Friday, April 25, 2014

Easter 2014

Beautiful Easter in Long Island with the family. Left to Right: Charlotte, Emme, James, Elizabeth, Andrew, Joseph, Emma, Christopher, Juliet and Michael.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

We are waves OF ONE SEA...

Not that I have a huge fan base or anything, so this link won't add 10,000 followers to her blog, but it's seriously a great blog. Her and her family started this business and the meaning behind it is so inspiring.  It's a UNITY-Inspired surf brand, and it's the cutest thing I've ever seen!

About the Owner/Creator
Maryam, the young mother behind OF ONE SEA, strives to raise her brood of boys with a deep love for all of humanity regardless of race, class or beliefs. Similarly, she hopes the messages shared through the brand OF ONE SEA will inspire a sense of unity in all those who enjoy them.

I just love it. And her kids names..............


I'm in love with those names... why didn't I think to do the whole ocean inspired names... after all, I'm truly in love with all things water & relaxation. Well, I was gunning for Triton the first time. You know... King Triton from The Little Mermaid. ONE DAY... ;-)
Anyways, it's a great blog and you really should check it out, since mine is no where near as inspiring as this... yet!

Speaking of inspiring blogs, on the right I have a list of blogs I like to follow. Check out The Better Mom & I am not the babysitter. These are just great people! I hope to one day be a goal-oriented, dream-seeking, never-say-never kind of person! 

One raindrop raises the sea...

This has always been one of my favorite quotes since watching 'Dinotopia' as a teenager. My best friend & I were babysitting a couple boys and they begged us to watch this movie...

Do you know how long that movie is?

Well, it was great. And I never forgot this quote. I thought I would use my favorite colors to play around with my new applications I got on my ipad.

I used these applications:

Pen & Ink
SketchBook Express


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Moving once again...

For those of you who know our family, you know we just relocated from Central Florida to Upstate NY. It's been a great change of scenery and helped our family grow to be so strong together. There have been numerous changes and many friends made, but we are once again moving. This time, it's only 30 minutes away, which is nice... But, moving is moving. Doesn't matter how far you're going, you still have to pack everything in to a billion boxes and move the huge furniture from one place to another. Not to mention... we are trying to save up to one day get a house in my favorite town in NY so far... FAIRPORT! That is the only moving that I won't dread!

Anyways, I'll share the good news with all of you. Our new apartment is gorgeous! We are moving from a two-level townhome with 4 bedrooms into a one-level apartment with 3 bedrooms. With two toddlers anyone can understand it's much better to be on the same level. No running upstairs 24 times from 9pm-11pm trying to get your toddler to fall asleep, no worrying about baby gates and falling down the stairs*, and leaping over the baby gates... it's all just very hectic. Plus, we will have a fire place, wooded views from every window, the end unit (again, which I love!), huge pantry, 10 x 10 master closet, large rooms, etc. I'm just so excited about having a blank slate to decorate and re-organize. Once all the boxes and furniture are moved, I will be a happy camper. But for the next three days, I will procrastinate packing more boxes until I have no choice.

I'm thinking this move will be a lot easier than the one from FL to NY! The weather, hiking, parks, lakes, and Wegman's make it worth the while. Bad drivers, missing my family & driving in the snow are not. ;-)

*by falling down the stairs...I mean myself included. It's already happened twice. Once at 4am on my way to work... I slipped on the very top step and tumbled all the way down. Not one of my best days.


My Love Bug

My Love Bug

This is my Love Bug, and she's exactly that! She is such a great big sister and full of love. She's a cuddly girl half the time, and completely independent the other half. She teaches her brother everything she knows and loves to boss him around. She's way to advanced in language for her age so she speaks her mind, and doesn't have a filter... does any child? Her favorite line is... "Let's talk about it..."


The love of my life

November 10, 2007 Tommy asked me to be his girlfriend with sidewalk chalk at our local park in Central Florida. Flash forward over 5 years and we've got two amazing children, moved across the United States and we're still learning so much about each other everyday. He is my best friend, and I'm lucky to have him by my side through life's up and down's. We work hard at our relationship every single day, and I'm thankful for every little moment we've ever had. We look to God to help guide us through our relationship and parenting our children, and so far he has blessed us in so many ways.

