Thursday, July 28, 2016

oops, I did it again!

2 Corinthians 5: 17
" Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! "

Thank you, Lord, that you made me new, even though my body's telling me that I might be getting old... Don't get me wrong, I'm very blessed with good health. Maybe some of the "new", is the new things that my body is doing (or not doing!). What's up with my eyesight! Where are these lines and wrinkles coming from? Why can't I get rid of this extra 5-10 pounds? (honestly, I'm not sure how much extra I have, our scale broke, whew!). Thankfully, my husband doesn't seem to mind. But, I do! And even though the scale is broken, I can tell by the way my clothes are fitting (and some of the pictures I'm seeing) that I definitely have to do something different, something new, to feel more fit and healthy. Lord, I'm thankful today for my health, and that I have an awareness of my body. Help me Lord to be more disciplined when it comes to making healthy choices. Self discipline is one of the fruits of your spirit. I am so grateful that I don't have to do anything on my own, because wherever I am, You are, too, guiding me. If only I was a better listener!

I sure did do it again! I made a big promise to myself (and to you, too), and took pictures and weighed myself (yuck!), and said this will be the day I will start to be more healthy...oops. Well, I don't want to be too hard on myself, I've had some triumphs, but I certainly am not living up to my expectations of what I want my body to look like. Fortunately, I don't have a pressing goal: no weddings, no vacations, no bikini contests. I just need to get back on track...again. So yesterday, I was going to start, I actually started to write this post yesterday. I got up early, I ran. I went to my mother's house, I ate fresh peach cobbler (wait, that wasn't the plan!!!). Then we went shopping and she took me and my little girls out to lunch. Other than the 2 huge beer battered onion rings and the side of fries that came with my sandwich, I think I did ok??? oops, I did it again!

Well, here are some good things that I did do...

I drink plenty of water.
Nothing more refreshing on a hot day!
My drink of preference when I'm out and about is sparkling water with a squeeze of lime, also very refreshing!
I run/ran.
This is a before and after of the day my son and I ran about 5 miles to my parents house a few weeks ago.
I did run yesterday morning, but I  didn't take a "selfie", believe me it wasn't pretty!

I made overnight oats.

The Quaker website has this link (here). With lots of good overnight oat recipes.
I made the S'More recipe, delish!

I need to do this.

Summer Prep: Do-Anywhere Bikini Circuit:
I've shared this before. This is my favorite circuit (so far). This is what I need to add to my week.
Running is good, but it just doesn't hit those target areas.
( found this on Pinterest- here)

Well, I hope I've inspired you...again. And I really hope I've inspired me, again. If you know any good tips or have a good recipe or exercise you can recommend, I'd love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.
I pray that you have a great day today...again!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Party, party

Ecclesiastes 3: 13
" also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil- this is God's gift to man. " ESV

Last weekend I went to two parties. On Saturday, my parents hosted a family party to remember my grandfather, who would have turned 100 years old on Friday, and on Sunday, my dear friend hosted a birthday party for her little boy who just turned 5. What a lovely weekend, with lovely food, and good company. God gives us provision and permission to enjoy the fruits of our labor. Life isn't meant to be all serious and hard. As we see in the verse above, King David tells us to, "take pleasure", it's God's gift to us. So while we are warned not overdo it...(no drunkenness, no debauchery, no gluttony; pretty self explanatory stuff), we are encouraged to celebrate and to take pleasure in our hard work and accomplishments. Let's celebrate all He has done for us and all that He provides for us. Celebrate! God is good!!

Here are  few pics from our weekend...enjoy!

My 13 yr old made this poster for the family party on Saturday.
 My mother also set out a box of family photos, it was such a fun part of the day remembering other family celebrations. 

My daughter and my great-aunt, looking on at our  family ping-pong tournament. 

My mom awarding my uncle and me a "major award" for winning the ping-pong tournament.
Obviously, I'm very happy about it.

And here is some of the Sunday excitement...

Our hostess and my youngest in the big inflatable water slide.
The children waiting in line to take a swing at the pinata.
(poor minion, he didn't stand a chance!)

