Carolina Girls - The Interview VII

Welcome Back to Carolina Girls - The Interview VII. Introducing... Karen! @ A Creek In The Back. Karen also has a photography business and website, Karen Bryant Photography. Now you have double the reason to see what she is all about - Meet Karen!

Where are you from (can be as general as you wish)?
I'm from Guilford County.

What is the name of your blog?
I have two blogs, A Creek in the Back (photography blog) and Teaching and Learning Spanish which is well, self-explanatory.

How did you name your blog?

We have a creek in the back of our house which the boys and I are always exploring. Also, that is where I like to take my photos along with other gorgeous spots here in the southern Appalachian mountains. The second blog's name isn't very imaginative, but you know what it's all about just by reading the name. :)

How did you get into blogging?
I started the Spanish one initially as an online journal of the trials and tribulations of teaching my own children Spanish at home. It kind of snowballed from there though. It's become fairly popular. With the photography blog, I wanted to share my photographs with my readers and also I use it as a way to promote my photography business.

What do you wish to convey on your blog?

A Creek in the Back - To be honest, I just want to remind folks of the beauty that surrounds us. Readers have told me that they feel a sense of peace when they look at my photos. I like that.

Teaching & Learning Spanish - I love sharing Spanish learning resources that I find online with my readers. I really enjoy helping people help themselves learn the language.

What is your favorite thing about your blog?
A Creek in the Back - the readers' comments.
Teaching & Learning Spanish - It's like my online filing system for my favorite sources, websites and blogs, but the best part is that I get to share it with my readers.

What is your favorite Ben N Jerry's Flavor?

It would have to be chocolate chip cookie dough, hands down.

What is your favorite song/iTune right now?

My most favorite is Kepa Junkera's Santimami├▒eko Fandangoa & Ioaeoe because it is such a happy song. I dare you not to smile when you listen to this song.

Starbucks or McDonald's?
Afraid I don't drink coffee or go to McDonald's.

Krispy Kreme or Dunkin Donuts (there is one answer here for Carolina Girls! Just kidding!) ? ;)

Krispy Kreme of course. (Chocolate covered, creme-filled doughnut with milk)

A favorite Carolina food or restaurant?

Growing up my family and I would eat at a restaurant called The Old Place near Siler City. Good Southern cooking... I don't recall ever leaving the place hungry. Oh, they have a website!

Okay, now I'm getting hungry...

What is a favorite place in Carolina?

It's so difficult to pick just one place... I guess I would have to pick the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site. It's really a national treasure with beautiful hiking trails, mountain views, the goat dairy and of course, the house.

Would you like to send a picture to include of you or something relating to your blog?

A photo I recently took of the trout lily - beautiful native plant that's in bloom right now.

Thank you so much Karen. It has truly been delightful so far getting to know all of these amazing Carolina Girls and their blogs! Please email me if you would like to be interviewed and/or to add you to the Carolina Girls Rollcall. :)

Thanks and have an awesome day!

P.S. Continue the March Madness thrills as the UNC Tar Heels march to the NCAA Title 2009! (Can't help myself!)


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Southern Biker - Look Mom No Feet!

We took a ride in the country today. Here's what we couldn't stop laughing about for sure. We looked up when this guy passed us up and got a charge out of his riding without his feet.

As I was remiss "wish I had the camera" I realized I had it. And this is what I got. Pretty good considering Mountain Man had to speed up to catch this. Then when we got to a small town, I got a closer look and check out the Rebel Flag helmet.

And that's another "Only in the South!"


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Sweet Carolina! NCAA All The Way

Sweet Carolina! What can I say, March Madness is quite a tradition and we are anticipating that win next Saturday - the Tar Heels 100th NCAA win. Making and breaking records is what it is all about.

You can cheer too @ ESPN :) and follow all the greats, Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington, Coach Roy Williams....

How's your weekend kicking off? :)


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Irionic Biking Accidents In The Celebrity World

Matt Lauer
Lance Armstrong

Who knew! These celebrity men had surgery-demanding biking excursions within hours of each other. Ouch! Isn't that a bummer. Both seem to be recovering quickly and fine.

You think they forgot to notice time ticks on? I can relate to these two - it's hard to realize that we cannot do the things the same way that we did twenty years ago.... C'est la vive!


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Join Us - Pray It Friday

"Whatever you ask for in prayer, having faith and [really] believing, you will receive." Matthew 21:22 AMP

Good Morning Everyone, Hope you have had a dynamite week.

