Saturday, January 30, 2010


OK, so this last week my husband and I both have been slacking with our workouts. We started out good, but as soon as we said we were too busy one day, it was over. We never picked it back up. So after not working out and snacking on goodies that should never even be in our house...I feel terrible... and not just terrible with guilt, but physically drained! Junk does NOT do the body good!

I am 100% back in the game now! I am running a couple of miles on my treadmill just for a headstart on my week. I am determined to shed these pounds...and I am holding myself accountable by posting my progress for everyone to see.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Medieval Times

These are pics from our trip to Medieval Times with the kids. For the people who have never been there before, at the end of the show, the knights throw roses to the young women in the audience. Here is Ava with her rose that the knight handed to her...

Almost every young girl had been given a rose, every young girl except for Ariana. She sat there (not so patiently) waiting...hoping that he would come back by to throw a rose to her, as they started to wrap everything up because the show was ending.

Disappointment poured over her face and then here comes our knight with something for Ariana. It wasn't a rose...but it was so much better than that. It was a sash that said "Queen of Love and Beauty". This was something that wouldn't wilt and she would be able to have for a keepsake to remember this day. Her face lit up as he handed it to her and she blushed just a little because no other girl there received this that night.

This story is very symbolic for me. We are all so consumed with our wants. Wanting what others have, wondering why we don't have these things we think we need. If only we would be patient, we could see that maybe God has something so much better in store for us. He knows the desires of our heart and he wants to give us these things, but rarely do we trust him. We try so hard on our OWN to get the things we want, but are still never satisfied. If we could just let go of what we think we want then God just might bless us with something that we would love so much more!


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ava...putting herself to bed.

These pics were taken about a month ago... we had spent the day out of town and got home really late. It's times like this when you really stop to enjoy your kids...when they're sleeping! :)

We all piled into the house, carrying diaper bags and shopping bags along with the baby and drinks from our trip. My husband and I were distracted, trying to calm our crying baby and remove him from the car seat. My husband left me to tend to him while he went to find Ava and put her jammies on her for bedtime when he found her like this....

Keep in mind, we had only been home less than 2min.

She was so tired...poor baby!


1 week into potty-training...going well

It's been 1 week, as of yesterday, since I started potty-training with "big girl" panties and Ava snuck into the bathroom and went poo-poo all by herself yesterday!

We have only had one or two accidents since last week, so it hasn't been too bad. I did resort to putting a pull-up on her when we went to church, just so the young girls in the nursery didn't have to deal with any accidents. But I was pleased when we arrived at my sisters for lunch to find out she was dry (after 2hrs. at church) when SHE asked to go potty! What an exciting day for me:)


Monday, January 25, 2010

Teaching our Children

I hadn't been to church in quite some time and my husband happened to be off work this last Sunday, so we loaded the kids up and went.I had no idea until the sermon was beginning, that there were guest speakers there to preach the sermon, Harry and Cheryl Salem (Salem Family Ministries) .This couple is adorable to watch and always deliver an amazing sermon. I've seen them once before when they had visited our church and fell in love with them.

Cheryl was crowned Miss America in 1980 and has an amazing back story. I was very excited to see that they were there Sunday. They talked about many different things, your relationship with God needing to stay strong, just like you would try to keep your marriage strong, etc, etc.......What stuck with me the most was what Cheryl had to say at the very end. She was talking about repentance and she said when her children were small, everyday was a battle for her. She said she remembered having to ask, not just God, but her children for forgiveness almost every night when she would kneel with them at night to say their prayers. She said she would ask them to forgive her for losing her temper that day or for whatever it was that she felt she had done wrong. She said she always felt weak for doing this, for telling her children she was sorry. She said she never realized what a strength it was until now. Now that her children are grown, they are quick to acknowledge when they've done wrong and they are quick to come to her and ask her to pray with them or for them. All along, she was teaching her children how to be humble and how to ask God and others for forgiveness.

