Monday, August 31, 2009

'Mean' Mommy Moment & Not Me Monday

OK... it's not necessarily a MEAN mommy moment, but I couldn't think of a catchier title.

Lately, I would say over the past few months, Chelsea has developed a sleep-walking thing. She'll get up, do or say something ridiculously funny, and go right back to bed. Next morning - no recollection.

Tonight, as I was catching up on some blog reading, was one of those nights. I swear when you look at her you would think that she's awake, but once she starts trying to have a conversation - FORGET IT! That's when you KNOW she's sleeping.

I cannot even begin to try to explain to you what she just said. Something about something that I said and being in a hallway and being a little nervous, but she likes her bracelet so she's OK.

It takes every ounce of strength not to burst out laughing at her when she does this - that's where the MEAN mom comes in. Who laughs at their kids like this?

I could turn this into a NOT ME MONDAY segment:

No, I am not the mother who finds humor in her child's sleepwalking conversations!

Anyway, she's back in her bed now, all tucked in and sound asleep. Guess I should be heading to bed too.

Many blessings,

Sunday, August 30, 2009

We are Secret Keeper Girls!

Yesterday's event leaves me speechless ~ who would have thought!

I was on the verge of tears for the entire night. Not tears of sadness, but tears of JOY! Finally, an event for Moms & Daughters that's fun yet educational. It was just for the daughters in the audience - it was for Moms, Grandmas, Aunts too!

Suzy Weibel was a GREAT emcee!! Hysterical, engaging & knew when to reel us in. She had everyone laughing - especially during the 'History of Fashion'. It was fun to watch how the styles have changed over the decades and telling my daughter who in our family used to dress in those styles (I think she was most mortified by the fact that I was a child of the 80's fashion).

The story of the clay & the potter - what a unique way to tell that story. Then to drive that point home, Suzy had EVERY woman in the audience put their hand on one part of their body that they hated. Then we all knelt at our chairs and turned those 'hates' over to God.

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful and I know that full well." ~ Psalm 139:14
Each girl received a friendship bracelet. What made the bracelet even more special was that each was unique just like the girl who got it! Moms were instructed to tie the bracelet on their daughter's wrist & pray over them - a battle prayer. So true, so true.

Bible verses were everywhere. Ones that I'd heard time & time again, yet my eyes were opened to new meaning! My favorite:

"....May you rejoice in the wife of your youth
.....May you ever be captivated by her love." ~ Proverbs 5:18-19

The fashion show for the girls - UNBELIEVABLE! Modern fashion with slight alterations to make them modest. We learned 'Raise & Praise', 'Criss Cross Apple Sauce' and 'Peaks & Valleys'. You'll have to check their website to learn about them.

This was truly life changing. It got my daughter & I talking more. She wished she could have brought more friends & their moms. She can't wait to tell her friends at school what she learned. In less than 24 hours, I've seen a change in her. She's learning to LOVE herself exactly the way she is - because God made her that way & He loves her.

Many blessings,

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Today's the day

A few months ago, I stumbled upon a great site for Mom's & daughters (ages 8-12): Secret Keeper Girl If you haven't had a chance, please swing by this site & check it out ~ especially if you are the Mom of a preteen girl. Dannah's site is all about keeping our young girls modest & showing them that it isn't what's on the OUTSIDE that counts, but the inside is what really matters.

Backed with biblical principals, modern fashion & a heart for this subject, Dannah's site is perfect for Moms & Daughters alike. There's SO much for your girl to do & so much for a Mom to learn. I like to pair it with Ginger Garrett's "Queen Esther's Secrets of Womanhood".

Where am I going with this? Why, to Macon of course! Yep - today is the Mother/Daughter Secret Keeper Girl conference at Ingleside Baptist Church. Chelsea & I are heading further south with friend Faith & her Mom, Amy. Our own version of Thelma & Louise - only we won't be driving over a cliff and will have kids along.

Pictures & a blog to follow - of course! Make sure you check back to hear about our adventure!

Many blessings,

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I am home

A little over 5 years ago, my family & I ventured out on an adventure. We packed up our belongings (well, a moving company did that) and headed on down south. Way down south - Georgia. We left northern NJ, everything & everyone that we knew & loved for the great unknown in Georgia.

