Thursday, June 30, 2011

Let's be real!

This mornings devo was all about being real with others and taking off the mask that we put on around others. The mask of perfection. The one that we use to make everyone think that we're perfect in all area's of our life. We get up and put our nice clothes on and go to church on Sunday with smiles on our face. When someone asks us how we are, we reply "Fine, how about you?" and that someone will reply "Fine" and then we move on to the next set of "Fine's". We ask the ?? without wanting the real answer. We would rather just go on with our day the same as always. Why is that we all answer fine even when we're falling apart inside. I think it may be for a couple different reasons. First it's probably because we don't want anyone to see our weaknesses. We want everyone to think we're perfect and we have that "I got this" attitude. Our marriage is perfect, all our bills are paid, and our kids our straight A students. When really the marriage is just holding on by a thread and the house is in foreclosure and the kids are a mess.
 The other reason may be that we just don't want people all up in our business. It's embarrassing! We don't want to deal with the drama that we deal with day in and day out at church. The church is our safe haven. The place where everything and everyone is "fine".
 Can you imagine if you walked up to someone at church and asked them how things are and they just bursted in to tears and told you everything that was going wrong in their life at that moment. It's rare that this would happen but it does happen on occasion. It's happened to me. How would you react? Would you feel uncomfortable? Your reaction could have an awesome effect on that person. It may either give them the confidence that they needed and the feeling that someone cares or the opposite. They could leave you feeling like nobody cares...even the church. My life sucks! What if you were the person that God put in that persons life to fix a problem and you just blew it.
  Can you imagine how awesome it would be if we all were honest with each other and helped each other out to best of our abilities? For example: A single mom is struggling to pay a day care for her children and can't pay her bills because of it. She needs someone trustworthy and someone who will except less pay to watch her children. What if your that somebody who God wants to use to help her out. You could either watch her kids for free or for very little. At least until she could get back on her feet. Yes, that would mean sacrifice. You would have to give up some free time. But you would be doing God's work. That's what being part of God's family is all about. That's the church family that I want. A family that helps each other out and is honest with each other. A church full of real people. People who screw up once in a while. We're all human, we're all a mess in some area in our lives. Next time your in a situation that you could be of help ... find that "I got this" attitude and do what God has called us all to do. Help someone in need. Peace out!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011


So let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up.

~ Galatians 6:9

I received this verse in my email this morning. It made me start to think about how as Christians we're always trying to do what is right in the eyes of God. Well most of us anyways. Why is it so tough to do the right thing? Sometimes I wonder is it really worth it. It would be so much easier to be like rest of the world and go with the flow. It would be so nice to only care about my own well being and do what is best for ME. A lot of the stress in my life is because I choose to swim against the current. I choose to do the right thing. I have this feeling deep inside. This feeling that makes me choose in all kinds of situations. Both the kind of situations that define who you are and the ones that don't really matter to anyone else but you. For example: this might sound really trivial to some of you.. but when I worked at Stewarts I opened the store early in the morning and I ran the register.  So sometimes it was only me working because it wasn't busy enough to have a second worker. I was new at the time. Every once in a while I would get a rush of people on their way into work. I would be running out of coffee and I'de have a line anxious men who haven't had there coffee yet.. all the way out to the door. You can imagine how intimidating this is to a 5ft 3in young girl. Sometimes the situation only got worse. I would run out of change because being by myself I hadn't had a chance to get the proper change out of the safe for my drawer. So now I need to give the guy in front of me 3 pennies back in change and I only have 2 and the line is only getting longer. So I have a decision to make. I could A: just hand him the 2 pennies and hope I wont need anymore, he probably is late for work and isn't going to miss his penny or B: explain my situation to the annoyed man in front of me and leave the line of people while I go into the office, unlock the safe and get the proper change out. Being the person that I am I chose B. For a couple different reasons. It would completely eat me up inside if I shorted him that penny. "Why?" you ask. It's only a penny. It's because I know that God is watching my every move. While I'm driving my car, while I'm at home with my kids, while I'm at work. He is always there through the good and the bad. The other reason for going to get the change is I know that there is no way that I'm going to get through that line without getting more change. Most of the time I would explain the situation to the person in front of me and they would say "don't worry about the penny". :)  After a while I got to know my morning crew pretty well and learned steps to prepare myself for that morning rush. As a parent I'm trying to teach my children that in this life there will be many choices to make. Choices that are both big and small. Choices that will define who they are.We wont always make the right choices. We are after all only human. But I encourage all of you when you make these choices to remember God's presence. Stay strong in your decisions. Don't ever waver from what you know is right. The Bible tells us to never forget that and to pray without ceasing. We should remind our children of him in every situation we face. We will all one day reap a harvest of blessings.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The opposite sex

