Thursday, May 20, 2010

Fast Food Funny!

Hey there everyone, I'm BACK! For today at least.

I've been super super busy, AND I have a confession to make. Yes we did it. We caved. We got home super late one night and bought some fast food to eat for supper...UGH!!!

BUT......I have a funny story because of it and wanted to share it.

If you didn't read my former post about Eating Out, well we have had decided to NOT eat out so we can save money and that just seemed like the easiest thing to cut out. Well that was until.....the other night.

Just to get you up to speed with what we do at our house......we hardly EVER run through a drive thru for food, so our kids are not accustom to this type of thing. And now on to my story.........

So I had been gone almost all night working with my sister (which I also NEVER do, but I was helping her paint her house) and got home uber late, so we picked up some food through the dreaded Drive-Thru.

My husband handed everyone their food and when he handed Ava's food to her(my 2yr, old) she exclaimed "THANK you Daddy!" and then turned to me and said "HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Momma!!" LOL!!!!!

She had us rolling! The fact that we were eating fast food (to her) had to mean it was someone's birthday! :)

That's a good thing, right?! ;) Haha!


Thursday, May 13, 2010


It's been a hard couple of weeks for me. I haven't wanted to blog about it because it's very personal. I know I've shared some personal things of my own on here, but the recent events aren't just personal for me, they involve others. People close to me. Dear to me. People that I would lay down my life for, close to me. My heart is hurting right now.  I guess I'm blogging to get it off my chest. Being vague isn't interesting to most, but I'm doing this for me, not anyone else.

I'm in a very happy marriage. Yes we fight. Yes we get annoyed with each other, but we are still NICE to each other and LOVE each other and RESPECT each other. That's normal, though, right? Well, that's what I say most of the time. I realize that this is not 'normal' for everyone, though. It's my normal. What is normal for most?

For most, I would say 'normal' is what you allow yourself to be comfortable with. From the outside looking in, it's easy to point fingers and say what's 'right' or what's 'normal'. But does anyone really have it all figured out? Of coarse, I like to think I do because I am happy.... with my life... with my marriage. 

Perhaps, I have no room to talk because I haven't ever experienced the horror other's have in relationships. Maybe this is for a reason. Maybe I know how to stray when I see something bad. Maybe I know what I'm talking about because I haven't experienced those things. Maybe not.

I will however never be able to understand the trap that people fall into. The horror they allow in their lives (and YES, I mean allow) and believe somewhere inside of them, that this is acceptable. It's not THAT bad. It hurts , but yet maybe I deserved it. Maybe I shouldn't have said what I said. Maybe God will change them. God doesn't approve of divorce. Maybe he wants me to learn something from this horror. Maybe God is using me to change them. I should stick it out. For them. Blah, Blah, Blah.

I don't get it. I never will. It frustrates me. There are certain vows you take when you get married. BOTH of you. One of you doesn't  honor those vows. I'm pretty sure God will understand if you decide to leave it behind and NOT stick it out. Also pretty sure that God doesn't live in a 'chapel' in Vegas. I'm just sayin. I think he has bigger plans for you. Why can't you see this? Why do you live to torment yourself?

Nevermind my heartache for you. Nevermind my worrying (although it never stops) What about you? You really believe that God wants to put you through this? No. He wants to heal you. He wants happiness for you. Since when do you NOT deserve this?

I've never felt so much anger in my life. Anger towards him. For making you believe these lies (even though you know better) For controling your mind like this. Your thought process. Why are you so afraid? And yet not afraid of him?

I don't understand, I know. I haven't lived this, so I can't talk. I know I would have left long ago. Yes, really. Even now, with all the ties I have. I would leave. Because I know God wouldn't want this even for a second. I'm not that forgiving. God can forgive him now, you can do it later.

I love you and can see such a bright future for you. It hurts so much to watch you in the middle of this. That's why I did what I did. Maybe it wasn't my place. Maybe you won't forgive me. I think I can live with that. Knowing you can start over. Be happy. That's what we all want for you. I know you didn't ask me to do it, but it needed to be done. If it were me, you would have done it. You would have done worse. Pulled me out by my hair. Because you love me.

Stop believing the lies, please! This is not the work of God. I know God can change people. I've seen it happen. It takes longer than a week. God doesn't intend for you to get hurt in the process. If the process has even really taken place. Of coarse he's going to tell you these things. Tell you what you want to hear. He's afraid right now. Afraid he's loosing you. Afraid he's not really in control anymore. Let him know he's not. Don't give in to all the bull!!! That's all it is. I know you think you know him. You know when he really 'means' it. But this is the time for him to lay it on thick. Don't you understand that? Let it go. Let him go. Let God be in control now. I love you.


RE-POST - You Didn't Have Your Baby in a Hospital!?! No Drugs!!!

These are the shocked responses that I get when I tell people that I had my babies in a Birthing Center... with no drugs... and Not in a Hospital. If you've heard of people having their babies at home, well a birthing center is similar. They are usually in a home like setting, in an old house, equipped with everything they would need to deliver a baby safely.

My mom had 3 of her 4 children at home, so the idea of having my babies in a birthing center was not so strange to me. It felt natural to me. When I was pregnant with my first child and I was supposed to find a Dr. or Midwife, I had never heard of Birthing Centers. I knew of people having their babies either at home or in a Hospital. A childhood friend of mine referred me to Inanna, a Birthing Center, where she had delivered her 2nd child and had nothing but good things to say about her experience, so I knew immediately that's what I wanted to do.

I was actually surprised by the number of people that use centers like this, mainly because so many people I talk to have never heard of a birthing center or would even consider this as an option. This is the reason behind me wanting to share a little bit about it and my experience. My first and second experience laboring at the birthing center were completely different, but both were amazing and memorable and I couldn't imagine doing it any other way.

