Friday, August 27, 2010
Many of the blogs I have read, are those of stay-at-home, homeschooling moms. I don't know why that is or what brought me to those blogs. But I do read quite a few blogs of working moms, as well. Over the past few months, I have become increasingly discouraged about certain things in my life. Namely, the fact that I work outside the home, that I don't homeschool my kids.
One thing that I know about myself is that I'm brutally judgemental of myself. And I, way too often, compare myself to other people, thinking that they do ____(fill in the blank) better than I do. I was looking to these blogs, more importantly, to the women who write these blogs, and thinking that I don't measure up. That I'm doing this "mom thing" all wrong...that my children are getting short-changed. That I'm out of God's will for my life, because these Christian women say that if I am not at home, homeschooling my children, then I'm not fulfilling God's plan, I'm not doing what God intended a wife and mother to do.
This was a big deal. It sent me into a bit of a tailspin, affected my relationship with my husband, and made me doubt who I was as a mother.
So I quit. I quit reading their blogs, the ones that told me I was likely sinning against God by holding a teaching job. And I started reading God's word. And do you know what, when I am in God's Word, not other people's blog business, I get clearer answers of what I am supposed to be doing for my family. I now have such a peace about our situation, there has been virtually no stress over the past few weeks, compared to what I felt over this summer, when I wasn't working.
I do firmly believe that God puts godly people in our lives to speak to us, give us insight, affirm our choices, etc. And have had clear evidence of that recently, when dealing with other important decisions. However, I also know that the one true place to find answers in the choices that you have to make is in the Word of God, and that is what I have been doing and it's great.
Now I see that the uncertainty that I was feeling in whether or not I was doing the right thing working outside the home was not a God issue, so much as it was an issue of me feeling judged, judged by people who are Christians, people whose belief systems, for the most part, line up with mine. And that's hard, no matter who you are. There was a time, that I believed that the feeling that I got reading their stong, opinionated, almost-condescending words was the Holy Spirit convicting me and leading me in the way that I should go. But now I realize that if I'm immersed in studying the Word and am not feeling the conviction of the Holy Spirit, then that was not what it was.
Please do not read this and think that I am speaking against SAHMs or homeschooling in any way. Hear me loud and clear when I say that I have great friends and an awesome sister who are at home with their children teaching them. And if that's what God called us to do, we would do it. However, that is not the ONLY way to raise healthy, happy, God-loving, people-respecting children. What I am speaking out against is the condescending, unloving, judgemental attitude that some working moms get from other moms. There are some things in life that are black-and-white, universally wrong for every person...murder, adultery etc. This is NOT one of those issues.
We are all mommas, and working mommas love our babies just as much as SAHMs love theirs (believe it or not, I've seen it argued that we do not). I'm not sure why there is even a "division" between the two, but there is. Wouldn't it be great if we could all be "just moms".
Over the past few weeks, I've settled into the realization that there is but one standard that I have to strive to live up to and that is the one of my God, not that of any "mommy blogger".
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Thursday, August 5, 2010
I have been reading Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver for a couple of weeks now and boy, is it challenging me...in a great way! One thing I read today was actually an exerpt that she quoted from another book but it absolutely went straight to my heart.
Duty can pack an adequate sack lunch, but love may decide to enclose a little love note inside...Obligation sends the children to bed on time, but love tucks the covers in around their necks and passes out kisses and hugs (even to teenagers!)...Duty gets offended quickly if it is isn't appreciated, but love learns to laugh a lot and to work for the sheer joy of doing it. Obligation can pour a glass of milk, but quite often, love adds a little chocolate.
Do you sometimes need to reexamine your heart place? I know I do! Yes, I can get all the chores checked off my list. But if it isn't done in love, is it truly blessing my family? If I only do the things that I do out of obligation or duty, to just coast on by to the next day, does that truly make my family feel loved? I find that when I reevaluate my motives and ask God to help me to lovingly bless my family, I often reap rewards myself; rewards in hearing my daughter say, "Mommy, you are the best mommy I could ever ask for". Or hearing my son say,"Mommy, you're beautiful", or "Mommy, you're da best mommy ever". It's in those moments that I know they feel loved.
So, next time at dinner, instead of hurriedly fixing four little glasses of milk, maybe I'll slow down a bit and give them all a bit of chocolate.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
9 hot dogs, cut in half
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease muffin tins.