Saying goodbye was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I'm not good at goodbye. Never have been - may never be.

My best friend gave me a movie as my going away/birthday gift - Sweet Home Alabama. I had never watched it before. I'm glad I did.

One thing my friend wanted me to take from that movie is that you can ALWAYS go home. I've held onto that sentiment for many years. It has only been recently that I realize that while you CAN always go home, home is where the HEART is. My heart - it's right here in Georgia living in the same house.

My favorite line from the movie was Reese Witherspoon saying
'Jake, you were the 1st boy I ever kissed and I want you to be the last.'
It's ironic. Craig is the first boy that I ever kissed and he is my last.

You can always go home.. you just have to remember exactly WHERE home is. My advice - check your heart.

Many blessings,

Friday, August 21, 2009

See through

The other day I wrote a post about being transparent in our community group. I realized that the best way my blog can be effective is if I continue that transparency.

I'm mad as H-E double hockey sticks!!! My daughter is being sexually harassed on the school bus. My heart hurts for her. She didn't want to go to school this morning, saying her stomach hurt & she felt like she was going to throw up. I never wanted her to have to feel this way - victimized. We have notified the school & bus service regarding the incident. You would think that it would make me feel better, but it doesn't. I have no way of knowing what this kid's punishment is going to be. I have to put trust in others that it will be handled swiftly & appropriately. That's not easy for me.

As I read over that those last few sentences, I realize that the ONLY person I need to trust is God. He will see us through this. He gave Chelsea the strength & courage to speak up; He will give her the strength & courage to persevere.

Something else I need to do - pray for the boy. Somewhere he learned this behavior and thinks its acceptable. My prayer is that this boy realizes that girls/women are to be honored & respected. They aren't worthless garbage to be lusted after. Ah, chalk another one up to the destruction of morals in our society.

Parents, we need to take action. Be proactive! It stinks that I had to talk to my son about this incident, but I am glad that I did. Now he knows where my husband & I stand on this issue. Our daughter knows that she is a HERO for coming forward & not accepting this behavior. By her talking about it, it gives him less power & can help other girls from having to endure the same thing by this boy.

Many blessings,

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Being transparent

I've always been a bit of a wall flower. Someone who doesn't necessarily want to be noticed - until you get to know me. Either way, I keep most things closely guarded. There is not a SINGLE person on this planet that knows EVERYTHING about me. Some people are close, but no one knows it all. Why? Because then my Achilles Heel is exposed.

Yet one thing that I have learned over the past few years, especially being involved in community groups at church, is that in order to be effective as a leader, you need to be a little transparent.

With our first group, Craig & I were honest with the surface stuff. I think we looked like a GREAT couple from the outside looking in. But we didn't need help with the surface stuff. We needed (and still need) help with the stuff down deep; buried so deep that we forgot it was even there.

With each new group that we join, we let go a little more. Why? Not because we are proud of our dirty laundry, but to let others know that community groups are a SAFE place. You're there to do life together. The best way to do life is to let people INTO your life. You're REAL life - not just the surface stuff.

How has it helped us? It has forced us to be honest about life. Honest about our faults & strengths. We've learned from other couples & pray that others can learn from us.

Don't hide your 'dirt'. Embrace it. Believe it or not, you are not alone in your struggles. Besides, saying them outloud only gives them LESS power.

Many blessings,

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Virtual Church

Today marks a special day for my church. Why? Because today is the 1st day that they are streaming the 6pm service LIVE online. Worship, announcements, sermon - everything!

You may be wondering why that's such a big deal. Well, it is. Now thousands of people all over the world can tune in and have church. No more having to set foot in a strange church alone, feeling as though the 'regulars' are staring at you because you're new. They can experience God's word all without having to 'dress right'.

This is revolutionary. Not that our church is the first church to do this - hardly. But now people from all over the world can come together and hear the message. Afterward, they can stay and chat about it - ask questions. THAT is amazing!!!