My  2 beauties waiting patiently for their turn.
Today, I'm thankful for celebrations. Celebrations can be small and intimate or really, really big. When you are celebrating, your are showing your appreciation for the blessing in your life. Thank you, Lord, for the many blessings that give me cause to celebrate. Amen!

Let's celebrate this Tuesday morning! We are new this morning! We are beautiful! We are blessed!!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Recipe roundup

1 Corinthians 8: 8
" But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do. "

This verse is Paul's advice to the people of Corinth about eating food (or not eating food) that has been sacrificed to idols. I don't generally have a concern with this, but apparently this was a big deal in the day. I think you have to go down a few more verses and see what else Paul has to say. In verse 13 he says this, "Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fail. "  Now here is something I can understand. I have some friends and family that have allergies, or food lifestyles, and even addictions to food and drinks. So this is how I would apply this in my life. If having a peanut butter sandwich would cause my daughter to become ill, I won't eat it. If I have my children and their friends for a meal who are vegetarian or vegan, I will provide meatless choices for them. And if drinking alcohol in front of, or having it in my home, would cause someone to struggle with addiction, I won't. My job, according to Paul, is to not lead someone else into sin; to protect their bodies and their hearts and minds. That, I can do!

I shared my fabulous breakfast cobbler a couple of days ago- see Bountiful- (it was actually a breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and snack time cobbler for me!), but I forgot to share the recipe I used. Silly me. And then, over the last couple of days, I've had some generous friends share the bounty of their gardens. I now have cucumbers and zucchini. Last night for dinner, I made stuffed zucchini and a cucumber salad. So delicious! Here are the recipes that I used and some of the changes that I made to them.

Here's my cobbler fresh out of the oven.
  I used this recipe for the Very Best Blueberry Cobbler from Obviously I substituted fresh blackberries for blueberries. I also used a 9" pie dish instead of  a square pan. Oh my goodness, this was so good, I can't wait to make it again!

and, here's my cobbler fresh on my plate!!
Last night for dinner, I made stuffed zucchini. I found this recipe - Stuffed Zucchini Recipe  on, too! The substitutions and changes I made for this one were these.

-I precooked my sausage (I used sweet Italian sausage).
-Instead of  1 cup of breadcrumbs, I substituted rice (about 1-1/2 cups of cooked rice).
- After the sausage was cooked, I combined the center part (scooped out part) of the zucchini, the garlic, rice, and parm. cheese in the pan with the sausage.
-I used one very large zucchini and cut it into 4 sections (2 halved sections).

Here's dinner! I served it with some Pepperidge Farm- garlic bread, so delicious!!

And here's my Cucumber Salad simple.

2 large cucumbers
2 plum tomatoes
1 small vidalia onion.
1 bottle of your favorite balsamic vinaigrette dressing
Sea Salt & pepper- to taste

 Wash your veggies! Peal cucumber leaving alternating strips of skin. Cut cucumbers into about 1" slices and quarter each slice.Slice tomatoes into lengthwise quarters and then about 3/4" wedges. Sliver about 1/2 of onion (my kids don't like a lot of onion, you certainly can add more). Toss together in a bowl and then coat with your salad dressing. Season with a little salt and pepper. Toss it again and serve!

I am so thankful today for fresh fruits and vegetables. Growing food is certainly a miracle to me! And being able to prepare it and share it with my family makes it even better. Thank you, Lord, for summer gardens and friends that generously share their bounty. Amen!

Have a blessed weekend!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Elephants on parade

2 Corinthians 2: 14
" But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ's triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. "

Gosh, I hope that's the aroma I'm spreading!! A triumphal procession sounds like a parade to me. I love a parade, don't you? Parades are fun and usually commemorate a festive occasion or holiday. When I was in high school, I marched in the Orioles 1983 World Series parade in Baltimore. I didn't play an instrument, I shook my pom-pons! Our high school had a pom-pon/drill team squad in the marching band. I met some of my best friends in marching band. We also went to festivals and amusement parks, so fun! Today I'm thankful for the fun memories I have from high school (I'm also grateful that I don't have to relive those awkward teen years...). I thank you, Lord, for the long friendships that I still cherish, and the valuable lessons that I have learned from all those years ago.