Stir together the cornbread mix and the brown sugar in a large bowl. Whisk the eggs and milk in a small bowl until smooth. Fold the eggs and cheese into the dry mixture until moistened. Spoon mixture into muffin tins until 2/3 full. Add 1 hot dog half to each muffin.
Bake in a preheated oven 14 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
It was morning time, we were all rushing around the house (rushing is probably an understatement). Lunches to pack, couldn't find my clothes, much less all the kids' clothes. Cecil was trying to help, I was crying. School bus showed up, we missed it. (The kids don't actually ride the school bus, but I guess it just added more stress to my dream).
Next morning, same thing. Something spills on my clothes. School bus arrives, David has no shoes or socks on, can't find his shoes. So I just send him in socks, girl socks no less. I broke down, literally sobbing that I can't do this.
I was up at 2:30 am with my stomach in knots because of this dream. I know that the beginning of school is no big deal, really. But wondering what this all means. I really feel anxious this year, although not as anxious as my dream. Not sure why.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Making Baked Teriyaki Chicken for dinner tonight. Would really love some zucchini or broccoli to have with it. But we're eating what's here. So, green beans it is.
Here's the recipe I'm using:
(adapted from a recipe from Allrecipes)
1 Tbs cornstarch
1 Tbs cold water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Combine all sauce ingredients, simmer until it thickens.
Put chicken in a greased dish, brush chicken with sauce on both sides.
Bake at 450 for 20 minutes. Turn chicken, brush again, and bake for another 10 minutes.
Sounds yummy doesn't it!
David had taken the ninja turtle belt and put it around Tuck to make his own ninja turtle. This struck me as completely hilarious, and incredibly resourceful. It was priceless. I think he will probably be getting a few ninja turtles for his birthday in a few months. So poor Tuck can go back to being the sweet, nonviolent saver of the baby animals.
Monday, July 12, 2010
I get this way every year right before school starts. It all started the year Alyssa started Kindergarten. Well, of course it did! That was our first year of having anybody in school. But really, some significant event happened that day (night before actually) that she started school. That always causes me to feel like I really need to get our affairs in order so to speak. And anybody who knows me knows I am a habitual procrastinator. But this particular time it bit me in the backside.
Cecil was in Iraq. He had been away for just about a year and a half. Our baby was starting her very first day of Kindergarten. We were both excited and nervous. I couldn't wait to walk her to her classroom in her adorable plaid jumper, with her long golden hair pulled back in a sweet little bow. I would kiss her goodbye and in complete Alyssa fashion, she would say, "Bye, Mommy" and be off to make tons of new friends. She is our social butterfly.
A few days before I had flown to New Mexico with my sister who was in a wedding and needed help with her toddler and infant. And I, well to tell you the truth, I needed a vacation and the plane ride was free, so I jumped on that opportunity. Well, the entire time I was there, something just didn't feel right. I felt nauseated and could hardly eat. But I chalked it up to being very nervous about being so far away from home. I had the horrible images of Army officers showing up at my door to tell me something had happened to Cecil and I would be across the country and they wouldn't be able to find me. I was a tad neurotic during deployment.
Anyway, we returned just in time for me to go to the orientation meeting at Alyssa's school on the Sunday before she started school on Monday. I had to pull over in a parking lot because I felt so horrible and was in so much pain. But I knew I had so much to do so I drove home, picked up the girls from my sister and then went to buy school supplies, school shoes, school bag etc. Yep, it was Sunday, she started school the next day and I needed to get all the necessities.
Got to Shoe Dept. Picked out a cute pair of white leather Keds. Then it hit me as I was in the check-out line. I was sweating, could hardly stand up. Literally could have laid on the floor right there and cried. I got the kids out to the car, I was in so much pain. I called my mom on the way home and asked her to meet me at home because I needed to go to the hospital. She knew it was serious, because A) I'm not one to ask for help much and B) I'm certainly not one to admit that I need to go to the hospital. Honestly, I knew long before that I should have gone, but I was NOT going in and have them tell me it was gas or something. But this....this was not gas. Of that I was now sure.
She and my dad arrived to find me crying in my bed. Dad carried me to their vehicle. My sister stayed with the girls and asked me where Alyssa's stuff for school was. I started crying even more and said that I hadn't gotten it yet. I felt awful for waiting so long to get what she needed. And now I'm having to rely on someone else to do it for me. Hated it.
I figured I'd be home later that night and would bring her to school the next morning.