Oh yes the opposite sex...Opposite is the key word hear. The sooner ladies except that men are just that, the better off they'll be. I believe that at some point men stop growing mentally but their bodies continue to grow. They're just big boys in a man's body. I haven't pin pointed the age in which this happens yet. Having 3 boys and a husband I'm going to be studying them very closely. Maybe by the time my daughter is old enough to be in a relationship I'll be able to give her an exact age.
  I think that men marry woman thinking that they'll never change. That they're never going to gain an ounce and that their hair will always be one color. Then 10-20 years down the line they're shocked at the fact that the woman that they married has changed. Remember that lovely woman you called mom. Well that's what's your going to end up with. The funny thing is want us to be that woman who fixes their plate and raises perfectly well behaved children in a perfectly clean house. They just want it to be done in the nude.
  Now woman on the other hand marry a man thinking just the opposite. They think I'm going to FIX this man no matter what it takes. He's going to be perfect when I'm done with him. Haaaaa!! Yeah right. It'll never happen ladies. Take a good look now because he will remain this way till he's 90. His physical appearance may change but he will remain mentally a young boy forever. We complain about the things that we once thought were cute.
  If men and woman would except these facts then the divorce rate would be almost none existent. I have excepted my husband sits and plays his xbox at night. In fact I encourage it. Because I understand that he needs that outlet. I know that while he's at work supporting our family like a grown up he's also shooting his co worker with a nail gun because it's just funny. In the end he's still a wonderful man...the man that I married. He's a great father and husband.  I'm also trying my best not to change my appearance too much. After 4 kids it's been a challenge but I think I have a handle on it....for now anyway.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Stromboli Recipe (Happy Father's Day!!!)

In honor of Father's Day I'm going to show you all how to make Stromboli because it's one of my husbands favorite meals. It's also cheap to make and super easy too. So here we go. Here's what your going to need

2 rolls of refrigerated french bread dough
1/2lb of baked ham
1/4-1/2lb hard salami
1/2lb of provolone cheese
1/2 package of pepperoni (you could use deli pepperoni if you want)
1/3 of a stick of melted butter
garlic salt
grated Parmesan cheese

First set your oven too 400 degrees

Then your going to open up your french bread and carefully unroll it into a large rectangle
Then your going to layer your meat and cheese across the middle. Starting with the cheese, then pepperoni, then the ham, then last comes the salami.

Then your going to grab the top end of the dough and fold it down and start rolling it up.

Once you have it all rolled up.. seal it along the side by pinching it. Then pinch the ends closed. Then your going to spray a baking sheet with non stick spray and place your rolls on the sheet. Now your going to make several slits going across the bread with a sharp knife. Now repeat those steps and make the second roll.

Then brush the melted butter across the length of the rolls and top with garlic salt and Parmesan cheese

Then place it in the oven for around 25-30min. We like ours crispy so about 30min works well for my oven. Until it's all brown and the cheese is oozing out.

See that melted burnt cheese on the pan. That's my favorite part. Yummm.....

Now when it's cooled off a little cut it into slices.

You can dip it in pizza sauce or honey mustard sauce. Enjoy!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

More Homemade Cleaning Recipes.

