Wednesday, August 22, 2012


It's been a while since I posted....and I decided that was ok :o)  I want this blog to be an outlet, not an item on a to-do list, and I seriously want it to be something God uses.  SO, I'm trying to be ok with my super sporadic posting, and hope you will too!

I've been thinking about this for a while, but it seems like today is the day God prompted me to write about it.  (That and the fact that I can actually think because my kids are in Mother's Morning Out for a few hours ;o)  The question that's been plaguing me is a question for those of us who call ourselves Christ-followers.  If you're not a Christ-follower, I'd love for you to keep reading...but this question doesn't apply to you.

Christ-followers are supposed to be just that, right?  People who follow Christ.  Who is Christ?  We'd probably all give a slightly different answer to that question, but think on this:

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth John1:14 answer to the question is that Christ was the Word.  Well, what is the Word??  The word is God's other words the Bibles that most of us in this country have several copies of in our homes.  We may even have an app on our phone that holds multiple versions of the Bible.

We say we're Christ-followers, but Christ, or Jesus, is the Word...and from what I can tell we don't read the Word.  That means we don't know Jesus.  If we don't know Jesus...obviously we can't follow him very far, right?  What the heck??!

We will listen to our preacher, listen to Andy Stanley, Mark Driscoll, Perry Noble, Steven Furtick, Billy Graham...we'll even listen to some random person writing a blog, talking on tv, or posting on Facebook...before we'll open our Bibles.  I'm not saying these people are bad, in fact a lot of the preachers I mentioned above have some great revelations to share.  But - the fact is, they are NOT a substitute for the Word.  How many of them can put on their resume that they've been here since the beginning of time, that they are God, have always been with God, made the universe, and embody love itself?  Ummm...I'm guessing none of them have that rep.  (Not even that person on Facebook that seems to know everything and have THE perfect life.)

So the question is - WHY???  We have so many situations in our lives that we want advice for...we want to know what the right thing to do is...we want to know why everything is falling apart around us.  Yet, we don't go Jesus, we don't go to the Word, we don't crack open that Bible.  Let's save ourselves some time and heart ache and just realize the truth:  if you haven't opened the Bible then you're not following cannot possibly know where Christ is going or where He wants you to go if you don't know where He's been, his character, and how he feels about you.  We learn all of this through the Bible, through Jesus...ever wondered why Hebrews 4:12 calls the Word of God "living and active?" Because it's Jesus.  It's a and breathing...and who wants to be active in your life.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.2 He was in the beginning with God.3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.4 In him was life,t and the life was the light of men.5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John1:1-5

There's a promise in these verses above.  Did you catch it?  Here's the sequence:
Jesus (the Word) has always been
Jesus has always been with and a part of the God (this is that confusing, yet true fact that God is 3 in1)
Everything was made through God..through the Word
There is life in the Word
That life is a light that can be in us
If we allow that light in us, it will NOT be overcome...not even by the world.

There's not much you can count on in this fact, there's nothing that we can be sure of.  Not government, not retirement, not even our friends and family because they could be gone tomorrow...BUT God and his Word will never be gone, and the light and life he promises will NEVER be overcome.  Pretty amazing.

Hold that up to advice from Facebook, that tv talk show host, that sermon you can listen to ...and see how it compares :o)  Fact is, it doesn't.  Do it today - open up the Bible, release yourself from any expectations you have about how it should be done (more on this in another post), and trust that God will do the work of showing you who He is because you are seeking him!  As you get to know Jesus, your life will change radically - and it'll be amazing.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

the RIGHT way

I'm pretty good at coming up with the RIGHT way to do things...I mean, isn't it obvious to everyone that there is a right way and a wrong way?  For instance...

In the shower, do you have a routine?  I definitely do...because there is only one right way to take a shower.  (Didn't know if you knew that or not...but I'm giving you that tidbit for free)
Steps to CORRECTLY take a shower:

  1. You should always shampoo your hair first, rinse, then put conditioner on your hair. 
  2. Conditioner needs to sit for a little while, so you let it sit while you wash the rest of your body (except your back)
  3. After washing, you can rinse out your conditioner...but that greasy conditioner is going to run down your back.
  4. So...of course, you wash your back last to get the conditioner off of it.

And that, my friends, is how you correctly take a shower.  Man, don't you feel enlightened?

SADLY, I feel like this a I know exactly how things should be done and how they shouldn't.  Our culture says this is a great thing, especially if you're a know, Beyonce's "independent women" and all that jazz.  Turns out it's NOT a great thing - thinking you have all the answers.

I was reading in 1 Chronicles 13, and was shocked to see that in the early parts of David's reign as king, he got a man killed.  (Wasn't he supposed to be an awesome king?!?)  See, David got the idea to move the Ark of the Lord, and set about the task enthusiastically.  Unfortunately, in the process of carrying it, the ark looked a little shaky and a man named Uzzah tried to help out.  Uzzah thought he was doing the right thing - steadying the ark so it wouldn't fall or be hurt in any way.  Sadly that one move cost him his life.  So, you're probably asking how that's David's fault?  Well...David was the one in charge...he was the leader.  God put him in charge of the people, and when you're in charge (like it or not) people will usually do what you tell them to do and will act just like you act.  Before moving the ark, David talked to his officials and lots of other people, but he forgot to talk to God about it.  Since he didn't talk to God about it, he didn't give God the chance to tell him that there was a very specific way to move the Ark... that if these ways were neglected, lives could be at risk.