Books I will finish by the end of the summer...

Our family is in the process of moving again, we will be re-locating closer to Tommy's work this Friday. That gives me three days to pack... and you could say that I'm procrastinating.

I do not like to pack... so I'm just thinking about the books I will have time to read as soon as we get settled into our new place. Reading by the fireplace with the patio door opened with the beautiful fall breeze... I can't wait.

READING is one of my favorite things to do, I just wish I had more time for it! As a mom of two, I stay pretty busy!

These are the books I put on hold and got all at once: I will finish them quickly, once I get a moment to sit down and read. I'll let you guys know what I thought of them.

Serena- Ron Rash

Redemption- Karen Kingsbury and Gary Smalley
Remember- Karen Kingsbury and Gary Smalley

The Legend & The Prodigy- Marie Lu

Books I have read recently that I will recommend:

The Hunger Games trilogy
The Divergent Series (3rd book coming this fall)- Veronica Roth
Raving Fans (for those in customer service)
The Choice- Nicholas Sparks

I read these books in the last two months, and couldn't take my eyes off of them. Especially the Divergent series!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Teaching Portfolio

Alright, so it's part b of my "household binder", but I bring this everywhere with me along with my household binder when I'm doing anything important. Between the two binders  I have everything I could need for an interview, applying for my NY driver's license, Dr's appointments, requesting copies of important documents, etc. 

If you're interested in teaching as a profession, no matter what age, i'd recommend having a teaching portfolio put together. It's like a linked-in account on paper. We talked about these portfolios in my education college courses like they were the most important part of your interview. I've had two teaching interviews and neither director actually looked at the portfolio, but they were interested and impressed i'm sure that instead of being all over the place... I had every document they could need to look at. I'll tell you what documents I keep in here and in what order incase you want to create one for yourself. I went to college for early childhood education and right now I'm interested in teaching at the daycare/nursery level. I have young children and they learn so fast at this age. I want to be there at the beginning to help create a love for learning. It's amazing to build relationships with these children and their families and it's the perfect age to build a bond that they learn to truly trust you. 

I got offered a job to be a teacher in the nursery (6weeks-18 months) classroom, but I would be happily willing to work in any classroom or in any grade if I decided later to teach elementary, middle or high school. I truly love to learn and I love to expand my knowledge in creative ways to the young children that will grow up to be the educators of our grandchildren!

Enough blabbing, here's what I have in my portfolio:

Very first page, the first thing you see is the picture up there. A simple cover picture explaining what this portfolio is and something that maybe stands out. This picture represents the artsy side of teaching and childcare that I love. They are melted crayons molded into a new shape to make new crayons. I love making and creating new things with children, and the colors are beautiful. Children love colors as much as we do as adults, it's creates more of an interest for them.

PAGE 1: Cover 

PAGE 2: Table of Contents

PAGE 3: TAB: Background Information

PAGE 4: Cover letter/ Copy of Resume (even though you have most likely already sent them your    resume)

PAGE 5: My teaching philosophy (I'll do another post later with my teaching philosophy and how I  decided to write it.) 

PAGE 6: TAB: Professional Development

PAGE 7: College Degree (Yes, the actual incase they need copies. Behind that I have my birth certificate and social security card in there temporarily incase copies are needed, as well.)

PAGE 8: Official Transcripts

PAGE 9: Work History/Experience: Work history that is related to your teaching job and any babysitting experience with names, ages of children, length of time, and responsibilities.

PAGE 10: TAB Community Involvement (This is where it feels like linked-in to me!)

PAGE 11: I have half of the page listed with all the volunteer experience I have (Related to the position I am applying for, which in my case is any child-related volunteer experience. I have much more than just that, but it's unnecessary.)

PAGE 12: TAB References

PAGE 13: List of References and their contact information (So you don't have to pull out your cell phone in an interview or ask the director for your resume. You will have a copy, plus a list in your portfolio incase you need them.)

