A New Home!

My blog has a new home! I’ve acquired the domain WWW.YOUROCKMOM.NET. Check it out! But I’m still tweaking it daily. I need a WordPress tutorial!

Thanks to our dear  friend, Mike Alderfer, who helped me out! Check out his info below if you need some media design.  Thanks Mike! I couldn’t have done it without you!

Here Mike is with his beautiful family

Mike Alderfer
Title Safe Media Design
3008 Rogerdale Rd..
Houston, TX 77042

10 Ways to Love Your Lover

This Sunday, August 14th, my love and I will celebrate 18 years of marriage!

God has blessed our marriage and family but it’s easy to take those blessings and each other for granted. We made marriage vows in the beginning but in our 40s I’ve noticed it’s easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of thinking and living. (I know you married folk can relate.)

I’m vowing anew “10 Ways to Love my Lover.” I was going to make 18 vows for 18 years of marriage but these 10 will keep me humbled enough, not because my husband is difficult to live with but because I’m as selfish as they come!

“…Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37.

1. I’ve been seized by God’s great affection for me. He beautifies me on the inside, as my physical beauty is fading. He loves me unconditionally, despite my imperfections. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ is love everlasting for me. I vow to love God in return with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.

2. When we love God, we can love his people (including our husbands). I vow to love the most important neighbor in my life: My husband! I vow to treat him like a VIP! When I do something for myself, like have my nails done, take a nap, etc., remember to do something for him as well. Be intentional.

3. Loving self includes self-talk. I often find my thinking is self-critical which turns into others-critical. I have to remind myself, “I’m a fearfully and wonderfully made. God loves me and delights in me.” I vow to see myself as God sees me, so I see my husband as God sees him.

4. Fight for joy! I tend to see the cup half empty and that can frustrate my husband. I vow to find joy in the moment and the simple pleasures of life.

5. Fight for passion and intimacy! With two teenage boys in the house and a busy life, these times can be hard to come by. I vow to fight for passion and intimacy.

6. With that said, I vow to give my husband my best. When he comes home, I will step away from the computer, kitchen, whatever, and give him eye contact. I won’t halfway listen to how his day went but truly give him my best attention and even my best kiss!

7. I vow not to compare. It’s easy to look around at other couples and think they have a better relationship, job, car, dog, yard, life…. The grass is not greener on the other side and the American dream is just a façade to what really goes on behind the closed doors of other’s lives.

8. I vow to be grateful. I have been blessed with a sweet home and a husband who has worked hard allowing me to nurture our home and family for 15 years without working an outside job.

9. I vow to respect my husband verbally and with my attitude. I vow to verbally compliment and encourage my husband at least once a day. Difficult issues always have to be communicated but they can be sandwiched between two compliments.

10. I vow to pray for my husband physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I Peter 5:8-9 says, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith…” There is a very real enemy that wants to destroy marriages and families. I vow to be aware in prayer for my marriage and family.

I don't like my hair in this picture. See I'm already fighting being self-critical!


What are some vows you can make to better love your lover? I encourage you to make some vows today!

Planning a Partaaay?!

Last night my brother and I hosted a 50th Anniversary party for our parents.  We could not have done it without some good resources locally here in NW Houston and on-line.

The first one being our dear friend, Chef Betty Jean Cotton.

She catered delicious soulful cooking. She typically makes meals for families, on a weekly basis, who lead busy lives. She doesn’t have a web site but her email is ladycotton@sbcglobal.net. For a family style menu she can cook all meats and fish, baked, blackened or roasted.  She also has pasta dishes and a plethora of sides. Her desserts include cobblers, tea cakes and “Church Tea.”  I highly recommend her for catering or just a home cooked meal on those busy nights.

Do you need fresh flowers? An on-line resource my sister-in-law, Kim, used to make fresh flower arrangements is Flowers and Freshness.  You can order flowers in bulk and make your own arrangements.

Here’s one of her lovely arrangements among my lovely bouquet of friends.

She purchased the containers for half price at Hobby Lobby. The cost was much cheaper than using a florist.

And my last resource, which is becoming a favorite for cakes is Frosted Bakery.  I’ve now used them for two cakes. My parents anniversary cake.

And my nieces lingerie shower cake. Ahem.

Both cakes flavors were Italian Cream Cake with butter icing. And both cakes were delicious. Frosted Bakery often has a coupon on their site or in local flyers as well.

Hope you enjoyed the partaaay resources!

50 Years and Counting!

On this Thankful Thursday, Counting to One Thousand Gifts I am thankful for (302-352) my parents’ 50 years of marriage! Let’s count em!

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,2930,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,18,39,40,41,42,43,44, 45,46,47,48,49,50! Whew!

The handsome couple on the far right of this picture.