If you haven't had a chance to check it out, have no fear. There's always NEXT Sunday! You can check out today's sermon - recorded - on North Point Community Church's website so you can catch up & be ready for next week.

Many blessings,

Friday, August 14, 2009

Praising my Father

As an early anniversary gift, I got Craig tickets to the North Point Live taping. This is the 3rd time they've done this. We went to the first one and had a BLAST. This time we were worshipping with some of our favorites from church: Fee Band, Eddie Kirkland & Todd Fields. All I can say is - AMAZING!

There were thousands of people for this sold-out event! I think it was probably a compilation of all 3 campuses and a few extra invited friends. The music was ROCKIN'! What a way to worship our Heavenly Father. To be there, in the midst of His presence, you couldn't help but get caught in the moment. Hands lifted to Heaven, voices singing His praises. Words cannot describe the event. Honestly.

Fee Band did some songs from their new yet-to-be-released album. Let me say - OUTSTANDING!! Another Ahrens favorite! Eddie Kirkland & Todd Fields did a few of their new ones too. Oh, to sing to the Father. Of all the songs we sang, only 1 was not written by someone on that stage. Our churches are blessed with spectacular musical talent - all who use their gift to glorify our God.

We didn't just sing. We stopped to pray. Thanking God for all that He's done in our lives & the church for the past 1 & 1/2 years. I know Craig & I had a LOT to thank Him for. Then we prayed for the recording - that it reaches those outside the Alpharetta area. Powerful!!

Fee Band closed the evening. It was SO great to see so many teens rush the stage and just dance & jump to the music. Arms held high, glorifying God.

I can't wait for the CD to be released. I have a feeling that it's going to be Christmas gifts for family & friends.

To get a peek of what we experienced, just tune in on Sunday, August 16th at 6pm on North Point Online. Sunday night's service at Buckhead will be broadcast LIVE. Fee Band is leading worship.

Hope to "see" you there!

Many blessings,

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Losing your religion?

At some point in our lives, most of us come to a place where we question our beliefs. I know I have. Question whether God is real, does He really love me, has He left me.

Our pastor, Andy, is starting a new series this coming Sunday called 'Losing Your Religion'. Even if you don't live here in the ATL area, I want to encourage you to check it out. North Point Community Church & its campuses are launching church LIVE this Sunday evening, 6pm EST. Just go to North Point Online and you can be a part of something BIG!

Join us for worship & a sermon. Check out what Craig & I are a part of every Sunday.

This topic is close to my heart. I've had times in my life where I've given up on God. Not because God gave up on me, but because I spent too much time following the 'people' He put in my life. My focus was more on the people and less on God.

It's taken a while to learn that people will always disappoint. But God, He is God, while we may not understand His will for us, He always does what is best for us. Stay focused on Him.

Many blessings,

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Day 2

Ok.. So today was day 2 of being unemployed. Not eventful. Wait - that's not true. I did get a call scheduling my polygraph test. Woo hoo!!! After that I headed over to unemployment to file. No line, but there were a lot of people there. I should hear something in about 2 weeks.

In other Ahrens news, the kids are still glad to be back at school. Justin's having a great time in 4th grade. Sounds like his teacher has made quite an impression on him already. Chelsea likes middle school, but there have been a few kinks to work out. We rearranged her room to fit a desk so that she has a place to study. It's a work in progress.

Tomorrow night is the North Point Live concert - CANNOT WAIT! Fee, Todd Fields & Eddie Kirkland - 3 rockin' worship leaders. There are still tickets left - get them while you can!

Many blessings,

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Fighting back the tears

How do you fight back the tears over something you're not all that upset about?

I just got word that I have been let go from my current job. Reason: not a personality fit. Sounds harmless, right? It has nothing to do with my actual personality. It's more about the fact that I stand up for myself and do not fear speaking up when needed.

For the past 10 months, I have been working in retail. While retail was certainly not my 1st choice, I think I've done a pretty good job making it work for my family. Without sacrificing my family, I did what I needed to help make that store successful.

Recently, I felt as though I was being taken advantage of. So, I spoke my mind. Not to get anyone in trouble, but to have my voice heard. Instead of righting the wrongs, they let me go.

