Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Books!  Books! Books! I LOVE to read.  If I’m being truthful, I enjoy fiction more than non-fiction.  But either way, I love a good book.  

I thought I’d share my short reading list with you. These are a few of the books I want to finish in the next couple of months: 

Cookbooks: Master Your Metabolism Cookbook by Jillian Michaels and The Best Life Diet Cookbook by Bob Greene.  These shouldn’t take too long to go through. I'm hoping to find some good recipes.   I like these books because you can learn a lot about your body and a healthy lifestyle mixed in with the recipes.  

Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try Hard Life by Emily P. Freeman.  I read about this book on another blog and thought I’d check it out.

Spiritual Parenting by Michelle Anthony.  I started this book and love it so far.  Looking forward to finishing it.  It discusses the importance of raising your kids with a passion and love for God that comes from within themselves, not just because of what we, as parents, teach them to feel.  Awesome.

Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food by Lisa Terkeurst.  I’m thinking about doing this as a 10-week small group at my church.

Relentless Hope by Beth Guckenberger (of Back2Back Ministries).   In this book, Beth shares short stories of ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances with lost, abandoned and abused children of the world.  (She also wrote Reckless Faith, which is an awesome book, especially if you have a heart for orphans... which I do.)  Very quick reads.

Another book that is not featured in my picture is Her Mother’s Hope by Francine Rivers.  I was first introduced to Francine Rivers in Redeeming Love. Amazing book!  Her Mother’s Hope is a book about the tumultuous relationship between a mother/daughter. Looking forward to reading it.

I think these should keep me busy for a while.  I recently discovered downloading books onto my iPhone from my library (and sometimes Kindle).  This has opened up a whole new world of reading to me.  I can take it with me wherever I go.  Love it!     

I welcome book suggestions, so feel free to shoot them my way.

What are you reading?  

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Gettin' Real With Ya

Ok Friends, I have GOT to do something about my weight. It's this thing that constantly hangs over my head.  It creeps up in my thoughts, and sometimes seems to suck away my self-confidence.

I've never been one to have a lot of self-esteem.  But when I was at a healthy weight I was definitely more confident.  I would take more chances.  I was more outgoing.  I didn't let anything hold me back.  But now, a husband, two kids, and a million calories later, my weight is the highest it's ever been.  I didn't even weigh this much when I was about to give birth to my children.  I never understood when I heard people say, "One day I looked in the mirror and I couldn't believe I weighed this much."  But that's exactly how I feel! It's like I woke up, really saw myself in the mirror and asked, "When on earth did this happen?!"  

I'm tired of feeling this way.  I don't want to go another summer trying to find clothes that hide all of my problem areas.  

I've seen all of these motivational sayings all over Pinterest:

I know all of these things are true!  I just feel like I'm missing the "magic key" to making the changes stick this time.  Does that make sense?

I want to make some changes.  I need to be healthy, for me, for my husband, for my kids, for my God: 

"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 

I don't want weight to hold me back anymore!  I want to be healthy to serve God and my family with my whole self!  How can I fully and effectively do that if I'm unhealthy?  I'm not saying that you can't serve faithfully if you are an overweight person. I am speaking fully from my experience. I am often physically tired, my body aches, I get headaches, my self-esteem is low.  These things are a challenge for me. 

Soooooo, now that I have successfully brought you down with this blog post, I have two questions:

1. What has worked for you in creating a healthy lifestyle (food, faith, fitness, etc)?

2. What kind of sports bra and workout gear do you wear?  I have a problem.  I cannot find a good sports bra.  I know this may seem like an excuse, but let me tell you, I have searched and I cannot find one that holds the girls in place and it makes it very uncomfortable when I am exercising.  I need a larger size than I can find in the common stores. Any ideas where I can get one?

If you've made it to the end of this post, thanks for "listening".  I plan on posting more about this topic, but hopefully they will be more encouraging and celebratory. 



Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Are you feeling tired?

Are you feeling weary?

