Motivation Monday for Moms {It’s Jack’s Birthday!}

So today I am taking a break from my usual devotional posting to say a  Happy Birthday to our youngest, Jack.  This child is an answer to our prayers and the fulfillment of a promise from God to us.  Today we celebrate 9 wonderful  years!  Some days have been way more challenging than others, but  most days are  just full of high energy life from sun up to sun down.  He is growing in his walk with the Lord and that makes me the happiest.  There is so much I could say about Jack, but then it would just go on and on so here are a few pictures of his life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jack is four and ready to play soccer!

Jack is four and ready to play soccer!

 

Jack is 5 and celebrating with friends and family at the Houston Children's Museum!

Jack is 5 and celebrating with friends and family at the Houston Children’s Museum!

Jack's 6th birthday.  Celebrating with friends from church and school Mario style!

Jack’s 6th birthday. Celebrating with friends from church and school Mario style!

Jack is 7!!

Jack is 7!!

Super Jack is 8!

Super Jack is 8!

I haven’t gotten a picture of him yet, so I’ll (hopefully) post later today. Time really does go by so quickly, I am so thankful for answered prayer and all that God has for Jack!  Happy Birthday Jack!

 

Have a blessed day,

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Motivation Monday for Moms {Hello Lovely}

Motivation Monday for Moms {Hello Lovely}

There is so much rolling around in my head and my heart that I could share.  However, after prayerful consideration I feel like sharing how much God loves you is to be today’s motivation.  I heard a beautiful, gentle song for the first time a couple of days ago.  I was immediately attentive to the words and captivated by the soothing tune.  As I listened, I wondered why it was written, who was it for.  I thought about it in the sense of my Heavenly Father and His thoughts and love towards me.  I will not quote the entire song here.  But here is a bit of it:
Hello Lovely, Rise and shine, illuminate this heart of mine……
All I can say is you are worth it and I’ve been waiting all my days to be truly blown away,
But all that I can say is you are worth the wait.

The song is by the band Beta Radio and it is on their debut album, Seven Sisters.   I know nothing about them, so I am not endorsing anything, other than the sweet, simple song. I apologize for my lack of “techiness”, but I think this will at least give you a link to see what I am talking about.

Maybe you grew up in a Christian home and accepted Jesus at a young age.  Maybe you were a teen or even an adult before you became a Christ follower. You might be like my own mother who lived a very good life and could’t figure out what it was she was needing to being saved from.  When my brother was very young and I was not born yet, a pastor came to my parent’s house and clearly explained the Gospel and salvation and my mother gave her heart to Christ. Maybe you’ve let our faith gather dust, or take a backseat.  You’ve let your Bible and prayer time go.  We are sinners in need of a Savior, and it doesn’t matter how bad or how good you are,  He loves you and he thinks you are absolutely worth the wait. He loves you.  He created you.  He knows EVERYTHING about you and still loves you.  Take a step towards Him today.  No matter where you find yourself, far away or right next to Him, listen to Him tell you that you truly blow Him away!

 

Hello Lovely-HE really thinks you are!

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Breakfast for Dinner

Our family has had a long standing tradition of Breakfast for Dinner since the kids were little.  We usually pile up in the living room and watch a movie together.  As the kids have gotten older, we miss a Friday every now and then.  We’ve had waffles, pancakes, french toast, crepes, omelets, cinnamon rolls, biscuits, breakfast pizza, etc. I try and rotate through the basics and add something different here and there.  I also try to keep it relatively healthy. Last Friday I was looking for a sausage(turkey), egg, and bread(whole wheat) casserole but could only find recipes that required soaking it all together overnight.  Last minute change of plans.  I had recently come across a low calorie cinnamon sugar muffin  recipe and I decided to add an egg dish and fruit.  I searched Frittata recipes and found this one . I was so please with how easy it was. You can also add different things to it.  It was very tasty and we ate it all up. I was also very pleased with the way the muffins came out, and they tasted great.  The recipe came from here.  I made small fruit bowls with fresh peach and blueberries and I added the yummy yogurt protein bites I posted about recently here . Another family night, another yummy meal!

Breakfast for Dinner

 

Happy Eating,

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Summer Love~Loving Summer

Summer Love~Loving Summer

Since I have had children summer has become my favorite time.  We have made some wonderful memories as a family over the years during the sweet days of summer.  We have made our Summer List and we have a few things left to do.  As much fun as it it is to make memories as a family, if you are married take some time to make memories with your spouse.  These ideas are not just “summer only” ideas, but weather wise may work easier during the nicer weather months.

