Sunday, August 23, 2009

What have we been up to???

Well, this explains it all...
7lbs 8oz

This blog has taken the backseat to Facebook which is JUST SO EASY to update in small quick notes so it's just been my first choice over the past almost 7 WEEKS! I can't believe it will be 7 weeks tomorrow - - - WOW!!! We are officially a family of 5 now and I couldn't be happier.

Let's see, pregnancy was tough to say the least, the csection was amazingly easy this time, recovery was GREAT, and this beautiful baby girl is JUST PERFECT!!!! Her big sister and big brother adore her of course, daddy now has 2 girls to stress out over and Adrianna and I have another shopping partner!! Life is GRANDE!!!

Tomorrow Sofia will be seven weeks old and I honestly don't know where the time has gone!
This sweet baby girl has brought some major change into our lives but with that change has come such peace in our lives, such joy, such happiness! This is what I am here for, these babies and my husband. They are my world, my heart, my everything! Sitting together, all five of us snuggled up makes my heart just want to burst!! Chris and I have been so very blessed, 3 beautiful babies all healthy, all sweet, everything we dreamed of.

New life
New beginnings
New memories
Pure Bliss!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Today is the BIG DAY!

I can't believe in just a few hours, I will FINALLY get to meet the beautiful baby girl that has spent the past 39 weeks growing inside of me!!! I can't possibly sleep. :o) I have been going over and over the births of my other two miracles, thinking about how much my life has changed since given the opportunity to become a mommy.

A New Day, A New Life, not just for Sofia, but for us all. This morning I was laying in bed at 3am just praying and thanking God for all he has given to me, no matter how unworthy I feel I am to have all the blessings I do, he has blessed me in abundance. My heart is overflowing with joy. My thoughts have been purely wonderful looking back at my life that I've always felt was "not so great", a childhood that was more "forgettable" than "memorable", and seeing it all in a new light. Realizing and being able to pinpoint all of the different times God was there and how he rescued me and comforted me even though I didn't realize He was there. I didn't live a life of faithfullness, in fact I lived a life more in envy of other children, other families, friends, everyone who seemed to have it better than I did, better "luck" than me. Oh how wrong I was.

All the tough times, all the memories I spent my life trying to block out and was successful at doing so for much of it, really made me the woman I am, the wife I've been able to become and the mother of amazing children that God has given me to teach them His ways and to Love and Praise Him, nobody else. I've learned that I cannot "idolize" anyone or "worship" anyone but Him and through God, He will give me the strength to love and be loved like never before by the people he has placed in my life, most importantly my adoring husband and amazing children. I love them in a way I never felt loved and didn't know I was even capable of loving, but realized through His love, I am.

I have spent the early hours today praying to my God for the strength today not just for me, but for my husband and the ones we love. I've prayed for friends who lost a loved one this past week and to help still one of my closest friends' anxious heart and comfort her. I prayed for my children and for my friends that show me so much love and kindness. And then I sat up and prayed, asking the Lord to fill me with the Holy Spirit, to open my heart and mind to accept his Son as my Savior and vowed to live the life that God intended for me to have, walk in His light and live a life showing others how much richer it can be when living it for Him and not just yourself.

Tears of joy spill down my cheeks as I type this, my life is full, my cup is overflowing and I feel blessed, so blessed beyond measure and I get ready to accept one of the greatest gifts God has to offer me, New Life, both spiritually and physically.

Thank You Lord!!!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

We are ON TRACK!

I can't believe how ready I feel, it's almost like I should be nervous and not too confident because I'm probably forgetting something MAJOR, LOL! Besides sweating to death, weighing 199 lbs and ALL DAY heartburn, I am feeling pretty GREAT!!! I'm full of joy and excitement, so much that I can't rest! (like that's a surprise,ha!)

We added a couple projects in the past couple days to stay in and stay cool which I'm quite pleased with. . .
  • Adrianna's 2009 Graduation Photo Album
  • Adrianna's Kindergarten Scrapbook (FULL of pics/memories of her first year in school!)
  • Our Family Recipe Binder
  • Cool Decorative Hand Sanitizers and containers for Sofia's room and downstairs
  • My 2ND Online Offer completed!! Will get my "2nd" $500 Visa Card in 5 weeks!! YAY!!!
  • Organized all closets and scrubbed out pantry.
  • Completed my CVS & WAGS posts for tomorrow over at my other blog.
House is clean and in order, arrangements all made for next week and Christopher got out today for a LONG and FUN 4th of July playdate with friends and no sister! :o) I'm halfway through another one of my Francine Rivers books about "Bathsheba" and have a line of other books to start next.

I'm feeling settled, and it feels good. I feel LOVED by all my friends and my mother in law and it feels GREAT! I think this upcoming season in our lives is going to be a GREAT ONE! I'm so looking forward to it. I've memorized Jeremiah 29:11 to comfort me during the actual CSection and feel such peace about it. "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future".

We are about to sit down and pig out on steaks, parsley potatoes, corn on the cob AND eggplant parmigiana all prepared by my hubby and mother in law. Chris and I are going out afterwards for some coffee, dessert, and "us" time. Tomorrow we will be spending it in fellowship with our friends that are actually "in town" followed by dinner with our Pastor and his family. His wife is one of my best friends and I thank God for that family everyday!!! I am still in awe the way God has blessed us with them, our wonderful neighbors who have become like family to us and all our GREAT friends that have come through these relationships over the past two and a half years . . . HE IS GREAT and blesses in ABUNDANCE, I see that now and am so full!!

Well, dinner is ready, time to chow down!


Here are pics from my latest project....

Thursday, July 2, 2009

4 more days and counting...

4 Days from now and I'll be holding and smelling a SWEET baby girl!! I can't wait!!!!! I'm surprised to say that I truly feel ready. Baking day was a success, fridge, freezer and pantry are all very well stocked thanks to all my couponing and CVSing, laundry is caught up, house is clean and I'm starting on another book by Francine Rivers. I finally organized all of my printed recipes into a cute little binder for the kitchen . . .
My friends have organized a CareCalendar for us so I've copied and pasted all the meals to my weekly menu for the ENTIRE MONTH OF JULY!!! What a blessing!!! It's posted on my fridge and I'm happy to say I don't have to worry about dinner for the rest of the month!! WOW! This is a first for us for sure.

