Sunday, January 20, 2013

Love Is A Verb

  I know I said my next post would be on homeschooling but this seems a bit more important and sweeter:)  Zack has been working all weekend at a home and garden show in Charlotte. He leaves early on Friday and gets home late on Sunday when he has to work one. It's not too bad, especially since we have had plenty to do while he's been gone. I knew he would be gone all weekend so I planned last week for the kids to spend the night with Zack's mom so he and I could just hang out. We didn't have any real plans, I just wanted to grab take-out and watch a movie on the couch. Sounded perfect to me. I dropped the kids off and had planned to come home and clean up a bit before he got home. He called to tell me he was on his way and asked what I wanted to eat. We decided and I tried to spruce myself up a bit. The kids and I have played soccer today, took a walk/bike ride, picked up all the sticks in the yard, and just played....so I needed it:) While I was waiting for him to get home I was cleaning and the doorbell rang. I was actually in the process of dusting the living room and even made "whoever" it was wait a few minutes until I was finished. I went to answer the door and there he stood. My dear sweet husband. I opened the door and that's when he asked me out on a date. It made me laugh. Just like old times when he would knock on my apartment door and be grinning ear to ear.  I ran to get my shoes and purse and realized I felt all giddy inside. I usually don't do giddy. I usually make fun of giddy, but I was. We walked down the steps together and he picked up his pace so he could beat me to open my door. I resisted the urge to race him. We are slightly competitive like that. We had a nice dinner just talking, but it wasn't the dinner or the fact we were alone that was special. What made it special was him putting forth that little bit of effort after 11 years and it means a lot...a whole lot. It would be easy to just go through the motions, but I appreciate the effort. I love effort. It makes marriage fun and easier. Notice I said "easier" and not "easy." All he did was ring my doorbell, ask me out, and open my door. It makes me love him and appreciate him more. Thanks babe.
love-is-a-verb
 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Raising Boys

   I won't pretend that I know everything about parenting. In fact, I feel I know nothing about it most days. Every day is different with my kids and brings moments of joy and praise along with difficult challenges. I can only pray that I don't seriously screw them up. That is actually what I say! I know the most important thing though that I can do for them is to pray for them. I have 3 wonderful kids, and two of those are boys. One is 13 and one is 4.  A drastic age difference. It keeps me on my toes. They are not interested in the same things AT ALL. They have opposite personalities and different quirks. I feel like I switch modes every few moments to handle each of their needs. They are in two totally different phases in life. Sometimes I don't know if I am coming or going. I'll just say it makes for an interesting and exciting life.
 
   I know I had Blake while I was so young, I am amazed he has made it this far.....alive:) I know I have been able to learn from the mistakes I have made with Blake and I'll be able to correct them with Jack. I feel awful saying that Blake was my "guinea pig" but the first born (in my case) helped me with the two that came after. Learning curve I guess. I am making it each day though with a heaping hand of grace and mercy from God, a dash of desire to be a better mommy, and sprinkle of maturity as the years press on.

  That being said, every once in awhile you come across great advice in parenting, which I am happy to take. Advice that makes you want to be better. I try to never pass up wisdom on the topic and I love to try it out...at least once, in hopes it will work by making my life and theirs more successful. I came across this post on Pinterest and it has stuck with me. I have read it over and over and know there are some things I want and need to change about the way we do things. I love changes...on my terms of course:) Now that I have a teen, my parenting needs to be adjusted. His attitude needs to be adjusted. My prayers need to be adjusted. His level of responsibility needs to be adjusted....so on and so forth. I need to set some standards and expectations for him so that the two following behind him know what to expect. I am learning everyday and I hope that never ends. Like I said, I don't know it all. I haven't done everything right and I'm taking this whole "being a mother thing" one day at a time. It isn't like I have ever parented a teen before and I have all the magic answers. It's new to me, just like the day he was born. I had to learn and continued to learn. So here is the article I found and love and has encouraged me to be a better parent not only to my boys but to my daughter also....because God has blessed me with them and has allowed me to be their mother. I owe it to HIM and to them to give it my all. So I will.