David learned though.  The next time he was going to do something big, he asked God about it first.  He was thinking of going into battle....but...he remembered his mistake last time, and did better this time.  He asked God whether this was something he should do or not.  God said he should do it, and gave him victory in the process.  In fact, most of the time after that, David remembered to consult God first.  (That's probably one of the greatest contributing factors to him being a great king.)

We get so puffed up on ourselves...and even get ticked when someone tells us the way we're doing something is wrong.  Truthfully, I know sometimes I don't want to ask God how to do it.  (...and in those times I'm being a stupid girl!)  God always wants us to talk to him about what we're doing.  He wants us to remember that we're human...that he's almighty, all-powerful God...that we can screw this thing up BIG time...but that he will graciously and lovingly guide us through the landmines of life.  I'm not talking of a prosperity gospel philosophy here - there will still be difficult times in life.  However, when you're doing things God's way, to say things go so much better is a pretty huge understatement.  The best thing about talking to him constantly is the relationship that develops between you and him.  You begin to know him, and realize how intimately he knows and loves you.

So, I'm challenging myself and you for the next 2 weeks to ask God....

....what to do with your day
....whether you should buy that new____ or not you can bless someone today to confront that person you're upset with
....what to do about the ever increasing problems in your marriage you should vote (gasp!)
...what you should wear (really)
...what to do with your kids that are driving you nuts (God understands frustrating kids :)
and the list could go on and on....

Try it.  Take your decisions to God for the next 2 weeks.  Big or little doesn't matter.  Try it out and see how things change.  (Of course I'd love to hear your stories of what God does as a result!!)

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."  Phillipians 4:6

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The return

It's the moment you've been waiting for....that moment when you see that I've returned to my blog writing to entertain and encourage you.  ............No?  Well, a girl can dream, right?  :)

Truthfully, it's actually the moment that I have been waiting for...for a while.  For about 4 weeks I've been MIA from the blogging world.  In fact I've been MIA from the real world too.  I found out I was pregnant with baby #3 in late April.  After I got over the shock of realizing I really was going to have another baby...then the pregnancy nausea set in.  Now, with the first two pregnancies, I had some nausea, but I now realize that was pansy nausea.  I'm not sure what's different about this child, but dang...something is.  (I'm trying to convince myself it has nothing to do with being the big 3-0 in this third pregnancy. Yikes!)  This nausea hit me like a wall when I woke up and was my constant buddy ALL....DAY...LONG.  And let me tell you I was one happy camper.  (you got that sarcasm, didn't you?)  Not only did I feel sick to my stomach, but I also felt like I had the flu (what the....??)  PLUS, (yes, there's more) I was starving all day long but my stomach didn't understand that.  Everything I tried to eat only lasted about 3 bites before my stomach realized I was trying to put something in it and quickly rejected it.  I was one miserable girl.  (Translation:  my poor family was miserable too.)

Now,  I realize that some of you have to endure so much worse during your pregnancy(s) and I am fully in support of petitioning the capitol to create a national holiday in honor of mothers that have to deal with this kind of insanity....wait.  Crud, I think there already is one of those.  Heck, we should have TWO days.  Anyone with me?

Seriously though, you're my heroes.

So in the 4 weeks that I've been gone, here's what I did:

  • Went to the beach, felt sick most of the time, drank lots of Ginger Ale (can't look at Ginger Ale now)
  • Came home, got worse
  • Slept a kids watched a lot of tv
  • Slept some kids watched A LOT of tv
  • Slept...(Well, you get the idea)
  • In the midst of all this fun, Noah, my 2 yr old decided this would be a good time to potty train.  All I could do was laugh!  I was glad he found the motivation himself, but not so glad at his amazing timing.  (You know the only thing worse than feeling nauseous is feeling nauseous and having to clean out poop out of the little potty training potties.  Oh.  my.)  More to come on this later...
  • Our neighbor mowed our grass (it was about 2 ft high - is that bad? :) because he figured our mower was broken.  In actuality, my sweet husband was working his tail off trying to stay afloat at work, while coming home to take care of me and the kids.  I love that man.  We were both grateful to our neighbor...even if it is somewhat embarrassing that your neighbor had to mow your grass.
But...I can say there was a rainbow at the end of this storm.  I came out of this with one nasty house...but my kids were alive and my husband still loved me.  My husband helped me resurrect the house this Saturday, and I can honestly say I feel so thankful for all that God gives.  In the midst of my complaining to God, or asking him for this or that...I too often forget to be thankful.  And oh, once you've lost a grateful attitude, it all goes down the crapper.  One of my sisters is going through a rough period with her health, and the other is WAY pregnant with no AC in the house she's staying at.  Even though they've had so much going on, they've called to see how I am.  Many of my friends that don't even know my sister with the health issues have sent food, prayers, and sweet emails.  If that's not enough to make you thankful, you might be dead.  So...I decided that although the past 4 weeks sucked, I'm thankful.  I'm thankful for the energy to write this, for a God who loves me no matter what I or my house looks like, for loving and understanding family and friends...and I could go on and on.  If we're honest with ourselves most of us should be able to go on and on (regardless of our circumstances)...if you can't, you may need to do a heart check.   

Thanks for being patient with me and my blogging - I'm returning to normalcy, (whatever that is) so you'll hear more soon...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Why Didn't You Tell Me?

You know, when I was pregnant with our first child, Ella, I thought I pretty much knew what to expect.  I was thinking along the lines of some crying, lots of changing diapers, discipline as she got older, making messes, etc.  However, there are just some things no one told me kids would do...and I have to say I've been pretty appalled to discover them along the way.  If your kids are older than mine (4 and 2) then this will come as no surprise to you!  BUT, if you aren't a parent or your children are still very little...then prepare yourself.