Are you feeling like you can’t. take. one. more. day?

Here’s what God says about that:

“The LORD will fight for you;
you need only to be still.”
Exodus 14:14

Friday, February 17, 2012

Our Day

It has been a busy week for me and the Hubbs, so we decided to set this day aside for the girls.  He's at work today, but the girls have off from school so we're spending the day doing fun stuff.  Typically, we'd watch a movie, do our nails and hair... you know, girlie stuff.  But the weather is so nice that we decided to do an outdoor craft - sidewalk paint!  This is all over pinterest and seemed easy enough, so we set out to make some of our own.  

Here's what you'll need: 
1 c. Cornstarch
1 c. Water
Food coloring 
Containers (some people use muffin tins.  I used Easter egg coloring cups)

Mix the water and cornstarch together. (I used my stick blender.  It was much faster.)
Pour mixture into your cup of choice
Add food coloring (as many drops until you like the color)

We ended using 5 cups of cornstarch and 5 cups of water and then divided them into 1/2 cup portions.  

The prep was easy and clean up was surprisingly fast.  It's a great project for kids to help with.  If you're a homeschooling mom, you could use this for a math, art, or science. 

After our painting project, it was time to move onto making these!  We just pulled them out of the oven and they look delicious!  

When Hubby gets home, we're going to have pizza and watch this.  


Have you heard of this?  Do you have a Marcus Theater in your area?  If so, take advantage of the $2 movies!  Spy Kids 4 is playing tomorrow.  We're going to see it.  


Do you have any exciting plans this weekend?  


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Makin' Stuff

Today I did something I haven’t done in a long time.  I made stuff!  I made a few tubes of lip balm and some Tub Scrub. 

I got a recipe from a friend recently who says she makes a batch and cleans her tub while she’s in the shower.  Since my usual approach to cleaning the bathroom is “clean it when you notice it’s getting gross”, this style of cleaning appealed to me.  

I enjoy making my own products, so I was excited to try this one out.  It’s super easy to make and if you’re someone who regularly makes your own products, you should have these things on hand:

Tub Scrub Ingredients

Tub Scrub

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • ¼ cup + 1 Tbsp of liquid castile soap
  • 1 tsp of glycerine
  • 10 drops of Melaleuca
  • 10 drops of Citrus Bliss (or another citrus scent you like)
  • Mason Jar

  • Mix all of the ingredients together until you get a frosting-like consistency
  • Store in a mason jar

I plan to keep mine by the shower.  I haven’t used it in the shower yet so I’m not sure how long that batch will last, but I’ll keep you posted.  I did, however, try it out on my stainless steel kitchen sink.  It has a great texture and made my sink so shiny!  It’s creamy and slightly abrasive.  I was tempted to rub it into my face! 

One of the great things about this scrub is that it’s non-toxic. That means my kids clean their own tub.   

frosting-like consistency

Lip Balm

There are several different recipes you could find for lip balm.  The trick is to find the consistency and texture you like.  Here’s a recipe I came up with that I really like:

  • 1 tsp beeswax (you can purchase at your local health food store)
  • 1 tsp fractionated coconut oil (I use doTERRA brand)
  • 1 tsp cold-pressed coconut oil (health food store)
  • 2 Empty chapstick tubes or containers (you can purchase or use your old ones)
  • Essential oil of your choice (the amount will depend on the strength of scent you want.  I’ve used wild orange, melaleuca and lavendar for our winter chapped lips, and also doTERRA’s On Guard blend to help our immune systems fight germs)

  • Melt all of the ingredients (except for essential oil) in a double boiler (I do not have one so I use a smaller pot tucked inside of a larger pot)
  • Remove from heat
  •  Add essential oil
  • Pour into chapstick tube or container (this batch should make 2 full chapstick tubes with a little bit left over.  I have not mastered quantity yet)
  • Let cool for 20 minutes before closing

Well, that’s all folks!  Let me know if you have any questions.  