I was blissfully ignorant of our political system in high school. I knew what I had to to pass my social study tests, but was not interested in them in the least. I did, however, register to vote at my school and, as soon as I turned 18, exercised my right to vote. To that end, I do try to follow politics in order to be as informed as I can before I pull the lever in the voting booth (or press the button or scribble in the circle, punch a chad, whatever you all still do). It is a privilege that I don't take lightly. I have been watching the RNC this week and plan to watch the DNC next week. If you couldn't tell before reading my blog that I like elephants, I do. And lucky me, elephants are a fun fashion trend. They also happen to be the GOP mascot (see how I just tied that together...). I actually noticed someone in a Lily Pulitzer dress (this one- Eliza V-Neck T-Shirt Dress)  in the crowd last night: what a thing to notice in this highly charged convention! Because of my love of pachyderms, I happen to have quite a few pieces of elephant clothing and accessories. Here are some pics of my elephants on parade!

The green patterned T-shirt in the back is a Lily Pulitzer top-  Seeing Pink Elephants from Spring 2015.
(similar T-shirt- here)
Navy and white elephant shorts on left are from The Pink Silhouette (last year) and,
My husband just bought me the hot pink T-shirt on the right at the boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach.. Isn't it cute!!

Also, I just got this adorable dress in the mail this week!
Another purchase from The Pink Silhouette from their Monday "Flash Sale"!
(Thank you, Honey!!)
And here's the dress on me (it has pockets!).
Isn't it adorable!!
I just love my parade of elephants.
My prayer today, is that you would take some time tonight and watch the RNC, and take some time next week to watch the DNC. Information is so important. Look past all of the rhetoric (it happens on both sides), and prayerfully consider the issues that are important to you, your family and our nation. Amen.

Enjoy the rest of your day!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


Jeremiah 31: 12
" They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion; they will rejoice in the bounty of the Lord- "

 When you have a large family, making those food dollars stretch can be challenging. We don't often have everything we want, but somehow we always have everything we need. Remembering that and not allowing anxiety and worry about God's provision for my family can sometimes be a struggle for me. The bounty that I am partaking in literally comes from the Lord. There are often "loaves and fishes" type moments for me in my local grocery store. Sometimes I have to go through the store a second time and edit things out of my cart and come up with a new menu plan for the week (this is not fun with a toddler in tow!).  Do I get to have fresh flowers at my table? Do I have money left for a fabulous dessert (dessert is not a necessity; my children find that hard to believe)? Yes! I often do. I rejoice in the bounty of the Lord! Lord, thank you that you not only provide for my family, you give us more than we can even imagine. Today, Lord, I'm thankful for your bountiful provision.

We have a lot of wooded areas in our community. The bounty that comes just from the fringe of those areas is amazing. I love the smell of honeysuckle as I jog by in the late spring. I love the shade the trees provide us as we take family walks in the heat of a summer afternoon. Last week, I noticed that there were blackberries ripening, and Queen Anne's' lace in bloom. Queen Anne's lace is one of my favorite wildflowers, and it is certainly blooming in abundance here. The children and I went on a couple of berry picking excursions last week and here are some pics of our bountiful harvest.

Here are my girls! Aren't they precious!!



My beautiful flowers.
My favorite breakfast of the season!

I'm always amazed by God's provision. There are miracles in nature all around us. Beauty that only comes from the Lord. When I look at my beautiful girls, my beautiful flowers, the butterfly that accompanied us berry picking ( and of course my beautiful breakfast!), I can't help but rejoice in the bounty of the Lord!

I pray you have a wonderful Wednesday!!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Soooo big!