PAGE 14-16: Letters of Recommendation from people other than the ones on your reference list! (When the director asked for the list of my references, I also mentioned that I had a couple letters of recommendation if she was interested in them. She took them! Make sure they have the contact information of the person writing they letter so they can follow up if need be.)

PAGE 17: TAB Artifacts

PAGE 18-20: Sample lesson plans that I have created or that I would like to use in a teaching setting. Make sure they are geared towards the age group you are interested in. If you are applying for a daycare, don't write a lesson plan for a second-grade level!

PAGE 20-?: If you have experience, even from babysitting, you could put samples of the children's artwork, maybe even if they match your lesson plans, or just drawings to show the director that you are really interested in the job you are applying for!

THE END- All done! It's got quite a bit, but if you are applying for a position in an elementary school this could be what makes you stand out from the rest! I used colored dividers and color coordinated each section to be a different color. I'm not applying to work in a law firm, I'm applying to work with children! Make it fun and interesting! Show that you won't be a boring teacher, but that you can't wait to have fun with the children as well as teach them through exciting lesson plans. 

Just a heads up! Most directors will take you into the classroom they are looking to hire the teacher in and have you play with the children. Make sure you lighten up and just have fun. :-)




NOTE: I haven't made this yet... but you don't need to try it to make sure BLT Dip will be delicious! Trying it soon :-) I'll post pictures when I do.

1-1/2 pound bacon, cooked, drained, crumbled, and divided
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded) or to taste
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (or to taste)
1 tablespoons mustard
2 cups chopped seeded tomatoes
1-1/2 cup shredded Iceberg lettuce
pepper an salt to taste

Toasted bread rounds, crackers, or pita chips.


Preheat oven to 350˚. Spray a 11⁄2-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Set aside 3/4 cup crumbled bacon.

In a large bowl, combine remaining bacon, cream cheese, shredded cheeses, sour cream, mayonnaise, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and mustard. Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Sprinkle chopped tomatoes, remaining 3/4 cup crumbled bacon, and Iceberg lettuce over hot dip. Serve immediately with toasted bread rounds, crackers, or pita chips.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April 30, 2013

One of my favorite bible verses with a picture I took today. Sometimes you just need a reminder. I always use these as my wallpaper on my computer. I love making new ones all the time.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Garlic & Brown Sugar Chicken

I'm a parent of two that cleans up all day after two young kids, making food all day, running in and outside to keep from the snow/rain/wind, etc. There's always something that makes my day hectic. The last couple days I've just been feeling sick and tired all the time, along with the regular stuff. I wanted to make a healthy dinner that was quick. I had chicken defrosted in the fridge and wasn't sure what to do with it. I made this recipe in the beginning of April, and now it's the end of April... that's not too soon? Is it? Usually for me it is, unless I really like the recipe. This is so simple and tastes delicious! Don't be worried by the sound of the dish... really, it works together perfectly.

Ingredients: (chicken)
4 chicken breasts
5-6 cloves Garlic
1 cup Brown Sugar
 5 tbsp. Olive Oil

Really the amount of the ingredients doesn't matter, you want to coat the chicken in this glaze before baking. I used extra this time, and it turned out so well.

Not going by the ingredients because I didn't keep track (those are just estimates)
I put oil in a small saute pan, enough to cover the bottom of the pan.
Saute the garlic until soft and start slowly adding brown sugar until it melts and you have just a little bit of oil left, mostly the brown sugar and garlic mix. 

I cut the chicken fat off (which means I cut off about half of the chicken! YUCK!)
laid in a 9x13 baking dish layered with foil first
and then spoon the glaze over the chicken rubbing in...

Pop the chicken in the oven for 15-30 minutes.
My chicken was pretty thick and 20 minutes was PERFECT. 
Temperature was at 167.

Always cook your chicken to at least 165,
remember if you over cook the chicken, it will be chewy and tough.
No good.

Alright, and thats all. I made rice pilaf from a box 
(I don't know of any other way to make it, but next time I'll be making brown rice)
and some mixed veggies while the chicken was cooking.

