting: cool cream cheese and chocolate. Everything turned out really great. We opened presents, then ate lunch and afterwards had cupcakes and ice cream! Grandma Jane and G'Wanda joined us for a small celebration that Shiphrah fully enjoyed! Moriah and Lily were a little upset that it wasn't THEIR birthday, but they got to drink sweet tea, help open gifts, play with new toys and both grandmas, and they got cake and ice cream. (I think the big sisters survived. :-D)


August 20, 2011

August 19, 2011

August 18, 2011

August 17, 2011

Happy Birthday Shiphrah!





Shiphrah turns One Year Old TODAY!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

FRA FRA!!

It's so amazing to me how quickly these little babies go from completely helpless,
only able to suckle, cry and poo

to crawling, walking, talking, self-feeding and mischief
in only 12 months time!



August 16, 2011

Burden or Blessing? Bitterness or Joy?

It's really easy to overlook the blessing in our daily work if there is bitterness rooted deep in the heart. All burdens are responsibilities, some are lighter and some might be significantly more stressful, but how we view those "burdens" can result in joy or bitterness.

Read Matthew 25:14-30 where Jesus gives the Parable of the Talents as a way to describe what the Kingdom of Heaven is like.

(Did you read it or skip it?) The master entrusted three of his slaves with his possessions. Two of whom did some leg work, acted with wisdom, counted the risk and made a profit for their master. Hear what the master says to each of these two trustworthy, hardworking slaves upon the report of their success, "Well done, good and faithful slave."

Do you labor hard to please our God in heaven for His glory?
Don't you want to hear Him look you in the eye, with His arms wrapped around you, and say these words to YOU?!

Of course!

Then you know that all these hard days here on earth in the presence of sin,

striving day after day in the war between our born-again spirit & sinful flesh,

losing sleep,

being a good steward,

submitting to your husband,

constantly disciplining disobedience,

faithfully raising your children to fear God,

worshiping Him in your home and with the Church,

ministering to the sick & poor,

showing hospitality to our neighbors,

and tithing from our abundance & our need,

that after all this and our short lives are over

and FINALLY we see our Savior, Jesus Christ, meet us on the other side of the dark chasm of death to embrace us in the light of His glory and tell us that it was all worth it and He is satisfied with the offering of our lives!

Oh, what a moment!

(Relish in that glorious thought for a minute!)

Now notice something else the master says, "You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master." As a result of managing the small things well, He puts us in charge of much more. We are given more responsibilities. If we consider those additional responsibilities as a stressful inconvenience, then it is likely for our hearts to become bitter as a reflection of selfishness.

But before this might have a chance to embitter your heart, read the last phrase again. "Enter into the joy of your master." As the master gives you more responsibilities you become closer to the master. It's like a business corporation. The lowest guy on the totem pole doesn't speak much with the big wigs. But as he proves himself in the most menial of jobs and earns a promotion, his position is now closer to the big wigs.

You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.
Psalm 16:11

For You make him most blessed forever;
You make him joyful with gladness in Your presence.
Psalm 21:6

Many of us have a lot on our plates and I can probably guess that most of us could always use a vacation or dream of retirement. But as I remind myself and encourage y'all not to view our stewardship as an inconvenience, but as a blessing. God will give us more than we can handle so that we are constantly looking to Him for His grace all-sufficient. If we've got everything under control we would have no need to look to God for anything. We could manage on our own. The more we look to Him, the more we pray in the presence of God's glorious throne room, the more fullness of joy we can experience. Let us not be lazy and wicked, but let us labor hard to seek after God and His grace by which we may glorify Him in all that is on our plate.


August 15, 2011

Fab Foods

Traditional Southern Apple Crisp!
Green Granny Smith apples and dried cranberries tossed in butter, white and brown sugars with a wonderful buttery, brown sugar oatmeal crisp baked on top served hot with a generous helping of cool whipped topping!
Yum to the MAX!
Recipe from Food & Wine Magazine



Homemade Chicken Parmesan
Leg quarters breaded with homemade whole wheat bread crumbs smothered in homemade spaghetti sauce sprinkled with shredded mozzarella cheese and a touch of parsley to garnish.
Recipe from Menus 4 Moms

August 14, 2011

Like to Get Floury?

Then a cute apron is the best remedy!

I love to bake! Cooking is okay, but baking is the best! When I die, I want to be known as a baker.

I don't mind getting into a floury mess, because I know the results will be delicious.

And a floury mess on a cute apron, keeps your dress with less mess stress.


And bake (or cook) away!


Who Is President Obama?

video



video

See pix from July in the right sidebar.

August 12, 2011

The Harp Guitar!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Mr. Don Alder


August 9, 2011

Norcross Welcome Center: Vicki Johnson Art Opening

August 3rd, 2011 Vicki Johnson sat outside under a tent in the hot and humid Georgia heat to paint a portrait of the Welcome Center in the City of Norcross on Lawrenceville Street. She did a beautiful job. Inside were displayed just a few samples of her gallery of paintings. Most are acrylics or oils on canvas or wood mediums in the impressionist and romantic styles and all are lovely. There were hors d'oeuvres from The Blue House Cafe just around the corner on North Cemetery Street accompanied by solo violin music in the background provided by Meggan Anderson.

The following are written comments the guests graciously provided.

"Thank you Meggan. Great." - M. Sudderth

"Thank you Meggan for the beautiful music." - Grace

"Meggan,
The music is very beautiful and enchanting!
Keep up the good work.
Golden strings!" - Aleem & Chantez

"The music was DIVINE
. . . a rare treat . . .
your talent is amazing.
Thank you for sharing your 'gift'!" -Beth Gayle

"Meggan,
Your violin speaks to the heart.
Your talent is amazing." - Richard Gayle

"Music was really beautifully done! Thanks! :-D" - Anonymous


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If you are interested in providing your guests with solo violin music for your next event, large or small, comment on this post below or email me at andersonmusicstudio@ymail.com and I'll be glad to speak with you on the services I can offer.


August 4, 2011

Leah's Picture Perfect Photography





Miss Leah always does a wonderful job taking photos. See these beautiful shots she did for my business: The Anderson Music Studio. Which one do you like best?


August 3, 2011

Moriah the Homemaker



Moriah pays attention to how we make the plates. We always give her and Lily the exact same thing. It's so funny how she did this all by herself! Teach them early! :-D