Laboring at the birth center the first time, laboring and everything was a new experience for me. They encouraged me to walk around, to eat, to drink, to do anything that felt comfortable to me. Hospitals don't usually allow laboring woman to eat, and usually they don't allow you to walk around. In my opinion, being able to move around helps a great deal in getting you through the laboring process. My husband and I spent many hours there walking around inside the bedroom and outside on the porch, sitting down to rest in the porch swing when I felt like I needed a change. The midwife was in the other room and would come in and check on me periodically. When it got closer to time to deliver, she stayed in the room monitoring the baby's heartbeat every few min, while she still allowed me to move around. I sat in the bath for a little bit to ease some of the pain and once I was out of the bath everything had progressed. The pain had increased greatly and I was offered a mild pain medication that would not harm the baby. It was my first pregnancy, so I figured if they were offering, I should probably accept. Two hours later my baby arrived and I was able to hold her in my arms without anyone trying to take her away. No epidural to potentially harm my spinal cord, no harsh drugs to affect my baby and we we arrived home with our baby just 5hrs. after she was born!

My second experience was a little different. After going in for my regular checkup and telling my Dr. that my water was leaking, she told me to stick around because I was in labor. At this point, I was in no pain, so my husband and I went and ate supper and returned to the birthing center. I was not having contractions, so my midwife suggested that we walk at the park across the street to start contractions, and Voila! About 30 min. later I was having contractions. Not little ones, but full blown contractions. I barely had time to blink between these very painful contractions. Slowly I moved my way across to the bath because the midwife suggested that it was time since, this time, I wanted to have a water birth. I couldn't believe that it was really time to push already...I hadn't been there but a couple of hours. Even though I didn't believe it was was. My baby boy arrived very quickly with NO drugs and we were home within just a few hours!

I certainly can't give too many pros and cons of a Hospital Birth as I haven't experienced one, but I do know that when you have your baby in an atmosphere like the Birthing Center, your baby is there with you the whole time. The baby is never taken out of your sight. The midwives do everything they need to do right there with you in the same room. The midwives are there from the very beginning for you and that's who will be with you when your baby arrives. You don't see a million different people come in and out to have you fill out various paper work. It is a calm atmosphere with people around you that you know and love. You and your baby are cared for by people who really do LOVE what they do.

"It is my belief that women's bodies were designed by God to give birth; Therefore, pregnancy, birth and much of women's health care can proceed with little intervention, in most cases."
Jean Sala, MSN, CNM
(A quote from my midwife)

Many woman have a hard time comprehending labor without pain medicine, and I think this is sad. Society has made woman believe that having a baby has to be treated like a medical problem, not like the beautiful experience that it is. God created a woman's body to be able to bear children and it is possible to have a baby without medical intervention. Woman are capable of so much more than they believe. I wish that every woman could experience birth in such a beautiful way.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Re-Post- "Family Night"

When my husband and I first married, we had only the one child, Ariana. Even though our lives were not quite as chaotic as they can be sometimes now, we still found it hard to make sure and spend quality time with her. My husband came up with the idea of 'Family Night'. The idea was to set aside time (make time) just for her and spend time as a family. We chose one night to be that special night every week, so she knew when to expect it. On this particular night, we would cook popcorn and put in a movie (one that she picked out) to watch as a family. Sometimes if we were running short on time for any reason, we would play a card game with her...UNO or something similar. Every now and then, we would have a 'special' dessert for family night, just for something a little more fun.

When our daughter, Ava, was born we found it more and more difficult to watch a movie on family night, due to all of the screaming coming from her (she was a difficult baby). More often than not, we chose to play a card game with Ariana while juggling Ava between the both of us.

Ava is now 2 and we have since added yet another baby to our routine of 'Family Night'. Ava is now slowly becoming more and more interested in watching movies, which makes doing family night a whole lot easier to manage, especially since our newest addition is calm by nature and doesn't cause us to plan everything around him.

Making sure that we are committed to 'Family Night' is important to us. It is the one and only time, out of our busy schedules, that we dedicate solely to spending extra quality time with our kids. The only problem that I have had with this lately is that I've noticed since having our babies, family night revolves around them and what they want (mainly Ava). Ava is now picking out every movie, which is fine, Ariana had many years to herself before Ava came along and is plenty old enough to understand that Ava is the little one that gets to decide now, but I've realized that much of our time now is spent juggling the baby and catering to Ava and a lot less time is actually spent with Ariana.

Family night is supposed to be about ALL of us spending time together, and since it is really the only time we have set aside for this, I came up with a different idea. In addition to watching a movie together, I thought it would be a great idea to let the girls cook supper AND a dessert, on this night, every week. This allows us to all be in the kitchen together and gives us a chance to spend a little more one on one time with each child (mainly Ariana, as she is the oldest and doing most of the work). By doing this, I feel like 'Family Night' is again, serving it's purpose. I guess as our family grows, we will have to adjust to different ways of doing things. What worked for us when we had one child doesn't necessarily work for our larger family.

And in addition to letting the kids cook supper on those nights, I am going to create a special recipe book for each of my girls (and my son, when he's older).....I got this wonderful idea from here.

Here, the girls are cooking Mexican Cornbread and Oreo Fluff for dessert.



Friday, May 7, 2010

Make Memories NOT Bills for Mother's Day

Mother's Day is coming up and even though this is supposed to be a day of celebration, for me, it can get a little overwhelming. This is only because I make it this way. I worry about what to get my mother and then the regret starts setting in over not having ordered that mother ring for her in enough time for mother's day....and I do this EVERY year! For me, this is mentally exausting. I put things off way too much.

For some reason, all year long, I seem to be able to afford all kinds of little extra things here and there, but when mothers day or fathers day or even someones birthday rolls around, it seems I go broke just in time to not get a decent gift. This ever seem to happen to you? If you're not like me, and you don't procrastinate, good for you! Really, I mean it. I wish I was as organized as I think I am in my head, but sadly, I'm not.

You want to know what I think about mothers day? I think there should no longer be gift giving anymore. What?  Yes, I think spending money on things like this is overrated. (by the way, this has nothing to do with the fact that we are trying to save every penny we have right now, I promise) Maybe a little!

Even during Christmas, we go nuts getting gifts for our kids and end up with credit card dept over it every year. It's not worth it. Why? Because they can open all these wonderful (expensive!) things and will still only care about the $5 stocking stuffer more than anything! Ugh! That's how we feel every year.