Not So. I ended up having an appendectomy that night and staying in the hospital for a week after fighting off gangrene that had set up in my appendix. Turns out I was only alive because it was abscessed and the infection hadn't spread throughout my body. So, I missed my baby's first day of kindergarten. Thankfully, Nana and Papa were there to fill my shoes. Oh, and Cecil did get to return a couple of weeks earlier than scheduled because of the whole situation. So, I guess it wasn't all bad.
But just in case, some other medical emergency arises, I feel like I must get all this done ASAP. I have about three weeks left, I better get busy.
Wednesday-Toast w/Peanut Butter and Banana
Friday-Cinnamon Toast and Apple Slices
Saturday-Eggs and Toast
Monday-Chicken nuggets and Mac n' Cheese
Sunday-Pot Roast, Rice/Gravy, Carrots
Monday-Herb-Roasted Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Carrots
Tuesday-Pastalaya, English Pea Salad
Wednesday-Chicken Pot Pie, Salad
Saturday-Chicken Club Sandwiches
Sunday-Hamburger Steaks, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Peas
What are you cookin' this week?
I'm and Organizing Junkie is the home of Menu Plan Monday.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
I asked her what was wrong and she stated that it was the two girls on the last aisle while I was getting the eggs. She said that they looked at her, then whispered and giggled to each other, then gave her this "real popular kinda look".
Can I just tell you that this absolutely broke my heart. Not so much that the girls were talking about and laughing at her-I don't even know if they were- but that she felt that they were. That is such an awful feeling, that can stick with you even if the girls really had never even looked at her. I can remember as a kid and teenager, feeling so self-conscious, about nothing specifically, but stared at and uncomfortable just the same. I hated that feeling, you know when it seems like that certain few people are looking right at you, talking about you. I think it's something that most young girls experience at some point,(if you haven't, you were probably in that certain few that were looking at me and talking about me,)but that doesn't make it anymore fun.
So what did I do, how did I respond? First I told her that they were probably laughing at me because, "I have on a black shirt with brown pants, and that is sooo not cool". Yep, that was true, I was wearing black with brown. But she responded that I was getting the eggs and that they weren't even looking my way. So then I brought out the big guns.
Alyssa is pretty mature and sensible. She has accepted Jesus as her Savior and is learning what it means to have a relationship with God.
So I asked her, "If those girls, were doing that, do you think that their hearts are where they need to be?" She replied, "No, ma'am". Me, "So where would you rather be, where you are, or where they are?" Her, "Where I am." And her demeanor completely changed. I hope that she can understand, and it is such a hard thing to grasp, that her value and her worth doesn't come from the "popular girls" or boys, for that matter. I want her to know that she is beyond valuable in my eyes and above all, in God's eyes.
I know that today was a tiny instance in the grand scheme of things. But the look in her eyes said that a bit of her self-confidence was chipped away. And so it begins...the fight for young girls to love themselves for who they are not who others say they are.
It's so much easier when they are younger and get their feelings hurt because someone won't share their toys.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
When we got there that evening, we caught fireflies in peanut butter jars. We just thought this was the greatest thing since we don't really see them down here in the swamp. Maybe our giant mosquitoes eat them up, j/k. Anyway, for the kids, this may have been the most exciting part of the trip.
The next morning, we got to watch Alicia's oldest daughter play softball. It was steaming hot that day at the ballpark, but still not as hot as it was down here with a heat index of 106. We had a great time, but the heat zapped everybody, so we went back to her house and just hung out for the rest of the day. Oh, and had some of the very best Fetuccini Alfredo ever. Better than Olive Garden, I'm tellin' ya.
On our last day there, we traveled to Cumberland Falls.
Now, Alicia has some of the most pleasant, respectful, helpful kids you'll ever meet. Case in point: The drive to Cumberland Falls is full of twists and turns, and winds up into the mountains. Completely miserable if you are one who gets carsick. Thankfully, I'm not nor are any of my kids. However, on the way, Alicia, who was riding with me behind the rest of her family, stated that at least one of her children always get sick on the way to the Falls. Sure enough, when we parked we saw Dewayne jump out of the front seat, hurriedly open the back door and throw out Zach's baseball cap. He had taken it off when Hayden started throwing up, so he wouldn't throw up in the car. They really, really are great kids.
We spent a few hours posing,
We then headed to the Great American Balloon Race. I had never seen a hot air balloon in person, but they were really neat. I would love to take a ride in a balloon. I think I'll do some research to find out where we might go to ride in a hot air balloon.
** and for some reason blogger won't let me upload anymore pictures**
The next day, we headed out on the long drive home. The kids cried because they didn't want to leave, but all in all the trip was great! Thanks, Alicia!