Psalm 144: 12
" Then our sons in their youth will be like well nurtured plants, and our daughters will be like pillars carved to adorn a palace. "

Well ,she's doing it again! My oldest turns another year older, today!! I can't believe that I became a mother 26 years ago (I also can't believe that I still have a 3 year old!).  My girl came into this world at a whopping 8lbs 6oz., sooo big! She was nearly 2 weeks late, I was even bigger...huge (thankfully the number on the scale has been wiped clean from my memory). She is now over 2 years older than I was when I had her, I thought I was so mature, but when I look back I realize what a baby I was myself. What a blessing she was and has been in my life. She ruined the whole "baby thing" for the rest of the kids, she was so smart and good, that I was certain there was something wrong with all of her subsequent siblings. One sweet memory that I have of her was when she was only about 1-1/2  and she started to "read". She would take her Madeline book (and others), turn the pages and "read" aloud, "Jwa, jwa, jwa, jwa, jwa, Mada!"  She loved to help me in the kitchen, we were always baking something or making a craft. I dressed her like me (so sorry, Honey!) and loved to dress her up in the latest "Storybook Heirlooms" or "Gymboree" fashions. I loved to plan elaborate birthday parties and tea parties for my girl. I think that's why, still today, she loves to celebrate her birthday. That's my girl!!

Here's my very first baby...

Here she is just a couple of days old in our apartment in VA.

Here she is in her crib, so alert at just few days old,  looking intently at her "Fisher Price" mobile.
She didn't want to miss a thing!

Me and my girl, pretty in pink.

I love this pic! My girl and her cousin who is expecting her first baby this fall!
And, my SIL was expecting my girls bff cousin, who was born the following December.

So of course, today, I'm thankful for my oldest daughter. Thank you, Lord, for my precocious, beautiful baby. She has certainly grown into a beautiful, brave and confident woman. I pray that you would guide and protect her as she takes on so many challenges. I can't wait to see what the future has in store for my big girl!
Happy Birthday!

I pray this new week brings you happiness!

Friday, July 15, 2016


Genesis: 25: 23
" The Lord said to her, ' Two nations are in your womb, and two people from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger. ' "

Don't worry, Mom, I'm not expecting twins...or anything at all. I love the story of Jacob and Esau in the Bible (see Genesis 25, starting at vs. 19). In this story you see that siblings, even twin siblings can be so different! Believe me, I have seven children, and there certainly aren't two that are the same. And, none of them are exactly like me or their father (thank you ,God for both of those things!). It is fun, though, when you one of your children says they want to be like you (even when it's just what you are wearing). Yesterday, my Momma's girl, did just that! Here are a couple of fun pics of our matching outfits!

Here are the twins!! (and a wannabe,Lol!)
We made our T-shirts at her birthday party last weekend.
My 10 yr old just got her shorts at T.J. Maxx with some of her birthday money.
My shorts are from Target last year, similar style here.

Of course, I couldn't have a picture of one of my children without a silly face.
The necklace I'm wearing is from my favorite local shop,
The Pink Silhouette. They have a great selection of affordable jewelry.
And for those of you that aren't local, they have a Flash Sale every Monday starting at 8pm (Eastern).
Like their FB page to get updates.

I am thankful today, for all of my different, wonderful children. Even when they aren't particularly thankful for me! I pray, Lord, that you protect and grow each one of them. Surround their hearts and minds with your love and wisdom. I pray that they continue to be, each one, their own person, but that they would all reflect you in their lives to everyone that they meet and serve. Thank you, God, for my kids!!!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


Luke 19: 17
"  'Well done, my good servant!' his master replied. ' Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.' "

Ten in the Bible is considered a small amount. Ten days, ten steps, ten minas in this verse, is considered a small amount of money. In my world ten seems like a lot! Especially when child #6 has just turned ten! I can't believe it! Last weekend we had a sleepover birthday party for her. So much fun! Here are a few fun things that we did to celebrate my daughter's big 10!  

She picked a fun summer theme "Pineapples and Flamingos". I love a theme!!

I made these cupcakes and found most of our party goods at Dollar Tree

You need a place to take some good pics with props.
Or a even just a good place for a fun selfie!!

This is my fave!!