So, I think that days, such as Mother's Day, should be about creating memories instead of bills. This can be done so easily. We are going to take a camping trip this year for mothers day.It's going to be fun, I can't wait! It will be memorable and no one has to frett over what to buy. Sounds good to me! Be creative and you can find many ways to make a great Mother's Day happen without 'breaking the bank'.

What do you think?

Do you think you should DO something with your mother rather than BUY something?

Or do you enjoy the gift giving on Mother's Day?


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Re-Post - Circumcision

It's been a while since I've posted, I know. I really hate excuses, so I'm not going to give any! :) Until I can blog again, I'm going to re-post some old blogs of mine. I promise to get back to blogging soon!

This story below that I have linked to is a good read, even if you disagree with me, so take a look at it.

I came across a blog today that I wanted to share and I have posted a link to it below. It was an incredibly interesting story about circumcision that I think everyone should read regardless of your choice in the matter. My husband and I had discussed this issue (To circumcise or not to circumcise) before we ever new we were having a boy and so when that time came it was a no-brainer what we wanted to do. We chose NOT to circumcise.

We strongly believe that it is completely unnecessary and just horribly sad. We had our Dr. confirm that it is not a necessary procedure, but is mainly performed because of religious beliefs and just by popular demand. Parents want their child to look like their father or don't want them to be self-conscious in gym class. As much as I don't want that either, it's still not enough for me to want to mutilate my child. We do not mutilate our daughters do we? Well in some places they do and we call this mutilation, but this is not how they see it. The blog in the link below talks more about this.

I certainly do not place any judgement on the decisions or beliefs of others, this is just how my husband and I personally feel about the subject and it is the best thing for us.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Saving Money

So I have been (along with my husband) consumed this week (well the last few weeks) with hunting down land to build our home on.
After so much of going here, going there, meeting with land owners, I was starting to feel quite overwhelmed!
My husband new that I was, but I was in denial, because when I get my mind set on something, I want it to happen NOW.'s not something I was blessed with. It's something that I struggle with.

Some people might say it's a good thing (not having patience), being a 'go getter' or stubborn, not letting anything get in my way. I struggle with this too. I want to think that it's a good thing that I am this way, but really it's not. Having Patience is a good thing. I pray often that I am granted more patience. It's not going to just be handed to me, though. Patience comes with practice and lots of self-discipline AND God's help.

After my husband and I talked it over, we realized that the best thing to do would be to hold off on buying any land until the end of the year, *sigh* (not exactly what I wanted to do) It's neccessary, because we apparently have expensive taste in property and it would benefit us greatly to save a little more money for a down payment.

As much as I hate this and want to buy NOW, I realize that being patient will pay off in the end, when I can get exactly what I want. Waiting till the end of the year can't be that bad. Can it?

After us making this decision, I felt like I could breathe a little easier. Obviously, I had been feeling overwhelmed. Saving some extra money will help us out.

So now until the end of the year, we made a decision to Not Eat Out (unless invited, so please don't tempt us!) at all until the end of the year. I'll let you know how this goes. We are going to be penny pinchers for a while.

Honestly, we don't eat out all that often, but we realize we do it more than we should, when we sit down to balance the checkbook and add it all up (and believe me, it does add up!)

So that's the not eat out until January of 2011! Wow, this might be harder than I thought.

Anyone else want to join in? The power of support goes a long way! :)

Wish us luck!


Friday, April 23, 2010

Funny Photo Friday - A Croc In The Water!

We were visiting the Tyler Zoo a few weeks back and as we walked on ahead of my husband, he stopped and said, "Hey look! There's a Croc in the water!" So everyone turned around and walked back to have a look and this is what we saw.......................... 

Lol! There WAS a Croc in the water, just not the kind we were expecting to see! :)
Ok, so maybe you had to be there for this one, but it was funny at the time!

Have a GREAT Friday, everyone!


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Is It Rude To Open Birthday Gifts After The Guests Leave?

Reagan @ Where Is The Me In Mommy? wrote in to Real Simple Magazine asking this question -
 Q. Should a child open presents at his or her birthday party or wait until everyone has gone home?

A. I feel strongly that no gifts should be opened at any party, regardless of the age of the guest of honor. When little kids are in attendance, they’re going to go bonkers—wanting their own Zhu Zhu Pet or Lego set and feeling badly if the present they brought isn’t well received. And if that’s not reason enough, delaying gift opening teaches the birthday kid to focus on the fun of the party itself—not the loot she’s going to bag. As for adults, I stand by my no-opening-gifts-in-public policy (that goes not just for birthdays but showers and anniversary parties, too). It’s a bore to watch someone else open presents, and it’s just as agonizing for the recipient, who has to ooh and aah at the right decibel over and over again. And then there’s always someone who is going to feel self-conscious about what she brought once she sees everyone else’s offerings. Who needs it? A personalized thank-you note will tell the gift giver everything she needs to know.

This is one of the comments left below by someone -
My jaw absolutely dropped on this one. The arrogance of someone to accept a gift at a party and then deny the giver the pleasure of watching them open the gift is enough to make me turn and walk right out the door. As for your reasoning that "its a bore" perhaps you need to learn to exercise a little maturity when it comes to manners. Meetings are dull. Church is dull. But it is an exercise in self discipline to accept the fact that your entertainment doesn't always come first-especially in the name of etiquette.

This bothered me. Meetings are dull. Church is dull. What, so our kids birthday parties should be dull? And they should just deal with it? 

First of all, my church is not dull, and I don't attend just for etiquette purposes. If you are attending church just to keep up appearances, you might want to rethink some things. I also don't attend church because that's what's expected of me. I actually enjoy my church, I don't just deal with it to practice self-discipline.

I personally feel that if you decide to open gifts at a later time, that's fine. I would not be offended. I think it's fine for children to enjoy the party and guests and not be all consumed with what they got. A thank you note to know the child received my gift would be perfectly fine with me. I personally don't give gifts to children just so I can see their reaction. I give because that's what you do at birthday parties and so the child can be blessed on their birthday. Why kids NOT opening gifts in front of everyone is such a problem for people, I don't understand. Is our gratification really more important on their birthday?