Thank you for your prayer requests throughout the week. And for participating here. Today, I wanted to ask for prayer for McKMama's son Stellan. It is all over the internet - yet here it is in case you haven't seen it. They are in the throes of the hospital and finding treatment right now.

Foremost, for them at this time, I thought praying for peace about God's plan and timing. And for McK Muffin as he is in PICU and seeking to have his heart "in SVT" which has to do with the rhythms.

There are other prayers - let's face it - many. So please remember to pray for the unspokens and the unknowns. Otherwise, please feel free to share your own prayer request below by linking to your own post/blog and linking here. That way we'll have the maximum number of Pray It Friday virtual prayer chain 'prayer warriors.' :)

Thank you and God Bless. Have a great weekend!


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Spring Reading Favorite

His Name Is Jesus

"He was, at once, Divine and Human. Common yet Extraordinary."
Max Lucado's "His Name Is Jesus

What a perfect time of year to receive the latest Max Lucado book, His Name is Jesus. The Promise of God's Love Fulfilled (Hardcover and Gift Boxed). It is a lovely story from the birth of Jesus through his Resurrection. Just ideal for Easter.

It is truly a toss up as to which is most intriguing - the amazing art work or Max Lucado's eloquent words. He wrote this so well and fresh.

Divided into five sections: 1) His Birth, 2) His Mission, 3) His Death, 4) His Resurrection, and 5) His Legacy.

Our whole family cannot put the book down. Reading time, the Tigers are trying to decide who 'gets' it. They settle on reading to each other from it. At bedtime, we all huddle around and look at the generous pictures.

What are you reading? What are your favorite Boxed Gift books? (I made that little term up. You get the idea.)


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Weight Watchers Girl and Two Winners

Bon Jour Blogettes! :) Okay, please let me know if you are aware of the French version of MommyBloggers. :) I am just thinking with all that French I learned growing up in New Orleans, it would have been great if I had learned to eat minuscule meals like the vogue French women. :)

Breaking News: We have a Winner of the Win It Wednesday Giveaway @ OnlinePosterPrinting! This is exciting and the Twins chose our numbers. Would it surprise you if I said one Twin said "8" (they're eight so bingo!) and the other Twin shouts out "9!" :) So there you go from my personal random generator.

Congratulations to :

Kristine @ Mommy, Daddy and the Sweet Peas and
Lisa Shaw @ Sharing Life With Lisa.

Tres bien! I'd love to say things are Tres Bien on the mini-meals front. You know, like Hi it's me in the photo instead of the attractive mini French Ralph Lauren girl.

Nonetheless, the exciting news is I am a Weight Watcher Girl now! :) I said it right here. I'm in and loving it. Last week, I committed to WW. And my body is already saying Thank You!

Believe me, this looks like a reasonable system. That and the fact that ninety percent of the free world have made this program work for them. So I tell you, my leader is great, my tracker is filled out and I am jazzed about getting back to me. :)

So if anyone else out there wants to tell me the best recipes or snacks with the lowest points possible, that would be lovely.

Don't worry, we're not turning into a weight-loss blog here @ Carolina Mama. It's just that I want to get serious about my "Back to Me" posts and lifestyle because that's all it is really a lifestyle of Healthy living and eating and exercising. And this "Weight Watchers Girl" is my "Works For Me Wednesday" tip, go enter yours.

Any thoughts? Are you a Weight Watchers GIrl? Please Share.

***This Friday I've entered this into the Hooked on Fridays because yes, I am hooked on being a Weight Watchers Blog Girl. That's right. What are you hooked on?


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Online Poster Printing Giveaway - Last Day

Edited: We are GivingAway two of the Posters! :) Lucky You Enter Now! Just for fun, if you post this to your blog today, please enter Twice and let me know in your comment. You'll be glad you did. These are great.

It's here! Look at this gorgeous stretched canvass by Online Poster Printing! I cannot tell you how gorgeous and rich and vibrant and lovely this canvass is in real-life! And you thought it was only posters.

This is a wonderful canvass - so real-to-life - and it is a special occasion to us. This is even more sentimental in that this was taken years ago on our older digital making it difficult to make it look so professional. Thanks to Online Poster Printing - we have a classic canvass print that captures the memory.

They do a whole plethora of printing items including stretched canvass - shown here - rolled canvass, vinyl banners, etc. Go check out their website and let me know what you would do if you won one item!!

Because you can win! I am combining the 'Win It Wednesday" Giveaway entries of last week to this entry simply because I did not want to end the giveaway without showing the amazing product. Thanks for staying with me on this one.

So one lucky winner will have their own Poster.