10 Ways For Moms To Respect Their Sons

...My next blog will be about Homeschooling. I have had several moms ask me about it, so I just want to give the reasons we have chosen it for now. Stay tuned:)

 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Blessed With Another Year

   It's almost 2013. Just a few more days left of 2012. I am thrilled and apprehensive all at the same time. I feel EXTREMELY blessed to have been given another year with my family with no major catastrophic events. It's been a good year overall and we were blessed, yet I am timid because I have no idea what this next year will hold. Will it be exciting and full of blessings? Will my children be healthy and full of life?  Will my faith grow leaps and bounds? Will this year be smooth sailing?....or will this next year be full of disappointment, trials, hardships, loss, and sadness. A year is usually a strong mixture of both and I know that, but of course being human, I prefer the joyful and triumphant kind of year most of all. That's not life though. I know this.

  What is most important is who is in control. God. There is no need to worry or be anxious. Whatever 2013 holds, I know He is in it and already knows the whos, the whats, and the whens.

Isaiah 40:12 says:
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales
and the hills in a balance?


 Such a calming peaceful thought that he holds the universe and me in his hands. Good or bad.


 We have had an eventful year with a melting pot of ups and downs, I'll save those details for later, but I can tell you that we were not alone in 2012 and we will certainly not be alone in 2013. One more year has allowed us to grow, change, mature, try new things, meet new friends, and realize life is short. Thank you God for the time you have so mercifully given us. Thank you for family. Thank you for love. Thank you for grace. Thank you for mercy. Thank you for the cross.


 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Jalapeño Chicken and Rice Casserole

  Yes, It is a Pinterest recipe again. I don't know how I EVER made it though life up until now without this handy little website. It is my saving grace when it comes to food. I get bored. I like change. Pinterest is where I find little pieces of happiness and bits of change, especially when it comes to cooking. I despise cooking. I make dinner so my children will have great memories of us growing closer by sitting around the table together. We talk, laugh, yell, argue, complain about table manners, and aggrivate each other all while scarfing down food. Ahhhh, family.

 I pinned the recipe from Culinary.net. The biggest reason I pinned it? It has several ingredients I LOVE. Yummy onions, peppers, chicken, rice, and salt(is salt counted as a food?) I am sure I could live on these few foods alone. I could eat an onion like an apple. I put peppers on almost everything! I like chicken in any form. Rice is just delish and salt makes anything better. This dish was made for me. The only down side...and it really isn't a down side unless you have some really hungry people, and I ALWAYS do, is that it takes approximately 50 minutes to cook. That didn't sit well with the Gang. I am not lying when I caught the husband watching the timer a few times. Bless him.

So here is all you need: 

  Ingredients:
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked, chopped chicken breast meat
  • 1 can (12 fluid ounces) Nestlé Carnation Evaporated Milk
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 tablespoon diced jalapeños
  • Salt









Preparation
    1. PREHEAT oven to 350–F. Lightly grease 2-quart casserole.
    2. COMBINE rice, cheese, chicken, evaporated milk, onion, eggs, cilantro, butter and jalapeños in prepared casserole; stir well.
    3. BAKE 45 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Season with salt.


If you check out the website in the comments section, several people gave suggestions for making it healthier and adding a bit more flavor. I just used garlic powder and pepper since that's all I had on hand. I will for sure be making this easy dish again.
 



Saturday, September 1, 2012

"Chewies"

  My kids LOVE fruit chews. Chewies, fruit snacks, gummies, fruit leather, or whatever your family calls them, if you have kids, you have probably bought these.  My kids have always called them "chewies."  Although they taste good, most of them aren't very good nutritionally, and they aren't cheap. We usually buy Annie's Homegrown fruit snacks and they are by far the fav.  I came across a recipe on Pinterest and I thought we would make our own. It calls for Jello (pick your poison), Knox Gelatine, water, and a candy mold. I didn't have a candy mold, but when I was in Target, I spotted an ice cube tray on the dollar rack. The bottom is soft rubber and aided in me pushing out the chewys. Bingo and easy enough. 

Love anything blue.
 
 
You can find the directions here at Skip To My Lou. This is the pin I used on Pinterest.
 
I will say that for the first batch I used 3 packages of Knox Gelatine. Not a good idea. Those were VERY MUCH like chewing rubber tires and the flavor wasn't all that spectacular either. The second batch, I only used 2 packages and they were much easier to chew. The kids had no complaints for all 3 tries. They went fast, in under an hour actually! Next time I am going to use natural fruit juice and see how that goes. I am hoping the Gelatine alone will make them mold, be softer, and healthier. This is a pin we will definitely be doing over and over again. Let me know if you try it and how it goes.
 
The mold, told you I like blue.

After they cooled

 

"G" is for good...and Gurley of course!