Things I didn't know kids would do:

  1. Try to put things in my nose.  I was prepared for things going up their nose...but was pretty shocked when the first thing went up mine!  Take my word for it, this is NOT a pleasant experience.
  2. WANT to touch every dirty thing imaginable.  I knew they would probably accidentally touch dirty stuff, because, hey...they're kids....but they STRIVE to touch dirty things.  Ugh!  This ranges from public potties, to the grocery store parking lot, to that chewed up, smashed gum stuck in the parking lot.  (I think I could throw up thinking about it...moving on...)
  3. Not go to bed.  I'm not talking about when they're a baby.  I had that one pegged.  I'm talking about my 4 yr old who still wakes up some nights and wants some random thing like a stuffed animal before she'll go back to sleep...or my 2 yr old who will lay in his bed jabbering for HOURS on end, refusing to go to sleep.
  4. Hurt me.  Repeatedly.  You'd think this was mainly my son's doing, but they actually share the blame for this one.  Noah frequently head butts me with that hard little noggin of his, while Ella (unlike her name, Ella Grace) hasn't yet mastered being graceful and frequently runs into me, drops things on me, steps on my toes. etc.  For a while I was convinced I must be invisible because of the amount of times they walked on me or into me.
  5. Melt my heart.  Yeah, I had to throw a sappy one in there...I AM a hormonal pregnant woman, after all.  Truly though, I knew I'd love my children.  Of course.  But I had no idea how a hug or smile could make me melt.  Just tonight I was laying on the couch looking pretty green, and nursing the bloody nose Ella had just given me when Noah came up and said, "Poor mommy!"  Ella was standing nearby, looking at me intently, and told me how sorry she was.  I don't love getting hurt, but man...they know how to make it all worth it. :o)  
What about you?  What has shocked you about your kids?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

What Happened Wednesday

There's always that question you get at the beginning of the week..."How was your weekend?"  ...and it's a good question as long you have a good answer for it.  BUT, if your true answer for that question is, "It was terrible, horrible, rotten, and pretty much no good, "  or some other answer that is just as socially awkward, then we usually give the standard answer, "Fine."  Three weekends ago my answer to the weekend question would've been "fine."  Translation - It was pretty shocking, but I really don't want to talk about it right now.  That shock has been the reason I've been MIA to the blog world for a few I figured I'd let you in on that weekend.

You probably know what's coming....but I'm going to pretend you don't :)  So...the weekend started off normal, but this weekend I was supposed to get the dreaded period on Saturday.  Saturday came and period.  My period is usually like clockwork, so I thought about it,... but chalked it up to the new eating  habits along with being super active the past couple of weeks.  Sunday morning I was spending some time with God, talking through some things with Him.  One of things that crossed my mind (obviously), was this period issue.  So, I told God that if I was pregnant, He was really going to have to help me through this...and I had one of those Holy Spirit moments.  Ever had one of those?  They're pretty crazy...but for me it's like I get this overwhelming feeling that I KNOW something is true...usually accompanied by goose bumps.  (I know, if you're not a Christ follower this may sound hokey, but I'm just telling it like it is.  If you check out some stories in the Bible you'll see God has actually been talking to His followers since He created us.  What's changed is our society - if we can't explain it with facts, figures, and research, then we deem it non-existent.)  Well, the thing that the Holy Spirit allowed me to KNOW was that I WAS in fact preggo.  Wow.  I just sat there.  For a while.

I went to church and tried to act like everything was normal.  It wasn't.  I went to buy a test after church, and tried to calmly take it.  I wasn't so calm.  Once it was positive, I tried to keep it to myself for a little bit to let the news sink in.  I didn't.  I told my husband through sobs. (Anybody else been there?)  It wasn't that I wasn't happy to have a new little addition to our was ALL THE DETAILS.  Would we have to get a new car? (Which is always accompanied by another car payment)  Would we have the finances to pay for all of this? (We both LOVE our jobs, but we both work in ministry, remember? :)  And on and on and on....  I have to say my husband gets mad props.  He assured me, calmed me down, and reminded me God would provide.  God has been doing the same thing, continually reminding me that he provides.  (The passage he keeps telling me is included at the bottom.)

So...I'm feeling much better about things, I'm starting to trust God and feel the joy that comes with knowing a new life is growing.  Unfortunately, I'm also feeling much worse physically.  The nauseau has hit, and unlike my other two pregnancies, this nauseau likes to hang around aaaallllllll   ddddaaaaayyyyy.  Ugh!  In fact, as I talk to you I'm wearing my oh-so-fashionable sea bands and sipping on some Ginger Ale.  So I'll have to ask you to forgive me if my blogging suffers for the next few weeks...I'm sure you don't want to read about my puking :)

Slightly Green,

Here's the passage that's been super encouraging to me:

"That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life-whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear.  Isn't life more than food, and your body more than clothing?  Look at the birds.  They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them.  And aren't you far more valuable to him than they are?  Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?  And why worry about your clothing?  Look at the lilies of the field and hot they grow.  They don't work or make their clothing yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.  And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you.  Why do you have so little faith?"  Matthew 6:25-30
This is a page from my childrens' bible.  When I read this story to them
called, "The Singer," it hit home so much I cried.  This is an amazing
bible.  If you need one for your kids I highly recommend it.  It's called The
Jesus Storybook Bible and is available on Amazon.

