Monday, August 31, 2015

Birthday Boys

James 1: 7
" Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. "


I have been blessed by two beautiful boys here on earth (most of the times blessed...).  Even though my boys were born in 2 separate months and 6 years apart, their birthdays are less than 2 weeks from the other. My oldest was born just before 2131 (Cal Ripken's streak) and my youngest was born 1 week to the day before 9/11.  As a matter of fact he was due on 9/11, and at the time I worked just outside of DC. I'm so grateful my husband and I were both home that fateful morning. I am also grateful for my beautiful boys, my perfect gifts from above. Lord watch over my boys as they grow and are faced with challenges in this life. Protect their minds and their hearts, Lord, and lead them always on Your path. Amen.

So, I still have to make a birthday cake for my #1 son and will have to do it all over again for #2. That's ok, because I love cake!! Here is a terrific easy homemade cake recipe that has been passed down in my family. I prefer to ice it with chocolate icing, but it is just as fabulous with no icing at all (it is perfection with my morning coffee!).

Manaw's Hot Milk Cake

Ingredients:
4 eggs
1 cup of milk
1 stick of butter
2 cups of sugar
2 cups of flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 teaspoons of vanilla
dash of salt

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350*
Grease and flour a tube pan.

Beat eggs until light and fluffy.
Heat milk and butter until butter melts. Set aside.

Add gradually to the eggs: the sugar, flour, baking powder, vanilla and salt.  Pour milk and butter mixture in with the rest of ingredients. Mix until smooth.

Pour batter in tube pan. Bake at 350* for 50-60 minutes. Cake is done when it springs back when pressed in and when toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for 20 minutes. Remove from pan and frost if desired.

Here are my beautiful birthday boys...


#1 
#2

I pray your day is filled with gifts from above....and cake!!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Currently

Romans 8: 18
" I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. "


This verse is my hope everyday. I am so blessed to be living where I do, and to have all the blessings that I have, but life is hard sometimes. People let you down, things don't go the way you hope they would, people get devastating illnesses, those that we love die.  Life is hard! But as a Christian, I must press forward everyday living in hope. Lord, help me to keep my focus on you, even through times of suffering. Amen.

TGIF!!! My son has his first "game" tonight! It's more of a scrimmage, because it doesn't count in the standings for the season, but it's a game none-the-less. He even had to dress-up for school today in a shirt and tie. So handsome. I would have taken a picture, but he would have none of it (probably still traumatized from yesterday's photo op!).  I want to take this opportunity to remind you of Wednesday's blog, Nail-gating.  I was hopeful there would be comments, and as of this morning, I don't have one. There is no gimmick, I won't sell your name or information. It's just me, with my faith and my words, giving someone nailpolish (I swear!). If you enjoy this blog, please take a moment to share your favorite nail color in the comment section of this post or this post. You might even be lucky enough to get something for free! I truly feel blessed every time I see that someone has taken the time to read my blog, and I want to share something with you. Thank you!

Here are my game day nails. Go Cobra's!!
I pray your weekend is a time of rest, relaxation and fun!


Thursday, August 27, 2015

First Day of School

Proverbs 16: 3
" Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. "


Well we did it, we successfully got all of the children on their perspective buses this morning. Alleluiah!! I was nervous about my first time high school student. He has to get on the bus before 6:30- that's AM! He set his alarm and got up before I went up to check on him, though. I'm so proud (baby steps, baby steps...). I love this verse because it simplifies my everyday for me. "Commit to the Lord WHATEVER you do". That means, in my waking up, in my getting dressed, in making breakfast and lunches: whatever.  Now, I won't tell you I always remember this, but it sure makes me realize that when I'm in the midst of the morning madness, He is right there with me. Amen!

Here's some pics from this morning, enjoy!!

Breakfast was served early this morning!
 I made this easy Oatmeal Bake. So good and good for you.
Here are the kids...


