|Educated Hood Chicks||
Did the title catch your eye? Well, it has nothing to do with whatever you are thinking about-you dirty bird! I am not that kind of woman (sometimes)! I am actually referencing one of my favorite breakfast dishes-Eggs Benedict! So, why blog about breakfast-particularly the eggs benedict? Uh...why not?
Actually, eggs benedict is part of my projects for 2014. I decided to have projects for 2014 rather than New Years' resolutions. Since I tend to break my resolutions by Jan. 3rd, I figured long term projects seemed liked a viable option! (Do not worry, I will write about the other projects later). I liked the idea of projects because a project to me means thats there will be steps involved and in the future an end result. Plus, I wanted to challenge myself to learn something new, see it through to fruition, and thus the benedicts project began.
So, back to the "Bene's"...A quick lesson on the eggs benedict. The most common version is two halved english muffins toasted, topped with Canadian bacon, poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce. But there are so many versions of this morning delight you can never get bored of this breakfast dish. I decided to start with this benedict because it seems fairly simple to make, right?! But I quickly found out that it is not as simple as it sounds. First, paoching eggs is not a simple task. I did some online research and initially decided to use the microwave to poach the egg. I have never poached eggs so I figured the microwave would make it quick and simple. I bought a microwaveable egg poacher dish...which boasted four perfectly poached eggs. I decided to try one and it exploded! Fail!! I found another microwave trick using a coffee mug-it didn't explode, but it ended up a solid mass stuck to the bottom of the cup. Fail #2!! Finally, I decided on a more traditional approach which included a pot of water and patience. Fast forward, after numerous attempts I successfully poached an egg!
Imagine my delight at my newest cooking skill! So I constructed my Benedict and it was delicious! Okay, side note- I used canned Hollandaise sauce. I made the conscious decision to master one thing at a time. And hollandaise sauce is next on the list. I plan more research and some lessons from my cousin-chef Randolph to perfect the sauce.
The Eggs Benedict Project 2014 has been fun so far and I cannot wait to try the different variations and creating some of my own. This project has also help me work on one resolution used to make and break in the past and that is PATIENCE! Patience with the process and being able to work through the failures as well as patience with my children. My baby girl loves to help cook and I tend to get impatient and frustrated with her when she helps me and does what 7yr olds do. You know how they are-they spill stuff, do things the were not to do, crack the eggs and break the yolk...you know.
So in practicing patience with myself and my daughter we had a great time cooking and eating. Also, I'm learning to not to give up on myself which I tend to do if I find something hard or I initially fail at it. Plus, I figure my patience may spark a passion for cooking in my daughter and she may grow up to be a famous chef/ restaurateur. I say that is a win/win.
This project will be a delicious journey and I forsee plenty of life lessons to learn and share.
My word of the day is patience. Patience with myself, the process, and others.
Thanks for reading!
This morning started out as usual. The kids are getting ready for school and I am making breakfast and lunches, cleaning the kitchen, brushing hairs (ya'll know I got kids with a lot of hair) and yelling for everyone to hurry up!! Of course, we make it to school on time and everyone is dropped off safely and I am making my way home. Things on my mind- finishing my coffee, planning how cleaning day will start, finishing my coffee, counting the hours I will be alone :), and then I notice a car stalled in the middle of the intersection. For those familiar with Sacramento-the car is in the middle of Del Paso and Truxel and for those who are not; there are basically eight lanes of traffic in all directions. Definitely, not the place to be stalled. I was stuck at the light and witnessed as the lights changed in other directions how people just drove around the woman and her stalled vehicle. No one stopped to help or even help block traffic so she could at least get her car out of the way. So, I decided when my light changed I would pull over to a safe area and go and help. I ran across the lanes of traffic; luckily, without incident and I asked the woman if she needed help. She was an older woman and the car was an older model so I was not sure if I would be able to push the car out of the intersection, but I did. I realized two things as I was pushing the car out of the road: ONE-cars are not that hard to push once you get them moving and TWO- we are a society of passersby.
I am not writing this story to pat myself on the back but more as a realization of myself and the world around me. Honestly, it would have been easy for me to be a passerby like all the other people. My house was the next light down, my coffee was waiting for me, I didn't have my makeup on, and I was wearing house shoes. So you see, I had plenty of reasons to not help. But I chose to help. So this brings me to the point of the story I guess. There have been many times I have been a passerby.
So, I am going challenge to myself to not be the "passerby" both personally and outwardly.
CHALLENGE #1: I am going to support my daughter who wants to help the homeless. I admire her genuine concern for people and her ability to give so freely. She is definitely not a passerby and wants to create care packages for them.
CHALLENGE #2: Not to be a passerby in my own life. I am guilty of passing by opportunities just for the simple fact that I may fail. There are plenty of mantras out there like "Do or do not, there is no try" or "Failure is an event, not a person" and it seems easy enough to take the "bull by the horn" but when you are your own worse enemy it is that much harder.