(how lucky we are to have a God that loves us THAT much.  :)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fast Fix Friday's been a while, and it's been one crazy week.  You never have those though, do you?  Anywho - this Fast Fix Friday project was a great one for someone just starting to dip their toes into the DIY world.  It was really super quick, didn't require much technical skill, and (my favorite) was CHEAP!

The first thing I did was go thrifting at a local second-hand store.  My friend Allison, who has a magnificent blog at, has been writing a lot about thrifting and I was totally inspired!  Check out this post ( she did on thrifting to catch some of the motivation.  I found several fabulous things on this adventure, but I'll just tell you my favorite two:  a super cute metal sign to put in my 4 yr old's room & this old chalkboard.
Pretty scraggly, huh?
You probably can't read the stickers on there, but they say $1.50.  Pretty amazing, huh?  That's another great thing about thrifting - you don't have much in the project, so if it doesn't turn out the way you want you don't feel too bad scrapping it.  Here's what I did to transform this little beauty:
  • Wiped off the wooden frame, then cleaned the chalkboard part
  • Lined my work space with newspaper - I'm a mommy...I have enough messes to clean up, I don't want to make another one, especially on my counter top!
  • Using painter's tape, I put tape on the perimeter of the chalkboard so I didn't accidentally paint it.
  • Painted on some "crackle" paint, and let it partially dry.  If you let it dry fully you won't get the crackly look...which, if you're using crackle paint, is probably what you're going for.  I know - I'm a genius.
  • Painted white paint on top of the crackle.  You need to do this quickly because the crackle dries quickly.  Don't worry too much if the paint looks bad when you first paint it on - the crackle will fix that.  Just try to get an even coat on the frame.  Let dry.
  • Using a staple gun, I stapled ribbon to the back of the frame in two places, then I tied a knot in the other end of the ribbon.  
....and, the resulting chalkboard was much cuter than the one I started out with.   As you can see, I'm going to use mine to write scripture on.  My hopes are that we can use it for the whole family (kids included) to begin to memorize some scripture - all for $1.50  ( crackle paint and ribbon...maybe $4.00)

I'd love to see your latest craft projects, DIY projects, or your fast fixes when you're in a bind...share away!  Happy Friday :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

the hardest ever

Unlike's song, "The Hardest Ever," doing the hard stuff of life isn't too pleasant.

The hard stuff is...

well, it's HARD.  of course.  I'm not talking about the chair you always stump your toe on or your childs head that must be hard because nothing ever makes in there.... no, I'm talking about that thing that you know you should do, but you just really, really...really, really don't want to.  I'd think some things that qualify as "hard stuff" would be:  standing up for your convictions no matter the results, sticking to your budget, getting healthy and therefore being thankful of the body God has given you, asking someone to forgive you, lovingly confronting someone, talking to your child about sex, disciplining your child ...and this list could probably go on and on.  I doubt it needs to though because if you're like me you probably thought of the thing(s) that is your "hard stuff" right away.  It's hard because of sin (aka stuff we do that isn't right according to God)...and sin pretty much sucks.  (Oh, it might be fun in the middle of it, but when those consequences from the sin roll around....and they always do...then it sucks.)  The sin usually drives us not wanting to tackle that hard laziness, selfishness, or even fear of failure.

but, the hard stuff is....

GOOD.  I know you're thinking..."what? SMH (I kinda don't know what SMH means, but all the cool people on FB use it, so I thought I'd be cool, even if just for a minute) Seriously Lindsey...I wouldn't call it good."  It really is.  This stuff is hard because it goes against our human nature, and requires to do things God's way.  God's way is always good.  God says lovingly telling the truth in any situation is always good.  God says he made your body, and if you're a Christ-follower, it's where he you need to keep it in shape (this "hard thing" frequently kicks my tail)  God also says you need to discipline your kids (God disciplines us and he is the ultimate father) and you need to talk to your kids about sex by 5th grade.  (Ok, I made up the 5th grade part...but seriously, kids talk and kids surf the internet...wouldn't you rather be the one to tell them and they know you will tell them the truth about things even if you turn ten shades of red while you're doing it?)

I had to do a hard stuff, thing, recently...and it was difficult.  It was uncomfortable and I'm pretty sure my pits turned into swimming pools by the time I was done, but I'm so thankful.  I'm thankful God doesn't tell us we have to be super humans.  All he asks us is to trust him (that he's got this) and to obey him (do what he says do) and he does the rest.  I'm also thankful God forgives...and man, does he forgive.  Can you imagine all the crap he has to forgive??? You think you have forgiven something big - yeeeaaaahhhh, it doesn't even touch the pile of crap God has, is having to, and will have to forgive until Jesus comes back.  He's that good.

What's your "hard stuff"?  What's holding you back?  Need some motivation to "just do it" (someone from Nike, feel free to send me a check for that), check these out:

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand."  Isaiah 41:10

"Don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  his peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."  Phillipians 4:6-7

Happy Hard Stuff-ing :)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Fast Friday {in review}

Today was another Fast Friday...which means I've got a great fast fix to share with you lucky people.  Aren't you excited? I am!

I probably should've taken the day to clean my very messy house (my sisters and their kiddos came to play yesterday.  It was an awesome day...but my house took the brunt of the tornado of fun) but I decided it would be way more fun to give our front porch a makeover.  You can see why it needed one:
I hear the Debbie Downer sound when I look at this: "wah wah" me and the kids went to get the supplies we needed.  Luckily, we live close enough to the crafts store that we can just take a quick walk (stroller ride) to the store, so we got to take advantage of the beautiful weather. (score!)  We got a can of white spray paint and a can of red.  (I find Rustoleum brand works best for me.)  I also decided that you couldn't have a spring makeover without some flowers, so I sprung for those as well.  Total I think this makeover cost about $16 - not too shabby.  When we got back all three of us got busy....I got busy painting while the kids got busy being artists on the sidewalk.