My big high schooler!
Middle school girl!
4th grade!
Don't forget to comment on yesterday's blog,-"Nail-gating", to earn a chance to win my first give-away!
I pray you have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Nail-gating?

Proverbs 15: 15
" All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast. "


Lord, you have saved me from wretchedness, and invited me to your continual feast! Thank you!!

I love a good party, don't you? Football season is the best time to throw an easy party. Pizzas, chips, a little dip, and viola!: party. But what makes even the most simple parties extra special, is the attention to detail. You know I like a theme, and football season makes it very simple to find my theme. You need to look no further than your favorite sports team.  The colors of your team, your mascot, your sport for that matter (or all 3 maybe!), all make excellent themes for a party or tailgate. Another way to make a party special, is how you dress. Yup, I dress in theme, too!  And a super easy way to make what you wear even more special is to accessorize with your nails. Simply by smearing your fave team's color on your nails, you are dressed to impress!

Here are a few great ideas for making you the Queen of the "Nail-gate"!!

Here are some super easy to apply nail wraps, from Jamberry!
(click on link to order from my friend Jen)

27 Football Nail Art Inspirations,  Covergirls Fun Team Fanicures!
I found this image on Pinterest last year and actually painted my nails like this for my son's football games last year.
You can change out the green for your own team colors. Super cute!!
(Image courtesy of  babble)

Barbie's Beauty Bits, Big Game Day, Makeup & Nailpolish Looks! Are You Ready For Some Nailpolish? Sport Your Team Colors This Sunday, With These Great Makeup & Nail Polish Looks! @barbiesbeautybits
Or, just paint your nails your favorite color to coordinate with your favorite team.
I found this cute video on Pinterest, too.
So here's a my first Give-away!! I will send a bottle of essie nail color ( the available color of your choice) to a randomly selected person with a comment posted to my blog by Sunday, August 30, 2015. Share your must have team colors for this football season. Winner will be announced on Monday, August 31,2015.
I can't wait to hear from you!

 I pray that today provides your heart with a continual feast!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Going Bananas!!

James 3: 17
" But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. "


I wish this verse described my attitude and actions everyday...sadly no, it doesn't. Do I give up and throw the towel in because I'm not these things all of the time? Happily, no! I keep striving for these things everyday. After all, I'm "new every morning; great is your faithfulness", Lord!! (Lam. 3:23) Amen!

Sunday, my oldest son turned 20!! Wow! They are getting so old, and I'm still so young (not sure how that works, but I'm going with it!).  He is so busy with work and he's in a play right now, so there are lots of late night play practices, that we have not yet celebrated with a cake and dinner.  So, I whipped up some of his favorite muffins to tide him over until we do. Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins. I got this recipe years ago from Southern Living. You can even make some vanilla icing (or chocolate would be even better) and pass them off as cupcakes, but I think they are just fine without it (actually the recipe calls them cupcakes). I hope you enjoy these, they are always a big hit with my big family.

Happy Birthday!!

Ingredients

1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened $
1 1/2 cups sugar $
large eggs $
small bananas, mashed (about 1 cup) $
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour $
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate morsels
Vegetable cooking spray $
(16-ounce) container vanilla frosting (optional)

Preparation

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs, banana, and vanilla, beating until blended.
Stir together flour, soda, and salt. Add flour mixture to banana mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture; beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in morsels.
Place paper baking cups in muffin pans, and coat with cooking spray; spoon batter into pans, filling cups two-thirds full.
Bake at 350° for 17 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pans immediately, and cool on wire racks. Spread with frosting, if desired.
AUGUST 2002

I pray today that if you're going bananas, that you can at least turn them into a delicious muffin!! (LOL!)