Here's how you can be a winner: Prize will be (1) 16x20 poster print for 2 -you heard me - 2 Lucky WinnerS. Winner will be drawn Wednesday, March 25th @ 4pm EST. Enter this special "Win It Wednesday Giveaway":

1) Go to any of the OnlinePosterPrinting links here and checkout first hand how amazing their products are.

2) Leave a comment stating how you would utilize this poster print if you were the lucky winner.

3) Must leave a valid email address. And agree to: Prize ships for free within the US or CANADA.
(All others must pay shipping, but print is still free!)

Best of luck, because this one is so worth it. And with prices this reasonable, you can make an order or three of your own.

And just for fun, how do you organize and print your family memories?


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Capturing The Moments

Yes, I spend my days doing this? Capturing the Moments of the Cherubs, my Tigers.

Chasing these two, taking pictures of these two in a.c.t.i.o.n above which is all the time! I love it. It is so worth my day to come home or be right here at home and get pictures like these.

Mountain Man and I feel like we have heaven running around our back yard with Tonka trucks. Right! I seriously mean that.

Honestly, I am pretty simple, "Faith, Family and Friends." This weekend Mountain Man surprised me and took me to "Confessions of a Shopaholic" which was hilarious (and yes, I get so weary of Hollywood and their token sexual relations i.n. e.v.e.r.y film. Can they get original!)

(This film had very little of that and it was not even appropriate - not that it ever is in the pre-marital area or extra-marital. Mountain Man and I have a pretty high standard of calling this stuff junk and not watching. Which is why you don't find me reviewing tv shows here - because we don't support it. And we have chosen other ways to relax or things to view in the little time we have for it.)

Off my soap box because this post really isn't about watching only G and may a PG (I'm talking for the adults here! Children we're G and Christian media.) Although, what we watch and filtering what goes into our minds and our children's is very important to us.

Nonetheless, one of the quotes in the movie struck a cord with me: The father John Goodman says to daughter, Isla Fisher, "The only thing in this world that defines me is your mother and you." Was that sweet! Then I would definitely add, Jesus Christ. We have a strong sense of faith and family here.

What about you? What defines you?

p.s. Please pray for McKMama today and her McKMiracle.


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Something To Think About - Sunday Scriptures

"Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day— things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.

Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.

If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men?

These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence."

Colossians 2:16-23

We had a discussion recently about this passage. As believers, may we not get caught up in the "rules and regulations" and rather embrace the standards the Lord leads each of us to as we seek to obey and serve Him.

Blessings this Sunday.


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Just So You Know... March Madness

Just So You Know... Duke just sweeps into the Sweet 16!

Henderson Hits 20

Just so you know... in NCAA March Madness, University of North Carolina Tar Heels Rocked LSU right to the Sweet 16!

UNC's Ty Lawson

Pretty much the linky web info from Carolina. That an another Carolina Blue sky day.

NC Judge, Family and Prayer

Focus on the Family

Happy Spring Y'all! Spring is another wonderful thing about the South. Hope you all are enjoying.

You've asked about the "North Carolina Judge ordering children of a bitter divorce to attend public school." Currently, they are homeschooled.

Here's what I would like to say. This leaves a great need for prayer for this family. Clearly, the children are caught in the middle of a 'bitter/nasty divorce.' Lets add this situation to our "Pray It Friday" Virtual Prayer Chain.

Regardless of where these children are schooled in the fall, the entire family needs lifting up. So often divorce and the drama that ensues is commonplace in our society. Everyone suffers, each adult and each child. God intended families to stay together. And to be happy and thrive together.

With Christ, they/we can. While we are focusing on the family I wanted to ask prayer for one of the largest supporters of family known to mankind - "Focus on the Family" .

Let's pray for Focus on the Family and the many families they encourage and support. And Marriage. Rather than tear down the family and the sanctity of marriage, they build it up everyday with their website and articles and resources available to everyone. And if you or someone you know is in need of family advice or counseling - Need family help? Call (800) A-FAMILY (232-6459).

Please share what is on your heart this week. Feel free to leave your link below and link your readers here in your own post so we can spread the Pray It Friday virtual prayer chain. Because we know Prayer Matters.


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"Living With Children" Meet North Carolina's John Rosemond

John Rosemond Family

Meet my friend John Rosemond. North Carolina's Traditional Parenting - Father of Advice. :)

For quite a while, I have loved the books and advice of John Rosemond. His book, "A Family of Value" is a regular feature on my bedside table.