We also made some stamps out of styrofoam trays,
 and along with some fabric paint the girls made some adorable T-shirts. 

The birthday girl made this one.
And here's my girl blowing out the candles on her's official, she's 10!

I made this pineapple cake, too.
You can never have too much cake!
(click here for the recipe-Pineapple Sunshine Cake)
I hope you enjoyed looking at some of our party pics. I certainly enjoyed the party...and the cake. As I said yesterday, the best part for me was the smile and the hug from my big 10 year old, thanking me for her party.
Love that girl!!!

Today, I'm thankful for my beautiful daughter. She is helpful, funny and smart. She's definitely a Momma's girl, and that's alright with me. We do coffee and mani-pedis, and she likes a good theme! (yay, I got one that thinks like me). She still likes her bedtime routine and when I'm out and about without her, she always checks in to see when I'll be home. I can't wait to see the beautiful young woman she'll become over the next 10 years. Thank you. Lord, for my girl.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Happy place

John 16: 33
" I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you may have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. "

" But take heart! I have overcome the world. "  That is good news, indeed, and I'll take it, I certainly could use some after I rough few days. My weekend wasn't so rough, just busy. Child #6, turned 10 years old on June 30th and we had a sleepover party for her. So fun, but so tiring. I'll share some fun pics later this week. The best part of her sleepover party for me, was when she hugged me and thanked me. So sweet!

I wanted to share today something that makes me soooo happy! Food!! Food is my happy place. My husband, on one of our first dates, said he appreciated my healthy appetite! Probably one of the main reasons I married him. I am fortunate to have some good friends who are excellent cooks and like to try new and different food products. One of my friends uses the recipe/meal service, Blue Apron, and was going away for a few days so she asked if I wanted to try a meal. Food? Sure!!! I chose to make "Empanada de Picadillo".  I was so impressed with all of the fresh ingredients that came with the meal. The only personal ingredients that I had to come up with out of my pantry was some EVOO and a little salt and pepper.With this service you receive fresh ingredients and a recipe card. The recipe card gives you easy to follow, step by step instructions with pictures. Here are a few pics of my Blue Apron empanadas.

Here's the instruction side of the card.
Here's the recipe card. There is a description and pictures
of the ingredients provided and the finished meal.

My empanadas baking in the oven.
Here is my empanada filling.

Not only were there empanadas, but there were ingredients and instructions for
 a Tomato-Cucumber Salad & Lime Crema.
Here's the salad.
And, here's the finished meal!
My family really enjoyed it.
I have to reveal that my husband would not normally choose to eat Mexican food, but he asked for seconds and was looking for thirds. I am definitely going to try this service. Not only did my family enjoy the food, I enjoyed that there was no meal planning or shopping on my part. I don't have the budget to do this every day of the week, but Blue Apron's prices are reasonable and I love that it was so convenient, fresh, and delicious.

I am grateful today for food, Lord. You always provide. Even when I think my cupboard is bare or I don't have enough, we always find ourselves sitting around a bountiful table. Thank you, Lord, for food, glorious food!

Have a blessed week!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Be a pineapple

Exodus 39: 26
" The bells and pomegranates alternated around the hem of the robe to be worn for ministering, as the Lord commanded Moses. "

In one translation of this verse, the bells are described as pineapples. That makes sense visually, a pineapple does look like a golden bell.  I've been liking this T-shirt (pictured below) for some time. It keeps coming up on my FB feed.  It's cute, isn't it? Well today, as I adjust my crown, I'm going to stand up tall and still try to be sweet (although, I've eaten pineapples that are still a bit tart inside, too).  