Monday, August 24, 2015

JVH

Psalm 61: 5
" For you, God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name. "


I am so blessed to have the heritage that I do.  I come from a family of strong women.  Most of the time it serves me well, sometimes it's hard on my husband and those I am closest too. Sorry, that's the way God made me! I have a heritage of two wonderful grandmothers that were very different. Both strong loving, women, but two different styles.  I want to share just a bit today about my mother's mom: JVH- "Manaw". I think the reason I even have this blog today has a lot to do with Manaw.  She has been gone from this earth for nearly 30 years, so she wouldn't know anything about blogs or even computers. What she had was style. Not style that came from having money (both of my grandmothers grew up during the depression), but style that came from striving to be her best.  She was an excellent cook, always had a beautiful, clean home, she was the hostess with the mostess, and dressed perfectly for every occasion. A true lady. Thank you, Manaw, for my heritage.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm probably not as on top of things as my grandmother was (or strived to be), but she gave me a standard in which to live.  When I was a young girl, she gave me a great little purse called a "Bermuda Bag".  I still have it.  It is Lilly Pulitzer inspired with a reversible cover. Pink and green with animals on one side and plain pink on the other.  So preppy!! Manaw had Lilly Pulitzer style. The few pieces of "Lilly"  that I have remind me so much of her. Here is a pic of my "Lilly" items (and I threw in my Bermuda Bag, too!).

Here is all of my "Lilly".  I always purchase it on sale (except for the agendas and the shopping tote).
The small items on top of the Bermuda Bag are the only "Lilly Pulitzer for Target" I was able to get.
Lip gloss from L'Oreal- "Orange Tempo", and essie nail color - "first timer"

The t shirt and the dress are the same pattern, "Seeing Pink Elephants".
Wonder why I love that pattern??  I purchased all of my Lilly Pulitzer from The Pink Silhouette.
(Here is a closeup of one of my elephants.)  
Never forget where you came from. It can inspire you to keep achieving or even drive you to achieve. Whatever your circumstance, we have all been given a heritage from God through His Son our Saviour, Jesus Christ. I pray today that you ask to Him to be a part of that heritage and if you already have, that you thank Him for it. Amen!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

I'm falling!

Daniel 2: 21
" He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others.  He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. "


In exactly one week from today, my times certainly will be changing; the children will be going back to school. Even though the temperatures are still very warm, my thoughts are turning to fall.  I know that on an early morning walk to the bus stop, there will soon be a nip in the air.  Changes of season are exciting, but they also make me reflect on the season gone.  Sometimes there is sadness and sometimes there is joy. But, as seasons change and move forward so must we. Times and seasons, we must change with them, in the change comes wisdom.  Thank you, Lord, for the change of seasons. Amen.

So here is a look back and a look forward!

My beautiful babies at the ocean! My favorite part of summer.

First year in High School!! Falling into football season.

I pray you have a great day and a wonderful start to the new seasons in your life!!




Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Honey, Honey

Proverbs 24: 13
" Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste. "


Agreed! Honey is good. The honey in this verse refers to wisdom in God. Wisdom is hope for your soul. Lord, may I grow in knowledge and love of You every day. Amen.

I am fortunate enough to live in a transitional suburban/rural area. I live in a suburb that is surrounded by farmland. That makes getting good fresh, local produce super easy.  At one of my favorite local farm stands, they sell local honey. Sooo good! I use honey in my tea, in some of my recipes (see Oats) and drizzle it on top of my yogurt. Yum. Honey isn't just good, it's good for you. There are health benefits to honey, especially local honey (because of local pollen).  Here are a few benefits that honey can bring to your family.

Here's a photo of my baby taken before her 1st Birthday at a local farm stand, Harman's.
Photo taken by Lisa Gerber- Frame of Reverence
1. A natural cough suppressant - Honey is a natural anti-inflammatory.

2. Can reduce allergy symptoms - Not only can it help suppress a cough, but it can help your body build up immunity to the pollen.

3.  Natural energy booster - Honey contains 17 grams of carbohydrates/ tablespoon.

4.  It's a moisturizer! - Honey is good for you from your hands to your hair. It is a natural humectant. Add a little honey to your moisturizer or conditioner or, whip up a recipe from this link- at Honey.com.