OK I have done some research and I've found some great cheap and environmentally friendly cleaning recipes. So here they are.

First Some Tips:
  • For the bar soaps required in the recipes, you could try Fels-Naptha, Ivory soap, Sunlight bar soap, Kirk’s Hard water Castile, and Zote. Don’t use heavily perfumed soaps.
  • Washing Soda and Borax can normally be found in the laundry and cleaning aisles.
  • Some people with really hard water or well water may have to adjust the recipes if the clothes look dingy.
  • You can make huge pails of this at once, or smaller quantities. Also if you can get your hands on a few empty liquid laundry detergent bottles they work great for storing the detergent. Just make a big batch and pour in bottles, cap them and use as needed–shake before use.
  •  Check with a local restaurant to see if they have any empty large pails from deep fryer oil–that’s how many restaurants buy the oil. See if you can have one or two of the pails after they’ve emptied it–just wash them out really well before using. They’re big, heavy plastic and very sturdy when stirring the soap and hot water.
Liquid Laundry Detergent
1 quart Water (boiling)
2 cups Bar soap (grated)
2 cups Borax
2 cups Washing Soda
  • Add finely grated bar soap to the boiling water and stir until soap is melted. You can keep on low heat until soap is melted.
  • Pour the soap water into a large, clean pail and add the Borax and Washing Soda. Stir well until all is dissolved.
  • Add 2 gallons of water, stir until well mixed.
  • Cover pail and use 1/4 cup for each load of laundry. Stir the soap each time you use it (will gel). Or it can be poured into old laundry soap containers. Shake before you use it
If you want to try some other recipes. Try this link

I also found a pretreater recipe from the same site if you want to try it.

This is a great pretreater for stained laundry and it makes up nicely…keep a jar handy in the laundry room and you’ll never need to buy harsh chemical stain removers.

Grate A Bar Of Soap To Make A Useful Soap Jelly
Grate A Bar Of Soap To Make A Useful Soap Jelly

Soap Jelly Recipe

Glass Jar (like a canning jar)
Laundry soap bar (or non-perfume bar like Ivory soap)
Hot water
  • Shave the bar of soap until the shavings fill half of the jar.
  • Fill the rest of the jar with hot water (boiling if the jar can handle that hot without shattering). Cover with lid.
  • Allow the water to soak into the soap a bit to soften it up then shake hard until soap is dissolved (or stir well).
  • Once the soap is dissolved, allow to cool completely. The soap & water mixture will form a soap jelly that is ideal for using on laundry stains.
Troubleshooting Tip: If soap and water mixture doesn’t gel nicely, it’s still useable…but you can reheat mixture and add more soap shavings. If it’s too thick, add a bit more hot water.
Directions for use:
  • Soften stubborn soil with soap jelly on a soft brush. Scrub gently to avoid damaging cloth.

Dishwasher detergent recipe:
It's really easy. It's 1 part borax to 1 part baking soda. Store it in a plastic container. Use about 3 TBL per load. And you can put white vinegar in your rinse compartment to give your dishes some shine.

Last but not least I wanted to share a comment left by Amanda yesterday:

I love white vinegar for the bathroom. For really tough soap scum, just warm it up a little and it eats right through it! I also use a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water for glass cleaner. I used to use a recipe that had rubbing alcohol, but I'd read that wasn't as good for you. Vinegar and water also work great for hardwood and vinyl type flooring. 1 c. vinegar to 1 gallon of warm water for vinyl flooring and only 1/2 c. vinegar with the water for hard wood. Baking soda works as a great abrasive if you need something like that. I had to start using the homemade version of cleaners when my asthma got really bad.

*Disclaimer- I haven't tried any of these recipes myself yet. So they are to be used at your own risk.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Your going to wear that!