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
I agree that sodas are not the healthiest option. But that is just what it is-an option- that I, myself, am capable of choosing for myself. I don't need anyone, especially, any form of government, ordering me to eat healthy, or drink healthy, or exercise regularly. You see, Mr Newsom, it boils down to personal responsibility. Each individual human being has to learn to make responsible decisions on their own. Sometimes learning to take personal responsibility means making some crucial mistakes and suffering some unpleasant consequences, maybe like being 20 pounds heavier, or suffering from heart disease, or developing lung cancer. These are all consequences that may or may not occur from personal choices Americans make everyday. Would I ever want anyone to suffer these consequences? Of course not. But I would never advocate taking away the right of a person to make the choice of whether or not they want to take those risks. I cannot stress enough that these are not the decisions that the government should be concerned with.
We all know that anything in excess is not a good thing. Let's take alcohol, for example. When not used responsibly, alcohol use can be fatal. However, we are still allowing Americans to make that choice. Let's just say,hypothetically, that in 1992, when over 18,000 drunk-driving fatalities were reported in our country, the same year that your PlumpJack Wine Shop was founded, our "well-meaning" government passed legislation to end the sale of alcohol. They would have, of course, done this to protect our country's citizens from the dangerous act of using a legal substance in an irresponsible way. Much like drinking too many sodas. Now let's think about how that would have affected your business, PlumpJack Wine Shop-the same business that grew into a multi-million dollar enterprise. I'm thinking that it wouldn't have been good for business and that you would then be advocating that grown, responsible human beings can, in fact, choose whether they would like to have wine with dinner. Apples to apples, Mr. Newsom.
What you have embarked upon is a slippery slope. I hope that the nice people of your city, state and this country realize this. Now you ban sugary drinks. What's next? Mandatory gym memberships? A regulated diet for all your constituents? Fines for not being at the ideal weight for your body type? Now there's an interesting way for your state to generate some much needed revenue.
I'm writing this letter to you as I sip on a cold, half-finished Dr. Pepper. No, I am not overweight, I am college-educated, I make responsible decisions and I am capable of running my own life. I don't need you or any of your colleagues to do it for me.
Thank you very much for your time. Now please use it more wisely!
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Well, I was just cleaning out some drafts and I ran across one from March 22. As I was re-reading it, it reminded me of a few things. I thought it was actually pretty good. Just note that it was from 3/22/10...we have not been sick and the marriage conference was back in March.
And this is apparently where I got interrupted because that's where the post stops.
This has recently popped its head up again as an issue in our home. One more, or not? I opened up a brand new pack of diapers the other day and, knowing it may be the last pack we buy since we are potty-training Ava, the smell brought tears to my eyes as I thought about that very first pack of diapers you open for your newborn. Such a wonderful smell. Gosh, this is just so hard.
Cecil says that we can't keep having babies just to have a baby. But is it true that my identity is so reliant on having an infant that I can't imagine being me without ever having another baby in my arms? If so, that is a sad state to be in. I've got to get back to that place where I am looking forward to growing my children. Looking forward to this new season of our lives. Not to say that I am not looking forward to it, but to be content in this season.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
I've had things happen and choices to make that just wouldn't let me sit down and write. My mind has been occupied with negativity and confusion and hurt and that'sjust not what I want to spew on my blog. I've spent a lot of time and prayer and my mind and my heart is a bit clearer and happier.
With that said, I've been reevaluating, ok, really just thinking about why I started this blog. I know some start blogging as a means of keeping family members up to date on happenings. Some start blogging as a type of scrapbook to keep a record of their children's growth and milestones. Some start because they have something they want to tell the world, they feel they have something to say that could help, inspire, or motivate someone else. And many, many more reasons. All of these reasons are really good reasons, no one can tell you why or how you should blog. However, I'm struggling to know where I fit in.
My ideal blog would be full of inspirational, motivational, and instructional words of wisdom. However, sometimes when I sit down to write I struggle with being to open, as I am a pretty private, reserved person. I can't seem to find the line of what I feel comfortable posting for privacy's sake and what may be beneficial to someone else at the risk of feeling a little uncomfortable. So I resort to writing about my kids and family, which I am thrilled that I do when I look back over the last year of this blog. However, as we reach one year I am wanting to deepen the scope of the material I write about.
I guess we'll see what happens. Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful day!