With their budding family.

Renewing their wedding vows.

My brother’s wedding. (I know I had big hair! It was the 80s for goodness sake!)

My wedding. Hair calming down.

Their family going from budding to growing!

Dad brings the wisdom and music.

Mom brings the love and laughter.

Together they are still friends and an example of true love and commitment for us all!

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! I love you both!

Salsa with a Twist

If you know me well, you know that when I eat Mexican food I prefer fajitas or a fajita salad. One of my weekly standby dinner recipes is taco salad with warmed fresh tortillas for the guys (I’m cutting back on carbs). I don’t really eat Mexican or spicy food. My stomach doesn’t like the spice, bell or jalapeño peppers, I’m allergic to avocados (not pretty), and believe it or not, I don’t like beans.

However, I can’t get enough of this salsa!

The recipe is derived from an online recipe for Tito’s Tacos. This taco dive was an old high school haunt that is still in W. Los Angeles today. But my sister-in-law doesn’t think it’s their original recipe after just traveling there. However, it’s close.

I altered the recipe to fit my tastes. For example, I really like cilantro and lime, so I added those two ingredients.

Possible Tito’s Tacos Salsa with You Rock Mom’s Twist:


  • 8 Roma tomatoes cut up
  • 2 pickled jalapeños from small can (Wimp here uses 1!)
  • 2-3 pickled carrots from same can
  • 1-2 tbsp liquid from same can (I use 1 tbsp 😉 )
  • 1 slice of white onion
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (I use lime juice instead)
  • 1 tsp salt (I like sea salt)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper (or a few grinds of fresh ground pepper)
  • 1 tsp sugar (I think my sister-in-law uses an apple slice instead)

Blend all ingredients together until smooth.  Add more from the can if you need it hotter. (I’m sure you will! I will not!) Let it sit for an hour in the refrigerator before serving.

For taco salad dressing, I mix about a tablespoon of sour cream and a couple of tablespoons of salsa. Yum!

For gifting, I like to give a jar of salsa with twine tied around it, along with a salsa bowl, and a decorative spoon.


Soul Awakened

My soul was dead to the dire needs of these deep browned-eyed children. Oh the stories these eyes could tell.

My son’s soul in the background of these deep brown-eyed children, awakened as well.

Our souls awakened! AWAKE! Continue to awake our souls, O God.

How could I have wanted more, bigger, better? I writhe in shame.

God allowed my soul to be awakened when I lived these moments.

I realized how precious, precious, precious children are to him. “Red, yellow, black and white–they are precious in his sight.”

God is here now, awakening these dear ones in my soul, hushing away the hurry and worry of my life. God is here now awakening a much deeper need.

(My words inspired by Awake My Soul by shaungroves).

I ended my previous post with our day of service in this Bauleni compound where my son and my kids live. We and other Americans and their kids gathered at a compound church for lunch. There were who I believe to be Missionary Baptist women inside praying and singing.

As we waited outside, we snapped photos of the compound children.

This young girl’s hands in the photo disturbs me. If you notice, her hands are white. It is common for African women to bleach their faces to lighten their complexion but this girl’s hands are bleached completely white. Why? Did she suffer abuses?

I think it amazing that my Jacob, is holding up the Evangecube with Jesus’ hands and feet pierced on the cross. I pray for redemption for this girl through Christ’s suffering.

As the Missionary Baptist women existed the church, they were so welcoming, sweet, and full of hugs and graciousness. It’s amazing the bond between Christians across culturals when we love the same Jesus.

As we entered the church to serve our children lunch, other children, not a part of the Camp LIFE program, stood curious, longing, wanting.

We ate lunch and enjoyed the shade with our children.

Cement blocks filled this humble cathedral’s windows, protecting it from intruders.

The other children continued to gaze wanting a crumb off our humble lap tables.

My heart broke for these deep brown-eyed souls whose images haunt me still. We fed them portions like animals begging for a treat.

I should have given them all my food. I would have survived until dinner. Will they survive until next year when we pray to return?

I am haunted by these longing souls. I weep each time I think about them, look at them, even now.

But still, as we ate, our children showed signs of new life.

They shared with each other the Evangecube, the story of Christ.

Souls awakened! Hope for generations to come!

Reporting for Duty

On this Thankful Thursday, Counting to One Thousand Gifts I am thankful for 295) Serving.

On Thursday of Camp LIFE, we met our kids in their compounds at their Community Resource Centers (CRC) that Family Legacy provides. CRCs are youth centers staffed by Family Legacy Zambian Discipleship Leaders and are located in the compounds where the children live. During the day, both sponsored and unsponsored kids visit the CRCs to play, study, read and have fun. At night if a child is beaten or thrown out of their home (not uncommon), the CRCs serve as a safe house to find help.  Many CRCs have several children living in them with the Discipleship Leaders being their caregivers.