Yesterday, I had a horrible FB experience. I was noticing a lot of inciteful posts on my cousins feed about the horrible and tragic, police involved shootings in Baton Rouge and in Minnesota. As the wife of a police officer, I thought I would post a loving, sensitive reminder about how my husband and most other police officers are good people who don't hesitate to put their lives on the line to protect and serve all people. Unfortunately, my post somehow started a firestorm. While I had 2 big likes, I had many people who were not happy about my post. I was told that, as a white woman,  I couldn't possibly understand the reality of raising black children who are being "targeted" by the police. Targeted was the word actually used by someone I love. And that wasn't even the worst thing said, I can't even repeat them. I have been blocked by my own daughter, who now thinks I'm a racist. And, I blocked my Aunt, not because of anything she said, but because of an angry, vile post from one of her "friends" towards me and my family. Immediately after I tried to reach out to her over the phone to let her know why I had blocked her (btw, I was told I was wrong), I walked into my bedroom and witnessed my worst nightmare, and the worst nightmare of all of my police wife/spouse friends. This morning the horror continues as now 5 police officers are dead, and 7 others are wounded. 

Pray with me today, friends. We need love, and we need grace, and we need forgiveness. The crown I eluded to above, is only on my head because I am a daughter of the one true King. I am a child of God, a child of the light. And in this darkness, that we seem to now be going through, we need the light of Christ more than ever. If you have never consciously prayed and asked God into your heart, into your life, do it with me right now. If you too, today, are adjusting your own crown, pray with me as well. We all need the hope and strength that only God can give us. Stand tall with me friends and share the sweet, sweet truth of our loving Savior and King.

Monogrammed Pineapple T-Shirt
This T-shirt is from MARLEYLILLY.
Right now, you can get a free pineapple necklace with a purchase of $20 or more.
(offer good through 7/9/16)

I am thankful today, for my faith. Because of my faith, I am surrounded by faithful, believing people who offer encouragement and prayer, people who offer forgiveness and not judgement, people who offer me guidance and not condemnation. Thank you, Lord, for leading me to you and to those that serve you. Amen.

(If you want to know how to pray for our Law Enforcement Officers, I just saw this great article by Joe Carter. Please take a few minutes today and pray, pray, pray!)

Have a safe and blessed weekend.

Thursday, July 7, 2016


1 Timothy 2: 1-2
" I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people- for kings and those of authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. "

Whew, Lord, this seems like a tough one in this election year. I had the news on last night before I went to bed and I got so stressed out that I had to play Panda Pop to wind down a little bit!! (I'm very mature like that). But then, I pull up my big girl panties, and remember that I'm not in control of this, not at all. You are in charge, Lord, and no matter what is going on in my state, my country, the world, you've got this. Does that mean that I don't even have to vote, let those chips fall where they may?? No! I will (try to) watch the convention coverage for both parties, I will watch the inevitable debates and, I will certainly be at the polls in November. I've watched my candidates win, I've watched them lose. Whatever the outcome, I will remain faithful and full of hope that victory remains in the Lord, not in man (woman, whatever!), and so grateful that I live in this nation, where I am free to shout out His name in victory!

I'm thankful today, Lord, for the good old USA! I just had a really nice weekend celebrating Independence Day with my family, for three days! Here's a recap of last weekend...

On Saturday we went to St Michaels to attend Big Band Night at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. It was such a beautiful day! We looked around at the local shops in St Michaels and had a picnic on the Museum grounds while we waited for the band and fireworks.

Here's a pic of our view, right before the fireworks began.

Two of my children making the rounds.
My son took this picture when the fireworks started.
So pretty!

On Sunday, we went to my Uncle's house, for a family party, here is the pie I took to share...

Strawberry Pretzel Pie (I added the blueberries).
Oh my goodness gracious! Delicious!!
(Get the recipe link here- 4 for the 4th)
And, bonus! On Monday, we went to my parents house for a cookout. I hardly ever remember to take pictures of all the goings on, but it was rainy on Monday, so we stayed inside and had a Ping Pong tournament. My partner (who also happens to be my 14 yr old nephew) and I won!! It was our second major victory, we won the last family Ping Pong championship as well (not to brag or anything).

Both of my "little" girls had the same star hairstyle on the 4th.
(See how on this post- Hair today, gone tomorrow)

Here's my "baby"!
Dessert is her favorite meal.

Thank you, God, that I live in a country where I am free. Free to  live, love, worship and serve you.
 God bless the USA!!