I'm not hurt that I lost THAT job. I am bothered that I have been let go because I did something right.

God is in control & He's got something great planned. We just need to lean on Him & wait for Him to reveal the plan. For now, I'm gonna wallow in my self-pity party. I'm angry that I didn't leave on MY terms.

This too shall pass.

Many blessings,

Monday, August 10, 2009

The 1st day of school

I've got nothing witty to say today. I've been sitting in front of this entry for 20 minutes now & just can't come up with anything.

For now, I'll share pictures.

Chelsea @ 6 months

Chelsea last night

Chelsea was eager for school today. Nervous & excited all at the same time. It took her forever to fall asleep last night & she was the 1st one up this morning. She freaked when she heard a bus drive by and she wasn't even dressed yet. She thought she missed the bus! Thankfully, that was only the elementary school bus & we had NOTHING to worry about. Poor girl couldn't even eat this morning. I did have her eat a bit of cereal without milk, just so she would have SOME food in her belly. Once we got to the bus stop, all was right with the world. A girl from down the block was taking the same bus and so was our next door neighbor. When the bus FINALLY arrived, her fears were history. Should be interesting to hear how her day went.

Justin @ 6 months

Justin last night

Justin - 1st day of 4th grade

Justin, on the other hand, didn't seem to excited. He did decide to go to sleep without a light on in his room - HUGE step for him - and he survived! The morning was uneventful for him; just another day - as you can see by his goofy smile above.

The day cannot go by fast enough for me. I want to hear all about their days. Who's in their class, who they sat with at lunch, what they thought of their teachers so far.

Another school year is in the works!

Many blessings,


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Random facts about me!

First, I'd like to welcome everyone who has come here from Lynnette's blog.

Lynnette asked her blog readers to list 10 charming, interesting, fun facts about ourselves. So, here I go! Feel free to join in too!! It was very eye opening for me - and my brain. Man, I had to think!


1. When I was a child, I desperately wanted to become a teacher for the deaf, mute & blind. Helen Keller was my hero! I even tried to learn Braille & sign language (I still can do the alaphbet in sign language).

2. At some point in her life, my paternal grandmother had her family tree done. She is related to Nikolas Capernicus (and they say Polish people are dumb).

3. In high school, I temporarily contemplated joining the Air Force so that I could fly planes. Because of having to wear glasses, I was told I wouldn't be able to become a pilot, so I opted to not join.

4. My ultimate dream job would be to become an FBI Profiler. Son of Sam in the 70's plays a big part in that. I remember his reign of terror & have always been facinated with the WHYs of his crime. I took psychology in high school and in college. Eventually, I would like to go back to school to get my degree in psychology.

5. I am an AVID reader! I love to read. When I was a kid, I would read by the light of the kitchen stove - often getting in trouble for staying up past my bedtime. I have been known to read 5 books in 1 day (it was a series & I needed to know what happened). I try not to take books out of the library because I like to OWN the books so I can read them over & over again.

6. A boy I dated back in high school taught me about astronomy. Since then I have LOVED looking at stars. Knowing that I can look up here in Georgia & see Orion and my dad can see the same thing in New Jersey just reminds me of the vastness of the universe that God created. Orion is my favorite constellation.
7. 9/11/01 was a turning point in my life. Before that day, my father & I had a very rocky relationship. Events of that day, thinking that he had died in the towers, turned our lives around. I cannot imagine my life without him.
8. Lately I have contemplated learning how to make cakes just like on Ace of Cakes & Cake Boss. I'd like to team up with my sister, Christa, and have our own bakery. We'd call it 'Two Sisters Bakery'. If our youngest sister, Jessica, joined us then it could be 'Three Sisters'. There's something about the fun colors & shapes that you can do with cake that makes it look like a great job!

9. I would love to have more children, even though I have been advised to not have anymore. I would consider adoption - if it was more affordable. I would also consider being a foster parent. I grew up with 2 siblings, but we always had extra kids at the house. My parents were state foster parents and we also were part of an organization called 'Healing the Children' which brought children from 3rd world countries to America who needed critical medical help.