Here's a prelude to this week's column. It's syndicated so many of you will get it in your local newspaper. For my blogging friends:


Living With Children

John Rosemond

Copyright 2009, John K. Rosemond

"I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for the 1960s to be over and done with. That destructive decade has ruled American parenting for forty years and pretty well ruined it in the process.

Before the ‘60s, parents sought child rearing advice from their elders..... "
(continue reading @ John Rosemond's Weekly Column.

You'll find lots of good things in his columns and his website and his new website named after his book Parenting By the Book - the winner of the Mom's Choice Award. Enjoy!

Who are some of your favorites? Who do you read? What are your favorite parenting sites?

[It's Friday and this is my favorite this week and it gets entered in the Hooked on Fridays party.! What's your favorite?]

Tennis Time

Spring is trying to "spring." We're looking for the sun. And soaking up the ... rain. That's okay because we know Carolina Blue will shine through soon. And we will soon have warm days for a long time. Thank heavens.

With Spring comes the fun. As soon as March Madness is over, it will be fun like swimming, biking and tennis. It's time to open up the garage and pull out the goggles, bikes and tennis balls. Speaking of which, this Works For Me Wednesday I want to share my Tennis Time Tip!

Check out these lovely Tennis Balls:

Tennis Balls - the Penn T.I.P.

It's our glorious discovery for children's tennis. If you have already discovered this, don't tell me. Just let me enjoy the wonder of discovery.

Lucky me, I found a place where I can stock up on these with the best prices. Forget about swinging by Target on the way to the Tennis Courts. whew. That is no fun. Just when The Tigers, Mountain Man and I are all geared up mentally and physically to play tennis and then oops, we need to run and get more tennis balls. No more! Voila TennisPlaza.

"The Penn T.I.P. 1 Tennis Ball is a useful ball in helping children and adults learn the basics of tennis. The unique weight, design, and composition of the ball helps players transition into using a standard tennis ball. The decreased ball speed yet consistent and predictable bounce help players learn to serve and volley."

So true! The Tigers l.o.v.e these tennis balls and Carolina Mama loves them even more. Great Tennis was had by all and we're looking to do this again this year. I just need three or two dozen. How about you? Tennis anyone? What is your favorite brand tennis ball? Are you ready for Spring activity!


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Carolina Girls - The Interview VI (& Giveaway)

Greetings Everyone!

*** "Win It Wednesday!" Online Poster Printing Giveaway Still OPEN Enter Now/Here. It's an awesome Giveaway.

Welcome Back to Carolina Girls - The Interview VI. Introducing... Sarah! @ Real Life. The native girls do blog. Sarah is a North Carolina native.
And she has an awesome blog you'll want to visit. Meet Sarah...

Where are you from (can be as general as you wish)?

I grew up in Cary from age nine to 18, and I now live in the NW mountains of NC. I gradually went from Suburban Chick to Country Girl and I wouldn't go back!

What is the name of your blog?

Real Life

How did you name your blog?

I really wanted to communicate the 'reality' of life. (of course!) I feel like we women put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect- as moms, wives, women. And I think especially Christian women can feel like we can't admit our struggles. No matter what I do on my blog, I want to be real. For example, Attack of the Killer Laundry Room: there aren't many people who would put this laundry room on the internet!

The other aspect of the name "Real Life" comes from my faith. I feel like I have found true life in Christ and I want to communicate that you can be 'real' and also love Christ!

How did you get into blogging?

At a playgroup one day, one of my friends, Christina, said, "Hey, do any of you read blogs?" I said, "No, why would you want to?" She began telling me about some blogs she read. It sounded interesting, but I still didn't get it. I didn't want to read a bunch of moms bragging about what crafty things they did with their kids, cooking five-course meals, sewing (and finishing, which I never do) all the decorations in their houses. I soon found out that this is so NOT what blogging is all about.

My pastor had done a sermon on the Gospel of John, where Phillip told Nathanael about Jesus. Nathanael said, "Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?" to which Phillip answered, "Come and see!" He said that in this age of MySpace, FaceBook, YouTube, and everyone trying to point to ourselves - to be famous, that what we should be doing is pointing to Jesus, and saying, "Come and see!" That's when I decided to start a blog with my underlying goal being to point myself and others to the Lord. So I began writing about my daily successes, failures, humor, and inspirations, and I hope God will use them to touch others, and help me grow, as well. Ever since my first post, "I will Never Do That!", I've been hooked!

What do you wish to convey on your blog?

I want to convey all aspects of life: struggles, triumphs, and prayers- family stories, tips and tricks, great books and products, my journey of fitness, and my love of God. Soon, I'll be adding some more features and opportunities for Guest Bloggers!