She was in tears, as was I, when she talked about this. I can certainly relate. I have many days where I feel like a complete failure as a parent. Days when I just don't meet even my own standards. As parents we want our children to be "perfect". We try so hard everyday to teach them the right way, yet don't always succeed. It's hard as a parent to let your children see all of your flaws. And it's hard to let them see you apologize for being wrong, because sometimes we are. It is not our job as a parent to be "perfect" and I don't think we should try to let our kids think that we are. I think it's better for them to see us vulnerable and with flaws, because otherwise they are bound to be disappointed. We are only human just like everyone else. We aren't always right when we overreact and lose our tempers and it's OK to say that we're sorry. It's not just OK, but it's a lesson in itself. How else do we teach our children to be compassionate, forgiving and humble people...not by our words, but by our actions.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mexican Cornbread Casserole

2 lbs. ground beef
16oz. jar of salsa
1/4 c. water
1/2 c. sliced olives
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided
1/2 c. diced green chilies
1-1/2 cups chopped onions
4 tsp. chili powder
4 tsp. garlic salt
2 pkgs. corn muffin mix
1 can corn

In a medium skillet, cook beef and onion, then drain. Stir in salsa, seasonings and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cook 5-6 min. until mixture thickens. Stir in corn, olives and 1c. cheddar cheese, and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350*
Prepare one box of corn muffins according to directions and pour into greased 9x13 in. pan. Pour beef mixture on top. Prepare the 2nd box of muffin mix and add to it the cheese and chilies. Spread over the beef mixture, leaving a small space(1/2-in.)around the edges, and bake for 45-50 min. until crust is golden brown. Cool for about 15 min. before serving.


Tex-Mex Corn Succotash

2 Tbs. Veg Oil
32 oz. Frozen Corn
1 small Red Onion
1 White Onion
1-2 Jalapenos, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup (about a handful) of cilantro
2-3 small tomatoes, seeded and diced
Few dashes of hot sauce
About 1-1/2c. Cooked White Rice (recipe below)
Salt and Pepper to taste

To Cook the Rice:
Brown 1/2c. white rice in olive oil over medium heat, then add 1c. water and bring to a boil. Season with Creole. Lower the heat and let simmer about 15 min. Once all water is absorbed remove lid and remove from heat and let cool about 5min. then fluff.

Drizzle 2tbs. oil into a large pot over medium to low heat. Add to your pot the red and white onion, jalapeno, cilantro and garlic (save your tomatoes until the very end)Cook until white onions have cooked down. Add your frozen corn and cook until warm. Stir in your tomatoes until warm. Remove from heat and add your dashes of hot sauce, cooked rice, and salt and pepper.

This makes a great healthy side dish or a relish for hot dogs or whatever you want to use it for. The last time we made this, we added mango to it and used it as a relish over our fish.


Chocolate Pretzels

My oldest daughter made these this last Christmas for a recipe exchange game that we played. They are super easy that even a very small child could do most of it by themselves. You could also look for pink M&Ms around Valentines day and it would make a great treat to take to their party at school.

24 circular pretzels
24 milk chocolate candy kisses
1 (1.69 ounce) package mini candy-coated chocolates

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2.Place pretzels on baking sheets. Unwrap candy kisses and place one in the center of each pretzel.
3.Place in preheated oven 1 to 2 minutes, until kisses are soft. Remove from oven and place one candy-coated chocolate in the center of each pretzel. Chill in refrigerator until set.


Oreo Fluff

1 lb. package Oreos (crushed)
8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
12 oz. Cool Whip

With an electric mixer blend the cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Add the crushed Oreos and Cool Whip. Stir with a wooden spoon to mix.

It will be almost as smooth as soft serve ice cream when you first mix it up but will thicken as it sets and chills. Chill for at least 2-3 hours for best results.

(For younger children)

16 Oreos (crushed)
16oz. Cool Whip

Blend together the Cool Whip and Oreos and Chill for 1-2 hours.


Kool-Aid Pie

This is a great, (although, not healthy) easy dessert that you can let your kids make. We have tried different types of Kool-Aid and it always turns out great. I've heard many people say the lemon or lemon-lime flavor is the best, but I haven't tried that one myself.