We were talking last night about decorating the house and yard for Sofia's arrival, it's all Adrianna can think about, she's so excited. She was asking questions about what we did for Christopher when we came home, she remembered bits and pieces. My sister came for his birth which was wonderful and my mother in law was at the house there with us too so it was great! We didn't have many friends so there wasn't all this attention like we have now but it was still a great experience for Chris, Adrianna and myself. Then came Adrianna asking me who decorated when we came home with her from the hospital and all my memories came sweeping in. I wish my experience with her was as "glamorous" as she was hoping and I had to stop myself from saying we came home to an empty, dark home, very depressing and very stressful. We were new to Texas and didn't have any friends, it was very tough on me. I didn't have any family here with me and I was scared to death! She asked if we had a stork in the yard or a sign on the door with balloons and I told her no, BUT that's because she wasn't old enough to do that yet, LOL! I explained how very special and important she is in our family and how she makes every experience fun and beautiful. We couldn't do it without her! I did tell her how AWESOME it was that it snowed the day she was born and I have pics of the snow on the car, that was simple enough to excite her, my sweet 6 year old angel! I can't believe it's been 6 years. I still remember her sweet "kitten like" cry. All the nurses had to come in to see the "Hair" , they couldn't believe it, she came out with a shag...LOL! I am so thankful for having Adrianna as my first born. She slept through the night, made me so nervous since I thought she was going to starve sleeping so much. She was an easy baby, always smiled and had the biggest most beautiful eyes that people EVERYWHERE had to stop me to tell me and admire her. She was an absolute angel from the start and once I got past the nervousness of being a first time mom, I was in heaven. She is the most beautiful little girl I've ever seen and has the personality to go with it. Sweet, loving, kind and sensitive, just like her daddy, I completely adore her. I'm so thankful that I am going to be able to give her a little sister to adore, teach and protect. I know what it's like to be an older sister and am so thankful she is going to be given the opportunity to experience that too.

Adrianna Carmela

Christopher Anthony Alfio Jr.
Next . . .

Sofia Flora

All of the "Important" To-Dos are complete so today and tomorrow will be spent working on Adrianna's Kindergarten Scrapbook,and just having fun!!! I am so blessed to have the husband and children I have, what a miracle to be given another sweet little angel from God!!

I am so grateful!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


So I was watching a Baby Story yesterday and it's been a while since I've seen one of the episodes, but I of course cried my eyes out!! :o) The mom was trying to deliver her 2nd baby vaginally but had to have a Csection due to the same reasons I had to have one with Adrianna. Her husband was talking about how she was scared, but crying more because she was afraid of disappointing him.

It made me reminisce about each of my two csects I've had and how emotionally tough they were on me. At the time I had my first one, nobody I knew had one and it was SO hard on me, I felt like a total failure. I had my birth plan typed out, had a binder all organized and ready to go, even pre delivered my plan to the dr. and the hospital to post on the door...LOL. But it just didn't work for me and I had to accept that. Hopeful that I could do a VBAC for my second to be able to experience the "euphoria" of vaginal birth, I was shot down my doctors and decided to just go ahead and schedule a 2nd CS. That experience was much better than my first one. It was scheduled, I was mentally prepared, and I knew what to expect. Since the epidural didn't work the first time, my dr. gave me a spinal the 2nd birth and I was able to be awake which definitely made a HUGE difference! My first CS was an emergency, no pain meds were working and I had to go under General Anesth.

I'm prepared for my third CS delivery but still feel the anxiety of it inside. Watching the mom crying the entire time they are cutting and delivering made me cry too! The fear laying there of something going wrong doesn't go away when they take your baby out, at least not for me. I couldn't stop crying until they rolled me out of that O/R!! The fear of death overwhelms me during the surgery so I'm trying to figure out a way to not have that happen this time.

Thank God Chris is able to be right by my side. He is my ROCK, my "safe place". The man has the warmest brown eyes you could ever look into. His touch makes me feel safe and secure. He may be filled with as much fear and anxiety as I am but doesn't show it to me. I feed off of his patience and resilience as much as he feeds off my energy and excitement. We are a perfect balance for each other in that way.

Each birth is a different experience regardless of how you deliver the baby, I know that. I was laying in bed talking to Chris last night about how it NEVER gets old, each birth is NEW LIFE, a NEW BEGINNING, and I feel so blessed to have a husband that wants to experience that just as much as I do, and that God has provided us with the opportunity once again! This pregnancy has been TOUGH, this has been a rough season in our lives between moving, financial struggles, and lots of other "changes" in our lives all at once. BUT, the best, most valuable part of the past nine months has been my spiritual growth. I've felt close to God and far from God over the past 21/2 years that I began my journey, but not until NOW do I genuinely feel like I am God's Child and am filled with the Holy Spirit! My life has been transformed! I've been broken down in ways that pain me to even think about, but I do believe that was the only way for me to hear God's voice and His only way to get my attention, my FULL ATTENTION. My biggest fear since "calling myself Christian" has been whether or not I would still genuinely be me. And wow, yes, I am still ME, just a better ME. :o) Character qualities that I always said I didn't have, I now possess and call mine. I pray now, and not just for me, but I spend more time praying for other people.

This is a new Chapter in our Lives, our Book . . . and I'm so excited and FULL of Faith, Hope and Love . . .

Monday, June 29, 2009

It's Baking Day!!!

Whole Wheat Bread (in machine)

1 cup + 2T Water
1 T + 1.5tsp Butter softened
1/4 C Firmly packed brown sugar
3.5 C Whole Wheat Flour
2 1/4 tsp Bread Machine Yeast (1packet)

Place Ingredients into machine in this order:

Make a small indentation with your finger in the flour and add the yeast making sure it doesn't come into contact with the water.

Put breadpan in machine.
Makes a 1.5lb loaf

Pizza Dough

1 C water
2 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 C Flour (you can use all purpose or whole wheat)
1 Packet Yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 T Italian Seasoning

Load into bread machine and set to dough cycle. My machine takes 1.5 hours and then you remove it, roll it out, stick it on a stone and top it!

Bake at 450 until done!

Zucchini Bread

Rice Crispie Treats

Sunday, June 28, 2009

38 Week Update!

Well, my Master To Do list is almost done!! We will finish it up this week. I've had a busy weekend and feel like I'm right on track, thank God because I'm TIRED!!!!

* FULLY stocked up on about 8 boxes of Eggos, 5 tubs of Breyers, lots of strawberries (will slice and freeze 2 pints for smoothies, kids LOVE them!), chicken and some other goodies from SuperTarget.

* Spent my $46 in ExtraCare Bucks on lots of TP, Paper Towels, some meds, toiletries, 4 12 packs of Diet Coke, 2 Gallons of Milk, Bread, Cereal, Tuna, Chicken Soup, laundry and dish soap too along with a few goodies for me and the kids!

* Made a HUGE trip to Walmart and have an extremely well stocked pantry which will get us through the next month! Stocked up on Rices, pastas, breakfast items, baking needs, canned goods, beverages, snacks, chips, etc. I am good on all my pantry staples as well. :o) Had a great trip of almost $140 before qps and $73 oop! Very Nice!!!!