It took less than an hour to get the table and chair painted and flowers potted.  Here is the finished product...

I was very happy with the results and love the pop of color the table now brings to the front porch.  Now if I can only find a teal/blueish pot for this flower the next time I go thrifting it would be ah-mazing!

I'd love to hear your creative ideas or see your fast fix products linked in the comments section.  

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tasty Tuesday (a review of)

Who else's children snack CONSTANTLY?  (Good, glad I'm not alone)  In fact, I have to tell them that lunch and dinner are "snacks" to get them to eat them.  Kind of silly, huh?  That's not the part that has given me some concern lately though.  The part I think about a lot is what kind of food they are eating for their snacks (about the nutrients, lack there of, or chemicals in the foods).  I've had the plan churning in my mind for a while that I really needed to come up with a healthy list of snacks they could enjoy...but with cooking, cleaning, bath time, mealtime, work, exercise, get the picture.  It's just hard to find time to plan.  But, OH it is so necessary, and makes a huge impact.  So, today I'm celebrating the fact that I was able to come up with a healthy snack list for the kids ( maybe me and the hubby might eat some too...) that I thought I'd share.  I even got brave and made some homemade protein bars for us that are oh-so-delicious!

Yummy and Healthy Snacks:
  1. Yogurt
  2. Fruit (of course)
  3. Veggies (another no brainer...but I should add that these and fruit tend to get eaten a lot more in my house when they are already washed, cut up and ready for little (or big) hands to to grab and go.)
  4. Peanut Butter Pinwheels (Spread pb on one side of a wheat torilla, sprinkle some granola and maybe some honey...fold it up and cut into sections)
  5. Snack Mix: Kind of like Chex Mix but healthier.  I threw in whole grain cereal, raisins, granola, nuts, some Cheerios, and I added some Goldfish to break the kids in gently (their goldfish addiction is pretty strong - I don't know if they could handle stopping cold turkey, you know)
  6. Low Fat String Cheese
  7. Organic Fruit Chews
  8. Homemade Protein Bars  (I'm including the picture and link to this below.)
These are super yummy and packed with great stuff.  Thanks
to Lindsay over at her blog, Passionate Homemaking, for
posting this recipe!  Here is the link back if you wanna
try it out:

Disclaimer - I would hate for this list to make any moms out there feel like they are less than because they don't have a healthy snack list.  Let me just tell you that up until this week I didn't either.  I can also assure you that it will be a challenge for me to make sure I keep these or more healthy snacks stocked in the house.  I'm also sure that there is some area of your life that you've got it together at this point in time and I don't!  Just don't tell me what it is right I can ride the high of finally making my healthy snack list :o)
What you CAN tell me is your great healthy snack idea - I'd love to add to the list!

Happy Snacking!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday the 13th!

This is the day that most people (if you're honest) get a little nervous on.  Even if you say you're not superstitious, you can't help but freak out a little when you see that neighborhood black cat.  I thought that in honor of this day, when things are expected to go wrong, I'd share an awesome when-it-all-goes-wrong story from one of my sisters (with her permission, of course.)

Her name is Emily and she also has two children.  However, she has her hands even more full than I do at this point in her life because her kids are so young.  Chester is an adorable 2 yr old, and also Noah's best buddy.  Her daughter, Sophie, is almost 4 months old and is the cutest little chunk you've ever seen.  Here is Emily's when-it-all-goes-wrong story, which I'll tell from her perspective (it's so much easier that way):

I'd decided a trip to the grocery store was necessary that morning, so off we went.  The grocery store trip went pretty well, and it wasn't until on the way back that all the fun started.  On the way back, Chester started screaming for some grapes.  I was fresh out of grapes (moms should know to bring a variety of at least 10 snacks for their child to choose from, right??!) at that moment, driving in the van.  We finally made it home, and as I'm trying to feverishly unload the groceries from the car into the house, Sophie decides she'll join in the fun and start screaming too.  (At this point I'm sweating, as if I already didn't feel nasty enough from skipping a shower in an effort to get to the grocery store.)  So, I begin feeding Chester grapes while I'm finishing up the groceries.  It calms him down, but doesn't help Sophie.  Once the groceries are in, I pick up Sophie to calm her down and fix Chester some lunch (mother are experts at doing things one handed, you know.)  While Chester is eating, I sit down to nurse Sophie, who is also hungry.  Of course as she begins to nurse, Chester finishes his lunch.  As he begins to run around the house (in celebration of finishing his lunch, maybe?) I notice the tell tale signs that he has pooped in his diaper.  As soon as Sophie has finished nursing on one side, I lay her down so that I can change Chester (and rid the house of that less-than-pleasant poop smell.)  Well, Sophie does not appreciate the interruption in her meal, and picks back up screaming where she left off.  I quickly change Chester and get him down for a nap (of course we're on a tight schedule that day because we had plans to meet some family that afternoon, so Chester's nap couldn't be delayed until I finished nursing.)  Once I get back to Sophie, the poor thing has worked herself up pretty well.  She is still crying when I pick her up, and doesn't want to eat.  Then, the worst happened...she had cried so hard that all of the milk she had just eaten decided to come back up...all over her, me, and the couch.  (great...)  Now the house smelled like poop and vomit, magnificent!  