I don't think it teaches manners or etiquette to make children open tons of gifts just so everyone can judge whether or not their gifts were sufficient. Saying "thank you" for a gift that you didn't really like or want teaches manners, and I think this can be done just as easily with a Thank You note.

Another comment from someone:
I just read your answer to whether or not children should open presents at their party and I wholeheartedly disagree. Being able to give and to receive a gift is part of life and children should learn proper etiquette at a young age. Furthermore, my daughter LOVES to give gifts. Nothing excites her more and I don't know anyone who doesn't love to see the look on another's face when you give them something you really think they will enjoy. And yes, we all receive gifts that we don't like or won't ever use, but we need to learn how to accept it gracefully and still make the giftgiver feel special. A well-planned birthday party should leave plenty of time for games, cake AND gift-opening so that the children don't feel overwhelmed. Maybe parents should stop inviting the entire classroom of 25 kids and then the gift-opening process wouldn't be so daunting. I've never thrown a party for my kids with more then 8 friends-there is too much focus in our society on QUANTITY over QUALITY!

I think that whether or not you open gifts before or after the party depends greatly on the age of the child and how many guests are in attendance.

For instance, we didn't invite any "friends" of our 1 yr. old daughter for her first birthday party, it was mostly just family and we still had TONS of gifts to open. We opened every single gift in front of the guests and all this did was bore everyone, including the birthday girl! She was turning 1! She could've cared less about the gifts, she just wanted to run around and play. I would've enjoyed her party so much more had we just taken the gifts home to open for her later and sent out Thank You notes to show our gratitude.

I have been to parties where the gifts weren't opened in front of the guests, they were taken home to be opened later, and I really enjoyed these parties. I was not offended.

Also keep in mind, some people only have so much time allotted for a party if they have rented a place for the party. Who wants to waste all of that time opening gifts? Not me. If I payed for the kids to play, I would want them to play. That's just me.

Bottom line, even though we have never done this, I don't think it's rude to open them privately. Do whatever  works for you.

What do you think?


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Mommy's In Skirts- What Do You Think?

As a young mommy, I still find myself shopping for the same cute clothes, similar to the things I wore before having kids. Only now when I'm shopping, I have a strange sensation that maybe I shouldn't where things like miniskirts, graphic tees or even skinny jeans for that matter (that is, if I could fit in them).  I feel like maybe I should be shopping for 'Mommy' clothes instead, you know, the clothes that you don't see any of the youth wearing.

Does anyone else ever feel this way? Too old to be wearing something?

Don't get me wrong, I think I have naturally become drawn towards different clothing lately and I don't know if it's from becoming a mother or just simply me getting older. Something in me, though, still wants to be young and get away with wearing clothes that are perhaps too young for me now.

I also don't know if it's that I feel I'm too old for these things or if it's just that because I'm a mommy that I feel like maybe I shouldn't.

I'm dying to put on skirts and tanks this summer because that's what I like.

But how do I know what is classified as 'too young'?

I pride myself on dressing well, so I don't ever want to be one of those mom's who someone sends to "What NOT to wear" because I can't let go of certain clothing styles.

What do you think? Can or Should mom's still wear miniskirts and graphic tees? Do you think it sends a bad message? Or does it mostly depend on HOW you wear it?

P.S. By miniskirts, I don't mean  'showing too much skin, nasty looking' skirts. I just mean a short skirt (something you could picture on someone a bit youger) as opposed to a long ankle length skirt.

The poll is now open and comments are welcomed! :)

Monday, April 19, 2010


Yes, my mind is all so consumed with dreams of our new home right now, that I can't think of anything else, so excuse my 'oh so boring' post today.

Aren't these beautiful? I, know, it's not quite what we're building, but I love it!
Just bear with me while I dream about this a little..........

So we finally made the move this weekend to start looking for property to build our dream home. I am super excited about this, although, we will most likely be living in a super small little trailer for about a year before we actually get our nice big house *sigh*

It's all worth it though (being cramped in a trailer, I mean), to be able to let my kids experince the country life. Running through the wooded trees and staying out past dark, catching fireflies (or lightening bugs). Aaah, I can't wait! I've never really been a 'country gal', so to speak, but this is the way I always dreamed of living and raising my the country.

We are those people who have been putting all of our recources into remodeling the home we're in now so that we can put it on the market and reap the benefits. Only problem is that (because of our already super busy life) it's going to take us 10 years to remodel everything. Over the weekend, we decided it would be ok to just go ahead and sell (as is), that is, if we ever want that Dream Home of ours anytime soon.

After looking at some property over the weekend, I am super siked! Lots of trees, great place to build our home. I'm praying that everything goes well and we get this property at a great price.

Anyhow, just sharing a little of our lives. Going to be super busy this week.

Oh, but I would love to know....Anyone ever lived in a trailer, while building their home? Did you almost go nuts being cramped up? Even though I'm excited, I'm a little nervous about the trailer, would love to hear about your experiences.


Friday, April 16, 2010

Funny Photo Friday!

This is so true isn't it? :) I know you've probably seen this passed around through emails, I know I have several times, but it makes me smile every time. I don't know how true it is for all men and women, but for  most of us women at least, I think this is how we see ourselves....never happy with ourselves. Reality isn't always funny, but it's nice to poke fun at ourselves every now and then!
Remember to love what you've got!

Hope everyone has a good Friday!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

My Very First Blog Award!!!

So Lindsay over at Just My Blog surprised me this morning and awarded me with my very first blog award! She made my day! Her blog is delightful and you should go check it out as well! Thank you Lindsay for making my day!!! :)

So, the rules for the award are pretty simple...I need to list 10 things about myself and then pass the award along to 10 friends.

1. I am a Stay At Home Mommy to 3 kids, one of which is school-age. Ariana (11), Ava (2), and my baby boy Spyder (7mo.).

2. I am a wife to an AMAZING man! Anyone who knows his heart, knows what a great guy he really is. We've been together for about 9 years now, married for 5. I feel truly blessed to be married to my best friend.