So in my search for recipes for some homemade cleaning supplies I found this. It's a list of some of the chemicals found in commercial fabric softeners and dryer sheets :
  • Benzyl acetate: Linked to pancreatic cancer
  • Benzyl Alcohol: Upper respiratory tract irritant
  • Ethanol: On the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Hazardous Waste list and can cause central nervous system disorders
  • A-Terpineol: Can cause respiratory problems, including fatal edema, and central nervous system damage
  • Ethyl Acetate: A narcotic on the EPA's Hazardous Waste list
  • Camphor: Causes central nervous system disorders
  • Chloroform: Neurotoxic, anesthetic and carcinogenic
  • Linalool: A narcotic that causes central nervous system disorders
  • Pentane: A chemical known to be harmful if inhaled

I was going to post a recipe for reusable dryer sheets today but the recipe used store bought fabric softener. So here are some ideas if this bothers you and you want to go chemical free:

Add a quarter cup of baking soda to wash cycle to soften fabric or add a quarter cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle to soften fabric and eliminate cling.

Here is recipe I found for chemical free fabric softener:

1 cup baking soda
6 cups white vinegar
1 cup of water
10 -15 drops of essential oil of your choice. Example: 7 drops Sweet Orange, 5 drops Ylang Ylang &  3 drops Patchouli.
a bucket
wooden spoon

* Add the baking soda to the bucket
* Add  the water to the baking soda in the bucket
* SLOWLY add the vinegar to the bucket, be careful  it’s going to bubble up
* When all of the vinegar is added to the baking soda and has settled, stir it a bit so that the majority of the baking soda dissolves.
* Get a large empty plastic bottle and pour the vinegar/ baking soda/ water brew into it, add the essential oils.
* Add 1/2 a cup at the start of the rinse cycle ( be sure to give the bottle a good shake to disperse essential oils through liquid

I bet that this will make a difference in your wallet as well. My hubby will like that ;)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

He's lucky he's so cute

Hmmm...... The littlest prince is being very quiet. Wonder where he is.

Eww... What's this? A present for mommy. You shouldn't have. Wonder who I should thank for this.

He's lucky he's so cute!!!

When did more become better?

This morning I took a good look around my house and realized that my house has been seriously neglected in the last few weeks or months. Not quite sure. My life has been a bit of a blur lately. Spring cleaning completely passed my house by this year. So I'm now in summer cleaning mode. While mopping my kitchen floor, I was thinking about my mop....exciting right. My mop is made by Rubbermaid. It's a Rubbermaid Reveal mop. Maybe you've seen them before. It has a washable pad and you can refill the solution canister with your own cleaning solution. I bought this mop because I liked the idea of the convenience of the Swiffer mop but the damage it does to the environment is terrible. Not to mention the money wasted buying refills. The more products they make like this, the more angry I get. Since when is it OK to create more garbage. What happened to all the effort that was being put into recycling. Now we're just making our landfills bigger. Seriously... we've like started making disposable everything. Our children are going to have a huge mess to clean up from this. It's not worth the convenience. So in the next week I'm going to start posting some recipes for homemade cleaning solutions and some ways that we can cut back on the damage that's being done. If anyone wants to share some ideas feel free to leave a comment.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Summer recipes

OK no more depressing posts. Let's talk about one of my favorite things. Food!! I love food. I love almost all food. Except seafood.I've never been really fond of seafood. I can eat some like crab and lobster but you could never get me to eat calamari. Eww... that's yucky! Cheese is one of my favorite foods. Anything with cheese on it is better. I also love fruits and veggies and summer is prime time for that. I'm not a big meat fan. I'll eat a little here and there but I could definitely pass on a hamburger or a steak. If I do eat meat it's usually chicken. So because I'm talking about food today I'm going to share one my favorite summer recipes with you all. I was hoping that in return you all would share one of your favorite recipes with me. Remember, No Calamari!! OK here it goes:

Fruit and nut salad

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cups torn fresh spinach
  • 4 cups torn romaine
  • 1 can (15 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped (you can leave out the celery if you want. I do.)
  • 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • For dressing, in a small bowl, whisk the oil, sugar, vinegar, parsley, and salt until blended. Cover and refrigerate.
  • In a large heavy skillet, melt sugar over medium-low heat without stirring until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Add pecans and butter; stir constantly until butter is melted and pecans are coated. Remove from the heat. Pour onto a foil-lined baking sheet; cool completely. Break pecans apart if necessary.
  • In a salad bowl, combine the spinach, romaine, oranges, celery, strawberries and onions. Just before serving, drizzle with dressing; toss to coat. (The recipe says to put the dressing on right before serving but I think it tastes better if you put on about a 30 min before) Top with sugared pecans. Makes 8-10 servings.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Yesterday was such a bitter sweet day for me. It was recital day for my sweet girl and my niece. It was so much fun to watch them perform after a whole year of work. They both did so well. We celebrated with Chinese food, family, and friends. It was very special for all of us. Yesterday would also have been my youngest brother's 30th birthday.But two years ago he was killed. He was intoxicated with some friends walking down some train tracks and he was struck by a train. Everyday since, I have not stopped thinking about him. Some days it's more than others. Some days I cry and some days I can push through it without crying. Sometimes people go to visit his grave. I can't go there. I've been there once since his funeral. To me, he's not there. It's just a reminder to me that he's gone. I have a picture that I keep of him above my computer, that I can look at whenever I want. I would rather remember him like that. He left behind two beautiful little girls for me to watch grow up. I hope that some day I'll be able to tell them all about him. It's so hard because I can talk about him sometimes but most of the time it's like one of those subjects that you keep well hidden. I never mention him around my parents. Ex specially my mother. She just seems so vulnerable and frail and I feel like just the mention of him could push her off the deep end. One of the hardest things I've ever had to do in my life is tell my parents that there son was dead. I was one of the first to know and my older brother was in another state at the time. I had to make all of the funeral arrangements for him. I think that having to step up to the plate like that and still having a family to take care of was what kept me from totally losing it.
  My brother was such a friendly guy. He was the kind of person who just loved to have a good time no matter where he was. We had a tough childhood. He had it the worst I think because he was the youngest. I was 15 when I left home and he was only 13 years old when I left him. Sometimes I feel like I could have changed something if I hadn't left. I know that God has plans for us all and it was in his plans to take him. But it doesn't make it any easier. So I just keep praying that someday I will see him again and I'll be able wrap my arms around him and tell him how much I love him. One day. Till then I have to live my life. I have to push through it and enjoy my family that's still here with me. So if you don't see me weeping over his grave on his birthday and holiday's and on the anniversary of his death, please don't think it's because I don't care. It just hurts too much for me to go there. With God's help, I know I'll get through this time in my life. He's why I can get through days like yesterday. Thank you Jesus! I will praise you in this storm.