Saturday, June 5, 2010
We have spent time at the park, had snowballs,played on the slip n' slide, been to the zoo, and spent lots of time lounging at home. Summers is panning out pretty good so far.
I have started the Couch 2 5k running program (again). It's a 9 week program and I am on week 4 tomorrow. Today is a rest day. I didn't actually start from the beginning because all that walking is just really boring, so I started with week 3 with more running. It seems to be going ok. Hopefully , in a few weeks I'll be running my 2nd ever 5k.
Monday, May 24, 2010
We had an absolutely fantastic weekend. The fun started on Friday night when 3 cousins slept the night at our house. Then we woke up Saturday and went to a local lake and played on the beach and had a picnic for lunch. We left there, went home, changed and headed to the zoo with my parents and sister,Megan, who is in from Kansas with her baby. We ate out for dinner and headed home. Needless to say the kids crashed.
It was so nice to not have any obligations or events scheduled for a change, and to just be able to have fun with the kids. It seems that often our weekends are more jam-packed with places to be and things to do that we don't get to enjoy those days off. We need more of these days.
When I was a kid, an aunt of mine made Monkey Bread for us one morning. I loved it then, but had forgotten about it and didn't have it again for years. Once I was grown with a couple of kids, I suddenly remembered the yummy goodness that is Monkey Bread and began a search for the recipe. I couldn't wait to make it for my children and they now love it as much as I do. This weekend I made it for breakfast for my 4 kids, my nephew and 2 neices. It's a special breakfast treat that we only have every so often. When you see the recipe, you'll know why. It's not exactly nutritious!
Monkey Bread Recipe
4 cans refrigerated biscuits
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbs cinnamon
1 1/2 sticks butter
1 cup brown sugar
What You'll Do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray
Cut the biscuits into fourths.
Pour the cinnamon and sugar into a medium sized ziploc bag.
Drop the biscuits pieces (10 or so at a time)into the bag and shake,coating well
with cinnamon/sugar mixture.
Lay the coated biscuit pieces in the bundt pan.
Combine the brown sugar and butter in a saucepan and boil for one minute.
Pour brown sugar/butter mixture over the biscuit pieces.
Bake for 35 minutes.
Enjoy the buttery, sugary, sticky yumminess!
Sunday, May 23, 2010
I love flip flops! I wear them every day during the summer. Fortunately, so do my kids.
And that means...NO SOCKS!!
This was the huge pile of socks that had not been put away. I hate that this happens and it really bothers me. When I am staying on top of the laundry, I fold socks with each load. But if I start getting behind and clean clothes start piling up, I fold the other stuff first, and socks get thrown in a basket.
I was home from church with two babes who weren't feeling good, so I attacked the mountain. They are all matched and put away now.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
But in the midst of all the chaos, I got new floors, French doors hung in my foyer,a brand new stove, a new kitchen light(the old one hadn't worked in quite some time) and a new front door installed. My hubby has been working his hiney off and my house is looking great because of it.
We also recently celebrated our 10th anniversary recently, which I didn't blog about because we didn't much celebrate, since he had a "mandatory" crawfish boil with his work. But I will say that the past 10 years have been absolutely wonderful, and I wouldn't change a thing about them.
While at said crawfish boil, we discovered a great state park that we are taking the kids back to in a couple of weeks. We went canoeing and "hiking" on nature trails, if you can really call it hiking in Louisiana...everything is so flat that it is pretty much just walking through the woods. But it was lovely just the same. Except for the "snake" that I saw. Cecil swears it was a salamander, but I'm not convinced.
And then there was Mother's Day, which I also failed to blog about. I've really got to get on the ball, I'm missing some great blogging opportunities. A quick recap of the day: We went to church, then had lunch with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. Then we came home and I cooked dinner for my family, and my parents. Oh that reminds me, I have to share the recipe that I cooked for them. Maybe I'll get to that later on today. Well, that about catches you up on the happenings of late.
Have a wonderful day, all!!
Sunday, April 11, 2010
I has to do with prioritizing and balancing all the things that we, as busy moms, need to balance. There are days when things go undone, maybe we don't get to the dishes, or the laundry that needed to be put away. But there comes a point when you really have to sit down and think about the important things in your life and what matters most. You have to set your priorities straight. Even then, once your priorities are in order, there are going to be times when things are left undone, because there are just so many minutes in a day. And, do you know what? That is okay!
Consider this: If you put sand in a bucket, then small pebbles on top of the sand, then larger stones on top, it is not all going to fit. BUT if you first put those large stones in, then the smaller pebbles, then pour the sand in, the sand will filter through all the cracks down to the bottom and the sand will fit in the bucket along with the pebbles and stones.