3. I am NOT rich. I run a daycare in my home to supplement our income, because I want to stay home with my kids. And yes, I do think it is going to make me insane! :) All I can say is, I applaud all of you teachers out there!

4. I love to run. I don't enjoy most any other excercising (that is until I'm done and can feel it) but I LOVE to run, it's my drug of choice!

5. I also LOVE to eat (good thing I like to run!)

6. I admit, I never used to like cooking, but it's growing on me (maybe cause I like to eat?!) :)

7. I don't own any animals (sad, I know) But I'm a germaphobe and don't like the mess. Maybe when we build our dream home someday we will get some dogs, but for now I don't want to clean up after them. I have enough on my plate as it is. That being said, I do love animals, though and want to rescue them all the time. I've brought home strays in the past, but we don't have a place for them really.

8. I want a big family, lots of little ones. There's just something comforting to me about leaving my kids with a good support system for when my husband and I are no longer here.

9. I have 3 siblings, an older sister, the best sister anyone could ask for, and 2 younger brothers, one of which lives in Alaska with his wife and has served a tour in Irag and one in Afgan. and will be going back again sometime soon. My youngest brother is 11 and is very sweet and I hope he stays that way!

10. I finally decided what I want to be when I grow up!!! Exciting! My husband and I will be opening up a teen center in the near future. If you've ever lived in a small town like mine, you'd understand why this is so desperately needed where we live.

So, now I need to pass this award on to ten other fantastic bloggers.

1. Where Is The Me In Mommy?- This is the blogger that I would love to meet, she is a girl after my own heart! She is very real, a good mommy, and a wife that cares deeply about her marriage...something that I don't see often enough. Oh and she has great ideas and thoughts on so many different things. She's amazing, you must go read!!!

2. 400 things- If there ever was a Super Mom, she is it! She might disagree with me, but I really admire her for everything she does for her family. This woman does it all, including homeschooling her 4 kids and she is now expecting another one. Congratulations to you and Randy! I get all of my great money saving tips from her and political updates as well...definitely need to check her out!

3. Loud & Proud~M♥nica - I love this lady. She is a mommy and a grandma and she has a great blog! She tells it like it is and I really enjoy go check her out!

4. Should Be Cleaning - What can I say, I love this girl. She is funny and interesting, need I say more?, definitely worth checking out!

5. Peace and Craziness - Reagan from WhereIsTheMeInMommy? recommended this blog and I absolutely love it. She always has a good post, I'm never disappointed, and I promise you won't be either, so go have a look!

6. Life Of This Stay At Home Mom - I enjoy reading this blog, she is a mommy that I can relate to and she is sometimes funny, sometimes just speaking from her heart, I enjoy this one alot, check her out!

7. The Chronicles of a Veteran Kindergarten Teacher - Anyone that has kids or who is or has ever been a teacher will enjoy this blog, or if you just enjoy stories of kids. When I go to her blog, I find it hard to stop reading. I mostly laugh, but she has some tear jerkers as well, go see what I mean!

8. Adventures of a Mom - Love her! She's a mom and I can relate to her as well. I enjoy reading her posts especially when she's just blogging to get it off her chest...go read!

9. Pieces of a Mom - A ray of Sunshine is all I can say! I'm a new follower of hers, but I adore her blog, you must go read!

10. Raising Olives - This woman is amazing! A great blog, great read, go check her out!

Thanks again Lindsay!


Sweet n Spicy Sausage Penne

13.5oz Whole Wheat Penne Pasta
1, 20oz pkg. uncooked Hot (or Mild if you prefer) Italian Sausage Links
4 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2-3 freshly chopped Garlic Cloves
1 large Yellow Onion
1 jar Sweet Roasted Red Peppers (drained and chopped)
1-2 tsp. Garlic Salt
1 Tbs. Italian Seasoning
4 tsp. (or added to taste) Creole Seasoning (this gives it that nice Spicy be generous!)
4 Tbs. (or more if you want it sweeter) Sugar
6 oz. Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

*Brown whole sausage links in skillet, then remove and let cool a minute. Then slice.

*Cook and drain pasta according to pkg. directions.
*Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat..
*Add chopped garlic and onion and cook for 1 min.
*Add sausage and roasted red peppers and cook another 4-5 min.
*Add seasonings and sugar, then toss together with pasta and mozzarella cheese.
*Season to taste with salt and pepper.
*Serve immediately.

We love, love, love this dish! My husband and I feel differently about whether or not the juice from the sweet pepper jar should be drained or just added right in. I feel that it makes it a bit too watery and he feels it adds more flavor. You can decide for yourself what you like best. We have it both ways....just depends on who cooks that night! Enjoy :)

TIP: We freeze all leftovers, but when heating back up, you may need to add a little more olive oil and a dash of seasonings to livin it up again, or the pasta can be very dry.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Little Did I Know.......

When I was younger, I dreamed about marrying and having children. I couldn't wait to be able to hold my baby in my arms for the first time. I couldn't wait to dress them up in cute little outfits and play with them. Even as I got older, I realized that there is much more to parenting than that, but I still had no idea what I was in for (although I'd never change a thing).

Ariana is a very calm child and always has been, by nature. Sure, she's acted out like a lot of kids, but she's pretty good for the most part. After Ava was born, I knew I was in for a real treat with her :) She was pretty feisty from birth and hasn't changed much in the last 2 1/2 yrs. She has my husband's head spinning in circles most of the time (not knowing what to do with her) She's very sweet, don't get me wrong, but she definitely has a mind of her own. Spyder, the baby, well he's VERY calm by nature, but he's still a baby that requires much of my time at the moment, which makes dividing my time, a bit more challenging. Parenting 3 kids is amazing and, yes I still want more :)...but being a mom is not quite what I had imagined!