~Go get a cold treat together.  Frozen yogurt, popsicles, or ice cream.  Just the two of you.  Then take a walk on the beach, a drive through a pretty area, or sit at a park and talk.  Or, sit and enjoy the beauty quietly together.  Hold hands, talk about a favorite summer memory you have as a child, or one you have shared together as a couple or as a family.  This date can take 30 minutes or 3 hours.

~DIY Photo Session.  When was the last time the two of you had pictures taken together?  Dressed up, real pictures, just the two of you? As nice as professional photos are, it’s easier than you think and tons of fun.

Once you have convinced your spouse of the fun ya’ll will have…..

1.)Pick out your clothes.  Something that coordinates but does not have to be matchy-matchy.
2.)Pick out your location: park, backyard, local boat pier.  An hour before sunset is a picture perfect time on a nice day. Consider the traffic of the area you decide on.
3.)Think about some poses that you would like.  Lots of ideas out there in social media land.
4.)Select your camera: i-phone or digital.
5.)Set the self-timer. (Might have to recruit someone if you use your i-phone).
6.)If you use the self-timer on your digital camera:  secure your camera on a table, chair, bench, or tripod and have your spouse get in place.  Press the shutter and run into place.  This may take a few times, but you’ll get it.  It’s actually pretty fun and below are a few shots from our very own DIY session.

7.)Be silly, be serious, have fun, remember how in love you are.

8.)Get the pictures printed!  Tons of options for this as well.

~Breakfast or Lunch Date. Self explanatory.  Usually cheaper than dinner.

It may take coordinating sitters and schedules, but your marriage is worth every investment of time and effort you put in.  We will have children for a season, and our spouses much, much longer.  Take time now to stay connected and enjoy each other.  This is also good for your children to see, we want to set as many good examples of healthy relationships as possible.

 

Happy Dating,

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Motivation Monday for Moms {Training and Trusting}

I want to start this post with a question….How do you feel, right now, at this moment, about your parenting? I have experienced some of my lowest lows and some of my highest highs as a parent.  But I would not trade being a parent for anything.  This is truly one of the greatest adventures a person can ever experience.  I am so thankful that we have been given the privilege to raise the three God entrusted to us. God made no mistake when He made Adam and I the parents of Hannah, Brooklin, and Jack.  Each one is a gift and blessing and adds something different to our family.  Even as I teach and train them, I learn so much.

This post came about as Jack and I enjoyed a morning bike ride recently.  It was a sweet time, just the two of us, enjoying the beauty around us. The ocean is not far from our house, however we have to cross a very busy highway, not to mention all of the intersections and residential streets we had to navigate.  Jack is a very busy boy.  He is so full of life.  As we set out he was a good distance ahead, he could still hear me talk, but he was definitely ahead.  I knew each turn, road, potential hazard from here to there and back.  I was constantly saying, “Jack, slow down a bit.” “Jack, please stop at the end of that street.” “Jack, there’s a car coming up behind us, stay off the road.”

You get the point.  As we headed back home, I had a very real thought hit me.  I will not always be around to help him navigate the dangers or rough spots ahead. And I am not always supposed to be there to do that.  But we, as parents,  are to be training and teaching our children how to listen and obey us, because ultimately they need to know how to obey authority, and most importantly the Lord.  My prayer is that I am planting good seeds, teaching my kids the right things NOW.  I pray what I am sowing is both INTERNAL and ETERNAL.  Adam and I will not always be there by our kids side telling them which decision to make, but our Heavenly Father is.  I am thankful that all three of our kids have received Christ as their personal Savior and I pray that we are teaching them by example that Christ can be trusted completely.

Motivation Monday {Training & Trusting}

Our children are born and then they grow up right before our eyes.  Hopefully we are taking every opportunity to love them, teach and train them, and trust the Lord with each one of them.  I don’t know how you answered the question at the beginning of the post.  Take heart if you are at a low parenting point, you are not alone and you are not a failure!  Get back up, pray, read God’s Word, each day is new.  If you are at a high point, enjoy, but give thanks to God.

Take some time today to reflect and ask the Lord to lead, guide and direct as you raise The Future!

God Bless and Happy Training,

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Here is a great read I saw come up on my newsfeed.  It was shared by one of my husband’s cousins and I appreciate the truth I read in it.