I recommend sauteed asparagus and brown rice with this chicken if you have more time.
But in a rush, rice pilaf and veggies were perfectly fine.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

When you're looking for Acceptance from others:

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all- how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died- more than that, who was raised to life- is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:

"For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
                                                                                                                             -Romans 8: 31-39

Who are you trying to seek approval from? Aren't we all trying to impress everyone else than the one that matters. We should be seeking approval from a crowd of ONE. Jesus said in his Sermon on the Mount:

Do not fear the one who can kill the body and after that do nothing. Fear the one that after the killing of the body has the power to throw the soul into Hell.

We can't worship the world and worship our God. We can't worship others and their thoughts of us, we need to worship our God and ask for his approval. Are you living for God? Or, are you living to make yourself and others happy?

It's not the easy way- going against our nature to be selfish and do what makes us happy. But, that's not why we're here, and we sure don't want to follow that path that leads to nothing good! If God is on our side, that's all that matters.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

ABC Bible Printables

ABC Biblical Printables for Toddlers

I downloaded these pages and printed them out for Emme to color.

I already have a drawer for all the letters in each their own bags with things that start with the corresponding letter. I've meant to post pictures and more details-but I haven't yet.

But, with each bag we do a coloring page with that letter and a bible verse. Today we did A, because I just now found these PERFECT printables. It took me a while, I've found some before but they didn't have the bible verses on them, and some of the things were a little weird.

This is perfect for my time just with Emme while Michael is sleeping. I read my Bible every morning and today Emme came up to me and said "MINE!" And I said, Emme, this is Mommy's Bible, where is yours? So you said "No MY Bible"... and then grabbed my coffee cup and said "NO MY COFFEE".

LOL! Wow does she know her mom or what, just assumed coffee was in my cup ;-)

I love sharing things like this because it took me forever to find what worked perfectly for us. I can guarantee these 100% and if you don't want to download them, I can e-mail you the downloads from my computer and you can just print them out without saving.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Getting rid of Pacifiers

Just because this idea was too amazing NOT to share:


I don't know how to build this one up, other than the fact that both of our children use pacifiers, and Emme just turned 2. So, in order to make sure her teeth grow in right and don't affect the teeth or her speech- we need to wean her off. We are so weak- I'm sure I've mentioned this somewhere. We give into them because they are sick, they are sad, they are teething, they love them, we just have any reason why they can have them again. So, COLD TURKEY was the only way to go. But, seriously, you can't just rip something away from them that they've used for 2 years everyday and night, and love so much. So I did some research and found the perfect idea! So perfect that I called Tom right away to announce the idea and see if we could do it that night.

So, Friday night (because he's home most of the weekend to help) we went to the mall. Little did we know they had a HUGE puppy adoption thing going on so she got to pet tons of little mini puppies (AW!). It was so much fun just with the puppies alone, but Emme loves the mall and LOVES build-a-bear. We have one from my baby shower for her, and she's gotten one on her first and second birthday now. We figured what better way than use build-a-bear to celebrate this HUGE step in her little life. So we went into build-a-bear and picked out matching bears for her and Mike. Waiting through the crazy long line, we finally got up to the stuffing machine. She happily shoved her pacifiers in the bear, said "BYE PACI'S!" "I LOVE YOU!", and gave the bear a big hug. She gave the bear a bath and helped with Michael's bear. We didn't get any clothing or anything- 1. Michael is too little to have anything hanging off the bear, 2. It's a PACI bear, nothing else. We wanted them to focus on the bear needing the paci's more than they did.

[Insert the fact that Mike still uses paci in his crib, we couldn't do that to him at 9 months]

But, the trip was fun, Emme got to ride the merry-go-round like always. She's the best at riding the horses, she waves to everyone and gets so excited when she see's me or daddy around the corner.

We got in the car- everything seemed to be going great. UNTIL- bed time. She asked for Paci and Daddy said "You are going to have to talk to bear about that, Emme". After explaining to her that bear needed the paci's and they were in his heart. He said she started choking the bear... i'm cracking up at this point. She was really mad at the bear at first. I won't be surprised if we go in there one night and the bears stuffing is spread around her room.