Little did I know... that I wouldn't be able to just get up in the morning and shower like I always had. No, it can't possibly be that simple! I had no idea that I wouldn't be able to shave my legs whenever I needed or wanted to, without getting out in time to hear that someone had been crying the whole time and feeling guilty just for bathing. Guilt over BATHING.....who knew that was possible! Well, just ask any mom. It's possible. I also had no idea that time alone to myself just to shower would be so desired over so many other things. This is just part of being a mom!

Before I was a mother, I used to judge parents who were shopping with a child who would be screaming for a toy and thought to children will NEVER act like that. HA! What did I know. I sure didn't know that I would someday be walking out of Wal-Mart, leaving a grocery cart full of stuff, because my child wouldn't quit screaming, no matter WHAT I tried. I never thought I would be the kind of mother who would resort to bribery either. Who knew?

Little did I know...I would also never be able to carry on a REAL conversation with my husband until my kids went to bed because there would be constant questions coming from my two year old that would require immediate attention, and because, since becoming a mother, I can't remember from one minute to the next what I was saying. If I'm interrupted, it's over. So as much as I try, I just have to wait till the end of the night to overload my husband with thoughts from my entire day :)

Little did I know...that talking about poop would be such a hot topic around our house (especially at the dinner table), and that this would not bother me in the least :) Something that just comes with being a mom!

I do confess... that I also used to judge parents (who were well dressed) that would allow their children to leave the house looking like rag dolls and had dressed themselves. That is until......we had Ava, who (at one point) refused to wear two matching shoes. They HAD to be different. We would dress her in a matching pair and by the time we would be heading out the door, she would have changed them. Always a different shoe on each foot. We just gave up and let her wear what she wanted. You just have to pick your battles, right?

Little did I know...that wearing heels would no longer be practical. As much as I LOVE to dress up in heels, after becoming a mom and always having a kid on my hip, I've just given in to flats and tennis. I still put on my heels on the very RARE occasion that I go somewhere without the kiddos.

Little did I know....that I would train myself to get dressed, eat, type, cook, etc.... with a baby hanging from my hip.

Little did I know... that I would give in to a name such as, Spyder, for my child and truly fall in love with it! And later laugh, along with my husband, at the scene in Tarzan (which we are forced to watch over and over again by our 2yr. old) where the young gorilla (with the voice of Rosie O'Donnel) says "Whatchya gonna name him?" "Tarzan" "Well, OK, he's YOUR baby"!!! ....... Haha!!!!

Little did I know....that giving birth would deform my body in ways I never imagined, but yet I would still want more!

Little did I know...that (being the germaphobe that I am) I wouldn't 'Freak Out' when my kid picked up an ice-sickle to eat it, but instead I would run for the camera! :)

Little did I know...that I would feel most succesful when....everyone ate good for the day, there were no 'major' accidents, laundry got done, house stayed clean, I was able to actually kiss or hug my husband when he walked through the door (without a million distractions), and find time to exercise and have a little 'me' time.

Little did I know...that laundry would NEVER actually get done!

Little did I know...that I would be able to laugh so hard at my fearful child who was crying in her bath, because she was scared of the bubbles!

But  also had no idea that...

     Even when I would be cleaning up puke in the middle of the night, I would rather be doing that the rest of my life than never get to experience motherhood.

     The worst pain I would ever know would be watching my kids in pain.

     When I held my baby in my arms while he slept, even though my arms would feel like they could collapse, I  would want to cherish every single moment.

     Even when I would be so busy with other things, when my daughter asks "Mommy, I want you lay down with me." I would gladly drop everything (laundry, dishes, etc) for just a few minutes to do what she asks, because I would know that someday she will be too big for me to lay down with her and cuddle on the couch.

     Or that my biggest dreams would turn into dreaming big for my kids.

     Being a mom IS however just as beautiful, and as much fun as I imagined it would be. But even though mommyhood is not QUITE how I imagined it, it's absolutely amazing and I'm grateful for every single moment that I get to experience it!


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Beauty Tip Tuesday - Brighten Your Nails!

It's almost summer ladies, are your feet ready for it? I know mine need a pampering for sure!

Do you ever remove fingernail polish from your toe nails and wish that bright white nails would appear, only to be disappointed because after having nail polish on them for so long, they are now discolored? Well, I have nails that are not so pretty at the moment and I know exactly what I am going to do!

The trick is to soak those feet in lemons!
Slice up some lemons and squeeze them into a basin of hot water to soak your feet. You can even throw in some mint leaves, if you want ( I usually don't. Just the lemons are good enough for me).  Make sure to leave some lemons freshly sliced and un-squeezed to roll around on the nails to brighten and whiten and get rid of that yucky yellow color the polish can leave behind.

You can also exfoliate your hands and feet with lemons by making your own Coconut-Lemon Sugar Scrub. 


Juice of 1 lemon
4oz. coconut oil
4oz. granulated sugar

1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.

2. Rub the mixture over your hands and feet for at least one minute.

3. Rinse off and apply moisturizing lotion. Alternatively, for an extra special treat, brush off any excess sugar and slide your feet into a pair of socks, leaving them on overnight. The coconut oil will have been absorbed by the morning, leaving your feet smooth, silky and glamorous!

You could also use brown sugar instead or baking soda instead of sugar. Whatever you have available sitting in your cabinet.

You can also find a list of other great uses for lemons here.

Enjoy your beautiful nails!


Monday, April 12, 2010

Clipping Coupons!

I just finished clipping my very first bunch of coupons and I couldn't be more excited! What a waste of time, you say? Yeah well, that's what I used to say, sister and aunt, both joined in the coupon clipping fiasco and peeked my interest a bit.

My sister came to visit on Saturday, toting along with her, her bag of goodies she had just bought from the store for only $18.00! And by goodies, I mean, Body Wash, A brand new Razor, 4 boxes of Cereal, Deoderant, Swiffer Cleaning Wipes, Etc. You get the picture. Her total before coupons was around $90.00 and her total after coupons was just $18.00. Crazy huh? I'd say THAT is definitely worth cutting coupons for, wouldn't you?

Oh, and they are getting a lot of the items for FREE! Now generic items can't beat that now can they?!