So my word for today is PASSERBY. What am I doing or not doing to make this world, my life, or my family better?
Thanks for reading!
Good Evening…and I want to say Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers and mother figures. It is a pleasure to be up here tonight to tell you how God has helped me raise my children. For those who do not know me, my name is Shannon Meadors and my husband is Bruce Meadors. You may know him from such plays as “Timeless” and on stage singing with Pastor Greg. (Sorry for the shameless plug, Love you honey). Anyway, we were blessed with three of the most amazing children-- Bruce who is 8, Cameron who is 6, and Brandon who is 3.5.
I have cared for children since the age of eight, babysitting my siblings and cousins-so I taking care of children came easy to me. You know, if the kid cries- change’em, feed’em, rock’em, or cry with them- so in that sense I was not afraid to become a mom. It was after I gave birth to my first son that I realized my greatest fear- I am responsible for bringing this child from infancy to adulthood. I would have take part in shaping this baby’s view of the world and of himself. WHAT IF I SCREW HIM UP? I guess a brief bio would be in order… I was not raised as a Christian; I grew up going to church for weddings, funerals, sometimes on Easter and Christmas. I was baptized as a baby and attended catholic school for one year, had first communion, and was told every time that God was going to punish me for doing bad. And that was the basis of our “faith”-I call it nowadays-culturally catholic. I came to faith when I was 20; I was in a bad relationship and it began to take a toll on me. One day a coworker asked me to go to church with her and it was there I felt God’s hand on me and He lifted the self-doubt and pain and gave me the strength to move on. Unfortunately, not truly understanding the gift I had received, I gave Him thanks and went on my merry way.
Fast forward-I met my husband, we made Jesus an integral part of our lives, we married, and I was baptized at 26 years old.
So back to the kids-I began to realize as my faith grew over the years and by raising my children- that they are truly gifts from God. He made them especially for me and no one gives you a gift, drops it in your lap and walks away for good. I see His watchful eye and protective hand over my kids when they come home from school and tell us about a kid who was mean to them and instead of using their fists or bad words, they are able to either walk away or address the kid accordingly. I see the power in the Lord’s house when we attend church and they are surrounded with their brothers and sisters in Christ. They know when church is and when we are unable to go their “Father’s house” we get an earful. I was able to witness the Power of Jesus’ healing hand on my youngest son Brandon who was unable to hear for the first two years of his life. From his surgery, to the remarkable recovery, and the strides he has made from being a silent baby to a 3 year old, who can finally call me mommy, sing, talk, and more importantly pray. My heart melts as he prays for his family, church mates, schoolmates, toy cars, backpack, the lights, etc…and His list continues to grow. In the name of Jesus, I am truly thankful for His mighty power.
My older two, Bruce and Cameron were baptized last month and I cried because at such a young age they understood the power of having Jesus as their Savior and they know of His LOVE and Forgiveness and they want to be with Him forever.
It was in writing this it really sunk in that God’s will not let me SCREW-UP His children. He provides everything me and my husband needs to raise our children. He protects them. He gave them kind hearts to forgive their mom for her impatience. He provided us a church family-so we could learn from the veteran parents and swap stories with families like ours. The Lord constantly shows me that all my fears and worries (although very valid in my head) are nothing compared to the blessings He has given our family.
So, just for the record- I am imperfect mom, (sometimes) an impatient mom, and I do all the things we moms hate to tell people we do. But I am grateful to have the Lord in my family’s life because with Him, I know my kids will grow up to be strong in Faith and strong in Heart—and you can’t screw that up. And more importantly we moms are never alone.
Thank you and have a good night.
Okay...if overall general health and well-being does not get you to put on your running shoes, put the doughnut down, or get you out of the In and Out drive-thru line- then what about an impending zombie apocalypse?
Imagine you are now living in the post-apocalyptic America and survival is the name of the game. You are responsible for a small group of non-zombies and a few family members in the pack. Stellar health would be an important weapon ... Here is what I know...I can run 3 miles in 32 minutes...I am no Allyson Felix, but I will be faster than zombies and can put 3 miles and 30+ minutes between me and the flesh-eaters. Think about how far you are able to run? I can walk up 5 flights of stairs without being winded. I figure fear, adrenaline, and fight mode would get me up 10 flights running. My workouts last upwards of an hour...so I am hoping that will allow me at least an hour of zombie slashing!
But I am no Mishon, a lone fighter, my husband has joined the fight and has moved to the "lighter" side. I now know that I have a partner to help me protect our children and with his increase stamina and energy he will be ready to smash some zombie heads!
Crazy?! Far-fetched?! Maybe. But the moral to my hypothetical post-apocalyptic zombie infested world is that we only have one body-our one physical "weapon" to move through the world. Every time you make an excuse not to exercise or eat a little healthier puts you at risk for long term health problems and will ultimately make you a nice juicy rump roast for the "walkers".