But, a couple days later- She LOVES the bear, she sleeps with him and cuddles with him. She understands that he has the paci's and can even feel them in bear. It's so sweet how she is with her stuffed animals. Perfect weaning idea. She does have her moments where she still gets mad at the bear- but we just talk to bear about it and she realizes after a while that bear has them and if she hugs better she will feel better, just like she did with paci's.

I don't know if anyone freaked out as much as I did when I saw this idea, but it worked great. It's not Tuesday and both of them are doing great without pacifiers all day and night. Michael never freaks out, the only time he ever needs it is when he's sleeping. He still doesn't have any teeth so it's helping him through teething. I love my babies and hate to hurt them by taking the pacifier's away, but I don't think they'll be upset about it forever. I'm sure we would've lost them within the week anyway... ;-)

Time Out

Time Out... Am I really writing about this? YES...Why, Yes I am.

Seriously... you don't even realize how amazing my life is. Not always, I should be realistic, it gets pretty hectic over here with these two little rascals. But, they make my life so adventurous and exciting right here in my own home.

We have recently gotten rid of the paci's (pacifiers) and that's a whole different post. A pretty interesting one, actually. So her nap time isn't as smooth as it used to be, it's quite a struggle. So I have been putting her in time out, until she says she will lay down and close her eyes. I know, I know I get the worst mom of the year award for making my child take a nap, but she needs a nap. Emme without a nap is like a bear without hibernation. Just imagine GRIZZLY BEAR hungry and tired. That's her.

I give her the option. "Emme, do you want to sit in time out or take a nap?" I should just warn you, this is not how it's supposed to happen. "Time Out!" Hmm... okay Emme. So I put her in time out facing the wall and it's an instant "Okay, mommy, I'll take a nap!" YES, IT WORKED! So I tell her she has to lay down and close her eyes, she agrees. So we walk over to the bed and she sits down, and she says "Time Out! I wanna go in time out!" I'm thinking in my head so many things like don't laugh, don't yell, don't stress, she knows you're weak! It's a huge game to her. She bawls her eyes out in time out and it truly breaks my heart, but they're fake. She can cry fake tears.... I'm not lying! Because she stops AS SOON as I tell her she can get up. It's like a 10 second time out, that's how fast she can turn on the drama.

Anyways, I think I'm in for some trouble for the teenage years. Maybe even sooner than that. She is just so funny, so dramatic, so silly, SO smart, so Perfect!

She counted to twelve and sixteen today... we were counting her strawberries? I didn't know she could count that high! She catches onto everything so quickly.

Great Story!!! Daddy was singing the other day walking around the house, just being silly and Emme and Mike were running/crawling around. Daddy mentioned "I'm gonna kick your butt" in the song to me, and sure enough, Emme repeats it. Out of the whole song, she picked those words out! We were laughing so hard, after I yelled at him saying "I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU JUST TAUGHT OUR DAUGHTER TO SAY THAT!" I guess it could be much, much worse. :)


I love this verse so much.

Hand your control over to God, he will help build your faith. He promises to love you unconditionally and everlasting. He will never leave or forsake you; He works all things together for your good. 

Thursday, February 28, 2013


“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
I Peter 5:7

I would say I have good control over anger. You know those situations when your stopping quickly to get something to eat and the place has run out of the one thing you were craving? THOSE are the situations that I can fly through. No problem- It happens to everyone and my expectations of how things are going to happen can't lead me to be upset over an inconvience. That'd be selfish of me to get angry over something like that, and I always find myself saying "Everything happens for a reason". 
God has a plan for my life, and just because I think I've got it all figured out, doesn't mean he won't turn the tables in my life the way he has planned for me. You get inconvenienced when traffic is backed up, or when you drop and break a new plate, or when your children are screaming in the grocery store. Those are all things I'd say I handle pretty well, most of the time.