10. I'm a sucker for musicals! Phantom of the Opera, Moulin Rouge, High School Musical trilogy. We all have a soundtrack to our lives - songs that remind us of different times in our lives. Musicals are just that - life played out with music.

So, that's me in a nutshell! As I read this, I notice that I am ALL over the place in my likes. That's what makes me unique.

Many blessings,


Wednesday, August 5, 2009



Not sure how, but my mailbox has returned. Even the sheared off post! Someone - the mailbox fairy - put in a new wooden post & attached my mailbox back to it. The old post is sitting in the grass waiting to get thrown away. Who cares - my mailbox is back!!!

You probably think I'm nuts to be THIS excited about a mailbox, but when I went to price out a new (painted) one it learned that they are SUPER expensive. Around $75!! Now I don't have to part with that $$$. :)


I know that this is going to sound silly, but I need to vent!

Last night, while our entire subdivision was sleeping someone came in and destroyed/stole all of the mailboxes. Ripped them out of the ground, bent doors on ones they couldn't actually take out, put one in a tree, moved for sale signs.

To think that someone came near MY home while I slept to do harm scares me. I know, it's only a mailbox, easily replaceable. That's not the point. These people took TIME to do this. We're not talking 5 mailboxes. I would have to say close to 20! And for what? In the name of fun or a silly prank.

Not fun! Not silly!

Time to hit the showers. I'm getting too worked up over this.

Many blessings,

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

It's a new day

A friend once told me that depression is truly a medical condition. Many believe that depression is merely a figment of one's imagination, that you're not really 'in God' or that you just haven't prayed hard enough. Maybe there are cases such as these. But I can honestly say that my depression is medical. Medication does help - it doesn't mask the 'pain' but helps me sort things out. It doesn't numb me from feeling sadness, but it does help ease it a bit.

Why am I telling you this? Not to convince you to believe the same as I do. But to share a little bit more about me.

While I do believe that I have a medical condition called 'depression' , I do also believe that Satan can use our weaknesses to try to defeat us. That's what he's been trying in my life - especially when it comes to work. I am human, so it has been a struggle for me.

After another emotional meltdown, I awaken today with a new resolve. With the help of God, I will not allow Satan to grab a foothold in my life. The beauty of being a Christian is that I am covered by the blood of Christ - shed on a cross. When He rose 3 days later from the grave, He defeated Satan. Therefore, because of His blood & resurrection, Satan is defeated in my life as well. He's gonna fight like heck to grab hold & he's gonna fight dirty.

But it's a new day. I won't give in to the enemy today. Every day will be a new fight.. Today I begin again, with Christ by my side.

Many blessings,


Saturday, August 1, 2009

I'm tired & broken

What started out as a bad day yesterday turned into H-E-double hockey sticks!! Seriously, I just want to crawl back into bed & do the day over again. Man, why can't there be do-overs?

Nevermind the migraine that I had yesterday. I came into work only to see that BB (beloved boss) decided to change my schedule without asking/telling me. He, last minute, decided that I was going to close tonight (Saturday). Mind you, I've managed to close for the past 5 Saturday nights. Apparently, if you are married & have children then you CLEARLY do not have any type of weekend social life!

It's not that I don't like working nights... honest, it's not that at all. What I don't like is having my schedule changed at the VERY LAST minute and not be told about it. It's like a BAD surprise gift! I'm a planner... I like knowing my schedule in advance so that the family & I can plan our lives.

Then BB announced that he will no longer be doing the closings. What does this mean? Again - his life is CLEARLY more important than anyone else's. Can you say NOT FAIR?
I know, I know. Life isn't fair, Allison. I should know that. Really, I should.

I know what you're thinking right now. Allison, why don't you talk to him about it? Don't think I haven't tried. He's not interested. I know, you're thinking then go to his boss. Ahhhh... if it was THAT easy. You see BB & his boss have known eachother for 20+ years. Talk to the temp agency I work for? See, again, can't be done. The person in charge there is afraid of BB.

What's a girl to do? Pray! Pray that God has a change in store for me. Pray that the wheels that are currently in motion, stay in motion & work out to my benefit.

I promise, my next entry won't be so 'Debbie Downer'.

Many blessings,