1 pkg. Kool-aid (any flavor)
1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 12oz. pkg. Cool Whip
1 graham cracker crust (or vanilla wafers for an easy do-it-yourself crust)

Mix together the Kool-aid and milk in a large bowl until smooth. Add in the Cool Whip and blend until smooth. Spoon mixture in crust and cool in refrigerator 1-2 hrs. or until set. It's great served with an extra scoop of Cool Whip on top!


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Potty-Training Success!

I am so excited...we had our first successful day of potty-training yesterday!

I am writing about it because I wanted to share my success and hopefully help someone else. First of all, if you are potty-training right now, DITCH the pull-ups. I think they may work great at the very beginning stages of potty-training, but if your child is over 2 and is (like my child) able to tell you they don't want to go potty, they also understand very well how the pull-ups work. They are not going to make a mess when they potty in their pull-up.

I have been using pull-ups for about a year now! Well they're not working. I decided to follow the advice of my mom and best friend and use panties. I was not excited about this and I guess it's because I knew it would require much more work on my part. In most areas of my life I do not consider myself lazy, but when it comes to potty-training I have been. I am a clean freak, and that's just it...I don't want to clean up my daughters pee-pee from off the floor. This is the reason for the pull-ups. They conveniently pull up and down like real underwear and make it easy to go potty all day and just in case they have an accident it doesn't make a mess. Well I thought they were great. The only problem is that they were not helping my daughter to get potty-trained.

Yesterday I put panties on her and took her potty about every 30-40min. and she stayed dry ALL day, even through nap time! She even snuck in there a couple of times to go potty all by herself (and yes, I did check to make sure it was a successful trip). She was excited about wearing "Big Girl" underwear. We had bought her some Elmo and Dora panties, but I decided to start off slow and use the training panties first. They are much thicker than regular panties, so if she goes potty in them, SHE will be a mess, but not so much the floor. She even woke up this morning and it felt as though she had gone potty in her diaper maybe once throughout the night, whereas usually she has a very FULL diaper.

So I think we have found what works, through the advice of others of-coarse, and I'm always happy to hear advice!


Before Photos I decided to be brave and show before photos of myself so that you can track my results. I think knowing that I have these on here for everyone to see will also help motivate me even more to get back into shape. I plan to show progress photos about every 30 days.


Friday, January 15, 2010


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.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Injuring Ava

Today I laid the kids down for a nap, threw a load of laundry in to wash, took a quick shower, threw another load in the washer, dried my hair, cleaned up from lunch, got drinks and snacks ready for when everyone woke up,picked up random toys from various parts of the house(knowing that I would be doing it all over again at the end of the day), and realized I still had a little time left before nap was over and decided to give myself a much needed pedicure.

The minute I was done, nap was over and when I went to get Ava (my 2yr. old) up, she immediately noticed my toes were painted (just like a girl) and said "Mommy, your toes are so pretty!" I replied "Thank you" and went on to change diapers, take Ava potty and feed everyone snack. After snack it was play time for the kids, so I went on about my business, picking up from snack, getting carried away with rinsing sippy cups and filling them again, cleaning up the kitchen AGAIN, when I noticed that things were very quiet in the other room where the kids should be playing. Every parent knows this is usually a bad sign.Every now and then I get lucky and peak around the corner just to find Ava playing quietly with her baby dolls or captured by the cartoons on the TV. Well today I was not so lucky.

I peaked around the corner to find that Ava was not in her room playing. I quickly found her in my room and yes...she was playing. I approached her to find pretty pink fingernail polish all over the floor and all over her. When my eyes met hers she immediately said "I don't want a spankin'". She obviously knew this was a no no, but I didn't have any plans of spanking her to begin with, but I was mad, and I'm sure she could tell, but I was mad at myself for leaving the polish where she could get to it. My main focus was to get her cleaned up first. So off we went to the bathroom so I could search for fingernail polish remover. I sat her down to go potty while I searched in the cabinet above her, which turned out to be a big mistake because as I was fumbling with the many items in my hand and trying to grab the polish remover from the back of the cabinet, I dropped the can of hairspray and of coarse it hit Ava directly between the eyes. She screamed and when she looked up at me with blood dripping down her face, I screamed!