Anxiety on the other hand, I have absolutely no control over in my life. I have read into it and tried to fix it through patience and understanding. And really, I feel like anxiety runs parallel to anger. It's an emotion and it's not sin to feel anxiety or anger. It's what we do when we feel these emotions that matter. We need to be able to control ourselves- our tongue, body and actions. I feel this way about my anxiety- it's okay to FEEL anxiety, but I can't let it control my life. 

Some weeks are okay, slight anxiety that I can throw off my shoulders. Just a little heavy-not too heavy. Wether it's about financial expectations, time constraints, terrible twos, schedule changes, health, working hours, etc. But other weeks, it's like anxiety takes over my life. It almost sets you into a place of depression (minus the depressed feelings). It makes you question if you are depressed, because it's not necessarily about being sad or depressed. But it takes over your mind, your spirit, your energy and so much more. I used to go through these anxiety attacks back in high school and the slightest change of pace. I remember when I was in high school, I wasn't the type to get angry and want to fight- I would start to shake and my body would just shut down. I didn't understand why everything was happening this way, or how I was supposed to handle it. 

To this day, when I get angry or nervous, I start to have anxiety attacks. I don't break out in an anger rage... I just shut down. I get chills, I can't stop shaking, I'll start crying, I can't stay awake, I can't seem to make those plans that I've had all set out. Not all at once, but depending on what had just happened- my body reacts to these changes and it takes over. I can't control it, and that's where my problem lies!

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
I Peter 5:7

Cast all your anxiety on HIM because HE cares for you... I've read this so many times, I can't explain why it hasn't just clicked until recently. I still have anxiety here and there, but it's the small weight that I can just figure out and take control of. I've given my anxiety to HIM. I've prayed and asked for help. I've asked for guidance in how to control my body in anxiety and anger and all of those emotions that cause you to act outside of what is the normal for you. I want to be happy and joyful and spread joy to others that I am around. I see strangers for minutes, and in those minutes I want to spread joy. Wether it's through my children that I can have a short conversation, or if I'm saying "Have a great day!". Taking an extra second to say something nice to the pay toll employee's, something they may not even notice or remember, or something that could've just made their day!

When you're working in the public, like I have since I was 15, you tend to get people that easily ruin your day from being rude or just inconsiderate. It's not even the first person, its once you have people doing it consecutively and eventually it just takes over and you start to get upset. You start making mistakes and getting frustrated. THEN, someone comes through the drive-thru and pays for the person behind them. These people are serving others without expecting any gain for themselves. The people behind them have no way of saying "Thank you" or re-paying them. That's one of the best parts... they're not looking for a thank you or for someone to do it back. If you knew how rare this happens, it would be disappointing. 

My point is- When you let anger and anxiety take over your life, sometimes you can turn into that customer that affects someone else's day, or you can be the employee that is easily upset. When you are happy or joyful, that spreads to others. My day's working in the public that started out bad would be fixed in an instant with acts of kindness, or just someone stopping to ask how I was doing, or how my children were doing. I'd get that instant reminder that people are good! You don't always get to understand why people are the way they are, you don't know where their hurt came from. 

You judge them by their bad habits- but there is hurt behind the habit. You can't just say- Stop drinking, stop smoking, stop doing drugs, stop self-harming, stop feeling anxious, stop hurting, stop loving them, stop WHATEVER it is. Everyone has a bad habit or has at some point that they've been driven to through hurt or if it's just always been there. We need to help by serving people, by sharing our joy, by helping in any way possible! 

And just remember, God can handle anything for you. Just ask and have Faith that he will follow through. He loves you just for being you- not for anything else other than the fact that you are His! He created you, and he will always be there to love you no matter what mistakes you made. 

Monday, February 18, 2013


So, I'm not 100% confident in my knowledge about religion, the Bible or the process of all of it. But i'm 100% confident in the I love God and He loves me! I'm 100% confident in the fact that Jesus died on the cross for my sins, and no matter what my sins, if I have faith and ask to be forgiven, I will be forgiven!

That is something to shout about on the rooftops. HE is almighty and perfect! Every single day I want to strive to live by the Bible, and just to live to serve him and others.