There are many more benefits take a few minutes to research it. I know you'll appreciate this sweet treat even more.

I pray you have a "honey" of a day!


* I used these to websites for the information on honey above.  The National Honey Board, and

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Oats

Psalm 25: 7
" Forget that I sowed wild oats; Mark me with your sign of love.  Plan only the best for me, God! " (MSG)


Well, I'm a day late and a dollar short...again.  The good news is I've been working on getting more organized.  I even got a new calendar. I know that once I'm there, it's going to be more time efficient. But, getting there is tough!  I'm still not finished organizing my pantry, or my desk area, although progress has been made. There are so many projects going on around here, it's sometimes overwhelming. God has a plan for me, so I'm not going to sweat the small stuff. I carry on day to day, looking forward; knowing that I've been marked by God. He doesn't care whether or not my pantry is color coded and alphabetized. I've been marked by a sign of love in God's calendar. His perfect, orderly design. Lord, keep me from trying to order my life in my way, lead me always in your ways.  Amen.

I've been going in so many different directions, it's hard to see what I have accomplished sometimes. But, I have gotten a few things done (and started), to help me sail through my weeks with ease.  First, I downloaded a Weekly Menu Planner, and have started to plan better meals. I needed to plan quick and healthy breakfasts and lunches now that the children are headed back to school.  Click on the link above to download yours.  I also got a new calendar.  It's bigger and better!  With my big family, I needed more space to keep track of everybody's schedules.

Picked up this great calendar/agenda at The Pink Silhouette!
So pretty!!

I want to share with you a great easy recipe for a granola that I put on my menu planner for breakfast this week.  My youngest has nut allergies and it's hard to find a "nut free" granola in the store (that's affordable!).  I got this recipe years ago from Southern Living. The recipe calls for nuts, but is easily adaptable.

Honey-Nut Snack Mix

Ingredients

4 cups toasted oat bran cereal
2 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup butter or margarine $
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar $
1/2 cup honey $
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries or raisins

Preparation

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; set aside.
Stir together butter, brown sugar, and honey in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring until butter melts and sugar dissolves.
Pour butter mixture over cereal mixture, stirring to coat. Spread in a single layer on an aluminum foil-lined 15- x 10-inch jellyroll pan.
Bake at 325° for 20 minutes, stirring once. Stir in cranberries, and bake 5 more minutes. Spread immediately on wax paper; cool. Store snack mix in an airtight container.
NOTE: For testing purposes only, we used Quaker Oat Bran for toasted oat bran cereal.


AUGUST 2002

This granola makes a delicious snack and is even better on Greek yogurt drizzled with honey. Yummy!

I've marked in my calendar that this is going to be a terrific week! I pray yours is, too!



Friday, August 14, 2015

Gorgeous!

Song of Solomon 4: 1
" How beautiful you are, my darling!  Oh, how beautiful!  Your eyes behind your veil are doves.  Your hair is like a flock of goats descending from the hills of Gilead. "


I wouldn't know whether to laugh or be completely offended if someone said this to me. Goat hair?? Oh well, put into perspective the time in which this beautiful love story was written, I'm sure it was meant as a compliment. Thank you Lord, that you give us love and passion and beauty. May we all find the "one" who thinks we have dove eyes and goat hair. I'm so thankful for my man. I pray for your blessing on my marriage today and always.  Amen.

My beautiful 22 yr old, teaching for the first time this year, daughter, loves makeup. She turned me on to a great way to try beauty products without breaking the bank.  It's called Ipsy.  For just $10/month, you get a cute cosmetic bag filled with some of the latest and greatest beauty products. From lotions, to hair products, to makeup, to nail polish (you know I'm all about them nails!).  Some of the items are full sized, and some are samples.  I just got my first shipment this week and I'm in love, too. Here is a pic of my loot!