Thankfully this story had a happy ending.  After everyone and everything was cleaned up, both children fell asleep - at the same time! (you know the planets have to align for this to happen!)  I was able to eat my lunch in a quiet, clean-smelling house...and let me tell you, it was glorious!

Do you have an incredible when-it-all-goes-wrong story like this?  I bet you do...most of us do, especially if you're a parent.  When you're in the midst of one of these stories, it helps to remember two things:

1 - Later, this will make a hugely entertaining story that will bring laughter to all who hear it
2 - If you're a follower of Christ, nothing...not even the when-it-all-goes-wrong times, can separate you from the love of Christ.  So even though you feel like the biggest loser, idiot, (fill in your preferred word here), that you're not...God's got it under control :o)

"And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love.  Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow-not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love."  Romans 8:38

If you had a when-it-all-goes-wrong story that came to mind when you read this - please share in the comments section!  We all love to laugh :o)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Egg fighting Trum-phee

Do you have any quirky traditions with your family?  I'm hoping you just said "yes" because it would make me feel a lot better.  

I am beyond blessed to have the family I do, and this Easter all of my mom's extended family got together and one of those quirky traditions ensued.  I don't even know if other people do this, but my family has an egg fight with our dyed eggs instead of hiding them.  Yep, now you're thinking we're're probably also wondering what in the world an egg fight is.  Here's the OFFICIAL rules (as per my family) to egg fighting:
  1.  Each egg has a little end and a big end, and you're only allowed to fight like ends.  (I'll pause while you go check the eggs in your frig since you don't believe me        .......................................................................see?  it's true!)
  2. One person hits and the other receives the hit. The person receiving the hit can cover up most of the egg but you have to be able to make contact. (of course)
  3. Whichever person's egg breaks is the loser.  When both ends of your eggs are smashed, you're out. 
I know this is a really complicated and highly intellectual game, so take a minute to re-read the directions if you need to ;o)

This year the egg fighting champion was my daughter, Ella.  I can't tell you how ecstatic she was to receive the coveted prize: an old (1975 to be exact...maybe we should call it vintage, it sounds better) cheer leading trophy that belonged to my aunt.  She put her "trum-phee" (her pretty cute pronunciation) on a special shelf that night, and even took it on a trip with us today so my sister could see it (because, as Ella informed me, she hadn't been able to see it yet.)  Since the egg fight that she rocked, she has asked me a gazillion times when we're going to have another egg fight.  

We all like recognition, and we all store up trophies either literal or

best-mom-ever trophy  
champion of pinterest creations
MVP at your work
1st place for most and/or coolest toys

My prayer for my kids (heck, for me too) is that while they enjoy things they're good at, that they won't store up treasures of this nature.  They only feed our ego, not our eternity.  Instead I hope they'll store up trophies in the areas of :
Most devoted follower of Christ
Champion lover of ALL people
MVP of humility and authenticity
1st place in servant hood

Matt. 6:20 & Hebrews 11:26, 

PS - Below is the picture version of the story:

Here the rules are being explained to rookie player, Ella.
Turns out the odds were in her favor...

My mom and mawmaw playing a round together.  Notice
the look of shock on my mom's face - the egg fighting got
pretty intense
Ella protecting her winning egg after the fight and looking
slightly confused about what just happened

The vintage "egg-fighting trum-phee"

Poor eggs...

Friday, April 6, 2012

Fast Friday

In honor of how I live a lot of my life these days (after baby...and then baby number two), I thought I'd do a post about one of my quick fixes.  The story goes like this:

The day before the Easter party at Ella and Noah's MMO (Mother's Morning Out) class had arrived.  What's sad about this story, is that I had actually planned ahead and gone to Sam's Club to order some super cute cupcakes to take.  (I in maybe 5 seconds...contemplated making them but then I realized although I've baked lots of things, I've never made cupcakes and don't even have a cupcake pan - I think I just forfeited my mother of the year nomination)  When we had gone to Sam's Club the day before they had a MOUNTAIN of cupcakes on display.  Naturally, I thought..."I don't need to order any when they have this abundance of super cute Easter cupcakes available, I'll just swing back by tomorrow to get some fresh ones."

                  ((Fast forward to the next day - the day before the party))

OF COURSE when we went back to Sam's there had been a run on cupcakes (I pictured something similar to the scene in Wal-Mart during Black Friday, except replace the huge tv's with cupcakes)  There were absolutely NO cute Easter cupcakes like there had been the day before.  In fact, we were lucky to get one of the last boxes of generic party cupcakes.  We had to do some quick thinking to make transform these into Easter cupcakes.  They wouldn't win an award or even make it to the Pinterest prestige level...but they worked, and I think they went over well with the preschoolers.

The BEFORE picture - these don't exactly say "Easter", right?

The AFTER picture - add a green icing nest, some Eastery sprinkles,
A peep (we used a toothpick to stick them on), and a few jelly beans,
 ...and voila - Easterish cupcakes.  