Like I said, I don't know the whole process, including 'Lent'. But, every year I give something up for Lent and spend that time serving God and spending time getting to know him. After all, he's not just someone looking over us, He is next to us, with us every single day! He is CRAZY about us, do you understand that? Do you feel that?

After I gave my life to Him, after I decided to give all trust and faith over to Him and that I knew he had plans for my life that I couldn't control, I have noticed I'm so much happier. Even in the midst of struggles, he promises happiness and joy. We can't just look for it, HE promises it will come.

Just have faith!

During this short beginning of Lent, I had given up facebook and blogging. But, I can help people through blogging and I can write my thoughts here! Facebook is just another distraction and an hour later you've done NOTHING. So I've kept my promise for giving up facebook. Blogging on the other hand, I want to keep up with. I want to share my story- it's really nothing special or incredible, other than the fact that I've realized I'm a child of God. THAT is incredible.

...a righteous man will be remembered forever.
Psalm 112:6b

Are you striving to serve God and serve others, or are you living your life to make sure your needs are served? What could you give up that you don't need. The internet package on your phone that you waste time and money on, what are you making sure that you get before you give to others?

Here's another one that I got from Sunday's sermon.

When you talk, do not say harmful things, but say what people need- words that will help others become stronger. Then, what you say will do good to those who listen to you.
Ephesians 4:29

What can you do to help others? Are you asking yourself this daily? Can you give to others, time, money, or can you pray for them?

Wouldn't the world be a better place if we focused more on others and less on what we think that we need? God will take care of us when we take care of others. It's his promise! 

Love always,

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Find Joy in your life!

The Finding Joy Movie

Inspirational quotes and images. Screen shot these for your background to add inspiration to your day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cleaning Schedule

Cleaning can be impossible at points, especially with 2 children under two and a whole list of errands I need to get done. I end up cleaning one thing multiple times a week and missing things until it's too late, and ends up more than stressful. So, I've built a "schedule" thats probably more helpful to moms with children than anyone else. Just because it's too the point and doesn't take much longer than an hour  during the day. I work pretty fast and once I get in the zone- I keep going! They take 2 naps, one at 11:00 and one at 3:00 (The second one ends up turning into them talking in their room and NOT sleeping.)

If you're looking for a way to get the cleaning done- and kept up- without getting stressed out... maybe this might work for you!

*1 load of laundry (I start this in the morning during breakfast time, and swap out during their first nap)
*Make Beds (Never gets done... I'm working on this one!)
*10 minute tidy-up/ 3x a day (Mainly their toys that get left around and whatever gets piled up)
*Shed junk- 10 minutes (Go through what you want to get rid of. Tackle somewhere new each day, like that pile of papers on your desk.)

*Floors- Sweep, Mop & Vacuum
*Dust (every room)

*Bedrooms- Change bedding, wash sheets, organize clothes/closets, vacuum floor and pick up toys.

*Bathrooms- Empty garbage, wash the shower, clean the floor, mirror, toilet, sink, check the shower liner.

*Plan meals for the week- write down supplies needed and groceries for the week.
*Kitchen- Organize pantry, wipe down counters and appliances, clean window, fridge, freezer.

*Meet-up with MOMS group or MOPS.
*TOYS- I need a good amount of time to organize and clean the toys that have been played with all week. If i'm going to keep this house cleaned- It starts with the toys! Keeping them contained and clean is the beginning. Then, getting rid of toys that are missing pieces, toys they don't use or need, and circulating toys so they don't get bored.
*Laundry- Fold, put away and organize what is left from the week.

*Clean out fridge, get rid of leftovers that haven't been eaten.
*Grocery Shopping (ALONE to get the most out of your time or it will take 3x the amount of time if you bring everyone with you. That's just a warning, but if you must, then go ahead!)
*Food prep for the freezer, or prep dinner.

*Family Breakfast
*Prep dinner for freezer meals.
*Family Day & Church!

This is just my basic schedule for cleaning. So much more happens throughout my day that I need to write down and schedule as much as possible or it won't get done.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Decorating with Children's Paintings

Our room is tiffany blue and red. Instead of buying something to match- I had Emme paint a picture for us to hang in our room. Abstract and meaningful, and she LOVES to paint!