* Just looked at my CareCalendar that my friends put together for me and it looks like we will have dinners prepared for us for the ENTIRE MONTH OF JULY almost!!! HUGE BLESSING!! I love my friends!!

Chris cleaned out my car and I'm bringing it for an oil change tomorrow which will be the only road trip I make besides my dr. appt on Wednesday. I have some last minute "nesting" to dos for the week with my mother in law around the house and need to get as much rest as possible which involves starting another book...LOL!

I thank God for her, she is the type of mother in law everyone wishes they had - - - a TOTAL blessing!!! She will be here helping me this week wrap stuff up and a couple of weeks postpartum too. She is the typical Italian Mama, always cooking something, cleaning something, kissing and hugging the cuties and I hope to be just like her when I'm a Grandma for sure. She and I have a very special bond that I am overjoyed for. I love our conversations, I love the love she has for me and our family, and I especially love her gracious and giving heart. Right from the start, I felt accepted especially by her...hey I'm Italian after all..LOL! I am so excited to be able to give her another granddaughter to love and adore and chose her name for Sofia's Middle name...."Flora"...."Sofia Flora"'s PERFECT!

So now it's off to relax with Chris, write out my weekly to do list and fill out my monthly calendar to stick on the fridge for the family... I feel overjoyed right now!!!


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Preparing for Baby! Master To Do List

Thanks to Crystal over at MomofLittles, I've decided to prepare a few lists of things that I need to have done before Sofia's arrival. She is also a mommy now to 3 and has inspired me with some of her tips and ideas.

The Master To Do List

Have all baby clothes, burp clothes, blankets & other linens on hand and washed.

Purchase Nursing Bras and other personal items for postpartum.

Finish Nursery.

Pack hospital bag and "Daddy Bag".

Pack "Busy Bags" for both kids for the hospital.

Buy an extra battery for the camera & laptop.

Put carseat in car.

Arrange Childcare for hospital stay.

Work on June Schedule for kids' activities.

June's Menu Plan.

3 Month supply of diapers.

Work on stockpile for paper goods & Pantry.

Make & freeze 4 pizza doughs.

Make cookie dough and freeze in a tube to easily cut.

Steam clean rugs.

Wax entire downstairs floors.

Organize Master closet with postpartum clothes and pack away clothes I won't be wearing for a while.

Organize Laundry Room, Coat Closet, and kids' craft closet.

Have July's bill schedule setup and ready to hand over to hubby.

Oil Change in my car.

Brakes done in hubby's car.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

3 week Menu Plan!

This is a first for me, I'm going to give it a try! I've been doing weekly menus for a long time now so why not try this? I have all the meat for these dishes in the freezer and get veggies weekly at the Farmer's Market so looks like the only things I need are some pantry staples, which are on my "StockPile List" and some salmon. :o)

Week of 6/15
Monday: Rice & Beans with fried tortillas
Tuesday: Grilled Chicken Breast, yellow squash & salad
Wednesday: BBQ Ribs in Crockpot, fried zucchini & baked potatoes
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Chicken Burgers & homemade french fries
Saturday: Father's Day! Daddy's choice of takeout!
Sunday: Spaghetti & Meatballs, salad

Week of 6/22
Monday: BLT Salad with Basil Mayo Dressing
Tuesday: King Ranch Chicken Casserole (from freezer)
Wednesday: Grilled Country Style Pork Ribs, rice & veggies
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Pizza Night!
Saturday: Grilled Hot Dogs, Potato Salad & Veggies
Sunday: Waldorf Salad with Chicken Breast with rolls

Week of 6/29 Grilling week since I'm cleaning my oven on Sunday! LOL
Monday: John McCain Ribs in Crockpot, Cucumber Salad, rolls
Tuesday: Grilled Salmon, veggies & Rice Pilaf
Wednesday: Pizza on the Grill
Thursday: Burgers on the grill, grilled corn on cob
Friday: Final Date Night as parents of Two!
Saturday: Dinner with Friends
Sunday: Baked Ziti and Salad, my favorite! No food after 10 so I'm going to fill up! :o)

I'll be in the hospital from Monday-Wednesday and have a WONDERFUL support group of friends that will be providing meals every other night for our family so we should be taken care of for a few weeks postpartum. I'm working on freezing about 6 meals, some pizza doughs and stocking up on some Boca Burgers and a few easy meals for the kids too!


Saturday, June 13, 2009

36 Week Update

I know it's been quite some time since I've blogged over here, but I've been focused on my ThrifteeMomee blog and getting as many deals to build my stockpile as I can in preperation of baby #3!

We had a crazy month and a half dealing with some problems at our house we are renting out, but thankfully it has all been worked out. So now, it's full speed ahead with our focus on our family and preparing for our new addition to arrive. :o) I've had all sorts of mixed feelings during this pregnancy. Between feeling very sick, super duper emotional, stressed and overwhelmed it's been tough. With moving and getting pregnant right away, life has been hectic to say the least, LOL. But I feel like now we have finally reached the peak and are coasting down now ready to get to that calm, flat land. Motherhood is tough and mothering a newborn can be a challenge, but it's my true comfort zone and a place I can't wait to be again. Pregnancy is NOT my thing, ha, but being a mommy is pure bliss for me and I'm so blessed to have the opportunity to go through it again from the beginning! Oh how I dream about holding a newborn baby again, and that smell....ooh!

So, I've worked on a few different schedules. A Master To Do list, June's Menu Plan, June's schedule of activities and playdates for the kids are what I've been focusing on. I'll be posting those in seperate posts so I can easily find them.

I'm now 36 weeks and will be delivering baby Sofia at 39 weeks, c-section, on Monday July 6th! I'm actually feeling pretty good most days besides the regular physical stuff at this stage, being tired, weighing over 60 lbs heavier than pre-pregnancy, and moving slower, LOL! My mind is doing well, so I can handle the physical stuff for sure. I'm looking forward to these next few weeks with Chris and the kids enjoying our Summer break!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Oven Ranch Chicken, Green Beans, Baked Sweet Potatoes

Tuesday: Tamale Pie in Crockpot

Wednesday: Beef Stew

Thursday: Applesauce Chicken in Crockpot (skipped last week, dinner was made for us!)

Friday: Tacos

Saturday: Grilled NY Strip

Sunday: Sauce

Friday, April 17, 2009

Nothing better on a rainy day . . .

than one of my FAVES...
I just took a nice warm bath downstairs in my sister's bathroom and attacked her "goods"!
And OMG do I LOVE LOVE LOVE the "Sudsing Scrub-Stress Relief". WOW, my skin feels GREAT! I am so cheap to buy B&B products but LOVE to have them. I used the bubble bath, scrub, and foot cream too! She has the foot soak as well that she left out for me to use at night in my foot bath to help with my aching feet. :o)

I topped it off with Avon's "Mark Lemon Sugar Body Butter" and feel so good! Just what I needed. Now going to do a brown sugar face mask before Adrianna gets home and before Christopher wakes up.