 

Summer Snacks

With three kids being home all summer, I realize that they will be hungry and I will need to feed them,  Haha.  Seriously though, I like for them to eat as healthy as possible and also as economically as possible.  So I began looking around the internet and found a couple of sites that I felt offered variety, healthy and they are also economical.  I whipped up three snacks to pop in the freezer in addition to our traditional “summer only” store-bought popsicles and here is what I have done so far.

Easy Cheesy Crackers from  100 Days of Whole Food blog .  This is the first time I have made cheese crackers.  They were eaten up, but I am not sure I will make these again.  I do recommend not refrigerating the dough before you make them.  Just make the dough, form the log and slice and bake.

Blueberry Yogurt Protein Bites from Kristen Duke’s Capturing Joy blog . I also made a batch with diced strawberries.  The kids (and grown-ups) really like them!!!  I think next time I will make them with mini chocolate morsels.

 

And one of my own-Pizza Snack Pockets.  I made three varieties-pepperoni with sauce, cheese with sauce, and just cheese no sauce.  I place a damp paper towel over them on a microwavable plate and hit quick defrost for about 30-1 min.  Keep an eye on them so they do not burn and be careful to let them cool before serving them to littles.

It is really as simple as the pictures show.  I used Rhode’s rolls, I let them rise and then rolled them out. Even though I folded and pinched the edges, some of them still came open.

To reheat from the freezer: Place snack pocket(s) on a paper plate, drape with a damp paper towel.  I select the quick defrost bottom and watch for a minute and a half.  At this point just keep checking on it until it is thawed and heated.  If heating from fridge, cover with damp paper towel, heat for 30 seconds. Snack pockets may be hot-allow to cool before eating.

 

Happy Snacking!

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Motivation Monday for Moms {Rest}

Motivation Monday {Rest}

“What is it about sitting and staring out a window, watching the landscape flying by, listening to my children laughing in the backseat, reading a magazine, listening to my husband’s awesome playlist of songs that makes me feel so renewed?  Life has slowed down.  There are no have-to’s.  Just rest.  Jesus tells us to come to Him when we are weary and He gives us rest.  I will be the first to admit, slowing down is very hard for me. However, when I step away from it all, I am able to refocus, rest and reprioritize.  Creativity begins to stir up. Can’t wait to see what God shows me this week, but for now, I’m enjoying the peace of the drive and the beautiful mountains just up on the horizon.”  I found this piece of writing as I was looking through old notes in my phone recently.  It is dated June 23, 2012.  Fast forward two years and I find myself in this exact spot, feeling the same way as we headed into the mountains for a much needed vacation and time with my parents.

As I mentioned last week, I have exited one of THE busiest seasons I can remember.  Back in the Spring we planned  a summer vacation to the mountains in New Mexico with my  parents.  Getting away from regular responsibilities and dailyness of life is what we all needed.  Waking up when we wanted, walking around the cute town window shopping, eating, talking, laughing, making memories.  Taking in the moments.  Treasuring our time together.  Resting.

We all need rest.  Even the Creator of the Universe rested.  He wants us to take time to rest.  I realize rest looks different for everyone due to work, family, finances.  But it is important.  Just the other day Jack and I took a bike ride down to the pier a few blocks from our house.   We sat on the edge of the water, watching the shrimp boats going out.  Watching the fish jump out of the water and dart back in.  We rested.  Pick a morning once a month and declare it a  time of rest.  Sleep in or at least stay in bed.  Read the Bible, read a book.  Have all the kids pile in and watch a show together or talk.  Rest. Ask God for a creative idea-He’s full of them!!!

Rest in God’s Word.  The Bible is full of promises from God.  Carve out a few minutes of every morning to look up and read (and even memorize)  verses about resting in God.  I love the truth in the verse above.  As we have a holy reverence for God, He gives us rest.  And I realize we will have trouble, but I believe this verse is saying that we have complete rest in Him and He will take care of the trouble!!!  I assure you during busy seasons when it seems that physical rest is no where in sight, it’s amazing how God’s Word provides a complete sense of rest.

I pray you find REST,

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Here are a few other verses about REST:

Genesis 2:2-3
Exodus 20:8-11
Exodus 33:14
Psalm 73:26
Psalm 61:1
Psalm 62:1-2
Isaiah 40:28-31
Matthew 11:28
Psalm 127:1-2
I Peter 5:7
Psalm 116:7