What is your latest and greatest quick fix?  I'd love to add some great ideas to my arsenal of quick fix tools!  Happy Friday!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Perfect Timing

This time of year is so perfect for Easter, don't you think?  I mean, what if they (the infamous "they") had put Easter in, say, October...or February.  Ugh!  When I think of Easter I picture beautiful greens with shocks of pink, yellows and whites mixed in (I try to ignore the evil pollen that accompanies the amazing colors...although it can be difficult when I'm clawing my eyeballs out because they itch so freakin bad!)  Isn't that just perfect?  (not the misery pollen brings, the colors...stay with me here :)  It's perfect that Easter isn't about peeps or pollen although we kinda think it is...but it's about restoration.  Something ugly and broken being made beautiful and whole once again.  (Maybe we could call it shabby chic or thrifting...hmmm)  It's perfect because the ugly brown plants that I would've sworn were dead and ready for the fireplace, were just playin possum (I'll explain that to you later if you're not from the south).  It's even more perfect because Jesus restored our relationship to Him on Easter...see our relationship was actually in flat lined, with no hope of being revived.  There just wasn't anything we do to reconcile it...kinda like I can't jump to the moon no matter if I'm me or Michael amount of good acts would do the trick.  We were doomed to be punished.  To die and stay there forever.  But...
                     wait for it....
                              wait for it.......
Jesus fixed all that.  He came, lived a perfect life and voluntarily died in our place (he could've gotten off that cross with one flick of his pinky - he was God in the flesh, remember?)  HE reconciled us to himself when he came out of that tomb and beat death.  He made all things new...on Easter.  I know peeps are pretty good...I may have actually just eaten one...but man, what Jesus did is SO much better.  It makes Easter pretty stinkin amazing.

So in the spirit of realizing God is making all things new and are some things I've noticed around me these past few days that are beautiful in their own way:

PS - If you want some theme music to go along with the pictures, check out Gungor's "Beautiful Things"

We have three dogwood trees in our yard, but only one is pink.
The kids and I recognized how gorgeous it is right now, and
decided to bring some of that gorgeousness inside!  (I
shook as much pollen off as possible though, of course!)
You know I couldn't post about beauty without including my
kiddos, right??  Here is my sweet Ella climbing her way to the
top of that same gorgeous tree.  She was getting tired of
smiling for this smile was a product of her fav joke
(Q:  What do you get when you cross a crocodile with a rooster?
A:  Croc-a-doodle-doo)
That was a freebie, just for you!
  Here is Noah blowing a dandelion.  (After
successfully clearing off the dandelion, he moved on to
try to blow the petals off the flower in his other was
pretty stinking cute.

I love this color of purple against the background of the bright green stem...
I'm secretly wondering which room of my house I could
 redo in this color scheme.  Hmmm, I'll keep you posted.

These two items have been sitting by each other for a while, but
 I just noticed how the m&m colors compliment the little roosters
 feather spoons.  That fact plus the fact that the rooster was my
great-grandmother's rooster (and I remember her using it to measure out
 flour when she let me help her make biscuits) makes this scene
 beautiful!  Love it...there could be tears involved with this one
 if I thought about it too, moving on!

So what are your thoughts about Easter?  Have you noticed any beauty around you lately in this season?

and the winner is...

me!  of course.  and you! ... if you have decided to give couponing a chance.

I told you I'd follow up to yesterday's post so...

Here's what I scored this morning at Harris Teeter:
basil, mozarella cheese, lunch meat, 2 packs of cinnamon rolls, cascade dish detergent packs, two boxes of organic whole wheat pasta, 2 steamfresh green bean packs (love these!), 2 ginormous boxes of tampons, a crap ton of easter eggs, 15 ct. allegra, 2 greek yogurts, 3 cans of grands biscuits, cheerios, 2 homestyle macaroni and cheese, great grains cereal, bread, applesauce, AA batteries, alfredo sauce, peanut butter, 2 cans of pineapple, 4 lean cuisines, 4 packs of green giant frzn veggies, 2 bottles of head & shoulders, turkey dogs, 2 boxes of kids yogurt, 2 cans mandarin oranges & toothpaste (free!!)
                                                                                                 ...yeah, a picture would be easier, huh?
Before coupons or preffered member pricing, I would've paid $154.56 for all of this...but I paid $83.37.  That's a savings of $71.19!  Heck yes! (as Napoleon would say)  I must have coupon can borrow them if you want.  (btw - I like your puffy sleeves)

            woah - sorry...back on track...

Couple of other things you've know about this picture:

  1. Allegra is in the front purple box (originally 15.49, but I paid $6.49...I had a $7 coupon, those make my month)
  2. I had several other expensive items like $10 worth of lean cuisine (because sometimes I just like to not have to think about what I'm gonna fix to eat....can I get an Amen?)
  3. On the far left is hydroponic basil.  I know, I had no clue what that meant either...but it is a little mini basil plant in the bag that's supposed to stay fresh longer if you keep the roots moist.  That was my one splurge (it wasn't on sale and I didn't have a coupon), but seriously, you think Wal-Mart is going to have hydroponic basil.  Ummm, no.  
  4. I didn't put it in the pic, but I got three coupons off of the I got a $4 voucher off of my grocery bill for my next trip.  
All in all it was a good trip...can't wait to hear about yours!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

the big deal

So what's the big deal about couponing, you ask?  Well let me tell you...

It's a big enough deal to make Wednesday mornings a highlight of my week.  If you'd told me as a senior in high school that a highlight of my week in 13 years would be going couponing at the grocery store, I may have sunk into a deep dark depression.  BUT - here I am now, living in full blown mommydom, and I love couponing.  I save money, have some alone time (I go alone bc the last time I took the kids we entered with 6 shoes between the three of us and left with only 4 - not a successful trip!), and I walk away with a feeling of accomplishment.  Tell me what's not to love about that?