From the CRCs we were assigned various service jobs to do throughout the compounds.

I was very anxious about this day. The night before I had a meltdown in the bathroom and cried like a baby. It was one of those “I want my mommy” moments. I had become overwhelmed by the poverty, stories I’d been hearing about the children’s lives, driving through the compounds and seeing so many children, our plumbing situation in our villa bathroom (another story), and missing my family.  So the thought of serving in the compound quite frankly terrified me.

Here I have a Chitenge on. It’s a two meter piece of fabric that African women wear, especially during the day when they’re going about their daily lives. African women are very modest from the waist down and wear the Chitenge for coverage, even if they have pants on. They also use it as a form of an apron, a cloth to sit on, to carry items and their babies, as well as an aid to carry items on their heads.

It was highly suggested that American women purchase these in the market and wear them into the compounds as a sign of respect and modesty. I found it quite useful, especially outdoors with sitting on the ground.

As we walked through the compound, we saw women carrying babies both old and young alike.

This little girl had her game-face on. She was on a mission and had no time for Americans taking pictures.

Some people didn’t like their photos being taken. So I would politely ask “Photo?” This particular woman was tickled and I was certainly enamored with her carrying a basket with tomatoes. You can see under the basket, she is using her Chitenge as an aid to balance it. Impressive!

As we walked further into the compound people had little food stands here and there.

This one particular stand, my Zambian partner pointed out, sells beer. The beer is in plastic pouches and children can purchase them.

My group’s service opportunity was to assist an older woman with her chores. I did not get many pictures within her home and courtyard as my camera battery was dieing.

My group of boys and I were matched with three groups of 10 girls each and their American counselors.

My boys’ job was to fetch water at one of the local wells and the girls washed the clothes and dishes.

There is a particular way clothes are hand washed, rinsed, and wrung out and these girls had it down. I would not do well! When my Zambian partner asked if we Americans wash clothes this way, I had to say that we have washing machines. I am thankful for 296) washing machines.

These girls made quick work of the dishes. I am thankful for 297) electric dish washers.

Here’s a picture of the older woman’s stove. I am thankful for my 298) stove top.

Paul, my male Zambian partner, would not allow me to fetch water with the boys for safety purposes, so I hung with the girl groups as we served the older woman.

However, my group of boys carried the EvangeCube with them which is a tool that clearly and literally unfolds into the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  As they fetched water they shared the EvangeCube with passersby on the road.

Many girls from the community just came and hung out while we served the older woman. I only got these last two pictures before my batteries completely died in my camera.

However, even though I didn’t photograph the whole experience, I’m thankful that 299) my camera died, as a little girl came to me and raised her arms to hold her.  As I held her, I sang to her “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tell me so. Little ones to Him belong. They are weak but He is strong….” If I had been taking pictures, I never would have noticed to hold and sing to her.

Pamela, my other Zambian partner, asked her about her name, age, and where her mommy was. She said her name was Maria, she was three years old, her mommy and daddy died, and her Grandmother was raising her and her siblings.

As I held her, she squeezed my arm, and patted my skin. I couldn’t imagine such loss at just three-years old. A lump formed in my throat as I sang to her again, “Jesus loves Maria I know, for the Bible tells me so, little ones to Him belong. They are weak but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves Maria. Yes, Jesus loves Maria. Yes, Jesus loves Maria. The Bible tells me so.”

Our whole group of girls broke out in song and we sang many of the songs they learned in camp. Passersby stood and watched as we sang in a circle around the older woman in her fenced in area. All the while, I was holding Maria.

Maria’s Grandmother finally came looking. She had been working in one of those little food stands. She was very gracious and kind. I told her I’d be praying for Maria. I reluctantly let her go. I am thankful for 300) Maria.

In the meantime, Zach’s group service assignment was to clean up some streets.

Unfortunately, they were accused by passersby of using the kids as slaves. They tried to explain that they were teaching the kids how to serve their community but it was not understood.  They moved further up the road where they were better received. I am thankful for their 301) protection.

After all the service projects were done, we met up at a local Baptist church where we were to have lunch. And my son had extra camera batteries. Yeah!

As we waited in the afternoon sun, my boys generously used the “I love you” sign language I taught them the day before. I told them that my sons and I would use it when they got on the school bus and I encouraged them to use it with each other as they saw one another throughout the compound. I told them to use it as a reminder that Jesus loves them and that even though I’d be in America, it would be a reminder that I love them too.

As we waited outside the church, there were Missionary Baptist women inside the church singing and praying. It was beautiful.

More on their exit from the church and our lunch story in my next post. To be continued…

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