Since I'm such a newbie to all of this, I can't really give too much advice on using coupons, but if you are interested you can go here , where my aunt is sharing everything she knows about clipping coupons and how to use them. I promise, it IS worth it!

I promise to share with you what I get out of using coupons. I can't wait!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Funny Photo Friday!!!

I know, I think I'm mean for thinking this is funny, but just so you know this was her 10th birthday and she was this histerical before they ever even touched her ears...that's why I think it's funny. She had worked herself into a frenzy just thinking about it. We told her she didn't have to do it, but she insisted, all the while 'freaking out' about it. I wouldn't dare laugh at my kids pain! :) She is the QUEEN of drauma queens...maybe you had to be there?


Thursday Poll....

Ok, so this is just a random poll for the day. Lets just say, I would like to know what others think the "RIGHT' thing to do (in this situation) would be.

Say a minor (teenager of any age) confides in you about something he or she did or is doing that they should not be doing and then aks that you not tell their parents. What would you do........

1.) Agree not to tell parents, because you feel they should have someone to talk to in confidence?

2.) Call their parents immediately and expose them?

3.) Agree only to tell their parents if questioned about it?

Feel free to post your answers in the comments below as well as taking the poll. I would love to know what everyone's thoughts are on this.

I am asking because, even though I feel the right thing to do, would be to let their parents in on the secret, I can't help but feel torn on this one.

Love to hear your thoughts!


Friday, April 2, 2010

Funny Photo Friday

I have been super stressed busy this week and haven't had time to think, let alone blog, so I decided to start a New Weekly Friday Blog and post funny pics (new and/or old) to make my Friday's a bit more relaxed and start my weekend off right with something funny. Hope you enjoy!

These photos are old ones taken almost a year ago. I found Ava in her room after it got a little too quiet for my liking and (not to my surprise) found her like this.......

And who's the dummy that left the baby powder within reach? That would be Daddy Mommy.
I've decided that when I feel most like crying, I should take photos instead.

What I learned from this.....Baby Powder is NOT easy to clean up.
 Note to self....never underestimate your children.
I had this within reach still because I had NO IDEA she could open those doors. (in my defense, they are very hard to open) Learned my lesson and got some cute pics out of it!


Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Does anyone ever have those days where you just 'FLIP OUT' when say someone such as your pre-teen/teenager, mom,dad,sister,brother,friend (in my case it's my pre-teen) just says something that gets under your skin or really just ticks you off?

Yes...I am here to admit that I have those days now and then (shocking, I know!) and (sadly) yesterday was one of those days. I'll spare you the details, but it was tragic because yesterday was supposed to be an exciting day for her (my darling pre-teen).

She made the cheer-leading squad yesterday and we were all so excited for her! The day was going great. Then out of nowhere she decides to say something hateful,disrespectful,rude,out of place.....yes, all of the above. So what do I do? Exactly what I do best. I turned into (what my husband likes to call it)...MAMMASAURUS. This is when I jump all over her (loose my temper) about her attitude and how I expect her to act and treat others, blah,blah,blah. And (whether they want to or not) everyone else that's near, gets to hear the speech all over again as well. It's the same spill all the time. I can just tell from her expression that she thinks I'm nuts and isn't listening to a thing I'm saying. EXHAUSTING! That's how I feel every time...mentally exhausted,drained, etc.

This is what my nearly 12 yr. old daughter is capable of? What in the world is going to happen when she is actually a teenager? I really don't even want to think about.

After taking some time to myself to cool down a bit, I decided I would talk to her some more (I know, I know...enough is enough right?) Well my temper was telling me to just vent some more, but I knew good and well no one could handle anymore, so I left well enough alone until I had time to 'get a grip'.

So once again, we had a mother-daughter talk until almost midnight (Ugh! What is wrong with me?!) I went over AGAIN for the hundredth time (because, obviously that's how many times it takes for a child her age to comprehend something) what we expect of her and that it's not ok for her to talk to her parents like she did.

After nights like this, I sometimes begin to think I'm crazy and everything I'm striving for is a lost cause. Do you ever feel like this? I know deep down that's not true. I know that, even if my kids despise me at times, that I'm raising them to be good people in this world.

It would be so much easier to just throw my hands in the air and say, forget it. I could just allow my kids to talk and act however they choose to, I mean, everyone else allows this, right? I see that from too many other family's and so does my daughter. But in my house, that doesn't fly. I just wish other parents would get their act together and stop being lazy when it comes to raising their kids (Yes, I just said that) so that my daughter didn't think I was the antichrist sometimes.

I have a mission as a mother to raise GOOD kids, GOOD people. I know God will get me through motherhood. I love being a mother, but it's not easy. Even though it's hard work it's all worth it in the end, right?


Thursday, March 25, 2010

SWAGBUCKS! Easy, Easy, Easy!!!

Ok, so I usually ignore any posts that say anything about signing up for something or include giveaways or anything of that nature, BUT I have a trusted blog I follow and she recently posted a blog about SWAGBUCKS, so I decided to check it out.
How It Works-
You sign up...FOR FREE
Download their toolbar
Search the internet
Win SWAGBUCKS!!! (It's Too Easy!)

What You Do With Your SWAGBUCKS?
You trade them in for prizes (Did I Mention It Was Easy?)

What Prizes?
They have prizes such as Amazon Gift Cards, Toys, Electronics.
And all you have to do is use them as your search engine and
win bucks while you search!

Ok, so I have 86 SwagBucks right now, but I just signed up YESTERDAY! I'm excited to know I can redeem FREE gift cards just for searching the internet! I think that's too good to pass up. If you haven't signed up yet, click on the link below.

Oh and make sure and tell your friends about it, because, you also WIN WHEN THEY SURF THE NET!

Search & Win


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Talking to your kids about - SEX

Yes, the time came last night to finally have this dreaded talk with our daughter , Ariana (11). I will admit, as much as I thought I was prepared for what was to come, I certainly wasn't.

I have been doing SO much research on the topic to prepare myself and NOTHING even came close to preparing me for what my daughter was going to tell me.