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Learning the Books of the Bible

Have you ever been sitting in church and the Pastor asks you to turn to a Book in the Bible and you can't remember where it is?  You do one of three things: 1. Look around to see where the people around you are "landing" in the Bible so you can flip to that part of your own Bible.  2. You discreetly turn to the Table of Contents and look for a page number.  OR 3. You quickly sing through the Books of the Bible Song you learned in Sunday School as a kid.  

I learned a version of the books of the Bible song.  I still use it to this day.  I wanted my kids to learn it as well.

I searched around and found a few versions of this song, but unfortunately they each had a bit of a cheese factor that immediately turned my girls off.  Then I remembered the version they played at our church.  Here it is: 

We've found that the best time for us to listen to it is in the car on the way to school.  The first few times, the girls brought their Bibles in the car to read along.  A week and a half later, they just about have it!  It's been fun to learn it together.  It's kind of catchy, don't ya think?  We find ourselves singing it at random times.

My family loves music.  It's one of the easiest and funnest ways for us to learn.  

Does your family listen to any songs as a way of learning?  



Tuesday, February 14, 2012

We usually don't make too big a deal of Valentine's Day around here.  I always get a little something for the girls and Hubby and I will go on a date, but nothing too elaborate.  Here's a couple of things we got for the girls this year.  We saw these on a shopping trip at Target and they fell in love.  I went back later and picked them up to surprise them: 

I put the mugs on top of the plates, filled them with chocolate and a Starbucks gift card and viola!  So cute!

Here's what I'm going to go back and pick up for me on clearance (if they have any left): 

I love their Valentine's Day stuff this year: 

******** ******** ******** ******** ********

I'm going to make these for dinner tonight.  We LOVE breakfast for dinner! 

******** ******** ******** ******** ********

My mom doesn't know if yet, but I'm going to send the girls to her house on Saturday night so Hubby and I can go see this movie: 

It seems like a great movie for guys and girls... a little romance with a bit of tough guy stuff mixed in.  

******** ******** ******** ******** ********

Just in case you are feeling unloved today, remember that there is One who loves you with an everlasting love: 

"For the Lord your God is living among you.  He is a mighty savior.  He will take delight in you with gladness.  With His love, He will calm all your fears.  He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”  Zephaniah 3:17

******** ******** ******** ******** ********

What are you and your sweetie doing this year?  

Monday, February 13, 2012

Making time for God in your daily life…

Have you ever had a day where you wake up feeling overwhelmed by the tasks on your to-do list?  I do.  In fact, I had one just the other day. 

I had so many things to do, but I knew I HAD to have some time praying and reading the Word.  (I’m currently working on a Beth Moore Study called A Woman’s Heart: God’s Dwelling Place.)  I sometimes get my priorities flipped around.  I do all my “stuff” first and then sit down for quiet time.  It was on my heart this particular day to put things in proper order.  I was honest before God and told Him that I had so much to do but that I wanted to honor Him first.  I asked Him to bless that day and all that had to get done.  Then I dug into the Word.  Let me tell you, it was AWESOME!  Not only did I get ample time in the Word, but I also got everything on my list done… and more!

I came across an article a few weeks ago from Growing Christian Ministries.  I haven’t looked into this ministry at all, and I have no idea how I ended up with the article, but it has some great ideas that I wanted to share with you:

5 Simple Ways To Weave Your Faith Into Your Life Today
­­Here are five simple ways to find time for God in your packed schedule today. Make these tips a habit and you'll soon discover that your renewed desire to spend time with Him will make the other must-dos on your list seem more manageable and even, perhaps, a little trivial. Best of all, you’ll begin to experience His peace throughout your hectic days.
Commute With Christ. How much time do you spend in the car each day? Whether you are commuting to and from the office, driving the kids to school and sports, or running errands, you can turn what is often a frustrating, energy-draining waste into a rejuvenating time of worship or learning. Find the Christian radio stations in your area and discover what programming is available during your commute times. Listen to Christian audio books from your local library or download podcasts from your favorite preacher.
You could listen to the Bible read on CD or listen to praise music. Most importantly, turn off the traffic report, the local news and anything else that would tend to hype you up or stress you out. Sit quietly before God. Think about how much He cares for you and all the little ways He is showing His love to you today.
Look for God in Your In Box. Subscribe to an e-mail devotional or two.  Many ministries will send you a devotional thought or verse each day. Check out the selection at Back To The Bible. They send short selections from books by favorite Christian authors, like Elisabeth Elliot, Warren Wiersbe and Charles Spurgeon, as well as other resources such as radio transcripts and daily Bible reading plans. They’ll even provide devos on your PDA if you prefer. You’ll find these quick thoughts can redirect your mind toward God and His peace when things are going nuts around you.
Make a Lunch Date With God. What do you usually do during your lunch hour? Talk with co-workers? Read a magazine? Work right through? Chances are you could put at least part of the time to better use. Find a quiet spot—even your parked car in the company lot will do—and dedicate some portion of your lunch break to reading; perhaps a chapter in a Christian book or a psalm or two. Depending on the length of your lunch hour, this might be an ideal time to start studying the Bible. Take a moment to ask God to bless your work that afternoon and help you to keep Him constantly in mind. You’ll be amazed at how satisfied you feel after having lunch with God. (If you’re at home with the kids where no one gives you a lunch break, what about nap time? Or the half hour when you let them watch PBS? You definitely need at least a coffee break a day with Him.)
Hold That Thought. Each day, select one short Bible verse or part of a verse, to keep in mind all day. Ask God to illuminate its meaning to you throughout the day. Ask Him to make it so plain that it hits you over the head or between the eyes (or divides between soul and spirit like a double-edged sword, if you prefer more Biblical terminology). Off and on throughout the day, think about what the verse means. Ask yourself what it meant to the people who first heard it. What does it mean to God's people in general and to you in particular? Ask yourself how, if you really tried to live by its teaching, your life would change. Think about whether it impacts any of the decisions you must make today. Think about how it relates to any other Bible verses you know. At first it may be tough to remember to do this throughout the day. Stick a reminder on your mirror, your steering wheel and your computer screen. How about your TV screen too? Soon you'll find your mind returning more and more frequently to the things of God.
Hem Your Day With Prayer. I sometimes see this saying on Christian websites and T-shirts: A day hemmed in prayer is less likely to unravel.  Use the first moments you wake up and the last moments before you drift off to sleep to acknowledge God and thank Him for the day. In the morning you may want to thank Him for safety during the night as you slept and to ask Him for His guidance in all you'll have to do today. Ask Him to go over your to-do list and redirect it if necessary. Dedicate the day to God and ask Him to bring Himself and His words to your mind throughout your busy day no matter how crazy things may get. Beginning and ending the day in conversations with God, however brief, will help you remember who is really in charge and what really matters. With that in mind, your day is less likely to unravel and you’re less likely to come undone or unglued.
And finally, remember to hem your day in prayer again as your head hits the pillow. Thank God for safety for yourself and those you love. Thank Him for providing food, clothing and a bed. Thank Him for delivering you and your kids from evil.
It may have been a long, crazy day but you have taken the first steps toward doing two of the most important things God has asked you to do: to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and to meditate on His words day and night (Joshua 1:8).
What are some ways you make time for God in your daily life? 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Happy Sunday

We had a great day today!

After church Hubby and I had a home date. We ate Chipotle and watched Thor.  I LoVe Marvel Comic Movies!  

I picked up the kids as Hubby left for a hockey game.  Then the girls and I got busy doing this: 

our mess | the living room

emma's sun

avery's penguin  
my project |  Target inspired paintings
(I'll post the completed project when they're all done)

What did you do this Sunday?