Crock-Pot Beef Stew

 Crock Pot- Make it Sunday morning, Eat it Tuesday.

3 lbs of chuck roast
small bunch of celery
bag of carrots
large can of diced tomatoes
beef broth
2 onions
1 pouch of dry onion soup mix
1-2 cups of flour (optional)

Prep the meat first, seasoning with sea salt and cracked pepper. Cut into 2 inch pieces and throw into crock pot. Slice celery, carrots and onions in large pieces and throw into crock pot. Pour can of diced tomatoes in the can (along with the juices). Pour the beef broth in and the dry onion soup mix. Add flour as you like to thicken the soup. Mix all together and set on the lowest possible setting. My crock pot has a "warm" setting, even lower than the "low" setting which is perfect for leaving it for a 2 day crock pot meal.

Eggplant Parmesan

Do you love Eggplant Parm as much as I do? Probably not ;-)
But i've mastered the most delicious recipe yet,
probably just because it's simple yet delicious.

1 large Eggplant
4-5 Eggs
Italian Breadcrumbs (or regular with italian seasonings)
Parmesan Cheese
Pasta (whatever type you wish- we used spaghetti)
Sauce (we use homemade sauce! YUM)

Oven at 350, 20 minutes on each side will make for nice crispy eggplant. I did 30 minutes on the first side and 20 on the second but it started getting a little dark. So, I think 20 would be perfect.

Just soak each slice of eggplant in the egg and dip into the breadcrumbs, coat well on each side and set it on the foil. (Make sure its sprayed with cooking spray so it slides right off). Once on the pan- sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the top and pop in the oven. So easy! So quick! So DELICIOUS!

Emme loved it, too!

 The guys covered theirs with Mozzerella Cheese over the top! I prefer no cheese or a very small amount.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Crescent Chicken

This is like, melt in your mouth, DELICIOUS!
Tommy's reaction when I asked him what I could do to change this at all, if it needed any changing was "Yeah! Make it more often!" I thought he was joking, until the next day he called me and asked me if I could make it again for dinner... Seriously? They're good, but I like a little change in my life, and in my kitchen. Either way, they're not my recipe. Here's the link to where they came from:

I made one change! It's a very important change-

Make sure after you prep the crescent cheese and chicken rolls and put them in the pan, cook for 10 minutes BEFORE adding the soup to the mixture or the bottom will come out doughy.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Put On the Garment of Praise

Scripture Reading: Psalm 145

Provide for those who grieve... a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor. -Isaiah 61:3

In the book that I am reading, Daily Readings from Every Day a Friday, Joel Osteen talks about praising God even when we are at our lowest. It's easy to praise God when we are on a mountaintop, but when the bottom falls out, people tend to forget that God is in control and he can get you out of this. 
He talks about the story of Paul and his companion Silas being imprisoned for sharing their faith, being beaten and tortured. Instead of blaming God or being upset, they were giving thanks to God and saying "God, we know you're bigger than our problems. We know you're still in control. You are able to get us out of here." That night, an earthquake hits and they get out free. 
In summary, my favorite part, was this: 
The enemy always fights you the hardest when he knows God has something great in store for you.

Thought: You are closest to your victory when it is the darkest. That is the enemy's final stand. Don't be discouraged. Don't start complaining. Just keep offering up sacrifice of praise. 

Homemade Gifts- RJ

RJ's Sailboat Nursery

Homemade Gifts- Destiny

My beautiful cousin's daughter- Destiny
A couple years ago, I painted these for her butterfly themed room. :-)
Wish I had more pictures- I do somewhere.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Homemade Gifts- Olivia

Princess Theme Room

Emelia's Nursery

Painting a whale tail for Emme's Ocean Theme Animals Nursery (First time painting years ago)

Homemade Gifts- Adriana

Homemade Gifts- Kai

My Little Bear

My little bear, such a sweet and loving boy but full of energy! He's taking over the house and showing us more and more of his personality every single day. He's got the sweetest smile and most contagious laugh you've ever heard!