The bucket is our day-to-day life. It holds all the "stuff" that we need to get done. The sand represents all of the little things that we often run around frantically trying to accomplish; chores, errands, our to-do lists. The small pebbles represent the people in our lives who need us or those that we have the opportunity to bless throughout our day. The larger stones are....you guessed it! God and our relationship with Him. What happened in the bucket illustration when we tried to put in our sand and pebbles first? God didn't fit. That day God was an afterthought. Maybe you quickly gave a sleepy little prayer before you crashed that night, but you didn't give Him much of your time.
But when the day started out with God (large stones) all the other "stuff" fell into place. Notice too, that the pebbles (the people in our lives) are put in before our to-do lists. If you have to make the choice between blessing a person-a friend, a family member, a church member, an exhausted mommy-always, always choose the person over your to-do lists or your errands.
This was applicable to my life back when I was a junior in high school just as it is today as a wife, mom, and teacher. I still have work to do in the art of prioritizing but each day, God's grace meets me where I fall short and I wake up the next day and try it again.
Friday, April 9, 2010
***Disclaimer...sorry about all the wonky formatting...can't fix it.
This is my first time doing Five Question Friday started by Mama M at My Little Life. If you want to read more about 5QF, hop on over to her blog. Okay here goes....
1. Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life? This is tough. I love Rachel McAdams. We have nothing in common but I think she is gorgeous. I know that after I publish this, I will think of someone better.
2. Did you ever go to summer camp?I went to 4-H camp once in 4th grade...I cried and was miserable for the most part. Then cried even more when I realized that I had forgotten stamps so I could send my mama a letter. So I put a letter in the mailbox with 27cents (or however much it cost back then) thinking that the mailman would take it and put a stamp on the envelope for me. But when I later checked the mailbox, someone had stolen my money and left the envelope...then I cried some more.
I then went to Church camp in 10 grade...had the best time there!! No crying.
3. What sends you running and screaming in the other direction?Geckos!!!!! They do not look like the cute little GEICO gecko, and there's no endearing Australian accent.---I have been paralyzed with fear of those things on more than one occasion. Once when Cecil and I were first married I found one in our bathroom. I had never seen one and it FREAKED ME OUT!! I mean they are transluscent for heaven's sake.
Then once more recently, I found one in my office as I was setting up for a photo shoot. It was literally staring me down in the corner and I couldn't do anything about it. Alyssa could tell that I was panicked and said, "Mommy, maybe you should pray to God for strength". I stood there and watched that thing until my photography "client" got there and had him remove it from my presence. Luckily he was my brother-in-law.
4. What is something you do that drives your spouse nuts?Leaving waayyy early when I have to be somewhere. It's what we fight most about. I want to be 10-20 minutes early...he wants to be right on time.
5. What is currently your favorite song?I Need A Savior by Among the Thirsty
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Back to work I go, hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday!
Saturday, April 3, 2010
How about you? Have you complete your spring cleaning? Do you plan to? What tasks to you aim to complete while cleaning?
Monday, March 29, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
We had to fit all of this in one bucket...
There were VERY specific instructions on what goes in and how it goes in...
Everybody got a chance to put something in the bucket...except me...I was snapping away behind the camera...
And with the help of the VERY detailed directions, we were able to fit it all in. As we were closing the lid, Cecil said, "Oh, look, that's neat, the little recycle symbol almost looks like 'HOPE'." And sure enough it did.
So, there you have it. Our little family sending a little piece of hope to a needy family in Haiti. It's not much to us, in fact, it only cost us about $25.00. But we were told that what we sent can feed a family there for a week.
We also took advantage of the teachable moment with our kids and explained how much we have in comparison to others in the world. We stressed how important it is that we are always thankful and that we remember to thank God for everything that we have been blessed with. To which, my 3-yr old son replies, "Thank God for Spencer sharing his toys with me." It was a fun night!
Thursday, March 4, 2010
On Sat. Feb 20. my 2-year old nephew was hit by a vehicle and passed away. My heart is absolutely broken for my brother-in-law and his wife. I cannot imagine the pain that they are going through, and how badly they just want it to go away. I don't know if you ever completely stop feeling the pain of losing a child and I pray that I never have to find out. I pray for comfort and healing for their family. It's an awful, awful situation, and we don't know why, we may never know why these things happen. But, without a doubt, our Creator does and he is in ultimate control and I trust in His plan.