Nice end to a not so great week and beginning to a wonderful weekend!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Leftovers from Easter weekend

Tuesday: Crockpot Chicken Marsala

Wednesday: Broiled Tilapia, Rice & Veggie

Thursday: Beef Burgandy from last week (didn't make it)

Friday: Make your own pizza night! (Dough from freezer)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Feeling "stretched". . .

I'm feeling SO sleepy today and to be honest, not quite well. I fell asleep on the couch while Chris was putting Christopher to sleep which seems to happen to me all the time lately! I just get SO tired by the end of the day. I'm naturally QUITE energetic to say the least and realize that a tired state of being is SO not a good place to be. But do I have a choice? I'm 26 weeks pregnant and don't know what to do to NOT feel tired at the end of the day. :o)

When we went up to bed last night, Chris and I had one of our LONNNNNGGGG talks which was refreshing since we've had a week where we haven't had much one on one time chatting which I SO NEED! He has had some stuff on his mind and it's CRAZY just how much I KNOW this man. The things he's been thinking through are things that have been burdening my heart as well so I feel much better knowing that I"m not just a "crazy pregnant-hormonal woman", things are just a little off right now. Not in our marriage, thank God for that, but just relationally in general. I was praying about it this morning asking God what in the world is he doing in our lives right now!

We talked a TON about Facebook last night. Is it good? Is it bad? Are people genuine and real? They post things that would never come out of their mouths in person. Conversations are had between people that should probably be more one on one, not for 100 friends to see. Friends are added to friend lists, not because they want to be friends but really just to be nosy or don't want to look bad turning down an invite. For some of us, it's like having a blog, a cyber diary for everyone to read. But is it really "right" to be reading the stuff if you don't have a relationship or a heart for the person who is sharing? I'm not singling out anyone I know and am including myself while I put these questions out there. Just something to think about when you evaluate your friend list. If you aren't "really friends", delete them out of respect for them.

One of the things that I've been thinking through lately is family and church. The idea/way of "church" that was shown to us a couple years ago was/is VERY appealing to us. Not the typical go to mass on Sunday, in and out, nothing else until the next Sunday or for us until the next baptism/holiday. Our way of doing "church" is just doing what is natural for us. Hanging out with friends, giving our time to our community and those around us, it's not hard to do. What is hard is when others around you, whether they are family or close friends you had before church or friends we met as we got more involved in church, isn't traveling that same road as us. There are only so many hours in a day, so much time to give, that something has to give in some areas resulting in some relationships being stretched a little. This "stretching" isn't a bad thing, just not a "comfortable" thing.

I have felt very guilty for not being able to be everything to everyone, watching some relationships grow a little distant and reading Luke 14:26 has helped me.

26"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple."

Now that verse is a little, hmmm I don't know, "harsh" maybe, not sure if that's the best word. But I totally don't interpret it "literally" but think I understand what it means. I know that ALL different relationships go through seasons and just needs to be accepted, that's just not very easy to do sometimes. :o( The saying "keep your eye on the prize" sort of motivates me to keep pushing along and as long as my heart is in the right place, my head just might not be able to grasp what happens as a result of that but that has to be okay.

Good Read this Morning...

Read this on Our Daily Bread today and wanted to share.

The question at the end is a good one to think about today . . .

"Are we showing others that we have been loved by Jesus as He is loved by His Father?"

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: BBQ Mini Meatloves, Garlic Mashers, Broccoli
Tuesday: Chili
Wednesday: Balsamic Chicken with Polenta
Thursday: Grilled Steaks, Roasted Potatoes, Cauliflower
Friday: Pizza!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Taking the training wheels off. . . .

Well yesterday I was amazed that my little girl started riding her bike without the training wheels. Bittersweet to say the least and my heart breaks at the idea of her growing up so fast. She is the sweetest, most gentle soul I've ever known in my life, reminds me of my husband in many ways. Who knows, maybe we all start off that way as little girls, I just don't remember that innocence and free spirit without burden.

It's quite a funny little story. Yesterday, Adrianna wanted so badly to play with friends outside but nobody was home. She saw an older girl riding a motorized scooter thing, this to be exact:
...and she asked me to ask the girl if she could ride it. I of course told her no, she doesn't even know the girl and it's for older kids. I explained that she needs to learn how to ride her own bike without training wheels to learn how to balance before being able to get one of those. I left to run an errand and within the hour I was gone, I can back and daddy taught her to ride without the training wheels...she was SO PROUD! Of course, the first thing she said, after "mommy did you see me?!" was,"now can we go buy one of the electric ones". Uh Oh! One day, was all I said simply and am so grateful she accepted that answer, for now at least. :o)

Anyway, I was watching her ride today after school and felt full of questions. I brought my Bible outside since the weather was so nice I thought maybe that'll get me to sit down and read, but it didn't. Instead I sat and reflected. I thought about the last 2+ years of my faith and how it has grown. I thought about all the people that have come into my life and each gift they had to offer to me. My friend Sabrina, her and her husband have shown us what Hope looks like and how God can use people like them to show to us. My friend Amanda shows me what faith looks like and the strong need there is for women like us to grab onto it and not let go. And Erika, well she has shown me Love, genuine and true love something I'll cherish forever! And never mind all of my other friends that I've grown closer and closer to and all the love, support and guidance they've all given me. Through the women I've mentioned, more and more relationships have blossomed and I can't imagine life without them. There is nothing like having a neighbor right across the street that you KNOW is there for you anytime, anyday. Given the opportunity to live in this house has opened that door and nurtured that relationship for sure. God has surrounded me by women, strong, supportive, sweet, understanding, driven, all different types with all unique qualities and gifts.

Now that's all the great stuff, the relationships, the people....I love them all! What's tough for me is the expectations I set on myself with where my faith should be. What my relationship with God is supposed to look like.

Here's some honesty...

I don't like referring to Jesus as "Christ", it just doesn't sound personal or respectful if that makes any sense, which I'm sure if you are a "seasoned Christian" it doesn't. But I grew up hearing his name used when you are pissed off or stub your toe or something, seriously.

I have a very hard time listening to people talk about how much they love God when I don't see them love people. Isn't that what God is? Relationship, people, love? How can I take them serious? Why am I more afraid of them than anyone else?

I haven't even been baptized yet (well not since I was 1mth old in a Catholic Church) so what does that mean for me? Do I do it because I want to be taken seriously? I believe that Jesus died for our sins and wonder what does being dunk under water in front of a bunch of people mean? Probably a dumb question I know.