My first Ipsy bag!
I got eyeliner, lipgloss, argan oil (for your hair), night cream, nail polish, and...
that cute houndstooth makeup bag!!
Here's a link you can click on to set up your own Ipsy account. They actually set up a personal beauty profile and select the products that best fit your style. Pretty cool!

Ipsy
Thank you for reading my blog. If you have any great beauty tips, or questions, please comment below. I'd love to hear from you.  Remember, 1 Peter 3: 3-4  " Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, ... Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. ".   True beauty is found on the inside!

I pray you have a beautiful weekend!!




Thursday, August 13, 2015

School Supplies

Philippians 4: 19
" And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Jesus Christ. "


I wish that meant he would be sending an angel or two to Walmart or Target to pick up the endless school supplies that my children need for back to school!  But alas, it doesn't. It means so much more than that! It is full of hope and promise. As Paul is thanking and praising the believers in Philippi for their generosity in providing him "aid", he is crediting God for all that he has, especially the gift of salvation through Christ. He is all that we truly need. Amen.

So, I still haven't gotten the children school supplies. My husband took the girls out and got them backpacks a couple of weeks ago.  So, check, 1 down 100 more to go. It's not just #2 pencils and notebooks anymore either. It's antibacterial wipes, earbuds and graphing calculators ($100 graphing calculators!!). Sheesh, I can't afford public school anymore! But seriously, it's got to be done. School starts in 2 weeks. Here are a few tips for not breaking the bank when you are back to school shopping.

1. Reuse last years supplies. You probably don't have a lot you can reuse, but look around. We still have scissors, protractors, pencil cases, and my son's backpack is still in good condition.


2. The dollar store! Oh yes, the dollar store. They have a lot of great items on my daughter's list.

Back to school doesn't have to break the bank! Check out these 3 great ways to get cheap school supplies. Includes a printable dollar store back to school supplies shopping list!
(image found on Pinterest)
3. Shop sales. There are a lot around, not only that, in Maryland we are in the midst of Tax Free week for      back to school shoes and clothes.


4.  Don't sweat it if you're not completely supply "ready" the first few days of school. The teacher's aren't expecting you to be 100% together (thank heavens!). So no worries!
*not a money saving tip, but a mind saving tip!

I hope I gave you a little perspective and a few ideas. If you have any tips or pics to share about making back to school a little easier, please comment below. I'd love to see them.

I pray your day is a good one!



Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Lunch-able

John 6: 9
" Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many? "


This story of a boy sharing his lunch, is in all four gospels. Jesus feeds 5000 people! Gosh, what if he had done it in today's world? With all of the gluten sensitivities and allergies, it just wouldn't have the same meaning. Half the crowd would have gone hungry! And if it wasn't individually wrapped... he couldn't have shared it at all in my children's school.  Thankfully, this miracle was recorded thousands of years ago.  Thank you, God, for providing for our daily needs. Some nights we have only so much (or little) in the pantry, but you satisfy my family.  Be with those who don't have a meal today. Lead your people to feed them. Amen.

So school starts back up in about 2 weeks.  For some reason, the kids go back for 2 days and then have a full week the following week??? Oh well, the school board didn't consult me again this year. I'm thinking about school lunches. We don't have the children buy school lunches all of the time.  Quite frankly, they don't care for them all that much, and it seems like a waste of money. So every morning for 280 days (OK, they do buy occasionally), I'm the lunch lady. I've started to look for creative ways to fill my children's lunchboxes.  And fortunately, there are a lot of great ideas out there on Pinterest and Facebook.  Here are some great, healthy lunchbox ideas I'm going to use this school year.


apple sandwiches w granola, chocolate chips,& pb. (sub choc chip morsels for raisins) healthy snack!
What a great idea! My kids love apples and **peanut butter, add chocolate chips and voila, perfection!
The addition of granola makes it even more healthy (and nobody needs to know!).
(found on Pinterest)
**My youngest has peanut allergies, so I can easily recreate this with sunflower butter and homemade        granola. Yummy!