Thank you Lord for restoring my sons hearing and giving him a voice!! He can say his prayers which now include more specifically his cousin Oliver, Vei, and his hot wheel cars!! dont worry family he prays for his "ol famlee" too
---My Facebook Post 2/20/13
This is my little man, my baby, my "yanyan"!! This kid can drive me nuts and makes me laugh all in the same instance. He runs, jumps, rides a scooter (too fast in my opinion), and gives hugs that will melt your heart. And if you were to meet him, you would never know that he suffered hearing loss, had a surgical procedure, and is slowly but surely catching up developmentally to other children his age.
When he was 9 months old I noticed he was not making any baby sounds-the usual "mum mum or mama" you would hear. At his one year visit when the pediatrician asked me what words he said, I told her nothing. She dismissed my concerns saying that since he is the baby of the family he has no reason to talk since he has siblings to take care of him and that I shouldn't compare his milestones to them. At eighteen months I brought him back to the pediatrician and told her he is not saying anything so she said I should put him in school to "socialize" with other children his age. After several weeks of research and interviews I found him a preschool and in hopes it would jump start his speech. Not too long after starting preschool the teacher pulls me aside one day to tell me that she believes he has a hearing problem.
A hearing problem? As a mother, it is one thing to think your child has a problem but it another to have your suspicions confirmed. Long story short, we went to several doctors appointments, he took several different tests, and in the end the specialist explained that his hearing is comparable to that of someone under 12 feet of water. Surgery was the answer to help with his hearing, followed by speech therapy, special education, lots of prayer by family and friends, and lastly affirmation that he was perfect just the way he is.
One year and 3 months out...my son is doing phenomenal! His speech has improved and he is up to 3-4 word sentences. He tells me "NO" all the time which I do not like to hear but glad he says it! He likes music and he can "sing" although not clear you can hear the melody and intonation in his voice-he can "Gangham Style" like nobody's business. (He also likes Justin Timberlake/Jay-Z song, "Suit and Tie" thanks to daddy). My husband and I think he may be a singer!! And the best part of all, he can say his prayers. I love hearing him say his nightly prayers. It's not clear but I know what he is saying. Here is a translation:
"Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
God bless Mommy, Daddy, Cameron, Brucey, Vei, Meki, grandmas and grandpas, Oliver, my cars, and my whole family tree. Amen"
Our family believes in the Lord Jesus Christ and we thank Him everyday for blessing our son. If his situation would have been worse I would still thank the Lord for bringing me a wonderful little boy. And as a family we would still do all we can to make his life as wonderful as it could be.
"Your big opportunity may be right where you are now." Napoleon Hill
The beautiful woman you see in the picture is Ms. Beverly Monique Bradley. She is the President of the Darius Jones Foundation and the mother of Darius Jones. I had the pleasure of meeting her last year at a Chamber of Commerce event at De La Salle High School. Ms. Monique came to the table and sat down while I was enjoying the free food the local businesses provided. She said, "Hi, Shannon, how are you doing?" The thoughts that came to my head were, "Do I know her? Did I meet her somewhere before? How did she know my name? " Then I remembered, I had a name tag on...duh! She asked me why I was at the event and I explained that I had two young boys and wanted them to attend De La Salle when they hit high school age. She said it was great I was preparing for my boys future and that her son attended De La Salle. She went on to say that he died from a sudden cardiac arrest during a basketball game his freshman year-he was fifteen years old. I cried as she told the story about his sudden death, her loss, her anger, and her resolve to not to let her son's death go in vain. She told me she started the Darius Jones Foundation with the "goal of bringing awareness, education, CPR training, screenings, and AED devices in schools so no other would have to experience the loss she did.
Ms. Monique and I talked the whole event. We spoke about her vision for the foundation, upcoming events, areas of opportunity, healthcare screenings, and spreading her message to the minority community. Then she told me that she is looking for new board members to help drive the foundation forward and asked me and my husband if we were interested. We were honored and shocked because we were not expecting such an invitation. We did not hesitate in saying yes! What a wonderful opportunity to be a part of a foundation with such purpose and to work with a woman who turned her sorrow and pain into action.
So I am proud to announce that my husband and I will be sworn in as new Board Members for the Darius Jones Foundation!! For me, this is life changing opportunity that I am excited to be apart of and cannot wait to be involved in a foundation spreading awareness to our community!
For More information or to get involved go to: www.dariusjonesfoundation.com
Educated? Yes. Hood? I wish you would. Chick? All day. So what does that mean to me? It means my world goes beyond what I see. I expand my mind to navigate my world, seamlessly-so don’t pigeonhole me. But what about “hood”? If you don’t understand-it’s all good. Just do not mistake me for ratchet! I am simply a woman who knows where I came from and knows where I’m going. Do you want to ride? Lastly… what about “chick”? That’s who I am, but I transcend its simplicity. I embrace being a woman, a mother, a daughter, and a wife. Just another day in an Educated Hood Chick’s life.