Alyssa asked me a couple of days after it happened, "Why did N have to die?". I told her, "I don't know, we may never know. But God knows and God has a plan for our lives and he had N's life planned. It's in these times that we have to trust that God's plan is perfect, even if we don't understand it." It's really hard to explain death to children, but this is what I am 100% sure of and she was comforted by these words and for this I am thankful.
Friday, February 19, 2010
My favorite line in the song:
"What would I say, if You brought down the rain, and everyday, I walk through the pain, my heart will still say, Your name is Jesus..."
Thursday, February 18, 2010
I've been frequenting I Am Baker. She is so wonderfully talented. I found the tutorial for the Petit Fours and the sugar cookie recipe on her site. I have tried for years to make sugar cookies but the dough was always too soft and mushy to roll out and cut into shapes. My husband never really even liked sugar cookies. BUT, I found her recipe and it is wonderful! My husband even said, "Now that is one good sugar cookie, keep that recipe." Go check her out and say hi, I bet you'll be inspired to make something yummy.
Here is her Sugar Cookie Recipe
1-½ cup Butter (I Use Unsalted)
2 cups Sugar
2 whole Eggs
2 whole Eggs Yolks
4 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
2 teaspoons Almond Extract
4 cups All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Baking PowderPreparation
In a mixer, beat butter and sugar until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add in 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks and mix until combined. Add in vanilla and almond extract; mix until combined.
In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder.
Slowly (about a cup at a time) add flour to butter mixture and combine. You can use a mixer or not, just depends on how strong you are.
I usually just mix ingredients until they are combined, as I have heard that if you over-mix this dough it will get tough.
Put dough on some Saran wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
When you are ready to bake, heat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough out, cut out cookies, and bake for 6-8 minutes.
I keep the dough in the fridge and break off chunks to roll out, since I only bake about 6-8 at a time and I don't want the dough to get warm.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
But recently, I started looking at this old adage in different terms. Author, Donna Otto, says that we, as wives and mothers, are "thermostats" for our homes. And similar to the thermostats that control the temperature in our homes, we also control the climate in our homes. With a click of the thermostat, the climate can change from calm, peaceful, and comfortable to stressful, chaotic, and rushed. I notice that in times when I am stressed or worried about something, or when I am just in a bad mood, the mood of the entire house changes. And my family, literally feels like they have to walk on eggshells around me. I hate that it is that way. Cecil has called it to my attention several times. And each time, I can do nothing but agree with him and apologize.
I love the book Finding Your Purpose as a Mom. I have read it several times and it has really helped me through some difficult seasons. Donna Otto says:
"If you sing while you wash dishes or mope when you don't get your way, those actions will influence the atmosphere. If you are distant and depressed, the household will feel tense and cold. If you are warm and exhuberant, your household will respond accordingly."
"It starts with welcoming God's peace into your own heart and letting that peace touch every aspect of you daily life."
I am reading her book yet again, so expect some Otto wisdom from time to time.
ETA:After I posted this I happened to see that a blogger friend is giving away this book, along with one of Donna Otto's other great books. Stop by and say hello to Jen at Simple Pleasures for your chance to win.
I made two brown ones for Lydia and Sarah. And Allie got the other color. Had a little trouble with the zipper, but I hopped in my car and drove to my mom's and she helped me out.
Superhero capes for the boys with their initials on the back. Awesome tutorial here. I didn't make mine exactly like hers but I did use her measurements. These turned out really, really cute and were a hit.
I love these color rolls. They were so easy and inexpensive to put together. I got this tutorial here.
My neice Lydia loves hairbows, so I decided to make her and her sister, Sarah, several bows and a bow holder. The bow holder was super easy to make out of thick chipboard letters for $1.69 from Hobby Lobby, some scrapbooking paper from my stash, ribbon, and Mod Podge. I got the idea here.
Let me just go ahead and get this out of the way. I'm a big fat quitter. Well, I'm not really all that fat, but I am a quitter. After all that hard work and those great results with Jillian, I quit. Again, no good excuse. Except that I got tired, the house got messy, and I hurt my back. I really, really hate admitting that I did not finish the 30 days, but I have decided not to beat myself up about it. I'm moving on. I will start doing the Shred again, but I probably won't stick to it for 30 days and I probably won't do it consistently every day. There you see low expectations...you won't be let down if your expectations are low.