AMAZING timesaving food hacks that'll rock your lunchboxes; numbers 1, 2, and 14 are especially CLEVER! #backtoschool #kids

AMAZING timesaving food hacks that'll rock your lunchboxes; number 3 and 8 are so CLEVER! #backtoschool #kids

I love this idea for making healthy lunches in the morning a breeze. I found a link to this on Pinterest from another Blogger. Click this link - Making Lemonade, to see her fabulous ideas for back to school lunches.
My 2 year old would say, "Easy peasy lemon squeezy!"


Another great idea are reusable lunch containers. My mother gave me a set for my 9 yr old last year and it was so convenient.  There are so many awesome ideas on how to fill these handy containers on Pinterest. Look at all of these great lunches.
healthy lunches for kids.
Who wouldn't want one of these nutritious meals? I'm getting hungry just looking at them!
(Image found on Pinterest)
I hope you are as inspired as I am to get those lunch boxes packed! What creative lunchbox ideas do you have? I'd love to hear them, please comment below and share. 

Have a great Wednesday!


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

You don't choose your family...

2 Corinthians 6: 18 
" I will be a father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. "



(This image found on Google Images via this link)

I have been blessed with a terrific family.  Truly I have.  There are certainly issues that come up from time to time. We don't always live in peace and harmony.  That's normal.  God gives us the ability to love and forgive. Not just me to others, but others to me. (Yes, I know it's hard to believe that I would need forgiveness, LOL!!!).  We need to remember what truly special gifts we are to one another. Sometimes we get lost in petty, small issues that we often don't even recall (or maybe we hold onto and shouldn't). Remember how precious life is and how life here on earth is so temporal. We lose loved ones when we expect too, like with age and disease; and we lose them suddenly in accidents or hidden illnesses. I pray today that we cherish each moment with the "gifts" that God has given us: our family!

I was very fortunate yesterday to see my beautiful 25yr old daughter. Just me with her, alone, for several wonderful hours. Believe me, in a family with 7 children, one-on-one time is hard to come by.  And then... last night, my favorite "fee-free" babysitters (aka.- my "Mom"and "Dad") continued to watch my younger children so my husband and I could have a date night (not too many of them going on either!). Yay!!

Here's my baby!! What a great day!
Here we are "pool chillin' ".

Thank you for reading my blog.  I hope you have been able to spend some special time with your family this summer.  Please comment below and share a special moment or fun activity, I'd love to hear about it!
 
I pray your week is full of joy!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Leopard

Isaiah 11: 6
" The wolf will lie down with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. "


What a great prophecy in Isaiah!  These verses are part of the prophecy that a savior will come from "the root of Jesse".  Read Isaiah 6, you will see for yourself how clearly Jesus is the fulfillment of these words written 700 years before his birth. Amazing!

I was looking for leopards in the Bible today because I have leopard on the brain. Apparently, in the hilly regions of  Lebanon, leopards were common. Who knew? I love learning new things. I am thinking about leopard because, looking toward fall, leopard print is a great neutral for shoes, bags, scarves and other accessories. Last year I was fortunate to find a pair of slip-on tennis shoes in a leopard print, and I wore them with practically everything. I have a very casual "Mommy" style during the week. So here are a few pics of great things that are "purr-fect" for the upcoming season (Lol!).

This  vegan leather Street Level tote from Nordstrom is reversible! Love it! 
Minnetonka 'Full Leopard' Moccasin
This Minnetonka moccasin takes me back to the 80's! I had a pair in white and wore them out!!!
(also at Nordstrom)
This would be a great substitute for my slip-on leopard tennis shoes.

Tory Burch 'Kerrington' iPhone 5/5s Case
How cute is this Tory Burch ''Kerrington'  iPhone case from Nordstrom...and it's on sale?!