What is your favorite thing about your blog?

I love my new graphic design, and my awesome readers who interact with me through comments and Twitter.

What is your favorite Ben N Jerry's Flavor?

I honestly don't eat Ben N Jerry's. It's part political statement, part "I don't like ice cream enough to pay that much!"

What is your favorite song/iTune right now?

Right now, I am in love with anything by Sara Bareilles.

Starbucks or McDonald's?

While the McDonald's Iced Mocha is quite good, I would not trade my "Bald Guy Brew" for anything! The "International Headquarters" is here in my town, and he roasts the BEST coffee bean! I try to avoid Starbucks if at all possible. I don't want to learn a new lexicon to order coffee.

Krispy Kreme or Dunkin Donuts (there is one answer here for Carolina Girls! Just kidding!) ? ;)

Krispy Kreme ALL THE WAY! (Even though we don't have one in our town- what's up with that KK?)

A favorite Carolina food or restaurant?

I always love when I go to the beach and get fresh seafood buffet! Living in the mountains, we don't really have anything like that, so it's a real treat! And then, there's the barbeque... But I must say that the best Carolina food I've had is in Charleston, SC- Hymans, The Mustard Seed, Boulevard Cafe! My taste buds are going crazy just thinking about it!

What is a favorite place in Carolina?

My favorite place, I have to say, is right where I live: The NC mountains! I love seeing the majestic views everyday and living in a town where I always see someone I know!

Thank you so much Sarah!


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Confession of Carolina Mama

It was an awesome weekend here. Rainy, yes. March Madness, yes! Carolina Blue, yes, but wanted that ACC Tourney Title. Happy that Duke scored it! And that our UNC Tar Heels are No. 1 in the AP Poll for the NCAA. Go Blue!

We celebrated Mountain Man's birthday yesterday - really all weekend long - and it was great. We've been celebrating his birthday for thirteen years - counting dating - together. Once again, I am reminded of how blessed I am that God's plan is perfect. I am thankful for my heaven-scent family.

This Monday morning, I have a confession to make which will be included in my Monday "Not Me!" Let me preface with the fact that we have a pretty high standard for language in our home. My parents did and we do.

So what a bummer for me to experience a meltdown at Church yesterday. You heard it. Not me! We were doing the usually family hustle to get to church on time and bring everything we needed, etc. And this Sunday, we brought Breakfast snacks and a big Birthday balloon and card for Mountain Man so that our friends could celebrate with us. This is something I did for Mountain Man when we were dating and his birthday fell on a Sunday.

All was going well, except it was raining steady all morning. Mountain Man had to be early for worship because he was playing on the team yesterday. So the Tigers and I were carrying all of this in the rain. Honestly, they were doing great all things considered.

We got inside all the way to the room to set up which is opposite of the sanctuary, and one of the Tigers had a meltdown because he thought he left his Bible in the car and he really wanted to get his sticker for bringing it.... ;) I am attempting to get them to hold it together so we can set up and get to the service.

Then, I went to the White Board to write my message Happy Birthday etc. to Mountain Man when I wrote with a marker on the dry erase board.... double urggg. The only pen on the board was the wrong one. Now I had to clean the board and find a correct marker while letting one of the Tigers know he could use a different Bible.

Finally, I found a pen in the room next door, I start writing and it is a "Winnie" pen. It writes like a fine tip Bic and I blurt out, "This is a "winnie" pen... Didn't that sound real mature. And where on earth did that come from anyway? Of course, at that moment on of the older ladies of the church walked in to see what was going on with the children. And I blurt out "winnie pen." Not me! I was pretty embarassed and I just stood there like what do I say.

You know what, I didn't say anything. The last thing I had time to do was talk about the situation. So I just went to a third room and got a normal couple of pens and came back and wrote the message. Then the boys and I had finished our set up and we were off.

Right then, as we walked past the coffee station where the lady was setting up, and she holds up a nice new, fat Dry Erase marker, and says, "Here's one." Well, isn't that swell. So nice of her to maybe bring it to me in my 'distress.' :) Of course, our task was complete at that point but really.

Did I feel badly about saying something like that in a knee-jerk reaction especially at church with my children and an older lady? Yes, and yes, I decided that I am human and I do not have time to worry about what someone standing by thinks, so I just took the boys on with me and told them we really don't use the word wienie, how ever the tarnation you spell it.... :) And that's is my Sunday confession. :)

What about you?! Any similar situation you want to share to make me feel better? :) That would be great. Have a good one and for all of us Carolinians, stay dry and enjoy the March Madness since the BlueS are making us proud.


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