I feel awkard around Christians when they refer to "when they were saved" and so on. It's almost like I want to ask, so when you were baptized and accepted Jesus, your whole life changed? Are you really transformed? Do we ever get so see what being transformed looks like or is it a process that takes our entire lives? I usually feel like I don't belong in those conversations and am probably the reject in the group for sure!

I can't even completely be myself around many of the people I know without the fear that me stubbing a toe (just happened a few minutes ago, hence the toe reference again) and saying F*^#! wouldn't SHOCK THE HELL out of them or make them uncomfortable around me, judge me, etc.. etc...

I've experienced culture shock since I've been in Texas. People are sugary sweet, yes. People are polite, yes. But truly I'd rather be around an up front, tell it like it is, light a cigarette and not even care kind of person, because at least I know they are real. I'm not afraid of those types of people. I kind of got off on a tangent a bit here so let me get back on track....

I want a closer relationship with God. I want to rely COMPLETELY on him. I do know that the fear and anxiety would be lifted if I did rely on Him more. I just don't know how to do that. I am definitely that type of person that when I get excited about something, just like I did with Christianity, I will jump right on board, here I am a sponge ready to absorb it all. I get caught up with the excitement of it all. YES I'll be involved in community stuff. YES I'll do whatever it takes to meet people and grow our church so we can do even bigger and better things. YES I'll read my Bible, host a Bible Study, make meals, have meals with people, do anything that is pretty much directly asked of me. But then there is the down time, the moments when I'm alone when I ask myself, "Where are you in your faith?" And that is such an important question for me to ponder and work through.

I have had my own set of Training Wheels on now for over 2 years and I think it's about time I take mine off too. As I watch Adrianna's fearless and determined look on her face while she's riding without them and then the glow of Glory while she pushes back on her breaks to get off the bike, I yearn for that. I feel like a child in my faith and am amazed at how much I learn from my own sweet little ones!

I don't know how else to end this post accept just by asking for prayers. I want to move on, I want to grow but want to do it "genuinely". I don't ever want to be a phony Christian. I don't ever want people to think I am something I'm not. I want it but also want to be true to myself...

I wonder what that looks like...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Nesting, Organizing, Crafting, Couponing, OHMY!

I guess that's what this stage of pregnancy is all about! LOL April is all about Easter, spring crafts, Christopher's Birthday party along with baby planning!!

I have decided since I have 3 full months before our little girl arrives, I will work on each of their bedrooms month by month. Adrianna's is easy, just have to paint. Christopher's, well that's another story since we are doing a superhero room and that's SO out of my league! Thank God for a superhero geek that's such a great friend of ours....looking to him for designing - LOL! Then there is our sweet baby girl's room, I'm saving her's for last after my baby shower to see what is left to do in there. That also gives me time to make a canvas or two, a bowmaker and figure out how her room will be put together.

So this is my plan:

Just finish up painting the downstairs and get curtains for the kitchen. The rest of decor will be on hold and we aren't working on painting the upstairs for now either. I do have a cool idea for the kids' bathroom, but that will have to wait,not in budget. :o)
* Have a garage Sale

* Adrianna's Room: Paint
* Christopher's birthday party: Baseball theme, decide on decor, cake and location
* Easter Baskets: I'm thinking of doing beach like themes this year. They both need new swimsuits so I'm going to do something like this and stuff it with swimming stuff:
* Christopher's room: Paint, work on wall decor, buy some shelving (thank God it's garage sale season!)
* Start planning my freezer dinner stockpile for when baby arrives.
* Baby Shower!!

* Baby's room: Paint, decorate and buy anything else needed that I didn't borrow or get from my shower.
* Cook and Bake away to freeze for when baby arrives.

That's a rough draft for now. :o)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Half way through + 33 lbs!

Well, here I am, not the most flattering picture but at least my makeup and hair were actually done! This was on our date night during our marriage weekend.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Adrianna's FIRST sleepover with her BFF!!!

Finally, Kylie had her first sleep over here and it was a BLAST! They always refer to themselves as "SISTER" --- I LOVE IT!



I was making cupcakes and he wanted to make his "own", too cute!




A Tea Party with Hulk

Who would've thought? A superhero fan with a big sister, that's WHO!!


Adrianna's School Stuff

TEACHER GIFT HANDSANITIZER & CHOCOLATES (we made it with scrapbooking stuff, blocked the teacher's name hence the pink bubbles! LOL)




Finally Uploading Pics from this year so far...


Monday, March 2, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I found some good clearance meat this week along with lots of fresh veggies CHEAP! YAY!

Happy Monday!

Mon: Crockpot BBQ Pork Loin (Homemade Gourmet spices, yum!), sauteed zucchini, brown rice
Tue: Pulled Pork Sandwiches with a fresh broccoli salad
Wed: Pasta CiCi (pasta and chick peas) with salad (adding beans, veggies and feta)
Thu: Crockpot Maple Dijon Chicken with Carmalized Carrots
Fri: Leftovers
Sat: Dinner with friends
Sun: Community Meal for Church

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Always trying something new . . .

Yes, that's me . . . always trying something new! I'm always trying to figure out the "easier" way to do things, or I should say "more efficient" way to do things. I don't mind hard work and in fact LOVE a challenge. My only problem is that I don't usually "stick" with anything too long. Once a new idea comes along, I usually jump on that bandwagon to give it a try. But lately, being at my half way mark in my pregnancy, I've been really thinking more and more about establishing better routines for the family, scheduling all of the important stuff better (date nights, social activities for the kids, ME time, etc.) and it's had me reevaluating the different things I've tried in the past to see if it'll work again for us.

Here are things for ME that work and I'm keeping: (Things I'm actually consistent on,LOL)

~Weekly Menu Planning (posted on fridge along with the week's to-do's)
~Waking up 30 minutes before the kids for some "ME TIME"
~Monthly Date Nights (going to weekly and getting creative)
~Biweekly Playdates with Mom's Group for Christopher
~ Social Activity for Adrianna (Taekwondo right now)
~ Laundry Schedule (Monday mornings and Fridays)
~ Monthly lunch date at Gattiland w/ Christopher
~ Baking day once a week ( freeze bread, pancakes, etc)

Here are some things I've done in the past:

The Grocery Game
Menus 4 Moms
~ Weekly Playdates
~ Running
~ Ridiculously strict cleaning schedules, broken down to the day and hour by hour (didn't last long at all! I hate rules!)
~Breaking the kids' schedules down every day to morning/noon/night . . . too much for me!
~ Followed a TON of blogs from crafts to gossip to money saving to health and on and on!
~ Making extra money selling stuff on CList, Ebay and Surveys
~ Spending hours on the phone everyday!
~ Watching tv during the daytime - no more! Thank God for DVR!
~ Going out and about every day to just kill time. (waste gas, more like it!)