Again, these are just a few things from one store. I think leopard is neutral and classic and here to stay. Thank you for reading my blog.  If you have a great leopard print or other fall fashion must have that you want to tell us about, please comment below. I'd love to hear from you!

 I pray your weekend is full of wonderful things!



Thursday, August 6, 2015

Gifts

Psalm 127: 3
" Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a real blessing. " (GNT)


Do you have a gift slip, Lord? Oh my goodness! Just kidding (mostly). What happens to children after the age of 12? We call it "creepy teenager" in our house. Sheesh! It's all part of the maturing process, the awkward tween/teen years. We all go through it. Thank you, Lord that I have You to go to on the more difficult days, but also, on the fun days. There are moments where I am still reminded of my babies and even better, moments I see the good people that are to come.  Thank you ,Lord, for my children.

We had one of those good times last week when I took my 12yr old & 13yr old to get haircuts. My 12 yr old daughter could not stop smiling, she was so happy.  Her hair had gotten pretty long, and most days she was wearing it in a bun on top of her head. She decided to go SHORT.  It is super cute.  When I see a style like that I want to go get mine chopped off too! Here are a few pics.

All the hair on top of her head was donated to Locks of Love.

After selfie -one day later. Super cute!

Even though it's short, it's still versatile.
She has a longer bang, so she can slick it back and even still use some of her hair accessories.

If you're thinking about getting your haircut I encourage you to know what you want when you get there and have a picture to show the stylist.  We found a great style on Pinterest and I was able to show the stylist a picture on my phone.  He did a great job! (Go see Bruce at Messanas!).

Thank you, God, for my beautiful family. Everyday is quite the adventure!!
I pray you all have a good (rest of the) day!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Water

John 4: 14
" but whoever drinks the water that I give them will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life. "


We learn in the story of the woman at the well, found in John 4: 1-42, Jesus is not really talking about the water in the well.  The water here is the Holy Spirit that we are given when we receive Jesus into our hearts. When we are secure in our faith, we will never thirst again. We are secure in the knowledge that we are saved, we have life eternal with our Father in Heaven. Now that's satisfying!! Thank you, Lord, that while I long to be with you, my desire to be satisfied is already taken care of with your living water. Amen.

We are drinking a lot of water around here this summer. That's a good thing.  Water is necessary for life. Years ago, I wouldn't think of not having soda in my home, but I'm happy to report we've kicked the soda habit.  While I won't lie to you and tell you everything I put in my mouth is completely healthy, I am proud of the fact we try to make better choices.  Water is so simple and easy. It comes out of my faucet, it comes chilled out of my refrigerator, and it comes in easy to take recyclable bottles. If you're anything like me, you may not have a taste for water (years of drinking sugary sodas made it a difficult transition for me). But nothing is better for you, so try these simple tips.

1. This might not look like a water cup, but every morning before I put coffee in this mug, it is. I fill this mug with cold water and drink it down so I know that at least I start my day off with 8oz. or so of the good stuff!


2. Flavor your water naturally. Especially if you're transitioning from juice or sugary drinks, this just might help. I found this link on Pinterest.
BEST Infused Water Recipes EVER!! Stress Reliever, Belly Fat Flusher, and MORE! 10 Delicious Water Infused Recipes
Not only does it taste good, there are extra health benefits here!
3. Drink a glass of water before every meal. Our bodies often confuse hunger with thirst. Drinking water helps our bodies to feel more satisfied, and for those of us who are trying to lose or maintain our weight, it helps us not to overeat.
I wish I didn't need to work on this.


I hope this was helpful. There is so much more information. The amount of water we need to drink every day varies for each person. Ask your doctor if you're not sure if you're drinking enough (or even too much!) water.  This post doesn't even begin to address the living water that is necessary for eternal life, ask your clergy (pastor, priest) if you need more information about that. I pray today that you thirst no more!!

Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Clean house!