Friday, February 10, 2012


I enjoy food.  I do not enjoy cooking.  On top of that, half of my family does not enjoy anything remotely healthy.  But my family needs to eat.  I can get my husband to eat a salad as long as there is meat, eggs, cheese, and a lot of dressing to “cover the green taste” as he puts it.  So my meals have to almost be child-like but also something I’d enjoy. 

Thankfully, the internet is loaded with blogs and recipe sites.  I found one site in particular that I want to share with you:

I have found SO many great recipes on this website.  Here are a few that I’ve tried and have been family approved:

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes | We had enough left over that I used the rest a couple nights later and put it over tater tots (that’s inspired by one of Hubby’s favorite treats at Sonic)

Cheesy Potato Soup in the Slow Cooker | I added a bit more bacon to mine.  Good!

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken | I used different roles.  We had enough for leftovers. 

Easy Chicken Noodle Soup | This is what I’m making tonight.  I’m using bow tie pasta and turkey instead of chicken. 

These recipes were SO easy to make and you can adjust the recipes to your taste preference.  I’ve enjoyed using this site and will continue to do so.  I have a list of other recipes I want to try. 

With all of this cooking comes grocery shopping.  I do not like grocery shopping.  Surprised, right?  I went to a local grocery store and found myself getting stressed out as I walked up and down the isles.  The prices have gone up!  Even with my coupons I was still spending too much.  I decided I needed to do something different.  I am not a super couponer like some people I know.  I’m working on it.  But in the meantime…

I started shopping at Aldi.  

I was skeptical but decided to give it a try.  I’m SO glad I did.  It only took me 45 minutes to finish all of my shopping and I spent $89 for 2 ½ weeks of groceries! 

Before I went, I did some research to prepare for my shopping experience.  The only thing I knew is that you need a quarter for the cart and they don’t bag your items.  In my searching, I found another great website:

Read about where Aldi originated, what to do to prepare for your shopping experience, and even find some great recipes that can be made with everything you’ll find at Aldi. 

I have to say that over the past few weeks I have rather enjoyed my cooking/shopping experience.  I never thought I’d ever say that! 

Have a great weekend!  We’re expecting a snow storm.  I think I’ll run to the store to buy ingredients to make THIS to help us get through the storm


Friday, February 3, 2012

Soooo, Pinterest.  I avoided jumping on the bandwagon for a while.  I don't know why.  It may have been because I knew I'd be completely addicted, living and breathing Pinterest.  That's how I am.  I find something new and jump all in.  It can become all consuming.  That happens a lot when I start a new book.  I do my day to day stuff, all the while thinking about the book that's beckoning me.  I'm a bit of a nerd that way.  

It all started with a sugar shaker.  I was at a friends house making coffee and asked for some sugar.  She pulled out this adorable sugar shaker made with a mason jar, salt pour spout, and some scrapbook paper.  When I asked where she got it, she said, "Pinterest!  You have to check it out!"  Later that night I received an invitation to join Pinterest... and the rest is history. 

Today I added this to my blog: 

If you haven't done this on your blog and you want to, click here for instructions.  It's EASY!  Usually I call my friend Amanda for help, but I decided to try it myself first before I bugged her.  Success!  

Here's where it all began for me: 

Top of my shaker

My sugar shaker
Ignore the mess behind my photo.
My girls and I were painting our nails.

Mason Jar Sugar Shaker

  • Mason Jar (either half pint or pint size)
  • Empty salt container
  • Utility knife
  • Mason jar ring
  • Optional: scrapbook paper & glue stick

Directions for making the sugar shaker: 
  1. Take an empty cardboard salt container and cut off the entire round top piece, including sides (fits a wide mouth canning jar)
  2. Fill the jar with sugar
  3. Place cardboard lid on top of mason jar
  4. Screw on mason jar ring


Optional: (after step #1) Cut a piece of scrapbook paper to fit on the cardboard lid.  Glue to top of cardboard lid. Allow to dry before moving on to step #3.

Go check out Pinterest!  Be inspired!

Do you pin???

Thanks for stopping by,


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