And here are some things I'm going to take and try again or add to what I'm doing now:

~ Set Bedtime Routine for BOTH kids, not just Adrianna
~ CVSing (saved a TON on the grocery budget and I started back up again last week!)
~ Biweekly Library Trip with Christopher (rotating off weeks from playdates)
~ Crockpotting twice a week to save time.
~ Cut my blog reading down to close friends' blogs, money saving, cooking blogs, maybe 1-3 craft ones too. :o)
~ Taking a nice walk 3-4 times a week
~ Having a weekly date night (Wednesdays) and getting more creative with it!
~ Do the Grocery Game each Sat. night and match up coupons for Sunday shopping. (I used to shop on my own during the week but carrying all the groceries is getting too much so I'll shop solo on Sundays and have the help at home to carry it in!)
~ Try blogging back over at my ThrifteeMomee blog.
~ Making extra money by listing my magnets weekly again and stick with doing my daily surveys in the morning along with online offers from MSM. (working towards my $500 gas card right now!)
~Starting up a Bible Reading small group with a friend of mine. (Thursday nights)

I'll see how it goes and if it works over the next couple of weeks. One thing I've learned about myself is I can't overschedule. I need social time on a weekly basis, with friends, with my husband, with and for the kids, and when I don't have that I swear I am MISERABLE! I also really need to get back into reading my Bible, it usually helps keep me better focused and have a positive attitude. Now how I go about saving time, money, and headaches will hopefully come from some of the ideas/resources I've listed above. One of the great things about my personality (I usually find more negative about it than positive,LOL) is that I'm always up for trying something new and usually don't come down too hard on myself if it doesn't work. I figure it probably just sucked anyway so it's better to move onto something different. :o)

I hope some of the sites I've listed can help some of my readers.

Here's to giving it all a try, once again! Ha!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Spaghetti & Meatballs
Tuesday: Crock Pot PotRoast
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Chicken and Rice Casserole with Broccoli
Friday: Crock Pot Chicken Adobo

We are painting this weekend so we'll be doing leftovers and/or hot sandwiches with salads!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Marriage Weekend

We have a marriage conference this weekend sponsored by our church and I'm so excited to be going! We've been through this already but it's always fun to invest a weekend talking about one of the most important things in our life, our marriage. Chris and I are quite opposite in some ways but also share an important personality trait that should make us bump heads a little but with the other part of his personality, he just doesn't have the "heart" to do it. :o)

Our weekend is pretty much going to be spent, 3-6 at the conference today followed by a mandatory date night tonight asking each other questions and then tomorrow from 10-3. It's really cool because our pastor uses the disc profiling to give us worksheets telling us about our personality types and it's really neat to think about our relationship on a "logical, statistical" level rather than just emotional, which is how I usually thing about it as and react to it in as well. It brings a whole new level of respect to the relationship when you understand why you each do the things you do and react in the ways that you do.

I was thinking this morning about when we first started this personality stuff and had our friends Amanda and Jeremy in our group. It was fun because she and Jeremy have VERY similiar personality types so it was so easy to look over at her and nod my head, knowing where we're coming from. Her husband is an "S" personality just like Chris and she and I both have "D" and "I" types, hers is a little stronger on the I and mine is a little stronger on the D. Then there are our very good friends both with C personalities and she is more "S" so she ALWAYS gets where Chris comes from and usually agrees with him, it's quite hilarious and I think that's why she is one of my very best friends....I love the "S"! :o)

There are quite a few new families in our church now, so I'm really looking forward to getting to know some of them more and see how we match up with them. This weekend is going to be lots of fun!! I can't wait!!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Leftovers from yesterday's post church lunch with baked chicken!
Tuesday: Pizza Night with Bible Study group
Wednesday: Broiled Parmesan Tilapia, spinach and orzo
Thursday: Fajitas
Friday: Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings
Saturday: Marriage Weekend! DateNight tonight!
Sunday: Marriage Weekend! Breakfast for dinner!

I'm still here....

It's ridiculous how much I have to blog about and I truly don't know where to start!!! I am feeling great, had a terrific weekend and finally feel like things are starting to come together. I even started CVSing again, focusing on coupons, started a little Bible Reading group with a new friend, AND BOUGHT PAINT for the downstairs today!!!!! Those who know me well, know how HUGE this stuff is for me. :o)

I guess I can start by saying this Valentine's Day was the BEST I ever had and we didn't even do the restaurant thing like we always have done. Saturday was all about me, we did some shopping at Kirklands (YES!) and a few other places, lunch at Souper Salad (which Chris HATES!) and then came home and hung out. We put the kids upstairs to watch a movie after baths while Chris cooked the two of us dinner. We weren't sure how it was going to work eating "uninterrupted" but it DID! He made a delicious steak dinner (NY Strip, my FAVE!) and chocolate covered strawberries for dessert (was just missing the bottle of wine,LOL). Before he was done cooking, I went up to check on the kids and they were OUT! (Thanks to a late dinner date the night before with good friends of ours, they were beat on Saturday from playing over there so late!). So I went ahead and put a nice tablecloth on the table, put candles on the table, with nice napkins and a pretty table setting too. We had a date WAY BETTER than a restaurant. We sat in peace, enjoying our dinner and talking about US, our almost 10 year adventure together, our previous VDays and other romantic weekend getaways we've done and our honeymoon of course! It was an evening COMPLETELY about him and I, absolutely PERFECT! I could not ask for more than what I had.

The thing about the two of us is we have an awesome and very intimate connection. I was joking with him telling him how I don't want people to think we are perfect, because marriage is far from that! But together we are perfect, much better off than we were single before we met each other. The secret to our marriage is communication. We talk through everything. He shares the burdens of his heart and mind just as much as I do. He is able to do that because he knows I accept him flaws and all, just like he does me, which I still don't know how on earth he is able to do that! LOL We talk through it all, the good and bad, the embarassing and worrysome stuff, and what I think is the most awesome is we communicate about sex. I know talking about sex can be SO TABOO and I've even learned through relationships with friends that there is a line that you draw with saying too much so I'm not going to go there, especially in a blog post, but will say that opening up and talking about "likes" , "dislikes" (that's not always the comfortable stuff to talk about, for sure, but a must!), "desires" , "fantasies" , ALL OF IT! I mean seriously, you KNOW sex is a HUGE part of your marriage and is totally an area you NEED to nurture, concentrate on and find ways to make it the best it can be. Okay, I already probably went too far. :o)

But, I will say when we kiss, I STILL feel like I did when we shared out first kiss. I still smell the sweetness of his breath and skin and get a chill down my spine. When he pulls me close to hug him, I feel like I melt and have NEVER felt as safe as I do when his arms are around me. When he smiles at me in his cute way I get butterflies no matter what the situation or kind of day I'm having. I focus on him as MY MAN and always think back to how I felt when he asked me to be his wife. This weekend made me realize how easy it can be to have a romantic night right at home. I'm not talking about plopping on the couch and watching a movie, although that's fun. What I'm talking about is making an appetizer, lighting a candle and investing in each other, focusing on one another 1 day a week just like we do for exercise, church, friends, bible studies, playdates, kids' activities, etc. Your marriage needs to be at the top of your "To Do" list for the week, always!