Monday, June 6, 2011

With age comes wisdom

At the ripe old age of 32 I'm finely starting to understand some things a little clearer. Mainly myself. I'm realizing some of my weaknesses and my strengths a bit more.
  Realization #1- I have identified my addictive personalty and how it can be both a good and bad thing. Good as in my need to exercise daily and bad being I might decide that I want a pepperoni, cheese, and crackers every night before bed (very bad). So in identifying this I can adjust things in my life and stay away from those bad things that may be habit forming for me. Now I try to save enough calories for my nightly bowl of popcorn.
  Realization #2- Like Popeye used to say. I am what I am. I am proud of the person that I have become. I have some regrets of the choices that I made when I was younger. But it was those choices that shaped me into the person that I am today.  I'm not being prideful. But I do like to think that I'm a pretty decent person for the most part. I no longer beat myself up over my past choices. It's those choices that have given the opportunity to help others who might be in similar situations. I've also become content with my body image. I'm still working on loosing weight but I'm not going to stress over it anymore. This is the body that God has given me and I'm making it a priority in my life to take care of it.
  Realization #3- My house does not need to perfectly clean all the time. I have 4 busy children and a busy husband. So things are never just the way that I want them anymore. But that's OK. It's just a house. If people are coming over I'm not going to scramble and run around all day trying to make it look perfect. If my friends are coming over they already know how my house is and they except that. When I go over to a friends house I'm not judging how clean their house is. I'm there to spend time with them.
  Realization #4- I'm never going to be the perfect parent. I'm always going to make mistakes. I'm only human not God. I do the best that I can. If I can go to bed at night knowing that I have done my best as a parent. Then I've done my job. My kids are happy and healthy and I'm giving them the ability to make good decisions in their life. I'm raising them to be good strong Christians. These are the things that matter to me.
  Realization#5- Your friends are only your friends if they except you for who you are. If they truly love me it's for things that make me who I am. I have always been a person who could walk up to a stranger and strike up a conversation. I'm a bit loud sometimes. I sometimes talk out of turn. But I love people. This is me. If you don't like those kind of things then you probably wont like me.
 Realization #6- This is a big one. Everyone has their own hang ups. None of us are exempt from this. We all have something that we're not exactly proud of in our lives. Some have addictions and some have eating disorders, some may yell too much etc..... Some have bad decisions in their past and are still dealing with the consequences. Some are still making bad decisions. We all have skeletons in our closet. Things that we're not proud of. Things we wouldn't want to reveal to others. Nobody is perfect!! If we were then we wouldn't need God's forgiveness.
  Now I'm sure that you older ladies are grinning from ear to ear thinking "I knew all of this years ago". And some of you younger ladies are thinking "what is she talking about?". But when I was young I thought the same way. But you just wait. One day it will all start becoming a little bit clearer to you too. I'm sure that by the time I'm 90 I'll have it all figured out. NOT!!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Working mamma

Oh how I give credit to all those working mamma's out there. It doesn't matter if you do it from home or an office or a factory. It's one more thing on your plate. Wow, and what a buffet of things we have already on it. I wear so many hats as it is and now I have added entrepreneur to the collection. But for some strange reason I feel calm about it. There isn't that shortness in breathe that I usually get when I've taken on too much. It's like God is telling me that it's the right time to go ahead with it. There's still that uncertainty that comes with any new adventure but it still feels OK. But who knows... it might just be that calm that comes before the storm. Either way I'm going to keep chugging along and give it my all. Next week I have my first vendor sale. So pray for me friends. Pray that I'll be able to balance getting everything that's needed  for this new adventure done in the next week. Oh yeah and speaking of working mamma's, check out my sweet friend Wendy's blog @ She's giving away a $25 gift card for Wendy's this week. Which is great to have on hand for those busy summer days.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Why are friendships so hard? Why can't we all just get along? Ughhh!! It sounds so high school...but really!! I think it's mostly because of pride and because of selfishness. We all want to be good to others but if it means sacrifice we're not so sure about it. We teach our children to treat others the way that we would want to be treated and then we don't follow that same rule in our own daily encounters with others. Then to make matters worse we put people into categories. This person is my real friend and this person is my friend when my real friend isn't around.  Then you've got your church friends and your couples know, the couples that you and your significant other hang with. I understand that there are some friends that you can trust with certain things and other friends that you can't. So I was thinking.. if you really don't trust those friends then maybe they are not really your friends to start with. Maybe they are just somebody that you can love from afar. I for one.. am done with these categories. If you think I'm too loud...cover your ears. If you think my kids are too wild...sorry they're kids. Get over it! I'm not going to parent them any different then I would in my own home. If there disrespectful then that's different. I'm not going to play third wheel to anyone and I hope that I have never made any of my friends feel that way. I'm not cutting ties with people. I'm just not going to continue to put so much effort into these kind of relationships. I am who I am and I'm proud of who I am. I'm not going to change who I am to fit in. Which is also another thing that I have tried to teach my children. Being Christians it can sometimes be tough. We need to stand up for what we believe in and the Bible tells us not to fit in. Unfortunately Christians can treat each other far worse then any unbeliever would. So to my friends who love me for who I am. Thank you!! I am truly blessed to have you. Those of you who think I'M TOO MUCH!! Well then this post was obviously meant for you.