I will be posting more soon...So come back and visit me.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Now for the good stuff: Yesterday was Day 10 of the Shred for me. I actually didn't work out yesterday because my knees were bothering me a tiny bit, so Cecil suggested that I take a day off before starting Level 2. I took his advice, especially since I was unsure of what Level 2 would hold. However, I moved on to Level 2 today, and I will say that it was difficult. Very different from Level 1, but fun. I'm looking forward to tomorrow.
So what are the results from Level 1? I lost 7.2 pounds! I don't attribute that all to exercise, because I have been really strict with what I eat. But sometimes that is harder to do than get in a quick 20 minute workout. I, unfortunately didn't take measurements when I started. But I did take pictures on Day One and Day 10 and there is definitely a difference. I'm not quite brave enough to post pictures on here, though. Maybe on Day 30 I will post before/after pics.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
We had my neice's birthday party this weekend and Cecil and I had a date night last night. It has been an exciting weekend. But I am happy to say that I didn't blow my diet. I passed on the birthday cake and chips and dip, and had fruit instead. For dinner on our date, I had one tiny bite of bread and only ate 1/2 of my portion of food I ordered. I ate no appetizer and dessert and had Unsweetened Iced Tea instead of Dr. Pepper or Sweet Tea. Last night as Cecil and I were talking over dinner, I told him that I'm starting to change the way I think about food. Yes, that yummy warm bread and butter would be soooo good, but only for about 30 seconds, then it's gone. The results from making good healthy decisions last much longer and are much more rewarding in the long run. I am smack in the middle of making some really good changes, and eventually there will be a time to indulge and eat just because it's good( just not very often). But that time is not now.
So for any of you out there who are also on a journey to a healthier you, keep at it. The benefits are much better than that piece of cake.
Friday, January 22, 2010
What I ate:
Oatmeal w/ toast
one graham cracker
1/2 hamburger steak
Sm. portion of rice
Thursday, January 21, 2010
What I ate:
Skipped breakfast (I woke up about 6 minutes before I normally leave the house)
1 graham cracker
One Soft Taco with meat and cheese (210 cal so not too bad)
Chocolate pudding w/ 1/2 graham cracker
Baby portion of mashed potatoes
1/2 hamburger steak
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
What I ate:
Toast w/peanut butter and 1/2 banana
1/2 cup coffee w/ cream and sugar
Yogurt and one graham cracker
Turkey and Cheese Sandwich w/mayo
Only had lots and lots of water to drink, no soda!
Monday, January 18, 2010
What I ate:
Toast w/ 1/2 TBS peanut butter
Approx. 150 cal.
Would normally have a snack here but breakfast was late and I just wasn't hungry.
Turkey/Cheese Sandwich w/ mayo
3 oz. carrots
Approx. 290 cal.
Snack at 2:00
Key Lime Pie Yogurt
One Graham Cracker (Note: if you haven't tried this, you should. It takes just like you're endulging on a slice of Key Lime Pie with a buttery graham cracker crust...YUM!)
Approtx. 235 cal.
Fiber Plus Bar
Oh, and I did go get those new shoes. Can't wait to use them in the morning!
Sunday, January 17, 2010
There is no reason to post what I ate today because I ate horribly, I mean, King Cake, M&M's, Dr. Pepper, Fried rice with chicken (there was some zucchini and squash in there, though). I guess I just did post what I ate, huh. Anyway, all of this was before I got super motivated to start working out again, so I'll give myself a break on the eating today. I promise to do better tomorrow.
Oh, and tomorrow I get to go get new shoes. I have had the same two pair of Asics for at least 5 years now. It's time for new ones. I wish I could say that they are worn out and ripping at the seams from being used so much, but you would all know that I was lying. But nonetheless, I'm going to get new ones, because new running shoes always motivate me.
Also, I'm going to be running a couple of road races in March. I'm super excited about that as well.
Lylah Grace: Mommy, I can't get out of the van, you have the childlock on.
Me: Okay, I'm coming around to let you out.
Lylah Grace: Mommy, how does the van know when a child opens the door, and when a grown- up opens the door? How does it know, it doesn't have a brain?!
This morning as we walked in from church, I put the ever-present Wal-mart bags down on the counter as David asked for something to drink.
Me: Okay, but let Mommy go potty first.
David: Can I come with you?
Me: Well, I really don't think you need to come with me while I potty.
David: (as he walks into the bathroom and so politely closes the door behind him)
But I need to tell you something really cool!
Me: What is it, honey?
David: That Jesus love me!
Me: He sure does, and so does Mommy!