Every Sunday I write out the menu for the week and stick it on the fridge along with school stuff, Bible Study stuff, playdates and other important things that must get done and felt bad that I don't make the time on that weekly calendar for "US TIME", we do a monthly date night but that just simply isn't enough and is nerve racking half the time just between getting a sitter, getting kids fed, getting ready, etc. I know I'm usually frazzled by the time I get into the car to leave the house, LOL!

So I dont' know how I just got wayyyyy sidetracked, sorry for that. I'm just on a Lover's High I guess from the weekend and had to share it. The past two weeks have been busy as heck and I have pics from Adrianna's birthday which was awesome, my little man's haircut, valentine breakfast pics (SO CUTE) and lots of other stuff, but I need to get my butt in the kitchen and get dinner started! LOL

Happy Monday Everyone!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Doing Life While Pregnant

First I want to thank ALL my friends for their comments, emails, phone calls and wonderful chats yesterday. You have all helped me in ways I can't put into words. And not that my husband reads my blog, but I thank him to for just knowing what to do last night without me having to open my mouth once. I mean, the man didn't even call me into the other room while my 21/2 year old was throwing up, I had no idea what was going on and he took care of it ALL. I came out when I heard the crying in the bathroom and it was all under control, no need for mommy in that situation, wow! He's a great daddy!

I wanted to share this blog I read here. I found it through another blogpost and it was just what I needed to read. This is the first pregnancy I've gone through without my sister in law just a few steps ahead of me (our girls are 10mths apart and our boys are 7 mths apart) and it has been tough for me. Reading about another expecting mommy helps a ton. It makes me feel less alone. :o)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

digging my way out...

that's what it feels like I've spent the last three days doing, I swear! We had a great service on Sunday but it left me SERIOUSLY struggling. I have been feeling overwhelmed the past week and a half and swear I felt like I was going to have a nervous breakdown. So, I've sort of pulled in a little, not really blogging or messing around on facebook, just trying to prioritize stuff and pull it together a little. How easily I get off track and I just don't understand how! Am I that unbalanced? Why can't everything just seem to flow for me like it does for other women? I sometimes feel like I'm in a circus act juggling to keep everything in balance.

I want to scrapbook again.
I want to get the kids pictures printed and in albums, or at least printed off the computer before #3 comes along!
I want to paint the downstairs to pull it together some.
I want to have organization in the kids' rooms.
I want to organize my laundry room.
I want to have a weekly schedule for my home and for Christopher.
I want my kids to SLEEP IN THEIR OWN BEDS!!!!!
I want to stop feeling like I'm ALWAYS behind on stuff.

These are just a few thoughts floating around in my head DAILY and it drives me nuts!

Add all that into planning a bday party for Adrianna's 6th birthday. That has been a MESS! I've finally decided to keep it WAY SIMPLE! I'm even ORDERING a cake! I just need to give myself some slack. I know that, but it's SO hard to do for me.

I am a ball of tension.
I am anxious.
I'm in need of a release, just don't know what that looks like...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I swear, I plan my menus but sometimes, things come up! Saturday night we decided to take the family out to dinner and had the leftovers on Sunday so I'm bumping the beef stew to Monday night! :o) Here is what I've set up for this week:

Monday: Beef Stew
Tuesday: Meatballs Florentine over wild rice
Wednesday: Santa Fe Chicken Soup, homemade herb bread
Thursday: Chicken and Broccoli Stuffed Calzones
Friday: Leftover Soup and salad
Saturday: Chili
Sunday: Adrianna's 6th Bday party, so we are winging it that day! Whatever she wants.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Last week I was surprised by an unexpected dinner which turned into leftovers the next night so there are a couple repeats this week.

Monday: Slow Cooker Chicken Stroganoff over wheat egg noodles & Garlic Bread
Tuesday: BBQ Beef Casserole served with Salad
Wednesday: Greek Chicken Pasta with Homemade bread.
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Enchiladas
Saturday: Beef Stew
Sunday: Minnestrone, salad and homemade focaccia
I was talking to a friend last week about, well about everything really. That's what tends to happen when we talk. We sort of overtalk each other, talk all over the place about a WIDE range of topics, cover lots of bases, laugh and get each other, feeling good when we hang up the phone with each other. One part of our conversation that has stayed with me was when we were talking about being a woman in our thirties. I wouldn't go back to my twenties, they were wild, crazy and fun but I don't think I could survive them twice. (lol) I look forward to my forties ( aren't we girls always looking forward to the next stage of development? Jeez, I know I have been since I was 13, looking forward to 16,then 18, then 21 and so on) since I hear women older and wiser than me tell me that is the best decade, I'm looking forward to it.

Although, right now, 33 years old I am feeling very good about being in my thirties! I know other women out there struggling to figure out who they are, trying to find some more meaning in their everyday, searching for something to fill them up and don't get me wrong, I don't have it all figured out and I don't think I'm fully "evolved" yet, BUT I do feel successful and I do feel like I am right where I'm supposed to be. There can be so many distractions in life that try to throw you off course, try to do exactly that - "distract", and I'm guilty of falling prey to it at times too. But thank God for Chris, he always makes me see the reality and the blessings that surround me!

Sure, I thought I'd be a doctor or something in the medical field - that was my hope for success, to get me out of my house and succeed to something that my mom wasn't able to achieve and something that would make my dad actually be proud of me, but that wasn't what God had planned for me, those were MY ideas, MY plans, totally not HIS. As I reflect upon how in the world I crossed paths with Chris and how I was ever able to capture his heart, it just amazes me and again, I know that wasn't just MY doing for sure. It happened at the right time in both of our lives. Once we connected , a family came immediately to both of our hearts and minds. And sure, I still wanted to hold onto MY plans, just switched from Pre Med to nursing - still fighting to keep control of my destiny, but I didn't win. :o)

God had different plans for me. I've given up alot of control, which believe me is HARD. I'm still very determined, very strong willed, and very independent to a degree, a healthy one I think, but over the past 4-6 months, I've had to let go ALOT! And beliieeeeeeve me, it hasn't been easy but I'm starting to see why it has all happened the way it has and my faith is growing ever so strongly, I don't really have a choice. :o) I guess God already knows that though and may even get a little chuckle here and there, at least that's what I envision when I think of him as my Father watching over every thing I do. I'm married, I'm pregnant with my 3rd child, I'm just FINALLY starting to figure out this "parenting" stuff, I have alot of friends around me and I have a dog. Okay, I know the "dog" seems silly and I've wanted to ditch him at times, even VERY recently but I know I won't.