1 Peter 2: 1-3
" So clean house! Make a clean sweep of malice and pretense, envy and hurtful talk. You've had a taste of God.  Now, like infants at the breast, drink deep of God's pure kindness. Then you'll grow up mature and whole in God. "  (MSG)


I'd love to rid my house of all things unclean.  But the truth is, it's here. Everytime I turn on the television or the computer, and unfortunately, unclean words come from my own mouth from time to time. Never more clear than when your 2 yr old calls your 13 yr old a "dumb a_ _"! (I swear that one wasn't mine, but I'm just as guilty!!).  Lord, today, I pray you would rid my home of malice, pretense, envy and hurtful talk. I do know and love you , Lord, and where you are, those things are not welcome. Thank you, Lord, for a new day, a day to clean house!

I am blessed to have a couple of days "off".  I don't have my usual chaotic crew here today and tomorrow, so I've decided to give my home a good cleaning and organization.  I'm full of fun ideas, aren't I?? The truth is, that having a clean organized home helps me feel less stress and anxiety. Here we go... I'm going to show you a couple of "before" pics and hopefully by next Tuesday (or the next) you'll see some good "after" pics. (Pray for me!)

Here's my pantry.  My house didn't even have a pantry when we moved in, but my talented husband built me one!
I really need to be better organized. With a big family, organization is a must.

How in the world did my desk area get to this point?! I have to admit that this is one of the busiest spots in the house.
So many papers and office supplies. I definitely need to tidy this up.

I can't wait to get started! I hope that today you were motivated to clean your house, too. Please post a comment and/or a pic. I'd love to see what great ideas you all had.  

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Oh, this pie!

Romans 11: 33
" Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! "


His ways are not our ways, certainly.  Why, Lord, don't you just do things the way I would have you?  Because, he is all wisdom and power and might. He is all goodness, and mercy and love. His ways are much better than mine. I just need to have faith, even when it's difficult for me, faith and trust. Thank you, Lord, that I don't have to rely on my wisdom and knowledge (I'm sure lots of my family and friends are thankful for this, too!).  There are days that I have trouble releasing control of "my world" to you, Lord. But you don't give up on me, you never release your hold on me, and when I pull away and wander around like a lost child, you are always right there with your arms open wide to comfort me and bring me home.  Amen!

Oh, my! the pie I made this weekend.....I can't' take any credit for it at all. I saw it on a FB feed from the Pioneer Woman. So I will share it with you, my favorite blog readers!!!


Strawberry Pretzel Pie

Prep Time:
 
 
Cook Time:
 
 
Difficulty:
 Easy
 
Servings:
 8

Ingredients

  • 4 cups Pretzel Sticks
  • 1 stick (8 Tablespoons) Butter, Melted
  • 1/3 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1-1/2 cup Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 1 package (3.5 Ounce) Strawberry-flavored Jello
  • 1-1/2 cup Water
  • 3 pints Strawberries, Hulled And Halved
  •  Unsweetened Whipped Cream

Preparation Instructions

For the pretzel crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Crush the pretzels in a large resealable plastic bag with a rolling pin. Mix in a bowl with the butter and brown sugar. Press into a pie pan and bake for 8 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
For the strawberry filling: Put 1 1/2 cups water, the granulated sugar, cornstarch and gelatin powder in a saucepan. Stir together and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook until it starts to thicken, about 2 to 3 minutes, then remove from the heat. Let the liquid cool for a good 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Put the strawberries in a bowl and pour over the sauce, gently tossing together. Allow to sit for 5-7 minutes, then carefully pile the coated strawberries into the cooled pie crust. Spoon over a little leftover sauce if needed, and refrigerate, uncovered, for 4 hours.
Cut into slices and serve with whipped cream. (Unsweetened is nice because the pie is so sweet!)

Here are my pics of the pie.
The pretzel crust is my favorite part!
I think my kids liked the strawberries best.


Together, the combination was delicious!!!

I pray you have a blessed week!