We both calmed down as I blotted her face and cleaned up the finger nail polish mess that was on her. All the while, Ava was glaring at me and said to me "That wasn't very nice". Poor baby. I had to explain to her that it was an accident and that Mommy didn't mean to hit her, but that it fell out of my hands. So needless to say, she got out of getting in trouble for the nail polish,well.... sort of. She did end up with a knot on her head, so she might disagree.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Do Your Best!

Wow, last night's work-out was amazing! We followed the Plyometrics(Jump Training) video last night and, even though I thought I might collapse during part of it, I felt incredible afterwards. If anyone has been curious about the P90X video's, it is definitely worth your time and money.

The Trainer in these video's (Tony Horton) is very encouraging and makes it seem possible for you to follow him when otherwise you could easily get discouraged if you couldn't keep up. He is constantly saying "Just do your best and forget the rest". As cheesy as this may sound, it does help to hear it when your stumbling over your own feet during a work-out. My motto is "Doing something is always better than doing nothing".

I am looking forward to these next 6 months and I am going to do my best!


Saturday, January 9, 2010

P90X workout

So as many of you know, I gave birth to the most beautiful little boy about 3 months ago and so here I am once again....wanting desperately to get back into shape.

I am 5'4 and before I had kids weighed about 110. And no, this did not come naturally for me, I had to work out, but it was certainly never hard for me. I never used to watch what I ate but that wasn't a problem because I LOVED to run and enjoyed working-out. So needless to say, I was in shock after giving birth to my first child. Love handles? What are these? Of coarse it is all worth it in the end blah, blah ,blah... but I still want my body back. My kids are such a beautiful gift from God, but why does giving birth have to be bitter sweet? Well for some, maybe it's not, but I am not one of those people who in 6wks is back to wearing my same old clothes. Even if I could possibly fit in them, I would not look like the same person with lumps and bumps in places that I pray go away someday.

As hard as it was I eventually got into shape again after my first child just in time to find out I was pregnant once again! I was ecstatic...not thinking at all about how hard it was to loose all that weight. During this pregnancy I focused a little more on what I ate and stayed in better shape throughout my pregnancy and I figured if I lost the weight before, I can do it again, right?

So here I am baby 3 months old and I now realize that age is not our friend. With every day that passes our bodies slow down and well...I don't appreciate it. My husband and I are trying something new...P90X. For those of you who don't know what this is, it is a fitness training program that comes with 12 DVDs. We work out 6 days a week for 3 months, doing different workouts everyday, and we are supposed to be in good shape by the end of it. We have both made personal goals to continue following this for 6 months instead of 3. My husband is wanting to get in shape so that he can join in the "Hotter than Hell" race in Sept. I am doing this just to get back in shape and have a larger wardrobe than I do now. I plan to keep everyone posted on my progress throughout these 6 months.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Chapter 1 ~ "From Here"

This is certainly not the first chapter in my life, just one that I have decided to share. As of right now I am first and foremost a mommy, then a wife and my goal for now is to make sure that I don't forget that I am also still just a woman with many dreams and goals for myself.

Staying at home everyday with my babies is truly a blessing, one that I will never take for granted and I thank my wonderful husband for helping provide me the opportunity to do so. As much as I enjoy it and as much as I learn everyday from my little ones(such as acquiring much needed patience and remembering not to say bad words when I stub a toe and/or just out of habit), I have recently come to realize how much of myself I have forgotten.

When I was younger, my biggest dream was to start a family...mission accomplished, now what??? It's not like I didn't have other dreams.... but of coarse everything else requires having time, which I don't have much of these days. I still and always will believe that family is most important and for me it should and always will come first. I just have to re-evaluate things every now and then to see where to go from here. Right now I plan to take baby steps toward finding something to incorporate into my life to help me always remember the woman that's inside of me. The woman who is full of dreams for herself and her future.