I've heard and even read lately that, we as parents, shouldn't be naive about what our kids already know about sex.  I didn't think that I was being naive. I mean, I was sure she had heard those words being thrown around at school, but I was sure she didn't really have a clue what any of it really meant. I imagined she thought of sex as in, It's something gross that adults do to make a baby. And to some degree, that's what she thought about it. But little did I know, she had heard worse.

Even after being warned NOT to be naive, there was still no information talking about what it is that kids know. There was certainly not anyone sharing what their kids have told them.

What DID I find?  Parents explaining how to talk to your young ones about sex. This did not help me. Perhaps we should have talked about this earlier on, but I was trying hard to let her keep her innocence  as long as possible.

I posted previously that I didn't think my daughter (11) had reached the appropriate mature age to have this talk. But ready or not, she was hearing terrible things at school.

FYI: We did plan on getting books to help us (and her) with this talk, but didn't get around to it in time. I still plan to get some for her, because I know that this talk is not over and will hopefully continue so that we can prepare her the RIGHT way.


We decided to make cookies with the kids and talk during this time. Mainly to ease the tension and so she didn't feel like we were so much lecturing her. It helped make it a two sided conversation rather than us ramming information down her throat.

We asked if she was excited about her talk at school tomorrow. She said..not really. (not surprising)

I asked if she was aware of what they were talking about. She answered..not really. (Yeah, we're getting somewhere, right?)

I asked again, you have no idea? She said..puberty? (I knew better than to believe she didn't know)

No. Are you just embarrassed to say? She said..yes. (Phew! I finally broke her)

So you do know then? She says..yes, sex? (I thought it was going to be a long night)

We explained to her that sex was not something to be embarrassed about. That it is a beautiful thing that God created for a man and wife to share and bring them closer together and to produce children.

We went on to explain how, with most everything that God creates to be good, Satan will do everything in his power to (and she finished my sentence for me) DESTROY! (exactly, so she's understanding)

We explained what a HUGE difference there was in what was meant to be and what the world has twisted it to be. Meaning: Sex outside of marriage,and throwing it around as if it's NO BIG DEAL.

We explained that it is a Big Deal and she should never take it lightly.

 I remember in school they taught us (girls) that your virginity was a gift that you should hold on to to give to your future husband. As great as this sounds, this doesn't matter so much when you're in High-School and you THINK you're In-Love. Too many girls give away this gift willingly outside of marriage because they're sure they're with they're future husbands.

I read something (during all of my research) that I thought sounded much better. Not just your VIRGINITY, but SEX itself  is GOD"S GIFT TO YOU. He intends for you to open this gift once you're married and no sooner, to receive all it's blessings. Opening God's gift before marriage would be upsetting to him because that's not what he intended. Waiting brings forth more pleasure. Pleasure in knowing you don't have mistakes to haunt you...and pleasure in knowing you did what is pleasing to God. THIS is what we told our daughter. It's similar to opening Christmas gifts. We have the option to open them before Christmas, but we WAIT so that we can FULLY ENJOY  the event on Christmas day. It may be exciting and tempting to open these gifts sooner, but then regret will set in, when you have nothing to open on that special day.

We covered a few more things, such as why we walked in and walked right back out of a restaurant the other night (A blog on that coming soon). We explained to her why it's not ok to dress like those girls were dressed and that we walked out because it sets a bad example for not just her, but for all of us. We explained that wearing little clothing is ok in the right setting, such as at a swimming pool, but dressing that way with the purpose of getting or seeking attention is NOT OK. Shamus did an excellent job explaining the dangers of dressing for attention and that it draws NEGATIVE attention not positive.

The rest of the conversation was similar. She did not ask any questions (not surprising). But it was a very productive conversation and we told her we wanted to talk again after her class at school.

What I didn't expect.......
After we were done talking, Ariana followed me into the other room and hesitantly began to tell me something I was not prepared for. She began to tell me that she had been scared to tell us this before, because she was scared we would be mad at her for being friends with people she was friends with.

Let me just backtrack for a second. She has a friend that gets off the bus at the same time she does after school. I just recently told her she could invite this friend over to do homework if she wanted. The past few weeks she has come to the house. I noticed the girl found it hard to look me in the eye, but was always polite, so I was fine with her coming over.

Ariana proceeded to tell me that this particular friend has not ONE but TWO boyfriends. (I was thinking ok, big deal, they are just playing games at this age anyway) She then explained that she met one of the boys online and told him she was 13, but just turned 12. (here's where the story gets a little deep) The other boyfriend she has, happens to already be a daddy and she calls herself a 'Stepmom" to his kid. (Uh, What?)

She went on to tell me that , when getting on the bus the other morning, her friend was holding her stomach and complaining that she hurt. This young girl, while on the bus, proceeded to tell my child that she had stayed all night at her boyfriends house (the one with a child) and he hurt her. 

I asked Ariana HOW he had hurt her friend. She gave me a funny look and I knew what she was suggesting. I asked...did they have sex? She answered me Yes, I think so. (Wow! I wasn't ready for this)

But Sadly, this is not where the story ends. Apparently, this girl's father found out and she was beaten for this. (this is the story that I was given anyhow.) The teacher at school noticed bruising and sent her to the office. CPS was called. Ariana said she was telling me all of this because her friend is scared and doesn't want to be taken away from her parents. I explained to her that there wasn't anything we could do. I was sad to hear this story, but relieved that she was not coming clean about something she had done. I did make sure and tell her that she would be right to be a little scared to tell us if this had been her, but that she should know not to expect a beating, no matter how angry we are and that she could always talk to us.

I asked how it was that this girls parents didn't realize she had stayed the night somewhere. She said her friends parents were under the impression she was with a friend not a boyfriend. (what an eye opener, DON"T trust what your kids say)

I start to feel guilty too strict sometimes for not allowing Ariana to surf the web or for not giving in and buying her a cell phone,because everyone else has one. But after hearing a story like this one, it reminds me again why we don't allow those things. We are protecting her from the world. When you don't allow them to surf the net, they won't end up in chat rooms...Period.

I feel like our talk with her was productive. Hopefully she understands now that we are here for her to talk to about ANYTHING.