It has taken me a while to be able to say I feel like I've mastered the art of couponing, and if I'm telling the whole truth, I fell off the wagon for about 9 months.  (Oops)  See, when I first started I was trying to be one of the coupon divas or The Krazy Coupon Lady...and although they are rocking the coupon world...that's just not me.  (I am feeding a family of four not an army.  I'm also only bathing a family four - I can't figure out why they need 58 bottles of body wash, even if they were 25 cents each?)  When I was starting out I thought I needed to buy EVERYTHING that was a good deal.  Yes, I got some amazing deals, but I couldn't figure out why I wasn't saving any money.  Turns out, I wasn't saving money because I was buying WAY more stuff!  (Funny how that works, huh?)

My system these days isn't a large scale operation, but it's working great for us.  Here's my plan:
Sunday - Buy a Sunday paper, preferably from the largest town around (if you have a large family you may want to buy two.)

Sometime between Sunday and Wednesday morning - I hunt for the coupon flyers in the massive Sunday paper (they like to hide) and go through them.  I ONLY cut out the coupons of items that I would normally buy for my family. (This is the key to not buying way more stuff than you need and therefore not saving any money)  I leave the rest in the flyer and throw them away.  I take the coupons I've cut out and file them in my notebook (I have a three ring binder with baseball card sleeves.  I also have different sections tabbed off such as: meat, dairy, baby, etc.  However, I've seen so many different filing systems being used by fellow couponers...I'd encourage you to do whatever will be easiest for you to maintain and quickly find your coupons while you're at the store)

Wednesday morning - I get up as early as I can make myself (my bed and I have a tight relationship and are not easily parted) and I check my email for the grocery store ad that was sent to me during the night.  The ad tells me what things are on sale.  I then match up what's on sale to my coupons, giving me the most bang for my buck.  (Most stores run their sales from Wednesday to Tuesday of the next week.)  After making sure I have my list made out I hit the store.  In my area it's imperative that you go to the store asap because all of those great deals will snagged (you know all that early bird stuff...) and you never know when the store will restock.

Other free tidbits because I love ya:

  • My preferred grocery store is Harris Teeter, and I'm in no way paid to say that. (wish I was though...anybody out there have any pull with HT advertising???)  They not only have great sales, but they have one of the most pleasant store atmospheres.  That may sound crazy, but after wrestling two preschoolers all week, a calm and peaceful atmosphere pretty much rocks my world.  PLUS, they have complimentary coffee, AND.....wait for it....a cup holder built in to the cart.  Oh yes.  (that's why we mothers all love minivans, because they have a bazillion cupholders....I'm convinced heaven will have more cupholders than a minivan - watch out!)  In the beginning I tried to go to several different stores to coupon, but that boggled my simple mind and quickly overwhelmed me.  Now I only go to HT to coupon and then go to a cheap store (Wal-Mart, Aldi, etc) to buy whatever else I need for the week that I didn't find couponing.  

  • Whatever store you choose, make sure you sign up for their emails and preferred member card (both are free).  These both get you extra deals and/or coupons.  For example, at HT they have electronic coupons that you can save to your preferred member card.  Not only that, but you are allowed to use one paper coupon AND that electronic coupon for the same item...and then if the item is on's enough to have a couponer hyperventilating.

  • Before you go for your first trip find out about their coupon policy.  HT will double all coupons whose value is 99 cents or less.  That's pretty awesome.  (BUT - some stinky coupon makers put a "Do Not Double" label on their coupon, and, yep, you guessed it - those won't double.)  Find out how many coupons you can use on the same item and how many coupons you can use a day (20 at HT).  It's also sometimes helpful to find out if they do rain checks for items that are out of stock.  This is a price guarantee that you can come in next time and get that item for the sale price that you missed because they were out of stock.  Usually these do not expire - they're pretty much like gold :o)

Mmmmm...I'm gonna go to bed now and dream of my amazing couponing trip tomorrow morning.  Maybe I'll even follow up and show you what I got...(I know you're hoping that you could only be so lucky...)

What about you - how do you feel about couponing?  Fellow couponers - what did I leave out that newbies need to know?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Quiet Place

So I've been thinking...that I wanted to jump back into the blogging world.  I miss it, and now that I have a two year old (instead of the infant I had two years ago) I'm gonna give it a go.  Although I got an impulse last week and started a new blog (I'm one of those people who love to start new projects...and may or may not have a lot of unfinished projects sitting around), I really still love my old blog.  I decided to give it a face lift and pick blogging back up in the same place I left off. order to blog I really have to have a place to gather and record my thoughts in peace.  A place of solitude.  Today I realized just how difficult it may be to find this place...

I realized this as I was visiting the potty today.  I assumed to make the visit alone (that's not unreasonable, right?), but I realized I was sorely mistaken as my family burst through the door.  (I love the beautiful retro glass door knobs in my house...but why oh why did they not need locks in 1935??)  It was urgent of course, because Ella, my 4 yr old, HAD to give me a Belle squinky, while wearing a crown and talking in a British accent.  (who knows??)  Then my 2 yr old had to follow...of course...because he was pretending to be Ella's dog.  Everyone knows that good dogs follow their master no matter where they go, so here came Noah, barking happily into the bathroom.  Finally, my husband came in after realizing the kids were no longer in his line of sight.  As the whole family played in the bathroom I realized (not for the first time) that I badly need a place of solitude...not to mention a lock on the bathroom door.

SO...the bathroom is not my place to blog.  (Aren't you thankful?  :o)  I'm gonna keep looking for a place of solitude to not only blog, but also to sit and pray, to read, and be filled.  I think that's pretty important in this season of my life.

Where is your place of solitude?  I'd love to hear your creative ideas especially if you have a crazy busy life life...