So I know I'm ALL OVER THE PLACE here, but try to follow me. My dream as a child, teen, young adult was to have a family, feel safe, be truly loved and have real friends. And lately with my crazy hormones and life's regular "stresses" all I've been consumed with is our major debt, our bills, money, being "renters" and not "owners" in the home we our currently calling "ours" that I started to not focus on those 4 key elements that have always been my heart's desire. Sure more money would be great, I'm not a total idiot, but I do KNOW that what I have is enough. I don't need to work on a new career, I don't need to trade my car in for a minivan (even though it would be nice), I don't need to "own" the home I'm living in to consider it "home", I don't need all of those things, my ideas of success, to make my life successful. What I need and always have needed were those four things I already listed and I have them.

I didn't make any New Years resolutions,because honestly I think it's a little dumb and I knew I wouldn't follow through with them anyway. :o) But what I did promise myself is that I will focus more on what I was put here to do. I am wife, mother, friend, and most importantly a special woman that God created and I want to live my life making HIM proud. By doing that, everything else will seem even richer.

I just finished reading "The Shack" and let me tell you, it was amazing! It has been what I needed to read. I am finally able to think of God in a COMPLETELY different way, more personal, more as MY father, my dad, my "papa" . . . the man in my life I never had and no other person could be to me. I read this book in one day and I'm NOT a reader at all. I have 3 books I've started and never finished, but this one, I didn't clean or anything on a Saturday, just read! It was a GREAT day!

I'm not really sure if what I've written makes any sense at all. Yes I'm thirty something and feel good about stuff, NO I don't have being a woman, wife, mom and friend all figured out but feel like I am on track as long as I don't allow all of those distractions in. I have bad days as all of us do, but when that day is over, it's over, no need to go back to it. The more "good" stuff that happens and that I participate in, I want more. I am not a pessimist by heart but do allow myself to go there sometimes, I just don't stay there, I can't. And yes, being a stay at home mom can have days that seem boring, but when I feel that way, I just find something to do which for me usually means "fun" to get my mind back where it needs to be. Being home with my kids, everyday, pretty much all day, is what I'm supposed to be doing, it's what I need to be doing. This family of mine is what brings the most joy to my heart and to my soul, and when I think about those feelings, that is what I think is God's love, His way of showing me affection, his love for me, especially me.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Leftovers
Tuesday: Meatloaf
Wednesday: Slow Cooker Chicken Stroganoff
Thursday: BBQ Beef Casserole
Friday: Leftovers and fresh veggie buffet
Saturday: Date Night
Sunday: Kansas City Steak, Roasted Parsley Potatoes, Broccoli in Cream Sauce

Friday, January 16, 2009


That is how I feel today.

Not quite sure why.

Not sure what exactly was the trigger.

It's just one of those days.

That is one part of me that I struggle the MOST with. I get upset or irritated, annoyed, and it snowballs into all sorts of stuff. But one thing I have learned is avoidance. GINA, DO NOT CONFRONT! Do not call a friend to unload, sit still. Vent to Chris, spend time praying about it and move on. Things aren't always what they seem.

James 5:9
Friends, don't complain about each other. A far greater complaint could be lodged against you, you know. The Judge is standing just around the corner.

I keep reading that passage over and over again. I've also been camped out on the one below.

James 5:19-20 My dear friends, if you know people who have wandered off from God's truth, don't write them off. Go after them. Get them back and you will have rescued precious lives from destruction and prevented an epidemic of wandering away from God.

So for today, I am not taking phone calls, not making any, eating lots of junk food and playing with Christopher. That is all I need to be doing today and I know that!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I loved this!

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person..
When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support,
To aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.
Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
This person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it, it is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons,
Things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson,
Love the person and put w hat you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Back to my Menu Plan Mondays :o)

Mon: Pasta Fagioli
Tue: Veggie Beef Stew
Wed: Burgers and Blue Cheese Wedges
Thu: Leftovers
Fri: Chili
Sat: Easy Chicken Parm
Sun: Chicken Spaghetti

James 3

So I've been reading the book of James, following along with my friend Amanda's blog and have been stuck on James 3. Oh how that chapter resonates with me so much, in fact to the point that I lay in bed at night thinking about it.

3:2 "We all make many mistakes, but those who control their tongues can also control themselves in every other way."

Verse 2 hits me with my parenting. It's no secret, I am a yeller, a screamer, at times I probably sound like a raving lunatic! I really don't like that about myself and when I do yell, I feel like I failed immediately afterwards. While I'm yelling, I feel like I'm in charge and if I'm commanding things that I want from my kids (stop fighting! Pick up this mess right now! Go to your room! etc.) at that level of voice they will listen to me. And yes, I could go back to my many visits to the psychologist's office back in my early 20's and say, well it's because I never felt like I had a voice as a child, nobody listened to me, blah blah blah, but that really isn't an excuse. It's a tendency, it's a sort of trigger, but not a good enough reason to react that way as a 33 year old woman and mother. This is an area I would like to see the most growth in my parenting and really feel like I'm on my way there. If you know my husband, you KNOW he doesn't yell, he doesn't spank, he just doesn't believe in that sort of discipline . . . FAR FROM the world I came from for sure! He inspires me at so many levels and that's why I believe without a doubt, God created him just for me.

3:5-6 "So also, the tongues is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do. A tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is full of wickedness that can ruin your whole life. It can turn the entire course of your life into a blazing flame of destruction, fir it is set on fire by hell itself."

Verses 5-6, well that just screams out gossip to me. I LOVE to talk talk talk. I don't intentionally say things to hurt people, I truly don't. But for someone like me, well it's very easy for me to gossip. I never saw anything wrong with it in the past, but now I know it's truly wrong and just don't want to do, don't desire to do it. If there is one thing I've learned from my best friend Erika, it's to hold that tongue. Change the subject. Just don't go there, especially with other women, it's our weakness. It ruins relationships and breaks trust. Since meeting Erika, that is one thing that stands out the most in Chris's eyes, the biggest change or should I say "growth" in me. But I think it will always be a battle. It's one of those things, one of those easy things that we can rationalize that can be so tempting and so destructive for us as women.

There is plenty more in James that I can talk about but those are the big ones for me. It's such a short book but SUCH a GOOD one!! A must for us women to read for sure!

Now I just have to catch up on Matthew. Trying to read the New Testament in 2009 and I'm already behind! Never mind that I'm trying to get started on The Shack too. Oh boy! :o)